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While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.   (1 Thessalonians 5:3 NIV)

Last January, a report surfaced from the U.S. West Coast that billionaire businessmen were building a secure underground community. Though they don’t fear God, these Silicon Valley titans of technology want to be saved from that which they do fear.

Mentally, American Christians are being encouraged to take a similar approach. They live under an illusion of peace and safety. “If there is a disaster, Jesus will keep me safe” –or so they believe. The Lord will shelter them “from” rather than his actual promise to take them “through” (ex. Isaiah 43:2-3a).

God’s desire for his servants is to obey and believe, not doubt or fear. Escaping trials is the exception for the saints, while enduring them is the rule.

In the last days, teachers of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture (PTR) position will be responsible for a great multitude of those who fall away. They paint a picture of safety that does not square with Bible prophecy. Amillennial teachers will be accountable also. Denying the literal warnings of the Bible’s prophets, with intellectual-sounding arguments, is the devil’s work. The signs of a looming day of disaster are unmistakable or why would rich people be digging big holes for condos in Kansas?

Doing nothing is not an option. Noah’s ark of refuge had to be under construction long before the deluge began. What the saints need to build are self-supporting communities around prophets in the mold of Elijah, watchmen who are sounding the alarm of impending disaster. (God has raised up contributors to this blog for this purpose.)

One of Satan’s schemes for destroying God’s people is to cause them to sin, so the Lord himself slays them as punishment for disobedience (Exodus 32, Numbers 25, Joshua 7, 1 Kings 13, et. al.). The peace and safety crowd are rebelling against God’s Word by ignoring the commands to be ready, to watch and to pray (Luke 21:34-36). They add more guilt to their sin by ignoring judgment and proclaiming disaster will not befall them. They are being deceived. They live under an illusion of safety.

 All the sinners among my people will die by the sword, all those who say, ‘Disaster will not overtake or meet us.’ ” (Amos 9:10 NIV)

But God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed.” (Numbers 22:12 NIV)

What we aren’t told can lead to our downfall. When Moab’s princes came to Balaam, son of Beor, seeking his curse on Israel, the priest could have educated them on how blessings and curses work. No money would have exchanged hands. Instead, he omitted this information eventually causing the Midianites’ destruction (Numbers 32) and also the death of 24,000 Israelites (Num. 25:9).

As quickly as the messengers’ purpose was made known, Balaam should have repeated God’s promise in Genesis 12:3: “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

Perhaps Balaam’s eyes were distracted by the princes’ large purse to recall what the Lord promised Abram. Even if that were the case, God reminded him in 22:12 (above) when he said, “…they [Abraham’s offspring] are blessed.”

Left out of God’s answer to the Moabite’s question was a vital bit of information on blessings and curses: Blessings were guaranteed for the people who blessed Israel, while curses were guaranteed for the nation that cursed God’s people.

The next morning Balaam got up and said to Balak’s princes, “Go back to your own country, for the Lord refused to let me go with you.” (22:13)

No mention of God’s blessings. What followed in Numbers 22-24 was a courtship between the falling Balaam and his wealthy suitor, Balak.

Balaam should have listened when God spoke through his own mouth. “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.” (23:19)

This weekend millions will watch candidates debate or file into churches with their offerings. For their investment most seek a blessing in return. Candidates or clergy alike are fully aware of the expectations. A false premise must be created (i.e. “Blessings and curses are controlled by men/women, thus they both can be purchased with money or good works.”). This is what is behind the forbidden sorcery or divination. The political and religious class omit facts from God’s Word that might slow or cut off the money stream.

God prophets are a different sort. They speak His Word exactly as it was delivered. Nothing relevant, good or bad, is omitted: Blessings for obedience; cursings for disobedience. They accept nothing that would compromise their message.

