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Egypt’s Backstory

Earlier this week, an Egyptian army chief and Minister of Defense warned that the political crisis in Egypt could lead to the collapse of the state. Today more protests are planned after Friday prayers.

Events resulting from mass protests to the policies of President Morsi (Mursi) is putting the spotlight on an ancient nation mentioned more than 600 times in the Bible.

With its fertile Nile delta, and ancient irrigation technology, Egypt didn’t have to rely on seasonal rains to the extent that other areas of the Middle East did. As a result both Abraham and Jacob went to Egypt looking for food during times of famine.

Yet when an especially severe seven-year drought threatened Egypt as well, a once abandoned son of Jacob by the name of Joseph was used by the God of gods to show himself to the people of Egypt as the real Provider of the world. Later, when a Pharaoh that did not know Joseph turned the descendants of Jacob/Israel into slaves, the God of Abraham used Moses to lead his people out of Egypt in a manner that once again lifted up the Name of the King of kings.

In the years that followed two main themes are repeated over and over in its unfolding storyline of Israel:

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me” (Exod 20:2-3).

Another is expressed in repeated warning “don’t go back to Egypt” in a way that breaks faith in God who showed his superiority to the gods of the Nile: “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the Lord” (Isaiah 31:1).

Just as importantly, the Bible uses Egypt to show that God has a heart not only for Israel but for her enemies as well. In a vision of the future Isaiah writes, “Then the Lord will be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day, and will make sacrifice and offering; yes, they will make a vow to the Lord and perform it. And the Lord will strike Egypt, He will strike and heal it; they will return to the Lord, and He will be entreated by them and heal them. In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will serve with the Assyrians (Isa 19:21-23).

In the middle of history between Moses and our own breaking news, there is Jesus. Matthew’s Gospel tells us “An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son” (Matt 2:13-15).

What at first seems like such a mystery is that when Matthew quotes the prophet as saying “Out of Egypt I called my son” he is saying that Jesus’ brief stay in Egypt brings fullness of meaning to what Hosea refers to as a historical reference to Israel’s Exodus (Hosea 11:1).

On closer look it becomes apparent that Matthew, along with other New Testament writers, and, most importantly, Jesus himself, give us a way of seeing Israel’s whole Exodus born history, worship, and purpose as being fulfilled in Jesus, the Son of God.

So today, when we see Egypt in the news we are hearing of a nation that once provided the geographical staging for one of the greatest evidences of the God of gods the world has ever seen. The deeply rooted and intertwined histories of Egypt, Israel’s Messiah and the world he died to save are still helping us understand who each of us are– and where history is going.

Seems so significant that with all of the technology and progress that fills our lives and minds, the ancient backstory of the people of the Bible (i.e. Egypt, Israel, Babylon/Assyria, Iran/Persia, Syria, Lebanon, Arabia) is still helping us remember that where we came from is like a beast of burden carrying us into our own future.

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49 Responses to “Egypt’s Backstory”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    My apologies to you Mart, I Know how personally important this subject is for you and I want to give it my full attention.

    7.3 inches of snow this morning and high winds occupied all of my early morning *rest* time, but I will get to this as the day allows.

    Thank you Mart for a current and meaningful topic.


  2. Mart De Haan says:

    Steve, once again you have more snow than we do in the “north”. I only had to clear about 4 inches off our driveway last night. But it’s cold and windy here in W Michigan too. Hope you have a chance to sit for a bit and enjoy a hot coffee/cocoa.

  3. SFDBWV says:

    Let me begin at the beginning of Marts thoughts; the unrest in Egypt.

    Last year the western world gushed and reveled in what they viewed as the sweet voice of freedom rising in the Mid East. I am not alone in having seen it as an opportunity for the Islamic Brotherhood to usurp power and create another intolerant Islamic society in the most volatile area of our world.

    Egypt has maintained a large Christian population and this Christian population is under persecution already from its newly formed government, just as every other Islamic controlled nation in the area has, which includes Iraq, and Iran.

    The stage is being set for the end of the age of man’s rule on planet earth. The Bible provides great time and energy laying out the events of this time in history and what will occur and though we can devote a great deal of energy trying to present it here, there are countless numbers of books which have attempted to do that for our reading.

    There is coming a great period of world wide persecution of two groups of people, The Jew and the Christian.

    We are bound together by a common Faith though at this point divided upon the acceptance of Messiah.

    There is a coming point in our pre history whereby God will finally open the eyes of Israel and at that time she as a nation will repent of her past sin against Messiah and God and then God will deliver her for the entire world to see.

    Following the Great Tribulation all the world will be *Christian* as The King of Kings will be setting on His throne in Jerusalem.

    Before Jesus’ return, there are things which have to be in place and events that have to create the world political scene that God has revealed to us through His Prophets and especially written in His Word, the Bible.

    We can either recognize these events as they unfold before our eyes and be ready or be blind to them and be caught off guard when they occur and perhaps confused not knowing it is the hand of God that exacts His will upon the world.

    Lots more on this subject.


