Sunday, June 26, 2011

End Times- Rapture- Part 2

            What do you think would happen if millions of people just disappeared? What kind of chaos do you perceive would follow the breakdown of government, communications, food supply, transportation, medical and emergency services, when all these born again people go missing?

Could this be what it would take to reveal the Anti-Christ? A political figure who will rise quickly, appear to have all the answers to everyone's problems and bring about world peace in a matter of months. This is what I believe will occur when the bride of Christ is removed.  For those of you who can not conceive this scenario, this is what the scriptures say.

            A time of judgment has been preordained for the evil one and all those who mock what Jesus purchased with his sinless blood. It can be considered the final call, a second chance for those who didn't take God at his word. The Bible says many will come to Christ during this period. For some, they will experience supernatural protection, while others joyfully giving their lives for Christ, as the Antichrist sets up his kingdom.

            There are those who don't have an opinion either way or don't know what the scriptures say. Here is the reader's digest version. The wrath of God was poured out on Jesus Christ while he died on the Cross. This current age is the time of God's Grace, His excellent favor toward all people. The wrath of God will come against the unregenerate people of the earth when the born-again believers [bride] are removed from the earth, all hell will literally break out. 

I think it's funny that some folks teach against a pre-tribulation rapture, when God has “raptured” in the past. Let's consider Enoch. He enjoyed a close relationship with God throughout his life. Then suddenly he disappeared because God took him. (Genesis 5:23-24). Next, Elijah carried off in a chariot of fire (2 Kings 2:10-12). So for the Lord to remove [rapture] his people, is nothing new.

Now let's consider the way the Lord has rescued his people before judgment. The first is Noah and his family. “But Noah found favor with the Lord. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless man living on the earth. He consistently followed God will and enjoyed a close relationship with him”. (Genesis 6:8-9). Then there is Lot, who lived in Sodom. Judgment was pronounced on Sodom and Gomorrah.  When the death angels appeared, the angel said to Lot, “hurry! For I can do nothing until you are away.” (Genesis 19: 12-22)

Lest we forget the most famous of all, the Ten Plagues of Egypt, Crossing of the Red Sea, 40 years Desert Trek and the miracles preformed there! The Lord has an impeccable record for protecting and removing his people as he desires. That is the Glory and Goodness and Mercy of the Lord our God!! Praise His Name!!

I've read that some teach the Lord will remove his people mid way through the Great Tribulation, because of Revelation 7:1-14, 15:1-4. The scripture identifies the spirits under the alter as those killed by the Antichrist, they are called “tribulation saints.” These are the ones who accepted Jesus after the rapture and were martyred. Another teaching believes that rapture is when Jesus returns with his saints and the armies of heaven (Revelation 19: 14), kind of a u-turn thing. I believe there will be an instant translation for those saints who manage to survive the tribulation and see Jesus return.

Some scriptures are difficult to understand, but you can't read scripture like a novel. The Lord is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. What he has done in the past is a clue  for future events. The truth is revealed to those who have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. Those who don't have the Holy Spirit can not understand what the Spirit is saying (1 Corinthians 2:14), it all is foolish.

Although it's hard to discern if the last church mentioned in Revelation 3:14-19, will enter the tribulation, simply because they have no real relationship with Jesus. It was the Laodicean church the Lord has pronounced severe discipline. In fact He told them to “buy” certain items. Perhaps this group will be purified by tribulation. One thing we can be sure that all the “fence sitters” will discover they have missed the boat, and will turn to Jesus. 

The rapture is another form of God's grace towards His Beloved. There is a criteria to remember. In the Old Testament, the Lord took those that “walked with God and had close relationship with Him.” There are plenty of people who claim they know Christ, but their lives tell a different story.

It is easy to know that the nation of Israel  will be front and center during the Great Tribulation. When the Antichrist comes into power, they will at first hale him as their long awaited Messiah. Of course he will show his true colors three and half years into his amazing peace agreement. The Lord will raise 144,000 from the nation of Israel, who has accepted Jesus as savior; they will preach the gospel with the same zeal as the apostle Paul.

If you have not made a commitment to Jesus – do it today. Don't take the “wait and see approach” that many have taken. They will be the ones who will mourn and wail when they realize they were sleeping when the Lord came, “like a thief in the night”. Don't be caught asleep. (Luke 21:34).There is a promise to those who are ready and watching that they will be removed before the terrible day of the Lord begins.

With the evidence presented, it's easy to see that I stand firmly in the doctrine of pre-tribulation rapture of the Church. For those who have totally committed their life to Jesus, we are looking for that blessed hope.

 "You also must be ready all the time. For the Son of Man will come when least expected” (Matthew 24:44)

“And since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God's judgment” (Romans 5:9)

Copyright©2011 –tathorpe-All Rights Reserved-

Thursday, June 23, 2011

End Times – Rapture – Part 1

Once again this is such a wondrous promise, I've gotten carried away. I will break this into a two-part article. I wanted to present this controversial topic in very clear and explicit terms. It's important that people get a proper prospective-

There is so much written about this event, many pros and many cons. This subject is close to my heart, there are not many days that pass when it hasn't crossed my mind. This is the “blessed hope” that Paul wrote about in many of his letters to the churches. The frequency that he wrote meant it was something on his mind and he didn’t want others to lose sight that it could happen any moment.

Before I begin to present my understanding of what scripture says about this event, let me make one point very clear-the rapture of the church is NOT the end of the world-it is NOT the judgment seat of Christ and it is NOT the end of all things. IT IS part of the redemption plan. Salvation Does Not end with the rapture.

With many prophecies in the word of God, mostly directed towards the nation of Israel, this event has no criteria-nothing to signal the time. Jesus spoke many times about this event, although he never said “rapture” but much of what he said alluded to this. The story of the field workers, one left, one taken (Matthew 24:40-42), another story two sleeping, one will be taken, one be left. (Luke 17:34-35).

 There are those who believe the rapture is a myth. I have found some who teach that the rapture is a lie from Satan. They believe that speaking of the rapture is imparting an escapism mentality. They've stated that any Christian who believes in the rapture is deceived. My response, to that obvious ignorance is they do not know the scriptures and do not know the Lord. 

The scripture says “The Son of Man will come when least expected” also “like a thief in the night” Now cross reference this with the “For as lightning lights up the entire sky, so it will be when the Son of  man comes" (Matthew 24:27) a world wide event, you can see these are entirely two different events.

The famous passages used in describing the rapture are found in:  1 Thessalonian 4:15-17, 2 Thessalonian 2:1, 1 Corinthians 16:51-52, Philippians 3:21 and others, but one of the lesser quoted passages is Jesus’ own words. “There are many rooms in my Father's house, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so you will always be with me where I am.” (John 14:2-3).

This is figurative of a groom preparing a home for his bride. During the engagement he builds the home, when its finished he fetches her. In a way he, ‘snatches’ her from her parents. The wedding feast is the celebration when everyone has arrived.

For anyone to believe that that the Lord will allow his bride to endure the Great Tribulation; known as the Wrath of God, Judgment Day- upon the earth, does not understand what Jesus purchased for us on the cross. They do not have any clue about salvation. Somehow they think salvation is “fire insurance” not “life insurance”.

To be continued…….

“But to all who believed in his name and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12)

Copyright©2011 – tathorpe - All Rights Reserved-

*further studies see Jewish Betrothal here

Sunday, June 19, 2011

End Times- Church Age –Part 2

            I've painted a picture of the first six churches warned in Revelation 2:1-3:13, very definite periods and events as revealed in light of history. The final church period warned is Laodicea. I was especially impressed with this period because I see the evidences clear in our own time.

The Church of Laodicea  represents the modern era (1658- Today). Since the reformation and the spiritual awakening, the church hasn't gained a sense of self or purpose. A surge of denominations and doctrines came into being, threatening once again the life of the Church. False prophets and false teachers have emerged in greater numbers. Not one denomination holds to the entire teaching of the New Testament, instead picks and chooses which doctrines they agree with. 

The Lord said plainly that he wished this church was either hot or cold, but they are neither. Because of this condition, he warned He would “spit them out of his mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16).  This is the condition of the church today. They will not stand up for the truth of the gospel. Desiring a gospel that doesn’t offend anyone.

 The Word of God is supposed to offend! You can’t save yourself! If you're not convicted by something that is said, then you are in trouble. Your conscience is dead and you can't receive anything from God. The Lord is constantly speaking correction, encouragement and strength. We need to stay motivated. We're not perfect in all our ways-we need our Shepherd to have His way in us. (Proverbs 3:7-12)

The greatest tragedy of this time in church history is the ignorance of those who claim to be followers of Christ. We've built grand cathedrals, magnificent worship halls, and amazing worship music. Hallowed buildings filled every Sunday with weak servants. Money is flowing into all kinds of programs, but there is no heart for God. Very few believers search the scriptures or pursue the things of God. 

Many conflicting teachings have left many Christians confused, struggling to fulfill the mission of the church.  Jesus said, “The truth is, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done [heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead, and advance the Kingdom], and even greater, because I go to be with the Father” (John 14:12 paraphrased). Further instructions are found in Mark 16:15-20, Luke 24:47-49. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the source of power through faith in what Jesus said.

If there were a way for the gates of hell to prevail against the church, it would be through ignorance of the power the Holy Spirit. That is exactly how Satan is destroying the body of Christ. Very few teachers acknowledge and instruct about the authority of the believer. The Holy Spirit has not been given proper respect as God, but revered more as an essence or a ghost.

People are afraid or ignorant of the gifts and speaking in tongues, because Satan has caused fear and unbelief to rise up, effectively stripping the believers of this powerful gift. People don’t believe in other gifts of healing, casting out demons or raising the dead and those that do, are treated as frauds and charlatans.

The power of the church [body of Christ] has always been through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The power is the evidence of the truth of God. Some teach the lie that all power from the Holy Spirit passed away with the Apostles, Satan would like for you to believe that.

For so many years, the church as a whole misunderstood this power, therefore has systematically devalued the importance. These are the very weapons the church needs to defeat Satan and his crew. As long as Satan can keep us in doubt and unbelief, he will continue effectively dismantle the church. 

Most Christians stand around hoping and praying for the Lord to intervene. He has already given us everything for success through the blessing of the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 1:19-22) We need to pursue the Lord faithfully and start believing in our authority through the Holy Spirit!

In the centuries past, there may have been an excuse for false doctrines deceiving the body. Scriptures were not available to everyone, but today there are enough Bibles in print, that every house in the world could contain at least hundred copies! And very few open and read it. The church is filled with a bunch of “pew warmers” hoping that God is giving them a gold star for their attendance that day.

This is the last church Jesus mentioned.  The promise of during this period the Lord will signal the next event, known as the rapture [caught up, snatched away], this will usher in the Great Tribulation. I hope you agree- we're witnessing  the final wake up call--time is short. 

I will continue this series with the rapture, sharing what I have discovered the Bible says about this event. There are many schools of thought; three of the most popular views are a Pre-Tribulation, Mid-Tribulation and Post Tribulation rapture. I hope you will enjoy my take on this eminent event.

“Keep a constant watch. And pray that, if possible you may escape these horrors and stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36)

“If you want me to protect you, learn to believe what I say” (Isaiah 7:9).

Copyright©2011 tathorpe-All Rights Reserved-

* dates for church periods are from “The story of the Christian Church” by Jesse Lyman Hurlbur-Zondervan Publishing 1970

Thursday, June 16, 2011

End Times – Church Age –Part 1

            As I began writing this article there is so much to say, so I've broken it up into two parts. This is an amazing story and I know you will enjoy it.

It's no accident that the spread of Christianity was in full bloom at the time the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D. It doesn't take a master's degree in theology to see the connection to the end of an age and the beginning of a new age. Jesus was the promised Passover lamb, the final sacrifice for the sins of the people of earth. 

The primary use of the temple was to worship the Lord (Deuteronomy 12:11-12).  The second purpose of the temple was to bring the sacrifices prescribed by God under the Law of Moses. The sacrifices represented first, cover for sin, which was an abomination in His sight. Sin cost life (Leviticus 17:11, Romans 6:23). Other sacrifices they were friendship offerings of bread and wine. The temple was a place where those who didn't know God could come see Him at work and obtain mercy.

After Jesus surrendered His life as a sacrifice for sin, the animal sacrifices became useless. Jesus had broken down the barrier that separated God from people, which opened the door for everyone to receive salvation. The new temple was not at a place built by human hands, but a temple of flesh and blood, which housed a new spirit [creation] which those who have been born again can worship God in spirit and in truth.(John 4:23-24)

Jesus prophetic words came to pass when Peter proclaimed, “You are the Christ [Savior] Son of the living God. Jesus replied, “No human told you that, but my Father in heaven. Now I say you are Peter [rock] and upon this rock I will build my church and all the powers of hell will not conquer it” (Matthew 16:19 paraphrased).

