Sunday, November 30, 2014

Understanding the End Times:......What Will Happen At the Rapture?

What Will Happen At the Rapture?

The first time our Lord and Savior came to earth, it was in a humble Bethlehem stable, attended by shepherds. He came to be the sacrificial lamb, led to the slaughter without opening his mouth, to pay for the sin of all mankind. When He had completed his earthly mission, He ascended into heaven, with angels declaring that He would return the same way He left (Acts 1:9-11).

His second coming, as Paul reminded the Thessalonian church, will be a very different affair. Now glorified, the Lord Jesus Christ will come with the clouds of heaven, and with the same voice of authority that commanded "Lazarus, come forth!" He will open the graves of all the sleeping saints, who will rise to meet Him in the air. Then it will be our turn; those of us who still inhabit these earthly bodies, but daily yearn for his appearing, will hear the trumpet of God, and be caught up together with our Savior and our loved ones, changed in the twinkling of an eye. "So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." (1 Cor. 15:54).
May we all be found watching when that glorious day dawns. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!


1st Thessalonians 4:17, "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [or precede or go before] them which are asleep. "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. "Wherefore comfort one another with these words." 

             1st Thessalonians 4:13-18.

These were words of assurance to the Christians at Thessalonica, one of the outstanding cities of the Greco-Roman world. At that time, it had in it more pagans than almost any other city. In fact, inscribed over the main archway that led into the city were these words: Once a man is dead, he is dead forever. The people of Thessalonica thought that when a man died, he was dead forever. The Apostle Paul ignored that system of thinking.

Some of the folks in the church at Thessalonica-the first church the Apostle Paul founded-had lost loved ones in death. Those people had feelings, wonderings, perplexities, problems and questions about death the same as we do; so they inquired of the Apostle Paul, "What about our loved ones who have died? Is this the end of them? Is this all there is? Will we ever see them again?"

We have just read the exact answer which he gave them: "I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep." Then he unfolds the truth for them and for us-the truth which is our comfort and our consolation in this old world of sin and death.

The next great event on God's timetable is the rapture of the saints. What a day that will be when all the children of God are brought together in that meeting in the air!

THE RAPTURE OF THE SAINTS

The word rapture does not appear in the New Testament, but the idea is all through the Bible. The word means "to snatch away," "to catch up," "to be caught up."

The coming of Jesus Christ for His saints is an absolute, undeniable, irrevocable truth. Regardless of what the agnostics or the atheists or the modern unbelieving theologians say, Christ is coming again! The Bible-the inspired, indestructible, infallible and inerrant Word of God-tells us so.

All Scripture, not just portions of it, is inspired by God. What Paul wrote to the people at Thessalonica is stamped with the approval of, and by the inspired hand of, Almighty God.

There are testimonies which give evidence of His return.

(1) An angel testified to His coming: 

"Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven."-Acts 1:11.

These words were spoken when Christ ascended back to to the Father, back to His place at the right hand of God, where He is now making intercession for us and is awaiting this moment! The angel said this same Jesus will come again.


(2) The Apostle Paul testified to His coming:

"So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."-Heb. 9:28. 

Christ will appear the second time without a sin offering, without a sacrifice. There will never be another Calvary, another Pilate's hall, another Garden of Gethsemane, another crucifixion. For once, in the end of the age, He will appear to put away sin.



(3) Christ Himself said He would come again: 

"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. "And if I go [this is not speculative reasoning; it means 'inasmuch as I go'] and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."-John 14:1-3.



THE PRECISE EVENTS OF THE RAPTURE


First Thessalonians 4:13-18 outlines the precise events that will take place when Jesus comes again. However, verse 16 is the crux of the whole thing:


1. "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven." Acts 1:11 says, "This same Jesus." God is not going to send a prophet or a priest or potentate or preacher or king or a master or tyrant, but "this same Jesus" is coming back.


2. "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout." It will be a call, a summons, a command. Christ will command every Christian to come forth. In John 5, Jesus said that His voice-His shout of triumph, His summons, His command, His call-will be heard by every Christian. The voice of the Son of God will be sounded forth when He descends from Heaven. What a day!

 
3. "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the arch-angel." Not only will Jesus Himself descend with a shout, but there will be the voice of the archangel.


There is only one other reference to the archangel. In Jude 9 he is identified as Michael. Jude tells us that Michael and the Devil had a wrestling match, and Michael won.


That struggle, that wrestling match, that problem, that depression, that despondency, that hopeless hour, that valley of sorrow and tragedy through which we are crossing-"we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world"-with Satan himself. But "Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."
 
When Michael won the wrestling match with the Devil, what were they fighting over? The body of Moses, an old man one hundred and twenty years of age.

When Jesus comes, the voice of the archangel will be heard.

The greatest thing that could happen today is not for an aircraft designer to get another contract, not for the stock market to rise, but for Jesus Christ to return to this sinful earth and take out His children.


Since the Devil fought with the  archangel over the body of one saint, don't you suppose he is going to put up a bigger fight when Jesus comes? Do you suppose the Devil will try to put a lid on every grave to try to stop every saint from coming up out of the grave? The archangel who defeated the Devil in the wrestling match over the body of Moses will defeat him again-with a shout! The Devil will be defeated, the graves will open, and the dead shall rise!

