Matthew 4: 35-41 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
In the darkest days of WW2 the entire continent of Europe had fallen into the hands of the madman called Hitler. The nation of England stood alone against this beast and was under attack from the air in an unrelenting manner. At first the attack was concentrated on the military targets but soon enough the cities of England were bombed. After enduring months of this terror from the skies, the English air force prevailed and the German invasion of the Island was made virtually impossible. There was a statement made at that time that this was the end of the beginning.
Up to this point on the continent of Europe it was very uncomfortable to be a Jew. They had been harassed and even killed, some of them were arrested and many fled. Not long after this the evil regime began to implement the "final solution" on the Jews of Europe, as it began it's efforts to shore up it's gains in the West and break it's treaty with Russia in the East by invading it. Evil is never satisfied and doesn't recognize anything further than it's own goals and desires.
The reason for this little history lesson is that this example that is the most recent of the mind set and modus operandi of people who have given themselves over to satan which is expressed in extreme selfishness. You might say "what does that have to do with the scriptures above?" well just hang in there and you'll see.
We believers are in a ship called the SS (save souls) Christianity and there are times that it seems our captain is asleep in the boat. Let me assure you that God is watching over us and very aware of all that happens. He saves our tears in a bottle Psalms 56:8
, knows the number of hairs on our head Matthew 10: 30
, and even keeps a book of remembrance when we talk about Him Malachi 3:16,
so rest assured that He sees and knows. Notice that the storm was allowed to rise up, and notice that Jesus was able to dispel it with a word. Notice also that He was at least annoyed with their lack of faith and while you are noticing that, notice that He didn't throw anybody overboard for their lack of faith. The fact that they were in the boat with Him was faith enough at that time, though that faith would grow as ALL living things do.
Now look at some scriptures in Matthew 24
. And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
All these are the beginning of sorrows. Verses 4-8.
In my humble opinion we have turned a corner in these end times and the events of 9/11 marked the end of the beginning. However long it takes to set the stage, we have had a graphic demonstration of the times we live in, and it should be obvious now that these people who did this will not give up until either their ideology reigns supreme over the earth, or until they are no longer able to advance their goals for whatever reason. This is a complex matter and there are more eddies in this current that can be counted. Don't be surprised to see some strange alliances in the near future and don't be surprised to see them shift, sometimes VERY suddenly. If you study both history and the Bible like me you can see the alignment of nations becoming more biblical by the year. Matthew 24: 9-13 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
It is already very difficult to preach the gospel in many places on earth and if we go to war with Islamic nations it will get more so. We need to pray for and support our brothers and sisters in these areas that are in extreme danger, also we have many siblings in Israel that go through what we went through on 9/11 on an almost daily basis sometimes. Anyone interested in updates from that region can subscribe to a service i have received for about a year now that often contains information that is not "important" enough to make our news. It is at http://www.ddolan.com
It is already difficult to endure the iniquity we see much less if it's going to get worse but we must keep our eyes on the prize. The prize in this existence is the souls that will live forever in one place or another and what they choose depends in part on what we do and say. Let us continue to love and continue to live in a manner that will help as many of them choose wisely as possible. This doesn't mean that you will or should never get upset or angry, in fact it means that sometimes you should get upset or angry. Jesus was known to do that a time or two so if it is done in the right way and for the right reason it's not a sin. Here's a clue for you though, if your anger comes from a root of selfishness, it's sin.
No matter how tough it gets remember what the next verse in Matthew 24, verse 14
says; And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
It may well get tough to teach and preach the truth in the future but God is not a liar so this, our primary mission will be accomplished. The purpose for this is found in the Psalms 22:27 and 28 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. For the kingdom is the Lord's: and he is the governor among the nations.
This is a Psalm that, if you don't know, contains a graphic description of Jesus suffering on the cross. He even quoted verse 1 from the cross. If we don't preach, God will find someone who will because how can they remember what they have never heard. Matthew 24: 15 - 22 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
Sometime, someone is going to fulfill this prophesy about the abomination that makes desolate and rather that get off on a different track here, i'll save that for another day but i will say this. In Jesus' day there were many who thought they knew how their Messiah would come and what he would do. In that day they extracted all the promises that they liked about that and rolled them up in a nice little package that fit what they wanted to happen. This belief was so strong that even the disciples who had spent 3 and 1/2 years with the Messiah could not conceive of the suffering Messiah even when Jesus told them plainly what was to happen. Even though almost all of them were wrong about Jesus' mission, many of them knew scripture well enough to recognize aspects of His life. They knew enough to know where He would be born, even though Harrod used that information to try to kill Him. The Disciples of John knew enough to believe him when he pointed out Jesus at the Jordan and some of them followed Jesus from then on. But there were two people who didn't see angels singing like the shepherds or have a dream like Joseph, or have a visit from the east like Harrod and yet recognized Jesus when He was 8 days old. They were Simeon and Anna who continually served God and were there at the temple when Mary and Joseph came to present Jesus to the Lord according to the law. Read what Simeon said about Jesus sometime, it's in Luke chapter 2
, he knew about a suffering Messiah and about a nation that would reject Him.
My point is that there are many in our day that "know" how these end times are going to occur and have their charts all made out and it's just the same now as then, in my opinion almost all of them will be surprised to some degree or another. While i listen to them and have for years i also read the bible and watch the news, and that is my advice and indeed Jesus' advice to you Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
If you begin to see things happening that don't fit your understanding of the end times, go to the word and dig deep, don't be like many of the Jews of Jesus' day and miss the truth because it didn't fit your chart. Matthew 24:23-28
Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
To put these verses in context lets look again at verses 21 and 22
above; For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
Notice the "then" in verse 23
comes after the "great tribulation" of verse 21
. Again i don't want to get off on a side trail but just to point out a few things along the way.
Well this is getting long so i will save the rest till next week. Let me leave you with a few verses and a promise that our Father will not forget His own, read Psalm 2
sometime this week because that is exactly what is going on and going to happen and don't hold on to this age too tight, it's passing away. Daniel 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
May the creator and redeemer of the universe bless and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you and give you peace.