Life tends to get real ugly.


2 Thessalonians 2:2-3 NASB (2) “that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. (3) Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,”

This kicks off with Paul writing to the Thessalonians, a body of believers, which seem to be in a panic because someone has sent a letter to the effect that the day of the Lord has already come. They are convinced at this point, that they have missed the bus. Considering how intense life will get immediately after the rapture happens I could understand why they might go into panic mode.

A thought as I make this introductory statement. Almost two thousand years after this letter was written, I can boldly say, they were not thrust into the time of wrath, spoken of in Revelation, but, if their lives were anything like what we have seen in the Middle East and North African nations, life tends to get real ugly at a moments notice.

What is the day of the Lord?

Two possibilities:

  • The day that he comes in the clouds and we go up to meet him in the air.
  • The other would be his physical return to the earth as the avenging Messiah.

Hoping to escape some nightmarish time of tribulation, as a believer, my understanding would be the one that applies most closely to me. This appears the same understanding that the Thessalonians applied. But we have a problem; it is one of those glaring arguments, like the one pointed out to me recently, in which God never promised us that we would not have tribulation. Jesus made this clear when he said, in the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world [John 16:33]. So really, the problem is one we created when we assigned the word tribulation to a period in which the specific purpose is the pouring out of wrath (judgment) upon the nations and Israel for their rejection of the Lord.

All you have to do is mention end times or Revelation, and immediately the mind screams out the word tribulation. Hostile theological debates rage on a daily basis about whether we are destined to be pre, post, or mid tribulation believers (as if it is not happening as we speak). All you have to do is ask the saints that are survivors of Islam’s murderous onslaughts in the Middle East what they think. I wonder how they would classify it. If the question was, when will the church be raptured, pre, post or mid tribulation, they would probably tell you post tribulation. It really is relative is it not?

Most of us here in the United States do not have a clue about what deadly tribulation looks or feels like; many still believe that our government will protect us. Our naivety and complacency will allow vast numbers to be killed unnecessarily. 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 Moffatt NT (6) “Well, you can recall now what it is that restrains him from being revealed before his appointed time. (7) For the secret force of lawlessness is at work already; only, it cannot be revealed till he who at present restrains it is removed.” Something is undeniably missing from this formula, and that is the clear definition of what it is that restrains him (the anti-Christ) from being revealed. However, we have a huge clue in that Paul calls this restrainer ‘he’. A quick round-up of possible suspects:

  • The Holy Spirit – the problem with identifying the Holy Spirit as the restrainer is that we see the activity and evidence of the Holy Spirit on the earth after the church is gone.
  • Christ himself – that does not work for Christ’s work is completed, and he is sitting at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us
  • There is no one person that fulfills that role – sorry to disappoint fans of the pope.
  • Therefore, the only reasonable explanation left is the church. What makes that more plausible is that Christ is in us. Colossians 1:27

Therefore, it is possible that the main player in holding back the anti-Christ is Jesus living in us. That tends to push us to the forefront because we are his hands and feet on this earth. Given the time and space, one could back this concept up with Jesus words multiple times. I will give you one, from the mouth of Paul.

Ephesians 2:10 ISV “For we are God’s masterpiece, created in the Messiah Jesus to perform good actions that God prepared long ago to be our way of life.”

Considering what I see in the less-than-mainstream news (There is much they will not show you on television, the reasons vary.) The level of violence against the common man is rising exponentially on what seems like a daily basis. Our President has intentionally opened our United States borders and allowed not only Islamic extremists, but also every form of violent offender. There are diseases that have come across the border on infected people who will have a deadly and widespread impact similar to the plagues in Europe, but again, the naive mind says that is not happening.

We, the blind sheep of the church, see these things that make us uncomfortable as tribulation, and they are, but the time referred to in Revelation as the seven-year period, are an mind-boggling time of wrath. An acquaintance of mine recently said, in trying to divert the conversation, “Besides, the first three and one half years of this period, nothing really happens.” Wrong, it is non-stop destructive punishment, escalating at the midpoint, as some entity begins a methodical slaughter of anyone not in compliance with worship of this thing called the beast. I suppose you have already figured out that this is Islam, for wanton slaughter of infidels, those outside of Islam, is their trademark.

So much for introductions:

I want to understand this passage [2 Thessalonians 2:2-3], so I have to stick with what scripture tells me, not theory, or conjecture, but truth and comprehension. Based upon what I have seen from Paul’s response, these people were seriously distressed that the rapture had taken place, but any clarity I had rapidly dissipates because of the terminology, “the day of”. This phrase shows up 163 times in 152 verses throughout scripture. If I narrow it down to “the day of the Lord”, it shows up 27 times in 26 verses. This particular phrase, “the day of the Lord” is decisively addressing Jesus return to the earth as the avenging Messiah.

Take the time to look up some these verses:

Joel 2:11… For the day of Jehovah is very great and terrifying, and who can endure it?

Amos 5:18… The day of Jehovah is darkness, and not light.

Zephaniah 1:8 … in the day of the LORD’S sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, …

Zephaniah 2:3 … it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger.

1Thessalonians 5:2 “…the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.”

2Peter 3:10 …But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night;.. the heavens shall pass away

 

The phrase “the day of Christ“, may convey something completely different, as it is inaccurately translated. At least, that is what J. Vernon McGee[1] said. Let us take a moment to see what we find.

2 Thessalonians 2:2 KJV (2) “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.”

ChristG5547 G5547 Christos; from G5548; the Anointed One, Messiah,

The implication then is that Paul has referenced the coming of Christ as the Messiah, not his return in the air to remove the church from the earth. This would change the meaning in terms of timing, for with my traditional understanding it appeared that the main person involved in opening the door for the seven judgment years, would already be revealed, and that would tend to indicate a mid-judgment (tribulation) rapture. Everything I see in scripture indicates a pre-judgment rapture. Do you see how critical it is to use your brain, consider the context, and study out the words in their origins and grammar?

I said we have to consider the context, so that requires that we look at the entirety of Paul’s thought. In chapter one of 2 Thessalonians, Paul addresses the persecutions and tribulations that they are already enduring. These troubles are evidence of God’s righteous judgment. I know that terminology is hard to take, but it is our cross to bear. (Figure it out.) Paul explains the whys of the previous verses with, 2 Thessalonians 1:6-8 KJV (6) Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; (7) And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, (8) In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: There is nothing about this passage that conveys Christ return to gather his own to him.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 NASB (3) “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,”

Compare this with: 2 Thessalonians 2:3 KJV (3) “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;”

The NASB assumes that they can call, what they obviously do not understand, it. The KJV placed the words, “that day shall not come” in italics, indicating that they are added for clarity.

If I do a rewrite, without the added words, how does it change the meaning?

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for… except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;”

‘for’: hoti; conjunc. from neut. of G3748; that, causatively because.

‘except’: ean mē; see G1437 and G3361. ean; contr. from G1487 and G302; provided. mē; a prim. particle; not, that…not, lest (used for qualified negation). if not, that is, unless.

Clarified -provided that.

‘there come’: erchomai; a prim. vb.; to come, go.

‘a falling away’: apostasia; Feminine of the same as G647; defection; apostasion . Neuter of a (presumed) adjective from a derivative of G868; properly something separative, that is, (specifically) divorce: from G868; defection, revolt.

‘and’: a simple word in the Greek. Kai, a primary particle having a copulative and sometimes a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc. So this verse could just as easily have said, then that man of sin be revealed,

Again, look at the verse with alternate wording:

Let no man cheat you by any means: becauseprovided that there come a separation first, and that man of offence takes off the cover, the son of ruin;

Is God divorcing us? You might think so based upon the word separation. No, we are engraved upon the palm of his hand.

If we focus on a separation as the definition, then we are looking at the Church (followers of Christ) separating from this earth. The only separation I am aware of would be the removal of the church. Yet, we could be looking at the church separating from God, or to a less dramatic extent, sound doctrine (P.S. I hate that phrase because it has manipulation built into it.)

2 Thessalonians 2:4 continues to expound on this son of perdition, or ruin. There is only one entity that gives any sense to this at all, and that is Islam.

“…and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.”

Is he (this man of perdition) here yet?

Absolutely, the problem is that most of us, with our (naïve) western mentality, do not have a clue about who this person is. As a heads up, many within Islam have stated that they are channeling the Mahdi, and a few have openly declared that they fulfill that role. The important thing to understand is that the things necessary, prescribed in scripture, have been fulfilled, but the things – Islamic prophecies describing his advent and the cataclysmic destruction that brings him on the scene – are happening before our eyes.

There is a 2005 video in which a young man tells of a dream he had of the rapture and associated chaos that ensues (he had the dream in mid-eighties). “I Saw the Tribulation” – Ken Peters; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2owHVfZlDg (This video immediately registered in my spirit and made my hair stand up.) In the dream he spoke of things he could not understand (Everyone seemed to have small, white devices upon which this man’s face appeared [this makes sense now as so many have Iphones and Ipads]. There were large monitors every where that people gathered and along the freeways, something we could not have imagined in 1980’s, and they all broadcast this man’s face and speech.) There was a power outage that lasted several weeks; but it seems the biggest impact was to computers and their ability to communicate (This may well have been the internet going down, quite possibly from an EMP blast.) When power was restored, a man appeared on everyone’s screen, including screens along the freeway and in public places. Keep in mind that no one had laptops or ‘Ipads’ back then, and none of us had cell phones. The technologically advanced had pagers. Freeways had billboards, but I would have never imagined led screens that have a quality like a television. The man who appeared on the screens spoke smoothly and calmly. He was very charismatic, and told everyone to calm down, and that he had everything under control. People followed him as though they were mesmerized.

When I try to build this puzzle called end times prophecy, it does not work completely because I, nor you, have all the pieces, but we have enough to get a clear picture of what is coming.

As I tell these things to others, and some of them lead bible study groups, they say things like, “why is any of this important to me, I won’t be here anyway?” Let me answer that with a question, “what, in this instance, is the good news of the gospel, Assurance!

Paul, speaking to the body of believers in Colossi, desired:

“..that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, (3) in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (4) I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument.” Colossians 2:2-4 NASB

[The Colossians, to whom this epistle is written, were not the Rhodians, by some called Colossians, from Colossus, the large statue of the sun, which stood in the island of Rhodes, and was one of the seven wonders of the world; but the inhabitants of Colosse, a city of the greater Phrygia, in the lesser Asia, near to which stood the cities of Laodicea and Hierapolis, mentioned in this epistle.] John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

I added the commentary by Gill because of the association with the Laodicean church. The Laodicean church is the last church mentioned before the transition into Revelation chapter 4, which opens with, “after these things”, an indicator, in my mind, that the church age has ended. The Laodicean church is also the lukewarm church that is to be spewed out. Consider this in light of Matthew 25 where 10 virgins are invited to the same wedding. Only five of them had an adequate amount of oil, and while they were out shopping for more, in the middle of the night, they lost their opportunity to get in while grace held the door open.

He wanted them to comprehend the full assurance of understanding that comes out of an acknowledgement of the mystery of God and Christ. End times prophecy is a mystery to a huge percentage of the church, why do you suppose that is. I can tell you that I know very few that invest time in God’s word, and of the few that do, many are so entwined in tradition that when they find the truth they do not know what to do with it.

Everything is hidden in him (Him = Christ), an inescapable terminology, not because he wants to keep people from finding it, but instead because He desires that we find it. I believe this is one of the reasons we were told the parable of this man:

“…the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man has found, he hides, and for joy thereof goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field.” Matthew 13:44 KJV

If the implications are that, the truth of God’s word is that treasure, then why do we choose not to pursue it with enthusiasm as this man did.

If you know your biblical stories, then you know about Ruth and Boaz. Following her mother-in-law’s instructions, she lay at Boaz’s feet; effectively saying I am available and willing to marry. Boaz already knew what a treasure she was, regardless of her being an unacceptable Moabitess (according to law). She went back home, maintaining her integrity, and mom tells her, sit tight because this guy will do everything possible to make this happen today, and he did.

I see end time prophecy, and the books of Revelation, Daniel, Ezekiel, and all the others that are there to give us understanding into what God is doing at this time, as this treasure. Yes, there is the treasure (so to speak) of life with the Father in heaven. Even though heaven excites me, especially since all pain and mental discomfort will be gone, I have come to understand, long ago, that I do not have to strive for this, and therefore rest in that knowledge. I suppose that could make me complacent about heaven, but the knowledge that there is no struggle there gives me reason to relax. I do not feel that we have any room to feel complacent about end-times prophecy. I want and need to understand what God has said to us, and what he is doing in the earth.

I lived most of my life just like all of you, in denial. Mocking the “conspiracy theorists” because it seemed unreasonable that someone would be that blatant about their plans and methods to reduce the earth’s population by any means, while securing elaborate lifestyles for the world’s economically elite, and put everyone under a solitary, global, controlling force (one world government), but there it is, happening before our eyes almost daily.

I have asked myself repeatedly how to deliver messages like this, and how should or could a message like this cause the reader/hearer to want to know my Jesus more. I am not sure, but I know I have to be obedient. Some could see a message like this as a need for fire insurance, desiring to avoid the wrath that is coming upon the world. Others hopefully see a need for a relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and the one who paid our ransom with his own blood and life upon the cross. It is easy to gain a life in the family of God, merely accept the fact that Christ died to restore you to life and that the life is with the Father in eternity. He desires a relationship of love with you and is willing to take you into his arms as you are.

 

[1] John Vernon McGee, Th.D., LL.D, (June 17, 1904 – December 1, 1988) was an ordained Presbyterian minister (PCUS) and later became the pastor of a non-denominational church, a Bible teacher, theologian, and was also a radio minister. He began broadcasting Through the Bible in 1967, and did so until his death.

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Hebrews 12:2 The act of fixing my eyes on Jesus.


This is one from 2010

Hebrews 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

This concept of fixing my eyes on Jesus will not let go of me.

The KJV puts it this way: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;” The Greek word for looking is aphoraoand means to consider attentively. Attentively (with fixed attention.)

To be honest, I have a problem with this concept of looking, because it implies distance, and distance, to me, implies a God that I can never get close to (Much like some churches I have attended, with their superstar pastors). I have already had more of that than I can stand. I have never known of anyone to never leave me nor forsake, and yet that is exactly what God says he will do. Although, I sometimes wonder how embarrassed God is at how I talk or act, I have never felt any distancing on God’s part toward me. Do not get me wrong; I have felt greatly distanced at times, but I can assure you that was totally because of my selfishness, and my indulgence in sin.

The NET version says: “keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus,..”

This version has pulled in both concepts; keeping our eyes upon Jesus and the idea of fixation upon.

Why would you fix your eyes upon something?

A detective would do it because they are on the hunt for something. An artist studies or fixes his eyes upon a subject so that they can attempt to capture the essence of that subject while painting. We, on the other hand, are told to fix our attention, our vision, our thoughts and emotions upon Jesus, because I truly believe that God wants us to live in a state of “peace that passes understanding”. To have a peace about me, at a time when it is illogical, passes my understanding. Yet having read this, and desired it, I find it easier to know that it was only God in that situation.

Hebrews is a faith book. It is meant to train us, and establish us with a solid background of information and witnesses. If it were a trial, the evidence for conviction is overwhelming and beyond reasonable doubt.

Is it my faith or God’s?

I suppose both. I have to exhibit some faith to merely accept my place within the family of God, I have to act in faith upon God’s promises to me in order to live in this world, and God, clearly places a faith within me, at times, for the occasion. Example: There was a brief time in my life that I was keenly aware of a tremendous faith for healing. How would I know that? I am basically a shy person and for the longest time very timid. Speaking out boldly, placing my hands upon someone for healing, and expecting God to move would have been way out of character for me, but in several circumstances I saw God’s hand at work in extraordinary ways. Darn cool, and yes I wish that could happen more often. (A word of caution. People began to look at me and not God. Not Good, but It is the nature of people.)

Here is where the faith aspect comes in. God’s word tells us to lay our hands upon the sick and they will recover. There is no emotion needed in that, merely obedience. The faith part is acting and letting God do what he said he would.

“Not with bodily eyes, for at present he is not to be looked upon in this manner, but with the eye of the understanding, or with the eye of faith; for faith is a seeing of the Son;” (John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible)

Having read several commentaries on the passage, I tend to agree with Gill. I believe that the intent is to focus on Jesus at all times and in every circumstance, but that seems so impossible to do. When I am at work, I am barraged by customers, to the point that I barely have time for a thought of my own.

Where and how do I squeeze God into this hectic scene?

I know I am not alone in this struggle, primarily because it is a human struggle, and it does not take a great investigator to realize that few people invest quality time with God to the degree that He becomes predominant in their thinking.

To say that I am looking at Jesus with the eye of my faith makes it sound like I am very spiritual, but in reality it seems to imply an act of our inward man that operates on a different plane than the rest of the body, and that may well be true. In reality what we are talking about here could be nothing more than the ability to reason, that would have to include the mind, would it not?

It would seem that the spirit, which wars against the flesh, has the ability to act independently of the body. If that is the case then potentially I can have a conversation with you and the Father at the same time.

In truth, I am not that good. If I have too many conversations going on at the same time then someone is going to lose in the battle for my attention. I believe that Jude was speaking to this distinction between the spirit and the flesh, when he wrote:  “For if I pray in an unknown language, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.” (1 Corinthians 14:14 ).

Perhaps I am missing the point. It may be that Jude is saying that the spirit bypasses human reasoning. I have never been able to pray in the spirit without involving my mind, as far as I can tell. That does not mean that if I am praying in the spirit (that means praying in tongues to me), that I am always keenly aware of what I am praying about. Do not despair at the apparent futility of this exercise of the tongue for James tells us that God gives wisdom to those that ask. Is he talking about understanding everything that you might say in tongues? Probably not, but at least we have the opportunity to understand a great deal of what we say in tongues. This will require some faith on your part, and you will never separate your humanity from your spirit life.

I have experienced at least a degree of understanding about what is being said when praying in the spirit. I do not often worry about what I am speaking toward when I am praying in tongues for I have come to trust that the Holy Spirit knows precisely what He wants to convey to the Father. I suppose in computer thinking I am just an available networked server that can be used for the Father’s function. What I am putting out is his responsibility and not mine. (There’s a can worms for you.)

I suppose that while I am on the subject of tongues, there have been many of God’s faithful that got brave enough to fling their tongue gifting upon the church body. I hope that someone within the body, attune to the spirit of God, would be able to interpret what they are saying (if it is a God thing, and they then share that interpretation with the church body.) and so the tongue given without an interpretation is unfruitful and at the least embarrassing. However, here is my take. You do not throw something as peculiar as tongues out at an audience without having a clue about the heart of God on the matter, and if you have a clue then give it in English, at least people can understand your words then. (Correct grammar may be another issue.)

As to judging what was being said: Did it magnify Jesus Christ, and did it align with God’s word.

Some would tell us that God only speaks through his word anymore, and that is not true, but all that God deemed necessary for life has already been spoken through His Word and therefore prophetic words should always align with His Word. I cannot remember a time that I have given a word to someone where the hearers could not have picked those words from scripture, had they looked for themselves. I suppose that is why God puts prophets on this earth, to uplift those who will not, or cannot do it for themselves.

Back to my struggles with fixing my eyes on Jesus (A funny thing happened as I wrote this. I said ears instead of eyes. Why that might be funny is because if we could hear what God is saying, and respond, then maybe we would be walking as Enoch did. We have no evidence that Enoch saw God, so any seeing would definitely have been in faith, but hearing is a different story altogether. I do not see how they can be disassociated.)

So, as I try to deal with all the people at work at the same time I can be praying in the spirit on the inside. If I can pray in the spirit, then I can have communication with the Father at the same time too. I think that at this point it would be primarily Him talking to me. The trick in this is to fine-tune your listening skills. You are aware that there are too few of us that have any clue about how to listen, even on a personal level with others. Speaking from personal experience, I have tried to share my heart with people only to have them interrupt so that they could be heard. Trust me, I understand this concept and will be more than happy to give you the time to speak.

In your keenness, you noticed something, I can tell. How would one fine-tune their listening skills so that God becomes the focus? Prayer and spending time in His word, the words He uses are no different from the ones he has already spoken, but trust me on this, God can speak your language. How many translations of the bible are there? Many, and yet He has brought innumerable lives into the family by speaking their language or slang.

There is always the skeptic who does not believe that God speaks all the time. God is not rambling just to hear His head rattle, as we often do, but there is a purpose in everything He says.

Keep this in mind as you read your bible; everything in that book has a purpose. For example, why does the Gospel of John emphasize things like the cloth that was folded in the tomb (there was a reason); why is the trip to Samaria a three-day journey?; Why did Jesus go to the Samaritans, they were effectively gentiles, and going there was contrary to his stated mission? There are things that all throughout the bible that seem like nothing and yet the Jewish leadership believes that when the Messiah returns (he already did) that he will explain even the spaces between the letters; they are that serious about this.

A wee bit of scripture about God speaking.

Proverbs tells us that wisdom (that would be God/the holy spirit of God) cries out in the streets. Proverbs 1:20

Eph 1:8 In which he has abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence,

Paul prays in Eph 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

Proverbs 18:4  The words of a man’s mouth are as deep waters, and the well-spring of wisdom as a flowing brook.

Proverbs 15:33  The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom:

Proverbs 14:33  Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding:

Colossians 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without.

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Do we find the book of life in the Old Testament?


If you are not working, then perhaps it behooves you to make the most of your time; therefore, I go to a seniors bible study on Monday mornings. No, you do not have to be of a certain age to go, but I am getting close. On one of those days, every man had something to say and yet we said nothing. This, one might think, was a huge waste of time, but I did make quick notes of several topics which caught my attention. This is one of them.

Do we find the book of life in the Old Testament?

The first occurrence is in Exodus 32 where God has told Moses that he is going to destroy all of Israel and start over with Moses. Moses responds with an interesting statement – ..forgive their sin; and if not, then blot me out your book which you have written.

Exodus 32:32-33 KJV ‘Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. (33) And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.’

Having read something like this your questions should be many.

    • Considering Moses’ less than stellar background – he did murder a man. How is it that Moses can make the assumption, or know with such confidence, that his name is written in that book?

    • Is this book the same book as we see in Revelation 20?

    • Because there two sets of books shown to John in Revelation 20 – the Lamb’s book of life, and the others – Does that mean that this book Moses speaks of, is the Lamb’s book of life? If not, what precludes it from being so? (Jesus has been around as long as the Father has.)

    • Are we all in there?

    • Because God says to Moses, “him will I blot out of my book”, can I infer that everyone is written in that book and because of some aspect is removed? Now this opens a can of worms primarily because we like to worry over having committed some unpardonable sin which got our name blotted out. Jesus, in speaking to the Jews gathered around him, may have been intentionally speaking directly to this idea when he said – John 10:28-29 NASB “and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. (29) “My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”

As a follower of Christ, not just a book-worm studying, because merely saying as Gandhi did, I rather like this Jesus, does not prove a relationship or that you are a part of the tree (Jesus Christ being the tree). If you are honest, and you reflect on Gandhi’s life, what did his fruit look like. He looked a lot like Jesus; certainly much more than many so-called Christians I know.

There are other references, but in searching, I used the phrase “thy book”, because the “book of life” produces nothing. If you have an inquiring mind then you picked up on the fact that there is an understanding that God has a book, and it plays a reckoning role in our destiny.

I am not sure why God would record all our moments, both good and bad. From my point of view the good are often associated with selfishness, and the bad have put me in such a tailspin that I wished he had not noticed, but I know now that He cared about all of them.

I know none of this proves where and when these books showed up, but I think right now they are irrelevant, and here is why. I am currently estranged from my girlfriend of 13 years, and yet there are moments, like last night where I end up at the same place she is and I did not know it. The concert in the park is ending as my friend and I are leaning against a railing, under a light, talking. For the second day in a row her grand kids come charging at me, yelling Papa. Of course I have to respond to that, I love them, and though technically not mine, unlike some who might adopt a child so that they can have someone to abuse, I would not hesitate to give my life for any of them. We too have been adopted and I have come to believe that God feels the same way about me, as He too would give his life for me (Oh, that’s right, He did.) Now you can understand why David ended with, “This I know, that God is for me.

Psalms 56:8-9 NASB You have taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book? (9) Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call; This I know, that God is for me.

Psalm 139:16 is a very strong case for predestination, and while I cannot comprehend the how and why of predestination and I am glad that God saw a future and a hope for me. Perhaps we all start out in the book, I do not know for sure.

Psalm 139:16 “Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”

Isaiah, prophesying of end times, after the end of the seven years of wrath upon the earth, through the Holy Spirit, speaks of “everyone who is recorded for life in Jerusalem.” I do not believe that having watched the horrid destruction of the Holy City and His people who God pitifully records the names of the survivors as a memorial, but that these are names who have been in this book since the beginning of time.

Isaiah 4:2-3 NASB In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth will be the pride and the adornment of the survivors of Israel. (3) It will come about that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy–everyone who is recorded for life in Jerusalem.

As I consider what Daniel saw, I have to place the books he describes in context. The horns are men of power and kingdoms. Daniel states, I watched this until even the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. All these events had to do with the judgment being set and the books being opened. Now it is not clear on whether the judgment is a declaration of what is found in the books, or perhaps the books contain evidence.

Daniel 7:8-11 KJV I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. (9) I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. (10) A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. (11) I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.

One of our incessant religious arguments has to do with when we shall be extracted (harpazo = snatched) from the earth. Daniel 12:1 gives us an answer for that as well.

Daniel 12:1-2 NASB “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.(2) “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.

As you read through that passage, my hope is that you noticed a couple of things. Initially, he speaks of a time of distress, but in mid-sentence he describes a rescue. If you are aware of the chain of events within the seven-year period, then you know that no one gets rescued during that time period. I could add that Jesus equated the wrath to what happened with Noah. Knowing that story, you would be aware that on the day that the rain came, God placed Noah and his family in the Ark, rescuing them from the wrath that had begun.

The second aspect I was hoping you would have caught, and therefore associated it immediately with scripture you have read where Paul instructs, “the dead in Christ will rise first, and then those that are alive and remain.” Scripture does not consider the dead in Christ to be a resurrection at all. Those that are martyred for their testimony and brought back to life, are the first resurrection. The second happens at the end of the thousand years as they are then brought for the great white throne judgment.

Jumping forward to the New Testament because that is where we see the only direct references to “the book of life.”

Philippians 4:3 NASB “Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.”

How would Paul have had the confidence to say and know that their names are “in the book of life?

Revelation 3:5 NASB ‘He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

“He who overcomes,” many people have overcome many things, how intense is this? The only people described as being in white garments are the martyred saints. Considering the judgmental garbage we religious say about those who go through the years of wrath, one might not expect them to get any mercy because they did not go through the proper religious experience. These people will be vast and varied. There will be Buddhists, Muslims, Chinese, every tribe and every tongue, and they will all, having taken some form of a stand, experience God’s mercy.

Having sent the disciples out and their successful return, they rejoiced at demons responding to the Name of Jesus, spoken out of their own mouths. Jesus responded to that with:

Luke 10:19-20 NASB“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.(20)“Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”

No, I do not know if Judas was there, and you do not really know where Judas ended up. We tend to get so stinking judgmental, viciously berating the dead, and severely insulting the remaining family, as we tell them their loved one is now in hell. How do you know anything about the shoes that person walked in, or whether it was God’s will to rescue them early from more pain. I don’t care how mad this makes you. It is time to wake up, and knock that (I want so badly to use a more graphic expletive) junk off.

Why do you suppose Paul thought it necessary to mention the book of life here. Yes, there is an immediate association that they too are followers of Christ, but did they gain that status because they share in Paul’s struggle in the cause of the gospel? Not at all. We have already established our names have been written there before time began, but as King David declared,

Philippians 4:3 NASB Indeed, true companion, I ask you also to help these women who have shared my struggle in the cause of the gospel, together with Clement also and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

 Look at Revelation 13:8, as it shows an exclusion of those that have their names written in the book, as they will not worship the beast. I will show you the passage and then discuss why.

Revelation 13:4-8 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?” (5) There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. (6) And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. (7) It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. (8) All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.”

Having lived a bit of life, and seen a lot, I can tell you that many have collapsed and fallen back into sin or old ways. What do you call that? The heart changed the day you came to Jesus, but your flesh remained the same. The only hope for the flesh is for it to be retrained or perhaps restrained from acting out and giving into the world.

The only way to exclude believers, still subject to the weaknesses of the flesh, out of a situation in which they could fold to pressure, is to remove them.

Let me be painfully detailed at this point. Many good people have held their tongues and become martyrs for Christ’s name, but Islam has proven itself unusually cruel. While restraining you, they will take your wife and daughters and gang rape them before your eyes; your sons may well be taken for indoctrination, sold, or killed. Your family will be tortured and mutilated as they are dying; all the while, your captors will be screaming god (Allah) is great. In the end, they will kill you as well, regardless of what you say or do because you have proven yourself weak and unworthy of Allah.

In Revelation 17:7-8, Jesus tells the reader that those, whose name has not been written in the book of life, will wonder, seeing the beast.

Revelation 17:7-8 NASB ‘And the angel said to me, “Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. (8) “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.’

Keep something clear in your head. This is speaking toward those who do not have their names written in the book of life. That tends to mean that this revelation will happen during the seven-year period, after the church has been removed from the earth, or this is after the seven years and Christ has returned to earth to set things straight. The latter tends to make sense because after the dust settles there is clearly a time of judgment with no argument, and I believe that God fully intends to show people the foolishness of their ways. To expound upon this concept just dive into the Old Testament and find some of the places were God angrily denounces idols, made to demons, carved out of wood and stone, that cannot talk or see, and yet you foolishly worship that piece of junk and give it a name and though it could respond to you. If you are worshiping anything at all, it is a devil or demon.

This next passage covers the last judgment, and happens at the end of the 1000-year reign.

Revelation 20:11-15 LITV (11) ‘And I saw a Great White Throne, and the One sitting on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled; and a place was not found for them. (12) And I saw the dead, the small and the great, standing before God. And books were opened. And another Book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged out of the things written in the books, according to their works. (13) And the sea gave up the dead in it. And death and hell gave up the dead in them. And they were each judged according to their works. (14) And death and hell were thrown into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death. (15) And if anyone was not found having been written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the Lake of Fire.’

In this case, there two sets of books. One is the Lamb’s book of life and apparently, you only get your name in there as you accept Him as your life. The others are based upon your actions here on earth; another way of saying this same thing is to say that your works are recorded in these other books, both good and bad.

On the plus side, there is hope for those who did not overtly accept the name of Jesus Christ, but then why not, because, as my friend says, Jesus cannot come back because the gospel has not been preached to every nation, and then proceeds to fire off numbers demonstrating how many people fit that statistic. In response to that, He can come back when He chooses, and who are you to tell God what he can and cannot do. Beside that, smarter men than I have pointed out that there is only one prophecy left to be fulfilled, and that is the return of Jesus Christ to meet his church in the sky. Nevertheless, do not fear, for God has a plan to cover that aspect of the un-churched; he plans on sending an angel to broadcast the gospel around the globe.

Revelation 14:6 ‘And I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people;’

Considering that you always have that issue of whether your good works outweigh your bad ones, do you really feel comfortable gambling with eternity? Considering that 20:15 states, whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire, one might assume that having found your name in a book of good works might equate to getting your name in the book of life. However, this is the last and final judgment of man before entering into the eternity of peace that we have longed for.

The harshest aspect and finality of this is demonstrated by what we see in Revelation 21:27.

Revelation 21:27 KJV ‘And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defiles, neither whatsoever works abomination, or makes a lie: but they, which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

I am really battling to understand what all this talk about predestination is all about, for I see names, my name (and I know what I have done) recorded in this book since the beginning of time. Did God give me a choice? Absolutely. It is clear that he has the right to blot names out of the book, but even with that on his mind, Moses withstood him multiple times and God relented from that decision.

Am I worried about screwing up? No, I have no wish to do that, and trust me, I know how. My desire is to know and love him more on a daily basis. I think what happened within me is that I have come to understand him, know him, know his character, and I cannot imagine a life without him. He is a lot like me. No, better yet, I am becoming a lot more like him.

While understanding the books is not mandatory for my salvation, it sure helps in understanding end times events and the character of a loving God; a God that is for me.

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A Prophetic word, conveyed more clearly than I.


I have heard and seen things in my spirit that I did not understand and could not explain. I have certainly wanted to because I think that the time of His return is imminent, and I know that many will be left here during the time of wrath and it is not necessary that any of that happen.

Recently I came across a prophetic word on YouTube and within seconds it took my breath away. Why? Because the spirit of the Lord had spoken these same things to me about the time of the end, and here this man is articulating it so clearly.

Listen to his opening statement. He is pleading with you to pray and ask God if He validates these words. You can also validate by comparing what is said with scripture. It will help you if you have a search-able bible program like E sword or The Word.

A Prophetic word given immediately after the Whitestone Conference by:

Steve Quayle – Whitestone Conference Interview

Blessing everyone,

This is the first of June 2014, and we have just completed the conference we had in Bozeman, the Whitestone conference and God moved mightily. Multiples upon multiples of deliverance; people were delivered.

I want to share a Word of the Lord that I got days ago but I was not free to give it until now, after the conference. Historically, the Lord has given me words like this every couple of years, and when he does it kind of puts me in awe because I know somethings ready to get really loosed in the earth and here it is, and I urge everyone that listens to any property from me or anybody else to take it to the word of the Lord and ask, did you speak to us; and seek the absolute validation and verification from the Word of God, because my responsibility is to give it, but your responsibility is to see if these things be so.

                To the daughter of Babylon, the great whore who sits on many waters. My fury and wrath is about to be unleashed upon your land and the high priests and priestesses who have brought destruction upon your country.

                You have been sold into slavery, and you shall not remember the freedoms of yesterday as my hand of blessing and protection is lifted. Like a termite eaten foundation that crumbles, so have your freedoms and blessings been chewed away by the unrelenting appetite and greed to those you voted for; who have declared their hatred and contempt for  all that is just and pure.

                Oh nation that is poised for destruction, you have broken the covenant of life that I made with your forefathers, and whom I blessed with the nation unlike any other in the history of the world. The penalty for idolatry has always been destruction as the fallen ones and their followers can only produce death.

                The great blood feast of the evil one is fully underway, and soon everything, everything that has been a blessing will turn upon you in an instant and become a curse. Your sweet water will turn bitter, and where they were once a source of refreshing they will turn sour and disappear. The bounty of your fruited plains will turn to dust as starvation takes hold. All the medical advances that once prolonged life and cured those diseases of long ago, will be released by he who only comes to kill, to rob, and destroy; and those who willingly yield themselves to eternal damnation.

To my people who sit silently compromising with the powers of hell, do you not know your silence is acquiescence to your own slaughter. Think about those words; the Lord himself is saying, if we keep our tongues and do not take the word of God and withstand evil we are complicit in our own destruction. Life and death is in the power of the tongue, as you fail to declare my Word and stand for righteousness you surrender to those who will destroy you, abandoned by the principal(?) who has deceived you.

Friendship with this world is enmity with the living God. Peace at any price is a lie. Compromises destroying you both of your earthly blessings and will keep you from your eternal reward that I have promised to you in my word.

Now I speak concerning the graven images you have setup and allowed in your land. Whether Egyptian, Babylonian, or Greek idols, I will smite the land of idols with great quakes which will alter life as you have ever known it before.

The statue of the evil ones in the center of your country will bow before me, even as the statue of Dagon did before my holy ark in the Philistine temple. As the earth opens its mouth I will bring down the vanities and the lying lips, along with the pomp and splendor of your highest officials who worship the father of lies.

Their secret oaths and ceremonies, along with their covenants with the prince of hell, I will make known and judge. The burnt offerings of my little ones who are thrown into the arms of Molech, will I avenge, for their unquenchable desire for blood will soon be met with the very blood of those who slaughter the innocents, and then burn their bodies as an act of underworld worship.

Repent; stand-fast in the power of my might, infused with the power of my Holy Spirit, and the authority that I have given to you. The only reason evil triumphs is because my people fail to stand against it, in my name.

Let not sin have dominion over you, for I have given you the victory. If you will but appropriate it by faith and the power of the blood of the lamb. But they that know their God shall be strong and do exploits.

We now live in the time period, where before 20 and 30 years ago, and even later in where maybe even in the last five years where everything was in the prophetic future. Now at this point in history, on the first of June, 2014, everything is in motion. Were facing, ladies and gentlemen, a one world government; were facing a one world religion; were facing a one world currency. Who are you facing, how will you stand in that day?

Steve Quayle at this point, spoke about a conversation he had moments before taping this presentation. Stating, “that so much is in motion now.” Steve Quayle quotes Demetri Deuterman who said, “When the angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, Demetri, The mind of man cannot understand what is about to take place.”

Jesus made an amazing statement, “if I told you earthly things and you believe me not, how can I tell you heavenly things.” And ladies and gentlemen, if you live in denial with chemtrail skies, with the police state unfolding before you, you just say, I don’t want to hear it. Then you have got to ask yourself, are you a lover of the truth, because if you are not a lover of the truth you will be sucked in and taken by seducing spirits, and you will believe a lie and there comes a point of no return.

We are at a point right now, that all things laid out in the prophetic words of Jesus, all the prophecies that we read and watched, and prophecies, whether they be in the book of Daniel, of Isaiah, of Ezekiel, Zechariah, Nehemiah, Nahum, Joel, the point being is we’re in play, everything is in play.

So I want you to understand that this is now the time that we must seek the Lord while he may be found. This is the time that we must cry out to God, Oh Lord, open my eyes. And this is the time that we need to trust in the Lord with all our might, with all our strength, and with all our essence, because with out Him, Jesus, we can do nothing.

Forget about your religiousness, put it aside; Forget about your self righteousness, put it aside, and lift up your eyes for your redemption draweth nigh because we are to be over-comers. And you need to start worrying about the resurrection power of the Lord Jesus Christ unto a dying nation, for truly, ladies and gentlemen, everything is in play at this moment in time.

The end of the transcribed portion. I post this with permission of Mr. Quayle.

You can have a confidence and hope if you have a relationship with Jesus Christ. That happens when you relinquish control and turn your life over to him. Just ask him and allow him to make himself real to you. He will and you will become a changed person as you allow him to work in you.

Avoid the wrath that is coming upon the earth and enjoy a hope in the Father. He will come for.

Oz

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Another sign. A repost from Feburary of 2013.


Revelation 12 verses 3 through 7

 Revelation 12:3 MKJV And another sign was seen in the heavens. And behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads!

Another sign?

God saw fit to place the stars in the heavens as signs, and it worked well enough to guide a ragged bunch of shepherds to the baby Jesus when he was born, and some wise men a few years later, but this sign had something to do with Satan, the dragon. I find nothing but speculation on this one.

 And behold a great red dragon,”

My Dake’s bible states that Satan is referenced as the dragon 13 times. Everyone of those occurs from Revelation 12 on. 

 If you read my blogs on Revelation then you know that I have said that John wrote things that were meant to be understood. Why should the analogy of a dragon be any different? If we work off the assumption that John’s readers would have been primarily Jewish and would have memorized the Law and the prophets what would they relate this to?

  • King David spoke of trampling the dragon. Psalms 91:13

  • Isaiah prophesied using most of the symbolism that we see in Revelation. Isa 27:1

  • The prophet Jeremiah referred to a dragon swallowing him up. Jer 51:34

  • Ezekiel the prophet spoke of a dragon that lies in the rivers. Eze 29:3

  • Rev 12:7-17, and Rev 13:2 give more detail about the dragon aspect.

Look at Daniel chapter seven and you will find the ten horns.

Daniel 7:7 AMP After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast [the Roman empire]–terrible, powerful and dreadful, and exceedingly strong. And it had great iron teeth; it devoured and crushed and trampled what was left with its feet. And it was different from all the beaststhat came before it, and it had ten horns [symbolizing ten kings]. [Dan. 2:40-43; 7:23.]

 The concept of the beast is not new for we see that reference in earlier portions of the  Revelation, and the ten horns imagery has also repeated itself. When we compare notes between the prophets of old and John’s writings we get a much more detailed picture of what will happen.

 January 23, 2013, American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is finally brought before a senate investigations committee (a committee that works so hard at being polite and not offending that they do not ask the hard questions) and she was hopefully asked why everyone lied about the American deaths at Benghazi Libya, to which one of her replies was, “what does it matter?!”

 Why does anything that happens after the rapture matter to the believer?

Because people will still be here, and continue to come to accept Jesus as the way. They will be martyred for their belief. I believe that having an understanding that the eternity that Jesus promises will give them a hope and the strength to carry on too. The times that are coming are going to be extremely hard, as violence from the skies falls on earth and an ever-increasing level of violence from people fills the earth. 

 It is really just a road map. 

Those of us that have found him to be true and come to him already, have managed to take the straightest path on that map. It doesn’t matter how we got there. It only matters that we found his overwhelming love and came to him. Everyone else is taking circuitous routes that will have them wandering some painful paths should they find his loving arms. Just know that he anxiously awaits your coming. And there you will find comfort and freedom that you have never known as you rest in him.

 What would it take for me to convince you that you really do not want to be here during the tribulation years. The financial world will collapse; food and water will be a scarcity; Islam will be a violent, overwhelming force to reckon with, and governments, while collapsing, will be eradicating those who speak out against them. There will be multiple impacts in the oceans and fresh water sources by flaming objects; as a result shipping will be wiped out; all fishing will be wiped out; water will turn to blood and be undrinkable; earthquakes will be so violent that you may see the continents shift back together again, and people will be dying all around you.

 Why does it matter? I suppose it doesn’t if I do not care. Look, I have no interest in luring you into some last days cult. I want you to find the Jesus who has been calling out to you in your dreams. I want you to find peace in him and a love that you have never known. 

