GOD USES CALAMITIES AND CATASTROPHES FOR HIS PURPOSES

We only have to look at the history of God’s own nation Israel to realize that God used catastrophes often to judge it. In fact, God often used barbaric nations like Babylon, Persia, and Egypt to inflict that justice but then subsequently He invariably brought those nations crashing down. God has to judge sin and He will use catastrophes to turn people back to Him.

The great catastrophe of sin brought about by Adam was not settled by the worldwide flood brought about by God. The sin continued through Noah, his wife, and his children. Then in Genesis 10, we see the Table of Nations. From the sons of Noah, we see all people speaking the same language and migrating together into one place in the land of Shinar. This was in direct disobedience to God’s command given to Noah and his sons: “As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it” (Gen. 9:7). This was the second time God gave the command to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. He had given the command to Adam in Genesis 1:28. This command is directly and essentially linked to God’s redemptive plan for the world.

Sadly, it is never the goal or desire of corrupted man to do the will of God. Our nature is to follow selfish pursuits. We will protect our little kingdoms regardless of what God may command or what He may want. God must intervene. Amid catastrophe, crisis, and the times when it seems as though the Lord is most absent that He is actually most active. Learning to see gospel opportunities when many others only see crisis is not a skill that comes naturally. Yet it is a skill that the body of Christ must learn. The closer we approach the time of Jesus’ return, the more natural and man-made disasters and calamities we will see. So also then will gospel opportunities increase—if we have eyes to see them.

What about the calamity that has hit California. The sheer volume of rainfall in the state is statistically massive. According to the National Weather Service, rainfall levels are as much as 600% above average across California.

Meanwhile, just under 200,000 homes and businesses were without power as of Tuesday morning, according to PowerOutage.us.

And while the start of 2023 has already proved devastating for California, there could be more challenges in the coming days. The National Weather Service is forecasting heavy rainfall across the state Tuesday and in Northern California on Wednesday, warning that “no significant letup” is expected anytime soon.

Evacuation orders were issued up and down the state Monday due to the threat of flash flooding and mudslides, including in the Montecito area in Santa Barbara County, which is home to celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The flooding has already left at least 16 dead.

What will Christians do in this crisis, hopefully, they will see the opportunity to step in and help which will provide gospel opportunities?

IS WORLD HISTORY BUILT ON JUBILEE CYCLES?

When God set up His own nation Israel, He codified as law the pattern of six days and six years of labour and one of rest. It is the reason God created the cosmos in six days and rested on the seventh it was the pattern for man’s working week. The seventh day (Sabbath) was a rest day and the seventh year (Shemitah) was also a rest year. The Jubilee is built upon the Shemitah cycle (7 x 7 = 49), the year following is the Jubilee year.

The Jubilee cycle begins and ends in the 50th year on the 10th day of the 7th month. The 50th year is also the first year of the next Shemitah cycle. The Jubilee Cycle is therefore 49 years.

Can we build a reasonable biblical case for the Jubilee cycles as the prophetic backbone of the Bible? A straightforward summation of early biblical patriarchal lineages, reveals there were 41 generations which also represent 41 Jubilee cycles between Adam and Abraham and 41 from Abraham to Yeshua. Further insight is added when we consider that the book of Revelation associates the New Jerusalem with the number 144 and that the 144th Jubilee begins the 8th Millennium (new heaven and new earth). The soon coming 7th Millennium is Jesus ruling and reigning with the resurrected Saints on this earth for 1000 years.

For more information on Jubilee Cycles can I suggest you download my free Powerpoint presentation – Jubilee Cycles – Provide prophetic milestones in God’s Redemptive Plan on http://www.millennialkingdom.net – Resources.

Out of Jonathan Cahn’s presentation, I have chosen just three of the Jubilee years that demonstrate that God is in control of history and that He established Israel as His nation for His purposes.

1917 Balfour Declaration, (November 2, 1917): Statement of British support for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”.

1967 Battle for Jerusalem: Jerusalem was reunified under Israeli rule as a result of the 1967 Six-Day War launched against Israel by the Arab world

2017 On December 6, 2017, President Donald Trump announced what no previous president had officially declared while in office: Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. 

THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS NO LONGER FEAR GOD

A new study released by the Southern Baptist Convention-affiliated Lifeway Research titled the “State of Theology, found that 60% of U.S. adults believe that religious beliefs are “a matter of personal opinion” and “not about objective truth.”

