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LightShinesInTheDarkness

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  1. LightShinesInTheDarkness

    THE TEMPLE OF GOD & THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION

    The "outer court" is the outer court of God's heavenly temple. There is a temple in heaven right now, as well as a tent in heaven (on which the tabernacle that Moses made was based), and the ark of the covenant is also in heaven. The outer court of God's heavenly temple is His worshipers on earth, as I stated in the OP. The present heaven is not eternal; it will be destroyed along with the rest of this creation on the day of Christ's return, and a new one will be created, which will be eternal. It is in the new earth that heavenly Jerusalem will be (Revelation 21:1-4), in which there will be no temple (Revelation 21:22). Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant was seen within His temple. (Revelation 11:19) After this I looked, and the sanctuary of the tent of witness in heaven was opened, and out of the sanctuary came the seven angels with the seven plagues... (Revelation 15:5,6) Now the point of what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man...They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, "See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain." (Hebrews 8:1,2,5) Then I heard a loud voice from the temple telling the seven angels, "Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God." (Revelation 16:1)
  2. LightShinesInTheDarkness

    AMERICA: NEW ROME & BABYLON THE GREAT ("Come out of her, My people...")

    I stand by what I wrote to you. I have nothing more to say to you about it. Time will show whether my interpretation is correct or not.
  3. LightShinesInTheDarkness

    THE TEMPLE OF GOD & THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION

    This is how earthly Jerusalem is described by God during the tribulation (during the reign of the antichrist): SODOM and EGYPT (Revelation 11:8). Look out for dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the real circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh... (Philippians 3:2,3) "Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father...The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth." (John 4:20-24) "But it was Solomon who built a house for Him. Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says, "Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. What kind of house will you build for Me, says the Lord, or what is the place of My rest? Did not My hand make all these things?' "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it." (Acts 7:47-53) And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. (Revelation 21:22)
  4. LightShinesInTheDarkness

    THE TEMPLE OF GOD & THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION

    There are many Christians who are anticipating the building of a/the third temple in Jerusalem, Israel (or Palestine)---either because they believe that it is going to be a good thing (that God will return to the Jewish people when the temple is rebuilt), or because they know that it is going to be built for the worship of the antichrist and see it as a sign of the Lord's imminent return. Both are wrong. The first camp is wrong because they believe that God wants the Jewish temple to be rebuilt (He doesn't; He is the one who destroyed the last one!) and is going to return to Judaism and to some temple that is going to be rebuilt in earthly Jerusalem, which He is not. Some of the Jews will return to God---through faith in Jesus Christ, whereby they will no longer be Jews by religion but Christians----but God is not going to return to either Judaism or to the Jewish temple if one is rebuilt in Jerusalem. If a temple is rebuilt in Jerusalem, it will be for the worship of the antichrist, not God. That's nothing to celebrate. The second camp is wrong because they think that the rebuilding of the temple means that Jesus must be coming back soon, because they know that the temple will be rebuilt for the worship of the antichrist, and believe that Christians won't be here on the earth for that---when in fact, we will. Jesus is not coming back any minute; He is coming back on the last day of the great tribulation (which will be approximately three and a half years from when the antichrist's mark and worship are implemented and instituted----a period of testing and judgment of the saints, and of the judgment of the unsaved, which was "cut short"---that is, in half---by God from Daniel's original seven years), at which time He will destroy the antichrist. (But He won't take His seat in the temple in Jerusalem after doing so). So, while camp two is correct about the temple being built for the antichrist and not for God, they are wrong about the timing of Christ's return. And they also misunderstand the meaning of 2 Thesssalonians 2:4, which speaks about the antichrist taking his seat in the temple of God and proclaiming himself to be God. I am going to explain here for you, with the help of the Spirit of the Lord Jesus---who has given me understanding to prepare His people for the time soon to come---the meaning and significance of this Scripture, and its implications for us (Christians). I hope you will take what I share with you to the Lord (with clean hands and a pure and sincere heart) and ask Him to show you the truth about it, so that you will know it for yourself with certainty, and do whatever may be appropriate for you to do about it. Here is what 2 Thessalonians 2:3,4 says (quoting the English Standard Version translation of the Bible): Let no one deceive you in any way, for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. The "rebellion" to which Paul is referring here is the rebellion of the saints (Christians), that is, apostasy, that will reach its peak in the last days. (See 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 4:3,4.) These same rebellious saints are the "transgressors" (of God's law, the law of Christ) referred to in Daniel 8:23. We are in the midst of those days now. It is only a matter of time before the antichrist is revealed and the tribulation begins. (And if you are saying to yourselves, "'Apostasy'? What 'apostasy'?" or "Christianity is doing great! It has some problems, sure, but it's not as bad as all that", Jesus said that a wicked and adulterous generation does not recognize the signs of the times, and that is what the majority of Christians today are in God's sight: Wicked and adulterous---lovers of self and of the world, unholy, and rebellious against the commandments and teachings of the New Testament and the will of God, which so many believe they do not have to live by, because to do so is 'legalism'. It's actually the love of God; and you don't have it if you don't obey Him (according to God, not me). What did Jesus have to say to the church at Ephesus? To Sardis? To Laodicea (who didn't realize how wretched they were in God's sight, by the way)? Did He tell them they weren't that bad and that they had nothing to worry about because He had paid it all for them and because He knew they couldn't do any better and He didn't expect them to? No, He did not. You know very well what He said to them, and what had happened and was about to happen to them. Most Christians don't realize their own wretchedness in the sight of God and how far they have fallen short of His New Testament standard (which is still His standard), because they favor the teachings and opinions of men over the doctrine of Christ. You are the sign of the times, rebellious Christian; you are the "transgressor". You are fulfilling that Scripture, and the judgment of God is coming upon you---through the person of the antichrist.) There is only one temple of God (on earth), and it will not be any temple that may be built in Jerusalem; nor will any temple built there be holy in any way. It will be a temple of Satan, for the worship of Satan, who will be indwelling the person of the antichrist and from whom all his power and 'wisdom' will come. That is not the temple of God. If such a temple is built, which I don't doubt one may be, it will be an utterly unholy place, where the antichrist and/or his image will most certainly belong---because it will be his temple! This is the temple of God, (where the abomination of desolation does not belong): Do you not know that you (brothers) are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy and you (brothers) are that temple. (1 Corinthians 3:16,17) ...You are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In Him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by His Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22) As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: "Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame." So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone," and "A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense." (1 Peter 2:4-8) The cornerstone of the true temple of God is Jesus Christ---the very stone which the builders of any new Jewish temple have rejected. They will receive the antichrist as their messiah and as their god, and will build a temple for him. God has nothing whatsoever to do with it. It will no more be His temple than Saint Peter's Basilica. So why do the Scriptures say that the antichrist will 'take his seat in the temple of God' if the temple of God is the church of Christ? Because most of the saints will fall away from Christ during the tribulation and will worship the antichrist---the abomination that makes desolate. Why will they do this? Because they do not love God, as they have been proving to Him by their rebellion against His word and His will, and He is going to judge them by giving the impenitent rebels among His people into the hand of the antichrist to be conquered and destroyed (spiritually). They will not have the spiritual support from Jesus to withstand the temptation when it comes, and so will choose to save and preserve their earthly lives by taking the mark of the beast and worshiping his image, rather than preserving their eternal life at the cost of persecution and martyrdom. "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another...And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." (Matthew 24:9-13) And some of the host and (or 'that is') some of the stars it (the antichrist) threw down to the ground and trampled on them. It became great, even as great as the Prince of the host. And the regular burnt offering was taken away from Him, and the place of His sanctuary was overthrown. And a host will be given over to it (the antichrist) together with the regular burnt offering because of transgression...Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to the one who spoke, "For how long is the vision concerning the regular burnt offering, the transgression that makes desolate, and the giving over of the sanctuary and host to be trampled underfoot?" And he said to me, "For 2,300 evenings and mornings. Then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state." (Daniel 8:10-14) The "host" mentioned here in Daniel is Christians (the people of Jesus Christ, who is the Prince of the host). The regular worship of God will be taken away from Him when the saints forsake Jesus Christ and worship the beast---the ultimate transgression, the abomination which makes desolate. Those who do this will be left desolate, just as the temple of the Jews was left desolate when they rejected Jesus Christ as their Messiah. Only people who have God can be abandoned by Him and made desolate, and unsaved people are already empty and alone. They cannot be made desolate. (See also the Lord's warning to the church in Ephesus in Revelation chapter 2 related to this subject of saints being forsaken by God for apostasy.) And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator. (Daniel 9:27) (This is translated differently in the KJV, and the events mentioned in Daniel 9:24-27 are events with more than one fulfillment, the first fulfillment being the destruction of the Jewish temple and the city of Jerusalem in 70 AD.) What 'wing of abominations' (or 'overspreading of abominations' KJV)? The outer court of God's heavenly temple---His worshipers on earth---which is presently filled with all manner of uncleanness, due to the apostasy of the saints. This is the 'outer court' which is going to be trampled by the children of the devil during the tribulation, just as the temple of the Jews was razed and trampled underfoot by the Gentiles as God's judgment on them for rejecting Jesus. The temple was not destroyed in an act of persecution against the Jews, but as an act of God's judgment on the Jews for being disobedient to the gospel. And He is about to judge Christians in the same way. As Jesus said: "You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet." (Matthew 5:13) "Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months." (Revelation 11:1,2) The holy city is represented by her citizens (also the case in Revelation 20:9). Christians are the citizens of heaven and of the heavenly Jerusalem to come, and God recognizes us as His city on earth, just as His church is His temple on earth. "Go now to My place that was in Shiloh, where I made My name dwell at first, and see what I did to it because of the evil of My people Israel. And now, because you have done all these things, declares the LORD, and when I spoke to you persistently you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer, therefore I will do to the house that is called by My name, and in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. And I will cast you out of My sight..." (Jeremiah 7:12-15) "I have forsaken My house; I have abandoned My heritage; I have given the beloved of My soul into the hands of her enemies. My heritage has become to Me like a lion in the forest; she has lifted up her voice against Me; therefore I hate her...Go assemble all the wild beasts; bring them to devour." (Jeremiah 12:7-9) So do not become proud (Christians, Gentiles), but stand in awe. For if God did not spare the natural branches (the Jews), neither will He spare you (Christians, Gentiles). (Romans 11:21) For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us (Christians), what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And "If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?" (1 Peter 4:17,18) So now you know what the abomination of desolation is, and what the "temple of God" in which the antichrist will take his seat will be. It won't be because Christians actually believe that the antichrist is God that they will take his mark and worship his image; they will not be deceived, just scared and jealous for themselves and their lives on earth rather than for their life in Christ, which they have already proven to God that they do not value. The non-elect will be deceived. Christians will not: Their taking of the mark will be an act of knowledgeable, willful sin---rebellion. Whether the antichrist takes his seat in a Satanic third temple built in earthly Jerusalem or not, that is not the significance of 2 Thessalonians 2:4 for Christians. If you are a transgressor of the law of Christ, a rebel who has been justifying his or her disobedience in this way or that, a Christian who does not have a good conscience toward God and who is fearful of death because your love for Him is imperfect (1 John 4:18), the time to repent is now. The saints who wash their robes will be delivered by God from the tribulation---whether by life or by death (mostly by the latter way). Those who do not repent will be overcome by the antichrist in the time of testing and will perish spiritually. Desolations are decreed. (Daniel 9:26) One way or the other---either by sinning saints washing their robes, or by the soiled saints who refuse to do so being cleaned out of His city and His sanctuary by means of His judgment during the tribulation---which He will carry out through the antichrist, as He carried out His judgment on His former people through Nebuchadnezzar in the time of Jeremiah, whose time is a spiritual parallel to ours---at the end of those days, God's sanctuary will be cleansed, and will be restored to its rightful state when Christ returns and brings all things to an end.
  5. LightShinesInTheDarkness

    AMERICA: NEW ROME & BABYLON THE GREAT ("Come out of her, My people...")

    Figuratively speaking, heavenly Jerusalem is the mother of Jesus in the sense that He came from heaven, and that those who are born of God (born-again) also come from heaven, figuratively speaking. All Christians (whether Jewish by birth or Gentiles) are children of heavenly Jerusalem, the offspring of God's promise to Abraham as it was realized in Jesus---the Offspring in whom all are counted children of God. The woman in Revelation chapter 12 is the mother of all the saints. She is not Israel, and she is not the church, although she does contain some of the church (men of the body of Christ), and some of the children of natural Israel (Jews by birth who have been born-again). But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written, rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor! For the children of the desolate one (earthly Jerusalem) will be more than those of the one who has a husband (heavenly Jerusalem, whose husband is Christ. See Revelation 21:9,10 & Isaiah 62:2-4). Galatians 4:26, 27. Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. (Revelation 12:17) I did not say (or mean) that the Roman empire was the kingdom of the beast, but that the kingdom of the beast was going to arise out of it---which it would have if the events of the Revelation had taken place at the time it was given to John, when Rome was the world power, and that Rome would have gone on to fulfill what is written about Babylon. It should also be noted that at the time of Daniel's visions and writing, the Jews were God's chosen people, so the prophecies in Daniel have to be interpreted according to who the people of God are today, and those things which pertained to the Jews and to Judaism but not to us taken into consideration, as well as history since that time. Daniel writes of the end times as though the Jews (as a nation) are still the people of God, which they no longer are (but Christians are, whether they were Jews by birth or Gentiles). The Romans, and the final king who would have arisen out of the Roman empire, would have been the enemies of God's people if the Jews were still God's people and Judaism was still His religion. But that is not the case today. Today, Christians are God's chosen people, and the Jews are anti-Christ, historically persecutors of Christians, as the false messiah who will arise to be their king will also be. So the Scriptures have to be interpreted according to what is true now, and not according to what was true in Daniel's day which relates to what John described in the Revelation concerning Rome/Babylon. (This is not something that is easy to explain, as you can see.) It requires the interpretation of the Holy Spirit to understand what pertains to what or whom and what represents what as we read the prophetic Scriptures---and not merely scholarship or knowing what the Bible says. It is God Himself, and not the text alone, who teaches us what His word means and gives us the right understanding of His truth, for there are as many possible interpretations of what is written as there are people reading the Bible. When the antichrist rises to power, he will be the king, not only of Babylon, but of the entire world, as the head of the one-world-government. Babylon (the nation) will probably be the, or a, commercial center of the beast's kingdom, while Jerusalem will be the seat of its government and religion, with the antichrist reigning from there as king (in a false fulfillment of Messianic Scripture). (I fully anticipate the antichrist and the false prophet claiming and seeming to fulfill many Messianic Scriptures that refer to Christ and His coming eternal kingdom. Comparing the various Scriptures about the antichrist and his kingdom with the Scriptures about Jesus and His kingdom, it's not difficult to see how the antichrist and the false prophet could use various Messianic Scriptures in the Prophets and the Psalms to "prove" that the antichrist is the long-awaited Messiah and king of the Jews. He will be to them and do for them everything that they desire and expect their messiah to be and to do, which Jesus Himself did not.) Seeing as how the antichrist will be the false messiah and king of the Jews, he will not be a Muslim. The whole world (everyone who is not of God's elect) will follow and worship the beast, including those who are currently Muslims. There will be one religion for the whole world (and it will not be Islam, or Roman Catholicism). God will send them a strong delusion, with the demonic signs and wonders that the false prophet will be performing by the power of Satan, to deceive the world into worshiping the antichrist as God. As for the feet and toes of the image Daniel saw (representing the kingdoms of the world) being iron mixed with clay, this has to do with sexual relations between demons and human woman, something that was also taking place in the days of Noah---which the Lord said that the days before His return (which will be the days of the beast's kingdom) would be like. The iron represents demons, the clay represents humans. The strength of this final kingdom will be demonic, and the weakness of it human. As you saw the iron mixed with clay, so they (demons and humans) will mix with one another in marriage*, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. (Daniel 2:43) *Aramaic: by the seed of men (What the "strength" and "brittleness" resulting from these unions or relations will mean practically with regard to how the kingdom of the antichrist operates, or what its qualities will be, I do not know. It may just have to do with the power of demons being hindered or limited by human frailty and mortality.)
  6. LightShinesInTheDarkness

    AMERICA: NEW ROME & BABYLON THE GREAT ("Come out of her, My people...")

    That's fine. We'll all know for certain soon enough, whether it is the U.S.A. or some other nation. I was merely pointing out that at this point in time the U.S., for several reasons, is the country that most closely parallels Rome, which was indeed Babylon (at the time that John was given the Revelation; not anymore.) Given the nearness of the tribulation, I don't see any other nation suddenly rising up to embody the qualities of Babylon, as described in the Revelation. There's not much time for another country to acquire the attributes of Babylon. The U.S.A. is present-day "Rome"; so unless something drastic quickly takes place to transform another nation to take the U.S.'s place as the "Rome" of today---in culture, influence and power (the most powerful country on earth, and the most influential also)---America is likely Babylon. (Other countries may fit some of what is written about Babylon, but none of them have as many of Babylon's attributes all together as the U.S. does currently.) The U.S. is not involved in Revelation 12, by the way: The woman doesn't represent the nation of Israel, but heavenly Jerusalem---the mother of all the saints (Galatians 4:21-31), both Jew and Gentile---and the 144,000 male Jews who will be born of her (that is, born-again/saved) shortly before or at the beginning of the tribulation, whom God will supernaturally protect in a foreknown location in the mountains of Israel, near Megiddo (the plain where the battle of Armageddon will take place on the last day of the tribulation, when Jesus returns.) The "great eagle" is not a plane, nor the United States, but God Himself (see Deuteronomy 32:11,12), who will supernaturally transport these men to the place where He will protect them for the duration of the approximately three and a half year long tribulation, rescuing them from the forces of the antichrist, who will attempt to apprehend them as they flee Jerusalem. After these Christians escape by God's supernatural intervention and assistance, the antichrist will turn his attention to conquering and persecuting the rest of the Christians (children of heavenly Jerusalem).
  7. LightShinesInTheDarkness

    AMERICA: NEW ROME & BABYLON THE GREAT ("Come out of her, My people...")

    I maintain that Babylon represents a nation (like Rome---which would have been the fulfillment of the Scriptures about Babylon had the events of the Revelation taken place at the time it was given to John). America is the nation which most closely fits the description of Babylon in its similarity to what Rome was during its day. While Rome was an actual city, as well as a nation, modern day "Rome" (aka "Babylon"), probably refers more to a nation and its culture than just a city. (Not that a prominent harbor or coastal city won't necessarily be nuked at the time of her destruction---NYC would be my guess.) This is somewhat complicated to understand because, as I said, some of those things that pertain to Babylon as described in the Revelation (like Babylon being a city and being situated on seven mountains, as Rome was/is) were more relevant to Rome than they are to the nation Babylon represents today. We know that Rome was drunk with the blood of Christian martyrs (prophets among them, no doubt) who were killed by various Roman emperors. During the tribulation, present-day Babylon will be drunk with the blood of saints who will be put to death for refusing to take the mark of the beast or worship his image. (Of course, that won't only be happening in the United States, but also around the world.) As for having the blood of all that were slain upon the earth in her (Babylon), this may be a reference to killing in war. Rome was a military nation, just like the United States is, and she killed people in various countries in warfare, just as the U.S. has/does (and some might say America has made something of a name for herself as a military nation that bombs people.)
  8. LightShinesInTheDarkness

    AMERICA: NEW ROME & BABYLON THE GREAT ("Come out of her, My people...")

    If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared for them a city. (Hebrews 11:15,16) ...Here, we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. (Hebrews 13:14)
  9. R BABYLON M M E E R I COME OUT OF HER, MY PEOPLE... A In the days of the apostle John, at the time that the Lord gave him the revelation, “Babylon” was Rome. America (the USA) is modern-day Rome: She is the nation that best fits the description of Babylon today. Rome (which would have been Babylon, had the events foretold in the Revelation taken place at the time it was given) was a city that was also a nation; so Babylon today (like the original city of Babylon), is not just a city but also representative of a nation. The Babylon Checklist: America is the great importer and customer of the world. She buys all its goods, and other nations profit from and depend upon her business. (Revelation 18:3, 11-14) America has dominion over the kings of the earth economically, and perhaps militarily. (Revelation 17:18) America is a multicultural nation, as Rome also was. (Revelation 17:15) America bought slaves (the transatlantic slave trade)---and she still has them, in the form of secret slavery and sex slavery---just as Rome bought slaves. (Revelation 18:13) America is wealthy, as Rome was. (Revelation 18:16,17) America is a self-indulgent lover of pleasures, as Rome was. (Isaiah 47:8, Revelation 18:7) All the nations of the world have drunk the wine of the passion of America’s sexual immorality, through her sexually immoral and perverted movies and music, which are exported to the nations of the world and enjoyed by them. (Jeremiah 51:7, Revelation 17:2, 18:3) America is the mother of earth's abominations, via the influence of her movies and music, and her immoral pop-culture and values, which the nations of the world imbibe and emulate, corrupting themselves likewise. (Revelation 17:5) (Contrary to popular belief, and the assertions of some patriotic Americans, the United States of America was not founded as a Christian nation, nor is it a Christian nation. The USA is not a theocracy, and it is not governed by the New Testament, even though some Biblical principles may have been included in or have influenced its constitution and some of its founding fathers may have been deists or Christians. The history of this country is not a Christian history according to the New Testament’s teachings, even though a majority of its population may have historically been professing Christians of some kind. And it certainly isn’t in any way a Christian nation now, by government or by culture, even though Christians live here---quite comfortably, I might add...) Of all the nations in the world, the USA is the one that lines up best with the Bible’s description of Babylon, the great city of the last days (which city could be New York City---the home of Wall Street, and the most iconic and famous American city---representative of the whole of the USA, as the city of Rome was representative of the Roman nation and as the city of Babylon was representative of the Babylonian nation). So, the Lord’s call to His people who are dwelling in Babylon is to come out of her, spiritually: Do not partake of her forbidden and corrupting delicacies, which surround you. Do not make her standards your standard. Do not embrace her ideologies and 'wisdom', which are contrary to Christian doctrine (the doctrine of the New Testament), and anti-Christ. Do not become adulterers in your hearts, in love with the pleasures and comforts of the land in which you sojourn. Do not compromise the word of God in order to have what Babylon offers you and to be comfortable and prosperous in her, which is not what you were called to by God. Come out of her spiritually, brothers and sisters---if you have become like her---and save your lives. If you come out of her spiritually, and cleanse and separate yourselves from Babylon’s corrupting influences and unGodly ways, God will also deliver you from her physically. He will not destroy the righteous with the wicked. But if you love her, and will not separate yourself from her because you love her, and your treasure is here, and you have found your life here, and you are partaking in her sins and will not repent of them, you will not escape her judgments, or save your life. “Come out of her, My people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues…” (Revelation 18:4) You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you. (James 4:4-10) But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints…For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure (take heed, those of you who are indulging in pornography), or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. (Be ye not therefore partakers with them.) (Ephesians 5:3-7) We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober… (1 Thessalonians 5:5-8) Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (Romans 13:13,14) Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming (on the children of disobedience). (Colossians 3:5,6) Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. (2 Corinthians 6:17,18; 7:1) Do not love the world, or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world---the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions---is not from the Father but is from the world. (1 John 2:15,16) He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto eternal life. (John 12:25) Little children, keep yourselves from idols. (1 John 5:21)
  10. LightShinesInTheDarkness

    Reminders from the early church

    Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. (1 Corinthians 11:2) (There's no way in the world the apostle Paul would say this to the churches today! He would say, "I praise you not, not, NOT!")
  11. LightShinesInTheDarkness

    Reminders from the early church

    ...And He died for all that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised. (2 Corinthians 5:15) What a mockery, what an insult, to 'celebrate' the resurrection of Christ while living for oneself in truth; to shed tears over how much Jesus suffered for you while harboring evil things in your heart and going home to do the very things He hates, which He suffered to set you free from, and rose again, that you might walk in newness of life before God. If you really want to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, don't do it with an invented holiday; make use of His grace to live the resurrected life, EVERY DAY. Does God want sacrifice or obedience? He can't stand iniquity and solemn assembly. If you're "celebrating" the Lord's resurrection while receiving His grace in vain by not dying to yourself daily in order to obey Him and keep in step with His Spirit, you're not celebrating His resurrection, but mocking it. What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:1-4) We know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death He died, He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:9-11) Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. (1 Peter 4:1,2) For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:26-29)
  12. LightShinesInTheDarkness

    LOVE, THE GREATEST VIRTUE (Are you walking in it?)

    I understood you. Amen.
  13. LightShinesInTheDarkness

    LOVE, THE GREATEST VIRTUE (Are you walking in it?)

    A good question: How did these men creep in unnoticed (or unawares)? Know your God, and know His word. You can't guard yourself or others against something that you don't recognize as false.
  14. LightShinesInTheDarkness

    LOVE, THE GREATEST VIRTUE (Are you walking in it?)

    By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. (1 John 5:2-4)
  15. LightShinesInTheDarkness

    LOVE, THE GREATEST VIRTUE (Are you walking in it?)

    "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" And He said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:37-39) But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, 'Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.' Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" He said, "The one who showed him mercy." And Jesus said to him, "You go, and do likewise." (Luke 10:29-37)
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