Thoughts on the Warrior mentality.

After one of our recent men’s breakfasts as I stood during worship, trying to get my mind focused on the Father, these images and thoughts came to me. I saw myself as a small child, perhaps about twelve, dressed in what looked like ancient Roman battle dress. What I saw made me look comical. Almost as fast, I saw myself as a grown man, but this time I was fumbling about, trying to put on this armor of God[i]. In either case, I was ill prepared to battle anything. My mind quickly put these two scenes together as the Spirit of God started speaking to me about the warrior mentality we try to push on believers.

This particular Saturday morning, having experienced sixty years of life, I wondered how many other men are like me and do not have a clue. Most of us have been faking having some kind of control over our own lives by putting on a macho show for the guys, who, like me, are just faking it. Sadly, I think we have at least learned how to be just aggressive enough to intimidate people and keep them from probing into the damaged hearts we carry.

I realize what this warfare preparation is meant to get people ready for the varied spiritual battles[ii] we have to face, and hopefully to cover each others back, ideally before the attacks come[iii]. However, this attempt at preparation tends to miss two groups: those that are embroiled in battle and seem to have no armor at all, and those that were never taught how to fight.

We tend to talk about putting on the armor of God as if it is a foreign substance; something that you must use when you are knowingly going into battle. The reality is, your thinking should be more like a bodyguard, constantly prepared for that “it’s not a matter of if, but when,” situation. Trust me, most of the time the battle will come to you.

A few days before this, I had watched a television show called Ancient Assassins. What caught my attention was the older leaders efforts to train his bodyguards in preparation for the “what if” situation. The examples were appropriate to the seventeenth century in which this took place, and fitting for an opponent reaching across his body to draw a sword, what do you do if they strike from above, or slash at you from a low angle. The last one I mention is the one that we followers of Christ seem to deal with the most. Considering that it seems as though most of the attacks against us feel like sneak attacks, what do you do to prepare for the attack that comes from behind?

Therein lies the problem, where does one learn these skills?

Having recently been invited to watch a friend’s son play soccer, this idea of being taught how to prepare for battle became very clear. This young man seemed to have no clue that: he was in a battle; that this will most likely hurt; that no one cares about your hair; and that many situations, like this one, demand focus and training; even worse, he has a dad that chooses not be involved in his life.

That young man playing soccer that day could have easily been me, because as a child with undiagnosed learning disabilities, I can remember playing baseball, standing in the outfield, picking daisies, and singing some stupid song over and over. I had no clue what the game, or the life I was going to experience, demanded. I had no idea that this moment in time, lost in the outfield, might be a microcosm for my life to come.

I cannot remember having a strong motivation to be competitive. Why tell you that, because all life seems to grow from our experiences, where interaction is thrust upon us. Classrooms always have a few children that quickly answer questions and therefore gain the positive attention of the teacher. In my case, I was always on the edge of obscurity because I just did not get it and was not assertive enough to ask questions.

The other prevailing aspect of grade school is the playground, where pecking orders are established. You quickly begin to realize who the bullies are. I understand, for I had issues with games like dodge ball, where a cluster of the most aggressive kids you knew, intentionally tried to knock your feet out from under you. My solution for that non-sense was to play marbles (which I used to be good at) while honing my skills at avoidance, and isolation.

No, not all were bullies, but they were certainly competitive, and aggressive. I had no idea how to be that kind of person, because as a child I lived under the threat of severe punishment if my mother ever learned of me striking back at someone.

The bottom line, no one taught me to fight the good fight of faith[iv] as a child, but even worse, I was never taught to fight at all.[v] Do not get me wrong, I am not trying to glamorize socking someone in the nose, but if your life is frozen by fear, you will do nothing, and worse, you will probably preach that we should be a community of do nothings, and God never asked us to do that.[vi]

I realize that at some point you have to own your life and your decisions, but what if your decisions were framed by a lack of training, and responsible role models. Then I need to find people that are willing to be my role model and get myself retrained. (That concept seems so irrelevant at this point in life.)[vii]

If being a warrior is what is demanded, somehow I found that place.

I do not know how I did it; perhaps just spending time in God’s Word that created that warrior image inside of me. (One of my favorite characters in the bible is the prophet Samuel. Samuel had his issues, we all do, but he was not the typical pale skinned Pastor.[viii]) It does not matter where this image came from, but somewhere along the line, I developed what I thought was a warrior’s mentality. Here is a thought; maybe I watched too many highlights of the Vietnam and Iraq Wars. What I have come to realize is that there are times the warrior mentality will get you killed over foolishness.

If my focus is on the two groups I mentioned earlier, then how do we change the outcome of their battles?

To those that find themselves already in this position: embroiled in battle, with no apparent armor. If you are in Christ, you have an advantage already. This of course means nothing if you do not understand the relationship you have with Christ. (If I were your enemy, I would make it my goal to see to it that you never comprehend this idea.)

Here are some verses that speak toward your place in Christ and what it does for you:

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2 ESV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,   (Ephesians 1:3 ESV)

The general idea is this, God, well pleased with the actions of His Son, enthroned him next to himself. Everything necessary was done to restore man and creation. It would seem that if God sees that in his Son, and we are in the Son now, then he should see those traits in us.

How does that help you when you stumble incessantly, as I do?

An aspect of constantly stumbling is wrapped up in our lack of faith. Do not get all depressed because I made that statement, thinking that you have to work harder. For whatever the reason we choose not to believe that the price Jesus paid was enough. I am sure that Paul was speaking to something of this nature when he wrote to the church body in Rome.

Since the composition of the early church was primarily Jewish by tradition, they too were steeped in the Law of Moses. Following the law only pointed out our sins.

 (Romans 3:20, 21 ERV) “.. no one can be made right with God by following the law. The law only shows us our sin. But God has a way to make people right, and it has nothing to do with the law. He has now shown us that new way, which the law and the prophets told us about.”

 This knowledge was not something new, they just did not see it, or worse, they refused to see it. If you have come to know this Jesus Christ, then you have seen it, and God made you right that day, whether it feels like it or not. He will make anyone right in his eyes if they come to Him and believe.

 (Romans 3:22,23 ERV) “God makes people right through their faith in Jesus Christ. He does this for all who believe in Christ. Everyone is the same. All have sinned and are not good enough to share God’s divine greatness.”

Maybe you noticed what made this happen, this life we now have in Christ. It was only by his grace. Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship, explains grace as simply as this: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Even if you had been the most pompous and arrogant Pharisee, following every law to the letter, it would not have gained you an advantage, for it is a free gift, purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ.

(Romans 3:24,25 ERV) “They are made right with God by his grace. This is a free gift. They are made right with God by being made free from sin through Jesus Christ. God gave Jesus as a way to forgive people’s sins through their faith in him. God can forgive them because the blood sacrifice of Jesus pays for their sins. God gave Jesus to show that he always does what is right and fair. He was right in the past when he was patient and did not punish people for their sins. And in our own time, he still does what is right. God worked all this out in a way that allows him to judge people fairly and still make right any person who has faith in Jesus.”

I understand that we need to change the course of this dangerous, overflowing river called our thoughts by aligning and replacing our thoughts with His. I am telling from experience that this is not as easy as it sounds, for you will be met with the most vile of opposition and it will be disguised as friends, family, and those who claim to mean you well; they do not, unless what they bring you is directly from God’s word.

My suggestion is to start feeding yourself on the character of God. Find out who he is. Allow Him to build an image of his love toward you, and understand that God, in the person of Jesus, displayed a fierce anger toward religion and its phoniness. You need to find the true God and the true you. Yes, this is going to take a little more time than you anticipated, but then how long have you been mired in this despair you feel? Get yourself into recovery; there are some sober and sane people there, but keep in mind that we are all still broken, and that will not change completely until the day we meet Him face to face.

Give healing some time, as I must do, for the day will come when clarity will be a constant aspect of your life, and you will be the sage that others come to for help. Aside from that, we followers of Christ have a hope, and that is eternity with the one who paid the price for our freedom by giving His life on our behalf.

[i] Ephesians 6:10-18

[ii] 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 (ERV) “We live in this world, but we don’t fight our battles in the same way the world does. The weapons we use are not human ones. Our weapons have power from God and can destroy the enemy’s strong places. .”

[iii] You can argue all day long, but you cannot prepare for everything. If that were the case, then ancient warlords would still hold their ancestral rule over nations.

Ecclesiastes 9:12 (ERV) “You never know when hard times will come. Like fish in a net or birds in a snare, people are often trapped by some disaster that suddenly falls on them.”

2 Timothy 2:24-26 (KJV) “And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

[iv] 1 Timothy 6:12 ERV We have to fight to keep our faith. Try as hard as you can to win that fight. Take hold of eternal life. It is the life you were chosen to have when you confessed your faith in Jesus–that wonderful truth that you spoke so openly and that so many people heard.

[v] 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 ERV (3) We live in this world, but we don’t fight our battles in the same way the world does.   (4) The weapons we use are not human ones. Our weapons have power from God and can destroy the enemy’s strong places. We destroy people’s arguments,   (5) and we tear down every proud idea that raises itself against the knowledge of God. We also capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.

[vi] Deuteronomy 11:8 KJV Therefore shall ye keep all the commandments which I command you this day, that ye may be strong, and go in and possess the land, whither ye go to possess it;

[vii] When King David is about to die, he calls Solomon before him and gives him a talk on wisdom. Considering how poorly David handled his own life, and the lack of parental care he showed his children, I suppose this makes sense. He had not sat down with any of them and told them how to handle life; Bathsheba could be a striking example of that. Here are his words to Solomon:

1 Kings 2:1-4 CEV “: My son, I will soon die, as everyone must. But I want you to be strong and brave. Do what the LORD your God commands and follow his teachings. Obey everything written in the Law of Moses. Then you will be a success, no matter what you do or where you go. You and your descendants must always faithfully obey the LORD. If you do, he will keep the solemn promise he made to me that someone from our family will always be king of Israel.”

One might assume from this that God is our only hope and that in staying under the umbrella of God’s mercy we gain knowledge of him. Solomon certainly was not going to learn it from his dad.

[viii] 1 Samuel 15:32-33 ERV Samuel said, “Bring King Agag of the Amalekites to me.” Agag came to Samuel. Agag was tied with chains and thought, “Surely he won’t kill me.” (33) But Samuel said to Agag, “Your sword took babies from their mothers. So now, your mother will have no children.” And Samuel cut Agag to pieces before the LORD at Gilgal.



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Fighting with a paper sword

A Jehovah Witness came to the door and I responded to her immediate question with, I am a believer in Jesus Christ and anxiously await his return. At that, she turned over the Watchtower magazine she held in her hand, and pointed to the section entitled: Why pray for God’s Kingdom to come? She pointed two things out to me.

  1. That “Jehovah has also chosen a group of Jesus’ followers to be associate rulers with Jesus in the kingdom.”

They reference Luke 11:2; 22:28-30 to prove their point. Luke 11:2 says nothing about ruler-ship over any kingdom but it does speak about praying to the Father in Jesus name.

And He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. (Luke 11:2 NASB)

The implications are huge.

If the Jehovah’s Witness are telling us that we can pray and in a sense force the kingdom to come, how does that align with God’s will, especially if the kingdom looks like what I desire with no concern for God’s plans? Does not 1 John 5:14 tell us that we have to align ourselves with God’s plan?

“And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14 MKJV)

How does one speak to the creator of the universe in such familiar tones without having an intimate relationship? Moreover, how does one have an intimate relationship with a person they do not know? Considering the fallacies integrated into the translations JW’s set their hopes upon, how could the person knocking on my door know this Jesus Christ whom I love and serve?

The JW’s do not believe that Jesus was God on the earth, and yet He made that clear as he walked among the people for three years. It was Jesus that said, “if you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” Fairly well stated, and yet the JW’s believe, Jehovah God existed from the beginning. His first creations were two angels, Michael (who later becomes Jesus) and Lucifer. Jehovah God created all else through his firstborn, Jesus (Michael).” Those who refuse to look at the truth will always find a way to bash and ignore it. Perhaps a portion of Paul’s letter to the Colossian church might help to convince a reader of who Jesus is.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him — all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers — all things were created through him and for him. He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him. He is the head of the body, the church, as well as the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, so that he himself may become first in all things. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in the Son and through him to reconcile all things to himself by making peace through the blood of his cross — through him, whether things on earth or things in heaven. (Colossians 1:15-20 NET.)

Whom was Jesus talking to when he made these statements about his deity? The first thing to consider here is the context of what he said. He was responding to his disciples, and he was answering a Jewish oriented question. The boys had argued about which one was greater or better than the other, and how that person would be able to dominate the others. There is something screwed up in that kind of thinking from the get go and Jesus was not going to tolerate it. Therefore, what we see is Jesus straightening them out.

What does this kingdom look like?

In Matthew 4:23 we have Jesus, “teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” So, an aspect of the kingdom is healing. Jesus words also conveyed that the kingdom is for the poor in spirit – Matthew 5:3. According to Matthew 19:14 it is filled with little children. In Mark’s gospel chapter one, verse fifteen, Jesus said, the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Perhaps I am not to be stressing over any kingdom to come, because it is already here, and I just need to wait and have it revealed; that will happen in His timing.

One last thing and I will move on. Jesus told those listening that God cares about the needs of birds and how he knows what people need, therefore we are not to be so wrapped up in needs, but merely seek Him. Look this up in Luke’s gospel chapter 12:29-31

The other scripture reference they use is: Luke 22:28-30

You are those who have continued with Me in My trials. And I appoint a kingdom to you, as My Father has appointed to Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Luke 22:28-30 MKJV)

If I use this as a foundational verse for my religious doctrine of ruling in the new kingdom, then perhaps I should be very concerned about how I judge now, for we are told that the manner in which we judge is the way we will be judged. There is of course a context to this passage as well. He was speaking to his disciples, and you are not they.

The second thing she pointed out.

  1. “Soon, God’s kingdom will take action against all opposers of God’s rule. So the prayer for God’s kingdom to come is a request for God’s government to replace all human governments.” The scriptures referenced were Daniel 7:13-14; Revelation 11:15, 18.

Let us see if Daniel defines the paragraph for us.

I saw in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. And dominion and glory was given Him, and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations and languages, should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:13-14 MKJV)

One like the Son of man” a common reference to Jesus Christ.

the Ancient of Days” – God himself.

that all peoples, nations and languages, should serve Him.

I do not see how this defines a replacement of all human governments. To merely use the term nations tends to show that they have a governmental rule. There is no denying that there is a possibility that God will overthrow all governments, but that is not what this passage says. What it says, is that they will serve God. (Read about this in Zechariah chapter 14. Pay close attention to verse 16 -18 where it says, everyone who is left of all the nations which came up against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, Jehovah of Hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles” So, scripture makes it clear that nations continue to exist through the thousand-year reign. (Revelation 20:4-6)

Let us try the two verses the magazine suggested from Revelation 11:15,18 to see how they apply to the doctrine.

At the sound of the seventh trumpet, loud voices were heard in heaven. They said, “Now the kingdom of this world belongs to our Lord and to his Chosen One! And he will rule forever and ever!” (Revelation 11:15 CEV)

Since the idea is that God’s government will reign and all human governments will come to an end, I suppose the secondary hope is that those chosen will hold a high-ranking cabinet position, collect a large salary, and be able to dominate over others. Do you get that from this passage? No. What you see is the kingdom of this world belonging to the Lord and his chosen one.

Question: If I take this passage literally, then how many people do we count, two, the Lord and his Chosen one. However there is a problem with the literal approach because anyone who has spent time in the Bible knows that there are those that are in Christ that have been removed from the earth seven years earlier, and scripture tells us that they are “in Christ.” Scripture really does not speak that openly of where they are, and yet we know they are with Him, somewhere.

Another group that seems to be ignored, and yet is not distinctly mentioned in this passage are the martyred saints.

The Apostle John told us that their numbers were uncountable, but we also know that they specifically are to reign with Christ during the thousand years. (Revelation 5:10; 20:6) That alone exceeds the idea that 144, 000 select will have that priority. The only reference to 144,000 is when God seals that many Jews that are not tainted by the world. (Revelation 7:3,4) These apparently walk untouched through the seven years of wrath we like to call the tribulation, and seem to serve as priests in the temple of God that will be in the New Jerusalem. This city and temple play an active role during the 1000 years.

Since that did not answer the question of who is in charge, perhaps Revelation 11:18 will.

When the nations got angry, you became angry too! Now the time has come for the dead to be judged. It is time for you to reward your servants the prophets and all of your people who honor your name, no matter who they are. It is time to destroy everyone who has destroyed the earth.” (Revelation 11:18 CEV)

Now this actually sounds like something we could build a doctrine around, so let us look at it for a minute.

Now the time has come for the dead to be judged.”

Since we are hoping for a removal of human government and God’s government replacing it, what need is there if the humans are dead?   Under a literal interpretation, the idea that God needs to set up his own government does not fit when I use this passage. Perhaps being dead plays a role in the human governments being removed from power. Judgment is a thought-provoking idea, but loses steam quickly when I look at the context of the passage for it opens with, “and the nations were angry, and thine anger did come.” The implications are that something drastic has transpired and, in general, the nations have been wiped out. This does not really speak to governments but we will not exclude that yet.

Where in scripture and chronological time do we find a judgment of the dead? Again, you know the answer to this if you study your bible. This occurs at the end of the thousand years where Christ and the martyred saints have reigned.

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (Revelation 20:11-12 KJV)

Revelation 20 happens at the white throne judgment seat. The dead are brought before Him; not the living; not the believers; and not martyred saints, just dead folk. I know what you are thinking; how does this speak to the period of its occurrence? Good question; all we have to do is to look at the context (which I did not give you) and we can sort that out quickly.

