A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth


Showing posts with label Biblical Worldview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Biblical Worldview. Show all posts

April 9, 2024

It's Darkest Just Before the Dawn ... The Thoughts of a Modern Watchman


This is somewhat of a personal post. I hesitate to even share my thoughts because they come from my position as one of God's Watchmen on the Wall. Actually, both my husband and I have been called to that position -- and it is not one that comes with any kind of accolades or acclaim. In reality, it is not an enviable calling because first of all, many Christians do not recognize the need nor the responsibilities -- and let me be honest -- the burden of being a Watchman on the Wall. Secondly, a Watchman is not commonly understood in the Western Church today. For most, it has an Old Testament connotation. And just like those Old Testament Watchmen, we modern ones are just as much ignored and misunderstood. But, without any rancor or spite, I would like to say that what God shows us as we look out into the darkness is just as important and significant today as it was thousands of years ago. 

Most people have seen enough movies or read enough historical books to have an idea of what a Watchman is all about. Whether on the walls of Fort Carson in the Old West, the tower of a castle in Medieval Europe, or the high barrier walls of King David's Palace, there was a Watchman stationed on the wall. His job was to stand guard and look out upon the land, watching for messengers, any hint of danger or movement by an enemy, and then to warn those within his sphere. The Hebrew word for "watchman" is tsaphah, and it means to overlay [serve as a covering], to observe, to spy, to keep watch, and ultimately to give warning of what they see.

The Biblical importance of being called to be a Watchman for God is not without consequences, and should not be taken lightly. The primary Scripture that everyone thinks of is Ezekiel 33 from the Old Testament, but make no mistake, it applies to every Watchman in every age. It reads: So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from My mouth, you shall give them warning from Me.  If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.  But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul (Ezekiel 33: 7-9). So, I hope you understand ... I HAVE to share what my spirit is shown.

We are familiar with the men called by God in the Old Testament to be Watchmen for His people Israel: Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah come to mind. They were men who had the responsibility to share with the people what they saw coming upon the nation. Sometimes, they were successful in waking the people up to repent for their erring ways, thus avoiding God's judgment through the actions of other men. More often than not, they were ignored and the people suffered greatly for clinging to their iniquity and rebellion. And because of their rebellious ways, God spoke through His Watchmen, and the message they delivered was, more often than not, negative. And believe me, it is not fun to be the one giving those warnings.

Modern Watchmen don't find it any easier than their ancient counterparts. God gives us the Bible to counsel us; to educate us in His ways; to show His Glory; to help us learn from His history; and to "connect the dots", so to speak between what He revealed to generations past and what He is unveiling today. Remember, His Character and His Ways never change -- the purpose of the prophecies He spoke thousands of years ago were warnings to return to Him. The same holds true for us. The names may have changed, but the results of disobedience remain the same. 

So, just as Jeremiah was looking for trouble on the horizon of his day, and warning the people to repent and change their ways, so do those of us who have been given discernment as to our own situation. We try to warn those of faith [and the lost[ that trouble is headed our way. But we often receive the same reaction -- no one wants to hear bad news, and you get a reputation for always being negative. "Why don't you ever talk about the Good News"?, they'll say. "Victory is ours! We win in the end"! Yes, that is true. But we may have some hard times before we get to that promised victory; especially if our leaders and the nation continue in rebelling against God's laws. And just because I am saved and try to live a righteous life, it does not mean that I won't suffer from God's judgment against the nation.

Right now, no one can deny that the whole world sits on the edge of war. So much blood has been spilled -- in battles; ritualistically; and through abortions, trafficking, and violence in the streets. And while it looks pitch black, like the dead of night, from the wall where I stand watch, I want to assure you that I DO SEE THE HOPE OF THE DAWN. The darker it gets, I know the dawn is still on the way! I do see people beginning to stand up and shake off the false sense of security that their normalcy bias affords them, and begin to turn to Scripture for the hope it offers in the midst of this chaos and darkness. Hallelujah!

Yes, we're in the middle of a battle for the future of our nation and the futures of our coming generations. But I know, in the deepest recesses of my soul, that we don't fight alone. The battle is the Lord's and He goes before us. He stands watch over us from Heaven, and if not, then my calling is in vain. But He has given me a part to play; and my job is to keep watch and tell the truth -- no matter how unpleasant and troublesome -- so that my fellow believers will not be caught off-guard and unawares [should the prophecies of the Bible come upon us in this generation. 

And I earnestly pray that what my spirit discerns does not materialize in our lifetimes. Furthermore, part of my position as Watchman is to prepare and encourage people to endure and persevere. So, while Watchmen are often accused of painting a picture of "doom and gloom", if you listen closely, the heart of our warnings is the blessed hope we have of the Lord's return. If we can help anyone avoid the "falling away" that the Bible prophesies, by strengthening their spiritual vision of the world and their faith, and fully living in the truth that this is not our home, then we are fulfilling our mission. Without a doubt, it seems as if things are getting darker -- but that only means that the Light of this world is nearer than He's ever been! Get ready for the appearance of our great God and Savior!

Ezekiel 33:3-4   ... and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 

 

December 2, 2023

Our Western Mindset Questions Authority ... And Jesus Is Our Authority!


I have made it clear through the history of this blog that I live my life governed by a Biblical worldview. What exactly is that, you might ask? Here is what it means to me ... that I believe in God, the Creator of the world, who has established an absolute moral truth that we are to live by. This truth is available to us through His Word, the Holy Bible. Therefore, I try to live my life by the precepts and principles He has given us in the Bible, recognizing that He is a Sovereign God; a ruler over men, nations, and governments. He is our moral authority and He rules according to His wisdom and purpose, calling me to responsibility in safeguarding His kingdom here on earth. 

That's a mouthful, I know, but it lies at the heart of the theme of today's post. And I want to build a case for the topic I'm writing about today, which is our society and culture's problem with accepting the authority of Christ. I'll begin here: In 2019 I wrote a blog titled Is Your Biblical Worldview Hebrew or Greek? It Makes a Difference! In this article I pointed out that from the beginning of the Bible's existence, there has been a tension between the Hebrew mindset and the Greek mindset when it comes to interpreting it and understanding Scripture. Having a Biblical Worldview necessitates that we rightly view the world through the lens of God's Word. But if you study history, it is easy to see that the manner in which the Body of Christ/the Church has viewed God's Word has changed through the centuries. And I remember waking up to the reality that just because we believe certain things "according to the Bible" today, it may not necessarily be consistent with the original writings and intent of God's inspired Word. 

That means that we should be reading our Bible [and understanding it] from the perspective of who it was written to (the Hebrews), and not through our own Western lens, which is based on a Greek mindset. One of the best explanations I've heard about the difference between the two mindsets comes from Todd Weatherly, of Bride Ministries Church: "The Hebrew mindset says, "I will do it [through obedience], and then I'll understand it." He says the Greek mindset thinks like this: "I need to understand it first, and then I'll do it". Which one puts God first?

Here's another way to look at it ... The Hebrew mindset allows for varied interpretations, and a passage can have multiple meanings [both in the physical and the spiritual realms] -- all to be revealed to the reader [by the Holy Spirit] from God's perspective. On the other hand, Greek thinking is very black and white; laden with precise exegesis rather than being rich in possibilities. Greek thought nails the meaning down; it can mean one thing, and one thing only. When we consider that Socrates lived 400 years before the crucifixion of Christ, and is considered the father of Western philosophy, we can understand why the Greek mindset would have been in direct conflict with the Hebrew mindset at the time the Bible was written and translated. The Socratic method of learning can be summed up, thusly: learning through the use of critical thinking, reasoning, and logic. From there, one questions, analyzes, and simplifies to get the one correct answer. The physical world contains the answer; the spiritual influence isn't considered. Can you see that influence in our modern American Church, and why it would lead to a religious frame of mind?