Scott McConnell, the executive director of Lifeway Research, said in a statement released Monday that he believed the COVID-19 pandemic played a factor in the findings. 

“Religious identity, beliefs, and behavior are interrelated,” said McConnell. “When in-person church attendance behaviors were interrupted and habits were broken, it affected some Americans’ beliefs about the need to gather with other believers to worship.”

“Many Americans think about God as if He had only revealed Himself in a vague, nondescript way. They seem to fill in the gaps with whatever they want to believe,” McConnell stated.

“This creates sharp contrasts between what Americans believe about God and how He revealed himself in great detail in the Bible.”

“Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them… For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.” Matthew 24:3,7-10

It is interesting that the study revealed that a little over half of U.S. adults (53%) still say sex outside of traditional marriage is a sin, in contrast to 42% who disagree. In fact, it marks an increase in Americans who see non-marital sex as sinful compared to 2016 when 49% said it was sinful which is a hopeful sign.

The study reported that 46% of Americans believe that the Bible’s condemnation of homosexual behavior is not relevant today, while 42% believe that it is still relevant. 

“Discussions of sin are inherently theological because they explore whether God set standards and what behaviors miss this mark,” McConnell noted. 

“So, those who acknowledge certain behaviors as sin are acknowledging a deity’s standards. This is a different discussion than whether society agrees on an ethical standard of conduct that we determine.”

Just as God’s nation Israel fell away from understanding God as Creator and the one whom they should fear. America a nation founded on knowing and fearing God likewise is falling away fast and opening the nation up to God’s judgment and ultimate wrath.

Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it.Deuteronomy 10:14

And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good?Deuteronomy 12:11-13

Jesus told us beforehand that in the last days before His return that people would no longer believe He exists and to be feared, as a result, lawlessness will increase.

And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.Matthew 24:12-13

Will you be one of those that endure to the end and as a result be saved?

GOD AT WORK IN THE UKRAINE (PART 1)

Miracles are taking place in Ukraine, despite the horror of war, according to the Deputy General Secretary of the Ukrainian Bible Society. Anatoliy Raychynets, who is based in the capital Kyiv, says more and more people are turning to Christianity to find light in the darkness since the Russian invasion began, and he says the power of God is preventing even worse devastation.

Day by day, women with small kids are running here outside our office in the streets to find the basement bombing room to hide themselves there. Many people are crying out to help them to get out of Kyiv.

Bibles bring comfort in the midst of devastation

“Many people haven’t eaten for 3 or 4 days. There are many elderly people living in apartments around my office who cannot go outside because of illness. They just sit inside waiting for a miracle that someone will come to them. They call us “Angels!” when we find they need medical help and bring medicine and bread.” Despite the risks, Raychynets and his team help distribute food and medical supplies to local people, along with Bibles and resources. He says that many people ask for the Bibles, even if they haven’t previously had a faith. “Yesterday we were in a park to deliver bread to elderly people who were coming together and waiting for us so that they could have fresh bread. I always have Bibles in my car so that children can have Bibles for the bomb shelters and I can distribute to basements where people, ladies and children are hiding themselves. But one lady saw the Bibles in the car and asked to have one.

“There were about 80 or 90 people there and they just came to the car and asked for the Bibles.  One man stood there with bread in one hand and the Bible in the other. He said ‘I think the Bible is more important than the bread. I have never prayed before. I have never been to church.’ He was about 70 years old and had never read the Bible. But he said he knew now was the time to come to God and be closer to God. “We meet so many people like that. Over the last two weeks here in Kyiv we are seeing people who had never had a Bible before, never prayed before, but who are now asking for us to pray for them on the streets, at homes, everywhere. “People are searching for their faith because they know a miracle has to happen to resolve this situation. We don’t see any diplomatic or other solutions, we just know and understand deep inside only God can make some changes and stop this horrible war.”

But even in the amidst of the horrors of war, Raychynets says God is at work and miracles are happening. “We are very grateful to all of you who are standing with us in prayer and solidarity. I want to tell you that with prayer we see so many miracles. I have seen personally many miracles over the last 16 days – when bombs or rockets have fallen but not exploded and lots of lives have been saved because of that. Russian tanks have been left because they were empty of fuel and soldiers have run off. “In Odessa, in the Black Sea, there has been a storm for four days and ships couldn’t come closer to the city to shoot rockets. So prayers are already bringing results and miracles are saving a lot of lives.” Even as a Pastor, Raychynets says it is difficult to see so much pain and suffering.

