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Wanna Know A Secret?

April 25, 2015 Leave a comment

secretEveryone loves secrets. Whisper a secret to a child, and immediately his eyes light up. However, children don’t have a corner on the secrets market. Adults love to hear secrets almost as much as children love to tell them.

God has secrets—boy, does He have secrets! As if we didn’t know this already, the Bible tells us so.“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deuteronomy 29:29)

The funny thing about God’s secrets is that he isn’t averse to telling us some of them. He told Abraham before he even had a son that his heirs would be held captive in a foreign land for many years. Genesis 15:13, “Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there.”

God told Moses He would send His Prophet at some point in the future, and Moses shared this secret with the Israelites in Deuteronomy 18:15, “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.”

When God came in the flesh in the person of Jesus, He revealed His secrets in a form mankind had never seen before. John 1:18, “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.”

Jesus revealed many secrets to his disciples.  He even revealed explicit details about his upcoming death. Matthew 20:18-19, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!”

While we may be quick to criticize the disciples for ignoring all the secrets Jesus revealed about his death, the Lord has also revealed some secrets to believers living on this side of the cross. First and foremost, Jesus told us His future plans. Matthew 16:27, “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.”

In the same way Jesus revealed His death to His disciples, He’s made known His second coming to all believers. He said, “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” (Matthew 24:30-31)

God even gave us a promise about His secrets: “For the Lord GOD does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7)

Every secret God wants us to know, He’s already revealed through his prophets. And, in His grace, He made sure those of us living in 2015 would have access to those secrets because He had His prophets write them down.

Wanna know a secret? Just read His Word. There you’ll find the best-kept secrets!

 

 

What’s Going On With God?

January 29, 2015 3 comments

Going OnOften, God’s work in our lives seems hidden, a barely discernible matter. That’s true in the life of an individual, the life of a church, and especially in the world itself. Yet, the Bible assures believers this is simply not the case. God is doing something in all areas of our life, our church, and the world. He’s doing it all the time.

So, what is God doing when we can’t see what He’s doing?

When God made His presence known to Moses through the flame shooting up from the non-burning bush, He told Moses what had been going on with Him while the children of Israel were suffering under the oppression of the Egyptian pharaoh. God said,I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings” (Exodus 3:7).

That’s what God was doing then. That’s what God is doing now. He’s doing it in your life and He’s doing it in my life. He’s doing it throughout the world today.

God told Moses He “had surely seen.” Nothing escapes His attention. He sees it all. From the beheadings in the Middle East to the hairs on my head, not one thing gets past God. He’s observing every minutiae and every big thing.

God said He “had heard.” Not one word coming from my mouth escapes God’s ears. He hears my sweet words as well as my harsh words. He hears what your boss utters as well as what you utter about your boss. He hears words of profanity and words of praise. His ears are never closed; He hears it all.

“I know,” God said. God is aware, thoroughly knowledgeable, about me. That means He is completely cognizant of my every thought, my every motive, my every desire, my every sin, my every . . . my everything. This is true of a church body. This is true of a family, This is true of a nation. This is true of our universe.

When God told Moses what was going on with Him, He did so, not to instill fear, but to give Moses comfort. Moses was afraid of God, so God wanted to reassure Moses that the manifestation of His presence wasn’t to be feared. God described what He was up when He spoke from the midst of a flame in a non-burning  bush. God did it again when He spoke in the form of His Son Jesus. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).

We can be comforted by what’s going on with God both now and in the future. God not only told Moses what He was doing in the present, He also told Moses what He was about to do for His children. “I have come down to deliver them” (Exodus 3:8).

God will do the same for His children today. “Yes, I am coming soon”  (Revelation 22:20).

 

Entered Any Wormholes Lately?

November 13, 2014 Leave a comment

wormholeAfter my husband and I saw the movie, Interstellar, the question of “Whose wife will she be?” was introduced into our discussions concerning the movie.

What does a question the Sadducees asked of Jesus have to do with a secular movie about intergalactic space travel, wormholes, and quantum physics?

