Are Visits to Heaven for Real?

Are Visits to Heaven for Real?

by John MacArthur

March 10, 2014

A pastor’s book recounting his son’s visit to heaven rose to the top of the bestseller list and became a major motion picture. Christians were quick to spread the word, but could such visits be for real?

In recent years, Christian booksellers have inundated the evangelical world with testimonies from people who say they visited heaven in near-death experiences. Their stories are full of specific details about what heaven is like, who is there, and what is happening in the celestial realm. But when we compare their claims with Scripture, it becomes clear that they are merely figments of the human imagination, not true visions of heaven as it is described in God’s Word.

The best known of all these tales, Heaven Is for Real,1 is to be a major motion picture, released in April 2014. It is the story of Colton Burpo, whose parents believe he visited heaven when he was just four—during surgery after a burst appendix nearly took his life. Colton’s descriptions of heaven are full of fanciful features and peculiar details that bear all the earmarks of a child’s vivid imagination. There’s nothing transcendent or even particularly enlightening about Colton’s heaven. It is completely devoid of the breathtaking glory featured in every biblical description of the heavenly realm.

Heaven Is for Real

There’s nothing transcendent or even particularly enlightening about Colton’s heaven.

Stories like Colton’s are as dangerous as they are seductive. Readers not only get a twisted, unbiblical picture of heaven; they also imbibe a subjective, superstitious, shallow brand of spirituality. Studying mystical accounts of supposed journeys into the afterlife yields nothing but confusion, contradiction, false hope, bad doctrine, and a host of similar evils.

We live in a narcissistic culture, and it shows in these accounts of people who claim they’ve been to heaven. They sound as if they viewed paradise in a mirror, keeping themselves in the foreground. They say comparatively little about God or His glory. But the glory of God is what the Bible says fills, illuminates, and defines heaven. Instead, the authors of these stories seem obsessed with details like how good they felt—how peaceful, how happy, how comforted they were; how they received privileges and accolades; how fun and enlightening their experience was; and how many things they think they now understand perfectly that could never be gleaned from Scripture alone. In short, they glorify self while barely noticing God’s glory. They highlight everything but what’s truly important about heaven.

It is quite true that heaven is a place of perfect bliss—devoid of all sorrow and sin, full of exultation and enjoyment—a place where grace and peace reign totally unchallenged. Heaven is where every true treasure and every eternal reward is laid up for the redeemed. Anyone whose destiny is heaven will certainly experience more joy and honor there than the fallen mind is capable of comprehending—infinitely more than any fallen creature deserves. But if you actually saw heaven and lived to tell about it, those things are not what would capture your heart and imagination.

You would be preoccupied instead with the majesty and grace of the One whose glory fills the place.

Sadly, undiscerning readers abound, and they take these postmodern accounts of heaven altogether seriously. The stratospheric sales figures and far-reaching influence of these books ought to be a matter of serious concern for anyone who truly loves the Word of God.

The Bible on Near-Death Experiences

There is simply no reason to believe anyone who claims to have gone to heaven and returned. John 3:13 says, “No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.” And John 1:18 says, “No one has seen God at any time.”

Four biblical authors had visions of heaven—not near-death experiences. Isaiah and Ezekiel (Old Testament prophets) and Paul and John (New Testament apostles) all had such visions. Two other biblical figures—Micaiah and Stephen—got glimpses of heaven, but what they saw is merely mentioned, not described (2 Chronicles 18:18; Acts 7:55).

Only three of these men later wrote about what they saw—and the details they gave were comparatively sparse (Isaiah 6:1–4; Ezekiel 1, 10; Revelation 4–6). All of them focused properly on God’s glory. They also mentioned their own fear and shame in the presence of such glory. They had nothing to say about the mundane features that are so prominent in modern tales about heaven (things like picnics, games, juvenile attractions, familiar faces, odd conversations, and so on). Paul gave no actual description of heaven but simply said what he saw would be unlawful to utter. In short, the biblical descriptions of heaven could hardly be any more different from today’s fanciful stories about heaven.

Lazarus of Bethany fell ill and died, and his body lay decaying in a tomb for four days until Jesus raised him (John 11:17). A whole chapter in John’s Gospel is devoted to the story of how Jesus brought him back from the dead. But there’s not a hint or a whisper anywhere in Scripture about what happened to Lazarus’s soul in that four-day interim. The same thing is true of every person in Scripture who was ever brought back from the dead, beginning with the widow’s son whom Elijah raised in 1 Kings 17:17–24 and culminating with Eutychus, who was healed by Paul in Acts 20:9–12. Not one biblical person ever gave any recorded account of his or her postmortem experience in the realm of departed souls.

Crossing the Boundaries

Far too much of the present interest in heaven, angels, and the afterlife stems from carnal curiosity. It is not a trend biblical Christians should encourage or celebrate. Any pursuit that diminishes people’s reliance on the Bible is fraught with grave spiritual dangers—especially if it is something that leads gullible souls into superstition, gnosticism, occultism, New Age philosophies, or any kind of spiritual confusion. Those are undeniably the roads most traveled by people who feed a morbid craving for detailed information about the afterlife, devouring stories of people who claim to have gone to the realm of the dead and returned.

Scripture never indulges that desire. In the Old Testament era, every attempt to communicate with the dead was deemed a sin on par with sacrificing infants to false gods (Deuteronomy 18:10–12). The Hebrew Scriptures say comparatively little about the disposition of souls after death, and the people of God were strictly forbidden to inquire further on their own. Necromancy was a major feature of Egyptian religion. It also dominated every religion known among the Canaanites. But under Moses’s law it was a sin punishable by death (Leviticus 20:27).

The New Testament adds much to our understanding of heaven (and hell), but we are still not permitted to add our own subjective ideas and experience-based conclusions to what God has specifically revealed through His inerrant Word. Indeed, we are forbidden in all spiritual matters to go beyond what is written (1 Corinthians 4:6).

Those who demand to know more than Scripture tells us about heaven are sinning: “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever” (Deuteronomy 29:29). The limits of our curiosity are thus established by the boundary of biblical revelation. In the words of Charles Spurgeon,

It’s a little heaven below, to imagine sweet things. But never think that imagination can picture heaven. When it is most sublime, when it is freest from the dust of earth, when it is carried up by the greatest knowledge, and kept steady by the most extreme caution, imagination cannot picture heaven. [COLOR=red]“It hath not entered the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” Imagination is good, but not to picture to us heaven. Your imaginary heaven you will find by-and-by to be all a mistake; though you may have piled up fine castles, you will find them to be castles in the air, and they will vanish like thin clouds before the gale. For imagination cannot make a heaven. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered the heart of man to conceive” it.[/COLOR]

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What God has revealed in Scripture is the only legitimate place to get a clear understanding of the heavenly kingdom. God’s written Word does in fact give us a remarkably full and clear picture of heaven and the spiritual realm. But the Bible still leaves many questions unanswered.

We need to accept the boundaries God Himself has put on what He has revealed. It is sheer folly to speculate where Scripture is silent. It is sinfully wrong to try to investigate spiritual mysteries using occult means. And it is seriously dangerous to listen to anyone who claims to know more about God, heaven, angels, or the afterlife than God Himself has revealed to us in Scripture.

The Glories of Heaven

It is, however, right and beneficial for Christians to fix their hearts on heaven. Scripture commands us to cultivate that perspective: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on earth” (Colossians 3:1–2). “While we do not look at the things which are seen but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18). “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).

Such a perspective is the very essence of true faith, according to Hebrews 11. Those with authentic, biblical faith acknowledge that they are strangers and pilgrims on this earth (v. 13). They are seeking a heavenly homeland (v. 14). They “desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them” (v. 16). The “city” that verse refers to is the heavenly Jerusalem, an unimaginable place—the very capital of heaven. It will be the eternal abode of the redeemed. No wonder Christians are intrigued with the subject.

But no matter how much they might obsess over what heaven is like, people who fill their heads with a lot of fantastic or delusional ideas from others’ near-death experiences have not truly set their minds on things above. If the inerrant biblical truth God has given us is the only reliable knowledge about heaven we have access to (and it is), then that is what should grip our hearts and minds, not the dreams and speculations of human minds.

http://www.crossway.org/books/the-glory-of-heaven-hcj/

Islam is destroying democracy in France and all across Europe

Islam is destroying democracy in France and all across Europe

March 31, 2014

A recent report says that Islam in France is destroying the nation of France. This recent report says that Islam is increasing in influence and power in the European continent. With more on that story, here’s my broadcast partner Dr. Rob Congdon.

Dr. Rob Congdon: There’s a growing movement throughout Europe bringing many cultures from around the world, uniting them together into one union will actually make for a better world as people understand each other, they live together and they blend. What has happened is as Islam has come in, they have come in in massive numbers particularly in France.

They have come up from Africa and as they have come in, instead of blending in or the melting pot concept, they are basically starting to assert themselves and trying to take over. The support is growing for limiting migration into the European Union, particularly Muslim integration because they see it is not working and this is tough on them because they really promoted the idea in the past to bring in all these people.

Jimmy’s Prophetic Prospective on the News

Islam plays a major role in our world today which is setting the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.

Islam is a major factor throughout the entire Middle East, but also in many nations in Europe. European leaders are working to get control of the situation which seems to be worsening day by day. The ancient Jewish prophets never mentioned the word Islam however they did reveal an end of times scenario that would factor in many nations in the Middle East and Europe that have one thing in common, they are Islamic. For example in the book of Daniel chapter 11 verses 40-43 you’ll read about the King of the North, modern day Syria and the King of the South, Egypt. In Psalm 83, the Psalmist mentions a number of nations that will align themselves to destroy the Jewish state of Israel, nations like Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian people.

In Ezekiel 38, the ancient Jewish prophet mentions Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and the nation of Libya. The lowest common denominator among these nations is that all of them are of the Islamic faith. Now with the spread of Islam across Europe and its growing influence in these European nations, you can see how the prophetic scenario found in the Bible of the alignment of the nations moving to destroy the Jewish state of Israel is coming more into focus.

The growth of Islam in Europe is indeed helping to set the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.

http://news.prophecytoday.com/2014/03/islam-is-destroying-democracy-in-france.html

March 31, 2014 Bible Reading

March 31

Reading for Today:

Deuteronomy 23:1–24:22

Psalm 39:1-6

Proverbs 13:1-3

Luke 5:17-39

Notes:

Psalm 39:5- handbreadths. He measures the length of his life with the smallest popular measuring unit of ancient times (1 Kin. 7:26); see “four fingers” (i.e., about 2.9in.) in Jeremiah 52:21. and my age is as nothing before You. On “measuring” God’s age, see Psalm 90:2. vapor. For the same Hebrew word, see Ecclesiastes 1:2ff., “vanity” (a total of 31 occurrences of this term are in Eccl.); Psalm 144:4. On the concept in the New Testament, see James 4:14.

Luke 5:26- strange things. The response is curiously noncommittal—not void of wonder and amazement, but utterly void of true faith.

Luke 5:30- eat and drink. Consorting with outcasts on any level—even merely speaking to them—was bad enough. Eating and drinking with them implied a level of friendship that was abhorrent to the Pharisees (7:34; 15:2; 19:7).

Luke 5:33- fast often. Jesus did fast on at least one occasion (Mat. 4:2)—but privately, in accordance with His own teaching (Matt. 6:16-18). The law also prescribed a fast on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:29-31; 23:27)—but all other fasts were supposed to be voluntary, for specific reasons such as penitence and earnest prayer. The fact that these Pharisees raised this question shows that they thought of fasting as a public exercise to display one’s own spirituality. Yet, the Old Testament also rebuked hypocritical fasting (Is. 58:3-6).

DAY 31: What does Deuteronomy 24:1–4 say about divorce and remarriage?

This passage does not command, commend, condone, or even suggest divorce. Rather, it recognizes that divorce occurs and permits it only on restricted grounds. The case presented here is designed to convey the fact that divorcing produced defilement. Notice the following sequence:

if a man finds an uncleanness (some impurity or something vile, see 23:14) in his wife, other than adultery, which was punished by execution (see 22:22);

if he legally divorces her (although God hates divorce, as Mal. 2:16 says; He has designed marriage for life, as Gen. 2:24 declares; and He allowed divorce because of hard hearts, as Matt. 19:8 reveals);

if she then marries another man;

if the new husband then dies or divorces her, then that woman could not return to her first husband (v. 4). This is so because she was “defiled” with such a defilement that is an abomination to the Lord and a sinful pollution of the Promised Land.

What constitutes that defilement? Only one thing is possible—she was defiled in the remarriage because there was no ground for the divorce. So when she remarried, she became an adulteress (Matt. 5:31, 32) and is thus defiled so that her former husband can’t take her back. Illegitimate divorce proliferates adultery.

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals/daily-bible

Applying the Disciples' Prayer

Applying the Disciples’ Prayer

[COLOR=Red]”Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen” (Matt. 6:13).

The implications of the Disciples’ Prayer are profound and far-reaching. An unknown author put it this way:

I cannot say [COLOR=red]”our” if I live only for myself in a spiritual, watertight compartment. I cannot say “Father” if I do not endeavor each day to act like His child. I cannot say “who art in heaven” if I am laying up no treasure there.

I cannot say “hallowed be Thy name” if I am not striving for holiness. I cannot say “Thy kingdom come” if I am not doing all in my power to hasten that wonderful day. I cannot say “Thy will be done” if I am disobedient to His Word. I cannot say “in earth as it is in heaven” if I will not serve Him here and now.

I cannot say “give us . . . our daily bread” if I am dishonest or an “under the counter” shopper. I cannot say “forgive us our debts” if I harbor a grudge against anyone. I cannot say “lead us not into temptation” if I deliberately place myself in its path. I cannot say “deliver us from evil” if I do not put on the whole armor of God.

I cannot say “thine is the kingdom” if I do not give to the King the loyalty due Him as a faithful subject. I cannot attribute to Him “the power” if I fear what men may do. I cannot ascribe to Him “the glory” if I am seeking honor only for myself. I cannot say “forever” if the horizon of my life is bounded completely by the things of time.[/COLOR]

As you learn to apply to your own life the principles in this marvelous prayer, I pray that God’s kingdom will be your focus, His glory your goal, and His power your strength. Only then will our Lord’s doxology be the continual song of your heart: “Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen” (v. 13).

Suggestions for Prayer:

Ask God to use what you’ve learned from the Disciples’ Prayer to transform your prayers.

For Further Study:

Read John 17, noting the priorities Jesus stressed in prayer.

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.[/COLOR]

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals

March 30, 2014 Bible Reading

March 30

Reading for Today:

Deuteronomy 21:1–22:30

Psalm 38:9-22

Proverbs 12:26-28

Luke 5:1-16

Notes:

Deuteronomy 22:5- anything that pertains to a man…woman’s garment. Found only here in the Pentateuch, this statute prohibited a man from wearing any item of feminine clothing or ornamentation or a woman from wearing any item of masculine clothing or ornamentation. The same word translated “abomination” was used to describe God’s view of homosexuality (Lev. 18:22; 20:13). This instance specifically outlawed transvestism. The creation order distinctions between male and female were to be maintained without exception (Gen. 1:27).

Deuteronomy 22:22–29- Adultery was punished by death for the two found in the act. If the adulterous persons were a man with a woman who was pledged to be married to someone else, this consensual act led to the death of both parties (vv. 23, 24). However, if the man forced (i.e., raped) the woman, then only the man’s life was required (vv. 25–27). If the woman was a virgin not pledged in marriage, then the man had to pay a fine, marry the girl, and keep her as his wife as long as he lived (vv. 28, 29).

Luke 5:4- let down your nets. Normally, the fish that were netted in shallow water at night would migrate during the daylight hours to waters too deep to reach easily with nets, which is why Peter fished at night. Peter may have thought Jesus’ directive made no sense, but he obeyed and was rewarded for his obedience (v. 6).

DAY 30: What specific crimes were listed in the Old Testament as deserving the death penalty?

CRIME — SCRIPTURE — REFERENCE

1. Premeditated Murder Genesis 9:6; Exodus 21:12–14, 22, 23

2. Kidnapping Exodus 21:16; Deuteronomy 24:7

3. Striking or Cursing Parents Exodus 21:15; Leviticus 20:9; Proverbs 20:20; Matthew 15:4; Mark 7:10

4. Magic and Divination Exodus 22:18

5. Bestiality Exodus 22:19; Leviticus 20:15, 16

6. Sacrificing to False Gods Exodus 22:20

7. Profaning the Sabbath Exodus 35:2; Numbers 15:32–36

8. Offering Human Sacrifice Leviticus 20:2

9. Adultery Leviticus 20:10–21; Deuteronomy 22:22

10. Incest Leviticus 20:11, 12, 14

11. Homosexuality Leviticus 20:13

12. Blasphemy Leviticus 24:11–14, 16, 23

13. False Prophecy Deuteronomy 13:1–10

14. Incorrigible Rebelliousness Deuteronomy 17:12; 21:18–21

15. Fornication Deuteronomy 22:20, 21

16. Rape of Betrothed Virgin Deuteronomy 22:23–27

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals/daily-bible

Avoiding Temptations

Avoiding Temptations

[COLOR=red]”Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matt. 6:13).

When we hear the English word temptation, we usually think of a solicitation to evil. But “temptation” in Matthew 6:13 translates a Greek word that can refer either to a trial that God permits to refine your spiritual character (James 1:2-4), or a temptation that Satan or your flesh brings to incite you to sin (Matt. 4:1; James 1:13- 15). Both are valid translations.

I believe “temptation” in Matthew 6:13 refers to trials. Even though we know God uses trials for our good, it’s still good to pray that He won’t allow us to be caught in a trial that becomes an irresistible temptation. That can happen if we’re spiritually weak or ill-prepared to deal with a situation.

God will never test you beyond what you’re able to endure (1 Cor. 10:13), but resisting temptation requires spiritual discipline and divine resources. Praying for God to deliver you from trials that might overcome you is a safeguard against leaning on your own strength and neglecting His power.

God tested Joseph by allowing him to be sold into slavery by his brothers, falsely accused by an adulterous woman, and unjustly imprisoned by a jealous husband. But Joseph knew that God’s hand was on his life. That’s why he could say to his brothers, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to . . . preserve many people” (Gen. 50:20). Joseph was ready for the test and passed it beautifully!

Jesus Himself was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil (Matt. 4:1). God wanted to test Him to prove His virtue, but Satan wanted to tempt Him to destroy His virtue. Jesus, too, was victorious.

When you experience trials, don’t let them turn into temptations. Recognize God’s purposes and seek His strength. Learn from the example of those who have successfully endured the same trials. Be assured that God is in control and is using each trial to mold your character and teach you greater dependence on Him.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Thank God for the trials He brings your way.

Ask Him to help you see your trials as means by which He strengthens you and glorifies Himself.

For Further Study:

Read Psalm 119:11, Matthew 26:41, Ephesians 6:10-18, and James 4:7. What do those verses teach you about dealing with temptation?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.[/COLOR]

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals

March 29, 2014 Bible Reading

March 29

Reading for Today:

Deuteronomy 19:1–20:20

Psalm 38:1-8

Proverbs 12:23-25

Luke 4:31-44

Notes:

Deuteronomy 20:1- do not be afraid. When Israelites went into battle, they were never to fear an enemy’s horses or chariots because the outcome of a battle would never be determined by mere military strength. The command not to be afraid was based on God’s power and faithfulness, which had already been proved to Israel in their deliverance from Egypt.

Deuteronomy 20:5–8- Let him go and return to his house. Four exemptions from service in Israel’s volunteer army were cited to illustrate the principle that anyone whose heart was not in the fight should not be there. Those who had other matters on their minds or were afraid were allowed to leave the army and return to their homes, since they would be useless in battle and even influence others to lose courage (v. 8).

Proverbs 12:23- conceals. Unlike the fool who makes all hear his folly, the wise person is a model of restraint and humility, speaking what he knows at an appropriate time (see 29:11).

Luke 4:38- Simon’s wife’s mother. Peter was married (1 Cor. 9:5), though no details about his wife are given anywhere in Scripture. a high fever. Matthew 8:14, 15 and Mark 1:30, 31 also report this miracle. But only Luke, the physician, remarks that the fever was “high” and makes note of the means Jesus used to heal her (v. 39).

DAY 29: What did the law warn about bringing false witness against another person?

In Deuteronomy 19:15, the law required that “by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established.” More than one witness was necessary to convict a man of a crime. This principle was to act as a safeguard against the false witness who might bring an untruthful charge against a fellow Israelite. By requiring more than one witness, greater accuracy and objectivity was gained (Deut. 17:6;Matt. 18:15–17; 2 Cor. 13:1).

However, it was possible that “a false witness [might rise] against any man to testify against him of wrongdoing” (v. 16). In some cases, there would only be one witness who brought a charge against someone. When such a case was taken to the central tribunal of priests and judges for trial, and upon investigation the testimony of the witness was found to be false, the accuser received the punishment appropriate for the alleged crime (v. 19). Others looking on would be taught to “hear and fear, and hereafter they shall not again commit such evil among you” (v. 20). When the fate of the false witness became known in Israel, it would serve as a deterrent against giving false testimony in Israel’s courts.

In Israel, the principle of legal justice (called lex talionis, “law of retaliation”) or “eye for eye” (v. 21) was given to encourage appropriate punishment of a criminal in cases where there might be a tendency to be either too lenient or too strict (Ex. 21:23–25; Lev. 24:17–22). Jesus confronted the Jews of His day for taking this law out of the courts and using it for purposes of personal vengeance (Matt. 5:38–42).

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals/daily-bible

Seeking God's Protection

Seeking God’s Protection

[COLOR=Red]”Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matt. 6:13).

At the moment of your salvation, judicial forgiveness covered all of your sins–past, present, and future. Parental forgiveness restores the joy and sweet fellowship broken by any subsequent sins. But concurrent with the joy of being forgiven is the desire to be protected from any future sins. That’s the desire expressed in Matthew 6:13: “Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

That petition seems simple enough at first glance, but it raises some important questions. According to James 1:13, God doesn’t tempt anyone to commit sin, so why ask Him to protect us from something He apparently wouldn’t lead us into in the first place?

Some say the word “temptation” in Matthew 6:13 means “trials.” But trials strengthen us and prove the genuineness of our faith. We are to rejoice in them, not avoid them (James 1:2-4).

The solution to this paradox has to do with the nature of the petition. It is not so much a technical theological statement as it is an emotional plea from one who hates sin and wants to be protected from it. Chrysostom, the early church father, said it is a natural appeal of human weakness as it faces danger (Homily 19.10).

I don’t know about you, but I have a healthy sense of self-distrust. That’s why I carefully guard what I think, say, watch, read, and listen to. If I sense spiritual danger I run into the presence of God and say, “Lord, I will be overwhelmed by this situation unless You come to my aid.” That’s the spirit of Matthew 6:13.

We live in a fallen world that throws temptation after temptation our way. Therefore it’s only natural and proper for us as Christians to continually confess our sins, receive the Father’s forgiveness, and plead with Him to deliver us from the possibility of sinning against Him in the future.

Suggestions for Prayer:

Thank the Lord that He loves you and ministers through you despite your human weaknesses.

Ask Him to protect you today from any situation that might cause you to sin.

For Further Study:

Read 1 Corinthians 10:13 and James 1:13-16.

To what degree will God allow you to be tempted?

What is a common source of temptation?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.[/COLOR]

http://www.gty.org/resources/devotionals

The zoning board in the city of Jerusalem has granted access to religi

The zoning board in the city of Jerusalem has granted access to religious Jews to a spring mentioned in the Garden of Eden

March 28, 2014

An ancient spring that was mentioned in the Bible as the spring or river Gihon, recorded in the passage in the Holy Scriptures of the account of Creation, is now a place of opportunity for religious men to take a ritual bath in this sacred body of water.

The Gihon Spring in Silwan in the Eastern section of the city of Jerusalem is the site for Jewish men to perform their traditional ritual in the immersion pit, the activity religious Jews are required to do before entering the Temple Mount.

This spring in Jerusalem is considered to be the spot where Adam went after his sin in the Garden of Eden.

Jimmy’s Prophetic Prospective on the News

Religious Jewish men can now use the one spring in the Garden of Eden to take a ritual bath before entering the Temple Mount, evidence we are living in the end times according to Bible prophecy.

The city of Jerusalem zoning board recently approved the construction of a special project at the Gihon Spring in the City of David which is the original site of the city of Jerusalem. Religious men will use the immersion pit being constructed at the Gihon Spring to take their ritual bath required before they can enter the Temple Mount. However, there is a problem with this decision by the zoning board. The construction project is located in Silwan, a Palestinian neighborhood in the area.

This controversy today is part of the scenario that was foretold by the ancient Jewish prophet Zechariah in Zechariah 12:2. As to the statements that the site on the Gihon is where Adam went after his sin in the Garden of Eden, this statement is confirmed in Scripture only as it refers to the Gihon River being in the Garden of Eden, Genesis 2:10. The Gihon was the one river in the garden which was located in Jerusalem according to I Kings 1:33, 45. The Gihon River was the one river in the garden that became four rivers somewhere outside of the Garden of Eden.

Ezekiel 36:35 says that the Jews will be given back their Garden of Eden in the last days.

http://news.prophecytoday.com/2014/03/the-zoning-board-in-city-of-jerusalem.html