 Find a bible and begin reading. Try starting with the book of John, the same John that struggled to understand who Jesus was, struggled with a violent temper, struggled with loving people, but yet finally figured out that this Jesus was the awaited one, the Messiah they longed for, and it changed him. So much so that he was willing to die proclaiming who Jesus was. Strangely,  of all the disciples he was the survivor, they could not kill him, though they tried. Exiled to this small island Jesus came to him and laid out the last days of broken man on this earth. 

 Jesus will return soon, in the clouds, to gather his own who are waiting for him, so that they can join with him and the Father in heaven. Jesus will physically return once more after this and this time he will not come as a tender lamb. He will come with vengeance and things will be set straight at last.

 …having seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads.”

 Again from the Dake’s notes: This represents Satan’s domination of previous worldly kingdoms. If you think about it, the kingdoms of history all had their beginnings in violence as man has attempted to dominate people, with one main purpose throughout history, and that is so that those in control could have more and better things. It is not uncommon to see the wealthy rulers eating well while those that make that happen for them starve and die of disease. 

 Revolutions have had many a grand entrance because people at the ground level had enough. In the end someone always manages to gain the upper hand the cycle starts again. As you read through the Revelation you will see a comment along this line, and to destroy those that destroy the earth. 

 Sitting comfortably in riches, it would be my hope that I could continue in my lavish lifestyle, so what benefit do I gain from destroying the earth? None if I lose my benefit, but what if people and their souls are an aspect of that earth? Then I have destroyed both to feed my greed, and though there is no denying that corporate greed has destroyed the earth it is clear to me that souls are counted as part of this equation.

 Make some passes through prophetic books of the bible, such as, Daniel, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Isaiah, just to name a few, and you will find analogies that use many of the same words. John’s readers recognized this immediately. 

 Those earthly kingdoms are up to and including the rising power of Islam.

The dragon stood before the woman to devour her child

Revelation 12:4 KJV And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

 We already have established that we are dealing with Satan here. 

 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth:”

This is referring to the third part of the angels that followed him. Satan does not seem to have an allegiance to anyone but himself. Note that is says, “and did cast them to the earth:”

and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered,”

 The woman was Israel, but think about the deaths and path of destruction we see Satan causing.I heard a speaker, many years ago, say, Satan seemed to be taking pot shots at anything that looked like God might use it to bring salvation to the world. But the day that Jesus came up out of the water and God himself announced that this is my Son, the game was on, and Satan looked for a way to take him out every chance he got.

 Jesus himself stated in Luke’s gospel, 10:18 KJV “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

  and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered,”

Although not created for this purpose, it clearly became his corrupted goal to kill the man-child; the salvation of the world.

 Satan’s original name was Lucifer, the bearer of light, but pride brought him down.

The implications are that Satan waited and watched the course of man in his quest to kill off anyone that had the potential to be the path to salvation.

 In a short period of time after the garden incident, what do we see? Cain killing the only man who seemed to get it, Able, his brother. Satan had already effectively killed Adam and Eve. Isaac’s sons followed Satan’s lead and thought hard about killing Joseph. Pharaoh would have killed every Jewish boy if he could have but even then God had a plan. Even when they left Egypt Pharaoh changed his mind and came after them in hopes of killing them all, and would have done it if he could have. When Jesus was born Herod, out of fear for his own throne had every male child age two and younger killed. What do you think motivated those acts? Satan and his desire to overtake a God that threw him out of heaven.

And she brought forth a man child”

Revelation 12:5 KJV And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

 And she brought forth a man-child.

She = Israel.

We know Mary gave birth to Jesus but the context here is much larger.

The man-child = Jesus Christ.

 My Dake’s bible speculates on the possibility that the 144,000 Jews are the man-child.

If you wish to play the bigger picture then the man-child becomes anyone who is a follower of Jesus Christ. 

 Why say that? Did not the Apostle Paul try to teach us that we in Christ Jesus, if we have given ourselves to him. Try a few of these on for size: Romans 8:1; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 2:10

 who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron:”

This is exactly what caused the Jews so many problems. They were looking for a messiah that would rule over their enemies with a rod of iron. They expected a dominant ruler that would free them. Oh, he freed them if only they recognized it.

 Many saw the cross as death and defeat. No, the cross was a payment and his rising from the dead, just as he said he would, was our victory. They should have known he would rise again. 

 He currently sits on the throne waiting for the right time to return. What time is that? When the last one comes into the kingdom, and only he knows that person. Maybe it is you.

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (Hebrews 1:3 ESV)

He is coming soon and then he will rule with a rod of iron. Consider: We tolerate so much nonsense now, but when he reigns, with the saints alongside, nonsense will end.

 I must interject a short story here. I have made it on to one jury. 12 people deciding the fate of someone else. Our judge gave instructions that we were only to consider what was said in the witness chair as evidence. Did everybody get that! No conjecture!, no opinion!, and if there is a reasonable doubt then the person is innocent. Do you realize that at this point the law is still on the side of the accused. One member of our jury, a school teacher, decided that he should be the foreman. I was more than willing to do that with one goal in mind, to follow the judges instructions. For an entire week the school teacher made things up and tirelessly tried to sell people on his opinion. To be honest, I verbally accosted him and challenged him by saying, “is this what you teach our children?” Turns out it became a mistrial because I would not back down, and I would not let them convict this man based on their opinion.

Point: The world is run by nonsense, but the day will come when nonsense will be dealt with swiftly.

Did others recognize that the messiah had come? Absolutely!.

Mary understood.

Think about this for a moment. Mary, the youngest of the bunch got it. When the angel spelled it out for her she merely said,“Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.” Luke 1:38 KJV

Simeon the priest/prophet rejoiced in who the baby was.

When Joseph brought the baby into the temple on the eighth day, Simeon, who had been instructed by God to be there, sees the baby and says,“Lord, now You will let Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word. For my eyes have seen Your Salvation which You have prepared before the face of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the nations, and the glory of Your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32 MKJV)

Ana, an old prophetess, too waited for his coming.

And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in many days, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity. And she was a widow of eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, serving God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in at that instant gave thanks to the Lord and spoke of Him to all those in Jerusalem eagerly expecting redemption.” (Luke 2:36-38 MKJV)

The shepherds, having been told by the angels got it.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.” (Luke 2:15-20 KJV)

The wise men got it.

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1-2 KJV)

And let us not forget Nicodemus; Jesus own family, and over 500 people including the disciples, would testify that they saw him alive. Jews began to get it in exponential numbers.

 and her child was caught up unto God, and tohis throne.

The child is Jesus Christ. Where is Jesus at the moment? Aside from the fact that he keeps appearing to Muslims in their dreams, he sits upon the throne. Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 10:12; Acts 1:9-11

the woman fled into the wilderness

And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. (Revelation 12:6 KJV)

 The woman is that which remains of Israel, for many will be killed. The woman shows up again in verses 13 and 16.

 into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God,”

Most tend to speculate Petra, and while that would make a good choice, it is an obvious one making it potentially dangerous in mans eyes, but it is God that has prepared the place, therefore where ever it is it will be the right place. 

 How many times have you cried out to God for direction only to receive no answer? Unless Israel has prepared themselves, most will take the most logical path out-of-town. God has a way of directing your thoughts so that clever idea you had was really implanted by him.

 that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.”

Without looking any further than the King James version you might not get a true sense for what is going on here. This is exactly what I did today as I read and took notes. Based on the KJV you might ask who is the “they”? 

 Dake’s notes claim that it is the Arabs of Modern Jordan. That might be, but it is entirely up to God.

 The English Standard version translates the passage this way:

and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days. (Revelation 12:6 ESV)

This puts the responsibility back on God. Is that impossible? Not at all. Elijah was fed by Ravens while he spent time hiding in the desert. (1 Kings 17) When you start thinking outside the box, the “they” could be just about anything.

 a thousand two hundred and threescore days”

1260 days: That equals three and one half years. “a time, times, and half a time”

You have been paying attention as we worked our way through the Revelation so you already have a familiarity with these numbers don’t you. This is the last half of the tribulation period. 

 Jesus warned the Jews, that would listen:

“So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak.” (Matthew 24:15-18 ESV)

When does this abomination take place? Now you have to dig a little. It is not that difficult, just get a good concordance or bible program for the computer and start looking up key words. 

 Daniel prophesied about this act.

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.” (Daniel 9:27 KJV)

Jesus went on to tell them,

This will be the worst time of suffering since the beginning of the world, and nothing this terrible will ever happen again.” (Matthew 24:21 CEV)

The prophet Jeremiah prophesied,

Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” (Jeremiah 30:7 KJV)

Addendum:

My desire is to write something relevant, inspired by God, and makes sense, so that those that choose to not read might have a clue about what is coming. These are not intended to be in-depth studies, although I admit they tend to be long. I have a commentary on the book of John, by Arthur Pink that must be about 1500 pages at least, but what if by some chance my ramblings helped you to understand more clearly. That would be outstanding in my opinion.

As I worked on this one it was hard not to see more of me coming out in it than God, but then that could be attributed to a poor self-image at times. If you were to ponder the prophetic gifts and the prophets of the old testament, you need to understand that God knew their human side would be involved. In other words you cannot detach the human influence from God’s word. It is going to come through. Do not use it for an excuse though. You know your issues, like anger, and you need to work at keeping your personal stuff out of what God is trying to say. It is unavoidable to some degree and God knows that. He may have even chose you to deliver a message because of your personality and life experience. I cannot reach an executive type, for I have no common ground, but then what does that have to do with anything. If God wants to communicate with someone he will use what is available, including their dreams.

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God gives Joshua the word _ The Story chapter 7


We are after all still a life group and as such must allow for the men to talk about life. We did that for 45 minutes; when the talk finally slowed down – if you let it, it will never end as several try to fix the others in the group. It is only my going into Recovery that has taught me that Doctor Phil is not reality. Reality is someone you paid an hour for, giving you 45 minutes, while looking at their watch, and asking you if you mind if they take this call, and then asking you, “how does that make you feel?” The problem is  that I did not  know  how to feel, and nothing  I had done was making me any better.

The result is you have to turn your life over to the only real higher power, and that is Jesus Christ.

Some might immediately get angry because I said that Jesus Christ is the only higher power, but hey, you are reading a blog about bible study, written by a follower of Christ that has been through a 12 step program and now leads an anger group. But should you wish to have a fire plug as your higher power go for it, just let me know that is working for you.

At the end of the 45+ minutes I said, well then, let me give you my 30 second synopsis on Rahab the Harlot. Somehow we took longer than we should have, and did probe into the first chapter too.

God gives Joshua the word that Moses is dead.

Joshua 1:2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.

Moses was not just a man, he was thee man, the man who withstood Pharaoh, led the Israelite nation out of Egypt, talks with God like he is standing right there, and now he is dead. Some would fall apart, but not Joshua. Pay attention to how God now speaks to Joshua. Note: This is not defined for us in The Story.

Joshua 1:3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.

This is the same thing God had said to Moses. Is there any limitation to God? It would seem that the only thing that limits him is how we live out lives.

Joshua 1:5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

How many of us wish we had heard these words – “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life” Talk to any Marine and they will tell you that this is attitude that the Corps drills into you. You might take off the uniform but never the attitude.

The second aspect is, I will not fail you, nor forsake you. How similar is this to the saying, I’ve got your back. In war this is exactly what you want to know. Having seen Go Pro videos of several soldiers in Afghanistan that seem to have been left alone in gunfight. It’s moments like this that you might say to yourself, words are cheap, but God spent a tremendous amount of time establishing his character and trustworthiness.

Be strong and of a good courage

Even though it is easy see guys like Joshua as supermen that cannot be taken down, God knows differently and reminds him multiple times to be strong and courageous.

Joshua 1:6-7 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I swore unto their fathers to give them. (7) Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou may observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou may prosper wherever you go.

The word prosper used above means to act wisely, but can also mean to comprehend, consider, discern, gain insight, instruct, and to prosper. As applied to the ventures about to befall Israel, and specifically Joshua it leans itself more toward Joshua acting as a general and leader.

Notice something else about this verse – “that you may observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded you: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.” I cannot even imagine the fortitude that it would take to do all the commands. It seems so overwhelming. It does not have the specific words if/then but the implication is there. You want to prosper? Then do all the law.

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; but you shall meditate there in day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then you shalt make thy way prosperous, and then you shalt have good success.

It is fairly clear, God wanted His laws deeply invested inside, not just Joshua but his people as well. While this does not say memorize them, that could be the outcome. What it does imply is that God wants us focused on Him, and not the circumstances around us.

Moses had written everything, and it comprised enough pages to be considered a book, or perhaps a scroll. By this time it may have been copied multiple times, but it is ridiculous to think that everyone had a copy sitting on the coffee table.

What was the command given by God this time? “but thou shalt meditate therein day and night,..” God specifically instructed Joshua, but is this directed at us as well? Yeah, I think so.

In Hebrew the word meditate means, to moan, growl, utter, muse, mutter, meditate, speak.

MED’ITATE, v.i. [L. meditor.] 1. To dwell on any thing in thought; to contemplate; to study; to turn or revolve any subject in the mind; appropriately but not exclusively used of pious contemplation, or a consideration of the great truths of religion.

And yet, moan, mutter and growl are also valid in some way. The implications of these mean something more than merely swirling an idea or concept around in your head. This is a form of rehearsal, almost as though you are restrengthening and reestablishing concepts in your mind. This could be important should you need to regain your backbone.

For God to tell us that doing this brings about good success should speak volumes. He knows what we are made of and how broken this human nature is.

Suddenly, I am aware of an idea. This is like some great invention, a technological piece of artwork, and yet some aspect impedes its proper function. Welcome to the human race. We operate in bodies that are technological genius, and due to no fault of the creator, they do not function at 100%. We like to call it sin. This made me think of the Apollo flight that had to get creative in order to fix the air scrubbers that remove the CO2 from the breathable air.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_13

Apollo 13 was the seventh manned mission in the American Apollo space …. Houston, we’ve had a problem. …. Module’s square carbon dioxide scrubber cartridges to fit the Lunar Module, which took a round cartridge … CM canisters to the LM’s cylindrical canister-sockets by drawing air through them with a suit return hose.

Sort of like life, isn’t it?

Be strong and courageous!

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

This is the fourth time God said this directly to Joshua. Perhaps God wanted him to be strong and courageous.

Can you think of any others that God has spoken to like this? Gideon comes to mind. Take dip into Hebrews 11. Look at the hall of famers there, then go back and look at their lives. So many of them had to be encouraged, repeatedly, like this.

It is time to move out, so Joshua sent spies.

Joshua 2:1 Then Joshua the son of Nun sent two men as spies secretly from Shittim, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went and came into the house of a harlot whose name was Rahab, and lodged there.

I think the question is, could these people see each other? The distance from the encampment to Jericho was anywhere from 15 to 25 miles. If the land was flat they could have easily seen each other. Why am I concerned about them being able to see each other, because all the fear and dread that Rahab speaks about might have come through sight, and diminished the impact that God had made upon those in Jericho, especially Rahab.

Israel sent out spies. This has to make Joshua nervous considering what happened last time. This might be part of the reason that God told him to be strong and courageous so many times. I left out some stuff God commanded him before they moved out. If anyone gives Joshua trouble God has given him the green light to kill them. God does not seem the least bit interested in going through that again.

How did the spies know she was a harlot?

What language do they speak in Jericho? Are the spies able to read the signs pointing out where the prostitute lives? We will quickly see that it is a safe assumption for us that Rahab speaks Hebrew.

Why does God make such a big deal of Rahab being a harlot? There are a multitude of reasons; initially it draws our curiosity and attention. I believe that the main goal of this mission, although Israel may not know it, is to secure Rahab. She is after all a significant person in the lineage of Jesus Christ. The secondary answer is that God does not primarily choose the elite. No doubt, just like the disciples, they rise to the occasion, and attain great honor, but God definitely seeks out the broken and lost.

Brought to the Israelite encampment it makes sense that she was questioned, but who would brag about such a job? A response I got, when I brought up this subject, was that this shows that God can use anyone. We have a tendency to make things acceptable, but do we give acceptability to everyone? If you are honest, the answer is no.

This was a righteous lie!

The spies thought they had made it in unnoticed; not so, and Rahab had to hide them.

Joshua 2:2-7 It was told the king of Jericho, saying, “Behold, men from the sons of Israel have come here tonight to search out the land.” (3) And the king of Jericho sent word to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to search out all the land.” (4) But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them, and she said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. (5) “It came about when it was time to shut the gate at dark, that the men went out; I do not know where the men went. Pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them.” (6) But she had brought them up to the roof and hidden them in the stalks of flax which she had laid in order on the roof. (7) So the men pursued them on the road to the Jordan to the fords; and as soon as those who were pursuing them had gone out, they shut the gate.

If we have a commandment to not lie, why is this acceptable? Again, I asked this question and the answer was, “this was a righteous lie.” What is that suppose to mean?

The falsehood by which Rahab sought not only to avert all suspicion from herself of any conspiracy with the Israelitish men who had entered her house, but to prevent any further search for them in her house, and to frustrate the attempt to arrest them, is not to be justified as a lie of necessity told for a good purpose, nor, as Grotius maintains, by the unfounded assertion that, “before the preaching of the gospel, a salutary lie was not regarded as a fault even by good men.” Nor can it be shown that it was thought “allowable,” or even “praiseworthy,” simply because the writer mentions the fact without expressing any subjective opinion, or because, as we learn from what follows (Jos_2:9.), Rahab was convinced of the truth of the miracles which God had wrought for His people, and acted in firm faith that the true God would give the land of Canaan to the Israelites, and that all opposition made to them would be vain, and would be, in fact, rebellion against the Almighty God himself. For a lie is always a sin.” [Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament]

Keep in mind the possibility that God’s intent was to rescue this woman, and what she said came entirely of the Holy Spirit.

I was asked the question, when did Rahab become a Christian, here or later at the Israeli encampment? Although I did not try to embarrass the man who asked, the term Christian was not attributed to followers of Christ until almost a century after his ascension. At this point you were either a follower of Yahweh, an Israelite, or a part of the nations, and a gentile. But there is something here that should open our eyes.

Joshua 2:8-13 Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, (9) and said to the men, “I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you. (10) “For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. (11) “When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. (12) “Now therefore, please swear to me by the LORD, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father’s household, and give me a pledge of truth, (13) and spare my father and my mother and my brothers and my sisters, with all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.”

I want to show you something from scripture that may challenge you. When the man asked his question, my immediate response was, that is ridiculous, and I think my response was right for a believers entitlement to that name comes out of our acknowledgment of Jesus Christ as Lord, but Jesus Christ was not known to them and particularly not those of Jericho (this is really an unfair statement because I am putting limits on God by saying it.)

Look at what Paul said in Romans.

Romans 10:8-13 But what does it say? “THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART”–that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, (9) that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; (10) for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. (11) For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” (12) For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; (13) for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”

There are two key thing in this that we should pay attention to as we consider Rahab, and what her soul looked like.

  1. Paul bases his statement on an old testament passage. Now Rahab would not have known that, but God did. Deuteronomy 30:14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that you may do it. We are such sticklers for context and even Paul took it out of context and applied to our salvation.

  2. Romans 10:10 says, “for with the heart a person believes,..and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” What did Rahab say that would have filled those requirements?

  • I know that the LORD has given you the land

  • for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath

So, what was the end result of not only Rahab, but anyone that would listen to her and get themselves under the roof of her house? Salvation. This idea of her becoming a follower of the most high God is not that far-fetched.

She knew what she was doing.

These men she was hiding were men of war. You do not send press secretaries out to do your spying, and they appreciated her kindness, but cross us and your dead. She got that, but she also understood that they were of a righteous breed (now how did that happen) and could be trusted. She followed their instructions and trusted.

Joshua 2:12-24Now therefore, please swear to me by the LORD, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father’s household, and give me a pledge of truth, (13) and spare my father and my mother and my brothers and my sisters, with all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.” (14) So the men said to her, “Our life for yours if you do not tell this business of ours; and it shall come about when the LORD gives us the land that we will deal kindly and faithfully with you.” (15) Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall, so that she was living on the wall. (16) She said to them, “Go to the hill country, so that the pursuers will not happen upon you, and hide yourselves there for three days until the pursuers return. Then afterward you may go on your way.” (17) The men said to her, “We shall be free from this oath to you which you have made us swear, (18) unless, when we come into the land, you tie this cord of scarlet thread in the window through which you let us down, and gather to yourself into the house your father and your mother and your brothers and all your father’s household. (19) “It shall come about that anyone who goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we shall be free; but anyone who is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head if a hand is laid on him. (20) “But if you tell this business of ours, then we shall be free from the oath which you have made us swear.” (21) She said, “According to your words, so be it.” So she sent them away, and they departed; and she tied the scarlet cord in the window. (22) They departed and came to the hill country, and remained there for three days until the pursuers returned. Now the pursuers had sought them all along the road, but had not found them. (23) Then the two men returned and came down from the hill country and crossed over and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and they related to him all that had happened to them. (24) They said to Joshua, “Surely the LORD has given all the land into our hands; moreover, all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before us.”

This woman’s actions got her into the hall of fame.

Hebrews 11:30-31 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. (31) By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.

One of the guys reminded me how symbolic Rahab’s actions were. That scarlet represented the blood of Jesus, the lambs blood upon the door post, you remember, so when  the death angel came all that were in the house were protected. Mind blowing isn’t it.

God is offering you this same opportunity. Trouble is coming hard and fast, and it may show  up almost simultaneously as the disappearance of the followers Christ happens. I, like those spies, am offering you hope. You can accept Jesus Christ as your life, symbolically hanging the red sash out your window and come with us to meet him in the air. Or find Him after we are gone. They will come for your head, scripture tells us that very clearly. Oh sure, some will endure to the end. If you must endure then watch the two prophets that show up in  Jerusalem, and follow  their lead.

Jesus is God

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“God rescued them, and then gave them the law.” Pastor Jeff Vines, Chapter 5 of The Story.


            Chapter five of the Story, and we are covering chapters 19 – 40 of Exodus, with huge gaps (you have to look at the back of the book to find the range of scriptures). In case you do not know “The Story” is a novelized version of the bible. One of the motives behind doing The Story is to get men involved and get them to make the presentation (If I seem to focus on men here, it is because I am a co-leader of a mens’ bible study). The nice thing about it is that there is no strict format, and you can give an overview, or focus on a particular aspect.

            If you are familiar with this range of scripture then you know that it focuses on the rebellious nature of Israel, the establishment of the law, and the institution of temple worship. Several times God has decreed that he would kill them all and start over with Moses, and yet Moses withstands God, and God relents.

            We are expected to sit through at least one of the weekend sermons, and I went Saturday night. Pastor focused on something comparable to what I had written in some notes of mine, but he added one thing that caught my attention. When he said it I wrote, here is your answer!

“God rescued them, and then gave them the law.” Pastor Jeff Vines

            Had it been the other way around the dynamics of everything would have changed. Remember that famous soul winning scripture: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 LITV

             With that, we begin.

Exodus 19:4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.

            They should have clearly understood this metaphor, for God will talk to you in a language you understand.

            Drowning in fears and struggling to understand what is going on around us, how rapidly our world can change for the better as someone gives us an encouraging word from the Lord, that allows us to see beyond ourselves. I suppose that how the encouraging word is received has much to do with your frame of mind, and how much trust you place in God at the moment. Israel was not big on trust and most only seemed to have a historical relationship; so when God says, I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself” the reception may have been a cold one. If you read about the Exodus, from the edge of the Red Sea to the base of Mount Sinai, they have whining to the tune of send us back.

            I have a question for you. If God spoke these words to you now, how would it change you? What would it mean to know that God has been there the entire time, all the while working to fulfill a plan that is wild, great, and filled with Him.

            Did God talk to them, or tell them through Moses, we can only assume. There were no loud, announcements directed to them from the mountain, only the law conveyed through Moses. Nonetheless, this message was conveyed to them; yet, watch how quickly they fall back to old patterns.

            For God to say, “I brought you to myself” implies possession, or intentionality. If you read no further, you might be asking what was God’s intent.

            God now demonstrates his heart by giving Israel 3 titles, but the titles are tied to an if/then statement.

You are:

  • a special treasure
  • a kingdom of priests
  • a holy nation

            These attributes were contingent upon them obeying his voice, and keeping his commandments, but is this how God saw them? I know God knows the beginning and the end, and therefore knew what was coming; yet, he sees the ability in us, as if we lived up to our potential.

Did they do that, at any point?

            Did they live up to their potential? Israel came with deep-set problems, none of which is clear if we have just dropped into this chapter of The Story, or chapter 19 of Exodus. Rescued from Egypt in a most dramatic way, they have whined, complained, rebelled, and begged to have been returned there.

How do you retrain a nation of people so accustomed to bondage?

            How do you “save” someone that is so entrenched in his or her pain, and so accustomed to generations of traditions that they do not want to step out of their comfort zone, even if it means a better life? Having spent a year in recovery, I can tell you that you cannot fix anyone but you. Others must come to the realization that they are powerless over their own lives. Israel as slaves were certainly that, but something was not registering in their heads.

            This paragraph makes me think of videos I have seen on the Internet where dogs that have been used as laboratory test animals have only lived in cages all their life. Given the freedom to walk on soft grass, run, and eventually find a home, many slink back to the safety they think they have in the farthest corner of their cage, intimidated by even the thought of freedom. How similar are we to this picture? Isn’t this Israel at its worst moment?

            3 months into the wilderness finds them in front of “the mountain,” Mount Sinai. The mountain on which Moses saw the burning bush and God spoke, laying out what the two of them were going to do.

            Verse 3 tells us that Moses went up into the mountain and there God said, “You shall say this to the house of Jacob, and tell it to the sons of Israel. In a sense, these are one in the same, and yet for God to speak directly to the house of Jacob may be giving us a little insight into who has maintained the history of Israel.

Exodus 19:10 And the LORD said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes “Moses was told to consecrate the people. This meant getting them physically and spiritually ready to meet God. The people were to set themselves apart from sin and even ordinary daily routine in order to dedicate themselves to God. The act of washing and preparing served to get their minds and hearts ready. When we meet God for worship, we should set aside the cares and preoccupations of everyday life. Use your time of physical preparation to get your mind ready to meet God.” (LASB)

            In my mind, I have come to see consecration as a setting apart. I tend to think that this was meant to be a lifetime commitment.

Friday 5/23/14, trying to wake up this morning, Chuck Swindoll is on the radio. It seems he said, “We find God’s mercy in his judgment.”

Because I believe that God is a God of mercy, then that aspect of his character must show up here as well. Yet, what is the dominant theme? Law, as a child law had everything to do with punishment, and I never saw a merciful God in any of it. Where is the draw in that?

            We are not dogs, but if you have spent anytime around a dog that was untrained then you have experienced how miserable that can be. A simple example – you have been invited to a friend’s house for a barbecue. You are wearing your comfortable pants and favorite shirt, when out comes their new 80-pound dog with it’s muddy paws, and it will not stop jumping up on you, and no one seems to be able to control it. I think we can agree that most of the time behavior like this is inconvenient at best, and this dog needs some training because it is out of control.

            Another example: and I used this with one of the guys from our study group, is a blended family; one in which you remarry and there is an existing child, with established behaviors and patterns. What are the possibilities here? In one scenario, the stepchild could tell you, you will never be my parent (I had that happen to me.) Let us assume that you eventually have a child of your own with this spouse. With your own child you can begin from day one instilling your values and beliefs (hopefully they are good ones.) Alternatively, you can, with the step child, as with the 80-pound dog that is out of control, establish boundaries and “laws” to enforce them, so that everyone gets along reasonably well. By the way, you may set up boundaries as the step-parent, and they might even be honored, but that does not mean that those you exercise authority over will love you.

God tries to retrain Israel.

I am the LORD your God. I brought you out of Egypt. That is the land where you were slaves. (Exodus 20:2)

            I hate when Pastors say this, but I am going to try it out anyway. I think what God is saying here is: Let us establish something from the beginning; there is nothing out here but me! I am the one that brought you out of slavery, out of Egypt.

            Here come the commandments, narrowed down to ten. In them is the foundation for much elaboration. Exodus 20:1 NIV: And God spoke all these words -

  1. Do not put any other gods in place of me. (Exodus 20:3) “Do not make statues of gods that look like anything in the sky or on the earth or in the waters. (Exodus 20:4)
  2. Do not bow down to them or worship them. I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God. I punish the children for the sin of their parents. I punish the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those who hate me. (Exodus 20:5) But for all time to come I show love to all those who love me and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:6)
  3. Do not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will find guilty anyone who misuses his name. (Exodus 20:7)
  4. Remember to keep the Sabbath day holy. (Exo_20:8) Do all of your work in six days. (Exodus 20:9) But the seventh day is a Sabbath in honor of the LORD your God. Do not do any work on that day. The same command applies to your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and your animals. It also applies to any outsiders who live in your cities. (Exodus 20:10) In six days I made the heavens and the earth. I made the oceans and everything in them. But I rested on the seventh day. So I blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:11)
  5. Respect your father and your mother, and you will live a long time in the land I am giving you. (Exodus 20:12)
  6. Do not murder. (Exodus 20:13)
  7. Be faithful in marriage. (Exodus 20:14)
  8. Do not steal. (Exodus 20:15)
  9. Do not accuse anyone falsely. (Exodus 20:16)
  10. Do not long for (covet, envy after) anything that belongs to your neighbor. Do not long for your neighbor’s house, wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey (Porsche or Lexus.)” (Exodus 20:17)

            God defined these laws in detail. This goes on until chapter 24 of Exodus. This must have taken days for Moses wrote this all down.

            Not only were the laws laid out but God also defined the temple that was to be built for him. Is that what they started doing? No, they built a temple to Moloch, and roasted their children to him. (a god, made of gold, in complete opposition to what God had told them.)

            God calls Moses back into the mountain for 40 days. What does Israel do? Give up, rapidly reverting to old ways that have not been defined for us. Oh sure, we have seen their ability to whine, and such, what comes next is beyond comprehension.

The people saw that Moses took a long time to come down from the mountain. So, they gathered an angry mob around Aaron, and they said to him, “Come. Make us a god that will lead us. This fellow Moses brought us up out of Egypt. But we don’t know what has happened to him.” (Exodus 32:1 NIrV)

            The book of Acts records Stephen, standing before the high council, giving this testimony.

“To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not what is become of him. (Acts 7:39-40 KJV)

The Life Application New Testament Commentaryhelps to define what Stephen spoke of: The Israelites’ worship of the golden calf was the beginning of a downward spiral. At times they returned to God, but far more often they were running after the gods of the evil nations surrounding them. This quote from Amos (Amo_5:25-27) supports Stephen’s accusation that Israel had a history of idol worship. Molech and Rephan were planetary divinities. Molech was an Ammonite deity associated with child sacrifice, while Rephan was a god “borrowed” from Egypt. Both became popular options for Israel’s idolatry as her history progressed.

Acts 7:42-43 NIV But God turned away from them and gave them over to the worship of the sun, moon and stars. This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets: “‘Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel? 43: You have taken up the tabernacle of Molek and the star of your god Rephan, the idols you made to worship. Therefore I will send you into exile’ beyond Babylon.

             Apparently the depth of perversion involved with Moloch, was held in denial. The Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Commentary gives us this: “The Talmud, the Jewish commentary on the OT, calls the rebellion involving the golden calf “that unspeakable deed.” The rabbis did not want to talk about it, forbidding a translation of the account in the vernacular for the synagogue services. The Jewish religious leaders wanted to bury the incident, but Stephen wanted to dig it back up.”

            How about a little more definition. The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia tells us: “In the Levitical ordinances delivered to the Israelites by Moses there are stern prohibitions of Molech-worship (Lev_18:21; Lev_20:2-5). Parallel to these prohibitions, although the name of the god is not mentioned, are those of the Deuteronomic Code where the abominations of the Canaanites are forbidden, and the burning of their sons and daughters in the fire (to Molech) is condemned as the climax of their wickedness (Deu_12:31; Deu_18:10-13).

Vincent’s Word studies explains: Tabernacle of Moloch – The portable tent-temple of the god, to be carried in procession. Moloch was an Ammonite idol to whom children were sacrificed. According to Rabbinical tradition, his image was hollow, heated from below, with the head of an ox and outstretched arms, into which children were laid, their cries being stifled by the beating of drums.

Remphan  – The texts vary between Remphan, Rephan, and Romphan. It is supposed to be the Coptic name for Saturn, to which the Arabs, Egyptians, and Phoenicians paid divine honors.

If I were to try to explain how all this shows God’s love it would be difficult. It looks like God is attempting to retrain a nation, and only a few are getting it.

Do we find this theme in the New Testament?

Yes, as Jesus challenged the Pharisees by throwing the law back in their faces, laws they were breaking as they accused Jesus’ disciples of sabotaging others.

Ephesians, chapters 5 and 6 are really a retelling of the law but from a different angle. An example from the Message reads like this.

“Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.” (Ephesians 5:1-2 MSG)

            Exactly, find that love and live in it; let it motivate you.

Did Aaron get it?

If we look at his life in overall, we would have to say yes, but he had some bad moments.

It is possible that everything that happens from chapter 25 to 32 is all taking place on the mountain, as Moses stands in God’s presence. If not, then Aaron and all the people have agreed to volumes of regulations, only to do none of it. (This is a generalization, something you see throughout scripture.)

What happens with Aaron is difficult, because we are given the impression that it is a mob, and the mob has the potential for violence. We should understand that the world is going to come against us, forcing us to take a stand or fold like a house of cards, and it seems like Aaron folded. I cannot help but think about our prime example now, and that is Syria. I get pictures that people send out showing how Christians (again to the Muslims that are fighting there, it could mean anyone not of the Islamic faith, a generalization) are being tortured, raped, hung in the streets, whipped mercilessly, impaled with poles, and beheaded. What you do not see, very often, is those that fold and give in to the pressure. It is difficult to judge how others react, especially when we do not know how we will react on that day.

I have already pointed out, in detail, what Aaron made for the mob that day. No one seems to notice how precisely it was made, and why did Aaron know how to make such a thing, but remember that Israel lived for 400 years under the rule and tradition of Egypt. Not so fast though, because someone was holding on to heritage, a heritage that Moses understood.

What bothers me about Aaron is that when confronted by Moses, he lied in saying I threw the gold in, but the calf popped out.

They knew what was right in God’s eyes.

“.. you must never make idols of silver or gold to worship in place of me. (Exodus 20:23 CEV)

Aaron responded to Moses angry questioning with,

Moses asked Aaron, “What did these people do to harm you? Why did you make them sin in this terrible way?” Aaron answered: Don’t be angry with me. You know as well as I do that they are determined to do evil. (Exodus 32:21-22 CEV)

God told Moses on the mountain that he was going to kill them all (another generalization,) but Moses interceded for the people and God relented from his anger. Now it seems as though Moses is operating on his own compulsion. Perhaps, having heard the heart of God when it comes to idol worship, he understands that it has to be purged completely, for watch what he does.

Moses knew that the people were out of control and that it was Aaron’s fault. And now they had made fools of themselves in front of their enemies. So Moses stood at the gate of the camp and shouted, “Everyone who is on the LORD’s side come over here!” Then the men of the Levi tribe gathered around Moses, and he said to them, “The LORD God of Israel commands you to strap on your swords and go through the camp, killing your relatives, your friends, and your neighbors.” The men of the Levi tribe followed his orders, and that day they killed about three thousand men. (Exodus 32:25-28 CEV)

What is peculiar about this is that Aaron is a Levite also. We are talking about Moses close families having to do the clean up work here. This also put Aaron to the test, as you were the one that complied with their request. Look at this next verse.

Moses said to them, “You obeyed the LORD and did what was right, and so you will serve as his priests for the people of Israel. It was hard for you to kill your own sons and brothers, but the LORD has blessed you and made you his priests today.” (Exodus 32:29 CEV)

 Do you sometimes feel like you missed something? Where did God command him to do that? Yet, Moses attributes what was said to the Lord.

Yeah it was hard, who would think otherwise, a psychopath?

Is the potential for punishment over?

Not hardly:

The next day Moses told the people, “This is a terrible thing you have done. But I will go back to the LORD to see if I can do something to keep this sin from being held against you.” Moses returned to the LORD and said, “The people have committed a terrible sin. They have made a gold idol to be their god. But I beg you to forgive them. If you don’t, please wipe my name out of your book.” The LORD replied, “I will wipe out of my book the name of everyone who has sinned against me. Now take my people to the place I told you about, and my angel will lead you. But when the time comes, I will punish them for this sin.” So the LORD punished the people of Israel with a terrible disease for talking Aaron into making the gold idol. (Exodus 32:30-35 CEV)

            In chapter 33 God refuses to continue the journey with them. What does that look like?

For the LORD had said to Moses, “Say to the sons of Israel, ‘You are an obstinate people; should I go up in your midst for one moment, I would destroy you. Now therefore, put off your ornaments from you, that I may know what I shall do with you.’” (Exodus 33:5 NASB)

            The people knew what affect God’s presence had on Moses, he shined, but what they saw that was most obvious to them was the cloud by day, and the pillar of fire in the sky at night.

            Moses once again withstood God on behalf of the people.

Then Moses said to the LORD, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people!’ But You Yourself have not let me know whom You will send with me. Moreover, You have said, ‘I have known you by name, and you have also found favor in My sight.’ “Now therefore, I pray You, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways that I may know You, so that I may find favor in Your sight. Consider too, that this nation is Your people.” And He said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then he said to Him, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. “For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?” The LORD said to Moses, “I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight and I have known you by name.” (Exodus 33:12-17 NASB)

 Chapter 5 ends with Israel contributing to, and the Levites building the large but movable tent of meeting.

Moses went in and out before God, and it had a profound effect upon him, he glowed.

We too go in and out before God, and what effect does it have upon us? I have known the lord for years, and spent many hours before his face, and I have never knowingly glowed.

The Apostle explained what my heart wishes to convey quite nicely, so I give you that.

2 Corinthians 3:6-18 MKJV 6: who also has made us able ministers of the new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit makes alive. 7: But if the ministry of death, having been engraved in letters in stone was with glory (so that the sons of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses because of the glory of his face), which was being done away; 8: shall not the ministry of the Spirit be with more glory? 9: For if the ministry of condemnation is glorious, much more does the ministry of righteousness exceed in glory. 10: For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. 11: For if that which has been done away was glorious, much more that which remains is glorious. 12: Then since we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech. 13: And we are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of the thing being done away. 14: (But their thoughts were blinded; for until the present the same veil remains on the reading of the old covenant, not taken away.) But this veil has been done away in Christ. 15: But until this day, when Moses is read, the veil is on their heart. 16: But whenever it turns to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. 17: And the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18: But we all, with our face having been unveiled, having beheld the glory of the Lord as in a mirror, are being changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Lord Spirit.

             Give your heart to him and he will change your life.

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Finally, the answer they wanted to hear. Matthew 24:31-51 Part 9


Finally, he got to the answer they wanted to hear. “and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory.”

I am assuming that what they really wanted to know was, when He was coming back as reigning Messiah, and here it is in all its power. All the other stuff He talked about was just depressing; deceit, beheadings, the nation they loved invaded, and barely anyone surviving.

Not only does he come in power, but He also gathers what is left of His people, the chose ones, from across the globe.

Matthew 24:31NIrV He will send his angels with a loud trumpet call. They will gather his chosen people from all four directions. They will bring them from one end of the heavens to the other.

 Some things to ponder:

  1. “He will send his angels with a loud trumpet call.” Jesus is standing right there, responding to their questions. We, as avid followers of Jesus Christ, should understand that it is Jesus that returns. (See Revelation 19:11-15) Yet, he explains it as though he is watching this himself, and referring to someone else. Ask yourself this question, how many times have you heard the statement, Jesus never said he was God. There is no doubt, He was and is God.
  2. He will send his angels with a loud trumpet call. They will gather his chosen people from all four directions. Who is God’s chosen at this point? This becomes important considering God’s anger toward them for rejecting Him, and our foolish replacement theories about how the church takes the place of Israel. God told them how to act and they (in majority) chose not to; there are repercussions for that and God laid all that out. We, the church, are told we are grafted in. This is a common term in the nursery business. The stock is often a mature plant, with disease resistant qualities, on to which fresh stock is grafted. From that rootstock, we gain strength, while the graft may give us beauty or fruit. (See Romans 11: 17-30) Sadly, this is not some exclusive code for the elite of some cult.
  3. “They will bring them from one end of the heavens to the other.” They = angels; them = the chosen, what is left of Israel, and there will be many. But with all the destruction, things like possible EMP blasts, stars falling from the sky, and a massive earthquake, there may not even be functioning airports anymore. How will they get to Jerusalem? (I said Jerusalem on purpose.) That massive earthquake I mentioned, it may be so large that the landmasses may reassemble and people will be able to walk. Imagine that, even if God manages to put Israel smack in the center, it is still a tremendously long walk, God has a time plan, but he never seems to be in a hurry.

Matthew 24:32MSG “Take a lesson from the fig tree. From the moment you notice its buds form, the merest hint of green, you know summer’s just around the corner.”

            If Israel was that fig tree, when did it throw out its buds?

In May 1948, Israel became an independent state after Israel was recognized by the United Nations as a country in its own right, within the Middle East.

Matthew 24:33NASB “so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.”

The question was, when would these things happen. Again, Jesus talks as a spectator describing the end and yet he is an integral participant of those events, as he comes in the power of God. Keep your focus; this is beyond the rapture of the church, and during the seven years of wrath upon the earth. In terms of conversation, only moments ago, he spoke of himself coming in the clouds, and every eye will see him. Therefore, he described what his coming would look like and then explained how, at this point they (Israel) should be able to ascertain the timing.

Matthew 24:34AMP “ Truly I tell you, this generation (the whole multitude of people living at the same time, in a definite, given period) will not pass away till all these things taken together take place.”

 I looked up the definition of a generation in the dictionary. It is the average length of time between the birth of parents and the birth of their children. My assumption, here in America, is that youth do not get married until about age 18. If I round-up, for ease of doing the math, then we are talking twenty years. That puts the generational parallel for Israel at 1968. What happened in 1967 in Israel?

The Six-Day War, also known as the June War, 1967 Arab–Israeli War, or Third Arab–Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt (known at the time as the United Arab Republic), Jordan, and Syria. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Six_Day_War)

This war expanded the territories Israel to something comparable to what God had prescribed for them; if we use an average of twenty years that puts us at 1987. How do I apply this to anything? If, this is something we are to pay attention to, then we need to understand that we are running on overtime. There is nothing left chronologically to hold back the Father’s unleashing of His wrath upon the earth.

What if the generation He speaks of is the generation that is alive during this time of wrath? That does not work because the time of wrath only lasts seven years, and the specific period he focuses on is the last three and one half years.

Matthew 24:35KJV “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

 This is in context with His return to earth, and it is going to be dramatic. I will show you some reinforcing details from scripture.

Joel 2:2 KJV A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.

Joel 2:30-31 KJV And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. (31) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.

Joel 2:10 KJV The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:

             This last verse is one with which we attempt to scare the world into believing because it speaks about Jesus coming back as a thief in the night. That concept conveys someone sneaking up on them, and that is not the case. He is very open and upfront about his coming. I believe he is trying to convey the fact life, for some, will just keep going on. Consider the period, and the context of his arrival, is there anything about this that does not tell you something huge is happening.

2 Peter 3:10 KJV But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

            What if Satan’s rebellion, and fall to earth, caused a far-reaching corruption that affected everything. Scripture tells us that even rocks are crying out for their redemption. Would it not make sense to purge everything and make it new, eliminating all the corruption? Sadly, much of the beauty we see because of the Hubble space telescope was caused by stars exploding or collapsing in on themselves, creating black holes, which suck everything close into its center. God has a solution for that.

Revelation 21:4-5KJV And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (5) And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, write: for these words are true and faithful.

Matthew 24:36GNB “No one knows, however, when that day and hour will come—neither the angels in heaven nor the Son; the Father alone knows.

             If this were a ball game, in the last inning, down by one run, and God’s people have the last at bat, how much closer in terms of timing do you need. Again, I tell you that this applies to those that are here during the time of wrath; a time that the church bypasses.

 Matthew 24:37-39GNB The coming of the Son of Man will be like what happened in the time of Noah. (38) In the days before the flood people ate and drank, men and women married, up to the very day Noah went into the boat; (39) yet they did not realize what was happening until the flood came and swept them all away. That is how it will be when the Son of Man comes.

             If you did not realize it, the coming of the Son of Man, covers the entire seven-year period, but His physical touching down upon the earth is specifically at the end of the seven years (of wrath.)

I use this passage a lot, as I attempt to explain to people what it will look like for the church. (I realize, even more so now, that there is a context, but suddenly that context takes on a completely new meaning for me when I relate it to the last half of the seven years period.) If It is fair for me to use this as the direct analogy to the “rapture” of the church, then I refer to the immediate context of timing that Jesus referred to in Matthew 24: 36.

So many of the church anticipated that we would be gone, and legitimately, most scholars see no reason for our still being either. The only thing that makes any sense is that God is waiting for just a few more to come. If you were part of that few wouldn’t you want him to wait for you?

In trying to relate what it will be like for us, moments before the rapture, I point out that there was an unsurpassed level of violence. I believe we rapidly going to surpass that. There will be an attitude that says do not bother me with facts, and life will just go on. Really, what else can most of us do? How many of us have the ability, financially, to change the world around us? Yet, that is the majority of the problem, it is all about the individual. God told us that being wrapped up in the world would consume us.

1 John 2:16-17 GNB Everything that belongs to the world—what the sinful self desires, what people see and want, and everything in this world that people are so proud of—none of this comes from the Father; it all comes from the world. (17) The world and everything in it that people desire is passing away; but those who do the will of God live forever.

The last aspect in this comparison is that, should you look at Noah’s story in scripture, you will see that the day it rained, God put them in the Ark, and closed the door. The reality of this is that God will put us in the “ark” so to speak, as well, but you can plan to get your head a little wet. That means that tribulation, in excess of your having to get a new propeller for your bass boat, or typical everyday bullying of your children at school, is going to spill over on you. Just look around you, and or pick about any country that rims the Mediterranean ocean, and you will find people in horrid conditions of tribulation. In light of Noah, it is raining on their heads.

Matthew 24:40-41KJV “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. (41) Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.”

             In Matthew 24:40-41 we are back, deeply into the seven years. Who is doing the taking is not clear. Several commentaries imply that, much like the flood with Noah, the people are taken in judgment by God. Lets analyze this for a moment: God brought the flood, but God also gave the inhabitants of earth 100 years in which to repent.

1 Peter 3:20 NASB who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.

            You see, we make a huge assumption that God just wanted them dead, and that is not the case. If you consider these people in light of Sodom and Gomorrah, cities that God would have spared if 10 righteous people could have been found. In a world full of people, all that God was able to pull out of here was eight. Does that say anything to anyone? God relented (momentarily) from his destruction of Nineveh when they repented, and he would have relented from his destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah for 10; why would he be any different over the earth?

Because the context is a time of unsurpassed violence, with enemy nations overrunning Israel and the surrounding hills it is possible that this is a ghastly level of violence of which we are being informed.

Matthew 24:42NASB “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.

             He started the discourse with a similar warning, see to it that you be not deceived. This emphasis on being alert, on guard, and watchful of the time and timing of things, is repeated several times throughout this chapter. Perhaps we should pay attention to His warnings. Noah also warned the people of an impending destruction. Isn’t that amazing, the God we so lovingly think of as a nasty, destructive force, seems to have warned repeatedly, with methods of salvation included, of they all have to do with turning your life back over to Him. Considering that our lives were held captive by the enemy, why wouldn’t a God of benevolence be the better choice?

 Matthew 24:43-44NASB “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. (44) “For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.”

            “But … if the head of the house had known.” Well, actually, we do, and the time is now. Yeah sure, I hear it all the time, but we cannot know the time, and sadly, we have far too many kooks that are more than willing to tell us the exact time of His return. (Here is a clue as to whether they are kooks or not. Who or what are they telling you to follow, and where is the money going.)

1 Corinthians 2:9-10 NASB (9) but just as it is written, “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.” (10) For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.

Ephesians 3:4-5 NASB By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, (5) which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;

            How about living like this, live as though He is coming at any moment, just as He said he would.

I am going to end by finishing off Matthew 24.

Matthew 24:45-51NASB “Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? (46) “Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes. (47) “Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. (48) ”But if that evil slave says in his heart, ‘My master is not coming for a long time,’ (49) and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards; (50) the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know, (51) and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

  • Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time?” I suppose that could be us, or, it could be Israel. As poor of a job as they did, following after God, and getting wrath poured out on them (this is generalized), they are still engraved upon his heart, but then, so are we. The only way I can see us being faithful and sensible is to convey his heart and desire to others. If that includes commentaries in an effort to get people out of their tradition and lack of interest, then so be it. What do I consider his food? Jesus told his disciples, I have food that you know not of, he was referring to what he obtained from His continual, intimate communication with the Father.
  • “Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.” What are we as slaves doing? After being put in charge of His household, we given those of the household food (the word of God, and encouragement to get through to the end.) This is what we do all the way to the end, an end that is not precisely determined, and therefore demands that we stay on task whether we will see this end or not.
  • ”But if that evil slave says in his heart, ‘My master is not coming for a long time,’ (49) and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards; (50) the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know, (51) and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” This is typical conversation; I hear it all the time. I pick up enough news to know that the world is getting darker by the day, but if I act like those around me, then I am responsible. I am not backing down. Jesus is coming for his church, and shortly after, he will return as the triumphant and reigning Messiah.

You can know this Jesus Christ if you just ask him to make himself real to you. He will come into your life and remake your heart. From that moment forward your heart will be good, new, and His. Yes, life will still look tore up from the outside, it is the nature of the world we live in, and we have to deal with it. However, God gives us a power, especially if we ask Him to fill us with the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is described as rivers of living water flowing out of our inner most being. Do you realize that a live river is one that moves, swirls and has dangerous rapids as an integral part of it? Does that mean you will be dangerous? Some will think so. God is inviting you on an adventure, one that is alive, real, and filled with Him. This is a life worth living, and He is real. We have a hope and a promise of acceptance, and love in His arms, forever. Jump in!

 

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I have told you before it happens. Matthew 24:30, Part 8


Today is 5/15/2014. Let us for a moment say that I know nothing aside from: what the Spirit of the Lord has shown me, what I have read, asked questions about, probed a little deeper into the word than most, I have a burning desire to see God’s people excited about reading God’s word, and I love to teach it. What does that have to do with anything?

Recently, at a bible study I attend, the leader says, we are probably going to close down the bible study for the summer. I responded with, good, because God takes the summer off too. Seriously, get someone to open the door and I will be here. One of the ladies that attend suggested that the leader have me teach while she is gone. I got the look that said no. I have enough wisdom to consider all the weird ramifications, but I if I wanted you to teach, my attitude would be, let me see if I can make it happen. What is it in our heads that makes us think that we are better than others? If that is our attitude then we are wrong, and at that point, we are trying to take control of the throne of God by judging people. Do you not know that you will be judged too, based upon our own standards?

I am wondering why I wrote this, because it seems so random at times, but there is a motivation behind this. People, just trying to make small talk, will ask me how it is going. Those who know me well know that I have been through what seems like a twenty-year battle. I have had not had a decent job since 1994, and once again, I am out of work, and that is only the tip of my iceberg. I know that this last 20 years have contributed greatly to who I am today. As I look back on it now I can tell you that I am keenly aware that the enemy has tried to eliminate me. Why would he feel a need to do that? (I know the answer.)

I was about 23 years old when Jesus appeared to me. This was not expected, but because God had put this burning passion inside of me I had invested serious time in God’s word. As I read the Bible I was drawn to the lives of the prophets, and Elijah was one that always came quickly to my mind. He was a powerful man, and I wanted to know what it was like to have that kind of relationship with God, and to be conscious of that kind of power.

Power is not the purpose of our existence, but there has to be something more than this muddling through life that we do.

Thanks to the earthquake driven Tsunami that hit Japan in 2011, the world has witnessed the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, the Fukushima power plant melt down. By now we should all understand that uncontrolled power is extremely dangerous. Just look at people as you pass them on the street, they all want something more, power, even if it is merely the power to control the circumstances around their own lives.

How does this apply to the life of the believer? Jesus told us all that after the Holy Spirit comes on you, you shall receive power. The Greek word is dunamis. This is the base word for our word dynamite.

Yet, it is rare to find a “Christian” that is not afraid of God’s power. They essentially refuse to accept anything and anyone that displays the evidence of power in their lives. Come on, it is power that motivates you to believe, lay your hands on someone in faith, trust that God will do what he says, and moves you forward in the gifts the Holy Spirit gives you.

As Jesus spoke of what was to come, you have the suggestion that multiple persons are performing signs (the evidence of power). Our first assumption is that it is demonically oriented (think fallen angels here), and we would not be far off [Revelation 6:8, 13:2], but the same assumptions are assigned to fellow believers that have the faith to exhibit the peculiarity of the Holy Spirit’s giftings. However, the false prophet is not the only one displaying power, something that Matthew 24 does not tell us.

The series is about Matthew 24, and I am aware of that, but I feel compelled to expound about things related, things we as a body should be repenting of because of our unbelief.

Jesus was asked specific questions about what it would look like when he returned, and so, as an acquaintance said to me, to explain the two witnesses that appear during this time would be going down a rabbit trail.

I address the two witnesses here because they are not only an example of God’s power, but they are also a display of what people operating in the power of God looks like; they are also a testimony of God, in opposition to Israel’s rejections of him, and a testimony against the nations. While this is a scripturally established time of wrath, it is against specified people, and therefore must also be understood to be a revelation of God’s mercy toward those who will come to him.

Revelation 11:3-12 GNB I will send my two witnesses dressed in sackcloth, and they will proclaim God’s message during those 1, 260 days.” The two witnesses are the two olive trees and the two lamps that stand before the Lord of the earth. If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes out of their mouths and destroys their enemies; and in this way whoever tries to harm them will be killed. They have authority to shut up the sky so that there will be no rain during the time they proclaim God’s message. They have authority also over the springs of water, to turn them into blood; they have authority also to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they wish. When they finish proclaiming their message, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will fight against them. He will defeat them and kill them, and their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, where their Lord was crucified. The symbolic name of that city is Sodom, or Egypt. People from all nations, tribes, languages, and races will look at their bodies for three and a half days and will not allow them to be buried. The people of the earth will be happy because of the death of these two. They will celebrate and send presents to each other, because those two prophets brought much suffering upon the whole human race. After three and a half days, a life-giving breath came from God and entered them, and they stood up; and all who saw them were terrified. Then the two prophets heard a loud voice say to them from heaven, “Come up here!” As their enemies watched, they went up into heaven in a cloud.

Rather dramatic wouldn’t you say. Why would God need to show such flare and violent reaction? Maybe it is because we foolish mortals have downplayed the ferocity of the anger against anything that represents God. I, on several occasions, have attempted to show how Islam fits precisely into the characteristics of these biblical peculiarities, not only in my writing, but in discussion as well, and what a shock (I am being facetious) it is to get angry responses back. An example would be, “but they are not all radicals!” and you would be right, but as a Muslim, a follower of the Qur’an and Allah, then you have specific commands that are compelled of each devotee, and in Jihad (the method is prescribed by the Imam), deception is huge tool in their arsenal.

Open your bible to Matthew 24: 25 -

Matthew 24:25 ESV See, I have told you beforehand.

Once again, the context: Jesus is answering a question about what it will look like when he returns to earth as the Messiah, and when. He could not tell them when, merely to give them as many clues as possible, so that they could have a clear understanding. None of those men would ever live to see the time He was describing. I believe that you and I shall.

Matthew 24:26ESVSo, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.

The only thing that helps me to comprehend the gullibility of the Jewish nation at this point will be the panic, and the desire for a Messiah. Because Islam makes it clear that there will be a huge, deceptive forgery, performing signs, then it does not surprise me that people will flock to this guy. Keep this clear in your head, this is not about the church, and as a believer, you have nothing to panic about, but if you did not make the rapture, and you are reading this, then the chances of you becoming a martyr for Christ are extremely high.

Jesus tells them plainly, why they do not need to go looking for him in bizarre and obscure places. This is one of the reasons that I think he said things like Matthew 24:25 records –I have told you before it happens.

Matthew 24:27ESVFor as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

He will show up, and the entire world will know that it is He.

This next one took me a few seconds to figure out.

Matthew 24:28ESV Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

In trying to figure it out you could first start with the general context, and included in that is a tremendous amount of killing of anyone not complying with Islam. That alone could be the corpse he speaks of, but the statement follows on the tale of two conflicting things: people chasing around false Messiah’s, and his real return in a way that all will see. If I allow the corpse to be the false prophet, then the buzzards could easily be Israel.

The Life Application New Testament Commentary explains it like this:

“This verse, probably quoting a well-known proverb of the culture, looks to the Second Coming as a time of judgment. Jesus was telling his audience that, just as you know a carcass must be nearby if you see vultures circling overhead, so his coming will be unmistakably marked by various signs.”

The next string of passages seems to be a culmination of events, happening at the end of the seven years.

Matthew 24:29-30 CEV Right after those days of suffering, “The sun will become dark, and the moon will no longer shine. The stars will fall, and the powers in the sky will be shaken.” Then a sign will appear in the sky. And there will be the Son of Man. All nations on earth will weep when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Those days of suffering, could specifically be talking about:

Matthew 24:21-22 CEV This will be the worst time of suffering since the beginning of the world, and nothing this terrible will ever happen again. If God doesn’t make the time shorter, no one will be left alive. But because of God’s chosen ones, he will make the time shorter.

Every one of these passages speaks of the darkness we see in
Matthew 24:29.

  • Isaiah 13:6-11 CEV Cry and weep! The day is coming when the mighty LORD will bring destruction. * (7) All people will be terrified. Hands will grow limp; courage will melt away. (8) Everyone will tremble with pain like a woman giving birth; they will stare at each other with horror on their faces. (9) I, the LORD, will show no mercy or pity when that time comes. In my anger, I will destroy the earth and every sinner who lives on it. (10) Light will disappear from the stars in the sky; the dawning sun will turn dark, and the moon will lose its glow. (11) I will punish this evil world and its people because of their sins. I will crush the horrible pride of those who are cruel.
  • Isaiah 24:21-23 CEV On that day the LORD will punish the powers in the heavens and the kings of the earth. (22) He will put them in a pit and keep them prisoner. Then later on, he will punish them. (23) The moon and sun will both be embarrassed and ashamed. The LORD All-Powerful will rule on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, where he will show its rulers his wonderful glory.
  • Jeremiah 4:22-23 CEV I heard the LORD say, “My people ignore me. They are foolish children who do not understand that they will be punished. All they know is how to sin.” (23) After this, I looked around. The earth was barren, with no form of life. The sun, moon, and stars had disappeared.
  • Ezekiel 32:7-8 CEV I will cover the whole sky and every star with thick clouds, so that the sun and moon will stop shining. (8) The heavens will become black, leaving your country in total darkness. I, the LORD, have spoken.
  • Joel 2:30-31 CEV I will work wonders in the sky above and on the earth below. There will be blood, fire, and clouds of smoke. (31) The sun will turn dark, and the moon will be as red as blood before that great and terrible day when I appear.
  • Amos 5:20 CEV The day when the LORD judges will be dark, very dark, without a ray of light.
  • Zephaniah 1:14-15 CEV The great day of the LORD is coming soon, very soon. On that terrible day, fearsome shouts of warriors will be heard everywhere. (15) It will be a time of anger– of trouble and torment, of disaster and destruction, of darkness and despair, of storm clouds and shadows,
  • Revelation 6:12-14 CEV When I saw the Lamb open the sixth seal, I looked and saw a great earthquake. The sun turned as dark as sackcloth, and the moon became as red as blood. (13) The stars in the sky fell to earth, just like figs shaken loose by a windstorm. (14)Then the sky was rolled up like a scroll, and all mountains and islands were moved from their places.

Matthew 24:30 NASB “And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory.

Will this change the mind of the atheist, or the nations in general? Will there be a moment when Yashua allows for people to still bow before him? Tradition tells us no, but if you know me at all, then you will understand that this journey life has taken me on, has shown me a God more merciful than anything man has ever tried to tell me. Not having a solid answer to the questions I put forth tells me that waiting and gambling on hope is not the way to treat this scenario.

This is my voice, and it is crying out, as one that cries in the wilderness. John the Baptist had this acclaim primarily because few listened to him. My calling is to the weak and feeble in the Christian body. They are that way because they are unwilling to pick up their bibles and read for themselves. Because they are lax, they are taken captive by the enemy, at his leisure and will, and there is little they can do to stand up to him. They have no support system, because the enemy has clouded their minds to the truth, and they do not believe that there are people out there that will support you, and not judge you.

How do I know that? Because I was one of them, but someone cared enough, and took an extra few minutes to guide me into Celebrate Recovery, and then into a 12-step group. I will tell you that it is in the 12-step group where the real healing begins; this is where, if you will be honest, you pour out your real heart, the one that is busted and does not want to trust anymore, and you allow God to move into the brokenness and begin to heal it all. It happens gradually, but you have to trust and allow it to happen. You will also be prompted to get a sponsor (someone who has been through the 12-steps) and they will aid you as you migrate through some of the tough sections.

Can you make these life-altering changes somewhere other than Celebrate Recovery? Sure, many people have. The main difference between us and AA or other programs, is that in CR we openly and unashamedly declare that all our hope is in Jesus Christ, our higher power.

Many have told how they, at their lowest point in life, cried out and said, Jesus, if you are real show me. He will do that for you if you ask him.

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If anyone says to you.. Matthew 24:23-26 – Part 7


Matthew 24: 23-26 may be Jesus attempt at clarifying his opening statement to the disciples.

 Matthew 24:4-5 KJV And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

             The idea of deception was not a new concept to them.

 Jeremiah 14:14 NASB Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds.

              Pay attention to what is being said here in Deuteronomy.

 Deuteronomy 13:1-3 NASB “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

This false prophet, demonstrating signs and wonders, to the casual observer would give the impression that the person has some intense relationship with God or an intensely powerful spirit. What was the test of a false prophet in the Old Testament, their word coming to pass? Does this test work with signs? That is not clear, but what they use it for is. In the passage above, the worker of signs then misleads, because they now have followers. I think the greater question might be, will you have time to stand around, as you wait to prove this guy. One other thing, that Jesus made it clear that people will be operating in powerful signs, indicates that it is not exclusive to the demonic; Joel chapter two, the one that Peter quoted an excerpt from, tells us about followers of God moving in power gifts.

Key words: “Let us go after other gods and let us serve them,” Israel had direct instructions against doing something like this, and from several sources.

 Deuteronomy 28:14 NASB and do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

Jeremiah 25:6 NASB and do not go after other gods to serve them and to worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the work of your hands, and I will do you no harm.’

 The subtle problem here is that the message is not always so direct, because an aspect of brainwashing is the gradual breakdown of moral rules and sensibilities.

 

Mug shot of David Koresh.

Mug shot of David Koresh. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My mind keeps going back to the people who stand out most in my mind, David Koresh, and Jim Jones. David Koresh, the leader of the branch Davidians, was able to get married couples to give up their spouses to him so that he alone could father more sons of god. I can tell you that there would have been many red flags long before that happened, and he and I would have had a brief, but convincing talk, ending with my wife and I leaving.

 

The consensus would be that the disciples should have memorized these things in the synagogue schools, but I have heard, repeatedly, that Jesus disciples had probably been kicked out, because they were not the cream of the crop. That does not prove anything, and that Jesus spoke to them in this way, something he would not have done if he had thought for a second that they are not going to understand this. Therefore, I think it is safe to say that they knew exactly what he was saying to them.

If it is safe to assume they understood then where did the mind immediately go when he said this?

 Mark 13:22 KJV For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

             Whom would they have perceived as the elect? You got it, the scribes, Pharisee, and priesthood of Israel. (The same guys that would soon put Jesus on the cross.) When we throw ourselves back into the context, then they perceived that who ever this character is, and whatever he represents, is going to be monumental in its deception.

Sorry about the long introductions but it fits.

You should have your bible open by now so turn to Matthew 24: 23-26.

Matthew 24:23-26 CEV Someone may say, “Here is the Messiah!” or “There he is!” But don’t believe it. False messiahs and false prophets will come and work great miracles and signs. They will even try to fool God’s chosen ones. But I have warned you ahead of time. If you are told that the Messiah is out in the desert, don’t go there! And if you are told that he is in some secret place, don’t believe it!

If we mentally place ourselves in this period to understand, we are 3-1/2 years into the middle of wrath being poured out upon the earth, and it just worsened with the advent of the false prophet.

The wrath of God, (in actuality it is the wrath of the Lamb) – Jesus Christ, primarily begins with the sixth chapter of Revelation.

 Revelation 6:16-17 NASB and they *said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

 Are there still believers on the earth during this time, you can count on it, as they have chosen to follow Jesus the Messiah since the removal of the church from the earth, and not whatever this person is selling. True, they missed the rapture, but how glorious a hope they will have, and they will rule and reign with Christ over this earth.

Mark’s gospel gives us a parallel version with a slightly different spin.

 Mark 13:21-22 GW “At that time don’t believe anyone who tells you, ‘Here is the Messiah!’ or ‘There he is!’ False messiahs and false prophets will appear. They will work miraculous signs and do wonderful things to deceive, if possible, those whom God has chosen.

 Do an Internet search for people who called themselves Jesus. Conservatively, there have been over 50, and I mentioned two of them a few paragraphs ago. Still this should strike you odd because we do not have people running around, claiming to be God’s son, as this implies without thinking them insane.

If we stick with key words, such as Messiah then we are hit with a problem immediately when we look up the Greek word translated Messiah. It means anointed, and though we typically ascribe that designation to Jesus Christ, it is easy to see why for the word is khristos. That coincidence does not give Jesus exclusive rights to the word, just as many, during his days on earth, had his name, Yashua, transliterated Joshua.

“For false Christs and false prophets will arise” False Christs = pseudochristos. Seems like it should be self-explanatory, but why so many? Is there money involved; perhaps power? Consider that during this period an entity is hell-bent on killing off anything that resembles a follower of Christ, so what advantage would that be.

The Greek wording for false prophets is rather eye-opening pseudoprophētēs, and can have several possibilities – a spurious (counterfeit) prophet, that is, pretended foreteller or religious impostor:

The word translated “arise”, is the Greek word egeiro, and means to waken. Now this immediately grabs my attention and here is why. Four angels, apparently large and vicious in their capabilities, are to be released from the chains they have been bound with and kept in the Euphrates River.

 Revelation 9:14-15 NASB one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they would kill a third of mankind.

 You might say these were awakened. However, we are talking about humans acting as false messiahs.

You are going to have to look at Islam, once again, to gain some clarity.

List of Mahdi claimants

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In Muslim eschatology, the Mahdi is a Messianic figure who, it is believed, will appear on Earth before the Day of Judgment and, will rid the world of wrongdoing, injustice and tyranny. People claiming to be the Mahdi have appeared across the Muslim world – in South Asia, Africa and the Middle East – and throughout history since the birth of Islam (610 CE).

A claimant Mahdi can wield great temporal, as well as spiritual, power: claimant Mahdis have founded states (e.g. the late 19th-century Mahdiyah in Sudan), as well as religions and sects (e.g. Bábism, or the Ahmadiyya movement). The continued relevance of the Mahdi doctrine in the Muslim world was most recently emphasised during the 1979 seizing of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, by at least 200 militants led by Juhayman al-Otaibi, who had declared his brother-in-law, Muhammad bin abd Allah al-Qahtani, the Mahdi.

 To make this short, I counted 26. I am sure it is longer as history is always given an appropriate spin convenient to the tellers’ point of view.

We have not eliminated people claiming to be Jesus, but neither have we excluded Islam from having many claiming to be “the Mahdi”. There would certainly be some advantages in terms of power, authoritative decisions, and money (although Islam will deny that.)

 Matthew 24:24 NASB “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.

 False though they may be, they will put on a good show. Many will bow their knee to Allah because of the signs. It would seem that they are focused heavily on deceiving the elect, the leadership of religious Israel.

As a side note, I will show you a commentary by John MacArthur. I have gone through my phases with him, ranging from disgust to respect, and now, slowly finding it difficult to waste my time hunting for the good with him.

 “to deceive, if possible, even the elect. ‘This warning clearly implies that such deception is not possible’” (Joh_10:4-5).

 It seems that John MacArthur is choosing to ignore the emphatic tone, and concern in Jesus response. “”See to it that no one misleads you.”

There is a context. I know I keep saying that, but deliveries lacking a solid context have led the church into a lifelong state of confusion, and in some, depression. Most do not know if we are coming or going.

This time is not about the church. It is most definitely about Israel and the nations. The nations, a generalized statement, especially Muslim nations, are at odds with Israel. I do not think that America can be excluded from the nations at odds with Israel, especially when the Secretary of State, John Kerry, is actively telling Israel to stand down as they attempt to gain support in protecting themselves. That conveys nothing short of animosity toward Israel, in my thinking.

The theme in part seven is a serious concern about deception by people claiming to be Jesus. Again, the Muslim world will only be focused on one thing during the last 3 ½ years, and that will be the elimination of anyone that represents Christ, Jews, or challenges the will of Allah merely by not being a Muslim.

This is not a time for civilized people, for as ugly as this wanton slaughter sounds, we will also see deadly weather elements, stars falling from the sky, darkness across the land, rain being shut off, an earthquake that impacts the entire earth, and a mind bending level of violence. You can avoid this by turning to Jesus Christ and giving him your life. Sure, you can wait, if you think you have the backbone for it.

 

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