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Just thinking- many Christians love Jeremiah 29:11. It’s a life verse for many and they look at it as a personal promise to them. It does reveal the heart of God to His people. Many Christians think it is a promise to us today and I think we can probably apply it to us but we should also understand that the context was to Jews living in Babylon at the captivity. I covered this last winter on a Sunday evening, but let’s examine it again.

Jer 29:11 For I know what I have planned for you, ‘says the LORD. ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope.

Some preachers like to use this verse for the prosperity gospel and I don’t see it that way. God isn’t promising to make me rich. He was talking to Jews who he had displaced to Babylon because of sin. Because of worshiping idols and false gods, He brought King Nebuchadnezzar to kill many, destroy Jerusalem and the temple and carry many away to Babylon. When you read verse one we see that he was talking to these people.

Jer 29:1 The prophet Jeremiah sent a letter to the exiles Nebuchadnezzar had carried off from Jerusalem to Babylon. It was addressed to the elders who were left among the exiles, to the priests, to the prophets, and to all the other people who were exiled in Babylon.

God also knew that they would be there for 70 years. He knew that after 70 years He would bring them back to Judah. God also knew that those carried away to Babylon were farmers and shepherds. While there they would earn livings as something else. They would become bankers, shopkeepers and merchants. They would start Sears, J.C. Penny’s and Dillard’s type stores. They would become very wealthy.
When King Cyrus would allow them to go back to Judah around 539 B.C., God knew that they would be so content in Babylon that they would rather stay and keep making money. Let’s look at verses 10 and 11 to put it in context;
Jer 29:10 “For the LORD says, ‘Only when the seventy years of Babylonian rule are over will I again take up consideration for you. Then I will fulfill my gracious promise to you and restore you to your homeland.
Jer 29:11 For I know what I have planned for you, ‘says the LORD. ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope.

God was encouraging them to leave the prosperity of Babylon because He had better plans for them. They could leave their businesses and be OK in Judah and Jerusalem. This promise was before Cyrus even came on the scene.
The early Jewish historian Josephus explained how prosperous the Jews were in Babylon and what he said has been confirmed by archeologists. Here is a picture of the Murashu tablets and an Article from Biblical Archeology confirming the account by Josephus.

As a whole, Israelites had some reason to feel comfortable in Babylon. The Murashu tablets were discovered in 1873 and are records from Murashu and his sons, wealthy bankers and brokers of the late period of exile, who seemed to loan out almost anything for a price. “Among their customers are listed about sixty Jewish names from the time of Artaxerxes I, and forty from the time of Darius II. These appear as contracting parties, agents, witnesses, collectors of taxes, and royal officials. There seems to have been no social or commercial barriers between the Jews and the Babylonians. Their prosperous situation may explain why some chose to remain in Mesopotamia.” (Yamauchi)

Christians often do count the cost of doing God’s will. We can pray and ask for God’s will and His plans for us and often it’s not what we want or planned on. I asked a college age student one time if they had prayed about Bible school after high school and they said; no, God may want me to do something that isn’t in my plans. At least they were honest. But I don’t think they realized that if God calls us to something we haven’t considered (because we usually plan on things we think will make us happy), He will also give us a peace and rewards us in ways we couldn’t dream.

Here is what Peter said when he was counting the cost of discipleship.
Luke 18:28 And Peter said, “Look, we have left everything we own to follow you!”
Luke 18:29 Then Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, there is no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of God’s kingdom 30 who will not receive many times more in this age — and in the age to come, eternal life.”

The message to the exiled Jews and to us is the same- if we go where we are called, God will take care of us. Don’t look back, look ahead-

