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"And Hezekiah ...showed them the house of his treasures,

the silver and gold, the spices and precious ointment,

and all his armory, all that was found among his treasures."

Isaiah 39:2

Who wouldn't be proud of all this wealth? Hezekiah was only too happy to show them off to visitors who came from afar. But pride is a serious fault that will always bring a person down. God sent the prophet Isaiah with a word for king Hezekiah:

vs 5-6:

"Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah,

'Hear the word of the Lord of Hosts:

Behold, the days are coming

when all that is in your house,

and what your fathers have accumulated

until this day, shall be carried to Babylon;

nothing shall be left,’ says the Lord."

Nothing is permanent. People spend a lot of time and thought concerning what mark they hope to leave upon the world, and what treasures they will leave for their children. For many, this is one way human beings deal with the awareness of their own mortality. How important it becomes to many - to leave one's footprint behind for posterity.

But alas! Everything left behind will come to its end. We're coming close to the end of this age. Soon the "Great Tribulation" will begin, ending in terrible destruction upon the earth. Jesus Christ said that this period will be worse than anything the world has ever experienced before it or ever will thereafter. Multitudes will die, a large percentage of the population of planet earth will perish.The descriptions of this period sound very much like nuclear devastation. And this seven-year period will end ...with the coming of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, who will put an end to evil men, carnage, perversion, and deception - and bring in an age of peace, truth, righteousness, and true prosperity.

But even that will come to an end.

The Scriptures show us that after the millennial reign of Jesus Christ on this earth there will be a final rebellion in which all rebels will be removed. And then ...what? Another age? An even better time?

No. The millennial Kingdom will end with "The Great White Throne Judgment" (Revelation 20:11) in which all unsaved persons will stand to be judged, and to be sent to "The Lake of Fire," (vs 13-15).

Then, after the White Throne Judgment, there will be a tremendous transformation of all of creation. All that was ...will be dissolved. The skies and the earth will be done away with (Revelation 21:1), never more to be tainted with sin and destruction. Satan will have been permanently cast into the Lake of Fire, never more to deceive the nations. The Lord Jesus Christ will have made a total end to all that was.

And then ...he creates "a new heaven and a new earth," (vs 21).

This is also foretold in the Old Testament:

"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth,

and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.

But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create;"

Isaiah 65:17-18

Friends, you cannot leave anything behind. All is going to be done away with. The world's great wonders, the priceless works of art and sculpture, all the books, all works of all kinds, all, every single thing - is going to be dissolved. Nothing from this world will remain.

Therefore ...how important it is to the wise to focus instead on what WILL remain, and that is ...yourself, and all those you will succeed in winning to Christ for eternity. All the work you did in service to Christ which has impacted lives for eternity, these are the only things that will remain forever.

What could be more important therefore, than spending your days abiding in the Word of God and seeking how he will have you serve him as you live out your last days here? A very wise man once said, "From your position in time, you can impact eternity." Let this be the one thing that consumes all your desire, all your plans, all your efforts; for these and only these will remain ...forever.

February 13 The Impossible Story Of The Jews "Depart and go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying ‘To your descendants I will give it.’ And I will send my Angel before you, and I WILL DRIVE OUT the Canaanite and the Amorite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite." Exodus 33:1-2 At this point God had brought the Israelites out of Egypt and they were travelling in the wilderness on their journey to the promised land. God told Moses that HE would drive out the inhabitants of that land, because he was giving that land to the Israelites. Before you accuse God of being unfair, it must be noted here that the inhabitants God was driving out were savage false-god worshippers. God drove them out “when their iniquity was full.” That was more than 3,000 years ago. Consider the fact that of all those peoples, only the Israelites, (the Jews) remain to this day. If I had no other reason to believe, the story of Israel alone would be enough to establish my faith. God took a people thousands of years ago, choosing this people for two reasons: 1. Through their story, God teaches us about himself and about his dealings with people. "For whatever things were written before were written for our learning..." Romans 15:4 2. It is through this people Israel, that God would sent the Messiah, Jesus Christ, to make an atonement for man's sins. That the Jews have survived as a people all these thousands of years is truly miraculous. When was the last time you saw an Amorite or a Perizzite? You haven't - because they no longer exist. They either died off through wars, or they were assimilated into nations that conquered them. Either way, they disappeared from history. The Jews on the other hand, who were contemporary with them, are still with us and the Israel story goes on. Throughout the years of history, Satan has done all in his power to destroy them, because he knows very well their story. Satan knows that the Messiah comes through the Jewish people, and Satan knows that in the last days, that same Messiah will return and that that when he does, that will be the end of Satan's story. Satan's fate is the Lake of Fire. Therefore he struggles to destroy the Jews so that that day can't come. The plots of the destruction of the Jews have continued throughout history. When Moses was born, Satan caused the Pharoah to command that all Jewish babies be murdered, and there was a great slaughter throughout the land of Egypt. Moses was spared because he was found in a basket by Pharoah's daughter, and he was such a beautiful child that she took him and raised him herself. Had Moses not been spared, the Israel story would have ended. Later, when the day came for the Messiah to be born, Satan caused Herod to kill all the male children two years old and under. Jesus was not murdered because God spoke to Joseph to take Mary and the child and flee to Egypt until Herod's death. The Jews have been the object of Satan's wrath throughout history. In the 6th century, Satan raised up a man called Mohammed, who would forever try to destroy the Jews. In later times, the church of Rome would persecute the Jews through the Inquisitions and the Crusades. In more recent times, Satan raised up a man named Hitler, who was determined to destroy all the Jews from the face of the earth. He succeeded in slaughtering six million of them, but he didn't get them all. And currently -the Muslims proclaim very publicly, very loudly, and very clearly that they intend to finish the job. The Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Fatah, Hezbollah, and Iran, are all Muslim peoples who are determined to destroy Israel and the Jews. In fact, right now they have tiny Israel surrounded. Well ...the Jebusites are gone, the Hittites are gone, Pharoah, Herod, and Hitler are gone. The Jews remain. There has never been a people so continuously persecuted and hunted down as the Jewish people. Outside of God preserving them, they would have been destroyed a long time ago. Yet the Jew remains. And not only remains, but they have been returned to the homeland of their fathers from which they had been scattered throughout the world for over 2,000 years. The same Jerusalem is their capital. And Hebrew, the language lost throughout those years is once again the language they speak. The land that went barren while they were gone, is once again flowing with milk and honey. How is this possible? Outside of God preserving them, it ISN'T. When you understand the Israel story, all that's happening in today's news makes sense. We know where it comes from and where it's going. We know that the generation seeing Israel back in the land of her fathers is the one trigger that tells us we're in "the last days." What's next? The great Tribulation through which Israel will be prepared to recognize her Messiah, the one they rejected so long ago. When the Messiah comes, they will ask: "What are those wounds in your hands?" Zechariah 13:6 Imagine their shock when they realize that the one having the holes in his hands is the Messiah they rejected 2,000 years ago and have hated ever since. Right now we're poised for the rest of the story. All the signs say we're almost there. This is not a good time to be out of favor with the Lord. The end of the ages is upon us.

