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The Rev. Mike Taylor: First the natural, then the spiritual

"However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual" (1 Corinthians 15:46 NKJV).

What is this idea of first the natural, then the spiritual? To understand this fully, I believe we must view it prophetically. The Bible says God's people are to be prophetic. That is, since we have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us, we have the ability to look at events and know from these events signs of things to come. The Bible says, however, that we know in part and we prophesy in part. That is, no one person has all the answers; if we did, we would be like God. So it takes all of the body of Christ with its different gifts to help discern what God is saying to us.

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Now we know God speaks to us many different ways. He speaks to us from His word, the Bible. He speaks to us through other people. He speaks to believers by the Holy Spirit. He also speaks to us through nature and natural events. We know God is supernatural, all-powerful, yet He will at times use common things to send us a message. In fact, Psalm 19:1 says, "The Heavens declare the glory of God: and the firmament shows His handiwork."

Even now, as I am writing this article on March 2, we are getting yet another major ice and snow storm. If we look just at natural events over the last 10-15 years or so, it does not take a rocket scientist to know that something is up in the heavens - that God is using weather and wars and rumors of wars and much unrest in the nations and the world economies to send us a warning. Jesus Himself prophesied of many things we see taking place in the world today in Matthew's gospel, the 24th chapter. I don't have room in this article to explain it, but you can study it out for yourself.

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I know that many things in the past could also cause one to believe we are just repeating history. For example, I have no doubt that many living during the Great Depression and World War II also felt that perhaps the Lord's return was near. However, when you study this closely, you discover this time, the time in which you and I live, is unlike any other time in human history. Here again I cannot go into great detail. But clearly, the establishment of Israel as a nation in 1948 and Jerusalem as its capital in 1967 are two major prophesies that clear the way for the return of the Lord.

Now we know the Bible says no man knows the day or the hour that the Lord will return. Yet we are to know the times and seasons of His return. I believe through all these signs, some supernatural yet many natural, speak of the Lord's return soon.

What should we do? First and foremost, make Jesus Christ the Lord and Savior of your life. Second, get your house in order that God may use you in these last days to comfort others as He has comforted you.

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