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December/January 2014 A Message From Good News Press Good News Press is an outreach publication. The Christian message is often referred to as the "Gospel," which means "good news." Specifically, it is the good news about Jesus—who He is, what He has done, and what He offers. Essentially, the message is that Jesus was God in the flesh, that He came into the world to reconcile humanity to Himself, and that his salvation is freely offered to each person who will respond in faith. The Gospel message explains that salvation is only possible through the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus. Through his sacrifice, Jesus paid the price for our sinfulness (rebellion against God), thus offering us forgiveness. Then through his Resurrection He conquered death, removing it as the penalty for our sin and replacing it with the offer of eternal life that is only available from Him to all those that place their faith in Him.
God’s Greatest Gifts to Us By Connie Woods
what would be if he never created us? Well thank God that This holiday season, Christians he did because we benefit from celebrate, with lots to be thank- and enjoy all that he has made. ful for. We’re reminded just how much God loves us, as we What a wonderful gift to be created and have life. ponder how He has richly . blessed believers through his 2. God Loving Us & His Other Son. This Christmas, as we worship and celebrate, our Sav- Attributes ior and Lord Jesus Christ, and 1 John 4:19 - We love him, because he first loved us. as we enjoy holiday parties, gather with family and friends, A God that loves us is just as and shop for gifts, let’s remem- about as good as it gets. We ber that the best gifts in life are should be bursting at the the ones that God has already seams with joy to have a God given and promised to us. who truly cares for us and wants our best. He has the 9 Great Gifts From God ability and power to take care 1. Creation of us and meet every need. We Genesis 1:1,27 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. serve a God whose attributes 27 So God created man in his own imare beneficial to us- omniscient age, in the image of God created he (all-knowing), omnipotent (all– him; male and female created he them powerful) merciful, longsuffering, holy, just, merciful, Have you ever thought about and on and on…….. And let’s God’s awesome creation, and
not forget he loved us even when we were sinners. 3. Sent his Son Jesus Christ to Save Us John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
4. His Spirit Indwelling Believers
Acts1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
What a miracle, to have God living on the inside of us. To have him with us constantly, guiding us, leading us, talking to us, and we with him. The Holy Ghost is an amazing gift, that God gave us. God living in us, empowers us and gives us Continued on Page 2
Plan of Salvation:
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever shall believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Good News Press - 2 God’s Greatest Gifts Cont’d from Page 1 by Connie Woods
the ability to live an overcoming life that pleases him. His Spirit causes us to bear fruit, while the gifts of the Spirit he give us is to build up the body of Christ. 5. Relationship With Him James 4:8 - Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. God de-
6. The Word of God you: and ye shall be witPsalms 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
What another treat. To have God’s word means we don’t have to walk in darkness, but can know God’s will and plan for our lives. 7. Promises of God God gave us an avenue through faith in him and belief in his word to have all our needs and desires met. 8. Power Act 1:8 But ye shall re-
sires us to have a personal relationship with him. We pray (talk to God), read his word, and obey his commandments, and seek him ceive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon continually.
nesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. God has given
us power to do whatever it is he calls us to do.
9. Eternal Life & A Glorious Future
“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:13). What a
glorious future we have in Christ Jesus.
2013 Christmas Canceled? Survey Finds 63% Of Shoppers Haven’t Saved a Penny New data from GoBank-
ingRates.com shows most Americans haven't budgeted for holiday gifts, while 40 percent plan to refrain from spending this season. PR Newswire-- According to recent GoBankingRates.com polls, more than 63 percent of respondents didn't allocate any savings toward holiday gift buying. Additionally, more than 40 percent of respondents said they would not be buying holiday gifts this year at all. To see study details, go to http://bit.ly/1dzxIT3.
with children and grandkids, too," noted Casey Bond, GoBankingRates.com managing editor. "Recent fiscal turmoil in Washington may have suppressed optimism for holiday consumerism this year. However, I would argue that consumers are being overly-optimistic about their ability to resist holiday shopping," Bond added.
