Friday, April 6, 2018


- By Ronda Lane -
"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live" (John 11:25).
Israel knew of the resurrection of the dead long before the birth of Christ. Even Job (possibly the oldest book of the Bible) knew of the resurrection. (Job 19:25-27). Yet the resurrection occurring at the rapture was new material; it was a mystery not given until the age of grace, to Paul to give to the church, the body of Christ (1 Cor.15:51).
We see that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose (resurrected) the third day (1 Cor.15:1-4). His resurrection sets the precedent and the reason why we (grace/church-age believers) will also be resurrected. Christ defeated both sin and death. He paid for our sins with His precious blood, as only He was and is sinless, holy, and undefiled (Heb. 7:26). But we often stop at this and take for granted that Jesus defeated sin so that we can be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:18, Rom. 5:10), without thinking about how He truly defeated death (for us believers) also! (1 Cor.15:20-26, 54-57.)
I'd like to write something a little different this year for Resurrection Sunday. Rather than focus just on the death, burial, and ascension of Christ Jesus (as we most often do this time of year), I'd like to focus on the resurrection and what this wonderful hope means to the believer.
By no means do I wish to in any way disparage or take away from the importance of the gospel - Jesus' death, burial, and ascension in 1 Cor.15:1-4. In fact, were it not for Christ Jesus willingly submitting to God's will and bearing the sins of the world upon His sinless body, shedding His precious blood, we would not have the opportunity to come to the Father without Christ! (John 14:6; Rom. 3:25, 6:23; 1 John 2:2, 4:10; John 3:15-18, et al).
But I wonder as I sit here (Saturday evening, the night before Resurrection Sunday) how often we believers actually study or ponder the resurrection promise given to us, which would not have been possible were it not for Jesus' own resurrection? I desire to write an article full of hope and comfort to fellow believers. This hope, comfort and wonderful peace in our hearts comes only from what He has done for us.
We find these truths in God's word, His promises that we believers are so assured by. One such promise is that of the resurrection and eternal life for believers! But keep in mind that this article is truly for believers only, as a far different future awaits the unbelievers.
For the unsaved world, and for nominal "Christians" (or even Christians in name only), there seems to be only two times of the year that it is 'socially acceptable' to speak of scripture, the gospel, and the wonderful hope we believers have in Christ Jesus. Resurrection Sunday is one of those times. There are hundreds of articles poured out each year during this season. And most all of them have to do with the gospel-that Christ died for our sins, was buried, and rose the third day (as found in Cor. 15:1-4).
Truly there is no better hope than that. Yet today, I'd like to focus not just on the cross and the burial, but also on the resurrection: first on just how Christ Jesus rose and ascended to heaven to the right hand of the Father (Matt. 26:64; Heb. 10:12; 1 Pet. 3:22; Luke 22:69; Acts 2:33-35; Psalm 110:1; Matt. 22:44; Mark 12:36; Acts 7:55-56; Heb.1:13; Acts 5:31; Eph.1:20; Heb.8:1; Col.3:1; Heb.1:3, and the following three verses):
"So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God" (Mark 16:19).
"Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us" (Rom. 8:34).
"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb. 12:2).
All of the above is a study in itself, which deserves much more time and attention than I'm going to allot in this article. Thankfully, so many excellent writers cover this topic thoroughly during this time each year (and often throughout the year as well). And this wonderful gospel by which we are saved, if we have believed (as Paul set forth the words given of the Holy Spirit to write in 1 Cor. 15:1-4), is the foundation of our faith.
"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" (1 Cor.15:1-4).
Because of His death, burial, and resurrection we have the opportunity to accept so great a salvation. And along with that salvation comes the promise of heaven, an eternity with Jesus, and the promise of eternal, glorified, and incorruptible bodies as well.
What will our resurrected bodies be like?
1 John 3:2 tells us this: "...we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."
We know that, not only will we see Jesus as He is (which we look forward to with eager anticipation, being with our Savior), but we will also be like Him! We also see the answer to this question in the same verse: When will we see Him and be like Him? "when he shall appear."
We see this again in Colossians 3:4, "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory."
The next question we may be asking is when will He appear? Let's look to scripture for the answer.
1 Corinthians chapter 15 is one of my favorite chapters in all of scripture (even though all of God's word is excellent). But in this chapter we first find the gospel (v.1-4), how Jesus' appeared to many in His resurrected body (v.5-8). Paul reiterates how he was called out to be an apostle (v.9-11). Then Paul wastes no time getting into both the resurrection of Christ and how we believers will also be given resurrected bodies at the rapture. Paul explains why we must receive resurrected bodies and when we will receive them throughout the remainder of the chapter (v.12-57).
That is quite a lot of verses of scripture devoted to the resurrection and rapture to discuss! It deserves an entire study and article about them alone. Please take time to study this chapter thoroughly (as many of you already have, yet why not take time to re-study again today?). There is only so much room here to discuss so vast a subject, but let's discover some key facts.
The rapture event itself is detailed in verses 49-53. Let's look at those first, as they sum up vital information.
"And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
"For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (1 Cor. 15:49-53).
Here we see why we need glorified bodies: these corruptible flesh and blood, sinful bodies cannot enter heaven (v.50). So we must receive glorified, incorruptible bodies fit for heaven, and fit to be in the presence of the Lord. Next we see that those of us who are still alive (in human, fleshly bodies) at the time of the rapture will immediately be changed (v.51-52). Our fleshly, corruptible bodies will be changed instantaneously into glorified, incorruptible bodies. The event will transpire so quickly that it will happen "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye."
Next we see that so also will all those whose bodies have died (in Christ, over the last 2,000 years) will also have their bodies resurrected as well during the rapture (v.52). This same event is described in 1 Thes. 4 as well.
"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
"For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
"Wherefore comfort one another with these words" (1 Thes. 4:13-18).
Many of them in Thessalonica had been wondering how this could be, since the souls of believers who had died (in Christ) went to be with the Lord immediately upon physical death of these fleshly, corruptible bodies. We know that to be absent from these bodies is to be present with the Lord right away! (1 Cor. 5:8, Phil. 1:21-24, et al). Paul cleared up the mystery for them. Yes, the souls of those believers in Christ did indeed go to be with Him upon their physical, bodily deaths. But at the rapture ALL OF US (believers) will receive resurrected, glorified, incorruptible bodies.
In fact, Paul took pains to make sure they understood that their loved ones, fellow believers who had physically died and had already gone on to be with the Lord, would also receive their glorified bodies at the same event, the rapture. We see in 1 Thes. 4:14 that God will "bring with him" all that have died in Christ prior to the rapture - in fact, that those even receive their glorified bodies first (v.16) - "the dead in Christ shall rise first."
Then the progression of the event is that those of us who are "alive and remain" at the time of the rapture would then be "caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air." Not only so, but from that point forward for the rest of eternity, "so shall we ever be with the Lord!" (v.17.)
Finally, we are exhorted to "comfort one another with these words." And what a comfort all of this is! The rapture, the resurrection, the receiving of our promised glorified, incorruptible, heavenly bodies, and to be with Jesus for eternity afterwards. I'd say that is a whole LOT of comfort!
And all of this will take place so quickly - "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." All of us who have believed on Christ for salvation over the last 2,000 years will be caught up together in the air at the same time. What a glorious event this will be! Those of our loved ones who are already in heaven since passing on will receive their glorified bodies at the same time we do. What a reunion that will be!
Yes, I'm excited to think about being reunited with my sister who passed on of cancer in 2003, my grandparents (so blessed that all four were believers!), and so many relatives and dear friends who've gone on before. But even more so am I eagerly anticipating being with our Savior-seeing Him as He is!
Oh, the joy that awaits us is far too exceptionally marvelous to even begin to imagine! In fact, we are told we truly cannot imagine these things in our current corruptible bodies and minds. The very best of our imagination of these things is like "looking through a glass darkly" (1 Cor. 13:12).
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" (1 Cor. 2:9).
Yet we are given just enough information to know how truly wonderful the things that await us will be. Jesus likened the place He is preparing for us to "mansions."
"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:2-3).
Yet again we are promised in that scripture, not just the eternal rewards, but to be with Him (Jesus) as well! "that where I am, there ye may be also." We are promised other eternal rewards as well, one of which are crowns. Here is but one crown, and all who are also eagerly awaiting His appearing will receive this crown:
"Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing" (2 Tim.4:8).
There are more crowns in scripture as well. There are also other eternal rewards given at the judgment seat of Christ (the BEMA). This judgment is NOT about salvation. We are eternally secure in Christ if we believed on Jesus for salvation already. This judgment is for believers only - rewards (and loss of rewards) for how we served Him in our Christian life (2 Cor.5:10, 1 Cor.3:8-15).
Those things which we did for His glory are as "gold, silver, and precious stones." These are eternal rewards. Those things we did for our own selfish reasons and/or to bring glory to ourselves rather than to the Lord are as "wood, hay, and stubble." These types of things we will receive no rewards for.
We also know that we will be "clothed upon with our house which is from heaven" (2 Cor.5:2). This house is not made with hands, but is a "building of God" and "eternal in the heavens" (2 Cor.5:1). While this may be a difficult concept to grasp while we are yet here in these corruptible bodies of flesh, we do know that our eternal rewards and heavenly abode will be far superior to anything we can imagine here on earth.
In 1 Corinthians 15 we read of the differences in bodies. We now have an earthly body, but will receive a heavenly body at the rapture and resurrection (v.48-49). In the same chapter, we are told these human bodies are sown in dishonor, yet will be raised in glory (v.43). Sown in corruption, but raised in incorruption (v.42). Since we have not yet seen what our glorified bodies will be like, it's difficult to imagine.
God's word uses imagery such as a seed of bare grain (v.35-38). Our new, glorified bodies will be as different looking from what they are now as a grain of seed is to the full, mature plant that springs forth out of the ground. Even better, our glorified bodies will be fit for eternity in heaven with the Lord.
We are exhorted to be looking for this blessed hope of the rapture and resurrection always - to live our lives with this comforting hope foremost in our minds - looking forward to our heavenly future, eternity afterwards with the Lord!
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you" (1 Pet.1:3-4).
What an excellent chapter is 1 Peter 1 also. We read numerous, comforting scripture within. It deserves an entire study and article alone as well. And yet I have space here to bring out but a few salient points.
In verses 18-19 we see that we are not bought with corruptible things, but rather we are bought with the precious blood of Christ. As we continue on, we see in verse 21 that as God raised Christ from the dead, so too are we given that same promise for our faith and hope!
"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever" (1 Pet.1:23).
Peter continues on (verse 24) to speak of mankind's human, corruptible flesh being as the flowers and grass which wither and fall away. Yet God's word is eternal (v.25)! He isn't promising fleshly, corruptible bodies of sin to live forever, but instead to be given incorruptible bodies-bodies like Christ's own body, which will never wither away as the grass, or as the fleshly, corruptible bodies do! We have so much to look forward to with the promised resurrected bodies alone! And much more is promised besides this.
Let's take a few moments (or more) to thank the Lord for His wonderful gifts and promises. First for salvation in Christ! For none of this awaits an unbeliever (quite the opposite). And also let's thank Him for the promises to come: the resurrected, incorruptible, glorified bodies we will receive; the promise of eternal rewards as well; and even more marvelous that we will be with Jesus forever after!
We are to be watching and waiting, looking for the things above; not consumed with cares of this world and cares of the fleshly, corruptible bodies we now reside in; always keeping in mind these are temporal, and that we have much better awaiting us!
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God" (Col. 3:1).
"Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13).
Let's be mindful that when Christ arose He defeated death also-not just His own, but ours also!
"For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself" (Phil. 3:20-21).
How near is the rapture and (at the same time) the resurrection of our bodies? The rapture is imminent. It could happen any day, any time, any hour! It could have happened anytime within the last 2,000 years had it been God's plan to do so. It could happen today, tomorrow, next week, next month, or anytime. We absolutely cannot set a date or time. But we can know from scripture that the rapture HAS TO happen PRIOR to two specific events:
#1. The rapture and resurrection has to happen prior to the antichrist confirming a seven-year false peace covenant (Daniel 9:27), which will kick off the clock for the 70th week of Daniel. 70 weeks (of years) were determined upon Daniel's people (Dan. 9:24-27). Who were Daniels' people? Israel. 69 of those 70 years have been fulfilled. The last week of years (7 years) is yet to come, but is on the near horizon.
Yes, the rapture HAS TO happen prior to then. Why? Because God's wrath will be poured out upon an evil, God-hating and Christ-rejecting world. Yet God has promised that we believers are delivered from this foretold wrath to come by Christ Jesus! (1 Thes.1:10, Rom. 5:9, 1 Thes.5:9.) We are not appointed to His wrath! But the unsaved world is that has rejected Him and is right now openly mocking Him, denying Him, and living in sinful rebellion as in the days of Noah and as in the days of Lot (Luke 17) right now!
Even the secular society notices that the world seems to have "gone crazy" in the last couple of years. These events and characteristics were foretold to be prevalent in society in the perilous last days (2 Tim. 3:1-7, 13; Rom. 1:18-32, et al). God will not be mocked (Gal. 6:7), yet that is exactly what the unsaved world is doing. Not only are they rejecting their only means of salvation in Christ, but are also mocking Him and believers (Jude 1:18, 2 Pet.3:3-4), attempting to censor and silence believers as well.
Lawlessness is another hallmark characteristic of the last days. The world is begging for God's wrath, and they are soon to get it (Revelation chapters 6-18).
Yet the church-the grace/church-age believers-are not appointed to this soon-coming wrath. So the rapture must indeed occur prior to the tribulation commencing.
#2. There is a second event that the rapture MUST occur prior to: the opening of Israel's eyes. Right now Israel is "blind in part" during this current age of grace (Rom. 11:25). There is an expiration time for this blindness. When? "Until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in." When that event occurs, the rapture will transpire; afterwards, then Israel's eyes will start to be opened by God! (Rom. 11:26.)
We are currently witnessing 2 (maybe 3) specific Biblical prophesies aligning precisely as foretold. Let's start with the one prophecy that may be aligning before we go into the two prophecies that are definitely aligning.
Jer. 49:35-37 speaks on an area in Iran (formerly called Persia), which is now known as the Bushehr Province (formerly known as Elam). In this same area, two (or more) of Iran's nuclear reactors currently reside. The prophetic event is foretold to be of such force that all the winds will scatter the people of that area into all other nations of the world.
