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Saturday, October 19, 2013

(77) The Anti-Christ, Part 2

Who is he?  Ask some people of history and they will say Nero, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin or someone else who destroyed their world.  Ask more modern people like democrats they will say Ronald Reagan or GW Bush.  Republicans will say Clinton (Bill) or Obama.  Some will even say things like the Pope or Prince Charles.  Dr David Jeremiah says it the best.  He tells of a story that he has in his library a collection of all the people who have been considered or even accused of being the anti-Christ.  When he got done reading the list he compiled he was relieved his name did not make the list.  The point is we really won't know who this person is until half the world is gone and it is too later.  The half that will remain will be deceived and will never believe the person could be satan incarnate until they have made the ultimate wrong commitment.
 
The Bible says or at least hints at:
  • a leader who rises up and becomes a world leader (Daniel 7:24-25,11:39-44)
  • miracle performer (2 Thess. 2:9)
  • will deceive the world (2 John 2:7, 1 John 2:22)
  • will get rid of religion so he can be worshiped (Daniel 7:25,9:27,11:36-37; Matt 24:15; Rev 13:5-8)
  • will have a false prophet go before him (Matth 24:21-28)
  • will come back from a fatal head wound (Rev 13:3, 17:8)
  • pretends to be a man of peace and prosperity (Daniel 9:27, Matt 24:15)
  • rules for 7 years, 3 1/2 of peace, 3 1/2 of war (Daniel 7:25, 9:27; Rev 13:7)
The Bible also tells us signs of the time
  • wars and rumors of wars (Matt 24:6)
  • earth will go through pangs (Matt 24:7-8; Luke 21:25-27)
  • people will be lovers of their own selves (2 Tim 3:1-4)
  • people will be disobedient (2 Tim 3:1-4)
  • people will listen to lies and not the truth (Matt 24:9-12)
  • economic prosperity then economic hardships (James 5:1-3; Rev 6:6)
Where in any writings, "scriptures", legends, myths, or anything of the sort can be so clear and connected?  This will happen.  These writings of the Bible are spread out 600 years apart yet still connect a perfect story that will become reality.  The only question remains is when?  No one knows that answer or will know the answer.  All we need to do is look for the seasons and signs given to us and be prepared at anytime.

Friday, October 18, 2013

(76) The Anti-Christ, Part 1

Boo!  666!  Oooooh, so scary.  Only if you do not understand.  What is he?
 
If you look at the true definition you will get a better picture of what it encompasses.  Anti-Christ; Jesus Christ in Hebrew is Y'shua ha Messiach, or "The God-anointed One who saves".  So the term anti-Christ means the opposite of that.  In other words, "the self-appointed one who destroys".  Satan is here to destroy.  Jesus is here to save.  This is not to say that satan is the opposite as Jesus.  That would mean satan is equal to Jesus.  This only means that he is trying to destroy what Jesus has done.
 
There are a few ways that the word anti-Christ is used in the Bible.  One usage (1 John 4:3) shows that there is a spirit of anti-Christ which refers to the way the world is.  There is a Godly realm with believers of Christ share their faith and try to live by Godly values, hence a spirit of love, compassion, mercy, and hope.  And then there is the spirit of the satanic realm, a spirit of pride (notice the opposite of everything good is pride).  Another usage (1 John 2:22) shows there are actions of anti-Christ.  As opposed to helping, hospitality, teaching, and ministering, there is an opposite action of murder (in all sense of the word).  Yet another usage (1 John 2:18) shows there are people who are against the values of God and do the works of satan.  Hitler is a prime example.  He is not satan but did the work of satan.  There have been many people filling this definition.  They do not have to be famous.  They could be living next door, homeless, or leaders of nations.  But the one that people get scared about is the last usage (2 Thess. 2).  The one who will come to earth with satan incarnated.  The anti-Christ that is a person.
 
Some will say that this usage is not accurate and that the references to the anti-Christ is only symbolic.  That view however is flawed based on scripture.  Scripture specifically uses the same language structure for the anti-Christ as it does for Jesus Himself.  Look at the comparisons.
  • Jesus is the Son of God, the AC is the son of perdition
  • Jesus is the Son of man, the AC is man of lawlessness
  • Jesus is the Lamb, the AC is the beast
  • Jesus is the Holy One, the AC is the lawless one
  • Jesus has a kingdom, the AC tries to have a kingdom
If someone says that the anti-Christ is only symbolic then they have to say the Jesus is as well.
 
In the end this man is not to be feared.  For greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.  He is just a man who has no power except for that which is given to him.  If Jesus is in you then you have already conquered him.  If Jesus is in you then you have already conquered his spirit; you have conquered his workers; you have conquered his works.  You, if Jesus is in you, are more than a conqueror.  You are a child of God.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

(75) The Book of Revelation

For those who have ears...
 
First and foremost it is not the book of Revelations.  There is only one, therefore Revelation.  It is also not the revelation of John.  It is a revelation revealed to John.  The revelation is of Jesus Christ.
 
Perhaps the most misunderstood and controversial book in the history of man.  Is it real; is it imagery; is it symbolism; is it literal; is it futuristic; is it historic?  The answer to these questions is yes.  There are some parts that are imagery.  There are some parts that are literal.  Some parts tell of the past.  And some tell of the future.
 
It was written by John, the Apostle.  John was now back on his own after taking in Mary per Jesus' request at the cross.  While he was on the island of Patmos he received the vision from Jesus.  John was on the island of Patmos for preaching the gospel after being told not to do so.  Tradition and folk lore says that John was sentenced to die in a cauldron of oil but did not die so he was exiled to the island.  The island itself was taken by the Romans in 2nd century BC and was made into a penal colony for those who were deemed as a political opposition or a threat to Rome.  The book was written around 95 AD but this is argued by Preterists who think it was written right before 70 AD.  But many annals say he was exiled in the 14th year of Emperor Domitian.  If that is so there is no way 70 AD would be correct.
 
There are many views that people see Revelation.  All have their point of views supported and each one has their point of view with holes.
  1. Symbolic-- shows the cosmic battle between good and evil and how Christ conquers all
  2. Preterist-- shows that it is about 1st Century Church and its struggle with the Roman Empire
  3. Historic-- shows the history of the Church from its beginning until the end of time
  4. Futuristic-- shows what is to happen at the end of times only
Those who hold onto the first two views are considered amillennialist and say that the rule of Christ kingdom is now and Revelation is purely symbolic.  Those who hold onto the 3rd view are considered post millennial and say that Christ will establish a kingdom on earth for 1000 years.  Those who hold onto the 4th view are considered premillennialist and say that there will be a rapture and Christ will take all the believers back to heaven and the 1000 year reign is symbolic.
 
The most consistent seems to be that Revelation is telling a story of the end times but using the present day symbols to show a connection.  John specifically says in 1:19 that he was to write down what is now and what will take place later.  The events and images that John portrays such as the churches in Asia, wars in heaven, the Four Horsemen, Trumpets and Judgements, all use 1st century imagery to describe both the present in John's days and to serve as a warning for future generations.  Example:  the Church in Philadelphia was real.  It was faithful and did the deeds of Christ.  But it also tells us that if we are faithful then Jesus' name will be written upon us.  Revelation is filled with all of these connections.
 
The most argued substance though in the book is the anti-Christ, the beast, and what it stands for.  The same equation used to describe the other images n this book can be used for this person as well.  The anti-Christ is a person and can also be considered symbolic for anything that stands up against God and His Son.  John uses words that people in Rome would know so they could make a comparison of the what they know with what Jesus wants His people to know.  This is where the preterist makes his case.  Since many of the events talk about Rome then all of the anti-Christ's activities point to the Roman Emperors.  But one thing destroys the extreme position of this view.  Rome destroyed the Temple in 70 AD.  This book was written in 95 AD or so.  If you use a preterist view and not take it literally then many of the positions are accurate.
 
Some of the main points are:
1.  Jesus is the beginning and the end.  He is all in all.  He was, He is, and He will be.  (1:8)
2.  Jesus is the only one perfect and worthy.  (5:1-14)
3.  Jesus is the lamb that is also the shepherd (7:17)
4.  Satan is doomed.  (20:7-10)
5.  Jesus is coming again.  (22:7-21)
 
This book was written no matter how we look at it as a warning that we need to follow Jesus because He is everything to this universe.  He is the alpha and omega.   His words are faithful and true.  He is the King of kings and Lord of lords.  He is not only the Lamb but the Lion as well.  Those who read this book with an open mind are blessed.  In the end no matter what those who believe in Jesus and followed His teachings will be united with Him either here on earth or in heaven or both.  Sadly, though many will not believe even if all the events in Revelation are revealed as complete literal because mankind will have become full of pride and will live by the flesh.  Pray for those who are stubborn.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

(74) Touch of the Master

Inspired by Joseph Prince Ministries:

In the Old Testament (Torah) the Jewish nation was bound by certain laws to become holy or clean before the Lord Adonai.  If you sinned or had afflictions you had to do certain acts.  You had sacrifices.  You had ceremonial cleansings.  You had to be isolated for certain amount of times.  You had to leave your community until the affliction was gone or you were.  Such as lepers had a skin condition that by the law made them unclean.  Lepers were not allowed to walk in the streets, they had to stay in the valley of the lepers.  There was a woman who had a hemorrhage for 12 years and because of this she was considered unclean.  When she touched Jesus' clothing as He walked by she then tried to hide for fear of the people because of what she had done.  By the law, those who were considered unclean were not allowed to touch those who were considered clean.  If they did then the unclean passed onto the clean thereby making them unclean as well.  People ran from them.  People ignored them.  People were frightened to be around them; causing those with afflictions to feel like outcasts, loners, and unworthy.  Leviticus 21:7, says:
  • When anyone touches anything unclean, whether human uncleanness, or an unclean animal, or any unclean detestable thing, and eats of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings which belong to the Lord, that person shall be cut off from his people.
But Jesus through the new covenant of grace changed all of that.  When Jesus saw these people He did not shy away from them like the regular population.  Unlike others who backed away, Jesus went to them and even more He touched them.  Matthew 8:2-3:
  • And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”  Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
By the law, the leper and the woman would have been considered unclean but because of who He was the tables were turned. Instead of the unclean causing the clean to be unclean this time the clean made the unclean...clean!
 
Those who are touched by the Master are cleansed.  It doesn't matter what our past holds.  It doesn't matter how unclean we have been, when we are touched by the Master our sins are washed away, our past stays exactly where it is, in the past.  Our unworthiness is now made worthy.  This is why Paul says Your grace is sufficient.  Paul had a horrible history with God's new family members and yet Paul knew he was forgiven because He was touched by Jesus.
 
Whether Jesus seeks us out or we seek Him, we can have this cleansing.

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