“Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light;
and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.
But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls
to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head
are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."
We proclaim the gospel of Messiah Yeshua from the rooftops, in every season, so all may know He is the King. Though the storms may gather against us, we will, stand firm in resistance against the enemy of our souls as we remain united by our prayers in one body of Christ Jesus. We patiently wait for the day to dawn and the Morning Star to rise up in our hearts, when He comes to redeem us. The day is coming when we will awaken to a new world, and this new world will not be a pleasant one. Our comforts will be challenged or even removed, yet I believe the Lord will provide for our needs in the midst of any of the coming storms. A force of incredible power will come against us, I imagine that it is already here, and growing stronger every day. In spite of this force we can be faithful and push back against it by keeping our eyes fixed on Christ Jesus, and by our faithfulness in prayer. When the day has come and God is calling us to stand, may we stand in the full armour the Lord has given us against the enemy, as we encourage as many as we can to hold fast to the Word of Truth.
Stand fast dear pilgrims, for our help is on the way and you are worth more than many sparrows.
Charlie was a rebel by nature, but he was not prepared for the adventure that was laid out before him. About three years ago, he had watched as the peace process in Israel fulfilled it's destiny. "Israel is no more!" he recalled the prime minister of the newly formed Palestinian state proclaim as the treaty of Mediterranean nations was signed in Jerusalem. Charlie thought to himself, "I can't believe it, so many hopes for Israel and her future, now in the dust." The whole world was abuzz as the headlines of every paper in the world read, "Peace Has Finally Come!" Leaders from all over the globe gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the birth of a new utopia- well, at least that is what they were calling it. The party of the age had begun, and it surpassed any gala opening of the modern Olympic Games. The former Israeli PM said "this will be good for tourism, if anything." Yet, the heart of the people was mixed. "Where is the messiah, we sure need him now more than ever." The faithful Jews had protested the new peace initiatives suggested by the WEU, but they were overshadowed by the masses of people who pushed for a peaceful solution to the issue of Palestine.
"Charlie you know the plane leaves in two hours, are you ready to go?" Amanda wanted everything to be perfect for their trip to Paris- of course, she is a first born and she knows it. Charlie is the youngest of his eight brothers and sisters and is in no hurry to go back to Europe. He remembers his Army days there and is hoping to have a better experience this time. "Europe will still be there Amanda, and yes they have no idea we are coming... well, except for our friends who are already there." Charlie thought of Petra and her brother Yuni, he had not seen them in almost twenty years. "You know they're gonna drive over to Paris from Frankfurt." "Yes Charlie, I'm sure they will be alright. The WEU roadblocks are only looking for certain people." He knew who they are were going to be looking for and that made him feel uneasy, because he is one of 'those' people.
Charlie had shed his younger self- his rebel without a clue childish ways, and traded them in for a suit and tie in the business industry. He was good at mergers, a salesman at heart. He had won an award for integrity early in his career, and that was the beginning of a move in the right direction. "Mandy..." "Yes?" "Going to Paris to see U2 is gonna be sweet, but why couldn't we just wait for them to come here?" "Always trying to save money there, aren't ya Charlie? Anyway, you were the one who Facebooked your friends in Germany, and they convinced you to splurge a little bit. Your brother Daniel has given you his blessing to go." "Yeah, you're right." He remembered being the best man for his brother and how radiant Clarissa looked. What a beautiful day that was. Charlie thought to himself, "I need to go offline more often, it's costing me too much." "But what are friends for, if not to be kept so close, when so far away?" Charlie said as he hugged his best friend Mandy. "I'm glad I married you Amanda my dear, you sure know how to cheer me up." Mandy blushed.
