Morning Bible Study
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
God steps in and miraculously delivers Israel.
Then God’s Spirit is poured out on the nation.
It involves the following nations:
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.
That will be something to keep an eye on.
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.
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:
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)
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.
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
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
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.
Most Importantly: Wonder Woman (Gal
Gadot, an Israeli) has 22 million followers on the Internet!
There’s one last nugget in this passage:
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
“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
Two years ago, who would have believed this?
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
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
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).
In response, riots broke out in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The Palestinians want Jerusalem to be
declared their capital.
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,
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.
Why is it such a big deal that we think about the Second Coming?
It ought to affect the way we live.
(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
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.
(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.
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:
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.
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
He wants us to stay faithful.