End Times?

Matthew 24:3-14 (ESV):
3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
4 And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
9 Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

Mark 13:4-13:
4 “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” 5 And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. 6 Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. 7 And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet.
8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.
9 But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. 10 And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations.
11 And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”

Luke 21:7-19, 28:
7 And they asked him, “Teacher, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?” 8 And he said, “See that you are not led astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them. 9 And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified, for these things must first take place, but the end will not be at once.”
10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake.
13 This will be your opportunity to bear witness. 14 Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.
16 You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. 17 You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.” …
28 “Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

These verses sound like today’s news, don’t they?

Limitless capacity

Esther's Petition

“What are you like, Lord?” I asked him again, one night recently. I seem to ask that over and over. Who are you? What are you like? What do you like?

Those kinds of questions come to mind frequently, and sometimes I actually ask him, and he actually answers.

“Capacity. Do you know what that is?” he asked me. “Yes, I think so,” I said.

“Are you sure?” Well, of course then I wasn’t sure, so of course I looked it up. There are layers of meaning, I soon discovered. One refers to material facts, such as the number of gallons my car gas tank can hold. Another is psychological or mental ability, such as the potential for learning, understanding and retaining information. (Human brains, computers.) Still others are in the realm of physics, nuclear, space / time phenomena, metaphysical concepts. I had no idea there were so many nuances…

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Is God judging America?

Esther's Petition

Is God judging America, someone asked me recently? They were talking about the many weather disasters, fires, floods and tornadoes.

I answered from my spirit without having to think about it.

I don’t know, I said. But if a soldier was dressed in body armor because an enemy was shooting at him, and he decided he didn’t need the armor any more and took it off, he’d be dead. The enemy would kill him.

America has taken off its armor. Whether God is judging America for sin or the people have removed their armor, the result is the same. Death and destruction. Chaos. Tragedy.

The gospel, the blood of Jesus Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit, the armor of God is our only protection when the massive storms rise.

Where is our nation’s armor?

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Earth. Can it be saved?

14 August 2021

Over the course of several nights recently, I had a conversation with myself, then with the Lord about the current condition of planet earth.

I had been wondering but not really praying about the condition of the earth. I read The Watchers emails and visit their website occasionally (https://watchers.news/), and you can get really anxious and depressed with the chaos and “natural” disasters around the world. I put “natural” in quotations, because I am not convinced that they are indeed natural. They seem supernatural, demonic in origin to me.

Climate change is certainly not new, but the current severe heat wave seems to be unprecedented in recorded history in those areas. The destruction and loss of life due to record-breaking heat, cold, floods, and other large disasters has been increasing in frequency and severity, it seems to me.

Large volcanoes. Large earthquakes. Strange, weird, or just odd phenomena appearing on every continent.

Is it dying, I wondered? Are human behaviors actually killing the planet? That’s the claim long made by some groups. I had always “poo-pooed” that idea, believing these disasters have always happened. It’s just that with today’s increased communication ability, we’re hearing about them now when we didn’t before. That’s what I have thought.

But is that really the case? Can earth be saved?

As I was meditating, a verse popped into my mind… “The earth is the LORD’S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” (Psa. 24:1, I Cor. 10:26, KJV).

I looked all those words up, earth, fullness, world, dwell therein. It doesn’t just mean the planet surface, it means everything in, around and under it. Including the civilized and uncivilized areas. Oceans, islands, lands, and core. And everyone and everything on it, humans, animals, plants, and any other creature (insects, bacteria, viruses), all are the Lord’s. Present tense.

Here’s how my conversation went (more or less) after I asked that question, “Can earth be saved?”

Father God speaking:

I made it. I planned it. I designed it. I engineered it. I constructed it.
I began with the universe. Then galaxies. Then solar systems. Then planets.
I hand-picked the specific timeline, and the specific spot in all of that for my ultimate creation, mankind.

I chose the continent, the region, the nation, the city, and the hilltop for my house. The Temple. My room in the house, the Holy of Holies.

Do you think I’m going to just give it up, without a fight? I always win my fights.

The usurper wants to be god, himself. He tried to steal the earth. That didn’t work out for him.

But limited as he is to this planet, this sphere, his prison, he wants to re-make it in his image. He wants to destroy everything beautiful, and good, and useful, and beneficial to human beings. He’ll poison, corrupt, contaminate, pollute or mutate whatever he can.

And he would kill it all too, if he could. He can’t. It’s mine.

I created it, I can re-create it. Repair what is broken. Replace what’s missing. Restore it. Heal it. Make it healthy and whole again. And I will.

At that, the peace of God settled into my thinking about what’s happening on this planet. Despite what the enemy does – with the help of ignorant or evil human beings – and even if Creator God has to completely rearrange the very microscopic cells of this planet, He will do it.

The most dangerous Christian

Excellent!

In My Father's House

The most dangerous Christian in the world is not the one who knows the Bible frontwards and backwards, the firebrand preacher, or even the most uncompromising believer. The most dangerous Christian is the one who has entered into the cooperative process with Jesus and has allowed Him to touch every part of their soul.

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What was in the wilderness?

Matthew 4 and Luke 4 describe the temptation of Jesus in the Judean desert. Most of my life I had a mental image of that desert as being mostly sand dunes, rocks and lizards. One day, out of curiosity I decided to check out that wilderness, where it was, what was in it, what it was like at that time.

