God’s Itinerary Will Not Be Denied

Have you ever watched a mystery thriller series? In early episodes, the guilty suspect is revealed to the viewers, but the investigators in the show have no clue. You know how the series of shows will end, but you have no idea how the show will reach the conclusion. The current situations make that final scenario seem impossible to be fulfilled. You sit on the edge of your seat, dying to see the conclusion.

God works like this. He reveals our final destination —but the winding road to the journey’s end, makes His revelation seem impossible.

One example of this in Scripture is Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem.

The prophet Micah prophesied seven hundred years before Jesus’ birth that the promised Messiah would come from Bethlehem.           

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. – Micah 5:2 (NIV84)

With this prophecy in mind, imagine that you are an omniscient spectator in the first century watching the unfolding of Jesus’ arrival. As the viewer, you know the Messiah must come from Bethlehem. Yet, for nearly nine months Bethlehem wouldn’t even be in the picture.

Mary and Joseph individually receive news that Mary is pregnant with the Messiah. But it couldn’t be the Messiah for she lives in Nazareth—seventy miles from Bethlehem. So, either the couple is wrong about the Messiah or God is not going to keep His Word. This would make Micah a false prophet or God a liar.

You continue to watch as the plot twists lead Mary in different directions, none of which bring her to Bethlehem. For a brief moment, it seems Joseph will turn Mary in for adultery, and the locals would stone her to death. But Joseph contemplated divorcing her quietly. Suddenly an Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said,

“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Mathew 1:20-21)

He believed the angel and married Mary.

 The story would take another turn as Mary travels to Jericho to visit Zachariah and Elizabeth. The trip brought her closer to Bethlehem, but there was still no reason to travel there. Mary returned to Nazareth, time appears to be running out. Will Micah’s prophecy be vindicated?

While hope for fulfillment seemed bleak, God is at work. Two surprises enterer the story—the Roman census and Joseph’s Davidic roots.

Happening behind the scenes was the rest of the story. The Roman census forced Joseph to travel to Bethlehem leaving us with this fulfillment recorded by Luke.

 Joseph also went up…to Bethlehem …while they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son… – Luke 2:4–7 (NIV84)

God’s plans will never be denied. 

They weren’t thwarted in the birth of Jesus.

They weren’t denied in the countless similar “mystery thrillers” in Scripture.

And they won’t be denied in your life.


How does knowing Jesus fulfilled over 100 Prophesies change your life?  Join the conversation.
This is a unique Christmas Series collaboration with Author Cherrilynn Ryerson Bisbano. We have both posted this on our sites, check out her blog Truth to Shine
Cherrilynn Bisbano is a collaborator with Jake in this special Christmas Series. She is a writer, speaker, literary agent, and editor.  Her passion for helping people is evident.  She loves Christ, coffee, chocolate, and cats. Managing Editor at Serious Writer & Almost an Author, Acquisitions Reader and Junior Agent for Literary Agent, Cyle Young. Host of Genre Chat www.seriouswriter.com. Speaker with Women Speakers & By Design ministries, Leadership Certified by Christian Leaders Institute. http://bit.ly/2j9vzaT. She is a two-time winner of Flash Fiction Weekly. You can find her published in Amramp, More to Life (MTL), Christian Rep, Refresh, Southern Writer, and other magazines. Cherrilynn is a contributor to, newly released Breaking the Chains. Cherrilynn proudly served in the Navy and Air National Guard earning the John Levitow Military leadership award.  She lives with her fifteen-year-old son, Michael, Jr., and husband of 19 years, Michael, Sr.  



In My Momma’s Tote

I caught a whiff of mustiness as I opened the lid of the clear, plastic tote and starred at the brittle, yellow pages packed within. Years of my mother’s writing and research reduced to a single tote of loose papers, notebooks, newspaper clippings, and pages torn from magazines.

My mother possessed an insatiable appetite for the knowledge of end-time events and prophecies. As a teenager, I considered her quest for information an embarrassing obsession. She talked about it constantly – to anybody, including my high school friends. My desire to understand was sub-zero.

Then I grew up.

Yes, physically, but spiritually as well. I get it. I mean, I’m no scholar of eschatology, but I understand Mom’s search for answers. She needed to recognize the signs – for her eyes to be eyes that see. She needed to feel prepared, and to do that she needed knowledge.

