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The Condemnation of Jesus

NR7-06    REV-42

980816PM

There is a day on the horizon of the future. On that day a series of events will take place which will arrest every day life on planet earth. In a single moment on a single day all over the world

  • The food supply will end,
  • The transportation system will grind to a halt,
  • The banking system will freeze and default,
  • The luxuries, precious metals, gems, art and all other hoarded wealth of our country and all others will become worthless,
  • The communications industry will be cut off and there will be no radio, no TV, no telephone, no internet,
  • The supply of power will fade and blink off, and darkness will rule in the homes and businesses of the world. In short there is a day when the lights are going off all over the world, and they won’t be coming on anytime soon.

The 18th chapter of Revelation gives us a road map for the coming economic collapse of the world. By learning the lessons God laid down in His Word we can see what response He desires from His servants not only in the ultimate collapse (the topic of Revelation 18) but also in any other reversals, downturns and recessions, depressions and panics that precede the big and final crash.

That is what Revelation 18 is all about. God disrupts everyday life. This chapter defines the judgment of God upon a society, which worships the creation, the technology, the pleasures, the comforts and this entire world, instead of the Creator.

Please read Revelation 18:20-24 “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!” 21 Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore.22 “The sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters shall not be heard in you anymore. No craftsman of any craft shall be found in you anymore, and the sound of a millstone shall not be heard in you anymore.23 “The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived.24 “And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.”

In Revelation 18 there are seven elements of the worldly system Jesus ends. These are a cause for rejoicing, as they will no longer cause earth-dwellers to ignore him. What specifically does the Lord end? Here are the elements worldliness is built upon:

  1. A worldly person finds their identity in this world not in heaven. (v. 21b) They dress like the world, they act like the world and they are drawn toward the world. And God is erasing their identity.
  2. A worldly person finds their escape through amusements, entertainments and pleasure seeking. (v. 22a) This is the distraction factor. They are so captivated by movies, music and all they never engage with the Living and abiding Word of God. And God is turning off the music.
  3. A worldly person uses work, career accomplishments, and even daily life as a way out of spiritual responsibilities (v. 22b) You have met them, they are so wound up in their work they are inconsistent in worship, they miss a lot of fellowship, they do not get to stay around enough to exercise their spiritual gifts in the body of Christ. Even the needs of daily life such as food and housing can keep them away from heavenly living. And God is stopping the cycle of life.
  4. A worldly person is tied to the technology, science and knowledge of this world not the next (v. 23a) It is amazing how captivating the blur of technology has become. In the industrialized world there has been a blind acceptance and intoxication of humanity by convenience. And God is cutting short the technology.
  5. A worldly person is tied to social life, party life, the calendar and holidays (v. 23b) This is the person that lives for the weekend. This is the person who goes from one social event to another. Life is just an endless party, and God is stopping the party.
  6. A worldly person is tied to their finances, to their wealth and to their possessions (v. 23b) These worldlings find their greatness in money and stuff. They live to acquire and hold and enjoy things. And God is going to erase their assets.
  7. A worldly person is intoxicated by the world. (v. 23c)  This last section speaks of drugs and sorcery. This can include alcohol as well as drug induced witchcraft. And God is going to end it all.

What will this be like on earth. Have you ever thought about it? In Revelation 18: 23 we find some amazing words: “The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore . . . In 20th century terms, this verse says the power grid is shut down. It says no power, no electricity; no technology that uses electricity will be running. Revelation 18 marks the end of the world, as we know it. That will not happen before at least the year 2005 according to the Word of God. But, it calls for us to ask ourselves a few questions based on this Scripture.

This evening we are faced with the very intriguing possibility that the comfort and conveniences of our civilization may become briefly impaired in the not too distant future. Think back to 75 short years ago. Most people had no electricity, saw no television, heard very little radio, didn”t use banks very much, worked all day, and prepared or even raised, their own food. These same people lived in small houses, heated the houses by fire, carried much of their water from a well to use in their homes, stayed very close to home because travel was difficult, and so on.

Then came the explosion of technology, which gave greater comforts but charged higher and higher fees for maintenance. The electricity, which feeds technology, became vital. The speed of technology became critical and so on. What has happened to us is we are technologically dependent! Think of what many of us have lived through. The pace of change has been astounding. We now travel at the speed of sound, we communicate at the speed of light and we clothe our selves and live with materials made at the molecular level. Western society has grown into an inescapable interdependence with machines, which can be greatly disrupted by any non-linearities.

There are seven events ahead on the calendar for this earth. They will happen. What will be the result of these seven only God in His plan can tell. Let me list them:

  1. A Solar Hurricane is expected to arrive and affect the earth all of late 1999 and 2000.
  2. The Historical millennial fears of the “Friday the 13th, black cat crowd” will be rampant (last millennium there were crazies that burned and pillaged and so on in Europe).
  3. The growing global financial crisis. There is an avalanche of debt in Japan, Russia and Asia that is bearing down the global hillside toward our tidy chalet in America.
  4. The great deceiver working overtime. From apparitions of Mary to alien encounters and UFOs Satan is out to make the most of these end days. Expect some incredible alien sightings and peace overtures.
  5. The Y2K glitch will hit the hardware of older model computers. The good news is that 60% of the critical system computers (water, telecommunications, etc. mainframes are two years old) the bad news is
  6. The y2k glitch on the software. There are hundreds of billions of dollars of new computers running 30-year-old programs, which have real problems with both 00 (year two thousand), and 99 (dates in 1999). And 70 % of those programs are COBOL which has proven to be susceptible to shut downs.
  7. Last and worst, there are 40 to 50 billion chips (embedded microprocessors) which govern our daily lives. These chips are of four types:
  • ROM (read only chips, burned in circuitry a factory)
  • PROM (read only chips burned in by customer on site)
  • E-PROMS (re-programmable via UV flash if removed and flashed but only 80% at best respond)
  • E-squared PROMS (programmed via electric impulse to circuit boards; the newest and fewest)

Thursday August 27 12:27 AM EDT

Solar Eruption Causes Geomagnetic Storm on Earth

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Solar winds blowing at more than a million miles per hour hit the Earth’s magnetic field on Wednesday, sparking what U.S. government scientists say could be a significant geomagnetic storm.

The U.S. Geological Survey said charged particles from a solar eruption hit the Earth’s magnetic field around 3 a.m. EDT (0700 GMT) and the resulting fluctuations in the field could cause power outages, satellite failures, disruption in communications and the aurora borealis.

Auroras are usually seen only in northern latitudes, but may become visible in the continental United States during this geomagnetic storm, the agency said.

While auroras are not as dramatic at mid-latitudes, they have been described in the past as resembling city lights in the sky, but in green, blue, and sometimes, red.

