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omharris

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  1. God, angry with Gog, the leader of Magog, puts a hook in his jaw and draws him to the hills of Israel and kills, not only him but 5/6th of those who have allied themselves with this person. I feel strongly that we are looking at Tayyip Principe Erdoğan – a man who has risen from being a simple mayor to appointing himself as the Supreme Caliph of Islam. If that's true then all Muslims must obey his every command, as he now speaks for Allah. What do I see here? An established and disrespectful ignorance of God. We all seem to cry out for justice in this world because far too many have an established pattern of disrespecting, not just people, but God as well. Having prayed, much like many of you, that injustice and abuse would come to an end and yet, it flourishes, but I also long to see God respected. I suppose that means I am imposing my Western Christian mentality upon people, however, you can hear cries, much like this from every part of the world, if you were listening. This event, we see here in Ezekiel 38, 39 is so closely tied to the catching away of the church, it is hard to tell when one begins and the other ends. One “brother” in Christ, responded to a post with a similar theme, by saying, “Jesus will take out his elect, and then the war will come.” He added, “The war is during the time of the Wrath of God, which begins at the 6th Seal. Rev. 6:17.” This response is wrong on so many levels. First, who are the elect? Any student of the Bible knows that the elect is Israel. But then, along came the followers of Jesus Christ, and Paul tells us that we are also the elect because we are in Jesus. This person gave no context, nor definition, and leaves us to make presumptions based on fragmented pieces from Paul's writings. 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 NASB 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. 😎 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; Here in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 the "he" that is taken out of the way, is, not only the restrainer but the church itself. Paul goes on to say, that it is then that the lawless one will be revealed. This lawless one is the Antichrist who makes a convenient peace covenant with many. So, my presumption must be that the elect is the church. But then his statement gets even more confusing as he uses Revelation 6:17 as a reference, and places the war deep within the seven years of God's wrath upon the earth, where the rich, and others, are crying for the rocks to fall upon them and hide them from the wrath of God. So, let's see if God can put an immediate end to people profaning his name. Ezekiel 39:7 NASB "My holy name I will make known in the midst of My people Israel; and I will not let My holy name be profaned anymore. And the nations will know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel. Since this war in which God sends a firestorm upon the enemies of Israel, then can we assume that God shuts the enemies mouths? I ask because that is what we do; we assume things far beyond the context of the passages at hand. It is the KJV that correctly ascribes destruction to 5/6th of the combatants that have come to Israel. Look at all that God says about what is going to happen. Ezekiel 38:19-20 KJV For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; 20) So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. “in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;” “So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth,” A rather encompassing description. “shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.” I am not trying to diminish God here, but this type of event happens multiple times. How could there be any buildings left if every earthquake has caused all the walls to fall down? Similar to the terminology “all” that we see scattered throughout the Bible, when obviously not all were there, it is safe to assume that there was a tremendous amount of people, or, in this case, a tremendous amount of damage. Ezekiel 39:6 KJV And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD. Here, in 39:6 the fire falls on the isles. This would mean the coastal regions. Does that mean all of them, or, in practicality, the nations that are involved in this horrendous scheme? The majority of the named nations are coastal nations to some degree. If you are trying to determine the impact God has made by bringing, not only a firestorm but a great shaking, then you need to understand a few other influences. 2 Corinthians 3:14-16 KJV But their minds were blinded: for until this day remains the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. 15) But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. 16) Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. In Romans 11:25 the impact will be on Israel. Since this war is on the cusp of the removal of the church, then it is obvious that the vail is lifted immediately. The impact of God's action will have a monumental impact on the Jews that are still here. Romans 11:25 KJV For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. When I put the information together, I can understand that the vail will be taken away, and, it will happen when the fullness of the Gentiles has come. That fullness, by the way, will only happen at the catching away of the church. Another clue we have about the impact comes from the Revelation itself. Revelation 7:9 KJV After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; These are martyred saints since the catching away of the church. Make note of the quantity, as it is innumerable. If I were to make a generalized statement, it would be, YES, God has made a tremendous impact. Ezekiel 39:8 CJB Yes, this is coming, and it will be done,' says Adonai Elohim; 'this is the day about which I have spoken. I don't know if you have heard this sentence from skeptics, but I have, and it goes like this, you guys have been telling us that God is coming back for over two thousand years, so expect him to come back anytime soon! When you read a sentence like verse 8 you might think God has been hearing something similar as well. Someone wrote, Ezekiel gave these words over 20 centuries ago; the words are more valid today than they ever have been. How do I know this? A standard, liberal newscast, interviewed one of their reporters and asked about what grabs your attention about Syria. The reporter's response, this is no longer Syria. Everywhere I look I see troops from Russia, Iran, Turkey, and the United States. What does that mean? It means that the major players in this last days war of Ezekiel 38,39 are already on Israel's northern border. In December of 2017 (it's only August of 2018 as I write this,) an Egyptian newspaper published a map showing cartoon tanks surrounding Israel and firing upon the nation. Their intent was to call for a Jihad against Israel. Are the motivation and compliance lining up for an attack on Israel? Absolutely. Here is where Ezekiel turns peculiar once again. Ezekiel 39:9-10 CJB " 'Those living in Isra'el's cities will go out and set fire to the weapons, to use as fuel—the shields, breastplates, bows, arrows, clubs, and spears; they will use them for fire seven years; 10) so that they will not need to gather wood from the fields or cut down any from the forests; because they will use the weapons for fire. Thus they will plunder those who plundered them and rob those who robbed them,' says Adonai Elohim. Is there a modern army that still uses clubs, bows, and spears as they do battle? No, they have tanks, artillery, missiles, Toyota trucks (with mounted anti-aircraft guns in the middle east,) and AK 47's. How many of these items could one use for fuel to heat your dinner or house? Very little, as everything I mentioned is made from metal, or burns toxic and will poison you, with possibly one exception, the wood from an AK47 (if they still make them like that.) Ezekiel 39:11 JPS And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place fit for burial in Israel, the valley of them that pass through on the east of the sea; and it shall stop them that pass through; and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude, and they shall call it the valley of Hamon-Gog. By the way, you are aware that God frequently uses people and their available weaponry to fulfill His desires? Ezekiel 39:12-13 JPS And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying them, that they may cleanse the land. 13) Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them, and it shall be to them a renown; in the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord GOD. What do I know from this statement? That it takes seven months to bury them all. This probably has more to do with the quantity of dead. While getting rid of dead bodies reduces health issues, the main reason is so that Israel may cleanse the land. Numbers 19:11-16 JPS He that touches the dead, even any man's dead body, shall be unclean seven days; 12) the same shall purify himself therewith on the third day and on the seventh day, and he shall be clean; but if he purify not himself the third day and the seventh day, he shall not be clean. 13) Whosoever touches the dead, even the body of any man that is dead, and purifies not himself - he hath defiled the tabernacle of the LORD - that soul shall be cut off from Israel; because the water of sprinkling was not dashed against him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is yet upon him. 14) This is the law: when a man dies in a tent, every one that comes into the tent, and everything that is in the tent, shall be unclean seven days. 15) And every open vessel, which hath no covering close-bound upon it, is unclean. 16) And whosoever in the open field touches one that is slain with a sword, or one that dies of himself, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days. So, the effective reason has much to do with being unclean for seven days. I get the general impression that Israel will not have time for such delays. Deuteronomy 21:23 JPS his body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt surely bury him the same day; for he that is hanged is a reproach unto God; that thou defile not thy land which the LORD thy God gives thee for an inheritance. This passage, if you will recall, is why they could not leave Jesus hanging on the cross overnight, and therefore permitted Joseph of Arimathaea who had asked to have his body for burial. “ all the people of the land shall bury them,” So, although there will be specific teams to bury the victims, all Israel will be helping out. “and it shall be to them a renown; in the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord GOD.” Jeremiah 33:9 JPS And this city shall be to Me for a name of joy, for a praise and for a glory, before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them, and shall fear and tremble for all the good and for all the peace that I procure unto it. Zephaniah 3:19-20 NASB "Behold, I am going to deal at that time With all your oppressors, I will save the lame And gather the outcast, And I will turn their shame into praise and renown In all the earth. 20) "At that time I will bring you in, Even at the time when I gather you together; Indeed, I will give you renown and praise Among all the peoples of the earth, When I restore your fortunes before your eyes," Says the LORD. Although Zephaniah can say, I will give you renown and praise among all the people of the earth, God's wrath and punishment are not entirely accomplished as yet. Does that make God's word conflict with itself, and is therefore unreliable or not true? Hardly, for this moment in time, though a clear defeat for many, does not cover all of Israel's oppressors. The other question you have to ask as you try to validate God's word, does Israel, as yet, have all their fortunes restored? There is more cataclysmic activity, yet to come. As I read Ezekiel 39:13 I found myself asking, did you mean what you just said? “and it shall be to them a renown; in the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord GOD.” renown is the Hebrew word shêm and means the idea of definite and conspicuous position; compare H8064); an appellation, as a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character. I keep finding God's mercy - an attribute that is part of His character and nature. For me, to read that God is giving Israel (those that remain,) honor and position, there is no way I can apply these attributes to Israel in the world's eyes. This has everything to do with Him, showing them mercy and bringing them into the millennial reign with honor. I know, this flies in the face of those who demand no mercy for those outside of the standard religious experience - you know, the one where you come to an altar, shed big tears, say all the right words, and then, go live like the devil once again. I decided, some time ago, that if I err, then I am going to err on the side of mercy. Besides, I can use all the help I can get. Some would read this and attribute all this to God, but, that is not what it says. The verse tells us that Israel's actions in burying the dead will produce a conspicuous designation of honor and character at some point. That point is when Jesus, the Messiah shall be glorified. When will that take place? When he comes back as the conquering Messiah, and then takes his throne after He sets everything right. Some will read this and start whining that He is only glorified at the end of the millennial reign, and the Great White Throne is a part of that process. Revelation 19:1-2 NASB After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, "Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; 2) BECAUSE HIS JUDGMENTS ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, ... Revelation 19:7 NASB "Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready." Revelation 19:11-15 NASB 11) And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness, He judges and wages war. Revelation 20:4 NASB Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. ... and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. Revelation 21:3-6 NASB And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, ... 5) And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He *said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true." 6) Then He said to me, "It is done. If Ezekiel 38, and 39, are closely related to the catching away of the church, then this firestorm against Gog also marks the entrance of the Antichrist and his seven-year contract of peace, signed by many. Since the only clear time frames, we are aware of is seven months of not touching the bodies, and, a seven month period of burying the dead, we can only account for 14 months. 14 months is equivalent to 420 days, and the first half of the seven years of wrath (the fairly peaceful part,) lasts 1260 days, those having to endure this time period have 2.3 years of relative peace left, until this person we call the Antichrist breaks this treaty. Within the Muslim world, that means he calls it off.
  2. You, as you can see above, said that" Jesus will take out his elect." Who, in this case, is Jesus elect? From the Christian's point of view, it would be the church. But you did not say God's removal of the church from the earth. So, you must not be talking about the church. So let's pursue option two. The elect then must be the Jews. This thought tends to hold up as they, who are left on this earth, are subject to God and man's wrath. If this is the Jews, and, subject to wrath as scripture tells us, then the idea of war against them would have strong possibilities. This is exactly what Ezekiel 38, and 39 are speaking of. Others will tell you that Psalm 83 where we are told that a number of groups have conspired against Israel, saying, "Come and let us wipe them out as a nation, That the name of Israel be remembered no more."[NASB] - (This list includes Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre, and Assyria.) Is also an upcoming war against Israel. While I happen to think that Psalm 83 is duplicating many of those involved in Ezekiel's account, I could be wrong, and there could be another war. After all, at 1260 day mark, the false prophet pulls the plug and becomes the enforcer of Sharia. Infidels then will have their heads removed. An aspect of that process certainly has war involved, and I can easily see Israel getting attacked once again. By the time the 7 years is almost over 2/3 of Israel will have been killed. Does that sound like war? Absolutely. So, let's focus on this statement you made just a bit more. "Jesus will take out his elect, and then the war will come." If the elect is the church, then what does scripture tell will come when the church is removed from the earth? Paul, writing to the church in Thessaloniki said this, 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 NASB 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. Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; It is easy to see that the church, being the restraining force, must be removed, and, "then that lawless one will be revealed." While war may certainly be going on at the time, or within seconds of the snatching away, it is relatively unimportant. What is important, is that the ONLY thing we have which gives us clear verbiage is the removal of the church and then the revealing of the Antichrist, NOT war. (By the way, war, evoked by man, is merely a tribulation. Tribulations then, are a part of the everyday and expected part of our lives as followers of Christ. This war, if it comes prior to the catching away of the church, it is not an aspect of God's wrath. Should it come after the "rapture", then it is safe to say, that this war is an inclusive aspect of God's wrath. You are the one who said, "The war is during the time of the Wrath of God, which begins at the 6th Seal. Rev. 6:17" This entire period of seven years is going to feel like war. We have John's writings to paint this picture - Revelation 6:9-11 NASB When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; 10) and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" 11) And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also. This is the fifth seal, and already we have a vast number of dead because of their testimony which they had maintained. Isn't this the outcome from some form of war? May I suggest, a war against the saints. Why, according to your eschatology, does the "war" only begin at the sixth seal? The context of the sixth seal applies more to the rich of the world who are hiding from the wrath of God. Revelation 6:15-17 NASB 15) Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; 16) and they *said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17) for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?" Since this was initiated by referring to God's elect, how then, does it become the rich of the earth? I say this because Revelation 6:17 shows the realization that what is coming upon them is from God and not a war from man.
  3. I previously posted a blog entitled, There are some odd passages in Ezekiel 39, where I spoke of the fire as potentially a nuclear war. In that blog, I pointed out some problems with that idea. However, since I posted that blog I have come across, once again, a prophetic word that was given in 1968 by a 90-year-old Norwegian woman. She, I am sure, has since passed, but the things she said have come to pass so vividly, except one, and that is this third world war that ends with a nuclear attack. It is odd how someone else's words suddenly validate an idea that you may have been toying with. I give you her words, and a question and validation sheet at the end. An old woman of 90 from Valdres in Norway had a vision from God in 1968. The evangelist Emanuel Minos had meetings (services) where she lived. He had the opportunity to meet her, and she told him what she had seen. He wrote it down but thought it to be so unintelligible that he put it in a drawer. Now, almost 30 years later, he understands he has to share the vision with others. The woman from Valdres was a very alert, reliable, awake and credible Christian, with a good reputation among all who knew her. This is what she saw: “I saw the time just before the coming of Jesus and the outbreak of the Third World War. I saw the events with my natural eyes. I saw the world like a kind of a globe and saw Europe, land by land. I saw Scandinavia. I saw Norway. I saw certain things that would take place just before the return of Jesus, and just before the last calamity happens, a calamity the likes of which we have never before experienced.” She mentioned four waves: "First before Jesus comes and before the Third World War breaks out there will be a ‘détente’ like we have never had before. There will be peace between the superpowers in the east and the west, and there will be a long peace. (Remember, that this was in 1968 when the cold war was at its highest. E. Minos) In this period of peace, there will be disarmament in many countries, also in Norway and we are not prepared when it (the war) comes. The Third World War will begin in a way no one would have anticipated - and from an unexpected place. "A lukewarmness without parallel will take hold of the Christians, a falling away from true, living Christianity. Christians will not be open for penetrating preaching. They will not, like in earlier times, want to hear of sin and grace, law and gospel, repentance and restoration. There will come a substitute instead: prosperity (happiness) Christianity. "The important thing will be to have success, to be something; to have material things, things that God never promised us in this way. Churches and prayer houses will be emptier and emptier. Instead of the preaching we have been used to for generations - like, take your cross up and follow Jesus, entertainment, art, and culture will invade the churches where there should have been gatherings for repentance and revival. This will increase markedly just before the return of Jesus.” "There will be a moral disintegration that old Norway has never experienced the likes of. People will live together like married without being married. (I do not believe the concept of cohabitation’? existed in 1968 - E. Minos.) Much uncleanness before marriage and much infidelity in marriage will become the natural (the common), and it will be justified from every angle. It will even enter Christian circles and we pet it - even sin against nature. Just before Jesus return there will be TV- programs like we have never experienced. (TV had just arrived in Norway in 1968. E. Minos) "TV will be filled with such horrible violence that it teaches people to murder and destroy each other, and it will be unsafe in our streets. People will copy what they see. There will not be only one ‘station’ on TV, it will be filled with ‘stations.’ (She did not know the word ‘channel’ which we use today. Therefore she called them stations. E. Minos.) TV will be just like the radio where we have many ‘stations,’ and it will be filled with violence. People will use it for entertainment. We will see terrible scenes of murder and destruction one of the other, and this will spread in society. Sex scenes will also be shown on the screen, the most intimate things that take place in a marriage." (I protested and said, we have a paragraph that forbids this kind of thing. E. Minos.) There the old woman said: "It will happen, and you will see it. All we have had before will be broken down, and the most indecent things will pass before our eyes." "People from poor countries will stream to Europe. (In 1968 there was no such thing as immigration. E. Minos.) They will also come to Scandinavia - and Norway. There will be so many of them that people will begin to dislike them and become hard with them. They will be treated like the Jews before the Second World War. Then the full measure of our sins will have been reached (I protested at the issue of immigration. I did not understand it at the time. E. Minos.) The tears streamed from the old woman’s eyes down her cheeks. “I will not see it, but you will. Then suddenly, Jesus will come and the Third World War breaks out. It will be a short war. (She saw it in the vision.) All that I have seen of war before is only child’s play compared to this one, and it will be ended with a nuclear atom bomb. “The air will be so polluted that one cannot draw one’s breath. It will cover several continents, America, Japan, Australia and the wealthy nations. The water will be ruined (contaminated?). We can no longer till the soil. The result will be that only a remnant will remain. The remnant in the wealthy countries will try to flee to the poor countries, but they will be as hard on us as we were on them.” "I am so glad that I will not see it, but when the time draws near, you must take courage and tell this. I have received it from God, and nothing of it goes against what the Bible tells. "The one who has his sin forgiven and has Jesus as Savior and Lord is safe.” Questions and affirmations concerning the prophecy of the Norwegian woman. " I saw certain things that would take place just before the return of Jesus, and just before the last calamity happens.” Having been asked, will we go through tribulations? This statement, in a substantial way, speaks to exactly that idea and gives what I have tried to explain, as being on the razor's edge of God's wrath. Jesus said, in this world, you will have tribulations. However, we, being in Christ, are no longer subject to God's wrath, and, in general, will not go through God's wrath. What is the last calamity? It may be what we see in Ezekiel 38 and 39, or, it may be speaking of the time of God's wrath. "First before Jesus comes and before the Third World War breaks out there will be a ‘détente’ like we have never had before. Détente is the easing of strained relations. As of 07/19/2018 what has the President of the United States been doing? Meeting with Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, and Kim Jong-un, the Supreme Leader of North Korea. What are these meetings supposed to do? Ease strained relations. Under the umbrella of easing strained relations is this man that cries peace. Make a note. The Bible does not show him using that terminology. Daniel 9:26-27 CJB Then, after the sixty-two weeks, Mashiach will be cut off and have nothing. The people of a prince yet to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary, but his end will come with a flood, and desolations are decreed until the war is over. 27) He will make a strong covenant with leaders for one week [of years]. For half of the week, he will put a stop to the sacrifice and the grain offering. On the wing of detestable things the desolator will come and continue until the already decreed destruction is poured out on the desolator." The Jewish translation makes something obvious, those other translations do not, when it says, “The people of a prince yet to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary,...” The NASB states, “the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary,...” The implication is somewhat immediate as this act is entirely attributed to Titus who allegedly destroyed the temple in 70A.D. Allow me to demonstrate the other big assumption; that he will make a treaty with Israel. There is nothing in scripture that validates that assertion. Daniel 9:27 tells us that, “He will make a strong covenant with leaders (or many) for one week. The terminology one week speaks of seven years. So; we have a peace treaty or agreement, which is made with many for seven years. It does not say Israel and therefore may not include Israel at all. “The Third World War will begin in a way no one would have anticipated - and from an unexpected place.” Understand this, we are NOT looking for the Antichrist at this point. While he may be here working his charms already, this war (WW3) is coming from the region formerly known as Soviet Georgia. Russia released it's control over that region long ago, and it is now controlled by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Supreme Leader of Turkey. Every day, we hear another news story about Russia and Vladimir Putin. Having grown up in the nuclear age, we have always looked at Russia as the dominant threat. Add to that, the prophecy teachers that kept pointing us toward Russia. If I looked at Syria as a part of the puzzle that will help me understand, whom do we see operating there? Russia, Iran, Turkey, and the United States. So, although I cannot assume that Putin will be the primary player, it is evident that Russia, in some way, plays a role in this war that is coming. Who are the major players that are spelled out as part of this relatively short, end times war? Ezekiel 38:5,6 ISV Persia (Iran), Cush (Ethiopia), and Libya (Put) will be accompanying them, all of them equipped with shields and helmets. 6) NIV84 also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops--the many nations with you. Ezekiel 38:5,6 say nothing explicitly about Russia, however, the usage of the phrase, “many nations with you,” opens the door to just about anyone with an Islamic inclination. "A lukewarmness without parallel will take hold of the Christians, “ Such a statement deserves a scriptural backing, although I don't think it needs one. Revelation 3:14-16 NIV84 14) "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. 15) I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16) So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth. “There will come a substitute instead: prosperity (happiness) Christianity. The important thing will be to have success, to be something; to have material things, things that God never promised us in this way.” I was heavily involved with the Faith movement for a time, and I can tell you that the emphasis was definitely, God wants you rich. 1 John 2:15-16 ISV Stop loving the world and the things that are in the world. If anyone persists in loving the world, the Father's love is not in him. 16) For everything that is in the world—the desire for fleshly gratification, the desire for possessions, and worldly arrogance—is not from the Father but is from the world. Sadly, we only hear about the abuses, such as ministries who have been telling those willing to listen, that the Lord told said to them that we are to give so that they can have a 50 million dollar airplane. Most of these ministry leaders live in lavish homes, on private estates. “Churches and prayer houses will be emptier and emptier. Instead of the preaching, we have been used to for generations ... - entertainment, art, and culture will invade the churches where there should have been gatherings for repentance and revival.” I have gone through several transitions as church management changed. One of those churches seemed to grow in numbers as the music and art culture became prevalent. In another church, however, they have seen nothing but decline. The second example even hired a pastor who had been a significant player in computer engineering. He shows up much like a rock and roll superstar with a checkered past and great ideas; and yet, people are still staying away. There is an aspect I hesitated to mention because it seemed like a Totalitarian mentality, where leadership uses the Word of God just as they would a baseball bat. I grew weary of that approach and followed one where the love of God was given more credence. The dear, old lady, and some of my acquaintances used this kind of language, as they espouse their reasons for why nobody wants to be in church anymore. “They will not, like in earlier times, want to hear of sin and grace, law and gospel, repentance and restoration.” Who, is they in this sentence? It could be church people; it could be those who have fallen away; or, it could be outsiders, who do not wish, nor need to be screamed at. Although I, and several others, have removed ourselves from the Monday morning Bible study, we still talk about how this angry, screaming technique was rained down upon the group weekly. As one friend would say, “Why does this guy think he needs to lay that unnecessary guilt on us, especially since most of the group are in their late 70's and have been the backbone of that church for the majority of their lives? The reality is, we, are probably the only group that would tolerate such a message, as the world will walk away from you. We, for the most part, just ignored the leader's rants. The whole idea of being lukewarm is that you don't care. Most of the people I talk to at church do not read their Bibles. There is another group. These are a subset of those that do not read their Bibles, and yet, they are more than willing to fight with you, as they defend some traditional viewpoint that was taught to them; or, they read a passage once, and, without understanding the context surrounding that passage, or the meaning, they know better because someone, said it was so. So, in general, can you see a church that no longer cares? I certainly do. The third phase of this prophecy was immediately directed at Norway. It, however, certainly does not mean that only Norway has a moral disintegration. The disintegration of morality is global. “People will live together like married without being married.” The word is cohabitation. Why is this a problem, especially when sin is forgiven and cast into the sea? Ah, because there is little to no commitment. The underlying issue has to do with the satisfaction of some selfish desire, or, we are damaged and unable to forgive, nor gain freedom from the damage previously done to us. Because of all that, we refuse to commit to marriage. But then we have a secondary problem; as people, stand in front of an Elvis impersonator; say words they don't mean, and then the Elvis impersonator says some kind words and pronounces you married; adding, please sign here. Three months later, you are sick of each other and filing for divorce. Do not think this is exclusive to the world; it is commonplace within the church as well. “Much uncleanness before marriage and much infidelity in marriage will become the natural (the common), and it will be justified from every angle. It will even enter Christian circles, and we pet it - even sin against nature.” Psychology wants to find the underlying cause of the event, and, as the paragraph goes on it defines the why. “TV will be filled with such horrible violence that it teaches people to murder and destroy each other, and it will be unsafe in our streets. People will copy what they see.” This idea of copying is not making a disc to share with a friend. It is well-known that the aggression within video games and movies are being mimicked, as kids attempt to shoot up schools, and hurt others. The other thing I have noticed. Here in America, they call themselves Antifa. It matters not what the name is, what matters is that these people have collected with one purpose and goal in mind, and that is to do as much damage as possible, with no regard of the outcome or who gets hurt. To be honest, there are places here in Southern California I would prefer not to go, and I certainly will not go there after dark, because it is unsafe in our streets. “People from poor countries will stream to Europe. (In 1968 there was no such thing as immigration. E. Minos.)” Of course, there was immigration, there always has been, but we never saw such things as we have witnessed in the last few years. There is a difference, as most of these people are there under the directives of jihad and have every intention of changing your country into a Muslim country run under the laws of Sharia. “There will be so many of them that people will begin to dislike them and become hard with them. They will be treated like the Jews before the Second World War.” The Jews were not wanted because they were Jews, and that is not the case here. As I noted, there has always been immigration, and yet, under the old reasoning, we just assumed you would behave, get a job or start a business, and be absorbed into the community. These people have no desire to be incorporated; they want you to comply with their laws and ways. If you don't, they will destroy you and your country by whatever means possible, and that is what we are seeing in every European nation that has taken them in. Unfortunately, within this fourth thought, there is an incomplete sentence. “Then the full measure of our sins will have been reached.” To be honest, this line concerns me more than all the others. Without a context, sin can go on unchecked until there is a self-annihilation; and that may take, as my pastor believes, another 100 years. Note, there is no specific about whether this is our sin, or theirs. Our sins, if I use the sentence “they will be treated like the Jews,” for context, is talking about our anger rising to the surface to such a degree that we are willing for a people group to annihilated. That is a level of violence I do not wish to see within myself or those around me, and yet, I know it lies buried and waiting. If the sin is more specific to those who have come under the pretense of immigration, then that tells me that we have only just begun to feel the pain that these people have intended to bring. As I write this, I am thinking about Nigeria. A country which now feels that it is proper to kill followers of Christ. The number of violent deaths per week against Christians has begun to average 600. Like all things, the old woman brought this to a conclusion. “Then suddenly, Jesus will come, and the Third World War breaks out.” Apostasy; a moral breakdown; violence, promoted by games and visual inputs, will become standard methods of operation. And one other aspect; sin will be deemed to be complete by God, and the plug will be pulled. Note the timing! Jesus will come, and the Third World War will break out. “It will be a short war. All that I have seen of war before is only child’s play compared to this one, and it will be ended with a nuclear atom bomb.” If it is a nuclear war, then one can expect mutual destruction. The implications of this seem unbearable, as nuclear weapons do not target specific individuals – everyone dies within a certain range. However, there is an added aspect that no one seems to understand, as God intervenes to save many in Israel, and demonstrate that there is a God, and He is not to be laughed at. Ezekiel 39:1-8 ISV "Now as for you, Son of Man, prophesy against Gog and tell him, '"This is what the Lord GOD has to say: 'Watch out, Gog, you leader of the head of Meshech and Tubal! 2) I'm going to turn you around, drag you along to your destruction, and bring you up from the farthest parts of the north, and carry you to the mountains of Israel. 3) There I will strike your bow from your left hand and your arrows from your right, causing your fall. 4) You will collapse on the mountains of Israel, along with all of your soldiers and the nations that have accompanied you. There the raptors, vultures, and wild animals will feed on you. 5) You will fall dead in the open fields because I have ordered this to happen,' declares the Lord GOD. 6) 'I'm also going to set fire to Magog, along with those who are settled down and at home in the islands. That's when they'll learn that I am the LORD. 7) I'll make my holiness and reputation known in the midst of my people Israel, and I won't let my holiness be profaned anymore. The nations will learn that I, the LORD, am holy in the midst of Israel. 😎 Pay attention! It's coming and will certainly happen,' declares the Lord GOD. 'This will be the day about which I've spoken!'"'" Dr. Chuck Misler, a man who worked in the Defense industry, and then taught the Bible, said, these events, spoken of in Ezekiel, sound just like a Nuclear attack. There are specific problems in interpreting the passage as such because of the civilian loss in such an attack, and the long-term effects. He also adds I am only giving you information and leave to you to decide what method is being used. Our determination makes no difference upon the outcome, for that is God's plan and decision. What matters is our intelligent awareness of the times and events surrounding us. This dear lady left us with these words, “when the time draws near; you must take courage and tell this.” If you felt overwhelmed by the potential scenarios painted for you, then, you, as I, can see the difficulty in taking courage. And even more, she hoped we would share this information. This sharing speaks to me of someone wishing to encourage and give hope. Yes, it is bad, and it is going to get worse. Yes, some of us may die as the tribulations around us increases, but the hope lies in Jesus, who said, John 14:2-3 NASB "In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3) "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. Well, He did just that. This God we serve is real; Jesus is real, and this hope is concrete and valid. In this world, you will have tribulations. These words were a response from Jesus, but they are not intended to be a part of the wrath and judgment that God is going to pour out upon the world and the Jews, for ignoring Him. An aspect of our hope is in these words, as they promise that we, the church, will escape judgment, for He took it all, and we, are in Him.
