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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Speaking Truth to Evil

I heard recently, “People need to see more heroes.” Well, here’s one, as far as I can see. She may not be “one of us”. But then that depends on how you see what “us” means.

This is the kind of news you won’t see normally on American news media. But it shows us something of the little people, the unheard of’s, the forgotten of this world who still stand up to evil in their land, among their people, and in these times. May the gracious God of Abraham see and bless this dear soul and all those like her.

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Seeking Truth, without a spin

Free at last flatAll my life, truth has really been important to me. I haven’t believed in God all my life, but I have believed in and reverenced the truth. That’s one of the reasons why, when I came to God, the God of the Bible, it had such an overwhelming impact on me.

Here was raw, pure truth to have and love and swim in for free. At last I had found it. I soaked in it, reveled in it, memorized it daily and shared it thrillingly with everyone I could.

But it also underlined to me, even more, the darkness that the world and the nations live it. I already knew this in many ways but this just made it clearer. I come from a family of journalists, grew up around the media and worked in the newsroom of a large daily newspaper when I was going to university. This was all before I came to know the God of Abraham and then Jesus. And being back here in the States after 36 years abroad, it’s a heavy feeling of sadness to see the degree of constant disinformation that most Americans consume each day. And then think they’re informed.

“You are what you eat” and you are also what you read, listened to and believe. It grieves and saddens me so much to know how very many Christian brethren here are less than fully informed of the world we live in, by their choices of where they get their information from.

If your going to tell flatLies can come in many forms. It was Hitler that said, “If you are going to tell a lie, tell a big one that no one would believe you would say unless it was true”. But there are other kinds of lies, where the truth is shaved and shaped to fit an agenda that doesn’t want you to know the full truth. So there’s some truth there, it’s not a totally unadulterated lie. To me, those kinds are sometimes even more insidious, even more dangerous and damaging.

But it’s not the unbiased, unvarnished, “unspun” truth. It’s “brought to you” by someone. It’s “genetically modified” truth from the sponsors of the broadcasting network or the owner of the publishing empire. So it fits their desire that you see things a certain way. It looks pretty much true; handsome men and beautiful woman are there to tell you how it is. But much of the picture is left out.

In a few weeks I’m (by God’s grace) going to be taking a trip to a part of the world that is in the news every day. I have many hopes for this trip. But one of them is to be able to come back to my friends here in the States and to tell them plainly, first hand, “This is what I saw and what I learned”. Because they seldom if ever hear that. We’re told what the powers that be want us to know.

And I’m not talking about the government here since we have an ostensibly free press. But I’ve had to, over and over again, speak to my Christians friends to tell them my personal experiences outside the United States. And often this has meant I’ve had to break the stereotype my friends have been feed through the media and the websites they get their info from.

What can we do? “Hunger and thirst after righteousness” (Matthew 5:6), that’s what the Bible says. Be desperate for the truth, like the Berean’s were in Acts 17. “These were more noble that those of Thesallonica in that they searched the Scriptures daily whether these things are so.” (Acts 17:11)

Let me tell you, friends, “we” are not always right and “they” are not always wrong. If you want the truth, strive to get a full picture, even if you have to go to websites and news agencies that may not be what you would consider part of your group or your people.

You told me the truth-a-flattenedHave you ever had someone you thought was your “enemy” say something to you that hurt, but you knew there was some truth to it? Something your buddy-buddy friends didn’t or wouldn’t tell you? That’s sometimes how you have to find truth, even from someone not of your camp or group. And today America is so very divided that most folks won’t begin to believe anything they hear unless it comes from “their side”. That’s a bad sign.

In Old Testament times, Isaiah said of the people of his day, “Who say to the seers, ‘See not’; and to the prophets, ‘Prophesy not to us right things, speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.’” (Isaiah 30:10). Just before the destruction of Jerusalem, Jeremiah said of those then, “The prophets prophesy falsely and My people love to have it so.” (Jeremiah 5:31) Probably there are many millions like that today. They don’t even want the truth; they’d rather have the pleasing lies, the “smooth things” and so they remain in their stupor.

“Hunger and thirst after righteousness.” Realize that you are being heavily propagandized every single day. You may be concerned about the food you eat; how about the news you believe?

I look forward to being back here here from my trip and being able to share with my friends first hand experiences from real people that are in the middle of what we see on the news every day. I hope to be able to share what is really happening, what also can be done, what God is doing there and what those people really need.