A severe magnetic storm in March 1989 caused the collapse of the Hydro-Quebec power system in Canada, leaving about six million people without power.

The U.S. Geological Survey operates 13 magnetic observatories throughout the United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and Puerto Rico that continuously monitor the Earth’s magnetic field.

Soros sparks turmoil in world shares
By George Trefgarne and Marcus Warren in Moscow

External Links

Soros, the gambler money markets fear
The ruble sinks – and we’re in trouble [By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard]
City: Markets spin as Russia hits turmoil

WORLD financial markets were thrown into renewed turmoil yesterday after George Soros, the speculator who reputedly made $1 billion when the pound was expelled from the exchange rate mechanism, intervened spectacularly in the Russian economic crisis by suggesting that the ruble should be devalued by up to 25 per cent.

Russian shares slumped as analysts dubbed the collapse “Black Thursday”. Mr Soros said: “The meltdown in Russian markets has reached the terminal phase. The banking system is, to all intents and purposes, pretty well wiped out.”

At one point trading in Russian shares had to be suspended. Prices recovered slightly and the Russian trading index closed down 6.5 per cent at 101.2, only just off the 100 level at which it was launched in 1995. The ruble came under intense pressure on foreign exchanges, dropping six kopecks to 6.36 against the dollar. It has fallen eight per cent in the past year.

Many Russian analysts have seen the probability of a ruble devaluation mounting all week. They believe that Mr Soros’s remarks make it a near certainty.

The chaos in Russia was another blow to global markets already nervous from the continued weakness of the yen. Shares in London dropped sharply, with the FT-SE 100 index of leading shares closing down 62.7 at 5399.7. Funds also fled into the haven of sterling, driving the pound higher against the Deutschemark.

There is a growing fear that the world economic crisis, which started in Asia a year ago, is coming ever closer to Britain and the United States.

Yahoo! News Top Stories Headlines

 

Wednesday July 15 1:45 AM EDT

Clinton urges work on computer bug problem

By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Clinton urged businesses to start concentrating on ways to solve the looming Year 2000 computer meltdown and avoid disruptions in everything from phone service to air travel.

“Any business that approaches the new year armed only with a bottle of champagne and a noise maker is likely to have a very big hangover on New Year’s morning,” Clinton said in a speech on the problem at the National Academy of Sciences Tuesday.

Dire predictions about the fate of computers are heralding the coming new millennium. The problem is that many computers as now configured cannot recognize the year 2000 in date fields.

To save expensive disk space, early programmers tracked dates with only the last two numbers of the year. If not fixed, many computers will read “00” as 1900. This could cause many computers to go haywire.

Phone networks could shut down. Electrical brownouts could result. Air traffic could be disrupted, as could bank accounts and payment of Social Security and Medicare checks.

“With millions of hours needed to rewrite billions of lines of code in hundreds of thousands of interdependent organizations, this is clearly one of the most complex management challenges in history,” Clinton said.

He announced initiatives to help businesses in addressing the problem. He said he would submit to Congress proposed legislation to promote a more open sharing of relevant information. The legislation would protect from lawsuits companies that share information about solving the Year 2000 dilemma. Many companies fear they would be open to legal action if they offer up solutions that turn out to be wrong. Clinton has set March 31 of next year as a deadline for the federal government to solve its share of the problem, thus providing nine more months before the year change as a shakedown period.

A senior aide said some of the government’s most important arms are behind schedule, including the departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Education, Transportation and Energy, the Health Care Financing Administration and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

John Koskinen, chairman of Clinton’s Council on Year 2000 Conversion, predicted all or most government computer systems would be ready for the millennial change on time at a total cost of $5 billion.

Koskinen said of particular concern are international financial transactions, telecommunications and transportation.

There is a potential political cost for substantial disruptions, since 2000 is a presidential election year and Vice President Al Gore wants to succeed Clinton.

Already Republican critics are saying the Clinton White House waited too long to start working on the problem.

“After years of unconscionable delay, President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore finally weighed in today on the Year 2000 computer crisis,” said Steve Forbes, a likely contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000.

Both Clinton and Gore urged political opponents not to try to make gains over a dilemma that everyone should work on solving.

“The Year 2000 problem is a management challenge and a programming challenge. It must not be a political football,” said Gore. “We need bipartisan cooperation to solve the Year 2000 problem, not political rhetoric.”

Clinton also announced the Labor Department had established a Year 2000-talent bank to help connect computer experts with organizations that need them. Clinton said there are tens of thousands of people retired from the computer industry who could be vital.

He suggested many businesses, in particular small ones, were delaying dealing with the problem, citing a Wells Fargo bank survey that said of the small businesses that know about the problem, roughly half intended to do nothing about it.

  THURSDAY JULY 23, 1998

Joseph Farah is editor of WorldNetDaily.com and executive director of the Western Journalism Center, an independent group of investigative reporters.

Government control in the Year Zero

The man regarded as the most knowledgeable person in the U.S. Senate on the impact of the Y2K millennium bug says people should begin stockpiling food, water, prepare for major crises in the health-care and banking systems as well as civil unrest triggered by the government’s failure to send out welfare checks.

“Pay attention to the things that are vulnerable in your life and make contingency plans,” says Sen. Robert Bennett, R-UT and chairman of the Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem. But don’t panic, he adds. “Civilization as we know it will not end.”

Nevertheless, Bennett is seeking assurances from the Pentagon that the U.S. military will be ready to respond if martial law is declared on or about Jan. 1, 2000, as millions of 20th century computer chips misfire because they do not recognize the dawning of a new millennium.

Uh, pardon me, but I have a question or two. Why isn’t this warning on the front page of every newspaper in America? Why isn’t it leading the network news? Why aren’t the nation’s most prominent civil libertarians acting to head off the imminent government power grab that will inevitably follow what Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has described “the biggest train wreck in history”?

It seems to me that the government is planning to make the most of the chaos.  After 30 years of fostering greater and greater dependency on government for everything from medical services to food stamps, officials are admitting they are going to be helpless to maintain at least some mission critical services.

It’s going to be a clamorous wake-up call to a generation of fools who really thought the government was their Mommy and their Daddy—that it would always be there to take care of them. That might not be a bad thing for the rest of us, except for the fact so many people will not know what to do. Having been provided for like spoiled children for so long, they are going to act like spoiled children denied for the first time.

What do you suppose will happen? Just imagine what every major city in America will be like the first time welfare checks don’t arrive. Imagine inner city hospitals turning away people by the hundreds, banks locking their doors, ATM machines inoperative, automobiles not starting, and no heat on cold wintry nights, barren supermarket shelves and potable water scarce.

Add to that recipe sporadic power failures, telephone service disruptions and shutdowns of major airline flights.

