Solving the Three Day Three Night Mystery – A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

Solving the Three Day Three Night Mystery – A Bible Study by Jack Kelley –

In Matthew 12:38 Jesus was asked for a sign to show that He was the promised Messiah. The religious officials had just accused Him of using the power of Satan to perform His miracles, and so He described the only sign they would see. “Just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish,” He said, “So will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth (Matt. 12:40).” By this He meant that because of their hardened hearts they would only know for sure that He was their Messiah after He rose from the dead, an unmistakably miraculous sign. History shows they didn’t accept even as incredible a sign as this, but His response has resulted in a 2000 year controversy surrounding the time of His death.

What’s A Sabbath?

People who were unfamiliar with the sequence of the spring Feasts of Israel determined that the phrase in John 19:31 identifying the day after the crucifixion as a special Sabbath meant that Jesus was crucified on a Friday, because everyone knows that the Jewish Sabbath is Saturday. And almost everyone agrees that He rose again on Sunday. But there isn’t any way you can put three days and three nights between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning. Hence the controversy.

So let’s set the record straight. Sabbath is a Hebrew word that means means “rest” and refers to holy days when no work is allowed. There is one every Saturday in Israel, but there are also several during the year that are date specific. That means they are always observed on a specific calendar date, regardless of the day. They’re like our Christmas. Every year it comes on the 25th of December no matter what day of the week that happens to be.

The special Sabbath John referred to is the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and it’s a date specific holy day; always observed on the 15th of the month they call Nisan, which corresponds to March/April on our calendar. So the first thing we learn is that the special Sabbath mentioned in John 19:31 didn’t have to be a Saturday.

Originally there were four special days in the month of Nisan. The first was Passover on the 14th. Then the Feast of Unleavened Bread which began on the 15th and ended on the 22nd, both of which were special Sabbaths. And finally, there was the Feast of First Fruits which fell on the Sunday morning following Passover (Leviticus 23:4-14).

Of the four, only the two that opened and closed the Feast of Unleavened Bread prohibited work like the weekly Sabbath, but all have both a historical and prophetic purpose and like all days in the Jewish calendar they begin at sundown, following the pattern of Genesis 1 where God repeated the phrase, “and there was evening and there was morning” six times, once for each day of creation.

The Passover Lamb

The next issue we have to consider is the sequence of events in the week we call Holy Week. In Exodus 12:1-13, where the Passover was ordained, we learn what that sequence was. God told the Israelites to select a lamb on the 10th day of the month and inspect it for defects until the 14th. This means through the end of the 13th. Then at twilight they were to slaughter and roast it, eating it that same evening, as the 14th was beginning. Using some of its blood they were to paint their door posts red to protect them from the plague coming upon Egypt at midnight.

Jesus came to fulfill the prophecy of the Passover Lamb, to save from death everyone who spiritually applies His shed blood to their lives. The only day He ever allowed the people to hail Him as King was on the day we call Palm Sunday, and as we’ll see it was the 10th day of the month. He did this to fulfill the selection process for the Passover Lamb. When the officials told Him to rebuke His disciples, He said that if they became quiet, the very stones would cry out (Luke 19:40). For this was a day ordained in history. It was the day He officially presented Himself as Israel’s Messiah, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). It was 483 years to the day from the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, spoken of by Daniel the Prophet (Daniel 9:25). A little while after the officials cautioned Him, He condemned Jerusalem to utter destruction because they did not recognize the day of His visitation (Luke 19:41-44).

The next three days were filled with the most aggressive debate and confrontation with the officials in His entire ministry. He was being inspected for any doctrinal spot or blemish that would disqualify Him as the Lamb of God. They found none, and finally no one dared ask Him any more questions. (Matt. 22:46)

Tradition, Tradition

Some years before the birth of Jesus, the Passover celebration had been changed and in the Lord’s time called for a brief ritual meal of lamb, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs (horseradish) to begin the 14th followed by a great and leisurely festival meal on the 15th, when the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins. This meal is called the Passover Seder.

