WARNING: Persecution Creeps toward the USA

From watch.org on November 1

Billy Graham’s Warning to American Churches: ‘Prepare for Persecution’

The Rev. Billy Graham has issued a written warning to America’s churches: “Prepare for persecution.”

The renowned preacher and founder of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association penned a commentary that was posted on his website last week and is slated to appear in the November edition of Decision magazine.

In the magazine, Graham notes that the American church has been largely unfamiliar with persecution, writing that this “immunity to persecution that Christians in our country have experienced in the past two or three centuries is unusual.”

“As a whole, our nation does not know what privation is. We do not know what sacrifice is. We do not know what suffering is. Suppose persecution were to come to the church in America, as it has come in other countries,” wrote Graham.

“Since we have experienced little religious persecution in this country, it is likely that under pressure many would deny Christ. Those who shout the loudest about their faith may surrender soonest.”

———– End Times Note ———-

Persecution of the “saints” comes in the end of this era of time on earth. This is clearly noted in Scripture. Reverend Graham is attempting to wake up a sleeping public. The US has spent more time recently being PC (politically correct) and as a result there are those claiming rights, as in civil rights, for issues that are not merely civil, but sinful. Scripture tells us we will arrive at a time when “right is wrong and wrong is right” … a lawless state will creep across the globe … it’s already happening and you are probably sleeping in the face of reality.

Like ISIS beheading ‘infidels’ or oppressing peoples in the Middle East of the imposition of religious law (Shiria law) on those who have otherwise lived at peace and with morality unifying their communities (e.g., Iraq, Syria, elsewhere) … persecution in the extreme will plow all that under into darkness … why would that only happen “over there” and not here … persecution creeps and spreads its tendrils … slowly and over time … persecution comes.

If you want to read exactly what appears in Decision Magazine, you can download an electronic copy here.

Director, windowview.org

Is there an afterlife? Does prayer work? Do you Believe?

WE ARE WHAT WE THINK WE ARE

Take a look at this NBC clip about life, prayer, faith and God … and consider your belief or lack thereof as the case may be.  This clip reflects so much of what the media tell us today, but is this solid information or just a reflection of deeper issues and limited understanding?

One this is clear to people who are aware of what the Bible has to say is that humanity is rounding the historical bend to something daunting and perhaps with consequences that are eteranl.  Should you care?

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

BUT WHAT ARE WE? WHERE DO YOU STAND IN AN AGE OF RELATIVISM?

So … where do you fit in?

If you are like one of the millions who have never really read the Bible, or bothered to study the informative substance there, then you are left with no basis to consider the Hebrew and Greek scriptures are indeed relevant.  Any assumption that material life and nature is all there is, all that explains all,  is equally dangerous.  Being of an opinion of any sort minus solid information is a real problem.

Do you accept the Koran as Devine inspiration without seeking an understanding as to how that written work came into existence? What are the facts? (Some thoughts can be found on a companion page)  Mormons are little aware that the Book of Mormon was written in the US in the 1800s as theistic fiction (See the 1909 text by Dr. McNiece [PDF of McNiece’s Chapter 10] or [PDF download of original complete volume from another website, therein see Chapter Ten]). Followers of the Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW) read their translation of the Bible tinkered with by Russell and Rutherford, but history tells neither man knew the original biblical languages.  Misconceptions of the Bible abound.  Meet a JW and they will tell you there are many gods, that they are one of the 144,000 canvassing the globe in the latter days.  But look at what the Bible says of the 144,000 … the fact is each member of this massive 144K evangelical movement is both Jewish and a virgin.  Look at the JW in front of you and ask: “Are you Jewish? Are you a virgin?” Well?

What does this all say? Knowing the reality of the reliable nature of information is key. Many of the moderns today forget the Bible stated the universe had a beginning.  Science only confirmed this fact in the Twentieth Century, thousands of years after the biblical record. For centuries biblical scholars wondered if there really was a King David!  Now, near the Temple mount in Jerusalem, in recent decades the digging reveals the City of David is fact and not fiction.  And the Bible tells us at the end of the latter days, the nations will turn against Israel.  See any trends out there now? That couldn’t have happened until after World War II when Israel became a reality in a modern sense.  And the trend of recent events seems only to ramp up to the very events that biblical prophecy states will come.  Are you observant and willing to study how factual and truthful Scripture is?

The NBC piece comes with some statistics, like 26% of those polled said being close to God was most important in their life.  What does that tell you of the remaining 74%?  The next most important priority was family, a close second at 14%.  What is important out side this top 40% devoted to God and family?  Think about it, 60% of the rest of us have other priorities in life … and not all are moral or selfless!

When 68% say God exists, are they saying “God of Israel” or “a god of some kind?”  Historically, humans have believed in wooden and metal figurines they called god, but as Abraham noted, no such figurine ever responds to anyone … those gods are dead and of no hope or help in life, then and now!

There is confusion as to what God or god is!  A force (54%), a man (27%), a human form not clearly man or woman (12%), other than human (6%) and 2% say woman … but the Bible clearly states God is spirit and we are made in His image.  Why then are there so many impressions and opinions?  You might surmise that assumptions prevail in the absence of close scrutiny, study, or a look at the validity of the Bible and the information therein … the fact of the matter is not considered by the masses.  Are you a mere lemming running into the sea of relativism and mere opinion?

What is truly awesome is that there is a Bible and a Jewish people spoken of in the ancient parts of the text AND that they and Israel exist today.  Moreover the very trends and the nature of what the Bible tells us is alive in right there on the news each and every day … and yet so many are blind to the implications.

What we discover time and again is that the popular media do so much to confuse the real issue of what is the factual basis to believe and faith.  Science digs up facts, but so too faith must rely on fact or it too is mere fiction.  Study how the Bible was written and preserved over time.  Note the connections throughout the text and how this book is alive with connections to our lives in this very moment of history!

Don’t be assured by polls and statistics that put off the urgency of knowing what is really at the heart of our existence.  Your life is in reality an opportunity to make a vital decision about why you are here!  The Bible cuts to the chase in so many ways to reveal its relevance … but until you start to explore, you are just another opinion and part of a percentage point.  Beyond mere opinions there is an opportunity … choose life!  Be alive, look and learn for yourself!

For your further consideration, the WindowView website looks at key scenarios that provide perspectives on who we are, how we got here, and what the future holds.

Director, WindowView.org

The Feasts of Israel – Do they have prophetic significance?

Origin and Timing of the Feasts

The feasts were a part of the Mosaic Law that was given to the Children of Israel by God through Moses (Exodus 12; 23:14-17; Leviticus 23; Numbers 28 & 29; and Deuteronomy 16). The Jewish nation was commanded by God to celebrate seven feasts over a seven month period of time, beginning in the Spring of the year and continuing through the Fall.

The first three feasts: Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits, occur in rapid succession in the Spring of the year over a period of eight days. They came to be referred to collectively as “Passover.”

The fourth feast: Harvest, occurs fifty days later at the beginning of the Summer. By New Covenant times this feast had come to be known as Pentecost, from the Greek word pentekonta, meaning fifty, the feminine is pentekoste.

The last three feasts: Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles extend over a period of twenty-one days in the Fall of the year. These are known as the “High Holy Days.”

The Nature of the Feasts

Some of the feasts were related primarily to the agricultural cycle. The feast of First Fruits was a time for the presentation to God of the first fruits of the barley harvest. The feast of Harvest was a celebration of the wheat harvest. And the feast of Tabernacles was in part a time of thanksgiving for the harvest of olives, dates, and figs.

Most of the feasts were related to past historical events. Passover, of course, celebrated the salvation the Jews experienced when the LORD passed over the Jewish houses that were marked with the blood of a lamb. Unleavened Bread was a reminder of the swift departure from Egypt so swift that they had no time to put leaven into their bread.

