Mighty and Destructive

Thursday, September 5, 2019

And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people (Daniel 8:24 KJV).

Who is this man? How is he “mighty,” and how will he “destroy?”

The Apostle John, many centuries after Daniel the Prophet, remarked in Revelation chapter 13: “[4] And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? [5] And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. [6] And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. [7] And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”

According to Revelation 12:9, the “dragon” is the Devil. In other words, Satan empowers the man in today’s Scripture! This man is called a “beast,” as he is bestial or animal-like in his behavior. He is also “blasphemous,” speaking against the God of the Bible, the Creator God. This man is none other than the Antichrist, whose administration is summarized most interestingly in 2 Thessalonians 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.”

The Antichrist battles with and murders the Messianic Jews, those who refuse to worship him and participate in his evil religion (Revelation 20:4). Revelation 13:15: “And he [the False Prophet, the Antichrist’s religious leader] had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” He appears invincible, as God allows him to decimate Israel’s population for some years. People watch and wonder, terrified, as he continues ruling with an iron hand in his ruthless, godless regime. God will soon show Himself to end it!

Understanding Dark Sentences

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up (Daniel 8:23 KJV).

Who is this king? In what sense is he “understanding dark sentences?”

Our King James translators rendered the Hebrew for “dark sentences” as “riddle” throughout Judges chapter 14: Samson devised a puzzle to outwit the Philistines, but his treacherous wife Delilah nagged him to finally reveal the answer (verses 12-19). Recall the “hard questions” the Queen of Sheba brought to Jerusalem to test and define King Solomon’s wisdom (1 Kings 10:1; 2 Chronicles 9:1). Psalms (49:4; 78:2) twice refers to “dark sayings,” or “parables.” These enigmatic statements are profound, whose depths not immediately grasped. Remember the parables of Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry (cf. Psalm 78:2 and Matthew 13:34,35).

Daniel the Prophet saw, through Divine eyes, a king arising to reign over the nation Israel. That politician will not only be brutal, he will be endowed with satanic wisdom. As a philosopher, he will “understand dark sentences” (see 1 Corinthians chapters 1–3). Under Satan’s control, he too will be wise (Ezekiel 28:12), “subtil” (sneaky—Genesis 3:1), and noteworthy for his “cunning craftiness” (Ephesians 4:14). These “wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11)— schemes or plots—dominate the world system even now, but they will culminate in one man. He is “the man of sin… the son of perdition” (2 Thessalonians 2:3), the personification of Satan’s lie program.

Very few understand the fact that the Book of Proverbs is God’s wisdom given to Israel so she can outsmart Satan and the Antichrist: “[1] The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; [2] To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; [3] To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; [4] To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. [5] A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: [6] To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. [7] The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Saints, please remember us in your monthly giving—these websites do cost money to run! 🙂 You can donate securely here: https://www.paypal.me/ShawnBrasseaux, or email me at arcministries@gmail.com. Do not forget about Bible Q&A booklets for sale at https://arcgraceministries.org/in-print/booklets-bible-q-a/. Thanks to all who give to and pray for us! By the way, ministry emails have really been backed up this year. I am handling them as much as humanly possible. Thanks for your patience. 🙂

A King of Fierce Countenance

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

And in the latter time f their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up (Daniel 8:23 KJV).

Who is this king? How is he “of fierce countenance?”

If we turn to Deuteronomy chapter 28, we see an illustration: “[50] A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young: [51] And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee.”

“Of fierce countenance” is to be impudent or bold, shameless or brazen, disrespectful and violent. We find an antonymous attitude in 1 Timothy 2:9: “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;….” The face of the man in today’s Scripture is unable to show shame. He is mighty, arrogant because of his great political strength. No matter how barbaric or cruel his actions, he neither blushes nor sympathizes.

According to Daniel’s prophecy (today’s Scripture), this brutal king will arise from a division of the Greek Empire. He will exist after Alexander the Great and his four successors (verses 21 and 22): “And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.” Now, today’s Scripture again: “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.” You are highly encouraged to read through the end of the chapter.

He sits on the throne of Israel as though he were her rightful king. Those who do not participate in his false, blasphemous religious system are mercilessly imprisoned, tortured, and beheaded (Revelation 13:1-18; Revelation 20:4). First John 2:18 calls him “antichrist.”

Children of Light #8

Sunday, September 1, 2019

“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them” (John 12:36 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is one of three instances of the expression “children of light” in the Bible. What is the significance of this title?

First Thessalonians chapter 5 contains the final occurrence: “[1] But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. [2] For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. [3] For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. [4] But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. [5] Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.”

We are not in darkness or ignorance concerning the end times, after our Dispensation of Grace. As members of the Church the Body of Christ, we will not be susceptible to the spiritual darkness that will come after our mystery program. The Antichrist—key figure in Satan’s future plans—will not deceive us or catch us by surprise. We will be in Heaven by that time (see chapter 4). If we are not a part of the lie program (and we are not), then it does not make sense for us to behave as though we were or are.

Here is what the future holds for Israel. Isaiah 2:5: “O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.” Chapter 9, verse 8: “The LORD sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel.” Chapter 42, verse 6: “I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;….” Chapter 60, verses 1 and 3: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee…. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.”

Bible Q&A #445: “What Bible Book should I read first?

Minimum Wage Hike? #9

Sunday, August 11, 2019

“He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor” (Proverbs 14:31 KJV).

Is this a good verse to support minimum wage increases?

Today’s Scripture says he who oppresses the poor “reproacheth his Maker.” The idea here is a disrespectful provocation or irreverent challenge. “I am disobeying You, God! What are You going to do about it?” This blasphemous attitude will be especially true of the Antichrist in the ages to come, as well as descriptive of his followers. In stark contrast, the man who honors or esteems the LORD God will be merciful toward the less fortunate. Again, look at it prophetically.

According to James 2:14-26, the Jews are to materially bless their believing brethren when economic troubles arrive because of the Antichrist. “[14] What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? [15] If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, [16] And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? [17] Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” If they fail to treat the poor with due respect—following the Mosaic Law and the other prophetic Scriptures—they are cooperating with Satan’s evil world system (cf. today’s Scripture).

Moreover, the Book of Proverbs is Divine wisdom for Israel to use in the time after our Dispensation of Grace. Indeed, they are in incredible distress, but God cares for them and is aware of their troubles. As today’s Scripture says, “He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.” The evildoers are not getting away with mistreating the saints. Almighty God will not sit idly by forever: at the appropriate time, He will make His move to retaliate against and triumph over His enemies. Satan is thoroughly enjoying himself as he torments the Little Flock, but as the Book of Job underscores, believing Israel will regain everything that the Antichrist took from her… and more.

Now we conclude this devotionals arc….

Minimum Wage Hike? #8

Saturday, August 10, 2019

“He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor” (Proverbs 14:31 KJV).

Is this a good verse to support minimum wage increases?

Once the Antichrist rises to power and institutes his corrupt economic policies, the believing Jews in Israel’s prophetic program will have indescribable economic hardships (Revelation 13:1-18, especially verses 15-18). This is actually the context of James 2:14-26, the “faith without works is dead” passage that hardly anyone understands because of universal religious confusion.

Read what the Holy Spirit penned through King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 5:8: “If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they.” Remember, this is to be understood in light of Psalms and Proverbs (cf. today’s Scripture). Believing Jews in Israel’s program should not be terrorized when they see the poor—themselves—oppressed. The Antichrist will cut them off from his economic system, and financial difficulties will mount and multiply for them. Justice is not being carried out. Politicians are crooked and cruel.

To comfort the suffering Little Flock, Israel’s believing remnant, Solomon enjoins them to bear the following in mind: “for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they.” The Judge of all the Earth is watching the unfairness. He is omnipotent, infinitesimally far more power than any and all human governmental leaders. While injustice prevails at the moment, He is en route to Earth to right all wrongs. He sees the mercilessness of the Antichrist! He hears the cries of His saints! He is coming to take vengeance on their enemies!

Psalm 72: “[12] For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. [13] He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy.” The Second Coming of Christ is God’s response to the prayers of the anguishing Jewish saints. Refer back to Psalm 10 and read it again in its entirety. Go to Psalm 37 and read it in its entirety. Indeed, the Lord Jesus Christ will deliver the poor from the wicked…

Minimum Wage Hike? #7

Friday, August 9, 2019

“He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor” (Proverbs 14:31 KJV).

Is this a good verse to support minimum wage increases?

James 2:5 says: “Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” Chapter 1, verse 1: “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.” These are Jews “poor of this world.” Why are they “poor?” Remember, they have followed the Lord’s commandment in Luke 12:33—“Sell that ye have, and give alms….” James is writing to these people, who (now in Acts) are financially struggling (cf. Acts 2:44-45; Acts 4:32-37; Romans 15:26).

After our Dispensation of Grace, the Abrahamic Covenant applies as before. Those who bless Israel will be blessed of God; those who curse Israel will be cursed of God (Genesis 12:1-3). Matthew chapter 25: “[31] When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: [32] And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: [33] And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.” When Jesus Christ returns at His Second Coming (yet future), we see here “the Judgment of the Nations.” He evaluates how Gentiles treated believing Israel.

Read carefully Matthew 25:31-46. Make special note that this is not to or about us the Church the Body of Christ. These Gentiles in Israel’s program are being rewarded or punished based on how they treated believing Jews. How did they bless Israel? They helped Israel financially. Jews believing in Jesus as Messiah were hungry, thirsty, homeless, naked, sick, and imprisoned. Unable to neither buy nor sell (Revelation 13:15-18), they had suffered terribly under the Antichrist (cf. today’s Scripture).

Psalm 10:17,18: “LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear: To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress.” Here is the Antichrist’s destruction….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why do Amos 4:4 and Amos 5:5 give opposite commands?

Minimum Wage Hike? #6

Thursday, August 8, 2019

“He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor” (Proverbs 14:31 KJV).

Is this a good verse to support minimum wage increases?

During His earthly ministry, Christ uttered some controversial words: “If thou wilt be perfect [not sinless perfection but complete/mature], go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me” (Matthew 19:21; cf. Mark 10:21; Luke 18:22). Were the Messianic saints to literally sell their physical possessions and give the money to the poor? Indeed, for they actually did that later in Acts 2:44,45 and Acts 4:32-37. (Read chapter 5 to see what happened to Ananias and Sapphira for disobeying the Lord!) Why did Christ instruct them thus?

In Revelation chapter 13, we read of the coming Antichrist, whose reign will involve major economic changes: “[16] And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: [17] And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” That Israel’s believing remnant avoid having to choose between following Antichrist or retaining their wealth, they were to give up those material goods before Antichrist’s appearance. The Jewish saints in early Acts acted in accordance with this reality.

With the Apostle Paul’s ministry and the Dispensation of Grace entering in mid-Acts, our mystery program interrupted—and is still delaying—the prophetic program. Since the Antichrist has yet to arrive, God’s earthly kingdom is still absent: that prosperous kingdom the poor Jewish saints would have enjoyed following Antichrist, never came in Acts. Hence, Paul speaks of “the poor saints which are at Jerusalem” (Romans 15:26). Their common fund has now depleted. They have become poor—not because of slothfulness, disability, or meager earnings—but because they followed God’s will. (According to Romans 15:25-27 and 1 Corinthians 16:1-4, Paul took up contributions from his Gentile converts to help them.)

The poor people suffering in Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Acts, typify (preview) the experience of Messianic Jews once our Dispensation of Grace closes….

Days of Usefulness #4

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;… (Ecclesiastes 12:1 KJV).

What can today’s Scripture teach us?

In one succinct rephrasing, aged Solomon thus recommends: “Before you waste your life like I did, let me tell you something important. While you are still young—before you grow old like I am now—do not forget your Creator. Before you engage in those ‘evil days,’ that prolonged period of ungodliness, I know firsthand it just simply is not worth it. It will be fun and thrilling, but it will also be transitory. At death, the appealing façade crumbles, and Satan’s evil world system is realized to be perpetually displeasing. There is nothing of eternal worth; it all amounts to zero.” Let us bring it up to our modern world.

How tragic it is to find an unsaved person, having lived for self for many decades, now old and debilitated. Drug and alcohol abuse have irreversibly damaged their bodies. Their energy is drained. Vision diminished, hearing nearly gone, crippled and bedridden, they finally trust Christ as their personal Saviour. Having a burning desire to serve the Lord, the physical strength just is not there as it was when they were serving sin. They find themselves quoting Solomon in today’s Scripture, repeating to defiant youth what they too learned “the hard way.” It is comparable to the phrase, “Yes, Mom and Dad knew better. They are gone, I am old, and now the younger generation ignores me as I disregarded my elders.”

Romans 1:25 is the core of Satan’s policy of evil: “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” Here are Lucifer before he became Satan, Adam when he led man’s fall into sin, the nations at the Tower of Babel, Solomon in his final decades, the Antichrist, the unsaved billions today, and most Christians today (sadly). They live for self—the creature—at the expense of the Creator. Jesus Christ the Lord—the Creator—is snubbed. The days of evil present, the days of usefulness wasted….

Days of Usefulness #3

Monday, July 8, 2019

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;… (Ecclesiastes 12:1 KJV).

What can today’s Scripture teach us?

Long ago, he was a wise, young king (1 Kings chapter 3). However, he was not immune from sin. Making literally hundreds of terrible choices, Solomon fully aligned himself with Satan’s lie program—false religion (chapter 11). Now, in his final days, the Holy Spirit moves him to write Ecclesiastes. A parent desperately tries to reason with a rebellious child: “I have been there, I have done that, take my advice. Please do not do what I did!” Solomon warns those who are living for self (sIn!). These instructions carry significant weight in the prophetic program. Israel should resist the seduction of Antichrist and his “natural-man philosophy.” That evil world system exists now, tempting us to engage in ungodliness too.

Ecclesiastes documents man’s futile attempts to conduct his earthly life without following the Creator God. While this is atheism, agnosticism, and skepticism, it is also works-religion. As long as it is not God’s Word rightly divided, it is Satan’s lie program. With Antichrist, it will be pagan idolatry—not the absence of God but the replacement of God (Daniel 11:36-39; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12). Antichrist and his followers will be their own rulers, doing their pleasure while appearing religious. In the end, it will be dying Solomon—sorely disappointed because, after all those years of work, nothing of eternal value was produced!

Departing Solomon confessed (my paraphrase), “I learned philosophy but did not find meaning. I amassed great material wealth but did not find happiness. I toiled acquiring entertainment and other pleasures but found no lasting peace. I found religion but no hope.” See Ecclesiastes 12:8 (the context of today’s Scripture): “Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.” “Worthlessness! Emptiness! I lived apart from the Creator God’s guidance for years. Here, this earthly sojourn is over. Now, I lose everything I have gained in this natural world. All my selfish efforts have profited me nothing. My physical body is falling apart, and I wasted so much precious time. Alas, I cannot return to my youth and redo life….”