Address by Minister Baird to United Nations General Assembly in Opposition to Palestinian Bid for Non-Member Observer State Status | The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs
On Wednesday November 29 2012 , Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird informed the House of Commons of the Government of Canada’s intention to cast a vote against the Palestinian bid for Non-Member Observer State Status at the United Nations. Below is the transcript of Minister Baird’s address to the United Nations General Assembly from earlier today.
Thursday, 29 November 2012
Saturday, 17 November 2012
Dear Reader / Supporter,
There are so many prophetically significant events happening right before our very eyes that it almost makes one dizzy just trying to keep up with it all. The Arab Spring has brought forth many regime changes in the Middle East such as in Egypt and Libya and as it continued into the Arab Summer, Fall and now Winter, we can expect even more changes.
Earlier this year it looked like Israel and Iran were going to bomb each other off the map any day. Israel looked to the U.S. for help but we were too busy with what we used to call an election and pretty much put Israel on hold. This year has been the most exciting prophetically speaking since 1948, in our modern age. The Lord is lining up and setting the stage, moving scenery around and placing the final end time actors into their roles. It's as if the Lord has Bible Prophecy on a remote control. Earlier this year he hit play and prophecy moved forward, Arab Spring begins, Libya's Gaffadi (delete), Egypt's Mubarak (delete), Turkey getting involved, Israel and Iran's tit-for-tat, Osama Bin laden (delete), Syria's uncivil war, the U.S. election Obama (save) Romney (delete). It's been a crazy year and it seemed like everything was coming to a head and then right before the election it was if the Lord pressed pause, insert Hurricane Sandy (play - slow motion) and then the election was over, the Lord hit play again and then in the last few days he hit (fast forward) Hamas, Palestinians - UN, missiles into Israel, Operation Pillar of Defense...
I am not sure how long we will be in (fast forward) or if the Lord will hit pause again. I do know that we have never been closer to the coming of the Lord which means that the rapture is even closer!
Who can deny that we are living in the End Times, our time is truly, truly, short, let us make the time we have left count for all eternity.
According to the Lord's own words, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
God will come for his Church suddenly at a time when we least expect it. For this reason, He instructs us to be ready, always prepared, and on guard for his coming. As those around us turn their backs on God, worshipping themselves, other gods, or false prophets instead, we should be looking up. We should have our spiritual lives in order, so that we might escape what is to come. Especially as we are now witnessing the signs of the end times, God reminds us that we need to be in prayer constantly so that we will not be led down the other path and miss His coming.
The last few years has seen a quickening of predicted bible prophecies, it's as if time has been accelerated. Fulfilled bible prophecy has been happening at such a rapid pace that it almost makes one dizzy trying to keep up with it.
The restoration of the nation of Israel is the cornerstone of End Time bible prophecy and it's often called God's timepiece. You can pretty much tell what time it is on God's prophetic time schedule by what is happening in Israel. Against all odds, Israel was restored as a sovereign nation again on May 14, 1948; and this after its people being disbursed and scattered around the world for nearly 2,000 years. Its rebirth is the closest thing we have to a modern day miracle.
The very next day six Arab nations simultaneously prepared to invade the tiny country to destroy it at its birth. In a sudden and unprovoked onslaught, the armies of Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and volunteer forces from Saudi Arabia, converged upon Israel. It was David versus Goliath all over again. To any intelligent observer it was obvious that the Arabs would make short work of the undermanned and under- equipped Jews. If Israel was to survive it would take a miracle. By God's grace, the outnumbered and outgunned Israelis were victorious. Humanly speaking, there is no way to explain the well-trained, heavily armed Muslim army that outnumbered them ten to one. Israel has fought many wars since 1948 and continues daily to fight for its existence.
The Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah and even today they expect the return of their Messiah riding in on a white horse at almost any moment. They say they will know that it's their Messiah because He will let them rebuild their temple.
The Muslims, the main enemy of Israel, are expecting their Messiah, known as the 12th Iman. The 12th Imam is said to be a descendent of the Prophet Muhammad, having divine status as did each of this succession of sons. The 12th Imam is also called the Hidden Imam and the Mahdi (guided one). Mahdi will return when his followers create chaos and death in the world. Mahdi will return just before the end of the world. Mahdi's appearance will supposedly be preceded by a number of prophetic events during 3 years of horrendous world chaos tyranny and oppression. Mahdi will supposedly force people to convert to Islam or be beheaded. Mahdi will rule over the Arabs and world for 7 years. Mahdi will setup a one world religion and government.
The Christians, the Bride of Christ, are awaiting the Rapture of the Church at any moment. Sometime after the Rapture the Tribulation period will begin, it will begin with the Antichrist guaranteeing and enforcing a 7 year peace treaty between Israel and its enemies and allowing them to rebuild their Temple, 3 ½ years later the Antichrist will enter into the newly rebuilt temple and declare himself to be God, committing what the bible calls the "abomination of desolation".
Meanwhile during this 7 year period God is pouring out His wrath upon an unrepentant world that will see nearly all mankind wiped out. At the end of this 7 year period the Antichrist and his followers will gather together in Israel's valley of Megiddo to destroy Jerusalem and Battle God, this will be the mother of all battles and is known as Armageddon. Just when this battle seems like all is lost the Lord Jesus Himself will return on a white horse followed with his bride, the raptured Church also mounted on horses and end the battle of Armageddon defeating Satan and his armies. This is called the "Second Coming"
So to sum it all up and put things in perspective, we have the three largest religions in the world expecting their Messiah at any moment. Sadly, the Messiah that the Jews and the Muslims will meet will be the same person that the bible calls the Antichrist.
The world is waiting and expecting a savior to bring some kind of peace and balance to our unstable world that is quickly crumbling beneath our feet. We are experiencing a global economic failure that is causing nations to fail and we are beginning to see a re-alignment of the nations and a call for a one world leader and a one world economy just as the bible predicted. We are seeing religions that in years past would not even speak to each other now aligning with each other and calling for a one world religion. We are seeing catastrophic changes in our weather with earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, flooding, pestilence and droughts all happening with an increase in intensity and frequency. Diseases and viruses are becoming drug resistant and we are seeing a huge increase in the number of violent and senseless killings and also a record number of thefts and crimes. The whole world is experiencing a sense of hopelessness and living in great fear and anxiety, our world leaders are perplexed, and every attempt to fix the economy or solve the problems in the middle east go down in flames.
The bible thousands of years ago, with 100 per cent accuracy, predicted the exact last days scenario that we are now seeing right before our very eyes. Shortly the Lord will come for His bride and Rapture the church off the planet, the disappearance of millions of people will most likely be explained away as a necessary global cleansing of people who were divisive and non-conforming.
Out of all the chaos and confusion that will ensue after the rapture there will come a man on the scene that will have all the answers to all the world's problems? This man will bring a sense of peace and calmness, he will implement a one world economy and a one world religion and for the most part he will be a savior to the world. This man whom the world will worship as a God is in actuality a false god, a tool and instrument of Satan, a man that the bible calls the Antichrist.
How will this man bring world peace, how will this man bring the Jews and Arabs together, how will this man be able to convince and unite all the world's religions into one? It's quite possible that Satan will send forth his demonic forces posing as ancient aliens and the leader of these ancient aliens will be the Antichrist himself, with advanced knowledge and advanced technology these alien forces led by the Antichrist will do in seven years what it would take mankind hundreds of years to complete.
Of course if one reads the bible we know how it's all going to end. Like the days of Noah, God warned the people for 120 that the flood was coming; God has been warning us for nearly 2000 years that he was returning. In precise detail he laid out the entire end time's scenario and wrote down for us to read and hear what is to come and how we can escape all these things.
As the predicted birth pangs increase in intensity more people than ever before from around the world are seeking answers. More people than ever before are looking and searching for answers and I am sure as prophetic events continue to unfold at this accelerated pace, even more people will visit Prophecy Update looking for answers. According to Google Analytics, Prophecy Update receives visitors from 163 nations around the world and each month we break new records in the amount of hits that we receive to the website and subscribers to the free Prophecy Update Newsletter is at an all-time high. Not too bad considering that there are only 195 countries recognized by the US state department.
