Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Believer's Future - Part 1

Have you ever wondered what your future holds for you? If you are like me, I am sure you have dreamed countless times and asked the question, what does my future look like? Some people inquire in the cards, Tarot cards, and others gamble at the tables in hopes of insuring a better future. I was inspired to dwell on this subject for a while because it is evident we all live in a hard environment and it takes a severe toll on a lot of us, especially those who are suffering with some kind of disease or physical impairment. I consider myself very blessed because I personally do not suffer with disease outside of the everyday mild aggravation of arthritis, which came from broken bones. I find myself once again, sitting here at my desk, and writing at 3:30 in the morning because my aching bones have awakened me once more. So in my case there is nothing else to do but get up, put on a pot of coffee, and start writing what the LORD wants me to write.

Many times I find myself bogged down with the day-to-day cares of this life and sometimes I might go through a day having no meaning of life. This is when I find myself focusing too much on myself and my tunnel vision will not allow any vision at all to enhance my life. This is when I find myself turning to the Word of God for encouragement and answers to all life’s questions. I have been asking the LORD questions all my life and have relentlessly pursued the truth of matters for all intensive purposes. Mostly out of pure curiosity, but unintentionally, drawing from the source of all knowledge and understanding of all living things of this universe. The LORD is known as the God of wonders, and no wonder, He is the creator of all things known and unknown. Therefore, I am most assured the only wise choice is to go back to the source of all existence and continue to search for more knowledge and understanding to the very best of our God given abilities. Personally, I believe it pleases the LORD for us to ask about things. The best reason I know for this statement is for the fact that all these questions bring about a better relationship and understanding of the very Person from which planned for me a space in time to exist, flourish, and experience the life the LORD had planned for me all along. There is one important thing I have learned about this life I live. No matter what, it is not over until the LORD says it is over. I have faced death only to be averted and taken as a warning; life is short, do not waste it. Even when I find myself discouraged to the point of wanting to go home, my heavenly home, then unexpectedly, the LORD has something different for me to discover for myself and for my continued purpose of life.

“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:6

Many people have asked the question, is there life after death? I am convinced without a shadow of doubt there is life after death. I can come to this conclusion based on the fact that the Holy Spirit of God resides in my body and I possess the spiritual conviction that it is He, God’s spirit, which is my guiding force and protector in this life. I also base my faith in the written Word of God, which is by declaration, forever settled in Heaven. Therefore, there is life after death for the simple fact that God gives many truths from His Word that there is and that is enough for me. The verse above gives us ample proof that there is something more to this life because God has plans for us to continue in the next phase of life after death, as we know it.

With this thought settled in my heart and mind, this leads me to the subject I have desired to write about for some time. It is on the subject of the “New Jerusalem,” and what it consists of in the most explicit detail possible. Of course, that means we will have to take God’s Word, as His Word is the only source available to disclose such information about something as unimaginable as a city coming down from the heavens to be our new home for the rest of eternity. Only unbelievers will scoff at this notion, but nonetheless, it is the truth of the matter. We can see our future through the Scripture and we can understand that we will have a continued purpose, a position, and a place to call home.

God gave the revelation of the New Jerusalem to the Apostle John while exiled on the Island of Patmos about 96 A.D. Patmos was at that time a penal colony of Rome and not many survived it. However, God had a plan for John as He does for all His children. The Roman Emperor Domitian had John placed in a boiling vat of oil, but by the grace of God, he survived to tell the story unfolding. As I stated earlier, life is not over until God says it is. John ascribed, “And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Revelation 21:2

John continues with his vision but in detail. This adds to the evidence that only God has this knowledge and is willing to share it with those who will believe in His Word. God is not going to waste His time disclosing a joyous occasion with those who would not believe Him to begin with. This vision is for those who have given their heart, mind, body, and soul to God. This vision is for those who have suffered so long and more than willing to exit this world. They have discovered for themselves that there is nothing here for them. This detailed account of our future is for us as born-again believers to enjoy and daydream about while we walk in the valley of shadows. I find myself many times longing for something I have never seen with my eyes, this New Jerusalem, but also find myself weeping for it to happen. What a precious promise, God has given to those who trust Him for their daily bread and to able to see the Promised Land only by faith.

“And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.” Revelation 21:9-18

It is quite amazing that the writer would mention that the “building of the wall of it was of jasper”. It would pay us great dividends to look closer to this building material as to get a better spiritual understanding of what it is that God wishes for us to see and experience. I admit I am no designer, architect, or tradesman of any sorts, but, I am intrigued of what this city delves to the eyes and mind of the beholder. To begin with, the jasper stone is a very small stone ranging in size from small, the size of a pea, to extra large, about the size of a walnut. This stone is the color of warm red blood. We have to keep in mind that all these building materials are transparent. We can see right through any of it because this typifies that God’s city is a pure and unadulterated city with absolutely no contamination whatsoever. As John stated, “And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.” I imagined what this would look like and could vision a warm red wall encasing a transparent gold city. What a magnificent sight it must be to behold! The red stone is a visual reminder there was a price paid for this extravagant building, as is everything about this brilliant gleaming city.  The price was paid in full by the very blood of our Redeemer, the LORD Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our salvation. Therefore, when we get our first glimpse of the wonderful city, all of us approaching this city from a distance, it will be an instant reminder of our Redeemer and what He did to secure our destiny.

