Devotions Plus

The Story Of Moses (Take The Long Way Home)

moses-long-way-home

Moses is heralded as one of the greats in the faith—and certainly he accomplished much. However, I wonder if there were moments when he thought it was taking too long to accomplish certain goals. As one reviews his very long life, it seems it may have been better for him to start some work earlier, and that it may have been possible for him to  accomplish what he did in a much shorter span of time.   For example, his ministry really doesn’t begin until he is 80 years old—and the journey from the Red Sea to the Promised Land, which should have taken about one year, ends up taking 40.  Some seem to accomplish much in life with lightening speed—but that is the exception to the rule. Some say that Moses took the Long Road—that he took the Long Way Home. Perhaps this is true, but it is not a negative statement. Long term faithfulness is pleasing to God. We tend to be an impatient people who associate the long road with the wrong road, but that is seldom true. I have found that the long road can be the best road, if it is the road God calls us to walk.

The hope is that this inspirational message will remind believers that God never forgets nor forsakes His people (Heb. 13:5b). . He does not promise comfort—but He does promise victory. He does not promise quick accomplishments—but He does promise eternal reward

Complimenting Study Notes are presented below

 

 

A MESSAGE FROM MOSES

 God can show up when you least expect

  • “One day while Moses was taking care of the sheep and goats of his father-in-law Jethro…” Exodus 3:1
    • Amos
    • Peter
    • David
    • Saul

     

When God moves—move to investigate

  • “There the angel of the LORD appeared to him as a flame coming from the middle of a bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire but that it was not burning up. ‘This is strange,’ he thought. ‘Why isn’t the bush burning up? I will go closer and see.’”   Exodus 3:2-3
  • “Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks will receive, and anyone who seeks will find, and the door will be opened to those who knock.” Matthew 7:7-8    

     

Be clean if you want to be blessed

  • “[God] called to [Moses] from the middle of the bush and said, “Moses! Moses!” He answered, “Yes, here I am.” God said, “Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground.” Exodus 3:1-15
    • Joshua 1

 

When God moves us, it’s to a better place

  • “The LORD said, ‘I have seen how cruelly my people are being treated in Egypt; I have heard them cry out to be rescued…I know all about their sufferings…[I will] rescue them from the Egyptians and bring them out of Egypt to a spacious land.’”  Exodus 3:7-8

 

When God says ‘I’—He means you

  • “I have seen how cruelly my people are being treated in Egypt; I have heard them cry out to be rescued…I know all about their sufferings…[I will] rescue them from the Egyptians and… bring them out of Egypt to a spacious land…Now I am sending you to…Egypt so that you can lead my people out of his country.”  
  • [Jesus] “All power is given  unto me  in  heaven and  in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing  them in the name of the Father, and  of the  Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”   Matt. 28:18-19 (KJV)       

 

God’s provision is His presence—His gift is worship

  • “‘I am nobody. How can I go to the king and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’ God answered, ‘I will be with you, and when you bring the people out of Egypt, you will worship me on this mountain.’”
    • God’s word to Abraham
    • Jesus’ word to the disciples

 

God is all we need

  • “God said, ‘I am who I am. You must tell them: The one who is called I AM has sent me to you.’”  Exodus 3:13-14        
    • John 8:58
    • Ephesians 3:20

 

 

Overcoming Depression

depressed young man sitting on the bench

Depression is a powerful weapon of the enemy. It is effective in deterring and distracting God’s people from reaching their potential and accomplishing the task at hand.  One of the reasons depression is so effective is that often this debilitating illness can not be traced to one incident or one factor.  Certainly significant setbacks and tragedies can be linked to depression, but often Satan prefers it when the hurting have difficulty determining a cause for chronic sadness, for that inhibits the ability to determine a path for remedy.

Perhaps this is why Psalm 40 was written. It is a Psalm of sadness and no one knows when or why it was written. It does not seem to be tied to any particular event. This is interesting as king David’s life is well profiled in Scripture and bible scholars are able to identify what was happening in David’s life when most of his Psalms were written. Psalm 40 is a striking exception—particularly because if notes a profound hurt and an amazing rescue from the pit of despair.

