The Sixth Trumpet

 One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things.

Revelation 9:12 NKJV

Great interest abounds on the subject of Bible prophecy, especially concerning where we may be on the timeline of the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments. In my studies I have come across some amazing discoveries that may support where we now stand.

Many students of prophecy pinpoint Jesus’s return for His bride at the sounding of the seventh trumpet judgment in Revelation 11:15-19, which is based on 1 Corinthians 15:51-52:

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 NKJV

How does this relate to the sixth trumpet?

Assuming the last trumpet in 1 Corinthians occurs during the seventh trumpet judgment in Revelation, what will happen when the sixth trumpet sounds? Let’s take a look at how close we may be to that day when all believers will go up to meet Jesus in the clouds.

Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.

Revelation 9:13-14 NKJV

Spiritual eyesight…

How amazing to realize there is a world of activity around us and in the heavens that we cannot see with our mortal eyes. Revelation, however, is a book that gives us a look into that invisible world. Our glimpse in chapter nine reveals four fallen angels who initiate the slaughter of one-third of earth’s population. How do they do that? The next verses explain:

So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone. 

Revelation 9:15-17 NKJV

Some scholars claim these two hundred million riders to be actual troops, perhaps from the Orient. (It is an interesting side note that several of their national flags use the same colors: red, yellow, and blue.) Others, like myself, believe these verses describe an invisible army, perhaps originating from that part of the world.

Another question: why are the horses’ heads like lions? Nothing terrifies people nor animals more than a lion’s roar. Scripture describes Satan as as a roaring lion, roaming about and seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). The implication here is that great fear accompanies these plagues.

Mortal eyesight…

What is the literal explanation of this army, two hundred million strong? We see them plainly in the spiritual dimension, but what do they look like in the physical dimension? Let’s observe them by examining the following microscopic picture taken by the CDC:

Do you recognize it? Isn’t it interesting that its colors are the same as the breastplates described above. Another interesting fact is that fire, smoke, and brimstone are also red, blue, and yellow, respectively. Additionally, Scripture tells us these three things are in hell and the lake of fire.

By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed—by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their [the horses’] mouths. For their power is in their mouth and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm.

Revelation 18:19 NKJV

The horses’ tails look like serpents’ heads, whose bites can be lethal. The serpent reminds us of Satan in the Garden of Eden who deceived Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, resulting in spiritual death. So, deception may also play a big part in these plagues, the same as fear does.

We may conclude that the four fallen angels have unleashed deep fear and deception regarding three deadly plagues via two million invisible “horsemen.” These affect the entire world, killing one-third of the earth’s population.

Could we be living in the days of the sixth trumpet?

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your protection from the fear and deception of these three plagues sweeping the earth. As we wait for Your glorious appearing, may we purify our hearts and proclaim Your gospel of salvation to a lost and dying world. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

Launch out into the Deep

“Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”

Luke 5:4b NKJV

Have you ever gone fishing? Today we have fishing poles, but in Jesus’s day, fisherman used nets. As their main income and food source, a bulging net of wiggling beauties was every fisherman’s hope. Let’s see how Jesus used this industry to teach a kingdom principle we can apply to our lives today.

In the beginning…

Jesus began His ministry by speaking to crowds even before He had called His disciples. One day at the Lake of Gennesaret, the people pressed around Him, yearning to hear the word of God. Jesus saw two fishing boats tied up at the shore, so He got into one and asked a fisherman, Simon, to push the boat out a little from the land. This became a pulpit from where He taught the multitudes.

Obedience became the catalyst for a miracle…

After Jesus had finished speaking, He made a strange request of Simon, who sat in the adjoining boat. “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch” (Luke 5:4b). Simon, along with other fishermen, had toiled all night without catching a single fish. Although weary, he agreed to do so at the Lord’s bidding.

And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.