Although the movie’s basic plotline centers on mankind being forced to search for a new Earthlike home because this present Earth’s resources have been devastated, several questions were raised by the characters in the story as to a “Being” or a “They.” At least one of the characters believed “They” were trying to help earthlings leave the planet for a better existence far beyond Earth’s present galaxy.

(At the end of the movie, a definite conclusion was reached about this “They,” but, in case you haven’t seen the movie yet, I won’t spoil it for you by revealing the identity of “They.”)

What most moviegoers have difficulty dealing with in the movie—besides its three-hour running time—is the physics of space, time, and gravity. These concepts are an integral part of the story, and, yet, they don’t concern most of us as we go about the reality of our everyday lives. In fact, many of us can’t begin to connect with these scientific facts and/or theories, even when they are presented in a movie through entertaining methods.

After watching the movie, I pointed out to my husband I felt Jesus encountered this same difficult-to-grasp concept when He tried explaining to his disciples the life awaiting those who accept His offer to live with Him in His Heavenly Home for trillions upon trillions upon trillions of years—eternally, forever, infinitely.

I referred him back to a gospel  story in Matthew 22 describing how the Sadducees attempted to trap Jesus by describing a scenario involving multiple husbands. They asked Jesus, “Whose wife will she be in the resurrection?” When Jesus gave his answer, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God”(Matthew 22:29), it completely silenced these learned men.

I believe they were silenced because they couldn’t—like all of us—begin to grasp the concept Jesus described—a place where the relationship between a man and a woman, whether husband or wife, was really relevant to human existence.

The possibility of living eternally with the Creator of the Universe in His home, as His child, in a perfect environment, without sin and without evil, is as remote to some people as the possibility of traveling through a wormhole. Yet, scientifically speaking, although there is a possibility the latter does exist, Jesus guaranteed the former isn’t just a possibility—it’s a promise He made to us and for us, and He paid for it with His own blood.

Even though such a way of life is as foreign to us as life on the other side of a wormhole, we are given a few pinhole glimpses in His Word to the world awaiting those who believe. I find these descriptions as interesting and intriguing as black holes, space travel, and exploding nebulae.

“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer, will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 22:1-5)

Prophecy Perspective

January 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Signs of the Times:  As 2012 begins, this posting by Jack Kelley from Grace Thru Faith ministries entitled “Seven Major prophetic Signs of the Second Coming” offers a Biblical focus to many of today’s current events.

The Conception of Hell:  I’m including in this prophecy posting a personal blog from David Murray about hell  because sometimes believers fail to realize that the prophetic future for unbelievers is hell.  Jesus spoke often about hell as in Matthew 10:28, “Be afraid of him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”  Read Murray’s thoughts on hell here.

The Mayan Prediction of 2012:  In this prophetic blog by Ron Graham, he writes with certainty that the world will not end in 2012.  Read his thoughts here.

 

Prophecy Posting 12/7/11

December 8, 2011 Leave a comment

As I mentioned in a previous post (see My Love Of Prophecy ), I take seriously the study of prophecy, of End Times, and of our Lord’s Second Coming, and I also believe Paul’s exhortation  in 1 Thessalonians 5:4  that we as believers in Christ and students of His Word, “are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. ”

One of the surest ways to understand today’s prophetic events in God’s calendar is to remain alert and vilgilant about what is transpiring in Israel, for this little sliver of land (not much bigger than the state of New Jersey) plays an integral part in God’s plans for our future.  God has promised the Jewish people He will allow them to live in the land given to their forefathers (Ezekial 36:24-28). Yet He also noted in Zechariah 12 that Jerusalem itself would be a “cup of trembling” and a “burdensome stone.” to all the nations.  Seldom a day goes by that Jerusalem is not on our national news, whether it’s the Islamic nations of the world threatening to annilate Israel and her people or it’s the leaders of the world calling on Israel to make concessions, negotiate a peace treaty and relinquish control of Jerusalem itself.

