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    • Now that was really cool. Thanks Kiwi. Someone really spent some time and thought that one out. I really like it. It is so rare to actually receive a hand written letter from a friend or relative anymore, with a message of news. The Good News.
    • This is just my opinion, you guys don't have to agree with me. I do believe the sign on Sept 23rd is a prophetic event, but it's not the rapture. Between now till the day of the rapture, there's hundreds of prophecies still ahead. Two of them are huge and significant that no one will miss seeing them happen. 1) One event is Israel will be in a huge war just before the rapture. It's a huge war and will play a significant role much like the 6-Day war in 1967 and the war of Independence in 1948-49.  Israel will suffer many casualties but will ultimately be victorious at the end with help. Most likely from the US. In the end, Israel will expand it's borders in all directions. The capital of Israel will become Jerusalem and construction of the 3rd temple will commence. This is the result of the blood moon tetrad that happened in 2015. The tribulation will commence exactly the way Israel was just before 70 AD when Jerusalem was her capital and a temple was present.  Israel's next coming and final war before the tribulation is found in Isaiah 26. Shortly after comes the rapture (Isaiah 26:19) and the Second Coming (Isaiah 26:21-27:1). Isaiah 26:15-27:1 New King James Version (NKJV) 15 You have increased the nation, O Lord,
      You have increased the nation;
      You are glorified;
      You have expanded all the borders of the land. 16 Lord, in trouble they have visited You,
      They poured out a prayer when Your chastening was upon them.
      17 As a woman with child
      Is in pain and cries out in her pangs,
      When she draws near the time of her delivery,
      So have we been in Your sight, O Lord.
      18 We have been with child, we have been in pain;
      We have, as it were, brought forth wind;
      We have not accomplished any deliverance in the earth,
      Nor have the inhabitants of the world fallen. 19 Your dead shall live;
      Together with my dead body they shall arise.
      Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust;
      For your dew is like the dew of herbs,
      And the earth shall cast out the dead. 20 Come, my people, enter your chambers,
      And shut your doors behind you;
      Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment,
      Until the indignation is past.
      21 For behold, the Lord comes out of His place
      To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity;
      The earth will also disclose her blood,
      And will no more cover her slain. 27 In that day the Lord with His severe sword, great and strong,
      Will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent,
      Leviathan that twisted serpent;
      And He will slay the reptile that is in the sea.   2) Another event that's hard to miss is the construction of the third temple. The foundation of the temple will be completed just before God shakes heaven and earth (the tribulation, Daniel's 70th week). Haggai 2:15-22 New King James Version (NKJV) 15 ‘And now, carefully consider from this day forward: from before stone was laid upon stone in the temple of the Lord— 16 since those days, when one came to a heap of twenty ephahs, there were but ten; when one came to the wine vat to draw out fifty baths from the press, there were but twenty. 17 I struck you with blight and mildew and hail in all the labors of your hands; yet you did not turn to Me,’ says the Lord. 18 ‘Consider now from this day forward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, from the day that the foundation of the Lord’s temple was laid—consider it: 19 Is the seed still in the barn? As yet the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yielded fruit. But from this day I will bless you.’” 20 And again the word of the Lord came to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, saying, 21 “Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying: ‘I will shake heaven and earth.
      22 I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms;
      I will destroy the strength of the Gentile kingdoms.
      I will overthrow the chariots
      And those who ride in them;
      The horses and their riders shall come down,
      Every one by the sword of his brother.    It won't happen this month but both events are only months away. The tribulation will not start without a temple and Jerusalem as Israel's capital.        
    • You are correct, no book in the Bible requires external help to understand the rudimentary concepts the book is making.  But even many times even the authors of NT books will use quotations and allusions to OT passages. Can you think of one NT book that doesn't?      The Bible is an integrated message system written by over 40 authors over thousands of years that is delivered in a hostile environment and subject to hostile jamming.  Pages can be ripped out of the Bible, yet the message remains.  Line upon line, precept upon precept.  Here a little, there a little. It is not divided into doctrinal sections.  It is a holographic image, where parts of the bible  can be removed, yet the picture remains, just like a hologram, but the resolution is lower when books or sections are removed.   By utilizing the OT in supporting the NT and vice versa, resolution and clarity is added.  Why rely on only a black and white image looking at one book, when one can have full 3D hi def resolution by applying all relevant scripture? And it is only looking at the lower resolution image that leads to the wildly different doctrinal positions, including eschatology, we see around us today. Small discrepancies in what we see can be expected among us, but some differences are so pronounced that they can only come from a lack of applying all the scripture.
    • I think it's human nature. Our nature leads us to believe if anything is free, it has little or no value. (Nothing of value is free, right?) Who would want that? But, if you have to work for it, to purchase it,  and continue all your life working to keep it, it must be very valuable.  (Right?......................;) Mat 13:45,46  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls,  Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.   Mat 13:11  He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. Mat 13:16  But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
    • Lessons From A Postage Stamp
      Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 30:1, 6-14 (6,10) Aim: To carry God’s message faithfully as does a postage stamp. Introduction: Proverbs 25:25 tells us: “As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” We all like to receive a letter with good news from a far country, such as Africa, India, China. We often forget that the reason we received that letter is because someone paid a price for a postage stamp that enabled the letter to be sent. We need to be like a postage stamp that carries God’s messages faithfully to other needy people. A Bible Message sent by post is in II Chronicles 30:1-14, where Hezekiah sent letters by post to all Israel and Judah to keep the feast of Passover (v.1), to turn to God (v.6) and to yield yourselves to God (v.8).   1. The message of the posts (v.6-9) was: Return to God (v.6). Be not like your stiff-necked and rebellious fathers and brothers (v.7,8); Yield yourselves unto the Lord (v.8); Enter into His Sanctuary (v.8); Serve the Lord your God (v.8); Ye will find compassion from captors (v.9); The Lord your God is gracious and merciful; II. Results of the Post: Some laughed them to scorn and mocked them (v.10). Some humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem (v.11). God gave those of Judah one heart to do the commandment of the King and princes (v.12). A very great congregation assembled at Jerusalem to keep the feast of unleavened bread (v.13). All the pagan altars of incense were taken away and cast into the Brook Kidron. Question: How often do we see a postage stamp and think nothing of it? A postage stamp is like a faithful Christian in eleven ways. A stamp preaches sermons. May we always remember these lessons when we see a postage stamp: 1. “I Represent my Country” A stamp openly shows what country it represents. We Christians should openly represent our country which is heaven. We are called “ambassadors for Christ” (II Corinthians 5:20). An ambassador is a person who represents his country in a foreign land. Heaven is our home and while we are away from it, we should be a good representative of heaven. “But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He hath prepared for them a city.” Hebrews 11:16. 2. “I Am Always Ready For Service” As a stamp is always ready for service, so should we be. Paul was ready for service when he said: “so, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the Gospel to you who are at Rome also.” (Romans 1:15). Peter was ready for service when he said: “And Peter said unto Him, "Lord, I am ready to go with Thee, both into prison and to death."” (Luke 22:33). God tells us: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every man who asketh you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” (I Peter 3:15). Question: Are you ready to serve God? Question: Are you prepared unto every good work? “That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (II Timothy 3:17). 3. “I Stick To My Task Until It Is Done” As a stamp sticks to its letter until it arrives at its destination, so we should stick to our life’s work until it is finished. Perseverance is a necessary and wonderful trait. Too many people quit their God given work before it is finished. Question: Will you quit serving God or will you finish your life’s work for God? God tells us “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (I Corinthians 15:58). God will not forsake us “David said to Solomon his son, "Be strong and of good courage, and do it. Fear not, nor be dismayed, for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee. He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD. I Chron 28:20 Question: Will you find and finish God’s work for your life. 4. “I Go Wherever I Am Sent” As a stamp never argues about where it is to go, so we should go to see people to tell them about Jesus Christ and the gospel. Jesus says to us: “Then said Jesus to them again, "Peace be unto you. As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you."” (John 20:21) and “He said unto them, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15). Question: Will you say with Isaiah “Here am I, send me.” (Isaiah 6:8)? Question: Is God telling you to go somewhere for Him, maybe to Bible College, short term mission trip? 5. “I Don’t Give Up When I Am Licked” As a postage stamp is licked, so do we sometimes feel licked and unable to continue. Paul said “we faint not” in II Corinthians 4:8-18 (v.16). Question: Do you feel licked and like quitting? Don’t, because the best years of service are ahead. 6. “I Don’t Strike Back When I Am Struck” As a postage stamp is struck to make it stick to a letter, so we may be struck rightly or wrongly in life. a. We must submit to God’s chastening and discipline, “for whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.” (Hebrews 12:6). b. When others mistreat us, Jesus tells us, “But I say unto you that ye resist not evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matthew 5:39). Is someone mistreating you? Commit that person to God and trust God to bring you through the difficulty. 7. “I Am Small, But I Carry Great Messages As letters carry very important messages, so God sends His greatest message of salvation through us to a lost and dying world. Though you are little, you must take God’s great message of salvation to those without Jesus Christ. A great message from God is John 3:16 “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.” Question: Do you realize the greatness and importance of the message of salvation God has given you? 8. Many Different Kinds And Varieties Of Stamps
      There are many different kinds of Christians. God has made us all different, unique, beautiful & valuable. 9. We Have The King’s Image On Us As many stamps have the image or picture of the King or Queen of a country, so we Christians have on us the image of the King of Heaven. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (II Corinthians 3:18). “As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” I Cor. 15:49. Question: Are you getting more like Christ in all you say, think and do? 10. A Price Has Been Paid For Us As a stamp has a price or value on it, so we have a value on us, being the blood of Christ paid to redeem us from sin and Satan. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” I Peter 1:18,19. Question: Do you win souls to Christ because they are valuable to God? 11. Used Stamps Are Collected As a stamp is sought after by collectors, so after we are used, God collects us to heaven. Malachi 3:16-18 “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.” God doesn’t throw us away. We are still valuable to God for further service in eternity: “And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.” (Revelation 22:3). Question: Are you preparing to serve Christ now so you can serve Him more in Heaven? Question: What does God want you to do for Him this year?
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