Category Archives: God’s Overcomers

God’s Glory Unveiled

Arise! Shine!
Nations will come to your light (Isa 60:3)

Ancient Hebrew scriptures, the New Testament, and the Dead Sea Scrolls all promise that God will unveil His radiant glory in His faithful disciples for all the world to see.

Here are three representative examples of this promise:

• “Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to
righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3 NASB)
• Jesus said, “THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.”  (Matthew 13:43 NASB)
• “The Sons of Righteousness shall shine to all ends of the world, continuing to shine forth until the end of the appointed season of darkness.” (from the War Rule Scroll of the Dead Sea Scrolls)

God offers us His love, hope, light, and life to replace the oppression, darkness, violence, and death we’re now experiencing in all nations under Satan’s kingdom–whose time is ending.

To learn how you can personally experience and display the love, hope, light, and life of God, read my new free book Arise! Shine!

The Culmination of the Gospel

What we are is God's gift

God’s Plan

For eons of time, since before the foundation of the earth, God’s plan is ever moving forward toward His goal of complete reconciliation of all creation to Himself.

“and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.” Colossians 1:20 NASB

Despite what the media and world leaders say, the ruler and kings of this world are not in control of world events.clockwork

God is in control, and like the gears in a fine Swiss watch, God is syncronizing large and small events exactly, according to His plan and schedule.

Divine prophecy is history that hasn’t happened yet. It reveals the future outworking of God’s plan.

The Next Milestone in God’s Plan

The next major event in God’s plan is the victory of His kingdom over the kingdom of this world.

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10 KJV

“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” Revelation 11:15 NASB

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream of Empires

In a dream, ancient Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar saw an awesome statue of a man. The man had a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, and legs of iron. Its feet were iron mixed with clay.

The king ordered the wise men of Babylon to tell him both the dream and the interpretation, or he threatened, “if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you will be torn limb from limb and your houses will be made a rubbish heap.”

Then God revealed the dream to a Hebrew captive named Daniel, who told the king:

“This was the dream; now we will tell its interpretation before the king. “You, O king, are the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength and the glory; and wherever the sons of men dwell, or the beasts of the field, or the birds of the sky, He has given them into your hand and has caused you to rule over them all. You are the head of gold.

Medo-Persia and Greece
“After you, there will arise another kingdom inferior to you, then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth.

Rome (or Islam?)
“Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces. “In that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with common clay. “As the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle. “And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery.

The Divine Kingdom
“In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. “Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so, the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.” Daniel 2:36-45 NASB

The Statue

The statue represents the 4 pagan empires that that will dominate God’s people in this world before He establishes His kingdom rule over all the earth: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome (or Islam). Most Bible teachers believe we’re now in the final stage of the fourth empire, symbolized by the feet of iron mixed with clay.

The Stone

Daniel’s interpretation plainly says the stone is the kingdom of God. It was cut out of a mountain without human hands, then strikes the statue at its feet and completely shatters it. Then the stone (God’s kingdom) grows into a mountain that fills the whole earth.

The Kingdom of This World

The kingdom of this world is ruled by the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). He’s also known as:

“the great dragon, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world” Revelation 12:9 NASB

The god of this world is Machiavellian; he accumulates power and rules the nations through violence, manipulation, fear, self-interest, and corruption. With few exceptions (Joseph, Daniel, etc.), success in the Dragon’s kingdom requires a person to put expediency and ambition above morality. The higher you rise in this kingdom, the more you’ll be required to compromise.

The inevitable destination for everyone in this kingdom is death, a reality most people avoid as they strive to enjoy a comfortable life before their clock runs out.

All nations, including the modern state of Israel and America, are members of the Devil’s kingdom. All have rejected righteousness. All have embraced the Machiavellian model. As a result, all will be shattered by the small stone.

The Kingdom of God

Unlike the kingdom of this world, the kingdom of God is founded upon and ruled by righteousness and peace.

No unrighteous person can enter God’s kingdom, but everyone who is born into the Devil’s kingdom has sinned. Jesus solved this dilemma by offering Himself as an offering for sin for everyone who repents and asks for forgiveness in His name. Every citizen of God’s kingdom has been born of water (baptism) and the Spirit. (John 3:5) Every citizen in God’s invisible kingdom is ‘born again,’ by faith.

The kingdom of God exists where God’s will is done, and where GrapesHis word is obeyed. It’s where we abide in Christ to produce fruit, and where we’re pruned to produce ever more fruit. (John 15)

Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever, and righteousness will be the sceptre of Your kingdom. (Hebrews 1:8)

The kingdom of God is where God gives eternal life to everyone that asks.

Unlike the world’s kingdom, success in God’s kingdom requires us to place righteousness, peace, and sacrificial love above self-interest, wealth, and promotion.

To the carnal mind, God’s invisible, spiritual kingdom looks weak and insignificant compared to the Dragon’s physical kingdom, like a small stone compared to a large mountain. But this small stone is destined to shatter the Devil’s kingdom, crush it, and God’s Spirit will blow the dust away, never to be seen again. Then, that stone will grow into a mountain that fills the whole earth.

But How?

Jesus made it possible for us to literally become children of God.

“to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” John 1:12 NASB

As His children, we’re to reflect His image, His nature, and His works. Our challenge:

Therefore, I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

If we abide in Him and walk in His Spirit continuously, we will overcome the world, the flesh, and the Devil. Our personal character and behavior are transformed into a unique facet of God’s image. Having been thus transformed, a day is soon coming when God will manifest His glory on His spiritually-mature, righteous sons and daughters.

The Manifestation of God’s Glory

Since the Garden of Eden, all creation yearns for the glory of God to be manifested in His children:

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. (Romans 8:18-21)Manifestation of Sons of God

I believe the next milestone in God’s plan, before the great tribulation, is when He reveals His glory in His spiritually mature and righteous sons and daughters. This will fulfil Isaiah 60:1-3

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.

For behold, darkness will cover the earth
And deep darkness the peoples;
But the LORD will rise upon you
And His glory will appear upon you.

Nations will come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.

Almost all Bible teachers believe Isaiah chapter 60 refers to events in the Millennium, after Armageddon and Jesus’ second coming. Here’s why I believe it will happen before the great tribulation:

  1. Most prophecy teachers today either focus on the rapture, or what Satan and the Antichrist are going to do to wreak havoc against mankind. This is a defensive attitude, with the Devil on the offense against us. In their theology, we are passive and defensive, suffering helplessly while we wait for Jesus to deliver us. There’s no place in their theology or eschatology for Christians to have an active, offensive role in end-time events.
  2. In contrast, when Jesus told His disciples that ‘the gates of hell will not overpower’ the Church, it’s apparent that the Devil is the one in the defensive position, and the Church is on the offense against his gates. (Matthew 16:18)
  3. The Devil and the Antichrist are not in control of end-time events, just as they weren’t in control when they crucified the Lamb of God. They’ll really be on the defensive when God unveils His glory in His overcoming saints. The visible glory of God radiating from them will shatter the darkness and lies that the Devil’s kingdom is built on. Billions of people will jettison the Devil’s kingdom to become born-again children of God.
  4. Finally, the Holy Spirit spoke to me in 2015 saying “Something wonderful” is coming. When I searched to find out what the Spirit was referring to, I believe He led me into this teaching. As a result, I wrote ARISE!  SHINE!, which is available free online.

I believe the manifestation of the sons of God is the first culmination of the gospel message. It is the next step after Pentecost in the progressive, unfolding revelation of the corporate Body of Christ.

(Note: to fulfill Colossians 1:20, there will be other culminations of the gospel in ages to come, until everything in heaven and earth is reconciled to God through Christ.)

This visible manifestation of God’s glory in His overcomers is the small stone that shatters and crushes the devil’s kingdom. The glorious light of God, seen in His saints, will cause nations and kings to come to them, to learn the way of the Lord, to know the way of righteousness, peace, and life.

Postscript

This brief article is focused on the ‘culmination of the gospel.’ I feel like I’ve covered that topic, but I realize I’m leaving many questions unanswered, such as:

  1. Why is it critically important for believers to be holy? What is holiness?
  2. What’s the back story that explains the conflict between God and His adversaries?
  3. What are the eons of God’s plan?
  4. What will the Antichrist do to believers during the great tribulation, especially the ones who visibly exhibit the glory of God?
  5. Why doesn’t God just put a stop to all the evil in the world?
  6. What role do saints play in the end-time spiritual conflict between God and the principalities and powers?

Rather than making this article a lot longer, you can find answers to these questions in these free online resources:

Watch and Pray

Pouring molten gold

APOCALYPSE FATIGUE

If you’re like me, you sometimes suffer from ‘apocalypse fatigue.’  I’ve sincerely expected the end of the age to start (resulting in the great tribulation, the Antichrist’s defeat, and the return of Jesus) many times since 1981, but obviously it hasn’t happened yet. Here’s a short list of apocalyptic signs I have followed (or am still tracking) with interest:

  • 1981 – the planets of the solar system were supposed to align, triggering great earthquakes, etc. (Signs in the heavens and on earth)
  • 1988 – 40 years after Israel became a nation (The olive tree parable…this generation will not pass away until the end comes)
  • The Bush presidents, 9/11, and their promotion of the ‘new world order’
  • 2008-2016 – Is Obama the Antichrist?
  • 2013 – The last pope takes office according to the prophecy of St Malachy. Is Pope Francis the false prophet of Revelation 13?
  • 2015 – four consecutive ‘blood moons’ coinciding with Jewish Passover and Tabernacles festivals. Did the 7-year tribulation covenant period start on Yom Kippur, 9/22/15?
  • 2017 – Is Trump or Jared Kushner the Antichrist?
  • Possible Second Coming dates: Yom Kippur of 2022, 2036, or 2055?

I’ve made life-direction decisions based on some of these, resulting in life-long consequences and lost career opportunities. After so many false leads, over decades, it’s tempting to simply stop looking for end-time clues and just join the rest of the world—asleep in their blissful ignorance.

But, as I was meditating on my apocalypse fatigue this morning, the scripture to “watch and pray” came to me. Regarding the end of this age, Jesus warned:

Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be weighed down by dissipation, drunkenness, and the worries of life—and that day will spring upon you suddenly like a snare. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. So, keep watch always, and pray that you may have the strength to escape all that is about to happen and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36)

Watch

What does it mean to keep watch? According to BibleHub.com, the original Greek word literally means “to be sleepless, intent upon a thing, Ephesians 6:18; or, to exercise constant vigilance over something (an image drawn from shepherds).”

Examples of watching:

  1. Defensive:
    1. Shepherds keep watch over their sheep, making sure they’re safe from predators and other dangers.
    2. Soldiers are routinely assigned to guard duty. They keep watch over (guard) a specific place or thing during a specified period of time.
  2. Offensive: Hunters watch intently for their prey. They constantly search for clues and signs that will lead them to success in their hunt. They focus all their senses on the hunt; looking for animal tracks, listening for twigs snapping, and smelling their upwind quarry.

What should we ‘keep watch’ for?

Watch so that no one deceives you.

In all three synoptic gospels, this is the first warning Jesus gave His disciples regarding the end time.

  1. Matthew 24:4 See to it that no one deceives you.
  2. Mark 13:5 See to it that no one deceives you.
  3. Luke 21:8-9 See to it that you are not deceived. For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.When you hear of wars and rebellions, do not be alarmed. These things must happen first, but the end is not imminent.”

Watch to be able to withstand persecution.

  1. Mark 13:9-13 So be on your guard. You will be handed over to the councils and beaten in the synagogues. On My account, you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them… Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rise against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone on account of My name, but the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.
  2. Matthew 24:9-12 Then they will hand you over to be persecuted and killed, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray and hate one another, and many false prophets will arise and mislead many. Because of the multiplication of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.
  3. Luke 21:12-19 But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. On account of My name, they will deliver you to the synagogues and prisons, and they will bring you before kings and governors. This will be your opportunity to serve as witnesses. So make up your mind not to worry beforehand how to defend yourselves. For I will give you speech and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you will be put to death. And you will be hated by everyone because of My name. Yet not even a hair of your head will perish. By your patient endurance, you will gain your souls.
Learn from Peter’s failure to watch

The night before Jesus’ crucifixion, Peter said: “I will die with you.” But Jesus warned Peter that he would deny Jesus three times before sunrise. Later, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter was sleepy and didn’t ‘watch’ with the Lord. As a result, when the trial came for Peter early the next morning, he wasn’t spiritually prepared, and so he denied the Lord to preserve himself from pain.

Like Peter, we will all have trials, during which our faith and commitment will be tested. If you haven’t strengthened yourself through watching and prayer, you’ll naturally choose the path of self-protection and, like Peter, you’ll deny the truth.

Watch to anticipate the Messiah’s return.

  1. Matthew 24:32-51, especially verse 42, Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day on which your Lord will come.
  2. Mark 13:32-33 But as for that day or hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.Be on your guard and stay alert! For you do not know when the appointed time will come.
  3. Luke 21:34-36 But watch yourselves, or your hearts will be weighed down by dissipation, drunkenness, and the worries of life—and that day will spring upon you suddenly like a snare. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. So keep watch at all times, and pray that you may have the strength to escape all that is about to happen and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Why is it important for us to watch for the Lord’s return?

  1. Those who don’t watch will be ensnared when that day comes upon the world.
  2. Watching and prayer are required to build the strength required to overcome what will happen and to stand before the Son of Man.
  3. Rev 12:11, “They conquered him (the dragon) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives so as to shy away from death.”

PRAY

Like Watching, prayer has both defensive and offensive components.

Defensive:

  1. Pray that you’ll have strength to prevail against all that is about to happen in the earth, and to stand righteous and victorious before the Son of Man. “Lead us not into trials, but deliver us from evil.”
  2. Pray that when you stand before Him that He will be able to say to you, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

Offensive:

  1. In general, pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as in heaven.”
  2. Specifically, pray for the kingdom of God to be manifested in your family, community, and nation.
  3. The prayers of the saints fill the golden altar before God’s throne in heaven. (Rev 8:3, 8:5, 9:13, 16:7)
  4. Jesus said, “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations…” (Mark 11:17, Luke 19:46). Many believe that since God delegated authority to Adam to rule the earth, God can do nothing in the earth unless it’s in response to human prayer.

Watch and Pray

So, what does it mean to watch and pray?

  1. Before the Lord Jesus returns, scripture teaches there’ll be a great delusion upon everyone who doesn’t love and follow the truth. Watch and pray to follow God’s truth and not to be deceived and deluded with the masses.
  2. Persecution against Christians is already exploding around the world. Watch and pray that you’ll remain faithful, even at personal cost.
  3. Watch and pray that you’ll be strengthened to overcome the evil that’s coming to this world.

Bottom Line—like Peter, it’s understandable if we get tired. But let’s learn from his example and overcome apocalypse fatigue.  We have two choices; (1) watch and pray to become an overcomer, or (2) follow the world system into delusion and judgement.

The Manifestation of the Sons of God

I just uploaded a 7-minute YouTube video introduction to The Manifestation of the Sons of God book.  Here’s the video:

This free book is available on this Stand In Faith website at http://standinfaith.org/home/manifestation-sons-god/

The Heavenly Council – Unseen Hands Controlling World Events

Central Planning

Who is controlling world events?

Violent world events are not random, but they’re intentionally planned and executed by a common group. For example, these events all accomplished centrally-planned results:

  • 9/11
  • Boston marathon bombing
  • The ongoing Muslim refugee invasion of Europe and other Western countries
  • The destruction of a Russian airliner over Sinai
  • The terrorist massacre of 150+ people in Paris

Yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Paris were engineered to occur just before a G20 Leaders’ Summit that starts tomorrow in Turkey. The Paris terrorist attacks will now dominate the G20 Leaders’ agenda.

But, for centralized planning to be true, the planners would have to have the intelligence, influence, and power to plan and implement such things on a global scale. Who can do that?

  • Even if I believed Bush and Cheney (or somebody else) were evil
    9/11
    9/11

    enough to engineer the 9/11 attack, as some conspiracy theorists propose, that wouldn’t explain who’s planning and executing events now, long after their retirement.

  • I doubt whether presidents Obama, Putin, and Hollande are all evil enough to plan and execute recent terrorist attacks against their own people.
  • It would be stupid for ISIS or Al Qaeda to poke a stick in the bear’s eye by blowing up a Russian civilian airliner, or to kill dozens of innocent Frenchmen at random.

Rulers and Authorities

So, who’s behind all these events? The Bible teaches:

“Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12)

These rulers and authorities (or ‘principalities and powers’ in the King James version) are the unseen brains and hands who control critical world events.

Since almost everyone is ignorant about this topic (including most Christians) here are other Bible verses to verify the reality and continued existence of spiritual rulers and authorities, according to the Bible:

  • Hebrew Bible references: These are the ‘sons of god’ or ‘gods’ referred to in dozens of places, including: Gen 6:2,4; Job 1:6, 2:1, 38:7; Dt 32:8-9, 43, and Psalm 82.
  • New Testament references: Besides Ephesians 6:12, others include Eph 6:12, Col 1:16, 2:15, Rom 8:38, Eph 1:21, 3:10, Tit 3:1, 1 Cor 15:24.

The Heavenly Council

There is solid evidence in the Hebrew Bible for a 3-tiered heavenly council. Yahweh is the Supreme authority over a divine bureaucracy that includes a second tier called the ‘sons of God’ (beneh elim). These sons of God are never referred to as angels (mal’akhim) in the Hebrew Bible, as that term denotes the third tier.[1]

The ‘spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms’ are fallen spiritual beings with delegated authority over God’s creation. They began ruling the earth in an eon before Adam (2 Peter 3:5-6) and they will continue to rule until Michael the Archangel casts them down to earth, after the overcomers defeat them “by the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony, and they love not their souls unto death.” (Rev 12:7-11)

What is their goal?

To vindicate themselves, the fallen rulers and authorities need to prove that it’s impossible to live in righteousness and peace in the physical world. This is why they promote sin and violence among mankind.

But the resurrected Jesus Christ makes it possible for anyone to live in righteousness and peace, if a person will simply turn away from sin and follow His life-giving Spirit daily.

To achieve their goal, the fallen rulers and authorities will do everything possible to tempt Christ’s disciples into sin, and if that fails, to eradicate them from the earth.

But, the Book of Revelation tells us that God’s overcomers will be victorious over the fallen rulers; their testimony of righteousness and peace will result in judgement against the rulers and authorities, who will be cast down from heaven to earth, to die like men.

I explain these concepts in detail in my free book The Overcomers Role in the Apocalypse available on this website.

How do they control human world events?

Most people think heaven is full of clouds and angels, loved ones playing harps, etc., but the truth is that the heavenly realm is in conflict right now. There is conflict between celestial beings who follow God (i.e., Michael and Gabriel) and those who obstinately continue in rebellion (i.e., Baal and Molech), yet they’re all still members of the heavenly council, or council of heaven, who present themselves before the Lord, as in the Book of Job, chapter one.

The decrees of the council of heaven are the decrees of God. The Israelite conception of the divine council included deliberation and opposition, yet the will of God was ultimately done. For example, 1 Kings 22:19-23 tells us how the heavenly council works.

God had decided that Ahab should die in battle by going up to Ramoth-Gilead, and the council considered various ways to entice him to go there. Many ideas were considered before one of council suggests becoming a lying spirit in the mouths of all Ahab’s prophets. God approved this plan and said it will succeed.

From this example we learn some facts that some may have trouble swallowing:

  • God declared His objective in a matter and then allowed the heavenly council to determine how it could be accomplished.
  • God approved one of their ideas, which the sons of God then implemented, resulting in humans making choices that fulfilled God’s will.
  • The plan involved lying. God didn’t suggest the idea, or predestine it, but He did allow it, and then a fallen son of God implemented it through affecting the choices of prophets and the king who listened to them.
  • Today the heavenly council is still devising and implementing schemes to cause men to do the heavenly council’s will. Terrorist acts, false flag and black swan events, etc., are all being engineered to achieve their goal of implementing an anti-God world government and religion. They’re guiding the minds and actions of humans through pride, greed, ignorance, fanaticism, and lust for power. And God is allowing it.
  • Why does God allow such terrible things? All of this is in accordance with God’s ‘eternal’ plan and purpose—to make known to these rulers and authorities in heaven the wisdom of God through the Body of Christ. (Eph 3:10). How?
    • Just as Satan challenged God to test Job, the heavenly council challenges God to test the Church. The anti-Christ government will overcome the saints (Daniel 7:21), but the Overcomers will prevail.
    • Just as God permitted Job to be tested, for the last 2000 years He permits the heavenly council to test the Church, to prove whether the Church will stand in faith, or follow the world into suicidal destruction.

A Great Shaking is Coming

Many faithful disciples are foretelling the great shaking that’s coming.

  • God said, “Once more, I will shake not only the earth, but also the heavens. The words ‘once more’ indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” Heb 12:26-29
  • A great falling away is now occurring in the visible Church, as the bigstockphoto_Staircase_To_Heaven__5078152masses follow the broad, seeker-friendly way to destruction. But a spiritual awakening is beginning in the true Church, among those who won’t settle for less than the narrow, hard way of truth that leads to life.
    • From AD 33 until 1900 there were 14,000,000 Christian martyrs. But since 1900 there have been 26,000,000 martyrs[2]. The books of Daniel and Revelation tell us this trend will only increase as the rulers and authorities wage all-out war against the saints.
    • God is allowing this because the apocalyptic events of the end time is the catalyst required to bring His disciples to develop into maturity, unto the fullness of the stature of Christ.
    • End time events also provide the stage for the testimony of faithful witnesses in the Court of Heaven. The testimony of the martyrs will defeat the fallen ruler and authorities in the Heavenly Court, and vindicate God’s wisdom and faith in them. They’ll prevail “by the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony, and because they won’t love their souls unto death.”

The Sons of God

In the past, the rulers and authorities were called the sons of God.Overcomer

But now, and in the future, those who are faithful to God are the true sons of God who will rule and reign with Christ in God’s kingdom on earth during the coming Millennium, and then afterward throughout the entire universe.

[1] http://www.thedivinecouncil.com/DivineCouncilLBD.pdf page 4

[2] http://www.jmm.org.au/articles/2904.htm

The Coming One World Religion

Godly Unity is Good

Psalm 133:1 says, “How good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!”

It is good and pleasant for born-again brethren to dwell in unity—a unity centered on their shared faith in God and obedience to His Word.

Satanic Unity is Bad

One-World-Religion

But, instead of this holy kind of unity, Satan and the fallen celestial rulers of the present wicked age are building a mechanical, counterfeit religious unity, a one world religion, based in their shared rebellion and lawlessness toward God and his Word.

The current Roman Catholic pope, who the prophecy of Malachy predicts will be the last pope before Rome is destroyed, is aggressively promoting such a mechanical unity between the world’s three major monotheistic religions—Jewish, Christian, and Muslim. Here are a few recent news articles supporting this premise:

Roman Catholics with Jews the pope meets with Jewish leaders to discuss a United Nations of Religions.

Protestants ‘Churches’ merging with Roman Catholics Prominent Pastor Rick Warren promotes Protestant/Catholic unity.

Roman Catholics with Orthodox the pope builds bridges with Orthodox leadership.

Roman Catholics with Muslims the pope prays in a Mosque with Muslim leaders.

United Nations Interfaith Harmony Week is held every February. It’s a way to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith.

The Apostasy is Happening Now

The Bible teaches that this effort will succeed, and it will result in “the apostasy” predicted in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4:

Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

Notice that it’s not an apostasy, but the original Greek text explicitly uses the definite article “the,”  labeling it the apostasy. It’s the greatest apostasy in world history.

The apostasy is commonly referred to as ‘the Great Falling Away’ from the true faith. So, what is it?

For centuries, the majority of ‘Christian’ Catholic and Protestant believers have been on varying degrees of descent into complete apostasy. They’re ignorant of God’s Biblical commands and calendar, following the world’s traditions and calendar instead. For example, they celebrate Ash Wednesday and Lent, and take their children on Easter egg hunts instead of celebrating the perpetual, Biblically-mandated  feasts of Passover, First-fruits, and Unleavened Bread.  They also ignore the autumn feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles, which are soon to be fulfilled; substituting Halloween harvest festivals, Thanksgiving, and Christmas in their place.

In these last days, the apostasy will increase, as the majority of churches reject obedience to God’s Word. In its place, they’ll follow this world’s religious leaders (i.e., Rick Warren, Kenneth Copeland, the Pope, Dalai Lama, etc.) in accepting a mishmash of humanistic, man-made religious doctrines that Jews, Muslims, and ‘Christians’ can all agree on.

False Shepherds and Hirelings

The ‘Christian’ church in 2014 is ripe for the great apostasy… the Old Testament has been discarded, and uncomfortable passages in the New Testament are never preached. Instead, masses of pew-warming believers gather in an auditorium 1 hour a week where false shepherds religiously ‘process’ them. Their processing formula goes like this:

  1. Entertain them with an upbeat musical “worship package.” The last song should evoke strong emotion.
  2. Fleece the sheep (harvest their money) before the musically-induced emotion fades.
  3. Feed them a feel-good, seeker-friendly message for not more than 30 minutes.
  4. Encourage them to bring their friends next week, so that they can feel good too.
  5. Send them home with false assurance that anything they do is OK because it’s all covered by God’s grace.

The pecking order for false shepherds’ prestige is always governed by their relative number of weekly attendees and offerings. Whenever two of these hirelings meet, they’ll inevitably compare their congregations’ attendance and offering numbers, and their respective ranks in the relationship are automatically determined by these numbers.

In contrast, when Jesus taught His followers that He was the Bread of Life, most of His followers left Him.  So, a Godly minister’s only metric of success is whether the Living God’s will is being done, whether or not it’s popular.

Topics like the Feasts of Israel, the 4th Commandment, the blood of Jesus, repentance, discipleship, obedience to God’s Word, persecution, sacrificial suffering, martyrdom, prophecy, God’s judgment, the Antichrist, Armageddon, and God’s expectation of our practical holiness are generally avoided by the vast majority of today’s ‘Christian’ leaders.

As a result of these false shepherds, 99.999% of the people who attend today’s Catholic and Protestant churches are ignorant of what the Bible actually teaches about these things.

Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13 NASB)

So, if you’re in the Christian mainstream, chances are you’re not going through the small gate on the narrow way that leads to life.

To the false shepherds, who are ‘Pied Pipers’ on the broad way to destruction, the prophet Hosea’s words still apply:

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being my priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” (Hosea 4:6)

The result of this ignorance is pervasive lawlessness in the church.

Biblical Lawlessness

Biblical lawlessness is simply not following God’s commandments completely.  For example, in his war against the Amalekites in 1 Samuel 15, King Saul did 99.9% of what God commanded him to do, but he didn’t completely obey God. As a result, God rejected him as king over Israel. In this well-known passage,

“Samuel said,
“Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
As in obeying the voice of the LORD?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.

 “For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king.”

Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned; I have indeed transgressed the command of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and listened to their voice. “Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with me, that I may worship the LORD.”

But Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you; for you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel.

As Samuel turned to go, Saul seized the edge of his robe, and it tore. So Samuel said to him, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to your neighbor, who is better than you.”

Likewise, because of their lawlessness and disregard for obeying God’s Word, many of today’s Christians will be surprised when they’re rejected from entering the kingdom of heaven…

Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.  “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’  “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ (Matthew 7:21-23, NASB)

Persecution is Coming

The Purpose

A great shaking and sifting is coming to the Church. It will reveal God’s true disciples…

“I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts.” (Haggai 2:7)

They will fill God’s temple with the glory of their redemption–which God accomplished in them through Christ Jesus.

“For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
 (1 Peter 4:17)

God will first judge His Church, and then He will judge the nations. When He judges the Church, only faithful, obedient disciples will remain standing in His presence. When He judges the nations, nobody will be able to stand.

True Christians, who obey the Bible, will soon be persecuted as mentally ill, violent extremists, terrorists, bigots, etc. Indeed, the foundation for this persecution has already been laid.

Political: “The Obama administration, including the military over which President Obama presides as commander-in-chief, is engaging in a pattern of behavior targeting traditional Christian believers and their groups as extremists and mocking their beliefs.” (Frontpagemag.com)

Religious: From the Catholic News Service on 6/25/14:
1. Pope Francis described as “dangerous” the temptation to believe that one can have “a personal, direct, immediate relationship with Jesus Christ without communion with and the mediation of the (Roman Catholic) church.”

  1. In the hyperlinked article below, Pope Francis and retired Israeli president Shimon Peres are working to create a “United Nations of Religions,” but ‘fundamentalist’ believers won’t be welcome.

“There is one type of Christian that Pope Francis does not have anything positive to say about. Pope Francis says that there is not any room for “fundamentalism” in Christianity… Following his first visit to the Middle East as pope last month, the pontiff criticized fundamentalism in Christianity, Islam and Judaism as a form of violence.

“A fundamentalist group, even if it kills no one, even it strikes no one, is violent. The mental structure of fundamentalism is violence in the name of God.”

http://www.infowars.com/pope-francis-and-shimon-peres-discuss-the-establishment-of-a-united-nations-of-religions/

What Should You Do?

To avoid being deceived into falling into the great apostasy of the coming one-world religion, I suggest we all need to:

  1. Sincerely ask God to forgive you of your sins. Turn from your sinful nature and ask Jesus to lead you into a life of obedience and holiness, according to God’s word.
  2. Study the entire Word of God, so you won’t be ignorantly deceived and swept away in the apostasy now sweeping the religions of the earth.
  3. Fellowship together with other sincere, obedient disciples of Jesus. If your church is following the ‘religious process’ formula above, immediately start searching for another congregation that teaches and expects you to follow the whole Word of God.
  4. Mentally and spiritually prepare to be persecuted for your faith in God and obedience to His Word.

It is a trustworthy statement:

For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; (2 Timothy 2:11-12)

What it Means to Stand in Faith

OvercomerAmerican missionary pastor Rick Renner wrote the Sparkling Gems article below.  In addition to ministering to thousands of Russian people from his ministry in  Moscow, Pastor Rick is also a New Testament Greek scholar. His teaching below perfectly describes what it means to dwell, walk, or stand in faith.

The Bible teaches that walking in faith is literally walking within a spiritual place; walking in faith is about staying within the boundaries God has set for you and me.

Pastor Rick’s teaching is so appropriate and relevant to the message of this ‘Stand in Faith’ web site that I’ve copied and inserted it below, unchanged.

I encourage you to sign up for Pastor Rick’s daily e-mail teachings, as I do.  As the name suggests, he puts out some real gems.

(Note: please forgive the small amount of blank ‘white space’ below. I couldn’t remove it without altering the body of the article.)

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Location, Location, Location!
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
— Hebrews 11:6

All over the world, the golden rule of real estate is location, location, location. Property situated in the best areas is most desirable because it has the greatest value and demands the highest prices. Even though residences in other areas may be more beautiful and even have larger yards, they simply can’t demand the same high prices as residences situated in better locations.

My family and I live minutes from the Moscow Kremlin where the seat of government resides and where the beautiful Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral are located. Apartments here are older and smaller, but this area is in the very center of Moscow and is considered prestigious because it is so close to the seat of power. Therefore, property and rental values in this area are much higher.

I recently drove outside the city limits to see the fabulous new homes being built by Russia’s brand-new, emerging middle class. When I asked how much these homes could be purchased for, I was stunned to discover that their selling price is a fraction of what smaller apartments cost in the neighborhood where we live. However, if we lived outside the city, we would have to fight traffic for an hour and a half every morning on the way to the office; then we’d have to do it all over again every night on the way home! That’s another reason why the homes located outside the city are cheaper. Living near the center of the city is much easier, more convenient, and more productive.

As I drove back into the city after looking at these country homes, I started thinking about the contrast between living inside and outside of the city. As I pondered this subject, I found my mind going to Hebrews 11:6, which says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him….”

The word “without” comes from the Greek word choris, which means to be outside of something, such as someone who lives outside the perimeters of a city. It is a comparison between being outside or inside something – for example, in the house or out of the house; in the yard or out of the yard; or in the car or out of the car. The word choris depicts someone who is out of, not in, a specific location.

Because this word is used in connection with faith, the writer of Hebrews is letting us know that we can live in faith or out of faith. This means faith must be a real place that has borders, perimeters, and boundaries. Just as you can live in the city or out of the city, you can live in faith or outside of faith. The determining factor is your obedience to the assignment God has given you. God wants you to be located at the address of faith – for this is the location He deems the most valuable and profitable for your life.

Hebrews 11:6 could be accurately rendered:
“When you live outside of faith – living beyond its boundaries and perimeters – you make it impossible to please Him….”

To determine if you are in or out of faith, you must ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I doing what God told me to do?
  • Am I fulfilling the assignment He gave for my life?
  • Am I living in obedience to His Word and to the revelation He has given me?
  • Am I sticking with the plan Jesus asked me to execute?

That place where God called you; that place requiring your obedience, faith, and patience; that place where you are confident God wants you to be working and functioning – that is the address of faith where God wants you to live. As long as you stay “in” that place where God told you to be, you are “in” faith and you therefore please God. But the day you give up and move “out” of that place of faith, you are moving to cheaper territory that God doesn’t value as highly – a location where you will experience the hardships and inconveniences of poor choices and defeat.

The entire eleventh chapter of Hebrews is about men and women who lived “in” faith. They each received a word from God for their lives or for their generation. Although it was difficult to do, they held tightly to their mandate from Heaven. As a result, they changed their generations and pleased God. Faith was the location where they lived – and because they stayed in that place where God had called them to be, they brought great pleasure to Him.

But the only way to stay “in” faith is to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus! The devil will try to discourage you from being steadfast and faithful. He’ll orchestrate situations to make you take your eyes off Jesus and to fill you with worry and fear. If you let the enemy’s plan work, it won’t be long before your bags will be packed and you’ll be changing locations – moving “out” of faith to low-level areas of defeat where you will not please God.

But you don’t have to let that plan work! You never have to leave the address of faith where God wants you to live! Just refuse to allow the devil to persuade you to fix your eyes on the circumstances. Don’t take the enemy’s path that leads straight “out” of faith.

For those who stay in faith, there is a reward. That is why Hebrews 11:6 says that God is a “rewarder.” For those who continually live at the address of faith – who refuse to be moved by circumstances; who adamantly reject any inclination to throw in the towel and to give up; who rebuff any temptation or pull to let go of the word God gave them – it is just a matter of time until their faith is rewarded. They will receive the full manifestation of what they believe!

Hebrews 11:6 goes on to say that God “…is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” You see, it takes diligence to stay in faith! It will require you to be focused, concentrated, and committed to the end. When circumstances try to knock you “out” of faith, you must have a fierce, unwavering commitment that you are not going to leave where God called you.

The reason most people fail is that they weren’t really committed from the very beginning. That’s why the devil eventually found a way to move them “out” of that place of faith. One great man of God said, “Anything that ends in a fizzle had a flaw in it from the beginning.” So make sure there are no fatal flaws in you that will knock you out down the road!

I assure you that if you see anyone consistently living at the address of faith, that person has persistently pursued that goal. You see, living “in” faith cannot be a sideline issue in your life. It must have your complete, undivided attention. For you to stay “in” faith, you must be constant. You definitely must be persistent. Your commitment to live and walk in faith must be unbending and immovable.

  • So what has God asked you to do?
  • What is that place of faith where you are supposed to be living right now?
  • Are you staying in that place of faith, or have you been vacillating back and forth and “in” and “out” of the place where God called you to be?

Make the decision that there is no turning back from where God has called you. God promises that if you stay “in” faith, there is a glorious reward awaiting you in the near future. It’s only a matter of time until the full manifestation of what you believe will come into view!

So make every effort to stay at your address of faith. You are living in the most valuable, beneficial place for your life. You are living where God can bless you!

Since location determines everything else, why don’t you take a few minutes today to assess your life? See if you are properly located “in” or “out” of faith. If you find that you are “out” of faith, make the goal of getting “in” faith your most important priority. The outcome of every other area of your life will be determined by this one decision!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, help me stick with the assignment You have given me for my life. I know that is where I am supposed to be – and I know that is what I am supposed to be doing. Forgive me for vacillating back and forth, in and out, backward and forward. I am asking You to help me become single-minded, concentrated, and focused in my determination never to move out of faith again. I want to live at the address of faith, for I know that is where I will please You the most. Holy Spirit, empower me to push aside every distraction of the devil and to remain fixed and focused on doing exactly what God has instructed me to do.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that I live “in” faith. Although Satan tries to use situations to distract me and dissuade me from staying in faith, I have resolved that I am never moving from the place where God has called me to be. I will never relinquish the dream He has put in my heart. I will stay in this place; I will use my faith; I will be steadfast, unwavering, and committed to seeing His promises come to pass in my life. Because I have made this decision, I am a person who pleases God!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO ANSWER

1. Are you living at the address of faith? Or have you moved out of faith and into the neighborhood of doubt and unbelief, where you know that you are no longer pleasing God?

2. How has the devil tried to distract and dissuade you from staying “in” faith? What people or situations has he used to try to pull you out of faith and into the territory of disobedience and unbelief?

3. What are you going to do to reinforce yourself spiritually so you can remain “in” faith until you see the full manifestation of what God has promised to you?

Spiritual Warfare in the End of the Age

Beginning of Birth Pangs

Birthing the Next Age
Birthing the Next Age

The world is growing more chaotic and violent daily.  These ‘birth pangs’ are growing in frequency and intensity, and I don’t expect this trend to end until TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) and the next age is birthed.

  • Most people aren’t aware of it, but WWIII (World War III)  has already begun in the economic and electronic realms.
    • The US dollar’s reign as the world’s reserve currency is under attack by many key nations, including Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS).
    • BRICS nations are creating a new Internet, to prevent the American National Security Agency’s (NSA) ability to spy on them.
    • The dollar’s fall will result in the complete collapse of
      Trouble Ahead
                        Trouble Ahead

      European and American economies, followed by famines, rioting, and the breakdown of civilization as we now know it.

    • Nations now use expert computer hackers to anonymously destroy or disrupt an enemy’s infrastructure, communications, and power grid.
  • Military conflict will inevitably follow, as it always does when well-armed nations get desperate.
  • Out of the ashes of WWIII a one-world government and economy will quickly arise, as foretold in the Bible books of Daniel and Revelation. When you hear international political and financial leaders talking about “pushing the reset button,” this is their goal.

The Christian’s True Enemy

It’s easy to get distracted into thinking our enemies are  Al Qaeda, international bankers, ISIS, Iranians, Obama, Russians, or any other ‘target du jour’ being demonized in the nightly news or on YouTube.  But don’t let them distract you.

Ephesians chapter 6 teaches us that our real enemies aren’t human, but spiritual.  We wrestle against principalities, powers, and other forces of darkness in the spiritual (or celestial) realm.

How can we wrestle against invisible, immaterial spirits? (The remainder of this posting is an excerpt from pages 96-98 of God’s Deep Magic.)

To wage spiritual warfare I don’t need to ascend into the celestial realm, light years up into the galaxy, and wrestle with warrior angels and demons through extended prayer and fasting. No, the celestial realm is here, now, in my heart and mind.

All I need to do is occupy the territory of my own heart and mind, following God’s Spirit and overcoming in the moral battles within myself. Unlike wrestling strong celestials I can’t see, in a realm I don’t live in, choosing to follow God’s way and controlling my own daily, moral choices is totally within my power to do. Therefore, I can do it, and I am responsible to do it.

When I stand before thThe Crosse Lord on Judgment Day, I’ll receive rewards (or not) based on the moral choices I’ve made. If I choose God’s way, and walk daily in His Spirit, I will fulfill all the requirements of God’s law.

“For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:3-4 NASB)

When I walk in righteousness, by the power of His Spirit living though me, I accomplish God’s eternal purpose plan and purpose—demonstrating the wisdom of God, through the church, to the celestial sovereignties and authorities.

“The mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. That the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:9-11 NASB)

By walking in righteousness, choosing to follow God and walk in His

Spirit instead of walking after my old selfish nature, I (and you) can Overcomerwin the spiritual war in heaven.

With each choice of God’s way over Satan’s I possess a little more territory in my personal, spiritual war.

It’s a constant, daily battle. We determine which side of our personality will win with every choice we make.

Our spiritual strength is like Samson’s hair; each day it grew a little longer, giving him a little more strength. Eventually, when our spiritual hair is long enough, we’ll be able to stand, holy and mature, in the fullness of the stature of Christ Himself.

The harvest of the earth, for which God has been patiently waiting since the First Eon, is a holy people who overcome sin through His Spirit living within them. These are the overcomers within the seven Churches that Jesus made the seven promises to. They are morally flawless, completely fulfilling all the requirements of God’s law by choosing to follow God’s way, growing daily into the likeness of Christ.

The Star of David isn’t just a Jewish symbol. For Christians it depicts the tri-part overcomer becoming one with the Triune God.

Star of David

Keeping the Sabbath

After wrestling for years with whether God expected a New Testament disciple to tithe, about 8 years ago I started tithing 10% of my gross income. Over time since then I’ve developed confidence that God will provide all my financial needs, and He has.

bigstockphoto_Staircase_To_Heaven__5078152
Path of Discipleship

Recently, the Spirit of God led me to take the next step in my discipleship journey—honoring the Sabbath.

The Sabbath

Like most Christians, I believed the ‘Christian Sabbath’ was on Sunday, and that Jesus removed the requirement for us to obey the Old Testament commandments and laws. We’re now under grace, right? And, just like 99% of Western Christians, I felt my Sabbath ‘obligation’ to God was complete after I went to church for 1 or 2 hours each Sunday. After that I was free to enjoy what I wanted to do, whether it was watching sports on TV, mowing the lawn, or going shopping, without another conscious thought about God that day.

The 7th Day?

In 2013, one of the last courses I took for my Doctor of Ministry degree was entitled “The Feasts of Jehovah.” I think this is when the Spirit of God really started tugging on my conscience. I learned that the Sabbath—like tithing and burnt offerings—was instituted long before Moses received the law on Mount Sinai. It goes back to creation itself. Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day, and their first task was to rest, with God, on the seventh day.

bigstockphoto_Blue_Grapes_Hanging_From_A_Vin_239235
Enjoy God’s Rest

In January 2014, the Spirit of God used the following verses to challenge me to honor the Sabbath Day.

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” (Exodus 20:8)

So the sons of Israel shall observe the Sabbath, to celebrate the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’  “It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.”  (Exodus 31:16-17)

So, God Himself observed the Sabbath, and the 4th of the Ten Commandments is to honor the Sabbath and keep it holy. I knew in my heart I wasn’t honoring the Sabbath and keeping it holy. The Spirit challenged me with these probing questions:

  1. Are you going to obey My word?
  2. Am I the Lord of your life, or not?”

Since the Sabbath was instituted at the beginning of Genesis, and not at Mount Sinai, I wondered whether Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection negated God’s requirement for mankind to keep the Sabbath?Stained Glass Window Then, I remembered there’s a 1000-year Sabbath coming in our future, in the millennial reign of Christ, the 7th millennium of this creation. God said the Sabbath was to be observed perpetually for all the generations of Israel. Also, the Sabbath is to be ‘a sign’ to the world. Keeping the Sabbath is like tithing our time.

But, following the Biblical Sabbath, from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday, would mean some radical changes for me.

For example:

1. A sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever.

a. Dedicating each Saturday to the Lord would immediately put me out of sync with the world system and the majority of Christendom.

In our culture, Saturday is generally used for entertainment and sports, shopping, and other non-spiritual activities.

While my Christian brethren are going to Church on Sunday, I’d be free to enjoy entertainment and sports, shopping, and other non-spiritual activities.

b. This difference is a testimony and a sign to both me and them.

It testifies that some are trying to follow the commandments of the Lord, even though it makes them be ‘out of sync’ with the world.

It testifies that I value the Lord’s approval more than the fellowship and approval of the world.

Forsaking profitable work on the 7th day of each week is a sign that I trust in the Living God to provide my needs.

2. Remember the Sabbath to Keep it Holy:

‘Dedicating’ the day means using the 24-hour period from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset to seek the Lord, fellowship, and worship.

Profitable work, entertainment and sports, shopping, and other non-spiritual activities are excluded.

Keeping the Sabbath is like tithing my time. When I dedicate one day a week to the Lord, I’m worshipping by:

  1. Being obedient to His word.
  2. Showing that He is worthy of one day of my focused attention each week.
  3. Believing that I’ll be able to accomplish all the things I need to do in the other 6 days each week.

Keeping the Sabbath — New Testament

Many will argue from Colossians 2:16,

“Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ”

Jesus honored the Sabbath perfectly in compliance with scripture, but He often got in trouble with the Jewish leaders who judged Him to be non-compliant with their added rules.

After the resurrection, the apostles, including Paul, continued to honor the scriptural Sabbath day. So, in Col 2:16 (and other places) I don’t think Paul was saying not to observe the Hebrew scriptures about the Sabbath.

Jesus and all the apostles, including Paul, strived to honor the scriptural Sabbath day. But, they didn’t follow the additional legalistic requirements that Jewish leaders added to the scriptural requirements. Here are a couple examples of such legalistic additions to scripture:

  1. For many years my son had Hasidic Jewish neighbors in Brooklyn NY. Once, he was walking down the street when a young Jewish man asked my son to do him a favor. It was the Sabbath and the Jewish family’s apartment was very hot. Because it was the Sabbath, the Jewish man wasn’t allowed to adjust the thermostat because that would constitute work on the Sabbath.
  2. Another time, my son noticed that every Saturday in NYC, many of the elevators were programmed to automatically stop at every floor. He discovered that this was because Jewish people were restricted from pushing an elevator button on the Sabbath.

So, Paul was saying that (while we should follow the Hebrew scriptures) we don’t need to comply with manmade rules, and we shouldn’t let anyone judge us for not following them.

This was also Jesus’ attitude. He perfectly obeyed all the Sabbath commandments of scripture, but ignored many of the manmade rules and refused to let the Pharisees and Sadducees judge Him for it.

Since I started honoring the Sabbath I’ve been attending the local Messianic Jewish synagogue. I immediately found myself in a Hebrew culture that was very different than any Church I’d ever attended. By moving from Sunday to Saturday, I’d also moved from a Greek/Roman Christian Church to a Hebrew Messianic Synagogue. Both follow Jesus, but they’re as different as night and day.

The weekly 7th-day Sabbath is a type and shadow of what’s to come, when Jesus our Messiah will establish His 1000-year reign on the earth in the 7th millennium. Until then, let us obey the 4th Commandment, using the weekly Sabbath to rest, fellowship, teach, and remind us of the reality that’s coming.

Kickoff post

Site Kickoff

Purpose:

Help truth-seekers worldwide understand and apply Biblical truths, focusing on currently relevant topics that either haven’t been taught before, or haven’t been assembled in a coherent and meaningful way.

More specifically; in God’s plan of eons we’re dwelling in an eon that began after Noah’s flood, and the end of this eon is imminent. As a result, this site focuses on our role in the events that are coming on the world, so that people can understand what’s happening, why it’s happening, and their role in bringing “the present wicked eon” to a close, ushering-in the next eon—the Messiah’s glorious 1000-year reign.

Categories:

This site will focus on the following topics:

God’s Plan

God’s Adversaries

Our Adversary

God’s Overcomers and their role

Spiritual Resources for the end time

Target Audience:

Worldwide truth-seekers

Christian disciples and leaders

 

Non-Christian truth seekers

People of goodwill who seek to learn God’s truth

Values:

  1. Biblically-founded and Spirit-led
  2. Promote Biblical truth over tradition
  3. Practical, nonviolent, and life-giving
  4. Focused on the Kingdom of God
  5. Provide all ministry free of charge