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BIBLE VERSES EVIDENCE:

While Yahusha/JESUS was alive, He prayed to His Father: "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.  John 17:15 (KJV)

Yahusha/JESUS gave signs of what must happen before His Return:  "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:"  Matt. 24:29 (KJV)


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Is how is someone supposed to be baptized, in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit or in t


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Dear Esther,
I have two questions: The first is how is someone supposed to be baptized, in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit or in the name of Jesus Christ? And second, if you have done someone wrong to someone before you became a Christian do you have to tell that person and ask for forgiveness? The person does not know that they were done wrong and I’m afraid I may be a stumbling block for this person if I tell them. Do I just ask for the Lord to forgive me or do I also have to tell them and ask for their forgiveness? I know that if they knew that I had done them wrong that I would need to ask for forgiveness but will bringing it up seven-years later and them not knowing about it cause unnecessary problems?

Thank you ~ Chris


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Dear Chris,
I can sense your burdened heart. Let’s cover the baptismal question first. The Lord Jesus came right out a told us to baptize “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’ (Matthew 28:19). The book of Acts shows us that new believers were baptized in the name of Jesus. Acts 2:38, gives us such an example. Baptizing has been done in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and also in the name of Jesus.

Generally, Christians today are baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Keep in mind that Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit, are one (John 10:30 and Acts 16:7). Since Jesus came right out and said we should be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit that is what is generally done. But as the book of Acts shows us, baptism is also done in the name of Jesus.

The most important issue here is to realize that baptism is an outward symbolic recognition of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ as our Lord and Savior, and that we are buried with Him through salvation in Christ -- that we have a newness of life by which we now live.

Regarding confession, each sin is essentially committed against the Lord (Psalm 51:4). The Scriptures teach we need to confess sins directly to Him (Psalm 41:4; 130:4. Acts 8:22, 1 John 1:9). The only straightforward command to confess to someone else is in the context of church leaders, elders when praying for those who are ill (James 5:16). But that does not mean we should not ask for the forgiveness of others under certain circumstances. One-on-one confession is shown in Genesis 50:17-18 and a few other passages in the New Testament imply that we should do so.

But what about your situation when a person who was wronged does not know that they were wronged? Considering seven-years have passed concerning your personal transgression to the person you speak of, does it make sense that you should dredge up old sins with every painful detail now? We are all sinners and have wronged others and God at some point in time. What would be the benefit to the relationship if you brought up old stuff now?

It is best to confess your sins to the Lord and then walk in faith with Him and treat others with love and respect. It would not be a loving gesture to reach far into the past and rehash old stuff. Every believer who reads this has at least one thing that he or she would like to change from the past, but regurgitating painful details could do more harm than good. We could all go on endlessly day after day reliving and confessing past sins to others and that is not at all what we are to do as renewed creatures in Christ.

If the situation you are concerned about happened recently and it was a betrayal of some sort then that would change things. Considering the circumstances it is best to rely on the Lord and let the past stay in the past. Person to person confession is implied in some passages (Luke 17:3-4; Ephesians 4:32). But in your case wholeheartedly confess your transgression to the Lord and repent. He is the Holy Redeemer and through Him we are made righteous. Through our commitment to Him we will live more fruitful lives and the chances of offending the Lord and others is significantly decreased.

I encourage you to seek the leading of God in making a decision whether confession to others is appropriate in any situation. The ultimate goal is to leave that sin behind at the cross and live the rest of your life to the will of God (1 Peter 4:2).

In God’s love, Esther

“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-15).


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Dear Esther,
Hi, I was watching a preacher on T.V. whom I love and trust with the Word of our Lord, and he is preaching on the blood moons and their landing on Jewish dates of Passover and Tabernacle. Could you add to this? How does this tie in with the Rapture?

Thank You, Susan


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Dear Susan,
Since you do not mention the name of preacher or his specific sermons I can only give you a general answer. But nevertheless, as far as the blood moon and the Rapture we can look to passages in the book of Joel and in Luke.

A tremendous amount of speculation has been done trying to pinpoint the time of the Rapture, sometimes using all kinds of convincing information, many of them involving some Jewish holidays. None have been right. The bottom line is no one really knows, although it is evident we are close as the world continues to become unhinged.

The prophet Joel, and Luke foretold specific signs that will take place before the Rapture/Tribulation begin. These signs continue to get more intense throughout the Tribulation, right up until the Lord returns at His Second Coming.

The blood moon is only one event that is mentioned in Joel 2:30-31. It is just one of a number of phenomena that take place after God has removed the northern army (see Joel 2:20) which by the law of double reference refers to Ezekiel 38:15 (battle of Ezekiel 38 and 39).

It is evident if you keep your eyes on Israel and the Middle East that we are soon approaching the time of Ezekiel’s prophecy. I have heard some say that they believe 2015 is a blood moon date for the Second Coming but that hypothesis is significantly flawed. It would mean that we already have to be halfway through the Tribulation and it would also mean that the Antichrist would have already signed the covenant with Israel. And of course, neither of these prophesied events have been yet fulfilled.

“And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD” (Joel 2:30-31, emphasis added).

“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Luke 21:25-26).

The prophet Joel does speak of events that are part historic and future. The historic (fulfilled) references are in Joel 1:1-20, the Day of the Lord is illustrated in Joel 2:1-17, and the future eschatological Day of the Lord is described in verses 2:18-3:21. The spiritual restoration of Israel is referenced in Joel 2:28-32, and the final national restoration of Israel in Joel 3:1-21.