Right now (this week in the news) we are seeing that Israel has been sending planes to surveil the nuclear ambitions of Iran, and PM Netanyahu has been making it known publicly that Iran absolutely will not be allowed to bring their nuclear ambitions to fruition. It may be that Israel will strike this area in Iran, or it could be a chain reaction if other hidden nuclear facilities are struck in Iran. But at some point in the near future, Iran will be struck in the modern-day Bushehr Province.
Next are the two Biblical prophesies that are definitely aligned and ready for fulfillment.
The first of the two is Isaiah 17 where Damascus (in Syria) will become a ruinous heap overnight, to be uninhabitable. While there has been a 7+ year war raging in Syria already, and while much of Damascus already lies in rubble, this event is foretold to occur in one fell swoop overnight (Isaiah 17:1, 17:14). Why?
"And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us."
Because they have robbed and attempted to "spoil" Israel of what rightfully belongs to her.
This event in Damascus will likely be the catalyst for the 2nd prophetic event that is already aligned precisely as well. It may well be the excuse Russia uses to kick off the Ezekiel 38-39 war.
In this prophesy Russia, Iran, Turkey, Libya, and N. Sudan will come against Israel, invading on the "northern parts" of Israel in the "mountains" and on the "open field" (Ez. 39:2-5). God will destroy them handily. It will be so devastating to those who come against Israel in this attempted invasion that only 1/6 of the troops that invade Israel will remain alive (Ez. 39:2, specific wording in KJV).
There is much more that could be said about each of these three specific prophecies on the near horizon; but for this article it's relevant to point out that, by the time the Ezekiel 38-39 war ends, Israel will be having her eyes opened! (Ez. 39:22-29.)
Why is that fact so important? For the reasons we already noted. Israel's eyes are blinded in part right now in this current age of grace/church age. Yet once the fullness of the Gentiles comes in and the rapture occurs, then Israel's eyes will be opened again! So these two huge clues give us a look into the timing of the rapture. We don't know the day or hour (and cannot ever attempt to set a date or time), yet we know the rapture MUST occur before these two events transpire:
#1. The rapture of the church occurs prior to the tribulation, prior to God's wrath being meted out on the God-hating and Christ-rejecting world. We also know that, during the second half of the tribulation, Israel must flee to a place prepared for her By God. It will be the "time of Jacob's trouble" (Jer. 30:7) to bring a 1/3 remnant of Israel through the fire and tribulation of those days (Zech. 13:8-9, Matt. 24:15-22, et al). That's Jacob's trouble (Israel), not the church. We are gone before God's wrath ever commences on this world.
~~~ AND ~~~
#2. The rapture of the church happens when the "fullness of the Gentiles be come in" (Rom. 11:25), which happens prior to Israel's eyes being opened.
So we are close. The rapture is imminent and the rapture is nigh. This should give believers such comfort because, as the rapture is nigh, so too is the resurrection of these vile, corruptible bodies of flesh. We've so much to look forward to. Because Christ defeated death for us on the cross, His burial and resurrection!
"So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" (1 Cor.15:54-55.)
How near are we? We can't set a date, but we can know the season. The season is now; the rapture is SOON! So too our resurrection which occurs at the same time. When we see all these things aligned, we need to take notice and take comfort.
"Wherefore comfort one another with these words" (1 Thes. 4:18).


Thursday, April 5, 2018


 b2 - Nathele Graham -

The events of the final hours of Jesus' life on earth were horrific. The abuse inflicted upon Him at the hands of the Roman soldiers would have killed a lesser man, but Jesus wasn't ordinary. After the beating, Jesus was still able to carry His cross to be crucified. Roman soldiers pounded the nails into His already bloodied body and lifted Him up for onlookers to ridicule and mock. After it was all over, His body was placed in a tomb which was securely sealed and Roman soldiers were dispatched to guard it. This was done so the small band of men who had followed Him wouldn't be able to remove Jesus' body to make it look as if He had risen. This wouldn't have happened because the men who followed Him were hiding in fear. By human terms it was all very secure and escape-proof. Jesus' Jewish followers were bound by Jewish Law, and it was the time of Passover and Sabbath so they weren't able to tend to His body until the first day of the week, which was three days away. What a surprise awaited them. On the first day of the week a group of women went to the tomb at the first light of day the took spices to care for the body. "And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus." Luke 24:2-3. Who had moved the heavy stone? Where were the guards? They were soon to discover that Jesus had risen! He had conquered death and no stone nor Roman guard could possibly hold Him.

The women were understandably upset and confused, but saw two men (angels) there who began speaking with them. They reminded the woman that Jesus had spoken very clearly about what was going to happen. As Jesus travelled with the 12 disciples and others who also followed Him, He taught many lessons. As the time drew near for Him to offer Himself as the final sacrifice to take sin away, He began to speak of that event openly. "Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: and they shall scourge him and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again." Luke 18:31-33. If you had been there and heard these words, would you have understood? Jesus spoke very clearly, but those who heard the words just didn't understand. Don't be too hard on them. Experience had taught them that when someone dies they don't just come alive again. I can hear their thoughts: "He said He will rise from death on the third day, but what does He really mean?". Jesus meant exactly what He said. Too often we read Scripture that clearly describes events, both past and future, but instead of believing God's word we try to figure out what He "really" means by using human understanding.

When someone dies we know that their body is put into the grave and we certainly don't expect to see them walking along a road. That's exactly what happened to two disciples. They heard the story the women told of the empty tomb. Then Peter and John had also seen that it was empty. They were understandably perplexed and had a lot to talk about as they walked to Emmaus that day. "And it came to pass, that while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him." Luke 24:15-16. How could these two men not recognize Jesus? Some say they couldn't recognize Him because He still bore the wounds of the beating He had endured. Maybe, but if He looked that bad it seems they would have offered Him medical attention. Why couldn't they recognize His voice? They were blinded by "facts" of human understanding. He had died. He had been buried. He can't be walking and talking. Their eyes were "holden" (held back) from recognizing Him. They needed to hear the Bible study He gave as they walked, and so do we. First He asked what had happened and they summarized what had taken place. "But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; and when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive." Luke 24:21-23. They just couldn't put the things they saw together with the prophecy that He would rise on the third day and understand that Jesus was alive. This blinded them from recognizing their Lord and Saviour. Would this stop you from recognizing Jesus? We mere mortals tend to put God into a box that fits human understanding and we miss the greater things He has done and is still doing.

Jesus didn't leave them in confusion. He walked with them and began opening their understanding of Scripture. "And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself." Luke 24:27. We're a lot like these two disciples. Things we've been taught may not line up with Scripture and we become confused. When that happens we often decide that God is wrong and that causes confusion and doubt. Lots of people think there are many paths to Heaven. There aren't. Some religions teach that Jesus was just a nice man and a prophet, but Allah (or some other demon) is god. He isn't. Some religions teach that Jesus and Satan are brothers. They aren't. Some secular humanists would have us believe that Jesus didn't create all things in six days. He did. When we finally come to the place where we're willing to let go of the things we "know" to be true, we can then learn the real truth. Jesus is God, He conquered death, and only faith in Him will give you eternal life. If you're willing to allow Him to teach you, the Holy Spirit will open your eyes and allow you to see Jesus as the fulfillment of all the Jewish Law and the prophets. You will see Him as your only way of salvation.

Mary Magdalene had been one of the women who found the empty tomb and she went and told the disciples. Peter and John went with her to see for themselves. After Peter and John left, Mary was alone and filled with grief. She looked into the tomb and saw two angels "And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him." John 20:13. Mary knew Jesus as Lord, but had yet to meet her Saviour. Jesus had cast seven demons from her and she had followed Him ever since. The things she thought she knew as true were blinding her to what really was the truth. Mary was about to have her eyes opened. She was weeping and with tears in her eyes she turned away from the tomb. "And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus." John 20:14. Mary's grief was genuine and through her tears she saw Jesus but didn't recognize Him. She thought He was the gardener. She knew that when someone died they couldn't be seen standing in a garden. Was it the tears that blinded her, or the "facts" that she supposed were true? Then He spoke to her. "Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master." John 20:16. She heard Him call her name. That's when she knew that her Master was indeed alive.

Mary told the disciples what she had seen but they had their doubts about her story. That evening Jesus removed all doubt. The door was locked and fear filled the room. The disciples were in danger because of their association with Jesus and now somehow the heavy stone that sealed the tomb had been rolled away, the Roman guard had failed in their duty, and the body was missing. The danger for Peter, John, Andrew, and the rest was real and they hid in fear. Then Jesus appeared to them in that locked room. Did they recognize Him? "And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord." John 20:20. It was only after they saw the scars of the crucifixion that they accepted that Jesus had indeed been resurrected and had entered the locked room to stand with them. Don't ever think that if you see a loved one who has died that it's a good thing. You can be sure that Satan and his minions will try to convince you that Uncle Joe has come back from the dead with a special message for you. Rebuke that satanic spirit in Jesus' name. The reason Jesus met with them was that there were some lessons these men had to learn in order to spread the Gospel. First they had to understand that the tomb was empty because Jesus had been resurrected, not because the grave had been robbed. "Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost" John 20:21-22. They had to receive the Holy Spirit and understand His power. Their doubts had to be put to rest and God's truth had to be understood.

Nobody alive today has actually seen Jesus and walked with Him. How, then, can we recognize Him? The place to start is God's word. When Jesus walked and talked with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, He began with Moses (the first five books of the Bible) and then the prophets (Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, Daniel, Zechariah, etc.) and showed them that these Scriptures were all about Him. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." 2 Timothy 3:16. All scripture is there for a purpose and we learn from all of it. The Old Testament is the foundation for the New Testament and needs to be studied to gain a deeper understanding of Jesus. When Mary Magdalene saw Jesus in the Garden, she recognized Him when He called her name. "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me" John 10:27. She had a personal friendship with Jesus and knew His voice. She couldn't be deceived by a false shepherd. We need to study Scripture and make friends with Jesus. This will help us to hear His voice and recognize Him.

Probably the most important thing is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. A person who hasn't accepted Christ as their Lord and Saviour isn't indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Therefore Scripture is confusing. "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14. When various Scriptures confuse you, the Holy Spirit will lead you to find the correct answers. The Holy Spirit will help you to discern truth from false teaching and as you grow in your understanding, deeper truths will become clear. Remember, the Bible isn't a novel to be skimmed over, but God's truth that is to be understood and applied to our life.

When He calls your name, will you recognize Him? You will, only if you know Him.
God bless you all,

Wednesday, April 4, 2018



3 “So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth.” (Revelation 17:3-5)

As the hour and days of this age show signs of coming to a close, many are wondering “who is the Great Whore mentioned in this passage, identified as the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth” I have had many people ask me that question and have explored several possibilities of who this end time abomination actually is. One asked me if I think that America is actually Babylon the Great in Revelation. So is she? It is a great question that needs to be looked at again.
And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.” (Revelation 18:21)

As you read the words found in the prophecy written in the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Christ our Lord shows John the Apostle using elders and angels what will come upon this earth in the final days of man's rule on this earth. When you interpret what is written, it sure sounds like America could indeed be this Mystery Babylon, as it gives a detailed word picture that could be describing what our culture has fallen to.

We all have read or seen individuals that have succumbed to the multi-billion dollar illicit drug industry, or the one country who is responsible for 60% of all pornography that floods the rest of the world. Let us not forget the complete addiction to the need for black gold, which is oil to run our cars and our factories that gives us the need to appease evil empires that are completely opposed to the Constitutional Republic this country was founded upon. Then we look at lawlessness that is trying to flood our shores, and the murders of the innocents in schools and places where people gather to feel safe, and has cries of taking away our God given freedom that I explored in my last message, that when gun control is completed (and mark my words, it will come to pass and when it will be completed is unsure, whether this side of the rapture or the other side), then it will lead the the complete takeover of this nation by the powers that desire a New World Order and the rise of the Anti-Christ.

Revelation chapter 17 describes a great scarlet whore, a word picture of decadence, debauchery and prostitution of religious Christianity upon the earth.
This is where I have to get off when this description speaks of religious prostitution. America was founded upon Judeo-Christian principles that formed this nation based on the Ten Commandments. But obviously, this once great nation has fallen far from where she began. But when you talk of religious prostitution, my mind reverts to another author of this abomination that qualifies her only, as the Harlot of Revelation.

6” And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.” (Revelation 17:6-8)

As the above verses show the two are distinct from one another. There is only one dominating world power that could be accused of fulfilling the previous verses 3-6 and part of verse 7 that once ruled with an iron fist in the Dark Ages after the fall of the Roman Empire. Their history is over-whelming with the death and the destruction of whole classes of people who would not bow their knee to their one-religion rule. This is not to disparage anyone's beliefs of their interpretation of what the Bible says, but to point out that there is one religious system that has perverted the bible in about every aspect based on “traditions and/or rituals” that were derived from the imagination of mortal men.

The better question, is who is the beast that this false religion supports and rides the beast in Revelation 17:7? They are in collusion with one another, for one purpose and that is complete rule of this earth.
Historically, we know that there were four world Empires that Daniel the prophet spoke of and is alluded to in this chapter of Revelation 17. Those empires were Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. The Apostle John speaks of seven, and then speaks of an eighth...
10 “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.
11And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.” (Revelation 17:10-13)

Reading verse 11 above, the passage is quite confusing....Who is the eighth, and is of the seven and goes into perdition? I had a brother hypothesize that it speaks of popery that the sixth pope will abdicate for the rise of the seventh, and then retake the title of Pope, but also becomes the new “Caesar” of Europe, as that is why he left to become president of the European Union. Then he comes back and reclaims his title as both pope and Caesar of the European continent. Is he right? We may wonder, but we'll never see it fulfilled, but we may have a good idea before Jesus comes for His Church. . I find it interesting, as the Popes will be involved in the New World Order, and have a place at the table of power when this One World Government is set up.


History records six great empires; two before Daniel (Egypt, Assyria) and four afterwards (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome).

Checking history once more, we know that five have fallen and as John says one is. The one in existence when John wrote this prophecy was the Roman Empire with its Caesars and cruel dominating Roman soldiers who did the Caesar's bidding to conquer all that was in front of them.

John says the next empire, the seventh, which is not yet come, will be short-lived. John appears to say that the seventh is also the sixth, and simultaneously the eighth.  It may sound confusing, but not really as the above hypothesize sounds most reasonable. 

As we look at what John wrote in this chapter he identifies that the beast will have 10 horns which will be 10 future kings, not during John's days, but in the end of days. They have not, as of yet, received a kingdom, but as the days grow closer to the coming of our Lord, the ten regions become more clear and who the leaders of those ten regions will most likely be. These future 10 kings that have control of a region of this earth will each submit their power to one central dictator who will demand complete worship and obedience of his power to rule.

And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.” (Daniel 7:20)

John pictures the beast as an empire. Daniel’s horn had eyes and mouth speaking great things.  Which is right? Actually, both are right. 
The beast is a system, personified by a man, but actually administered by two men, separated according to specialty. They are two systems. One is political and the other is religious that deceives the whole world by doing miracles (although false miracles by the power of Satan) to fool those who have the desire to continue in their sinful, unrighteous behavior.


 “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” (Revelation 13:1-3)
This is but one of the beast that rules the entire world during the end of days, at least for the LAST 3.5 years. The next part of the passage introduces the religious aspect of this unholy alliance.
11 “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” (Revelation 13:11-15)
Note this religious beast speaks like a dragon, but tries to appear like a lamb. I can quote many, many departures from the faith of a central religious leader who has even said “there is no hell”. This is but one of his outrageous quotes and proclamations that even says that atheist will make heaven just by doing good. Then one wonders, did he ever know the Jesus is the Only Way to heaven?

6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.” (John 14:6-7)
This second beast, who looks like a lamb, but speaks like a dragon, as Satan moves him to apostasy within the central faith in God. He derives his power directly from Satan, which is the dragon and promotes the first beast that all should worship him.

In the Apostle John's day, the seat of secular authority was Imperial Rome, but by the 3rd century AD, Rome had become the seat of the religious authority when Emperor Constantine declared “Christianity” the state church of Rome and the Emperor, now Constantine declared to be Pontifex Maximus of this so called “christian church”. This title was transferred to the Bishop of Rome as Imperial Rome was imploding from outside influence and debauchery from within.
It is as I have described it, the Caesars took off their royal robes and armament and took on the robes of the clergy and wore a “Miter's hat” in the shape of a fish's head (promoting the god Dagon) that the priest of pagan Philistines wore.
Pontifex Maximus” literally means “the greatest bridge builder” and was the title conferred on the high priest of the College of Pontiffs in ancient pagan Rome. 
The College was ancient Rome’s most sacred priesthood of advisers to the Roman Emperor-god.

This title of Pontifus Maximus has been applied to the Roman popes since at least the 3rd century. When the rule of pagan Imperial 'Rome collapsed in the 5th century, much of its political power was transferred from the state to the religious found in the Pontifus Maximus or the Roman popes.

The Roman Empire which was in John's day was the present tense (the beast that is) that became the beast that was and is not, and yet is.
The Roman Papacy ruled Western European Christendom from the early 4th century until well after the French Revolution and was the most powerful political, yet “religious” ruler that had no problem with destruction of anyone who stood in their way of complete dictatorship in the name of their “church”. That is until a general of Napolean's army captured the pope from Rome and imprisoned him, so the beast received a wound that was not healed until the early 20th century.

So the question comes down with just these points that describe the Roman shift of pagan to religious authority, is the Roman Catholic pope the False prophet? Nobody can be 100% positive on that claim, but the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree, and the statements and actions by the modern popes during the 20th century leading into the 21st century and this present pope, gives ones to wonder if we are not looking at either the false prophet who is alive and will live through the coming tribulation, or a precursor to the man, as this pope is growing very old at this point..Just how long will he live? You may think this is Catholic bashing, but the evidence says that we have to look at what is going on and what the bible says will be evident at the end of days and not let our prejudice blind us.

I believe the Rapture takes place before either the political Anti-christ or the False Prophet shows up.  
What is a Church after all the Christians are gone?


Whether one wants to take issue with me probing the possibility of the Roman Catholic pope is the false prophet, is not the issue. The issue is the Catholic church the seat of the coming beast power, the religious half that rules the whole world?

We come back to the question to answer the complete question. Is the Beast power, the secular, political aspect of the coming world power ruled by one man, be centered in 'America?

Right now, the center of economic power in this world is the United States of America. She has come to be the lone super-power on earth with the fall of the Soviet Empire. Many have tried and are attempting to knock her off this seat and bring her into submission to a One World Government. We have in our shores an institution that was formed during the end of the last World War, and the United Nations has promoted the political objective to be the central power of this world. No other political organization has attempted to usurp the sovereignty of the USA other that that of the United Nations. Only the United States stands in the way of complete world control by the seat of lesser powerful nations. But change is coming, and may be on the road to complete fulfillment. When America falls, (if she falls) then this whole economic world will be in chaos.