Truth is a precious thing. Without truth, we may not be lost when it comes to our souls, if we are saved and believing in Him. Is of the truth-a- flattenedBut we can be walking in darkness and deceived in a major way if we just drift with the tide of what we’re told here daily, not only by the main stream media but by extremists with their own agendas.

Jesus said, “Everyone who is of the truth, hears my voice.” (John 18:37) May we all be desperate and searching for what is actually true and real in these dark and desperate times.

“Get quickly out of Jerusalem”

Get quickly out flatSometimes I get some really interesting responses to the blog articles I write. Yesterday I published the article that goes with the live class on Acts 22. It’s a very moving chapter and has always been of interest to me. A major highpoint in the chapter is the moment when the Lord appears to Paul in Jerusalem to emphatically direct him to immediately get out of Jerusalem, that Paul’s brethren the Jews would not accept his teachings. But Paul didn’t do that.

Today I got this response back from a fellow missionary. I’ve edited a few things to keep some of the unnecessary details to a minimum. It’s an incredible story of how God can use what He said 2000 years ago to speak vehemently to our hearts today when it applies to us. Here are parts of what she wrote:

Hi Mark, I just read your latest live class Acts 22. This is for me a very special class, with a very special verse in my personal life with Jesus.

Years ago I was on a foreign mission field that I loved very much. But, as can happen, the denomination I was working with began to receive some relatively severe persecution there. Those of us who labored on that field could see that it was time to get out of the country as things were getting serious.These articles flat

But I was so attached to that country, their ways and those sweet people. I felt proud that I’d served the Lord there, witnessing almost every day to those people and so I said: “I will stay here till I die! I gave my life for this country, and if I have to go underground and there are just a tiny number of us, so be it.”

Many others were preparing to move on to other fields or back to their home countries. But I was still sure I was going to stay, till one day while sitting on a bus, I opened the New Testament and my eyes immediately fell upon the verse, Acts 22:18!

Make haste and get quickly out of Jerusalem for they will not receive your testimony concerning me.

So the Lord was saying that my beloved field and city was my Jerusalem! When I read the verse, I really didn’t just read it — it screamed at me! So it was a turning point in my life and I decided to leave. But one thing I didn’t do. The Lord had said, “Make haste!” But I didn’t.

There were so many things to prepare, passports and paper work, so I took it easy. And then, not long after I got that shock and warning from the Lord, anti-Christian forces had been able to stir up the media and authorities so that some of us were actually detained and arrested!

Eventually, when the truth came out that it was nothing more than religious persecution by the dominate religious powers of that country against a minority denomination, we were set free and exonerated from all charges. Meanwhile some officials had “lost” my documents in the institution we were detained in. But I got new ones in just one day. Normally it took like 2 months to get new documents for foreigners.

Then I had gone to confirm the tickets with my son —and got robbed in the very busy train station of the capital! All my tickets, my documents and some money were gone. I had exactly enough to pay for the ticket home.

To make a long story short, I finally did leave the country the Lord had clearly told me to leave. But it was a long and tough time we experienced and sometimes it was really rough. Kind of like the verse, “The way of the transgressor is hard.”  (Proverbs 13:15) I hadn’t really obeyed the thing I’d gotten that verse from the Lord about. And so I was a transgressor in this and it was a hard time in a number of ways.

The Lord had made it super clear: “Okay, so you wanted to stay in this place forever? Just to make your mind up, I will help you and make you feel so fed up with the place that you won’t want to come back, unless I tell you!” And that is what happened.

So, that was my story from Acts 22:18. God bless you, much love,  L.

Isn’t that amazing? God is alive and well and communicating with His children. “Surely the Lord God will do nothing but that He reveals His secrets to His servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7) And that doesn’t always mean you have to be an Old Testament prophet before God reveals what He will do or what sometimes we need to do.

God has His times. When God says “now”, you’d better obey God in that split second of that golden opportunity when the conviction of His Spirit is hot and heavy upon you. “He that hesitates is lost” and it can even cost you your life, or at least months of hardship that could be avoided if we’d just obeyed the Lord when He says to do something.

What a lesson. God help us to obey those checks from His Spirit, even if they sometimes seem strange or there doesn’t seem to be any visible reason in front of us that “confirms” what the Lord is urging us to do through the voice of His Spirit in our hearts. “He gives His Holy Spirit to them that obey Him.” (Acts 5:39)

Heat to Light

isis fixedSo we were talking about the Middle East, about Islam and Islamic fighters, extremism and the phrase that was used back in the 70’s, “hearts and minds” came up.

Yesterday on the national news a German reporter was telling about his experiences in the radical Muslim camps in the Middle East and how new volunteers from the West came every day to join the forces there.

The reporter said that even the very best combat troops from the West would not really be able to defeat the Islamic fighters. US forces fixedThe reason he gave was that all the Western forces basically still hoped they would finish their tour of duty and get back to their families. But the Islamic fighters, they were fully ready to die for what they were fighting for.

old electric heater fixed

Electric heater

It really gives one pause for thought. I told my family that it’s almost like spectrums, how scientists say that in a sense, light and heat are the same thing, just different frequencies and ranges. In the same sense, it’s like the motivations that motivate someone when it comes to patriotism, nationalism and pride could be compared to heat that motivates us and even inflames us.

Electric light

Electric light

But further up the frequency is the realm of light, or what some people call religion. So many Islamic people worldwide today feel strongly about their faith in God, which incidentally they will tell you, if you ask them, is in the God of Abraham, regardless of what some American Evangelicals will tell you otherwise.

But it’s like the phrase again, “hearts and minds”. The early Christian movement in the first centuries started out with a band of 70 to 100 young Jewish men and women in an obscure province of Rome. And in around 200 years, it had mostly taken over the Roman Empire.

behold these Christians flatHow did they do that? With weapons? Technology? Education? Culture? Entertainment? No, it was what today is called religion. But back then it was more a matter of what was totally believed to be truth, love and a revealed reality. They reveled in the light that the promised Messiah of the Jews had indeed come, had risen from the dead and was now at the right hand of God, ready to forgive sins and to give eternal life to those who came to Him in prayer.

You may not believe that. Certainly 100’s of millions of people in the West think that’s not really true or relevant anymore. But Islamic people have not had the falling away from their faith that Westerns have had. They don’t separate out religion from the rest of their lives, like most Westerns do. Even that is as fairly recent event in our history.died in faith

Usually, in some sense, you could say that light will generally trump heat. Back at the time of Rome, the Christians had so much light, they didn’t physically attack the Romans, but the Romans attacked them. And it became clear over the first two centuries or so that the Christians were so full of their light and faith that they would joyously die for their faith, rather than renounce it. And eventually the light of Christianity defeated the heat of the Roman civilization of that day.

Mark, are you trying to say that the Muslim’s faith in what they believe is the light in their religion will not be overcome by the strength of our patriotism, our nationalism, our advanced civilization?

I don’t know. I do know from my experiences that I found the faith of many Muslims is often pretty strong and intact whereas the faith-foundation of many Westerners is kind of flimsy at best, if you really test it. People have souls and spirits. And patriotism, materialism and nationalism are just not really designed to enlighten our souls the way the God of the Bible and His Son can and will, if we let Them.

So I was telling my family tonight that I feel what’s really needed is to move out of the spectrum of heat and move towards the spectrum of light. For me, it wasn’t till I came to “the Light of Israel”, Jesus Christ, that I had the transformation of soul, spirit, mind and character that has carried me through my last 40 plus years. The Western world, what overall could be called “the Christian world”, is really pretty weak in spirit right now. So very few are strong in their faith, strong in its tenets, strong in a personal experience with God and with Jesus. And it’s just a law of nature that weakened, confused, unmotivated forces will loose to more highly motivated, envisioned, inspired forces of what are seen to be the enemy.

Most experts on international affairs and the intelligentsia of all that will openly admit that tactical, physical warfare can only do so much. If “hearts and minds” are not won, then you’re just chopping weeds without rooting out the cause. What of course is truly needed worldwide is for the people of Lord to be strengthened mightily in their innermost being, not with military weapons, foreign aid or patriotic pageantry but in the utter fundamentals of the faith of their forefathers.

Paul said, “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but might through God to the pulling down of strongholds.” (II Corinthians 10:4)  “We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12) This is a Biblical way of stating what folks were saying at the time of the Viet Nam war that “hearts and minds” needed to be won, not just to do battle in the physical.

But how many Christians today know how to fight with the spiritual weapons of His Word and love to bring this world to Him? Most of them seem to default to “send in the troops” or just to collapse in fear of Islam, rather than knowing how to move to the “higher frequencies” of the light of the Lord to win souls and win this world to Him.

Without a knowledge of God, a relationship with God, the protection of God and the salvation of God, no amount of carnal, mental machinations of man will stand up to stronger spiritual forces, if God deems it time to unleash them on a backslidden people. Heat has its limits and weaknesses. We must all get further up the frequency, into the realms of Light.