Convergence!

Every so often a new word or phrase seems to dominate the writings and messages coming from those within the ranks of teachers, preachers, and scholars in the Biblical eschatology community. For instance; “late great” has been used with regard to the planet Earth, the United States, and the church. “Left Behind” and “blood moons” are other examples, as are the words “worldview” and “globalism.” Today the word we are hearing the most is convergence. And, if we take a critical look at the days in which we are living, and compare them to prophetic Scripture, I find this word not only to be apropos, but perhaps the most significant of all descriptive words which we have used to date.

Regardless of where you place your finger in end times prophetic Scripture; whether the writings of the Old Testament prophets, the New Testament apostolic writings, the words of Christ in the Gospels, or in His Revelation to the Apostle John, we find evidence of fulfillment converging on a daily basis. In our Lord’s Olivet discourse alone, recorded in Matthew chapter 24, we read prophetic words which today are being fulfilled as never before.

Matthew 24:5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.

There has never been before in history, such a proliferation of religions and religious groups as there are today, with many being led by charismatic men or women who claim divine knowledge or special inspiration. Even secular humanism and atheism have been elevated to religion status, whether they like it or not. Yet, in all of these groups the commonality is they deny the deity and sufficiency of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, there are many who believe they are eternally secure who in fact are not. Narrow is the way!

Matthew 24:6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. Matthew 24:7a For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

At no time in the history of the earth have war drums beat in so many different places. In Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, Indonesia, Central America, South America, the South Pacific, armed conflict is the norm rather than the exception and nearly the entire Middle East is in flames. Conflict rages because of cultural, economic, ethnic, and religious differences and man’s inhumanity to man has never been on greater display that it is today. In the Middle East, the Islamic ideology has given rise to unprecedented persecution of Jews and Christians as well as other Muslims, resulting in mass executions, beheadings, crucifixion, disembowelment, and other horrific forms of murder.

Matthew 24:7b And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.

It would take 5000 words alone to describe the crisis in food production which is being experienced worldwide today. Crop failures due to weather events, whether flood or drought, are worldwide and in many areas planting and harvests did not take place because of the conflicts raging there. The possibility of famine is a reality in many countries and food prices in the US are continually on the rise because of drought and disease. The cost of Protein (Beef, Pork, Chicken, Eggs) has risen by as much as 25% in the past year, with expectations that this trend will continue for the foreseeable future.

Viruses and diseases are growing worldwide, many in near pandemic proportions. The Ebola virus continues to spread in Africa and because of modern transportation, threatens the entire world. Other infectious viruses such as SARS and MRSA continue to mutate and defy antibiotic treatment, and evidence of the Plague has once again appeared in the Western US. Diseases once thought to be nearly extinct such as tuberculosis, polio, measles and the whooping-cough have returned worldwide with a vengeance (and brought to the US again by illegal aliens crossing our southern border with Mexico).

In 2010 the USGS attributed the increase in the reported number of earthquakes to a greater ability to record them, but in an article published July 1, 2014 they admitted that the number of earthquakes registering 5.0 or greater had increased by 50% over the previous 12 months and 65% over the previous 24 months. In Oklahoma the number of earthquakes greater than 3.0 have risen by 23,000% (that is a real number, not a typo) over the previous 12 months. While the Oklahoma activity has been related (whether correctly or not) to fracking, the worldwide increase of earthquake activity cannot be attributed thusly. Additionally, more closely related to the seismic activity of earthquakes is the increase in volcanic activity worldwide. Currently, there are more active volcanoes spewing forth magma and ash than at any time in recorded history.

Matthew 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

The “beginning of sorrows” is a phrase that is most often related to the birth pangs experienced by a woman in labor. These labor pangs occur at a point in time when there is a physical convergence of events in the gestational process leading to the birth of a baby. I am not a physician but I was present at the birth of all four of my daughters, and I am a ranch raised cowboy who has birthed horses, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, as well as a great number of dogs. I can tell you that there was pain associated with absolutely every one of those births. We are living in the days of convergence, the days that the Scriptures describe as “the beginning of sorrows” and the painful birth that is about to take place is described in the Scriptures as a time of “great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Matthew 24:21

The Olivet discourse in Matthew continues beyond verse eight to describe many more details which we can expect to soon come to pass. For believers, one of the most significant of these is the very fact of the increased persecution of followers of Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:9) as this time of tribulation grows nearer. We see that persecution already taking place daily around the world, especially in the Middle East, and of course there is growing evidence of intolerance of, and the persecution of, Christians in the US. However, the blessed hope of the Church, the true followers of Jesus Christ, is the Rapture described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17.

Convergence quite aptly describes the growing evidence of the fulfillment of End Times prophecies. Certainly the scoffers described in 2 Peter 3:1-3 are among us today, however God’s Word is true and His prophecies will be fulfilled. The convergence is real, the “beginning of sorrows” has already begun. The Rapture of the Church is imminent, the time of Tribulation is near, and;

Jesus is coming soon!

EvenSoCome

Showdown In The Land Of Babylon

From Genesis to Revelation, the land of Babylon and the city of Babylon (Iraq) occupy a prominent place in Scripture. Together, the land and the city are mentioned almost 300 times in the Bible. Without question, many of these references are about ancient Babylon, but also without question many other references are about Babylon’s future just prior to and during the Tribulation Period (Isa. 13:6-16). Also, it is important to separate the prophecies about the land from the prophecies about the city.

Some verses of Scripture tie the city of Babylon to false worship. Nimrod built a ziggurat near there called the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1-9). I don’t know what was on top of the Tower of Babel, but later ziggurats had temples or altars on top of them and they were used for astrology, human sacrifice, the worship of Marduk and things like that. False worship and slaying people for religious reasons are an ancient Babylonian custom that still exists today.

King Nebuchadnezzar built a statue near the city of Babylon and ordered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to worship it or die (Dan. 3:1-30). Slaying people who won’t convert is another ancient Babylonian custom. Zechariah had a vision of a wicked woman (the opposite of the Bride of Christ; a harlot religion) that will be carried to Babylon in an ephah (a symbol of commerce and trade) in the future (Zech. 5:5-11). Some believe this means that the city of Babylon will be the future home of a global false religion and economic system. The Book of Revelation speaks of Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots (false worship) and Abominations of the Earth that is also a city loved by the merchants of the earth (Rev. 17-18).

Some verses of Scripture tie Babylon to demonic activity. Many writers think the Garden of Eden was in Babylon and Satan went there (Gen. 2:14; 3:1-5). Sorcerers practiced in the city (Dan. 2:2; 3:5). Daniel was in Babylon when the prince of Persia (a fallen angel) hindered the answer to one of his prayers (Dan. 10:13). Isaiah said satyrs (demons) will dance on the site of the burned city and the Book of Revelation confirms it (Isa. 13:19-22; Rev. 18:2).

Some verses of Scripture teach that the destruction of the land (not the city) of Babylon will start before the Tribulation Period and continue on into the Tribulation Period. God will assemble a multi-national force in the mountains of Babylon to move against the evil in the land with the weapons of His indignation (a name for the Tribulation Period) when the day of the Lord (the Tribulation Period) is near (Isa. 13:3-6). God will lay the land of Babylon desolate when the day of the Lord is coming (Isa. 13:9). Then, He will punish the world in the day of his fierce anger (Isa. 13:11-13). So the beginning of the destruction of the land of Babylon (Iraq) is a sign that the Tribulation Period with its seal, trumpet and bowl judgments is drawing near.