I'm not so much concerned with what the politicians or theologians or economists say, or what the radio and television talk shows have to talk about; I'm listening for another voice, for the sound of the trumpet, for the shout of Jesus, for the voice of the archangel. When that sounds, there will be the marshaling of the troops of all the redeemed soldiers of God.

4. "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God."   The trumpet is used to marshal the troops.


We read in I Corinthians 15:


"We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."-Vss. 51,52.


The shout of Jesus, the voice of the archangel, the trumpet of God!


5. "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first." 
This is the first resurrection.

John says in Revelation 20:

"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

"This is the first resurrection. "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."-Vss. 4-6.

When the voice of the archangel is heard, when Jesus shouts, when the trumpet sounds, "the dead in Christ shall rise first."

"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption."-Vss. 35-50.

We have looked like the first Adam; one day we shall look like the last Adam! We have borne the image of the earthy; one day we shall bear the image of the heavenly. The dead saints are going to rise again.

"For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: "Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself."-Phil. 3:20,21.

The loved one whom you buried-God is able to recompose and restructure that body like unto the body of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who perished in the fire during the war-God is able to bring that body out of that fiery death. The one who was drowned in the sea-God is able to bring that body out of the watery grave. The one cremated at the funeral-God is able to bring that body out of those ashes. God is the great scientist, and He can gather those particles of flesh and body wherever they are and bring them back together in His own likeness.

The saints who have died in the faith will be resurrected, but that is not all. The living saints will be raptured, and their bodies changed. 

Paul looked for the coming of Christ in his day, for he said, "We which are alive and remain.."


"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

"In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed,

"For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

"But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."-I Cor. 15:51-57.

The dead shall be raised and translated: a new body. The living shall be translated: a new body. What is the new body going to be like?

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."-I John 3:2.

I'm not sure what it is going to be like, but I do know from this Scripture it is going to be just like Jesus.

Jesus ate in His glorified body. When He met the disciples by the sea, He prepared their breakfast. The Son of God-who put the stars in place, who scooped out the caves to make the oceans and held up the mountains, who put all of the planets in the fiery track around the sun-one morning gathered up a few sticks, kindled a fire and fed a bunch of hungry fishermen. Can you imagine it!

You can feast at Jesus' table all the time! He who fed the multitudes and turned the water into wine, said, "Come and dine. Come and dine."

We are going to be just like Him who walked through closed doors.

In our glorified bodies, we will never grow weary, never get hungry, never have aches and pains, because we will be just like Him. "I will be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness," said the psalmist.

The resurrection of the dead, the translation of the living, all will be caught up together in a glorious reunion. Look at it again:

"Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them [those who have come out of the graves] in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."-I Thess. 4:17.

All the saints will be with Christ in a permanent dwelling place.

Jesus is coming first for his bride, the church and then to rule!

When loved ones have been taken away from us in death, our hearts are heavy. We weep and mourn, and rightly so, because God made the eyes to cry as a release for us. So don't be ashamed of tears. We "sorrow not, even as others which have no hope." There is the difference.

We grieve over our loved ones who have died. Their places are empty. But one day-and it may be soon-when the voice of the Son of God comes in a shout, and the archangel speaks, and the trumpet sounds, out of those yonder graves where many tears have been shed will come our loved ones.

Those who have gone before-those precious ones we have so sorely missed-one day we will all be together again. There will be no sorrow, no crying, no death because these things will have passed away, and all things will have become new. He who sat upon the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." A new day, a new Home, a new life-all with Jesus Christ. 

What a day!

What should we be doing while we wait and watch for His coming?

"Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

"For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation."

                                                                                               I Thess. 5:6-8.

We should be rationally minded; we should have on the breastplate of faith and love while looking for His return.

When is it going to happen? No one can answer that; but I can read what the Bible says about it in Matthew 24:

"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready [it does not say to get ready; it says to be ready]: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh."-Vss. 36-44.


ARE YOU READY FOR THE RAPTURE?

Jesus Christ is coming again. Are you ready? Have you been saved? Are you born again? Is your name written, not on the church roll, but in the Lamb's book of life? "Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" (Rev. 20:15). This is the second death!
Are you ready for His return? Is there something in your life-an attitude, a habit, a weakness, a problem-you need to deal with at an altar of prayer? If Jesus were to come today, would you be ready?

He told us to watch. It is one thing to wait; it is another thing to watch.

I'm a part of His bride, and He said He was coming to take me Home. I'm watching for my Dearly Beloved today.

Are you ready? Are you watching? If there is anyone in this place who is not ready for the coming of Christ, I pray that by faith you will this moment receive Christ as your Saviour.

"Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch." 

                                                Mark 13:35-37       

Understanding the End Times:......More On The Millennium

More On The Millennium

Many people find it hard to understand how such a seemingly perfect beginning could deteriorate into a massive rebellion at the end. The simple answer is "natural man" but let's take a more comprehensive look.

First, a little background. The Bible mentions a total of seven different approaches God has made in an effort to maintain a relationship with the human race. Six of these are history and one is yet to come.

In the early 1800's John Nelson Darby, borrowing a term from Ephesians 3:2, named these seven approaches "dispensations" and explained how so far each one has ended in failure. 

Here's a summary of each in the order of their occurrence.

The Dispensations

1) Innocence … Between the Creation and the Fall of Man in the Garden (Genesis 3) God interacted freely and personally with Adam and Eve. Then they broke the only rule He had given them (Genesis 3:11-13) and were expelled from the Garden. Sin entered the world.

2) Conscience … Between the Fall and the Flood, God allowed man's conscience to govern his behavior without Divine interference. Because of the sin nature passed down from mankind's first parents, the result was that "the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5). God pronounced judgment upon the world and destroyed all but 8 members of the human race in the Great Flood.

3) Human Government … from the Flood to Abraham. After the flood God told Noah to go forth and replenish the Earth (Genesis 9:7). Noah's descendants disobeyed God's commandment, setting about instead to build a great city and tower from which to study the stars (Genesis 11:4). God confused man's language, causing them to stop building the tower, and scattered them through out the world (Genesis 11:8-9).

4) Promise … from Abraham to Moses. God promised Abraham a son for himself and Sarah (Genesis 15:4) and a homeland for his descendants (Genesis 15:18-19).  But they grew tired of waiting and produced a son on their own, who they named Ishmael (Genesis 16:1-2,15). When God's promised son Isaac was born, Ishmael was sent away (Genesis 21:8-13) causing enmity between the Jews (descendants of Isaac) and Arabs (descendants of Ishmael) that continues to this day. After Mohammed, a descendant of Ishmael's, founded Islam this enmity took on religious significance and became even more intense.

5) Law … from Moses to Jesus. God gave Moses the 10 Commandments and promised the Jews a life of peace and plenty in a Kingdom of their own if they obeyed Him (Exodus 19:5, Exodus 20:1-17). After repeated periods of disobedience which included rejecting their Messiah King, God withdrew His offer of the Kingdom and expelled them from their land (Matt. 21:43, Luke 19:41-44).

6) Grace … from Pentecost to the Rapture, the Church Age. No longer requiring righteousness through works, God granted a righteousness through faith in the completed work of Christ to all who believe, whether Jew or Gentile (Romans 3:21-24). Most will not believe and will be punished through eternity.

Note: It's important to realize that Grace is unlike any of the other dispensations in that didn't replace Law, it just interrupted it.  Law has another 7 years to run, called Daniel's 70th Week (Daniel 9:24-27), which will take place between the Rapture and the 2nd Coming. During this time all the nations to which Israel has been scattered will be completely destroyed and Israel will be disciplined in preparation for receiving the Kingdom God has promised to give them (Jeremiah 30:4-11).

As you can see these six approaches either already have or are about to end in failure. 

Now for the seventh..... 

7) The Kingdom … the 1000 Year Reign of Christ also known as the Millennium. It begins with the 2nd Coming. This time Israel will accept the Kingdom offer (Zechariah 12:10, Zechariah 14:8-9). Satan will be bound (Rev. 20:2), all unbelievers will be expelled from the planet (Matt. 25:41-46), and God will once again dwell in the midst of His people (Ezek. 43:6-7). You'd think with all these advantages mankind would finally be able to live in a manner pleasing to God. But it won't happen. Eventually, with the exception of Israel, the world will rebel against God and His people in one last attempt to regain control of the planet. God will send fire from heaven to consume them all (Rev. 20:7-10).

In a near perfect environment, with Satan bound, Jesus ruling in person and only believers left in the world it seems to us like the perfect opportunity for mankind to prove that given the right circumstances it is possible to live in peace and harmony with God. How could something that seems so right go so horribly wrong?

In Jeremiah 17:9 we're told that our hearts are deceitful above all things and are beyond cure. This is why the Bible never mentions changing our heart. Instead it speaks of giving us a new one. Our natural heart has a built in failure mechanism that has eventually torpedoed every relationship God has proposed to have with us. It's called sin and the summaries above demonstrate its deadly effect.

At the sheep and goat judgment, which follows the 2nd Coming, the Lord will separate surviving believers from surviving unbelievers. Believers will be welcomed into the Millennial Kingdom (Matt. 25:34) while unbelievers will be sent into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41) never to be seen on Earth again.

Jewish believers will live in Israel, while Gentile believers will populate the nations. The Earth, having been restored to its pre-flood grandeur, will be a remarkable place to live, and will cooperate with its inhabitants to produce a life of peace and plenty never before seen. I can imagine that the people, having just survived 7 years of the worst times humans have ever endured, will feel blessed beyond any measure.

It took 1656 years for pre-flood man to bring God's perfect creation to a point where His only option was to destroy them all. This was probably due to the long life spans they enjoyed, where there were multiple generations of elders among them who retained the memories of Earth's earliest days.

By contrast Judges 2:10-15 tells us that after the generation of Israelites who endured the time in the wilderness and conquered the Promised Land had died, the next generation neither knew the Lord nor what He had done for Israel. Before long they had descended into idolatry and brought judgment upon themselves.  Lifespans had already become remarkably shorter and the memory of the Lord was lost as there were no longer the multiple overlapping generations of the past. This time it only took one generation to begin their downward spiral.

In the Millennium, lifespans will become longer again but eventually children will be born who will not have experienced the Great Tribulation and history will begin to repeat itself.

The Bible only hints of this so we don't know how long it will take, but it seems likely that among each generation there will be substantially fewer believers than in previous ones.

Diverging Paths

It appears that this will only happen among the Gentile nations because there's no mention of such a falling away in Israel. Therefore, when examining the millennium we have to look at Israel and the Gentile nations separately.

Isaiah 40:1-2 tells us that as of the 2nd Coming the Lord will speak comfort to Israel, and tenderness to Jerusalem, saying that her hard service is over and that her sin has been paid for, having received double from the Lord's hand for all her sins. In Ezekiel 36:26-27 we read of God's promise to give His people a new heart and put His Spirit in them to move them to follow His decrees and keep His laws.

They won't be changed from mortal to immortal yet, so they will still sin. But the Temple rituals they will be required to practice, complete with daily sacrifices for their sin (Ezekiel 40-46), will serve as a constant reminder of the Lord's death on their behalf. Also, He will extend peace to them that will flow like a river and the wealth of the nations will pour in like a flooding stream (Isaiah 66:12). The combination of these things will enable them to remain faithful to the Lord throughout.

The Lord will be a strict administrator of God's law during the millennium, brooking no disobedience. Psalm 2:9 tells us He will rule with an iron scepter, which means He will be inflexible in His dealings with man. No more of the Sunday School Jesus patting little children on the head and telling everyone to turn the other cheek.  In Psalm 2:10-11 the kings of the earth are warned to serve Him with fear and trembling because His wrath can flare up in a moment.

As it has been through out human history, children born in the millennium will have to mature and decide whether to accept or reject the Lord's death on their behalf.  As successive generations of children are born in the gentile nations, the sin nature they will have inherited will make it increasingly difficult for them to accept the Lord and His kind of rule, especially as memories of the Great Tribulation judgments fade. In each generation the number of those who reject the Lord will grow and their obedience to His rule will only be given reluctantly and with growing resentment.

One example the Bible gives of this resistance concerns Egypt. In Isaiah 19:19-25 the prophet described a time when Egypt will come to know the Lord and worship Him with sacrifices and grain offerings. Then something will happen that causes the Lord to strike them with a plague, subsequently healing them after they turn back to Him. The chapter ends with the Lord calling Egypt "my people". This prophecy has never been fulfilled.

In Zechariah 14:16-19 we learn that all the Gentile nations will have to be represented each year when Israel celebrates the Feast of Tabernacles. Failure to attend will bring consequences. In describing those consequences Zechariah described a plague of drought. He specifically mentioned that Egypt would suffer this plague but hinted that other nations would be afflicted for failing to attend as well. This prophecy is Millennial in its scope.

In Ezekiel 29:13-16 there's a prophecy of a 40 year period when Egypt will be completely desolate, with its people dispersed among the other nations of the world. At the end of 40 years the Lord will bring them back. This is another prophecy that awaits future fulfillment.

I believe these three prophecies speak of the same thing; a 40 year judgment against Egypt for refusing to attend the annual Feast of Tabernacles. If so, it's an indication of how intolerant the Lord will be of any violation of the rules and how severe the punishment for such will be. No wonder the growing number of unbelievers will start forming thoughts of rebellion.

We shouldn't marvel that natural humans could be so wicked as to bring about the destruction of the very utopian existence mankind has dreamed about from time immemorial. Even a casual reading of the Old Testament shows us that on a smaller scale this very thing happened repeatedly in Israel's history, even with God Himself living in their midst.

Also, a study of human nature will lead us to the conclusion that eventually the incredible blessings of millennial life will be taken for granted as more and more people are born who haven't known anything different. Soon these blessings will be overshadowed by the inflexible requirements of the Lord's rule.

As the end of the Millennium approaches the number of rebellious unbelievers will be as great as the sand on the seashore. When Satan is released they will be primed and ready for a leader behind whom they can unite. From all over the world they will march against the camp of God's people, the city He loves, and in response He will send fire from heaven to devour them all. And then the devil who deceived them will be thrown into the lake of fire to be tormented day and night, forever (Rev. 20:7-10).

At first glance, having a 1000 year interlude between the Age of Man and Eternity doesn't make sense. But on reflection, I think that it may be natural man's last, best, chance to prove himself to God.

Through out history we've had the evil workings of the devil to contend against, but all during the Millennium the devil will be imprisoned. Without him to tempt them can man behave in a manner pleasing to God?

We've also had the bad influence of unbelievers, but at the beginning of the Millennium all unbelievers will be taken away. Will that make it possible for man to please God?

For the last 2000 years the Lord has been absent from the planet. When He returns to become their King will His presence among them enable man to please Him?

Sadly, the answer to all these questions is a resounding no. Even with Satan bound, no more unbelievers, and the in person rule of the Lord Himself, there's still enough sin in the hearts of natural man that as soon as Satan is freed, man will join him in a final rebellion against God. The Millennium is the seventh and final test, proving that there is no circumstance or condition in which natural man can behave in a manner acceptable to a Holy God.

If you haven't done so lately, give thanks to God that you came into the world during the Age of Grace, where the righteousness of God has been imputed to you by faith (Romans 3:21-24) making you forever perfect in His sight (Hebrews 10:12-14).  Your inheritance of eternal life has been guaranteed (Ephes. 1:13-14) as the example in ages yet to come of the incomparable riches of God's Grace expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:7), with no other requirement than to believe in the one He has sent (John 6:28-29). Such a thing has never happened before and will never happen again.

Understanding the End Times:......Restoring Planet Earth

Restoring Planet Earth

Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matt. 19:28)

He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new." Then He said, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End."(Rev. 21:5-6)

The end times judgments will be devastating in the extreme, and the Lord warned that if He didn't bring them to a close at the appointed time, not a single soul would survive (Matt. 24:22). But for the sake of the elect, He will bring them to a close and when He does the restoration of Earth will begin.

One of the ancillary functions of the end times judgments will be to begin the process of returning Earth to the condition it was in just after the creation.  It's as if the Great Tribulation is the demolition phase of the restoration. This is hinted at by phrases like "every island fled away and the mountains could not be found"(Rev. 16:20) and "there was no longer any sea" (Rev. 21:1).  And speaking of the Lord's current whereabouts,  Peter told the people, He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. (Acts 3:21)

Comparing verses like these with the return of long life spans indicated in Isaiah 65:20, I think most of the present seas will either return to their underground origins or rise into the upper atmosphere to re-establish the water vapor canopy that once surrounded Earth (Gen. 1:6-7) and helped enable the long pre-flood lives.

The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God.

The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs.  In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow (Isaiah 35:1-2, 7).

I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set pines in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together, so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the LORD has done this, that the Holy One of Israel has created it.(Isaiah 41:18-20)

The mountains will be lowered, and the sea floor elevated.  Streams and rivers will flow through lands that have been parched for thousands of years. The great desserts will become verdant plains again.  The current tilt of the Earth's axis causes extreme differences in the world's weather and makes large areas uninhabitable. I believe this will be corrected at the time of the 2nd Coming. The axis will become upright again and the year shortened to its original 360 days. Earth will once again enjoy a world wide sub-tropical climate like it did before Adam lost it and the terrible effects of sin were loosed upon it. This is something the creation has been waiting for ever since.

The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.(Romans 8:19-21)

And this restoration won't be limited to the Earth alone.  A massive spontaneous healing will correct all the imperfections of fallen mankind.  

But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.  And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall(Malachi 4:2). The eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.  The lame will leap like a deer and the mute tongue will shout for joy(Isaiah 35:7)

When the Lord returns in glory the wait will be over, and soon afterward the creation will once again resemble a lush garden. He will make her deserts like Eden, her waste lands like the garden of the Lord (Isaiah 51:3).

Some people are troubled by all this because they're so in love with the creation as it currently appears. I remember reading about a person asking God to leave her behind at the rapture because she can't imagine anything being more beautiful than this present Earth, not even Heaven.  People like this are limited in their thinking.  They're basing the future on the past instead of on the promises of God.  They don't stop to think that if the Earth is this beautiful while under a curse how much more so will it be when the curse is lifted and it's restored to its original condition?

In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for  you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am(John 14:2-3).

Besides, people who think like this don't realize that the Lord has spent the last 2,000 years "preparing a place for us" in His Father's house. He's not coming back to be with us here where we are, He's coming back to take us there to be with Him where He is. 

The Church will no longer call Earth home but will dwell with Him in His Father's house. Do these folks really think that after the rapture, when we see all eternity spread out before us, we'll be disappointed with our future and long to return to this fallen creation?

But our focus here is the restoration of Planet Earth, where Israel will once again be the most favored nation. One of the clues we get that the Kingdom Age on Earth features Israel and not the Gentile nations, or even the Church, is that almost all of its descriptive passages are in the Old Testament, and for the most part center around Israel.

From them we learn of the desert bursting into bloom (Isaiah 35:1-2), of the land being so fertile that before they can complete the harvest it will be time to begin planting again (Amos 9:13). Peace will flow like a river and the wealth of the nations like a flooding stream (Isaiah 66:12).  In Jerusalem men and women of ripe old age will sit in streets filled with playing children (Zechariah 8:4-5). And in the country side, "Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken."(Micah 4:4)

Peace will prevail in the animal kingdom as well. Predators and prey will live side by side, and their young will lie down together, all of them existing in perfect harmony with each other and with mankind again (Isaiah 11:6-8). This will be another reversal of a post-flood condition, when fear and dread of man fell upon all the beasts of the earth and the birds of the air (Gen. 9:2-3).

And so the time of restoration will have come, and in every way Earth will be like it was in the beginning. Where ever one goes there will be peace on Earth and good will toward men, like the angel Gabriel promised to the shepherds so long ago. The Lord Himself will rule, and people will come from all over the world to learn from Him.

The mountain of the LORD's temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths."

The law (Torah) will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. (Isaiah 2:2-4)

But like it has always been, the seed of rebellion will still reside in the heart of natural man.  He'll be given every conceivable advantage in this, his last best chance to live in peace with God.  But within a generation or two that seed will begin to germinate as the children of Tribulation survivors come of age. Some will choose to follow their parents to the foot of the cross and receive their personal redemption. But with each generation an increasing number won't. This will happen even though Satan will be bound, the Lord Himself will be their King, and God's Law will be their law.

