[THE TIME OF THE PARENTHETICAL]

 

Stick with me through this writing, please. It is a somewhat long, weighty and perhaps complicated, but it is exciting and it is current. And it is critical not only to our understanding of events (including even WHEN our God promises to open things up to us), but also critical to our understanding of all scripture, as we are being shown HOW God speaks prophetically to His people. Some of this has been covered before in this blog. Some has not. Another benefit to walking through this is that I believe it can insulate you from speculations that are based only upon what we know NOW. I believe certain things are reserved for their specific time of revelation and disclosure (1 Peter 1:12, for example). Understanding that basic truth will give you peace and position you for full understanding when it is time to understand.

Mark 13 parallels Matthew 24 – Jesus is talking to His disciples about trouble ahead.
Some saints attempt to write off all the tough stuff as having been done once, and therefore done – proclaiming that since Titus destroyed the temple and most all of Jerusalem in the first century, then except for a few trouble-bumps along the NT road, we’re simply here to be evangelizing and smiling until it’s time for the wedding. That would be nice and convenient and comfortable, but it’s inaccurate, ignores the words of Zephaniah and Daniel 12 and parts of Zechariah, and in fact sets the saints up to be offended when things don’t happen as they’ve been erroneously taught. It also sets teachers up for some serious accountability and diminishing of their reward.

Mark 13:14-26
14 “So when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not” (let the reader understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
15 Let him who is on the housetop not go down into the house, nor enter to take anything out of his house.
16 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.
17 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!
18 And pray that your flight may not be in winter.
19 For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be.
20 And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days.
21 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it.
22 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
23 But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand.

Jesus goes on to say IN THOSE DAYS – meaning in the days just following the events just described
24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;
25 the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.
26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
Jesus not having come in the clouds with power and great glory after the destruction of the temple in 70AD, the toughest-times-are behind-us theory falls short of historical reality.

THE PARALLEL ACCOUNT
Matthew 24:15-30
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.
22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it.
24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
25 See, I have told you beforehand.
26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.
27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.

(EZ NOTE: Matthew uses the word “eutheos” to quote Jesus. It ONLY means “immediately”, not “in 2,000 years” after the temple came down by the Roman army)
29 “Immediately 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.
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.

Here’s something interesting – hence the title of this writing. “The Time of the Parenthetical”.
Mark 13:14:
14 “So when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not” (let the reader understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

Matthew 24:15-16:
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.

The NKJV and the NIV translations present the words of Jesus in red, BUT the parentheticals in both Mark 13:14 and Matthew 24:15 are presented in black – implying the disciple/writers, Mark and Matthew, both chose to insert their own parenthetical in the exact same place of Jesus’discourse. Really? That doesn’t even follow logic. Two separate writers contract the same editorial-itch to pen the identical personal, punctuated insertion in the exact same dialogue of Jesus?

Meanwhile the NASB accurately has the parenthetical in red.
Mark 13:14
14 “But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.
Matthew 24:15-16
15 “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.

That, brethren, is correct.

Those parentheticals are from the mouth of our Lord. Jesus spoke those profound and in fact critical parentheticals. Our Lord is in fact telling us that WHEN something happens on earth – WHEN the final abomination of desolation appears in the yet-to-be built-again temple in Jerusalem, at that time the readers are invited and instructed to go back and read the book of Daniel – because something is in that book that is even currently sealed up at very least in measure – AT THAT TIME and according to the plan of God, will be fully unsealed. Is that possible? Are we even told that by God via the prophet Daniel?

Daniel 8:24-26
24 His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; He shall destroy fearfully, And shall prosper and thrive; He shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people.
25 “Through his cunning
He shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; And he shall exalt himself in his heart.
He shall destroy many in their prosperity.
He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; But he shall be broken without human means.
26 “And the vision of the evenings and mornings Which was told is true; Therefore seal up the vision, For it refers to many days in the future.”


Daniel 12:1-9
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.
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.
3 Those who are wise shall shine
Like the brightness of the firmament,
And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.
4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
5 Then I, Daniel, looked; and there stood two others, one on this riverbank and the other on that riverbank.
6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, “How long shall the fulfillment of these wonders be?”

7 Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.
8 Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, “My lord, what shall be the end of these things?”
9 And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

Jesus (Mark 13 and Matt 24, above) is not only confirming the words of the prophet Daniel, but telling us that there is a sovereignly-intended and appointed time when those prophecies in Daniel will be unsealed, for the reader to understand, and to teach others.
Wow God!

The saints, as promised, will be equipped for those toughest of days, to accomplish the necessary great exploits.

These passages also tell us that, unlike many hopeful but inaccurate popular teachings, Jesus will not be returning “any day now”.
There is no rebuilt temple in Jerusalem.
There is no abomination of desolation sitting in the temple that isn’t there yet.
Stay tuned though. The hopeful Jewish people, still with the veil of understanding over their eyes, but still His covenant people, have already constructed all the components and materials to be used in that rebuilt temple. They just don’t quite yet know it will their Jesus appearing as their Messiah. But they will. It will be glorious and it will be good.

Some would like to say there were “abominations of desolation” in the temple several times throughout history. This is true. Antiochus Epiphanes modeled that evil mantle and demonic activity, but he was dead and gone even before Jesus gave the Mark and Matthew prophecies. So that prophetic-math-logic doesn’t work for him. The Romans were horribly sacrilegious in their desecration of the temple, after Jesus ascended. But Jesus did not appear in the sky “eutheos” (immediately) after those days of tribulation. It therefore awaits fulfillment.

Let’s read John Walvoord’s commentary re these portions of Daniel. His historical account is accurate, and also his understanding of these words still awaiting complete fulfillment is accurate:

Walvoord re Daniel 8:23-25.
“Years later from among one of the four horns (kings) there would arise, Gabriel said, a severe (stern-faced) and cunning king (a master of intrigue; cf. deceit, v. 25). A powerful ruler, he would devastate property and destroy people in order to expand his kingdom. The holy people, the nation Israel (cf. “saints,” 7:18, 22, 27), would be a special target of his oppression. In subjugating Israel, many would lose their lives just when they thought they were safe. His antagonism against Israel would also be against her God, the Prince of princes. Yet this mighty conqueror himself would be destroyed by supernatural power. His rise was not his own doing (8:24) and his downfall was not by human means (he died insane in Persia in 163 b.c.).