Survey Questions, Answers and Results "How much money did you save for your holiday gift shopping?" "While it's unfortunate so "Over $1,000" (11.6%) many shoppers are putting "Between $500 and themselves at risk of start- $1,000" (7.9%) "$500 or less" (17.1%) ing off the new year in debt, what's really surpris- "None" (63.1%) "Other" (0.3%) ing is how many people said they're not buying gifts "How much do you plan to at all; it's not just the young spend on holiday gifts this and broke – it's people season?"
"I'm not buying holiday gifts" (40.3%) "Less than $500" (37.4%) "Between $500 and $1,000" (14.6%) "Over $1,000" (7.8%) Additional Findings Holiday Savings: Respondents in the West reported saving the most money for holiday shopping, whereas respondents in the South reported the least savings. At least 50 percent of respondents from each income level (ranging from $0 - $24,999 to $150,000 +) reported no holiday savings. Holiday Spending: Males were more likely than females to report no plans to buy holiday gifts. However, male respondents more often stated that
Continued on Page 7
Religion News Headlines Trinity Broadcasting Network Statement Concerning the Health of TBN Founder Dr. Paul Crouch
Trinity Broadcasting Network issued the following statement concerning the health of TBN founder and President Dr. Paul Crouch: Dr. Paul Crouch, founder and president of the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), was taken to a Dallas area hospital on October 22 due to shortness of breath and breathing difficulties he experienced while at TBN's Colleyville, Texas facility. Over the last decade, Dr. Crouch has been treated for a chronic heart condition and last year he received a pacemaker. He is resting comfortably while his doctors address his health needs and as he continues his recovery in the hospital. Dr. Paul Crouch, Founder of TBN Everyone associated with TBN, and especially Jan and the Crouch family, want to express their deep and sincere appreciation for the countless prayers and expressions of support and encouragement offered by TBN's many friends and partners all over the world. At times like this we are reminded that God is truly manifest through love, and the love and kindness so many have expressed has been a great blessing. Thank you, and may God bless each one of you.
Evangelist Billy Graham to Mark 95th Birthday with Message to America By Colleen Jen-
kins (Reuters) - Evangelist Billy Graham's voice is softer and his body weaker, but the man who helped transform Christianity in America and counseled U.S. presidents will reach out to the nation on his 95th birthday in an effort to revitalize the church. Graham, who has not preached publicly since 2006 because of frail health, has filmed a public message to air on national television on his November 7 birthday, giving fans a rare and possibly final opportunity to see the man dubbed "America's Pastor." ….
Supreme Court to Consider Religious Prayer at Government Meetings Lauren Markoe
Evangelist Billy Graham
(RNS) -- In a case that could determine restrictions on expressions of faith in the public square, the Supreme Court on Wednesday (Nov. 6) will consider religious prayers that convene government meetings. At issue in Greece v. Galloway is whether such invocations pass constitutional muster, even when government officials are not purposefully proselytizing or discriminating. Can a town council, for example, open its meetings with prayers invoking Jesus Christ, as happened repeatedly in the town of Greece, N.Y.? …..more at www.religionnews.com
Selena Gomez to Kick Off Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign
(Salvation Army USA) We are thrilled to announce that Selena Gomez will return to her hometown of Dallas, TX to kick off The Salvation Army’s 123rd annual Red Kettle Campaign Salvation Army & Dallas Cowboys name with a musical performance during halftime of Selena Gomez as Thanksgiving performer. the Dallas Cowboys game on Thanksgiving Day. In its 17th year, the Red Kettle Kick Off show – hosted annually by the Dallas Cowboys – will launch yet another great season of giving. Last year, the American public donated a record $148.7 million to The Salvation Army’s red kettles, allowing the organization to serve millions of Americans with food, shelter, clothing, financial assistance and toys for children. “Giving back is so important, and I am looking forward to kicking off the iconic Red Kettle Campaign and getting those bells ringing.
