Earlier this year, a prominent Member of Congress asked to meet with me in Washington, D.C. I thought the topic was going to be the possible coming war between Israel and Iran. Instead, the official asked, “What are your thoughts on Isaiah 17?” For much of the next hour, therefore, we discussed the coming judgment of Damascus according to Bible prophecy, and how this scenario could possibly unfold in the coming years in relation to other Bible prophecies and current geopolitical trends in the Middle East.
Several years ago, when I mapped out the plot for my novel, Damascus Countdown, I tried to imagine a scenario in which Iran and its agents would attempt to take over Syria, attempt to make it a fully-owned and operated province of the Islamic Revolution, and then try to use Syrian territory to launch a "War of Annihilation" against Israel.
One of the things you come to understand in reading Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge, is that you have a good heart. That is of course is contingent upon your relationship with Jesus Christ. (I have a tendency to learn and change my opinion as I write. I think one of the reasons that I write is that I am working through things in my head and heart. The goal of course is to produce more and better fruit, kind of like pruning, for Orange trees only produce fruit on new growth and pruning is the best way to evoke that new growth.)
I believe that the context for the good heart comes from multiple sources Matthew 12:35 or Luke 6:43-45 and Genesis 1:31.
Genesis 1:31 NASB God saw all (that included man in his image) that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
Luke 6:43-45 NASB “For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. (44) “For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. (45) “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.
Luke 8:8 NASB “Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great.” As He said these things, He would call out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Luke 8:15 NASB “But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.
Matthew 12:35 NASB “The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.
The English Revised version states it differently from all the others and yet makes a little more sense.
Matthew 12:35 ERV Those who are good have good things saved in their hearts. That’s why they say good things. But those who are evil have hearts full of evil, and that’s why they say things that are evil.
Notice the similar yet slightly different wording compared with Matthew’s account. In both cases Jesus had refuted the Jews. In Matthews account he clearly called them vipers and I think it is safe to say that he fully intended to impress upon them that there was no good in them. (Keep an open mind about this no good part.)
In the nursery business you learn that some plants have to be protected from corrupting environments. Roses are particularly susceptible to nematodes, so they are grafted into a root-stock that is resistant to the nematodes and by itself does not produce the attractive flowers that people enjoy. Many plants and trees are like this, and make no other effort to do anything other than what their intended purpose is unless there is an outside influence.
In paralleling the heart to the good tree he is re-establishing that the heart was made good to begin with.
There is no denying that if God made the heart good there was a huge, over-arching change that took place, because we know through scripture that because of Adam’s caving to temptation we all had to pay, and everyone is born in a broken condition.
Genesis 3:4-7 NASB The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! (5) “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (6) When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. (7) Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.
Death, as you can imagine, came in so many forms that day. The heart changed and may have lost its innate goodness. It is an easy thing to say, their heart changed but I think it is wrong and removes their personal responsibility. God had already told them that the fruit contained knowledge of both good and evil. So really the knowledge of good is still embedded in the conflicted heart; Adam merely added evil to the mix.
As a side note: God blockaded man from accessing the tree of Life after this, why? Because had he not, some of the concepts we see in shows like Star Trek, where you run into someone who is eternal and blatantly evil. Outside of what imaginary portrayals give us, I suspect earth would have been a chaotic and deadly place to live; more so than what Genesis 6 shows us.
Genesis 6:1-8 NASB Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, (2) that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. (3) Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” (4) The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. (5) Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (6) The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. (7) The LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” (8) But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
Allow me to fling something at you that might unwrap the events of Genesis 6.
If we take a passage, such as Genesis 1:5 NASB (God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.) and hang our hat on it, demanding that everyone bow to the six-day theory, then we ignore understanding and reason. The word day in the Hebrew is yom and expresses a time period. The concept of temporal, which is not expressed here, is measured or limited time, and God cannot be measured or limited, even science has proven that. Light bends and time has decelerated, just as Einstein suggested.
The things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Cor 4.
So when we read of the events of Genesis we have no idea how long God allowed for things to transpire, only that the migration from one time frame to another was called a day, and it was good.
Add this into the mix.
Satan was thrown from heaven, Jesus told us that he witnessed this. But did his being thrown out exclude him access to God? No! Read the book of Job and you will see him action.
Job 1:6 NASB Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.
(Keep this terminology in mind, it will come into play momentarily.)
Scripture tells us that he (Satan) is the accuser of the saints.
Revelation 12:10 NASB Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.
This is a future event and not the one Jesus described earlier.
So Adam and Eve, given an undefined time frame, lived together in the garden, producing children. How do I know that? What did God say to her after the event that changed time to something temporal and defined?
Read it for yourself! –
Genesis 3:13-16 NASB Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (14) The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life; (15) And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” (16) To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.”
What an odd and incomprehensible statement to make to Eve unless she knew precisely what he was talking about, and she did. You do not hear her challenging God about his statement, as though she did not understand. She understood. To think that God operated differently with them suggests that they had no choice at all. It also suggests that their sexuality, an aspect that comes with these bodies we were given, was all tainted as well, and it was not.
Given that they may have had a tremendous amount of time to explore each other prior to the fall, how many children did they produce? We do not know. If there were offspring from them prior to the fall, then those offspring had the same traits as the parents. (Think about trees again. The tree looks like the parent plant, including aspects of both.) What were their traits? We know that man was given dominion, and that alone made him Godlike. Adam communed with God and there is nothing to say that any offspring would not have followed the same path. We do know that there was no sin, as yet, and so nothing was tainted, until that day. On that day, death suddenly came upon everyone on the earth. Haven’t you ever asked yourself, where did Cain get his wife? Or who were these people that he presumed would kill him? Why build a city if there is no one to live in it? And even God marked him to protect him, from who?
The book of Job places these Sons of God right along side Satan, in front of God, as Satan comes to accuse Job; doesn’t that make them angels (perhaps fallen) as well. Why would God use the terminology if it meant something else? What if it implied, in Genesis 6, a race of Godlike people who are suddenly corrupted by sin, and yet still had the remembrances of their creative and Godlike abilities; abilities that we were designed, not to dominate men but “wilds” around them. Satan the corrupter would have quickly turned those Godlike qualities to evil, and that is exactly what we see in Genesis 6.
(I will not exclude the potential of angels inbreeding with the daughters of men but I struggle to find the clear definition in scripture. What I can see is my theory, deeply ensconced in scripture. – This concept of angels intermingling with men is spoken of by Dr. Chuck Misler, but I have not given it enough time to judge what he teaches so I stick with what I understand.)
Even with the flicker of good in his heart man only thought about the evil thing to do.
Genesis 1:31 NASB God saw all (that included man in his image) that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
The loss of everyone and thing that you considered family, gone, stripped out of your hands.
Now the real plan begins.
Out of this mess one man stood out, Noah, and he found favor with the Lord. Did anyone else notice that it was not his wife or his children that got noticed, and yet they found favor also because Noah was the spiritual head. I never thought about this, in this way, before.
Let’s jump back a minute. Luke 6:43-45 NASB “For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit…” God created the tree (man) and he made it good. He also gave man the ability to choose which path he wanted to follow. If Satan came only to steal, kill and destroy, and man follows that path, then who is man following? Satan, a fallen, condemned angel. So then the good tree, without being grafted in, gets planted in soil that is now filled with nematodes, or at the least things that are harmful to it, and though the tree and its functions have not changed it can do nothing other than produce bad fruit.
Paul spoke of us being grafted in –
Romans 11:16-19 NASB If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too. (17) But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, (18) do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. (19) You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”
The concept of the first piece, though in this case directed at Israel, also implies the creation, and certainly the first was holy. God was able to make the branches, Israel, holy through sacrifice and guidance, but God chose to graft us in too. The word indicating first in Greek is aparche and is a compound word, meaning: a beginning of sacrifice. Adam was the first, and he was perfect. His selfish actions infected the roots and we had to be grafted back into a non-infested rootstock, Jesus Christ. Because Jesus paid the price that Adam’s treason demanded the only thing left is for us to accept Jesus Christ as our sacrifice and believe in him who raised Jesus from the dead. That means there is a God and the hope of a life with him is real. Surrounded by a sea of bad soil and nematodes waiting to corrupt the nature of our tree it is easy to become discouraged and not believe (bad fruit.)
If God created everything, and he did, then is it fair to say that the skilled nurseryman created it all perfect?
Is it fair to say that the cactus does not serve some purpose, display some beauty, and is perfect for its environment?
If God created all things perfect then he is capable of grafting you into the sound tree. A tree that is willing and ready to accept you and make you useful once again.
A heads up:
In the nursery business we took second year growth limbs. These were about the thickness of a pencil. After cutting and in a sense bruising the wood of the good stock we aligned the growth layers, the Cambium layer, of the stock plant and the plant that we are either trying to salvage or multiply. Why? Because the fruit that it produces is desirable and we know it has potential.
Are you beginning to understand that Christ did this for you, and that you are a plant worth salvaging and multiplying because you are worth it.
You are worth it.
If there been only you, you would have been worth it.
- Are Your Words A Reflection Of Who You Are? (myviewandopinion.wordpress.com)
- Paradise Lost (linlin0402.wordpress.com)
- The Original Sin(s) (tabright37.wordpress.com)
- More than a Tree: A Reflection on Genesis 3 (katholikism.wordpress.com)
- In Christ Alone (onlyassurance.wordpress.com)
The mens’ group at the church I attend had at least one man attend the “Band of Brothers” boot camp. He in turn began to get others excited about it. Many of us have decided that they wanted more and we have chosen to stop playing church and be the church God called us to be. More, seems to have come through the author John Eldredge.
Meeting in small groups, this is the first book that we, as a group read, Wild at Heart Revised & Updated: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul by John Eldredge (Apr 19, 2011). I found this book to be a very emotional journey for me but you have to understand that I had reached a point in my life where I had become desperately sick of the pain inside and the fear filled life I lived.
I am sharing this with you because the battle for the heart and mind is common to all of us. A friend of mine who had already been to this “boot camp” was very excited about the changes he was experiencing in his own life. I was hooked because something had to change inside of me and so I signed up immediately. In our meetings every one of the men talked about the changes in their lives and marriages. Many were on the verge of divorce and God has restored these marriages. Even within the confines of a “church” there are many wounded.
Just before going to camp I was reading in John Eldredge’s book Waking the Dead, that God will open wounds so that he can heal them. I knew immediately that I was going to have some big emotional wound ripped open, and I hoped I prepared for it.
As I read my bible, or lately one of John’s books, I write as I feel inspired. I suppose some would call that journaling but I have never thought of myself as being one that journaled. Here is what I wrote and experienced while at the camp and after.
Although this is not an exclusive picture our group many of us signed up to go to the boot camp. This was the last day we were there and we all wore the t-shirts we were given so that later we could take a group picture.
In a way I did not know what to expect when I got there, but I knew what I heard and saw, in terms of changes, was something that I wanted and needed. Let me give you a heads up here. I am not some young, immature Christian; I have seen, heard and experienced just about everything, and I use this precept to judge the teachings that I run into. If you are staying close to scripture and building up the body of Christ then you have my attention. Turn yourself into a Jim Jones or David Koresh and I am walking, and taking anyone that will listen with me. A full disclosure of what happens at camp was not coming but again it was the positive changes in men’s lives that kept me focused.
To be honest, early into the process I received an email talking about how during free time, there would a golf contest, volleyball, and swimming in an ice-cold pool. I wrote back that I would not be participating in those events. I had every intention of focusing on all that I could get out of this short time of rescue. I am remembering a line from a song that goes a little like this, “you don’t know how desperate I have become.”
I included this picture to give you an idea of how beautiful and serene this place is. My hope is that if you need change in your life and do not mind being treated like a king for brief moments, then I am hoping that I do not spoil the adventure, for every Hobbit desires a grand adventure.
Here is what I wrote:
A couple of days before the boot-camp I read that God would reopen a wound in order to heal it. I wondered what form that would come in. I found out.
Friday mid morning, we were released from hours of teaching, exhortation and testimonies to a mandatory time of silence. The object of this is to speak to God internally, hear whatever he had to say back and write it down. Because of what my friend had told about his experience I expected that this first quiet time would be something that would really touch me deeply. That was not the case, and again I am thinking of a quote that I will botch. In the Chronicles of Narnia Aslan responded to a question about his actions with another character. His response was, “I am telling you your story, not hers.”
My first thought was, I wanted to be in earshot of the music that played constantly during waking hours because it seemed evoke a communication in me, but every where I turned there was somebody already there. I ended up sitting in the dirt next to a horse pasture for most of that time. When I finally moved back to a grassy area my heart began to open up.
That period of silence ended and I broke for lunch. I decided to sit with my friend and his group so I sat my books down and laid my jacket across a chair in close proximity. For some reason I looked back to see an associate pastor from my church move my stuff and take my place at the table. You want to talk about opening a wound. This act is an part of one of the biggest wounds I have.
Allow me to describe some of my wounding:
- I cannot tell you how old I was, around 10 or 12. We had gone to a church picnic with a friend of my father’s from his youth. I was playing with that man’s son and I think we were playing hide and seek. Some girl who happened to be in the park and wanted to play with us decided to ruin our game because we would not let her play in ours. She left us alone and about 10 minutes later my friend and I had quit and had gone to the bathroom to clean up. That girls monster of a brother came into the bathroom and slugged me in the face for hitting his sister. That girl lied. My father’s reaction: beat me and lock me in the car. My friend told them what had happened and I was eventually released from my prison with no remorse coming from my father.
- Raised in church my heart was wounded repeatedly. A man who had been a youth leader (but not over me) eventually, just prior to my being married, asked the woman I was to marry why she was going to marry that loser. The lady I eventually married thought I needed to know; I did not.
- My number two brother would lie about me and my father would beat me.
- I was always small in school and got pushed out-of-the-way.
- Told by my mother that I was never to fight back, stripping me of my appropriate growth into manhood.
- Hearing my dad tell my mom that I would be tied to my mom’s apron strings all my life and I had to hear that.
Far to often I mentally assented to the negative thoughts and they became a part of who I was. Doing the best I knew how my reaction was to reject anyone associated with that pain.
Why would that be important to you? Well, I happen to believe that we all go through life carrying wounds and I care enough to try to prevent you from suffering for a lifetime.
Here is what happens when you do not address the wounds – Wounded men generally grow up to be big, angry, short fused men like me. (It seems to be taking me weeks to edit this and make it something of significance, and just now I realized another vow or decree that I have assented to, anger and a short fuse. Father, in the name of Jesus Christ I break the power of those words that I have agreed to over my life. I give that part of me over to you and give you the freedom to heal and restore the damage in me, completely and fully. Use those wounds to bring life and healing to others.)
Confronted by an onslaught of painful awareness I wrote:
Father, what do you want me to do? I cannot change the vile people around me but you can; the question is how?
How will you heal this wound in me?
My reactions have always been to move away to safer places and put distance between me and those that are not safe…
As I sat in the afternoon meeting running these things through my mind I feel like God asked me to identify how that act of pushing my stuff aside made me feel.
like a child
and that I had no say.
I heard this inside of me. Is a chair that important, there were others. Why attack me, and yes, I felt attacked.
How did this pastor, one of my pastors, make you feel betrayed?
He is a leader, a role model, and he bullied me.
I watched as my friend notified him that he moved my stuff, for he then turned around and looked at me with a stupid smile. That seemed like a noble move from my friend but 10 minutes later that same friend is defending the man by saying he did not know it was me. Should that have made a difference? I do not think so and told my friend that I would not have moved your stuff.
I heard God’s voice ask me this question,
“Why is this important?” and then he said:
“These things have become strongholds in your life and mind, and I want to heal them. Consider how you were willing to push your friend away. I am going to make it very clear to you how to deal with these things. Son, you have a good heart, do not let the trials rob you of that. I have given you insights into my word and heart that few have ever seen, not because they are not worthy but because you have pursued me. You have pursued my heart and I will honor you for that. You are familiar with my voice and recognize when I am speaking. Because you have desired a greater anointing I will bring it. (John 7:38) He that believes on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. Keep your eyes set on me for I will soon raise you up. It is important to keep you head clear, humble and focused on me.”
An addendum to my list:
I realized that something was missing, passivity. The majority of my life has been spent reacting with nothing! When I finally react it is with an explosive anger. Neither of these traits are what I want to have defining who I am.
Friday nights meeting.
The question was raised in the session, “How do you respond around people that have money, success, and power through business?”
My internal response: poorly.
I have asked myself why since I heard this.
Saturday morning:Walking over to get coffee God stopped me about halfway along this path and showed me an image from my childhood. I saw both of my parents and they were talking negatively about anyone who had any measure of success, especially an uncle who worked very hard and sacrificed much to get what he had. I am not sure but I believe that all my attitudes, fear, and discomfort about success came from those words and actions that I saw.
I must and will break the power of these vows or curses over my life.
Son-ship. The restoration of the Father to the son is the most important mission that we find in the bible. We are those sons. Jesus is the elder brother.
Slaves – live in fear.
Orphans – live independently.
Sons – have ownership by heritage.
Warfare. You are in a battle – warfare, and you must resist.
The battle shows up primarily in these forms:
and physical problems
Be aware that so much of our battle is internal and emotional. Why? Satan knows what our weaknesses are and he is going to hit you in the places that you are weak.
(A condemning voice in my head tells me “you don’t believe that.” Trust me on this, we all have a commonality, our heads, so I am convinced that you hear it too. I heard myself respond with, What about Job? Satan presented himself before God and pointed out Job’s failures.) This entire conversation occurred in my head, or should I say heart.
The good heart can be taken out of the fight when we believe the lies of the deceiver.
I realize that I had not mentioned the good heart aspect as yet. In reading Wild at Heart and Waking the Dead, by John Eldredge, he speaks along the lines of the impact of Christ’s death and resurrection and its impact on us. If you have chosen to accept Christ into your life then you have been made new. That means your heart is now good. You can waste your time trying to argue with me but that is essentially what we find in scripture. We religious folk have been well-trained to believe the lie that the heart is wicked above all things, but that is not the case, and it is a lie of the devil.
Jesus said, Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
What is it that makes a man good? Clearly a good man has a good heart for we know, because Jesus said so. You cannot have salt water and fresh come out the same spring at the same time. So there has to be a delineation.
2Co 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
If I am a new creature, created in Christ Jesus, then my heart is good regardless of momentary glitches.
The enemy brings lies, whether they be about relationships, spiritual life, or interactions. These are merely probing shots until you come into agreement with the lies and then they become your reality.
Here it is Friday 5/3/2013 almost a week away from the serenity and safety of camp, and I am being lazy watching a movie when a commercial comes on the television for a dating web site. The thought that popped in my head was, “Why should I bother, I am wounded and who would want me.” Mere seconds passed when God spoke to my heart and pointed out how I had made agreement with that lie for most of my life, but especially over the last 19 years. In that moment I said out loud, I break the power of my agreement with the lies of woundedness over my life. It was a very emotional moment for me as I moved toward freedom.
John 10:9-10 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. (10) The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
1Jn 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness.
(If you have seen the movie The Matrix, that is the theme, the entire world lying in darkness.)
The thief comes for one purpose, to kill, steal, and destroy. 24/7
To kill – that can happen in a multitude of ways. Your life so disrupted you can be considered effectively dead. The other is physical death. The result is the same, you are removed out-of-the-way.
To steal – To have something taken from you. This is extremely deep and required more thought than I gave it at the time. Just as I was typing I thought of women who have had any number of things taken from them: their virginity, a baby by abortion, and their sanity.
To destroy – Bombed, blasted, broken, busted, unusable in its current condition, without being rebuilt.
Father, show me the agreements I have made over my life.
Do not let anyone or anything steal your ticket to heaven.
Still under the heading of WARFARE.
Continuing to break the power of agreements against myself. (These are primarily of my own doing, sort of.) Father, give me a clarity about the things that I have given the right to restrain me.
I began to name both people and concepts – words that I given my strength to.
While I wrote several things, one that I feel like sharing with you was the word joy. I had relinquished joy in my life. It is clear to me why I did it but it was an agreement that robbed me of life.
By the power in the name of Jesus I am taking back my joy.
The topic was “The beauty”
The concept behind this is that a part of our motivation for living is to rescue the beauty. Perhaps it is true that we all wish to live in the fairy tale world, or our life in Christ is more like the fairy tales than we chose to believe.
What do I mean? Even the fairy tales are based in the moral principles of God’s word.
We men are not to be looking to women for validation. Validation comes only from God and our relationship with him.
(I am adding this for clarity. Look up the word validity and you find definitions that include: the force to convince; justness; soundness, and value. I did just that, twice. I am not clear on where I got the idea that I would gain some advantage over my pains by finding someone with strengths that I neither saw in myself or my example, my mother. It seems that those things I saw in her were merely used against me, as she was wounded too. Looking back, this statement is true, my value and soundness can only come from God. Some will read this and scoff, thinking they are self-made men and need no one. In other words, you are in control. There in the problem lies and the day will come when you awaken. Pray that it is not to late when you do, or as you watch another marriage crumble at your feet and you are completely defenseless to stop it, because you are in control, not God.)
So here I am at quiet time again. My butt hurts so bad from sitting that I am standing as I write. Here is the thing. There is no woman in my life at this time. Why? I walked out, sick of fighting for her, and yet here I am wishing she could see the amazing beauty of this place.
Someone made a soundtrack and it plays continuously around the main areas of the grounds. It is from the movie “The Last of the Mohicans”. This is one of my favorite movies and there is something about this music that just lifts my soul and causes me to magnify God. It also happens to be a part of the soundtrack on the ride “Soarin” at Disney’s California Adventure. The ranch is 400 acres and the grounds are as immaculate as some of the finest golf courses. The sun will be setting in about an hour and the Oaks and Willows are casting long shadows. I am surrounded by rolling hills that seem to have been manicured. Many have a golden hue and there are cows along with their calves grazing on them.
My last day here.
Out of bed by 0600 and walking the distance to the fire pit by 0615. Several times now God has stopped me here to talk with me. I am going to miss these walks.
These walks put me in what seems like the center of the valley. It is the kind of scene that make a painter paint. This morning the north end of the valley had a cloud blanket lying lightly across it. I found myself asking if heaven was anything like this. Perhaps the garden was; I do not know the answer to that. Even with all this beauty there are still the interactions with others, and though we are establishing that our hearts are good, we are all in the process of transformation, some just a little slower than the others.
How my heart screams to be free. I long so much for the life that Christ promised.
What did Jesus say? “I have come that they may have life and more abundantly.
Does that abundant life have anything to do with money? Some would have you think so. When you are poor your answer can still be both yes and no, for the poor can be defeated not believing that money should do anything more than provide for daily needs and yet may be the driving force that motivates them to obtain and horde.
Jesus asked why we worry about tomorrow because he takes care of the birds.
I looked up the Greek word for abundantly when I got home. It is perissos and means over and above, or more than necessary. One of the churches I attended preached this wealth message constantly and the pastor bragged about the cost of his suits, his golfing trips to Scotland, and how he and his wife would not eat in the low-class places I frequent. I no longer attend there because I do not believe that this is what Jesus meant at all. Think about it; when he sent out the disciples, two by two, what did he tell them? Don’t take much with you at all. The implication: God will provide more than you need. As people took them for the night they were fed and given a place to sleep. In return they healed the sick, preached the good news of the kingdom of God, and cast out devils, bringing a healing to wounds.
I am two weeks away from boot camp and I have watched my own changes.
No, I am still not dedicated to a daily regimen of prayer time, but I communicate with God constantly. It is his voice that reminds me when I make stupid, binding agreements with Satan’s vows, and I quickly take authority over them.
I am going to give you the good with the bad, because I want you to understand reality.
My first day back at work (the next day) started off well. It seemed to me that I was praying and talking with God for several hours, but then the stress levels started to rise, as they always do at work and I heard this negativity going off in head and then I heard myself agreeing to it. God stopped me and said, “Dude, what are you doing?” In tears I repented of that agreement and broke the power of it over me in Jesus name.
You need to understand something here. Did my “breaking the power of it” prevent Satan from ever come back at me with that garbage again? Not at all. He operates 24/7 and Revelation calls him the accuser of the brothers (the church). He is relentless and by the power of the Holy Ghost I will be too.
The following Sunday evening I was headed to one of my sisters to be a part of her little bible study and prayer group. I stopped at a taco place to grab a quick bite. I cannot stand this particular establishment. The service is always slow and inattentive, and during the school week the place is filled with rude high schoolers. Off to a freaky start I am waiting for them to call my name when some deeply wounded little man creates a huge scene because his order was wrong. Although they fixed it he opted to grab a handful of plastic forks and throw them at the people behind the counter. Out of character for me I snapped and went after the guy. By this time he is almost ready to close his car door when I blasted out of the door after him. He says, “you got something to say!”. To which I responded you bet I do, now get out of that car and go back in there and apologize you jerk. (I am cleaning this up for you.) Of course he did not and I did not think he would. It did not take but a few seconds to realize what a futile effort this was and I started to turn and walk away. At this point he says, “you want a fight, you got it!” and starts to get out of the car. I am six-foot four inches tall and weigh 270 pounds, you really do not need to anger me. I cannot tell you how fast I was back in his face and how fast he scurried back into the safety of his car where his daughter has sat the whole time. More wasted ugly words and I left.
Was there much about that scene that said, Wow, Ozzie, you really changed. Not immediately, but there were somethings that were significant that I noticed right off the back. All that stuff is so far out of my character you would not have believed it was me.
Truth time: When I got out of high school I was five foot seven inches and weighed 137 lbs, and afraid of everything. I think it is safe to say that the kid that graduated high school, with all his insecurities and fears has lived in me ever since. Imagine that aspect of me getting married. I think I hoped that marriage would be the thing that allowed that kid to grow up, in many ways. Two years out of high school I grew. I was still skinny but I began to toughen and climbed poles for the phone company. I became like rawhide on the inside and would not take anything from anyone anymore. What changed? The anger was still there, for I was deeply wounded, but all I was going to show you was fury.
I have tried to bury that anger and fury in religion but the wounds have always been there. I am now 59 years old and busted up. The fury is pointless anymore and allowing it control of my life merely drives people away, and I am painfully aware of how lonely life can be without friends. Hence, going to boot camp was to me like Alcoholics Anonymous, where you take an honest assessment of your life, that you have tried to live for yourself, and give it over to God, because you cannot do this at all, or alone.
I made it to my sisters that night and told them what I did. Not so much as a confession to them but to God. If you do not stay open and honest then you become trapped in the lies and deception of the enemy, and he will rob you of any heart that you thought you had. Your world will collapse around you and you will lie in bed sobbing, wondering why did this happen and how can it be fixed.
It happened because you gave up your armor and stopped being a warrior. This has nothing to do how physical you can be. Jerks that slap their wives or girlfriends around physically or verbally are nothing more than severely injured children buried inside of the body of a fat ass that refuses to look outside of himself.
The only way to regain that armor and rearm yourself is to repent of taking control of your life and give it back to God. You only messed it up anyway. Begin to seek his guidance in identifying the wounds and asking him to heal them. And above all do not do this alone. You are in battle; a battle for your heart and your soul, and no military training in the world will teach you to work alone. You have to operate as though you are in a fire team with others holding back the enemy with suppressive fire as a medic tends to your wounds. No man gets left behind in this battle if I can help it. We need others desperately to cover our backs.
It was not until the next morning after the taco incident that my head got clear enough for God to get through. Here is what he said, “You reacted quickly! Admirable but foolish and misdirected.” (I understood immediately what he was telling me.) “I do not want you to think of yourself as a warrior so much as a para-rescuer. Those men have the ability to kill and yet their purpose and directive is primarily to find, rescue, and restore, and that is exactly what I want you to do. I have far to many men like you out there that have been taken captive and suffering from severe wounds to lose you to a foolish act of aggression. I want you to pray for that man and I will move the heavens to rescue him. Pray that someone he will listen to comes into his path and it will be done. I want you to respond with that kind of speed to the wounded. Did you notice the lack of fear in you as you move forward and dealt with that man?” I answered, yes sir, I did, and I do not understand what or why that happened, for that too has been a draw back with me for my entire life. God said, “You asked me to remove the fear and I have.”
Can I just tell you that I was in tears then, just as I am now, when he said these things to me.
The following Saturday we Band of Brothers had a mini-reunion. It was awesome. As I stood with a group of guys one begins to speak about his brother, a Christian that is torn up and struggling. I stopped everyone, at the Holy Spirit’s prompting and asked the man his name. I then stuck out my hand toward him and he took it. I ordered the others to place theirs on top of ours and we prayed change and healing over this broken brother. I told them, if we are to call ourselves warriors then this is how we do it. I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit of God was talking deeply to men’s hearts that day. I reiterated this once more to another group of men, and you can tell when you have their attention, and God did too.
One other thing happened that I will share and then I am out of here for now.
Thursday 5/09/13. A man I work with came up to and said hi. That seems kinda low-key, but we have had a few conversations, mostly about three years ago, in which he claimed to be a Christian also. We have not talked much since beyond merely saying hi in passing. I was surprised and asked why he stopped to talk with me. (Merely talking on the sales floor is not the best idea as they like you working.) He said, “I just wanted to say hi and see how it was going with you.” I told him that would consider this a God appointment and said, actually it is going fantastic for me. I told him about the camp and how I had chosen to give God control of my life once again. I told him about this process of healing that I am going through and how much God is changing me. As I talked he kept wiping tears from his eyes. He is deeply wounded and it is clear to me that God brought him there to me, because God had prepared my heart and I had made myself available for God to use.
I do not know what tomorrow holds but I know it is filled with excitement. I have never felt so alive. Jesus said, out of your belly will flow rivers of living water. I could never get a handle on that, and still can’t but I long for the river. I also know that the disciples were baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire, and I long for the fire. If it listening to God and doing the things he commanded: heal the sick, raise the dead, make the lame walk, and preach that there is a good news to this kingdom of God, then I want it.
Bring the fire Lord.
Turn your life over to Jesus Christ, God, and allow him to change you and heal you.
- february book reads: wild at heart and captivating ~ john and stasi eldredge (xeiayumilka.wordpress.com)
- The Name I Know (poetscircle.wordpress.com)
- A Boy & the Wilderness (husbanddaddycoach.wordpress.com)
This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666. (Revelation 13:18 ESV)
I am not sure there are many who can interpret or adequately explain this passage. So many have applied Gematria to the words and tried to come up with a name but I primarily see one of the Cesar’s getting pinpointed. How does that help? None of the Caesars’ are coming back. (Trying to make him come by attributing the wounded head that appeared to be dead and comes back to life to him does not work.)
Of the commentaries I looked at the author was bold enough to say, this one puzzles him.
I believe God has put particular authors and speakers in front of me (you have to be willing to listen) that have given me a sudden clarity about end times events. Since then so much of the Revelation has become clear. Let me get something straight. I have no private interpretation of the bible and, if you noticed, as I write, I typically suggest that you READ for yourself and apply God’s word to some logical thought and see if you do not come to the same conclusions.
One of people who God brought across my path was Walid Shoebat. There is timing involved in revelation for a couple of years ago I would have allowed my prejudice and narrow-mindedness to dissuade me from me considering this man.
I have none of his books. What I found was a recent video. In that video he describes how, as a young believer (he had been a Palestinian terrorist but came to know Jesus Christ) he read this passage an Arabic version in the Codex Vaticanus. When he came to this part “Six hundred threescore and six.G5516 “ χξς chxs; i.e. chi xi sigma, he knew immediately what is was, for this is a common phrase in the middle east among Arabic speaking/Islamics. The phrase is called the Bismillah. “In the name of Allah.”
Mr. Shoebat also stated that Gematria is one the methods that many have used to ascertain the name of the person who is to be the beast, but God is not interested in witchcraft and number games. But allow me this thought for a moment. Did not the wise men from the east (Babylon, trained by those that Daniel trained.) find out by numbers and the stars at what time the Messiah should arrive, and they followed the star that led them right to him. Astronomy was apparently God designed but toying with Astrology was probably not. There is no doubt that God put these signs in place for our benefit but they are not to be abused.
The top image is definitely Arabic and shows the cross sword symbols of Islam, the lower text is Greek.
Walid Shoebat stated that he read this in the Codex Vaticanus. The problem with that is that this codex does not contain the Revelation from what I am to understand.
Could the man make a mistake? I do it all the time, partly because my memory is giving way. But he did say he that he read it in his native language, Arabic.
Apply some logic to this:
John wrote to Jewish believers.
I believe that God wanted us to understand. Clearly this is one the hardest ones to figure out, unless what Walid Shoebat said is true.
Satan, the power and backing behind Islam, is in opposition to every thing that God stands for. Revelation uses the terminology Antichrist, therefore in contrast to.
Walid Shoebat, in an effort to make the audience understand said, Islam is the antithesis of God and godly things.
If Islam is the antithesis to belief in “the One true God” then it makes all the sense in world to tell us that this man can be identified by his relationship to Allah, the god in opposition.
How might God get us to see that? By inserting the Bismallah, something that would not have made any sense to anyone at the time of the writing. Muhammad was not even born until 570 years after Jesus Christ died. It was not until several years later that Mohammedanism was formed.
You might be asking yourself what Satan copied in using the Bismallah. The Bismallah – “in the name of Allah” is basis and theme within Islam that states: “there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.” Did you grasp that? If you wish to convert to Islam this is your statement of faith. You will, if you are a believer, have to understand that there is no one else but God. This is what Jesus told the Jews during the three years of his time among us, but he made it clear, and John, the disciple, conveyed it to us, He was God.
This is a vital statement to the Jewish community but the New Testament believers today have not made it a vital statement that motivates their lives. It is basically this:
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” (Deuteronomy 6:4 ESV)
If this has been the defining statement of our belief, there is no Lord but Yahweh, then how would I convey an Antichrist theme? To raise up a religion that claims peace but is in fact the most violent of people on the earth, and instead of acknowledging Jesus Christ as God, they sing the praises of Allah.
If you do not know this Jesus Christ I speak of, then give him your life today. Accept his love for you. He placed himself on a cross to a ransom for your sins so that you are no longer indebted for them. He rose from the dead to give you new life. And he promised to come back for us and take those who await him to live with the Father (God). He loves you and died for you at a time when no one loved him. He did this to prove his love for you. I suggest you run to him because I have asked him to invade your dreams and give you visions of this Jesus Christ. His arms are open awaiting you. Ask him in and give him control of the life that you are not doing so well with.
- Is gematria useful? (lunaticoutpost.com)
- Former Muslim: Islam Is ‘Not Merely A Religion But A Cult Belief System, The Cult Of Muhammad’ (angelforisrael.wordpress.com)
- The Number of the Beast (euzicasa.wordpress.com)
- The Coming and now New world Order (cfcspn.com)
- Turkey, the Gog of Magog (supajohnny.com)
As I sat at dinner with some old friends, (they are both Christians) the Lord spoke to me and said, “Tell people to pray for the Muslims. I will invade their dreams with visions of Jesus Christ, the Messiah as you pray, and droves of them will come to me as they seek out those who know me.
This is critical right now for hatred will arise against the Muslims because of this act of terrorism and will merely fuel a level of violence coming from Islam that will surpass anything you have seen as yet.
Father, in the name of your risen Son, Jesus Christ, I ask Lord that you speak to the hearts and minds of the Muslim throughout the world. I ask you invade their dreams and give them visions of you. Make yourself real to them and show them where to go and who to talk to so that they will obtain the life in Christ that you desire for them. I thank you Lord for sending your Son Jesus Christ for in so doing he demonstrated your love for the world. Bring them in Lord for time is short.
- The Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) (bummyla.wordpress.com)
- #PrayersForBoston (runningsmall.com)
- When Life Is Just Too Hard (donkeywhispererfarm2010.wordpress.com)
- A Prayer For Boston (scottstrissel.wordpress.com)
I meet with some men on Sunday mornings. There we have been reading short portions of the book of John and talk about what we just read, as we attempt to integrate it into our lives. For several months it has been a time of building relationships with the guys as I am the relatively new one. I had really been enjoying myself, interjecting occasionally. But for several weeks we have had a full blown bible scholar coming. He corrects us, throws in his opinion, and goes on incessantly for 30+ minutes stretches. Our leader asked us all to read the portion I made notes on and then come back and talk about it as it has affected him deeply.
Keep in mind that John wrote to show us that Jesus was God, and the Jews understood perfectly what he was saying.
John 6:28 NASB Therefore they said to Him,
“What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?“
Seems like a reasonable question.
Jesus responded with,
John 6:29 KJV “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”
They wanted to do stuff, put on a good show, and there was probably an underlying idea about monetary profit. It wasn’t about the show. The work, as you call it, is to believe on me, the one God sent.
Him in verse 29 is referring to Jesus; he is referring to God to who sent his son.
Defensive, perhaps caught in their deceptive ways, they respond, “What sign do you show then, so that we may see and believe you?” “What do you work?” John 6:30 MKJV
They have not stopped talking. Usually when you fling out a question at someone you wait for an answer, unless you’re attempting to divert attention off yourself.
Our fathers ate the manna in the desert, as it is written, “He gave them bread from Heaven to eat.”
John 6:31 MKJV
They are justifying their actions and responses. If we are whining at God to give us a sign, well, manna in the desert was certainly a sign, but that was then and this is now.
Flinging scripture at the Messiah is not going to sway him, but then they are refusing to acknowledge that he is the messiah.
When they said he gave us manna in the desert to eat, sounds good. It also sounds like they are referring to God as the he, but they are talking to the one that knows the secrets of the heart. Now watch his response.
Then Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Moses did not give you that bread from Heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from Heaven.
(John 6:32 MKJV)
Truly, truly – the words are Amen, amen. It is an absolute. I am to understand that to repeat it like this is to drive the point home. There are no exceptions.
Again their response sounded reasonable to my English-speaking ears. As I said, the Word knows the thoughts and intents of the heart and discerns what is the mind of the spirit. Jesus read their intent and went straight for the heart. Moses did not give them the bread (manna). People will say that Jesus claimed to be God and yet right is one of those statements in which he states his son-ship. “My Father gives you the true bread from Heaven.”
“For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”
(John 6:33 NASB)
the bread of God is:
that which comes down out of heaven,
Jesus came down from Heaven. This would not have been a new revelation to them. Based upon their understanding of scripture they new not only when, where, and how Jesus would perform, in their midst. He was standing right there. They knew he opened blind eyes, they knew he healed.
The manna also came down from heaven, and it gave life, but the life was temporary.
“and gives life to the world.”
The manna was only for the Jews. It did not give life to the world, and I do not believe that the world was affected by Israel struggles in the desert.
Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.”
(John 6:34 NASB)
They did not want life, their attempts at trapping him were incessant, but again it sounds reasonable.
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.
(John 6:35 NASB)
The context of the conversation seems to be wrapped around feeding oneself and Jesus is telling them that he is bread. They understood the law and everything about this statement would have appalled them.
“he who comes to Me will not hunger, ..”
Clearly he is not talking about food for one of the most notable Christians in the NT was Paul, and he went hungry. Phillipians 4:12
I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. (2 Corinthians 11:27 NASB)
Why would we not hunger? We balk at the concept of eternal salvation, but we ignore that scripture in multiple places reminds us that he will never leave us now forsake us. He has engraved us on the palm of his hands.
I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless]; I will come [back] to you. (John 14:18 AMP)
If I was hungry for something what would that be?
Without Christ I suppose it would be peace, but there are many Christians who do not have peace. Is it a fallacy to think that you have no peace.
I have known the Lord since I was a child. I have never been without him, so I do not think I can speak to what the void feels like. But after many years of a life in him I can tell you that I have been in despair, hurt, filled with anguish, experienced the darkness of depression and felt lost. What I have come to realize is that He is always with me, and always has been. That does not mean I have always been close to him. On the contrary, my failures have many times made me feel as though I could not see or feel him.
When I chose to stop feeling sorry for myself and call upon him, he was always there.
Stepping back from the tumult of the problem I was able to see the truth of a statement like this, “he that comes to me shall never hunger, ..” It was my spirit, my heart, my life that was kept alive when it could have died.
The idea of coming to Jesus implies to accompany by leaving where you are and coming to him.
“But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe.
(John 6:36 NASB)
He has talked about signs proving power, authority. Clearly manna in desert registered in their minds as a sign.
Manna and bread seemed to mean the same thing, hence Jesus refers to himself as the bread from heaven. How many things had God sent to earth. If there were more than 1 none was more important than the gift of the Son.
In verse 36 he now says, you have seen Me, and yet do not believe.
The Me is God.
I always struggle a little with the concept of the Son being the same as the Father. Children do not carry the same weight and yet harm the son, especially in a feudal society, and the wrath of Father will come upon you.
The son typically gains the inheritance upon death and therefore takes over the kingdom, authority and power.
We are all painfully aware that many children do not appropriately demonstrate the character of the Father, and yet Jesus fully did. P.S. Many children emulate their fathers, by practicing their lives of violence and crime, and they do it to the letter.
Jesus only did what the Father told him to do, and he was obedient unto death.
All whom My Father gives (entrusts) to Me will come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will most certainly not cast out [I will never, no never, reject one of them who comes to Me].
(John 6:37 AMP)
I, will not, in NO way cast him out.
You want to know the nature and character of God? Look at the Son.
What did he say? I (representing all that the Father is) will not cast you out.
Out of what?
Some family members are broken, even screwed up and we consider them unsuitable, and unacceptable. Just the fact that you made that kind of judgment on them demonstrates how unsuitable and unacceptable you are, and yet you are included in his grace and mercy.
Broken and messed up? Not a problem, God is in the business of healing, mending and restoring the broken and unacceptable. He seems to be especially fond of loving on them. Beside his demonstrated heart toward you there will be a point at which we who are in Christ will be raised up.
We tend to think of someone who is raised up as being dead, like Lazarus, but it also applies if I were to say elevated in rank and stature. At the rapture both will take place; the dead in Christ will rise first. This is a puzzlement to me for the concept is that our spirits never die, therefore we either live together with Him or without, but none-the-less we live on.
Since the dead in Christ have apparently already gone on to be with Jesus why is this concept of a body rising so important? I honestly do not know, but when Jesus rose from the dead his body went with him.
He ate fish with them.
When they got out on land (the beach), they saw a fire of coals there and fish lying on it [cooking], and bread. Jesus said to them, Bring some of the fish which you have just caught. So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net to land, full of large fish, 153 of them; and [though] there were so many of them, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, Come [and] have breakfast. But none of the disciples ventured or dared to ask Him, Who are You? because they [well] knew that it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so also [with] the fish. (John 21:9-13 AMP)
He had them touch his body.
Then He said to Thomas, Reach out your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand and place [it] in My side. Do not be faithless and incredulous, but [stop your unbelief and] believe! (John 20:27 AMP)
He walked through walls.
Eight days later His disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, though they were behind closed doors, and stood among them and said, Peace to you! (John 20:26 AMP)
And he showed up where he pleased.
And while they were conversing and discussing together, Jesus Himself caught up with them and was already accompanying them. (Luke 24:15 AMP)
Jesus was a spirit with a body; the image of God. Man was made in the image of God, and we should know that God is a spirit.
God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality). (John 4:24 AMP)
And yet God opted to put a body on him. What need does a spirit have for a body? Unless God was intentional in giving us a method enjoying physical and mental pleasure. (Do not go there! What happened in that garden was all good until evil got into the mix.)
Why did Jesus sit and eat with the disciples that day?
Hunger? I doubt it.
Enjoyable flavor? Maybe, we don’t know.
Fellowship and further directions for the boys? Most likely.
But then why sit us all down to the marriage supper of the Lamb if we are all spirits and have no need for food, unless food can be tasted, appeal visually to the eyes, and fellowship enjoyed.
“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
(John 6:38 NASB)
If he has not lit them up yet he did it now. The Jews allegedly look for the Messiah, the one from God and soon they will looking for ways to kill him over these statements. The world, and religious folk, will still try to tell you that Jesus never said he was God. They heard it.
Heaven – The Jews had solid image in their heads that heaven was God’s throne.
I came from there – The implications can one be three:
You are either God, and they were not buying that
He was God’s son, making himself equal with God and they understood that language. Of course to them, anyone making a claim like that was worthy of death.
Or, there is something seriously wrong with his head. The Jews never took that point of view and decided that calling him a blasphemer was the right thing to do.
There is a strange irony in this blasphemy issue. When the Jews stated that the work that Jesus was doing (healing blind eyes, casting out demons, raising the dead) was through the power of Satan, then he got into the middle of them; telling them that they had blasphemed. Now they are into some serious trouble.
“This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.
(John 6:39 NASB)
This is the Father’s will, God’s will.
Want to know what God’s will is? That Jesus lose nothing and raise them up on the last day.
“of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.”
How do you know you have been given to him? Maybe it is because your heart yearns for him.
This entire discourse seemed to start with, “believe that I am the one that He sent.” I do that.
There are no qualifiers to the statement and no exclusions.
“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
(John 6:40 NASB)
The will of the Father is that we have eternal life, AND that Jesus will raise them up on the last day.
When you consider that our spirits never die. They will live on with God in eternity, or they will live in eternal separation from the creator. You can scoff at that if you wish but you won’t change it. Those that will live separate from God have done so by choice.
If our spirits live on eternally then there must be something else that is meant by this. Life can only be lived in Him. The mind that balks at that idea is the mind that lives in selfishness, unwilling to allow anyone to tell them what to do. I think that it is clear that God desires for us to live with him in glory.
“..and that Jesus will raise them up on the last day.”
We have two frames of reference for this.
One would be the catching away.
The Greeks used the word harpazo, or snatching away. It implies a quick and sudden removal. The implication is, off this earth and into the heavenly realm. Scripture tells us that the dead in Christ rise first and then we which are alive and remain will be caught up to meet him in the air. This happens at the beginning of the time of judgment, also known as the tribulation years (7 of them.) I also happen to think that we are in the mere minutes phase until he arrives.
The second point of view on this would have to do with a time period at the end of the thousand-year reign. Now why would I say that? Because it is the only other time that we see people being raised up. These are not the dead in Christ and they are brought forward for judgment. Even here we find a merciful God and he separates the un-dead based on whether they lived a life of selfishness or showed mercy (a trait of God). Those that showed some mercy are then given mercy. You might decided that this entire last process is in itself against the traits and mercy of God, but you forget that Adam’s act was to intake the knowledge of both good and evil, therefore no man has an excuse. To do evil is an act of the will. Adam exhibited that act when he took of the fruit. Cain did it when he slew Able.
Wisdom alone tells me the last day, when Jesus shall raise them up would have to be the rapture. Of all the days that are spoken of concerning the end they are all filled with gloom and punishment. Jesus raising us up is the total opposite of that.
“..and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
The Jews standing there did not miss a thing (except that God stood before them, the Messiah that they longed for.) They knew that he was telling them that he was God’s Son and carried all the attributes, authority, and nature of the Father. He just told them that in the future he (Jesus) would be the one raising the Church up, and they knew that only the Father could do that. Only the Father had the right to forgive and make judgment. They knew exactly what Jesus told them.
Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down out of heaven.” They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have come down out of heaven’?”
(John 6:41-42 NASB)
“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.
(John 6:44 NASB)
This screams a line from the Chronicles of Narnia. “You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you,” said the Lion.
In our arrogance we think we are in control. We are really not. Does it mean nothing to hear that before the worlds were formed I knew you. I know the plans that I have for you …
just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love (Ephesians 1:4 NASB)
‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11 NASB)
We struggle and worry over the lost. Many think that they are selfishly sinning because they are not doing something. Even if you did do something, they would not come unless God had called them. So the day they do come, whether you talked with them or not, would be because God had called them.
It is written in the prophets, ‘AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me. (John 6:45 NASB)
I wish everyone could be taught of God, then perhaps this recent baseball fight in which the pitcher got his collar-bone broken might not have happened. I know, that is trivial and irrelevant, but then is it? Jesus explained himself. It is those who hear and learn. We can hear but certainly not learn, that requires a shade more effort and desire. But then you would not have the desire if God did not give it to you.
“Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father. (John 6:46 NASB)
Jesus was the one that said, “if you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” I suppose that really means in character and actions. No one had seen the Father. We seem to think that Moses did, but even God told him he would die; not from punishment but his human body probably could not handle it. I think I can understand that.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. (John 6:47 NASB)
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. I heard one of the radio pastors indicating that this means to put an unshakable emphasis on what he saying, and was a common method of expressing themselves.
He wants us to understand, he who believes has eternal life. I wonder when we will start teaching and believing that.
“I am the bread of life. (John 6:48 NASB)
“Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. (John 6:49 NASB)
“This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. (John 6:50 NASB)
I believe he made his point here. I am secured in him. Do I test the waters of grace? I suppose I do but I always return to grace and mercy. Maybe that is my way of saying I eat the bread. His word is my bread.
Father, forgive me for I have made you to small in my life. Allow me to comprehend all that you are telling me this day. I believe in you, that you are the Son of the living God, and that you will come again for me and all those who believe in you. Thank you for never letting go of us, and taking us into your kingdom. In Jesus name.
- Our daily bread (daltonwilliams114.wordpress.com)
- Day Six: John 6 (kevinwithem.wordpress.com)
- Who Is Jesus? (jlue.wordpress.com)
- The Food that Endures for Eternal Life (insightscoop.typepad.com)
He had horns like a lamb.
Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon.
(Revelation 13:11 NASB)
Out of the earth.
The word for earth is gē and can also mean a country. If we reread this verse with the concept of a specific country involved then it takes on a whole new meaning. The problem is we cannot be sure what that country is.
The distinction is clear to me. The earth represents a common factor, man; not some fallen angel or demon, and definitely not an empire or kingdom like our previous beast. Our previous beast had so many aspects that could be defined by historical evidence. Our new beast is defined by scripture and if you are willing to look at them, by Islamic prophecies as well.
Here is the passage that paints the picture of our previous monster.
And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names.
(Revelation 13:1 NASB)
He had two horns like a lamb,
Oddly the two horns do not carry the same meanings as those on the previous beast. On the previous beast horns meant ruling bodies in Revelation 13:1. Here they fit best as a mockery.
We city folk rarely ever see a sheep with horns. For whatever reason the herders cut them off.
We in Christianity commonly use the phrase “the lamb of God.” Who are we referring to? Jesus Christ the lamb of God and risen one. I happen to think that this was meant to immediately grab your attention.
And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
(Revelation 5:6 KJV)
It might be worthy to note that Jesus Christ, represented here by the slain lamb (he became this on the cross.) has seven horns, not two. Two horns are what a sheep herder would expect to see.
Why is this hugely significant?
This verse probably gained no clarity until sometime after the Iranian revolution of 1979. Until then most, from that part of the world, referred to themselves as people coming from Persia and we Westerners really knew little about them and what the hardliners really believed.
It only feels like a couple of years since I learned of what Islam teaches in Quran, but if this was common knowledge among prophecy teachers then why did they not teach it? The answer lies in God lifting the veil of understanding and increasing knowledge, and an understanding of what Islam’s prophecies teach.
But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. (2 Corinthians 3:14-16 NASB)
And He said, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is in parables, so that SEEING THEY MAY NOT SEE, AND HEARING THEY MAY NOT UNDERSTAND. (Luke 8:10 NASB)
“Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. (Daniel 12:3 NASB)
“Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand. (Daniel 12:10 NASB)
It is hugely significant because Islam is looking for a Jesus to appear as well.
I have covered this before but I can also assume that many of you did not read those earlier posts.
Isa ( Arabic: عيسى, Transliteration: ʿĪsā ), known as Jesus in the New Testament is considered to be a Messenger of God and the Masih (Messiah) in Islam  who was sent to guide the Children of Israel (banī isrā’īl) with a new scripture, the Injīl or Gospel. The belief in Jesus (and all other messengers of God) is required in Islam, and a requirement of being a Muslim. The Quran mentions Jesus by name twenty-five times, while it only mentions Muhammad by name four times. It states that Jesus was born to Mary (Arabic: Maryam) as the result of virginal conception, a miraculous event which occurred by the decree of God (Arabic: Allah). To aid in his ministry to the Jewish people, Jesus was given the ability to perform miracles (such as healing the blind, bringing dead people back to life, etc.), all by the permission of God rather than of his own power. According to the Quran, Jesus, although appearing to have been crucified, was not killed by crucifixion or by any other means, instead, “God raised him unto Himself”. Like all prophets in Islam, Jesus is considered to have been a Muslim (i.e., one who submits to the will of God), as he preached that his followers should adopt the “straight path” as commanded by God. Islam rejects the Trinitarian Christian view that Jesus was God incarnate or the son of God, that he was ever crucified or resurrected, or that he ever atoned for the sins of mankind. The Quran says that Jesus himself never claimed any of these things, and it furthermore indicates that Jesus will deny having ever claimed divinity at the Last Judgment, and God will vindicate him. The Quran emphasizes that Jesus was a mortal human being who, like all other prophets, had been divinely chosen to spread God’s message. Islamic texts forbid the association of partners with God (shirk), emphasizing a strict notion of monotheism (tawhīd).
Numerous titles are given to Jesus in the Quran and in Islamic literature, the most common being al-Masīḥ (“the messiah”). Jesus is also, at times, called “Seal of the Israelite Prophets”, because, in general Muslim belief, Jesus was the last prophet sent by God to guide the Children of Israel. Jesus is seen in Islam as a precursor to Muhammad, and is believed by Muslims to have foretold the latter’s coming.
According to Islamic tradition which describes this graphically, Jesus’ descent will be in the midst of wars fought by the Mahdi (lit. “the rightly guided one”), known in Islamic eschatology as the redeemer of Islam, against the Antichrist (al-Masīh ad-Dajjāl, “False messiah“) and his followers. Jesus will descend at the point of a white arcade, east of Damascus, dressed in yellow robes—his head anointed. He will then join the Mahdi in his war against the Dajjal. Jesus, considered as a Muslim, will abide by the Islamic teachings. Eventually, Jesus will slay the Antichrist, and then everyone from the People of the Book (ahl al-kitāb, referring to Jews and Christians) will believe in him. Thus, there will be one community, that of Islam.
A Jew of the Aaronic lineage.
That means he can be a high priest, and may well be. This man is not going to just walk into the scene and command people’s respect, I primarily mean Israel’s. Considering the amount and degree of deception it would have to seem reasonable to follow him.
He produces documentation, new scriptures, that refute the God that Israel has followed.
He will do the miracles that Jesus did and call fire down from the skies.
He will deceive many.
And he spoke like a dragon
Who is the dragon? If you have followed then you know this one; for those that have not it is Satan.
And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.(Revelation 1 2:9 NASB)
To alert the world that this false prophet, Isa (the Jesus of Islam), is coming, is to tell us that like Satan his words are lies and his sole purpose will be to deceive.
“You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44 NASB)
“..the authority of the first beast on its behalf”
It uses all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and it makes the earth and those living on it worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. (Revelation 13:12 ISV)
“It uses all the authority of the first beast on its behalf,”
This is not the beast of Revelation 13: 1,2
I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns, seven heads, and ten royal crowns on its horns. On its heads were blasphemous names. The beast that I saw was like a leopard. Its feet were like bears feet, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. The dragon gave it his power, his throne, and complete authority. (Revelation 13:1-2 ISV)
The beast of Revelation 13: 1,2 is a compilation of empires and leaders. One of the ruling bodies, an empire if you will, that arises out of this compilation is stopped momentarily in its destructive tracks and to the world effectively killed. This empire had leaders and a name but the basis of its theme was the Quran. It was called the Ottoman empire.
If this false prophet is using all the authority or power, as the KJV states, then he has the backing and fire power of the Islamic empire. This sort of sounds like a Star Wars movie. Sadly it is very real and deadly.
In saying “the first beast before him ..” as the KJV does, we have two possible meanings:
The false prophet operates in the presence of the Antichrist or Mahdi, and as supreme ruling authority over Islam the false prophet is then operating in his power.
Because the ‘mouth’ in Revelation 13:5 is given power to continue 42 months he apparently steps out-of-the-way. We know he is not dead for God takes the two of them alive and tosses them in the lake of fires.
In this last scenario the word ‘before’ takes on the sense of someone previous.
There is another clue about this 42 months and then departure. Look with me at Daniel 9:27
Daniel 9:27 KJV And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
For whatever reason the Antichrist figure breaks the treaty. He helped to set up the treaty and now at 42 months he breaks it. You can learn from this passage that the Antichrist is there at the beginning of the years of God’s judgment against Israel and the nations.
Another aspect of this verse tells us that the temple is in operation and the Antichrist is the one that causes the sacrifice and prayers to stop.
Daniel 11:28-31 NASB “Then he will return to his land with much plunder; but his heart will be set against the holy covenant, and he will take action and then return to his own land. (29) “At the appointed time he will return and come into the South, but this last time it will not turn out the way it did before. (30) “For ships of Kittim will come against him; therefore he will be disheartened and will return and become enraged at the holy covenant and take action; so he will come back and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant. (31) “Forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation.
In particular look at verse 30. Something has happened here that he did not expect. It has not stopped his actions but it sure has his attention; a nation that did not bow its knee to him. One of my commentaries attributes this peculiar name to the Cyprians. As of this date, 04/05/13, Cyprus is undergoing financial upheaval and not looking good at all. Where does someone like this get the money to run an effective navy?
What does it mean to exercise all the power of the first beast?
I have expounded before how I believe that the beast, all the way up to Revelation 13:4 is not a man but a demonic stronghold empowering Islam. Allah himself may be the beast that Revelation 13:4 speaks of, but Allah is no more a god than the rocks on the hillside. What makes the difference, in terms of power and ability, is that he or it is empowered by Satan himself.
To empower is to: to give power or authority to; authorize, especially by legal or official means. And yet we all understand what is coming to be more than just authorization. The false prophet and the Antichrist seem to take on the destructive and deceptive nature of Satan himself, even up to the point that many will witness the image that gets set up in the temple speaking.
Think about this. If the first beast equates to Islam or Allah then you have to ask what kind power do they wield? Islam has strength by numbers therefore political power as well as economic power.
We have all recently witnessed some of that political power as Mohamed Morsi was elected President of Egypt. And Saudi Arabia, one the wealthiest oil nations on the planet, finances almost every destructive aspect of Islam.
Islam’s strongest weapon and by extension power, is violence.
Allah himself is merely a myth and does not wield any of this power, unless he is a fallen angel. For those who do not think of angel’s as being powerful you need to look back at Daniel. Michael, a heavenly archangel and protector of Israel, had to be called in as a backup for Gabriel, another archangel. Gabriel had been in combat with fallen angels, who had names, for 21 days. Gabriel told Daniel that another fallen angel was coming to the fight. Read your scriptures and you will find that several are bound now in the Euphrates river (I hope) and will be released upon the earth in the near future. They have a very destructive goal and yes, God allows them to be loosed for a time. Folks, deny it if you wish but there is a warfare going in the heavenlies, all around you.
Up to this point no one in Islam displays or exerts any power over people other than fear, but that day is coming when a representative, the Mahdi, will do miracles not so dissimilar to what Jesus or the prophets did.
“he even makes fire come down”
Revelation 13:13 NASB He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men.
What is the significance of that?
Ezekiel 38,39 tell us that when armies besiege Israel that God fights for Israel. God does this in several ways but the one that gets my attention is the fire storm he sends upon the Muslim nations of the earth.
This would seem to be right before the Antichrist/Mahdi commits to a seven-year treaty with Israel, and Israel immediately rebuilds the temple.
Doesn’t anybody ask how that could be remotely possible?
Apparently God will wipe the Dome of the Rock right off the map with this firestorm. Do you really think that there could be any other way for Israel to regain the temple mount?
The other hugely significant even is the two witnesses.
You can argue for a lifetime about when they show up, but where you put them in the time-line is really inconsequential in God’s timing, but if he followed your timing then it changes everything.
I hold to the idea that they show up immediately and leave at the 42 month mark in the time of judgment and tribulation. This timing coincides with two events: The amount of time allotted to the ‘mouth’ given to the beast (I believe this mouth is the Mahdi.) and the clear introduction of the false prophet/Jesus of Islam.
Keep in mind that the two witnesses have spewed fire from their mouths and halting rain as they see fit. We can assume that all the world has watched them, and as long as they have stood on the earth the hatred for them and God has grown immensely.
Finally, after multiple attempts, God allows for them to be killed. Much like his own Son their lives will not be taken without God’s permission. Having these two witnesses removed from the earth should bolster a false bravado and an outpouring of hatred, anger and bloodshed against Israel.
This is also the time that the image gets set up in the temple. I am sure that the two witnesses play a significant role in preventing anything that looks like that from happening. Jesus warned his listeners in Matthew 24, 25 that when you see things happening, that those in Israel need to flee to the desert.
“he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs”
Revelation 13:14 NASB And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who *had the wound of the sword and has come to life.
What did Jesus say?
Mark 13:21-22 KJV And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: (22) For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
When he gets to this part he is clearly speaking about the end times, so the context is the time of judgment, precisely what I have been discussing.
When the disciples asked him when these things would happen the first thing he said was,
Luke 21:7-8 NASB They questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, when therefore will these things happen? And what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?” (8) And He said, “See to it that you are not misled; for many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not go after them.
“And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs ..”
We already have an idea of who he is. I happen to believe that he is already here. The Jews are not going let just anyone walk into the holy of holies. And I can assure that Islam is not going to listen to anyone that is a Jew tell them anything, unless, there is something known and there are corresponding actions that prove that this is the man they seek.
“He” – is the Jesus of Islam. They happen to call him Isa.
A descendant of Aaron, therefore entitled to act as a high priest. And if he is acting in that role then he has access to the Holy of Holies where he sets up the image. (He is probably acting in the role of a priest ask we speak.
A convert to Islam
He causes the image of the beast to speak. This image is either a resemblance of the Mahdi, or something that looks like the confederation of nations that creates the multi-headed animal like body of Revelation 13:1,2.
I lean toward the image of a man.
Here is an odd thought. What if he got something like the Mr. Lincoln exhibit at Disneyland. It could be done and in a fairly short time.
How could he possibly deceive everyone left on earth? We are clear that many elite Jewish leaders will follow him, convinced by the signs. Those of the fringe of Islam, and not fully given to the ideals of Jihad will be converted, and many in the world will give in.
Think about what influences the conversion rate. Placed under the edge of the sword many will bow their knee to Allah, accept the markings and worship the beast (what ever that happens to be.) Some will not be affected by this for we see “nations” coming during the thousand-year reign who did not take part in the worship of Allah. Just considering the rebellious nature of some people they will fight against Islam and quite possibly be successful, but you cannot fight against God, and will possibly be considered among the nations. When you consider the number and size of the earthquakes described during the time of judgment, it would not surprise me to find the continents shifted back together. That would enable Islam to have an even greater influence.
“..those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast;”
The words that give us this phrase are: didōmiautos. And it means to give to yourself.
We know the first beast is empowered by the dragon. The dragon is Satan. The beast is not an amalgamation of empires, but it could be; it could also be Allah, which some might think is a fictional god in the mind of Mohammed. But what if Allah is the name of a powerful angel, fallen with Satan. Then we have Satan transferring his power to this angel named Allah making him as deceptive as Satan is.
This second beast, the false prophet, exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence.You find this in Revelation 13:12. Does this mean that his power is limited to being in the presence of the first beast? I doubt it. Depending on what version you read the alternate word used for authority is power. The word power is exousia and means, “the liberty of doing as one pleases.” This second beast may have demonstrated power on purpose to the Mahdi as an act of compliance but the meaning of the word shows us that this character who goes by the name Jesus, now does as he pleases.
Revelation 13:4 NASB they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?”
In Revelation 13:5 the beast is given a mouth, someone to speak for him. In chapter thirteen verse seven the ‘mouth’ is given the power to make war with the saints. In Revelation 13:11 the second beast with the lambs horns, speaks like the dragon/Satan (With lies and deception.)
“..he had power to give life unto the image..”
Revelation 13:15 NASB And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
- He has access to the image, now setup in the temple. Not everyone can do that.
- He makes the image to speak.
- He causes as many as do not worship the image to be killed.
There will come a point at which trying to coerce you into worshiping will not be worth their time, so they will just lop your head.
This implies a global dominance, but that is really not the case.
“He causes all, … to receive a mark…”
Revelation 13:16 KJV And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
It is the false prophet, this Jesus of Islam, that causes everyone to receive a mark. Not the Antichrist as we teach people.
So that no one will have power to buy or sell
Revelation 13:17 AMP So that no one will have power to buy or sell unless he bears the stamp (mark, inscription), [that is] the name of the beast or the number of his name.
Though we live in a high-tech world, at least here in America, there are still plenty of places on earth that do rather well on a barter system economy. Never say never when it comes to God, but the practical has to have an influence at times. This barter systen adds to the problem of world-wide domination and lends itself to the false prophet having a significant influence over the middle eastern world.
Remember! The acts that this person does are significant, especially when you contrast what he does against the two witnesses.
Since everything Satan does is the antithesis of God, this beast, the false prophet, empowered by Satan is mimicking the powers of God.
Should you consider the powers of angels, messengers and emissaries of God, they carry the full weight and authority of God himself. Angels have set rocks on fire, killed off the first-born of a nation, stood guard with drawn swords, fought wars for Israel, and gently delivered messages of comfort and peace.
I have intentionally not delved into 13:18 because I think it deserves a bit more thought on my part.
As always I warn you that time is short and these things are coming. Don’t think so? Just watch the news. North Korea is on the verge of pulling their own trigger. Iran is still playing its nuclear game. Syria will collapse and according to President Bashar at the collapse of Syria the middle east will pretty much implode. Things are moving quickly now.
Jesus Christ, the messiah that Israel longed for and ignored is coming again soon for those that await him. He will pull the body of Christ, the Christian community in general, out of here. He gave us the story of both Lot and Noah as examples of how it would come to pass, and if you know those stories with any familiarity then you should know that judgment fell as the righteous were escaping.
Give your life to Jesus Christ. He will welcome you with open arms because he loves you, he proved that when he went to the cross for you.
Until next time, live like he is coming today, and walk with dignity through life.
- Prophecy: The Lamb with Two Horns (someonewholovesjesus.wordpress.com)
- Prophecy: Revelation – New Babylon, The Beast of Idolatry (someonewholovesjesus.wordpress.com)
- Pope Petrus Romanus Prophecy of the Popes Video Just Released on KingdomWarriors.com (prweb.com)
- Mark of the Beast Bible Study (thetruthsoldier.com)
- The Names Of Satan (I just call him a bitc@) (ghettoscorner.wordpress.com)
It would seem that most of Revelation is written in code.
An example of that would be: Beasts with multiple heads; all of which represent empires, kingdoms and rulers, but you are not given the rules to break the code directly.
If I only looked at verse 10 in the KJV it comes across as a riddle and takes a very different meaning from many other translations. The question is, which one is right?
He that leads into captivity shall go into captivity: he that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
(Revelation 13:10 KJV)
One might assume that the one that is leading others into captivity would be the Antichrist and since Islam is one the leading advocates of beheading by sword, they fit the mold quite nicely as the ones doing the killing by sword.
In this modern world we live in where advancements in technology are rapidly changing and improving the way we kill people, why the sword? The sword within Islam almost takes on a religious theme, and may well fall under that category.
Here in the United States we already have a large collection of FEMA detainment camps; sometimes referred as protective facilities. Who is being protected? Us Christians from those that wish to remove our rights and freedoms? I do not think so. Do you really believe that believers will be treated respectfully while detained there? Then you are deluded.
Other versions of this passage read like this:
Whoever is to be a prisoner, will be a prisoner. Whoever is to be killed with a sword, will be killed with a sword. This means that God’s holy people must have patience and faith.
(Revelation 13:10 ERV)
Why this is an entirely different spin from the KJV for it for it removes the focus off the perpetrator and places it on the victim.
In theory this may be one of the ways God has chosen for us to understand what is to befall those that are left.
Penn Jillette of the magical act, Penn and Teller, has been very vocal about being an agnostic and his disappointment in Christians not taking the responsibility to tell someone like him if something equitable to a devastating train wreck is about to befall him. At least then he could make a logical decision about how to react to that information. I believe that what I am doing could equate to something like that. Having seen in scripture what is coming for those who wait, I warn you; this world after the rapture will not be pretty. Sure the man who shows up will be handsome (maybe), well spoken, charismatic, and have all the right things to say, calming most people down. Following him will be a tragic and last error in judgment for worshiping that man and taking any marks he demands will end your chances for God’s redemption, and there will still be a chance (kind of like playing a card trick, only God has the deck of cards and Mr. Penn Jillette will not be able to figure out what he is doing should he end up before the white throne of judgment.)
By translating verse 10 from the victim’s point of view it enlightens but possibly misdirected the world from looking at reality.
Let’s take at look at the words being used, because I want to understand.
He thatG1536 leadeth intoG4863 captivityG161 shall goG5217 intoG1519 captivity:G161 he thatG1536 killethG615 withG1722 the swordG3162 mustG1163 be(G846) killedG615 withG1722 the sword.G3162 HereG5602 isG2076 theG3588 patienceG5281 andG2532 theG3588 faithG4102 of theG3588 saints.G40
(Revelation 13:10 KJV+)
Nothing short of confusing when you look at it like this, but give me a moment.
åéG1487 COND ôéòG5100 X-NSM áé÷ìáëùóéáíG161 N-ASF óõíáãåéG4863 V-PAI-3S åéòG1519 PREP áé÷ìáëùóéáíG161 N-ASF õðáãåéG5217 V-PAI-3S åéG1487 COND ôéòG5100 X-NSM åíG1722 PREP ìá÷áéñáG3162 N-DSF áðïêôåíåéG615 V-FAI-3S äåéG1163 V-PAI-3S áõôïíG846 P-ASM åíG1722 PREP ìá÷áéñáG3162 N-DSF áðïêôáíèçíáéG615 V-APN ùäåG5602 ADV åóôéíG1510 V-PAI-3S çG3588 T-NSF õðïìïíçG5281 N-NSF êáéG2532 CONJ çG3588 T-NSF ðéóôéòG4102 N-NSF ôùíG3588 T-GPM áãéùíG40 A-GPM
(Revelation 13:10 GNT-TR+)
Again confusing and I do not read Greek but the Strong’s reference numbers are the same. Originally written in Greek and then transliterated into English guys like me are at the mercy of those who seem to know. For me it is beneficial to compare texts.
There is a common thread between the two translations
Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.
If the focus is on the perpetrator then it seems that God is spelling out the type of retribution that they shall receive. Why then would it be necessary for the Saints to have perseverance and faith?
If they focus is really intended to be upon the victims then this statement makes all the sense in the world.
What does it mean to have perseverance and faith?
Perseverance, according to the Greek, means to be steadfast constant and to endure. But what are you enduring? And for what purpose?
The ISBE and Vine’s expository call it a different Greek word and the ISBE says it only occurs one time in the NT and that is Ephesians 6:18.
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
(Ephesians 6:18 KJV)
The KJV states it this way: Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.I suppose it is safe to say that the word endurance and patience kind of lean in the same direction.
Strongs tells us that the word patience is: Hupomonē – From G5278; cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy:- enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting).
So then what are the Saints, going through the tribulation, waiting for? God to rescue them and give them a home in his arms also.
If I could warn you of impending death or imprisonment with torture, then adding a statement that allows you to mentally prepare might be a good thing. I am certain that a statement like this does that very thing for some.
As I sat down to dinner this night at Chick-fil-A, a business known for its Christian stance, a man walks up to the counter with a t-shirt on that expresses some aspect of how he feels. It said some name and the words, “standing at hell’s gates.” It would seem to me that he has no hope of a future with God.
In focusing on verse 10 alone, I believe that for some there will be a separation from the body only to find themselves in the presence of the Lord, while others may find themselves faced with hell’s gates and the sudden realization that this is not really where they wanted to be.
I am almost embarrassed to tell you this because it is the environment I grew up in, but the religious assumptions I heard left me with the idea that there was no hope for anyone after the rapture. Clearly that is not the case. Why?
The verse we have dealt with speaks to the Saints and implies the necessity of faith and patience.
Peter stood on the day of Pentecost, as recorded in Acts chapter 2, and told those scoffers that what they were hearing was the prophecy of Joel chapter 2 being fulfilled in their hearing.
Do you realize that the prophecy of Joel is one about the last days? And the fact that Peter announced that it was fulfilled on that day and forward. Lawyers like to call things like this a precedence, and establishes a freedom to act a certain way from that point on.
We, in our Christian circles, love to use the prophecy of Joel to describe something out the ordinary that typically happens to the youth, in the realm of the prophetic, primarily with our pre-rapture church body. (Note: You will not see anything like this at the church I go to. It is not allowed. – A warning: God will tear the walls off your church building if you try to keep him out.) While Peter’s statements give us the precedent to use it, it is primarily directed to a handful, maybe larger, of Saints that are not merely surviving the horrors of the great tribulation, but living in extraordinary victory during this time. They will come to understand that they are not of this world. Filled with the Holy Spirit they walk in the freedom and power of the most feared of prophets who walked this earth. (Consider. If you came to a person like this, humbly seeking to know and understand the God they have come to know and understand, how do you think they would respond? With the loving merciful nature of the God that empowers them.
Take the time to Read the first two chapters (at least) of Joel. You will find that the emphasis is on the Day of the Lord, a day of darkness and gloom, and that aspect alone is at the end of the seven-year period.
One of the main themes in the NT is our hope, a hope in a future with Jesus Christ and the Father. That is what these Saints of the tribulation years have come to understand and hope in too. Obviously a hope like this is built within you, but based upon what? The scriptures, a witness, a testimony, and a faith in a message. Nothing has changed for the scriptures tell us that faith comes by hearing, but we assume that there is no one left to tell them. Think about it. Why send two witnesses to earth. Sure they will have an impact on Israel but broadcast on global television the world will see what men of God really act like and say. We also know that an angel flies around the globe preaching the good news of Jesus Christ. And then there is not only copies of the bible left everywhere, but guys like me that post it on the Internet.
I am asking you look into the scriptures for yourself. Yes it is appropriate to compare your notes against what scholars have ascertained, doing that has multiple effects:
It gives you a compass that tells you that you might be headed in the right direction and
It allows you to confirm that your thoughts are sound (keep in mind that if you Born Again and filled with the Holy Spirit, then you have a guide and teacher – trust him.)
But remember, even scholars have leaned toward spinning the result to satisfy those who are paying their bills. No one is paying my bills and that is why I am attempting to rock the boat a little.
The only way to gain assurance that your hope is in heaven is to accept Jesus as Lord of your life, and that the Father has promised a life with him in heaven. Choosing against that pits you against the time of judgment that was meant for those who reject him; that includes Israel. Even Israel will be shown mercy but not without a cost. You do not have go through something that was not meant for you. To go there is purely your choice. Choose wisely was the phrase used in the Raiders of the Lost Ark movie. I would hope that you do.