The church became the new representatives, revealing truth of who Christ is – the foundation stone. The Grace Age or the “Time of God's favor” is the final piece of God's plan for the redemption of all people. Until that time, the sacrifices kept the Lord satisfied, but is was not what He wanted. The Lord wanted people’s heart to obey Him. No amount of animal sacrifices could cause that.(1 Samuel 15:22)

The church was born on the day of Pentecost, a Jewish celebration of the wheat harvest. A significant point to mention is that Christ called those seeking salvation as “great wheat harvest” (John 12:24, Matthew 9:37). Jesus also used the phrase “wheat and weeds” (Matthew 13:24-29) in a parable about the kingdom.

It has been approximately 1978 years since the birth of the church, using the accepted date of 33 A.D. The church has gone through many changes, yet it still has survived. In the book of Revelation, the Lord Jesus Christ spoke to the Apostle John, describing those things that were yet to come. John was the last living Apostle who knew Jesus. In the year 95 A.D. Jesus clearly laid out Church history through the messages to the seven churches. (Revelation 2:1-3:22).

The Church of Ephesus and the Church of Smyrna represents the persecuted church (33-313 A.D.)  First the Christians were persecuted by the Jews and then the Romans. Everything Jesus warned the disciples about was happening. False doctrine was emerging; some were turning back to Judaism. The followers of Jesus were kicked out of the synagogues, driven off their land, and their businesses we confiscated. They were losing everything, remaining faithful to Jesus; they grew at an unprecedented rate. The epistles of Paul, Peter and John along with the book of Acts clearly state this period.

The Church of Pergamum and the Church of Thyatira represents the period of compromise (313- 1453 A.D.) This period could have destroyed the Church. For over one thousand years, the church was growing, even under persecution. The Gospel was reaching the world. When Constantine became emperor, he issued a rule of law authorizing Christianity as the only recognized religion of his empire. Thus, all people under his territories were Christians, without any profession of faith. Paganism infiltrated Christianity as a way of accepting everyone's beliefs and making it a unified body. The universal church was born, thus all people were under the authority of the Church.

The Church of Sardis and Philadelphia  represents the period of Reformation (1453- 1658 A.D.) The church was all but dead under the centuries of poor leadership and Antichrist behavior. False doctrines were being taught. The Word of God was kept from the people. The Holy Spirit began working in those who knew some truth, which began a spiritual awakening throughout Europe. The reformation ignited the industrial revolution. The Word of God spoke blessing into the lives of people, they in turn began walking in the promises of God.

To be continued…….

Copyright©2011 tathorpe-All Rights Reserved-

* dates for church periods are from “The story of the Christian Church” by Jesse Lyman Hurlbur-Zondervan Publishing 1970

Monday, June 13, 2011

End times –Prophecy

When people first begin to study God's Word about end times, many will misinterpret the meaning. You can not take what is said and apply it to all circumstances. First you must discern who the message is spoken about. Everything must be viewed in the proper context. You can not read the Bible just like any other book. There can be many years between the end of once sentence and the very next sentence.

 For instance, Daniel chapter 9; the seventy weeks God ordained for Israel.  Verse 26 says, “the Anointed One [Messiah] will be killed, appearing to accomplished nothing. The next phrase “and” is equaled to 37 years. In 70 A.D. is when the Romans destroyed the temple. Now it has been approximately 1978 years since the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, and the Lord had not finished his sentence.

The next part said, “A flood, war and its miseries are decreed until the very end.” We are now living between the last phrase of verse 26 and just before verse 27 began. Verse 27 says “He will make a treaty with the people for one set of seven (7 years) but will break the agreement half way through (3 ½ years). That has not happened, because the “he” in that statement is the Antichrist. So, as you can see, there is a quite a bit to understand.

Most people have a hard time understanding prophecy because they treat the Bible as a novel, but it is a Spiritual book, you can't understand it with your mind. God reveals His truth to your spirit which brings understanding. Scripture interprets scripture. You can be sure if God said it, then it will be confirmed someplace else in His Word.

            Most of the Old Testament prophecies deal specifically with Israel. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are the same Godhead that is known by the Jewish people as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob [Israel]. The Lord our God loves Israel as a beloved child, just as He loves those who have put their trust in Jesus, who are called His bride [church].

There is a lie that has been perpetrated throughout many churches that says, “God hates the Jews.”  I can tell you that is a lie out of the mouth of Satan. The Lord would no sooner hate Israel as He would hate Jesus. “A voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, I am fully pleased with him” (Matthew 3:17 NLT).

Jesus was Jewish for all intents and purposes. All the first apostles and disciples of Jesus were Jewish. Paul who wrote over half of the New Testament was a Jewish Pharisee, who met Jesus, discovered God's grace and devoted the rest of his life to sharing the Good News with the Gentiles.

 For those who are not familiar with the phrase Gentiles; they're anyone who is not a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This was the family line God chose to be his special representatives. This is the family He gave His Law and whom He established His covenant [promises].

Many of us know through the Old Testament scriptures, that the Israelites were a stubborn group, which Lord was constantly disciplining. He even threatened to wipe them out because of the evil they continued. It is no doubt that the Israelites are the most hated, persecuted, killed, scattered nation that has ever walked the face of the earth, yet they survive. Why is that? Because it is a nation loved by God, he loves them and us unconditionally. When God makes a promise its eternal-it will come to pass.

So what does this have to do with end time prophecy? Everything! God spoke to the Israelite prophets to prepare the future generations of what was going to happen. God gave Isaiah, Micah, Daniel, Zechariah and others great insights to what the people of Israel should look for in Messiah. The Lord also shared the response of the people once Messiah came and how He would be treated. (Isaiah 53)

God's plan has always been the redemption of all mankind. Salvation is not for the Jews only or another group. “God spoke to Abraham and said through his [faith] that all the nations of the world would be blessed” (Genesis 12:3, 17:4) But until that time came, God revealed himself to the Israelites. When Jesus [Messiah, Savior] came first to the people of Israel, they rejected him, which opened the door for the Gentiles.

If you ever questioned prophecy- just take a look at Israel. For over 1900 years they have been scattered all over the earth. Yes, persecution and genocide have occurred, but God always promised a “remnant” would survive. From that remnant the people of Israel, since 1948, are back in their homeland.  (Ezekiel 36:22-23) gives the reason for the restoration of Israel.

 The prophecy of Ezekiel chapter 37 is being fulfilled, but it is not yet complete. The bones have reassembled, the flesh [muscle] is reattached, skin has covered them, but they have no breath. (Ezekiel 37:1-8)

The breath of life is when the nation of Israel accepts Jesus as their Messiah. “They will see the one whom they have pierced and will morn for him as an only son” (Zechariah 12: 10), but before this happens nationally, the church will be removed. God is working in the Church, calling the fullness of the Gentiles. He will not pick up again with Israel, until our time is complete, and it's getting close.

So what does this mean? Ever wonder why the nightly news reports something about Israel? A nation the size of New Jersey, Its because God is at work. There are many more prophecies about their land being divided (Joel 3:2), Nations at work now planning their destruction (Daniel-Isaiah- Ezekiel) But that will never happen, God will not allow Israel to be destroyed-In fact, he will supernaturally protect them from an all out assault, for which they are unprepared. (Ezekiel 38:7-10, 16).

 God has not rejected the people of Israel, because they didn't receive Jesus, but they have chosen to remain under the law (Romans 10:3-5). God will allow this until the fullness of the Gentiles has come to Christ (Luke 21:24-Romans 11:25), then they will have to choose.

 So what about the Grace of God? Why does the Bible talk so much about Wrath and Destruction? What about Jesus and the Church? Glad you asked.

 Many people have heard either in church or on the street that there will be a time of Judgment – The Day of the Lord. This will be a horrible period of judgment that God will bring on the earth. The "turn or burn" message, does not represent  a loving God who wants a relationship with people, but makes them fearful slaves. They turn to Jesus in fear to escape being sent to hell. 

Using this approach eliminated the fact that God through Jesus is drawing all people unto himself. (2 Corinthians 5:19). God has been patient with you, so that all people will turn to Jesus for salvation. (2 Peter 2:9)

I realized that these statements sound like contradictions, but let's look at it through the eyes of scripture. The scripture says that Jesus forever satisfied the wrath of God and that all who call upon His name will be saved, (Romans 10:9) but then it says in book of Revelation, that the wrath will be poured out on all flesh. How do we reconcile these apparent contradictions? Its easy-Jesus is the Key.