You see, there is no condition or circumstance that will allow natural man with his sin nature to live in peace with God. As the end of the Millennial Kingdom Age approaches, unbelievers will vastly out number believers again, especially among the nations. When Satan is released they will rise up as one and march across the breadth of the Earth to surround the camp of God's people and the city He loves in a final attempt to kick the Lord off the planet. But fire from Heaven will devour them, and Satan will be captured again, this time to be thrown into the lake of fire forever. (Rev. 20:9-10)

After the Millennium, God and man will enjoy a new beginning, called Eternity. We're not given any information about this because the Bible effectively ends at the end of the Millennium.  A careful reading shows that in Rev. 20, John skipped ahead after verse six to describe the final destinies of Satan and all unbelievers while he was on the subject. (Rev. 20:7-15) Then in Rev. 21:1-27 he went back to the beginning of the Millennium to show us the New Jerusalem, and in Rev. 22:1-5 gave us a glimpse of Millennial life on Earth.  We know this because Rev. 21:1 is a direct quote from Isaiah 65:17 where the context is the Kingdom age in Israel and Rev. 22:1-2 is a summary of Ezekiel 47:1-12, also a millennial passage.

As part of the Church we'll effectively have a head start on Eternity, as will resurrected believers from both Old Testament times and Daniel's 70th Week. But we'll have to wait at least until the rapture to see what it's going to be like. 

All we know for now is that it'll be the greatest adventure ever designed for mankind, and we'll be first in line when the time comes to begin enjoying it.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The U.S. media is still in denial, but the foreign cartoonists are smarter......


The U.S. media is still in denial, but the foreign cartoonists are smarter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


   

 


The 10 Tallest Buildings That Were Never Finished..........

The 10 Tallest Buildings That Were Never Finished

Eight out of the 10 were started and stopped in just the last few years. What does that say about the global economy?

The chart below, published by the Council on Tall Building and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), shows the 10 tallest buildings in which construction began but was never completed.

CTBUH reports that "a building is considered to be 'Never Completed' when site works had begun, but were completely halted, and no reports indicate that construction will continue."

10 Tallest Building Never Built
The top spot goes to the gigantic Nakheel Tower in Dubai, which would have stood as high as one kilometre (3,300 feet). Launched in 2008, it was put on hold in 2009 when the builder went bust. The proposed relaunch of the construction never happened, and the building yard is still untouched after five years.
Nakheel Tower




WISDOM, DIGNITY AND VALUES......GOOD FOR HIM!

Former President George W. Bush has a simple explanation for why he almost never criticizes his successor: He feels it undermines the office of the presidency.

In an interview that aired Thursday night on Fox News' "Hannity," Bush insisted he would not attack President Barack Obama even though he continued to have strong opinions about national politics.

"I don't think it's good for the country to have a former president undermine a current president; I think it's bad for the presidency for that matter," Bush said. 

Bush, who is promoting his book about his father (former President George H.W. Bush), "41: A Portrait of My Father," also said he had no interest in generating headlines for himself after serving in the country's highest office for eight years.

"Secondly, I really have had all the fame I want," he added. "I really don't long for publicity. And the truth the matter is in order for me to generate publicity ... I'd have to either attack the Republican Party, which I don't want to do, or attack the president, which I don't want to do. And so I'm perfectly content to be out of the limelight."

HE MIGHT NOT BE HIGH ON THE LIST OF THE BEST PRESIDENTS OR THE SMARTEST, BUT I THINK HE IS A DECENT HUMAN BEING THAT TRIED TO SERVE WITH HONOR AS WELL AS A DEEP LOVE AND RESPECT FOR HIS COUNTRY.  

On Hillary Clinton.........GOD HELP US IF SHE IS THE NEXT PRESIDENT!

A drearily soulless, principle-free, corrupt, power-hungry, veteran of DC's game of thrones, she's about as banal of an American politician as it gets. One of the few unique aspects to her, perhaps the only one, is how the genuinely inspiring gender milestone of her election (following the Obama model) will be exploited to obscure her primary role as guardian of the failing status quo.



Friday, November 28, 2014

OIL IS CRASHING....BECAUSE GLOBAL OIL DEMAND IS CRASHING!

OIL IS CRASHING

Oil prices are plunging on Thanksgiving in the US as the latest OPEC meeting saw the oil cartel announce that it will not cut production. 

FOR ANYBODY THAT THINKS OIL TANKING IS A GOOD THING, THEY OUGHT TO ASK WHY. IT IS BECAUSE THE GLOBAL ECONOMY IS IN SUCH BAD SHAPE. LOWER OIL PRICES ARE A HARBINGER OF MUCH WORSE TO COME! 

And one Russian oil tycoon thinks OPEC is on a mission to get rid of the "marginal" oil players in the US shale market.

AMAZING HOW OIL PRICES DID NOT START FALLING UNTIL THE U.S. HAD PISSED RUSSIA OFF WITH ALL THE ECONOMIC SANCTIONS. BOTH RUSSIA AND CHINA WANT TO SEE THE DOLLAR COLLAPSE AND THE END OF THE DOLLAR AS THE WORLDS RESERVE CURRENCY. THEY ARE BUYING GOLD HAND OVER FIST AND USING OIL, THE LARGEST COMMODITY PAID FOR ONLY IN U.S. DOLLARS AS ECONOMIC WEAPONS. IGNORANT AMERICANS NEED TO WAKE UP! 

Leonid Fedun — vice president and board member at Russian oil giant OAO Lukoil — said: "The shale boom is on par with the dot-com boom. The strong players will remain, the weak ones will vanish."

Fedun said that OPEC's objective is to "clean up" the US shale market, and that oil prices will eventually rise once this occurs. 

"In 2016, when OPEC completes this objective of cleaning up the American marginal market, the oil price will start growing again," Fedun told Bloomberg.

And regarding Thursday's announcement from OPEC, Fedun told Bloomberg, "The major strike is against the American market."

Fedun told Bloomberg that some US producers are surviving right now because they hedged their oil production at $90 a barrel, though these arrangements will eventually expire making life "much more difficult" for these companies.  UNSUSTAINABLE!




11.27 oil


A FEW IMPORTANT CHARTS........

THE FIRST THREE CHARTS ARE WHAT THE PUBLIC WATCHES AND THE GOVERNMENT MANIPULATES.

THE LAST TWO ARE A MUCH BETTER INDICATION OF THE TRUTH.

OBSERVE AND CONTRAST THE PAST MONTH OR SO ON THE TWO GROUPS OF CHARTS AND THEN ASK YOURSELF WHY SUCH AN EXTENDED RALLY IN THE FIRST GROUP AND NOT IN THE SECOND?

THE TRUTH IS OBVIOUS EXCEPT TO THOSE WHO DO NOT WANT TO HEAR IT.








Beyond the obvious, the prevailing technical tension ties back to the small- and mid-caps. BARELY A BREAKOUT ON THESE CHARTS! SMALL AND MIDCAPS ARE TELLING THE TRUTH.




This Is Complete And Utter Madness..........

This Is Complete And Utter Madness


Despite near-record Treasury short speculative-positioning, 30Y Treasury yields just hit a 2.93% handle- in line with the yield at the Bullard lows in mid-October. The S&P 500 is 200 points higher... 

 

The S&P 500 is now trading 200 points rich to Treasury markets (or 30Y Treasury yields should be 55bps higher - despite world GDP expectations plunging as fast as oil prices)

 As the S&P 500 has now closed above it 5-day moving-average for 28 days (today will be 29)...


This has never - ever - happened before in US equity markets.

The Absurdity Of European QE ..........QE DOES NOT WORK!

The Absurdity Of European QE

Because buying bonds and lowering interest rates will do what exactly...

Record high unemployment in France... and record low yields on sovereign bonds (10Y below 1.00% for the first time ever)...

FRANCE IS VERY CLOSE TO EXITING THE EURO....IF THINGS CONTINUE DOWN THE PATH EUROPE IS ON, THEY WILL.  THAT WOULD BE A FATAL BLOW TO THE EURO.


Europarliament Says Ukraine-Russia War Imminent.........A VERY DANGEROUS WORLD!

NATO To Deploy Tanks In Eastern Europe Shortly After VP Of Europarliament Says Ukraine-Russia War Imminent

Just when global financial markets had shrugged off Ukraine as yet another 'storm in a teacup', it appears events are escalating rapidly once again. This morning saw European Parliament's Vice President Saryusz-Wolski warn "Russia's pressure on Ukraine is mounting high, further war imminent," to which Ukraine's President Poroshenko rapidly responded (via Twitter) rather ominously that a "third world war does not scare us," having noted earlier than Ukraine needs to achieve NATO membership. This then prompted NATO's top military commander to warn, he is "very concerned" that Russia's military build-up in the annexed Crimean region could be used as a launchpad for attacks across the whole Black Sea region; leaving the alliance confirming that NATO plans to deploy tanks in Eastern Europe.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

NOTHING TO BE THANKFUL FOR WITHOUT JESUS.........

NOTHING TO BE THANKFUL FOR WITHOUT JESUS!


Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.   For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. 

                    Psalm 100

Each year on the 4th Thursday of November we celebrate Thanksgiving Day in the US. It's a holiday begun by the early settlers to express their gratitude to God for a bountiful harvest, and it's patterned after the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles.

After the harvest Israelites from all over the country would gather in Jerusalem for a week long celebration. This was to commemorate the time God had spent with them in the wilderness and to give thanks for another good harvest. All year they saved up their tithes, the first born of their flocks and herds, the first sheaves of grain, the first grapes, figs, olives and other fruit and vegetables and brought it all to Jerusalem in the fall where they cooked and ate everything in a national celebration of praise (Deut. 12:5-7).

After surviving a very difficult year in the new world, the Pilgrims of New England instituted a similar, though much smaller, thanksgiving feast, again with the intent of praising God.   This event finally became a national holiday in the US in 1863, but it took until 1941 to settle on the 4th Thursday of November as its official observance.

My parents made sure we never forgot that it was the Lord who provided for us and so Thanksgiving was a religious observance in our house. Prayers were offered and each family member gave thanks to the Lord for all the good things we had received.

You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me." But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today (Deut. 8:17-18).

We believed, as the Bible tells us, that even though my parents worked hard all year, it was the Lord who had given them their strength and ability and created opportunities for them. 

In these verses God reminded the Israelites (and us) not to forget that. After all, lots of people work hard all their lives and never seem to get anywhere.  We weren't well off, but we gave thanks for what we had because we knew where our blessings came from.

Without Jesus.....

If you're looking for things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving try some of these "withouts";

Love Without Limits … For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believed in Him would not perish but have everlasting life(John 3:16).

Forgiveness Without Question … Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks the door will be opened (Matt 7:7-8). If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Performance Without Exception … All that the Father gives me will come to me and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. And this is the will of Him Who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that He has given me, but raise them up on the last day (John 6:37, 39).