As one example, Christians should know blessings follow the Jewish people or Israel. The people or nation cursing Abraham’s seed, hating them or wishing them harm, are cursed (period)! Are church-goers aware that Jews are the apple of God’s eye (Zechariah 2:8) or do they wrongly think God has changed his mind? Why the antisemitism among some who claim they love Jesus?

If Balaam had cared about Moab, he would have surely warned them to change their heart attitude toward God’s chosen people, but he didn’t. His interests were self-serving. If our leaders side with Israel’s enemies, will we not all bear the consequences?

It ought to be a concern that so many depend on sources other than the Bible. Many Christians think the Law is irrelevant and the Prophets are to be dismissed as too angry or outdated. New Testament passages such as Matthew 24:9-10 and Luke 21:10-19 are explained away or ignored. If we are uninformed it is because we do not seek wisdom (James 1:5-7).

The warning sign flashes beside the road. If we fail to heed it, who’s to blame for the ensuing disaster? Not knowing God’s curses will mean an eternity of regret. What we don’t know can hurt us. Learn from Balaam: “Does he [God] speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” (Num. 23:19b)

top secret

“The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.”  (Psalm 33:10-11 NIV)

The former American president left his aircraft to climb aboard the jet of the U.S. Attorney General. Having appointed her while president to her federal judge post, they were old friends. The area was sealed by federal agents. No cameras or recording devices were permitted. The public was to remain unaware that the two had ever met.

The meeting lasted less than a half hour. Fourteen days later, it was evident more had been discussed than golf and grandchildren: The A.G. closed the case against the ex-president’s very high profile wife. Also, the FBI invoked a special secrecy agreement on their investigators. From the top, the way was cleared for the accused former Secretary of State to move onto other business–like running for president.

In 2nd Kings 6:8, the king of Aram was at war with Israel. He ordered his commanders to set up camp in a certain place, but when they did the Israelites avoided his trap. Each surprise attack attempt failed. The enraged king was certain he had a traitor in his inner circle. He demanded, “Will you not tell me which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?”

“None of us, my lord the king,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.” (6:12)

There was a prophet in Israel (cf. 2 Kings 5:3). He had special knowledge of what the king said in secret and was giving it to his king. Nothing was hidden from Elisha, because with the Lord there are no secrets.

Our Sovereign God has no secrets about his strategy. He openly declares his plans to his prophets (Amos 3:7).  Before the Lord acts he announces in His Word what he is going to do (Isaiah 42:9).

As far as keeping secrets from God, the entire idea is folly. “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13)

No audio recording devices, no cameras taking video or snapping pictures, nothing to capture the sights or sounds of a deal struck in private; still what is whispered in the secret place will be shouted from the housetops (cf. Luke 12:3). When we stand before God, we will all give an account for every careless word (cf. Matthew 12:36-37).

“A wicked man accepts a bribe in secret to pervert the course of justice.” (17:23) 

As for you Madame Secretary, your husband, Madame Attorney General, and your ilk who cloak deeds in darkness, “…would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart? (Psalm 44:21) 

 

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Therefore hear the word of the LORD, you scoffers who rule this people in Jerusalem. You boast, “We have entered into a covenant with death, with the grave we have made an agreement. When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by, it cannot touch us, for we have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our hiding place.  (Isaiah 28:14-15 NIV)

On the American political scene, a non-politician, Donald Trump, has succeeded in securing a record number of votes on his way to the Republican presidential nomination despite the harsh opposition of his party leaders. His popularity at the grassroots level stands in stark contrast to the acrimony emanating from the GOP establishment and the media. The “Trump Phenomenon” remains an unsolved mystery to the party’s hierarchy.  Leadership cannot grasp that their unpopularity is the reason for Trump’s rise.

Curiously, this is reminiscent of a Biblical pattern of which we need to be aware. The pattern is this: God always hides his imminent judgment from the religious establishment. Instead of the sophisticated, spiritual elite understanding future events, the Lord uses the foolish things of this world to shame the wise (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:18-31).

In the 8th Century B.C., Isaiah attempted to prophesy to his fellow Judahites, but they ridiculed his instruction (see above). While priests and prophets staggered from their wine and beer, they mocked Isaiah. His teaching was not intellectual enough for the pompous, learned leaders of Israel (cf. 28:7-10). 

Jesus faced similar resistance (cf. Matthew 11:13-19). Jewish rulers witnessed Christ’s popularity and listened to his message, yet they would have none of it. In response to the establishment’s determined opposition, Jesus said, “I praise you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things [emphasis mine] from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.” (Matt. 11:25-26)

A veil covered the spiritual eyes of those Christ came to save. “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” (Luke 19:41-44)

The same was true for Jesus’ apostles. Among the people, the uneducated disciples were held in high regard while simultaneously incurring the Jews’ wrath. The religious leadership fulfilled what Jesus promised in Matthew 23:33ff. There, the Lord directed his prophecy at them beginning with, “You snakes! You brood of vipers!”

So it will be tomorrow. Do not expect mainstream spiritual leaders, well-known Christian writers or TV evangelists to accurately portray future events. It is hidden from them. Judgment always begins with God’s household (1 Peter 4:17)–that is, those who come in God’s name. In fact, look for the prophets of God to stir hatred from Christian leaders.

Where will prophetic truth be found? Not from proud pulpits sorry to say, but in humble places where questions are answered from Scripture, not human-authored treatises created in ivy-covered halls of academia. Look for the direction of revelation to be from the bottom up, not top down. God is revealing his Sovereign end times’ plan to children, while hiding it from the wise and learned.

 

So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel– let the reader understand– then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.  (Matthew 24:15-16 NIV)

According to Wikipedia, the on-line encyclopedia, “Doomsday Preppers was an American reality television series that aired on the National Geographic Channel. The program profiled various survivalists or ‘preppers’, who are preparing to survive the various circumstances that may cause the end of civilization, including economic collapse, societal collapse, and electromagnetic pulse.”

Anyone taking the Doomsday Prepper approach in the last days is as misguided as the father who, instead of boarding Noah’s ark, moved atop a high mountain. His family may have survived a bit longer than the lowlanders, but so what! The outcome was the same (cf. Genesis 6:13).

The Bible offers God’s saints two possible escape routes: The first is specifically for his people who live in Judea (see Matthew 24:15 above), in the region of the Mount of Olives. In order to guide men and women in the Holy Land, they must be Scripture readers. Jews have the prophets Daniel and Zechariah while Gentiles also have Matthew. Those who reject the Lord’s instructions may exist a little while. Still they will perish.

In the end times, an alternate plan has been decreed for those who live among the nations: It is the “Jesus Way” (cf. John 14:6, 6:39). Like the mission God presented to Noah,  building the ark will save those who enter in. Those who believed the Word lived to see the next age. Those who trust in their own abilities and resources will perish in this present age.

Survivalists living off the land and off the grid or storing goods in a bunker will all fall short of the goal of survival. The devil would deceive us into thinking butter, bullets and beans are what’s necessary to weather any storm. This strategy is foolishly misguided.

Jesus’ Way is to form communities of sincere love, truth, endurance, sharing and mobility. As Hebrews urges, Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the day approaching.” (10:25)

True Preppers are guided by God’s Spirit. As with the rest of the Lord’s flock, they find security in the sheepfold and eternal life in the Shepherd.

 

 

Amos answered Amaziah, “I was neither a prophet nor a prophet’s son, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. But the LORD took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ Now then, hear the word of the LORD…” (Amos 7:14-15 NIV)

For some time, Brother Elijah and I have shared this blog. We offer our insights, but neither he nor I claim that we are prophets. Our role is to teach what the Bible says about future events. We have a great responsibility to accurately interpret Scripture (not adding to or taking away from prophecy) so, in the last days, God’s people will be equipped for every good work.

