What an odd statement.


remso:

This is important to me. We are in the last innings of this ball game.

Originally posted on A voice in the wilderness:

(7/21/13) Our usual men’s Sunday morning bible study.

The leader opened in prayer, asked if someone wanted to read the passages, which they did. He then turned to the group and said anyone have anything to say about what was read, giving me the impression that he had nothing.

I always have something to say. I operate on the principle of always be prepared to give witness to the faith that is in you. So, I waited several long, silent moments to see if anyone else would jump in, and then I started with verse one of John chapter 10.

The gospel of John is awesome, powerful, and consistently demonstrates that Jesus was God. Mere moments into the points I  started to make I was cut off.

One of the men in our group has seminary training and feels that his dominance and voice is mandatory for most discussions. This…

View original 3,867 more words

The letter I wish I had received.


One of the things I am doing to better myself and find a place of normalcy inside my head, is to be involved in a book study with some of the guys from church. There are only three of us in this group, and I know both of them well enough but we are getting to know each other better with each meeting. As you might imagine a small group allows for relationship building, the whole idea. The book we are reading, again, is, Wild At Heart, by John Eldredge.

Cover of "Wild at Heart: Discovering the ...

Cover via Amazon

I have been through two “boot camps” based upon this book and participated in a book study with this book before, but this time I think I am getting it. What changed? Me! And our leader said, “We all have the field manual that goes along with this book, so let’s answer those questions and come back each week prepared to talk about what we wrote.” Now consider that I have already been in a recovery group for nine months at this point. And I, with a little prompting, decided to answer the recovery questions that our manuals ask us with all the honesty I could muster. As you can imagine that was at first very difficult because you have to battle through a slew of emotions, especially when you have no self esteem, and you trust no one.

Recently, I had scrambled to get the questions answered for chapter four of the manual but could not get them all. Wouldn’t you know it, the last thing he asked as he skipped around some of the questions was the last one. I had not made it that far and had not even looked at it. Just looking at the question made my heart sink. With the premise that dad is now dead and going through his effects, you find this letter addressed to you. The question started off with, “What would you have loved to hear from your father? … what would you long for it to say? Is there an apology? An affirmation? Then Eldredge asked us to write that letter. I could hardly speak. I could not do the question justice by improvising at that moment.

I took some time, finished the other questions, sat myself in the backyard and wrote that letter, sobbing most of the way through it. It seemed that as I wrote about various aspects of my youth, the very things that created this person I became, seemed to drain away. I cannot remember anything so freeing.

I have had to do some difficult things in recovery such as: writing and reading amends letters to people that I needed to say sorry too. This is especially hard when these same people created such havoc in me. But amends is not about the pain, nor how they react to my amends; it has everything to do with my healing and relationship with God.

One of those letters was to me, forgiving myself. I wrote it and read it to my sponsor, hoping that I would obtain a great release from the anguish I felt, but I felt very little. My sponsor suggested strongly that I go to the park, find a quiet place there, read it to God like a prayer, and then burn it. The silly thing resisted burning. Thinking back on my persistence at getting that paper to burn, perhaps there is a slow, gradual healing from it and I do not see it yet, and the idea that this paper resisted burning could be symbolic in many ways; one being the enemies resistance to release us from his grip.

Writing this letter from dad to myself was very emotional, and I think healing in many ways. I was so excited about what this started in me that I have been telling anyone that will listen what I did. Finally I am sensing some relief from the pains inside.

So, with that I am going to share this letter with you.

The Letter I wish I had received.

Dear Oz,

I failed you and I am so sorry.

When you were young I failed to understand or care about why you were struggling in school. I wish I had pursued every avenue on your behalf. I had no idea how great the humiliation was going to be for you and how that would have effected you. I have been reading your writings since you began, and I see that you would have been great for you do have a good mind and you could have done anything you wanted in life.

I am so sorry that I did not show you respect by not listening to what you had to say. Instead I believed the lies your brother told me and beat you for it. If only I had listened to you; you were trying to tell me so many things, and I refused to listen.

I failed you as a father by not coming to your aid when that thug slugged you in the face, and I humiliated you by locking you in the car with all my friends looking on. You were only a child and deserved my protection. Son, please, I beg of you to forgive me for that.

Son, please forgive me for stepping aside as mom mentally emasculated you. I deeply regret not encouraging you to defend yourself, not only with your hands but with your words also. I can see how the damage carried carried all the way into manhood. I now know that if I had been the father you needed you would not have lived in fear all your life, and no one deserves that; especially a fear of me. I would have worked with you as you learned to stand your ground. I did not know how to do this well either

, so we both would have learned.

Son, I would have had those talks with you about sexuality. Again, we both needed to learn something, but the biggest area effecting both of us, would have been the lesson on boundaries and how not to cross them. I am so sorry for I crossed yours all the time.

Given the chance to do it over we could have practiced communication skills; I by listening to you. Again, please forgive me. If I had known I would have done things so differently.

Son, it is never to late to say I love you, and I do. A lesson that I have learned to late, is that a real man is not ashamed to show his love to his son, especially his first born.

I love you

Dad.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Something I said triggered him off.


Something I said during bible study triggered it off, and although I cannot remember the verse reference he used in rebuttal, the theme went like this:

Matthew 7:21-23 NASB “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. (22) “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ (23) “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

The rebuttal is directed at two things.

  1. Not everyone will enter the kingdom of heaven.

    And

  2. A an underlying, massive rejection by Jesus/God saying, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME,’

I think I have shared previously how broken I was. I had to relearn who this God was that loved me; in doing so I found a God of mercy beyond my comprehension. Maybe my eyes finally opened and I could see the God of mercy I had never seen before, but as I said I was a broken man with a broken understanding, and the only God I knew was a God of judgment and punishment.

We, as children would have to say this cutesy little prayer at night.

Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray the Lord my soul to keep

If I should die before I wake

I pray the Lord my soul to take

Sounds benign enough, but if you are raised with the concept of God sending you to hell over one little thing, such as, taking His name in vain – taking his name in vain was defined by my mothers personal morality standards, which were unwritten, seemingly impromptu rules that she dished out as she manipulated us children.

If I am honest, this persons interruption, which assured that everyone was focused on him and his immense scriptural understanding, while I was leading bible study made me furious. I had to choose to be diplomatic and polite when everything in me wanted to lash out.

What got my attention as he was taking issue was the emphasis that he put on, “not everyone will enter the kingdom of heaven;”as though this applied to believers. This rhetoric was associated with some other comments he made, the passage that he referred to, and Jesus speaking about Judas in John 16 and 17.

As I said, the basis of his rant effectively followed the same theme as Matthew 7. Matthew 7 was a continuation of Christ’s sermon on the mount.

It would seem that the emphasis is on the true believer and what it is that identifies us as such.

True disciples of Christ will be men and women cautious in their judgment of others; conscious of their own faults; confident and earnest in prayer; wary of false teachers and hypocritical profession; building all eternal hopes upon the firm Rock, faith in the Word of God and Christ Jesus.

Summarized Bible, Complete Summary of the Bible, By KEITH L. BROOKS

If I started at Matthew 7:1-2, the opening statement says, “Do not judge, so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured back to you.

But the person choosing to disagree was not concerned with judgment, or why God did not know these people he is turning away. He seemed to focus on the idea that these were believers, not meeting some standard, getting turned away from the kingdom.

I like to think about assertions and passages like this in terms of context. Even though it was a mixed crowd that sat and listened to Jesus this day, it safe to assume that it is primarily a Jewish crowd, a religious crowd, and nothing Jesus said got past them, and it appropriately stung. Some even listened with a purposefully critical ear; pharisees who stood by listening were looking for excuses to kill him.

Sadly a belief that focuses on meeting some standard is based in works and our salvation is not by works, but by faith.

Acts 13:38-39 MSG I want you to know, my very dear friends, that it is on account of this resurrected Jesus that the forgiveness of your sins can be promised. (39) He accomplishes, in those who believe, everything that the Law of Moses could never make good on. But everyone who believes in this raised-up Jesus is declared good and right and whole before God.

Romans 5:1 YLT Having been declared righteous, then, by faith, we have peace toward God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Romans 9:30 GW So what can we say? We can say that non-Jewish people who were not trying to gain God’s approval won his approval, an approval based on faith.

