The Prince of Peace, Born in the Middle East

Saturday, December 21, 2013

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6 KJV).

Ironically, God’s wisdom ordained the birthplace of the Prince of Peace to be the contentious Middle East….

Almost from the very beginning of time, the Middle East has been a battleground, the chief war zone of good and evil. Originally the peaceful home of Adam and Eve, today it is the most contentious region on the globe. Because of Adam’s sin, what was a paradise is now known as the area where man joined Satan in his rebellion against God. Adam and Eve utterly failed to reign over the earth for God’s glory (Genesis 1:26-28). Instead they united with the opposition, and were banished from God’s presence and the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:23,24).

“Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin” (Romans 5:12). Verse 14 says that Adam “is the figure of him that was to come.” God would send another Man, Jesus Christ, and He would accomplish what Adam failed to do: glorify God on the earth by dispossessing it from Satan, and reigning in righteousness. This is the “government” spoken of in today’s Scripture.

“For if by one man’s [Adam’s] offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” (verse 17). Adam plunged the human race into sin and made it God’s enemy; Jesus Christ offers mankind eternal life, forgiveness of sins and a reconciled relationship with God! This was God’s goal in sending Jesus Christ.

As our world desperately continues to seek peace, let us remember there will be no peace on earth until the Prince of Peace returns to His nation, Israel, and rids our planet of Satan and his policy of evil (the root of the Middle Eastern turmoil). At Christ’s Second Coming, there will be peace on earth (Luke 2:14), and especially in the Middle East.

A Papal Prophecy? #3

Saturday, March 2, 2013

“And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time” (2 Thessalonians 2:6 KJV).

The recent resignation of Benedict XVI as pope is being greatly discussed within “Christian” circles in light of eschatology. Are we seeing Bible prophecy fulfilled today, or is this simply the (usual) failure to “rightly divide the word of truth?”

Firstly, why is the antichrist in Scripture?

1. To be a literal, spiritual, and physical counterfeit Jesus Christ: he is anti(against)-Christ, the ultimate embodiment of Satan’s lie policy aimed at destroying God purpose and plan for creation.

Satan desires worship that only the God of the Bible deserves (Matthew 4:8-10; Luke 4:5-8). Before his fall from heaven, Lucifer declared, “I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:14). Ezekiel 28:17a says to Lucifer, “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty;” his sin was pride (1 Timothy 3:6). Satan wants all of creation to ignore Jesus Christ, and worship everything else—him, mankind, nature, and so on.

Daniel 11:21 introduces us to the coming world ruler, the antichrist, the personification of Satan’s rebellion: “And in his [the antichrist’s predecessor’s] estate shall stand up a vile person [the antichrist], to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.” When he is to be “revealed in his time” (today’s Scripture), the antichrist will assume his office of global domination by deception and smooth talking—he is a classic politician!

Daniel 9:27 continues: “And he [the antichrist] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [seven-year Tribulation]: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease….”

The antichrist will mimic Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ’s kingdom is one of peace; the antichrist will speak peace unto Israel by making a seven-year peace treaty. In the middle of that week, the antichrist will turn on Israel, he will desecrate Israel’s newly rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem, and he will institute a religion that worships himself (Daniel 11:36; 2 Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 13:5-18): like Jesus Christ claimed to be God, so will the antichrist. The counterfeits continue….

God’s Idea of “Hope and Change”

Monday, January 21, 2013

“But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows” (Hebrews 1:8,9 KJV).

We reserve this historic day in American history to remind ourselves not to confuse man’s feeble political achievements with God’s kingdom.

Human governments are literally bewildered in attempting to deal with all of society’s problems. Solutions to environmental issues, achieving world peace, eliminating poverty, and combating terrorism are most elusive. They distribute checks, impose bans, sign treaties, pass laws, provide handouts, and hold summits, but the problems these activities are designed to address still afflict society. If you have faith in your fellow man that he will ever accomplish harmony and solve his problems, history and the Bible tell you to forget it!

God knows that mankind is sinful, unreliable, and weakly, so He does not depend on us for anything… except to mess up His creation! For 6,000 years, Satan has been “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). Thus, although world history has its few benevolent and respectable leaders, tyrants, God-haters, and crooks mar much of it. We can change leaders, but the evil world system that underlies society still exists, and it will remain until Jesus Christ returns and establishes His earthly kingdom. Sinful mankind cannot solve the world’s problems, for he is the world’s problem. We need help from Almighty God, and thankfully, He will solve our problems for us!

In today’s Scripture God the Father speaks to Jesus Christ (quoting Psalm 45:6,7, which describes the LORD, demonstrating Christ’s deity; notice the Father calls Christ, “God”). Jesus Christ’s kingdom will be one of righteousness and justice—a staff of righteousness is the staff of His kingdom. God’s will shall always be accomplished in it. Iniquity will not be tolerated, and it will be dealt with promptly. God’s idea of “hope and change?” Jesus Christ ruling heaven and earth, thus solving the sin problem. What a glorious day that will be! 🙂

The End of the World? #3

Saturday, December 29, 2012

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36 KJV).

We take the remainder of the year to contemplate the term “the end of the world.”

The King James Bible uses the expression “the end of the world” seven times. We want to focus on the latter five instances—Matthew 13:39,49; Matthew 24:3; Matthew 28:20; and Hebrews 9:26.

In Matthew 13:39,49, our Lord spoke of the end of the seven-year Tribulation period, when He will send His angels to sort believers from unbelievers: “the harvest is the end of the world… so shall it be at the end of the world.” Later, His disciples ask about “the sign of [His] coming, and of the end of the world(Matthew 24:3). Christ’s Second Coming here is contemporary with the harvest of Matthew chapter 13 (above). But, exactly what is “the end of the world in these instances?

Ever since Lucifer/Satan was cast out of heaven, he has tainted every region of creation with sin. In fact, on earth, he encouraged mankind to join him in rebelling against God. Ever since man’s fall into sin, Satan and sin have ruled planet earth. Hence, the Bible calls Satan, “the god [ruler] of this world(2 Corinthians 4:4; cf. Matthew 4:8,9); Satan’s fallen angels are called, “the rulers of the darkness of this world (Ephesians 6:12). Galatians 1:4 mentions, “this present evil world.” This is the “world” of Matthew 13:39,49 and Matthew 24:3 (previous paragraph).

One day, the evil, anti-God system that governs society will be abolished—that is “the end of the world.” Earth’s wicked social, economic, religious, and political systems will pass away. Satan’s reign on earth will come to a violent end, for the glorified Lord Jesus Christ will descend from heaven, militarily defeat Satan and his minions, and then usher in everlasting peace and righteousness on earth (Christ’s Second Coming; see today’s Scripture). This victory over Satan’s evil world system is accomplished through Christ’s finished crosswork at Calvary: hence, Calvary’s crosswork is termed to have occurred, “in the end of the world” (Hebrews 9:26).

The Prince of Peace, Born in the Middle East

Friday, December 21, 2012

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6 KJV).

Ironically, God’s wisdom ordained the birthplace of the Prince of Peace to be the contentious Middle East….

Almost from the very beginning of time, the Middle East has been a battleground, the chief war zone of good and evil. Originally the peaceful home of Adam and Eve, today it is the most contentious region on the globe. Because of Adam’s sin, what was a paradise is now known as the area where man joined Satan in his rebellion against God. Adam and Eve utterly failed to reign over the earth for God’s glory (Genesis 1:26-28). Instead they united with the opposition, and were banished from God’s presence and the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:23,24).

“Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin” (Romans 5:12). Verse 14 says that Adam “is the figure of him that was to come.” God would send another Man, Jesus Christ, and He would accomplish what Adam failed to do: glorify God on the earth by dispossessing it from Satan, and reigning in righteousness. This is the “government” spoken of in today’s Scripture.

“For if by one man’s [Adam’s] offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” (verse 17). Adam plunged the human race into sin and made it God’s enemy; Jesus Christ offers mankind eternal life, forgiveness of sins and a reconciled relationship with God! This was God’s goal in sending Jesus Christ.

As our world desperately continues to seek peace, let us remember there will be no peace on earth until the Prince of Peace returns to His nation, Israel, and rids our planet of Satan and his policy of evil (the root of the Middle Eastern turmoil). At Christ’s Second Coming, there will be peace on earth, and especially in the Middle East.

One Little Nation With a Big God #5

Monday, November 19, 2012

“Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud” (Psalm 94:2 KJV).

Israel’s enemies are persecuting and destroying her, and today’s Scripture is her plea for JEHOVAH to shew Himself!

When Jesus Christ left earth in Acts chapter 1, He ascended to sit at His heavenly Father’s right hand (Acts 2:32-36). “The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool” (Psalm 110:1). Today, Christ is still sitting at the Father’s right hand in heaven (Colossians 3:1), albeit temporarily—notice “until.” One day, when it is time to judge earth’s wicked inhabitants, Christ will rise from His sitting position at the Father’s right hand, and return to earth—His Second Coming—to punish His enemies (unbelievers) with His righteous wrath.

“Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God” (Psalm 68:1,2). “Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people [Israel]” (Psalm 50:3,4). This vengeance of fire will accompany Christ as His Second Coming, punishing those who “know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 2:7-10).

The verse preceding today’s Scripture reads: “O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself” (Psalm 94:1). “For we know him that hath saith [Deuteronomy 32:35], Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again [Deuteronomy 32:36], The Lord shall judge his people [Israel]” (Hebrews 10:30).

At His Second Coming, Jesus Christ, Israel’s “Prince of Peace,” will militarily defeat her enemies, and then usher her into her kingdom of peace, salvation, and prosperity (Isaiah 11:1-16; Isaiah 59:16-22; Jeremiah 23:5-8; et al.).

Little Israel has a glorious hope. In due time, her BIG God will fulfill it!

One Little Nation With a Big God #2

Friday, November 16, 2012

“Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud” (Psalm 94:2 KJV).

Israel’s enemies are persecuting and destroying her, and today’s Scripture is her plea for JEHOVAH to shew Himself!

Today, there are 13.4 million Jews worldwide, but only 5.7 million live within Israel’s borders. God gave them that Promised Land nearly four millennia ago (Genesis 15:18-21), so why are most Jews scattered around the globe? Why are those who are dwelling in the land, having to fight in order to keep it? Why is God not helping Israel? Will Israel ever dwell peaceably in her land?

God will “lift up [Himself]” (today’s Scripture) to defend Israel against her proud enemies and persecutors. He will bring her into her Promised Land to dwell safely. However, not in this dispensation, because God is forming the Church the Body of Christ. For the last 2,000 years, our Dispensation of Grace (mystery) has been operating, so God’s program for Israel (prophecy) is in abeyance. Today, Israel is “fallen,” “cast away,” and “blinded” (Romans 11:11,15,25). When our dispensation ends, then “all Israel shall be saved” (verse 26).

Describing Israel’s future restoration, “And I [the LORD] will bring them from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country” (Ezekiel 34:13). “And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers” (Deuteronomy 30:5).

Speaking of Jesus Christ saving Israel, “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth [see today’s Scripture]. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jeremiah 23:5,6).

Nevertheless, before Israel can enjoy this everlasting peace, JEHOVAH must “shew [Himself]….”

Living As Peaceably As Possible

Monday, August 27, 2012

“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18 KJV).

Having recently listened to family members and friends discuss their struggles, my advice to them was simple—apply today’s Scripture.

Saints, today’s Scripture is clear. We should make every attempt possible to get along with others, especially with our Christian brethren (as always, please remember that we never, EVER compromise sound Bible doctrine for the sake of unity). But, there does come a point where we cannot resolve conflict, and we must leave the situation alone. Notice today’s Scripture: “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” It is not always possible to live peaceably, even with fellow Christians (which is so sad).

In fact, there are such deep divisions among some Christians—including myself—that they cannot be resolved until heaven. I have met people who cause their own problems, thereby making other people’s lives—and mine—miserable. We all make mistakes, but what makes it sadder is that even after they are warned repeatedly, they continue in their error, with little to no remorse.

When dealing with these kinds of people who absolutely refuse to apply sound Bible doctrine in handling a disagreement, we must step back and say, “There is nothing more that I can do. It is time to leave these individuals alone.” Again we apply today’s Scripture and move on; otherwise we risk making the situation worse with hatred, bitterness, physical altercations, gossiping, cursing, et cetera.

Regrettably, sin causes squabbling, which results in division. Our “friends” will turn other friends against us, and divorce destroys our marriages and families. It is most pitiful when these divisions occur within the local church, disrupting the unity of God’s people and furthering the plan of the adversary (Satan). While we do “forgive [others] as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven [us]” (Ephesians 4:32), we are not to be doormats. In this sinful world, we cannot live harmoniously with everyone.

“If it be possible,” saints, “IF it be possible,” “live peaceably with all men….”

Vengeance Belongeth Unto the Lord #2

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19 KJV).

Today’s Scripture explains that God Himself will ultimately take vengeance on those who harm us. Its context explains how it is our responsibility as Christians to let God’s grace teach us how to handle that mistreatment.

“Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men” (verse 17). When people do us wrong, our flesh wants to retaliate, to get even, but God’s Word exhorts us to “recompense to no man evil for evil.” (Note: Please understand that God instituted government, and He encourages us to seek legal intervention in severe cases of wrongdoing [Romans 13:1-5]).

As Christians living in a fallen (corrupted) creation, we will suffer abuse and injustice. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men” (verse 18). Because of sin, unity and peace are not always possible. But, it is our responsibility to get along with others as best as we can (without compromising God’s Word, of course).

When someone does offend us, grace teaches us that God will ultimately exact vengeance on the guilty (today’s Scripture). “Therefore [consequently] if thine enemy hunger, feed him: if he thirst, give him drink: for in doing so thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (verses 20,21; cf. Proverbs 25:21,22; Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27,28).

We can let evil “overcome” (defeat) us (grudges, bitterness, et cetera), or we can defeat evil by doing good to those who have harmed us (especially if they are Christians; Galatians 6:10). “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32). We need not repay evil for evil: by faith, we send that mistreatment to Christ’s cross, we forgive it, and we move on (lest it be a hindrance).

Beloved, we need not avenge ourselves, for “vengeance belongeth unto the Lord.”

Peace and Safety… Or Not!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

“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” (1 Thessalonians 5:3 KJV).

For millennia, religious and political leaders have unsuccessfully attempted to achieve world peace, especially in the Middle East (the focus of Arab, Palestinian, and Israeli conflict). One day, two men will establish world peace: first, the antichrist, and then, Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, the world will be deceived into thinking the antichrist’s peace is that which Jesus Christ will establish years later.

Daniel 9:27 explains, “he [the antichrist] will confirm the covenant with many for one week.” The book of Revelation tells us this “one week” is a week of years—that is, seven years (two periods of 1,260 days each; Revelation 11:3; Revelation 12:6). The seven years begin once Satan uses the antichrist to sign a Middle Eastern peace treaty, causing Israel and her enemies to cease hostility.

Israel, wrongly believing that the antichrist is Jesus Christ, will relax, led to conclude that she is living in the peaceful earthly kingdom prophesied in the Old Testament. Jeremiah 23:5,6 says that when Israel’s Messiah-King comes, “Israel shall dwell safely.” Israel will apply this to the antichrist (when it was actually speaking of Jesus!). Remember what Jesus said to Israel? “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 (John 5:43). Jesus was speaking of the antichrist!

Halfway into the seven years, the antichrist’s flattery will vanish. His true motives now exposed by his breaking that covenant and desecrating Israel’s rebuilt temple (Daniel 9:27), and persecuting God’s people (believing Israel) by instituting capital punishment (2 Thessalonians 2:3-12; Revelation 13:1-18). Israel will then realize (Isaiah 28:15), “We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement!”

As Paul wrote in today’s Scripture, For when they shall say, Peace and safety; sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” Notice the pronoun “they”—we, the Body of Christ, are not in the Tribulation.