Mom always intended to turn her research into a book. Before her physical body gave out, I sensed her hope that I might complete the task. I knew otherwise. Mom’s research, much like the focus of the world, fixated on the physical signs – economical shifts, world politics, environmental disasters, etc.  Yes, the alignment of certain events are important signs pointing toward the second coming of Christ, but what will His second coming mean to us personally if we are found asleep spiritually, lukewarm and dispassionate about our faith? What if we spend all our time preparing for a physical disaster and neglect the one thing that really matters – our spiritual preparedness.

Please don’t misunderstand. Preparing for a physical disaster exercises wisdom, but we need to prepare spiritually for the times we must fight to remain faithful when spiritual disasters knock us to our knees.

What is a spiritual disaster?

In the book “Spiritual Prepper,” author Jake McCandless defines a spiritual disaster as “an event that occurs in the life of a follower of Christ that challenges his or her faith and the practice of it.”[1] He goes on to say, “Just as physical disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, and war have the potential of destroying our physical life, a spiritual disaster has the potential to wreck our faith and our practice of it.”[2]

Surely, a gun to my head demanding I denounce Christ qualifies as a spiritual disaster. But what about the things of everyday life? Divorce? Property loss or financial ruin? Job loss? Death of a loved one? Abuse? Illness? Betrayal? College? Peer pressure?

Maybe you fear failure if you are blindsided by a spiritual disaster. Maybe your current struggle leaves you with more questions than answers. Maybe a previous challenge strengthened you and you feel nudged to share your testimony.

Praise the Lord for those who share their stories! I gain strength and encouragement in the faith walk of others, do you?  Just like those in

Hebrews, Ch.11 – often referred to as the “Faith Hall of Fame.” Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Sarah to name just the first few.

“13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” – Hebrews 11:13-16 (NIV)

Did you catch that?

We must stay focused, unwavering, holding on to our faith for that “better country – [our] heavenly one.” The one God himself prepared for us.

Yes, God strengthens, comforts, and encourages us, but we often need the witness of others who can testify first hand of the Lord’s touch during their own struggles. I look forward to sharing many of those stories, and a few of my own, in this space. I pray you will be blessed as you read them in subsequent posts.

Mom had plenty of stories, and shared them with anyone who would listen. She spent a majority of her last 20 years fighting health issue after health issue before passing at age 66. She didn’t turn from her faith when she fought cancer. She held firm when she lost an infant grandson. She gracefully accepted her circumstances when her body weakened and confined to a bed.

Biblically, we did not always agree. Her focus on physical signs, the tribulation period, and the method of Christ’s return created some interesting, room-clearing conversations. She stood firm on her faith. I am grateful Momma spiritually prepped, and provided spiritual roots for my siblings and me.

Closing the lid to the old tote, I secured it for safekeeping. Although I do not see any attempts in the future to finish her research, or write the book she always dreamed of publishing, I imagine Mom smiling at the irony.  Her eye-rolling, audible-sighing then teenage daughter is now mature, embraces end-time discussions without running from the room, and writes for a ministry called

Prophecy Simplified.

Who saw that coming?

Oh, yeah.


“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)



Rita Halter Thomas is a staff writer for Prophecy Simplified. She is a pastor’s wife and the mother of a college missions major.  She is also an award-winning writer, the founder of The Write Editor, http://thewriteeditor.com, and a former newspaper and magazine publisher with 23 years’ experience in print and digital media. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.



God’s Grace Will End

Have you ever wondered when God would quit offering forgiveness? Or what you might do that would be too big for him to forgive? Or what the limit of sins might be? The Bible is clear God’s grace will end. At that point, God will no longer offer salvation.

But while he was still a long way off his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him, he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

These were the words Jesus used to describe God’s love.

That’s our God — the One that runs to us. The One full of compassion, love, grace, and mercy for us. The One who desires nothing more than to show this to us.

Father, I have sinned against you. I am [not] worthy to be called your son.

This is how Jesus described our condition in the parable of the prodigal son recorded in Luke 15. And of course, Jesus nailed it.

You might can relate, but I am constantly the prodigal and God is constantly the good Father.

The other day I once again found myself in need of discipline and chastisement from the Lord. True to form, I avoided a few mornings of “quiet times”. I would not bother praying or opening up my Bible. I knew what I deserved to hear. I knew again I have failed, no scratch that — I have rebelled against God.

