Ezekiel 38 Invasion of Israel and Earthquake May Occur very Soon—in our Lifetime

Originally posted on Studying Bible Prophecy:

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The Invasion

The leader nation which will invade Israel will be Gog, which many scholars believe to be modern day Russia.  The other nations will be Gog’s allies—Persia, Libya, Gomer (Turkey), Ethiopia, and Togarmah, all of which are Arab Muslim countries, haters of Israel (vv. 1-17).

Ezek 38:1-16

And the word of the Lord came to me saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him 3 and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. 4 “I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them splendidly attired, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them wielding swords; 5 Persia, Ethiopia…

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5 Reasons Why We Need Prayer Power — from Matthew 6:9-13

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There must be thousands of reasons why we need prayer power.  I think Jesus has summed them all up for us in Matthew 6:9-13.

1.  We need prayer power to pray (v. 9). When Jesus told His disciples, “In this manner, therefore pray: Our Father in heaven…” He assumed that they already wanted to pray, that they had a great desire to pray. And they did.  God was working in them the desire and the power to pray.  But so often we don’t have the desire to pray.  This I think is the greatest failure in prayer.  We just don’t want to pray.  And so we don’t.  The first kind of power we need is the power to get ourselves to prayer, the power to love and desire prayer.

 2.  We need prayer power to do God’s work (v. 10). The work of God’s kingdom is both the work of prayer and the “hands on” work of ministry—that is, the work of bringing others to Christ and caring for them and helping them grow in Christ. In order to pray with a true heart, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” and likewise to actually be involved with doing that work, we need the power of prayer working for us. Anytime we set out to do His work, the devil and his followers will always come against us and try to stop us.  This makes the work extremely hard, quite impossible without His help.  But with His help through prayer all things are possible.

 3.  We need prayer power to receive daily provisions (v. 11). It doesn’t take much power to merely receive from God our daily bread. The power we need is in the attitude of our receiving it. We need His power to be dependent on Him and to receive everything with humility.  We also need His power to be thankful—to pray and receive His gifts with thanksgiving.

 4.  We need prayer power to maintain loving and forgiving relationships (v. 12). It’s easy to hold a grudge against someone that has wronged you. It’s hard to forgive them and show love to them. This is why we need a special prayer power from God.  He will give you that power if you humble yourself before Him and ask Him for it, saying, “Lord, I have no strength in me to forgive this person.  Show me how to forgive him as You forgave me.”

By this humble prayer God will give you the power to forgive the one who has offended you.  But more than that, when we forgive our debtors He forgives us of our debt of sin to Him.  This restored fellowship we have with the Lord makes prayer possible.  In fact, when we are faithful to always forgive our offenders, so as to stay in fellowship with God, He will make our prayers effective and powerful for every need of life.

 5.  We need prayer power to overcome evil (v. 13). Make no mistake about it, the devil is strong and powerful and he may cause you much pain and suffering. And if you are not on your guard he will deceive you, lead you astray, entice you to sin, put you in bondage, and even destroy you. Therefore, we need God’s power to help us in temptations and to give us victory.  God will help us if we put our trust in Him.  Moreover, He will give us great prayer power over the enemy if we resist him and stand firm in our faith (1 Pt. 5:7-9).

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Is it prideful to tell people about your holy habits?

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I don’t make it a practice to tell people about my habits of bible reading and prayer.  But today in a church class we were to share what habits we have.  My first thought was to share about my morning habits of prayer and bible reading.  But I also have other habits; I could have shared about those habits.  I didn’t want to appear super holy, but then I thought that it may be good to encourage people.  Well, as it turned out, after I did in fact share my holy habits I felt that maybe I was being proud. I keep telling myself that I was just being truthful—sharing my life. But yet the way I feel now, I wonder if I did the right thing.  I feel I was being genuine in what I shared, but yet why do I now feel that maybe people are thinking of me as being prideful. And I have this question about myself: am I prideful?   I don’t want to hide my holy habits as to be ashamed of what I do, but yet I don’t what to exalt myself as to appear super spiritual.  What is the answer?

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Nehemiah Asked God to be Attentive to His Prayer — Nehemiah 1:5-11

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Nehemiah was the king’s cupbearer.  And since he was always busy serving the king, he had little contact with or news of his people in Israel.  But one day he saw one of his brethren who had come with men from Judah, and he told him the bad news—that his people who were in Jerusalem were in great distress and that the walls of the city were broken down.   Nehemiah was greatly disturbed over the news, and he sat down and wept and mourned for many days, fasting and praying before God.

