The Marvel of Unbelief
Don’t Choke Off God’s Blessings
8/16/22 – by Tim Buck
“He could do no mighty works there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.”
hat does Mark mean that Jesus could do no mighty works there? Does he imply that their unbelief actually restricted Jesus’ power to do miracles? I hardly think so. The unbelief of the Nazarenes did not hinder His power; it simply kept them from it. Because of their unbelief, they didn’t bring the lame, the blind, and the sick to Jesus. Thus, He did no mighty work there because they did not offer Him any such opportunity.
Throngs of people had met Jesus throughout Galilee. They brought their sick from all over the region in order to be healed. But here in Nazareth was a totally different story. From a distance, they merely wondered, Where did this Man get this wisdom? And where did He get this power?
The amazing thing to me is that although God announced Himself to Abraham as El Shaddai, the Almighty God, yet the omnipotent God permits Himself to be limited by man. For example, the Bible tells us that God is “not willing that any should perish” (2 Peter 3:9). That’s the direct will of God. But in the permissive will of God, men do perish; men walk in their own evil ways.
The Bible says concerning the people of ancient Israel, “Again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel” (Psalm 78:41). God would have done much more for them, but their unbelief kept them from all of the good things God wanted to do. This was no limitation of God’s power but rather the people’s refusal to receive God’s love and power.
Not long before Jesus entered Jerusalem for the last time, Jesus cried out, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matthew 23:37). Jesus desired to do so much for them—but they refused.
God desires to bless and care for you and use you in a mighty way—but you can limit His work in your life through unbelief. Unbelief will keep you from the love of Jesus Christ and from salvation. Unbelief will keep you from His peace. It will cause you to go on in darkness, to continue in sin, to feel frustrated and suffer with all the dreadful anxieties, worries, and miseries that accompany a life of unbelief. Or you could believe—and be blessed.
Only twice does the Bible say that Jesus “marveled” at something, and in both cases it was a matter of faith. He marveled at the faith of a Roman centurion who recognized His absolute authority to heal, and He marveled when the people of Nazareth refused to believe in Him. Mark says simply, “And He marveled because of their unbelief” (Mark 6:6a).
Unfortunately, even Christians can at times be guilty of not trusting in God’s Word. It is something to marvel at, since disbelieving the Word of God can hold you back from a life of rich abundance. Unbelief causes many Christians to wander in the wilderness. They continue to struggle with the flesh and don’t go anywhere. They don’t conquer the things God wants them to conquer. Instead of living a victorious life, they feel defeated.
How often we come to some crossroads of faith and moan, “Oh, but this is a weakness of mine,” or “This is a problem that I’m facing,” and we say we can’t do it. We don’t trust God to do the things He has promised to do, tempting God by our unbelief. Peter said we have been given
“exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). God has given us glorious promises of victory—promises of deliverance from the powers of darkness—but unbelief will keep us from pressing in. God has provided all we need.
As the people of ancient Israel prepared to enter the Promised Land—after wandering around the desert for 40 years—God said to Joshua, “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you” (Joshua 1:3a). Every place where you put your foot down, it’s yours. You’d think they would have run around the whole country and just kept on running.
Even with Joshua leading the way, the Israelites didn’t take all the land God had promised them. They stopped short. They were living in the Land of Promise, but when they looked at the power of the enemy rather than at the power of God, fear gripped their hearts.
Don’t let unbelief keep you from all the great things God wants to do in your life.
God could be saying to you, “You’ve been in the wilderness long enough. It’s time to move into the Promised Land. It’s time to go in, conquer, and take the victories I have for you. Experience the richness and fullness of a life of faith in Jesus Christ.”
Don’t choke off God’s blessings. By fixing your eyes on Jesus, the door remains wide open. He is merciful, gracious, kind, loving, and He delights in doing good things for all of His children.
8-11-22 – by Tim Buck
When The FBI Raided Mar-A-Lago, They Had Plenty Of Time To Look Through Melania Trump’s Closet, But Have No Interest In Hunter Biden’s Laptop. Why Not?
When the FBI raided Donald Trump’s home on Monday, a key aspect of what made the United States of America great and free has been lost, and I don’t know if we will recover it anytime soon.
Joe Biden, Merrick Garland and their henchmen have brought America to a new phase of its history, and unless things change quickly, it won’t be one marked by respect for the rule of law or the rights of individual citizens.
Instead, we are entering an ugly age of fascist authoritarianism, in which the brute force of the state is used to bend the people to the will of the tyrant.
As Trump said Monday, “These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents. Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before. After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate.”
The same FBI heavily involved in trying to frame and destroy Trump in the Russian Collusion hoax has come after him again, apparently by claiming that he improperly took classified material from the White House.