The 14th became known among the people as Preparation Day , because during the day they made ready for the great feast day beginning at sundown, after which no work was permitted. Mark 15:42, Luke 23:54, John 19:31 all identify Preparation Day as the day of the Lord’ s death, while Matt. 27:62 says the day after the crucifixion was the day after Preparation Day. So all four Gospels agree; Jesus died on Preparation day, the 14th of their month Nisan, which is Passover. As evening began the day, He ate the ritual meal with His disciples in the Upper Room, and then was arrested, tried, convicted, and put to death; all on Passover. So just like the Lord had commanded in Exodus 12, our Passover Lamb was selected on the 10th, inspected on the 11th, 12th, and 13th, and executed on the 14th of Nisan.

How Do We Know This?

A little over 100 years ago a believer named Robert Anderson was head of Scotland Yard’s investigative division. He became intrigued by the three days and three nights issue and enlisted the help of the London Royal Observatory to investigate the problem since astronomers can locate the exact position of the planets and stars on any date in history. Since Passover always falls on the 14th, and since the Jewish calendar is lunar (moon) rather than solar (sun) oriented, there is always a full moon on Passover. This fulfills Genesis 1:14.

Plotting the course of the Sun and Moon they documented the day and date of every full moon. The Royal Observatory discovered that the first Palm Sunday was the 10th of Nisan, the day when Exodus 12 says to select the lamb. Therefore Passover, the 14th, was a Thursday. The Feast of Unleavened bread began on Friday the 15th, Saturday the 16th was the weekly Sabbath, and Resurrection Morning was also a Sunday, the 17th, when the Feast of First Fruits was celebrated. From Thursday to Sunday there are three days and three nights. It’s a little confusing to our way of thinking because the Hebrew day changes at sunset, which means that night precedes day. But read carefully and you’ll see that it makes sense.

As I’ve said, Jesus had to die on Passover to fulfill the prophecy. Early that Thursday morning the Jewish leadership had gotten permission to crucify Him. (Matt. 27:1-26) His fate was sealed and He was hanging on the cross by 9 AM, as good as dead. His actual time of death was about 3 PM and His body was laid in the tomb sometime later, since the officials wanted it off the cross before sundown brought the Feast of Unleavened Bread, after which no work was permitted. By then Jesus had been in Sheol for several hours. Thursday was day one.

Because in Jewish reckoning the night precedes the day, at sundown it became Friday the 15th, night one, and the special Sabbath John mentioned began (John 19:31). At sunrise it was Friday morning, and day two began. The next sundown brought Saturday night the 16th, night two, and the regular Sabbath began. As of sunrise it was Saturday day, the beginning of day three. At sundown on Saturday it became Sunday night the 17th, night three, and sometime before sunrise Jesus rose from the tomb. Three days and three nights. When the women arrived at sunrise to anoint His body early in the morning, He was already gone.

So in the week Jesus died two Sabbaths that permitted no work were observed back to back: The Feast of Unleavened Bread on Friday the 15th, and the regular weekly Sabbath on Saturday the 16th. In Matthew 28:1 we read that at dawn on the first day of the week (Sunday the 17th) the women who were close to Jesus went to the tomb. Luke 24:1 tells us they were going to anoint His body for burial. The two consecutive Sabbaths had prevented them from doing so earlier (Luke 24:55-56). But He wasn’t there. He had risen. Being the Sunday after Passover, at the Jewish Temple it was Feast of First Fruits. At the Empty Tomb it was Resurrection Morning.

How Can We Confirm This?

Some people try to equate his time of death with the burial of His body and say you can’t count Thursday as day one, because His body wasn’t laid in the tomb until sunset was upon them. But that doesn’t make sense. A person’s death always precedes his or her burial, sometimes by several days. In the Lord’s case it was several hours between the time He died and the time His body was laid in the tomb.

The two disciples who met the Lord on the road to Emmaus that Sunday (the day the Lord’s resurrection was discovered) help us to confirm this (Luke 24:13-35). At first they thought the Lord must have been a very recent visitor to the area when He asked them to explain why they were so sad. In the course of the discussion they indicated it was the third day since the crucifixion. “Since” is roughly equivalent to “after”. It being a Sunday, the previous day (Saturday) would have been the 2nd day since it happened , and Friday would have been the first day since it happened, making Thursday the day it happened.

