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Monday, October 30, 2023

Luke 2:12

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

For further reading - Luke 2:1-20

Last time on our devotionals I mentioned how much I loved the Christmas story. I must also say that Christmas Day is my favorite holiday when we gather together with all the family, food and fellowship. This is always a great day to look at the events of that day, 2,000 years ago, from the scriptures, and to notice the insight God’s Word gives us.

Our key verse is an interesting statement, "and this shall be a sign unto you". Dr. Luke records what the angel said to the shepherds, that they would find the newborn babe, "God-man", Jesus Christ, "in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes".

For the longest time I could not understand why that would be a "sign" to the shepherds. Then one day I ran across a comment about the connection to the sign in a place in the Shepherd's Fields called the "Tower of the Flock".

In the Hebrew, the phrase is, "Migdal Edar". "Migdal" is Hebrew for "tower" and "Edar" is "flock" in the Hebrew language. The phrase is only used twice in the Bible - Genesis 35:21 and Micah 4:8.

In the Genesis passage, "Migdal Edar" is referring to the location where Jacob pitched his tent after he buried his wife Rachel who had died in childbirth. "Migdal Edar" is on the road between Bethlehem, where Rachel was buried, and the city of Jerusalem, which is only three miles away.

The other mention of "Migdal Edar" or "tower of the flock" in Micah 4:8 is a prophecy that the announcement of the Messiah would be at "Migdal Edar". This location, "Migdal Edar", has been known by the religious Jews for centuries, as the place where the announcement of the "Messiah" will take place.

I must tell you that "Migdal Edar" was a watchtower in the Shepherd's Fields of Bethlehem. It was a two-story stone structure out in the fields. On the top story, a shepherd, a "priestly shepherd" would stand watching over the flock to make certain that the sheep were not being harmed.

Remember, the sheep raised in the Shepherd's Fields of Bethlehem were destined for the "temple sacrifice" three miles away. Also, these sheep must be without blemish or spot, perfect in order to be sacrificed. Bethlehem’s "shepherd’s fields" was the "holding pen for the sacrificial lambs".

The bottom floor of "Migdal Edar" was for the "birthing" of these lambs. From the beginning, these lambs must be perfect. The "priestly shepherd" would take the newborn lamb and wrap it in "swaddling clothes" to keep it from harming its limbs. After wrapping the baby lamb, the shepherd would lay it in a "manger" until the newborn had calmed down.

These priestly shepherds knew this procedure and, when told it would be a sign, they re-called Micah 4:8 and with haste, Luke 2:16, ran to see the newborn Jesus, the Son of God.

By the way, read all of Micah 4. It tells of a coming Jewish temple, peace in the Middle East, a return of the Jews to the land and an alignment of nations against Israel. These are all prophecies that will be fulfilled as was the one of "Migdal Edar".

The fulfillment of Bible Prophecy, in the past, is assurance that the "yet-to-be-fulfilled" Bible prophecy will be fulfilled, and it could be soon. The next event is the Rapture, which could happen today. Keep looking up.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank You for prophecy that was fulfilled by Your first coming and those that tell of Your Second Coming, which will also be fulfilled. Help me to live ready for these prophecies to be fulfilled.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Luke 1:37

 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

Luke 1:1-38
Matthew 1-2Luke 1-2verse 37verse 34verse 37verse 32
II Samuel 7
Jeremiah 33:20-21
Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Mark 14:25

Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

For further study - Mark 14:12-25

This is Mark's record of what has been called the "Last Supper". It was actually the observance of the "Passover Seder" which is the "meal" where Jews celebrate the Exodus out of Egyptian bondage, which took place 3,500 years ago.

The "Passover Seder" is observed annually since the very first Passover, Exodus 12. It was at that time the Lord commanded the Jews to rehearse, at a special gathering, every year the Lord's provision and protection throughout these thousands of years.

The one-day "feast day" of "Passover", and the seven-day "feast" of "Unleavened Bread" are observed together, an eight- day celebration. The actual day of Passover was 24 hours, starting from the evening of Passover, during the time of Jesus Christ on Wednesday evening, until sundown on Thursday evening.

The disciples, Peter and John, had prepared the meal and they met together with Jesus and the other disciples in an "Upper Room", verse 15, in the city of Jerusalem for the actual meal and the other activities.

The ingredients of the meal were "roast lamb" that represented the "Passover lamb"; "unleavened bread" which represents the "separation between the bondage and freedom"; and "bitter herbs" which represents the bitter time in the Egyptian bondage for the Jewish people.

They would also have "bread and wine" in the meal. By the way, the wine was not an "intoxicating wine" because they weren't allowed to have "leaven" anywhere near the meal. Remember, grape juice can only ferment when leaven is added. That should settle an argument or two out there.

That night, Jesus and His disciples rehearsed the story of Passover and the sacrifice of the "sacrificial lamb". It would be at 3:00 pm the next afternoon that Jesus Christ would be crucified on the cross to become our "sacrificial lamb".

Jesus became our "Passover lamb" by His death in Jerusalem, I Corinthians 5:7. Jesus actually fulfilled the Jewish feast day of Passover, for the Jewish people. We, as Christians, derive the spiritual benefits of our Lord's death, burial and resurrection which is our way to salvation, I Corinthians 15:1-5 and Romans 1:16.

After the "Passover Seder" Jesus instituted what we call the "Lord's Supper", the communion service, verses 22-24. Now, each time we celebrate the "Lord's Supper", the communion, we do it in remembrance of Him, I Corinthians 11:23-26.

Notice the last directive for the "Lord's Supper", "do this until I come". Each communion service should "look back" to what our Lord did for us; "look in" so we can get our hearts right with the Lord; and "look up" for Him to come.

As Jesus closed out the "Passover Seder", He said the next time He would join us for this sweet communion supper would be in the "Kingdom" that is yet to come.

What a heritage we receive from the Jews, and what prophetic truth in all that they are, and do today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord Jesus for being my "Passover", help me to tell others this great story.
Sunday, October 22, 2023

Mark 13:30

Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.

For further study - Mark 13:28-37

Our devotional recently was from Matthew 24:1-14 which is a record of the "Olivet Discourse" as reported by the disciple, Matthew. Luke also recorded the "Olivet Discourse", Luke 21:5-38.

Our devotional for today Mark 13:28-37 is a section of Mark's record of the most "profound prophetic conference" ever held on the Earth with Jesus, the Messiah, as the teacher.

As we discussed in the devotional from Matthew, the first portion of the Lord's message dealt with six major "signs" of the soon coming of Jesus Christ, His second coming to the Earth. We drew an interesting parallel between the "signs" Jesus gave, Matthew 24:4-7, and the "seals", the sealed judgments found in Revelation 6.

As we look at Mark's record of the "Olivet Discourse" we bypass additional "signs" that we will look at in another devotional. At the conclusion of the Lord's discourse, He used a parable to emphasize how to recognize the time and nearness of His coming. It's the parable of the "fig tree".

Jesus would often use the natural surroundings of where He was teaching to drive home His point. Let me remind you that this parable is not using the "fig tree" as the nation of Israel.

It's a simple illustration of how in the spring, which was the time of the year when the discourse was given, two days before the spring Feast of Passover. The Lord says to His disciples, "notice that when leaves show up on a bare limb of a fig tree, it means summer is near".

Then Jesus says, "so likewise when ye shall see these things", these things were deception, war, famine, pestilence and earthquakes, the sealed judgments, know that it will be His time to return to Earth.

Our key verse even gets more specific, verse 30. "This generation shall not pass, until all these things be done", Jesus will come back to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

When the Lord referred to "this generation" He was not referring to those with Him that day on the Mount of Olives, they have passed away. Jesus was referring to the generation who "sees these things", the "signs".

Therefore, those people who are seeing "these things", they are the people who will not pass until He comes. The people who are seeing these things are "we" that are alive today. Some of this generation will die but the main group could well be the "generation" that sees Jesus come back to the earth.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for your "prophetic word" that gives the evidence of the nearness of Your soon return, which helps me to be watching for this "glorious appearing".
Friday, October 20, 2023

Mark 13:14

But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand), then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:

For further study - Mark 13:14-23

The portion of scripture selected for our devotional today is from the Olivet Discourse, the message that Jesus gave on Monday afternoon of "Passion Week", the week of our Lords crucifixion.

In response to a question from His disciples, Jesus was explaining what will happen during the seven year Tribulation Period that leads up to the Second Coming of our Lord.

