Friday, January 12, 2018


BY Nathele Graham - 

"Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth." Ezekiel 8:12.We all have secrets. You may think the secret is known only to you but it's not hidden from God. Throughout the Bible we have examples of actions that were thought to be secret but were in fact known by God. For instance, God entrusted Adam with the admonition that he was not to eat the Forbidden Fruit. Adam and Eve sinned  and ate the fruit then tried to hide from God. He knew where they were and what they did. In the New Testament we read that Jesus knew what people were thinking and on one occasion He knew a man was possessed by demons and He travelled across the sea for the sole purpose of ridding that man of his many demons. No matter where you are or what you've done, God knows. He also loves you enough to help you in your time of weakness and forgive you. After all, it was Adam's original sin that created the need for Jesus Christ to shed His blood on the cross to take our sin away. All sin can be forgiven if you confess to Him. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9. Sin always comes between us and God. Don't make excuses for your sin but ask for forgiveness and He will forgive you. Then, turn away from those idols you've allowed into the temple.
 God repeatedly warns us against idolatry. When we think of idols we usually envision a statue made by pagan witchdoctors that supposedly has power over certain things. These false gods do have power but that power comes from Satan. Whenever the Israelites lived around a pagan culture they would begin to worship the pagan gods around them. When they left Egypt, for example, they made a golden calf to worship at the very time that God was giving Moses the Law on Mt. Sinai. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me." Exodus 20:3-5. That's not hard to understand, but idols come in many forms and we think that God doesn't notice when we put Him in second place. Make no mistake, He does notice.
 It would stand to reason that after the Jewish people were settled in the Promised Land and the Temple was built in Jerusalem that idolatry would have ended. Not so. Over and over we read that when one of the good kings of Israel came to power he would destroy the groves, the high places, and the idols. You may feel that you can worship God while fishing or watching football as easily as you can when sitting in a pew. Can you? When your team scores are you singing praise to God or idolizing the team on the field? The priests who served in the Temple were men who had all appearances of holiness. They may have fooled people but they couldn't fool God. God knew exactly what went on inside the Temple. He took Ezekiel to Jerusalem and placed him before the inner gate of the Temple "...where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy." Ezekiel 8:3b. What was that image? Scripture doesn't describe it, but is there anything at your house of worship that would provoke God to jealousy? How about a statue of the Virgin Mary or various man-appointed saints? These idols should never be a part of a Christian's life. Mary and the "saints" were just humans and not to be venerated. After Ezekiel saw what was happening in the Temple He was shown women weeping for Tammuz. Tammuz was a demonic perversion in advance of the virgin birth and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Today we might bring Easter eggs into our house of worship. Easter and the eggs began with Tammuz. We should celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord rather than follow pagan idolatry. We need to remove the idols from our places of worship.
Then Ezekiel was shown a hole in the wall of the Temple and was told to dig. He found a door and was told to go in and see the wickedness inside. "So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about. And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up." Ezekiel 8: 10-11. It was the religious leaders who were bringing abominations into the Temple. Did they think they were hiding this perversion? Oddly enough, the name "Jaazaniah" means "Jehovah hears". God hears all and sees all. Nothing can be hidden from God. "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret." Ephesians 5:11-12. If you feel as if you need to hide anything you do it's probably something you shouldn't be doing. You may hide it from your parents, your siblings, your spouse, or your friends, but can't hide it from God. Brothers and sisters, pay attention to what's practiced in the place you choose to worship. Are New Age ideas being embraced? Is there a yoga class or contemplative prayer? How about statues of supposed holy people? These things don't go unseen by God. His word hasn't changed so we can be sure that what was sin for Adam, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the priests in Ezekiel's time is still sin today. Don't put any idol in the temple or in your life.
What do events that took place thousands of years ago in the Jewish Temple at Jerusalem have to do with Christians today? Everything. From the earliest beginnings of Christianity there was a question as to whether a Gentile had to become Jewish before becoming a Christian. After much prayer those men who were chosen as leaders concluded that there were only four things that a Gentile who had turned to God had to do. "Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: but that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication and from things strangled, and from blood." Acts 15:19-20. First is abstain from the pollutions of idols. Anything and everything we put ahead of Christ is an idol. Working to earn a living is a good thing, but does your job interfere with Bible study? If so, your job is an idol. Especially if you use all the money you earn to buy selfish things instead of using it to honor God. Personally, I struggle with video games. Oh, not the violent ones but cute little cartoon ones so that's not bad is it? When that game interferes with my Bible study then I have to stop and put God first. Television? Movies? You name it and it can become an idol. What about lifestyles that are abominable to God? If you put your own selfish desires above what God declares is acceptable then you've put an idol ahead of God. Only Bible study can teach you about God. Study His word and apply it to your life.
The Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD so how can we worry about idols in the Temple? The Temple that had been built with hands was destroyed but the one built by God is still around. It's in you. If you're a true believer in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ then you are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. That indwelling is a blessing that should never be taken for granted. Because He indwells you the Temple is within you.  "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." 1 Corinthians 3:16-17. That's a humbling fact. God dwells in you and when you sin you take Him with you. Do you think it's wise to take God into a pornography shop or with you to an R rated movie? He isn't surprised by the content of the abominable places you go and things you do, but the fact that you choose to take Him there is a sad comment upon your actions. Don't yoke yourself with unbelievers because their idols will become yours. "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people." 2 Corinthians 6:14-16. As long as we live on this side of Heaven we will live among people who see nothing wrong with the things God calls sin. If you choose to yoke yourself with these non-believers then you will find yourself putting idols in the temple of God that is within you. Be very careful.
If you've truly accepted Christ then all your sins are forgiven. That isn't a license to live a sinful lifestyle but should create a strong desire to please Him. We please Him by living our life to honor Him. We all fail, but that's when we ask for forgiveness and for His help to keep us away from the sin in our life...the idols in the temple. "BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes. With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word." Psalm 119:9-16. Delight yourself in the Lord and His ways.
Are there idols in the temple within you? It's time to cleanse it and remove the idols you allow to defile it. Study God's word and take delight in living by it.
God bless you all,
Nathele Graham


When Jesus was describing conditions just previous to the end of this Age, He said "you will hear of wars and rumors of war." (Matthew 24:6) In a broad sense, that's true of all years. But 2017 was different. It was rife with rumors of warfare at a level perhaps never seen on earth before.
Two nations figured prominently in those threats. One or both of them may one day make up part of an alliance known in Biblical prophecy as the "kings from the east." (Revelation 16:12)
Of course, I'm speaking of China and North Korea.
The Eurasia Group says that China leads all geopolitical risks in the coming year. To begin with, their war production is off-the-charts. Their state of the art factories are working round the clock producing futuristic weapons specifically designed to defeat the strengths of the United States military.
And some of them, such as the DF-17 missile that utilizes hypersonic glide technology, have western military leaders worried.
China is even working feverishly to engineer genetically-modified super-soldiers.
Just how serious is China? Recently, China's president Xi Jinping gave a three hour speech outlining China's plans for world domination within 30 years. And that was just what he was willing to reveal in public!
It goes without saying that 2017's poster boy for rumors and threats of war was North Korea's maniacal dictator Kim Jong-un. During the year, North Korea tested a series of ICBMs that eventually yielded a missile potentially capable of striking any target in the United States -- or the world, for that matter.
Kim also boasted that North Korea had tested its first hydrogen bomb. Seismic data from that region suggests that he may have been telling the truth.
What's more worrisome is that in December, Kim's regime announced that it will continue preparing "pre-emptive attacks with nuclear force." "Pre-emptive" means they're getting ready to fire the first shot.
As a result, nations across the Pacific region began seriously preparing their responses to a nuclear conflict.
And just as 2017 was fading into the sunset, reports came from Japan that North Korea is already loading anthrax into ICBMs. The presence of anthrax in the blood of a recent defector seems to confirm that North Korea is engaged in a serious bioweapons program.
How's that for "rumors of war?"
In 2017, European leaders may have finally begun to see how vulnerable they are to the Muslim migrants they have been welcoming for decades.
Turkey's Foreign Minister warned his counterparts that they "...have begun to collapse Europe... Holy wars will soon begin in Europe."
In the Netherlands, in order to get re-elected, the liberal Prime Minister had to sound like an ultra-nationalist! He took out a full-page newspaper ad telling migrants, "Act normal or go away... go back to Turkey." That's a complete U-turn!
Sweden still appears to be living in denial. That nation began accepting large numbers of Muslim in 1975. Since then, violent crime has risen 300%. Rapes have increased 1,472% through 2014. We receive e-mails from older Swedish citizens dejectedly telling us that they no longer recognize their nation -- and that they are afraid to go out at night. Many of them will only leave home in groups.
The bottom line is this. No matter what Angela Merkel, the mayor of London, or the leaders of the EU say, most European Muslims are NOT assimilating!
In April of 2017, the citizens of Turkey narrowly voted for constitutional amendments that removed all the checks and balances from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's power. And for a man who has long held delusions of a worldwide Islamic caliphate with himself in charge, that promises to be a dangerous thing.
Already, Erdogan has taken steps to establish a Turkish military presence in the Persian Gulf. The Jerusalem Post reports that his next goal is the Red Sea: "While Iran has taken the world's attention, Turkey is stealthily pursuing its goal of developing a military and intelligence infrastructure on the Red Sea."