Not everyone has accepted Jesus. When the Church is taken away through what is called the Rapture, those who are left behind will endure a sever form of chastisement for refusing Jesus. There will be signs and voices from heaven for everyone to hear. There will be wars, famine, fire, flood, and natural disasters. There will be supernatural witnesses going throughout the earth as continued wake up calls. People will know all these things are from God but people's hearts will curse Him and refuse to turn to Jesus.

Salvation will still be available during the Great Tribulation. Through this horrible time, more people will be saved than at any other time. God loves people; he only wants to bless, to show his kindness and mercy. There are those who will not listen easily, so this time is planned so that whosoever will hear will come to him. At the climax of this horrible period, evil will be put down and Jesus will come to set up His throne on the earth, The Thousand year Reign.

This may not sound like good news to some of you, but it is the love of God that has determined this is the way it will play out. If you have heard Jesus calling- respond. It is not God's will that any should perish. (John 3:16). He will reveal his love to you and you will begin to see how much loves you, how much he has suffered and waited for you to come and be healed.

 “In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me. I will be found by you, says the Lord” (Jeremiah 29:12-14)

Copyright©2011 – tathorpe-All Rights Reserved-

Saturday, June 11, 2011

End Times – False Prophets

            There a fresh wind of prophecy in the air these days, after the last false prophecy bolstered by Mr. Camping just a few weeks ago, ended in failure. Once again folks, whose ears were perked, breathed a sigh of relief. The world did not end on May 21, 2011 as he so audaciously predicted, nor will it happen anytime soon.

He not only aroused the media, but a large group of people who honestly believed he cracked the Biblical code, believing he was on the inside track. This is the farce of those who draw attention to themselves, in attempts to deceive and gain recognition. Using a calculated method, that speaks to the flesh of people, it's all about receiving the praise of men.

With only a few keystrokes on any search engine, you'll find that this false prophet has caused a similar panic in the past. And for people to just accept his cover story “Something happened in heaven” or “Just a slight miscalculation in dates” is utter foolishness. It is obvious that this generation is willing to believe anyone who claims special knowledge “from God”, before consulting the Word of God. The Old Testament book of  Deuteronomy chapter 18 states clearly:

“But if any prophet who claims to give a message from me or another god who falsely claims to speak for me must die. You may wonder “how will we know whether the prophecy is from the Lord or not?” If the prophet predicts something in the Lord's name and it does not happen, the Lord did not give the message. That prophet has spoken on his own and need not be feared” (Deuteronomy 18:20-22 NLT)

So why do people continue to listen to these false prophets, if what they have said doesn't happen? Because their hearts are hard toward God, they haven't taken the time to verify what has been said, or know scriptures themselves. (1 Thessalonians 5:20-22). 

This is the reason:

“For the truth about God is known to [people] instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts” (Romans 1:19 NLT) but they refuse to acknowledge Him and believe lies. (Romans 1:20-24 paraphrased.)

“Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from what we believe, they will follow lying spirits and teachings that come from demons. These teachers are hypocrites and liars. They pretend to be religious, but their consciences are dead” (1 Timothy 4:1 NLT)

“Those false teachers who are so anxious to win your favor are not doing it for your good. They are trying to shut you off from [the truth of the gospel], so that you will pay more attention to them” (Galatians 4:17 NLT)

There are many passages in the scriptures about the last days and final judgment. Jesus is coming back, I believe very soon. The signs are there, the cast of characters are taking their places. Even a casual student of prophecy knows there are several events that have not come to pass before the destruction of the earth. According the book of Revelations, the end of the world is one of the last things, not the first.

There are many misconceptions understanding Bible prophecy, but one thing that is certain, we are experiencing a rise in false teachers and false prophets. This is what Jesus warned the apostles about (Matthew 24: 23-27, Luke 21:8) it appears to be increasing in our day. Jesus is the only one who completely filled the prophecies of the “Messiah”, “Anointed One”, “Emmanuel”. No other before or since comes remotely close.

This was one of the first subjects that I was fascinated with. I remembered what my grandmother prophesied to me when I was six years old. She said, “I won't see the second coming of Jesus, but you will,” That got me thinking, I didn't know what the Bible said. Over the next five years, I focused in on that subject and it's my pleasure to share with you what I discovered. 

I am approaching this subject with care and a desire to enlighten people to the truth found in God's Word. I would not consider myself an absolute authority by any means, but with certain facts I will share, you will see that God is good, His plans for us are wonderful and we should not fear, but to recognize the time and look to the future with hope.

This will be the subject of my next several posts. I hope you will gain valuable insights, gain confident in the future and draw closer to the Lord than you have been in the past.  The final hours are upon us, look up and know your redemption is near!

Jesus said, “Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have give you. And be sure of this I am with you always, even to the end of the age”
(Matthew 28:20 NLT)

Copyright©2011 –tathorpe-All Rights Reserved-

Friday, June 10, 2011

June Blog Chain

I hope you have been inspired by the recent posts of my fellow Christian writers. We all are gifted in different ways. What a boring world we would have if we all wrote the same way. I lean toward the devotional aspect of writing, as you well know. For this post, I am going to stretch my wings and share with you how I am inspired to write. I hope you enjoy this personal sharing—Fresh Air is our June topic-- my post is called

“My Writing Inspiration”

Believe it or not my first writing was poetry. I loved the rhythmic sounds how poems flowed in words and emotions. Out of rhyming words my vocabulary grew into longer sentences. I didn't study poetry forms; I don't know a free form from a non-free form. I've always tried to rhyme the ending words. Perhaps it was all those nursery rhymes I heard growing up. 

I think that is why I love music so much. Lyrics are poetry set to music. I was never much for the name of an artist or group, but give me the first few notes and I could name that tune.

Growing up in Southern California has its advantages, namely the beaches. My parents were beach bums in their younger days. Just about every weekend we'd travel the twenty minutes to the shore. Back in those days you could have bon fires, so cook outs on the beach were our special treat.

The roar of the waves has always intrigued me. Growing up I found solace in their thunder more than once. You could scream, yell, cry or curse; no one could hear you but God. Whenever a big decision plagued me, I would head for the beach. Sometimes I just needed to hear the sounds of the waves to reassure me that I was still alive.

I discovered other places that gave me a sense of well-being, a visit to the mountains or the desert. In the mountains, the majestic beauty overwhelmed my sights and senses. Green meadows, meandering creeks, trees so tall you couldn't see the top. The fragrance of pine needles in the heat of summer is quite exhilarating. 

You may question the desert as a place of refreshment, but the absolute stillness is breathtaking. The golden mounds with a cloudless sky as backdrop, felt surreal at times. Appearing devoid of life, if you move too fast you'll miss it. Life blossoms in the desert. Not much to draw your attention away. No wonder the Israelites were led through the desert first.

I left California over twenty years ago, along with my favorite places. So where does my inspiration come from? It comes from the same places it always has—from the Word of God. With a Word God spoke all of creation into existence. There is nothing made that He did not make. It doesn't matter where I live, near the ocean, mountains or desert, God is not far away. He is constantly available. “The heavens declare His workmanship”

In those days before I met Jesus, I needed those places to hide. The beach for the roaring waves, reminds me of my restless soul searching for God. In the forests for their overwhelming beauty, I wanted so much for their beauty to be translated in me. I didn't feel lovely or beautiful. The desert reminded me of the emptiness of my life without God. 

In all those places, God was there, calling me to trust Him. Come to him and let Him fill the void in my life. I praise Him because He never quit calling. It was through the wonder of His creation that I finally woke up and responded to Him.

As an artist, I've always been a sensitive type. Beauty and pain have always moved me in profound ways. Writing is the only way I know how I express myself. Like a painter who expresses themselves with canvas and paint, I express my innermost thoughts through words.

I've heard some writers agonize over articles for days, weeks or even a month, unable to get the words right. There have been times when I try to force the words and nothing will come, ideas are stagnate, nothing I would be happy to publish. It's then when I realize I am trying to go it alone, and then I return to my source.

The Holy Spirit is my writing partner. I wait for His prompting on a subject. Then I meditate and pray and the words flow.

I still find nature as a place of refreshment and peace, but these days I travel as far as my front steps or back porch, in the fresh air. There I still my heart, close my eyes, breathe deep. Listening to the sounds of life and I begin to praise the Lord. I am refreshed and inspired for my next Blog post, story idea or book.

Just a couple scriptures I hold on to when I lose sight of things:

“Now turn from your sins and turn to God, so you can be cleansed of your sins. Then wonderful times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord.  (Acts 3:19-20 NLT)

“Be still and know I am God” (Psalms 46:10)

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