Others argue that this view doesn’t permit three full days and three full nights in the tomb but that’s not what the Scripture says. It simply says three days and three nights. If you move his death up to Wednesday to get three full days you violate the Passover Lamb prophecies, the women wouldn’t have waited until Sunday morning to prepare the Lord’s body because they could have done it on Friday, and the disciples on the Emmaus road would have said Sunday was the fourth day since the crucifixion. So the Thursday date is the only one that will accommodate both the Passover Lamb and the three day three night prophecies. Mystery solved.
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The Passover: History and Prophecy

The Passover: History and Prophecy – A Bible Study by Jack Kelley –

The Feasts of Israel have both a historical and a prophetic fulfillment. In this study we’ll review the account of Passover, the world’s oldest continuously celebrated Holy Day, from these two perspectives.

First, here’s the background. God had promised the land of Canaan to Abraham. But before Abraham could actually take possession, the Canaanite people still had 400 years to decide if they were going to repent of their pagan ways and return to God. He already knew they weren’t going to decide in His favor and He would have to evict them, but He was committed to giving them the 400 years first. So it would actually be Abraham’s descendants who would take possession of the land. In the interim, God said, they would migrate to Egypt and eventually become enslaved there. When the 400 years were up, God would bring them back to give them the land and would also give them the wealth of Egypt, as compensation for their time of slavery. (Genesis 15:13-21)

To make sure there was no confusion about this, God repeated His promise to both Isaac (Genesis 26:2-3) and Jacob (Genesis 28:10-15), Abraham’s son and grandson.

When the time came, God called Moses to be the deliverer of the Jewish people (Exodus 3) and appointed his brother Aaron to help him bring Abraham’s descendants back to the Promised Land (Exodus 4:14-17). But when they approached Pharaoh, he flatly refused to let the people go (Exodus 5:1-3). After nine judgments that nearly destroyed Egypt (Exodus 7:14-10:29), God told Moses and Aaron how to prepare the people so they could protect themselves from the 10th and final judgment, the death of the firstborn.

The Historical Fulfillment

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. (Exod. 12:1-5)

From the dawn of the Age of Man until that time, the month to which the Lord referred had been the 7th month, called Nisan. In the announcement above He basically ordered a 6 month shift in their calendar. The 7th month was now the 1st. Because of their dependence on agricultural cycles, the Israelites retained their original calendar, with it’s Fall beginning, and super-imposed this new calendar over it. From then on they had a religious calendar, beginning in the Spring, and an agricultural calendar, beginning in the Fall. (That’s why Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, comes in the Fall.)

Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the door frames of the houses where they eat the lambs. That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. Do not eat the meat raw or cooked in water, but roast it over the fire-head, legs and inner parts. Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover. (Exod. 12:6-11)

Until the 14th means through the end of the 13th, just like a present marked “do not open until Christmas” can’t be opened until the 24th is over. Also, Jewish days begin at sunset in line with the Biblical account of Creation, “There was evening and there was morning…” (Genesis 1:5, etc.). As the sun was setting on the 13th, the Lambs were to be slaughtered and roasted. Some of the lamb’s blood was to be painted on the lintel and post of the door to each family’s house. Then, when the lambs were cooked, they were to be eaten in haste, along with some unleavened bread and bitter herbs (horseradish). Thus, the Passover meal was the first meal of the 14th, eaten after the sunset that marked the beginning of the day. It was a quick meal, more like a sandwich really, bearing no resemblance at all to the leisurely and sumptuous festival meals of today.

“On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn-both men and animals-and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. (Exod. 12:12-13)

Around midnight, after their hasty meal, the destroying angel passed through Egypt and the firstborn of man and animal perished. The angel passed over homes where the doorposts had been painted with lamb’s blood, sparing the people huddled trembling within. They weren’t spared because they were Jewish, or because they had eaten lamb for dinner. They were spared because they had the faith to paint their doorposts with blood. They were saved by faith through the blood of the lamb.

Many years later, when the Passover Seder had become a traditional celebration, it became common for the participants to dip a finger into their wine glass to collect a drop of wine which they then let fall onto their plate. They do this for each of the 10 plagues of Egypt, each time saying, “We are saved by the blood of the lamb.”

