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Prophecy Update 2018

Sunday Morning Bible Study

January 7, 2018


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die?  Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular:  2900 words    Communion: 2500 words  Video=75wpm


What’s ahead for the church

In case you weren’t here a few weeks ago, it is possible the church may need to move in the next 12-18 months.
Our landlords, “Searchlight Ministries” (formerly “Friends In Christ”) has been considering a $9million offer from “K.B. Homes” on the property.
There is a possibility it might fall through, but in case it doesn’t, we have been pursuing our options, talking to lenders and realtors.
We will keep you informed.

The Succession Plan –

We were planning on telling you about this a few weeks ago when the property issues developed, and we didn’t want you confusing one thing with the other.
I have been working on a succession plan for the last four years.
I’m not getting any younger, and will be turning 62 this year.
I don’t intend to play the self-pity fiddle, but I have had some health issues the last couple of years, and I find I can’t do as much as I used to.
Though I have nothing but admiration for Pastor Chuck, I do not think it would be healthy for our church if I were to try and be the Senior Pastor into my eighties.
When Pastor Chuck passed away, I began to realize I needed to be proactive and begin praying and asking God for direction for our church in regards to our future.
Our current plan involves the next ten years. 
Studies show that churches that make slow, purposeful transitions do best when it comes to transitioning one pastor to the next.
Our plan involves the idea of gradually transitioning an assistant pastor into the role of Senior Pastor, with the goal of trading places sometime in the next couple of years.
My intent is not to go away and leave the church, but to stick around and play the role of Yoda, to help the church succeed any way I can, as long as I can stay out of the way of the new Senior Pastor.  I plan on developing new ministries for my later years.
You might be wondering if I have any idea of who that next Senior Pastor might be.  I do.
I know that some of you will be hoping that Daniel Grant would be that person, and I have to tell you that I really like that idea.
But I already made the choice three years ago, before the door opened to bring Daniel back from Africa.  From the time of my first offer to Daniel to come back to Fullerton and come on staff, Daniel has known about my plans and choices regarding succession.
The person I’ve had in mind for the last four years to replace me is Caleb Beller.

Caleb is currently the director of the Calvary Chapel Bible College Europe in Budapest Hungary.

Caleb has been a part of our church since it’s beginning, when he was only 16 years old, about 23 years ago.

Caleb has spent years in discipleship with me, and before going to Hungary he did everything from teach Sunday School, to leading the Junior High, to leading the College group, to being an assistant pastor.

Our plan is to bring Caleb and his family home from Hungary this June, where he will start immediately as an assistant pastor.

Our plan is to take a couple of years reestablishing Caleb’s role in the church, with him eventually taking on the role of Senior Pastor.

Keep in mind, even after Caleb assumes the role of Sr. Pastor, I’m not going anywhere.  I will still be here, still teaching (perhaps in the Servant School/Bible College).

Daniel Grant will continue to function as an assistant pastor as well, and I see this as kind of a “Dream Team” for our church.

Video:  Caleb’s announcement video.

In addition to these changes, Dave Dunagan is planning on retiring from his role as assistant pastor and worship leader on July 1.  His assistant pastor duties will be picked up by Caleb, and David Cathers will step into Dave’s role as worship leader.

You will be noticing David Cathers taking an increasing role in leading worship over the next six months.

Dave Dunagan isn’t going to go anywhere, and still plans on being a part of the church and the worship team.

When Caleb comes back from Hungary, David will be handing the College Ministry over to Caleb (this will be one of Caleb’s initial areas of responsibility) – and since Caleb has been working with College Students for the last ten years, I think he’ll do fine.

Because of Caleb’s role within Calvary Chapel Bible College, we are hoping to open an extension campus here at Calvary Fullerton, complete with actual college credits.

I know that some of you might not like the fact that things change, but things do change.

I want to encourage you to look at how we’re doing this.

Neither Dave Dunagan nor myself are planning on going anywhere.  We will still be around.

I’m planning on being around on staff for the next ten years or so.

Prophecy Update 2018

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

18 Exponential Changes We Can Expect in the Year Ahead

Quite a bit about AI including:

That AI will be the big technology investment for large companies.
We will see AI is augmenting human capabilities.
AI will not only eliminate your job, but it will train you for your next job.
KITT – the car from Knight Rider – AI and cars.


Video: Underground Churches in China

I’m going to touch on four areas that have been in the news this year…


Collectively we might look at quite a few things that fall into the category of “disasters”, things that are a sign of the end times.

(Matthew 24:7–8 NKJV) —7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

You will see these kinds of things and more mentioned in the book of Revelation as well.

CNBC reports (Tues. Dec. 26, 2017) that 2017 was a devastating year with the amount of catastrophic floods, wildfires, and earthquakes affecting millions across the globe.