In this teaching based on Psalm 40, I share helps and suggestions regarding how to move through periods of depression even if the causes are not abundantly clear. The are no easy answers or quick fixes, but sure and amazing promises and divine help are available. My prayer is that this teaching will help all to have the sound mind promised in Scripture.

Here is a link to the teaching: DEALING WITH DEPRESSION  

STUDY NOTES FOR TEACHING ON DEALING WITH DEPRESSION

“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.    He  lifted me  out of  the slimy  pit,  out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock  and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my  mouth,  a hymn of praise      to our God. Many will see and  fear and put their trust in the LORD.”  Psalm 40:1-3

 

If you are discouraged, know that you are not alone. Others who struggled with depression include:

  • President Lincoln
  • President Wilson
  • Winston Churchill
  • Virginia Wolf
  • Mark Twain
  • Martin Luther
  • Charles Stanley
  • Charles Spurgeon (took months off each year)
    • Moses (NumBERS 10:15)
    • Jonah (Jonah 4:3)
    • Elijah (1 Kings 19:4)
    • 2 Cor. 11:24-28

 

 Promises from God

  • John 10:10 [abundant life]
  • 8:37 [more than victory]
  • Acts 1:8 [new power]
  • “As the Spirit of the Lord works in us, we become more and more like him…” 2 Cor. 3:18b 
  • 1 Corinthians 15:57

 

STEPS TO OVERCOMING:

 Know that discouragement is one of Satan’s favorite weapons

 “…Caleb tried to encourage the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said… “But the other men who had explored the land with him answered, “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!” So they spread discouraging reports about the land among the Israelites: “The land we explored will swallow up any who go to live there. All the people we saw were huge.  We even saw giants  there…We felt like grasshoppers next to them, and that’s what we looked like to them!”   Numbers 13:30-33

 

Don’t allow the fear or doubts of others to discourage you

“Then all the congregation  lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. All the sons of Israel  grumbled against Moses and Aaron; and the whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness!”      Numbers 14:1-2

  • Do not give the enemy an opportunity (Eph. 4:17)
  • Do not give the devil a way to defeat you (New Century Bible)

 

Ask God to help you have the right perspective (Cf. Nu. 14:24)  

 “[This] is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are  being renewed every day. For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long… So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.”  2 Cor. 4:16-18   (NLT)

 

Know where the low points of the wall are   

 I set out during the night with a few men…By night I went out through the Valley Gate …examining the walls of Jerusalem, which had been broken down, and its gates, which had been destroyed by fire.”      Neh. 2:12-13

  •   Moses became discouraged when he tried to do it all himself
  •   Elijah became discouraged when he had unrealistic expectations
  •   Job: Was tormented by negative  ‘friends’

 

Remember: God desires to help                                                                                                  

Why am I discouraged? Why so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!”    Psa. 42:5-6a  (NLB)

“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord , and I will free you from your slavery in Egypt. I will redeem you with mighty power…I will make you my own special people, and I will be your God. And you will know that I am the Lord your God who has rescued you…So Moses told the people what the Lord had said, but they wouldn’t listen… They had become too discouraged by the increasing burden of their slavery.”    Exod. 6:6-9

 

 Moving to break the cycle:                                                                                                    

  • Acknowledge what isn’t working (Luke 5:1-8)
  • Confess (1 John 1:9; James 5:16)
  • Receive God’s grace:  (Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:7)
  • Identify the triggers: “Do not give the devil an opportunity.” Ephesians 4:27  
  • Replace the negative with positive: “Do not be overcome by  evil, but  overcome evil with good.”   Romans 12:21 (NKJV) 
  • Establish an accountability and support system: “Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed…”   James 5:16
  • Pray and be mindful of God’s great love for you: “Even if we are not    faithful, still he remains faithful…”   2 Timothy 2:13 (NCV) 

 

“Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.”   2 Timothy 2:21

 “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity…No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love…nothing can separate us from the love of God that      is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”    Romans 8:35-39 (NLT)

  • “Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

 

Reasons To Believe (Part 1)

reasons-to-believe

Knowing What You Believe And Why You Believe It

We live in a time of great paradoxes. There is great skepticism—but there are great resources to glean answers. There are more ministers than ever before—but less hold conservative views consistent with the historic Christian faith. The number of churches is growing, but the percentage of ‘churched’ people is decreasing.  There are more bibles in America than ever before—but the bible literacy rate is arguably lower than ever before.  We live in a time when there is an increasing number of questions about church doctrine—but few are well prepared to present a strong defense for their faith. But that is exactly what God’s people are called to do.

There are good reasons that good people have great questions about faith. The message of the church (of America) seems at times to be inconsistent or confused, rules and laws regarding morality seem subject to change, and there have been more than a few high-profile ministry and minister failings which have led to a breach of trust.   Satan seeks to capitalize on every opportunity and area of weakness. With darkness on the rise there is a great opportunity and need for the church to be the light God desires it to be.  The call to every believe is to study (2 Timothy 2:15), be prepared to provide answers (1 Peter 3:15) and be ready in season and out to be the witness God wants every believers to be (2 Timothy 4:2).

Noted below are links to a teaching entitled, Reasons To Believe, and a downloadable 28 page companion study booklet. This is part one of a three part Apologetics Teaching Series. The prayer is that these resources will embolden the faith and better the witness of every believer.

Note: Parts two and three of the Reasons To Believe teaching series will be posted soon. In part one of this teaching series I present information on how the scope and precision of the universe points to Intelligent Design and the existence of God, and how the unique and inspired nature of the Bible presents the Master Designer as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. In part two of this study,  I reference historical and archaeological findings which verify the biblical record to be true, and address some of the apparent inconsistencies in Scripture.  In part three of this study, I note how science and theology can compliment each other, and how prophecy sets Christianity apart from every other religion

Here is a link to the teaching: REASONS FOR FAITH PART 1

Extensive study notes are provided in this downloadable booklet: https://www.mediafire.com/?i8t9k5hyslxcicw

 

The Mission And Ministry Of The Church

A Study In Matthew 16

The church is one of God’s great gifts to this age.  The church is the bride of Christ—it is not a building or a denomination, but believers who are called, equipped, anointed and filled by the Spirit so that Kingdom work can be accomplished.  If you are a believer in Jesus Christ—then church is not something you attend, it is something you are.

It is true that the Church has human leaders and is therefore subject to mistakes and misdeeds. However, Jesus is the head of the Church and both has the desire, and the power, to employ His Church to accomplish His purpose. In this sense we, His Church, are His chosen instrument at this time in history.

The Apostle Paul noted that it is God’s will that “through the church the manifold wisdom of God is to be make known…” (Ephesians 3:10). Yes, there are anointed and eloquent preachers on television, and there are fine Christian books and online resources from which great knowledge can be gleaned. But these fine resources are to compliment one’s involvement in a local church, not replace it. It is God’s plan that His people belong to a local church—for edification, for support, for accountability, and to develop and employ Spirit-given gifts in support of a corporate (local Church) ‘Great Commission’ work.   1 Corinthians 12:18 notes that God Himself plays a role in leading individuals to the church He desires them to support. The Church God leads you to may not be the largest, or staffed by the most capable staff, but the very best place you can be is where God leads you to be. The church has been entrusted to fulfill an incredibly important mission—that mission can only be fulfilled when all respond faithfully to God’s leading, and serve and support the ministry that God calls them to.

In this teaching Pastor Gary  profiles the qualities that define a true,  bible-based church.  Scripture notes that though there will be a ‘falling away’ from truth in the last days, a remnant of true believers will prevail. Let us strive to be counted among them.

Study Notes Are Presented Below:

THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST

The Church is:

  • A “house of God” (Jud. 18:31; 2 Chr. 5:14; Psa.42:4)
  • The “house of the Lord” (Exod. 23:19; Deut. 23:18; Isa. 2:2)
  • A “house of prayer” (Matt. 21:13; Isa. 56:7)
  • A “family” (“You are a member of God’s family…and you belong in God’s household with every other Christian.”) Eph. 2:19 (LB)                                       
  • A “place to rejoice” (Deut. 12:11-14)
  • A place to praise God (Psa. 111:1, 134:1-3)
  • A “sanctuary” (Exod. 25:8; Nu. 3:28; Psa. 20:2)
  • The “bride of Christ” (Gal. 6:16; Rev. 21:2,9, 22:1)
  • A special place:
    • “…my eyes and heart are always there.” (1 Kings 9:3b)
    • [It is the] “…special shoot that God planted.”  (Isa. 60:21)

  

The Church is NOT a building, but believers

  • We are God’s building (1 Cor. 3:9)
  • We are “His house” (Heb. 3:6b)
  • The church is a body (1 Cor. 12)

 

The Church is comprised of believers committed to:

  • View all as valuable and important to the Kingdom’s work (1 Cor. 12:14-24)
  • Pray for one another (James 5:16a)
  • “Confess to one another” (James 5:16b)
  • “Love one another” (1 John 4:7)
  • “Encourage one another” (Eph. 4:29; 1 Peter 4:11a)
  • “Forgive one another” (Eph. 4:32)
  • “Bear on another’s burdens” (Gal. 6:2)
    • Believers are united not by a common race, background or preferences, but by a common need, calling, future and Lord.

 

About the structure of the New Testament Church

  • God calls people to His church—He “sets them in place as it is pleasing to the Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:18).
  • God equips believers with different gifts and callings so the church will be able to carry-out its “Great Commission” work (Eph. 4:11-12; 1 Cor. 12:4-5; Matt. 28:18-20).
  • Biblical Offices in the Church:
    • Deacon (Acts 6; 1 Tim. 3:8-13) [The term Deacons is linked to the term servant].
    • Shepherd/Pastor (1 Peter 5:2) [spiritual leaders/teachers of the flock in the sense that Jesus presented Himself as the ‘good Shepherd’ in John 10].
    • Elder (Titus 1:5-2:15) [Assists the shepherd/pastor  in the work of the church and provide spiritual guidance, instruction and administrative oversight of the ministry of the church].
    • Overseer (Acts 20:28; 1 Tim. 3:1) [A general reference to the Pastor or Elders of the Church].
    • Bishop [A reference to those who have regional oversight, or leadership over more than one ministry area].

 

 The calling of every church

  • Be a “light” to the world (Matthew 5:14)
  • Be “salt” (Matthew 5:13)
  • Teach, reach, and baptize (Matthew 28:18-20)
  • Preach the Gospel/share the truth of God (2 Timothy 4:1-2)
  • Follow Jesus’ example (1 John 2:6; John 13:15)

 

Guiding verses

  • It is he who saved us and chose us for his holy work, not because we deserved it but because that was his plan.”  1 Tim. 1:9 (LB)        
  • “Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body [church].”   Romans 12:5 
  • “Since we find ourselves fashioned into these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s… be what we were made to be.” Romans 12:5 (Message)               
  • “Praise the greatness of the Lord, who loves to see his servants do well.” Psalm 35:27 (NCV)

 

 

Defining Greatness

A profile of John the Baptist

defining-greatness-2

How one defines greatness may seem to be a bit subjective. Some are considered great if they win a gold medal in the Olympics. Others are deemed great if they have a large following, build a large business or succeed in politics.  Surely there is something to commend in all of the above, but the most important question is: What does Jesus say about greatness?

 In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus notes that John the Baptist was the greatest (Matthew 11:11).   This is an amazing statement considering John never had wealth and was not accepted by the religious leaders of his day (though he was called of God to be a prophet). He did not build a business, write a book, lead an army or create any art. And though his ministry was less than one year in length, Jesus said of him: “Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist…” (Matthew 11:11a).

