My Update: 5 things

Okay, I’ll get right to it…

My work. I’m a retired painter—not a lot going on. Tomorrow or the next day I will wash a deck and paint it. I do this particular deck every 3 or 4 years. The next two jobs are doors—to repaint a few doors—easy. After that I have a bedroom to paint. So, what I have lined up is easy, a little boring, but just enough to keep me out of trouble.

Bible reading. I always manage to keep myself busy, but for some reason I feel that I have sadly neglected my time in the word. Yesterday I decided that I would spend two half-hour periods reading the bible—where I am at in Exodus. I liked it. It did me good. I’m gonna try to keep doing that. I have sort of prided myself for being faithful to a morning quiet time. But recently I feel the need for more and something less structured. My goal is to fill my mind with the word of God; to meditate more on it.

My book writing. I’m sort of at a lull in my writing. I had two different books going, but I finished them. Now I’m going through them one at a time, editing them; so I am basically just checking grammar and spelling and to make sure everything is said right.

Photography and walking. For me those things go together. Without my camera walking would be too much of a chore. But walking with my camera is like hunting and an adventure. I’m always hunting with my eyes for the perfect shot. Yesterday while walking I was quite disappointed by all the overgrown weeds and grass, but I did spot two beautiful purple Morning Glories (pictured). My walk was worth it just to see them. And the way the light reflected out of the middle of the trumpet bell is gorgeous!

The Coronavirus and globalism. I am getting so turned off by all the hype and news that the pandemic is getting. I really don’t think that it is as serious as the media is telling us. But the globalists are ecstatic about it. Finally, something came along that will help unite the world. Now all they need is one vaccine for the whole world. The only disappointment they have is the US, Israel, and the Christians.

They are so angry at Donald Trump and his nationalist views. If only they could somehow get Biden to win the November election. We will see what happens. But I have a feeling that they will be in for a constant fight until the Rapture. But after the Rapture everything will change. The Rapture itself will be the driving force for globalism. It will propel all the world leaders to come together to strategize their global agenda. I think, instead of being horrified at all the disappearances the devil will cause them to be gleeful at the new global prospects.

My Growth: Prophecy, Purity, Prayer

While I was busy writing books, I was also engaged in activities to bolster my spiritual growth. I think it was just after my divorce, about 1991, I heard about these local, yearly prophecy conferences. There was usually three or four speakers and the conference lasted all day long. Each speaker was different, but they all had a message on bible prophecy. A few years later another much larger, yearly prophecy conference began, which was organized by Jan Markel. She also featured a weekly radio program with a special guest. That was especially helpful to me, and it also encouraged me to read and study prophecy subjects and passages on my own. Eventually, I became confident enough to push forward with a book: Biblical Evidence of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture. I found out first hand that you learn more from your own personal study than by just listening to a message.

Another area of my life that I started working on was the area of my sexual purity. The year was 2003. I heard about this event called National Coalition for Purity Rally from a flier that I received in the mail. And so, I decided to check it out. The main speaker was quite dynamic and he made the bold claim that anyone could master their own purity. They defined purity in three ways: no pornography, no sexual fantasy, and no masturbation. Well, since I could use help in all those areas I decided to join. I signed up for their boot camp, which was followed by weekly purity platoons. Surprisingly, right away I felt a new spiritual power help me in all areas of purity.  The power I was convinced came from the Holy Spirit moving through the unified prayers of all the guys in the group, as well as from the Scriptures we were learning and memorizing. It was dynamic.  I stayed with that group for about ten years. I have to admit that I am not as pure as I once was, but at least I know that with enough prayer power and with sufficient quality time in the word, it is possible to achieve any level of purity that I set my heart to.

A third area of growth in my life has been in the area of prayer—group prayer as well as personal prayer. It is important to have your own personal, private, daily prayer time—mine is in the morning; but I sense the most powerful prayer results come in group prayer when you are praying together in agreement and in unity. The devil will constantly try to break up your prayer group, but fight against him. Find ways to pray together. I look for every opportunity available. These days small groups have been so helpful to me, especially in the area of prayer.

My Writing: Rewriting and Writing More

I’m not sure exactly what I expected in terms of sales for my books. I thought that I would get some sales, at least for my e-books that I was selling on the Lulu website for just two or three dollars. But nothing! —for months and months. Finely, I decided to make them free. That way at least people wouldn’t have the excuse of not being able to afford them. Well, right away people were starting to order the free e-books. And I felt better, because now the books were at least getting out there.

I know there is a lot more I could do to sell my books, but I hate that part of it—the marketing part, which takes money, something I don’t have. But maybe someday. In the meantime, I will just keep writing. My first project was to rewrite, or edit my prayer books. After reading a few chapters I realized there was so many things I could improve on—ways to make the writing better, clearer. My mom told me that I repeat myself a lot. She was right. My roommate James also mentioned that I use the words thus, therefore and hence far too much. He was right too. Then I found a book by William Zinsser entitled On Writing Well. I learned so much from his book about how not to be so wordy, to say things in less words. So anyway, I went over my book (and that also included my six smaller books), and in just about every paragraph I found something to change. Basically, the content remained the same, I just did some editing that made it read better. It took about a year.

After that I was eager to move on to my next project. I chose the subject of bible prophecy. That entire field has intrigued me for many years, and I really wanted to write a book about it, particularly on the subject of the rapture of the church. I have been a big proponent of the pre-tribulation rapture, and I was ready to lay out the biblical evidence for that view. Even before doing any work on the subject I decided that the title of the book would be, Biblical Evidence of a Pre-tribulation Rapture.

The book was outlined in four parts. In part one, in four chapters I lay out the ground work for the rapture. I describe it from key Scripture passages, including from Daniel 9:24-27. I also talk about Israel and the church, particularly the false teaching of replacement theology.

In part two, I decided to take a detour from the rapture study and look briefly at the kingdom of God—the Millennium. I thought it would be good for the reader to get the big picture of what God would be doing in the future, especially for the Jews. That was a great study. In fact, I got so into it that I decided to make a separate book from it, which I entitled The Coming Millennial Kingdom. Wow! What a detour that was. So, what I did for part two was to just write an abbreviated version of that book.

Part three is basically a bible study of all the Scripture verses of both the rapture and the second coming, which I refer to as two phases of His coming. The first phase is the rapture, and the second phase is His second coming to the earth to set up His kingdom. I concluded from the study that there are 29 verses that refer to the rapture, and 34 verses that refer to the second coming. I also found 16 characteristics of the rapture and 16 characteristics of the second coming. I remember that I thought it was so profound to find 16 characteristics for each phase of His coming.

In part four I show why the rapture must come before the tribulation. First, I give 19 reasons why the pre-tribulation view is the correct view. Then in the last chapter I look at four conflicting views and offer my rebuttal. The four views are: the partial rapture theory, the mid-tribulation rapture theory, the pre-wrath rapture theory, and the post-tribulation rapture theory.

At first, I admit that I was a little afraid of doing this study, thinking that my view in my mind would be weakened. But the reverse was true. I was able to very easily bring a good rebuttal to each and every point. None of their views hold any water. I found that the only view that is biblically correct is the Pre-Tribulation view.

How I became Interested in Bible Prophecy

Let’s see, my interest in Bible prophecy began when I was about 8 or 9 years old, when I began hearing people talk about the Rapture. I can’t remember who it was, whether it was a preacher or maybe my mother. Anyway, they would be trying to describe how quickly Jesus would come and take us away. They would say it that will be as fast as the twinkling of your eye. And then they would try to explain how fast that would be. And I remember someone saying that it won’t be the blinking of the eye but the twinkling of the eye.

Well that was the start of it. And that thought continued to intrigue me for many more years. Gradually my knowledge of the bible increased as I read more and more of it, especially after I was saved at age 12. Oh yes, and one of the things that excited me and turned me toward salvation is the knowledge that heaven would be a real place. I remember talking to my camp counselor about it. I had the idea that heaven would be like a dream, but he told me that it would be just as real as our life now, and even better.

So that’s the early background I had in bible prophecy. Not a lot, but those few pleasant thoughts of the Rapture and heaven really took hold. I remember, along the way, that I read some books on the subject. One was by Hal Lindsey. I read parts of it, and it seemed interesting, but I think it overwhelmed me a bit. So, I chose not to strain my brain on the subject. For the most part, I just held to the belief that someday Jesus would come to take me away. That’s all I really needed to know.

Well, years went by and God kept opening the door to more and more prophecy teaching. In 1977 I began attending Northwestern Bible College in Minnesota.  I liked all my professors; and one in particular, Dr. Edwin Hartill was a good prophecy teacher. The classes from him were all excellent: Hermeneutics, Bible Survey, and Revelation. He definitely believed in the pre-tribulation rapture, and he wasn’t afraid to teach it.

During the same time my church put on a week-long seminar by J. Dwight Pentecost (a professor from Dallas Theological Seminary). He was teaching from his new book, Things to Come. What a treat! What a great book! I remember him saying something like, when it comes to the Pre-tribulation Rapture, I am not only dogmatic about it, I am doubly dogmatic! His book lays it out quite well. I have the book, and whenever I want to know anything about bible prophecy, I can usually find it there.

A few years went by, and I think it was about 1993 when I began going to these bible prophecy conferences once a year. They helped me tremendously in my faith and kept me looking up. One particular speaker that everyone liked was Dr. David Larson. He was the pastor at First Covenant Church in Minneapolis.

It’s been a few years since I’ve been to a prophecy conference, but I do listen to Jan Markell’s weekly radio broadcast, where she hosts excellent speakers from all over the country. They are so good. I have also been doing some writing. This I think has helped me the most, because it has forced me to read and study the subject. So far, I have been able to write two books on bible prophecy: Biblical Evidence of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, and The Coming Millennial Kingdom. Both of these are self-published under my name, and printed by Lulu.com. I also have a another book coming out soon, called, After the Rapture: What Happens on Earth and in Heaven after the Rapture.

So there you have it: how I became interested in bible prophecy. And my interest remains strong. At the same time, I feel sad that so many have little interest in the subject and so many preachers purposely ignore the subject. I don’t know for sure, but I have been told that most of the Seminaries are teaching against the Pre—tribulation Rapture and are instructing their students that the subject of prophecy should be regarded as nothing more than a distraction.

I think I can see how this wrong teaching fits today—that is, how it is a sign of His soon coming. For we are told in 2 Peter 3:3 that in the last days there will be “mockers,” saying, “Where is the promise of His coming?” And we also see in these days that people are not enduring sound doctrine, but are listening only to those who tell them what they want to hear (2 Tim. 4:3).

But I am determined to seek the whole truth, which includes bible prophecy. We must open our ears to all of the word of God. It is all inspired by God and we must pay attention to it. The truth is, Jesus is coming very soon. He said in His word, “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done” (Rev. 22:12).