They never cared when Hillary Clinton misused classified material on a grand scale; what is the difference?
There’s no doubt they’re trying to find something to link him more firmly to the “insurrection” that never was.
Joe Biden’s handlers are desperately afraid that Trump will return to the White House on January 20, 2025 and that things will go harder for them next time than they did during his first term.
They’re afraid that Trump will do a genuine and thorough housecleaning of the desperately corrupt and compromised Washington bureaucracy, and that many of them will, quite justly, end up out of power, and some of them will, even more justly, end up in prison.
So they’ve determined to pre-emptively put an end to candidate Trump.
If they can’t actually find anything to prosecute him for (and they’ve sure tried), then at very least they hope to taint Trump so completely in the eyes of the distracted and indifferent public that they will have a fighting chance to defeat him in 2024.
FBI agents scoured Melania Trump’s wardrobe and spent several hours combing through Donald Trump’s private office, breaking open his safe and rifling through drawers when they raided the former First Family’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida Monday morning.
Not only did they break into Trump’s safe, but now we find they spent a considerable amount of time going through Melania Trump’s closet, presumably for classified documents hidden, where, in her underwear drawer?
So I guess Melania’s clothing puts our national security at risk, yet Hunter Biden’s laptop, filled with emails from Communist China, does not?
So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets and honesty cannot enter. Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The Lord looked and was displeased that there was no justice.
As we ponder the veracity of the raid on Mar-a-Lago, it begs the question as to why Hunter Biden’s home has never been raided, or his filth and corruption filled laptop examined by the FBI. You would think that would be one of the first places they would want to investigate.
FROM THE NY POST: The Post has learned that the search warrant used by the FBI to enter the palatial Palm Beach property focused solely on presidential records and evidence of classified information being stored there. A source close to the former president expressed concern that FBI agents or DOJ lawyers conducting the search could have “planted stuff” because they would not allow Trump’s attorneys inside the 128-room building to observe the operation, which lasted more than nine hours.
The raid by over 30 plain clothes agents from the Southern District of Florida and the FBI’s Washington Field Office extended through the Trump family’s entire 3,000-square-foot private quarters, as well as to a separate office and safe, and a locked basement storage room.
Feds arrived at 9 a.m. and didn’t leave until 6:30 p.m.
An eyewitness to the raid said boxes were confiscated by federal agents Monday, but it is unknown if anything else was taken as no itemized list of items was provided by the FBI. The boxes contain documents and mementos from Trump’s presidency, reportedly including letters from Barack Obama and Kim Jong Un, and other correspondence with world leaders.
A legal source said that the boxes had been packed up by the General Services Administration and shipped to Mar-a-Lago when Trump left office in January 2020. Trump’s attorneys, led by Evan Corcoran, had been cooperating fully with federal authorities on the return of the documents to the National Archives and Records Administration, according to sources.
Note this… Judge who signed off on Mar-a-Lago raid donated thousands to Obama.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad fires over 200 rockets from Gaza into Israel
Israel Launches Gaza Attack
After Rockets Fired
8/6/22 by Tim Buck
Israel launches major attack in Gaza, assassinates top commander, rockets fired at central Israel.
The strikes came after Israel arrested Bassam al-Saadi, a senior leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, during a raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin on August 1.
PM Lapid says Israel’s Gaza operation ‘will take as long as it needs.’
Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Israel’s military operation against the Gaza Strip “will take as long as it needs,” as rockets continue to be fired into Israel since its attacks on Gaza began Friday.
On Friday afternoon, the IDF opened an attack against the Islamic Jihad terrorist operations based in Gaza.
The assault began with an attack by the Israel Air Force on buildings known to be used by Islamic Jihad.
The IDF confirmed that the head of Islamic Jihad’s military wing in northern Gaza Tisir Jabari has been killed.
The assault comes after a number of days in a row in which the organization made multiple threats to attack targets in Israel.
Images are being shown at this time on Israeli television news broadcasts of smoke emanating from a number of locations in Gaza said to have been struck by the IAF.
Sirens blared as dozens of rockets were fired at Israeli cities in the south and then towards Holon, Rishon Lezion and Bat Yam in the center of the country. Most of the rockets fired at Israeli population centers were destroyed by Israel’s Iron Dome defense.
Hundreds of thousands of Israelis who live within 50 miles of Gaza have been ordered to remain in their homes within close proximity to bomb shelters. The IDF has called up 25,000 reserves to assist in the military effort.
This attack comes after several days of preparations in which the areas around Gaza were closed off to any non-residents and the IDF announced an increase in its presence in the area.
