An inquiry into Isaiah chapter 14:12 – Alright, it is a wee bit of a rebuttal as well.

English: Lucifer, the fallen angel

English: Lucifer, the fallen angel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Study in Isaiah

Chapter 14 verse 12

A profound motivation to search out what is said in Isaiah came as a result of a post I had made on Facebook that addressed some of the religious ceremony having to do with the Pope. The video opened with an opus, sung in Latin, apparently had its origins in the book of Isaiah. As the young man sang, the English translation appeared the bottom of the screen. Strangely it said nothing of Lucifer. In the video, made in 2014, the originator of the video asks, “did you notice what he said?” Since I don’t know Latin, I feel like I missed it entirely. He went on to explain that the song began by giving Lucifer an equivalency to God. My impression is that the person posting the video is telling us that the Pope too gives Lucifer that level of distinction as well. The subplot to this is that the Pope, if not the Antichrist, is certainly kicking open the doors as he fulfills scripture about the apostasy.

So, the burning question is: Where is this found in scripture, what is it saying to us, and, does it elevate Satan/Lucifer to the status of God?

Where is this found in scripture?

Without going into great detail at this point, the passage originates in Isaiah 14:12, and, according to the CJB reads like this:

How did you come to fall from the heavens, morning star, son of the dawn? How did you come to be cut to the ground, conqueror of nations?”

This dive into the Hebrew and associated Strong’s numbers may only confuse you, but I want you to see the KJV w/Strong’s numbers.

Isaiah 14:12 KJV+ HowH349 art thou fallenH5307 from heaven, H4480 H8064 O Lucifer, H1966 son H1121 of the morning! H7837 how art thou cut down H1438 to the ground, H776 which didst weaken H2522 H5921 the nations! H1471

Note how the word Lucifer is attached to the Strong’s number H1966. The word in Hebrew, translated Lucifer by some, is hêylêl, pronounced hay-lale’; and means, (in the sense of brightness); the morning star: – Lucifer.

Isaiah 14:12 also happens to be the only place you will find this word used in scripture.

In the Strong’s we are told that it is from the root word hâlal, pronounced haw-lal’. (Strong’s number H1984). It means to be clear (originally of sound, but usually of color); to shine; hence to make a show; to boast, and thus to be (clamorously) foolish; to rave; causatively to celebrate.

One other thing you should pay attention to, especially if you read this in the KJV. Note how verse twelve points out that “the morning star” (for understanding and liberties sake, we will call him Lucifer), was cut down to the ground. The impact of that was a weakening of the nations.

I have been told that this is the basis for the word hallelujah, and is the root word for praise.

What is the obvious take away from this?

That Lucifer’s origins included praise to God, but that in no way makes this fallen angel an equal with God. We know from scriptures that he was a created being and that deceit was found in him. God certainly did not make him that way, but also given a free will he chose to usurp God’s authority. Satan’s attempt at mutiny got him stripped of his position and thrown to earth. Because we find him walking in the garden we might assume that this was before his fall, but we also find him deceiving the woman, and that would have certainly been after his fall. Through deceit, he wrangled the dominion and power over the earth away from the man (Adam) and, without a doubt, has been weakening the nations ever since.

An acquaintance of mine, with a Masters Degree in Theology, responded unkindly to the video I posted and took it upon himself to chasten me for pointing out the possibility that the Pope is advancing some form of Luciferian worship. This acquaintance also opted to defend the Pope. This attack, in my mind, is not so unlike something my mother might have done when I was under her authority, for mom’s religious background caused her to defend even the worst of people. To help you understand my rant, my definition of mothering is meant to imply any over overstated correction that assumes you don’t have a brain in your head. I believe that when we take on this attitude and mothering role we are not being useful, but judgmental and controlling. Seeing as part of his chastisement toward me was to point out that Isaiah was talking exclusively about an unknown Babylonian king while quoting a well-known mythological tale taken from the surrounding idolatrous nations, let’s pursue that for a moment.

As for the well-known mythological story.

Here is what the IVPBBC says:

Many interpreters, ancient and modern, see it as a designation of Venus, the morning star. It is this interpretation that was behind the early Greek translation of the term, as well as the Latin Vulgate’s luciferos (shining one, i.e., Venus). Most modern interpreters believe that Isaiah is using a well-known mythological tale as an analogy to the failure and consequences of the king of Babylon’s rebellion and arrogance, but no known literature matches the details of Helel’s rebellion.”

Keep in mind that old challenge, do you jump off the cliff just because everyone else is doing it? The short answer, I hope, would be, not a chance. Why, because you have the ability to make decisions. The Apostle Paul associated this concept with the Bereans who would not merely accept what he said but validated it with the Word of God and were then convinced.

Allow me to apply some of my logic to what the IVPBBC said.

  • Many interpreters.”

As a part of my Bible study program on my computer, there are 45 commentaries, many of which I have purchased and at least that many translations of the Bible. I could say, that I draw from 45 interpreters of scripture. Some have a use, but I do not agree with everything they say. When I tell people this, and I rarely do, their response is often, why? Here is one good reason. The KJV has issues, but after all these years they are well-known, and this excludes Elizabethan language issues. However, compared to the NIV or ESV which leaves out large blocks of text which diminish the strength of the book, the KJV or NASB seem to hold truer to the character and nature of God, that I have through experience come to understand. Over simplified versions can open the door to conversations that might not happen with the KJV, and I get that. So, the variety of translations give us varied flavors, and that is okay, as long you are getting appropriately fed.

Is it possible that the many interpreters are merely following each other, as they steer those of us who buy into their garbage, astray? Certainly.

As a side note: Pastor John MacArthur, a brilliant man, says, the gifting involved with the Holy Spirit has been done away with. Since I can see the Holy Spirit involved in my life, do you think I am going to buy into Pastor John’s interpretation on this subject? Not a chance.

  • Most modern interpreters believe that Isaiah is using a well-known mythological tale as an analogy.”

You might as well tell me that most people buy into this fresh idea of killing cops as well; especially when it ‘s obvious they don’t. They don’t buy in because most people are sensible, wishing to live quiet lives. I know I am. It is always the squeakiest wheels and a minority that try to push people into the twisted doctrines of life. Since Satan is a deceiver and the passage itself tells us that he weakens the nations, then it is possible that advancing theories like this “ mythological tale” only weaken our resolve and understanding of God.

I have never heard of a mythological Babylonian king named Helel; that does not mean the story does not exist. Though I did not have the chance to read everything written by every author in the world, I did have to read some unusual stories for college, and that was not one of them.

The practical side of this mythological argument is that we use a Bible that was supposed to be inspired by the Holy Ghost as God spoke through men. God was also very implicit in His commands to stay away from the practices and beliefs of the idolatrous nations that surrounded them. Why would Isaiah have stooped so low as to interject some mythological person into prophecy? He would not have, and to have someone suggest that he did irritates me immensely.

  • king of Babylon’s rebellion and arrogance,”

While rebellion and arrogance may be okay words to describe some kings, we only know of a few and for the most part, they all seem to stem from Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. When Nebuchadnezzar holds his head a little too high in arrogance, God humbles him and has him grazing like a cow in the grass for seven years. In time we come to consider him a man who understands God.

The one personality who best fits this rebellion and arrogance is Satan, formerly the light bringer.

  • no known literature matches the details of Hele’s rebellion.”

If there is no public research to back your argument, then why promote the case for this being some unknown mythological Babylonian king? And furthermore, how do you, an intelligent theological commentator makes such ridiculous presumptions without substantial backing.

He may have been the light bringer, but now he is the deceiver of the whole world, and his end is seen in Revelation 20 after the thousand year reign of Christ over the earth.

The Modern King James version interprets Isaiah 14:12 this way.

How you are fallen from the heavens, O shining star, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!”

The translators of the MKJV took the reasonable route in interpretation by excluding the name Lucifer. Applying a Berean attitude and eliminating the name Lucifer at this point would be the safer road to travel, especially since this is the only place in the Bible we can find this word hêylêl.

So, what does Isaiah 14:12 and its general context, have to say to us, the modern church?

  • First off, as a believer, you should be aware that we have an enemy.

No, Satan cannot be everywhere at the same time as God can, but a third of the angels fell with him. Ask yourself, how many is a third of an uncountable number? A lot.

  • Secondly, we learn that Satan was stripped of his title and thrown out of heaven and down to earth.

It is evident from Isaiah 14:12 that “he” has fallen. But, do you know from where?

Jesus told the disciples that he saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. (Luke 10:18.)

  • Third, Satan, though stripped of his divine authority, is well versed in the Scriptures and skilled in deception. He stole control/dominion over the earth away from Adam.

I know that far too many “Christians” do not understand this concept or believe it. Consider that when Satan tested Jesus after the forty days fast, that he took Jesus up onto a pinnacle of the temple and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and he said they were his to give. Jesus never contested Satan’s claim but merely shut his mouth with the Word of God.

Putting this statement “I saw Satan fall like lightning” (Luke 10:18) alongside other evidence like Ezekiel 28:13 where it shows the light bringer walking about in the Garden, and his deception of Eve in that same garden further on in time (See Genesis 3.) We get a picture of stolen authority.

  • Fourth: While Satan was thrown from Heaven, we know that it was not a permanent expulsion, as we assume, but more of a stripping of a title and position. One of the passages we use to validate a claim like this is found in the book of Job.

Job 1:6-8 MKJV “And a day came when the sons of God came to present themselves before Jehovah. And Satan also came among them. And Jehovah said to Satan, From where do you come? Then Satan answered Jehovah and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And Jehovah said to Satan, Have you set your heart against My servant Job, because there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and upright man, one who fears God and turns away from evil?”

At one time thrown from Heaven, he is still found meandering in the outskirts of heaven among the other angels, close enough to have God speak to him.

The final question then, is Satan equal with God?

There may be an honor bestowed signifying the one who created you, but when it comes to angels, they are messengers. They are not sons as Jesus became, and all of the angels must worship Him.

Hebrews 1:5-7 GW God never said to any of his angels, “You are my Son. Today I have become your Father.” And God never said to any of his angels, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son.” 6] When God was about to send his firstborn Son into the world, he said, “All of God’s angels must worship him.” 7] God said about the angels, “He makes his messengers winds. He makes his servants flames of fire.”

If you have any doubt as to Satan’s origins, as the Jehovah’s witness have, then ponder this:

Ezekiel 28:13-15 MKJV You have been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, the ruby, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the turquoise, and the emerald, and gold. The workmanship of your tambourines and of your flutes was prepared in you in the day that you were created. 14] You were the anointed cherub that covers, and I had put you in the holy height of God where you were; you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15] You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, until iniquity was found in you.

  • Name wise; he is understood to be the anointed cherub that covers.

The allusion seems to be to cherubs covering the mercy seat.

Why would that be? Perhaps because of his rank, or because of his strength. It does not matter for we have no definition for that but what we do know is that he learned deception.

The other reliable reference is found in Isaiah.

Isaiah 54:16 KJV Behold, I have created the smith that blows the coals in the fire, and that brings forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.

While destruction may be a hard concept to swallow, in the scheme of things it is possible that God had this planned all along, with the eventual goal of purging the world of all that would stand between his people and the love he has for them.

So, Satan was created, and with no flaws. And yet, he became flawed. Considering who made him, what chance do you and I have without a savior? None and that is why it is imperative that we find our life in Christ and quickly.

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Adventures in False teaching. Chapter two – Is there a judgment of the nations?

Have you ever heard the saying, “you should have been there!”

If you had you would better understand why I responded with the comment, “it was comparable to watching a tornado tear through a farm.” I made this statement in response to a friend who asked me what I thought of the morning’s study. Think about what happens in an event such as a tornado: The tornado rips through a farm, tearing the barn to pieces; quickly you begin to see two-by-fours swirling rapidly next to metal siding, a cow, and a farm tractor. Any and all of this could kill you. Now imagine someone asking you to describe what you see in the tornado. On which piece do you focus? That was the morning study.

Since the men’s study, for weeks now, has been attempting to address the presumed judgment of the nations, let’s see if we can find that theme in scripture.

With some frequency, the teacher has been referring to Matthew 25:31,32. Unfortunately, the reading always seems to end with verse 32, and therefore falsely conveys a horrific judgment upon all. Let’s look at this together, and I will use the NIV, a translation I cannot stand, but it is a simple read.

Matthew 25:31-32 NIV “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. (32) All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

Without knowing the context, we assume that what Jesus said in Matthew’s gospel applies to the time immediately following the “tribulation.” Here is the problem with this thinking. Jesus responded to the disciples questions with answers that were specifically Jewish. This issue about when Jesus would return in his glory is one of those that is important to the heart of the Jew. While there is no denying that Jesus comes back at the end of the time of wrath and Revelation 19 makes that clear. Is that the end of the story? Not even close, as Jesus, in his glory, for the next thousand years, continuously sits upon the throne providing the light for the world.

At the end of the thousand years, Satan is released. Having had the time to deceive the world there is, once again, judgment. Matthew’s gospel calls this “the nations.” Focusing on the nations as countries can be a problem, as this is merely people, and a study of the words in Greek demonstrate that.

Although he denies the connection, the study leader makes the assumption that there is a particular judgment of the nations based on passages taken from Revelation chapters 19 and 20. I know this because he misquotes and takes these verses out of context, turning them into a horrific, merciless, and judgmental paragraph, which condemns everyone that remains to the lake of fire, simply because he sees no one specifically mentioned as coming from the book of life.

Revelation 19:11-15 NIV (11) “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice, he judges and wages war. …”

Revelation 20:4 NIV “I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. …”

Revelation 20:11-12,15 NIV (11) “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. … The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. .. (15) “Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”

Since there is a consistent placement of Jesus sitting in judgment, let me point out several fallacies that I can see when using these verses.

  • In general, we do not see Jesus, alone, sitting upon a throne during the thousand years. Yes, Revelation 20 speaks of Thrones, but not just one.
  • The question posed by the disciples at the beginning of Matthew 24 was, when will you come back as the Messiah we expected. We see this glorious return in Revelation 19 as he rides in on the White Horse. However, Matthew’s gospel speaks of His return as well. Matthew 25:31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.”

But what do we do? We ignore the undefined pause (noted by the period at the end of the sentence) and make a huge leap forward one-thousand years in time, to where Jesus/God gathers all the nations before him. Is that a problem? Not to the Jew, for they understand that when the Messiah comes his reign will last forever. It can be an issue for us though because we have a Western mentality that segments this event. What the Jew treats as a glorious event is merely one long migration into eternity.

  • Revelation 20:4 tells us that the dead are brought before the throne.

Matthew did not mention their physical condition, why should he, for the idea of an eternal soul is an integral part of the Jewish understanding.

Consider these dead and what they might mean. Since Revelation 20 tells us that Satan will be released after the thousand years for the specific purpose of deceiving the nations, we also know that God slaughters all those who rise against Him in this battle. So let me make an assumption here. Having joined themselves to Satan’s cause, a final battle, can I then say that these dead have made their choice as to whom they will serve?

Because we only concern ourselves with the dead here in Revelation 20, we need to be asking who the dead are. We already know that many died in this final battle, but this gathering does not exclude people throughout the generations. And, since the only thing that seems to die is the mortal body, are these actually dead?

Nowhere in Revelation 20:4 does it name Jesus sitting in judgment over the nations. It does, however, tell us that there are those who have been given authority to judge. Here are a few instances from Scripture where the judges we see are defined.

1 Corinthians 6:2 NIV Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?

You should be asking yourself a couple of questions here. The first is, who are the Lord’s people? And the second might go like this; I thought we were talking about the nations, and yet this says the world. So is it the world or the nations? Before I address either of those, I want you to see the NASB translation of the same sentence.

1 Corinthians 6:2 NASB Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?

The Lord’s people initiated with Israel. God has never decommissioned them. He did, however, punish them severely for their disobedience. Unfortunately, that punishment continues through the time of wrath and judgment, which we foolishly call the TRIBULATION. We, the church, have had the fortune of being adopted into the family and likewise gained the title, the Lord’s people.

There is another group of individuals called saints in scripture entitled to carry the title, the Lord’s people, the martyred saints. It is always good to have scriptural backing for your statements, and besides, most people want proof so here goes.

Revelation 20:4-6 NASB “Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (5) The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. (6) Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these, the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

A quick tally of those reigning gives me: the church and now the martyred saints, which also reign with him. Note the phrase, “with Him.”

Scripture tells us that Jesus told his disciples that they would reign in judgment with Him. Look at this passage in Luke’s gospel where Jesus is talking to His Jewish disciples.

Luke 22:28-30 NASB “You are those who have stood by Me in My trials; (29) and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you (30) that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

The “you” he mentions, were the disciples, and the trials that Jesus speaks of are the ongoing events, including the beatings, scourging, and the cross. For their dedication, both now and in the future, Jesus tells them, they will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes. While this does not answer any direct questions about a judgment of the nations, they are indeed sitting in judgment over Israel – the twelve tribes. It does, however, give us a huge clue about an aspect of the twenty-four elders, whom we also find sitting upon thrones. While Luke’s Gospel speaks of the elders sitting on thrones judging, I see no direct correlation between the elders and judgment in the Revelation. Since the Jewish law states that there must be two or three witnesses to make a case, then based on the fact that we can only find one witness, I would be hesitant to make a case out of this.

If I were to draw a conclusion from what I have pointed out so far, it would be to say that I see judgment handed off to the church and the martyred saints. Considering the horrendous treatment these martyred received, it is a logical choice. I am not so sure God operates like that, but it makes sense to me.

Focusing specifically on judging the nations.

No matter what my conclusions the adamant will still insist that Jesus is to judge the nations; And, as I pointed out, they pull aspects from Matthew 25: 31-32 and Revelation 20, beginning at verse 11 to make their case. In doing so, they create a theory from the various scriptures, so that they can validate their claims. I am going to start with Matthew 25 since that one comes up most frequently.

When trying to ascertain what scripture is saying to me, I need to understand the context. In this case, it begins in Matthew 21, where Jesus, not because of some innate connection with the Father, but through understanding, like the prophet Daniel, knew that it was time to ride into Jerusalem, on a young colt, as a KING should.

I cannot begin to fathom the excitement the disciples felt as they thought, He is finally going to step up and reign as the King for which they had longed. That excitement was short-lived, for just minutes later he was clearing the outer courts of the temple, chasing vendors, people, and the elders out; His actions brought a verbal firestorm, and the disciples had nowhere to hide. The rhetorical barrage between Jesus, the priests, and elders, lasted for two days, neither did he take the throne as they had imagined. Exiting town Jesus heads toward the mount of Olives; we now find the disciples struggling with something intelligent to say. I probably would have done the same thing they did. Passing by the temple, the symbol of Jewish tradition and the focal point of Jewish pride, it seemed to prevent them from seeing Jesus as the Messiah. In response to their statement, Jesus told them the temple would be destroyed. Trying to redirect their focus He tells them what is coming. This response from Jesus prompts a short string of Jewish-oriented questions, which He meets with a long response that was specifically Jewish in nature. This Jewish orientation is what we see in Matthew 24 and 25.

If I approach what Jesus said, with even a minimal amount of Jewish-oriented thought, I will have a greater understanding. In Matthew 25: 31 – 46 an aspect of His response includes the statement, “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him.” To the Jewish mind, “coming in His glory and all the angels with Him,” would have been highly symbolic, prophetic, and indicative of when He would return as the Messiah/King Israel anticipated. It makes sense, for Jesus is painting a picture of the time after the period of wrath and judgment when He will physically come back to earth. Yes, this time of glory includes the migration into eternity. So, the Son of Man, coming in His glory is what we understand to be the physical, second coming of the Messiah. This second coming includes what is defined in Revelation 20 beginning with His reentry into the physical world, which we see described in Revelation 19:11, and culminates with the Great White Throne judgment.

In Revelation 19 He comes riding with the sole purpose of judgment; this is evidenced by the visual that he is covered in the blood of His enemies.

  • If this is the sole judgment of the nations or merely an aspect, it should not matter for it could all be over in a second. But, if it takes a few days, what is that to us? There is no way it will take God a thousand years to bring judgment, culminating with the White Throne.

But what do we do when we look at Revelation 20, where Jesus/God takes a seat and passes judgment upon some of those gathered before Him, we extend his judgment over the nations across the span of the millennial reign to the moments just after the years of wrath. We do this because we are not clear on what Scripture says, and we allow foolish teachers to feed us this garbage without question. (P.S. – You can have graduate degrees and still be a fool.)

  • If this is the sole judgment of the nations – then why are survivors among the nations made to come to the New Jerusalem every year, participate in the Feast of Tabernacles, and bow before Him.
  • If this is the sole judgment of the nations – And, you teach that this includes a final decision and a one-way ticket to hell, then why would there be any nations left to deceive after the thousand year reign?
  • If this is the sole judgment of the nations – then why, in both scriptural references, does he also show mercy to some and give them entrance into the kingdom?

While judgment might be what is happening, the argument, initially presented by the study leader, was intended to be a concise, chronological representation of what he thinks he sees in Scripture. What it turned out to be, was a convoluted merger of multiple verses that cover two different time frames.

In Matthew 25:32-46 it does say that the nations will be gathered to Him.

Yes, but if that was all you based your understanding on, then you have a problem, for the Greek word used here for nations is ethnos, and means Gentiles, people, or a people of similar habits. Why that could be anybody; And, it would best be thought of in that manner. So Matthew’s Gospel is telling us that people will be gathered before him. Mind you; they will be from every corner of the world, but they will be there.

Since, in the broader spectrum, people are not quite nations, what evidence do we have that all nations will be gathered to Him?

Isaiah 2:4 tells us that, “He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples, And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war.”

While judgment is spoken of, so is the concept of rendering useful decisions for people, somewhat less judgmental than I expected to find.

The following verse in Isaiah 34:2 is rather grim.

Isaiah 34:2 NASB For the LORD’S indignation is against all the nations and His wrath against all their armies; He has utterly destroyed them, He has given them over to slaughter.

