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Did you notice one of the latest headlines from the New York Times,

Russia and Turkey Vow to Repair Ties as West Watches Nervously

MOSCOW — Against a backdrop of rising tensions between Turkey and the West, Presidents Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey pledged on Tuesday to repair relations after nine months of open antagonism.

You can read the rest of the article just by giving it a google, but for believers and for Israel the headline alone would have caused one to stop and investigate. What? Turkey and Russia cooperating? Who would have thunk it! Then...

When you team that news with the additional headline:

Putin encourages Iran to join Russia-led Eurasian alliance

Russia Sends Bombers to Syria Using Base in Iran


...It appears that the events of the recent days in the Middle East are indeed conforming to the prophecies we have in Ezekiel 38-39. The prophecies we have recorded for us in Ezekiel are chronological, with Ezekiel 38 falling somewhere between the prophecy recorded in Chapters 36-37 (which describe the re-birth of the nation of Israel, 1948) and Chapters 40-48 (which are descriptive of the Millennium).

The coming war against Israel which is described in Ezekiel 38 can be narrowed in time frame to somewhere between 1948 and the beginning of the Great Tribulation. Ezekiel prophesied that God would use this battle against His people to turn His people back to Him and complete the return of all of the Jews back to Israel, never to leave again. For God will intervene against this coalition and destroy them and win the victory.

When this battle occurs we will see a coalition that includes Russia, Iran, and Turkey. It appears this coalition is coming together right before our eyes, with Iran constantly and consistently threatening to invade and destroy Israel. They boast that they can destroy Israel in eight minutes. (Yes, we do seem to be making it possible and even easier for them to produce nuclear weapons). And all of this appears to be happening while some in this new Eurasian alliance are striving to convince the world that Israel is safe and not at risk.

While they are saying, " Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 1 Thessalonians 5:3 (NASB77)

Some scholars believe this battle against Israel will occur right before the rapture of the church. Some say it will happen during the transition between the rapture of the church and the beginning of the Great Tribulation. Others believe it will happen at the end of the Great Tribulation or somewhere in between the beginning of the Great Tribulation and the end of the Great Tribulation. As for myself, I see this event happening right before the rapture of the Church or right after the rapture of the church.

According to the Scripture no one can know the day or the hour of the coming of the Lord for certain.

"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. Matthew 24:36 (NASB77)

The same Scripture tells us that we should be aware of what is happening all around us.

But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 1 Thessalonians 5:4-6 (NASB77)

Could the rapture of the church be upon us? I’ve never been one for setting seasons and expectations but teaming these events with the prophecy of Isaiah 17 (the destruction of Damascus, Syria), (we see that happening right now) and the change of tone in Saudi Arabia towards Israel, headlined recently in the Israeli Times, which reports of the Saudi’s seeing a need to fight against anti-Semitism, in a change of attitude towards Israel, August 18, 2016. (On a side note, usually, when the media starts to emphasize a topic geared towards the general population it is in preparation for what is going to flow from the government of Saudi Arabia).

When you add the possibility of the fulfilling of Ezekiel 38:13 which records the protest of the Saudi’s to the battle of the coalition against Israel and the protesting of the taking of a “spoil”, which is the motive behind the Coalition led war...

“Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all its villages, will say to you, 'Have you come to capture spoil? Have you assembled your company to seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil?'"' Ezekiel 38:13 (NASB77)

...well...there is a lot going on in the Middle East right now that has been given to us prophetically in the Word of God.

What does that mean for us? Get are saved, right? If not, this would be the time to change that. Stay alert...keep our eyes on Jerusalem. Let’s not be surprised. Stay focused. We don’t live for this world. We live in this world for the Lord God and His glory. Stay excited. It’s going to happen someday...and we’re one day closer for sure. Stay motivated. Do the best you can in all that you do...for the Lord. Stay spot on. Love God and Love People. Share and live the gospel at every opportunity, by word and by deed. Stay assured. Everything is going to be OKAY, God is in control. Stay informed. Read the Bible...and you just might want to note what God is doing in the world...and pray...Maranatha.

Sometimes, there’s more to headlines than meets the eye. This is one of those times and there will be more to follow.

By Pastor Ralph Sawyer


Posted by Ralph Sawyer with
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Ever notice how quiet it gets when people say anything about how much money they earn or how much they save or owe? Or, how quiet it gets when the pastor of your church speaks about member giving or about money needed for a building program? People get frustrated when it comes to their finances; therefore, they keep it all hush, hush. Almost everyone agrees that the Bible contains great advice about life—from improving your marriage to getting along with your boss at work. But, does the Bible really say much about money? Does it really give us advice we can apply to our own life in today's world? The Good News is YES! Absolutely!

Money in the Bible

The Bible is as relevant and helpful today as when it was written, and God has a lot to say about money.

1. Proverbs 13:22 -- "A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s' children." This indicates God wants us to make a difference, financially, in our family tree.

2. Proverbs 21:20 -- "In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has." This gives us an idea of how God wants us to save for a rainy day—to set something back for safekeeping.

3. Proverbs 22:7 -- "The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is servant to the lender." Really? The Bible discourages debt? Does God really want me to pay my debts off and avoid debt?

4. Luke 14:28 -- "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it." Does Jesus really want me to save up and pay for the things I buy?

5. Matt. 6:24 -- "You cannot serve both God and money.” Why do we want to let money, or the lack of it, control us instead of giving our time and talents to serving God?

There are more than 800 scriptures on money. It is one of the most discussed subjects in scripture, so God must be pretty serious about the subject. In fact, Jesus says in Luke 16:11, "So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?" It appears from this verse that God uses money as a test of our management and stewardship skills before entrusting us with spiritual things.

Financial Statistics

And, it’s not just the Bible that considers personal finances to be a serious subject. A survey by National Payroll Week says 70% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. In another survey, 80% of American congregations reported that their finances had been impacted by the recent recession. A study at Utah State University found that couples who disagreed about money once a week were twice as likely to divorce as those who disagreed less than once a month. Thirty-seven percent (the highest rate) of marital problems derive from financial situations. The Employee Benefit Research Institute found that 70% of workers say they are not where they need to be with retirement savings. Nearly half of all Americans (46%) have less than $10,000 saved for their retirement. According to studies performed by Empty Tomb, church giving has not exceeded 3% as a portion of income in 40 years. Even people with surplus often don’t have a plan for managing their money. The average family would have to use a credit card to pay a $1,500 unexpected expense (ex: home or car repair) because they don’t have enough in savings. All of these frustrations and problems are because people haven’t learned and applied those 800 scriptures.

If money is this important to God, why are there so few Sunday school classes on this topic? Why don't we see lots of small group studies on "Managing Your Finances" or "Getting Out of Debt"? Why aren't there more sermons in this area? There are many reasons, but the top reason is that most people don't realize how much of a problem managing money is for the average family.

It is a problem that affects everyone, inside and outside the church. In fact, George Barna says that the fastest growing churches are teaching about marriage, child rearing, finances, and careers. Money is a serious subject, and God is serious about money, which is why we should study closely what he has to tell us.

First Baptist Church Wentzville has something to guide us—a study to take God's wisdom about money and help us apply it to our own lives. It is called Financial Peace University. Imagine what it would be like if people could live out their God-given dreams without money being their limiting factor? How different would our community be if everyone learned how to handle their finances according to the scriptures via the church? For our church members, what if our families were able to fund God’s work and the church had more to invest in missions and service ministries locally and abroad? What if we were able to grow the church completely debt free without building campaigns?

Financial Peace University will help MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Millions of people have gone through Financial Peace University and learned God’s ways of handling money. They’ve worked a plan, rewritten their stories, and changed their futures, all because of this course. On average, FPU graduates pay off $5,300 in debt and save $2,700 in only the first 90 days! As a result, their giving increases by 30%! This is not just a “get out of debt” course either. It also teaches about how save for retirement or college expenses, how to protect your assets, and what to look for in buying and selling homes. FPU consists of a nine-week video curriculum taught by financial expert Dave Ramsey, and it incorporates group discussions that help encourage accountability and discipleship. Groups meet once a week for 90-120 minutes, and the course is just as fun as it is practical!

If you think this is what you have been looking for, contact me at 636-327-8696 M-W, by email at , or go to and sign-up for the classes. The first class is free and childcare is available.

Gary Mills (with excerpts from Dave Ramsey)


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