For the Lord, Himself will come down. My thoughts on a mid-tribulation rapture.

A brother in the Lord frequently argues that the church will go through the tribulation. I hate to admit it, but a book I am reading takes my brothers’ side in this argument.

It is written by Rabbi K. A. Schneider, a Jewish Christian, The book “The Book of Revelation Decoded,” tells us that what we see as the result of the seals being opened in Revelation 6, are divided into two parts, the judgments, and wrath. The wrath aspect, according to the Rabbi, is attributed to the bowls that the Revelation tells us are poured out.

I do not know if the Rabbi’s perceptions are from personal study, or this comes from some traditional Jewish perspective of which I am not aware. I have an inquiring mind, and I need to know. Lacking sufficient evidence about ancestral beliefs, I will look into the Biblical wording about these events more closely. You see, I do not think that a reasonable man should argue with scripture, and that is what we may be seeing here. The result, this division of horrors that God is going to pour out upon the Earth may be the Rabbis attempt to avoid and work around New Testament passages such as Romans 5:8-10.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Romans 5:8-10 NASB)

If I was the argumentative type, I could say, Romans 5:8-10 also speaks of eternity, as it too is salvation. The problem with that kind of thinking is that we are making God out to be very obscure, which I have come to understand that He is NOT. No, these passages are straightforward, and even more so when you look up in a concordance the meanings of the simplest of words, like saved.

Alright, what about this passage.
For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.” (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 NASB)
Here, Paul speaks about how they turned to God; ceased to serve idols, and now serve a living and true God. But Paul is also addressing how they, too, know that there is a hope of a future with Christ in a peaceful eternity. And, because of that hope, they now wait (as if in intermission) for Jesus Christ, the Son; whom God raised from the dead, and who rescues us from the wrath to come.
This waiting is not one where you do nothing but lie around getting fat; we are proactive, encouraging others in the faith and hope. 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 demonstrates that they comprehended how and why a person could have this kind of understanding. Lacking such information makes this life in Christ nothing more than a vague assumption.

In trying to argue against a mid-tribulation rapture of the church, here are some of the points I try to make.

  • We, as a church, have created our own problems on this issue, and here is why.

We use the word tribulation as though it is trivial; and, we use it to describe everything – including God’s wrath, that seven-year period that we see in the Revelation.

What do I mean by trivial? Some of us think it is tribulation if you have to put a new propeller on your ski boat to get more speed out of it. Try having your family blown up in front of you as you attempt to worship the Lord.
Jesus told us, in this world, you will have tribulations, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world. An understanding that griefs are going to come, on a daily basis, is necessary information; it is information that lets me know horrendous things have the potential of coming merely because I follow Christ (I suppose the reality of a statement like this means you are proactive in your beliefs and others know what you stand for. Note, most of the problems Jesus had while he walked this Earth, came from RELIGIOUS folk, but it does not exclude the random drive-by shooting that takes the life of an innocent young science major, and a young father to be.)

  • We ignore passages, such as the ones I pointed out above. 1Thessalonians 1: 9-10; Romans 5:8-10. And, we ignore Jesus words when he says,

What a terrible time it will be for pregnant women and nursing mothers! For there will be great distress in the Land and judgment on the people. (Luke 21:23 CJB)
Here, in The Complete Jewish Bible, they use the word judgment and not wrath; however, the NASB uses the word wrath.

Wrath/judgment is the Greek word orgē and means desire (as a reaching forth or the excitement of the mind), that is, (by analogy) violent passion (ire, or [justifiable] abhorrence); by implication punishment: – anger, indignation, vengeance, wrath.

If I am going to try to assess proper usage for one or more of the words that can be used to define orgē, then I have to look at the context. So let’s use passion as a test. Passion is a feeling of warmth and emotion toward something or someone. We often associate passion with love; however, my college professor had a passion for plants, and I could definitely tell that there were plants he dearly loved – like Japanese Maples. God, it would seem, has a passion for those He has chosen, even if means judging and punishing them for their refusal of Him and their choice to follow other gods.

This judgment is also directed at the nations (those outside of Judaism) because the nations have done their fair share of killing God’s people and ignoring God. So it is easy for me to see that God’s orgē is certainly one of anger, indignation, vengeance, and wrath. In other words, a violent and justifiable passion, that looks a lot like wrath.

What else did Jesus say about wrath and judgment?
“Whoever trusts in the Son has eternal life. But whoever disobeys the Son will not see that life but remains subject to God’s wrath.” (John 3:36 CJB)

Jesus said these words while standing amid religious Jews – (Scribes, Sadducees, and Pharisees.) These Jews, in general, did not trust the Son.

Some might say, how do you know that? Matthew chapter two records that someone reported to King Herod, that a large caravan of Magi, were coming from the East. Just the sight of these men and the potential message they could bring, caused Herod grief, so when they arrived and began asking around, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” Herod immediately summoned the Jewish elders and experts in the Torah and inquired who was this King of the Jews that had been born. The elders answered promptly, for they knew with precision what the scriptures said about Jesus being born in Bethlehem and when. But did they follow after Him, as these Magi did? Not a chance.

John 3:36 states that,
“Whoever trusts in the Son has eternal life.”
Are there any assertions in the passage, as to what that eternal life encompasses? Not in this part and not at first glance. You have to pay attention to the context.
“But whoever disobeys the Son will not see that life but remains subject to God’s wrath.”
In the second half of the verse, we have those who are disobeying the Son. This disobedience is a direct correlation to God’s chosen people. Fortunately, we who are “in Him” through adoption, are also God’s chosen. The difference is that we have put our trust in the Son, and therefore have this eternal life. Disobedience, it seems, subjects you to God’s wrath. And, there is the implication that these disobedient ones never put their trust in Him. So I could say that trusting in Him eliminates the threat of wrath.

And then, there is Paul’s assertions in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
Now, brothers, we want you to know the truth about those who have died; otherwise, you might become sad the way other people do who have nothing to hope for. For since we believe that Yeshua died and rose again, we also believe that in the same way God, through Yeshua, will take with him those who have died. When we say this, we base it on the Lord’s own word: we who remain alive when the Lord comes will certainly not take precedence over those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a rousing cry, with a call from one of the ruling angels, and with God’s shofar; those who died united with the Messiah will be the first to rise; then we who are left still alive will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we will always be with the Lord. (1Th_4:13-17 CJB)

There is an interesting statement in the middle of this paragraph, and it goes like this:
“When we say this, we base it on the Lord’s own word: we who remain alive when the Lord comes will certainly not take precedence over those who have died.”

Since Paul did not hang out with Christ he would, therefore, have to be trusting what at least one of the disciples told him; that, or we have to assume that Christ, perhaps on the Damascus road, explained in detail all the things He told the disciples. This idea of the Damascus road event plays into the descriptions from many who have died and come back from the dead; they explain how there was an immediate download of information.

While that’s a fascinating theory scripture tells us that testimony has to be at the hand of two or three witnesses.

Do we have those witnesses? It would seem so.

Does what they say align with scripture? Now that becomes a problem. Because much of what we understand comes from the mouth of Jesus, or we are merely accepting tradition. So, while it sounds good and reasonable, I can’t make a doctrine out of a dead persons testimony.

So what did Jesus say, and how can we be sure?

There are apparently, only two references in the NT, and John 11:25-26 is one of them.
Yeshua said to her, “I AM the Resurrection and the Life! Whoever puts his trust in me will live, even if he dies; and everyone living and trusting in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 CJB)

And in 1Thessalonians 4:13, there is a reference to the fact that anyone who puts their trust in Jesus, will live, even if they die. Jesus took it one step further when he said, as if from another angle, “everyone living and trusting in me, will never die.”

Questions and answers:
What do I make of a statement like, everyone trusting in me, will never die?

A believer never dies spiritually. Although, the reality is that no human ever really dies. Death then is merely a permanent separation from God, and that is what we see in the final judgment. an intentional break in the relationship, could easily be seen as a form of death (this break in the relationship is not on God’s part, and there is nothing set in stone until that final day, although the enemy would like you to believe that.)

This idea of spiritual death is another point that many would argue.

Consider what Adam put himself through in the garden. Having heard and ignored God’s directive about “that tree,” he watches the only woman he has ever known eat a fruit, that causes death. Rather blunt, but true. Adam, having listened to everything the serpent said to her, watches to see what would happen. For all he knows, death is immediate, but then, they had never experienced the death (as far as we know,) of anything. What Adam cannot see is what is going on inside her spirit; nor can he see the cellular effects on her body (this is not a movie where someone ancient has been kept alive and looking young through the “magic” of makeup. So that when death comes they disintegrate into a pile of ashes.)

Can the physical body die?

Indeed, and many have, but many, having put their trust in Christ (we see this even in the OT,) will not be hindered by timing issues or the quantity of dirt piled above you, when the call comes. Perhaps because they have a few extra feet to travel, they will lift off first and we, who are alive, will rise with them.

Then where are these dead in Christ now?

Paul did not tell us directly, but the credible argument is, that when you are absent from the body – dead, then you are present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:8.

Based on Paul’s presentation, we can understand that physical death puts you immediately in the presence of the Lord.

Another thing to look at is the statement we find in 1Thessalonians 4:16.
“For the Lord, Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.”

It would be rare to find a reference to some aspect of the Lord’s return, or, the Day of the Lord, without a corresponding scriptural background in the OT. Jesus, in Acts chapter one, told the disciples that He would come back again for them, just as He left. The correlation is found in Zechariah 14, where we see Jesus returning to the Mount of Olives and physically touching back down; this is dramatically different from the catching away of the church, for when He comes for His church He will not physically touch down, but we will be gathered to Him in the air, in the clouds.

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In attempting to understand God’s wrath I did an in-depth study on the seals, trumpets, and bowl judgments. Part one – the seals and the brief interlude.

Right off the bat, I have to warn you, this study is eight pages long.

I am used to reading my own work, and I can fly through it, and it makes sense to me, but I work very hard at making my posts readable. In comparison, a book study that I am involved in is using an author who writes in a style that I equate to getting your teeth pulled; it is painful, and that particular author has to keep working over a subject matter when I, the reader am ready to move on.

Enough warning, let’s dive in as I attempt to understand the time of wrath.

Seals, trumpets, and bowls – Who, what, when, where, and how.

All this has a context, which begins with the end; the end of the Church age, that is. Revelation chapter three ends with a commentary on the last church age, the Laodicean church. Physically, this church is long gone, but spiritually, it is us. We have lost our first love, and many of us should take this as a warning.

Revelationchapter four opens with, “after these things.” The things are the churches. Why say after? Because Jesus would have returned and, we, the church, are caught up to meet Him in the air, ever to live forever with Him.

Chapter five of the Revelation has John looking at the sealed scrolled and lamenting, as are the others because no one can open the seals. At this point, the Lamb – looking as though it had been slain walks on the scene. 

That lamb is none other than Jesus Christ.

John 1:29 AMPC  The next day, John saw Jesus coming to him and said, Look! There is the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world! [Exo 12:3; Isa 53:7]

Isaiah 53:7 AMPC  He was oppressed, [yet when] He was afflicted, He was submissive and opened not His mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep, before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth.

While all we know, at this point, is that there is a scroll with seven seals. The seventh seal opens the arrival of the seven trumpets, and the seventh trumpet unleashes some extra things and the seven bowls. The seven bowls are the last of God’s wrath, and brings Jesus, riding upon a white horse into the scenario, where He administers a swift and deadly justice. With the end of God’s anger being poured out, the millennial reign is set to begin.

So, with that, let’s see if we can define these events. (Yes, I jumped the gun and posted a detailed look at the first seal already, but bear with me.)

The first seal – The Antichrist

Revelation 6:1-2 AMPC  THEN I saw as the Lamb broke open one of the seven seals, and as if in a voice of thunder I heard one of the four living creatures call out, Come!  (2)  And I looked and saw there a white horse whose rider carried a bow. And a crown was given him, and he rode forth conquering and to conquer.

Pay attention – A rider on a white horse, carrying a bow, symbolic of war, but the rider has no arrows. This rider also has a crown, symbolic of authority and rulership.

There is one ideology in the world right now that fulfills both of these characteristics, and that is Islam. They claim to be the religion of peace, but peace is only achieved when all bow before Allah, the ruling authority, pledging allegiance. What I am telling you, is a clearly stated goal and purpose of Islam.

So what is Islam doing as we speak, conquering, just as the Qu’ran describes?

A white horse. In Zechariah 6:1-8, we have red, black, white, and grizzled bay horses like the four winds of heaven, ministers to do God’s will. White seems to be the color of victory (cf. the white horse of the Persian Kings) like the white horse ridden by the Roman conqueror in a triumphant procession. RWP

It was interesting to find out that the former leader of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, frequently portrayed himself as this rider.

The second seal – War and murder

Revelation 6:3-4 AMPC  And when He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature call out, Come!  (4)  And another horse came out, flaming red. And its rider was empowered to take the peace from the earth so that men slaughtered one another, and he was given a huge sword.

The NASB implies that this rider takes peace from the earth and that men would slay each other with the sword. “Its rider was given the power to take peace away from the earth and make people slaughter each other.” They are both correct. Being given the power to take away peace does not mean that you do. However, both translations convey violent and bloody imagery. One correctly describes making people slaughter each other with the sword. If, as I have stated on many occasions, this is Islam, their primary means of death seem to be the sword and bombs. These weapons are not only directed at those they deem infidels but each other as well – this killing of each other is Biblical and can be found in references to the descendants of Ishmael.

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.

None of this excludes the bully factor and the general passion many have for violence.

The third seal – Famine

Revelation 6:5-6 NASB When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. (6) And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.”

Victims of the Great Famine of 1876–78 in India during British rule, pictured in 1877.
A family affected by famine in India.

J Vernon McGee and many others say this black horse represents worldwide famine. J Vernon McGee then quotes several speakers, saying,

  •   “in 1798, the Rev. Thomas Malthus concluded that “the power of population is infinitely greater than the power of the earth to produce subsistence for man.” His prediction had little weight in his day.
  • In 1959 the United Nations’ seventy-seven-nation Food and Agriculture Organization met in Rome to talk about “the fight against hunger and malnutrition.” At this meeting, Toynbee declared: “Sooner or later food production will reach its limit. And then, if population is still increasing, famine will do the execution that was done in the past by famine, pestilence, and war combined.”
  • Sir John Boyd Orr, at one time the Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, warned, “I shall finish my office by giving a last warning to the world. If it is not solved, there will be world chaos in the next fifty years.”

Even in the late 1700s, the elite was concerned about their ability to eat; that theme has not stopped, and we now have serious concerns about engineered weather. Here is America, we had the wettest winter, extending into early summer. This rain has decimated corn crops and ruined others. Now, once again, it is blisteringly hot, and new crops, if they were able to plant, are frying. Famine is coming; there is no doubt about that.

The Fourth Seal – Death

Revelation 6:7-8 NASB When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come.” (8) I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death, and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.

Let me get this straight. The first seal brings the Antichrist, but he appears to be coming in the middle of warfare, most likely with Israel. If this is the Gog/Magog war of Ezekiel 38,39, then those who are still here will already be witnessing tremendous bloodshed. Let alone, the carnage that the Antichrist will bring. The second seal brings war, murder, and once again bloodshed. The third seal brings about a global famine, and people will die because of this. And now, as though nothing worse could happen, this fourth seal, from multiple sources and reasons, brings about death to a fourth of the global population.

Death comes at the hands of humankind – utilizing a sword; famine; pestilence; and by wild beasts.

The Fifth Seal – Persecution of the Saints.

Revelation 6:9-11 NASB When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; (10) and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” (11) And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.

To show that Christians were murdered while attending church in Tanta.
St. George’s church in Tanta

Think about the process. Christ returns for His church, and many of them rise to meet Him in the air. The result of that is that WE then live with Him forever. NOW, when the church rises many who thought they should go, will still be here. That will bring about tremendous grief. The numbers will include many from so-called charismatic churches; many from the Latter Day Saints; many from the Mormon church, and sadly, the largest population of so-called Christians – will come from the Jewish community.

We are told that when the church is removed, that the veil that has covered so many eyes, keeping them from finding the truth in the Gospels, and Jesus as the Messiah, will be lifted. This lifting of the veil will come off of everyone’s eyes. People will come to Jesus by the thousands.

2 Corinthians 3:13-18 NLT  We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away.  (14)  But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ.  (15)  Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.  (16)  But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.  (17)  For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  (18)  So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

One more passage on the veil.

Isaiah 25:7 NASB And on this mountain, He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples, Even the veil which is stretched over all nations.

The Sixth Seal – Cosmic and ecological disaster.

Revelation 6:12-17 NASB (12) I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair and the whole moon became like blood; (13) and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. (14) The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. (15) Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; (16) and they *said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; (17) for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

A great earthquake

The earth is experiencing large earthquakes on a daily basis. One that concerns me, would the earthquake associated with say, the Yellowstone National Park supervolcano. It has a magma pool that seems to be about half the size of Wyoming. Something of this magnitude could easily put us all into a polar winter. Mount St. Helens in Washington State, blocked out the sun for days when it blew.

The sun became black.

Volcanic activity, either caused by a volcano or spewed by a volcano can easily block out the sun. Documentation on recent volcanoes has demonstrated global temperature drops.

The moon became like blood.

With smog and soot, we currently have in the sky, the moon frequently has a dark orange, almost blood red look about it. This could easily be the result of air quality degradation.

And, the stars of the sky fell to the earth.

What we call shooting stars are small pieces of rock or dust that hit the Earth’s atmosphere from space. But that is not what the verse says.

This would probably be a good time to interject some literary clarity. As Rabbi K.A. Schneider points out in his book, The Book of Revelation Decoded, John saw many things which had no explanation; John used terminology that goes like this, “it was something like,” in other words, it might like shooting stars, but could be asteroids, or actual stars falling from space. We don’t really know for sure. Just pray that you do not have to experience these events.

A brief interlude

Chapter six has ended, but there is one more seal to be broken.

The headline caption over the next few verses reads The 144,000 of Israel Sealed. This could be a major point of contention, seeing as the Latter Day Saints (The Jehovah’s Witnesses) believe that some of their elders are the 144,000. I want to ask them if they are all Jewish virgins because that is a qualification.

“After this, I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree.” (Revelation 7:1 NLT)

I am interrupting here because I have a question. What would happen on the earth if the winds ceased to blow?

Chuck Doswelli, a research meteorologist since the mid-1970s gives us an answer. He begins by saying, “This is a purely hypothetical situation, impossible ever to realize on a global scale.” Interesting how God is not terribly concerned with things like the laws of physics. Mr. Doswell went on to explain the hypothetical situation.

if the winds everywhere were to cease, the Earth’s unequal heating distribution would eventually result in a huge increase in the temperature differences between the poles and the equator, as well as between the land and the sea, eventually to the point where most of the planet’s surface wouldn’t be able to support life as we know it:  cold regions would become extremely cold, and warm regions would become extremely hot.”

And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.” And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel: from the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand, from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, from the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand, from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand, from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand, from the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand were sealed. (Revelation 7:1-8 NASB)

Things to note about Revelation 7:1-8.

  • An angel having the seal of the living God.

Satan also has his imitation seal, which he will try to get the whole world to receive, along with the worship of the beast (the Antichrist,) and to worship the image that will set in the rebuilt temple in old Jerusalem. (I said old Jerusalem because there is a new one coming down out of heaven.)

  • This angel, which may be Yahshua, says, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.”

The admonition is to not harm the earth, sea, or trees. Considering that horrendous warfare may have been going on the entire time, how would you expect the earth, sea, and trees to not suffer? However, this damage that is coming, is from God. Alright, another point of clarification: God frequently uses people and nations to bring about His judgments. Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar are just some of those examples.

  • “And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:” Twelve thousand were sealed, from the tribe of:

Judah; Reuben; Gad; Asher; Naphtali; Manasseh; Simeon; Levi; Issachar; Zebulun; Joseph; Benjamin.

An interesting thing, which I do not totally comprehend just took place, for Genesis 49, the first listing of the twelve tribes, reads like this:

Reuben; Simeon; Levi; Judah; Zebulun; Issachar; Dan; Gad; Asher; Naphtali; Joseph; Benjamin.

Did you notice the difference? Dan is completely out of the picture, and, Manasseh, one of Joseph’s sons has taken his place.

The most notable piece of evidence we have on Dan comes from Judges 18.

Judges 18:26-28 NLT  So the men of Dan continued on their way. When Micah saw that there were too many of them for him to attack, he turned around and went home.  (27)  Then, with Micah’s idols and his priest, the men of Dan came to the town of Laish, whose people were peaceful and secure. They attacked with swords and burned the town to the ground.  (28)  There was no one to rescue the people, for they lived a great distance from Sidon and had no allies nearby. This happened in the valley near Beth-rehob. Then the people of the tribe of Dan rebuilt the town and lived there.

The men of Dan took this mans idols and priest and made them theirs.

The next thing we see during this interlude is John’s second look at the martyred, in heaven, before the throne.

The NASB entitles this section: A Great Multitude from Every Nation.

Revelation 7:9-17 NASB After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; (10) and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” (11) And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, (12) saying, “Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever. Amen.” (13) Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?” (14) I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “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. (15) “For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. (16) “They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; (17) for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”


Posted in 144000, antichrist, Antichrist, Apocalypse, Assyrians, destruction, End times, Gog, invasion, Islam, Israel, judgment, mortal wound, one world religion, Our being caught up, Prophetic, rapture, Revelation, Saints, Things I have never noticed before, Thoughts, Thoughts on scripture, ungodliness, unrighteousness, wickedness, wrath. | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seals, trumpets, and bowls. An attempt to understand what is about to happen as God’s wrath gets poured out.

I meant to make a chronological outline to describe the judgments of God that begin in Revelation 6. This is what you get.

I am one of those people who always wanted to understand end times events (Eschatology), but the explanations I received almost exclusively used King James English, which only helped to cloud the answers or they were thinking about events based upon traditional teachings, [Consider that I was born in the early 1950s. The world I grew up in was shaking in their boots over the potential of a nuclear war with Russia. Part of the evidence for that thinking and fear was that Russia had placed missiles, which we all assumed were nuclear weapons, on Cuban soil – Cuba was a Russian ally then, and still is.] Russia, and the Roman Catholic church, then, as almost every prophecy teacher thought, played some role in end times prophecy, and they would go to extremes to show you the listener why.   

Something for your consideration.

Islam came on the scene about 670 AD after Muhammad received his direction and guidance from an “angel named Daniel” who choked him nigh unto death, as the angel convinced Muhammad to follow his instructions. 

As many of you know from experience and history, Islam has done nothing but slaughter people and grow in power; that is, until 1924 when the Ottoman Caliphate was crushed by the British (with a bit of help,) made illegal, forced to separate, and disbanded. 

What most of us fail to realize is that Islam never went away, and factions, under the banner of the Muslim Brotherhood, continued to thrive using Egypt as its base. In 1979 the US embassy in Iran was captured, and the Americans there were taken hostage for over a year. This event though called many things – such as the Islamic awakening. An Ayatollah, named Khomeini once again ruled Iran; and, it was now under a Caliphate once again. None of us here in the United States understood the ramifications of this event. During that year as hostages America was coming up on a presidential election; then-President Jimmy Carter had to face California Governor Ronald Reagan for the Presidency. What most people don’t realize, is that Ronald Reagan, the former actor, played several cowboy roles, and since old cowboy movies, with Farsi voice-overs, were the staple in Middle Eastern movie houses, the Iranians, and Muslims everywhere, feared the no-nonsense cowboy style which drew first and shot, then asked questions later. Within days of President Reagan’s election, the American hostages were released. 

As fortunate as the release of hostages was, something had changed forever, as Islam began the slow, tedious process of taking over the world once again. Why Eschatology teachers refused to look at relatively NEW evidence, such as the Islamic revolt, and old evidence that Josephus and Tacitus brought us about how it was Assyrians (ancestors of the Muslims) that brought about the destruction of the temple in 70 AD. Yes, as conscripted troops they operated under the Roman banner, but Josephus tells us that Titus, upon learning of their actions, attempted to stop them from destroying the temple.

Well that was a bit more than I expected to say, and it is not exactly where our study is going, but perhaps it helps to direct your thinking about the possible pool of contenders for the role of Antichrist as we go on.

As a lead into Revelation chapter 6, you need to know that at this point in the chronology, the church has been removed from the Earth.

The idea of the church being removed from the Earth is comprehensive, and should not be presumed to mean everyone. Pay attention to what Matthew told us, as it applies.

     Matthew 7:21 NASB “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father, who is in heaven, will enter.

What that means specifically, I am not sure, but here is one more example to confuse you – the parable of the ten virgins.

    Matthew 25:1-13 NASB “Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. (2) “Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. (3) “For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, (4) but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. (5) “Now, while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. (6) “But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ (7) “Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. (8) “The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ (9) “But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ (10) “And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. (11) “Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ (12) “But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ (13) “Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.

Obviously, there is a problem here. One might reasonably assume that the virgins represent the church, but if that is the case, then 50% of the “church” will miss the rapture (Many would preach a message like this for the purpose of motivating you through fear. I don’t see a need for that type of motivation, but I do want you motivated.) Does that mean that half of the church is going to hell? I don’t think so, but it would mean that they will have to endure the wrath that God is almost simultaneously going to start pouring out upon the earth and its inhabitants, including Israel, for rejecting Jesus and his sacrifice paid on their behalf.

You need to understand something.

What is coming upon the earth is WRATH. However, Jesus took all the wrath that our sin demanded, upon Himself. Those of us who have accepted His sacrifice – of His life and body, are deemed to be “in Him,” and therefore, no longer subject to God’s wrath. God’s wrath is the time period we mistakenly call the tribulation. Sure, there is a point within this time, in which it is said, the tribulation will be so great that unless God intervenes, and He does, that NO ONE would survive; but that is all under God’s wrath. Jesus told us that tribulation of various shapes, sizes, and pains would be a constant aspect of our lives as believers. Why? Because Satan sees us targets that look like Jesus and is trying to kill us.

On that note, let’s dive into Revelation chapter 6.

Seals; Trumpets, and Bowls. God’s wrath upon the Earth.

God’s wrath is contained within, seven seals, the seventh of which opens the seven trumpets. The seventh trumpet, like the seals, begins the seven bowl judgments. The bowl judgments, like hot tar being poured out, covers the Earth, and everyone is affected.

To get a context, Revelation chapter four opens with after these things. Since chapter three ends with the Laodicean church – the last church age, then the admonition, “after these things” primarily means the end of the church age; and, the beginning of the time of wrath and the migration into the millennial reign of Christ.

In Revelation chapter five, John sees a scroll, sealed with seven seals, and the awareness that no one is worthy to open the seals; that is until Yahshua comes on the scene. When He does it is not as the powerful king that He is, it is as the slain Lamb, the one who paid the price for us.

Jesus takes the scroll and opens the first seal. (This event and the character it unleashes is the first thing the world experiences after the rapture of the church. Keep in mind that what is released with each opening is an aspect of God’s wrath, nothing less.)

With the scroll now open, what is the first thing we see?

    Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. (Revelation 6:1-2 NASB)

This rider on a white horse with a bow in his hand is nothing less than the Antichrist.

Many have interpreted the bow as the gospel of Christ, but it is not. What did I say about the time period? It is a time of God’s wrath, and God, quite frequently, uses people to help carry out His plans; this is no different.

One more thing to consider, since Satan never made anything original, why would he start now, and this white horse scenario is nothing more than a copy of God’s intent and plan. We need to look at Revelation 19:11.

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

Jesus is the only one who is “faithful and true,” and, He is finally here to end the nonsense.

One of the names of the Antichrist is the beast, so watch what happens.

     Revelation 19:19-20 NASB (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. (20) And the beast was seized, and with him, the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.

So, there is no doubt that this guys reign of terror comes to an end.

What do we know about the Antichrist? A majority of our information will come from Daniel’s prophecies.

     Daniel 8:23-24 NASB “In the latter period of their rule, When the transgressors have run their course, A king will arise, Insolent and skilled in intrigue. (24) “His power will be mighty, but not by his own power, And he will destroy to an extraordinary degree And prosper and perform his will; He will destroy mighty men and the holy people.

  • An insolent king will arise.

Insolent is the Hebrew word ‛az and means strong, mighty, fierce. There is no mistake about this, this man is serious trouble, and should not be perceived in any other way.

  • skilled in intrigue.”

Intrigue is the Hebrew word chı̂ydâh and means riddle, difficult question, parable, enigmatic saying or question, perplexing saying or question. Most of us who experienced the Obama administration would probably define it as one of intrigue, as his spokespeople talked in riddles and perplexing sayings. It is out of these ramblings that we got the costly and useless nuclear arms deal with Iran; a deal that is now haunting us under the Trump administration.

He will make a treaty with many?

     Daniel 9:27 NASB “And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”

The passages about the “treaty” say absolutely nothing about Israel, and we should not assume that Israel will gain anything by this treaty.

My opinion: It is commonly understood that Islam only calls for peace treaties to reload their weapons, and this will be no different.

  • One week, in Biblical speak, equals seven years.

What a coincidence, as seven years is the length of time that God’s wrath upon the earth is supposed to last.

  • A firm covenant with many is nothing less than a realignment under the guise of a peace treaty. (Keep in mind that accords are most often made amid warfare.)

But do you see Israel’s name in there? Nope.

  • “in the middle of the week he will break this covenant of peace, and put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering;”

There is something blatantly evident in this statement. This guy suddenly has the control and ability to stop temple sacrifices in Jerusalem. The implication is that Israel is, to some degree, overrun, and the invading force is allowing them to function in the rebuilt temple.

But what if there is something else that is restraining this insolent king from this kind of takeover? Oh, there is.

     Revelation 11:3-12 NASB (3) “And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” (4) These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. (5) And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. (6) These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire. (7) When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. (8) And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. (9) Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. (10) And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate, and they will send gifts to one another because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. (11) But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. (12) And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them.

Does the Antichrist have a bitter end? Oh, absolutely.

     Revelation 19:19-20 NASB (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. (20) And the beast was seized, and with him, the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.

 With this, we will end the look into the first seal.

Posted in antichrist, Antichrist, armies, bible study, destruction, End times, enemies, Ezekiel 38, false prophet, invasion, Islam, Israel, Jerusalem, Jesus, Jews, Magog, Millennium, mortal wound, one world religion, overtaken, parables, Peace, Prophetic, Revelation, the nations, Things I have never noticed before, Thoughts, Thoughts on scripture, war, wrath. | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I was told by the Holy Spirit to share a very disturbing dream with you.

I am going to take a risk and give you a brief look into the window of my life. Perhaps this will demonstrate to you how I got to be who I am, and why.

Experience has shown me that being vulnerable like this does not always work out the way I hope, as some people will not understand, others will criticize, and there are always those who merely see people like me as weak, and someone who needs to be taken out of the gene pool. I call this process, being a sacrificial lamb. I do it because there are far too few who are willing to be open and honest about the pains and tribulations of this life. We have this stupid saying – what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. That probably works best in a gym, but there are events in life that can cripple you, and the reality is, it may take you years to get over the damage.

That being said, let’s get on with it.

Disclaimer – this post is not for children or immature minds.

Having said that, I want to tell you about a dream I had recently.

Get your minds out of the gutter because we are NOT going there, however, I will talk as plainly and openly as I am comfortable.

As a teen, my sex education mainly came from my peers. One of those peers was a part of the Danish family who moved into the house across the street. That boy’s father posted Playboy pinups from the late 1960s, on the walls of the garage; it also happened to be where the train set was. The train set was elaborate, with mountains, tunnels, and a small city that we worked on regularly; but then, there were the Playmates pinned to the walls.

As I look back and try to determine some of the times and events in which Satan and his band of demons/fallen angels, might have got their hooks into me, this was undoubtedly one of them. There were other introductions to pornography from other sources, but I can assure you that none of them gave me an appropriate perspective of what reality is like, nor did it teach me how to be intimate with a woman.

So when I got married for the first time, not only was I a virgin, but I married a woman who had already done several laps around the block and had, unbeknownst to me, great expectations of how I should perform. The short of it, I could never live up to her expectations, and, she had no interest in teaching. Therefore, she went looking for greener grass on two occasions, and I only had enough grace in me to tolerate one of those excursions on her part.

A few things I need you to know.

  • Religion can be nothing short of evil at times, and religious teachings were passed along that made sex seem like everything you were doing, even if it was with your own spouse, seem dirty. Distorted information will mess with your mind, and I walked away from that first marriage thinking that I was damaged and unable to perform. So, don’t get me wrong and stay away sane people at church, merely keep them out of your bedroom.
  • People, along with the help of demons, will try to cripple you. I will give some of these people the benefit of the doubt, and say that I do not believe their intent was not to damage or disable, but it was certainly meant to serve as control and restraint techniques. I say that with the background understanding that we – the church, tend to preach hell, fire, and brimstone, much like Television Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart used to do; and yet, two of his massive failures came through his usage of prostitutes. How odd that those who often scream the loudest about sin, do so because they are struggling the most. That crippling effect made its way into my sex life and my mind. Simply put, I have struggled with self-esteem for as long as I can remember, and the primary thing that has helped to overcome the struggles associated with poor self-esteem has been an intense relationship with Jesus Christ.

When I got involved with a woman for the second time, it was like night and day. The emotional strain that I continuously lived with during the first marriage was gone. This lady liked sex, and she let me know it. Sex was something her and I could communicate about, and the reality and understanding of Hebrews 13:4 became a reality.

“Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex.” (Hebrews 13:4 MSG)

To be honest, I used the Message translation as it reflected what my heart wanted to tell you. The reality is, we often heard the KJV quoted, and it reads like this:

“Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled …”

My take away of the KJV was that what we did in our bedroom was fine in God’s eyes.

(As long as there was agreement. Although the first wife never expressed much, aside from the fact that she did not want to make a baby with me. The second only said no to one thing, and I honored that – as I thought doing that was disgusting anyway.)

I am not kidding you when I say, an evangelist, who came to a church I was attending, said, you are sinning if you cannot see your wife’s eyes. It is odd how you occasionally remember something after such an extended period of time. Perhaps this is simply evidence that everything we get involved in stays permanently emblazoned somewhere in our minds, including pornography.

So, now that I have told you a little of what makes me tick, what about that dream?

In the dream, I was once again about 35 and married to the second wife, the woman who enjoyed sex. Note: I am currently married to the third wife.

This irritating dream went on for hours and having got up in the middle of the night at one point, I thought, good, this stupid dream should come to an end. It did not, it merely got worse.

The wife said to me, I want to have sex that is over the top, and so I want to do a threesome, and she named off a person I know. Needless to say, I was appalled. I stuttered and stammered, but worst of all, I DID NOT SAY NO. Nothing happened.

As the dream progressed, she was driving the car and as we drove past some apartments, she said, we will be having sex with the couple that lives there, and she pointed to a specific apartment. I felt like I had been slugged in the gut, and again I am not saying NO. I had asked the wife how many sexual diseases could we get out of this endeavor; to this, she replied, only one that I know of. My head was screaming, are you crazy, but again, my mouth was saying nothing.

I have come to realize that dreams are often mixed with reality, and the truth was that she and I enjoyed sex immensely, so I could not understand where this was all coming from. The sick side of this was that my mind was toying with the idea, and my tendency to act out of co-dependency was clearly disrupting everything I stand for.

(I don’t know if you realize it or not, but we are living in a world where people who have moral standards are, in some cases, brutally attacked.)

In the dream, some time passes, and we are now at a dinner party where most, if not all, of the people at this party, are from “the church.” Their faces have come from a multitude of places in my life, but the PASTOR who was there in the room is one that I have physically had some interactions with over the years. (As a disclaimer, he has never been my Pastor, but I know him.)

Here, at this dinner party, my wife continues to push what should be called, a swingers club, where we will go to a different home each week and exchange partners for the evening, or maybe just all crawl into one big bed. Everything in me is screaming NO; and, the feeling that I was toying with was, I don’t care if you are my wife or not, get out of our house. But again, I say nothing.

The Pastor at the party is now trying to motivate us all to take part in this sexual transaction and speaking highly of its benefits. There was a reference made to a tall, thin, older woman with gray hair; she, we were told, had excessive amounts of money, and how if we entertain her, we might get some of it.

(The realistic side of this person with money, is that some family members recently moved back to an inlaws home, with the sole purpose of being able to collect money from a man they don’t care for. So, Satan used an additional monetary ploy to keep me hooked into the dream. We all have our weaknesses, and the enemy knows you too well. He will use those weaknesses against you.)

At the dinner party, almost immediately, one couple, although it was notable that it was primarily the woman, loudly said NO. She told her hesitant husband to get up, and out the door, they went. Another couple that we knew had refused to come to the meeting because of its theme.

Then the Pastor aggressively started verbally pushing me to agree.

Finally, regardless of who I offended, I shouted NO, very loudly; launched myself away from the table, and left the room in a rush, without my wife.

Things, aside from the obvious, that spoke to me.

  1. I have lived for far too long in co-dependency. Co-dependency is where you allow the feelings of others to control how you think and feel, and this painful dream was mired in it.
  2. When I was younger, I had a book called When I say NO, I feel guilty. I may never get past feeling that way, but I am getting better at it all the time. I almost wish I could wear a shirt that says, “I am telling you – when I said no, I meant it.” “So, if you push me, trying to get me to cave to whatever the nonsense is, I may take the anger level up to at least a seven on the rage scale, and at level seven, the angry, green monster is coming out.
  3. There is a more profound, more sickening thing going on here. For most of my life, I have caved to peer pressure, and not stood my ground; especially where my own moral standards are concerned. And, there was a strong sense of disgust as I realized that I was entertaining thoughts of relinquishing my moral standard merely to comply with a wife that enjoyed sex. You see, what we did, as a couple, in our bedroom, was our business, but what she was asking for moved into the realm of perversion, and that is not happening in my world.

Needless to say, I woke up in a rage.

Shortly after having had the disgusting dream, I watched a trailer, for a video about Iranian followers of Christ, which are mostly women. They have an understanding, that once they walk out the door of their homes that day, they may never come back because they may be grabbed and made to disappear. This gets especially ugly for the women, as capture almost always means that they are to be raped, beaten, and then killed by some convenient form.

Immediately the Holy Spirit began speaking to me about determination, commitment; and my right to say NO.

If you know me, then you understand that I despise religion. Religion, although having some benefits, has done little more than put me in bondage and fear; and the “approved” teachers filled my head with false and misleading information. Because of this, my understanding of God and His Son were damaged. I had to make a determined effort to throw all those twisted notions aside, and rebuild, based entirely upon scripture, my understanding of who God and His son was. Because of those efforts, I see myself as someone who found Jesus. And guess what else I found? Jesus is just like His Father – loving, merciful, and full of compassion.

If you are not aware of this, then you are like the Ostrich which buries it’s head in the sand, hoping that the trouble will simply go away. It is NOT going away, and our time here on earth is growing short; the tribulations and fiery trials will only increase. True, we the church are holding back the Antichrist from coming on full force, but the day will come when the church is taken out of here, and the onslaught will become unbearable and unsurpassed in its horror.

How will you stand during that time that is coming if you have no backbone now?

Posted in antichrist, condemnation, confidence, Cult teachings, Deception, disciplined, End times, enemies, Faith, familiar spirits, forgive, grace, guilt, gullibility, healing, heart, In Christ, Jesus, judgment, Our being caught up, overtaken, Peace, recovery, redemption, repress, rescue, restore, sexual sin, Sin, The supremacy of Christ, understanding, ungodliness, unrighteousness, wickedness, Wife, wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints,” is this speaking of the Antichrist?

Recently, Joel Richardson, the author of The Islamic Antichrist; The Mideast Beast; When a Jew rules the World, and a few others, posted a true or false question on his twitter account.
This is a close approximation of what he posted.

“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.”

The question was asked: Is this speaking of the Antichrist; true or false?

On Joel’s Twitter page, results were indicating an ongoing vote. At the time I saw this message, 90% had voted true.

Have you ever heard the saying, if all your friends were jumping off a bridge to their deaths, would you merely follow them to their ends? Well, simply because the majority were voting true, does not make it so. I will tell you I voted false, how would you have voted?

I thought about the statement, aware that it was a quotation from somewhere in the Bible, but I wasn’t sure at the moment and did not have the time to look it up. I know that one of the major players in end times events is the false prophet; and, I understand how that in Islamic eschatology this man is known as the enforcer of Sharia and therefore commands those who will sever the heads of “Christians.” If there were a moment in time in which I could see a war against believers, I would think this would be it. However, that is not what the scripture tells us, and that alone forces us to do our homework and cross-reference. One of your cross-references will take you to Revelation 13.

There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. (Revelation 13:5-7 NASB)

The praying church is the one entity that is withstanding and restraining the Antichrist from erupting on the scene in full force. This restraint, we as a church apply, has little or nothing to do with the afflictions Jesus said would come upon the whole earth in the last days. These tribulations include the unpredictable and deadly weather we have been having across the globe.

You will hear the noise of wars nearby and the news of wars far off; see to it that you don’t become frightened. Such things must happen, but the end is yet to come. For peoples will fight each other, nations will fight each other, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various parts of the world; all this is but the beginning of the ‘birth-pains.’ At that time, you will be arrested and handed over to be punished and put to death, and all peoples will hate you because of me. At that time, many will be trapped into betraying and hating each other, many false prophets will appear and fool many people, and many people’s love will grow cold because of increased distance from Torah. But whoever holds out till the end will be delivered. And this Good News about the Kingdom will be announced throughout the whole world as a witness to all the Goyim. It is then that the end will come. (Matthew 24:6-14 CJB)

As the evening progressed and I was thinking about the response I made, a second post showed up on Joel Richardson’s Twitter account indicating that he had obtained the quote from Daniel 7:25. Translations of Daniel 7:25 vary, but the concept is still the same. I now had something substantial to pursue, and I began to probe the Bible application on my phone.

A short time later, Joel made another post to his Twitter account. This time he asked, if you voted false, briefly describe why.

I rarely do anything briefly, but as I began studying Daniel 7:25 in an appropriate manner, I found it to be precisely what he was trying to convey; a description of the Antichrist. Knowing that I had the time I began pursuing this passage in full detail – I can’t stand to give out wrong information, nor do I like to feel like I did not do an adequate job of studying.

Rule number one in my book: Unless I am very familiar with a passage, I will never simply allow someone to feed me one verse as though it means something in particular; that means that I look at the context. An example of this is the word “He” in the paragraph in the question above. Let me show you.

In the previous verse, Daniel 7:24, it speaks of ten kings arising. So, ten horns equal ten kingdoms, and perhaps, ten kings, and yet none of them are individualized, that is, until we get to this peculiarity – another will arise after them. We had been talking about kingdoms, but suddenly it becomes a he.

Daniel 7:24 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.

These days, there are very few countries, or nations, that are ruled by kings, and so I cannot cling tightly to a literal kingship. An example could be Britain. Britain is “ruled” by a Queen, but that is not even a true statement; Saudi Arabia is also ruled by a king. Saudi’s religion is considered to be 100% Muslim, while in Britain, you have the right to be a Muslim. Note how different these two kingdoms are.

Joel Richardson’s post tells us that “He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One.” This sounds very similar to Revelation 13:6-7

“And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.” NASB

Revelation chapter 13 is a very detailed version of Daniel 7:25.

So what exactly does Daniel 7:25 say?

” He will speak words against the Most High and try to exhaust the holy ones of the Most High. He will attempt to alter the seasons and the law; and [the holy ones] will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time.” ( CJB )

Eugene Peterson’s Message translation, says it straightforwardly,

“Then he will blaspheme the High God,”

If you find the idea of blasphemy confusing, join the crowd. Many people have come for prayer, whining that they have committed the unpardonable sin, of blasphemy, and therefore cannot be saved. Jesus explained blasphemy in the simplest of terms in Mark chapter 3. There, the Pharisees and elders had said, He can heal only through the power of Satan. Well, not quite in those words, but you get the idea. You get the sense that Jesus spun around, pointed, and said, NOW you’ve crossed the line with this blasphemy. So, attributing the things of God to Satan does the trick.

Daniel 7:25 also has some properties that are very similar to Daniel chapter 8. In Daniel chapter 8, Daniel is having a rather violent vision of a ram and a goat.

I looked in the vision, and while I was looking I was in the citadel of Susa, which is in the province of Elam; and I looked in the vision, and I myself was beside the Ulai Canal. Then I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a ram which had two horns was standing in front of the canal. Now the two horns were long, but one was longer than the other, with the longer one coming up last. I saw the ram butting westward, northward, and southward, and no other beasts could stand before him nor was there anyone to rescue from his power, but he did as he pleased and magnified himself. While I was observing, behold, a male goat was coming from the west over the surface of the whole earth without touching the ground; and the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes. He came up to the ram that had the two horns, which I had seen standing in front of the canal, and rushed at him in his mighty wrath. I saw him come beside the ram, and he was enraged at him, and he struck the ram and shattered his two horns, and the ram had no strength to withstand him. So he hurled him to the ground and trampled on him, and there was none to rescue the ram from his power. Then the male goat magnified himself exceedingly. But as soon as he was mighty, the large horn was broken; and in its place there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven. Out of one of them came forth a rather small horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Beautiful Land. It grew up to the host of heaven and caused some of the host and some of the stars to fall to the earth, and it trampled them down. It even magnified itself to be equal with the Commander of the host, and it removed the regular sacrifice from Him, and the place of His sanctuary was thrown down. And on account of transgression, the host will be given over to the horn along with the regular sacrifice; and it will fling truth to the ground and perform its will and prosper. (Daniel 8:2-12 NASB)

In Daniel 8:15, we find Daniel seeking an explanation of the vision; and, he gets one.

“In the latter period of their rule, When the transgressors have run their course, A king will arise, Insolent and skilled in intrigue. “His power will be mighty, but not by his own power, And he will destroy to an extraordinary degree And prosper and perform his will; He will destroy mighty men and the holy people. “And through his shrewdness, He will cause deceit to succeed by his influence; And he will magnify himself in his heart, And he will destroy many while they are at ease. He will even oppose the Prince of princes, But he will be broken without human agency. (Daniel 8:23-25 NASB)

So, again, we see traces of Daniel 7:25.

Here is a familiar passage to students of Eschatology.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 NASB (3) Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, (4) who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

I have already shown you Daniel 7:24 where we see ten kingdoms, and yet another comes out of them. Daniel and The Revelation refer to this kingdom as one man and calls it, he. Can you see any potential confusion here?

If I am going to analyze passages, then I have to ask if the “he” is a solitary man, or entire kingdom (in this case an ideology?) The answer is both. When it comes to the solitary man, this is definitely speaking of Antichrist’s role. There are strong suspicions as to who this man is, but no one can tell you at this point, who we are looking for. I can say to you with a firm conviction that this man will be a Muslim leader. As you continue to cross-reference, Daniel is one of those who inform you that the Antichrist will call for peace. We have always assumed that this peace will be with Israel, but look closely, for Israel is not mentioned aside from the destruction it receives.

My “brief” response to Joel Richardson, was a much shorter version of what I have tried to tell you.

So why the lengthy response? I wrote this because I wanted to point something out; that something, in my case, is that I allowed a false teacher to bring confusion into my life, to the point that I did not trust what I knew was right. Fortunately, this was not a life or death situation and I simply had to reestablish the correct information in my mind and spirit. Some might say, how did you let that happen? It happened because I allowed my religious upbringing, along with a man, who, under the guise of approved religion brought a consistent outpouring of dreadful teachings. The man in question, at his own word, had, at one point, obtained a certification from the Assemblies of God, indicating that he was an approved teacher of God’s word. That might have been the case at some point, but no longer.

I have come to understand that maybe I am not just talking to myself, perhaps this is you; but what if no one had ever pointed any of this information out to you, would you know if the information was true or false?

Can you now distinguish between the Antichrist and the False Prophet, based upon scripture?

Has anyone ever told you that Islam has their own eschatology and it parallels, in many ways, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Revelation?

Has anyone ever effectively told you that we, the Church, are the thing that is holding back the Antichrist from unleashing in full force upon the world? We do that by prayer.

The book that started this journey of understanding for me was The Islamic Antichrist by Joel Richardson. He laid out the information like no other, and I believe that he has been given to us for this moment in time.

If you have eyes and ears, then you are aware that we are in the last days. War with Israel will break out at any moment. Ezekiel 38, 39 tells that God will save Israel, but not without severe damage, by sending a firestorm upon a leader the Bible calls Gog of Magog and the armies amassed with him. Scripture tells us that Gog will be buried in Israel. I feel strongly that this firestorm will open the way for the last temple to be built, and along with that action, the church will be removed from the earth as Jesus calls His bride back home. These are not comfortable times for any of us, as the world is turning its back on morality and common sense. If you are a follower of Christ, then you have probably heard the warning, put on the armor of God daily. Well, I am telling you, NEVER take it off. Learn to sleep in it; wake up with it on, and clang all the way down the aisles at work. The atmosphere has shifted, and it is time for the warriors upon the walls to call out the warning. I pray somebody is listening.

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Saul, the witch of Endor, and one very angry prophet. 1 Samuel 28.

I get asked a lot of questions. Some of them are sound and reasonable, others, not so much. This one initiated with some vehemency about who the witch of Endor called up from the dead. Because the Dake’s Bible side notes indicate that this was a demon she called up, apparently several men bought into that lie. This was a study that I did on the subject in order to allay the false teaching.

The story begins by speaking of David. David has been running for his life, as Saul wants to kill him, but now the Philistines are mounting an attack and David has the fear that he may die at their hands. But this story isn’t about David; it is, about Saul, a witch, and Samuel – who has been dead for a period of time at this point.

I am using the KJV unless noted.

1 Samuel 28:3,4 KJV

Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. And Saul had put away those that had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land. 4) And the Philistines gathered themselves together, and came and pitched in Shunem: and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they pitched in Gilboa.

1 Samuel 28:5,6 And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled. 6) And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.

Nothing is working for Saul, not even the prophets.

Prophet – nâbı̂y’ naw-bee’ From H5012; “a prophet or (generally) inspired man: – prophecy, that prophesy, prophet.” (To put this in perspective, Balaam was considered a prophet, although he was much like a gun for hire.)

1 Samuel 28:7 Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.

Understanding terminology such as a familiar spirit may be beneficial.

The NLT translation tells us, “Saul then said to his advisers, “Find a woman who is a medium, so I can go and ask her what to do.” His advisers replied, “There is a medium at Endor.”

Unfortunately, simply saying a medium does not really help either, as a medium or one with a familiar spirit, covers two realms: the very real and often intense spiritual side, and the charlatan or fake.

The Hebrew word ‘ôb – obe has the implications of one that mumbles, that is, a waterskin (from its hollow sound); hence a necromancer (ventriloquist, as from a jar): – bottle, familiar spirit.

Strong’s tells us that ‘ôb is the same as H1, which is the Hebrew word ‘âb awb. This is the basis for the Greek word Abba with which we refer to God. The word ‘ôb also carries the implications of a chief and is apparently through the idea of prattling a father’s name.

To prattle is to talk too much on trivial affairs. So, in the case of a medium, they are most often deceiving you simply by speaking incessantly on nothing, much like an effective salesman.

1 Samuel 28:8 And Saul disguised himself and put on other raiments, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.

Why did Saul disguise himself? Because he knew the “Law” and, what should be done to someone who is a necromancer, or medium. Doesn’t this imply that Saul knew the potential that this person could really talk to spirits? If she was talking to spirits, who was she talking to? Demons/Fallen angels.

So, what then was the law?

Leviticus 19:31 KJV — Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.

Lev 20:6 And the soul that turns after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go whoring after them, I will set my face against that soul and will cut him off from among his people.

Lev 20:27 A man also or woman that has a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.

Deuteronomy 18:9-12 NLT  “When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, be very careful not to imitate the detestable customs of the nations living there.  (10)  For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering. And do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft,  (11)  or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead.  (12)  Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD. It is because the other nations have done these detestable things that the LORD your God will drive them out ahead of you.

1 Samuel 28:9 NLT  “Are you trying to get me killed?” the woman demanded. “You know that Saul has outlawed all the mediums and all who consult the spirits of the dead. Why are you setting a trap for me?”

Whether her abilities are real or not, her actions could mean her death.

1 Samuel 28:10,11 And Saul swore to her by the LORD, saying, As the LORD lives, there shall no punishment happen to you for this thing. 11) Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.

Keep in mind our definitions of a medium, and add to the effect that these mediums, put on a show to convince the simple-minded.

1 Samuel 28:12 And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.

Samuel is not what she expected.

1 Samuel 28:13 And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.

Saul asks her, what do you see. Here, in KJV, we are told, I saw gods ascending out of the earth. However, she only describes one person or entity, Samuel. So, did she other things? Perhaps. The AMP states, “I see a god.” The Complete Jewish Bible conveys that she saw “a god-like being coming up”, and the ISV translated this as “I see a divine being.” So which is it?

Unfortunately, Finis Dake took the liberty of placing a capital E in front of the word elohim, a word which means god(s), among other things. He also stated that since it was not GOD Himself, then it had to be a demon. Really, a demon would not have known or cared about the prophetic Word spoken against Saul by Samuel; and, now we have Samuel continuing to elaborate upon that Word by telling Saul that the kingdom is stripped away.

gods,” in this case, is ‘ĕlôhı̂ym el-o-heem’. It is the plural of H433 and means gods in the ordinary sense; the supreme God; magistrates; angels, someone who is very great, judges, and mighty (ones.) H433 is ‘ĕlôahh el-o’-ah and implies a deity or the deity:

This is the same word used in Genesis 1:1 CJB  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. If, the word elohiym can represent God here in the creation, why would it represent a demon in 1Samuel 28?

So the question is, what did she see?

We can’t exclude multiple entities arising, but she only specifically identified one, whom both she and Saul believed to be Samuel. 1Samuel 28:12 shows us the woman turning to Saul; identifying the disguised Saul, and saying what have you done to me. She knew. Neither can we exclude the possibility that she saw Samuel. This brings up another question, do we have any way of knowing if she had physically seen Samuel while he was alive? No, but then neither had Peter and John physically seen Elijah and Moses and yet, they recognized them speaking with Jesus on the mount of Olives that night.

1 Samuel 28:14 And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man comes up, and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground and bowed himself.

And Saul perceived that it was Samuel probably based upon the description alone. Did Saul see what she saw? Maybe not, although the Hebrew word opens the door to the possibility.

The Hebrew for perceive is yâda‛ yaw-dah’ and means to know (properly to ascertain by seeing); used in a great variety of senses, figuratively, literally, euphemistically and inferentially.

So, even though Saul may not have seen Samuel, he still fell on his face before the old prophet. This may represent respect or Saul saw something. We still do not have a definitive answer.

1 Samuel 28:15 And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted (disturbed) me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answers me no more, neither by prophets nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou may make known unto me what I shall do.

I can take this two ways. One is similar to the story of the rich man and the beggar Lazarus. Having both died we find the rich man (a Jew) in torment, while Lazarus, also a Jew, is comforted in Abraham’s bosom. The rich man calls forth, declaring that he is in discomfort and that Lazarus should go and bring him some water. Saul may be conveying a similar attitude. Or, the second possibility, is that Saul is at a complete loss as to what to do, and calling a dead man back from the dead is his last resort. (Does this seem odd to anybody else? What changed that might have prevented followers of Christ from being brought back from the dead? Perhaps the mere fact that we followers of Christ are in Him, and that as Paul says, being absent from the body places us in the presence of the Lord.)

1 Samuel 28:16,17 Then said Samuel, Wherefore then do you ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from you and is become your enemy? 17 AMP) The Lord has done to you as He said through me He would do; for [He] has torn the kingdom out of your hands and given it to your neighbor David. 1

1 Samuel 28:18-19 MKJV  Because you did not obey the voice of Jehovah, nor execute his fierce wrath on Amalek, therefore Jehovah has done this thing to you now.  (19)  And, Jehovah will also deliver Israel with you into the hand of the Philistines. And tomorrow you and your sons shall be with me. Jehovah also shall deliver the army of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.

This was not what Saul wanted to hear.

1 Samuel 28:20 Brenton  And Saul instantly fell at his full length upon the earth, and was greatly afraid because of the words of Samuel; and there was no longer any strength in him, for he had eaten no bread all that day, and all that night.

1 Samuel 28:21-25 NET. When the woman came to Saul and saw how terrified he was, she said to him, “Your servant has done what you asked. I took my life into my own hands and did what you told me. (22) Now it’s your turn to listen to your servant! Let me set before you a bit of bread so that you can eat. When you regain your strength, you can go on your way.” (23) But he refused, saying, “I won’t eat!” Both his servants and the woman urged him to eat, so he gave in. He got up from the ground and sat down on the bed. (24) Now the woman had a well-fed calf at her home that she quickly slaughtered. Taking some flour, she kneaded bread and baked it without leaven. (25) She brought it to Saul and his servants, and they ate. Then they arose and left that same night.

I had answered the question and it was clear that this was not some demon as Dake suggests. Obviously, there are no definitive answers as what took place that day, but we agreed that it was not a demon. However, one other thing became apparent as we studied this 28th chapter of Samuel, and I cannot remember a time that anyone said a thing about it; the witch of Endor was a Jew, for she baked the loaf without leaven. Give that some thought if you will.

1– I Sam. 15:22-28

Posted in 1 Samuel, bible study, caught, character study, deception, fallen angels, familiar spirits, gullibility, hypocrisy, King Saul, necromancer, Saul, Sin, Thoughts on scripture, ungodliness, wickedness, witch, wizards, wrath. | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

His invisible qualities—both his eternal power and his divine nature—have been clearly seen, because they can be understood from what he has made. Romans 1:20,21.

Although I ended on Romans 1:20 previously, that was several weeks ago, and we probably forgot what it says; besides that, it helps us understand verse 21 better.

Romans 1:20-21 CJB  For ever since the creation of the universe his invisible qualities—both his eternal power and his divine nature—have been clearly seen, because they can be understood from what he has made. Therefore, they have no excuse;  (21)  because, although they know who God is, they do not glorify him as God or thank him. On the contrary, they have become futile in their thinking; and their undiscerning hearts have become darkened.

I used to communicate with Pastor Paul Begley, but I don’t anymore as he has become inundated doing videos and speaking about prophetic events. His opening line for every breaking news broadcast is, “are you serious?” The implications are that the incident he is about to report on, is such a flagrant insult of logic and common sense that it must be challenged with a harsh reproof such as, “are you serious?”

Well, that is how I feel about Paul’s statement here, are you serious?

  • “For ever since the creation of the universe His invisible qualities – both His eternal power and His divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they can be understood from what He has made.

Everything around us, in terms of God’s handiwork, demonstrates both His POWER and, His NATURE. These two invisible aspects of God surround us. From where I live, only a few miles from the mountains with its trees, streams, and waterfalls, I can see the hills that lead up to the beauty that is hidden over the ridge. And then, there are the “natural” clouds and the spectacular shapes and effects they can have.

I accentuated the word natural, knowing that I really did not need to mention it, except that globally we have been inundated by chemical clouds. These clouds are the end result of those long trails spewed by airplanes as they cross the skies, at very high altitudes, on what seems like a continuous and daily mission. These “chemical trails” can create a spectacular colorization at sunset; however, they are incredibly harmful to our food supply, water supply, and our general health. (If you are interested, take the time to look up the incredible array of chemicals and particulates they are intentionally spraying in these chemtrails.)

The idea of seeing God’s handiwork in a pleasant outdoor environment has always been with me. Honestly, I don’t know if I would have come to the conclusion that there was a God on my own, as I can see the destruction in a piece of granite (Destruction is a concept that seems in opposition to creation.) So I am quite sure that my parents, by their conversations to and in front of us, must have imprinted this idea of God in the creation upon us as very young children because I cannot remember a time that I was not aware of God’s hand being involved with what I was experiencing. I also, cannot remember a time when I did not know God, and maybe that is a legitimate reason or explanation for my own understanding.

Raised in the church, I can now say that a tremendous amount of the hurt and injury to my thinking came out of the church, or at least from some twisted religious concepts that were shoved down my throat. My mother, God rest her soul, had some dreadfully, distorted legalistic ideas. She did not seem to have any concept of grace; I assume that because she taught us to pray a ghastly prayer that goes like this – “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord, my soul, to keep…” I shall not go on for it caused me, for years, to live in a state of fear that the slightest indiscretion would cause God to stop loving me and send me to a fiery hell. I learned that a belief like that is not valid, but it took me years to undo the damage and change my misconceptions that conflicted with this nature and character of God. Sadly, I realized that I did not know God; fortunately, all that changed, and, it evolved through studying on my own. The overarching theme I found, is that He is Love, and He redeemed an entire world through the death of His only Son when it did not love Him.

So, because since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power, and divine nature, have been clearly seen, and understood through what has been made, they are without excuse. But the question must now be, who is the “they?”

The Jews knew they were chosen, but that did not stop them from worshiping everything but God, nor did it force them to honor or obey Him. This information makes them the prime suspect as I try to determine who Paul is speaking of.

As I sat in Bible study recently, the leader used background information, given in the form of a commentary on the Roman church. The author of this commentary was Dr. James Dobson. It turns out that Dr. Dobson saw history as an avid hobby. The leader of the Bible study, following Dr. Dobson’s lead, talked about Paul being a missionary to the Gentiles. Think about how, in every town Paul went to – he went to the synagogue; is this where you ordinarily find Gentiles? Not hardly. Paul himself, tells us, that eventually, he did take his message to the Gentiles, but after the Jews stoned him, flogged him, had him arrested, and a few other things.

The Jews considered anyone outside of Judaism to be a godless pagan – a Gentile, and so a generalization is to think of the “they” as the Gentiles because the presumption is that they were outsiders without God. We, in the Christian world, adopted the word Gentile to mean non-Jewish believers. At this point, the generalizations point me to, not only the Jews but just about anyone else.

One day I made a bold statement about how Jesus could come back at any moment. An acquaintance of mine attempted to angrily rebuke me, saying, that is impossible because we are told that every human being would have to have obtained a copy of the Bible for the prophecy to be fulfilled and therefore allow for Jesus to return. Paul didn’t see it that way, and neither do I.

Verse 21 tells us:

Romans 1:21 CJB  because, although they know who God is, they do not glorify him as God or thank him. On the contrary, they have become futile in their thinking; and their undiscerning hearts have become darkened.

Again, I am dealing with this vague “they.”

The Jews did not gain the title Jews until long after the exodus from Egypt. Upon their leaving, they were merely known as“my people,” or the people whose God is named I am who I am. The name Jew emanated from Judah, one of Joseph’s sons. In time they became the people of Israel.

If I were to say, once again, that Israel saw the signs, I would have to include, the plagues God dumped upon Egypt as He tried to impress upon Pharaoh the necessity to let His people go. Indeed, these signs would have demonstrated God’s power. Was Israel awed? Hardly, for it seems but days go by when (a bit over 40,) and, while Moses is gone up into the mountain without food and water for forty days – not something normal men survive, when this group of people, who should KNOW God, set up the “tent of Molech”, one of the many items they happened to bring with them out of this Egyptian bondage. They enlist Aaron, Moses’ older brother, to make the statue of Molech out of gold – a statue that was designed to roast children as sacrifices – while they indulged in a sexual orgy dance-off as they worship the goddess Rephaim.

Now, in light of Paul’s statement, although they know who God is, they do not glorify him as God, who do you think the “they” is talking about? Again, this is not just talking about Israel.

  • On the contrary, they have become futile in their thinking; and their undiscerning hearts have become darkened.

Futile is the Greek word mataioō and has the implications of becoming foolish, morally wicked, idolatrous, or to become vain.

The Complete Jewish Bible tells us that they became futile in their thinking. The Amplified Bible, which typically gives you all the other definitions without the Greek word, includes vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations.

This idea of absurd speculations takes on a valid meaning when someone, whom you would think would have a greater understanding of God’s Word, asks absurd questions about multiple levels of hell or heaven. That might seem reasonable to you, but when you realize that most of our ideas about levels within hell come out Dante Alighieri’s book The Inferno, where he placed corrupt politicians, priests who should have been defrocked, and persons who had harmed him, into some form of disgusting purgatory.

Since Jesus destroyed the fear of death and took the keys of hell from Satan, then this is a non-issue. Any answers we have for such a primarily come from two sources, the story of the rich Jewish man and the Jewish beggar, Lazarus. The rich man went to a place of discomfort where he complained about the heat. While Lazarus was now being comforted in paradise. Jesus, speaking to the thief on the cross, said, this day you will be with me in paradise.

Does this place, paradise, still exist today? We, don’t know, and can only conjecture. A conjecture is when you convey that something is real but have no evidence.

  • And their undiscerning hearts have become darkened.

It is even more brutal than that.

2 Corinthians 3:14 CJB  What is more, their minds were made stonelike; for to this day the same veil remains over them when they read the Old Covenant; it has not been unveiled, because only by the Messiah is the veil taken away.

But there is always hope.

2 Corinthians 3:15-16 CJB  Yes, till today, whenever Moshe (Moses = the Torah) is read, a veil lies over their heart.  (16)  “But,” says the Torah, “whenever someone turns to Adonai, the veil is taken away.”

A little more proof.

Deuteronomy 30:2 CJB  and you will return to Adonai your God and pay attention to what he has said, which will be exactly what I am ordering you to do today—you and your children, with all your heart and all your being.

Posted in Apostle Paul, bible study, creation, Creation, forgive, gentiles, God's character, grace, Hell, Jesus, Jews, overtaken, Romans, The supremacy of Christ, Thoughts on scripture, ungodliness, unrighteousness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This is a brief step aside from my study on Romans to look, once again, at the Peretti book, Piercing the Darkness.

I have been rereading a Frank E. Peretti book called Piercing the Darkness. Years ago I heard Dr. Dobson interview Mr. Peretti about the books he has written because there was such insight into the spirit world, and Dr. Dobson, like so many of us, wanted to know how he came to that understanding. It seemed that Mr. Peretti merely paid attention to what the Bible had to say and added that knowledge to what we know about the spirit world from public information. Frank Peretti simply added a little color and background story of his own.

Do we have anything in scripture that speaks to and about the spirit world?

The answer is absolutely and overwhelmingly. Now when I say spirit world, I am talking about one-third of the angelic forces that followed Satan in his mutiny against God. We call these fallen angels demons, and it would seem that in many cases, they represent themselves to their victims as bizarre and unusual looking creations. I would not be surprised that the so-called alien grays are nothing more than fallen angel representations.

  • One of the most ignored and misunderstood is Genesis 6, where we are told:
      In the book of Job, Satan comes strolling before God, right next to angels, called sons of God, that did not fall. (Job 1:6,7)

      Nephilim – Strong’s concordance defines them as bullies and tyrants. The Word Study Dictionary tells us this: “These beings evidently appeared on the earth in the ancient past when divine beings cohabited with woman, and Nephilim, the mighty men or warriors of great fame, were the offspring. This huge race of Nephilim struck fear into the Israelite spies who had gone up to survey the land of Canaan.”
      There is nothing cute or benign about this story. Fallen angels somehow began propagating with humans for the purpose of destroying God’s plan. Nephilim where not just big humans, they were Titans, people that were the basis of legends. And, because of their insertions into the human lineage, God had to destroy everyone short of Noah’s immediate family. Read Genesis chapter six to get the full story.

      • After flexing some “Godly” muscle, King Saul outlawed all mediums in his realm. Later, when things were not going so well for him, he found a medium and consulted with her to call up Samuel the Prophet, from the dead. When Samuel came forth Samuel was extremely irritated at Saul and demanded to know why Saul had disturbed him and brought him up? You can find this all spelled out in 1Samuel 28. The Complete Jewish Bible says the conversation went like this: “Try to find a woman who tells the future by communicating with the dead; I want to go and consult with her.” I recently learned from a site called End Times Headlines, that a Baptist church in Texas hired a psychic and put her on staff. She, the article said, frequently consults with the dead, and reports those conversations back to the church staff.
      • The Apostle Paul also had a run in with a medium. Acts 16:16 brings her into the story. Pay attention to how she is introduced. Read Acts 16 for the full story on how they dealt with her and what happened to them.

      A spirit of divination. Literally: “a python spirit.” That expression comes from Greek mythology; Python was a snake that guarded the oracle at Delphi. Essentially, this girl was a medium in contact with demons that could supposedly predict the future.” (Read Deuteronomy 18:9-12) – (John MacArthur’s commentary)

      As you read this excerpt from page 191 of This Present Darkness, think about your governmental leaders, how they talk and act. Do you see any correlation between the description in the last paragraph and their actions?

      In the Peretti book, the current editor of the Ashton newspaper Marshall Hogan is speaking with the former editor of the same paper, Ted Harmel about what happened to him and why he left town in such a hurry. Ted responded to a series of questions, which included questions about the operations of the local university.

      Marshall asked, “wasn’t it the tiff with them that got you run out of town?” Harmel responded, “That was only part of it. I wasn’t controllable anymore. I got in the way. The network took care of me before I could hurt them. But there’s no way I can prove it. It doesn’t matter anyway. The whole things too big; it’s like a huge organism, a cancer that just keeps spreading. You can’t just go after one part of it like the regents and expect to kill the whole thing. It’s everywhere, at every level. Are you religious?”

      Marshall responded, “In a limited sense, I suppose.”

      This is the part I want to pay particular attention to.

      Harmel replied, “Well, you’re going to need something to fight it. It’s spiritual, Hogan. It doesn’t listen to reason, or to the law, or to any set of morals but its own. They don’t believe in God – they are god.”

      Is this statement by Ted Harmel even close to reality? Yes, it is, and I will show you the scriptures that back up my assertion.

      First, Ted said, “It’s spiritual.”

      Ephesians 6:12 tells us: our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (NASB)

      The Amplified Bible may make this more clear.

      For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. (AMP)

      For those, like me, who do not immediately comprehend the word despotisms. Webster’s Dictionary tells us that it is: Absolute power; authority unlimited and uncontrolled by men, constitution or laws, and depending alone on the will of the prince.

      What’s the problem with this definition? It does not take into account that Jesus disarmed them all.

      Having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. (Colossians 2:14-15 NASB)

      If Jesus disarmed them, why then do we have such grief in our lives? Because Satan and his monstrous band of despots/fallen angels use deception as one of their primary weapons against us. Jesus told us that in this world we WILL have tribulations, hardships, discomfort, and a barrage of attacks from every angle; becoming a “Christian” doesn’t make anything go away, in many cases the trials of life only get worse. These fallen ones will be put away permanently, but not just yet.

      The character, Ted Harmel, continued to say, “It doesn’t listen to reason.”

      It” being the spiritual entity that seems to control, not only the people in this book but also controls people and power structures in the real world as well.

      Focusing on the idea of a spiritual entity is a polite way of saying Satan, but the glaringly obvious thing about Satan is that he is a singular entity – a fallen angel, and cannot be everywhere as God can, and therefore needs help. That help comes in the form of fallen angels/demons (they are one and the same,) and, by empowering people to act on his behalf. Some of those people, willing to work on his behalf, sit by you in the church (let that sink in for a moment.)

      We assume that an entity is intangible, but that argument goes out the window when some person acts like the devil. The Apostle John wrote,

      1 John 5:19 We know, that we are of God; and all the world is reposing on the evil one. (Murdock )

      There are many translations, it seems the majority took the easy road in interpretation as they use the phrase the whole world “lies in, or under the power of the evil one.” The James Murdock translation almost stands alone as he describes the world reposing most comfortably in the lap of Satan.

      (I am reminded how the world loves to refer to our relationship with Christ as a crutch. I suppose they say that because we have this innate propensity to limp back into relationship with Christ when our lives fall apart. While we may come back limping to the one who loves us, how might you explain your reasons for reclining in the arms of a fallen angel who tried to overthrow God?)

      The Ultimate Cross-Reference Treasury makes this comment about 1John 5:19 and the usage of the word Wickedness. As the translator Darby puts it, the whole world is seated in wickedness. Wickedness is used instead of “the evil one,”

      in wickedness”. “In this short expression,” says Mr. Wesley, “the horrible state of the world is painted in the most lively colors, a comment on which we have in the actions, conversations, contracts, quarrels, and friendships of worldly men.”

      Since we have ascertained that “it” is a spiritual entity, and that WE do not wrestle against flesh and blood, then we can focus our prayer attacks and come against the demonic forces that hold the people of earth captive.

      The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:24-26 NASB)

      Perhaps now would be a good time to point out, that though we may not be able to stop the demonic activities entirely as they work to bring the end into its fullness, we can, and do hold back the enemies actions.

      2 Thessalonians 2:6 And you know what restrains him now so that in his time he will be revealed. (NASB)

      Ted Harmel said, “it doesn’t listen to reason.”

      Reason – according to Webster’s Dictionary, means: The cause, ground, principle, or motive of anything said or done; that which supports or justifies a determination, plan, or measure.

      Lately, the leadership of the United States and the world have demonstrated that they are incapable of listening to reason. Long before Donald Trump became president, things happened that demanded answers. Congressional representatives, on Congressional panels, tried to find the truth about such things as: why did American Special Forces operators have to needlessly die in Benghazi when there were ample time and support to save them and the American Ambassador who was also inside the compound in Libya? We, the public, may have never known much about this event except that former Senator Hillary Clinton told us all that these men lost their lives due to the outrage of the Libyan people over some movie. Many of those questioning Mrs. Clinton avoided the issue and refused to ask questions that might challenge the powerful, former Senator Clinton. The questions they did ask were pointless and futile. I, and others like me, assumed that their actions were intended to block and interfere with the questioning process. Why would they do that? Was their lack of action simply meant to protect the democratic party?

      The former editor added – “It doesn’t listen to reason, or to the law.

      Romans 2:14-15 MSG When outsiders who have never heard of God’s law follow it more or less by instinct, they confirm its truth by their obedience. (15) They show that God’s law is not something alien, imposed on us from without, but woven into the very fabric of our creation. There is something deep within them that echoes God’s yes and no, right and wrong.

      If God’s law is woven into our very fabric, and, we still live in some form of disobedience, then it is most likely a choice we have made. There are, however, exceptions as most are blinded in their minds; I can imagine many reasons for this blinding, we see it all the time, as the love and desire for money drive many on their quest for pleasure and comfort. Others are caught up in addictions of lust, or its sister, gambling. Since lust is merely the act of satisfying our own desires, we could all, easily be caught up in that trap.

      And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4 NASB)

      The last part of the former editor’s description of “it” was to say that it does not listen to any set of morals, but it’s own. They don’t believe in God – they are god.”

      We should by now understand that the “it,” while potentially looking like a corporation, is really nothing more than individuals who have similar desires. You have to admit, and we can use Nigeria as our example, in that individuals, acting corporately, can be deadly, as “Christians” are being slaughtered with frequency in that country, simply because they profess a relationship with Jesus.

      Islam professes that they have a set of morals, as do the lavishly wealthy, but they certainly have no need for a God of restrictions that may try to tell them to stop doing what they are doing.

      To say they – those detrimental characters in the book, don’t believe in God might seem odd to some, but this breakdown of moral character has been a problem since humanity fell in the garden. Man has ignored the known and chosen the presumed, in other words, idol worship has always been there. Immediately in the retelling of humanities entrance into the earth, Satan, in an attempt to circumvent God and His plan of redemption, tells Eve, you will be like gods.

      “For God knows that in the day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5 NASB)

      If you think this process through, Satan tried a cunning play on words.

      Consider, that in the Genesis story we never see God speak to Eve until after sin came into the world, He only spoke to Adam (This pattern of passing along information also shows up in the story of Cain and Able. We never see God giving Adam’s two sons any instructions about the sacrifice, and yet they knew because Adam told them. See Genesis 4.) In His conversations with Adam, God must have told Adam all the rules, and it seems there was only one, to not eat from the tree in the middle of the garden. For all we know innumerable years passed with no problems, but on that particular day, Satan manipulated words by saying, did God really say that? How could Eve know the answer to that question? This becomes more viable if what I said was true – if what Adam had conveyed was true. Now Eve has to make a decision, did God say those things to Adam? Would Adam lie to me? What a horrendously painful whirlwind Satan creates when you allow him to play in your mind. With Adam standing beside her, close enough to hear all this foolishness come out of the mouth of the serpent, I can’t begin to imagine what Adam thought, and yet he stood silent.

      Eve is a clone of Adam; there is no mental frailty and Adam was an exacting image of the Father God. God gave the man control over the earth, and consequently, it was his responsibility to tell the woman, which he did. From what scripture tells us, the man Adam may have been here for thousands of years before God formed the woman, retaining that information in his head. If it played out this way, that conversation in which Adam told Eve of the forbidden tree was not one of dominance, for everything they knew and did was built upon the most free-flowing, trusting relationship humanity could have ever experienced, and their example was from God himself as He walked and talked with them in the garden. Since we know this was Jesus in a pre-incarnate state, it is easy to imagine the reality of that statement. Read Genesis chapter 3:9,10.

      So Satan plays the misrepresentation/doubt mind game that he utilizes on all of us – Did God really mean you when He said …? Of course, God meant it, but WE are broken people thanks to Adam’s sin, and that imperfection fuels our doubts. Eve, however, was not handicapped by sin; this was strictly a choice on her part. As I said, Adam stood beside her, and by his silence, he handed the earth over to Satan, and death came to all. The earth was cursed because of their actions. Death entered into the world. God had to kill animals to make clothing for them, and in so doing, taught them both how to make sacrifices to obtain a right standing with God. This was all new to them, but one thing was made clear, and we get a hint when He told Eve that one from your seed will crush his head. That head is Satan, and though this crushing and permanent removal is still a short distance away, it will come. As tragic and painful as this process was and is, WE who follow after Christ, have hope because that seed is Jesus the Messiah and I look expectantly for His soon return.

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      After hearing these words, I felt like I could fit in somewhere. Romans 1:1-20

      This study will look at Romans 1:18.

      Romans 1:18-19 NASB For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, (19) because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

      Now, if you are one of those that advocate that all sinners should be sent to the Great White and only find the portals of hell waiting for them, then perhaps this is for you, as the passage we are going to cover can give you that impression if you merely glance at the verse. But you should know me by now, as I tear everything apart, and we will do that; however, as I often do, I want to give you a glimpse into my life and hopefully make it relate.

      I recently had the opportunity to go to a men’s retreat put on by two Vineyard Churches. We had done something like this two years ago, and then it was titled “No Man Left Behind.” I felt like I got thrown under the bus, and I returned home as miserable as I came. These events, much like our relationship with Christ, will give you as much as you invest in them. With that in mind, I got to camp this time, and almost immediately, I decided to jump in with both feet; besides, the speaker caught my attention.

      The speaker was Dr. Eric Sandras (You can find several of his books on We were told to call him Dr. E, and we came to find out that he has a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Relations, and that he has spent nearly a decade as a Human Sexuality instructor at various universities and colleges. So, at one meeting, we had an opportunity to ask any sexual questions we had. You might think that in a “holy” environment we wouldn’t speak of such things, but our silence, discomfort, and false bravado along with our phony acts of sucking up the horrible pains around us, while trying to act brave is nothing less than passive-aggressive behavior. (Passive-aggressive behavior has been a lifetime battle for me, and, it is a battle that comes out of Co-Dependency.) The disastrous side of passive-aggressive behavior is that, like Mount St. Helens in Washington State, USA, you will eventually blow off that pressure with disastrous results. I know this from experience.

      When Dr. “E” opened the series of meetings, the first thing he did is read off a card that they use to introduce people to the church. It looks like this.

      Sanctuary Church welcome card

      After hearing these words, I felt like I could fit in somewhere. Since I am not in a position to move to Colorado Springs, I guess my mission is to make sure that others who correspond with this description fit in as well. Many will see a description like the one in the photo, realize that some of us are accepting those that are broken, and complain, loudly, that we are NOT pointing out their sin; how could I respond to that? Good lord, if they, in their broken conditions, are reading this, trust me, they know they are broken and thirsty; I know I did. John’s gospel tells us that Jesus had an answer to this.

      Now on the last day of the festival, Hoshana Rabbah (the Feast of Tabernacles,) Yeshua stood and cried out, If anyone is thirsty, let him keep coming to me and drinking! John 7:37 CJB 

      There were no accusations or restrictions on when or how you should come; He merely said come, and by your coming and getting closer to Jesus, the more you begin to look like Him.

      Another example looks like this.

      Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. (24) The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them. Matthew 4:23-24 NASB

      Matthew 4:23, though many see this verse talking about sickness’s for which you merely take some pill, it demonstrates the same attitude that the welcome card conveys, you are welcome here. Eugene Peterson’s Message puts it this way,

      From there, he went all over Galilee. He used synagogues for meeting places and taught people the truth of God. God’s kingdom was his theme–that beginning right now they were under God’s government, a good government! He also healed people of their diseases and of the bad effects of their bad lives. Matthew 4:23 MSG

      Jesus healed diseases, but the book of Acts in chapter 10:38 associated those same diseases with demonic oppression; however, there are, without a doubt, bad effects from our relationships and choices.

      As I sat through these meetings I heard things that my “religious” upbringing wanted to conflict with; but I also heard the Holy Spirit say to me, as He had done before, you relax and listen, and all will be explained to you. I don’t expect many of you to understand this, but I cried all weekend. Imagine a six foot four inch 280 pound bear of a man, crying. I had powerful men praying over me all weekend long. Some I voluntarily submitted to, while others just approached me, asking me if they could share what they had heard from the Holy Spirit, and then proceed to tell me things they would not have known otherwise. These guys poured into my life, life from the Spirit of God and spoke healing over me. For my part, I have to trust the process as I continue to put the Word of God into my life.

      With that in mind let’s look at Romans 1:18

      Romans 1:18-19 AMP For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative. (19) For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them.

      Having sat through the question and answer session, I was a little overwhelmed; in moments like this, I have learned to relax and let the Holy Spirit sort things out for me. I trust the Holy Spirit to lead me into all truth and to help me discern when something is not right. Simply because the topics are uncomfortable to me does not make them wrong, and this was not wrong. For several in the audience, the things that were discussed were pure ungodliness and wreaked of unrighteousness, why? Because, as I explained to one of the attendees, some people, with their legalistic point of view, are wound much too tightly. After coming down off the mountain, I made this same statement to my friends/accountability partners, and one of them asked me, what does it mean to be wound too tightly? Since I had an excellent example of this at the camp, I demonstrated what a brother did and said while we were there. We had been given ice breaker questions, and one of the questions was, what was the funniest thing that happened to you this weekend? While my answer was not funny at the time, several hours later, at lunch, I could laugh about it. Now it was the turn of another Christian brother from the church I attend. When he opened his mouth, he began an angry rant about how we were merely accepting people’s sin, and how none of the pastors among us were addressing God’s wrath and outrage over such sins. I happen to know this brother, and he fatigues himself fretting about sin; and, when he attempts to teach mature believers, they too have to endure his rants about sin.

      It is sad how many are focused on God’s potential wrath and indignation. As I said, with a simplistic read, it is easy to perceive Romans 1:18,19 as nothing less than ominous. So let’s tear the verse apart.

      • Wrath is the Greek word orgē and means desire, (by analogy) violent passion; by implication punishment: – anger, indignation, vengeance, wrath.

      If I substitute alternate wording in for the wrath, I get, For the violent passion of God. I always look at everything in light of God’s character, which is Love. Can God get violently passionate? Absolutely, and we saw this when Jesus took the time to make a whip and drive the money changers, and buyers out of the temple’s outer court.

      And the Jews’ Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. (John 2:13-17 KJV)

      The word wrath shows up in the book of Revelation in three chapters: Rev 6:16-17; Rev 14:10, and Rev 19:15. There is no doubt that God is angry in these instances, but the recipients are spelled out in scripture and have had their chances at mercy, no less than anybody else.

      • Revealed is the Greek word apokaluptō and means to take off the cover, that is, disclose:reveal. This word apokaluptō should be a familiar word as it has strong similarities to the title of the Revelation; here, the Greek word is apokalupsis but still means disclosure.

      To again substitute words in place of what we have so far, For the violent passion of God is disclosed from heaven, but for what purpose?

      • Against all ungodliness and unrighteousness. Well, that sounds relatively decisive. The Greek word for ungodliness is asebeia and also means impiety, and or wickedness. Impiety defined is ungodliness; irreverence towards the Supreme being; contempt of the divine character and authority; neglect of the divine precepts. Unrighteousness is the Greek word adikia and means (legal) injustice (properly the quality, by implication the act); moral wrongfulness (of character, life or act): – iniquity, unjust, unrighteousness, wrong.

      In continuing to substitute words and phrases into the verse, we get: For the violent passion of God is disclosed from heaven, against all irreverence of God, contempt of His character, and neglect of His precepts.

      The dictionary explanation of the word precepts goes like this: “In a general sense, any commandment or order intended as an authoritative rule of action; but applied particularly to commands respecting moral conduct.”

      We who follow Christ are deemed by God to be in Christ. This wrath that is to be poured out would have been meant for us, but since Christ took the wrath that we deserved upon himself, we do not have to endure that wrath. Here is where most have problems, as they cannot disseminate between the tribulations that are a part of being in this world and the wrath that is to come (see Romans 5:9 or 1Thessalonians 1:10.) The wrath that is coming is to be poured out upon the nations, the Jews, and those have displayed irreverence of God, contempt of His character, and neglect of His precepts. Sorry, you don’t get to stop here as the wrath is directed at particular people.

      • Of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, Suppress seems simple enough, that is until you look the word up in the Greek. It is the word katechō and means to hold down (fast), in various applications (literally or figuratively): – have, hold (fast), keep (in memory), let, X, make toward, possess, retain, seize on, stay, take, withhold. Thayer’s definitions indicate: to restrain, hinder (the course or progress of.) Take a moment to read Romans 2:8,9

      Working off what we have so far: For the violent passion of God is disclosed from heaven, against all irreverence of God, contempt of His character, and neglect of His precepts, of men who have restrained others from finding the truth, and in many cases have hindered the people from the truth.

      Are you aware that Isaiah 53 is a forbidden chapter in Israel’s Synagogues? What does Isaiah 53 speak of? The Messiah and the price He was to pay by His death.

      I was angrily confronted one day when a brother in Christ tried to dispute the idea that Jesus could come back at any minute. This brother in Christ told me that everybody, according to scripture, had to have a printed copy of the Bible before Christ could return. I think for some, this will be bad news, and Romans 1:19 is the reason why.

      Romans 1:19-20 NLT  They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them.  (20)  For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

      Creation testifies of God, and therefore, nobody will have an excuse as they stand before God.

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