I believe Islam will probably play a significant role in the Tribulation (the seven years of turmoil on the earth just prior to Christ’s Second Coming, prophesied by Daniel and described by Jesus as  a time of horror like the world has never experienced before or ever shall again–Matthew 24).  The key to the possible role Islam may play in these events is found in its own prophetic beliefs, for the very individual they call Mahdi or the 12th Imam, who is to appear before the end of the world and is considered to be the Muslim savior, shares many of the same characteristics of the individual described in the Bible as the Antichrist.

Joel Rosenberg, an author and lecturer who has written and spoken extensively on the subject of Israel, Islam and prophectic events and has served as an advisor to both American and Israeli leaders alike on these subjects, has written several fiction books depicting possible scenarios of events that could begin to unfold in the coming days.  The Twelfth Imam is his first book in a series of books about the Muslim messiah.  You can read more about the book on my Book Review page on this blog.  Here’s a trailer about the book:

My Love Of Prophecy

November 12, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s no secret, to those who know me well, that I watch a steady stream of news.  Not only do I watch the news, I read two daily newspapers and subscribe to other news sources online.  But I wasn’t always a news aficionado.  I developed an interest in the news not long after James and I were married in 1966 because I learned to love prophecy.  This happened through a series of events:  In the late 1960’s, events were unfolding in Israel that riveted the world’s attention (1967 Six-Day War), and Hal Lindsey’s book, “The Late Great Planet Earth,” became a best seller. In addition, James and I attended a church where Biblical prophecies were regularly taught and discussed.

As I studied the prophetic scriptures, I began to watch the news to see how events happening around the world related to the Bible’s description of  the “last days.”  The Bible describes how the nations will be aligned with each other to fight against Israel, so I became interested in the geopolitical structure of Russia, China, Europe and the Middle East.  I also began to note societal and cultural changes in the world which closely paralleled Paul’s words to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:1-5: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”

As my study of prophesy has continued and increased, I have sought to avoid these mistakes:
(1) becoming so obsessed with prophetic study that all other areas of Scripture are neglected,
(2) feeling that I have been given greater knowledge than anyone else and “know” when Christ will return, and (3) failing to consider all the divergent interpretations of Scriptures on the Rapture and His Second Coming by trusted evangelical Bible scholars.

The internet has now become a great resource for understanding how today’s news relates to Bible prophecy.  There are also many websites and blogs devoted to Bible prophecy.  Of course, it’s necessary to exercise both caution and discretion when reading interpretations of events, searching the Scriptures and the beliefs of the website’s author and praying for understanding and wisdom as these sites are explored.

There are several websites and blogs I read regularly, and I’ve listed those in the right-hand column of this blog and entitled them “Prophecy Websites and Blogs.”  Several of these are a compilation of news stories and interpretations of news events in the light of Biblical prophecy.  “Prophecy Update” is the most comprehensive site.  I also plan to do some periodic writing on prophetic events in the coming days under the heading of Prophecy Postings. I welcome your comments and suggestions.

Earthquakes: A Message From God?

November 10, 2011 Leave a comment

As a resident of Oklahoma in the year 2011, I’m never too surprised when our state makes the national news.  We’ve had record-breaking snowstorms, the nation’s hottest weather, extreme drought conditions and swarms of destructive tornadoes, but this week Oklahoma made the national news because we’ve experienced several earthquakes.  The largest one measured 5.6 on the Richter scale, followed two days later by an aftershock of 4.7 which happened while some areas were under a tornado warning.

As we heard the rumbling sounds of these unexpected earthquakes and saw the walls shake and the floor beneath us move, we seemed more alarmed about this geological phenomenon than any of our state’s harshest weather events.  There was no loss of life, and very few experienced any property damage, yet there was a sense of unease and insecurity among many of us.  Why was this happening?  Was God trying to get our attention?  Are these earthquakes a sign for us?

A study of earthquakes in the Bible (there are 17 references) shows that God “shakes the earth” for either judgment, deliverance or as a means of revealing Himself.  The most well-known quakes are those surrounding the revelation of Himself.  The first instance of this is found in Exodus 19:18 where the people of Israel are camped around Mt. Sinai, and God speaks directly to them so they will know Him for themselves and also to authenticate Moses as His spokesman.  The Scripture says, “the mountain trembled greatly” when this revelation happened.  Psalm 68:8, in describing the same event, says, “the earth quaked” at the presence of the Lord.