Folks as you know, we have the answer and the answer is Jesus Christ, but many if not the majority of the world's population including many churches, walk around in total darkness. They ignore the signs and refuse to even teach Bible Prophecy, so that means they ignore nearly one third of the Bible, no wonder the Bible says that in the End Times there will be a famine for the word of God. "The days are coming," declares the Sovereign LORD, "when I will send a famine through the land--not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD. Amos 8:11
Prophecy Update has been on line since 1999 and has grown every year, many similar web sites and ministries that started around the same time are no longer around. You can go to the Internet Archive: Wayback Machine at: http://archive.org/web/web.php and type in www.prophecyupdate.com to see how the site has changed and progressed over the years. Since the beginning of the year through today we have seen 569,485 unique visitors and have had 68,188,245 hits.
I want to take the time to thank of all you who subscribe to Prophecy Update and all of you who frequent the Prophecy Update website and take advantage of all the teaching resources that we have available and I do want you to take advantage of us! Thank you for your prayers and encouragement and financial support. Thank you for taking the time to forward the Updates to family and friends. Thank you all that use the Updates for teaching material and all that send in articles for posting. I do want to encourage you to forward us articles that you feel worthy enough to share with other readers or also if you are a writer and feel led to write a prophecy related article please send your submissions to email@example.com thanks!
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Every day I write the two daily newsletters, update the web site, research new material, work on new postings, edit material for the next DVD and read and answer as many of the nearly 300 emails I receive daily. I am not complaining one bit, I love every minute of it but please do not be offended if I don't answer your email promptly or not at all. It takes a lot of time and effort, but is a true labor of love to bring you the updates and provide all the contents of the web site.
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My prayer: Lord Jesus, I pray right now that you would touch the hearts of those that you would lift up to support this ministry and I pray that you would bless them and give them a heart and a fire and a passion to support this ministry. Lord Jesus I pray that you would bless them in return for their faithfulness beyond any measurable comprehension, wonderfully and abundantly exceeding any and all expectations! Lord Jesus I pray for those that already support this ministry through prayer and financial means that you would continue to bless them in the most amazing ways, that not only they would be blessed but also those whom you have surrounded them with! In Jesus Name...Amen!
PLEASE REMEMBER PROPHECY UPDATE IN YOUR CHRISTMAS AND END OF THE YEAR GIVING - THANKS!!!
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Wednesday, 14 November 2012
By Grant Phillips - http://www.raptureready.com/
The Church will not go through the Tribulation. There is a distinct difference between the Rapture and the Second Coming. Some may disagree with me, and that is perfectly okay. Whether you and I, do or do not agree about the Rapture, it will have no effect on our salvation in Jesus Christ. However, for those who disagree, I strongly believe that rather than my being sorely disappointed, you will be pleasantly surprised.
There are many differences in these two events as shown here:
· Rapture: Jesus comes FOR His Church.
· 2nd Coming: Jesus comes back WITH His Church.
· Rapture: Jesus waits in the air for His Church.
· 2nd Coming: Jesus comes to the earth.
· Rapture: Church removed and unbelievers left behind.
· 2nd Coming: Unbelievers removed but Tribulation saints left behind.
· Rapture: He comes to present His bride to the Father.
· 2nd Coming: He comes to judge and set up His kingdom.
· Rapture: The marriage of the Lamb in Heaven follows the Rapture.
· 2nd Coming: The marriage is followed by war on earth.
· Rapture: It happens in the twinkling of an eye.
· 2nd Coming: Will be a steady view of His return.
· Rapture: Only the Church will see Him.
· 2nd Coming: Every eye will see Him.
· Rapture: Jesus descends with a shout.
· 2nd Coming: No shout is mentioned.
· Rapture: A resurrection takes place.
· 2nd Coming: No resurrection is mentioned.
· Rapture: It can happen at any time.
· 2nd Coming: Can only happen at the end of the Tribulation.
· Rapture: Angels are not sent. Jesus comes Himself.
· 2nd Coming: Angels are sent to gather people for judgment.
· Rapture: Earthly bodies are changed to Heavenly bodies.
· 2nd Coming: The Church returns with Heavenly bodies.
· Rapture: Jesus does not return on a white horse.
· 2nd Coming: Jesus does return on a white horse.
· Rapture: Jesus' return is for His Church (His bride).
· 2nd Coming: Jesus returns for redeemed Israel and Tribulation saints.
· Rapture: It is a message of hope and comfort.
· 2nd Coming: It is a message of judgment.
I'm sure this is not an exhaustive listing, but with it we can see that the Rapture and the Second Coming are not one and the same.
The seven year period of Tribulation on earth will be a time of God's wrath on earth like never before. He will judge the nations and through this self-same judgment bring Israel back in faith believing. "For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" (Revelation 6:17) But concerning His bride, the Church, He says, "And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come." (1 Thessalonians 1:10) He promised again in Revelation 3:10, "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." (Revelation 3:10)
Also, some see Revelation chapter four verse one as a clear reference to the Church being raptured. On the other hand, some do not, even though they believe in the Rapture. Personally, it is very clear to me that this passage is most definitely referring to the Church being taken up to Heaven via the Rapture. This verse is shown below in four reliable English translations.
"After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter." (KJV)
"After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this." (NKJV)
"After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this." (ESV)
"After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things." (NASB)
Note that in every instance verse one begins with the word "after" and ends the same. In chapter one of Revelation we see Jesus revealed (revelation) in His glory. In chapters two and three Jesus is speaking to the church. He then transfers the Apostle John to Heaven in chapter four verse one to continue the prophecy. In chapter one, we see the eternal "I Am." In chapters two and three, we see the present day and age of the church period. Then beginning at chapter four, verse one He immediately takes us past the church age to the future.
If I go to see a play and there are three acts to the play, I will see one act after the other, not all three at once. Neither do they overlap in any way. If I attend a concert, I will listen to one song after the other, not all at one time. Neither do they overlap in any way. Neither do the church age and the Tribulation period co-exist or overlap in any way. One follows the other. As in a play, Act 1 comes BEFORE Act 2. Act 2 comes AFTER Act 1 and BEFORE Act 3. Act 3 comes AFTER Act 2. The Apostle John is shown the church age, and then he is raptured up to Heaven to see what follows the end of the church age. To me, you just can't get any clearer than that. After means after.
Some say that the word "Rapture" is not in the Bible. That is true, and neither are the words "Bible" or "Trinity" found in the Bible, but they are just as true as the Rapture.
The word "Rapture" is derived from the Latin translation of "caught up" in
1 Thessalonians 4:17, "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." The Latin translation uses the word "rapturo," and this is where the word "rapture" is derived. The Greek word is "harpazo," and it means:
1. To seize, carry off by force
2. To seize on, claim for one's self eagerly
3. To snatch out or away
A few other verses where "harpazo" is used are:
Acts 8:39, "And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing."
Acts 23:10, "And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle."
2 Corinthians 12:2-4, "I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven."
So there is no doubt that Jesus will come in the clouds and eagerly claim His bride the Church for Himself, by seizing her and snatching her away by force to Heaven at the end of the church age. The next act will be the Tribulation, AFTER the Rapture.
The Tribulation period is a time of intense judgment by God. What groom would beat the living daylights out of his bride and then say, "Okay, now let's go get married." It ain't going to happen.
Some say that the Church has suffered persecution down through the years, so why would she not suffer during the Tribulation? The reason is quite simple. "Persecution" has come from evil men who carry out the deeds of their father, the Devil. Judgment comes from God. The Tribulation, as I have already stated, is not persecution. It is judgment. God is not going to judge those who He has already promised will be protected from His wrath to come. (See verses above.) Conclusion; the Church will not go through any part whatsoever of the Tribulation. She will be raptured (LT-rapturo), snatched up (GK-harpazo), BEFORE the Tribulation, and the Tribulation will commence AFTER the Rapture.Grant Phillips
My articles are posted at "Pre-Rapture Commentary" http://grant-phillips.
blogspot.com and many are also posted at
"Rapture Ready"http://www.raptureready.com/ featured/phillips/phillips. html
Tuesday, 13 November 2012
By Pete Rose - http://www.raptureready.com/soap/rose14.html
Good people go to heaven, bad people go to hell. Not so! Paul quotes from the Old Testament in Romans saying, "There is none good... All have all sinned and fallen short of God's glory." (Romans 3:12, 23) Not a one of us can get to heaven on our own merits. Jesus says, "I am the way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by me." (John 14:6)
If your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds, you go to heaven. A variation of the above. This is works religion, and it won't get you to heaven. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "By grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourself" [God gives you the faith], "not of works, lest any man should boast."