This difficult situation is already changing our nation and changing our attitude to life. People are standing together, people are helping each other. I see so much of God’s love, in spite of war here. I think that Ukraine will come out of this situation like a real Christian nation that believes in God. It’s very evident that God does use catastrophes for His purposes and sadly they are needed to bring people to understand what is truly important in life. God is in control of His world and only His eternal purposes are of real significance.

PROOF GOD IS IN CONTROL OF NATIONS

In the episode of Keeping it Israel, Jeff Futers, Executive Director of First Century Foundations, talks to Stephen Briggs, a Christian Filmmaker who has an astounding comprehension of God’s Word and God’s faithfulness to Israel. Learn about Stephen’s new film, AMERICA AND THE ISRAEL EFFECT: BLESSING, CURSE OR COINCIDENCE – the newest film in a powerful series about God’s promises to “bless those who bless” and “curse those who curse” Israel.

I first met Stephen through our involvement with the International Christian Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) at an ICCC International Conference in Jerusalem. I think it was 2008, Stephen had just joined Hatikvah Films and Lance Lambert who produced and presented the first video in the series “Blessing Curse or Coincidence? The womb of the Kingdom of God on Earth” was a speaker at our conference. Every conference attendee received a copy of the first video in the series.

Israel’s existence is a reminder to the nations that God is in control of nations. The evidence is clear that God deals with those nations that curse Israel. Babylon, Persia, British Empire, and Germany to name some of the significant nations. Stephen covers this in-depth.

KING JESUS REIGNS ON THIS EARTH

Is Jesus enthroned in your life? Is allegiance to King Jesus central to your life? If not, then it is unlikely you will rule and reign with Jesus in His Millennial Kingdom.

An important and neglected part of the Gospel Message is Jesus return to this earth to fulfill the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants and the prophecies of the O.T. prophets that has Israel’s Messiah ruling and reigning over all the nations of the earth from a totally renovated/restructured Jerusalem. How many pastors are talking about the need for Christians to prepare now to rule and reign with Jesus on this earth.

“Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.Revelation 5:9-10

Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4-6

Moreover, Jesus and the Saints will need to rule with a rod of iron even though we are told Satan is bound for one thousand years . The curse has not been lifted off this earth. This earth still has one thousand years of existence in its fallen state before it is finally destroyed with fire. Jesus will rule and reign on this earth for one thousand years and then the unthinkable happens Satan is released and he gathers an enormous army from those who are living under the reign of King Jesus and His Saints to come against them. It is not a battle, fire comes down from heaven and destroys them. Even with Jesus and the Saints ruling on this earth in what must seem like paradise in comparison to today people will still rebel against God reigning over them just as Satan and one third of the angels did.

This earth and heaven is then destroyed and what follows is the second resurrection of the dead, the White Throne Judgement and only then a New Heaven and Earth where sin/rebellion is no more along with no more pain, suffering and death.

Ruling with a rod of iron in Jesus Millennial Kingdom

The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.” Revelation 2:27

From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron.” Revelation 19:15-18

What will life be like in the Millennial Kingdom? Does God reveal in His Word what it will be like? Yes He does, and I will be revealing much of it on this website as I believe this is what God has called me to do with the final years He has allocated for me on His Earth. I am presently working on a new website http://www.millennialkingdom.net where House Church leaders in particular will be able to access PowerPoint sermons and videos on the Millennial Kingdom.

To encourage you to search God’s Word for information on the Millennial reign of Jesus on this earth, we will take a look at what the Scriptures say about the new Jerusalem. Did you know the entire world will be restructured when the wrath of God is poured out with the Trumpet and Bowl judgements? Did you know that the new Jerusalem will be on the highest mountain in the world?

The cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.Revelation 16:19-20

It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it,” Isaiah 2:2

It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it,” Micah 4:1

It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it,” Isaiah 2:2

The mountain’s great height emphasizes Jerusalem as the centre of world authority, for all the nations will flow to it.

The millennial Jerusalem is nine times larger than the current city.

Jerusalem – A new city, A new name – The Lord is There, A new Temple

The temple is located outside the city, in the northern section of the sacred land given to the priests and it alone is bigger than the current city of Jerusalem.

The millennial Jerusalem sits on the highest plateau and has two rivers flowing out of its east and west sides. A totally new construct.

