reMEMber!                                    Issue 126                                                                                    1st Q tr., 2018
          If "con" is the opposite of "pro",
              is "Congress" the opposite 
                         of "Progress"? 





New reMEMber Heading

Near Sighted
When I was 22 years old, I made a trip to my brother's house to go deer hunting with him. When we were driving home after dark that evening, we started talking about our poor eyesight.

I noticed that we had to be relatively close to the road signs before I could read them. So, my brother handed me his glasses and said, "Try these on and see if it helps." When I put his glasses on, I was AMAZED at how much better I could see!

For the first time in my life, I realized that I was near-sighted. I could see great up close, but my focus on distant objects was fuzzy and blurred. Soon after this, I started wearing glasses to correct my partial blindness. I suppose we could say that anybody who has less than perfect 20-20 vision is "partially blind".

Paul, in his letter to the Romans,  declared that the Jewish people are "blind in part". Of course, he wasn't referring to their physical eyesight, but to their spiritual understanding. Even though they had some knowledge of Jehovah God, Paul was saying that they suffered from a serious lack of spiritual understanding. He went on to say that their "partial blindness" would continue "until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in."

"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits, that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in." Romans 11:25 

The "mystery" to which Paul referred was the way God had brought the Gentiles into His family (Rom. 11:17-24). Using the analogy of an olive tree, He said that God was able to cut off the native limbs (the Jews) from the olive tree (the saved family of God) and graft in the wild olive limbs (the Gentiles) in order to provoke the Jews to jealousy. This metaphor showed not only how Gentiles were brought to salvation, but also stressed that if the native limbs (Jews) would overcome their unbelief, they shall be grafted back in (vs. 23).

The problem is that they have a very difficult time in recognizing their true Messiah (Jesus) and putting their faith in Him because, spiritually, they are "partially blind". In fact, I would say that their partial blindness is near-sightedness. They cannot see the "distant future".  Like my physical eyesight, spiritually, they are very "near-sighted" and the distant future that God has revealed for them is fuzzy and blurred. (Although it may not be so distant at this time.)

This spiritual blindness will continue until "the fullness of the Gentiles be come in". Or, we might say, until the last Gentile of the Church Age is saved. Then, our Lord Jesus will come for His Church in the Rapture and the "scales will fall from their eyes" as it did when God restored Saul's physical sight in Damascus (Acts 9:17-18). At last, they will understand God's plan for them, but it will be too late to avoid the seven years that Jeremiah calls "the time of Jacob's trouble" (Jer. 30:7)

God stated in Dan. 9:24 that He had "determined" to deal with Daniel's people (the Jews) for another seventy weeks [of years]. Then, He said in the next few verses that the first 69 "weeks" [483 years] would expire when Messiah is "cut off" (killed). At that point, there would be just  one more week of years that God would deal with the Jews to complete Daniel's Seventy Weeks. But before He started that final seven years after the Lord's crucifixion, God turned His attention to the Gentile nations and we entered into the Church Age. The native limbs of the olive tree were cut off and the Lord focused on the Gentiles in order to find those "wild olive branches" that He would graft in.

Our Lord Jesus once told a parable to illustrate how He was rejected by the Jews and how He would turn to the Gentiles. He said there was a king (God) who prepared a wedding feast for his son (Jesus). But the invited guests (the Jews) would not come. Ultimately, the king sent his servants into the "highways" to find others to come to the wedding banquet (the Gentiles). But one man came dressed inapropriately for the wedding (symbolic of those who think they can go to the wedding dressed in their own attire of self-righteousness) and was cast out. He concluded by saying, "For many are called, [both Jews and Gentiles] but few are chosen." Matt. 22:2-14

John said, "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not." John 1:11

But after the "fulness of the Gentiles be come in", He will rapture the Church into His presence and only then will the "partial spiritual blindness" be removed from the Jews as God completes His seventieth week of dealing with Daniel's people. Jesus referred to the last half of that seven years as the "great tribulation" (Matt. 24:21), so we usually refer to Daniel's "seventieth week" as the time of The Tribulation.

The Lord will pour out horrific judgments upon the earth at that time. That, along with the relentless persecution of the Antichrist, will bring untold suffering upon the Jewish people. In fact, Jesus said that it will be so bad that "except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved" (Matt. 24:22). The prophet Zechariah even said that two thirds of the Jews in the land of Israel will die during that awful time:

"And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God." Zech. 13:8-9

God's reason for allowing such suffering to befall the Jews in that seven years of tribulation is, as Zechariah said, to "try them as gold is tried". Through the "heat" of this suffering, when the Jews have totally exhausted their own resources and it looks like all hope is lost... when it appears that their annihilation is imminent, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords will burst upon the scene in great power and glory to destroy those who are attempting to destroy the Jews (Rev. 19:11-16).

At that moment, the Lord says through Zechariah that He will "pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for hix first-born." Zech. 12:10

"In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness." Zech. 13:1

So, Paul concludes...
"And so all Israel shall be saved; as it is wrtten, There shall come out of Zion The Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is My covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins." Rom. 11:26-27

It may be easier to understand what Paul meant when he said "so all Israel shall be saved" if we realize that it is all of what's left of Israel after the Tribulation that shall be saved.

It is unfortunate that the Jewish people will continue to suffer from their "spiritual near- sightedness" until the Church is removed. But God's plan for them is perfect. He knows what will be required to bring a remnant of them (1/3) into a loving relationship with Himself!

Of course, most Jews in Israel today would hate me for suggesting that they're going to go through seven years of intense persecution that will result in the death of 2/3 of them. (Although it's not me saying it, it's God!) In their partial blindness, they cannot see what God has clearly declared in His Word for their future. But, one day, they will see it!

And, just like anyone else, if they want to miss the Tribulation, they can put their trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior today. Then, as a part of the Church, they will be removed via the Rapture BEFORE the Tribulation.

But for those who aren't saved at the time of the Rapture, and manage to live through the Tribulation to be saved at the end when Christ returns, a salvation rate of just 1/3 is heart- breaking. But... when you think about it, it is likely that an even  smaller percentage of the Gentiles will make it to Heaven! 

A New Grandson

Our daughter Regina, gave birth to Elliot Graham Blankenship on April 11. He is James and Regina's sixth child (3 boys and 3 girls) and our twelfth grandchild (8 boys and 4 girls).

They live in Ellisville, MS and James is the pastor of Sandhill Baptist Church.

Thank you Lord for Your blessings! 


2018 Louisiana Bible Prophecy Conference

It is time NOW to mark your 2018 calendar for the

La. Bible Prophecy Conference
It will be Sept. 28-29, 2018


Trinity Baptist Church 1800 Country Club Road Lake Charles, LA 

(More information will be forthcoming in the next newsletter.)
MEM - 337-725-6209
Cell Phone - 337-249-8303 

Our   Upcoming   Schedule
April 28 - May 2 - Emmanuel Baptist Church in Vinton, LA; Bro. Gerard Little, pastor

May 13-16 - First Baptist Church of Jackson, SC; Bro. Marion Brittain, pastor

May 17 - Edwards Road Baptist Church in Taylors, SC; Israel meeting; Bro. John Freeman, Assoc. Pastor

May 27 - Little Cypress Baptist Church in Orange, TX; Bro. David Turner, pastor

June 11-13 - Southern Baptist Convention in Dallas, TX 

July 13-14 - Lamb and Lion Bible Conference in Allen, TX; Dr. Dave Reagan, Senior Evangelist

July 15-19 - The Family Place Church in Reeves, LA; Bro. Glenn DuCharme, pastor 

Would You Pray About Joining Our Ministry? 
Maranatha Evangelistic Ministries has a program for ministry partners. For a contribution of $20 a month, folks can join our "Maranatha Partners" team. We send a monthly update letter to our Maranatha Partners. And, from time to time, to show our appreciation, we will provide CDs , books, and other materials to help in your personal Bible study. Will you pray and ask the Lord if you should be a part of this work of preaching about the soon return of our Lord Jesus?