“This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD -a lasting ordinance. For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel. On the first day hold a sacred assembly, and another one on the seventh day. Do no work at all on these days, except to prepare food for everyone to eat-that is all you may do.

“Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. In the first month you are to eat bread made without yeast, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day. For seven days no yeast is to be found in your houses. And whoever eats anything with yeast in it must be cut off from the community of Israel, whether he is an alien or native-born. Eat nothing made with yeast. Wherever you live, you must eat unleavened bread.” (Exod. 12:14-20)

The Feast of Unleavened Bread began on the 15th and lasted through the 21st. No yeast could be used in any food preparation, nor could any be present in the house during that time. When they settled in Israel, since the 15th was a major feast day and special sabbath, after the ceremonial “lamb sandwich” was consumed the rest of the 14th was spent in preparation because no work could be done after sundown. Any yeast found in the house was discarded, and the bulk of the food purchasing and preparation was done. This is how the 14th became known as Preparation Day (John 19:31).

From that day in the wilderness till this, the Lord’s Passover has been celebrated, one of the most dramatic displays of His power ever seen. During the meal they drink four special cups of wine, one each for the four promises God made to Moses from the burning bush.

“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD , and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians (First cup, Sanctification). I will free you from being slaves to them (Second cup, Deliverance). I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment (Third cup, Redemption). I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God.”(Fourth cup, Acceptance) (Exod. 6:6-7).

He freed His people from the bonds of slavery, defeating the world’s most powerful country without an army, without a single casualty among His own, by the power of His outstretched arm. Over a million former slaves walked out of Egypt the next morning carrying the wealth of their former captives, back wages for their hard labor. The sick were healed, the lame walked, and the weak were made strong. Not a single one was left behind. This detail was overshadowed by other events of the day, but it was most likely the greatest healing miracle of all time.

Prophetic Fulfillment

In the first chapter of John’s gospel, Jesus was introduced as the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. Throughout His ministry people proclaimed Him as Israel’s Messiah, but only on one day did He encourage it. On the Jewish calendar, it was the 10th day of the first month. We know it as Palm Sunday. Through out Jerusalem Passover lambs were being selected, but on the Mount of Olives The Passover Lamb was being welcomed into the city with shouts of “Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord.” (Matt. 21:9)

From then until the end of the 13th He received the most aggressively intense questioning of His ministry. He was being carefully scrutinized for some defect in His teaching until finally “no one dared ask Him any more questions” (Matt 23:46).

Sundown at the end of the 13th brought the Passover, called Preparation Day in His time. He ate an abbreviated Passover meal with His disciples, stopping at the 3rd cup, the Cup of Redemption. It was a Thursday, the 14th of the month, and before the day was over He had been arrested, tried, convicted and executed by crucifixion. The Passover Lamb had been put to death on Passover. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed, Paul would later say (1 Cor. 5:7).

Just before He died, knowing that all had been completed and so the Scriptures would be fulfilled, He asked for a drink (John 19:28-29). In taking the wine they offered, He drank the 4th Cup of the Passover, the Cup of Acceptance. “I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God.” From that day forward, anyone who accepted His death as payment for their sins would in turn be accepted into the family of God and receive eternal life. They are saved by faith through the Blood of the Lamb.

Earlier a group of Jewish officials had asked Jesus for a miraculous sign to prove that He was who He claimed to be. He said, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matt. 12:39-40). They would get their sign but only after they had put Him to death. And it would be unmistakable. No one had ever come out of the grave in a resurrection body before.

The day following the crucifixion would be Friday the 15th, the first Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a special Sabbath where no work could be done (John 19:31). Knowing this, the chief priests asked Pilate to hasten the deaths of the condemned men so they could get them off their crosses before sundown. But Jesus was already dead. He had died at three o’clock and though His body was still on the cross, His spirit was already in Sheol, the abode of the dead. Day one.

At sundown the Feast of Unleavened Bread began, and with it Night One, followed in the morning by Day Two. Saturday the 16th was the regular weekly Sabbath and again no work could be done. It began with Night Two and in the morning became Day Three. Then at sundown it was Sunday the 17th, Night Three. Three days and three nights, just as He had prophesied.