The land surrounding Jerusalem will have been transformed into a plain. It will run from Geba in the north to Rimmon in the South. The plain will contrast with the then highly lifted Jerusalem. (Zechariah 14:10)

Geba and Rimmon/Beersheba marking respectively the northern and southern limits of Millennial Israel. (2 Kings 23:8)

I hope the above has encouraged you to do your own research: Isaiah and Ezekiel are replete with information on the Millennial Kingdom. You will note that I have quoted from Isaiah, Ezekiel, Micah, Revelation Zechariah and 2 Kings in the above post. I will be posting more on the Millennial Kingdom in the months ahead as the “end times” prophesied events continue to play out.

HUNGARY KEEPS GOD’S COMMANDMENTS

The Ninth Amendment to the Fundamental Law of Hungary, the country’s equivalent of a constitution, was passed in Parliament last week by a margin of 134-45. The amendment, which was backed by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, will amend Section L paragraph (1) of the Fundamental Law to read:

“Hungary protects the institution of marriage as the association between a man and a woman and the family as the basis for the survival of a nation. The foundation of the family is marriage and the parent-child relationship. The mother is a woman, the father is a man.”

“The main rule is that only married couples can adopt a child, that is, a man and woman who are married,” said Justice Minister Judit Varga, Reuters reported.

Varga, who sent the amendment to Parliament last month, said it will also work to provide “all children with an education based on the values of the Christian culture of Hungary and guarantees the undisturbed development of the child according to their gender at birth,” Hungary Today noted. 

“The Fundamental Law of Hungary is a living framework that expresses the will of the nation, the form in which we want to live,” Varga wrote in the justification section of the bill. “However, the ‘modern’ set of ideas that make all traditional values, including the two sexes, relative is a growing concern.”

“The constant threat to the natural laws of the forms and content of human communities, to the concepts arising from the order of Creation that harmonize with them and ensure the survival of communities, and, in some cases, the attempt to formulate them with a content contrary to the original raises doubts as to whether the interests, rights and well-being of future generations can be protected along the lines of the values of the Fundamental Law,” Varga added.

The passage of the Ninth Amendment comes less than a year after Parliament voted in favor of a measure that defines gender as “biological sex based on primary sex characteristics and chromosomes.” Like the measure-preserving the traditional definition of sex, the Ninth Amendment faced strong pushback from LGBT advocacy groups.

Note the response from Amnesty Hungary

“This is a dark day for Hungary’s LGBTQ community and a dark day for human rights,” said David Vig, director of Amnesty Hungary. “These discriminatory, homophobic and transphobic new laws — rushed through under the cover of the coronavirus pandemic — are just the latest attack on LGBTQ people by Hungarian authorities.”

GOD CONTROLS NATIONS: HISTORY SHOWS IT

Jonathan Cahn does a great job of showing how God has been in control of nations down through history. How each nation deals with God’s nation, Israel, determines its fate – bless Israel and the nation is blessed, curse Israel and the nation is cursed.

The book of Joshua is a brutally stark reminder that God is ultimately judge of all the nations. God leveraged Israelites as His instrument of judgement on the nations of that land for their sins, just as hundreds of years later God would leverage the Babylonians to pass judgement on the nation of Judah for its sins. God is sovereign judge over all the nations.

Read what Job said about God controlling nations:

“He makes nations great, and destroys them; He enlarges nations, and guides them. He takes away the understanding of the chiefs of the people of the earth, and makes them wander in a pathless wilderness. They grope in the dark without light, and He makes them stagger like a drunken man.” Job 14:23-25

In the last days, before Jesus returns to rule and reign on a restored earth, God says He will gather the Jewish people back to their land. He did this in part in 1948 and then gave them back Jerusalem in the Jubilee year 1967. We can be sure all of the rest of the end times biblical prophecies will unfold exactly as given.

Anyone interested in what God is doing and will do in the years ahead need to listen to Jonathan expound the relevant “end times” scriptures.

The only disagreement I have with Jonathan is on the identity of the Antichrist. Jonathan says, he will be a Roman, based on Daniel 9:26-27. I believe he will be from the Middle East, the long awaited Muslim Mahdi. In Daniel 9:26-27, we see that it is the people of the ruler shall destroy Jerusalem. The people groups that made up the four legions that Titus led were the ancient enemies of the Jewish people, from lands that surrounded Judea.

“And the people of the prince (ruler) who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war, desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.” Daniel 9:26-27