La Profecía Bíblica de la Historia

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-Daniel Chapter 9-a “The 69 Weeks”

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Daniel Chapter 8

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Daniel Chapter 7

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Daniel Chapter 2

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Introducing Prophecy in History

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La Profecía Bíblica de la Historia video

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Español

Este video presenta el fenómeno de la profecía bíblica en la historia del antiguo Israel. Es el primer film producido sobre las profecías de Daniel. Muchas personas no saben qué es la profecía bíblica. Desde luego, yo no lo sabia hasta que tuve un gran cambio en mi vida. Descubrí que hay un mundo espiritual y que yo estaba equivocado al ser ateo. Me convertí al Cristianismo  y estaba tan sorprendido cuando estudié la Biblia.

Espero que este film explique la historia de Israel y el milagro de la profecía bíblica. Esta es la versión en inglés de este documental. Mi siguiente video español será el libro de Daniel capítulo 2. Debería estar listo muy pronto. Dios los bendiga.

English

I’ve been able to complete the first video in Spanish of the Prophecies of Daniel series. This one in English is “An Introduction to Prophecy in History”. This can be seen in English here.

Many people don’t know what Bible prophecy is. I certainly didn’t until I had a big change in my life when I found out that God is real and the spiritual world really exists. Later I became a Christian and was so surprised when I read the Bible, especially the marvelous disclosures of Bible prophecy.

So, in doing this series on the prophecies of Daniel, I felt it would be good to first present the phenomenon of Bible prophecy, as well as a brief background of ancient history and the history of ancient Israel. History is the backdrop against which the prophecies of the prophets stand out as beacons and signposts of the future to come.

My next Spanish video will be Daniel chapter 2. That video should be ready soon. Meanwhile, I’m working on several other foreign language videos on Bible prophecy and I hope to have those out in the next few months. God bless you.

 

Conspiracy Theory and/or Bible Prophecy

John KennedyWhen John Kennedy was killed in Dallas, Texas, I was a young teenager, living 100 miles away. He was a major hero and role model to me and his death had a heavy impact on my heart and life. Later, as the info came out about the details of his death, it seemed clear to me that it was not just a lone gunman who got off some amazingly “lucky” shots. I saw the Zapruder film and from that it seems clear that the shot that killed Kennedy didn’t come from the direction of Oswald.

Lee Harvey Oswald

Lee Harvey Oswald

So I guess that makes me a conspiracy theorist. And since that time the whole genre of conspiracy theories has grown to a full industry and major phenomenon of our times.

Some years later I surprisingly came to find out that there actually is a God in heaven, as well as the devil, angels and the whole thing. It in some ways was the climax of a series of shocking, eye-opening experiences that caused me to see the world in a totally different way. And I guess you could say, “Well, if you can believe in conspiracy theories, it’s probably easy for you to believe in that God stuff too.

But they are different. Admittedly there are some similarities. Conspiracy theorists see a lot of things going on that most people don’t know about. They see unseen forces, organizations and individuals, working behind the scenes to shape the destiny of man to go the direction they want them to. They see entities which want us to view things a certain way, to believe things that aren’t true and to basically enslave the human race. Is that all true? I’d say some of it is true and even verifiable to some degree.

But also there’s a difference. From my experience, conspiracy theorists seem to get mad a lot and there’s virtually no stopping place at where they will see “them” at work. Everything that happens is somehow not as it seems. “They” are active, everywhere and just about to take over our lives, our nation and our world.

What I don’t find in conspiracy theory is answers. There’s fear, there’s what is said to be a revelation of what is real, but there really isn’t much offered to alleviate all this. Also I feel that following a strong, steady line of conspiracy theory doctrine will come to make someone rather paranoid overall, distrustful, cynical and afraid of virtually everyone, even their best friends.

It reminds me of the verse in II Timothy, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (II Timothy 1:7) I came out of a lot of atheist, worldly darkness and that verse was like a promise I held on to for years that the Lord would create in me a “sound mind”, not burdened with confusion, fears and misunderstand.

Conspiracy Theory or Bible Prophecy flatThat’s another good verse that could be applied to conspiracy theories” “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.” (I Corinthians 14:33) I guess in some ways it is good what those folks do since so many people walk in such dullness and blindness. Conspiracy theorists might wake some of those ones up that there’s some serious stuff going on and that common people are being deceived daily on a massive scale.

sharing the Word with joy-2 flatBut this is all really different from what the study of Bible prophecy does. Bible prophecy not only exposes the systems and evils of man, which has been around for millennia, but it gives clear answers about what the solution is that God Himself has provided and is in the process of bringing to pass. Bible prophecy is a real eye opener. But it doesn’t carry that “spirit of fear”, as well as confusion that so often seems to accompany conspiracy theory teaching.

So I suppose those who avidly follow conspiracy theories might be woken up somewhat to the depth of evil in the world and shaken somewhat out of the general stupor that is upon so much of mankind. But then what?

