We could have all the money in the world and all the supplies, and still not have peace. Or we could have low money and supplies, and still not have peace.
But we can have plenty or less... and still have huge peace.
Keeping our mind “stayed on You” means just that, keeping our minds stayed on the Lord and it says why. The reason is because “we trust in Him.”
We can trust the Lord for taking care of us. We do our part by being diligent with what we are blessed with and living our life unto Him. And the Lord, blesses the work of our hands and takes care of us.
I have found that if I look at a mountain, it is so big, that it consumes my sight. And if I allow my troubles to overtake my view, no matter how big my trouble really is, they become mountains when I let them consume me.
We have to face our troubles squarely, especially if we are responsible for others. But we can do it from a place of security, knowing we are not alone and that we can have all the direction and wisdom from the Lord that we need.
The choice is up to us. The Lord’s eye is always upon us and our situations but we have to choose to keep our mind stayed on Him and trust Him.
We can do whatever we have to do in this world with the supernatural peace and with the supernatural strength that come from Jesus Christ. Even in the face of knowing that He was about to be tormented physically by the devil’s human servants, Jesus kept His peace. And even when He was hanging on the cross, He helped the thief next to Him, His mother’s situation that was about to happen in needing a son, in a world where a woman, needed a male to stand with her. He helped all of us by giving His all and taking the time to pray, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” This was not only for those that did Him wrong that day, but for everyone, for all of us. Jesus kept His peace. Even when His body was severely beaten and crushed to death. Even being separated from His Father, He hurt desperately but He did not despair. He went on to conquer sin and the grave completely. If His grief had overcome Him, He would not have been able to do so. He went on to take the keys to hell and death from the devil.
Jesus has shown us the way. And the Lord has sent us His Spirit to be with each of us. God is closer than our breath for those that are born-again!
The Lord loves being our God and us being His children. It is why He created us. We do not have to be God. He is. Only He has all wisdom, all knowledge, all provision, not only for the physical (including mental) but for the spiritual. He is El Shaddai.
The name of God “El Shaddai” was taught to me when I was young, as “The Lord, Our God Almighty Who Is Our Everything.” I said, how can He be our everything? They said, like a baby in a womb, is completely dependent of the mother taking care of through the umbilical cord. The cord is a lifeline for everything. All is provided. And we find all we need in trusting God.
Look at the context that this verse was given.
This same Jesus, who was born Emmanuel, left and went to be with the Father, but He did not leave us empty-handed. He has sent us His Presence that we can all have Him with us at the same time. Jesus in the physical could not do that, but in leaving, He made this possible. You can even close your eyes and feel His closeness. We are never ever alone.
The disciples became apostles. All were martyred but one, whose life was attempted to be taken, but failed. They and the entire early church went through terrible times of tribulation and even persecution. But they chose to stand fast in their faith. Paul and Silas stood fast in hard times.
They were wrongfully beaten and cast into jail, even to being put in stocks in jail. And they chose to sing praises to the Lord.
And we know what happened next.
When they chose to praise the Lord, even in terrible circumstances, God not only helped them but God used them to help the jailer and his family come to Christ and countless other prisoners were affected for the better.
When the three Hebrews were cast in the fiery furnace, as told of in the book of Daniel, the one who had them cast in, saw four in the fire and the one was like unto the Son of God. And when the fire could not hurt them, they were released and not even the smell of smoke was on them and the only thing that had changed was that the ropes that they were bound with, were gone.
By keeping our minds stayed on the Lord and trusting Him, by choosing to praise Him no matter how crazy or despairing this world gets, we can have peace. We can have supernatural peace and supernatural strength. We can operate from a place of joy and peace and have all the strength we need as true followers of Jesus Christ.
The other option, is to let the troubles consume us. We could even share our pit with others or join them in theirs. But why would we do that when we can have the fruit of the Spirit and share our fruit with others. Those that have peace, strength and joy fare much better and are certainly better to be around than those that are in depression, despair and are deflated. The choice is up to us.
Thank You Lord that You are our God and we are Your children. Thank You for meeting our needs, physical and spiritual. Thank You Lord for Your mercy, grace, peace, strength and joy.