Chiefly, our mission is to separate false prophecy and false prophet from the true. Readers and students will judge if we are right or not. I am only a gardener whom the Lord chose to stand before men and share His Word.

During a recent class, I was asked if I knew any prophets. It was a direct question, so I answered “No, I do not.” I should have added, “I believe I’ll know ‘em when I see ‘em.”

Elijah and I want to help others have the same confidence. (I have written “The Prophets of God: Recognize them, Listen to them, Follow them” on this subject.) Our thesis is: Study the genuine thoroughly; then you will easily identify the counterfeit.

I have known many who either accepted the title or promoted themselves as “Prophet or Prophetess.” (Thank you Lord for your mercy! In my ignorance I was one; that is, before I subjected myself to the test of Deuteronomy 18:20-22).

Foreknowledge may come from God and be spoken by anyone whom He chooses (ex. Balaam and Caiaphas). But know this: Those who possess the full anointing will resemble and sound more like Jesus, Elijah, Jeremiah or John the Baptist than a Wall St. banker.

We must pay careful attention to the prophets of old. Speaking God’s judgment was their role. Not one, not even The Prophet Jesus, placed “Prophet” before their name.

Our posts will continue to encourage a right understanding as well as broadcast the prophet’s saving message. When God reveals his divine messengers—as he surely will—receive them as if they were Our Lord himself (Matthew 10:40-41).

Question 11- Do you ever wonder why you? Do you get tired of the difficulties?

Answer 11- I am beginning to move beyond the “Why me?” question. Now I am more into the acceptance phase. (Sounds like the five stages of grief, doesn’t it?) It is my burden to bear and I am embracing it. I realize the pioneers get the arrows. I have seen a bit of this already from Christian “friends” but my study of prophets prepares me to deal with the hostility. This is not about me. This is not about writing a best seller. This has always been about being faithful to what God has called me to do and being used to help many through the coming darkness. I do not look for any rewards on this side but I do hope to hear a well done on the other side. I appreciate and enjoyed this opportunity to share with you. Thank you.

Question 10- How important do you feel it is that people read The Prophets of God?

Answer 10- It couldn’t be more important. This is salvation we are talking about and what is more important than that? We are close to a time of great deceit. We will be surrounded by wolves in sheep’s clothing—perhaps even angels declaring another gospel—and most are unprepared. God will send his prophets but many will refuse to hear their message because they won’t be cool or charismatic. Many will perish because they believe the lie. What I have written is not an exhaustive study on what is about to take place, but it gives everyone something big they need to think about. I hope others will come along and pick up the subject and take it further into the Word.

Question 9- What do you see that troubles you most, particularly as it relates to what you write about in The Prophets of God?

Answer 9- That is a great question since it targets our greatest danger, as I see it. As I was presenting my case to a Christian brother, I cited some Scriptures that were used in The People of God to support one of my points. He responded, “I don’t believe that!” I was speechless! This was a Bible believing, Church-going Christian. He didn’t offer other Scriptures to refute my point; he simply shut off debate by refusing to believe what I was showing him. I have seen this too many times. I am seeing a tendency to dismiss anything that runs counter to our belief system, even if the evidence from the Bible may be conclusive. American Christians want to be “right” or “mainstream” more than they want to be accurate. I have come to accept the possibility there is a veil over most minds, at least for now.  

Question 8- What audience do you intend for your books, such as The Prophets of God, to reach?

Answer 8- I realized fairly early that I was writing for students. Students are not necessarily young; neither is every young Christian a student. It is more of an attitude. But what I have discovered about this group is that they are extremely cautious. I have to tell you about this brand new Christian who was given The People of God to read. He told me how much he got out of it. It was the first book he’d ever read. But most students are reading a lot already. They won’t invest their time or money, even on something they are curious about, if they aren’t encouraged to do so by a peer or a teacher they trust. People who are not subject to “groupthink” are rare, but once an inroad is made, look out. Things could “go viral” in a hurry. That could happen, but I am okay if it doesn’t.

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