Good News Press - 3 Parents Demand Safer Option To Facebook’s Public Option For Teens -- This month, Facebook, the most dominant social media network on the planet with nearly 1.2 billion members, relaxed its privacy settings rules to allow new teenage members to share their posted information with anyone on the Internet. This change affects teen users 13 to 17, a prime demographic for advertisers. Teens previously had been limited to sharing posts and photos only with their friends or friend networks. Now, they have the option of switching their settings so that whatever they share will be accessible by the general public. Facebook will warn teens that they are exposing their information to a wider audience, and the default settings will remain friends-only. It remains to be seen whether teens understand how sharing their thoughts or pictures of their activities to a potential audience of millions can come back to haunt them. But this is what Steve Woda, CEO of uKnow.com - a firm that provides social media monitoring of kids' accounts -- tells the blog Inside Facebook recently:
with the privacy settings. We see time and time again, teens making mistakes with regard to such settings. And it's difficult, right now, for a lot of parents to know if their kids are online. We constantly deal with parents trying to get a handle on this."
nationwide. "[Smart Shepherd is] giving parents power and control again with a device that, quite candidly, has created a whole, private and separate world out there," says Davis, the creator of Legacy Technology Group. "The statistics show 60 hours a week [spent] on these phones. That's more than a full-time job on these little smart devices that you've got to absolutely [monitor] as a parent." Smart Shepherd allows a parent to monitor all real-time phone activity on their child's phone from their own smartphone, including incoming and outgoing calls, text messages, emails, social media activity, pictures and videos viewed, and all Internet activity. Smart Shepherd also provides a Panic Button, a unique feature installed on the child's phone that automatically sends a text notifying the parents of an emergency situation. The feature also provides a map to the child's location while simultaneously taking photos of the area and uploading them to the parent's portal. Smart Shepherd offers affordable and robust protection,
Woda tells Inside Facebook many parents don't understand social media sites well enough to follow all of their kids' activities. The new option policy for teens not only can keep such parents away from their children's pages, but the online savvy will understand how to access them. Parents must have a means of countering the potential threats to their children engaged on the Internet: cyberbullying, "sexting" content, even online predators. The latest release of a service from a company called Legacy Technology Group and its founder, Damon Davis, can give parents that ability. Davis' creation, Smart Shepherd, is powerful new software, downloaded as easy as an App, that allows parents to remotely monitor and control their children's online activity. Smart Shepherd has quickly become a trusted "I find teenagers are not great level of security for youth Continued on Page 7
Veteran’s Day - Many Restaurants Honor Veterans With a Free Dinner This Veterans Day, restaurants across the United States are holding an event to honor former and present military personnel. As a token of gratitude for their service, they are offering veterans a complimentary dinner. Veterans Day gives all Americans the oppor-tunity to thank veterans for their service and their sacrifices. The day shouldn't be confused with Memo-rial Day, which honors those who lost their lives in military service.
Veterans Day is a different type of celebration. It honors living veterans of American wars. It's a day for us to honor and appreciate them. For veterans themselves, it can be a very pleasant day. They may gather at veterans clubs or get together with men and women they served with. They often swap mostly funny stories about what happed during very serious and dangerous times. Or they can just enjoy a family outing held in their honor.
It's important that we know why we celebrate Veterans on November 11 so that we can honor our former service members properly. Veterans Day was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to mark the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress changed the name to Veterans Day. It became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
Romans Road To Salvation Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
Every person who has ever lived on Earth has sinned and fell short of God’s expectations, except for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 6:23a "For the wages of sin is death..." We were all on our way to Hell because there is a price to be paid for sin. It is a physical and spiritual death and eternal separation from God. This eternal separation also includes sinners being eternally lost and cast into the Lake of fire.
Romans 6:23b "...but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." The good news is we can be saved from this death and separation from God. Eternal life is a gift from God but only available through the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only way.
were not righteous but we all were sinners. But God loved us so much that while we were yet doing our things, going our own ways, deep in sin, Christ died for us. He bore the penalty for all of our sins.
Romans 10:9,10 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Confess the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, so that God can save you. He doesn’t care about what sins you have done in the past. He loves you and wants to save you. Jesus Christ paid the complete price, taking all of mankind’s sins unto himself on the cross. We have to no longer be slaves to sin and death.
