Here’s my new article on the idea (not mine) that Petra is the place of safety for Israel or Christians and who really goes there:
Feedback, comments, typo reports welcome.
Here’s my new article on the idea (not mine) that Petra is the place of safety for Israel or Christians and who really goes there:
Feedback, comments, typo reports welcome.
A reader asked me a very good question about the beheading of saints in the Great Tribulation:
I was just reading Rev. 20:4 where John describes faithful followers of Christ who were beheaded in part for not worshiping the beast or taking his mark.Â Here’s my question:Â If the faithful have been led to a safe place by the end-times Elijah, then who are all those that get beheaded for being faithful in the face of the Antichristâ€™s onslaught?
To see my answer to his question, read the following article I wrote on why faith is required to escape the end times.
It has been a busy September for answering readers’ questions. The news of ISIS (Islamic State) and Ebola and not to mention Ukraine and Gaza worries many of my readers.
It is scary, disturbing stuff. But does it mean the end is nigh? Is this what the end looks like?
As usual, I’m here to reassure you from the Bible why all these are just bad news and not bad signs.
Q. Ebola – “Is this the ‘pestilence’ spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 24:7?”
A. Jesus did speak of pestilence coming at the end. However, we can be sure it has nothing to do with the current Ebola outbreak or any other isolated plague like that. Here’s why:
The pestilence Jesus predicted is coupled with “famines” and “earthquakes” in “every place” (Mt 24:7 Hebrew). When you study it out, it matches a parallel prophecy of global cataclysm predicted in Revelation 6 – 8 to be caused by the undiscovered rogue dwarf planet named Wormwood.
Thus, Ebola is not a fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy anymore than the 1912 Spanish Flu pandemic or black death of the Middle Ages was.
Q. ISIS – “Are they going to take over America or the World or produce the Antichrist?”
A. Experts agree that ISIS (or ISIL as Obama mysteriously prefers) is not an existential threat to the US. It’s also not found in Bible prophecy.
It may be scary to hear what they are doing and how they are advancing in Iraq and Syria, but we must put it in perspective.
These are Islamic countries where they can recruit as they go and conquer the destabilized swaths of land there. This is not a formula that is going to work the same in non-Islamic countries.
While it’s not like they are going to take over the world, they may pull off some successful terror acts like al-Qaeda did.
Q. Ukraine, Gaza….”Is WWIII Next?”
A.Â As tricky to understand as Matthew 24 is, Jesus’ words are very clear about at least one thing. On the topic of wars and rumors of wars, he said “these things must come, but see that you not be troubled for the end is not yet” (Mt 24:6).
Yet, what do so many Christians do when they see these wars? They get troubled. They wonder if these wars are a sign of the end. If they will lead to WWIII?
But they are not. Wars have been with us since Jesus left and will continue until he comes to reign. There is nothing unique about wars. They cannot serve as an end time sign, just as Jesus said. Take Jesus’ advice and “see that you are not troubled.”
There are very few people I respect as I do you, which is the reason I’m asking you this question.Â I’ll try to keep it short.
Without trying to prove everything here is the premise:
By virtue of immense wealth, a small number of people control most of the money in the world. (Illuminati)
They pool their resources for hundreds of years in a satanic plot to cause as much chaos as possible, with the ultimate goal of installing Satan as the world’s leader.
Through their power they install an American president, who is not even an American, and continuously lies to Americans, and breaks American law,Â Â (I’ll call him barack obama)
Because he is a traitor to America, he sells America to the Chinese to give them an official reason to invade America.
Just for the sake of this question, please accept this premise-
Question: Is it, or is it not, morally correct to fight the invading forces using lethal means, according to the bible?Â Or should we as Christians accept the rape and murder and pillage?
I sincerely thank you Tim, because I respect your opinion.F.
The Bible, including Jesus (Lk 22:36), does not teach pacifism. Going to war was even commanded by God multiple times to ancient Israel. Therefore, it’s not forbidden to fight to defend your country against invaders in a time of war. (Killing when it is not war is murder as David commented about Joab’s revenge against the person who killed his brother in the battle – 1Kg 2:5).
That said, God commanding a whole secular nation to go to war is different than individual servants of God in a wicked nation electing to go to war. It’s their decision unless they are drafted. When I hear Christians get political, hate on their current administration or demonize the liberals, I do not understand it considering Jesus’ example.
Jesus was living under pagan Roman occupation. There was plenty of pagan idol worship, homosexuality, pedophilia practiced for him to rail against. Yet even when baited to say something political (in the case of the temple tax question), he declined and turned the opportunity into a way to emphasize serving God (“render unto Caesar…render unto God…”.
Jesus went about his father’s business of the kingdom. His food was to do work of God, spreading the Good News of the Kingdom. He’sÂ our example. Note that I’m not saying it’s wrong to be involved in politics or express opinions or even dislike for the other camp. I’m saying if you are one of the few today who know and practiceÂ Jesus’ message about love for all and serving others being a light to them (how many even Christians do that?), these good causes or efforts can end up being a distraction from a higher or better calling and cause of service for God.
This past week, I had a young mother practically living on my Facebook wall. She’d ask a prophecy question, then I’d answer it, and then she’d have another one minutes later.
For three days she covered practically every Bible prophecy topic you can name, pretrib vs. post-trib rapture, the 144000, the mark of the beast, and of course,”What about the four blood moons, aren’t they in the Bible?” referring to the holy day lunar eclipses starting up next month.
Also, “What about how everything is getting worse? It can’t go on much longer this way…”
I’d answer each question with one of my many articles that addressÂ these common questions. Yet it seemed like none of my answers could satisfy her or bring her peace. She confessed she was not sure of my answers because she did not know who to trust on any of these topics.
Nevertheless, she kept on asking. Finally on the third day after dozens of Q & A, it came out why she was so inconsolable. “I have a baby boy and it does hurt me to think I will not get to see him grow up…”
Aha! The one article I did not give her would have addressed that very fear of the end coming too soon to live out your life,
including raising your kids.
See my new article on the Millennium and the surprising changes prophecy predicts for it.
Whether they know it or not…
Whether they admit it or not…
….every believer struggles with having a positive image of God. Is he mad at them for their latest sin, committed for the umpteenth time? Is he holding back blessings…or even sending curses on them? Has he stopped hearing their prayers?
If you want to know how I know what you’re going through so well, it’s because all believers signed up forÂ the same challenge of serving an invisible and silent Father in heaven. Yes, we all know it’s a matter of faith to believe in and serve God. But being told that over and over does little to help us with our day to day uncertainty on how he judges in general, and us in specific. We’re all left kind of paranoid about God because we are lacking information.
I finally recognized this universal problem after noticing similar questions from believers like above. I would receive these questions from people despite my advertised area of expertise being in Bible prophecy (the topic of my first book), not in, say, pastoring or Christian counseling. That indicates how desperate people are for answers on this problem.
For example, here’s the latest one from just this week on this theme:
i pray to Jesus but I’m afraid because i am not very christian in my ways that he don’t hear me
what do you think?
When I answered her she was quite pleased with what I said. Therefore I am going to publish my answer to her below knowing that for every person who has asked, there are many more who have not yet have the same doubts.
Here’s What I Said:
What you’re saying about having doubts and fears is very common. In the last few years I conquered my own doubts about God not wanting to hear from me or to help me. I did this by studying Jesus words and deeds which he said was always “showing the Father” and only doing what the Father willed.
And what did he do? He only loved those who came to him for help (which excludes the religious leaders he rebuked because they came to attack him). He even healed every single person who came to him, even when there were masses of hundreds, it says he healed them all. Of course, in crowds of that size there were certainly some there of “unchristian ways” like you have, and even heavy sinners. Yet we find that he never said, “go repent and do better before I’ll heal you.” He healed all who came.
God is the same way because Jesus said he reflected the Father’s wills and ways. He will do the same for us if we seek him. He will not reject us and say we’re not good enough.
Now, if you think you’re not good enough or worried that you are not right with God, then that’s actually a very good sign. The real problem would be if you were not worried about your ways or relationship with God. You know, just like most of the world who does not give God a passing thought let alone care what he says? You’re not like that based on what I’m hearing, so your every attempt at prayer or good works, even when you fail, is pleasing to God.
In Revelation it reveals that the prayers of the saints are as sweet incense to God. How can that be? Because it takes faith to pray to an invisible God and to believe he will do good in response. Hebrews says without faith its impossible to please God. You’re very pleasing to God when you act in faith, no matter how imperfectly (or even boringly!).
Consider by comparison how we view toddlers who try to do well but stumble and get in trouble and make messes. Even though we are imperfect and “evil” (Lk 11:13), we love them and enjoy their every cute attempt to please us, no matter how disastrous. I think God has to see us as toddlers, too. When we keep stumbling while trying to do right he still loves and enjoys us as, compared to us, he is full of patience, mercy and love.
And here’s another thing: he expects nothing less since he made us this way: limited in strength, understanding, and willpower. He already knew we’d make mistakes, forget to do what we promised and , etc. He forgives all because this is how we designed us: imperfect and learning through repeated, inevitable mistakes. When you think about it, we probably in total do more things wrong in life than right, yet we’ll all be in the kingdom for our intent or heart to do right and not be kept out for all our failures.
Do you feel better yet? Then go pray to God and just talk to him like a toddler goes on and on and know that, like we do with our toddlers, God will laugh and enjoy it. God wants to hear from you, his child who seeks to please him.
Someone asked me a very common question for December:
Should we celebrate Christmas? Since it had pagan beginnings?
Here is my answer:
Like most everything in life (minus five prohibitions Jesus listed as salvation requirements) (Mt 19:17-19), Christmas is a matter of personal choice, not of sin or of right and wrong. That something came from pagans simply does not make it sin or wrong. It’s a good thing, too, since most everything in life was devised by heathens, not by servants of God (who are in the minority always). You’d have to live in a cave and be all knowing of everything’s origin if God really expected us to concern ourselves with avoiding all pagan-influenced things. (And by the way, how would you know for sure this is God’s will, anyway, since it’s a minority fringe opinion that we must maintain such a standard of purity?)
When you investigate the Bible to find God’s will, there is nothing in the NT about believers needing to quit celebrating holidays. In Jesus’ and Paul’s day under Roman occupation, there were many such pagan festivals celebrated around them. And although they talk a lot about many actual sins going on and to be repented of, not a word is mentioned on holidays except when Paul talks about those who judge each other about such things (Rom 14:4-5; Col 2:16). Instead the focus is always on actual sins…like judging.
In other words, while Christmas-keeping is not in any way clearly defined as wrong in the Bible, judging others over keeping it is!
Some argue that in the OT ancient Israel was told to not worship idols or even to worship God the way other nations worshiped their gods (Dt 12:30-31). However, this was a higher standard based on revelation given only to ancient Israel on how to worship him (Dt 12:32), which was a condition for them staying in the Promised Land. When they forgot about God and sought after other idols that the heathen nations around them served continually, they were evicted from the land. Believers today are not under Moses or any other prophet telling them how to serve God. They do the best they can on their own. Therefore, keeping any holiday or even Christmas to worship Jesus is not a violation of anything believers have been told.
When the Millennium comes and Jesus and the saints rule so that the word of God covers the earth, then there will be instructions on worship and the accountability to follow them. We can see this in the clear penalties that are carried out against those who disobey (Zech 14:18).
As for today not under the government of God, there’s no prohibition about celebrating Christmas. It’s up to you and your own conscience whether you do or not.
Frequently, visitors to my site ask my opinion of other prophecy teachers, their predictions, interpretations and prophecy theories. This is often a tricky proposition because my answer can easily be perceived as attacking another man or his ministry even though I have no malice for other teachers, whatever they may teach or believe. The way I see it, we’re all sincerely teaching what we know to be true although without a doubt we are all in error on many points. The problem is that we don’t know which points are wrong until later (or we would not be teaching them).
Thus, I have nothing against Walid Shoebat as a person or teacher. I wish him and his ministry well. However, in response to questions about his teachings and claims I would say, the ones I have looked at I have not found to hold up to careful scrutiny including the Berean test (Acts 17:11).
As such, I have been disappointed with his teachings, such as the idea of the Antichrist being Muslim. For one example of the proof he gives for that claim and how it does not stands up to inspection, see this article: http://barthsnotes.com/2009/07/06/is…aim-revisited/
Regarding his claims to being an ex-terrorist and expert on Islam terrorism, CNN did a investigative report on him and his charity but could not find any evidence to back up the claims:
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04yWUuoU7Lc
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItxpU7ll2SE
In the end, whether CNN’s report is accurate or a smear, for me on prophecy he’s just another teacher who seems to mean well but ends up telling people to watch and wait for the wrong things. Islam’s influence today is scary to many believers, but that does not mean it will have a large end time role. Islam has been taking peace from the earth since inception just as the red horseman spirit was to inspire on the earth (Rev 6:3-4). Beyond that I find no end time role for Islam, including no verse requiring the Antichrist be a muslim.
In conclusion, feel free to listen to Walid Shoebat and to test what he says for yourself. I’m not telling anyone to avoid him as to avoid considering any teaching is a missed opportunity to sharpen your discernment and critical thinking skills. And the same goes for me, too. Check what I say against Scripture and good logic (and do let me know if you find anything you think I missed).
I received the following question on Facebook about how forgiveness works:
Feeling as if it is a fresh start and that yesterday’s mistakes aren’t part of ‘today’ have made a large difference. I ask for forgiveness and hope for the best and try not to doubt the forgiveness. I guess I sometimes wonder about that word too; forgiveness. Like, does God forgive us our sins in the fact that they are erased so much that we don’t go to hell but still receive punishment in life for the sins.. or is the forgiveness wiping away our sins entirely as long as we ask, and we suffer no punishment?
To understand what the full cost of sin is, you have to first properly understand the nature of our reward in the Kingdom. It’s not as simple as Christians generally understand it, being only about salvation. For example, Revelation says we are rewarded “according to our works” (Rev 20:12-13). How can that be when many NT passages speak of salvation being a free gift according to grace through faith?
The answer is that Revelation is not talking about salvation there but to a second component of our reward after the first component of salvation. Everyone gets eternal life in the Kingdom for having faith in the Word of God. It’s the same “one penny” reward for all by grace through faith (Gen 15:6=Lk 8:21=Mt 20:10). You can’t earn it, Jesus paid for it already so that those who turn to God can have their sins forgiven and they can enter the Kingdom and live forever.
In that eternal life there are different roles, responsibilities and brightness of bodies according to Daniel and Paul (Dan 12:3=1Co 15:40-41). Or what Jesus referred to as “riches in heaven” that come from greater sacrifice (Mt 19:21). What you get depends on your works (Jas 2:24=Mk 4:8=Rev 20:12-13). To qualify higher you need more works and less sin. Because it says love covers a multitude of sins (Jas 5:20) it seems that the equation is something like REWARD = GOOD WORKS – SINS.
So there’s no need to be in guilt on past sins or paralyzed worrying about them as Jesus paid the price to forgive them so you can still enter the Kingdom. If you instead focus on replacing them with good works, they don’t have to hurt your reward level in the Kingdom, either.