Born Again Christians
God gives gifts, but it's up to us what we do with those gifts. We can choose whether we use the gift wisely, or squander it. Solomon is an example of someone who asked for the right gift, but then made bad choices. When he began his reign as king over Israel, he loved God. After all, he had the example of his father, King David, who was a man after God's own heart. "And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places." 1 Kings 3:3. Oops. He loved God, but also honored pagan gods. Solomon had made a treaty with the Pharaoh and married his daughter. This wife was not Jewish and worshipped pagan gods. Take note: Never be unequally yoked. To make it worse, he married more than one pagan bride and these women influenced Solomon to sacrifice offerings and burn incense in high places. High places were where pagan worship and rituals were conducted. Had Solomon been faithful to God Almighty, followed his father's example of his love for God, and rejected advice from pagans, his life would have been much better. Still, God gave him a choice. God came to Solomon in a dream and asked what gift he desired. "And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou has chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing." 1 Kings 3:6-10. Solomon said the right words and at this point in his life he sincerely meant them. God was pleased and gave Solomon the gift he asked for. Solomon used his wisdom, but he also went the way of his pagan wives. He amassed a fortune and his fame spread to many nations. Unfortunately, he didn't use his gift from God wisely. It matters who you take advice from, and Solomon chose to look to the world for guidance instead of God.
By the end of his life Solomon was an empty man. He had written many wise sayings, but didn't listen to his own words. "Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? Or lest I be poor and steal, and take the name of my God in vain." Proverbs 30:7-9. It's been said "He who dies with the most toys wins". The truth is, when a person dies, they leave the toys behind. Only those things done for Christ will follow us after death. The word "vanity" in this proverb means emptiness and worthlessness. Solomon came to his end an unfulfilled man. Is he any different than most of us? Solomon had earthly gain, but spiritual loss and that left him empty. He had a wonderful example of Godly man from his father. David made many mistakes, but when those mistakes were brought to his attention, his heart was broken and he earnestly sought God's forgiveness. Solomon didn't learn from David's example. What example are you giving to your own children?
Some of us have been blessed by having God-fearing parents, but what example do you follow? Do you ask them for advice, or do you look to people who may not have your best interest at heart? Solomon's mother was a participant in David's greatest sin, but she seemed to learn from her mistakes. All of us make mistakes but if we continue making those same mistakes, we end up empty like Solomon. Perhaps if Solomon had asked his mother, Bathsheba, for advice about who to marry, the pagan women wouldn't have led him into the sin of pagan worship. If he had followed the example of his father, David, he would have sought Godly men to advise him and listened to them. Instead, Solomon took advice from people who just fed him what he wanted to hear. At a young age he had professed his love for God, but his life reflected his rejection of God.
We all face choices. How many of us have professed faith in God, but then continued to make choices that dishonored Him? When faced with a decision we can see many options and get confused. Bad choices come from relying upon our own emotions and that becomes a bad habit. "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6. These are wise words coming from a man who chose not to lean on the Lord. Even Christians make bad decisions. When a person only relies on their own understanding or feelings, that can lead to some very wrong decisions. Sometimes we're too emotionally close to a problem to see the right choice. That's when we need to seek advice from someone who loves God. You may be sitting in a prison cell today because of choices you've made. Make no mistake, prisons don't all have bars on the doors. Sometimes we're imprisoned in a life where sin weighs heavily upon us. God will never lead you into sin. You're in this trouble because of your own choices. Instead of listening to Godly advice you continue to seek the counsel of people who have helped you into the mess you're in. Perhaps you're in an ungodly relationship but see no way out and are willing to compromise God's truth for worldly sin. Maybe you're actually in a prison cell making plans for what happens after your release. Are you taking advice from someone who loves God and cares about you? Could it be that you're in the trouble you're in because you've continually rejected that advice?
This would be a good time to honestly assess the choices you made to get you where you are today. Scripture is filled with examples of men and women who have faced choices. The ones who made carnal choices suffered. For example, Lot made a bad choice when he decided to move to Sodom. "Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other." Genesis 13:11. Lot and Abraham went their separate ways, but Lot chose what looked good, but in fact was a poor choice. He ended up living in Sodom where sin was rampant. When he chose to move to the plain of Jordan, he was tempted by how beautiful it was. After he learned of the sin there, he stayed by choice. That's true for many of us. The lure of sin may look tempting at first, but if you choose to stay in that sin it's a choice you make. The sin and evil in Sodom were overwhelming. Lot's family was influenced by the wickedness around them. By staying, Lot was a poor example of a parent. Eventually the sin became so bad that God had to destroy Sodom, Gomorrah, and the surrounding cities. Lot's family was given a choice. They could leave the place of wickedness and live, or stay and be destroyed. You also have a choice. You can stay in the sin that's destroying you, or leave it behind. Lot, his wife, and his two daughters made the right choice and left, but the lure of what they had left was too much for his wife. "But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt." Genesis 19:26. Lot's wife looked back. Take heed. If you're imprisoned by sin, you've made bad choices. Learn from the past and change. Even Jesus used Lot's wife as a warning. "Remember Lot's wife." Luke 17:32. This was a warning for the final days, but is good advice for all of us. If you don't run from the sin that has trapped you, then you will be destroyed by looking back.
If you're facing a choice in life, remember that someone cares about you. Maybe you need to listen to the parent whose advice you've rejected for so many years. If you've continually run into trouble in life, then you've chosen to listen to wrong advice. "Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil." Proverbs 3:7. Humble yourself and admit you've made bad choices. Go to the parent who loves you. Maybe it's time to listen. If you've accepted Christ for salvation, but have been walking with Satan, you need to reestablish your relationship with Jesus. There's no sin He won't forgive. You need to repent. That means you need to change your mind about the mistakes you've made. Maybe you abuse drugs or have had an abortion. God is willing to forgive. Pick up your Bible and study His word. The Gospel of John reveals the love God has for you. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." John 3:16-18. If you're looking at the doors of a jail cell...whether literal or the ones we trap ourselves in with our own choices...turn to Jesus. Ask Him to show you the door that leads to true freedom in Him. Then ask Him to help you open that door and walk through it every day. "Remember Lot's wife" Luke 17:32. Don't look back.
The most important choice we make is whether or not to accept Jesus for salvation, but if you've been smart enough to accept His sacrifice, then He should guide your decisions. That choice should affect every other choice in life. When we come to Jesus a change should happen in our attitude and how we look at life, and make a change in our decisions. You cannot change yesterday, but you can allow Christ to help you change today and tomorrow. "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." Ephesians 5:15-17. It's not always easy to change. Not because we don't want to but because the temptations in the world are strong and we keep holding on to the sins of the past. Giving in to temptation becomes a habit that's hard to break. The time we spend rejecting Jesus can never be recovered, but we can move forward. Study Scripture and seek advice from people who serve the Lord.
Set your petition before God. "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." Matthew 7:7-8. The problem is that most of us knock and seek our own sinful desires. When you pray, are you telling God what your will is and seeking it, rather than seeking God's will? By doing that you will always fall back into the same mistakes that have imprisoned you. You may not realize it but someone is praying for you. Maybe it's a parent, grandparent, friend, or even a stranger. Prayer changes situations....even yours. Seek God's will.
The choices we make affect us and people around us. Have your choices landed you in a bad situation? Do you continue to reject godly advice? It's time to seek God and choose to serve Him.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham's previous commentaries archived at www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed.
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As Israeli frustration mounts about violence coming out of Gaza, the idea of a ground invasion, and once and for all to finish with Hamas aggression, becomes more appealing. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has endorsed this approach, saying, "There probably won't be a choice but to topple the Hamas regime." While sympathetic to this impulse, I worry that too much attention is paid to tactics and not enough to goals. The result could be harmful to Israel.
Attitudes toward Gaza are in flux. Efraim Inbar, the strategist who heads the Jerusalem Institute for Security Studies, for years advocated "mowing the grass" as "Israel's strategy for protracted intractable conflict." By this, he advocated an occasional reminder to Hamas' rulers and other Gazans of Israel's overwhelming power.
Implicit in this approach is an Israeli acceptance, most of the time, of aggression from Gaza, with its attendant damage to property and life. As recently as May 2019, he dismissed the Palestinian threat to Israel as a "strategic nuisance."
But Inbar recently recognized the high costs of this passivity and now calls for a "restricted ground invasion" of the territory. Why? Because "a short-term ground operation will bring better results than Israel's activity thus far [i.e., mowing the grass]. We need to maneuver inside enemy territory, locate them, and destroy them, or tie the hands of its members."
Others agree. For example, Ayelet Shaked, leader of the Yamina Party, calls for a wide-scale military operation in Gaza: "We must choose the time that is best for us, evacuate the Israeli citizens who live in towns along the Gaza envelope in order to give us maximum flexibility, and we must uproot the terror from within Gaza."
To these analyses, I respond with Carl von Clausewitz's simple but profound counsel: First, decide on your policy, then your strategy, then your tactics. Or, in plain English: Start by figuring out what you wish to achieve through the use of force, then decide the broad outlines of your approach, then the specific means.
Seen in this light, debating whether to engage in a ground invasion and to overthrow Hamas is debating a tactic; this should not be the topic of conversation until the goal and the means to achieve it have been decided upon. To start by focusing on tactics risks losing sight of the purpose.
So, what should Israel's goal in Gaza be?
The occasional show of force against Hamas interests has failed, as has destroying Gaza's infrastructure; so, too, the opposite policy of goodwill and the prospect of economic prosperity. It's time for something altogether different, a goal that transcends sending signals and punishing misdeeds, something far more ambitious.
Victory is such a goal. That is, aim to impose a sense of defeat on Gazans, from the head of Hamas to the lowliest street sweeper.
Aiming for an Israel victory is entirely in keeping with historical war aims but it is out of step with our times when even the words "victory" and "defeat" have dropped from the Western war lexicon. The Israeli security establishment seeks just peace and quiet vis-à-vis the Palestinians; Inbar speaks for them in dismissing the goal of victory over Hamas as "naive."
Negotiations, mediation, compromise, concessions and other gentle means have replaced victory. These sound good but they have failed in the Palestinian-Israeli arena since 1993 and blindly persisting with them guarantees more destruction and death.
With imposing a sense of defeat on Gazans the goal, what are the strategy and tactics? These cannot be decided on in advance. They require a contemporaneous and detailed study of the Gazan population's psychology. Questions to be answered might include:
Does the deprivation of food, water, fuel and medicine in retaliation for attacks on Israel inspire a sense of resistance (muqawama) and steadfastness (sumud) among Gazans, or does it break their will?
Same question about the destruction of homes, buildings and infrastructure
Would knocking out the Hamas leadership paralyze the population or prompt an insurrection?
Israel's security establishment needs to explore these and related issues to map out a sound strategy and to offer reliable counsel to the political leadership. That done, with victory as the goal, Israel finally can address the hitherto insoluble problem of Gaza.
"Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
12:11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days."(Daniel 12:10-11)
We turn on our radios and TV's every day, and if you're like me, you wonder what has happened since I last listened? What has caught the attention of the people of this world and points to a world that is imploding upon itself? It's all around us. The news of the unrest in the Middle East, the Syrian war, or the Israeli/Palestinian conflict growing stronger and fomenting rage concerning the Temple mount, and news of Muslims killing Christians, Jews, and other Muslims. The alliance of the probable Gog-Magog coalition of Russia, Iran and Turkey. The spreading anarchy and rebellion is in the hearts of the Arab nations yearning for what they falsely believe in. They wish for the destruction of the infidels of the western way of life, the return of their 12th Imam, known as the Mahdi and the enslavement of all to the sword of their god, called allah in a coming new Caliphate. It's part of their belief system. Don't believe it, then read on.
ISLAM, TERROR OF THE NATIONS
It seems evident, from Revelation 17:1-7, that the kingdom of the beast (Antichrist) will be united under one religion, probably Islam. Or as we have studied, it might even be a blend of false Christianity and Islam, known as Chrislam. Perhaps, initially, the Antichrist will have control over the western section, and Gog over the eastern section (whoever Gog turns out to be, Putin?), of the former Roman Empire. Not only is Islam firmly entrenched from Turkey eastward and southward, it is gaining firm footholds, rather swiftly, in Europe as well.
Muslims believe that world domination will be completed when the 12th Imam or Mahdi (their Islamic "jesus") arrives on the political scene and forces Sharia Law as the supreme law of the world. First, let us take an historical view of what drives the Muslim and their ideology...I say ideology, as it's not a true religion, but a set of beliefs about death, aggression, and domination of other people.
So what is their belief when it comes to this "Mahdi", or the return of the 12th Imam? People are very uninformed if they do not understand what is behind all the chaos involved in the cradle of civilization known as the Middle East surrounding God's Holy Land, known today as Israel. So who is this missing 12th Imam they speak of?
A QUICK HISTORY LESSON
Most accounts of the story say that Al Mahdi went into hiding as a child around the age of 5 years (about the 13th Century). It says he has been 'in hiding' in caves ever since but will supernaturally return just before the Day of Judgment. According to the Hadith the criteria for the Hidden Imam are:
1. He will be a descendant of Muhammad and the son of Fatima
2. Will have a broad forehead and pointed nose
3. Will return just before the end of the world
4. His appearance will be preceded by a number of prophetic events during 3 years of horrendous world chaos, tyranny and oppression
5. Will escape from Madina to Mekkah, (Mecca) thousands will pledge allegiance to him
6. Will rule over the Arabs and the world for 7 years
7. Will eradicate all tyranny and oppression bringing harmony and total peace
8. Will lead a prayer in Mecca which Jesus will be at his side and follow in.
He is believed to be coming back to set up an Islamic Caliphate and rule in the end of time and bring Islamic Sharia law to the world and make Islam supreme in all the land and this Mahdi is considered to be "divine". The bible calls this man, the Anti-Christ, the Assyrian, which is reference to somewhere in the Middle East.
How do they interpret when this holy man will appear? If you listened to the former leader of Iran, Mahmoud "I'M A TOTAL NUT JOB" when he spoke of the return of this false messiah, known as the Mahdi, he never missed a chance to ask the Mahdi to return to set up his kingdom here on earth, as noted in speeches he gave at the U.N. and in speeches in Iran. What is it he believes, or should I say, Islam believes will cause the return of the Mahdi, or this 12th Imam? Ahmadinejad believes that he is a prophet and his mission was to bring on the return of the 12th Imam to earth, by only ONE way. (so much for that, as he's been replaced). He believed that Iran, as a nation must create as much chaos, extract as much blood and suffering, and cause maximum destruction of their sworn enemy, the nation of Israel and the western world, including the United States of America. That was his stated goal and his believed purpose. You can do a search on any Google site and check out the facts of his beliefs. But the man was only a front man for the real power behind (as is the new president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani), as the real power is found in Ali Khamenei, the supreme Ayatollah. Ali Khamenei puts forth the belief in the return of the 12th Imam. But the belief is in their national identity as a political theocracy.
Islam and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei believe that this hidden Mahdi will arrive on a white horse with a sword in his hand to set up a Caliphate as to rule in the nation of Islam and all will submit to his will and authority either by confessed allegiance or by the sword. Amazingly, the description of the return of this Mahdi has an eerie connection with the same description given the rise of the Anti-Christ. Let's try and examine the similar traits of this 12th Imam and this coming ruler, known as the Anti-Christ.
What is said of the Anti-Christ?
1. First he will rule for 7 years. He will come during a time of great war and much blood shedding in the Middle East and possibly, the world. He will come as a peacemaker.
2. He will make a treaty for those 7 years with Israel to allow them to rebuild their Temple to God. Possibly on the heels of the Ezekiel, Gog-Magog total defeat.
3.But then will cause sacrifice to cease in the middle of those seven years. He will proclaim himself as a god sitting in the Holy of Holies of the Temple in Jerusalem.
4.He will demand a mark of allegiance, known as the mark of the beast. He will attempt to destroy the Jewish race, known as Israel.
5.In the end, He will be destroyed by the Prince of Peace, who will return to put down rebellion
Now compare this with Islamic beliefs about the Mahdi shown above and here. Islam believes He will come when blood, chaos and war causes him to return to set up his kingdom. He will attempt to destroy Israel and the Jewish race. He will demand allegiance to Islamic rule and Shariah Law. He will rule by the sword and all who do not embrace Islam will be slain. He will rule for 7 years, after which Jesus will return and with the Mahdi, set injustice right and proclaim Islam. Notice the similiarities?
Is the Anti-Christ Islamic? Is the supposed coming of the 12th Imam, the Anti-Christ.? Understand that Satan is a powerful deceiver. He relishes deceiving mankind with a parallel false religion that mirrors God's way and His salvation message. Could Islam be that false message, with its false god and its false messiah? Or in the beginning, a blend of apostate Christianity found possibly in the Roman Catholic Church and Islam we have studied? Eventually, even Chrislam will be destroyed, as the AC will demand worship of himself and no other.
Some believe that Islam will be defeated in the battle of Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38-39, but it would do well as a watchful Christian to keep an eye on Islam prior to these battles, as Islam is the antithesis of all that is Holy and ordained by our Almighty God, Jehovah or Yahweh...the great I AM, THAT I AM. Paul spoke of this man called the Anti-Christ and his false religion:
"The coming of the lawless one (the Anti-Christ) is according to the working of Satan with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness." (II Thessalonians 2:9-12.)
Could this lie be the lie of Islam? All who study this god, "allah", know that he/she was a member of a polytheist society before Muhammad made this god, the supreme god and he or she was a moon god or goddess, until Muhammad made allah, known at the time as "al-ilāh" or "the god" the only god of a polytheist religion derived from pagan worship. By doing an online search and looking for the archeological evidence concerning the worship of this god, allah, we find:
"The pagan Arabs worshiped the Moon-god Allah by praying toward Mecca several times a day; making a pilgrimage to Mecca; running around the temple of the Moon-god called the Kabah; kissing the black stone; killing an animal in sacrifice to the Moon-god; throwing stones at the devil; fasting for the month which begins and ends with the crescent moon; giving alms to the poor, etc.
The Muslim's claim that allah is the God of the Bible and that Islam arose from the religion of the prophets and apostles is refuted by solid, overwhelming archeological evidence. Islam is nothing more than a revival of the ancient Moon-god cult. It has taken the symbols, the rites, the ceremonies, and even the name of its god from the ancient pagan religion of the Moon-god. As such, it is sheer idolatry and must be rejected by all those who follow the God of the bible and the Gospel." Its symbol was a crescent moon with the stars as it's daughters within the crescent moon.
COMPARE THIS WITH THE TRUE GOD OF THE BIBLE.
Isaiah 46:9,"Remember the former things, those of long ago;I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me."
John 1:1, " In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.."
The evidence is startling when you compare the God of the bible, and the false god of Islamic Qur'an. The Bible has:
"No archeological discovery that has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible. And, by the same token, proper evaluation of Biblical descriptions has often led to amazing discoveries." (Christians answers, How do we know the Bible is true?)
The remarkable structure of the Bible should also be stressed. Although it is a collection of 66 books written by 40 or more different men over a period of 2,500 years, it is clearly one Book, with perfect unity and consistency throughout with one focus and message, the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ who fulfilled over 300 distinct prophecies by His life, death and resurrection. The same cannot be said for this moon god allah, even archeology refutes it as being made of by humans and pagan in origin. And what of the Islamic book the Qur'an? From an online definition of the book:
"The Qur'an or Koran, depending on your translation of the word, contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers. Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding. Muslims who do not join the fight are called 'hypocrites' and warned that allah will send them to Hell if they do not join the slaughter.
Unlike nearly all of the Old Testament verses of violence, most of the verses of violence in the Qur'an are open-ended, meaning that the historical context is not embedded within the surrounding text. They are part of the eternal, unchanging word of allah, and just as relevant or subjective as anything else in the Qur'an.
Unfortunately, there are very few verses of tolerance and peace to abrogate or even balance out the many that call for nonbelievers to be fought and subdued until they either accept humiliation, convert to Islam, or are killed. This proclivity toward violence - and Muhammad's own martial legacy - has left a trail of blood and tears across world history."
The God of the Bible is a God of love and redemption, but the false god of the Koran is a "god" of war, blood shed, death and suffering...quite a contrast. allah sounds more Satanic in nature, and I believe allah is Satan himself.
Given not only the archeological proof of the truth of the God of the bible vs. the false god called "allah" to point to just one of many, will unrepentant man be ripe for a religion that slyly professes a false peace, and demands a mark of loyalty, loyalty to Islam? When God's church suddenly vanishes, shall a soothing voice with a promise of a "greener earth", a better way, and propose a belief in a false god, called allah and to follow this false messiah, the Mahdi, shall unrighteous men be ripe for believing this lie? I believe they will.
THE ANTI-CHRIST CAN'T BE A MUSLIM MESSIAH, CAN HE?
I've heard the argument that Israel would never accept an Islamic ruler as their Messiah. I have to differ with that, (just look at the political unrest in the Middle East right now!) as Israel in today's political landscape is mostly secular and many of them are atheist by and large, save for a few right wing religious adherents to traditional, historical Judaism, knows as Hassidic. If you study the bible and understand why the majority of Israel did not receive Jesus as their Messiah, it stems from one thing. Israel was looking for a King David type of ruler that would free them from Roman rule, protect their nation and defeat their enemies. They were not expecting a suffering Messiah, but a conquering King. A larger than life, robust fighting man who would lead them to victory over the Romans and restore their national sovereignty and former glory. Jesus just didn't fit their preconceived image of the Messiah. They did not believe that they needed salvation from their sins, as the law of Moses and its practice was believed to do that for them....their works was their salvation and even in that, they failed miserably. Here's why they will accept a political messiah, even if he's Muslim.
THE ANTI-CHRIST HOLDS OUT AN OLIVE BRANCH IN ONE HAND.
When a man of soothing speech and a lying tongue promises Israel peace, safety and security and the ability to rebuild their temple unhindered by the only real objection that could be raised, being the nation of Islam, then Israel will accept even the devil as their national political savior, as its about their political security, not their spiritual security. I believe that Ezekiel's war has just been fought and the Russian and the Muslim coalition has been soundly destroyed by God Almighty to the tune of 5/6 of their invading army and the slaughter has followed the survivors home and the destruction continues in their home lands. An Islamic political leader will arise and make a treaty with Israel, as a Muslim belief is to lie and give the appearance of defeat until they can regroup and attempt to destroy their enemy at a later date. It's the same M.O. of Hamas, Hezbollah, the Palestinians and all Muslim adherents. Remember what Jesus said?
John 5:43 "I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive."
I believe Jesus was speaking of the Anti-Christ who will give the nation of Israel what they desire, a false seven year peace treaty of non-aggression, and the ability to rebuild a 3rd temple and resumption of animal sacrifices of the Old Covenant relationship to Jehovah, or Yahweh without interference. Logically, this makes perfect sense. If they were accepting their "spiritual" Messiah as savior of their souls, then when the AC sits in the Holy of Holies and proclaims himself to be God, (remember, they believe the Old Covenant will save them) then it would reinforce their belief that this is their Messiah....BUT, if they were making a political treaty with a foreign leader and his country or a coalition of countries, they would have accepted him as a political messiah, not a religious, spiritual Messiah and would quickly realize their error. Just like their prophet Mohammed before this imposter of divinity was alive, the Jewish people will not accept this blasphemy. And just as Mohammed destroyed the Jews in Medina because of their mocking him and his new religion, the Anti-Christ will suddenly turn on them and seek their annihilation as he will be spiritually indwelt by the prince of darkness, Satan the devil and demands worship for himself ....Matthew chapter 24:
14 "Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which Daniel the prophet spoke of, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),
16 then those who dwell in Judea must flee to the mountains.
17 Whoever finds himself on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that he has left in his house.
18 Whoever works in the field must not turn back to get his cloak.
19 But woe to those who become pregnant and to those who nurse babies in those days!
20 But pray that your flight will not occur in the winter, or on a Sabbath.
21 For then there will come a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will."(Matthew 24:14-21)
The warning would not be given by Jesus if Israel had accepted the Anti-Christ as their religious Messiah and their Savior...no, they accepted him as their national protector of political sovereignty, so being in the newly built Temple as a Muslim proclaiming to be a god, proves to Israel that they have made a pact with the devil. They received the Anti-Christ as it fulfilled their need for peace and security and deliverance from their surrounding enemies. It was the same for their fore-fathers who looked to Jesus as the King deliverer from the Romans and they just didn't understand or accept His mission to saves their souls, not their fleshly hides.
THE ANTI-CHRIST, STAGE RIGHT
The Anti-Christ is coming and may already be on the scene, but has not revealed himself, as of yet. We, who proclaim a belief and worship the only true God of the Universe and the Son He has sent, need not be afraid, even though we are entering a time of great uncertainty and unrest in the world at large. We have promises from Almighty God that He will be our strong foundation of the faith and our coming Hope. God has said that He will be our refuge in times of trouble, and nothing has more of a calming effect and increases our faith to read in your bible what God has promised when evil is all around us.
"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler
5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked."(Pslam 91:1-
Our God is stronger than all the forces that are rearing their ugly heads in the name of Islam and are committed to throwing this world into supreme chaos and extract a massive amount of blood letting. We may see terrible things come upon the earth, before the beginning of the tribulation and the revealing of the Anti-Christ to begin his 7 year rule, but David spoke of God being our refuge in this time of trouble, Psalms :
9:9 "The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble
9:10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee."(Pslam 9:9-10)
We are to seek Him with all our might, and all our strength. We must put our trust in Him to save us and guide us through times of trouble. We must be like King David when he wrote again in Psalm 62:
6" He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.
7 In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
8 Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us."(Psalm 62:6-
Does that give us hope, or do we still fear? Psalm 91 explains that when we are surrounded by evil and trouble is all around, our trust and our "refuge" is in our God Jehovah. Remember what God said in this beloved Psalm
91:7 "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee."
You who believe in the one True God, do you fear what is coming upon the earth? Do the symbols of Islam and the possible rise of an Islamic domination of a new Caliphate bring fear into your hearts? Do you fear when the Catholic church is getting all cozy with Islam and asking all religions to come back to the "mother church"?
"For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.
25:5 Thou shalt bring down the noise of strangers, as the heat in a dry place; even the heat with the shadow of a cloud: the branch of the terrible ones shall be brought low."(Isaiah chapter 25:4-5)
Put your trust and your faith in Him who can deliver you and sustain you through whatever we may see coming upon the earth. We need not fear what is coming, as it is written:
"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
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;
2:4 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." (II Thessalonians 2:1-4)
He must come and scripture says he will deceive as a power broker in lying words. He will destroy by lies. Woe to any man that puts his trust in a false religion, a false messiah, and idolatry of worshiping anything or anyone but the Eternal Lord of the Universe. If you are reading this and your mind has fear because you see what is happening all over the world and know that this path we're on can't continue without something breaking apart either economically or spiritually, or both and spreading world- wide, then you are not alone. You see religiously directed chaos in many countries in the Middle East that is spreading to European countries and even has visited our shores here in the USA that has put you and your loved ones on the edge of their seats wondering what could happen next, so let me tell you something. It will get a lot worse and soon. Our world's economy is set to implode into utter chaos and evil men will turn to anyone who throws them a lifeline, even if it's the tail of a snake.
If you have not made a decision to follow Jesus Christ and put your trust in Him and make Him your refuge, your strength, and your high tower, then you will be ripe for believing a lie when it is thrust upon you. You will see chaos all around you when millions of people have suddenly vanished off the face of the earth without a plausible explanation from the governments in power, then God will send a strong delusion that most everyone, possibly including you, will be willing to believe just to survive. It will be a most horrible time in all of mankind's history. Too horrible to describe in any meaningful words that can express the extreme evil that will envelop the whole earth. Whatever we will face, whatever we may suffer before the tribulation hour is revealed by the events noted in this message, we must endure to the end. But Paul wrote:
8:16 "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God."(Romans 8:16-19)
Paul said in 1 Corinthians, "2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."(John 3:16-18)
8 "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:8-13)
Our prayer: BE THOU MY REFUGE, OH, LORD, MY GOD!! We await your return.
Next time, I will go deeper into this concept "Can the Anti-Christ be Muslim?" Part II. See you next time.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying God's strengthening your faith and resolve to stay close to Him. If there is anything I can help with, pray with you about, or just listen, email me at
, God bless you all
till we meet at Jesus feet.
The End Times According To Isaiah, Part 2 - By Jack Kelley -
We're beginning this installment in Isaiah 2:6 and will continue through chapter 4. Having given us a brief overview of Israel's Kingdom Age, Isaiah will now back up to provide more detail concerning the time just preceding the 2nd Coming.
The Day of the Lord
You have abandoned your people, the house of Jacob. They are full of superstitions from the East; they practice divination like the Philistines and clasp hands with pagans. Their land is full of silver and gold; there is no end to their treasures. Their land is full of horses; there is no end to their chariots. Their land is full of idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made. (Isaiah 2:6-
Here's another hint that in the End Times Israel will accumulate great wealth. Ezekiel also made reference to Israel's wealth in the time leading up to the battle of Ezekiel 38-39. To explain Gog's motive in forming a coalition to attack Israel, God had Ezekiel reveal his thoughts. "I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people-all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land." (Ezekiel 38:11-12)
A group of nations standing on the sidelines will confirm this, asking, "Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much plunder?" (Ezekiel 38:13)
Today no such plunder exists. Therefore there's no motive for Russia (Magog) to lead the attack. All the talk about destroying Israel is based on religious issues, something that doesn't interest Russia. So there really isn't any incentive of the kind Ezekiel mentioned to goad Russia into action. However, if Israel was to discover massive oil reserves, as some believe will happen soon, that would be a different story. Russia has a strategic interest in the world's oil. A large discovery in Israel could serve as a tempting pay-off for Russia, sufficient to justify leading the Moslem coalition in its religious quest to destroy the Jewish nation.
A number of insiders say it's only a matter of time before this happens, putting Israel awash in petro-dollars with the promise of billions more to come. They say Moses prophesied this in Deut. 33:19 & 24. Knowledgeable men are drilling in Israel today on the strength of these prophecies and early results are promising.
So man will be brought low and mankind humbled-do not forgive them. Go into the rocks, hide in the ground from dread of the LORD and the splendor of his majesty! The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. (Isaiah 2:7-11)
Notice that the Lord isn't just talking about Israel here, but all of mankind. By the time He's finished there will be no doubt as to Who is exalted and who is not. Zechariah spoke of the day of the Lord's return this way. The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name. (Zechariah 14:9)
Later Paul would write: Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2:9-11) By the way, acknowledging Him as Lord is a good thing to do, but it won't solve the unbelieving world's problem. After He comes back it'll be too late for them to accept Him as their Savior and escape the judgment. They'll be led off agreeing that He really is Lord and admitting that they refused His offer of pardon.
The LORD Almighty has a day in store for all the proud and lofty, for all that is exalted (and they will be humbled), for all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty, and all the oaks of Bashan, for all the towering mountains and all the high hills, for every lofty tower and every fortified wall, for every trading ship and every stately vessel.
The arrogance of man will be brought low and the pride of men humbled; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day, and the idols will totally disappear. Men will flee to caves in the rocks and to holes in the ground from dread of the LORD and the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to shake the earth.
In that day men will throw away to the rodents and bats their idols of silver and idols of gold, which they made to worship. They will flee to caverns in the rocks and to the overhanging crags from dread of the LORD and the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to shake the earth. Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he? (Isaiah 2:12-22)
Three things mentioned repeatedly here give us a vivid scene of the End Times. Arrogant men, having engaged in idolatry in defiance of the Lord, hiding in rocks from the wrath of the Almighty. Please remember, idols aren't necessarily little statues. Idols are anything that man holds to be of greater importance in his life than the Lord. Zechariah 13:2 says, "On that day, I will banish the names of the idols from the land, and they will be remembered no more," declares the LORD Almighty.
And in Rev. 6:15-17 John wrote: Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?"
With the opening of the seven seals, the Wrath of God will have come and mankind will begin experiencing the consequences of their disobedience. Like their first father Adam, they were only given one rule, to believe in the one He has sent (John 6:29), but they refused.
Isaiah 3 ... Judgment On Jerusalem And Judah
Now Isaiah's focus will narrow to deal specifically with the Jewish people
See now, the Lord, the LORD Almighty, is about to take from Jerusalem and Judah both supply and support: all supplies of food and all supplies of water, the hero and warrior, the judge and prophet, the soothsayer and elder, the captain of fifty and man of rank, the counselor, skilled craftsman and clever enchanter.
I will make boys their officials; mere children will govern them. People will oppress each other- man against man, neighbor against neighbor. The young will rise up against the old, the base against the honorable. A man will seize one of his brothers at his father's home, and say, "You have a cloak, you be our leader; take charge of this heap of ruins!"
But in that day he will cry out, "I have no remedy. I have no food or clothing in my house; do not make me the leader of the people."
Jerusalem staggers, Judah is falling; their words and deeds are against the LORD, defying his glorious presence. The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves. (Isaiah 3:1-10)
Israel will experience a vacuum of leadership. There will be no common purpose among the people. Their only thought will be for survival. They will search in vain for someone to help them solve their problems, but no one will be found. Having enjoyed great wealth, they will now have so little that a man with a coat will be thought to have leadership potential.
Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds. Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be paid back for what their hands have done. Youths oppress my people, women rule over them. O my people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path.
The LORD takes his place in court; he rises to judge the people. The LORD enters into judgment against the elders and leaders of his people: "It is you who have ruined my vineyard; the plunder from the poor is in your houses. What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the faces of the poor?" declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty. (Isaiah 3:10-15)
As Peter wrote, The Lord knows how to rescue Godly men from trials, while holding the unrighteous for judgment. (2 Peter 2:9) One way the Lord judges rebellious people is to give them unworthy leaders who take them farther from God's truth into the deception of mankind.
If you're reading this carefully, you can see the parallels to our current situation in the US. We've enjoyed such wealth, and now that it's being taken away, we don't know what to do. We look around for someone, anyone, who says he can fix the problem regardless of his experience, or lack thereof. We have an irrational hope that all our problems will be solved within the next several months and when it doesn't happen we'll all be upset. We don't realize that as rebellious people we have no right to expect that God will give us leaders who can solve our problems. More likely we'll be taken further off the path.
The LORD says, "The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, tripping along with mincing steps, with ornaments jingling on their ankles.
Therefore the Lord will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion; the LORD will make their scalps bald." In that day the Lord will snatch away their finery: the bangles and headbands and crescent necklaces, the earrings and bracelets and veils, the headdresses and ankle chains and sashes, the perfume bottles and charms, the signet rings and nose rings, the fine robes and the capes and cloaks, the purses and mirrors, and the linen garments and tiaras and shawls.
Instead of fragrance there will be a stench; instead of a sash, a rope; instead of well-dressed hair, baldness; instead of fine clothing, sackcloth; instead of beauty, branding. Your men will fall by the sword, your warriors in battle. The gates of Zion will lament and mourn; destitute, she will sit on the ground. (Isaiah 3:16-26)
In ancient times captured women were branded, their heads were shaved and rings were put through their noses, by which they were led off in rags to servitude. Pictures from the holocaust reflect a more modern adaptation. In the End times the people of Earth will see this yet again.
Isaiah 4 ... The Branch Of The Lord
In that day seven women will take hold of one man and say, "We will eat our own food and provide our own clothes; only let us be called by your name. Take away our disgrace!" (Isaiah 4:1)
Beginning in Isaiah 3:16 the Lord had Isaiah speak against the vanity of Israel's women. Their wealth and their pride will be taken away to the point where multiple women will be willing to join together and agree to pay their own expenses to come under the legal protection of one man through marriage.
In that day the Branch of the LORD will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel. Those who are left in Zion, who remain in Jerusalem, will be called holy, all who are recorded among the living in Jerusalem. The Lord will wash away the filth of the women of Zion; he will cleanse the bloodstains from Jerusalem by a spirit of judgment and a spirit of fire. Then the LORD will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over all the glory will be a canopy. It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain. (Isaiah 4:2-6)
When the Messiah comes He'll bring a Spirit of judgment and a Spirit of fire to cleanse the world. Living believers will be welcomed into the Kingdom (Matt. 25:34) while unbelievers will be taken away to eternal punishment (Matt. 25:46).
Concerning the women of Zion, there's a beautiful picture here of the Messiah washing away all their impurities. In verse 5 the word translated defense (KJV) or canopy (NIV) is chuppah, the Jewish wedding canopy, symbolizing that the Messiah will fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah 4:1 and "marry" all of them by bringing them under His protection, to be called by His name. And in verse 6 the word translated tabernacle (KJV) or shelter (NIV) is sukkah. It's the name of the shelter that Jews build on the Feast of Tabernacles, to symbolize the Lord dwelling with them. The pillar of fire by night and cloud by day complete the memorial of His time with them in the wilderness, (Exodus 13:21) and announce that once again God will dwell with His people in a time of complete protection and provision. Get ready, Planet Earth, you can almost hear the Footsteps of the Messiah.
Philippians 1:10 KJV: That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
I have a 2 part bible study question.
Part 1 What is on our list of approved things we can do that is excellent or what things can we do to prove what we do are excellent?
Part 2 will be on a reply so I can cut and paste. This verse is passed around but do we have a list or ideas that would be proof?
Looking at Acts 18:17 let's look at some questions from it and from that
delve more into the chapter.
1. Who was Sosthenes?
2. What is a chief ruler of the synagogue?
3. Why did the Greeks take Sosthenes to beat him?
4. Who is Gallio?
5. What is the judgement seat?
6. Why didn't Gallio not care?