And remember Luke 21:28, Susan, when these things begin to happen, look up because our redemption (the Rapture) is near. May the Lord hurry and take us home, soon!

In God’s love, Esther

“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:2 .


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Dear Esther,
I’m a 20-year-old art student who has been watching the world turn for the majority of this year. Seeing the amount of corruption and evil that goes on, on a daily basis has made me realize how close we are to the next chapter in human history, not to mention the amount of prophecy that is being fulfilled not only in my lifetime but in my parents and grandparents. The problem I seem to have is that I am relying on the return of Christ to where I have a problem checking in to what most call “reality.”

Work and school just seem to be oppressive systems that are failing and won’t function the same way soon so I keep finding myself asking, what's the point? Why do I need to stay in school and center my life around: money? I will be playing into this corrupt system. With each event that has passed this year, whether it be the election, the Olympics or the Syrian civil war, etc., I find myself more and more upset that God is letting this all continue.

His name is satirized on a daily basis and Jesus is the punch line for many jokes. I can't even watch a television show without seeing outright disrespect for our Creator. I'm almost certain that I will live out the return of Christ and likely in the near future, but is it right for me to “count on” the apocalypse?

I’m writing this letter for some words of encouragement and straightforward advice from someone who is up-to-date in prophecy, because it seems that not many people here (or in the church) read prophecy or even care in the first place. Your response would mean the world to me!

God Bless You, Brandon


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Dear Brandon,
You are not alone in your frustration and disillusionment. It sounds like you are very have a good understanding of some of the signs pointing to our Lord’s soon return. But let me remind you: Everything that is happening now is as the Lord said it would be. He is allowing disturbing events to continue for reasons we cannot understand but He does give us clear clues that these wars, the decline of great nations and moral decency is inevitable because the prince and the power of the air─who is the devil, is running rampant in this world full-force. God is going to intervene but prophetically we are not quite there, yet. We must trust the Lord completely, no matter what. The Scriptures show that some events must still transpire before His final return.

As believers it is very hard for us to see our beloved Savior brutally mocked, criticized and blasphemed. It is tough to see the moral decline and the ever-increasing apostasy. It is more important than ever to seek fellowship with other like-minded believers and stay in the Word of God as the world continues to implode. Reading the Scriptures aloud is very powerful. When we hear God’s Word it resonates within us.

Jesus spoke about the usage of money and our time as recorded in Luke:

“And he called ten servants of his, and gave them ten pounds, and said unto them, Trade ye herewith till I come” (Luke 19:13, emphasis added). 1901 Standard American Edition of the Revised Version of the Bible

We are to keep busy and work (occupy) until the Lord takes us out in the Rapture. It is very understandable that you are discouraged and questioning the point of continuing your education and work when you know full well that this world-system is quickly turning into a godless slave-system.

We are not to center our lives “around” money, but we must earn money so we can sustain ourselves and do things to further the gospel. An education is never wasted and I would encourage you to keep-up with your schoolwork and continue to hone your talents. Perhaps you can find a way to continue your education in a manner that is at least somewhat affiliated with some genuine Christians. You might be able to showcase your artistic talents in a Christian medium. Completely dropping-out should never be an option.

As far as “counting” on the apocalypse, well it is coming, but exactly how long we are away from the Tribulation or the Rapture we cannot be sure. But Brandon, you can count on God’s Word and His promises. God has given you a good mind and you can navigate through this world with the Lord’s leading until it is time to go home to be with Him.

Step back and realize that you are already farther ahead than most. You have accepted God’s free gift of salvation. Your future is bright no matter how dark things get in this decaying world. You already have an edge over the lost, those who have no clue what on earth is going on. Pray for wisdom as you go through your days and be mindful of the decisions you make and the people you spend time with. And when those moments of great frustration arise, remember because you are a dedicated believer -- you are one of God’s special envoys and for a little while longer you will be fulfilling your calling for Him. You can count on your future home with Him while you complete your work here on earth.

During these last days all believers must keep our hearts and minds focused on Christ.. Much yet can be accomplished for the Lord. We must see things from an eternal perspective. I think it is amazing that at such a young age you already have such good insights. The Lord needs men like you to do His work. Go before Him and earnestly ask Him to guide you. He knows how you feel. He already has a plan for your life. You can have true joy knowing that He has already made a way for you to serve Him and that you are saved. All the dynamics in this life are only temporary and God needs believers to teach others His truths.

Sometimes it is when we feel most disappointed and at a loss as to why we should carry on, it is then that the Lord is calling us to fervently seek Him -- in order to guide us to what He knows is best for us. He might even take your life in a direction you have not even thought of. So be open to change, but don’t do anything hastily without praying about it and searching the Scriptures.

Be of good cheer, Brandon, Jesus has overcome the world and He is coming soon. Stand up as one of His faithful and help others come to Him while there is still time. And never mind the nay Sayers. You belong to the King. What He thinks is what matters, not what your peers or the godless know-it-alls say and do. Armor yourself daily with His Word and with prayer (Ephesians 6:10-19).

In God’s love,

Esther

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).



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Zechariah 12:3,9:
And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people; And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.



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Re: Is how is someone supposed to be baptized, in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit or



I recommend the use of Acts 2:38 as it says to repent, and it has a promise, i.e., the gift of the Holy Ghost:


"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."