Remember Los Angeles after the Rodney King police beating trial? Kids’ stuff. Picture scenes like that repeated in dozens of urban areas throughout the country. Who ya gonna call? Don’t bother dialing 911 when the angry mobs head for your door. It won’t be working. The police will be plenty busy with other emergency calls, anyway.

I’m not even portraying a worst-case scenario. I’m accepting Bennett’s optimistic projection that civilization as we know it is not going to end. But listen to the way Bennett completed that thought: “But if it were this weekend, it would.”

In other words, Bennett, like President Clinton is expecting a miracle between now and Dec. 31, 1999. Clinton has set an unrealistic goal of making government Y2K-compliant by March of next year—eight months from now. It’s not going to happen. It won’t happen in 17 months, either.

So where does that leave us? Oh, don’t worry. The government has a Plan B. There’s a hint of it revealed in what officials have permitted the people to know about Presidential Decision Directive 63. The actual directive is classified. But a white paper released for public consumption is reassuring. The military, the intelligence agencies, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and state and local police are all working together to ensure that during this period of planned chaos the government will survive.

In fact, I strongly suspect many government officials—Republicans and Democrats alike—see the potential cataclysm as something of an opportunity. It might be a chance to smoke out all those pesky gun owners, confiscate lots of property, hijack the means of production and finally create government dependency among by those stubborn advocates of self-reliance and individual freedom who will now be at the mercy of the programmed mob.

Am I being paranoid? Maybe, but I prefer to think of myself as characterized by a healthy streak of objective cynicism. This is one of those ailments, whose treatment could be worse than the disease.

A daily radio broadcast adaptation of Joseph Farah’s commentaries can be heard at http://www.ktkz.com/

There is a day in the very near future when we may all get to see just how much we have come to depend upon computers, electricity, technology and conveniences. The question is, are you ready for the lights to go out? When the power goes off, how well will you survive? From the newspapers and news magazines of America (like the NY Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, and so on) let me read you these lines. You can quietly answer them in your mind.

  • How will the resetting of the GPS on 8/22/99 affect your life (all airlines use the GPS, all merchant and warships use GPS, even your pizza man and evening news camera crew use GPS).
  • How will the director of the Federal Reserve Bank (which controls all money in America and thus 60% of the wealth of the world) Allen Greenspan’s comments on 3/2/98 affect you? He said “60% chance of global recession. Damage ahead.”
  • Did you know that our sun operates on a Solar cycle of 11 years? The peak outflow of solar flares (plasma, electromagnetic explosions and power surges from the surface of the sun) comes on every 11th year. The last solar cycle peaked in 1989. What did it do? Check the encyclopedia. It knocked out the power grid of Canada and destroyed a 300 million-dollar ATT satellite. That was 1989. It hits every 11 years. When is the next one? It is due in 2000.
  • Do you know the supermarkets and gas stations around you have only a 72-hour supply of food and gasoline?
  • Y2K means: hard copy finances, medicines stored, power, H2O, food;
  • 6 month blackout to eclipse resistance to the New World Order. Barter with silver, ammunition. Ideal is 10-20K towns, armed who barter. Beware of urban areas.

THURSDAY JULY 23, 1998

Basic Errors[1]

For those who have only recently heard of such terms as “the millennium bug” or “Y2K,” a brief explanation may be of value. These terms refer to how the computer’s internal clock interprets the date after the year 2000.

Whether to save storage space or just irresponsible laziness, the year in the “date field” has been recorded with only two digits (i.e., 98) instead of four digits (i.e., 1998). We use the same form in everyday life; we write the date 8/25/98.

It has been demonstrated that “00” will be read by most computers as 1900-not 2000. Software and embedded chips that use date/time for calculations may produce inaccurate results or be unable to resolve their internal conflicts and shut down altogether.

Although conceptually this problem seems trivial, the sheer scope of finding and changing all the affected software and hardware is daunting.

In software, billions and billions of lines of computer code must be searched to find the affected date fields. In hardware, the billions of “embedded” chips must first be found. Documentation regarding chip location, however, is often poor or nonexistent. And unfortunately once found, the “fix” proves to be anything but simple.

Pressure to Perform

Programs created to fix the Y2K problem must work perfectly—there seems to be no room for error! Any “fix” with an error potential carries with it a risk value. And with the size of the databases upon which we rely-business, banking, governmental, or personal-and the speed at which they operate, any ill-computed data will infiltrate the system in its entirety within a short period of time.

Tests have concluded that even “fixed” data can be corrupted by interaction with an “un-fixed” or “non-compliant” database.

If you stop for a moment and think of all the information transferred regularly between data systems on a worldwide basis, you’ll see that the ramifications are far-reaching. The worldwide banking industry alone transfers over $2 trillion each day.

Hidden Hardware[2]

If the software problem wasn’t enough, the same Y2K glitch also affects our embedded chip technologies. These systems have enabled us to effectively shrink computers into hand-held devices or packages that fit within severe weight restrictions.

Each of the approximately 10 billion embedded chips in use today is “hard-wired” with an internal clock that governs its computational uses. Most of these have to be found, if possible, and individually replaced.

Because of their small size and weight, they tend to be in hard-to- reach places. There are embedded chips at the bottom of major oil rigs that control the flow of oil out of the well. They are also located in our satellite systems (it is neither time practical nor cost effective to consider seeking out and changing those chips that are in orbit). The watch you’re wearing most likely contains an embedded computer chip. It’s possible it will cease to function after the turn of the century.

While not terribly life disrupting in a wristwatch, similar chips are present in our GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) system, upon which most navigational computation relies (including commercial airliners). The U.S. Navy, which has responsibility for this system, has already said their solution will be to turn the clocks back 1024 weeks, thus recovering time for a more permanent solution.3

This sounds clever, but the retail GPS industry must then adjust to the Navy’s modified calendar. Portable, automobile and commercial (including airplane instrumentation) GPS receivers will have to be replaced or individually corrected to continue processing properly.

From satellites in orbit to the trucking industry (upon which we rely for the flow of goods through our infrastructures), many industries rely on the GPS system. Embedded chips are also found closer to home. From VCRs, electronic stoves, microwave ovens, alarm clocks, digital phone systems, and TVs to sewage pumps, water systems, electrical transforming equipment, traffic signals, credit card readers, and ATMs, these devices have permeated every facet of our lives.

What might happen eventually to us as Christians? Probably what has happened all along the way to servants of the Lord since the beginning, you and I may be called on by God to actually suffer! Listen to a modern day saint who is suffering. This is a Vietnamese Pastor’s wife story.[3]

THE LAST SHALL BE FIRST

I believe Mrs. Nguyen Thi An (a fictitious name) can claim a rightful companionship with Paul.  Though she has lost everything, she has all things in One.  They have taken her husband, her home, and her belongings, yet her contentment they cannot take.