Revelation 20:7-10 KJV “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, (8) And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. (9) And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. (10) And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

I cannot say with confidence that this is what we are seeing in Revelation 11:18, but I still believe it is a poor choice on which to build a doctrine representing a change of leadership. At best this may be representing the mid-point of the seven years of God’s wrath upon the earth, and though it is hard to understand how anyone survives God’s onslaught, we know they do, or there would be no need for Christ to come at the end of seven years with a sword, executing vengeance. We also see that rebellion will continue, to some degree, during the thousand years because there are statements telling us that no evil will be allowed in the City of God. (You can look up this aspect that speaks to exclusion of the vile in Revelation 22:14-15) If God wipes out all evil and its associated government, then where do these people come from?

How do we explain what appears as discrepancies between Revelation 11:18 and Revelation 22:14-15? We may not have to because another aspect of God’s word is that so much of it is a broad-spectrum picture. An example of this could be the 2000-year, momentary gap between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks of years, in which Christ physically comes back to earth. Thinking like this forces us to consider what is outside the box. In this case, we may be seeing things in Revelation 11 that transpire a few years later in Revelation 22. The prophecy to Daniel stated, “Seventy weeks are decreed as to your people and as to your holy city, to finish the transgression and to make an end of sins, and to make atonement for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.” (Daniel 9:24 MKJV) We can say with confidence that the Most Holy has not been anointed, and so we await the bringing in of the everlasting righteousness; the seventieth week, as far as anyone can tell, has not started yet; or has it.

What else happens here in Revelation 11:18?

Rewards are given” – but to whom?

  • “To your servants,” – This is an interesting usage of a phrase because it actually means a slave. This is problematic mainly because it becomes a hard sell. God has not demanded a slave/master relationship, but one in which we have dedicated ourselves in subjection to him as a child. I made the decision to do that because of the realization that I can do nothing without him. In my broken world where I barely trust anyone, he made the first move, proving his love for me by giving His Son Jesus Christ. It was all I could in response – love him back and give myself to him.
  • “To the prophets” – The prophet was a foreteller or by analogy an inspired speaker. The “modern” church has denied, ignored, and refused to listen or allow the prophets to operate within the church body, allowing their fears to control them. Let us do the gutsy thing for a change and believe that God put them here for a purpose and his purpose is not complete yet.
  • To the saints – Saints means those that are sacred. That definition is given sporadically to those that follow Christ, but more definitively to those that are martyred for their faith in the only God, not Allah. We, as a human race, have made it through October of 2014, and the rise in the number of “Christians” or infidels, as Islam puts it, being martyred is rising on a daily basis. God’s word tells us that this will get out of control.
  • To those (great and small) that fear your name – This is a conundrum because we have to define who these people might be. The first clue we have in defining them is the fact that they fear your name. Because we know that these are among those getting rewards, we comprehend that there is a positive spin to this, and yet this does not define them as followers of a particular religious sect, but those that have a deep respect for God’s name. God is not a respecter of persons. When it came to picking a king God told Samuel that he looked at the heart, not the external appearance, so, this really has nothing to do with an external appearance does it? It is talking about those who have attained success in the world’s eyes, and those that have nothing in comparison. That they fear His name is the important thing.

Here is an extensive list of scriptures that speak about a rewarding of the Saints.

The reward is from God

But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: (Romans 2:5-7 KJV)

Keep in mind that this rendering according to your deeds can also bring about his wrath.

Knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [and not from men] that you will receive the inheritance, which is your [real] reward. [The One Whom] you are actually serving [is] the Lord Christ (the Messiah). (Colossians 3:24 AMP)

Our real reward is our inheritance. Ephesians chapter one tells us that we have obtained our inheritance. Studying this concept out in Ephesians tells us that our reward then, has everything to do with our acceptance, forgiveness, and the idea that God wishes to show us the things he planned for us all along.

The reward comes through grace and faith alone

Romans 4:4-5 should be one the LDS completely ignore because it flies in the face of their works based system. What the passage tells us is that while there is reward to this life in Christ, it has everything to do with believing on Christ’s actions.

But to him working, the reward is not reckoned according to grace, but according to debt. But to him not working, but believing on Him justifying the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (Romans 4:4-5 MKJV)

Romans 4:16 seems to stand on its own for understandability, but then it also depends on what translation you read. I chose this version because of its readability without having to dive into the context.

Everything depends on having faith in God, so that God’s promise is assured by his great kindness. This promise is not only for Abraham’s descendants who have the Law. It is for all who are Abraham’s descendants because they have faith, just as he did. Abraham is the ancestor of us all. (Romans 4:16 CEV)

Let’s assume for a minute that all we had was the King James Version.

Rom 4:16 “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed:..”

The first three words have me thrown for a loop, for several reasons. First I have to decide what the “it” is, and that forces me to look into the context. Secondly, because the words “it and is” are grayed out, I should not even consider that they are there, as grayed out words were added for comprehension or understanding.

What then is the context that applies to Romans 4:16?

For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. (Romans 4:13-15 KJV)

Allow me to reassemble this in a form that makes sense to me. Therefore, the promise of a reward (I need to have that clear in my head, and it really has nothing to do with worldly gain.) was not only to Abraham but to his seed also, and those that have received Christ are of that seed. While keeping the law maintains civility, it has nothing to do with gaining this promise of a future life and hope in Jesus Christ. It has everything to do with a faith in God’s Son, a faith that makes us right in His eyes. The Jews tried going the law route and this tells us that it made their faith void and the promise of no effect to them. Sadly, this can happen to anybody. (Read Romans 8: 14-17)

The JW’s stand on the street corners and walk through neighborhoods, expressly for the purpose of earning a place in a future kingdom, one in which they have no assurance. I suspect some actually believe they have a chance to attain to one of those 144, 000. That becomes a problem since they are tightly defined as Jews.

Is of God’s good pleasure

Mat_20:14-15; Luk_12:32;

Let’s camp out on the verses in Matthew for a few minutes.

Take what is yours and go. I want to give to this last man the same as I gave to you. Am I not permitted to do what I want with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ (Matthew 20:14-15 NET.)

There is a context, and it is not what we typically think. I decided that you needed to see the entire “parable.”

As Jesus was telling what the kingdom of heaven would be like, he said: Early one morning a man went out to hire some workers for his vineyard. After he had agreed to pay them the usual amount for a day’s work, he sent them off to his vineyard. About nine that morning, the man saw some other people standing in the market with nothing to do. He said he would pay them what was fair, if they would work in his vineyard. Therefore, they went. At noon and again about three in the afternoon he returned to the market. And each time he made the same agreement with others who were loafing around with nothing to do. Finally, about five in the afternoon the man went back and found some others standing there. He asked them, “Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?” “Because no one has hired us,” they answered. Then he told them to go work in his vineyard. That evening the owner of the vineyard told the man in charge of the workers to call them in and give them their money. He also told the man to begin with the ones who were hired last. When the workers arrived, the ones who had been hired at five in the afternoon were given a full day’s pay. The workers who had been hired first thought they would be given more than the others. But when they were given the same, they began complaining to the owner of the vineyard. They said, “The ones who were hired last worked for only one hour. But you paid them the same that you did us. And we worked in the hot sun all day long!” The owner answered one of them, “Friend, I didn’t cheat you. I paid you exactly what we agreed on. Take your money now and go! What business is it of yours if I want to pay them the same that I paid you? Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Why should you be jealous, if I want to be generous?” Jesus then said, “So it is. Everyone who is now first will be last, and everyone who is last will be first.” (Matthew 20:1-16 CEV)

Did you notice that pay was the same for everyone?

As I have studied, end times events and tried to discuss these things with some, I get angry arguments and rebuttals; I wonder why? It is not so different from what Jesus conveyed in the story he told. It, by the way is not just some bizarre analogy he made up, it conveys what I hear today.

In Revelation 20 we the white throne where all the dead are brought before Him. He separates those dead into two groups, the sheep and the goats. The goats are sent to eternal destruction, while the sheep are allowed to enter into the kingdom. Seems like a good thing and rather benign, but when you begin to point out how Revelation 20 and what Jesus conveyed in Matthew 20:1-16, religious people get very upset. (I know this because I too have found myself upset by what I pointing out.) The response is something like this, I have wasted my years living right, focused on what religion and God wanted, not allowing myself any fun, and sacrificing my free time for the Lord; only to have God give these people, that have done nothing, that, in my mind, qualifies them to enter into the kingdom. Yet, there he goes, inviting them in. They get the same reward as I do, and he lets them in at the last minute.

Yeah, I know, it is hard to swallow and comprehend, but it’s there.

The last verse referenced is Luke 12:32

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32 KJV)

While the context might be applied to the small group of followers that hovered around Jesus, problem is that Jesus expanded that flock to include the Samaritans, and no decent Jew would allow them to be considered Jews. Therefore, what we have is Jesus effectively taking the gospel to the gentiles, and by extension, the nations. Now then, who is the kingdom for?

My bible tells me that God desires that none should perish, but then I suppose that is what the Witnesses go door to door, or stand on street corners for, winning the lost so that they too can enjoy the kingdom that is to come; or is it?

The gift of God is free, and it is by faith in the one who paid it all by giving his life for us, and then rising from the dead. His name is Jesus Christ and he is the Son of God. Choosing the life he offers is the way into this kingdom and it is available to anyone who will come.