Sure, this speaks of all, but that is never the case. [I say this because I have read Matthew’s account and the account in Revelation 20. Both speak of those who are granted mercy and entrance into the kingdom of God, based upon their works. That causes most of us in religious circles great grief because we are hard pressed to explain it when compared to what the majority of the New Testament tells us, that it is faith, not works that grant our acceptance into the kingdom of God.]

In Deuteronomy chapter 13, God is speaking to Israel about false prophets and how to identify them. If found out the community was to kill the prophet by stoning them. This method of death is a horrific event, even without dragging the entire community into it. However, God gave these instructions with an express intent, which we see in:

Deuteronomy 13:11 “Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and will never again do such a wicked thing among you.” (NASB)

Did that happen? I think it would be safe to say that every male among the Israelites camp heard this word. (I said every male because it was a decidedly male authority structure back then and it would have been expected for the men to pass this information along. What if that did not happen, could I still say that all Israel heard? ) You would think that all Israel would have wholeheartedly followed these instructions, but they did not.

If I consider the Hebrew children in Babylon, where Nebuchadnezzar is demanding that ALL bow before the image (The assumption here is that EVERYONE is there) one might suppose that Daniel, a highly respected leader, would have been there too, and yet he was not.

I think it is clear to say that the word all is a generalization. Does this understanding diminish God in any way? Not at all, it merely reveals how merciful God truly is.

An attempt at a final thought:

Confronted by what I see in God’s word, I need to submit to His authority and change my understanding, even if it challenges every tradition and false teaching I have ever learned. Grasping His mercy over judgment is not difficult for me, for He has shown great mercy to me. My problem is, how do I explain a mercy I do not fully understand, nor comprehend. I cannot adequately explain why it appears that in both Revelation 20 and Matthew 25 people are granted entrance into the kingdom of God based on their good works. Which by-the-way, is very clearly explained in Matthew 25 when Jesus responds to the sheep, that your acts of showing kindness to Him when He was: hungry, thirsty, in prison, had no clothes, etc. I think you get the picture, and a predominant visual is Jesus in prison. That never happened, and so I must assume that He is in or represented by this broad range of people; And, the little ways we help them, is doing what? Apparently, stepping outside of our selfish desires, if even for a minute. Since I was taught that the guarantee of my salvation came through acceptance by faith, I am going to stick with that. Having tried gambling I can tell you that I am not good at it; And, though occasionally compassionate, I am not going hope that the one sandwich I gave a person is going to buy my way into heaven. I came to understand who Jesus was and is; I also know what He did for me by giving His life, and I am putting my life and trust in that.

Grasping His mercy over judgment is not difficult for me, for He has shown great mercy to me. My problem is, how do I explain a mercy I do not fully understand, nor comprehend. I cannot adequately explain why it appears that in both Revelation 20 and Matthew 25 people are granted entrance into the kingdom of God based on their good works. Which by-the-way, is very clearly explained in Matthew 25 when Jesus responds to the sheep, that your acts of showing kindness to Him when He was: hungry, thirsty, in prison, had no clothes, etc. I think you get the picture, and a predominant visual is Jesus in prison. That never happened, and so I must assume that He is in or represented by this broad range of people; And, the little ways we help them, is doing what? Apparently, stepping outside of our selfish desires, if even for a minute. Since I was taught that the guarantee of my salvation came through acceptance by faith, I am going to stick with that. Having tried gambling I can tell you that I am not good at it; And, though occasionally compassionate, I am not going hope that the one sandwich I gave a person is going to buy my way into heaven. I came to understand who Jesus was and is; I also know what He did for me by giving His life, and I am putting my life and trust in that.

I cannot adequately explain why it appears that in both Revelation 20 and Matthew 25 people are granted entrance into the kingdom of God based on their good works. Which by-the-way, is very clearly explained in Matthew 25 when Jesus responds to the sheep, that your acts of showing kindness to Him when He was: hungry, thirsty, in prison, had no clothes, etc. I think you get the picture, and a predominant visual is Jesus in prison. That never happened, and so I must assume that He is in or represented by this broad range of people; And, the little ways we help them, is doing what? Apparently, stepping outside of our selfish desires, if even for a minute. Since I was taught that the guarantee of my salvation came through acceptance by faith, I am going to stick with that. Having tried gambling I can tell you that I am not good at it; And, though occasionally compassionate, I am not going take a chance that the one sandwich I gave is going to buy my way into heaven. I came to understand who Jesus was and is; I also know what He did for me by giving His life, and I am putting my life and trust in that.

One of stories/parables we read about is the vineyard and those hired to work it. We find this in Matthew 20. As the day is coming to an end, the owner hires others for the same pay as those who started at day break. Having worked all day in the hot sun, they are mad and do not think that is fair, and they tell him so. Well, that is many of us, and, as I point out these things I see in scripture, this is almost word for word what I hear. These guys I sit with, steeped in their religious tradition and imposed rules, have suffered their entire lives as they restrained themselves from doing the things that “world” does. And, now they are incredulous at the possibility that God would show mercy and allow someone into the kingdom (our payment if you will), and they do not have to do anything.

Since I was taught that the guarantee of my salvation came through acceptance by faith, I am going to stick with that. Having tried gambling I can tell you that I am not good at it; And, though occasionally compassionate, I am not going hope that the one sandwich I gave a person is going to buy my way into heaven. I came to understand who Jesus was and is; I also know what He did for me by giving His life, and I am putting my life and trust in that.

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Adventures in false teachings. Chapter one – Does the Second coming bring judgment.

After a two week interlude, our fearless leader came back to lead men’s bible study. Oh, dear Lord, save us. He did the appropriate thing by thanking the person that “lead” the group for the previous two weeks, adding, “I am sure that what you explained was excellent.” It was not, for the past weeks teaching was an attempt at defining what it means to “plead the blood” and how that you just do not hear that much about it anymore. Since there is absolutely no biblical reference to pleading the blood, nor are we directed by Jesus or Paul to do so, lacking any of those three things I see no legitimate reason to teach it or emphasize it.

Let’s get something straight here; I am not in the leader bashing business. I admit that there were moments where I wanted to send them home crying, but on the overall, I have politely raised my hand and waited to be recognized; presented scripturally based arguments while demonstrating context. And, I have shown them in Scripture the love and mercy of God in contrast to the judgment they spew out of their mouths, only to hear him respond with, this was his opinion, right or wrong, and that he was going to stick to his opinion. His refusal to adapt to the word of God and continue preaching things contrary to scripture makes him a false teacher, and he will be held responsible for the damage he has done. Of those men who sit around the table with him, the majority are confused and blindly follow him as they shake their bobble-heads in agreement.

The permanent leader opened with, “the last time we met we were studying about end times events; the Second Coming of Jesus, and our continued Contrasting the judgment of the nations with the Great White Throne judgment. So let’s pick up there.”

He emphasized that: the judgment of the nations is immediately after the “tribulation.”

I tackled every aspect of this tornado called a Bible study; it took up nine pages. I felt like I covered every aspect vigorously, but a voice in my head, that sounds very much like a lady friend who pointed out that I needed to be more succinct. It seems inspiration oft times comes in unusual moments, and I had one of those in which I saw how to break this up into chapters, as I have done before.

Before I dive in, I want to point out one huge problem in the body of Christ. We are all inundated with false teachings, wrong teachings, misconceptions, and tradition. Why do I say that? Because I experience its impact on those around me on a daily basis; And, no one seems to notice or care.

Chapter one, Judgment. Let’s stop here and talk about judgment for a moment.

The first thing I want to challenge about judgment is this horrid emphasis on punishment.

We hear it every week, and much of it is directed at the men at Bible study. Why? Because there is a degree of religious control involved. I have seen this in all of us, that lack of faith or lack of understanding that God is capable of taking care of those who are His. What kind of sick darkness permeates you that you have to yell so loudly every week about the judgment of God and direct it at so many. This attitude flies in the face of God and is contrary to the love I see in Him and the desire of His heart.

1 Timothy 2:1-4 NASB First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, (2) for kings and all who are in authority so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. (3) This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, (4) who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

So, in general, I can safely say that God has no desire to punish the world’s population.

If you are a student of the Bible, then you can see that there is the creator of the universe and Satan, the god of this world. We will either, out of love follow the author, or, because of self-imposed bondage, follow the god of this world to his tortuous end. Hell was not made for man, but man can choose to go there. If you are a Bible teacher, hopefully having a broad overview of scripture, then you should have a good grasp on the LOVE of God. Having said that, what kind of sickness permeates you to the point that you must focus on people suffering and spending eternity in torment?

I do not deny that there is judgment in scripture, nor do I deny that there is a hell.

What I am denying is that God’s sole intent is evil. Having come to understand what His nature and character are, I can tell you that he is anything but merciless. I also know that God does nothing blatantly, without any consideration. Therefore, the idea of God unjustly sending people to eternal punishment is preposterous. Since God’s judgment is associated with his wrath let’s see what enlightenment we can find on the subject.

I did a word search on the word wrath. The word, as used in the NASB, comes up 183 times. The second instance I came upon is found in the book of Numbers. Since we like to portray God as an ill-tempered character, the primary place we find this is in the Old Testament. So we will start with a reference in the book of Numbers.

Numbers 1:51-54 NIV “Whenever the tabernacle is to move, the Levites are to take it down, and whenever the tabernacle is to be set up, the Levites shall do it. Anyone else who approaches it is to be put to death. (52) The Israelites are to set up their tents by divisions, each of them in their own camp under their standard. (53) The Levites, however, are to set up their tents around the tabernacle of the covenant law so that my wrath will not fall on the Israelite community. The Levites are to be responsible for the care of the tabernacle of the covenant law.” (54) The Israelites did all this just as the LORD commanded Moses.”

This placement of the Levites is one of those; I have never heard or seen this before moments. (Sure I have, especially since I have read through the entire Bible. But this time, it meant something to me.) The Levites – the priest, and teachers of the “law” were to set themselves in-between the thing that would bring wrath and death, and the people. Not to merely keep them away from God, but to take the wrath away from them. In reading Numbers 1:51-54, I am immediately confronted by a God that shows mercy, not wanting people to die. Can you also see who has the greater responsibility here? The Levites. In modern language, the teachers, and leaders whom God has put in front us. Hey, get real here, God did not put people in front of you merely to play the fool. Over the course of time, many of our leaders and teachers became deluded by the world and ceased to be safe.

Since we see a great responsibility upon leaders, this should evoke a question. How can you keep yourself safe as a leader? You need to keep your head in the book – The Bible because that truth never changes; and, if necessary, get away from unstable people.

Another example from the Old Testament is Deuteronomy 9:8-20.

My personal paraphrase goes like this: At Horeb, you aroused the Lord’s wrath so that he was angry enough to destroy you. (What happened at Horeb? That is where they convinced Aaron to build that so-called calf, actually the god Molech upon which they would roast babies in sacrifice to an Egyptian god.) God, it seems, finds that detestable and was willing to kill anyone associated with it, including Aaron. But Moses fell upon his face before God and interceded for the people to be saved, and many were. Note to self: There is often a painful price to pay for selfish desires.

Do not think for a moment that God will only hold your hand as you walk through life and never spank you. I can tell you from experience that that is not the case. But in his judgment, I have never felt that He did not love me. Look at this:

Deuteronomy 29:24-28 NIV (24) All the nations will ask: “Why has the LORD done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?” (25) And the answer will be: “It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the LORD, the God of their ancestors, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. (26) They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them. (27) Therefore the LORD’s anger burned against this land, so that he brought on it all the curses written in this book. (28) In furious anger and in great wrath the LORD uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now.”

The area he is referring to is Israel. Did he leave them this way? Not at all, for Israel was restored and became a nation in 1948. Does that mean they turned to God wholeheartedly and accepted Him as the Messiah? Not at all, and that is why God’s judgment and wrath are coming upon them again. But, there is hope for not all will be destroyed. Many Jews, after the rapture, will turn their hearts to Him and accept Jesus as the Messiah. Yes, they will pay the martyrs price with their heads, but eternity awaits them in the promised land, heaven.

Although there are many more references in the Old Testament to wrath, what about the New Testament. Does the New Testament speak of His wrath? Yes; how about this one, where John the Baptist challenges the Pharisees and Sadducees who wanted to be baptized by him. This act by them would have been a purely legalistic ritual.

Matthew 3:6-8 NIV Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. (7) But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? (8) Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

Lacking the grace that only came through the sacrifice of Christ, the Jews only had works to rely on as an evidence of their righteousness. And they flaunted their righteousness like jewelry.

One last piece of generalized evidence from the New Testament, though there are many, is this:

Romans 5:8-10 NIV “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (9) Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! (10) For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”

Before the cross, the world had no hope, as nothing could change us. Sure, sacrificing a lamb might bring temporary relief from sins, but what happens five minutes later as you merge your camel onto the highway just in time to be cut off by some hot shot on his sports camel. And, because he is texting, you go all road rage on him, dragging him to the ground to demonstrate how mad you are? There went your righteousness, just that fast, and you cannot get your money back.

Before I leave this aspect of God’s judgment and wrath coming upon the earth. I want to focus on the Revelation itself. When the first seal is opened the result is this:

Revelation 6:15-17 KJV “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; (16) And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: (17) For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”

We find people, but what kind of individuals? “ the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man.”

Doing what? “ Hiding in the dens and the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne.”

Why? “ For the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?”

So the great down to the poor understand that this is God doing this; that this is His judgment, and, that they need to hide from His wrath.

In Revelation 11 we see that there is a time of judgment associated with God’s wrath.

Revelation 11:15-18 KJV (15) “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (16) And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshiped God, (17) Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. (18) And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou should give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth.”

What is His judgment? To “destroy them which destroy the earth.”

Do not take this concept of destruction so literal. For God to see to it that you stop breathing air merely means for you to go to sleep, until the time of final judgment. Since we see a leniency in Matthew 25 then perhaps there is hope for even the worst, but I would not count on it. The final outcome will take place at the Great White Throne where God makes the decision, based on whom you have chosen as the Lord over your life, and some will go into eternal separation from God.

Revelation 14:7 and 18:10 both speak of judgment, and they use a phrase that might give us a clue as to how long God will take complete what he needs to do. In 14:7 we see, “for the hour of his judgment is come.” While in 18:10 he says, “for in one hour is thy judgment come.” This concept of His judgment coming in an hour is not enough to make a doctrine out of, but it may answer generalized implications that God’s judgment will last for a thousand years.

One last dip into Revelation, focusing on chapter 20.

Here are two references to the word judgment. The first, in Revelation 20:4, speaks of Thrones. It is who we find sitting upon them that is the peculiarity, for they are the martyred saints. And though Jesus may be sitting on one of those, He is not mentioned. Between Revelation 20:4 and 20:11, Satan is released from his thousand-year bondage to deceived the nations. In a short period, he does an adequate job, and they attempt to do battle with God, one last time. God’s immediate response after destroying the armies is to throw Satan into the Lake of Fire, where the beast and false prophet are. It is at this point, at the end of time as we know it, that John sees a Great White Throne set up. This Great White Throne is the final judgment.

Some things to pay attention to:

The book of Revelation is the revelation of Jesus Christ, and so, when we see God sitting upon a throne, as we do in Revelation 20:11, we are seeing Jesus.

Revelation 20:12-15 tells us that “books were opened.” At least one of those books was the book of life. However, the focus of most every man in Bible study, rests upon this statement, “if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” They make the assumption that only the negative books are dealt with and seem to relish the fact that people are sent to an eternal hell – the lake of fire, along with Satan, the beast, and the false prophet.

Is it reasonable or appropriate, to pick and choose what you are going to believe as far as God is concerned?

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What does pleading the blood mean? Subtitle: Why we don’t do this anymore.

Monday morning men’s bible study. Where every week is a fiasco and this week was no different as it initiated with:

“What does pleading the blood mean?”

It should have been subtitled,

Why we don’t do this anymore.”

Thank God we don’t.

The so-called Bible study took a broad swath through the Old Testament as the substitute leader tried desperately to find and then create scenarios from the law and other examples. Since that failed miserably, he sought to get us to consider the children of Israel, in bondage, under Egyptian rule. He said, “putting the blood on the doorposts, not only demonstrated the power of God but also showed God’s mercy, for anyone could receive that mercy by entering in under the roof of that house.” [ Go read about the Passover in Exodus 12.]

While there is some truth in what he said, it is twisted, and the implication takes God instructions far beyond the context of bringing Egypt to its knees. When you consider the nature of the angel that passed over the land, you see that it had one purpose, kill every first born. Unfortunately, the command was a blanket statement meant to force Israel into compliance as well. Painting the blood of the lamb on the door posts caused the angel to move on.

Within seconds someone said, “that mercy could have applied to the Egyptians as well.” I responded with a loud yes. The ancient one and overseer of the group gave me an odd look, so I began to elaborate. Caleb!

Caleb was not a Jew (think about why a man was a Jew), in fact, Caleb was a descendant of Esau, an Edomite, and they, in time, gave Israel a tremendous amount of grief through their descendants. And yet, Caleb attached himself to Israel in such a way, as to be one of the spies that went into the promised land and eventually received a portion of that land as an inheritance. So, yes, those Israelis could have invited any or all the Egyptians to join them under the covering of the blood because this night is going to be a bad one. We know that Caleb took advantage of that protection and never left their side. Why he even became a valiant warrior for Israel.

There are a thousand sermons one could preach on the blood. How difficult can that be when the Bible has absolutely no inference of “pleading the blood?” Yes, it is true, there is nothing in the bible about pleading the blood (assuming Jesus blood) over a person or demonized thing, which is how I primarily heard the phrase used.

If there were a moment in time where “pleading of the blood” might have come in handy would have been the time that desperate father brought his demonized child to Jesus; but, we did not see that happen. Note: The father said, I brought him to your disciples, and they could do nothing. Isn’t that odd? Look this up in Matthew’s Gospel chapter 17 verses 14-18.

How does one spend that much quality time with God and not have some rub off on you? But it did rub off; we know this because eventually, Jesus sent them out in pairs, giving them specific instructions, saying, pray in my name – Jesus name. When they came back, they were excited because even the demons responded to them in your name. So what was going on with the man and his son? Consider the number of people that followed Jesus and deemed themselves disciples, around 120. Pick one. I don’t see Judas Iscariot healing anyone, but then who knows.

As for “pleading the blood”, staying focused on ritualistic practices is nothing more than legalism, and Paul preached in opposition to that. Take the time to read Paul’s letter to the Jewish converts of the Galatian province. Here is a small portion.

Galatians 3:10-13 KJV For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. (11) But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. (12) And the law is not of faith: but, The man that does them shall live in them. (13) Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree:

So, what does Scripture say about the blood?

  • Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

    Here is where you have to think. Where, and why was Jesus blood spilled out? At the cross and upon the altar. [The things in the temple were merely a copy of the heavenly things.]

  • Colossians 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross.

    Peace through his blood? Yes, that thing in us that causes us to miss the mark – continually, also separated us from God.

    Due to Adam’s treason we became owned by the god of this world, Satan. God, through his son, purchased us back to himself.

    I see two things here: The sin that separated, and someone else owning us. God resolved both of those things through the Son, and that brought the peace back. Yes, I get it. You struggle with peace, but I can guarantee you that you are not feeling that push back from God, it is all wrapped up in your inner struggles and failures. Make up your mind to run to him. He is looking for you and will run to you.

  • Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

    the blood of Christ” offered to God, so that you can purge your conscience and serve the living God.

  • Hebrews 10:19 “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,”

    We have this boldness not through pleadings, but through His act of righteousness.

  • Hebrews 12:24 “And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling,..”

    He already did this, and, if you know your bible, then you know that He is never going to offer himself up again. Once was enough/sufficient.

  • 1John 1:7 “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.”

    We have a piece of wisdom that sounds like this, he who says he has no sin is deceiving himself. So, even though we have been cleansed from all sin by that blood, we still continue to sin. Now, what do we do? You remember that you have been washed by that blood, and God needs to do nothing more to make you righteous in his eyes. If you are bothered by your obvious need to sin, then make some huge adjustments and trim some people and things out of your life, especially since they are a snare to you.
    To say you have no sin just makes you look stupid, for sin, that natural propensity to miss the bulls eye, is built into us. Fortunately, there will be a day in which we will be changed, and that broken aspect of us will be fixed. Until then, stay humble and honest before Him. He likes that.

When it comes to the wild idea of pleading the blood, here is the closest thing I see:

Rev_12:11 “..they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.” Since the passage gives us nothing in explanation, it is foolish to make assumptions – that will only get you into false teaching.

Overcome = subdue

by = through the channel of an act

blood = literally of men or animals. Since sacrifice does nothing and is a merely legalistic ritual, then this has to be their blood being spilled.

If you read this in the Amplified, you get this: And they have overcome (conquered) him as a result of the blood of the Lamb and by the utterance of their testimony.”

Many people struggle with the Revelation; maybe it is our traditions that feed into this fight. Let me explain. One of the theories I hear, speaks of the Holy Spirit being removed from the earth along with the church. Two reasons why that cannot possibly be: 1. They, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one, and you are not removing God from the picture, no matter how things look. 2. It is the Holy Spirit that draws all men to the Father, and John tells us that the number of martyred for their testimony will be uncountable.

So, tradition, as in “pleading the blood” might be how they overcame. At this point, you would be making the assumption that they successfully withstood the beast. But where do you see these? In heaven among the martyred, so that did not work. Well, logic tells us that overcoming is to win against an enemy. The problem with that is you are not asking God what winning looks like, and to him, these slaughtered like lambs, they won.

Another aspect of understanding is not to overlook simple words. An example of that comes from the word “by.” When you look that word up in the Greek, you find that it means through the channel of an act. The act, in this case, would apparently be their defiance by saying NO!

Since Ephesians 6:11-18 was thrown into the mornings teachings, let’s look at that for a moment.

I suspect he brought it up because it mentions blood. So, let’s look at this together.