February 12 Did Mary The Mother Of Jesus Christ Remain A Virgin? "Then he went out from there and came to his own country, and his disciples followed him. And when the Sabbath had come, he began to teach in the synagogue." Mark 6:1 Having traveled extensively from village to village, Jesus and his disciples went to Nazareth, his own home town. But the people there did not receive him. They knew the family and had watched him grow up. He was one of the village kids, the oldest brother in a well-known local family. How could he be someone important?! Mary his mother claimed that he was conceived by the Spirit of God, but of course they did not believe her. vs 3: "'Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and BROTHER of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not his SISTERS here with us?' So they were offended at him." The Catholic church teaches that Jesus was the only son of Mary. They base it on the Scripture: "Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her UNTIL she had brought forth her firstborn Son." Matthew 1:24-25 They have create a whole doctrine around a verse in which they ignore the word "until." Why would they do that? And the answer is that Satan has a purpose for this false teaching. Satan's purpose from the beginning has been to detract all attention from Jesus Christ, and redirect it to anyone other than him. In creating this heretical doctrine, Catholicism directs the attention of its followers to "the blessed Virgin," thus fulfilling one of the greatest of Satan's goals, Mary becomes the one adored. Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, did not remain a virgin after the birth of Jesus. If she had, she would have broken the Jewish law by denying her husband his marital rights. There is absolutely no reason for Mary to have remained a virgin. She remained a virgin UNTIL Jesus was born because his paternity had to be unquestionably the Spirit of God. That was established, and there remained no reason for her to continue to be a virgin afterwards. In fact, in more than one passage the Bible makes clear that Mary had several more children after the birth of Jesus. Is there some special virtue in virginity? Are marital rights considered unclean? By living a normal life with her husband, would she have defiled her position as the mother of Jesus? There is no Scripture supporting it, and no teaching offering any reason for perpetuating this false teaching. The Scripture very clearly speaks of the brothers and sisters of Jesus, even naming them as seen in verse 3 above. Here is another confirmirming passage: "While he was still talking to the multitudes, behold, his mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with him. Then one said to him, 'Look, YOUR MOTHER AND YOUR BROTHERS are standing outside, seeking to speak with you.'” Matthew 12:46-47 The Scripture says brothers, not "cousins" as the Catholic church has heretically proclaimed by actually changing a word in the Scriptures in order to perpetuate the heresy of Mary's "perpetual virginity." The doctrines about Mary the mother of Jesus Christ as perpetuated by the Roman Catholic church are deliberate falsehoods. The intent is that the followers of Catholicism be brought into worship of someone other than God, which the Word of God strictly forbids. "I am the LORD: that is my name, and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images." Isaiah 42:8 "For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him ONLY you shall serve.’" Matthew 4:10 "For there is ONE God and ONE mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus..." 1 Timothy 2:5 Statues of Mary and "saints" are erected and people bow before them and kiss them. They wear medals honoring her. Having been raised that way, they have no idea that they are fulfilling the desire of Satan to divert worship to anyone or anything other than Almighty God. Satan has won their hearts and they walk in lifelong deception. People are pathetically unaware of the conflict between the kingdoms, they go through their lives not questioning the things they do from inherited culture and tradition. "I was born a Catholic and I will die a Catholic," I've heard them say. In other words, they choose tradition unquestioningly. They believe the lie. They have little care to discover truth, it would be too costly for most. “Surely our fathers have inherited lies, worthlessness and unprofitable things.” Jeremiah 16:19 "God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit AND TRUTH.” John 4:24