  4. swwagner says:

    I will have to digest this a little bit more, but right now I want to relay a modern day salvation story that sprang from the histories of Israel, Egypt, etc. When my daughter was in 5th or 6th grade, she became interested in history and current events. We had many lively discussions at our dinner table about world events and how they related to the Bible. One day we were talking about Israel in the Bible compared to modern day Israel and how everything has happen as God said it would concerning His people…how they became a people without a country, persecuted throughout the world, and finally were recognized again as a nation in 1948. My daughter was speechless. Suddenly the God of the Bible became relevant to her. The line between “real life” and “biblical stories” melted away. Shortly after that, she received Christ as her personal savior. That was about 24 years ago and she is still talking about her “aha” moment to others.

  5. SFDBWV says:

    It’s always French roast coffee for me Mart, it has warmed up to 09 degrees as Matthew is about to get up to his bike ride.


  6. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends –

    Mart, the words of the prophet Isaiah give all of us hope out of this disturbing time of Egyptian (and greater Middle East) violence and turmoil:

    “…And the Lord will strike Egypt, He will strike and heal it; they will return to the Lord, and He will be entreated by them and heal them.” (Isa 19:21, 22)

    It seems to me the Coptic Orthodox Church is opposed to the imposition of shari’ah law, as much as the secular people of Egypt are. It is not clear how the power struggle will be settled on the ground. The Holy Spirit is in the midst of the turmoil in ways I do not understand. “Striking and healing” are most assuredly under way!

    How difficult it must be for Christians to quiet their hearts and earnestly pray for their nation. Many have taken to the streets since the December election, it seems. Does it take the complete collapse of the government for a godly nation to rise out of the rubble? And, can the powerful Islamist factions hold onto power? The Lord has spoken hope into my heart that somehow his covenant of love will be the way order will be restored in this ancient land. Jesus is still the answer to the most difficult questions, it seems to me.

    I pray for the Christian voice to be heard in Egypt. The church has been suppressed and oppressed long enough. The Gospel has a prominent place in the discussion.


  7. poohpity says:

    It seems the Lord can bring the worst of enemies together. When we went into Iraq it seemed that so many felt that it was not a good thing to do but God seemed to have a plan to be fulfilled. Just to think about Iraq, Egypt and Israel all being allies seems so amazing but that is what Isaiah wrote about happening and we are seeing the seeds of that alliance starting to happen. Isaiah 19:24-25 NLT

    A seed has to die before it can bring a new life. Watching all this going on or for those who are in the middle of it they probably feel so overwhelmed and discouraged but there is hope. Our God brings life from the ash heaps in our own lives and between nations.

  8. Bill says:

    There is probably no more controversial issue right now. So, the potential for this thread to become a container of annelids is quite high.

    President Obama’s decision to send F-16 fighter jets and tanks to Egypt is likely one of the worst decisions he’s yet made. (And he’s made many.) For the U.S. to give sophisticated weaponry to a region known for being enemies of the U.S. is the very definition of foolishness. It is national suicide. And it will, very likely, lead to genocide in the Middle East when our weapons of mass destruction are used against the citizens of these countries.

    As others have pointed out, Christians are being martyred in the MIddle East. Islam has turned from being the Religion of Peace to being the religion of persecution, death, and destruction to Christians, women, children, and non-Muslims. Sharia law is cruel, inhumane, and bloodthirsty. If it takes hold (and it is, even in the U.S.), darkness will descend.

    So for the U.S. to arm up people in that region is sheer insanity. We must pray that our weapons are not used to kill Americans, Christians, and innocent citizens of Egypt.

    Steve is right, as he so often is: “There is coming a great period of world wide persecution of two groups of people, The Jew and the Christian.”

    I’ve never seen such anti-Semitism! I have friends (acquaintances, actually) who absolutely HATE the Jews. Well, they call it Zionism, and refer to the “bad” Jews as Zionists, but it’s really the same thing; anti-Zionists are anti-Semites because you cannot separate Zionists from Jews, the “good” Jews from the “bad” Jews. There is no line of demarcation, no proof one is one and the other is the other. So the rhetoric is a smokescreen, an obfuscation.

    Here’s the point: I’ve read all the anti-Semitic literature. I’ve heard people voice reasons why the Jews are behind all the evil in the world. And I can tell you, it’s all B.S.

    But that doesn’t stop the “anti-Zionists” from increasing in number.

    It also doesn’t stop Islam from stoning, whipping, maiming, and pouring acid on women, or taking child brides. It doesn’t stop the bombings. Or the tidal wave of Sharia law.

    The world is crazy. It truly is. We are watching it fall apart at an unprecedented rate. It is becoming more violent, more unglued, and more intolerant by the day, perhaps by the hour.

    What can we do about it? What can we do to help, to stem the tide, to be a haven for all who seek it?

    One thing we can do is quit arming our enemies with our own weapons!

  9. fadingman says:

    That phrase, “then they will know that I am the LORD (Yahweh)”, is interesting. God told Moses the Patriarchs didn’t know Him by that name (Exodus 6:3)). And yet, Abraham called on the name of Yahweh (Genesis 13:4).

    In one of my more recent read-throughs of the Bible, it occurred to me that when God said “then they will know…”, He wasn’t talking about knowing how His name is pronounced, but that they will know that He is a God who acts to keep His promises.

    Abraham was given promises that God would make a great nation of Him and all the nations of the world would be blessed through him. But he never saw those promises fulfilled (Hebrews 11:13). It wasn’t until God acted to save His people from Egypt that the people started seeing God fulfill what He said He would do… and thereby *know* the significance of His name. He is. Only a God who exists can keep His promises. The phrase “then they will know…” always appears in conjunction with something God will do or has done.

    The ancient Egyptians also came to know God through what He did (Exodus 14:4,18). Modern Egypt will also know God through the fulfillment of the Isaiah 19 prophecy. It will be interesting to see how this comes about (if we’re still around).

  10. poohpity says:

    I would suggest that what we can do Bill, is to pray and ask God to bless those who curse and destroy. That blessing is for them to know God. Trusting in God to do what needs to be done. Loving our enemies is how God seems to want us to act but Christians are so much more comfortable with hate and frankly there is no difference in us and those who call themselves radical Islamism’s. Hate is hate, is our hate any more justified than theirs because we feel our cause is good. If we feel our cause is good then we above everyone else will love and leave all the rest to God. Obviously if God gave prophesies to Isaiah and others then He alone knows what is going to happen and He will take care of it. What good is it to only love those who love us in return?

    If we hate what is evil then that part of ourselves we need to hate as well because it is in all human beings and God is the only One to bring about change when we try then our dependence is in humans which tend to mess things up pretty bad.

    Like fadingman said who knows if we will even be alive when all that is written comes into being but the legacy we leave behind will. Will we be known for the hate we feel or the trust we have in a God who has all things under control, the unseen. Our government is the seen but I know God even has that under control.

  11. Bill says:

    You’re absolutely right, Pooh. That’s my raison d’etre.

    To quote a sometimes unpopular author/pastor: “love wins.”

    Thanks for the reminder.

  12. His Sparrow says:

    We gave F-4Es in the late 70’s … Project “Peace Pharoah”

    Very sad.

    His Sparrow

  13. oneg2dblu says:

    Thank you all for the above posts.

    If any love truly wins out, it will be the love that God defines for us, not what any man defines for himself.

    For corrupted man is he who has many loves in his heart, including his love of evil things which rule over him.

    Things which he still loves regardless of all the warnings so clearly given to us by Almighty God in His word.

    You know the list…

    For one, the rich young ruler had a “love” for his many possessions that he would not give up.

    For many of us, the many loves of the flesh are beyond our ability, so God made lists of what things we should let go of and truly repent from.

    But man has found his own way of justifying them, through his wrongly motivated teachings and his false doctrine about our sin.

    Those are the very things that help us keep our sin comfortably around, so we will not ever let them go!

    Makes you wonder who is in control of your life now, and by who’s permission do you now sin?

    Egypt’s backstory is this, whenever Egypt is mentioned in the bible it is usually centered around sin, slavery, and the hell that man keeps himself in.

    But that is God’s opinion when He mentions Israel’s Egypt.

    I wonder what do you think your personal Egypt is today, or what is your backsliding story?

    Sin is always the answer, and repentance from it is your only way out, or you will continue to live in it.

    I do not believe Christ placed himself on that cross so you could live more comfortably in your backsliding sin.

    But, I do beleive there are many here who live comfortably in their sin now, I wonder why, or who taught you to do so.

    Was it really God, or was it a man?

    Just a thought… while you enjoy another Day in Egypt.

    Sorry for the wake up call! Gary

  14. Bill says:

    What are you talking about, Gary? And to whom? I’m not seeing the precedent for your comments in people’s posts today.

    This is a true statement: “If any love truly wins out, it will be the love that God defines for us, not what any man defines for himself.” And that seems to be the kind of love we’re all talking about.

    We have the greatest example of love the world has ever known: Jesus. If we follow His example, we will “win” even if we “lose” to the forces of darkness.

    But I’m not tracking with what else you’re saying. It seems obtuse.

    For example:

    “But, I do beleive there are many here who live comfortably in their sin now, I wonder why, or who taught you to do so.”

    By “here” do you mean the United States? Or do you mean “here” on Mart’s blog?

  15. oneg2dblu says:

    By here, I mean current events, what is happening in the world today, in the here and now, where we now live, what we worship with our many “other loves,” not our love for Christ, but our love of self and how we actually walk in our own choices, those choices that do not line up with the word of God.

    Those are the things that keep us all in our Egypt.

    Our unrepented sin is our current Egypt.

    Like Steve mentioned these signs should make us all aware of our neeed to be ready for Christ’s return.

    I can think of no better state to be found in, no matter where you live, than one of repentance rather than our walking in our repetitive unrepented sin.

    For it is that which we are currently enslaved to, that which currently oppresses us and the world, that which we if we walked following Christ as you stated, we would be able to overcome.

    But we walk our own way, don’t we?

    Claiming we serve only one master, but we do not tell the truth, “If” we are still walking in our own Egypt of backsliding behaviors which are flesh driven, even if we claim they are already forgiven, they still darken this world.

    The whole precedent to me, are the ills of this darkening world, which is walking in our Egypt if you will.

    God does control all things as Pooh has stated, but we still have been granted our free will, and that causes this world today much of its problems, because man’s choices are mostly his own, and not God’s.

    We may say we walk by faith and not by sight, but boy do we ever walk in our sin of unforgiveness and with our sinning eyes wide open.

    Or, is it just me who finds this just love all others concept great, but the application, impossible.


  16. Bill says:

    This was an interesting statement, Gary:

    “Or, is it just me who finds this just love all others concept great, but the application, impossible.”

    It’s not up to us to decide what’s possible or impossible. We were not given the options. We were commanded to love.

    I don’t usually go all Scripture Boy on everyone here because I believe we all know what the Bible says. But, in this case, I have to quote at length:

    “And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 ESV)

    “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”(John 13:34 ESV)

    “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12 ESV)

    “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8 ESV)

    “…and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you,” (1 Thessalonians 3:12 ESV)

    “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”(1 Peter 4:8 ESV)

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.” (Matthew 5:38-42 ESV)

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48 ESV)

    “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

    “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:27-36 ESV)

    Love isn’t an option. It is a commandment.

    So Pooh is correct. I am correct. All those who proclaim that “love wins” is correct.

    Does it “work” the way we feel it should? I don’t know. And it’s not for me to ask. Love is for me to do.

    This was another interesting statement:

    “God does control all things as Pooh has stated, but we still have been granted our free will, and that causes this world today much of its problems, because man’s choices are mostly his own, and not God’s.”

    Is God in control of all things? Or just some things? Some say that “all things” means all things — even our “free will” choices, which He surely knew beforehand that we would choose.

    Finally, you wrote this:

    “We may say we walk by faith and not by sight, but boy do we ever walk in our sin of unforgiveness and with our sinning eyes wide open.”

    You spend a great deal of time talking about sin and unforgiveness. My Bible tells me Jesus spent a great deal more time talking about how we are to love and get along with each other, how to benevolently treat the poor and downtrodden, to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to care for people.

    People already know they sin. They feel it. They see it with their own eyes. They’re racked by guilt from it.

    The GOOD NEWS is that Jesus came to relieve us of our sin, and to show us a more excellent way to live: by love.

    I don’t intend to spend my life browbeating people by constantly telling them they’re sinners. I intend to spend my life showing people how to love one another. That was the commandment I was given. That’s what I must do.

    Of course, your mileage may vary. You can live your Christian life as you see fit.

    And, it goes without saying that all of what I just wrote is merely my opinion. The Scriptures are not my opinion. But my interpretation of what they mean is my opinion. What they mean to you is up to you.


  17. oneg2dblu says:

    Bill… that was quite a treatise on the word love, or the results of a word seach, if you will. Thanks for sharing.
    But is it really our application, or just a bunch of word commands?
    Romans 12:9 “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil;
    cling to what is good.”
    I ask you this, is your neighbor good or evil?
    If you are to love your neighbor as yourself, which part of yourself would then apply?
    Like pooh has said, If we hate what is evil then part of ourselves we need to hate as well because it is in all human beings and God is the only one to bring about change when we try then our dependence is in himans which tend to call others arrogant and we mess things up.
    I may have gotten a few words mixed up there, but the message is quite clear, and a good one.

  18. oneg2dblu says:

    Love is the prescription which the Great Physician presents to us all, and the cure to all our ills, but if we only read the label, then we are not following his well laid out guidelines.
    If we don’t apply it to our lives, it is like paint in a bucket, useless until applied.
    If nothing changes, then what?
    If your neighbor already hates you, like Israel’s neighbors hate them, then what?

    Maybe if we share a biblical word search with them?

    When your enemy already sees you as being the great Satan, they are not planning a painting party when they are teaching and seeking for your annihilation, and not any type of reconciliation ever, certainly not through any biblical principals. Then what?

    Turning the cheek was not a show of any principal of love, although some do teach it that way today.

    It was done only to make your oppressor feel even more quilt. To strip him of his implied power of authority over you without hitting back, or lashing out with harsh words, like some of us do today.

    But it did show those Jews who were wrongly treated by the Roman soldiers, who when this new non violence was applied, was really in control.

    It would pour guilt over the oppressor and maybe cause them to feel like bullies. It was an unexpected reversal of power, if you will, that the weaker ones could use against their oppressor.

    Was that really applied love for your oppressor?

    No, but it was similar to Martin Luther King’s plan of power through non violence, and how it changed the entire course of a nation.

    Just a thought… Gary

  19. Bill says:

    Let me see if I understand this.

    You and your pastor are absolute experts on every jot and tittle of the Bible — expert enough to assure all of us that we’re hell-bound (or hopelessly riddled with sin) if we don’t believe every word you say — yet when the Bible commands you to love, you suddenly can’t comprehend either the meaning, or the application, of the word?

    Sin, you understand. The law, you get. Obedience, you betcha.

    But, love…?

    You philosophize, question, hypothesize…and seem to doubt the Bible really means what it clearly says it means.

    Why? What is it about love that you don’t like? Does it seem to closely aligned with grace, mercy, and forgiveness? Does it seem too easy to accept, like you believe we must work for God’s love…and we can only give it to those who we deem deserve it?

    Please tell us. What is it you don’t like about love?

  20. SFDBWV says:

    In this weeks news was the story of Israel striking at a convoy of armament headed for Lebanon and her Hezbollah enemies inside the borders of Syria. Straight up Iran said Israel and her allies would regret its actions.

    Twenty years ago Israel bombed Iran’s nuclear power plant in order to stop it from producing an atomic weapon. Of course Iran lied to the world community saying they had no intentions of producing weapons grade plutonium and the world condemned Israel for her actions.

    Iran has since worked on creating an atomic weapon and makes no excuses for saying it intends on using it against Israel.

    Egyptian President Mursi has called Jews, apes, pigs and worse as he and his religion of hate gather their dark forces together in an attempt to rid their world of their neighbor, Israel.

    The Christian nations of the west are all that has stood in the way of Islam’s desires to bring about a modern holocaust and the extinction of the nation and people of Israel.

    So if God is for Israel and for Christian peoples everywhere, why are these ministers of hate and every good thing, appearing to increase and continue to be an anti force in the world?

    Rome would have killed them into extinction, but we live in a time where the strong ally themselves with the week, a time, if you will borrow from the Prophesy of Daniel, of the feet of the mixture of iron and clay.

    A time clearly spelled out in Scripture and especially in the Minor Prophets.

    No other time in history since Rome destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem and scattered the Jew throughout the world are the players in position for the coming great Tribulation.

    As stated by Swwagner, the re establishment of the nation of Israel should be the most startling wake up call for all readers and believers of Bible prophesy, because it put a real nation in place for the events of end time prophesy to unfold.

    What does all of this mean for we Christians not just in the west, but all over the globe?

    More later.


  21. swwagner says:

    Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!

  22. SFDBWV says:

    Jesus scolded the Sadducees for their ignorance of Scripture and not knowing the power of God (Matthew 22:29).

    Jesus devotes a great deal of Scripture in Matthew 24 to outlining the coming events that precede His return.

    Paul gives a long discourse in 1 Corinthians 15 explaining even though death occurs now, there is a future time coming when it will have no power, and in 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52 a mystery is explained.

    1 Thessalonians 4:13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 truth is exposed. 2 Peter 3 gives further instruction as to the return of Jesus and in Revelation 3:3 Jesus says in part for us to hold fast to what we have heard and know and keep a look out for His return.

    In Romans 11:25 we are told when Jesus will open the eyes of Israel and His return be imminent.

    We as Christians are not given all this information in order to prevent it from happening or to expedite its coming, no we are given this information so we are prepared mentally and spiritually when these things do occur. We are not to be discouraged or afraid, rather we see it for what it is, God’s will.

    God has not left us to be ignorant, but rather well informed of the coming events that will shake the world to its foundation.

    Our Good Father has seen after our needs, and we can take comfort in knowing what the future has in store for the world around us, including Egypt, Israel and *Assyria*.

    More later.


  23. BruceC says:

    As others here have stated; it seems that evil is in control and the unbelieving world is reeling to and fro looking for worldly answers for a spiritual problem. A “problem” that has been already worked out by God in His eternal mind and power that has to unfold before many see the results. But in the Lord’s mind it is “finished” already.
    And we as followers of our Lord Jesus Christ already know the final outcome because of the Word of God. Look at Ezekiel 38 and 39 and we see the names of many nations as they are today. We see a world looking for a person to show leadership; just as Germany did prior to WWII. And we all know where that led.
    The world is about to witness a great a great and tragic event unlike any in the history of man apart from the great flood. Except that this time the ark is a Person; the Son of God. We, and our brothers and sisters in Christ, may ride on rough waters ahead; but we are safe in His arms and He will land us upon the New Heaven and New Narth in an eternity spent with Him. His blood has been sprinkled on our doorpost and the power of the Holy Spirit has parted the Red Sea. We have crossed over from the Egypt of unbelief and have been tried in the desert. And soon we shall enter that Promised Land!!
    I no longer look at the news hoping for any nation to do what is “right”. I am only reminded that it is in His hands. That we are to do as He commands and get His Gospel out, pray, give, and speak hope to all.

    “Trust and obey”

    Soli Deo Gloria

  24. BruceC says:

    This new PC and Win 8 is still making my teeth grit a little(actually more than a little LOL) My PC man installed a program like MS Word and I have to get used to that also; so forgive me for any weird errors in the coming days. (Actually more like weeks and months! LOL!)

    God Bless All!

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  25. poohpity says:

    I am comforted by the knowing that God knew what was going to happen in the future and thought enough of us to give us a glimpse. I find peace and comfort in that. God told us the beginning of the story, the things that would happen during the story and the end of the story all contained in one book. For a good reason the details and times are hidden. The things that He felt we needed to know He shared enough that we could grow in our knowledge, dependence and confident trust in Him so that no matter the circumstance of everyday life we had something so very BIG to hold on to.

    God is bigger than authorities, governments, rulers, powers in this world and the world to come. He is bigger than hate, evil, fear, anger and human beings. His power to me is above my comprehension and obviously even though those who were freed from Egyptian oppression saw God’s power still refused to allow something they could not see be their King. It is hard for me to wrap my mind around something I can not see either but that is where faith comes in. Eph 1:17-21 NLT

  26. poohpity says:

    If God said that Iraq, Egypt and Israel are going to be allies then it will happen and if God tells us that love, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness will overcome hate, evil, anger and malice then I believe that to. Even though some have trouble and think that means they are cowards to live lives that display those things they do not know my Jesus. Who never needed to show how strong He was physically to prove any point but did show how love conquers all.

  27. oneg2dblu says:

    Bill… your demeaning opening statement is all just your opinion.
    I am not bound by my pastor’s thinking, unless it aligns with God’s word.
    That unkind expression of absurdity you have imparted with your learned hypothesis fails to define my thinking.
    So to that bunch of frusrated humanism, I’ll just allow you your venting, and take a pass.