Luke 5:6-7 NKJV

The astounding result…

When both boats began to sink under the weight of hundreds of fish, Simon Peter fell down at Jesus’s knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” (v.8). Jesus replied, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men” (v.10).

The two brothers, James and John, were amazed at such a miracle. As soon as their boats reached land, they left everything behind and followed the Lord. Thus, Jesus had tapped three men to become His first disciples.

How does this same principle apply to us?

When Jesus enters our lives, everything changes! God performed a miracle at the cross where He took our sin and placed it on Jesus, the only One who could pay the price with His sinless blood. May we fall on our knees and thank Him for offering us His righteousness and the priceless gift of salvation.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV

But it doesn’t stop there–He also makes us fishers of men and gives us power through the Holy Spirit to witness to the lost.

 ‘But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.'”

Acts 1:8 NKJV

As we are living in the last days before Jesus’s return, how important it is to witness to the lost! These are crucial days, and the time is short. As Jesus said, ‘The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest‘ (Luke 10:2 NKJV). Many people are still waiting to hear the good news of the gospel. As believers, we are called to to spread the gospel in our own spheres, wherever we are planted.

Today Jesus is calling us to launch out into the deep. Are you willing to let down your net for a catch?

Dear Heavenly Father, let us not fear, but give us boldness to take the good news of the gospel of Christ to the ends of the earth. May our nets overflow with saved souls for Your kingdom. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

Miraculous Deliverance in Revelation

As we saw in the previous post, King Darius believed in the God of Daniel after witnessing Daniel’s miraculous deliverance from the lions. The king declared:

‘I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.’

Daniel 6:26 NKJV

However, in a day soon to come, a different ruler will arise who will do just the opposite. Instead of a world of peace and godliness, it will be a terrible day where God will pour out his wrath on all the earth. However, just as He rescued Daniel, God has a miraculous deliverance planned for His church.

How it all began…

Jealousy

Remember Satan’s desire to overthrow God’s kingdom, which sealed his eternal fate? God cast him and one-third of his angel followers out of heaven. Since then, Satan’s goal has been to deceive mankind into worshiping him instead of God and to add their souls to hell’s kingdom.

How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.

Isaiah 14:12-15 NKJV

Deception

Unlike King Darius, a new ruler (who Scripture calls the beast) will arise to control the world with a one-world political and economic system. His sidekick, the false prophet, will create a one-world religion and perform great signs, deceiving people to worship the beast as God.

The beast will face assassination but will magically come back to life after three days, indwelt by Satan himself as Anti-Christ. Following this miraculous sign, he will force every person on earth to take his mark (his name or his number 666) on either the right hand or forehead, without which no one can buy nor sell. The Anti-Christ will force all people to worship the image of the beast or lose their lives, just as in the story of Daniel.

The Anti-Christ will then make a seven-year peace treaty with Israel, but halfway through will break it by seating himself in the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, proclaiming to be God. Every person who has his mark will fall down and worship his image, but the Jews will flee to the mountains in Jordan, called Petra, where God will protect them until Christ’s Second Coming. (See Revelation 12:6)

Capture

During the seven-year Tribulation, suffering will occur on all sides. God will pour out His wrath through the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments, while the Anti-Christ will persecute Christians and Jews.

Where will the Church be now?

God’s wrath is meant for the wicked, not the righteous. Although there is debate about the timing, the Rapture will snatch away all believers in Christ in a nano second and take them to heaven for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NKJV

Those left behind who get saved after the Rapture will endure unbelievable suffering, as they cannot buy or sell without the mark. If caught and captured, they will face a guillotine as punishment for their faith in Jesus. On the other hand, those who take the mark of the beast are cursed by God forever. These will suffer under God’s judgment poured out upon all mankind.

Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.

Revelation 14:9-11 NKJV

Miraculous Deliverance

The last great battle, the Battle of Armageddon, will take place on the plains of Meggido. Many nations will converge on tiny Israel to annihilate it from the earth, thus believing they are annihilating God from the earth. Instead, they are in for the greatest surprise of their lives as they look upward.

‘Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.’

Revelation 19:11-16 NKJV

Justice

Jesus will defeat the beast and his armies, and He will cast the false prophet and the anti-Christ into the lake of fire that burns with brimstone. The double-edged sword from Jesus’s mouth will kill the armies, and the birds will feast on their flesh. Also, God will bind Satan for 1,000 years then release him for a short time and finally cast him into the lake of fire. The White Throne Judgment will take place where God will judge the wicked and also cast them into the lake of fire.

Decree

Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16), King of heaven and earth and all creation.

And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’

Revelation 21:3-4 NKJV

Conclusion

As one man, Daniel, experienced miraculous deliverance, so shall all the earth one day soon. The pages of Revelation write the next story, and many of us will witness it. Perhaps its pages are a mystery to those who have never read or studied it. This is the time to take part in the blessing promised to all those who read that book.

Although Revelation describes deep mysteries, the most important thing to understand is that Jesus is coming again soon, and we must make ourselves ready for His return. Revelation reveals Jesus Christ as King above all kings and Lord of all. Salvation in Him protects believers and frees us from fear of the coming tribulation.

‘And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.’

‘I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.’

And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

Revelation 22:12,16-17 NKJV

Are you ready for God’s miraculous deliverance?

Dear Lord, may we understand the greatness of Your glory as our Deliverer from the wrath to come. Draw all men to Yourself that we may know You as Lord and Savior. Thank you for providing miraculous deliverance through salvation in Your Son. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

Miraculous Deliverance in Revelation by Karen Jurgens copyright 2021 All rights reserved

Miraculous Deliverance in Daniel

Have you ever experienced a miraculous deliverance? Many stories exist about God’s delivering His people from bondage. Today I’m going to relate the first of two—one from antiquity and the other yet to come.

“It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred and twenty satraps, to be over the whole kingdom; and over these, three governors, of whom Daniel was one, that the satraps might give account to them, so that the king would suffer no loss.”

Daniel 6:1-2 NKJV

Jealousy

Due to the excellent spirit in him, Daniel received high favor from King Darius such that the king considered giving him authority over the entire realm. The kingdom’s satraps and governors, smitten with envy, plotted against Daniel. They tried to dig up charges against him or find mistakes he had made, but all they could uncover was his faithfulness. “Then these men said, ‘We shall not find any charge against this Daniel unless we find it against him concerning the law of his God’” (v.6:5 NKJV).

Deception

“‘King Darius, live forever! All the governors of the kingdom, the administrators and satraps, the counselors and advisors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute and to make a firm decree…’” (v. 6b-7a NKJV). These men connived a plan to remove Daniel from his lofty political position by appealing to the king’s vanity. If anyone prayed for thirty days to a man or god and not King Darius, he would be cast into a lion’s den. What’s more, they insisted that the law be signed according to the law of the Medes and Persians, making it unalterable. Even if the king wanted to, he wouldn’t be able to reverse it.

Capture

Although aware of the decree, Daniel continued in prayer three times a day, as was his custom. These men found Daniel in the act and reported his guilt to the king. Darius, forlorn, realized he had been tricked, but there was nothing he could do to save Daniel from the irrevocable law. “So the king gave the command, and they brought Daniel and cast him into the den of lions. But the king spoke, saying to Daniel, ‘Your God, whom you serve continually, He will deliver you’” (v.6:16 NKJV).

The king spent a fitful night fasting from food and pleasures, unable to sleep. Early the next morning, he ran to the den and cried out, “‘Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?’” (v.20b NKJV)

Miraculous Deliverance

“Then Daniel said to the king, ‘O king, live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you’”(v.6:21-22 NKJV).The king was thrilled and gave orders that Daniel be lifted out of the den. What’s more, Daniel had no injuries whatsoever because of his belief in his God.