Some verses say the city (not the land) will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah (Isa. 13:19). The city must be rebuilt because it hasn’t burned yet, but it will burn during the Tribulation Period (Rev. 18:8) between the seventh bowl (Rev. 16:17) and the Second Coming of Jesus (Rev. 19:11-16). God said the city of Babylon will be destroyed suddenly (Jer. 51:8) and in the Book of Revelation, He said her plagues will come in one day (Rev. 18:8) and her riches will be destroyed in one hour (Rev. 18:10, 17, 19). He also linked several verses in Isa. 13 and Jer. 50-51 to Rev. 17-18 (Isa. 13:21 to Rev. 18:2; Jer. 50:15 to Rev. 18:6; 51:7 to 17:4 and 18:3; 51:8 to 18:2; 51:9 to 18:4; 51:13 to 17:1, etc.).

Jeremiah tied the destruction of the city (not the land) of Babylon to the salvation of the Jews. He said the Jews will weep and seek the Lord, their God and join themselves to Him in a perpetual covenant at the time of Babylon’s (the city’s) destruction (Jer. 50:4-5). Zechariah tied Israel’s weeping to the Second Coming of Jesus, the Battle of Armageddon and His outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Zech. 12:7-14). So the city’s destruction will occur instantly at the end of the Tribulation Period after the everlasting gospel has been preached all over the world (Rev. 14:6-8).

Some verses of Scripture teach that the Medes (Kurds) will play a dominant role in the future destruction of both the land, and later, the city of Babylon. God called on the nations to prepare their multi-national forces to join the Medes (Kurds) to make the land of Babylon desolate (Jer. 51:28-29). God said He will stir up the Medes (Kurds) against the men in the city of Babylon (Isa. 13:17). He said He will use the Medes (Kurds) to destroy the city of Babylon (Jer. 51:11). [Editor’s note: See more of Daymond Duck’s views on the Medes in his earlier post here.]

It is possible that the genocidal actions of the Islamic State (IS) have started the ball rolling on the fulfillment of these prophecies. Demonic describes those who behead, crucify or bury alive other human beings. It describes those who refuse food and drink to children who are dying of hunger and thirst and those who make sex-slaves out of young girls. It describes those who make mothers watch while their babies are cut in two and their husbands are slaughtered. It describes those who kill for religious purposes and those who demand that people convert or die. It describes the Islamic State and also the satanically inspired False Prophet who will behead people during the Tribulation Period (Rev. 13:15; 20:4).

In recent years, most of the nations in the world have been reluctant to sell weapons to the Kurds (Medes), but the demonic actions and gruesome videos of the Islamic State have profoundly altered the thinking of world leaders. The UN Security Council now recognizes the dangers of radical Islam. The UN Security Council has met and demanded that the Islamic State stop their attacks, disarm and disband; and the UN Security Council did it under a section of its Charter that allows the UN to militarily enforce their demand.

God said He will gather a group of mighty nations with the weapons of His indignation in the mountains of Babylon to destroy the land (Isa. 13:3-4). Several nations have now shipped or are preparing to ship modern weapons to the Kurds who occupy the mountains of Babylon (Iraq). Some are sending troops and this could be a clear indication that the Tribulation Period is close (Isa. 13:5; Jer. 50:3, 9-10, 15, 25-26, 41, 46). It could mean that God is ready to move decisively against those in the land of Babylon (Iraq) who are robbing, killing and raping His people and destroying His churches.

Obviously, the Kurds and their UN supporters can’t use these weapons against the city of Babylon at this time, but UN involvement is setting the stage for the city to be rebuilt and its destruction won’t be many years behind. In the last two weeks, Pres. Obama has called for a multi-national force to join the U.S. and the Kurds; since Aug. 8, 2014, the U.S. Air Force has destroyed dozens of Islamic State targets; the Kurds have recaptured the Mosul Dam; the EU has met and authorized member nations to help; England has announced that it is sending troops; the U.S. has announced that it may send more troops to join several hundred that are already there; and the prophetic picture of the Bible is starting to unfold.

