Posts Tagged ‘theology’

Recently, I started thinking about Cain, Abel and the first recorded sacrifice, and I believe that Cain’s sacrificial mistake was primarily based upon not really paying attention to the desires, wants and needs of the Lord.

The common viewpoint I was taught early on is that Abel’s sacrifice was accepted because his sacrifice was based solely on faith, while Cain’s sacrifice was borne from his reliance upon his own works. I don’t believe that to be the case, because even though Cain was a farmer and did produce a sacrifice from the toils of his labor, Abel was a shepherd and therefore also produced a sacrifice from the toils of his labor also.

From the very beginning of the scriptures, we read that God teaches us about the importance of the shedding of blood. This early in man’s existence, that was something odd, as all people were vegetarians and were not allowed to kill animals for sustenance. The first inference of the necessity of the shedding of blood was when God clothed Adam and Eve with skins. He could have whipped the skins up out of thin air, but that is not probable, so the Lord would have killed an animal for the purpose+ of using the skins as coverings. This act also would have been the first example of a sacrifice and I believe it would have most likely been the skin of a sheep, since that was most probable purpose for them at this time.

For most of my life, I was taught to be self-reliant in all things, It wasn’t until the Lord saved me that I slowly started to learn that self-reliance is not the way to go, but to rely on the Lord in all things is how I should be living my life. That was a very tough lesson for me to learn, and the knowledge did not come over night. Cain was a farmer and to offer the toils of his labor would have been the natural thing to do. I do not know how the Lord attempted to explain his expectations to them, but apparently it went in one ear and out the other with Cain. I have lived most of my life as Cain did in his early years and when I look back I would have been a whole lot better off if I had relied upon the Lord instead of myself. The automatic nature of my “natural man” is to take on the burdens of life myself and to be self-reliant. The way I prevent that thought process is to constantly remind myself of the innumerable ways the Lord keeps blessing me and where I was when I relied upon my self, as compared to where I am when I rely upon the Lord

While I am on the subject of Cain, I feel the way Cain is portrayed in the scriptures, leads to an unfair assessment of him through potential translation errors, for he is lumped in with the “ungodly”, a term that creates completely awful connotations with us, however the Greek word simply means a lack of reverence toward God. Of course Cain went on to commit murder, (later in the scriptures we read that David was guilty of this sin also, but the Lord viewed David as a man after His own heart) but the Lord made sure he was unharmed, even though he was banished to the land of Nod. I believe Cain repented and asked for forgiveness at some point, for when we look at the meanings of the names of Cain’s descendants in the Hebrew, we find he named them names that were reverential toward God.

Jim

Strange Gods in My Life

Posted: November 23, 2019 in Christian
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I am a former pagan and strange gods are nothing new to me.

While I was still practicing polytheism a few short years ago, I discovered the God of Israel and Christianity via Chuck Missler audio books that were given to me by a cousin and I became fascinated by the Missler Beyond series. I subsequently added this Judea/Christian God to my list of gods I would honor, placing Him kind of at the “Big Kahuna” level. I assumed this was an adequate gesture and He would be pleased with this, so I continued on with my life. A few years later, I turned to the Christian God in desperation concerning a three-decade addiction and He immediately responded and saved me (being the only god that had ever interacted to me in an entirely positive way) so I became highly impressed and I started reading and studying His word where I quickly discovered that my placement of this God at the top of the heap was not adequate at all and was actually insulting to the Him, as I discovered when I read  the first of the ten commandments in Exodus chapter twenty.

My Lord has forgiven me of my past and has brought me into His fold, but recently I started wondering about the whole concept of strange gods from the aspect of the biblical standpoint. An example I will start with is a well-known Christian entity that is the face of Christianity to most of the world…the Catholic Church. In no way am I trying to bash Catholicism here (they just came to mind as an example), and I will be the first to admit that I do not fully understand their religious concept, but I still have had exposure to their practices from looking about as well as reading about their beliefs.

Jesus said in John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (NKJV)

I am familiar with some of the medals and pendants that the Catholics sell with Saint this and Saint that designed for the recipients to pray to for protection from various specific things, and I am slightly familiar with the rosary beads that are used in conjunction with a rote prayer to Mary, mother of Jesus. I don’t know about you, but John 14:6 seems pretty clear and succinct and all the icons of saints to hold and pray to and prayers to mother Mary are prayers to strange gods, are they not? It seems to me that those that use icons of this person and that person for protection and those that pray to Mary are, by their actions, saying that Christ as our intercessor is not adequate.

However, if I am to be honest I also have to look inward and use the same ruler on myself that I am willing to use on others. So, what about myself? Am I better than this institution I just mentioned, or am I simply casting stones from my own glass house?

I do admit, I prayed to strange gods for better than two decades without a lot of positive results and it seems that I am not alone. Apparently most of the nation of Israel, including the priests, prayed to strange gods in the form of Teraphim for most of their history, prompting the very first commandment; Thou shalt have no other gods before me…but they persisted.

I, as well as most of the people alive today, have even more of the scriptures before us than the original sons of God and with our instant and mobile information at out fingertips, it is more readily available than at any other time in history, so there should be no worry about having access to the Word of our Lord…that’s correct, isn’t it? You would think that we would have fewer strange gods in our lives because of this instant and wonderful access to the throne of God…unfortunately, that is not the case.

I still have to constantly sweep for Teraphim and strange gods in my life. I feel it is the basic nature of corrupt humanity to elevate ourselves and rely upon our own strengths, instead of turning to the actual strong shoulders in our lives. Whenever a harsh burden has been placed upon my shoulders I re-actively and almost instantly take it on and try to pridefully muscle my way through the burden instead of allowing God to take it away from me.

The question I have to ask myself is this…am I rejecting my Lord and rejecting His help that He promised, therefore perhaps elevating myself to a status equal to His own? Am I sort of making myself a strange god, trusting in my own worth and spirit instead of my Father? Christ quoted from the Psalms (Psalm 82:6) when He threw this accusation of making themselves “gods” at the Pharisees in John 10:34 (Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’?). Yeah, unfortunately, I believe I have to admit that I think that may be the case…and that is a very scary thought. Allowing strange gods into our lives is a very easy thing to do…getting rid of them is much, much harder.

God Bless, Jim

Israel has been one the dominating and driving forces behind world politics for several decades now and political questions regarding the future of this seemingly tiny, insignificant nation seem to be at the center of many of the world’s problems today. The question regarding Israel’s future is also a sticky subject that helps create divisions within the body of Christ as many churches deny Israel has a prophetic future, which, in my opinion, denies the integrity of the scriptures.

That being said, if we could all try to becomes Bereans (Acts 17:11) and scripturally verify the opinions of some of our church leaders while allowing the text to speak to us as we study the scriptures for ourselves to see what the Holy Spirit has to say, we will find that the bible develops and carries a few major themes from cover to cover. The primary theme, I feel, is the coming of the Messiah, His death and resurrection on our behalf and His future as the final world leader. Another major theme that the Holy Spirit writes about from Genesis to Revelation is Israel, it’s beginning, it’s history and its future. I could pull scriptures from Genesis through Revelation to prove the continuity of the woven web of the scriptures, however, I believe I can take a few chapter from one book of the Old Testament, written six hundred years before Christ1, and use these chapter to answer the questions that deals with an event that, in part, is yet to happen! Isn’t God’s word wonderful, that it is structured to allow us to do this? The book I am referring to is the book of the prophet Ezekiel.

Following is a quick synopsis of this fascinating book.

Ezekiel was a prophet of God that was born into a priesthood lineage in Judea during the reign of Jeconiah (also known as Jehoiachin). Ezekiel lived most of his adult life in exile in Babylon and became a prophet after his famous encounter with God riding the ‘wheel within a wheel’ (Ezekiel 1:16 & also chapter 10) chariot being guided by four living creatures, which most likely were Cherubim.

For a person like me that has always found math and the sciences fascinating, Ezekiel has always been one of those rare gems of literature that stands out. From the first chapter he throws these strange descriptions at you of his encounters with God that you try to get your mind around. I picture his descriptions of the conveyances of the Glory of God to the best of his ability, from the perspective of someone living 2600 years ago, as being similar to him trying to give a description of a flashy ’51 Mercury, chopped and bobbed with immaculate paint and replete with chrome and spinners and side pipes, while traveling with some escorts circling in front and behind on fast shiny motorcycles (I can most definitely see God appreciating a fine, ’51 Merc). This first chapter sets the stage for the flavor and style of the rest of the book.

So what does Ezekiel say about Israel? The first several chapter are dedicated to warning the unfaithful children of God that they are getting ready to be hauled to the woodshed and punished by being sent into exile into Babylon. Chapter 9, verses 3-7 paint a pretty clear picture of the anger of God toward his chosen people: ¶ And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which [had] the writer’s inkhorn by his side; And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old [and] young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom [is] the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which [were] before the house. And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city. (KJV) Chapter 10 gives us a vision by Ezekiel where God packs up and leaves the Temple because he considered it defiled. (This is one of many places throughout the scriptures where you can almost picture the Lord, shaking his head and mumbling, “Aye, yi, yi, what am I going to do with these kids!”)

Can you imagine what a faithful prophet, such as Ezekiel, seeing these vision that God is presenting to him; seeing the abominations of his people basically thumbing their noses at the Father? Can you imagine how he must have felt when he saw God order an angel to mark the faithful and order the other angels following him to slaughter every man, woman and child who didn’t have the mark of faithfulness to the Lord? Can we begin to understand what was running through Ezekiel’s mind when he saw the Glory of the Lord departing his Sanctuary in the Holy Temple at Jerusalem? I can’t, not really, but I think the preceding chapters of this vision that tell of the children of Israel worshiping idols and profaning and defiling the Temple, answers the question of why they were blinded.

The next several chapters of the book deal with judgment on Israel and on different nations and eventually to the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians during the twelfth year of exile (Ezekiel 33:21). At this point Ezekiel does something strange. He takes you from sixth century, B.C. and suddenly flings you into the future. Ezekiel 34 shows God examining those who are shepherding the children of Israel and pronouncing judgment on them. I believe these shepherds are idioms of the host nations of the Jews throughout history and God’s displeasure with them, until verse 22 where he talks about gathering his sheep together under his protection and speaks about how they will be safe with David as their prince. This is one of many places in the bible to make reference to the House of David being in their land in the end times, or as the question puts it, in the future.

The next few chapters of this wonderful book build upon the children of the Lord being once again in their land and receiving the blessing of the Lord, all the while hearing the rumbling of the nation’s gearing up against them. Chapter 38 tells us about the nations preparing and assembling themselves to go to war against Israel and about God talking to them and reminding them of a curious promise he made to them long ago2. Ezekiel 38:14-17 tells us how God is reminding the leaders that he set them up for this attack on his people, an attack designed to wipe the aggressors out once and for all: Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know [it]? And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes. Thus saith the Lord GOD; [Art] thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days [many] years that I would bring thee against them? (KJV). Chapter 39 starts out with something even stranger. Verse 1 & 2 are telling these aggressors that God is controlling the pace of the battle and is in charge of the events as they unfold. It reminds me of the same situation in Jerusalem six hundred years later where Christ set the pace and controlled the events leading up to his death. (Ezekiel 39: 1,2) “And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal; “and I will turn you around and lead you on, bringing you up from the far north, and bring you against the mountains of Israel (NKJV). Pretty cool, huh.

This odd chapter continues with after battle descriptions that would seem familiar to DOD analysts, because it seems to describe a detailed after action report of a nuclear conflict. Verse 21 of chapter 39 changes gears again and gives us Gentiles a brief synopsis of the history and reasons for Israel’s punishment and their eventual forgiveness in the end. Verse 24 also seems to answer why they were blinded. (Ezekiel 39:24) “According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I have dealt with them, and hidden My face from them.” (NKJV)

Chapters 40 through 42 give really precise descriptions and measurements of a Temple in Jerusalem that has never existed…yet. Oh, yeah, remember back in chapter 10 where we read about God packing up and leaving the Temple? (Ezekiel 10:18) Then the glory of the LORD departed from the threshold of the temple and stood over the cherubim. (KJV) Chapter 43:2-5 describes to us the return of the Lord to his new Temple in Jerusalem (Ezekiel 43:2-5) And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory. It was like the appearance of the vision which I saw—like the vision which I saw when I came to destroy the city. The visions were like the vision which I saw by the River Chebar; and I fell on my face. And the glory of the LORD came into the temple by way of the gate which faces toward the east. The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the temple. (KJV)

I think this is fairly good evidence that God isn’t finished with Israel yet, don’t you?

I really need to add this is only one place in the scriptures that tells us God is not done with Israel.

What about the everlasting land covenant God talks about in several places in the bible?3

What about the book of Joel?

What about Paul stating the Jews are blinded only until the Church is out of here in Romans 11?

There are several more places, but those will do.

Jim

1http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ezekiel

2 This promise to Gog by Ezekiel, is one of those strange example of prophecy where we are given the foretelling today and we are told that we will be reminded of the warning centuries down the road. This is another good example of God being able to see the ‘big picture’ from beginning to the end.

3 I have a friend that tried to convince me that when God said everlasting and forever, relating to these covenants, that God really didn’t mean forever and everlasting. I still don’t understand that one…Acts 17:11 ya’ll.

The first time I read the book of Leviticus, I was surprised about the specifics permeating the book. Leviticus lets us know that the Lord is very specific in how he wants to be thought of, worshiped and praised with specific punishments for violations, specific atonement for sins etc. The first half of the book deals mainly with the priestly rituals, while the last portion of the book deals more with the ethical injunctions and codes of living while stressing the holiness of the Lord throughout the whole book. If we mankind adopted the statutes laid out in the book of Leviticus we would much better off, for not only are there basic common sense rules regarding the treatment of each other, but there are the hygene aspects of the codes and of course, the main point…the recognition of the Holiness of our Lord and His expectations of worship and praise. Of course, I’m not advocating reverting to the Mosaic Law, but the basic tenants remain; the Lord is specific in how he wants to be treated, worshiped, spoken of and thought of and that will never change.

As a sidebar, I also understand Christianity a little clearer by reading Leviticus. For instance, I had not really paid attention to what a scapegoat was but Leviticus 16 explains that there would be two goats, one offered for atonement for sin and the other one would be released but expelled from the shelter and sent out into the wilderness. As I think more about this I realize that I could spend hours drawing parallels, but there is one parallel that leaps out at me.

I see how Christ was our scapegoat for he took on our sin and was then expelled and hidden form his Father’s eyes as the scapegoat was when it was kicked out to wander in the wilderness. That is why he couldn’t refer to God as Father, but had to refer to him as Lord, because he was hidden from God’s eyes while he was wearing our sin. He was no longer the perfect, sinless Son of God but he had become the sin of the world at that point. He became our scapegoat by taking on our sin upon himself while also becoming the atonement sacrifice offered to the Lord. Leviticus 16:15-16 tells that the goat of sin offering was killed and it’s blood was sprinkled upon the mercy seat and before the mercy seat because of the transgressions of the children of Israel and for all their sins. As we recall, Christ was pierced and his blood was spilled just like the sin offering.

I never really understood what a scapegoat was, nor did I care about it because, after all,  this was just another of those odd Old Testament references that didn’t have any application in my life. The more I read the scriptures, the more I understand that everything mentioned in the scriptures are put there for our behalf. Even though the scapegoat is only mentioned three time in the scriptures, (all are in Leviticus) the scapegoat is about Christ who became a scapegoat for us to carry our sins away in the wilderness. Now, whenever I hear someone mention a scapegoat, I will look at it in a different light be thankful we have a scapegoat.

Leviticus 16:15-16 “Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, bring its blood inside the veil, do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. “So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness. (NKJV)

“Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the LORD and the other lot for the scapegoat. (NKJV)

 

“But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness. (NKJV)

 

“And he who released the goat as the scapegoat shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp. (NKJV)

God Bless,

Jim

11-22-19

Anyone that has had exposure to the Christian religion is aware of the world’s greatest antagonist, Satan and the prominence as the number one bad guy throughout the bible.

Recently, while studying the bible, I have been examining some of Satan’s attempts to thwart the plan of God and I believe I have stumbled across an example where Satan may have missed one of the links and prophecies pointing to the birth of the Messiah. I am becoming convinced that Satan missed this link because the Holy Spirit excluded it from the official record (the Torah), though I think historical record and a little circumstantial evidence proves my point.

From the standpoint of mankind, Satan is an ultra-powerful supernatural being. The bible tells how Satan is an angel and we know from reading the scriptures that angels can wipe out scores of thousands of humans in one fell swoop (read 2 Kings 19:35 where an angel slew 185,000 Assyrians one night). However, that being said, Satan is a creation and is not a god and has limitations which includes the fact that God has to reveal something before Satan can know about it.

We read from the very beginning of the bible to the very end of this greatest historical novel of all times that Satan has attempted to destroy the lineage and the path of the Judean royal line throughout the scriptures to prevent Christ from being able to reign upon David’s throne and to claim the title of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Satan may be supernaturally powerful from our perspective, but he is not all-knowing and uses the holy word of our Lord as a prime source of knowledge to plan his attacks upon the royal line of God. Obviously, God understands this, but adds the information to the scriptures knowing full well Satan will use it in whatever manner he can to thwart the plan of salvation and at times it seems like he has succeeded, but in the end, God always prevails.

I truly believe that Satan missed having the knowledge of watching for the precise signs to point to the location and the time of the birth of The Christ and I feel the information that led the “wise men” to find the Messiah came directly from the prophet Daniel and the book of Daniel is where we first read about the Magi and it is a book that details an historical story line as well as a timeline that I feel is extremely exciting. You will find many links and article and posts about the possible history of the Magi that showed up in Jerusalem, but I know of no one else that has my viewpoint as to why these strangers from a different culture suddenly showed up (the reason for this simply could be that I haven’t looked hard enough).

As a child, knowing the story of Christ’s birth, I always wondered who these guys called the Magi (or wise men) were. I would ask others, but all anyone that I asked could say was they were wise men from the east and they would leave it at that, which meant that I was always left a bit unsatisfied with these answers, so I want to explore a little deeper into just who the Magi were.

Historical research indicates that the Magi were members of the Medeo-Persian Priesthood1 and we find that Daniel was chief of this priesthood according to Daniel chapter 4. Daniel 4:9 “Belteshazzar2, chief of the magicians, because I know that the Spirit of the Holy God [is] in you, and no secret troubles you, explain to me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and its interpretation. (NKJV) This scripture tells us Daniel held the office over these magicians to the court of Darius, the ruler of the known world. At that time in history, Daniel was probably the second or third most powerful man on the globe.

We also read in Daniel 6 the familiar story of the lion’s den. After Daniel leaves the lion’s den and is found unharmed, King Darius created a decree that was sent to all the nations of the earth stating that all nations under his rule must fear and give reverence to the God of Daniel (Daniel 6:25-28). To me, these scriptures seem to set up a series of conditions that gave Daniel the ability to spread the influence of the God of Israel and also importantly (and in my opinion) the specific prophecy he would receive about the birth of Christ in Daniel chapter 9. These conditions cited in the scripture indicate a link to the appearance of the Magi that suddenly appear unannounced in Judea (which creates much consternation and fear in Herod3) bringing gifts for the newborn Messiah. In my opinion, it wasn’t until after the Magi showed up in Jerusalem to request an audience with Herod, that Satan finally received his first clue as to where the baby Messiah was and he wasted no time in reacting, as we read about Herod sending out the command to kill all the male children within a certain age within the area of his rule (of course God already knew about this and had Joseph and Mary skedaddle with the baby Jesus in their arms for Egypt, which places them beyond the influence of Herod’s decree). To me, this is one of those events where the bible implies a Messianic prophecy that didn’t make it out of the Holy Spirit’s editing room for us to read, though Daniel seemingly knew the specifics of it and it seems he taught his dedicated followers to pass on this prophecy down through the centuries to their successors. Remember, Gabriel gave Daniel the specific day Christ would present himself as the Messiah and was told he would be crucified, and it is not a stretch of the imagination to assume he gave him a specific prophecy of the birth of our Savior also…kept out of the official record so Satan would be taken by surprise.

So what happened? The fact that five hundred years later this imposing procession of important foreigners (Magi from Parthia4) suddenly shows up at Herod’s doorstep in Jerusalem while following a special starand looking for the new born king of God’s chosen people, means they had to be there following some precise instructions, and the fact they were descendants of the Median Magi priesthood that was under the leadership of Daniel the prophet several centuries earlier, even though their nation worshiped strange gods, screams direct linkage to me.

Where am I going with this? My personal opinion is that Satan is totally familiar with the Holy Word and knows every word, every nuance, every prophecy, every covenant, every commandment and every screw-up of the Israelites in there. My thought is that this prophecy that guided Daniel to instruct the Magi to pass the prophecy down through their ranks from generation to generation was missed by Satan because it was left out of the record, causing him to ignore these pagan priests that are conveying the message of the expectation of a Jewish Messiah appearing under certain miraculous conditions to their following successions of priests. OK, if that’s true, why was it left out? We could throw out conjectures all day, but I believe this visit by the Magi gives us an indication, on a much smaller scale, of what celebrations should have been taking place in Israel if the Jews had paid attention to prophecy and had known to look for the Messiah, is one possibility. Another possibility is their visit was an end-run around Satan’s deception campaign, which in part, was designed to prevent such an announcement to be heralded, but the Magi succeeded at announcing to the Jewish leadership that the Messiah and King was among them. Or maybe it’s a combination of the two thoughts. Regardless whatever could have happened, the Jewish leadership were, once again, asleep at the wheel and ignored this event, which is only one of the most important events this creation has ever witnessed, and the single event that started the clock for the greatest love story ever lived, and the purpose of the creation.

Because Christ as the Messiah was rejected by the nation of Israel, The Lord turned his back on them as prophesied throughout the Torah, (Hosea’s prophecy is my favorite) which resulted in the catastrophe in 70 AD and the diaspora6 of the Jews.

I have a non-traditional view of the scripture, according to many of my acquaintances, so in my mind’s eye, I see God discussing with the others in the Trinity over steaming cups of nectar, his script for our universe before zapping us into existence. We all know what happened…Lucifer (who had become the Satan) threw a wrench into the works, apparently causing the Lord to rewrite the script of our complicated SIM game7, so to speak, even though I feel our Lord set up Satan so he would cause his own fall because of Satan’s addiction to the real killer, pride. I am always looking for patterns and, I guess conspiracies and one pattern that I see is; after the Jews turned chicken and refused to invade Canaan the first time, The Lord sent them wandering for thirty eight years before they were allowed to occupy the land. Fast-forward several hundred years and we have the Jewish nation reject God again by rejecting His Son. Thirty eight years later, the Romans destroyed the temple and massacred over a million Jews in the process of the siege and occupation of Jerusalem. I can’t help but wonder if this was simply a modified script from the original one I had imagined above, one where possibly the Jews accepted him and thirty eight years later, the chosen people, with Christ as their King, started the rule of the earth from Zion. Just as they had captured and occupied the promised land so many years ago.

In hindsight, we can look back and think, “what dorks, these guys had these prophecies about the Messiah, mainly the one from Daniel chapter nine, right there in front of them and they ignored it and see what it got them.”. Before we get all holier-than-thou, we need to look at ourselves. Heck, forget religion, here in America, our leaders ignore and reject our own constitution, they reject moral judgments and teachings, much less the teaching of the scriptures and we’ve only had a couple hundred years to do it in. At least Israel seemed to hold it together a few hundred years longer than that.

God Bless, Jim

1 http://ldolphin.org/magi.html

2 Belteshazzar was Daniel’s Persian name

3 There had to be many, many more than three Magi to cause the apoplexy that Herod seemed to demonstrate over seeing them

4 http://www.biblestudy.org/maps/parthian-empire-large-map.html

Numbers 24:17 tells of a star in prophecy, but after reading it in context, I don’t see the link to the prophecy of Christ’s birth…

6 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diaspora

7 I personally think we are some sort of giant SIM game where our reality is all smoke and mirrors and the real reality is what we refer to as the ‘spirit world’. The apostle Paul supports that view in Ephesians 6:12

I am going to make a bold statement here.

I believe the Antichrist (I John 2:22), (which mean instead of Christ or opposed to Christ in the Greek1), is the most popular title of the most famous tool of Satan, as well as Satan’s last hurrah in his vain attempt to thwart the final outcome of the world (as he is referred to in the the first and second epistles of John) is possibly alive today.

If the Profane and Wicked Prince of Israel (Ezekiel 21:25-27) is a natural born human being, he would have to be alive and ready at a moment’s notice, to perform the role that has been mentioned throughout the bible of the Coming World Leader2 outlined for us in the scriptures. I conceivably picture the Man of Sin (II Thessalonians 2:13) (or as he is referred to in Latin, the ‘Vicar of Christ3, which opens up a whole new can of worms), as a type of ‘sleeper agent’ ready to activate at a moment’s notice because the scriptures say Christ will return ‘as a thief in the night’ to those who are unprepared for his coming, as we are told in I Thessalonians 5:2-44. The most popular word for The Enemy (Psalms 55:3) is derived from 1 John chapters 2 & 4. I believe in chapter 2:18-19 where he mentions plural antichrists he is referring to people that learned of Christ but rejected Him or, through the spirit of Satan, pretended to believe and chose to intermingle with them but for the purpose of sowing discord and disinformation about Our Lord. It is a couple of chapters later we find the popular reference to Satan’s man which I think John is using as another title to the Head over many countries (Psalms 110:6) in I John 4:1-35.

Satan doesn’t know what the interval is between the harpazo6 and the beginning of the seventieth week7 is, so Satan has to have his Spoiler (Isaiah 16:4) ready and waiting in the wings to strike at any time. Satan has had to have had this Branch of the terrible ones (Isaiah 25:5) ready throughout every generation since the sixty-nine weeks were fulfilled, if the unclean spirit (Matthew 12:43) is human. For that to happen the Son of Perdition (II Thessalonians 2:13) has to be alive now. This means that Satan has needed to have his Man of the Earth (Psalms 10:18) ready to act when the time comes. Or does he?

I think there is another scenario that we need to consider. There is a possibility that the Man of lawlessness (II Thessalonians 2:13 NIV) will be one of the stars that fell (fallen angels) as we are told in Revelation 12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. (KJV) and he will just ‘appear’ on the scene. It says a third of the stars (which is a typical idiom for angels) go with Satan. All throughout the bible there have been visitations by angels that spoke, visited and dined with people mentioned in Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (KJV). Why should these visitations be limited to only the ‘good’ angels? Possibly the false teachers and plural antichrists that John mentions could be these fallen angels sent to disrupt and sow discord and confusion as we see in 1 John 2:18-198. This may be a thought that could be worth cultivating and researching.

Is the Antichrist a Jew? After all, The Prince who is to come will enforce (or confirm) the covenant concerning the temple in Jerusalem for seven years9. I could do additional research and bring forth viable arguments both ways and cite Revelations where it speaks of the Adversary (Lamentations 4:11-12) enforcing the covenant with Israel, I could cite Daniel 11:37 that states he will reject the God of his fathers, there are those that put forth articles saying this is a bunch of anti-Semitic rantings, but let’s allow Christ to settle the argument. Christ says in John 5:42-44 about the Jews in the end times that they will receive the Violent Man Psalms 140:110. I believe that Christ is saying the Jews will receive this Idol Shepard (Zechariah 11:16-17) as a false messiah as prophesied in Deuteronomy 18:15-2211, so will he be (is he) a Jew? I really have no idea, so I will defer to Christ’s authority on this one (and all of the rest, also).

God Bless,

Jim

http://biblehub.com/greek/500.htm

http://www.khouse.org/articles/1995/80/ , 9th paragraph

http://www.aloha.net/~mikesch/666.htm

I Thessalonians 5:2-4 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. (KJV)

I John 4:1-3 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the [spirit] of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. (NKJV)

6 https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?t=kjv&strongs=g726

http://www.khouse.org/articles/2004/552/

1 John 2:18-19 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would [no doubt] have continued with us: but [they went out], that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. (KJV)

http://biblehub.com/daniel/9-27.htm

10 Psalms 140:1 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that [cometh] from God only? (KJV)

11 Deuteronomy 18:15-22 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And the LORD said unto me, They have well [spoken that] which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require [it] of him. But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that [is] the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, [but] the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. (KJV)

How many different names of Satan’s man did I use? 17

How many different titles of the Antichrist in the scriptures?  33 https://www.khouse.org/topical_bible study/antichrist/

 

 

While studying the book of Hebrews, which was primarily written to the Jews, I started thinking about the problem the Jewish believers faced in the first century and I took a look at the dilemma that the Jewish people found themselves in when confronted with the teachings of the author of the book of Hebrews (which I believe to be Paul). Part of the issue covered by the writer of Hebrews in his instructions and lessons to the Jews about Christianity concerned their predicament about the Old Covenant and also about the Temple that was still the centerpiece of Jewish worship that was still prominent in Jerusalem when the book of Hebrews was written about 68 AD.

I believe part of the Jewish quandary with what was being taught to them by the Hebrew writer was that all Jews were raised and taught and instructed from a child that the Temple was the Holy Place of their Lord. They would have known about the Messiah and were anticipating him but most likely most of them had no conception that the Messiah was to totally overturn and upset their whole religious system. Historically the evidence seems to support just the opposite, most Jewish people were expecting a Messiah that would come swooping in and save them from the oppressive hand of the oppressive Roman rulers that had dominion over these proud Jewish people. This attitude reflects and shows just how far the Jewish leadership had veered from the actual meaning and intention of the word of God in the Torah that they had before them about the coming Messiah.

To the Jews that heard the teaching of the Hebrew writer, the concept of taking and turning their backs on a part of life that they had grown up with, a religious system that was the linchpin around which their lives revolved, a religion that had been hammered into them so deeply it was an ingrained part of their life and was a daily, weekly and seasonally practiced and sometimes a legally required ritual would be difficult for any devout Jew to accept. If what these followers of Christ were saying and teaching was correct, the Jews were expected to believe that the covenant that God had handed down through Moses and that was exemplified by the beautiful temple standing in Jerusalem was no longer in effect and was being replaced by a new covenant that had no actual temple as a place to worship. Additionally the fact that their respected teachers and leaders, the Scribes and Pharisees, were disparaging these rabble-rousing Christians and constantly throwing stumbling blocks and sowing doubt and confusion wherever they could about this cult of heretics among the regular populace, while persecuting anyone that started professing belief in the chief heretic called Jesus Christ, had to cause a lot of anxiety among the believing Jews. All of these things would create a situation that would be akin to selling an ice box to an Eskimo and would require some extraordinary salesmen. We find that God had such super salesmen such as Paul, Barnabas, Titus, Philemon, Peter, James and Jude, as well as others…and even then it was a tough sell to the Jews as we read in these epistles.

To accept and believe in the Christ and this new movement called The Way, was possibly a guarantee of being looked upon with derision and possibly ostracized by your community leaders while the threat of persecution or death would be looming above the believers like the sword of Damocles. We need to remember that first century Christians met in homes and private areas, partially to try and escape prosecution because they feared for their lives. To a degree, it may not have mattered that the Torah from beginning to the end was a giant road-map full of prophecies and guide posts pointing toward Christ the Messiah. Or that the Messiah had been among them and had been executed upon that cruel tree by their leaders, because knowledge to all this information relied on access. While most of the population of the world was illiterate, I believe Judea would have had a much smaller percentage of illiteracy. However, even if a large percentage of the populace may have been literate, copies of the Torah were expensive and therefore, few and far between, so the people would rely on the Rabbis and leaders of the local Synagogues for their information and inspiration and interpretation of the scriptures. In today’s world we have a tendency to hold our Pastors and Ministers in high esteem…be they right or be they wrong (why do you think there are so many blasted denominations) why should the first century Jews be any different? On top of all this we need to remember it would have been common knowledge that all of the original disciples of Christ were martyred, tortured and killed except for John the beloved, by the Jewish leadership. No wonder first century Jews had a difficult time keeping the faith. What’s our excuse?

God Bless, Jim

(10-9-19)

The Way https://www.blueletterbible.org/nkjv/act/9/2/s_1027002