(EZ 3728: Walvoord goes on to offer us an accurate historical account of events that function as an antitype to the final “FULL-FILLMENT” that has yet to occur. The underline of Walvoord’s last sentence is mine)
“The king referred to here is known as Antiochus IV Epiphanes. After murdering his brother, who had inherited the throne in the Seleucid dynasty, he came to power in 175 b.c. In 170 b.c. Ptolemy VI of Egypt sought to recover territory then ruled over by Antiochus. So Antiochus invaded Egypt and defeated Ptolemy VI and proclaimed himself king in Egypt. This was his growth “in power to the south” (v. 9). On his return from this conquest, trouble broke out in Jerusalem so he decided to subdue Jerusalem (“the Beautiful Land,” v. 9; cf. 11:16, 41). The people were subjugated, the temple desecrated, and the temple treasury plundered.

“From this conquest Antiochus returned to Egypt in 168 but was forced by Rome to evacuate Egypt. On his return he determined to make the land of Israel a buffer state between himself and Egypt. He attacked and burned Jerusalem, killing multitudes (cf. 8:10). The Jews were forbidden to follow the Mosaic Law in observing the Sabbath, their annual feasts, and traditional sacrifices, and circumcision of children (cf. v. 11).

“Altars to idols were set up in Jerusalem and on December 16, 167 b.c. the Jews were ordered to offer unclean sacrifices and to eat swine’s flesh or be penalized by death.…….

(HERE’S THE HALF-FILLMENT AND FULL-FILLMENT EXPLAINED)
“…..There is no question among expositors that Antiochus is in view in this prophecy. What was prophesied was fulfilled literally through him. However, the prophecy looks beyond Antiochus to a future person (the Antichrist) of whom Antiochus is only a foreshadowing. This coming one is said to “stand against the Prince of princes” (v. 25). This can be none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus the prophecy must go beyond Antiochus and look forward to the coming of one whose ministry will parallel that of Antiochus.

Bingo.

BTW and FYI: No place in scripture are we told that God in His wisdom cannot nor will not ever fulfill an already fully-filled prophecy.
At the same time, Jesus assured us that every single last detail “jot and tittle” would be fulfilled at least once, to its fullness – not one detail overlooked or omitted. So historical events that did/do/don’t check all the prophetic boxes are still pending, and – perhaps to our wonderment – some that may have been fulfilled once, just might occur again. Isaiah 28:21 describes the end-time work as “unusual”. Stay tuned.

It will be accurate and stunning, and it will both draw as well as drive us all to prayer and worship and study. In fact, I would go so far as to say press into those three disciplines now. Familiarize yourself even with the mysteries. As we sense and see the pot beginning to boil, determine to press in now. The times of the conclusion of the age are upon us.

“Having done all to stand”, says Paul.

Wonderfully, we have the parenthetical promise that as we press in, and as the time ripens, these currently cloaked mysteries will be opened to us, so that we can succeed, and also explain and teach others. Seasoned saints being here during the most troubling days contradicts the hopeful doctrine that the church gets swept up and away several years before the Messiah comes streaking through the sky to judge the wicked. John Walvoord and many other astute students of scripture have written opinion pieces supporting their view of a pre-Trib rapture. We shall see.

The pre-Trib rapture doctrine in essence describes a divine escape plan for the mature and learned saints, who would be taken away, leaving only new convert (Jews, mostly) left on earth to figure it out for themselves and also try to evangelize a world that has grown darker than it will have ever been prior to that time. That in fact contradicts the teaching procedure of God outlined in early verses Ps 78 – the result in that psalm being dismal failure for the uninstructed warriors.

I personally believe the saints are here for the Trouble, but raptured prior to the outpouring of God’s Wrath. The Tribulation-Wrath differentiation is critical, and deserves recognition. That differentiation also sets the timing of events in order. Additionally it coordinates with the biblical account of holy men like Daniel and Ezekiel being right in the midst of the troubles, not raptured out of trouble. Ministers minister in the midst of trouble.

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.
(NKJV Strong’s)

Posted in Holy Spirit, Israel, Jesus, Movement of God, New Testament, Obedience, Old Testament, Personal Relationship, Prayer, Prophecy, Prophets, Revelation(s), Suffering, Testing, Timing, Tribulation, Understanding & Knowing God, Wisdom, Word Of God | Comments Off on [THE TIME OF THE PARENTHETICAL]

“An act of God”

One can argue all day that America is not Israel. And they are correct.
Israel is Israel.
Nonetheless the Lord deals with every nation, particularly with nations that:

  • Proclaim His name
  • Make covenant with Him (FYI: our first one was in 1620 aboard the Mayflower and then in Jamestown, by our founding fathers. This coming year is the 400th anniversary of the first covenant. Fours have proven to be a big-deal number prophetically, btw: desert wanderings, bondage of Egypt, temptation in the wilderness of our Lord, flood of Noah);
  • Call upon Him in days of trouble. The synagogues and churches were full for 2-3 weeks after 9/11. Everyone sang Amazing Grace at services.

You get it.

The past 399 years America has been a marker-nation in God’s plan, even though clearly we have not done all things right. There remains corruption on either side of the political aisle. And things are getting worse.

Sadly we continue to enact laws that are absolutely opposed to the laws of God.
We’ve made a way for more babies to be murdered than any nation, ever.
We’ve legalized same-sex marriage. We don’t even know whether that was on the books in Sodom and Gomorrah, or just winked at. We might have set a new low.

One would hope/assume/think/pray that the same folks in government, at every level, who would (accurately) declare fires etc. as acts of God would consider well God’s oversight of lifestyles that continue to be supported and even encouraged, and the laws that continue to be made, and refrain from supporting policies and from enforcing current and even writing new laws that are in absolute defiance of His laws. From elementary grade sex/gender-option school curriculums to sex change operations for prisoners, to wholesale abortion laws, to prosecuting Christians for upholding their convictions while allowing Islamic conversion prayers to be inserted into public school tests, are we not  disqualifying ourselves, as a local-to-national culture, from singing/requesting  “God bless America”? The greatest blessing to our nation at this late time would be national repentance.

Wanting to keep this brief, let’s look at Amos 4:6-13 (the whole little book is worthy of contemplative reading and praying over).

The good folks who assembled the bible created this heading for this section of scripture:
“Israel Did Not Accept Correction”
This is all about how righteous-God, in His mercy – instead of immediately destroying a wicked and rebellious nation, progressively elevates His corrective activities to try to awaken them and draw them to repentance.

It is notable that many times in scripture the true prophets are labelled as party-poopers, while the easy-slogan guys filled auditoriums.
Let’s see how it goes.

6 “Also I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities.
And lack of bread in all your places;
Yet you have not returned to Me,”
Says the Lord.
7 “I also withheld rain from you,
When there were still three months to the harvest.
I made it rain on one city,
I withheld rain from another city.
One part was rained upon,
And where it did not rain the part withered.
8 So two or three cities wandered to another city to drink water,
But they were not satisfied;
Yet you have not returned to Me,”
Says the Lord.
9 “I blasted you with blight and mildew.
When your gardens increased,
Your vineyards,
Your fig trees,
And your olive trees,
The locust devoured them;
Yet you have not returned to Me,”
Says the Lord.
10 “I sent among you a plague after the manner of Egypt;
Your young men I killed with a sword,
Along with your captive horses;
I made the stench of your camps come up into your nostrils;
Yet you have not returned to Me,”
Says the Lord.
11 “I overthrew some of you,
As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah,
And you were like a firebrand plucked from the burning;
Yet you have not returned to Me,”
Says the Lord.
12 “Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel;
Because I will do this to you,
Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!”
13 For behold,
He who forms mountains,
And creates the wind,
Who declares to man what his thought is,
And makes the morning darkness,
Who treads the high places of the earth—
The Lord God of hosts is His name.

(NKJV Strong’s)

Verses 6-12 are about escalating troubles.
Verse 13 establishes God’s absolute right, as Creator, to do what needs to be done.
“Lord God of hosts” is His warrior name, btw.
AKA: King of the universe and Commander of the armies of heaven.

We are happily assured it will eventually end well, for those who are found in Him………

Isaiah 4:2-6
The Renewal of Zion

2 In that day the Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious;
And the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing
For those of Israel who have escaped.
3 And it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy—everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem.
4 When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning,
5 then the Lord will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering.
6 And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain.
(NKJV Strong’s)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the following in a new conference re the current raging fires:
“This is simply put in plain parlance, an act of God”

Here’s the link to the CBS article
https://www.cbsnews.com/live-news/fire-in-california-latest-getty-kincade-sonoma-tick-fires-evacuations-today-live-updates-2019-10-29/

Posted in Apocalypse, End Times Related, Everything, Fear of the Lord, God's Word, Repentance, Sin, Tribulation, Understanding & Knowing God, Wisdom | Comments Off on “An act of God”

“TROUBULATION”

Troubulation: The title is not an accidental misspell.

The etymological relationship between Tribulation and Trouble is apparent.
The trouble with the word TRIBULATION is that (even most and sober) believers are often inclined to see Tribulation only as a period of time. TROUBLE however has daily, even conversational qualities about it. Whether or not a student of scripture is recognizing the times in which we live as the early stages of the SEASON of tribulation, or not, is between you and the Lord. I have my opinions. Peruse the www.ez3728.com blog site if you like. There’s both word and theme search facilities.

Regardless of opinion re this being “just seasonal” or “the season” of trouble, most everyone on earth can see there’s lots of trouble happening around us, on all fronts. And the tendency, even for saints, is to address the symptoms as opposed to addressing the root cause(s) – the “disease”, if you will.

God meanwhile, in crafting a world far more glorious and more complexly wired than we might recognize, tells us, in varying places in His word, how things are put together. Even with such revelation, we would do well to understand His ways are not our ways. There are things people do or participate in on earth, unaware of resultant effects or consequences that might manifest in the heavenly as well as natural realms.

The Wiring Mystery and Complexity of God – imagine something like this – except make-believe-change some of the labels from Limit Switch, Diode, Solenoid or Battery to Rebellion and Abortion and Ungodliness and Pornography and even Divorce (Mal 2:16). Add some labels like Wickedness and Violence, and Disunity and War. Of course all of God’s creation is not about the negative. Other parts of the Divine wiring diagram would be labeled Kindness, Friendship, Love, Healing, Restoration, etc. God’s creation is a GOOD plan. He’s done a great work. We’re the ones who have cut, twisted, and even attempted to redesign and rewire His great work. The point to the metaphorical illustration is: we impact things, for the negative or the positive. And this writing happens to be about the troubles we are experiencing in our nation right now. As I write, flags are at half-staff.


Horrific outbursts of violence in our society often generate responses and conditions, most all of which might be well-intended efforts (from varying perspectives) to address and terminate Symptoms. Yet the Disease continues.

Meanwhile, called to be shining lights in a darkening world (Isa 60:1) as believers we are invited and called and charged to dig deeper, study soberly, pray in alignment with the word of God, understand the ramifications of compliance and defiance to His word, and to speak the truth in love to all around us.

Scriptural-Wiring Truth:
Psalms 12:8
8 The wicked prowl on every side,
When vileness is exalted among the sons of men.

There’s correlations between situations and sins and sufferings, between lifestyle choices and how things go socially, between covenant relationship (personal, marital, national) and blessing or accountability.

The cause and effect of unholy national living is chillingly played out throughout scripture, and is currently chillingly playing out in the streets of America. At the risk of offending some: It is not about gun violence. Guns happen to be a tool of choice. Removing the tool will not remove the violence. Of course careful monitoring of gun-accessibility is a good thing, but most violent criminals don’t shop for legal guns in hunting stores. Meanwhile, were we to magically eliminate guns (I won’t even begin to address governments that illegalized guns prior to becoming military dictatorships), violence would take on other forms. Man-“kind” killed mankind thousands of years before the invention of gunpowder.

The issue is a deepening and intensifying worldwide sin climate. We are where we are in the prophetic biblical timeframe. Read the whole book. A defiant  world has sown rebellion to God for millenniums. The crop of trouble has been watered by everything from counterfeit religions to greed to perversion to spineless and impotent churchianity. The God-intended “salt of the earth” church has for the most part modeled a tasteless and powerless and boring God to a starving and dying world, and the world has understandably looked elsewhere.

2 Timothy 3:1-2
1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, ……

AGAIN: Psalms 12:8
8 The wicked prowl on every side,
When vileness is exalted among the sons of men.

Vileness exalted has opened a floodgate for acts of wickedness, just as God’s wiring diagram of creation has intended. (Isa 1:19-20).

Our covenant nation, has sadly brought it upon ourselves.
The fix is not REbuild, or REstructure, or REvision of laws. Nor is it about REpublican or Democrat. The issue is REpentance.

Here’s more eternal truth, with a promise:
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Defining “vileness” is reasonably clear. Investigation into what God loves and calls us to walk in, and comparing that to what God hates and particularly what God cites as abomination, paints a reasonably clear picture.

Repentance goes beyond sorry. There’s a “turning-away” component to repentance. A purposeful change as to how things are done, handled, embraced, ignored.

The Psalm 12:8 citation of “wickedness” is about a spirit, not an act. The wicked acts are the symptoms/ Wickedness is a spirit that is unleashed and in fact fueled, by vileness.

Pornography, abortion, intentional crime, same-sex marriage, happen to be abominations to the Lord.
A covenant nation, in particular, is responsible for its actions.
The result is violence.
Jeremiah 40:3
3 Now the Lord has brought it, and has done just as He said. Because you people have sinned against the Lord, and not obeyed His voice, therefore this thing has come upon you.

We’re shown, from the past, that unchecked, it can drive things to a terrible condition.
Isaiah 1:15
15 When you spread out your hands,
I will hide My eyes from you;
Even though you make many prayers,
I will not hear.
Your hands are full of blood.

Deuteronomy 32:16-17
16 They provoked Him to jealousy with foreign gods;
With abominations they provoked Him to anger.
17 They sacrificed to demons, not to God,
To gods they did not know,
To new gods, new arrivals
That your fathers did not fear.

Psalms 106:37-38
37 They even sacrificed their sons
And their daughters to demons,
38 And shed innocent blood,
The blood of their sons and daughters,
Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan;
And the land was polluted with blood.

“Ah but wait! Those verses are Old Testament! We’re under the blood of the cross.”

Indeed we are. So was Paul – the converted murderer that God redeemed and called to speak into the great true grace of God that would be upon us who believe. He wrote the book of Romans.

That blossoming church – and all who would read the New Testament in subsequent years, are presented with these eternal truths:

Romans 1:16-32
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,
21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,
30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;
32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

I am of the personal opinion that the teaching and preaching (and writing) of the above verses will shortly be cited as a hate crime, an insensitivity to alternative lifestyles, groups, trends, and “progressive” movements of society. That too is foretold to us in scripture.

It’s all in the book that few want to read, and at which even fewer choose to tremble.

Meanwhile, the troubling work is by our merciful God who is:
A. Not willing that any should perish but that all might come to repentance; AND
B. Has called His saints out of darkness and expressly admonished and even warned us not to partake in the sins of this life; AND
C. In love, to warn every man.

QUES TO US ALL: Before criticizing the unsaved, who are accountable though they may not know any better, are we, with the added accountability of knowledge, in any manner contributing to vileness being exalted, that in turn opens the wider door for wickedness?
Would anyone care to own the fact that in any way supporting or contributing to pornographic activity contributed to a spiritual climate that fostered mass shootings? That X-rated movie one might watch, or market, or participate in, in part unleashes wickedness. Refer back to the wiring diagram example, sort of. We don’t know what our own sin fertilizes.

In denying the God our forefathers covenanted to serve, in provoking Him to action by legislation of laws and policies that contradict holy principles, we are collectively bringing a curse upon our nation. That curse is violence.

SOME STATS TO CONSIDER:

SUICIDE – Suicides per day in the U.S.: 123
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_in_the_United_States

ABORTION: U.S. abortions per year: approx. 650,000
From 1970 through 2015, a PRO-CHOICE organization, the Guttmacher Institute estimates there have been 45,789,558 abortions in America.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_statistics_in_the_United_States

DIVORCE AND BROKEN FAMILY:
The American Psychological Association estimates 50% of all marriages end in divorce, and although there has been a slight drop in that rate it is because younger adults are not marrying until later in life – many are living with each other outside of marriage.
https://www.apa.org/topics/divorce/

PORNOGRAPHY
https://www.webroot.com/us/en/resources/tips-articles/internet-pornography-by-the-numbers
Every Second:
28,258 users are watching pornography on the internet.
$3,075.64 is being spent on pornography on the internet.
372 people are typing the word “adult” into a search engine.

Every Day:
37 pornographic videos are created in the United States.
2.5 billion emails containing porn are sent or received.
68 million search queries related to pornography- 25% of total searches- are generated.
116,000 queries related to child pornography are received.

FAIR QUES: Are any of us opening the door to vileness further?

Isaiah 66:1-2
1 Thus says the Lord: “Heaven is My throne,
And earth is My footstool.
Where is the house that you will build Me?
And where is the place of My rest?
2 For all those things My hand has made,
And all those things exist,”
Says the Lord.
“But on this one will I look:
On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit,
And who trembles at My word.

Our great and loving and merciful and patient God loves mankind so much that He sent His Son to carry all of the sins of anyone who would repent. How spectacular is THAT?

Back to Psalm 12, in its fullness there’s an assurance for the saint in the distinction between the wicked and righteous:
Psalms 12
1 Help, Lord, for the godly man ceases!
For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men.
2 They speak idly everyone with his neighbor;
With flattering lips and a double heart they speak.
3 May the Lord cut off all flattering lips,
And the tongue that speaks proud things,
4 Who have said,
“With our tongue we will prevail;
Our lips are our own;
Who is lord over us?”
5 “For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy,
Now I will arise,” says the Lord;
“I will set him in the safety for which he yearns.”
6 The words of the Lord are pure words,
Like silver tried in a furnace of earth,
Purified seven times.
7 You shall keep them, O Lord,
You shall preserve them from this generation forever.
8 The wicked prowl on every side,
When vileness is exalted among the sons of men.

(scripture: NKJV)

Posted in Anointing, Apocalypse, End Times Related, Everything, Fear of the Lord, Holiness, New Testament, Obedience, Old Testament, Personal Relationship, Prayer, Prophecy, Psalms, Repentance, Righteousness, Sin, Timing, Tribulation, Understanding & Knowing God, Word Of God | Comments Off on “TROUBULATION”

One Path

The elder John, having been around the “Christian block” many many times in his many years of faithful living, was writing to a woman he cited as “Kyria” – noble lady. What a great title!

2 John 1:4-6
4 I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father.
5 And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another.
6 This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.

The commandments are timeless in their holiness. And were there to be a “new” commandment (as God continues to speak throughout the ages) it would align with and confirm, instead of violate or dispute the word of God that is already and eternally in place. That word is eternal and non-negotiable in its completeness, holiness, accuracy, timeliness, accountability, volatility, you name it. And God is jealous over that word. It does not waiver, nor does it morph or adjust to the eroding-by-the-day moral climate of our times. That is both a promise and a warning.

The falling away of many, noted in scripture and particularly cited as an end-times propensity, is a reality that is not intended to be mocked or overlooked. Nor will our great God tolerate such activity, particularly in His church.

Daniel 11:35
35 And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.

The word goes on to assure us God will violently address unrepented sin in His church, particularly unrepented sin in people of position and influence:

Revelation 2:20-23
20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.
22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.
23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.

Whoa.

I believe we are seeing our Lord, IN HIS MERCY, even stick His foot out, in hope of and for purposes of eventual restoration of some who would repent.

Is God taking the sins of the saints lightly, particularly in this age of challenge, prior to His return? He is not. And He is warning us to beware of the conditions that will arise and prevail and challenge holiness.

2 Timothy 3:1-9
1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:
2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,
4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
5 having a form of godliness but denying its power.
And from such people turn away!
6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts,
7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith;
9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.

THE REMEDY:
Having done all, to stand.

Ephesians 6:13-14
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

SOME TRUTHS:
If you continue in the faith.

Colossians 1:23
23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.

If any draw back my soul has no pleasure in them.
Hebrews 10:37-38

37 “For yet a little while,
And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.
38 Now the just shall live by faith;
But if anyone draws back,
My soul has no pleasure in him.”

Do not be deceived
Galatians 6:7-9
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

The inheritance set aside for the holy:
1 Corinthians 6:9-10

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

There never has been, nor ever will be, a parallel path to holiness .
What might at first be cited as “progressive” adjustments to the word of God, no matter how “kind” or “inclusive” they might at first and for a season appear to be, are contrary to God’s holy plan, which is the best and exclusive plan.

Sin leads to death. Always has and always will.

Humanism contradicts God.
We are invited to choose the ways of our Lord.
His ways are higher and better and lead to life.

We are invited to partner with God in our successful walk, and in fact are told to make straight paths for our feet.

Wandering paths can at first appear to be parallel paths. That is a deception. They are not.

Over the brief 40+ years of my personal faith-walk, I have seen ministries and ministers rise up and speak convincing words and present convincing theories, doctrines, philosophies and arguments that enticed, intrigued, and got hold of many saints. I’ve sometimes seen anointings and positions of authority and church prominence intoxicate some. I’ve seen saints stumble, cause others to stumble, and fall. Anything other than biblical accuracy and daily humble submission to the full word of God is guaranteed to fail.

Holiness leads to life.
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
At the risk (and it will happen) of being called religious or narrow-minded, exclusive or archaic, we are invited by God to hold, in love, the line on holiness, and to represent a holy God by our own holy lifestyle. Confirming or affirming unholiness is a blasphemy. It is not love. It is in fact paving a path for the destruction of others, as well as self.

We are absolutely called to be walking in love. Obedience to the word of God, is intended by God to be a joy, not a burden. And our love for our God is represented by our keeping His commandments.
1 John 5:2-3
2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

Eventually all will pan out. The Good Book tells us so.
The “parallel” paths will prove to only be roads to destruction.
The path of life will be clear, and bright, illuminated by His word. It will lead us to Zion.

Again – as per a recent post, we are called to embrace humility, comprehending and therefore coveting the safety and success of walking humbly before God and man.
Zephaniah 3:12
12 I will leave in your midst
A meek and humble people,
And they shall trust in the name of the Lord.

All scripture NKJV

Posted in Anointing, End Times Related, Everything, False Teachers, Fear of the Lord, Free Will, God's Word, Hearing God, Holy Speech, Legalism, Obedience, Personal Relationship, Pride, Repentance, Salvation, Sin, Testing, Tribulation, Understanding & Knowing God, Wisdom, Word Of God | Comments Off on One Path

Did the prophet Isaiah ever think he’d (sort of) be a podcast?


Here’s a link to the FB page EZ3728 that in turn will take you to a podcast that has begun, centering on the book of Isaiah and at the same time launching us into many more places in both testaments to clarify, weigh against, confirm and complement the prophetic words of this great prophet.
https://www.facebook.com/Ez3728/
I find myself sometimes posting things on the ez3728 FB page that I haven’t posted here. It is simply more convenient, and in the past I’ve pretty much reserved this blog site for longer writings.

You can download an app at www.podbean.com, and then free-subscribe and stay up to date on these podcasts.

The specific Isaiah 11&12 podcast link is: https://ez3728.podbean.com/e/isaiah-11-12-72019/

The broader link to the ez3728 podcast adventure can be located here  (this will allow you to access to all earlier-recorded podcasts: Isaiah 1-11):
www.ez3728.podbean.com

It’s easier for you to poke around those link and familiarize yourself with the program, than it is for me to try to explain it all (aka the one-eyed man in the land of the blind).
The more you fiddle around with podcast stuff, the more you will get it.
God is good. He’s shown up faithfully each and every time we’ve met. I am thinking this is pleasing Him…..

 

 

Posted in Anointing, Apocalypse, End Times Related, Fear of the Lord, God's Word, Israel, Jesus, Old Testament, Revelation(s), Tribulation, Understanding & Knowing God | Comments Off on Did the prophet Isaiah ever think he’d (sort of) be a podcast?

The Main Event – The Mystery Of Lawlessness

I have been purposing to write this opinion for more than a month, as my personal study culminated in a memorable albeit split-second spiritual vision and revelation. It has been a blessed experience for me to better understand what I think is a clearer perspective of these scriptures. Having been arrested by the Spirit to stop and press into this matter, I had no clue as to the outcome of the press-in. I do now. It is in me now.

Besides having gained some understanding as to what was/is being told us, I was blessed to personally experience a precious moment of enlightenment – something that can mark our path along the way. Thank You, Lord.

Please bear with me as I lay this out both for you and also for myself. I appreciate it is a little complicated, but through this the Lord spoke clearly to me by vision, so I honor the fact that He was pleased with my pressing-in. I further believe He is intent upon us responding to the moments of scripture-revelation we receive from Him. They are all for all of us:

2 Peter 1:19-21
19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, 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.

Disclaimers: I am not vaguely close to being knowledgeable of Greek, and am most weakly familiar with Hebrew. I’m OK reading and writing English (my first and only language), but even there my knowledge of grammar-mechanics ought to be better. Still, God is good and His word is accurate and fortunately others know more than us, and we can learn from them. And in this instance of study, the Lord showed up for me and I do want to share that with you.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you,
2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.
3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,
4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?

(I’ve added some space to highlight these two topical verses)
6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.
7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.


8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,
12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

The chapter is clearly pointing to the primary, critical and timely topic of the return of Jesus, an event about which Paul assures us in earlier verses in the very same letter. This letter is about Jesus, it is not about our adversary.

Paul in chapter 1 is telling us about why he’s writing (to dispel deceptive myths and to encourage and enlighten the saints who await deliverance by the victorious One, who will render violence to the adversary). Paul had written earlier:
2 Thessalonians 1:6-10
6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you,
7 and to give you who are troubled 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.

Again and lest we forget: This entire letter to the church in Thessalonica is about the return and appearance of our Lord Jesus, to redeem and rescue His people. The appearance of the man of sin is an important factor, but it is secondary, as it ought to be. That understood, already the verses in chapter 2 begin coming to light.

Most of the verses in the whole book, including chapter 2, are reasonably straightforward. The challenging, semi-cloudy ones, appear to be 2:6 and 2:7. But in that cloud is glory.

BTW, although I am looking more frequently into other translations, I personally gravitate to the New King James version of scripture. I appreciate its modernization of the original King James version, the one I was first introduced to after my salvation experience. For the particular passage in 2 Thess, however, I think the NKJV unfortunately confuses things us by making some “He” and “he” assumptions, and by having selected some acceptable definitions of Greek words that might be somewhat lesser candidates to anglicize what was intended by the author Paul.

First, Paul makes the point that there are deceivers already in his days (and – as he told Timothy – with more to be expected as the conclusion of this age approaches its climax). Paul tells his readers that until a falling away occurs, and a particular man of sin is revealed, the Day of the appearance of our Lord will not happen. And he further tells us the man of sin is already lost – “son of perdition”.

We are clearly living in times where there is increasing evidence of a “falling away” from all things righteous. As in the days of Noah. I digress.

3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, (that’s pretty clear)

Verse 4 reveals to us that the man of sin is all about ego and will wickedly strive to the point of craving and demanding to be acknowledged (even to the level of being worshiped) as if he were God. He will go so far as to set himself up right in the temple of God, demonstrating his counterfeit and demonic power via lying signs and wonders (Rev 13:14) – signs and wonders that will seem credible to the deceived, since they have at that point willingly rejected the truth, they will become so blinded as to ignorantly assume signs and wonders always equal God:

4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

Paul reminds his readers that this matter, being so important, is something he’d already spoken to them before, when he was with them. The return of our Lord is important to Paul. He recognized its topical priority. It’s a good point for the church of our day to note.
5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?

He then goes on to tell his audience that something/someone is “holding back” something/someone – and here’s where (especially NKJV) wording gets a little tweaky:

6 And now you know what is restraining (or causing delay, or holding back, circumstantially), that he (he who? Small “h” he the evil one, or big “H” He the Lord? Or is it any H/h at all?) may be revealed in his (again, the question as to translation) own time.

7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He (big H or little h? Or?) who now restrains will do so until He (again: which H/h? Or?) is taken out of the way.

Verse 6 points to the original recipients of Paul’s letter as having some knowledge of the “mystery of lawlessness” – that much is conclusive. There was already demonic activity occurring on earth, activity the new church could perceive) But here’s where this and the following verse get interesting. One interpretation of verse 6 is that the man of sin is being held back. OR it can be read that our great Savior Jesus is being held back, all depending upon the big H or little H opinion.

Before I offer my opinion, based upon my modest research into some well-written other opinions, and what I believe was a vision from the Lord for me, let’s also look at and include verse 7:

7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who (remember: translators decided which HE to capitalize and which HE to not capitalize – in this case making the assumption it is even either “he” or “He”. So it could be “he” who…. Furthermore GR: “katechon”” – is neuter in gender – therefore it is not even necessarily MALE – it could accurately be translated into “that which withholds”). For reference: the original King James bible says “what is”. The New American Standard says “what restrains”) now restrains will do so until He (or “he” or “it”) is taken out of the way (Another note: the “taken out of the way” wording is also something inviting investigation).

It is not necessary or grammatically accurate to dogmatically assume:
A. Some evil strongman is himself being held back (by some other work on earth – which some commentators in the past have ascribed to the Roman Catholic Church impacting separate third party evil plans); OR
B. Some evil man would be able to hold back our all-powerful Lord.
Both the above interpretations are assumptions and are not supported by the Greek, let alone by history. Importantly, neither appears supported by the rest of scripture.

Regarding the critical phrase until he/He is “taken out of the way” – one of several websites I read in this back-study offers us this:
“The word ginomai (ginomai), which is here translated “taken,” is a very common word in the Greek language. This word can take on a wide variety of nuances, but its primary root meaning is “to become.” The United Bible Societies Greek Dictionary lists a number of possible English translations of this word, among which are:

become, be; happen, take place, arise…; come into being, be born or created; be done (of things), become something (of persons); come, go…; appear. (A Concise Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament, London: United Bible Societies, 1971, p.37)

All of these renderings imply the arrival or appearance of the subject, rather than its removal, as is implied in the term ‘taken’.” (end of David M. Roger’s commentary quote)

In other words, translating “ginomai” to “taken” or “taken away” can be the exact opposite of the intent of Paul. Paul may well have purposed to say “until its appearing” or “arising from our midst”.

I personally cannot render an opinion as to the other writings and opinions of the author (David Rogers) of the website, but I clearly admire and applaud his thorough study into this challenging portion of verse, including his understanding of Greek and the rules of both English and Greek grammar, as well as his respect for scripture. Here’s his website:
https://bibletruth.cc/Body_the_restrainer.htm

VERSES 6 and 7: David Roger’s conclusion, based upon his exhaustive word and text study, and (in my opinion) in sober alignment with clear principles for determining and interpreting scripture, would have the verses read this way:

THE WEBSITE WRITER’S INTERPRETATION (apology: with my notes in parentheses):
And now you know what is delaying the day of Yahuwah, so that He (Yahuwah – or Y’Shua) might be revealed in His time.
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. He (this “He” capitalized only because it begins a sentence – and referring to “the man of sin” who has himself yet to appear) who delays the day of Yahuwah does so only now, until he (the man of sin) arrives from our midst, and then he (the same evil guy) will be revealed for who he is – “the Lawless One” (sitting in the temple, deceiving many with lying signs and wonders which God will allow) whom Yahuwah will slay with the breath of His (Yahuwah’s) mouth, and destroy by the splendor of His coming.

NOW LET’S READ THE ABOVE VERSES ONE MORE TIME – without my notes, for clarity. I am, however, taking the liberty to replace all of the He/he’s with names/titles. There are some obvious who’s-being-spoken-about pronouns that I am also replacing, by names, only to press the point:

6 And now you know what is delaying the day of Y’Shua, so that Y’Shua might be revealed in Y’Shua’s time.
7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. The man of sin who delays the day of Y’Shua does so only now, until the man of sin arrives from our midst, and then the man of sin will be revealed for who he is – “the Lawless One” – whom Y’Shua will slay with the breath of Y’Shua’s mouth, and destroy by the splendor of Y’Shua’s coming.

Wow. That seems to fit the revealed Bible-plan for the man of sin, as told to us elsewhere in scripture. The genderless “katechon” matter as to whether “it” (the timing and circumstance of the man of sin’s activity), or the appearance of the man of sin himself from our midst (per Daniel) is open for discussion. Both fit. Either way, it does not impact the general biblical accuracy of the translation, above.

And now for my personal revelation:
After pondering, praying into, and reading and re-reading both the scriptures and website opinions (the one above being most clear and logical to me) I closed my ipad and shut my eyes, to immediately receive a confirming flash-vision from the Lord – clearly confirming what I was believing.

The example presented to me was a “main-event” kind of boxing arena. Or MMA. Or UFC fighting event. The principle remains the same.

IMAGINE:
The crowd gathers. They are anticipatory. It is time for the main event (thank you, Bruce Buffer).
The atmosphere is charged with expectation. There’s undercard events. There’s violent build-up.
It’s tough and exciting, but the crowd has gathered for the main event.

In fact both opponent and champion have campaigned to fill the arena with followers. For our purposes, One invites to a divine and exciting event. One enslaves, promising his supporters liberty, and they’ve shown up to even root for him.

The night will not culminate until the main event concludes.

The first one into the ring is never the champion.
The first one into the ring is the challenger. Always.
Until he appears, the champion will not step into the ring. In essence, the appearance of the champion, although he is the champion, is “restrained” or held back or delayed by his lesser-honored and in fact weaker rival.
It is not for lack of power or authority that the champion enters second. He enters second by choice, he will not appear until the challenger comes out – who will enjoy his fleeting moments of glory but for a moment.
And once that rival is in the ring, it is now time for the champion.
Our Champion.

King of kings and Lord of lords.

(NKJV).

Posted in Apocalypse, End Times Related, Everything, False Teachers, Fear of the Lord, Hearing God, Jesus, New Testament, Prophecy, Revelation(s), Timing, Tribulation, Understanding & Knowing God, Worship | Comments Off on The Main Event – The Mystery Of Lawlessness

Conditions on earth during Peter’s time – as our baseline, for our understanding

I am not in agreement with noted theologian John Walvoord’s position regarding several key doctrines (once-saved-always-saved, dispensationalism, church rapture timing, etc.). Nonetheless, I greatly respect and honor this learned man of God and truly appreciate all the good that he contributed to the Kingdom during his productive lifetime. His writings bless me. What we disagree on challenges me. What he teaches grows me.

Below is a portion of his succinct introduction to the book of 1 Peter. And here’s a picture of a sculpt of Peter: Included in Walvoord’s intended purpose to frame the history of this mighty epistle, notable and not to be missed by us are the conditions encountered by the believers in century #1 of the church.

Spiritually things have not really improved on earth (although Western church has enjoyed somewhat of a temporary “peace-bubble” pretty much since the Renaissance).

We are told, including by our Lord Himself, that the conclusion of this age will present the most escalated troubles, ever. This blog, and Walvoord’s writing, are written to freak anyone out but rather to prepare us to prepare ourselves, in Him, so that we might not be shaken.

Matthew 24:21-31
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.
(and see Daniel 12:1)
22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

…27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
29 “Immediately (“immediately” leaves no room to insert 2,000 years between the most troubling days ever, and the Lord’s dramatic return, as some popular doctrines would require) 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.
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.

And now here’s John Walvoord depicting Christian living, troubles, challenges and struggles in an increasingly darker world environment. This is history that allows us to see clearly both in the present times, and also forward to our Lord’s glorious return. World news affirms the current conditions of percolating troubles and an orchestrated global assault against righteousness.

‘Peter wrote this epistle apparently just before or shortly after the beginning of Nero’s persecution of the church in a.d. 64. Since Peter referred to the government as still functioning (an institution which commends those who do right and punishes those who do wrong; 2:13-14), some believe that the church was not yet facing an organized Roman persecution. Evidently repressive laws had not yet been enacted specifically against Christians. It was still possible for Peter’s readers to “honor the king” (2:17). The persecution and suffering that Peter did refer to was primarily social and religious rather than legal. A hostile pagan society would slander, ridicule, discriminate against, and even inflict physical abuse on those whose lifestyles had radically changed because of their faith in Christ.

However, Peter seemed to indicate that greater persecution was imminent. He assured his readers (1:6) that they could rejoice though they “may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” Peter exhorted them to prepare, to be self-controlled (1:13), possibly to suffer as Christians according to God’s will (4:19). So perhaps Nero’s severe persecution had already begun in Rome and was spreading to the provinces to which Peter was writing. This would place the date of the letter in late a.d. 64 or early 65.

The suggestion that the persecution had already begun in Rome also explains why Peter would refer cryptically to his location as “Babylon” (5:13). Peter was in Rome during the last decade of his life. His martyrdom is dated about a.d. 67. At the time of the writing of 1 Peter he was not in the custody of the Roman officials, and evidently wished to conceal his true location. (Other scholars, however, say that Peter was in the literal city of Babylon, where a Jewish community then flourished.)’

TAKEAWAY?
Ephesians 6:13
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

All scripture NKJV

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Warnings, Correction, Promises, Keeping On Course, Finishing Well.

Challenging times require perseverance.
It is a biblical reality from Genesis through Revelation.

Ephesians 6:13
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Hebrews 6:1-8 speaks sobering words of warning re intentionally falling away and turning back into sin. You can read them for yourselves. Recommended. It is God’s word, and therefore for our benefit. Sometimes that falling back action can be a result of tumultuous times. Ironically there’s also biblical reference to folks falling back during times of leisure and prosperity that led them to complacency. Humans. Go figure.

The writer of the Hebrews letter (most agree it is likely not Paul), later in Hebrews 6 (our primary text for this writing) then interjects encouragement based upon:
A. (Most importantly) God’s faithfulness and desire for us to all finish well, and also
B. The writer’s original audience’s prior investment of faithful kingdom service – which God does not overlook.

Hebrews 6:9-12
9 But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner.

(“This manner” in which he was speaking was the chilling warning of 6:1-8. Although unpopular and sobering, the writer had told them what he told them, because it is what it is, and we’re better off knowing tough Kingdom truth than believing what is untrue and invalid).
10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
(And here’s the admonishment to keep on keeping on)
11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end,
12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises
.

The original recipients of the letter to the Hebrews were discouraged, growing weary, and some were turning out of the way, abandoning their active faith in their Savior. In response to their dangerous wayward actions, the loving Shepherd was necessarily correcting them, as He has corrected His people throughout all of scripture.

PLAN A is that we are willing and obedient, that our guidance is via eye contact with our Good Shepherd, as opposed to (PLAN B) via bit and bridle tugging and yanking at our stiff-necked determination to do things our own way:
Ps 32:8-9
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will guide you with My eye.
9 Do not be like the horse or like the mule,
Which have no understanding,
Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle,
Else they will not come near you.

Further along in Hebrews, in his desire to encourage all who may suffer as a result of God’s corrective measures (btw not the only reason for suffering, so please don’t conclude something in your life is wrong each time you suffer), the writer references the suffering of our sinless Lord…
Hebrews 12:3-5
3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.
4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.
5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:
“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;

God is as serious as a heart attack when it comes to the matters of correction, discipline and alignment w His purposes. Covenanting with Him means we’ve willingly come, and continue (daily) to come, into and under His rules and ways – in which place is His promised provision and blessing.

BACK TO HEBREWS 6 – in for the long haul, we’re told to not grow sluggish, never to slow down or back off in our pursuit of God, understanding the reward awaiting us.

12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Speaking of his own exemplary life (clearly worthy of our imitation), and happily including us in the promise to the faithful, our beloved Rabbi Paul says this to his young protégé:

2 Timothy 4:7-8
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

(And here’s the promise to you and me)
8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

All scriptures NKJV

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Hear The Heavenly Voice – and what that entails as our part of the deal

Students of scripture recognize that chapter and chapter-section titles are typically excellent, although not in the original text. This section of Hebrews 12 is particularly well titled.

Hebrews 12
“Hear the Heavenly Voice”

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.

After having just earlier (Heb 12:18-24) declared the greater/more intimate availability of the knowledge and presence of God via the indwelling spirit, and contrasting that NT advantage against the dramatic OT on-earth experiences of God descending at Mt. Sinai (including the mountain shaking with His presence!) the writer goes on to:
A. Advise and confirm to the believer that God indeed speaks to His people (throughout Hebrews the writer quotes Psalm 95 – “Today if you will hear His voice…”); AND
B. Admonish NT readers (us of course included) of the accountability that comes along with the increased intimacy and availability of the knowledge and will of God. That’s verse 25:

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

POINT TO NOTE: In the Gospels, Jesus speaks the words “ears to hear” eight times. He is clearly confirming God’s intent to be speaking to His people – at which time His intent is for our response.

Verse 26 then confirms that the Haggai prophecy of shaking heaven and earth is still to come, and that shaking involves two distinct realms – not only earth (the natural) but also the heavens (the supernatural).

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.”

Verse 27 reveals the shaking has radical intent and purpose – things wasteful and useless and temporal, that get in the way of man acknowledging, serving and worshipping God, will get rocked, and more:

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.

Verse 28 advises us that since this radical shaking process is part of God’s sovereign conclusion-of-this-age plan to transition us into the eternal, we who are here ought to lay hold of true grace for its intended purpose – that we might come into His perfect presence even in our imperfect condition and serve Him with reverence and godly far (which Psalm 34 encourages us God will teach us as we press in):

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.

And verse 29 cements the admonishment by reminding us who God is – and that He is worthy to be revered and feared.

29 For our God is a consuming fire.

This is New Testament truth and reality.
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Our great God breathed on His entire word for our benefit and our success.

All scripture NKJV

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Heart Conditions….and their effect on our spiritual ears

Psalm 95 is presented to us as a “A Call to Worship and Obedience”

Hebrews 4:7, btw, attributes the psalm to King David. Figures.

Ps 95 is brief, succinct (to the point) and eternal. It is quoted 3X in the New Testament by the author of Hebrews (3:8, 3:15, 4:7), who was writing to an audience of discouraged and/or drifting saints who were in jeopardy of allowing circumstances, disappointments, offenses, distractions and spiritual inactivity to cause hardening of their own hearts, to their great jeopardy.

The psalm reveals to us that our spiritual hearts are indeed connected to our spiritual ears.

It comes down to us wanting to hear, and then hearing, the voice of our living God – hearing every word that CONTINUES TO PROCEED (current and ongoing tense) from the mouth of God. We are talking daily, Spirit-surrendered, aligned and directed lives:

Matthew 4:4
4  But He (Jesus) answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”

Without that, our walks grow stale, our lives are subject (and even can become victims) to dark turns. Elsewhere in Hebrews the writer warns us not to stray or drift away from the place of rest. It can become quite a mess, and the road back can be bumpy. Meanwhile, the remedy, hearing the voice of God, takes us into intimacy, safety, life and peace.

Here’s the revelation, the admonition, and the plan:
Ps 95
(THE INVITATION AND WHAT TO DO, WITH WHAT ATTITUDE)
1 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us
shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

(WHY?)
3 For the Lord is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.

(HIS OWNERSHIP BY WAY OF ETERNAL PATENT RIGHTS)
4 In His hand are the deep places of the earth; The heights
of the hills are His also.
5 The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.

(C’MON NOW)
6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.

(HIS RIGHTFUL OWNERSHIP OF US)
7 For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.

(THE IMMEDIACY AND NOW-NESS OF THE INVITATION)
Today, if you will hear His voice:

(THE ADMONITION AND THE WARNING, BY WAY OF REMEMBRANCE OF PAST FAILURE)
8 “Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, As in the
day of trial in the wilderness,
9 When your fathers tested Me;
They tried Me, though they saw My work.
10 For forty years I was grieved with that generation, And
said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts, And they do not know My
ways.’

(THE SAD RESULT OF BAD DECISION)
11 So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’”

Our investment into hearing the voice of God is our intentionality and desire. All of our heart, soul, mind, strength.

Our moment by moment (presented as “Today” in verse 8) decisions are critical. It is quite frankly an ongoing matter of spiritual life and death.

Our enemy has proven himself to relentlessly campaign for our attention, affection, time, and allegiance. He’ll accuse God and family, friend and circumstance. His tools are anger, offense, unforgiveness, distraction, etc. Avoid those traps.

And through all the noise and propaganda, it remains our daily, moment by moment invitation as well as our moment by moment choice. Choose wisely, Grasshopper.

6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
7 For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.

All scripture NKJV

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