The disciples had asked the Lord for some "signs" of His Second Coming, His return to the earth to set up His kingdom, Mark 13:4.

Remember these are Jews asking for "signs" of the Second Coming. I Corinthians 1:22 reveals that God will give the Jews "signs"; however, "signs" are not for Christians.

We're not looking for "signs", we are listening for a "sound", the sound of the trumpet, the Lord's shout and the voice of the archangel, I Thessalonians 4:16, and we go to the heavenlies to ever be with the Lord.

By the way, there is not one prophecy that must be fulfilled before the Rapture. All prophecies yet to be fulfilled come after the Rapture.

Now back to the "signs" for the Jews, Jesus told them, verse 14, when you see the "abomination of desolation" spoken of by the prophet Daniel, Daniel 9:27, they were to flee to the mountains.

The "abomination of desolation" is when the Anti-christ walks into the Temple, into the "holy of holies" and claims to be God, II Thessalonians 2:4. That is when the Temple is desecrated. That happens at the mid-way point of the Tribulation Period, some three and one half years after the Rapture.

This then means that there must be a temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in the first part of the Tribulation Period. All preparations have been made for a temple to be erected and go into full operation, today.

For the first time in history, all that needs to be done to fulfill the Lord's prophecy is in place. The Lord also gave additional information to describe when this all would happen, verse 22, when false teachers and false prophets were actively using signs, wonders and miracles to deceive and seduce the world.

This passage of scripture describes our day, today, which seems to indicate that we are so close to the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Only one thing has to happen before all of these prophecies will be fulfilled, the Rapture of the Church, which could happen at any moment.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Perhaps today will be the day, Jesus, that You shout for us to join You in the heavenlies. Even so come, Lord Jesus, and help me to live in that expectancy.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Mark 11:9-10

And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.

For further study - Mark 11:1-19

Our reading for today is focused on the day, by tradition, that we refer to as "Palm Sunday". A quick reading of our extended portion for today seems to verify the account that we have long proclaimed as the presentation of Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of prophecy, the long awaited Messiah. Indeed, the passage does reveal the events of at least three days in the life of Jesus Christ during Passion Week, the week of the death of our Lord.

Jesus was abiding at the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus located in Bethany on the backside of the Mount of Olives. He had arrived on Friday afternoon just in time for the Shabbat meal, the special meal for a Jewish family on Friday evening which is technically the Jewish day of Saturday, the Sabbath.

John 12:12 states that the next day, Saturday, the official presentation of Jesus Christ as King took place with His "Triumphal Entry" into the city of Jerusalem. That means that it is "Palm Saturday" we should celebrate, not Palm Sunday as is the custom according to tradition.

Take a deep breath and simply look at the Scriptural facts. Jesus arrived at Bethany on Friday afternoon and the next day, entered the Temple Mount area having been hailed as the Blessed One, the One who comes in the Name of the Lord, verses 9 and 10.

Notice that the day of His Triumphal Entry He walked onto the Temple Mount as the "Potentate", the King of Kings, verse 11. The next day, Sunday, when He came to the Temple complex, the money changers were set up and doing business and He overthrew their tables and ran them out of the area, verses 15-18.

He had come to the Temple as the "Priest", the High Priest. That evening, He returned to Bethany and the next day, He returned to the Temple Mount as the "Prophet" and would teach His disciples "things to come", verses 27-33.

The narrative clearly teaches that the order of appearances on the Temple Mount is as I have described it. The money- changers were not in the Temple complex the first day, Saturday, or Jesus would have thrown them out then.

They were not there because it was the Sabbath and they did not work on that day. However, the next day, Sunday, the first day of the Jewish work-week, they were in their regular place and Jesus took care of them.

I present this to you because we must be correct on our understanding of Scripture. Luke 19:41-42 tells us that Jesus showed up the exact day He was to be there for the official presentation of Himself as King according to Daniel's prophecy of the day as foretold in Daniel 9:25-26.

He didn't arrive a day early or a day late - but right on time the day He was to be there to fulfill prophecy. God's word is exact and will be fulfilled as written.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to be a true student of God's word - it matters.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Mark 9:7

And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.