Jesus appeared to Saul (the Pharisee) as he was on his way to Damascus to persecute those of the way. He told Saul what his job was going to be, and this is what he said,

Acts 26:18 NASB to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’

Perhaps I have established that who we are and how we got here is based solely upon our belief in, Jesus Christ, the one that had to do the hard work (suffering severe blows and death) on our behalf. The closest that anyone came to being a believer prior to the Holy Spirit coming might be the disciples. Jesus referred to them as, “those whom you have given me.” I am not clear on this so I can only speak from assumption.

We cannot make anything close to that assumption with this crowd. They came because they wanted what he could give them, food and healing. They wanted little else.

I think it is safe to say that Jesus statement, I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME..”, had nothing to do with followers of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 7:21-23 begins much earlier in the chapter, but lets just focus on some close proximity statements.

Matthew 7:15-16 GW “Beware of false prophets. They come to you disguised as sheep, but in their hearts they are vicious wolves. (16) You will know them by what they produce. “People don’t pick grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles, do they?

I want you to focus on several things here.

  1. False prophets. They probably look normal.

God attempted to define for Moses and Aaron things that would indicate that someone was a prophet. You can find this in Numbers 12:6. The problem is that should you challenge someone about their qualifications they could tell you anything to appease you.

Deuteronomy 13:1-5 NIV If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, (2) and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” (3) you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. (4) It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him. (5) That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. That prophet or dreamer tried to turn you from the way the LORD your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.

If you read the passage above then you picked up on two things. This person attempts to lead you away from the true God, and you are to get them out of your midst. (I am not giving you the carte blanche to harm anyone.)

  1. They come disguised as sheep. I mentioned that they probably look normal. Have you got some perception of what a Christian looks like? Throw it out because it is wrong. We are all shapes and sizes, and some of us are tattered, while others wear fine clothes. None of that makes a stitch of difference in God’s eyes. If he needs you appropriately dressed, to stand before kings, then he will make sure that happens. What you need to understand is that as you sit there in your comfortable church pew, you could be sitting next to a wolf in sheeps clothing and not know it.

  2. You will know them by what they produce. Jesus, it would seem, threw a little sarcasm at us when he said, “People don’t pick grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles, do they? So the wolf will be trying to get you work in opposition to God’s standard, a baseline laid out by His word. Sadly that requires that you READ God’s word for yourself and not be dependent upon what some “teacher” tells you; that includes me.

What kinds of things can you expect to see being produced when the wolf gets involved?

Romans 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness,

Romans 1:25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator-

Romans 1:29-32 NIV They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, (30) slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; (31) they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. (32) Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

You can find more should you choose to look, things that speak to the works of the flesh. Now those things are covered in the passages from Romans but just to show you I will give a little more.

Galatians 5:19-21 NIV The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; (20) idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions (21) and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

I can imagine what many are saying right now, but these are works of the flesh, common to every man, and you would be right, but they are in total opposition to God, and the reason we were born into sin, for Adam did exactly this, when he chose to do his own selfish thing, allowing for sin to enter into the world through man. Life and liberty re-entered through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.

Perhaps the question you should be asking is: What is a false prophet?

In Acts 13 we see Saul (he had not changed his name yet) and Barnabas traveling, and teaching God’s word to the Jews (That may be important).

Acts 13:6-12 NIV They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, (7) who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. (8) But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. (9) Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, (10) “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? (11) Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind for a time, not even able to see the light of the sun.” Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. (12) When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.

Did you notice that the man Bar-Jesus was a Jew. A wolf in sheep’s clothing.

So the original premise was that, according to the guy that disrupted the flow of bible study that day, some Christians will not be allowed into the kingdom of heaven. Let’s go back to what might have been his backing for such a statement.

Matthew 7:21-23 NASB “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. (22) “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ (23) “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

If I look back at the experience of Barnabas and Saul (Paul), then what I see in this man Elymas, is a man, learned in the Talmud, the law and prophets; able to argue against Saul’s teachings (you really should be very skillful in the same literature that you wish to argue against if you want to defeat or discourage someone), and he performs amazing “miracles” that aid in his presentation and the contestation of others, at this moment the proconsul, Sergius Paulus.

Elymas was not a believer in Jesus Christ at this point and perhaps not a fair argument. The writer of Hebrews, in chapter 13:5, to followers of Christ (believers), states, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”‘

Our men’s bible study has been slogging our way through the book of John. But that gospel is John’s demonstration that Jesus, on this earth, was God, and therefore a huge and significant demonstration of God’s character as seen in Jesus’ actions and words.

John 10:27-30 NIV My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. (28) I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. (29) My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. (30) I and the Father are one.”

If I based my understanding about the security of my relationship on this alone I could be confident, but I have showed you more.

The idea and reference for God casting aside some who claim to be his comes out the Great White Throne judgment. This happens at the end of the millennial reign. Look this up in Revelation 20:11–15. Jesus was talking about this very moment when he described a separation of the sheep from the goats. (Matthew 25:31 – 46)

Matthew 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.

It is possible to develop side essays on virtually everything that shows up on these pages; that was not the point. The point was to address the question of whether God will choose to throw us aside someday. Should you think that your pettiest of sins will change his heart about you, you are wrong. Christ’s death was an all inclusive payment for the sins of the whole world, then and forever, so you are okay in that regard, as long as you have accepted Jesus Christ as the one who paid that price for you.

Another strong argument as to how much he loves and cares for you comes from that famous verse, Romans 3:16. God, so loved a broken and unloving world, that he, regardless of how that world might trash his love, sent his only Son as a sacrifice to save it.

He cares for you, and should you choose to follow him, he will never let go of you. In this you can trust.

 

This is that!… Part 2 of 2


You should have figured out that the this is the Holy Spirit.

John 16:7 NASB  “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.

He did go, and the “helper” did come, to stay. So we should be living in the full benefit of God’s presence in us, if we have accepted Jesus Christ.

Migrating through John’s gospel with men’s bible study and this is what I saw.

John 16:8-11 NASB  “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;  (9)  concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;  (10)  and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me;  (11)  and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

I already attempted to cover the aspect of convicting the world of sin. So as I read on I noticed that the Holy Spirit also convicts on righteousness and judgment. Judgment sort of makes sense, especially when you were raised in a judgmental environment, but what does it mean when speaks about conviction concerning righteousness.

(Yes, I understand, you merely need to apply some logical thought and God’s word to the passage to understand, but very few will do that. I speak from experience, for I sat in church for years, expecting some Pastor to give me all the truth I needed. I did not look into the Word for myself and I cannot swear that I got the truth; at least when I compare what they said to what I see in God’s word, I do not think so.)

John 16:10 NASB and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me;

The Holy Spirit, as we have seen, convicts of offenses, but here He also speaks about righteousness.

What is righteousness? Thayer’s definition: “in a broad sense: the state of him who is as he ought to be, the condition acceptable to God.

But this begs another question. Who acts as he ought to be? Or what is the condition acceptable to God? Paul answered both in his letter to the Roman church.

Eugene Peterson’s The Message, we have: Romans 12:1 MSG So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life–your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life–and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.

To be honest, the entire 14th chapter of Romans defines what is the acceptable condition of the believer. Odd word this believer, for it conveys someone who adheres to the words and pattern of life of another. But one verse stands out as the nutshell that has it all.

Romans 14:19 MSG So let’s agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words;

When you look at this verse in the context of the entire chapter, it is a life that is not about getting your own way. Set aside your selfishness; Jesus did.

There is absolutely nothing we can do on our own to make ourselves acceptable condition.

Why? Because since Adam’s fall we are born with knowledge of good and bad. Bad is the only thing Satan invented and boils down to pure selfishness. It is our nature to pursue one or the other, and selfishness and bad are so much easier and they seem to taste better. Besides that, who are you to tell me what to do! Exactly what I am talking about. It is almost as though we are driven to it or it is built-in.

Hang around an AA meeting and listen to what some say. You will hear, “Hi, I am (insert name here) and I am an alcoholic.” How did we get that way? It was easy, attractive, it pulled our minds off of the battle that being unselfish involves, and it is addictive. For many it is hopeless, and they come to realize that they cannot free themselves on their own.

We needed a savior, and perhaps that is an aspect of what we to be reminded of. Speaking for myself, I have to remind myself often, that my character is patterned after Jesus Christ and the Father; that happened immediately and progressively the day I accepted Jesus Christ. The immediate action came as He came into me. As I grow in my understanding of Him and what I wish to be, there is a progressive and continual changing to look more like him. (Still working on that.)

Strong’s definitions tell us that it is an: equity (of character or act). If you are like me then you are scratching your head asking, what that means.

Equity is the impartial distribution of justice, or the doing that to another which the laws of God and man, and of reason, give him a right to claim.

I suppose I could say this another way. Treating others the way God would.

Now some would believe that God’s only job in life is to punish us all with hell, and that would be wrong. How could you believe that if you understood that God so loved a world that did not know him, rejected him in some cases, had no idea of what his character was like, did not love him, did not know that he loved them, and though he had tried to let them know for thousands of years, sent at that time his only Son to submit to a brutal death, for one reason only, to regain his family (us) back.

What does God’s actions have to do with me? Because I accepted what he did as mine and chose to make Jesus Christ my life, then that makes me as though I am the same flesh and blood as Jesus. To some, that makes me kin folk, and to dishonor me is no different from dishonoring the Son that paid that price for me.

Kinship is available, not shoved down your throat, that would be a little selfish, and out of character for God. The price paid obtained for us the freedom to choose which family to live in and be a part of. Yes, there are family members that do not take out their trash and rebel. And yes, they are an embarrassment, but like many children that do that, eventually, if there is time, they actually turn into decent human beings if given a good example.

What of the others? Those of you that want an angry God may find him. But that was not the plan for you. Remember: God so loved the world, and yet, in general, the world does not love him. They are blinded by the enemy, Satan, and many will never come to love the Father, but will rise up, foolishly, against all that he stands for. Scripture calls this the anti-Christ spirit. That which is against God.

Should you be asking how would someone become righteous, escape judgment, or simply join God’s family, I would simply ask Jesus Christ to make himself real to you. Accept Him into your life, and choose to have him live inside you.

This is a time of thanksgiving in America. In a way everyday is. Why? Because without his life in me I would have no life.

This mornings bible study


This mornings men’s bible study, a continuation from last week, covered John 13:18-30. An odd place to end but it is what it is, and I am not the leader. Sometimes it is good that we do not carry on with longer passages.

This was one of the better meetings we had. One brother is fairly new and I was pleased  to hear him asking the same kind of questions I would have asked. (I have to remind myself to let others talk.)

John 13:18 NIV “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned against me.’

Judas – The debate rages on. Let me explain, and this is my thinking. Judas died prior to the age of grace, that means he was under the law. Now I am not a Jewish scholar so I cannot say whether died as a lost soul or not. But I see where there could be an out for him.

In death Jesus went and preached to the captives (Psalms 68:18 AMP “You have ascended on high. You have led away captive a train of vanquished foes; You have received gifts of men, yes, of the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell there with them.”

We see this again in Ephesians 4:8 AMP “Therefore it is said, When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive [He led a train of vanquished foes] and He bestowed gifts on men.” )

Is it possible that Judas was there when Jesus showed up. Jesus, the God of love that gave his life as a sacrifice for a world that neither knew him or for the most part wanted him.

What if Judas was merely misguided by the enemy. He was not the first or the last. If none of the other disciples got it, then Judas did not either, so I am going to lean toward a God of mercy because “mercy triumphs over judgment.”

You might notice that I did not attempt to discuss the aspect of suicide. My own father sends anyone who commits such an act to hell. Really? I seriously doubt that very many people who do this are in their right minds to begin with. So let’s just say that they are mentally compromised. Another aspect of suicide has nothing to do with suicide at all. Jesus died once for all so by his own words we know that the world will not be judged for sin but for their lack of acceptance of him as the sacrifice. Again, none of the disciples got that concept until later.

What will it take to show that Jesus took the penalty for sin away?

The other side of this coin, and many have said this, is that there is that possibility that Judas was made for this one thing only. While I do not have the theological background to state this in one or two words but the concept alone fights against what I understand about God. I have had far too much mercy showed to me to think that God is anything but merciful to those who run to him. If Jesus came into the captivity of hell, showed himself to them as he really is, the majesty and glory of the Father, and strips Satan of his power right there in front of them. How many would continue to deny that he is God there before them.

‘He who shared my bread has turned against me.’ Obviously there is a point of turning against the Lord. I see the topic of Judas as a can of worms that in the face of judgmental people I do not wish to open.

John 13:19 NIV “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am.

He was speaking of Judas (the context) but the statement applies to so many things he said. He wanted us to believe that He was God and that he was telling the truth.

If you paid attention to the way God presented himself to man throughout scripture it almost always came with the statement, “as for me.” God was always telling them before hand; why? So they would believe that he is so he said he is, and that he could be trusted.

Genesis 17:4 KJV As for me, behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations.

John 13:1 NIV It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

When you think about how many times the Pharisees had tried to kill him, changing the game plan. Everything had led up to this moment. Jesus was not about to let Satan change the game plan.

John 13:20 NIV Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.” This too opens a can of worms.

The Greek word translated accept is: lambanō Thayer Definition: 1) to take 1a) to take with the hand, lay hold of, any person or thing in order to use it.

Obviously we are not to capture those sent and chain them in our basements. Clearly Jesus is referring to the words and deeds. Now ask yourself, what did the Apostles/disciples of Jesus have for words? They really only had experience from their time spent with Jesus, so they conveyed what they heard and saw, and they saw the most amazing things.

Now consider. Is he telling us that the receipt of the person with the message or the belief in what they convey is the way to Jesus? I think the answer is obvious, the belief in what they convey. So all my concerns about how poorly I deliver the message suddenly seem irrelevant, especially when God has his hands on it. How can it be difficult to convey a message when you are merely re-telling, excitedly, what you have witnessed and heard? The problem comes when it is a second-hand story. That is not a bad thing but when challenged about ‘what did he say next’ and you do not know because you were not there is when things get uncomfortable, as you may suddenly realize that this is not your story. Hmmm! My suggestion to you is to make it your story by accepting Jesus Christ as your salvation. In receiving Jesus Christ, the messenger, one receives God.

John 13:21 NIV After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”

They were still clueless. To turn against him does not necessarily mean that you are going to betray him. Imagine their thoughts. He rattled their cages severely; I wonder why? Surely he knew how that would affect them. And in the very next verse John, who had been leaning on him, describes everyone in the room looking around the room in disgust at the others.

John 13:22 NIV His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant.

John 13:23 NIV One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him.

John was being polite. He was writing about himself. When you consider the emotions that John must have gone through during the Jesus years. He was called one of “the Sons of Thunder”, not necessarily a good thing, for he was more than willing to call fire down upon an entire town for their refusal to let Jesus in, and Jesus let him have it for his misdirected zeal. What would you feel if you were leaning against Jesus and he made a statement like that? Would you pull yourself away as you said to yourself, ‘what reason would he have to distrust me?’

John 13:24 NIV Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.”

However they were sitting, Peter was able to catch John’s eye. We cannot say that John was not also looking around the room in disgust at the others. Did John have some level of trust with Jesus that the others did not have? Don’t know. What we do know is that they had no clue, so if Judas had given them reasons to distrust him they did not see it or care.

One of the things we learn about Judas is that he had stolen from the money bag they carried. Obviously someone saw that; either they did not care or no one said much. As long as you were being taken care of would it matter?

John 13:25 NIV Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”

I am amazed at the relationship we see here. A grown man, quite possibly putting his weight into Jesus, and Jesus does not mind. It is hard not think with a human mindset as I read this. The devil has corrupted our minds so that we cannot think about this setting in a proper way. And there is the manly thing where this should never happen. I think that my twisted thinking is an example of the devil polluting relationships with sexuality and corruption. Does that mean. I want to lean into you? Not hardly, but I am a little jealous of John’s relationship with Jesus, because I want that.

John 13:26-27 NIV Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. (27) As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.”

How could Jesus not have heard everything they said. He heard, and he answered Peter. His movements were deliberate and may have even caught Judas off guard. As soon a he took the bread. Wow. There are dynamics going on here that are widespread and overwhelming. What do I do with this?

John 13:2 NIV The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus.

I think my perspective has to be that John wrote this. Yes, inspired by the Holy Spirit but almost 60 years later everything is in retrospect. One might assume that our human understanding has to come into play. We also have the historical account of Judas making the deal with the Pharisees to frame the reference.

John 13:28 KJV Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.

One of things we see here and beyond Jesus death is that the guys did not get it. It wasn’t until he began reappearing to them that they began to understand. Did he talk in parables at this point? No. He was clear and direct and still they did not understand. Compare this with us, the modern-day believer. Nothing gets past us; yeah right.

Here is the problem we all have. If Jesus, and by extension the Holy Spirit, speaks to us and tells us what to do, do we listen and do what he says? From experience I can tell you that I did not. Your curiosity asks what my outcome was. Well, I got my trophy looking wife. I can tell you that trophies merely hang on the wall and offer little to no relationship with you. You merely look at them from a distance, pointing out some of their unique characteristics, but the relationship is now dead and merely a memory of the hunt. While I got what I wanted I lost the greater prize and that was bible college. I wonder how different my life would be if I had stayed with the original plan. Another aspect of my first marriage was that I either became co-dependent or it really reared its ugly head. My life no longer was dependent upon God but upon her and what ever emotion she was feeling that day.

John 13:29 KJV For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.

One of the points we made during bible study this morning was that John pointed out that everyone was staring at the other. When you think about this process of Satan entering someone, what was happening as they stared at each other.

What if this works.

Proverbs 7:10-12 KJV And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtle of heart. (11) (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: (12) Now is she without, now in the streets, and lies in wait at every corner.)

If you will allow me to equate this to the deceiver and his tactics, then we see that he is subtle, attractive, a constant threat, and he lies in wait. So it only makes sense that the devil would jump on this opportunity to infiltrate the boys. We do not witness any discussion about the problems the guys had with Judas stealing from the money bag, but if it made it into scripture that he had been then surely they knew it. The only thing that makes sense about their lack of reaction would have been if while with Jesus every need they had got met and we had men with families and single guys. All these needs would have been different. This should not be a new concept to the an established believer because the theme of God meeting your every need (not want) is all over the scriptures. The Jews who would have had to memorize the scriptures would have been aware of the passages in Deuteronomy which promised that God would bless those who invested their time and lives in him.

1 Peter 5:8 KJV Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:

So they sat there stunned and confused. Staring at each other, playing out scenarios in their minds that fueled their arguments. If they knew about Judas and his stealing they surely would have stared at him and John probably would have made note of it. But then there was Matthew, a former tax collector, a man who worked for the Romans when they found him. What was to say that he had not gone behind their backs to make a little more money. All of this was conjecture and untrue. Jesus knew what was to come with Peter and that conversation was only moments away but not part of the equation at the moment.

John 13:30 NIV As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.

I cannot even imagine what Judas felt at that moment. Some will tell you that he was a Zealot and wanted war with the Romans. One of things we see as we read the New Testament is that all Israel, with few exceptions, anticipated a warrior messiah, and Judas was merely trying to force Jesus into that role. That might have been the case, but can we be certain. But what if Satan really entered him, and the hideous convulsions that television portrays is what happened. Only speculating here for I think most of us never realize when we have let the enemy in, merely passing off our lousy behavior to far to many beers, not sleeping well, or your lousy day at work. Truth is most of us made a quiet but active choice to give into the enemies game plan.

Now as I read these passages and give them some thought I see Jesus Christ, directed with purpose. Destined to give us life that was about to cost him in terms of indescribable pain and eventually death. That death was in two forms, but keep in mind that our life was his determined purpose. That speaks nothing less than mercy regardless of the side journey called Judas takes us on.

Nothing in scripture is a side journey, nor is it pointless. It is there for a reason, and if it challenges our judgmental attitudes then it served a purpose. I say this because one of the men, who demonstrates a lack of understanding when it comes to mercy decides to throw in some commentary about how am I supposed to deal with a church that permits homosexuality in it.

Stop there. No church that I have seen hangs a sign outside that says ‘this is a church full of homosexuals.’ And, even if there were, would you or I know it? So really his problem is that he sees their acts as an unforgivable sin and that they cannot be allowed or condoned.

I have to admit this ‘brother’ got my hackles up and here is why. I have a family member that decided to live a homosexual lifestyle and I do not wish to see them perish. But the point is Jesus forgave them of their sins, that day on the cross. Jesus stated that he would not judge them for sin, but his word would. They (meaning anyone outside of Christ) will be judged for what they did with Jesus. For example: Did you accept him as the price paid for your sins, accepting the love of the Father, and now you are waiting for a life with him because of the hope you now have? If you did that then the relationship with the Father began and like a flower blossoms progressively.

There are not categories of sin. Sin is sin. You don’t get to sin a little and get by with it, it’s all bad if you are going to live under the law. So to say that homosexuals are at the top of the list and only bound for hell is wrong.

I can tell you that I have allowed my anger to so enrage me that I was willing to kill. Thankfully I did not, but scripturally to think it is to do it. So have I committed murder? Yes, and according to this brothers rules I am destined for hell. Fortunately he is not in charge. My sins, and the sins of the homosexual are covered just the same. Having spent a little time in a 12 step group I have come to understand a couple of things: 1st The church is full of sinners saved by grace. They are living, or should I say hanging on by a thread, one day at a time and 2nd the alcoholics will tell that their days are consumed by the thought of where will I get my next drink.

The brother says, “why don’t they just stop it!” Oohh, wouldn’t that be easy if it worked. Allow me to point something out.

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, (25) In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; (26) And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

People are caught, often at will, by the devil. Yes, there are many dynamics to this equation, but telling them to stop will not work for them and demonstrates nothing more than your lack of concern for those caught. Besides that, they cannot see the freedom you might see.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 KJV (3) But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: (4) In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

So what should be your approach? Try showing some grace and mercy. As I sit in my step group, a Christ oriented one, a man says, “I am not a believer, and I am struggling to believe.” Without grace and mercy the leader could take the narrow-minded approach and tell him to get out, but no; he tells the man, “you are in the right place.”

A blog I read spoke about a lesbian that went to church after church. Why? Because she knew something was amiss but did not know what to call it or how to resolve it. Divulging the “sin” only got her judged and thrown out. Are you serious! Absolutely.

How about using this approach next time. Throw an arm around them and tell them, “you are in the right place.”

A personal experience. At work a brother in Christ got hired on and I was excited because I thought I now have someone else that I can share the mercy of God with. I quickly perceived that my attempts to share with him were met with clear boredom and disinterest so I quit. One day he comes in early and stops to tell me that he has had a failure. I replied, “we have all had failures, so pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and carry on.” He goes to explain that this was a moral failure, apparently making it worse. I asked him if he intended to have a lasting relationship with this lady; to which he replied, “oh no!” Now here is where I have to draw some kind of a line. I cannot just pat you on the back and say that’s okay, because it isn’t! You do not have the right to hop into bed after bed, using people. That is not who we are.

This saga with the guy from work would  take on a whole different atmosphere if I was in an in-depth relationship with him, but I am not, so I find  myself limited to what I can say to the man.

If you do not understand that we have an enemy who is after our souls, then allow me to enlighten you. Satan is in the business of destroying anything that looks like Jesus. Seeing that we were made in God’s image that is strike one in Satan’s book. Accepting Jesus into our lives places us in Christ is strike two and ups the ante. You should understand that he is pulling out all the stops in this case. Read your bible and you will find this to be true.

The battle is a daily one, and all this strife and condemnation we dish out only prohibits us from being able to share the love and life that is Christ with others, playing right into the hands of Satan. Sharing the love of God, his mercy and the hope in him is our mission above all others.

See to it that you be not troubled. (That was not my intent)


I posted this on FaceBook. I felt led to post it here too.

I share many disturbing things with you for the purpose of making you aware.

If you are awake then  perhaps you can withstand what the enemy is doing and if nothing else fight back in prayer.

Last evening I had these words rush through my head, “See to it that you be not troubled!

Yes, no doubt it can be overwhelming if you focus on what is going on around you. (This becomes a real issue when you are a believer living in a nation where violence against followers of any opposing belief is met with extreme violence and death.)

Focus on who your salvation is and the difference He can make through you if you let him.

This is the time of release. God will release His power through those who will put their trust in Him and allow Him to move them.
(John 10:3-4b ESV)
The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them,
and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.

I am telling you what I hear in my spirit. Do with it what you wish, but do not ignore the voice of the shepherd, He is working for your good.

the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
(Matthew 24:3-13 ESV)

If you read the passage above then ask yourself who is he talking to? Jews, yes, but also us.

So the passage has some dire warnings in it.

Is it getting this bad? Yes.

Can it get worse? Yes, and it will.
Walking around with your eyes closed does not make it go away.

Already you are surrounded by hurting people. Personal friends of mine have taken such hard hits in an extremely short period of time. A two year old child, an in-law, was diagnosed with cancer affecting the spinal chord in June, suffered through three surgeries, chemo, and radiation treatments. Yesterday, August 10th, he died. That is sudden in my book and devastating.