The second example happened immediately after Jesus took his last breath on the cross and Matthew 27:51 records, “the earth shook and the rocks were split.”  In the third example, Matthew tells us in 28:2 when Mary and the other women arrived at the tomb on the third day, “there was a great earthquake.”  God seems to emphasize some really momentous events with earthquakes.

There are at least two future “great earthquakes” coming which John writes about in Revelation 6:12 and 16:16-20.  Enormous geological changes will occur as a result of these upheavals, and I doubt there will be a seismograph in existence which will be able to measure their intensity.

The fact that God seems to mark important events with earthquakes is probably one of the reasons we  sensed our recent rumblings could “mean something.”  But another more obvious reason is that Jesus, when asked about the sign of His coming and the end of the age in Matthew 24, declared that a number of ongoing circumstances, including wars, famines and earthquakes, would be present and could be thought of as “labor pains” to His return.  Since a woman’s labor pains begin slowly and continue to increase in frequency and intensity until the birth, most Biblical scholars believe Jesus meant that wars, famines and earthquakes would be happening with more frequency and intensity when His return was about to happen. 

Jesus also specifically stated that the earthquakes would be in “various” places.  Some translations have “different” places for the Greek word He used here.  It would seem natural to assume He meant that the earthquakes of the latter days would not just be occurring in Israel, but would, in fact, be happening all over the world, perhaps even in different places not known for earthquakes.

While I cannot begin to know or understand the mind of God in moving the Teutonic plates in the earth’s crust in Oklahoma this week, I do know this trembling intrusion into my life caused my heart to turn toward Him, to pray for those who seemed so unsettled by them, and to realize if these movements were indeed harbingers of His coming soon, I had nothing to fear.  The Psalmist said it for me in 46:2, “Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.”

Bits and Pieces 9/8

September 8, 2011 2 comments

Ten Years Later:  “Where was God when this happened?” is a question often asked about the events of 9/11.  In this article, R. C. Sproul seeks to answer this question and in so doing raises several others.  Why are we urged to ask God “to bless America,” yet if some suggest that God might also “judge America,” they are condemned for doing so? Read the article here. 

What Is The Most Important Word In The Bible?  I found this to be an interesting question, and this very brief post gives a worthy answer.  Read the post here.

The Book Of Revelation App: When I first saw this app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod, I doubted if a graphic illustrated book of the Bible could be a serious tool for Bible study.  Yet, after I read an interview with the illustrator, I was convinced enough to get it a try.  After downloading it, I had a hard time putting it aside and found the illustrations didn’t overwhelm the message but instead enhanced its clarity and scope.  At least for me, the best way to view the app was in landscape mode, that is, going panel by panel.  Read more about the Book of Revelation App here.

Bits And Pieces 8/25

August 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Here are a few random, but interesting (at least to me) items I’ve run across lately.  They don’t really fit together, so they are just bits and pieces.

The Prison Gates Opened:  John Piper writes an encouraging word about difficult obstacles in life after having meditated on the story in Acts 12 of Peter being released from prison by God’s hand.  Acts 12:10 says,  “The iron gate leading into the city opened of its own accord.”  From this verse, Piper notes, “If God has a good purpose for you — and he always does — every gate will open of its own accord. That is, we can’t make it open. We pray. We work. And we wait. The accord belongs to God.”  Read the full devotional here.

Thinking About God: One of my favorite bloggers and writers, Tim Challies, wrote in a recent blog about A. W. Tozer, a theologian, writer and pastor from the last century and this statement he made:  “what comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Asking another person or yourself the question, “What comes to your mind when you think about God?” will reveal not only a knowledge of God but the depth of that knowledge.  See the full article here.

Earthquakes and Hurricanes: Are you hearing the footsteps of Jesus in recent weather and disaster stories?  You’re not the only one.  Joseph Farah, columnist for WorldNetDaily writes, “He’s trying to get your attention. Are you paying heed? What will it take?” You can read his full article here.

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