Aftershocks of the Rapture

It has only been a few months since I finished writing, and have published, my memoir, Under a Watchful Eye. And now I am well into my next book, THE TRIBULATION.  I’m very excited about it! And I am also prayerful as to how it will turn out. Like a few of my other books, I will be blogging most of it as a I proceed through the writing.

My first chapter (below) is sort of a prequel that comes before chapter one. I don’t know how often I will be blogging this book. It all depends on how fast I am able to do the actual writing of the book. Anyway, here is my first installment.

As I have mentioned in my book After the Rapture, I think there will be a few years between the Rapture and the Tribulation in order to set up everything that is needed for the seven-year Tribulation. Of course, we know that God can do anything in His wisdom to make things work according to His plans. And so, He can fix it so that the Tribulation will start immediately after the Rapture if He chooses. However, it seems more logical to me that there will be a period of time between the Rapture and the Tribulation. In this introductory chapter we will look at six events that I think will take place before the Tribulation—things that I think will need to happen before the signing of the peace covenant, which will mark the beginning of the Tribulation.

DEALING WITH, OR NOT DEALING WITH, THE AFTERSHOCKS OF THE RAPTURE

During the first few days, weeks and even months after the Rapture people will be too shocked and saddened to do much of anything. Disturbing emotions of fear will be common. Many will have no idea what happened—why so many have disappeared. Some will just sit in their homes in shock. Others will go for long walks to try to figure out what happened. Hopefully, a few will turn to God in prayer and find salvation.

Along with fear there will be panic, anger and sadness. The grief and sadness will probably come first over the loss of loved ones, especially over missing children; all young children will be discovered as missing. Before long anger and panic will set in, especially at God for allowing whatever happened to happen.

Who knows how long these troubling emotions will last? For those who have more earthly treasures and large families, their suffering will be the worst.

After the most immediate effects of the Rapture are experienced, the next consequence may be rioting and looting. More than likely, only the worst types (thugs and criminals) will engage in this behavior; but there will probably be enough of them to overwhelm the police so that the National Guard will need to be called out. It is my guess that this kind of behavior will continue for some time, since all Christians will be absent.

But it won’t stop with rioting. There will be other things to deal with, like a collapse of the economy, and also a collapse of certain institutions and morality. A world-wide economic collapse in many ways will be the most visible and devastating. Certainly, those nations that are more Christian, like the United States, will be the most affected, since more people from those nations will have disappeared. Imagine the personal and business loss and the collapse of the insurance industry—because of so many who will be claiming losses due to the Rapture.

We can’t foresee how much of an institutional collapse there will be; but undoubtedly, law enforcement, hospitals and the military will be stretched to the limit and put under a great strain.

Also, with true Christians being noticeably absent, I think the world will definitely see a moral collapse like never before. People everywhere will undergo a kind of panic of not knowing who to turn to for help. But the most wayward ones will probably be glad in the Rapture, knowing that they will be freer to do evil—and so lawlessness will increase on the earth.

Update: My Work, My Writing, the News

I bought these Petunias to brighten up my apartment.

My Work

Lately I’ve been staying busy, more than I want to be. For some reason I have gotten a lot of calls for jobs this year. I’m a house painter. That’s what I have been busy with. Though I am retired, I just keep working. But I’m not complaining—too much. The main complaint this year is the terrible heat. We are having a lot of 90-degree days.  Too hot to paint!

My latest book, The Tribulation

I’ve written a few books on prayer, a few books on bible prophecy, and my memoir.  Now I’m back to bible prophecy. I’m just getting started on this book on the Tribulation. I’m excited to know how it will turn out. I’ve done some research, but I know I will do more as I go along. I do have an outline, so I know what the content will be, but I also know that I will have some surprises—I will learn as I go. And, as is my custom, I will blog the content as I go. That will start soon.