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At His wrath the earth shall tremble

This all started with our church deciding to take everyone through The Story. It comes across as a novelized version of scripture and bypasses many aspects that would help you to understand the character and nature of the Father.

Personally, I could not stand it. Our men’s bible study, just before this, had spent a year going through the book of John and I needed a change. With no strong direction, I decided to dive back into the Old Testament. The journey started with First Kings and progressed toward the New Testament, taking the time to look intently at things I had confusion about and longed to understand. I bypassed Job, and the poetry books.

I began to see familiar names, men that hazarded their lives to deliver God’s message to ungrateful people. Jeremiah was one of those who braved imprisonment, and the threat of violence from priests and kings.

Jeremiah, under the influence of the spirit of God, spoke about the end of times, but, like so many things God said, we have used them to apply to us, today. That is not necessarily a bad thing because we have passages such as:

All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 MKJV)

Jeremiah 10:10 “But Jehovah is the true God, He is the living God, and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to stand His fury.”

This comes in the middle of a diatribe berating the foolishness of man-made idols that did not make the heavens and the earth.

God is to be feared. That is a hard one for me, for fear was literally beaten into me. If this could be easily replaced with the word respect, I would have an easier time absorbing it. Perhaps we need to accept the fact that God has the potential to destroy as well as create, and how that plays out is entirely up to his volition.

The Hebrew word “yare” shows up 316 times. One hundred and forty-eight of those are interpreted as fear. Very few have a mild connotation.

1a1) to fear, be afraid

1a2) to stand in awe of, be awed

1a3) to fear, reverence, honour, respect

If fear can also be represented by phrases, such as: stand in awe, be awed, or words such as reverence, honor and respect, then yes, I feel that this is my heart and comprehension of who He is, but scripture tells us that God is going to pour out his wrath upon the circumcised and the uncircumcised. That sounds like something to fear, and potentially cause people to turn their hearts from ways contrary to God’s and show Him the respect he is due. However, most will not do that, and will be removed from the earth.

Wrath = rage or strife. Clearly, God does and will get mad.

Jesus was and is God, and as such, a representation of God on earth. An aspect of why he was here was to demonstrate the character and nature of the Father, God. I quickly tried to find references to Jesus mission on earth. Truth be known, I was looking for passages that validated Jesus as a representative of the peaceful kingdom. What I found is a mixed bag.

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to destroy but to fulfill.”

Matthew 9:13 “But go and learn what this is, I will have mercy and not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

If what we see in scripture is an actual progression, then his words of peace and comfort took a sudden shift.

Matthew 10:34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I did not come to send peace, but a sword.”

John 9:39 “And Jesus said, I have come into this world for judgment, that they who do not see might see, and that they who see might be made blind.

In John 10:10 he showed his compassion once again by explaining:

John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

He certainly was not the thief and he did not speak in code. They could understand exactly what he was saying. The thief was the destroyer, Satan, and they knew it. Jesus stated clearly, I have come to give life in opposition to the one who takes life away, but not just life, something larger and better than what you comprehend.

Life was not so different back then, for you still had those with money, and those without. Those without suffered just as they do today, and the wants and desires are still here with us. So, what would it mean to have life more abundantly? The word He used was ‘perissos’ and meant something in the sense of beyond. Was he talking about tomorrow? I do not think so, because for so many of us, tomorrow never comes. I think the abundant life has everything to do with relationship and our life with him in the kingdom to come.

The next two passages are short, to the point, and offer little comfort.

John 12:46 “I have come as a Light into the world, so that whoever believes on Me should not remain in darkness.”

John 15:22 “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have had sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.”

The passage that my spirit wanted to find was this:

Luke 9:54-56 In response to how they as a group were treated, we see this: “. His disciples James and John said, Lord, do You desire that we command fire to come down from Heaven and consume them, even as Elijah did? But He turned and rebuked them and said, You do not know of what spirit you are. For the Son of Man has not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save.”

It was not Jesus that was willing to call-fire down from heaven, nor did he tell the two brothers that what they were asking for was impossible. He addressed the spirit that they were responding to, and then he openly clarified that he was here to save lives, not destroy them.

Now, as for when he returns, and that may be any day now, He will come as the conquering king that Israel anticipated, and years of anger and vengeance will be carried out by him. The bible is filled with allegories, and this is one. It represents the nations of the earth, and, sadly, Israel as well, as God slaughters those who choose to stand against him.

“And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.” (Revelation 14:18-20 KJV)

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Comparing my life to a Veggie Tales movie

Recently I have compared my life to a Veggie Tales movie, Larry Boy and the Rumor weed. The weed, much like a dandelion, has a tremendous tap root that must be removed completely or it can come back incessantly. If you are a reader of my blog then you know that I am an advocate of Celebrate Recovery, and that I have gained a tremendous amount of help by participating in a 12-step group. Do not be deceived, attending Celebrate Recovery does not cure anything, but it does direct you to Jesus Christ and it is in him where we find hope and healing.

Recently I was reading Isaiah and this got my attention.

Isaiah 42:3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.

This passage took on a deep meaning for me one day as I heard a speaker describing how they took a pastor friend to the mall with the intent of diverting his thoughts from some deep emotional pain he was suffering. As the two walked, they came across a card store and went in. The struggling pastor was shown a card that had this verse on it. He looked at it, paused, and said, the problem is, in most cases, we cannot tell when the reed is bruised. More was said, but my mind was locked onto this last sentence.

If you have spent anytime in the Word, you should realize that the “he” in this verse is Jesus as he comes to heal and comfort you. Jesus will not break you in your wounded state.

This verse is a sharp contrast to an analogy given by a pastor whose teaching I once sat under (He is no longer my pastor, nor anyone else’s’ anymore.) This pastor spoke about how the shepherd would train a sheep that continued to stray by intentionally breaking its leg. The look on my pastors’ face, his body language, and the sound associated with the imagery as he made the motions with his hands drove me back in my seat in revilement and disgust. I can remember thinking I would not serve a God like that, nor would I ever tell someone that this was even remotely how God operated, because it is not.

You may not be able to see the bruises that I carry, and have for years, but they are there, and no, even though I have been in recovery for a while they are not all gone. Over the years, I tried to gain some degree of relief by talking to people about the hurt I was feeling. I lost count of how many times people turned their backs to me and found someone more entertaining to talk to, it just happened the other day.

You see, there-in lies the problem, for you cannot see emotional bruises and some physical bruises can be well hidden, therefore we often dismiss the claims of others. I believe that to be fair I must consider that not every incident I perceived as rejection was intentional. I have to give this kind of grace, because it is what I wish to receive as I stand before Jesus to account for my inappropriate responses, and I have one person in particular that jumps into my mind. Look, I have not even been able to fix myself, and find myself overwhelmed by the internal damage this person describes.

I decided to see how many times the Holy Spirit makes mention of bruising in the bible. What I was led to was the Hebrew definition of the word bruised: “ratsats” – and it means to crush or oppress. Because I have a horticulture background, my mind envisions a long flower stem that I may have wanted as part of a floral display, but somewhere along the way that stem may have been crushed, and if severe enough, the stem could be completely folded-over. I suppose all this has to do with the severity of the damage. If the damage affects the plant’s ability to move essential moisture and nutrients up through the plant, then a bent stem could restrict life from continuing up through the stem and at minimum, would die. Since we cannot typically see how broken a person is, how do we know how much damage they have sustained; we cannot, and therefore must rely on the Holy Spirit.

If I look at the word from the other angle, “to oppress”, then it takes on an entirely new meaning because there is intentionality in oppression.

Webster’s dictionary: 1. To load or burden with unreasonable impositions; to treat with unjust severity, rigor or hardship; as, to oppress a nation with taxes or contributions; to oppress one by compelling him to perform unreasonable service. 2. To overpower; to overburden; as, to be oppressed with grief.

The world seems to be focused on bullying lately, and oppressing people is exactly what bullies do. I will let you in on a dirty, little, secret. Bullies are everywhere, even in church. Do not misunderstand me, that does not make them bad (at least as far as a relationship with God is concerned), but being at church does not make them safe, and they, like most of us that are damaged, had bad role models and are merely emulating their teachers. I can assure you that there are people at that church that would give their lives for you to protect you if they saw someone hurting you, but they are rare, and most people are into self-preservation.

The Hebrew word “ratsats” shows up only 19 times. Not much if you are trying to establish a pattern of usage or interpretation. Of those nineteen times, only two are translated as bruised, the majority lean toward oppressed or broken. That tends to force us to look at this passage in terms of oppression or brokenness.

I took a job recently, after being out of work for eight months, that though described as seasonal, I had hoped would become permanent. I survived two months. Now do not get me wrong, even though I am sixty years old, I still run circles around most of the younger ones. The secret to that is a work ethic that says, there is no free lunch and so you work not play. I quickly found out that my manager took delight in dishing out mental oppression as a motivator. His dad did it to him and so it must be appropriate for everyone else. Let me assure you, it is not. Although I got injured there, I truly enjoyed and valued many of the people I interacted with, but I came to the conclusion that I value myself enough to not subject myself to a daily regimen of inappropriate threats. I had recently commented to my girlfriend, I cannot believe that I let that guy get into my head like that, and yet, it makes all the sense in the world because of how I was raised.

