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It's Late in the Game...Be a Contender

Summer is here, and the heat is on. Just ask the folks in Phoenix. Aside from the increase in temperature, you can tell that summer has arrived by observing the sights and sounds of baseball—America's pastime. I've been a fan of the sport ever since I was a little boy, and I cherish the memories of my dad taking me to my first Major League game back when the Atlanta Braves were contenders during the mid '90s.

If you've been following events in the sports world in recent years, maybe you've noticed some prophetic messages being conveyed by the Almighty (see Daily Crow). These convergences are interesting, especially considering the lateness of the hour. To borrow a stock phrase used by a scoffer at the Boston Globe...it is, after all, "the bottom of the ninth."

I will single out just a small sampling from the overwhelming flood of prophetic convergences which are signaling the Day of the LORD. It's not the man himself that we should focus on. More importantly, it's what he represents and how we should hear what the Spirit is saying to us.


Slaying a Giant

Luis Gonzalez. The man of the hour. Mere months after the twin towers fell on September 11, 2001, the Arizona Diamondbacks faced off against the New York Yankees in the Fall Classic.

The 2001 season was the 99th for the Yankees franchise—only the 4th for the brand new, fledgling Diamondbacks organization. As one of the most successful sports clubs in the world, the Yankees have won 18 division titles, 40 AL pennants, and 27 World Series Championships—all MLB records (see Wikipedia). The upstart Diamondbacks, however, had won...well, no championships at that point (except for the NL pennant, of course).

In short, this was your typical David vs. Goliath sports match-up. And, as I am inclined to do, I was rooting for the underdog. Reason being: If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you are the underdog in the eyes of the world...though we know the upset victory is coming (Rev. 19:11-21).

November 4, 2001, in Phoenix, AZ: It's Game 7, and it's literally the bottom of the ninth with the World Series on the line. The Diamondbacks have the bases loaded and Luis Gonzalez steps up to the plate. He is fulfilling every kid's dream who reenacts moments like these on the sandlot diamond. There's just one problem for Luis and his team. They've got to somehow score off of a closer, Mariano Rivera, who had never blown a save for the Yankees in a World Series game. In a word, he was a sure thing for a team who had been accustomed to winning and punishing opponents.

As Buster Olney portrays in his book The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty, the storybook ending for New York in the year of 9/11 would not come to pass. Luis Gonzalez hits a bloop single off the game's most feared closer to win the game and the championship. Goliath goes down, and a dynasty comes to an end. Interestingly enough, the hero who came through when it counted most was not a big-name star, but the lesser known Gonzalez.

Turns out, this wouldn't be the last time Gonzalez would have an opportunity to step up to the plate and be a hero...


A Daring Rescue from the Flames

Some peculiar numbers showed up in my search regarding Luis Gonzalez:

He was born on 9/3/1967
His career OBP (on-base percentage) was .367

I think of the "jubilee" symbolism associated with his birth, having been born in the year of Israel's liberation of Jerusalem, June of 1967.

Now, as if being a World Series hero and baseball legend wasn't enough, Luis Gonzalez came through in the clutch again this year (see here). On 6/2/2017 Gonzalez rescued a woman from a burning car, removing her from the flames and out of harm's way until the paramedics arrived on the scene. Oh yeah, and this took place in Phoenix, AZ.

Talk about being at the right place at the right time! Are you serious? How many people can say that they had the game-winning hit in the World Series and also saved someone's life? I thought this was too good to pass up and figured there was a subtle, yet powerful message for those of us who are watchful and discerning.

*Side note: The Yankees are rising up again this year led by their rookie phenomAaron James Judge. This "Judge" wears #99, which was noted above (99th season for Yankees in 2001); the number 9 represents finality and judgment (see Daily Crow's 'Number Index' page). At 6' 7'' tall, Aaron Judge has a name of biblical significance and reminds me of James 5:9, "...Look! The judge stands at the door!"

Can you smell the smoke from the fire of God's imminent day of judgment? It's late in the game now and time for us to rise to the occasion. It's time for us to be ready, available, and willing to jump in and rescue those in danger.



Be a Contender

Brothers and sisters, don't be like Brando, saying regretfully, "I coulda been a contender!" You have this urgent plea from our dear brother, Jude:

Dear friends, although I was eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write and exhort you to contend for the faith that was delivered to the saints once for all" (Jd. 3, HCSB).

And if you're gonna be a contender, you'd better make sure you're delivering the true gospel, not one that has been cheapened or corrupted. People's lives are at stake. Your life might be at stake if you are trusting in your works to save you.

Knowing that our time is short and the heat is on, Jude's exhortation should be ringing in our ears, louder than ever. Given the connection with Gonzalez rescuing the woman from the fire and his previous late-game heroics, I was immediately drawn to this passage:

Have mercy on some who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; on others have mercy in fear, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh" (Jd. 22-23, HCSB).