I wondered, what was there out there that could tempt Jesus? During the 40 days before Satan showed up, that is. Here’s some of what I learned:

East and south of Jerusalem, it’s one of the smallest deserts in the world, much of it lying adjacent and west of the Dead Sea. Craggy and rough, it’s hilly and mountainous with steep cliffs and deep ravines. It was difficult but not impossible to traverse on the well-used paths and trails that criss-crossed the area.

There are streams and many wadis, some containing pools of water in shaded areas; and also beautiful oases. The most famous oasis in the Judean Desert is in Ein Gedi near the northern part of the Dead Sea, called David’s Waterfall.

There are also many fruit trees and other vegetation (see the section on trees below).

Sparsely inhabited but not empty, the desert contained several small villages on its edges. Bethlehem was one, a place where many of Jesus’ relatives lived.

Bedouin encampments the size of small towns (the Bedouin were and still are very hospitable people to visitors) plus camels, sheep, goats, and donkeys.

Leopards and other wild animals also inhabited the area, although leopards are scarce today.

Herodium today seen from the side.

The spectacular Herod’s Palace (Herodium) south of Jerusalem may contain his burial site (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herodium and http://allaboutjerusalem.com/attraction/herodion-national-park).

This palace complex was atop an artificial hill built by Herod the Great, the site of several archeological digs through recent years. After his death this opulent summer “resort” was used by many Roman officials.

Also in the desert is the fortress of Masada which overlooks the Dead Sea, captured and built up by Herod the Great as a military base. Both Herodium and Masada were occupied by Roman officials and solders who regularly traveled to and from those sites. Both are Israeli National Parks and popular tourist attractions today.

Many fruit or nut trees occupy wadis and oases, including date palms, pistachios, wild figs, carob and acacia:

Carob / Locust trees bear fruit that is edible green or dried; the dried fruit is used in candy and other foods as a substitute for chocolate. The sweet, soft flesh of the green fruit is called “honey.”

Carob and acacia (below) are legumes, members of the pea and bean family.

Acacia is a “rain tree,” so-called because its leaves fold together in rain or high humidity. Edible and primarily used as animal fodder, it provides helpful gum and has many medical applications also. The Tabernacle and Ark were made of acacia wood.

Considering everything there was for him to see and do in that wilderness, what was Jesus tempted with?

Food, people, animals, a magnificent natural environment and impressive man-made structures — a better question might be, what wasn’t Jesus tempted with?

Anything and everything that human beings today are tempted with, including distractions, tempted Jesus in that desert. Think he doesn’t understand your situation? He does.

I Cor. 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (NIV)

And Hebrews 4:15, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.”

Choreographed worship in three dimensions

A wonderful glimpse of one form of worship in heaven. There are many others…

Speaking of heaven

Looking today for a different article, I came across this one that I had not added earlier.

One night in May, 2008 I awoke in the wee hours of the morning worshiping God in my spirit – singing to Him about how wonderful He is, how magnificent, how merciful, how loving, exalting and praising him in poetry set to music.

I could see myself doing this, like watching a television set, as part of a group of worshipers in heaven. But it did not resemble any sort of worship service I’ve ever been a part of or seen in my life!

Some were up high in the room, in rows, some low, every space filled with exquisite movement and sound. You’d think some would crash into others, falling in tangles of arms and feet. But no-one did.

We were singing and dancing as we flew around in perfectly synchronized three-dimensional…

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A Hammer for the Heart

Many thanks for this word, Cheryl. Needed greatly right now, I think.

An Apple of Gold

Lot of hammers at work! We recently moved into a new home in an area that is still being developed. Big jackhammers break up boulders and smash rocks preparing the ground for new construction. Smaller hammers rhythmically bang nails into lumber erecting new structures. Hammers are powerful tools in the hands of craftsmen.

While listening to these physical hammers, the Lord has been showing me that He provides us with a spiritual hammer. It is known at the Bible – God’s word. It, too, is a powerful tool.

Jeremiah 23:29 says, “Is not My word like fire,” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?”

Matthew Henry’s Commentary explains this verse by saying that the unhumbled heart of man is like a rock. If the heart is not melted by the word of God as a fire, it will be broken to pieces by God’s…

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Grief never dies.

Esther's Petition

Daddy died May 14, 1960. He was 46; I was 16. He had been scheduled for open heart surgery the following week, to replace a heart valve damaged by the rheumatic fever that daddy contracted during WWII. He’d had several heart attacks and was looking forward to regaining his health. But he had another heart attack in the middle of the night and this time, he died.

It was the night of my 11th grade Junior Prom, which I had reluctantly attended with some boy I didn’t really know, and whose name I can’t recall to this day. I had spent that evening sad, not knowing why, just sad. I’m sure my date had a miserable time.

I never recovered. I began dating guys mother didn’t approve of, marrying Paul when I was 18, basically to get away from my unhappy mother. He was loving, he was kind, he would…

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The linchpins are moving

Slowly, slowly, yet invariably God’s linchpins are moving.

Esther's Petition

Prayer is a linchpin, the Holy Spirit told me one day. It’s not the only one; it is just one of many supernatural linchpins. Linchpins that have prevented some things in the past will start moving this year. Linchpins can also cause things. They will also begin moving this year.

As I tried to recall what linchpins were, he continued speaking.

ropeYou know what a rope is, he said. A rope is made of several cords, each cord made of several strands, and each strand made of many threads, some very fine.

If you unravel a rope, untwist the cords and strands and lay out the individual threads, the rope becomes longer. Sometimes much longer.

wheel-linchpingrenadeTo refresh my memory I looked up that word, linchpin. Originally it referred to a pin that ran through holes in an axle and wheel, preventing the wheel from falling off. They have been found…

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