End times wars of the Bible. Part two.


What did I establish by the time I finished “The End Times Wars – Part One? That God didn’t bother to give us exact times and dates; he did, however, leave us with clues, logical clues.

What do we have for clues?

  • A plainly stated, upcoming war with a man referred to as Gog.

  • And that Gog does not come alone. Ezekiel 38:2-18 NASB

    (15) “You will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great assembly and a mighty army;

    Do not make the mistake of assuming that the statement which includes the word all means that they all come from the North.

      • Persia, Ethiopia, and Put

        These are at the extreme opposite ends of the country Israel. And, just to make your head explode, Persia is northeast, not in a direct line north – an aspect that we love to focus on.

      • Gomer with all its troops. (“All its troops” are kinfolk.)

        1 Chronicles 1:5-6 NASB (5) The sons of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. (6) The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Diphath, and Togarmah.

        The short of it, Togarmah is historically aligned with Armenia, Turkey, Russia. This fits Ezekiel’s description, for Turkey is directly north of Israel

The other war, many seem to find in Psalm 83, and attribute to the early days of the Great Tribulation or sooner, may well be what we see in Ezekiel 38, Israel surrounded by enemies.

Psalms 83:2-8 NASB For behold, Your enemies make an uproar, And those who hate You have exalted themselves. (3) They make shrewd plans against Your people, And conspire together against Your treasured ones. (4) They have said, “Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, That the name of Israel be remembered no more.” (5) For they have conspired together with one mind; Against You they make a covenant: (6) The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites; (7) Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; (8) Assyria also has joined with them; They have become a help to the children of Lot. Selah.

Psalm 83 gives us the names of those who will attack; are they so different than what we see in Ezekiel 38?

  • Edom, the older son of Issac. –

Genesis 25:30 NASB “and Esau said to Jacob, “Please let me have a swallow of that red stuff there, for I am famished.” Therefore his name was called Edom.

Genesis 36:9 NASB Shows them living “in the hill country of Seir.”

Esau and the Edomites supplanted the previous occupants the Horites. Mount Seir is the high range from the S. of the Dead Sea to Elath N. of the Gulf of Akabah, on the E. of the Arabah, or “the plain from Elath and Ezion Geber.” Keep in mind that Edom refused Israel access through their land.

  • Ishmaelites, the firstborn son of Abraham. – The descendants of Ishmael became the Ishmaelites.

Genesis 25:13-16 NASB and these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, in the order of their birth: Nebaioth, the firstborn of Ishmael, and Kedar and Adbeel and Mibsam (14) and Mishma and Dumah and Massa, (15) Hadad and Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. (16) These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their villages, and by their camps; twelve princes according to their tribes.

Genesis 16:12 AMP And he [Ishmael] will be as a wild ass among men; his hand will be against every man and every man’s hand against him, and he will live to the east and on the borders of all his kinsmen.

From Genesis 16:12 it may be inferred that it was applied to the Bedouin of the desert region east of the Jordan generally, for the character there assigned to Ishmael, “His hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand against him,” fits the habits of Bedouin in all ages. Such was the character of the Midianites as described in Jdg 7, who are again identified with the Ishmaelites (Jdg_8:24). These references show that the Ishmaelites were not confined to the descendants of the son of Abraham and Hagar, but refer to the desert tribes in general, like “the children of the east” (Jdg_7:12).” The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia

  • Moab – was the district East of the Dead Sea, extending from a point some distance North of it to its southern end. The eastern boundary was indefinite, being the border of the desert which is irregular. Now central Jordan.

    The Assyrian Empire

2 Samuel 8:2 NASB He defeated Moab, and measured them with the line, making them lie down on the ground; and he measured two lines to put to death and one full line to keep alive. And the Moabites became servants to David, bringing tribute.

  • The Hagrites

1 Chronicles 5:10 AMP In the days of [King] Saul they made war with the Hagrites or Ishmaelites, who fell by their hands; they dwelt in their tents in all the land east of Gilead.

Genesis 31:22-23 AMP But on the third day Laban was told that Jacob had fled. (23) So he took his kinsmen with him and pursued after [Jacob] for seven days, and they overtook him in the hill country of Gilead.

The Region of Gilead

  • Gebal

Joshua 13:5 NASB and the land of the Gebalite, and all of Lebanon, toward the east, from Baal-gad below Mount Hermon as far as Lebo-hamath.

“Probably the inhabitants of the country, around Gebal (Eze_27:9), or Byblos, as the LXX render, a city of Phoenicia, situated on the Mediterranean, between Sidon and Tripoli, on the north of the river Adonis.”[Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge]

  • Ammon

Genesis 19:36-38 NASB Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father. (37) The firstborn bore a son, and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day. (38) As for the younger, she also bore a son, and called his name Ben-ammi; he is the father of the sons of Ammon to this day.

Their territory is East of the Dead Sea and north.

  • Amalekites

Exodus 17 tells us that Joshua defeated the Amalekites. The book of Numbers tells us where they live.

Numbers 13:29 NASB “Amalek is living in the land of the Negev, and the Hittites and the Jebusites and the Amorites are living in the hill country, and the Canaanites are living by the sea and by the side of the Jordan.”

  • Philistia – This is effectively the area of the Gaza strip.

  • Tyre – North of Gaza, mid-coast.

  • Assyria – North and East of Israel; the opposite end of the map from Philistia.

While I find it easy to associate the Gog/Magog war with a time very close to the Rapture of the Church, I find it difficult to place the Psalm 83 war, if that is a separate battle, unless it goes here, at the midpoint of the Great Tribulation.

While Islamic tradition is not the basis for our understanding of scripture, but it gives you tremendous insight and fills in some of the blanks. A prominent factor in our understanding is that Satan has mimicked God and His plan of redemption at every turn. Knowing that God would send His Son, Jesus, into the world, Satan, it seems has the stated intent of doing that as well. Islam tells us precisely what that plan is.

I give you and excerpt from Wikipedia that speaks about this Jesus for which Islam is looking.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_in_Islam

In Islam he is called:

Isa ibn Maryam (Arabic: عيسى بن مريم, translit. ʿĪsā ibn Maryām, lit. ‘Jesus, son of Mary’‎),

Muslims are appalled at the idea that God would have relations with a woman, so, although there are no real explanations as to how Mary had a child, Allah still acknowledges him and gives him a supremacy over this Christian Son of God.

“According to Islamic tradition which describes this graphically, Jesus’ descent will be in the midst of wars fought by al-Mahdi (lit. “the rightly guided one”), known in Islamic eschatology as the redeemer of Islam,”

Although al-Mahdi is not the point here, he is the precursor to the Islamic Jesus. As you will see in the excerpts, al-Mahdi gets replaced by Isa ibn Maryam, but who is this Mahdi that we should care about him? Or, perhaps a better question would be, what impact does he have on the followers of Christ?

This Mahdi is the antichrist we focus on. Daniel chapter 7 tells us this:

Daniel 7:24-25 NASB ‘As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings. (25) ‘He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.

Again, the critics will not make the association, so let’s try to fill in the gaps.

  • ten kings will arise;” while I cannot make a direct connection between this and individual “kings,” there is, however, ten nations aligned against Israel in Psalm 83. The common factor in all these nations is that they are Muslim in the majority and hate Israel and the Jewish people.

  • another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones.” The fact that “he” arises after them, tends to imply that he is king or ruler of a similar nature. And yet, “he will be different from the previous ones.” What does that mean? Presidents and prime ministers could also be considered kings and yet have no similar religious backgrounds. Islam, on the other hand, values those that follow strictly after the harsh measures of the Quran.

  • Because he “He will speak out against the Most High,” we can, along with the scriptural context, assert that “he” is most likely a Muslim, as they brutally react to anyone who exhibits opposition to Allah.

  • A feature of the scenario is that he will, “wear down the saints of the Highest One.” This is an aspect of the time of wrath/the Great Tribulation. The saints are those who come to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah during this horrific time period. We see these in Revelation 7:9-15. It is rather long, and so I will leave up to you to read The short of it is verse 14, where it says: “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” In reality, the wearing down equals death.

  • he will intend to make alterations in times and in law” – This is a goal and purpose of true followers of Islam. They wish to make the calendar match the Muslim calendar, and make Sharia law the law of everyone.

  • and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.” Time, times, and half a time is a phrase we understand from scripture to equal three and one-half years. Suddenly this should promote a question or two; why? Because the Great Tribulation lasts for seven years and it is clear that people are martyred the entire time. Even as we speak followers of Christ are being martyred, so this is not a new pattern, merely an escalation of what they as Jihadis do now. The implications tie this phrase in with the last half of the Tribulation when the Islamic Jesus shows up. One of the stated purposes of the Muslim Jesus is that he is the enforcer of Sharia.

Enough about the Mahdi, let’s get back to the Islamic Jesus, the false prophet of Scripture.

Islam believes that Jesus did not die on the cross, but was merely taken away and will come back again. When Isa comes again, he, though understood to be a Jew, will give his allegiance to al-Mahdi. His Jewish heritage is of the lineage of Aaron, and will, therefore, be entitled to be a high priest within the recently built temple. The possibility that he is a currently in line to be a high priest would certainly give him access to the inner court where the image of the beast is to be placed and made to talk.

Notice the word redeemer in the quote above. Do we not also have a redeemer.

Isaiah 43:14 KJV “Thus saith the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel;..”

Even Job, whom we know so little about, acknowledges God as the redeemer.

Job 19:25 KJV For I know that my redeemer lives, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:

Who is it that we will see standing upon the earth, in a dramatic fashion?

Zechariah 14:4 KJV And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

“against al-Masīh ad-Dajjāl (the Antichrist “false messiah“) and his followers. Jesus will descend at the point of a white arcade, east of Damascus, dressed in yellow robes—his head anointed. He will say prayer behind al-Mahdi then join him in his war against the Dajjal. Jesus, considered as a Muslim, will abide by the Islamic teachings. Eventually, Jesus will slay the Antichrist, and then everyone who is one of the People of the Book (ahl al-kitāb, referring to Jews and Christians) will believe in him. Thus, there will be one community, that of Islam.

Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 43: Kitab-ul-`Ilm (Book of Knowledge), Hâdith Number 656:

When it says, “against al-Masīh ad-Dajjāl (the Antichrist “false messiah”) and his followers,” about whom or who are they talking? The answer is Jesus the Son of God, and anyone who is a follower of Christ. However, it is important to understand that Islam considers anyone who does not follow the tenets of Islam to be an infidel and worthy only of death or slavery to their whims. In opposition to God’s word and design, they have assigned the title of false messiah to Yashua/Jesus.

Look at the phrase, “his head anointed. He will say prayer behind al-Mahdi”. “al-Mahdi” equates to the antichrist described in Revelation. But what does the Islamic Jesus do? Submit to the will of Allah and pledge his allegiance to the al-Mahdi, the 12th and missing Imam who returns. Strangely, many have claimed that title as well. I suspect that he is alive and well, and once again, someone will claim that title again.

Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be established until the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends amongst you as a just ruler, he will break the cross, kill the pigs, and abolish the Jizya tax. Money will be in abundance so that nobody will accept it (as charitable gifts).”

Our Bibles tell us when this will happen, half way through the seven year period of wrath. Ask yourself what keeps this from coming any sooner? There are two witnesses sent from God, standing in the streets of Jerusalem. How would this help anything? They can call down fire from heaven; stop the rain; unleash plagues, much like Moses did, and send fire out their mouths upon anyone who would attempt to hurt them. It seems they act as policing units, perhaps protecting those who build the temple.

A somewhat cryptic description of what happens from the mid-point of the tribulation forward is found from approximately Revelation 11:18-12:17 where it says, So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. Did you notice how the name changed from Antichrist to the dragon? The reality of this story line is that a demon, a fallen angel that indwells a willing servant, takes on the personification of a demon.

Another aspect is this line, “abolish the Jizya tax.” This tax is comparable to paying protection money that allows you to continue a life under Islamic rule; it will be, at the least, tenuous, and, there is no guarantee that Muslims will not just simply torture you and kill you.

After the death of al-Mahdi, Jesus will assume leadership. This is a time associated in Islamic narrative with universal peace and justice. Islamic texts also allude to the appearance of Ya’juj and Ma’juj (also known as Gog and Magog), ancient tribes which will disperse and cause a disturbance on earth.

While the scenario is very similar to God’s, there is no guarantee that Islamic prophecies will hold true. For example consider the line, “After the death of al-Mahdi.” Based on what we know from scripture, antichrist does seem to disappear from the scene with no great explanation and does not exclude his death.

Isn’t it peculiar that Islamic prophecies would also include Gog and Magog? However, this mention of them says nothing of when they show up, merely that they are players in end-times events. The thing that makes them worthy of note is that they are Islamic also. For the critics: Scripture tells us that God will draw Gog from the north, and north runs right through Ankara, the capital of Turkey, a Muslim nation.

As for other wars, there seems to be only two:

Jesus returns to the earth with church riding with him.

Stick with me for a second because I want some clarity, just as you do.

“The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. “These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast. “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.” (Revelation 17:12-14 NASB)

This is not going to be some long, drawn out war. This will be over rather quickly.

The second piece of evidence and testimony is Revelation chapter 19. Revelation 19 is an expanded version of Revelation 17:12-14. The thing to note is that prophetically, this has been repeated and it is intentional in drawing our attention to this event.

Revelation 19:18-19 NASB (18) “so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.” (19) And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.”

And, the final war to end all wars, after Satan’s last attempt at deceiving the earth.

When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. (Revelation 20:7-9 NASB)

the camp of the saints and the beloved city,” is 1500 miles square, built on a flat plain. How many people does it take to encompass something like this?

Merely because we see the names of Gog and Magog associated with the final conflict does not mean this is the war we see in Ezekiel 38, 39. Evidence to support a differentiation is found in the peculiar tagging of the bodies and burial of the dead, as though there was a nuclear war, and the burning of weapons for fuel and fires, again, none of this would be an aspect of the heavenly realm.

The Life Application Study Bible says:

Gog and Magog symbolize all the forces of evil that band together to battle God. Noah’s son Japheth had a son named Magog (Gen_10:2). Ezekiel presents Gog as a leader of forces against Israel (Ezekiel 38-39).”

This statement above is precisely what we need to keep in mind. It is an example of what I am trying to convey. The LASB’s contention that the Gog we see in Ezekiel 38-39 as a leader of forces against Israel, leaves the opportunity for there to be another Gog in the last battle.

I have seen authors identify up to nine end times wars. Do I really care; what does it really matter?

It only matters when the people you come in contact with at church espouse every manner of garbage about the end times and preach it adamantly to others. In so doing they create more ignorant and lost sheep, who in turn pass their misconceptions on to many others. One of those misconceptions is that God is evil, short tempered, and is willing to send as many people as He can to hell. And that is totally against His character and nature. I know this because He came to save the lost, and especially the lost sheep of Israel.

For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. …” (Luke 9:56 KJV)

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” (1 Timothy 1:15 KJV)

There is obviously so much more I could say, but I have exceeded my self-imposed page length limitations. My suggestion is that you pursue these wars on your own, with a heart that longs for understanding. Read the Revelation; Daniel; Ezekiel, especially chapters 38 and 39; Psalm 83 – paying attention to the names listed. Do word searches, if you have the resources, for appropriate words, such as war, in your Bible. And, above all, look for the nature and character of God, all-the-while, keeping in mind that the entire book of Revelation is about Jesus the Christ.

God’s speed my friend; the end is upon us.

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End times wars of the Bible. Part one.


Almost all my blogs originate from horrific teachings or conversations which demonstrate how little we know or understand. The Wars of the End Times is no exception.

There are a number of wars connected with the end times. Names associated with these wars include God and Magog; Armageddon. Locations are the mountains of Israel and the Megiddo valley.

The Gog/Magog war of Ezekiel 38 and 39

What are the questions that concern us as we try to answer when this battle takes place and who is involved?

Where does this person or army come from?

Ezekiel 38:15 NASB “You will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great assembly and a mighty army;

Magog is considered to be in the North, and it is often defined as Moscow, the capital of Russia. However, there are other nations that lie directly north of Israel, and they are Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey.

Ezekiel 38:2 NASB “Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him

Although traditional generalizations point to Moscow, there is another city, which fits in many compelling ways, called Ankara; this just happens to be the capital of Turkey. Because they are a Muslim nation, they may easily exceed Russia in their hatred for Israel.

So when does this war take place?

All we seem to have is a logical assumption. Verses 19 and 20 may give us some clues, though.

Ezekiel 38:19-20 NASB “In My zeal and in My blazing wrath I declare that on that day there will surely be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. (20) “The fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all the creeping things that creep on the earth, and all the men who are on the face of the earth will shake at My presence; the mountains also will be thrown down, the steep pathways will collapse and every wall will fall to the ground.

Because these events sound much like the events we find in Great Tribulation – God’s wrath, it is easy to assume that they take place within this time period.

There are some considerations we have to entertain:

The temple must be rebuilt, and as yet, there is no clear decision where to put it. There may be a solution for that, and we find it in Ezekiel 39:1-6

Look at phrases like:

    • I am against you and will bring you against the mountains of Israel.”

    • I will strike your bow from your left hand and dash down your arrows from your right hand. And, I will send fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coastlands in safety;”

    • On that day I will give Gog a burial ground there in Israel, the valley of those who pass by east of the sea, and it will block off those who would pass by.

The strongest potential for a war like this would be now or right after the rapture of the church. And yet, if you apply logic to scripture, where you see the Antichrist crying peace peace, you know must be a reason. Just look around you, and all you see is an escalation of violent talk and actions. As I pointed out, Magog will descend upon the mountains of Israel when the fire from God comes down. The potential for that fire destroying the Mosque that sits there is good, and, this may allow for immediate action in building the third and final temple.

All these considerations have a time frame, and therefore it makes sense that this Gog Magog war is poised to happen quickly and soon.

Do yourself a favor and read Ezekiel 38 and 39.

Another contender for last days Wars is Psalm 83

When you read this, you have to ask, is this present tense or a future event. This question is one of the main reasons why people will say that understanding the Bible is so difficult. The question, however, is necessary; will prompt you to study further, and, give you a greater understanding, should you pursue the answer.

Psalms 83:1-18 NASB A Song, a Psalm of Asaph. O God, do not remain quiet; Do not be silent and, O God, do not be still. (2) For behold, Your enemies make an uproar, And those who hate You have exalted themselves. (3) They make shrewd plans against Your people, And conspire together against Your treasured ones. (4) They have said, “Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, That the name of Israel be remembered no more.” (5) For they have conspired together with one mind; Against You they make a covenant: (6) The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites; (7) Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; (8) Assyria also has joined with them; They have become a help to the children of Lot. Selah. (9) Deal with them as with Midian, As with Sisera and Jabin at the torrent of Kishon, (10) Who were destroyed at En-dor, Who became as dung for the ground. (11) Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb And all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna, (12) Who said, “Let us possess for ourselves The pastures of God.” (13) O my God, make them like the whirling dust, Like chaff before the wind. (14) Like fire that burns the forest And like a flame that sets the mountains on fire, (15) So pursue them with Your tempest And terrify them with Your storm. (16) Fill their faces with dishonor, That they may seek Your name, O LORD. (17) Let them be ashamed and dismayed forever, And let them be humiliated and perish, (18) That they may know that You alone, whose name is the LORD, Are the Most High over all the earth.

The common assumption is that Psalm 83 is segregated from all other wars; but is it?

Ezekiel 38:8-10 NASB “After many days you will be summoned; in the latter years you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste; but its people were brought out from the nations, and they are living securely, all of them. (9) “You will go up, you will come like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you.” (10) ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “It will come about on that day, that thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil plan,

Does the following statement, extracted from the paragraph above, have the potential for demonstrating that Israel will be surrounded?

“You will go up, you will come like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you.”

Certainly, it does; the problematic aspect is the lack of mountains in the Southern regions of Israel and the idea that Gog would be brought down upon the mountains of Israel – in the north. But we ignore verses like:

Ezekiel 39:5-6 NASB “You will fall on the open field; for it is I who have spoken,” declares the Lord GOD. (6) “And I will send fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coastlands in safety; and they will know that I am the LORD.

This verse also speaks of God’s wrath falling upon those in the fields and the coastlands. Many see the coast lands as the islands of the Mediterranean. If that is the case, then the scene has been expanded far beyond the limitations of the mountains of Israel.

Since we like to see parallel evidence, then let’s consider some other examples that demonstrate multiple nations arising against Israel.

Ezekiel 30:3-6 NASB “For the day is near, Even the day of the LORD is near; It will be a day of clouds, A time of doom for the nations. (4) “A sword will come upon Egypt, And anguish will be in Ethiopia; When the slain fall in Egypt, They take away her wealth, And her foundations are torn down. (5) “Ethiopia, Put, Lud, all Arabia, Libya and the people of the land that is in league will fall with them by the sword.” (6) ‘Thus says the LORD, “Indeed, those who support Egypt will fall And the pride of her power will come down; From Migdol to Syene They will fall within her by the sword,” Declares the Lord GOD.

Ezekiel 38:4-5 NASB “I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them splendidly attired, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them wielding swords; (5) Persia, Ethiopia and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet;

Jeremiah 46:7-10 NASB 7 Who is this that comes up as a flood, whose waters are moved as the rivers? 8 Egypt rises up like a flood, and his waters are moved like the rivers; and he says, I will go up, and will cover the earth; I will destroy the city and the inhabitants thereof. 9 Come up, all of you horses; and rage, all of you chariots; and let the mighty men come forth; the Ethiopians and the Libyans, that handle the shield; and the Lydians, that handle and bend the bow. 10 For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord GOD of hosts has a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates.

A quick overview of potential nations are:

  • Persia (Modern day Iran, however, the range was must larger encompassing all of the Assyria.)

  • Ethiopia, Put (Most associate Put with Libya)

  • Lydiaalong with Caria, Mysia, and Phrygia, a part of the Roman province of Asia (see ASIA). Chief among its cities were Smyrna and Ephesus, two of the most important in Asia Minor, and Smyrna is still the largest and wealthiest city of that part of Turkey.” (Morrish)
  • Lud, Ludim [Lu’dim] and the Lydians are one and the same. They are said to have inhabited northwest Africa. This may align with the Sudan.

Nations that come against Israel and where they come from.

If it helps with understanding a look at genealogies will clear things up.

And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan. (Gen 10:6)

If this sounds familiar, that is because Ham was one of Noah’s sons, and, he was the one who “saw” his father’s nakedness and was cursed for it.

Son of Mizraim

Gen 10:13 (UKJV) And Mizraim brings forth Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,

1 Chronicles 1:11-12 NASB (11) Mizraim became the father of the people of Lud, Anam, Lehab, Naphtuh, (12) Pathrus, Casluh, from which the Philistines came, and Caphtor.

Mizraim’s descendants are mentioned with Phut and are held to have inhabited the northwest of Africa. Isa. 66:19; Ezek. 27:10. The same district is called LYDIA (though the Hebrew is simply Lud) and its inhabitants, LYDIANS, in Jer. 46:9; Ezek. 30:5. (From a commentary by Moresh)

The Sons of Shem. Gen. 10:22; 1 Chr. 1:17. See SHEM.

Shem had five sons:

  • ELAM — originally settled in the province of Persia, of which Susa was the capital.

  • ASSHUR — strictly Assyria, but in an extended sense may have included Babylonia and the land of the Chaldees.

  • ARPHAXAD — recognized by Josephus and others as the father of the Chaldees. The name is supposed to have been preserved in the province Arrapachitis in northern Assyria.

  • LUD — said by Josephus to have been the father of the Lydians of Asia Minor (these are distinct from the Lud and Ludim in Africa).

  • ARAM — the name of Syria, but more especially, referring to the high land of Lebanon. Gen. 5:32; Gen. 9:18-27; Gen. 10:21-31; Gen. 11:10, 11; 1 Chr. 17:24. In Luke 3:36 the same name is called SEM.

All of these have had deadly results upon Israel and played various roles in their captivity and dispersion among the nations.

So, we have one decisive battle, the Gog/Magog war, and one possibility, an unnamed war in which Israel is surrounded; however, Israel is and always has been surrounded by enemies. The descriptions we see in Psalm 83 could easily apply to the Gog/Magog war.

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The Millennial Kingdom – How did all these people get here?


This is a heavily edited reblog from 2012.

If you read my blogs, then you know that I grapple with much of what I write. Another way to put this is, I sit with guys who wrestle with understanding and fail to get clear answers from the group leaders.

Here goes another one. Let’s assume a scenario; I just happen to think this is how it will happen (based on what I see in scripture):

The Rapture comes – The great snatching away of the church (that is a whole other issue) takes place. The rapture, as I see it, is on the cutting edge of God’s wrath, and God’s wrath is an integral part of the Great Tribulation.

Sadly this is also an argument that I encountered, as the group leader of another group could not handle the idea that the “great tribulation” was exclusively God’s wrath being poured out upon the earth and it’s inhabitants. The inhabitant’s aspect has very specific targets: Israel and the nations. Here is why.

Israel

2 Kings 22:13-17 NASB “Go, inquire of the LORD for me and the people and all Judah concerning the words of this book that has been found, for great is the wrath of the LORD that burns against us, because our fathers have not listened to the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.” ……. “Behold, I bring evil on this place and on its inhabitants, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah has read. “Because they have forsaken Me and have burned incense to other gods that they might provoke Me to anger with all the work of their hands, therefore My wrath burns against this place, and it shall not be quenched.“‘

While it is almost mandatory to have two witnesses, I find the theme about God’s wrath in many places throughout the Bible. 2Kings 22:13-17 states it so clearly that I am not going to expound any further, save to say. God is angry with Israel. Don’t get all happy about that, because the astute will find in Scripture that God has never given up on Israel and will open their eyes so that they can see Jesus as the Messiah they are looking for. God then places them in positions of authority during the millennial reign.

The nations

First, you need to understand that this originally meant anyone outside of God’s chosen people. Consider that Caleb was only considered a Jew because of conversion and yet we are endeared to him for his courage and bravery while spying for Israel. For a portion of Caleb’s life, he was considered to be from among the nations.

Since the door was open to us to be ingrafted into the vine, which is Israel, those of us from among the nations, also known as the Gentiles, are now an aspect of the church. If you are astute, then you picked up on the idea that there are only three people groups in God’s consideration – the Jews; the nations, and the church. With the church being raptured the only two people groups considered are the nations and Israel. At any moment, before the rapture, anyone can change their category by accepting Jesus as Lord.

Just because I made a statement about providing two witnesses, I will do just that.

Exhibit A:

Isaiah 13:3-16 NASB I have commanded My consecrated ones, I have even called My mighty warriors, My proudly exulting ones, To execute My anger. (4) A sound of tumult on the mountains, Like that of many people! A sound of the uproar of kingdoms, Of nations gathered together! The LORD of hosts is mustering the army for battle. (5) They are coming from a far country, From the farthest horizons, The LORD and His instruments of indignation, To destroy the whole land. (6) Wail, for the day of the LORD, is near! It will come as destruction from the Almighty. (7) Therefore all hands will fall limp, And every man’s heart will melt. (8) They will be terrified, Pains and anguish will take hold of them; They will writhe like a woman in labor, They will look at one another in astonishment, Their faces aflame. (9) Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, Cruel, with fury and burning anger, To make the land a desolation; And He will exterminate its sinners from it. (10) For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not flash forth their light; The sun will be dark when it rises And the moon will not shed its light. (11) Thus I will punish the world for its evil And the wicked for their iniquity; I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud And abase the haughtiness of the ruthless. (12) I will make mortal man scarcer than pure gold And mankind than the gold of Ophir. (13) Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, And the earth will be shaken from its place At the fury of the LORD of hosts In the day of His burning anger. (14) And it will be that like a hunted gazelle, Or like sheep with none to gather them, They will each turn to his own people, And each one flee to his own land. (15) Anyone who is found will be thrust through, And anyone who is captured will fall by the sword. (16) Their little ones also will be dashed to pieces Before their eyes; Their houses will be plundered And their wives ravished.

The thing you might try to challenge is that it says He will punish the world for its evil and the wicked for their iniquity, and you would be right, but what is the nations if it is not the world in general? The other aspect of this is that it says that mortal man will be scarcer than pure gold. A generalization I could make is that the survivors making it into the millennial reign will be relatively few.

The second scriptural witness (Exhibit B), is Jeremiah 10:10.

Jeremiah 10:10 KJV But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.

While Jeremiah 10:10 does not give specific examples of how that indignation will be delivered, an honest realization would tell you that the entire period of God’s wrath is His indignation.

Jeremiah 10:25 is indicative that God is coming with a fury upon those that do not know Him. The implication is willful rejection and this can apply to the religious who are left behind.

Jeremiah 10:25 Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not,

The Great Tribulation

The Great Tribulation Has two components –

The first being God’s wrath being poured out upon the earth in the form of:

      1. The seven seal judgments;

      2. the seven trumpet judgments;

      3. the seven bowl judgments.

        These judgments may not look like God’s hand especially when you look at the players involved, but it is. If nothing else happened, such as beheadings in the name of Allah, I cannot imagine anyone surviving on the earth, and yet many do.

The second component is the work of the Beast, (The beast in this instance is a man driven by a Satanic spirit. That spirit has shown up many times, in many people, throughout man’s tenure here on earth.) and the False Prophet.

(Islam fulfills both of these roles in their prophecies. The Mahdi, also known as the 12th Iman, and a “prophetic” person named Isa ben Maryiam – in English, Jesus, the son of Mary, not God. I am telling you that if you find out more about who these characters are that Islam is anxiously awaiting, it will not only alarm you, but scripture will make more sense than you ever thought possible. The former President of Iran, in three addresses to the United Nations, has opened his speech with a prayer and call for the Mahdi to come quickly. When the Mahdi comes it will be during a time of chaos and destruction.)

At the Rapture of the Church, those awaiting the return of Jesus Christ will be removed from the earth.

If the church is gone, who is left?

  • Religious folk.

These include those who thought they should have gone and cults who live on the fringe of a relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord.

A quick commentary on the religious folk that get left behind:

One of the things that caught my attention was Matthew 25:1 where Jesus said the last day would be like ten virgins that were coming to the wedding. Half of them, though invited and on their way, were unprepared when the call finally came. They all seem to meet up at some appropriate place, but in the course of time, they ran out of lamp oil. Immediately they started scrambling for oil; demanding oil from the others. A key to understanding what is happening here, which Matthew 25:5 explains, “While the bridegroom tarried they slumbered and slept.” When you consider that no oil based lamp burns forever and must be refilled, then there must be the need to replenish that oil continuously. That would have to be on a daily basis, and multiple times a day.

I believe I understand what this tarrying and slumbering looks like, for as I talk about the imminent return of Jesus for His church with people, this is what I get, “why are you getting all worked up, we have been waiting for him for over two thousand years. Besides, the world is always in turmoil, and people are ever in tribulation.” With that being said, they spiritually go back to sleep. This lack of concern has a familiar ring to, as it should, and we find it in 2Peter 3:3-5.

2 Peter 3:3-5 KJV Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, (4) And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. (5) For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

  • The nations.

    The nations are a broad and varied mix of people; of which, some, as we will see, have a wanton desire to kill anyone who comes into a knowledge of or relationship with Jesus during the period of God’s wrath, called the Great Tribulation.

  • And some Jews

    The effect this has on the Jews is played out as the angel Gabriel spells out the last days for Daniel.

Daniel 12:9-12 NASB He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time. (10) “Many will be purged, purified and refined, but the wicked will act wickedly; and none of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand. (11) “From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. (12) “How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days!

[Do the math. The days numbered here equal 7.2 years.]

So we established that many religious types will be left here; what about the others?

While Islam believes in a god, no less than the Eastern religions, I did not include them as I thought about the religious folk left behind. In general, one is left to assume that those left behind are the completely godless and arrogant.

  • The saints – those beheaded for their testimony, among other things, during the time of wrath.

    Many of these are the religious that finally are awakening but not all; this can include the Jews for scripture tells us that God will lift the veil off their eyes and they will see that Jesus is the Messiah they longed for. There will be those we often deem the cults. I believe that the truth is in the books they carry but it is masked in deception. Can you imagine the anger they will feel when they realize how deceived they were?

Revelation 20:4 KJV And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

  • The rich and the poor

The poor are already being slowly exterminated, while the rich will hide in luxury caves. Scripture tells us that the rich will be crying out for the rocks to fall on them to hide them from the wrath of God. Odd that they recognize it as such.

  • And because there are always those who wantonly kill, we will have:

    • Religious zealots who will kill you because you are not Islamic.

      We already see this happening.

    • And the bullies.

      Those that attempt to control remaining resources for a profit, people will be killed by these during this time.

       

But there are other people.

Revelation 21:8 KJV But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

The fearful; unbelieving; abominable; murderers; whoremongers; sorcerers; idolaters, and all liars. This list makes up quite the rogues gallery. The question is, where did they come from?

Why is it a question at all?

Because as I sit in Bible Study – we are told only Christians survive the tribulation, and everyone else goes to a fiery hell. This teaching is not only wrong but an example of the false teachers we see in 2Peter 2:1.

2 Peter 2:1 KJV But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

Why make a point of this? Because the things these false teachers scream at us attempt to make, us believe that God’s character and nature are anything but love and mercy.

Consider a piece of logic. Since Satan is bound during the Millennial reign, then Revelation 21:8 shows me that people still have the freedom of choice, and part of that choice is not to serve Him willfully. I say that because the nations, those who would not bow willfully before God before this time, will be forced to bow before Him, in Jerusalem, during the Feast of Tabernacles, which transpires over a seven day period.

At the end of the 1000 years, Satan is released and rallies the nations, those outside the camp of God, against the camp of God. Who is Satan deceiving this time? Not those who live in the city, but those that live outside the city. Were they outside because they refused to acknowledge Jesus Lordship? There are a lot of possibilities, but exclusion is not one of them. Would they have been safe if they had been inside? Certainly.

A quick reassessment.

We have people during the millennial reign that are walking in the name of their god and living outside the city.

Revelation 22:14-15 CEV (14) God will bless all who have washed their robes. They will each have the right to eat fruit from the tree that gives life, and they can enter the gates of the city. (15) But outside the city will be dogs, witches, immoral people, murderers, idol worshipers, and everyone who loves to tell lies and do wrong.

These two verses in Revelation 22:14-15 stun me.

  1. I would have thought that the time of washing of the robes had passed. Perhaps this is a continuing process which implies that Holy Spirit is still alive and active even during the millennial reign.

  2. People are continuing to come to Christ.

    Sure, Satan is no longer an issue, but people can still choose. The relevant aspect of this is that life continues to go on. Survivors of the Great Tribulation continue to have families, and we now have an exponential multiplication of people once again. Every one of those people will apparently have to choose Jesus over whatever else is being offered to them.

  3. Only those who have washed their robes can enter the gates.

    Apparently, this continues to imply the blood of Christ and salvation. Therefore an acceptance of the price he paid for us is necessary and continuing to happen.

  4. Verse 15 is the most unnerving part of all. For it implies that sin still attempts to run rampant throughout the earth. Jesus and the millennial saints would seem to be the peacekeepers, and I suspect that blatantly sinful indulgences will be dealt with swiftly. But I never in my wildest imagination thought that God, in his mercy, would allow such a thing to happen at this point.

Therefore it is safe to assume that there have been survivors of the tribulation and that God’s mercy has pulled them through.

We tend to think of the tribulation as a time of purging, and it is but of all evil? Apparently not, and scripture proves that out; for man’s ability to choose has not been taken away. Many have made some form of choice to follow God and not the anti-Christ; therefore what we see in Matthew 25 with the sheep and goats, is God extending his hand of mercy and pulling them into the eternal heavens right next to the saints of God. I do not thoroughly understand how those that survived without taking the mark or worshiping the beast, according to Revelation 20:4, get to enter into God’s grace, for it seems that their previous refusal to comply should play a negative role in God’s decision-making process. And yet, He appears to give them an all-access pass to, at the least, the millennial reign. Indeed, these are included among the people we see here during the millennial reign, and the only explanation is God’s mercy.

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Will the old and new Jerusalem exist at the same time? And, If so, where?


One of the questions that came up recently; an offshoot of Dake’s commentary on the Millennium, was, “Will the old and new Jerusalem exist at the same time? And, If so, where?

The short answer is No; the where is in proximity to where the old Jerusalem is currently. (Keep in mind the overall dimensions, which are 1500 miles square; significantly surpassing the current day Jerusalem.)

Because the simple answer is rarely enough and leaves so many questions unanswered, let’s try an in depth response.

To answer the first part of the question let’s start with old Jerusalem.

  • At some point, the last temple, constructed by man, must be built.

This cannot be called the last Jerusalem because it is not. The new Jerusalem, not made with hands will come down, but there is a rather accurate timing for that – sometime after the time of wrath, we love to refer to as the “The Tribulation.”

Has that happened yet? The short answer is no.

The discussions about where to put the new temple range from the temple mount to the city of David, a short distance away. Oh, make no mistake about it, the temple will be built. All the plans are in place, and the preparations have been made. But, there is a huge problem. If the Jews decide that it must be built on the temple mount, the Muslims have their Mosque there and have claimed possession. What does that mean? It means that God is going to have to do something drastic.

Ezekiel 39 shows us an extreme possibility.

Ezekiel 39:1-6 NASB “And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal; 2) and I will turn you around, drive you on, take you up from the remotest parts of the north and bring you against the mountains of Israel. 3) “I will strike your bow from your left hand and dash down your arrows from your right hand. 4) “You will fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you as food to every kind of predatory bird and beast of the field. 5) “You will fall on the open field; for it is I who have spoken,” declares the Lord GOD. 6) “And I will send fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coast lands in safety; and they will know that I am the LORD.

Let’s assume that Gog is Vladimir Putin of Russia (There are enough commentary and evidence to motivate some logical thought in that direction.) God, it seems, will turn Gog around, and drive him, and his forces, against the mountains of Israel. As you can see in verse 3, God will strike the bow from his hand and “you will fall on the mountains of Israel, along with all your troops.

How might that happen, seeing as Israel is outgunned?

The answer is found in verse 6, where it says, “I will send fire upon Magog ..

The Hebrew word for send is to shoot out, but a fire is a fire. How many many ways has God sent fire upon the earth? Several when you think about it. Sodom and Gomorrah come to mind. Archaeologists have found burnt, encapsulated sulfur.

Encapsulated sulfur found in Sodom and Gomorrah

Encapsulated sulfur found in Sodom and Gomorrah

The photo and information below come from http://www.arkdiscovery.com/sodom_&_gomorrah.htm

“At left is brimstone with a burned, hardened shell that has the unburned sulfur inside, and next to it is brimstone without a burned shell.”

During the days of Samuel, God sent lightning upon the Philistines. Considering the heat, voltage and God’s ability to direct a lightning strike, this would be deadly. So, the first thing we should be looking for is some change that allows for the temple to be built.

Back to the original question:Will the old and new Jerusalem exist at the same time? If so, where?

The obvious point to make here is that during the time of this modern day temple’s existence, Jerusalem will exist. However, the destruction of Jerusalem is spelled out plainly in scripture.

Daniel 9:26 NASB “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.

One of the men from Bible study pointed out how he had read the Bible and found that instances of destruction were specifically for the moment and the nation in question. He told how this makes understanding the Bible and particularly prophecy very confusing for him.

The book/prophecy of Daniel is one of those instances where the destruction is both eminent and yet for the future. In this case, Israel was destroyed, and yet, it also speaks of time yet to come.

I thought, much like the man at Bible study, how do you know the difference?

Again, the short answer is:

You must look at the context; see if there are other, more modern applications, and, in the case of Daniel, there are. You need to look at an interlinear concordance and find out if there are multiple applications of a particular word; in so doing you may find that the translation you enjoy does a frail job of painting an appropriate picture. I would consider looking at a variety of translations, simply because one, while being a step down intellectually, may convey the heart of God more clearly. (Keep in mind that the Apostle John told us God is love and that there is no darkness in Him. In short, His nature is mercy and Jesus lived that out in front of many.)

The The Ultimate Cross-Reference Treasury tells us that the words “Then after, or, And after” indicate:

that two events are stated to take place after the sixty-nine weeks have concluded: (1) the death of Messiah; (2) the destruction of Jerusalem. These cannot be understood to take place during the Seventieth Week, for the Crucifixion would cut the time too short, and the destruction of Jerusalem would stretch the time too long to be accommodated within the seven-year time frame of the Seventieth Week were it to be considered contiguous with the Sixty-ninth Week. This absolutely proves, therefore, that there is a gap of unannounced duration between the Sixty-ninth and the Seventieth Week specifically stated right here in Scripture. Further proof is that Jesus himself placed events of Daniel’s Seventieth Week to a time just prior to his Second Advent (Mat_24:5; Mat_24:15; Luk_2:10; Joh_5:39; Rom_1:4.”)

Unfortunately, few would know this.

What else do we have from scripture that foretells the destruction of Jerusalem?

Ezekiel 32:12 (Darby) By the swords of the mighty will I cause thy multitude to fall: the terrible of the nations are they all: and they shall spoil the pride of Egypt, and all the multitude thereof shall be destroyed.

A point of possible confusion would be the aspect where it says, “they shall spoil the pride of Egypt,” What then, would be the pride of Egypt? The answer to the question lies in Joseph, the son of Jacob, the Father of the nation of Israel. In Egypt, Israel became a mighty nation, in terms of numbers.

A clear example comes from Daniel 11.

Daniel 11:16 CEV The king who invaded from the north will do as he pleases, and he will even capture and destroy the holy land.

Daniel 9:2 also speaks of the desolations of Jerusalem.

Daniel 9:2 NASB in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years.

This is another of those passages that require that you do your homework; for we have only accomplished 69 weeks. The emergence of the seventieth week has been on hold for over two thousand years. I can prove this out, but it is time consuming and lengthy, so I won’t, but I will give you a clue. Daniel, in chapter 9, verse 24 began to receive the explanation of all this.

Take the time to look at these verses, as they too reflect the destruction of Israel. This has everything to do Israel’s rebellion against the Lord.

Jeremiah 11:11 NASB Therefore thus says the LORD, “Behold I am bringing disaster on them which they will not be able to escape; though they will cry to Me, yet I will not listen to them.

Jeremiah 50:29 NASB “Summon many against Babylon, All those who bend the bow: Encamp against her on every side, Let there be no escape. Repay her according to her work; According to all that she has done, so do to her; For she has become arrogant against the LORD, Against the Holy One of Israel.

Ezekiel 6:3-10 NASB and say, ‘Mountains of Israel, listen to the word of the Lord GOD! Thus says the Lord GOD to the mountains, the hills, the ravines and the valleys: “Behold, I Myself am going to bring a sword on you, and I will destroy your high places. 4) “So your altars will become desolate and your incense altars will be smashed; and I will make your slain fall in front of your idols. 5) “I will also lay the dead bodies of the sons of Israel in front of their idols; and I will scatter your bones around your altars. 6) “In all your dwellings, cities will become waste and the high places will be desolate, that your altars may become waste and desolate, your idols may be broken and brought to an end, your incense altars may be cut down, and your works may be blotted out. 7) “The slain will fall among you, and you will know that I am the LORD. 8) “However, I will leave a remnant, for you will have those who escaped the sword among the nations when you are scattered among the countries. 9) “Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations to which they will be carried captive, how I have been hurt by their adulterous hearts which turned away from Me, and by their eyes which played the harlot after their idols; and they will loathe themselves in their own sight for the evils which they have committed, for all their abominations. 10) “Then they will know that I am the LORD; I have not said in vain that I would inflict this disaster on them.”‘

We can be fairly confident that Israel will succumb to oppressors. But, God will leave a remnant and bring down a New Jerusalem, not built with hands. Considering the size of the new Jerusalem – 1500 square miles, it is hard to imagine where something of this size would go, as there not enough level land on which to place such a structure. Well, there are passages that answer how that will happen.

Isaiah 40:4-5 NASB “Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley; 5) Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, And all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

Zechariah 4:7 NASB ‘What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain; and he will bring forth the top stone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”‘”

While many will argue the context of the previous verses, the context of the next is beyond debate as it speaks about the time when Jesus touches his feet upon the mount of Olives once again. Then the new city comes down, upon level ground.

Zechariah 14:10 NASB All the land will be changed into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; but Jerusalem will rise and remain on its site from Benjamin’s Gate as far as the place of the First Gate to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s wine presses.

This entire scenario is not typically one that draws, as scripture says, all men unto Christ. It is more educational, or perhaps even correctional. Most of these topics come out of conversations, most of which are where some leader; a self-appointed group pastor, makes incorrect and false statements. They attempt to back up their claims by taking scripture out of context and mixing timings and scenarios to create an environment that you won’t find in scripture. In an ideal environment, this could easily be conveyed to many at one time, or directly to the individual who is espousing improper teachings.

Scripturally, the appropriate way of dealing with “abusers” within the church, is to first go to the person. I sit with these men two days a week. I have challenged their teachings to the point that I stormed out of the room and stayed away for six months. Nothing changed. At one venue, which still meets at a large church, I asked the pastor to come sit in on the meetings, because they are seriously out of control. If the next and appropriate step is to bring in the elders of the church to address the problem child; in this case, I do not see the elders having an interest in knowing there is a problem or fixing it.

So, that is why I write, because I think there are others who believe inappropriate teachings or are seriously confused. My hope is that we, as a church body, can come into an agreement; not with me, although that would be nice, however, it is vital that we agree with the Word of God; the Holy Spirit.

Posted in bible study, End times, false teaching, Hope, Prophetic, Revelation, Thoughts, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Bema seat of Christ; what is it? – 2 Corinthians 5:10


For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ

We hear this phrase constantly in religious circles. It is an aspect of our mean-spirited nature, and is often used to obtain compliance or to get us, the body, to do more, especially when it comes to “soul winning.” You know what? God can win souls just fine without us. In many cases He invades the dreams of those He is trying to persuade, and from what I have seen, it works quite well. If you are interested here is a link to Amazon.com and Tom Doyle’s book about such things.

Dreams and Visions, by Tom Doyle

 

Dreams and Visions, by Tom Doyle

The passage that gives us this reality check about judgment upon followers of Christ is:

2 Corinthians 5:10 NASB 10) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

As usual, we need to break this down.

  • For we all must appear…”

The consensus, as I perceive it, at least from the leaders who feel we need to be reminded of how bad we are, implies that lacking enough merit, we are going to hell.

This heavy handed attitude instantly conveys some huge assumptions.

  1. A major assumption is that there is some separate judgment, in which you stand fearfully before a throne, where Jesus/God looms ominously over you.

  2. This angry portrayal also assumes that this judgment is a win or lose situation where you can be rejected from heaven because you did not witness enough, or act like some great evangelist.

  3. We also convey the idea that God is mad at you and awaiting an opportunity to come crashing down on you, a person that He calls beloved.

Do any of these make sense? The answer is NO; however, we do not base our theology on whether things make sense to us personally or not.

Don’t get me wrong, the Word of God was meant to be understood. Since we are deeply entrenched in selfishness anything or anyone telling us we are wrong tends not to make sense, because we, at that moment, are choosing not to understand. It is a choice, or we are blinded by the veil Satan puts over us, preventing us from seeing the truth.

The idea that we must appear, as it stands, sounds more like a warrant for our arrest; an order that comes with a detrimental result. If you look at the word judgment in Greek, you find a much less threatening situation. One source, The Complete Word Study Dictionary tells us that it is: necessary, has need of, or is inevitable in the nature of things.

So if I reread this with Greek eyes, 1Cor 5:10 could just as easily say:

It is necessary, and, inevitable in the nature of things that we stand before Christ.

  • “..before the judgment seat of Christ.”

Moffatt’s translation puts it this way: “for we have all to appear without disguise before the tribunal of Christ, each to be requited for what he has done with his body, well or ill.

What does it mean to be requited?

Webster’s dictionary gives us: REQUI’TED, Repaid; recompensed; rewarded.

Does this sound like you are being judged? Not hardly, but as we shall see, you can’t take that sin-ridden body into the new kingdom. So, we apparently leave our bodies at the door (so to speak.)

  • If I merely focus on the word judgment for a moment, I think we would all agree that it sounds ominous, but, as we have seen, it is a time of rewarding and repayment. The Greek word is bḗma and means “A step, i.e., a pace or footstep. By implication any elevated place to which the ascent is by steps.” (WSD)

We have another huge piece of information that can help us understand what and when this judgment/Bema seat is:

1 Corinthians 15:50-52 NASB 50) Now I say this, brethren, that flesh, and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51) Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52) in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

Consider what this says:

  • First – ”Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;”

As we sit here reading this, we are flesh and blood. It is evident that we cannot take these bodies, as they are, into heaven.

Considering that we cannot take these bodies, with their built-in propensity to sin, why even have this conversation? We should understand by now, that Adam’s treasonous choice caused us all to inherit something comparable to a damaged DNA string. In other words, you are not going to shake the effects this has on you. You can, however, overcome the influences of the sinful nature through the blood of Jesus Christ when you accept His life as yours.

  • Secondly – “nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.”

An obvious observation, but the opposite of perishable is imperishable, and vice-a-versa. What does that mean? Slightly more than merely being subject to physical death. We, without the promise of life with the Father, are subject to an eternal perishing; a death we were not meant to endure. Hell, the fire that burns eternally was intended for Satan and his angels/followers.

  • Third – “Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed,

    A mystery? Is death a mystery? Not really, for everyone dies and we all know that. Some may try to evade its effects through cryogenics, but that has not worked as yet. Since the obvious factor is that everyone will die, except for those who are alive when Christ returns; then there has to be another implication; that this change will happen before our transference into heaven.

So where is the mystery? Perhaps it lies in the idea that the definition of death has changed to sleep, and that without “sleeping” we will migrate into the kingdom of God.

  • Fourth – “ in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet;”

Currently, the Greek word we use to create the idea of the rapture is harpazo. It means a snatching away. Rapture, on the other hand, has no associated word in the Greek. We get our word rapture from the Latin Vulgate which uses the word rapio. Rapture also conveys the idea of a mass removal of Christ followers from the earth.

When is the last trumpet?

Obviously, there are several. Matthew 24 tells us of one:

Matthew 24:29-31 NASB “But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30) “And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. 31) “And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET, and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

I can quickly determine that this is not the last trumpet call because of the phrase, “..immediately after the tribulation of those days..” That statement places this event approximately seven years after the rapture of the church. While it may be the last trumpet, it is not the trumpet blast being referred to.

There is one other clue to solving any mystery we find here, and that is the fact that the angels from God will gather His elect. These are Jews being spoken of here. Don’t make the foolish assumption that everything the Apostle Paul said and did was directed at Gentiles, as the intentional preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles did not become a push until he made the plea to take his case to Caesar, in Rome.

What do I take away from all this?

That the bema seat of Christ:

  • Maybe a seat of high position, that carries authority.
  • The nature of this place and time is to reward not punish.
  • It has much to do with leaving our broken natures behind.
  • It will happen in that twinkling of an eye.
  • And, as 1 Corinthians 15:50-52 tells us, we are not taken our broken, selfishness into heaven with us. God will not allow that in there.

So, all of it gets burned up, attitudes, beliefs, traditions, and brokenness, in a moment. If you notice anything it will be the freedom and normalcy. Something we have never experienced.

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Discernment and a piece of wisdom.



Discernment

When the Wednesday morning group began to gather, at least one was still riled about the absurd application and misuse of the word paradise. Since I had done my homework, I was able to make some reassuring comments about paradise, as the Bible explains it, and quell the wrath this brother-in-Christ seemed to feel toward the man that made the statements – as though they were a standard church teaching.

Here is a piece of wisdom for you.

If you cannot do something about it, then it is either time to move along or let it go. No one is asking you to change what you believe to be right, but there is certainly no sense in giving yourself an ulcer over the issue. Aside from that, you will eventually drive everyone away from you.

As the others gathered that morning, it was obvious they wanted to move on. The self-appointed leader indicated that one of our group had some thoughts on the subject of discernment. Since among the religious discernment means dealing with the demonic, we tend to make problems much larger than they are and overlook common sense and logic. The man who did the talking that morning apparently has a fair grasp of Biblical language; either that or he capable of retaining information, unlike myself who tends to forget everything. Unfortunately, his delivery was dull, for he began a long oration on the variations of the Greek word diakrino.

As often happens with me, one word sends my mind in pursuit of an answer. Within moments the speaker lost me. I feel that we, as a church body, need to have a commonsense perception of what discernment means to us.

Discern– Gk word – diakrino¯ (G1252) and means to separate thoroughly, that is, (literally and reflexively) to withdraw from, or (by implication) oppose; figuratively to discriminate (by implication decide), or (reflexively) hesitate: – contend, make (to) differ (-ence), discern, doubt, judge, be partial, stagger, waver.

The Complete Jewish Bible uses the word discernment, while many others like the ESV use the word understanding. Since discernment/diakrino means to separate thoroughly, then, the other translations are equivalent terms as understanding is an act of separating facts or aspects of a matter.

In 1Chronicles 22, we see King David gathering the materials to build the temple. God, however, had different plans and told David that because he had shed too much blood that the job would now go to Solomon. King David passes this along duty along to Solomon with a blessing and admonition.

1Chronicles 22:12 And may GOD also give you discernment and understanding when he puts you in charge of Israel so that you will rule in reverent obedience under God’s Revelation.

So, what aspects of discernment did Solomon, the general contractor, need to build the temple? Almost every aspect of the definition comes into play here.

When trying to understand the Bible, and lacking resources, so much depends on translation. The KJV uses the word wisdom. This usage of the word wisdom sounds very much like the answer Solomon gave when asked what he wished above all else. Here the Greek word is śêkel, and means intelligence; by implication success: – discretion, knowledge, policy, prudence, sense, understanding, wisdom. Are the words understanding and wisdom comparable? Yes, if I consider decision making and a proper response an act of wisdom.

We have an example of discernment in the form of wisdom and understanding in the life of Daniel.

Ponder all the things Daniel had to consider. Taken into Babylonian captivity, and castrated as a young man of marrying age, the hope and dream of being a husband and father went out the window. As a prisoner, any attempt at escape would mean certain death. Over the course of time, Daniel becomes the head of the Wise men – the Magi. So Daniel uses and demonstrates discernment, understanding, and wisdom on a practical basis, throughout his life in Babylon.

Daniel 2:21 He changes the seasons and guides history, He raises up kings and also brings them down, he provides both intelligence and discernment,

Matthew 16:3 counsels about the practical side of discernment.

Matthew 16:3 KJV And in the morning, It will be foul weather today: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

Since judging the weather does not require great wisdom, then the application of discernment leans toward making a decision about a situation or circumstances. Some of those decisions can be as simple as deciding what to wear, while others can be life changing.

The word discernment is really not that ominous, but we tend to make it that way as we apply the word to things we deem intensely dark and foreboding, such as demonic oppression or possession. The majority of translations use the term diakrino in relation to making sound judgments.

1 Corinthians 6:5 MKJV For I speak to your shame. Is it so that there is not a wise one among you, not even one in your midst who shall be able to judge between his brother?

The NASB uses the term decide, while the ESV translates diakrino as wise enough for a situation that is described as a “matter of life.” So, in a life matter where believers within a church body are struggling with each, we are supposed “to separate thoroughly, decide and judge.”

Because we seem to have no sensibility when it comes to prophesy within the church, we have an instruction that challenges the prophets to judge or weigh what is being said, and we see this in 1Corinthians 14:29.

1 Corinthians 14:29 ESV Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said.

While the commentary picked a translation that used the word contending the NASB translated diakrino as disputed. Jude gives us the only example of contending with the spirit world, specifically the devil.

Jude 1:9 But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses,..”

Is Michael the archangel using discernment to back off the devil? Not hardly. Fortunately for us, the word diakrino also means to oppose. Michael very definitely opposed the devil, and won! So, even though we love to used the word discernment when trying to assess the demonic, that is not the primary application. If it were not for Michael, the archangel, as our example, we would have little else, except for the wisdom we gain looking at the actions of Jesus, Peter, and Paul. I say that because they all contended with the demonic rather successfully.

One last example.

Another word that can be used to define diakrino is doubt. We find this in Mark 11:23, and it applies to faith.

Mark 11:23 ESV Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.

Do we as believers deal with the demonic? Most assuredly. Most of us never even know it; maybe that is because we don’t use discernment and accurately assess the situation.

Even if you did, would you know what to do?

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This idea of paradise, where we go when we die, and false teaching.


An observation was made in Monday morning Bible study about where we go when we die. The statement excluded us from heaven by placing us in paradise, where we are held until the Harpazo or rapture, and then we, the church, are all taken up.

However, that is not what 2Corinthians 5 implies.

2 Corinthians 5:6-8 NASB 6) Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord— 7) for we walk by faith, not by sight– 8) we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5 is the only place we find a reference like this, and, when we are in the mood, we use it to imply that it means in dying here, we take our next breath in the presence of Jesus. It is a common passage at funerals. Logic also tells me that if I absent from the Lord while in my body, then to be present would mean I am dead. I admit that I could read these passages as some future hope and speculation, and, without a context that would probably be true. That is why we have to look beyond the verse that is leaving us with gaps in our understanding and consider the whole of the thought. For us, that is 2 Corinthians 5:1-9.

2 Corinthians 5:1-9 NASB 1) For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2) For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, 3) inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. 4) For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. 5) Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. 6) Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord– 7) for we walk by faith, not by sight– 8) we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. 9) Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.

  • the earthly tent” – Which happens to be our bodies.

  • which is our house is torn down,” – Equates to death.

  • in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven,”

Scripture tells us that all of creation groans, longing to be released from the damage placed upon them with the fall of man, and so do we.

So then, the context is about death and where we, as believers, go after death.

We say that, but apparently, we are not so convinced, as those same people who made the statement at last week’s funeral will also tell you that there is a “paradise” for you to wait, much like we see in, “The Inferno” by Dante Alighieri. A fictional story in which people he knew, who had been negligent or criminal in the positions they held, were placed by him in horrific levels of hell until they could come to some form of repentance and then maybe be moved to a lesser hell.

Perhaps the problem lies in our not having multiple corroborating witnesses. Do we have other methods of corroborating Paul’s assertion that there is a heaven awaiting us? The answer, though not so direct, is yes.

Such a statement comes from James 2:26a where we are told, “For just as the body without the spirit is dead,” From this I can ascertain that the body is just a useless hulk without the spirit or soul. However, denoting that the body is useless without the spirit does not answer the question as to where the soul goes as Paul did in his letter to the Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 15:42-44 NASB 42) So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; 43) it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44) it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

Once released from the bondage of the body we recognize that our life merely continues with the Lord in Heaven, or the Eden that defines paradeisos.

Strangely, all three instances of paradise, found in the New Testament, use the same word – paradeisos. It is clear that what Jesus described for Lazarus was no park like setting, and we assume that this is the same place that the thief on the cross was taken.

Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

G3857 paradeisos / par-ad’-i-sos. A park, that is, (specifically) an Eden (place of future happiness, “paradise”): – paradise.

What does not make sense here is the definitions assignable to this word, because we assume that the thief went to Abraham’s bosom as well.

Paul wrote about an experience he had. I too have had two of those experiences in my life. One happened while I was playing golf, so there is no chance I was asleep. However, for those seconds nothing else existed in my mind. The other was what I believe to be a dream, but it was so vivid that it exists in my mind as real. In it, Jesus came to me and laid my life out before me. I thought I would never forget this and chose not to write anything down. All I remember now is that He was there, that every detail of my life was explained to me, and that I awoke with such joy. I will say that having lived most of my life now, I am hard pressed to understand the joy aspect.

2Corinthians 12:4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

Paul is telling us that he was caught up in a park-like setting, the place of future happiness – heaven, where Jesus is at.

The Apostle John had seen the most incredible vision when he saw into the heavens. In Revelation 2:7 he calls it paradeisos.

Revelation 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Having given some thought to this idea of paradise, it seems to me that we make the assumption or maybe connection with the story, which I happen to think were real people that Jesus had experienced, that we find in Luke chapter 16. There is no mention of paradise there, but there is the concept of a beggar now being comforted in Abraham’s bosom, while the rich man, a Jew, was now in torment – in Hades.

Since this is lacking the terminology and the park-like setting, it is inappropriate and invalid as a witness and does not have a tie-in to the idea of paradise. As I mentioned a moment ago, the thief on the cross was told, you will be held in Abraham’s bosom until I can get you out of there. No, he was invited into paradise, a park like setting, an Eden where Jesus could be found.

No, there is no paradise in hell, and, we know that Jesus snatched the keys to hell, fear and the grave, out of Satan’s hands. (Yes, I said fear, because death has nothing less than fear attached to it.) Death has been conquered by Jesus and so has Satan. Since he does not seem to believe that, you may occasionally have to remind him and put him in his place through the name of Jesus.

I am hoping that you picked up on the fact that I am writing to those who should have an understanding of the things of God. Sadly, most of us in the church have no understanding at all. In saying that I am saying that we do not understand God’s nature and character, and therefore attribute garbage to Him that He does not deserve.

If you don’t know Him, you can. Merely start by saying, I believe in you, Jesus. You paid the price for me, to set me free and I accept you into my life. Trust me on this. Jesus Christ will flood into your life and start a process of changes that will boggle your mind if you let Him. I implore you to let Him, for time is short. Look around you, and you can see that.

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DEMOCRAT Congresswoman Just CONFIRMED America’s WORST NIGHTMARE – TRUMP Was Right From The Beginning!


Friends of Syria

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is an Iraq war veteran and an Army Captain who has finally had ENOUGH of Obama and just EXPOSED him on life TV…. AND SHE’S A DEMOCRAT!

Gabbard went on Tucker Carlson about Obama and ISIS and she confirmed America’s worst nightmare!

CONGRESSWOMAN GABBARD CONFIRMED THAT OBAMA’S ADMINISTRATION HAS BEEN FUNNELING MONEY TO ISIS THROUGH THE CIA AND SAUDI ARABIA!

Here is Tucker’s exchange with Congresswoman Gabbard: (Video Below)

Tucker: The average American, you, me, are not allowed to send weapons to terror groups.

Rep. Gabbard: We would be thrown in jail

Tucker: But the U.S. government, as a matter of policy, arms and aides these groups?

Rep. Gabbard: This is the problem tucker, is that… there’s a double standard here… For years now, our government, working with countries like Saudi Arabia, turkey and Quatar, have been through the CIA, quietly arming and supporting these groups that are directly working…

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The topic of sheep won’t go away. Matthew 25.


This topic of the sheep and goats won’t go away; it just keeps popping up it’s twisted little head.

Last Monday, this was the leaders opening statement,

“..if I am wrong with any of my statements, then you men stop me and correct me.”

He then proceeded to say,

“as we have been talking about, for weeks now, based on Dake’s notes concerning the Millennium, the sheep we see in Matthew 25 are those who have helped Israel.”

This man was and still is, sporadically, a Mathematics teacher at a community college. Before that, he taught high school in a tough neighborhood. So he is adept at quelling loud mouths and rebellious talk, and, anything we say or do, is often taken as such. On several occasions he has loudly slapped the table as he brashly stated, that is my opinion, and I don’t care what you say. Now get realistic. What is that supposed to mean? And, if it is not some arrogant attitude, then it is intended to intimidate those who are rebutting his opinions concerning scripture.

Later on that same week I ran into one of the men who did not make the study. I told him what the major topic was that morning. Immediately began his agreement with the thesis and got rather defensive of it. I tried to make him understand how and why this is wrong, but he refused to hear the truth. The sadder truth is that there are more people just like this, and false teachers, teaching the doctrine of demons, have created this confusion and prevented people from finding the truth in God’s word.

Here is a clue to help you lead Bible study:

If you don’t know what the answer is and can’t find at least two scripture passages to validate what you are saying, then you are preaching opinion and conjecture. Your opinion may have a logical path, but it needs to designated as such and not spoken as though it is the word of God and church doctrine. Since it is your opinion, then you need to allow for rebuttal, because you are going to get plenty of it, and deservedly so.

Back to the presumptuous statement in question:

the sheep we see in Matthew 25 are those who have helped Israel.”

  • I have looked intently, and there is nothing in scripture to back this statement up.

  • The leader acted as though he was basing his statements on comments made by Francis Jennings Dake. I happen to use a Dake’s commentary Bible, and I do not see this statement anywhere in there. So, this is conjecture on the part of the leader.

  • And, the most foolish aspect of this is that the leader is trying to force a twisted teaching upon us. This is easily resolved if you are willing to pay attention to the context, and Matthew 25 has a framework that starts in Matthew 22.

Since I directed us to consider the context, then let’s do that.

Matthew 25:32 CJB All the nations will be assembled before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates sheep from goats.

So, I know that it is the nations that are assembled before him. If I consider that there are only three people groups in the world right now – the Jews, the nations, and the church; I also have to consider that historically the nations were nothing less than harmful to the nation Israel. Why then would I make the assumption that the sheep would be supportive of Israel? Can I exclude the possibility that the sheep, some subset within the nations, are supportive of Israel? No, but since we find nothing to validate this assertion, then it is foolishness to push it off on people.

A second point when considering the context.

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

While the idea of Jesus coming in his glory is spread across multiple sources, there is only one place in which he will sit on his glorious throne, and that is on the final throne of judgment, which Revelation 20 tells us is the great white throne. In either case, this is the only place where people are judged and sent to eternal punishment. So, when I put the phrase, “..the Son of Man comes in his glory,” together with the final judgment, then it is easy to see that Matthew 25 and Revelation 20 are the same event.

What kind of problems does this understanding cause us?

In Matthew Jesus is represented as the loving shepherd, while the Revelation reveals him to be the angry God that brings final justice, and I can tell you from experience that the deluded cannot and will not accept that these two events are the same.

What else proves that these two events are the same?

Matthew 25:41 CJB “Then he will also speak to those on his left, saying, ‘Get away from me, you who are cursed! Go off into the fire prepared for the Adversary and his angels!

Since the sheep, who obtain mercy are on the right, then these are the goats, and destined for what the Amplified calls, “the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels!”

What is the contrast comparison of Revelation 20?

Revelation 20:12 CJB And I saw the dead, both great and small, standing in front of the throne. Books were opened; and another book was opened, the Book of Life; and the dead were judged from what was written in the books, according to what they had done.

It happens everywhere you go, whether in Bible study or church; the assumption is made that everyone we see in Matthew’s account is alive, and we disassociate these dead from the nations when we read the Revelation. It is these assumptions that cause us great grief when we try to understand God’s word. Maybe we can quell our arguments if we consider that just a few verses prior God deceives the nations and then kills them.

Revelation 20:8 CJB and will go out to deceive the nations in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for the battle. Their number is countless as the sand on the seashore;

So the nations are involved, as is their demise:

Revelation 20:9 CJB and they came up over the breadth of the Land and surrounded the camp of God’s people and the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and consumed them.

If I wanted to make the statement that someone from the nations showed Israel some useful help, as the Bible study leader asserts, I do not see that here; we see them surrounding the city and God’s people, for the purpose of harm.

Revelation 20:9 CJB and they came up over the breadth of the Land and surrounded the camp of God’s people and the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and consumed them.

The judgment and finality of that decision are seen in both Revelation 20 and in Matthew 25, adding to the evidence that they are the same incident.

Revelation 20:10 CJB The Adversary who had deceived them was hurled into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Matthew 25:41 CJB “Then he will also speak to those on his left, saying, ‘Get away from me, you who are cursed! Go off into the fire prepared for the Adversary and his angels!

Matthew 25:46 CJB They will go off to eternal punishment, but those who have done what God wants will go to eternal life.”

A third and final comment on context.

Dake’s notes direct the reader to Matthew 13:24 – 43 when you digging a little deeper. Here is what many of the translations entitle that section of scripture. So let’s examine how the parable compares with Matthew 25 and Revelation 20:

The Parable of the Weeds Explained

Matthew 13:24-43 CJB

  • Jesus is speaking. This same person speaking in our parallel passages. Why is that important? Because we are looking for validation and similarity.

  • The context is the kingdom of heaven, and this is found in every instance.

  • While I have not defined what the field is I can conjecture that it is the nations. Unquestionably, Matthew 25 says that he calls the nations to him, but can we say that about Revelation 20? The answer is yes, and we know this from the context which initiates around verse 8 where he draws the nations to surround the city of God – the New Jerusalem.

    Ask yourself: What is a field? Fallow ground; untamed; unusable; or land that is useful and merely awaiting preparation and planting?

     

  • This “field” has been planted, intentionally, with weeds – bad seed. In horticulture, we learned that even a pleasant plant, such as a daisy, is considered a weed if it is growing somewhere where it is not intended.

  • Both good seed and tares (bad seed) are allowed to grow together until they are harvested. Because Matthew 25 presents Jesus as the gentle shepherd, an image he intentionally conveyed to the Jewish people of His day, we miss the concept of a harvest. But let’s get real for a moment. Would a shepherd be raising sheep because he enjoys them as pets? No, and so there is a time of harvest for the sheep, and, even the goats.

  • Just as the weeds are collected and burned up in the fire, so will it be at the end of the age.” In both Matthew 25 and Revelation 20, that thing that looks so similar to the good – whether a weed or a goat, is gathered and burned for eternity.

  • Then the righteous will shine forth like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father.” In Matthew’s account, the righteous are the sheep. Since we know that no man comes to the Father but through Jesus, here they are, standing before Jesus, being declared righteous, and given entrance into the kingdom. While we do not see those exact words, you should know that the unrighteous will not gain entrance into the Holy City or the Kingdom. Therefore, when verses like Matthew 25:34 tell us, “the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” then we can only assume that by their actions they have obtained a righteous standing.

I understand how Matthew 25 can throw your religious teaching and traditions concerning faith and works right out the window. At the least, it challenges our thinking, and no, I do not have the strongest handle on it yet. But I have come to understand one thing above all else, God is in control and not me. Therefore He gets the final word, and my judgments have to step aside. This control is exactly what Jesus was talking about when he told the parable of the man who hired people for the vineyard at the beginning of the day, and some were hired at the last minutes of the day. It did not matter to the owner for they all got paid the same. These, we see in Matthew 25 did nothing religious, as many of us have, and therefore did not pay the price we paid, like perhaps Jim Elliot did, with his life, and yet, they still gained entrance based upon giving someone a drink of water or feeding another. It seems to boil down to their lack of selfishness in those moments.

I have never been good at gambling. So to place my hope in a good deed seems like too large a gamble for me. No, life is not a gamble, it is all about faith and trust; therefore I put my trust and faith in Jesus Christ. He proved himself trustworthy and gave himself for me. Because I love him, I give myself to him, and that gives me hope. There is no gamble to it, merely trust.

Posted in bible study, End times, false teaching, Prophetic, The supremacy of Christ | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Doctrines of Demons, false teachers, and other foolishness. Revelation 3:9


As I mentioned in a previous post, involving yourself with incompetent Bible studies can give you a constant supply of fresh material. In this case, the self-appointed group leader of the morning coffee shop crowd opened with, “I have put several hours into this study of demons, and I believe we need to pursue this theme today.” He continued, there are demons all around us, and it is getting worse.

I feel I need to say; I understand there are demons. I believe they are fallen angels, and I also believe that they have arisen in greater numbers in these last days. We, who follow scripture, are aware that there are four awaiting their release from the Euphrates river in the last days, and they will do substantial and fearful damage. But, this is not them, yet. Satan is not producing more; however, I think that he has recruited people, in many cases, to help him. Is it possible that some of these fallen angels have been held in reserve, maybe? If not, they are no longer holding anything back.

An example of what I speak of could be found in one of my grandsons. This child seemed to be rather ordinary as a toddler. His older brother began to be somewhat relentless in what he thought was spirited humor, and now we are dealing with behaviors that appear to be demonic.

Why say that? To answer that question you need to consider some of Jesus encounters.

With the mad men from Gergesenes. A story you can find in Matthew 8, we find two who would

English: Site of Gadara (Umm Qais), Jordan Fra...

English: Site of Gadara (Umm Qais), Jordan Français : Vue du site de Gadara (Umm Qeis) en Jordanie (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

not allow others to pass anywhere near them. Jesus cast the demons out of them and into the swine that were nearby. (This of course ruined a small economy and prompted them to ask Jesus to leave.) Mark’s gospel records a single mad man in the Gadara region, who had been bound on several occasions with no success. It is possible that this is the same story as the first for Jesus also cast the demons into the swine. In Matthew 9:32,33 we see the demons preventing a man from being able to speak. One more and I will move on. Both Matthew 17:15, and Mark 9:22, we see a father bringing his son to Jesus seeking relief because demons were throwing his boy into the fire and water.

What are the commonalities:

  • Irrational behavior

  • Irrational anger

  • Tremendous strength

  • Inability to speak

  • Diseases

These things can be found in people around us on a daily basis. What if, we have been trying to treat demonic infestations with drugs that merely sedate you?

Ask yourself, did Jesus approach these situations with fear? Not at all, and neither should we. Sadly we will though if we are not prepared to address the situations when they arise.

The leader asked us to first read Revelation 3:9.

Revelation 3:9 NASB ‘Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie–I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you.

From this verse, he concluded that Satan has a church. I can tell you that my immediate reaction was a heavy sigh, as I knew there were some there, that will not read their Bibles for themselves, and therefore be taken in by this garbage, especially since he claims to have been a pastor previously.

While most would agree that there is a Satanist church among us today, there was nothing so blatant at the time of John’s writing. Therefore, to call this, a Satanist church is clear false teaching. The leader asked the group what they thought of this assertion, to which several of us quickly offered opposing thoughts on the subject.

What do you use to debunk such a statement? The primary response is context.

The NASB categorizes this section of the Bible (Revelation 3:7-13) as being addressed to the “church” in Philadelphia. Because we Westernize the Bible, we take this concept of the church to be the building in which we converted Gentiles gather and that was not the case. While Peter was the one who initially got the invitation to take the message to the Gentiles, he did not follow through wholeheartedly, and therefore we eventually see the former Pharisee Saul, turned Paul, take the message to the Gentiles. The Apostle John, it would seem, did not waste his time on Gentiles, focusing on showing Jews this Messiah they had found. Fortunately, God extended His grace and mercy toward us Gentiles, and we learn of this through Paul’s writings.

So, it is a logical assumption that the Revelation was written to the Jewish community. This hypothesis is evidenced by the usage of the term synagogue, which would have been Jewish with minor exceptions; the exceptions would have been converts to Judaism. While not evidence, religious teachers/pastors will tell you outrageous things like the Revelation is written in code to prevent the Roman occupying forces from finding out what God’s plans were and therefore prevent an early demise for the church body. This code idea is not the case, for the book of Revelation was intended to be read and understood. Since we are now living at the time of its revealing it would be wise to comprehend what is going on around us.

So what is the purpose of John’s usage of the phrase “synagogue of Satan”?

It was an analogy designed to grab attention. It also establishes a divine power or deity

Do not make the immediate assumption that this implies God.

  1. A spirit being inferior to God.

  2. Evil spirits messengers, or ministers of the devil.

The KJC translates daimonion as devil 59x and god 1x.

be partakers” – Greek, metechō. Strong’s defines it as: to share or participate; by implication belong to, eat (or drink): – take part in an established prophetic pattern, and, John knew too well that the analogies he was using were familiar, scriptural terms.

Because several of us balked at the leader’s opening comments he quickly moved on to the next point he wanted to make, and here is where he directed us to look at 1Corinthians 10:21.

1 Corinthians 10:21 NASB 21) You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.

He quickly tried to make assertions about this passage by saying, “see here, even the demons have a cup of communion.” While that might be true in some twisted sense, it is not even close to what is being said here. A good deal of the time digging a bit deeper into the sentence can help you understand what the Holy Spirit is trying to say. Watch as I take a simplistic approach.

On my first approach, I see two differing assertions: “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons.” This theme is reiterated using an analogy to “the table of the Lord,” which we understand as communion. Since the idea of communion carries great depth and signifies the joining of ourselves into the life and death of Jesus Christ through the symbolic partaking of His body and blood when we eat the bread, whatever form that comes in, and drink the dark red grape juice, which represents His blood. Having retold the act of communion in this manner, I am suddenly and intensely aware that our act of “drinking the cup of the Lord” from the “table of the Lord” is a serious commitment on our part. There is nothing about our simple monotonous routine, at least that is the way we act when taking communion, that would show the world the commitment we have to this life in Christ; unless of course, we are not serious.

The other approach is to look at the words Paul used.

drink” – the Greek word is pinō.

  • Thayer’s definitions tell us that the word means: “ figuratively, to receive into the soul what serves to refresh strengthen, nourish it.”

    Strong’s concordance adds: to imbibe (literally or figuratively)

the cup” – Again from Thayer:

  1. cup, a drinking vessel

  2. metaphorically one’s lot or experience, whether joyous or adverse,

We understand the cup to mean, that which belongs to.

of the Lord” – Greek: Kyrios, meaning to whom a person or thing belongs

of devils” – Greek is daimonion

Usage:

  1. divine power or deity

    Do not make the immediate assumption that this implies God.

  2. A spirit being inferior to God.

  3. Evil spirits messengers, or ministers of the devil.

The KJC translates daimonion as devil 59x and god 1x.

be partakers” – Greek, metechō. Strong’s defines it as: to share or participate; by implication belong to, eat (or drink): – take part in.

If I consider the depth in these words, I see a context that has little to do with a cup of communion as much as it has to do with persons who are imbibing in the things of the world, while trying to keep their toes in the waters of the kingdom of God.

Why would that be a problem? It would seem that a love of the world displaces the love of and for the Father, and encompasses everything.

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.

You should know what God calls this attempt at a balancing act, being lukewarm. You have no passion for anything. This is stated clearly in Revelation chapter 3.

Revelation 3:15-18 CJB “I know what you are doing: you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were either one or the other! 16) So, because you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth! 17) For you keep saying, ‘I am rich, I have gotten rich, I don’t need a thing!’ You don’t know that you are the one who is wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked! 18) My advice to you is to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich; and white clothing, so that you may be dressed and not have to be ashamed of your nakedness; and eye-salve to rub on your eyes, so that you may see.

But we are not directly talking about love here, are we? We are talking about imbibing, and we naively think this is merely taking a little sip now and then. However, the Greek conveys someone who is gaining their experience, whether joyous or adverse from their indulgences. Not only that, the implication is, they belong to the things to which they have indulged. Since the idea of imbibing is frequently associated with drinking, then you must know that you rarely see anyone “imbibing” with restraint. Since those that drink usually have the goal of inebriation whether partial or wholehearted. These partakers are not just foolishly sipping, they are wholeheartedly indulging in a world that sets itself against God.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are demons, which I believe are fallen angels, all around us. I don’t have to go looking for them as these fallen angels seem to have a determined purpose of killing or disrupting the lives of those who look like Christ; that happens when you accept Him and make Him a part of your life. The demons also seem to have the generalized job of disrupting God’s plan for the salvation of man. These attempts at disruption, unfortunately, impact the lives of innocent children and adults.

Some would see this picture I have painted, as a hopeless and impossible life to live. It is, however, the opposite, for we are endowed with power; which is the life of Christ and His infinite power. We have been given a hope of a life filled with peace, as well as a love we have never experienced here on this earth; and, He has given us authority over the defeated foe, called Satan, through the name of our risen King, Jesus. Merely having this knowledge and accepting it gives me the reason to keep my feet out of the mire that is called the world, and walk through this land as a prophet and warrior king. I pray that this becomes your reality in Jesus name.

Posted in bible study, Cult teachings, End times, false teaching, Hope, In Christ, Prophetic, Revelation, The supremacy of Christ, The Word was God, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment