These Dark Days.

(I give permission for anyone to copy any of my posts.)

In these dark days, we need encouragement, hope and peace. God will give that to us in many ways. One way is asking him for them, another is listening to uplifting music. Somehow music feeds our soul. Like everything else on earth it can feed our souls for good or evil. The last few years, I have found music lifts my heart up to the heavens. The earth seems to fade away.

Below I have printed the lyrics to a song that comforts me. This artist sings some of the most beautiful words I have heard in music. I hope you look him up and give his music a try.

Always Good.

Written and sung by Andrew Peterson

Do You remember how Mary was grieving?
How You wept and she fell at Your feet?
If it’s true that You know what I’m feeling
Could it be that You’re weeping with me?


Arise, O Lord, and save me
There’s nowhere else to go

You’re always good, always good
Somehow this sorrow is shaping my heart
Like it should
And You’re always good, always good

It’s so hard to know what You’re doing
So why won’t You tell it all plain?
But You said You’d come back on the third day
And Peter missed it again and again

So maybe the answer surrounds us
And we don’t have eyes to see


You’re always good, always good
This heartache is moving me closer than joy ever could
And You’re always good


My God, my God, be near me
There’s nowhere else to go
And Lord, if You can hear me
Please help Your child to know


That You’re always good, always good
As we try to believe what is not meant
To be understood
Will You help us to trust Your intentions for us are still good?
‘Cause You laid down Your life and You suffered like I never could


And You’re always good, always good
You’re always good, always good

We Christians should never forget what happened to the followers of Jesus right after he went to heaven. There was death, imprisonment and persecution. Many Jews were thrown out of the temple, excommunicated. This meant no one could trade with them or talk with them. They lost everything for Jesus. That is why the believers needed to share among themselves. The need was very great.

Remember what happened when Rome turned against Christianity. They tortured and killed thousands. Remember the suffering of the Holocaust. Not only Jews, but Christians, gays, mentally disabled and those who resisted Hitler were wiped out. Remember the suffering of the war itself. I had an uncle who died, who left a wife and two daughters behind.

It seems to me that we, North Americans, are surprised by suffering. We don’t seem to think we should have to suffer anything. Even the wearing of a simple mask in order to not spread an illness to others. No, we think that is too much to ask. It is a sacrifice we aren’t willing to make.

Many believe there is no virus. It is all untrue! So that means every news service in all the world is lying about all the people who are suffering and dying. There is some vast (worldwide) conspiracy against – who? Them personally, I guess.

To me, these are the scary people of the world. These are the ones who will persecute others to the death – like the ones who go surround government officials with weapons and send death threats. If they can, they will overthrow the democracy of the United States and keep Trump in power.

We are in our own era now, with our own wars against a virus, against ignorance and against pure evil. We don’t need to fear though, because God will walk through this time with us. He may let us suffer as he has done for millions in the past. We may lose our lives to violence by the hand of evil people.

But as the song says, Jesus did too. Aside from the torture, his death was much worse than any that can happen to a human, because he had the sins of the world on his heart and his Father turned away from him. The Father did this so Jesus could experience the second death: knowing we will be separated from God forever because of our sinful lives. At the judgement, God will show us our sinful lives and why he can’t take us to heaven. Then we will die and be dead forever. Jesus went through that to take our place if we want him to. He endured it so we don’t have to, and he endured it for every person.

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Courtroom in Beverly, Yorkshire, England.

The disciple, John, said to Jesus, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.”

But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for whoever is not against you is for you.”  Luke 9:49,50

In a sermon, W. Clarkson says, “We are in danger of counting among our opponents those whom we should reckon as allies. It did not seem to be a service of a any particular account that a man should use the name of Jesus to exorcise demons, even though he may have had a measure of success in his attempts. But Christ said he was not to be forbidden as an outsider, but rather hailed as a friend and as an ally. What then, would he not say now of those who go so far towards the fullest declaration of his truth as many thousands do, but who remain outside the particular church with which we may be connected? Would he have us blame and brand these because they “follow not with us?”

The spirit of persecution is cruel, foolish, and emphatically unchristian. Rather, let us rejoice that there are found so many who, while not feeling it right to connect themselves with our organization, are yet loving the same Lord and serving the same cause. These are not our enemies; they are our allies.”

I like what Clarkson said. I know of how some people look down on Christians of other denominations. Not only sneer at them and their beliefs, but say they are not saved. I remember hearing in my church how “we have the truth,” and visiting a different denomination where a woman told me, “we have the truth.”

I think that is spiritual pride, and a kind of putting God in a box where he is only with the people in that box. Someone once told my husband he was not a Christian before he was baptized into my church. No, he was a Christian for a year and a half before he was baptized.

Human beings, all of us and I definitely include myself, judge other human beings constantly. That can be good or evil. We must use our judgement in deciding who to marry, who to be close friends with and who to do business with. God doesn’t want us to be blind to the faults of others. But when we judge whether someone is saved by grace or not, we move into God’s territory. Only he knows the heart of each person, and each person is on a path only God knows. He is patient. We are not. He is all loving. We are not. He is God. We are not.

 

Dying for God.

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Jeffrey Roasario

I was listening to a sermon by Jeffrey Rosario, one of my favorite preachers. He was speaking on why a person would die for their beliefs. He spoke about the men who were tortured and burned to death during the Dark Ages. To save themselves, all they had to do was say they were wrong about what they believed and say the Mother Church was right.

Why did they think the different beliefs they held were worth dying for? Jeffrey said a beautiful thing. He said they weren’t dying for a belief; they were dying for a person. Their beliefs weren’t a thing, they were a person. I love that.

Some things Christians disagree about are not very important. But when it comes to who God is, that is important. God is the only God, he is worthy of our praise and worship.

The early Christians were told to worship the Emperor of Rome or die. Some chose to die. In the Dark Ages, Christians were told to accept the Roman Christian Church, and if they didn’t they would die. Some chose to die. They could not say they agreed with what the church was teaching about God.

When I was in university, a guest professor came into our class. Someone asked him why Christians would die for their faith. He said he thought they were like suicide bombers and no one could understand them.

“They were nothing like that!” I said.

He asked me what they were like then. I said, “If a German during WWII didn’t want to become a Nazi, wasn’t that worth dying for?

He said there were some Germans who did that. Then he looked at my professor in exasperation and she said the discussion was over. I wish I had thought of something better to say than what I did, but it all happened so quickly.

Many Christians have been killed by ISIS because they would not renounce their belief in Jesus. They are being killed in the Sudan and many other countries. One day, persecution will come to the West. One day there will be religious people who will want to arrest and kill those who disagree with their concept of who God is.

But we need not be concerned; if we stick close to God through faith and prayer, he will give us the strength at the right time to stand with him. Jesus told us we didn’t even have to worry about what to say but that the Holy Spirit would give us the words.

Revelation: Death, Jail and Hiding for God’s People.

I am posting chapters from my sister’s book, “The End is near. End Time Bible Prophecy Anyone Can Understand.” by E.A. James, available at lulu.com

Continued from previous post..

After the sixth trumpet probation is closed.  Those who have chosen to be on God’s side are sealed and those who have chosen to side with the beast are also sealed. 

Revelation 18:4 says that God’s people will not participate in the 7 last plagues about to fall, so why will we still be on this planet?  The Hebrews were in Egypt throughout all the plagues that fell, and the faithful followers of God were in Jerusalem when the Babylonians destroyed the city. So, too, those belonging to God will be on the earth during the plagues.  And again, just as the Hebrews were protected from the final plague to fall on the Egyptians by placing marks on the doorposts of their homes and staying safely inside, and the faithful in Jerusalem were marked by a messenger of God so they would be protected from the Babylonian slaughter, so those who receive the seal of God will be safe from the final plagues because they are hidden in Jesus.  (See Ex. 12 and Ez. 9) 

ring2       seal

But there is a drawback to being on the earth after probation closes.  The persecutions against those of us who refuse to worship the image of the beast and to receive the mark of the beast will be awful.  Some will be in jail, some will be in hiding, and some will be killed. 

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But do not fear because Jesus said, …I am with you always, even to the end of the age.  Matt. 28:16  Jesus also said,  Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  Matt. 10:28  And, Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great…  Matt. 5:11, 12  It may not seem like it at the time we are going through the persecutions, but Jesus will be with us and in the end it will be well worth it.

 

 

 

Revelation: The Seven-Headed Beast.

“Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names…And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.”  “There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him.  And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.  It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them….”  Rev. 13:1, 2, 5-7

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   Picture by: Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing      

This beast came out of the sea, meaning it arose out of people (see Appendix 2) and the dragon, Satan, backed this beast with all his power.  Here again we see the 42 months, the1260 years, of authority, so this beast must be the same entity as the horn.  Revelation 17:9 says, “The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits.”  The woman referred to is Jezebel, the false church, “…Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots…” Rev. 17:5.  The seven mountains give us her location:  the seven hills of Rome, the city where the Pope lives and from which the Catholic Church rules.  We know that a beast represents nations, kingdoms, or political powers (see Appendix 2), so the Catholic Church’s depiction here as a beast shows the political authority it wielded as well as its religious authority.

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 One thing you must remember: the Catholic Church referred to in prophecy describes the leaders of the church, those who operate with the spirit of Balaam and the Nicolaitans.  There have been millions, and there are still millions, of innocent and sincere members of the Catholic Church who do not know the truth and are led astray by the leaders of the church. 

We have not explored why the false church persecutes those who refuse to follow her lead.  Revelation 12:17 tells us that the persecuted depicted in Revelation are those who “…keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus”.  What does this mean and why does it threaten the false church? 

“…commandments of God…”

Even if we do not know exactly what the commandments are, most of us have at least heard of the Ten Commandments.  You can find them listed in Exodus 20:3-17.

 But even the Catholic Church knows that the Ten Commandments are still in effect, right?  Yes they do, as do almost all Christians of all denominations, but there is one commandment that the Catholic Church changed and that the followers of truth refused to honor. 

Revelation: The Church of Thyatira.

Thyatira: Faithfulness               Fourth Seal: Religious Persecution            538 CE – 1516 CE

Spirituality

“I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads my bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality…But I say to you, the rest who are in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not known the deep things of Satan, as they call them – I place no other burden on you. Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come. He who overcomes, and he who keeps my deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations.”  Revelation 2:19, 20, 24-26

Jezebel was a wicked queen who led the people of her nation to abandon God and worship idols and she killed those who refused to submit.

(1 Kin. 16: 31; 21:25; 2 Kin. 9: 7, 22)  In prophetic language, a woman represents a city and a group of people that have something in common (i.e. citizens of a city [“city”zens] have their place of residence in common). (see Appendix 2)  Here, Jezebel calls herself a prophetess, so Jezebel is a city and a group of people (“city”zens) who have a religion in common since they believe they speak for God. 

jezebel                   jez

In the year 533 CE the Roman Emperor Justinian declared that the Bishop of Rome was to be head of all Christian Churches. By the year 538 CE all opposition, both religious and civil, to this appointment was crushed. The Bishop of Rome (city) was firmly established in his authority over religious and civil matters. Those church members with the traits of Balaam and the Nicolaitans (city-zens) had finally attained all the power and riches they had so (commonality) desired. They had set up a powerful church and were designing doctrines that would lead the masses astray. But there were still believers who remained faithful to the teachings and the spirit of Jesus, although they did not fight hard enough in the beginning against this false church with its false doctrines. However, what was done was done and Jesus told them to hang on and as a reward they would rule with him.

Experience  

 “When the Lamb broke the fourth seal…I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.” Rev. 6:7,8

Hades is the Greek word for hell, and the experience of many of those who refused to follow Jezebel, the teachings of this false church, went through hell on earth, dying for their faithful adherence to the pure teachings of Jesus. The Inquisitions and persecutions, the torturous and agonizing deaths of the faithful were unrivaled by anything in history. Truly the ashen horse of Death followed by Hades, fell on these faithful people.

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Revelation: The First Two Churches.

 

Ephesus:  Apostolic Age           First Seal:  Purity        31 CE – c. 100 CE             

Spirituality          

“I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary.  But I have this against you; that you have left your first love.  Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first…To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.”  Rev. 2: 2-7

          The early church, from Jesus’ ascension into heaven until the death of those who knew Jesus personally, is often called the Apostolic Age.  Here they are commended for their work and tenacity that was motivated by love for Jesus.  But as time went on their motivation changed and was replaced by something else, perhaps a sense of duty.  Jesus’ promise to them is that they will be in paradise. 

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Experience 

…the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and…I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.”  Rev. 6: 1, 2  (see Appendix 2 for an explanation of horses in prophecy and in visions)

          The white color of the horse denotes the purity of the early church, and the rider represents the apostles spreading the word and conquering paganism.

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Smyrna:  Martyrdom      Second Seal:  Roman Persecution       c. 100 CE – 312 CE

          Spirituality

“I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich)…Do not fear what you are about to suffer.  Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days.  Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life…He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.”  Rev. 2: 9-11

          The church during this time may have been poor when it came to money and power to protect itself, but it was rich spiritually.  There was fear in the church due to the persecutions but Jesus says they will have eternal life.