I have come to realize that the damage inside me goes very deep, and I am not sure how to extract the root so that it dies and never bothers me again. The problem is, I cannot do it (I tried for years), and I am not even sure what I am looking for, but Jesus does.

In the midst of emotional trauma, it is easy to feel unloved and unwanted. What you need to know at times like that, more than anything else is that no matter what your relationship status with God is, He (God) loves you. He loved you so much that He allowed his own Son to die in your place, purchasing your life back from an enemy that cares nothing about you, hates you, and is making every effort to destroy you. God has tattooed your face in the palms of His hands, that is how much he cares about you. You are ever before his face.

Isaiah 49:16 Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;

If you have heard of the term apologetics, then you must know that you are not apologizing for anything, but on the contrary, you are defending, with vigor and intelligence, what you know from scripture to be right. One of the dominant aspects of scripture that has convinced many is the fact that God / Jesus did exactly what they said they would do. Jesus told his disciples that he would die and raise again in new life, and he did it. He told his disciples that he would appear again to them, and he did it. His body was real, and encouraged them to touch it. He sat and ate fish with them, and appeared to over 400 people. Why point any of this out? Because, even I find myself needing to be reminded that this life in Christ is real, and that God, more than anything else in this world loves me. We all need to know that we are loved, and longed for; he proved that by sending His Son Jesus Christ.

If you do not have a relationship with the Father, you can by sincerely asking Jesus Christ to come into your broken life and make his home there. He will, and if you will allow him, he will begin to heal the aspects you will open to him there.

If Jesus Christ has been a part of your life for years, and yet you are tormented by the brokenness you feel, you are not alone. Scripture tells us that the enemy accuses us constantly before the Father, probably hoping that God would reject us. You need to know that God will not and does not change his mind about you and I. To do something like that would be contrary to God’s nature and established patterns of doing things, and it is not going to happen. He did not reject Jesus, and Jesus had to become sin, not merely have some in him. Yet, in spite of the sin (taken care of by the spilling of the blood of the Lamb upon the altar, just as Israel had done all those years) God received him back, and crowned him with glory, and seated Him upon an everlasting throne, where He now reigns.

Continue reading in Isaiah 42 you will find a statement that ought to be directed at Jesus, and yet, because of our relationship with him, can easily apply to us as well.

“I Jehovah have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand, and will keep You, and give You for a covenant of the people, for a Light of the nations; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness out of the prison house.” (Isaiah 42:6-7 MKJV)

Since we came to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, we too have been called in righteousness, and God, the Father, will hold our hand and keep us.

There is no doubt that Jesus was given as a covenant of the people. The people initially being the Jews, but since God expanded that to include anyone that would come, we too are the people. Take this a step further, for Paul the Apostle wrote: “as he is, so are we, in this world.” Therefore, we too are a covenant or sign to the world, and that includes the crushed reeds that stand before us daily.

As lights that have been called, we have the right, duty, and ability in Christ, to: open the blind eyes, bring out the prisoners from prison, and bring light to those who sit in darkness. I believe passages, such as the one in Isaiah 42, give me the freedom and right to act, as Jesus would have. Should you have questions about how Jesus would have acted then consider Acts 10:38 for a moment.

“.. God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” (Acts 10:38 KJV)

If you do nothing else, as a believer, empowered by the Holy Spirit, place your hand on them and ask the Father, in Jesus name, to touch their lives, and then allow Him to do his work.

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Just where is heaven supposed to be?

I was asked, “are we going up into heaven, or is heaven coming down to earth, and just where is heaven supposed to be if the earth is destroyed?”

They seem like foolish questions that really have no importance to our lives, but it seems to be the question that runs through the back of minds of most believers, and not just followers of Christ, every religion has a concept of an afterlife. It is after all, our hope. One of the things that give us trouble when we try to understand something like heaven is our tendency to look at things so literally. Let me explain: You will find the word all repeatedly throughout the bible, and it tends to apply to judgment or battles where the enemy or a nation is supposed to have been entirely wiped out. A simplistic understanding demonstrates that for the most part, that did not happen. In other instances all Israel bowed and agreed to some covenant of repentance several times, and yet you can read that moments later some are found doing just the opposite because they had not been involved in the covenant and had not made that agreement. Or an even more simplistic example would be the marital agreements we make, only to break, ignore, and stomp on that agreement, despite the fact that they are made before God and witnesses.

Where do I stand on this? I believe heaven is a real place, and thoroughly functional. God is not waiting for a last minute decision and then speak it into existence. The reality of a heavenly home was one of the main reasons Jesus spoke so adamantly to the disciples, assuring them by saying, I am telling you the truth.

There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live.

(John 14:2-3 MSG)

I used the Message version because we, as a christian community, get too hung up on physical desires like palatial homes instead of finally being in the presence and dwelling of the Father that longs for you and I, the real purpose of heaven.

The movie Heaven Is For Real released around May of 2104. In it, a young boy experiences heaven, has in depth conversations with Jesus, meets relatives he never knew, could see his own parents grieving in the hospital, and returned back into his body.

What did the religious community do in response to this film? Ridicule it, just as the Pharisees did to Jesus Christ so many years ago. The big name church leadership angrily asked why we are so focused on a place that could be little more than the drug induced imagination of a young child. They even stated that the mother of this child was now saying, it did not happen the way the movie portrays (this aspect is where you have go in with your eyes wide open.) A guy in my bible study essentially said the same derisive things. That same religious community got together, convened their own high council, and decided that as a church body we needed to stay away in protest from illusory concepts such as heaven.

My own experience when reading the book, and then seeing the movie was comparable to each other. Let me make a point here: I am not an avid reader but I do indulge on occasion. On one of those occasions, I read The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy. Later a movie was made about the book and I went to see it. (I could tell you that my girlfriend read the book, The Dome. Now she is watching the television series and finds it sorely disappointing because it does not even remotely follow the storyline of the book.) I thought they did a real good job with Heaven is for Real, and captured the doubt and typical human emotion.

God spent a tremendous amount of time throughout history convincing men, like Abraham and Jacob, by showing them signs. I did not see this any differently in the movie, and felt they captured the apprehensions of not only a families reaction, but the entire local church as they struggled to believe. What I had to come to grips with, was why would a church, filled with “followers” of Christ, not believe in the reality of heaven? The only explanation I could come up with is that it was not talked about from the pulpit. Oh, there we go, put the blame on the padre, he is the easy target. No doubt the pastor carries a tremendous weight, but what about us, or another way of saying this, what about you. Why do you not read what God has said about heaven? Doesn’t God’s designs on heaven convey what he thinks and feels about us, and reflect his character. So, do not tell me a comprehension of heaven is not important, and not real.

I deem myself to be a mature believer and reasonably knowledgeable, and the word pictures that the book painted for me registered as true in my spirit. Beside that, the art of being a skeptic is deeply ingrained in me, therefore I look at everything with a critical eye, and nothing about the book or movie set off those alarms in me. The movie took me even deeper as I almost immediately felt like my spirit began to travail because of the longing to be with Jesus; free of this tortured body I live in. No, I am not physically scarred and bent over, but I will say that with the death of Robin Williams, a man I have watched since his advent on television, that I have a deep understanding of his emotional anguish, and I rejoice over the fact that someday soon, in the twinkling of an eye we will be changed.

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52 KJV)

Paul, writing to the church in Galatia, gives us a starting point for our search and understanding when he says,

Galatians 4:26 KJV But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

Though we do not really know where heaven is at (such as sitting in another galaxy), God does not seem to be hindered by space and time. Therefore, as far as you know, you may be standing in the “above” right now and not know it.

God’s word tells us that the things, which are seen, are temporary; that must mean that we are surrounded by an unseen world, perhaps one in which the heaven we long for is all around us. We are certainly surrounded by an innumerable cloud of witnesses, angels; those that have gone on ahead of us. Where are they staying?

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (Hebrews 12:1 KJV)

I feel strongly, based upon what the bible says that Jerusalem is the center of activity and life in the bible. It was where the temple was and will be again, and it was the home of the forerunner of Jesus Christ, King David. In that regard I grasp how it can be the mother to us all, as Paul said in Galatians 4:26. There has to be something more to this.

I get the sense that the new Jerusalem is a living, breathing entity, and we are a part of it.

If you do a search for “the kingdom of heaven” you will find that this phrase was the repeated topic of discussion throughout the gospel of Matthew.

(Matthew 4:17 KJV) From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

While I can determine (from the passage) that there is a need to repent in preparation for the kingdom, and that the kingdom of heaven is near in terms of time, it does not answer the question about where heaven is.

I Changed my search to “new Jerusalem”

(Revelation 3:12 KJV) Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

Do I want to be considered a pillar worthy of being in the temple? Absolutely, but should you ask me if I feel like one, the answer would be no most of the time.