In closing, I am not a prophet, but as I understand the Scriptures, this is just the beginning of a showdown in Babylon that will shake the world. As we approach the Tribulation Period, I expect the Islamic State to be brutally crushed and the land of Babylon to be seized and secured by the Globalists with the help of the Kurds (Medes). Then, I expect the Globalists to quickly rebuild the ancient city of Babylon to house their Global religion and economic system. Finally, at the end of the Tribulation Period, I expect the Kurds to use some of their modern weapons to destroy that city suddenly.

Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck
daymond.duck@yahoo.com

Suffering and Glory!

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.” 1 Peter 4:12-14

St. Peter returns here to what he had often touched upon in this epistle, namely, to exhort the Christians to behave with patience and integrity under their present severe persecution; to which purpose he uses the following arguments: –

First, He intimates that it was not a strange or unusual thing for the people of God to be persecuted.

Secondly, That if they suffered here as Christ did, they should hereafter be glorified with him.

Thirdly, Besides the prospect of that future glory; they had at present the Spirit of God for their support and comfort.

Excerpted from “The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” a commentary by Adam Clarke 1831

Words of Grace for Strength!

In the USA, the attitude for most who claim to be Christian, is to look on suffering and persecution as strange and abnormal. It seems to come as a surprise when we face adversity of any kind. But the Apostle Peter writes that we should consider it normal as a Christian. Why should we be treated better by the world than was our Savior? The Apostle Paul warned Timothy “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12 So, Christians should expect persecution, especially those who are making an active stand for Christ in these Last Days. Satan is not concerned with those who are on the sidelines of Christianity or those who only give lip service to faith, his attacks are reserved for those who are actively opposing him, those who are not only watchmen on the wall but who are soldiers of the cross, fighting him and his demonic agenda.

Peter writes that in suffering for Christ we will be glorified with Him. That should be the goal of every believer, to rejoice in the suffering because of the honor it will bring. When as Christians we are ridiculed, denounced and reproached for what we believe, when our convictions are rejected, we should rejoice in the privilege of sharing what Christ suffered as a Man. We may even receive physical wounds and scars for our commitment to Him, but even so, how much greater the rejoicing when we see Him and receive from Him our reward for having suffered in His name. We need to understand how absolutely satisfying our lives can be, how exciting it can be to live, how rewarding eternity will be, when we are sold out to Jesus Christ and are willing to endure anything to bring honor and glory to Him.

The evidence in a Christian’s life of true obedience to Christ is not wealth, health, or living “your best life now” but is in fact of facing persecution and suffering. This is the true sign that the Glory of God rests upon a Christian, because it is evidence of being in the fight. While we know every Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, He empowers in an extraordinary way those who are completely devoted to the cause of Christ. These are those the Holy Spirit is enabling to make a difference in a lost and dying world, and they experience His presence and power in a way that others do not. They, like the early believers are able to rejoice that they are “counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.” Acts 5:41

And yet, while the Christian can and should rejoice in personal suffering faced as evidence of God’s glory upon a life well lived for the Lord, it is not outside of personal obedience to pray for relief from suffering which other Christians experience. A true Christian soldier will neither run from the fight the Lord has placed before them nor avoid supporting other Christians in battle. After all, living in the True Church, His Remnant Church, requires us to  look after and fight for each other as well.

As we are living in these Last Days, as suffering and persecution is beginning to be to be in evidence in His Remnant Church in America, as well as the rest of the world, it is time for those who are in Christ to “take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13

The Rapture is Imminent! The Tribulation will follow! And;

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome

Press on!

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:8-14

Recently, I have looked at this again in a different light. The Apostle Paul said “I press toward the mark,” as if he hadn’t accomplished enough in life already! During our Wednesday evening services, I, the pastor with very little experience concerning end time events, have begun to teach on this very subject. Realizing that the Bible, percentage wise (nearly one-third), is more prophecy than anything else, and understanding that out of all of the writings of the major religions of the world, our Bible is the only book with enough bravery to predict the very future that we are living in today.

When I was growing up we might have seen a sign of the Lord’s return every so often, but now…every day we are watching the signs unfold right before our eyes! To me, as I am witnessing it, this is one of the most exciting experiences I have ever had in my life! All of the things we have studied and heard about in our churches for years are coming to pass! But, I have started seeing and hearing of some things that are very alarming to me. Certainly people are afraid. But, even more alarming is the talk of Christians being afraid. Why? The reward that we pray for, the eternity that we wait for, the great reunion we are wanting with our loved ones, and even more important the One who died for us all, is near. How could we as believers be afraid of the time we live in?

I understand that there could be a time of persecution like we’ve never known. I know we may be driven underground to have church. We may not be able to pray in school ever again. Abortion may be an everyday occurrence with no shame. The institution of marriage may not honorable like the bible spoke of in Hebrews 13:4. Oh wait…most of this is where we are now! Now instead of making a stand and preaching on the street corner, we have practically gone into hiding. We don’t witness unless we are alone with someone and they open the door. Have we not already gone into hiding?

Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, that the coming of the Lord would not come until there be a great falling away. I have heard many teachings and ideas on this passage, even so, why would we think for any reason we should slow down in the practice of personal evangelism as we see these things happening? Instead of hiding what we hold as the dearest treasure in our hearts, we should be spreading it like never before! I look at the Apostle Paul’s instruction to the Philippians like this…Hey guys…we may have made a difference to some degree… We may have some great accomplishments… We may have the right to just sit back and wait on the Lord to take us… But! Paul said, of all my accolades, I count them all as dung, and I am still pressing toward the same mark I started after when I fell on my face on the road to Damascus.

Paul, while sitting in prison was pressing. Paul, while going from courthouse to courthouse being falsely accused was pressing, while in the storm and shipwrecked, he was pressing. While being beaten and stoned, he was still pressing, when he was on the chopping block about to lose his head, he was still pressing. Even more shocking to me than the folks who are afraid of what’s going on in our world today, as far as end time events go, are the folks who have gone into hiding and have quit pressing!

Hey church…wake up!!! We are in the greatest evangelistic era we could possibly have! Yes people’s hearts are hard, and yes people are on a moral downward spiral, but it is amazing to see some of the people who are the hardest, are realizing the signs of the times themselves! Let’s go and press harder than we ever have because;

Jesus is coming soon!

God Bless

Don’t Blame God

Jesus was talking about the end of the age when He said: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matt. 24:21). “Great tribulation” speaks of planet earth’s darkest hour. The Bible calls it, “a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness” (Zeph. 1:15). The Bible says people will “go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth” (Isa. 2:19). Yes, Jesus intends to violently shake this earth and, in addition to Jesus, at least two Old Testament prophets said there has never been a time like it (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1).

Some think this awful time will be Satan’s doing, but the Bible says it will be the Lord’s doing (Isa. 24:1; 26:21). The prophet Joel, the apostle Paul and others called it the Day of the Lord (Joel 1:15; I Thess. 5:2). John the Revelator called it the wrath of the Lamb (Rev. 6:15-17). He also called it the wrath of God (Rev. 11:17-18; 14:7, 19; 16:1). So no less than Jesus and His Father are going to send judgment upon this earth that will be worse than WWI, WWII or anything the world has ever seen. And as bad as it will be, the world will deserve every last bit of it.

The usual sins of adultery, fornication, violence, unbelief, heresies, etc. are enough to justify the Tribulation Period, but I want to limit this to just one sin that deserves and will bring down the terrible wrath of God: the world’s satanic hatred of Israel. God does not want to send the Tribulation Period (Ezek. 33:11), but make no mistake He will. This is not to say that Israel hasn’t sinned because Israel has sinned, but it is to say that the vast majority of those on earth, including many church leaders, have listened to the Devil and given their heart to the radical Islamic terrorists.

Hamas is a recognized terrorist organization that extols the actions of Adolph Hitler and his gas chambers. Its charter calls for the obliteration and replacement of Israel. It supports suicide bombings of innocent women and children on busses, in restaurants, in shopping centers and on the streets. It kidnaps and murders Israeli citizens, soldiers, non-soldiers, adults and teenage students. It threatens reporters and collaborates with Iran, the barbaric Islamic State (ISIS), al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and others; some of which crucify, behead and shoot Christians or bury them alive. It maintains its control in the Gaza Strip by oppression, threats, torture and murder. It arms itself through smuggling, subterfuge and the misappropriation of money that was given to worthy causes. It agrees to ceasefires and breaks them. It indiscriminately fires rockets at civilians in towns where nurseries, kindergartens, schools, synagogues, hospitals and churches are located in a desperate attempt to kill anyone they can.

During this present war with Hamas, Israel captured a pile of terrorist documents, training manuals and computers. The IDF found instructions on the benefits of using human shields and civilian locations when firing rockets and missiles at Israel. They found tunnels with holding rooms to detain Israeli citizens. They found plans to kidnap Israeli women and children and to start a war on Sept. 24, 2014. And this list could go on and on, but the point is that many world leaders, university and seminary professors, church leaders, pastors and Hollywood celebrities can’t see a smidgen of wrong in what these corrupt, lying, kidnapping, murderers do.

On the other hand, Israel went out of its way to protect Palestinians. Before they attacked Hamas positions in Gaza they dropped leaflets that warned the Palestinians to leave. Hamas urged the Palestinians to ignore Israel’s warnings. Then, Israel dropped more leaflets. Israel texted people and she set up an automated phone system to robocall residents of Gaza urging them to leave. Israel dropped bombs that gave the Palestinians several seconds warning before they exploded and more.

So a diabolical terrorist group called Hamas is on one side using innocent women and children as human shields and doing everything it can to boost the death toll of innocent people. And Israel is on the other side trying to defend and protect its own innocent people and, at the same time, trying to avoid killing innocent Palestinians that are caught in the crossfire.

If the world’s leaders, university and seminary professors, church leaders, pastors and Hollywood celebrities had a sense of decency, integrity or shame one would think they would readily condemn Hamas and loudly praise Israel. But no, these self-righteous bigots and hypocrites can’t find even one kind word for Israel; they do everything they can to ignore, excuse and explain away the evil doings of Hamas; and to side against, criticize and condemn Israel for trying to fight a war with one hand tied behind her back.

It is my belief that Matthew 24 is about Israel. In verse 9, Jesus said, Israel “will be hated of all nations.” The world’s hatred of Israel is on display today. In Obad. 1:15, God said, “the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.”

I take no joy in saying this, but when the Tribulation Period is near (and that could be now) those who hate Israel are going to reap what they sow. God made an everlasting covenant to give all of the Promised Land to Israel (Gen. 17:7-8). He has the right to do that. He has the power to make it stick. His holy nature requires Him to make it stick.

The bottom line: God is not like men. He is just and it will do no good to blame Him for the Tribulation Period. It will only happen because the obvious wickedness of this world deserves His judgment.

Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck
daymond.duck@yahoo.com

The Prayer of the Contrite Heart ~ Psalm 51

This psalm is a ladder which climbs from the horrible pit, with its miry clay, into the heights of sunny joy, where the song breaks from the forgiven penitent. Here is the cry of the lost sheep which has been torn by briers, harried by wild dogs, drenched in the morass, but which the shepherd has found and brought home rejoicing. This path has been worn by myriads of penitents. Psalm 51:17 was written on the wall of St. Augustine’s cell.

There is no doubt as to the occasion or the authorship of this psalm. It abounds in references to 2 Samuel 11:1-27; 2 Samuel 12:1-31. It is remarkable that such a confession should have been handed to the chief musician; but the publicity thus given has made it a means of grace to myriads. Note the epithets for sin: transgression, “the violation of law;” iniquity, “crookedness from the straight line of rectitude;” sin, “missing the mark.” However much God longs to forgive, He cannot, until confession is made. We must acknowledge our lapse from virtue! Blot out, as from a record; wash, as foul stains from linen; cleanse, as a leper by the touch of Christ. Our only plea is the multitude of God’s tender mercies.

It is not enough to be forgiven; the true penitent longs to be kept from breaking out into the old sins. He desires a clean heart that abhors the least taint of sin; a right or steadfast spirit, influenced by God’s Holy Spirit, and therefore a willing spirit as well. Then shall follow the joy of salvation, success in soul-winning, humility of soul, the blessing of Zion, and the up building of the Church. What glorious results are these-like the fair colors extracted from coal-tar!

There are no sacrifices so dear to God as broken hearts; no offerings so precious as contrite spirits. It would be impossible to compute all the walls that have been built; all the Jerusalem’s, that have been blessed, all the congregations that have been moved, all the revivals that have resulted because sinful men and women have been loved back from the pit of corruption and reinstated into the clear shining of God’s forgiveness and favor. Do not be content with forgiveness; seek restoration to the old place and then strive for a better.

Excerpted from “Through the Bible Day by Day” by F.B. Meyer 1914

Often, Andy and I collaborate on this Post we call “Words of Grace for Strength.” Today, I hope you will allow me to use it for a bit of personal reflection. The excerpt above is of course Meyer’s commentary on Psalm 51 in which King David made full confession of his sin with Bathsheba, and having done so pleaded with God for forgiveness, restoration and renewed usefulness. I am in complete agreement with Meyer as to his “title” of the Psalm, “The Prayer of the Contrite Heart” for it truly speaks of one who has recognized a need to place oneself in the complete control of his Lord because of his own failures.

Many years ago I was encouraged by Dr. Jerry Chaney to learn to “Pray the Psalms of David in the attitude of their author.” Psalm 51 has become a prayer of brokenness for me. There was a time in my life when, like David, I believed because of God’s favor in my life that I could act with impunity as I saw fit. Unfortunately, while David’s rebellion against God’s authority lasted only one year, mine lasted close to twenty. But, when at last I had been completely broken by my own sin, I cried out to Him who had paid my sin debt, once again acknowledging Him as my Savior, my Lord, and my God; He forgave me. Now the period of time since my restoration exceeds the time of my rebellion and I truly desire to be used by God every day. There are times though, that I have been discouraged, times of weariness, times of impatience, times when I felt I was somehow unappreciated or ignored… but then I am lead back to Psalm 51, and here I find that all I need is to be right with Jesus… restoration is life lived for Christ!
Read this wonderful Psalm with me (the bold emphasis I have added as my petition to my Savior).

Psalm 51:1-19
1 Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me.
4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight— That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.
6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may rejoice.
9 Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.

Is this your prayer today? Are you closer to Jesus Christ today than you were one year ago? Twenty years ago? Do you feel the presence of His Holy Spirit in your life? Do you still feel the Joy of your salvation? I must confess, I needed to read and pray this Psalm again today. Did you, Do you? Let us finish the Psalm.

13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, The God of my salvation, And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips, And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.
18 Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion; Build the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, With burnt offering and whole burnt offering; Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.

Friends, I need Jesus to forgive me daily for my failures, for my weakness, for my selfish pride, for sin which enters my thoughts and is displayed in my actions. And, I ask you to forgive me too…

I want to be used by my Savior in whatever way He chooses. As the old Hymn says, I have decided to follow Jesus, No turning back! How about You?

Tuck

Israel’s God Is God

With God’s help, I wrote these words around 1993: “Religion and ownership of the land (the Promised Land of Israel) are at the heart of the never-ending Arab-Israeli conflict. The two groups are diametrically opposed to each other because each group thinks it worships the only real God and each group thinks He gave the Promised Land to it. The conflict over this blessed place is theological and directly linked to the question, ‘Whose god is God and who worships the true God?’ The land issue can never be settled until the theological conflict over God’s identity is settled. The religion of the loser is dead” (“On The Brink,” copyright 1995, pp. 37-38).

These words recently came to my mind when I read two articles. The first was a July 29, 2014 Bridges For Peace article titled “Fatah Threatens to ‘Turn Tel Aviv into a Ball of Fire.’” And the second was an August 1, 2014 Israel Today article titled “The God of the Armies of Israel.”

The Bridges For Peace article said PA President Mahmoud Abbas was touting the current conflict between Israel and Hamas as a religious “war for Allah.” Mr. Abbas quoted the Koran when he said, “Allah is competent to give them (the Palestinians) the victory” (Surah 22:39). Mr. Abbas added that, “Allah is with the resistance, both now and in the future.”

The Israel Today article said Israeli Col. Ofer Winter sent a letter to the troops he commands in the Givanti Infantry Brigade. Using words that come straight from the Bible, Col. Winter referred to God as the God of the armies of Israel (I Sam. 17:45). Col. Winter even wrote that Israel has been chosen to “spearhead in the fight against the ‘Gazan’ terrorist enemy that defies, blasphemes, and curses the God of the armies of Israel’” and the Bible calls Israel’s enemies God’s enemies (Psa. 83:2). Col. Winter closed his letter by saying, “The Lord, your God, who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies and gives you victory.”

So the PA leader quoted the Koran, exalted Allah and said Allah was with the Palestinians. And the Israeli officer quoted the Bible, called Israel’s enemies God’s enemies and said God (Jehovah) was with Israel. It should be obvious that both leaders can’t be right. So whose god is God and who worships the true God?

Several other articles caught my attention along these lines. One concerned something Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy Secretary-General said, “It is plain to see that Israel’s use of force has been disproportionate, and that the Palestinian casualties have been excessive.” This UN official was saying the war is one-sided in favor of Israel. It was clear that large numbers of Palestinians were dying even though Israel dropped leaflets more than once warning them to leave; Israel texted people, called people, dropped warning bombs before real bombs exploded, etc. So Israel’s God was winning and the Palestinian god was losing. And the UN, EU, US and many others were trying to get Israel to let up.

Another article concerned a widely circulated headline in the July 18, 2014 Jewish Telegraph newspaper. In an unconfirmed report a Gazan terrorist was asked why Hamas couldn’t aim their rockets more accurately. The terrorist replied, “We do aim them, but their God changes their path in mid-air.” If the report is true, this terrorist recognized that Israel’s God (Jehovah) is more powerful than his god (Allah).

Another article concerned an Israeli soldier that tried to shoot down a terrorist missile twice with an Iron Dome anti-missile. Iron Dome missed both times, and on the third try it showed that a strong wind had pushed the terrorist missile off course. Israel Today reported that the soldier said, “I witnessed this miracle with my own eyes. It was not told or reported to me. I saw the hand of God send that missile into the sea.” Jehovah prevailed again.

There were several other reports of miracles, but I want to recall God’s covenant with Abraham. God said, “I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God” (Gen. 17:7-8). It can be shown that Jehovah was talking about Israel when He said, “I will be their God” (Gen. 17:8-21; 28:13; 35:10-12).
Since 1948, Israel has won several wars against impossible odds. And it seems that her attackers and the world have never understood why. Many say Israel won because the U.S., England or France helped Israel or it was because of Israel’s technology, but Israel was often poorly equipped and greatly outnumbered.

God’s covenant to be Israel’s God is true. So is His promise to never stop watching over Israel (Psa. 121:1-8) and His promise that no weapon formed against Israel will prevail (Isa. 54:17). His identity and the futility of trusting in Allah can be seen in all of these wars. Hamas has met the only real God, but she doesn’t know it, the world doesn’t know it, and sadly, many Church leaders don’t know it. Until these groups realize that ISRAEL’S GOD IS GOD and He is keeping His EVERLASTING covenant to give Israel ALL of the Promised Land and TO BE THEIR GOD, there will be no peace on earth.

Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck
daymond.duck@yahoo.com