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

October 21, 2023

Bible Prophecy and The Heavenly Chess Match Between Good and Evil

 As I alluded at the end of my last post, I want to continue to look into the historical perspective of the conflicts in the Middle East, both from a Biblical point of view as well as taking a look at recent events in this modern age. I think it is important that we try to understand the big picture and do some real critical thinking on this subject.

Back in 2015, I was beginning to see a sequence or development of events coming into view. At the time, it was all about Russia and what was going on between the world's superpowers in the Middle East. It was all over the news that Russia had deployed a small, but consequential military force into Syria, which had the potential of changing the dynamic in that war-torn country.  It had been four years since the start of the Syrian civil war, with U.S.-backed rebel forces fighting against Syrian President Bashar Assad and his faithful Syrian army. The sectarian war created a breakdown in authority, providing the opportunity for ISIS to get a foothold and begin building their caliphate.  Russia said that they wanted to assist Syria in fighting ISIS, and that was their primary objective in coming to Syria's aid. 

But, as always, when global powers begin making military moves, there is more to the story.  From what I was able to gather, there was a history of a Russian/Syrian alliance, all the way back to the 1970s when Assad's father, Hafez al-Assad, aligned with Moscow. In fact, Syria is [still] among the last proxies, or representatives, of the Russian political influence in the Middle East. Interestingly enough, that puts Russia on the same side as Iran, who also provides military aid and guidance to Iran's proxy, Hezbollah. Apparently, in 2015, Vladimir Putin was getting a little concerned that Iran was having too much influence in Syria, hence the show of military force.

Fast forward to today, and 8 years later, it's looking like the age-old dynamic of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" is once again in play. And, as always, oil is the common factor of all these conflicts. So, in 2023, we are left wondering if Russia and Iran are now aligned, perhaps to foil the prospective treaty between Israel and Saudi Arabia. And interestingly enough, I wrote this in 2015: "There are also those who surmise that Russia's escalating presence in the Middle East might forecast a threat to Western interests; or on the other hand, provide valuable intelligence and military aid in fighting Islamic jihad.  Either way, Russia gives themselves a way to bargain for Western and European concessions in regards to Ukraine and economic sanctions". As you can surmise, it's a never-ending game of moving pieces on the cosmic chess board.

And just as in 2015, Russia now seems to be partnering with China to form a coalition against U.S. and European interests in the region. There are so many players on the field and they change partners so many times that it is difficult to discern what their plan is. Can I make all the puzzle pieces fit nicely to form a clear picture to determine if these are End Times events? No. But there is enough going on that my spiritual radar is up. And it just seems as if the world is careening towards [if not an apocalyptic alignment of a one-world government, economic, and religious system], then at least an Armageddon-style conflict that will result in the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies of an emerging New World Order and Anti-Christ kingdom.

And I can't help it, but I just sense that the global elite are manipulating events, alliances, and heads of state. To be honest, I'm finding it very difficult to find the truth in the midst of all the chaos. I don't trust the "official line" we are being told by any of the participants in this human tragedy. Who is on which side? Are the coalition forces really working together, or are they each trying to benefit their own political agenda? How do the various factions of the Islamic faith play out in relationship to each other and their goal to wipe Israel off the face of the map? 

I just keep returning to the Bible's prophecy in Zechariah 14, that "I (God) will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped." Just like in Ezekiel 37-39, it is God who brings the enemies of Israel against them in order to shake their world  in the hope that they will abandon their worldly ways and return to their original purpose in His plan for the redemption of mankind [by leading the world to the knowledge of the God of Israel]. At this point in history, and as I have explained in my previous post titled The Lord Has Chosen Zion, the current state of Israel [just like its history] does not resemble the nation God planned to be His spokesman. 

In fact, the reality of modern Israel mirrors the historical nation that the prophet Isaiah lamented over in Chapter 1 of his prophetical book. Although a vision and prophecy was given to the prophet Isaiah about the destiny of the nation of Israel during the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, the king of Judah, it also foretells the future of the tribe of Judah during the End Times. Furthermore, I believe its message should be heeded by our own nation, as well.  I just love the multiple layers of significance that the Bible holds throughout all generations!  Those who say it is no longer relevant in our time are sadly (and dangerously) deceived.   

 Isaiah laments his sinful nation ... he accuses them of immorality and criminality; they have forsaken the God who made them a great nation above all others, and they now only show Him contempt -- worse, still, they ignore Him. Because of their "detestable disobedience", the future of their country is bleak. Their land has been attacked by enemies and strangers occupy what was once so generously bestowed upon them.  And then the prophet tells them something that should have stopped them in their tracks, and caused fear to bring them to their knees.  The nation of Israel -- indeed, all the world, including today -- knows what befell Sodom and Gomorrah.  Ezekiel, Chapter 16, tells us: "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me...".  The purpose of this post is not to dwell on the sexual immorality and perversion that were practiced in Sodom and Gomorrah [and indeed, in today's society], but to take to heart the judgment that fell on them, and will be due us if we don't repent and return to God. I also want to encourage you and and pray that you will recognize the hope that is in the remnant that will survive. 

Isaiah received spiritual perception in the 7th Century B.C. to minister to the nation of Judah. He knew that God had a purpose for them, but he needed to make them see how far they had wandered from Him. All Israel knew that God had poured fiery sulfur on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, completely destroying them and all of their inhabitants. (To this day, the area where Sodom and Gomorrah were located remains a desolate wasteland.)  So Isaiah wants them to ultimately understand what God did out of the midst of that tragic judgment, and how they deserve the same verdict. He points to a particular nature of God as their reason for hope.

He tells them that "the Lord of hosts" spared a remnant, and it is that Sovereignty and Mercy that He wants his nation to recognize.  And it is very important to take note of the name for God he uses in this verse.  In Hebrew, "the Lord of hosts" is spoken of as Jehovah-Sabaoth.  From our human perspective, this is the name of God to run to when there is no other help.  From God's perspective, this is the name He uses when He wants us to know that He is not only the One who delivers us, but also the One who judges us. He wants us to bow our knee to Him.  This particular name of God meets our failure, and offers deliverance.  

Isaiah wants Judah to realize that their actions deserve the devastating and complete punishment that befell Sodom and Gomorrah. They need to acknowledge that Jehovah Sabaoth -- "the Lord of hosts" -- has rightly judged them, but He is also going to deliver them by the means of that remnant.  A small group will survive His judgments in order to fulfill God's purpose for them.

Over 700 years later, the Apostle Paul quotes Isaiah's forewarning of a remnant, in Romans, Chapter 9.  He says, "And Isaiah solemnly cries aloud over Israel:  Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, only the remnant will be saved [from perdition, condemnation, judgment]"!  Paul is trying to tell the Hebrew nation that God's own prophets have foretold this sad and frightening truth -- that their disobedience deserves full destruction [as happened to Sodom and Gomorrah], BUT through God's mercy, He will leave them a remnant that will survive ... a Jewish remnant that will bow their knee to their King and Messiah.  

If you will take the time to look into the current state of Israeli affairs, you will find both the same faults of ancient Israel in the Bible, and the same corruption, immorality, and deception that plagues all the nations of the modern world. But whatever happens in this current conflict we need to be praying that Israel will be drawn to their destiny; that God's name will be more honored through this Jewish remnant, and the world will be more blessed.  This is the purpose of "God's chosen people" -- that a remnant will come forth and declare God and offer salvation to the world.

Isaiah knew it; Paul knew it; and we as the Christian component of the Body of Christ should and need to know it. We need to draw the comparisons with our own fallen state, and come out of our own Sodom and Gomorrah and fulfill our purpose in God's will!

Jeremiah 10:10     But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure His indignation.

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.


October 12, 2023

The Prophets Speak Down Through the Ages About the End Times!

In light of the recent events in Israel and my previous blog post, I wanted to take a look back at what I wrote in 2016, when we were seeing the Middle East on the verge of war. At the time, I'm sure many Christians were discerning that we had entered in what Jesus called "those days", or "the end"; when "the beginning of sorrows" and "great tribulation" shall befall men on the earth.  We commonly accept these days as "The End Times". 

Historians, eschatologists, scholars, and well-intentioned Christians have searched the Bible for years for prophecies from the Lord; Scripture that will give us a clue as to how to recognize when the Judgment of Christ will bring horrific persecution, death, famine, and ultimately the return of our Lord.  Although we are not to worry about the time or day, Jesus tells us in Matthew 24 that we are to know "the season". He explained it like this: Just like when we see a fig tree putting on its leaves, we can tell that summer will soon be upon us. So, when we see the signs He describes in Scripture, we can know that Jesus's coming is near. 

And I believe that it cannot be denied that Ezekiel, Chapter 38 is often cited as one of the most explicitly detailed prophetic Books in the Bible. If you are the least bit interested in eschatology, I'm sure you've heard a variety of explanations for this particular prophet's foretelling.  Here are just a few of the theories posited, [and which I looked at in 2016] which have been well-documented on watchmanbiblestudy.com

1.  Hashemite Kingdom Theory: The Islamic Nations will come against Israel either by an Iraqi-led, Jordanian-led, or Turkish-led coalition. The enemy from the north refers to the areas of Syria, Turkey, and Iraq. These Islamic nations make up the lands occupied by Magog, Gomer, Togarmah, Meshech and Tubal. 

2.  Caucus Theory: Gog and Magog are the Arab nations in an alliance with the Muslim republics of the former Soviet Union. This theory leaves out most of Russia, and includes only the southern part.

3.  All Europe theory: Gog and Magog are the sons of Japheth, thus the originators of the European races. Gog and Magog therefore indicates all of Europe. This is not a widely held theory and I could find little support for it.

4.  Russian Theory: The Hebrew word ‘rosh’ in verse 3 is identified with Russia, ‘Tubal’ with Tiblisi or Tobolsk and ‘Meshech’ with Moscow, therefore Gog and Magog refers to Russia. This is one of the most commonly held views and is based on a different interpretation of the Hebrew word Rosh (used as a noun rather than adjective), similarities in the pronunciation of words, and the Greek translation of Rosh referring to a tribe of people found in what is now Russia. (In 2016, given Russia’s obvious involvement in giving arms and technology to Iran and Syria, it was commonly held that they would be a big player in the attack if not actively involved in it). Now, in 2013, credible sources are saying the militant terrorists who attacked Israel have met [and will be meeting] with Russian leaders.

5.  Indo-European Theory:  Gog and Magog include the nations descending from Japheth: Russia, the Caucasus (Turkey), Iraq, and the Islamic republics of Central Asia. The coalition is an alliance of Arab nations, Muslim republics, Georgia, southern Russia and the Black sea area. Iran and Pakistan are included among these Islamic republics. 

 It's also possible that you have heard combinations of these different theories, and even heard Russian President Vladimir Putin identified as Gog.  This theory is often proposed because God says in Ezekiel 38:15. And you [Gog] shall come from out of your place in the north parts...".  However, "the north" or "the north parts" has often been understood to be the heavens, and in this case, the second heaven, where satan and his fallen angels and demons live.  But, for centuries, that hasn't stopped people from trying to relate specific humans and geographic locations on the earth, when dissecting Ezekiel 38. But in taking counsel from the Holy Spirit in regards to the spiritual war in the heavens, I am leaning towards a different picture. 

So, I'm going to ask you to follow me and connect the dots; try to consider this possible interpretation... Let's start with Genesis, Chapter 10, in which Magog is listed as a son of Japheth, who, himself, was a son of Noah.  Genesis 10:5 tells us that from these men, "the nations were separated and spread into their lands, every one according to his own language, according to their constituent groups (families), and into their nations"...  so the fact that Magog is usually understood to be a nation or country makes sense; having been named for the descendant of Noah who was given that land.  Just think of Washington, D.C. named for George Washington, or America, named for the explorer Amerigo Vespucci. Naming a land after a specific person makes sense to me.

But then who is this Gog that our God is prophesying against? In Ezekiel 38:3, he is called "the chief ruler of Meschech and Tubal". It is not as important to me to understand where Gog is chief ruler or prince, as it is to know the identity of who Gog is.  I can accept that he rules over the nations of Meshech and Tubal, and I can agree, without any problem, that those nations may comprise parts of modern-day Turkey, southern Russia and Iran.  It is important to know who this Gog is, and why the Lord God is against him.  

So, now I'm going to finally tell you the understanding that I have come to, after much study and prayer. I believe that Gog is one of the demonic rulers (or princes) that satan has assigned to particular nations to carry out his evil directives. Once again, I feel that's why Paul made such an effort in Ephesians, Chapter 6, to spell out for us that we do not fight against flesh and blood!  (Could he have been telling us to not try to identify flesh and blood men as these enemies?) These rulers and princes are the forces of spiritual wickedness that coordinate the game plan and align demonic forces on the battlefield of each nation. [Think Allah over the Muslim nations; Shiva over India; Ra over ancient Egypt, etc].

And I do not believe they are constrained by time or place. Gog has obviously been assigned to govern and administer the nations of Meshech and Tubal at a time when they will be unleashing their armies on Israel.  I often find that the Bible expresses overlapping and dual prophecies -- a word from the Lord that is specific to an ancient historic event, but that also applies to an End Times scenario. In this case, the Old Testament prophet Amos says, Thus the Lord showed me, and behold a swarm of locusts were coming, and, behold, one of the young devastating locusts was Gog, the king. 

Then in the New Testament, in Revelation, Chapter 9, the Apostle John is given a vision of the Fifth trumpet being sounded, the bottomless pit opening, and the power of the locusts descending upon man to torture him.  In verse 11, John says, And [the locusts] had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.  It is understood and accepted in the 21st Century that this king will be the Anti-Christ. So, it is certainly possible, and it is my opinion, that the "devastating king of the locusts", that the prophet Amos saw is the same king of the locusts that John saw.  "Gog" could just be the designation of his title or position, such as President; and at the End Times he will be known by his proper name, Abaddon.  

All this, I understood in 2016, but in the last 7 years, I have come to believe an additional component of this scenario that will blow the minds of Christians. In Ezekiel 38:14-17, the Word says this: “Therefore, son of man [Ezekiel], prophesy, and say to Gog, Thus says the Lord God: On that day when my people Israel are dwelling securely, will you not know it? You will come from your place out of the uttermost parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great host, a mighty army. You will come up against my people Israel, like a cloud covering the land. In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you, O Gog, I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. Thus says the Lord God: Are you he of whom I spoke in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel, who in those days prophesied for years that I would bring you against them?" 

Read that again! It is God who will use Gog to bring Israel to know Him, and to their salvation, if they will receive it! God will use whatever measure He has to, to cause His people to call on His Name! But then watch what happens ... Having served God's purpose, Gog will then find himself and his armies subject to God's wrath. Ezekiel 38:18 says, "But on that day, the day that Gog shall come against the land of Israel, declares the Lord God, my wrath will be roused in my anger". Verses 21-23 show us the full counsel of God and what His intentions are ...  "I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Lord God. Every man's sword will be against his brother. With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur. So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord". 

I urge you, please, look upon Scripture as the source of Truth. Do not look at what the media and politicians tell you is happening; do not look at the events in Israel and through the lens of the world and its spokesmen. I have come a long way from my understanding in 2016 to considering the revelations from the Holy Spirit as I grew in my faith and knowledge of the Bible. 

I'm sure that this may be a new and very difficult concept for you to accept, since it is virtually never discussed in the Church today. And maybe, you are one of those Christians who doesn't feel it is necessary to understood Old Testament prophecy.  But the God who spoke to, and instructed, Ezekiel is the same God who wants to speak to us today through His Word ... all of His Word!  For me, it is a matter of knowing that His character never changes.  So if God used demonic rulers in the spiritual realm in Ezekiel's time to turn the hearts of His people towards Him, He will do the same today. And, if He asked Ezekiel to prophecy that He would summon a sword against [and set His face] against that demonic ruler, I believe He wanted the prophet to take a stand, with God by his side, and announce the defeat of the evil entities. 

I believe His command and His desire is for us to do the same... to believe that His ultimate goal is to bring the nation of Israel -- a nation that is not aligned with His sanctified nation in the Old Testament -- into holy covenant with Him again. My next blog post will talk more about that. Mind you, I am not denigrating or disparaging the tragedy and horror that is visible on all our TV screens. I am just trying to know God's heart and intentions in the "big picture". Keep praying for Israel, and that the world will turn from its dark and evil ways to the God of Israel. He is our Rock, our Fortress, our Deliverer, our Salvation, and our Stronghold... our only hope.

#bible; #bible prophecy; #bible prophets; #end times; #end times eschatology; #bible eschatology; #gog and Magog; #gog and magog war; #latter days; #God's word; #tribulation; #Jacob's sorrows; #Ezekiel 38; #prophets of Old Testament; #Old Testament; #christian theology; #house of Israel; #Israel and Middle East; #Matthew 24; #Kingdom of God; #God's wrath 

Ezekiel 39:25    Therefore thus says the Lord God: Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel, and I will be jealous for My Holy Name.     

October 9, 2023

They Gather For Battle In The Valley of Decision

Back in 2016, I wrote a post sharing how God was showing me the Biblical prophecies of what was to come during "The End Times". I was seeing how the world economy, the Middle East, and the growing presence of Russia and China in the area were driving the foreign policies of the nations in the world. At the time, economists were pointing to oil as the driving factor that would cause petroleum-hungry nations to invade Israel in order to control their newly discovered oil fields. This blessing from God would make their production roughly equivalent to that of Saudi Arabia. In fact, the "great minds" of the time were asking if oil might not be "the hook in the jaw" that would pull nations out of the north to the Valley of Jezreel (Ezekiel 38:4).

Fast forward to October 7, 2023, as the world watched [and continues to watch] the horrific evil that has invaded Israel. Our gut reaction is to see this as a battle between Evil and God's Holy nation of Israel. But we must step back and see the 30,000 foot view of all that permeates this tragedy. Biblically, and prophetically, we probably all instantly think of the Gog and Magog war [prophesied in Ezekiel 38] that signals the End Time battle between YHWH and the Anti-Christ [and the nations who support him] who will gather together against Jerusalem. This battle/war will trigger the Lord's fierce anger in the defense of His people in Zion. We also think of Joel 3:14 ... Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.  

Now let's apply these prophesies to the unspeakable images that flashed across our screens in Israel this weekend. I will admit that I endured a sleepless night, crying out to God for Israel. I couldn't erase the images -- the innocent lives subjected to terror; those who were killed and for all those who will yet perish -- and the numbers keep rising. But the entire world needs to understand: this portends the wrath of God and it is real. God formed humanity to bring Him glory. He has set a holy and pure standard for mankind. But when the perfect Judge of the Universe looks upon those who rebel in wickedness and evil, He does not act in a reckless rage; or out of uncontrollable anger, a senseless fury, or an unjust vengeance. It is a precise and controlled response against those who belittle His Holiness and have sinned against Him without repentance. 

Prophetically, God endorses this statement in Ezekiel 38 when He confronts Gog, from the land of Magog. [Note: Gog could be a person, and Magog is the geographical land or territory where he lives. He could also be a "demonic prince" and Magog is the land he has been assigned by Satan]. God confronts this ruler of Magog, and says to its king, Gog: Are you he of whom I spoke in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel, who in those days prophesied for years that I would bring you against them? ... You will come up against my people Israel, like a cloud covering the land. In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you, O Gog, I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. 

There is an excellent series of articles on the website, christinprophecyblog.org that I recommend you read. Dr. Nathan E. Jones, Director of Internet Outreach at Lamb and Lion Ministries, is the author. Dr. Jones gives us a 30,000 foot view of this Gog and Magog war; a war that has had religious leaders and writers speculating as to the participants for hundreds of years. I will emphatically state that I am not qualified to give an expert opinion on the subject, but Dr. Jones's argument is worth reading and praying about. He contends that Ezekiel wrote 2,700 years ago, prophesying a time when the Lord would pull different nations down to Israel so He could destroy them and show the world that He protects Israel. The ancient nations that are prophesied in Ezekiel 38, are now known by their modern names ... Russia, Iran, and Turkey, among them.  

That is definitely interesting and what I imagine most Western Christians will agree with. But there's a bigger picture that we need to see. While I believe that the whole world will see that God intends to protect His land, Israel, I also believe that God brings this Gog and Magog war against Israel to bring the nation to a saving knowledge of Him and His Son, Jesus Christ, the Messiah. You see, we need to understand that Israel, as it stands today, represents God's Chosen People. But, they do not yet walk in their true identity. 

Politically, culturally, and spiritually, the people of Israel are divided, just as we are in this nation. Allegations of corruption in the government; rampant moral decline in their society; and ridicule and persecution exists against the Messianic Jewish believers by their orthodox brothers in the Jewish faith. In many ways, the modern nation of Israel is following the rebellious ways of the Old Testament nation of Israel. Whether the recent [and on-going] events in Israel reflect the beginning of the Gog and Magog war, Dr. Jones wants us to comprehend that there will be a seven-year time period known as the Tribulation that will come upon the earth  following this War. We can be sure that God will make it so that people will know that there is a God. They will have to choose Him, or not. They will have the choice to choose God, or Satan through the Antichrist.    

This impending war will happen in the valleys of Israel. For myself, I'm not so caught up in which valley(s) -- whether the Valley of Jezreel or Jehoshophat -- as I am in discerning that people will need to make a decision... multitudes and multitudes will need to decide! Not only will the Gentile and Muslim nations need to make a decision regarding Jesus, but the inhabitants of Israel, too. Many people romanticize the Israeli people, thinking that because they are God's chosen, they worship Him and are followers of Yeshua. But for the last 2,000 years the Jewish people have been mostly at odds with their God. Like many in America, they are mostly Secular Humanists. But as God has always done, He is raising up a true remnant in Israel that will lead the world to the knowledge of the One True God. 

If this war in Israel turns out to be the Biblical End Times War prophesied By Ezekiel, we are seeing the wicked armies of Satan carrying out his orders against the Israeli citizens. And the world will soon see that Yeshua, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah will not abandon His people and He will orchestrate a miraculous victory for tiny Israel. We will see that God will use the evil perpetrated in Israel to bring His remnant to salvation! They will call on the Name of the Lord and be saved to witness to the rest of the lost world! The heart of God's people will turn back to their God. 

The events prophesied in the Bible are definitely coming together! We can see the coalition of nations coming against Israel, and their armies joining forces to destroy the Israeli people. We see the hatred and wickedness that fuels their evil hearts, and we cry for the suffering of the people in God's holy land. But does the world understand that God will not let evil go unanswered? He will soon step into world affairs and destroy the invaders. The Bible tells us that an earthquake will shake all of Israel, and the armies of Satan will suffer pestilence and bloodshed; torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur. The whole world will know that God will defend Israel! 

So, when I say that "they gather for battle in the Valley of Decision", I mean that in reality and prophetically. Every nation and people will look upon the coming battles with trembling, and will answer for their contribution to the slaughter we are witnessing in the Holy Land. And everyone will have to make a decision ... do you say "Yes" to the Ancient of Days, the God of Israel? Or do you side with the rebellious ones whose fate lies in His hands? Will you pray for the innocent lives lost in Israel; for their families; and that they will be restored to righteousness through knowing Jesus Christ as their Savior? Will you join with me to pray for those whose hate has been stored up and incited by the Prince of Darkness whose jealousy of Israel has led to this conflagration? Will you pray that these haters will meet the Holy and Righteous One who loved them enough to die for them -- yes, even them -- IF they will repent and turn from their evil ways? Will you join with me in praying, "Lord, the world needs You! Come, Lord Jesus"!

Ezekiel 38:23     So [then] I will show My greatness and My holiness and make Myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.    

October 7, 2023

How The Existence Of God's Kingdom on Earth Impacts The Harvest

Several years ago, I joined a group of women for a Bible Study taught by Pastor Bill Johnson of Bethel Church in Redding, California. I believe that Pastor Johnson walks in an anointing from God to preach to the Body of Christ that God's Kingdom in Heaven has invaded this earth, and how that should decisively affect our Christian walk. The Bible Study was called "God Is Good: He's Better Than You Think".  That study accentuated some deep questions that I was already asking myself regarding my ambassadorship for the Kingdom of God. For instance: How does the announcement [and existence] of God's Kingdom have a direct impact on the size of the harvest of people who respond to it?

Note that this question is actually multi-faceted. We must not only consider what the direct impact is upon the harvest of souls, but how it effects the size of the harvest.  First of all, it is important to recognize that there is a direct correlation between the announcement of God's Kingdom and the Gospel of the Kingdom. It should go without saying that both are announcing the "Good News" that God's Kingdom (the actual realm where He resides) has now made itself known here on earth. This announcement would soon make the Kingdom a reality; becoming apparent by the evidence shown in Jesus's life.  And Jesus would inaugurate the Kingdom message when He began His ministry, preaching "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand".

The good news of this Gospel Message about God's Kingdom coming to earth is that mankind now had a way to be acceptable before God. Prior to Jesus's appearance, man had lived in a state of hopelessness due to how God viewed sin. The Bible makes His holy opinion easy to understand: The soul who sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:20). But with the arrival of Jesus, mankind now had a Savior who would provide a way out of experiencing eternal death, which was the consequence for our sins against a Holy God.

All the prophets had foretold of this Savior that would take away the sins of the world and restore man's relationship with God as it had been in the Garden of Eden. Remember: God's Kingdom is where God resides; the realm in which He rules. Between the time man fell into sin in the Garden and the time of this announcement, that kingdom realm had existed only in Heaven. Now, here comes John the Baptist foretelling that this Kingdom is near, rapidly followed by Jesus's appearance and the beginning of His ministry to announce that God's Kingdom was now here! So it's not too difficult to see the immense impact that this announcement would have on God's harvest of souls.

No longer would man be subject to Laws that were incapable of delivering us from Death. But man would now be able to stand before God in righteousness through believing in the sacrifice He would make of Himself [as His Son, Jesus Christ] on our behalf. By following Jesus's example of living according to the Father's will, the impact on the harvest would become nothing short of miraculous and astounding. Those who would accept and respond to His announcement and ministry would begin to change the world. The realm of Satan here on the earth would come into direct conflict with the people who walked in their authority as members of God's Kingdom on earth. The number of citizens of Satan's kingdom would diminish, as the number of citizens of God's Kingdom rose. 

That was the plan! But if we are going to resemble Christ's image [and His work] here on earth, then we have to announce more than the deliverance from eternal Death; although, that in itself is worthy of our acclamation and enthusiastic approval. You see, that deliverance isn't realized until the end of our life. So, while that good news of our salvation from Death is responsible for a magnificent number coming into the harvest, I believe we gain staggering numbers when we reveal ALL of the good news that the announcement of the Kingdom generates.

Think about it: a person recognizes their need of a Savior and accepts Jesus into their heart, repenting for their sins and asking forgiveness. Is that news worthy of sharing? Absolutely! But if the newly saved Christian takes that message to the person who sees the penalty of sin [and their resulting death] as a far-off event, the message may have no immediate relevance. But let's say that we add to that message of salvation. Let's say we share that the reality of the Kingdom of God being present today ALSO gives you access to the power of the Holy Spirit to heal persistent physical/health problems, or to set one free from the bondage of shame, guilt, anger, and unforgiveness, to name just a few of the attacks from the devil. Can you see that we now offer an immediate benefit from our announcement of the Kingdom at hand? Can you perceive that this full Gospel message of the Kingdom might result in a greater number in the harvest -- in other words, the impact on the size of the harvest might be more considerable if we share the complete picture of the Kingdom of God, on earth as it is in heaven. It is more than salvation [as magnificent as that is]; it is freedom; it is power; it is authority to battle in the spiritual realms as God leads us.

Who doesn't have a health issue they are dealing with in these perishable bodies? It doesn't matter if it is a simple headache or stage 4 cancer. We want it to go away! And I defy us to find anyone within the Body of Christ who has not suffered at least one attack or violation from the Enemy on their character, their identity, their relationships with others, or the privacy of their body. We may know Jesus as our Savior and rely on our ultimate deliverance from Death, but who wouldn't want to be liberated from the oppressive thoughts and emotions that we carry around with us because of these assaults on our spirits and flesh?  What would happen if Christians could praise Jesus for how He healed them from sexual molestation; loss of self-respect and self-esteem; bullying; abusive parents; or promiscuity and drug/alcohol abuse? Do you think more people would identify with those victories --  or a victory over their future death?

 I'm not saying that the good news of our salvation from eternal death is not an important message to share... it's the ultimate reward! But there is more to Jesus's victory and what that victory looks like in the here-and-now. I am so grateful that the Holy Spirit has revealed to my heart the need of my Savior. I look forward to my glorious resurrection and dwelling forever with the Lord when the new Heaven and new Earth appear. But I am equally grateful that He has set me free NOW to praise Him for delivering me from the bad choices I have made in my life; from the attempts of the devil to kill, steal, and destroy this Kingdom life in the present; and for giving me the opportunity to share this restored life, made in His image. 

It is my responsibility [and my joy] as the recipient of Jesus's authority and the power of the Holy Spirit to invite others to partake of God's goodness to those who believe in Him. When we share all that we have received from Heaven's invasion of earth, then we can expect to see an impact of righteousness and growing numbers of ambassadors. And, Lord knows, we need more Heaven on earth today! The growing trend towards lawlessness, in all its aspects, needs a response from Heaven's citizens on earth. And it must happen in more than words; let your faith become action! Walk in your power and authority to heal, defeat demons, and set the captives free. Let us increase the harvest a hundred-fold!  Let the "Good News of the Kingdom" be realized across the face of this planet, and let all the people shout "Hallelujah!" as our voices join in worship, praise and rejoicing as the we participate in bringing in God's harvest.  

Matthew 9:38     "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest".


October 4, 2023

"At the Right Time", Jesus Came & Died to Bring the Kingdom of God to Earth!

Our Home Church is studying Romans, one of my favorite Books of the Bible. It is full of Paul's theological terms [regarding God's character as it relates to our faith]. We have read these terms for years, but how many of us have really understood the weight of these religious expressions? Could you explain what Justification means to a non-believer? Or how about Righteousness, Sanctification, Propitiation, or Repentance? I will admit that when I was a new Christian, I just skimmed over these heady words and tried to grasp "the meat" of what Paul was trying to teach.

But now, as our group is progressing through our study in Romans, we are able to show them the significance of age-old doctrine in a new light. The sacrosanct words that have been preached from the pulpit for hundreds of years, are taking on real meaning, as we come to understand how God's Righteousness and Wrath are both designed to draw us to Him. Until Jesus came, we were God's enemy because we were born into sin. Neither the religious Law nor our works could bring His favor -- God is pure good, and His Divine standard cannot tolerate impurity and sin. So it is only by our faith [complete trust and confidence] in Jesus Christ and what He did on the Cross, that God is able to look upon us as meeting His standard of righteousness and acceptance.

But this post is not an exegesis on theological terms in the Bible. Rather, I wanted to share one of the hidden treasures that we unearthed; a jewel that was there in plain sight, but so easy to overlook. It is Romans 5:6, which reads, For while we were still weak [without faith, and deserving of God's wrath as a sinner], at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. So, why am I highlighting these seemingly inconspicuous four words?

To begin with, Romans is one of the most powerful and important Books in the Bible. So many concepts of God's character are loaded into these 16 short chapters. If you want to get a glimpse of how God's heart and mind works, and His plans for reconciling the world back to Him, read Romans -- and read it with purpose! I have read this chapter numerous times, but a few years ago, as God was revealing His concept of His Heavenly Kingdom coming to earth, those words jumped out at me. And so, my husband and I embarked on a journey and began digging to find out what "at the right time" meant, and did it have any significance for us today. I mean, we knew when in history Jesus came, but why was that time the "right" time? 

As we asked God for the answer, He led us to a teaching by the late Dr. Myles Munroe, a Bahamian minister and avid professor of the Kingdom of God. It is his teaching about "the right time" that I am paraphrasing [and expounding upon] today. As he explains it, there was 4000 years from the time of Adam's sin until Jesus came. That's thousands of years during which the world was in dire straits; when sin defiled the earth and mankind was in desperate need of a Savior. Why didn't God send Jesus in Chapter 3 of Genesis, when sin first appeared? Why not in Genesis 6, with the incursion of the Fallen Angels? Why not in Noah's or Abraham's time? Moses's or David's? Why didn't He send Jesus when the Assyrians, and then Nebuchadnezzar, took His chosen people into captivity? What was wrong with those times?

Dr. Munroe's theory is as profound as it is simple... God waited until a kingdom on earth (Rome) was the closest to resembling the government of His Kingdom in Heaven. The timing had to be right so that people would understand what Jesus meant when He talked about His Father's Kingdom. In all of previous history, the kings who conquered lands took the people they invaded back to their country. But Rome was the first kingdom in history to leave those they conquered in their own land. They didn't uproot them. The Roman kingdom would take its government to the lands it invaded. The king of Rome [Caesar, which also meant Lord] would handpick someone from his courts and appoint them as Governor of the conquered territory. That Governor [Tetrarch or ruler] would live in that conquered land, and his assignment was to convert that territory [and its inhabitants] into Rome. As Dr. Munroe said, "In other words, the Romans didn't bring the people back to Rome to make them Romans, they took Rome to the people to make the people Rome".

Do you see the resemblance to His plan in sending Jesus to earth? The timing was right! Rome was using God's system of government, so everything Jesus said should have made sense to the inhabitants of the kingdom of Rome. Wherever the Romans invaded became "little Rome". They made you speak their language, eat their food, follow Rome's laws and culture, pay Roman taxes -- they became inhabitants of Rome, and everything in that land became Rome. Wherever you were, was Rome! 

Is the picture becoming clearer? When Jesus declared, "Repent [renew your mind]! The Kingdom of God is near", He was announcing that He was invading earth and bringing the Kingdom of God [and its government] to all the people. For three years, His ministry was for the purpose of teaching the people to become like citizens of Heaven. The parables were to teach them about the culture of Heaven ... each parable begins with "The kingdom of Heaven is like...". 

He also began teaching about the commandments and rules of Heaven ... about fasting and laying up treasure in Heaven; about judging others, the Golden Rule and what defiles a person. He taught about Heaven's position on anger, lust, divorce, oaths, retaliation and loving your enemies, teaching them, "You have heard it said... but I say to you...", distinguishing the difference between their old standards of behavior and Heaven's new paradigm.    

That's why Jesus Christ was a problem to the Roman Empire -- because He declared that HE was Lord and He was bringing a new government! It was a political issue not a religious one. Read your Bible! Jesus never claimed He was a Priest; He claimed He was a KING! 

And the religious Jews [Pharisees and Sadducees], who were also the ruling faction of the Jewish people, saw their delicate balance of power and rulership with the Roman government threatened by Jesus's position. Jesus declared Himself King and brought a new government to earth and it was a political conflict -- two kingdoms clashing! The Pharisees wanted to use Religion to control Jesus [and protect their liaison with Roman political leaders] but His message was about Lordship [rulership and kingship]. [NOTE: the conflict between Religion and the Kingdom of God on earth continues to this day].  

God's purpose for Jesus coming was not to establish a Religion, but to establish His form of government on the earth; a government that mirrored the government in Heaven. Jesus taught 12 men the principles of changing the territory of earth into looking like Heaven -- the very system the Romans used, and it should have been identifiable to the people He came to. But because it wasn't, the very people who were looking for the kingly line of David to restore them, didn't recognize His kingdom message and what He was doing. They let the religious leaders offer Jesus up as a sacrifice to ease the hostility and strained relations with Roman authorities. They couldn't see that He was offering them a position in the Heavenly Kingdom that surpassed all the kingdoms in human history! 

Jesus declared He was born to be a King and to testify of the Truth. But His kingdom was not from this world -- in it, but not from it. When Pilate threatened Jesus by telling Him he had the power to save or take Jesus's life, Jesus responded by telling Pilate he would have no authority at all, except that it was given to him by God through His government system in Heaven. You see, the truth is that when Jesus came to earth, He invaded it, bringing the government of Heaven with Him to transform this territory and the people into Heaven. That's who we're supposed to be -- acting like citizens of Heaven, where there is no lawlessness, no crime, no corruption, no famine, no war, no persecution, and no religion... 

So, Jesus came at just the right time ... At a time when the world could understand what His Father's government system would look like. And the benefits were great -- Salvation and a Reconciled Relationship with our Creator and Heavenly Father. We haven't done a very good job of implementing that system. But it's never too late! As long as there is a remnant that understands and clings to it, I believe that our Father will honor our hearts. And it begins with each one of us, as we take territory in our lives and declare that it is Heaven, governed by Heaven's laws and love! Everywhere we go should look like Heaven, as we walk out Heaven's culture and system of spiritual government. Let it be your "right time" and see how much territory you can convert and transfer into the Kingdom of Heaven! The world needs a transformation and a spiritual rebirth -- one life and one piece of ground at a time. 

Matthew 6:10   Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.


October 1, 2023

God's Righteousness and His Wrath: The Fullness of His Character

This may not be a popular post, but it has been on my heart to write about these two very important aspects of God for quite awhile: His righteousness and His wrath. Because I see so much unrighteousness at nearly every level in the world -- from the personal nature of mankind to the global manifestations -- I am left wondering how much longer will God tolerate the wicked passions of His creation? What do we really understand about His righteousness? About His wrath?

The Church is very good at teaching us about that first part of God's character: His righteousness, which is very often portrayed as His Mercy. That is the picture that most Christians have of Jesus and the Father. In the words of Bible teacher Derek Prince, "God's mercy offers His righteousness, which He imparts to those who receive by faith the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf."  True, because of His mercy towards us, He offers His righteousness, but it must be received and accepted by having faith in Jesus. And God has been showing me there is so much more to this concept, and His character.

In an effort to win new converts, we often say to unbelievers, "Jesus died for my sins. Through my faith in Him, I am forgiven of all my transgressions -- past, present, and future -- and God has poured out His love on me.  That's what He wants to do for you, too."  We are pretty good at expressing that beautiful Truth. But we need to take a good, hard look at ourselves and ask the question, "Are we suppressing the whole truth of God's character?" 

It is good [and right] to express to new believers that in the Gospel of Christ, "the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith [springing from faith and leading to more faith], for it is written 'The just shall live by faith' ". We often cherry pick this beautiful verse to uplift our spirits when we're feeling down, but do you know the verses that precede and follow Romans 1:17? In verse 16, the Apostle Paul tells us, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation [from His wrath and punishment] to everyone who believes [in Christ as Savior], to the Jew first and also to the Greek". I've included the Amplified version of this verse because it actually tells us what God is saving us from! He isn't just giving us some free gift because He loves us. He wants us to know why we need to be saved and what it cost Him!

So, in verse 18, we get our answer: " For [God does not overlook sin and] the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who in their wickedness suppress and stifle the truth". If we are not revealing the significance of the verses that surround the gospel and the power of God for salvation, then we are doing a great disservice to those we are trying to reach, and we are not honoring the full character of God. 

I want to return to Derek Prince's quote and give you the continuation of his thoughts on God's righteousness:  "Christians who question the reality of God's judgment on sin should ponder afresh the significance of the crucifixion. Even Jesus could not make sin acceptable to God, but had to endure the full outpouring of His wrath." So, yes, Christ's substitutionary death at Calvary is the ultimate sign of God's mercy on a sinful world. But often, the Church fails to point out that it is, at the same time, the ultimate revelation of God's wrath, poured out on Jesus when He became identified with man's sin. How many times have you heard Christians refer to the attributes of God's lovingkindness, mercy and grace; and how many pictures of Jesus are hanging in Church sanctuaries and classrooms of the gentle Christ with the lamb around his neck? Do you ever see pictures of an angry God, or of Jesus at the head of His heavenly army, coming to slay the wicked of the earth?  

Instead, we are used to seeing Christ nailed on the Cross, head bowed, but with no marks upon his body. Many Christians will point to the Cross as the true manifestation of God's character, and only see Love. But have you ever seen the depictions of what historians and medical experts say Jesus's body really looked like after He was whipped and scourged before going to the Cross? They speak of horrendous damage to His human body; blood oozing from the capillaries and veins; the skin of His back hanging in ribbons, and the entire area as an unrecognizable mass of torn, bleeding tissue. 

Yes, the fact that Jesus went to the Cross for us is an expression of God's Love; a love so extraordinary that we cannot even imagine it. But we should also be reminded that what is shown to us at the Cross is more than God's love and mercy for us. The Bible, itself, tells us that God does not overlook sin, and the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. The Cross is the revelation of God's wrath ... not even His precious Son escaped it. The Cross is a picture of Jesus enduring the outpouring of God's wrath that is due every man for his sins against the Lord; all the wrath that has been storing up since Adam, and will continue to be stored up until Christ returns.  Yes, His love has given us a way to be saved from that wrath through faith in His Son, but that wrath is still in play and will be poured out upon the wicked (those who reject Christ) when Yeshua returns in triumph at the end of this Age.  

The Apostle Paul is careful to make sure that we understand the dual aspect of God's character which includes both Righteousness and Wrath.  He says in Romans 11:22, "Therefore consider the goodness [or kindness] and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off."  Now, I'm here to tell you that Christians don't want to hear that!  This is getting into really uncomfortable territory and forces us to consider that God's wrath has not been taken off the table, so to speak. Once we've seen and felt and experienced the goodness of God through our salvation, we don't want to hear that there's any more possibility of punishment -- or discipline, or wrath, or whatever you want to call it.  You will hear some say, "Well, they were never saved in the first place." But -- and I don't mean to offend you -- but that seems like a pretty convenient caveat, doesn't it?

In the Greek translation of the New Testament, Paul actually cautions new Gentile converts who think that their profession of faith and salvation renders them immune from God's wrath forever:  "Stop having such a superiority complex; but be fearing...".  He then goes on to remind them of both God's kindness and severity, in the cutting off of the natural branches, the Jews... "for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you either". But we know the way to eternal life, and should not fear God's wrath if we continue in His goodness. That's why I'm always cautioning the faithful to not compromise with the world and its sins. Remain faithful to God, and He will remain faithful to deliver you!    

The Church has been living in a self-declared "Age of Grace". But it is time the Church and all Christians who fear Him to present the full character of God. It is quite evident that the world is spiraling out of control and the depths of sin have become abominable.   We must declare that there can be no doubt of the wrath of God against all the wickedness of men—against sin. It was seen at the Flood; in the destruction of Sodom; and on the Holy One who was made sin for us. It is also revealed that He is coming in judgment, taking vengeance. The wicked will be cast into the lake of fire. The love of God alone, will not rescue us on His Day of Wrath. It will be God's own righteousness that He sees in us [through our faith in Jesus] that will save us and deliver us from the wrath that the world has brought upon itself. "The just[ified] will live by faith"!  

I know this is not a subject that is easy to hear or receive. We would rather live in the message of God's Grace, Mercy, and Love. But we must live our faith in Truth. God has shown us both His Righteousness and His Wrath. We should be able to accept that a Righteous God cannot tolerate sin, because that would demean His moral, good, and guiltless nature. And therefore, He is entitled to His wrath against those who would walk in sin against His creation. To look upon one part of His nature, while denying the other, is to both misinform and deceive. Instead, praise Him for the fullness of His character and His heart to draw all men -- both the justified and the wicked -- to Him. He never gives up on us!

Romans 11:33    Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and decisions and how unfathomable and untraceable are His ways!


September 28, 2023

Change Is Coming To The Kingdom of God!

I want to begin this blog post by visiting the story of Mordecai, the Jew, and his adopted daughter, Esther. According to the Bible, Esther's husband was King Ahasuerus, King of Persia, who reigned from India to Ethiopia over 127 provinces. Furthermore, the history books also say he was the Achaemenian king Darius I, ruler over what is now Iran. 

Mordecai has gotten wind that there is a plot to kill all the Jews in the kingdom, and while Esther, herself, is a Jew, it's been kept secret from her husband, the king. Mordecai implores Esther to go before the king and plead his favor, asking him to spare her people. But Esther reminds Mordecai that it is the law of the land that if anyone goes before the king unbidden, death is the penalty. Mordecai then tells his daughter that, as a Jew, she cannot expect to escape the destruction coming against all Jews, and that if she chooses to not help, that God will send His relief and deliverance from another source, and her father's house will perish. Then he speaks the words that I believe apply to us in this generation ... "Who knows if you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" Esther's response ... to gather all the Jews together and ask them to fast on her behalf as she approaches the king, even though it is against the law. "If I perish, I perish" are her words that echo across the centuries.

I think it is imperative [in this time and place] that we ask ourselves if we have the courage and faith of Esther. We have to be blind, and far beyond a "normalcy bias" mindset to not see the shifting sands we have been resting upon for the last few decades. If the panic and fear of the pandemic in 2020 wasn't enough for us to begin examining where we are in our Biblical worldview, or to discern the changing winds of world history, then surely we can see the current precipice on which we stand. The growing involvement of AI in our daily lives; the geoengineering of plant and animal life; the promotion of gender dysphoria; the drums of war throughout the world; and the trading of human flesh for the perverted pleasures of men are all birth pains of the intolerable evil which Jesus has forecast.

It cannot be appeased by politics or a new president. And sadly, the modern Western Church is unequipped to face the strategies of the kingdom of darkness. They are unaware of [or choose to ignore] the depth of depravity that is an undercurrent in our society and culture. And believe me, I understand the fear, anxiety, and disquiet in our souls when we dare to look at it. But we can no longer afford to turn away. Our newscasts are full of innocent people being assaulted and killed by random acts of violence as they stand on a street corner, or wait for a bus. The physical and moral evil of the child sex trade is storing up wrath in the Kingdom of Heaven, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. And just this weekend, I met a woman whose husband is using ChatGPT to engage with AI to create monsters that he hopes to interact with! The really sad thing is this man was an innocent child who was exploited and molested as a child, and his life began to spiral out of control until he now finds himself skirting the edges of being lost forever. I ask you ... Is the Church equipped to minister to him?  Would they even try? Or is he just another casualty of a society and religious system that doesn't have any answers to the growing evil in the world?

If you are a Kingdom-believing Christian, where does all this leave you? Once you are willing to "face the monster", so to speak, is it possible to truly live in a "Kingdom mindset", not letting the affairs of the world shake our faith and trust in our Father and King? I can assure you that our Father in Heaven hears our cries. And He is not absent in this situation, just as He was not absent in Esther's plight.

And if you happen to believe that the state of the Christian Church in these modern times is inoculated against the consequences of our mindset [sorry for the pun] -- let me ask you to reconsider. Hear the words of Mordecai to Esther and take them to heart ... "Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, liberation and rescue will arise for the Jews from another place, and you and your father’s house will perish [since you did not help when you had the chance]. And who knows whether you have attained royalty for such a time as this [and for this very purpose]"? 

Just like Esther, we Christians have to decide what our response is going to be. I cannot answer for others, but I can tell you that I have always felt that there would one day be a tremendous trial come upon the world, and I would have the opportunity to not only experience it, but stand for the Lord. Notice, I did not say that God is necessarily testing us. That infers that God has given His approval for the trials and evil the world is experiencing. 

Instead, I recognize that much of the panic and hysteria that people will encounter will come from their lack of relationship with God, and their misplaced worship of the conveniences that the world offers them. Many Christians are guilty of this! We have fallen into step with society and the culture, and we worship our status, our wealth, our power, and our comfort. Many of us spend more time with our Facebook friends than we do with our Father in Heaven. We have not sought His will in how we should live our lives, OR how we should defeat the evil in the world. We have not fed on the Word of God, but have indulged in our appetites of unrighteousness and greed.

And now that may all come to a halt. There is [once again!] talk of a mandatory shutdown of the nation's government for an undetermined amount of time as our politicians haggle over the national debt, the corruption in high places, and the emboldening of our enemies. Everything in our world could change overnight. There will be people who will suffer if our medical system, transportation system, banking system, food distribution system, utilities system, political system, and yes, even our religious system is challenged -- especially our religious system. 

Will people blame God? Will they curse Him in the midst of their despair? Will they try to bargain with Him? Or will they fast [like Esther and her people] for strength and wisdom, and then humble themselves, and pray and seek His face and be prepared for come what may? Are you honestly prepared to trust God and like Esther, say, "If I perish, I perish", knowing that you have stood righteously against Satan's plans for the world? And will the Church rise up and see this for the opportunity it is? For this is a time when not only can the world reset, and begin to look more like it was created to be, but Believers can begin to walk in their true Kingdom identities and take back Kingdom authority over those worldly systems that have gone so far astray.

This is the time to reclaim the earth for the Kingdom of God! It is a time, in the words of the late Dr. Myles Munroe, to "establish the governing influence of our King over the territory called Earth, impacting it with His will, His purpose, and His intent, producing a citizenship of people who reflect the King's culture, nature, values, and morals". Doesn't the world need that? Doesn't our nation? And don't you want to be a part of that? 

I am watching people expressing their fears over what the future holds while I am calm and filled with anticipation and expectation. I believe the Lord desires to do a great work in the lives of millions of people. And as always, everyone has a free will choice how they will receive His invitation. Whether it is millions who answer Jesus's call, or just a remnant, Satan has had his way for far too long! The battle over mankind is intensifying. But what the devil means for evil, God will use for His good. We can see ourselves as being born for this time and join with God to glorify Him in the midst of the coming trials ... or we can sit back and wait for Jesus to do all the work. But that's not why we're here! This is an amazing time to spread the Gospel of the Kingdom and to be an instrument of God to sow into the hearts and lives of people. 

It is an exciting time to be on the earth. It is a favorable time to be a worker in the Kingdom. It is also a dangerous time. The rulers in the spiritual realms, along with the authorities, the cosmic powers over this present darkness, and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places are all going to fight back against the Kingdom of God. We can expect to be embattled and we must prepare for casualties; yes, even martyrdom. I know that's not an idea that brings comfort, but just like Queen Esther, we must stand firm, declaring, "If I perish, I perish". Nothing is secure in this new world we find ourselves -- not even our lives. But there is one thing we can count on for sure... Jesus has paid for our victory! And just as Mordecai exhorted Esther, we can choose to be a part of that victory or not, but we can be assured that if it is not you or me, "God will send His relief and deliverance from another source", and our house and/or nation could perish. I want to be part of that victory source! I was born for such a time as this, and you are, too! Our Father in Heaven, use us to help bring Your Kingdom to earth and heal our land and this world!

John 14:1   Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me.