All for now- God bless

Dan

Gender confusion

Just thinking- I see more and more news articles on gender identity disorder. I see it more of a culture war and a war against God. From stories I have heard, most young people have a gender identity crisis because of the publicity and promotion of gender change. As they see and hear about it in the media and discuss it, there becomes a fascination about it.
Hollywood and our secular news organizations seem to embrace anything as long as it is anti-god. They help to drive these cultural changes and are proud of their efforts.
Target stores have had nothing but problems when they decided to allow men to enter their women’s bathrooms. I’m afraid that someday a 14-year-old boy or 14-year-old girl will want to attend our camp and demand to stay in a cabin and use a bathroom of the opposite sex. It would not be a prudent idea for a girl to spend the week in a boy’s cabin. Yet I see some who would demonize camp leadership for not allowing that and call it discrimination.
Satanic forces are at work to destroy the family unit and turn America into a godless immoral society. I’ve been trying to formulate how I will respond to someone whether they are a believer or not if a discussion comes up on this topic and I know it will. So here are some thoughts-
The priority of course will be to try and convince them that God has the final say in this. Since he created us and designed our DNA, he knows how we are wired and how we will be the happiest.
We also need to let them know our intention is not to be mean or hurtful but as Bible believing Christians we know that joy comes from the Lord and knowing His Son as Savior. Eve thought she would be happier eating the forbidden fruit and she was wrong. God only forbids the things that will do us harm and takes us away from a relationship with Him. God knew thousands of years ago that people would seek and experiment with things other than what He intended for us. That is why he gave us the following command.
Deuteronomy 22:5 English Standard Version (ESV)
5 “A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.
Then in Mathew chapter 19 Jesus said this-
Mat 19:4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,

It’s plain from the Bible that God doesn’t give us an option of what gender we decide to be and there are only two even though the world has come up 31 gender identities. New York City has a list of 31 protected identities such as fluid gender, gender bender,” “two spirit,” “third sex,” “androgynous,” “gender gifted, pangender, non-gender, bi- gender, gender neutral.
If we are born with a Y-chromosome we are male and if not then we are female. It’s not complicated.
If I have a Y-chromosome but I decide I want to be a woman, I might as well say I am a fish or bird. It isn’t true and trying or saying I am other than I am will never bring joy into my life.
I might challenge them with this; consider and observe people who think they can be happier by a gender change, homosexuality or any kind of immorality. The world will try to convince them that these things will make them happy, but will they be? Watch them and see what happens in their life. If God exists and he loves us by giving us instructions on how to live then we can make predictions.
If someone engages in gender identity change or other risky behavior, we can predict that relationships with people will always be in turmoil and temporary. We can predict high stress levels leading to alcoholism and drug use and shortened life spans. We can predict very high suicide rates due to unhappiness and guilt of sin. We already see this in godless behavior, but the transgender movement is so new it will be a few years before we will see all the damage that it will do.
There will be a charge against Christians that we are unloving and our reluctance to embrace the transgender lifestyle is causing the high suicide rate which will not be true. As Christians using God’s word we are the only ones who will love them enough to tell them the truth and the truth is; being transgender will not make you happy. Here is what the Apostle Paul said about this;
(Rom 1:24) Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 26 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;

29) being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,

30) backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

Paul said they also are haters of God. They hate being reminded that they are sinning and they think if they can get rid of God then they will be happier and no guilt.

I need to remind myself that before I was saved, I didn’t want God in my life either. The solution to this problem is evangelism and people knowing Christ as Savior, only by the Holy Spirit do we please God or even have the desire to please Him.

Have a great week

God Bless Dan

Last Sunday evening we looked at the basic Apologetics subject of “How to explain the Trinity”. This may be the most difficult thing you attempt with an unsaved person. My favorite verse to use if I have the time to spend with someone is Isaiah chapter 16. ( You can hear the entire message here- http://www.southlandbible.org/podcast/ )
If you have time, have them read several verses in earlier chapters such as these to establish that there is only one God, not three.
Isaiah 43:10 “You are My witnesses,” says the LORD, “And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me.
Isa 44:6 “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.
Isaiah 45:18 For thus says the LORD, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: “I am the LORD, and there is no other.

There are more verses than these that make it plain there is only one God, but this should be a start. It’s best to use a King James Bible.

Now you must establish in chapter 48 who is speaking and that God wants to get our attention and that what is coming up is very important. The person speaking is the Creator, the first and the last. The person who is speaking is “the LORD God”. Then this is very important, have them note how LORD God is spelled. The Name LORD is all caps. The Name God, only has the G capitalized.

Now have them read verse 16.
Isaiah 48:16 “Come near to Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; From the time that it was, I was there. And now the Lord GOD and His Spirit Have sent Me.”

Three persons are involved here.

Ask them who is speaking here and the correct answer is ‘Me’.
Then ask them who ‘Me’ is.
The answer is the creator, the LORD God.
Then ask them who it is that is sending the ‘LORD God’.
Then ask what the name of the one sending and how is it spelled.
The answer is the Lord GOD and His Spirit.

Then have them read verse 17 so they understand it’s Jesus who is speaking or is ‘Me’. The reason it is Jesus is because He is the Redeemer of mankind. All three of the Godhead are here in one sentence.

17 Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go.

Then ask them why God would word it this way.

You could write is like this;

The Lord GOD is sending the LORD God with His Spirit. Same name for God, but different spelling to signify a different person of the Trinity.
You could see it as God the Father, sending God the Son, with The Holy Spirit.

This explanation does take a few minutes but I have found it profitable.

Who is Melchizedek?

Several weeks ago in the evening service I asked two questions;
1. Who is the High Priest in Israel today in 2015?
2. Who is the king of Israel today?
The answer is Israel doesn’t have a king or a priest. They have a prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, but they don’t have a king yet, at least one they recognize. We were studying a strange character that comes on the scene during the time of Abraham in Genesis chapter 14.
His name is Melchizedek. He is a gentile king from Salem or what we now call Jerusalem. I believe him to be a prophecy and picture of Jesus Christ.
Gen 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.)
Just as Melchizedek is a King and priest so is Jesus Christ.
Heb 7:1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him,
He met Abram as he was coming back from defeating the kings of the eastern alliance. Abram needed a sermon so he knew that God wanted him to accept nothing from the king of Sodom, who intended on giving him a reward for defeating the four kings of the east.
Abram was not to align himself with wickedness. It’s interesting that of all the things he could bring to Abram, he brought bread and wine which symbolizes communion with Jesus Christ.
In 70 A. D. all the genealogical records of the Jews were destroyed when Titus Vespasian destroyed the temple in Jerusalem. Since all the records were destroyed, they have no idea who is from the Kingly line of David (Judah) or the priestly line of Levi. This is a major problem for them since when they choose a king and priest they must be of the correct tribe. They hope to have a temple again soon and only a high priest from the tribe of Levi (Aaron) can officiate. Since they don’t know who is of the tribe of Levi, they are at a stalemate.
But Milchizedek left open an exception in that law. He opened the door for a priest who is higher than the Levitical priesthood, a priest by the name of Jesus that satisfies the requirements of a high priest.
Heb 6:19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain,
Heb 6:20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

We can see that God has set up through His word and through the law that when the Kingdom is reestablished for Israel, only Jesus will fill the requirements for High priest and King. The Jews all agree today that since they have no genealogical records they are not permitted into picking a king or priest. They have overlooked two records that have been recorded since before the temple was destroyed. Those records are in the New Testament. Mathew and Luke both show Jesus is from the family of David through Mary and Joseph both. This satisfies the law and prophecy.
Matthew 1:1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Luke 3:23 Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli,
Luk 3:31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David,

An angel, by the name of Gabriel, told Mary that her son would be King of Israel. I consider this as a promise from God that we will see realized before much longer the way things are going in the world.
Luk 1:32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
Luk 1:33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

God has set things up to where only Jesus Christ can claim this higher priesthood since He is a priest forever and a King forever. God just gives us a glimpse of this obscure and unknown King called Milchizedek. He really exhibits a powerful testimony of Jesus Christ and way back in Genesis. Read Chapter 7 in the book of Hebrews to get a better understanding of the relationship between Jesus and this gentile king named Milchizedek.

All for now- God bless

dan

Do I love the Lord?

– I overheard a man telling a person that if they would join their church ( non-Christian), that all their life troubles would be over. I have also heard well meaning Christians tell unsaved people that once a Christian, life is easy.
If they mean that we don’t have to work for our salvation any more, that Jesus paid it all, then they are right. We now work for a Jewish Carpenter, and he is a far better master than the one who afflicted Job with all that God would permit.
But if we want to make a difference for God and be an example of what a Christian should be according to the Sermon on the Mount, then life is a little more difficult. A Christian who is imitating Jesus Christ is living by the word. Living by the word, will certainly force us to swim upstream against the current of the culture. This is Pastor Tim’s theme on Wednesday evenings this fall. The Christian who lives by the word doesn’t care if all his neighbors have all the toys by maxing out 10 credit cards. The Christian will live by the word and be debt free because the Bible says so. The Christian will use the money he saved on the interest payments to banks to help save the souls of people. The Christian understand that the souls of people will go to heaven and the toys of the world will not make it to heaven.
The Christian works hard on the job and is a blessing to co-workers. They don’t complain if they aren’t always treated fairly. Their Christian testimony is far more important than their pride or rights on the job. They show up on time and even do extra work without expecting to get paid for it so that no one can charge them with taking advantage of the company.
I like what Oswald Chambers said about this verse; Enter by the narrow gate….Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life…. —Matthew 7:13-14
If we are going to live as disciples of Jesus, we have to remember that all efforts of worth and excellence are difficult. The Christian life is gloriously difficult, but its difficulty does not make us faint and cave in— it stirs us up to overcome. Do we appreciate the miraculous salvation of Jesus Christ enough to be our utmost for His highest— our best for His glory?
The disciples of Jesus were promised to sit on thrones and rule the 12 tribes of Israel. I don’t think they understood that they would be called to be servants in the present age. They imagined the life of luxury and taking it easy.
Mat 19:28 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth: In the age when all things are renewed, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
They were looking forward to this life of easiness.
James and John and even their mother was looking forward to this-
Mat 20:20 Then Zebedee’s wife came to Jesus and brought her sons. She bowed before Jesus and asked him to do something for her.
Mat 20:21 Jesus said, “What do you want?” She said, “Promise that one of my sons will sit at your right side in your kingdom and the other at your left.”

The last question they asked Jesus before he went to heaven; was it time to sit on the thrones over Israel in the Kingdom age?
Act 1:6 The apostles were all together. They asked Jesus, “Lord, is this the time for you to give the people of Israel their kingdom again?”

The Apostles then found out God had given them the job of a servant. Life was hard, but they served God because they loved Jesus Christ and even died for Him.
If you were like me, you had teachers in school that you just didn’t connect well with. I had several teachers that because I didn’t like them, I didn’t try very hard and my grades showed it. But in High school I had an auto mechanics teacher that I really liked. For him, I gave it my all and my grades and what I learned that would help me the rest of my life showed it.
Religions that only work people and take and then take some more, will never satisfy a spiritual thirst or have true loyalty. But having a Savior that we love, and know he loves us is worth doing our best for.
The apostles even though they were looking for thrones some day were willing to give their utmost for His Highest. Here is a verse that explains life in the early church from the Book of Hebrews –
Heb 10:32 Remember the days when you first learned the truth. You had a hard struggle with much suffering, but you continued strong.
Heb 10:33 Sometimes people said hateful things to you and mistreated you in public. And sometimes you helped others who were being treated that same way.
Heb 10:34 Yes, you helped them in prison and shared in their suffering. And you were still happy when everything you owned was taken away from you. You continued to be happy, because you knew that you had something much better–something that would continue forever.

I’ll close what Chambers says on July 7th of his devotional. You can read it here.
http://utmost.org/

Dan
Thank God that He does give us difficult things to do! His salvation is a joyous thing, but it is also something that requires bravery, courage, and holiness. It tests us for all we are worth. Jesus is “bringing many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10), and God will not shield us from the requirements of sonship. God’s grace produces men and women with a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ, not pampered, spoiled weaklings. It takes a tremendous amount of discipline to live the worthy and excellent life of a disciple of Jesus in the realities of life. And it is always necessary for us to make an effort to live a life of worth and excellence.

One of the hardest questions I have ever been asked was after I shared the gospel with someone from a works based religion. They were confronted with making a decision for accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and spending eternity with God in heaven rather than in hell.
Now here was their dilemma; they had lost a parent and had believed that their parent was in heaven waiting to see them some day. Listening to me and considering what the Bible stated they now faced that their parent might not be in heaven but in hell waiting for final judgment in the Lake of Fire. If they believed the Bible and what it said, they felt they were condemning their parents and other family members who were also in a works based religion to the Lake of Fire. If they reject the Bible, all was well and they would be with family forever in heaven.
They tell you their dilemma and ask; what should I do? I’m counting the cost and I want to spend eternity with my family, what should I do?
How would you answer this difficult question truthfully and compassionately?

I’ve used different Bible passages because the situations were a little different. You can start this way; discuss that God is our heavenly Father and loves us more than an earthy parent. Jesus loves us so much, he died so we could spend eternity with Him. We can use several New Testament passages such as;
Mat 10:37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

This reasoning isn’t very compassionate for a young person whose emotions will always cling to a parent who has passed away. But we never know if someone may have been saved some time in their life and if they did, they will be in heaven for eternity.

Another answer that Jesus explained was about a family that would all spend eternity together but in torment rather than in heaven was in Luke chapter 16. We can use this true conversation and example to ask the question; where would your parent want you if they could speak to you from the grave?
Explain to them the story that Jesus told of Lazarus and the rich man. How the rich man was in hell and talking across a chasm to Abraham and a man named Lazarus in Paradise. The rich man is pleading for just a drop of water and finds out his condition is fixed and eternal.
Realizing that his condition will never change and he was wrong on how to get to heaven, he is aware that his brothers will come to the same fate that he is in. Since he loves his brothers he wants them warned so they will not be where he is. He does not want them with him in eternity. He asks Abraham if Lazarus can go back to the land of the living and warn his brothers.
Here is the text-
Luke 16:27 And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house–
Luke 16:28 for I have five brothers–so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’

Notice that it says that he begs for the message to be sent to his brothers.
If I while walking in the dark stumbled into a deep well, would I want my dad or mother to fall in also and die with me just to keep me company? If they loved me they would do what I asked if I warned them to stay away from the well.
What we believe has no bearing on what the truth is. Believing that hell doesn’t exist or that being ‘basically good’ gets me to heaven, won’t change the fact that unforgiven sinners go to the Lake of Fire.
But how we tell people the truth and how we season it with salt is the tough part, but I believe we must use God’s word to explain the truth. I also believe it would be wrong to lie to them to comfort them.
One of the reasons I bring this up is that LDS Church members have long denied that Joseph Smith was a polygamist. Now that the LDS church has told some of the truth about their prophet, many LDS faithful are leaving the church and realize we were telling them the truth about Joseph Smith for all these years. They had accused us of telling lies about their prophet.

Many LDS people are angry and looking for answers and we need to be asking God to use us to reach these people for Christ. Lorene and I had such an opportunity recently to answer questions with three LDS families who are searching for the truth. They of course wanted to bad mouth the LDs church as they feel deceived. I tried to explain that focusing their energy against the LDS church wouldn’t get them closer to God. I spent at least an hour giving them reasons to trust the Bible for answers to life and salvation. We covered science and the Bible, and prophecy and the Bible and how trustworthy it is.
Southland has had a large influx of LDS people coming Sunday mornings looking for answers. Here is a link to the LDS website where they are now revealing the truth about their church history- https://www.lds.org/topics/plural-marriage-in-kirtland-and-nauvoo?lang=eng
Please pray that God will use gospel preaching churches in Utah to reach these wounded people for His glory. We sometimes think that just because a person leaves the LDS church they will automatically be saved, this isn’t true. They often feel God has lied to them and want nothing to do with God.

If we are sharing the gospel with people these questions will come up and we should be ready.
1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
All for now- God bless

Dan

Last Sunday evening we were in Genesis chapter 6 where God gives us insight to conditions on the earth and how flesh had been corrupted to the point that he would destroy the earth in a worldwide flood. We were looking at how Satan and his fallen angels had been involved in creating giants or the Nephilim in order to thwart the plans of God.

I gave some verses from Matthew chapter 24 where Noah is mentioned and Jesus makes a comparison between the Tribulation period and in which Satan will be very involved with, and the time before the flood.

Mat 24:37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

But here is the verse that caught some attention and I didn’t have time to answer your questions;
Mat 24:22 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.

The question was how do you shorten days? I didn’t have time to reference the verses Sunday, so I will do so now. This tribulation time period is yet future.

The seven year tribulation period is given to us for the first time in the Book of Daniel. (Daniel chapter 9) Jesus also refers to Daniel when he gives his disciples a staff meeting and discourse on the tribulation period.

Mat 24:15 “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),

In the middle of the tribulation period, the Anti-Christ steps out on an arm of the new Jewish temple ( which hasn’t been built yet) and declares himself to be god. Daniel spoke of this almost 600 years before Christ. ( Daniel 9:27)
The seven year tribulation period is in two parts, the second half is called the “time of Jacob’s trouble” and/or “the great tribulation”. Jesus says this in Matthew 24:21, 22 below-

Mat 24:21 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.
Mat 24:22 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.

Jesus mentions that God must shorten the days or all flesh would perish during this great tribulation period that’s three and a half years long.

So here’s the problem; God mentions this time as being 3.5 years or 42 months and/ or 1260 days. The Jewish calendar has 30 days to a month. (42 times 30= 1260 days or three and a half years.)

John keeps mentioning this throughout the Book of Revelation so we understand the exact length of time in the number of days. Here are the verses below.

Rev 11:2 but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.
Rev 11:3 And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.”
Rev 12:6 and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.

God makes it very clear to John that the last half of the tribulation period will be 3.5 years and he gives it in days, and months so we understand that it’s a fixed number of days. (1260)
So if the length of days are shortened and yet the number of days is fixed, our only option is that the length of a solar day must be less than our present 24 hours. So here is my theory and it’s just a theory.
I believe the day may be shortened by one–third. Instead of a 24 hour day we just have a 16 hour day. Here are the verses I used to support this idea. The third trumpet judgment involves a space rock or asteroid striking the earth.
Rev 8:10 The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water.

A large hunk of space rock hitting the earth just right could increase the spin of the earth and with the earth rotating faster, the earth would have shorter exposure times facing the sun and if this was 1/3 faster rotation speed, then the days would be 1/3 shorter and the nights 1/3 shorter. A 12 hour day would be 8 hours long and a 12 hour night would be 8 hours long. Days would be 16 hours instead of 24 hours. If God wanted to throw people into confusion and push them off balance mentally this would be of epic proportions. Can you imagine trying to get used to a 16 hour day?
I don’t have many verses to back up this idea. But here they are;
Rev 8:12 ESV The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of their light might be darkened, and a third of the day might be kept from shining, and likewise a third of the night.

Here is the KJV- Rev 8:12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

It appears from this verse that it isn’t the number of days that are changed but the length of the day. Here is the main verse again- Mat 24:22 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.

Only God would think of something like this and have the power to bring it about. Then after it happens just like God says, it can then substantiate the accuracy of prophecy in the Bible. People will understand that God is really in control, not the anti-Christ.
Will people go to a 40 minute hour or stay with a 60 minute hour? If God wants to really confuse people and throw them off balance, time is really a powerful way to do it.
If God can stop the earth so the sun stood still in Joshua’s time, he can speed up the earth so the day is shorter.

I could also be completely wrong about this interpretation of shortened days. But God is going to show His power during the tribulation period and this would be one way to really get people’s attention.

God Bless-
Dan Slyter

A doctrine I am seeing on the internet more these days is what I call hyper-Calvinism or at least falls under hyper-Calvinism even according to 5- point Calvinists. They argue amongst themselves over the doctrine of double predestination. Single predestination is the belief that God has appointed or chosen some to eternal life. These are called the elect. God chose them, and since God is all powerful; nothing can prevent them from being saved. They believe that God regenerates or causes them to be born-again so that they can make a decision to choose Jesus Christ as Savior and be saved. I’ll cover this doctrine in a minute.
Those that teach double predestination include eternal damnation alongside eternal life. They argue amongst themselves over whether God causes the unregenerate to sin or not. Those that claim God forces people to sin, then claim that God is the author of sin. We believe that God is not the author of sin. We also believe that God wants all men to be saved and that he doesn’t force us to accept Christ as Savior. Somehow, God allows free choice on our part while bringing people and circumstances and His word into our lives to help us with that important decision regarding His Son. We believe that salvation is a combination of free will on our part and God’s sovereign will. That is why we preach the gospel so people will hear the “GOOD NEWS” and accept Christ.

The double predestination camp teaches that God has by His sovereign will forces some to accept Christ as Savior and thus be saved. The reprobate or unregenerate God makes them so they can’t believe and be saved. God chose before the creation of the world that the non-elect were condemned to everlasting hell.
Here is a true story of someone I know that demonstrates how this plays out in the real world. A young girl who goes to a private school knows Jesus Christ as her Savior and is sharing the gospel with two of her friends. Her friends are asking questions and checking out scripture such as
Romans 10:13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Then a local pastor speaks at the school and he has accepted double predestination and decides to teach this to the students. The next day, the saved girl asks her two friends if they want to accept Christ as their Savior or discuss it some more.
They ask why? Why do we need to make a decision for Jesus? The pastor said; God is going to save whom He is going to save and we can have no say in that outcome. The pastor also said that God has already decided who is going to hell for eternity and no matter what we do can change that. Isn’t that what the pastor said? My friend said yes that’s what he said but he is wrong- you are still responsible for making a decision. If you decide to make Christ your Savior and save you from your sins then you are the elect.
The girls then said- we have already discussed it after hearing the Pastor. Here is how we see it; we might as well live anyway we please, do anything we please and not worry about any consequences. If God has chosen us to heaven, then there is nothing we can do to keep us out of heaven. God has decreed it. If God has condemned us to hell then we are going to hell and no decisions on our part can change that outcome. Therefore we might as well live life to the full and party until we die. According to the Pastor, nothing we do will change our eternal destiny, so why even try.

The two girls actually thought this through and see the logic to what is called positive, positive, double predestination. It is a very gloomy way to see life and I don’t see scripture teaching any form of this.
This 5 point Calvinistic camp says that we must be regenerated or born again before we can be saved. The Holy Spirit must regenerate us so we will want to make a decision for Christ. They claim we can’t have the faith to believe and that faith must precede making a decision or choosing to believe. That the only way we get the faith to believe, is by the Holy Spirit and regeneration and we don’t even need to hear the gospel for that to happen.
This isn’t what God says in Romans. Let’s look at where saving faith comes from-
Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Rom 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Paul says that those who call on Jesus will be saved. He asks how do they believe. Then he explains they hear the gospel through a preacher who was sent by God.
So the next question is where did the faith to believe come from? We see it all through the book of Acts; it comes from God’s word. Paul also says that in verse 17.
Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

The Apostle Paul gives us the sequence to belief in the Book of Ephesians. We hear the gospel by the Word of God or the Bible. Then we make a decision to believe the gospel and be saved. Then being saved or born –again- we are given the Holy Spirit as a down payment. It’s that sequence, not receiving the Holy Spirit first and then believing. Read 1:13 below.
Eph 1:13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,

Here is the order of Paul’s passage. We hear the gospel by the Word of God. We then, after hearing God’s truth can make a decision to believe who Jesus is and what He offers us, which is salvation. Once we make that decision by faith, we are indwelled by the Holy Spirit. I see no place in the Bible where we are born again, before we make a decision to accept what we have heard about Christ. We hear, we believe, we are saved (born-again), we are indwelled. (Born-again and indwelled by the Holy Spirit is simultaneous)
God says His word is alive and powerful, and he is right, it is where our faith to believe in Christ comes from. (Hebrews 4:12)
We pray that the girls who were taught double predestination will believe the truth of the Bible and not what someone told them. Rather than teaching them how to be saved he taught them, don’t make a decision for Christ, live anyway you want, the outcome is the same. What a lie of Satan.
God bless

Dan

Thanksgiving-Brownscombesm

 

Just thinking-unsaved people usually don’t care that our founders were Christians and they don’t see God at work in creating this nation as it is. I see far too many things to be considered “coincidences”. Let’s look at few things just surrounding the Plymouth Colony. I didn’t have time to cover these Sunday evening.
1. God directed them to a place where the entire Pawtuxet tribe had died, except for one young man, Squanto. Before the tribe died, they had cleared land in a perfect place for the Pilgrims and it had 4 very good springs of fresh water and an area ready for planting.
2. If Squanto hadn’t been kidnapped and sold as a slave, and Christian monks purchased him to set him free and gave him the gospel, he wouldn’t have had the desire to help them.
3. If Squanto hadn’t been kidnapped he would have died with the rest of the village.
4. If Squanto hadn’t been with Chief Massasoit, when Samoset came back from Plymouth and brought the news that the pilgrims were at the Pawtuxet village and they had no hope of surviving another winter, he wouldn’t have known they were there and they may have all died.
5. If Squanto had sailed back to New England from Britain later, he wouldn’t have been there to get the Pilgrims through another winter.
6. If the Pawtuxet tribe had not all died, the local fierce tribes would have murdered the Pilgrims immediately. But being superstitious, they wouldn’t go near the old Pawtuxet village. Therefore they left the Pilgrims alone.
7. If Squanto had been kidnapped when he was much younger he would not have yet learned how to plant, fish, hunt, and teach those skills to the pilgrims.
8. If the Plymouth colony hadn’t been  Christian, Squanto may not have had the desire to help them, in fact any other group would probably have shot and killed Samoset when he walked into the village the first time and someone yelled “Indian” coming. Massasoit and his tribe would have killed the small group of Pilgrims rather than spend a Thanksgiving dinner with them.
When you examine the timetable involved in all this, there is no longer room for that many coincidences. We see God’s handiwork here. The Pilgrims certainly saw God’s hand in everything and thanked Him for it.

God bless- Dan

 

God gave America liberty

– when we are undecided about an endeavor and we are seeking God’s will, we pay attention to things that tell us God is in the endeavor or He is shutting a door to that endeavor.
This was the case with our American founders. The preachers were the one’s primarily advocating liberty and freedom from England, but Romans chapter thirteen was a passage they were praying about and studying a lot.
Here it is;
Rom 13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

Under various charters they had been given freedom to govern themselves but at the end of 1683 King Charles the II sent a declaration saying he was pulling their charter and installing Anglican priests in their churches.
They had a decision to make; assume that Romans thirteen applied to them and be subject to Charles or did Romans chapter thirteen not apply as Charles was a tyrant and not subject to God. Was it God’s will to rebel against Charles and the crown?
The leading pastor in Boston, Increase Mather, prepared a sermon and had a town meeting in the Old South Meetinghouse. It was standing room only. Increase preached his sermon on Jephthah and Naboth and ended with King David saying it is better to “fall into the hands of God rather than the hands of men”.
So their decision was to tell Charles to take a hike and see if God was for their liberty or against it. They felt they were doing God’s will by rebelling.
Now it was up to God. They soon had what they thought was an answer. King Charles II sent a message that he was sending Colonel Percy Kirk and 5,000 troops to deal with them. Colonel Kirk was also known as Bloody Kirk for the way he tortured and killed people. There would be much blood in the streets. The People didn’t receive the news well. There was overall panic. Increase decided to spend the next day in prayer and fasting which he did. Had they read God wrong and He was not for their rebellion?
This was now February 1684. Increase Mather after a long day of fasting and prayer felt a sense of relief and even joy. He sensed God saying; don’t worry, this is my battle now. Two months later Boston is wondering when Bloody Kirk will arrive. They receive the news from London; King Charles has died from apoplexy, and Kirk is not coming. They took this as a miracle from God and that God was fighting for their liberty.
Increase checked the date of Charles death and it was the very day he felt God taking his apprehension away and giving him peace about standing up against England. This and many more miracles convinced Americans that God had a plan for America. Almost a century later Cotton Mather, son Increase Mather, and Jonathon Mayfield would predict that with God helping America become a great nation, that someday when the nations are raging against each other, America would have the power to “save many people alive” (Marshall, 1954) and save England from ruin, which has happened twice now.
As we look at our Christian roots on Sunday evenings we will see the role the Bible played in the founding of America and the preachers that God used to form this nation and that if God hadn’t brought Christians over from Europe in sufficient numbers at one time, this may have been a secular nation with secular laws and a secular constitution.
Have a great week and may God bless-
Dan

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