Upon the over-comer Jesus will write the name of God, and the of the city of “my” God, which is new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God.

Doesn’t God writing his name upon us imply ownership? If you watched the movie Toy Story, then you understand the idea of a kid writing his name on a toy to show ownership. We, of course, are not toys, but having been paid for, and being in agreement with God’s design and plan, we have placed ourselves voluntarily into his ownership. Yet, he is the one that willingly wanted us, and had designs upon us before time began.

..the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God:”

Jesus, speaking to the church, talks about Jerusalem as though it is outside of himself, then this New Jerusalem, our new home, may be an aspect of God himself.

And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. (Revelation 21:22 KJV)

I think we can all agree that Christ is the Lamb.

Revelation 5:12 KJV Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

You might say, wow, that’s great, but what does any of that mean to me, and how does it explain where I might find the new Jerusalem? It means a lot because we are in Christ. Let that sink into your head for a minute. We are not just associated with him in relationship we are in him. Some might say this is merely an aspect of our adoption into the family. While I get that, I believe this integrated relationship is much deeper than we understand. We have actually been deemed by God to be IN the son.

So, what do you do to prove your point? You dig up passages.

Ephesians 1:22-23 CEV God has put all things under the power of Christ, and for the good of the church he has made him the head of everything. (23) The church is Christ’s body and is filled with Christ who completely fills everything.

The word fullness conveys the whole nature and attributes of God that are in Christ. While the term ‘filleth’ (old English for fills) implies – to press; to crowd; to stuff. Hence, to put or pour in, till the thing will hold no more.

Ephesians 5:30 seems to take this idea of being an integral part of Christ’s body beyond the mere church unity concept

For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. (Ephesians 5:30 KJV)

This should ring a bell for Jesus said that out of your bellies shall flow rivers of living water. How many people do you know that live like that? Not many.

John 7:38 KJV He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

We, this delightfully broken body of Christ, spend most of our time telling the other aspects of the body, that same body that makes us the body of Christ, the temple in the new Jerusalem, that we are out of line, to exuberant, and that our freedom in the Holy Spirit went away with the days of the disciples. I find it annoying just writing about it because it happens all the time.

Although Ephesians 5:25 – 30 can easily speak to the body of Christ, it can also speak to the individual for verse 30 states, “we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.”

Ephesians 5:25-30 KJV Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (26) That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (27) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (28) So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. (29) For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: (30) For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

And yet Christ, as a spirit being, unaffected by the fleshly body he still wore, walked through the wall to enter the room where they were waiting as he had directed them to do. Paul in his writing to the church at Rome said,

Romans 8:9 KJV But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Therefore, we are covered, enveloped in every aspect of his image, and in every way a part of that temple, and the columns that are a part of it.

Now where does that put us, in heaven, or here on earth? If I extrapolate and say that the kingdom of heaven is here now because of our unique relationship with Christ, there is some truth to that. And yet, we know that the New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven.

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21:2 KJV)

The answer to the question is not so clear, but lends itself to heaven currently being above. Imagine the logic of that, for up is always down to someone else. Kind of like when Paul Simon wrote these words in a song, “one mans ceiling, is another man’s floor”. It is all relative. Years ago, as I sat in a meeting held by brother Kenneth Copeland, he proclaimed that in his time in prayer, prior to coming on stage, that he saw a vision of heaven and said it was like a bubble. A bubble that surrounds us, that we cannot see, and yet awaits that moment when it will be revealed. I honestly do not know, and yet I know it exists, is awaiting all who come to the Father through a relationship with the his Son, Jesus Christ, and will eventually be here upon the restored earth.

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The questions I hear.

I am deeply troubled to hear such lack of understanding among “God’s” people. Far to many, in trying to convey their knowledge of end times events and the Revelation of Jesus, speak from tradition and what someone else has told them. It is confusing to say the least.

This came out of multiple interactions with followers of Christ that do not have a clue, and many vehemently argue their incorrect positions without adequate scripture to back them up. Do we not realize how foolish we look to the world and to other believers when we do this? What will it take to get you to read your bibles? How can you possibly know and understand the character of God unless you go to the source instead of conjecture.

Since I began writing this I started a new job. That is vital to my welfare, as you might imagine, but it also pulled me away from writing and studying; aspects of my life in Christ that I love. I also came across Pastor Raul Reis speaking on the radio about this very thing. Raul is the senior pastor at Calvary Chapel Golden Springs, in Diamond Bar, California. He was speaking on end times prophecy, specifically the last seven years. Sadly, I found myself disgusted, as even he quickly got into fallacy.

Why are we afraid to boldly declare the truth? An example: God’s word tells us with certainty that before the coming of the Messiah that He will send Elijah the prophet. Since it is appointed unto man once to die, and Elijah never did, then he is a perfect candidate to return, especially since we know that the two witnesses must be killed and resurrected at the end of their three and one half-year span of witnessing. There are so many other aspects that bothered me about his talk, but we do not have time for that here.

The questions I hear revolve around how many judgments are coming upon the earth, the timing of these judgments (as though more thrones and explicit judgments are dished out), who is doing the judging (Christ – the Son, alone. John 5:22. And yet in Revelation 20:4 we see the martyred saints reigning with Him for the thousand years), and upon whom do they fall (Malachi 4 and Zechariah 14:16,17 both speak to this). The approach to answering the questions can be simple, presenting the argument with a minimalist chronology, but that typically evokes a further argument. Another approach is by using two or three witnesses – we do that by backing up the chronological approach with clear evidence from God’s word (this of course implies that the reader is willing to accept God’s word as the final say on the matter, and exclude opinion and tradition if it does not align with God’s word.)

The day of the Lord

One of the problems we have, when trying to grasp end times scenarios and prophesy, are phrases like this: “the day of the Lord”. Our minds tend to take that statement literally, and therefore expect nothing outside of a self-mandated, twenty-four hour day. To help with our understanding, let us look at some verses from 1 Thessalonians that might explain the day of the Lord, or day of Christ (they are both the same.)

1 Thessalonians 5:1 NASB (1) Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you.

The word translated epoch is kairos, and means a measure of time. It can be large or small. We only have two things guiding our thinking on this – the seven-year period of judgment upon the earth (we mistakenly call the tribulation,) and the physical events attributed to Jesus Christ’s return to the earth at the end of the seven-years.

I want you to take note of the variations in how this word, kairos is translated.

1 Thessalonians 5:1 KJV (1) But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

Without having to deal with a word like epoch, the mind quickly comprehends that a season is clearly longer than a day, but do not place that time frame into the constraints of a growing season because the word, like eon, means a measure of time, with no clear-cut beginning or end, unless it has modifiers to assist with defining it. Verse two, however, uses a different word.

1 Thessalonians 5:2 KJV (2) For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.

The translations are consistent with this being a day. The Greek word is hemera, and is used of the interval between sunrise and sunset, but don’t get excited yet, for in the Eastern mindset “any part of a day is counted as a whole day, hence the expression “three days and three nights” does not mean literally three whole days, but at least one whole day plus part of two other days.” Thayer’s definitions.

What is my point? This concept of “the day of the Lord” is not something that we can be so rigid about, especially if it constrains or limits God. Yes, I can hear you and your logic, as you say, how can I, the reader, limit God. You do it in your mind and your spirit as you tell God and others how and when He gets to act out the scenario he designed, which, if you are a believer really has no major impact on you, because it is a time of wrath upon the nations; unless you are going to try to share these things as a part of our hope.

It would not be appropriate for me to take Peter’s explanation (See 2 Peter 3:10-11 MKJV), where he states, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens will pass away with a rushing noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat. And the earth and the works in it will be burned up” and put my own constraints upon it by saying, this could not happen in a day. But I can ascertain that it takes longer because I have other evidence that tells me that it does happen over a seven years. Daniel 9:27, speaking of the antichrist, informs us, “he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice”. It is widely understood that the reference to “one week” represents seven years, and that the antichrist will stop the temple sacrifice half way through that period. So, “the day of the Lord” is not just “a day” but the entire 7 years of judgment upon the earth, culminating in his sudden appearing.

Why would I say that? If you are going to be strictly literal then you have constrained yourself to only looking at that time in which Jesus physically touches down on the earth and slaughters all those that are attempting to fight against him.

Zechariah 14:3-7 NIV Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. (4) On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, … (5) … Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. (6) On that day there will be neither sunlight nor cold, frosty darkness. (7) It will be a unique day–a day known only to the LORD–with no distinction between day and night. When evening comes, there will be light.

If you insist on treating what is to come as a solitary day or time, you just have too many problems. There is what seems like a non-stop destruction coming upon the earth. The prophet Jeremiah stated, 9:25 NIV “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh–” and, we know with a certainty that the time of wrath lasts seven years.

The prophet Daniel is one of our primary sources of understanding, and yet even he was given the time frame in a code. He had to ask for an explanation, which he received.

Daniel 7:25 JPS “and he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High; and he shall think to change the seasons and the law; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time.”

Bible interpreters have come to understand that “a time and times and half a time” means three and a half years. The Good News Bible said it clearly; “God’s people will be under his power for three and a half years.” We know this period of judgment from the Lord, and deception, and war from the antichrist, lasts seven years. Again, we must consider the code, and for that we go to Daniel 9:27.

Daniel 9:27 KJV And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

until a time, and times, and the dividing of time; by “a time” is meant a year, the longest part of time; by “times”, two years; and “the dividing of time”, half a year; in all three years and a half, which is the same with 1260 days, or forty two months, the time of the witnesses prophesying in sackcloth, and of the reign of antichrist; so long shall he continue, exercising his power and authority, his wrath and rage, and blasphemy, and no longer; see Rev_11:2. John Gill’s commentary

Revelation speaks of the same time, the last three and a half years, but refers to them as months.

Revelation 11:2 KJV But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

Timing is based upon the Jewish calendar of 360 days.

The bottom line for me is that the day of the Lord includes every aspect of the seven years.

Many will say, but I do not understand.

They think it is impossible to figure the end times out; besides that, he is coming as a thief in the night and we can not possibly know when he is coming. Wrong!

1 Thessalonians 5:4-5 NASB (4) But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; (5) for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness;

You are right, no one knows the precise timing, not even Jesus knew that, but we, like wise men and women, can be keenly aware of bible prophecy and associate the events of the day with them, knowing that His coming is just over the horizon.

Why do you think a homeowner would be able to avert being surprised by a thief? Because, they have forewarning, which we have, and they put up a monitoring system with lights and alarms to alert them. This is exactly what God’s word does, and has done for us by giving us the Holy Spirit.

The Apostle Peter helps to fill in some of the details about this idea of “thief in night”.

2 Peter 3:10-11 MKJV But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a rushing noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat. And the earth and the works in it will be burned up. (11) Then, all these things being about to be dissolved, what sort ought you to be in holy behavior and godliness,

God, and the judgment that is coming, is not sneaking up on those that are aware. I am trying to make you aware, but to the unaware, the disbelieving, and unconcerned it is coming as a thief. But note: this time is coming with commotion, violence, and heat. A person we call the antichrist will attempt to dominate everyone, but two people, sent from God will prevent his total domination for three and a half years. Those two people are called the witnesses from God and by Jehovah’s timing they will be killed and lay in the street for three days. They will be raised to life again and taken up into heaven before everyone’s eyes. With momentary restraints lifted hells fury will be poured out upon the remaining faithful (those that did not previously go up in the rapture of the Christians). All the while God is pouring out his wrath upon the earth. It will be a dismal place as the economic systems have collapsed; violence fills the streets; fishing is destroyed; water is undrinkable, and there are overwhelming earthquakes.

God does not want you in the dark. He wants you to ask Him.

Isaiah 45:11 Thus says the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: “Ask Me about the things to come concerning My sons, And you shall commit to Me the work of My hands.

Moreover, the Holy Spirit will show the heart of God to you.

John 16:13 NASB “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

Judgment and gleeful joy

It almost seems sinister when they ask, because we seem to want retribution; either that, or we gain some pleasure in knowing that offenders will pay severely someday. Some can fling out the curse, “go to hell” without a second thought. Perhaps venting anger and frustration in this way is easy because we do not understand the eternal fury of such a place, or they just do not have a clue about what hell is. The problem is that we believers are too quick to seek judgment and not mercy. Even though the time of wrath is coming, and many will continue to reject Him, there is still hope as long as people can still breathe.

We keep forgetting that there is something more here. Paul writes about this in his letter to the body of Christ in Rome.

Romans 8:19-23 GW All creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal who his children are. (20) Creation was subjected to frustration but not by its own choice. The one who subjected it to frustration did so in the hope (21) that it would also be set free from slavery to decay in order to share the glorious freedom that the children of God will have. (22) We know that all creation has been groaning with the pains of childbirth up to the present time. (23) However, not only creation groans. We, who have the Spirit as the first of God’s gifts, also groan inwardly. We groan as we eagerly wait for our adoption, the freeing of our bodies from sin.

The truth be known, we all are anxious and frustrated with our own frailties, and the impact of broken people that surround us. We also see this frustration as the martyred saints cry out:

Revelation 6:10 ISV They cried out in a loud voice, “Holy and true Sovereign, how long will it be before you judge and take revenge on those living on the earth who shed our blood?”

Will God sit as a judge over the nations after the seven-years?

There is no denying that thrones are setup but it is not as you suspect for the entirety of the seven-year period is a time of wrath and judgment upon: The nations; Israel – for its rejection; and the earth, because it must be purified, and yet God, in his mercy, does not arbitrarily destroy everyone. If you are awake, then you know that Islam has parents teaching their children from the time they can comprehend, to hate and kill the Jew and infidel; anyone outside of Islam, are the infidel. But children have an advantage because God considers children to be under an age of accountability until age twelve. I believe we are safe in making this assumption because this bible of ours originated from a Jewish orientation, therefore by the Jewish standard that age is twelve. On the other hand, a child is deemed to be a combatant by Islam as long as they can throw a rock or carry a bomb; thankfully, God does not. And this is what we see going into the thousand years on earth under the reign of those who were martyred for their faith in Christ.

It troubles me that I have to explain these things, but experience has demonstrated that religious folk will stand there, continuing to argue their broken point that is based upon tradition, so I give you one more reference from the mouth of God, to illustrate that there are survivors that go into the millennial reign, and they are not arbitrarily punished.

Zechariah 14:16 NASB Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths.

Peter explains much of what the day of the Lord is, but also helps to define why we should pay attention to end times events.

2 Peter 3:10-12 LITV But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with rushing sound, and having burned the elements will be dissolved, and earth and the works in it will be burned up. (11) ISV Since everything will be destroyed in this way, think of the kind of holy and godly people you ought to be (12) ISV as you look forward to and hasten the coming of the day of God, when the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved and the elements will melt with fire.

The following is from The MacArthur Bible Commentary where he is speaking about 2 Peter 3:10. (Allow me to make a disclaimer here. I have listened to John MacArthur more than I care to admit, and my major problem with the man is what I perceive as his general disdain for the Holy Spirit. No doubt he is a smart man and I have gained much insight into God’s word through his commentaries, but I do so with a skeptical eye, comparing everything he says against what the word of God says. I suggest you do so as well.)

The day of the Lord. “Day of the Lord” is a technical term pointing to the special interventions of God in human history for judgment. It ultimately refers to the future time of judgment whereby God judges the wicked on earth and ends this world system in its present form. The OT prophets saw the final Day of the Lord as unequaled darkness and damnation, a day when the Lord would act in a climactic way to vindicate His name, destroy His enemies, reveal His glory, establish His kingdom, and destroy the world (cf. Isa_2:10-21; Isa_13:6-22; Joel 1, 2; Amos 5; Oba_1:15; Zech. 14; Mal. 4; 2Th_1:7; 2Th_2:2). It occurs at the time of the tribulation on earth (Rev_6:17), and again 1,000 years later at the end of the millennial kingdom before the creation of the new heavens and new earth (2Pe_3:13; Rev. 20:1-21:1).

as a thief in the night. The Day of the Lord will have a surprise arrival, sudden, unexpected, and disastrous to the unprepared (see notes on 1Th_5:2).

the heavens will pass away with a great noise. The heavens refer to the physical universe. The great noise connotes a whistling or a crackling sound as of objects being consumed by flames. God will incinerate the universe, probably in an atomic reaction that disintegrates all matter, as we know it (2Pe_3:7, 2Pe_3:11, 2Pe_3:12-13).

the elements will melt with fervent heat. The elements are the atomic components into which matter is ultimately divisible, which make up the composition of all the created matter. Peter means that the atoms, neutrons, protons, and electrons are all going to disintegrate (2Pe_3:11).

the earth and the works. The whole of the physical, natural earth in its present form, with its entire universe will be consumed. Cf. Isa_24:19-20; Isa_34:4.

Again from MacArthur

1 Thessalonians 5:2 “day of the Lord.”

There are nineteen indisputable uses of the Day of the Lord in the OT and four in the NT (cf. Act_2:20; 2Th_2:2; 2Pe_3:10). The OT prophets used Day of the Lord to describe near historical judgments (see Isa_13:6-22; Eze_30:2-19; Joe_1:15; Amo_5:18-20; Zep_1:14-18) or far eschatological divine judgments (see Joe_2:30-32; Joe_3:14; Zec_14:1; Mal_4:1, Mal_4:5). Six times it is referred to as the “day of doom” and four times “day of vengeance.” The NT calls it a day of “wrath,” day of “visitation,” and the “Great Day of God Almighty” (Rev_16:14).

a thief in the night. This phrase is never used to refer to the rapture of the church. It is used of Christ’s coming in judgment on the Day of the Lord at the end of the seven-year tribulation which is distinct from the rapture of the church (see note on 1Th_4:15) and it is used of the judgment which concludes the millennium (2Pe_3:10). As a thief comes unexpectedly and without warning, so will the Day of the Lord come in both its final phases.