As always all of life then began to spiral to crap, and misery became the tune on my lips. So finally,

Read more…

Another Reminder that Prophecy is Important

I have felt lead to teach on prophecy and provide resources through www.prophecysimplified.com, and I have backed off the past few weeks. But an image stopped me in my tracks this weekend. It is the picture above. It shows what looks like individuals and probably a family scrambling to climb a rock in the rain. The rock is no small rock, but rather one of the tallest mountains in the world.

About 4,000 years ago it would have been wise if people had paid attention to prophecy. We are not sure when the prophecies began, but at least some 600 years before the “event” Enoch powerfully warned that God was going to judge the world for their sin. Almost a thousand years before the “judgment event” Enoch would prophetically name his son “when he is dead it shall be sent” or who we know better as Methuselah.

So there may have been warnings a thousand years ahead.

There was definitely a warning given 120 years ahead of the prophecized “judgment event” as is recorded in Genesis 6.

Only one man was listening and following God on how to prepare.

Then at least 40 years before the “event” a visual warning was being constructed and its builder was preaching a warning. Still no one was listening.

God warned the world.

Prophesy provided the answers.

Yet only Noah and his family listened. They were prepared when the rain came and floods rose. They had paid attention to prophesy. They had listened. They survived.

The rest who ignored prophesy drown.

They were killed.

When the rain came and flood waters rose they headed for the mountains. They climbed as the water chased them. They reached the top and it was not high enough. Parents held their children above the water to rescue their children, but soon their arms proved to be too short. If parents really wanted to save their children then they should have headed prophecy. They should have paid attention. They would have been prepared. They would have survived.

A greater judgment is coming. We don’t know when, but prophesy helps us navigate through it.

I agree that what really matters is preaching Christ, but God gave us prophecy too. I am afraid at some point the future there will be deception and judgment events in which will cause those who once professed Christ to turn from that faith.

So we need Christ and we need to pay attention to the warnings He gave.

I’m back on task. Seeing the image of children on the mountain tops about to drown while billions had already done so shatters my heart. Let is shatter yours. Turn to Jesus and then pay attention to His prophesy.

It’s Not Absurdity but Hooks in the Jaws Causing the US to Give Iran Nukes

I feel as if I am in an alternate universe when I hear President Obama or Secretary of State John Kerry speak about how good this deal is with Iran. Because as the administration sells this deal to us — Iran is openly declaring they want to wipe us off the face of the earth. They are declaring the same thing towards Israel, and they are openly hopping into bed with Russia. It is ludicrous. Then our congress walks the plank to our destruction as if they are hypnotized (or more likely blackmailed) by endorsing this deal. It is as if we are watching brainwashed zombies lead our nation.

It is absolutely mind boggling to watch and see in the same newscast John Kerry share how great a deal this is, and then the next clip being Iran’s parliament cheering, “Death to America.” Then before the newscast goes off the air there is a clip of Iran purchasing refueling planes from Russia so they can have a nonstop flight to the US to drop the bombs we are handing them.

I feel as if I am watching Dumb and Dumber, watching Lloyd sell Petie the dead bird to the blind kid. It is beyond ridiculous.

The word that keeps coming to my mind is absurd.

Giving a nation who hates us money and the opportunity to build a nuclear weapon is absolutely absurd, right? There is ZERO good that can come out of this for the United States and especially Israel.

But maybe it’s not absurd at all. Maybe it is hooks in the jaws of our leadership. Maybe it’s out of their control. In Ezekiel 38 & 39 we are given a detailed account of the future Battle of Armageddon. In Ezekiel 38:4, we are told that God would put metaphorical “hooks” in the mouths of the leadership of Turkey, possibly Russia, Iran, Libya, Sudan, and other nations to surround Israel to destroy it.

Revelation 16:13-14 is less metaphorical as it says evil spirits will come forth from the Antichrist to deceive all the nations to come surround Israel to destroy it.

So if God brings that war about by hooking leaders in the jaws then maybe he arms those armies by placing “hooks” in the jaws of leaders today.

That is the only way this Iran makes any sense to me — it’s not absurdity but rather hooks in the jaws.

But unfortunately because of this deal Persia (Iran) will be lead out to the fields of Megiddo with a nuclear arsenal bought and paid for by you and me. At that time the United States will not be able to rescue Israel or even decide to march against it because Persia (Iran) will have been so kind to reward our help by making our nation a radioactive wasteland.


Naw rather hooks in the jaw.