"Yuni!" Petra yelled out through the crowded Berlin Bundesplatz. "We need to hurry- the train is leaving in ten minutes, and you know how on time they are. You can virtually set your watch to 'em." Yuni is not the brightest bulb on the tree, but he is a gentle giant with the softest heart. When Yuni was a child his birth mother relocated from the former Soviet Union. There was an accident on her journey, and he was born in East Berlin four weeks before her due date. The doctors believed the accident had affected Yuni and that he would not be as the other children in the world are. Yuni's mother did not survive that day, and the hospital nurse requested that she would be able to adopt Yuni. Considering the mass quantity of orphans in Eastern Europe at that time, the East German government not only allowed the adoption, but they also cut through all the red tape, and Yuni became Petra's brother. Petra's mother was a birthing assistant in Berlin during the Cold War years, before the wall fell. She had made some close ties and friends in the Berlin Jugendamt, the Youth Welfare Office. So it was only natural for them to say 'yes' for her to have a son. "Yuni was an adorable child," Petra's mother had told her, "so calm and quiet... yet because of his health and disability, we will always need to keep him close by us at all times." Petra never minded caring for Yuni- he always did as she asked him, and he never complained. But today was different. They had just finished visiting their mother's grave here in Berlin, and Yuni misses his mother so very much.
The flight from Salt Lake City is long, and it has given Charlie the time to remember his days stationed at the Public Affairs Department. He was the chief journalist for the commanding general of NATO's office in West Berlin. During one of his easier assignments on the east side, he had stopped in a cafe while waiting for the unification conference, and that is where he met Petra. Petra, as he remembered, was a petite young lady with a powerful, yet gentle presence. She stood behind the counter and smiled the softest smile, as if the years of Communist oppression in her country had not affected her whatsoever. Many of those who were unable to travel to the west had become a light shining in the darkness there, and it was amazing For Charlie to see such evidence of grace. Petra's day job was filled with serving fresh pastries and hot coffee, and at night she was secretly a writer. She was the passive resistance type person, who in writing her stories moved the hearts of men and women in the East to freedom and democracy. Little did Charlie know that day, that she was one of the speakers at the unification conference. The conference had not been a big media grabber in the West, but since it sparked the general's interest, Charlie needed to be there.
"Guten tag," Petra welcomed Charlie to her cafe in German, in spite of the U.S. uniform he wore. Charlie knew very little German, but just enough to say hello in return. Petra was kind and she had learned enough English from tourists visiting the East, so she gave it her best shot, and inquired if she could get Charlie anything. Charlie replied, "How about a strudel and some coffee." Business was slow that day at the cafe, and so as Petra served Charlie at his little round table and politely asked if he minded her sitting with him for a while. Charlie said he would enjoy the company, and so Petra pulled up a chair. "You are an American soldier?" Petra softly inquired. Charlie with a mouthful of scrumptious strudel waited a moment and then said, "How could you tell?" Petra pointed at his neatly pressed uniform and smiled. For what seemed like hours, they had conversations about the weather to the history of East Berlin. When only moments had passed, Charlie realized that he needed to be at the conference, and quietly stood up and wished Petra a wonderful day. Petra smiled and said "guten tag, my friend."
The flight to Europe was half the way through, and Amanda had quietly wondered if it was ever going to end. Amanda had never traveled outside of Utah, let alone the U.S., and she was excited to get to see somewhere other than her home. "Charlie, do you think when we get to Paris we can take a few days and visit the Cote d' Azure?" "I don't see why not... we have plenty of time after the show and the French coastline should still be warm enough this time of the year to swim in. I imagine our friends would enjoy seeing it too." Amanda liked that idea, as she was looking forward to meeting Petra and Yuni. She knew that the relationship Charlie had with them was a special one, as if they were his family. After the stories he had shared with her of helping Yuni and Petra adjust to the new Berlin after the wall came down, it's a wonder he had not been adopted into their family. She thought, "In a way, I suppose he was." Amanda sat back and was silently pondering about their church back at home in Provo, and wondered how such a small community of believers survived the great war a few years ago. It had not hit so close to home, but the economy at that time was difficult, much of the nations resources were going to the troops abroad. Yet, in spite of the low incomes, everyone pulled together and kept the church alive. "It was the worst of times, it was the best of times," she thought.