“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Hebrews 9:11-14

To look closer at this magnificent wall of jasper we will discover more of what it represents. Like all minerals, stones, and gems, these are building material from an earthly origin destined for an out of this world destination. I do not know where God acquired His building materials but a little food for thought is that all these gems can be found in this earth. Those of us consider jasper stone on earth to be a power stone, a sort of grounding stone, a stone of warmth.  It also gives protection from adversity. Can we grasp a better understanding as to why God chose this particular stone to wall in this city? It represents the source from whence we get our strength and protection from, Almighty God. Jasper considered by gemologists, coined as “solid as a rock”.

“In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; we have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:” Isaiah 26:1-4

Spiritually speaking, we know Christ is our Rock. It is amazing that our future home would reflect this attribute. The jasper stone is also known as a healing stone and a nurturing stone for those who were hurt for various reasons. This gem speaks of justice to those who need it, for those who were shown injustice on earth.  Here on earth in ancient times the jasper stone was known as the warrior’s stone for courage and steadfastness. There will be no turning back now, it represents loyalty, and it represents justice and fairplay for all those who fell victim of oppression. I find it quite amazing that this gem represents all the attributes of Christ Jesus. When we lay eyes on this glorious city walled with jasper it radiates a beacon to the beholder, with arms outstretched, this city speaks to our hearts, welcome home my child.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Origin of Jesus

Some time ago, I was studying some articles published by the Mormons (Church of the Latter Day Saints). My curiosity got the best of me when I read that they believed that Jesus and Lucifer were brothers. Knowing what I know of the Scripture, I immediately took offence to this and was grieved in my soul for the slander aimed at the very One who is responsible for my eternal salvation. Alike, many Christians take offence of this dastardly defamation of Deity but nonetheless, I feel we need to take a closer look at what the Word of God declares. Let it be known amongst His children that God is very capable of defending Himself. I am only a witness of these truths set forth in my heart.

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore, God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: they shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. But to which of the angels said he at any time, sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” Hebrews 1:1-14

If nothing else, we can see that established here in the Scripture there is a distinct difference between the Deity of God and the angels of Heaven. It was God alone that created the heavens and the universe. Angels are very strong and powerful as far as their God given abilities allow, but they do not possess the power of creative abilities, such as bringing into existence living forms of air breathing life. Angels are not Deity. They are created beings, ministering spirits according to the Scripture, just one-step above humankind. The Bible admonishes us not to worship Angels, but rather instructs and encourages us to worship only the true and living Jehovah God and His adorned Son; one in the same, Jesus is this person.

I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it. Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, ‘what makest thou? Or thy work, He hath no hands?” Isaiah 45:5-9

God’s Christ Jesus set forth a discourse explaining just who He was when the Disciple Phillip asked to see the Father of Glory.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.’ Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, ‘have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:6-15

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” 1Timothy 2:5-6

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:5-13

In this Scripture, we can identify Christ as being one in the same with God the Father who is altogether omniscient, all knowing of all things. God is also omnipresent, which means He has the ability to place Himself in many different places at the same time. Angels on the other hand cannot perform in this manner and this includes Lucifer. It can be said that God wears three hats at His choosing. This takes a lot of power, much more than our sun can display at one time, but our God is more than capable. For example, I have the power of the Holy Spirit inside of me and at the same time, so do many others that believe Christ is the Son of God. There is nothing in the entire universe that God cannot do based on His will.

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, {after the Resurrection and upon His ascension} saying, ‘All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.’ Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20

Therefore, Christ is the express image of God the Father and is an extension of Himself in a bodily form as stated in Hebrews chapter one. God’s purpose was not to expose Himself as Almighty God Himself. He did that with Moses and although He tucked Moses safely away in the rock, His presence almost killed Moses. No one but the Angels can physically approach the true and living God Jehovah. Our God is a God of fire, a consuming fire according to Hebrews 12:29. Holy and righteous altogether and nothing that defiles can come into His presence. Thus, the purpose for His Christ; He approaches the Father of Lights on our behalf. You and I, as born-again believers in Christ Jesus now have access to the Throne of Glory. However, to put forth Himself to humankind as what appears to us as a separate entity is Christ or the Saviour. God is merciful to us. He gave us Himself in a bodily form known in the Scriptures as the Logos or the Word. Before Christ was born to Mary and the world, He was known to Heaven’s entire host as the WORD.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” John 1:1-4

This is the wonderful grace of the Father giving us an opportunity to approach Him, believe in Him, and above all, worship Him. We cannot approach God the Father without approaching His extension of Christ first, a living breathing person we can touch, feel, and one glorious day, see with our own eyes. The Scripture assures us as born-again children of God that we who know Him will see Him face to face in the very near future. By faith, we must accept God’s Christ first in order to have access to the Father.

As for the statement of the Mormons’ claim that Lucifer is the brother of God’s Christ is to say that Christ is equal to the Angels. Lucifer, the Light Bearer, was the anointed cherubim that served at the fiery altar, which is at the base of God’s Throne in Heaven. This is most definitely a false statement of the Mormons because this statement takes away the Deity of the Son of God. It is altogether blasphemy and truly the statement of an unbeliever. A false statement because through the knowledge of the Scripture, we know that Christ is the Son of God, the Father’s express image and the very likeness of His glory. Not a duplicate mind you, but an express image; there is a difference…think about that for a moment.God the Father is a Spirit, a consuming fire and He purposed himself to have a body to walk among men. We have further witness of the Apostles in the Scripture according to the Disciple Luke when he wrote about the entrance of the Son of God. I feel the Scripture best describes the Trinity with the works performed at the First Advent of Christ, the Lord’s conception at Nazareth.