    Now, I’ll venture back and see if you have any real contribution to make…

    What don’t I like about love?
    Who cares?
    Oh yeah, God cares…
    What I don’t like about love is this, man’s has corrupted thinking, he thinks what he has found in his own thoughts, opinions and self-desires, is love.
    He thinks that the love God is speaking about is being the same as he feels, the emotional side of desires.
    Just like all religions don’t lead to the finding of the One true God, all the loves of man don’t find God’s way of true love either.
    If they did there would not be the defiled loves of man, like same sex, because what God says is righteous, is righteous, and what God finds detestable, is detestable,and that destable thing is not now being accepted by higher thinking man.
    Only man changes his thoughts and laws to suit his needs.
    The only love that a man can produce that way, is corrupted love, and the only love God can produce is incorruptable, but thinking man has another plan and changes God’s word to fit his needs, desires, passions, and opinions.
    That is the type of love I detest as well, it is evil, because God says it is, and I am to hate evil.
    Man just can’t have his love any way he wants and still think he pleases God.

    Of course, that is only an opinion about how God defines what is right and what is wrong through the reading his word, it is not about this love thing as man now defines it though.
    I see that love has guidelines as well, but I’m sure you have a better version that fits your more modern thinking and well formed opinion.
    I am talking only about love here, not people. I’m talking about which spirit is being served when we choose love, not which person is loving or non-loving.
    I’m speaking of the new tolerance of intolerance, or now how tolerance now defines what love is.
    The real question is how long will God tolerate man always finding his needs come first?
    I do not support gay love in any form, no matter how mankind tries to clean it up and make it look right.
    This to me, is not really the love God wants for us.
    “You asked, I answered!”

  28. oneg2dblu says:

    Bruce… wise words, this not looking to any nation to do what is right.
    Nations built by human hands, are bound by human hands.
    Only those who are built up by the Spirit, have the power of that Spirit, and in that lies all the love and power of God.

    Steve… greast word about our need for repentance as our not knowing state of affairs comes quickly.

    Pooh… thanks for keeping the real love, your first love.
    Come Jesus! Gary

  29. SFDBWV says:

    In church theology there are two very separate schools of thought concerning the “Rapture*; those who believe and those who don’t. Even among those who do, there is a division of believing when.

    Pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation and post-tribulation.

    If you are among the pre-tribulation believers then you expect that there is a point in the future whereby all Christians dead and alive are suddenly taken up into heaven to be with Christ forever. For most Revelation 4:1 is this time when it happens, all of the process then of the tribulation occurrences follow, just as it does in the Book of Revelation.

    If you are among the mid-tribulation believers, then you believe that this *rapture* occurs when the anti-christ stands in the holy place and proclaims himself to be God; as told by Jesus in reference to the Prophet Daniel (Matthew 24:15). Because the first 3 ½ years of anti-christ are when everything turns from peace to war and tribulation.

    If you believe that the rapture occurs at the end of tribulation as transcribed in revelation 20:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 then you also believe that you must endure the 7 years of tribulation that God has prepared for the earth and its inhabitants.

    I personally have a problem with the post-tribulation concept, for several reasons, but 1 Thessalonians 5:9 clearly says we are to escape wrath and the tribulation period is the “great day of His wrath” (Revelation 6:17).

    Also if you believe that there is either no rapture or that the rapture only occurs at the end of tribulation then you must also believe that somehow we are to prepare for surviving it or die as martyrs during it. Certainly there are many who will die during it for Christ, but there are also no instructions for the Church during it as well.

    Mid- tribulation is a possibility and one I can’t rule out totally, but I believe in the pre-tribulation concept mostly because the church is not mentioned in Scripture again after Revelation 3:22 and in Revelation 4:1 a door is opened in heaven and a voice as it were a trumpet says “come up hither”. I believe this to be the *rapture*.

    I will continue tomorrow, after that is, I deal with the snow that is coming down now and overnight tonight.


  30. kingdomkid7 says:

    Eschatology can be difficult for some of us. I’ve studied it and still I struggle, probably because it is simply one of those areas where you know that different views are reasonable. We cannot be certain of exactly how these end time events will play themselves out. Though we do not know exactly, we can still trust God in the outworking as in all things. Nice rendering of the three most common views though, Steve. I’m probably not the only one who appreciates that.

  31. swwagner says:

    I always enjoy a lively discussion about world events and the Bible…and this has certainly been one. Jesus wanted the disciples to feel and touch Him and His wounds after He rose from the dead. He invites us to examine Him and His word today. He is a familiar, approachable Savior that evokes tender friendship but also holy awe and reverence. We are sitting excitedly and nervously on the edges of our seats as many of the pieces of the book of Revelations are falling into place in our lifetime. Yet, we don’t see it all…perhaps because God is protecting our minds and emotions from the full scope of all that is to come. John, on the Isle of Patmos, was a worthy instrument to give us a snapshot of the end times…but even he could not convey all that he saw and heard in a way that we totally understand. There are so many opinions and possibilities that it is easy to get caught up in argument for the sake of argument.

    Like many have stated, God is the ultimate authority of how life on this planet will play out. We are well advised to leave it in His hands and not fret or squabble about it. At times, instead of focusing on Christ with all of our writing and discussing, our egos get in the way. We want our own analysis to be heard as if to prove our knowledge or to have the last word. Let us remember that Christ is known as “Word” in the beginning lines of the New Testament. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He will have the last word. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is the one and only Almighty God!

  32. poohpity says:

    I agree swwagner. There are so many holes in what will one day happen and many have opinions, conclusions and guesses none have much merit. Most of the prophesies we see in hindsight and it seems since Jesus left this earth we are in the last days. What we do with each day seems more important than knowing the future I think that is why we are taught to keep our lamps filled with oil. Concentration on the future events has lead to many, many false teachings and deaths by those who want others to focus on what no one knows for sure but they sure convinced folks they knew more than what is said in scripture by filling in the blanks with their own thoughts and there are still many who prey on folks leading them to believe they know more than they really know. They are predators in my opinion and must be kept away from those who are desperate for healing in their lives so they have them focus on the future so people will trust them.

  33. foreverblessed says:

    I agree Pooh, what Jesus wanted to tell us is to go into the nations and make disciples. It is Jesus’ who wants many to be saved. I pray I have His mind: I think He is busy saving people. I was in a church once, which was preoccupied with prophecy, and in hindsight I believe it was out of focus. Not walking around the earth, seeking for those who are lost, those who have questions about their lives, who do not know anymore how to live.

  34. BruceC says:

    Ah, it is true that studying just prophecy may deter us from His work. But the reading and studying of it can also spur us on to accomplish His work. Maybe balance is the word I am describing. All Scripture is good for us to read and study as itself tells us. And in some ways prophecy can be used as a too to show others the Messiah. The problem is making prophecy fit the news. When prophecy is fulfilled, the news will “fit’ the prophecy.
    IMHO when I see the world economic crisis I see the potential for the unbelieving world to support a leader that seems to have answers and makes things “work”. Just like Hitler. History is still a great teacher.
    I heard it said once that the best way to squeeze the population is through their pocketbooks. In this fallen world all one has to do is look at our present situation to realize that most people “have their price”. Ever notice how2 often our Lord used money in His teachings? He was showing people their heart and what was in it; like the rich young ruler. Is our world not becoming full of “lovers of themselves”?
    Pray that we reach as many as possible before The Day.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  35. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All –

    Mart, you wrote:
    “On closer look it becomes apparent that Matthew, along with other New Testament writers, and, most importantly, Jesus himself, give us a way of seeing Israel’s whole Exodus born history, worship, and purpose as being fulfilled in Jesus, the Son of God.”

    I personally do not hold any view of the tribulation. For Egypt, the tribulation is definitely “pre-rapture.” They are surely making a painful and confusing Exodus before the eyes of the world. As the apostle Paul was moving on past this life and into the next, he gave good advice to his young disciple:

    “Here’s a word you can take to heart and depend on: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. I’m proof—Public Sinner Number One—of someone who could never have made it apart from sheer mercy. And now he shows me off—evidence of his endless patience—to those who are right on the edge of trusting him forever.

    Deep honor and bright glory
    to the King of All Time—
    One God, Immortal, Invisible,
    ever and always. Oh, yes!

    I’m passing this work on to you, my son Timothy. The prophetic word that was directed to you prepared us for this. All those prayers are coming together now so you will do this well, fearless in your struggle, keeping a firm grip on your faith and on yourself. After all, this is a fight we’re in.” 1 Timothy 1:15-19


  36. remarutho says:

    My Scripture citation is from The Message, Eugene Peterson’s contemporary translation. Maru

  37. SFDBWV says:

    Isaiah 19:21, 22, 23 that Mart mentions is about the future world *after* the return of Jesus. Egypt and Israel and her neighbors are shown to be united under a common God and a common king.

    Looking at today’s headlines that seems impossible, but this is where all of the earth is headed to a blissful existence for 1,000 years.

    The future that the Prophets and that Jesus has explained is both horrible and wonderful. The Bible prepares us to not be alarmed when these horrible events come because there is a more wonderful end to these events.

    Jesus tried to prepare the Disciples for what was going to happen to Him, but they just either ignored His explanation or didn’t understand it, but when it happened and after the resurrection they began to understand what He had been trying to tell them ahead of its happening.

    We modern disciples have a Helper in the Person of the Holy Spirit to enable us to understand.

    We also have the job of informing the entire lost world of what we know, of how to obtain salvation of what to expect as the future events of the story unfold.

    We already know who the bad guys are in this future story, all who are against Jesus and the Jew. Thus the followers of Jesus and the Jew are the targets for being hated by the people of this world who reject God of the Bible for a false god and a false religion or no god and no religion at all.

    Here is the rub; the end may be near, but how do we as Christians both confront and offer Jesus to the enemies of both Him and us?

    We should morn for the events in Egypt as door after door is being closed for Christianity to be preached in these Islamic strongholds.

    Jesus wants us to love our enemies and there are some whom I personally know whom God has given a special love for the lost souls held in bondage in these Islamic countries where converting to Christianity is a sentence of death, and death how, by being beheaded. Look at Revelation and see what happens to those who do not accept the mark of the beast.

    If you were to go to most any of these Islamic countries you would find people to be just like you and I and you would make friends with them right away. The dividing line comes with our being Christian and attempting to evangelize them.

