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Nuclear World War and Contamination (Standing Watch) 6 min. video

Let God Decide (Morning Companion)

Say “Joshua”, and people think “Jericho”. But Joshua was an integral part of the Exodus story from Egypt to the Holy Land, a span of time that exceeded forty years. He was effectively Moses’ second in command throughout much of that period, and he had much to learn.
One time Moses came to the limits of his frustration with the people of Israel, and effectively, in his completely transparent way, tells God, “Fix it or kill me, because I don’t want to deal with this anymore.” (Numbers 11:14-15).
Part of the problem was Moses’ own management style, and the solution was to delegate responsibility to others. Verse 16: ‘So the Lord said to Moses, “Gather to me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them. Bring them to the tabernacle of meeting, that they may stand there with you.”’
These seventy men were to take on some of Moses’ responsibilities. They would be closer to the people and thus be more aware of their needs.  Moses would no longer have to be burdened with minutiae, but could focus on the big picture. And these seventy would be a ready-made parliament to provide advice and consent.
When they had all gathered together, God “took of the Spirit that was on him [Moses] and placed the same on the seventy elders. And it happened when the Spirit rested upon them that they prophesied, although they never did so again.” (Verse 25)
Here is where Joshua comes into the picture. Two of these seventy had ignored Moses’ instructions to assemble before God. They had remained in the camp with everyone else. In spite of this, the Spirit of God came upon them anyway, and they too began to prophesy. (Verse 26). Joshua was intent on stopping them. These two men had not followed the instructions they were given, and in Joshua’s eyes had forfeited their right to perform the duties assigned to them.
But Joshua was wrong, as Moses pointed out. “Oh that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit upon them!” (Verse 29)
The lesson here is that God gives his Spirit to whomever he chooses, and you and I don’t get to decide how God does it. Just because somebody sits in a different building with a different denominational name out front, it does not mean that God isn’t working with them. They might have slightly different beliefs and practices and might even have some questionable doctrinal positions, but if they exhibit the gifts of the Holy Spirit in their lives, no one should minimize or quench that Spirit. Even Jesus’ disciples needed to be warned about this attitude. When someone other than those in Jesus’ inner circle was casting out demons in Jesus’ name, the disciples wanted to put a stop to it. But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side.” (Luke 9:49-50)
In this world, where so many are against us, we need all the friends on our side that we can get. If people are doing good things in the name of Jesus, or if people are persecuted for holding fast to the name of Jesus, who am I to pass judgment on them? God will decide who are his people and who are not.

Its Not About The Toaster (Sabbath Meditations)

The Day before Unleavened Bread. A toaster’s day in the sun. Only now does a normally mundane appliance get thrust center stage in the relentless endeavor to purge out the leaven, aka sin, from every corner of our homes.
It’s a ritual re-enacted by those of us who take seriously the command to keep the annual High Sabbaths, given by our Lord in the Old Testament and observed by Him, and His Church, in the New, reminding us of His sacrifice and the covenant relationship we have entered with Him.
Our toaster is of course not the only item in our home that gets the attention of our vacuum cleaner. In our valiant effort to eradicate every vestige of the symbol of sin from our dwelling no appliance, no couch cushion, no cupboard is left untouched. But our toaster, being perhaps the greatest potential carrier of the sin virus, has typically commanded the top spot. We’ve fretted about it, inspecting it with the intensity of police dog sniffing for narcotics, meticulously scouring every last nook and cranny where a wayward crumb or runaway piece of crust might linger, no matter how minuscule or incinerated it might be. In short, for a brief period every Spring, our toaster became a rock star.
If our family toaster could speak, it would probably tell you that the last few years in our house it’s begun to suffer from an identity crisis. It just hasn’t been treated like the rock star that it once was. Oh, it’s gotten some attention, but it has commanded nowhere near the spotlight it held back in the glory days.

Why? Well, our family simply came to the realization that these days of Unleavened Bread, for lack of a better way of putting it, are not about the toaster.
In Colossians 1:26-28 we read, “... the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Above all things this season is to teach us is that it is His life, living within us, that is the hope we have of salvation. While Passover reminds us that we are justified by His blood, Unleavened Bread reminds us that we are saved by His life, the “Unleavened Bread of Sincerity and Truth” living within us, continually covering our sin.
There is a reason these are called the Days of Unleavened Bread rather than the Days of De-leavening. The primary focus is on the putting in, not the taking out. We take in of Jesus Christ, the Unleavened Bread of Sincerity and Truth, for seven days. In the Bible the number seven represents completion. The symbol of taking in of His life, His nature, for seven days pictures the completeness of the work He is doing in His people.
De-leavening in this context becomes, then, a symbol, not of my efforts to become sinless, but of my becoming de-leavened, sinless through the cleansing sacrifice of our Lord. I put the leaven out, not to symbolize my struggle to overcome sin, but to symbolize what He has done through His sacrifice for me.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not among those who believe Christ has done it all, so there is no need to obey. We do need to overcome. We do need to strive to become like our elder Brother. We do need to struggle against sin. But the season of our overcoming, of growing up in Him in all things, is more appropriately pictured after, not before, the Feast of Pentecost, picturing the giving of the Holy Spirit, which helps us in that process. The period between the Spring and Fall harvests represents a time of growth. Just as the crops, having been planted in the Spring, are allowed to grow to maturity and produce their fruit, so you and I grow to spiritual maturity and produce spiritual fruit prior to the return of our Master, Jesus Christ.
Passover, Unleavened Bread and Pentecost are awesome pictures of the love He has showered on those He has called to be the first fruits of His harvest. It is right that our focus this season be on Him, not on ourselves. He gets all the glory.
The truth is that, no matter how clean I get my toaster, or anything else in my home for that matter, no matter how determined my effort to make myself spiritually clean, I fall miserably short of God’s standard. My righteousness before God is as filthy rags. It’s His life continuing to live in me that makes me worthy, that allows me to be in relationship with the Father. “We who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Jesus.” That's the awesome lesson of these days.
Yes, my toaster might be feeling a little more lonely now, but it will just have to get over it. It’s not as if it’s getting completely ignored, it’s just not the rock star it once was. That spotlight is shining elsewhere, off the toaster and onto the Master.

Unleavened Bread and Works (First Century Christianity)

Each year in the run up to the Feast of Unleavened Bread I am surprised by finding leaven (or food in general) in some odd place in the house (or car). I am also convinced that we have a large number of dishes whose sole purpose is to be cleaned annually.
Isn’t it interesting to note how much food is used to illustrate God’s will? He commanded us to find all the leavening in our homes and put it out every year. The oven and refrigerator are the places where it is concentrated and our country has a ‘larger’ problem with consumption in general. If we are depressed or angry, we eat or drink. If we are celebrating, we eat AND drink. Day to day in western society we can treat ourselves to the most delectable food imaginable. We take the access to food, clean water, and drink for granted, but in ancient times and in many places of the world today, they are considered luxuries. To us, luxury isn’t even just having food, but  a computer, a wide screen TV, and a cell phone. Heck, we have to have the latest computers, phones, and televisions in order to consider ourselves in luxury (of course, I am speaking of society as a whole). For the Feast of Unleavened Bread to be more applicable to us, perhaps it should be called the Feast of Having to Write a Letter With a Pen and Paper or the Feast of Having to Use a Land Line Telephone.
In the ancient Hebrew culture, having clean water was difficult. This is why the wells in the Old Testament were named and so important. It is also why wars were fought, as clans desired to live in lands with ample access to water for drink and irrigation. Having a supply of bread was difficult, too, since they lacked any type of preservatives. In order for the Hebrew to have soft bread, the bread had to have time to rise and be baked every couple of days. This signified peace and security. If one was able to have soft, leavened bread, then it is safe to assume one was not under siege, one’s crops were adequately watered, and one’s storehouse was safe. This is one reason Yahweh orders His family to eat unleavened bread for seven days; to remember being under siege in Egypt and having to leave in haste.
After the Exodus the Hebrews were not permitted to eat leavened bread for forty years. When they crossed the Jordan, as recorded in Joshua 5, most of them got their first taste of bread ever. And that bread was unleavened. In order for them to enjoy leavened bread, they had to earn it. They had to fight for it and remain obedient. They had to maintain their faith in the One who led them in the wilderness, because when they thought they could do it on their own, He allowed them to get beaten. People on the run don’t get to make leavened bread.
So, as we observe the commanded Feast of the Lord, let’s continue to count our blessings. Let’s remember that seven days of unleavened bread signifies our inability to do it on our own. We live in peace and security, because Yahweh wants us to live this way. We have a luxurious lifestyle, in general and in historical context, because He allows it. He is the Provider, we are His children, and we are blessed by our faith, not by our works.

Journey to Freedom (Children of God)

It was the season that we are in now that the Israelites were witnessing the culmination of the power of God to free them from slavery. Before this, there was no escaping Egypt for them. The Pharaoh’s influence over their lives was too strong. The Hebrews did not have the strength necessary to fight the most powerful army in the world at that time. The only way they were to escape was by God’s might, not by their own force of will.
It was not by chance that their exodus happened during the Days of Unleavened Bread. Their deliverance has very significant parallels to the journey those called of God need to make as they progress towards Christianity. When we started our walk, we too, were in slavery. We were held captive by the god of this world and bound by sin. There was nothing that we could do to escape in and of ourselves. We did not even know that there was a greater power out there that could save us. We were consigned to the life that had been imposed on us, one that we were born into.
But God in His mercy and compassion came to our rescue and took us by our hand and led us out of the lawless world that we were living in. He guided us in the direction that we were to go and gave us help along the way.
These Days of Unleavened bread are as much about leaving sin behind as they are about heading in the right direction. Not only are we to remove sin from our lives but we are to move onto perfection and become like our example in Jesus Christ.
During this time of the year, as we revisit the rich symbolism of these holy days, let us keep in mind the application of the lessons that are meant for us today!

Prophecy in Perspective (New Horizons)

Bible prophets are an enigma. Why take up all that print - around one-third of the Bible - to tell us about long-ago events, seemingly irrelevant for this 21st century. Yet it’s there - in detail. Accounts of the rise and fall of ancient nations apparently no longer with us. Records of God’s intervention to lay them low.
The apostle Peter provides some insight. Addressing a crowd that had gathered following a miraculous healing, he tells them: ‘Samuel and all the other prophets who came later also spoke about what is now happening’ (Acts 3:24). Paul, citing Israel’s experience in the wilderness, adds: ‘all of this is an example for us, to warn us not to desire evil things, as they did, nor to worship idols, as some of them did’ (1 Corinthians 10:6-7).
Presenting His credentials as the one and only God, the LORD challenges the useless so-called ‘gods’:
‘Produce your cause, says the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, says the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth, and show us what shall happen: let them show the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods’ (Isaiah 41:21-23)
Isaiah is telling us that history is a platform from which to launch us into an understanding of the future. It is a pattern for future events.
Take the prophet Zephaniah. Apart from an interesting insight into the life and times of the Middle East in the early 7th century BC - what value is it for us, today? The prophet’s immediate interest is the harassment by surrounding nations, and the imminent destruction of the House of Judah. The latter was in a state of national breakdown, with corruption extending into the Royal palace and the priesthood. They had, too, while outwardly worshipping the LORD, yet tolerated and had sunk into the idolatrous practices of the alien nations in their midst (ch.1:4-6).
Down the centuries the LORD has influenced nations to choose the ends that He wants, to fulfill His purpose, to comply with His time-frame. It might lead to their disappearance from the world scene - or to a dominant place at the ‘top table’ of nations. (Always they are held accountable for their stewardship - Isaiah 10:6-15.) The prophet Daniel: ‘He changes the times and the seasons; He causes kings to pass away, and sets up kings’ (ch.2:21), adding (ch.4:35): ‘He does according to His will among the army of Heaven, and among those living in the earth’.
Zephaniah might have puzzled over elements of the words God had given him. As Peter relates: ‘Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and ... searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you’ (1 Peter 1:10-12).
Having dealt with the immediate future, the prophet enters a new time zone (ch.3:9ff). It is a time when all nations will unitedly pray to one God, a time when Israel will no longer be encompassed by hostile enemies (v.13), a time when the LORD will dwell in the midst of Israel (v.15), a time of peace (v.13), a time of restoration of the true wor-ship, the Bible festivals (v.18, Zechariah 14:16f).
Other prophecies pinpoint this time as the end of human misrule, when Jesus Christ returns to take the reins of global government. In the fullness of time, as predicted by Jesus: ’there will be great affliction, such as has not happened from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever will be. And except those days were shortened, not any flesh would be saved [i.e. saved alive]. But on account of the elect, those days will be shortened’ (Matthew 24:21-22). Mankind will implode in an orgy of self-destruction, saved only by timely divine intervention.
When that will be is unpredictable. It is in the purview of the Father alone - as Jesus warns: ‘It is not yours to know times or seasons which the Father placed in His own authority’ (Acts 1:7, Matthew 24:36). Whenever that will be he adds: ‘be ready; for in the hour you think not, the Son of Man comes’ (Luke 12:40).
Israel (both houses), despite its faults, has since its inception been ‘the apple of My eye’, chosen as a people through whom God could work to deliver man-kind from its innate destructiveness. As such it has been the target of demonic forces bent on its destruction, but has been shielded by divine mercy. They rose to prominence in the 19th century, civilizing much of the world. Successive administrations have undermined that ‘shield’ (i.e. God’s Laws), and ‘Israel’ is sliding towards anarchy, national humiliation and foreign domination.
Basic human nature doesn’t change and we repeat past error - failing to learn from the past.
The return of Jesus the Messiah will break that innate pattern of human destructiveness, as He writes His perfect Laws in the hearts and minds of His model nation - and to all of surviving mankind: ‘this shall be the covenant that I will cut with the house of Israel: After those days, declares Jehovah, I will put My Law [My way] in their inward parts, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people’ (Jeremiah 31:33). Israel will become ‘a city set on a hill’, a light to all nations.
The fate of nations isn’t random. All people on earth have one origin (Acts 17:26) and God provides for all. But some fail, having in their beginning made wrong choices, even after experiencing adverse consequences.
Not so the ‘fathers’ of Israel (e.g. Abraham). They chose to follow the divine path and entered a covenant relationship with the LORD. They have ever since reaped the fruits of that choice. Their part in the covenant is to follow a godly path. When that is abandoned God no longer protects.

Hated for My Name’s Sake (OzWitness)
Famous British Parliamentary character, Anne Widdecombe, has criticized the British government for its double standards in withdrawing aid from countries which persecute homosexuals, while at the same time turning a blind eye to those countries which persecute Christians. In fact it seems that the British government does not accept that Christians are being persecuted by the Muslim world, only on a case by case basis.
Christians and their religion have almost been driven out of the lands where Christianity first spread, but now Anne Widdecombe recounts many examples of Christianity being persecuted in Britain, where an atheistic elite, afraid to attack Islam, is encouraging extreme Islamic sensitivity against Christianity in order to persecute the Christian faith. This secular elite includes not just atheists such as Dawkins, but even the BBC and the government, which is targeting Christianity as the embodiment of those historic and traditional values, now rejected, which once made Britain great.
Even the Church of England fails to stand against this persecution, because its Bishops reject the traditional beliefs based upon the Bible - the virgin birth, the resurrection of Christ and His return etc, seeing Jesus merely as a social worker and preacher of left wing social policy.
Britain’s leaders have demoted Christianity to just one among many religions, failing to recognize that it was and is the foundation of British culture and society. To bring about its removal will see the return of barbarism, debauchery and loss of freedom, and some would recognize that we already see them, though few of the British speak out against them like Anne Widdecombe, regarding those that do as odd balls stuck in the past, apparently unaware of the new religion of football, alcohol and mindless musical chants.

A New World Currency (Legacy Institute)

China’s currency has now been included into the basket of currencies that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) uses to back up its Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), which is actually a new World Currency. This is a huge triumph for China. This move puts the Chinese Yuan on the same par as the U.S. Dollar, the English Pound, the Japanese Yen and the Euro. This makes China a major player in the world’s financial arena.
Until now, all international transactions have to be done in U.S. Dollars. If I want to send money to Myanmar (Burma) or anywhere else for that matter, I take Thai Baht to the bank and set up a wire transfer to a local bank in Yangon (Rangoon). The Thailand bank must first convert the Thai Baht into U.S. Dollars for the international transfer. When the receiving bank gets the wire in U.S. Dollars, it then converts the Dollars into the local currency, in this case the Burmese Kyat. Each time the money is converted, there is a fee.
Being the World Reserve Currency made the U.S. Dollar king. But that is all ending. The U.S. Dollar will soon be replaced by a new World Reserve Currency, possibly the SDR (Special Drawing Rights) currency of the IMF. China would like it to be the Yuan. That is why China is buying up as much gold as it can. They want to be able to back up their national currency with gold. This would make the Yuan much more valuable than the paper fiat money of the U.S. which is being printed by the wheelbarrow loads at the Federal Reserve.
What is backing the U.S. Dollar? Nothing. It is thin air. The only thing that keeps the Dollar afloat is confidence in the U.S. economy. But that confidence is quickly drifting away. Once the Dollar is replaced by something else as the World Reserve Currency, it will not be worth the paper it is printed on. The Dollar will collapse and with it, the American economy.
We must all remember that God will take care of all those who put their trust in Him. Faith is a living dynamic. We show we have faith in God by believing His promises and demonstrating active obedience in our everyday lives.
How long before the collapse of the Dollar takes place? I don’t know. But it is coming soon.
Jesus told His disciples: (Mark 13:28-29) “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near: So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.”
If you are watching world news, you can see the obvious signs. One of the biggest signs is the enormous debt the U.S. owes to China and other countries. It will be nearly impossible to pay it all back. Congress just keeps kicking the can down the road.
Believe God. Instead of America praying and getting Him to help us even more, we are driving Him out of our schools and universities, cities and towns, government agencies and departments, even graveyards and war memorials. The more we defy the Great God, the greater the crash will be. The Salt of the Earth must draw ever closer to Him and petition His divine intervention and great MERCY!