Romans 10:13 "For whosoever Romans 5:8, "But God comshall call upon the name of the mendeth his love toward us, in Lord shall be saved." that, while we were yet sinners, Christian Ministry Declines Exemption Call on theTax Lord and ask him to save Christ died for us." you. God wants to. He loves you! Man was not deserving of God, we
Good News Press - 4 Bay Area Holiday Food Resources Alameda County Food Bank, 7900 Edgewater Drive, Oakland, CA, 94621. (510) 635FOOD (3663).
Holiday Toy and food baskets. Residents of an Leandro, San Lorenzo, and Castro Valley. http://davisstreet.org/ The Food Bank operates an auto- index.php/supporting-ourmated Holiday Food Helpline in holiday-program/ November and December for referrals to holiday food programs. Tri– Valley Haven, 418 JuncEmergency Food Helpline: tion, Livermore, CA 94551. (800)-870-FOOD (3663) 925-449-1664. Holiday Food Website: www.accfb.org/holidayfood-assistance/
Glide Memorial Church, 330 Ellis St. San Francisco, CA. 94102. 415-674-6000. Serves over 5,000 meals on Thanksgiving. Breakfast is served 78:30 am; Thanksgiving dinner is served 9-2pm. Same times for Christmas meals as well. Glide offers a toy giveaway on Dec. 21, 2013.
Alameda Food Bank, 1900 Thau Way, Alameda, CA 94501. 510-523-5850. Offers Thanksgiving food baskets on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and Holiday Certificates in December: Every year the Food Bank provides gift certificates to a local grocery store for households to purchase their holiday meal. The Food Bank recently began offering certificates to accommodate the many cultural preferences amongst our recipients so that everyone is able to have the meal most appropriate to their customs. Must be Alameda resident. http://alamedafoodbank.org Homeless eating Christmas Dinner © Americanspirit | Dreamstime.com
Centro de Servicios, 525 H Street, Union City, CA 94587. 510 489-4100. Distributes Holiday Food Baskets prior to Thanksgiving and Christmas, on Nov. 21st and Dec. 19th to Union City Residents only. First come, first served.
Davis Street Family Resource Center, 3081 Teagarden Street, San Leandro, CA 94577. 510.347.4620.
Bags for Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as gifts for residents of Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, and Sunol. Must fill out application at office. www.trivalleyhaven.org Bay Area Rescue Mission, 123 MacDonald Avenue, Richmond, CA . 510-215– 45555. Distribution of Holiday Food Bags. Must be a resident.
Acts Full Gospel Church Youth Dept. Debutante Program Bishop Bob Jackson, Senior Pastor Sis Pinn, Youth Director 1034 66th Ave, Oakland CA www.actsfullgospelchurch.org 510-567-1300 Contact: Sis Sandy Bradley-Claybrooks, Program Director – For More Info
Phone: (925) 565-0195
Acts Full Gospel Church, 1034 66th Avenue, Oakland, CA 94621. 510-5671300. Distributes food baskets to needy families. Must be on their list. Call for more info. Christmas toys given out after morning Christmas Service on Dec. 25. Faith Lutheran Church, 20080 Redwood Rd, Castro Valley, CA. Must sign up at the church on Thursday Oct. 31st, Nov. 7th, or Nov. 14th at 6:457:30 pm to receive a basket on Sat. Nov. 23rd, 2013. Does not have to be a resident of Castro Valley.
Salvation Army, 620 East Tregallas Rd., Antioch CA 94509. 925-778-0303. Food Assistance and Thanksgiving and Holiday Food Baskets & Toys. Concord Community Church, 3950 Clayton Road, Concord, CA. 925-676-6180. Thanksgiving and Holiday Food Baskets & Toys..
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Good News Press - 5
Advice from the CDC: Holiday safety and health for families Wash your hands often Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Stay warm Cold temperatures can cause serious health problems, especially in infants and older adults. Stay dry, and dress warmly in several layers of loose-fitting, tightly woven clothing.
across the country, take steps to ensure that your trip is safe. Wear a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle. Always buckle your child in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt according to his/her height, weight, and age. Watch the kids Children are at high risk for injuries. Keep a watchful eye on them when they're eating and playing. Have potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items, choking hazards (like coins and hard candy), and other objects out of kids' reach. Learn how to provide early treatment for children who are choking, and make sure toys are used properly.
