A massive earthquake, such as has never been seen. Rev 16:18 – 21


In our last look at Revelation 16, we saw a demon horde gathering all the rulers and their armies to a place with the Hebrew name Armageddon. I pointed out how this term Armageddon is only found one time, in one place, and that is here in Revelation 16:16, it is however a common term when you look up the term Jezreel valley and Meggido. Virtually every biblical battle has been fought in this valley, including the one in which Goliath was killed by David.

The NASB entitles this next section THE SEVENTH BOWL.

The seventh wrath event, whether it be the seals, trumpets, or bowls, has been the transition into the next event. The difference here is that God’s wrath being poured out ends with the bowls.

Revelation 16:17 NLT  Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air. And a mighty shout came from the throne in the Temple, saying, “It is finished!”

Immediately I noticed something different; the angel is pouring this final bowl into the air.

Why is that important?

Because humanity does not live in the air, that appears to the realm of the spirit, which has more reality to it than the earth does. While some might try to argue that we have our influence over the air because we have people living in space stations to prove the point. Fools, you are merely pointing out the extent of your pollution.

Just a side note to ponder.

Ephesians 6:12 NASB For 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.

Pay attention to the terminology used in Ephesians 2:2.

Ephesians 2:1-2 NASB And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, (2) in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.

Who is the prince of the power of the air?

If you said Satan, you would be correct.

The earth, with all its resources and beauty, has been the fuel for the damage done to the earth, the very thing that God gave Adam dominion over. Since Adam saw fit to hand the dominion of the earth over to Satan, wouldn’t it then be fitting to destroy this polluted earth and start over?

In Revelation 16:17, what does the angel mean when he says, “It is finished”?

The phrase refers to the end of wrath and that only happens when Christ returns as the warring Messiah, which is defined in Revelation 19 and conveyed over several verses.

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.

Revelation 19:14-15 NASB (14) And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. (15) From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the winepress of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.

Revelation 19:19-21 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. (21) And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.

It is done, and this is what happens next.

Revelation 16:18 CJB  There were flashes of lightning, voices, and peals of thunder; and there was a massive earthquake, such as has never occurred since mankind has been on earth, so violent was the earthquake.

Lightning, voices, and peals of thunder; what happened when God spoke words of affirmation over Jesus when He got baptized?

The people standing around there heard thunder, and we know that a couple of them became disciples of Jesus shortly after this event. Consider what the people heard as Moses spent time with God on Mount Ararat; they heard thunder.

Isaiah 30:30 NLT  And the LORD will make his majestic voice heard. He will display the strength of his mighty arm. It will descend with devouring flames, with cloudbursts, thunderstorms, and huge hailstones.

What is my point?

God has been trying to speak to people since the garden, but most only hear indecipherable noise and thunder.

As a result of this earthquake.

Revelation 16:19 MKJV  And the great city came to be into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give to her the cup of the wine of the anger of His wrath.

The great city” is Jerusalem. Some would have you believe that this is Rome or (a rebuilt) Babylon. Let me show you something.

“And I will give power to My two witnesses, and they will prophesy a thousand, two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. And if anyone will hurt them, fire proceeds out of their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone will hurt them, so it is right for him to be killed. These have authority to shut up the heaven, that it may not rain in the days of their prophecy. And they have authority over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire. And when they complete their testimony, the beast coming up out of the abyss will make war against them and will overcome them and kill them. And their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And many of the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will see their dead bodies three days and a half, and they will not allow their dead bodies to be put in tombs.” (Revelation 11:3-9 MKJV)

These two witnesses are the two prophets that God sends back to earth. Revelation 11:3-9 defines not only where these two witnesses are standing, but backs it up with the bold statement, “where our Lord was crucified.”

As for these other references.

“Also among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: The committing of adultery and walking in falsehood; And they strengthen the hands of evildoers So that no one has turned back from his wickedness. All of them have become to Me like Sodom And her inhabitants like Gomorrah(Jeremiah 23:14 NASB)

In the next verse, He directly calls them Sodom and Gomorrah, communities that had long since been destroyed.

If the LORD of Heaven’s Armies had not spared a few of us, we would have been wiped out like Sodom, destroyed like Gomorrah. Listen to the LORD, you leaders of “Sodom.” Listen to the law of our God, people of “Gomorrah.” (Isaiah 1:9-10 NLT)

Ezekiel has the strongest association of Israel to Egypt because it refers to Samaria and Jerusalem and these are central to modern Israel.

They became prostitutes in Egypt. Even as young girls, they allowed men to fondle their breasts. The older girl was named Oholah, and her sister was Oholibah. I married them, and they bore me sons and daughters. I am speaking of Samaria and Jerusalem, for Oholah is Samaria and Oholibah is Jerusalem. (Ezekiel 23:3-4 NLT)

Some would say, that was overkill, but I have experienced the arguments of those who reject wisdom merely because I left out one example or detail. So, in my mind, there is no doubt Revelation 16:19 is talking about Jerusalem.

Keep in mind the fact that this last bowl was poured out upon the air. It may not make any difference in the scheme of things but it does demonstrate that God can have anger and wrath. (Side note, He never pours out that wrath upon those who are His. This statement becomes clear when you understand that His nature is love, though it may not seem like it especially when there are laws attached to His actions.)

Consider, how we opened this look at Revelation 16, with a massive, violent earthquake, such as has never occurred since mankind has been on earth. Add to this the fact that thunderstorms, along with lightning, tend to bring about severe weather.

Revelation 16:20-21 NASB (20) And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. (21) And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, *came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail because its plague *was extremely severe.

  • Every island fled away,

  • the mountains were not found,

  • huge hailstones – about one hundred pounds each, came down upon men;

And what did the humans do?

  • They blasphemed God because of the hail and its severity.

I know I have mentioned this before, but an acquaintance of mine tried to tell me that this time is NOT God’s wrath. Oh, I beg to differ as I am hard-pressed to call it anything else.

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Only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law. Rom 3:9-31


Romans 3 opened with this statement, “then what’s the advantage of being a Jew?” To the Jew-hating racist, this rant is a part of their bye-laws.

It is obvious that chapter three opens in the middle of a conversation and I can see the need to find out what the conversation is. As chapter two comes to an end, we come to understand that the Jews received the law. Most perceive the law as an ominous thing, but if you take this train of thought back to the original ten commandments it boils down to this, love God, love on people, and do the right thing. Loving on people doesn’t seem all that ominous.

Did you ever wonder why God felt the need to “oppress” these people He just rescued out of Egypt with what eventually became over 600 laws?

First, it was the Jewish religion that came up with a vast number of laws. Secondly, in trying to explain why I think God had to quickly bring the hammer down on these people, I will be polite and say perhaps it is oppressive because anyone who reads attentively about this event in Exodus, which parallels with Stephen’s testimony before the Jewish council, as seen in the book of Acts, you can come to the conclusion that the greatest majority of them were effectively Egyptians and had NO understanding or faith in God.

If you read my last post on Romans 3, then you also know that they were not Jews. The entirety of the story which includes the birth of Moses leaves me scratching my head as I try to figure out how Moses’ birth mother was able to hold to the oral heritage, that at minimum went back to Jacob and his twelve sons. When I read through the chain of events that brought Jacob and the family into Egypt, it almost seems as though God dissipated into the background.

Assuming that you struggle with what I just said, consider the generations of your own family, where the great grandparents may have held tightly to the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, and yet just a couple of generations later the God of my grandparents is rarely mentioned unless it is used as a curse against another human. If it weren’t for God reintroducing Himself to Moses, we might not be having these discussions.

That being said, does being the proud owners of the law, capable of reciting so much of it, make you righteous?

No, it does not. Paul tells us that it is the doers of the law that are right with God; and, what a great mystery, like the Gentiles, who may not have been privy to these laws, still seem to obey those laws. At this point, we call this a moral standard and many of the Gentile world is living by it. Paul tells us this happens because God has written this moral standard – laws, upon the heart of every human.

How did this happen?

We are, every one of us, created in God’s image [This is the point at which many of you should start spitting on yourself as you try to disown and separate yourself from the God you claim to hate.]; and God’s image – His nature or character if you will, has that moral standard built-in. It is who He is. Wow, no wonder, even with all the evil you have done, Satan has been trying to kill you. You look like a child of God and you didn’t even know it.

With that let’s continue with Romans 3.

Romans 3:9 NLT  Well then, should we conclude that we Jews are better than others? No, not at all, for we have already shown that all people, whether Jews or Gentiles, are under the power of sin.

Notice that Paul’s focus is upon the Jewish reader who has accepted Jesus Christ as the longed-for Messiah. Just the fact that these brothers can claim Jewish heritage, for most, gives them a sense of pride and righteousness. [My Jewish heritage dissipates into the background because it comes through my grandfather, and for some reason, which I don’t understand, disavows me as a Jew.] Having excoriated this church body, and by extension the global community of Jewish believers, you are NOT gaining an advantage merely because you hold to laws.

Dare I say, just because Paul tore into them, then I get to be elevated because I too am a believer and have faith in Jesus?

Paul says, NO, NOT AT ALL, because we are all under the power of sin. I have actually sat in church long enough to get the impression that merely because I came to Jesus all of my nasty habits and the trail of carnage I created just goes away.

Are you kidding me, what did Paul just say?

all people, whether Jews or Gentiles, are under the power of sin.”

Like I have mentioned in previous posts, people in Recovery, even if it has been 15 plus years, know that the sin that so easily besets them is lurking out there waiting to lure them back into captivity.

Romans 3:10-18 NLT

(10)  As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous—not even one.

(11)  No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God.

(12)  All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.”

(13)  “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies.” “Snake venom drips from their lips.”

(14)  “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”

(15)  “They rush to commit murder.

(16)  Destruction and misery always follow them.

(17)  They don’t know where to find peace.”

(18)  “They have no fear of God at all.”

Well, that was discouraging and it is without hope. We will get there.

Romans 3:19-20 NLT  Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses and to show that the entire world is guilty before God.  (20)  For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.

So, we are all on the same playing field, and we are all sinful.

Romans 3:21 NLT  But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago.

Without the keeping of the law?

Hold up a minute. How did this law thing start? With ten commandments that told us to love God, people, and to act right. That never went away and besides, those commandments are a part of that moral fiber that speaks you constantly, whether you obey those laws or not.

So how do we get to be right in God’s eyes?

Romans 3:22-23 NLT  We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.  (23)  For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

Oh, and by the way, “this is true for everyone who believes,” because everyone has sinned and, therefore, falls short of God’s standard.

Perhaps another way of looking at this is to see us all as being genetically damaged. This genetic damage is undetectable since it is a common marker throughout the DNA of all humanity; and, few will contemplate the idea that we got this damage from Adam and that he became damaged by eating that fruit. Many refuse to believe that our DNA can be damaged or modified by something we put into our bodies – this is happening as we speak through the global mRNA injections.

Our situation is really quite hopeless unless we have a savior, and we do – it is Jesus Christ, the one who put Himself on the cross for us. He paid the sin debt and made us acceptable in God’s sight. As Pastor JD Farag of Calvary Chapel Kaneohe, Hawaii, says, “But God.” God is always there and has a plan.

Romans 3:24-25 NLT  Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sightHe did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.  (25)  For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sinPeople are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past,

People have asked, why didn’t God just destroy Satan, throw away Adam and Eve – as they were obviously broken, and start over?

The answer is right there in the passage above, and it has everything to do with this moral character that makes Him who He is, a God that cannot lie – and you will find no untruth in Him. Genesis tells us that God gave Adam dominion over all the earth. You will rarely hear anyone tell you how extensive this dominion was. Adam’s eyes were wide open when he handed control of the earth to Satan. Satan, from that moment forward, had legal control over the earth, and Adam had sinned. By God’s law, the wages of sin was death, and no one has been able to escape that legal demand.

So God, through the legal process which has been there before time began though not so evident to the Gentiles, inserted His Son into the earth, free from the genetic alterations that embedded sin within us, and beat Satan at his own game by becoming the unblemished lamb, the sacrifice for sin; and, rose from the dead to be the high priest that poured His blood over us, freeing us from the debt that sin demanded.

We are now free to follow Jesus back to the Father. Of course, while we live on this earth, none of us are free from death, but we will be once we are in the presence of the Father, and it is this change that we see in 1 Corinthians 15:52 that makes that happen.

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
1 Corinthians 15:52 

“ God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sightHe did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.”

Verse 25 states,  For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin.”

If you had not been walking through Romans like this, would you have understood that this is referring to Christ’s journey from the cross to the throne?

I am not sure I fully understand why, but occasionally I have to remind myself that the full journey, which was necessary for us, took Him into hell, and up to the throne room in heaven – the pattern for the one here on earth.(Hebrews speaks of this.)

Romans 3:26 NLT  for he (God) was looking ahead and including them (The Gentiles) in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

In speaking to the Jews he says,

Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith.” Romans 3:27 NLT 

Why would Paul feel a need to say something like this, unless it was common for the Jews to boast about how superior they were?

Who were they boasting to?

The Gentile believers who were a part of this combined body in Christ.

Romans 3:28 CJB  “Therefore, we hold the view that a person comes to be considered righteous by God on the ground of trusting, which has nothing to do with legalistic observance of Torah commands.”

Doesn’t it make sense, based on the terminology in the verse above, that the context of this letter, has in part, the heart and actions of Jewish believers?

Or is God the God of the Jews only?

Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles?

Yes, he is indeed the God of the Gentiles;” (Romans 3:29 CJB)

Even if it causes you to choke.

because, as you will admit, God is one. Therefore, he will consider righteous the circumcised on the ground of trusting and the uncircumcised through that same trusting.”(Romans 3:30 CJB)

The terminology “God is one, was a Jewish understanding.

“GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies enthroned over the cherubim-angels, you are God, the only God there is, God of all kingdoms on earth. You made heaven and earth. (Isaiah 37:16 MSG)

And lastly, for those who think that grace removes all responsibility from their lives.

Romans 3:31 NLT  “Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law.

Amen!

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What’s the advantage of being a Jew? Romans 3:1-8.


We have made it to Romans chapter three, and immediately there is a sense that something is missing, as though we drop into the middle of a conversation. Based on this introduction if you were to say to me, I don’t understand Romans 3 I would completely understand. Here is verse one.

Romans 3:1 NLT  Then what’s the advantage of being a Jew? Is there any value in the ceremony of circumcision?

Because, as I noted above, we are missing the context, let’s look at the context.

In fact, uncircumcised Gentiles who keep God’s law will condemn you Jews who are circumcised and possess God’s law but don’t obey it. For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the ceremony of circumcision. No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.” (Romans 2:27-29 NLT)

Why, would the uncircumcised Gentiles, a people group despised by the Jews, condemn the Jews?

Even I, a Gentile convert accepted into God’s grace and love by the sacrifice of Jesus, a Jew, understand that God came to the Jews first. Paul tells us it is because they did not obey the law necessary to take away their sins, at least for the moment.

The problem, for me, is that I don’t obey the law either; in fact, it is even worse than that, I can’t because there is something trying to push me to the dark side all the time, and that is why we needed a savior.

Paul takes this one step further by talking about circumcision.

Beginning with Abraham, circumcision was the sign of the covenant between Abram and God.

This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. “And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you. “And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a servant who is born in the house or who is bought with money from any foreigner, who is not of your descendants.” (Genesis 17:10-12 NASB)

A question, were there any Jews at this point, following laws?

The answer is NO, and there was none until several hundred years later, and they were descendants of Judah; and yet they followed God’s instructions to Abraham concerning the covenant, by getting themselves, their children, and Gentile servants who lived in their house circumcised. Their actions, in their mind, signified that they were God’s promised people.

Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision?

Great in every respect.

First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God.

[We have already seen that God initiated these words/oracles when he spoke to Abraham. However, Romans 2:13-15 conveys that it is only the doers of the law who gain a righteous standing with God; and Paul tells us that many of the Gentiles do that and they have never heard of the law. Why? Because God saw fit to write His law – all ten of them, upon our hearts.]

Abraham complied by getting circumcised as a sign.

What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?

[The NLT puts it this way,

True, some of them were unfaithful; but just because they were unfaithful,

does that mean God will be unfaithful?”]

(Romans 3:1-3 NASB)

It’s a rhetorical question, which Paul promptly answers.

Romans 3:4 NLT  “Of course notEven if everyone else is a liar, God is true. As the Scriptures say about him, “You will be proved right in what you say, and you will win your case in court.”

  • Even if everyone else is a liar, God is true.”

    Often our purpose in a study is to prove or disprove that a statement is valid or true. Job certainly does that for us.

    Listen to me, you who have understanding. Everyone knows that God doesn’t sin! The Almighty can do no wrong.” (Job 34:10 NLT)

    And though the questions come from Bildad there are still valid and true.

    Does God twist justice? Does the Almighty twist what is right?” (Job 8:3 NLT)

    The answer is a resounding NO. Sadly, those who ignore the morality that dwells will find out that He is just and true.

  • You will be proved right in what you say, and you will win your case in court.”

    Almost everyone struggles with this portion of Romans 3:4, and it just occurred to me why they struggle. We think this is talking to us, about us, and it is NOT. It is talking about God, His Word, and His actions.

    Virtually everything in the NT came from the Old and this line that Paul speaks sounds very much like King David in the Psalms.

    Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just.” Psalms 51:4 NLT 

    Having spent some time in recovery, I came to find that honesty was the best option. As King David just said, “Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight.” There is, as the NASB states, NO JUSTIFICATION for what we do. Thank God for being a savior and for the fact that God purchased us back and marked us with a seal of this covenant we have with Him, which is the Holy Spirit that comes into the life of every believer that accepts Him.

Many times, because I have had these discussions/arguments with “Christians” I will put forth the argument to address the question before it comes.

Romans 3:5 NASB But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.)

The NLT puts it this way.

But,” some might say, “our sinfulness serves a good purpose, for it helps people see how righteous God is. Isn’t it unfair, then, for him to punish us?” (This is merely a human point of view.) 

Maybe this is what we do when we declare ourselves to be covered by God’s grace and therefore free to cuss all we want. In this case, you are NOT proving anything other than the fact that you are an ignorant dolt that cannot communicate your emotions and feelings by the use of proper language and grammar. I certainly do not look at people like this and immediately say, my, how good God is, and neither does the general public. I can, however, extend grace toward these people.

After being in recovery for a time, I was asked to lead the men’s anger group. Being a participant is entirely different from being a leader that has to attempt to reign in someone who is on the edge of being out of control. One brother had been a medic with a special ops team during the Vietnam war. As a special ops medic, you have to fight as well as patch people up. For a time this guy merely sat alone in the break room, stroking the head of his stress dog. I stopped to talk with him and got an earful of cussing. He then said, see, you cannot handle the volcano inside of me. I responded by saying, I can handle anything that comes out of your mouth, but I would prefer to hear Jesus. He eventually came around.

Paul must have heard statements like this, “isn’t it unfair for Him to punish us?”

Are you serious? I already showed you a statement about God from Job 34:10 and it reads like this.

Everyone knows that God doesn’t sin! The Almighty can do no wrong.”

Promoting sin goes against the nature and character of God. God is the moral standard and there is nothing unjust or unfair in what He does.

Again, Paul answers his own question.

Romans 3:6 NLT  Of course not! If God were not entirely fair, how would he be qualified to judge the world?

What we do not perceive, is that God’s decisions have all been played out because there is a legal standard, based upon His moral standard; and controlled His actions in purchasing the human race back from the control of Satan.

But,” someone might still argue, “how can God condemn me as a sinner if my dishonesty highlights his truthfulness and brings him more glory?” And some people even slander us by claiming that we say, “The more we sin, the better it is!” Those who say such things deserve to be condemned.” (Romans 3:7-8 NLT)

Merely to say, my dishonesty, or as most translate, lie highlights God’s truthfulness and brings him more glory, demonstrating how dishonest we truly are. Again, go to recovery and you will find people standing before you and saying, “Hi, I am …. and I have 15 years of sobriety.” In saying this, they are admitting that a return to the activity they are testifying of is freedom, and it is hanging out there waiting to grab you and take you captive once again if you let it. God, may, in time, get the glory, but He does so only as you testify to your dependence upon the freedom He brings.

People who are foolish enough to go back to their vomit, are nothing more than fools.

Turn to Jesus.

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Evil spirits that looked like frogs leaped from their mouths. Revelation 16:13-14.


I ended the previous post with these verses.

Revelation 16:13-14 NLT  And I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs leap from the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet.  (14)  They are demonic spirits who work miracles and go out to all the rulers of the world to gather them for battle against the Lord on that great judgment day of God the Almighty.

What can I gather from this?

That the evil spirits leap from the mouths of the dragon/Satanthe beast/antichrist; and the false prophet. The spirits are clearly identified as demon spirits. Demons are not some bizarre, original creation, they are fallen, angels. Now, there might be some association with the hybrids created by the Nephalim having sexual relations with human women, but I will leave it at that.

Defining the false prophet is not a simplistic answer, so let’s dig into this for a moment.

If I were to say, there was an oil spill, would you assume it was an oil tanker in the Persian gulf that got hit with an explosive UAV, or would you theorize that I had a bad moment while trying to fry chicken?

As you can see the answer requires a bit more information doesn’t it, especially if I wanted you to be able to perceive an accurate mental picture. Now apply my logic, in this case, to whom or what this person is.

Another assumption we make, as religious Christians, is that we cannot look outside of the religious box we live in. Let’s apply this assumption to the oil scenario. If you are a chef, can you receive information that provokes you to consider oils other than, olive or vegetable oil, especially if you wanted to comprehend something like a ruptured oil line in Long Beach Harbor, that was damaged by a ships anchor and polluted miles of beaches? Any reasonable person would and should.

Why tell you any of this?

Because there was a day at church when we were having lunch together. I can be rather introverted at times and on this particular day, I chose to make conversation with some people I had seen frequently but never talked with. Just days before this moment I had come across archaeological information from Israel that opened a door that changed the way I look at Jesus, “the carpenter.”

The first consideration about Jesus being a carpenter, and part of my religious mentality is,

  • He did NOT say these words about Himself; they were spoken by others about His father.

    Matthew 13:55 “Is not this the carpenter’s son?

  • Secondly, those speaking about Him did NOT say carpenter, they called Him a tektōn.

    A tektōn is a craftsman and does not limit Him to being a carpenter. The idea of Him being a carpenter came from tradition and tradition said, you learned your father’s trade. If you want to have a problem with this, you can take guesses as to how old Jesus was when Joseph died.

  • So we cannot assume that Jesus was a carpenter, but we do.

    So we live in an extra-biblical world on a regular basis.

So, how does this information change my life or perception?

Perhaps it does not change anything unless you are willing to consider information OTHER than direct Biblical information.

Guess what I talked about with these strangers? Archaeology, and how the Israeli archaeologists had uncovered a granite quarry, no more than a quarter-mile outside of Nazareth, the town Jesus grew up in. At the quarry, those scientists found broken and partially completed remnants of granite drinkware, all of which showed clear lathe marks. The family I shared this information with seemed to follow what I was saying.

With only a moment’s hesitation, the husband says, “I do NOT believe that we should consider anything extra-biblical in forming our understanding of Jesus.”

I responded by saying, fascinating that you should say that, as we accept the idea that Jesus was a carpenter when the Greek terminology tells us that Jesus was a tektōn. We don’t challenge what the word tektōn means, we merely accept that it means Jesus was a carpenter, however, it is an undefined term and cannot be defined without additional information.

So what do we do?

We chose to ignore that archaeology has intelligibly demonstrated that it was possible for Jesus to be a craftsman at this particular quarry.

You might try to tell me that we have no evidence to demonstrate that Jesus was a craftsman with granite, but we do, and it is NOT so un-biblical. In the second chapter of John’s gospel, Jesus and the disciples were invited to a wedding in Cana of Galilee.

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus *said to Him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus *said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.” His mother *said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”” (John 2:1-5 NASB)

No other disciple recorded this incident so we have NO other biblical information to pull from, and, therefore, have to make logical, even non-biblical assumptions.

  • What we do see is a mother inserting herself into a situation that may not have been her responsibility.

  • We do not know how she would know they were out of wine,

  • And, neither do we know the nationality of the servants that Mary spoke to.

    To say they were Jewish servants is pure conjecture on your part. Since the Jews were so quick to tell Jesus, we have NEVER been slaves to anyone, we must presume that these were Gentile slaves.

  • What is made very clear to us, is that Mary understood Jesus’ capabilities for the miraculous, and told the servants, Whatever He says to you, do it.”

What happened next is extraordinary.

  • Jesus seemed to know that there were stone pots, of enormous size.

    Remember, we have NO other constrictive information, so anything we assume about this is conjecture.

Now there were six stone water-pots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. Jesus *said to them, “Fill the water-pots with water.” So they filled them up to the brim. And He *said to them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it to him. (John 2:6-8 NASB)

Nobody pays attention to the fact that these stone pots were most likely handcrafted, lathed, and capable of holding up to thirty gallons of water; and quite possibly made one-quarter mile outside of Nazareth. The other significant thing was that they were made of stone.

What is the big deal about that?

Israel had some severe sanitary laws, laid out by God, that they had to abide by. For example.

‘As for any earthenware vessel into which one of them may fall, whatever is in it becomes unclean and you shall break the vessel. (Leviticus 11:33 NASB)

For the longest time, all they had was wood or clay vessels from which to eat. However, history records that several years prior to this wedding, an enterprising Jewish council member, realizing that the restrictions of God’s law said NOTHING about granite and therefore was meant by God to always be ceremonially clean, This entrepreneur presented his case to the council and they agreed. From that day forward granite was declared perpetually clean and is looked on as clean to this day. For the most part, we Gentiles know nothing about Jewish laws concerning cleanliness, nor do we know that a Jew could explain this to you if you asked, as they hold to this exception today. If those pots had been earthenware and Gentile slaves had touched them, the pots would have to be broken and trashed; but since they were granite, Jesus could have slaves fill them, without a thought.

Is it possible that the craftsman, Jesus, made those very pots?

We have nothing to tell us otherwise. Because Jewish law was modified, it was now possible for Gentiles to fill the waterpots without harm. All this information may have played a role in Jesus turning the water into wine, but should you exclude it because it is extra-biblical?

The answer from this man I spoke to was, no.

If I have done my job in conveying this story, then you should be able to see that extra-biblical information might help to explain who this false prophet is.

While we, in the Christian community, have prophetic Words and scriptures contained with the Bible to guide us in our attempt to understand, don’t be shocked to find out that Islam does as well. For them, scriptures are the words of the Qur’an and they have their own prophetic words in writings called hadith.

Our imagery of the false prophet varies so much that some portrayals show the man as a vicious wolf covered in sheepskin; and yet, this is how Islam portrays Jesus, although they don’t call Him that, they call him the Dajjal1.

Here is a short definition of what they perceive the Dajjal to be.

Dajjal means “deceiver” in Arabic. In Islamic eschatology, Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal is an evil false prophet who, it is said, will come to earth and try to lure people into following Shaytan (Satan). It is believed he will then be destroyed by Christ or the Imam Mahdi.

The Dajjal, to Muslims, is the false prophet, which we believers understand to be Jesus. How convenient that Jesus shows up about the same time as the biblical end of the false prophet, and Islam’s Mahdi – the antichrist.

“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. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems, and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the winepress of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”” (Revelation 19:11-16 NASB)

And the beast [the Antichrist] 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 [An interesting fact is that the only one who takes this mark will be those who DO NOT have their names written in the book of Life.] and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. (Revelation 19:20 NASB)

How does the Bible describe the false prophet?

Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. (Revelation 13:11 NASB)

The fact that he had two horns like a lamb is indicative of him being a representative of “godly teaching,” either that or a Jew. Keep in mind, that the Bible sitting on your shelf, is a Jewish book and is centered on the Jews. We, the church, are just a side note.

As I have pointed out in previous posts, there is a man that already exists and fits this role. His name is Rabbi Baruch Kahane, and he has been the high priest designate since 2016. When I mention this and show the picture of the Rabbi, their response is, he seems like a nice man.

This phrase “ he seems like a nice man” is exactly what the enemy wants out of us, as it will be the catalyst for a great deception. Think about this, scripture tells us that he has two horns like a lambCity folk, like myself, perceive the horns as a bad thing not knowing that sheep are born with horns and that the shepherds presumably cut them off to preserve the wool of other sheep.

“For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. (Matthew 24:24 NASB)

If, a loved man, like this, suddenly began performing great signs and wonders, do you think it might be possible to draw Jewish teachers away from their fragile relationships with God?

No doubt in my mind, although religious teachers, who ignore God’s words, portray this “misleading” differently and try to make you think this is talking about you instead of God’s chosen – the Jewish leadership. Remember, there is always a context and it applies to a time when the church, as the body of Christ, is gone. It would be impossible to mislead the church if it has been caught away. Secondly, this time is halfway through the seven years of God’s wrath upon Israel and the nations – the time seen as the time of the antichrist.

  • Horns like a sheep are telling us that the false prophet is a religious man.

  • Performing great signs only happens at the halfway point, and, up to this point has NOT been a regular part of the false prophet’s functions. If this man, who becomes the false prophet, has been acting as the high priest, imagine the awe and respect he will have.

  • When it comes to signs and wonders, you have to keep in mind that there have been two witnesses from God, and they have been performing signs and testifying of God’s greatness for three and one-half years. With their mission accomplished God allows for them to die. You have to realize that everyone has tried to kill them without success or harm. These two witnesses have been doing the very thing that this false prophet will do. It is not a question of mimicry, but it is exactly what Satan/the serpent/the dragon does, he perverts God’s will and ways, and, as scripture shows us, he is empowered by Satan just as the beast is.

Revelation 13:11-12 NASB “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence…”

Daniel 8:24 is speaking about the insolent king that will come when he says this.

“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. (Daniel 8:24 NASB)

Since you know that the false prophet exercises ALL THE AUTHORITY of the first beast, then you should understand that it is the dragon that gives the false prophet this authority. If you want validation of what I just told you above, then read the entirety of Revelation 13:11-17.

One last comment.

These two passages that I initiated this study with are here to show you a purpose.

And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty.
(Revelation 16:13-14 NASB)

The entirety of their purpose is to gather the kings of the whole world for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty.

kings” is the Greek word basileus, and according to Thayer’s definitions also means leader of the people, prince, commander, lord of the land.

It would seem that everyone who thinks they have power is being drawn to this battle.

The terminology that the NASB uses is the phrase “the war of the great day of God, the Almighty,” Many focus on the term Armageddon and will deem this battle we see in Revelation 16:14 to be that very battle.

If you do a word search for the term Armageddon the KJV produces one result, while the NASB gives us NO instances of the term.

The Ultimate Cross-Reference Treasury defines Armageddon in this manner. It is called

  • The hill of slaughter,

  • The Mount of Decision or Sentence (Lange).

  • The Meggido Valley,

  • A symbol of defeat;

  • A hill of victory.

  • Armageddon is also known as, the Hill of Megiddo, where the Lord would avenge the crime of the heathen (Gebhardt, p. 274, cited in Dusterdiek, Note LXXX, p. 425)

  • I will add that virtually every Biblical battle has been fought in this valley.

    An example of this comes from the book of Judges.

    “Kings came; they fought. Yes, the kings of Kena`an fought at Ta`anakh, by the waters of Megiddo; but they took no spoil of silver. (Judges 5:19 CJB)

  • And that Megiddo is situated in the plain of Jezreel, which happens to be where David killed Goliath.

    1 Samuel 29 tells us of how David, running from King Saul, went to Achish and allied himself to him, in the land of Philistines, the Jezreel valley.

Though we are not there yet, the only place we find Armageddon in the scriptures is in Revelation 16.

And he shall gather them together into a place which in Hebrew is called Armageddon. (Revelation 16:16 DRB)

Notice that it does not imply that you will find the word in the Old Testament, merely because it says, “in Hebrew is called Armageddon.”

So, in the world of battles, we have the

  • Gog, Magog war of Ezekiel 38,39. This will be a massive attack against Israel. It almost sounds as though this war has some nuclear weapons being launched, and God appears to launch fireballs against the enemies of Israel. This might happen moments before the rapture of the church, or a short time later; it’s hard to say.

  • The antichrist calls for peace, but keep in mind that Israel is not mentioned in that call. Three and half years later, the false prophet will launch a deadly war against believers and Jews. At some point 2/3 of Israel is killed or destroyed.

  • Revelation 19 tells us that Jesus returns at the end of the time of wrath. All those who chose to fight against Him will be killed. This battle also happens in the Jezreel valley, and there is where the blood will run as high as the horses’ bridle.

  • After all this, we enter a thousand years of peace. While people stop fighting, considering that the nations, though limited in number, will continue to live during this time and still have their free will choices. At least Satan will be bound and unable to affect their decision-making process. At the end of this thousand-year period,  Satan will be released to deceive the nations one last time. They will rise up in a war against God and the Holy City, where most of us will live. This battle will also take place in the Jezreel valley.

With this information and lack of scriptural witnesses, it seems that it would be inappropriate to walk in confusion and call everything the battle of Armageddon.

Hopefully, this helps.

Today would be a great day to turn your life over to the Lord.

1I had intended to give you extensive, extra-biblical, information, but I get whined at about my posts being too long already. If you want more information then I suggest you do an internet search for: Dajjal; Isa ibn Maryam; The Mahdi; Twelvers; Islamic prophecies; Qur’an, and Islamic eschatology. You should find the answers you seek.

Posted in Antichrist, bible study, dragon, End times, false prophet, false teaching, Gog, Hope, Islam, judgment, Magog, Prophetic, rapture, Revelation, Thoughts, Thoughts on scripture, two witnesses | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When Gentiles, who do not have the law… Romans 2: 12-21.


A slight shift in thought, but not really.

The Biblical caption inserted by the translators reads like this:

God’s Judgment and the Law

Romans 2:12 CJB  All who have sinned outside the framework of Torah will die outside the framework of Torah, and all who have sinned within the framework of Torah will be judged by Torah.

Who would have sinned outside the law?

The Gentiles/nations. An example of the nations is easily seen when you look at Nineveh; that large city that Jonah had been sent to with the purpose of delivering a message of destruction.

The threat of death sounds rather ominous, but he is making a point that few will catch. It is that these people – the Gentiles world, will not be judged according to the law.

How then will they be judged?

Look at Matthew 25 where you find the sheep and goat judgment. (At this point, we have to apply some logic, as there is no clear, directive that tells us to treat these two groups as the same. Here are some of the reasons I do so.)

What we see in Matthew’s account, is a parallel to Revelation, however,

  • in Matthew 25:32 we see “All the nations” being gathered before Him, whereas in the Revelation it merely states that the “ the dead, the great and the small” are brought before Him.

  • In the gospel of Matthew, it is Jesus who has “segregated” the massive crowd of those who died outside of Christ or the law; and yet, the sheep are shown mercy and given entrance into the kingdom of God. While Revelation 20 does not show us the segregation, it merely speaks of those who received the harsh judgment.

  • Those, in Matthew’s account, who are stunned by this mercy, ask why.

    The answer from Jesus comes,

  • because when I was hungry – you fed me;

  • when I was thirsty – you gave me a drink;

  • when I was incarcerated – you came and visited me.

All these things Jesus mentions are indicative of persons acting in the nature and character of the Father God; and yet, WE do not perceive them as having known the Father, why?

Because we did not see them doing the appropriate religious thing, in a religious manner. Look closely at what Revelation 20:13-15 tells us.

Revelation 20:13-15 NASB (13) “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. (14) Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. (15) And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

These people, just like those in Matthew’s account, were judged by their deeds. How odd considering that Paul’s gospel plainly states that we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ as our savior. Since I can perceive a chain of events, such as the catching away of the church;

  • Then it’s obvious that neither Matthew’s crowd nor the one we see in Revelation 20, have put their FAITH in Christ, at least that is NOT apparent to me.

  • These are NOT the martyred saints from the seven-year period, as they were resurrected just as the seven-year period began;

  • There is one other thing that stands out, and that is the fact that many of these have lived through the thousand-year reign, chose to fight against Christ one last time, and are now counted among the dead – a number that may go back to Cain and Abel in the garden.

If I focus strictly on those who are deceived and fight against God, one last time, at the end of time, it is hard to perceive that any of those would be found in the book of life, but still, Jesus looks to see if there is any mercy that could be extended to them because of their deeds, which are detailed in Matthew 25.

Do you not yet understand that sin was forgiven at the cross, and this includes these deceived people who came to believe that they could kill God?

Oh, we do not escape judgment, and neither will they, but they will judge according to what they did with Jesus, just as all believers are.

This justification seems almost miraculous but read on.

Romans 2:13 NASB for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.

These people have somehow been followers of the law, and they were not Jews. I might put this another way, These people we see in Matthew 25, where they are called sheep, have managed to follow the law written upon their hearts, and the majority of this crowd may have had NO RELIGIOUS experience, as defined by religion. I once heard a missionary state, that even though some of the people groups they encountered had never been contacted by outsiders, they still had standards that they lived by, such as, don’t eat other tribe members. If they demonstrated any of the qualities seen in Matthew 25, then Jesus extends mercy to them.

Don’t think for a second that God will allow you to bring YOUR garbage into His kingdom, and therefore, somehow, these too will be changed in a twinkling of an eye.

Hey, wait a minute, isn’t Romans 2:13 talking about me as well?

It is and you can see that in the phrase “for when Gentiles. If you are NOT a Jew, then you are a Gentile.

Romans 2:14 NLT  Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it.

(14 NASB) “For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,”

I had originally put forth the NASB because it frequently conveys an understandable account, however, in this case the NASB uses a phrase that portrays those Gentiles as being a law to themselves. I suppose I watched to many cowboy movies when I was young because characters that operated as a law to themselves were the bullies that murdered others just to get their way, and that is not what we are talking about here. For that reason I gave you the NLT translation as well because it says, “they instinctively obey it (that law written upon their hearts,) even if they don’t openly accept that the law came from the heart of God.

(Romans 2:15-16 NASB) in that they show the work of the Law written in their heartstheir conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, (16) on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

Instinctively is an excellent choice of words as we are so prone to attribute our behavior to that concept instead of accepting personal responsibility. Many, leaning upon their heritage, will say something foolish like, it is just an instinctive within in my heritage to be an angry and violent person.

One more thing I want you to consider before letting go of verses 15-16, and it is this.

  • their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.”

They, whoever they are, lived their lives without the benefit of a Bible. An acquaintance of mine would tell you that Jesus cannot return for His church because of that very issue.

Sorry, I do not see it that way, because, as the Amplified Bible conveys,

They show that the essential requirements of the Law are written in their hearts and are operating there,” (BBE) “their sense of right and wrong giving witness to it, (CJB) “for their conflicting thoughts sometimes accuse them and sometimes defend them.”

With the law written upon their hearts, their hearts provokes them to live by God’s moral standards, even if they cannot express that it is God’s moral standard living there. So there is no excuse available to them. In other words, they cannot whine about NOT having a printed copy of the scriptures and, therefore, did not know.

Seriously, how many of us have six Bibles and open none of them in an effort to curtail and maintain our lives before God?

And, though our hearts will often judge, when it is not our place to judge, and condemn these at this final throne, to the fires of hell, we refuse to acknowledge that God has the right to show these at the judgment seat, mercy. In order to come to the conclusion that all here must go to hell, we have to set aside the Word of God where it says, “ their thoughts alternately accusing or defending them.

Consider something. We know that all believers will be “judged,” and yet, you expect mercy. The idea of judgment for the church comes from Romans 14:10, where it plainly states, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. I would like to point out that the word judgment/bema is the same word used to describe the rostrum or podium at the Olympic games where the awards are given for an outstanding performance. You are not here to be judged, as though some part of the body of Christ should be cut off and thrown into the pit of hell. You are safe in the arms of Jesus and thanked for the smallest of efforts. You will be given a crown, which we will delightedly cast before the feet of Jesus, the only one who deserves our accolades.

Why can’t you allowthese that God has brought before His throne the same mercy?

It’s a rhetorical question that does not demand an answer.

A not-so-friendly approach.

Romans 2:17-21 NASB But

  • if you bear the name “Jew”

  • and rely upon the Law

  • and boast in God,

  • (18) and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law,

  • (19) and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind,

  • a light to those who are in darkness,

  • (20) a corrector of the foolish,

  • a teacher of the immature,

  • having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth,

  • (21) you, therefore, who teach another,

  • do you not teach yourself?

  • You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal?

Note the practical and logical side of this; wouldn’t the confident guide, a teacher and corrector of the foolish, teach themselves?

Of course, they would, that is unless they were deluded.

Romans 2:22-23 NASB

  • You who say that one should not commit adultery,

    do you commit adultery?

  • You who abhor idols,

    do you rob temples?

  • (23 CJB) You who take such pride in Torah,

    do you, by disobeying the Torah, dishonor God?— 

If this is the way you live, then you need to know, there is no HONOR in that, and you can see Paul’s reaction in verse 24.

For “THE NAME OF GOD IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES BECAUSE OF YOU,” just as it is written.” (Romans 2:24 NASB)

No wonder the world blasphemes God, we certainly haven’t shown them anything.

Romans 2:25 NLT  The Jewish ceremony of circumcision has value only if you obey God’s law. But if you don’t obey God’s law, you are no better off than an uncircumcised Gentile.

But if you don’t obey God’s law, you are no better off than an uncircumcised Gentile. I think these words would sting if I was a Jew (I do have some Jewish blood, but I don’t count because it comes through my grandfather and not my grandmother. Go figure. Thank God I was adopted.)

Romans 2:26-27 NLT  And if the Gentiles obey God’s law, won’t God declare them to be his own people?  (27)  In fact, uncircumcised Gentiles who keep God’s law will condemn you Jews who are circumcised and possess God’s law but don’t obey it.

Well, Romans 2:26-27 bites, but why?

Because the law of God is written upon the hearts of everyone.

Romans 2:28-29 NLT  For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the ceremony of circumcision.  (29)  No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.

No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. 

And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; 

rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit.

And how about this: 

a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people.

Do you have a changed heart?

Posted in bible study, forgiven, Freedom from sin, heart, Hell, Jews, marked, Romans, sealed, Sin, the nations, Thoughts on scripture, unrighteousness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

He will judge everyone according to what they have done. Romans 2:1-11


Chapter two opens like this “Therefore you have no excuse,”

Chapter two is starting deep within a thought, the passage, therefore, demands that we stay within the context. To do that we have to go back to Romans 1:21.

Romans 1:21 NASB For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Who is Paul speaking about in Romans 1:21 when he says they?

The Jews.

Can we apply this statement to ourselves?

The short answer is yes. BUT, since we have been sealed by the Holy Spirit, are we subject to the wrath of God, as Israel brought on themselves? (See Ephesians 1:13).

The long answer is No, as it certainly seems as though there are so-called Christians that fit the description we see in Romans 1:21. If you don’t understand this idea of so-called Christians, then consider what John said.

1 John 2:19 NASB They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.

It is rather clear that not everyone is a part of the body of Christ. Since we have a terrible time distinguishing between wheat – an edible grain, and brome – a weed, it is wisest to let Jesus sort them out at the end of the millennium.

Sealed is the Greek word sphragizō and means to stamp for securitypreservationto secure to someonemake suredeliver over safely.

All the defining words for sealed lean toward God marking us, just as He marks the 144,000 so that they cannot be harmed. At this juncture, I want to point something out. God is not necessarily preserving you from the daily tribulations of life – for some, those tribulations are deadly and we are not in the time of wrath as yet. So don’t go thinking that tribulations include the propeller on your speed boat. Considering that Jesus said, they will hate you because of Me; this hatred then would have more to do with your testimony, whatever that looks like, than your whining about having to replace the tire rim on your sports car.

Back to Romans 1:21 “For even though they knew God…”

What qualified as knowing?

Samuel, raised in the courts of the “temple” should have and would have known God and His ways/laws, and yet his sons did not.

1 Samuel 2:12 NLT  Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels who had no respect for the LORD

Job, lamenting to his companions, tells them to shut up and listen for a moment, and then they can go back to berating him. When they stop talking, he says,

Job 21:7-13 NLT  “Why do the wicked prosper, growing old and powerful?  (8)  They live to see their children grow up and settle down, and they enjoy their grandchildren.  (9)  Their homes are safe from every fear, and God does not punish them.  (10)  Their bulls never fail to breed. Their cows bear calves and never miscarry.  (11)  They let their children frisk about like lambs. Their little ones skip and dance.  (12)  They sing with tambourine and harp. They celebrate to the sound of the flute.  (13)  They spend their days in prosperity, then go down to the grave in peace.

And yet they say to God,

Job 21:14-18 NLT  ‘Go away. We want no part of you and your ways.  (15)  Who is the Almighty, and why should we obey him? What good will it do us to pray?’  (16)  (They think their prosperity is of their own doing, but I will have nothing to do with that kind of thinking.)  (17)  “Yet the light of the wicked never seems to be extinguished. Do they ever have trouble? Does God distribute sorrows to them in anger?  (18)  Are they driven before the wind like straw? Are they carried away by the storm like chaff? Not at all!

And James in the New Testament says,

James 4:17 NLT  Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.

Historically, what do we know of people obeying God’s law and ways, or not?

Eve, knew the law, even when there was none (written in stone); she disregarded the law that was passed to her by Adam and partook of the fruit. Cain knew the law, and we can know this because God himself said, if you do what is right. The implications are that Cain knew what was right. The statement from God would be illogical if this information had not been passed along to Cain. Noah, upon leaving the Ark, made a sacrifice, proving that he too knew what was right, and still there was NO known law, as we understand it.

Romans 1:32 NASB and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Chapter one of Romans spells out how the Gentiles, without the law, practice the law of Godand contrasts this against the Jews, who were given the law of Moses, and expected to know it and live it.

So, the “they” can mean almost anybody here.

With Romans 2:1 the idea is that God is talking to people in general, and yet to a specific crowd that feels comfortable judging others.

Romans 2:1 NASB Therefore you have no excuse, every one of you who passes judgment, for, in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.

Who is passing judgment?

Aside from possible envy or racial hatred, why would the Gentile world pass judgment? The Jewish world, on the other hand, has a deep resentment for the Gentiles. (The Gentiles are not merely white Americans; they are anyone outside of Judaism; and, they are considered dogs. The Assyrians, for example, were considered among the nations, and, as we see in the story of Jonah, a hated people.)

We are told that those who pass judgments are only condemning themselves – for these judges are doing the same thing.

Romans 2:3 NASB But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?

If we are talking about believers, and that is who Paul was writing to, then what judgment(s) are we looking forward to?

None of us are looking forward to judgment, however, there is only ONE for the believer, and that is the Bema seat of Christ. At this judgment seat, you get rewarded.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
2 Corinthians 5:10 KJV 

Judgment here is the Greek word bema.

J. Vernon McGee tells us:

“This was the place where the judges of the city would meet the citizens and would judge them for certain things—there was no question of life or death. At the judgment seat of Christ only believers will appearIt is not a judgment of the believer’s sins, which Christ fully atoned for on the CrossThe judgment is to see whether you are going to receive a reward or not.”

What if your judgments against others, entirely fall upon you, here, in this life; in my case, that was very true.

Does it strike anyone else odd when verse three describes an inescapable judgment and then refers to that judgment as, the goodness of God which leads to repentance?

Romans 2:4 MKJV  Or do you despise the riches of His kindness, and the forbearance and long-suffering, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

Maybe the implication is this:

But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. He will judge everyone according to what they have done. (Romans 2:5-6 NLT)

Since the religious idea is that this judgment is completed while standing before Him, at the Bema seat.

Where are we at this point?

We made it; we are in heaven, and here you should NOT have any possible consequence of being sent back to earth, where you could endure the pains of God’s wrath.

If that is the case, then what’s the problem – why worry?

Yes, this inordinate mercy puzzles me too, and no, I do not have a good answer as to why this happens, aside from the fact that God is more merciful than I can comprehend.

The NASB renders Romans 2:6 in this manner.

who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS:”

Thayer’s definition of render – is the Greek word apodidōmi. It means 1) to deliver, to give away for one’s own profit what is one’s own to sell 2) to pay off, discharge what is due 2d) to render account 3) to give back, restore 4) to requite, recompense in a good or a bad sense

Most of these definitions speak to me of a God showing mercy and giving life, where I often think that none would be deserved. An example of this is seen in point #1, where it says, “to give away for one’s own profit what is one’s own to sell.”

Jesus did just that and will do it, again. While, by legal standards, we do not, will not, and, cannot measure up, thank God, Jesus did measure up; and, we are not judged by any other standards.

In definition #2 we are told that He paid off and discharged what was due because of OUR sin. Therefore, our rendering would be based upon what Jesus deserved, not us, and He gets life with the Father; glory, and honor.

The context has not changed as we move forward.

Romans 2:7-10 NASB to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; (8) but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath, and indignation. (9) There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, (10) but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Verse ten screams out of the Sheep and goat judgment. – Matthew 25:31-46.

(I get it, religion screams that everyone being presented here, at the great throne of judgment, goes to hell; but that attitude demonstrates your lack of Biblical understanding and a leaning on tradition over scripture. You need to put those methods of interpretation in the trash.)

In Matthew’s account of the final judgment, the good shows up as Jesus responds to the crowd He designates as sheep, saying, you are gaining this access today because you acted in a similar loving manner that I would have. For example, you visited Me in prison; you gave Me a drink of water when I was thirsty; and, you put clothes on Me, when I had none, and so on.

Paul continues to explain –

Romans 2:7-10 NLT  He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers.  (8)  But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness.  (9)  There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile.  (10)  But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile.

Verses 7-10 have a positive and a negative spin to them.

Let’s just say that my goal is to live my life in the light of verses 7 and 10, where I pursue eternal life; keep doing good – as much as I am able; and to seek after the glory, honor, and immortality that God offers. Then the end result should be and will be, glory, honor, and peace from God.

Note the negative side of this.

There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil – for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good – for the Jew first and also for the Gentile.” (Romans 2:9-10 NLT)

Why?

Romans 2:11 NLT  For God does not show favoritism.

Although the theme leans toward the Jews and Gentiles,

  • What if, it is speaking to those of us, who by the grace of God alone, have salvation and peace?

  • What if, our salvation has nothing to do with where we can afford to eat dinner, the size of our RV, or the beauty of our KOA campground?

  • What if, no matter how much money you have, you found out that WE are all in the same boat, and our REWARD is based purely upon the conversational relationship we have with God and acceptance, on our part of His Son? 

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I will be alternating between Revelation and Romans. We are in Revelation 16:1-14, “festering sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast.”


We ended Revelation 15 with this,

Revelation 15:1 NASB Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last because in them the wrath of God is finished.

I saw another sign in heaven?

When we started analyzing the seven years of God’s wrath, we were confronted with a string of riders with evil intent. One of those is found in Revelation 6:8 and he brings pestilencewhich also means plagues.

Revelation 6:8 NASB I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death, and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.

Revelation 15:6 tells us that seven angels who had the seven plagues, present themselves and they are prepared to pour out these bowls upon the earth.

With that let’s jump into Revelation 16.

Revelation 16:1 NASB Then I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.”

The wrath of God?

I had an acquaintance that got visibly angry that I referred to the seven years as a time of wrath.

The word wrath is the Greek word thumos and means a strong passion or emotion of the mind; anger, wrath, fierceness, indignation.

The word indignation means anger or extreme anger, mingled with contempt, disgust or abhorrence.

How interesting that the sixth outpouring of God’s wrath upon Egypt was a plague.

Exodus 9:8-9 NASB “Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Take for yourselves handfuls of soot from a kiln, and let Moses throw it toward the sky in the sight of Pharaoh. (9) “It will become fine dust over all the land of Egypt, and will become boils breaking out with sores on man and beast through all the land of Egypt.”

Note how the plague of Revelation 16:2 is almost word for word the description of the plague on Egypt.

Revelation 16:2 NIV  The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly, festering sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image.

Watch and you begin to see a pattern. Remember, there is nothing new under the sun.

Revelation 16:3-4 NIV  The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead person, and every living thing in the sea died.  (4)  The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood.

What did God do to Egypt?

Exodus 7:17-18 NIV  This is what the LORD says: By this, you will know that I am the LORD: With the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood.  (18)  The fish in the Nile will die, and the river will stink; the Egyptians will not be able to drink its water.'”

It does not require much thought to see that WE have polluted God’s creation, and we did it in the name of greed. So, God does not need to explain himself, but He does.

Revelation 16:5-7 NASB “And I heard the angel of the waters saying, “Righteous are You, who are and who were, O Holy One, because You judged these things; for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it.” (7) And I heard the altar saying, “Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.”

Take a moment and see if you can answer this.

Who is He talking about when He says “they” poured out the blood and saints and prophets?

I could go several ways on this answer. First, there are the scribes and pharisees who did not seem to have a problem with killing those who went against the Jewish law, and I can include Saul the pharisee in that list. Note that I did not say God’s law. Secondly, it was the Gentiles who physically killed Jesus, but Jesus does not seem to be the focus, does it? So, who else is killing the saints and the prophets? Islam and a few others. That leaves one last possibility for blame, and that would be the corporate world. If that does not make sense to you, then consider how corporate Babylon is shoving a “vaccine” into you, to “control” what? The Covid virus that is NOT a pandemic.

Moving on. When world leaders meet, as they are this November 1, 2021, they are discussing another created scenario based on their hope of controlling the populace; climate change.

Revelation 16:8-9 NASB The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sunand it was given to it to scorch men with fire. (9) Men were scorched with fierce heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory.

I despise all this talk about climate change. It is especially grievous when I consider that it was corporate America that polluted this nation and changed our environment. 

Do I believe that there is a climate change coming?

Absolutely, because my Bible tells me about things like Revelation 16:8-9. Previously, in Revelation 8:12, and 9:2, we see the sun darkened. It is easy to make the assumption that the sun itself decreases in its intensity. In Revelation 8:12 we are not given an explanation as to how that comes to be, but in 9:2 we see smoke emerging from the bottomless pit – like a great furnace. This description makes me think of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the island La Palma, which has for weeks pumped out smoke and ash, like a great furnace. With these associations it is easier to see how that an ice age might come; and yet, here in Revelation 16, we see humans getting burned by the Sun.

And then the fifth bowl gets poured out.

Revelation 16:10-11 NASB (10) Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beastand his kingdom became darkened; and they gnawed their tongues because of pain, (11) and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds.

It is clear that the fifth bowl brings darkness that people can feel. As children, our family visited the Carlsbad caverns in New Mexico. At one point on the tour, the guide warned us to maintain our positions as he turned out the lights, when that happened you could not see your hand in front of your face. I do not remember how long the lights stayed out, but it was long enough to get uncomfortable, even to the point that you began to doubt your footing and safety.

I have told you many times that prophecy for the Jew is a pattern, not some shotgun blast, or a one-time thing. So the pattern, once again, comes from Moses and Pharaoh.

Exodus 10:21-23 NASB Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even a darkness which may be felt.” (22) So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days. (23) They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but all the sons of Israel had light in their dwellings.

All these signs, much like here in the time of wrath, is meant to turn hearts toward God. (I get it, as many of you whine and say, punish me like this and then you foolishly expect me to love you, you are crazy.) You see, I have come to understand God’s character and nature, and it is love, meant to guide you in love. For three days no one rose from their homes as the darkness permeated every inch of their homes, with the exception of the sons of Israel, for they had light in their dwellings. Interesting!

Notice something, the only place that this permeating darkness exists, is on the kingdom of the beast.

How do you define this statement?

This is especially difficult because we have so many religious voices trying to identify who the beast/antichrist will be. Many say the Pope and therefore the Roman Catholic church. So, if that was the case then we could all stare at the Italians and assume that the empire is nothing less than the Vatican. If God followed our foolish leads, then the Vatican would be in literal and complete darkness.

If you were to say, this beast is Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, then where would his empire be? All of France? If that was the case then all of France would be put in to complete and total darkness.

I happen to think that the beast/antichrist will be a Muslim that also has the trust and cooperation of something like the G20 nations. It is still hard to determine where this man’s throne and the kingdom will be; however, that will all become clear moments after the church leaves the earth. Spending what seems like a futile amount of time looking at this has a purpose in that it is designed to make you think and possibly see that we are so much closer to Jesus catching his bride away.

How do the people on earth react to all these events of the Revelation?

Revelation 16:11 NASB “and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and they did not repent of their deeds.

A friend of mine asked, how does anyone survive through all that God dishes out, in order to fight?

Honestly, I do not know. From Revelation six forward we see humans killing humans, God killing humans, a demonic Calvary killing humans, and the elements, such as the sun, the seas, and the wind turning against us.

Now we come to the sixth bowl.

Revelation 16:12 NASB “The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east.”

The terminology, “the great river” is all over the Old Testament. This tells me that every Jew should recognize the phrase and know where it is at. Iraq’s former President, Saddam Hussein built one of his palaces along the Euphrates.

The east?

We are told that the river was dried up so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east. Depending on how ancient the map is, you will get varying names, such as the Median empire, which is one of the empires that conquered the Babylonian empire. That entire region, on one map, was labeled as the Assyrians. The east now holds a portion of Turkey, Iran, some of the southern Russian states, Iraq, India, and, if you want to push it, China.

There would be only one reason to gather all these kings, and that would be for battle. This battle will be the one where they gather, in an effort to kill off Jesus who is coming back after the seven years of wrath has come to a close, right before the millennial kingdom is set up.

Revelation 16:13-14 NASB (13) And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; (14) for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty.

“ And I saw coming out of:”

  • “ the mouth of the dragon”

    Satan

  • “ out of the mouth of the beast”

    Antichrist

  • “ and out of the mouth of the false prophet”

    The man that has shown his true colors at the three-and-one-half year point into the reign of the antichrist.

Note that the antichrist performs signs; the false prophet performs signs, all of which are meant to cause people to follow mindlessly into the worship of the beast, worship of the image, and the taking of the mark. In this verse, the signs are meant to draw all these kings together to fight against God.

All across YouTube, people who call themselves Watchmen, have been trying to educate us about God’s seasons. I am one as well, just not as vocal. The scriptures, if you are looking for them, spell out rather clearly about the season of the Lord’s return for His church. One of the most dominant signs is the parable of the fig tree; Israel is that fig tree, and we are told that the generation which sees Israel becomes a nation would not pass away before Jesus returns for His church. 80 years is the maximum allotted time and Israel is currently 73. Add the seven years of wrath and Israel will be 80.

We are there, get ready. 

Posted in End times, false prophet, God's character, horsemen, Islam, judgment, New World Order, Prophetic, rapture, Thoughts, Thoughts on scripture, wrath. | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I am, by request, doing a study in Romans with the guys and I wanted you to see this one in particular because it talks about study methods.


On August 11, 2019, Pastor Jon’s sermon was:

“A couple of things I wished I had known about reading the Bible.”

I am quite sure my Pastor’s learning and understanding came at great expense in theology school. The irony is, I already knew these things. I learned them in the school of hard knocks. At this point, I have been seriously studying and looking at scripture for twelve years. In the process of doing that, I wrote about what I saw, tried to get an accurate picture of who God and Jesus are, and asked God a lot of hard questions, and they were all answered.

A friend of mine asked me how do you study?

What Pastor Jon delivered that Sunday morning was a clearly worded, concise technique for study. So I included that information along with my overview of the first chapter of Romans.

By the way, I realize that I could be writing to trained theology students and those who may never pick up a Bible, so I try to keep it intelligent and yet simple.

Back to my former Pastor Jon’s notes.

  1. The Bible was written for us, not to us.

    This is a significant statement, as it moves scripture out of the hallowed halls of religion and into our hands. It removes the sterility that we have imposed on scripture, and it is a unique perspective from which to start any Bible study, making scripture very personal.

  2. The meaning of the text is embedded in its original, historical context.

    So the question you should ask next is, what does that look like for us today?

    Perhaps at this point, I should tell you that the Pastor’s overall theme was, understanding the writings of the Apostle Paul, based on his letter to Philemon. In the study on Romans – that I have included, I cover, to some degree, the historical context of the Book of Romans. A massive piece of evidence comes from Romans 1:1, where Paul begins his typical introduction. Here he says, I Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ. Again, I cover this in the study below.

    This thought process also works exceptionally well when studying the book of Romans.

  3. The Bible is a context-rich form of communication.

    What does that mean? It means that everything you read in scripture, especially in the New Testament, has an initiating question or point of conversation. For example, the Revelation is filled with context – (It is a book written to Jews, using terminology that would have been common to them, and yet it applies primarily to us today. The imagery is nothing new, although, we, for some reason, struggle with multi-headed beasts.)

    Context is what links us back to the original thought and intent.

    Chuck Missler used to say, “it is an integrated, coded, message system.” That means that the messages in the scripture, though thousands of years apart, are integrally linked by God into one all-encompassing picture, in which God wins.

Pastor Jon’s tips: (Every week, he had tips. These are designed to give you a practical way to put the sermon into action.)

  • Get a Bible reading plan – like the You Version app.

    In reality, this means being deliberate in your reading. If necessary, force yourself to invest time daily.

  • Dig into the Bible passages that make your radar go off, and then dig a little deeper.

    I have a friend who seems to bounce back and forth in scripture; I understand why he does it, but when he asks questions, they are combinations of various thoughts and contexts, and sadly, he is often confused. The moral to this story is to get focused.

    No one is telling you to ignore boring passages; however, when you find a scripture that speaks to you, dismantle the verse; look at the Hebrew or Greek definitions of the simplest of words in a concordance, and find their meanings. Then, look for other comparative examples of the same thing.

    A tip – Since much of what we read is prophetic, you need to understand that prophecy is not a one-time event to the Jewish mindset. The Jews looked for and found acceptance in the patterns and repetition; therefore, when reading something prophetic, look for the parallels and previous examples. The Books of Daniel and Revelation are good examples of such similarities.

  • Read for transformation.

    Try to understand the author’s original intent; this will be necessary for us to apply the text to our lives today.
    As the Pastor spoke about these things, I could not help but think about two things.

    1. It required an expensive school to teach him these methods.

    2. I developed these same methods through reading and writing.

An overview of Romans, chapters 1-3.

Paul, as always, introduces himself.

In Romans 1:1 he says he is, “a slave of Christ Jesus, chosen by God to be an apostle and sent out to preach his Good News.”

What rights does a slave have?

For the most part nothing, but Paul, like us, is only a slave in attitude and by choice. I choose to follow Christ.

Then how are we to act before God?

Far too many of us think that grace gives us the freedom to play without rules. Those rules you are choosing to ignore are written upon your heart; so you will have no excuse if you find yourself under judgment.

With a general read of Romans, can you pick up on a theme?

 This introduction of himself as a slave is important because of the audience, as we will soon see.

How would introducing himself as a slave, knowing his knowledge, bear upon these readers?

The Jews shouted back at Jesus, we have been slaves to no one. Really, what about Joseph? What about the 400 years in Egypt? What about the time Israel spent in Babylon? The entirety of Paul’s message is meant to evoke jealousy in God’s people.

In Romans 1:9-12, we see Paul stating one of the reasons for writing this letter,

Romans 1:9-12 CJB  “For God, whom I serve in my spirit by spreading the Good News about his Son, is my witness that I regularly remember you  (10)  in my prayers; and I always pray that somehow, now or in the future, I might, by God’s will, succeed in coming to visit you.  (11)  For I long to see you, so that I might share with you some spiritual gift that can make you stronger—  (12)  or, to put it another way, so that by my being with you, we might, through the faith we share, encourage one another.

What do you think these passages are trying to say?

Having sat through three weeks of history on the Roman Church with my homegroup, you would think I would have had enough; and been smarter for it. But, unfortunately, that did not happen, and I looked at it once again.

  • The overview tells us that Paul wrote this letter to the church in Rome, a place he never visited, around the Fall season of 57 AD.

We are told, that Paul was writing to a vibrant church body, when he wrote this letter.

  • The Epistle itself, gives us few clues about the Roman believers, with the exception of Paul’s reprimands.

    But we have other clues as well, and you find them in Acts 18 where it talks about Priscilla and Aquila.

Historically, we have this:

  • Rome was under the governance of Nero (37-68AD), but one of the most disturbing leaders was Claudius, the adoptive father of Nero.

    Nero became the emperor in 54AD.

This immediately gets my attention, as

it is accepted that Emperor Claudius, made it known that the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus – a Grecian derivative for Christ, and therefore ordered the expulsion of the Jews from Rome. (In other words, they protested and fought back as best they could.)

Historical evidence informs us that the Christ followers were dipped in hot oil, impaled, and used as torches to light the roadways. Proclamations such as this only lasted until the death or incapacitation of the Emperor who had them written, and Jews began returning to Rome in January of 53AD, a full year before Nero was declared Emperor and apparently the death of Claudius in 54AD.

Historically there were three expulsions of Jews from Rome. When this third one took place I am not clear, but they began to return in 53AD. At this point in time, it would appear that both Claudius and Nero held the role of emperor. Either that, or Claudius was dying and that allowed for Nero to rule in his place.

Does this mean Nero served in a dual leadership position over Rome?

Possibly.

So by the time Paul writes this letter to the followers of Christ, which meets in Rome, they, once again, are operating as a thriving church.

What is my takeaway from this?

Since Christ’s death is the demarcation line for time, this is a relatively short period of time in which a documentation of events related to the gospels occurs. Consider, this is only about 53 years after the death of Christ.

An article written by Dr. Gary Habermas, entitled Recent Perspectives on the Reliability of the Gospels. Originally published in the Christian Research Journal / vol. 28, no. 1, 2005., tells us this.

Older strategies that support the historical reliability of the New Testament often begin their case by pointing out that the New Testament documents enjoy superior manuscript evidence.  Recent indications are that the New Testament is supported by more than 5500 copies and partial copies in Greek and other languages, while most ancient classical Greek and Roman texts have fewer than 10 each.  Moreover, there is comparatively little significant variation between these manuscripts, even when they are derived from different textual families.

While this extraordinary quantity and quality of the available texts does not tell us if the New Testament writings are historically reliable, most scholars think that the far more manuscripts and portions do indicate that we essentially have what the authors originally wrote.  This is obviously a crucial point to begin.

Further, the New Testament copies are much earlier—that is, closer to the original writings—than the classical texts.  Most of the New Testament is available from copies that are only 100-150 years after its completion, while a copy of the entire New Testament dates from about another 100 years after that.  In contrast, the classical counterparts generally date from 700-1400 years after their original compositions.

How did the church spread so rapidly?

Persecution.

Acts 8:1 NASB Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.

Clues that help to define this body of believers.

1. There association with Chrestus, as the Greeks put it.

  1. There are statements such as:

Romans 1:16 NASB “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

Why emphasize the Jew and then the Greeks?

While it is easy to say Paul was the evangelist to the Greeks, everywhere we saw him go in the Book of Acts he was going to Synagogues. You will NOT find gentiles there as they were not allowed. When he was attacked in Jerusalem is when you find him saying, I am taking this gospel to the Gentiles. This was over 15 years of preaching to Jews, and in this letter to the church in Rome, he is still trying to solidify Christ in them.

Romans 1:17 CJB  “For in it is revealed how God makes people righteous in his sight; and from beginning to end it is through trust—as the Tanakh puts it, “But the person who is righteous will live his life by trust.”

One of Israel’s repeated problems, was that they kept going back to the worship of idols and other gods.

The remainder of Romans chapter one, is ablaze with reproofs about the Jewish patterns of unbelief.

In this next section Paul is recapping how God dealt with the Jews in the beginning, and it was basically one of retraining their thinking, as they were effectively Egyptians. They had their Egyptian sex gods and another called Moloch to roast their babies to. This conversation would be wasted energy to a church filled with Gentiles who had no knowledge of the Law – or Jewish history.

As I sat in a home group, several years ago now, they glazed over Romans 1:18-32, the hardest part of this letter. It is not hard because of poor punctuation or readability, but because the world has changed and NO ONE appreciates someone getting into their business. Romans 1:18-32 does just that, it gets into your business and calls you out. If someone says to you, homosexuality is not in the Bible, well, that is only true if you hold fast to the King James Version, just as the Trinity or the Rapture of the church is not in the Bible, but every defining aspect of those events and actions are.

Allow me to show you.

Romans 1:25-27 CJB  “They have exchanged the truth of God for falsehood, by worshiping and serving created things, rather than the Creator—praised be he for ever. Amen.  (26)  This is why God has given them up to degrading passions; so that their women exchange natural sexual relations for unnatural;  (27)  and likewise the men, giving up natural relations with the opposite sex, burn with passion for one anothermen committing shameful acts with other men and receiving in their own persons the penalty appropriate to their perversion.”

You cannot read those words and deny what they mean. But sin, is forgiven, just as gluttony.

What is the hope then?

It only lies in our putting our trust in Him.

Romans 1:28 CJB  In other words, since they have not considered God worth knowing, God has given them up to worthless ways of thinking; so that they do improper things.

If you can call this hope, it is only because it demonstrates that you can find God, if you wake up.

Romans 1:32 CJB  They know well enough God’s righteous decree that people who do such things deserve to die; yet not only do they keep doing them, but they applaud others who do the same.

So, once again,

Romans 1:17 CJB  “For in it is revealed how God makes people righteous in his sight; and from beginning to end it is through trust—as the Tanakh puts it, “But the person who is righteous will live his life by trust.”

Posted in Freedom from sin, gentiles, God's character, Hearing God, In Christ, Jews, Thoughts, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

For all nations shall come and worship you. Revelation 15:1-8


Revelation 15:1 NASB Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last because in them the wrath of God is finished.

I saw another sign in heaven?

John is making a statement that speaks to his Jewish audience. I know you think this was written for our present day, Gentile church; but, if it was written exclusively for us, then why don’t we, for the most part, understand what he is talking about?

A former pastor of mine accosted me publicly and said, “no one can understand the Revelation.” With hardly a second thought I responded with, well, I do and will gladly teach others what I know.

In our study of the Revelation, we have seen other signs in the heavens.

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her
feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was with child; and she *cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.” (Revelation 12:1-2 NASB)

This is an actual, astronomical alignment of stars in the heavens, and it only recently came to pass.
Let’s get something straight, this has nothing to do with astrology. This knowledge of star alignments was central to the Magi’s understanding and they, based upon this knowledge, followed a star or an alignment of stars that they ascertained would lead them to the now two-year-old Messiah, which had been born in Bethlehem.
We are not left to struggle as we try to figure out what this sign is that John saw. It is “seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished.” This is the opening of the door to the end of the judgments, all a part of God’s wrath. We will finish out chapter fifteen, but you have to jump over to chapter sixteen to grasp what is next the seven bowls of judgment.

Then I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.” (Revelation 16:1 NASB)

So, although, chapter 15 speaks of an end, it, like much of the Revelation, takes a momentary detour.

Revelation 15:2-4 NASB And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God. (3) And they *sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Your ways, King of the nations! (4) “Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy; For ALL THE NATIONS WILL COME AND WORSHIP BEFORE YOU, FOR YOUR RIGHTEOUS ACTS HAVE BEEN REVEALED.”

Is this sea of glass something new?

Not at all, and the Jewish audience had a familiarity with this sea of glass as it comes from Exodus; and, notice that Moses was not alone when this sea of glass was seen.

Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel; and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself.” (Exodus 24:9-10 NASB)

Previously John spoke about this sea of glass in Revelation 4.

and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind.” (Revelation 4:6 NASB)

Hold this thought in your thinking, where is this sea of glass?

Before the throne.

Who else stands before the throne?

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;” (Revelation 7:9 NASB)

These are the martyred saints.

Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?” I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. “For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. “They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat;” (Revelation 7:13-16 NASB)

Many will read this statement, “they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb,” and think, these people simply washed their clothes in the blood of Jesus. Don’t be ridiculous, these people, having in the simplest of ways, shown their allegiance to Christ, were killed and their blood was shed. Since by our acceptance we became integrated into Christ, then it is His blood that is now washing their clothing as they bleed out. To prove my point.

When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;” (Revelation 6:9 NASB)

those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name.”

This statement moves this event into a particular time frame, three and one-half years into the time of wrath and the influence of the false prophet.

How do I know that?

Because we do not see any reference to the image of the beast or the number of his name until at least halfway through the seven years.

Revelation 13: 14-15 is the only place we find this conversation.

“And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who *had the wound of the sword and has come to life. And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.” (Revelation 13:14-15 NASB)

I want to think about this word victorious for a moment. It is the Greek word nikaō, and according to Thayer’s Definitionmeans to conquer, but it also means to carry off the victory or to come off as victorious.

In what way can I perceive these, so-called, victorious people as being conquerors?

I have been talking about Joel chapter two verses 28 and 29 for years and how non-religious people, who, during the time of wrath, turned their hearts toward God, and began to live like the prophet Elijah who called fire down from heaven. What a coincidence since these people may have had the two witnesses from God as an example of the power that God intended us to live in. The other thing that makes what Joel said important is the fact that on the day of Pentecost he told those who were listening, that this prophecy was fulfilled in their hearing. God did not make a temporary ruling for the moment and then rescind it, it stills stands fulfilled; and yet do we walk in this power? No.

“ telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who *had the wound of the sword and has come to life.”

If you have been following my posts on the Revelation, then you know that the beast who sustained the wound that made the world think it was dead, is an empire/kingdom. The empire that fits this description with precision was the Ottoman Caliphate.

Now, how do you make an image of a Caliphate?

You got me; they either make an image of the Caliphate or of this fallen angel who passes himself off as Allah, and the false prophet gives the image breath, a voice, and the ability to speak – this sign causes many of the Jewish leadership to worship the beast; and, as they do, so does the nation of Israel. Considering that Revelation 13:15 tells us that those, whose names are written in the book of life will NOT worship the beast, perhaps this is what being victorious over the beast looks like.

Revelation 15:4 MKJV  Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You only are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your (righteous acts) were made known.

I have known the Lord for a long time and so the question, “Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name,” seems odd and illogical, because I see God in everything and my heart longs for and worships Him.

For all nations shall come and worship before You,”

Do the nations, in general, do that now?

Not a chance, but a day is coming in which they will. King David tells us,

All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, And they shall glorify Your name.” (Psalms 86:9 NASB)

The prophet Jeremiah, almost word for word, declared what John would later write about.

Who would not fear You, O King of the nations? Indeed it is Your due! For among all the wise men of the nations And in all their kingdoms, There is none like You.”
(Jeremiah 10:7 NASB)

On that day, every nation will bow before Him in worship.

“I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.” (Isaiah 45:23 NASB)

False teachers will tell you that only Christians enter the 1000 year reign. This is NOT true.

Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem, will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. (Zechariah 14:16 NASB)

This time of celebration may NOT be a time of celebration for some. Perhaps another way of understanding this is to consider that most, among the nations, would NOT worship Him. Here, they will worship or have their rain taken away for a year – it is hard to grow crops without rain. Try that same trick the following year and a plague is put on you in which you dry up and turn to dust almost instantly. So, worship, during the 1000 year reign, will be mandatory for many.

This next verse is probably confusing to most because we are Gentiles. Perhaps it is time that we accept our new heritage and learn its ways.

And after these things, I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony was opened in Heaven. (Revelation 15:5 MKJV)

Everything done on earth had already been done in Heaven.

“Our fathers had the tabernacle of testimony in the wilderness, just as He who spoke to Moses directed him to make it according to the pattern which he had seen (in heaven.)” (Acts 7:44 NASB) Italics mine.

This became very important as Jesus traversed from the cross to the throne, because, as the high priest, He had to pour out His own blood on the heavenly utensils in heaven.

For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “THIS IS THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT WHICH GOD COMMANDED YOU.” And in the same way, he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood. And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world, but now once at the consummation of the ages, He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of HimselfAnd inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.” (Hebrews 9:19-28 NASB)

Consider this word testimony. It is the Greek word martyrion and means evidence as well as testimony.

“You shall put into the ark the testimony (evidence) which I shall give you.
(Exodus 25:16 NASB)

Evidence of what, and what was the evidence?

First of all, this chest, covered in gold, became the mercy seat of God. If you are trying to find God’s character this might be a good place to start. Even during the time of what many see as the oppressive Law, the most vital piece of furniture behind the veil is the mercy seat.

Secondly, the items place inside the rather large chest were things meant to remind them that God is real and what He had done for them. Sadly, it does not take us long to forget. I suppose that is why it is necessary to remind people constantly.

What were the items?

A jar that held the manna. Israel had been given specific instructions pertaining to the collection of the manna, Disobey or disregard those instructions and the manna rotted. As far as we know, the manna remained fresh in the jar until someone disturbed its contents. There was also Aaron’s rod that budded, and, the stone tablets that contained the Law of God – ten commandments.

Do I need those items to assure me of my salvation?

No, we have God’s word and faith. Consider something, Jesus was taken by the Jewish council, beaten, and then handed over to the Romans to be killed – the Jews could not legally or morally have done such a thing, but the Romans, who were thought to be godless Gentiles, easily could. So, Jesus was put on a cross and He physically died while on that cross. Historically, we know that He was placed in a borrowed tomb, over which a stone was rolled and sealed with a Roman seal.

Jesus was “dead” for three days; this is important because for the Jews, after three days the spirit leaves the body and you are officially dead. We see this timing in the story of Jonah, and with Lazarus. Since the spirit never dies Jesus continued to carry out the Father’s plan of redemption, and He went to hell, defeated Satan there, took his keys, and set the prisoners free.

Many of you know what happened next, He appeared in the Garden, near the tomb, on the third day, and we are told that Mary, once she recognized that it was Him, hugged Him. Jesus responded in a peculiar manner as He said, I have not been to the Father yet.

What was that all about?

This is where Hebrews 9:19-28 comes into play, for He still had to go to the heavenly altar, cleanse it, and offer His own blood on our behalf.

The pastor made an interesting point this morning as he tried to explain how people say, why would a loving God send people to hell? The problem with their question, which demonstrates how little they know about God’s word, is not that God is sending anyone to hell, we were all on that path because we inherited damaged, sinful genetics from Adam. It was Jesus who gave us the opportunity to put the brakes and halt the actions that would have been our only option. Now, we, through faith, have the chance to change our path and redirect back to the Father.

Revelation 15:6-8 NASB and the seven angels who had the seven plagues came out of the temple, clothed in linen, clean and bright, and girded around their chests with golden sashes. (7) Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever. (8) And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished.

There are seven angels and I do not feel as though more needs to be said about them.

The next phase of God’s judgment is the bowls and we are now there. In verse 8 we are told that the bowls contain plagues. This could be a coverall statement for whatever is coming next or, it may be an addendum to what is being pushed upon the globe currently. This C19 jab is a plague and of that, I am convinced. Look at what Leviticus says.

“If then, you act with hostility against Me and are unwilling to obey Me, I will increase the plague on you seven times according to your sins.” (Leviticus 26:21 NASB)

I do not feel comfortable conjecturing what these plague effects will look like, just knowing what has been happening to people who have submitted to the jab, is already depressing enough.

There is only one hope and that is to turn your life over to Jesus.



 

Posted in End times, Islam, judgment, New World Order, one world religion, overcame, Prophetic, the word of their testimony, Thoughts, Thoughts on scripture, two witnesses, wrath. | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Agotando a los santos


Esta frase “desgastará a los santos”, surgió en una conversación recientemente. En mi opinión, pide tanto una explicación como respuestas.

Dependiendo de la versión de la Biblia que esté usando,  desgastar también se traduce como: agotar, aplastar , herir y consumir . Es la palabra caldea belâ , que significa: afligir , y solo se usa una vez en la Biblia.

Los términos desgastan y afligir me transmiten dos cosas distintas. Una me hace pensar en el daño que solía hacerle a mis jeans durante los veranos cuando era niña. Trepamos y nos deslizamos por todo lo que pudimos; la presión mental ciertamente podría hacer eso.

Para afligir , por el contrario, tiene un amplio espectro de la violencia que se le atribuye. Puedo recordar el nudillo en la cabeza en la escuela primaria, pero también puede significar decapitaciones . Necesita algo de claridad, ¿no?

Me preguntaron,

  • ¿Cuándo ocurre este “desgaste de los santos” , y es posible que estemos en él ahora?
  • ¿Implica una acción continua, o podría ser en un momento dado?
  • ¿Sugiere problemas comunes de la vida o una amenaza constante de muerte?

Las confrontaciones bíblicas pueden desgastarte, especialmente cuando tratas de seguir la lógica rota, que nunca parece terminar, ya que cada argumento ilógico se te lanza. La mayoría de estos argumentos se resuelven fácilmente si la persona que habla simplemente lea su Biblia, pero no lo hace. Solo leen y escuchan lo que quieren. Es por eso que estos argumentos se vuelven más una conversación impulsada por las emociones. Solía ​​pensar que podía responder con información concisa, como citas de Josefo, Tácito o la concordancia de Strong, de una manera que mostraría claramente por qué sus argumentos son incorrectos y que la respuesta no siempre es tan en blanco y negro, o de mente estrecha. En esa nota: solo hay un camino, y su nombre es Jesús.

Las confrontaciones no son tanto de mi parte, es decir, no estoy tratando de buscar peleas teológicas con la gente, principalmente porque mi memoria está disparada y no estoy reteniendo información como antes. Personalmente creo que este es el Espíritu Santo manteniéndome bajo control, porque me conozco, y destrozaría a estos falsos maestros públicamente si tuviera la oportunidad. Como no puedo, a menudo aplazo y me retiro, murmurando, ¿cómo te está funcionando eso? Odio eso, pero si miro esto en términos de un guerrero que ha recibido un golpe en un brazo o mano dominante, es posible que se vuelvan ineficaces, pero no les quitarás la mentalidad de guerrero. Esa mentalidad guerrera puede convertirse en ocasiones en una carga, principalmente porque no hay necesidad de enfrentamientos tan completos. A veces, todo lo que necesitas hacer es razonar con la gente. Otra cosa;También me he dado cuenta de que no es necesario que me escuchen todo el tiempo. Esto me quita una tremenda presión, ya que me he dado cuenta de que Dios tiene el control, no yo.

Debemos entender que Satanás es el enemigo perpetuo del creyente. Las Escrituras nos dicen que hay un rango de tiempo particular involucrado con estos eventos que vemos en la profecía de Daniel.

Desafortunadamente, este desgaste de los santos ocurre durante un vasto y anodino período, el tiempo de la cuarta bestia. La referencia particular se encuentra en el libro de profecías de Daniel.

“Dijo así: La cuarta bestia será el cuarto reino sobre la tierra, el cual será diferente de todos los reinos, y devorará toda la tierra, la hollará y la despedazará. Y los diez cuernos de este reino son diez reyes que se levantarán; y otro se levantará después de ellos, y será diferente de los primeros, y a tres reyes subyugará. Y hablará grandes palabras contra el Altísimo, y agotará a los santos del Altísimo , y pensará en cambiar los tiempos y las leyes; y serán entregados en su mano hasta un tiempo y tiempos y la división de los tiempos. Pero el juicio se sentará, y le quitarán su dominio para consumirlo y destruirlo hasta el fin ”. ( Daniel 7: 23-26 KJV )

Me sentí seguro al llamar el tiempo de la cuarta bestia, vasto y anodino porque tenemos una clara claridad sobre la identidad de los tres reinos anteriores. El Imperio Griego juega un papel dominante en la comprensión de dónde podría provenir esta bestia. Comenzando con Alejandro y continuando hasta los imperios seléucida y ptolemaico , es, en mi opinión, el cuarto imperio de las bestias. A muchos les gusta especular que el cuarto imperio fue el Imperio Romano, aunque no se describió como los demás. El enfoque típico que más se usa para determinar cómo llamar al reino de las bestias y, por lo tanto, decidir de dónde vendrá la “bestia”, se encuentra en el libro de Daniel.

Daniel 9:26 RV Y después de sesenta y dos semanas será destruido el Mesías, pero no por sí mismo; y el pueblo del príncipe que ha de venir destruirá la ciudad y el santuario; y su fin será con un diluvio, y hasta el fin de la guerra serán determinadas las desolaciones.

Si me has seguido, el tiempo suficiente comprenderás que esto tiene dos cumplimientos. Uno quedó bajo el gobierno del general romano Tito con la destrucción del templo en el 70 d.C. Sin embargo, hay otro cumplimiento en los últimos días .

Tito, el general romano, es considerado por muchos como “el príncipe que ha de venir”. Sin embargo, si hace su investigación, encontrará que la evidencia se inclina hacia un pueblo del Medio Oriente, conocido como asirios, no romanos .

Esto es lo que nos dice el historiador Josefo en – Las guerras de los judíos – Libro 5 Capítulo 13

“.Aún otra plaga se apoderó de los que fueron así preservados; porque se encontró entre los desertores sirios a cierta persona que fue sorprendida recogiendo piezas de oro de los excrementos de los vientres de los judíos; porque los desertores solían tragarse tales piezas de oro, como les dijimos antes, cuando salían, y por estos los sediciosos los registraron a todos; porque había una gran cantidad de oro en la ciudad, tanto que ahora se vendía [en el campamento romano] por doce áticos [dracmas], como antes se vendía por veinticinco. Pero cuando se descubrió este artilugio en un caso, la fama llenó sus varios campamentos de que los desertores acudieran a ellos llenos de oro. Así que la multitud de los árabes, con los sirios, cortó a los que vinieron como suplicantes, y registró sus estómagos. Tampoco me parece que sufrieron los judíos alguna miseria más terrible que ésta, ya que en una noche fueron diseccionados así unos dos mil de estos desertores “.

En el libro 6, capítulo 4 de Las guerras de los judíos , Josefo nos dice que muchos consideraron el templo como una ciudadela para los judíos y una inspiración para seguir rebelándose contra la ocupación romana. El fuego ya había sido ordenado contra las puertas del templo, pero Titus argumentó y prevaleció verbalmente con respecto a salvar el templo.

“Pero Tito dijo que” aunque los judíos subieran a esa santa casa y combatieran desde allí, no deberíamos vengarnos de cosas inanimadas, en lugar de los hombres mismos “, y que él no estaba en ningún caso por quemar una obra tan vasta como esa, porque sería un daño para los propios romanos, ya que sería un adorno para su gobierno mientras continuara. De modo que Fronto, Alejandro y Cerealis se atrevieron con esa declaración, y Estuvo de acuerdo con la opinión de Tito, y luego se disolvió esta asamblea, cuando Tito había dado órdenes a los comandantes de que el resto de sus fuerzas se quedaran quietas, pero que se valieran de los más valientes en este ataque.Entonces mandó que los hombres escogidos que fueran sacados de las cohortes debían abrirse paso a través de las ruinas y apagar el fuego “.

“Titus se retira, el sedicioso se quedó quieto por un rato, y luego atacó a los romanos de nuevo, cuando los que custodiaban la santa casa pelearon con los que apagaron el fuego que estaba quemando el interior [patio del] templo; pero estos romanos pusieron los judíos huyeron y se dirigieron hasta la casa santa misma. En ese momento, uno de los soldados, sin esperar ninguna orden, y sin ninguna preocupación o temor sobre él por una empresa tan grande, y siendo apresurado por un cierto furia divina, arrancada un poco de los materiales que estaban en llamas, y siendo levantado por otro soldado, prendió fuego a una ventana dorada, por la que había un pasaje a las habitaciones que rodeaban la casa santa, en el norte. lado de ella.Mientras las llamas ascendían, los judíos hicieron un gran clamor, tal como requería una aflicción tan poderosa, y corrieron juntos para evitarlo; y ahora ya no perdonaron la vida, ni sufrieron nada que refrenara su fuerza, ya que esa santa casa estaba pereciendo, por el bien de quién la guardaban “.

Fíjate en la reacción de Tito y pregúntate, ¿parece alguien empeñado en una destrucción completa del templo?

” Y una persona vino corriendo a Tito y le informó de este incendio, mientras descansaba en su tienda después de la última batalla; entonces se levantó apresuradamente y, como estaba, corrió a la casa santa. , para detener el fuego ; tras él siguieron todos sus comandantes, y tras ellos siguieron las varias legiones, con gran asombro; por lo que se levantó un gran clamor y tumulto, como era natural en el movimiento desordenado de tan gran ejército. » Entonces hizo César, tanto llamando a los soldados que combatían, en voz alta, como dándoles una señal con la mano derecha, y les ordenó que apagaran el fuego.Pero ellos no escucharon lo que dijo, aunque habló muy fuerte, y sus oídos ya estaban atenuados por un ruido mayor de otra manera; ni tampoco prestaron atención a la señal que hizo con la mano, pues todavía algunos estaban distraídos con la lucha, otros con pasión. Pero en cuanto a las legiones que vinieron corriendo allí, ni ninguna persuasión ni ninguna amenaza pudieron contener su violencia, pero la propia pasión de cada uno era su comandante en este momento “;

Percibo que esta declaración es la más reveladora de todas, y la dijo Tito, el general romano:

“Además, los árabes y sirios ahora, en primer lugar, comienzan a gobernarse a sí mismos como les plazca, y a satisfacer sus apetitos en una guerra extranjera, y luego, por su barbarie al asesinar hombres, y por su odio hacia el Judíos, ¿se lo atribuyen a los romanos?

El temor de Tito era que la barbarie de estos hombres fuera atribuida a los romanos, y eso es exactamente lo que hacemos cuando declaramos que el cuarto imperio es un Imperio Romano revivido . ¿No ves que adscribir a Roma al cuarto imperio también quita nuestros ojos de lo que podría ser el verdadero mal de los últimos días, el Islam?

En años recientes, ocupé la posición de que “los santos” eran solo aquellos que fueron martirizados durante el período de siete años de la ira de Dios, que tan tontamente llamamos tribulación. Hice exactamente lo que desprecio, escupir conceptos como hechos sin revisar mi Biblia adecuadamente. Pablo usó el término santos a lo largo de sus escritos , y eso tiende a disipar la idea de que los santos son exclusivos de los años de ira. Varios ejemplos son Efesios 1: 1; Filipenses 1: 1; Efesios 6: 8 y muchos otros.

La terminología santo me lleva inmediatamente al Apocalipsis donde vemos cosas como la mujer, ebria de la sangre de los santos (Apocalipsis 17: 6). No hace falta ser un científico espacial para darse cuenta de que el entendimiento principal aquí son los santos martirizados.

Sin embargo, hay algo notable en los escritos de Juan. Nunca usó el término santos al hablar de la iglesia fuera del Apocalipsis ; la mayoría de las veces los llama: niños pequeños  y hermanos . La sensación es de asociación y comprensión del corazón y el carácter de Dios. Considerando los comienzos de Juan en comparación con el final, solo tiene sentido que tenga el corazón de Dios mientras desarrolla el Apocalipsis, un tiempo de destrucción y juicio de pesadilla. Esta vez que llamamos la Tribulación no está dirigida a “mis hijitos”.

Nota: He releído y editado esta publicación varias veces desde que la publiqué, pero hoy, 19/9/2021, las declaraciones anteriores me han cautivado una vez más. John, al decirnos lo que vio, nos muestra una obra de teatro, y nos está derramando el corazón y el carácter de Dios. Dios consideró oportuno recuperar Su iglesia, Su cuerpo antes de derramar Su ira sobre un mundo incrédulo y, en su mayor parte, impenitente.

Me doy cuenta de que inicié esta conversación con una parte de Daniel, no con John, pero hablan de lo mismo ; esta discusión paralela demuestra la dirección y dirección del Espíritu Santo . No podemos descartar la idea de que el recuerdo de Juan de las profecías de Daniel puede haber jugado un papel en la terminología de Juan.

Cuando miras la profecía de los últimos tiempos, solo hay tres grupos de personas a considerar: los judíos, las naciones y la iglesia.

Si bien puede haber y habrá algún cruce entre los judíos y la iglesia; en ese momento, los seguidores de Cristo se consideran parte de la iglesia.

Algunos dirán que Dios se rindió con los judíos. No me parece. Ha grabado sus nombres y rostros en las palmas de sus manos. No renuncias a algo tan precioso, especialmente después de mostrar ese nivel de compromiso. Dios tiene un plan para hacer que el corazón del judío, su elegido, vuelva a sí mismo. Desafortunadamente, hay mucho dolor y sufrimiento involucrados en ese viaje.

En general, los judíos han rechazado a Jesús, el Mesías y, por lo tanto, se han sometido a la ira que viene. 

“Y acercándose, vio la ciudad y lloró sobre ella, diciendo: Si tú también hubieras sabido, al menos en este día tuyo , las cosas para tu paz, pero ahora están ocultas a tus ojos. Porque vendrán días en ti en que tus enemigos te levantarán un terraplén, te rodearán y te retendrán por todos lados, y te derribarán a ti, y a tus hijos dentro de ti, y no dejarán un piedra sobre piedra porque no sabías el tiempo de tu visitación “. (Lucas 19: 41-44 MKJV)

El rechazo de Dios por parte de Israel es un tema común. Un ejemplo de esto se ve en la selección de Saúl como rey.

Y el SEÑOR dijo a Samuel: Oye la voz del pueblo en todo lo que te digan; porque no te han desechado a ti, sino que me han desechado a mí, para que yo no reine sobre ellos . (1 Samuel 8: 7 KJV)

Las naciones también podrían denominarse gentiles . Daniel se refirió a ellos como el pueblo del príncipe que vendrá. Jesús, hablando de los días de la venganza, dijo:

“Y caerán a filo de espada, y serán llevados cautivos a todas las naciones; y Jerusalén será hollada por los gentiles hasta que se cumpla el tiempo de los gentiles. ”(Lucas 21:24 RV)

La iglesia es la colección completa de creyentes que comprende el cuerpo de Cristo.

Y puso todas las cosas debajo de sus pies, y lo dio por cabeza de todas las cosas a la iglesia, que es su cuerpo , la plenitud de Aquel que todo lo llena en todo. ( Efesios 1: 22-23 KJV)

¿Quién es la imagen del Dios invisible, el primogénito de toda criatura? Porque en él fueron creadas todas las cosas, que están en los cielos y en la tierra, visibles e invisibles, sean tronos, sean dominios, sean principados, o poderes: todas las cosas fueron creadas por él y para él: y él es antes de todas las cosas, y por él todas las cosas subsisten. Y él es la cabeza del cuerpo, la iglesia : el cual es el principio, el primogénito de los muertos; para que en todas las cosas pudiera tener la preeminencia. ( Colosenses 1: 15-18 KJV)

En general, la iglesia está excluida de la ira o venganza que vendrá sobre la tierra.

Pero Dios demuestra su amor por nosotros con esto (James Moffatt), en que, cuando aún éramos pecadores, Cristo murió por nosotros. Mucho más entonces, siendo ahora justificados por su sangre, seremos salvos de la ira por él. (Romanos 5: 8-9 KJV)

“. te volviste a Dios de los ídolos, para servir a un Dios vivo y real y para esperar la venida de su Hijo del cielo, el Hijo a quien resucitó de los muertos, Jesús que nos rescata de la ira venidera . ( 1 Tesalonicenses 1: 9-10 Moffatt NT)

A la iglesia le gusta mantenerse en exclusividad, pensando que estamos protegidos de la tribulación. Mira, Jesús nos garantizó tres cosas:

  1. En este mundo, tendrás tribulación .
  2. Todos los hombres te odiarán por causa de mi nombre.
  3. Vendré de nuevo por ti.

La tribulación y la ira / venganza son dos cosas diferentes.

La tribulación no se detiene y se presenta de muchas formas . No tiene nada que ver con su incapacidad para comprar una nueva hélice para el barco de esquí familiar. Sea real, personas en partes del mundo donde hay una fuerte influencia musulmana están siendo asesinadas a diario. 

Si viviera bajo una constante amenaza de muerte, ¿cree que se sentiría agotado?

Absolutamente.

Quizás la Biblia en inglés básico lo traduzca de manera más apropiada. Daniel 7:25 (a) BBE

Y dirá palabras contra el Altísimo, intentando acabar con los santos del Altísimo ”;

Está claro que la intención es matar a los santos.

Y hablará palabras contra el Altísimo, y consumirá

a los santos del Altísimo . Y tiene la intención de cambiar los tiempos y la ley. Y serán entregados en su mano hasta tiempo y tiempo y medio. Daniel 7:25 LITV )

Daniel 7:23 declara que lo que había de venir es la cuarta bestia Si la cuarta bestia es el Islam, entonces fue iniciado más de 600 años después de la muerte de Cristo por Muhammad.

Nacido aproximadamente en 570 EC en la   ciudad árabe de  La Meca , [9] [10]  Muhammad quedó huérfano a una edad temprana; fue criado bajo el cuidado de su tío paterno  Abu Talib . Después de su infancia, Mahoma trabajó principalmente como comerciante. [11]  De vez en cuando se retiraba a una cueva en las montañas para pasar varias noches de reclusión y oración; más tarde, a los 40 años, informó en este lugar, [9] [12]  que fue visitado por  Gabriel  y recibió  su primera revelación  de Dios. Tres años después de este evento, Mahoma comenzó a  predicar  estas revelaciones públicamente, proclamando que ” Dios es Uno“, esa completa” entrega “(lit.  islām ) a Él es la única manera ( dīn ) [n 3]  aceptable a Dios, y que él era un profeta y mensajero de Dios, similar a  otros profetas islámicos . [13] [ 14] [15] (De Wikipedia).

El Islam ha operado bajo varios califatos desde la muerte de Mahoma en 632 d.C. (AEC). Si bien todos ellos causaron dolor en el mundo del Medio Oriente, uno de los más grandes y poderosos fue el Califato Otomano.

Otomana Califato (1453 / 1517- 1924 )

A finales de octubre de 1922, los aliados invitaron a los gobiernos nacionalista y otomano a una conferencia en Lausana, Suiza, pero Atatürk estaba decidido a que el gobierno nacionalista fuera el único representante de Turquía. En noviembre de 1922, la Gran Asamblea Nacional separó los cargos de sultán y califa y abolió el primero. La asamblea declaró además que el régimen otomano había dejado de ser el gobierno de Turquía cuando los aliados tomaron la capital en 1920, aboliendo de hecho el Imperio Otomano . [Extracto de Ottomans.org]

La realidad de la declaración anterior es que el Imperio Otomano sostuvo efectivamente lo que parecía ser la herida mortal en la cabeza en 1924, y durante muchos años el mundo del Medio Oriente tuvo paz.

¿Es posible que los creyentes hayan sido atacados durante mil ochocientos años?

¡Sin duda!

Preste atención a otro aspecto del Islam.

“La  Hermandad Musulmana  fue fundada en Ismailia,  Egipto  por Hassan al-Banna en marzo de 1928 como un movimiento religioso, político y social islamista. [1] [2]  El grupo se extendió a otros países musulmanes, pero tiene su organización más grande, o una de las más grandes, en Egipto, donde durante muchos años ha sido la fuerza de oposición política más grande, mejor organizada y más disciplinada, [ 3] [4] [5] a  pesar de una sucesión de represiones gubernamentales en 1948, 1954, 1965 después de que se descubrieron complots, o supuestos complots, de asesinato y derrocamiento. Tras la Revolución de 2011, el grupo fue legalizado [5]. y en abril de 2011 lanzó un partido político cívico llamado Partido Libertad y Justicia (Egipto) para participar en las elecciones “. (Wikipedia)

Note que esto es siete años y medio después de la disolución del Califato.

La Hermandad Musulmana tenía “vínculos con los nazis que comenzaron durante la década de 1930 y estuvieron estrechos durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial, lo que implicó agitación contra los británicos, espionaje y sabotaje, así como apoyo a actividades terroristas orquestadas por Haj Amin el-Hussaini en el Mandato Británico de Palestina , como confirman una amplia gama de documentos desclasificados de los archivos gubernamentales británicos, estadounidenses y alemanes nazis, así como de relatos personales y memorias de ese período. [7]  Reflejando esta conexión, la Hermandad Musulmana también difundió Mein Kampf  y  Los Protocolos de Hitler.  de los Ancianos de Sión  ampliamente en traducciones árabes, ayudando a profundizar y extender las opiniones hostiles ya existentes sobre los judíos y las sociedades occidentales en general. [8] (Wikipedia)

El punto a esto es que el Islam ha sido una espina destructiva en la carne de aquellos que no obedecen durante más de 1800 años . ¿Han sido una amenaza global a lo largo de su historia? No, pero fue necesaria una respuesta global para someterlos en 1922. Creo que podemos estar de acuerdo en que son globales ahora y una amenaza mayor que nunca. Aparte de eso, su directiva principal es matar a la gente del libro, que serían los judíos y los cristianos. ¿Ha notado que están haciendo mella seria en nuestra democracia con sus objetivos ?

Si ha visto las noticias en los últimos años, entonces está al tanto de los cristianos que están siendo masacrados en las naciones del Medio Oriente y África. Quizás también hayas notado que los ataques contra cualquier grupo fuera del Islam son un juego limpio para ellos. Budistas, católicos, lo que sea. Incluso luchan entre sí como si hubiera una competencia para ver quién puede seguir el Corán con mayor precisión. Desafortunadamente, para el forastero, si bien el Corán tiene pasajes dedicados a la paz, son reemplazados por pasajes más nuevos que exigen un cumplimiento estricto y violento.

Creo que es evidente que hay aflicción dirigida a los cristianos en ciertas partes del mundo . China y Corea del Norte no deben quedarse fuera de esta violencia contra los cristianos. Supongo que la pregunta es, ¿cuánto tiempo hasta que este nivel de violencia llegue a las Américas y nos aflija también a nosotros?

No creas que tu falta de fe te protegerá.

En general, el Islam siente que cualquier estadounidense es un seguidor de Cristo y digno de muerte . Las Escrituras me dicen que puedes tener la oportunidad de rechazar a Dios y aceptar a Alá como tu Dios de elección, inclinándote ante él en adoración. Quizás eso te salve el cuello por el momento. Soy consciente de que de todos modos le cortaron la cabeza a un hombre, posiblemente porque pensaban que era un cobarde sin agallas. Sospecho que no será tan fácil como eso, y es posible que no tengan tiempo para esperar su decisión. Por supuesto, ceder a esto te aleja de cualquier esperanza de una relación con Dios. En otras palabras, no hay vuelta atrás en esta decisión.

Si no conoce a Jesucristo, puede hacerlo. Invítelo a entrar en su vida, entréguese a él y acepte su perdón. Permítele que dirija tu vida, ya que la has estado arruinando. No tienes que trabajar por tu salvación, ya que es gratis y se paga, simplemente tienes que recibir esta vida y esta salvación. Experimentarás una paz que nunca antes habías conocido y la promesa de que él vendrá por ti para que puedas vivir con él en la gloria.

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