Islamic Jihad took credit for a spree of terrorist attacks during the spring that took the lives of numerous innocent Israeli civilians. These attacks included terrorists randomly shooting automatic weapons in the streets of several Israeli cities.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz held a situation assessment at IDF Southern Command HQ just a few hours before the new operation began.
Gantz said that the meeting was held so that the security leadership could, “prepare the actions that will remove the threat on this region, in accordance with the operational considerations of the State of Israel.”
He declared that Israel’s mission is to ensure that the tension ceases and that routine returns.
“To our enemies, and specifically to the leadership of Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” said Gantz, “I would like to emphasize: your time is up. The threat [on this region] will be removed one way or another.”
The Defense Minister also blamed the terrorist organizations for holding the people of Gaza hostage.
How Close Are We
To The Rapture?
Two Guideposts to Consider
8/5/22 by Tim Buck
The Rapture—the raising of the Church into heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:17)—is the next event on the prophetic calendar.
Since we are living in the end of the church-age and under the shadow of the Tribulation, God is busy putting everything in place to prepare the world for the coming 7-year Tribulation period. The signs are everywhere!
Since the rapture precedes the Tribulation, key events and prophetic developments occurring today can serve as mile markers for gauging how close we are to the Rapture.
In our class this Tuesday I’ll be discussing two crucial signs that serve as benchmarks for how close we are getting to the Rapture and the Tribulation.
The first sign involves how close we are getting toward the ‘Two-State Solution.’ Remember, the Tribulation begins when Israel and the Palestinians sign a peace agreement affirming the Two-State plan and subsequently, the plan is confirmed by Antichrist (Daniel 9:27).
Put another way; How close are we to the Rapture if the Two-State Solution begins the Tribulation? I’d say very close… wouldn’t you?
According to the prophet Zechariah, another sign we should be watching, that sets the world stage for the Tribulation, is that the nations surrounding Israel will have both Judah and Jerusalem under some type of serious siege (Zech. 12:2-3).
The prophet Zechariah indicates there will be a major land controversy brewing in the last days resulting in an all-out tug-of-war over these two areas between Israel and her neighbors. As it develops, it spills over into an international dispute where nations having no legitimate right to the debate take sides. Then it goes out of control! (Zechariah Pt. 2 – Sept. 27, 2022)
To evaluate this ‘siege’ prophecy, we’ll need to discuss the 1967, 6 DAY WAR when Israel captured the so-called ‘West Bank’ from Jordan. That’s were the controversy began. Today, the nations are clamoring for Israel to give back the land they won in the ’67 war. Worse, they’re claiming that Israel stole that section of land from the good people they like us to call the “Palestinians” and must give it back. Is all this really what happened?
So here’s the question… is Judah and Jerusalem under siege today? How serious the siege has become is what signals how close we are to the Rapture. You may want to read Zechariah 12 to get some more background.
More about these two signs and how far into the peace process and siege process we are today will be discussed in detail Tuesday.
Although the stage setting is not fully complete, the Rapture can come at any moment and may be closer than we think!
Are You Ready to meet the Lord in the air?
Iran – Russia Summit
EU’s Shameful Appeasement of Iran
8/1/22 by Tim Buck
The lame-duck Biden administration has left a vacuum urging bad actors to rise in the world. They smell blood against America and her allies and are beginning to rise.
As soon as President Biden returned from the Middle East, Vladimir Putin made a visit to Iran. A rare trip! As a result, a deal was struck with the Iranian regime giving its backing and full support to Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine.
This is an alarming expansion in Iran’s military ambitions beyond the Middle East and into Europe.
The most alarming comment during the visit was the Ayatollah’s call for Iran and Russia to increase what he termed “reciprocal cooperation” between the two countries to counter the threat of Western sanctions: a veiled admittance to the emerging military cooperation between Russia and Iran.
Biden’s confused position on Iran has recently been exposed by the head of Britain’s MI6 intelligence agency, who told this month’s Aspen Security Forum that, in his view, Iran had shown little interest in negotiating a new nuclear deal. Imagine that! Biden’s policy on Iran has become completely untenable.
Iran is partnering with Russia. Now what will Europe do? Appeasement isn’t working!
In the last month Iran has delivered numerous loads of military equipment, armaments, and drones to Moscow to assist the Russian military in the defeat of Ukraine. Iran’s deepening involvement in supporting the Russian war effort against Ukraine should serve as a wakeup call to Western and U.S. leaders.
While European leaders continue to beg and bribe Iran for some kind of renewed nuclear deal, Russia is cutting off Europe’s energy and Iran is stabbing the Europeans in the back by rebuilding Russia’s war chest.
While in Tehran, Putin met with key figures including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and the country’s hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi.
The summit ended with Khamenei praising Putin for launching his invasion of Ukraine, and claiming that Russia would have been the victim of NATO aggression if he had not made the first move.
Since the summit, there has been a marked escalation in Tehran’s involvement in the Russian-Ukraine war.
Russia and Iran signed a $40 billion energy memorandum of understanding between the Russian energy giant Gazprom and the National Iranian Oil Company.
Russia and Iran have already been cooperating on energy issues, with Tehran offering to help Russia avoid Western sanctions imposed following the Ukraine invasion by making available its global oil-smuggling network.
US officials have reported that a team of Russian military experts have twice visited an airbase in central Iran to make a detailed assessment of Iranian-made drones.
This follows a report by the US National Security Council that Iran has provided hundreds of drones to aid Russia’s war effort.
Iran’s very public displays of support for Russia certainly undermine the false assumption of the Biden administration and European policymakers that the Iranian threat, allowing Iran unlimited nuclear weapons, relates only to the Middle East — and specifically against Israel.
This belief is one of the reasons that Britain, France and Germany, the three European signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal, have given their backing to the Biden administration’s efforts to revive the agreement.
Iran’s active support for Russia in its war against Ukraine, which is receiving military backing from NATO, completely refutes that argument.
The expanding military partnership between Russia and Iran is bad news for the world. It’s also bad news for the Biden administration, which has invested all his political capital in reviving the nuclear talks, but now finds itself trying to negotiate with a country that is actively supporting its adversary in the Ukraine conflict.
Just as Europe disregarded Trump’s warnings that relying on gas from Russia would leave them open to Russian blackmail, they are again ignoring warnings that a nuclear Iran will leave them open to Iranian blackmail.
Tim’s friend, Dr. Sam Slobodian, will be leaving August 2 for his third trip to Ukraine focusing on war relief efforts with the BIEM Mission Team. Once again Sam will be helping the distressed, delivering supplies and holding prayer meetings. Please remember Sam in your prayers and pray for his safety and that he would be a blessing to those in need.
From Dr. Sam Slobodian
Pray for the preaching during
July 31, 2022 by Tim Buck
Dear friends and family,
1. Please pray for our people in Ukraine’s Chernihiv region. Early today our media reported that Russians launched a large-scale attack on this area. Kalibr cruise missiles were fired from the Black Sea, and X-22 missiles from Tu-22m3 long-range bombers were fired from a Russian airfield roughly 160 miles from Ukraine’s border. In addition, short-range Iskandar ballistic missiles were fired from the Gomel region in Belarus. Twenty-five missiles hit the city of Chernihiv. Goncharovsk was also hit. Our media are reporting loss of life, though the numbers are not clear.
BIEM has churches in both Chernihiv and Goncharovsk, which is a military city. I was able to speak with some of our men there just moments ago. Thankfully, none of our people have been injured, and our church buildings in these areas have not been hit. However, as you can imagine people there are frightened and anxious. (Note: US media reports use various spellings for Goncharovsk.)
2. In our update of July 15, we requested prayer for Vitaly Yurchenko, who was trying to get permission to leave Ukraine to visit the United States through a new Ukrainian program. That program allows pastors to leave Ukraine for up to one month for religious conferences. Yesterday he was told he would be approved but needed to buy tickets to demonstrate serious intent to travel.
This is unusual, because normally consulates warn people not to buy tickets until their travel documents are approved. However, things are certainly not normal in Ukraine these days. Therefore, we are in the process of buying tickets for Vitaly and his wife Alona, with hopes they will soon be able to come. They will be a great blessing to whichever churches we can schedule them in. Please pray that their case will be approved.
3. Yesterday, BIEM personnel drove another 5 tons of food from Poland into Ukraine, this time for the Kharkiv region. We praise God for thoughtful donors and for those driving and distributing.
4. Despite the war, we are receiving reports of young people coming to Christ in BIEM-sponsored camps in Estonia, Ukraine, and Russia. The nearly 30 camps in Ukraine this year are all operated on church properties. The children stay most of the day and receive two meals. They return to their homes in the evening. This is proving to be a very effective way of doing camp during war.
5. Despite the war in Ukraine, one of our seminary graduates is deeply burdened for a particular district in a large city in Western Ukraine that has been flooded with refugees. Many of them plan to stay. This brother has recruited others to help start a new church, and they are praying and fasting every Friday for God’s direction and provision for that goal. Please join them in praying.
Baptist International Evangelistic Ministries
Thank you for your concern and for praying for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people
Recent Video Update
Volunteers unloading a container filled with lifesaving supplies shipped to Ukraine from BIEM headquarters in Indiana.
Vehicle delivering aid and supplies to the churches and families.
Please continue to pray for the missionary families who are split up and find themselves trusting the Lord for every detail in their upside-down life!