Ephesians 6:11-18 KJV Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (12) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (13) Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. (14) Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; (15) And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (16) Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (17) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (18) Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Okay, this is one of those context things. In the statement, Paul says, “we wrestle not against flesh and blood.” Since, in truth, we fight every day, and those opponents, especially those with big mouths, look like humans it is easy to lose focus and think that your enemy is people. They are not, our battle is entirely spiritual as you stand against highly active fallen angels, who are motivating people to do evil.

I think the second reason he tossed this out is that he believes that “the blood” should be part of our spiritual arsenal. While that might seem reasonable to you, it is not unless Scripture teaches on it or demonstrates it in use. Without either of those things happening in scripture, this concept of pleading the blood of Jesus is nothing more than a fairy tale and a tradition.

There could be a third reason. However, it is purely emotional. For a variety of reasons I left the Assemblies of God in my early twenties, and none of them were because I hated it. Consider that if you are brought up in an atmosphere, you will either despise it someday or always have some fond emotional attachment to it. So, as a young man, I frequently heard things like “pleading the blood;” although this may have been mostly at home, there is still a familiar comfort associated with the phrase. Does that make the saying right, healthy, or godly? No, it just makes it familiar.

If you understand the concept of brainwashing at all, then you know that creation of a perverted familiarity is a very useful tool for getting people to adjust their “normal” behavior. An example: violent, gory, war games. They are one of the tools used to get young men prepared to kill the enemy, especially when the enemy looks like a human being with thoughts, feelings, and family like yours. If you make them nothing more than a target with no consequence, then it is easy to treat others without regard. What do you think motivates gang mentality?

No doubt, Jesus blood was spilled at the cross, and there is no question that the same blood was splashed upon the heavenly altar and utensils, but it also brought cleansing and atonement for our sins, just as the lambs that were slain under the Old Testament law. When Jesus came, with him came forgiveness – a making of all things right in God’s eyes. What Jesus did in His death and resurrection, paved the way for our return to fellowship with the Father, but do we do that? No, most do not, but the number that does is uncountable.

Posted in bible study, Deception, false teaching, healing, Hope, Revelation, Thoughts, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Drunk with the wine of her immorality – The woman in purple.

My pastor gave us the heads up that he would be teaching on prophecy recently; that day has come and gone, but the ripple effect has continued for several weeks. The subject was, “Where is the United States in Bible Prophecy?” He has been our pastor for a little over a year and thankfully he has delved into end times prophecy on several occasions.

One of the points he tried to make in this particular sermon had to do with the woman clothed in purple. He stated that the woman represented the church. Just hearing this throws up a string of red flags for me, and this was only one of the issues I had. So let’s talk about this.

As I sat with several of the men, one who goes to the church said, “wasn’t that a great talk? He covered it all so well.” I am learning to soften my blows so as not to dishearten someone so excited. I responded by saying, yes, he made his point well, but there were points he made that I take issue with. The Apostle Paul ran into people like this but he did not let it bother him. On the contrary, he seemed to admire their tenacity to search the scriptures. In Paul’s case, they were the Berean’s, and they found what Paul said to be true. Sadly, as I sit in church, “bible studies”, and more casual conversations with people who should be skillful in God’s word, I hear opinion and tradition preached as gospel, along with bold statements, such as, the woman in purple represents the church, without anything of substance to back up the claim.

The Apostle Paul ran into people like this but he did not let it bother him. On the contrary, he seemed to admire their tenacity to search the scriptures. In Paul’s case, they were the Berean’s, and they found what Paul said to be true. Sadly, as I sit in church, “bible studies”, and more casual conversations with people who should be skillful in God’s word, I hear opinion and tradition preached as gospel, along with bold statements, such as, the woman in purple represents the church, without anything of substance to back up the claim.

There is a horrendous problem in having someone like a pastor make blatant statements, such as, “the woman in purple is the church.” The problem emanates from his  place of authority as many,  sitting in the pews, merely accept what he says as law without challenge. Another issue has to do with the terminology. As the Pastor makes the claim that this woman is the church. Since no direct correlation to scripture was given, the audience is left to make the assumption that there is one. Presumptions then are made about the Catholic church, associating it with Revelation 17:9 CJB which states: “This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven hills on which the woman is sitting; also they are seven kings.” But did the pastor clarify that there are many cities that sit upon seven hills, including Jerusalem? No, so, once again we are led to potentially false conclusions because of a man’s position.

Am I to make a blanket statement indicating all blame falls back on the “believer”, as we should be taking the time to study on our own. And, therefore not be subject to false teaching because we read on own? Think about the advent of the printing press, which, in time, made it possible for many to have a copy of the scriptures. The early church and let’s take this all the back to Paul’s day. In the majority, converts were Jewish that had come to accept Jesus as the Messiah. No one, except for synagogue elders, would have been permitted to touch the scrolls because of their rarity, fragility, and expense. That means all training in the scriptures would have done through oral teaching. Now, tell me how the masses could have possibly been held responsible for a lack of understanding? Jump forward to today, where many, like myself, have ten copies of the bible, many of which collected dust for years.

In light of false teachings and our lack of understanding let’s talk about this woman in purple.

Since he initiated the study in the Revelation, I did a concordance search within the book for the word woman. The NASB produced 15 references, but, as I took the time to study these out, I found that there are only three women: Jezebel, Israel, and a final, seductive entity, clothed in purple, and identified as “that city Babylon.”

The first woman you meet in Revelation is Jezebel.

Revelation 2:20 ‘But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.

At the time of this writing, the historical Jezebel, the one every Jew makes an association with, is long since dead. Now, it is even remotely possible that there is a continuous string of women, with the same name, having a similar adverse impact on the church body, while acting like the ancient, evil one by the same name? Probably not; so, what are we looking for? Most likely something spiritual, demonic, and deadly. Keep that idea in mind.

The next woman we see is distinctly Israel and takes up the entire twelfth chapter of the Revelation. For the sake of space, I suggest you read it yourself. (Revelation 12:1-17 MKJV)

The last woman, while being undefined and nameless, is introduced to us as a harlot. Several translations call her a whore. This is the woman in purple. Again I urge you to read Revelation 17:1-18 independently.

Some points to consider:

Revelation 17:1 NASB “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters,”

  • She is brought into our view so that we can know that this entity will be judged.

  • Note that it sits on many waters.

If this is something like the Illuminati or Bilderberg group, it is well-known that these people, who think they are in control, supersede all government, and come from every corner of the earth.

One of the methods of gaining clarity and understanding is to let scripture interpret scripture. The following is an example of that and applies to verse one.

Revelation 17:2 NASB with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.”

  • This is an entity that has served in the role of a harlot/whore, with whom the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality.

How could all the kings, throughout all time, have committed their acts of evil with one woman? They could not, so this has to be something more, something spiritual.

There is still a clue buried within verse two. Note where it says “those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.” Perhaps the answer lies in 1 John 2: 15-16.

1 John 2:15-16 NASB “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life is not from the Father, but is from the world.”

  • So these “kings” are apparently indulging in everything that opposes God.

They have no love for the Father for they do not know Him. They feed their lusts (desires) and their pride, at the cost of the populace.

  • What makes this even worse, is that the tortured populace are too drunk pursuing their desires to pay attention or do anything to stop the cruelty of the rich.

If this seems ridiculous, then try to explain how we have voted traitorous people into office and then reelected them again and again after they have obviously destroyed everything we stand for.

“a woman sitting on a scarlet beast”

Revelation 17:3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns.

Both this woman and the woman of Revelation 12 are found in the wilderness. If, the woman of Revelation 17 is Islamic and means to harm Israel, then perhaps it would make sense to find her in this wilderness. But keep in mind, that the woman in purple only possesses physicality in her scattered lovers; while the beast, however, is a somewhat unified body with a central leader. The beast fits the Islamic description more closely when you think about it.

An obvious thing to note is what she is sitting upon “ a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns.” What do I make of this; that the “beast” is backed, supported, and used at the whim of the lustful wealthy of the earth? Do you know anything about the Rothschild family? They have funded both sides of every “modern” war. Why, because wars create opportunities for the wealthy and evoke economies.

Revelation 17:6 And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly.

“I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus.” This entity called a woman, sounds nothing like the church, for she clearly has a hand in killing off the Saints. As I tried to explore some possibilities other than the Catholic church, with a small gathering of men, one of them had to point out the damage done by the Catholic church in the crusades.

A short synopsis.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: “The Crusades were a series of intermittent Papal sanctioned military campaigns beginning in the late 11th century. They commenced with a call to arms by Pope Urban II who was responding to a request for military support for the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantine Emperor, Alexios I, needed military reinforcements for the conflict with the westward migrating Turks in Anatolia. Historians debate Urban and the Crusader’s primary motivations. One of Urban’s stated aims was to guarantee pilgrims access to the holy sites in the Holy Land that were under Muslim control while his wider strategy may have been to establish himself as head of the united Church and bringing together the Eastern and Western branches of Christendom that had been divided since their split in 1054. What is known though is the unprecedented response to Urban’s preaching and the basis it established for later crusades. Hundreds of thousands of people from many different classes across Western Europe became crusaders by taking a public vow and receiving plenary indulgences from the church. Some were peasants hoping for Apotheosis at Jerusalem. Urban preached that anyone who participated would be forgiven by God of all their sins. In addition, some historians argue that participation satisfied feudal obligations and provided opportunities for economic and political gain.”

I get it; horrible things have been done in the name of religion, but I cannot buy into the “woman clothed in purple” as being the Catholic church. Besides, watch how scripture answers our question about who this is.

Revelation 17:9 “Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits,

Verse nine requires thought, much more thought than the traditional answer. I did a quick internet search for cities that sit on seven hills, and there are many, including Jerusalem.

English: The Vatican.

English: The Vatican. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

A List of cities claimed to be built on seven hills:

  • Amman, Jordan

    A very Westernized Arab country east of Jerusalem. They recently made the news as their president put on his uniform and flew into battle, a retaliatory move against ISIS for murdering one of Jordan’s pilots.


  • Istanbul, Turkey

    An aspect of Asia Minor, where the Apostle Paul did a great deal of his preaching.


  • Jerusalem, Israel

    During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times.[5] The part of Jerusalem called the City of David was settled in the 4th millennium BCE.[6] In 1538, walls were built around Jerusalem under Suleiman the Magnificent. Today those walls define the Old City, which has been traditionally divided into four quarters—known since the early 19th century as the Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Quarters.[7] The Old City became a World Heritage Site in 1981 and is on the List of World Heritage in Danger.[8] Modern Jerusalem has grown far beyond the Old City’s boundaries.


  • Moscow, Russia

    Moscow has acquired a number of epithets, most referring to its size and preeminent status within the nation: The Third Rome (Третий Рим), and this interesting name – The First Throne (Первопрестольная), [From Wikipedia]


  • Rome, Italy

    After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome slowly fell under the political control of the Papacy, which had settled in the city since the 1st century AD, until in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870.


Beginning with the Renaissance, almost all the popes since Nicholas V (1422–55) pursued coherently along four hundred years an architectonic and urbanistic program aimed to make of the city the world’s artistic and cultural center.[8] Due to that, Rome became first one of the major centers of the Italian Renaissance,[9] and then the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters, sculptors, and architects made Rome the center of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city. In 1871 Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, and in 1946 that of the Italian Republic.[From Wikipedia]

While verse nine “The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits,” is something that can throw you for a loop, verse 18 tells us explicitly what this woman is.

Revelation 17:18 “The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.”

The word “sits” in Revelation 17:9 is the Greek word kathemai and also means: to have a fixed abode, or to dwell. Since we recognize that this entity, represented as a woman, is primarily a demonic, spiritual being, how then can we give it physical traits? We also know that fallen angels/demons are incredibly powerful and have particular regional assignments. So, I can assume that this one has a task that also impacts a group of “kings of the earth” as they get drunk with the wine of her immorality?

Remember what I described the woman as in the beginning of this post?

“An entity that has acted in the role of a harlot/whore, with whom the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality.”

How could all the kings, throughout all time, have committed their acts of immorality with one woman? They could not, so this has to be something more; something spiritual.”

How can this be physical and spiritual at the same time? Not likely, is it.

The questions this symbolic woman poses exposes our need to study to find the relationship between the beginnings of Babel (Babylon) and this whore.

I pointed out how 1 John 2:15-16 tells us: “ not to love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life is not from the Father, but is from the world.” This is but another clue that helps our comprehension.

An obvious factor to some would be the almost strictly bible study nature of this post. Well, much of that stems from the foolish and unskilled responses I get from “learned” people. Spend a fair amount of time in church and you will hear about giftings of the Holy Spirit. Because, like a multi-level marketing scheme, the church needs new life and members to stay fresh and alive, they will emphasize evangelism. Pastor Greg Laurie is an amazing example of an evangelist, but I can tell you emphatically, that evangelism is not my calling. Teaching is.

Here is my shot at evangelism: Whether you agree or not, you need Jesus. He paid a huge price to redeem you out of the slavery to sins demands. While sins are forgiven, ignoring his love will not be treated the same. You see, to ignore him tends to put us in the category of those will worship the beast, take his mark, and worship his image. Those three things will seal your fate. If I was not a good gambler, and I am not, then trying to push the boundaries of God’s grace would not be a good thing for me. An example might come from having “them” drag my children in front of me and do horrendous things. What would I do? The answer is, I don’t know, and that can be a huge problem because I might just collapse and give in. That is one reason I would not want to take that chance. Besides that, God loved me. He proved that on the cross and I have experienced that love. It is beyond anything this world has offered me, and since it is personal and experiential, you will just have to experience it for yourself. It all started with, Jesus, make yourself real to me.

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Attempting to understand Matthew 25:31-46. Chapter three continues to look at the nations and the sheep.

It is evident to me that some of my greatest impacts have come from exposing my frailties and successes in recovery. We all have things that push our limits, and false teachers are one of mine. I subject myself to some of them every Monday. My girlfriend asks me why I keep going if it makes me so angry, I have given that much thought, and I think I stay there because I need fellowship and the twisted concepts they conjure, give me a good measure of how confused the majority of us are. This confusion is why I have a burning desire to teach the Bible.

I want you to understand something. I am not naive; I know I cannot change anybody. But, what if I could get people to think and then apply some logic and knowledge to the Word of God. Maybe then we would not say things like the Revelation is difficult and we will probably never understand it.

Continuing with our look at Matthew 25: 31- 46.

I am a huge advocate of context, and since the passage, I want to begin with picks up in mid-sentence let’s bring those that do not follow closely up to speed.

“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. “All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;” (Matthew 25:31-32 NASB)

In the word picture Jesus paints:

  • He comes in his glory.

  • Angels come with Him. (Not to mention the saints.)

  • He will sit upon His glorious throne.

  • The nations are gathered before Him

  • And, out of this crowd, He separates them (as though a judgment or assessment has taken place.)

Why should or would any of this be important?

Because as a Jew you would have been expecting the Messiah to come back in this manner.

When Jesus comes in his glory

When Jesus comes in his glory

One of the biggest problems in the “Christian church” is that we have cast aside our understanding and acknowledgment of our root-stock – Israel. This lack of knowledge is probably the main reason our Bible study leaders tell us things like the Revelation is a hard book to understand. The good news for us “Gentile” followers of Christ is that we were adopted – grafted into the good root stock and therefore have every right to the same information and rich heritage that Israel had. Now, because this background information was meant to be essential to the root stock, perhaps this knowledge should be something that excites us as well.

We know that Israel awaits the Messiah. Sadly, Jesus, the Messiah, has already come, but he was not accepted, and thus, God’s anger comes against Israel (Take the time to read Jeremiah chapter 5.) The good news is that followers of Christ get to bypass God’s wrath that is coming upon the earth as the prelude to the physical return of Jesus.

For people everywhere report how you welcomed us and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus, our deliverer from the coming wrath. (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 NET.)

But since we are of the day, we must stay sober by putting on the breastplate of faith and love and as a helmet our hope for salvation. For God did not destine us for wrath but for gaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that whether we are alert or asleep we will come to life together with him. (1 Thessalonians 5:8-10 NET.)

One other quick thing.

Since we accepted Christ, a profound and lasting relationship, we have transitioned from being Gentiles into being the Church.

Alright, take notes here. There are only three people groups in the world, as far as God and the Bible are concerned. They are The Jews; the Church, and, the Nations/Gentiles. If you are a follower of Christ, even though you came out of the nations or were first a Jew, you are now part of the group known as the Church.

The Jews anticipated the Messiah’s coming in this manner before they were Jews.

By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith, he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow-heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (Hebrews 11:8-10 NASB)

Abraham was not a Jew unless you wish to deem him one because he subjected himself to the sign of the covenant agreement he made with God through circumcision. Even then, the number of them were not called Jews until much later in their history, after Judah. For the longest time, we see the nation referred to as Israel, and this begins with the captivity in Egypt. So, long before there was a Jew, there was this man, Abraham. A man who believed God. And he, with no concept of what was to come, looked for this home, “whose architect and builder is God.”

All the nations will be gathered before Him.”

In trying to understand who the nations are I have to ask some questions:

  • What is the context of the question that evoked this response?

    The question asked by the Jewish disciples was a response to Jesus saying the temple will be destroyed almost immediately after they elaborated on its greatness, as they walked toward the Mount of Olives. They asked two questions: One had to do with the destruction of the temple, while the other was specific to the time when He would come back as the Messiah. (Remember, the disciples did not grasp who He was until sometime after His resurrection.)

  • What is a Jewish understanding of the nations?

    In giving Israel its admonition to go and take the land, God tells them what He will do to the nations.

    Exodus 34:24 NASB “For I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your borders,..”

    An aspect of Israel’s understanding is that the nations have caused them to stumble and fall.

    Leviticus 18:24 NET. ” ‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things, for the nations which I am about to drive out before you have been defiled with all these things.

    And, there is an expectation of judgment coming upon the nations.

    The LORD of hosts has sworn saying, “Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand, to break Assyria in My land, and I will trample him on My mountains. Then his yoke will be removed from them and his burden removed from their shoulder. “This is the plan devised against the whole earth, and this is the hand that is stretched out against all the nations. “For the LORD of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?” (Isaiah 14:24-27 NASB)

  • And, who are the sheep?

    Since God has gathered the nations, it does not seem reasonable to think that any of these would be remnants of Israel. The nations were always the enemies of Israel/God. In the light of the Christian church, they are also perceived as those outside of a relationship with Christ. Sheep, on the other hand, are always God people. An example would be:

    “My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have allowed them to go astray…” (Jeremiah 50:6 NET.)

    However, it appears, based upon Israels own actions, that Israel has been deemed not to belong to God. (I highly recommend you read Jeremiah chapter 5 to get a better understanding of how God comes to this decision about Israel, His sheep.)

Jeremiah 5:9-11 MKJV Shall I not judge for these things? Says Jehovah. And shall not My soul be avenged on such a nation as this? (10) Go up on her vine-rows and destroy, but do not make a full end; take away her branches, for they are not Jehovah’s. (11) CJBi “For the house of Isra’el and the house of Y’hudah have thoroughly betrayed me,” says Adonai.

So Israel’s actions cut many of them off from God and categorized them as being among the nations.

It is possible that you read passages like Matthew 25:32-46 you find yourselves asking, why no one else gets the benefit of God’s mercy at this time? And that leads me into the next section, so stay tuned.

iScripture quotations are taken from the Complete Jewish Bible, Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. Published by Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc. Distributed by Messianic Jewish Resources Int’l. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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Strongholds and the voices in my head.

As the morning Bible study opened this week it was evident that something was different; half the men were not there. There is another group I am involved in which had at least twenty people attending when I first joined them, and it has dwindled down to two, myself and the remaining leader. I had seen this occur on several occasions, as well as when it happened to a group I co-led. I know what the lousy, demonic voice in my head says, “you played a role in their leaving”, but I know that is a lie. If you hear that kind of garbage in your head, then you need to take authority over it in the name of Jesus. If you don’t and allow that voice to rule your life, then you have made a stronghold out of it, given a foothold to the enemy of our souls – Satan, and, presented him with the freedom to torture you in other ways as well.

Long before I got involved in recovery I was hurting, and desperately began reaching out to anyone I thought would listen. Sadly, most turned their backs and walked away. A lady friend, a prophetic woman, stopped me one day and said, “you are drawing these (hurtful) people to you!” I could just picture myself walking around with a sign on my back that says, kick me! No one in their right mind would do that. To be honest, I was furious. Months later I heard God say this in explanation, “Because of agreements you made with the enemy, you have given Satan an open door into your life. And, because he knows your triggers, he is sending these people to you to keep you occupied, defeated, and distracted from what I have called you to do.” I am telling you this because this kind of attack, (and yes, there is depression and anxiety wrapped up in it,) has eaten up far too much of my life.

Another example of how the enemy attacked comes from a time when I was 25, shortly before I got married the first time. Not understanding how co-dependent I was I was not even trying to draw boundaries, nor was I in agreement with how God felt about me and therefore sought to find my identity in a beautiful girl (a classic mistake.) A youth pastor, from the church I grew up in, was leading a Bible study and the woman I was engaged to, went to it once. That man, allowing himself to be used by the devil, said to my future wife, “why are you going to marry that loser?” and said my name. He did this in front of the group because that was a sarcastic pattern with him. Foolishly, my fiance told me. Here is the problem; I allowed that comment to become a stronghold, that then fueled a raging hatred. In my mind, I built a prison and put him in it. I demanded recompense and retribution, things I came to realize he could never pay. I wasted so many years oiling the prison doors and keeping the rust off the bars; and, the only person that suffered because of my demands was me.

That same lady friend again stopped me one day, and said, You need to forgive these people you hold in your prison, who have hurt you. They can never repay the debt they owe you. And, as long you try to stay in control of your life and surroundings you are playing God, and God will never be a part of that. You have to forgive them! I had heard my mother use that phrase “forgive them” so many times, but when she said it, it meant be co-dependent and don’t you dare have boundaries. Just keep sticking your face out there and let them slap you. I told my friend, I do not even know what it means to forgive. She responded with the simplest of answers, “You release those people from the debt you think they owe you!”

We all find it easy to say, “I don’t know why it is so hard to (insert the hurtful attitude/habit you do not want to give up here) _______ ?” It’s only hard because you believe you have control, and therefore, go around doing God’s job. In your mind, you bring the constant pain upon them (yeah right). All the while your personal life is like a plane spiraling out of control toward the ground. One of the concepts you learn in Recovery is that you are powerless over persons and things.

By the way, I never did anything to this pastor I mentioned, outside of being friends with a young man that broke a bobble head ornament he purchased. He, like most perpetrators, merely chose me to be one of his victims, the target of what he thought was humorous abuse. Many of you have been subjected to abuses and need to forgive them. Here is what I said that gave me freedom again. “I release you, [insert name here], from any debts I think you owe me. You do not owe me anymore, in the name of Jesus.”

Did they owe me? Not really; in my head I suppose they did, but then we have all been forgiven a sin debt that none of us could pay; And, we were released from the punishment associated with that debt – sin. Consider that.

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A study on Matthew 25. Chapter two – A faulty argument about the nations.

“the nations will be gathered before Him;..”

The morning bible study, at least for a few minutes, was focused on Matthew 25. This is the same section of scripture I have looked at for several weeks now. Out of this discussion came boisterous ranting and opinions, and, I can tell you from experience that they, in the majority, are not open to discussion. The ranting went along this line. That there is to be a judgment of the nations: by Jesus: as he sits on his throne, where everyone from the nations will be deemed to be sinners and sent immediately to hell. (My short synopsis.)

Because my father came to me later and tried to talk about it, I discovered where they are getting this idea that Jesus comes back and immediately goes into a judgment mode over the nations.

Matthew 25:31-32 KJV When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats:

I am not a grammarian; that may have been obvious to many of you, but I have enough sense to know that you use a colon to separate lists, in this case, aspects that are supplemental but could stand alone as a sentence. This is what we see as the passage transitions from verse 31 to verse 32 – “the throne of His glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations:..” Take this idea one step further and compare versions, you get colons, commas, and periods. I suppose it depends on upon your mood.

Every one of the men in the morning bible study, that have taken this position, have read this and made the time jump that puts verse 32 into the immediate time frame after the seven years of God wrath and judgment. This is an a faulty assumption and there is nothing that backs up their argument except for this passage in Matthew.

Verse 31 – “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory..

As my father said, “once he sits down, is he going to get off the throne? No, so he sits in judgment.” I have a problem with that. The writer of Hebrews has had Jesus sitting upon his throne for over two thousand years. Since Jesus is already seated as King, why then would he get off that throne, come back riding a white horse and have a sword in his mouth? This is especially ridiculous when you consider that God could easily speak and destroy anyone who challenged Him.

Hebrews 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;

Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Although we do not see this in Matthew’s account, thrones are set up – you have to go to Revelation 20 to see that. If you are going to include this aspect in your argument wouldn’t that connection between the two scenarios, relate them and make them equivalent?

Revelation 20:4 “Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them.”

The problem with what we see in Matthew 25 is that there is no descriptive of Jesus sitting in judgment. Why would that be? Because He has done all the judging that is necessary for the moment. Because the Revelation is a revelation of Jesus Christ, the entire time of wrath we call the tribulation has been a judgment.

To back this idea up, look at this:

Revelation 19:11-15 NASB (11) “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. (12) His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. (13) He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. (14) And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. (15) From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.”

Why do you think the Holy Spirit saw fit to give us this statement in Revelation 19:11-15 indicating that when He comes in His glory “He judges and wages war”? Do you really believe that the God who will change His church into something entirely fit for the kingdom of God, in the twinkling of an eye, must sustain a thousand-year battle to carry out His judgment?

If all I considered was verse 32-34, where do you see a judgment? You don’t. If you are going to find judgment then it has to be in the separation of the sheep from the goats. In doing that you must go beyond the verses I offered in an attempt to reach for it. However, even then, without a word to the goats he invites the sheep into the eternal kingdom. It is not until He is done showing those He calls sheep mercy does He send the goats off to the lake of fire. And, note, there is no condemnation, merely that their names are not found in the book of life.

Matthew 25:32-34 KJV And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats: (33) And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. (34) Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

Matthew tells us that he gathers all the nations before him. If this is happening at the end of the “tribulation” years, then why? Sure, I get what you are doing, but since we do not specifically see judgment here, what else is going on?

Isaiah 66:15-18 KJV For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. (16) For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many. (17) They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD. (18) For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.

But this passage in Isaiah does not say that they will continue to be punished; it says that they shall come and see His glory. Since we already understand that God/Jesus will gather all nations to Him after the “tribulation”, and we are not seeing a judgment from a great throne of glory, then what else could happen?

Zechariah 14:16-18 KJV “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. (17) And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. (18) And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.”

Once again, He calls them to Him to worship Him. Yes, there are repercussions for not obeying this demand, but this is not the white throne judgment.

It seems that the consensus at bible study is that they want to see people die: they want to see people thrown into the lake of fire. Considering that we are admonished that we will be judged in the same way we judge, this should have people with this attitude shaking in their boots.

Consider death for a moment.

What does it mean to be dead?

Death is either a separation from the body or, it is a complete and utter separation from God. To have both would be the worst case scenario. God, having eliminated life from those who choose to do combat against Him, does not mean that they are immediately thrown into some compartment of hell where they await a final judgment. I nor you can say for certain where they are at this point, but we do have this from Ecclesiastes:

Ecclesiastes 9:5 BBE The living are conscious that death will come to them, but the dead are not conscious of anything, and they no longer have a reward, because there is no memory of them.

Why is that they no longer have any option of a reward? Well, look at what Revelation 20 tells us.

Revelation 20:15 NASB And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

No, God is not screaming at them with vile condemnations, you merely had to have your name written in the book of life.

In order for the men at bible study to make their argument, they combine two different scriptural scenarios, which they adamantly deny are the same event so that they are able to say that what we see in Matthew 25:31, 32 is a post tribulation judgment upon the nations. They immediately revert back to separating those scenarios by a thousand years and begin a tirade about how everybody gets sent to hell.

I told you it was a horrible assumption, but why can I say that?

Take Daniel’s prophecy of the seventy weeks of years as an example.

Daniel 9:24-27 KJV Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. (25) Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. (26) And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. (27) 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.

All these prophecies have been fulfilled, up to and including the sixty-ninth week. But, As you can see, scattered throughout Daniel’s prophecy are sentences that start with “And”, just like we see in Matthew 25:31,32, and yet, most of us understand that verses 26 and 27 of Daniel 9, where it speaks of a people who shall come and destroy Jerusalem and the temple, as well as a “global” leader that confirms a covenant, are clearly applied to two widely spaced time periods; one is yet to come.

The 69th week was fulfilled with Christ on the cross. How do I know that? Because the 26th verse opens with, “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself:” It continues to speak of the destruction of Jerusalem, but, as I said, this has two fulfillment’s – one under the rule of Titus Vespasian in 70 A.D. The next verse, Daniel 9:27 begins with “And”. The presumption following this faulty logic should then be that Titus made a seven-year treaty with many, and would have taken us into the 70th week of the prophecy. But Titus did not do that, leaving us with a gap in time of over two thousand years, as we await the 70th week to befall the earth. The following verse, Daniel 9:27, also begins with “And”. Following this faulty logic, the presumption should then be that Titus made a seven-year treaty with many, and would have led us to the 70th week of the prophecy. But Titus did not do that, leaving us with a gap in time of over two thousand years, as we await the 70th week to befall the earth.

So, regardless of a period for punctuation and the usage of the word “And”, the seventieth week has been on hold for over two thousand years.

Lying in bed one morning, my mind kept running through examples to make my point about Matthew 25; there are examples much more convincing than this, but another might be in Revelation itself.

Look at chapter three where the church age is coming to an end. Chapter four then opens with, “After this” and off we go into the time of wrath, God’s judgment upon the earth, the nations, and Israel. The crazy thing about this example is that even though it is clearly stated that we, those who are in Christ, are not destined for WRATH. But look around you, it certainly seems as if the events within this time frame we understand to be wrath, could well be happening around us now. What do I mean? The waters turned to blood – while this might be literal there are massive red tides going on around the world. Not a big deal except that they rob the water of oxygen killing plant life and fish. How about earthquakes? Ever hear of the New Madrid fault? If you didn’t I would not be surprised because it seems to have only recently been discovered; either that or somebody thought it best we did not know. What about volcanoes? We have more exploding now, at one time, than ever before, and that seems to be an aspect of the time of wrath. Yet, volcanoes are also common in many parts of the world. And what about losing your life by decapitation, for your testimony? Since Islam is playing the major role in this depravity, do you think that Islam is merely practicing for some future event?

The point to this is that God’s timing is not the same as ours. Since there seems to be some urgency here I suggest you get ready. You do that by asking Christ into your life. Let Him take over, as many of you have not been doing such a good job running it.


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A study on Matthew 25. Chapter one – He who reigns in His glory.

When you read Matthew 24 and 25, do you ever find yourself asking, what is the context of Jesus answer to the disciples and the extensive response that carries on for two chapters? If you want to understand you have to go back to chapter 22 of Matthew to find out what motivated this string of explanations.

In Matthew 22 we find Jesus telling the disciples to get the young colt and its mother because Jesus was about to ride into Jerusalem like a conquering King – the king Israel had been waiting for.

It did not take long for all that to change, for when he arrived at the temple he cleared the outer courts, the courts of the gentiles by violently overthrowing their tables and chasing them, anyone doing business with them, and their livestock out of there with a whip he fashioned out of cords. This started a two-day verbal barrage with and against the Chief priests and elders.

Put flesh and blood on these characters called disciples and you realize that the disciples and Jesus were from Galilee and really had nowhere to go hide as Jesus went toe to toe with the elders, while they were in Jerusalem, therefore they stuck out like a sore thumb.
After two days Jesus directs them back to the Mount of Olives, one of his favorite places to commune with the Father. Stunned and shaken as they walked, they did not know what to say, so they did what anyone might have done, divert to the obvious because, once again, as far as they could see, He was not the awaited Messiah, as they previously thought. Walking past the temple, the pride and focal point of Israel, they point out the architecture of the temple. Really? God’s Son was standing right in front of them and all they could see is the temple.

Based on what He said in response they formulated two questions.

Matthew 24:3 NASB As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

Those two questions are extremely Jewish and have everything to do with when he will come back as the Messiah they expected. Try keeping that in mind as you read Matthew 24, 25. As I said his response was long. It was as long as the question was deep and everything He said had application to the end of time when He would come back as the Messiah Israel recognized.

Matthew 25:31-46 is only one aspect of what he told them, and, has everything to do with God’s last piece of business before we move off into a perfect eternity, a relationship as God intended it to be, free of sin.

Matthew 25:31 NASB (31) “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.

When Jesus comes in his glory

When Jesus comes in his glory

As always, I admonish you to think like a Jew. That requires that you, as a Gentile believer, think outside the religious box you were brought up in and ask, what is the Jew, even today, awaiting? A Messiah that will come in his full glory ready to clean house, take the throne in judgment, and then, lead his people into eternity with him.

Because prophecy is embedded in patterns to the Jew these words, in a similar way, had already been stated on a previous occasion to the disciples. Aside from occurrences found in the Law and Prophets, this is the second time Jesus had said this to them, so it must be not only true but very important. We find the other instance in Matthew 19:28.
Should I want to dig I can find another reference to the glorious throne in writings of the prophet Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 14:21 KJV Do not abhor us, for thy name’s sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory: remember, break not thy covenant with us.

How could God disgrace his own throne?
This is reminiscent of a conversation that Moses had with God.

“I prayed to the LORD and said, ‘O Lord GOD, do not destroy Your people, even Your inheritance, whom You have redeemed through Your greatness, whom You have brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. ‘Remember Your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; do not look at the stubbornness of this people or at their wickedness or their sin. ‘Otherwise the land from which You brought us may say, “Because the LORD was not able to bring them into the land which He had promised them and because He hated them He has brought them out to slay them in the wilderness.” (Deuteronomy 9:26-28 NASB)

The impact of such a statement shows that Moses understood the character of God and that doing something such as this would make people see God as something He is not.

Let’s focus on this glory aspect for a moment.

While my earlier statements probably define how the Jew feels, what backs the definition and their feelings up?

Matthew 19:28 MKJV And Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration, when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of His glory, you also shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

So there is a clear anticipation of the Messiah coming back in a spectacular way.

The Complete Jewish Bible translates this verse like this:

Matthew 19:28 CJB Yeshua said to them, “Yes. I tell you that in the regenerated world, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Isra’el.

When then, does Jesus come back in this anticipated way?

At the end of the time of wrath. Yes, the entire period we love to call “the tribulation” is a time of wrath and judgment.

We see this all throughout the Revelation starting with the opening of the seals in chapter six. Revelation 19 starting at verse 11 continuing through verse 21 speaks of Him judging and waging war, and so I show it to you now.

Revelation 19:11 NASB And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.

Here, though, is probably where many errors in understanding begin because it describes Him returning and tells us that He judges and wages war. The not so discerning perceive “He judges” to mean that of those thrones to be set up, Christ’s is one of them and now he sits on the throne in judgment for the next thousand years I suppose.

Consider what has taken place.

What we mistakenly call the tribulation, years of God’s wrath and judgment poured out upon the nations and Israel for rejecting Him, quite probably initiated by the rapture, has just ended.

I feel like I have to take a moment here and define something. Why would it be proper to say that the time of wrath/judgment may have been triggered or initiated by the snatching away of the church?

Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

1Thessalonians 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

1Thessalonians 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

Because of these “witnesses”, I see credible evidence telling me that as a believer/follower of Jesus Christ, that I, nor you if you follow Christ, are going to be subject to the wrath that is coming. Can you also see why it is important to label the time frame as it is meant to be, a time of wrath, not tribulation? Oh certainly, tribulation will be a part of it as it has always been for the believer. Maybe, that has been a problem too, as we invite people to Christ indicating that all their problems will go away. Sure, I want you to come to Christ primarily because you are loved and have a hope and future with the Father in eternity. But get real, you are signing up for warfare. Perhaps I need say nothing more than what Jesus said?

Matthew 10:34 KJV Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

Take the time to read Matthew 10:34 – 42, it will open your eyes.

Since God and Jesus are the same, then we could just as easily say that the last seven years have been Jesus judging the earth. Many will call this a stretch, so let’s see if we can find something more concrete for you.

Since much of what I have just mentioned comes out the Revelation, what does it say?

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John,” (Revelation 1:1 NASB)

So the entire book then is a Revealing of Jesus Christ. Therefore, any application of God in the book is really talking about Jesus, because they are the same and in union with each other.

Then there is that whole event on the cross; what do you do with that?

While there is no denying that, as Matthew’s gospel puts it, He comes in Glory – which happens to mean judgment. But judgment for what?

Not sin, that was taken care of on the cross, as Jesus became sin for us.

“Sin” is such a lousy word for merely not hitting the center ring of a target, especially when you are having to compensate for everyday life events that act like sudden gusts of wind moving your hands off-center just as you release your shot or, you are sixty-two years old, as I am, and now your hands are starting to shake. How naughty of you! Get real, at least some of us are trying.

After reading scripture for all these years I feel like I can put the puzzle together because I have so many of the pieces. My problem is, I do not remember while I got the puzzle pieces from. Because of my memory slipping gears on me, I begin by doing searches for keywords I know are related to the subject. Since that did not work as well as I hoped, in this case, I sat there pondering for a moment. It is often in those moments, when I am quiet, that the Holy Spirit speaks. In this case, I was reminded to look in the letter to the Hebrews. (To you Gentiles, which is about all of us, this entire letter was written with the Jewish community in mind.)

For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and if every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by those who heard Him; (Hebrews 2:2-3 MKJV)

Since sin, the damaged condition we carry that required the payment of blood, was preventing us from a relationship with God, because it put us in the ownership of Satan, then someone had to pay the price for our freedom from this indebtedness and separation. Since there was no one on earth capable of doing that God sent his Son, untainted by what seems to be a genetic disposition to fail by sinning. That was Jesus Christ; And, He did it perfectly. His payment of his own blood purified us and paid for the freedom of us all.

What then would prevent a human from entering into heaven?

Well, just what the writer of the letter to the Hebrews said, to neglect so great a salvation. You, of course, are intelligent people and know full well what neglect is , don’t you? Really it is as simple as the child, who hears the request/demand to take out the trash, but, for whatever reason does not. They have neglected to do so. A synonym for neglect is to disregard. Now I understand, as foolishly disregarding a road sign that indicates there is danger ahead due to the road being destroyed by a flood can cost you your life.

I said all that to say, it is only our own bad choice to disregard God’s voice calling you to him that will put you through the eternal separation called hell.

Read Revelation 19 and 20 to get the full picture, but since we are talking about Christ sitting upon a throne where do we see a throne or thrones after the time of judgment?

Revelation 20:4-5 MKJV And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the Word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast nor his image, nor had received his mark on their foreheads, nor in their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (5) But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

I do not see one throne set up with just Jesus seated as a king that judges. I see many thrones; as many as there are martyred saints.

“ the souls of those who had been beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the Word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast nor his image, nor had received his mark on their foreheads, nor in their hands”

This horrific act of being martyred because your beliefs were different or challenged your oppressors, has happened to many already and it is not even the time of wrath yet; what happens to them?

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 MKJV (15) For we say this to you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall not go before those who are asleep. (16) For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first. (17) Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And so we shall ever be with the Lord.

Does all this mean that Christ will not be seated in the New Jerusalem during the thousand-year reign?

Not at all, for He will be the light.

Revelation 22:5 NASB And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.

Here is my moment of honesty. I thought I would blaze through Matthew and the sheep and goats. As you can see I got stuck on one verse; it is a vital aspect of recent arguments/discussions and a source of grief for me.

Just coming to Jesus, although a wise thing to do, does not give you all wisdom and understanding in the Word of God. The biggest problem I hear is opinion and tradition, because people choose to believe those two things over the Word, and that causes all kinds of problems.

You need to spend time in the Word of God for yourself, for in that book, all truth is found.

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A typical question from my Sunday morning adult study.

I am not a college trained theologian, I just use my brain, what I have left of it, and I think. As a friend said recently, “I am a Berean.” I guess that might imply that he is also from Berea, should I opt to take that literally. Anyway, I get the point, he does not accept things that sound wrong at face value.

[Caution: some things that sound right can be wrong, so I implore you to read things for yourself. It’s okay and their doing this made the Apostle Paul very happy.]

These questions come out of study book called, Galatians, Fully Accepted by God, published by Q Place, and written by Marilyn Kunz and Catherine Schell. I am not going out of my way to berate the resources but I am admonishing you to use diligence when using any resource. This particular question intrigues me because I can tell you that the standard religious response is limited and very legalistic. Sadly, that is the complete opposite of God’s nature and character.

This particular question intrigues me because I can tell you from experience that the standard religious response is limited and very legalistic. Sadly, limitation and limit are the complete opposite of God’s nature and character.

  1. (a.) How is a person reckoned righteous in God’s sight if he or she is Jewish?                 Prior to grace, they had to act according to the law and offer sacrifice. This was not an act of permanence because leaving the temple you could easily have someone on a camel back make an illegal left turn in front you. Cussing them out, dragging them off their camel and beating them appropriately would not have been considered righteous. Now, only minutes after offering your expensive sacrifice you are now stuck in your unrighteousness until the next sacrificial period. And, what happens to you should the Lord come then?

    [As followers of Christ it is not this way for us. Christ bought our freedom and forgiveness on the cross. This was an aspect of God’s commitment and really required nothing from us. Besides that, there was nothing we could do that would move that process along. However, our righteousness, in the simplest of terms, requires one action from us, acceptance. We have to accept that forgiveness. In doing that, He makes us righteous. If you choose to throw yourself into Him so many amazing things begin to happen within you as He transforms you into the likeness of the Son you are now a part of.]

    Is it just a coincidence that shortly after the cross the ability to sacrifice was gone as well? The answer is spelled out in Galatians 2:16.

    Galatians 2:16 NASB nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.

    (b.) If he or she is Gentile?

    Should the Gentile be treated any differently from the Jew?

    Of course not.

    Perhaps the Jew is held to a higher standard?

    That is entirely up to the Father. If we start that nonsense then we have moved over into judgment

    After all, the Jews had the law, while the Gentiles/nations, had what?

    The ability to decide for themselves.

    How is this true?

    Because the knowledge of good and evil is part of the “sin” that besets every person on the earth. That means that we also have the ability to choose good. Unfortunately this has proven not to be the case and because of it God destroyed all creation except Noah’s family, with a flood.

    In truth, the law of God applies to every man, or does it?

    In Matthew’s gospel, we find something that disrupts our thinking on this subject.

    Matthew 25:31-46 NASB “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. (32) “All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;

    [“the nations” – The catching away of the church has come and gone; the time of wrath and judgment has come and gone; the thousand-year reign has come and gone and with it the opportunity to come and worship the LORD has come and gone. We are now at the end of time, standing before the great white throne. Who is this standing here then? Since what we see here in Matthew 25 and what we see in Revelation 20 are the same thing let’s look at that also.

    Revelation 20:5 NASB The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.

    Revelation 20:11-12 NASB (11) Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. (12) And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.

    So, those before this throne are the dead. Dying, we suppose, without the LORD, with no possibility of attaining righteousness. And yet, He says to those in the group called sheep,Come, you who are blessed of the My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

    They are shocked at this and ask how and why do we deserve this. Jesus response:For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; (36) naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.

    Now, the question is, where in here is the “law” that gives these the righteousness we expect, that allows them into the same kingdom that we have access to? You cannot see it, can you? Neither can I, so then my next and obvious assumption is that God is merciful beyond my comprehension.]

    I finished out Matthew’s telling of this account for your enjoyment.

    (33) and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. (34) “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. (35) ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; (36) naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ (37) “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? (38) ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? (39) ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ (40) “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ (41) “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; (42) for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; (43) I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ (44) “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ (45) “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ (46) “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” 

    I am not telling you to buy what I am selling. However, my admonition to you is to: read and think; look for and find his mercy. In doing so you will find his nature and character.

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