What makes developments in Turkey even more interesting is that perhaps the biggest prophetic story of 2017 was the historic alignment of Turkey with Russia and Iran. Ezekiel 38 gives a list of nations that will one day launch a massive assault on Israel. Two of the nations are Russia and Persia, or modern Iran. Several of the smaller nations listed correspond to places now within the boundaries of modern Turkey.
How could Ezekiel have seen this alliance of unlikely nations 2,600 years ago when even 10 years ago it would have seemed absurd? (That's a rhetorical question, of course. We all know how!)
Russia and Iran are traditional enemies. Two years ago, Russia and Turkey were at each others' throats. But with stunning speed, Turkey has joined an active alliance with Russia and Iran.
From a secular standpoint, it is unbelievable. From a prophetic perspective, it is inevitable.
2017 closed with the people of Iran once more in the streets protesting their despotic government. What started as demonstrations against the mullahs' economic oppression has morphed into a revolt against their involvement in Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon. People in the streets have been chanting, "Death to Hezbollah!"
Why? Because that's where their money's going. After President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran removed the sanctions and allowed them to go full-bore selling their oil and gas, money has been flowing into Iran. Their coffers should be overflowing. But they're not.
As fast as it comes in, Iran is spending the money to build up its own military, arm Hamas in Israel, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the Houthis in Yemen. Now, they want to build missile factories in Syria. In other words, the money from Iran's oil and gas sales has not helped the Iranian people. (Did ANY sane person really believe it would?) Instead, it has funded foreign adventures for the power-hungry mullahs who rule Iran. (And EVERY sane person knew that it would!)
In 2017, America was still fighting in Afghanistan. Why? Because we are at war with the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and ISIS, all of whom are still fighting in Afghanistan. And as 9/11 proved, Afghanistan is important to American security at home.
Speaking of ISIS, in 2017 it was largely defeated on the traditional battlefield. Most of its strongholds in Iraq and Syria were retaken. But the ghosts of ISIS remain. And they haunt the world.
In 2017, what ISIS called "officially endorsed operations" included actions in Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Egypt, France, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
ISIS lost a lot in 2017, but they have not gone away.
Finally, 2017 brought more of the same turmoil and world condemnation that has characterized Israel's history. From the Palestinian rioting over the metal detectors placed at the Temple Mount entrances to its condemnation as an "apartheid regime" by a United Nations agency.
When Donald Trump became President, PA president Mahmoud Abbas journeyed to the White House. He was effusive in his praise of the new President. He applauded his "leadership... courage... wisdom." He tried to flatter Mr. Trump with talk of "your great negotiating ability." In English, he added, "Now, Mr. President, with you we have hope."
By the end of the year, things had changed. On December 6, President Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital. At that point, Abbas decided to cut the United States out of any peace process.
Though Abbas tried desperately to form a united government with Hamas, those efforts seem to be failing. A scholar at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Dr. Ely Karmon, said, "Hamas is just waiting for Abbas to die." Meanwhile, Hamas remains committed to terrorism and they have increasingly close ties with Iran and Hezbollah.
Folks, things are definitely heating up! If you've not been serious about getting ready to leave this world when Jesus comes back for us, don't waste another moment!

Thursday, January 11, 2018



BY Jack Kinsella -

I was challenged with a question that I guess we've all wrestled with at some time or another.  Why is the Bible so ambiguous on so many important points of doctrine?
For example, there are three different doctrinal views concerning the Rapture; four different doctrinal views concerning the timing of the Rapture, three different doctrinal views on the Millennial Kingdom, and so on.
Some argue, based on their reading of Scripture, that the Rapture is not taught anywhere in the Bible.  They aren't liars or false prophets or false teachers.  They sincerely don't believe that the Bible teaches of a Rapture.
The late Dr. Ray Brubaker, based on his reading of Scripture argued in favor of a partial Rapture.  In his view, the Lord will return for His Church, but only for that part of it that is living in a state of grace at the time.
Those Christians that are saved, but out of fellowship with the Lord, will be left behind to go through the Tribulation.
This contrasts with the third possibility, which is that every living Christian will be Raptured by the Lord.
Even as good, sincere, Bible believing Christians disagree on whether there will be a Rapture, there are disagreements about when.  I believe that the Rapture will occur before the breaking of the First Seal, which is the revelation of the Antichrist. (Daniel 9:27, 2 Thessalonians 2:7, Revelation 6:2)
Others believe the Rapture doesn't take place until after 1/4 of the population has been killed by the first five judgments.  This is known as the "Pre-Wrath Rapture."  There are others that believe it takes place at the mid-point, others still that are convinced it doesn't happen until the very end.
There are even three different perspectives on the Millennial Kingdom;  amillennialism, meaning No Millennial Kingdom.  Proponents of this view believe that the Second Coming and the Great White Throne Judgment are concurrent.
