Godly Sorrow; A Loving Gift

Related imageIn the words of the great Apostle Paul, godly sorrow leads to life –

2Co 7:10  For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.  What was he talking about? There are many fallacies in our modern age about the subject of ‘pain’. We’re constantly being told that all pain is ‘bad’ for us; has no good purpose whatsoever. But is this true? Apostle Paul didn’t seem to think so. Let’s explore what he meant by ‘godly sorrow’ —

2Co 7:8  For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season.
2Co 7:9  Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
2Co 7:11  For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

The Biblical Illustrator [1] sheds some light on what godly sorrow  is—

Godly sorrow

  1. The mental state here exhibited. This sorrow was not of an ordinary kind. He afterwards defines it as sorrow “after a godly manner,” or “according to God.” The emotion was connected with certain local circumstances and events; but it must be regarded as forming an integral part in those arrangements of Divine mercy which are associated with the transformation and the final well-being of the human soul.
  2. This verse is a graphic record of the practical nature of repentance, which is a change of mind from unbelief and alienation against God and His law, to faith and love towards both; and a change of habit and of life from the pursuit and practice of sin, to the pursuit and practice of holiness.
  3. Its blessings. “Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation.” Elsewhere it is mentioned as being “repentance unto life,” because connected with everlasting happiness (2Pe_3:1-18).

The power of sorrow

Distinguish between sorrow and repentance. To grieve over sin is one thing, to repent of it is another. Sorrow is in itself a thing neither good nor bad; its value depends on the spirit of the person on whom it falls. Fire will inflame straw, soften iron, or harden clay.

  1. The fatal power of the sorrow of the world. It works death—
  2. In the effect of mere regret for worldly loss. We come into the world with health, friends, and sometimes property. So long as these are continued we are happy, and therefore fancy ourselves very grateful to God; but this is not religion; it has as little moral character in it, in the happy human being, as in the happy bird. Nay more, it is a suspicious thing; having been warmed by joy, it will become cold when joy is over; and then when these blessings are removed we count ourselves hardly treated, as if we had been defrauded of a right; rebellious hard feelings come; people become bitter, spiteful, discontented. This is the death of heart; the sorrow of the world has worked death.
  3. When sin is grieved for in a worldly spirit. There are two views of sin: as wrong, or as producing loss, e.g., of character. In such cases, if character could be preserved before the world, grief would not come. In the midst of Saul’s apparent grief the thing uppermost was that he had forfeited his kingly character; almost the only longing was that Samuel should honour him before his people. And hence it comes to pass that often remorse and anguish only begin with exposure. A corpse has been preserved for centuries in the iceberg, or in antiseptic peat, and when air was introduced it crumbled into dust. Exposure worked dissolution, but it only manifested the death which was already there; so with sorrow.
  4. The Divine power of sorrow.
  5. It works repentance, change of life, alteration of habits, renewal of heart. The consequences of sin are meant to wean from sin. The penalty annexed to it is, in the first instance, corrective, not penal. Fire burns the child, to teach it one of the truths of this universe—the property of fire to burn. The first time it cuts its hand with a sharp knife it has gained a lesson which it never will forget. Sorrow avails only when the past is converted into experience, and from failure lessons are learned which never are to be forgotten.
  6. Permanence of alteration. A steady reformation is a more decisive test of the value of mourning than depth of grief. The characteristic of the Divine sorrow is that it is a repentance “not repented of.” And in proportion as the repentance increases the grief diminishes. “I rejoice that I made you sorry, though it were but for a time.” Grief for a time, repentance for ever. And few things more signally prove the wisdom of this apostle than his way of dealing with this grief. He tried no artificial means of intensifying it. So soon as grief had done its work the apostle was anxious to dry useless tears—he even feared lest happily such an one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
  7. It is sorrow according to God. God sees sin in itself: a thing infinitely evil, even if the consequence were happiness instead of misery. So sorrow, according to God, is to see sin as God sees it. The grief of Peter was as bitter as that of Judas. But in Peter’s grief there was an element of hope, because he saw God in it all. Despair of self did not lead to despair of God. This is the peculiar feature of this sorrow; God is there, accordingly self is less prominent. It is not a microscopic self-examination, nor a mourning in which self is ever uppermost; my character gone; the greatness of my Sin; the forfeiture of my salvation. The thought of God absorbs all that. (F. W. Robertson, M. A.)

There must be sorrow for sin working repentance. Upon this point we must—

  1. Remove certain erroneous ideas with regard to repentance and sorrow for sin. Among popular delusions we must mention the suppositions—
  2. That mere sorrow of mind in reference to sin is repentance.
  3. That there can be repentance without sorrow for sin.
  4. That we must reach a certain point of wretchedness and horror, or else we are not truly penitent.
  5. That repentance happens to us once, and is then over.
  6. That repentance is a most unhappy feeling.
  7. That repentance must be mixed with unbelief, and embittered by the fear that mercy will be unable to meet our wretched case.
  8. Distinguish between the two sorrows mentioned in the text.
  9. The godly sorrow which worketh repentance to salvation is sorrow for sin—

(1) As committed against God.

(2) Arising out of an entire change of mind.

(3) Which joyfully accepts salvation by grace.

(4) Leading to future obedience.

(5) Which leads to perpetual perseverance in the ways of God. The ways of sin are forsaken because abhorred. This kind of repentance is never repented of.

  1. The sorrow of the world is—

(1) Caused by shame at being found out.

(2) Attended by hard thoughts of God.

(3) Leads to vexation and sullenness.

(4) Incites to hardening of heart.

(5) Lands the soul in despair.

(6) Works death of the worst kind. This needs to be repented of, for it is in itself sinful and terribly prolific of more sin.

A twofold soul sorrow

  1. The honest administration of gospel truth often inflicts sorrow on its subjects. The apostle made the Corinthians “sorry with a letter.” The gospel is a sword to cut, an arrow to pierce, a fire to burn.
  2. The sorrow is of twofold distinct types. Let us contrast these sorrows.
  3. The one is concerned with the principle of wrong; the other with the results.
  4. Some groan under a sense of their sins because of the injuries which they have already inflicted and their ultimate doom. It is a selfish regret, an unvirtuous emotion.
  5. But others mourn over the moral wrongness of the act; not because of the curse that has or wilt come upon them. The sorrow of Judas represents the one, the sorrow of Peter the other.
  6. The one is concerned for others, the other for self. “Godly sorrow” seems to engulf all personal considerations. The claims of God, the interests of society, the good of the universe, these are the subjects that unseal its fountains.

Godly sorrow

  1. Its nature—Sorrow according to God.
  2. It is sorrow for sin as an offence against God. Not that the penitent is unaffected with the evil of sin as respects his fellow-creatures and his own soul. It is, however, as an offence against God that he chiefly laments it; he views it as rebellion against God, as transgression of His law, a disbelief of His truth, a rejection of His grace, ingratitude for His goodness, and insensibility to His love. “Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done evil in Thy sight.” A consideration of his sins, as what occasioned the sufferings and death of Christ, is what especially affects his heart. He looks upon Him whom he has pierced, and mourns for Him.
  3. It is according to the will of God as revealed in Scripture. Not that God delights to see any of His creatures unhappy. He knows that godly sorrow is essential to our-happiness.
  4. It is produced in the heart by the Spirit of God. Man, in his natural state, knows nothing of this sorrow.
  5. It accords with the design of God respecting man. This is evidently none other than to bring us back to Himself.
  6. Its effect. It “worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of.” Repentance signifies a change of mind; a change of the understanding from darkness to light, and of the will and affections from sin to holiness. Such a change is attended with the most happy results. We do not wonder, therefore, to hear the apostle declare that it is “not to be repented of.” Whether we consult Scripture or experience, whether we search the Church below or above, not a saint can we meet with that regrets his repentance or his salvation. Conclusion: But is this the case with the impenitent?
  7. Is not the want of “repentance to salvation” often accompanied with such bitterness of reflection, even in the present world, and especially at the approach of death, as makes those who feel it unutterably wretched?
  8. “The sorrow of the world worketh death.” Having no connection with the love and fear of God and faith in His mercy it never ends happily, whatever may be the causes which produce it, it terminates at no time in a change of heart and conduct. (D. Rees.)

True repentance is a godly sorrow

  1. In speaking of the nature of godly sorrow we are led to remark that it is not only sorrow on account of sin, but sorrow of a peculiar kind. The sorrow of which the apostle speaks is godly sorrow which leads men to mourn with a right spirit, and has an eye towards God, against whom sin has been committed (Psa_51:4; Luk_15:18). Godly sorrow not only mourns before God for outward sins, but also for those evil thoughts which can be known only to Him who sees the heart. It will be also an increasing sorrow in proportion as the subject of this gracious repentance is led into all truth, as he is brought to know more of the depths of iniquity, and the evil of sin; as he is enabled to discern more of the workings of his heart, and more of the spirituality of the Divine law. But it will be a feeling accompanied with peace, because it will be recognised as an evidence of grace.
  2. Some of the means by which this godly sorrow is excited, which will farther illustrate this truth. It is difficult sometimes to trace the immediate cause of godly sorrow, because the first workings of this principle are often silent and gentle in their operations.
  3. Affliction. When men are at ease in their possessions, and are intoxicated with the bustle of worldly care, they can indulge in sin with little restraint, and neglect the salvation of their souls as a matter of little concern. The mercies of God seem only to supply fresh encouragement to sin. Hence He is sometimes pleased to awaken the sons of prosperity by means of afflictive dispensations.
  4. Not unfrequently His goodness leadeth to repentance.
  5. Another means which God is pleased to employ in producing godly sorrow is the reading or the preaching of His own Word. In some, as in the case of Josiah, the terrors of the law have prepared the way for spiritual peace. In others the effects have more nearly resembled those which were produced by the sermon of St. Peter on the day of Pentecost.

The effect of this godly sorrow. It worketh, saith the apostle, a repentance “unto salvation” not to be repented of either in this world or the next. Let it then be distinctly remembered that the blessing is not of a temporal character; but the salvation mentioned in the text has reference to higher blessings, and calls for increasing thankfulness because it respects the deliverance of the soul. (W. Mayors, A. M.)

Repentance

  1. The remembrance of sin is the cause of godly sorrow in the heart of a true penitent. The sinner is to be considered in two different periods of time. In the first he is under the infatuation of sin; in the last, after-reflections on his sinful conduct fill his mind.
  2. The sinner is affected with the number of his sins. When we reflect on our past lives sins arise from all parts and absorb our minds in their multitude.
  3. The true penitent adds to a just notion of the number of his sins that of their enormity. Here we must remove the prejudices that we have imbibed concerning the morality of Jesus Christ; for here also we have altered His doctrine, and taken the world for our casuist, the maxims of loose worldlings for our supreme law. We have reduced great crimes to a few principal enormous vices which few people commit.
  4. A third idea that afflicts a penitent is that of the fatal influence which his sins have had on the soul of his neighbour. One sin strikes a thousand blows, while it seems to aim at striking only one. It is a contagious poison which diffuseth itself far and wide, and infects not only him who commits it, but the greatest part of those who see it committed.
  5. The weakness of motives to sin is the fourth cause of the sorrow of a penitent. Motives to sin are innumerable and various; but what are they all? Sometimes an imaginary interest, an inch of ground, and sometimes a crown, the conquest of the universe, the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them (Mat_4:10).
  6. I make a fifth article of the penitent’s uncertainty of his state. For although the mercy of God is infinite yet it is certain the sinner in the first moments of his penitence hath reason to doubt of his state, and till the evidences of his conversion become clear there is almost as much probability of his destruction as of his salvation.
  7. Perhaps hell.
  8. In fine, the last arrow that woundeth the heart of a penitent is an arrow of Divine love. The more we love God the more misery we endure when we have been so unhappy as to offend Him. The union of all these causes which produce sorrow in a true penitent forms the grand difference between that which St. Paul calls godly sorrow and that which he calls the sorrow of the world, that is to say, between true repentance and that uneasiness which worldly systems sometimes give another kind of penitents.

  “Godly sorrow worketh repentance.”

  1. What is repentance? Many of you would answer “sorrow for sin,” but clearly this text draws a distinction between the two. The “repentance” of the Bible is, as the word distinctly expresses, a change of purpose in regard to the sin for which a man mourns. Let me remind you of one or two passages which may show that the right notion of the word, “the gifts and calling of God are without repentance,” i.e., without change of purpose on His part. Again, “The Lord repented of the evil which He had said He would do unto them, and He did it not,” i.e. clearly He changed His purpose. So repentance is not idle tears nor the twitchings of a vain regret, but the resolute turning away of the sinful heart from its sins. It is “repentance toward God,” the turning from sin to the Father.
  2. This change of purpose and breaking off from sin is produced by sorrow for sin; and that the production of this repentance is the main characteristic difference between the godly sorrow and the sorrow of the world. A man may have his paroxysms of regret, but the question is: Does it make any difference in his attitude? Is he standing, after the tempest of sorrow has swept over him, with his face in the same direction as before; or has it whirled him clean round? My brother! when your conscience pricks, is the word of command “Right about face!” or is it, “As you were”?
  3. The means of evoking true repentance is the contemplation of the Cross. Dread of punishment may pulverise the heart, but not change it; and each fragment will have the same characteristics as the whole mass. But “the goodness of God leads to repentance,” as the prodigal is conquered and sees the true hideousness of the swine’s trough when he bethinks himself of the father’s love.

Salvation is the issue of repentance.

  1. What is the connection between repentance and salvation?

(1) You cannot get the salvation of God unless you shake off your sin. “Let the wicked forsake his way,” etc. It is a clear contradiction in terms, and an absolute impossibility in fact, that God should deliver a man from sin whilst he is holding to it.

(2) But you do not get salvation for your repentance. It is no case of barter, it is no case of salvation by works, that work being repentance. “Could my tears for ever flow,” etc.

  1. What is the connection between repentance and faith?

(1) There can be no true repentance without trust in Christ. Repentance without faith would be but like the pains of those poor Hindoo devotees that will go all the way from Cape Comorin to the shrine of Juggernaut, and measure every foot of the road with the length of their own bodies in the dust. Men will do anything, and willingly make any sacrifice rather than open their eyes to see this—that repentance, clasped hand in hand with faith, leads the guiltiest soul into the forgiving presence of the crucified Christ, from whom peace flows into the darkest heart.

(2) On the other hand, faith without repentance in so far as it is possible produces a superficial Christianity which vaguely trusts to Christ without knowing exactly why it needs Him; which practises a religion which is neither a joy nor a security. “These are they which heard the word, and anon with joy received it.” Having no deep consciousness of sin, “they have no root in themselves, and in tinge of temptation they fall away.” If there is to be a life-transforming sin and devil-conquering faith, it must be a faith rooted deep in sorrow for sin. Conclusion: If, by God’s grace, my poor words have touched your consciences, do not trifle with the budding conviction! Do not let it all pass in idle sorrow. If you do, you will be the worse for it, and come nearer to that condition which the sorrow of the world worketh, the awful death of the soul. Do not wince from the knife before the roots of the cancer are cut out. The pain is merciful. Better the wound than the malignant growth. Yield yourselves to the Spirit that would convince you of sin, and listen to the voice that calls to you to forsake your unrighteous ways and thoughts. But do not trust to any tears, any resolves, any reformation. Trust only to the Lord that died for you, whose death for you, whose life in you, will be deliverance from your sin. Then you will have a salvation which “is not to be repented of.” (A. Maclaren, D. D.)

SUMMARY:

Godly sorrow leads to repentance. Don’t let yourself be fooled by the vain philosophies of men who say that all pain is bad and should be avoided through denial and/or medication so you can’t feel it. The psychologists prescribe you with this or that pill to blunt your GUILT and your God-given sense of SHAME which you feel after you sin! I say ‘after’ because sinning for the moment can feel good and pleasurable, but later on results in remorse and unsavory consequences, even to the loss of conscience and ultimately, death. The sorrow which leads to repentance, is a GOOD kind of pain, as it will save your soul from destruction. Don’t shun or try to numb the pain and guilt that come from consciousness of sin, but accept them as God’s loving gifts to lead you to true, biblical repentance and life.

Debra R. Stout, June 2, 2017

FOOTNOTES:

[1] This whole section was taken from The Biblical Illustrator, a component of e-Sword®Version 11.0.6, a FREE electronic Bible Study program. To download a copy go to www.e-sword.net  This is awesome software that makes bible study quick and easy, so there’s no excuse for bible illiteracy!

*The graphic is of the penitent tax collector vs. the self-righteous Pharisee (the smug looking man putting his tithe in the collection box). The Pharisee thanked God that he wasn’t a sinner like everyone else,“I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week and I give you a tenth of my income.” Luke 18:11-12  The tax collector stood at a distance and didn’t even dare to lift his eyes to heaven because of his shame. Instead he beat his chest in sorrow and prayed, “O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.” Luke 18:13

 

WHEN GOD SAYS “NO”

Image result for FREE pictures of ancient sacrificial altarsHave you prayed very hard for something you want, only to find yourself waiting and waiting while nothing happens? You didn’t get the thing you prayed for and wondered why? After all, you’re a good little Christian who attends church services regularly, you may even be involved in the ministry of your church. You might be spending countless hours in intercessory prayer for others, and yet, your desired answer hasn’t materialized. You begin to question the Lord, or wonder if you’re praying amiss. Fact is, you might be, but it’s more likely that you’re not seeing the thing you’ve prayed for because the Lord has simply said “No” to your request.

Now, I know from personal experience that there are some things in life which we feel we just CAN’T live without if we’re to be happy and fulfilled. Many years ago I made a difficult decision that deeply affected several people possibly for the rest of their lives. The situation called for it, nevertheless I was emotionally distraught over it, and while my pain has lessened with time, it hasn’t gone away; it may never go away completely. In the midst of my crisis however, the Holy Spirit spoke very clearly to me that He was ‘doing something’ which I wouldn’t understand now. He spoke this scripture verse to me verbatim, “You do not know what I do now, but you shall know hereafter.” [John 13:7] How did I know it was a word from God? His words always fill you with His peace, and I know the voice of the Holy Spirit who lives inside me. Despite that word, years later, that decision came back to ‘test’ my devotion to the Lord, to see if I would keep Him FIRST place in my heart, or succumb to bitterness and anger over the loss I’d suffered, and possibly “draw back” from Him. It wasn’t an easy test; I so badly WANTED what I had given to Him (someone I loved dearly) to be a part of my life, but it was not to be – GOD SAID “NO.” At least for now, that’s His answer, and I must accept it if I’m to remain in the center of His will, and be at peace with Him and myself. When we fight against God’s decrees He may withdraw from us or we may find ourselves withdrawing from Him, and for those who know Him intimately, that brings pain far worse than the loss of any person or thing on this earth! No human relationship can meet the deep needs of your soul and spirit like the Lord Himself. In His presence is fullness of JOY, and everything that you need. Need doesn’t exist in God, for He fills all things with Himself. On another note, it’s perfectly acceptable to God for us to express our feelings whatever they are, to Him. He actually wants us to bring everything which concerns us to Him in prayer —-

Php 4:6  Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Php 4:7  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus

When we pour out our hearts to the Lord, we release our emotions in a safe place, to a safe Person, Who takes our inner turmoil and restores our souls with His peace. This is something I’ve experienced many times in my spiritual sojourn. Psa 147:3  He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. 

So, the truth of the matter is that we can live without those things we feel we MUST have in order to be happy. God will test us from time to time, to see if He’s first in our lives and if we’ll trust Him, or throw a fit and rant and rave at Him for not giving us our ‘dues’ so to speak. Who hasn’t on occasion, yelled at God in anger for some imagined neglect on His part, of his or her needs? While there’s ”no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” [Rms 8:1] one still needs to repent and ask God’s forgiveness when he realizes his error in falsely accusing Him of wrongdoing.  God is simply incapable of being mean, petty, selfish, cruel, unfair, etc.; for ”God is Love” in the purest and fullest sense. God deeply CARES about our needs and wants, but He sees the BIG PICTURE and the Future which we can’t see. Oftentimes, what we want so badly and get, brings us nothing but trouble, heartache, and loss. God allows us to have this experience again and again if necessary, until we LEARN TO COMPLETELY TRUST HIM WITH OUR LIVES.  He always has our best interests at heart, and “works all things together for good for those who love Him, and are called according to His purpose” [Rms 8:28].

God has a higher purpose for those who have received Him as their savior than just getting saved. Most haven’t been taught what that higher purpose is or what it entails. Apostle Paul wrote about it in Philippians, Romans, and Hebrews, but it seems this vital teaching gets little, if any, attention these days. God’s higher purpose for His called ones, is to conform them to the image of His Son Jesus Christ –

Rom 8:29  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  God won’t be satisfied until He sees His image fully formed in those whom He has chosen to rule and reign with Him when His Kingdom is established on Earth. But not all will qualify for that position. Those who are ‘chosen’ must undergo the strictest training and testing now, to prepare them to rule then; there’s no getting around this. The ‘many’ are all whom God has called, they comprise the general body of believers, while the ‘chosen’ are those who are willing to pay any price to “follow the Lamb wherever He goes” [Rev 14:4]. Their entire lives are “living sacrifices” unto God – Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. This means that they hold nothing back from God. All that they are and all that they have, want, or need, is laid upon the altar as a sweet smelling offering unto Him, to do with as He pleases! That is full consecration, and it’s what Yahweh is looking for in each of His called ones. Yet, not all who are “called” will advance to “chosen” status – “Many are called, but few are chosen” [Mt 22:14].

Tests and trials, often in the form of delayed or unanswered prayers, are required in order for the believer to grow up (mature) into the fullness of what God has for him. As a child I recall hearing that old adage, ‘God knows best.’ At that time I didn’t give it much credence, but now I know it was a true saying. God does know what’s best for each of us, and IF we let Him be Lord of our lives, we’ll end up with His BEST. Sadly, that’s often not the case because we insist on running our lives our way, refusing to let Him correct and mold us. God is supposed to be the Potter and we the clay, not the other way around.

If you have ever had a difficult time accepting God’s “no’s” and fully submitting to his dealings in your life (and who hasn’t?), I highly recommend two books to you, “The Secret of the Stairs” and “Waterspouts of Glory” by Wade E. Taylor. The first is an in depth exposition of the biblical book, The Song of Solomon. Both are anointed by the Holy Spirit, and contain pure, deep spiritual truths which you’ll want to read again and again. I wouldn’t (couldn’t) part with my ‘used’ but almost ‘new’ copies which I found at Amazon for less than ten dollars each. These books give insight into the “why’s” of God’s dealings with those who are being conformed to His Image, chosen to one day rule and reign with Him in His Kingdom.  Anyone who’s been ”called” can qualify to be one of God’s “chosen,” but there is a price to be paid. Dying to SELF and crucifying the flesh is required of those who wish to attain to the highest and best, the HIGH CALL of God in Christ Jesus –

Php 3:14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 

Mat 16:24 – 26 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 

Powerful words are they not? Fact is, not all will qualify to rule with Christ, for not all are willing to pay the price. If you are, God bless you as you seek Him with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength. May you submit to ALL of his dealings in your life however painful, that you might become one of His “chosen.” Heb 12:6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. All of God’s dealings are for our ultimate good and His higher purpose, and because God is Love, we can trust Him completely to do what’s best for us.

Please feel free to write me with any questions or concerns you may have about this article.

Debra R. Stout © May 21, 2017

THE WILES OF THE DEVIL

Do you sometimes find yourself distracted to the point that you’re neglecting prayer and bible study? I know I do.

God has been showing me this month some ways the Devil keeps his children from spending time with Him. One of his tricks is distracting them by whatever means he can. Scripture tells us not to be fooled by his wiles (cunning arts, deceit, craft, trickery) – Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 

For example, you’re about to read your bible and pray, when the phone rings and it’s a fellow believer whom you desire to speak with so you put your bible down and take the call. It’s so subtle you can easily miss it. By the time you’re done talking an hour or so later, you have chores which need doing. So, you don’t read your bible that day and the devil wins because he robbed you of spiritual, life-giving food!

Joh 6:51  I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
Joh 6:47  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
Joh 6:48  I am that bread of life.
Joh 6:49  Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
Joh 6:50  This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
Joh 6:52  The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
Joh 6:53  Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
Joh 6:54  Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
Joh 6:55  For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
Joh 6:56  He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
Joh 6:63  It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

The Jews were offended by Jesus’s words because they didn’t understand that they need to be understood in the spiritual sense and not literally. As Jesus said, the words He was speaking were spirit, and can only be understood by those having spiritual ears with which to hear. Jesus Christ gives spiritual ears to whomever He chooses. When some Pharisees were questioning Him about where He came from and by what authority He did miracles, etc. Jesus answered by asking them some questions….

Joh 8:43  Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
Joh 8:47  He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
Deu 29:4  Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.
Mat 13:9  Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Mat 13:10  And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Mat 13:11  He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Luk 24:44  And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
Luk 24:45  Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures….