Prevent injuries Injuries can occur anywhere and some occur around the holidays. Use step Manage stress stools instead of furniture when hanging Keep a check on over-commitment and decorations. Keep candles away from over-spending. Balance work, home, and children, pets, walkways, trees, and curplay. Get support from family and friends. tains. Never leave fireplaces, stoves, or Keep a relaxed and positive outlook and candles unattended. get enough sleep. Don't use generators, grills, or charcoalburning devices inside your home or garTravel safely by car age. Whether you're traveling across town or
Involve Your Children in Holiday Prep spend 38.1 minutes a week in meaningful conjust to be with you versation with their children. For working parents, those minutes can be hard to find. Christmastime offers some great opSo-called quality time is portunities to interact nice, like taking your with kids, who are enchild to the zoo, but the chanted by the celebratruth is that kids don't tion. Shopping, tree decreally want quality time, orating, baking and table they just want time, decorating, all offer time your time and lots of it. to interact with children. A report by A.C. Niel- Clifton Chadwick, a unison Co. shows parents
What kids want:
versity education professor, says housework and car-pooling are important times to talk with kids. Parents can also establish a family meal and involve kids in food preparation and conversation. Dads can make time, for instance, involving kids in any routine household activities such as washing the car or making repairs. As children grow and have homework, sports, friends and activities, established family activities can keep relationships warm.
Good News Press - 6 Understanding Angels By Greg Hanson Society holds a fascination for angels. People want to know: What do angels look like? Does each person have a guardian angel? How many angels are there? Is it possible to see an angel? Is it proper to pray to angels? Does a person become an angel after they die? Everyone has their own opinion about angels. And most have a mental image of what they think angels look like. They may even collect ornaments of angels (or rather, ornaments of their perception of angels). But despite this fascination, there is a lot of confusion and misunderstanding surrounding angels. And that’s probably because of where people turn to get their information.
Landon as an angel trying to ‘earn his wings’. These may have been good wholesome shows, but still not the most reliable sources to teach about angels.
So to clear up some of the confusion, consider some of the things angels are not. What Angels are NOT:
Ancient mythology and antiquated works of art also contain representations of angels. But unfortunately, they are not Angels are not cute portrayed very accurate- chubby babies with ly or consistently. bows & arrows. And the result is a pretty mixed-up understanding of angels, including a lot of light and fluffy beliefs drawn from all kinds of contradictory sources. It’s no wonder there is so much confusion.
Even within the Church, there is a lack of information about angels. Back in 1975, the respected evangelist Billy Graham said, “When I Like the movies. Angels decided to preach a serare portrayed in films mon on angels, I found such as “City of Angels” practically nothing in my with Nicolas Cage, library… I soon discov“Dogma” with Ben Afered that little had been fleck and Matt Damon, written on the subject in “Meet Joe Black” starring this century… I have Brad Pitt, or even the never heard anyone Christmas classic, “It’s a preach a sermon on anWonderful Life”. Those gels.” Which prompted movies may be entertainhim to write a book of ing or even inspiring, but they are also misleading his own on the subject. when it comes to angels. Television is another source. Touched By an Angel was a long-running show watched by many. In the 1980s, Highway to Heaven starred Michael
authority on angels, he described the topic as the “most remarkable and difficult of all”.