For further study - Mark 9:1-13

Mark's record of the transfiguration reveals a number of practical and prophetic truths that will benefit each of us as we read and realize these are for our everyday consumption.

Remember this event follows the story of Jesus and His disciples in Caesarea of Philippi where Peter pronounced Jesus the "Christ", the Messiah. It was then that Jesus told His disciples to stop telling men of Him and who He was. It was here also that Jesus first revealed His upcoming death, burial and resurrection.

Now, we come to the record of the transfiguration and the events surrounding the Lord's appearance in His "glorified body". Jesus told His men that there would be some of them who would not die before they saw Him in His "kingdom to come".

Then, six days later, the Lord takes the "inner circle" up the mountain, on the slopes of Mount Hermon and Peter, James and John personally witnessed Jesus in His glorified body. They would also see Moses and Elijah in their glorified bodies as well. The Lord was speaking prophetically and the prophecies were being fulfilled.

Peter's statement at the transfiguration reveals that he thought the "kingdom" had come. That's why Peter wanted to setup three "tabernacles". He wasn't talking about putting up three statues to honor Jesus, Moses and Elijah. Peter wanted three "succas" to be built which is what the Jewish people do during the seven day Feast of Tabernacles.

A "succa" is a thatched hut similar to the ones the Jews used during the forty years of wandering in the wilderness. The Jewish people erect a "succa", tabernacle, and live in it during the Feast of Tabernacles today. The Feast of Tabernacles is a prophecy of the Kingdom Period yet to come.

Peter, seeing Jesus in His glorified body thought the "kingdom" had come, therefore the setting up of the three tabernacles. Of course, it was not the Kingdom Period beginning, but only a foretaste of things to come. What happened next is very significant.

God the Father interrupted the event and made a very profound statement, "This is My beloved Son, hear ye Him." What a statement, God the Father confirms Jesus as His Son and then the exhortation to all of us, "Hear ye Him." We must hear what the Lord says because He is the Son of God, the One with what we need to hear.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank You Lord for Your words, the Word of God, the Bible. Help me to listen closely to what You say and then to do it.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Mark 1:39

And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.

For further reading - Mark 1:21-39

As we come to our devotional reading for today, I selected this portion of Mark because I was just at Capernaum and read from this passage. Our key verse records the Lord's ministry of casting out demons throughout the Galilee region.

Several thoughts come to mind as we read together this scripture. The New Testament Gospel writers reveal to us that "demonic activity" was prevalent during the time of the Lord's ministry on the earth.

This casting out of demons by the Lord was for the benefit of the one demon-possessed, of course, but it also demonstrated the authority of Jesus, verse 22, and that He had power over the "satanic world".

Remember that a "demon" is an "evil angel" that has taken up habitation in the body of a human and through this possession controls the person's every activity.

Jesus did have authority to cast out demons and He gave that authority to the apostles and no one else. The casting out of demons is not a ministry for today. In fact, if you confront someone that is demon-possessed, do not dare demand that the demon do anything. That would be dangerous and it is for the Lord to do that.

What we can do is lead the "demon-possessed” person to the Lord Jesus Christ. Once someone is saved, the Holy Spirit takes up habitation of the newly saved demon-possessed person. A demon and the Holy Spirit both cannot live in the same body and the Holy Spirit will take care of the demon by driving him out.

Another interesting insight from our reading would be included in the thought that the demons would talk to Jesus and the demon recognized who it was that he was dealing with, verse 24Did you notice, even the demons will confess that Jesus is the "Holy One of God"? Every tongue will confess Him as the One from God.

As at the first coming of Jesus Christ when there was much demonic activity, there will also be an intense struggle between the good angels of God and the evil angels of Satan at the Second Coming of Jesus. In fact, the closer we get to the time of the Lord's return, seven years after the Rapture, demon activity will increase ten fold.

Jesus confirmed this in His Olivet DiscourseMatthew 24, when in response to the questions from the disciples, Jesus said the first, most important sign of His Second Coming will be "signs, wonders and miracles with unhindered demonic activity", Matthew 24:4,5,11 and 24.

These Satanic attacks that happen near the Lord's return are one of the indicators that Jesus will soon shout for us to join Him in the air. In fact, that shout could come today for the Rapture. Keep looking up………….Until then.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you for the strength, Lord, to avoid the satanic attacks and in fact the ever increasing attacks, as we draw near to the Rapture of the Church.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Mark 1:38

And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.

For further study - Mark 1:21-39

The events in the life of Jesus Christ, were written about in the Gospels, recorded by four men who spent much time with Him when He was here on earth. Mark wrote of the "servant" that Jesus became to all people He dealt with during His ministry.

At the same time, Mark brings to our attention the ministry of Jesus in the little village where He would be headquartered for 3 1/2 years of ministry, the fishing village of Capernaum.

This was also the town where Peter lived with his wife and mother-in-law, Mark 1:30. After a service on the Sabbath day, the Lord went to Peter's house and healed Peter's wife's mother. This event attracted attention to Jesus and His healing ministry and the people gathered to watch as Jesus healed those people brought to Him.

Early the next morning, Jesus went out to pray alone. But leave it to Peter to go out and find Jesus as He was praying. Peter told Jesus that all men were seeking Him. Notice what Jesus said to Peter, "Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also".

Then Jesus informed all those who gathered that He had come to preach, heal, cast out devils and serve the people. This is what the ancient Jewish prophet Isaiah had written that the "true Messiah" would do when He came to the earth, Isaiah 61:1-2a.

Even the demons could recognize who Jesus was. The demons that Jesus called out of the man in the synagogue in Capernaum told Jesus that even though he was a "demonic creature", he knew who Jesus was, "the Holy One of God".

The preaching, healing and casting out of demons ministry of Jesus not only drew the people in the Galilee to Him but these ministries also authenticated Jesus as the Son of God, the "holy one" of God, who came to be the Saviour of the world.

Jesus was, and is, the focus of Bible prophecy. The fact that Jesus fulfilled Isaiah's prophecy is evidence that He will fulfill additional prophecy pertaining to Him. The "end time" prophecies related to the "second coming" of Jesus Christ are nearing their fulfillment.

What unique days we are living in today. This is a "day" when He could come in the clouds above us and "shout" to have us join Him in the air - let's keep looking up.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to live recognizing that Jesus is the "Holy One of God" and that He could call for us to join Him in the air, today.
Monday, October 9, 2023

Matthew 24:37

But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

For further study - Matthew 24:37-51

In the devotional reading for today we take a look at the Olivet Discourse, a message that Jesus delivered to His disciples on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem on Monday afternoon of Passion Week.

The Lord had just told those there in attendance for this profound prophetic conference, with Jesus as the teacher, that the "generation" which saw the signs discussed in Matthew 24:4-15 would be the ones that would usher in the Kingdom, at the Second Coming of Jesus.

As the Lord was concluding this discourse He mentioned a very specific sign for people to look for as they awaited His Second Coming. Jesus mentioned in verse 37, "as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be."

By the way, this passage is speaking of the Second Coming, not the Rapture of the Church in the context of future events, Matthew 24:3.

Remember, in the "Days of Noah" the "ones taken", verses 40-41, were those who were taken to judgment, they drown in the flood. It was Noah and his wife, his three sons and their wives, that were left.

The Lord also exhorted those awaiting the Second Coming to be working during the time before so that when the Lord does come back the Lord's servants would be blessed, verse 46.

This statement, "technically interpreted", is for those awaiting the Second Coming; however, it has a "spiritual application" for those of us who are Christians awaiting the Rapture. We need to be found faithful, working, in the Lord's work when the Rapture happens. There is a great significance to the Lord's statement about, the "Days of Noah".

Jesus had finished giving general "signs" and then He became very specific. The truth be known, there were three "Days of Noah"; the days before the flood, Genesis 4-6; the days during the flood, Genesis 6,7 and 8; and the days after the flood, Genesis 9, 10 and 11.

Verse 37 can be a stand-alone verse, because of the next verse, verse 38, which specifies the "days before the flood". The verse reads, "For as in the days that were before".

As we consider the "Days of Noah" after the flood, Genesis 10 and 11, describe Noah's great grandson, Nimrod, 10:8-10 and 11:4, as the world leader who went to Babel, today's Babylon or modern-day Iraq, to build a "great city" and a "great religion".

This was a rebellion against God's directive to Noah, Genesis 9:1, to "re-people" the earth after the worldwide flood. The "one world government", with a "one world leader", Nimrod, 4,500 years ago, and a "one world religion" in Nimrod's day, these are both prototypes of the one world religion and the one world government in Revelation 17 and 18, respectively.

The Lord's warning about the "Days of Noah" has present-day significance because in Noah's day the focus of the world was on Babylon and today the world's focus is also on Babylon, modern day Iraq.

The current world situation seems to be set for the Lord's return, His Second Coming. The Lord's exhortation, as revealed in verse 44, is to be "ready". There is also the exhortation in verse 42, to "watch". These both are pertaining to His Second Coming.

However, the "spiritual application" is excellent for us who are to "watch", and be "ready", for the Rapture, which could happen today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to live today, Lord, as if this is the day the Rapture will happen.

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Matthew 24:34

Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

For further study - Matthew 24:27-36

The passage for our devotional reading today is another portion of the "Olivet Discourse", the message Jesus gave to His disciples during "Passion Week".

After teaching all day, on Monday afternoon of "Passion Week", Jesus started back towards the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus where He was staying, the days before His crucifixion.

As He left the Temple Mount area He had told the disciples that Herod's Temple would be destroyed and there would not be "a stone upon a stone". The disciples questioned Jesus as to when this Temple destruction would take place and they wanted Him to give them some signs of His Second Coming.

In Matthew 24 the Lord does not give any information about the Temple, as to when it would be destroyed. Jesus, in the account of the Lord's message on the Mount of Olives, in Mark 13 and Luke 21 does respond to the first question from the disciples.

The Lord did answer the question, requesting signs of His Second Coming back to earth, Matthew 24:4-26. In the passage we are reading today Jesus tells of His Second Coming, verses 27-31.

Verse 29 reveals that the Second Coming takes place, after the Tribulation Period. Remember, the Rapture is not mentioned in Matthew 24. The Lord's return to earth when He steps on the Mount of Olives, Zechariah 14:4, is what is in focus in this passage.

After telling of His return to earth, actually to the spot where He was seated teaching those gathered to listen to Him, then as He often did, the Lord used a parable to draw some conclusions.

At the peak of the Mount of Olives there are a number of fig trees. Remember, the time was the spring, since Passover was just two days away. As Jesus noticed the "fig trees" He would use them as an illustration.

Let me say Jesus is not referring to the "fig tree" as the nation of Israel. The "fig tree" is an example of how in the spring the new leaves will pop up on the bare limbs after the winter.

Jesus said that like the new leaves on the "fig tree", the signs, prophecies, that He gave that day would precede His Second Coming. Then Jesus said, "This generation, the ones seeing these things that He had talked about, verses 4 to 31, this generation shall not pass away until all these things be fulfilled", verse 34.

In other words the people that see all the signs, Matthew 24:4-31, when they see these prophecies being fulfilled, look up because they will be the generation alive when Jesus Christ comes back.

Remember, the Rapture takes place at least seven years before the Second Coming. I believe "the generation" seeing the signs happening will be "the generation" that will see Jesus Christ come back.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me Lord, to alert as many people as possible, alive in this generation, to be prepared for the Rapture, which happens before the Second Coming and could happen today.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Matthew 24:30

And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

For further study - Matthew 24:15-31

Our devotional reading for today, the extended reading, is a continuation of the Olivet Discourse that Jesus gave on the Mount of Olives on Monday afternoon of "Passion Week", the week of the Lord's death, burial and resurrection.

Jesus was responding to the questions from His disciples about the "signs" that they could look for in the time leading up to His Second Coming. Remember, Matthew 24 is not referring to the Rapture, but the Second Coming of Jesus.

The Lord sat there on the Mount of Olives teaching His disciples, and mentioned deception, wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilence and earthquakes in different places around the earth, Matthew 24:4-7. All of these "signs" are events that lead up to the Lord's return to the earth.

Then in verse 15 of our extended reading the Lord refers to the prophecy of Daniel the Prophet that ministered 500 years before Jesus. Daniel had spoken of the Temple in Jerusalem being desecrated with the "Abomination of Desolation" during the seven-year period in advance of the Lord's return.

The "Abomination of Desolation" will be when "Antichrist" walks into the Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and claims to be God, II Thessalonians 2:4. That's when the False Prophet erects a statue, an "image" of the Antichrist, in the Temple and makes all the world to worship this "image", Revelation 13:14-17.

The Satanic creatures, Antichrist and False Prophet, desecrate the Temple, the "Abomination of Desolation" which happens at the mid-way point of the seven year Tribulation Period, Daniel 9:27. Jesus warns the Jews that when they see those things happening to flee Jerusalem.

What this means for us today is that as we quickly approach the coming of the Lord we will see preparations for building a Temple in Jerusalem. All of the preparations have been made. The Temple can be erected in a manner of days. But before they start building the Temple the Lord must call His people, Christians, up to be with Him at the Rapture.

We are quickly approaching the time that Jesus was teaching about; however, please remember that the Rapture happens at least 3 1/2 years before the "Abomination of Desolation".

All preparations have been made to build the Temple for this prophecy to be fulfilled. The only thing that must happen before the Temple is built is the Rapture, and that could happen today. Keep looking up.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for the prophetic passages that describe the day of Your coming. Help me to look eagerly for your return in light of the evidence that the Rapture could happen today.

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Matthew 24:14

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

For further study - Matthew 24:1-14

Matthew 24
 is one of the most important prophetic passages in all of scripture. It is referred to as the "Olivet Discourse". It is the most "profound prophetic conference" ever held. The teacher at this conference is none other than the "Spirit of prophecy", Revelation 19:10, Jesus Christ, Himself.

The crowd at this conference is rather small with the Lord's twelve disciples in attendance and maybe several other followers of Jesus. It takes place on the slopes of the Mount of Olives overlooking the Kidron Valley and the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It's Monday afternoon of "Passion Week", the week that Jesus will be crucified.

The message that Jesus delivers to His disciples is actually the climax of six months of teaching prophecy to His men. Jesus will have another forty days after His resurrection when He will also spend the whole time teaching His closest followers the prophetic truths they will need in the very difficult days ahead.

A closer look at the entire Olivet Discourse, Matthew 24 and 25, reveals the entire pattern of prophecy predicted in the book of Revelation written by the Apostle John in 95AD while a prisoner on the isle of Patmos.

John was actually sitting under the teaching of Jesus Christ there on the Mount of Olives when this prophetic conference was taking place some 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem.

When Jesus was asked by His Jewish disciples for some "signs" of His coming back to earth to set up His Kingdom, Jesus gave them a number of indicators to look for that would be developing in the time period leading up to His return to Jerusalem.

Let me remind you that the Lord is giving "signs" for His Second Coming not the Rapture of the Church. There are no signs for the Rapture, and in fact, we're not looking for "signs" but listening for a "sound". The sound we're listening for will be the sound of the trumpet, the archangel's shout and the call by Jesus to join Him in the heavenlies.

Briefly, I can point out some "signs" that Jesus gave these Jewish believers. "Deception" is the first and foremost sign, verses 4-5, 11 and 24. There would be "false teachers" using "signs, wonders and miracles" to deceive the people, some who would be believers.

"Wars and rumors of wars", verses 6-7, will be another sign. They tell me that there are over 150 wars and/or conflicts going on right now in our world. The Middle East would be the center focus for most of these conflicts. However, there are rumors of wars all around the world.

Also in verse 7, "famines, pestilence (pandemic disease) and earthquakes" around the world will be taking place. Verse 14 also lists the "sign" of the "gospel of the Kingdom", being preached to everybody on earth and then Jesus Christ comes. This is not the "gospel of grace" that is being preached today.

The "gospel of the Kingdom" is preached during the seven-year Tribulation. When everyone on Earth has heard the "gospel of the Kingdom" through the ministry of the two witnesses, Revelation 11:3-12, and the 144,000 Jewish evangelists, Revelation 7:4-9, then Jesus will come back.

The five signs found in verses 4-7 parallel the "sealed judgments" in Revelation 6 which are released on Earth right after the Rapture. These "signs" in Matthew 24 and the "seals" of Revelation 6 are today in the process of moving to fulfillment, seemingly in the near future.

Since the Rapture happens before the "signs" and "seals" are fulfilled, it seems that the Rapture could be very near, even today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Lord help me to not study Your prophetic Word for knowledge only but for that which helps me to see the urgency of the moment and then to live expecting You to shout today for me to join You in the heavenlies.