Many would say that with the China virus, COVID-19, Corona virus or whatever name it is being called, and its effects, that the Lord could come for us any minute.
But there are many other events that must happen first. No temple has been built yet in Jerusalem. No Antichrist has risen to power. We do not even have a global government for him to rise up from. The Two Witnesses have not started a global ministry yet. The transgressors (spoken of in Daniel) while many, have not reached their fullness. And more.
I do believe we are in the early times of the apostasy. Many want to believe the apostasy is a time when many in the church backslide. This is not what the apostasy is. The terms mean a deflection from or forsaking of the truth. The apostasy that is coming on this world is of mankind and is global. It is much like we read about in Romans chapter 1. Mankind in general has chosen to exchange the truth of God for the lie. The lie has been the same lie since the Garden.
Romans 1:18b-25 … men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man--and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever…
While we still have a long way to go, we see the world becoming a darker place. At the same time, we see the true body of Christ becoming more consecrated. What is destined to be, will be.
Let us consider the Word of our Lord, recorded by the Apostle Mark.
*** I believe Mark 13:14b-18 is 2-fold prophecy. It happened 70 AD and it will happen again before the Lord comes. Verses 19 and 20 describe the severity of the tribulation that is yet to come.
The Lord has warned us what will happen before He comes for His church at the end of the current age. These verses are not pre-Armageddon and Second Coming or even pre-Great White Throne of Judgment. Most of Mark 13 is pre-rapture and rapture verses.
Is the COVID-19 virus a sign of the last days? I believe it has been allowed by God to be a wake-up call. Even harder times will come. We need to stay close to the Lord and if we are not in the right place with Him now, we need to get there. The Lord never wants anyone to perish eternally and He is calling out to all who can hear Him, “... behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2b ).
Articles that relate to this blog:
Can The Rapture Really Happen Today?
The Apostasy - The Great Falling Away
How do we keep our peace and joy when the world seems like it is going haywire all around us? For sure if we listen to the media and additionally, those around us who are in “panic mode,” we can lose our calm very easily.
I have two key verses for today. The first is found in Isaiah.
It could also be put in second person like this, Because one trusts in the Lord and keeps their mind (focus) stayed on Him, the Lord will keep him in perfect peace.
If we allow our minds and hearts to focus on our problems and all the possibilities that fear can bring, we will not have peace. But if we will refuse frustration, worry and despair by trusting that the same Lord who took care of us when we had smoother sailing, knowing that He will still take care of us on the stormy seas, then we can have amazing peace.
If we need it, the Lord can multiply anything we have, including, bread, milk, fuel and even money. If we have nothing to multiply, He can send us whatever we need by way of someone or something else, even ravens if necessary like He did for Elijah (1 Kings 17:4-6) or the lady and her son the Lord sent Elijah to help at Zarephath (1 Kings 17:8-16) whose oil and flour never ran out, as long as the drought they were in lasted.
The world and the devil, would love for us to operate from a place of fear and panic. God wants what is best for us and to trust Him. To despair is to doubt God. To despair is an insult to our Father and His provision and puts us in a place of sin. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Faith is trust. With faith (trust) in God, nothing is impossible.
The second key verse for today is found in Nehemiah.
There is strength in the right mindset. There is spiritual strength too. When we choose to trust God, be thankful and praise the Lord, no matter how stormy life’s seas are, we can navigate our way through with peace, strength and the direction of the Lord!
A gloomy heart or fearful heart is not the place to be directed from. But a joyful heart which knows that the Lord knows better than us and trusts Him as our provider, is the greatest place for anyone to be directed from.
We are not mere flesh and blood. Our flesh and blood will pass, but our spirit beings are forever. And that spirit being, our inner man, should be feeding itself on the Word of God and trusting the Holy Spirit who has been given to us, to be our Comforter and Strength. He is God with us.
When we choose to rejoice and trust God, we are in the best place possible!
Why fear as though we have no hope and no God? We are not orphans. If we are born-again, we are the children of God Almighty!
So, let us live our faith. We must never forget this closing verse:
This is true when life has smooth or stormy seas, or anywhere in between. If we trust the Lord and seek His kingdom first and seek to do whatever He says is right, He will take care of us.
