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THEY DID NOT LISTEN

From the beginning of time God wanted a loving, caring, rewarding relationship with His creations which is called a human being. This kind of relationship could be easily experienced but it required the man to listen and obey.

In the first home of man which God gave him, He gave man instructions on how to live a full life, and He has continued to do this up to this present time. However, man has a universal problem and it has to do with listening and obeying. If you read the scriptures, you will see that this unfruitful behavior is not a new occurrence for down through the ages not listening has been the practice of humans and if you interact with toddlers you will realize this starts at a young age.

Right now I am sounding an alarm and saying to those who do not realize it, “Not listening and following instructions leads to consequences.” The stories of Adam and Eve who was put out of the Garden of Eden, Israel wandering in the wilderness forty years, Achan causing Israel to lose the first battle at Ai, God’s rejection of King Saul, the man of God who was slain in the way by a lion, Israel’s enemies prevailing against them throughout the book of Judges, and Israel going into Assyrian and Babylonian captivity illustrate a few of the many times man did not listen and therefore they suffered the consequences.

After reading these stories I would hope believers grasp the concept that there is a reward for listening but it appears that I am mistaken from what I see and hear in the news.

We are amid the Covid-19 pandemic and our government has formed a task force to provided us with the latest information and guidelines on how to handle this virus. We are seeing people that are following the guidelines and we are seeing people that believe they do not have to follow the instructions. Many people who are not following the guidelines believe that their liberties are being violated and they have a right to do what they want. Hence, we see that many are suffering the consequences of their actions. This is not the time to act foolishly.

In the scripture we see times, when God had people shut-in for their safety and His presence, was with them. He is the same God today as he was then.

Thank God we are living at a time where God has allowed man to have the technology and scientific tools to aid society. It is up to us to pray, listen, and act responsibly. So, please don’t let it be said about you, “They did not listen.”

DECISION TIME

You think times are challenging now, listen to what Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 24:21-22, “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 after the church is raptured the tribulation will take place as recorded in Revelation and many books of the minor prophets. There have been discussions on whether the next day after the rapture will be considered the first day of the tribulation or if it will begin after the Antichrist is revealed. I don’t know exactly when it will start or when it will end but this is what I do know, it is going to happen. In total, the tribulation is said to last seven years but I understand God’s timetable is different from man; therefore, I can only speculate on this timetable and not be specific.

From reading the scriptures in Revelation, I understand the tribulation is divided into two parts. The first part which lasts three and a half years is called the tribulation and the last three and a half years is known as the great tribulation. During this seven-year tribulation as I stated in previous blogs, there will be 21 judgments meted out on the earth and its inhabitants. After the fourth seal judgment, one-fourth of the earth’s population will be dead, and by the time the sixth trumpet judgment takes place another third of the population is dead which means half of the earth’s population will be dead even before the great tribulation starts (Revelation 6:8; 9:15-18).

Believers have not been raptured nor have the world entered the tribulation period but we are seeing a magnitude of death on the earth due to sickness, natural disasters, famine, pestilences, murder, and suicide. The world’s death toll is going to significantly increase and the sad but true fact is calamities are only going to intensify and get worse.
Many people are having difficulty adjusting to the Covid-19 quarantine. Many feel they are experiencing or will be experiencing PTSD when things begin to normalize. This right here is a piece of cake in comparison to the future as described in Revelation; hence, all of us need to plan for our eternal future.

I know most of us are tired of hearing bad news and we don’t want to hear of pending disasters, but as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I am compelled to share biblical truths with the world. It is my responsibility to say there is danger ahead; however, God has provided safety and a way of escape for all who will invite Him into their lives. The good news is you don’t have to faint, nor be afraid for God cares for you and He desires that you should be saved and not eternally perish.

On today if you are reading this blog, and you don’t have a relationship with God, right now, you can invite Him into your life. God has provided salvation for humanity through the death, burial, and resurrection of His son, Jesus. As the saying goes, “Don’t put off for tomorrow, what you can do today.” In fact, this will be the best and greatest decision that you have made in your life, and if you do it you will become part of God’s royal family and you won’t have to worry about tomorrow for you made the right decision.

A FORETASTE OF THINGS TO COME

Unlike the children of Israel in the land of Goshen who was protected from the plagues that happened in Egypt, there is coming a period which the bible calls tribulation where the whole world will be experiencing the twenty-one judgments of God. As the saying goes, “It will be raining on the just as well as the unjust” and no one will be exempt.

Presently we are experiencing the Covid-19 pandemic which started in China and over months has spread to 210 countries and territories around the world. This virus did not occur around the world in one day it took time to spread. Jesus forewarned believers before His death to expect these pestilences, and during the tribulation, the book of Revelation records plagues happening around the world on the same day due to God’s judgments.

Additionally, we are witnessing and hearing of believers dying from the Covid-19 pandemic, and this will also happen during the tribulation for individuals who will turn to God but He will allow them to suffer death (Revelation 6:7,11; 13:7).

Recently the news reported the giant Asian killer hornets were spotted in the northwest United States. These hornets are said to be about two inches in length with large stingers that transmit toxic venom to their victims. They are known to decimate honeybee colonies and cause serious results to humans that disturb or come near their hives. These hornets remind me of the fifth trumpet judgment on earth during the tribulation that will lose tormenting locust on those individuals that are not sealed of God.

Around the world and particularly in third world countries Christians and Jews are being killed for their religious stance. This is mirroring the martyrdom that will happen during the tribulation (Revelation 6:9-11).

In American, we are experiencing tornadoes and earthquakes in areas of the country that previously were void of these occurrences but now they have become the norm.

As calamities and end time events happen my spirit is being quickened. I understand that what is presently taking place is only a foretaste of future events, and this has signaled me to follow the words of Jesus in Luke 21:28, “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” So, if you pass by me and see me looking upward you will know why or better still you will also be looking up so you won’t even notice me.

THE TRUMPET

With all of the events that we are experiencing on earth, I share the sentiment of Apostle Paul who said for that which he was waiting in Titus 2:13, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” This appearing will coincide with Jesus descending from heaven and the trump of God sounding as recorded in 1 Corinthians 15:52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16. Furthermore, just reading about the splendor of heaven I can only imagine what the trumpets in heaven look like.

The sound of a trumpet which was accompanied with thunder, lightning and a thick cloud of smoke upon the quaking mount Sinai was first mentioned in the Exodus 19:13,16,19. It has been concluded that this trumpet was blown from heaven because God did not assign an individual on earth to blow a trumpet, and its’ sound was so loud and long it caused the Israelites in the camp to trembled.

Trumpets designed by God and made by man were recorded in Numbers 10. According to scripture at the beginning of Israel’s journey through the wilderness beside the making of the tabernacle and its holy items God told Moses to make two trumpets of silver to use for the calling of the assembly, for the journeying of the camps, for an alarm in case of an enemy attack, and the announcement of the feasts and new months. Only the priest was allowed to blow these trumpets and they were given instructions on the various sounds that were to be made on them. Thus, when the people heard the sounds of the trumpet they knew how to respond.

Throughout the Bible, you can read the events where the silver trumpets were employed for the above mention reasons. However, in Revelation John describes the use of trumpets to announce the second set of judgments upon the earth and its inhabitants but details of these trumpets were not given (Revelation 8 -11). I can only speculate that one of these trumpets or one similar to the one used in Exodus 19 will be utilized to announce the coming of Jesus in the clouds to assemble his body to Him, and I await the sound with great anticipation.

In closing this blog, my question to you is, have you made your calling and election sure, and are you ready to be caught up in the air to be with the Lord? If not, this is your opportunity to invite God into your life, don’t wait or hesitate. I want you to be in the number who hear the trumpet sound, I don’t want you to be left behind.

IN TIMES LIKE THESE

This week I woke up singing a hymn from my childhood days, “IN TIMES LIKE THESE.” I haven’t sung this song in ages, and I was not sure that I was singing it correctly, so, I went to my hymnals and searched them until I found one that had the song in it. I was then able to sing the song completely and concluded that the words were relevant for today. Let me share two of the verses and chorus with you, so those of you that never heard this song will understand what I am talking about.

In times like these you need a Savior,
In times like these you need an anchor;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

In times like these you need the Bible,
In times like these, O be not idle;
Be very sure, be very sure,
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

This Rock is Jesus, Yes He’s the One,
This Rock is Jesus, the only One;
Be very sure, be very sure.
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!

According to the dictionary, a savior is a person who saves someone or something (especially a country or cause) from danger, and who is regarded with the veneration of a religious figure. A savior is a rescuer, liberator, deliverer, emancipator, champion, a knight in shining armor, a friend in need, and Good Samaritan. Additionally, the dictionary states in Christianity it is God or Jesus Christ as the redeemer of sin and saver of souls.

The word anchor means reliable or principal support, a mainstay, something that serves to hold an object firmly, and without looking up the definition of “solid rock” we know that it is something hard that cannot be broken, and when an anchor grasps it, nothing is moving.

I am sure that all of us can say without a doubt we are living at a time where we are experiencing moment to moment changes and we need something tangible on which to hold. Our answer to this is declared in the song. We know God sent Jesus to redeem, save, and deliver us. Jesus is our rock, our answer, and only hope. Though the world has many gods there is only One for all the rest are conjured up by man; thus, all of them will fail and are like shifting sand. Nevertheless, thank God, we have a Savior, we are not dillydallying but anchoring on Jesus our solid rock.

AWAKENING AFTER THE SHAKING

Last week I wrote a blog titled “PRESSURED TO COMPLY” and in it, I speculated whether the Covid-19 was God’s judgment of the earth inhabitants. This week’s blog can be considered a continuation of that theme because of some of the events that happened this past week such as the decrease in the number of Covid-19 hospital admissions and the talk of lifting the shut-in status in several states. My present concern and questions are, “If Covid-19 is God’s judgment, did we learn anything and when things stabilize will we return to the practices that caused God’s hand of judgment to come upon us?”

The book of Judges talks about twelve leaders chosen by God to bring about justice and deliverance for the oppressed people of Israel for they appeared to be in a cycle of sin, suffering, supplication, and salvation. Thus, Israel needed God’s repeated interventions due to their disregard for His laws, commandments, and statutes. God was always delivering them and bringing them out of their captivity but after a period of repentance they forgot about the hardships and oppression they experienced and they returned to their sinful practices. This is seen in a key verse that describes them in Judges 21:25 “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”

In Revelation chapters, two and three John the disciple of Jesus was told to address the seven churches in Asia. In these letters were instructions on what was needed to be an overcomer and at the end of the letter was this statement, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” God gave them the vital directions for their success, but would they listen.

This is where we are today. Many voices are saying, “The world has been shaken and now there is an awakening.” However, I fear that we will follow in the footsteps of those that have gone before us and when we settle back into our daily routine we will forget. Our awakening will be momentary and not permanent and it will be necessary for God to judge us again. Furthermore, as stated in Matthew 24 by Jesus who knew the failures and immoral habits of man that wars, famines, pestilences, calamities, and earthquakes would intensify and become more frequent as the end time draws nigh. And these catastrophes are not even the 21 judgments that will occur on earth during the tribulation.

All I can say and pray is “God help us to remain awaken after the shaking.”

PRESSURED TO COMPLY

On 12/28/19 I posted a blog titled “THE YEAR OF THE MOUTH,” and in that blog, I wrote about the Hebraic calendar which is different than our Gregorian calendar celebrating the year 5780 and that this new era is known as “Pey,” which means “voice” or “mouth.” Additionally, I wrote prophets are calling this time, “The Year of the Mouth.” and in accordance with this, as God’s ambassadors our voices must be heard unlocking God’s kingdom plan and aligning heaven and earth with His plan.

Ministers, prophets and fellow believers that understood the mandate for this year have been sharing it with people. Unfortunately, though this information has been shared it did not always fall on good ground, for many believers have forgotten it or have not allowed their voice to be heard in the atmosphere. In other words, a large portion of the body of Christ is missing in action So, what does God do? It is possible that He allows unpleasant circumstances to happen in the world to awaken His children.

I don’t know if Covid-19 is God ‘s judgment on this sinful, ungodly world, or Satan’s orchestration. In Isaiah 26:20-21 it states, “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain” (KJV) and another translation reads, “Go home, my people, and lock the doors! Hide for a little while until the Lord’s wrath against your enemies has passed. Look! The Lord is coming from the heavens to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will no longer hide the murderers. The guilty will be found” (TLB). The preceding verses in this chapter are a song of praise by the believers that were partakers of the millennial reign of Jesus, but at the end of the chapter verses, 20-21 instructs the believers that they must sequester themselves while God metes punishment on the unrighteous. So, this Covid-19 may be a move of God and if it is a remedy can be found in II Chronicles 7:13-14 which states, “If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Presently we have been advised to shut-in and this has resulted in some positive things and some negative things. For me, the positive things have had preeminence; it has caused me to open my mouth and declare the Word of God into the atmosphere of my home and community more than I was previously doing, and I know that the various kinds of stress and anxieties that people are experiencing have caused them to also pray, decree and declare the Word of God more intensively and intentionally.

Furthermore, my church is meeting from our homes, on our church prayer line, and we are spending time praying, decreeing, and declaring; so, collective prayers, declarations, and decrees are going up to God from all of our homes. If we were not experiencing Covid-19 this would not be happening. Thus, amid our present crisis I see the hand of God for the sleeping church is awakened and pressured to comply with the mandate for this ear; the year of the mouth.

Finally, all I can say is, “Praise God,” He does all things well, and He knows what to do to cause His will and plan to be accomplished in the earth.

THE UNKNOWN

The world has been hit with a pandemic virus which is called, “Coronavirus” or Covid-19. Though this virus has been around for years, this particular strand is said to come from an infected bat in Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, located in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, China. This virus has spread from central China to 204 countries and territories around the world, and as of April 4, 2020, there have been 1.134,418 cases and 60,115 deaths globally reported. Additionally, these statistics are changing every hour.

Because this is a new strand of the virus there is a lot of unknown information about it. This unknown has led to intense fear among the world population, a fluctuating global stock market, major global recession, the travel industry at an all-time low, closing down of all non-essential businesses resulting in the loss of employment for millions of persons globally, and a shortage of food and personal hygiene items. Also, vacations are being canceled affecting the tourism industry, schools and colleges are closed, the world of entertainment is shut-down, the sports season suspended, sports events and conferences canceled, and most important churches have been instructed to shut down.

Amid all these uncertainty believers have God and His Word to sustain us. Furthermore, during this time, we are hearing about the passing of fellow believers which causes us to mourn; however, our assurance is that we will meet them again and they are now in the presence of the Lord.

I am feeling like I want to blog about all of the changes taking place, but since things appear fluid I will probably wait until things settle down. I am finding many of the topics or titles I would use for these blogs would be similar in content because they are all expressions of the time in which we live. Some of these titles are “World Turned Upside Down,” “Preview of Things to Come,” “It All Came Tumbling Down,” “Restricted but Not Constrained,” “Stage Set,” “A New Norm,” and “Living in Daunting Times.” At this time, I am following the instructions that Naomi gave Ruth in Ruth 3:18, “Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall.”

Let me close this blog with these two things. First, as kingdom believers, God has given us power and authority to intercede on behave of the world. So, as we go thru this time of unknown if you are in doubt on areas that need prayer I recommend these seven areas:
1. Religion (Church, Ministries, and Religious Leaders)
2. Family and Marriages (Children, Youth, Adults, and Seniors)
3. Education (Schools, Universities, and Colleges)
4. Business (The Marketplace)
5. Government (Locally, Nationally, and Internationally)
6. Media (The Press, Television, Internet and Social Networking)
7. Arts, Entertainment and Sports

Secondly, most of us know Proverbs 3:5-8 using the King James Version but today I am going to share it from The Message Bible, “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health; your very bones will vibrate with life!” Be blessed, and be safe.

LESSONS FROM THE SHUT-IN REVISITED

I am always in awe of God, how He orchestrates things and prepares us ahead of time for things to come. Unfortunately, our problem is we do not listen, we do not take His Words seriously, and since many of us do not journal what He is saying, we eventually forget His vital instructions. Amos 3:7 states, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” God wants us to be informed but he needs us to have a listening ear. He gets no glory or praise from our defeat but he does from our victory. What God needs are willing participants who will respond to His call. I thank God, that last year I responded to His bidding.

Last year I was prompted to study the life of Noah and to write a blog on what I learned from his life. On August 10, 2019, I wrote the blog, “LESSONS FROM THE SHUT-IN” and posted it on my blog website, “theteacherspick.com.” Little did I know that the things I studied, the lessons learned, and the blog posted would be needed a year later to help someone who may be anxious, fearful, and hopeless.

Last year God revealed things that would help you and me go through this time and so as I did last week I am inviting you once again to go to the archive in my blog site and read the blog, “LESSONS FROM THE SHUT-IN”

Noah and his family were shut-in for over a year, I pray that will not be our story, only God knows. Though you may be feeling some kind of way right now, remember, if Noah tried to get out of the shut-in before time he would have drowned. So, relax and enjoy this time. Also, feel free to go into my archive and read some of my blogs which cover many topics and books in the Bible.

Finally, my prayer for you and your family is that God will keep you safe.

INVITATION TO READ

Due to our present world crisis, the Coronavirus or Covid-19, and the stats I read today (Total Confirmed Cases – 277,049, Active cases – 174,744, Recovered cases- 90,883, and Fatal cases- 11,422) I decided not to post the blog I was writing for this week. Instead, this week’s blog is an invitation to go into the archive of my website and spend some time reading the 56 blogs I did on the book of Revelation. I began blogging January 2, 2012, and the book of Revelation was where I began going from chapter to chapter describing the major events that will occur in the future.

Besides the fear, anxiety, and depression that many are expressing and experiencing during this crisis, I am hearing people talk about what we call “end time events”. Therefore, I want to help those who had difficulty reading Revelation to understand what is about to shortly happen.

For those that understand the times, we can see how the stage is being set for the rapture, the tribulation, and the rise of the Antichrist. Unfortunately, many are clueless and some proclaim erroneous information on what they think is going to happen. I believe my blogs will help them for they were written thoroughly and simplistically so that even a child could understand.

In closing let me say the book of Revelation is one of my favorite books and I spent years studying it and teaching it. So, I hope you will read the blogs or direct others that you know need to understand eschatology to them. (To quickly find the blogs look for the REVELATION SERIES with the starting date of January 2, 2012).

God bless you and keep you covered under the blood of Jesus.