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Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2007, 11:25:36 PM »

Quote
I honestly think that many people reject CHRIST because they don't want to acknowledge the absolute ruler of the Universe and our CREATOR who has every right to tell us how to live. I've thought about this several times and wondered about how accurate this might be. As a smaller example, look back in your childhood and ask yourself if you liked the idea that your parents had every right to tell you what to do and how to act. ANY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS?

The days we live in it is becoming more so than ever before. It is an immoral free for all. It is even to the point that many refuse to obey even secular laws because they do not want to have someone telling them what to do. This tied in with the teaching that is being given in our public schools that is simply amplifying this behaviour through the teaching that we are nothing more than animals and there is nothing but our current life.

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« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2007, 12:03:54 AM »

Well brother, I was raised by the paddle, belt and hand (not love).  I wasn't allow to think for myself, and didn't, till I turned 18.  And then it was because I left home. 

That is a part of the problem with the world today.  Parents aren't allowed, to punish bad behavior today.  They punish but, NOT through love of Christ.

It didn't take me long to come back to Christ, after a short time in the real world. Thats when I learned the truth of the LOVE OF CHRIST.  Part of that I can thank to my present wife Lizzie.  Both of my children (before Lizzie) were raised with love given freely, through love of Christ.  Both of them are doing very well in the world today.

Brother Bob,

I'll have to say that I was raised fairly harshly, but it was in Love and definitely in the things of the LORD. In fact, I deserved that paddle quite a few times when I didn't get caught.   Wink   I'll just say that I give thanks for strict, Godly parents who tried very hard to raise me in the LORD. Without them, I have no idea how I would have turned out.

I know that many people have mixed emotions about physical punishment that involves pain. I know that I was never abused, and I doubt that anything else would have worked. I was determined and bone-headed, especially as a teen. In reflection, I don't know if GOD would have let me live in Old Testament times.   Wink   I was simply stubborn and rebellious, so I'm not hinting that I committed an Old Testament death sentence offense. However, there was an Old Testament death sentence for teens who had not learned to obey by the age of 18. By memory, I think it was 18.

I think that I'll just say that I needed the punishment I got while growing up, and I deserved more than I got.   Grin

I was a preacher's kid, and I caused my dad quite a few BIG problems that he didn't deserve. I love and respect my parents, spankings and all. I didn't say that I understood everything right then at the time. We should also know that our Heavenly Father is not always gentle in pulling us into line with what HE wants, but HIS corrections are in ultimate love even when the correction is harsh.

Right now, I will say that I like the fact that GOD leads and directs us. I also love the fact that my Heavenly Father is the KING OF KINGS, the CREATOR HIMSELF!


Love In Christ,
Tom


 
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« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2007, 12:42:49 AM »

The days we live in it is becoming more so than ever before. It is an immoral free for all. It is even to the point that many refuse to obey even secular laws because they do not want to have someone telling them what to do. This tied in with the teaching that is being given in our public schools that is simply amplifying this behaviour through the teaching that we are nothing more than animals and there is nothing but our current life.



Brother Roger,

This is yet another sign of the end days of this Age of Grace. As a career police officer, I remember countless comparisons between parents and children in the 1970s with after the year 2000. I'll just give a couple of examples and try not to bore anyone.

There was a time when police officers could take many young people home on minor offenses and tell the parents something like, "please take care of this or I'll have to." At the time, many of the kids would have rather gone to jail. The problem was handled, and there was a good chance that teen would not be dealt with by the police again.

Many like incidents today go quite differently, and police are reluctant to trust mom and dad to handle anything. In fact, the police officer might even face problems in trying to give the teen a break. The parents turn on the police officer instead. I'm not hinting that all of the police officers are right, but they ARE the vast majority of the time. It's the same with teachers and other authority figures, but some parents almost require a video before they will believe their little angel did anything wrong. If you found out that these parents commonly did dope and other illegal activities, do you suppose that you might be able to guess where some of the kid's problems came from? It's a wild and strange world that we live in now, and there's no comparison between 1970 and 2000. In fact, there is little comparison left between 2000 and 2007 because things are changing so rapidly. Has anybody dreamed that things would be such a mess in such a short period of time?

BUT, the worldly folks who love wallowing in the sewer think that things are going just fine. They just want more of the same and less control. The number and types of victims don't make any difference at all.
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« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2007, 12:50:51 AM »

Yes, brother it is another sign of the end days. The falling away (apostasia, the turning away from the truth of God's word) that we see even in many of our churches.

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« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2007, 02:54:22 PM »

Yes, brother it is another sign of the end days. The falling away (apostasia, the turning away from the truth of God's word) that we see even in many of our churches.


It is finish!  (+_+)  ..Def
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But to us There Is But one God,  the  Father, of  whom  Are  all  things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ by whom Are all things and we by Him(1Cor 8:6  KJV)
I believe that Jesus died for my sins  was buried rose again and is sitting at the right hand of God Almighty interceding for me Amen
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« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2007, 08:36:02 PM »

I find end-times prophesy to be extremely interesting.  The Real ID has made me think of the scripture quoted concerning the mark of the beast and not being able to buy or sell without it.  It's exciting to be alive during these times.  It's even more exciting to know that Jesus will be returning soon, and that I will be one of the saved.   Grin
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« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2007, 10:20:08 AM »

TEACHINGS of JESUS
from: the Gospel of Matthew
(originally written 1998 )


Olivet Discourse: getting into Heaven - (Mat 25:1-13)


Since this passage was already addressed back in January, 97 as a Commentary, "5 Wise - 5 Foolish", I'm going to insert that writing here in this series, and make a few modifications for this study.

Let us take a brief look at Jesus' parable of the 10 virgins. And, as is appropriate with parables, we look at the primary surface (obvious) issues illustrated, not attempting to teach doctrine from all of its little details. [Ed: ... like we began our understanding of chs24-25, of the "broad brush" strokes of the 'impressionistic painting'.] He's not
describing the "bride" or the Jewish traditions of who the virgins might have been. This parable talks about getting into heaven, and what it takes to "get in".

All 10 virgins had lamps. They had the label that they "belonged." They all APPEARED to be "Christians."

But you notice, only 5 had oil with them. Oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit. The 5 foolish, "taking their lamps, did not take oil with them"(vs3), were Not Christians. "Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His."   (Rom8:9b)

The announcement was made, "Behold the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!" Jesus said, "Now when these things BEGIN TO happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."(Luke 21:28 ) What are "these things?" To anybody with open eyes, we see prophecy being fulfilled right and left as things are prepared for what is to happen, as foretold, during the time of God's wrath and judgment upon the world.

So, the 'proof' of having the Holy Spirit (oil) is when the wick can be brought to flame. Jesus said of Believers, "you are the light of the world". (Mt5:14) How do we know there is true faith? When something is manifest in the outworkings. (Jas2:17-18 ) And so, as the Lord returns for His own, the outworkings are tested to see of what sort they are. (1Cor3:13) In the case of a lamp, if there is -no- oil, there isn't going to be any flame, is there. There is -no- "work", good or bad, to manifest the Faith. There is no work, because there is no Holy Spirit. But there is the -perception-, because they are carrying the lamp.

When the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, it says that the appearance was like "tongues of fire". (Acts2:3) Can you grab a 'tongue' of fire and put it in a box? Can a flame be contained? Jesus explained the Holy Spirit like the "wind blowing". (Jn3) You cannot see the -actual- wind. You cannot take a 'piece' of wind and put it in a container. But you see it is there, because the grass is leaning, flags are fluttering and you wrap your jacket around you tighter to keep warm. If the flag isn't fluttering, there is no wind. If a flame cannot be ignited in a lamp, there is no oil. The person is minus "light". If all you have is a lamp, but no Holy Spirit, your "light" is no -light- at all; you might as well be carrying a flashlight without any batteries, all the good it will do you. When a person is minus the Holy Spirit "..how great is the
darkness!" (Mt6:23)
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« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2007, 10:21:31 AM »

Olivet Discourse: getting into Heaven - (Mat 25:1-13)

The wise keep preaching to the foolish to "get oil"; "repent and believe in the gospel" (Mk1:15) and "receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts2:38b) Now, in our 'impressionistic painting' the way people back then could get oil, was to go "buy" it. Jesus says to today's "church" "..I advise you to buy from Me gold having been fired by fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, and your shame and nakedness may not be revealed. And anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see." (Rev3:18 ) And so, people go about "buying"; stock-piling -physical- supplies to "go through the tribulation". But you see, what Jesus offers "for sale" is "with no price". (Is55:1) It is "a gift of God, not of works." (Eph2:8-9)

You see...these people have heard the midnight cry, and rather than having the Holy Spirit, and looking for Christ, are back in the villages buying up what they think they need. And while they are thus engaged, the Bridegroom comes (appears) and the Wise (with the Holy Spirit) follow Him in to the banquet hall.

"And the door was shut." (vs10) And then the foolish come along, discovering they were wrong, and too late. And the Lord says, "Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you."(vs12)

So... you were wrong, and the Rapture happened, and you are left behind? You might think, "Oh, I can always 'get saved' ...THEN."

SORRY, FRIEND!! It doesn't work that way! When the "lawless one" comes he will display "signs and lying wonders..with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they DID NOT receive the love of the truth [when they had the chance]. 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" (2Ths2:9-11)

Yes, many will be "saved" during the Tribulation. (Rev7:14) But, if you knew the Truth before the Rapture, and refused to believe, don't count on any "second chances" when all hell breaks loose!

For He says: "In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you." Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Cor 6:2)

The ones with the lamps will come and say, 'See?? We have lamps. We're christians. Didn't we do all sorts of wonderful things "in Your name"?

"Then surely from their fruits you shall know them." If their lamps have oil, they will glow with a flame; if not, they won't. "Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter into the kingdom of Heaven, but the ones who do the will of My Father in Heaven." (Mt7:20-21) And "This is the work of God, that you believe into Him whom that One sent." (Jn6:29)

And if you truly believe into Christ, you will also believe His promises when He said that He would come to "receive [us] to Himself". (Jn14:3) And so, He exhorts, "Therefore, watch [be prepared and vigilant], for you do not know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man comes." (vs13)

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« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2007, 03:53:11 PM »

Day of the Lord...Christ's Appearing

"For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also
will the coming of the Son of Man be. (Mt 24:27)

"Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great
glory. (Luke 21:27)

This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in
like manner as you saw Him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11)

...looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God
and Savior Jesus Christ, (Titus 2:13)

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they
who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of
Him. Even so, Amen. (Rev 1:7)

He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming quickly." Amen.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus! (Rev 22:20)

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« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2007, 09:40:06 PM »

Day of the Lord...Deadline
From A Voice In The Wilderness


After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up,  That we may live in His sight. (Hosea 6:2) 

But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is  as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not  slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is  longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all  should come to repentance. Therefore, since all these things will be  dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and  godliness, (2Peter 3:8-11)
 
And he said to me, "Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book,  for the time is at hand. "He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he  who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be  righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still." "And behold, I am  coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according  to his work. "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the  First and the Last." Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they  may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates  into the city. (Revelation 22:10-14) 

But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and  idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. "But the cowardly,  unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers,  idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns  with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." (Revelation 22:15,  21:8 ) 

"Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?" says the Lord  GOD, "and not that he should turn from his ways and live? "For I have no  pleasure in the death of one who dies," says the Lord GOD. "Therefore turn  and live!" (Ezekiel 18:23,32) 

"..knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep;
for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. Let us
 walk decently, as in the day...putting on the Lord Jesus Christ..
...redeeming the time, because the days are evil."
Romans 13:11-14~ Ephesians 5:16

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« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2007, 08:57:18 AM »

Bible Messages for Bereans

By J.C. O'Hair



NOTE: The following preface and article are taken from an original copy of the very first edition of Pastor O'Hair's "Bible Study for Bereans" magazine published in August 1935.  We hope you enjoy this excerpt from deep within the Grace archives.


We are sending forth this first edition of Bible Study for Bereans with the purpose, desire and hope that we may stimulate, encourage, or provoke, real honest, diligent Bible study among the children of God.  The profound ignorance of the Bible among church members is appalling.


We earnestly solicit and covet the prayerful cooperation of every spiritual child of God who appreciates God's Grace Gospel and who really desires to receive and search the Holy Scriptures without the fear or favor of man or religious organizations.  It is needless and useless to appeal to believers for whom denominational loyalty and pride, or preconceived opinions, interfere with honest, intelligent and unprejudiced study of the Word of God.  So our Bible study is for Bereans.


It has been repeatedly claimed that more than ninety-five percent of church members permit church leaders to do their thinking for them, and that ninety-five percent of their instructors have been so influenced by the traditions of church fathers and by denominational church creeds that fewer than five percent of either leaders or followers are willing, if able, to study the Bible with unbiased minds and with open and honest hearts.


Let us ever bear in mind that no servant of the Lord has any new truth to present.  Progressive revelation ceased with the close of The Revelation more than 1800 years ago.  Since that time, "anything that is true is not new" and "anything that is new is not true", so far as the inspired Word of God is concerned.


No believer, or group of believers, receives any special revelation of Divine truth, or interpretation of truth, as did the holy men of old who were moved by the Holy Spirit to give to us the Holy Scriptures.  The humblest, most ignorant member of the Body of Christ, the new-born babe in Christ, has just as much of the Holy Spirit as has the most gifted Bible teacher.  Men are not led into truth by the Holy Spirit independent of the written Word of God.  And most assuredly the millions of church members, who are in doctrinal error, have not been led by the Holy Spirit into the misinterpretation of the Scriptures.


Human systems of interpretation leave us with inconsistencies and seeming contradictions in the Bible, with unholy mixtures which are displeasing to the Lord.  "All Scripture... is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness."  But all Scripture must be rightly divided for the true interpretation, appropriation and application.
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« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2007, 09:00:47 AM »

Bible Messages for Bereans

By J.C. O'Hair


A Simple Principle in Bible Study



We are told in I Peter 1:10 that Israel's prophets foretold the sufferings and glory of Christ.  In Ephesians 3:9 we are told that the "dispensation of the mystery" and the "unsearchable riches of Christ" were hid in God and not made known to Israel's prophets.  All through the book of Acts and through the Epistles of Peter, Paul, James and John we must differentiate between that which Israel's prophets foretold would come to pass and that which none of them even hinted would come to pass: "not made known to the sons of men in other ages"; "hidden from generations" (Colossians 1:25 and 26; Ephesians 3:3 to 5).


If there has been no change in God's program since the Epistles were written to the Ephesians and Colossians, then this is still the Dispensation of the Mystery which means the Dispensation of that which had been a Mystery until it was revealed by the glorified Christ to and through His Apostle Paul.  For the students of the Word of God, for the members of the Church which is the Body of Christ, there should be nothing mysterious, mystical or hidden concerning the dispensation of Grace and the mutual inheritance of the Head and members of the Body, made alive together, seated together in the highest heavenlies, constituting the One New Man which God is now making, while His program and purpose concerning Israel have been temporarily abandoned (Ephesians 1:9 to 22; Ephesians 2:4 to 17).  Aside from the Divine preservation of Israel in the world today, God has suspended His covenants and promises with Israel and the other nations, until He shall have accomplished that which He purposed in Christ Jesus ages before He made any covenants concerning His Nation and their land of promise (II Timothy 1:9; Ephesians 3:11).


Israel's hope is identified with the sufferings and glory of Christ foretold by Israel's prophets.  That hope will be realized when Christ shall be the Son of man on the throne of His glory (Matthew 25:31).  There the twelve apostles will be seated with Him (Matthew 19:28).  The Son of man is coming in power and great glory (Luke 21:27 to 31).  He will bring about the restitution of all things (Acts 3:21).  Moses, Samuel, and all of the prophets, spoke of "these days" (Acts 3:24).  "These days" were promised in the covenants (Acts 3:25).  At that time Christ will govern from David's throne (Isaiah 9:6 and 7).


"These days" of grace, "these days" of the Body of Christ, are not the "these days" of Israel's hope, foretold by Moses, Samuel and others.  "These days" were foreordained before the foundation of the world, but not foretold by Israel's prophets.


None of the twelve apostles, in their "Acts" ministry, spoke of these days.  They referred to a hope and blessings promised by the pen of David, Joel, Amos, Moses, Samuel, and others.  Let us be careful not to confuse prophetic promises with the mystery.  Let us not confuse the hope of the Body of Christ with Israel's hope.
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« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2007, 04:20:17 AM »

The Present Obsession With the Anti-Christ - Part 1

By Paul M. Sadler



    As we approach the new millennium, many are anticipating the Lord's soon return, which is sure to generate paranoia about the end times. In fact, this obsession with "things to come" is probably going to be unprecedented from any thing we've witnessed in the past. The predictions of these so-called modern day prophets will range from setting dates for the Rapture to receiving a special revelation that the Church is going through part or all of the Tribulation period.


    Of course, the state of confusion that the Church finds itself in is largely a product of its own doing. You would think that after so many failed attempts to accurately predict the Rapture those who make such claims would be reluctant to appear in public. Yet the Church persists in its rejection of the Mystery that was committed to Paul, giving it only halfhearted acknowledgement.


    "And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come" (I Thes. 1:10).


    According to Paul's gospel the Rapture is imminent, that is, it could take place at any moment. There are no signs, times, or seasons that will precede this glorious event. It could be the year 2000 or 2005; then again it may be 2075. We simply don't know how long the longsuffering of God will be extended to the Gentiles. God may well extend His grace for another two thousand years, although this seems unlikely.


    The secret coming of Christ for the Church is unrelated to prophecy. This explains why biblical chronologists always humiliate themselves when they attempt to predict the Rapture based upon the prophetic timetable. If they included the Mystery in their calculations they would receive the following message, "unknown period of interruption." You see, God must first complete His plans and purpose among the Gentiles, which terminates with the imminent return of Christ for the Church.


THE HYSTERIA OVER THE ANTI-CHRIST



    "And then shall that Wicked [one - the Anti-Christ] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders" (II Thes. 2:8,9).


    Those who underestimate the importance of rightly dividing the Word of truth normally end up drifting into a Mid, Pre-wrath, or Post-Tribulational Rapture of the Church. It is somewhat understandable how Acts 2 dispensationalists could be swept into these camps simply because they believe Paul's apostleship and message are merely an extension of the kingdom gospel.


    But this is inexcusable for someone who understands Paul's unique apostleship and message, although, sadly, it does happen from time to time. We should probably brace ourselves because these types of departures from the faith will become more and more common as the days grow more evil. We've often said that those who depart from the doctrine of the Pretribulational Rapture of the Church never fully understood the nature of Paul's gospel to begin with. If the Rapture is near, as some predict, or the Body of Christ is going through the coming Tribulation, as others teach, this explains the present day mania over the identity of the Anti-Christ.
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« Reply #28 on: September 28, 2007, 04:23:16 AM »

The Present Obsession With the Anti-Christ - Part 1

By Paul M. Sadler


    One popular prophecy teacher is convinced that the Anti-Christ is Bill Clinton. He points out that the number equivalent of his name is 666. Through elaborate charts, diagrams, and genealogies he somehow draws the conclusion that Mr. Clinton is a direct descendant of the Emperor Nero, and heir to the Rothchild fortune. According to him, Mr. Clinton could be, might be, probably is the Anti-Christ, the last great world dictator. He's the seventh head1 of John's apocalyptic vision (Rev. 13:1 cf. 17:9), which, by the way, this self-ordained prophet surmises the heads to be:


    (1) Nebuchadnezzar

    (2) Cyrus

    (3) Alexander the Great

    (4) Antiochus Epiphanes

    (5) Nero

    (6) Hitler

    (7) Clinton - Anti-Christ



    Wow! This sounds like a riddle wrapped in an enigma to me. If there's one thing that the past should have taught us, it would be this: it is extremely dangerous to interpret the Bible according to current events. Those who lived through World War II will recall how well-known Bible teachers confidently declared Adolph Hitler to be the Anti-Christ, only to find that they had to recant their position after the war. While it could be said Hitler was anti-Christ, he was not the Anti-Christ foretold by the prophets.


    During the Nixon administration many believed Henry Kissinger was the man of sin - they, too, found themselves in an awkward situation trying to explain that it was apparently a case of mistaken identity. Now we are being told President Clinton is the Anti-Christ. Mark these words and mark them well, those who teach this will also be running for cover in the very near future.


    Incidentally, we know Mr. Clinton could not be the son of perdition for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the last three world leaders referred to by this prophetic teacher, Nero (54-68 A.D.), Hitler (1939-1945), and Mr. Clinton (1992-2000), have all ruled and reigned during God's parenthetical period of Grace. But the Anti-Christ is inseparably bound to prophecy; therefore, his reign cannot begin until the close of the age of Grace.


    Truth always exposes error. This is why in my personal ministry I have never spent a lot of time familiarizing myself with false teaching. I spend the lion's share of my time studying the truth - it makes error stand out like ink on a white shirt.


    They say the Federal Reserve never train its agents with counterfeit bills for obvious reasons. Instead, they take actual currency and make each agent memorize the minutest detail of each denomination. This is done over and over again until it makes an indelible impression upon them. Consequently, when counterfeit bills are intermingled with the real thing, they are able to detect the forgery every time. The same is true in regard to spiritual things; darkness cannot withstand the light of God's Word.


WHAT THE SCRIPTURES SAY ABOUT THE ANTI-CHRIST



    The prefix "anti" means against and/or instead of. Both are true concerning this future dictator. He poses as the Messiah, but opposes Christ by executing all that name His name. The Anti-Christ will have a winsome personality that the world will find irresistible. The prophet Daniel says:


    "And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all" (Dan. 11:36,37).
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« Reply #29 on: September 28, 2007, 04:25:35 AM »

The Present Obsession With the Anti-Christ - Part 1

By Paul M. Sadler


    In this narrative, the prophet Daniel gives us a biographical sketch of the Anti-Christ. As we know, the Tribulation is said to open with wars and rumors of wars. It will be a period of unparalleled lawlessness (Matt. 24:6 cf. II Thes. 2:7). Like Hitler, the Anti-Christ will take full advantage of the times. In fact, they will provide the platform for him to "prosper politically" and become a household name.


    During the forty days in which Christ was tempted, you will recall the devil took our Lord up into a high mountain and "...showed unto Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto Him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve" (Luke 4:5-8 ).


    Notice that the world lies in the lap of the evil one. The devil gained power over the nations when Adam fell. Clearly he has control of the kingdoms of this world if he offered them to Christ. Of course, our Lord exposed the devil's desire to overthrow the plans and purpose of God by quoting the Scriptures. But the Anti-Christ, whose coming is after the working of Satan, will happily receive control of the nations (Rev. 13:1,2,7). While we know him to be a ruthless dictator who opposes the righteous ways of God, he begins his reign of terror as a man of peace. And, sadly, the world will be predisposed to accept peace at any price.


    Having control of the kingdoms of this world, the Anti-Christ negotiates a peaceful solution with those nations that are at war with one another. Eventually, he forms an alliance with these nations which serve as his seat of authority (Rev. 13:2 cf. 17:9-13). At the same time, the Anti-Christ strikes a covenant with the nation Israel, which allows her to re-establish the Old Testament sacrificial system. This brings peace to the Middle East.


    "And he [the man of sin] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [7 years]: and in the midst of the week [middle of the Tribulation] he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation..." (Dan. 9:27).


    We believe the Anti-Christ will seek to conceal his identity for as long as possible at the beginning of the Tribulation. In other words, he would never be so foolish as to say publicly, "I have come to deceive and rob the nations of their autonomy." This isn't how deception works. Notice that Daniel states: "He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week...." This dynamic impostor will establish this peace agreement with "many" in Israel, but not all. While he may deceive the religious leaders and their followers as to his true identity, apparently some in Israel will suspect that he has evil intentions, and rightfully so.


    Thus, the initial agenda of the Anti-Christ will be to bring peace to the world, as uncertain and fleeting as that may be. As this false sense of security sweeps across the landscape, the world will wonder after the beast, saying, "Who is like unto the beast?" (Rev. 13:4). But "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" (I Thes. 5:3). It quite literally is going to be hell on earth with the wrath of God raining down from heaven and the military machine of the Anti-Christ crushing anyone or any nation that stands in his path.


    "But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things" (Dan. 11:38 ). In addition to his lavish lifestyle, the Anti-Christ will honor the God of forces with his wealth. The word "forces" is the Hebrew term "ma'owz" or fortresses. Satan is the god of fortresses or war - he is the author of confusion.


    The General who leads the forces of evil into battle in the coming day of the Lord is none other than the Anti-Christ. His military prowess will make the remarkable accomplishments of Alexander the Great look insignificant. He is the rider on the white horse who goes forth to conquer (Rev. 6:2). And the main objective of this diabolical leader will be to do battle with the saints and destroy the Nation Israel. Little wonder the souls of the martyrs cry out to the Father, "how long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?" (Rev. 6:10).


    Daniel also informs us that "neither shall he regard the God of his fathers" (Dan. 11:37). The phrase "God of his fathers" is uniquely Hebrew. The "fathers" is a reference to the patriarchs, namely Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Upon receiving the decree from King Artaxerxes that Israel could return to the land with the gold and silver vessels of the temple, Ezra offered a prayer of thanksgiving:


    "Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king's heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem" (Ezra 7:27).


    In relation to the Anti-Christ, he will have little regard for the "God of his fathers." He'll have absolutely no desire to know Him nor worship Him, as did his predecessors before him. However, our phrase does clearly indicate that he will be a Jew, even though he'll seek to disassociate himself from the Hebrew fathers and what God promised to them. Furthermore, Daniel adds, "nor the desire of women" (Dan. 11:37). This phrase can be taken to mean either the Anti-Christ won't desire women or women will desire him, but he'll be oblivious to their advances. In either case, Daniel's point is this: the Anti-Christ will be so self-absorbed that he'll be more than content to remain single.


To Be Continued!

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Endnote



1. The heads in Revelation 17:9 are said to be seven mountains. A mountain is often a reference to a "kingdom" in Holy Scripture - see Jeremiah 51:24,25. In this case, the seven mountains are seven kingdoms.
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