 In this teaching I focus on how Jesus defines greatness, how He and John the Baptist lived it, and how believers today can experience that kind of life as well.  We are called to greatness.  Yes, even if you have no led no army, amassed no wealth and built no business, you can be great in the eyes of God.

VERSES/PROPHECIES REGARDING JOHN THE BAPTIST:

  • His mission pointed to by the prophet Isaiah: “A voice is calling, ‘Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain…be made low; and let the rough ground become a plain…then the glory of the Lord will be revealed…’”     Isa 40:3-5a
  • His mission pointed to by the prophet Malachi: “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord.  He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers…”    Mal. 4:5-6a
  • His calling announced by the angel of the Lord: Zechariah was in the sanctuary when an angel of the Lord appeared…the angel said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! For God has heard your prayer, and your wife, Elizabeth, will bear you a son! And you are to name him John. You will have great joy…for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord…And he will persuade many Israelites to turn to the Lord their God. He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah, the prophet of old. He will precede the coming of the Lord, preparing the people for his arrival.’”    Luke 1:11-17
  • His greatness noted by Jesus: “But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one who is more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written, ‘Behold , I send My messenger ahead of You, Who will prepare Your way before You .’   Truly I say to you, among    those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than  John the Baptist!”      Matthew 11:9-11

 

COMPONENTS OF GREATNESS:

Have a clear sense of calling/purpose

  • “Isaiah had spoken of John when he said, ‘He is a voice shouting in the wilderness: Prepare a pathway for the Lord’s coming! Make a straight road for him!’”      Matt. 3:3

 

  Do not be swayed from doing what is right

  • “For Herod himself had sent and had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, because he had married her.  For John had been saying to Herod, ‘It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.’”   Mark 6:17-18

 

  Continually point people to God

  • “People from Jerusalem and from every section of Judea and from all over the Jordan Valley went out to the wilderness to hear him preach. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.”    Matt. 3:5-6
  • “God sent John the Baptist to tell everyone about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was only a witness to the light.  The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was going to come into the world.”   John 1:6-9
  • “‘Then who are you? Tell us, so we can give an answer to those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?’ John replied in the words of Isaiah: ‘I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, prepare a straight pathway for the Lord’s coming!’”              John 1:11-23a
  • “The next day John saw Jesus…and said, ‘Look! There is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’”  John 1:29

   

 Be open to new possibilities

  • “John said, ‘I saw the Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him [Jesus].  I didn’t know he was the one, but…God told me, “When you see the Holy Spirit descending and resting upon someone, he is the one you are looking for. He is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Son of God.’”   John 1:32-34

 

 Build a reputation for purity / integrity

  • “…Herod was afraid of John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man.”    Mark 6:20b

 

 Know who you are, and who God is

  • “You yourselves know how plainly I told you that I am not the Messiah. I am here to prepare the way for him—that is all…A bridegroom’s friend rejoices with him. I am the bridegroom’s friend, and I am filled with joy at his success. He must increase…I must decrease.”    John 3:28-30

 

 

 

What’s Next?

What the Bible says about the days to come

what-is-next

Eschatology is the study of the happenings of the end times.  Many who write or teach on this subject focus either on The Rapture, the battle of Armageddon  or the last half of the tribulation period often referred to as The Great Tribulation.  Certainly all are worthy subjects to investigate, but what about events that precede the proximate starting point for the 7 year tribulation period?  Does the Bible provide information regarding what believers can expect in the last of the last days (referred to in Matthew 24 as the time of the Birth Pains?). The answer is Yes. This teaching is designed to provide insight regarding what will happen before the prophecies in the book of Revelation begin to be fulfilled.

STUDY NOTES:

A LISTING OF A FEW PROPHECIES

PROPHECIES CONCERNING THIS (THE CHURCH) AGE:  

  • The Church will be established with Christ as the cornerstone: (Matthew 16:18 / 1 Peter 2:6).
  • The Gospel will be preached to the entire world:  “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”       Matthew 24:14; 28:18-20. 
  • False prophets will come: (2 Peter 2:1-2)
  • Violence will increase: The earth will be filled with violence (Luke 17:26; Genesis 6:11-13). In the United States alone, violent crime has increased nearly 500% since 1960. Fifty years ago abortion was illegal in most countries. Today abortion is legal in many countries and 46 million children are aborted (globally) each year.
  • Knowledge will increase:This is not a reference to technological, scientific or medical advances, it is a reference to an increase in understanding of Scripture and prophetic references (Daniel 12:4).
  • Disease will increase(pestilences) will increase (Matthew 24:7; Revelation 6:8).
  • There will be “signs” and “wonders” in the heavens”(Luke 21:11, 26).   These may include (but not be limited to) red or blood moons, solar eclipses, comets, unusual sun activity, unusual weather, celestial formations (such as in Revelation 12), etc.
  • Famines will increase (Luke 21:11; Revelation 6:5-8).
  • All surrounding nations will be united against Israel (Psalm 83:4-8; Zechariah 12:2). Today, Israel is surrounded by hostile nations and finds little support in the United Nations organization.
  • Jerusalem will be a ‘burdensome stone’ and ‘cup of trembling’ (Zechariah 12:2-3).
  • Jerusalem is given by God to the Jews (Zech. 12:3):  Almost daily the world news reports on the conflict over Jerusalem. The United Nations, the Vatican, and many world leaders want to make it an international city. The Arab world wants to make it a new capital city for the Palestinians.  However, God says that the city is His and He has given it to the Jews forever (Gen. 15:18; Lev. 25:23; 2 Chron. 6:6). All who burden themselves with it will be “cut in pieces.” Despite God’s warning, UN resolution 476 reiterates that Israel’s claims to Jerusalem are null and void.
  • The destruction of Damascus:  Damascus will be destroyed (Isaiah 17:1, 14; Jeremiah 49:23-27; Amos 1:3-5; Zechariah 9:1-8). Currently Damascus is the capital of Syria, and Syria is hostile to Israel and heavily supported by Russia and Iran.
  • Great earthquakes: There will be an increase in higher magnitude earthquakes “in diverse” (unusual) places (Luke 21:11; Isaiah 24:19-20; Revelation 6:12-14;16:18-20).
  • Narcissism: Humanity will become increasingly materialistic, selfish and lovers of pleasure (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
  • A lack of respect for authority: Youth will become increasingly rebellious (2 Timothy 3:2-3; Mark 13:12).
  • Persecution: Jesus said Christians will be hated for His name’s sake (Luke 21:17; Revelation 6:9-11; 20:4).
  • Homosexuality will be accepted and commended. Jesus warned that the last days would be like the days of Lot (Luke 17:28-30).
  • Apostasy in the church:  Apostasy will occur before the Antichrist is revealed (2 Thessalonians 2:3). Increasingly, experience-based “Christianity” is replacing the Bible as the standard for saving faith. The ecumenical movement is striving for unity at the expense of truth. Christ’s absolutes are rejected in the name of tolerance. There will be a move towards a one-world religion (Rev. 13, 17).

  

TRIBULATION PERIOD PROPHECIES

Note: the following prophecies are not presented in chronological order:

  • Israel will enter into a peace treaty:  The Antichrist will impose a “covenant with the many” which will include Israel (Daniel 9:27; 8:23-25).  It is this ‘covenant’ that initiates the 7 year tribulation period.
  • A global economic system will exist (Revelation 13:16-17).
  • Israel will dwell without walls  prior to the invasion from the north (Ezekiel 38:8-11). The sense of security is likely, in large part, the result of the peace covenant noted above. The invasion of the north will likely come after the mid-point of the tribulation period.
  • The third Temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem: Daniel, Jesus, Paul, and John refer to a temple being in Jerusalem in the last days.  This is referenced in Dan. 9:27; 12:11; Mark 13:14; 2 Thess. 2:4; and Rev. 11:1-2.  Note: Plans for the completion of the new Temple are complete.
  • Temple sacrifices will be reinstituted in Israel in the last days (Daniel 9:27; 12:11).
  • Temple sacrifices will be forbidden:  At the mid-point of the tribulation period, the Antichrist will seize control of the Temple, end the daily sacrifices and proclaim himself to be God. (Rev. 13).
  • Believers sealed by the Spirit: 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel (very likely a symbolic number representing a large and perfect number of believers) will be sealed by the Holy Spirit and used of God to evangelize the world (Rev. 7). Along with these sealed witness will come two great prophets (Rev. 11:3-14). These prophets/witnesses will preach with power for 31/2 years, and then be put to death. Their deaths will be celebrated by many. Their bodies will lie in the street for three days, after which they will be resurrected and taken into heaven.
  • Revival: During the tribulation many will turn to Jesus and be saved (Revelation 7:9-17; Daniel 12:10; Zechariah 2:11; Isaiah 19:16-25).
  • Earthquakes:  Great earthquakes will shake the world during the tribulation period (Rev. 6:12, 8:5, 11:13, 16:18, etc.).
  • Vegetation decimated:  Revelation 8:7 notes that the first trumpet judgment will bring about the destruction of 1/3 of all vegetation.
  • Meteor or Comet falls into the sea:  Revelation 8:8-9 notes that the second trumpet judgment facilitates something falling into the sea—destroying 1/3 of life.
  • Wormwood:  Similar to the second trumpet judgment, the third trumpet judgment facilitates something falling to the earth which causes fresh water to turn bitter—resulting in the death of many.
  • Reduction of light: The fourth trumpet judgment brings about a reduction of light (from the sun, moon and starts) by 1/3.
  • Tormenting creatures: The fifth trumpet judgment is associated with the coming of scorpion-like creatures coming from the demon world. These creatures torment humanity but not unto death.Some suggest that these creatures will not be able to torment believers in Jesus Christ.
  • Forced worship of the Antichrist:  2 Thess. 2 and Revelation 13 note that the Beast will force all to worship the Antichrist. Failure to do so will result in death. Proof of allegiance to the Antichrist will include receiving a mark on one’s hand or forehead.
  • Sores on those who receive the mark: Revelation 16:1-2 notes that those who accepted the mark of the Beast, signifying their worship of him, will contract painful sores on their body.
  • Refuge: Ancient Petra (located in Jordan)  will become the refuge for believers (Isa. 16:1-4; Matt, 24:16; Rev. 12:6, 14).
  • A great army from the east: The sixth trumpet announces the coming of a great army from the east (two hundred million men). This army advances toward Israel, and leaves devastation in its wake. (Rev. 9:13)
  • The Euphrates River blocked or dried-up:  (Rev. 16:12).
  • The Antichrist wounded: Revelation 13 notes that the Antichrist will apparently suffer a fatal wound to the head, but will recover to the amazement of many—a happening that serves to increase his power and following.
  • The Woman Who Rides The Beast: Revelation 17 notes the judgment on this woman—also called the Whore of Babylon.  Please see 40-45 of this booklet for additional information on this woman.
  • Life in the sea dies: Revelation 16:3 notes the remaining life in the sea dies as the second vial of judgment is poured out and the oceans become as blood.  The third vial of judgment brings about the death of life in the rivers (Revelation 16:4).
  • Scorching heat: The fourth vial of judgment is associated with scorching heat.
  • Darkness: The fifth vial of judgment is associated with an unusual darkness and painful maladies (Revelation 16:10-11).
  • War:  There will be a series of wars—collectively referred to as the battle of Armageddon.
  • Victory: At the last moment, when Israel is surrounded by her enemies, God will intervene, and the enemy will be vanquished, bound and thrown into the pit.  Jesus Christ will come and begin His millennial reign, after which Satan will be released and after one last attempt to rise up against the things of God. After this last battle he and all of creation will be judged and sent to their eternal homes—to heaven or to hell (Rev. 19-21).