"Just in the nick of time," Petra thought. "You know Yuni, if we had been a minute late, the train would have been gone and we would be behind in going to meet Charlie." Yuni sighed, "I miss my friend Charlie, I can still remember when he took me to the futbol game. We had such a great time together." "When we get to Frankfurt, Yuni, first we'll stop and meet with dad and then pack up the auto." I think it will be so fun to visit Paris, Petra, will it take long to get there?" "Not long Yuni, only a few hours." "Good, I'm happy to go there as my friend will get to see me, and I will get to see him."
There was a light rain falling as the plane touched down in the City of Lights, the sun barely peeking through the afternoon clouds. "No worries Amanda, they say it will be a clear day for the show." "I'm so glad we made it here safely, Charlie. You know how things are with flying these days." "Well yes, since they eliminated most of the terrorist threats through the treaty of Islamic nations, I imagine that flying is so much safer than before the war, and much less intrusive now, after those body scanner days." As they were walking towards the car rental desk, Amanda asked Charlie, "When will Petra and Yuni be in Paris?" "I imagine around time for dessert." Charlie tried his best at sounding French, "or is it dessert?" They both had a good laugh. "It's good to hear you laugh, my sweet Amanda. I know how difficult it has been since you parents passed away." "Yes it has been challenging to have joy in this trial, but I am thankful God gave me you, Charlie. Just before they went to see the Lord, God gave me you. I'm not sure how I could have made it through these years without you. You are so encouraging and faithful, you are truly my best friend."
That night, Paris was aglow with people from all over Europe, celebrating the beginning of spring. Little did they know, things were gonna change so fast. While things seemed 'back to normal', there were plans brewing in the Middle East for a new global government. After the war, prominent leaders from all the nations had gathered in Jerusalem to vote on a plan to end poverty worldwide. The plan was to eliminate the old ways of commerce that led to the war, namely using currency for a means of trade. Everyone agreed that this idea formulated by the G-10 would be the answer to all our problems. The new 10, or the N-10, as the framers called it, replaced the G-10, almost what seemed like overnight. Ten nations formed as within an hour and then turned over just as quick, to be called the ME-10, ten of the most notorious Middle Eastern nations on the planet. The meeting last week was welcomed by the New Global Press Agency: the NGP as they liked to be called. The NGP was put together to replace all press agencies worldwide. The ME-10 decided it would be best if there was only 'truth' in the media, and they really believed this would solve any misinformation that could lead to conflict. The NGP quickly absorbed all TV networks, radio and newspapers.
The meeting of nations in Jerusalem had accomplished in three days what the world had tried to do for years, yet failed. I suppose it was just the right time for this plan to succeed. The ME-10 had agreed that a trial time for this plan would help the roots of success and make room for adjustments. They decided that seven years should establish and condition the world for a thousand years of real and sustaining peace. The ME-10 plan began about three and a half years ago, and just about now, they are getting ready to unveil what they are calling the New Global Initiative. Soon they will gather once again in Jerusalem to announce what they have been preparing for since day one of the ME-10. We've been told by the NGP that only one of the leaders of the ME-10 will announce the news, and that we should be prepared for a celebration that will span the globe.
"What does the sign say Petra?" a weary traveler sighed. "Only ten kilometers to Paris, Yuni." Petra owned an older BMW sedan she purchased from the U.S. Army auction just before the U.S. pulled all it's military units out from Europe. It had many, many miles on it and she imagined all the officers who were driven by their MP's safely to their destinations. In spite of all it's miles, it was so well taken care of- the generals had only the best mechanics. Her BMW was constructed of reinforced steel and still had the bullet proof windows intact. Yeah, it used more petro than the lighter cars, but Petra thought it was well worth the cost, having a safer car in these difficult days. Petra had stopped at a fuel station just inside of the city. "Yuni, would you like some coffee?" "Yes, I don't want to fall asleep when I see my friend Charlie and his beautiful wife. I want to stay up all night and have fun." "Well, we'll have to wait and see about all night Yuni. Charlie and Amanda may be tired from their flight over the Atlantic ocean." "Okay Petra, I can wait, for a few minutes." Petra smiled. Moments after she walked into the store, she looked up at the flat screen TV above the cafe counter, and couldn't believe her eyes.
