Saturday, May 20, 2017

My heart to yours; Be encouraged!

Dear friends and readers,

Recently I have published some pretty heavy duty articles and have several more in the hopper for publication.  Today however, I just want to speak from my heart to yours.  But first, thank you so much for your support and encouragement.  We are pleased to report readers in 36 countries and growing.   Please do take time to look on the right side margin of this blog and sign up under "followers".  In so doing you will help me get the word of God out to a far greater audience.  Also please take time to send links for my articles to your friends and relatives.  Thank you and God bless.

It strikes me that almost all the news we read about and hear on T.V. these days is bad.  There is so much negative stuff floating around that it is easy to become discouraged.  Fires, floods, earthquakes galore.  Mass killings, terrorist attacks, stolen children, martyrs in many nations and do we even want to think about political snipping and power struggles on every front?



I've got a lot more years on this old hide than many of you and while there have always been problems in the world, it seems to me things are definitely moving now at break neck speeds.  I remember very many years ago when I first began teaching publicly about Biblically prophetic events.  I knew all this end times stuff would eventually happen but to actually see and experience it now is kind of mind boggling.

I myself have had to remind myself that there are still some very good things happening in this world, some really great people, and above all, as a Christian, I am not alone.

Setting aside the complete depravity of many of our fellow humans, there is a lot to be thankful for.  First and foremost of course is our salvation and a great future for all of eternity that was given to us as a free gift, paid for in full by someone who loved us before we were even born.   I could quote all kinds of scripture here but that really would be like preaching to the choir.  The point is that we serve a God who has all the answers and nothing that will happen to us or this planet in the future is a surprise to Him.



It seems to me that every time Christmas roles around, out come the "He is the reason for the season" signs.  What a great thought and also true.  But, what if we were to invoke that thought throughout each and every season of the year regardless of what is happening around us?  What if we took the time each and every day to look around at---stuff?  Stuff that God created?

I like to get out often and ride my quad.  My sweet wife has one also and it is so refreshing to get away from the computer, cell phones, Face Book and Twitter.  It's nice to ride a country lane and say hi to some cows.  Did you know that they listen?  Probably don't have a clue what you are saying but even cows like some attention.  Have to ever eaten a mouthful of alfalfa and then watched as a horse smells your breath?  You will become a friend in seconds.  They put that big ole head right on your shoulder and "snicker" at you.  In fact over the years some of my best friends have been horses and dawgs.  But then I am country through and through and proud of it.



I have lived in cities and I know some folks like that kind of environment but it's just not my cup of tea.  Too much traffic, teeny little yards, malls galore and seldom do folks actually know their neighbors.  Wow, in my mind neighbors should look after one another.

I remember when kids in neighborhoods were kind of every ones responsibility and woe be it to anyone doing them harm.  But, even if you are a city fella, country gal, mountain man or flat lander, God's creation is all around us.  Waiting each and everyday to be re-discovered.  I wonder how many gorgeous flowers come and go without ever being noticed by mankind?

A couple of years ago some friends went with me to the back country.  Like as in NO HUMAN BEINGS within 50 miles in any direction.  We packed in on our quads and ate in the desert, on the beaches, slept under the stars and talked.  What a concept, no cell phones, just talked to each other or were quiet for hours on end and happy being so.  The desert was absolutely beautiful.  By the way, who ever decided that a weed was a weed?  I have some weeds growing in my back yard right now who's flowers are more beautiful and more hardy than those I spent big bucks for at the nursery.



Have you ever just decided to disconnect for a few hours?  No devices, No television, No man made sound?  Just sit quietly, wherever you may reside and just let your mind wonder about the glories that God has blessed us with?  Felt the fresh wind on your face, the refreshment of a little rain fall, the sound of birds just being.

Or how about a cup of coffee or tea on the patio with a loved one.  No need to talk, just enjoy.  A good ole dawg chasing a tennis ball, your child on a bike---just being a kid and loving it.

Last week I heard someone say my home country was "POST CHRISTIAN"!  Balogna, out there in the highways and byways are gazillions of great little churches and pastors teaching their hearts out.  Great folks who do understand where their blessings come from.  You know my birthday was last week and some one asked me how old I am.  I said, I am 73 and nine months old today.  The person asking was a Christian and looked at me like "a calf at a new gate".  What do you mean, "and nine months"?



I said, well think about it, I came from my mothers womb 73 years ago but God gave me life and a soul 9 months before that.  What a thought.  And the great thing is that my life (and yours by the way) will never ever end.  The only question is where we will spend it?

What if we took time out each day and thought about that?  When is the last time you turned off the T.V and just went outside and gazed at the stars?  What a fantastic creation there is around us.



My son is 23 years old, 32 inches tall, 33 pounds and can neither speak nor walk.  Past our salvation, he is the greatest gift God could have given to my wife Brandy and I.  Do you know what Santiago loves to do best?  Go outside each evening and look at the moon.  It's his moon, created just for him. And simple as he is in his thinking, he understands that.  Ah, to live in his world?



Friends, no matter how bad it gets in this world, for believers, there is a far far better one just around the corner.   Life is so short but it can be enjoyed when were look at the simple things most folks have long since lost track of.

I am thankful to my God, for my family and my friends, for life in general and for so many little things that God has provided for me.  How about you?

"And lo, I am with you, always, even to the end of the age"  Amen.

Have a great day in Jesus and be encouraged
Pastor Rance.

P.S. What would happen if the next time we were about to say something negative about another person, we did NOT do that?  What if we looked hard for the smallest spot of gold in that person and concentrated on that?





Thursday, May 11, 2017

North Korea And The End Times, Part 2

Dear friends and readers,

This is part 2 of last week's article regarding North Korea and whether or not problems in that part of the world could become a springboard for end times Biblical events.

Part 1 was dedicated to North Korea in a historical context.  This week I would like to discuss the possibilities of near future events becoming so catastrophic in nature, that war could break out in the Far East once again.  As always, I report and you decide.  But there is a huge caution here;  NO ONE knows exactly how future Biblical prophecy will play out.  Accordingly, I will present possibilities as I see them, but I will not participate in dogmatism and I sincerely encourage you not to either. :-)

As discussed in many of my articles, it is clear that our Lord believes we (as his followers) should be able to discern the "signs of the times"  (Matthew 24: 3-31).  Ecclesiastes 2:14  says "The wise man walks in light and sees where he is going.  The fool walks in darkness...".  Amos 3:7  says "Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets".



We closed last weeks article with three thought provoking questions so that is where I will pick up the  dialogue  today.

Provocative question #1).  Is there a reason to believe North Korea could ignite a war that would spread worldwide?  And the answer is, YES, that is conceivable but personally I think it unlikely.  However irrespective of my personal opinion, let's take a realistic look at the current ground game.

As stated last week, the war between North and South Korea never ended.  It merely became dormant through an agreement to cease fire. There has never been a single day in the past roughly 65 years that the smallest political match was not capable of igniting another shooting war.  If that happened, China and Russia would likely be pulled into the conflict on the side of North Korea and the United States, the United Nations and possibly the entire NATO alliance  could become swept up on the side of South Korea in something that could indeed spread worldwide.

Here is the problem;  The last Korean war was fought with conventional weapons.  This time around it is verified that North Korea has in fact developed nuclear weapons capabilities which is something unthinkable to many nations of the world.  As leader of the "free world" the United States is taking a leading role in stopping this rogue dictatorship being able to equip long range rockets with nuclear war heads.  This is a goal of North Korea which they have consistently threatened to use.   While theoretically possible, it would appear that  nuclear weapons currently stock piled  by North Korea are huge instruments (physically, not necessary measured in mega tons) which if placed on any future ICBM's would be like sending an elephant into outer space.   They would have to drastically reduce size and weight to be able to fit a  nuclear device into a rocket capable of hitting for example Los Angeles which is a distance of 5,822 miles requiring a launch into the atmosphere and the technology to support a direct hit.   Doubtful they have that at this time but they are working hard to achieve all of the above.



On the other hand Japan is a mere 648 miles away---very doable for North Korea including a strike on U.S. military bases.  Japan is protected by international mutual defense treaties particularly with the United States.  A hit on Japan (which I might add), is also a declared goal of North Korea  and could begin a military escalation the likes of which the world has not seen since WWII.  The possible same situation could occur if the North decided to nuke South Korea even with a smaller device.

Somewhat farther out is Guam, which is a territory of the United States and possibly accessible for a missile shot at 2,133 miles.  However this is a strategic biggie from a view point of the United States military establishment.   There are two U.S. bases on Guam.  Andersen Air Force Base and Naval Base Guam.   There are development plans for these bases running into the Billions of dollars because of China's obvious goal of gobbling up the North China Sea.  A hit on Guam by North Korea would  essentially be the same as a hit on the North American continent.

Currently North Korea has three operational intermediate range missiles.  The Nodong with a range of  622 miles, the Taepodong 1 with a range of 1363 miles and the Musadan with a range of 2485 miles.   Of course these numbers are bellicose North Korean war dialogue, so who knows for sure.  I bet the U.S. military establishment knows, how about you?



To sweeten the pot, it would appear that an entire U.S. Aircraft Carrier task force is in international waters off the coast of North Korea.   That Carrier group is also being threatened by North Korea.  I believe North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong-Un would be well advised not to under estimate either the current U.S. President or his Secretary of Defense.  President Trump reminds me of another U.S. President, Teddy Roosevelt who was fond of foreign diplomacy based upon "speak softly but carry a big stick".  And I would personally be very wary of a Defense Secretary nick named "Mad Dog"!  The U.S. has very big sticks and the time may be ripe to use them if diplomacy fails and the North does not buckle to International pressure to downgrade its Nuclear ambitions.



But the facts are that the current estimated inventory of North Korea's ballistic missiles are about 5,100.  Are they effective?  Well, they do seem to be having some problems making them fly but remember that every time they launch one, they are violating international law and treaty as outlined by the United Nations.  If the United States detects an improvement in operational status of these rockets there is great potential for a U.S. led preemptive strike.  On the extremely negative side of that scenario is the North Korean's with an estimated 700 (or more) long range artillery batteries pointed directly at the South Korean Capital City of Soul with a population of 25 million people.

Every night on the various news programs, the "talking heads" delight in discussing every possible scenario.  These range from Diplomatic pressure and over site by the Chinese Government to outright war.  Below I have listed a possible scenario if things get dicey.   Everything on this list is being actively guessed at by the so called media professionals aided by an entire list of retired Generals.



How would that scenario possibly play out?

1). Improved continued provocative, illegal  firing of North Korean missiles.

 2). Preemptive strike by a U.S. led coalition on North Korean missile sites or even the Northern capital City of Pyongyang.

 3). North Korea launches massive artillery barrage on South Korean Capital of Soul potentially killing multiple  thousands of people.

4). South Korean immediate  deployment of 625,000 front line troops backed by 30,000 U.S. troops with  nearly 2 million South Korean military reserves.

5). Met immediately at the 38th parallel by over one million active duty North Korean soldiers with an estimated seven million military reserves.  Not to mention possible limited nuclear retaliation.

6). China, possibly Russia, The United States with NATO Allies are now locked into a fight that no on wanted except for a blustering tyrant in North Korea.



Far fetched?   Not a all when you consider the history of this most volatile region of the world.  Or the whole thing could simply fizzle out.  On the other hand, just yesterday the news is reporting that China is urging its citizens to get out of "Dodge"(North Korea) pronto because the entire issue over developing nuclear weapons is escalating rapidly.  Some internet sites are even urging people to prepare for WW3.  While very serious events could well happen My personal thoughts are that this kind of speculation is ridiculous hyperbole and another world war will not happen until Armageddon.

Provocative question #2).  Could a war of this nature trigger any end times events?  Good question. But the real question is an issue of Biblical timing.  We are going to jump to the book of Revelation for both of the final questions.  Revelation chapter 6 sees the release (by the lamb of God, the real Christ)  of the first seal judgment, the rider on a white horse who is the anti-christ.   He comes to conquer but remember that he is initially seen as a good guy bringing peace to the Middle East (Daniel chapter 9).  He is literally the antithesis of the true Christ and is able to fool entire nations regarding his true identity.



Then comes the release of the second seal, the rider on the fiery red horse of WAR.  It is granted to him to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another, and there was given to him a great sword. Some would speculate here on both the destruction of Damascus (Isaiah 17) or the possible war of Psalm 83.

The third seal is famine.  North Korea is already suffering great famine and has little to loose.  This rider is on a black horse and is effecting the worlds food supply and the increased prices there of.

And finally the fourth seal with the pale horse of death.  And hades followed after him and one quarter of the earth was given into his power.  And he was instructed to kill with the sword and with hunger and by the beasts of the earth.

The current human  population of the earth is about 7.5 BILLION.  One quarter of that is 1.875 BILLION people who could conceivably die in chapter 6 of the book of Revelation.  Leaving yet to occur, the much more severe events of the entire 7 years of Revelation through chapter 22.  Some people speculate that this massive war could be Gog from the land of Magog. While not yet on the doorway of either the time of Jacob's trouble or Armageddon, even a regional war in the far east instigated by North Korean nuclear ambitions could well trigger events that would exponentially hasten the world toward a time of immense devastation.



Provocative question #3).  Is there any mention in the Bible that would lead us to believe that North Korea could play a part in the end times events of the 7 years of Jacobs trouble---the book of Revelation?

North Korea is no where mentioned by name in the Bible.  But neither is America, China, Germany, France and roughly 190 other current nations of the Earth.  Persia is mentioned by name, and also the ancient name of Russia and probably the ancient names that make up the nation of Turkey today.  Also of course Israel.  These mentions primarily refer to the events of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39.  The great war of Gog from the land of Magog.  I have covered this war and what I believe to be the timing in which it will occur in previous articles.

This question can only be answered by leaping ahead in time to the very beginning of the 7 years of Jacob's trouble (the book of Revelation).  As stated in Daniel chapter 9, the anti christ "confirms a covenant with many for one week".  We know this week is the last 7 years of Daniels prophesied vision of 70 weeks (Daniel chapter 9 verses 1-27).   Chapters 1, 2 and 3 of Revelation are dedicated to the Lord giving messages to the 7 churches of that day.  Chapter 4 is I believe the Rapture of the church.  Chapter 5 provides a snap shot of the Lord as the slain Lamb of God who is the only one found worthy to take the scroll from "THE RIGHT HAND OF HIM WHO SAT UPON THE THRONE (The Father God, Rev, chapter 5 verses 1-14).



Chapter 6 sees the Lamb of God opening the scroll and it's seals.  When the Lord opens the first seal, we are shown a white horse and he who sat on it had a bow (note NO ARROWS---indicative of power but no weapons) and a crown was given to him , and he went out conquering and to conquer.  This guy is the anti-christ and his white horse cannot be confused with the white horse ridden by THE TRUE CHRIST in Revelation chapter 19 verses 11-19.  Remember again that the anti-christ is able to convince Israel and her neighbors to sign this 7 year peace accord which he will break himself after only three and one half years.   From here we jump ahead to Revelation chapter 16.

Revelation 16:12. (The sixth bowl of wrath), "Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates , and its water dried up so that the way of the KINGS FROM THE EAST MIGHT BE PREPARED (my capitals added for emphasis).

Scripture tells us a story about the anti-christ who becomes aware of a great army of 200 million soldiers marching against him, ( REVELATION chapter 9 verses 13-16).  Remember in Revelation 16:12 where it speaks of KINGS FROM THE EAST and the river Euphrates drying up?



I am told frequently by Christians that the 200 million man army is CHINA!!!  China is ONE KING.  In fact what we think of as the EAST is in reality Asia.  Asia is comprised of 51 different countries.  The scripture speaks of this army as the "KINGS" of the East.  KINGS plural.  This great army may well be a conglomerate  of perhaps several countries and they are marching to the valley of Megiddo (ARMAGEDDON) to fight against the armies of the anti christ.  The word ARMAGEDDON comes literally from the word HAR MEGIDDON (Valley of Megiddo).

North Korea is part Asia.  So is South Korea, China, Japan, Afghanistan, Russia, Syria and the remainder of a possible confederacy of many Asian nations.  So, absolutely yes, North Korea could and most probably will be a part of the KINGS of the east marching to the valley of Armageddon.

Why is this great army marching against the anti-christ?  Because they refuse to continue accepting his yoke of bondage, control, brutality and power.  NOTE!  There are those who teach that the 200 million man army is marching to confront THE CHRIST, the Lamb of God and His army (the church).  And  that is eventually true (Chapter 19 verse 19), but initially this huge 200 million man army is marching against the anti-christ.  The anti-christ in the end is merely a magnet to draw the kings into the valley or Armageddon.  Immediately after the Lords return to earth,  the anti-christ and the false prophet are captured by THE CHRIST, and they are cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.  Right after that the armies of the kings are destroyed by the Lord and devoured by the birds of the air, (verse 21).

But to regress; in  order for this great army of 200 million soldiers to march they must first pass over the great river Euphrates.  Today due to modern science, the great River Euphrates  is capable of being completely dried up.  RIGHT NOW!



There are 22 dams built or in process of being built on the Euphrates.  A $32 Billion dam project, called the Anatolia Dam project in Southern Turkey was begun in the late 1980's It was scheduled to be completed in 2010.  This is part of a massive project including the "Ataturk Dam" that is capable of shutting off the entire flow of the Euphrates.

Everything is being prepared right now folks before our very eyes.  For ALL of the end times events to occur.

This article is not solely based upon one small country of North Korea although that scenario could occur and perhaps is even likely.  And it really could trigger terrible end times events. No, this article is a reminder that as we go through our daily lives, wherever we may be located on the planet, all around us the Biblically prophetic stage is being set and nothing is going to stand in the way of the Biblical predictions of the end times taking place.



I have discussed things in these two articles that COULD HAPPEN but I make no predictions.   What I do say is simply this;  It is time for the church, the followers of Christ, both Jew and gentile alike to get up and get busy.  The very last thing Jesus said in His public ministry was to command us to accomplish the great commission.

Matthew chapter 28 verses 18-20.  " All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.  And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." AMEN.

"GO THEREFORE" does not mean to sit around and wait for an unsaved world to come to us. It means we must be proactive.

I cannot tell you the exact order in which all these things will occur.  But what I do know is that the prophetic stage is being set and I also believe the very next event on the agenda of God's prophetic time clock may be the Rapture of the church.

Are you ready?  I am.   Are we doing all we can to accomplish the great commission?  I sincerely hope I am and you are as well.   Will we hear "well done good and faithful servant?  That is my most fervent hope.

God bless you all,
Pastor Rance.