At sunrise Sunday morning the 17th, the Feast of First Fruits was being observed at the Temple when the women came to the tomb where He’d been laid to rest (Matt. 28:1). It was their first chance to anoint the body for burial since both Friday and Saturday had been Sabbaths. But the tomb was empty. He had risen, the First Fruits of the First Resurrection.

The two disciples who met the Lord on the road to Emmaus that Sunday (Resurrection Day) help us to confirm this sequence (Luke 24:13-35). At first they thought the Lord must have been a very recent visitor to the area when He asked them to explain why they were so sad. In the course of the discussion they indicated it was the third day since the crucifixion. It being Sunday, the previous day, Saturday, would have been the 2nd day since it happened, and Friday would have been the first day since, making Thursday the day it happened.

By His death, He freed His people from their slavery to sin, defeating Heaven’s most powerful adversary without an army, without a single casualty among His own, by the power of His sacrificial life. Billions of former slaves will walk out of this world one day soon, receiving wealth beyond measure. The sick will be healed, the lame will walk, and the weak will be made strong. Not a single one will be left behind. It’s the ultimate fulfillment of the Passover Prophecy.

Shabbat Shalom. May the peace of the Sabbath rest upon you, and may the Grace of our Lord Jesus abide within you, both now and forever more.

Nearing Midnight: Noah and Antichrist’s Hypnotists-Part 2

Nearing Midnight: Noah and Antichrist’s Hypnotists-Part 2 – Terry James –

There is no more appropriate time that God’s prophetic warning through the apostle Paul applies than at this very moment in human history: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Tim. 4:3-4).

This generation is in a time of deep, dark, deception. Jesus Himself, before giving the many signs of His Second Coming, forewarned of one specific danger in answer to His disciples’ question about when He would come again to earth. The Lord gave answers while they sat atop the Mount of Olives looking down on the Temple and Mount Moriah: “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” (Matt. 24:4).

The very end of the age will be a time of great deception, Jesus emphasized. His Holy Name will even be at the center of the deception, He warned. The believer -the born again-was to avoid being deceived, He instructed.

We are examining the latest Hollywood entertainment offering of a supposedly biblical nature. Noah, film-maker Darren Aronofsky’s high-dollar film, surpassed by far what the movie money gurus expected, grossing over $44 million out of the starting blocks. They had expected perhaps $30 million would come into their coffers from theatergoers.

Many Christian pundits predicted the movie would fall flat because of the total disregard the producers of the film showed for fidelity to truth of God’s Word in its account of Noah and the Flood. That was the hope of many within evangelical Christianity, once the content of the story presented was exposed to the viewing public.

Noah, although by all accounts a technically brilliant film, and one with superb acting–with Russell Crow, a Hollywood heavyweight, as Noah–was an almost complete fabrication-fiction from the get-go. There was little similarity between the story line of the movie and the biblical account.

Was this innocent misunderstanding in a Hollywood attempt to provide entertainment -or something other? This is what I would like us to consider. Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi master-propagandist in Hitler’s regime of genocide, had the understanding and technique down pat. You could persuade, could mesmerize an entire nation’s public through on-screen inculcation. All we have to do to know this is true is to watch the black-and- white films shot of the hypnotic looks on the faces of the German people while they watched Goebbels’ films and listened to the Fuehrer’s rants at the massively-attended Nazi rallies.

Hollywood’s capabilities are technologically improved a thousand times over. The special effects, blended superbly with the stories presented, rather than overtly hypnotize the viewers, subliminally infuse into their psyches the worldviews those who control Hollywood worldly thinking desire to infuse.

Lucifer -Satan-is the father of lies, the Scripture tells us. Fiction, although not overt lies in the dictionary sense, nonetheless, are lies in the ultimate, literal sense. That is, fiction is not truth, although it might purport to portray truth. It has been termed the “willing suspension of disbelief”–i.e., the willing are willfully accepting of the lie.

This is what happened to the first two humans, isn’t it, according to the Bible?-If, of course, you believe the Bible. The serpent, remember, created a “suspension of disbelief” moment. He presented a half-truth fiction: “Ye shall not surely die.”

The serpent is still up to creating fiction based on lies meant to do their deadly work on the human mind and soul. He is the father of such… In the movie, Noah, the suspension of disbelief is rampant. According to the reviews I’ve read -both from secular sources like Rolling Stone and the New York Times, and religious forums- the story from beginning to end is filled with scenes contrary to God’s account. The moviegoer is to put aside his or her preconditioned notions that what the film presents is false theology and history. They are to believe -without thinking too deeply about it–that the story of Noah and the Flood really could have happened as the Hollywood version has it. Regardless, what’s the harm? After all, it’s just a movie -good, Hollywood-quality entertainment…

Especially in the Western world, there is a concerted campaign to dumb down people in every sense. The principalities and powers of Ephesians 6:11-18 and the flesh-and-blood powers-the would-be, one-world order builders-are using every method available to hypnotize, in Joseph Goebbels fashion-the masses. They are determined to bring all back to Babel.

We will examine just how far along we might be in that process in next week’s commentary-Lord willing.

The Unexpected

The Unexpected – By Grant Phillips –

My wife and I sleep with a fan running through the night just to have the noise. Also, we have a digital clock on the nightstand that also displays the time on the ceiling. When we awoke the other morning Debbie first noticed there was no noise from the fan, and I noticed there was no “time” on the ceiling. The power (electricity) had gone off due to the night’s ice storm. Trees were down and over 600 families in our area were without power because of it.

It was 4:30 in the morning and of course quite dark. We stumbled around with flashlights until it finally got light enough outside to see without them. About ten hours later the power came back on.

Now our little inconvenience was nothing compared to what others have experienced in our winter weather throughout the country, but it got me to thinking about something.

Number 1: Instantly, our day-to-day life was re-arranged, with no idea when it would return to normal.

Without warning we were in the dark. We went to sleep the night before and everything was working fine, but the next morning we were back in the late 1800s, as far as the many conveniences of electricity being at our fingertips. You have all been there I’m sure at one time or another. You sure do miss it when you don’t have it.

Many experiences in life are identical. We could be in perfect health, and then within an instant, we are physically dependent on others. We could be comfortable financially, and then within an instant, our financial circumstances are turned upside down. We could be happily married, and then within an instant that loved one is no longer with us.

We have heard it said that nothing is sure in life but death and taxes. If that be true, we should look a little deeper, because the most dependable source in our life is the promises of God. If we have that to hold on to, we have nothing to fear. Regardless what life throws at us, consider Job by the way, we can rest in the arms of God Almighty.

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah 26:3)

Most people do not have the assurance of God in their lives. No wonder the world has gone mad. For them, there really isn’t anything to live for that is permanent. It’s all temporary.

Number 2: An unexpected problem can bring with it much inconvenience.

Until the power was restored, we stumbled around in the dark until we found some flashlights and candles. We needed light to see. We were also not able to cook. There was no heat, except that retained in a warm house through the night. There was no hot water except that still in the hot water tank. These might be considered necessities while we sat in the dark.

And then there were the non-essentials we were accustomed to: computer access, Wi-Fi, television, radio, microwave, etc. You get the picture.

As I have already stated, for the light, we had flashlights and candles. For food, Debbie had prepared food the night before and it was in the refrigerator. It came in handy later. For hot water, we used it sparingly.

The Lord supplies us the light of His Word, and in this case, He even provided us light from flashlights and candles until the daylight came. He supplied for us a caring neighbor, whose power did not go out, to give us shelter. (The neighbor’s electrical source is on a different phase.)

I repeat, our inconveniences were minimal, but even so, the Lord supplied our needs. If you are one of His children, He is supplying yours too. You don’t see it? Maybe you need to look a little harder.

“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” (Matthew 6:26)

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

Number 3: The power returned just as unexpectedly.

All that day, we kept longing for the lights to come on, because we knew that would tell us the power was back on and all our essentials and non-essentials would be working properly.

The day is soon coming that Jesus will return for His Church, and then unthinkable trials will come upon this earth and its inhabitants.

