I know a man in Christ who was caught up into the third heaven 14 years ago. Whether he was in the body or out of the body, I don’t know, God knows. I know that this man—whether in the body or out of the body I don’t know, God knows— was caught up into paradise. He heard inexpressible words, which a man is not allowed to speak. (2 Corinthians 12:2-4)
Two others—criminals—were also led away to be executed with Him. When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified Him there, along with the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided His clothes and cast lots.
The people stood watching, and even the leaders kept scoffing: “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One!” The soldiers also mocked Him. They came offering Him sour wine and said, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!”
An inscription was above Him:
THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Then one of the criminals hanging there began to yell insults at Him: “Aren’t You the Messiah? Save Yourself and us!”
But the other answered, rebuking him: “Don’t you even fear God, since you are undergoing the same punishment? We are punished justly, because we’re getting back what we deserve for the things we did, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!”
And He said to him, “I assure you: Today you will be with Me in paradise.” (Luke 23:32-43)
Both Paul and the criminal went to paradise – the third heaven. This place is the home of God: The Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. This is the place that all Christians will soon be taken to, all of us who have been baptized, covered by His blood, and sealed by His Spirit. This is the Rapture.
Are we close to that time for the Bride to be caught up into paradise? Just check out some recent news items:
Russia hosts Gulf talks with Iran / Al-Monitor, August 30, 2019
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov hosts his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in Moscow on Monday for talks on ways to de-escalate regional tensions and salvage the 2015 nuclear deal. Zarif arrives in Russia fresh off back-to-back visits to China, Japan and Malaysia as Iran seeks allies against the Donald Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign. His meeting with Lavrov comes amid chatter of a possible meeting between US and Iranian officials, perhaps as soon as next month’s UN General Assembly, as both sides angle for a deal that could alleviate clashes that recently escalated another notch when Israel was blamed for attacks on Iranian allies in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.
Russia is expected to use the meeting to push its proposal for a collective security framework in the Gulf that welcomes Iran as a key stakeholder, in stark contrast with US calls for an “Arab NATO” that treats Tehran as a pariah. The two diplomats are also likely to discuss the situation in Syria ahead of a Sept. 16 trilateral summit in Ankara of the leaders of the Astana peace process, Presidents Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Hassan Rouhani of Iran and Vladimir Putin of Russia.
July was the hottest month ever on Earth. Now massive wildfires are burning across the globe. / USA TODAY, August 21, 2019
DENVER – Wildfires are burning across the globe, clogging the sky with smoke from Alaska to the Amazon, and scientists say it’s no coincidence that July was the warmest-ever month recorded on Earth.
The fires have forced evacuations worldwide, most recently on Spain’s Canary Islands, where more than 8,000 people have been forced to flee. Smoke from some of the fires is so bad satellites can see it from space, blanketing large portions of South America and the Arctic.
Climate scientists say the fires are partly the result of a world growing warmer, making it easier for flames to spread.
“In these conditions, it is easier for wildfires to grow and to be more long-lived,” said Mark Parrington, a senior scientist in the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts.
The average global temperature in July was 1.71 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees, making it the hottest July in the 140-year record, according to scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.
Trump: Israeli-Palestinian Peace Plan to be Released After Israeli Elections / CBN News, August 19, 2019
JERUSALEM, Israel – President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he will likely release his administration’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan after Israel’s national elections on September 17.
“I probably will wait, but we may put out pieces of it. We have some very talented people – as you know, our great ambassador and others. We have some very talented people,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One.
Trump added that there have been “decades of hate” between Israelis and Palestinians and “it is tough to make a deal when there is so much hate.”
Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner presented the first part of the agreement, a $50 billion economic plan for the Palestinians at a Bahrain conference in June.
The first Israel-Iran war / The Times of Israel, August 27, 2019
Iran is a regional power with global aspirations; a large country of 83 million people, which is ranked 19th in the world in terms of its geographical size (Israel ranks 153rd). Iran is also an ancient, proud, and tenacious civilization, which has occupied the same stretch of land for 5,000 years and maintains a near one million-man military that possesses significant capabilities.
The danger of crossing the line between limited and full-scale warfare between Israel and Iran is more tangible than ever. The Israeli public has the right to know what the objectives are of the Iran war – the first in Israel’s history – and it is the duty of the government and the prime minister to clearly spell them out.
What does Israel seek to achieve? Removing Iran’s forces from the entire Middle East? Changing the Iranian regime? What price would we be required to pay? What kind of American backing can Israel expect? And most importantly – what diplomatic and strategic alternatives were presented to and discussed in full by the cabinet prior to the decision that war was the best alternative?
What will happen next?
20 years ago, I was sitting on my bed praying and the Lord spoke to me in a loud voice. He said, “Tell them that I love them. Tell them that I care. Tell them that I am coming for them. Prepare, like a man who has been told he has just a short time to live. Heal, forgive, and perform those acts of charity that you have been putting off. Tell everyone that I am coming soon for My bride.”
At this point, He said, “What do you see?” I looked down at the pattern on the bed. It was a pattern of budding flowers.
He said, “Open yourself up to praise Me…receive My love…stretch yourself out to Me”. After that, He said: “My reward is with Me”.
Then I said: “Lord, give me a sign in the heavens or on the earth, so that they will know that this word is from You!” Then I saw a vision of an arm, up to the shoulder, with a gun in its hand. The gun fired two times. The arm was pointing downward. The Lord said: “There will be two shots fired that will be heard around the world. This is a sign, so they will believe that this word proceeded from My throne.”
After He left, I quickly wrote down what happened so that I would have a record of this message. I sent the message to many churches and ministries, but it was mostly ignored. I went on with my life.
In September of 2001, I saw the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York City. I knew then that the Lord confirmed His word. The Lord is coming very soon!
We can evaluate this message using just the Holy Bible:
Tell them that I love them
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life. For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. (John 3:14-17)
I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:11-13)
When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified Him there, along with the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided His clothes and cast lots. (Luke 23:33-34)
Tell them that I care
Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? (Matthew 6:26)
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you. (1 Peter 5:6)
Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6)
Tell them that I am coming for them
As the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. For in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah boarded the ark. They didn’t know until the flood came and swept them all away. So this is the way the coming of the Son of Man will be: Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and one left. Therefore be alert, since you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. (Matthew 24:37-42)
For we say this to you by a revelation from the Lord: We who are still alive at the Lord’s coming will certainly have no advantage over those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18)
Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also. (John 14:1-3)
Prepare, like a man who has been told he has just a short time to live
“Lord, reveal to me the end of my life
and the number of my days.
Let me know how short-lived I am.
You, indeed, have made my days short in length,
and my life span as nothing in Your sight.
Yes, every mortal man is only a vapor. (Psalm 39:4-5)
My eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now as always, with all boldness, Christ will be highly honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For me, living is Christ and dying is gain. (Philippians 1:20-21)
Be ready for service and have your lamps lit. You must be like people waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet so that when he comes and knocks, they can open the door for him at once. (Luke 12:35-36)
Heal, forgive, and perform those acts of charity that you have been putting off
The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will restore him to health; if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect. (James 5:15-16)
For if you forgive people their wrongdoing, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing. (Matthew 6:15)
…if you offer yourself to the hungry,
and satisfy the afflicted one,
then your light will shine in the darkness,
and your night will be like noonday.
The Lord will always lead you,
satisfy you in a parched land,
and strengthen your bones.
You will be like a watered garden
and like a spring whose waters never run dry. (Isaiah 58:10-11)
Tell everyone that I am coming soon for My bride
Then they said to Him, “John’s disciples fast often and say prayers, and those of the Pharisees do the same, but Yours eat and drink.”
Jesus said to them, “You can’t make the wedding guests fast while the groom is with them, can you? But the time will come when the groom will be taken away from them—then they will fast in those days.” (Luke 5:33-35)
I also saw the Holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21:2)
Both the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Anyone who hears should say, “Come!” And the one who is thirsty should come. Whoever desires should take the living water as a gift. (Revelation 22:17)
Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!
If you are not sure that you are saved, you can accept Christ into your life right now, by praying:
“Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior.”