What are we supposed to do?
Wake up. Realize that this is the enemy fighting against anything that looks like God, and guess what, YOU were made in the image of God. Now mind you, you do not look all that similar when  you are lying face down in your own vomit because you did what you wanted to do, but NONE-THE-LESS you are still His image. This is particularly true of  the follower of Christ.

Eyes open moment here. God did not promise you a life of picking daisies and staring at rainbows. He did promise the believer that He would come back for you, and that he would empower you with tremendous strength to endure victoriously over any situation. I do not care if it does not feel like it to you. You need to ask yourself what does it feel like to the FATHER.

In John chapter 11 Jesus ordered the stone moved away from the cave where a man’s body was now in decomposition; he stank!
Somebody responded, and though it is possible that the stink clung to the grave wrappings on the man, the man was restored.
Do you not get it yet? Do something! Roll away the stone. Be strong. Listen to the voice of the Lord that is leading you out.

Act like Joel chapter is actually happening right now, and you are a part of it. (By the way, IT IS in some people. Why? Because they choose to believe.)
Peter blared this message to the Jewish crowd standing before him, mocking him and the others, on the day of Pentecost. Peter, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit stated, “this day is  this come to pass in your hearing!” How long ago  was that? 2000+ years. WE ARE IN IT, and, if you will read your bible, you will find that Joel was specifically talking about THE LAST DAYS.

Folks, it is upon us.
Turn to the Lord with all your heart. Do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways follow him, and he will direct your path.

Father, in the name of your mighty and glorious Son, Jesus Christ, the risen one, I ask that you release hope and strength into your people. Fill their minds with dreams and visions of you as you approach. Give them words to say as they listen to your voice, even if they do not understand where those words are coming from.
Empower your people to stand in  the face of the enemy and say NOT ANOTHER STEP FORWARD. The enemy must and will respond to the name the Jesus Christ for there is power in that name and that name alone.
Move in and through your people and cause them to bring hope to those around them for the days are getting darker by the minute.
Cause them to know  that WE are that which is holding back the enemy because we are awakening. Cause them to know that their voice can convey the voice of the Spirit of God and bring  life to people.

Father, I ask you to open ears and prepare hearts to receive the King as we speak and stumble through those words. In that people will know that it was God speaking through us.
Be magnified through our lives as we step up and declare the love and power of the Holy God.
Amen

Walk in Love at all times for the enemy is trying to cause hatred and fear to erupt in people. If you are paying attention at all you can see it. This is the enemy and the battle is on big time.
Pray without ceasing for we are in it.

Who has understanding … Revelation 13:18


This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666. (Revelation 13:18 ESV)

I am not sure there are many who can interpret or adequately explain this passage. So many have applied Gematria to the words and tried to come up with a name but I primarily see one of the Cesar’s getting pinpointed. How does that help? None of the Caesars’ are coming back. (Trying to make him come by attributing the wounded head that appeared to be dead and comes back to life to him does not work.)

Of the commentaries I looked at the author was bold enough to say, this one puzzles him.

I believe God has put particular authors and speakers in front of me (you have to be willing to listen) that have given me a sudden clarity about end times events. Since then so much of the Revelation has become clear. Let me get something straight. I have no private interpretation of the bible and, if you noticed, as I write, I typically suggest that you READ for yourself and apply God’s word to some logical thought and see if you do not come to the same conclusions.

One of people who God brought across my path was Walid Shoebat. There is timing involved in revelation for a couple of years ago I would have allowed my prejudice and narrow-mindedness to dissuade me from me considering this man.

I have none of his books. What I found was a recent video. In that video he describes how, as a young believer (he had been a Palestinian terrorist but came to know Jesus Christ) he read this passage an Arabic version in the Codex Vaticanus. When he came to this part Six hundred threescore and six.G5516χξς chxs; i.e. chi xi sigma, he knew immediately what is was, for this is a common phrase in the middle east among Arabic speaking/Islamics. The phrase is called the Bismillah. “In the name of Allah.”

Mr. Shoebat also stated that Gematria is one the methods that many have used to ascertain the name of the person who is to be the beast, but God is not interested in witchcraft and number games. But allow me this thought for a moment. Did not the wise men from the east (Babylon, trained by those that Daniel trained.) find out by numbers and the stars at what time the Messiah should arrive, and they followed the star that led them right to him. Astronomy was apparently God designed but toying with Astrology was probably not. There is no doubt that God put these signs in place for our benefit but they are not to be abused.

The top image is definitely Arabic and shows the cross sword symbols of Islam, the lower text is Greek.

Walid Shoebat stated that he read this in the Codex Vaticanus. The problem with that is that this codex does not contain the Revelation from what I am to understand.

Could the man make a mistake? I do it all the time, partly because my memory is giving way. But he did say he that he read it in his native language, Arabic.

Apply some logic to this:

  • John wrote to Jewish believers.

  • I believe that God wanted us to understand. Clearly this is one the hardest ones to figure out, unless what Walid Shoebat said is true.

  • Satan, the power and backing behind Islam, is in opposition to every thing that God stands for. Revelation uses the terminology Antichrist, therefore in contrast to.

    Walid Shoebat, in an effort to make the audience understand said, Islam is the antithesis of God and godly things.

If Islam is the antithesis to belief in “the One true God” then it makes all the sense in world to tell us that this man can be identified by his relationship to Allah, the god in opposition.

How might God get us to see that? By inserting the Bismallah, something that would not have made any sense to anyone at the time of the writing. Muhammad was not even born until 570 years after Jesus Christ died. It was not until several years later that Mohammedanism was formed.

You might be asking yourself what Satan copied in using the Bismallah. The Bismallah – “in the name of Allah” is basis and theme within Islam that states: “there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.” Did you grasp that? If you wish to convert to Islam this is your statement of faith. You will, if you are a believer, have to understand that there is no one else but God. This is what Jesus told the Jews during the three years of his time among us, but he made it clear, and John, the disciple, conveyed it to us, He was God.

This is a vital statement to the Jewish community but the New Testament believers today have not made it a vital statement that motivates their lives. It is basically this:

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” (Deuteronomy 6:4 ESV)

If this has been the defining statement of our belief, there is no Lord but Yahweh, then how would I convey an Antichrist theme? To raise up a religion that claims peace but is in fact the most violent of people on the earth, and instead of acknowledging Jesus Christ as God, they sing the praises of Allah.

If you do not know this Jesus Christ I speak of, then give him your life today. Accept his love for you. He placed himself on a cross to a ransom for your sins so that you are no longer indebted for them. He rose from the dead to give you new life. And he promised to come back for us and take those who await him to live with the Father (God). He loves you and died for you at a time when no one loved him. He did this to prove his love for you. I suggest you run to him because I have asked him to invade your dreams and give you visions of this Jesus Christ. His arms are open awaiting you. Ask him in and give him control of the life that you are not doing so well with.

Another beast – out of the earth. Revelation 13:11-17


He had horns like a lamb.

Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon.

(Revelation 13:11 NASB)

Out of the earth.

The word for earth is gē and can also mean a country. If we reread this verse with the concept of a specific country involved then it takes on a whole new meaning. The problem is we cannot be sure what that country is.

The distinction is clear to me. The earth represents a common factor, man; not some fallen angel or demon, and definitely not an empire or kingdom like our previous beast. Our previous beast had so many aspects that could be defined by historical evidence. Our new beast is defined by scripture and if you are willing to look at them, by Islamic prophecies as well.

Here is the passage that paints the picture of our previous monster.

And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names.

(Revelation 13:1 NASB)

He had two horns like a lamb,

Oddly the two horns do not carry the same meanings as those on the previous beast. On the previous beast horns meant ruling bodies in Revelation 13:1. Here they fit best as a mockery.

We city folk rarely ever see a sheep with horns. For whatever reason the herders cut them off.

We in Christianity commonly use the phrase “the lamb of God.” Who are we referring to? Jesus Christ the lamb of God and risen one. I happen to think that this was meant to immediately grab your attention.

And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

(Revelation 5:6 KJV)

It might be worthy to note that Jesus Christ, represented here by the slain lamb (he became this on the cross.) has seven horns, not two. Two horns are what a sheep herder would expect to see.

Why is this hugely significant?

This verse probably gained no clarity until sometime after the Iranian revolution of 1979. Until then most, from that part of the world, referred to themselves as people coming from Persia and we Westerners really knew little about them and what the hardliners really believed.

It only feels like a couple of years since I learned of what Islam teaches in Quran, but if this was common knowledge among prophecy teachers then why did they not teach it? The answer lies in God lifting the veil of understanding and increasing knowledge, and an understanding of what Islam’s prophecies teach.

