Transplanted…

Posted: October 28, 2017 in Shared Thoughts

Just a quick observation while reading Psalm 1 –

1 – Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he does shall prosper.
4  The ungodly are not so…

It is both interesting and noteworthy that the Hebrew word “planted” in verse 3 actually has the suggestion of being “trans-planted.” In Psalm one, we see it as the grace and mercy of God literally taking the sinner, who was living in a parched placed and deprived of the refreshing grace and mercies of God, being now transplanted “by the rivers of water, that [the “sinner” now having been made “saint” may] bring forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither.”

All this we know from the first 2 verses is true, the rebellious sinner repented and now having affection gives glory to his God. For clearly, such affection has one who has acknowledged his sins and turned from them; and now being upright of heart hungers and thirsts for God’s righteousness. This is incontestably evident in that his “delight is in the law of the LORD” and by his separation from the sinners among whom he did once walk, stand, and sit.

But please, bear with me as I ask for your consideration, should we preach only the goodness of God and not the severity? No, God forbid. May we never so fail as to not give the whole counsel of God to sinner and saints alike.

Romans 11:21 – For if God did not spare the natural branches, know then that He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness. That is if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.

Please note that huge word, I dare say even the biggest word found in Holy Writ (apart from the various holy names given of our God and Savior). That word being “if,” signifying a term or condition not unlike all those in Deuteronomy 28, or I John 1:7,8. For where there is an “if” there is always a “then” –

I John 1:7 -But IF we walk in the light as He is in the light, [then] we [us and God] have fellowship with one another, and [then] the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 IF we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

For I often tell people, it does not matter how powerful the detergent is you take down to the pig pen, you will never get the pig clean until you take them out of the mud. All you accomplish is making the mud sudsy and wasting the detergent. Grant it, you might manage to get a few pigs to tear up from the soap in their eyes, but a “crying pig” doesn’t translate to a “clean pig.” Therefore, we must acknowledge our sins for what they are, an offensive odor in the nostrils of God and assault on His sovereignty. Only then, after we have confessed our sin in wholehearted agreement with His righteousness, will He forgive us and free us from its bondage so we can begin to walk Him and learn of Him.

We see all this in God’s desire to “trans-plant” His people who cried out unto Him, out of their slavery in Egypt and plant them in the Promise Land. Hence also, Jesus exhortation for us to take His yoke upon us that we might walk with Him, learn of Him, and ultimately become like Him; meek and lowly of heart. But, with many of those, who by the blood of the lamb to the door posts and lintel, that were brought out and baptized unto Moses in both the cloud (spirit) and the Red Sea (water), that many of them still failed to enter in because of their unbelief and murmuring hearts. “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” 1 Corinthians 10:11.

So, is there a flipside to this being “transplanted,” where contrasting with the goodness of God we can see His severity? Yes.

Ezekiel 19:10 – Thy mother was like a vine in thy blood, planted by the waters: she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters. 11 And she had strong rods for the sceptres of them that bare rule, and her stature was exalted among the thick branches, and she appeared in her height with the multitude of her branches. 12 But SHE WAS PLUCKED UP in fury, she was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit: her strong rods were broken and withered; the fire consumed them. 13 AND NOW SHE IS PLANTED IN THE WILDERNESS, in a dry and thirsty ground.

Brothers and sisters, our joy in the Lord is inseparable from our fear of Him; for it is based on the unchanging truth that God will do all that He has said. It is like one coin with two sides; joy/fear. One side with judgement that leads to mercy; hence goodness and joy. The other side being judgment that leads to His wrath for having His goodness and forbearance frustrated. Hence, fear and severity of judgment.

It is an incredible thing to fall into the mighty hand of God, for He alone can save men from their sins and enemies. But we must never forget, our God is a consuming fire. So beware of the divine end-time delusion sent upon the religious hypocrites which have no true delight in the law of the Lord; but rather delightfully walk in the ungodly counsel of false teachers, and stand with popular heretics who not only fear not God, but arrogantly sit in scorning judgment against the righteous.

Isa 66:4 – I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spoke, they did not hear: but they did evil before Mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not. 5 Hear the word of the LORD, you that tremble at His word; Your [false] brethren that hated you, that cast you out for My name’s sake, saying, “Let the LORD be glorified.” But He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.

Malachi 3:15 – And now to us the men of pride seem happy; yes, the evil-doers are doing well; they put God to the test and are safe. 16 Then those in whom was the fear of the Lord had talk together: and the Lord gave ear, and it was recorded in a book to be kept in mind before Him, for those who had the fear of the Lord and gave thought to His name. 17 And they will be mine, says the Lord, in the day when I make them My special property; and I will have mercy on them as a man has mercy on his son who is his servant. 18 Then you will again see how the upright man is different from the sinner, and the servant of God from him who is not.

 

Bottom line? Prove all things and live for the Resurrected King of Glory… it will make it easier to die for Him.

 

There was a time when I honestly thought I was a Christian, meaning, that I was a real “follower of Christ.” But like so many others professing Christ nowadays, I believed what so many religious leaders nowadays teach as the Christian’s dilemma, that we will always be stuck in doing those things we hate and many times completely unable to do those right things we want. My question was and still is, just how is that being “free indeed?”

John 8:31 – Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed ;32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Romans 7:19 – For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.  21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.  22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:  23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.  24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

So, how are we supposed to reconcile those words of the Apostle Paul with the words of Jesus? Are we “wretched men,” or are we “free indeed?” Like so many, I was taught that Bible states sin was in me, and therefore, evil was always going to present with me. Thus, like Paul himself supposedly admitted, I too was always going to be sinning, and that like it or not, I am therefore incapable of ever becoming the person I pray to in Christ. That if I want any real peace of mind and heart, I just needed to accept all that as fact and quit being so hard on myself’ I simply need to just accept who I was “in Christ,” otherwise I would never have any peace. To this day I am continuing meet believers who wholly accepted it as sound doctrinal fact  and therefore teach it as so. Consequently, many of these have absolutely no real motivation to be “perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” To me, that is both alarming and frightening, since without holiness no man shall see God on favorable terms.

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Holding the truth in love

Posted: October 2, 2017 in Shared Thoughts

Many sincere Christians have been provoked into righteous indignation by those who reduce what Paul referred to as “the Power of God unto salvation,” the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to nothing more than mere theology. In doing so they rendered it a non-effectual redemption message, because it allows people to hear about God in the flesh dying on the cross for their sins without clarifying the necessities and biblical requirements for a personal willingness to change, obey, follow, and even die to self.

When for the sake of “unity” and “harmony,” true believers make concessions with others  who make a profession of Christ, they allow the Gospel of Jesus Christ is reduced to a mere theology. However, the end result can only be that people will most likely just become members of a congregation rather than maturing members of the Body of Christ. What a snare we fall into when men care about people’s feelings and how big, “successful” and “growing” the congregation is growing, if the precepts of righteousness are having to be cast aside, the Kingdom of God is neglected, and the righteousness of God is not being properly adorn by the body of Christ?

The answer is, carnal people care, people seeking acceptance by other people care, selfish and egotistical people care.

The purpose God has committed the Gospel into the hands of His people is that they might bring the glory due His name through its power to set captives free. However, it is the TRUTH, the WHOLE TRUTH, and NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH of the Gospel that sets men free. For if a person truly believes and obeys the Gospel, it places them in the “congregation of the righteous” and makes them members of the Body of Christ. Thus, true Christians are to be as the Apostle Paul said “faithful stewards” of the Gospel.

1 Corinthians 4:1 – Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

1 Peter 4:17 – For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

Yet, today there are many liberal preachers who are growing mega churches by generating feel-good-about-yourself religious social centers. Such men, and the growing number of women preachers too, are guilty of allowing the biblical requirements of true discipleship to become lost or discarded historical facts instead of present-day necessities for godly Christian lifestyles and fellowship with God.

John 8:31 – Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If you continue in My word, then are you My disciples indeed; 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 33 They answered Him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: why do You say, You shall be made free? 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abides not in the house for ever: but the Son abides ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.

Luke 14:27 – And whosoever does not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple.

Unless believers become true disciples of Christ, (or willingly come under the discipline and chastisement of Christ,) we are not children of God, but bastards (Heb. 12:5-8). Now this is not merely my personal commentary or opinion; this is what the Word of God says, and if we are not disciples, then we’re bastards which have no rightful inheritance to God or His Kingdom.

Hebrew 12:5 – And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks unto you as unto children, My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked of Him: 6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and He scourges every son whom He receives. 7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the Father chastens not? 8 But if you be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are you bastards and not sons.

Now consider also these words –

Matthew 23:13 – But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in. 14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore you shall receive the greater damnation. 15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

In Jesus’ statement, we can sense His disgust towards the hypocrisy of that the leaders of that present day religious system. It was a corrupt system whose leaders were failing as mediators and intercessors for people unto God, and that because its primary concern was to further their ministries at the expense of other people who were seeking God. Listen carefully to the certain fate of such hypocrites who keep back the truth – theirs is a greater damnation. And please, don’t be so naive as to think that the same hypocritical system isn’t flourishing today in the world’s present religious systems?

Servants of the Lord Jesus Christ who find themselves frustrated with this facade of Christianity being promoted by this pseudo religious system should find some relief in those words of Jesus that such shall receive the greater damnation.” Although God is indeed long-suffering with the misplaced sincerity of the ignorant, He is “angry with the wicked every day” (Psalm 7:11). “For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be” (Psalm 37:9, 10).

While true believers will often be provoked to anger by these hypocrites who keep others from coming to a saving knowledge of the truth, God’s word tells us not to “fret” over these wicked, (Psalm 37:7).

Psalm 37:7 – Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. 9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. 10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. 11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

However, we must not “give place to the devil” in our frustrations.

Ephesians 4:26 – Be you angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil.

We give place to the devil is we engage in open slander or attack these hypocrites in a personal manner. That is not to say we shouldn’t mark these people as those “transgresses, and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, [and therefore] have not God” (II John 9). But we need to be cautious because there is a point when flippant comments become nothing more than a person attack on others. At that point, such words not only cease to benefit the body of Christ, they can and often do cause damage to those who are young in the Lord.

Therefore, don’t neglect your responsibilities as a mature Christian to both God and His Church. As true believers and disciples of Christ we must both in wisdom and with restraint “mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17). BUT careful not to do so with any form of self-gratifying, personal vengeance such as slander or even an abusive rebuttal — even though you are correct. Truth must never to be used as a means of personal vengeance for the enemies of the Gospel are actually opposed to Jesus, not us. Their seeming opposition to us is only because they in opposition to the true God – just as they should only receive you IF they truly receive Jesus.

Jesus said, “If the world hate you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love his own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for My name’s sake, because they know not Him that sent Me” (John 15:18-21).

We must hold forth the truth in love and only use it as a weapon “against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). We are never to use the truth to viciously lash out at flesh and blood. Yes, many who hear it will discover the truth is in opposition to what they are doing, but we should never stand in physical opposition waving as it were the truth as a sword in the face of our neighbors. Remember, the truth is for men is intended to be a lamp unto their feet and a light for their path. For it is given to be the power of God unto salvation for those that believe  and follow it. It is meant to bring life through redemption and deliverance available in Jesus Christ.

Therefore, let’s earnestly, yet humbly, contend for the faith and expel the lies by presenting the truth in love for the King who has saved us, and in love for those who have yet to hear and believe.

Live for the King!

 

 

Scriptural guidelines for the proper appointment of leadership for God’s people;
and the care and reverence required of the people for their overseers.

Let me first say that I understand time is short, and that we, as “the Church,” might not have time to fully return to the old paths that are so well defined in God’s word. Nevertheless, through the light of God’s word we can find the clarity we need to see our present failures and sins, be they by omission or commission. For only through His word can we find the needed conviction, which many have conveniently avoided, and hopefully humbly come to a true godly sorrow, find repentance, and be forgiven. For we all must own our mistakes if we are to recover ourselves by God’s grace from them so as to truly serve God according to His expressed will. Personally, I think a great deal of Christians and their churches out there desperately need to do such soul searching and repenting before the Lord Jesus returns.

Jeremiah 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.

2 Corinthians 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. 10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

That said, please understand that I know, I truly do, that the modern so-called “Christian” church system has been corrupted and how all true believers should “come out from among them” and separate themselves from all its dead works. I get all that and understand the frustration of many and even partially agree, but that doesn’t mean those who truly want to serve God effectually, and worship Him in spirit and truth, and effectually minister to both the needs of the church and the lost, that we should just throw out God’s word like used bath water just because some in the church are unclean.