“And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, ‘fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.’ Then said Mary unto the angel, ‘how shall this be, seeing I know not a man?’ And the angel answered and said unto her, ‘the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:26-37
This Scripture alone gives us the account of the three offices and purposes of God the Father by showing us the inner workings of the Triune God. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, all three are one in the same with Christ Jesus. Puzzling no doubt, but God the Father chooses to give the name of Jesus to us so we can better understand our God and give us a feel for closeness and intimate relationship with God the Father. He gives us what seems like another individual but in the real spiritual sense, is still the same person. We must keep in mind what God said about Himself; “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me.”

I am sure at times that many feel the Scripture might seem to contradict itself; sometimes it does to me too, but I know this is only because of my human inabilities. I have to remind myself this is my God that loves me and gives me the ability to understand His ways. Many things, such as our maturity and how long we have known the LORD, depends on whether or not we receive this valuable information. His ways of Holiness and Righteousness are so much higher than our ways and sometimes foreign to me. I know from experience that writing about this subject can be, and probably is, very difficult to comprehend, let alone understand it. In our walk of faith we must realize that even as adults we are alike unto babies who know that someone is taking time to pay attention to them yet they do not have a clue as to who or what this person is. Christians are similar because by faith we accept that a higher power wants to give us time and space to grow gracefully in the knowledge He gives us, spoon-fed so to speak, a little at a time as not to discourage us. I am not going to sit here and tell you that I fully understand all things, how arrogant that would be of me. The LORD gives knowledge or withholds knowledge from me just as He gives to you what we can digest at the time. We have to keep in mind that our walk with God is a walk of faith. Whether or not we understand it is irrelevant, simply believing is enough for the LORD at this time. Understanding will come from the LORD as we mature into adults and stay close to the Word of God.

“Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.” John 14:11

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Challenging God

How many of us can remember the time we did something that we knew that was wrong but did it anyway? In fact, we totally ignored the small voice of our conscience speaking in our ears not to go there. When I was a lot younger, that type disobedience was more frequent than not. The world labels it ‘youthful exuberance’ or as the motion picture, society labels it, “A Rebel without a Cause,” but the Bible calls it flat out rebellion. Some folks seem never to grow up and the youthful exuberance turns into right out sin. There are times in my life that I totally dismissed the inner voice and went on with my intentions. Let us face the truth of the matter. It always feels better to disobey than to obey. Neo-pagans say that if what you want to do does not hurt others, then by all means do it. In other words, we give ourselves license to do whatever feels good. The Bible calls this licentiousness or lewdness of the flesh.  Despite all we have been taught and instructed God’s wonderful grace does not give the child of God license to sin. We commit sin because of the simple fact that we are Adam’s children, children of the fallen race of Eve; fallen to sin because of our unbelief of what God says He means. The world at large has a legitimate excuse, but on the other hand, Christians do not. However, ignorance will not be an excuse when the time of judgment comes to the earth. What we do comes natural to the flesh and we do not seem to have any qualms with performing evil continually until God intervenes with His Holy Spirit. I noticed at a very early age my own children would lie in their crib and as a baby lie about anything just to get our attention. They would not be satisfied with lying there playing with their little trinkets; they wanted more. The child achieved this by lying through crying, tearfully asking to be coddled thereby escaping the confines of the crib. This type of behavior continues throughout our entire lives until something or someone intervenes and brings to a halt or at the least curbs our devious ways of deception. With this information at hand now, I ask the question again: how many of us challenge God every day. I raised my hand. If you would be honest with yourself, you will raise your hand too.

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.” 1Samuel 15:23

There is a Greek word that comes to mind and that word is hubris. Hubris means extreme pride and or arrogance to the point of challenging God. Somewhat like youthful exuberance or rebellion but on a slightly lesser scale. There seems to be degrees of hubris. Sometimes, hubris can become a criminal act when someone gloats over a victim or conquest such as war. The Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler was always carrying on in this manner. I remember seeing the Nazi films were Hitler danced a little jig on camera when gloating over the fall of Paris, France in the very beginning of WWII. This can happen to anyone who leaves his or her desires and lusts unchecked for a long period. Some will use mind-numbing narcotics such as valium or alcohol to quiet the voice in their mind long enough so they can find a little pleasure in their sin for a season. The strategy is if they can hold their conscience at bay long enough they will have more pleasure in committing the sin they so enjoy. The truth of the matter is that Satan attacks the mind and for the most part that is humankind’s weakest point. Even intellectuals have weak places in their mind. It is a design flaw by design of God. There is no such thing as superman in reality; there is always a flaw in there somewhere.

Satan will use anything to control the mind, even to coerce people to commit murder and suicide in the same instance. If Satan cannot get you to commit murder then maybe he can get you to commit adultery. So many people commit adultery without the aid of alcohol or drugs. Even in the church, you can find people that have committed adultery and act as if it was nothing. This is a blatant disregard of God’s Word. This is the very sin Adam and Eve was found guilty of, disregarding the Word of God, which carries a heavy toll in the end. A fact remains for Christians is that we will face the Bema Seat of Christ.

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”
Hebrews 9:27

Evidently and by our volition, it just feels good to figuratively give God the middle finger and go on in defiance of His word only to prove they can. People will purposely take the name of the LORD in vain. Cursing their way through life and not realizing they will give an account of every word they utter.  It is their way of slandering and getting back at God.  Therefore, so-called Christians do this all the time. One’s actions reveal the heart’s desires. Little do they know the repercussions will follow just as seeds sown into the wind will find lodging to grow someday.

“Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.” 1Corinthians 3:13

Whether or not we as Christians realize it, we commit spiritual adultery just about every day we live. By spiritual adultery, I mean that we can turn like a chameleon into a worldly person and commit spiritual suicide through the worship of idols. Another truth is anything, if pursued in the world that is not of God, is deemed and classified idol worship by the Bible. If I am not careful, for example, I could become guilty of idolizing my favorite barbeque restaurant by worshiping this delicious treat. I could turn Eastern Carolina vinegar pork barbeque into an idol very easy by just ignoring the warning reminders of my conscience. I am beginning to salivate. The Holy Spirit that resides in me tries to warn me to back off and give my lust for barbeque a time out. I know that too much pork of any kind is not a healthy or wise choice. It can cause severe health problems at an early age. So you might be asking, why do it at all if I know it might be bad for me? Therein lays the dilemma. See, I am human after all. I also love to smoke cigars but I totally refrain from that practice all together with the help of a Holy Ghost conviction. On the other hand, I do not possess a Holy Ghost conviction for the use of pork as of yet, mainly because I have not asked the LORD for one. The fact is that Satan will use and attack us with anything and everything to get us to destroy ourselves. He will not have to lift a finger because he knows just how weak-minded we all are. He uses this underhanded knowledge of us all with discretion.  I know to some people that might sound silly and extreme, but it accounts for so many people committing gluttony, which leads to obesity and other health related problems. Yes, there is no doubt committing gluttony is outright sin. It is a deliberate attempt to destroy God’s creation and the dwelling place of His Holy Spirit. God does not want this for His children; would you want it for yours?

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”
1Corinthians 3:16

Another truth is that America is overweight and it is because we do not control the insatiable desires of the mind and heart. We do these things in total disregard of our health and personal mentality. Yes, Satan will use food to destroy you if you let him. This one place I am sure we all could use a Holy Ghost conviction; I know I need this for myself. This is the reason we are encouraged by the Word of God to cleanse ourselves daily by reading and praying over God’s Word. The Word of God is the cleansing agent for the child of God administered by God’s Holy Spirit. It is just this simple, if God does not curb our fleshly lusts and desires through the daily reading of His Word and praying for our daily needs, there is no hope for any of us. Even the self-helps of Ala-non including the twelve steps from addictions cannot help. Addictions of any kind are open sin and be taken away with entirely by the power of God’s Holy Spirit. It just comes down to whether or not we really want help. All we have to do is just ask the LORD and He would be glad to oblige. There is a saying in the rescue ministry that you cannot help someone until the person has bounced off the bottom. Only then can you present Jesus to a person to help them with their addictions. These type people live in constant denial of their sin and situation.

“If we say that we have fellowship with him {God}, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” 1John 1:6-10

Our addictions of the flesh, whether it is gluttony, pornographic material, use of tobacco products, alcohol consumption, illegal narcotics, or just being ungrateful, unthankful, and complainers is unmistakably a mirror of the heart itself. Sin is sin is sin. These vices of choice prove to ourselves who really is in charge of our life. It is an undeniable fact for the Bible tells us so.

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:” Proverbs 23:7

Not to worry though little lambs; there is a balm in Gilead. Christ Jesus is the answer to all our problems. We can only be convinced of this fact by the Holy Spirit of God. As I said before, sometimes we have to bounce off the bottom first. So many times, we really do not want to heal because we rather enjoy our sins, even if just for a season. The reality of all this is if we do not possess a Holy Spirit conviction of any of these things that plague us, there will be no healing to be had for any of us. In some instances of my life, I came to realization that I needed help with my lusts and desires, good and bad. I found myself praying and asking the LORD for help, to give me relief from the sins that so easily beset me. Today, I stand relieved of these sins of evil conception. By the power of my LORD Jesus, Satan found himself in full retreat. Only by the Grace of God have I found peace of mind and peace in my soul.

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 {words of Christ in red}

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Do You Believe in God?

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” John 14:1 {words of Christ in red}

Just a couple of months ago I lost an Aunt that lived out west in Las Vegas, Nevada. She became terminally ill at the age of 88. She had lived in Las Vegas most of her life and never had any children of her own. I remember my Mom witnessing to her sister often and the reply my Aunt always came back with was, “I believe in God”. Mom would then reply, “But do you know His Son Jesus”? Again my Aunt’s reply would be the repetitious come back as always, “I believe in God”. My Mom and I made it a point to pray for her salvation for many years. As far as we both know, she never made a profession of faith right up to the end. Our hearts broke when we received the news of her death. My Mom and I talked about this event for many days and always left off saddened by the possibility of never seeing her sister or my Aunt ever again in eternity.

“He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” 1John 5:10-13

Everybody believes in God or a god of some sorts for there is many in this world. Even if they won’t admit to it, their god can be identified by their affections for material things of this world. Christians are committing spiritual adultery everyday and don’t even realize it. It is evident now upon the death of my Aunt that her god was money. This lust in one’s heart is one of the reasons people wander from one object of affection to another.

“Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, the spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?” James 4:2-5

People are consistently looking, lusting, and seeking for something to put in that empty void in their heart. A lot of people will try to put an assortment of animals, children, and or material items in that void only to discover that it doesn’t work and still the heart comes up wanting something else. It sometimes gets to the point that the heart’s desire is insatiable and unreasonable, but in reality the heart is just seeking for the right ingredient. I have often heard Christians say that God has blessed them with these things to enjoy life better. But little do they know it is a ruse of Satan to lead them astray with the bread crumb trail of deceit. This accounts for so many people in debt which swell with threats of one’s demise today. The bottom line in humanity is the fact that we must find something, a god or the God, which will quench this longing in our lives. Some peoples philosophy is if you cannot find a god then make one up. They won’t say it out loud so others can see their intentions, but show their heart’s intention by their outward actions. That is why we have material things such as new automobiles, airplanes, boats, houses, and vacation resorts. People lust for jewelry of gold and diamonds, and even the much larger and magnificent, extravagant church buildings which are covered in these gems. Yes, people are known to worship the church building itself. That is why so many people are religious so they can enjoy the works of art catalogued throughout the church system. They are called ‘Holy Relicts’. I can see how it is understandable when I read the Scriptures about keeping ourselves from idols.  We who read the Bible are instructed and warned many times not to associate ourselves with idols or idol worshipers.

“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” 1John 5:21

So many people miss the point that God searches the heart and finds these people worshiping strange gods in the church assembly. But in the end the heart will continue to find the empty space is still reverberating, that dastardly signal letting us know it still hasn’t been filled. The LORD God Jehovah created each of us with a gaping void that only He can fill. We do not understand this concept but that void is a gift of the LORD. It means He has a plan for your life somewhere in the future.

“For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” Psalms 139:13-16

 God cleverly installed a heavenly homing beacon in that void of our heart which constantly signals for God to come to His created being, mankind. Since we cannot approach God, for He is a Holy being, He approaches us by His Holy Spirit directing us to His son, Jesus Christ. Salvation and Jesus, God the Father’s Christ or Saviour, is the only way to eternal life. This is just the way it is, whether or not we can accept this fact of life is another matter.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6 {words of Christ in red}

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Pastors- Preachers: Shepherds or Anti-Christ?

“Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, ‘He saith.” Jeremiah 23:31

I remember growing up as a little boy how I always seemed to be attracted to the power demonstrated of preachers and men that taught the Bible way of life.  I didn’t understand why until later on in life.  I figure it was a time in my life when I was the most impressionable. In the 1950’s of Carteret County, was a time when material things didn’t matter very much because they just were not available for the most part. Unless you had a lot of money and means, we just lived our lives in a simpler way. I had just recently accepted Christ Jesus as my LORD and Saviour in 1964, when I was introduced to these preacher men around the time of revivals and special meetings of the church. Many came to our home for meals and that is where I learned more about them through their conversations. I enjoyed their enthusiasm and exuberance of preaching and teaching the Word of God in the local church pulpit. They were very strict in their teaching and for the most part their living also. The men of God I grew up with were not worldly men, nor did they frequent places of pleasure just to get away from things or at least, I never saw any of these ways about them. Social drinking was a forbidden vice and they preached about the lewdness of petting to teens. They preached hell hot and heaven sweet all the while instilling the fear of God in your mind. They possessed something that I wanted for myself, the hand of God upon me. As far as a little boy could see, these men didn’t pursue money or material things of this world, but time alone with God and His Divine presence for the gift of deliverance of timely messages. These powerful men of God were nothing like the ‘yes’ men that populate the pulpits of America today.  Most assuredly, these men of God practiced what they preached. These men were humble men with no agenda outside of the Kingdom of God. They were a living example to the church. These men of God that I became acquainted with over the years sought out our little church on the coast of North Carolina and refreshed themselves amongst God’s people for a while and then went on their way to do God’s work in other areas.

Today, compared to the 1950”s, the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ has changed due to worldly influence. The pastors and preachers of today, with myself included, are at fault for this and will answer to God for it. This is a Biblical stand taken by God. There is no doubt on my part that Satan has successfully infiltrated the church by blending the tares of this world  with the wheat of the Kingdom, or plainly stated, mingling the lost sinner with the saved child of God in the worship services. The pastors have made the church the playground of the lost by which they entertain themselves with extravagant music and dance programs on Sunday morning. The television evangelists and pastors message was; “can’t we all just get along? We are all god’s children right?” This message was and still is, quite the contrary when the Bible teaches us who know Christ as our LORD and Saviour to live a holy and separated life in front of others. This all came about with the invention of the television set placed strategically in our homes.

Historically, in the late 1920’s, a new and wonderful invention came into our lives, television. I remember my Dad telling me of the very first TV he saw and witnessed for himself, he was in his late teens at the time. He told me of a man who lived in Newport, were my Dad lived as a boy, that owned and operated a small radio and appliance store. This inventive gentleman had rigged up a very small TV in a cigar box that my Dad said was quite impressive of that day. I think the radio repair man got his spare parts from the military surplus stores around the area and there were many.  As my Dad described it to me, the cathode tube was very small.  This was 1947 and just after WWII. If we can recall a little bit of history, it was the Nazis Dictator, Adolf Hitler, who was responsible for televised programming which took place at the 1936 Olympics in Germany. In which our own Jesse Owens, defeated Hitler’s “Super Race” of men of Nazis Germany Olympians on the running track. This new invention was used solely for the purpose of propaganda purposes of the Nazis State. So, in reality, the TV wasn’t anything new to the world, but it was to us who lived in Carteret County. Mom and Dad didn’t get one for us until about 1958 or 1959. I cannot remember one being in our house earlier because I was just five years old in 1959. From what I do remember of our first TV was that the reception was terrible and there were very limited programs to be watched.

As I look at the church today, and at the preachers and pastors that I knew and know now, I have come to the conclusion that these men and their agenda has been passed down to hirelings and strayed from the Divine calling they were given, if in fact it is questionable that they were given the divine calling of God. Now that I am also an ordained preacher of the Gospel Message, I know that our number one priority is to propagate the Gospel Message of Christ. We who know the truth are not to be quieted down by the pressures applied by the 501c3 corporate run hirelings and wolves in sheep’s clothing, parading around as pious pimps. I truly believe that God’s real man will not cave into the pressures of this world and not to be bought off with the pleasure this world can offer.  Today, this Gospel Message mandate has slipped the minds of many preachers and is not the priority it was intended to be. Today, their agenda has changed for fame and notoriety mainly due to the exploitation of the television, the propaganda machine. Money and lots of it, big houses, fancy cars, and airplanes, have been accumulated because of the huge influx of offerings sent in from unbeknown, good hearted people, which are sincere in their giving. Satan uses his men and women around the world to propagate the propaganda message of the ages; “take it easy, be gentle, and don’t rock the boat, and everything is beautiful in its own way.” These wolves that fleece the flock will exclaim they need these things to do the work of God but the Bible declares they do not need these things to perform God’s work. So, just who is it they are working for? Satan seeks to inhibit and destroy the true church and he uses his men and women to do so by demeaning the cause and the message of Christ. Satan uses men and women that will sell their gift or be bought out by the lust of their flesh.

“But Jesus called them unto him, and said, “Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25-28

As I have stated before, the Kingdom of God and this world in which we live have two very different economies. As a child of God, it behooves us to learn all we can about the coming Kingdom of God here on this earth now within us. If you are a born-again Christian you are part of it and will experience this Kingdom first hand. Let us face the truth of the matter, Christ is coming back to set all things right. It is my personal belief that the man of God is to follow the precepts and commands of the LORD Jesus. The Day of the LORD will arrive very soon in which we as preachers, pastors, and evangelists, will have to give an account to Him face to face. God is not going to seek answers from the woman, but the man He has placed in position to give an account of the works of the Kingdom on earth. This is very reason he is called is to do the LORD’s bidding here on earth for the Kingdom of God, to answer directly to his maker. I strongly believe it is us, the preachers and pastors that God will hold entirely responsible for our generation. We will answer to God for what we have or have not done for the Kingdom. Let us who are called by His name remember we are just sojourners, pilgrims, and strangers. It is The LORD God that is the one who calls the man into the LORD’s service. The man does not choose to do so and if he does, he will be met with continuous failure, spiritual failure. We need to look at this concept of failure and success for just a moment. Here on earth, mankind sees success and measures success by what he can see and attest too. Mankind will measure another by the house that he lives in and the kind of car that is parked in his driveway. Mankind will see how he is dressed and the places he frequents. This will be the preacher mans sign to the world he is successful, but at what? All this proves is that the preacher man is a successful business man and has the ability to amass material goods, they very thing Jesus admonished the rich young man to discard, pick up his cross, and follow Him.

“And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, defraud not, honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, “One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me”. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, “Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! Mark 10:17-24

Yes, the so called man of God can be very successful on the outside and religious, but a spiritual shipwreck on the inside and lost. There is an old saying; ‘you cannot judge a book by its cover.’ This has been proven to be true on many occasions and this is one of the reasons God searches and tries the heart. When the heart of any man is exposed, it is only then he can be known for what he really is. The preacher man might look delicious on the outside, but could be rotten to the core on the inside. Who can tell the difference? One of the ways I measure up and look at these so called men of God, is not how much they have amassed or how notorious they are, but how small they are and how insignificant they have become. God measures His man by how small he has become in the service of God.  John the Baptist found this to be true and made a profound statement of truth. John says; “He {Jesus} must increase, but I must decrease. {John 3:30} John the Baptist purposely debased himself by wearing animal skins and eating locus and wild honey. The very things the people of society steered clear of because of its demeaning nature. Let us face the truth, John the Baptist was a weird man to society of that day and we who are called by the LORD Jesus are no different. Because of the way that John conducted his life, Jesus commended him for being ridiculed and hated by the world.

“For I say unto you, among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.Luke 7:28

Upon consideration of these things have I come to the conclusion that if the man of God has increased dramatically, a warning flag goes up the pole for me to watch and mark that man with careful consideration.  It is a Biblical fact that to be successful with Christ Jesus, one has to denounce this earth and its ways. We are supposed to be a new creation in Christ Jesus and the former things are not needed anymore, or so it is supposed to be. Let us be warned of this Biblical fact, to be successful with the LORD Jesus, one has to become insignificant in the wicked world and deliberately become small around their peers.

The LORD God says through His man; “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” 1John 2:15-17

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Day of Decision

Recently in my writings, I dealt with the Rapture of the Church which we discovered according to the Scripture took place somewhere in the middle of the Tribulation or soon after but before the end. To expound a little more on this subject, according to the Apostle Paul’s statement who wrote about it in First Corinthians 15:56, Paul states; “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” Paul says “at the last trump”, which is referring to the seven trumpets of the Revelation of Christ penned down by the Apostle John. If you will, in your study of the Bible, notice where the seven trumpets are and the events that are taking place at the time. You will see that the church is in the middle, between the Beast of Revelation and the nation of Israel. The Rapture actually takes place in the scene of the two Witnesses’ that God sends to proclaim His coming judgment. God is merciful to send one last warning to repent.
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 11:15

“But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” Revelation 10:7

After the seventh Angel sounds his trumpet the true church is no longer on earth but in the presence of our Saviour. We who are born-again by the Spirit of God will be in His presence at the Bema Seat of rewards. Yes, we who are born-again will see and experience a lot of things that are acquainted with all out warfare. The hard truth of the matter is that the religious Babylonian church and her many denominations will continue on just as nothing has happened. The Babylonian church will open its doors on Sunday morning and it will be business as usual just like any other corporation that will still continue to be in business. Their buildings are very easy to spot and identify because they have steeples on top of their roofs. The steeples are symbolic of the obelisks of ancient Egypt that marked the path to the pagan temple of idol worship. There is a famous obelisk from Egypt on display in the middle of St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. The Vatican employed the obelisks at all their locations and the little harlot denominations are following Mama Catholic church by allowing the obelisks {steeples} to be placed on their establishments as well thus identifying them with the religious Babylonian system of false religion. The Babylonian church is comprised of the church denominations that follow the Vatican in religion and politics. The day of God’s wrath is coming at this abomination as the Scripture informs us. Today the wheat of God’s Kingdom is mixed in with the Babylonian tares of false religion. There has to be a day of harvest to clean up this infiltration of corruption and deceit of the wicked unbelievers of religious Babylon.

“And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. And the angel said unto me, wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth {the Vatican}. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he, cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast {the Son of Perdition, II Thessalonians 2:3}. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. And he saith unto me, “The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire for God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” Revelation 17:1-18

I feel it is the intensions of the LORD for His people to make hard decisions either for or against Him to ensure their loyalty of the Kingdom of God. Let it be known now that the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of Babylon are distinctly two different entities. To be able to differentiate between the two, the born-again Christian’s are the children of Jehovah God and of the Kingdom of God. The usurpers, frauds, go along with religious crowd, and fence straddle’s, are the members of the religious and pious church of Babylon. How can you tell these two apart? It is very hard today but if you know what to look for they can be identified. The rapture of the true church will be the deciding factor when it comes down to exposing just who is who. God’s way is very decisive but simple. The question is just how far would one go to prove their loyalty to their king? Would you be willing to lay down your life for the Kingdom of God? This will be seen and witnessed in that day.  This will be the day of decision as spoken of by the prophets. I also feel this will be another way to weed out those who claim to be born-again but are running a ruse in the presence of God and the church.

“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4-6

This passage of Scripture reveals our destiny provided you know Christ as your personal Saviour. Earlier on in other writings, I lightly touched on the Second Coming of Christ or the Second Advent of Christ. In the Christian camps that I am affiliated with it is widely believed that Christ will come and the Rapture, a type of rescue from affliction, will transpire just as the cavalry comes in and rescues the damsel in distress. As we will see, this is anything but the truth of the matter.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Valley of Decision

“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.”  Joel 3:14

It is my intensions to deal with the gathering armies of the world that will culminate with what we call World War Three. This train of thought will continue into future writings. The Bible calls this epic battle, the Battle of Armageddon to take place in the Valley of Jehoshaphat. It seems that all nations have just skirted this epic event only to wait for the signal from God to commence the advancing of world armies.  As we continue in this Bible study it is also my intension to deal with the Millennial Reign of Christ, better known as the One Thousand Year Reign. Many empires have attempted to exert themselves to procreate and endure this long of a period of time and some have been successful. The only successful empire known to date is the Roman Empire which lasted 2,214 years. Its mighty force of economics is still felt and administered here and around the world today. Some defiant ones still say that Rome still lives and I for one believe it does through the Roman Catholic Church in which the influence of the Vatican is felt throughout the world.

“Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. {This celestial event is the signature of Divine intervention in the Day of the LORD.} The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.” Joel 3:9-17

For decades now it seems that any nation who has an interest in the Middle East has intentionally left a residue of their troops in that area to secure their personal interests. These military consorts are better known as ‘advisors’. The U.S. alone has thousands in the region looking after her best interest. The country of Iran and Iraq have expressed in detail the destruction of Israel many times over only to be pushed back on the burner of the furnace of God. The French, British, German, and only to mention the Russians, all have their advisors on the line of the entire Middle East as I write. For some time now the Russian’s have been aiding Iran with nuclear interests and setting up missile installations all up and down Iran’s borders getting ready for the Day of the LORD which is a lot closer than we can imagine. It seems Iran somehow feels threatened by the U.S. backed Israel. The time is not yet, but everyone who desires to be involved is already there and waiting to pounce on Israel. One day and very soon, the hand of God will remove and allow the armies of the world to advance into Israel’s borders and over run her with the intensions of total inhalation. Why are they so interested in Israel one might ask? For one reason and it seems the most obvious is the oil below the sands. By now everyone knows about the abundance of oil in the entire region. It seems that anywhere there is sand and open desert one will find pools of oil. But there is something more precious than oil and natural gas to be found in the region and that is water. That’s right, water. Precious water aquifers are known in the region and only now are being tapped into development of the wasteland desert to bring forth the harvests of diver’s fruits and vegetables to feed the surrounding cities. Anyone who visits can see fields of sand being transformed into beautiful orchards by means of irrigation from these aquifers unseen from above. The real reason for opposing military presence is because of the hatred and jealously of God’s favor upon a land and people of His choosing, the JEWS. The entire world is jealous of them to the point of annihilation because they seem to be so successful at everything they set out to do in life. According to God’s overall grand plans of the ages, this was planned from the very beginning of time. This is a very old story, once again, about to be unfolded before our eyes.

I have been taught as others have in Sunday school and church services how the LORD will deliver Israel and escape destruction. But according to The Scripture it tells us how the heathen rage and that Jerusalem will be overrun with troops according to prophecy. I feel that the reason for this action against Jerusalem is to convince her people without a shadow of a doubt just who is their Saviour and Messiah. This time it will not be any supporting country such as the U.S. The help of the arm of the flesh will be cut off to prove the point God deems necessary for Israel to wake up and realize the truth of the matter. It will be unquestionable to those who stand to lose their lives at the hand of invading armies.

“Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the Garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them. The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness. They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:..” Joel 2:1-10

“The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle. They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land. Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt: And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames. Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger. And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land. Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword. Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished. Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it. Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children.” Isaiah 13:4-18

The Scripture states that God will make man more precious than gold which implies that men will be so involved in the movement of armies that one will not be able to find one because of their scarcity. When God makes His move against the invaders, both the aggressors and defendants will lose tremendous amounts of armed personnel due to the intense fighting. I feel that this epic battle of the ages will dwarf World War I and W.W. II put together. The Bible declares that there has never been or ever seen the likes of this coming battle.

“And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” Revelation 16:16

“I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.” Joel 3:2

“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in diver’s places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Matthew 24:7-8 {words of Christ in red}

Just before this battle of the ages takes place there are certain things, events, which will lead up to it and divulge the hidden mysteries of Bible prophecy. I am convinced the most important of all the prophecies is the prophecy of the Anti-Christ that will be revealed as described by the Apostle Paul. The Anti-Christ, or the Beast of Revelation as he is referred to by the Apostle John will be revealed and will lead the nations will uncanny wisdom and power unlike we have ever seen. Underworld wizardry and magic will rule the day. I have seen and reviewed all the movies and documentaries I could get my hands on of WWII and found that there is an uncanny resemblance of this description of the Anti-Christ in comparison of the man that led the entire world into war, the Nazis dictator Adolph Hitler. Even with the charisma of this evil mastermind, we are told by the prophets that the Anti-Christ to come, in the not too distant future, cannot be compared to any of his predecessors of renown. Just when we thought these events could not get any worse that WWII, we are instructed this coming Battle of Armageddon will surpass all previous known wars.

“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” II Thessalonians 2:1-12

“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, “Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindred’s, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” Revelation 13:1-18

In this Scripture above, The Apostles say the same thing according to the prophecies of Daniel and Ezekiel. There are so many proclaiming Christian’s today that have been told there is nothing to worry about because they won’t be here because the Rapture has already taken place. This is a lie of Satan to deceive the church. So many Christian’s will lose their faith in the church and their pastors because they have believed this lie for decades. They will be totally unprepared to deal with the events that will engulf all the church comprised of both true believers and false pretenders.

“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.” Matthew 24:15-22 {words of Christ in red}

The prophet Daniel wrote prophesies leading to the ‘abomination of desolation’, some 350 years before it happened the first time in history. We have an account of the Old Testament event that took place during the Jewish revolt {civil war 167-160 BC} recorded in the historical accounts in the Book of Maccabees I &II recorded by the renowned historian Josephus. The ruler at that time, Antiochus IV Epiphanies (175-164 BC)  one sons of Alexander the Great, decreed that all Jewish rituals of animal sacrifice be halted by slaughtering a pig on the altar of the House of God. This despicable atrocity was to infuriate and inflame the Jewish population into subjection of Grecian culture.

“And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.” Daniel 11:31

This action taken against the Jew’s religious practices in the Temple signifying the end of sacrifices by desecrating the altar with a forbidden sacrifice. Antiochus was attempting to preempt the Jewish rituals by introducing the Hellenistic {Grecian} pagan rituals of that time. Of course, this action was outrageous and escalated civil war. Upon the untimely death of Antiochus IV Epiphanies, in which he died of natural causes, the war was ended with the Maccabean Revolt. The Temple Mount was cleansed and dedicated known today as the “Feast of Dedication” which is still held around the 15th of December.

 "They decked, also, the forefront of the temple with crowns of gold and with shields, and the gates and chambers they renewed and hanged doors upon them:"1 Maccabees. 4:52-59.

Our LORD Jesus made a visit to this Jewish festival just before He went to Calvary {AD.33} in the following spring, and after the Festival of the Passover.

“And it was at Jerusalem the Feast of the Dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, “How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.” John 10:22-24

This accurate account of a tyrant has been given place, though mistaken as the Anti-Christ. The Anti-Christ is described also by Daniel’s prophecies in conjunction with John’s apocalyptic writings in the Book of Revelation. As I have stated in other writings many times, history has an uncanny way of repeating itself. You might be asking, what does this have to do with the anti-Christ of Revelation? I would like to point out that there are two distinct events taking place in the same portion of Scripture and is given away with closer inspection. Daniel 11:21-35 gives the life and exploits of the Seleucid King, Antiochus IV Epiphanies, a vile usurper of the throne. One event happened before the First Advent of Christ. When Christ was here with the Disciples he spoke of another event that would occur in the future. The Scripture takes a turn from this epic event to look down the road of the future by focusing on yet a further future event, the “End of Times”. In Daniel 11:36 we have a further knowledge of these future events by the Prophet Daniel when he describes the ultimate evil and another vile usurper of the throne. Just when we thought it could not get any worse, the Anti-Christ appears to pick up where Antiochus IV Epiphanies leaves off somewhere in the very distant future. As I have stated many times, history runs in cycles and over periods of time and distance, the similar events will begin to surface once again to remind us of the things that used to be. I mentioned earlier the debauchery and defamation of the Temple and the offering up a pagan sacrifice known in Jewish history as the “abomination of desolation”. This act of defilement is carried into the future at the “End of Times” or better known as the “Great Tribulation. This “abomination of desolation is performed again by the Beast of Revelation but there is one very distinct difference between Antiochus IV Epiphanies and the Beast of Revelation. This time the offence will be that the Beast will declare himself as god and will set himself upon the throne of David in the Holy City of Jerusalem. This is where it culminates and this event is the apex that stirs the God of the universe, Jehovah God.