Karl Barth (pronounced “Bart”) is considered to be one of the most important Christian thinkers of the 20th century. As a theologian and an
“Cupid, draw back your bow…” This is one of the many images of angels. But this image originated from works of art during the Renaissance, and has nothing to do with reality. Angels are not what people become after they die. This is one of the more popular beliefs about angels, but it’s wrong. At funerals people often make comments such as, “He’s an angel now,” or, “God needed another angel in that heavenly choir!” It’s a sweet thought, but it’s not true. Angels and humans are completely different creations. Angels are not allknowing, all-powerful, or all-present. Those are attributes that belong to God and God alone. Angels, on the other hand, are confined by time and space. They are smarter, more pow-
powerful, and faster than we are, but they are not on par with God.
tion 5:11 even refers to primary functions is to “thousands and millions” of deliver messages from God. As when an angel angels. told Mary that she would Angels are not objects give birth to Jesus, or when Angels are invisible of worship. an angel informed the spirit beings. shepherds that Jesus had Some people do worship been born. Angels exist as spirits, inangels and pray to them. visible to the human eye. But in his letter to the CoBut, every once in a while, So angels are God’s servlossians, the apostle Paul angels do take on physical ants; they do not take orclearly discouraged this form in order to make ders from humanity. God practice. their presence known. We may assign them to serve see examples throughout or protect people from Angels are not halothe Bible of times when time to time, but it’s at His wearing, wing-clad, angels interacted with hu- bidding. harp-players. manity. Every time, they appeared as young men. Again, these images come Angels battle for God, But this does not necesmostly out of artwork, protecting God’s peosary imply that angels have some dating all the way ple. back to Greek and Roman gender. times. But the Bible makes The Old Testament (2nd no reference to angels Kings 19) contains an acThere were times when an wearing halos or playing count of King Hezekiah angel would take on form harps. As for wings, the crying out to God for help and the people would not Old Testament prophets when the Assyrian army even realize they were Ezekiel and Isaiah both attacks. And God reinteracting with an angel. refer to special classes of sponds. He sends a single And at other times, the angels (cherubim and seraangel who slays 185,000 people would be struck phim) that are portrayed Assyrian soldiers. That’s with a sense of terror. So as having wings. But even how powerful angels are. it would appear that the these seem to be simply They are much more fierce part of a vision and are not form they adopt varies. than commonly thought. meant to be a literal description of angels. Angels Angels may not be are spiritual beings, and what they appear to be. Which makes the idea of a they do not have physical guardian angel particularly In the spiritual realm, there appealing. The notion that bodies. are good spirits and there a person is always being are evil spirits. These evil protected is compelling. So with those misconcep- spirits (commonly known But while God may periodtions out of the way, con- as demons or devils) are ically assign an angel to a sider these five realities actually angels that rebelled particular person, there is that the Bible reveals about against God. Paul wrote in no clear indication that this 2nd Corinthians about assignment is permanent. angels. how these “fallen” angels Nor is it implied that the could disguise themselves same angel is assigned to What Angels Are: as servants of righteousthe same person every ness. Their aim is to detime. Angels are created beceive. Not every spiritual ings. So are angels a reality? being is friendly. According to the Bible, Angels have not always existed. They had a beginning. In Colossians chapter one, Paul teaches that Jesus created everything, including angels and the entire the spiritual realm. And He didn’t just create a few prototypes; He created a massive number. Revela-
Angels are servants of God. Aside from those that are “fallen”, angels do what God wants them to do. The word “angel” literally means “messenger”, indicating that one of their
yes. They may not fit popular conceptions, but there is a host of angelic beings hidden in a spiritual realm. They are under the command of God Himself, and they are ready to serve and battle at His discretion.
Good News Press - 7 Wake Up And Smell The Coffee By Grant Phillips My parents loved their coffee when they were alive. I’ll never forget waking up in the mornings to the smell of coffee brewing on the stove. As the coffee smell wafted through the entire house, it was like an alarm clock that pleasantly tickled the nose and woke us up for another day. I didn’t drink coffee at the time, of course, but I so enjoyed that aroma. Coffee just hasn’t smelled that good since, probably because back then it was percolated. My wife and have a Keurig coffee maker, and I’ll have to admit; it’s fast, convenient, and no clean-up. The coffee tastes great, but lacks the pleasant coffee smell of yesteryear.
Many others think they are prepared, but are not. They think that just because they go to church, they are a Christian. Look, you could thread me on a fish hook, but that doesn’t make me a worm. And then there are the masses who just don’t give a hoot about God or anything related to Him. I can assure you, they are not ready. For more than forty years now, great Bible prophecy teachers have been warning a dying world that Jesus will soon return. Some have died and gone on to Heaven while others are still here trying to get people to listen. More and more, people are turning a deaf hear, even many who say they are Christians.
tween thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15) So, when will the Second Advent (His return) take place? Only God knows, literally.