The News

As Christians often say, “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through.” That has more and more been my attitude, especially since the news is so bad. I listen to the radio—probably more than I should—to get a conservative slant on things. But you know, since the Dem’s control everything, there is not much good news. And can you believe this Critical Race theory they are pushing? Terrible. And there seems to be no end to the upsurge in crime and murder. The only good news of it all is that the Rapture will be coming soon!

Making a Decision for Christ – Matthew 7:13-14

Matthew 7:13-14

“Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. 14 “For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.

If you have been following along you know that I have been using D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ sermons from his Studies in the Sermon on the Mount as my reference. Hence, the main points and teaching are from his book (which are his sermons); and then I bring some of my own ideas into it. This sermon is much like the previous one, using the same text, but we go deeper into the meaning of it. In these two verses of Jesus’ sermon, we will discuss now the meaning of entering into the Christian life, based on His description here of the narrow gate as well as the narrow way. And we will also discuss a few things that will go along with the entire process of becoming a Christian. Please be attentive now to the following four principles on this subject.

1. Becoming a Christian demands a decision and a commitment.

When a person begins to understand some of the teachings of Christ and when God begins to tug on his heart so that he desires to follow Him, the gospel demands that he make a decision right then to leave whatever he is doing (and all of the old life) and go follow Him. You may remember how it was with Jesus’ first followers. Jesus met Peter and his brother Andrew on the beach of the Sea of Galilee as they were casting their nets into the sea. And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” What did they do? Did they think about it? No! Scripture says, “Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.” Apparently, they knew enough about Jesus and had heard enough of His words to know that they wanted to be around Him and to learn more of Him. So they were not hesitant when the opportunity came to follow Him.

2. Look for the narrow gate and go through it.

Having made a firm decision to be a Christian, the next step is to look for the way of entrance. It is described by Jesus as a strait (or narrow) gate. And so, it is not very public or visible or even desirable by many. It is small and unpopular; yet to the one seeking it, it will be desirable, because Jesus will be there, waving at him to come in. and he will be excited to enter.

Now there have been many who think that they want to be a Christian and they have somewhat committed themselves to that goal; yet when it came to actually entering into it (the Christian life) they did not. Why?  Because they did not put the effort into looking for it—for the narrow gate. As verse 14 says, “Few are those who find it.” This implies that they were not looking very intently—or maybe not at all. Perhaps they were looking for the wrong kind of gate. They may have envisioned it as a very large and majestic gate. Hence, they may have passed by the narrow gate without even knowing it.

3. Talk to yourself regarding what you have done and what things are different.

(This is something I wouldn’t have thought of, but Lloyd-Jones includes it; and now I think it is a good thing to do.) So, after a person has decided to enter, and he does find the way and enters in, and so gives his life to Christ, he will probably begin to ask himself certain questions: what did I just do? Who am I now? So, the point is that a new Christian should be always reminding himself every day that he is a child of God, a unique person and belonging to the family of God. Also, he should remind himself that Christ has died for him and that he is going to heaven and that he is just passing through this world, with its many temptations and trials.

4. For those who are disbelieving and doubtful.

Here in our text Jesus shows us two different ways and where they lead to. He is trying to take away the reasons for not entering in by the narrow gate. The obvious reason He gives is that the broad way leads to destruction—hell.

Some may reason that there are two choices to make: to take the narrow way or the broad way. However, if you examine other Scriptures, you will discover that by man’s nature he is already on the broad road, and God’s wrath is already on him (Jn. 3:36).

Another thing to consider is that since all (all those who have not believed) are already traveling on this broad road leading to destruction, that they know nothing of the narrow way that leads to life. And so, they may be satisfied with their life, having seen no other way. For this reason the Christian must do all he can to warn the unbeliever to where he is going, also he must tell him about a better way, a narrow way, yet a way that leads to life.

The Ark of the Covenant Gives Us a Wonderful Salvation Message

Prayer A to Z

If we study the meaning of each part of the Ark of the Covenant we will receive a wonderful salvation message.

The Ark of the Covenant with the Mercy Seat and the Cherubim was located on the other side of the veil in the Most Holy Place.  There the High Priest entered only once a year to sprinkle sacrificial blood on top of the Mercy Seat.

The appearance of the Ark was quite awesome, not only because of its brilliant gold, but also because of the mysterious light that hovered over the center of it—the Shekinah Glory, which was the glory of the very presence of God.

The Ark itself (without its lid) was just a box, 3 ½ feet long, 2 ½ feet wide and 2 ½ feet deep.  It was made of acacia wood overlaid with gold.  The wood represented the humanity of Christ, and the gold, His…

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The Narrow and the Wide Gate – from Matthew 7:13-14

Beginning in Matthew 7:13 and 14 we come to the application of Jesus’ Sermon. The main part of the sermon ends at verse twelve, and here in verse thirteen Jesus begins to point to the application—how we are to apply it.

“Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. 14 “For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.

So Jesus tells us that there are two different applications, or ways we can proceed: through the narrow gate or through the wide gate.

Well, Jesus beckons us to go through the narrow gate, because, He says the wide gate leads to destruction, the way most people are going. But the narrow gate, though it is difficult, leads to life.

Now why do you suppose the way of life is narrow? And why is the way of destruction wide?

Well, what is most obvious to me is that the size of the gate (and the way) has to do with the amount of people who will enter there. I think the narrow gate, the way of the true Christian, is narrow mainly because God knows that not too many will be coming through it. And the wide gate is wide because God knows that many will be coming thought it.

But there are a few other reasons for the size of the gates (and for the size of the path). For the Christian, he does not require a wide gate because he is called to a life of holiness and suffering and difficulty just like Jesus was. He does not have many possessions—Jesus had no where to lay His head. Yes, the Christian is called to leave the world behind. But the non-Christian carries many worldly goods with him. He is full of love for self and all his possessions, and so he needs a wide gate and a wide path to make it through.

Another way to look at is to see the gate as the kind of people we are, or that we are to be. A Christian is called to narrowness, which suggests someone who is different, peculiar, or exceptional—just as Jesus was. But the non-Christian is drawn to the broad way because he would rather be more acceptable to all and popular and comfortable and as normal as can be.

Narrowness here may also point to the fact that the teachings of Jesus are narrow, or, as some would say narrow-minded. They don’t allow for any other view. After all, Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (Jn 14:6). And the wide way may indicate the way of those who are less narrow-minded, and more tolerant of many other views, even other religions.

Which gate do you prefer?

Five Ways God Will Bring Healing to the Sick in the coming Millennial Kingdom

Studying Bible Prophecy

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  1. By His forgiveness. There is a special healing of the soul, and also of the body when we confess our sins and God forgives us. It is a wonderous cleansing of the Lord that heals the body and soul of the poison of sin (1 Jn. 1:9). I love Malachi 4:2, which speaks of all those who believe in Him at His coming.
Malachi 4:2
But for you who fear My name the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.
  1. From healing waters. Ezekiel 47:1-12 gives us the account of these waters. In this account (which is a vision from the Lord) there is no explanation of where the water originates from, but only that it flowed out from under the temple, first as a small stream, then, as it flowed out, the…

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Why Prayer Is Necessary: #2 – For Spiritual Growth 

Prayer helps in these four areas of spiritual growth:

1. Growth in understanding God’s ways.   In James 1:5 it says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally…”  It seems from this verse (and the previous verses), that wisdom, which is really an understanding of God’s ways, is gained through prayer as well as through experience; for as we encounter various trials (verse 2), we pray and ask God for an understanding of what to do (verse 5).  Therefore, both experience and prayer are needed. 

Experience (including all the trials we go through) keeps us in touch with reality, and prayer keeps us in touch with God, who in turn helps us understand all that we experience—which is wisdom. 

Experience allows us to grow in endurance as we encounter various trials, and prayer keeps us trusting and in touch with God—who is really the source of all our help.  As we encounter various trials through our experience, they will serve to move us toward prayer.  But unless we pray, all the experience and all the trials will do us no good; that is, they will not produce in us true wisdom.  The old person, who says, “I am wise because of my many years of experience,” is nothing but an old fool if he has rejected God.  True wisdom, no matter how much experience one has, comes only to those who pray and ask for it.    

2. Growth in understanding God’s Word.  In Psalms 119:18 we read, “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law.”  Here the Psalmist prays to God that He would open his eyes and cause him to understand wonderful things from His Word.  As we may observe in this verse, there is nothing said about any personal effort of study to gain understanding.  The Psalmist expects all his understanding of the Word to come directly from God through prayer.

Now we know that the Bible tells us to study and meditate on the scriptures (2 Tim. 2:15, Ps. 1); therefore, our effort should not be disregarded.  All our effort in study, however, will prove vain and worthless without prayer.   But by prayer all that we have studied and pondered will make sense.

3.  Growth in developing a hatred for sin and a love for righteousness.  This time we will turn to Psalms 51.  Here we see that David was intensely grieved over his sin. In verse four he prays, “Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight…”  Then in verse 10, he prays, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

As we see in this chapter, David believed in prayer; he counted on God in prayer to clean up his heart and restore his relationship with Him. 

We can count on God in prayer just as David did.  And the more we pray for purity in our life, the more God will give it to us, and thus the more we will grow to hate sin and love righteousness.           

4.  Growth in becoming more like God’s Son. In Romans 8:29 it says, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son.”  At first glance we may think that we don’t need do anything to bring about our transformation, that since it is already predestined to happen, God will make it happen without our effort.  Well, ultimately, I suppose that is true. But, along the way, God chooses to involve us in the process.

No, we cannot idly stand by and think that God will handle it all.  Transformation comes with the hard work of renewing our mind (Rom. 12:2)—which includes Bible study, meditation, and prayer.         

And the more we give ourselves to the work of study and prayer, the more we will behold Him as He really is.  Hence, in our beholding Him we are being transformed from one degree of glory to another (2 Cor. 3:18).

The Tragic Results of Not Following the Golden Rule

The verse we are following today is Matthew 7:12:

Therefore, however you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

There are certainly tragic results of mistreatment on both sides: others mistreating me, as well as my mistreatment of others. And that mistreatment affects not only the one being mistreated, but also the one who is causing the mistreatment.

For this post today, I want to write on how others, as well as myself, have been mistreated. I will start with myself. I couldn’t have been more than seven years old, first grade. My dad had helped me make a boat, really an old clipper ship. It was a great project. We carved it out of a four-by-four block of wood, then we gave it three masks made of dowels, we made sails made of white cloth, and then we tied strings all over it—which were to be the ropes holding the sails in place. I was surprised at how good it looked when it was finished. It was the first project I had ever attempted before—even though Dad had done most of it. Nonetheless, I really felt good about it and proud of myself.

But the very next day after it was finished, I discovered that all the strings (the ropes) were cut. Someone had cut all the ships ropes. Who would do such a thing? I was devastated. At the time I didn’t give much thought on who could have done it. Or why. It didn’t matter to me. The only thing that mattered is that my ship was destroyed.

Obviously, whoever did it didn’t stop and think how they would want to be treated and then how they should treat me. They were thinking only of themselves.

Another victim of mistreatment we often think of is the biblical character Joseph. The story is found in Genesis 37:2-36. He was his father’s favorite son, and so he gave him a beautiful coat of many colors. Well, as the story goes, his brothers were extremely jealous of him, and one day they threw him in a pit and left him for dead. How tragic. As we know, God made things work together for good, and Joseph became the great savior of the Jewish nation. But even so, think of all the pain Joseph went through because of those brothers who thought only of themselves.

Another character we could think of is David. He was such a man of God; he had a heart after God’s own heart. Yet think of how he was abused by others. The Psalms are filled with the prayers of David—how he was chased and was fearful of his enemies—those who certainly were not following the Golden Rule.

The ultimate example of mistreatment by others was our Lord Jesus. And we are all guilty. But the Pharisees seemed to be the ones who were after Him the most—to be rid of Him. And Scripture tells us that they handed Him over (to be crucified) “because of envy” (Matt. 27:18). Think of it. Their sin of envy was so strong that it blocked out any thought of how they should treat others.

Of course, they were not believers, and that is the entire problem. The Golden Rule makes no sense to a non-believer. Only true believers will carry it out. And only a true believer can carry it out. If you want to make a huge impact on peoples lives, if you want to really love them as God loves them, give your heart and soul to God and then practice this Golden Rule. I think it is how we can really begin to love others.

This Golden Rule is so simple, yet profound. It is simple because there is only one thing we are required to do—think how I would want to be treated by others and then treat them that way. It is profound because it works. And it starts with us. We start this process of love, and other will pick it up and carry it on.

And when a non-Christian sees how we lovingly treat each other, they will be curious and will want to join us.  I think so. I pray so.

Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament Tabernacle

Prayer A to Z

The Old Testament Tabernacle, with its various articles and the offering up of animal sacrifices, were insufficient in their attempt to commune with God and forgive sins. But these things now speak of Christ and helps us to commune with Him.

In my last post on this subject we journeyed through the tabernacle and discussed the symbolic meaning of the gate, the bronze altar, and the laver. Now, in this post, we will go in our mind into the sanctuary—the Holy Place.  To the left of us we see a shining golden lampstand with seven golden lamps, burning brightly and giving light to the whole room.  To the right we see a dazzling golden table with twelve small loaves of bread on top.  Directly ahead of us, in front of a beautiful veil is a small smoldering golden altar—about 3 ½ feet high and 20 inches square.

As we look…

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Why is “therefore” placed before the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12)?

In Matthew 7:12, we first encounter the word, “therefore.”

Therefore, however you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. NASB

As a rule, that word “therefore” tells us that what is to come is a summary, or a conclusion of what has previously been said. At first glance, it may be difficult to see it. But it is there. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, in his commentary, points it out quite well. Let me explain as he does.

Verses one through twelve are tied together in two groups, and verse twelve is a concluding statement.

  • Verses 1-6 deals with judging others wisely.
  • Verses 7-11 is a reminder to us that we need His grace in order to correctly deal with and judge others. We need to know how to pray for wisdom.
  • Verse 12 is a concluding verse for the entire section (verses 1-11). It is how we are to deal with others. We are to treat them in the same way we would want them to treat us.

Analyzing Matthew 7:12

So, verse 12 is not a detracted statement. Some bible versions have it as such; but because of the word “therefore” we know it is not. As Lloyd-Jones points out, our Lord all along in this entire section (verses 1-12) is dealing with the subject of our judging others, and in this last verse (12) He shows us more specifically how.

This passage is popularly known as the “golden rule.” We are to treat others in the same way we would want them to treat us. It is similar to the teaching: Love your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 19:19).

Also, Jesus adds that this teaching is contained in all the law and the prophets (of the Old Testament). For example, that we would take care of our neighbor’s ox in the same way that we would want our ox to be cared for (Deut. 22:4).

Why do so many of us renounce the Golden Rule?

The simple reason why so many forsake this rule is because of sin and because of self—because we are thinking only of self and not others. This is the problem for both the Christian as well as the non-Christian.

For the Christian, he has an obvious solution. He must confess his sin and get right with God. Then he will be able to see things from a new, godly perspective. He will be able to see things as Jesus sees them.

For the non-Christian, there is really no hope for him at all apart from Christ. He will always be totally for himself, always thinking of self. And you need to know that this sermon was not for the non-Christian. It was directed toward His disciples. Nonetheless, if one is convicted of his sin and gives his life to God and accepts Christ as his savior, he too can become a Christian. Then all things will become new, and he will receive new unselfish desires—so much so that he will be able to obey this golden rule: to do unto others as we would want them to do unto us.