What Jesus meant by “eating His flesh” was that we feed on Him in the spiritual sense by being in His presence, praying, worshiping Him, and meditating on His words [1]. Jesus never meant for anyone to eat his actual flesh! Jesus often spoke in parables to hide the mysteries of the Kingdom from the impious while revealing them to whom they were “given.” The mysteries of the kingdom aren’t given to everyone but only to those whom God chooses. When you come to Jesus, receiving Him by faith as your Savior and Lord, you’re given spiritual understanding. Joh 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God… “received” = to receive a person, give him access to one’s self [Thayer’s Greek Definitions]

The Bible states that the Temple of God is not a structure made by human hands. 1Co 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? In the spirit of a believer is where Christ via the Holy Spirit dwells. It’s from there that believers can (and should) hear God’s “still, small voice” [1 Kings 19:12; Acts 2:37]. If they don’t or can’t, there’s a problem somewhere. It could be that the Spirit of Christ hasn’t taken up residence in them (because they’ve not really received Christ or his words). Those who haven’t a love of the truth (God’s word) will be given a “strong delusion” to believe a lie – 2Th 2:11  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 2Th 2:12  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. Other causes may include demonic interference of one form or another, or unrepentant sin. Some are afflicted with a ‘spirit of deafness’ which causes an inability to hear spiritual truth. Then there’s emotional and mental turmoil which can cause enormous distraction in a person. Abuse and a wounded spirit, which only the gentle, loving Spirit of Christ can reach and heal, can be a hindrance to hearing God’s voice clearly. Whatever the case may be, Jesus came to ”set the captives free” [Isa 42:7]. Isa 57:15  For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones

Another means of distraction are daily chores and errands which obviously have to be done. We all have them, but our first priority ought to be Related imagespending time alone with our Lord in communion – not the sacrament of Communion, but communion with His Spirit. SACRAMENTS can be an alluring and subtle means of distracting men from Christ by placing a non-scriptural emphasis on PHYSICAL elements. The Devil has tricked millions into believing the lie that merely partaking of physical bread and wine gives them spiritual life. Catholics believe that when a priest blesses the communion wafer and wine, they become the actual body and Blood of Christ. They call it Transubstantiation, but there’s nothing in the Bible to substantiate that doctrine! It’s a doctrine of men [Mark 7:7-13; Titus 1:14] not of God. Hear what the Scriptures have to say about it —

Col 2:20  Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances
Rom 6:9  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
Rom 6:10  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
1Pe 3:18  For Christ also hath once suffered for sins,
Heb 10:12  But this man (Jesus), after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

That last verse alone disproves the doctrine of Transubstantiation. Since Christ now sits on the right hand of God the Father, He isn’t coming back to earth every Sunday to be crucified all over again and offered as a sacrifice! He died ONCE for our sins at the appointed time, and that was/is sufficient. End of argument. The biblical doctrine of Salvation is that we are saved by faith and not by works – Tit 3:5  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost….

Eating a wafer and drinking wine without having a personal relationship with Jesus, cannot and will not save you from your sin, nor can it impart life to you. Only God through Jesus Christ can impart spiritual and eternal life, and it’s in communion with Him that we receive that Life, not through observance of religious works. Burning candles for the departed, wearing Scapulars, keeping man-made holy days not found in the Bible, etc., do not and cannot impart life. Such observances often serve to distract people from God by replacing relationship with Him, with rituals and talismans. A scapular has no more power to keep you safe from evil than does the sprinkling of water. Burning a candle for a deceased love one, or praying to a statue does no good whatsoever. Putting your faith in such things will lead you away from the Truth. Praying for and to the dead, and bowing before statues, is strictly forbidden in Scripture, Lev 6:1  Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God. [See also Exo 20:3-5; Isa 46:7; Isa 44:9-20].

“Praying for the dead is not a biblical concept. Our prayers have no bearing on someone once he or she has died. The reality is that, at the point of death, one’s eternal destiny is confirmed. Either he is saved through faith in Christ and is in heaven where he is experiencing rest and joy in God’s presence, or he is in torment in hell. The story of the rich man and Lazarus the beggar provides us with a vivid illustration of this truth. Jesus plainly used this story to teach that after death the unrighteous are eternally separated from God, that they remember their rejection of the gospel, that they are in torment, and that their condition cannot be remedied (Luke 16:19-31).” [2]

Distraction can take many forms. Martha, a disciple of Jesus, got distracted by her concerns —

'Christ in the House of Martha and Mary', Jan Vermeer van Delft, 1654Luk 10:38  Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
Luk 10:39  And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
Luk 10:40  But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
Luk 10:41  And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
Luk 10:42  But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

From this passage we can see that Jesus put a priority on spending time  listening to Him. He often spent hours, even whole nights in prayer, thereby setting us an example to follow Heb 5:7  Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared…

My prayer and hope is that believers become astute at hearing from God through spending time alone with Him, who like Mary, put devotion to God’s words first in their lives. May we lay aside our distractions and concerns awhile each day to hear the words of our Savior, for in doing so we’ll find shelter from the storms, as well as safety from the Tempter’s wiles.

Debra R. Stout © April 25, 2017

Footnotes:
[1] To meditate means to ponder, that is, (by implication) converse (with oneself, and hence aloud) or (transitively) utter: – commune, complain, declare, meditate, muse, pray, speak, talk (with) Psa 119:15.          [2] https://www.gotquestions.org/praying-for-the-dead.html

Elijah Is Coming Soon (Revised & Expanded)

Image result for pictures of Elijah the prophet“SET A PLACE AT THE END OF THE TABLE FOR ELIJAH; LISTEN WELL TO HIM, FOR HE’S COMING SOON” ~ Feb. 26, 2003

This prophetic word was dropped into my spirit by the Lord, as I was waking up on my birthday, when He often gives me a prophetic word, scripture, or personal exhortation.

Elijah’s Mission —

1) To announce the immanent return of Jesus Christ, or Messiah to the Jews (though many still don’t recognize Him as their messiah).

Jewish Talmudic belief is that Elijah will announce the advent of the Messiah at the conclusion of Shabbat which is supposed to be a foretaste of the messianic age. [1]

His appearance and preaching will convince many Jews of the truth that Jesus, whom their forefathers rejected, is their true and returning Messiah!

2) To prepare a people to receive their God.

Didn’t Jesus tell his disciples that John the Baptist was Elijah?

Luk 1:17  And he (John the Baptist) shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. 

Like Elijah, John the Baptist preached ‘repentance,’ the first step in preparing people to receive God. Isaiah prophesied that John the Baptist would “prepare the way of the Lord” – 

Mat 3:1  In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, Mat 3:3  For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 

People’s hearts have to be “prepared” – made ready, the hardness of them softened, which is done primarily through preaching. As we know, the Jewish leaders didn’t listen to John the Baptist and didn’t receive Jesus as their prophesied Messiah, but rejected and murdered them both! Obviously, their hearts remained hardened and unchanged. However, many of the Jewish people did believe the words of Christ, and did “receive” Him. Joh 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God…

3) To preach a message of REPENTANCE. 

Mat 3:2  And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Elijah will preach to all men to “turn back” (Heb. ‘shoob’) to their Maker, Yahweh. To turn back means the same as to “return to” and “come back” to Him. Who needs to return, come back, or turn back to God? ALL who have backslidden or drifted away from Him, those in the Body of Christ who have become “lukewarm” and “carnal” who have neglected their spiritual walk, leading “worldly” lives nearly devoid of spiritual works and faith. Such give little acknowledgment or thought to God, whose lives are filled with worldly cares and pursuits. These need to “turn back” to God, like the ancient Israelites did, after backsliding and returning to Yahweh after He chastised them. God exhorts people to ‘turn back’ to Him that they might escape utter destruction. In turning back to God, one repents of his sinning and starts living a life pleasing to God, in accordance with His Word, the Bible.

4) To bring a message of RECONCILIATION.

Mal 4:5  Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 
Mal 4:6  And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. 

To “turn the heart of the fathers to the children” and “the heart of the children to their fathers” – is that not a picture of reconciliation? This speaks primarily of men reconciling to God their Maker, but also may apply to brothers reconciling to each other, such as Christian and Jewish believers in Jesus Christ. This reconciling will be the fulfillment of Christ’s promise to “make of twain one new man.” Dogma will no longer cause separation and division among them, as both will come to realize they’re “one in Christ.” Gal 3:27  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Gal 3:28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 

To turn the hearts of the fathers to their children. By a very expressive figure of speech, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the rest of the patriarchs, are represented here as having their hearts alienated from the Jews, their children, because of their unbelief and disobedience; but that the Baptist should so far succeed in converting them to the Lord their God, that these holy men should again look upon them with delight, and acknowledge them for their children. Some think that by the children, the Gentiles are meant, and by the fathers, the Jews. [Adam Clarke’s Commentary] 

fathers to the children — taken literally, this denotes the restoration of parental fidelity [Meyer and others], the decay of which is the beginning of religious and social corruption – one prominent feature of the coming revival being put for the whole. But what follows, explanatory of this, rather suggests a figurative sense. If “the disobedient” be “the children,” and to “the fathers” belongs “the wisdom of the just” [Bengel], the meaning will be, “he shall bring back the ancient spirit of the nation into their degenerate children” [Calvin, etc.]. So Elijah invoked “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel,” when seeking to “turn their heart back again” (1Ki_18:36, 1Ki_18:37). [Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary] 

5) To bring a message of HOPE and RESTORATION.

Mat 17:1  And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 
Mat 17:2  And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 
Mat 17:3  And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. 
Mat 17:4  Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 
Mat 17:5  While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. 
Mat 17:6  And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. 
Mat 17:7  And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. 
Mat 17:8  And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. 
Mat 17:9  And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead. 
Mat 17:10  And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 
Mat 17:11  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 
Mat 17:12  But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 
Mat 17:13  Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. (*Elias was the Greek rendering of the Hebrew name “Elijah.”)

The Transfiguration (change, transfigure, transform) of Christ and the appearance of Moses and Elijah the prophets, was to give us mortal men who wait for the transformation of our mortal bodies into glorious, eternal ones, hope for the fulfillment of that promise. Moses and Elijah appeared to Christ to encourage and strengthen Him for the horrible ordeal of His trial and death. Jesus told his three disciples who were with Him, that Elijah had already come in SPIRIT in the person of John the Baptist, thus at least partially fulfilling the prophecy, Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. 

What we need to keep in mind about prophecy is that some prophecies have dual fulfillment, meaning they’ll be fulfilled more than once. Plus, it’s possible that this prophecy about Elijah coming before the return of Jesus Christ, may be meant in a spiritual sense as many in the Church now believe. However, that may or may not be the only possibility. I question this because Elijah along with Moses, were both seen ‘transfigured’ at the Mount AND because the prophecies in Revelation seem to suggest a PHYSICAL appearing of TWO PROPHETS who will preach in the streets of Jerusalem prior to the Second Coming of Christ – 

Rev 11:3  And I will give my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. 
Rev 11:4  These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. 
Rev 11:5  And if anyone desires to hurt them, fire proceeds out of their mouth and devours their enemies; and if anyone desires to hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. 
Rev 11:6  These have power to shut the heaven, that it not rain in the days of their prophecy and have power over the waters to turn them to blood and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. 
Rev 11:7  And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them and shall overcome them and kill them. 
Rev 11:8  And their dead bodies shall lie in the streets of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 
Rev 11:9  And those of the peoples and kindreds and tongues and Gentiles shall see their dead bodies three days and a half and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 
Rev 11:10  And those that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them and make merry and shall send gifts one to another because these two prophets tormented those that dwelt on the earth. 
Rev 11:11  And after three days and a half, the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon those who saw them. 
Rev 11:12  And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up here. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. 

What causes me to question if there will be a physical appearance of Elijah and Moses, is that in this passage is a link to both prophets. Elijah did “shut up heaven so no rain fell” [1 Kings 17:1] causing a great famine in his time. Moses by the power of God, “turned the waters to blood” [Exodus 7:17-20] and smote the land with plagues. I’ve read several interpretations of this, one being that the two prophets (or witnesses), represent those believers who witness for Christ ‘in the spirit of Elijah’ and are killed in the Great Tribulation period just prior to Christ’s Second Advent. This interpretation may well be accurate. But what about Moses? How does he fit into this ancient prophecy? If all of God’s people represent the “two witnesses” or “two prophets” of Revelation, then it follows that they must also operate in the “spirit of Moses,” meaning that they would “have power over the waters to turn them into blood. To date, we haven’t seen God’s people literally shutting up the heavens or turning the waters to blood, but since Revelation contains mostly figurative language, perhaps this is to be interpreted spiritually.

Without question, Moses was the prophet of the Law (properly translated “Torah”) which is all the writings of the Old Testament including the Prophets, Psalms, and Proverbs. I believe that the Torah is what’s being referred to in the book of Jeremiah regarding the “ancient paths” – Jer 6:16  Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. For sure, there is a visible reformation happening in the Church in which believers are “turning back” to the ROOTS of their faith, to the FAITH OF THEIR FATHERS as taught by the Prophets in the ancient writings (paths) of the Torah! This fits the prophecy perfectly, that Elijah will “turn the hearts of the fathers toward the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.” 

One other interpretation I wish to address is that these “two witnesses” are the Old and New Testaments, but how does written testimony “shut up the heavens so that no rain falls,” or turn water into blood?  Some say the two witnesses represent the Jews and the Christians. But how can that be when ALL who put their faith in Yeshua (Jesus), whether Jew or Gentile, are considered to be Abraham’s seed? Both Jesus and Paul taught this truth –

Joh 10:16  And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd

Gal 3:28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal 3:29  And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. 

As you can see, God makes no distinction between a Jew or a Gentile who believes in Him. ALL who believe in Him are reckoned as “Abraham’s seed.” To strengthen this point Rom 11:17 says, And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; The ”olive tree” is Abraham’s PHYSICAL SEED. The “wild olive tree” is Abraham’s SPIRITUAL SEED, the Gentiles who put their faith in Christ. Both olive trees become ONE family through their faith in Yeshua the Messiah, Christ the Anointed One (Christ means ‘anointed’). 

The Jews always set a chair, a knife and fork for this prophet at their marriage-feast, whom they suppose to be invisibly present. For the Church to ”set a place at the table,” means to be in a state of expectation and readiness, watching for his coming. When Elijah comes (in whatever form), we can know that the return of our Savior is very near and our “blessed hope” is soon to be fulfilled, because Elijah’s mission is to “prepare a people for their God!” The “blessed hope” is the glorification of our earthly bodies into heavenly ones at Christ’s appearing!

Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ….
Php 3:20  For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 
Php 3:21  Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. 

To ‘set a place for Elijah’ also means to ‘welcome’ him and treat him as an honored guest. When we sit at table we’re usually ready to eat. So should we be eager to partake of spiritual food from God’s Word and through his spokesmen, always ready to listen. The Jewish people venerate Elijah at their meals, marriage feasts, the end of Shabbat, circumcisions, and Passover seders. According to Jewish folklore, “Tishbi yetaretz kushiot v-abayot-the Tishbite [i.e., Elijah] will answer all unresolved questions.” In other words, after Elijah returns to the Jewish people to proclaim the advent of the messianic age, he will resolve questions of Jewish law that confounded the rabbis for centuries. [2]

Image result for pictures of a lamb lying down with a lionWhat message brings more hope than the soon return of Jesus the Messiah, and His thousand year reign on earth called the Millennium? The Millennium will be a time of great peace, rejoicing, and rest for the entire world – when all things will be ‘restored’ to their original order and perfection. Mat 17:11  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. “restore” 1) restore to its former state, 2) to be in its former state. [Thayer’s Greek Definitions] Also read Isaiah 65:17-25. Obviously, Elijah didn’t restore all of Creation back to its original state. The ‘all things’ which Elijah is to restore are the teachings and doctrines of Yahweh which have been discarded, distorted, altered, or ignored over the centuries! 

There’s a strong exhortation in this prophecy to ”listen well to” the prophet Elijah. By this we know that what he says has great import for all of Abraham’s seed, therefore we would do well to receive his message. 

Perhaps very “soon” we’ll see Jesus coming with ten-thousands of His angels? Be ready, be watching, and be waiting!

Debra R. Stout © March 14, 2017

FOOTNOTES:
[1] http://www.reformjudaism.org/passover-mystery-fifth-cup (Section: Havdalah)
[2] http://www.reformjudaism.org/passover-mystery-fifth-cup (Section: Passover Seder)

*All underlining, bold, and italics, are mine. 

THE CHASTENING OF THE LORD

God began to speak to my heart the evening of March 10, 2017, as I sat still and quiet in my recliner. He began to tell me why the ‘fiery trial’ had come to me (earlier in the day I had asked Him WHY so many things were going wrong in my life).

He began by telling me that this trial was sent to refine or purify my soul; as silver or gold is smelted, the junk rises to the surface where the Refiner can then skim it off, leaving pure metal in the pot. He told me that I have two choices, to embrace it and advance, or fight it and stay the same. If I embrace it, the process will be easier to go through, but if I fight it, the process will be harder, and need to be repeated in the future. He said He won’t allow junk (impurities) into His Kingdom. Then He mentioned my impurities and said that they must go! 

He then directed me to Hebrews 12:5, and after meditating on it, He showed me that my walk was uneven; one day walking in the Spirit, another day, in the flesh! He wants our walk to be even and level, living in the Spirit day by day. 

Fiery trials are sent to cleanse the heart and soul of impurities, like wrong thoughts, words, and actions. As metal is purified by fire, so is the heart and soul of a man. When gold or silver was refined in ancient times, it was heated to a very high temperature which caused the impurities (called dross) to rise to the surface. It then could be skimmed off the top of the liquid metal, leaving an unmarred surface that reflected the image of the refiner, a picture of Jesus as the Refiner’s Fire. This trial came to me so that my impurities (which lay hidden most of the time) would surface, so that I would see them, repent, and ask God to remove them. Sometimes these types of trials commence a ‘crisis of faith’ – something else the Lord pointed out to me twice on the same day several days before this trial arrived at my door. Not by accident, I found the phrase, ‘crisis of faith’ in a book title I wasn’t even searching for, and in a book [1] I had in my personal library at home about Moses when God commanded him to lead the Jews out of Egypt. Moses’ encounter with Yahweh brought him to a ‘crisis of faith’ in which he had to choose between believing God and moving forward, or letting his doubts rule and refusing God’s call. If Moses had done the latter, he would have forfeited God’s plan for his life, and God would have found someone else to free the Israelites. Moses would have lost out on his divine destiny. Fortunately, Moses chose to believe and obey God. In like manner, God told me that I could either stay where I was (stagnate), or embrace the purifying process and advance! He said that if I receive and embrace it, the process will be easier to endure, but if I fight against it, it will be harder. The purifying process, like the refiner’s smelting, will be repeated UNTIL all the impurities have surfaced and been removed! In other words, if I fight against the loving, fiery trials the Lord sends for my ultimate good, it will delay my reaching perfection and cause me more pain in the long run. It’s like when a child stubbornly refuses his parents discipline and suffers severer punishments, and or worse consequences further down the road as a result. It’s easier to just submit to God’s discipline when he sends it.

God disciplines those He loves –

Heb 12:5  And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 
Heb 12:6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 
Heb 12:7  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 
Heb 12:8  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 
Heb 12:9  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 
Heb 12:10  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 
Heb 12:11  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 
Heb 12:12  Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 
Heb 12:13  And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. 

And make straight paths for your feet,…. By “feet” are meant the walk and conversation of the saints, both in the church, and in the world, Son_7:1 and there are paths made ready for these feet to walk in; as the good old paths of truth, of the word and worship of God, of faith and holiness: and to make these paths “straight”, is to make the word of God the rule of walking; to avoid carefully joining anything with it as a rule; to attend constantly on the ordinances of Christ; to go on evenly in a way of believing on him; to walk in some measure worthy of the calling wherewith we are called, and by way of example to others.

Lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; a lame member, as the Syriac version, a lame member of the body of Christ, the church; or a lame person, as the Arabic version, a weak believer; one that is ready to halt, either through the corruption of nature, or through the weakness of grace, or through want of light and judgment, and through instability and inconstancy; lest such an one should, through the irregular walk and conversation of others, be stumbled and offended, and go out of the way, and leave the paths of righteousness and truth. God takes care of, and has a regard to such, and he would have others also, Mic_4:6. The Ethiopic version reads, “that your halting may be healed, and not offended”: that you yourselves may not halt and stumble.

But let it rather be healed; the fallen believer be restored, the weak brother be confirmed, the halting professor be strengthened, and everyone be built up and established upon the most holy faith, and in the pure ways of the Gospel. [John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible]

“In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths” – Prov 3:6

The word ‘acknowledge’ is ‘yada’ – to ‘know, regard, recognize, perceive, experience, observe, be aware, comprehend, understand, learn, be instructed, and more. See Strong’s H2045

In all thy ways acknowledge him,…. Or “know him” (l); the Lord: set him before thee; have him always in view; consider him as ever present with thee, observing every step thou takest; and take not one step without his leave, and without his advice; ask wisdom of him who gives liberally; consult his word, and make the Scriptures thy counsellors, or the men of thy counsel, as in Psa_119:24; take him as your guide; observe the footsteps of his providence; follow the Lamb wheresoever he goes; walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit; when things go cross and adverse, and not to your mind, submit to his sovereignty; and be still and know that he is God, that does all things right, for his own glory and his people’s good, Psa_46:10; and when things succeed, give him the glory of all; own his hand in it, and the bounty of it; acknowledge that all you have, in providence and grace, come from him;

and he shall direct thy paths; man cannot direct his own; no, not a man: this is a blessing from the Lord; who steps of his people, keeps the feet of his saints, and directs them aright in things temporal and spiritual, Jer_10:23. (l) דעהו “scito eum”, Pagninus, Montanus. [John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible]

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” – Psalm 119:105
Pro 4:24  Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. 
Pro 4:25  Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. 
Pro 4:26  Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. 
Pro 4:27  Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil. 

Turn not to the right hand nor to the left – Avoid all crooked ways. Be an upright, downright, and straight-forward man. Avoid tricks, wiles, and deceptions of this kind. [Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible]

Ponder the path of thy feet,…. Consider well what path it is, whether right or wrong; or weigh it in the balances of thought, as Aben Ezra; or rather in the balances of the word, and see whether it agrees with that or not. The Septuagint version is, “make straight paths for thy feet”; to which the author of the epistle to the Hebrews seems to have respect, Heb_12:13;

and let all thy walls be established; so as to walk on steadily, constantly, uniformly, and not be easily moved out of the ways of religion and truth. Or, “let all thy ways be prepared”, or “directed”, or “disposed” (c); according to the rule of the divine word. Some render it as a promise, “and all thy ways shall be established” (d); when care is taken to look well into them; see 2Ch_20:20. (c) יכנו “dirigantur”, Tigurine version, Mercerus; “recte apparentur aut disponantur”, Vatablus. (d) “Stabilientur”, V. L. Pagninus, Montanus; “constabilientur”, Schultens. [John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible]

Ponder the path, etc., Pro_4:26. “Weigh carefully.” Act in haste and repent at leisure! Ask God to keep you back from presumptuous sins; and bear in mind the wise exhortation of Ecc_5:2. [Through the Bible Day by Day, F.B. Meyer]

In other words, consider well the course of your life, or the course of action you’re about to take (ponder the path of your feet). Let all your thoughts, words, and actions (ways) be prepared, directed, and ordered (established), by the Word of God. Ignoring it will yield negative consequences, and could result in ruin. May God’s sons escape such a fate.

May they all make their paths straight, and not despise the chastening of the Lord!

Debra R. Stout © March 11, 2017

Footnotes:

[1] “Experiencing God” by Henry T. Blackaby & Claude B. King, Chapter 3

“God is in Control As Age-Old Plan Unfolds”

We’ve reached a marker, a point in history at which many are reversing God’s order of things, like male and female, right and wrong. They’re doing this by changing their sex via hormonal manipulation, and blurring the demarcation between the sexes by cross-dressing and same-sex marriage. These trends aren’t really about individual rights or freedom to make one’s own choices, but about reversing God’s natural order of things and removing God, His Name, and His Law from every sector of society in an effort to create chaos and destabilize it. This is what the Progressives, and others like them, are after, this is their game plan and they will do anything to accomplish it.

Various movements have been slowly progressing towards this end for quite awhile, but now, they’ve become MILITANT, demanding ACCEPTANCE from society and that society change its mores to suit their beliefs and life-styles! Many in these movements spew vile speech in the name of ‘freedom’ of course, the very freedom brave men and women fought and bled for in order to protect their freedom of speech, and other freedoms which these bullies abuse to push their agenda. Bullies don’t have enough I.Q. to know how to negotiate with others for what they want, or how to live peacefully side by side with others of different persuasions, different faiths, different colors, and different creeds. One reason is they really don’t care about PEACE. Peace isn’t their goal, nor EQUALITY. These bullies don’t want to be merely equal, they want to PUSH their beliefs and life-styles upon society at large. If they had their way, every child in America would be exposed to and INDOCTRINATED into the Gay, Lesbian, Trans-sexual, Trans-Gender life-styles. If Progressives had their way, traditional marriage between one man and one woman would become defunct, and be rejected by future generations in favor of same-sex marriage. Today the term, CHOICE is associated with everything that’s ungodly, anti-Christian, anti-Bible, and anti-life. Satan has surely done a good job at deceiving many with his TWISTING of terminology – nothing new there, the Serpent did the same thing in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve [Gen 3].

What none of these bullies realize is that while they’ll be allowed to cause trouble for a season, their causes will fail in due time, and in the end they’ll be judged and sentenced to everlasting flames, unless they repent of their wickedness. Those who refuse to repent will face judgement and be punished accordingly.

Psa 2:1  Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? 
Psa 2:2  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, 
Psa 2:3  Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. 
Psa 2:4  He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. 
Psa 2:10  Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. 
Psa 2:11  Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 
Psa 2:12  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. 

While wrath awaits the wicked, God has provided a ‘way of escape’ for those who turn from their sins to Him for forgiveness, cleansing, and restoration of the soul. Only righteous Christians who’s sins are covered by Christ’s Blood, escape God’s wrath because they believed in and received Christ as Lord and Savior during their life times, Joh 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Everyone else is subject to the Law of God which states, “the soul that sinneth shall die” (spiritually). That law still binds those who refuse to receive Christ, Joh 3:18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 

Hiding behind a facade of equal rights, the wicked plot to create ‘chaos’ through rioting, violence, wars, genocide, false flags, plagues, disasters, spreading disease, economic collapse, destruction of the family, sexual perversions, corrupting the school system with Socialistic dogma, degrading God and His authority, disintegration of society, and shattering societal norms into a thousand little pieces. “Ordo Ab Chao” [1] or “Order out of chaos,” written on America’s One-dollar bill, is a goal the United Nations [2] is vastly involved in.

“Secret Societies have a great motto ‘Ordo Ab Chao’ meaning ‘Order Out of Chaos’. Agendas are formulated designed to give the powerful more power. Chaos is created, and media blitzed. Then cries go out for solution. Laws are passed which could never have been passed without the chaos. The order, has reigned through deception of the masses, and the agenda is accomplished.” –James Arthur, “Mushrooms and Mankind”

It would be to America’s (and the world’s) advantage to dissolve the United Nations, for it is an EVIL, corrupt organization due to its Socialist-Marxist-Communist core beliefs and plans for the world. I’ve often felt that the U.N. was a major player in the End-times game plan, and could be the headquarters of the New One-World Order government. “The United Nations is a de facto global government and does not rule by the consent of the governed. The United Nations is a global government to which American politicians of both parties have surrendered our Constitutional rights.” [3]

“On transfer of sovereignty to the United Nations, those who do not conform to United Nations authority will be considered RESISTERS and declared ENEMIES OF THE GOVERNMENT. Public statements in support of the old ways and favoring continued United States nationalism will be considered ENEMY DOCTRINE.” [4]

Once society is destabilized, it becomes easy prey for a ‘take over’ by some ideology like the Progressive/Socialist movement. If one takes a look at the past rise and fall of nations, this is easily seen. Nations become weak through careless, greedy, or inept rulers, and when they turn away from God and His laws, as did Israel many times.

The United States of America started out as a God-fearing nation, one which honored God and His laws, and which based its government upon biblical principles [5]. Thus, if America turns her back on God, will she not incur judgments like Israel did? God hasn’t changed his modus operandi, He’s the “same, today, yesterday, and forever” [Heb 13:8]. I really like that about Him because I don’t have to worry what kind of mood He’s in on a given day, if He’ll ever stop loving me, or if He’ll withdraw His salvation on a whim. Thankfully, God isn’t fickle like man! In my opinion, nothing this world has to offer can compare to the glory, riches, and honor that will be given to those who receive Him now. This world is just a ‘temporary’ dwelling place for Christians, who know that their real, everlasting abode is with God and Christ in the New Jerusalem, the City of God which will descend from heaven.

When Jesus Christ returns with ten-thousands of His Saints (the Redeemed Ones), He comes to depose all ungodly governments and thrones, to round up the wicked for the flames, and to gather His Elect unto Himself [Mt 13:49, 24:31; Mar 13:27]. Who’s side are you on? Are you on the side of the unjust wicked, or God’s side? Exo 32:26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, “Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me.” There is no middle ground! There is no compromising! Jos 24:15 “choose you this day whom ye will serve!” Mind you, God hasn’t changed! He’s still asking every man or woman, “Who’s side are you on?” If it be God’s, then come over to Him, if it be the devil’s then to him you may go, but woe to you if you do! The Devil or Satan, has nothing but fear, enslavement, hatred, murder, deception, death, darkness, and everlasting damnation to offer you! I can’t understand WHY anyone would want to follow Satan when his reward is only eternal damnation in a fiery hell. The only explanation which makes sense, is that they’ve been ‘blinded’, and therefore can’t see that they’re being manipulated and used by him to do his dirty work on earth, 2Co 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not….

Despite all the raging and tumult of nations, God has given his Elect many wonderful assurances such as Psa 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. 

No matter what wicked plans unfold, the Almighty God is in control!
And all His saints say “Amen!”

Debra R. Stout, January 28, 2017

FOOTNOTES:

[1] This term Order out of Chaos, in Latin Ordo ab Chao, is the slogan of the 33rd degree of Freemasonry. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Latin_ phrases_(O) See http://www.orwelltoday.com/stagedevents.shtml for more on this topic.
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations
[3] http://beforeitsnews.com/prophecy/2016/01/pope-francis-exposed-the-one-world-religion-has-arrived-and-is-now-being-executed-video-2476626.html
[4] http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/esp_sociopol_un04.htm
[5] http://www.fbalions.org/editoruploads/files/Middle%20School/Our%20Nation%E2%80%99s%20Biblical%20Foundation.pdf

Seek the Lord and Be Restored!


Related imageHos 10:12  Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. 

sow = H2232 זרע BDB Definition:
1) to sow, scatter seed

Act righteously and ye shall reap the reward; a reward not of debt, but of grace. (Pro_11:18) in mercy — according to the measure of the divine “mercy,” which over and above repays the goodness or “mercy” which we show to our fellow man (Luk_6:38). [Jamieson-Fausset-Brown]

Gal 6:7  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 
Gal 6:8  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 
Jer 4:3  For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns. 

fallow ground = H5215 נר / ניר 1) tillable or untilled or fallow ground. ‘break up your fallow ground‘ this is ground that lies untilled, not ploughed, nor sown, on which nothing grows but the produce of nature, as weeds, thorns, briers, &c. is common to men and beasts, and is trodden upon, and, so is hard and unsusceptible of seed; which, if it accidentally falls upon it, makes no impression on it, and is not received by it; and the breaking of it up is by the plough. The “fallow ground” fitly represents the hearts of unregenerate men, which are unopened to the word, and unbroken by it; nor have they the seed of divine grace sown in them; but are destitute of faith, hope, love, fear, and the like; there is nothing grows there but the weeds of sin and corruption; and are like a common beaten road; are the common track of sin, where lusts pass to and fro, and dwell; and so are hardened and obdurate, as hard as a stone, yea, harder than the nether millstone; and who, though they may occasionally be under the word, it makes no impression on them; it has no place in them, but is like the seed that falls by the wayside, Mat_13:4, unless divine power attends it; for the Gospel is the plough, and ministers are the ploughmen; but it is the Lord alone that makes it effectual to the breaking up the fallow ground of men’s hearts, Luk_9:62, but when the Lord puts his hand to the plough it enters within, and opens the heart; it is quick, powerful, and sharp; it cuts deep, and makes long and large furrows, even strong convictions of sin; it throws a man’s inside outward, as the plough does the earth; and lays all the wicked of his heart open to him; and roots up the pride, the vanity, and boasting of the creature, and other lusts; and so makes way for the seed of divine grace to be sown there:

and sow not among thorns; or, “that ye may not sow among thorns” (o); for, unless the fallow ground is broken up, it will be no other than sowing among thorns; and unless the hearts of men are opened by the power and grace of God, they will not attend to the things that are spoken; preaching and eating the word will be like sowing among thorns; cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, the pleasures of life, and the lusts thereof, which are comparable to thorns, because pricking, perplexing, and distressing, and because vain and unprofitable, choke the word, and make it unfruitful; see Mat_13:7, now this exhortation in the text does not suppose power in man to break up and open his heart; but to show his want of renewing grace; the necessity of it; and the danger he is in without it; and to awaken in him a concern for it; see Eze_18:31. The words may be applied to backsliding professors, since backsliding Israel and Judah are the persons addressed; and this may be done with great propriety and pertinence to the simile; for fallow ground is that which has been broke up and sown, and laid fallow. It is usual to till and sow two years, and lay fallow a third: and backsliding Christians look very much like fallow ground; so faithless, so lukewarm, and indifferent; so inattentive to the word, and unconcerned under it; so barren and unfruitful, as if they had never had any faith, or love, or good work in them; so that they need to be renewed in the spirit of their minds; to have a new face of things put upon them: and to have a clean heart, and a right spirit, created in them. [John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible]

Break up your fallow ground – Fallow ground is either that which, having been once tilled, has lain long uncultivated; or, ground slightly ploughed, in order to be ploughed again previously to its being sown. Ye have been long uncultivated in righteousness; let true repentance break up your fruitless and hardened hearts; and when the seed of the word of life is sown in them, take heed that worldly cares and concerns do not arise, and, like thorns, choke the good seed. [Adam Clarke]

Is it not time that we should look into our hearts and lives, break up the fallow ground, now covered with thorns and thistles, and begin to sow in righteousness? Let us ask God to drive the plowshares of deep soul-searching and conviction across the hard and sterile acres of our hearts, and sow them with His good seed. [F.B.Meyer; ‘Through the Bible Day by Day’]

*The ‘good seed’ is the Word of God. We need to sow the Word of God DEEPLY into our hearts, which can be done after we ‘break up our fallow ground.’ Our ‘fallow ground’ is soil that needs to be tilled or furrowed so that SEED can be SOWED into it, and we can reap a crop of righteous fruit. We won’t REAP if we don’t SOW. We need to tend the soil of our hearts, lest it become overgrown with ‘thistles and thorns,’ the cares and worries of this life –

Luk 8:11  Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 
Luk 8:12  Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 
Luk 8:13  They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. 
Luk 8:14  And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. 
Luk 8:15  But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. 

Break up your fallow ground ….one sowing sufficeth not. It must be no surface-sowing. And “the soil of our hearts must ever be anew cleansed; for no one in this mortal life is so perfect, in piety, that noxious desires will not spring up again in the heart, as tares….” [Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible]

*Tilling the soil of our hearts would include pulling out the thistles and thorns of wrong or evil thoughts, motives, and pursuits. When we examine our hearts and find these things growing in them, we need to pull them up, and sow the seed of God’s Word in their place! Then we’ll reap a crop of good fruit from our righteous acts when it is ready or ripe. Just like natural crops must ripen before picking, we patiently wait for our spiritual seeds to mature before we see fruit appear –

Gal 6:9  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 

For it is time to seek the Lord – This should be immediately done: the season is passing; and if you do not get the seed in the ground, the early rain will be past, and your fields will be unfruitful. [Adam Clarke’s Commentary]

seek … Lord, fill he come — The prophet bids them “seek diligently,” and perseveringly, “not leaving off or desisting,” if they should not at once find, but continuing the search, quite “up to” the time when they should find. His words imply the need of perseverance and patience, which should stop short of nothing but God’s own time for finding.

“If Israel of old were so to order their ways in expectation of Him, and that they might be prepared for His coming; and if their neglecting to do this made them liable to such heavy judgments, how much severer judgments shall they be worthy of, who, after His Coming and raining upon them the plentiful showers of heavenly doctrine, and abundant measure of His grace and gifts of His Holy Spirit, do, for want of breaking up the fallow ground of their hearts, suffer His holy word to be lost on them. The fearful doom of such unfruitful Christians is set down by Paul” Heb_6:4-8.

The present is ever the time to seek the Lord. “Behold now is the accepted time; behold now is the Day of Salvation” 2Co_6:2. As Hosea says, “it is time to seek the Lord until He come,” so Paul saith, “unto them that look for Him, shall he appear the second time, without sin, unto salvation” Heb_9:28. [Albert Barnes]

Rain righteousness upon you – God will give you the early rain in due time, and in proper measure. Here are the metaphors, and the application cannot be difficult.. Here are ploughing, fallowing, sowing, harrowing, watering, reaping, threshing, and feeding on the produce of well-directed labor. All may be applied to the human heart, and the work of God upon it. Correction, contrition, conversion, receiving the grace of Christ, bringing forth fruit, etc. [Adam Clarke’s Commentary]

SUMMATION: The ‘Good Seed’ is the Word of God, the bible. The ‘soil’ represents the hearts of men. The Ploughmen are ministers and preachers who sow the seed. ‘Fallow ground’ is soil that has been left unattended and has hardened so that it can’t receive seed. It’s a condition primarily of unregenerate hearts, but can also occur in those who’ve accepted Christ. The hardened soil of men’s hearts has to be ‘broken up,’ (furrowed/plowed) before the good seed can be sown in them. Whether it be for the first time, or numerous times; however often men discover that ‘thorns and thistles’ (cares of this life) are growing in their hearts!

A PERSONAL NOTE: I feel that the Lord impressed me today with two passages of Scripture from two different prophetic books, Hosea and Isaiah. Both mention SEEKING God and being RECONCILED to Him and to one’s fellow man; a two-pronged message. I feel that the terms ‘seeking’ and ‘reconciliation,’ were highlighted to me as I read those texts, and go hand-in-hand. 2017 may be a year in which many estranged relationships are healed as people reconcile with one another. I sure hope so.

Debra R. Stout, December 31, 2016

TRUE VS. FALSE WORSHIP

Image result for photos of someone clanging cymbals

1Co 13:1  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 
1Co 13:2  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 
1Co 13:3  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 

Is the ‘love’ spoken of here, love for fellow men, or ‘love’ for God, or both? I should think we have to love God first, before we can properly love our fellow man. Thus, everything we do, if it is to bring forth good and proper fruit, must be founded in true LOVE of God first. Everything we say and preach must emanate from a sincere LOVE of God or else we’re simply making noise!

It’s the same with our worship. Much of what’s called worship in the Church today is nothing more than empty noise, devoid of Holy Spirit anointing, and therefore, devoid of His fruit. I’ve attended quite a few churches over the years, and have seen very little true worship. True worship draws attention to God alone, not the talent of choir members or worship leaders. You can tell the difference between true and false worship if you’re sensitive to the moving of the Holy Spirit. Those who aren’t sensitive to Him can’t tell the difference, which is one reason very little true worship happens in most churches. There are other reasons as well. Believe it or not, the head minister and worship leader don’t always have enough sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, often preferring their prearranged programs to the Holy Ghost’s moods, movements, and desires. Sadly, I’ve seen and experienced this quenching of the Holy Spirit in nearly every church I’ve attended. As I grew in the knowledge of the Scriptures through my own research and study primarily, and after receiving the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, I became extremely sensitive to this phenomenon. It got to the point where I could no longer stand the church’s quenching of God’s Spirit; it was simply too painful for me so I stopped going to church.

Many sincere church members are led to believe they’re worshiping God when all they’re doing is merely mouthing words to the music while their minds wander from their personal concerns to the minister’s new home, to how lovely so-and-so looks in her new dress. Many choir member’s think about how well they’re singing, which isn’t singing unto the Lord, but for men. When worship is about US, it isn’t about Him!

When true worship occurs, a person’s FULL attention is on God alone, and no one else in the room matters! You don’t think or care about who’s watching YOU! You don’t worry about, or care about, the TIME! You don’t care whether you’re hungry, thirsty, or tired! Fact is when you truly worship God, you won’t notice any of these things or other people in the room because all is overshadowed and subdued by God’s holy Presence! When His awesome Presence floods your soul, you want to keep on worshiping Him, as your needs don’t exist in Him. He truly ‘fills all in all’ when allowed and/or invited to do so.

I feel badly for those who have never experienced this kind of worship because it’s the most wonderful spiritual experience one can have this side of Heaven. Once you experience true worship, you’ll never be satisfied with anything less. Much, dare I say most, of what passes for worship these days, is not true worship, but mere ‘noise’ like that of  ‘sounding brass’ and ‘clanging cymbals.’ That type of worship is often just ‘loud’ and DEVOID of true DEVOTION, with an emphasis on SELF (see how great a voice I have; notice ME) not on God and His Holiness. It isn’t given in God’s honor, but to make a ‘show’ for others to admire. Such so called worship is shallow, empty, and a stench in God’s nostrils! ~ Mat 15:8  This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.  Php 3:3  For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. **Listen to this powerful sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-Ewozh-cGc

I’m so grateful for the church where I first experienced true worship, wherein the chief pastor coached its members on HOW to truly worship God. It was an experience I’ll never forget and one by which I judge all other worship, or should I say, attempts at worship. Worship is very important to God and He seeks true worshipers. Joh 4:23  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. Joh 4:24  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 

If true worship returned to the Church, Revival would come as the Spirit of God subdues the flesh along with its fleshly works. We would see men saved, filled with the Spirit, delivered from sin, and healed of diseases. The Holy Spirit can and will work miracles and wonders through us, if we allow Him to! Whenever a minister or church member quenches (stops, interrupts, hinders) the Holy Spirit’s workings, be it in the form of verbal gifts like tongues and prophecies, or in the form of deliverance from evil spirits and miraculous healing – he or she SINS against God. Quenching God’s Spirit is a SIN of which the Church at large needs to REPENT. Now is the time for the Church to repent of this sin and turn back to letting God be God and Master over His own HOUSE! Who’s the rightful Head and owner of the Church? Is surely isn’t any man; not the Bishop, not the minister, not the priest, not even the Pope! Let me reiterate, NO MAN ‘stands in the place of God on earth!’ Christ is present with us on earth now through His Holy Spirit and He alone stands in God’s place until Christ returns. There is but ONE MEDIATOR between God and man and that’s the Man Christ Jesus – 1Ti 2:5  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 

Thus, no mortal man stands in God’s or Christ’s place on earth since Christ is the sole mediator between God and men. This is God’s Word, believe it or not, the choice is yours but if you choose men’s words over God’s, you’ll pay a heavy price, the loss of your soul. 1Th 2:13  For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, 1Jn 5:9  If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: Luk 11:28  blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

Truth is, the Priesthood was transferred from the Levites (temporary priesthood) to Melchisedek, the eternal priesthood of Christ. Thus, Christ became our High Priest, REPLACING ALL OTHERS. We now have no need of priests to be mediators between God and men. Christ is the new High Priest and sole Mediator between God and men. To all Catholics I say, Stop blindly accepting church doctrines (teachings) which say that priests, bishops, and the Pope, take the place of Christ on earth – and start reading/studying the Bible (God’s Word) for yourselves. Stop believing and start questioning everything you’re told. Search the holy Scriptures for yourselves and compare what you’ve been told to what’s written in them. If anyone tells you that the Pope or any other man’s teachings supercede the Bible’s writings, that man (whoever he be) is a LIAR and a traitor to Christ. These statements don’t originate with me, they weren’t birthed in my mind, but are the teachings of the Bible. If the Pope tells you something contrary to God’s Word, who should you believe? You who say you believe the Bible is God’s word, why don’t you do what it tells you to do? The Bible tells us to obey God not men ~

Act 5:12  And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch. 
Act 5:13  And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them. 
Act 5:14  And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) 
Act 5:15  Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. 
Act 5:16  There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one. 
Act 5:17  Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation, 
Act 5:18  And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. 
Act 5:19  But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, 
Act 5:20  Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. 
Act 5:21  And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. 
Act 5:22  But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned, and told, 
Act 5:23  Saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within. 
Act 5:24  Now when the high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow. 
Act 5:25  Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people. 
Act 5:26  Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned. 
Act 5:27  And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, 
Act 5:28  Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. 
Act 5:29  Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. 

Be forewarned, they who don’t do God’s will, won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven ~ Mat 7:21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Mat 7:22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? Mat 7:23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 

My comments won’t please everyone I realize, but I’m not here to pander to men’s opinions and beliefs. I’m here to tell the TRUTH. Stop worshiping the Pope, priests, ministers, angels, prophets, apostles, etc. Worship the living God and OBEY His words only! Render the fruit of your lips in true worship from a pure heart of love for, and obedience to His Words, adoring only Him. Let’s forget what makes us feel comfortable and start the New Year right by worshiping God the way He wants to be worshiped instead of how we think He wants to be worshiped. Then will the GLORY of God be seen again as it was in the desert of Sinai when He led Israel out of Egypt, and as was seen at Pentecost and in various revivals since. May the Glory of God fall mightily upon His Church again and ignite it with renewed desire to see His glory fill all the earth! 

Debra R. Stout, December 25, 2016

Commercializing Christ’s Birth

 

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Christmas – ‘the happiest time of the year,’ a common refrain heard during the season of what is referred to as the time of Christ’s birth. What makes this holiday the happiest time of the year? Is it the birth of Christ or the exchanging of gifts which we’ve grown accustomed to? Just who or what do we celebrate? I’m sure many would say it’s not the gifts, food or drink, but the sharing of warm moments with family and friends that makes this holiday so special.

While that may be true, I wonder what Christmas would be like if no one exchanged gifts, but just spent time together remembering Christ’s birth? Would everyone still feel it’s the most wonderful time of the year, or, would they feel deprived? It would make for one very interesting experiment if people dared to try it, but I’ve not much hope for that since most are hooked on the excitement and expectation that gift exchanging engenders. Yet there are some brave souls who have pulled back, even disengaged themselves from much of the season’s rituals, alleviating themselves of the stress, and saving a bundle to boot. Right about now, I can almost hear someone screaming, “Scrooge!”

Movies like “Scrooge” are designed to heap guilt on people if they don’t give like they should. Who made up these rules anyway? A myth invented by men, many believe Christmas is based on Christ’s birth and that gift giving is based on the three Wise Men or Magi who brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the baby Jesus. Fact is, there’s no hint in that biblical account, or anywhere else in the Bible, that the actions of the Magi were to be repeated. The Magi’s gifts were for travel expenses such as food and lodging for Jesus and his parent’s journey to Egypt, a one-time event. But who cares, gift exchanging is SO much FUN, right?

If the Magi aren’t used as justification for our ritual gift exchange, it’s jolly old St. Nicholas, aka Santa Claus. At least using St Nick is honest, since gift exchanging began with pagan festivals like Saturnalia and Yule based on the ‘return of the Sun’ at the Winter Solstice. Ancient Roman Saturnalia festivities began on December 17 and concluded on the 24th, when gifts were exchanged. Homes and streets were noisy with banqueting, heavy drinking, and riotous behavior. ‘Gift-giving has its roots in pagan rituals held during the winter. When Christianity folded these rituals into Christmas, the justification for bearing gifts was redirected to the Three Wise Men, the Magi, who gave gifts to the infant Jesus. But in early modern Europe, it also had its roots in Christmas begging. During the holiday seasons, bands of young men, often rowdy, would “wassail” from home to home and demand handouts from the gentry, says Stephen Nissenbaum, author of “The Battle for Christmas.” Christmas involved an exchange between the social classes.’[1]

Another common refrain heard during Christmas, is that “Jesus is the reason for the season.” Is He really? When families gather around their trees to open presents, how many talk about Christ’s birth or the Magi, even in Christian homes? Though many attend Sunday and Christmas Eve church services commemorating His birth, when they get home, their focus reverts back to gifts and other holiday trappings. It’s good for families to get together, but how has Christmas become the designated time of year for that to happen? The answer is simply, tradition or custom. But as Jesus once said to some Pharisees, Mar 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men…

While Christ’s birth is supposed to be the centerpiece, the commercial aspects of Christmas have pretty much overshadowed Him. Sadly, most of the world has commercialized Christ. Think about that for a moment. If true, this means that Christ is being ‘used’ to sell things to fill the coffers of merchants, and to satisfy man’s lust for material things! Is this not the commercializing or merchandising of Christ? The false notion that we give gifts at Christmas because Magi brought them to baby Jesus, gives people an excuse to spend excessively, get drunk, and overeat – all in the name of honoring Christ’s birth. When did Christ ever teach men to overeat, get drunk, or do anything in excess? He taught moderation in all things, and to give without expectation of a return. Tell me that most don’t expect a gift in return at Christmas, or don’t end up feeling disappointed by what they got, or feel they didn’t get enough. How much is enough anyway?

If we truly wish to honor Christ, shouldn’t we stop commercializing His birth? Why not just admit that we exchange gifts because we WANT to, not because the Magi gave gifts to baby Jesus? Now I know that many, if not most, Christians will balk at these facts, stating emphatically that it doesn’t matter what people did long ago, but only what we do now, and all that matters is our heart’s motivation. Dare we search our hearts to see if our motivation is to honor Christ’s birth, or to satisfy our wants? It can’t be both. Jesus taught denial of self – Luk 9:23  And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 

Could we not break away just a little from the commercialization and merchandising of Christ? It’s just too much. My mother shared with me that in her childhood days, most people hand made gifts to give to loved ones at Christmas. Their celebration was simple and frugal compared to ours today. It’s despicable how merchants have turned Christ’s birth, a HOLY event which took place in a lowly manger, into a massive commercial behemoth. Should Christians take part in this yearly exploitation of their Savior’s birth?

Besides, giving can occur any time of the year, whenever there is need, and without expectation of getting something in return. Jesus taught people to give to those who can’t pay you back, so that He may reward you at the Resurrection of the Just. Luk 14:12 When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. 

Luk 14:13  But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: 

Luk 14:14  And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. 

Jesus also taught, “It’s more blessed (happy, joyous) to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35

Debra R. Stout, December 15, 2016

Foot Notes:

[1] http://www.csmonitor.com/World/2013/1221/Christmas-How-did-gift-giving-and-caroling-get-started

Post-Election Riots Incited By Progressive Globalists

Image result for photos of American protesters burning American flag over Trump's electionImage result for photos of American protesters burning American flag over Trump's election

To the rioters who are protesting Trump’s election – loving people don’t destroy property, attack and injure others, deface buildings with racial slurs, trample and burn the American flag, or spew filthy, derogatory words from their mouths! Image result for free photos or pictures of protesters burning American flag, or effigies of Donald TrumpBurning effigies of Donald Trump is a very HATEFUL act, can you see that? You and the Democrats spout ‘Peace, Love, and Tolerance’ so long as things go your way, but the minute they don’t, you go out and behave the very opposite! Do you know the definition of hypocrite?

Trump supporters involved in this outrageous behavior, STOP and THINK! If this turns into a race war or Marshall law, it will be YOU and President Elect Trump who will blamed, even if the majority of those carrying out violent and hateful acts are Hillary supporters! Besides, I find it hard to believe that Trump supporters are painting Swastikas and ‘Heil Trump’ on church buildings. Is it possible that anti-American provocateurs are paying demonstrators to make it look like it’s Trump supporters doing these things? It would be the perfect ploy; one that George Soros [1] the billionaire banker and his friends the Clintons could devise to further their Socialist cause of destroying America.

Speaking of provocateurs, our news media daily serves a rich menu of Liberal-Socialist-Marxist opinion [2] and continually INCITES hatred and division among people, instead of reporting the news in a non-biased, objective fashion. Another sector which bears responsibility for shaping minds, is our educational system, which is sadly saturated with Socialistic educators and funders who choose the curriculum. Then there’s the Church, who’s supposed to represent Christ and lead the world to Him, incorporating Progressive ideas into its teachings and making itself a corporation of the State (501c3), instead of being separate from the world like the Scriptures command [3]. Is it any wonder so much of our youth has turned from the faith of their fathers to embrace Socialistic, progressive, ideologies? [4] PROGRESSIVE = HATER of traditional, biblical mores and values! Ever since Atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair [5] and others like her, got God and His Ten Commandments kicked OUT of our schools, courts, and all public places – America’s morality has steadily declined! “Thou shalt not kill…thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, house, or anything that is your neighbor’s….thou shalt not steal….” displayed in public places reminds people there’s a right and a wrong way to treat one’s neighbor! Men and women devoid of God and His spirit, are beasts who brutalize and terrorize their neighbor, as we’ve recently witnessed all across our nation. Beating and injuring people is something HATERS do! Haters can’t blame President Elect Donald Trump or Racism for their hateful speech and acts! All must take personal responsibility for their own words and actions.

People, open your eyes to what’s really going on. Where might your rioting, violence, and vandalism lead – a race war? Marshall law? Civil war? Although someone like George Soros may want to dismantle our Constitution and national sovereignty, and reduce America’s greatness to a third-world status, how would America’s collapse serve YOUR best interests? Is that really what you want for your families? If you’re so intent on living in a third-world country, go find one to live in, but leave America to those who RESPECT and APPRECIATE IT.

The problem with most of the demonstrators, is that they’ve had it TOO GOOD in America. They’ve gotten everything they’ve wanted (and demanded) for the past eight years at least. Perhaps a long stay in some third world poverty-stricken nation, or jail time, would jolt them back to reality? Most of them appear to be college students. Colleges today are nothing more than RECRUITMENT centers for Socialist-Marxist ideology and agendas which are faithfully taught from textbooks written by social engineers [6]. Being a college graduate myself, I saw how much of it students are exposed to.

RIOTERS, you’re being manipulated by liberal, Socialistic-Marxist-Fascist proponents in the media, schools, and government. STOP being their PUPPETS! They’re only USING YOU to bring about the ‘changes’ they want to see happen in America, which is to turn America into a full Socialistic-Marxist-Fascist nation completely under THEIR CONTROL! If that happens, personal freedoms and choices would be very restricted! Health care, food, water, clothing, housing, transportation, EVERYTHING – would be controlled and rationed by the government. We’ve been heading in that direction for some time, no thanks to rich and powerful Socialists who have infiltrated America’s educational, agricultural, medical, religious, and political institutions – to subvert our laws, our values, and our freedoms!

Those COMPLAINING of not having enough in America must not realize that there’s no better place to be! Where else does one enjoy as many rights, including the right to peacefully protest? Note that the law stipulates PEACEFULLY, peacefully does not include violence, rioting, battering people, and vandalizing property! If you’re so miserable in America, why stay? 

If you would put your faith in GOD instead of looking to government for what you need, you wouldn’t be rioting in the streets and assaulting people. Your REAL PROBLEM is that you have NO FAITH IN GOD, or don’t have GOD in your lives at all. I’m convinced that if everyone knew GOD, there would be real and lasting, peace, love, and harmony between all nations and races. For it is written, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love [7]. 

“Seek Him while he still may be found” [8]. Seek Him NOW. Pray this prayer in Faith, “Heavenly Father, I realize that I’m a sinner and can’t save myself, and that only the Blood of Jesus can wash away my sin. I invite you Lord God to save me from sin and your wrath that’s coming upon all unregenerate and unrepentant sinners. Jesus, please be my Savior and Lord this very moment – I believe that you paid the price for my sins that I might escape the soul-destroying fires of Hell and live forever in your presence. Thank you Lord, Amen.”

If you prayed that prayer or would like to know more about being Born Again and receiving Jesus as your lord and savior, please don’t hesitate to send an email to calm_meadow@yahoo.com I’ll try to answer any questions or concerns you might have, and would be happy to hear if any of the content of this blog has encouraged or helped you in any way.

“THE TIME IS SHORT” said the prophetic voice of God, spoken recently through a church member. It means that the time for evangelizing the world and for sinners to get save is short, because Jesus Christ is returning soon! So, there’s no time to waste on self-pity, excuses, rioting, drugs and drunkenness, partying, pleasure-seeking, and so on. Sinner and saint alike – SEEK GOD WHILE HE MAY STILL BE FOUND, ‘before the door is shut,’ ‘before night comes when no man can work’ [9, 10].

Debra R. Stout, November 15, 2016

END NOTES:
[1] http://thefreethoughtproject.com/soros-trump-protests-revolution/ and http://humanevents.com/2011/04/02/top-10-reasons-george-soros-is-dangerous/   
[2] http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/fascism_and_communism-socialism.html
[3] http://hushmoney.org/501c3-facts.htm and http://so4j.com/be-ye-separate
[4] http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2007/07/the-progressive-movement-and-the-transformation-of-american-politics and http://patriotupdate.com/progressives-war-christianity-judeo-christian-traditions/    http://patriotupdate.com/video-proof-donald-smashed-popular-vote/
[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madalyn_Murray_O%27Hair
[6] http://akdart.com/edu32.html
[7] 1 John 4:8
[8] Isaiah 55:6 & 7
[9] Luke 13:25, Genesis 7:16
[10] John 9:4

Apostate King Solomon’s Magic Ring

Image result for pictures of the goat of MendesI was looking at this scene from a distance. I saw a Goat with two horns; similar to pictures I’ve seen of the Goat of Mendes or Baphomet. It wore a crown of some sort and sat on a seat resembling a throne. A man whose identity I couldn’t discern, approached the goat’s throne and knelt down before it. As he did, the goat stretched forth his hand and the man kissed the ring on the goat’s hand. The ring was round and red like a ruby. In the middle of it was a six-pointed star, sometimes called Star of David, other times Solomon’s Seal [1]. Interestingly, the name of a wealthy Jewish banker and Freemason, ‘Rothschild,’ means ‘red shield’ and the goat’s ring was red. The modern Israeli flag depicts a blue star but the original symbol was red.

In ancient times kings wore what were called Image result for free photos or pictures of a hexagram and star of david
Signet rings [2] with which they sealed letters so that anyone receiving them would know they came from the king when they saw his seal. Thus, the Signet ring was a symbol of a king’s authority. It may be that the six-pointed star is the Mark of the Beast and whoever receives it, declares Lucifer’s authority over Yahweh! Rev 13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Rev 13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 

“The Greek word for “mark” in these verses is charagma. Strong’s Concordance defines this word as a mark that is stamped, branded, imprinted or engraved on the individual’s forehead or hand, rather than implanted in the skin.” [3]

Solomon’s Seal, a Hexagram, was, and still is, used as a ‘talisman.’ Throughout history, talismans were used to protect the wearer from evil but God said that we must trust Him alone for protection, and to supply all of our needs. Many are putting their trust in their government to protect them from evil, especially in the wake of the threat of worldwide Terrorism. To trust in anything outside of Yahweh, is IDOLATRY, which God will neither endorse nor tolerate.

“The hexagram was brought to the Jewish people by Solomon when he turned to witchcraft and idolatry after his marriage to Pharaoh’s daughter in 922B.C. It became known as the Seal of Solomon in Egyptian magic and witchcraft. David had absolutely nothing to do with the hexagram and that star most certainly did not, in any way represent God’s people. Solomon gave himself up to satanic worship and built altars to Ashtoreth and Moloch (Saturn). Moloch, Chiun and Remphan are all names for the star god, Saturn, whose symbol is a six pointed star formed by two triangles. Saturn was the supreme god of the Chaldeans.” [4] ‘Remphan’ [5] 

Image result for pictures of the seven branched Jewish menorahWhile the six-pointed star became the modern symbol of the State of Israel established in 1949, the original, official symbol of Israel was the seven-branched Menorah.  Seven is a number used with reference to God and His attributes, like the Seven Spirits of God for example, while six is the number of man.“The six-pointed star symbolizes man’s ascent to divinity…. ” Link to full article in citation [3]. The Six-pointed star contains the number 666 (the Antichrist’s number) within its configuration. Apostate King Solomon adorned his temple with this symbol. While King Solomon started off right, later in his life he abandoned the God of Israel and began worshiping the many false gods his numerous wives brought into the temple. In essence, by promoting the worship of many false religions, apostate King Solomon became the very first MASON. Like Nimrod, who was the first world despot, there are many ‘firsts’ found in biblical history if we follow the trails to their origins. Satanists, Occultists and Freemasons venerate King Solomon, who owned a magic ring that was engraved with the Seal of Solomon, which gave him power over the invisible monarchy of demons. (The History And Practice Of Magic, Vol. 2) The end times False Messiah will no doubt be like a reincarnated Solomon, who unites the world together with his wisdom. [6] 

The six-pointed star is used today as a symbol in Masonic Lodges all over the world, which brings me to the point, or meaning of the dream. Though I may be wrong, the dream could be portraying that the end-time, one world religion will be Masonry, or a derivative of it. Since the one world church [7] will embrace multiple religions (as did Solomon of old), and Masons claim that they embrace ALL RELIGIONS (although they really worship Lucifer the Devil, and embrace his religion Satanism), it seems a logical conclusion. Masons are adept at fooling their lower level initiates into believing the LIE that they embrace all religions. Masonry is a vast organization with deep roots all over the world. It has operated undetected to a large extent due to its ability to keep its true allegiance and agenda hidden from the general populace. I believe the time is fast approaching when it won’t hide its true allegiance anymore, but will openly declare its worship of Satan and demand the same from the whole world. Might the mysterious man in the dream who kissed the goat’s ring, be the False Messiah, and or, every man and woman who worships the Beast, his number, his name, and his mark? 

Debra R. Stout © October 5, 2016

FOOTNOTES:

[1] The Seal of Solomon dates back to the Bronze Ages and is a powerful symbol with many mystical and magickal qualities…the Seal of Solomon is believed to offer protection against both enemies and the evil eye, control spirits, and bring good luck in all aspects of life. – Seal of Solomon, Amulet Power, Angelfire.com

In the middle Ages it was common to find amulets and talismans which reproduced the Seal of Solomon…It was believed that these magic drawings protected the wearer from the influence of demons and evil spirits, or just bad luck. It was also common to record the seal on a frame or lintel of the entrance door to homes…with the same protective character against the spirits or to potential fires. – The Hexagram, Star of David or Seal of Solomon, Looking4thetruth77.blogspot.com

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Wicca%20&%20Witchcraft/star_of_david.htm and https://humanityworldorder.wordpress.com/2016/07/13/star-challenge/

[2] Rather than signing their name on a document, people would use a signet ring to make their mark. The ring would be pressed into hot wax or soft clay, and would leave a distinctive impression that functioned as an official seal. Used by rulers and religious leaders, a signet ring could be used to mark a document, a doorway, or even to seal a tomb. When someone saw the mark of the king, it proved authenticity. The seal could not be opened without damaging the identifying mark, making it difficult to tamper with. The Bible also contains references to signet rings. The Old Testament tells the story of Daniel in the lion’s den. The king closed the mouth of the den, and then sealed it with his signet ring and those of his nobles, so that Daniel could not escape. (Daniel 6:17) Author: Jason Phillips, Posted@ http://www.history1700s.com/index.php/articles/14-guest-authors/703-modern-history-of-signet-ring-how-it-got-its-existence.html

[3] 5480 charagma 1) a stamp, an imprinted mark; stamped on the forehead or the right hand as the badge of the followers of the Antichrist; 1b) the mark branded upon horses; 2) thing carved, sculpture, graven work; 2a) of idolatrous images. http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Wicca%20&%20Witchcraft/star_of_david.htm

[4] http://www.moresureword.com/starof.htm

[5] Rhemphan By incorrect transliteration for a word of Hebrew origin [H3594]; Remphan (that is, Kijun), an Egyptian idol: – Remphan. Acts 7:43 – The tabernacle of Moloch (tēn skēnēn tou Moloch). Or tent of Moloch which they took up after each halt instead of the tabernacle of Jehovah. Moloch was the god of the Amorites to whom children were offered as live sacrifices, an ox-headed image with arms outstretched in which children were placed and hollow underneath so that fire could burn underneath.The star of the god Rephan (to astron tou theou Rompha). Spelled also Romphan and Remphan. Supposed to be Coptic for the star Saturn to which the Egyptians, Arabs, and Phoenicians gave worship. But some scholars take the Hebrew Kiyyoon to mean statues and not a proper name at all, “statues of your gods” carried in procession, making “figures” (tupous) with both “tabernacle” and “star” which they carried in procession.

[6] http://christianitybeliefs.org/end-times-deceptions/the-star-of-david-deception/

[7] http://www.cuttingedge.org/news/n1243.cfm AND http://www.cuttingedge.org/news/n2223.cfm

 

 

 

 

 

Who the Restrainer Is, and the Timing of the Rapture

 

Image result for FREE pictures of the Rapture of the saints

THE RESTRAINER’S ROLE 

2Th 2:3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
2Th 2:4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.
2Th 2:5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?
2Th 2:6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.
2Th 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. [English Standard Version]

restrains (KJV ‘letteth’) katechō
Thayer Definition:
1) to hold back, detain, retain
1a) from going away
1b) to restrain, hinder (the course or progress of)
1b1) that which hinders Antichrist from making his appearance
1c) to hold fast, keep secure, keep firm possession of

Notice that it’s a “him,” not an it or a thing that the ‘restrainer’ is holding back. “out of” means, Thayer Definition: 1) out of, from, by, away from; “the way” means, mesos: 1) middle, the midst, in the midst of, amongst. This is why Pre-tribber’s say the “restrainer” must be the Holy Spirit, because they say the Holy Spirit is in the “midst” of believers; Lk 24:36, John 20:19, and Mat 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. While that’s true, I don’t believe that the identity of ‘he who’s taken out of the way’ [KJV] is immediately clear, nor is the Holy Spirit the ONLY possible rendering. 

Many teach that the “restrainer” is the Holy Spirit who is “removed” from the Earth when believers are raptured out of the world right before the great tribulation begins. These teachers use a few verses from 1 Thessalonians  mainly, to support their Pre-Trib rapture theory, taken out of the context of the rest of Scripture, even the same book and chapter – 1Th 4:15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven… 

WATCH! When does the Lord Jesus descend from heaven?

Mat 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
Mat 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Mat 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

So you see, there’s already a problem with the Pre-Tribulation rapture and it’s that Matthew clearly places the coming of Jesus AND the ‘gathering together of his elect,’ AFTER the tribulation. And that’s not the only problem with it, these scriptures say something else – Mat 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Mat 13:49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, Mat 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

Now, to address a few objections to a post-trib rapture. Some say ‘clouds’ refer to the ‘saints’ who’ve already been caught up in a secret rapture before Jesus returns, and so return with Him. However biblical evidence doesn’t support that notion. It seems that these are clouds of angels that are spoken of. It also appears that the angels escort Jesus from place to place: “The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.” (Psa 68:17) “Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:” (Psa 104:3) “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. (Dan 7:13) The word “they” is referring to the angels who “came with the clouds” earlier in the verse. They brought the Son of Man to the Ancient of Days. 

As some are aware, there are two New Testament verses, Jude 1:14, and 1 Thess 3:13 which at first glance, appear to say that Christ comes with His “saints” but I’ll show you why that isn’t so. Let’s take the quote from Jude first – Jude 1:14 “And Enoch also the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying. Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints.” 

“saints” here was chosen by the King James translators, as the meaning of the Greek G40 ‘hagios,’ which is often used to refer to redeemed human beings in the New Testament, but in this particular verse, it doesn’t. Why the King James translators chose “saints” over “holy ones” or “angels” I can’t say, but the English Standard Version chose to render it, “holy ones” (or angels) which lines up perfectly with the rest of what Scripture says, which is that Christ is coming with His ANGELS, not His saints – Jud 1:14  It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, [ESV] 

With ten thousand of his saintsOr, “of his holy ones.” The word “saints” we now apply commonly to “redeemed” saints, or to Christians. The original word is, however, applicable to all who are “holy,” angels as well as men. The common representation in the Scriptures is, that he would come attended by the angels Mat_25:31, and there is doubtless allusion here to such beings. It is a common representation in the Old Testament also that God, when he manifests himself, is accompanied by great numbers of heavenly beings. See Psa_68:17; Deu_33:2. [Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible]

With ten thousands of his saints (ἐν ἀγίαις μυριάσιν)
Lit., in or among holy myriads. Compare Deu_33:2; Zec_14:5. [Vincent Word Studies]

saints — Holy angels (compare Deu_33:2; Dan_7:10; Zec_14:5; Mat_25:31; Heb_12:22). [Jamieson, Fausset & Brown Commentary]

If that isn’t enough, Jude was making reference to what Enoch had prophesied many centuries prior, a prophesy which is nearly identical to Deuteronomy 33:2And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints:

Deu 33:2  He said, “The LORD came from Sinai and dawned from Seir upon us; he shone forth from Mount Paran; he came from the ten thousands of holy ones, [ESV]  Deu 33:2  And he said, Jehovah came from Sinai, And rose from Seir unto them; He shined forth from mount Paran, And he came from the ten thousands of holy ones: [ASV]

With ten thousands of saints – Render, from amidst ten thousands of holy ones: literally from myriads of holiness, i. e., holy Angels (compare Zec_14:5). God is represented as leaving heaven where He dwells amidst the host of the Angels 1Ki_22:19 and descending in majesty to earth Mic_1:3. [Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible]

As you can see, both the ESV and the ASV, render haggios, as “holy ones” while the King James version renders it as “saints.” Actually, either term fits, so long as it’s understood that haggios can also mean “holy ones” or “angels” as well as holy men! Throughout the Old Testament writings, there are several words used for angelic beings but a different word was used when human beings were meant. That Hebrew word is châsîyd H2623 חסיד  From H2616; properly kind, that is, (religiously) pious (a saint): – godly (man), good, holy (one), merciful, saint, [un-] godly. In my search I found that in every instance where a human being, or beings was meant, the word châsîyd is used, and where angelic beings are meant, the words qâdôsh or  qôdesh H6944 were used.

Thus, the term for “human saints” in the Old Testament, is châsîyd and the word indicating angelic beings” is qâdôsh or  qôdesh. Why is it important? Because false doctrine (the Pre-trib Rapture) has been built upon assuming the word “saints” ALWAYS means redeemed human beings but as is proven by comparing scripture with scripture and comparing the various terms used for “saints,” the truth is that the KJV doesn’t always discern the difference between the two terms châsîyd and qâdôsh; rendering them both in a few places as  simply “saints.” The English Standard Version renders qâdôsh accurately as “holy ones” (or angels), while the KJV rendered the same term inaccurately as “saints.”

Moving on now to the other N.T. verse which states the Christ is coming with his saints –

1Th 3:13  To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.G40 (In this case, the other bible versions also render haggios, as ‘saints.’)

So, what exactly is going on here? Why would Paul, who wrote first and second Thessalonians, say the opposite in 2Th 1:7  And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,G32

Well, this seems to present a conundrum, but I’m sure there’s an answer. While I don’t have it at the moment, in the mean time, I’m going to believe the 99% of Scripture which states that Christ is coming with his ANGELS – over the 1% of Scripture which states He’s coming with His SAINTS. And, when I find the answer to this puzzling, seeming contradiction, I’ll come back to this article, and insert it. Until then, I think we can safely conclude that since Jesus is coming back AFTER the Tribulation and sends His “angels” to gather his elect at that time, there can be NO PRE-TRIB RAPTURE OF THE SAINTS. Therefore, the doctrine of a Pre-trib rapture is false, false, false!!! Concocted by two Jesuit priests back in the 1800’s, for the purpose of diverting attention away from the Vatican as being the Great Harlot (apostate church) of Revelation. But please, don’t take my word for any of this. Do your own thorough study about the Jesuit priests and Margaret McDonald (who supposedly had a vision of the pre-trib rapture). [2-3] And remember Jude’s warning: Jud 1:8  Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. Now, I’m not saying that believers shouldn’t ‘have dreams’ as some dreams come from God and are one of the gifts of His Spirit – but not ALL dreams are from God. Dreams and visions must pass the same test with which we are to test all spirits and spiritual communications – 1Jn 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. *try/test 1) to test, examine, prove, scrutinize (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals 2) to recognize as genuine after examination, to approve, deem worthy

What I am saying is, if a prophet or anyone has a dream or vision that clearly goes against Scripture, then one should disregard it. This of course doesn’t apply to a Word of Knowledge [1], dream or vision that involves a particular person or place. God often gives supernatural knowledge to his regenerated ones for the purpose of praying for, encouraging and relieving those who are hurting, depressed, oppressed, etc. These types of messages aren’t usually found in the Bible, so are judged by the ‘witness of the Spirit’ within regenerated souls – 1Jn 5:7 And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is the truth. [ASV] There are many biblical examples in the New Testament and Old, where men of God received supernatural messages from the Spirit of God, to pray about and/or to deliver to others. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are not to be despised or rejected but embraced, albeit with discernment.

WHY THE HOLY SPIRIT CANNOT BE THE RESTRAINER

Since He lives in every true Believer, and as we just read, some believers will REMAIN – be alive when Jesus returns – He must therefore REMAIN on the earth until Jesus comes.

Joh 14:17 even the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive; for it beholdeth him not, neither knoweth him: ye know him; for he abideth with you, and shall be in you.

Jesus sent us His Spirit to dwell in and remain with us to the “END.” Mat 28:20(b) And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. If the Holy Spirit doesn’t remain on Earth until the end of the Age, then God is a liar! “Let every man be a liar, but let God be TRUE.” (Rm 3:4)

The Holy spirit is the One who draws men unto Jesus and convicts a sinner of sin and of his need for salvation, John 16:7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. John 16:8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, John 16:14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

It’s the Holy Spirit by which a saved individual is “sealed” unto Salvation, Eph 1:13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, Eph 1:14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it,

So you see, the Holy Spirit has to be present in order for a person to get saved! If the Holy Spirit is ‘removed’ before the tribulation starts, it would be impossible for anyone to get saved during the Tribulation. Scripture shows us that the Holy Spirit will remain with us to the end of the Age, and that Jesus returns AFTER the tribulation and gathers together his elect.

THE RESTRAINER’S IDENTITY

So, if the Holy Spirit is not the Restrainer, who or what is? The Restrainer is Michael the archangel, ‘protector of Israel.’

“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. (Dan 12:1) It is seen in Scripture more than once that God used his angels to bind up, cast down, and war against “fallen ones,” or Lucifer’s angels. One example, Rev 20:1 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, the old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, Rev 20:3 and cast him into the abyss, and shut it, and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years should be finished: after this he must be loosed for a little time. More references on Michael the Archangel and how God uses him; Dan 10:21, Jude 1:9, & Rev 12:7.

The ‘book’ in Dan 12:1, “every one that shall be found written in the book” could be referring to the Lamb’s Book of Life – Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne; and books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works. Rev 20:15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Do you see that if your name isn’t found in the Book of Life, you won’t be found in heaven either?! You’re either a bonafide believer in Christ, or you’re not, there’s no in between. When a man was found at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb not wearing proper wedding attire, HE WAS THROWN OUT. No one can enter the wedding feast unless he wears the ROBE OF SALVATION given to him by Jesus Christ when one repents of his sins and receives Him as his Savior, Mat 22:11-13 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

which had not on a wedding garment — The language here is drawn from the following remarkable passage in Zep_1:7, Zep_1:8 : – “Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord God; for the day of the Lord is at hand: for the Lord hath prepared a sacrifice, He hath bid His guests. And it shall come to pass in the day of the Lord’s sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king’s children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel.” The custom in the East of presenting festival garments (see Gen_45:22; 2Ki_5:22), even though nor clearly proved, Is certainly presupposed here. It undoubtedly means something which they bring not of their own – for how could they have any such dress who were gathered in from the highways indiscriminately? – but which they receive as their appropriate dress. And what can that be but what is meant by “putting on the Lord Jesus,” as “The Lord Our Righteousness?” (See Psa_45:13, Psa_45:14). Nor could such language be strange to those in whose ears had so long resounded those words of prophetic joy: “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels” (Isa_61:10). [Jamieson, Fausset & Brown Commentary]

THOSE WHO BELIEVE ARE SAVED FROM GOD’S WRATH

Believers in Christ whether Jew or Gentile, are saved from God’s wrath, but not spared all tribulation, trials, tests, and persecution. All are called to suffer for His Name’s sake, as have God’s prophets, apostles, priests, and disciples down through the Ages. Why do believers in the twenty-first century think they should be exempt? 1Pet 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 1Pet 4:2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

Some feel that the “wrath of God” refers to the entire Tribulation period, not just the time when God pours out His “vials of wrath” on the wicked as seen in Revelation 16:1-21 where ONLY the wicked and unrepentant upon earth receive God’s wrath. Rev 16:2 And the first went, and poured out his bowl into the earth; and it became a noisome and grievous sore upon the men that had the mark of the beast, and that worshipped his image. Rev 16:9 And men were scorched with great heat: and they blasphemed the name of God who hath the power over these plagues; and they repented not to give him glory. Rev 16:10 And the fifth poured out his bowl upon the throne of the beast; and his kingdom was darkened; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, Rev 16:11 and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they repented not of their works.

They who patiently wait for Jesus in purity and holiness, like a Bride adorned for her husband (Rev 21:2) will be protected from God’s judgments and wrath poured out during the Great Tribulation period, just like Noah and his family were protected in an ark during the great flood (Genesis 7:1-24). Christ is the Ark of believers, who likewise shall be protected from the flood of judgments poured out upon the wicked during the great tribulation. God kept the Israelites safe from the plagues sent upon the Egyptians. Their houses marked with sheep’s blood, symbolizing Christ’s future sacrificial death, was a ‘sign’ that kept the angel of Death from destroying them. Likewise, God’s Born Again children are ‘marked’ with the Blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ! When God (Yahweh) sees one of His dear children, He sees the Blood of His Son Jesus covering them, and no demon, devil, or destroying angel can snatch them out of His mighty hand!

Jesus prayed to His Father, “Father, I ask not that you take them (believers in Me) out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil.” John 17:15 ‘That thou shouldest take them out of the world – Though they were going into trials and persecutions, yet Jesus did not pray that they might be removed soon from them. It was better that they should endure them, and thus spread abroad the knowledge of his name. It would be easy for God to remove his people at once to heaven, but it is better for them to remain, and show the power of religion in supporting the soul in the midst of trial, and to spread his gospel among men. Shouldest keep them from the evil – This may mean either from the evil one that is, the devil, or from evil in general that is, from apostasy, from sinking in temptation. Preserve them from that evil, or give them such grace that they may endure all trials and be sustained amid them.’ [Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible]

‘Christ doth not pray that his Father would take up his saints out of this sinful and troublesome world into heaven, because he knew that they were to be of use to him for a time in the world; but he prays that the Lord would keep them from the evil one, (so some would have it translated), or from the evil thing; by which we must not understand what is penally and afflictively evil, but only what is sinfully evil: and by his example he hath directed us how we ought to pray; not for death, nor absolutely for a deliverance from the evils and miseries of this life; but that we may be delivered from those temptations to sin, to which a multitude of sharp trials and afflictions will expose even the best of men.’ [Matthew Poole’s Commentary]

PERSECUTION PURIFIES THE CHURCH

“Many shall be purified, and made white,and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. (Dan 12:10) This is a reference to end time persecution of the saints on earth. Both Daniel and Revelation speak to the end time, and what happens to the world and to believers. This has been taught in the majority of evangelistic and mainline protestant denominations. 

CONCLUSION: 

Unless evidence can be found to the contrary, I conclude that Jesus Christ is coming at the end of the Age with His angels, not His saints. The evidence thus far, doesn’t support a Pre-trib rapture. When Jesus comes, he will judge the wicked, gather his Elect together, and reward the just, all at approximately the same time – as the book of Matthew states. Jesus appears in the clouds first, separates the wicked from the just, then gathers together his elect and disperses his rewards to them. Things and events move very fast in the spiritual realm so each of these events could happen simultaneously yet very quickly, in the “blink of an eye…”

1Co 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Debra R. Stout © August 31, 2016

ENDNOTES:

[1] 1 Corinthians 12:8
[2] https://fortheloveoftruth.wordpress.com/rapture/
[3] http://www.askelm.com/essentials/ess025.htm [4] http://post-triborpre-trib.blogspot.com/

Repairing the Breach/ God’s Perpetual Sabbath

REPAIRER OF THE BREACH
Debra Stout, July 2010

Today, Yehovah is restoring His 7th Day Sabbath which has been neglected (lain in “ruins”) for “many generations,” but He is raising up those called to “repair the breach,” just like He did in Nehemiah’s day when He raised certain people to “rebuild” a wall that had been broken down – Neh 2:17, 6:1 & 15. Contrary to what’s written in the Bible and what the early church practiced, most churches whether Catholic or Protestant, observe Sunday as the Sabbath since emperor Constantine changed the observance of it from the 7th Day to Sunday in 321 A.D. [1] Just as there were those who violently OPPOSED Nehemiah’s restoring the wall, there are those who oppose the “restoration” of the observance of the 7th Day as the Sabbath, based on human reasoning more than on the Bible.  

Isa 58:12 Then the places that have ever been waste, shall be builded of thee: there shalt thou lay a foundation for many kindreds. Thou shalt be called the maker-up of hedges, and the builder-again of the way of the Sabbath. (Tyndale/Coverdale Ver)

Isa 58:12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. (KJV)

Isa 58:13 Yea, if thou turn thy feet from the Sabbath, so that thou do not the thing which pleaseth thyself in my holy day: then shalt thou becalled unto the pleasant, holy, and glorious Sabbath of the LORD, where thou shalt be in honor – so that thou do not after thine own imagination, neither seek thine own will, nor speak thine own words. (Tyndale/Coverdale Ver)

Isa 58:13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: (KJV)

turn away – H7725 שׁוּב shûb shoob
A primitive root; to turn back (hence, away) transitively or intransitively, literally or figuratively (not necessarily with the idea of return to the starting point); generally to retreat; often adverbially again: – ([break, build, circumcise, dig, do anything, do evil, feed, lay down, lie down, lodge, make, rejoice, send, take, weep]) X again, (cause to) answer (+ again), X in any case (wise), X at all, averse, bring (again, back, home again), call [to mind], carry again (back), cease, X certainly, come again (back) X consider, + continually, convert, deliver (again), + deny, draw back, fetch home again, X fro, get [oneself] (back) again, X give (again), go again (back, home), [go] out, hinder, let, [see] more, X needs, be past, X pay, pervert, pull in again, put (again, up again), recall, recompense, recover, refresh, relieve, render (again), X repent, requite, rescue, restore, retrieve, (cause to, make to) return, reverse, reward, + say nay, send back, set again, slide back, still, X surely, take back (off), (cause to, make to) turn (again, self again, away, back, back again, backward, from, off), withdraw.

from – H4480 מנּי מנּי מן min minnîy minnêy min, min-nee’, min-nay’ For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses: – above, after, among, at, because of, by (reason of), from (among), in, X neither, X nor, (out) of, over, since, X then, through, X whether, with.

In the JPS (Jewish Publication Society Bible) it reads:

Isa 58:13 If thou turn away thy foot because of the sabbath, from pursuing thy business on My holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, and the holy of the LORD honourable; and shalt honour it, not doing thy wonted ways, nor pursuing thy business, nor speaking thereof;

Matthew Henry makes sense of it: “We must turn away our foot from the sabbath, from trampling upon it, as profane atheistical people do, from travelling on that day (so some); we must turn away our foot from doing our pleasure on that holy day, that is, from living at large, and taking a liberty to do what we please on sabbath days, without the control and restraint of conscience, or from indulging ourselves in the pleasures of sense. Great stress was always laid upon the due observance of the sabbath day, and it was particularly required from the Jews when they were captives in Babylon, because by keeping that day, in honour of the Creator, they distinguished themselves from the worshippers of the gods that have not made the heavens and the earth. See Isa_56:1, Isa_56:2, where keeping the sabbath is joined, as here, with keeping judgment and doing justice. Some, indeed, understand this of the day of atonement, which they think is the fast spoken of in the former part of the chapter, and which is called a sabbath of rest, Lev_23:32. But, as the fasts before spoken of seem to be those that were occasional, so this sabbath is doubtless the weekly sabbath, that great sign between God and his professing people – his appointing it a sign of his favour to them and their observing it a sign of their obedience to him. (bolding mine)

Here’s what Jamieson, Fausset & Brown have to say:

Isa 58:13
(Isa_56:2; Neh_13:15-22). The Sabbath, even under the new dispensation, was to be obligatory (Isa_66:23).

foot — the instrument of motion (compare Pro_4:27); men are not to travel for mere pleasure on the Sabbath (Act_1:12). The Jews were forbidden to travel on it farther than the tabernacle or temple. If thou keep thy foot from going on thy own ways and “doing thy pleasure,” etc. (Exo_20:10, Exo_20:11).
my holy day — God claims it as His day; to take it for our pleasure is to rob Him of His own. This is the very way in which the Sabbath is mostly broken; it is made a day of carnal pleasure instead of spiritual “delight.”
holy of the Lord — not the predicate, but the subject; “if thou call the holy (day) of Jehovah honorable”; if thou treat it as a day to be honored.
him — or else, it, the Sabbath.
not doing … own way — answering to, “turn away thy foot from the Sabbath.”
nor finding … pleasure — answering to, “doing thy pleasure.” “To keep the Sabbath in an idle manner is the sabbath of oxen and asses; to pass it in a jovial manner is the sabbath of the golden calf, when the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose again to play; to keep it in surfeiting and wantonness is the sabbath of Satan, the devil’s holiday” [Bishop Andrewes].
nor speaking … words — answering to, “call Sabbath a delight … honorable.” Man’s “own words” would “call” it a “weariness”; it is the spiritual nature given from above which “calls it a delight” (Amo_8:5; Mal_1:13).

WASTE (places) – H2723 חרבּה chorbâh
khor-baw’ Feminine of H2721; properly drought, that is, (by implication) a desolation: – decayed place, desolate (place, -tion), destruction, (laid) waste (place).

BUILD – H1129 בּנה bânâh baw-naw’
A primitive root; to build (literally and figuratively): – (begin to) build (-er), obtain children, make, repair, set (up), X surely.

OLD – H5769 עלם עולם ‛ôlâm ‛ôlâm o-lawm’, o-lawm’ From H5956; properly concealed, that is, the vanishing point; generally time out of mind (past or future), that is, (practically) eternity; frequentative adverbially (especially with prepositional prefix) always: – always (-s), ancient (time), any more, continuance, eternal, (for, [n-]) ever (-lasting, -more, of old), lasting, long (time), (of) old (time), perpetual, at any time, (beginning of the) world (+ without end). Compare H5331, H5703.

RAISE UP – H6965 קוּם qûm koom
A primitive root; to rise (in various applications, literally, figuratively, intensively and causatively): – abide, accomplish, X be clearer, confirm, continue, decree, X be dim, endure, X enemy, enjoin, get up, make good, help, hold, (help to) lift up (again), make, X but newly, ordain, perform, pitch, raise (up), rear (up), remain, (a-) rise (up) (again, against), rouse up, set (up), (e-) stablish, (make to) stand (up), stir up, strengthen, succeed, (as-, make) sure (-ly), (be) up (-hold, -rising).

MANY GENERATIONS – H1755 דּר דּור dôr dôr dore, dore From H1752; properly a revolution of time, that is, an age or generation; also a dwelling: – age, X evermore, generation, [n-]ever, posterity.

REPAIRER – H1443 גּדר gâdar gaw-dar’
A primitive root; to wall in or around: – close up, fence up, hedge, inclose, make up [a wall], mason, repairer.

BREACH – H6556 פּרץ perets peh’-rets
From H6555; a break (literally or figuratively): – breach, breaking forth (in), X forth, gap.

RESTORER – H7725 שׁוּב shûb shoob
A primitive root; to turn back (hence, away) transitively or intransitively, literally or figuratively (not necessarily with the idea of return to the starting point); generally to retreat; often adverbially again: – ([break, build, circumcise, dig, do anything, do evil, feed, lay down, lie down, lodge, make, rejoice, send, take, weep]) X again, (cause to) answer (+ again), X in any case (wise), X at all, averse, bring (again, back, home again), call [to mind], carry again (back), cease, X certainly, come again (back) X consider, + continually, convert, deliver (again), + deny, draw back, fetch home again, X fro, get [oneself] (back) again, X give (again), go again (back, home), [go] out, hinder, let, [see] more, X needs, be past, X pay, pervert, pull in again, put (again, up again), recall, recompense, recover, refresh, relieve, render (again), X repent, requite, rescue, restore, retrieve, (cause to, make to) return, reverse, reward, + say nay, send back, set again, slide back, still, X surely, take back (off), (cause to, make to) turn (again, self again, away, back, back again, backward, from, off), withdraw.

PATHS – H5410 נתבה נתיבה נתיב nâthîyb nethîybâh nethibâh naw-theeb’, neth-ee-baw’, neth-ee-baw’ From an unused root meaning to tramp; a (beaten) track: – path ([-way]), X travel [-er], way.

DWELL IN – H3427 ישׁב yâshab yaw-shab’
A primitive root; properly to sit down (specifically as judge, in ambush, in quiet); by implication to dwell, to remain; causatively to settle, to marry: – (make to) abide (-ing), continue, (cause to, make to) dwell (-ing), ease self, endure, establish, X fail, habitation, haunt, (make to) inhabit (-ant), make to keep [house], lurking, X marry (-ing), (bring again to) place, remain, return, seat, set (-tle), (down-) sit (-down, still, -ting down, -ting [place] -uate), take, tarry.

ARE WE FINISHED WITH THE SABBATH?

Isa 66:23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith the LORD.

Here’s Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown’s take: Isa 66:23 Literally, “As often as the new moon (shall be) in its own new moon,” that is, every month (Zec_14:16). sabbath — which is therefore perpetually obligatory on earth.

Albert Barne’s Notes on the Bible states:

II. From the closing portion of this chapter Isa_58:13-14, we may derive the following important inferences respecting the Sabbath:
    1. It is to be of perpetual obligation. The whole chapter occurs in the midst of statements that relate to the times of the Messiah. There is no intimation that the Sabbath was to be abolished, but it is fairly implied that its observance was to be attended with most happy results in those future times. At all events, Isaiah regarded it as of binding obligation, and felt that its proper observance was identified with the national welfare.
    2. We may see the manner in which the Sabbath is to be observed. In no place in the Bible is there a more full account of the proper mode of keeping that holy day. We are to refrain from ordinary traveling and employments; we are not to engage in doing our own pleasure; we are to regard it with delight, and to esteem it a day worthy to be honored; and we are to show respect to it by not performing our own ordinary works, or pursuing pleasures, or engaging in the common topics of conversation. In this description there occurs nothing of unique Jewish ceremony, and nothing which indicates that it is not to be observed in this manner at all times. Under the gospel, assuredly, it is as proper to celebrate the Sabbath in this way, as it was in the times of Isaiah, and God doubtless intended that it should be perpetually observed in this manner.
    3. Important benefits result from the right observance of the Sabbath. In the passage before us, these are said to be, that they who thus observed it would find pleasure in Yahweh, and would be signally prospered and be safe. But those benefits are by no means confined to the Jewish people. It is as true now as it was then, that they who observe the Sabbath in a proper manner find happiness in the Lord – in his existence, perfections, promises, law, and in communion with him – which is to be found nowhere else. Of this fact there are abundant witnesses now in every Christian church, and they will continue to be multiplied in every coming age. And it is as true that the proper observance of the Sabbath contributes to the prosperity and safety of a nation now, as it ever did among the Jewish people. It is not merely from the fact that God promises to bless the people who keep his holy day; though this is of more value to a nation than all its armies and fleets; but it is, that there is in the institution itself much that tends to the welfare and prosperity of a country.

It is a time when worldliness is broken in upon by a periodical season of rest, and when the thoughts are left free to contemplate higher and purer objects. It is a time when more instruction is imparted on moral and religious subjects, than on all the other days of the week put together. The public worship of God tends to enlarge the intellect, and purify the heart. No institution has ever been originated that has contributed so much to elevate the common mind; to diffuse order, peace, neatness, decency among people, and thus to perpetuate and extend all that is valuable in society, as the Sabbath. Anyone may be convinced of this, who will be at the pains to compare a neighborhood, a village, or a city where the Sabbath is not observed with one where it is; and the difference will convince him at once, that society owes more to the Sabbath than to any single institution besides, and that in no way possible can one-seventh portion of the time be so well employed as in the manner contemplated by the Christian day of rest.

THE RESTORATION! —

Isa 51:3 For the LORD hath compassion on Zion and hath compassion on all that is decayed therein, and will make her wilderness as paradise, and her desert as the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness shall be found therein, with thanksgiving and the voice of praise.

Isa 61:4 They shall build the long rough wildernesses, and set up the old desert. They shall repair the waste places, and such as have been void throughout many generations.

Eze 36:10 I will send you much people, which shall be all of the house of Israel: the cities shall be inhabited, and the decayed places shall be repaired again.

Eze 36:33 Moreover, thus sayeth the LORD God: What time as I shall cleanse you from all your offenses, then will I make the cities to be occupied again, and will repair the places that be decayed.

Eze 36:34 The desolate land shall be builded again, which afore time lay waste in the sight of all them that went by.

Eze 36:35 Then shall it be said, ‘This wasteland is become like a garden of pleasure, and the void, desolate and broken down cities are now strong, and fenced again.’

Neh 4:7 But when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and Ammonites, and Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that they had begun to stop up the gaps, they were very wroth;

Dan 9:25 Understand this then, and mark it well: That from the time it shall be concluded to go and repair Jerusalem again, unto Christ, the anointed Prince: there shall be seven weeks. Then shall the streets and walls be builded again sixty two weeks, but with hard troublous time. (Italics & bolding mine)

Amo 9:11 “At that time will I build again the tabernacle of David, that is fallen down, and hedge up his gaps. And look: what is broken, I shall repair it. Yea, I shall build it again, as it was a fore time,

Act 15:16 ‘After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David which is fallen down, and that which is fallen in decay of it will I build again and I will set it up,

The main idea is to restore or return Zion to keeping God’s Laws which have laid in ruin and decay (been neglected) for many generations!!! This would be the Ten Commandments, including the 7th Day Sabbath! See Isa 58:12, which many ministers say is just speaking of a ‘spiritual rest’ which doesn’t square with what the Scriptures say. The book of Hebrews speaks of a rest which is a spiritual rest, but Isaiah is talking about an actual, physical day.  

OUR REWARD FOR KEEPING GOD’S SABBATH —

From Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown:
Isa 58:14 delight … in … Lord — God rewards in kind, as He punishes in kind. As we “delight” in keeping God’s “Sabbath,” so God will give us “delight” in Himself (Gen_15:1; Job_22:21-26; Psa_37:4).
ride upon … high places — I will make thee supreme lord of the land; the phrase is taken from a conqueror riding in his chariot, and occupying the hills and fastnesses of a country [Vitringa], (Deu_32:13; Mic_1:3; Hab_3:19). Judea was a land of hills; the idea thus is, “I will restore thee to thine own land” [Calvin]. The parallel words, “heritage of Jacob,” confirm this (Gen_27:28, Gen_27:29; Gen_28:13-15).
mouth of … Lord … spoken it — a formula to assure men of the fulfillment of any solemn promise which God has made (Isa_40:5).

From Matthew Poole’s Commentary:
And feed thee with the heritage of Jacob, i.e. thou shalt enjoy the good of the land of Canaan, which God had promised as a heritage of Jacob and his seed, Gen_35:12, and feed on the fruits of it.

Question: Why doth he say of the heritage of Jacob, and not of Abraham or Isaac?

Answer: Because the whole posterity of Jacob was within the covenant, but Ishmael and Esau, one the seed of Isaac, the other the seed of Abraham, were both excluded.

ENDNOTES: 

[1] http://www.sabbathtruth.com/free-resources/article-library/id/916/catholic-church-admits-they-made-the-change

 

“Where Have All The Fathers Gone?”

father reading from a bk to his girlAccording to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children in America — one out of every three — live in biological father-absent homes.

With the increasing number of premarital births and a continuing high divorce rate, the proportion of children living with just one parent rose from 9.1% in 1960 to 20.7% in 2012. – Source: U.S. Census Bureau, “Living Arrangements of Children Under 18 Years Old: 1960 to Present.” U.S. Census Bureau July 1, 2012. [1]

One has to ask, Why is this happening? How can some men walk away from their own offspring? Where’s their sense of personal and moral obligation, or don’t they have any? What has contributed to this crisis?

Here are some possible answers —

1) The government, via welfare programs, has taken over the responsibility of child-rearing which the father should himself carry; making it easier for a man to ‘walk away.’ Many single mothers don’t report non-payment of child support, or don’t go after the father for child support out of fear or other reasons. Some men are substance abusers, mentally unbalanced, or abusive, and should’t have access to mother or child. In these cases its best if the father isn’t around.

2) The moral climate of society in America, is one of disrespect and disregard for human life in general – think this point needs no explanation.

3) Women are viewed as ‘sex objects’ by men, for the most part, and the media (movies, books, magazines, TV) exploits women as such, with little to no objection from themselves, society, and even the Church. From what I’ve seen, most churches today don’t preach about modesty, virtue, and a fathers obligation to his children born in or out of marriage. The Church et al has abdicated its responsiblity to its members, to God, and to society, through its silence on these issues and should be doing more to assist single-parent households. God wants the church to feed and clothe the poor, visit the sick and infirm, etc. 1Jn 3:17 But whoso hath the world’s goods, and beholdeth his brother in need, and shutteth up his compassion from him, how doth the love of God abide in him? Mat 25:31 But when the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory: and before him shall be gathered all the nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats; and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Mat 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry, and ye gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Mat 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, and fed thee? or athirst, and gave thee drink? And when saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? And when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, even these least, ye did it unto me. Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry, and ye did not give me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Mat 25:44 – 46 Then shall they also answer, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not unto one of these least, ye did it not unto me. And these shall go away into eternal punishment: but the righteous into eternal life.

4) Women themselves have a hand in their own demise through their passivity and/or by actively supporting they’re being portrayed as sex objects. They do this by adopting the life-styles, behaviors, expressions, mindsets, work-ethics, aspirations, and fashions which the media and society suggest. Women in general dress provocatively in public; low cut and see-through blouses, heavy make-up, and skin-tight pants which show every curve and sometimes more. It’s become fashionable and acceptable behavior to accept a man’s proposal for sex before she’s had a chance to get to know him, and to continue having it without the benefit of marriage or commitment. Therein lies no protection for a woman, for whom sex is more than just a physical release no matter what the phychologists, agenda-driven social engineers, and media try to sell us. Women have lost more than their virginity from this immoral, dishonest, dangerous, and inaccurate portrayal, or should I say, betrayal! They’re loosing their natural instincts to what their true needs are in relationships, or are repressing them because they’re buying the false images they’re being shown of what they ‘should be’ according to those who only want to exploit them and make millions off their beauty. Sex sells, but at what a price, more so to the women being exploited than to anyone else. They either knowingly or ignorantly, exchange their modesty for a phoney sex image which robs them of their natural, innate beauty. Believe it or not, a woman’s modesty is what makes her truly beautiful! Modesty in women today has just about disappeared, which is a major loss for all. Children grow up thinking immodesty and self-exploitation is not only acceptable and normal, but even advantageous and desirable. The ‘new’ morality of today is turned around and upsidedown from what it was just fifty to a hundred years ago. Today, it’s almost considered a ‘virtue’ to dress and behave like a whore, to use your body and beauty to gain popularity, entice and control men, and or, to advance one’s career. Sure, hookers have been around for quite awhile but that life-style has mainly been looked upon as an immoral, at least it was before the so called, ‘sexual revolution’ of the 1960’s. Since then, women and young girls seem to be ever declining in modesty and moral behavior; loosing their innate sense of what it means to be ‘a virtuous woman’ –

Pro 12:4 A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones. Pro 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. Pro 31:30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. 1Pe 3:1 – In like manner, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, even if any obey not the word, they may without the word be gained by the behavior of their wives; beholding your chaste behavior coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be the outward adorning of braiding the hair, and of wearing jewels of gold, or of putting on apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in the incorruptible apparel of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

Some Stats & Studies on the Effects of Absentee Fathers on their Children

Statistics consistently point out that children who grow up without their fathers are more likely to suffer from various social problems. Crime, drug abuse, abortion and school dropout rates are often directly related to father absence.

The biological relationship between father and child is well-established in the literature as a basis for paternal investment and, therefore, child well-being; however, the finding that the legal relationship between the parents is also linked to child well-being is a relatively new and important discovery. [2]

– Children in father-absent homes are almost four times more likely to be poor. In 2011, 12 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 44 percent of children in mother-only families.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Children’s Living Arrangements and Characteristics: March 2011, Table C8. Washington D.C.: 2011.

– Children living in female headed families with no spouse present had a poverty rate of 47.6 percent, over 4 times the rate in married-couple families.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; ASEP Issue Brief: Information on Poverty and Income Statistics. September 12, 2012 [3]

– Children of single-parent homes are more than twice as likely to commit suicide.

Sources: The Lancet, Jan. 25, 2003 • Gunilla Ringbäck Weitoft, MD, Centre for Epidemiology, the National Board of Health and Welfare, Stockholm, Sweden • Irwin Sandler, PhD, professor of psychology and director of the Prevention Research Center, Arizona State University, Tempe • Douglas G. Jacobs, MD, associate clinical professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; and founder and director, The National Depression Screening Program • Madelyn Gould, PhD, MPH, professor of child psychiatry and public health, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University; and research scientist, New York State Psychiatric Institute. [4]

The Father Factor in Child Abuse

A study using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study revealed that in many cases the absence of a biological father contributes to increased risk of child maltreatment. The results suggest that Child Protective Services (CPS) agencies have some justification in viewing the presence of a social father as increasing children’s risk of abuse and neglect. It is believed that in families with a non-biological (social) father figure, there is a higher risk of abuse and neglect to children, despite the social father living in the household or only dating the mother.

Source: “CPS Involvement in Families with Social Fathers.” Fragile Families Research Brief No.46. Princeton, NJ and New York, NY: Bendheim-Thomas Center for Research on Child Wellbeing and Social Indicators Survey Center, 2010. [5]

**Click on this link, http://fathers.com/wp39/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/fatherlessInfographic.png, to see a ‘FatherlessInfographic.’

**An excellent resource which I HIGHLY recommend is, THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR FATHERING – a well designed site with plenty of resources and aides for fathers, including some free e-books and educational programs for your schools, community, and more. NCF was founded as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 1990, with the purpose of “turning the hearts of fathers to their children.” Check it out at http://www.fathers.com/

Do it for your children, yourselves, and for future generations. Everyone matters and everyone can make a positive difference in the world, if they so choose.

Debra R. Stout, February 16, 2016

Endnotes:

1] http://www.census.gov/population/socdemo/hh-fam/ch5.xls
2] http://www.vision.org/visionmedia/article.aspx?id=4210
3] http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/12/PovertyAndIncomeEst/ib.shtml
4] http://www.webmd.com/baby/news/20030123/absent-parent-doubles-child-suicide-risk
5] http://www.fatherhood.org/father-absence-statistics

Goals of the Transgender Movement; Not What They Seem

Photo: Transgender Female, born William Bruce Jenner (*Most natural born females don’t have broad shoulders like a man does. Personally, I think she still looks like a man, with muscular throat and arms; not at all attractive.)

EvangelistMParker | May 8, 2016
propheciesoftheendtimes.com/?p=57536

Transgender Bathrooms are just the beginning: a scary look into the trans movement’s end goals, Claire Chretien

May 6, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The battle over men accessing women’s bathrooms and vice versa has little do with bathrooms or even transgenderism, a well-known LGBT activist admitted last week.  It has everything to do with re-working society and getting rid of the “heterobinary structure” in which we live—eliminating distinctions between “male” and “female” altogether.

Riki Wilchins, who has undergone “sex change” surgery and is a far-left social change activist, wrote in the gay publication The Advocate last week that social conservatives and many LGBT activists are missing the point when it comes to the transgender bathroom debate.

The title of Wilchins’ article makes the points succinctly: “We’ll Win the Bathroom Battle When the Binary Burns.”

People should be able to enter whatever bathroom “fits their gender identity,” Wilchins wrote, but the fact that we even have “male” and “female” bathrooms reflects something about society that needs to change.

There are many “genderqueer” or “non-binary” people, Wilchins wrote, pointing to a student who recently “came out” to President Obama as “non-binary” at a London townhall as a notable example.

“Non-binary” people don’t identify as male or female and they often want to be referred to as “they” or “hir” or “zer.”  So the fact that there are even intimate facilities that reflect the “binary” truth about gender should change, Wilchins wrote.

In the eyes of LGBT advocates, the notion of only two genders (which one can pick, of course) is antiquated.

But transgenderism inherently acknowledges and actually reinforces the binary nature of gender.

Transgenderism presumes that a man can be “trapped” inside a woman’s body and a woman can be “trapped” inside a man’s body.  It encourages men “becoming” women to embrace femininity and wear dresses and make-up.  Similarly, transgenderism encourages women “becoming” men to make themselves more masculine through hormones and by altering their appearances, reinforcing the notion that men look and act a certain way.

“The long-term goals of many LGBT activists are actually not just access to the restrooms of their preferred gender identity, but actually destroying the concept of gender or the separation of the genders altogether,” Peter Sprigg, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council, told LifeSiteNews.  Sprigg noted that when LGBT activists are appealing to a mainstream audience, they “are accepting or implicitly accepting the separation of male and female facilities” like bathrooms.

RELATED: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/sexual-predator-jailed-after-claiming-to-be-transgender-in-order-to-assault

“They present this framework…that a transgender person is just born in the wrong body…[they say] the woman born in a man’s body is really a woman and therefore should be allowed to use the women’s room,” said Sprigg.  “But then, if you dig down…you find actually these acknowledgements that they want to do away with the gender binary altogether.”

The challenges faced by “non-binary” people “cut to the heart of arguments that trans advocates and their allies have been making for some time, in the face of furious right-wing opposition to trans identity generally and to ‘boys in the girls’ room’ specifically,” Wilchins wrote.

Wilchins continued:

    But what happens when a genderqueer individual, who genuinely looks and sounds profoundly non-binary or masculine, declares in a binary world s/he would be most comfortable accessing the girls restroom? To say the least, the optics will no longer work. Nor will appeals to practicality.

    What really needs to be contested here is not just our right to use bathrooms with dignity (which would personally be very welcome), but the entire underlying hetero-binary structuring of the world queers must inhabit.

The ultimate goal: an end to society’s ‘binary’ structure

People who advocate for bathroom privacy and transgender advocates who insist boys should be allowed in girls’ bathrooms and vice versa are missing a larger point, Wilchins wrote.  The fact that there are even male and female bathrooms reflects that our society is structured in a “binary” way, and this needs to change in order for the full goals of the LGBT movement to be enacted.

“Queer activists have been talking about [this] at least since the 1970s of Gay Liberation, even as the movement it spawned has continued to nudge it aside,” wrote Wilchins.

As the LGBT movement focused on redefining marriage and enshrining in law same-sex couples’ “right” to children, it also quietly introduced lawsuits advocating for the law to recognize one’s self-perception instead of biological reality as truth.  Once the Supreme Court redefined marriage, the media focus on the LGBT movement slowly began to shift to battles over gender and transgenderism.

RELATED: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/man-strips-in-front-of-girls-in-swimming-pool-locker-says-transgender-law-a

“They want to destroy the concepts of male and female entirely,” Rob Dreher at The American Conservative warned.  “This is what they’re after, and they’re not going to stop until it is accomplished.”

Dreher warned that parents need to evaluate how much of the prevailing culture they’re willing to submit their children to, and decide what the tipping point for them will be—the point at which they will remove their children from public schools and in some ways retreat from society.

“It will be very difficult to teach our children to live by Christian sexual morality if we do not teach them how being a Christian requires them (us) to live by a different political and economic code within our society,” wrote Dreher.

A society in which biological sex is no longer recognized “would be a terrifying society for a lot of women and girls,” Sprigg said, because “they would have the experience of being exposed to and being essentially forced to expose themselves to biologically male individuals in settings that were previously separated by sex” like locker rooms.  This could increase the risk of sexual assault and voyeurism, Sprigg said, and also violate people’s sense of privacy.

“Developing a strong and consistent and confident sense of your identity as biologically male or biologically female is an important developmental task for any child in the course of growing up,” said Sprigg.  A society that doesn’t recognize the true nature of gender “would make it exponentially harder for people to accomplish that fundamental human developmental task of understanding who they are.”

‘The family ends up abolished’

“What we are really talking about is the abolition of sex,” Stella Morabito, senior contributor to The Federalist and an expert on cults and propaganda, told LifeSiteNews.  “And it is sex that the trans project is serving to abolish legally, under the guise of something called ‘the gender binary.’  Its endgame is a society in which everyone is legally de-sexed.  No longer legally male or female.  And once you basically redefine humanity as sexless you end up with a de-humanized society in which there can be no legal ‘mother’ or ‘father’ or ‘son’ or ‘daughter’ or ‘husband’ or ‘wife’ without permission from the State.  Government documents are already erasing the terms.  In such a society, the most intimate human relationships take a hit. The family ends up abolished.”

“A sexless society is ultimately a totalitarian society because it erases in law the most basic human relationships,” said Morabito, “particularly the mother-child bond.”

Pro-family advocates have for years warned that the weakening of family bonds leads to a weakened society and greater government involvement in the individual lives of its citizens.

Morabito and Sprigg stressed the importance of speaking out when it comes to these issues and the difference that individuals can make by doing so.

“Ironically, just at the moment when the LGBT movement has achieved their greatest victory in persuading the Supreme Court to redefine marriage, they may be setting themselves up for a tremendous setback by…grossly overreaching” in trying to enact radical gender laws, said Sprigg.

“Sex distinctions are the germ of all human relationships,” said Morabito.  “Abolishing them legally basically abolishes family autonomy.  And this is an act of violence against children because it would serve at some point to separate them from their origins. Every child’s first transcendental question is ‘Where did I come from?’  If the law will not allow the child to see his own origins and wholeness in the faces of a mother and a father, it destabilizes the child’s sense of self.  It creates personal dysfunction in children and basically ends up spreading more dysfunction and even dystopia in society.”

Wilchins praised transgender advocates for their work, noting that they have “finally and perhaps unwittingly opened the gender Pandora’s Box, and over the next few years all sorts of unexpected non-binary things…are about to come popping out.”

Wilchins and the pro-family movement perhaps can agree on one thing, though: “This is going to be interesting.”

Prophecies Of The End Times Comments:

Below is what the bible states regarding Transgenders and the perceived disorder of thinking one is a man when they re a female, and when one is a man and thinks they are a female.

“What does the Bible say about transsexualism / transgenderism?

Is gender identity disorder / gender dysphoria the result of sin?”

Answer: Transsexualism, also known as transgenderism, Gender Identity Disorder (GID), or gender dysphoria, is a desire to change one’s sex or to fulfill the role of the opposite gender. Transsexuals / transgenders usually describe themselves as “trapped” in a body that does not match their gender. They will probably practice transvestism / transvestitism and may also seek hormone therapy and/or surgery to bring their bodies into conformity with their perceived gender.

The Bible has plenty to say about human sexuality. Most basic to our understanding of sex is that God created two (and only two) genders: “male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27). All the modern-day speculation about numerous genders—or even a gender “continuum” with unlimited genders—is unbiblical.

In Psalm 139, we learn that God fashions each one of us. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. . . . My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. . . . your eyes saw my unformed body” (verses 13-16). God’s creation of each individual must surely include His designation of gender/sex. His wonderful work leaves no room for mistakes; no one is born with the “wrong body.”

After the fall of man, it did not take long for gender issues to become confused. In Abraham’s day, homosexuality was widespread in some cities (Genesis 19:1-7; Jude 7). The Bible is unmistakably clear that homosexuality is a sinful perversion of God’s gift of sexuality (Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

In the Law, transvestism / transvestitism was specifically forbidden: “A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this” (Deuteronomy 22:5).

Another possible reference to transsexualism is 1 Corinthians 6:9, where “male prostitutes” is listed as a separate category from “homosexual offenders.” The King James Version uses the word “effeminate” here; that is to say, the “male prostitutes” might be transsexual men who act as women.

No matter if the gender distortion has a genetic, hormonal, physiological, or psychological cause, the Bible clearly and consistently labels any sexual activity outside of marriage or not between a man and a woman as sin, rebellion against God’s plan. But following this realization is good news: sin can be forgiven and lives can be changed through faith in Christ. The Corinthian believers are an example of such a change: “And [homosexuals] is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11). There is hope for any sinner, transsexuals, transgenders, those with gender identity disorder, and transvestites included, because of God’s forgiveness available in Jesus Christ.

THE WAY OF ESCAPE FROM THE MATRIX

Transhumanism_Public_Domain_30“The Matrix is all around you…” was a line from the 1999 sci-fi movie, “The Matrix.” Perhaps you’ve seen it? If you have dear reader, then you’ll immediately identify with the analogy I’ll be making between it and our daily reality. One of the film’s messages is that there’s much more to our world than what we can perceive with our physical senses.

What exactly is the Matrix? “The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy” said Morpheus. “What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad.”

People for the most part are blind to what the system is really about and what it’s doing to them. They’ve been brainwashed – “had the world pulled over their eyes” by the powers or should I say, the power behind it. This evil system causes all within it to submit to its rigid controls over government, education, commerce, work, media, technology, religion, recreation, natural resources – even what you wear, eat, and drink! While you’re made to believe that you’re free, you’re really not. Freedom is but an illusion because the system makes most of your decisions for you. You can only say what the system allows you to say, think what it wants you to think, and do what it wants you to do! Does “political correctness” ring a bell? How about the state and federal laws which require licenses for everything you want to do, like drive a car, get married, operate a business or even have a yard sale on your own property? Have you never asked what gives the state the right to require a license for you to fish from lakes, streams, and even the ocean – all of which belong to the Creator? The reality is, you’re no more free than someone wasting away in a prison cell – in fact the Matrix is a prison from which there is but ONE escape.

“You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe (unfortunately that’s what most prefer to do). You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.” Hold onto your seat, I’m going to employ a play on words here. It isn’t the blue pill but the red pill, representing the Blood of Jesus Christ, which “opens our eyes” to the truth of who we are (sinners) and enables us to free ourselves from the system which has “pulled the world” over them. The Matrix system touches the spiritual as well as the physical aspects of our existence. I propose to you that the Matrix isn’t just around us, it’s inside us.

The Bible says that it’s only through Christ’s Blood, that we can be reconciled back to God, the Father of all Creation, and escape the system wherein every person is a ‘slave to sin’ by nature [Rms 5:21, Rms 6:16-17; Rms 6:23]. You see, when you were born you inherited a sin nature, or tendency to sin. Sin is any act which rebels against the laws which Yahweh gave Mankind to follow in order to live right. God’s laws were written down into books which we can read in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. His laws tell us how to live in harmony with Nature and with our neighbor. God’s Book, the Bible, contains all that’s necessary for men to live right and become holy so that they can enter Eternity cleansed from their sinful nature by being Born Again [1 Jn 3:9; 5:18, 1 Pet 1:23, John 3:3]. It’s really quite simple, anyone can get cleansed from their sin and freed from their sinful nature by first believing on the Son of God, Jesus Christ, and then by asking Him to forgive them of all their sins. God, who is gentle and merciful, won’t turn anyone away who comes to Him humbly seeking the truth in sincerity [John 3:15-16, Jn 6:37 & 40, Jn 20:31, 1Jn 1:9].

If this describes YOU dear reader, and you feel God tugging at your heart strings, please consider whether God might be calling you to come to the Fount of Christ’s Blood and get cleansed of your sin, so that you can enter into life. The world is in turmoil and times are hard, people everywhere are searching for answers to seemingly unsolvable problems, but Jesus is the answer to all of our dilemmas. He said that all who come to Him will never again hunger or thirst [John 6:35, Rev 7:16]. I’ll share a little secret with you – He wasn’t talking just about physical hunger and thirst. He was talking about spiritual hunger and thirst.

Our souls hunger and thirst for something we can’t see, but we sense that something vital is missing from our lives! So we search for it in science, the arts, philosophy, work, acquisitions, religion, even the occult – but we can’t find it in any of these places. King Solomon in the Bible, was said to be the wisest man ever born, yet it was he who said that “all is futility” – all of man’s accomplishments can’t fill the emptiness he feels [Eccl 1:2]. Thus, men labor by sweat and toil all their days but get very little satisfaction from any of it [Gen 3:19, Eccl 1:14, 2:17&23]. It’s from his sense of futility and frustration with life in general that man continues to frantically search for what he feels is missing but can’t find; for that elusive something he knows exists but can’t describe. That vital something is Someone – Jesus Christ the Lord, who alone can fill man’s emptiness and satisfy his need for meaning and significance! You see, we human beings are precious, so important to Yahweh that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to be a sin-offering for our sins, so that we can be saved from the world, the Devil, and the corruption of our own nature! [1 Cor 15:53 & 54, Rms 6:22 & 23, John 8:32 & 36]

We’ve all been born into the Matrix with a natural bent or propensity to sin, or in other words, we just naturally sin because it’s our nature to do so. Our natural state is what the Bible calls “Lost” because we’re like blind men who can’t find our way back to God with whom we’ve become “estranged.” We’re born this way because the first man Adam and the first woman Eve, disobeyed God’s command to not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and thereby committed the first SIN. Before they disobeyed God, both of them had a close and secure relationship with their Creator, but when He called for them after they had sinned, they “hid themselves” because they were afraid to face Him. Due to their deep sense of guilt and shame, they felt SEPARATED from the One they had been so close to, and loved so dearly. They knew immediately when they ate the forbidden fruit, that something vital had left them! This is how they knew they were naked [Gen 3:7-10]. Before they sinned, Adam and Eve lived in a state of total innocence and purity, the LIGHT of which covered them like a garment. They daily communed with God and nothing interferred with that communion because their consciences were clear – until they came to know (experience) EVIL. This is how Man’s sinful nature came to be. The Hebrew word “know”(yâda‛) means to ‘know by experience,’ to become acquainted with, to discriminate or distinguish (between good and evil in this narrative), to be instructed (the Serpent instructed Adam and Eve to sin against Yahweh), to know a person in a carnal way (hmmm). What was so bad about that tree that God “forbade” the first couple to partake of it? There are those who say the ‘forbidden fruit’ was an unholy, unnatural sexual act or union.  Perhaps Adam and Eve “knew” each other in a carnal way – in an unloving, LUSTFUL manner, or had sex out of God’s timing? Having sex outside of God’s will as stated in the Bible, is LUST, and lust is a sin according to God.  Whatever they did, it had to be more than just eating a piece of fruit, especially since it brought about such harsh judgments upon them from God. Why would Adam and Eve sew ‘fig leaves’ together into aprons to cover their ‘private parts,’ unless their sin was of a sexual nature? When God said in Genesis 3:15, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed [zera, meaning ‘offspring,’ ‘descendents,’ or ‘children’] and her seed,” an incredible tenet emerges that Satan has seed, that it is at enmity with Christ, and that it is set to return in the last days. Daniel said: “They shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay” (Daniel 2:43). While Daniel does not explain who ‘they’ that ‘mingle themselves with the seed of men’ are, the personal pronoun ‘they’ raises questions over what (or who) in the end times ‘mingle with the seed of men?’ Who are these non-human seed?

We can imagine what Adam and Eve must have felt when they realized they had been deceived by the serpent, and had fallen from their sinless state into one having all kinds of sinful lusts [Rms 6:12, Eph 2:3, 4:22; 1 Jn 2:16, Jms 4:1]. While Yahweh was angry at them for disobeying Him, I think he too must have felt sorrow over the estrangement between them and Himself. Yahweh created Man out of Love – He wanted creatures with whom He could relate and who were made in His image [Gen 1:26-27, Gen 5:1-2]. Whenever man (or devil) attempts to mar, change or CORRUPT God’s image in some way, he’ll suffer severe consequences! [Rev 16:2]

What I don’t like about the Matrix movie (actually there’s a lot) is that it describes mankind as a “virus” which contradicts what God says about mankind [Gen 1:28, Ps 8:4-6]. Mankind has a very special purpose and destiny [Heb 2:5]. The movie also promotes the idea that machines are superior to human beings – a demonically inspired idea designed to deceive mankind into believing that he’s so terribly flawed that he needs to radically change himself. The next step is to make him think that he can achieve greater things and be stronger, better, and even live forever – if he accepts the combining of his DNA with that of animal or angelic DNA, or other non-human material such as machinery. This “upgrade” as it is sometimes called, won’t be an upgrade at all, but a degradation (a downgrading of) the human being, for God will Himself give immortality (an eternal upgrade!) at the end of this Age to all who receive Him as Lord of their lives now [John 1:12, 1 Cor 15:53-54, 1 Jn 2:25].

By combining human and animal DNA, Scientists have created hideous hybrids animal-human-chimeracalled Chimeras [1]. This is a gross violation of God’s command to not mix one type of seed with another but to allow all seed to “produce after its own kind” [Gen 1:11& 25, 1 Cor 15:38-39]. This same law applies to the hybridization of plants and food, as in “genetically modified” or GMO food. God gave mankind His laws and commands to protect him from destroying himself and the world. The ultimate outcome of altering the human genome, as well as that of animals and plants, can only bring perversion, confusion, and destruction to all living things. What’s called Transhumanism [2] is an evil that will bring God’s judgment upon the Earth. Once the Image of God in man has been altered by mixing his DNA with animal or other non-human DNA, the result is a creature that’s not fully Human and therefore, no longer redeemable. Like the “fallen angels” who sinned by “mixing” (or mingling) their genes with human females creating the “giants” of old [Gen 6:2&4] which were destroyed in the Flood [Gen 6:17], Chimeras will be destroyed in the Lake of Fire along with the Devil and fallen angels [Rev 14:11, 19:20]. BEWARE! Once a person’s DNA is altered to create a hybrid being, he’s no longer completely human. Some claim that this altering of the human genome is the taking of the “MARK OF THE BEAST” [3][4], but the bible states that taking the Mark of the Beast is taking ‘the name of the Beast’ or the ‘number of his name’ in one’s right hand or forehead. So I don’t see how being a hybrid fits that criteria; where’s the ‘name,’ where’s the ‘number?’ Also, taking the Mark of the Beast involves WORSHIP. Could it be that by agreeing to have your DNA altered, you are worshiping the Beast by esteeming man’s ideas and creations more than GOD’s? Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Man was made in God’s own image and likeness! Gen 1:27 And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. For Man to think he can improve on God’s design is the height of arrogance. If this doesn’t fit the biblical description of man worshiping and serving himself more than the Creator, then I don’t know what would. 

God has provided for the redemption (salvation) of men made in His image, but I think it unlikely for Chimeras, and certainly not for fallen angels who are doomed to eternal destruction. There’s a teaching that the Devil and fallen angels will be reconciled back to Yahweh in the end. It’s a false, blasphemous teaching which I’ll address in a separate article soon. For now, the Bible states that those who worship anything or anyone other than the true Elohim (God) of the Bible, Yahweh, cannot be saved. Neither the Devil nor the fallen angels worship and obey Yahweh and Yeshua (Jesus). They’re rebels and evil to the core.

There are TWO BEASTS mentioned in the book of Revelation; the first Beast rises up from the Sea, the second Beast rises up from the earth. In the oldest bible manuscripts, the number 666 is not found, but rather the Arabic letters, Chi Xi Stigma which spell “in the name of allah!” According to the Book of Revelation the Mark is both a name and a number. Many are now saying that the second Beast is ISLAM – the first Beast is the VATICAN. These seem to better fit the bible’s description of the two beasts than do others. http://www.hope-of-israel.org/beastmark.html

 

 

*Keep in mind that The Mark of the Beast is different from the image of the Beast.

 

“Singularity and The Image of the Beast”

The Warning –

When man creates The Image, it is not just for a scientific accomplishment. There is a sinister evil motive behind it. The goal is to show that man is the now the creator. There is a new leap in evolution. Man can achieve eternal life on his own. God is out of the picture, and man is now the creator. Man can have eternal life without the Creator! This attempt for eternal life is pitiful: a cyborg!

The False Prophet takes the Image result for cyborg imagescreation of The Image into the spiritual realm. He demands that everyone on earth worship The Image and the Anti-Christ. This is man worshipping himself. It is a way to determining who is not a believer in the Anti-Christ and evolution. Those who do not participate in worshipping The Image will be killed:Revelation 13:15 “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”

The Bible issues stern warnings about worshipping The Image; it is strictly forbidden. All that submit and worship the Anti-Christ and his Image are eternally separated from the true Creator. Modern science, which is based on evolution, will merge into a religion that worships a man and his creation. It is pure idolatry at its core. They worship a man and his cyborg as if they were God. [5]     

While it’s true that Mankind is seriously flawed due to the Fall, he can’t fix the problem by changing his nature through genetic alteration. But as usual, man thinks that he can achieve immortality and anything else he needs or wants, apart from God. It’s the same LIE the serpent deceived Eve with back in the book of Genesis – “you won’t die but will become as gods, knowing both good and evil” when he tempted them to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil [Gen 2:16-17, Genesis 3:4-11]. The lesson for us today is that when God prohibits something, it is for our own good. Disobeying Him, going our own way, or deciding for ourselves what is and is not beneficial to us will always lead to disaster. Our heavenly Father who created us knows what is best for us, and when He prohibits something, we should listen to Him. When we choose to obey our own wills instead of His perfect and holy will, things never go well for us. – http://www.gotquestions.org/forbidden-fruit.html

As you can see, the serpent was telling a partial truth, the part where he said they will “know both good and evil” – was true, but the rest was a lie. Adam and Eve didn’t become “as gods” and “live forever,” but instead eventually died and brought death upon all men. This is why God had to send His Son Jesus to save humanity which He compares to sheep who have “lost their way” [Isa 53:6, Lk 19:10].

CONCLUSION —

Since Adam and Eve, every person is born with a sin nature which he can’t overcome until he believes that Jesus is the unique Son of God who gave Himself for all men by dying on the Cross, so that they may be forgiven and cleansed of their Sin, and sin nature. It’s only through Jesus that men may escape the Matrix and be RESTORED to a right relationship with Yahweh (the one, true God; creator of all that is).

If you’re someone who hungers or thirsts for something vital which you feel is missing from your life but you don’t know what it is – just believe with your heart that Jesus Christ died for your Sins and “receive” Him [Jn 1:12], so that you can get FREE from the Matrix (enslavement to your sin nature) and live a life of true LIBERTY. God the Father promises all who trust His Son Jesus Christ to save (free) them from their sin natures, will not only have liberty here and now, but everlasting Life in His presence hereafter [Jn 6:47, 10:28, 11:25; Rev 20:4]. Where can you get a better offer than that? If you know where, please tell me about it!

Debra R. Stout © April 26, 2016

 

END NOTES:

[1] http://www.infowars.com/the-era-of-chimeras-scientists-fearlessly-create-bizarre-humananimal-hybrids/
http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/End%20of%20the%20World/Genetics%20Nightmare/chimeras.htm
http://imageofbeast.com/human-animal-chimera-are-here-on-us-research-farms/
https://www.sott.net/article/293674-A-new-way-to-be-human-The-plan-is-to-replace-existing-humans-with-transhuman-hybrids

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwh4ShZA5Tg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBTCYD2Wax0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56KLmldZvr4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4qA0Ue_sI4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69bLgOgbZVk (GMO’s, Seeds of Destruction)

[3] http://www.defendproclaimthefaith.org/singularity.htm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwh4ShZA5Tg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcnTdO47p0Q
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56KLmldZvr4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReGzEdHaTUk

[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvt6ia7foII                          

[5] http://www.defendproclaimthefaith.org/singularity.htm

 

The Mendalla of the 144 Thousand

Mendalla Dream of March 6, 2015 @ 5:15am. Eastern Standard Time

Not sure if I saw something in a dream before I heard this, but when I woke up I heard —

“Only the man child will understand the mendalla of the 144 thousand.”

Fortunately, I recalled that strange word, ‘mendalla’ which I had never heard before and had to find out if it was nonsense or meant something, so I Googled it. What I found was actually quite amazing. It’s an ancient Sumerian word which means,’beaming crown!’ [1-2] Sumerian is the earliest documented language in Mesopotamia, and perhaps the world. Sumerian emerged as a written language in what is now southern Iraq at the end of the 4th millennium BC. It therefore vies with Egyptian for the title of the oldest recorded language in the world. [3]

Thus, the message was – “Only the man child will understand the beaming crown of the 144 thousand.”

radiant_crown_LT graybackgr

Exo 29:6 and thou shalt set the mitre upon his head, and put the holy crown upon the mitre.
Exo 29:9 And thou shalt gird them with girdles, Aaron and his sons, and bind head-tires on them: and they shall have the priesthood by a perpetual statute: and thou shalt consecrate Aaron and his sons.

“crown” – H5145 nezer / nêzer BDB Definition: 1) consecration, crown, separation, Nazariteship
1a) crown (as sign of consecration), earring 1a1) stones of a crown, diadem, stones of charming 1b) woman’s hair 1c) consecration 1c1) of high priest 1c2) of Nazarite

Thus, the beaming CROWN worn by the 144 thousand, symbolizes their “separation” (from whatever’s unclean resulting in their holiness!), and their “consecration” (dedication) unto God.

Who is this ‘manchild?’ At first glance it would appear to be Jesus, since king Herod plotted to kill him as soon as he was born – Mat 2:13  Now when they were departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I tell thee: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. Some believe the manchild is the Nation Israel born in 1948, however — In Isaiah chapter 66 verse 7 we read about a woman who gave birth even before travailing. “Before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.” The mention of the birth of a man-child may bring the readers to immediate conclusion that the woman is Israel. It is true indeed. But the question here (in Isaiah) is whether this Man-child is caught up to the throne of God? Not at all! This speaks of a nation’s birth. [http://www.wrpf.org/Rev12-ManChild.htm]  I think he’s saying the manchild in Isaiah represented the birth of the nation Israel, but the manchild in the book of Revelation is someone else. Read the whole article and see what you think. *Please note that I may or may not agree with everything written in other articles which I provide links to.

Here’s part of what the book of Revelation says regarding the manchild, Rev 12:1-6  And a great sign was seen in heaven: a woman arrayed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was with child; and she crieth out, travailing in birth, and in pain to be delivered. And there was seen another sign in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his heads seven diadems. And his tail draweth the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon standeth before the woman that is about to be delivered, that when she is delivered he may devour her child. And she was delivered of a son, a man child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and unto his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that there they may nourish her a thousand two hundred and threescore days. Rev 12:13-17  And when the dragon saw that he was cast down to the earth, he persecuted the woman that brought forth the man child. And there were given to the woman the two wings of the great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness unto her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth after the woman water as a river, that he might cause her to be carried away by the stream. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed up the river which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon waxed wroth with the woman, and went away to make war with the rest of her seed, that keep the commandments of God, and hold the testimony of Jesus: 

Who are the 144 thousand? Some believe they are the first fruits of the Jews who have turned to Jesus – Rev. 7:1-8. Some believe they’re the first fruits of the saved Gentiles who are ‘caught up to God’ before the great tribulation starts, half way through it, or just prior to God’s wrath being poured out upon unbelieving mankind left on the earth – Rev. 14:1-5,12. For a more in depth study on the two groups of 144 thousand and the two “marks” given, the Taw (meaning ‘last’) and the Aleph (meaning ‘first’ or ‘father’) go to http://doubleportioninheritance.blogspot.com/2011/08/who-are-144000_22.html 

NOTE that in Rev 14:2-4, a group of 144 thousand is again mentioned with all the SAME traits as the group in Rev. 7, EXCEPT there’s no mention of their being comprised of the Twelve Tribes of Irsrael. Rev 14:1 ADDS a trait to this group not mentioned in Rev. 7, which is that God the “father’s name is written in their foreheads” – “written” G1125 graphō Thayer Definition: 1) to write, with reference to the form of the letters 1a) to delineate *(or form) letters on a tablet, parchment, paper, or other material. The other verses all use the term “sealed” —

“sealed” G4972 sphragizō
Thayer Definition:
1) to set a seal upon, mark with a seal, to seal
1a) for security: from Satan
1b) since things sealed up are concealed (as the contents of a letter), to hide, keep in silence, keep secret
1c) in order to mark a person or a thing
1c1) to set a mark upon by the impress of a seal or a stamp
1c2) angels are said to be sealed by God
1d) in order to prove, confirm, or attest a thing
1d1) to confirm authenticate, place beyond doubt
1d1a) of a written document
1d1b) to prove one’s testimony to a person that he is what he professes to be

Is there a difference between God “writing” His Name in their foreheads, and God “stamping or setting a mark with His Seal” in their foreheads? Honestly at this point I don’t know, but the terms used are different from one another; one is “grapho,” the other is “sphragizo.” *Keep in mind that Translators translated the original tongues (Greek, Aramaic, & Hebrew) into English, and that original tongues (languages) usually have many nuances of meaning. One translator might prefer one meaning over another.*

NOTE: There are 12 verses in the New Testament having that exact term “sealed” in them. There’s one lone verse which has to do with the sealing of a book – Rev. 5:1, another one has to do with Jesus being “sealed” by God – Jn 6:27, and one other which is about the sealing up of some gift in Rm 15:28. Thus, in total there are 9 verses about the SEALING of God’s “servants” in their foreheads to keep them safe from evil – Eph 1:13 in whom ye also, having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation, – in whom, having also believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, [“of promise” Acts 1:4-5; 2:16-18; 2:38-39], Rev 7:3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. Rev 7:4  And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. *Of significance I feel, is that in Acts 2:38-39, the “promise” is associated with the “gift” of the Holy Spirit – which is received after or in conjunction with the Baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ! The “the baptism with the Holy Spirit” [Acts 2:1-6; 16-18] doesn’t always happen the moment a person asks Jesus into his/her heart, but in many cases it happens sometime afterwards as a separate occurance; sadly many never experience it because most churches do not teach or inform new believers about it because ministers are often uninformed about it themselves. This is just one example why all believers should read and study the Bible for themselves; so they can know ALL of God’s will and ALL of their inheritance in Christ, and begin to walk in it. Don’t let yourself be robbed of it by a “lack of knowledge” of God’s Word – Hosea 4:6.

So, is the SEAL the Baptism with the Holy Spirit, the Name of God, or both? Each SEAL is the same Greek word “sphragizō” EXCEPT FOR ONE where the Name of God is written, “graphō” in the their foreheads, Rev 14:1. Was this a translator’s preference, or is there a distinct difference between the usage of these two different terms in reference to the 144 thousand servants of God? One is something “stamped” or “impressed” upon or into something, the other, to WRITE is something that’s formed with “letters” in some manner; could be hand-written, but could also be “stamped” or “etched” or “impressed” (as with a chisel or signet).

Eze 9:4 And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark (H8420) upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.
Eze 9:5 And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity:
Eze 9:6 Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. [“mark” – H8420 tâv; From H8427; a mark; by implication a signature: – desire, mark]

The same idea is apparent in this passage – Gen 4:15 And Jehovah said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And Jehovah appointed a sign [‘ôth] for Cain, lest any finding him should smite him. It has been widely speculated what that mark or sign might have been, but the scripture makes clear one thing – it was for Cain’s PROTECTION and something which WARNED others not to harm him – “mark” H226 ‘ôth 1) sign, signal 1a) a distinguishing mark 1b) banner 1c) remembrance 1d) miraculous sign 1e) omen 1f) warning 2) token, ensign, standard, miracle, proof.

So, let’s see – the MARK of God, SEALED (stamped or impressed) into the foreheads, is for those to be SPARED FROM DESTRUCTION AND THE JUDGMENTS OF GOD reserved for the wicked! This SEAL then, is for PROTECTION from evil. *Note that the group being “sealed” in Ezekiel are those who “sigh” and “cry” for the abominations being done.

What I’m getting a picture of is the Name of God, “YAHWEH” YHVHstamped or impressed upon the foreheads of his pure ones, to protect them from evil, destruction and judgement. All documents requiring proof of authenticity or ownership require a person’s signature, which is usually his/her name! I imagine that the Signature or MARK showing ownership of, and the authenticity of a true Believer, would be made up of the LETTERS (*refer to G1125 graphō; ‘or form letters on’) of Yahweh’s Name – “YHWH.” Thus, the MARK set upon believers for their protection, may well be the letters of His Name, impressed or written on, or in, their foreheads.

Some believe the 144 thousand represent the Bride of Christ comprised of overcoming believers only, and that the rest go through the Great Tribulation in which most will be martyred. Others believe there are two groups of 144 thousand, one comprised of gentile believers, the other of Jewish believers. Whatever the case may be, the beaming crown will be worn by a group called the “one-hundred and forty-four thousand,” sealed with the SEAL of God.

Could the manchild be the same entity as the 144 thousand? The man who wrote the article below thinks so. He believes the Manchild is the “overcoming” Church, and that not all believers will be in this company. 

© Debra Stout, March 2016

End notes

[1] http://nookofnames.com/category/world-names/sumerian-names/
[2] http://nameberry.com/nametalk/threads/137351-Futuristic-Girls-Name
[3] http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/nimrud/ancientkalhu/thewritings/sumerian/index.html

The Man Child of Revelation 12 — Who, When and Why?

The church must correctly identify the man child (male child) of Revelation 12 in order to correctly identify her end-times destiny and role in God’s plan to restore His creation. Although many believe the birth of the man child is a sign of Jesus as an individual birthed 2000 years ago, there is much to suggest that he is a sign of Jesus — not as an individual — but as a portion of His corporate body birthed 3-1/2 years before the very end of the age.

If he is Jesus as an individual, that means one thing. But if he is a portion of the church — in the form of the corporate body of Christ — then we need to understand what that means for us who make up the body of Christ and who are alive at the end of the age. For without that understanding and vision, the church will be unaware of and unprepared for her glorious end-time calling.

There are four main individuals or people groups in the great sign of Revelation 12: the woman, the man child, a great red dragon, and the “rest of her children”. The dragon is identified for us in verse 9 as Satan. The “rest of her children” are identified in verse 17 as Christians, because they keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. The woman is harder to identify, but she fits the description of those Israelites blinded for the sake of the Gentiles until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in at which time she will be grafted back in (Romans 11:25-26). That is why she (they) must be protected for 3-1/2 years so she (they) can survive to the end of the age.

Revelation 12:8 explains that there was no longer any place in heaven found for Satan. In other words, something had just happened which changed his position of authority. What happened? The man child had just been caught up to heaven. There followed a great war in heaven, and as a result Satan was thrown down to earth. It would seem that Satan being thrown down to earth is a direct result of the man child being caught up to God and to His throne. The phrase “to His throne” implies that the man child has assumed a position of authority in heaven. This suggests that the spiritual authority for throwing Satan out of heaven to earth has been delegated to the man child. And that is consistent with the authority that Jesus has given His church.

Jesus Authorizes His Church

17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”
18 And He said to them, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.
19 “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. (Luke 10:17-19 NASB)

18 “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19 NASB)

Jesus can delegate authority to whomever He wants, since He has all authority on heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18). He has chosen to apply His authority over Satan through His corporate body. Jesus living in and through His people is a great and wonderful mystery. The crux of it is that it’s still Jesus doing the work, but He is doing it through His body of saints. And if we refer to Ephesians 3:8-12, we see that it is through the church that God desires to demonstrate His manifold wisdom, which is His eternal purpose in Christ Jesus and the reason He created all things. So although He has delegated authority to His church, it is still Jesus doing the work, for He says, “Without Me you can do nothing.”

Luke 10:19 indicates that Jesus has delegated all authority over the devil to His church. Jesus is now sitting at the right hand of the Father waiting until His enemies be put under His feet. In other words, He is waiting for the church to step into the authority that He has given her. And He’s not going to take that authority back because the church has been slow to rise to the occasion. Jesus came to earth and did what He came to do, and now it is the church’s turn to do what she has been called and delegated to do. This is the great testimony of the book of Revelation. The man child has authority to eject Satan from heaven to earth. The saints on earth then overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony, and by not loving their lives unto death.

When the disciples returned after their first successful missionary venture, Jesus rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and He saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. It was the first successful test of their delegated authority. And the test was satisfactory. And I believe that’s why Jesus rejoiced. He knew it was the Father’s plan to defeat Satan through the church, and Jesus came to put the Father’s plan into motion. But did that fall take place 2000 years ago, or did He see a vision of something that would happen in the future in the same way John saw the future events of Revelation? Did He and John both see that event which would eventually take place in Revelation 12:9 at the beginning of the final 3-1/2 years of the age?

When does Satan Fall?

We are constrained to understand the “time, times and half a time” referred to in Revelation as a literal 3-1/2 years, as it is identified as equivalent terms of 42 months and 1260 days. At the beginning of this final 3-1/2 years of the age, the man child is birthed and caught up to heaven. He is birthed following increasingly intense events which Jesus describes in the gospels as birth pains. If there are birth pains associated with the end times, then there will be a birth. Who or what is being born? It is obvious from a overall view of the book of Revelation that the man child and the glorified saints are the product of this birthing. The church is birthed in splendor as a bride without spot or wrinkle.

There are a number of clues that indicate his birth is at this 3-1/2 year point before the very end of the age. The famines, earthquakes, wars, and the persecution that Jesus describes as birth pains are events commonly associated with tribulation and/or great tribulation. The birth pains that Jesus describes did not take place 2000 years ago. They take place near the very end of the age. After the birth, the woman goes off into the wilderness to be protected for 3-1/2 years. Satan is then cast down from heaven to earth, and we know from other scriptures he then indwells the antichrist who is immediately revealed at this 3-1/2 year point. Jesus takes us back to the book of Daniel to point this out in Matthew 24:15.

There is a crisis of intense events that takes place at this 3-1/2 year point. These last 3-1/2 years represent perhaps the greatest time of testimony on the earth except for the time when Jesus walked the earth 2000 years ago. We remember the prophecy of Elijah when as a result it did not rain for 3-1/2 years. Scholars believe Jesus’ time of public ministry was also 3-1/2 years. The two witnesses of Revelation 11 testify for 1260 days, or exactly 3-1/2 years. This last 3-1/2 years of the age will be an awesome testimony — the final testimony before Jesus returns. Therefore the book of Revelation covers it repeatedly and thoroughly. It is the final lap of the race the church has been running for 2000 years, and it is the most crucial. It is described in detail that we might understand. One of Satan’s ploys is to try to convince the church that she is not in view in these scriptures.

Approximately two-thirds of the book of Revelation is devoted to the last 3-1/2 years of the age — from about the middle of chapter 6 unto the early part of chapter 20. This is an indication of the importance of what takes place during this brief period of time. The whole plan of God to restore His creation is brought to fruition. Satan is defeated. The church is brought to maturity and glory.

The Man Child . . . Why?

19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.
20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope
21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. (Romans 8:19-22 NASB)

All creation is eagerly awaiting the revealing of the sons of God, for it is the sons of God who will set in final motion the defeat of Satan and the restoration of all creation. If this seems like excess, remember that it is all God’s plan. He will glorify Himself through His church. It’s not that we in ourselves are significant in stature, it’s that He has elected to work through the weak and foolish. It pleases God to do things that way, and whatever pleases God pleases the Son.

21 At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. (Luke 10:21 NASB)

26 For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;
27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,
28 and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are,
29 so that no man may boast before God. (1 Corinthians 1:26-29 NASB)

Characteristics of the Man Child

I believe that Revelation Chapters 11, 12, 13, and 14 are all repeated looks at the final 3-1/2 years from different perspectives. At the beginning of Revelation 14, we see a company of 144,000 in heaven. I believe this is another look at the man child of Revelation 12 after he has been caught up to heaven.

1 Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.
2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps.
3 And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth.
4 These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb.
5 And no lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless. (Revelation 14:1-5 NASB)

We need to carefully and prayerfully consider the description of this company. They are blameless without lie in their mouths. They are chaste. They follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. They have applied the promises of God as described in 2 Peter 1:3-4 to their lives and have purified themselves. They have taken to heart God’s commandment to “Be holy, for I am holy.”

They are seen in heaven before the great tribulation begins. There is nothing that these saints needed to repent of. They are blameless. They had already washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb before the onset of great tribulation. They are contrasted with those of the church at Thyatira who were given opportunity to repent, but did not want to, and as a consequence will find themselves thrown into great tribulation. And during this time all those of the churches will find their hearts and minds searched and will receive according to their deeds. Notice that the man child of Revelation 12 and the overcoming saints of the church at Thyatira are both promised to rule the nations with rods of iron. The man-child company is clearly a portion of the overcoming church.

21 ‘I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality.
22 ‘Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds.
23 ‘And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.
24 ‘But I say to you, the rest who are in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not known the deep things of Satan, as they call them–I place no other burden on you.
25 ‘Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come.
26 ‘He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS;
27 AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON, AS THE VESSELS OF THE POTTER ARE BROKEN TO PIECES, as I also have received authority from My Father; (Revelation 2:21-27 NASB)

The difference between those who achieve man-child status and those who do not and are thrown into great tribulation may simply be a matter of taking or not taking verse 21 to heart: “I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality.” It seems clear that there is no victory over Satan short of achieving holiness. As long as he has something in us, we will be compromised and there will be no victory. We will not be a bride without spot or wrinkle.

There is still time — as of this writing — to make this decision. The whole church does not do so. For the man child is only the first fruits of the final harvest which takes place at the end of Revelation 14. Those who are not first fruits must go through great tribulation to the extent needed to wash their robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. It seems we have the choice to purify ourselves now and avoid the need to be purified during great tribulation.

31 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged.
32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world. (1 Corinthians 11:31-32 NASB)

The Lord only disciplines those He loves — if necessary.

6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,
7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; (1 Peter 1:6-7 NASB)

Consequently — if necessary — we will find ourselves entering great tribulation because God loves us and insists that we be found without spot or wrinkle when Jesus returns.

13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?”
14 I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
15 “For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. (Revelation 7:13-15)

Notice that these ones are before the throne, whereas those of the man-child company were caught up to the throne.

Discipline . . .

The Lord is increasing His discipline in these days that we might turn from our sins and our old ways of thinking to be filled with the fullness of Christ and to assume our responsibilities as ambassadors of the Kingdom of God in power. If the kind messenger is not heeded, then a harsh one will be sent, for God will have His church without spot or wrinkle. He is both kind and severe. To the extent we are not walking in holiness, the enemy will have access to our families, our property, our health, our finances, and our minds. When I fall short now in my striving against sin — which is sometimes far too casual — I pay a price. The principles of great tribulation are already here. To the extent we choose not to deal with our sins, we will be thrown into situations where the enemy has access to us. God is turning up the heat. The time is short. We must make a choice.

Father, discipline us as sons and daughters that we might rise to this call on the wings of Your mercy and grace. Prompt us to repentance as necessary that we might quality as first fruits of Your harvest and that we might wash our robes and make them white now, if possible, before the fires of great tribulation. But if that fire should be needed, then give us strength to endure to the end, that we might glorify You in the process, and that we might ultimately stand before You and hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servants.”
_________________
Vernon Kuenzi 

You can find a book he wrote at Amazon.com – Restoring the Vision of the End-times Church. Excerpt: “We are not promised escape from the midst of destruction, but are promised protection through it. This can be the time of our greatest witness or it can be the time of our love growing cold and our falling away. The “birthing” described at the End of this Age, is the birthing of Jesus within those who have allowed the flesh and all things of self to be put to death in favor of His life.” Pg 120 – Anything that we consider essential or a support, other than the faithfulness of God, is an Idol and will be stripped in the Day of Testing.”  

*WOW! I read portions of this book at Amazon, written back in 2001, the truths in it are just what the Church needs to hear and heed as it’s about to face the crucible of the finale of the End Times – the Great Tribulation of the Saints – Debra Stout.

**Another good book to read regarding the ‘end times’ we’re now living in and the coming world-wide persecution of Christians and how they’ll overcome, is Principles for the Gathering of Believers Under the Headship of Christ by Gospel Fellowships. Find it at http://www.amazon.com/Principles-Gathering-Believers-Headship-Christ-ebook/dp/B00DDTZSDO  

THE ENDTIMES SODOMITE SPIRIT; PROUD, BOASTFUL, ANTICHRIST, AND ‘GAY’

H1341 ge^ gay’ For H1343; haughty: – proud.

Interesting isn’t it? The Hebrew term for ‘haughty or proud’ is GAY, the very term the homosexuals use to designate their sexual preference and life style! Is this just some strange coincidence?

Most ‘gays’ I’ve met are very ‘haughty’ and BOAST of their sexual perversions whenever possible.

NYC PrideThe word “gay” seems to have its origins around the 12th century in England, derived from the Old French word ‘gai’, which in turn was probably derived from a Germanic word, though that isn’t completely known. The word’s original meaning meant something to the effect of “joyful”, “carefree”, “full of mirth”, or “bright and showy”.

However, around the early parts of the 17th century, the word began to be associated with immorality. By the mid 17th century, according to an Oxford dictionary definition at the time, the meaning of the word had changed to mean “addicted to pleasures and dissipations. Often euphemistically: Of loose and immoral life”. This is an extension of one of the original meanings of “carefree”, meaning more or less uninhibited.

Fast-forward to the 19th century and the word gay referred to a woman who was a prostitute and a gay man was someone who slept with a lot of women (ironically enough), often prostitutes. Also at this time, the phrase “gay it” meant to have sex.

With these new definitions, the original meanings of “carefree”, “joyful”, and “bright and showy” were still around; so the word was not exclusively used to refer to prostitutes or a promiscuous man. Those were just accepted definitions, along with the other meanings of the word.

Around the 1920’s and 1930’s, however, the word started to have a new meaning. In terms of the sexual meaning of the word, a “gay man” no longer just meant a man who had sex with a lot of women, but now started to refer to men who had sex with other men. There was also another word “gey cat” at this time which meant a homosexual boy.

By 1955, the word gay now officially acquired the new added definition of meaning homosexual males. [1]

How I arrived here was by looking up the definition of ‘Barabbas’ in Luke 23:18 — the meaning of his name is of Chaldee [2] origin H1347 and Gk (G5 Strong’s). When you go to H1347 in Strong’s Concordance, you also see another term from where ‘geh’ (pronounced ‘gay-eh’) is taken! The Gk ‘gay-eh’ also means; LOFTY, arrogant, and PROUD!

In the Greek, Barabbas is only rendered as “son of Abba” meaning, son of a father or master [3]. Could that master be Satan in his case? Could it be that Barabbas was a TYPE of the AntiChrist, or the Son of Satan? While there have been and are now MANY antichrists in the World, there may be ONE final, major Antichrist, who will be none other than the Incarnation of the Devil in human form who inhabits a human body – alluded to as The AntiChrist, whom the Lord will destroy supernaturally with the Spirit of His mouth when He comes [4]. This same AntiChrist will set himself up as god in the last Jewish Temple built, and will speak vain words against the one, true GOD and His people, and will lead the disbelieving multitudes into perdition along with him and the fallen angels [5].

Barabbas was a thief and a murderer [6] and one ‘who stirred up trouble’ – a trouble maker, a rabble rouser. Read Luke 23:13-25 for the full account. All terms easily identified with any antichrist, or the AntiChrist whom Scripture defines as “a man of lawlessness,” “proud,” “arrogant,” and maybe GAY? There’s a bit of an enigmatic verse in the book of Daniel about his attitude towards women – Daniel 11:37, “Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the DESIRE OF WOMEN, nor…..”

“regard” H995 – understand, attend, consider, perceive, regard, feel, etc.
“desire” H2532 – delight: desire, goodly, pleasant, precious; that which is desirable.

What this seems to be saying is that he won’t have regard for women’s needs and feelings – he won’t be ‘attentive’ to them. Thus, he’ll treat them harshly being insensitive to their needs and desires. He’ll be seriously lacking in ‘understanding’ of their delicate natures. It may be saying that the Antichrist will greatly disrespect women just as the adherents of Islam behave today towards them. Many Islamic women are treated like slaves, denied of basic human rights. The United Nations should be outraged, but is it?

According to biblical scholar Stephen Miller in his commentary on Daniel, the phrase has never had consensus in its interpretation even as early as Montgomery in his 2nd century commentary on Daniel. Miller states that the phrase could be interpreted in either of four ways:

“the one desired by women”
“the desire of women”
“that desired by women”
“the desire for women”

If we consult a Hebrew lexicon, the word that is translated “desire” in 11:37 is “hemdah” (transliterated). Of course, as with many words in Hebrew, the interpretation is made difficult because the same Hebrew word can have varied meanings, and often context is the primary determining factor for the translator. In none of its varied meanings, however, does “hemdah” refer to sexual desire. The Expository Dictionary of Bible Words states:

hemdah is a noun found twenty-five times, with the primary sense of “that which is pleasant, or valuable.”

“If it was God’s intent to so hide the beauty of woman, He would have given Eve her “eye covering” burqa on her way out the door. It seems that Islam has found a way to veil what God never intended to cover.

Islam fits the profile. It has no regard for the desires, the precious things, of woman.” [7]

….the grammatical construction disallows changing “desire of women” to “desire for women” (13). In parallel instances, such as Haggai 2:7 and 1 Samuel 9:20, the noun following “desire of” is the source and not the object. What the prophecy is clearly saying is that the Antichrist will disregard something that women desire.

At last we come to the only convincing interpretation. It recognizes that since “the desire of women” appears in a list of deities spurned by the Antichrist, the name must refer to another object of worship that he refuses to honor. To be precise, the name might signify either a god (or gods) that women desire or the desire of women to be gods. Of these two possibilities, the second is a better fit both to the context and to modern reality. It is the desire of women to be gods that the Antichrist will slight.

The context. The angelic messenger has just predicted that the Antichrist will speak marvelous things against the God of gods (verse 36). As we argued, he was alluding to the tragedy in the Garden, where Satan used the same lies to corrupt Eve. He succeeded by exploiting the woman’s desire to be godlike in her knowledge of good and evil. Although the result was downfall of the human race, that desire has never been extinguished. The fire of self-worship still burns in the hearts of all women who refuse to worship the true God.

Yet while recognizing the pride of women, we should not minimize the pride of men. The male heart is also prone to divine aspirations. After all, the future pretender to supreme deity will be a man, not a woman. But the Book of Daniel is concerned not to leave the wrong impression. To avoid suggesting that men are worse than women, the book adds a little reminder that apart from the grace of God, every woman is also an incorrigible egotist with a lurking desire to take over command of the universe.

Modern reality. In recent times, the desire of women to be gods has resurfaced in an especially pronounced form: the drive for so-called women’s liberation. At issue between feminists and Christians is not whether women are equal to men. The Bible says that in Christ “there is neither male nor female” (Gal. 3:28). At issue rather is whether a woman ought to be like a man, whether she should be seeking to exchange a woman’s God-ordained role in the home and church for a man’s role.

Imagine what feminists will think when the Antichrist sets himself up as the supreme god and denies equal billing to any goddess! They will regard the exclusion of women from the highest flights of conceit as discrimination. Whatever hope he offers them of attaining a lesser degree of godhood will hardly satisfy their ambition. Yet he will ignore their objections. That is, as the oracle says, he will not regard the desire of women. [8]

Some have interpreted that scripture as, ‘he will not understand nor have regard for the delight which a woman can give a man from having relations with a woman. A homosexual would have no desire for a woman, nor take pleasure in having sexual relations with a woman. Still others say Daniel 11:31, has nothing at all to do with the sexual preference of the AntiChrist. Another opinion is that the phrase, “desire of women” is speaking of Jesus Christ since all women wanted to be His mother, the vessel through which Christ would be born into the world, but where this fanciful interpretation came from I can’t tell, since I’ve not found one scriptural reference that supports it.

The traditional interpretation is that he will not be married, or be a homosexual. Even if we were to understand its application in this manner there are other alternatives to consider. For example: He will have no regard for women, practically speaking can mean to allow abortion. This certainly makes one have no regard for woman. He will disrespect the most basic function of woman, not caring for the unborn or the scars he will leave on young women. To not regard woman may mean he is against her role in marriage and childbearing (promoting abortion) denying the function God gave to women. He will divide the family unit and the woman’s role in it, reverse the roles of men and woman. Thus, No regard for women does not necessarily mean he must be homosexual or unmarried. He may promote same sex partnership other than traditional marriage. Many have pointed out that in the religion of Islam men have no regard for women, which will be of no consequence since it also says, “he will show no regard for the gods of his fathers.” So even if he is a Muslim he will not have the respect of the religion he was brought up in. [9]

When you put the Greek definition along with its Chaldee origin, you have the incarnated son of Satan – a proud, arrogant, boastful man speaking vain words against the true God; defiant of all laws and gods, who might also be ‘gay’ or sexually perverted in some manner. He may not be specifically homosexual, but may lead a sexually immoral life style, or promote it in general.

The Greek ‘diastrepho’ From G1223 and G4762; means to distort, that is, (figuratively) misinterpret, or (morally) corrupt: – perverse (-rt), turn away. G4762 means ‘to twist, turn around, or reverse.’ This is interesting since the general plan of Satan for the World is to twist, reverse, pervert, and turn upsidedown, God’s ORDER of all created things. Men become as women and vice versa is one example where God’s natural ORDER of things is being REVERSED and perverted!

A phrase often applied to the AntiChrist, “son of perdition,” is a curious one. The term, “son of perdition” isn’t limited to a MALE person! Look at the following Scriptures and definitions —

G5207 uihos; Apparently a primary word; a “son” (sometimes of animals), used very widely of immediate, remote or figurative kinship: – child, foal, son.

Just as the phrase, “sons of God” [10] is not gender specific but used to refer to all who’ve been Born Again of God’s Spirit and thus are children, or “sons of God.”

“sons” G5043 teknon; means offspring, children, child, male child, or daughter. See both Strong’s and Thayer’s Definitions.

Perdition means utter destruction, perishing, ruin, and eternal misery in hell.

Whether or not the final AntiChrist will be homosexual, what we know for certain is that Yahweh our God, will eventually pour out His judgment and wrath upon any nation which indulges in filthy sexual perversions, as He has done throughout history. He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with sulfur and fire because of its sexual perversions – Genesis 19:1-28.

In Leviticus 18, God identifies incest, homosexuality and bestiality as the sins which cause the land to “vomit out its inhabitants” (v25). Even in this dark context homosexuality is singled out for special condemnation as “an abomination” (v.22).

In what is probably the most challenging Biblical passage of all, Deuteronomy 20:16-18, God tells the Hebrew people to completely wipe out the Canaanite inhabitants of the Holy Land. His explanation why is detailed in Leviticus 18:24-30.

“‘Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. ‘For the land has become defiled, therefore I have brought its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants. ‘But as for you, you are to keep My statutes and My judgments and shall not do any of these abominations, neither the native, nor the alien who sojourns among you (for the men of the land who have been before you have done all these abominations, and the land has become defiled); so that the land will not spew you out, should you defile it, as it has spewed out the nation which has been before you. ‘For whoever does any of these abominations, those persons who do so shall be cut off from among their people. ‘Thus you are to keep My charge, that you do not practice any of the abominable customs which have been practiced before you, so as not to defile yourselves with them; I am the LORD your God.’”

It is certainly not within our right to judge God. We can only rest in the assurance that, by definition, whatever God does is justified. Importantly, however, his use of genocide to punish sexual perversion is instructive as to His perspective of the relative gravity of human sins, as is His admonition not to tolerate these forms of sexual conduct by any persons in the society, even “the sojourner among you.”

Of course, this does not condone hatred or violence against homosexuals. [11]

God brought about the fall of the Roman and Greek empires; both known for their sexual excesses and perversions. “The Greek “gymnasium,” where young men engaged in sporting events in the nude, was a center of homosexuality and one of the reasons sodomy became known throughout the entire western world as “Greek love.” In his article, Homosexuality & the Maccabean Revolt, Catholic scholar Patrick G.D. Riley notes:

“The all-male athletic club known as the gymnasium was notorious in the ancient world as a nestingplace for pederasty. Socrates himself was susceptible to it, as we learn in the Charmides. The lovers of boys came to the gymnasium in crowds, as Plato notes in that dialogue and in the Euthydemus. Plutarch mentions it in the Erotikos. Hence the gymnasium, with its sexual seductions, was bound to arouse alarm when it arrived in Jerusalem and “attracted the noblest young men” of Israel (2 Macc. 4:12). What follows that phrase bears this out. The original Greek of the text of 2 Maccabees continues with a pun: hypotasson hypo petason, which literally means “subduing [these noble young Jews] under the petason,” the broad-brimmed hat of Hermes worn by naked Greek athletes. But in the Church’s traditional Latin translation, known as the Vulgate, St. Jerome renders this in lupanaribus ponere, that is, ‘to put in brothels’

…Joined themselves to the Gentiles. In the Greek, this has a strong connotation of sexual union. The verb, zeugizein, means “to yoke in pairs,” a graphic metaphor for sexual union. It is used in a love-passage from second-century B.C. Alexandria, hence contemporary with the Maccabees, in a context implying copulation. Since the Greek gymnasium was traditionally exclusive to males, and since the histories present the Jerusalem gymnasium as male-only, the sexual union can only be homosexual. (New Oxford Review, September 1997). [12]

Will America, who is currently passing all kinds of legislation protecting the imaginary rights of gays, lesbians, transvestites, and transsexuals’ to aggressively oppress religious institutions by causing them to embrace the ‘gay’ life-style; marry gays/lesbians against their religious beliefs, and so on – not be judged for its immorality and sexual perversions as have other nations before her? When the state makes it a crime to worship according to one’s faith, isn’t that the quintessence of religious oppression? The Secularists are forever trumpeting the “Separation of Church and State” clause while hypocritically making LAWS and REGULATIONS regarding religious institutions. The original intent of that clause, penned by our nation’s forefathers, was to keep the state OUT OF RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS and from MAKING LAWS which oppress religious freedoms; ie., to worship as they please without government interference! For the history of how the ‘Separation of Church and State’ clause came to be, see [13].

According to God’s Word, the Bible, Christians are not to agree with, work with, or promote the “works of darkness” (which would include sexual perversions) – but rather “expose them” – Eph 5:11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. [14]

This goes especially for all the ‘affirmative churches’ who not only welcome but endorse the ‘gay’ life style as normative, who assure gays that they’re OK the way they are (they don’t need to repent) for God won’t judge their sin, and who ordain gay and lesbian ministers. While we should not hate gays/lesbians, nor engage in violence against them, we don’t have to endorse their vile acts. Deu 23:17 There shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel. Deu 23:18 Thou shalt not bring the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow: for even both these are abomination unto the LORD thy God. sodomite” H6945 qâdêsh; BDB Definition 1) male temple prostitute

Yeshua is soon to return, wouldn’t it be wise to be ready and be sure you’re not on the wrong side of the issues?

Debra R. Stout, March 25, 2016

 

END NOTES:

[1] http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2010/02/how-gay-came-to-mean-homosexual/

[2] Chaldee Language —

Employed by the sacred writers in certain portions of the Old Testament, viz., Dan_2:4-7, Dan_2:28; Ezra 4:8-6:18; Ezr_7:12-26; Gen_31:46; Jer_10:11. It is the Aramaic dialect, as it is sometimes called, as distinguished from the Hebrew dialect. It was the language of commerce and of social intercourse in Western Asia, and after the Exile gradually came to be the popular language of Palestine. It is called “Syrian” in 2Ki_18:26. Some isolated words in this language are preserved in the New Testament (Mat_5:22; Mat_6:24; Mat_16:17; Mat_27:46; Mar_3:17; Mar_5:41; Mar_7:34; Mar_14:36; Act_1:19; 1Co_16:22). These are specimens of the vernacular language of Palestine at that period. The term “Hebrew” was also sometimes applied to the Chaldee because it had become the language of the Hebrews (Joh_5:2; Joh_19:20).

[3] Barabbas – G912 a aßßa
Thayer Definition:
Barabbas = “son of a father or master”
1) the captive robber whom the Jews begged Pilate to release instead of Christ

[4] 2 Thess 2:8 -12; Rev 19:21

[5] Daniel 11:31-45, Rev 19:20

[6] Luke 23:19 & 25, John 18:40

[7] http://www.jacksmithprophecy.org/2012/10/09/no-regard-for-the-desire-of-women-islam-fits-the-profile/

[8] http://www.themoorings.org/Bible_prophecy/Antichrist/religion_and_name.html

[9] http://www.letusreason.org/proph34.htm

[10] Jn 1:12, Rm 8:14, Rm 8:19, Gal 4:6, Phil 2:15, 1 Jn 3:1 &2

[11] http://www.scottlively.net/2014/12/26/the-forgotten-last-days-warning-about-homosexuality-in-the-bible/

[12] http://www.scottlively.net/2014/12/26/the-forgotten-last-days-warning-about-homosexuality-in-the-bible/

[13] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_church_and_state_in_the_United_States

[14] G1651 ἐλέγχω elegchō
Thayer Definition:
1) to convict, refute, confute
1a) generally with a suggestion of shame of the person convicted
1b) by conviction to bring to the light, to expose
2) to find fault with, correct
2a) by word
2a1) to reprehend severely, chide, admonish, reprove
2a2) to call to account, show one his fault, demand an explanation
2b) by deed
2b1) to chasten, to punish

SUFFERING & THE CHURCH

jesus_empty cross on blu bkgr So much has been written about the Rapture of the Church, but little about suffering for Christ. Don’t know about you, but I’ve certainly gotten the impression that most believers today do not expect to suffer persecution or hardship for their faith – ever. Most have been lulled to sleep by what I call ‘an easy street gospel,’ which is that since Christ bore our sins, griefs and sorrows, all they have to do now is sit back and live their little self-centric lives while waiting for His return and/or, their rapture off the earth. The focus of this study isn’t the Rapture or its timing, but suffering for Christ, which every saint is called to do, 1Pe 2:21 For hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that ye should follow his steps:

I believe the Church has succumbed to the fantasy, taught by hireling shepherds who preach prosperity and the ‘ear-tickling’ message, that she’ll never have to suffer persecution for the cause of Christ. Those shepherds conveniently leave out the unpalitable reality that all true believers will suffer on account of the Faith. “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” 2 Timothy 3:12. How many believers take it to heart though? My guess is not many. Makes me wonder if the twenty-first century, western, Church has the ‘grit’ or fortitude of its fathers in the faith, men like William Tyndale [1] (murdered for printing the bible in English) along with thousands of other martyrs who were tortured and/or murdered for their faith. A good resource detailing these events is Foxe’s Book of Martyrs [2]. Torture devices were very common in Roman Catholic medieval Catholic tortureChurch dungeons. Is the Church willing to suffer intense persecution, torture or even death, as did the first century Church, or has it succumbed to the fairytale that it will never have to face such suffering?foxe-s-book-of-martyrs-c1780-hand-col-print.-burning-at-newbury-guernsey-[2]-27473-p

Since the Scriptures are peppered with examples of the sufferings, persecutions, and hardships of the church from the beginning and continuing throughout the ages – how can we in this church age, expect to escape these things just because we’re in the ‘age of grace?’ What about the millions who suffered burning at the stake, beheading, deboweling, and dipping in molten oil, by the monstrous Catholic Crusaders throughout the Middle Ages and beyond? Here’s a partial time line of these historic facts:

1096 Roman Catholic crusaders slaughter half the Jews in Worms, Germany.

1098 Roman Catholic crusaders slaughter almost all of the inhabitants of the city of Antioch.

1099 Roman Catholic crusaders massacre 70,000 Muslims and Jews when they capture Jerusalem.

1208 – 1226 The Albigensian Crusades in southern France. Roman Catholic crusaders slaughter approximately 20,000 citizens of Beziers, France, on July 22, 1209. Albigensian Christians and Catholics were slain. By the time the Roman Catholic armies finished their “crusade,” almost the entire population of southern France (mostly Albigensian Christians) has been exterminated. During the six centuries of papal Inquisition that began in the 13th century, up to 50 million people were killed. Read what J. A. Wylie’s The History of Protestantism has to say about the Crusades against the Abigenses.

1236 Roman Catholic crusaders slaughter Jews in the Anjou and Poitou regions of western France. The Catholic crusaders trample to death under their horses 3000 Jews who refuse baptism.

1243 Roman Catholic mobs burn alive all the Jews in Berlitz, Germany (near Berlin).

1298 Roman Catholic mobs burn alive all Jews in Rottingen, Germany.

April 26, 1349 Roman Catholic mobs burn to death all Jews in Germersheim, Germany.

1348 – 1349 The Jews are blamed for the bubonic plague. Author Dave Hunt tells us, “Accused of causing the ‘Black Death’ Jews were rounded up [by Roman Catholic mobs] and hanged, burned, and drowned by the thousands in revenge.”

1389 Roman Catholic mobs murder 3000 Jews in Prague when they refuse to be baptized.

1481 – 1483 At the direction of the Roman Catholic inquisitors, authorities burn at the stake at least 2000 people during the first two years of the Spanish Inquisition.

1540 – 1570 Roman Catholic armies butcher at least 900,000 Waldensian Christians of all ages during this 30-year period.

1550 – 1560 Roman Catholic troops slaughter at least 250,000 Dutch Protestants via torture, hanging, and burning during this ten-year period.

Apostle Paul’s sufferings alone are enough to make our heads spin, our hands shake, and our knees quake! Paul suffered stonings, whippings, hardships, and imprisonment for Christ. If any one of us today were called upon to suffer what he did, we would probably faint (fall away from the faith).

Last but not least, Jesus Christ suffered beating, scourging, mocking, and crucifixion unto death for Man’s sin. Joh 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, A servant is not greater than his lord. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you;

“There are some among us teaching there will be no tribulation, that the Christians will be able to escape all this. These are the false teachers that Jesus was warning us to expect in the latter days. Most of them have little knowledge of what is already going on across the world. I have been in countries where the saints are already suffering terrible persecution. In China, the Christians were told, “Don’t worry, before the tribulation comes you will be translated – raptured.” Then came a terrible persecution.” – Corrie Ten Boom, born April 15, 1892 in Haarland Netherlands, near Amsterdam. Corrie was a born again believer who’s family hid Jews during the Nazi takeover of her country. Betrayed by a Dutch citizen, her whole family was imprisoned in a Nazi death camp and murdered, but she survived and shared her story in a book titled The Hiding Place. She ministered to concentration camp survivors after the war ended, and began a worldwide ministry. She died on her birthday in 1983. [3]

Does the Church have what it takes to endure suffering for Christ? The Church needs to ‘gird up its loins,’ and brace itself for persecution and suffering which is surely coming. It’s inevitable if you’re a true believer and follower of Christ – “Truly, I say unto you, If they have persecuted Me, they will persecute you….” The ‘easy street’ gospel, as I call it, isn’t the TRUE gospel of Christ, and is misleading many believers, lulling them into a deep slumber. We want to believe that we’re exempt from the kinds of suffering and torture that Christians have undergone in times past, but it isn’t true. It’s time for us to put away our ‘rose-tinted glasses’ and pray for the keen vision of an eagle, so that we might see that our true destiny in Christ is to suffer as He suffered, walk as He walked, and love as He loved! Anything less is an empty profession of faith; a mirage without substance and unacceptable to God!

“It would be years later at The Voice of The Martyrs conference that I would come face to face with my distorted understanding. I heard stories from all over the world of suffering happening to Christians. The first evening I listened as a man from Pakistan explained the hardships the Pakistani church endures, and then described the torture and eventual murder of a young Christian boy. This young man died at the hands of his torturers simply because he was a Christian. For the first time in my life I contemplated the possibility that God does not intervene in every situation and take the suffering away from His people.” Suffering – the Mark of the Church [4]

The true Church of jesus Christ is called to suffer hardships and persecution for their allegience to Him and to His Truth! The true Church of Jesus Christ is called to endure hardness like a soldier and endure sound doctrine versus the false ‘prosperity and easy street’ doctrines which compromising, hireling shepherds teach and preach to their flocks. Woe to those who compromise the truth or who teach only the palitable parts of it. Our Lord Christ doesn’t sanction teaching only part of the truth or half truths. It behooves every believer in Christ to study the Bible for themselves, to dig out the truth buried sometimes deeply in its pages. We must learn how to feed ourselves and quit being lazily content to eat left-overs and regurgitated food! Real faith makes certain demands on us, like ‘studying to show ourselves approved, workmen who need not be ashamed…’ 2 Tim 2:15. We’re to study the words of God for ourselves, and prove whether the things we’ve been taught, line up with His words or not – Act 17:10 & 11.

We need to OPEN our spiritual EYES. If you can’t see these things, then pray and ask God to open your eyes so that you may. The times we live in are dark and we need the Light of God’s wisdom and truth more than ever before; far more than material wealth and possessions. Most of Christ’s disciples lived in poverty or had only their basic needs met; most weren’t wealthy and yet they thrived on what’s more important. They lived not by (physical) bread alone, but by every word (rhema) which came from the mouth of God – Mt 4:4, Lk 4:4, and they had the LOVE of God and the love of His whole counsel (truth) BURNING IN THEIR HEARTS! – Luke 24:32

THAT, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, IS WHERE WE NEED TO BE AGAIN! We need to get back to a place where THE most important thing in our lives is following Christ, bearing His truth to the world, winning souls, and living HOLY lives before Him in HUMILITY (not in pride and arrogance).

So, therefore, let us HUMBLE ourselves in these dark days, SEEK His face in prayer and supplications with many FASTINGS – and WALK IN OBEDIENCE to ALL His instructions, not just the ones we like. If we ‘purify our hands and our hearts’ – “Purify your hands ye sinners, and sanctify your hearts…” maybe we’ll escape the dark schemes of the wicked to deceive and lead us into disbelief coming upon the whole world, and ”stand before the Son of Man WITHOUT SPOT, WRINKLE OR ANY SUCH THING….” James 4:8, Lk 21:36, Eph 5:27

Since we’ve all been called to SUFFER for Christ, walking in His footsteps, then it makes sense that we PREPARE our hearts and minds beforehand to endure to the end when it comes.

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” – Revelation 12:11

Debra R. Stout, March 10, 2016  *[caps, bold, and italics are mine].

Endnotes:

1] http://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1501-1600/translator-william-tyndale-strangled-and-burned-11629961.html
2] http://www.ccel.org/f/foxe/martyrs/home.html (book is online to read for free)
3] http://www.biography.com/people/corrie-ten-boom-21358155#synopsis
4] http://www.persecutionblog.com/2014/09/suffering-the-mark-of-the-church.html

Flat Earth; Truth or Science Fiction?

Gen 1:6 And God said, Let there be a firmament (or expanse) in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
Gen 1:7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
Gen 1:8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.
Gen 1:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
Gen 1:10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

H7549 ra^qi^ya From H7554; properly an expanse, that is, the firmament or (apparently) visible arch of the sky: – firmament.
H7554

H7554 ra^qa A primitive root; to pound the earth (as a sign of passion); by analogy to expand (by hammering); by implication to overlay (with thin sheets of metal): – beat, make broad, spread abroad (forth, over, out, into plates), stamp, stretch.

H7549 ra^qi^ya BDB Definition:
1) extended surface (solid), expanse, firmament
1a) expanse (flat as base, support)
1b) firmament (of vault of heaven supporting waters above)
1b1) considered by Hebrews as solid and supporting ‘waters’ above

Firmament
From the Vulgate firmamentum, which is used as the translation of the Hebrew rakiya. This word means simply “expansion.” It denotes the space or expanse like an arch appearing immediately above us. They who rendered rakiya by firmamentum regarded it as a solid body. The language of Scripture is not scientific but popular, and hence we read of the sun rising and setting, and also here the use of this particular word. It is plain that it was used to denote solidity as well as expansion. It formed a division between the waters above and the waters below (Gen_1:7). The rakiya supported the upper reservoir (Psa_148:4). It was the support also of the heavenly bodies (Gen_1:14), and is spoken of as having “windows” and “doors” (Gen_7:11; Isa_24:18; Mal_3:10) through which the rain and snow might descend.

Psa 148:4 Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, And ye waters that are above the heavens.

David wrote this after the great flood of Genesis. Thus, the flood didn’t remove or disintegrate the ‘firmanent’ or vault which God placed above the Earth.

Job 37:18 Canst thou with him spread out the sky, Which is strong as a molten mirror? (or molten looking glass). Isa 40:2

Pro 8:27 When he established the heavens, I was there: When he set a circle upon the face of the deep,

H2329 chu^g
BDB Definition:
1) circle, circuit, compass
2) (BDB) vault (of the heavens)

Amo 9:6 it is he that buildeth his chambers in the heavens, and hath founded his vault upon the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth; Jehovah is his name.

H92 ‘a gu^dda^h
BDB Definition:
1d) vault (of the heavens), firmament (binding earth to the heavens)

Eze 1:26 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness of the throne was a likeness as the appearance of a man upon it above.

Isa 40:22 It is he that sitteth above the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in;

Tents are always stretched out over a flat surface!

Isa 66:1 Thus saith Jehovah, Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: what manner of house will ye build unto me? and what place shall be my rest?

The shape of a ‘footstool’ is just like the domed-shaped firmanent God placed over the Earth which has ‘pillars’ (as a footstool has legs).

Job 26:7 He stretcheth out the north over empty space, And hangeth the earth upon nothing.

In Job 9:6, Job acknowledges that the Earth has ‘pillars.’

Job predates Genesis. Job 38:4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding. Job 38:6 Whereupon were the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner-stone thereof,
Job 38:7 When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?

1Sa 2:8 For the pillars of the earth are Jehovah’s, And he hath set the world upon them. (pillars – ma^tsu^q; column or hill top)

The earth sits upon ‘pillars?’ The dry land appeared out of the face of the ‘deep’ (oceans).

Job 26:10 He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness. [ESV]

inscribe (compassed KJV) – chu^g
BDB Definition:
1) to encircle, encompass, describe a circle, draw round, make a circle
1a) (Qal) to encircle, encompass

Isaiah knew the difference between a ‘ball’ and a ‘circle’ – *(problem with this comment is the definition for ‘ball’ ends up including ‘circle,’ as seen below! -D.S.)

Isa 22:18 He will surely violently turn and toss thee like a ball… (H1754 du^r; a circle, ball or pile:- ball, turn, round about)

What was placed INSIDE the ‘Tent?’

Genesis 1:14-28; ‘lights’ – sun, moon, and stars. Then, fish, birds, and other living creatures; whales, creeping things, cattle, etc. Then, God created Man.

The only way you can see the stars and other luminary bodies (which never change their distance from one another) in the same positions, is if the heavens is a sphere that moves around a stationary earth below it. If the earth was a spinning ball, the stars and other luminary bodies in the heavens, would be constantly changing their positions and distances as we viewed them from earth. Since this does not occur, then earth must not be moving, but the heavens over it are.

The phrase ‘face of the earth’ is used 29 times in the Old Testament. So, where then is the face of the earth? The face is usually the front of a thing or person, and there’s a backside. A round object has no front or back.

Jos 10:13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, Until the nation had avenged themselves of their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? And the sun stayed in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.

If the sun and moon stopped moving, then the earth must be stationary, because if the earth spins around, then the sun and moon would still appear to be moving, even if they had stopped moving. Thus, the earth could not be spinning around, it is stationary, ‘unmovable’ as the Bible has said.

The Earth has ‘end’s and ‘corners’ and is not a ‘sphere.’

1 Sam 2:8
Ps 74:14
Job 28:24
Isa 11:12
Dan 4:10, 11
Mt 4:8
Rev 7:1
Rev 20:8

“Compass” def. – Hebrew word for ‘circle of earth’; encompass, encircle, draw round, make a circle.

Our Earth is an Island –
Ps 24:2
2 Pet 3:5
Ps 104:6
Gen 1:1, 2

The Earth is ‘stretched out’ – Ps 136:6, JOb 26:7, Isa 44:24, Isa 42:5

Website https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yi2NbIf_7p4

**The comments, Scriptures, and viewpoint aired in this video are not mine, but those of the producers of – The Global Lie /Flat Earth Revelation. There’s more information given in the video, what’s here are just the notes I took down while listening to it. In the video the speakers talk about what people believed hundreds of years ago, which was that our earth was ‘flat’ not round, and that an astronomer named Copernicus invented the notion of a ’round earth.’ I’ve posted this for your amusement and/or information; I had only heard of this theory maybe once before and recently it has resurfaced on the internet for some reason. You can decide whether there’s any validity to it or whether it’s pure fiction.**

Debra R. Stout, March 10, 2016

Other Fascinating Resources –
http://www.testingtheglobe.com/bible.html 
http://blog.modernmechanix.com/5000-for-proving-the-earth-is-a-globe/                                     https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_Earth