John 17:17 – Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth.

Ephesians 5:25 – Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; 26 That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.

Hebrews 10:22 – Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

1 Peter 1:22 – Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.

No, we shouldn’t throw out God’s sound doctrine, as if it were old used bath water, merely because some are still unclean for their having failed to rightly divide, or apply it.  For just as we were forewarned, hypocrites have risen up within the church who misuse God’s word to justified their positions, power, and ministries, and have thereby misrepresented Jesus Christ before the world; both in their character and preaching, and in so doing have spiritually abused and misled many in the church.

No, rather we should sanctify ourselves thoroughly by our obedient washing with the water of God’s word. As true Christians seeking to please God, we must endeavor to both faithfully and properly keep those decrees which were given to the Church by the unction of the Holy Spirit. For scripture reveals how those decrees were established under the authority of the apostles and guided the leadership of elders in the care and growth of the early church.

It simply does not matter how many wannabe ministers misinterpret, or have ill or selfish motives for their willfully doing things wrong, for all the hypocrites and apostates in the world and all their wrong doing will never nullify or alter God’s eternal truths given unto us in scripture. For today, when we’re closest to the end of ages, it remains a unchangeable fact that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” Read the rest of this entry »

Are you looking to improve your walking with God?

Here is an old book called “Walking with God” well worth reading. It was written Richard Baxter and first published in 1825. I had ordered this book since I was familiar with Richard Baxter’s work, having read “The Reformed Pastor,” a book which in my opinion is a must read for every man who has taken to himself the position of a “pastor,” or aspiring to be a leader or watchman in the church.

1Timothy 3:1 – This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

However, when I got my copy of “Walking with God,” the print was very small and poor, making it difficult to read. So, I determinedly searched, found, and downloaded the book in order to have ease of reading. Naturally, the book, due to its era of being written utilized words and scriptural references in archaic formats, which I have no issue with. But wanting to make the book available to others which might be burden down by such, I slightly edited these aspects so as to provide family members, friends, and other readers a more contemporary format. Don’t worry, the book is in common domain.

Examples of editing: knocketh/knocks;  obeyeth/obeys;  shalt/shall;  seeketh/seeks;  saith/said/says; etc., etc.

Again, I lightly edited the book solely for added ease of reading and studying and can assure you that Richard Baxter’s original message and intent remains spiritually unchanged, solid, and intact. I know this book will greatly benefit, convict, instruct, challenge, and generally will just greatly bless anyone truly desiring more “meat” in their spiritual diet.

You should be able to download the PDF to your own device for further convenience.

WALKING WITH GOD

Format for your iPhone or other smart phones.

WALKING WITH GOD for Phone

Enjoy!

A timely re-share:

Hallowed Be Thy Name

This was a message God laid on my heart concerning the deity of Jesus the Christ, the Lord’s Prayer and its exhortation for us to petition that God’s name to be hallowed, revered and feared in this fallen world. God’s people need to recognize the necessity to daily seek first His kingdom and righteousness while the long-suffering of God’s waits as with one hand he holds His love and mercy while with the other hand holding back His coming wrath and judgment on a wicked world.



A short sermon I preached from about 5 years ago…

 
“If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.” (1 Corinthians 16:22)

Whom shall God teach knowledge? And whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breast. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little. (Isaiah 28:9, 10)

 

In order for anyone to understand anything, they must first be made aware of some basic principles. In math, for instance, one could not very well understand multiplication without first understanding addition.

True understanding can only come from knowledge founded upon God’s precepts. Therefore, this post is an effort to present those precepts that are necessary to know in order to understand the role of male and female, and “why” God created us such.

God created humanity to be both male and female so they could “adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.” In Titus chapter 2 there are many examples for this are given, husbands and wives, masters and servants, young to elders. We especially can even see it in children honoring/obeying their parents according to the commandment with the promise of a long life and how as God’s children if we honor/obey Him through our faith then we too have the promise of eternal life.

To begin, we must first acknowledge how it was the male who was first created in the image of God with a position on the earth similar to God in the heaven. Even nowadays, when in a right relationship with God, a man will faithfully represent God in all his dealings, both in his own household and with his neighbor.

Since true love and commitment must be of one’s free will, God designed humanity with the ability to choose to be either His glory or His shame in the earth. When a man (male) humbles himself and chooses to submit to the precepts of God, he becomes the glory of God in the earth. His life will then both affirm and reflect both the righteous judgments and attributes of God.

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That’s what God’s word tells us.  But many today aren’t “fleeing” from it, rather they are for all intents and purposes running madly to it. For some insane reason people are literally racing to expose and open themselves up to everything and anything sexual, as if somehow it is going to be the answer to their loneliness or boredom or their oppressive sense of rejection and insignificance. It has become so maddening that even some so called friends frequently engage in sexual immorality and openly make and accept challenges to do the most profane things with as many partners to see who can outperform the other. This is not only madness; this is as close as a society can get to mass suicide. Yes, you read it right, mass suicide.

Perhaps it is because people are just so willfully ignorant of God’s word or so insecure having grown up in such a self-centered generation where almost everyone seems infatuated with seeking their own gratification at the expense of whoever and/or whatever. The thought of it almost no longer shocks some people that there are those who are literally drugging their supposed “dates” and then raping them and then allowing others to rape them as well. These human beasts are literally doing this openly amongst their select group of perverted friends in a celebratory fashion. Packs of humanity who outwardly look like everyone else while actively preying sexually on others, and we’re not even off the subject of “straight sex!” All the while there are others in more acceptable positions that have established themselves as “respectable” in the community who are so slavishly engrossed in their own sexual decadence that they cannot but run to every opportunity of fornication regardless the risk to their families and careers . . . all for a moment of unbridled indulgence that promises only to send their world crashing to the ground all around them while the whole world sees and continues to be none the wiser. Do you really think these people started off this enslaved and wicked?

If this is touching you then please listen, God’s word tells us as plainly as it can, “Can a man carry fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned? Or can one walk upon hot coals and his feet not be scorched? So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; none who touches her will go unpunished.” Man cannot indulge in sexual sins and not do serious harm to his own self, physically (STD’s), emotionally and spiritually.

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Though the book has been available in Kindle format for over 2 years,

it is now availble in paperback.

This book is extensive and examines many aspects of modern endime theologies in light of both scripture and history. Due to the severity of the times and the endless volumes of end-times theologies being preached, for decades I have patiently sought the Lord that I might understand certain passages concerning prophetic end time events and the key players mentioned therein. My earnest desire as a husband and father is to obey the exhortation to “prove all things” that I might faithfully lead my family in the things of God appropriately and “hold fast to that which is good” and sound doctrine.

To start, I would like to prepare some by stating that the conclusions of my studies will be found to be very different from predominant beliefs held by many who have unquestioningly embraced the view point of the admittedly fictional “Left Behind” series which became very popular, even among non-Christians. It was amazing, even making news headlines while the public impatiently waited for the next release, eager to ingest each of the “16 best-selling” fictional Christian novels written by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. Sadly, that fact alone affirms what the Apostle Paul wrote under the unction of the Holy Spirit, that in the latter times men would not be able to endure sound doctrine. But instead they would willingly swallow mere fables or the fictional stories of men as if they were the truth of God.

II Timothy 4:3 – For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Many of these popular Christian “fables” will ultimately be found to have served as deceitful milestones in the religious journey of many so-called believers; as they subtly validate false doctrines of devils designed to hinder true faith. It never ceases to amaze me how easily people can be steered away from the truth, spiritual reality and saving faith, and be lured into trusting what is presented to them in fiction, simply because they are told it is “based upon the Bible.”

Mark Twain’s once said, “It is easier to fool someone than it is to convince them they have been fooled.” This has been proven over and over again, that the greatest hindrance to people accepting the truth is an already established belief or presupposition that prejudices them against it before completely hearing the matter. I therefore encourage everyone interest in reading The Eighth Beast to place their beliefs upon the altar of God were they will be safe, that you might be able to continue with sincere and prayerful humility and remain open to consider the things yet to be presented. For in it you might find some thoughts that are different from what you’ve always believed or heard from your parents or pastor. Each of us are obligated to prove all things, for Truth must be proven with a thorough examination and cross-examination of scripture. Just because some of our beliefs may align with certain passages doesn’t mean they necessarily agree with the whole of them.

For that reason, it is my intention is set forth for your examination those biblical and historical points that have brought me to my present persuasion. Let it be here duly noted that I fully expect many readers will be shaken both theologically and emotionally by my positions, which in some points are sharply different from what is being widely preached and accepted. Some readers will dismissively abandon this book; others will recognize that a shaking of their theology is healthy, for what stands will be proven to rest on a solid foundation. For much of what is being embraced nowadays by many non-Catholics professing to be followers of Jesus Christ has in fact only become fashionable to believe within the last hundred or so years. Those willing to invest minimal research will discover that this theology now being widely accepted by believers is in discord with what was understood, believed and therefore taught by many scholarly protestant believers just a hundred years ago.

That is why we must prove all things the best we can, for God rewards the diligent seeker and not those who lazily trust in other men’s labor to get by. Those who study to show themselves approved by rightly dividing (and applying) the Word of God will not just learn theology and memorized its proposed scriptural support, rather with diligent, prayerful study of God’s word, will be rewarded with an understanding that often excel their teachers.

Psalm 119:98 – Thou through Thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. 99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for Thy testimonies are my meditation. 100 I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Thy precepts.

Now do not think that I consider my position on all points to be completely unshakable, for certainly many of you may very well find them to be nothing more than a square three-legged table, if that. However, by reading The Eighth Beast, if you discover some of these points do in fact have a measure of credibility, then regardless what you have always believed or been taught by whoever, scripture would obligate you to re-examine and prove all things; that you may hold fast to that which may yet be waiting to be found by you and confirmed as sound and solid doctrine. So once again, I encourage a thorough reading of all scripture provided, and even taking further pursuit of them in their full context in your own bibles.

As an added note, when scriptures are given only as references in books, most people rarely take the time to look them up. Sure, when a point being asserted crosses ones long-held opinion, some references might actually get checked out. But sometimes when beliefs are so ingrained, it is too easy to automatically judge the other’s perspective to be wrong without ever bothering to examine the foundation of scripture provided whereupon the author’s statement is being asserted. Others are either so confident or indifferent, they simply dismissively quit reading the article and casually move on to the next, or without any examination simply toss a book aside deeming it unworthy of their time. How far remove many believers are today from that noble Berean spirit that once searched the scriptures to see if the things being stated were true, (Acts 17:10, 11).

But those who do authenticate other writers’ words with the scriptures referenced are well aware of the increased work and additional time that must be spent to responsibly prove the author’s message. Therefore, it is my practice to include all scripture referenced in my writing; except for the one above placed there to make my point.

The labor of any Christian author should be like the labor of one who strings pearls to make a necklace to grace the neck of the one who chooses to wear it. However, what I have written here can hardly be considered worthy to be the string whereby such priceless oracles are to be joined, seeing they were given to holy men of God. Men, who like the oyster, were often required to endure severe trials before the grace of God brought forth those glorious pearls of truth for the benefit of those who would receive them. Nevertheless, I assure you that this book is a labor of love and obedience to my Lord Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 3:19 – The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath He established the heavens. 20 By His knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew. 21 My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: 22 So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. 23 Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.

Therefore, it is my earnest recommendation that the reader make a commitment now before the Lord to read through all the verses in their entirety. After all, these pearls are His words and their inclusions are here for your benefit, so please take advantage of them.

For funsies…

Here’s a couple of very old and interesting pictures from National Geographic.

Be sure to read their captions…

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Stay blessable, onfire, and unburnable!

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This is the third and final edition.

Jesus Christ the man

Posted: April 29, 2017 in Shared Thoughts

Christ in you, the hope of glory.

It’s that time of year again when beleivers celebrate the Lord’s resurrection and the events ocurring there about. One of the techings that seems connected with the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is how “he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.” However, many believers miss what Peter was actually referring to in that verse, and that my firends is the topic of this post. But first, let’s start this topic off with looking at a few verses concerning God’s prophets and the Spirit of Christ for some context and supportive references –

II Peter 1:21 – For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

I Peter 1:10 – Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

“Holy men of God” were “the prophets” through which “God spoke” as they “were moved by the Holy Ghost,” and they were only speaking that which “the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify.”

Such is why the Apostle Paul made his statement to the Galatians that, as a minister of the Gospel, he was crucified with Christ and thus Christ lives in and through him. But Paul doesn’t stop with applying this principle only to himself, for later he stresses how this principle applies to all who are Christ’s. For if we are truly “in Christ Jesus,” it is only because His Spirit lives in us; and if we are ever to truly be ministering life through the Gospel, it is because Christ is ministering it through us.

Galatians 2:20 – I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.

Galatians 5:24 – And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

For this reason, Paul testified to both the Thessalonians and the Corinthians that what he preached unto them was not merely the word of a man, but rather the very word of God. For Paul testifies what he had spoken was through the leading of the Spirit of Christ that dwelt within him.

I Thessalonians 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, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

II Corinthians 13:3 – Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you. 4 For though He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you. 5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Below another passage further establishes this truth that it was Jesus Christ himself, who by His Spirit, was ministering through the prophets of old. Unfortunately, this passage has also been greatly misunderstood by many throughout the centuries. Sadly, this confusion has given way for many erroneous teachings to creep into the church about Jesus, His death, and the completeness of the work of the cross.

I Peter 3:18 – For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which [Spirit] also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

The “popular” understanding of this verse is that after Jesus died, He then went to hell and preached to the spirits/souls that were in prisoned there; and some believe and assert/teach that of those in hell that “believed” what Jesus preached unto them were then set free. Added to these interpretations are other assertions such as Jesus had to die spiritually, taste hell itself, and be born again in order to defeat the devil on his ground, all this so that Jesus could take back from the devil the keys of death and hell. All of which are false.

Many believers raised in traditional churches assume these beliefs to be credible because they lack an understanding of the scriptures and the Nicene or Apostles’ Creed they may have been compelled to memorize. For when it states that Jesus was “crucified, buried, descended into hell and rose again the third day,” they assume it means Jesus literally went to hell, the place prepared for the angels that had sinned. However, this reference to the death, burial, and resurrection which is a true tenet of the Christian faith actually refers to Jesus’ body being crucified, prepared for burial, and placed in the grave for three days after which He resurrected.

Psalms 16:10 – For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

This psalm is speaking about the physical body of Jesus not being left in the grave to decay, or “see corruption.” It is not speaking about Jesus going, either physically or spiritually, into the hell which was prepared for the devil and his fallen angels. The word here translated “hell” in English is the Hebrew word “sheol” which was used sixty-five times in the Old Testament; thirty-three times implying the “grave” and thus correctly translated.

Adding to the confusion is how many people falsely believe that Hell is the headquarters of Lucifer, when actually it is a prison God made for the fallen angels and those who would imitate their lawlessness. The fallen angels and demons are terrified of hell. For when Jesus cast out demons out of the possessed Gadarenes man, they were terrified of hell and fearfully inquired if He had come to torment them before their time by sending them there.

Matthew 8:29 – And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with Thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art Thou come hither to torment us before the time?

Except for those fallen angels which were long ago cast down for their particular sins and are already bound in chains of darkness in Tartarus, the remaining principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness of this world are still loose and share the sentiments of demons having a fear for the torment of hell, for they know this prison was created for them.

II Peter 2:4 – …God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.

Since Jesus created all things it would be foolish to assume He needed to go to hell in order to get the keys of death and hell, for He has always possessed them.

Psalms 68:20 – He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death.

Revelation 1:18 – I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

One only needs to listen carefully to what Jesus is saying to correctly discern what He is not saying. For many have become so affixed by popular theology that they can only read the Holy Scriptures in the light of the theology they were taught: rather than proving their theology by the light of the scriptures.  For in Revelation 1:18, Jesus clearly says “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore.” That is because once again to “confirm the covenant” He tells us that it is He who has “the keys of hell [meaning the grave] and death.”  After His death, Jesus ripped the veil of the Temple in two and “the graves were opened.” However, it was not until after His resurrection that “many bodies of the saints… came out of the graves… and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.”

Matthew 27:50 – Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Ezekiel 37:12 – Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O My people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up out of your graves, 14 And shall put My spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.

While there are conflicting opinions on just who those saints were that “came out of the graves… and went into the holy city and appeared unto many,” I do not believe that these were the old patriarchal saints. The scripture plainly states that “many bodies of the saints which slept arose,” making it evident that not all of “the saints which slept arose.” Thus, I am persuaded these were probably saints who had recently died; for the patriarchal saints would not have been known by their appearance as there were no photos of them whereby the townspeople would have readily recognized them. Rather these were saints who like Lazarus were brought back to life in their mortal bodies. Incontestably, Jesus was the “firstfruits from the dead,” which means that all those who have died in faith are still awaiting the fulfillment of the covenant to be resurrected with their own glorified, immortal bodies at His return.

Hebrews 11:39 – And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

So let’s look afresh once more at that greatly misunderstood passage in I Peter and see if we cannot properly discern the apostle’s meaning.

I Peter 3:18 – For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

First it is clear how Jesus suffered and “was put to death in the flesh,” but was then “quicken by the Spirit.” That phrase means His body was not resurrected by the power of that earthen vessel of humanity, rather by the Spirit of Christ that dwelt within. Paul had stated virtually the same thing in his Epistle to the Romans, which again can also be viewed as “confirming the covenant.”

Romans 8:11 – But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Next, take notice in I Peter 3:18 how Peter states “by which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison.”  What Peter is saying is that it was by the Spirit that Jesus once went and preached to the spirits in prison and not in His bodily form. This reveals that it was not Jesus the “Son of man” which went somewhere and preached, but rather the Spirit of Christ.”

Also, unless we pay careful attention to just whose “spirits” these are that are “in prison,” then like so many others have we too will run the risk of jumping to all sorts of erroneous conclusions; which is completely unnecessary since Peter clearly states who they are. These are the spirits of those “which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.”

Therefore, these spirits are not all the lost souls of humanity which died from the time of Adam to Christ; rather these are only the spirits of those who were alive during those the days “while the ark was a preparing.” This is an excellent example of how we must be careful not to apply content beyond what is written to the scriptures. So why then does it say it was Christ who preached to those souls which were alive in those last days of Noah while the ark was being built? Perhaps it will help to review what Peter said earlier in the context of this very epistle.

I Peter 1:10 – Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

Not only was Noah a preacher of righteousness, he doubtlessly was one of these prophets Peter was referring to who preached by “the Spirit of Christ which was in” him. Thus it was Noah who preached unto them “which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah,” but the people rejected what the Spirit of Christ had preached to them through the Prophet Noah and therefore they perished; their bodies decayed and returned into the earth but their “spirits” are now “in prison.”

No, Peter wasn’t saying after Jesus died that He went to hell to preach, for anyone entering into hell and offering any hope to those spirits would immediately find everyone grasping at any possibility of escape. Rather, Peter was affirming the omnipotence of Christ, that though He was a man who suffered and died in the flesh, He was much more, He was a quickening Spirit in Noah through which He warned the world that then was to flee the wrath to come, of which only the few righteous were spared while the disobedient perished.

Thus, we have a sound scriptural account of Jesus preaching before Israel was a nation or there was a Holy City of Jerusalem and Temple, even before the time of His own incarnation. Why then would we fail to believe that the Spirit of Christ will again be there in like power and authority via the Two Witnesses at the next coming end of the world which is now cresting our own horizon?

II Peter 3:5 – For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

These Two Witnesses will know exactly who they are; and by “the Spirit of Christ which is in them” they will testify in the last days how they are going be martyred and how they too, just like Jesus, will be raised from the dead. Though their ministry and testimony of Jesus the Christ will absolutely infuriate the world and most of the Jewish people, a remnant of the Jews will nonetheless believe and having been pierced in their hearts and convicted by the Sword of Truth will be watching there slain bodies and witness their resurrection from the dead. This remnant are those who will give glory unto God after their resurrection once again confirms the covenant of God, perhaps for the very last time before the whole world.

Revelation 11:7 – And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. 12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. 13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

The only way these Jews, or any one, can give glory unto God is to honor the Son, even as they would honor the Father. Thus, this remnant gives glory unto the Son as their Redeemer, Christ the Lord. The fulfillment of this will be the prophesied in-grafting of the Jews back into the vine, resulting in the completion of the angel Gabriel’s prophecy to Daniel by ushering in the fulfillment of the covenant, the resurrection of the dead.

Romans 11:15 – For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

It’s time to be looking up, for our redemption draws near…

 

(Sadly, many are completely ignorant of the extent of the various rebellions and sins of the fallen angels, including their taking daughters of men for wives and their offspring, the nephilim; a subject far too vast to cover here. I would simply recommend two books on the subject which are available online in PDF format for those interested. The first would be “The Fallen Angels and the Heroes of Mythology” by Rev. John Fleming, A.B., published in 1879. The second would be “Earth’s Earliest Ages” by G.H. Pember, published 1889.)

A timely repost…

Sadly, what is mostly offered to the world as “The Church of Jesus Christ” is in truth nothing more than an apostate whoring religious system which, though naming the name of Jesus Christ, has succumbed to the worldly wisdom of marketing experts in order to increase their numbers. To avoid offending the attending ignorant, they eagerly embrace the latest fashionable watered down translations of Holy Writ reducing God’s word into a flimsy weapon useless against the adversary and too dull to pierce the heart of unrepentant sinners . . . many who already proudly boast in their illusion of “salvation.” Have they forgotten the warning “If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life?” Or are they just so arrogant and lacking of fear?

Read the rest of this entry »

Another timely repost….

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You are the salt of the earth
But if its taste goes from the salt, how will you make it salt again?
It is then good for nothing but to be put out and crushed under foot by men.

As I sat down to write this article I am heavy in spirit.  I have felt the Lord impressing upon me the severity of the judgment that about to come upon those who call themselves “Christians.” I am acutely aware of the criticism that will be directed my way by proud “born-again believers” who are claiming to be “saved by grace” that I would even dare to write this article. But I have not rushed into this article by any means; rather I have been hesitant for a while to approach the subject myself by writing knowing it places me firmly in front of the mirror whereby as we judge others, so shall we be judge. Nevertheless, my convictions to obey the Lord has set me before my keyboard praying for God’s people and humility, grace and wisdom to address this subject as the Lord would lead.

The world is as full of those professing to be Christians as the rainbow is diverse in colors and hues. Today, Christendom encompasses a contrasting spectrum of thousands of denominations from archaic orthodox churches all around the world steeped in tradition to America’s modern social lounge churches settings with couches, subdued lighting and contemporary music and music videos playing on huge screens while some cool guy or gal assures everyone of the greatness of God’s love for them “just as they are.”

Thanks to the Mother of Harlots there is no shortage of places of “worship” and even more reasons that people go to them. Some go regularly out of cultural religious obligations, while others actually go mainly for business reasons. Many people go to church solely for acceptance, though not by God but socially by others, reasoning that at church others as a minimum will have to act like they love them. The prideful go in order to feel important, so they can routinely impress others with their superior knowledge of the bible and philosophy. Then there are the patriotic church goers that go routinely simply accepting it as their religious duty and to boldly declare their faith before men though often having little true charity for others or love and faithfulness to the one they claim to serve.

Sadly, unless they repent, many of these people are destined for a rude awakening when one day they hear the Lord Jesus say unto them, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” and “I never knew you. Depart from Me for you who practice lawlessness!” Such strong words as these should sober up with fear those who claim “The Law” has been done away with “through grace,” Many of people who say such don’t even have the slightest idea what they are affirming as divine truth, and are like mimicking parrots endlessly chattering confidently their position with ignorant boldness.

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Note, the following is Chapter 15 of The Eighth Beast

As was stated in Chapter 7, “after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Romans under Titus, both Israel as a nation and their religion of Judaism as defined and practiced under the stringent guidelines of the Levitical Law “was not.” From that time forward it was impossible for the Jews to lawfully offer sacrifices, for the priests were killed or dispersed and the priesthood record of genealogy forever lost, and the sanctuary, the altar and the Holy of holies with all its furniture were lost or destroyed.” I believe all this was the mercy of God in His judgment towards the Jews; destroying a dead system which sole purpose was to point them to Jesus Christ, but could by no means save them. Thus the destruction of the Temple, along with all that was mandatory under the Levitical Law pertaining to the performance of its prescribed sin-offerings, sacrifices and oblations, has left the Jews obligated to look elsewhere for their salvation to be wrought by God.

Because of these things I am persuaded the words “He shall make it desolate” refers to what Jesus’ prophesied regarding the destruction of the Temple. However, this destruction of the Temple was said to be “even until the consummation,” which is a most interesting word for the translators to have elected to use. For “consummation” can literally mean two different things, as its definition can imply either the act of completing, as in fulfilling something, or the bringing it to conclusion to be no more, which are polar opposites. This is why this Hebrew word that was so translated “consummation,” has been translated in other parts of scripture to signify “a full end.”

Jeremiah 46:28 – Fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith the LORD: for I am with thee; for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee: but I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure; yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished.

Ezekiel 11:13 – And it came to pass, when I prophesied, that Pelatiah the son of Benaiah died. Then fell I down upon my face, and cried with a loud voice, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou make a full end of the remnant of Israel?

Clearly we can see that this word can be used to imply “to utterly destroy so as never to arise again.” This is verified by Nahum’s use of the word below where it was translated “an utter end.”

Nahum 1:2 – God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserveth wrath for His enemies. 3 The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet. 4 He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth. 5 The mountains quake at Him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at His presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. 6 Who can stand before His indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by Him. 7 The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him. 8 But with an overrunning flood He will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue His enemies. 9 What do ye imagine against the LORD? He will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.

Since the Hebrew word in Daniel’s vision which was translated “consummation” has elsewhere been translated a “full end” and “an utter end” to imply never to rise again, then what are we to believe regarding the destruction of the Temple which was obviously brought to “a full” and “utter end?” Ignoring all the religious chatter of religious zealots out there, the question of whether the temple will or will not be rebuilt can only be truly answered by the scriptures and not popular opinion or the goal of men.

There are two main reasons why many people believe a third temple will be built again. One reason would be because of Ezekiel’s Temple which many believers holding to the popular theology insist must be a “Third Temple.” Many of these believers confidently state that there has been no temple ever built with its descriptive size. However, Adam Clarke writes, “This is the measurement of the sanctuary, or holy of holies. This also was the exact measurement of Solomon’s Temple, see I Kings 6:20. This, and the other resemblances here, sufficiently prove that Ezekiel’s temple and that of Solomon were on the same plan; and that the latter temple was intended to be an exact resemblance of the former.”

Likewise, the commentary of Jamieson – Fausset – Brown and that of Patrick – Lowth – Whitby – Lowman, both acknowledge the dimensions of Ezekiel’s temple comparable with those of Solomon’s Temple which was destroyed fourteen years prior to Ezekiel’s vision. Regarding this issue of the temple’s size I cannot speak authoritatively. Nevertheless, there is much discord among believers who clearly have given exhaustive time endeavoring to substantiate their positions on whether Ezekiel’s temple was intended to be literally rebuilt or if it was intended to spiritually represent the Body of Christ of which the believers are said to be its “lively stones.”

Ephesians 2:21 – In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

I Peter 2:5 – Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 3:6 – But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house [temple] are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

Since Ezekiel speaks of animal sacrifices occurring in this temple, I fail to see how that could be acceptable to God in the present Christian Age, for scripture clearly reveals to us such sacrifices were but prophetic types and shadows of Christ’s sacrificial death pointing to that which was “to come.”

Colossians 2:17 – Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Hebrew 10:1 – For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. 5 Wherefore when He cometh into the world, He saith, Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared Me: 6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou hast had no pleasure.

Plus, in light of 1st Peter 2:5 mention earlier, it is evident that the believers are now that “holy priesthood… [who] offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” Which would seem to be in disparity with Ezekiel’s reference to “the keepers of the charge of the altar: these are the sons of Zadok among the sons of Levi, which come near to the LORD to minister unto Him.”

Thus when considering whether God would once again permit animal sacrifices to be reinstated and routinely offered as holy offerings unto Him, the concept to many believers seems to be a radical change of direction; a going backwards towards death and not forward towards life. Such a change would appear presently to only detract from the present glory that has been wonderfully revealed in the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 9:28 – So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Hebrews 10:10 – By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Christ was offered to bear the sins of many, once, and for all; that is for all sin, for all mankind, for all eternity. Providing atonement and redemption for all that would confess all their sins and repent by turning from all their wicked ways and calling upon the Lord in broken surrender and humility. But for those who refuse, the Lord is coming “To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him,” (Jude 1:15). This is the sure promise and judgment of the New Covenant; for scripture clearly states regarding the Old Covenant which was adjoined to the last temple with all its sacrifices, oblations and priests of men, “In that He saith, A new covenant He hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” Yet there are still those who adamantly insist a third temple must be constructed, even if it is later in the millennium; though that too disagrees with scripture.

Revelation 21:22 – And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

Regretfully concerning Ezekiel’s Temple, I cannot speak with any more certainty or conviction about it except to say I do not believe it will ever literally be built as the anticipated “third temple” for the reasons mentioned and others to be addressed shortly. However, when examining the amount disagreement that exists regarding the subject, I get the sense it is a winding mystery which the Lord has not called me to solve or untangle. It is best to wait on the Lord till He sheds the light necessary to make apparent the things He has concealed.

The other main reason why people believe the Temple must be built again is because of the temple reference regarding “the man of sin… the son of perdition,” which we discussed in Chapter 2.

II Thessalonians 2:3 – Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

As was noted in Chapter 2, this temple Paul speaks of appears to be a reference to God’s people and not a structural building, as shown in an opinion which also was succinctly stated by Commentator Adam Clarke below.

“After the death of Christ the temple of Jerusalem is never called by the apostles the temple of God; and if at any time they make mention of the house or temple of God, they mean the Church in general, or every particular believer. Whoever will consult 1Co 3:16, 17; 2Co 6:16; 1Ti 3:15; Re 3:12; will want no examples to prove that, under the Gospel dispensation, the temple of God is the Church of Christ; and the man of sin sitting implies this ruling and presiding there; and sitting there as God implies his claiming Divine authority in things spiritual as well as temporal; and showing himself that he is God, implies his doing it with ostentation.”

Although there is much discussion and planning in the works about rebuilding a third temple, I remain persuaded it will never be allowed by God. For the force of scripture and history both testifies to God’s making a full and utter end of the Temple made with hands, and therefore it is my strong belief that together they serve as credible witnesses that He will never again allow it to be rebuilt. In fact, I have become strongly persuaded that this very belief now held by so many, that a third temple must be built, is actually being used by the adversary to cause many Christians to stumble by its serving as a false milestone or erroneous eschatological marker of the end times. Because of these theologies, I believe there are way too many procrastinating Christians nowadays who are looking for the fulfillment of such “prophetic signs” as indicators for when they are going to have to really “get serious with God.” The fact that there is indeed so much planning and preparations occurring these last days to rebuild a temple, only speaks to me of the shortness of time till the Lord returns to smite the nations and rule them with a rod of iron and tread them as in the winepress with the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. For surely if the adversary of God is promoting erroneous doctrines in these last days to which “believers” are looking and believe, he will surely endeavor to confirm them with rumors and the plans of fallen men as well as lying signs and wonders. But does that mean they are going to come to pass?

I Corinthians 13:12 – For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Ephesians 5:30 – For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Doubtless, marriage is a covenant. As a matter of fact, it is the greatest of all forms of covenants that exist among humanity. For by marriage a husband and wife are to literally adorn the Doctrine of God our Savior. This we see in Titus chapter two where Paul speaks of the many roles in life where this doctrine can be adorn, husbands and wives, masters and servants, the young with their elders. We can especially see the adorning of this doctrine in the Fifth Commandment where we are all exhorted to honor our parents with the attached promise being given us of a long life; thus we as God’s children, if we honor Him through our faithfulness have the surety of His promise of eternal life.

Titus 2:4 – That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands… 10 …that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.

In marriage we witness the adorning of the doctrine of God our savior in that it was the male who was first created in the image of God in a position of dominion on earth similar to God’s own in heaven. When in a right relationship with God, a godly man will faithfully exemplify God in all his ways, whether in his own household or with his neighbors.

Since true love and commitment must be given of one’s free will, God designed His covenant so that all who have ears to hear will have the ability to choose whether to continue in their fallen shame or be reborn and restored as a light of His glory on earth. Thus when a man (male) humbles himself and by God’s grace yields himself to the holy precepts of God, he truly becomes the glory of God in the earth; his life is made new and increasingly begins affirming and reflecting both the righteous judgments and holy attributes of his God.

Similarly, the scriptures reveal that the substance for the woman was taken from man and perfectly made into a woman for the man; teaching us that by God’s royal design the woman should be to the man from which she was created, that which man was intended to be to God, His glory.

I Corinthians 11:7 – For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

(See article on above verse here “Because of the angels” )

Since woman was created for the man, when she chooses to align her life with those principles God established to guide her role as a wife, she becomes the glory of her husband. On the other hand, if she rejects God’s word and defies her husband’s authority as established by God, she will become a shame and hindrance unto him.

Proverbs 12:4 – A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.

Thus through prophetic action, when a woman is resolved in her heart to serve God by faithfully honoring her husband, she represents that part of humanity (the true church) which has settled it in their hearts and are resolved to fear God and keep His commandments. Through her godly relationship with her husband the righteous woman will literally reveal through her actions that personal relationship God desires each and every one of us to have with Him; for her life will literally preach the Gospel of God’s love. For the proof of our love is witnessed by our trust and submission. The result of such love will be true and total intimacy.

Concerning the man, although he was created in the image of God, even in the midst of a creation full of other living creatures, it was still acknowledged by God that man was “alone.” For this reason, the substance for the woman’s creation was taken from man’s own flesh and made into a living soul-mate for him. Thus through the covenant of marriage, man’s role is intended to imitate that of God’s, while the woman’s role imitates that of the church, the Bride of Christ.

It is evident that God could have created man and woman at the same time, for surely God foresaw all Adam’s needs. Rather in His infinite wisdom God intentionally created the man first, placing him in a position parallel to His own; with authority over his, (that is man’s) kingdom, yet alone with no suitable mate. God wanted Adam to be able to fully identify with Him, both positionally and emotionally; for even amongst all the angelic beings, God’s desire was for something even grandeur with which He would share both His image and glory. Thus, it was only after naming all those animals when Adam fully realized just how alone he was that God created Eve for Adam from that which was close to his heart. For it was man’s heart and not his strength that was incomplete.

Through this we can see that the creation of humanity was the result of a yearning of God’s heart for what we in our frailty might best understand as a bride, a suitable helper magnificently designed so as to share His glory with Him for all eternity. This is why the greatest commandment God has ever given is to love Him with all our heart, soul, strength, and the entire essence of our being. “Therefore” as both Adam prophesied and Paul wrote, “for this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (See post “Why God created us male and female“)

This becoming “one flesh” reflects the merging of two hearts and minds in an endeavor to live as one through the covenant of marriage. This covenant is consummated, sealed and confirmed by the intimate joining of a man and woman together through sexual intimacy. By Royal design the male and female bodies fit together as one, with the male (representing God) entering into the female (who represents humanity), face to face and heart to heart, as the man then imparts his seed into the woman and life springs forth. And so it is that God causes us to be “born again, not of corruptible seed, but incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.”

And so it is more than thought-provoking, that in this vision the Angel Gabriel reveals to Daniel one who comes confirming a covenant and was then cut off. These points, each in their own measure, lend foundation to my conviction that this last “seventieth week of Daniel,” begins the period of time in which God tabernacled with men via the man Jesus Christ to “confirm the covenant with many.”

Summary

Two undisputable events transpire during this seventieth week according to the vision: first, is the beginning Messiah Jesus Christ comes and He is then “cut off, but not for Himself.”

John 12:27 – Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.

John 18:37 – …To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

Ephesians 5:25 – …Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; 26 That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

The second event, and most likely a consequence of the first, is that the seventieth week is divided in half by a specific event that demands clarification, which we will look into in the next chapter, for “…in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease…”

The events which transpire within the Seventieth Week led to the destruction of the Temple, bringing it to a full and utter end. However, that is not how the Holy Spirit led the translators to write it; rather they wrote “even until the consummation.” And so, wondrously, this phrase in the prophecy can actually have two layers of meanings that point to undeniable truths:

First, the last temporal prophetic temple that was made with men’s hands, was decaying, waxing old, and through its destruction vanished away. Just as the sacrifices and oblations, the Temple too, having fulfilled their purpose was brought to a full and utter end.

Hebrews 8:13 – In that He saith, A new covenant, He hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

Second, when at the glorious consummation of the marriage of the Lamb, “then face to face” the Bride of Christ will intimately know her lover even as she is known.

I Corinthians 13:12 – For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Hebrews 9:5 – And for this cause He is the mediator of the new testament [or covenant], that by means of death [being cut off], for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise, [and the confirmation] of eternal inheritance.

See also Chapter 17 – He Shall Confirm the Covenant with Many