Justice

Furious, the king then ordered the guilty accusers, along with their wives and children, to be thrown into the lion’s den. Before they hit bottom, the lions crushed their bones and devoured them alive.

A New Decree

King Darius wrote a worldwide decree to all the people of every nation and language on the earth.

“I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God, And steadfast forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, And His dominion shall endure to the end. He delivers and rescues, And He works signs and wonders In heaven and on earth, Who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions” (v.26-27 NKJV).

Can you imagine what the world then must have been like after such a decree? What a wonderful command to fear and worship the living God!

Our present-day, however, is just the opposite. Like the story of Daniel, godless men plot and plan to persecute those who worship the true and living God, bringing us to the second story, which is yet to be. (To be continued in the next blog post…)

Dear Lord, thank you for encouraging us through the story of Daniel. You are a God of miracles and a God of deliverance both then and today. May we trust You to deliver us in a day of persecution. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

Miraculous Deliverance in Daniel by Karen Jurgens Copyright 2021 All rights reserved

A Blessed Memory on Father’s Day

How many of us have Fathers who are in heaven? For those like me, Father’s Day is empty. I miss those times of celebration when we would have a big meal together. To show my love and appreciation, I would give Daddy a gift and a Father’s Day card inscribed with a personal note. Year after year, our routine never faltered. But sometimes a foreboding thought would dimly cross my mind: Would this be our last year to celebrate?

The last celebration arrived, but thankfully, I didn’t know it. Fortunately, we camcorded it back in 1994, and I was able to watch it again today. It’s odd to watch yourself twenty-seven years ago, but perhaps the oddest revelation is seeing what you missed at the time. I had never noticed how lovingly protective my father was, especially toward my two young daughters. Behind his easy-going and joking nature, a lion kept serious vigilance.

That lion would protect us through a terrible, unexpected time when my marriage ripped in two. He provided for us so that the girls and I could have secure and happy lives. The lessons he taught me gave me courage and strength to face the future. The older I become, the more I grow like him, and the beauty of his legacy lives on.

Our heavenly Father

In addition to our earthly fathers, we Christians take comfort in our relationship with Father God. When Jesus walked the earth, He taught about His heavenly Father, who is perfect in every way. Let’s count some of those ways together:

God is a good, good Father. So Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God’ (Mark 10:18 NKJV).

God sent us a Savior. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16 NKJV).

God gives us good gifts. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning (James 1:17 NKJV).

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV).

God is our provider. ‘If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!‘ (Matthew 7:11 NKJV).

God is our healer. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:14-16 NKJV).

God has a good plan for our lives.For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,’ says the Lord, ‘thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope‘ (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV).

This day of remembering our earthly fathers may be bittersweet, but feasting on our good memories brings comfort. May we also be deeply thankful to our heavenly Father who has provided not only for our sojourn on the earth but also for our eternity with Him. As Christians, we have the blessed hope of being reunited with our fathers and loved ones in heaven. Most importantly, we will see Jesus face-to-face and spend eternity worshiping Him.

Now, won’t that be a grand Father’s Day?

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

John 16:33 NKJV

May the Lord grant you comfort, joy, and peace on this special day.

A Blessed Memory on Father’s Day by Karen Jurgens copyright 2021 All rights reserved

Blessed Shavuot and Pentecost

Wishing everyone a joyous celebration of Shavuot and Pentecost! This is the time to re-read the book of Ruth in the Old Testament. This story teaches us that sacrifice is an important part of unconditional love. Like Ruth, God always blesses those who show kindness with His goodness and mercy. Let’s remember anew the quote Ruth made famous: “…for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God” (Ruth 1:116b).

What exactly is Shavuot? As Christians, we are more familiar with the term Pentecost. Let’s explore this festival’s Jewish and Christian roots for a deeper understanding of its meaning.

