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Friday, August 29, 2014

1 Corinthians 4:7, Romans 9:14-18 and the Great Tribulation

1 Cor. 4:7 For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?
Romans 9:14What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCYAND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.” 16So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UPTO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOUAND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH.” 18So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.

I am a born again, Bible believing child of God.  I have a friend who is an unbelieving Jew.  Based on the above scriptures what is the difference between us?  The grace of God, His electing, choosing love.  On what basis would I say, the great tribulation is something that the unbelieving Jew needs to go through but I do not?  On absolutely no basis.
Many souls from every tribe, tongue, people and nation (God goes to a lot of trouble there to make sure we know that more than just Jews come to know Him during the tribulation) come out of the tribulation dead or alive, dying in the Lord, or living for the Lord.  Only the Holy Spirit could make this possible, so the Holy Spirit is not removed, during the tribulation.  John 3:8, John 16:8-11, Romans 8:15,16, Galatians 4:4-7, 2 Cor. 1:21,22, 

Jesus is our Lord and Master.  He demonstrated a sacrificial love.  We who are called by His name, must do the same.
No one reading through Revelation would get to Chapter 4 verse 1 and say, "Oh I see, this is where the church and the Holy Spirit are removed from the world."  A simple reading is John is taken up in to heaven to receive a vision.  This happens to Paul also.   No one reading the gospel of Matthew, would get to chapter 24 and say, "Oh this part here is just for the Jew."  No one would read Paul giving the signs preceding the second coming in 2 Thes. 2 and think, "Oh he is just letting the Christian, Gentile church at Thes. know that  because it would be good to have it in a letter, even though none of them will be on the earth when it happens."   A plain and simple reading of the scripture is all that I am asking for in these matters.  I have never found a scripture that contradicts or disproves the Post-trib rapture position.  I have deeply benefited from many discussions on these matters, it has stretched me and my understanding and demanded at times that I dig deeper and wider.  

As the day draws near and the church is brought to a time that will be her finest hour.  I pray for the tribulation that will purify the church, that will reveal that we are poor, blind and naked, and call us to unity, repentance, trust and faith that are currently unheard of.  Maranatha!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Zechariah Chapter 14 Bible Study # 20 The Glorious Consumation

Zechariah Bible Study # 20
Zechariah Chapter 14
The Glorious Consumation

God Will Battle Jerusalem’s Foes

14 Behold, a day is coming for the Lord when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him!
In that day there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle. For it will be a unique day which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light.
And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter.

God Will Be King over All

And the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one.
10 All the land will be changed into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; but Jerusalem will rise and remain on its site from Benjamin’s Gate as far as the place of the First Gate to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s wine presses. 11 People will live in it, and there will no longer be a curse, for Jerusalem will dwell in security.
12 Now this will be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the peoples who have gone to war against Jerusalem; their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongue will rot in their mouth. 13 It will come about in that day that a great panic from the Lord will fall on them; and they will seize one another’s hand, and the hand of one will be lifted against the hand of another. 14 Judah also will fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the surrounding nations will be gathered, gold and silver and garments in great abundance. 15 So also like this plague will be the plague on the horse, the mule, the camel, the donkey and all the cattle that will be in those camps.
16 Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. 17 And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, there will be no rain on them. 18 If the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them; it will be the plague with which the Lord smites the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. 19 This will be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths.
20 In that day there will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “HOLY TO THE LORD.” And the cooking pots in the Lord’s house will be like the bowls before the altar. 21 Every cooking pot in Jerusalem and in Judah will be holy to the Lord of hosts; and all who sacrifice will come and take of them and boil in them. And there will no longer be a Canaanite(merchant) in the house of the Lord of hosts in that day.

There are those who choose to interpret this chapter “allegorically”, they are wrong and that is all I am going to say about that. The whole book has been filled with prophecies about Jerusalem, Israel, the land, the chosen people of God, so guess what, that is what this final chapter of the book is about also!
The prophecies that have already been fulfilled were true and literal, the prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled are true and literal. There is a heavy, black veil of deception over all those who follow the preterist way of thinking and I struggle to remember that this is a spiritual battle and they need the mercy of God to remove that veil. Oh God, do it for Your glory!
Verse 1 – In chapter 13 we saw the judgment of God and the death of 2/3 of the people of God. Chapter 14 starts with the 1/3 that are left getting back everything. Satan's victories are always temporary, always just another step on the road to his utter defeat! David Baron says, “This day of Jehovah, is a day which begins with calamity and judgment to Israel, but it is going to end in Israel triumphing over her enemies. It is a day set apart for the vindication of the righteousness of His character and ways, but it is the day of the manifestation of His Divine might and glory in the destruction of Israel's enemies, and the salvation of His own people.
Verse 2 – The antichrist is holed up in Jerusalem and the nations are ready to shake off his rule and God brings them down to the final battle. Their desire is to wipe this nation and land off the face of the earth. God's sovereignty preserves ½ of the people in the city. Watching IS and how they operate, we can only imagine that that in itself is a miracle.
Verse 3 – The long-awaited, long-anticipated, long-desired, return of the Lord, the 2nd Coming! This is no “Jesus meek and mild,” this is a warrior, with the power to wipe out the enemy in a “day.”
Verse 4 – This is a precious verse and deserves a lot more time. Jesus was taken up to heaven from the Mount of Olives. The angels said that He would return in “like manner” visibly, bodily and to the same spot. It was from this spot that Ezekiel in a vision saw the glory of God depart. Quoting Baron, “We love to think that this same mountain on which he once shed tears of sorrow over Jerusalem, the slope of which witnessed His agony and bloody sweat, shall be the first also to witness His manifestation in glory; and that His blessed feet, which in the days of His flesh walked wearily over this mountain on the way to Bethany shall, “on that day, “ be planted here in triumph and in majesty...In response to the actual presence of the Divine majesty of the Son of God on this earth, the Mount of Olives, on which He shall descend, shall be cleft in two from east to west, half of it moving to the north and half to the south, forming “a very great valley.”
Verse 5 – The remnant of God's people still left in Jerusalem flee and are protected in this new “cleft” in the mountain. The holy ones are both His angels and those who were martyred and those who have just met Him in the air and now return with Him to earth to begin His 1,000 year reign.
Verse 6 – Joel 3:15, Isaiah 13:10, 24:23, are other verses that speak of this phenomenon. A day that is not entirely daylight, and a night that is not entirely dark. It strikes me like a gloom or a hazy fog. The surroundings won't matter as much as what is actually going on.
Verse 7 – To me this is just the “heavens and the earth” bearing witness to the fact that this is a day like no other day. Baron points out that it mirrors the condition of the remnant of Israel, joyful over the victory over their enemies but mourning for the knowledge of the One whom they pierced.
Verse 8 – The physical changes will be in keeping with the spiritual changes and life giving water will flow from Jerusalem changing the Dead Sea in to a place of life. Psalm 46 celebrates this day. The beauty and the attractiveness, and the supernatural blessing on Jerusalem and Israel in that day, will continue and grow through out the 1,000 year reign. Peace, harmony, love, all these things which man tries to educate us toward, will be realized in the timing of God, from the place that God chooses. The foretaste that we as individuals get when we come to Christ is to whet our appetite and have us cry out, Maranatha!
Verse 9 – Zechariah continues to struggle for language to indicate the massive changes that take place, “in that day.” The angel's words to Mary in Luke 1:32,33 are fulfilled. The prayer of the saints uttered through out the ages, “Thy kingdom come,” is answered. He rules over the whole earth and those who rebel, in the nations, get consequences immediate and painful. Israel, has no rebellion, it is the nation of new hearts, a people given over to Him in all aspects of life, a light of revelation to the nations. This literal physical ruling on the earth is denied by many (preterists) who claim to be Christians. Such is the blindness and the evil that is still at work, but it is a glorious thing to listen to what Adolph Saphir, a contemporary of David Baron, says about this. “It is not sufficient that He is glorified in heaven—it is a perfect delight to His own that He is to be glorified and adored in the very scene of His rejection and shame. God will see to this. Here, where His royal claims were scorned, every knee shall bow to Him; here, where He was reviled and insulted, every tongue shall own that “HE is Lord to the glory of the Father.” His Name shall be excellent in all the earth.”
Verse 10Isaiah 2:2 and others speak of this flattening of the land around Jerusalem and lifting up of the city itself. Now more visible from a distance and more easy for the nations to see when they are approaching it, to send their representatives to come up to it. The specific mention of gates in physical Jerusalem again breaks the lie that this is just speaking spiritually, or only about a heavenly Jerusalem.
Verse 11 – HUGE verse, this is the long awaited fulfillment. The people can now finally dwell in the land, permanently and in peace. They have been made righteous and now fulfill the conditions of the covenant. No curse, only blessing. Here is a deep insight from the book that I have to include. The word “curse” used here speaks of something devoted for utter destruction, which takes us back to the story of Achan who by taking the devoted thing made the whole camp of Israel accursed, until it was purged by the discovery and the stoning of the transgressor, who became himself, like the devoted thing which he had stolen. The “sin” of those dwelling in Israel will no longer include idolatry. Dwelling safely, in confidence, securely with the only wall around her being Jehovah Himself. Isaiah 65:17-20, 23-25.
Verse 12 – Wow, there is one place you do not want to be and that is in the armies that go to war against Israel, “in that day.” I do not fully understand how with the antichrist holed up there, that this is seen as such an awful thing, so it must be that the armies are literally trying to wipe Israel off the map once and for all. My friend Reggie Kelly, states that the word of God would have plainly gone out and they would know that they are going down in opposition to the God, Himself. God will wipe out the antichrist, no human effort. The land and the remnant in it are to be preserved by Him. The whole scenario is overwhelming to think of. The judgment of God falling on people, the literal out working of these words demands silence on my part and a very humble bowing of my head in knowing that, but for the grace of God...
Verse 13 – This type of thing happened a few times in Israel's “Old Testament” history. It is a “work of God” in defense of His people, and I believe it applies to the demon army which will be a part of this last day's scenario also.
Verse 14 – Two of the judgments come from the hand of God, one comes from the supernatural strength given to the remnant of Israel. We see what happens when IS wins a victory and takes over an army base and then uses and benefits from all the weapons, tanks, and equipment. Here we have a victory that results in a lot of “spoils of war” coming to the people of Israel.
Verse 15 – The animal kingdom is suffering under the curse in a general way now. Groaning for the day when it will end. Achan's animals were killed along with him. The Amalekite's animals were to be killed along with them. Part of the “awful truth” of the judgment of God is that all those “under” the covering of the one sinning get swept away in the judgment. This fact, should, be a cause for a slowing down and a turning of the hearts of those headed speedily to destruction, but sadly it is typically not heeded. Romans 8:20-22 speaks of the day when the creation will be freed from the curse also. Glorious day!!
Verse 16 – This is a key verse in explaining about the people of the 'nations' who will be alive during the millennial reign. There will be some, who do not take the 'mark of the beast.' There will be some who do not participate in the final battle, who do not support the governments who send their armies to fight in that final battle. They are left and they recognize the right of God to choose Jerusalem as the center of worship, and they send representatives there to participate in the worship of Jehovah. The Feast of Booths, the feast of in gatherings, of harvest, clearly a reference to Israel's mission to the nations. Another aspect is the “living in booths” which is a reminder to Israel of God's faithfulness in the past as He brought them out of Egypt. So this feast which has no fulfillment as of yet, is one that speaks of Israel having been reconciled, cleansed, and equipped by God, going forth on their mission to spread the knowledge of the Messiah through out the earth. This was the feast being celebrated when Jesus stood up on the last day of the feast, John 7:37, “Now on the last daythe great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. So again we have seen a limited and partial fulfillment, but Oh to be a part of that last day ultimate fulfillment! Another point to keep in mind this feast was the only one celebrated over a period of 8 days, which brings a smile to my face as I consider the statement, 'no man knows the day or the hour.' The blessing of the millennial time will be the 'knowledge of the glory of Jehovah shall indeed cover the earth, and all nations shall walk in His light.'
Verse 17 – With the blessing comes the responsibility to follow the Lord, who has graciously revealed His ways. Refuse to bow, immediate consequences. Israel, when God ruled them in a theocracy often had rain with held as a judgment. Now the nations being ruled by God get the same treatment.
Verse 18 – There is no exception to this rule, there is no escape from it. This is justice pure and simple, no more bribery, no more rich lawyers, Hallelujah!
Verse 19 – God's use of the repetitive statement which is His way of saying, this is what is going to happen, period! No doubt about it. Truth itself has made a statement.
Verse 20 – “In the last two verses we reach the glorious goal and climax of the vision and prophecy. God's original purpose in the calling and election of Israel--”You shall be unto Me a Kingdom of priests, an holy nation”--shall at last be realized; in the condition of grace with God's law written on their hearts they shall be a nation wholly consecrated to Jehovah.” As a consequence of the people's lives being lived for God from the heart, all that they possess is 'sanctified' for the purposes of God also. No more distinction between holy and profane, sacred and secular, all is Holy to the Lord.
Verse 21 – Gives a specific example of this in the cooking pots, but then adds what I think is an important addition. Canaanite, could stand for unclean or godless, or it could mean merchant or traffiker. To me the meaning includes the word “mammon” the world system that is incompatible with the kingdom of God. I throw in the word “commerce” as an equivalent, that goes back to Chapter 5 where we saw the woman in the ephah, the unit of measurement for buying and selling. The idea would include; “through something in me, I can buy the favor of God,” or “through something that I become I can sell the favor of God.” Both lies were evident when Martin Luther was given the assignment to reform the church. Both lies have come back into the church under a cloak of deception and we would do well to be aware of them in every “harmless” form that they are introduced in, such as, “Noah was a good man.” That sentence is a lie, “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” That is the truth.
This study has blessed me in so many ways and strengthened my belief and my understanding that our God is not content with some spiritual fulfillment of His word. He has every intention of a literal, physical fulfillment of every syllable that He has spoken, all praise, honor and glory to Him!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Left Behind Lie

What a great run with my dog.  God met me as I prayed for leaders in the church, my local church and the state offices of that denomination.  God met me as I praised my dog, when we had a short run in with other dogs and "Max" stayed by my side and obeyed what I told him to do.  "Good dog."  I said and I realized that was the highest compliment I could give him, and then it came to me, "Good dog." is very much like this, "Well done good and faithful servant."  That is the highest compliment God has for us.  And we get that compliment when we obey the light that He has given us.  The blessing of obedience, may not be seen in this world, I might even say that it rarely is seen or given in this world, but it is coming in the very real KINGDOM that is soon to come, and will last forever!
Then I got this "We are risking the water to get to the oil."  A lot of trucks filled with water were passing me to go to a drilling operation where the water is used to break through rock underground to get to the oil and gas, buried under rock.  In the Spirit, I sought for understanding, and thought I need to ask more visual people like my wife about this, but this is what I got.  We will use the water of God's word to get to the anointing of God, and we will be grounded as a church in the Word of God, and so when the anointing comes it will be grounded by the truth of God.  This applies to my wife and I in so many ways, and was a real blessing and encouragement to me.
Then I was given this, Rev. 12:11 speaks of "they" overcame him by the blood of the Lamb.  Only ONE group in the earth is covered by the blood of the Lamb.  That is the church and the church is right there in the middle of the tribulation "overcoming" Satan, his demonic army, and the myriads of people who believe the lie.  The fact is the church is the only group who can stand up to Satan at this time.  He controls the finances, no one wants to go to war with him, he is supreme, except for this group of people.
Satan is an imitator, he will imitate Jesus by resurrecting the anti-Christ, he imitates Rev. 12:11, by having a people willing to testify, and to lay down their lives, but of course, their laying down their lives, is just to kill and destroy, whereas, the church lays down its life in a Ten Boom like way, to give life to others.  Praise God, there is no imitation for "the blood of the Lamb."
Yes that was one very good run with my dog.  Thank you Lord.