Saturday, September 8, 2018


Hal Lindsey -

As we draw near the end of this Age of Grace, the Bible warns us that assaults on the people of God will increase dramatically.
In fact, Jesus Himself warned all true believers that they can expect persecution simply for believing in Him and following Him. The New Living Translation (NLT) puts it in modern language. In Luke 21:22, Jesus said, "...there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are my followers."
The reference to being "dragged into synagogues" implies that not only will we be prosecuted by the secular authorities, but those who believe on and follow Him will be persecuted by the "religious" powers of the day. In the time when Jesus uttered those words, the rabbis, high priests, and Sanhedrin were the religious powers of the day.
But to make sure that no one misunderstood, just a few sentences later in Luke 21:17, Jesus makes it crystal clear. He said, "And everyone will hate you because you are my followers." (NLT)
So, just by those warnings alone, we know that things are going to get intense -- and uncomfortable -- for those who claim the name of Christ.
But because Satan hates anything and everything of God, we know that these times will bring increasing attacks on anything and everything that represents God. And represents the truth of God's Word.
That includes God's chosen people: the Jews. And the nation that God promised will arise at the end of this Age: Israel.
It is especially important that evangelical Christians who support Israel are aware of the intense spiritual warfare going on there. We, of all people, should be able to understand the context in which these developments are happening.
Satan's goal is to destroy Israel. If he cannot succeed from the outside, he will try to destroy it from within. The miracle nation of Israel is a glaring example of the veracity of God's Word. If He said it, we can believe it.
God said that in the last days -- despite the seeming impossibility of it -- the nation of Israel would be reborn. And it was. That means we can believe everything else the Bible says. And Satan simply cannot tolerate that. So he must do everything in his power to destroy it and prove God to be a liar.
There is a drama unfolding in Israel today that perfectly illustrates Satan's efforts to destabilize and destroy Israel by weakening it from within.
Israel's safety is guarded and guaranteed by the vaunted -- and feared -- Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). In many ways, the IDF is the most critical institution in Israel. It literally protects Israel from annihilation by the hostile nations that surround it and the hostile enemies that lurk within its borders.
It is almost impossible to overstate the IDF's importance to Israel's continued existence as a nation.
In Israel's system of government, the Minister of Defense nominates the "Commander-in-Chief" of the IDF. The "Commander-in-Chief" is not the head of state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It is the ranking military officer who has direct command and control of all military forces and operations in Israel. Needless to say, it is a most critical position.
The Israeli Minister of Defense, Avigdor Liberman, is preparing to name his choice. He has four candidates for the position and rumor has it that he has made that choice.
But there's a rub.
This is how Caroline Glick, the Senior Contributing Editor at The Jerusalem Post, describes it.: "Today, the IDF General Staff is in open rebellion against the government and the citizens of Israel."
That sounds extreme, but here's the short of it. As Ms. Glick points out, of the four candidates for "Commander-in-Chief," two present glaring and dangerous problems.
One has publicly stated that he sees parallels to Nazi Germany in Israel.
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) is an organization of 31 member nations, including the U.S. and 24 E.U. member states. One of the elements in the IHRA definition of "antisemitism" is, "Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis." So this candidate to lead the IDF technically qualifies as an "antisemite."
It seems to me that could be a problem in Israel!
A second candidate has previously shown disturbing tendencies to dismiss Palestinian atrocities and acts of terrorism. He has famously excused them as normal responses to extenuating circumstances. He has morally equivocated gruesome Palestinian acts of terrorism (the brutal murders of five members of a Jewish settler family) to petty incidents of vandalism by teenage Jewish hoodlums.
In one case of Palestinian security forces gunning down an unarmed Jewish student leaving Joseph's Tomb, he claimed that the IDF would have done the same thing.
Dani Dayan, currently the Israeli Consul in New York responded, "Slandering IDF soldiers to whitewash Palestinian crimes [is] a severe moral failing."
This candidate has even criticized Israeli support among members of the U.S. Congress.
It's disconcerting that Israel's top military leadership has been infected with such blatantly anti-Israel beliefs. If you publicly state that Israel is turning into a fascist state. Or if you imply that murderous acts of Palestinian terrorism are morally equivalent to acts of Jewish petty vandalism, you shouldn't even be in the IDF much less leading it!
As believers, we have a scriptural imperative: "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem...." (Psalms 122:6 KJV) That includes praying for protection against any force that comes against Jerusalem's, and Israel's, peace.
Even if the threat comes from the IDF leadership!


 - Jack Kinsella -

"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be." (Matthew 24:35-36)
The text itself, at first glance, seems simple and unambiguous. Jesus is explaining that nobody, not even He, knew the precise hour and day in which the Lord will return for His Church. But He offers a clue, saying conditions will be similar that those experienced by Noah and his family.
Before moving on, let's look quickly at conditions in Noah's day, according to the Scriptures. First, Noah, himself.
"But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God."
We immediately see four key points. Noah was the recipient of an unmerited gift - "Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord." God extended His grace to Noah, who, in spite of being a sinner, trusted the Lord's word.
Consequently, Genesis tells us, "Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations."
Noah was a 'just' man. Only God can justify sinful man. Note that it wasn't Noah that was perfect -- instead, Noah was 'perfect in his generations.'
What does that mean?
Genesis Chapter Six opens with an explanation:
"And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. . . (6:1-2)
The reference to the 'sons of God' is a reference to angels:
"Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them." (Job 1:6)
"When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" (Job 38:7)
These angels, according to Genesis 6, produced hybrid, half-angelic and half-human offspring, polluting the human bloodline.
"There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. " (6:4)
At the Fall, God pronounced both the curse and a Promise of a Redeemer, saying to the serpent, Satan,
"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her Seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His Heel."
By the time of Noah, the seed of Eve had been so polluted by this hybrid bloodline that only Noah and his family remained "perfect in his generations."
And God's promise was specific -- mankind could only be redeemed by the seed of Eve.
Wipe out Eve's 'seed' and God's word is broken, and Satan wins his case on the grounds God is not perfect and therefore not qualified to stand in judgment over him. Finally, we see that Noah "walked with God".
Noah is a picture of the Church in the last days. The Church is redeemed, and therefore justified, not by its own merits, but by God's grace. Covered by the Blood of Christ, the Church's 'bloodline' is perfect and unpolluted by the world.
Noah was preserved alive out of judgment, not necessarily because God loved him best, but because it was a necessary element in God's unfolding plan for the ages.
Had God not preserved Noah and his family alive out of judgment, mankind would have perished and there could have been no Virgin Birth, no redeeming life, atoning death or Resurrection unto life.
Only Eve's seed could qualify according to God's Promise, so some perfect, untainted, purely human remnant of Eve's seed had to be preserved for God's plan to move forward.
God's plan for the last days includes preserving a remnant out of judgment, not because He likes this generation best, but because it is necessary for His plan to move forward. Noah and his family were ridiculed for 120 years, until "the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished." (2nd Peter 3:6)
Jesus likened the Rapture to the Flood, saying,
"And [they] knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." (Matthew 24:39)
How do we know that Jesus is referring to the Rapture in his passage about Noah, and not His 2nd Coming? Jesus said no man could know the hour and the day.
The Prophet Daniel gives us the hour and the day of the 2nd Coming of Christ -- or at least, Daniel gives us the ability to calculate it.
Daniel predicts a prince of the revived Roman Empire would negotiate a peace settlement between Israel and 'the many' and that part of that settlement would include the restoration of Temple worship.
The peace agreement, according to Daniel, has a set term of one "week" (Heb - shabua) which is a week of Biblical 360-day years. Seven biblical years equals 2,520 days.
Daniel says that agreement will be broken when "the abomination that maketh desolate is set up." (Daniel 12:11) The Apostle Paul identifies the "abomination" as taking place when the antichrist, "as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." (2nd Thessalonians 2:4)
It is this claim of godhood that causes the Jews to reject him, which results in his tearing up the agreement, closing the Temple and launching his persecution of Jews.
So, let's quickly recap. Daniel 9:27 predicts a period of seven years time from the agreement that restores Temple worship to the 2nd Coming of Christ. Daniel also says that, from the time of the abomination of desolation until the 2nd Coming would total 1,260 days -- or exactly half of 2,520 days of Tribulation.
Since the event that begins the countdown is the antichrist's seating of himself on the Mercy Seat in the Temple, anybody will a Bible could mark that date and start counting down 1,260 days to His Second Coming.
Therefore, it seems entirely logical to deduce the following: The Tribulation Period (Daniel 9:27) lasts for 2,520 days, or seven Biblical years. It is divided into two parts, 1,260 days of Temple worship, and 1,260 days of persecution.
It concludes on the 2,520th day from the date of the peace deal on the plains of Megiddo at the Second Coming of Christ.
Since Daniel also predicted the precise date and hour in which Jesus Christ would ride into Jerusalem on the back of a colt and be received as King of the Jews, it is reasonable to expect the same kind of precision in Daniel's prediction of 1,260 days from the abomination to the 2nd Coming.
Therefore, the only secret coming is that of the Rapture, not His triumphant return as the Righteous Judge at the close of the Tribulation Period. A secret pre-Trib Rapture is the only event that cannot be calculated.
A mid-Trib Rapture can be calculated -- it is 1260 days after the peace deal. A post-Trib Rapture can be calculated, 2,520 days after the peace deal, or 1,260 days after the abomination.
A pre-Wrath Rapture, that is a Rapture that takes place at some point after the peace deal but before the abomination, makes the inclusion of the 2,520 and 1,260 day time frames superfluous and unnecessary, begging the question of why God included them in the first place.
But despite Jesus' stern warning that the timing of the Rapture cannot be calculated, I predict that within the next couple of weeks, somebody will be predicting the Rapture will occur on September 11, 2018 with the blowing of the last shofar (trumpet) at the end of the Jewish Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashana).
It is a safe enough prediction; it happens every single year at this time. And it makes logical sense. The only major Jewish feast day for which there is no corresponding miracle performed during the Lord's earthly ministry is Rosh Hashana. So many conclude that when the Rapture does come, it will come at the conclusion of Rosh Hashana.
For that reason, I am absolutely convinced that, of all the possible dates for the Rapture, it won't be Rosh Hashana, despite the twenty-page emails I am certain to receive shortly explaining somebody's exhaustive and comprehensive calculations.
Why? Because the same Jesus who said we couldn't calculate the Rapture also said any calculations that are made will be wrong.
"Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." (Matthew 24:44)

Thursday, September 6, 2018


- Nathele Graham - 

We all know about the love of Jesus and His saving grace. Jesus led sinners out of sin and forgave them. We focus on His love and forgiveness but we forget that He stood strongly against the hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees who were the religious leaders of that time. They made a show of religion, but their hearts were far from God. They used their positions of leadership for personal gain and cared nothing about the people. "But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?" Matthew 22:18. Actions speak louder than words and their actions showed the Pharisees were hypocrites. Is there any hypocrisy within Christianity? The answer is yes. Any Christian who has two standards of living is a hypocrite. The word hypocrite means to act or pretend. If you pretend to be a Christian on Sunday morning but live a worldly life then ask yourself which life is real? Jesus saw right through the scribes and Pharisees and He sees right through you.
"But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in." Matthew 23:13. If you haven't accepted Christ for salvation then you've chosen to cut yourself off from eternal life no matter how many rites and rituals you follow. If your purported faith in Jesus has not changed your way of life then you may be like the Pharisees who only used religion for what they could get from it. Only true faith will allow you into Heaven, and if your actions hinder another person from coming to a saving knowledge of Christ, then woe unto you. Hypocrite!
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation." Matthew 23:14. Christians should never take advantage of anyone. The scribes and made sure everyone saw them praying, but they had no problem in taking advantage of those less fortunate, even taking the house of a widow who had little money. We see it today. Television preachers cry for more money to support their million dollar lifestyles and care nothing for the tenderhearted widows who support them. The less fortunate are the ones who need aid. Jesus had a description of these men. Hypocrites!
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves." Matthew 23:15. A proselyte was a Gentile who converted to Judaism and the scribes and Pharisees were serious about converting people, but then the rites of religion got in the way of faith. Do we see anything like that today? Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses come to mind. They lead converts to Hell, but they aren't Christians. Then I thought of the Catholic Church with their Pope and the many rites and rituals they require that aren't found in Scripture. Salvation isn't through rites and rituals, but only through faith in Christ. Many people are being led to Hell by believing that rites and rituals will save them. What about Protestant denominations? Missionaries travel far and wide, but how many actually preach the Gospel? I knew a missionary once who was centered in India and spoke of the dangers he faced. Eventually I learned that his mission wasn't to bring the lost to Christ, but to bring Christians into his denomination. Hypocrite. There is an important mission field that's often overlooked. It's right in your own neighborhood. How do you represent Christ to the people around you? Like the Pharisees do you wear your Sunday finest for all to see, so everyone would say "There goes a righteous man"? Then do you berate the waitress who serves you a meal? How about the store clerk who rings up your groceries? If you have the outward appearance of a Christian but your actions speak otherwise, woe unto you. Hypocrite!
"Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing: but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor. Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon. " Matthew 23:16-22. Where;s your allegiance? Are you more interested in pleasing the denomination you've joined than with pleasing God? Every denomination has its own set of rules to live by. Some are Biblical and some are just man's interpretations. God is the authority in a Christian's life. I've attended various denominations and they all have their own take of Scripture. Some are very liberal and don't hold Scripture as authority. Some require works and don't believe salvation is by faith alone. Some have a list of what they deem as sin, although you have to skew Scripture in order to see their logic. Our allegiance is only to God and His truth disclosed in Scripture. If you swear an oath to a denomination but haven't accepted Christ, then you're pretending to be something you're not. Hypocrite!
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat and swallow a camel." Matthew 23:23-24. There is no possible way to buy eternal life. The scribes and Pharisees knew the Law and were good at making a show of paying their tithes. Money is important to keeping the lights on in the sanctuary, but God wants your heart. The way you serve Him and represent Him to others is much more necessary. If you pay your dues on Sunday but lie, cheat, and steal on Monday you're a hypocrite. Other people watch you and judge Christianity by your actions. If you show mercy and grace to a non-Christian you just may open a door for someone to come to salvation. On the other hand, if a fellow Christian sees you openly sinning they may use your poor example to justify their own sin. Let others see Christ's light shining in you so that light can lead others to salvation or strengthen a fellow Christian's walk. Woe unto you if you're blind to your own sin, but require perfection in others. Hypocrite!
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisees, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter that the outside of them may be clean also." Matthew 25-26. Is Jesus talking about washing dishes? No. A person may look good on the outside, but inside may be very dirty. Outward appearance is a show for others, but God looks inside to the heart. Lately we've heard about the Catholic priests who've been sexually abusing young boys. They wear fancy robes and give the appearance of being very holy, but inside they're ruled by Satan. You can point fingers and shake your head, but what about you? Have you allowed the Holy Spirit to search your heart to reveal your hidden sins? No matter how long you've been a Christian there are always sins that you need to be forgiven of. A little white lie can be a big problem in your walk with Jesus. A little peek at pornography is still a major sin. Woe unto you if you look good on the outside, but allow the ugliness of sin to rule your heart. Hypocrite!
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity." Matthew 23:27-28. It was the practice of those times to whitewash tombs around Jerusalem prior to Passover so that nobody would touch one by mistake, making them ceremonially unclean. The whitewash did nothing to change what was inside the tomb. When a person accepts Christ for salvation there should be evidence of change on the outside, but there also needs to be change on the inside. Prior to salvation we were dead. Death of the mortal body meant eternal death and separation from God. When you accepted the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ your sins were forgiven and the dead soul contained inside you was given eternal life. If you claim Jesus for salvation but don't really mean it then you're like the whitewashed tombs of old. You might look good to others, but God knows the truth. No matter how much whitewash is put on the tomb through good works you'll remain dead inside unless you understand that you're a sinner and only the grace of God through Christ can give you eternal life. If you're living a lie then you;re still lost. Hypocrite!
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, and say if we had been in the days of our fathers we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets." Matthew 23:29-30. They wouldn't have killed the prophets? Really? What did they do to Jesus? They had Him murdered. They didn't believe Him and they persecuted Him. Today we do the same thing to Him. Are you sure you wouldn't have been in the crowd saying "Crucify Him" or hiding with Peter as Jesus hung on the cross? Many people are convinced they're Christians but pray to Mary or some other so called saint with magical powers as deemed by the Pope. Still others look to seers to contact a dead loved one for guidance. In doing so we deny Christ. If you're a Christian this is forbidden. Hypocrite!
In this discourse, Jesus pointed out the hypocrisy of the religious Jewish men who lived by double standards. Christians should learn from this and not be hypocrites. Our faith should govern our life and show through our actions. Christianity isn't a rule book but the Bible is our guide to the way we are to live. It's easy to be a "good Christian" while sitting in a pew on Sunday morning, but the truth of our faith shows in our behavior when we step outside into the world . How do you represent Christ at the grocery store or while driving on the freeway? Do you change from a smiling, kind-hearted child of God and into another personality once you're away from your fellow Christians? A Pharisee once asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was. "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Matthew 22:37-40. If you love God then you'll honor Him through your actions and words. If you love God you'll care about others and not berate them or abuse them. If your profession of faith wasn't an honest profession then you'll forever be a hypocrite.
Look at your own life and see if any of these behavior patterns rule you. You can't change others, but you can allow God to change you. Don't be a hypocrite.
God bless you all,
Nathele Graham

Wednesday, September 5, 2018


 - By Jonathan Brentner -

Satan hates the pretribulation Rapture and throughout the history of the church has sought to either bury the doctrine under layers of false teachings or discredit it. If ever there was a time in which this rings true, it's today. His hostility to it, however, began in the earliest days of the church.
In the book of 1 Thessalonians, Paul promised his readers they would not see the "wrath" of the Lord (1:10, 5:9-10). I believe that "wrath" in these passages refers to the judgments of the tribulation, referred to in the Old Testament as the beginning of the "day of the Lord." It's clear from 1 Thessalonians 5:2 that Paul is writing about the "day of the Lord" judgments, not hell.
With the ink scarcely dry on the parchment of his first letter, false teachers forged a message to the believers in Thessalonica stating that the day of the Lord had already begun. Even though this contradicted what Paul had earlier written to them, it created considerable panic among these new followers of Christ who thought the tribulation had begun (2 Thess. 2:1-2).
Do you see what happened? Satan immediately contradicted the apostle's reassuring message in 1 Thessalonians that Jesus would come for them before this time of wrath. In response, Paul penned a second book to reassure them that the day of the Lord had not yet begun.
Why does Satan hate the Rapture? Scripture gives us several reasons for this.
#1 - The Rapture Enables Us to Stand Firm
First, the devil hates it because the hope of Jesus' imminent return encourages us to persevere in our faith against fierce opposition.
After writing about Jesus' appearing and the transformation of our "lowly" bodies "to be like his glorious body" (Phil 3:20-21), Paul said this in Philippians 4:1, "Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved." The apostle based his admonitions in here upon our hope of a glorified body at Jesus' return.
In Paul's day, to "stand firm" meant standing strong in a battle; the word pictured a soldier holding his position as the enemy attacked. For us, it denotes persisting in a biblically-centered walk with the Lord in a world hostile to all we believe and hold dear, especially our hope of Jesus' imminent return
Paul used the same word in Philippians 1:27 to describe believers as "standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel" in the face of opposition. Such a courageous stance, he says, "is a clear sign to them [the persecutors] of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God" (v. 28). Our hope in the Rapture strengthens us in the face of persecution.
#2 - The Rapture Motivates Us to Purity
In 1 John 3:2-3, we read this about the Rapture: "Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure." Here the apostle John identifies purity as the result of focusing on Jesus and His imminent appearing.
If we walk in the reality that at any moment we could find ourselves in the presence of the Savior, it will have a refining impact on both our behavior and thought life.
In 1 John 2:28 the apostle tells us to "abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink away from him in shame at his coming." This warning is for believers who lose sight of Jesus' imminent appearing and drift away from abiding in Christ. Once in the presence of the Savior, their lifestyle at the time causes them to back away from His splendor and righteousness.
Let me make clear that I am not at all saying that only those who watch for the Rapture abide in Jesus; however, I am asserting that those who eagerly anticipate it have an additional incentive to do so, one which the devil hates and seeks to eliminate.
#3 - The Rapture Encourages Steadfast Service
I love how Paul concludes his 1 Corinthians 15 discussion of our future resurrected bodies, "Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain" (v. 58).
Notice the connection between our work for the Lord and the Rapture. Our anticipation of the immortal bodies we receive at Jesus' appearing encourages our "steadfast" service for the Lord. This expectation not only enables us to stand firm, but also inspires us to persevere in our work for the Lord.
For the past 34 years, I have written adult Sunday school curriculum for David C. Cook. Despite the fact tens of thousands study each of my lessons, I can count on one hand the number of times I have heard from people who have read them. What matters, however, is not the feedback I receive but the certainty that the Lord sees all I do and will reward accordingly when He comes.
#4 - The Rapture Comforts Us in Sorrow
The Jews in Thessalonica not only chased Paul and Silas out of town, but also persecuted the young church. On top of that, the believers in the city were grief-stricken because some of them had died.
In response, Paul gave them further teaching regarding the Rapture two times telling them "to encourage one another" with his teaching on it (1 Thess. 4:18, 5:11). The hope of Jesus' return for His followers was something the young believers were to use in comforting "one another."
Whether we face persecution for our faith or the loss of a loved one in Christ, the Rapture reminds us that a better day is coming, perhaps very soon. This hope comforts us in the worst of times.
#5 - The Rapture Helps Us Maintain a Healthy Perspective
Although not a verse we typically associate with the Rapture, Colossians 3:4 speaks of a time when we will suddenly find ourselves in glory, "When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." Imagine walking down a sidewalk one day and your next step is in heaven, in the presence of your Savior! This verse speaks of a sudden transition from this life to eternity!
Earlier in Colossians 3, Paul encourages us to "seek the things that are above" and to focus "on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth" where our lives are "hidden with Christ in God" (Col. 3:1-3). How do we retain such a perspective? We remember that someday Jesus will return for us and we will immediately be walking at His side with our new immortal bodies!
Paul also wrote about this healthy outlook on life in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 where he said that "the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." I like to call this a two-world perspective where we value eternal realities over the temporal things of this life.
My wife recently bought a hibiscus plant that has big, beautiful, raspberry-red blossoms that are eye-catching to say the least. Unfortunately, the blooms only last a day or two at best before their grandeur fades.
Isn't this like our lives on earth? The Lord gives us many good things to enjoy in this life, but like the hibiscus blossoms they are temporary. We laugh and enjoy the good things He sends our way with the perspective that they are temporary and not our ultimate hope. Our lasting joy resides in our expectation of a better day that will exceed all our earthbound dreams and blessings.
In addition, our anticipation of Jesus' appearing also gives us courage to persevere through trials and times of sorrow, knowing this life is but a vapor compared with the joy we will experience in eternity.
With all the many benefits of eagerly anticipating the Rapture, is it any wonder that our enemy hates it and does all he possibly can to take our eyes off of it? He surely does not want us to anticipate anything that increases our focus and dependence on Jesus.
Lately, I have felt a little depressed at all the teachings that not only deny the Rapture, but also Jesus' glorious return to set up His kingdom on the earth. My solace for these thoughts is that this false teaching is yet another sign of the departure from faith Paul said would happen in the last days (1 Tim. 4:1-5).


by Pastor Mike Taylor

Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” (1st Peter 4:16-19)

Can persecution come to America? Its beginnings are already here if you look around you. We see where anything that speaks of God or His Holy Word, brings condemnation from a dying, rebellious world. 
The news was full of the report in the past of one courageous woman in Kentucky, who would not bow to judicial pressure to issue same sex marriage licenses to gay couples. And a baker and florist in another part of the country who went through being sued for not provided their service to another gay couple. In this country we have freedom to stand against unjust laws that circumvent clear biblical morality. Our country and its so called leaders have gone rogue in subjecting this country to laws that were not meant for a free people. I am reminded of what the founding fathers wrote when they broke away from the tyranny of England in the Declaration of Independence:
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
How can we continue to live under government tyranny without taking back what we loaned to others in the government to represent us...? Is it so far gone that we have not got the power to take back our own government? I find this the fault of the pastors that stand in our pulpits that have failed to preach and stand for righteousness and fire up their congregation and men of good will to stand for what is right and what this country was founded upon. I'm not advocating revolution, although I'm sure there are many people are just about fed up with this direction the country is headed in. I'm reminded of a quote by our 3rd President of the USA when he said:
“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Thomas Jefferson

And let no one be mistaken, there are men who believe in this country and will take up arms to defend her. I believe that is what the implementation of in the past the so called JADE HELM was all about, because the powers that be, know that the American people are getting fed up. This will promote more persecution and marshal law, and if you are labeled a right-wing extremist, a conservative, being religious, a Christian, or a patriot, then you have been branded as a threat to the government.

You may not think of yourself as a “domestic right-wing extremist”, and I certainly do not, but the truth is that patriotic Americans and conservative Christians have been repeatedly labeled as “potential terrorists” since this past POTUS became president by hook and by crook, being illegitimate and probably not even born on USA soil.  If this had just happened one time, it would be easy to dismiss.  Sadly, there has been a steady pattern of this happening over the past several years.  Large groups of people that are the heart and soul of this country have been systematically demonized over the past 8-9 years.  When you consider what history has taught us, it is absolutely chilling to think about what this could eventually lead to. Is this what those reports of FEMA camps, mass coffins, and NSA spying on every person's personal information leading to....PERSECUTION?
We have been given alienable rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. The ACLU from their own website describes what we call the 1st Amendment to the Constitution:

“Our country's founders -- who were of different religious backgrounds themselves -- knew the best way to protect religious liberty was to keep the government out of religion. So they created the First Amendment -- to guarantee the separation of church and state. This fundamental freedom is a major reason why the U.S. has managed to avoid a lot of the religious conflicts that have torn so many other nations apart. 

Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits government from encouraging or promoting ("establishing") religion in any way. That's why we don't have an official religion of the United States.”

Most everything in the above quote is correct, but the point missed from the above clause that even the ACLU turns a blind eye to is that the government protects the free exercise of ones own religion. We have freedom of religion, not freedom FROM religion. The statement of separation of church and state is not found in our original documents, but came from a letter from Thomas Jefferson to a set of Christian pastors who worried about a theocracy coming to America. The phrase is lifted from this letter and is not part our governing laws, but you wouldn't know it by looking at the landscape of this country today. 


So a firestorm has developed over one little county clerk who stood on her religious freedom to not condone a practice that would conflict her conscious of religious freedom and the right to practice that freedom by rejecting a spuriously and flagrant violation of God's Holy Word. She stood on the clear commands of written laws given by God concerning the abomination of homosexual sins. And she was not the first and she won't be the last. It will become more prevalent as we grow closer to the coming Tribulation. The Godly woman believed God when He said:

 “22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. “(Leviticus 18:22)

Paul spoke of this also in the New Testament in Romans:

 24 “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;” (Romans 1:24-28)

9 “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate (homosexuals), nor abusers of themselves with mankind” (1
st Corinthians 6:9)

This county clerk, the baker, and the florist mentioned took their religious convictions seriously and would not violate their Christian beliefs and issue a piece of paper condoning sin by her signature on a marriage license, or baking a cake to glorify their abomination before God or supply flowers to the same type of event. This part of the county clerk in Kentucky was not present when she was elected to her position..Mind you, this lady is a Democrat and was sent to jail by a Republican judge, so the issue is not about Democrat vs. Republican ideology..No, it's about what this country was founded upon...Religious freedom!!! Some say that she should have resigned or vacated her elected post if it conflicted with her conscience. Or the baker and the florist should just have supplied the service to whomever asked...Yes, each could have rolled over and given consent by being absent from applying their moral beliefs to their business and their elected office, but would that not have said they were wrong in their beliefs by doing so? Would they not have been denying their Lord Jesus who wrote down His commandments for righteous living in public, or in private practice? I think it would have been so.

I got into a long back and forth debate on Facebook when this same question arose over whether Kim Davis was wrong in her actions. One thing I quickly learned, no matter what evidence you provide that God condemns this act of immorality so perverse in God's eyes as calling it an abomination, the liberal left, the Progressives (Democrat Socialist, or Communist, same thing) will try and shout you down. They will mock, curse God using expletives, start name calling, and I'm sure foam at the mouth as they rail against your God given beliefs of moral behavior according to God's Holy Word. It is their right to not believe (granted), but it also my right to believe...If they refuse to believe in the God of the Bible, that is their freedom to reject the message, but on the flip side, it is my right to believe and voice my opinions about what God says and quote scripture to back it up. Each should have the respect of varied opinions and beliefs without resorting to verbal abuse. But get ready folks, if it happens when you speak anything of God even on Facebook, it will get exponentially worse as we grow closer to the judgment of God coming down on this country to the run-up of the Tribulation in any public forum. The godless masses won't tolerate anything that speaks of God in any form, and will brand those that do as bigots and haters. And to some degree, they already are doing so.

Just look at one case in point. See what is a happening in our armed forces? Our past so called know his name, informed the highest ranking military generals and admirals of our military, that if they couldn't support the repeal of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” over homosexuality in the military, then they should resign. Many did resign. Chaplains have been ordered to not use the name of Jesus when counseling or ministering to any of our men and women in uniform. Religious freedom has been stifled in the public arena. The past Usurper in chief promoted unrighteous living at every turn, and he calls himself a “christian”...fat chance. Not by definition of a “follower of Jesus Christ” he's not. The man worships at the altar of himself.  I can only applaud this present POTUS Trump that signed a bill promoting religious freedom in this country, but how long will this last when the next POTUS may take it away, or the next (God forbid) and Democrat congress does likewise.

This all began when this country through a decision by the Supreme Court to ban prayer in public schools back in the 1960s, which eventually led to the ruling over a “woman's right to choose” to have or not to have an abortion. It wasn't about freedom to choose, but one person denying the right of another person to life, even in her own womb. It's been a slippery slope from that point on. America has grown more Godless as time has progressed.

Then look at the “Defense of Marriage Act” or DOMA that was law in this country and this past usurper in chief, who took an oath to uphold the law, decided on which laws he would enforce and those he would look the other way and not enforce. At every turn, he has made his own laws by executive order and failed to uphold the Constitution which is the LAW of the land. Of course, the argument can be made that we have elected our national moral condition decline by putting this man in office. Or that God has given us this man to bring the beginnings of His judgment upon a nation who has abused the freedoms given to them by God and turned their back on Who has blessed this nation like no other nation in all of man's history. Why do you think that the left, the MSM (Fake News) is rabid that the Supreme Court may tilt to the right for years to come with another Conservative judge appointed by President Trump? They can see their hold on changing America into a Socialist country slowly slipping away.

The freedoms that we have enjoyed since the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War was won, now nigh 235 years is rapidly being shredded in the place of being “politically correct” and morally depraved. Almost no one trembles at the Word of God or before God Himself in our present society in America. We have become a proud, although broken generation, glorying in our self-esteem and positive thinking. Our self-centered idea of ourselves looks at flesh as if it were a god, but has lost respect for the true God. Since we do not need to fear Him, we do not respect Him and are therefore slowly replacing Him with an impersonal god more on our human level.

I saw that first hand in my aforementioned debate against a self expressed atheist who embraces Buddhist beliefs of man being his own god. I shudder to think what would have been the result if the exchange had been face to face. This person got so offensive in his language that if we had been sitting across from one another, I can envision him rising to strike with his fist. Like I mentioned, I believe that this same kind of intolerance for anything that is of God and His Word will find even more persecution as the Tribulation hour approaches. This object intolerance is of Satan, the devil.

 Even now, pastors in churches have been jailed for speaking God's truth and the authorities have arrested them for hate speech. I find that ludicrous, as if the same as warning to a motorcyclist to wear a helmet to avoid splattering his head all over the pavement and in doing so it is called hate speech, because you infringe on his right to be a danger to himself. Men of conviction speak of God's law and sin to warn those who are lawless in their conduct toward a Holy God. They are concerned for their spiritual lives and wishing to follow the leading of God's Holy Spirit. But men do not want to be told that they are sinning. The Facebook page reinforced that concept, that men do not want to be told that what they are doing is wrong according to God's Word. Christians are just standing in their way of having a “good” time. We are stifling their ability to form a “utopia” on earth where everyone can be and do whatever they want to do, irregardless if it's right or wrong.

 Jesus warned us in John chapter 16:

 1 “These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.
They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.” (John 16:1-3)

 Satan is working overtime, as he knows his time is running short, so if he is going to have any chance of winning over the one True God, he must make God out a liar and he is searching for anything that would accomplish this. He has been trying for almost 6000 years to avoid the penalty that he knows is coming. So he uses men against other men to attempt to thwart God's plan for mankind. It all started with the people that God chose as His own, the people of Israel who gave us Jesus even in unbelief, where Christianity was born and has spread to the whole world. Christianity has flourished to the four corners of the globe to reaching every tribe and every nation in our modern world by means of telecommunications, television and the internet. Jesus proclaimed what we are seeing right now:

 34“Do not think that I came to bring 
peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.
35 For I have come to "set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."
36 And "a man's foes will be those of his own household."(Matthew 10:34-36)

We may face persecution in our jobs, because of our beliefs...again,see what has happened to Kim Davis in Kentucky? At times, we may receive social persecution within a community (see the florist and the baker in the recent news). We are often excluded from friendships that would normally be extended to us as they are to others who are not of the truth of God's Word. Sometimes our children face this more directly in school than we do in the neighborhood or market place. But it's out there waiting to invade our safe place and make our lives more uncomfortable.

I wonder, as you are reading this, how many of us would have done as Kim Davis has done? Would we have stood up to an angry crowd that I'm sure became abusive and loud when she followed her faith and conscience and would not issue gay marriage license? Would you have been willing to go to jail for the crime of religious freedom as the baker and florist were facing? Would you have gone along with the crowd, as her deputy clerks did when they issued marriage license in her absence in fear of contempt of court of an unjust ruling? It is a difficult choice that we all may have to make before Jesus comes for His chosen bride. 

Without a doubt, the most intense persecution will begin with those of a religious bent and culminates with the civil authorities. Christ received His most frequent attacks from the religious leaders, those with the greatest spiritual pretensions. The scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees all attempted to ostracize Him or destroy the validity of His teaching. In the end, the ecclesiastical authorities called upon the civil authorities to administer the savage beating and execution. As the Beast arises, we can expect its persecution to follow the same pattern.

As I've explored in past messages, there is coming a push for a New World Order and a One World Religion. This has been proposed for the last 23 years since 1992 and the acceptance by 176 countries of the U.N.'s Agenda 21 and now is evolving into Agenda 2030, which I covered in my past messages. If you missed it, you may review it here:
There will come a time, when a government that has been formed to cover the whole earth will arise and demand allegiance to laws and commands that are in direct conflict with God's commands. A religious authority that will proclaim that all should worship an idol that shall be erected in the Holy of Holies in the newly built Temple in Jerusalem. 


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.

16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” (Revelation 15-18

I've often wondered what kind of image this false prophet will cause the whole world to worship this image. Obviously, the whole world cannot go to Jerusalem to bow before an idol much like what King Nebuchadnezzer in ancient Babylon when he set up his golden image. So how will this be accomplished? I don't really know, but a good friend of mine postulated that the only way that the whole world will be able to see and worship the beast of Revelation is through a television broadcast into every home. Now we know that even today, Gallup Polling knows who is watching what program. Is it inconceivable to believe they will devise a means of tracking who is worshiping, and who is not? Will they be able to see into your living room and see how you respond, and if you bow or not? Seems far fetched in some aspects, but with technology the powers that be will figure out how to keep tabs on those who are loyal to the Beast Power and who are not...who will worship, and who will not. And if you worship, or take His mark, then that person is doomed for all eternity.

We in America have been virtually isolated from the evils that have grown rampant in the last several years in the rest of the world, but is it starting in America with the intolerance for anything that goes against the agenda that this New World Order elites envision? Will you compromise your morals and convictions and submit to their agenda? As we bump up to the coming of Jacob's troubles, known as the Tribulation, will it in fact get harder to be a patriotic American, a conservative, and a Christian? The answer is a resounding ….YES...yes, it will. How will you be able to stand firm....? Will you stand firm?

In this hour of man's last gasp of human government, when the persecution starts, you must arm yourself with weapons of war: 
Ephesians chapter 6,

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”

My friend, we could see persecution that could come knocking at your door, before Jesus comes back to remove His bride from this planet. Many pray, even as I do, that Jesus will come soon. Many point to this month as something major happening in the world. The coming of Jesus, the implosion of the economy of this fallen world, the nation of Israel going to war with Iran, and many other possibilities that very well could come to pass, but of the one that we all hope for, the coming of our Lord, what if it doesn't happen this month, or this year...what if God tarries and holds back His Son from coming based upon His perfect will? Then the above verses will take on a completely urgent need and meaning. I pray Jesus is ready to burst on the scene, but prepared to be fully armed with my weapons of spiritual warfare.

What about the rest of you? Those who see the world going to “hell in a hand-basket”. The morals of the nation called the USA and the rest of the world becoming more permissive and evil beyond what you ever thought possible is right before your eyes. Can you imagine what it will be like, if the world becomes a 1000 times more wicked and dangerous with people dying all around you? Or you yourself, you loved ones, and those you care about dying a painful, horrifying death what that will be like? That is what is coming during the last 7 years of human history, called the Tribulation. How can you survive should you enter that time period...? Most likely, you won't survive. For the God of Heaven will rain down on earth an unimaginable wrath for the sins of mankind, that I for one, do not wish to be here to witness. A madman called the Anti-Christ will be the complete dictator and terror of this God forsaken world and will destroy all who do not follow him, and worship him as a god. But Jesus wishes to give all who call upon His name in belief “VICTORY” over this world, and reign and rule with Him for a thousand years...How you say? John chapter 3:

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 sent not His Son to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved”.

It's so simple, that a child can do it...become as a little child and believe on His name and follow Him in Spirit and in Truth. Persecution is coming, but we who stand on God's promises will overcome whatever is thrown our way...In Jesus Name.

This is pastor Mike Taylor, praying for salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord, comes into your life. Should you need prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear, drop me an email to,  God bless you all:
                                TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET