Tag Archives: God

All Things New

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. (Revelation 21:1-5)

 With Christmas behind us, we turn our attention to the coming year and the prospect of better things for the future. The year 2020 started out strong, but then things quickly degenerated to lockdowns, isolation, and fear for an unseen villain – the COVID-19 virus. At first the lockdowns were for just two weeks, then four weeks, then three months, then six months. Businesses, schools and churches were shut down. As our nation experienced an unprecedented rise in violence, many of us hunkered down in fear of dangers seen and unseen.

Then came the year 2021 with the promise of “building back better” from a new administration. The COVID “vaccines” promised immunization from the dreaded virus. First, one shot was all that was needed, then two, then a booster. It did not take very long to discover that the vaccine did not prevent infection and whatever benefit derived from the booster was short-lived and no real guarantee against infection. If that was not enough, the Delta variant rose up bringing more fear to an already fearful world, and now we have the Omicron variant and the “need” for a second booster.  Along with all of that, violence and lawlessness continued to increase as our nation declined in preeminence on the world stage. The shameful and dishonorable withdrawal from Afghanistan only made matters worse.

Now 2022 is waiting in the wings. What will the new year bring? Will things ever get back to “normal”?

I am not a pessimist, but I do read what the Bible has to say about the end times. If the Bible is true (and it is), things will get worse before the Lord returns. Jesus said, “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:6-8, emphasis mine).

Does that not sound familiar these days? So, do not expect 2022 to get better; it will only get worse. Now, what do we do in light of this dismal outlook; crawl under a rock and hide away? NO! We face the future with the assurance that God has all things in His control.

 What Does God Have to Say About It?

As Moses prepared Israel to enter the Promised Land, a new land filled with giants, dangers, and unknowns, he encouraged them not to fear because God was with them. “Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged” (Deuteronomy 1:21, emphasis mine). As Israel prepared for battle against their enemies, the priests were to encourage the people, “And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them; For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you” (Deuteronomy 20:3-4, emphasis mine). The unknown is frightening, but God promises to go with us and even to fight our battles,

So, “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee” (Deuteronomy 31:6, emphasis mine). When we attempt to face challenges on our own, WE WILL FAIL, but God will never fail us or leave us alone.

God has unlimited resources. When Syria harassed Israel, their efforts were constantly thwarted because God, through Elisha, warned the king of Israel before every attack. The king of Syria suspected that he had a spy within his ranks, but one of his servants told him about Elisha the prophet who warned the king of Israel ahead of every attack. Therefore, the king of Syria sent an army and surrounded Elisha’s house. “And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? And [Elisha] answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha” (2 Kings 6:15-17, emphasis mine).

“And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD” (1 Chronicles 28:20, emphasis mine). David referred to the Temple Solomon would build. Solomon had the promise that God would not abandon him until the work was complete. Today, believers are the “living temples” of God (1 Corinthians 3:16). As long as God lends us breath, we have work to do “for the service of the house of the LORD.”

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness … For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.” (Isaiah 41:10, 13, emphasis mine). When we trust God, He is our strength and our help, He sustains us and holds our right hand.

 Jesus said, “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows” (Luke 12:6-7, emphasis mine). God cares for all of His creation, even those we would count as insignificant. He knows us intimately, even to the most minute detail – the number of hairs on our head. Since God cares so much for common sparrows, how much more does He care for those created in His image?

What Can We Do?

When Babylon conquered Judah, Nebuchadnezzar carried away the Jews in three deportations. Nebuchadnezzar set Gedaliah as governor over Judah after the third deportation to Babylon. They were going into captivity. In that circumstance, the people are encouraged to “fear not,” accept the situation, and it would be well with them. “And Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan sware unto them and to their men, saying, Fear not to serve the Chaldeans: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you” (Jeremiah 40:9; 2 Kings 25:24, emphasis mine). God promises to be with us even in difficult situations.

Jesus said, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28, emphasis mine). The Greek word translated “fear” (used twice in this verse) is phobeō, from which we get the English word “phobia.” Strong’s defines it this way: “to frighten, that is, (passively) to be alarmed; by analogy to be in awe of, that is, revere: – be (+ sore) afraid, fear (exceedingly), reverence” (emphasis mine). With that in mind, Jesus says not to fear or be frightened of those that can kill the body – that would include COVID-19. Rather, we should “revere” the One who ultimately determines our eternal destiny.

When Jesus was selecting His disciples, Luke records the account this way: “And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men” (Luke 5:10, emphasis mine). The world may be falling down all around us, but we are not to “shelter in place.” Jesus gave us the “good news” for us to share with those around us.

Jesus also said, “And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:29-34, emphasis mine). We are not to be overly concerned with our material needs. Jesus promises that God will provide what we need.

 “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 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: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation [i.e., behavior/conduct] in Christ” (1 Peter 3:12-16, emphasis mine). When we are secure in the Lord’s care, we can be confident to face whatever the future may bring. When others see our confidence, they will want to know the reason for it, and we need to be prepared to give an answer.

 Conclusion:

We cannot stop 2022 from coming. We cannot alter the circumstances that 2022 will bring. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, emphasis mine). However, we can control our own outlook when we place our trust in God knowing that all things are under His control and that He cares for His own. Again, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27, emphasis mine). Ultimately, we have the promise of eternal life with Him in a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1-5).

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Baby God

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Matthew 1:23)

To begin, allow me to clear up any misconceptions that my title may evoke about God having a beginning. That would be heresy. Let me emphatically state that God is eternal, without beginning or ending.[1] “Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen” (Psalm 41:13).

That said, at this time of year we celebrate the birth of baby Jesus – the Word made flesh come to “tabernacle” among us.[2] His birth was no more miraculous than the birth of any other baby. In many ways, His arrival took place in possibly the worst of circumstances – born in an animal shelter with a feeding trough as His first cradle. The Gospel writer, Luke, does not specify, but Mary probably had the assistance of midwives at the birth. An often-overlooked phrase in the account states that “while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered” (Luke 2:6, emphasis mine). Evidently, they were in Bethlehem at least a day or two before the birth. Bethlehem being a small town, the word of a newly arrived expectant mother would surely have come to the ears of competent midwives, and women being women, they would certainly have been willing to lend a hand.

So, the birth itself was nothing special. The conception that took place nine months earlier in Nazareth, that was the miracle![3] Now, here He was – Baby God! “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1-3, emphasis mine). Yet, here He was – God in the form of a helpless baby that needed to be fed, needed to have His diapers changed, needed to be carried, and needed to be protected. Baby God!

How is that possible? How can God be a helpless baby and Almighty God at the same time? Theologians have debated this question for millennia. Some suggest that Jesus was unaware of His deity until the time of His baptism when God announced, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). Some say that it was later in His ministry, perhaps at the time He knew His mission to go to the cross. Then there are the pseudo gospels that have the boy Jesus forming birds out of clay and making them come to life. We know nothing of Jesus’ childhood, but the Gospel writer, Luke, does record an account, perhaps at Jesus’ bar mitzva, when He baffled the religious teachers with His wisdom and knowledge.[4] When His earthly parents found Him in the Temple and chided Him for worrying them, He responded, “How is it that ye sought me? [did you not know] that I must be about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49, emphasis mine). It appears that Jesus knew His mission at least at the young age of twelve.

Theologians can debate all they want, but it seems clear to me from Scripture that this baby was God in the flesh. How was that possible? The answer is the same answer that the Angel Gabriel gave to Mary. “For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37). In our feeble minds, we want to know all the details of how God does what He does. Our finite minds cannot comprehend the infinite knowledge, wisdom, and power of Almighty God! Indeed, the Bible teaches that “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29). The “secret thing” is how God accomplished such an awesome feat. The God of heaven, the Creator of all that exists, took on human flesh in the form of a helpless baby without giving up any of His “Godship.” We can never fully grasp that. However, the “things which are revealed” show us that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “… Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:5-8). He came as a baby – Baby God.

Notes:


[1]  “The Eternality of God” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2017/06/04/the-eternality-of-god/

[2]  John 1:14

[3]  “Miracle of the Incarnation” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2012/12/24/miracle-of-the-incarnation/

[4]  Luke 2:43-49

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Too Perfect For Accident

For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else. (Isaiah 45:18)

In an article[1] written for the Institute for Creation Research, Jonathan K. Corrado, Ph.D., P. E., describes in great detail the composition of Earth’s atmosphere and the key role that it plays in sustaining life on our planet. “All the planets (and even a few moons) in our solar system have an atmosphere, but Earth’s atmosphere plays a vital role in our planet’s ability to sustain life. It protects Earth from the harsh rays of the sun and dampens temperature extremes, acting like a protective jacket wrapped around the planet … It’s easy to infer that our physical existence resulted from design in contrast to inadvertent, evolutionary causes. From the astronomical bodies to subatomic particles, the features of our existence are thoroughly balanced and function as a system of systems. As science continues to advance and unfold the mysteries of Earth, scientists continue to discover how uniquely tailored our planet is for life.”[2]

In His Word, God affirms that He created the heavens and formed the earth (and no other place) “to be inhabited” (our verse above). The very existence of our planet is a miracle in itself. “Planet formation must occur quickly before the protoplanet is pulled into the star it’s orbiting, but getting tiny bits of protoplanet dust to join up into nice, round spheres and thence into a proper planet has not been found to work. Many stars in our Milky Way possess spinning disks of matter—orbiting gas and dust—but there are three significant problems in forming planets from these ingredients: death spirals, accretion (the gradual growth of planets by the accumulation of debris), and turbulence. The building of planets large and small is an enigma…”[3]

Some consider Earth a “Goldilocks” planet for its perfect position in orbit around our star (Sol, the sun). It is not too close and not too far, not too hot and not too cold. However, Earth is not unique in its orbital position around its star. Recent discoveries have found other planets orbiting their stars in the “habitable zone” to which Earth’s orbit is referred. Secular astronomers working for NASA wet themselves with excitement over the prospect of life on those other planets. As one reads their accounts, it becomes readily apparent to the critical thinker that their assessments are based on pure speculation and wishful thinking. For example, one writer asserts that “The ingredients in the recipe for earthly life – water, elements associated with life, available sources of energy – appear to be almost everywhere we’ve looked”[4] (emphasis mine).

How do they know? All of these star systems are light years away from us in our galaxy and the fact that they orbit in the “habitable zone” does not mean that they possess all the requirements necessary to support life. However, because these scientists reject God, the Creator, they prefer to believe in a world where everything works by magic.

Our planet is too perfect to have resulted by accident. It orbits our star at a perfect distance. The speed of Earth’s rotation gives us a 24-hour day and regulates an even temperature around the globe. The velocity of our orbital trek gives us a 365-day year and uniquely positions us to observe constellations that can only be seen from Earth. These constellations God arranged for “for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.”[5]

Earth’s atmosphere protects us from harmful radiation, maintains a livable temperature, and produces the weather systems that water the earth. Water covers around 75% of our planet which is vital to the sustenance of marine life and plant life in the oceans and on the land. Our moon, Luna, orbits Earth at a perfect distance and speed to regulate the tides that stir the oceans to keep them from stagnating. Plant-life on Earth inhales CO2 and exhales the O2 that we and all land creatures require to survive. In return, we exhale the CO2 that plants require to survive. The symbiotic relationship between plants and animals in their varying habitats further highlights the perfect balance in all of God’s creation. The examples are neverending.

“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). Take time to look around. Nature testifies that the universe, our solar system, our planet, and everything within it is too perfect for accident. Only an infinitely intelligent and wise Creator could do all of this. Do you know Him? If not, please read my page in “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  Jonathan K. Corrado, Ph.D., P. E, “Earth’s Atmosphere I Vital to Life” — https://www.icr.org/article/earths-atmosphere-vital-to-life/

[2]  Ibid.

[3]  Frank Sherwin, D.Sc. (Hon.), “The Perfect Balance of Our Solar System” — https://www.icr.org/article/perfect-balance-our-solar-system

[4]  Pat Brennan, “Life in the Universe: What are the Odds?” — https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/news/1675/life-in-the-universe-what-are-the-odds/

[5]  Genesis 1:14

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In Whom Do You Trust?

The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. (2 Samuel 22:3)

The Wuhan Bug[1] infected the world over a year and a half ago, and while in many places life has regained a semblance of normalcy, the fear mongering persists. No one doubts the potential lethality of the bug, and while government agencies over emphasize and exaggerate the case numbers and death counts, the fact remains that overall, the possibility of infection is rather low.[2]

I live in the Great State of Texas where the draconian measures that were applied at the beginning of this “plandemic” have been mostly lifted. The Texas governor issued an executive order that no business can require patrons to wear masks and employers cannot coerce employees to get the “jab.” However, I live in the far-left-leaning Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex that marches lock-step with whatever the Washington DC “wizards” decree. One still finds many big-name stores with “Masks Required” signs on their doors, but thanks go Governor Abbot, they can be ignored – and I do.

Even with this greater degree of freedom afforded to us as Texans, I see many people driving in their cars or walking on sidewalks or in the parks, far away from any other living soul and they are all masked up. Somehow, the government agencies that claim to care so much about our citizens have failed to inform them that the Wuhan Bug can easily penetrate most masks, especially the homemade ones. They fail to inform the masses that the Wuhan Bug cannot survive on open surfaces or in the open air.

What the caring government agencies do stress, is that everyone must get the “jab” or you will die! One not only needs one but two jabs and a booster! Now they say that the “jab” cannot guarantee immunity for more than a few months, so subsequent boosters will be required. You must get the “jab” or you will die. If you do not take the “jab” you are being inconsiderate and unloving to your neighbor. That is what Jesus would have you do! The current governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, encourages Christians to get the “jab”[3] because the vaccines are from God.[4] Really?

I am happy that my church is open once more and masks are “optional.” We do not need to social distance if we do not want to, and for those who are willing, hugs are once more allowed. I like that. I am a hugger. Sadly, our attendance numbers are not what they were before COVID. We used to run three services on Sunday morning, but we are down to two now, and those are not at capacity. Our Sunday school classes are divided between live and Zoom ™ attenders, and many attend the services online. If there is anything good in this is that our online attendance has increased; we have visitors from all over the country and the world, so God’s Word is going out.

Still, I sense a lot of residual fear in our congregation. Many that attend live services come masked and are careful to avoid close contact with anyone. I understand, but the fear they harbor saddens me. They fear the Wuhan Bug because “caring” government agencies aided by their propaganda arm, the mainstream media, have filled their minds with the dread of a virus which they have less than one percent of catching. They believe that the government truly seeks their welfare.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Why would the government pressure healthcare organizations to coerce all healthcare workers to take the “jab,” forcing many to quit their jobs rather than submit? There is already a shortage of healthcare workers as it is. And why are healthcare workers reluctant to take the “jab” if it is really “safe”? Do they know something we do not know?

Many jobs are being lost because employees refuse to be coerced into taking the “jab” – truck drivers, airline workers, etc. Many businesses cannot hire workers because the “caring” government pays them more to stay home and collect unemployment for doing nothing. There is a hidden agenda by “undercover” Marxists leaders in our government to destroy America and bring it under the One-World Government. They are unwittingly setting the stage for the fulfillment of end-times prophecy.[5] The world elites pulling the puppet strings of our government do not hide their intentions. One can read what they have in mind.[6]

So, the fear that I witness in my Christian brothers and sisters comes from misplaced trust in man – the Whitehouse, Congress, the CDC, the NIH – rather than placing their trust in God. Yes, I see them mouth the words affirming trust in God, but their actions tell a much different story. Many of my brethren rushed to get the “jab” taking the propaganda of the media without doing any research of opposing opinions. Now, many of them who have gotten the first, second and booster “jabs” have come down with the virus and some have experienced adverse reactions.[7]  So much for the safety and efficacy of the “jab.”

I advise Christians to develop a healthy distrust of the government – they do not have your best interest at heart – and place your trust completely in God. God cares for you. He knows you inside and out. He maintains a second-by-second record of every one of your more than 3-Trillion cells in your body. He designed your DNA and while “scientists” know part of the human genome (DNA), God programed every single nucleotide combination that makes you, you. God knows the number of days He planned for your life.[8] He already knows the mode of your death – car accident, plane crash, cancer, heart attack, stroke, flu, pneumonia, COVID, etc. You have no control whatsoever in the method of your death. Who knows? You may be raptured out of this world and not see death at all! So why live in fear if you truly trust God? You either fully trust God for your life, or you do not. If you do not truly trust God with your life then fear is knocking at your door. Do not say that you trust God and then go around in fear because of what man has to say. God commands, “Fear not!”[9]

Notes:


[1]  “Wuhan Bug” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/03/15/wuhan-bug/

[2]  “Fear” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/11/15/fear/

[3]  https://townhall.com/tipsheet/leahbarkoukis/2021/09/28/hochul-vax-sermon-n2596585

[4]  “NY Gov. Hochul says vaccines are ‘from God,’ sends out her own ‘apostles’ to push jabs” – https://www.foxnews.com/politics/ny-gov-hochul-claims-covid-19-vaccines-from-god-sends-out-her-own-apostles

[5]  Daniel 7:7-8; 9:27; Revelation 13:1-10

[6]  World Economic Forum – https://www.weforum.org/

[7]  This shot is not a vaccine in the traditional sense of injecting an attenuated form of a pathogen that allows our bodies to develop natural immunities. Instead, it is an MRNA gene “therapy” that modifies a person’s DNA. Since every individual’s DNA is unique to that individual, the reactions to the MRNA will differ from person to person. This is why so many different reactions to the injection have been reported.

[8]  Psalm 90:9-10

[9]  “Fear Not” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/08/16/fear-not/

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The End Is Not Yet

All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:8)

Jesus faced the final week of His earthly ministry, and the looming shadow of the cross lay just a few days ahead. He had just capped off His final conversation with the Jewish religious leaders with a scathing pronouncement. “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation” (Matthew 23:33-36, emphasis mine). That is a pretty harsh accusation coming from the sweet and gentle Jesus! He associated them with the original serpent in the Garden of Eden.[1] Notice too, that He claims to be the One who sends prophets to them. Is it not God who sends the prophets? Well, I believe that is the point!

When we study the Old Testament, we learn of God’s struggle and patience with Israel and Judah. Jesus takes on that role as well. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 23:37-39, emphasis mine).

Jesus knows what lies ahead for Israel, and His disciples wanted to know that too. “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3).

Surprisingly, instead of launching right into a long discourse of the last days, Jesus issued a warning. “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you” (Matthew 24:4, emphasis mine). It seems that the most outstanding feature of the last days is deception. Jesus speaks of wars and rumors of wars, ethnic group against ethnic group, and kingdom (country/nation) against kingdom, but that is just the beginning.[2] The main problem is deception. Jesus goes on to speak of the rise of false preachers and false christs, an increase in wickedness and the loss of love. These false christs and false prophets will perform wonders such that “if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect,”[3] i.e., Christians.

We live in days of great deception. If you do not see it, you are either not paying attention, or you are deceived yourself. Our government lies to us. Our politicians lie to us. Government health agencies lie to us. The news media lie to us. We need to be alert and discerning these days to see the truth hidden among the lies.

The news media diverts our attention from the chaos around the world, but more importantly, the activity around the Middle East, the “cradle of civilization” and the focal point of end-times prophecy.

I follow several good end-times prophecy teachers, but one of my favorites is Amir Tsarfati,[4] founder and president of Behold Israel Ministry. Amir is a native Israeli and a reserve officer in the IDF (I believe he is a major, but not sure about his rank). His home in Israel overlooks the Jezreel Valley, aka, the Valley of Armageddon, so he has a very unique and acute perspective on end-times prophecy and how it relates to current events, especially in Israel and the Middle East. I follow Amir on the Telegram ™ app where he posts current events as they take place in the Middle East. The kind of coverage he provides will not be carried by the mainstream news media. For example, yesterday Amir shared this headline: “’War with Israel already started’ says Iranian FM spokesman: A spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry told Maariv that a solution must be found for regional issues according to UN resolutions.”[5]

That is only one example. There are wars and rumors of wars all over the world. Since the fall of the great United States under the Biden regime, China is advancing undeterred on Taiwan, and making deals for lithium with the Taliban government of Afghanistan. North Korea is testing its hypersonic missiles. Iran is on the brink of developing a nuclear bomb, and threating Israel. Russia (Magog of Ezekiel 38) along with Turkey are well entrenched in Syria. Australia has gone totalitarian on its citizens (who cannot fight back because their firearms have been confiscated). To top it off, the world is invading our southern border.

With all of this going on, “the end is not yet.” In Matthew 24, Jesus describes the conditions before His second coming when He will set up His earthly reign for 1000 years.[6] What we are witnessing now are just “the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:8). Things will get a lot worse during the seven-year Tribulation. “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:21-22).

Except for the fact that we have friends and loved ones that are lost without Christ that will go through the Tribulation (if they do not die and go to hell first), Christians should not fear the trouble that is ahead for the rest of the world. Jesus promised, “I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (Revelation 3:10). We cannot know when that will be, but when we see what is taking place in the world, we can know that the time for our departure is very near.

Reader, if you are unsure of your prospect for eternity, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  Genesis 3:1

[2]  Matthew 24:6-7

[3]  Matthew 24:11-12, 23-24

[4]  https://beholdisrael.org/about/amir-tsarfati/

[5]  https://www.jpost.com/middle-east/war-with-israel-already-started-says-iranian-fm-spokesman-680796

[6]  Revelation 20:1-7

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