Global insured losses peg this as the third-most expensive year in insurance history.

In June/July it was flooding in China.
In August it was floods and landslides in Sierra Leone.
Also in August was Hurricane Harvey, swamping 136,000 structures.
In August, India was flooded, affecting 24 million people.
In August/September, Hurricane Irma walloped Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Florida.
In September, Mexico was hit by two huge earthquakes, killing over four hundred people, and affecting millions.
In September, more than 40 million people were affected by a monsoon that hit Bangladesh, India, and Nepal.
In September, Hurricane Maria was the second major storm to hit Puerto Rico.
In October, wildfires hit northern California killing at least 11 and destroying more than 1500 buildings.
In November, Typhoon Damrey hit Vietnam killing scores of people and causing more than $1billion in damages.
In November, a 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit Iran, killing more than 500 people.
In November a volcano in Bali forced thousands to evacuate.
In December, southern California was hit with wildfires.  The Thomas Fire now ranks as the largest in California history, scorching more than 280,000 acres, and still not completely contained (currently 92%).

I think that some of us are a little “disaster-fatigued”.  It’s almost like each new disaster no longer fazes us.

Yet it should make us wonder if there isn’t something more going on – and I don’t just mean “global warming”.
Even if some of these things are indeed related to global warming, that doesn’t negate the fact that we are living in unique times.

The Magog War

In Ezekiel 38-39, the Bible speaks of a war that might possibly precede the Rapture of the church and the Tribulation.

There will be an alliance of nations that will invade Israel from the north.

God steps in and miraculously delivers Israel.

Then God’s Spirit is poured out on the nation.

It involves the following nations:

(Ezekiel 38:1–9 NKJV) —1 Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 3 and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. 4 I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. 5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; 6 Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops—many people are with you. 7 “Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them. 8 After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely. 9 You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you.”

Turkey (Gomer, Beth Togarmah)

President Erdogan wants to be perceived as the leader of the Muslim world.

He is extremely anti-Israel.

While some of the Muslim world has been surprisingly quiet over the promised U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem, Erdogan (President of Turkey) has been the loudest and the quickest to protest it, even promising to put his own embassy in Jerusalem, an embassy to the Palestinians.

It is thought Erdogan is using the Jerusalem issues to get his country to stop looking at their own internal problems.


Iran is one of the few Muslim nations who have repeatedly stated over and over again that their goal is to destroy Israel.

With Trump’s election, the Iranians realized they are in trouble.

2 ½ months ago President Trump authorized a three-month extension of Obama’s “peace” deal with Iran regarding their nuclear capabilities while he studied the issues.

Trump has been threatening to completely cancel Obama’s Iran deal unless Congress imposes more sanctions on Iran, and Congress hasn’t done this yet.

Trump will have to declare his second “certification” (continuance) of the Iran deal by January 11, or cancel it.

Jerusalem Post – Trump will have to declare a second certification by Jan. 11.
That will be something to keep an eye on.
NOTE:  I don’t know if you subscribe to some of the current attacks in the press about the President being an “unstable moron”, but it doesn’t matter.  Whether he is doing it for smart reasons, or crazy ones, he is being used to move these things along.
We need to pray for our President, no matter what you think of him.

Iran is currently going through significant internal strife.  Large demonstrations have been held.

Iranian youth are trying to bring down the Iranian government.
They are upset that the country is in such economic difficulty while the mullahs are living in luxury.
There is high unemployment.
35% are living under the poverty line. 
The protesters are upset that so much money is being given to various terrorist organizations around the world.
As of yesterday (1/6/18), more than 1,000 people have been arrested, and at least 21 people have been killed.
This was from January 2:
Video:  CBS News – Protests in Iran

Where will this lead?

This might lead to a change in the government.
Some suggest the hardline Iranian leaders might divert the attention of their people from the internal problems by attacking Israel.
Hamas in the Gaza strip (supported by Iran) in recent days has started to fire mortar rounds into Israel again.

Russia (Magog, Rosh)

In March, elections in Russia – Putin has recently disqualified his competition.

Ezekiel’s prophecy puts Russia in the lead role in the invasion.

Despite the Syrian war with ISIS being over, Russia hasn’t pulled out of Syria, instead they have signed long term deals to have bases in Syria for the next 50 years.

They are in the area to stay.  Next door to Israel.

In November, Putin met with the leaders of Iran (Rouhani) and Turkey (Erdogan) to hold a “Victory Summit” and discuss the future after their victory in Syria against ISIS.  They’re already inter-connected.

Sudan (ancient Ethiopia) and Libya

The Turks have just signed several deals with the Sudanese.

The Russians have just signed deals with Libya.

They’re all on the same side.

Why would these nations invade Israel?