Jewish Shavuot…

Tori Avey explains in her words: “Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) commemorates the revelation of the Torah on Mt. Sinai to the Jewish people, and occurs on the 50th day after the 49 days of counting the Omer. Shavuot is one of the three biblically based pilgrimage holidays known as the shalosh regalim. It is associated with the grain harvest in the Torah.” (Read more at Toriavey.com)

Chabad.org also has some interesting festival background: “Shavuot 2021 (a two-day holiday, celebrated from sunset on May 16 until nightfall on May 18) coincides with the date that G‑d gave the Torah to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai exactly 3,333 (!) years ago. It comes after 49 days of eager counting, as we prepared ourselves for this special day. It is celebrated by lighting candlesstaying up all night to learn Torahhearing the reading of the Ten Commandmentsfeasting on dairy foods and more. Learn more about Shavuot” at Chabad.org

Christian Pentecost…

When did Shavuot turn into Pentecost (its Greek name)? It began on the forty-ninth day or seven weeks after Jesus ascended into heaven. Christ spoke of His sending the Holy Spirit several times to the disciples.

“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.”

JOHN 14:16-17 NKJV

Tell me more

Jesus also explained the Holy Spirit’s role in their lives, and why it was necessary for the Spirit to come.

“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.”

JOHN 16:7-11 NKJV

That day arrived

Acts 2 tells about this supernatural event. The disciples, along with Mary and a few others, had convened in the Upper Room, praying and waiting on the promised Helper. On that Pentecost day, the Holy Spirit descended like flames of fire resting above each person’s head.

“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.”

ACTS 2:1-4 NKJV

Peter preached…

Many Jews from different countries happened to be in Jerusalem at that time to celebrate Shavuot, and they heard these men, full of the Holy Spirit, speak in each one’s native language about the mighty deeds of God. The Jews laughed, claiming the disciples must be drunk, but Peter rose up and preached to them all, quoting from the prophet Joel:

“Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:

‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says,
‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
And your young men shall see visions,
And your old men shall dream dreams;
Even on My bondslaves, both men and women,
I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit
And they shall prophesy.
‘And I will grant wonders in the sky above
And signs on the earth below,
Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke.‘The sun will be turned into darkness
And the moon into blood,
Before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come.
‘And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

ACTS 2:14B-21 NKJV

Jesus also explained the difference between John the Baptist’s water baptism and the fire baptism of the Holy Spirit:

Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

ACTS 1:4-5 NKJV

Water versus Fire…

At salvation, Christians are baptized with water, which represents the washing away of sin and being filled with the Holy Spirit. But Pentecost is a baptism of fire by Jesus Himself through the Holy Spirit, usually with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. What is the purpose of this second baptism?

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.”

JOHN 16:13-15 NKJV

“…but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

ACTS 1:8 NKJV

May we all experience the wonderful power of Pentecost in our lives.

Dear Father, thank you for sending us the Comforter, our Helper, to live inside our spirits. As you did in the day of your disciples, send us fire from heaven and baptize us in Your power and anointing. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

Blessed Shavuot and Pentecost by Karen Jurgens copyright 2021 All rights reserved

Have You had Your Vaccination?

Today’s most popular topic of conversation revolves around the question, Have you had your Covid vaccination?

I’m not going to meddle in anyone’s personal decision, whether it’s a Sign me up, gotta have it or a No thanks, I’ll pass response. Much debate bats back and forth and will likely continue for the foreseeable future. Instead, I want to inquire about your spiritual vaccination.

A Spiritual Vaccination?

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: (Psalm 103: 2 NKJV)

As Christians, let’s remind ourselves of the wonderful “vaccination” of benefits we receive from the Lord, beginning at salvation. Here’s one list from Psalm 103. It is the Lord Jesus…

3 Who forgives all your iniquities,

Who heals all your diseases,

Who redeems your life from destruction,

Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,

Who satisfies your mouth with good things,

So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Psalm 103:3-5 NKJV

His shed blood erases our sins and heals us from sickness and disease (v.3).

The wonderful feeling of freedom from all guilt and shame is only available at the foot of the cross through the blood of the Lamb. God casts our sins into the Sea of Forgetfulness and never fishes for them again. Also, the blood Jesus shed at the whipping post heals us from sickness and disease. Our spirits mature in His blessed sanctification, and the Lord clothes us in His robes of righteousness.

As our Redeemer, He mends the breaches in the walls of our souls and pulls us out of destruction (v.4a)

This last year has inundated us with varied breaches of one kind or another. We may have experienced overwhelming physical, mental, financial, or emotional hardships that have punched like a fist out of the blue. Regardless of the destruction we may have suffered, Jesus is our wall mender. He builds back the places that have holes to make us complete in Him. We can place whatever needs repair at the foot of the cross and rest assured that the carpenter from Nazareth will mend the breaches in our lives.

He blesses us with His tender love, overflowing with kindness and mercy (v.4b).

The Bible warns that in the Last Days, men’s love will grow cold. Witnessing riots, shootings, and lawlessness strips souls of innocence and hardens hearts. The remedy? Spending time with Jesus in prayer and reading God’s Word. He restores our damaged hearts with His tender love, kindness, and mercy, which we then freely give away to others. As David writes in Psalm 23, He restores my soul (v.3) and Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever (v. 6).

He blesses us with good food for a healthy life and slows down our aging process (v.5).

Choosing whole organic foods is our ticket to good health and long life. The expression, You are what you eat, is full of wisdom. God has provided us with all good things which we can fully enjoy for our physical and spiritual health: O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! (Psalm 34:8).

A spiritual vaccine passport?

Along with the vaccine debate is the idea of the vaccine passport, which would divide everyone into one of two camps: either freedom to move about normally or imprisonment. How does the idea of a “vaccine passport” apply to us spiritually?

Did you know that believers have marks in the spirit?

The born-again Christian has a passport of freedom that God bestows on each one at the point of salvation. Let’s look at Scripture in Leviticus 8:22 where sacrificial blood was applied to the right ear lobe, the right thumb, and the right big toe. Blood on the ear symbolizes the mind of Christ to think pure thoughts; the thumb symbolizes our hands to do the work of the Lord, and the toe represents our commitment as the Lord’s servants to follow where He leads.

Another important benefit is our “passport” into heaven.

At salvation, all believers’ names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Revelation 21: 27 describes the New Jerusalem as follows: …And nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (NASB). Consequently, at the judgment of sinners (called the Great White Throne Judgment), those whose names are not found written in the Book of Life will be cast into the Lake of Fire for eternity (Revelation 20:15).

Have you had your spiritual vaccination yet?

Debate may rage over the Covid vaccine, but not over God’s spiritual vaccine. Its safety and benefits cancel all debate. If you’ve never accepted Jesus as Savior, today is the day to receive salvation and rejoice as the angels write your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life. This spiritual vaccination cleanses us of sin, transforms us into a child of God, and guarantees our entrance into heaven where all believers will live with the Lord for eternity.

Blessed be the Lord,
Who daily loads us with benefits,
The God of our salvation! Selah

Psalm 68:19 NKJV

Thank you, Lord, for the many benefits we enjoy as believers. We praise you for spiritually vaccinating us with Your blood against sin, sickness, and disease. Thank you for our spiritual passport that marks us for blessings on earth and opens the doors of heaven to us in eternity. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

Have You had Your Vaccination? by Karen Jurgens copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved

The Blessedness of Dwelling in the House of God

The Blessedness of Dwelling in the House of God by Karen Jurgens
 
Who desires God’s blessings today? Let’s come together in His house for spiritual refreshment.
 
How lovely is Your tabernacle,
Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, even faints
For the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
And the swallow a nest for herself,
Where she may lay her young—
Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts,
My King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
They will still be praising You.
Selah
 
Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage?
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
They make it a spring;
The rain also covers it with pools.
They go from strength to strength;
Each one appears before God in Zion.
Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer;
Give ear, O God of Jacob!
Selah
 
God, behold our shield,
And look upon the face of Your anointed.
For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
The Lord will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts,
Blessed is the man who trusts in You! ~ Psalm 84 NKJV
 
 
 

The Passion of Christ

The Passion of Christ

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness

Romans 3:23-25a NKJV

How will you be spending Good Friday this year? My desires today are:

  • to humble myself before Him;
  • to be still and know that He is God, my Saviour, and my Redeemer;
  • to meditate through Scripture on the depths of His sufferings;
  • to remember His sacrifice through taking communion;
  • to thank and worship Him for His gift of salvation;
  • to listen to what the Holy Spirit would speak to me.

On this holy day of Passion week, may we take time to prayerfully ponder the meaning of what Christ accomplished for us on the cross. Let’s remember the ways Jesus shed His precious blood and the benefits He purchased for each of us. It cost Him everything, but by His grace, it costs us nothing. How wonderful that salvation is a free gift!

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 

Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV

Christ shed His blood in seven places.

Let’s discuss the seven places Christ shed His blood (if you wish to read a medical explanation of how Jesus could be born with pure and sinless blood, click HERE).

The seven places where Jesus shed His blood fulfilled Old Testament Scripture in Leviticus 16. When the Jewish High Priest made atonement for the sins of the people once a year, he sprinkled blood seven times on the mercy seat, seven times in front of the mercy seat, and seven times on the horns of the altar. (Click HERE to read the full account in Leviticus 16:11-19 NKJV.)

The first place Jesus shed His blood happened during His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. 

“And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44 NKJV). Just as in the Garden of Eden where Man lost his state of innocence through Adam’s sin, it was in this garden that Jesus’s blood began the redemption process for all mankind.

The second place occurred when Pilate ordered His scourging.

They flogged the back of Jesus with thirty-nine lashesjust under the legal limit of forty. “Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified” (Matthew 27:26 NKJV). This blood paid for all our sicknesses and diseases: “The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5b NKJV).

The bruises he bore under His skin marked the third place He bled for us. 

“Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands, saying, ‘Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?’ (Matthew 26:67-68 NKJV). This blood was shed for our inherited weaknesses or iniquities, as Isaiah states. “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5a NKJV).

The crown of long thorns the soldiers wove and pushed onto Jesus’s head was the fourth place He shed His holy blood. 

This blood gives us the mind of Christ, freeing our thoughts from the control of the enemy. (Click HERE to read this account in Matthew 27:27-31 NKJV.)

When the centurion drove the nails into Jesus’s hands and feet, these were the fifth and sixth places Christ bled for us. 

His blood-stained hands freed us to receive all that God has for us and to lift our hands in holy prayer (Click HERE to read 1 Timothy 2:8 NKJV). His blood-stained feet gave us back dominion on the earth that we lost through Adam’s sin. Through His blood, we can claim righteousness and power over Satan wherever our feet touch the ground (Click HERE to read Luke 10:19 NKJV).

The blood and water that came out of His side was the seventh place He shed His blood for us. 

After Jesus had surrendered His spirit into God’s hands, the centurion speared His side. (Click HERE to read John 19:31-37 NKJV). The release of blood and water proved medically that Jesus’s heart had burst, making this blood the provision for the healing of our broken hearts.

Dear Lord, may we truly understand the depth of Your love for us. Thank you for suffering and dying in our place on this holy day. We worship You, precious Lamb of God. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

May the Lord touch you as we continue worshiping with “Oh The Blood” by Kari Jobe with Gateway Worship.

The Passion of Christ, copyright 2021 by Karen Jurgens

For Such a Time as This

For Such a Time as This by Karen Jurgens

Happy Purim! Purim takes place this year on February 25-26, 2021. I’m re-posting to again commemorate this blessed season and share Queen Esther’s amazing story. Jerusalem is now the official capital of Israel, and Netanyahu is still Prime Minister of Israel. God had strategically placed President Trump in the White House for this time in history. Let’s remember that God is in control, not a political party or a European secret society. Let’s not fear but rejoice as we look to God and place our trust in Him and His perfect plan.

God makes no mistakes when it comes to timing.

International secret societies may laugh at us common folks. Their ultra-rich members think they’re the ones who clandestinely hide an evil secret—that they control the world’s future, driving it headlong into the coming one-world government.

However, as Christians, we’ve read the end of the Book. Revelation comforts us that Jesus will return, destroying the anti-Christ’s seven-year one-world system at the Battle of Armageddon. Then Jesus will set up His kingdom without end—the Judeo-Christian Kingdom of God.

What about today? God made no mistake about our existence at this time in history. You and I are destined to be here now.

So it was with Hadassah, a beautiful Jewish girl who attained royalty in Persia during the 5th-century BC. She had no idea she had been chosen by God to deliver her Jewish people from annihilation until she was in the thick of a life-and-death battle. Her story began when her cousin, Mordecai, sent word about what wicked Haman, a close adviser to the King, had plotted.

And Mordecai told [Hathach] all that had happened to him, and the sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into the king’s treasuries to destroy the Jews.He also gave him a copy of the written decree for their destruction, which was given at Shushan, that he might show it to Esther and explain it to her, and that he might command her to go in to the king to make supplication to him and plead before him for her people ~  Esther 4:6-8 NKJV.

What could Esther do to defend the Jews from Haman’s evil plan?  Mordecai had directed her not to breathe a word about her ethnic background. Her husband, King Ahasuerus, had no idea she was a Jew.

Esther communicated with frantic messages back and forth to Mordecai, who was clothed in sackcloth and ashes. In response to her questions, her cousin replied with deep wisdom—words we quote even today:

‘For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’  

Esther 4:14 NKJV

Esther threw herself into her destiny, willing to sacrifice her life for the Jews if necessary—and she broke a law that could have done just that.

Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: ‘Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!’

Esther 4:15-16 NKJV.

God anointed Esther with great favor in the king’s sight, and he promised to grant her petition up to half his kingdom. In response, Esther extended an invitation for the king and Haman to attend a banquet on the following two days.

Then Queen Esther replied, ‘If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me as my petition, and my people as my request; for we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed and to be annihilated.’  … Then King Ahasuerus asked Queen Esther, ‘Who is he, and where is he, who would presume to do thus?’ Esther said, ‘A foe and an enemy is this wicked Haman!’

Esther 7:3-4, 5-6a NASB

After the King understood that his top political adviser had devised the plan to annihilate the Jews, he commanded Haman to be hanged on the gallows—ironically, the one on which Haman had constructed to hang Mordecai.

In response to their deliverance, the Jews celebrated, feasting and sending food to one another. This feast is called Purim, named for the lot Haman cast for the day he would annihilate the Jews.

It’s clear that Queen Esther was promoted to the palace to serve God’s purpose, which came to pass through her humility and obedience.

But Esther’s story has recently been repeated in our modern times.

On March 3, 2015, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke before the United States Congress. He pled his case for protecting Israel from her enemies, today’s Persia. Like Queen Esther, Netanyahu is a Jew from the Tribe of Benjamin. Like her, he pled before the mightiest nation of the world on the afternoon before a very auspicious day: PurimCoincidence? No, it happened for such a time as this.

God answered Netanyahu by placing a pro-Israel President into the Oval Office in 2017. This is a man who not only honors and defends Israel and her rights of existence but also defends the rights of Christians to worship in freedom. Coincidence? No, it happened for such a time as this.

God makes no mistakes when it comes to timing. You and I were born for such a time as this.

What is God asking you to do for His kingdom in these days?

For Such a Time as This by Karen Jurgens copyright 2021. All rights reserved.