  4. Since there is the possibility that the fire sent upon Gog and Magog is nuclear, can we determine that? Yes, we can come up with an answer. For example: If we focus initially on the fire aspect Ezekiel 39:6 NASB "And I will send fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coastlands in safety, and they will know that I am the LORD. First off, why would I ask that? Well, as you read Ezekiel 38, 39 there are some peculiar things are being talked about, and one of them has to do with burying the dead. Ezekiel 39:14 NASB "They will set apart men who will constantly pass through the land, burying those who were passing through, even those left on the surface of the ground, in order to cleanse it. At the end of seven months, they will make a search. Why seven months? I don't have the answer. I looked up the guidelines for dealing with irradiated bodies, and there are no long waiting period mandates such an extended seven-month wait. https://www.remm.nlm.gov/deceased.htm Ezekiel 39:15 NASB "As those who pass through the land pass through and anyone sees a man's bone, then he will set up a marker by it until the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamon-Gog. Are they setting up markers because the average citizen is not equipped to touch a contaminated body? I would suspect disease or general disgust might play a role in this avoidance. For the Jew, it is a cleanliness issue. Ezekiel 39:12 NASB "For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them in order to cleanse the land. This statement may not be so extreme, as the Jewish laws speak about cleansing the land by burial, and, how that it is unbecoming not to bury the enemies bodies as well, and the inference is that a large number of fighters will die in Israel on that day. I will add that the late Dr. Chuck Missler, when he spoke about these peculiarities, would say, I am merely suggesting. In his expositions on Ezekiel's prophecies, he made it clear that his background in the defense industry prompted imagery associated with the after-effects of a nuclear strike. Since God is the inventor of atomic fission, then it cannot be ruled out. As Dr. Missler used to say, I will leave it up to you to make the decision. The answer we come to does not negate or nullify God's abilities to eliminate adversaries in any way. I will also tell you that once again, I have been reminded of the prophecy made by a 90-year-old Norwegian woman, who spoke about what I think is Ezekiel 38,39; and this strange fire that precludes people from touching the bodies for seven months. In her prophecy, she says explicitly that it will be a nuclear weapon and that many places will be affected, in including the United States. If there is one thing we know about nuclear weapons, they are not selective about whom they kill. Everybody within range gets the effect, and it lasts for years. If you look in a concordance, the word fire is the Hebrew word ’ēš. According to the Word Study Dictionary, ’ēš is a common feminine noun meaning fire. The word is used in various ways: "It refers to any fire that breaks out and burns up something, whether people, things, or animals. in the passage, the reference is to a non-specified fire.” So, it could include lightning, and we have seen that as God responded to the prayers of Samuel and sent lightning storms and earthquakes to destroy the Philistines as they were attacking Israel. 1 Samuel 7:10 “but the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them...” If you have a spare moment, search for the power and effects of lightning, for you don't get thunder without lightning. What other example have we seen in scripture where a fire of some form, obliterates many towns and all who lived in them? The answer, Sodom, and Gomorrah, where it rained sulfur and brimstone. Deuteronomy 29:23 KJV And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor bears, nor any grass grows therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath: The story, with Lot included, can be found in Genesis 19. There are other odd verses in Ezekiel's prophecy, that should attract our attention. Ezekiel 39:2 KJV And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel: As far as I can tell, the KJV is the only one that speaks of a sixth part of the enemies troops being untouched. Look up the word sixth in the Hebrew, and you get this from Strong's concordance. shâshâ' - A primitive root; apparently to annihilate. (Translated by confusion with H8341.): - leave but the sixth part [by confusion with H8341]. So, here is H8341 to enlighten you. shâshâh - A denominative from H8337; to sixth or divide into sixths: - give the sixth part. Note a difference, however subtle, between the two words where the second has an added letter. What then are we amateurs to do with such a dilemma? Consult the Word Study Dictionary, which tells us that the word shâshâ' can, and does, convey two meanings. 1. A verb meaning to drive; to drag along. It means to urge someone, to provide an impetus for moving on. It is used figuratively of God's moving Gog toward Israel and destruction. (Ezekiel 39:2). II. A verb indicating to leave a sixth part. It means to take or leave behind only one-sixth of something (Ezekiel 39:2, KJV). I am going to lean upon the WSD in this case, and allow for God to, not only annihilate but still leave a handful of survivors. In doing this God shows His mercy, while leaving a few for the final battle, some one-thousand years later. While I probably covered this in the previous post, it is worth talking about once again. Ezekiel 39:6 NET. I will send fire on Magog and those who live securely in the coastlands; then they will know that I am the LORD. "and those who live securely in the coastlands.” For most, the immediate reaction is, about whom is Ezekiel/God, talking? To understand this, you have to apply some logic to the scenario. Gog, a descendant of Reuben, almost a thousand years before Ezekiel's prophecy, moves north, along with his lousy attitude and settles in regions that have been associated with Russia and now Turkey. Wikipedia validates this assertion and adds to this mix names, such as the Scythians, and the Cossack's. Today, this area, “the Black Sea Region (Turkish: Karadeniz Bölgesi) is a geographical region of Turkey.” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Sea_Region As we have pursued an understanding of who Gog is, we have seen that others will be drawn into this fight. For example: Ezekiel 38:5 NET. Persia (Iran), Ethiopia, and Put (Libya) are with them, all of them with shields and helmets. Look at a map of the Mediterranean region, particularly along the Northern African coast. What do you find there? Spain; Morocco; Algeria; Tunisia; Libya; Ethiopia; Sudan; Somalia; Eritrea; Egypt; Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. Go north, and you find Persia/Iran – one of the most vocal in their hatred of Israel, and Pakistan. You need to understand that the Scythians, an offshoot of Magog, had just about everyone integrated into their social unit and mentality, notably the Persians. The Persians were the Assyrians that Jonah knew of, and was the backbone of the Babylonian society, where we find Nebuchadnezzar. Just because we do not see their names listed in Ezekiel 38:5 does not mean they won't be in the fight. Why can I say that? Because all these nations now have a common thread, Islam. Keep in mind, that in the Northern African nations they may go by Boko Haran, but they are, none-the-less, guided by the Quran (which teaches a deep hatred of Israel and the Jews.) What's the point of bringing up all these names? Because of Ezekiel 39:6 I will send fire on Magog and those who live securely in the coastlands; then they will know that I am the LORD. NET. Perhaps another translation can help you understand. Ezekiel 39:6 CEV I will set fire to the land of Magog and to those nations along the seacoast that think they are so secure, and they will know that I am the LORD. These people think they are secure. What does that mean? This country I live in still has the slogan on its money, that says, In God We Trust. While there may be a few of us left that feebly trust in God, the majority do not, and our governments are following some dark leadership that none of us knowingly ask for, at least I don't think so. We have no faith in anything anymore. Oh, people will say they do, but in truth, they don't even trust themselves; and yet, we tragically think we are safe and secure. How secure can you be, when our own government has been telling us how vulnerable we are to an EMP attack? The terminology, coastlands or seacoast, opens the door to Spain; Britain; Ireland, and the U.S, to name a few. Again, why? Because, as Finis Dake, the late prophecy teacher tells us in his scripture notes, this is a group of people who have an intense hatred for Israel. Does Spain, Britain, Ireland, and Greece, come across as nationalities that have an intense hatred for Israel? Perhaps, on initial examination, NO, but then they, like far too many others, have let these “immigrants” into their nations; and now, the immigrants are taking over as they are crying about changing the laws to Sharia laws just for their benefit. (Sharia law, by the way, allows them to commit vicious crimes. And, these same laws exclude outsiders, so don't think for a second you can with such improprieties, as they will be permitted to do.) A friend of mine recently challenged a Muslim about his motives for coming to America. The Muslim man, responded, we did not come here because of what you offer, we came to change this country to our standards. This doctrine of hatred of Israel and the Jews seems to be a key to understanding, not just Ezekiel's prophetic words, but others, such as Daniel, or the Revelation. Another example, as a side note. We understand from Daniel and the Revelation, that, at some point, it will be mandatory that you take a mark, worship the beast, and, worship his image. Few focus on the fact there are three parts to this treasonous act before God, that seals your fate in the lake of fire. You need to understand that this has nothing to do with SIN, but has everything to do with your decision to follow some other god to his demise. Hell, was created for Satan and his followers, the fallen angels; however, he is taking the deceived with him. This mark is already an Islamic practice applied to conquered peoples. There is nothing about this act that guarantees your safety and security and should be thought of as nothing less than some form of payment for protection, much like gangs enforce. Islam, also demands that you vocalize your allegiance to Allah. Again, this carries no guarantees that you will not be tortured and killed. So, in pledging your allegiance to Allah, you are worshiping the beast. The third aspect, worshiping the image of the beast, is a puzzlement. Why? Since Allah was spelled out for Mohammad, under the threat of death, by a very angry fallen angel, has anyone ever seen Allah? Of course not, because there is no Allah. There is merely the deception of a fallen angel, who probably had the name Allah ascribed to him. Since we have nothing as a pattern, then the image can be of anything; however, the false prophet will make the image speak. One of the first instances of a life-sized “doll” that could talk and move was at Disneyland, in the early 60's, in the form of the American President Abraham Lincoln. Techniques and engineering have vastly improved since then, and it could easily be a holographic image. God, on-the-other-hand, has shown himself to man on many occasions. Jesus told those listening, “if you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” Jesus is God, and He walked among us. He redeemed us and purchased our salvation by submitting Himself to death on the cross. He died and rose again, just as said, and then, sat on a beach and ate fish with the disciples. This Jesus we serve is the soon coming Jewish King that will rule the world, and I follow Him.
  5. Having looked, extensively, at Ezekiel 38, we now turn to chapter 39. Once again, we see God compelling Ezekiel, to turn his face toward Gog, and say, Behold, I am against you. Ah, but who is God really against? But, the entire idea of looking at Ezekiel 38, 39 is this idea of God sending fire down from heaven to stop a war. We are about to get into that; but, first, a quick recap. The person, Gog, only shows up once in scripture, and there we find that he is a descendant of Reuben. Sadly Reuben's claim to fame is that he had sexual relations with one of his father's wives. 1Chronicles 5:4 The sons of Joel were Shemaiah his son, Gog his son, Shimei his son, This name does not show up again until Ezekiel begins to prophesy against him years later. With the Exodus beginning around 1446 B.C, it is probable that Gog predates the Exodus. Ezekiel does not come on the scene until approximately 593 B.C. That makes Gog well over 1000 years old if he is still alive, and you know that did not happen. So who is Gog? If you do your homework and look the word Gog up, you will find that: Gog can be depicted as a person (a man,) a people group, or, a nation. We also know that Gog is a leader, that directs his multinational army against Israel. They are of such a large number that they are described as clouds covering the earth. And, the majority of these troops and their leader are killed by God on the mountains of Israel, as a sign to the nations of His Holiness. One last piece of information: At the end of the millennial reign, Gog, once again leads deceived forces against Israel and the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, in an attempt to kill God; and there, once again, God kills them all with fire from heaven. Most “Christians” will read this episode from Ezekiel, and not see the severe and deadly nature of Gog's actions, nor what God will do here, mainly in the Megiddo valley. I believe there are distinct aspects that define Gog, such as Gog and the majority of his troops die on the hills of Israel. How is that possible without some casualties among the citizens of Israel. Just the fact that Gog has made it in inside the borders means that infrastructure will be damaged. The point I am trying to make here, is that you need, frequently, to put flesh and blood on the biblical characters. People are going to die. Having been asked, will the church go through tribulation? My response, and even more so now, is, as of this date 07/10/18 Nigeria has now become the deadliest nation in the world for “Christians” as they are being slaughtered because of their beliefs. So, are we going through tribulations? Absolutely, but keep in mind that trials and the wrath of God being poured out upon the earth and the nations, is an entirely different matter altogether; and NO, we, as followers of Christ, are NOT subject to God's wrath. Tribulations, on the other hand, as Jesus noted, are always going to be a part of our lives. Since an event of this magnitude - the firestorm that kills so many troops will cause most to cower in fear, I think it is safe to say that God is trying to get them to look at Him more appropriately, instead of the habitual disdain nations have for the God they have refused to know. And now we find ourselves at the 39th chapter of Ezekiel. Ezekiel 39:1 NASB "And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal; A translation I am growing fond of is the Complete Jewish Bible, and it reads like this. (CJB) "So you, human being, prophesy against Gog; say that Adonai Elohim says: 'I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshekh and Tuval. Odd how there is no mention of Rosh in the Jewish version. Perhaps, Rosh inappropriately causes us to focus on another world leader, like Putin. After all my years of being in the church, I have concluded, that well-minded souls have repeatedly misdirected us. To some, this is not a problem as they are not going to do the background study that would lead them to the truth, and so they remain within the framework of their church traditions. Someone opposing the church traditions fuels their twisted fears, but all the while they continually try to get us to see the Pope as the Antichrist. This scenario is what we call false teaching. Not everyone means to deceive you, but it happens because we are not willing to do our homework and cling to tradition over truth. Ezekiel 39:2 ISV I'm going to turn you around, drag you along to your destruction, and bring you up from the farthest parts of the north, and carry you to the mountains of Israel. Note how the ISV uses some rather graphic words in this second verse. “I'm going to turn you around,” Large-scale leaders are not entirely insane; there is some thought applied, and costs are often counted. I suspect Gog is no different, and yet, God is, going to turn him around. You might think attacking Israel is not the wisest thing to do, but hatred seems to motivate and drive far too many people. In looking at Ezekiel 38, we see another interesting aspect of Gog's attack on Israel. It is God, who puts the thought in his mind. This idea to attack Israel is not just some casual thought that you can easily ignore; it drives him. “drag you along to your destruction,” When Captain Jean Luc Picard, of the 'Starship Enterprise, encountered the Borg, we repeatedly heard a phrase; resistance is futile. I realize that this idea seems to throw the idea of free will out the window, or does it. Perhaps God has factored free will into His equation already. This problem with free will becomes evident to me as I think about a conversation I had with my Thursday morning group. We have recently been reading the Eugene Peterson book on Prayer. Having read several of Peterson's books already, I was not looking forward to it. However, I have been pleasantly surprised, as he looks at prayer from many directions, some of which are often less than religious, and I can appreciate that. Recently, during a portrayal on Peterson's part, of how adamantly Jesus prayed in the garden setting, I thought about how I once pounded on my steering wheel as I demanded that God honor his word and give me the trophy wife I wanted (Yes, she was pretty but deadly.) I got what I wanted, but dear Lord, I did not need what I got. In jest I said to someone, I think I heard God say, how's that working for you? By-the-way, I don't tell God how to run things anymore. I do, however, believe that the trophy wife, was a part of God's plan in the overall scheme of things, along with the associated pain. And, no, I struggle with the uncomfortable stuff just as you do; and yet, I must believe that it is all part of HIS plan, no matter how things look. “and bring you up from the farthest parts of the north, and carry you to the mountains of Israel.” How many times do we do things, thinking that it was our great idea? For myself, I am reminded of a night I got to thinking about something else and missed my turn to get on the freeway. Insistent upon using the highway it took another minute and a half to get back to the on-ramp. Up the hill I went; what I found as I crested the hill was a cataclysmic accident. Most likely I would have been a part of the crash had I not missed my turn. So, God hooks this man, plants the idea in his head, and drags him and his troops to the mountains of Israel. Rather impressive, and Gog thinks it is all him. Ezekiel 39:3 MSG Then I'll knock your bow out of your left hand and your arrows from your right hand. This idea of knocking your bow out of one hand, and your arrows out of another, cannot be literal, for, in today's warfare, you will die quickly, unless of course, you are a ninja. Seriously, a whole battlefield of ninjas, that is not going to happen. So it is an analogy, which demonstrates how futile, on the overall, that this war of Gog, is going to be. Again, I remind you, that Jews will die, but in comparison to the intent, the effect will be minimal. Ezekiel 39:4-5 NASB "You will fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you as food to every kind of predatory bird and beast of the field. 5) "You will fall on the open field; for it is I who have spoken," declares the Lord GOD. Note how the NASB tells us that Gog, and his troops, will fall on the mountains of Israel; and, they will fall in the open field. Now, look at how the Message reads. Ezekiel 39:4-5 MSG On the mountains of Israel you'll be slaughtered, you and all your troops and the people with you. I'll serve you up as a meal to carrion birds and scavenging animals. 5) You'll be killed in the open field. I've given my word. Decree of GOD, the Master.' In reading this literally, the first thing I see is Gog and his slaughtered troops on the mountains. Holding tightly to a literal read would then leave no one to “kill” in the open field, and yet, there they are. So the NASB, it seems, gives a more appropriate read of the upcoming play by play. Another thing I always think about when I read scripture. Having read statements where the Old Testament tells a story and everyone was there. One of the places we see this is in Daniel, where King Nebuchadnezzar has ordered a statue of himself built, and everyone must bow to it; the obvious factor, if you know the story, is that some created this scenario as an attempt at Jewish genocide. Now everyone, we are told was there, but we primarily see the three Hebrew's that worked in Nebuchadnezzar's court. Since you know the story, then you also know they did not bow and were thrown into the fiery furnace, and, walked out of that same furnace untouched by the smell of smoke. Where was Daniel? While the absence of Daniel seems insignificant, it proves that not everyone was there. Examples like this, but on a larger scale, are all throughout the O.T. So, here is the current scorecard. Gog and his armies – killed on the hills of Israel, and killed in the Megiddo valley. But watch what happens next. Ezekiel 39:6 NET. I will send fire on Magog and those who live securely in the coastlands; then they will know that I am the LORD. The typical “Christian” might read Ezekiel 38, 39, and because they are lead about so easily by false teachers, will believe that Russia is the sole army coming down from the North and attacking Israel. But, we are told this person, the leader of Magog is coming, and they will be killed. If Gog and his troops have been killed, who then, are all these people in the coastlands, and why are they getting punished? So what do we know for sure? Ezekiel 38:3 Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. It is easy to visualize Meshech and Tubal, but there are allies of Gog coming to this fight. These people were descendants of Reuben, and Gog was most likely born in Egypt. By the time God's people were led out of Egypt, they were fully immersed as Egyptians, hence the law. Oral history was the only thing they had. Thankfully, some remembered the stories tied to Abraham and their forefathers, or they would have been Egyptians to the soul. Since Reuben was intentionally disinherited, his anger and disdain may have carried with his descendants. We know that Gog traveled north to the region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, and, we know that Russia had a heavy hand in this same region for years. Turkey now plays the heavy hand across the majority of Asia Minor. These people were also integrated into what was known as the Scythians. A violent people group that were feared because they were excellent equestrians that excelled at warfare from horseback. People from Egypt, Iran, Russia, and Siberia were associated with the Scythians. Even Genghis Khan has Scythian blood as part of his ancestry. Ezekiel 38:5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Put are with them, all of them with shields and helmets. Persia = Modern day Iran. However, Persia has always had an association with Assyria, just as Nineveh did. So tuned your thinking toward those associated with Assyria (Babylon.) Ethiopia is easy enough to picture, as its name is modernized here. However, many call this Cush. Smith's Bible Dictionary tells us that Cush is “The name of a son of Ham, apparently the eldest, and of a territory or territories occupied by his descendants. The Cushites appear to have spread along tracts, extending from the higher Nile to the Euphrates and Tigris. History affords many traces of this relation of Babylonia, Arabia, and Ethiopia." Put = Also a son of Ham. Put can be thought of as Libya, or the northern African continent. If it is the North African continent, then what nation has consistently been in the news lately? Nigeria, as they, under the auspices of Boko Haran (the African version of Islam,) go about killing off Christians. So, what is the common thread? Islamic nations. One of the things you should note is that places like Tarshish cannot be found on a map, and Sheba and Dedan seem to be allies. As of 07/12/18 Putin of Russia, is now working closely with Libya to strengthen their fighting abilities. Integration by Russia, to that level, tends to put Russia into this mix, albeit as a technical advisor. We seem to be on the verge of a massive and deadly event, that may carry long- term nuclear significance.
  6. I am assuming that you are suggesting that Russian will be the "other" nation. That's wide stretch of the imagination, especially since, we know that one nation was Israel, and the other, would be the nation or nations produced. Since Genesis 25:23 is speaking of Jacob and Esau, then our context is set, and has everything to do with those two brothers. The tradition that Jacob tricked Esau out of his birthright (Gen_27:1-46), and that enmity arose between the brothers, is an actual reflexion of the hostile relations of the Edomites and Israelites for which the Israelites were to a considerable degree responsible. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible Esau was also called Edom (“red”), because he said to Jacob: “Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage” (Gen_25:30). The land in which he established himself was “the land of Seir,” so called from Seir, ancestor of the Horites whom Esau found there; and called also Edom from Esau's surname, and, it may be, too, from the red sandstone of the country (Sayce). Esau was the firstborn; but, as he was issuing into life, Jacob’s hand grasped his heel. The bitter enmity of two brothers, and the increasing strife of two great nations, were thus foreshadowed (Gen_25:23; Gen_25:26). Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature And, if I wanted the origin of the these two, I would look here: Genesis 27:39-40 NASB Then Isaac his father answered and said to him, "Behold, away from the fertility of the earth shall be your dwelling, And away from the dew of heaven from above. 40) "By your sword, you shall live, And your brother you shall serve; But it shall come about when you become restless, That you will break his yoke from your neck." So, for years there was no Russia, nor was there a United States. Could there be a fight between these two superpowers, I have no doubt. If the war of Ezekiel breaks out, I would not be surprised to see Russia taking advantage of such a major distraction. But, as James Taylor said, keep your eyes on the Holy Land.
  7. This is yet another reason why i believe the Gog Magog war will happen at the end of the 1000 year reign of the LORD Jesus Christ.. These people talking in Sheba and Dedan ( which is in current day Arabia are talking to Gog Magog and asking if they have come to plunder them I am curious, why ignore Tarshish? As you probably saw, I mentioned that Jonah tried to escape to Tarshish. There is, in my mind, a problem when I try to associate Sheba and Dedan with the Gog that comes up 1000 years later, and that is that there is no mention Sheba and Dedan associated with the event 1000 years later; and, there is certainly no Tarshish. Even if you try to find Tarshish in relationship to Jonah you will be hard pressed. The city of Tarshish is little more than a vague speculation and we are forced to accept some ancient scholars inference that they found the information in a now, non-existent writing. The only strong tie I can see is that Sheba and Dedan are a part of another Muslim nation, just as I comprehend Gog and his armies are. There is one exceptional problem with this Muslim idea, and that that they don't get along. So, the secondary motive is oil. Of the larger nations that might get involved (and they are spelled out,) the Northern African nations seem to be less concerned with oil, as say, Saudi Arabia. Along with that line of thought, is oil an aspect of the final war with Gog at the end of the 1000 years? Not at all, as Gog, once again leads a multinational army against the Holy City of God, in an effort to kill God. How foolish is that move? One other thing, just for the fun of it. Since Gog really existed (almost a thousand years before Ezekiel,) is God still focused on that one dead man? What are the odds that every thousand years or so, someone decides to name their child Gog, and he carries the same evil traits and power? What if what the Bible concordance says is true, and this Gog could now be a people group, centered in the region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea? This could only be God making any of this happen.
  8. When I write I know that there will be those who have not, nor will not open their bibles or pursue my previous blogs, and therefore, I give you all, a little lead into the story. I also wanted to reiterate that I have friends that encourage me, as they tell me, you make the Bible understandable. In thinking about that aspect, I merely write the way I talk; mind you I clean up the language a bit and grammar check extensively. Perhaps this is my way of apologizing if this seems like I am going to slowly. It is, after all, how I learn. Gog was a descendant of Reuben. Now, since NO ONE (with two exceptions) escaped death, then we can understand that this original person or entity (regarding a people group,) has long since died. It is possible, because it frequently happened throughout history, that someone else now has the name Gog. But TODAY, it is possible that we are dealing with a people group or nation filled with descendants of Gog, that have the same oppressive mentality. In trying to find background information on Gog I see a strong association with the Scythians - violent, nomadic, horseman, who excelled at mounted attacks. Ezekiel may, or may not, have known any of this, and therefore makes the prophecy ever more appropriate. When we last saw Gog, he decided that he would “go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates, to capture spoil and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle and goods, who live at the center of the world.” [Ezekiel 38:11,12.] I suspect that many see Gog has having a preeminent role in world leadership, but verse 13 makes it sound as though not everybody is on board with his plans. If this is the Muslim world, it is obvious, from scripture, that not everyone agrees with Gog's leadership. Ezekiel 38:13 NASB ", Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its villages will say to you, 'Have you come to capture spoil? Have you assembled your company to seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil?'"' Sheba and Dedan, it seems, were within Saudi Arabia. Tarshish is the same town to which the Prophet Jonah tried to flee. I could not find Tarshish on any of my maps, and several commentators agreed that Tarshish, based upon information that is no longer accessible, was on the coast of Spain. There are many ways to take this statement, “Have you come to capture spoil? Have you assembled your company to seize plunder,” as those talking could be aligned with Gog, greedy, or in disagreement. Matthew Henry conveys a similar idea. "Sheba and Dedan, the Arabians and the Edomites, and the merchants of Tarshish, of Tyre and Sidon and other maritime cities, they and their young lions that are greedy of spoil and live upon it, shall say, Hast thou come to take the spoil of this land?” Yes, he has; and therefore they wish him success. Or perhaps they envy him or grudge it to him. “Hast thou come for riches who art thyself so rich already?” Or, knowing that God was on Israel's side, they thus ridicule his attempts, foreseeing that they would be baffled and that he would be disappointed of the prey he promised himself. Or, if he comes to take the prey, they will come and join with him, and add to his forces." Whatever verse 13 means, it seems the Lord directly moves on, as he again tells Ezekiel to prophesy. In spite of what Dr. David Reagan thinks, the Lord considers Israel land that is NOW living securely. Ezekiel 38:14,15NET. "Therefore, prophesy, son of man, and say to Gog: 'This is what the sovereign LORD says: On that day when my people Israel are living securely, you will take notice 15) and come from your place, from the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a vast army. We have already, in my previous post, discussed Gog. We know he is a leader, but of what country or nation? Ezekiel 38:2 ISV "Son of Man, turn your attention toward Gog, from the land of Magog, the chief noble of Meshech, and Tubal. Prophesy this against him: Meshech and Magog are in the region of land that some call the “stan” nations. This region of the world is currently under Turkish control, and it lies in the southern regions between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Russia, for a period, retained control over these nations but eventually relinquished their public grasp. Wiser men would tell you to keep your eyes on Recep Erdoğan, the “leader” of Turkey. “all of them riding on horses.” I did an internet search to find out what nations still have mounted equestrian Calvary units. It turns out that India has one of the largest. After that comes Chile and then Germany (Strangely, under the leadership of Angela Merkel, Germany seems to be giving itself over entirely to Islamic rule.) None of these seem to fit the requirements of a mounted equestrian group that would potentially come from the north in such mass numbers. The word for mounted soldiers is Calvary. However, that can mean almost any form of mobilized units anymore. So, the truth is, I have no clear idea how Ezekiel 38:15 is going to play out. However, we may have to keep a closer eye on India, and perhaps Germany now. Ezekiel 38:16 ISV “You'll come up to invade my people Israel like a storm cloud to cover the land. In the last days, Gog, I'll bring you up to invade my land so that the world will learn to know me when I show them how holy I am before their very eyes.” “You'll come up to invade my people Israel like a storm cloud to cover the land.” This may seem simplistic, but consider how storm clouds come; some are tall and ominous, and can bring lightning, hail, and tornadoes; while others, bringing rain can be scattered and welcome after a hot dry season – that will not be the case here; and then, there are those that cover the sky from end to end – these remove the bright light from the day, bring rain, and often destruction. The descriptive we given through Ezekiel has no good in it; and, like the destructive storms, you know many are going to get hurt. “Gog, I'll bring you up to invade my land so that the world will learn to know me when I show them how holy I am before their very eyes.” I have come to realize that nothing happens outside of God's will. That includes the good and the bad. Do I understand the bad and appreciate it, hardly, but I must accept and understand that God does. In this case, we are told that God intends to show the world that He is Holy, through His actions He is about to take with Gog and his armies. One last thing I want you to think about. Since Gog can be a person or a people group from the region of Turkey, then let's assume this is the Turkish leader leading the attack. Since we all know he is a Muslim, then we can presume that the majority of those who follow Gog into battle are Muslims as well. If all Muslims believe in this created god Allah, and, everything they understand from the Quran is in opposition to God, then wouldn't God killing practically all of them on the mountains of Israel, just make sense. It is the manner in which God kills them should garner the most attention, and, have the potential to restore God to the place of honor He deserves. (The reality of this, is that there will be no significant restoration of God's honor in the mind of the Muslim, nor the world in general. However, it is going to happen.) Again, the message is repeated. Keep in mind that prophesy to the Jewish mind is repeated patterns, and so God does just that. Ezekiel 38:17 NET. " 'This is what the sovereign LORD says: Are you the one of whom I spoke in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in those days that I would bring you against them? “...of whom I spoke in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in those days that I would bring you against them?” I tried to find the names of the prophets “who prophesied in those days that I would bring you against them.” But in direct reference to Gog, there is only one mention of that name prior to Ezekiel's prophesy, and that is found 1 Chronicles 5:4. Everything else is in reference to the utter destruction of large groups such as Moab, the Assyrians, the sons of Sheth, and the Amalekites. Lacking a direct reference to Gog, Psalm 110:5-6 is one. Isaiah 34 sounds very much like the complete destruction of a fighting force Isaiah 34:2-6 NET. For the LORD is angry at all the nations and furious with all their armies. He will annihilate them and slaughter them. 3) Their slain will be left unburied, their corpses will stink; the hills will soak up their blood. 4) All the stars in the sky will fade away, the sky will roll up like a scroll; all its stars will wither, like a leaf withers and falls from a vine or a fig withers and falls from a tree. 5) He says, "Indeed, my sword has slaughtered heavenly powers. Look, it now descends on Edom, on the people I will annihilate in judgment." 6) The LORD's sword is dripping with blood, it is covered with fat; it drips with the blood of young rams and goats and is covered with the fat of rams' kidneys. For the LORD is holding a sacrifice in Bozrah, a bloody slaughter in the land of Edom. Ezekiel ends much like the grand finale at a fireworks show, with repeated themes and impressive descriptives that include the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and all who live on the face of the earth, shaking at the presence of the Lord. Ezekiel 38:18-23 NET. On that day, when Gog invades the land of Israel, declares the sovereign LORD, my rage will mount up in my anger. 19) In my zeal, in the fire of my fury, I declare that on that day there will be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. 20) The fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the wild beasts, all the things that creep on the ground, and all people who live on the face of the earth will shake at my presence. The mountains will topple, the cliffs will fall, and every wall will fall to the ground. 21) I will call for a sword to attack Gog on all my mountains, declares the sovereign LORD; every man's sword will be against his brother. 22) I will judge him with plague and bloodshed. I will rain down on him, his troops and the many peoples who are with him a torrential downpour, hailstones, fire, and brimstone. 23) I will exalt and magnify myself; I will reveal myself before many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.' When He says, “every man's sword will be against his brother,” it sounds very much like a description of Ismael's descendants. Genesis 16:11-12 NASB The angel of the LORD said to her further, "Behold, you are with child, And you will bear a son; And you shall call his name Ishmael, Because the LORD has given heed to your affliction. 12) "He will be a wild donkey of a man, His hand will be against everyone, And everyone's hand will be against him; And, he will live to the east of all his brothers." I find myself looking at videos that demonstrate justice being served, and maybe that is why this statement, “I will exalt and magnify myself; I will reveal myself before many nations,” appeals to me, because I grow weary of my God being attacked; and, I grow weary of those following after Christ being slaughtered in the name of some imaginary god. I, like David, cry out, Lord, how long will You look on? Rescue my soul from their ravages, My only life from the lions. Psalms 35:17 NASB And not only my soul Lord, but the souls of all those who call upon your name.
  9. In effect, this is where we ended the last post on Ezekiel. "This is what the Lord GOD says: 'This is what's going to happen on the very day that you begin your invasion: You'll be thinking, making evil plans, and boasting, "I'm going to invade a land comprised of open country that is at rest, its people living confidently, all of whose inhabitants will be living securely, with neither fortification nor bars on their doors. Ezekiel 38:10-11 ISV Having read this passage on several occasions, I have asked myself the same question many have asked, how can you possibly call Israel a country that is at rest? Are the people living confidently and securely? Dr. David Reagan, writing in the September 2009 LAMPLIGHTER magazine article entitled, The Wars of the End Times, said, “First, there is a condition for the war of Ezekiel 38 and 39 that has not been met. Three times in Ezekiel 38 — in verses 8, 11, and 14 — it states that the war described in that chapter will not occur until the people of Israel are living “securely” in “unwalled villages.” Israel is not living in security today. It is bombarded daily by missiles from Gaza, and it is constantly under the threat of missile attacks from Hezbollah in Lebanon. There is also the ever-present threat of terrorist attacks, a threat that has forced Israel to construct a 400-mile long wall down the center of the country. In short, it is laughable today to even think of the Jewish people of Israel as living “securely” in “unwalled villages.” I don't know how to explain what Gog says, short of it being in direct opposition to a previous condition. We see that previous condition when we read the words of, as a friend pointed out, Nehemiah the Prophet. Nehemiah 1:3 NASB They said to me, "The remnant there in the province who survived the captivity are in great distress and reproach, and the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are burned with fire." The walls were broken down, and its gate burned with fire. Is that the end of the story? Obviously not, for Nehemiah led a team that rebuilt those same walls and gates. However, those walls and gates were destroyed once again. So, if Israel is a city without walls, what is one of the primary structures conspicuous in Israeli news? The fence along the Southern border with Gaza. Perhaps then our understanding is much to narrow and restrictive, especially, if we can only see things as Dr. David Reagan does. Maybe we are looking at the small picture while God is concerned with the bigger one. This Gog character views Israel as a people living securely in unwalled cities; all of which is in fulfillment of prophecy, and that, is all that matters. With Israel looking vulnerable our journey continues, as we find Gog saying, Ezekiel 38:11-12 NASB … I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates, 12) to capture spoil and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle and goods, who live at the center of the world.' Odd, how the majority of Western centered thinking struggles to see Israel as pictured in the statement above, and yet, Gog understands very well the purpose of Israel and why. Get something defined in your thinking; Gog is NOT the Antichrist. In this case, he's more of a hothead who only sees utter destruction as the answer. (By the way, Muslims continually make this cry for a total extermination of those outside of Islam.) The Antichrist, in comparison, is found in Daniel crying out for peace. The logical side of me only sees this cry for peace happening after this war. Daniel 9:27 NASB "And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate." Contract, peace treaty or a ceasefire, call it what you may, the effect is the same, as Israel gains a few quick years of peace. And, if you are paying attention, this verse says nothing about him making a peace treaty with Israel. Daniel, in a vision, had seen a ram with two horns and a shaggy goat with one horn between its eyes. The angel Gabriel came and explained what this vision meant. It is a vision of the end of time; a period that takes about seven years. (I say about as many of these things, things that make it all happen, are happening around us now, and are not a direct part of the seven-years of God's wrath.) Daniel 8:16-17 NASB And I heard the voice of a man between the banks of Ulai, and he called out and said, "Gabriel, give this man an understanding of the vision." 17) So he came near to where I was standing, and when he came I was frightened and fell on my face; but he said to me, "Son of man, understand that the vision pertains to the time of the end." Many translations read like this: “Behold, I am going to let you know what will occur at the final period of the indignation, for it pertains to the appointed time of the end.” The problem I have with this terminology is that it places Ezekiel 38, 39 within the seven-year period when I am not so sure we should perceive it as such. Can Ezekiel's prophecy be something that overlaps into the seven-years? Certainly, and since there will be one crying out for peace (although false,) he – the Antichrist will only be exposed to the world after the church is removed. [You can ascertain this information by a careful study of 2Thessalonians 2, particularly verse 8.] Daniel 8:20 NASB "The ram which you saw with the two horns represents the kings of Media and Persia. We have already seen the advent of the kings of Media and Persia, as they overthrew and succeeded Nebuchadnezzar's reign. Daniel 8:21 NASB "The shaggy goat represents the kingdom of Greece, and the large horn that is between his eyes is the first king. This was Alexander the Great. Daniel 8:22 ERV That horn broke off and four horns grew in its place. The four horns are four kingdoms. Those four kingdoms will come from the nation of the first king, but they will not be as strong as the first king. “After Alexander’s death, in the prime of life and in the height of his conquests, his brother and two sons were all murdered; and the kingdom was divided among four of his generals: (1) Seleucus, who had Syria and Babylon; (2) Lysimachus, who had Asia Minor; (3) Ptolemy, who had Egypt; and (4) Cassander, who had Greece." The Ultimate Cross-Reference Treasury This is just as Daniel described when he detailed the dream of a statue with a head of gold. Nebuchadnezzar was identified as the head of gold; Media and Persia were the chest and arms made of silver; its stomach and thighs of bronze were the Grecian empire, The legs and feet primarily being made of Iron, are empire Seleucus and Ptolemy and what becomes of those two empires. This is detailed in Daniel 11. Contrary to what many believe, these were not the Roman empire but remnants of the Grecian empire. When it comes to the toes which are a blended mess of iron and clay, the Hebrew word used to describe the mix is arab. Daniel 11 is such a precise history of the intrigue and overthrow of governing bodies that happens toward the end of the Seleucid and Ptolemaic reigns, that many suspect it was written after the events took place. All these events play into the scenario described by Ezekiel and Daniel, and should not be ignored. Daniel 8:23 NIrV "Toward the end of their rule, those who refuse to obey God will become completely evil. Then another king will appear. He will have a mean-looking face. He will be a master at making clever plans. The Amplified Bible translates this passage in this manner, “when the transgressors [the apostate Jews] have reached the fullness [of their wickedness, taxing the limits of God's mercy], a king of fierce countenance and understanding dark trickery and craftiness shall stand up." This is the same person that we see in Ezekiel 38,39. Two questions. Until the day God pulls the plug and sends His wrath upon the nations and Israel, will there ever be a time when Israel is done transgressing? I cannot imagine it, and that is why we have allusions to them reaching their fullness or becoming completely evil. When you look at a world ruler today, do you say, there is a mean-looking man? I don't either unless I am looking at Principe Erdoğan, the President of Turkey. Who, by the way, is a Muslim. “A king will arise, Insolent and skilled in intrigue.” (NASB) What does that mean? Insolent is the Hebrew word 'az and means strong, vehement, harsh. This could be the description of several totalitarian world leaders. Intrigue, the Hebrew is chı̂ydâh and means a trick, conundrum, sententious maxim: - dark saying (sentence, speech), hard question, proverb, riddle. Webster's dictionary defines intrigue as "A plot or scheme of a complicated nature, intended to effect some purpose by secret artifices. An intrigue may be formed and prosecuted by an individual, and we often hear of the intrigues of a minister or a courtier, but often several projectors are concerned in an intrigue. The word is usually applied to affairs of love or of government." When I think about the intrigue that went on behind the scenes with the Clinton administration and then the Obama presidency, it turns my stomach. President Obama made secret deals with the Iranians, giving them pallets of cash while requiring little in return. How many deals have been made with the Turkish government? And what is going on behind our backs as we speak? We may never know until it's too late. Can I definitely say who this character is? No, as there are so many that fit the characteristics. I just know the end times are like a great puzzle, and the pieces are fitting together as we watch the news. Daniel 8:25 KJV And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. The NASB tells us, “His power will be mighty, but not by his own power,” Where else do we find this idea of someone or something receiving power, but not his own? Revelation 13:2 NASB And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. So it is not an uncommon idea that a demonic entity - a fallen angel, can and will give its power and authority to a human. Another highly visible place we see this is when Satan led Jesus up to a high place and showed him all the kingdoms of the world. Luke 4:6 NASB And the devil said to Him, "I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. “and by peace shall destroy many.” The BBE conveys this imagery, “in his heart he will make himself great, and send destruction on numbers who are living unconscious of their danger;" It seems this could only happen if you believed you were safe. The Israeli Prime minister proclaims frequently, that Israel can protect itself. Again, we have little that tells us of this peace process he initiates. The largest piece of evidence for peace comes from Daniel 9:27, as I pointed out earlier in the text. “he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes;” Far too many try to face off against God, with no success. It is a pointless and fruitless effort. And, it makes little to no sense when you look at this in terms of a conventional war. The statement itself implies that there is an acceptance of a God that holds order over everything, even if you don't know his name. And you, O' Gog, have the audacity to stand against him, the Prince of Princes. Those of us in the Christian community understand this Prince to be Jesus Christ the Messiah. Odd how so many in the world refuse to see that. “but he shall be broken without hand.” We have not arrived at that point yet, but God sends a firestorm upon those attacking Israel, and Gog is given a burial place on the hills of Israel. This event almost sounds like the weapons, used by God, could be nuclear. I say this based the details we see as people mark the dead and then teams come to dispose of the bodies. We are told that God does all this to demonstrate his power to the nations – those standing by and watching. Sadly, none of this seems to make a difference as approximately 1260 days later, Israel is attacked once again. Let me reiterate, we are looking at Ezekiel 38:12 where a vicious, militaristic leader attacks Israel for the purpose of destroying God. That, of course, will not succeed as God himself sends a firestorm upon Gog and his troops, killing them on the hills of Israel, and we will get to that as we progress. I was asked, a couple of years ago, if we, the church will suffer tribulations. I think the obvious answer is YES. All you need to do is pay attention to what is happening to the church around the world. China is rounding them up and imprisoning the participants; in Northern Africa, in one week alone, estimates are that over 200 have been killed by Boko Haran, and Egyptian Muslims are killing the Coptic Christians in their churches and as they leave. These are all Muslim nations, but do the tribulations only come to those in Muslim nations? No, and the day is coming that here in America it will find you. And, all of this is prior to the wrath of God being poured out upon the earth. I feel I spent far too much time including excerpts from Daniel 8 but I wanted you to understand how integrated the end times story in this Bible of ours. Some read their Bibles, believing that the New Testament is the only place you should focus your attention. However, you will find detailed information about end times events in Matthew's gospel; Paul's writings to the Thessalonian church; Peter's writings; Jude, and of course The Revelation. So the end times story is all around you. Understanding that God is on your side and wants to save you from the horrors that are to come, perhaps you should avail yourself of His love and accept Jesus Christ, His son.
  10. As a quick disclaimer: I have seen your replies and clearly some of you have a heart for God. Others, spend far too much time listening to the doctrines of demons. Know this, unless they block me I will not quit. I write for a world that is filled with people with a heart like mine; one that has learned to err on the side of mercy. Have a great day basking in the love of Jesus Christ our soon coming King. Now, on with the post. Having addressed who or what Gog could be in my previous post, we now look at the directive given to Ezekiel to prophecy against Gog (from a great distance, and through time,) about what God's plan is, for the last days. Ezekiel 38:3 NASB and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. Eugene Peterson's “The Message” gives us this, “Be warned, Gog. I am against you. Ezekiel 38:4 CJB I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with all your army, horses and horsemen, all completely equipped, a great horde with breastplates and shields, all wielding swords. Why would verse four be immensely significant in the Jewish mind? If you think back to the story of Jonah you remember that Jonah was asked to prophesy against Nineveh and tell them their days were numbered. While that might seem appropriate, especially if you had an intense hatred for the Ninevehites and wanted them dead because they were sadistically cruel and bloody people. But Jonah also knew something about God that most of us miss, and that was that God's nature was one of mercy. The other thing that Jonah understood was that the Ninevehites were a part of the Assyrian nation, just as Gog is, and they had the nasty habit of dragging their victims back to their lands by putting hooks in their mouths, among other places. “I will turn you around.” Another piece of insight for you. Having recently gone to the beach to be with family, I took an ice chest of cold drinks. I dragged that chest from the car, across the beach sand, and now, later in the day, I was dragging it back again. By the time I got to the stairs that lead up to the car, I was exhausted. I could feel the full weight of the ice chest as I went up the first step. Suddenly it got lighter. I actually thought I was going to turn around and see an angel. What I saw was the long-haired young man whom I had just passed carrying a skateboard. My wife, who was about 22 meters behind me, saw the skateboarder and internally had said, Lord, that would be great if that young man helped my husband. With that, the young man stopped, turned, and began to help me without saying a word. You see, God has ways of his will without a word being exchanged; and, the young man, he probably thought it was his great idea. “and bring you out with all your army, horses and horsemen, all completely equipped, a great horde with breastplates and shields, all wielding swords.” In one of my posts on Ezekiel 38, I went into great detail about the people of that region, the Scythians. One of their claims to fame is that they were skillful horsemen and deadly with weapons as they rode. Would Ezekiel have known that? It is highly possible as the line of descendants that produced these people existed long before Ezekiel did and he would have learned this through oral history. At this point, I only wish to say, that someone attempted to challenge my previous assertions about Gog, saying, Gog was Satan. Based upon verse four alone is that probable? Not likely seeing as 1Chronicles 5:4 shows us the lineage of a man named Gog, a descendant of Reuben – the disinherited son of Jacob, but then, Ezekiel's prophecy and the actual occurrence of these events spans well over two thousand years and no one lives that long. The only other thing that has credence is a demonic spirit/ fallen angel that carries that name. In this battle coming against Israel, who are the players? Ezekiel 38:5-6 NASB Persia, Ethiopia and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet; 6) Gomer with all its troops; Beth-togarmah from the remote parts of the north with all its troops-many peoples with you. Persia – Modern day Iran Ethiopia – At one time Ethiopia was known as Cush. Put - Put is the Libyans. While Qaddafi may have been a wild man, since his removal the nation has turned into a violent Muslim nation. Gomer - Sits squarely in modern day Turkey. Beth-togarmah - This was territory from which the Medes emanated. It is the region in which the Armenians resided. At one point in time, the Assyrian nations bordered Beth-togarmah, and it is the Caucasus region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. While Russia has dominated these people at times they seem to be independent of Russia while maintaining civil war amongst themselves. There is a strong clue embedded within the verse that says, “in the far reaches of the north, with all its troops-many peoples are with you." Again, this is the Scythian region and one of their claims to fame was Genghis Khan. Ezekiel 38:7 CJB Prepare yourself, get ready, you and all your crowd gathered around you; and take charge of them. Consider something here. Ezekiel is writing this while he is in Babylonian captivity; which for him, began around 570 B.C. Now, over 2570 years later, God is finally bringing this collection of assailants together for a horrendous battle. A battle, that for Israel, will look impossible. Many will add another war in here, the Psalm 83 war. Some even insert it before the events that Ezekiel lays out before us. Psalms 83:3-8 ISV They plot against your people and conspire against your cherished ones. 4) They say, "Let us go and erase them as a nation so the name of Israel will not be remembered anymore." 5) Indeed, they shrewdly planned together, forming an alliance against you— 6) the tents of Edom, the Ishmaelites, Moab, the Hagrites, 7) Gebal, Ammon, Amalek, Philistia, and the inhabitants of Tyre. 😎 Even Assyria joined them to strengthen the descendants of Lot. Interlude. Psalm 83 has similarities to what we see in Ezekiel 38 and 39, but what I don't see is Cush, and Put – Egypt and Libya. I am not sure those nations can be excluded as the descendants traveled extensively. Ezekiel 38:8 CJB After many days have passed, you will be mustered for service; in later years you will invade the land which has been brought back from the sword, gathered out of many peoples, the mountains of Isra'el. They had been lying in ruins for a long time, but now Isra'el has been extracted from the peoples and all of them are living there securely. “After many days have passed,” Far too many read this and think it merely means weeks later. This phrase, like “the prince that shall come,” that is defined for us in Daniel 9:26, has several encroachments into history. The problem is, these intrusions are spread across thousands of years. Many is the Hebrew word rab meaning much, many, numerous, and abundance, among others. Verse eight is clearly a description of Israel. Ezekiel 38:9 CJB You will come up like a storm, you will be like a cloud covering the land—you and all your troops, and many other peoples with you.' “You will come up like a storm,” Sudden and overwhelming. Are all storms sudden? No, in many cases people will say, this is storm weather and it always starts like this. So, the implication is that we have a strong probability of knowing when this will come. Just today (6/29/2018), through the MEMRI website, I learned of a Middle Eastern newspaper that leans heavily toward Erdoğan, publishing an article calling for the Muslim of the world to gather in Jihad against Israel (this article was published in Dec of 2017 – not that long ago. An aspect of the article was a map which showed Israel surrounded on every side with army tanks. Surrounded on every side sounds very much like Ezekiel's words. “you will be like a cloud covering the land.” - Clouds are formed by thousands of drops of water. We are told that the number seems innumerable. “you and all your troops, and many other peoples with you.” - These are people of a like mind – Muslims may not be unified in “religion” but they all seem to understand the idea of Jihad. Ezekiel 38:10-12 CJB "Adonai Elohim says: 'When that day comes, thoughts will well up in your mind, and you will devise a sinister scheme. 11) You will say, "I am going to invade this land of unwalled villages; I will take by surprise these people who are at peace, living securely, all in places without walls, bars or gates. 12) I will seize the spoil and take the plunder." You will attack the former ruins that are now inhabited and come against the people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and other wealth and are living in the central parts of the land. “ When that day comes,” - Question, does God do anything at random? The answer is NO, as everything is part of a precise and well thought out plan; a plan which includes giving man a free will and the opportunity to choose life or death. Regardless of the optional qualities, the plan is still in place and intact. So, is it possible that God would leave the option for Gog to design and plan out “his” own destiny? Not a chance and verse ten is no different, as “that day” is entirely in God's hands, and, a part of God's plan. Another consideration is the terminology “that day.” The phrase is attributed to several events; one of which is the return of Jesus as the warring and conquering Messiah, who also fights a bloody battle in the Jezreel Valley; there is the great white throne judgment and the entirety of the seven-years of God's wrath upon the earth. Are any of those events what we are looking at here? I do not believe so as there are always other events associated, which we do not see here. “thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil plan,” - The Hebrew word for thoughts is dāḇār and literally means words. I could read this when that day comes, words will pop into your head, you are going to think this is your sinister scheme, but in reality, you will be doing what I have planned all along. Mind is the Hebrew word lēḇāḇ and also means heart. In God's understanding, the heart and the mind are one in the same. Devise is from the Hebrew word châshab and means to weave, fabricate, or plot. “You will say, "I am going to invade this land of unwalled villages; I will take by surprise these people who are at peace, living securely, all in places without walls, bars or gates. 12) I will seize the spoil and take the plunder.” The context of Deuteronomy 3:5 is applied to Israel's conquer of Og, the King of Bashan. Having destroyed Og's fortified cities they were never rebuilt by Israel. It also demonstrates that cities were typically fortresses; this is not what you see in Israel today. Deuteronomy 3:3-6 NASB "All these were cities fortified with high walls, gates, and bars, besides a great many unwalled towns. Zechariah 2:4 NASB and said to him, "Run, speak to that young man, saying, 'Jerusalem will be inhabited without walls because of the multitude of men and cattle within it. I like the way the ISV version translates Ezekiel 38:12, “the people … who live at the center of the world's attention.” Currently, all the world seems to be looking at Israel, once again. Whether Israel is at the center of the world or not is debatable, but God is making that nation the center of attention. And, although we have not covered the verse yet, it sums up the reason behind all this tumult. Ezekiel 38:16 ERV...I will bring you to fight against my land. Then, Gog, the nations will learn how powerful I am! They will learn to respect me and know that I am holy.
  11. What a breath of fresh air your reply was. This is not what I typically get. I too have had some of the same questions and concerns. To merely say I will leave that question to God alleviates my stress but does not answer questions, and I believe the answers are out there. You made my day. God bless
  12. I was asked by my pastor why I study eschatology (end times events.) Ignoring the negativity of a challenge like this, I find that "end times events" are tied in with almost everything I read in scripture. Ezekiel 38 and 39 is such an event, as it speaks of a horrific situation that may happen at any minute. Try opening a conversation about what you find in Ezekiel 38 and 39 and the eyes of your audience will glaze over and you can watch them begin to look at their watches, wondering if there isn't somewhere else they need to go. There are reasons behind this lack of interest, and they stem from confusion; a lack of understanding; the inability of the speaker to put flesh and blood on the characters; and, the worst part is that there is a veil over the eyes and ears of the hearer so that they cannot comprehend. Along with those factors, there is a multitude of answers as to who the players are and when this event will take place. Ambiguity plays a role in the disinterest because an honest dissertation of an end-times scenario will typically put you in the ballpark, perhaps even provide the audience with the team name, but at this point, I am not sure we specifically say who the main characters are. Furthermore, two simple sentences can inspire books of commentary. I am going to try and condense but still give you an understanding of this prophecy. An introduction to Ezekiel: He was a priest, the son of a priest, and he was taken captive into Babylon. Already, you should be thinking, odds are not in his favor. Ezekiel was one of the few that give us precise dates. According to Dr. John Gill's commentary, chapter 38 gives an account of "an enemy of the Jews, under the name of Gog, that shall invade their land, and disturb their peace after they are settled in it;" J. Vernon McGee, in his commentary, demonstrates some classic old-school thinking as he tells us the theme of Ezekiel 38 is Russia's invasion of Israel. McGee is making his case for Gog to be Russia. I happen to think McGee's assessment is wrong and we should not be focused on the Russian President Putin. You have to keep in mind what was going on in the world that would have inspired the McGee's particular emphasis on Russia in his commentary. For example, The United States was deeply entrenched in the Korean war; the Vietnam conflict, with the cold war with Russia waiting just around the corner. I too assumed that Russia would be one of the major players (and no doubt they are, but we are trying to think biblically while paying attention to the context.) as we lived with the verified threat of Russian missiles 90 miles off our coast in Cuba - a Russian ally, as children. The Summarized Bible commentary conveys that “God does not only see those who are now the enemies of His people, but foresees those who will be so in the last days, and lets them know by His Word that He is against them, and will make their movements to serve His own purposes.” I know, every generation has had those that have said, "we are in the last days," and I would tell you that they were right. Now how would I come to the understanding that every generation comprehended that we are in the last days? Daniel chapter 9, spells out a seventy-week decree against Israel. Sixty-nine of those weeks have been fulfilled. The seventieth week of years (7years) has been on hold for over 2000 years. Therefore, we, the church, have been in the last days for over 2000 years. Peter, on the day of Pentecost, filled with Holy Spirit, preached to the thousands milling about the streets of Jerusalem that day. An aspect of what Peter said came from Joel chapter 2 which speaks about the time of God's wrath which the seventieth year portrays. However, within that period, people are acting out in the power of the Holy Spirit as the prophets of old did. Peter said this part of Joel's prophecy had been fulfilled in your hearing. What did he say? We are living in the last days. Since the last days seems to be very focused on the seven-years of wrath, are we, at the moment, living in the seventieth week? No, and that will not come until the church is removed from the earth. 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8 The NASB opens our look into Ezekiel 38 with: Prophecy Against Gog Ezekiel 38:1-2 NASB And the word of the LORD came to me saying, 2) "Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him Note how the passage provided has no appropriate punctuation at the end. That is because the thought continues and we will pursue that shortly. But for the moment let's dissect the verses. “Son of man,” Is there any question as to whom the Lord is talking? The answer is Ezekiel. “set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him,” Okay, what just happened? Ezekiel was told to prophesy against two entities: Gog; this person also happens to be the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. And, the land of Magog; If Ezekiel is told to prophesy against him, and "him" includes the land, then we should be considering the possibility that this is: A nation? A people group? A demonic operation that controls a people group? As I try to understand, I turn my attention to my concordances and look up the word Gog. BDB Definition: Gog = “mountain” - A Reubenite, the son of Shemaiah (1 Ch 5:4); The prophetic prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and Magog (Read Ezekiel 32) Strong's concordance merely adds Gog, the name of an Israelite. The KJC keeps us in Ezekiel with one exception: 1 Chronicles 5:1-4 MKJV And the sons of Reuben, the first-born of Israel (for he was the first-born; but since he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph the son of Israel, and the genealogy is not to be counted according to the birthright; 2) For Judah prevailed among his brothers, and from him came the chief ruler, but the birthright was Joseph's); 3) the sons of Reuben the first-born of Israel: Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. 4) The sons of Joel: Shemaiah his son, Gog his son, and Shimei, his son. The dishonor carried by the family due to Reuben's indiscretion, which excluded them from any rights of birth, surely plays a role in all of this. The Word Study Dictionary tells us this about Gog: He is pictured as a great enemy against God's people. Ezekiel 38:9 NASB "You will go up, you will come like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you." He is from the land of Magog or possibly "from the land of Gog." Gog. i.e., mountain, in reference to the Caucasus mountains, the chief seat of the Scythian people. Note: Rather, "Gog (the prince) of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal." The Ultimate Cross-Reference Treasury The Lord sets Himself against Gog (Eze_38:2). Gog will lead a coalition of nations against God's people who are then dwelling securely in the land of Israel (Eze_38:14-16). With the addition of the words, God's people who are then dwelling securely in ...Israel. They have turned this so that we are looking at the church and not Israel, which is incorrect. But God, in fact, will bring Gog forth and will destroy him and his people. Ezekiel 39:1-2; Ezekiel 38:19-23 The Lord spoke about this through other prophets (Eze_38:17-18). Ezekiel 38:17 MKJV So says the Lord Jehovah: Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days, by the hand of My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in those days and years that I would bring you against them? The multitudes of Gog will be buried in the Valley of Hamon Gog, that is, "multitudes of Gog" (Eze_39:11), Ezekiel 39:11 CJB " 'When that day comes, I will give Gog a place there in Isra'el for graves, the Travelers' Valley, east of the sea; and it will block the travelers' passage. There they will bury Gog and all his horde, and they will rename it the Valley of Hamon-Gog [horde of Gog]. The Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature informs us that: They are the name of a mixed race dwelling in the extreme north, comprehended by the Greeks under the name of the Scythians; (2.) to the center and representative of their race, i.e. their king (Ezekiel 38:39). Gog comes forth from the distant north (Eze_38:15-23; Eze_39:2), ... And, if you are stickler for history - Interpreters have given very different explanations of the terms Gog and Magog; but they have generally understood them as symbolical expressions for the heathen nations of Asia, or more particularly for the Scythians, a vague knowledge of whom seems to have reached the Jews in Palestine about that period. Thus Josephus (Ant. 1:6, 3) has dropped the Hebrew word Magog, and rendered it by Σκύθαι; See attachment - Classic Bible Maps, The World as known to the Hebrews Of the maps, I looked at to better understand this ancient classic version shows me more and divergent details than any other map, as it points out Gog and Magog, and where they were located. I have also provided a link to Wikipedia which continues to fill in the blanks in understanding and prophecy with highly detailed information about the Scythians. Because of the quantity of information found there, which all seems important, I am only going to suggest that the interested pursue that there. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scythians] As you read the information, consider where Gog might come from. It may help you to understand more clearly how the Turkish "president" Recep Tayyip Erdoğan might best fill the role of Gog. Just for the fun of it, I searched the internet to find out if Genghis Khan could have been a Scythian. The Headline read, “Not Just Genghis Khan - Scythians Show Genetic Blending With Europe 2,000 Years Ago.” http://www.science20.com/news_articles/not_just_genghis_khan_scythians_show_genetic_blending_europe_2000_years_ago-96314 Here is was I gather so far. Gog, from the disinherited family line of Reuben, moves North and becomes a nomadic mounted and warring nation known as the Scythians. They ranged into China, Siberia, Egypt, Asia Minor and as far south as the Northern African nations, however, they seem to be centrally located around Turkey and the Caspian Sea. They are heavily influenced and integrated by the surrounding nations such as Persia, Syria, and the Caucasus regions. They conquered Nineveh, the Assyrians, and the Medes. Having relations as violent as Genghis Khan one can assume that slaughter was their general theme. This is the people that God sees as one of Israel's few remaining thorns in the flesh.
  13. I opened the Bible program on my computer this morning, and this is the first thing I see, the headline leading into 1John chapter 2:1-2. To people who are feeling guilty and condemned, It goes on to say, John (the disciple and revelator) offers reassurance. Why, after all these years, do I still struggle with guilt and condemnation? Perhaps you do as well. I sat down one day with my Pastor and talked openly and honestly about things going on around me; things like family members that moved back in and live with us, and how they do not seem to understand what the word boundary means; or, what it means to take care of your dogs. That might seem trivial to some, especially when they are firebombing the church you go to or torturing you for your beliefs in a God other than Allah; but I can assure you it feels real to me. We are told in scripture to confess our sins one to another, and maybe how I feel could fall under this idea of confessing our sins, especially when "sin" is merely missing the mark - up to and including, some substantially ugly stuff. In truth, I am not even sure what this idea of confessing our SINS looks like, as there are people that you should NOT reveal any of your secrets too. I suppose this idea of confession requires that you spend some time with random people to find out how trustworthy they are. In recovery there is a constant barrage of instructions that goes something like this, what is said here, stays here! That is what you would hope you find in the real world as well. I can tell you from experience, that even with such counsel your so-called friends will walk up to your wife, right in front of you, and ask, “are the things he says about you in the group, true?” James 5:16 CJB Therefore, openly acknowledge your sins to one another, and pray for each other, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. I suppose in a way, confession is what I did when I talked with the pastor, but I was not looking for a verbal beating. What I wanted was a compassionate and hearing heart; what I got was, “I can't believe that you, being a follower of Christ for all these years, would feel this way.” My internal reaction was, are you kidding me; you didn't just say that to me? What does scripture tell us? Galatians 6:1 MSG Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day's out. When you consider that SIN is merely the missing of the small center of the target, then we all sin daily. But what happens when someone falls into sin? Translations vary from the word sin to the sad reality of being caught in and overtaken in a fault. At least with phrases like being caught in sin and overtaken in sin, you immediately can tell that there is much more than a gentle push from the wind while trying to hit a target. The phrases can imply being too casual about the problem, or a non-caring attitude because you think you can handle whatever it is; unfortunately, sin can be deadly. To be overtaken is the Greek word prolambanō and means to take in advance, that is, (literally) eat before others have an opportunity; (figuratively) to anticipate, surprise (Strong's concordance) The words that the Greek conveys cause me some grief, for how do I understand this idea of being captive when the strongest implication comes from the phrase, to take in advance? If I were to collect my earnings before payday, it would either be by permission (most employers would look at you warily from that point on,) or, you stole the money thinking they owed you anyway. None-the-less, you took it in advance. The second option being theft. If what I am trying to understand is this idea of being caught in sin, then perhaps some of the other words available make more sense; such as to “have an opportunity,” or to “surprise.” Having an opportunity indicates some thought has been applied, quite possibly for some time, while the word surprise alludes to something that is suddenly before you. A car crash on the motorway can undoubtedly be a surprise, but the result can be a terrible chain of events, with appalling consequences, all of which contribute to the idea of being taken in a snare. John MacArthur's commentary tells us that to be overtaken is literally to be "caught," which may imply the person was seen sinning or that he was caught or snared by the sin itself. A fault is the Greek word paraptōma and means a sideslip (lapse or deviation), that is, (unintentional) error or (willful) transgression: - fall, fault, offense, sin, trespass. Paul goes on to say, Galatians 6:2-3 ERV Help each other with your troubles. When you do this, you are obeying the law of Christ. 3) If you think you are too important to do this, you are only fooling yourself. We should, at this point, understand that the potential for help and comfort is there. The guest speaker at our church sat and talked with me, saying, we the church should be the place where we can go, take our hurts, and be accepted. I laughed as I said, sadly, that is not reality. But, what if your guilt and condemnation have been drilled into you through parents, caretakers, childhood, bullies: (many times these can look like church leaders.) 1 John 2:1-2 NASB My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2) and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. Note the words, “if anyone sins.” Of course, we are going to sin; it's built into us. But 1 John 2:1-2 gives us hope, for: “we have an Advocate with the Father,” Advocate – paraklētos - An intercessor, consoler: - advocate, comforter. “Jesus Christ the righteous;” What gave Jesus His ability and right to stand on our behalf? One, you should understand that He is God, and two, His willingness to pay the price on the cross. He repurchased us, and, He bought our redemption. At one point, He told the disciples and those listening, that this same advocate would come in His place if He went back to the Father, and He did. Therefore, the comforter/advocate has come. John 16:7 NASB "But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. “and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins;” Propitiation – hilasmos - atonement, that is, (concretely) an expiator: - propitiation. This atonement is what I spoke of when I said, “He gave His life on that cross.” Jesus, we are told, poured out His own blood on the heavenly altar, just as the priest would. In so doing He became our high priest. And, God raised Him up and seated Him at the Father's right hand. “and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” His atonement covered, not only those of us who believe but everyone – the whole world. This blanket forgiveness seems to be the hardest thing for the religious to understand. This lack of belief or understanding is proven out by comments indicating how everyone caught in sin is going to hell. Logic would ask, what sins, seeing as sins have been forgiven. Taking this idea one step further, what then condemns the world? A lack of belief in Jesus Christ. There it is, this Jesus has taken all the guilt and condemnation onto Himself. He purchased us back from the debt WE owed. (If you are a movie fan, then the movie adaptation of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, tells this story, as Aslan had to make the secluded deal with the witch, as they met in the tent. Aslan, a symbol of Jesus, gave His own life in place of Peter's. And, just as Aslan did, Jesus rose from the dead, with great power, and, He was unstoppable. What is required of me? Faith. Can I believe that someone, namely Jesus, would do that for me? Yes, and I did, and so can you. What's to keep the entire world from accepting such salvation? Nothing, as He simply asks us, in this age of grace, to believe. Back to this problem of me, struggling with “sins” after so many years in the Lord. An aspect of what makes me work is the voices in my head. No, I am not nuts, we all have voices in our heads. To some, they sound like a drill sergeant; to others, like me, they sound like my dad or mother; often they sound like some moral authority, especially when acting moral is very inconvenient. Fortunately, after all these years, I can definitely say that one of those voices belongs to God/Holy Spirit. While I just admitted that I hear from God, I also argue with Him, and that bothers me. Recently I heard Him tell me to go to another fast food stand instead of the one we typically go to on Tuesdays because I was going to have trouble there. Now, in my defense, He did not explain why I would have trouble, but I think I knew why and I saw an image of them. My foolish, manly response was that I could handle problems. It turns out I couldn't and just about had the police called on me - I sound like a large bear when I get that angry. And yes, I let anger and rage get the best of me. Having spent some time in recovery because of the anger, I have come to the determination that, like the alcoholic, I will fight with this for the rest of my life. (This understanding is really the sanest approach. I like to call it honesty.) At this point in life, my conclusions are that I (just like all of you) have built-in damage that tries to motivate me to live out of my self-motivated desires; and, I have sustained damage from others that have wounds deep enough to be an active cause of my grief. There is, unfortunately, the third cause of troubles in our lives and that is the enemy, Satan. Paul speaks to this idea of being snagged by the enemy. 2 Timothy 2:25-26 NASB with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26) and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will. Were you aware that people were caught in snares set by the devil, at his will? It sounds like a hopeless situation and would be if Christ had not purchased our redemption, and that is why we have the freedom of confession (one to another;) an advocate – Jesus Christ; The Word of God, and Galatians 6:1 which admonishes our brothers and sisters in Christ to come to our aid. Galatians 6:1 NASB Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself so that you too will not be tempted. This passage came up after the leader of the Monday morning group said, “I believe that if you have fleshly thoughts when the rapture comes, that you will have trouble making it through the pearly gates.” This unsubstantiated statement was his attempt at not adding to scripture, and he informed us so right before he said it. What it shows is this man's grievous lack of understanding about God's: word, character, and nature – as the group leader, in effect, is condemning all who sin, to hell. Do you see Christ's paying the penalty and doing away with the handwriting that was against us, in this leader's statement? NO. Moments after making these statements the 92-year-old co-leader asked me directly what I thought about what the leader said; it became a habit with this guy to challenge people in the group by saying, “do you have a problem with that?” I can tell you that he is not looking for a correct answer, he is merely siding with the leader and looking to humiliate someone; this time it was me. I paused to think about this for a moment, and this man called my name out once again. With that, I said, “an alcoholic, if they are honest, will admit that they are an alcoholic and will be for the rest of their life. So, when it comes to human reasoning, I can't perceive of "fleshly" thoughts any differently than the alcoholic, as I will deal with, in my case, anger, for the rest of my life. How does one not have human thoughts? How does a preacher deal with the scantily clad ladies that come to church? Do they only look at the ceiling lights as they are preaching or teaching in order to avoid such “fleshly thoughts? And what of the hellfire and brimstone television preacher Jimmy Swaggart (whom many of these men adore) who sinned, multiple times? We only know of his sins because he got arrested. And yes, once again, in my response to this guy, I let my anger get the best of me. No, I did not cuss, I merely pushed this sacred cow called Jimmy Swaggart down and effectively kicked it in the head. I was, as I expected, accosted for my statements. However, another pastor in the group brought up Galatians 6:1. He did this because there was no kindness or gentleness in the leader's response to me. So, what have I/we learned? That we, as followers of Christ, have an advocate, as does Jimmy Swaggart, and, so does the false teacher of our group. 1 John 2:1-2 NASB My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2) and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
  14. I ended the last post with this verse - 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 WNT 7) For lawlessness is already at work in secret; but only until the man who is now exercising a restraining influence is removed, 8) and then the Lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will sweep away with the tempest of His anger, and utterly overwhelm by the awful splendor of His Coming. I keep running these concepts through my mind, and, when possible, talk with my wife or a few close friends about what I think I see. Recently we had finished eating, and once again I brought up 2Thessalonians 2:3 where it says 2 Thessalonians 2:3 NASB “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,” I find myself breathing a heavy sigh as I read this passage. For me, the heaviness comes out of a sincere desire for the church body to be firmly grounded in an understanding of end times events and how those events will fall into place, but it also comes out of the reality that all these years later we are no more confident in our faith and comprehension that they were all those years ago. During a fifteen year period, I attended three churches, and I can tell that it is rare to find anyone that has a firm grasp on what Paul is saying here in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. When you begin talking to them about Paul words here, some respond with confused or distorted views of “the day,” while others seem to feel that you have challenged their long-held beliefs and therefore attack with a loud and caustic defense that demonstrates no logic, that they do not read for themselves, or that they choose not to think. The other side of Paul's teaching, not spoken of in verse three, is “hope.” Our comprehension that Jesus is coming back for His church is a part of this anchor we call hope. Since hope is integrated into our faith in Jesus' words that He will come back for us, wouldn't it be beneficial to understand why we have this hope, and where we place our assurance? John 14:3 WNT And if I go and make ready a place for you, I will return and take you to be with me, that where I am you also may be. [In case you did not notice, Jesus did go already] I primarily use the NASB and it refers to this man that is to come, as the man of lawlessness. Since verses three and eight have a common thread, the man of lawlessness, let's ponder this person for a few moments. The man of lawlessness He is also known as the son of perdition; the man who separates himself from Torah; the man of sin; the man of evil; the son of destruction; the wicked one. One last example comes from the Weymouth New Testament, a translation that, in this case, gives much more definition. Thayer's definition of lawless: Greek anomos 1) destitute of (the Mosaic) law; 2) departing from the law, a violator of the law, lawless, wicked 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 WNT 3) Let no one in any way deceive you, for that day cannot come without the coming of the apostasy first, and the appearing of the man of sin, the son of perdition, who sets himself against, 4) and exalts himself above, every so-called 'god' or object of worship, and goes the length of taking his seat in the very temple of God, giving it out that he himself is God. What do I know about this guy? “the appearing of the man of sin, the son of perdition.” This is merely an explanation and a title at this point; however, he will fulfill every aspect and detail of Biblical prophecy about himself in time. “who sets himself against, and exalts himself above, every so-called 'god' or object of worship,” To set oneself against God doesn't seem so bad, and yet we do it all the time. We do it with our money; vehicles; homes, and for some, trophy wives. First off you need to understand that EVERY thing in this world works in opposition to God. And yes, that includes religion. So what we are doing is committing adultery with the world. This guy takes it to the extreme as he exalts himself above God, and, every so-called 'god' or object of worship. Not even the Catholic church does that; there is, however, an ideology that does, and it is called Islam. Every nation in the world where Islam exists, the Muslim's that live there are under a mandate to infiltrate and put that nation under the Islamic laws of Sharia. Islam's 'god,' invented by Mohamed, is called Allah. “goes the length of taking his seat in the very temple of God, giving it out that he himself is God.” This idea of someone taking a seat in the temple, has, since 70 A.D., been difficult to grasp as there is no temple. At the time Paul wrote this letter the destruction of the temple was at least 20 years away. Short of a revelation by the Holy Spirit, Paul would not have known this. In May of 2018, the Israeli Prime Minister spoke openly that the temple would be rebuilt. As you can imagine, at the time of this writing, this borders on impossible, and if it were restored, the rioting would be horrendous. And yet, scripture tells us it will happen. What an absurdity it is to know that this man of sin will exalt himself above God and place himself in the most Holy seat, all the while decreeing himself to be God? Still under the heading of what we know about the man of lawlessness, comes the Islamic prophecies. Here is just a portion of what they expect to happen. The ten major signs known as alamatu's-sa'ah al-kubra (the major signs of the end).[note 56] They are as follows: The false messiah—anti-Christ, Masih ad-Dajjal—shall appear with great powers as a one-eyed man with his right eye blind and deformed like a grape. Although believers will not be deceived, he will claim to be God, to hold the keys to heaven and hell, and will lead many astray.[35] In reality, his heaven is hell, and his hell is heaven. The Dajjal will be followed by seventy thousand Jews of Isfahan wearing Persian shawls.[note 57] The return of Isa (Jesus), from the fourth sky, to kill Dajjal.[36] Ya'joo and Ma'jooj (Gog and Magog), a Japhetic tribe of vicious beings who had been imprisoned by Dhul-Qarnayn, will break out. They will ravage the earth, drink all the water of Lake Tiberias, and kill all believers in their way. Isa, Imam Al-Mahdi, and the believers with them will go to the top of a mountain and pray for the destruction of Gog and Magog. God eventually will send disease and worms to wipe them out.[note 58][37] This information comes from Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_eschatology What do Islam prophecies and what Muslims believe, mean to me? Since we know from scripture that the plan of redemption was written long before Mohamed had this message about Allah delivered to him in a cave, is it possible that this information, much like everything else Satan has done, is a fraudulent and intentional misrepresentation of truth? While we are aware that someone, in the role of the Anti-Christ, will come, but that is not who Paul spoke of when he used the phrase, the man of lawlessness. We should also be aware that one we know as the false prophet, will show up, but not until the mid-point of the seven years of tribulation. According to Islam, both of these are known to them. The man of lawlessness to us, is the return of Isa ibn Mariam, the Islamic Jesus. This is the information I presented above as the first and second points of their major prophecies. I will add that Islam believes this man, will be a Jew; a descendant from Aaron and therefore have a legitimate right to the priesthood; that he will pledge his allegiance to the Mahdi (I believe that this Mahdi person fulfills the role of Anti-Christ); he will perform great signs and wonders (Sadly, this will cause many to follow him. In other words, he causes many to also give their allegiance to Islam.) And, this Isa bin Mariam will be the enforcer of Sharia. What does this last aspect concerning Sharia mean to any of us? As followers of Christ, the Church will be caught up to meet Him in the air. Now many believe, such as the man who leads our Monday morning Bible study group, that everyone in that room will be able to bypass the wrath that will be poured out upon the earth. Sorry, but that is not necessarily true. I know this because of the parable of the ten virgins. This parable was an aspect of Jesus response when the disciples asked, "when will these things happen and what will the sign of your coming?" Matthew 25:1-13 NASB "Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2) "Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. 3) "For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4) but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 5) "Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. 6) "But at midnight there was a shout, 'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.' 7) "Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8) "The foolish said to the prudent, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps, are going out.' 9) "But the prudent answered, 'No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.' 10) "And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. 11) "Later the other virgins also came, saying, 'Lord, lord, open up for us.' 12) "But he answered, 'Truly I say to you, I do not know you.' 13) "Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour. Notice, how all the virgins got the same invitation, and, all got ready, but there is an exception, for five of them merely grabbed their lamps off the shelf, while the others took the time to refill their lamps and take extra oil. This oil or the act of taking extra seems to play a critical role in this equation. Sadly, I cannot tell you with precision what that oil represents. It may be in the preparation, as it demonstrates looking intently for Him to come; while for others, it may mean study; and still, others, seem to emphasize desire. My experiences have included a pastor that told me NOT to study eschatology and another brother in Christ who called me a firebrand that momentarily excites people; He went on to say, "besides that, we have been looking for Jesus to return for over two-thousand years." I suppose that pastor who told me not to study, and that brother in Christ feel as though Jesus will not come back for perhaps another forty plus years. May I say that I believe He is riding upon the winds as we speak. I have seen this imagery in my spirit, and I can hear the sound of the trumpets in the distance (not the phony Haarp sounds the governments are playing with.) Know this, this man, whatever you wish to call him, will be NOT be announced as the man of lawlessness. Because he is a Jew and will have access to the Holiest of Holies within the temple, he will probably be a high priest, and he probably a well-respected man right now. We are there! “but only until the man who is now exercising a restraining influence is removed, and then the Lawless one will be revealed,” (WNT) This statement above is an excerpt from 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8. When I read this, there is an intense clarity about the timing in which the church; the restraining force that is removed; and “the man of lawlessness” that will be revealed. Since there is no doubt in my mind that the restraining influence is the Church, then the emphasis, therefore, is on the removal of the church before to God's wrath is poured out. Because of this information, I cannot for the life of me figure out how people can assert that the time of wrath upon the earth is something that the church must go through. How do I rationalize verse 3 and verse 8 as they both indicate that this man will be revealed? As I pointed out, verse three seems to be our introduction to the man, although it will not be as “the man of … .” In a sense, he will be quite normal. Since we understand that he will be a Jew that turns his back on the Law of God, then we can better understand why Jesus would say that “he” will cause the best of them to be deceived, and He meant the Jewish leadership. 2 Thessalonians 2:9 GNB The Wicked One will come with the power of Satan and perform all kinds of false miracles and wonders, In general, I can safely say that the church will not see unleashing of Satan's power, because all this is designed to happen 1240 days into the time of wrath. 2 Thessalonians 2:10 CJB He (the adversary/Satan) will enable him to deceive, in all kinds of wicked ways, those who are headed for destruction because they would not receive the love of the truth that could have saved them. This statement “those who are headed for destruction because they would not receive the love of the truth that could have saved them,” is primarily speaking to the Jews. Could I apply it to the nations? Indeed, for many of them would not receive the love of the truth that could have saved them. 2 Thessalonians 2:11 NASB 11) For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, Imagine a gathering of Pharisees, like Paul so intensely trained in the laws of God, that God must send a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false. Suddenly, it seems like this is all God's fault, is that the case? Hardly, as they turned their backs on when He sent a steady stream of mercies coming to their direction. Israel, since Egypt, has been entrenched in the idolatrous ways of the nations around them, and verse 12 proves that out. 2 Thessalonians 2:12 NASB 12) in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth but took pleasure in wickedness.
  15. Questions and challenges: Revelation 20 and the Great White Throne. The premise, posed far too many times, is that God sends everyone appearing before this throne to the lake of fire and it's eternal hell. Question: If all you used for your argument was Revelation 20 verse 15, could you find God showing anyone mercy there? The mercy is there, but you have to look for it, and you have to take in the entire context of an aspect of God's conversation that he is having with John, as he describes the judgment taking place there. Before we dive in, there are some considerations to keep in mind. The entirety of the Revelation is about Jesus Christ. Revelation 1:1 KJV The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: This reference to a Great White Throne is only found here in the Revelation. However, you can find references to, the throne of His kingdom; a great throne of ivory, covered over in gold (1Kings 10:18); the Lord's throne (Psalm 11:4); His Holy throne (Psalm 47:8); Isaiah 66:1 says, Heaven is My throne; Jeremiah 17:12 calls it a glorious throne, and, Matthew 25:31 which declares that He will sit on His Glorious Throne. This throne represents judgment. Isn't that odd, our introduction to Matthew 25:31 is presented by the translators of the NASB as the throne of judgment as well, and that idea is seen here in Psalm 9:7. Psalm 9:7 But the LORD abides forever; He has established His throne for judgment, In opposition to the throne of judgment, Psalm 76:9 tells us that His purpose is to save the humble of the earth. To the Jews he said, Jeremiah 2:35 Yet you said, 'I am innocent; Surely His anger is turned away from me.' Behold, I will enter into judgment with you Because you say, 'I have not sinned.' Ezekiel 20:35 and I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. Ezekiel 39:21 "And I will set My glory among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed and My hand which I have laid on them. But to those who have placed their hopes and lives into His hands, He says, John 5:24 NASB "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. Jesus, as recorded in John 5:25-27, tells us the same thing we see in Revelation 20. There is, however, a difference as he says, “when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.” Perhaps this can explain how the dead are now standing before the throne. John 5:25-27 NASB "Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26) "For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; 27) and He gave Him authority to execute judgment because He is the Son of Man. Note how many of the aspects of this statement from 1 Corinthians parallels Matthew 25:31 1 Corinthians 4:5 NASB Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts; and then each man's praise will come to him from God. One last thing I want to consider as I ponder the potential for mercy in Revelation 20:15, is that all judgment has been given to Jesus and that all punishment for sins was placed upon Him, on the cross. The evidence for this statement comes from several locations throughout the Bible; here are just a few. Ezekiel 16:62-63 NASB "Thus I will establish My covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the LORD, 63) so that you may remember and be ashamed and never open your mouth anymore because of your humiliation, when I have forgiven you for all that you have done," the Lord GOD declares. Jesus declared and established this new covenant when He ate the last supper, with the disciples. For us, the cross was sealed with the blood of that covenant, His blood. Colossians 1:20 NASB and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. To reconcile is to bring a thing back into harmony. Did that happen that day on the cross? Without a doubt. I know this because Colossians 1:20 tells me it happened through the blood of His cross. Colossians 2:13-14 NASB 13) When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14) having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. So, with all that being said, what then are these people being judged for, as they are brought before the “Great White Throne”? Perhaps the answer to that could easily be summed up with a verse or two. John 12:44 NASB And Jesus cried out and said, "He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me. Believe in Jesus and believe in the Father who sent Him. While there is always more to such a simplistic statement, the premise is just that simple. Here is a bit more depth. John 14:10-13 NASB "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11) "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. 12) "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. 13) "Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. Romans 4:21-25 NASB and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. 22) Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. 23) Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, 24) but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25) He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification. Your belief in Jesus is tied in with your faith in the Father. That Father is Jehovah, Elohim, not Allah. Occasionally, our men's study leader takes a few weeks off and switches topics, but eventually, the judgmentalism creeps back in. When it does most of the men that attend the study, side with the leader and demand that all before that Great White Throne are sent to hell. While there is no doubt that some in that crowd get sent to hell, but it is only because they have chosen, in their arrogance, to go there. 2 Peter 3:9 NASB The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. As you can see from above, that God is not looking for reasons to punish anyone; and, He is certainly not going to penalize us merely because we currently have this built-in ability to create and participate in iniquity. I understand this based on the passages I have already shown you. If your actions include breaking the laws of man, then there is a prescribed punishment met out here on earth, and it often includes jail time. But God has set all sin aside, by putting the sentence and payment upon Jesus. Since that time God is looking for one thing, did you, in any way, act in the nature and character of God who created you? Revelation 20:15 – We will start this dissemination here, with the KJV, as that was shoved in my face recently. Revelation 20:15 KJV And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. As I have pondered these words a bit more, I can see that the KJV is not so ominous and that it does demonstrate some variability. The phrase, “and whosoever was not found,” indicates that there was a serious look, in this case, into the Book of Life. Obviously, there were some who did not have their names written in that book. There is nothing about the phrase that indicates an all-encompassing number. It does, however, open the door to some quantity that was found there. As I have talked about this Great White Throne scenario with a few open-minded people, I pointed out how this becomes little more than a cruel joke when you bring people before this throne of judgment, with the possibility that you might gain entrance into the kingdom of God; only to find that God knew all along that there was no hope for you. What I have described in this paragraph, is in complete opposition to who God is and how He acts. God already knows whether your name is there or not, and some of these people are found in God's books. Look at this interaction between God and Moses. Exodus 32:32-33 KJV Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. 33) And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. Without the assurance of salvation which we obtain in Jesus Christ, how did Moses understand that his name was written in God's book? And then, God's response, whosoever has sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. The implications are that we are erased, not written in. How did King David know that his name was already in the book? Psalms 139:16 CJB Your eyes could see me as an embryo, but in your book, all my days were already written; my days had been shaped before any of them existed. When I was challenged about Revelation 20:15, it was an attempt to draw me into an ongoing argument with my father and another bible screamer who was a part of the dinner crowd that night. My dad pushed his phone at me, which was the KJV and said read it. I responded by bringing up the NASB and thrust it at him and said the same thing. My version reads, “if anyone.” This phrase takes no effort on my part to see that it is a variable. I used see statements like this in math. The variable is that He does look for their names and finds many. I believe that what we see here in Revelation 20:15 is the same story as Matthew 25:31, only from a different perspective. The major differences are, The Revelation focuses on Jesus as God, while the story in Matthew 25 focuses on Jesus as a gentle shepherd. In Matthew's account, it merely says that all the nations shall be gathered before him, while the Revelation tells us that all the dead are brought before Him. How do you rectify the differences between the two versions? Walk through the known factors. The church was caught up, and the dead in Christ rose first. This act, on God's part, eliminates the church from the equation. After the rapture, the wrath of God is now being poured out upon the earth, and people are being slaughtered for the testimony which they held. There is little to protect these people from 100-pound hailstones, and the other onslaughts being poured out and are therefore killed by God's wrath and the wrath of humankind. Those who die for their testimony are resurrected at the end of the seven-years and reign with Christ throughout the thousand years. So, they are not included among the nations or the dead we see before this throne. So, who is left? Keep in mind that since Christ formed the church, there have only been three people groups in the world: the Jews; the nations, and the Church. Since the church has been caught up, leaving only the Jews and the nations those who' have not accepted God's leadership, then you are left to fall under the category of the nations – those outside of a relationship with God. We know from the Revelation that the number of people who come to a relationship with Jesus Christ is innumerable. From the beginning of time there have always been those outside of relationship with the Father, and these are the focus here at the Great White Throne, but the assumption is that you have to be alive to stand there, and that is not what we see in Revelation 20:12 "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God." The next question you have to ask is, do we ever really die? The answer is no. God then, brings in all those who have previously ceased to breathe, and, have no standard religious form of salvation, as the church requires. Some would argue that NO ONE comes to the Father except through Jesus and their path through the religious form would prove their acceptance into the kingdom. Isaiah 26:19 KJV Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. Again Matthew's gospel recorded one of Jesus responses which we find in Matthew 25:1-13. Here Jesus told us about the ten virgins, all receiving the same invitation to the wedding. However, half were not prepared and therefore missed the entry. If this is an allusion to the church, then next time you sit among your congregation look around, for half are not prepared and will prove their allegiance to the Father, during the time of wrath, with their lives. Since the book of Revelation is the revealing of Jesus, then this is none other than Jesus sitting upon this great throne. Should they obtain mercy, then yes, they are only coming to the Father through Jesus, and the dilemma is solved. Matthew 25 speaks only of the nations being brought before his throne of glory. I point this out in contrast to Revelation 20 where we only see the dead being brought before the throne. Once again, the church was taken out of the way, and the martyred saints were resurrected to reign with Christ, leaving only the Jews and the nations. This throne of judgment is set up at the end of the thousand-year reign, immediately after the mass deception where the nations have risen against God and the Holy City. Here, all those deceived are killed (caused to no longer breath.) While this number makes up a vast portion of those standing before the throne, there will be others and may include some Jews and pretend church people. Since we can't tell who the pretenders are most of the time, perhaps the best approach is to educate them on and in, God's word.
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