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            Experience

          “…He broke the second seal…And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another;  and a great sword was given to him.”  Rev. 6: 3, 4

          The red color of this horse denotes the spilling of the blood of the saints.  Beginning with Nero, the Roman Emperors often persecuted Christians for one reason or another.  But late in the first century CE, the emperor Domitian demanded everyone within his empire to worship him as divine, but Jews and Christians refused.  This began a full-scale persecution and makes it easy to identify the rider of the red horse as the office of Emperor. 

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Uniting Church & State in the U.S.A.

Many years ago, I received a phone call from my sister, Liz. She lived in Nevada and I live in Canada. She told me she thought God had asked her to do something, but she wasn’t positive it was him. I asked her what it was.

Liz told me she didn’t want to tell me. She was asking God for guidance and asked me to pray about what she should do. I said I would be glad to pray about it.

That night, I had a dream. I was in my living room and there was an open book laying on my coffee table. I looked at it closely and could see pictures in it. They were pictures of the images of the book of Daniel. I realized it was a book about the end times.

I picked up the book and felt God wanted me to give it to our next-door neighbor. So, I went over and gave it to her. I woke up.

I called my sister the next day and told her my dream. She told me that she had thought God had asked her to write a book about Daniel and Revelation and the last days of earth’s history. We were happy the Lord opened this up to me as it was in agreement with what she had heard.

She wrote the book and we gave it away and sold some online. E-books started being popular so she put her book on lulu.com and that is where it is now as an ebook or a soft cover. I also gave one to my next door neighbor since God showed me that in the dream. She looked at me like I was nuts, but that’s okay. She is already a Christian, but of a different church than the one I went to.

Now, what does this have to do with Church & State? Well, in Revelation, we believe it prophesies about a major Christian power that will unite church and state. This power will persecute those who don’t believe what they say. They will pass laws and whoever does not obey their laws will not be able to buy or sell. They will make an “image to the beast,” which will be a national Sunday Law. Those who go along with this law will receive the mark of the beast.

Because the United States government is now taking steps to unite church & state, I felt very strongly to put my sister’s book on my blog to warn people of what is to come. I’m pretty sure many people who follow my blog will quit following, but that is not important to me. What is important is that I warn people, so when they see it happening, they will know that a Sunday Law is not from the Lord.

This is an excerpt from my sister’s book. I plan to begin copying her book and putting pages of it on my blog. Remember the Book of Revelation means a “revealing.”  It is not hidden, for God wants us prepared for what is to come.

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“Of the United States, Revelation 13:12 says, “He exercises all the authority of the first beast (Rome, Catholicism) in his presence.  And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal would was healed.”  Just as the Pope and the Catholic Church used to exercise political and religious authority over the Western world before its deadly wound in 1798, so the United States will exercise its political and religious authority over the Western world, uniting with Catholicism and giving back to the Pope the power his position once wielded. 

The Image of the Beast

            When you look in a mirror you see a reflection of yourself.  It is not you, but it looks just like you and it mirrors any movement you make.  Well, the beast was a political and religious power that ruled the Western world for centuries, and an image to this beast will have the same traits without being the exact same entity.  

Instead of being solely the Catholic Church with the Pope wielding religious and political power, this image will be political powers, dominated by the US, backing up the Ecumenical unification of religious powers (Revelation 17:12, 13 says that the kings of the earth will give their power and authority to the beast, so it will not be just the US political power).  Combined, these political and religious powers resemble, or mirror, the works and the powers of the Catholic Church during her 1260-year reign from 538 CE to 1798 CE.  So what we will see is an unholy trinity, a joining of politics, Protestantism and Catholicism. 

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What Should Christians Do When Surrounded by Evil?

What did Jesus do when surrounded by evil?  In his home town they tried to throw him off a cliff because he said he was the Messiah. What happened? God made him disappear because his hour to die had not come.

In Jerusalem, they picked up stones to kill Jesus. What happened? God again intervened and Jesus disappeared. His time had not come.

They sent solders to arrest him. The soldiers came back empty-handed and said, “No man has ever spoken as this man has.”

But at the end, when his time had come, he went with the soldiers, he stood trial and didn’t say a word except to Pilate, who didn’t really know what was going on. 

“When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”   1 Peter 2:23

“He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished.”  Isaiah 53:7,8

“Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.”  Psalm 37:7,8

If we worry, fret and become angry, the Bible says it will lead to evil. It will lead to violence, and violence is something we should have nothing to do with.

In Jesus day there were groups of Jews called, Zealots. They hated Romans and they’re government. They would plot, riot and kill. This is not God’s way. His way is for us to wait on him. If we are thrown into jail or persecuted, we have to accept this and if possible Jesus said to run away to another place.