Mrs. An’s husband was a pastor in Vietnam.  When police closed their church, he was thrown into prison.  Without official papers, she and her children were forced to live on a balcony outside an apartment.  Yet her faith has forged a sanctuary out of her surroundings, from which she greets us.

My Dear Friends,

… You know around here we are experiencing hardships, but we thank the Lord He is comforting us and caring for us in every way.  When we experience misfortune, adversity, distress and hardship, only then do we see the real blessing of the Lord poured down on us in such a way that we cannot contain it.

We have been obliged recently to leave our modest apartment and for over two months have been living on a balcony.  The rain has been beating down and soaking us.  Sometimes in the middle of the night we are forced to gather our blankets and run to seek refuge in a stairwell.

Do you know what I do then?  I laugh and I praise the Lord, because we can still take shelter in the stairwell.  I think of how many people are experiencing much worse hardships than I am.  Then I remember the words of the Lord, “To the poor, 0 Lord, You are a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat” (cp.  Isaiah 25:4), and I am greatly comforted….

Our Father … is the One who according to the Scriptures does not break the bruised reed nor put out the flickering lamp.  He is the One who looks after the orphan and the widow.  He is the One who brings blessings and peace to numberless people.

I do not know what words to use in order to describe the love that the Lord has shown our family.  I only can bow my knee and my heart and offer to the Lord words of deepest thanks and praise.  Although we have lost our house and our possessions, we have not lost the Lord, and He is enough.  With the Lord I have everything.  The only thing I would fear losing is His blessing!

Could I ask you and our friends in the churches abroad to continue to pray for me that I will faithfully follow the Lord and serve Him regardless of what the circumstances may be? As far as my husband is concerned, I was able to visit him this past summer.  We had a 20-niinute conversation that brought us great joy….

I greet you with my love.

Mrs. Nguyen Thi An

What can we do to get ready for the end of the world?

There is a plague sweeping America. It’s neither AIDS nor TB; it’s a dark cloud that overshadows all of life. It’s called DISCONTENT. What is the plague we face here in America? It’s the plague of discontentment. Discontentment is like an infection. You can catch it by contact unless you are resistant.

Do Study Of the Seven Keys To learn and Maintain Biblical Contentment from I Timothy 6:

  1. Remember things are only temporary v.7.
  2. Only seek necessities; wait for the rest v.8.
  3. Avoid a consuming desire for prosperity v.9-10.
  4. Flee materialism v.11.
  5. Cling to eternal life v.12-16.
  6. Fix your hope on God v.17.
  7. Give until it hurts v.18.

Contentment is the byproduct of following the Shepherd.  It is experiencing the inner-peace that only He can provide.  It is knowing He will promote you at the right time.  Contentment is the sense of satisfaction that comes to a husband and wife as they emulate the provision and care of the Shepherd to their own children.  Contentment comes from serving Christ instead of money and from providing not only financially for your family, but also emotionally, morally and spiritually. [4]

Finally, What can be the result of living by the Bible’s definition of contentment? Let’s look at just three:

  1. If you are content, you can enjoy the present rather than being anxious about the future.Mt 6:25
  2. If you are content, you can be liberated to truly enjoy the successes of others around you without envy.Ps 37:7
  3. If you are content, you will be able to let the Lord build a true sense of thankfulness about everything. I TH5:18

Beware of DISCONTENTMENT.

Listen to Packer’s insightful analysis.[5]

“Discontent will destroy your peace, rob you of joy, make you miserable, spoil your witness,” warns Packer.  “We dishonor God if we proclaim a Savior who satisfies and then go around discontent.”

The advantages of contentment, on the other hand, are many:  freedom, gratitude, rest, peace — all components of health.  They who are content do not have to worry about the latest styles or what to wear tomorrow.  They can rejoice in their neighbor’s good fortune without having to feel inferior.  They do not fret with wrinkles or graying because they accept what comes.  They do not have to worry how they might buy this or that because they have no desire for this or that.  They are not consumed with how to get out of debt because they have no debt.  They have time for gratitude even in small things.  They have time for relationships because possessions and the bank do not own them.

Contentment, explains J.I. Packer, “is essentially a matter of accepting from God’s hand what He sends because we know that He is good and therefore it is good.”

Beware of THE PROSPERITY LADDER[6]

Another erroneous measure of contentment is the prosperity ladder.  Most of us look “up the ladder” and notice that the wealthy have more than we do.  This, of course, strikes a near fatal blow at one’s contentment.  If, instead, we reversed our gaze and looked down the ladder, our gratitude would thrive and opportunities for sharing would abound.

The pettiness of my own sources of discontent would be amusing were I not so repentant about them.  I have been know to grumble when our house temperature drops to sixty degrees, yet there are untold millions in the world who do not have shelter.  I have been known to complain if the day is rainy, yet a large segment of the world’s land is shriveling up in drought.  I have been known to groan if I miss my dinner, yet thousands who go to sleep tonight without food will not awaken in the morning.  Christ came to save me from sin — not from sixty-degree homes, rainy weather, and delayed dinners.

This relativism, where the grass is greener on your neighbor’s lawn, can be remedied, but first it must be confessed.  We need to quit staring at those who have more than we do.  We need to override the set point by spiritual maturity, to look down rather than up the ladder, and to fix our contentment on godliness rather than relativism.  It helps immeasurably if we are surrounded by a community of like–minded friends rather than a society where envy has been normalized.

What should we do?

  1. Don’t panic. Listen to only operate in the realm of the Word of God. Note whatIsaiah 30:15 For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” But you would not, and Isaiah 32:17 The work of righteousness will be peace, And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.
  2. Prayerfully do some research. Look up some Y2K articles, read a book or two, track the Internet for a week.
  3. Thoughtfully consider the implications of these scenarios:
  • What would you want to do for the Lord if He was returning next Sunday?
  • What would your family need if the electricity goes out for a whole day in January, 2000?
  • What would your family need if the electricity goes out for a whole week in January, 2000?
  • What would your family need if the electricity goes out for a whole month in January, 2000?
  • What would your family need if the electricity goes out for a whole year in 2000?
  1. Think eternally. Do you need this or that in light of eternity? Where would time and talent best be invested?
  2. Give strategically. Where would a gift of money best be used? Right now the elders are planning a strategic campaign to raise $ 400,000 to plant churches in Russia through SGA. Would you like to invest? We also are looking at training Arab world church planters. Would you like a golden opportunity?
  3. Prepare evangelistically. How can you be ready with your quake pack as if California (enough to help fellow motorists or neighbors).
  4. Talk prophetically. You can speak with confidence about the future. The world will not end; the planet will not be plunged into nuclear winter, etc.

TAGS: 980816PM

There is a day on the horizon of the future. On that day a series of events will take place which will arrest every day life on planet earth. In a single moment on a single day all over the world

  • The food supply will end,
  • The transportation system will grind to a halt,
  • The banking system will freeze and default,
  • The luxuries, precious metals, gems, art and all other hoarded wealth of our country and all others will become worthless,
  • The communications industry will be cut off and there will be no radio, no TV, no telephone, no internet,
  • The supply of power will fade and blink off, and darkness will rule in the homes and businesses of the world. In short there is a day when the lights are going off all over the world, and they won’t be coming on anytime soon.

The 18th chapter of Revelation gives us a road map for the coming economic collapse of the world. By learning the lessons God laid down in His Word we can see what response He desires from His servants not only in the ultimate collapse (the topic of Revelation 18) but also in any other reversals, downturns and recessions, depressions and panics that precede the big and final crash.

That is what Revelation 18 is all about. God disrupts everyday life. This chapter defines the judgment of God upon a society, which worships the creation, the technology, the pleasures, the comforts and this entire world, instead of the Creator.

Please read Revelation 18:20-24 “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!” 21 Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore.22 “The sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters shall not be heard in you anymore. No craftsman of any craft shall be found in you anymore, and the sound of a millstone shall not be heard in you anymore.23 “The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived.24 “And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.”

In Revelation 18 there are seven elements of the worldly system Jesus ends. These are a cause for rejoicing, as they will no longer cause earth-dwellers to ignore him. What specifically does the Lord end? Here are the elements worldliness is built upon:

  1. A worldly person finds their identity in this world not in heaven. (v. 21b) They dress like the world, they act like the world and they are drawn toward the world. And God is erasing their identity.
  2. A worldly person finds their escape through amusements, entertainments and pleasure seeking. (v. 22a) This is the distraction factor. They are so captivated by movies, music and all they never engage with the Living and abiding Word of God. And God is turning off the music.
  3. A worldly person uses work, career accomplishments, and even daily life as a way out of spiritual responsibilities (v. 22b) You have met them, they are so wound up in their work they are inconsistent in worship, they miss a lot of fellowship, they do not get to stay around enough to exercise their spiritual gifts in the body of Christ. Even the needs of daily life such as food and housing can keep them away from heavenly living. And God is stopping the cycle of life.
  4. A worldly person is tied to the technology, science and knowledge of this world not the next (v. 23a) It is amazing how captivating the blur of technology has become. In the industrialized world there has been a blind acceptance and intoxication of humanity by convenience. And God is cutting short the technology.
  5. A worldly person is tied to social life, party life, the calendar and holidays (v. 23b) This is the person that lives for the weekend. This is the person who goes from one social event to another. Life is just an endless party, and God is stopping the party.
  6. A worldly person is tied to their finances, to their wealth and to their possessions (v. 23b) These worldlings find their greatness in money and stuff. They live to acquire and hold and enjoy things. And God is going to erase their assets.
  7. A worldly person is intoxicated by the world. (v. 23c)  This last section speaks of drugs and sorcery. This can include alcohol as well as drug induced witchcraft. And God is going to end it all.

What will this be like on earth. Have you ever thought about it? In Revelation 18: 23 we find some amazing words: “The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore . . . In 20th century terms, this verse says the power grid is shut down. It says no power, no electricity; no technology that uses electricity will be running. Revelation 18 marks the end of the world, as we know it. That will not happen before at least the year 2005 according to the Word of God. But, it calls for us to ask ourselves a few questions based on this Scripture.

This evening we are faced with the very intriguing possibility that the comfort and conveniences of our civilization may become briefly impaired in the not too distant future. Think back to 75 short years ago. Most people had no electricity, saw no television, heard very little radio, didn”t use banks very much, worked all day, and prepared or even raised, their own food. These same people lived in small houses, heated the houses by fire, carried much of their water from a well to use in their homes, stayed very close to home because travel was difficult, and so on.

Then came the explosion of technology, which gave greater comforts but charged higher and higher fees for maintenance. The electricity, which feeds technology, became vital. The speed of technology became critical and so on. What has happened to us is we are technologically dependent! Think of what many of us have lived through. The pace of change has been astounding. We now travel at the speed of sound, we communicate at the speed of light and we clothe our selves and live with materials made at the molecular level. Western society has grown into an inescapable interdependence with machines, which can be greatly disrupted by any non-linearities.

There are seven events ahead on the calendar for this earth. They will happen. What will be the result of these seven only God in His plan can tell. Let me list them:

  1. A Solar Hurricane is expected to arrive and affect the earth all of late 1999 and 2000.
  2. The Historical millennial fears of the “Friday the 13th, black cat crowd” will be rampant (last millennium there were crazies that burned and pillaged and so on in Europe).
  3. The growing global financial crisis. There is an avalanche of debt in Japan, Russia and Asia that is bearing down the global hillside toward our tidy chalet in America.
  4. The great deceiver working overtime. From apparitions of Mary to alien encounters and UFOs Satan is out to make the most of these end days. Expect some incredible alien sightings and peace overtures.
  5. The Y2K glitch will hit the hardware of older model computers. The good news is that 60% of the critical system computers (water, telecommunications, etc. mainframes are two years old) the bad news is
  6. The y2k glitch on the software. There are hundreds of billions of dollars of new computers running 30-year-old programs, which have real problems with both 00 (year two thousand), and 99 (dates in 1999). And 70 % of those programs are COBOL which has proven to be susceptible to shut downs.
  7. Last and worst, there are 40 to 50 billion chips (embedded microprocessors) which govern our daily lives. These chips are of four types:
  • ROM (read only chips, burned in circuitry a factory)
  • PROM (read only chips burned in by customer on site)
  • E-PROMS (re-programmable via UV flash if removed and flashed but only 80% at best respond)
  • E-squared PROMS (programmed via electric impulse to circuit boards; the newest and fewest)

Thursday August 27 12:27 AM EDT

Solar Eruption Causes Geomagnetic Storm on Earth

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Solar winds blowing at more than a million miles per hour hit the Earth’s magnetic field on Wednesday, sparking what U.S. government scientists say could be a significant geomagnetic storm.

The U.S. Geological Survey said charged particles from a solar eruption hit the Earth’s magnetic field around 3 a.m. EDT (0700 GMT) and the resulting fluctuations in the field could cause power outages, satellite failures, disruption in communications and the aurora borealis.

Auroras are usually seen only in northern latitudes, but may become visible in the continental United States during this geomagnetic storm, the agency said.

While auroras are not as dramatic at mid-latitudes, they have been described in the past as resembling city lights in the sky, but in green, blue, and sometimes, red.

A severe magnetic storm in March 1989 caused the collapse of the Hydro-Quebec power system in Canada, leaving about six million people without power.

The U.S. Geological Survey operates 13 magnetic observatories throughout the United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and Puerto Rico that continuously monitor the Earth’s magnetic field.

Soros sparks turmoil in world shares
By George Trefgarne and Marcus Warren in Moscow

External Links

Soros, the gambler money markets fear
The ruble sinks – and we’re in trouble [By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard]
City: Markets spin as Russia hits turmoil

WORLD financial markets were thrown into renewed turmoil yesterday after George Soros, the speculator who reputedly made $1 billion when the pound was expelled from the exchange rate mechanism, intervened spectacularly in the Russian economic crisis by suggesting that the ruble should be devalued by up to 25 per cent.

Russian shares slumped as analysts dubbed the collapse “Black Thursday”. Mr Soros said: “The meltdown in Russian markets has reached the terminal phase. The banking system is, to all intents and purposes, pretty well wiped out.”

At one point trading in Russian shares had to be suspended. Prices recovered slightly and the Russian trading index closed down 6.5 per cent at 101.2, only just off the 100 level at which it was launched in 1995. The ruble came under intense pressure on foreign exchanges, dropping six kopecks to 6.36 against the dollar. It has fallen eight per cent in the past year.

Many Russian analysts have seen the probability of a ruble devaluation mounting all week. They believe that Mr Soros’s remarks make it a near certainty.

The chaos in Russia was another blow to global markets already nervous from the continued weakness of the yen. Shares in London dropped sharply, with the FT-SE 100 index of leading shares closing down 62.7 at 5399.7. Funds also fled into the haven of sterling, driving the pound higher against the Deutschemark.

There is a growing fear that the world economic crisis, which started in Asia a year ago, is coming ever closer to Britain and the United States.

Yahoo! News Top Stories Headlines

Wednesday July 15 1:45 AM EDT

Clinton urges work on computer bug problem

By Steve Holland

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Clinton urged businesses to start concentrating on ways to solve the looming Year 2000 computer meltdown and avoid disruptions in everything from phone service to air travel.

“Any business that approaches the new year armed only with a bottle of champagne and a noise maker is likely to have a very big hangover on New Year’s morning,” Clinton said in a speech on the problem at the National Academy of Sciences Tuesday.

Dire predictions about the fate of computers are heralding the coming new millennium. The problem is that many computers as now configured cannot recognize the year 2000 in date fields.

To save expensive disk space, early programmers tracked dates with only the last two numbers of the year. If not fixed, many computers will read “00” as 1900. This could cause many computers to go haywire.

Phone networks could shut down. Electrical brownouts could result. Air traffic could be disrupted, as could bank accounts and payment of Social Security and Medicare checks.

“With millions of hours needed to rewrite billions of lines of code in hundreds of thousands of interdependent organizations, this is clearly one of the most complex management challenges in history,” Clinton said.

He announced initiatives to help businesses in addressing the problem. He said he would submit to Congress proposed legislation to promote a more open sharing of relevant information. The legislation would protect from lawsuits companies that share information about solving the Year 2000 dilemma. Many companies fear they would be open to legal action if they offer up solutions that turn out to be wrong. Clinton has set March 31 of next year as a deadline for the federal government to solve its share of the problem, thus providing nine more months before the year change as a shakedown period.

A senior aide said some of the government’s most important arms are behind schedule, including the departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Education, Transportation and Energy, the Health Care Financing Administration and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

John Koskinen, chairman of Clinton’s Council on Year 2000 Conversion, predicted all or most government computer systems would be ready for the millennial change on time at a total cost of $5 billion.

Koskinen said of particular concern are international financial transactions, telecommunications and transportation.

There is a potential political cost for substantial disruptions, since 2000 is a presidential election year and Vice President Al Gore wants to succeed Clinton.

Already Republican critics are saying the Clinton White House waited too long to start working on the problem.

“After years of unconscionable delay, President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore finally weighed in today on the Year 2000 computer crisis,” said Steve Forbes, a likely contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000.

Both Clinton and Gore urged political opponents not to try to make gains over a dilemma that everyone should work on solving.

“The Year 2000 problem is a management challenge and a programming challenge. It must not be a political football,” said Gore. “We need bipartisan cooperation to solve the Year 2000 problem, not political rhetoric.”

Clinton also announced the Labor Department had established a Year 2000-talent bank to help connect computer experts with organizations that need them. Clinton said there are tens of thousands of people retired from the computer industry who could be vital.

He suggested many businesses, in particular small ones, were delaying dealing with the problem, citing a Wells Fargo bank survey that said of the small businesses that know about the problem, roughly half intended to do nothing about it.

  THURSDAY JULY 23, 1998

Joseph Farah is editor of WorldNetDaily.com and executive director of the Western Journalism Center, an independent group of investigative reporters.

Government control in the Year Zero

The man regarded as the most knowledgeable person in the U.S. Senate on the impact of the Y2K millennium bug says people should begin stockpiling food, water, prepare for major crises in the health-care and banking systems as well as civil unrest triggered by the government’s failure to send out welfare checks.

“Pay attention to the things that are vulnerable in your life and make contingency plans,” says Sen. Robert Bennett, R-UT and chairman of the Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem. But don’t panic, he adds. “Civilization as we know it will not end.”

Nevertheless, Bennett is seeking assurances from the Pentagon that the U.S. military will be ready to respond if martial law is declared on or about Jan. 1, 2000, as millions of 20th century computer chips misfire because they do not recognize the dawning of a new millennium.

Uh, pardon me, but I have a question or two. Why isn’t this warning on the front page of every newspaper in America? Why isn’t it leading the network news? Why aren’t the nation’s most prominent civil libertarians acting to head off the imminent government power grab that will inevitably follow what Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has described “the biggest train wreck in history”?

It seems to me that the government is planning to make the most of the chaos.  After 30 years of fostering greater and greater dependency on government for everything from medical services to food stamps, officials are admitting they are going to be helpless to maintain at least some mission critical services.

It’s going to be a clamorous wake-up call to a generation of fools who really thought the government was their Mommy and their Daddy—that it would always be there to take care of them. That might not be a bad thing for the rest of us, except for the fact so many people will not know what to do. Having been provided for like spoiled children for so long, they are going to act like spoiled children denied for the first time.

What do you suppose will happen? Just imagine what every major city in America will be like the first time welfare checks don’t arrive. Imagine inner city hospitals turning away people by the hundreds, banks locking their doors, ATM machines inoperative, automobiles not starting, and no heat on cold wintry nights, barren supermarket shelves and potable water scarce.

Add to that recipe sporadic power failures, telephone service disruptions and shutdowns of major airline flights.

Remember Los Angeles after the Rodney King police beating trial? Kids’ stuff. Picture scenes like that repeated in dozens of urban areas throughout the country. Who ya gonna call? Don’t bother dialing 911 when the angry mobs head for your door. It won’t be working. The police will be plenty busy with other emergency calls, anyway.

I’m not even portraying a worst-case scenario. I’m accepting Bennett’s optimistic projection that civilization as we know it is not going to end. But listen to the way Bennett completed that thought: “But if it were this weekend, it would.”

In other words, Bennett, like President Clinton is expecting a miracle between now and Dec. 31, 1999. Clinton has set an unrealistic goal of making government Y2K-compliant by March of next year—eight months from now. It’s not going to happen. It won’t happen in 17 months, either.

So where does that leave us? Oh, don’t worry. The government has a Plan B. There’s a hint of it revealed in what officials have permitted the people to know about Presidential Decision Directive 63. The actual directive is classified. But a white paper released for public consumption is reassuring. The military, the intelligence agencies, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and state and local police are all working together to ensure that during this period of planned chaos the government will survive.

In fact, I strongly suspect many government officials—Republicans and Democrats alike—see the potential cataclysm as something of an opportunity. It might be a chance to smoke out all those pesky gun owners, confiscate lots of property, hijack the means of production and finally create government dependency among by those stubborn advocates of self-reliance and individual freedom who will now be at the mercy of the programmed mob.

Am I being paranoid? Maybe, but I prefer to think of myself as characterized by a healthy streak of objective cynicism. This is one of those ailments, whose treatment could be worse than the disease.

A daily radio broadcast adaptation of Joseph Farah’s commentaries can be heard at http://www.ktkz.com/

There is a day in the very near future when we may all get to see just how much we have come to depend upon computers, electricity, technology and conveniences. The question is, are you ready for the lights to go out? When the power goes off, how well will you survive? From the newspapers and news magazines of America (like the NY Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, and so on) let me read you these lines. You can quietly answer them in your mind.

  • How will the resetting of the GPS on 8/22/99 affect your life (all airlines use the GPS, all merchant and warships use GPS, even your pizza man and evening news camera crew use GPS).
  • How will the director of the Federal Reserve Bank (which controls all money in America and thus 60% of the wealth of the world) Allen Greenspan’s comments on 3/2/98 affect you? He said “60% chance of global recession. Damage ahead.”
  • Did you know that our sun operates on a Solar cycle of 11 years? The peak outflow of solar flares (plasma, electromagnetic explosions and power surges from the surface of the sun) comes on every 11th year. The last solar cycle peaked in 1989. What did it do? Check the encyclopedia. It knocked out the power grid of Canada and destroyed a 300 million-dollar ATT satellite. That was 1989. It hits every 11 years. When is the next one? It is due in 2000.
  • Do you know the supermarkets and gas stations around you have only a 72-hour supply of food and gasoline?
  • Y2K means: hard copy finances, medicines stored, power, H2O, food;
  • 6 month blackout to eclipse resistance to the New World Order. Barter with silver, ammunition. Ideal is 10-20K towns, armed who barter. Beware of urban areas.

THURSDAY JULY 23, 1998

Basic Errors[1]

For those who have only recently heard of such terms as “the millennium bug” or “Y2K,” a brief explanation may be of value. These terms refer to how the computer’s internal clock interprets the date after the year 2000.

Whether to save storage space or just irresponsible laziness, the year in the “date field” has been recorded with only two digits (i.e., 98) instead of four digits (i.e., 1998). We use the same form in everyday life; we write the date 8/25/98.

It has been demonstrated that “00” will be read by most computers as 1900-not 2000. Software and embedded chips that use date/time for calculations may produce inaccurate results or be unable to resolve their internal conflicts and shut down altogether.

Although conceptually this problem seems trivial, the sheer scope of finding and changing all the affected software and hardware is daunting.

In software, billions and billions of lines of computer code must be searched to find the affected date fields. In hardware, the billions of “embedded” chips must first be found. Documentation regarding chip location, however, is often poor or nonexistent. And unfortunately once found, the “fix” proves to be anything but simple.

Pressure to Perform

Programs created to fix the Y2K problem must work perfectly—there seems to be no room for error! Any “fix” with an error potential carries with it a risk value. And with the size of the databases upon which we rely-business, banking, governmental, or personal-and the speed at which they operate, any ill-computed data will infiltrate the system in its entirety within a short period of time.

Tests have concluded that even “fixed” data can be corrupted by interaction with an “un-fixed” or “non-compliant” database.

If you stop for a moment and think of all the information transferred regularly between data systems on a worldwide basis, you’ll see that the ramifications are far-reaching. The worldwide banking industry alone transfers over $2 trillion each day.

Hidden Hardware[2]

If the software problem wasn’t enough, the same Y2K glitch also affects our embedded chip technologies. These systems have enabled us to effectively shrink computers into hand-held devices or packages that fit within severe weight restrictions.

Each of the approximately 10 billion embedded chips in use today is “hard-wired” with an internal clock that governs its computational uses. Most of these have to be found, if possible, and individually replaced.

Because of their small size and weight, they tend to be in hard-to- reach places. There are embedded chips at the bottom of major oil rigs that control the flow of oil out of the well. They are also located in our satellite systems (it is neither time practical nor cost effective to consider seeking out and changing those chips that are in orbit). The watch you’re wearing most likely contains an embedded computer chip. It’s possible it will cease to function after the turn of the century.

While not terribly life disrupting in a wristwatch, similar chips are present in our GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) system, upon which most navigational computation relies (including commercial airliners). The U.S. Navy, which has responsibility for this system, has already said their solution will be to turn the clocks back 1024 weeks, thus recovering time for a more permanent solution.3

This sounds clever, but the retail GPS industry must then adjust to the Navy’s modified calendar. Portable, automobile and commercial (including airplane instrumentation) GPS receivers will have to be replaced or individually corrected to continue processing properly.

From satellites in orbit to the trucking industry (upon which we rely for the flow of goods through our infrastructures), many industries rely on the GPS system. Embedded chips are also found closer to home. From VCRs, electronic stoves, microwave ovens, alarm clocks, digital phone systems, and TVs to sewage pumps, water systems, electrical transforming equipment, traffic signals, credit card readers, and ATMs, these devices have permeated every facet of our lives.

What might happen eventually to us as Christians? Probably what has happened all along the way to servants of the Lord since the beginning, you and I may be called on by God to actually suffer! Listen to a modern day saint who is suffering. This is a Vietnamese Pastor’s wife story.[3]

THE LAST SHALL BE FIRST

I believe Mrs. Nguyen Thi An (a fictitious name) can claim a rightful companionship with Paul.  Though she has lost everything, she has all things in One.  They have taken her husband, her home, and her belongings, yet her contentment they cannot take.

Mrs. An’s husband was a pastor in Vietnam.  When police closed their church, he was thrown into prison.  Without official papers, she and her children were forced to live on a balcony outside an apartment.  Yet her faith has forged a sanctuary out of her surroundings, from which she greets us.

My Dear Friends,

… You know around here we are experiencing hardships, but we thank the Lord He is comforting us and caring for us in every way.  When we experience misfortune, adversity, distress and hardship, only then do we see the real blessing of the Lord poured down on us in such a way that we cannot contain it.

We have been obliged recently to leave our modest apartment and for over two months have been living on a balcony.  The rain has been beating down and soaking us.  Sometimes in the middle of the night we are forced to gather our blankets and run to seek refuge in a stairwell.

Do you know what I do then?  I laugh and I praise the Lord, because we can still take shelter in the stairwell.  I think of how many people are experiencing much worse hardships than I am.  Then I remember the words of the Lord, “To the poor, 0 Lord, You are a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat” (cp.  Isaiah 25:4), and I am greatly comforted….

Our Father … is the One who according to the Scriptures does not break the bruised reed nor put out the flickering lamp.  He is the One who looks after the orphan and the widow.  He is the One who brings blessings and peace to numberless people.

I do not know what words to use in order to describe the love that the Lord has shown our family.  I only can bow my knee and my heart and offer to the Lord words of deepest thanks and praise.  Although we have lost our house and our possessions, we have not lost the Lord, and He is enough.  With the Lord I have everything.  The only thing I would fear losing is His blessing!

Could I ask you and our friends in the churches abroad to continue to pray for me that I will faithfully follow the Lord and serve Him regardless of what the circumstances may be? As far as my husband is concerned, I was able to visit him this past summer.  We had a 20-niinute conversation that brought us great joy….

I greet you with my love.

Mrs. Nguyen Thi An

What can we do to get ready for the end of the world?

There is a plague sweeping America. It’s neither AIDS nor TB; it’s a dark cloud that overshadows all of life. It’s called DISCONTENT. What is the plague we face here in America? It’s the plague of discontentment. Discontentment is like an infection. You can catch it by contact unless you are resistant.

Do Study Of the Seven Keys To learn and Maintain Biblical Contentment from I Timothy 6:

  1. Remember things are only temporary v.7.
  2. Only seek necessities; wait for the rest v.8.
  3. Avoid a consuming desire for prosperity v.9-10.
  4. Flee materialism v.11.
  5. Cling to eternal life v.12-16.
  6. Fix your hope on God v.17.
  7. Give until it hurts v.18.

Contentment is the byproduct of following the Shepherd.  It is experiencing the inner-peace that only He can provide.  It is knowing He will promote you at the right time.  Contentment is the sense of satisfaction that comes to a husband and wife as they emulate the provision and care of the Shepherd to their own children.  Contentment comes from serving Christ instead of money and from providing not only financially for your family, but also emotionally, morally and spiritually. [4]

Finally, What can be the result of living by the Bible’s definition of contentment? Let’s look at just three:

  1. If you are content, you can enjoy the present rather than being anxious about the future.Mt 6:25
  2. If you are content, you can be liberated to truly enjoy the successes of others around you without envy.Ps 37:7
  3. If you are content, you will be able to let the Lord build a true sense of thankfulness about everything. I TH5:18

Beware of DISCONTENTMENT.

Listen to Packer’s insightful analysis.[5]

“Discontent will destroy your peace, rob you of joy, make you miserable, spoil your witness,” warns Packer.  “We dishonor God if we proclaim a Savior who satisfies and then go around discontent.”

The advantages of contentment, on the other hand, are many:  freedom, gratitude, rest, peace — all components of health.  They who are content do not have to worry about the latest styles or what to wear tomorrow.  They can rejoice in their neighbor’s good fortune without having to feel inferior.  They do not fret with wrinkles or graying because they accept what comes.  They do not have to worry how they might buy this or that because they have no desire for this or that.  They are not consumed with how to get out of debt because they have no debt.  They have time for gratitude even in small things.  They have time for relationships because possessions and the bank do not own them.

Contentment, explains J.I. Packer, “is essentially a matter of accepting from God’s hand what He sends because we know that He is good and therefore it is good.”

Beware of THE PROSPERITY LADDER[6]

Another erroneous measure of contentment is the prosperity ladder.  Most of us look “up the ladder” and notice that the wealthy have more than we do.  This, of course, strikes a near fatal blow at one’s contentment.  If, instead, we reversed our gaze and looked down the ladder, our gratitude would thrive and opportunities for sharing would abound.

The pettiness of my own sources of discontent would be amusing were I not so repentant about them.  I have been know to grumble when our house temperature drops to sixty degrees, yet there are untold millions in the world who do not have shelter.  I have been known to complain if the day is rainy, yet a large segment of the world’s land is shriveling up in drought.  I have been known to groan if I miss my dinner, yet thousands who go to sleep tonight without food will not awaken in the morning.  Christ came to save me from sin — not from sixty-degree homes, rainy weather, and delayed dinners.

This relativism, where the grass is greener on your neighbor’s lawn, can be remedied, but first it must be confessed.  We need to quit staring at those who have more than we do.  We need to override the set point by spiritual maturity, to look down rather than up the ladder, and to fix our contentment on godliness rather than relativism.  It helps immeasurably if we are surrounded by a community of like–minded friends rather than a society where envy has been normalized.

What should we do?

  1. Don’t panic. Listen to only operate in the realm of the Word of God. Note whatIsaiah 30:15 For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” But you would not, and Isaiah 32:17 The work of righteousness will be peace, And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.
  2. Prayerfully do some research. Look up some Y2K articles, read a book or two, track the Internet for a week.
  3. Thoughtfully consider the implications of these scenarios:
  • What would you want to do for the Lord if He was returning next Sunday?
  • What would your family need if the electricity goes out for a whole day in January, 2000?
  • What would your family need if the electricity goes out for a whole week in January, 2000?
  • What would your family need if the electricity goes out for a whole month in January, 2000?
  • What would your family need if the electricity goes out for a whole year in 2000?
  1. Think eternally. Do you need this or that in light of eternity? Where would time and talent best be invested?
  2. Give strategically. Where would a gift of money best be used? Right now the elders are planning a strategic campaign to raise $ 400,000 to plant churches in Russia through SGA. Would you like to invest? We also are looking at training Arab world church planters. Would you like a golden opportunity?
  3. Prepare evangelistically. How can you be ready with your quake pack as if California (enough to help fellow motorists or neighbors).
  4. Talk prophetically. You can speak with confidence about the future. The world will not end; the planet will not be plunged into nuclear winter, etc.

[1] From Gordon MacDonald,  Personal Update, vol. 8, no. 6, June, 1998.

[2] From Gordon MacDonald,  Personal Update, vol. 8, no. 6, June, 1998.

[3] Swenson, Margin, pp.189-90.

[4] Farrar, Better Homes and Jungles,  p.189-90.

[5] Packer as quoted by Swenson, p.194-5.

[6] Swenson, p.188.

 
 
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