As we waited for our power to return, not knowing when but knowing it eventually would, so we wait for our Bridegroom to return. Throughout the day, we kept thinking “just any minute,” but the minutes kept ticking by and there was still no power. Then when we least expected it, there it was. It was back! What a wonderful feeling. Now that brought the smiles to our faces.

We keep waiting for Jesus’ return. He said He would. We believe Him and know that He will. We just don’t know when. From all the signs He has provided for us, we know His return is near, just as Debbie and I knew each minute that passed was one minute closer to having our power restored. Every minute we live is another minute closer to the return of the greatest power source there is, our Creator, Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.

There are dozens of lessons that can come from our ten hour experience. I’ve only mentioned three. Maybe we need these “time-outs” occasionally to get us to slow down and think about Him more, which is what we should be doing anyway.

So the next time your power goes out unexpectedly, think on these things. I’m sure most of you have already.

Grant Phillips

Pre-Rapture Commentary:
Rapture Ready

Nearing Midnight: Climate Change Rhetoric Is Heating Up

Nearing Midnight: Climate Change Rhetoric Is Heating Up – Todd Strandberg –

Never mind the brutally cold winter that brought historical low temperatures to the eastern U.S. or the polar vortex that froze over the Great Lakes for the first time in living memory; scientists from NASA and NOAA are warning that 2014 may turn out to be the warmest year ever. These same scientists have already declared that 2013 was one of the 10 hottest years on record; despite the fact that North America had its coldest spring ever.

The reason why this year is predicted to be in the running for the title of the “warmest ever” is because of a forecast of a strong El Niño in the Pacific Ocean. “We have above-normal temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean and that often precedes an El Niño because there’s a large volume of above-average water temperature below the surface of the ocean,” Anthony Barnston, chief forecaster for the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, told ABC News.

I do understand that earth’s climate system is much larger than the U.S., so it’s possible to be cold in one place while it is hotter in another region. Since this is the third year in a row that America has had cold winters, I would ask the people at NASA and NOAA to double check their math. If the earth was warming up, I would expect to have a string of warm days at some point in winter.

The only nation that reported prolonged record heat in the past year is Australia. The folks down under confirmed that 2013 was the hottest year in more than a century of standardized records. All other zones reported temperatures that were slightly warmer than the normal average.

Climatologists did make a smart move by switching from global warming to climate change. I remember at least two conferences on global warming being postponed because of snow storms. Since one-hundred-percent of the problem with green house gas is the warming effect that it has on the globe, switching to something generic seems counterproductive to the cause. It’s like doctors telling patients they may have a health anomaly to avoid telling them they may have cancer.

Up until the latter part of 2007, there were some strong signs of global warming. During the past six years, various regions of the world have experienced cold snaps. Here is a log of several examples:

2008: Areas of China and central Asia saw snow for the first time in living memory.
2009: The American Great Lakes had one of its coolest summers on record.
2010: Record low temperatures chilled Florida from top to bottom.
2010: Deadly record cold hit Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile.
2011: Nowata, Oklahoma set a new record low for the entire state at -31 F.
2011: South Korea had the coldest weather in 96 years.
2012: Jim River, AK reached the all-time-record coldest temperature of -80°.
2013: China experienced its coldest January in decades.
2013: Germany had its coldest March, since 1883.
2013: This year was the coldest average spring ever in the U.S.
2013: NASA records the coldest temp ever: -135.8 degrees in Antarctica.
2014: Chicago had is coldest November to March, ever.

I often wonder what will happen when we eventually have a blazing hot summer. If lefties are able to stay true to their faith in the face of all these counterproductive weather events, I can’t imagine how they would react when the climate turns their way. People have been fired from various universities for questioning the validity of global warming. A professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology wants to send climate change deniers to jail.

Anyone with a basic understanding of Bible prophecy should know that global warming, even if true, will ultimately be one of mankind’s least important worries. There are plenty of coming judgments that will cause far greater damage to the earth.

All these tree huggers and environmentalists fail to grasp that this planet will still be here a 1000 years from now. Jesus, Himself will purify the earth with fire. Unless someone has dealt with their sinful condition, they wouldn’t be around to see God restore the earth to its pre-fall glory.

“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).