    God has always used Egypt for His purposes with Israel and so even in the future world Egypt has a place of distinction,

    As we grunt and groan over our national politics, remember where the world is headed and know that God is exacting His will in every area of it. In the end it will be Israel against the world and God will stand up for Israel and all the world will see it and know that there is a God and that He is the protector of Israel and no other.

    What changes will occur here in my own beloved country to make it join the world community in its anger toward Israel? I think I see it every day in the news and in our policies as we abandon God and especially Jesus for a place along side the accepted *cool* attitude of being like other countries. This is where we are headed and nothing will stop it.

    If time is short, then we must do all we can to evangelize all unbelievers everywhere, because if there is a rapture we will all be gone and the world lost to itself. But God has a plan of sending the newly baptized Israelis to be His witness as it all comes to an end and we return with Jesus as His cloud of witness.


  38. poohpity says:

    It seems the more Christianity is oppressed the more it grows. Nothing will hold it down because nothing could hold our Savior down not even death. We can either be part of showing Jesus to others by our acts of love, not anger, hatred and malice and tell them that Jesus came to save the world not to condemn it. How many will be in heaven because the Lord brought them to us to tell? The future is in God’s hands and we have nothing to worry about nor do we need to know more than what we are told. I guess it all boils down to a matter of trust and dependence and if we do not have those then we may be overly concerned with future events.

    If our here and now is hard to deal with and there is no peace then how will one deal with the future?

  39. poohpity says:

    I thought even after the rapture God will still have some who are left that will turn to the Lord during the tribulation. We may be ruptured but God never leaves. So will the world be lost to itself?

  40. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… prayers for your upcoming operation, that you will have peace through it all, and that it brings into your life all that it is to accomplish and more. Gary

  41. poohpity says:

    Thank you Gary, I am feeling a bit anxious to say the lest. The person who was going to help care for me after I get home and take care of my animals while I am in was put in the hospital on Friday with pneumonia and fluid retention from a failing liver. My son’s employer said he will let him off work to care for me but then I wonder how he will make his rent. So lots going on with not a lot of answers at this point but I will fill you in on how the Lord provides. Right now my gut is all twisted around in anxiety. God is so much bigger than all this I just need to let go and put it in His capable hands.

  42. poohpity says:

    I was thinking that because of all that is happening if I maybe should put this off for another time or is it just fear talking. I usually have all the ducks in a row before I go in for surgery but this time many things are just out of whack and does that mean not to have the surgery? I really need some of God’s wisdom!!!

  43. billystan says:

    Sorry I have not posted in a while but life has gotten extremely busy as of late. I will return next week. Please pray for my health, last week my doctor told me that my hepatitus-c has returned, I must decide if I am willing to go through the treatments again. As a result of my drug and alcohol addiction, I still have this disease even after 25 years of sobriety.

  44. Bill says:

    Hi billystan,

    That sucks. I’m very sorry to hear about the return of Hepititus-C.

    What is your alternative to treatments? And what is the prognosis if you undergo treatment again?

    Obviously, we hope you have a full recovery. Please keep up posted.


  45. poohpity says:

    billystan, I had it too! I found out after 10 years of sobriety. The treatment is horrible and I will lift you up in prayers that is what my friend is in the hospital with the last stages of the effects of the disease. Liver failure and the liver is leaking into the abdominal cavity and after draining it a week ago has now developed a staph infection. Many people have hep C and do not even know it from blood transfusions or other hospital things from many years ago before they were aware of how it was transferred. I can sure empathize about the treatment. :-( James 5:14-15 NLT

  46. Bill says:

    By the way, the conversations about the End Times and the various tribulation views came up just last week on Facebook. Somebody posted a video and wrote this description:

    “Thank you Pastor … for this very well done documentary that exposes the Pre-Trib Rapture Fraud… Every Christian should watch this and especially those who think they are going to escape what is coming.”

    I can’t think of anything less worth splitting the Body over than tribulation theories. It makes no sense to call one view “fraud.” There’s no fraud involved. There are intelligent, Bible-believing, well-meaning people on all three sides of the Trib issue, with sufficient proof from the scriptures to support.

    As the seminary joke goes, I’m a Pan-Millennialist. I think everything will pan out in the end.

  47. phpatato says:


    On the eve of your surgery, Please know that I will be keeping you in my prayers. I’m trusting God for all your needs to be supplied! Lean on Him. He will see you through this. Wish I lived closer to help out.


  48. Mart De Haan says:

    Deb, and Billystan, you will be in our thoughts and prayers… as I will try to put up a new post a bit later this a.m.

  49. BruceC says:

    I will hold both of you up in prayer! May the Lord’s hand be upon you both and may you be assured of His presence. And may the Holy Spirit drive away any doubts that the enemy may use.

    I would also ask all here to pray for the 19 yr. old daughter of one of our church families. She is attending college in Georgia and has been diagnosed with liver cancer. She will be having surgery in Michigan in the upcoming weeks.

    As believers we are not immune to sorrow or difficulty. But with Christ we can look through the faces of both, into His face and see our hope for all things. The unbeliever looks through the face of sorrow, only to experience it for all eternity if they do repent and trust Christ. And that is the greatest healing we need to pray for.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

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