MORE BIBLICAL END TIMES PROPHECIES UNFOLDING IN OUR TIME

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Are we seeing a revival of the fourth kingdom (“Great image of a Man consisting of four sections) as outlined in Daniel 2 and Daniel 7. I agree with Joel Richardson, and other end times commentators, that the fourth kingdom was the Ottoman Empire initiated AD 632, shortly after the death of Muhammad, as an Islamic Caliphate which later became the Ottoman Empire and officially ended in 1923.

As Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, continues to consolidate power in the formerly secular nation, one of the foremost experts on Middle East geopolitics is sounding a desperate warning. Erdogan is just getting started. “I’ve been saying this for 12 years,” said Joel Richardson, New York Times bestselling author of “The Islamic Antichrist” and “Mideast Beast.” “I’ve said for years: ‘Watch Turkey. Watch Turkey. It’s going to become a radical nationalist Islamist nation.’”

Richardson, who has closely followed Middle East politics in his effort to spread the Gospel in the region and who chronicled rising Turkish nationalism in his film “End Times Eyewitness,” sees a deeper pattern unfolding as Erdogan continues his rise: something embedded within the pages of Scripture. He argues Turkey and Iran are on a path to conflict, and it will be Turkey that will eventually lead a coalition of Islamic nations against Israel.

“I believe Turkey is going to lead this coming Antichrist coalition,” he said.

“The Turks want to revive the empire that ruled the Middle East for 500 years. And I believe that in the midst of that, the Saudis, who are in league with the United States, are going to be a tremendous roadblock to Turkey re-establishing the historical caliphate, the Islamic form of government. And it’s for that reason that I think eventually we’ll see Turkey, and all the nations that come under her sway, eventually turn on Saudi Arabia, and as the prophecy says, devour her and burn her body with fire.”

Also relevant Turkey’s vote: The real end-time headline by Jake McCandless

“The silence of the world’s great democracies as the Middle East’s one great democracy slips toward authoritarianism has been deafening for Turks,” wrote Elliot Ackerman in Foreign Policy. Steven Cook suggested in the same publication Erdogan’s recent election victory means the end of modern Turkey itself, as Erdogan derives more inspiration from the Ottoman Empire than the secular, democratic values of Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic.

The Bible tells us a number of events will take place just prior to the return of Jesus. Generations of Christians lived and died without witnessing one of these signs. Many of these events have taken place and the current events in the Middle East are prophecy unfolding in our time.

Will our generation be a witness to them all? Those prophecies already fulfilled:
Israel Back in the Land – God promised to bring the Jewish people back into the land of Israel before He returned (Jeremiah 23:7-8). He said He would call them from “among the nations” (Ezekiel 39:28), from “the farthest corners of the earth” (Isaiah 11:12), and from “north, south, east, and west” (Psalm 107:3).
 He promised to welcome them home from the lands where they were scattered (Ezekiel 20:34). When they did, He promised to return and establish His everlasting kingdom (Isaiah 11:11-12).
The Jews Back in Jerusalem – Jesus said armies would surround Jerusalem, destroy the city, and enslaves its citizens. This happened in A.D. 70 when the Roman legions did exactly that.
 Jesus then said people other than the Jews would control Jerusalem for a time, then the Jewish people would once again control Jerusalem. When they did, Jesus promised to return (Luke 21:24-28). Since 1967, the Jewish people have been in possession of Jerusalem and will be celebrating their 50 year reunification this June.
The Gospel Preached Throughout the World – When asked about the end of the age and the signs of His coming, Jesus said to look for a very specific sign.
He said the gospel will be preached throughout the entire world. Every nation will hear it. And then? And then, the end will come (Matthew 24:14). For centuries after the crucifixion, the gospel was confined to a small area surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.
 In the past two centuries, Christians have brought the gospel to every nation in the world. Today, missionaries are in every nation.
The Bible is translated in hundreds of languages, and the message of Jesus is sent around the world by radio, TV, satellite, and the Internet. Our generation is literally on the verge of spreading the gospel to every last person on earth.
An Increase in Travel and Knowledge – Six hundred years before Jesus, an angel gave Daniel a special message. He said “travel and knowledge” will increase in the end times (Daniel 12:4). For centuries of human history, dramatic gains in travel and knowledge did NOT take place.
Yet the last two hundred years have seen explosions in the speed and frequency of travel as well as the amount and availability of knowledge.
Arrival of the Exponential Curve – Jesus said a variety of global signs will come before His return and the end of the age. These signs will be spiritual, natural, societal, and political in nature. And He said they would appear in a distinct way – “like birth pains” (Matthew 24:3-8).
 This means the frequency and intensity of these signs will increase as we near His return. Our generation has seen the exponential increase in earthquakes, war and famine Jesus said to look for.
In the 20th Century alone, more people died from war and famine than lived on the earth when Jesus spoke these words.
Israel Surrounded by Enemies – The Bible says enemies will surround Israel in the end times. Those enemies will say “Come, let us wipe away the nation of Israel. Let’s destroy the memory of its existence” (Psalm 83:4) and “Let us take for ourselves these pastureland’s of God” (Psalm 83:12).
Ezekiel said Israel’s neighbours will say “God has given their land to us” (Ezekiel 11:14-17),  and “Israel and Judah are ours. We will take possession of them. What do we care if their God is there?” (Ezekiel 35:10).
 Ever since the rebirth of Israel in 1948, the daily headlines have included these Bible verses. Israel’s Muslim neighbours claim the land of Israel for themselves, and they have no regard for the God of Israel.
 Israel’s Exceedingly Great Army – Ezekiel said, in the end times, Israel will field “an exceedingly great army” (Ezekiel 37:10). Zechariah said Israel will be like a fire among sheaves of grain, burning up the neighbouring nations (Zechariah 12:6) and even the weakest Israeli soldier will be like David (Zechariah 12:8).
Since 1948, Israel has fought no less than four conventional wars against its neighbours. Despite being outnumbered more than 50 to 1, Israel has achieved overwhelming victory every time.
Denial of the Signs – Almost two thousand years ago, Peter issued a warning. He said in the last days people will mock the idea of Jesus returning.
They will make fun of those who believe in the Second Coming and say exactly what we hear today – things like, “I thought Jesus was coming back?
What happened to His promise? Generation after generation has said He’s coming. Yet, since the beginning of the world, everything has remained the same!” (2 Peter 3:34).
Conclusion
 Despite the naysayers, Jesus is coming, and the signs indicate that ours is the generation that will witness His return.
The convergence of all these signs confirm it. Jesus Himself said to look for these signs, and when you see them, He said you can know His return is near. He’s right at the door (Matthew 24:33).
 In fact, He said the generation witnessing these signs will not pass away before He returns (Matthew 24:34).
Jesus warned us not to be caught sleeping when He returns (Mark 13:36). He commanded us to watch.
 Today, the signs of His return are all around us. Jesus is coming, and it can’t be said enough… Now is the season of His return.

Read more at http://www.prophecynewswatch.com

IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE SCIENCE, IF FACTS OF THE UNIVERSE ARE UNORDERED?

Basic to the unbeliever’s worldview is a denial of creation – the ordered arrangement of the universe according to the mind of God.

The Christian worldview is that not one piece of the created order is where it is, at the time it is, and the size it is , that is not the result of God’s ultimate plan for His creation.

Knowledge requires the ability to differentiate between individual objects (One- and- Many question). This is done by means of universals, or what we might call categories. Examples of categories would be horse, cat, chair, trees, plants and so forth. In the Christian worldview, categories or universals, are part of the creation act of God. This is what unifies everything in the universe (unity and diversity), otherwise we just have a lot of  ‘abstract particulars’ that don’t relate to anything else. Particulars (things, events, words) need something that connects them to something else that will provide meaning to the particular whatever it might be. Right at the foundation of the universe (Genesis 1) God created particulars and kinds (universals), ” The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed, each according to its kind …” Genesis 1:11-12.

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In God’s own being, the Trinity, we find both unity and diversity. Christian philosopher, Cornelius Van Til recognized the question of the One-and-Many as a metaphysical issue. “Using the language of the One-and-Many question we contend that in God the one and the many are equally ultimate. Unity in God is no more fundamental than diversity and diversity in God is no more fundamental than unity.”

The doctrine of the Trinity provides a solution to the problem of knowledge , the one-and-many or universals and particulars, and therefore a solution to the issues of relationships, or community. In the Trinity the absolute self-sufficient God is both unity and diversity. Creation reveals a one-and-many universe brought into existence by a one-and-many triune God.

The universe is not an accumulation of unknowable abstractions but a creative act of God. Without such a belief in a unifying principle in the universe, science is not possible. It is the unifying principle, the common denominator, that provides order and coherence – rationality – to the universe. This is one of the unproven assumptions of science. It is no coincidence that science has grown on the back of a Christian culture and worldview.

Extracted from article by Ian Hodge “Trinity’s Truth Reflected in Creation”, http://www.creation.com

 

Billy Graham on the Authority of Scripture

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Doubt can be a severe problem and was something that both Billy Graham and Charles Templeton faced.

In the late 1940’s, Billy and Charles attended a conference in California where a number of young theologians including Charles were expressing their doubts about the authority of the Bible. They were good friends, both budding evangelists, and they discussed those doubts.

“Suddenly, I wondered if the Bible could be trusted completely,” Billy said in his book “Billy Graham: God’s Ambassador.

Those same doubts eventually caused Charles Templeton to say goodbye to God. It was the 20th century, anti-creationist, scientific community claiming the earth was millions of years old (and later billions of years) that influenced Charles Templeton, who later wrote the book Farewell to God: My Reasons for Rejecting the Christian Faith. Sadly, Templeton was not able to distinguish the difference between the observations of scientists and their opinions (scientists with ulterior motives).

In contrast, Billy immediately began to study the subject intensively turning to the Scriptures themselves for guidance. “The Apostle Paul,” Billy said, “wrote to Timothy saying, ‘All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.’ Jesus himself said, ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away but my Word shall not pass away.’ I also thought of Christ’s own attitude, He loved the Scriptures, quoted from them constantly, and never once intimated that they might be false.”

Billy recalls the moment that changed him forever. “That night , I walked out in the moonlight, my heart heavy and burdened. I dropped to my knees and opened my Bible on a tree stump. If the issue was not settled soon, I knew I could not go on. ‘Oh God, I prayed, ‘there are many things in this book I do not understand. But God, I am going to accept this book as Your Word by faith. I’m going to allow my faith to go beyond my intellect and believe that this is Your inspired Word.’ From that moment on I have never doubted God’s Word. When I quote the Bible, I believe I am quoting the very Word of God and there’s power in it.

This all occurred one month before his very successful Los Angeles crusade which marked a decisive turning point in his ministry. The Los Angeles rally pushed him onto the national scene. A lifetime of ministry has followed and even in his 90’s Billy is still impacting the world for God.

The Bible is God’s Word from Genesis to Revelation and the Apostle John’s last words in the book of Revelation are warning enough to those that reject the authority of scripture.

“For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Revelation 22: 18,19

A GOOD GOD & A WORLD OF DEATH & SUFFERING?

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One of the most common questions asked of Christians is some version of: “If God is so loving, why are there bad things in the world?” The implication being that if God created this world in the state it is in, He can’t be ‘very good’ Himself. This is sometimes used as a reason to reject belief in God.

If God created everything in 6 days when exactly were ‘bad things’ created?

The first thing we need to understand is that God wasn’t surprised by the Fall of Adam. God is all knowing and so knew that a punishment would have to be meted out following Adam’s (and his offspring’s) rebellion.

According to Scripture, at the time of the Fall the environment changed and there were changes in the physical construction of some things as well. For example thorns appeared where there were none before. Some might ask ‘Doesn’t that mean God must have created new genetic information for these things at that time where there was none before?’ Not necessarily, because ‘hidden’ genetic information can lie dormant within living things and be activated under certain environmental conditions.

For example up to the 1920’s, scientists used to classify grasshoppers as a separate species to locusts. However, researchers have since determined that they are actually the same creature. Under certain (laboratory reproducible) circumstances they exhibit a sort of Jekyll/Hyde transformation that is truly startling!

Behavioural differences happen immediately at the transformation, with physical changes appearing in subsequent generations. The difference in behaviour (grasshoppers are solitary, locusts swarm), and morphology (locusts have smaller legs, wings and bodies but have a 30% larger brain than grasshoppers) is significant and changes neural, muscular and exo-skeletal expression. And the transformation from grasshopper to locust can also be reversed back again. Yet the DNA of the two creatures is identical.7

This ability for DNA to express different programming from the same source code under different environmental conditions is actually fairly common. The epigenetic code, a set of switches that turn genes on and off (e.g. in response to environmental stimuli) is a main contributor to this ability of the ‘finished product’ to vary despite the same DNA ‘instructions. This is known as ‘phenotypic plasticity’.

Not only is the discovery of latent genetic information an incredible challenge for evolution to account for, and a tremendous evidence of design (because it exhibits all of the characteristics of foresight and pre-planning in the genomes of creatures around the world), but it also helps answer the supposedly unanswerable question of how ‘bad things’ appeared after the Fall if God’s creation was completely finished by the end of the sixth day of creation.

God’s word is true

Foreknowing the Fall of man,9 God created the features of a post-Fall world in latent form within His very good world. They only became activated when God cursed the creation as punishment for Adam’s transgression. And the entire creation groans because of that Curse and is evidence that something is desperately wrong with this world. If God had not caused our physical environment to change at the time of the Fall, we would be lost without Him, bound for Hell but still in a virtual paradise. How would we know there was anything wrong and that we were in need of our Saviour

extract from article “The good, the bad and the ugly ….” by Calvin Smith on http://www.creation.com

 

What is the Holy Spirit to you?

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Whilst Dr Walter Wilson was saved December 21st, 1896, he did not personally become acquainted with the Holy Spirit until January 14th, 1914. After he was saved, Walter had a deep love for the scriptures yet it bothered him that his life did not seem to bear spiritual fruit. In 1913 he was challenged by a missionary with the question  “What is the Holy Spirit to you?” Wilson answered “He is one of the persons of the Godhead, a Teacher, a Guide; the third person of the trinity”.

“He is just as great,” the missionary said, “just as precious, just as needed as the other two Persons  of the Trinity. But you still have not answered my question, What is He to you?”

“He is nothing to me”, Wilson said, surprised at his own candour. “I have no contact with Him, no personal relationship, and get along quite well without Him”. His visitor replied, “it is because of this that your life is so fruitless even though your efforts are so great. The missionary’s words taunted Wilson into the next year. He wanted to bear the fruit of the Spirit but feared becoming a fanatic, giving an inferior place to Jesus Christ by overly exalting the Holy Spirit. On January 14th, 1914 everything changed when Wilson heard Dr James Gray, later to become President of Moody Bible Institute preach a sermon on Romans 12:1

Gray asked, “Have you noticed that this verse does not tell us to whom we should give our bodies? It is not the Lord Jesus…..He has his own body. It is not God the Father….He remains upon His throne. Another has come to earth without a body….God gives you the privilege and indescribable honour of presenting your bodies to the Holy Spirit, to be His dwelling place on earth”.

Wilson reported later that he said to the Holy Spirit, “My Lord, I have mistreated You all my Christian life. I have treated you like a servant….I shall do so NO more. Now I give you this body of mine ; from my head to my feet……………., I hand over to YOU for YOU to live in it the life that YOU please.

Walter Wilson , the “beloved physician” often testified, “With regard to my own experience with the Holy Spirit, I may say that the transformation in my life on JAN 14th 1914, was greater , much greater than the change that took place when I was saved DEC 21st 1896.

Dr Wilson died in 1969 after a life of amazing service as a physician (1904 – 1912), General Manager (1912 – 1920) and then President (1926 -1928) of a major corporation. He founded the Kansas City Bible Institute in 1932 which became the Kansas City Bible College when he became President. He hosted a daily Bible exposition broadcast on two radio stations in Kansas City 1933-1944, one rated the most popular radio program in the area. But above all he considered Holy Spirit guided “soul winning” his prime task since handing over his life to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in 1914.

What is your answer to the question, “What is the Holy Spirit to you?”

SOLEMN TRUTH ABOUT EVIL

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The intrusion of evil into God’s creation was permitted by HIM as part of HIS profound and worthy purpose. It is hard to comprehend the wicked were made to serve God’s purpose but it is true.
They shall serve to manifest God’s inflexible justice in the infliction of retribution against unrepentant sinners. How could God be fully known were that not shown. Thus all shall serve, as it is written:
“God has made all things for HIMSELF. Yes even the wicked for the day of evil.” Proverbs 16:4
The devil, his angels and impenitent men shall all eventually be seen as vessels or servants, but vessels to dishonour not honour.
“Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honour and another for dishonour.” Romans 9:21
If God had not allowed evil into His world how would we know the full extent of HIS character. HIS mercy, kindness, goodness, patience and above all HIS sacrificial love for us revealed at the Cross.

Foundation for Affirming Moral Absolutes

Truth and Transformation
Without the cross of JESUS CHRIST the world has NO foundation for affirming moral absolutes, for calling corruption by its name – SIN.  The cross of Christ is also the only available force that can withstand and push back the storm of moral relativism that is upon us.
Thanks to the cross of JESUS, we have a firm basis – empirical, historical and philosophical for affirming moral absolutes without the same moral law condemning us. The cross does not just provide a philosophical framework for moral absolutes. It also provides the WAY to deliver us from SIN.
By the cross GOD shows us that the power He wants us to have is not the power to Lord it over others, not power to exploit and oppress, but power to sacrifice ourselves for others.
Of course, God knows we can’t do this in our own strength so He sends the third person of the Trinity, Holy Spirit to indwell all believers. The transformation of the disciples at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended upon them in power is the same power available to Christians today. They were able to disregard the threats of the Jewish leaders, rejoice in persecution and deliberately chose to disregard the state and continue preaching JESUS. This is real evangelism.
The author of Truth and Transformation, Vishal Mangalwadi described by Christianity Today as India’s foremost Christian intellectual is authentic. Vishal has spent time in jail in India for civil disobedience in helping the lowest caste, Dalits. He has planted churches there, is an international lecturer, social reformer, political columnist and author of fourteen books.
Truth and Transformation is a must read for anyone concerned with the state of current world events.
I like Vishal’s explanation for the rational cynicism that has now become the hallmark of secular universities. “The west has exchanged its worldview shaped by the Bible for a lie that the human mind is an accident of blind chance, no more valid than an animal brain”. Remember most of the prestigious universities in the UK and USA commenced as Christian Institutions, e.g. Oxford and Harvard.

The Tri-une nature of God is the foundation for human thinking and feeling.

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Jonathan Edwards, one of America’s greatest thinkers and theologians in “An Essay on the Trinity” from “Treatise on Grace and Other Posthumously Published Writings” (Cambridge UK 1971) provides a remarkable description of how the three persons of the trinity relate to each other.
Summary: The Father is God existing in the primal, unoriginated, most absolute manner. God the Son stands forth eternally as a work of God’s THOUGHT (thinking). And God the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son as an act of their JOY (feeling). They are co-eternal and equally divine.
Also John Piper in his book “Think” says it well: God’s existence as a Trinity of Persons is the foundation of human nature as head and heart, thinking and feeling, knowing and loving.
God’s “thinking” and “feeling” are deeply part of His Trinitarian being.
God made the world so He can communicate, and we his creatures receive, His glory; and that it might be received by both the mind and heart.
If we are to live as people made in the image of God to glorify Him fully, we must engage our mind in knowing Him truly and our hearts in loving Him duly.
The mind serves to know the truth that fuels the fire of the heart.