JESUS SECOND COMING – PART 1

Will Jesus set foot on earth before His Second Coming to earth to rescue Israel and fight the battle of Armageddon? Does the Bible give us evidence that supports this position? Perhaps, Jesus arrives on earth an entire year earlier. Is this the acceptable year of the Lord? In this Nelson Walters video, He examines four proofs that categorically prove Jesus is on earth prior to mounting his White Horse and leaving Heaven to fight Armageddon. What is the meaning of Jesus’ robe dipped in blood and how is it related to this concept? How are the Days of Noah involved? And does Satan know about Armageddon prior to Jesus riding the white horse?

This video is part 1 of a two-part series. A big revelation is in Isaiah 63:1-2. It provides us an answer to why Jesus’ robe is stained with blood prior to His riding His white horse to fight the battle of Armageddon.

Who is this who comes from Edom, in crimsoned garments from Bozrah, He who is splendid in His apparel, marching in the greatness of His strength? “It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save. Why is your apparel red, and your garments like his who treads in the winepress?For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and my year of redemption had come.” ” Isaiah 63:1-2, 4

Will Jesus Set Foot on Earth BEFORE the Second Coming link

https://youtu.be/78RW2nww0m8

THE NATURE OF PROPHECY

Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:19

Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.1 Corinthians 13:1

Prophecy can happen anywhere, in a church gathering, or out there where two or three are gathered in His name. Prophecy marks our progress.  Prophetically, the Lord can show us where we are at and where we need to go. Prophecy reveals people’s hearts

I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.Isaiah 48:17

Prophecy often brings conviction.  Conviction doesn’t only convict us of the sin that’s wrong.  It convicts us of the sin that’s right, that we fail to do

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.James 4:17

Sometimes prophecy predicts.  However, in the Bible, prophecy is often a prediction of life’s choices.  Oftentimes, God says “If you take this path this will be the outcome, but if you take that path that will be your punishment.”  There is a pattern we see, that when prophets stood before the nation of Israel, they often laid out before them “life and death, blessings and curses”

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying His voice, and holding fast to Him, for He is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” Deuteronomy 30:19

If you understand the predictive nature of prophecy, you understand that it is often conditional.  It is conditioned upon what you choose.  Jesus talks about this often when He speaks about our rewards in Heaven.

This is the nature of prophecy for the most part.  However, there are times when something is prophesied and it comes to pass soon, and exactly in the way, it was spoken.  There are revelatory prophecies.  Yet many times when we speak the mind of God, it is conditional and based on our response.

IS OUR SUFFERING POINTLESS?

Perhaps the greatest test of whether we believe the following Scripture is to identify the very worst things that have happened to us and reflect on whether we believe that God has or will use them for our good.

“In all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose”. Romans 8:28

Invariably, if you have lived long enough so that enough time has passed since some of those “worst things” happened to you, then you’ll almost certainly find that God has used those circumstances to stop you from relying on your own efforts, grieving the Holy Spirit in the process and quenching His work in your life.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.Ephesians 4:30

Do not quench the Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:19

Jesus made it possible for God. our Father to send the third person of the Trinity to indwell our Spirit. As Jesus Himself said to His disciples, it is far better I go so the Father can send the Holy Spirit to be your counsellor, comforter, and teacher. If you let Him, He will direct your every step. Until you truly die to self and say to the Holy Spirit, not my will but your will be done this day and every day you truly cannot live the Christian life. The fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, kindness, and self-control will not be evident in your life nor the gifts of the Spirit available for ministry, words of wisdom, words of knowledge, gift of prophecy, gift of faith, healings, miracles, discerning of spirits, gift of tongues, interpretation of tongues. I would venture to say that until you realise the Holy Spirit’s presence and submit to Him, God will continue to bring painful experiences into your life. When you finally realise the immensity of the gift God has provided you will rejoice that God has brought those painful experiences into your life so that you eventually came to experience His wonderful truth. Experiences labeled as the worst things that ever happened to you become some of the best from an eternal perspective. That’s because God uses the painful, difficult experiences of life for our ultimate eternal good.

How is this possible? Because God is both loving and sovereign. Our experiences provide persuasive proof that while evil and suffering are not good, God can use them to accomplish immeasurable good. This knowledge should give us great confidence that even when we don’t immediately see any redemptive meaning in our suffering, God can see it—and one day we will too. Therefore, we need not run from suffering or lose hope if God doesn’t remove it. We can trust that God has a purpose for whatever He permits.

DO YOU WANT INNER PEACE?

 Until individuals have peace with God through Christ’s shed blood there can be no inner peace.

The inner struggles of our nature erupt into conflict, which may even rise to the level of war. It began when Cain raised his hand against his brother Abel, committing the first murder. It is what causes wars among nations.

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasuresJames 4:1-3

The memorial of the Jewish Passover prophetically pointed ahead to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, our Passover Lamb, the Saviour of all those prepared to put their trust in Him as Saviour and Lord.

“Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb has been sacrificed. Let us, therefore, celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.1 Corinthians 5:7-8

Christ is our Passover. He died for the sins of humanity and is alive today. He is your King and through Him, we can have peace. Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell every believer to enable us to live the Christian life, He is your counsellor, your comforter and your teacher. He will guide you into all truth. He will produce the fruit of the Spirit in your life: love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, goodness, gentleness, kindness and self-control. He provides the spiritual gifts for ministry; wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues.

The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.Proverbs 20:27

A lamp requires oil (Holy Spirit) to function. Our spirit was always meant to be a vessel for the Holy Spirit. When Adam sinned the Holy Spirit immediately departed his spirit. He died spiritually first and then physically he died aged 930 years. When we repent and accept Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf we are born again by the Holy Spirit indwelling our spirit. To have the Holy Spirit indwell your spirit is worth everything.

The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.Matthew 13:45

MIRACLES TODAY

Craig Keener’s new book: Miracles Today: The supernatural work of God in the modern world. is not about miracles that took place in the first century (see his outstanding two-volume tome Miracles for that); this book is about miracles that occur today.

Miracles Today: The Supernatural Work of God in the Modern World. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2021

Keener is not one to throw ideas against walls to see if they’ll stick. Keener is one of the best-known scholars of the Bible and early Christianity in the world today. He is careful with his research and documents everything. The point of the book, as the back-cover states, is to demonstrate via examples “that miraculous works of God, which have been part of the experience of the church around the world since Christianity began, continue into the present.”

This stated goal is admirably accomplished by Dr. Keener. He commences the book by addressing a few preliminary questions. What is a miracle, anyway? Why do some people assume that miracles don’t happen? Do many people witness miracles? Do only Christians report Christian healings?

He then launches into the main portion of the book in which he briefly relates the details of hundreds of well-attested miracles, but especially healings. This middle section comprises about 75% of the book proper. At the end of the book, Keener addresses a few more key questions people often wonder about miracles. Why don’t we see more miracles in the West? What is the role of faith? What about when healing is temporary? What does the Bible say about non-healing?

Let us not be tardy in praying for the sick but be on time in step with the Holy Spirit.

I appreciate Keener’s candid honesty in acknowledging that most blind people who have received prayer are still blind, and most dead people prayed for are still dead (pp. 137, 202). He comments, “What we call miracles are still the exception rather than the rule,” (p. 221). But his main point is that whether you or I have personally witnessed a dramatic miracle or not, many significant and verifiable miracles have occurred and still occur in answer to the prayers of God’s people all around the globe.

One other thing I appreciate about this book is Keener’s acknowledgment that more dramatic miracles occur more frequently on the frontlines of Christian evangelism than they do where the church is well-established (pp. 31, 33 135, 183, 201, 203). He still affirms, however, that such dramatic miracles sometimes happen in the West, too (pp. 151, 203).

Practically, this book reminded me to stay expectant when I pray. In any way He chooses, and at any time He chooses, God may do something momentous to display His glory and help those who witness His mighty acts of mercy to trust Him more fully.

HOW TO REACH THE LOST

The four things the lost (those that do not know God) can learn from you.

How to know God– We need to recognise that people have an innate desire to know their Creator. God placed eternity in the hearts of mankind. When unbelievers enter an authentic worship service they either run out (demonic inspired) or want to be part of it.

How to find Freedom – People want to be free. Freedom happens together. The best way to help people be free is to have a vibrant small group ministry so they can be taught that true freedom can only be found serving our Creator God and having the Holy Spirit indwelling their Spirit. It is why they need to be baptised; dying to self and being born again with the Holy Spirit coming to indwell their spirit.

For freedom, Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.Galatians 5:1

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:13

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.2 Corinthians 3:17

Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.1 Peter 2:16

How to discover Purpose – People want to know why they exist, that they are created on purpose for a purpose.

How to make a Difference – People want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. People don’t just want to volunteer. They want to be a Difference Maker, a disciple, an ambassador for Jesus Christ. 

TRUE HAPPINESS IS FOUND IN JESUS

To be holy is to see God as He is and to become like Him, covered in Christ’s righteousness. And since God’s nature is to be happy, the more like Him we become in our sanctification, the happier we will be. When did you last hear that message?

Forcing a choice between happiness and holiness is utterly foreign to Scripture. If it were true that God wants us to be only holy, wouldn’t we expect Philippians 4:4 to say, “Be holy in the Lord always” instead of “Rejoice in the Lord always”?

Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in the heavens; He does all that he pleases.” Psalms 115:2-3

God is decidedly and unapologetically anti-sin, but he is in no sense anti-happiness. Indeed, holiness is exactly what secures our happiness. Charles Spurgeon said,

Holiness is the royal road to happiness. The death of sin is the life of joy.”

It’s common to hear objections to the word happy based on its etymology, or history. One commentator says that “Happy comes from the word ‘hap,’ meaning ‘chance.’ It is therefore incorrect to translate [the Greek word makarios] as ‘happy’”

When people say they want to be happy, they are typically making no statement whatsoever about chance. D.A. Carson argues in Exegetical Fallacies, “The meaning of a word cannot be reliably determined by etymology” (32). King James Version translators wouldn’t have used happy and other forms of the root word happiness thirty-six times or translated makarios as some form of happy seventeen times if they thought its word history disqualified happy as a credible biblical word.

Unfortunately, because Bible teachers such as Oswald Chambers saw people trying to find happiness in sin, they came to think that pursuing happiness is sinful. Chambers said, “Joy is not happiness,” and continued, “There is no mention in the Bible of happiness for a Christian, but there is plenty said about joy” (God’s Workmanship, and He Shall Glorify Me, 346).

That simply is not true. In the King James Version, which Chambers used, Jesus tells his disciples, “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them” (John 13:17). Speaking of faithful Christians, James said, “We count them happy which endure” (James 5:11). Peter said to fellow believers, “If ye suffer for righteousness sake, happy are ye” (1 Peter 3:14 ) and “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye” (1 Peter 4:14).

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness. (Isaiah 52:7)

It’s hard for me to conceive of a greater insult to Jesus than to effectively deny what Hebrews reveals about his happy nature: “God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your companions(Hebrews 1:9 NASB).

It also seems insulting to say that the best Father in the universe doesn’t want his children to be happy. In reality, the Bible is a vast reservoir containing, not dozens, but hundreds of passages conveying happiness. I’ve found more than 2,700 Scripture passages where words such as joy, happiness, gladness, merriment, pleasurecelebrationcheerlaughterdelightjubilationfeastingexultation, and celebration are used. Throw in the words blessed and blessing, which often connotes happiness, and the number increases.

Our message to the world should not be “Don’t seek happiness,” but “You’ll find in Jesus the happiness you have always been seeking.”

Adapted from the article “Common Christian Myths About Happiness” by Randy Alcorn March 11th, 2021 in Patheos.

THE GOSPEL CHANGES LIVES FOR ETERNITY

These three men started 33 churches despite persecution.  Brahim, his son Wararni and his cousin Usaden, who serves as chief of his village.

Soon after hearing the gospel and witnessing the love of Jesus Christ in the lives of Christians, Brahim decided to leave Islam and put his faith in Christ. After doing so, he felt compelled to share the Good News with others in his Tuareg tribe, starting with his family.

Brahim first led his wife and seven adult children to Christ. Then he shared the gospel with other relatives, most of whom came to faith in Christ immediately.

When he shared the gospel with a tribal leader in his region, the man refused to leave Islam. However, he gave Brahim permission to continue sharing his faith in the more than 100 villages the leader oversaw. After telling a large gathering of Tuareg villagers that Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life,” Brahim and another pastor led more than 400 of them to Christ in a single day.

Two of Brahim’s family members — his son Wararni and his cousin Usaden, who serves as chief of his village — soon joined him in his ministry work. Like Brahim, they both had a strong desire to share the gospel with other Tuaregs.

“The understanding I got on the day I accepted Jesus is that this work has to be my life,” Wararni said. “The work is not for me only; the work is for more people to hear.”

Since 2018, when the three men began sharing the gospel, they have seen hundreds of people come to faith in Christ each time they preach. And together, they have helped start 33 churches. VOM supports the evangelists by providing them with print and audio Bibles as well as other ministry tools.

The reason so many are coming to Christ at once, a front-line worker explained, is that the tribe has the characteristics of a close family. When members of a tribe see a leader accept Christ, they don’t question his decision.

But as word spread that hundreds of people in multiple villages were leaving Islam for Christ, local Islamic leaders grew angry. Once, a group of men came to Brahim’s house threatening to kill him and his family if he didn’t stop his ministry work. Their threats didn’t faze him, however, because he knows where he’s going when he dies. “I know if you touch me, you are declaring war with heaven,” Brahim said.

Brahim hopes to share the gospel with each member of the Tuareg tribe in his region of Niger, which covers hundreds of miles. His goal is to complete this by 2025, no matter the cost. “I am looking for 100 percent,” he said. “The objective is to take the gospel to everybody, not just a few.”

You can partner with front-line workers like Brahim as they work to advance God’s kingdom. And with any monthly gift, you will receive VOM’s Global Prayer Journal.

PRO-LIFE AND PRO-GOD EFFORTS ARE ADMIRABLE

Republican lawmakers in Tennessee have introduced a “Texas-style” ban on abortion after watching the abortion rate plummet in the Lone Star State. Sadly, we know that these efforts will not alter the prophesied persecution of Christians, “a time of tribulation even great tribulation” during the reign of the Antichrist in the last days before Jesus returns.

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short.Matthew 24:21-22

“This bill is modeled directly after the legislation passed in Texas last year,” Tennessee state Rep. Rebecca Alexander (R), who sponsored the bill, told a subcommittee for the state’s House of Representatives. “Abortions, since that bill has been passed, have dropped 60% in Texas.”

“If this bill is allowed to go into effect, people who need abortions will be forced to either travel out of state, not receive the health care that they need, or seek abortions in unsafe situations,” read a statement from CHOICES Memphis Center for Reproductive Health. “This is a heartbreaking decision and one that sets Tennesseans back decades.”

News of the pro-life bill in the Volunteer State comes on the heels of a decision by the Texas Supreme Court, ruling state officials do not have a role in enforcing the six-week abortion ban, meaning they are not appropriate targets for lawsuits, which is a major blow to abortion providers.

Texas Justice Jeffrey Boyd wrote that the law — Senate Bill 8 — includes “emphatic, unambiguous, and repeated provisions” stating civil litigation “is the ‘exclusive’ method for enforcing the act’s requirements,” USA Today reported.

Since the state’s high court ruled licensing officials are not responsible for enforcing the near-ban on abortion, the case brought by abortion providers is all but over. The law’s unique focus on private citizens’ right to file civil lawsuits — rather than establish a criminal penalty — has allowed the legislation to evade constitutional challenges.

“There is nothing left,” said Marc Hearron, attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, which led the challenge against the pro-life bill. “This case is effectively over with respect to our challenge to the abortion ban.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton celebrated the court’s ruling, calling it a “major victory.”

“This measure, which has saved thousands of unborn babies, remains fully in effect, and the pro-abortion plaintiffs’ lawsuit against the state is essentially finished,” he said.

GOD USES CATASTROPHES FOR HIS PURPOSES

Just as Covid has caused massive disruption to the world now we have Russia invading Ukraine which has caused an enormous refugee crisis. Just as we see in the Book of Acts, catastrophes are opportunities for the church to innovate and to step in and help.

In Acts 8, a massive disruption upset the Christian world. Led by Saul of Tarsus, massive persecution drove Christians from their home base of Jerusalem. Up to that time the new Christian movement was centered in Jerusalem and was confined to Jews. By the end of the book of Acts, the church was more Gentile than Jewish and the church at Jerusalem was a side note. What made the difference? During the disruption, one church used it as an opportunity to innovate, and innovation changes the world.

Churches in countries neighboring Ukraine have opened their doors to shelter and aid refugees as the United Nations refugee agency estimated Thursday that 1 million people have fled the Eastern European nation since the beginning of Russia’s invasion last week. 

“In just seven days, 1 million people have fled Ukraine, uprooted by this senseless war,” U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said in a statement. “I have worked in refugee emergencies for almost 40 years, and rarely have I seen an exodus as rapid as this one.”

Many of the displaced have fled to neighboring countries such as Poland, Moldova, Slovakia and Hungary, while many more remain in Ukraine. 

Churches in neighboring countries are among community centers and camps sheltering refugees who’ve fled from the violence, with some seeing hundreds of Ukrainians coming and going in recent days. 

Refugees from Ukraine are pictured after crossing the Ukrainian-Polish border in Korczowa on March 02, 2022. – The number of refugees fleeing the conflict in Ukraine has surged to nearly 875,000, UN figures showed on March 2, as fighting intensified on day seven of Russia’s invasion

As Poland has taken the brunt of the Ukrainian refugees, one church that has served as many as 400 refugees is a Baptist church in Chelm. According to the Baptist Federation of Europe, the church is “filled with life” as it has pushed its pews out of the way to make room for beds. 

“It is not tension that you feel as you enter the building but life, peace, and joy,” a statement from the federation reads. “Children laugh and play while mothers prepare for onward journeys. The church piano plays a variety of tunes, none of the hymns, as the children practice their piano lessons.”

“Pews are in the pulpit and beds fill the sanctuary, the balcony, and every available space,” the statement adds. “Ukrainian and Polish families work side by side, making food, receiving donations, and cleaning the toilets. The laundry vibrates as the three new washing machines continue their endless 24-hour cycle. The supply rooms are full of children excitedly selecting new clothes and discovering new toys that have been donated.”

The church’s kitchen has supplied soup, snacks, and hot meals for the refugees arriving while packing lunches for the refugees that depart. The church receives help from local hotels that provide clean linen for the beds. 

The Polish Baptist Union hopes to house as many as 1,000 refugees. Polish Baptists have established 40 shelter camps. The PBU provides the camps with bedding items, food, and hygiene items, while Send Relief, IMB’s relief arm, provides funds to assist in the relief efforts. 

First Baptist Church of Gdasnk, Poland, will host one of the refugee centers, according to IMB missionary Ken Brownd. “It’s just cool to see Polish Baptists stepping up and taking care of their neighbors. They’ve done that for a long time now, but this is a different level,” Brownd was quoted as saying in an IMB report “Our team is trying to organize the Send Relief help … but really, this is mostly driven by Polish Baptists, so we’re not the main players in this at all. We’re helpers, and so it’s amazing.”

If nothing else Christians all around the world need to be in prayer and look for ways to financially support our brothers and sisters in Ukraine and the surrounding nations that are reaching out to help the refugees.