To me, of all the signs the Lord gave us, and there are many, the two most important ones are the reestablishment of Israel as a nation, number one, and the apostasy that will reign in the last days. A voluminous load of signs are available, but these two are so important, they’re top heavy. Nothing but a colossal miracle from God could have ever set the Jews back in their own land and Many today are still fast asleep made them as powerful and sucand not waking up to the gentle cessful as they are today. I do not nudges God is providing us to exaggerate. No power could have wake up. Did I say “gentle nudgIt is tragic that Satan has used given them victory over the ates?” I think “shaking” would have some real dunderheads to attacks against them since 1948, been a better term. tempt predictions as to when except the hand of an omnipotent Jesus will return. This has turned God, the God of Israel. Only God God is shaking us every way posmany off to the Truth, and now could have brought any of this sible to wake us up from our they just laugh off the message about. slumber. He wants us to know that “Jesus is coming soon.” Oththat time is running out, and His Apostasy, as prophesied, rules the return is imminent. Yet, many are ers consider the message to be day. Apostasy, in my thinking, is the same as the “little boy that just hitting the snooze button and an attitude basically of, “I don’t cried wolf.” ignoring the wakeup call. care one way or another.” We “And as it was in the days of Noe, are neither cold or nor hot, and I have never used the snooze so shall it be also in the days of this is the Church that is being button on the alarm, but many referred to! Jesus was speaking to the Son of man.” (Luke 17:26) people do. I wonder how often the Church at Laodicea. This is they are late in arriving at their Noah preached to the people of the seventh Church period of the destination because of it. Those his day for 120 years that the ages. It is the last age. We are in who ignore the alarms now may flood was coming, and no one the last days of the Church. miss the event entirely. What a believed him outside his own pity. family. I image they all mocked I realize that it is easy for people him and got sick of his messages, to get lethargic about looking for God is using many resources to wake us up to the urgent message just as people today are mocking Christ’s return. We keep hearing of His return. Whether you look and hating the message. Obviously it and hearing it, but so far, nothing has changed, but even our at governments and governmental they never repented or we wouldn’t be finding aquatic fossils lethargy is a sign. leaders, people, lifestyles, religions, the Church, crimes, nature, on mountains tops. What did they “Knowing this first, that there Israel (especially), weather, econ- do? shall come in the last days scoffomies, etc., He wants us to know “They did eat, they drank, they ers, walking after their own lusts, of His soon return. married wives, they were given in And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the faPeople have asked me how long I marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the thers fell asleep, all things continthink it will be for Christ to reflood came, and destroyed them ue as they were from the beginturn. What does “soon” mean? I ning of the creation.” (2 Peter 3:3have stated many times that only all.” (Luke 17:27) 4) God can answer those questions. Someone may ask, “Does that I will dare adventure a definition mean Jesus won’t come for anoth- Jesus said, “Watch therefore: for for “soon” by saying that it is er 80 years or so?” since He gave ye know not what hour your Lord imminent. That is the best I or Noah’s generation 120 years to doth come.” (Matthew 24:42) anyone else can do. He can come repent?” I don’t know. The coffee is on the stove. The at any time. Consider this though. He gave aroma is working its way throughLet us not be so concerned about Sodom and Gomorrah no warning out every room. It’s time to get the “when,” but be more conthat I am aware of, and destroyed up. Don’t hit the snooze button. cerned about being prepared. them the day after He informed Wake up and smell the coffee. Grant PhillipsEmail: grantphilMany people today are prepared. Abraham of His intentions. They are called Christians. Yet, Also, He told of His First Advent firstname.lastname@example.org even many of them are going to to earth as man’s sacrifice about Pre-Rapture Commentary: be surprised when they are trans- 4,000 years before it occurred. http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com ferred to Heaven in the twinkling “And I will put enmity between of an eye. thee and the woman, and be-
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