(Ezekiel 38:12a NKJV) to take plunder and to take booty…

Part of that plunder might include the huge natural gas reserves that were discovered a few years back.

Some of that booty is that Israel is quite the financial prize at the moment.

From: Dec. 25 – Jerusalem Post – Israel’s future looks bright save for the rising Iranian threat.
Israel’s GDP/capita has soared from $3,000 in 1948 to almost $39,000 in 2017 (in contrast, Russia is $26,000)
Israel’s foreign exchange reserves have soared from less than $1billion in 1960 to $100billion today.
Its exports are an impressive $100billion.
Israel’s hi-tech industry is in the top five in the world.
Israel has the most powerful military in the Middle East, and among the top 10 in the world.
Most Importantly:  Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot, an Israeli) has 22 million followers on the Internet!

Saudi Arabia

There’s one last nugget in this passage:

(Ezekiel 38:13 NKJV) Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder?
Sheba and Dedan are names for the nation Saudi Arabia.

Ezekiel makes it sound as if they are going to raise some sort of protest against the invaders.

Until recently, Saudi Arabia has been historically VERY anti-Israel.

(Jerusalem Post Article, Dec. 25)

“Under the young Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia is turning from being an enemy to Israel, towards being supportive in order to stand together against the growing Iranian threat.

“The Saudi Arabia movement towards Israel has also drawn in the United Arab Emirates, and the smaller Arab states toward Israel, away from Iran.”

Two years ago, who would have believed this?

North Korea

I imagine you are all aware of Mr. Kim Jong Un and the state of things between the U.S. and North Korea.

It is believed that North Korea is close to the ability to launch a nuclear warhead and hit the U.S.

There have been plenty of news articles talking about the inevitability of nuclear war between the U.S. and North Korea, though I’m not sure how much of that is bluster and how much is real.

The U.S. is trying to employ sanctions against the rogue regime, and has been trying to up the pressure on China to step up and do the same.

On Friday, China seemed to indicate it would finally put pressure on North Korea.
Video:  Fox News – China claims it will limit trade with North Korea.

I’m not sure that North Korea is directly spoken of in the Scriptures, but they may be related to some things that are.

In particular, did you notice how connected Russia and Iran are with North Korea?


On December 6, President Trump declared Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel, and that we would move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem (though that may be a few years from actually happening).

Video:  Trump’s Jerusalem Embassy Announcement

In response, riots broke out in Jerusalem and Bethlehem.  The Palestinians want Jerusalem to be declared their capital.

On December 15, Al Jazeera reported

Solidarity rallies have spread as far as Istanbul, Jakarta, Karachi, Rabat, Chicago and Tokyo.
In the Middle East, protesters took to the streets of Amman, Beirut, the occupied West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza.

On December 17, The U.N. security council voted 14-1 to condemn the announcement, with the U.S. vetoing the resolution.

On December 21, in a non-binding resolution, 128 nations in the U.N. voted to call on the U.S. to reverse its position.

35 nations abstained from the vote.
Only 9 nations voted against it.

The prophet Zechariah wrote around 550 BC.  He was speaking about the end times when he wrote,

(Zechariah 12:3 NKJV) And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.

It sounds to me like this is happening.

So what?

Why is it such a big deal that we think about the Second Coming?

It ought to affect the way we live.


Keep Growing

(1 John 3:2–3 NKJV) —2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
Our hope is that one day we will be with Jesus.
That ought to motivate us towards purity, towards growing in purity.
Purity isn’t a one-time action, it’s a continuous action.  It’s something we keep growing at.
Don’t settle for where you’re at with the Lord. Don’t stagnate.
God wants you to keep growing, and keep growing in purity.


Keep Loving

(1 Peter 4:7–8 NKJV) —7 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. 8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
Jesus wanted His church to be known by one thing: Love.

(John 13:35 NKJV) By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Sometimes when we’ve been a believer for awhile, the love begins to fade – love for God and love for others.
The church at Ephesus was going through that:

(Revelation 2:4 NKJV) Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

The end is near beloved, get back to loving God.  Get back to loving others.  Get back to forgiving others.


Keep Serving

(Matthew 24:45–46 NKJV) —45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.
There can be a temptation to start thinking, “I’ve been hearing for years that Jesus would come back, and He hasn’t.  I’m going to stop being so serious about serving Jesus.
It’s the wise servant that is longing to hear Jesus say one day, “Well done good and faithful servant”.

God has things for you to do, people for you to take care of.

He wants us to stay faithful.


More sources:

Amir’s End of Year Update

Scriptures for 2018

(Hebrews 10:19–22 NKJV) —19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
(Hebrews 4:16 NKJV) —16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
(Hebrews 13:13–14 NKJV) —13 Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. 14 For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.

J.D. Farag – Prophecy Update