Nehemiah 1:5-11

And I said: “I pray, Lord God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, 6 please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned. 7 We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. 8 Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations;  9 but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.’  10 Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand. 11 O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.”

NKJV

Notice that in his prayer he asked God to be attentive to hear him pray day and night, and to notice that he was confessing all the sins of Israel (and he included himself among the sinners).  He asked God to remember His covenant with Israel—that if they return to Him and keep His commandments He would gather them together and bring them home (to the land of Israel).  Last, He prayed that God would make him prosper and grant him mercy.  For his heart was to go and help the people rebuild the city walls and that the king would give him permission.

Well, as we will see in Nehemiah’s next prayer, the king did indeed grant him permission.

 

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Branch: A Title of the Messiah — Described in 3 Ways

Originally posted on Studying Bible Prophecy:

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In my study I have come up with eight titles and descriptions of Christ, which will be used in the millennial kingdom that depicts His deity.  In this post we will look at the title simply called Branch.

 

This title may seem odd, however, it gives us a vivid picture of His origin, His humble life, and His glory. First of all then, in this picture we see that God has caused His human life to spring forth from the roots and stem of Jesse and David.  And because He is descended from them, this is a validation to us that He is the Messiah; so He is called “a righteous Branch of David.”

Jeremiah 33:14-15

‘ Behold, days are coming,’ declares the Lord,’ when I will fulfill the good word which I have spoken concerning the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15 ‘In…

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Christian’s Who Suffer Will Receive a Glorified Joy — from 1 Peter 1:6-8

Originally posted on Studying Bible Prophecy:

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Though we may feel sorry for the many Christians that suffer persecution and martyrdom, we should be aware that God is bringing them great joy. In 1 Peter 1:6-8, Peter reminds his people that their pain is necessary in order to test the genuineness of their faith.  The result of their test will be revealed when He appears, and then they will receive much praise and honor.  But even before He comes, the testing (the painful trials) which comes to them will allow them to taste a bit of glory.  It is described in verse eight, literally, as a glorified joy.  Oh yes, do not feel too sorry for those who suffer for their faith.  God will indeed bring them much joy—a glorified joy.

1 Peter 1:6-8

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials…

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Establishing Priorities in Prayer: 3 Scripture Passages

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God has established priorities for everything we do in life, including prayer.  When we pray, God’s will and work always takes precedence over our own personal needs.  Thus before we begin praying for our own needs, or for another’s, we should always remember to consider what His will is and to pray concerning that will.  We ought, right from the start of our prayers, to fix His will in our mind and determine that it is to be the ruling force and the essence of our prayers.

This priority of prayer has been well established for us throughout the scriptures.  We will consider three sources:

 From Matthew 6:9-13. When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, of the six model requests, the first three are directed toward God and His purposes, leaving the last three for man and his purposes. From this prayer we clearly see that Jesus wanted us to learn that the things of God (His name, His kingdom, and His will), always come first before our own needs (our daily bread, our forgiveness, and our guidance). This does not mean of course that God is not concerned about our needs.  He is concerned.  But He wants us to know that His will must come first; and when we pray that way prayer for our own needs will be more heavenly focused, more in line with His will, and therefore will bring us better results.

From Matthew 6:25-33. These verses explain to us that we should not worry about our personal needs, such as food and drink and clothing, because God knows that we need these things. But if we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, He will supply us with all those things. Prayer is so often filled with worry.  We worry about all our needs and so we pray.  And the more we pray the more we think about our needs, and so we worry even more.  We ought not to pray that way.  Instead we should pray first for God’s will to be done and for His righteousness to fill the earth.  When we pray this way we train our mind and heart how to pray for other things—so that instead of worrying about those things we trust Him to supply those things.

From Mark 12:29-30. The greatest and most important commandment is that there is only one God and we are to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. This principle should rule our prayers—that whatever we pray for we should do it out of love for God. Likewise, our prayers should be with great earnestness and strength because of the great love we have for Him.

Before we pray, I suggest we concentrate on who we are praying to; and then begin praying by expressing to Him how much we love Him.  This practice I think will help the quality and the effectiveness of your prayers.  It will fill your prayers with love for God, and will also take you to the next level—to love your neighbor as yourself and to pray for your neighbor as you pray for yourself.

 

This is the second of my Twenty Principles of Prayer.

 

 

 

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