I have stated several times that there are only three people groups that God is concerning himself with: The Jews, the nations, and the church. Since 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 defines for us that none of the judgment will take place until his church is removed from the earth, our discussion is limited to the remaining two people groups – The Jews/Israel, and the nations. Because the nations are inclusive of everyone outside of Israel, this becomes important because the nations are defined as everyone non-accepting of Jesus Christ, and Israel certainly could be included in that definition, but Israel is in its own class due to the fact that they were God’s chosen, and their repeated rejection of the Messiah.

God’s word is very clear about the reasons for this wrath that is to be poured out upon the earth.

I would suggest you read Isaiah chapter 2 in its entirety.

A time of judgment upon the nations.

Isaiah 2:4 MKJV And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people; ….

Isaiah 34:1-6 MKJV Come near, nations, to hear; and, you people, listen; let the earth hear, and its fullness; the world, and its offspring. (2) For the anger of Jehovah is on all nations, and His fury on all their armies. …

Zechariah 12:9 KJV And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

It is meant to humble man.

Isaiah 2:11 MKJV The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the pride of men shall be bowed down, and Jehovah alone shall be exalted in that day.

Jeremiah 50:31 NIV “See, I am against you, you arrogant one,” declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty, “for your day has come, the time for you to be punished.

It is a time of judgment upon Israel.

Judges 10:13-14 KJV Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more. (14) Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation.

Jeremiah 33:11 KJV The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.

This is meant to end oppression of man on man.

Isaiah 49:24-26 MKJV Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? (25) But so says Jehovah, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the fearful ones shall escape. For I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your sons. (26) And I will feed those who oppress you with their own flesh; and they shall be drunk with their own blood, as with sweet wine; and all flesh shall know that I Jehovah am your Savior and your Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.

Isaiah 61:2 MKJV to preach the acceptable year of Jehovah and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;

It is a time of God’s vengeance.

Isaiah 63:4-6 MKJV For the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come. (5) And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was no one to uphold; therefore My own arm has saved for Me; and My fury upheld Me. (6) And I will tread down the people in My anger, and make them drunk in My fury, and I will pour their juice to the earth.

Micah 5:15 NIV I will take vengeance in anger and wrath on the nations that have not obeyed me.”

Can we create a time line for any of this?

Now that we have an overview of God’s intent and upon whom, can we create a time line for any of this? Since we have established that NO MAN can give you a precise time for these, and we can only work on generalizations. Fortunately, our generalizations are amazingly precise, and associated with prophecy.

Smarter men than I have concluded that there are no prophecies left to fulfill. You can argue with that, you would not be the first, but you are not changing my mind, and it seems that there is nothing to restrain God from sending Jesus back to gather the church.

Rapture timeline

If you watch You Tube videos, you will see a lead in comment declaring how someone gets owned due to a verbal or physical put down. Jesus did just that; he owned the Pharisees and Sadducees when he said,

“When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ (3) and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.”Matthew 16:2-3 NIV

Can we do any better? I already pointed out how God wants us to ask him what is coming, and since we have the Holy Spirit to tell us of things to come, we have no excuse for having an understanding of the times.

Jesus said this to his disciples:

“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. (33) Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.” Matthew 24:32-33 NIV

If Israel is that fig tree, and I believe it is, then its leaves have come out. If Israel is not being spoken of, then what are we waiting for?

Why is any of this important?

I feel I must include this aspect of discussion because I have had it thrown in my face multiple times lately: Why is any of this important and why do we as believers need to talk about what is to come? So we go to the source and ask, what does the bible say about our paying attention to prophecy and end times event?

2 Peter 3: 10 – 18 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with rushing sound, and having burned the elements will be dissolved, and earth and the works in it will be burned up. (11) ISV Since everything will be destroyed in this way, think of the kind of holy and godly people you ought to be (12) ISV as you look forward to and hasten the coming of the day of God, when the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved and the elements will melt with fire. (13) But according to His promise, we look for “new heavens and a new earth,” in which righteousness dwells. Isa. 65:17 (14) MSG So, my dear friends, since this is what you have to look forward to, do your very best to be found living at your best, in purity and peace. (15) And think of the long-suffering of our Lord as salvation, as also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you, according to the wisdom given to him; (16) as also in all his epistles, speaking in them concerning these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the unlearned and unsettled pervert, as also they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. (17) NIrV Dear friends, you already know that. So be on your guard. Then you won’t be led down the wrong path by the mistakes of people who don’t obey the law. You won’t fall from your safe position. (18) But grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

If I looked at what Peter said as the basis for my zeal for an understanding of end times events, then here is what I see:

  • Think of the kind of holy and godly people you ought to be (12) ISV as you look forward to and hasten the coming of the day of God,
  • According to His promise, we look for “new heavens and a new earth,” in which righteousness dwells
  • So, my dear friends, since this is what you have to look forward to, do your very best to be found living at your best, in purity and peace.
  • Paul wrote to you, according to the wisdom given to him; (16) as also in all his epistles, speaking in them concerning these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the unlearned and unsettled pervert, as also they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.
  • So be on your guard. Then you won’t be led down the wrong path by the mistakes of people who don’t obey the law
  • You won’t fall from your safe position.
  • But grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

Titus tells us that we are looking for a blessed hope, the appearance of Jesus Christ. That statement is slightly different from what I had thrown at me from our resident theologian in bible study. He seemed to feel it was good to have hope, but that our hope should be in the basics of Christian living. You know, the helmet of salvation and the breastplate of righteousness. I responded back harshly, how does that give you hope. I could not tell you what he said in response; I had tuned him out.

Titus 2:11-15 MKJV For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, (12) teaching us that having denied ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live discreetly, righteously and godly, in this present world, (13) looking for the blessed hope, and the appearance of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, (14) who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity and purify to Himself a special people, zealous of good works. (15) Speak these things, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.

Since we have an assurance that Jesus is coming again someday, you would think it would be party time, time to relax. And yet that seems to be the opposite of what Titus wants for us; for we deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, living discreetly, righteously, and godly in this present world, as we look for his appearance. How many people do you know that live like that?

However, Titus was not done, for he added, “Speak these things, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority.” What things are we speaking about, our Lord’s return and the impending destruction that awaits those that miss the bus. If I based my life on what Titus said, then I have a mandate to preach the end times, with an emphasis on the Holy living that it should motivate you to live.

I keep thinking about Noah. Jesus used him as an example of what was to come, and what I noticed about that scenario is that in a place where it had never rained and there was no water to float a boat, he built an ark as a testimony of what was coming. The people mocked and ignored his message, and yet it came. Does this sound like anything you hear today. It does, if you, like me, are asking the questions and getting responses like, why does any of this matter?

Paul wrote a letter to the Thessalonians in response to fears they had.

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;

How would you prevent deception if you did not know the truth, but resisters decry the preaching of end times prophecy, and therefore truth. If no one preaches the truth to you, and you will not read for yourselves, how will you know?

What is revelation? The disclosure of a thing whether it is physical, mental, or spiritual. Christ was revealed spiritually when I received him, but a day is coming when he will be revealed, once again, physically.

1 Peter 1:13 KJV Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

What then does it mean, “and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”? Good question. Cynics would tell you that hope is primarily entwined in the basics of our salvation, but most of us cannot even comprehend what that means. However, we can comprehend that because of our acceptance of His grace toward us, that we can have a solid hope in His return to catch us away.

If it is not important, then why does John say this in the Revelation?

Revelation 1:3 NET. Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy aloud, and blessed are those who hear and obey the things written in it, because the time is near!

There is a blessing upon: the one who reads the words of this prophecy aloud. Now I understand that reading aloud can and does have a profound effect, but I can see an added benefit if I was reading it, with the purpose of making it understood, before a small bible study group. The underlying message is that the reader is reading to comprehend.

A second aspect of this verse can come from the first, but not necessarily. The hearer can be a recipient as they sit in a bible study. Now comes the hard part, obeying the things written in it. A quick mental recap of the first three chapters of Revelation, speak about admonishment to churches, many of which John might have been familiar with. I will tell you from a prophetic point of view, we are the Laodicean church, you know, the one that gets spewed out because they are neither hot nor cold. Should you have doubts as to whether this is reality, try to find a church that acknowledges and allows for the power of God to act and move in the service. Almost all of them are on time schedules due to the taping of a service, and though we sing songs about the Holy Spirit being welcomed there, He is really not.

All the following speak toward his soon return and the need to watch, and patiently wait.

Proverbs 8:34 NET. Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching at my doors day by day, waiting beside my doorway.

Daniel 12:12 NASB “How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days!

1 Peter 4:7 NASB The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.

James 5:8 NASB You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.

Revelation 22:6 NASB And he said to me, “These words are faithful and true”; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place.

Revelation 22:12 NASB “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.

Revelation 22:20 NASB He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

Who is the “He” who testifies to these things? Jesus Christ. This is his testimony and revelation, is it not? Since a day is as a thousand years to the Lord, the concept of soon is irrelevant. He is coming. His death and resurrection were proofs that this is all true. We are not chasing rainbows, this is reality, and those that know him will be caught up to be with Him. Those that do not will have to struggle though the wrath to come.

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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; (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.


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