But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. (2 Corinthians 3:14-16 NASB)

And He said, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is in parables, so that SEEING THEY MAY NOT SEE, AND HEARING THEY MAY NOT UNDERSTAND. (Luke 8:10 NASB)

“Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. (Daniel 12:3 NASB)

“Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand. (Daniel 12:10 NASB)

It is hugely significant because Islam is looking for a Jesus to appear as well.

I have covered this before but I can also assume that many of you did not read those earlier posts.

From Wikipedia:

Isa ( Arabic: عيسىTransliteration: ʿĪsā ), known as Jesus in the New Testament is considered to be a Messenger of God and the Masih (Messiah) in Islam [1] who was sent to guide the Children of Israel (banī isrā’īl) with a new scripture, the Injīl or Gospel.[2] The belief in Jesus (and all other messengers of God) is required in Islam, and a requirement of being a Muslim. The Quran mentions Jesus by name twenty-five times, while it only mentions Muhammad by name four times.[3][4] It states that Jesus was born to Mary (Arabic: Maryam) as the result of virginal conception, a miraculous event which occurred by the decree of God (Arabic: Allah). To aid in his ministry to the Jewish people, Jesus was given the ability to perform miracles (such as healing the blind, bringing dead people back to life, etc.), all by the permission of God rather than of his own power. According to the Quran, Jesus, although appearing to have been crucified, was not killed by crucifixion or by any other means, instead, “God raised him unto Himself”. Like all prophets in Islam, Jesus is considered to have been a Muslim (i.e., one who submits to the will of God), as he preached that his followers should adopt the “straight path” as commanded by God. Islam rejects the Trinitarian Christian view that Jesus was God incarnate or the son of God, that he was ever crucified or resurrected, or that he ever atoned for the sins of mankind. The Quran says that Jesus himself never claimed any of these things, and it furthermore indicates that Jesus will deny having ever claimed divinity at the Last Judgment, and God will vindicate him.[5] The Quran emphasizes that Jesus was a mortal human being who, like all other prophets, had been divinely chosen to spread God’s message. Islamic texts forbid the association of partners with God (shirk), emphasizing a strict notion of monotheism (tawhīd).

Numerous titles are given to Jesus in the Quran and in Islamic literature, the most common being al-Masīḥ (“the messiah”). Jesus is also, at times, called “Seal of the Israelite Prophets”, because, in general Muslim belief, Jesus was the last prophet sent by God to guide the Children of Israel. Jesus is seen in Islam as a precursor to Muhammad, and is believed by Muslims to have foretold the latter’s coming.[6][7]

Muslims believe that Jesus will return to earth near the Day of Judgment to restore justice and to defeat Masih ad-Dajjal (“the false messiah”, also known as the Antichrist).[6][8]

According to Islamic tradition which describes this graphically, Jesus’ descent will be in the midst of wars fought by the Mahdi (lit. “the rightly guided one”), known in Islamic eschatology as the redeemer of Islam, against the Antichrist (al-Masīh ad-Dajjāl, “False messiah“) and his followers.[27] Jesus will descend at the point of a white arcade, east of Damascus, dressed in yellow robes—his head anointed. He will then join the Mahdi in his war against the Dajjal. Jesus, considered as a Muslim, will abide by the Islamic teachings. Eventually, Jesus will slay the Antichrist, and then everyone from the People of the Book (ahl al-kitāb, referring to Jews and Christians) will believe in him. Thus, there will be one community, that of Islam.[28]

  1. A Jew of the Aaronic lineage.

    That means he can be a high priest, and may well be. This man is not going to just walk into the scene and command people’s respect, I primarily mean Israel’s. Considering the amount and degree of deception it would have to seem reasonable to follow him.

  2. He produces documentation, new scriptures, that refute the God that Israel has followed.

  3. He will do the miracles that Jesus did and call fire down from the skies.

  4. He will deceive many.

And he spoke like a dragon

Who is the dragon? If you have followed then you know this one; for those that have not it is Satan.

And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.(Revelation 1 2:9 NASB)

To alert the world that this false prophet, Isa (the Jesus of Islam), is coming, is to tell us that like Satan his words are lies and his sole purpose will be to deceive.

“You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44 NASB)

“..the authority of the first beast on its behalf”

It uses all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and it makes the earth and those living on it worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. (Revelation 13:12 ISV)

It uses all the authority of the first beast on its behalf,”

This is not the beast of Revelation 13: 1,2

I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns, seven heads, and ten royal crowns on its horns. On its heads were blasphemous names. The beast that I saw was like a leopard. Its feet were like bears feet, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. The dragon gave it his power, his throne, and complete authority. (Revelation 13:1-2 ISV)

The beast of Revelation 13: 1,2 is a compilation of empires and leaders. One of the ruling bodies, an empire if you will, that arises out of this compilation is stopped momentarily in its destructive tracks and to the world effectively killed. This empire had leaders and a name but the basis of its theme was the Quran. It was called the Ottoman empire.

If this false prophet is using all the authority or power, as the KJV states, then he has the backing and fire power of the Islamic empire. This sort of sounds like a Star Wars movie. Sadly it is very real and deadly.

In saying “the first beast before him ..” as the KJV does, we have two possible meanings:

  1. The false prophet operates in the presence of the Antichrist or Mahdi, and as supreme ruling authority over Islam the false prophet is then operating in his power.

  2. Because the ‘mouth’ in Revelation 13:5 is given power to continue 42 months he apparently steps out-of-the-way. We know he is not dead for God takes the two of them alive and tosses them in the lake of fires.

    In this last scenario the word ‘before’ takes on the sense of someone previous.

There is another clue about this 42 months and then departure. Look with me at Daniel 9:27

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

For whatever reason the Antichrist figure breaks the treaty. He helped to set up the treaty and now at 42 months he breaks it. You can learn from this passage that the Antichrist is there at the beginning of the years of God’s judgment against Israel and the nations.

Another aspect of this verse tells us that the temple is in operation and the Antichrist is the one that causes the sacrifice and prayers to stop.

Another clue:

Daniel 11:28-31 NASB “Then he will return to his land with much plunder; but his heart will be set against the holy covenant, and he will take action and then return to his own land. (29) “At the appointed time he will return and come into the South, but this last time it will not turn out the way it did before. (30) “For ships of Kittim will come against him; therefore he will be disheartened and will return and become enraged at the holy covenant and take action; so he will come back and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant. (31) “Forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation.

In particular look at verse 30. Something has happened here that he did not expect. It has not stopped his actions but it sure has his attention; a nation that did not bow its knee to him. One of my commentaries attributes this peculiar name to the Cyprians. As of this date, 04/05/13, Cyprus is undergoing financial upheaval and not looking good at all. Where does someone like this get the money to run an effective navy?

What does it mean to exercise all the power of the first beast?

I have expounded before how I believe that the beast, all the way up to Revelation 13:4 is not a man but a demonic stronghold empowering Islam. Allah himself may be the beast that Revelation 13:4 speaks of, but Allah is no more a god than the rocks on the hillside. What makes the difference, in terms of power and ability, is that he or it is empowered by Satan himself.

To empower is to: to give power or authority to; authorize, especially by legal or official means. And yet we all understand what is coming to be more than just authorization. The false prophet and the Antichrist seem to take on the destructive and deceptive nature of Satan himself, even up to the point that many will witness the image that gets set up in the temple speaking.

Think about this. If the first beast equates to Islam or Allah then you have to ask what kind power do they wield? Islam has strength by numbers therefore political power as well as economic power.

We have all recently witnessed some of that political power as Mohamed Morsi was elected President of Egypt. And Saudi Arabia, one the wealthiest oil nations on the planet, finances almost every destructive aspect of Islam.

Islam’s strongest weapon and by extension power, is violence.

Allah himself is merely a myth and does not wield any of this power, unless he is a fallen angel. For those who do not think of angel’s as being powerful you need to look back at Daniel. Michael, a heavenly archangel and protector of Israel, had to be called in as a backup for Gabriel, another archangel. Gabriel had been in combat with fallen angels, who had names, for 21 days. Gabriel told Daniel that another fallen angel was coming to the fight. Read your scriptures and you will find that several are bound now in the Euphrates river (I hope) and will be released upon the earth in the near future. They have a very destructive goal and yes, God allows them to be loosed for a time. Folks, deny it if you wish but there is a warfare going in the heavenlies, all around you.