All of this leads to a blog post I wrote earlier this year, titled Why the Western World is Confused About the Kingdom of God. Because we read the Bible with a Greek mindset, we tend to form a rigid [and religious] belief system based on single concepts we've deduced from logic and reasoning. For example ... for years I read my Bible, never grasping or receiving the idea of what Jesus meant by saying His primary purpose for coming to earth was to bring the Good News of the Kingdom of God to the Jews (Matthew 15:24 and Luke 4:43). I had been taught throughout my Church experience that the primary message of Jesus was the one of Salvation, yet I only find that word used or referenced six times in the four Gospels, and only once by Jesus (He spoke of being "born again" [or Salvation] in John 3:1-5). Yet, the Kingdom of God is mentioned at least 62 times, and nearly every time by Jesus, Himself. 

So why didn't I ask the appropriate questions about the Kingdom, or seek more understanding of why my Lord and Savior spoke so much about it? Why didn't I hear the Gospel of the Kingdom of God taught from the pulpits of the churches I have attended? And although "Kingdom" has now become somewhat of a popular sermon theme these days [and a Christian buzzword, I think our Western mindset still is not in tune with the understanding of what Jesus meant. And as simple and absurd as it may sound, I believe our confusion lies in the fact that we in the Western world, and especially here in America, have no concept of what it means to live in a kingdom or under a King.  

And here is where I finally come to the heart of today's post ... Having been raised in our American identity of separation from a king in order to secure our God-given rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, we have what might be called a genetic bias towards authority; it's in our national DNA to be independent and to question any authority that threatens those rights. In fact, our culture has been bred to reject and question authority. So, when Jesus says, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me" (Matthew 28:18), anyone who is a non-believer and doubts His kingship, is naturally going to question His authority in their life. But, here is something that astounds me ... Jesus proclaims His authority and then announces that He is going to give that authority to us so that we might defeat the Enemy in our lives, take back the dominion we were given in the earth, and re-establish the rule of the Kingdom of God. "Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you" (Luke 10:19).

But the American Church has not done a good job of teaching us these concepts! Yes, we have power and authority to rule in His stead, but He is still the King and possesses All authority! Psalm 24:1 tells us, "The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness of it; the world and all who dwell in it". Then Psalm 115:16 says, "The heavens are the Lord's heavens, but the earth He has given to the children of man". We Greek-minded, Western-thinking Americans must be reminded that these verses are not saying God gave us ownership of the land called earth. At any time, He could take it back; that would be His exclusive right as King of the Universe, and Creator of earth. When God "gave" us the earth, He did not relinquish His ownership or authority over it.

We possess the earth as a trust, or stewardship. In Genesis 1:26-28, He gave us dominion [authority; jurisdiction; the right to govern in His stead] over the earth in order to extend the government of Heaven to this earthly realm. He gave us rulership, but not ownership. It is a privilege to rule this earth, and we must not take it for granted; we will be held accountable to the King for how we manage His kingdom here on planet earth. We are subject to His authority! 

But again, I fear that the American Church is a result of the changes in interpretation of God's Word that have come down through the centuries and been influenced by our Greek mindset. Have we become men and women who hold to a form of religion of our own making (and according to our national identity) but denying its power? 2 Timothy 3:1-5 says, "But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self .... rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid  such people". 

Once again, I suggest that our Greek/Western mindset is at odds with the true Biblical concept of God/Jesus's authority in our lives, and leads us to denial of His authority, which then leads to rejection [of] and rebellion [against] that authority. Luke 6:46 exemplifies how Jesus views this behavior: Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Remember, the Hebrew mindset says, "I will do it [through obedience], and then I'll understand it." The Greek mindset thinks like this: "I need to understand it first, and then I'll do it". Which one accepts the authority of God in their life? 

And here's where we need to take heed of 1 Timothy 4:1, "Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons ...". Our national history reveals this in our decisions to throw God out of our schools and the halls of government. Furthermore, we see it in the tendency of our educational systems to teach atheistic curriculum, pointing to socialism and marxist philosophies as the better way. And Church leaders are guilty of teaching unBiblical social doctrine, leading many to mistakenly legitimize their sin through Church membership. But this seems so "upside down" to me!

Today, we find many of the inhabitants of our country rejecting the authority of Christ in their lives as too restrictive and limiting, yet they are embracing the authoritarian rule and ideology of oligarchies as a better way to administer a society. Little do they know that there is true Freedom in Jesus's authority in our lives. Somehow, we have gotten way off track. Because it is our national predilection, or bias, to "buck the system" and push back against authority, we have listened to the lies and wicked deception of those who renounce the power and authority of Jesus in favor of the false promises of Satan that self-indulgence and self-worship is where we will find our salvation. 

That's the same lie he sold to Adam and Eve in the Garden and the same false promise that they could be their own God! Lord, help us! Our nation has turned its back on You and we are in danger of calling Your righteous judgment down upon ourselves! For myself, I bow to Your power and authority in my life, and I do not question Your Sovereignty over the earth. I choose to have the Hebrew mindset and obey Your commandments in Your Word, trusting the Holy Spirit to reveal Your Truth. And there's no amount of logic or critical thinking of the Greek mindset that will convince me to reject Your authority in my life. The fact that our universities no longer teach critical thinking will only serve to further remove the understanding of Your authority. We are in great need of a spiritual reset. Come Lord Jesus!

#hebrewmindset #greekmindset #theauthorityofchrist #ourdominionintheearth #theauthorityofgodsword #biblicalworldview #ourculturaldna #ourpowerandauthority #satansdeception #satansfalsepromises #rejectingjesus'sauthority  

1 Corinthians 1:22-25     For Jews demand signs (attesting miracles), and Greeks pursue [worldly] wisdom and philosophy, but we preach Christ crucified, [a message which is] to Jews a stumbling block [that provokes their opposition], and to Gentiles foolishness [just utter nonsense], but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks (Gentiles), Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. [This is] because the foolishness of God [is not foolishness at all and] is wiser than men [far beyond human comprehension], and the weakness of God is stronger than men [far beyond the limits of human effort].

     

October 24, 2023

More About The Importance of Biblical Prophecy In This Season on Earth


NOTE: I actually posted this exactly one year ago, but it seems even more timely today. So I am repeating it with some updates, in the hopes its message will reach even more people. "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings to search it out". Proverbs 25:2

If you are like me and my husband, you are a Christian who is discerning the current season that the world is experiencing, and you are tuned in to the warning signs that Jesus and the Bible give us about what the world will look like before His return. To be honest, it amazes me that there might be Christians who, out of fear or unwillingness, are unable to consider the Bible's prophecies about the "End Times". Many are concentrating on looking at the Victory that will be ours as this Age comes to an end. And believe me, my hope lies in that glorious event, too! But I also believe it is important to take the whole counsel of God if we are to live out our lives with a Biblical worldview and in our purpose. And the Bible tells us mankind will have to endure some hard times before the King of the Universe appears on the scene. 

That brings me to the premise of this blog post. I do not want any follower of Jesus to live in fear about what may be coming upon us in the near future. Neither do I want them to live in ignorance and be unprepared for the days of darkness that the Bible prophecies. So before we broach the events that we might expect to experience, and why it's important to know what's coming, I would like to establish the importance of prophecy in the Bible. 

The minor prophet, Amos, recorded this from the Lord ... "For the Lord God does nothing without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets". Amos establishes that God uses hand-picked men to deliver His message of warnings of judgment, as well as the message of the hope of victory -- and He does nothing without instructing His prophets to share the news. The words they spoke were inspired by God, therefore we should listen. By warning of God's judgment upon sinful people and their ways, God's goal is that "all should come to repentance", be forgiven, and step into their purpose for His Kingdom on earth. 

Prophecy also gives us the clear message that God always wins in the end. As we contemplate the results of the sin that engulfed the world "in the days of Noah", as well as the defeat of the nations of Israel and Judah, it might not look like those events scored in the win column. But with each prophecy of judgment that God inspired, He also included a message of hope; an encouraging word that pointed to His ultimate victory, according to His plan. And when the will of God changes the direction of a person or a nation [and even the world] from utter destruction, [and the people repent], it is an expression of His love. By paying attention to the Biblical prophecies, we can see the "big picture" of God's heart, and what might be a scary scenario can be seen in a perspective to help us endure and persevere. If God's Judgment results in repentance, [which is changing the way we think from our own selfish desires to God's perspective], we have the opportunity to see His love for us through the entire course of events.

So, now that we have a better understanding of why prophecy is important and its purpose, I want to return to the significance of the prophecies of the End Times in the Bible. Jesus, Himself, tells us in Matthew 24:37-39 that the people were living their lives as normal before God sent the Flood in judgment of their evil ways... "they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man". We know that God promised He would not judge the world with another Flood, but Jesus prophecies that another judgment will come when the world is in the same condition "as it was in the days of Noah", and this will happen at the time of His Return. 

How will we know when the times we live in meet that criteria? According to Genesis 6:5, in the days of Noah, "The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually". The earth was covered with widespread violence, as Genesis 6:11 tells us: Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight, and the earth was filled with violence. Would you be interested to know that the word "violence" is translated in Hebrew as Hamas? Now, that might seem just a coincidence, but is it? Not only have we seen the violence in the streets of our cities for the past couple of years -- but it's gone from mob violence to personal brutality and savagery. And now that spirit of violence reveals itself to the whole world. 

And it's not just the violence that matches what the prophets warned about. In 2 Timothy 3:1-5, the Apostle Paul says, "But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power". Furthermore 1 Timothy 4:1 says, "Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons."  The violence and the above-mentioned sins come from these deceitful spirits who sear the minds of people so that they no longer can receive the thoughts of God. 

These are just some of the prophecies throughout the Bible that foretell the End Times season... there are many, many more! Here are just a few that should have our spirits sitting up and taking notice: 1) "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short" (Matthew 24:21-22). Because of the proliferation of nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, and biological weapons, mankind is capable of wiping out everyone on the face of the earth ... no human being would survive. Those abilities make our generation a candidate for the End Times.

2) "But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase" (Daniel 12:4). Up until about 100 years ago or so, few people traveled beyond their own communities, but now with the advent of automobiles, trains, airplanes, and spacecraft, man can literally travel across the world and even into the universe. And the internet has made the exponential increase of knowledge beyond anything we could have imagined just 50 years ago. 

3) "And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider's name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth" (Revelation 6:8). Who can deny that the last few years have seen unprecedented Death? War and conflict are evident not only in Ukraine and Russia, but threaten to spill over into another World War. Famine is being predicted across the globe as food shortages are our new reality. Pestilence and disease ... do I need to say more? ... with new strains being predicted for this winter. And the wild beasts of the earth are certainly characterized by the random and brutal acts of men who are clearly devoid of any human empathy. Their consciences are seared, making them no different than a beast of the earth.

Then there are the prophecies that are specifically about Israel: 4) "Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment? For as soon as Zion was in labor she brought forth her children" (Isaiah 66:8). Israel became a nation on May, 14, 1948, and Jews, who have been dispersed across the world for over 1500 years, have been regathering in their homeland. 

5) "Thus says the Lord: Behold, I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob and have compassion on his dwellings; the city shall be rebuilt on its mound, and the palace shall stand where it used to be" (Jeremiah 30:18). Since 1948, the ancient city of Jerusalem, and the holy dwelling place of YHWH, has been rebuilt on the old ruins, exactly as foretold. 

6) "... nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts" (Revelation 9:21). Murders, sexual immorality, and theft are readily seen in the crime wave we are experiencing -- from the streets to the highest offices in the governments of the world; the transgender movement; and the loss of the value of our dollar through inflation. The word "sorceries" is English for the Greek word "pharmakeia ", and the deaths from the fentanyl crisis in this nation alone is astronomical. 

7) "Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons..." (1 Timothy 4:1). There's another aspect to this verse that I want to take a look at. It is quite apparent that witchcraft and the occult have taken a hold on the cultures of the world. Renewed worship of pagan gods has increased, and people reject the sound doctrine of God in search of ways that satisfy their own lusts. 

By now, you should be able to see that it is not just wishful thinking that we are closing in on the triumphant return of Jesus. And that's how I choose to see the End Times, rather than stay focused on the destructive events that precede His Second Coming. But that doesn't mean I ignore them, or the prophetic word that warns us to be awake and vigilant. It is a tough path to walk... many Christians would prefer we don't talk about the "negative", and only focus on the "positive". But the Bible tells us that we have to go through the unsettling days before we get to the joyous days of God's glory. And I do not want anyone to fall away from their faith because these days come upon them unexpectedly!

I know that many, if not all, of these few prophecies I have cited have been happening for centuries. But, I think if you will consider them carefully, we are the only generation that has seen these events come together at the same time. And there are so many more prophecies throughout the Bible [from Genesis to Revelation] that seem to point to our generation. Please don't look upon them with fear, but rather with joy, hope, expectation and strength. We may be about to be reunited with our Heavenly Father, who ordained us for a time "such as this". If you haven't yet, repent of your sins, and place all your trust in the Saving Grace of Jesus Christ! God will never leave us, and we have an eternal home awaiting us. 

Let the prophecies of the Bible enrich your prayer life and hear the voice of God as He warns you and encourages you! And last but not least, I pray that we Believers do not let one moment of this season of time pass away without walking in our purpose -- to take back territory from the kingdom of darkness and transfer it into the Kingdom of God and His Light! Snatch as many of the victories as you can from our Enemy and declare that we represent our King until He returns! God bless you all!

Revelation 1:3   Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.


 

October 18, 2023

The Battle In The Middle East Is Centuries Old; The Bible Tells Us The Ending


Whether you are a student of the Bible or not, I think it is essential that the world try and understand the players in the Middle East and how they all might align with End Times prophecy. For myself, I discern that it's increasingly important to look at everything I am seeing through the lens of Scripture. I t's not that I'm looking to be raptured -- (in fact, I happen to think that we Christians will be needed on earth, for a time, to offer words of hope, encouragement, and endurance during the battles leading up to God's wrath against the wicked) -- it's just that I am mindful that Jesus instructed us to be aware of the "seasons" in which we live, and what we see being played out now in the world is a definite "season", or stage, in world history.

That being said, I don't think we can afford to ignore some of the major world events we are seeing before our eyes. And it's really hard to look at them through Western eyes. We, in America, tend to forget that the Bible's inspired writers and prophets were Middle Eastern, and we try to translate and understand their epistles and letters through the lens of today's Western experience.  So, I'm not here to say that I am a Bible expert, by any means, but I have spent a lot of time asking God and Holy Spirit for insight and revelation as to how these age-old prophecies will play out in our time, and coincide with the End Times events spoken about in the Bible.

What has surprised me is that the alliances between groups in the Middle East have existed for centuries, right up to our present-day world. We think that what we see happening in Israel and Gaza today is a new event with only current implications. But, in reality, the rage and passions have never really ceased to exist. This very day, the world's media machines are working overtime to get "their truth" out about the crisis in Israel. Amid the recent rocket launches between the militant Palestinian group Hamas and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), both sides of these attacks are scrambling to put forth their side to justify their actions. Just over a week ago, the world was horrified at the atrocities perpetrated against innocent Israeli citizens [both young and old] by the terrorist group Hamas. But just days later, factions of the media and politicians are proclaiming the cruelty and savagery didn't really happen. It's not surprising that people seeking the truth are asking, "Which came first? The chicken or the egg"? 

The historical truth concerning this hotbed of violence is this: Palestine has always been situated at a strategic location between Egypt, Syria and Arabia, and it is the birthplace of Judaism and Christianity.  The Palestinian region has a long and tumultuous history as a crossroads for religion, culture, commerce, and politics. The region has been controlled by numerous different peoples, including Ancient Egyptians, Canaanites, Israelites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, the Sunni Arab Caliphates, the Shia Fatimid Caliphate, Crusaders, Ayyubids, Mameluks, Ottomans, the British and now, modern Israelis and Palestinians.

Boundaries of the region have changed throughout history, due to agreements between nations after various wars, and were last defined in modern times by a French-British boundary agreement (1920) and the League of Nations mandate in 1922.  Today, the region comprises the State of Israel and Palestinian territories in which the State of Palestine was declared. So, in reality, nothing is new.... this territory has long been in dispute and its ownership has often been determined by the victors of war. 

Today's conflicts can trace their roots to the aftermath of Hitler's diabolical Holocaust, and the birth of Zionism.  Of course, to many,  Zionism has become the trademark and secular "dirty word" for any attempt by Israel to defend itself. Originally, this term was understood as a movement for the re-establishment and (now) the development and protection of a Jewish nation in what is now Israel. In short, it is the rebirth and renewal in the Jewish homeland established for them by Jehovah God. In today's understanding, Zionism is often seen, by its critics, to mean it as a colonialist or racist ideology that led to the denial of rights, dispossession and expulsion of the "indigenous population of Palestine".

Those who claim that the Palestinians are innocent refugees in their own land, will side with the group Hamas, which was founded in 1987, when several Palestinians were killed in a traffic accident involving an Israeli driver, and the events that followed—a Palestinian uprising against Israel's West Bank and Gaza occupation—led to the founding of Hamas as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood movement. It has since developed a militant military wing, devoted to the elimination of Israel as a state. It is this group who has been blamed for the violence and slaughter in Israel this month.

But once again, the tide of public opinion seems to be turning against the Jews in Israel, as the Palestinian population in Gaza is caught in the cross fire, and Israel is blamed for innocent deaths as they battle to recover hostages and defeat Hamas. As throughout its history, Israel will need to rely on their God to protect and deliver her. Yet, the nations of the world need to be aware ... much about the Jewish state mirrors our own rebellion against the God of Israel. Which nations are going to receive God's purifying discipline? Our own country needs to be careful about how they respond to this powder keg. What's more, are we seeing all the nations lining up against Israel as in Ezekiel 38 and Psalm 83?

But the world must also recognize that Israel did not start this war, and history shows that they have not been the aggressors in the modern age. We can go back to a statement made in 2014 by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who directly threatened the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem, saying, "The Jews thought we forgot Palestine and that they had distracted us from it ... Not at all, Jews. We did not forget Palestine for a moment. With the help of Allah, we will not forget it … The pioneers of the jihadist fighters will surround you on a day that you think is distant and we know is close. We are getting closer every day." Those threats have not, and will not, cease to exist against Israel. And from my limited perspective, it certainly looks [in the current situation] as if events are pointing towards Israel standing alone. And that fits what the Bible has forecast, too.  So, as we watch the world rushing towards the fulfillment of the Bible's prophecies, we can almost see it unfolding before our eyes.

None of us, and least of all me, can predict when and if we are on the precipice of seeing these prophecies achieved. But my discernment is telling me that the time is near; that we need to be right with God, and we need to pray for Israel. For just like we Christians, Her only hope is in God, Jesus (Yeshua), the Messiah. Evil is marching towards Her and the Day of the Lord is at hand. I will admit that I have at least as many questions as I do answers, but there is one thing I know for sure ... the enemies of Israel are the enemies of God. Nations and individuals need to think very carefully before they align themselves with those who God will judge guilty of cursing Israel.  No amount of media and political propaganda can change His mind. History has proven that this was once Israel's ancient homeland, and the Bible declares that it will remain so. That is the Truth of the entire dilemma.

NOTE: I invite you to read my previous posts to get a broader sense of my Biblical worldview. And I will be expanding upon the historical context of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Isaiah 34:16       "Seek out of the book of the Lord and read: not one of these [details of prophecy] shall fail, none shall want and lack her mate [in fulfillment]. For the mouth [of the Lord] has commanded, and His Spirit has gathered them."


October 15, 2023

"The Lord Has Chosen Zion; He Desires It For His Dwelling Place!"


At first, this post might seem designed specifically for Christian Believers, but I think it is an important topic for secular readers, as well.  We all need to understand each other and our different opinions concerning the land of Israel. But most of all, we need to understand what Zion means to God.

This subject has been on my mind for some time, and in regards to the current situation in Israel [which will affect the entire world], an understanding of who and what Zion is needs to be clarified. Whenever I write about my Biblical view of Israel and my interpretation of their role in these End Times, I am often called a "Zionist Christian" and I am often typecast with labels like "your pro-Feast, Jewish flair" .... whatever that means.  So I believe it is crucial for readers to know where I stand on Israel and how I view her.

For just a moment, let us table the horrendous news coming out of the Middle East, and focus on the subject of Zion. First of all, when I speak about Israel, most times I am referring to the land according to my Biblical worldview. I see the nation of Israel as that land promised to God's Chosen People in the Bible. And I recognize that there is a distinction between the future prophetic restoration of that land, and the existence of the current state of Israel. I know that Jesus will not return again until God turns the focus of His saving mercies on Israel again, and Israel responds to God through Jesus Christ. That hasn't yet happened in a national sense. 

In fact, there is not much about the modern state of Israel that coincides with the Biblical Israel. And that's where the confusion over "Zionism" comes in. Let me explain this term from my Biblical perspective first.  From an initial understanding of the word "Zion" in the Bible, it is synonymous with "City of God", and it is a place that God loves. (Psalm 87:2-3).  Zion is Jerusalem. Mount Zion is the high hill on which David built a citadel. After King David's conquest of the ancient city, he built his royal palace there, and Zion/Jerusalem became the seat of power in Israel’s ancient kingdom. When his son, Solomon, built the Lord's temple in Jerusalem, the word Zion expanded to include the temple area, what we call the Temple Mount today.

As Biblical time marched on, Zion grew figuratively to mean Israel as the people of God in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, Zion refers to God’s spiritual kingdom.  I admit it is confusing and covers a wide scope of understanding.

And to make matters even more complicated, in this modern century, the word Zion and Zionist have taken on negative connotations among a wide variety of people. As we've witnessed this last week, there are those who see the reestablishment of a Jewish homeland as illegitimate, and desire to "drive them into the sea" or destroy them completely. And there are obviously those who do not know the history of the Bible, or what it says about the Jews and their ancestral land, and why it is so important to them.  For centuries the Jews had been exiled around the world from the land that God promised them, and there was a collective desire to return and resettle their ancestral lands and to revitalize and cultivate their native Hebrew culture. They longed to return to the Biblical Zion.

But after the atrocities of the Holocaust and with the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948, this love of Zion became a nationalistic and political movement, rather than a religious or cultural identity.  Zionism, today, continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the nation Israel and address threats to its continued existence and security. It has little to do with God's view of Zion. 

Let me be clear in explaining my sensitive position, and please read the next couple of paragraphs before you pass judgment ... the state of Israel, as it exists today in the Middle East, does not represent the Israel that will say, "Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord." They are largely a secular and political state, with no religious connection to Yeshua, their Messiah at all.  They are true political Zionists.  However, the population also includes a sizable number of religious Orthodox Jews who remain blinded to their future, and most probably view themselves as Zionists from a historical, Old Testament perspective. But I also want to point out that there is a growing population of Messianic Jews, who know and believe in Yeshua as the Biblical Messiah, and are evangelizing "in the Name of the Lord". And I praise God for this remnant that is returning to the true identity of Zion in the land.

But the nation of Israel, as a whole, has a long way to go to return to their Scriptural identity. They are still in rebellion and refuse to recognize their Creator and Messiah. Tel Aviv has declared itself the "gay capital of the world", as proclaimed by one Israeli citizen: "Israel isn’t a regressive Taliban state based on ancient scriptures. It is a modern, democratic and progressive society built on democratic values. The people of Israel have chosen to have a free, secular, democratic and pluralistic society where gays are not only tolerated, but where gay culture is celebrated."  Does this sound like the Biblical Zion?

So, having said all this, when I look at modern Israel, I choose to focus my prayers on the small, but growing numbers of Messianic Jews who see the real reason they are "back in the land", and who recognize their calling and purpose. When I say I love and support Israel, I am looking beyond the nationalistic, political reality of the current state of Israel and seeing them as God sees them... His beloved Zion; I see the devoted Jews who have surrendered their lives to their Savior Messiah and are faithfully working to bring about His return.

So, for any Christians who believe in Replacement Theology and accuse me of supporting a Zionist state, you need to understand that I do not share your doctrine. I do not believe that the Church (and especially not the Western Church!) has replaced Israel as God's chosen people. I read Romans 11 and do not try to corrupt it. I accept it word for word ... Gods gifts and His call are irrevocable [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.] ... And so all Israel will be saved. As it is written, The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will banish ungodliness from Jacob. And this will be My covenant (My agreement) with them when I shall take away their sins.

And for the secularists and atheists who discount the Word of God, I will agree with you that the Zionist State of Israel is not perfect. I do not blindly uphold it as the Israel of the Bible. But you need to understand that it is not yet that Biblical nation of Israel with whom God established a covenant .... but one day it will be. And it is the future Israel that I pray for and long to see come out of its rebellion and recognize its Messiah.  I have close friends who are the beginning of that true Biblical remnant in Israel, and they allow me to see the hope and the promise of Israel's restoration. 

I do not expect this post to change anyone's mind, and it probably won't even help those who disagree with me to understand my position better. I already see people's minds and narratives changing regarding the slaughter of Israeli's this last week... from expressions of horror to voices that are already condemning Israel's divided government and its policies. But if we say we love Israel and we stand with her, we must love Israel through a Biblical lens; we must support her and pray for her to come out of her rebellion and reclaim the covenant of her ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and we must long to see her restored to the fullness of her power in God; restored to her true character and purpose in leading the world to Yeshua.  For all this, I make no apologies. 

And, finally, I pray that the land and people of Israel be returned to the holiness YHWH bestowed on Zion. May the God of Israel comfort them in the midst of this sorrow and tribulation, physically and spiritually living out Psalm 137:1... By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. As we watch this conflagration unfold, let us keep God's view of His land and people in perspective. Let us pray that all Israel will come to know and see His Truth!

Isaiah 60:14      The sons of those who afflicted you shall come bending low to you, and all who despised you shall bow down at your feet; they shall call you the City of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.


  


July 29, 2023

A Message To Our Politicans and Citizens: We Need A Biblical Worldview!


I don't know about you, but as we enter into the campaign season for the next Presidential election in 2024, I am weary of the empty promises we hear from the politicians. Our country is in dire straits -- morally, politically, militarily, economically, and culturally. We desperately need to invite God into our situation, and we need a leader that will listen to His counsel, instead of pursuing his own power and wealth. 

Recently, the candidates appeared at the Iowa caucuses, presenting their assurances of getting us back on track and restoring America to "its greatness", however that looks in the context of their political ideologies. It is my opinion that they need to be seeking God's ideas and ideals that will influence their political theories and policies. That's what I want to hear from them! 

And, of course, to appease their Christian audience, the candidates met with a varied group of pastors to speak to them and advise them. Granted, I know that there are still righteous men who seek political office for the Glory of God, and I know there are Pastors that sincerely want to minister to the souls and spirits of men seeking the highest office in the land, but I am praying that EVERY candidate and EVERY Pastor heard the message from Pastor Alistair Begg, senior pastor of Cleveland's Parkside Church. 

In the most straightforward and clear language possible, Pastor Begg explained to all the candidates that what they needed to know [and express to all the people of our nation] is very simple ... they need to communicate and demonstrate a Biblical worldview. That's what the people of this great nation need! I know it may sound trite and clich├ęd, but I want to convey to you the wise words of this Man of God. It applies to all of us.

Pastor Beggs noted that every candidate referred to "the crushing, catastrophic mental health problem that is pervasive in the nation". He thought it was interesting that out of all the topics presented, they all mentioned mental health. But how do we explain the fact that we have so many people in dire straits in so many areas of their lives? Pastor Beggs had an answer .. .When a nation turns its back on the living God, it's not because the people believe in nothing; in fact, they believe in all kinds of things, such as lies that have been hard-wired into the thinking of a number of our generations. And most importantly, there are lies that represent a hostility to a Biblical view of the world -- and it's a hostility towards those that want to live as Christians in a world that doesn't like what Christians believe. 

Pastor Beggs told the candidates that if they wanted to really fix the problems of America, they needed to adopt a Biblical worldview and start from there. They need to govern from a Biblical worldview and its belief system. And if they didn't understand what that means or couldn't identify what a Biblical worldview is, he could tell them in four words ... Good, Bad, New, and Perfect. And then he proceeded to explain the truths and beliefs of what a Biblical worldview endorses.

GOOD. God created the Heavens and the Earth. He created man in His image... God saw everything He had made and it was good; it was perfect. The world is a reflection of God, the Creator, and He has spoken it into existence. There is no one in the world that can ignore He has created the world. He has made it known in His creation, in our consciences, and "set eternity in the hearts of men". (Ecclesiastes). Pastor Beggs told the candidates that they needed to believe in the truth that God's invisible power and His divine authority has been clearly perceived (Romans 1). They need to believe that it is on the basis that we have been created in the image of God that we have morality, truth, and an eternity we will one day inhabit. 

He went on to explain that this is a worldview that is VASTLY different from the generations that have been brought up in our lifetime. They have been told we can't speak with any authority at all about there being a Creator God, who made us and to whom we are accountable. Instead, we are to listen to the scientists and the post-Enlightenment thinkers who want to separate the reality of our living faith from any sense of rationality at all. And they end up with nothing to say!

Stephen Hawking [the theoretical physicist whose theory of exploding black holes drew upon both relativity theory and quantum mechanics] once said that if there is no God and we've evolved by chance through millions of years, then everything that happens, good or bad, must be viewed as random and pitiless indifference. If that is true, then nothing has meaning, and everything is irrelevant. But that is where our society is headed if we don't reclaim a Biblical worldview.

BAD. Here's another truth that Pastor Beggs encouraged the candidates to consider. The world we know today is not the world as God made it. It is the world as man has spoiled it. Men listened to the lie and they doubted God's goodness. They rejected His wisdom and they rebelled against His authority. And what happened? They were banished from His presence. So now do you understand why we feel so separated and divided as a nation? Why there is such anger and animosity among the peoples? As the philosophers question, did we just invent Him as a crutch to get through life? Here's what he urged the candidates to understand ... There's an invisible boundary between us as sinners and God, who is completely holy. We can cross that boundary on our own terms or in our own time. But there is only one way there can be reconciliation, and that is if God chooses to penetrate the boundary from His side and come to meet us. 

Pastor Beggs went on to say that without a Biblical worldview there is a sense of lostness in the world; a desert wasteland that can't be rejuvenated by a few man-made theological proclamations [such as "Revival is coming"!] that try and suggest that things are better than they are. Why do we have that sense of lostness? Why are we so incredibly angry? Why is it that we, mere mortals, have decided we can enforce judgment ourselves? That we can decide who can be listened to? 

How did this happen? The pastor thinks it's partly this ... that having decided there is no God, who is the Judge of all the earth, we will become the one to execute judgment and righteousness. Since our society has no objective reality on the basis on which He might judge, then we're going to have to do it for Him [or for ourselves]. It's not that we've decided to do it by false idols; but that we will do it in His place. That leads to this situation: people are so angry about what we Christians believe, they've just decided to cancel us. "We'll punish you; we'll fix you; we'll do what your God is supposed to do". So, ultimately, how can God look upon us without displeasure, and how can we look upon Him without fear?

NEW. But here is the Good News! Into the "badness" of a world that has rejected Him, God, Himself has come! We have to be bold enough to say this out loud ... Jesus Christ is not a figment of our imagination. He made such an impact upon history -- even though it's trendy to dispense with BC and AD -- we know there was a time before Jesus, and a time after Him. The reason He came was to make all things new. The reason He came was to die for our sins. We have to be able to say to our friends that we're all made in the image of God, without exception! Every child conceived is because of the mindful purpose of God! It doesn't happen simply as a result of sex, because it doesn't happen every time, but when it does -- GOD DID IT! We have to be able to say we are all made in His image; we're all sinful before Him; and we're all in need of a salvation that can only be provided by Lord Jesus. We can be restored by the act of Jesus who died for our sins. 

But here is what a Biblical worldview understands ... to contemplate that Jesus saves us is an offense to man's pride, both intellectually (I'm too clever to believe stuff like that), and morally (I'm a good person. I don't need that). And here's where the good pastor used a sense of humor to talk to the candidate's fleshly minds. He used two Beatles songs to explain that there are two classes of people (and not Republican or Democrat). Those who say, "We Can Work It Out", and those who say, "Help". 

And then he fashioned his message to political candidates to include those who are lost and in need of a Savior. He stated that it's not that our "friends" have considered the evidence of Jesus and found it wanting -- they haven't considered the evidence at all! Belief in Jesus is historical, rational, and universal. It is recorded; you don't have to disengage your mind, and it is for everyone. It's the voice that has gone out to the very ends of the earth, not just a select few. And the application of it is personal. Yet, us Christians are considered to be engaged in superstitious beliefs from a primitive by-gone age, taking our message of mythology and bigotry to the streets.

We will hear, "I thought Jesus made you perfect, but you're not a perfect person at all". My answer is this: He declared me righteous and He's in the process of making me look perfect. And speaking of PERFECT, it's the next word we must consider in our Biblical worldview. John writes that "we are now the children of God. But we do not yet appear what we shall be, for when He appears, we will be like Him". Our leaders and the unbelievers need to understand that there's going to be a new Heaven and a new Earth. We will crumble into dust and the universe will pass away. 

And as for the hot topic of Climate Change, yes, we should take care of what we've got, but to the extremists, we say, "Relax, the Creator has this covered". So, if they believe there is no God, the extremists think there's no one to fix everything except them. That's why they're so anxious! But here's the truth [for the politicians] ... the perfection and longing of the human heart are all met in Jesus. After all, who wants to live in all this conflict, wars, and disharmony? The souls of a country are made up of the souls of individuals. And that was the goal of Woodstock in 1969 -- to change the soul of the country. But it's Jesus that provides the rest for our souls. He says, "Come to Me, take my yoke, learn from Me; I'm gentle and humble".

Then Pastor Beggs speaks directly to the political candidates: "If you're really serious about serving this country, you ought to be thinking about three things: Integrity, Bravery, and Humility. INTEGRITY: God is concerned about Truth in all the inward parts of a man or woman.  [I'm sure that not all politicians are greedy, corrupt, or liars. But we're hard-pressed these days to believe any of them -- my opinion]. Integrity is a must among those who would lead this land.

BRAVERY: What kind? The kind that's prepared to take a stand against racial prejudice [from all sides and of any kind]. The kind that is prepared to take on the educational chaos that is represented in the schools of our world. The kind that is prepared to take on the onslaught against the unborn. The truth is that there are two patients, two heartbeats, and two separate blood supplies. The Rights of the Patient [which are plastered on the walls of hospitals all over America] extend to the tiniest of patients, too. There is no freedom in this country if a woman is able to rid herself of her unborn child. You [politicians] need to be brave enough to say, "Jesus came for the margins of society. You need to affirm the immutability of biological sex ... if you were born a man, you will die as a man, no matter what you do to yourself. And you need to be brave enough to wear a T-shirt that says, "Real women aren't men".

HUMILITY: Guess what? Presidents and Prime Ministers aren't really who they think they are. They're important and God established them, but they're not the movers and shakers of the world -- God is the One who does all the moving. The prophets have said it best: "He sits above the earth,  and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers". Of course, we're not real grasshoppers because we are made in the image of God. But we need to remember this [in our humility], "Don't let the rich man boast in his riches, but let him boast in this: that he knows Me, the Living and True God".

If you're a believer, you're in Christ, living in this world as a member of another world. Candidates, it is past time to oppose the lies -- no God, no judgments, no objective truth. It's past time to oppose the lies, but at the same time showing compassion for those who have been deceived by them. It's past time to pray for a massive spiritual awakening. 

Pastor Beggs then concluded his message to the candidates by praying for them. And I would like to add my own admonition to the candidates ... If you will humble yourselves to deliver [and seek] this Biblical worldview to the citizens of this country, then God can use you to turn this country around. We need a President that represents God's heart for the people of this nation in Integrity, Bravery, and Humility. But if you are going to preach your own brand of political lies and promises, then you will deliver this nation and its peoples into bondage to the Enemy of this world. Now is the time for you to take stock of where your heart lies. I will pray for you, and pray that the people of America turn their hearts to the Lord and receive His counsel on where He wants to take this country. Thank you, Pastor Beggs, for a true Biblical worldview and your honesty with these candidates. More like you need to step up for the glory of God.

Colossians 2:8   See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception [pseudo-intellectual babble], according to the tradition [and musings] of mere men, following the elementary [material] principles of this world, rather than following [the truth—the teachings of] Christ.

 


 

December 20, 2022

Do Not Become Entangled In The Defilement Of The World


As I sit here, less than a week before the Christian world celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, I am honestly astounded at what I see happening in the realm of faith and religion. Has the world just decided to dismiss what God has to say in the Bible? And what's even more alarming, has the Church?

It's been hard to ignore the headlines this week. Mind you, I try not to pay attention nor obsess over the news of the world and how its controversies conflict with my faith. I am acutely aware that I am in this world, but not of it, so I expect to be at odds with mainstream and secular opinions. But that doesn't mean I am not saddened when I see another precept of God's Word abandoned or mocked. Kirk Cameron, former child TV actor and current Evangelist is having trouble booking speaking engagements at public libraries to read his faith-based children's books during Story Hour. Yet, these same libraries have had no problem hosting drag queen story hours, claiming they are open to celebrating the diversity of opinions ... as long as it's not Christian apologetics. What happened to following Psalm 78:2-4 ... I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.

Then there is the shocking news that the Catholic Church has defrocked a priest for his pro-life beliefs. Father Frank Pavone, is the National Director of Priests for Life, a pro-life organization not run by the Catholic church. His "defrocking" means he will no longer be able to wear the clerical collar, he can no longer conduct Mass, hear confessions or administer sacraments such as the Eucharist. Additionally, he is no longer required to recite the Liturgy of the Hours (a set of prayers marking each hour) nor obey his bishop. Although, he is still a priest, it is more in terms of being a layman, and he will not be able to teach in a Catholic school. As astounding as this pronouncement is, there was the statement issued that said "there was no possibility of appeal", which seems to indicate the action came at the behest of the Pope, himself. When the leader of the Catholic Church defies the Word of God, I fear the Restrainer's hand will soon be removed! Does the Holy Father of the Catholic Church not recall the righteous Commandment, Thou shalt not murder? Does he not remember Matthew 5:29 ... whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven...

And it was reported on one of the social media news sites that there has been an error in the Bible's translation. The claim is that the word "homosexual" is not correct in the Biblical translation of 1 Timothy 1:9-10, which says, the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound (healthy) doctrine. PLEASE DON'T MISUNDERSTAND the point I am trying to make -- I believe that all sin is denounced by God, and the purpose of bringing this verse to your attention is the attempt to change the truth of God's Word and misdirect its meaning.

In fact, the researchers say, the word "homosexual" is an incorrect translation. They claim that the word homosexual has only come into vogue in 1946 in the Revised Standard Revision. They assert that in Martin Luther's original German translation from 1534, the word was translated as "boy molester". Therefore, they claim, this mistranslation has led to the denigration of homosexuality as a sin. I totally agree that it is wrong to assume that every homosexual is a molester of boys. But I also find it interesting that the 1599 Geneva Bible translation of this verse says, the Law is not given unto a righteous man, but unto the lawless and disobedient, to the ungodly, and to sinners, to the unholy, and to the profane, to murderers of fathers and mothers, to manslayers, to whoremongers, to buggerers, to menstealers, to liars, to the perjured, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to wholesome doctrine. So what does buggerer mean? According to the references in the Oxford English Dictionary, Webster's Dictionary, and the Cambridge Dictionary, the word "buggerer" usually refers to anal intercourse. So, while I can understand the desire of homosexuals to not be categorized as "boy molesters", it does not change the intention of Scripture, nor can we deny the Word when it says, You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you (Deuteronomy 4:2). 

The same attempt to soften the commandments and statutes of the Bible is apparent when contemporary Christian singer Amy Grant rationalizes hosting a same-sex marriage at her home. She justifies her decision by saying, "Jesus, you just narrowed it down to two things: love God and love each other." But isn't that an over-simplification of the Majesty and Sovereignty of God? I agree with the Reverend Franklin Graham who says yes, God calls Christians to love one another but John 14:15 says, If you [really] love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments. And what is His commandment regarding marriage? Let's look at Mark 10:6-9 ... But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother [to establish a home with his wife], and the two shall become one flesh; so that they are no longer two, but [are united as] one flesh. Therefore, what God has united and joined together, man must not separate.”

All these instances I have cited just touch the surface of our preoccupation, distraction, and entanglement with a world that is slipping further away from the Truths of God. Sadly, much of the Church has not protected those truths, and in some cases, have compromised with them. I am so thankful for the Remnant who is conversely growing closer and stronger in their relationship with the One who will soon appear to judge all mankind on earth. Let us not veer from the path we have been set upon. The world needs us to stay the course! Please take the closing Scripture to heart!

#defilement #biblicalmisinterpretation #thewordofgod

2 Timothy 4:1-2     I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word [as an official messenger]; be ready when the time is right and even when it is not [keep your sense of urgency, whether the opportunity seems favorable or unfavorable, whether convenient or inconvenient, whether welcome or unwelcome]; correct [those who err in doctrine or behavior], warn [those who sin], exhort and encourage [those who are growing toward spiritual maturity],


September 9, 2022

Is Queen Elizabeth's Death A Prophetic Sign?

For awhile now, I have been watching the disintegration of Europe. I'm not a political science expert and I don't study the theory and practice of international politics and government, but it doesn't take a genius to recognize that the world is coming unhinged and Europe is on the verge of collapse. And then there are the times that the Holy Spirit is very direct at pointing me to events He wants me to see. So, not knowing what each day will bring, I was surprised to hear the news announcement that Queen Elizabeth's health was failing. It didn't take long to realize that she was probably on hospice, as the royal family began congregating at her bedside. But it was literally only a few hours after the initial announcement before her passing was made public. Immediately, my spirit was alert, and I knew this was a prophetic sign for all of Europe.

As I meditated on this thought, I heard in my spirit, "Elizabeth has passed away. Europe is next. Europe will fall". In my mind I tried to substitute the word "fail" instead of "fall", because I think my flesh thought "fail" didn't sound so final, as if Europe might possibly be blessed with a revival of fortune or a rebirth. But I could not convince my spirit to agree ... no, I definitely heard "fall". But what does that mean? I confess that I am still trying to hear in the spirit what the aftermath of this possible prophetic sign might look like. 

All the while, the clues are laid out for us quite clearly. The euro, which is the official currency of 19 of the 27 member states of the European Union, is on the verge of collapse. But a collapsing euro will affect our country as well. When the European currency is strong, it helps make American exports cheaper in the Euro zone. A deep recession in Europe and the collapse of the Euro zone will also affect US banks, whose balance sheets contain government bonds bought from financially unstable European states. In fact US institutions are heavily invested in securities and credit-default swaps with European banks.

And that's not the only thing in Europe on the brink of collapse. Europe is suffering a collapse of their energy resources. Exploding energy prices are affecting France, Germany, and Britain with some costs predicted to rise as much as 200%. Poland is giving its citizens permission to forage in the forests for firewood because energy prices are unaffordable. Europe is also feeling the effects of the Russian-Ukrainian war. According to a report on wnd.com, "This week the International Atomic Energy Agency announced that Ukraine’s nuclear plant, the largest nuclear facility in Europe, has suffered damage as part of the Russian-Ukrainian war. Last week, the Russian energy giant Gazprom announced that it would not recommence European gas deliveries through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline." So Europe is facing a dire energy crisis as well, just as winter looms. Add to these crises, the growing whispers of "widespread civil unrest" across Europe due to the higher cost of living, the added burden of illegal migrants, and the threat of more devastating lockdowns due to new virus threats, and one can see that the future of Europe, and hence the world, is looking bleak.

So, is the death of Queen Elizabeth II, whose reign was a symbol of comfort, continuity, and stability in the midst of a rapidly changing world, a prophetic sign indicating that balance and security is going to fall away? I want to make it clear -- I do not see myself as a prophet; certainly not in the sense of Biblical prophets that history shows spoke as God directed them to warn of Judgment and impending captivity. But I do believe that I am to be a Watchman on the Wall; that I hear God's message to people to warn them to repent of their sins; to warn them of the consequences of sin as well as to motivate people to stay firm in their faith. A Watchman is able [as God makes possible] to receive a unique vision of world events and to encourage people that God is Sovereign, and desires men to turn back to Him and live Godly lives. 

And I don't have to look long in the Bible to see how quickly the fates of nations and peoples can change... sometimes virtually overnight. I'm not claiming that what I heard in my spirit on the morning of Queen Elizabeth's death will take place overnight, but I only have to look at 1 Thessalonians 5:2 to know the possibilities that exist: For you yourselves know perfectly well that the day of the [return of the] Lord is coming just as a thief [comes unexpectedly and suddenly] in the night. A simple event can trigger a series of dominoes to fall, resulting in world turmoil -- an event such as lack of confidence in a nation's financial system [due to the collapse of a currency]... or the death of the longest-serving monarch in the 315-year history of Great Britain. Queen Elizabeth II. We only need to look at the assassination of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand in 1914 to see how quickly that event caused the world to descend into the chaos of WWI.

But we must never forget that it is God who establishes the courses that nations will take. It doesn't mean that He controls every aspect of a nation's activities. We know that the Bible says Satan will intervene, and nations will rise up in turmoil against God; the people will devise vain and hopeless plots; the kings of the earth will make their stand; and rulers will take counsel together [against God], but ultimately, if their plans are not in agreement with God's divine plans, then these nations will fade away [or fall overnight] from the world stage. Historically, that was the case for ancient kingdoms and powerful empires: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, [all of the Bible]; and Mongolian, Russian, Spanish, French, and Portuguese Empires of our modern history books.  

It is said that Queen Elizabeth is among the last of the world's royal monarchs to publicly declare her faith. In her 2000 Christmas message she said, ""For me, the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life... I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ's words and example."  So, we must wait and see what [or if] the death of Queen Elizabeth will result in the further decline of professed faith in God from an increasingly secular world. I, personally, will wait and watch if what I heard in my spirit was a prophetic warning of a precipitous event that signals another move on the timeline towards the Day of the Lord. I will pray that I continue to be sensitive to God's voice because I know His timing and will are perfect. And may we all remain in worshipful reverence and submissive wonder at His power and authority over all the kingdoms of the earth!

#queenelizabeth #propheticsigns #hearingfromthelord #watchmanonthewall

Psalm 2:10   Now therefore, O kings, act wisely; Be instructed and take warning, O leaders (judges, rulers) of the earth.


August 26, 2022

The Meaning of Words Matters!

 

By now, it should be clear to anyone paying attention to our world, that things are changing. As a Christian with a Biblical worldview, I can see that there is a new ideology growing in our Western culture that threatens to destroy what we have believed for centuries. And I'm not just talking about our faith, but what we have adhered to in our family structures, our form of government, our history -- and it threatens to destroy the culture itself.

This new ideology is not dissimilar to the theme of George Orwell's famous novel, 1984. If you are of a certain age or generation, you probably read it in a high school English class. Long described as a "dystopian novel", the book warned society of the dangers of a totalitarian government that ruled through fear, surveillance, propaganda, and mind control. The not-so-funny thing is that "dystopian" means "an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one." I don't know about you, but that description doesn't seem so imaginary anymore, and our culture and society are increasingly looking like the super-state Oceania in 1984.

I say that because there are certain similarities between the novel and where we find ourselves today. I don't want to spend this post rehashing the plot of this book, other than to say there is one aspect that I think we need to understand because it plays into the threat of eradicating some of God's most important Biblical principles. Let me explain ... as part of the plot in 1984, one of the political parties of the imaginary totalitarian government wants to get rid of certain troubling words; without the words no one can conceive of their concepts and it will be easy to destroy the reality of what they mean and inspire.

Today, that translates into not only getting rid of words, but changing them to mean something entirely different. For instance, there are certain politicians that are re-writing laws that omit "women" or "mothers" from the text, and replace them with "Birthing people". Other activists want to get rid of the word "equality" and change it to "equity"; and "affirmative action" becomes "diversity". Furthermore, how some words make people feel is now being termed as "violent". There is no longer any room for discussion or debate. And as Tim Sandefur of the Goldwater Institute says, "That is dangerous"... if we are going to label language and words violent, "then the only way we can relate to each other is through power". I think we can agree that that is not a good standard.

You may recognize this idea as comparable to terms like "wokeism", "political correctness" or "cancel culture". But the damage this ideology does goes much deeper than any theory of how our culture is changing in a political or societal sense. It is leaning towards dismantling the very foundation of believing in God and His standards. If activists can change the idea of Biblical precepts by removing God's part in them, then they can be reformatted to remove Him altogether. Another way to say it is this: if we can remove the God connection to a word, then rather than the word being defined by God's perspective, it becomes the opinion of the person who is experiencing or feeling it. God no longer has a place in our language.

For instance, let's take a look at the word Guilt. As a Christian, I know that guilt is a noun; it is a state or condition as a result of violating one of God's moral laws. And there is the idea of repayment and restitution to the offended party. But if you remove God from the definition, then guilt can be simply defined as "guilty feelings", and there is no payment or consequence associated with the violation. Indeed, the violation itself, is subjective [based on personal feelings, tastes, or opinions]. Any shame that is felt is lessened to a loss of face before your peers because there is no God before whom one is ashamed.

Now, consider the word Freedom. As Christians, we know that there is a weight to that word. Our ultimate freedom in this world comes from Christ and His sacrifice on the Cross for us. There is no greater freedom on this earth than the freedom from eternal death. And freedom is also deliverance from the bondage to sin. It is a gift from our God to us. But when you remove God from the concept of freedom then it becomes a word that means permission to do whatever feels good to us. Doesn't have quite the same weight to it, does it?

Finally, let's think about the word Tolerance. I think the original meaning of tolerance, in regards to Christians, was to acknowledge that other people had different belief systems and to believe that it was their right to do so. But when you remove God from the Christian principle of tolerance the word comes to mean that you have to agree with all belief systems; to fully approve of them -- all are equal in their value and significance. As a Christian, I know that is not true. Furthermore, without God, tolerance ends up being an incoherent ideology, or nothing more than a request to be nice and get along.

So, do you get the idea I'm trying to convey? The meaning of words is important, and if God's perspective is lost in that meaning, then there is no standard by which the world understands each other. Taking it a step further, if words can be eliminated or changed, then so can our history, which is chronicled in words. Words may seem like such a small component of the troubles we face in this world, but let me share what a secular writer wrote about the importance of words. Esther Lombardi wrote, "Words can incite anger or invoke passion. They can bring people together or tear them apart. Words can uphold the truth or nurture a lie. We use words to encompass history, to describe the natural universe, and even to conjure realistic visions of things that exist only in fantasy." 

I can agree with that sentiment. And here are the rest of her words in that description "In fact, in some mythology, spoken words are thought to be so powerful that they can create worlds, creatures, and human beings." Note how the truth of God is removed from those words, and compare it this concept in John 1:1-5 ... "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it".

Words matter! And their meanings matter! The Enemy of this dark world is all about distortion and corruption. It's been his game plan since the Garden of Eden. It is up to us to preserve and uphold the truth of words as they pertain to the Goodness of God. I fear the tactics of those who wish to remove God from the knowledge of the foundation of this world and societies and cultures. The next generation is in danger of being robbed of all that God has intended for us. Let us defend the importance and accuracy of our words, lest they be lost forever. And I want to end this post by quoting the latter part of The Message's version of Matthew 12:37 ... "Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation". Serious words for thought.

#wordshavepower #godsword #cancelculture #wordsmatter #biblicalworldview

Matthew 12:37   By your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.