The Greek verb translated "snatching" in Jude 23 is harpazo! So, before you get seized and snatched away (1 Thess. 4:17; Rev. 12:5), start looking around for anyone who can be yanked away from the fire (c.f. Amos 4:11; Zech. 3:2). Save them from what fire, you might ask? The likely referent is Jude's earlier mention in v. 7—eternal fire!

Further clarification: What does it look like for us to "snatch someone" from the flames of God's judgment? Look back at Jude's original exhortation at the opening of his letter, "...contend for the faith..." Be a contender. You contend by giving those who are headed for eternal judgment the gospel. Point them to Christ. Tell them about Jesus—who He is, and what He has done for them. He is our only means of rescue and escape (Rom. 5:9; 1 Thess. 1:10; 5:3).
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10 comments :

  1. And I'll call that... A homerun! Nice!

    ReplyDelete
  2. BTW, "Aaron Judge". I noticed not only "Judge", but also "Aaron". A dispensation change is about to happen and here we see a man rising up who points us to Aaron and the Aaronic priesthood - spiritual leaders in the previous dispensation.

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  3. unusually amazing for sure to see into this the way you have Jeff and then to weave it into a post like this on the Great commission is wonderful! blessings brother, tony/vt

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  4. I love this post. Staying at our posts, staying focused on mission and snatching people back from the flames is job #1.

    The symbolism, signs and warnings God is bringing are is so very deep and wide now.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm all for the meanings of numbers as they relate to the end-times and to the rapture of the Church but this was a stretch...

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  6. When the new moon / new year is sighted during the Feast of Trumpets, it’s by two witnesses. Has anyone done a study or researched the possibility that the Rev12 / FOT new moon could bring about the ACTUAL Revelation 11 Two Witnesses who testify for 1260 days before they are killed and resurrected? The timing seems right...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Hillary very good point! That was my thought not long ago too. I do personally support the timeline of Br Steve Sewell (Heavenlysign2017 YouTube channel) who comes out by 30+1260 days until Unleavened Bread Sabbath on 4/2/21 tribulation midpoint ending by 1260+75 days winepress of Gentiles wrath until Feast of tabernacles 2024. What he calculated fits in perfectly with all the fall feasts and book of Daniel to be fulfilled. MARANATHA!

      Delete
  7. I have question.

    If the Jews will burn the weapons of Gog Magog for 7 years (this cannot be done in the Messianic Millenium, right?) that means they will burn them for the entire 70th week of the tribulation. This must mean that if is starts as this website says this autumn, that means this war and Psalm 83 will have to happen by end of year. Could that be?

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    Replies
    1. Great question.

      First, although I was originally taught that the Gog of Magog battle was near the onset of the Tribulation period, I now believe that Ezekiel 38-39 refers to the great climactic battle known as Armageddon. Gog may actually be a prophetic code name for Antichrist, and he leads the armies of the earth to fight against the Lord Jesus and his army (a battle for the Mount of Mounts [Jerusalem] - c.f. Zech. 12:2-3, 9; Rev. 19:11-21).

      Second, this does not mean that there won't be other battles which precede the mother of all battles. And I could even see a "type" or foreshadowing of this post-Rapture, where Israel's surrounding enemies seize the opportunity to pounce (Psalm 83? And might also be the precursor to the false peace covenant of Dan. 9:27).

      Third, about the assumption that Israel can't dispose of the weapons for 7 years during the Millennium: I don't know why this can't be a possibility. For example, look at the prophesy of Isaiah 2:2-4. This looks specifically to the start of the Millennial Reign, where Christ will settle disputes and the the nations will "turn their swords into plows and their spears into pruning knives..."

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  8. Thanks for your reply, Jeff.

    For the millennium & burning of weapons, I supposed there would be no forms of pollution anymore, perhaps free energy would be finally allowed.

    I had the impression for years that Gog Magog would be well into the 7 years of trouble. This guy Hamrick on You Tube thinks too it's early on, but after Psalm 83 of course. I also agree of the 'rescue' of believers leaving a chance for the Arab armies to pounce as you say.

    But I have to caution on something. I don't think Gog Magog is 'Armageddon'. I tell you why.
    The participants of that war do NOT include the Orientals, the Chinese, the eastern kings.
    We know at Megiddo, everybody and their mother will be there, from everywhere. Also, it's a dangerous idea going around, I've seen it on message boards, that Gog Magog is the last war.
    The real messiah appears at the end of the last war, not Magog. If a man appears at Gog Magog and helps Israel win, then he is the anti-christ. God himself remember, sends his own weapons to stop the Russian-Iranian invasion (probably asteroids/earthquakes). It;s not until Megiddo where he appears in person to save the Jews and the world, on his way to Jerusalem. Remember, if I don't see the Chinese and the rest of the planet there, it's not Armageddon. Just my opinion, but based on the words.

    ReplyDelete


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