When Jesus came the first time, He fulfilled prophecy after prophecy. From where to when and how, so many situations had to line up. Even the stars heralded His birth.
All the prophecies involved did not have to be forced. Prophecies are not forced. They simply reveal future events and situations. I believe the Lord gives them to help us and to show He knows the end from the beginning. There is an interesting verse toward the end of the book of Revelation involving Jesus and prophecy.
Revelation 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
When the Lord comes next time, more prophecies will be fulfilled. We have an article on this website that lists a few of the prophecies unfulfilled that must happen before the Lord can return. It is important to know because the enemy wants everyone misinformed, even those in the body of Christ. Only truth stands upon truth but by the time some people find out what the truth was in their situation, it is too late. We need to know God’s Word for ourselves and heed it.
One prophecy in particular that has not been fulfilled yet before the Lord will come for His church, is found in Daniel. A vision was seen by Daniel involving a ram and a goat. From the broken single horn of the goat, four horns grew up in its place. Eventually, from one of those four, another horn will appear. This one is the beast, the son of perdition and also known as the Antichrist.
Daniel 8:11-12 “He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down. 12 Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered.”
Gabriel was sent to Daniel to help him understand what he saw in the vision.
He told Daniel, Daniel 8:19 "Look, I am making known to you what shall happen in the latter time of the indignation; for at the appointed time the end shall be.”
He went on to say much more.
Daniel 8:23-26 "And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their fullness, a king shall arise, having fierce features, who understands sinister schemes. 24 His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; he shall destroy fearfully, and shall prosper and thrive; he shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people. 25 Through his cunning he shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; and he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without human means. 26 And the vision of the evenings and mornings which was told is true; therefore seal up the vision, for it refers to many days in the future."
There is so much information here but I want to point out one thing in particular. It says, “when the transgressors have reached their fullness.” The New Living Translation 2 says, “when their sin is at its height.” This is saying that sin must come to a tipping point. John, in Revelation 17 recorded that he saw a “whore being carried by a beast” and he saw written on her forehead, “mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth.” She was “arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication.”
There is great iniquity in the earth already, but it will get much worse. It will happen in the course of time. We pray for our countries and this earth, and for God’s will “to be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We vote and we stand against evil. We must always stand up for what is right. Jesus showed us the way. He stood up to the religious establishment, the nation’s rulers that were in power over him and against the whole kingdom of darkness. He went out holding fast to what He knew was right. The world does not have to believe us or approve of us and if they want to be rid of us, it is because of the Light in us. The darkness will always hate the Light. But we will keep shining.
And sometime in the near future, I believe “the transgressors will reach their fullness,” and when they do, an evil one will arise. The New Testament calls him a king, just as Gabriel did when speaking with Daniel. Revelation 9:11 “And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon.” He is the same one who will kill the Two Witnesses when they finish their testimony. Revelation 11:7 says, ”When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them.” One of the angels of the 7 bowls of wrath, told John in Revelation 17:10-11 “There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. 11 And the beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition."
Someday, “when the transgressors come to their fullness,” the beast, the king, the horn of Daniel 8 that will spring up from the 4, the one we call the Antichrist will arise. As Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 2, two things must happen before we are gathered up to the Lord, a great falling away (reminds me of transgressors reaching their fullness) and the Antichrist arising, even to the point he will sit in the temple as God.
What has been prophesied of, will be.
Articles that reflect this blog:
Can The Rapture Really Happen Today?
The Antichrist, His Identity And His Name
The Antichrist Uniquely Revealed In Three Prophetic Sections Of Scripture
The Scarlet Beast & The Mystery Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And The Abominations Of The Earth
Understanding Who The Antichrist Is, The Son of Perdition
It is hard to say what it is like for each of us living in these times (this website goes all over the world) but unless someone gets to heaven ahead of the rest of us, we are all living in a world with something major in common. We are all in a world where Babylon is gaining strength as it seeks to rise to global domination. By Babylon, I mean the combination of the demonic network (the beast of Revelation 17-18) and the human network (the scarlet woman, the whore of Revelation 17-18) it carries.
“The lost” of this world are on the road to “their last rebellion” before the return of the Lord.
We all know there have been major historical rebellions before. The first rebellion happened in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve had total freedom (except for one small command). They chose to listen to a fallen angel, rather than God (Eve listened to the devil, then Adam listened to Eve, who after eating the fruit, was used by the enemy to coerce Adam to eat some too).
Adam lived for over 900 years and though he undoubtedly was a major leader and godly patriarch, when he passed, things really went downhill for mankind. Man became so evil, that God repented even making him. That does not mean God did not want us, but His heart was broken at what most people had become. It was getting harder and harder for righteous people to live, because of the depravity of the lost who outnumbered them in large measure.
When it came down to the last thread of godliness, the Lord took a drastic measure. He wiped out all mankind but eight souls, being Noah, his wife and his family.
It was not long from the re-start after the Flood, that man declined again. This time, Noah had to watch his very own descendants go the way of rebellion. It is estimated that Noah lived 90 to 100 years longer than Peleg (his 3rd great grandson), who in his lifetime, the Babel rebellion happened. Noah lived 950 years, with 350 of those years after the Flood (Genesis 9:28-29). So we can see that it took no longer than 260 years to consummate another great fall of mankind and possibly a little less.
The tower of Babel incident was a turning point. The Lord had told everyone to go “out” from where they were and be fruitful. But they didn’t. And in a huge move of “we’ll show you God” they stayed together in one place and decided to build the tower.
What is often not realized, is just what happened that day. God did not just thwart their plans, He did that and much, much more. The Lord slowed down mankind’s ability to unite in such a rebellion again for a long, long time.
Genesis 11:7-9 Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. 9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.
The “scattering” was the beginning of a divided culture that would divide people like never before. Up until this time, there was one language and one culture. Whatever Noah’s family language was, was their language and whatever cultural ways they had, were their cultural ways. And then: it all changed. Not only did God spread the people out, but He changed their language from one to many. If you study history and travel, one can easily see how much much more happened, than just a change of language. Along with new languages, came cultural division. It is not mere language that separates people. People think and act differently according to their culture and environments.
The division in the days of Peleg (the scattering from the tower of Babel), “bought us time” as mankind, but man is still headed for another great rebellion. The EU has the tower of Babel incorporated into the design of one of its main buildings in Strasbourg, with the original intent of having many languages but with one voice. The United States has a saying, “e pluribus unum” which means “out of many, one.”
Little by little, the world is heading for a one world system. The threat of globalism is real. The Bible says that it is coming, and along with it, will come wars and rumors of wars. So it is an illusion to think it will bring peace. Globalistic socialism will lead to globalistic communism. For close to six thousand years, the devil has been using his trickery upon man. He has honed his evil craft and worked hard to spin a web of deceit for those who will naively fall into his trap.
In the message we have about Babylon, the whore and the beast, it is shown clearly how it works. The beast is the devil’s kingdom of darkness, with its own hierarchy. The whore, is made up of various humans that it carries. So the whore, is the evil human network carried by the demonic network. The evil network has been here all along (as it never dies) but the humans of the system change as people live and die. Whoever is alive, that knowingly or unknowingly, is carried by and used by the devil, is part of the system of the whore.
The difference between the lost and those who know their Savior, is defined by whatever they love the most: darkness or light . Everyone is one of the two. Sooner or later, whatever one we love the most, will come out in all of us.
The people of the whore, victimize anyone and everyone, that they can make money from, take advantage of or acquire more power off of. They are often excellent liars and actors. People of the whore are everywhere, from politicians, to bankers, judges, lawyers, insurance execs, high finance and big company operators, military personnel, merchants of anything and everything. The big lie of the last days, is getting something for nothing. It comes as “everything should be fair and provided for: for all” so that “all will be fair for all.” In reality, it will turn out that the real ones who will benefit, will not be the common man that will have taken the carrot. The whore’s human network will prosper and the rest will be equally dominated and poor.
When Babylon (the Babylon of Revelation 18:11-19) is destroyed, all will be in shock. The people of the whore who profited from it, will cry at their loss.
For now, Babylon is plotting and pushing to rise. For now, godly people need to draw close to God and hold firm, as the earth around us grows spiritually dark. While there is not much to look forward to on one hand, there is very much to look forward to, on the other. People who are ripe for salvation, will not be able to ride the fence for much longer. Many will go with the whore, but the ones who will not, need to see Jesus in God’s people. Real love, real faith, etc. We will see those who are serious about getting saved becoming truly saved. We will see the body of Christ becoming truly pure. The fake church will continue, but the real church will not be able to continue being a part of it. The worldliness of it, will continue in becoming unbearable.
Pressure brings refinement. Refinement brings more of the presence of God in our lives. When the devil tried to destroy the early church it did not work. The church only grew. And so it will happen again.
Things are going to change. Draw close to God and He will draw close to you. Prepare to have your faith pressure tested! Prepare to be a sharper tool of the Lord. Putting one’s head in the sand like an ostrich will not stop what is coming or help one become their best. In all likelihood, the Bible will become illegal. It will be considered a hate book because it tells the truth. And truth is going to become rarer and rarer. Get God’s Word in your heart, not only to help you be your best but also because it may not be so easy to have a Bible for long.
Prepare to suffer for being a Christian. I cannot say how or when it will happen, but in the communism put forth by Russians on Eastern Europe, they were denied plenty. Unless one was “approved by” or “part of” the controlling party then one got lesser jobs, lesser education, etc.
Some might say this is "gloom and doom" talk. If "the truth" is "gloom and doom" then so be it. If I am wrong, praise the Lord and it was a false alarm. But if I am right and this truth is ignored... then so be it also. The Lord will help His people who listen to Him. How can He help those who do not?
Draw close to the Lord and re-read Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Revelation and Daniel. Seek the Lord in what He means about what you read. Do not just listen to people. Seek the Lord and listen to Him. Learn to be a better listener to Him. Becoming a better listener comes with practice. Hearing the direction and voice of the Holy Spirit is important to any Christian and how much more important it is to those living in the last of the last days.
We have been given a reprieve for right now, with people even trying to stand up and stop the globalist movement. This will come to an end sooner or later, and the globalist agenda will go forth with even greater momentum. I am so thankful for this time of reprieve but we need to realize that a reprieve is exactly what it is and react accordingly!
The true church will be the church triumphant. Escapism theology is a myth and the church will go through much to be refined. Press into the Lord and get your life in order. No one wanted to hear the truth when Jeremiah cried out at the gate and the same is true today. But Nebuchadnezzar came and a worse one than him is coming soon. Don’t be deceived and prepare your heart and life as much as possible!
To understand more about how the wicked people of the scarlet woman/whore are carried by the wicked kingdom of the devil, see the article, The Scarlet Beast And The Mystery, Babylon, The Great, The Mother Of Harlots, And Of The Abominations Of The Earth.
Have you ever considered how much our salvation cost Father God and His Son, Jesus? Even the highest price and the worst suffering was not too much for the Lord to pay for us to have the chance to spend eternity in heaven with Them. This important truth shows us all how much God loves us! His love for us immeasurable.
God knew from the beginning of creation what every human being would or would not do, starting with Adam and Eve and ending with the last man that will ever live on earth. God was outside of time, when He created the earth and the whole universe. God knew how history would develop and how much sin there would be on the earth, so nothing could ever surprise Him. That's why it seems incredible that even after mankind has proven how evil and malicious we could be, God continued to love us with His perfect love. Not even the fact that Jesus would be terribly rejected, mocked, unloved and unappreciated by God's people first and later by the rest of the world, this did not prevent God the Father or Jesus from changing their minds about the salvation plan. Jesus endured mockery, humiliation, whipping and even death by crucifixion (the most shameful death of those times) without fighting back, fulfilling the prophecies of the Old Testament.
All this shows us that God's desire is for us, not against, and that we should “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). Then the apostle Paul says:
“For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
When we truly understand who we are and what we have in Christ Jesus, we know that all that is good comes from Him, including the desire to continue to be faithful to Him and that He continues to help us live for Him until the end.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one..” (John 10:27-30)
Jesus calls us His sheep and Himself the “Good Shepherd.” If we hear His voice (Holy Spirit), we are known by Him and we follow Him. It is such a blessing to know that nobody can “snatch us from His or His Father's hand.”
We are not only in Jesus' hand, but at the same time we are in Father God's hand. There is no one higher or more powerful than the Lord in the whole Universe, and we are protected in His hand, so we will make it to heaven and be there with God forever! What a marvelous gift! What an amazing promise! Because He created us with free will, if we would choose to leave Him, He would let us go. It is up to us and only us, to accept Him and stay with Him or not. The Lord wants us to make it, to be able to defeat any of the devil's attacks and overcome any hardships caused by our own bad decisions or even by our enemies. Father God wants us to be able to fight the good fight, to keep the faith and finish the race as Paul did in 2 Timothy 4:7-8:
“I have fought the good (worthy, honorable, and noble) fight, I have finished the race, I have kept (firmly held) the faith. [As to what remains] henceforth there is laid up for me the [victor's] crown of righteousness [for being right with God and doing right], which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me and recompense me on that [great] day—and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved and yearned for and welcomed His appearing (His return).”
The seven seals are amazing. The Lord wants us to know important events that are to come. And the information about these important events come from a scroll with seven seals that could only be opened by one person. Only one person was worthy to open this scroll. As the song says, “Worthy is the Lamb” because the Lamb of God, who is also the Lion of Judah, is the only one who could do it.
Many people today, try to say that the seven seals have already started, which as of this date, 5-21-2018 we can know that it has not. How can we know? We know because the first one has not happened yet. When it does, we will all know in short order. The first one is when “a crown and the authority to conquer” are given to the Antichrist. Somehow people mistake this rider of this white horse as our Lord. Jesus will not come and be the first of four horses at the rapture. At the rapture, He will come on clouds, stop in the air and call His people up. He will not be coming down on the earth or go about destruction with a crown that has to be given to Him. He already has His crown and He sits at the right hand of Father God. The Lord does ride a white horse at Armageddon and the armies of heaven will be riding with him (at the conclusion of the seven years). You can read more about it at Two White Horses, Two Very Different Riders Two Different Times.
In the article linked to, at the bottom of this blog, one can see how closely the seals correlate with Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. The seven seals lead to the Rapture which will happen midway in the last seven years of this age. The Christians that are killed and referenced during the fifth seal, are not converts after the rapture which the Bible never says will happen; on the contrary, they are some of the believers which will be slain as things worsen in these last of the last days, just as the Bibles says will happen (Matthew 24:9, 21-22, Mark 13:12, Luke 21:16-17).
"When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed."
Christians will not have to live through God's wrath that will be poured out with the seven trumpets and seven bowls after the Rapture and after the sealing of the 144,000 Jews (12,000 from each tribe of Israel - which happens before the first trumpet blows as we know from Revelation 7:1-4). The first half of the seven years is tribulation for everyone, but the second half is the judgment and wrath of God upon the wicked. The “last trumpet” that sounds at the rapture that Paul wrote about in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 and Jesus told us about Matthew 24:31 is not the last trumpet of the seven that John saw and wrote about in the book of Revelation. John's 7th trumpet is after 6 bowls of the wrath of God are poured out upon the wicked of this earth. The last trumpet of Paul in 1 Thessalonians is the last trumpet because it will mark the “end of the age of salvation” for mankind. The two witnesses will have preached for 1260 days (3 ½ years) and the Gospel will have gone out to the whole earth as the Lord said it would before His return to get us (Matthew 24:14). The last trumpet at the rapture marks the end for the wicked as well as the call for God's children. In order to believe that the last trumpet of the book of Revelation is the trumpet of the rapture, one would have to believe that all Christians will have to live through God's wrath. This would also called a post-trib view.
The seven seals are much different from the seven trumpets and seven bowls in two very interesting ways. 1- The seals do not involve being distributed by angels as the trumpets and bowls do. 2- The seals tell us of future events involving what the church and world will go through while the trumpets and bowls are the judgment and wrath of God are clearly upon the wicked.
For more information on how the 6th and 7th seals are the rapture and more of an in-depth look at the seven seals, please consider the article: The Seven Seals of Revelation.
When life gets too busy or hard, we can feel drained and low on strength, and find ourselves operating in a vulnerable state. Making a mental choice to “do better or be stronger” is not really enough because we are spiritual beings.
When we have “given of ourselves too much” or are living with an “open wound caused by a deep hurt” or “severe loss” of some kind, we must stop and deal with our condition. How we handle our stressed or weakened condition is everything.
If we listen to sad secular music, we will get sadder. If we listen to the unseen spiritual enemy, who tries to convince us of how unfair things are and how much worse we have it than others, it will not help us at all and only make matters worse. There are endless possibilities of all kinds of unhealthy thoughts and situations that do not build us back up or strengthen us.
For those of us who are Christians, we have the Lord. If we will remain close to Him, calling upon and even crying out to Him, it makes it possible for the Lord to help us. When we lay our issues at His feet and worship Him from our hearts, despite the pain, something amazing happens. We become comforted and strengthened. Additionally, as we listen to Christian praise and worship or simply sing something meaningful from our hearts to the Lord, the process continues. This is God's way of helping us re-hydrate spiritually.
In a way, the “spiritual us” operates along with the “mental us.” The deeper level is the spiritual. This deeper level is where our “spiritual strength” comes from. Positive “thoughts” are nice and helpful but only in the deeper part of us, are we really strengthened spiritually.
In choosing to “trust and praise God” - especially and including when it hurts the most, we find something that cannot be attained any other way and that is a deeper level of spiritual strength. Sincere prayer, worship, godly mediation, praise, etc - all these actions on our part, are used by the Lord, to strengthen us.
If we try to continue in our “own strength” or by just “trying to be more positive” we may be helped somewhat but not in strength that comes from doing it the Lord's way. We are not just physical beings with minds; we are spiritual beings with bodies and minds. Much secular reasoning, and even some reasoning found in the church, says that emotions are only mental. This is not true and is the reason why finding mental solutions is often not near enough.
When we give our “issues” - our hurts, pains, needs, etc. to the Master of wisdom, love, comfort and strength and we trust and praise Him despite how bad it hurts at the time, then we are allowing God to help us His way. And we all know that His ways are higher and better than ours.
Some Christians have come to a place in their lives when they do this automatically because they have learned to do so by being sensitive to listening to the Holy Spirit and His direction. But some have never realized the process or even seen it demonstrated. The choices we make when we are hurt and even struggling the most, are especially going to be for better or worse. Choosing the Lord and His ways are the best ways and with trust, praise, worship and prayer and even simple songs sung sincerely to Him from our hearts will bless the Lord but also restrengthen us. Just as physical athletes must be hydrated, so must Christians in the daily battles of life. And sometimes the battles come rapidly, one after another. These types of godly choices, help “hydrate us” for the kind of strength we need daily and especially when life is too much or too fast.
So let us choose to battle God's way, taking time to face our challenges and circumstances with His Word and actually stand on His promises. We can give our pains and issues to Him, trusting in His plans for our situations. And instead of allowing the negative thoughts that the devil comes with or even our own negative thoughts of doubt and despair, or choosing to listen to sad secular songs that drain us even more; we can choose to listen to healing and uplifting godly songs and stay close to the Lord through prayer and worship. These types of choices give the Lord the opportunity to restrengthen us.
In conclusion, becoming a Christian is just the beginning. We must learn to live life according the direction of God's Word, the Bible, and by the direction of the Holy Spirit. And as we do as Jesus did, taking time out from the pressures and hurriedness of living in a demanding world, to personally seek the Lord alone and find His refreshing, then we in-turn, are strengthened and will go through the next round of daily pressures from a place of strength instead of feeling drained and in a weakened condition. As we literally “praise the Lord” from our hearts, He lifts us up from where ever we are! To win the battles of daily life, we must invest making the kind of choices that help us operate from a place of strength!
Endurance is something we cannot live without! Quitters really never do win. Jesus endured. His church throughout the centuries, has endured. His Bride will endure.
We need to make our minds up ahead of time, that when the going gets rough, that by the grace and strength of God, we will endure. And that if the pre-tribulation mindset that has spread among the church is wrong (and it is) and we have to go through some very hard times, before the Lord splits the skies open and calls us up to Him, that we will endure.
Ask any serious athlete or successful entrepreneur how important a strong mindset is and they will tell you. Ask anyone who works at a cancer hospital how important it is. Most will tell you a strong mindset is more than half the battle.
We need to set our minds and hearts that for today and even if the tide turns against us and persecution really steps up, that we will stay true to our faith and God's Word. We need to set our hearts that when the enemy comes with with ear tickling deception, that we will not fall for it. When the evil one comes on the scene, with all manners of charismatic speeches and even if some of our church leaders fail and are oohing and awing over him, that we will not go that direction. We need to truly know our God and His Word now, not just as we have heard of Him, but know Him personally so that as the world goes, we do not. We need to be filled with God's Spirit and His Word. We need to be truly living our faith. We have been called out of this world and to be the true church of Jesus Christ, no matter what our denominations are.
Here are few verses just for thought and mediation, in regard to endurance and perseverance:
“Do not be sad, for your rejoicing in the Lord is the source of your strength”” Nehemiah 8:10b
“No king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain hope for safety; neither shall it deliver any by its great strength. Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name.” Psalms 33:16-21
“You are my strength, I watch for you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.” Psalms 59:9b-10
“How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to Your Word. I seek You with all my heart; do not let me stray from Your commands. I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You. Praise be to You, Lord; teach me Your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from Your mouth. I rejoice in following Your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on Your precepts and consider Your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your Word.” Psalms 119:9-16
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength.” Isaiah 26:3-4
“Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: "My way is hidden from the Lord, and my just claim is passed over by my God"? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:26-31
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” Matthew 7:24-25
“But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” Matthew 24:13
“To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life.” Romans 2:7
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had” Romans 15:5
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put “on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints--” Ephesians 6:10-18
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” Hebrews 10:36
“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1b-3
“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12
“'These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place--unless you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.'" Revelation 2:1-7
“'Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.'" Revelation 2:10b-11
“'But hold fast what you have till I come. And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations-- 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels'-- as I also have received from My Father; and I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'" Revelation 2:25-29
“'You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'" Revelation 3:4-6
“'Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'" Revelation 3:11-13
“'As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'" Revelation 3:19-22
“He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." Revelation 21:7-8
Living in the last of the last days is an incredible time to be alive. To many it is horrifying and before it is over, many will even have their hearts failing them from fear.
How do we live in peace and confidence in these times? For sure, our strength and confidence is in the Lord just as always, only now we need Him more and as times goes forward, we will need Him even more and more.
Do we want anyone we know and love, to have to go through the trumpets and bowls of God's judgment and wrath that will be poured out after the rapture? Do we want anyone we know and love, to go to the pits and flames of hell and eternal misery? Of course not. So as the time grows shorter and the labor pains of these last days increase, we must increase in living our lives as true servants of the Lord. We must live what we say we believe. Our lives speak louder than our words and we must give the Lord words He can use too. We must do all we can to see those in our own personal mission fields come to the Lord.
If we draw close to God and He will draw close to us. Our God is our Rock. He is our Savior. He is our Strength. He is our Comforter. He is closer than our breath. He is the Word of God and He has given us His Word. We need to be in His Word so that His Word is in us. When the time of grace has passed that we have been given currently, I believe the enemy may be allowed to move forward very fast and when he does, the world including America, will most probably grow very dark, very quickly. God will allow devastations to increase because for so many, that is what is takes to get them to wake up spiritually.
People around us are watching us. Yes, many hate us and will hate us even more as the wicked continue on their paths. But at the same time, some will come to the Lord because of seeing Christ in us and hearing about Him from what we share.
The devil knows his time is short and is giving it all he has. How much more should the body of Christ be doing all it can?
Press in to the Lord dear brother and sister. Be closer to Him than ever and listen with the best hearing possible to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We are the bride of Christ who has to make herself ready and be the true church that listens to its head, our Lord Jesus.
Oh Lord, help us to hear, trust and obey you today and always. Anoint and use us to the maximum Lord. Save as many souls as possible around us (and all over this earth) from the foolishness of rebelling against You and the price tag of sin. Thank You Lord, in Jesus' Name, amen.
For more thoughts about living in these times, please see the article The Best Biblical Mindset for Living in the Last Days.