And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;
And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.” (Revelation 18:22)

I have spoke of in the past, and must speak of again, that they have put into their political objectives what is called Agenda 2030 that all nations will proclaim allegiance to which is the complete control of every man and woman on this earth that will be enduring the coming Tribulation. (Mark of the Beast?) Why the coming Tribulation? Because I don't believe it will come into force until the Church is removed and the spirit of Anti-Christ comes into full power, as Satan will have full sway over this earth and its inhabitants. In this Agenda 2030 is the nefarious belief of Sustainable Development that advocates that the earth's population must be adjusted downward to approximately 500 million people. They will start with making everyone equal financially, then politically, and throw in religiously, as it will be the mechanism to make those who are left follow their demands. Think of this..we have nearly 7 billion people give or take after the rapture, and to eliminate the population to a “manageable” 500 million will be the extermination of 6.5 Billion people in 7 short years. That will be genocide that only war can ultimately achieve or state extermination of entire races of people. Jews and Tribulation saints will be prime subjects for extermination.
Remember, and I want to call your recollection that the mouthpiece of this new World Order, was the present Roman Pontiff who spoke gloriously of this coming Sustainable Development and Agenda 2030, for the good of the planet. Maybe he has a different idea of what is good for the planet, and what is good for mankind, than what God has got planned for mankind in the coming Millennium. The difference is night and day...evil vs. good.


Now to answer the question “is America the Babylon of Revelation?” As we have noted, Babylon is in two parts, religious and political as described in Revelation 17 and 18, both concerning economic and political power. The fall of economic Babylon could easily be interpreted as America, as the center of economic might in this modern world we live in, the bread basket to the world and the greatest merchant of all the earth is America. All wealth flows from within America , or through America's economic heart, which is New York City and how it branches out all over this nation and the world. If she ever declines, the world will decline with her. In her ashes, will arise a new world power that “never lets a crisis go to waste”. To see America fall would have to be a crisis so powerful, that she implodes from within, as no nation will be able to conquer her from without. But if she continues to rule the economic world, she could fulfill the secular portion of this coming Beast political power. Because of the evils that permeate her culture, as one could line up America with the deception of “ sorceries” (Greek, pharmakea, or the use of drugs), pornography, murder and evil desires of every kind. But, it is just as difficult to find a major role for America during the Tribulation Period as it is to find a role for the Church.   The Bible makes it clear that during the last days, all eyes are on the battlefield.

God's attention will be turned to Israel and Satan's attention will be focused on Europe.  America isn't the religious Babylon of Revelation or the Harlot of Revelation 17. She might qualify for the main member of the church of Laodecia. But as far as what the Bible describes as the religious beast, this is where American does not qualify for the other half of the beast that rises to rule using religious power, much as it was done in the Dark Ages.
 “And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” (Revelation 18:24)

America has not slain or split the blood of prophets. Only one power has done such, and she is still alive today. That “honor” belongs to Rome, and she will return to her ways of the Dark Ages when she rises to promote the one man who take control of the ten regions and the ten kings that transfer their power to him.

America conceivable could rise to be the Beast power, but we won't know for sure, as I believe the church won't be here to know.
My belief is in another power that will rise to the table of power, as she has done in the past and will rise again to be the religious half of this unholy alliance.

America could be ready to implode from within, as I see one event that could decimate her. The sudden removal of million of people from this planet, that will remove people even from centers of power, or seats of government, and will leave this country in utter chaos....Even if a tenth to 20 percent of the people of 350 million people disappear from this nation, it will effect near every home on this planet, and the disappearance of whole families from every walk of life, from the highest positions in the land to the lowest. America, even with her faults, is the last haven for those who believe in Jesus Christ. How many of your friend or relatives that you have laughed at for believing such “religious nonsense” cause you to re-evaluate your position of eternal destiny? How many of you will fall on your knees with your face in your hands and know that you had heard the message of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and never accepted Jesus as Lord for yourself? What will you do when you realize that you had the truth right in your grasp and you neglected so great a salvation?

2 “For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;” (Hebrews 2:2-3)

But you don't have to be part of those who will be sorely surprised and faced with the horror that is coming. If you have read any of my messages on the coming Tribulation, not to mention the Great Tribulation that both cover 7 years where 80% of all mankind will be eliminated from this planet by evil men, and Divine wrath that will nearly wipe this planet clean of all life, then your salvation is only a prayer away.....believe these words found in your bible, and you shall BE SAVED!

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16-18)
Then confess to others around you what God has done for you, and witness to your family and friends the change of mind concerning God that Jesus has wrought in you, and God says, “you shalt be saved”.

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” (Romans 10:9-11)

Jesus is coming soon. Before you complete reading this message, a trumpet could sound and millions could be disappearing....maybe even from your own family. Then you will be convinced that what I say is true. Then you will see with all the other condemned souls on this earth that will be slated for death by whatever means comes to pass. Don't wait for that end. Believe the Gospel, (Good News) that Jesus died for sinners, of whom I am chief.
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” (1st Timothy 1:15)

This is pastor Mike Taylor, praying for your own salvation, that you may join the church in glory at the coming of our Lord. If you need prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear, email me at, or visit me online at, God bless you all.