Up to this point no one in Islam displays or exerts any power over people other than fear, but that day is coming when a representative, the Mahdi, will do miracles not so dissimilar to what Jesus or the prophets did.

“he even makes fire come down”

Revelation 13:13 NASB He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men.

What is the significance of that?

  1. Ezekiel 38,39 tell us that when armies besiege Israel that God fights for Israel. God does this in several ways but the one that gets my attention is the fire storm he sends upon the Muslim nations of the earth.

    This would seem to be right before the Antichrist/Mahdi commits to a seven-year treaty with Israel, and Israel immediately rebuilds the temple.

    Doesn’t anybody ask how that could be remotely possible?

    Apparently God will wipe the Dome of the Rock right off the map with this firestorm. Do you really think that there could be any other way for Israel to regain the temple mount?

  2. The other hugely significant even is the two witnesses.

    You can argue for a lifetime about when they show up, but where you put them in the time-line is really inconsequential in God’s timing, but if he followed your timing then it changes everything.

    I hold to the idea that they show up immediately and leave at the 42 month mark in the time of judgment and tribulation. This timing coincides with two events: The amount of time allotted to the ‘mouth’ given to the beast (I believe this mouth is the Mahdi.) and the clear introduction of the false prophet/Jesus of Islam.

    Keep in mind that the two witnesses have spewed fire from their mouths and halting rain as they see fit. We can assume that all the world has watched them, and as long as they have stood on the earth the hatred for them and God has grown immensely.

    Finally, after multiple attempts, God allows for them to be killed. Much like his own Son their lives will not be taken without God’s permission. Having these two witnesses removed from the earth should bolster a false bravado and an outpouring of hatred, anger and bloodshed against Israel.

    This is also the time that the image gets set up in the temple. I am sure that the two witnesses play a significant role in preventing anything that looks like that from happening. Jesus warned his listeners in Matthew 24, 25 that when you see things happening, that those in Israel need to flee to the desert.

he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs”

Revelation 13:14 NASB And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who *had the wound of the sword and has come to life.

What did Jesus say?

Mark 13:21-22 KJV And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: (22) For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

When he gets to this part he is clearly speaking about the end times, so the context is the time of judgment, precisely what I have been discussing.

When the disciples asked him when these things would happen the first thing he said was,

Luke 21:7-8 NASB They questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, when therefore will these things happen? And what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?” (8) And He said, “See to it that you are not misled; for many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not go after them.

“And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs ..”

We already have an idea of who he is. I happen to believe that he is already here. The Jews are not going let just anyone walk into the holy of holies. And I can assure that Islam is not going to listen to anyone that is a Jew tell them anything, unless, there is something known and there are corresponding actions that prove that this is the man they seek.

He” – is the Jesus of Islam. They happen to call him Isa.

He is:

  • A Jew

  • A descendant of Aaron, therefore entitled to act as a high priest. And if he is acting in that role then he has access to the Holy of Holies where he sets up the image. (He is probably acting in the role of a priest ask we speak.

  • A convert to Islam

He causes the image of the beast to speak. This image is either a resemblance of the Mahdi, or something that looks like the confederation of nations that creates the multi-headed animal like body of Revelation 13:1,2.

I lean toward the image of a man.

Here is an odd thought. What if he got something like the Mr. Lincoln exhibit at Disneyland. It could be done and in a fairly short time.

How could he possibly deceive everyone left on earth? We are clear that many elite Jewish leaders will follow him, convinced by the signs. Those of the fringe of Islam, and not fully given to the ideals of Jihad will be converted, and many in the world will give in.

Think about what influences the conversion rate. Placed under the edge of the sword many will bow their knee to Allah, accept the markings and worship the beast (what ever that happens to be.) Some will not be affected by this for we see “nations” coming during the thousand-year reign who did not take part in the worship of Allah. Just considering the rebellious nature of some people they will fight against Islam and quite possibly be successful, but you cannot fight against God, and will possibly be considered among the nations. When you consider the number and size of the earthquakes described during the time of judgment, it would not surprise me to find the continents shifted back together. That would enable Islam to have an even greater influence.

..those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast;”

Had power?

The words that give us this phrase are: didōmiautos. And it means to give to yourself.

We know the first beast is empowered by the dragon. The dragon is Satan. The beast is not an amalgamation of empires, but it could be; it could also be Allah, which some might think is a fictional god in the mind of Mohammed. But what if Allah is the name of a powerful angel, fallen with Satan. Then we have Satan transferring his power to this angel named Allah making him as deceptive as Satan is.

This second beast, the false prophet, exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence.You find this in Revelation 13:12. Does this mean that his power is limited to being in the presence of the first beast? I doubt it. Depending on what version you read the alternate word used for authority is power. The word power is exousia and means, “the liberty of doing as one pleases.” This second beast may have demonstrated power on purpose to the Mahdi as an act of compliance but the meaning of the word shows us that this character who goes by the name Jesus, now does as he pleases.

Revelation 13:4 NASB they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?”

In Revelation 13:5 the beast is given a mouth, someone to speak for him. In chapter thirteen verse seven the ‘mouth’ is given the power to make war with the saints. In Revelation 13:11 the second beast with the lambs horns, speaks like the dragon/Satan (With lies and deception.)

..he had power to give life unto the image..”

Revelation 13:15 NASB And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.

  • He has access to the image, now setup in the temple. Not everyone can do that.
  • He makes the image to speak.
  • He causes as many as do not worship the image to be killed.

There will come a point at which trying to coerce you into worshiping will not be worth their time, so they will just lop your head.

This implies a global dominance, but that is really not the case.

“He causes all, … to receive a mark…”

Revelation 13:16 KJV And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

It is the false prophet, this Jesus of Islam, that causes everyone to receive a mark. Not the Antichrist as we teach people.

So that no one will have power to buy or sell

Revelation 13:17 AMP So that no one will have power to buy or sell unless he bears the stamp (mark, inscription), [that is] the name of the beast or the number of his name.

Though we live in a high-tech world, at least here in America, there are still plenty of places on earth that do rather well on a barter system economy. Never say never when it comes to God, but the practical has to have an influence at times. This barter systen adds to the problem of world-wide domination and lends itself to the false prophet having a significant influence over the middle eastern world.

Remember! The acts that this person does are significant, especially when you contrast what he does against the two witnesses.

Since everything Satan does is the antithesis of God, this beast, the false prophet, empowered by Satan is mimicking the powers of God.

Should you consider the powers of angels, messengers and emissaries of God, they carry the full weight and authority of God himself. Angels have set rocks on fire, killed off the first-born of a nation, stood guard with drawn swords, fought wars for Israel, and gently delivered messages of comfort and peace.

I have intentionally not delved into 13:18 because I think it deserves a bit more thought on my part.

As always I warn you that time is short and these things are coming. Don’t think so? Just watch the news. North Korea is on the verge of pulling their own trigger. Iran is still playing its nuclear game. Syria will collapse and according to President Bashar at the collapse of Syria the middle east will pretty much implode. Things are moving quickly now.

Jesus Christ, the messiah that Israel longed for and ignored is coming again soon for those that await him. He will pull the body of Christ, the Christian community in general, out of here. He gave us the story of both Lot and Noah as examples of how it would come to pass, and if you know those stories with any familiarity then you should know that judgment fell as the righteous were escaping.

Give your life to Jesus Christ. He will welcome you with open arms because he loves you, he proved that when he went to the cross for you.

Until next time, live like he is coming today, and walk with dignity through life.

Written in code, Revelation 13:10


It would seem that most of Revelation is written in code.

An example of that would be: Beasts with multiple heads; all of which represent empires, kingdoms and rulers, but you are not given the rules to break the code directly.

If I only looked at verse 10 in the KJV it comes across as a riddle and takes a very different meaning from many other translations. The question is, which one is right?

He that leads into captivity shall go into captivity: he that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

(Revelation 13:10 KJV)

One might assume that the one that is leading others into captivity would be the Antichrist and since Islam is one the leading advocates of beheading by sword, they fit the mold quite nicely as the ones doing the killing by sword.

In this modern world we live in where advancements in technology are rapidly changing and improving the way we kill people, why the sword? The sword within Islam almost takes on a religious theme, and may well fall under that category.

Here in the United States we already have a large collection of FEMA detainment camps; sometimes referred as protective facilities. Who is being protected? Us Christians from those that wish to remove our rights and freedoms? I do not think so. Do you really believe that believers will be treated respectfully while detained there? Then you are deluded.

Other versions of this passage read like this:

Whoever is to be a prisoner, will be a prisoner. Whoever is to be killed with a sword, will be killed with a sword. This means that God’s holy people must have patience and faith.

(Revelation 13:10 ERV)

Why this is an entirely different spin from the KJV for it for it removes the focus off the perpetrator and places it on the victim.

In theory this may be one of the ways God has chosen for us to understand what is to befall those that are left.

Penn Jillette of the magical act, Penn and Teller, has been very vocal about being an agnostic and his disappointment in Christians not taking the responsibility to tell someone like him if something equitable to a devastating train wreck is about to befall him. At least then he could make a logical decision about how to react to that information. I believe that what I am doing could equate to something like that. Having seen in scripture what is coming for those who wait, I warn you; this world after the rapture will not be pretty. Sure the man who shows up will be handsome (maybe), well spoken, charismatic, and have all the right things to say, calming most people down. Following him will be a tragic and last error in judgment for worshiping that man and taking any marks he demands will end your chances for God’s redemption, and there will still be a chance (kind of like playing a card trick, only God has the deck of cards and Mr. Penn Jillette will not be able to figure out what he is doing should he end up before the white throne of judgment.)

By translating verse 10 from the victim’s point of view it enlightens but possibly misdirected the world from looking at reality.

Let’s take at look at the words being used, because I want to understand.

He thatG1536 leadeth intoG4863 captivityG161 shall goG5217 intoG1519 captivity:G161 he thatG1536 killethG615 withG1722 the swordG3162 mustG1163 be(G846) killedG615 withG1722 the sword.G3162 HereG5602 isG2076 theG3588 patienceG5281 andG2532 theG3588 faithG4102 of theG3588 saints.G40

(Revelation 13:10 KJV+)

 Nothing short of confusing when you look at it like this, but give me a moment.

åéG1487 COND ôéòG5100 X-NSM áé÷ìáëùóéáíG161 N-ASF óõíáãåéG4863 V-PAI-3S åéòG1519 PREP áé÷ìáëùóéáíG161 N-ASF õðáãåéG5217 V-PAI-3S åéG1487 COND ôéòG5100 X-NSM åíG1722 PREP ìá÷áéñáG3162 N-DSF áðïêôåíåéG615 V-FAI-3S äåéG1163 V-PAI-3S áõôïíG846 P-ASM åíG1722 PREP ìá÷áéñáG3162 N-DSF áðïêôáíèçíáéG615 V-APN ùäåG5602 ADV åóôéíG1510 V-PAI-3S çG3588 T-NSF õðïìïíçG5281 N-NSF êáéG2532 CONJ çG3588 T-NSF ðéóôéòG4102 N-NSF ôùíG3588 T-GPM áãéùíG40 A-GPM

(Revelation 13:10 GNT-TR+)

Again confusing and I do not read Greek but the Strong’s reference numbers are the same. Originally written in Greek and then transliterated into English guys like me are at the mercy of those who seem to know. For me it is beneficial to compare texts.

There is a common thread between the two translations

Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.

If the focus is on the perpetrator then it seems that God is spelling out the type of retribution that they shall receive. Why then would it be necessary for the Saints to have perseverance and faith?

If they focus is really intended to be upon the victims then this statement makes all the sense in the world.

What does it mean to have perseverance and faith?

Perseverance, according to the Greek, means to be steadfast constant and to endure. But what are you enduring? And for what purpose?

The ISBE and Vine’s expository call it a different Greek word and the ISBE says it only occurs one time in the NT and that is Ephesians 6:18.

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

(Ephesians 6:18 KJV)

The KJV states it this way: Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.I suppose it is safe to say that the word endurance and patience kind of lean in the same direction.

Strongs tells us that the word patience is: Hupomonē – From G5278; cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy:- enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting).

So then what are the Saints, going through the tribulation, waiting for? God to rescue them and give them a home in his arms also.

If I could warn you of impending death or imprisonment with torture, then adding a statement that allows you to mentally prepare might be a good thing. I am certain that a statement like this does that very thing for some.

As I sat down to dinner this night at Chick-fil-A, a business known for its Christian stance, a man walks up to the counter with a t-shirt on that expresses some aspect of how he feels. It said some name and the words, “standing at hell’s gates.” It would seem to me that he has no hope of a future with God.

In focusing on verse 10 alone, I believe that for some there will be a separation from the body only to find themselves in the presence of the Lord, while others may find themselves faced with hell’s gates and the sudden realization that this is not really where they wanted to be.

I am almost embarrassed to tell you this because it is the environment I grew up in, but the religious assumptions I heard left me with the idea that there was no hope for anyone after the rapture. Clearly that is not the case. Why?

  1. The verse we have dealt with speaks to the Saints and implies the necessity of faith and patience.

  2. Peter stood on the day of Pentecost, as recorded in Acts chapter 2, and told those scoffers that what they were hearing was the prophecy of Joel chapter 2 being fulfilled in their hearing.

    Do you realize that the prophecy of Joel is one about the last days? And the fact that Peter announced that it was fulfilled on that day and forward. Lawyers like to call things like this a precedence, and establishes a freedom to act a certain way from that point on.

    We, in our Christian circles, love to use the prophecy of Joel to describe something out the ordinary that typically happens to the youth, in the realm of the prophetic, primarily with our pre-rapture church body. (Note: You will not see anything like this at the church I go to. It is not allowed. – A warning: God will tear the walls off your church building if you try to keep him out.) While Peter’s statements give us the precedent to use it, it is primarily directed to a handful, maybe larger, of Saints that are not merely surviving the horrors of the great tribulation, but living in extraordinary victory during this time. They will come to understand that they are not of this world. Filled with the Holy Spirit they walk in the freedom and power of the most feared of prophets who walked this earth. (Consider. If you came to a person like this, humbly seeking to know and understand the God they have come to know and understand, how do you think they would respond? With the loving merciful nature of the God that empowers them.

    Take the time to Read the first two chapters (at least) of Joel. You will find that the emphasis is on the Day of the Lord, a day of darkness and gloom, and that aspect alone is at the end of the seven-year period.

One of the main themes in the NT is our hope, a hope in a future with Jesus Christ and the Father. That is what these Saints of the tribulation years have come to understand and hope in too. Obviously a hope like this is built within you, but based upon what? The scriptures, a witness, a testimony, and a faith in a message. Nothing has changed for the scriptures tell us that faith comes by hearing, but we assume that there is no one left to tell them. Think about it. Why send two witnesses to earth. Sure they will have an impact on Israel but broadcast on global television the world will see what men of God really act like and say. We also know that an angel flies around the globe preaching the good news of Jesus Christ. And then there is not only copies of the bible left everywhere, but guys like me that post it on the Internet.

I am asking you look into the scriptures for yourself. Yes it is appropriate to compare your notes against what scholars have ascertained, doing that has multiple effects:

  1. It gives you a compass that tells you that you might be headed in the right direction and

  2. It allows you to confirm that your thoughts are sound (keep in mind that if you Born Again and filled with the Holy Spirit, then you have a guide and teacher – trust him.)

    But remember, even scholars have leaned toward spinning the result to satisfy those who are paying their bills. No one is paying my bills and that is why I am attempting to rock the boat a little.

The only way to gain assurance that your hope is in heaven is to accept Jesus as Lord of your life, and that the Father has promised a life with him in heaven. Choosing against that pits you against the time of judgment that was meant for those who reject him; that includes Israel. Even Israel will be shown mercy but not without a cost. You do not have go through something that was not meant for you. To go there is purely your choice. Choose wisely was the phrase used in the Raiders of the Lost Ark movie. I would hope that you do.

 


remso:

It has been almost a year since I posted this. I just reread it and wept again.My heart still cries over this nation and others. My heart cries over the Muslim nations. Father draw them in. Awaken my beloved for the time is at hand. Awaken the fire within you.

Originally posted on A voice in the wilderness:

Hear what the spirit of the Lord is saying, not only to those who misguided the sheep, but to the sheep as well.

I am writing as I have been compelled to write. The Spirit of the Lord tells me that we are of the Laodicean church, and as such we are on the last stand and have failed to hold our ground.

The prophets1 have put forth the call to repent, but you have ignored that call, and instead, induced fear in my people.

You have taken away their hope.

 Most will not receive this, but some will.

 “To the messenger of the church in Laodicea, write: The amen, the witness who is faithful and true, the source of God’s creation, says: I know what you have done, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot. But since you are…

View original 1,887 more words