You have to keep the law of Moses (or the Ten commandments, or some other set of rules) to get to heaven. Nope, that won't get you there either. Paul in the book of Romans and the book of Galatians thoroughly refutes that. "By the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20). (emphasis added) The purpose of the law is to show us we are sinners, and to drive us to Christ. There is salvation only in Him. Paul even goes so far as to say, "Christ has become of no effect to you, whosoever among you would be justified by the law, you have fallen from grace." (Galatians 5:4).
You must be baptized to be saved. Uh-uh. That won't do it either. Baptism is for people who are already saved. It symbolizes for the believer death to the old man and rising in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is your testimony to the world that you are already saved. To baptize a sinner is a meaningless ritual, all you're doing is getting him wet. If baptism is required for salvation, how could Jesus say to the repentant thief being crucified beside Him, who had no chance of being baptized, "This day you will be with Me in paradise"? (Luke 23:43)
You have to measure up. I once had someone tell me I had to do that to be saved. Measure up to...what? Jesus said, "Except your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees you will in no wise enter in." If you want to "measure up" you have to measure up to the perfect righteousness of Jesus. James says, "If you keep the whole law and yet offend in one point, you are guilty of all." (James 2:10) Just one little slip up, one little white lie, and you blew it. The only righteousness God will accept is the perfect righteousness of Christ living in you, and the only way you can obtain that is to turn away from your sins and come to Jesus in faith and receive Him as your Lord and Savior.
You must speak in tongues to be saved. No, no, no! Speaking in tongues is a gift of the Holy Spirit, and you must have the Holy Spirit living in you before you can exercise the true gift of tongues, or for that matter, any of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. And the only way you can get the Holy Spirit in you is to come to Jesus and let Him save you. That has to come first. Speaking in tongues is one of the benefits of salvation, not the way of salvation.
All roads lead to heaven. No they don't. The only Way to heaven is Jesus, by yielding yourself to Him and allowing Him into your life. All other roads lead to hell.
I'm religious. That won't help anything. Religion is man trying to reach God by his own efforts. The Pharisees in Jesus' day were as religious as they come, yet Jesus' strongest rebukes were reserved for these pretenders. Jesus has already done everything necessary for your salvation; it's already bought and paid for by His shed blood. All you have to do is receive it by inviting Jesus into your life, into your inner man. Religion is Satan's detour around Jesus.
I'm a member in good standing of (name your church). If that's all you've got to claim, you'll never make it to heaven. A church is like a bus station, it's a convenient place to catch a bus, but you'll never get anywhere just sitting in a bus station. You gotta find the bus going to your destination and get on it if you want to go anywhere. For the church (any church) only Jesus can get you to heaven.
I'm good enough that I don't need to be saved. This is a lie of the Devil to get you to detour around Jesus. Romans 3:10-12 tells us there is none righteous, none that seeks after God, none good, no not one. Isaiah 64:6 tells us all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags in the sight of God. Trying to present God with your righteousness for salvation is like paying your taxes with Monopoly money. I guarantee it won't work.
I'm so bad I can't be saved. Another lie of the devil. Hebrews 10:10 tells us Jesus' sacrifice of Himself on the cross was "once for all," done one time forever. Jesus' death on the cross has bought and paid for salvation for every person on earth, no matter how evil, if only he/she will receive it by trusting Jesus and receiving Him as Lord and Savior.
Now that I'm saved I can sin all day, do anything I want and get by with it. No, no, a thousand times NO! Jesus did not save us to live in sin. If this is your attitude I seriously doubt if you got saved in the first place. If you choose to live this way after you're saved, you will forfeit any reward you would have otherwise gotten, you will come under the chastisement of God (if you don't you're not His-Hebrews 12:5-8), you will likely lose the assurance of your salvation, live a miserable life and probably end up going to an early grave. Plus you bring disrepute on the name of Jesus.
If you sin after you are saved, you lose your salvation. No, we are saved eternally (John 10:27-30) but you can lose your reward at the judgment seat of Christ, you can lose the assurance of your salvation and if you insist on living in sin, bring on yourself all the things listed above. Jesus' death on the Cross paid for every sin you have ever committed or ever will commit, but God will not tolerate a Christian living in sin. He can make your life very miserable if you insist on making a practice of that. If you do sin, here is the way out. 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." How much better to do this and turn away from your sin than live in sin and get constant spankings from god!
The true way of salvation:
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are we saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9] not of works, lest any man should boast.
John 3:16-18: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17] For God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18] He who believeth is not condemned, but he who believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 10:27-30 My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me; 28] And I give eternal life to them and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them from My hand. My Father who gave them to me is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them from my Father's hand. (NASB)
Acts 4:10-12 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11] This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which has become the head of the corner. 12] Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Emphasis added.)
Romans 10:9-13 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10] For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11] For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed. 12] For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. 13] For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
So we see from all this that salvation is only through Jesus Christ. Not by works, not by keeping the law, not by belonging to some church, religion or organization, nor any other way man devises. Only through and by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and what He did for us can you be saved. There is only one road, only one way that leads to God, and that is Jesus Christ. All other roads lead to hell. Jesus said, "Enter ye in at the strait [constricted] gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in thereat. 14] For strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth to life and few there be who find it." (Matthew 7:13-14).
In past articles I have been emphasizing the shortness of the time we have left until Jesus comes to take those who are His away from Earth to be with Him for eternity. If you are not saved when He comes, you will be left behind to go through a horrible time of trouble Jesus describes as being such has never been before, nor will ever be again. All the hurricanes, all the earthquakes, all the famines we have been seeing in recent years are only a warm-up for what is coming. The whole earth will be ruled by Satan himself in a body of flesh, and it will be a time of terrible persecution for both Christians and Jews. If you die without Jesus in your life, you will go straight to hell, to suffer the torments of the damned forever. If you get saved after the rapture, you will probably be executed for your faith, but better to get your head chopped off and go to heaven, than save your life for a few years, then die without Jesus and go to hell. You don't want to be here when all this happens. And you won't be if you trust Jesus for your salvation now, you will be safe with Jesus from hell and the lake of fire for eternity, no matter what happens after that. Don't put it off. "Behold, now is the accepted time, behold now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2b).
Sunday, 11 November 2012
Now the glory of the God of Israel went up from above the cherubim, where it had been, and moved to the threshold of the temple. Then the Lord called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side and said to him, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.”
As I listened, he said to the others, “Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion. Slaughter old men, young men and maidens, women and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were in front of the temple. (Ezekiel 9:3-6)
The principle of marking those who would be protected from judgment was first mentioned in Genesis 4:15 when the Lord marked Cain as a warning to those who might try to kill him for murdering Abel.
It had also been hinted at when the Lord told Elijah He had reserved 7,000 faithful in Israel who had not succumbed to idol worship (1 Kings 19:18), but Ezekiel 9:4 stands as the clearest example in history of the Lord marking those who are His and protecting them from danger. In the spiritual world the mark is a sign that the marked person belongs to the Lord and is off limits to anyone else.
Have You Been Marked?
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory (Ephes 1:13-14).
Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come (2 Cor. 1:21-22).
In these two passages Paul revealed that all born again believers were marked at the time they believed to show that they belong to the Lord. It’s the spiritual equivalent of a rancher branding his cattle with his mark of ownership. The presence of this mark will protect us like it has protected others He has marked throughout history.
They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. (1 Thes. 1:9-10)
But in our case, the mark doesn’t just protect us from the judgment taking place around us, it qualifies us to be removed from the judgment altogether. The Greek word translated from in the last phrase of the above passage means we’ll be separated (distanced) from both the time and the place of the coming wrath.
Peter used the example of Lot to describe this. (Note the similarity in the wording of 1 Thes. 1:9-10 above and 2 Peter 2:7,9 below).
If The Lord rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men, then He knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment (2 Peter 2:7,9). The angels sent to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah couldn’t do so until they had Lot safely out of the way (Genesis 9:15-16, 22).
This mark can only be received on an individual or personal basis. What I mean is we’re not marked because we’re part of the Church, we’re part of the Church because we’re marked. The concept of collective salvation is not Biblical. Nor is it possible for a person with God’s mark to transfer its benefits to someone with out it.