At that very moment, while Amanda and Charlie were waiting for Petra and Yuni to arrive, they were enjoying a quiet dinner in their hotel room. But out there in the world it was not, a silent night. The weary travelers were so happy to have arrived in Paris that they didn't even notice the TV being on in the background. The English channel was broadcasting a news flash of the NGP authorized headline, and then they went live to Jerusalem.
"Jews And Christians Refuse The MARK."
"Here we are in the heart of the new world empire awaiting the arrival of the emperor of the ME-10. Hours after he announced that your money will no longer be any good, Christians and Jews from around the globe took a stand against the new currency system of digital exchange. They claim that the barcode tatoo is the 'mark of the beast' and refuse to have anything to do with it."
The station cuts to a pre-recorded interview video.
"Here we are with Samuel Walterson of Arkansas,
Sir how do you feel about this new system of exchange?"
he replied, "I will starve before I bow down to a false god!"
And now back to the live feed in Jerusalem.
"Wow, a 'false god', the savior of our economy. Is that guy nuts or what?"
Next the leader of the ME-10 went live on NGPTV from a wing of the temple mount in Jerusalem and proclaimed:
"Citizens of the new world empire, you know that a change is unavoidable.
Our former system of exchange has completely failed, and money no longer has any value.
Gold and other precious metals can no longer sustain the value of currency worldwide.
A new system, the one I previously announced, is our only hope for our survival and advancement.
These few rebels can not stop our recovery program!
We will triumph over them and build a world free from intolerance,
an empire that will foster financial growth for all peoples of the world."
He looks intently into the camera and says,
"Don't you know who I am?
I am god, and have come to restore peace and security.
My plan of restoration is not an option- everyone will comply.
Those of you who think you can resist, go ahead and try.
You will fail, and I will succeed- your rebellion is futile.
The ME-10 has all global purchasing systems under our control
and no store worldwide will sell to anyone without the barcode."
At this point, two men in biblical style robes appeared on stage with him, as if out of nowhere, both men looked directly into his eyes and said, "Resistance is not futile, you will fail, and Yeshua will overcome you. In a little while He will appear, and you will be doomed to destruction."
Petra hurried in retrieving the coffee, and walked out to the gas lane as Yuni was finishing fueling the car. "Yuni, we must hurry over to the hotel and meet with Charlie. Something has come up and we need to see them now." Yuni liked that idea, and quickly replaced the hose to the pump.
Just as Charlie was finishing his last bite of dinner, there was a knock on the door. "See Amanda, just in time for dessert." She smiled and went to see who was there. Opening the door, she noticed Petra had a worried look on her face. Charlie called over from the table, "Come in my friends, let's order some dessert. As Charlie stood up, Petra and Yuni went over to greet him. "What's wrong Petra?" "Did you see the news, Charlie?" "Well, we had the TV on but the sound was so low, I didn't catch it." "Charlie, it has begun." Petra cried as she explained what she saw on TV at the gas station. "Charlie, our plans need to change. We have to go to Jerusalem, I believe God is calling us to help the Jews get to a safe place in Jordan. We need to join those who are standing against this situation there and help them, before it gets too late and we are unable to go there." Charlie looked like a deer in headlights, but was able to agree with her, and Amanda was sure and knew in her heart that Petra was right. She believed that God was calling them to help His people get to a safe place and she said this everyone. "It's the right thing to do. Our things are still packed and we can drive to Italy tonight, and then catch the first ship to Haifa. I imagine our passports are still good for us to go to Israel, and I firmly believe that God will be with us all the way. Pray Charlie, pray without ceasing; I know how good you are at praying. I believe God will hear us, and is for us."
Right then, Charlie pulled out his well-worn bible and turned to the Apostle Paul's second letter to the the church in Thessalonica, chapter two, verse 3.
"Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way,
for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed"
Charlie sat for a moment and remembered his study in the book of Daniel- specifically chapter 11. This situation sounds so familiar, he thought to himself for a moment, he prayed about it, and then told everyone. "Yes, this is the appointed time for a firm resistance by those who know their God as prophesied in Daniel 11 verses 32-35. God is calling us to be there for Israel, in her greatest time of distress. We must hurry- I have help there, and know exactly who to contact." Charlie read aloud the scripture as his friends sat with him for a moment.
"With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant,
but the people who know their God will firmly resist him.
Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them. Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time."
The ship arrived in Israel at the first light of morning, and the four friends had gotten some needed rest. They were ready to drive that morning to Jerusalem. "Everything is in order sir, and here are the keys to your van." The gentleman at the rental desk was kind and welcomed them to Israel. On their journey to Israel Charlie used his cell phone to contact an old friend of his who had decided after his Army days to make Aliyah to the Holy Land. His friend once said he wanted to move there to open a hummus shop in Jerusalem. He knew that it would be popular and thrive in the 'land of hummus'. He was right, and the last thing he heard from Ari was that he had made many connections with believers that are in the underground church there- they know who are the faithful and firmly resistant Jews who stand together against the ME-10. "Ari is waiting for us to arrive in Jerusalem and has contacted his friends to make ready a plan of departure to Jordan." Charlie was on his cell with Ari as he told the others in the van of his conversation. "Ari, do you have the other vans ready to go?" Ari assured him that at this point it will be challenging to get to Jordan, but not impossible. That time was yet to come. "Charlie don't worry, we have plenty of provisions to get there and the others who are already there have been storing supplies for the refugees for years now. Anyway, the leader of the ME-10 is still abuzz with his new power and has his head in the clouds. He will not send his people out against us for a little while yet." It is still the same here in Israel as it was before, the dangers are real, but God is bigger than any of that. If He said He has prepared a place for us in the wilderness, then we are called to believe and to trust Him- with all of our heart."
The time had arrived, everyone was nestled in the place of refuge, watching and praying for those who had not been able to make it here to Jordan. The resistance would have to stand the full force of persecution by antichrist. The two witnesses had finally become that thorn in his side and that day on the radio he proclaimed his decision to weed out the rebellion was a result of the two men who are hindering the growth of his empire. While his economic system was growing day by day and becoming ever more popular, there still were those from all the nations who were uncomfortable with the idea and have joined the resistance.
"Charlie, I'm so glad God gave us the chance to help everyone we could. Help them get here, to this safe place, away from the hand of the enemy. I know the Lord will take care of them. And now that we have finished, I need to go back, and help the others. Our brothers and sisters in Christ who have seen the revealing of the man of lawlessness, and may feel as though the rapture has happened, and they've been left behind. Just like the apostle Paul reminded the Thessalonian church, we need to remind our fellow believers in Yeshua, that these things must happen before Yeshua comes to gather His elect, to rapture His bride." "I understand Ari. Petra has decided she is going with you. I don't know any other woman who has the intelligence for resistance or the ability to encourage people to stand strong like she does. She will be a sure asset for those who know their God and are firm in their resistance against the empire. The Spirit of the Lord be with you both." Charlie, Amanda and Yuni hugged them, prayed with them and blessed their journey.
With encouragement and the love of friends in their hearts, Petra and Ari were on their way. Ari took hold of Petra's hand, with high hopes of success to overcome the enemy and to fight the good fight along side of our brothers and sister in Christ Jesus, in Judea and in Israel. Glowing with the Spirit of the Lord upon them, they held each other's hand, smiled, and drove on with joy to the front line of the rebellion.
"We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters,
and rightly so,because your faith is growing more and more,
and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.
Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance
and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.
All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right,
and as a result you will be counted worthy
of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering.
God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you
and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well.
This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven
in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those
who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out
from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might
on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people
and to be marveled at among all those who have believed.
This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you."
2 Thessalonians 1:3-10
"Esa Einai" ~ (video link)