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.

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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.

Posted in antichrist, Antichrist, apologetics, Assyrians, bible study, deception, destruction, End times, enemies, false prophet, false teaching, gentiles, Gog, invasion, Islam, mortal wound, one world religion, overtaken, Prayer, Prophetic, Revelation, Sin, strongholds, ten horns and seven heads, Thoughts, Thoughts on scripture, ungodliness, unrighteousness, war, wickedness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

      Posted in angels, Apocalypse, Apostasy, bible study, Cult teachings, deception, End times, enemies, Faith, false teaching, God's character, gullibility, Hearing God, In Christ, invasion, Jesus, judgment, ministering spirits, one world religion, Prayer, spiritual gifts, strongholds, The supremacy of Christ, Thoughts, ungodliness, unrighteousness, war, wickedness, wrath. | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

      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.

      Posted in Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

      Romans 1:16-17, I am not ashamed.

      As a child, raised in the church, the idea of being a missionary was shoved down our throats constantly. Being a missionary meant preaching, trying to convert all the people you came in contact with, and because most of these people did not go to our church, they were obviously lost and we had the exhortation to save their souls. (You can see a problem with that attitude I hope.)

      At one church, under pressure from a friend and the peer group, I became a part of the Sunday evening visitor contact team. To do this, I had to go through the short training that our church had put together; they called it the Roman road; you know, Romans 3:16 and others, where it says, God so loved the world and so on. I hated the home visits for the most part with one exception. A lady had filled out a card and asked for prayer; she was extremely heavy and had difficulty walking. Because she was one of our visits, I developed a friendship and relationship with her and her family and went back to visit several more times on my own.

      Overall, my public speaking ability was greatly hampered by introversion and childhood insecurities. We frequently got hard nudges from pastors and guest speakers, as they tried to push us to be exactly like them.

      I, for the most part, got over my insecurities, however, on occasions I still feel twinges of fear trying to assert its control over me. Fortunately, I have learned to conquer fears grip. One of those occasions came as I sat with a group of about 80 men to study at a church I was attending. The group leader got up and started introducing the speaker, saying how much he loved this guy, and then he called my name. I had no idea that we were that close. As I think back on that period of time I was also in a Celebrate Recovery group, and this particular leader would attend on occasions; maybe he heard me speak, which I did twice. Unannounced, with no intentional preparation, I chose to act like I knew what I was doing. In actuality, I had done the teaching just two days before on Sunday morning, so it was still reasonably fresh in my mind. I walked away from that moment much like Paul as he opens this next section of Romans, unashamed.

      Romans 1:16-17 NLT  For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.  (17)  This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”

      • For I am not ashamed –

      Ashamed is the Greek word epaischunomai, and means to feel shame for something: or to be ashamed. The Webster’s dictionary explanation of ashamed goes like this: To be affected by shame; abashed or confused by guilt or a conviction of some criminal action or indecorous conduct, or by the exposure of some gross errors or misconduct, which the person is conscious must be wrong, and which tends to impair his honor or reputation.

      Had Paul broken any laws of the local government? No, but he was going against the grain of the religious system. In heavily populated Jewish communities, the Synagogue elders or council upheld the law of Moses. Since there were laws that restricted work on the Sabbath, then he could have been punished for that, but as a rule, if you know Paul’s story, you don’t see him breaking Sabbath laws.

      Paul was an expert in the law of Moses prior to preaching this good news about Jesus as the Messiah. Teaching about, Jesus the Messiah, now that could have got him in trouble, as the majority of the Jewish community submitted to the council elders and too would have seen Paul as blasphemous for preaching about a grace-filled life in Jesus. After all, their hope, as a Jew, was wrapped up in sacrifices.

      This teaching of grace alone would have put Paul at odds with the Jewish councils, for there was an entire economy wrapped up in the sacrificial temple system. In time we do find Paul being attacked by an angry mob for that very thing, as this good news Paul preached set some of those who worshiped idols free; these were the same idols that many of the townsfolk stopped buying and therefore impacted a local economy.

      So, if Paul is affected by shame; confused by guilt, or has a conviction of some criminal action, it seems rather apparent that it would have been at the hands of the Jewish religious community. Paul did nothing to draw feelings or guilt upon himself in any manner.

      • Of this Good News about Christ.

      Prior to his conversion on the road to Damascus, the only thing Paul knew about Jesus was what he witnessed from the sidelines, as the Synagogue elders cried out for the Romans to crucify Jesus. Saul, as we would have known him then, probably watched as they hung Jesus on the cross. He most likely did not know that Jesus said he would rise again. Paul would not have been aware of the numerous miracles that Jesus performed; nor did he know or experience the unique relationship Jesus had with the Father God. (Why say unique, because no one spoke to the Father, nor called Him Father, the way Jesus did.)

      So all that Paul learned of this grace either came from the vision on the Damascus road, or the three years that he spent seeking God’s face in Arabia. Consider how Saul/Paul was a master of the Law and the Prophets; in practicality, he was working on his Doctorate when the Lord found him that day (They did not have a Doctoral system of education.) That means Paul finished his education in the deserts of the Sinai peninsula, the same deserts that Moses had to wander in, and, if all that Paul preached was in God’s eyes, reworked information, then Paul found the grace and mercy that he taught in what many perceive as the most restrictive books in the Bible. (This restrictiveness is why many will not touch the Old Testament.)

      • It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.

      The phrase, it is, speaks of the Good News about Christ. If time permits and God is willing, we will eventually discuss all that the Good News/power of Christ entails. Since we have Bibles, something that neither Paul nor the early church had, we have God’s Word in a nicely packaged form. If you are like me, then you have concordances and can quickly look up the most straightforward of words and find intricacies you did not know existed. And, you can cross-reference items such as the phrase “it is the power of God at work.” That cross-reference work will lead you to passages like you see below.

      While Jeremiah 23:29 speaks of power, the mercy and grace evade me. NASB “Is not My word like fire?” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?

      This next one is deep. 1 Corinthians 1:23-24 NLT  So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended, and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.  (24)  But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.

      In pondering these two verses, I see that the truth is all wrapped up in Jesus submission to the cross. Christ is the power and wisdom of God, that is a lot, and it is all that I need to understand, but that is probably not going to happen in the few pages I allow myself to work with.

      In case you missed it, this process of understanding happens among those called by God to salvation. This means you.

      Paul tells us in Romans 1:17 NLT, that –

      • This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight.

      Whether it is instantaneous, or after a while, we are made righteous. What does that word righteous mean? Webster’s dictionary tells us that it means just; accordant to the divine law. Applied to persons, it denotes one who is holy in heart, and observant of the divine commands in practice; as a righteous man. Since we are born broken thanks to Adam’s treason, it would be impossible for us to attain any righteousness unless something extraordinary took place. Well, something did take place, and now we back to Christ crucified. Christ’s willing submission paid the price that our sin/brokenness demanded; it demanded our death, but He died in our place and took the penalty for that sin away.

      Are you kidding me, if God made us right, then that means I am a free man?

      Well, yes and no. Yes, your price was paid, but much like my adoption agency scenario, in which God comes and pays for all of us to go home with him. The No side of this is that we still, in a sense, have to get off our lazy butts, put down the game controller and sign the paperwork that demonstrates our willingness to go with Him. There is no paperwork in God’s plan, as acceptance comes in the form of you, by faith, asking Him to take over your life and the mess you have made with it. If this statement were to change anything, it should change the way we look at, and speak to people, for they are all loved, welcomed, and forgiven by the Father.

      • This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”

      There is nothing you can do to make yourself righteous. I know, there are many religions that advocate works, such as Islam, but even they would not dare guarantee that you can obtain right standing with their god. It works this way in virtually every religion but Christianity. Sadly, because of false teachings and poor leadership you can find religious legalism in Christianity as well.

      An example of this legalism came a couple of years ago at a Sunday evening service I attended at a Christian church. The Pastor that evening said, if you have had a miracle in your life, then come forward so that you can pray for others; so I did. As expected no one came to me, so as I stood there twiddling my thumbs, the spirit of the Lord said to me, that lady. I pointed at her and motioned for her to come down front. There was, of course, some hesitancy as I am told that I can be seen as a big, somewhat scary man, but as I waited the Holy Spirit said, go get them. By this time she was gathering her husband and others to go with her. We all prayed as the Holy Spirit gave me the words to say to them. We cried, hugged and had a great time, and then they returned to their seats. Only moments later this tall, angry lady, came charging over to me and demanded to know who gave me permission to pray over people. I know what I wanted to say, like did you listen to anything the Pastor said? But I did not. I merely pointed to the Pastor and said, he did. She huffed and rattled on about classes that must be attended. I never attended those classes and no longer participate in that church. She, on the other hand, was laid off.

      Its all through faith and I have faith in the one who sent me. That faith also anchors me in the hope of an eternity of peace and joy with Him. I so long for that.

      Posted in Apostle Paul, bible study, confidence, Faith, finisher, forgive, Freedom from sin, Jesus, Jews, Mercy, restore, Romans, Sin, the good news, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

      He was reading a fictional story based on Revelation 13.

      Recently I turned to one of my “Christian” radio stations and heard Dr. David Jeremiah reading from his fictional book, which, he told us, is based upon Revelation 13. I had missed the introduction that he would have usually given, and so I cannot inform you which book Dr. Jeremiah was reading from; a strong possibility could be “Agents of the Apocalypse: A Riveting Look at the Key Players of the End Times.” Since Dr. Jeremiah wrote this book also, and it speaks of the Antichrist, a key player in the apocalypse, then it would be a logical assumption.

      Here is the problem; although he is reading a fictional story, he tells us that it is based on scripture. The immediate inclination, on the part of the naive, is to think that what he is saying is exactly the way this particular scenario will play out. Dr. Jeremiah, as I entered the radio program, was talking about a character, that in just a matter of minutes, is demonstrated to be the Antichrist.

      I get it that most choose not to believe how gullible we are so I will give you a powerful example.

      In 1938 Orson Welles produced and introduced a radio production of H.G. Wells novel “The War of the Worlds.” “The one-hour program began with the theme music for the Mercury Theater on the Air and an announcement that the evening’s show was an adaptation of The War of the Worlds. Orson Welles then read a prologue which was closely based on the opening of H.G. Wells’ novel but modified to place the story’s setting in 1939. The next half hour of the broadcast was presented as a typical evening of radio programming being interrupted by a series of news bulletins. The first few bulletins cut into a program of dance music and describe a series of odd explosions observed on Mars. The episode became famous for causing panic among its listening audience, though the scale of that panic is disputed, as the program had relatively few listeners. The program has become famous for supposedly tricking some of its listeners into believing that a Martian invasion was actually taking place. The illusion of realism was furthered because the Mercury Theater on the Air was a sustaining show without commercial interruptions, and the first break in the program came almost 30 minutes after the introduction. Popular legend holds that some of the radio audience may have been listening to The Chase and Sanborn Hour with Edgar Bergen and tuned in to “The War of the Worlds” during a musical interlude, thereby missing the clear introduction that the show was a drama; however, contemporary research suggests that this happened only in rare instances.[3]:67–69

      In the days after the adaptation, widespread outrage was expressed in the media. The program’s news-bulletin format was described as deceptive by some newspapers and public figures, leading to an outcry against the broadcasters and calls for regulation by the Federal Communications Commission.[2] Nevertheless, the episode secured Welles’s fame as a dramatist.” (Sourced from Wikipedia:

      When I turned on Dr. Jeremiah’s radio program that day, he is introducing a character; based on the description, he easily could have been an Archbishop. Given permission to enter, the primary, fictitious characters office he steps forward and presents his case for a one world government and its one world religion. The person that we will soon understand to be the Antichrist responds with, excellent, as he refers to the Archbishop by name. I am glad you brought this up as it is something I feel strongly about; we need to talk about this more, but I must go ready myself for a critical, televised meeting. Hold your thought, and we will speak again about this matter. Within minutes of this meeting, the Antichrist character is shot in the head by an assassin. The doctors at the hospital declared him dead as there was no brain function and the Archbishop was called to the hospital room to say a prayer over the man. As the Archbishop begins to pray some standardized prayers over the deceased, the Antichrist character sits upright. Much to the surprise of everyone in the room the man who was dead only moments ago from an undeniable and severe head wound, now has no evidence of any injury to his head. With several short discussions, we find out that the plans are already in place to mark the citizens of the world in a manner that would cause all to be subject to this universal mark, and the “beast.”

      While it makes for an exciting read, it is FICTION and must be looked at in that light alone.

      Since Dr. Jeremiah informed his audience that the story is based in Revelation 13, then it behooves to study this out, and that is what we are going to do.

      Revelation 13:1-2 NASB And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. (2) And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.

      Alright, in reading the first two verses, especially those which describe the beast, you should be asking, is there anything like this? The answer is a resounding NO unless the beast represents some other things.

      Here is a massive clue for you, in attempting to “interpret” scripture, there is nothing new under the sun, and so you should be able to find comparable scriptures to help you understand. Do we have such a thing with this beast? YES!

      Read Daniel 7: 1-8, and you will discover four kingdoms referred to as beasts; descriptions of the same animals that we see in Revelation 13, and the mention of horns and heads. The Jews gave considerable credence to prophetic patterns, and so should we.

      In Revelation 13:3 we see one of the many heads sustain a head wound as though it had been killed.

      Revelation 13:3 NASB I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast;

      As a child I can remember, while on the playground at school, learning that our, then President, John F. Kennedy, had been assassinated, shot in the head. It seemed that the entire religious world watched and waited for him to come back to life; not because they thought he was evil, but because he was so well liked. He did not come back from the dead, and so life went on, and everyone went back to looking for the next potential Antichrist.

      Another consideration for us. Daniel is one of the leading players when it comes to understanding the scheme of things in Revelation 13.

      In Daniel chapter two Nebuchadnezzar had a dream. Daniel not only told the king what the dream was, but he explained what it meant. Daniel spoke in a language that the king could understand; in other words, he did not get all religious and spout high church theology. Daniel started by saying, “that head of gold is you oh king.” Gold represents the noblest position, and although Nebuchadnezzar may not have been the noblest representative for God, he is undoubtedly a resounding message to us all, as this first kingdom was the Babylonian empire. If God’s Word is true and logical, and it is, then it easy to assume such standards for the other kingdoms as well, and Daniel told us that there were to be three more. Daniel and history have helped us to understand.

      In Daniel chapter five Nebuchadnezzar we must assume is dead and his son Belshazzar is now king. We learn that Belshazzar gave a great party, and God saw fit to provide him with a great sign, handwriting on the wall. Daniel was eventually brought in to interpret, and this is what he read:

      “This is the interpretation of the message: ‘MENE’–God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it. ” ‘TEKEL’–you have been weighed on the scales and found deficient. ” ‘PERES’–your kingdom has been divided and given over to the Medes and Persians.” (Daniel 5:26-28 NASB)

      Clear cut evidence that the second empire, or head, is the Medo-Persian empire.

      Wikipedia gives us this information:

      In 334 BC after re-imposing control over the southern Greek City-States, Alexander began his invasion of the Persian Empire by conquering Asia Minor (Turkey), then Syria, Palestine, and Egypt. He then invaded Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), defeated the Persians at the Battle of Arbela (or Gaugamela) and conquered Babylon.

      Thanks to history we can understand that the third empire is the Grecian empire under Alexander’s rule.

      The fourth empire is a bit of a mystery as the typical, but ill-conceived school of thought tries to tell us that we should be looking for a resurrected Roman Empire. The “evidence” they use to back their argument for this comes from Daniel chapter 9.

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

      Most attribute the title of “prince” to Antiochus Epiphanes, a Roman general who, desecrated the temple, but the scripture gives us every reason to believe that another temple (a third temple) will be built and that it once again will be desecrated.

      Another argument is one that ignores the historical record given by both Josephus and Tacitus and attributes the destruction of the temple to the Roman army, an act in conflict with recorded history.

      Josephus indicated that conscripted Assyrian troops, marching under the Roman flag, disobeyed commands from Titus to desist, and because of their violent hatred of the Jews, destroyed the temple. (Wars of the Jews, book 6 chapter 4.) This train of thought should help to undo the theory that we are looking for the Antichrist to come out of a restored Roman empire.

      So what are we left with for options? Some common sense and history can help us figure that out.

      After the death of Alexander, the Grecian empire dissolved under two remaining generals of Alexander, Ptolemy in the South (Egypt and Northern Africa), and Seleucid in North. The Seleucid empire took in the Assyrian empire which included the Babylonian empire, extended into Egypt, and North where they held allegiances with the Scythians of Asia and Southern Russia. Remnants of the Seleucid and Ptolemaic empires still exist today, as does the Assyrian empire under Islamic rule.

      Since this head is NOT a man, although it is definite that a man will soon step up and try to lead whatever this entity is.

      What then are we talking about? An ideology such as Islam, a fallen angel/demon that controls blindsided nations and people? In 1924 the world thought they had killed off Islam and the damage the Ottoman Caliphate was causing. Only a fool would believe that the Caliphate is still dead. Hopefully, I have given you something logical to think about and therefore make a proper decision as to whom or what this head that sustains the mortal wound is.

      Posted in Antichrist, Apocalypse, apologetics, Assyrians, bible study, dragon, End times, false prophet, gullibility, Islam, Jews, leopard, lion, and bear, mortal wound, one world religion, Prophetic, Revelation, Revelation 13:3, seven headed beast, ten horns and seven heads | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment