The Conclusion Of This Age, and The Return Of Our Lord – teaching notes from 2 PETER chapter 3

This is a loooong post because these are notes from a teaching that encompasses much but clearly not all of the biblical perspective of the return of Jesus. Since it so broad in its text reference, it can be a good source and/or starting point for one to familiarize themselves with a biblically based point of view on this critical subject.

Much of the underlining and words in bold are for the speaker to not forget to mention. These are speaking notes. Apologies for some of the graphic images not being in this post version.

WEEK THREE – 2 Peter
1&2 PETER – WEEK THREE – conclusion

We’re finishing up this evening looking into the third and final chapter of 2 Peter. We have a lot of ground to cover, and/so I will not be reviewing a lot of where we’ve been over the past two sessions. AGAIN – thank you for the positive feedback.

ONE MORE THING – it pretty much would require me going through nearly the ENTIRE BIBLE to fully confirm MY OPINIONS that I will be setting forth tonight – so I won’t attempt that. People more diligent and studious than myself have taken DECADES to explain their positional opinion re: END TIMES EVENTS. We have two hours or so.

So our two hours (guaranteed longer, actually) are what our two hours will be, and Lord willing:
A. His Spirit and presence will affirm and confirm at least SOME of what I am bringing forth this evening, and
B. This evening will AT VERY LEAST woo you and maybe drive you into your own depth of analysis of these things, and this time in which we live, and then to settle in your own mind and heart THE QUESTION OF QUESTIONS that Peter puts forth in regards to his bringing up this topic:

(AFTER TELLING US THE PLACE IS IN FOR SOME HEAVY WORLDWIDE UPHEAVAL, BY GOD HIMSELF:

2 Peter 3
11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?

Peter wrote two letters (epistles). This final one mentioned his awareness of his upcoming death (John 21:18,19) – and btw this is one of many verses REFERENCED IN THESE NOTES, but not displayed or discussed tonight, for time sake)

 Peter took his departure most seriously, understood he’d be at the hands of others, and wrote this letter recognizing that the most critical things wanted to be addressed prior to that departure. Those most “critical things” had to include the return of Jesus – the capstone event of the entire plan of God. More is written about His SECOND coming, than His first.

So – as we read last week – Peter dealt w:

  • intentional growing and maturing in God, and
  • the need for critical awareness of false teaching; and
  • deceptive doctrines that would come in church to try to destroy it or erode it to a place of ineffectiveness (sadly, that’s happened way too much – some will be lightly addressed this evening).

So Peter, in his final writings, addresses culmination events and the conclusion of this age (I will be using the terms “end-times” and “end-of-age” interchangeably, even though TIME will not END when the Lord returns. It’s clear in scripture, especially Zech and Ezek that time continues into the next 1000 year age).

BTW – if your personal spiritual grid re these issues is not deep and I’ve already brought up things new to you, – that’s OK it’s good to start somewhere. Part of the reason for people’s curiosity is EXACTLY WHY there’s a shaking work on earth. It is intended to unnerve us all, to get us to ask the “WHY?” questions.

We’re going to give a good shot at a broad approach – and to do so I’ll necessarily be all over the bible because it best testifies to itself and ANY doctrine of accurate teaching REQUIRES that it withstands the scrutiny of the complete biblical text. This is a litmus test that many doctrines CANNOT withstand – they collapse in the light of other scriptural truths, and then end up requiring the “get out of jail free card” of: “IT’S A MYSTERY!”

There ARE mysteries, and things yet to be revealed. But I am personally convinced that the “PROPHETIC GIST” of the entire scriptural text appears to weigh heavily in favor of the things I plan to bring forth, and I bring them forth in the fear of God.

Everything we personally don’t understand doesn’t qualify as mysteries. Some of it is our ignorance, and the best counter against ignorance is study. God loves it when you study and pray into His word. He’s the best teacher.

I’ll address some INARGUABLES (clearly in scripture), and also touch on some of the ARGUABLES – things a good deal of the global church views from different perspectives. MOST IMPORTANTLY is that what we address and look at are biblically based.

ONE KEY TO UNDERSTANDING GOD AND HIS WORD: There are no functional “CLIFF NOTES” or shortcuts to getting the whole picture of the plan of God. There are BOTTOM LINES of conclusion – but God in His wisdom has purposed His plan and anointed His prophets to set forth His words to require and reward humble and diligent and contemplative study and investment of time into His word. IN THAT PLACE, true revelation occurs. It’s the difference between INFORMATION and REVELATION.

Sadly, there’s been erroneous and/or goofy doctrines brought forth by people’s wild visions and hopeful imaginations that have managed to gain credibility only via a Vita-Mix-event of weird things blended together, always in ignorance or defiance of the full text of the bible. That is a dangerous scenario, and quite frankly something to remember when, TWO HOURS FROM NOW – I speak about ONE reason I am convinced the seasoned saints will be on earth for the last days harvest: the work of God REQUIRES seasoned saints who have been around the block and immersed into the word, for decades.

WE DO KNOW THIS: What has to occur will always coordinate w ALL of scripture (ISA 28 – “to whom will He teach knowledge?……line must be upon line and precept upon precept”). It is that glorious assurance that can lead us to accurate interpretation of scripture, and accurate understanding of God’s plans.

SO LET’S READ 2 PETER 3.

PRAY………………..
2 Peter 3:1

​1 Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder),

WE SEE PETER CONSIDERS THIS A CRITICAL MATTER – doesn’t want the saints to ever forget it.

And we can see Peter’s differentiation of the OT writers (PROPHETS) and the NT writers (APOSTLES),

2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior,

SO PETER TELLS US WHAT HE IS REVEALING IS WHAT THE EARLIER (OT) PROPHETS WROTE ABOUT – IT IS NOT A NEW THING. THEN PETER PRIORITIZES OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE DECEPTION AND DANGER OF FAR-FLINGING THE RETURN OF CHRIST INTO THE WAY, WAY FUTURE:

3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts,

4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”

Sadly, ones falsely predicting the return of Christ – either too early or too late – lend credibility to the conception of “HERE WE GO AGAIN” – when another group of believers puts forth some loud proclamation of upcoming prophetic events – only to be proven wrong.

WE’RE IN ONE OF THOSE PERIODS RIGHT NOW:

(SLIDE: FOXNEWS PIC AND ARTICLE – 9.17.17)

We have some dear and beloved brethren who I believe are sincere, who I also humbly believe have CORRECTLY recognized there’s some serious stuff happening in alarming frequency, but then have reached the INCORRECT conclusion that all this points to the RAPTURE (the lifting up and exit) of the Church and the beginning of the trouble and wrath of God. Some go so far as to think Jesus is coming back Sept 23. As a reference: today is Sept 20. Whether they are right or I am right in saying they aren’t right, will be known in 3 days.

MY STATEMENT OF FAITH RE SEPT 23 –

Jesus is not coming back Sept 23, nor is the church getting raptured upward into heaven – we’ll deal w this as the evening goes on.
Meanwhile, I don’t believe they’re wrong in their AWARENESS. But I do believe they are wrong in their CONCLUSION.

Sadly, once all the noise and proclamations are over and Sept 23 comes and goes, it will do damage to the credibility of scripture and it may discourage many sincere saints who will think “NOW who can I trust?”

BACK TO PETER:

Peter goes on to equate the return – with its judgmental destruction – compared to the Flood of Noah and its with its judgmental destruction. Immediately we are assured this is not simply the King coming back for His Kingdom, and His wedding to His Bride/Church. There will be warfare waged against wickedness.

5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water,
6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.
7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.  

FIRST – Verse 7 ought to bury the concept of Jesus simply coming back for a world that has been successfully evangelized by the zealous church (a different-than-pre-trib-rapture doctrine but also very popular, conference-filling doctrine AT LEAST in the Western Church bubble).

NOTE: Many of the doctrines of the Western Church don’t hold up well in other parts of the world, where saints are already being martyred in unprecedented numbers. THOSE FOLKS don’t buy into the Kingdom of God taking over the world and then handing it back to Jesus, on a platter, when He returns, nor are they convinced the tough stuff happened in 70AD. Reality has opened the scriptures to our suffering brethren as to how this world looks to be wrapping up this age. And that aligns w biblical text.

SECOND – we see that the culmination of the TIMES OF TROUBLE are actually followed by DAYS OF WRATH for the ones who still refused to repent of their ways during the TIMES OF TROUBLE.

I DO BELIEVE the saints are delivered from “the wrath to come” (1 Thess 1:10)

NEXT VERSE can be controversial – although I think that its place in this writing supports my opinion re it being a TIMING HINT as to the conclusion of the age:

8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

AN ARGUABLE – YOU MAY NOT AGREE W MY OPINION HERE – I am inclined to believe what many Jewish theologians believe, along w many Christian theologians – that God’s spectacular plan of redemption and return-to-holiness for the Creation is based around a 7 “DAY” plan equating to 7 millennial “YEARS” – which, if this is the case, would put us, right now, startlingly close to His return, as the Jewish calendar has us around 5778 right now (Rosh Hashanah – NEW YEAR 5778 – coming up in a few short days).

IF the 7-millennium formula equates to SEVEN 1000-year epochs, suddenly the description in Revelation 20 of a 1000 year reign of Christ, after His return, makes more sense – it would represent the 7th DAY, the day of rest, the SHABBAT day, and the 6 days prior would be the days of man governing earth (and having done a lousy job – which dovetails into the crushing and collapsing governmental imagery of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue (SLIDE PLEASE) in Daniel 2 – which is regarded by many as the MOTHER OF ALL PROPHECY as it illuminates the dilemma of man’s leadership and then the victory and reign of God’s leadership).

IF YOU DON’T AGREE W THIS 7-millennium THEORY, that’s your choice. I don’t know that there’s tons of additional proof-text to argue this one incessantly. I do believe, however, that there are too many OTHER SIGNIFICANT MARKER events that have occurred and are occurring right now w increased frequency, for us to blow off the imminent return of our Lord – and the clear fact that the ESCHATOLOGICAL POT is beginning to come to a boil.

PETER explains God’s longsuffering w mankind, God Himself recognizing the stubbornness of mankind, the plight of society, and the fullness of His plan.
BACK TO PETER – looking at 8 and 9 again:

 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

I CONTEND THIS IS AN IMPORTANT INARGUABLE: “NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH” flies in the face of pre-destination (Calvinism) which would want us to believe that all people are on their way to hell and God chooses some to save – while He chooses to not save MLST. That’s a hard message to believe when you read:

1 Timothy 2:3-4

3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,

4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth

AND HOW IS THIS EXTREME EXAMPLE explained – if not that God’s will for the hypocritical priests was salvation – but they chose otherwise – demonstrating complete free will:

Luke 7:30

But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.

And If we’re told to redeem the time (Eph 5:16) – BUT if God already purposed that most all people definitely will NOT get saved – then why would Jesus tell us this:

Mark 16:15

15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

 

AND – IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

Isaiah 55:1

​1 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters;

BACK TO PETER – so although God’s will is for none to perish – we know, historically as well as currently by the increase of evil upon the earth – mankind (how ironic: KIND) will continue to exercise his free will to be stubborn and rebellious, eventually bringing destruction upon himself by refusing to repent.

AND MEANWHILE, while we’re here in troubling times, we would do well to not despise people, but to understand much of their acting-out is out of frustration – but God wants them to be saved – and that is WHY WE ARE HERE – to tell them the good news of SALVATION.

It is man’s stubbornness that necessitates the severity of trouble as we approach the conclusion of this age.

“WHY ALL THE TROUBLE?” is a valid question.

WHY does the conclusion of this age have to end w SO MUCH trouble?

Trouble and troubling times, undesired as they are, aligns w the fullness of scripture re the last days of this age.

 

The word “TRIBULATION” sounds very bible-y, and it is. It means “TROUBLING”.

TROUBULATION.

Someone asked me yesterday, as we discussed the latest 7-point Mexico earthquake: “WHY MUST WE HAVE ALL THIS TROUBLE?”

The answer is a hard one to embrace, and yet simple:
MOST OF THE TIME, MOST OF THE PEOPLE, don’t come to God unless and until there’s trouble, and unless and until that trouble affects them. The entirety of scripture in both testaments, testifies to this sad truth.

 

Here’s Isaiah speaking of God’s covenant people, the Jewish nation:

Isaiah 26:16
16 Lord, in trouble they have visited You,
They poured out a prayer when Your chastening was upon them.

Here’s the psalmist recounting the history of Israel:

Psalms 78:34
34 When He slew them, then they sought Him;
And they returned and sought earnestly for God.

And lest you think it’s simply the stubborn Jews, here’s John on Patmos, at the conclusion of the New Testament, declaring that AFTER the judgments of God occur on the whole earth, finally there’s been established an atmosphere for surviving men (of all nations) to exercise the WISDOM of fearing the Lord:

Revelation 15:3-4
“Great and marvelous are Your works,
Lord God Almighty!
Just and true are Your ways,
O King of the saints!
4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy.
For all nations shall come and worship before You,
For Your judgments have been manifested.”

If you need to see whether ALL men finally come to God after His judgments on earth, you can look into

Rev 9:
20 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk.
21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.

 

So hopefully we have a little bit of a perspective into the troubling season at the end of this age – days I am inclined to believe are upon us, in their beginning stages. THAT might be an ARGUABLE to you, and if so, then at least let’s not argue that these are some kind of troubling days, whether or not you think they are the age-conclusive troubling days. History has shown us that troubling times, throughout all epochs, have been times of revival, because men come to God when there’s trouble. THAT is INARGUABLE.

BACK TO PETE – NOW WE SEE PETER SPEAKING OF YOM YAHWEH – The Day of the Lord – He is wrapping his prophetic verses around those conclusive days of this age, prior to the return of Messiah – days referred to biblically as “the day of the Lord”

3 Peter
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

“LIKE A THIEF” means SURPRISE and UNEXPECTED. “WITH A GREAT NOISE” means it won’t be missed.

IT IS HERE THAT PETER ASKS THE SAINTS THE BIG QUESTION TO ALL OF US WHO WOULD CARE TO READ THIS:

11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,

12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?

The “nevertheless” in verse 13 below speaks to saints looking BEYOND the troubles and destructions of the end-times events, understanding that WHAT COMES AFTERWARD far exceeds, in glory and reward) the troubles of those troubling “tribulating” times. (Paul – I Cor – “..our light affliction….”)

2 Peter 3
13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

SAINTS v SINNER OPPOSITE OUTLOOKS: Amazing is to look into Isaiah 30 – which speaks to the warfare-significance of prophetic worship, and supports the stark contrast between the attitudes of the prepared and praying saints and the situations occurring on earth to shake up sinful mankind – situations that have NOT YET occurred, so we know they will occur. The rebellious and unprepared will be in a state of panic (men’s hearts failing – Luke 21) and meanwhile many of the saints, will be understanding their calling, as well as the approaching deliverance.

“HHY” = HASN’T HAPPENED YET – this fits into the truth of the Sermon on the Mount – an INARGUABLE Jesus message – which we will look at as our next verse.

ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL TO UNDERSTANDING END-TIMES FULL-FILLMENT OF ALL THINGS – Jesus sets forth a pre-emptive strike against a doctrine that sadly permeates much of the Church in our days – teaching that the toughest of times can be checked off as having occurred during 70AD and into the following century under Roman rule over, and destruction of, Jerusalem. Those believing that teach and preach the “tough stuff is done” – fulfilling ALL of the OT prophecies of trouble. Problem is, that is not even historically accurate.

Here’s what Jesus said NOT TO THINK:

Matthew 5:17-18

17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

KEY TO SOBER UNDERSTANDING OF THE FULL-FILLMENT REQUIREMENT:

18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

Jesus FULFILLED the requirements of ordinances contained in the Mosaic covenant. He did so that there might be a doorway into holiness and holy-acceptance (by God) so that “whosoever will” may come, in faith, into His presence and walk in His ways – that is for both Jews and Gentiles WHOSOEVER WILL means WHOEVER WANTS TO, CAN.

THAT is the worldwide salvation plan. But Jesus says – DON’T think I came to destroy what the Jewish prophets wrote, and what the Jewish law clearly lays out as forthcoming.

Jesus uses the Greek word “nomos” (Greek: “LAW”) when He said “LAW and PROHPETS”.
Paul also used “nomos” in Corinthians to describe what was written by Isaiah in chapter 28 – clearly confirming that all of the writings of the Old Testament, the Jewish scriptures, are “law”. OUR problem is that the word LAW is viewed by us to be restrictions. The biblical context of LAW would better to be understood as “holy instructions of God so that we might live successfully”.
James in fact calls the NEW TESTAMENT way the “LAW OF LIBERTY” (James 1:25 and 2:12).

If we recognize the eternal validity of ALL the word of God, and the fact that our enemy tries to sabotage EVERYTHING, it suddenly blows away lots of the clouds of confusion – including end-times predictions, and the message gets clearer.

(ALL THE WAY DOWN TO “TOPHET” NOT DISCUSSED BUT LEFT IN NOTES FOR ON-YOUR-OWN STUDY, LATER, IF YOU LIKE):
ISAIAH 30 and the CONTRAST BETWEEN TWO GROUPS during tough times – much of which Isaiah is speaking clearly pertains to yet-to-occur events – so take this as a contrast between SAINTS ON EARTH and STUBBORN, NON-REPENTANT SINNERS ON EARTH, around the time of our Messiah’s return.

Isaiah 30:27-33

GROUP ONE: Here’s what applies to those bent on wickedness (this is the group that won’t repent, try as God might, to get their attention):

27 Behold, the name of the Lord comes from afar,
Burning with His anger,
And His burden is heavy;
His lips are full of indignation,
And His tongue like a devouring fire.
28 His breath is like an overflowing stream,
Which reaches up to the neck,
To sift the nations with the sieve of futility;
And there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people,
Causing them to err. (because they had reached the point of no-return – like most people in the days of Noah)

GROUP TWO: MEANWHILE here’s what applies to the ones who know their God

29 You shall have a song
As in the night when a holy festival is kept,
And gladness of heart as when one goes with a flute,
To come into the mountain of the Lord,
To the Mighty One of Israel.
30 The Lord will cause His glorious voice to be heard,
And show the descent of His arm,
With the indignation of His anger
And the flame of a devouring fire,
With scattering, tempest, and hailstones.

HERE’S GOD’S DESTRUCTIVE JUDGMENT WORK

31 For through the voice of the Lord
Assyria will be beaten down,
As He strikes with the rod.

AND HERE’S THE REDEEMED ARMY OF GOD (w their flutes) participating in the area of prophetic worship:
32 And in every place where the staff of punishment passes,
Which the Lord lays on him,
It will be with tambourines and harps;
And in battles of brandishing He will fight with it.

strong>TOPHET – where’s that?
33 For Tophet was established of old,
Yes, for the king it is prepared.
He has made it deep and large;
Its pyre is fire with much wood;
The breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone,
Kindles it.

TOPHET outside of Jerusalem – w varying names over the millenniums – here we’re clearly told Tophet = Hinnom:

(The Jews, in their darkest days, offered sacrifices of innocent children in this valley – not unlike our legalized sacrifice of the young innocent, btw)

Jeremiah 7:31-33

31 And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into My heart.

32 “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “when it will no more be called Tophet, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Tophet until there is no room. 33 The corpses of this people will be food for the birds of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth. And no one will frighten them away.

 

God is saying other people (the guilty) will be buried in the valley of judgment, as a redemptive work. Where else is that found in scripture? In Psalm 110 – which is quoted innumerable times in the NT.

 

Psalms 110
HERE’S WHAT SURE LOOKS LIKE REFERENCE TO HINNOM/TOPHET
5 The Lord is at Your right hand;
He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath.
6 He shall judge among the nations,
He shall fill the places with dead bodies,
He shall execute the heads of many countries.

There is much in scripture pointing to a conclusive end-times battle between good and evil, both on earth (Ezek 38, Zech 14) and also in the heavenly realms (Rev 12:7, Dan 12:1). Men will be there for this battle.

QUES: Is it orchestrated by evil people?
No, it is orchestrated by God Himself, because the time has come to judge the earth:

EZEKIEL REVEALS IT THIS WAY (don’t trip over the names GOG and MAGOG – Magog and in fact other regions and people groups as mentioned in Ezek are also mentioned in the dispersion account after the Flood of Noah – and the names Gog and Magog appear again at the end of the next millennium (Rev 20). Although there’s (AN ARGUABLE) speculation as to just which evil nations these names represent, it’s clear you don’t want a t-shirt designating your alignment w the GOG or MAGOG team. SIMPLE – GOD: GOOD. MAGOG: BAD.

Ezekiel tells us:

Ezekiel 38:1-8 (I am skipping over verses only for time-sake)

​1 Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

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

3 and say, “Thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal.

4 I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, (a phrase likening to how the Babylonians dragged off the Israelites into captivity, many to their destruction) and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords.

(SOME NATIONS WHOSE NAMES WE KNOW)

5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet;

6 Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops—many people are with you.  

7 “Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them.

8 After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; ( A RE-ESTABISHED ISRAEL – when might that be?) they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely.

 
EZEK 38: 14-16

14 “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, “Thus says the Lord God: “On that day when My people Israel dwell safely (DANIEL TELLS US THOSE WILL BE DAYS OF FALSE PEACE IN ISRAEL (obviously NOT YET – HHY – when most of Israel is duped into thinking the Anti-Christ is their friend and ally, and has accomplished “World Peace” – buy your CO-EXIST bumper stickers – they’ll work for just a few short years), will you not know it?

15 Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army.

16 You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.”

So we see God Himself is SOVEREIGNLY orchestrating the end-times plans, so that all that has been written will occur. Every jot and tittle will be fulfilled.

This is what Peter is talking about.
This is why Peter, in 1 Peter 1:10-12, told us this about the OLD TESTAMENT prophets who wanted to know what the Spirit of God was meaning when they were moved to write about many mysterious things:

1 Peter 1:12

12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.

What we are seeing, I believe in many ways ignited by the fuse of Israel’s NATION BIRTHED IN A DAY prophetic fulfillment (1947) is the setting of the stage for the culmination of end-of-age events.

Isaiah 66:8
8 Who has heard such a thing?
Who has seen such things?
Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day?
Or shall a nation be born at once?

Jesus told His disciples this when asked about His return (wildly, the scriptures – and I believe the purposely anointed FORMAT of the questions of the disciples) set the stage for a magical-mystery question that had SOME fulfillment in 70 AD w the destruction of the temple, but clearly failed to fill all the requirements of FULL-fillment. THEREFORE: Stay tuned.

SAYS OUR LORD:

Matthew 24:3-14
3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us,
(A) when will these things be? And
(B) what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.
5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.
6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. DIDN’T HAPPEN 70 AD
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.
10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world (DIDN’T HAPPEN 70 AD) as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (THAT DIDN’T OCCUR IN 70 AD)

 
Matthew 24:15-31
15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand),
16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house.
18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.
19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!
20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.
21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.

(JESUS COORDINATES W DANIEL SPEAKING OF LAST DAYS):

Daniel 12:1-2
​1 “At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people;
And there shall be a time of trouble,
Such as never was since there was a nation,
Even to that time.
And at that time your people shall be delivered,
Every one who is found written in the book.

(ascribing THIS to 70 AD troubles is faulty, because there was no deliverance of Israel. It was the beginning of the downfall of Israel. And no book (of life) was opened – nor was their mass resurrections).

2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,
Some to everlasting life,
Some to shame and everlasting contempt.

BACK TO MATTHEW

HERE’S ONE ENORMOUS ESCHATOLOGICAL WORD: “IMMEDIATELY”

29 “Immediately (“EUTHEOS”) after the tribulation of those days (HEAVENLY SIGNS WILL OCCUR)
the sun will be darkened, and
the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from heaven, and
the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
 
30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

THAT is what Peter is alluding to at the end of this second and last letter – the violent, all-eyes-shall-see-Him, in-the-clouds return of Jesus. I see nothing secretive about this. I read of trumpets in the book of Rev – they are ALWAYS intended to be heard.

 

To the point of the actual return – and it NOT ONLY being some OT “angry God, pre-Jesus” kinda thing – Paul speaks to the troubles of the saints on earth in those yet-to-occur days and confirms the geo-political, anti-God climate on earth:

2 Thessalonians 1:7-10

7 and to give you who are troubled (TRIBULATED) rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,
8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.

BACK TO 2 Peter 3
14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;

THEN THE WARNING ABOUT MESSING AROUND W THE SCRIPTURES, WHETHER IN IGNORANCE OR WORSE YET, W FAULTY RELIGIOUS AGENDA (which motivated many false prophets in both testaments – many of which sealed their own fates and were destroyed)

15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,

16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.

17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;
18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To Him be the glory both now and forever.

 

So we’re told, in the midst of the ongoing and increasing troubles on earth, we’re invited into intimacy and knowledge and Spirit-led relationship by a God who is not kidding around, not NOT coming back, and planning to rescue and redeem those who are His, and punish those who, even after the most increasing troubles, still refuse to come to Him, will only be worthy of destruction.

I did not write the bible. I don’t dare alter what it says. If I had written some religious book, it would have been a lie, but it would have at least APPEARED EASIER TO COMPLY WITH. That, in fact, is why so many false religions, and dead churchianity, thrives – because God’s ways are His ways – honorable but not easy.

BACK TO MATTHEW 24 for a moment:

29 “Immediately (“EUTHEOS”) after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

What we see here is Jesus pointing to signs in the sky. Solar and lunar eclipses have consistently been used by God to speak to the world. Constellational alignments are alignments of His stars.

ALWAYS BEEN TROUBLE – Of course there’s been troubling times throughout most all the ages, and long seasons of peace on earth have been rare, but we are witnessing, and living in, a world of increased violence, decay of social mores, and day by day natural disasters. Riots, earthquakes, storms “of biblical proportions”, nations crumbling (including ours), corruption more rampant, signs in the heavens.

DOES GOD SPEAK TO US THROUGH NATURAL DISASTERS AND SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS?

 

Genesis 1:14

Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, (AS WELL AS) and for days and years;

 

THIS OT prophecy, below is quoted by PETER in the books of Acts, to explain the AGE between the FIRST appearance of the Messiah, and the second appearance.

Joel 2:28-32

28 “And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

THE PROMISE OF HEAVENLY SIGNS

30 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:
Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
SPECIFICALLY WHEN?

Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.

THE SALVATION PLAN OPEN TO ALL, ESPECIALLY DURING THOSE “TIMES OF TROUBLING SIGNS)
32 And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.
For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance,

There is so much more to discuss and look into – all of it clearly pointing to the INARGUABLES:

  • There’s a God who has a plan to come back and straighten things out – testing, trying and refining HIS PEOPLE through troubles and struggles (Ps 66, Zeph 3) and then rescuing His people and also addressing all who live in wickedness, and in fact all who are on the face of the earth, even the “good ones” who don’t rob banks or kill people. He is dealing w each and every man. ALL MEN EVERYWHERE need to be saved. That is the gospel message. Paul, the author of so much grace, said he warned every man (Col 1:28)
  • The “PROPHETIC GIST” of all these verses, and more, points to the most troublesome times ever, not to be confused or falsely-hoped-for as having happened in the past, so that we might now happily float down the Christian river of life – which is very popular in churches in SOME places in the world, in countries still, sort of, in the “bubble of safety” – a bubble that is quickly popping. We have seen, increasingly, the bubble in fact is delusional.
  • God has used in the past, and continues to use, the wickedness of the world for His redemptive purposes. Crazy as that seems, it’s scriptural. He told covenant-Israel that He’d bring upon them “the worst of the Gentiles” (Ezek 7:24). We are seeing that happen now – generally evil governments and often nearly-totally evil nations. Zech 5 tells us that “wickedness” was being moved by angelic creatures to Shinar (Iraq – Erech (Uruk) until a time of her release – a set time when wickedness will be released on the earth.

The world is increasingly terrorized by terror from North Korea, in the Middle East, in Europe. Likely coming to your city, shortly. I was in NYC 9/11/2001. There was more than an attack against two buildings. They were a SHOT ACROSS THE BOW OF PRIDE, OF OUR NATION. GOD IS waking us up (He has done that and will do that Isa 45:7)

  • The nations raging against Israel, increasingly, is not only a sign of OUR time, it is a sign of the END of time of this age. Read Ezek 39 to see how many revelations come to both the surviving world powers and also to Israel, as to why certain things have happened. God is not fooling around. But it will make sense eventually, to all, and what is preached contrary to biblical truth and biblical “procedure” will be burnt away by the fire of God’s word.
  • America – named after Amerigo Vespucci whose name MAY have prophetically been derived from the Hebrew word “AM” which means “PEOPLES” – The United States of Peoples” is slowly unraveling, becoming more and more fractured and dis-united, because we are a COVENANT nation (since 1620 – before we were officially a nation) and God takes covenant seriously (Amos 3:1-3), and deals w us as a poster child, in many ways like He deals w the Jewish people (AND about half of all Jews live in America – but that’s another story).

AMOS 3:1-3 – You only have I known……therefore I will judge you……

We know there will be people on earth, prior to the appearance of the Lord, who will be doing all they can to maintain a “SEMBLANCE OF NORMALCY”

Matthew 24:38-39
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
AND THEN THE QUESTION STARES AT US:
Are we simply just another generation who can ASSUME the return of the Lord will be waaaay down the eschatological road, and NOT in our day?

God is the one who has proven to utilize signs and wonders and dating and years and specific Jubilees (50 years periods) for some enormous events focused around Israel (especially), but also all the world.

Jeremiah reveals eternal truth this way:

Jeremiah 9:24-26
24 But let him who glories glory in this,
That he understands and knows Me,
That I am the Lord, exercising (CONTINUOUSLY throughout time) lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.
For in these I delight,” says the Lord.

ABOVE AND BEYOND THE “ALWAYS” of v 24

25 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that I will punish all who are circumcised with the uncircumcised—
26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, the people of Ammon, Moab, and all who are in the farthest corners, who dwell in the wilderness. For all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.”
Here’s SOME events that have occurred in recent history that might assist us in understanding the TIMING OF GOD – which is yet ANOTHER topic of biblical significance to give us some understanding and awareness of times and seasons:

1st Zionist National Congress to establish the state of Israel – 1897 + 120 (a significant biblical #)= 2017

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

 

Balfour Doctrine – Nov 1917 + 100 (a significant biblical # and a Jubilee year) = 2017
“His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object,…”

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

UN Resolution 181 to create the state of Israel: 1947 + 70 (70 being a significant biblical #) = 2017

https://www.britannica.com/topic/United-Nations-Resolution-181

Jerusalem restored to Israel (6 days war started by the Arab nations): 1967 (a Jubilee + 50 – THE Jubilee #) = 2017

2017 is a JUBILEE YEAR, as was 1967, as was 1917

http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/firstonethrough/here-in-united-jerusalems-jubilee-year/2017/04/09/

 There’s lots more as well, some of which I have not researched to confirm – so I won’t speak to those things.

LIKE: The great American Eclipse was 8/21/17, 33 days from the Rev 12 sign – 33 is a strong biblical number – Jesus gave his life in His 33rd year. The 8/21/17 eclipse will be followed in SEVEN years, by another, and those two eclipses will intersect at a location in Illinois referred to as “Little Egypt” – Egypt is the poster-child for national judgment. (Nineveh is believed, in part, to have repented because they had recently experienced a complete solar eclipse and took that as a sign of God’s impending judgment – Walvoord)

To further frustrate us – there’s internet articles declaring the Sept 23 SIGN as a SIGN indeed, but a FALSE sign – to test the hearts and minds of the people of God (as to whether we will worship SIGNS more than whether we will worship GOD). Personally I don’t see anywhere in scripture where Satan had any say in constellational alignments. Those same websites point to 2018 as a significant prophetic year, and remind us that the completion of the Israel-establishment was 1948 and not 1947.
SO WHAT IS ONE TO DO????

And to be fair and offer some “equal time” to the pre-trib rapture folks, they point to other numbers as being significant in leading them to a STRONG’S CONCORDANCE #726 as being the number for the word: HARPAZO which means “caught up” – which is where we get the term “RAPTURE” and they feel that the # of days between the last blood moon 9/26/15 (always taken as a heavenly sign) and 9/23/17 Rev 12 sign means the church gets raptured next week. THAT we will know soon enough. For a multitude of reasons, I personally don’t support that theory – ALTHOUGH I’D BE HAPPY TO BE PROVEN WRONG.

Beam me up, Scotty.

SO WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE US RIGHT NOW?

If Peter’s 1000 year “hint” is a prophetic marker, one would be led to believe it would be AROUND the year 6000 that our Lord would return and conclude the SIX DAYS of man making a mess out of ruling the earth.

 A FAIR QUES: Will MORE be in place, geo-politically, numerically, and natural –disaster-wise, than what is happening right now in this time and season?

Can we perhaps at least agree that 2017, and its remaining months, might well be Prophetically Pivotal? I am inclined to believe that. I am in fact further inclined to believe THIS SEASON is a beginning of increased troubles and occurrences, both in the heavenly as well as earthly realms, that will lead up to the return of our Lord.

SO WHAT HAPPENS SEPT 23?

  1. The return of Jesus – definitely not. Too many things are out of place.
    B. The rapture of the church – removing all of the primarily Gentile saints from the earth, the Jews startled by this sudden departure and immediately having Jewish revival and then evangelizing the world while the Gentile church plays harps in heaven? I don’t think so.
  2. What about – MAYBE – the beginning or BEGINNINGS of a tribulation – (bible-speak for “troubling”) period, intended by God to “turn up the heat” to get folks on their knees? I think, maybe, and I further think that if so we will know more and more, w increasing frequency – because that is what the fullness of biblical text points to.

 

In which case, we go to the Peter question: how should we be living…..

 

The eclipses, the Sept 23 constellational alignment that portrays the Rev 12 virgin woman w warrior-baby in her womb, is happening ON OUR WATCH. Even the secular scientists tell us this star-alignment has occurred in at least 6,000 years. If you agree w the biblical model of 6,000 year “young earth” that means God has saved this alignment for THREE DAYS FROM NOW – whether it is bonafide as a clear representation of the coming of Christ, or a “dress-rehearsal” to educate the saints, once again, to focus on Christ over the constellations, it is happening now.

When Jesus said, further than we read before, in Matt 24:

Matthew 24:33-35
33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!
34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.
35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

THESE THINGS – what we read earlier, will occur and a certain GENERATION won’t pass away till all this has taken place.

The word in Hebrew for “THIS” is also the same word of “THAT”

CRITICAL: g3778 could readily be interpreted THAT as easily as THIS:

g3778. ουτοσ houtos nominative singular masculine; αυτη haute nominative singular feminine; τουτο touto nominative singular neuter; from the article 3588 and 846; the he (she or it), i. e. this or that (often with article repeated):—

That means THIS GENERATION could be accurately written THAT GENERATION – which would then point us back to those on earth when the fig tree blossomed – many think that blossoming was the nothing-short-of-miraculous re-creation of PHYSICAL ISRAEL – necessary because that is where our Lord will return and then rule and reign. REMEMBER – Israel is Ground-Zero for the plans of God.

So then the ques comes up as to the age of a “GENERATION” in scripture, and Moses in Ps 90 mentions 70 years or 80 years. 70 years has us doing math: 1947+70 = 2017. 1947+80 = 2027.

Moses lived til he was 120. 1947+120 = 2067. IF this speculation is more than speculation, you can at least see the closeness of His imminent return.

The question is then worthy of asking, again:
WHAT MANNER OF MEN OUGHT YOU TO BE?

Some are sure that the Lord will rapture (grab up) the church on or around Sept 23 because they are confident:

  1. The Rev 12 constellation sign means the time has come (certainly active spiritual times appear to be upon us); AND
  2. They are convinced that God loves His people so much He will take us all out of here before all the trouble hits the fan (hugely questionable conclusion).

My FLESH would love to agree with that dreamy speculation of getting out of here before trouble happens. Problem is, I see a Lord whose intention in SHAKING HEAVEN AND EARTH, THE SEA AND DRY LAND – is to do something specific in purpose – BECAUSE HE DOESN’T WANT ANY TO PERISH.

Haggai 2:6-7

6 “For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land;

7 and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts.

First, we know THIS is HHY because when the temple was destroyed in 70AD, the temple was not filled w glory, nor were the nations drawn to God. So HHY, and stay tuned.

Also, we know that the tribulation work wants/requires SAINTS on earth to be the light of the world – proclaiming the hope of Christ, and that light is the church (Matt 5 – let your light so shine….). So why would God remove the light if He wanted people saved?
The pre-trib rapture folks say the Gentile church exits stage-UP and the Jews will suddenly get saved, en masse, and evangelize the world.
My wife and I can tell you from experience that when true revival comes and there are no seasoned elders, it’s a formula for religious failure. Our pastor took his life.

God wants a FAMILY, a MISHBUCHAH consisting of on-fire seasoned elders and lit-up young ones full of vision, to evangelize the world together for the great harvest.
PRAY TO THE LORD THAT WE WILL SEND FOR PEOPLE INTO THE HARVEST.
It does not say: PRAY TO THE LORD THAT HE TAKES THE HARVESTERS OUT OF THE WORLD because there will be trouble.
We are living in the greatest of times, the most trying of times. Unlike Dickens – who said something similar at the beginning of “Tale of Two Cities”, these times will culminate with the Jewish Savior appearing, the Jewish people looking on the One who they pierced (Zech 12:10), the nations either coming to God in reverence or being destroyed.

And we haven’t even mentioned:
Nuclear meltdowns in Japan and cesium traveling across the Pacific to our shores right now.

https://swfsc.noaa.gov/textblock.aspx?Division=FRD&id=20593

Unprecedented category 4 and 5 hurricanes stacking up one behind the next, this season.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4403960/hurricane-maria-why-so-many-hurricanes-us

Earthquakes of vast magnitude, SINCE the eclipse, in Alaska and Mexico and elsewhere

Terror attacks increasing all the time – to the point that we only respond emotionally when some personal “death-quota” is reached.

QUES – what would make us think that CA, w its ungodly laws, and its “manufacturing” of world sin, will be insulated from the hand of the Lord, especially in these days?
God is shaking heaven and earth.

all scripture NKJV

Posted in End Times Related, Everything, God's Word, Israel, Jesus, Timing, Tribulation | Leave a comment

Trying To Remove God’s Teeth

 

 

I recently received a communication from someone who declared Hurricane Irma “evil” – implying it was something to war against in our spirits, something to pray against. As praying folks, and as the people of God, it’s our responsibility to represent our Lord for all He is – Maker of heaven and earth, Who created, owns and controls heaven and earth, the sea and dry land.

 

 

No one (spiritually sober) has ever attributed the flood of Noah to Satan. God in fact made it very clear:

Genesis 6:17
17 And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die.

It is our God who is at work on earth in these shaking times, and the very fact that we are here as His people testifies to our responsibility to represent Him, and His word, accurately.

Haggai clearly tells us the Who, when, what, and why of the end-of-age plans of God:

Haggai 2:6-9
“For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land;
7 and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts.
8 ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts.
9 ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts.”

“Lord Of Hosts” is God’s warrior title: King of the Universe, Commander of the armies of heaven. That is the title by which our King is most often referred to in the eschatological books. We would do well to understand why.

We are further told in Isaiah writing (in the first-person, words from the Lord) prior to some serious trouble in ancient Israel, and also revealing an eternal characteristic of the God who does not change (so we now know who creates light and darkness, who makes peace, creates calamity, and warns us not to challenge His works):

Isaiah 45:7-10
7 I form the light and create darkness,
I make peace and create calamity;
I, the Lord, do all these things.’
8 “Rain down, you heavens, from above,
And let the skies pour down righteousness;
Let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation,
And let righteousness spring up together.
I, the Lord, have created it.
9 “Woe to him who strives with his Maker!
Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth!
Shall the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’
Or shall your handiwork say, ‘He has no hands’?
10 Woe to him who says to his father, ‘What are you begetting?’
Or to the woman, ‘What have you brought forth?’ ”

The prophets of old who spoke smooth things (when God was doing tough things) never fared well. Search out Hananiah (in the book of Jeremiah) and see how it went for him. Temporary crowd-popularity was not worth the price of judgment. Whether it was silly religious ambition for popularity and acceptance, ignorant good-intention, or fear of man, did not matter.

All this to say, when God does on earth what He says He is going to do – we, in humility, love, meekness, and in the fear of the Lord, are accountable to never back down from presenting God as God, the soon and coming King, Who, in His mercy, is shaking this place with whatever needs to happen, so that men everywhere might choose to pray.

Let’s not try to remove His teeth. His eye is upon us, to find us faithful and accurate ministers. Soft-soaping the activity of God won’t be good for us, the ones we’re called to minister to, nor will the purposes of God be accomplished. Time’s too short for that kind of stuff.

He is coming back as the Lion Of The Tribe Of Judah, with a full set of teeth.

All scriptures NKJV

Posted in Apocalypse, End Times Related, Everything, Fear of the Lord, Free Will, God's Word, Prophets, Repentance, Tribulation, Understanding & Knowing God, Wisdom | Leave a comment

…upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

1 Corinthians 10:1-13
1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea,
2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,
3 all ate the same spiritual food,
4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.
5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted.
7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.”
8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell;
9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents;
10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer.
11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition,upon whom the ends of the ages have come. (there you go!)
12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

There’s a sad irony to Christians clubbing the unredeemed with the word of God. It was written for us, so we could speak to the world of the hope of Christ, the salvation of Christ, the return of Christ. It was written for us.

Paul goes so far as to tell the brethren (that would be us) he didn’t want us to be ignorant as to how God operated in the Old Testament – He was, is, and will always be, serious. I believe, in part, this Pauline chapter is a pre-emptive prophetic strike against the soft-gospel doctrines that have always infiltrated church, but will infiltrate even to greater degree, as the day of our Lord approaches. Paul told that to Timothy – deceivers would grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

Meanwhile, here in Corinthians, Paul is affirming it’s the same God in both testaments, who has called us to holiness and Spirit-led obedience. Our roles on earth, as ambassadors for a Holy God, have to be holy roles.

The world still does not think there will be a flaming-fire return of a righteous God who will judge all men, set things straight, reward the faithful, punish the wicked. And sadly there’s a lot of good folks in church who still want to far-fling the return of our Lord into the deep and distant future. Peter tells us about that in his second letter, citing people saying: “where is the promise of His coming?”

Most people, churched and unchurched, fail to have much of a signs-of-the-times grid. Eclipses are excuses for drinking parties (stay tuned: there’s another one in 7 years that, with the recent one, draws an “X” over America). I’m confident the September 23 constellational alignment modeling Revelation 12 will simply go as a stellar-wow as opposed to perhaps yet another bulletin from the Creator. I do see that National Geographic (who often writes about our “billion year old world”) at least acknowledges some very special stuff is happening in the skies, in September. Off-hand I personally don’t know enough to correlate these occurrences to anything biblical, but I’m of the mind our great God is beginning to move to get our attention. The heavens declare His glory.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/09/skywatching-guide-september-equinox-planets-moon-science/

Too bad National Geographic fails to correlate the holiest time of year in the Jewish calendar (“days of awe”), with the yet-unfulfilled fall holidays that surely will be fulfilled, just like the Spring holidays were surely fulfilled during the first appearance of our Lord.

But perhaps we can humbly and in the fear of the Lord press into what God might be doing in these days, and shine brighter as a light now, than ever.

All scriptures NKJV.

Posted in Apocalypse, End Times Related, Everything, False Teachers, Fear of the Lord, God's Word, Holiness, Old Testament, Prophecy, Revelation(s), Tribulation | Leave a comment

The Predicament Of Prediction

One of the jeopardies of predicting (even with the purest of intention) that the Lord is coming on a certain day or in a certain hour, is that when He may fail to comply with our prognostications, we unintentionally do damage to the credibility of prophetic scripture, and in many ways undermine God’s own plan re the conclusion of this age. Our well-intended zeal can drive folks away from Kingdom plans. Flipside of that: we’re challenged to not be like the Pharisees in failing to see the signs of our times, as they did the signs of their own times. Like Paul, we’re called to warn all men.

BTW: We are told we won’t know the day nor hour, but no one has ever said we won’t know the season, but we need to be oh so careful, particularly if someone has entrusted you with a microphone or even a computer keyboard. Be careful little fingers what you type.

Jesus called the religious folks hypocrites (GR: “Hypokrites” an actor under an assumed character) in that they pretended spirituality and yet they were dull in their ability to see and hear. God wants his people to be seeing and hearing, accurately.

Matthew 16:2-4
2 He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’;
3 and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.
4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” And He left them and departed.

To make things yet more challenging, Jesus rebukes them for hungrily looking for signs (v4) and tells them signs will be given to them on God’s terms, not their terms.


FAST FORWARD TO NOW – The sincere church is thus left in the quandary of:

1. Understanding for certain there will be a return of the Lord, in the clouds (Rev 1:8), in flaming fire (2 Thess 1:8), at the appointed time (Matt 24:36); and
2. Recognizing many prophetic components are in place as they’ve never been before; and
3. Knowing that all the saints before us who thought they knew for certain and pointed to a calendar date in the past, were wrong.
Compound to that the fact that we’re to be the light of the world, ambassadors of God, walking in the Spirit of Elijah, and you see the predicament.
What is one to do?
There’s simply too many signs, number-coordinations of celestial events (eclipses, constellation alignments), occurrences and even dating of geo-political events on earth, and more, that sure appear to be pointing to the imminent (“imminent” – happening very soon) return of our Lord.
We’re told some things will become more evident as the Day approaches (confirmed by this popular verse that clearly tells us we will be able to see that approach)….

Hebrews 10:25
not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

…..and we’re also told certain things won’t be clear at all until the time when our Lord actually does appear, at which many things will become very evident.

A notable marker-phrase in the book of Ezekiel, in dealing with lots of eschatological events still awaiting complete fruition, is: “THEN”, or THEN they will know” – implying not before the THEN (e.g. the certain event), but only when that THEN occurs.

Ezekiel 36:11
I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bear young; I will make you inhabited as in former times, and do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 38:23
Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.”

Ezekiel 39:6
“And I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in security in the coastlands. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.

All this to say, our call/job/appointment/assignment is to intentionally draw as close to God as possible, daily, staying in touch and in tune with heaven, with oil in our lamps.

I don’t see the Ps 32 promise of being led by the eyes of God with any disclaimer that would cause us to believe as things accelerate and heat up, He will not be leading the ones whose eyes are on His. THAT is a huge consolation and comfort.


We are safe in Him, in every season.


All scripture NKJV

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Isaiah 28

I often find myself drawn back to Isaiah 28. There’s all sorts of revelation within this one great chapter – from God breaking out, to the Babylonians breaking in, to Judah’s religious house of cards breaking down. I’ve written about parts and pieces and principles of this chapter in the past. I am at it again. That is safe for us, myself included.

Isaiah was prophesying prior to the Babylonian invasion. Things sort of seemed OK on one level, but the Lord sees things differently than we do, and He was graciously, though quite firmly, warning His people of upcoming troubles, initiated by Him. Although pertinent to the day in which it was written, because some of this chapter has never been fully-filled (“whole earth” mention, which coordinates with many other chapters and books in both testaments), we would do well to consider it as yet to fully occur (not one jot or tittle not occurring, says our Lord). Also we do well to consider how God operated in the past as a marker of how He will always operate, regardless of the Testament period in which we find ourselves. Paul certainly thought so: 1 Cor 10:1-11.

A good thing to remember – in Malachi – so clearly in the Old Testament, God sets forth that He never changes, and that even within the context of what we might consider the severity of the Mosaic covenant, His mercy was what kept His people from being consumed:
Malachi 3:6
“For I am the Lord, I do not change;
Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.

ISAIAH 28
1 Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, Whose glorious beauty is a fading flower
Which is at the head of the verdant valleys,
To those who are overcome with wine!

(Both religiously as well as literally, Israel was in a drunken stupor)
2 Behold, the Lord has a mighty and strong one, (one appointed for a purpose of God’s judgment, Babylon)
Like a tempest of hail and a destroying storm,
Like a flood of mighty waters overflowing,
Who will bring them down to the earth with His hand.
(it was God’s intended judgment purpose that was to occur)
3 The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim,
Will be trampled underfoot;
4 And the glorious beauty is a fading flower
Which is at the head of the verdant valley,
Like the first fruit before the summer,
(a delicacy was the early fig crop, often devoured as a special treat – in like manner the Babylonians would actually enjoy their destruction of Judah)
Which an observer sees;
He eats it up while it is still in his hand.
5 In that day the Lord of hosts will be
For a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty
To the remnant of His people,

(In the midst of the worst of times, God would glorify those who were His, and who stood for His righteousness)
6 For a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment,
And for strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.

(in many ways, turning back the battle at the gate pertained to taking a stand against the religiosity and sin of the people of God. The Babylonians actually were not going to be turned back at the gate)
7 But they also have erred through wine,
And through intoxicating drink are out of the way;
The priest and the prophet have erred through intoxicating drink,
They are swallowed up by wine,
They are out of the way through intoxicating drink;
They err in vision, they stumble in judgment.

(still functioning in their offices, those who should have been righteous leaders were failing, falling, humiliated and degraded)
8 For all tables are full of vomit and filth;
No place is clean.

(next is the huge question, revealing an eternal truth we all would do well to understand – the progression of God as the divine Instructor of all things, who will only do things the right way)
9 “Whom will he teach knowledge?
And whom will he make to understand the message?
Those just weaned from milk?
Those just drawn from the breasts?

(answer: absolutely not. Confirmation can be found in Hebrews 6 – the ones who had allowed themselves, perhaps by disuse or neglect, to be dulled backwards into a state of immaturity, were unfit in their present state to go on to higher education)

(and here’s a MUST. It simply has to be this way. There are no shortcuts in the Kingdom)
10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept,
Line upon line, line upon line,
Here a little, there a little.”

(11 is an interesting verse, prophesying of a strange-speaking people who would be invading a disobedient nation. There is divine irony in that Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:21 clearly reflects back to this one verse to describe the sign of tongues being spoken out by saints – a similar “strange-speaking” sign of one kingdom – the kingdom of God – invading another disobedient kingdom – the kingdom of this disobedient world. No wonder the religious spirit would want tongues relegated to, at most, backroom ministry).

11 For with stammering lips and another tongue
He will speak to this people,
12 To whom He said, “This is the rest with which
You may cause the weary to rest,”
And, “This is the refreshing”;
Yet they would not hear.

(the rest and the refreshing would be, and is only, in obedience and compliance to the Spirit. Disobedience = wickedness = no rest. There is Sabbath, ceasing from one’s works and picking up the works of the Kingdom)

(nonetheless, the MUST of line upon line, which was intended to instruct progressively, remains in place, but sadly the progression was to become a breaking down as opposed to a building up, because of choices of the people)
13 But the word of the Lord was to them,
“Precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
Line upon line, line upon line,
Here a little, there a little,”
That they might go and fall backward, and be broken
And snared and caught.

(judgment is particularly harsh on those in leadership, who have convinced themselves that their plans, in contradiction with God’s plans, would keep them secure)
14 Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scornful men,
Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem,
15 Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death,
And with Sheol we are in agreement.
When the overflowing scourge passes through,
It will not come to us,
For we have made lies our refuge,
And under falsehood we have hidden ourselves.”

(God in His mercy tells them – and us – that in His mercy He has established a cornerstone of truth, a bedrock of Kingdom reality, and whether or not that stone is our foundation or for our crushing, is up to us)
16 Therefore thus says the Lord God:
“Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation,
A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation;
Whoever believes will not act hastily.
17 Also I will make justice the measuring line,
And righteousness the plummet;
The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
And the waters will overflow the hiding place.
18 Your covenant with death will be annulled,
And your agreement with Sheol will not stand;
When the overflowing scourge passes through,
Then you will be trampled down by it.

(the judgment of God will be complete, and will be thorough)
19 As often as it goes out it will take you;
For morning by morning it will pass over,
And by day and by night;
It will be a terror just to understand the report.”

(life will purposely be made uncomfortable. It won’t fit right, by divine design)
20 For the bed is too short to stretch out on,
And the covering so narrow that one cannot wrap himself in it.

(the reference here is to God breaking in. 2 Samuel 5 and 6 has David proclaiming God as Baal Perazim – the Lord of break-ins/breakthroughs. On one hand, God had broken in and defeated the attacking Philistines [2 Sam 5]. Shortly afterward [2 Sam 6] David understood that the death of Uzzah [in mishandling the sacred ark] was also an act of a God who takes things seriously, even breaking in on the sin of His people).

21 For the Lord will rise up as at Mount Perazim,
He will be angry as in the Valley of Gibeon—
That He may do His work, His awesome work,
And bring to pass His act, His unusual act.
22 Now therefore, do not be mockers,
Lest your bonds be made strong;

(interesting prophecy. “even upon the whole earth” is a phrase pointing to something bigger and more widespread that Nebuchadnezzar invading Jerusalem – and if that is the case, then the warning re not mocking may well be directed to the church and its propensity for happy-times-gospel and the writing off the warnings of last-days judgment, including judgment even beginning at the house of God)
Peter said it this way:
1 Peter 4:17
17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?

Isaiah 28:22B
For I have heard from the Lord God of hosts,
A destruction determined even upon the whole earth.

(23 through the conclusion of the chapter speaks on many levels – from God using the natural to demonstrate principles of the supernatural, to the truth that for some crops to be harvested they truly must be broken down carefully and thoroughly and most finely. God’s Spirit will accomplish His purposes, and we would do well to observe and learn and understand the work our God is doing, at this time, on earth. It will be thorough, it will be yield its harvest. It will be good)
23 Give ear and hear my voice,
Listen and hear my speech.
24 Does the plowman keep plowing all day to sow?
Does he keep turning his soil and breaking the clods?
25 When he has leveled its surface,
Does he not sow the black cummin
And scatter the cummin,
Plant the wheat in rows,
The barley in the appointed place,
And the spelt in its place?
26 For He instructs him in right judgment,
His God teaches him.
27 For the black cummin is not threshed with a threshing sledge,
Nor is a cartwheel rolled over the cummin;
But the black cummin is beaten out with a stick,
And the cummin with a rod.
28 Bread flour must be ground;
Therefore he does not thresh it forever,
Break it with his cartwheel,
Or crush it with his horsemen.
29 This also comes from the Lord of hosts,
Who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance.

(Yes the Lord of hosts – our great God identified by His warrior name “King of the universe and Commander of the armies of heaven, is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance. To whom will He teach knowledge, we were asked earlier).

Teach us, Oh Lord.

All Scripture NKJV.

Posted in End Times Related, Everything, Fear of the Lord, Free Will, Holy Spirit, Israel, New Testament, Obedience, Old Testament, Righteousness, Testing, Tribulation, Understanding & Knowing God, Wisdom | Leave a comment

Intentional and Steadfast Living – Per 2 Peter

STEADFASTNESS and INTENTIONAL LIVING – Per 2 Peter
Or: GRACE TO BE INTENTIONAL

2 Peter presents a perfect framework for a discourse re steadfastness and intentionality, two components of our Christian walks that are critical to our success, particularly as we find ourselves, I believe, heading towards the imminent the conclusion of this age.

Peter, because of his public outspokenness and then clear denial of Christ at the crucifixion, has become the eternally-recorded bible poster-child for stumbling – and then, by God’s grace and an infusion of the Holy Spirit, at this stage of his walk models restoration, maturity and successful living.

When he wrote this letter, by virtue of decades of having walked it out, he was most qualified to write to the saints about maturing, seasoning, and making it successfully.

My old self believes (though not for personal agenda) – and also believes the scripture confirm – that Peter models the credibility of eldership requiring years and even decades of being (granted, in our imperfect human condition) “IN THE PROGRAM OF GOD”. Every “OLDER” is not an ELDER, but I feel strongly to be a biblical ELDER you ought to be OLDER. There is a testimony of years that cannot be short-circuited. TIME: you can spend it, but you really can’t buy it at a discount.

Peter frames this message within (I and many others, believe) a glorious “time-understanding” revelation regarding end-times activity and prophesy and timing.

SPEAKING OF TIME – As this writing was originally a Sunday AM message, time didn’t permit the reading of the entire three chapters that AM, but we’ll jump in and around most all of the 3 chapter letter, for our purposes.

Peter starts off assuring us that ALL THINGS pertaining to godliness are already on the table and available to us, and accessible to us – I believe – to the degree that we press into the fullness, making both room and time for God to have his way in our lives:

2 Peter 1
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And now Peter admonishes us to diligence in allowing a divine kingdom process to be revealed and accomplished in us:
5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,
6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,
7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.

We’re saved by raw faith. That leads us into a conviction and desire for truth (virtue) and subsequently into the Word, which enlightens us through knowledge that there’s things to do, as well as things to avoid. From that place, self-control (a fruit of the spirit) ought to be engaged, and for how long? Perseverance. For as long as we’re here. The target is godliness, but it doesn’t stop there, it continues to loving the imperfect ones around us, and then eventually/hopefully, we’ve learned to love completely.

Notable is Peter progressively ordering our maturing as saints with GODLINESS listed ahead of BROTHERLY KINDNESS, him understanding that it’s easier to love perfect-GOD – than it is to love and be kind, and speak kindly to – our imperfect brethren

PROMISE OF FRUITFUL LIVES
8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; (SAYS NOW-I-GET-IT PETER)
11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

SKIPPING A LITTLE – THEN PETER SPEAKS OF HIS OWN UPCOMING DEATH, AND ALSO DESCRIBES HIS EYE-WITNESS ACCOUNT OF THE TRANSFIGURATION, AND THAT HE HEARD THE AUDIBLE VOICE OF GOD THAT DAY….

THEN HE TELLS US THAT BONAFIDE PROPHETIC WORDS ARE never from the will of men, but from the will of God, and that ALL scripture is for ALL THE PEOPLE, ALL THE TIME – and anything other than that is potentially cult-like in intent. Ask the Mormons or Jehovah Witnesses, or some rabbis – or even some Protestant churches, who think you have to be a certain “LEVEL” to read or be taught certain truths (and even, in some cases, certain funky doctrines that are even truths!)

19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed (He had been an eye-witness to prophetic fulfillment and then holds US accountable to respect that affirmed truth), which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;
20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,
21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

REMEMBER – This is Peter’s final letter to the saints – so mark well what he felt was important for the church to know – EXACTLY what Paul felt was important for the church to know: there will be an INTERNAL ASSAULT against SCRIPTURAL TRUTH.

PETER SPEAKS OF DOCTRINES AND HERESIES THAT HAVE COME AND WILL CONTINUE TO COME INTO THE CHURCH – INCREASING AS THE AGE PROGRESSES:

FIRST, WHAT PAUL SAID IN EPHESUS:
Acts 20:29-30
29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.

Now PETER says the same thing:
2 Peter 2
1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even (to the point of) denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.
2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.

This is precisely what PAUL told the church in Ephesus (as well as told Timothy in his last letter to his spiritual son) – troublesome teachings will come into the church, sometimes in ignorance and sometimes even w evil intent:
Acts 20:29-30
29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.

BACK TO PETER:
VERSES 3 – 13 – PETER CLEARLY VALUATES THE OLD TESTAMENT TESTIMONY OF GOD’S JUDGMENT ON THE WICKED, AND COMPARES FALLEN AND FALSE NT TEACHERS TO THOSE DOOMED TO DESTRUCTION IN THE PAST – AND THEN STATES WHERE THEY WILL BE RESIDING IN THIS CURRENT AGE: “FEASTING WITH YOU”

2 PETER 2:13
….They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you

This is not intended to invoke a witch-hunt in any church or organization, but rather to encourage us to dig into the word of God and to weigh all teachings, to avoid UNINTENDED as well as INTENTIONAL ERROR.

PETER’S WARNING IS RE:
A. An awareness to avoid being drawn away from truth by enticing words and teachings; AND
B. The jeopardy of such fall-out even escalating to the degree of total ruin.

18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error.
19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.
20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.
21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.

CHAPTER 3 – PETER OUTLINES END-OF-AGE SITUATIONS AND OFFERS A KEY TIMING-COMPONENT TO OUR UNDERSTANDING OF EVENTS.
2 Peter 3
1 Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder),
2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior,
3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts,
4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”

5-6 – THEY BLOW OFF/IGNORE/DISCOUNT GOD’S DESTRUCTION OF THE WORLD BY THE FLOOD – AND MEANWHILE PETER SAYS NEXT TIME IT WILL BE JUDGMENT BY FIRE.

7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

NOW A KEY REVELATORY VERSE – clearly couched within the context of second-coming activity
8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

CONSIDER: IF the verse 8 timing-hint of Peter is correct – “a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day” – and if we then consider the season in which we find ourselves as respecters and students of biblical timing – we then can’t help but calculate where we might be in this grand equation.
REMEMBER: Peter just told us the scoffers would say: “AH – LIFE GOES ON AS IT ALWAYS DOES” – so we would do well to not blow off the things spoken of in scripture and to some early degree occurring on earth around us.

The Hebraic calendar has been assaulted, and manhandled by man, over the millenniums, we are nonetheless CLOSE if not exactly accurate re CREATION DATING. The Hebrew year right now is understood and agreed to be 5777. (AND YOU CAN SEE WHY OUR ADVERSARY would want to undermine everything-biblical in propagating contra-biblical theories of “OLD EARTH” (millions of years for creation) and “SUPER-GRACE-GOD” who would never REALLY COME back in flaming fire. Satan’s goal is to distract us from biblical truth, so that we would unarmed, unprepared, and also even OFFENDED when our Lord comes back WHEN and AS the scriptures tell us things will take place.

IF the 1000 years = 1 day formula is accurate, then certain other prophetic revelations suddenly fit into place.
Revelation 20:4-6 – speaking of those who refused to succumb to a prevailing wicked world order, some of which will be martyred (beheaded) for their refusal to go along w the crowd:
4…..And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

That extra 1,000 years would have the redeemed of God living through the SEVENTH-CREATION-DAY – the SABBATH DAY – w our Lord ruling on earth, prior to the complete conclusion of life as we know it, when we then enter the eternal state with Jesus and God.

Suddenly the context of SIX DAYS being primarily under the auspices of MAN, followed by a SEVENTH DAY under the auspices of GOD, parallels the Jewish week beginning on Sunday and ending on the Sabbath day of rest. I, along w many others, believe this is a critical component to understanding the end-times plan and timing.

BACK TO 2 PETER 3
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

And now the great rhetorical question is presented – a question intended to prompt us towards intimacy, holiness and intentionality (which, I believe, is precisely what ALL scriptural truth ought to always lead us to – and not simply present itself as more religious information-overload:
11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

A CLEAR CALL TO STEADFASTNESS AND INTENTIONAL LIVING
14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;
15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,
16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.

(THE BOOBY TRAPPED BIBLE – loaded w potential explosive power by our great and jealous God, so the proud, the willfully ignorant, the defiant, the contentious, and even the religiously obsessed, IF THEY SO CHOOSE, can dip into the VOLATILE SCRIPTURES and come up w all sorts of DANGEROUS SILLINESS).
This is why Paul told Timothy (and us):
2 Timothy 2:15
15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Peter 3
17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;
18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

All that Peter has written here, and all that is pointed to in the way of God’s timing for the Lord’s return and the destruction of everything wicked, along w the timely REBIRTH OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL (which clearly appears to us as an end-times marker) all converge to point to exciting times ahead – in which case Peter’s rhetorical question bears most-weighty consideration:
2 Peter 3 (AGAIN)
11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?

God has indeed called us to “such a time as this” – and to live our lives w an awareness of His timing, and His purposes. Being IN THE WORD and IN THE SPIRIT and IN HIS WILL becomes more critical now than ever.
THAT is our success, in the middle of an increasingly more-shaking world.
THE LIGHT WILL SHINE BRIGHTER as THE WORLD GETS DARKER.

Our call is to understand that it is GOD who is shaking things up, and that any upheaval on earth has to be allowed by Him, who is sovereign over all:
Isaiah 45:7
7 I form the light and create darkness,
I make peace and create calamity;
I, the Lord, do all these things.’

The writer of Hebrews presents us with the escalated accountability that comes along with escalated intimacy and availability of revelation:

Hebrews 12:25-29
25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven,
26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.”
27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
29 For our God is a consuming fire.

Much of this discourse is not popular church doctrine, although it is ALL taken from the NEW TESTAMENT. Any journey back into the OLD TESTAMENT, will only confirm and flesh-out these truths. In fact, the writers of the NEW TESTAMENT likely would be in wonderment that the NT saints are for the most part so ignorant of the OLD TESTAMENT roots – which in many ways is the FOUNDATION FOR THE ENTIRE STORY OF GOD.

All that has been written is written NOT to freak out the saints, but to PREPARE the saints, that we might be found in Him, as the writer of Hebrews tells us: INTENTIONALLY AND STEADFASTLY KINGDOM-LIVING:
Hebrews 10:23-25
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

There indeed is A DAY. It is APPROACHING. WE WILL BE ABLE TO DISCERN (SEE) THAT APPROACH.

ASIDE: when you get to study the book of Revelation, something that has revealed itself to me recently is that TRUMPETS, throughout all scripture, are ALWAYS INTENDED to make sufficient noise for all around to be made aware. Those SEVEN TRUMPETS of Revelation have not yet sounded. Stay tuned though. Meanwhile, what the discerning and praying and studying saints of God are currently sensing in their spirits are the early rumblings of troubling that our God, in His great mercy, told us would happen as the conclusion of this age gets closer.

SO HERE WE ARE – “revelated”, encouraged, warned, and admonished by the now-seasoned fisherman that there’s a DAY COMING and a LIFE TO LEAD – progressively and intentionally making decisions to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior – a knowledge that will lead us to great grace and sufficient peace to neither act hastily or wastefully, but instead SUCCESSFULLY, looking forward to our reward – life with God, knowing Him and we are now known by Him.

Can we commit to that? I want that. Yes, Lord.

all scripture NKJV

Posted in Apocalypse, Creation, End Times Related, Everything, False Teachers, Holiness, New Testament, Understanding & Knowing God | Leave a comment

Your giants are for His glory

2 Samuel 21
18 Now it happened afterward that there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob. Then Sibbechai the Hushathite killed Saph, who was one of the sons of the giant.
19 Again there was war at Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.
20 Yet again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; and he also was born to the giant.
21 So when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David’s brother, killed him.
22 These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.

The “giant-thing” has become analogous with most things too big, too threatening, or too impossible for us to logically envision overcoming or conquering on our own. Serious illness. Financial valleys. Recurring sin. Damaged or destroyed relationships. Fill in your own Goliath if you like: ___________________.

The scriptures offer us numerous accounts of the existence of actual giants, their threat, and their demise. The question then might be, why should they be part of God’s plan in the first place? The answer can also be found in scriptural account, particularly 2 Samuel 22, which in large part is Psalm 18.

2 Sam offers a robust revelation of “why giants”.

2 Samuel 22
David is victorious, and he purposes to not simply move forward, but to stop and give thanks. That would be EXAMPLE AND PURPOSE #1.
1 Then David spoke to the Lord the words of this song, on the day when the Lord had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.

2 And he said: “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
3 The God of my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation,
My stronghold and my refuge;
My Savior, You save me from violence.

PURPOSE 2: Faith in God’s faithfulness has David committing to call upon God again, when the next giant in his life shows up.

4 I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised;
So shall I be saved from my enemies.

PURPOSE 3: The testimonial recount. Good for him. Good for us.
5 “When the waves of death surrounded me,
The floods of ungodliness made me afraid.
6 The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me;
The snares of death confronted me.

PURPOSE 4: The example of HOW he called to God – including audibly with his voice.
7 In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry entered His ears.

PURPOSE 5: He is a God of response.
Note the supernatural imagery, even though earlier we’re told David’s men were successful in battle – the revelation being the critical component of heavenly dynamics behind all our victories, even the ones we ourselves might appear to accomplish.

8 “Then the earth shook and trembled;
The foundations of heaven quaked and were shaken,
Because He was angry.
9 Smoke went up from His nostrils,
And devouring fire from His mouth;
Coals were kindled by it.
10 He bowed the heavens also, and came down
With darkness under His feet.
11 He rode upon a cherub, and flew;
And He was seen upon the wings of the wind.
12 He made darkness canopies around Him,
Dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.
13 From the brightness before Him
Coals of fire were kindled.

14 “The Lord thundered from heaven,
And the Most High uttered His voice.
15 He sent out arrows and scattered them;
Lightning bolts, and He vanquished them.
16 Then the channels of the sea were seen,
The foundations of the world were uncovered,
At the rebuke of the Lord,
At the blast of the breath of His nostrils.
17 “He sent from above, He took me,
He drew me out of many waters.

PURPOSE 6: To God be the glory.
18 He delivered me from my strong enemy,
From those who hated me;
For they were too strong for me.

(David recognized his limitations. Giants help us do that).

19 They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
But the Lord was my support.
20 He also brought me out into a broad place;
He delivered me because He delighted in me.

(God’s DELIGHT in us is a great motivator for His deliverance – and meanwhile, below, we’re also shown that our alignment with his righteous commandments plays a significant role as well).

Consider this “formula for success” in Psalm 50, well-confirmed in this study:
Psalm 50
14 Offer to God thanksgiving,
And pay your vows to the Most High.
15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”

Back to 2 Samuel 22
21 “The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
According to the cleanness of my hands
He has recompensed me.
22 For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
And have not wickedly departed from my God.
23 For all His judgments were before me;
And as for His statutes, I did not depart from them.
24 I was also blameless before Him,
And I kept myself from my iniquity.

(Verse 25 reiterates verse 21. We’re not to forget this requirement, over which we have charge. David knew for certain that much trouble can come upon us if/when we’re out of God’s will and plans).

25 Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness,
According to my cleanness in His eyes.

PURPOSE 7: we’re presented a glorious revelation as to how the Lord deals with mankind – often in like manner to our own ways.
26 “With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful;
With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless;
27 With the pure You will show Yourself pure;
And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd.
(Note the Lord is never devious in return, but He’s always smarter than the devious).

28 You will save the humble people;
But Your eyes are on the haughty, that You may bring them down.

PURPOSE 8: praise and faith arise.
29 “For You are my lamp, O Lord;
The Lord shall enlighten my darkness.
30 For by You I can run against a troop;
By my God I can leap over a wall.
31 As for God, His way is perfect;
The word of the Lord is proven;
He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
32 “For who is God, except the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?
33 God is my strength and power,
And He makes my way perfect.
34 He makes my feet like the feet of deer,
And sets me on my high places.

BINGO. PURPOSE 9.
He’s always and at all times training and raising up an army. Read Psalm 110. They’re volunteers in the day of His power.
Interestingly, many of the verses below at first might seem to apply only to David’s time, David’s kingdom, and David’s age. But they’re for all times. And if you’re a student of eschatology (end times) suddenly these verses begin fleshing out the ultimate and final challenges and conflicts – a time when our Lord tells us many hearts will fail for fear (Luke 21).

1 Peter 1:10. 1 Cor 10:1. The Old Testament was written for us, the New Testament believer, that we might be strong and successful in Him, in those times.

35 He teaches my hands to make war,
So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
36 “You have also given me the shield of Your salvation;
Your gentleness has made me great.
37 You enlarged my path under me;
So my feet did not slip.
38 “I have pursued my enemies and destroyed them;
Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed.
39 And I have destroyed them and wounded them,
So that they could not rise;
They have fallen under my feet.
40 For You have armed me with strength for the battle;
You have subdued under me those who rose against me.
41 You have also given me the necks of my enemies,
So that I destroyed those who hated me.

KThey looked, but there was none to save;
Even to the Lord, but He did not answer them.
43 Then I beat them as fine as the dust of the earth;
I trod them like dirt in the streets,
And I spread them out.
44 “You have also delivered me from the strivings of my people;
You have kept me as the head of the nations.
A people I have not known shall serve me.
45 The foreigners submit to me;
As soon as they hear, they obey me.
46 The foreigners fade away,
And come frightened from their hideouts.

PURPOSE 10 – yet more praise.
47 “The Lord lives!
Blessed be my Rock!
Let God be exalted,
The Rock of my salvation!
48 It is God who avenges me,
And subdues the peoples under me;
49 He delivers me from my enemies.
You also lift me up above those who rise against me;
You have delivered me from the violent man.

(This confirms and supports Psalm 67 – the saints praise, the Lord blesses, the people tremble).

50 Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles,
And sing praises to Your name.
51 He is the tower of salvation to His king,
And shows mercy to His anointed,
To David and his descendants forevermore
.”
(The conclusion includes the eternal date-stamp. This show-of-mercy is an always/forever heritage for all who’ve come into the family of faith, for all generations. That would be us. Praise the Lord!).

The glory of our great God comes into this fallen world through the gates of His saints (Ps 24). Our successful lives, in Him, is the presentation and demonstration of hope and mercy to a lost and dying world.

Your giants are for His glory.
Want some more proof?
Earlier, God had created Goliath for David.

All scripture NKJV

Posted in End Times Related, Everything, Faith, Holiness, Righteousness, Suffering, Testing, Understanding & Knowing God | Leave a comment

The Passover Mandate: Without An Expiration Date

It is without question that the crucifixion plan was designed before the foundation of the world, and that Jesus was born, lived, died, and resurrected, according to God’s perfect timing. Daniel’s prophecies, as well as history, confirm all the above.

The clear perfection of God’s time and timing therefore presents to Christians both an invitation and a challenge to prayerfully consider their attitude and response to Old Testament verses that appear time-date-stamped with words like “forever”, or “all generations”, or “from this time forth and forevermore”. It’s of course easy to embrace the eternal PROMISES, but what about the eternal DIRECTIVES, such as this one in regard to observance of the Passover:

Exodus 12:12-14, 16-17
12 “For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.
13 Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
14 ‘So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.

17 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but that which everyone must eat—that only may be prepared by you.
17 So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance.

Lest any Gentile believer in Jesus be deluded into thinking they were NOT of the household of Abraham, Paul tells us this:
Ephesians 2:19
Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

AND ALSO:
Colossians 3:11
where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.

It would seem logical and appropriate that the believing Church, in embracing the blessings and promises of son/daughter-ship with God, would also embrace the eternal admonitions and mandates as they appear in scripture.

I am personally inclined to believe Jesus proclaiming: “Do this in remembrance of Me” encompasses but also extends beyond Communion and foot-washing to a gentle reminder of the Exodus 12:14 mandate re the everlasting ordinance of Passover observance. He surely and personally modeled that observance.

That special celebratory holiday was/is to serve as a perpetual reminder of God’s supernatural deliverance from impossible oppression. Praying into this, I believe the minimization or absence of Passover observance may steal from us some of the confidence our great God intends us to walk in as the challenging end of this age comes upon us.

Intentional alignment with the fullness of the Word is to our benefit. Convenience or Inconvenience really ought not be a factor. Jesus modeled for us a life of inconvenience, for Kingdom cause.

God’s timing is perfect. Mine, sadly, is not. This should have been published weeks prior to this current Passover season. Meanwhile I believe God honors our response at all times. Prayerfully discovering what one’s personal observance might be, wants to be a product of prayer and study of the Word. The scriptures above are a reasonable start. As a Jew, I can say part of the challenge is also not getting “too Jewish” in our observances. Some of the “traditions” of Passover are literally just that: traditions. Some of those traditions are good. Some are religious baggage. But without scriptural controversy, what is written appears to point to intentional observance, forever, by all who would call themselves children of God. And there will be next Passover. I can humbly assure you our precious Lord will not return in the next twelve months. The parts of the eschatological puzzle are coming together quickly, but it won’t be that quick.

All Scripture NKJV

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Discovered: The Secret Place

19 Oh, how great is Your goodness,
Which You have laid up for those who fear You,
Which You have prepared for those who trust in You
In the presence of the sons of men!
20 You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence
From the plots of man;
You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion
From the strife of tongues.
(Psalms 31:19-20. NKJV)

Do you see what David is revealing to us in this Psalm?
He had been shown, by God, a secret place that was hidden and reserved for those who would accept the invitation to lay down their own wills and agendas and bear the mantle of a visible ambassador of the invisible Kingdom of God.

WANTED: Salt of the earth. Apply here.

David, in his desperately wild worship-intimacy with God, in his hunger for the “one thing” of God’s presence, had discovered some place secret that was available to everyone, but hidden from most. David had discovered the secret pavilion where God’s presence dwelt. Tabernacle at its finest.

In the public place of highly visible trust is a secret place with God.

Posted in Anointing, Everything, Faith, Fear of the Lord, Free Will, God's Word, Personal Relationship, Psalms, Understanding & Knowing God, Worship | Leave a comment

Co-Incidence: Genesis 24

I often say “coincidences” are coordinated incidences initiated by our sovereign God. I have seen this confirmed time and again in my own life. More importantly, I see it confirmed by the account of scripture. These are not simply “card-tricks-by-God” to demo His capabilities, control, or handiwork. This has to do with the glorious and critical nature of Kingdom-planning, Kingdom-timing and Kingdom-progression.

Solomon told us there’s a time for every purpose under heaven (Ecc. 3) and then proceeded to cite a laundry-list of weighty polar-opposites (speech and silence, war and peace, birth and death, etc.) to drive this point home: in order for us to be effective for God we must be in His purposes, in His timing, in the Spirit. Confirming this, Paul speaks of being in the Spirit so that we might redeem the time, because the days are evil.

Ephesians 5:15-18
15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,

Do you see a theme here?
Understanding what the will of the Lord may be for a particular situation transcends simply recognizing holy vs. unholy. It should mature to a wisdom of timing-anointing. A “holy” or “kosher” decision or action may still not be the will of the Lord, when it is out of time. We want to get this right. I’ve spoken and written about this many times, yet I feel the imminent conclusion of this age warrants yet another mention. A great biblical example (bible examples incite and ignite faith) is the account in Genesis 24. Remember: we’re looking way-early into the birthing of the people of covenant. Elderly-Abraham and elderly-Sarah finally/miraculously receive Isaac, their son of promise (albeit after the messy situation of Ishmael), and now Isaac needed an appropriate wife for the bloodline of covenant promise to proliferate.

Genesis 24:1-52
1 Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things.
2 So Abraham said to the oldest (“old” connoting age and experience and earned trust) servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had, “Please, put your hand under my thigh (you can search this site to read about “under thigh” promises and vows. Hint: “testimony”),
3 and I will make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell;
4 but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac.”

LONG NOTE: Gen 15:1-2, in mentioning Eliezer as the head servant of Abraham’s household, lends credence to the theory that the same Eliezer from Damascus was indeed the servant mentioned in chapter 24. Abraham (in 15:1-2) had presumed Eliezer would be the logical heir to his life, to his fortune and even to his God-promise, since Abraham at that time was childless. Eliezer surely saw the miracle of Isaac’s birth and surely recognized that that divine event had precluded his own potential inheritance, and yet Eliezer remained a trustworthy servant, and therefore a blessed man.

5 And the servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I take your son back to the land from which you came?”
6 But Abraham said to him, “Beware that you do not take my son back there.
7 The Lord God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my family, and who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, ‘To your descendants I give this land,’ He will send His angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there.
8 And if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be released from this oath; only do not take my son back there.”
9 So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter.
10 Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, for all his master’s goods were in his hand. And he arose and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor.
11 And he made his camels kneel down outside the city by a well of water at evening time, the time when women go out to draw water.

Although in the next verse Eliezer of Damascus honors his master Abraham by referring to God as his master’s God, it is obvious the Syrian had his own established relationship with the Lord.
12 Then he said, “O Lord God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham.
13 Behold, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water.
14 Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’—let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.”

15 And it happened, before he had finished speaking, that behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with her pitcher on her shoulder.
16 Now the young woman was very beautiful to behold, a virgin; no man had known her. And she went down to the well, filled her pitcher, and came up.
17 And the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me drink a little water from your pitcher.”
18 So she said, “Drink, my lord.” Then she quickly let her pitcher down to her hand, and gave him a drink.
19 And when she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.”

(Bingo! She responds perfectly)
20 Then she quickly emptied her pitcher into the trough, ran back to the well to draw water, and drew for all his camels.

(Wise Eliezer still says nothing proclamatory).
21 And the man, wondering at her, remained silent so as to know whether the Lord had made his journey prosperous or not.

(Apparently the lengthy camel-drinking event was sufficient time for Eliezer to process the amazing coincidence)
22 So it was, when the camels had finished drinking, that the man took a golden nose ring weighing half a shekel, and two bracelets for her wrists weighing ten shekels of gold,
23 and said, “Whose daughter are you? Tell me, please, is there room in your father’s house for us to lodge?”
24 So she said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel, Milcah’s son, whom she bore to Nahor.”

Amazing! Rebekah was of the younger generation – not Isaac’s generation. Rebekah was the daughter of Bethuel, not Nahor. Bethuel was Isaac’s first cousin. This was not about scripture affirming cradle-robbing – in this case so Isaac could marry a young babe. This was about Isaac having been born so late in Abraham’s life that effectively Isaac was closer to Rebekah’s age than Rebekah’s dad’s age. How perfect is God’s provision? How perfect is God’s timing?

25 Moreover she said to him, “We have both straw and feed enough, and room to lodge.”

Skip to v35 – Rebekah’s brother Laban is on the scene and hears the well story. Eliezer and his men and camels are greeted into the dwelling of Nahor.

(Eliezer takes the time to recount the critical back-story)
35 The Lord has blessed my master greatly, and he has become great; and He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys.
36 And Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was old; and to him he has given all that he has.
37 Now my master made me swear, saying, ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell;
38 but you shall go to my father’s house and to my family, and take a wife for my son.’
39 And I said to my master, ‘Perhaps the woman will not follow me.’
40 But he said to me, ‘The Lord, before whom I walk, will send His angel with you and prosper your way; and you shall take a wife for my son from my family and from my father’s house.
41 You will be clear from this oath when you arrive among my family; for if they will not give her to you, then you will be released from my oath.’
42 “And this day I came to the well and said, ‘O Lord God of my master Abraham, if You will now prosper the way in which I go,
43 behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass that when the virgin comes out to draw water, and I say to her, “Please give me a little water from your pitcher to drink,”
44 and she says to me, “Drink, and I will draw for your camels also,”—let her be the woman whom the Lord has appointed for my master’s son.’
45 “But before I had finished speaking in my heart, there was Rebekah, coming out with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down to the well and drew water. And I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’
46 And she made haste and let her pitcher down from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and I will give your camels a drink also.’ So I drank, and she gave the camels a drink also.
47 Then I asked her, and said, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ And she said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.’ So I put the nose ring on her nose and the bracelets on her wrists.
48 And I bowed my head and worshiped the Lord, and blessed the Lord God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the way of truth to take the daughter of my master’s brother for his son.
49 Now if you will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me. And if not, tell me, that I may turn to the right hand or to the left.”
50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, “The thing comes from the Lord; we cannot speak to you either bad or good. 51 Here is Rebekah before you; take her and go, and let her be your master’s son’s wife, as the Lord has spoken.”
52 And it came to pass, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, that he worshiped the Lord, bowing himself to the earth.

How great is our God?
And how great a mess a begrudging prayerless servant, or a convenient but wrong Canaanite wife, or the wrong well, or, or, or, or, could have been – but instead, by His grace, and with the faithful participation of virtually all parties involved, this story turns out gloriously.

OUR TAKEAWAY: God can, and indeed desires to, coordinate all the incidences of our lives. Co-ordinated incidences are truly PLAN A, and I humbly contend the closer we advance to the conclusion of this age, the more of these incidences we ought to be looking for, praying in, and walking in. This is the season for the revelation of the sons of God. The creation groans, and it’s not groaning as it awaits the revelation of more dead religion, it is groaning as it awaits the revealing of the Spirit-led, divinely anointed sons and daughters of the soon and coming King. That would be us. Will you receive that?

We’ve been born for such a time as this – to be in the Spirit, understanding His will, redeeming the time, doing great exploits.

Ephesians 5:15-18
15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,

What a formula for spiritual success: Filled with the Spirit, building ourselves up praying in the Holy Spirit. No wonder there’s such warfare against these truths, sadly even in many churches. And yet God will have His people, and His will on earth will be accomplished in and through those who intentionally walk in His ways.

All scripture NKJV

Posted in Anointing, Apocalypse, End Times Related, Everything, Faith, God's Word, Holy Spirit, Old Testament, Personal Relationship, Prayer, Timing | Leave a comment