God told Jeremiah that he was ordained to “root out, pull down, destroy, throw down” (Jeremiah 1:10) Conspiracy theory does that, sort of a general deconstruction of almost everything. But then God told Jeremiah two more things he was to do, “to build and to plant” (Jeremiah 1:10) I haven’t seen any way that conspiracy theory builds and plants. But Bible prophecy does. It tells how bad it is and how bad it will still get. But then it tells of God’s solution and the happy ending to all this mess that He will bring in His coming Kingdom on earth.

jesus on mount reduced

Moses and Elijah appear to Jesus on the mount of transfiguration, as Peter, James and John watch. (Matthew 17:1-8)

I suppose one of the greatest witnesses of one of the greatest miracles on earth was the Apostle Peter. The Bible says he was there when Jesus was transformed on the mountain into His glory and shined like the sun in front of 3 of His disciples. And God the Father spoke to them as well. Peter said of this experience, “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables but were eyewitnesses of the majesty of Jesus Christ. For He received honor and glory from God the Father, when there came a voice from the excellent glory, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And we heard this voice from Heaven, being with Him in the holy mountain.” (II Peter 1:16-18)

But then Peter goes on to say an amazing thing. He tells us of something that’s even greater than what he personally saw with his eyes and heard with his ears. Here’s what he says next. “We also have a more sure Word of prophecy, to which you do well to take heed, as to a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the Daystar arises in your hearts. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture came into being of its own private interpretation. For prophecy didn’t come in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (II Peter 1:19-21)

Peter says that the prophecies of the Word of God are more sure than even what he personal saw and heard at perhaps one of the most seminal moments in his life. That’s good truth for us today when we are at times “tossed and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14), by conspiracy theories with their adjacent fears and uncertainties. For believers in God and in Christ, we have a “more sure word of prophecy.” (II Peter 1:19)

 

Addicted to hate

I hate them-2 flatYears ago in Denmark my former wife and I were ministering to a recovered morphine addict. We read the Bible with him and tried to help him in his recovery. But a thing that both of us noticed was that, although he no longer used morphine, he was drinking up to 20 cups of coffee a day. In some sense, he’d traded one addiction for another. It seems that’s how it is for multitudes of people when it comes to hatred. Vast numbers of people think of themselves as good citizens, faithful to their wife or husband and keeping the law.

But, boy, they love to hate. Around a year ago my dad passed away and I wrote a post about him, Bonner McMillion. One of the main things I mentioned there was how my parents taught me not to hate African-Americans at a time when virtually every white person I knew in our city was filled with racial hatred to one degree or another.

But today, hatred of blacks by whites is much less than it was when I was growing up. It’s not in vogue anymore, it’s less accepted. But it’s surely still ok to hate, perhaps more than in the past. Pew Research recently made a study and found that the USA is more divided as a nation than any time in the last 150 years. I wonder how much of that has to do with a thriving cultural acceptance of hatred.

fear them not-3- flattenedThe most popular hatred here in the States seems to be hatred of Islamic people. “They” are here. “They” will destroy us. But some people feel that way about Catholics. Years ago it was popular to hate Jews. That was normal and accepted. We just seem to stop one addiction but move on to another.

You could say a lot of things in support of hatred, at least if you are not a Christian. Shouldn’t we hate “them”? Here’s what the Bible says, even the Old Testament. “You shall not hate your brother in your heart.” (Leviticus 19:17) It’s one of the greatest truisms of Christianity that it teaches love. Jesus said, “Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you and pray for them that despitefully use you.” (Matthew 5:44)

If you’re a Christian, and your life and words are full of hatred, then you’re living in sin, just as much as if you were an adulterer or whore monger. You’re just as defeated by your addiction to hatred as that man was that I ministered to years ago who was addicted to morphine first and then switched to coffee.

But, in a sense, you have my sympathies because “everybody else is doing it.” You’re mostly right on that; they are. But that surely doesn’t make it right if you’re trying to follow the light and path of the God of the Bible.

But Mark! Surely all hatred is not wrong!

Right again. Let’s look to God’s Word about that. Psalm 97:10 says, “You who love the Lord, hate evil.” Does it say to hate Muslims there? Or Catholics? Blacks? Jews? “Dagoes”? “Spics”? “Wops”? “Krauts”? “Chinks”? “Ragheads”? Obama? Or whatever your favorite hatred is? No. It says to hate evil, not people. God even “sends His rain on the just and the unjust”. (Matthew 5:45)

Does God hate? Yes, He does. Here’s what God’s Word says He hates. These six things does the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaks lies, and he that sows discord among brethren.” (Proverbs 6:16-19) We are to hate sin, as God does. But not people. We are to love people, in our hearts.

But Mark! I really hate them! All my friends hate them! TV commentators hate them! They are evil, Mark!

Conversation between 2 flatMy friend, this is a modern, virulent, satanic mindset that’s blinding and will snuff out God’s blessing and presence in your life, if it hasn’t already. You need to be “renewed in the spirit of your mind.” (Ephesians 4:23) You might need to turn off the TV, make new friends and move away from the old ones, just as if they were drug dealers or criminals.

If you love to hate, if you cultivate and nurture hatred, if you propagate hatred and start conversations with words about your hatred, then please don’t call yourself a Christian. If you’re doing this, you’re a reproach to the cause of Christ; you’re a mockery of what it is to be a Christian, no matter how outwardly righteous you appear to be. The evil you should hate is the hatred that has gripped your heart. Call out to the Lord Who can break every chain and cleanse ever stain. Flee hatred as you would drugs and ask the Lord to replace it with His love in your heart for all men, as He had.

 

 

Foolhardy Faith

What is that flatSome of the things I’ve done or experienced in my life as a missionary would probably be seen by some people as virtually foolish and even a bad testimony. I wrote about “It’s a gun, isn’t it?” and how the Lord protected me and my friend with 5 drunken east European miners in our train car on a Saturday night. But we were traveling on a mission for the Lord, trying to go forward for Him.

ItsAGun_04F fixed flatI can tell you of another time, perhaps more miraculous, while also probably more of a testimony of my youthful zeal but without wisdom, which the Lord forgave and seemingly blessed anyway.

I’d been married a little over a year and my Norwegian wife and I were desperate to leave Stockholm, Sweden, where our first son had been born, and to somehow get ourselves to Vienna, Austria, where we both strongly felt that God was leading us. We felt called to the then-Communist lands of eastern Europe. And to get ahead of the story a little, we did ultimately get to Vienna and had nearly 6 wonderful years there as we aimed with other young missionaries back then to reach the be-darkened people “behind the Iron Curtain”, as it was called then.

But before we ever got there, I’ll tell you of a story of God’s infinite mercy and provision, in spite of our zealous inexperience and almost foolhardy attempts to obey Him and go forward.

north European map flatIt was barely spring in the Stockholm, Sweden. My wife and I were desperate to move on from there, towards what we hoped would be an “open door” (I Corinthians 16:9) to Vienna, Austria, almost 1800 kilometers (1100 miles) to the south. Our first move was to get ourselves back over to Norway, my wife’s home country. We believed in “living by faith”, that is trusting God to “supply all our needs according to His riches in glory” (Philippians 4:19)  if we were “seeking first His Kingdom” (Matthew 6:33).  A solidly Biblical belief but certainly not one you’ll hear taught from most churches.

Here comes the hard part. You’re gonna think this is really “out there”. We were desperate and believed the Lord wanted us to go forward in our faith and obedience to Him. We had very little money at that time so we decided to “hitchhike” from Stockholm to Oslo, Norway in early spring. This was somewhat more normal back then, not as dangerous as it is nowadays and somewhat more acceptable. Still, we had our 2 month old son with us so it was still pretty close to foolhardy. And it’s not like there’s some 500 kilometer (300 mile) super highway between Stockholm and Oslo.

The first evening my former wife and I were at a highway rest stop, not actually too far from Stockholm. We’d made very little progress in hitchhiking, had virtually no money and we were eating a plate of French fries, praying together, reading our Bibles together and  were pretty desperate.

Fool hardy faith 1 editedTo make a long story short, we saw a man looking at us from across the restaurant who seemed to be a truck driver. As he left to go out to his truck, my wife went out to talk to him and ask if he was driving to Norway to see if we could get a ride. (I didn’t speak the language there at that time.)

Fool hardy faith 2 flatThe man was already in his truck by the time my wife got there. He said that, no, he wasn’t driving to Oslo. But then he said, “Are you guys Christians?” Perhaps that was slightly more normal back then in that part of the world than it is now. But still, it was a very unusual question to have a stranger ask in Sweden. He’d seen us praying and reading our Bibles in the restaurant.

So my wife said that we were and he asked, “Well, do you need help?” She explained our situation and he then helped with a generous donation. This made it possible for us to have a normal meal there as well as to pay for a room to stay at an adjoining motel over night.

The next day, we were able to hitchhike, in fits and starts, across Sweden to Norway and Oslo, to friends and loved ones where we grew in the Lord in those early years of our faith.But, it took another 3 years of travails in Scandinavia before we finally made it to Vienna.

They say, “It takes an impossible situation for God to do a miracle.” For us, that was one of the most outstanding and appreciated miracles we ever experienced. Perhaps it was foolhardy for us to “step out on the water” (see Matthew 14:28) like that with a young baby. But the Lord somehow forgave and overlooked our naivety and lack of wisdom and saw instead our desire to go forward for Him.

on our field flatAre you young in the Lord? Are you desperate to follow your faith and what you believe God is calling you to do? I would certainly say, try to have wisdom in what you do. “Wisdom is the principle thing” (Proverbs 4:7). But also, if God is giving you the faith to follow Him and trust that He will provide and supply, I can tell you that He did that for me, in spite of my indiscretions and being pretty much “a fool for Christ” (I Corinthians 4:10).

Your best bet is to truly follow Him, no matter how “crazy” it may seem. If it’s truly of Him, He’ll reach out His hand and get you across to the other side, no matter what outlandish way He has to do it. Like He did for me, my wife and little boy so many years ago. God bless you.