Post-millennialists believe that the Bible teaches the Second Coming comes after the Millennium.  Pre-millennialists believe the Bible teaches that the Second Coming marks the start of a Thousand Year Kingdom that ends with the Great White Throne Judgment.
These are pretty widely divergent beliefs, given that they all emerged from the same Bible.  Each of these views has its champions, and all of them are sincere, devoted and honest seekers of Biblical truth that believe with all their hearts that they have found that truth.
Having found what they believe the Bible really teaches on a particular topic, they naturally want to share that belief with others.  After all, that is what we Christians are supposed to do, right?  Each one teach one?
That is how Christianity made the leap from twelve Jews in a Roman backwater province to becoming the largest monothesitic faith on earth.
Each one, teach one.
So how can it be that ALL of us read the same Bible, are called by the same Father, saved by the same Son, and led by the same Holy Spirit, and end up with such widely different eschatological doctrines? 
We've discussed the word mystery and how it is used in the New Testament before.  In New Testament Greek, the word musterion or "mystery" means "something not previously revealed."
Jesus was once asked by His disciples why it was that He sometimes taught using parables, instead of teaching the point outright. He replied;
"And He said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:" (Mark 4:11)
But parables are open to interpretation.  Why not just speak in clear, unambiguous terms?
After the Flood, the Bible says that God instructed Noah and his sons to go forth and multiply,to replenish the earth.  Genesis Chapter 10 is one of those chapters most of us skip through -- the first verse is a warning that your eyes will glaze over before you hit the last one:
"Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood."  (Genesis 10:1)
After that, they begat children that begat children that begat more children . . . (yawn) . . . that had sons with names like Raamah. . . (yawn) . .  . and . . .
And we slept right through the answer we're looking for, buried in the middle of the chapter.
"And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar." (Genesis 10:8-10)
Then, where they went after that; Ham, Cush, and Mizraim . . . (yawn) . .and Rezen between Nineveh and . . . (yawn) . .  and the Jebusite and the Amorite. . . (ZZZZZZZZ)
. . . ZZZZZ SNORK . . .
And we come to the next chapter, wherein we learn that the "whole earth was of one language and of one speech." (Genesis Chapter 11:1)
If you stayed awake through Chapter Ten, recall that Nimrod started his kingdom in Babel.  So Nimrod has gathered all the people that were supposed to go forth and multiply into his kingdom.  Remember the time frame. What all those begats in the previous chapter tell us is that the Flood is probably still within living memory.
Nimrod -- the first King of the World -- is in clear defiance of God's admonition to disperse and replenish the earth -- and he says so outright.  He announces that he has found a way to defeat God and forestall any future judgment. 
"And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth." (Genesis 11:4)
Understand what is happening here.  The people like living in Babel.  They don't want to obey God, but they don't want to be swept away by another Flood, either.  Encouraged by their King, the people are openly defying God, trusting in Nimrod's planned countermeasures against judgment.
To prevent a united population from going into open rebellion and forcing God's Hand of judgment, God confused their languages and separated them into nations.
Now, back to musterion and parables and ambiguity and a dozen sincerely held eschatological doctrinal views.
Prior to the Reformation, Christianity was more or less united under the papacy.  The Church became first a tyrant, then a business, then King of the World.  During its zenith, no temporal king sat on his throne, except by papal permission.
The King of the World could offer indulgences, which he claimed were countermeasures against judgment in purgatory, a place of punishment invented by the King of the World so he could offer get out of purgatory free cards.
By the time of the Reformation, doctrinal dissention was dealt with by burning dissenters at the stake. 
And then, with the Reformation, God's people were scattered once again, only this time, spiritually, into denominations, breaking the power of the King, at least, for a time.
"And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space." (Revelation 17:10)
Ultimately, the Bible says, there will be one more aspirant to the title of King of the World.
"And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition." (Revelation 17:11)
As we count down the generations to the last days,  there are all kinds of sincerely held beliefs about how they will play out, according to differing understandings of the very same passages.
This has the effect of keeping us united on the central doctrines of Christianity, which is that one must be born again, while keeping enough doctrinal disunity about the things to come to keep us watchful.
"For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way." (2 Thessalonians 2:7)
At first glance, the ambiguity about the things of the end seems mysterious; why not just tell us exactly what to look for?  But the mystery is just enough to keep us all from being united under a clever deceiver.
We Christians are a fractious bunch; apart from salvation by grace through faith in Christ, we don't agree on hardly anything.  But we agree that we need a Savior.  We agree that the Bible is the Word of God.  We agree that we are saved by grace and not works.
"That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ." (Colossians 2:2)
But we'll never agree that we should all come together as one big Christian family. New Testament ambiguity ensures there will never again be a Christian Nimrod.
"Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand." (Matthew 13:13)
Not until 'He who lets' is taken out of the way, God's Holy Spirit.