Let Me Make This Perfectly Clear
God has stated this in no uncertain terms. In speaking of the judgment about to fall on the Southern Kingdom he had Ezekiel say;
“Son of man, if a country sins against me by being unfaithful and I stretch out my hand against it to cut off its food supply and send famine upon it and kill its men and their animals, even if these three men—Noah, Daniel and Job—were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign Lord (Ezekiel 14:12-14).
Notice He didn’t have Ezekiel say, “If my people …”. He said “If a country …”. This tells me He was giving us a general principle applicable to all nations, not one that would only apply to Israel, as is the case with promises like 2 Chronicles 7:14 and Jeremiah 29:11.
If any country persists in going against the will of God and doing things He has forbidden, and He determines to judge that country, the believers in it, no matter how righteous they may be, can only save themselves. In Ezekiel 14:15-20 He repeatedly said that even if their own sons and daughters would be affected by the judgment, the prayers of these righteous men could not save them. They could save only themselves by their righteousness.
(Rev. 7:1-8 shows the marking of certain individuals will happen one final time after the Church is gone when the Lord will put His seal on the foreheads of His 144,000 servants to protect them from the coming Trumpet and Bowl judgments. And once again His mark will only protect those to whom it will be given.)
Why Are You Doing That?
There is a currently popular trend in the US where groups of believers have been offering prayers of repentance on behalf of our country in an effort to stay the hand of God’s judgment. But the Lord had Ezekiel tell us this would not accomplish anything. If any nation continues to defy God by going against His ways, that nation will be judged and the prayers of the righteous people in it will only benefit themselves. Only those who have received the mark of God will be rescued.
Proponents of repenting on behalf of our country use the examples of Jonah and Daniel to support their position. I’ve written about Jonah in the past, showing how in that case every person in Nineveh, from the King to the lowliest servant, repented by clothing themselves in sackcloth and fasting (Jonah 3:6-9) in a united effort to avoid the judgment. It was not a case of a few repenting on behalf of the others. They were all repenting. Every one of them.
Those who propose Daniel’s prayer on behalf of Israel in support of this don’t understand that his case was not reflective of our situation either. According to Daniel’s own account, he was only reminding God of something He had already publicly promised to do;
In the first year of Darius son of Xerxes (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom—in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the Lord given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years (Daniel 9:1-2)
Daniel had read the Book of Jeremiah, written almost 70 years earlier. He knew that the time of captivity was nearly over and that God had already promised to deliver them.
“This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.” (Jeremiah 25:11)
This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place” (Jeremiah 29:10).
And as for the claim that Daniel’s prayer brought Cyrus the Persian to conquer Babylon and free the Jews, Isaiah had foretold this 200 years previously, even naming Cyrus by name. In the message given through Isaiah, God called Cyrus His anointed (chosen one) and included a detailed description of the plan by which Cyrus would conquer Babylon without a battle (Isaiah 45:1-7).
Jewish tradition holds that Daniel showed this portion of the scroll of Isaiah to Cyrus following the fall of Babylon. In response Cyrus ordered the Jewish captives to be set free. This was not something prompted by Daniel’s prayer, it had been God’s published plan all along.
Where the judgment of the US is concerned God has offered no prophecy of duration and no promise of restoration. And now enough people have voted to continue on the path of rebellion to confirm the futility of offering prayers of repentance on behalf of our country.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Since I believe we’re at the End of the Age and that the US has no official role to play in bringing about God’s Kingdom, I see a future where the US continues to decline in power and influence while events increasingly become centered in the Middle East. I think the election results tell us God’s plan for the End Times is right on schedule and there will be no more delay.
Therefore, I believe we should continue living each day by trusting in the Lord and longing for His appearing to take us home. We should stop worrying about our life here and focus our time, our talents, and our treasure on preparing for our life to come (Matt. 6:19-34). And above all, we should remember that while there’s no such thing as repenting on behalf of our country, there is such a thing as asking the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of our unsaved loved ones toward repenting for themselves. While there is no collective salvation, there are untold millions of cases where the destinies of individuals have been changed through the prayers of others. I know because I’m one of them.
Every idol in our lives is being removed. Believing in our country, our leaders, our economy, our bank accounts or even ourselves is proving to be ineffective. The only one left to believe in is God, and that’s just the way He wants it. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:4-6). You can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah. 11-10-12?