Although the feasts of Harvest and Tabernacles were related to the agricultural cycle, they both had historical significance as well. The Jews believed that it was on the feast day of Harvest that God gave the Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai. And Tabernacles was a yearly reminder of God’s protective care as the Children of Israel tabernacled in the wilderness for forty years.

The Spiritual Significance of the Feasts

All the feasts were, and are, unto the LORD. They served to tum- yank! -the people from the pagan Egyptian ways they’d been surrounded by and so greatly influenced by, to set the Hebrews apart from all of the pagan peoples on the earth. Thus, the Feasts of Israel are all about the spiritual life of the people. Passover served as a reminder that there is no atonement for sin apart from the shedding of blood. (Lev. 17: 11) Unleavened Bread was a reminder of God’s call on their lives to be a people set apart to holiness, as leaven was a symbol of sin. They were to be unleavened, that is, holy, before the nations as a witness of God, as Yeshua is the Unleavened Bread of Life.

The feast of First Fruits was a call to consider their priorities, to make certain they were putting God first in their lives. Harvest was a reminder that God is the source of all blessings. The assembly day of Trumpets informs us of the Rapture to come, and of the LORD Yeshua’s Second coming! The Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, was, and is, a reminder of the need for repentance, and was, and is, also a solemn assembly day, a day of rest and introspection. It was a reminder of God’s promise to send a Messiah whose blood would cover the demands of the Law with the mercy of God.

In sharp contrast to the Day of Atonement, Tabernacles was, and is, a joyous celebration of God’s faithfulness, even when the Children of Israel were unfaithful.

The Prophetic Significance of the Feasts

What the Jewish people did not seem to realize is that all of the feasts were also symbolic types. In other words, they were prophetic in nature, each one pointing in a unique way to some aspect of the life and work of the promised Messiah.

1) Passover – Pointed to the Messiah as our Passover Lamb Whose blood would be shed for our sins. Jesus was crucified on the day of preparation for the Passover, at the same time that the lambs were being slaughtered for the Passover meal that evening.

2) Unleavened Bread – Pointed to the Messiah’s sinless life, making Him the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Jesus’ body was in the grave during the first days of this feast, like a kernel of wheat planted and waiting to burst forth as the bread of life.

3) First Fruits – Pointed to the Messiah’s resurrection as the first fruits of the righteous. Jesus was resurrected on this very day, which is one of the reasons that Paul refers to Him in Corinthians 15:20 as the “first fruits from the dead.”

4) Harvest or Pentecost – (Called Shavuot today.) Pointed to the great harvest of souls, both Jew and Gentile, that would come into the kingdom of God during the Church Age. The Church was actually established on this day when the Messiah poured out the Holy Spirit and 3,000 souls responded to Peter’s first proclamation of the Gospel.

The long interval of three months between Harvest and Trumpets pointed to the current Church Age, a period of time that was kept as a mystery to the Hebrew prophets in Old Covenant times. That leaves us with the three Fall feasts which are yet to be fulfilled in the life and work of the Messiah. Because Yeshua literally fulfilled the first four feasts and did so on the actual feast days, I think it is probable that the last three will also be fulfilled on the actual feast days.

5) Trumpets – (Called Rosh Hashana today.) Points to the Rapture when the Messiah will appear in the heavens as a Bridegroom coming for His bride, the Church. The Rapture is always associated in Scripture with the blowing of a loud trumpet (I Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:52)

6) Atonement – (Called Yom Kippur today.) Points to the day of the Second Coming of Jesus when He will return to earth. That will be the day of atonement for the Jewish remnant when they “look upon Him whom they have pierced,” repent of their sins, and receive Him as their Messiah (Zechariah 12:10 and Romans 11:1-6, 25-36).

7) Tabernacles – (Called Sukkot today.) Points to the Lord’s promise that He will once again tabernacle with His people when He returns to reign over all the world from Jerusalem (Micah 4: 1-7). I believe it is correct to understand that Biblically, the LORD was probably conceived at Hanukkah, during the Winter Solstice, and delivered 287 days later, at full human gestation, at Tabernacles.

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Director, WindowView.org