Promise Without Equivocation … I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times what is still to come. I say, "My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please … what I have said, that will I bring about and what I have planned, that will I do" (Isaiah 46:10-11).

Blessings Without Number … You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country (wherever you are). The fruit of your womb will be blessed (your children),and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock-the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks (your work). Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed (you'll have plenty of food). You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out (when you come home at night and when you leave in the morning) (Deut 28:3-6).

Mercy Without Measure …. It is because of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassion fails not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Faithfulness Without Failing … Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands (Deut. 7:9).  And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

Redemption Without Retraction … In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will– to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding (Ephesians 1:5-8).

Salvation Without Merit … But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:4-7).

Grace Without Guilt … Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)

So in a time when mankind has all but forgotten that the Lord is the Giver of every good and perfect gift, the Author of all our victories, who arranges every opportunity and fashions every blessing, these "withouts" might serve as good reminders to give thanks where thanks is due.

This Thanksgiving

May The LORD bless you and keep you and yours; 
May the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you and yours; May the LORD turn his face toward you and give you and yours peace." 

             Happy Thanksgiving 

                               ERIC HORNE



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving...........

Happy Thanksgiving


May God bless you and your loved ones with "every good and perfect gift" this holiday season--and especially with reminders of His never-changing, never-failing love.

Happy Thanksgiving!

                               Eric Horne


Each year on the fourth Thursday in November, Americans gather for a day of feasting, football and family. While today's Thanksgiving celebrations would likely be unrecognizable to attendees of the original 1621 harvest meal, it continues to be a day for Americans to come together around the table—albeit with some updates to pilgrim's menu.

For many Americans, the Thanksgiving meal includes seasonal dishes such as roast turkey with stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. The holiday feast dates back to November 1621, when the newly arrived Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians gathered at Plymouth for an autumn harvest celebration, an event regarded as America's "first Thanksgiving." But what was really on the menu at the famous banquet, and which of today's time-honored favorites didn't earn a place at the table until later in the holiday's 400-year history?

While no records exist of the exact bill of fare, the Pilgrim chronicler Edward Winslow noted in his journal that the colony's governor, William Bradford, sent four men on a "fowling" mission in preparation for the three-day event. Wild—but not domestic—turkey was indeed plentiful in the region and a common food source for both English settlers and Native Americans. But it is just as likely that the fowling party returned with other birds we know the colonists regularly consumed, such as ducks, geese and swans. Instead of bread-based stuffing, herbs, onions or nuts might have been added to the birds for extra flavor.

Turkey or no turkey, the first Thanksgiving's attendees almost certainly got their fill of meat. Winslow wrote that the Wampanoag guests arrived with an offering of five deer. Culinary historians speculate that the deer was roasted on a spit over a smoldering fire and that the colonists might have used some of the venison to whip up a hearty stew.

The 1621 Thanksgiving celebration marked the Pilgrims' first autumn harvest, so it is likely that the colonists feasted on the bounty they had reaped with the help of their Native American neighbors. Local vegetables that likely appeared on the table include onions, beans, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, carrots and perhaps peas. Corn, which records show was plentiful at the first harvest, might also have been served, but not in the way most people enjoy it now. In those days, the corn would have been removed from the cob and turned into cornmeal, which was then boiled and pounded into a thick corn mush or porridge that was occasionally sweetened with molasses.

Fruits indigenous to the region included blueberries, plums, grapes, gooseberries, raspberries and, of course cranberries, which Native Americans ate and used as a natural dye. The Pilgrims might have been familiar with cranberries by the first Thanksgiving, but they wouldn't have made sauces and relishes with the tart orbs. That's because the sacks of sugar that traveled across the Atlantic on the Mayflower were nearly or fully depleted by November 1621. Cooks didn't begin boiling cranberries with sugar and using the mixture as an accompaniment for meats until about 50 years later.

Culinary historians believe that much of the Thanksgiving meal consisted of seafood, which is often absent from today's menus. Mussels in particular were abundant in New England and could be easily harvested because they clung to rocks along the shoreline. The colonists occasionally served mussels with curds, a dairy product with a similar consistency to cottage cheese. Lobster, bass, clams and oysters might also have been part of the feast.

Whether mashed or roasted, white or sweet, potatoes had no place at the first Thanksgiving. After encountering it in its native South America, the Spanish began introducing the potato to Europeans around 1570. But by the time the Pilgrims boarded the Mayflower, the tuber had neither doubled back to North America nor become popular enough with the English to hitch a ride. New England's native inhabitants are known to have eaten other plant roots such as Indian turnips and groundnuts, which they may or may not have brought to the party.

Both the Pilgrims and members of the Wampanoag tribe ate pumpkins and other squashes indigenous to New England—possibly even during the harvest festival—but the fledgling colony lacked the butter and wheat flour necessary for making pie crust. Moreover, settlers hadn't yet constructed an oven for baking. According to some accounts, early English settlers in North America improvised by hollowing out pumpkins, filling the shells with milk, honey and spices to make a custard, then roasting the gourds whole in hot ashes.


THANKSGIVING HUMOR....













Thanksgiving by the Numbers.....A GREAT INFOGRAPHIC!



Thanksgiving infographic