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nChrist
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« Reply #30 on: September 28, 2007, 04:59:04 AM »

The Present Obsession With the Anti-Christ (Part II)

By Paul M. Sadler



    In the beginning God and man lived in perfect harmony with one another. Man was given dominion over the earth while the Creator supplied his spiritual needs. Adam naturally desired to obey the will of God. But all this changed the day the tempter appeared in the garden to hatch his unseemly plot of deception. Implying that God had withheld something from our first parents, the tempter sought to subvert the commandment of God. He suggested that it would be advantageous for them to eat of the forbidden tree.


"And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" (Gen. 3:4,5).


    The moment Adam ate of that forbidden fruit man would never again be satisfied to merely rule under God; rather, he wants to be God! There are essentially two sources of power in the world: government and religion. The first represents the things of man; the second the spiritual things of God, which Satan and men covet. Although these two spheres intersect one another, historically it has been God's will that they remain separate.


    For example, under the Law the high priest was exclusively chosen by God to offer gifts and sacrifices for the people. He was an extension of the hand of the Most High. "And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron" and his successors (Heb. 5:4). So when King Saul foolishly intruded into the office of the priesthood by offering a burnt offering at Gilgal, the judgment of God was swift. In fact, the kingdom was taken from him and given to David as a consequence of his actions (I Sam. 13:8-14).


    Among the affairs of men, the heads of state and religion so-called have usually tolerated one another historically. Occasionally, however, there were attempts to combine these two powers into one supreme power. Consequently, many ancient dictators were arrogantly consumed with self-deification. Nebuchadnezzar's attempt to erect a gold image of himself is a case in point.


"Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold.in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of music, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up" (Dan. 3:1,6,7).


    Carefully note the phrase "all the people, the nations, and languages." The King's purpose was to unify all the religions of his great kingdom under one head. He was the image of gold. He was declaring himself to be God. Here the words of Sir John Acton are ever so true: "Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely." So it should not surprise us that the Anti-Christ will exploit the religious system of his day, as we shall see, to catapult himself into a position of "absolute power" in the coming day of the Lord.


THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES



"Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another" (Dan. 7:2,3).


    Whew! Those are deep waters! If it were not for the Scriptures themselves, we would be hard pressed to interpret this secret code. Like the reed blown in the wind, the four winds speak about movement, divine movement. God is ushering in a new phase of His prophetic purpose. It moves the great sea, which is clearly a reference to the unsaved masses of the world (Isa. 17:12; 57:20).


    "And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another." Out of the Gentile nations of the world arises "four great beasts" that Daniel identifies as "four kings, which shall arise out of the earth" (Dan. 7:17). This marks the beginning of the Times of the Gentiles. The Times of the Gentiles has to do with Gentile world dominion. According to prophecy, it began when King Nebuchadnezzar carried Israel into the Babylonian captivity in 586 B.C. Since that time Israel has been under Gentile domination in one form or another as a chastisement. In part, due to her failure to observe the Sabbath rest of the land (II Chron. 36:21).
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« Reply #31 on: September 28, 2007, 05:05:27 AM »

The Present Obsession With the Anti-Christ (Part II)

By Paul M. Sadler


    With the intervening dispensation of Grace, the Times of the Gentiles, prophetically, has been temporarily suspended. This is another reason why the Anti-Christ cannot be revealed until after the Rapture. Today God is not dealing with the nations as nations. Rather He is saving individuals out of the nations according to the Mystery (Rom. 10:12,13). Interestingly, the dispensation of Grace does not conflict with the Times of the Gentiles merely because Israel is still scattered throughout the world. There are nearly as many Jews in New York City (under Gentile rule) as in the land of Palestine (also controlled by Gentile interest behind the scenes). So the "fulness of the Gentiles" must first be fulfilled before God will continue His prophetic purpose (Rom. 11:25).


    After our departure to glory, the Times of the Gentiles will resume with the establishment of the fourth Gentile World Empire - the Anti-Christ's kingdom. This period will close with the future destruction of this kingdom at the battle of Armageddon when Christ returns in power and great glory (Luke 21:24-28 ).


    But before we go any further, let's go back to the beginning and trace the Times of the Gentiles from their inception. Here we should pause a moment to give a brief history lesson. I believe it was Dr. Ironside who said, "History is nothing more than prophesy written afore time." Sometimes to understand the future, we must first understand the past.


    Having identified the four beasts that arise out of the sea to be four kings, Daniel now describes these kings and their kingdoms in more detail. Three of the four kingdoms foretold by Daniel are now a matter of history. While Daniel predicted these events years before they actually transpired, we have the privilege of consulting ancient history to witness the amazing accuracy of his words.


"The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it" (Dan. 7:4).


    The first Gentile world power was Babylon. So King Nebuchadnezzar is the first beast. Babylon was like the lion that stalks its prey unmercifully (II Chron. 36:17-20). Yet it is also said to have the wings of an eagle, which shows a graceful side to this kingdom. Babylon was well known for its magnificent cities and beautiful hanging gardens. In fact, the city of Babylon was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. This kingdom was the crown jewel of Gentile world dominion. Its supreme power, strength, glory and splendor is unmatched by that which is to follow.


"And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh" (Dan. 7:5).


    The second Gentile world power was Medo-Persia. This kingdom is likened to a bear that lumbers about devouring what it will. Notice that it is said to have raised up itself on one side. Neither Media nor Persia possessed the military might to conquer Babylon. Therefore, they formed an alliance to accomplish this end. Since Persia was stronger than Media it was the side that "raised up itself," and became the more dominant of the two.


    While King Darius, the Mede, began the campaign against Babylon, the actual consolidation of power came under King Cyrus, the Persian. So then, Cyrus is the second beast Daniel saw (Dan. 6:28; 10:1). It is interesting that all of these kings are referred to as beasts - that is, the nature of these kings was beast-like. They had brutal military machines that crushed their enemies under foot. They ruled the world.


"After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it" (Dan. 7:6).
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« Reply #32 on: September 28, 2007, 05:14:19 AM »

The Present Obsession With the Anti-Christ (Part II)

By Paul M. Sadler


    The third Gentile world power was the Grecian Empire under the reign of Alexander the Great. He is the third beast. This kingdom was like a leopard, cunning, swift, and vicious. This is a perfect description of the armies of Alexander the Great.


    It is said that Alexander the Great marched his armies days on end to surprise his enemies. As history bears witness, he conquered the world, then sat down and wept because there were no other kingdoms to conquer. The expansion of Alexander's kingdom made it the larger of its two predecessors. It literally covered the known world of that day.


THE ANTI-CHRIST KINGDOM



"After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns" (Dan. 7:7).


    According to the traditional interpretation of this passage, it is generally believed that the fourth Gentile world power was Rome. This would make Caesar Augustus the fourth king. While this is certainly plausible and worthy of your consideration, it does, however, lack consistency.


    First, most historians would concur that Rome never completely conquered the world, at least not in the sense of Alexander the Great. But this is a prerequisite for the fourth kingdom that was to follow, according to Daniel's prophetic vision. In addition we must not forget that the dispensation of Grace interrupted the prophetic program shortly before the Roman Empire experienced its finest hour. Consequently, Rome would play a greater role in the expansion of the gospel of the grace of God. Although the exploits of the Roman Empire were notable, Rome in all its glory will not be able to hold a candle to the future Anti-Christ kingdom.


    The seat of authority of the first three Gentile World Empires was located in the east. On the other hand, the seat of authority of the Roman Empire was at Rome, located in the west. This also poses a major problem for those that believe the Anti-Christ kingdom will be the revival of the ancient Roman Empire. But here again the seat of the future Anti-Christ kingdom is said to be in Babylon, which, as we know, is situated in the east (Rev. 18:1-24). It should be remembered that while the Mystery has had its greatest effect in the west, the hub of prophecy is the Middle East. This is not to say that the west won't play a secondary role in the coming affairs of the Anti-Christ.


    Perhaps the most damaging argument against this fourth kingdom being the Roman Empire is the prophecy that it will be destroyed by the Second Coming of Christ (Dan. 2:40-45). This, of course, cannot be said of the Roman Empire.


    We believe the fourth and final Gentile world power to be the future Anti-Christ kingdom. This means that the fourth beast is the Anti-Christ. He will be the last world dictator. Daniel says in regard to this kingdom, "After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth." This empire is a kingdom of darkness. It is "exceeding strong" because the Anti-Christ will establish a one-world government (Rev. 13:7).


    The great iron teeth of this regime are probably a reference to the largest military machine the world has ever seen. Those nations that oppose him will either be brought into submission or crushed by his military might. After suffering millions and millions of casualties at the hand of God's wrath, near the end of the Great Tribulation this army is still over 200,000 million strong (Rev. 9:16).


    Daniel also states that this beast is "diverse from all the beasts that were before it." The Anti-Christ is different because he will be the very embodiment of evil. While the former kingdoms were decades in the making, the man of sin will forge his kingdom from the ashes of broken promises within a three-year period.


    Furthermore, the Apostle John reveals that the Anti-Christ kingdom will be an amalgamation of the former Gentile world powers. "And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion" (Rev. 13:1,2). Apparently, the Anti-Christ will assimilate into his empire the power, wealth, splendor, glory, and military strategies of the ancient kingdoms before him. This Kingdom will cover the territory of Alexander's Kingdom and more, form alliances like Media-Persia to consolidate power, and defile the temple of God, as did Babylon.


    The system the beast uses to bring himself to the pinnacle of absolute power is organized religion portrayed as the Mother of Harlots in the Book of Revelation. But once she has served her purpose he has her burned at the stake (Rev. 17:1-7,16). The coronation is at hand. The time will be the middle of the tribulation; the place, Jerusalem; the facility, the temple. Paul exposes for us the wicked intentions of the man of sin, "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, showing himself that he is God." This is the abomination of desolation (Matt. 24:15 cf. II Thes. 2:4).


To be continued!
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« Reply #33 on: September 28, 2007, 05:40:15 AM »

The Present Obsession With the Anti-Christ (Part III)
By Paul M. Sadler



"For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming."   - II Thes. 2:7,8


    The ultimate goal of Satan is to be worshipped as God. This diabolical plot is called the mystery of iniquity. While the world is going about its business, the evil one is methodically working behind the scenes to undermine the authority of God. God has established a chain of command that if closely adhered to gives stability to governments, the Church, and the home.


    Interestingly the apostle says, "the mystery of iniquity doth already work." If that was true in Paul's day, how much more so today! The rule of civil law that was once highly revered now only serves to measure the depth of blood that runs in our streets. As we draw closer to the Rapture, lawlessness will become more commonplace as mankind slides down the slippery slope of rebellion. Eventually Satan will bring the world to a place of utter and total chaos.


    With the stage set, the Anti-Christ will be standing in the wings prepared to take control of the affairs of men. The only event hindering Satan from fulfilling his objective is the Rapture. God will not allow him to carry out his program of evil until He has completed His plan and purpose for the Church, the Body of Christ. To say otherwise is to confuse the two programs of God, which are mutually exclusive of one another. When this present program abruptly comes to a close at the sound of the trump, Paul says, "And then shall that Wicked [one] be revealed...." In other words, the man of sin will not be revealed until after the Rapture.


    Beloved ones, we are not of the night. We are the children of the day, that is, the day of Christ; therefore, it would serve no purpose for us to know the identity of the Anti-Christ. In fact, there is strong evidence that not even those living in the early part of the Tribulation will know his true identity - something he's sure to conceal as long as possible. So then, the exploits of the man of sin belong to the future day of the Lord, from which the Church is promised deliverance (I Thes. 5:1-9).


THE LAST WORLD DICTATOR



"And then shall that Wicked 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).


   Notice the apostle clearly makes reference here to two monumental events, both of which are destined to change the course of the world. The first has to do with the appearing of the Anti-Christ at the beginning of the Tribulation. This is confirmed by the statement, "even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan...." The fulfillment of this declaration will set the prophetic clock in motion once again. But Paul is careful to add that the Second Coming of Christ will bring his reign of terror to a swift end. Hence, "whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming."


    According to prophecy there will be seven years between these two great prophetic events. During this period Satan hatches his evil plot to overthrow the plans and purposes of God. He is the great counterfeiter. As God sent His only begotten Son to the earth to redeem mankind, Satan will send the man of sin to deceive the nations of the earth. We also witness the manifestation of the satanic trinity during the Tribulation:


God the Father (I Cor. 8:6) - The Dragon - Anti-God (Rev. 13:4)



God, the Son (Rom. 9:5) - The Beast - Anti-Christ (Rev. 14:11)



God, the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3,4) - The False Prophet - Anti-Spirit (Rev. 16:13)
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« Reply #34 on: September 28, 2007, 05:46:05 AM »

The Present Obsession With the Anti-Christ (Part III)
By Paul M. Sadler


    Shortly after our departure to glory, "nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences...." These aren't isolated clashes, but global conflicts. Normally it takes years to address these types of problems through diplomatic channels. However, once the Anti-Christ appears on the scene he'll have viable solutions to all the world's ills. In fact, he will single-handedly bring a time of "peace and safety" to the earth (I Thes. 5:3). This isn't by chance, but design. For as the apostle says, his coming is "after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders." He is the rider of the white horse who will go forth conquering his enemies with the swiftness of an Alexander the Great. Those who name the name of God in that day will perish at the edge of his sword (Rev. 6:2,9-11 cf. 13:6,7).


    As the Anti-Christ rises to world prominence, one of the means he uses to deceive the nations is signs and wonders. Interestingly, the Greek words semeion (signs) and teras (wonders) are the same terms used for the miraculous manifestations that our Lord performed during His earthly ministry. Therefore, we have little doubt that these miracles will be authentic. To suggest otherwise would be to cast a shadow of doubt over the authenticity of our Lord's miracles. Although Satan is a created being, he does possess unbelievable powers. In a moment of time the devil flashed all the kingdoms of the world before our Lord stating, "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" (Luke 4:6).


    While the Beast and the False Prophet are mere mortals, the dragon will empower these workers of iniquity to perform the miraculous. Even the very elect will be deceived. Perhaps the most amazing demonstration of this power is seen shortly after the Anti-Christ is assassinated in the middle of the Tribulation. John records, "And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast" (Rev. 13:3). Although it is questionable that Satan can restore life, it appears God allows him to do so in this case, that He might demonstrate the glory of His power at the Second Coming of Christ.


    We are not told how long the Beast remains in the Abyss after being slain, but we can probably safely surmise it will be three days and three nights. "The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is" (Rev. 17:8 ).


    Carefully note, the Beast "that was," before his assassination; "and is not," his absence from the earth during the period he's in the Abyss; "and yet is," his miraculous raising from the dead. Unlike Christ, who resurrected from the dead, the Anti-Christ is merely resuscitated similar to the widow's son of Zarephath and Lazarus. Here again Satan is seeking to imitate the things of God. The Anti-Christ will be slain, be raised from the dead, and ascend from the lower parts of the earth. Sound familiar?


    Upon being revived from his mortal wound, the Apostle John adds this commentary about his reappearance: "And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition." This sounds like a riddle wrapped in an enigma. The "seven" refers to the seven original Mid-East kings and kingdoms that will form an alliance with one another, which makes up the heart of the Anti-Christ kingdom. After the Anti-Christ, who was numbered with the original seven, returns from the dead he's called the eighth because there's something dramatically different about him - he's the very embodiment of evil.


"And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and... he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven" (Rev. 13:5,6).


    It is at this point in time the Anti-Christ enters the temple in Jerusalem and declares himself to be God. This is the "lie" Paul speaks about in II Thessalonians 2:10-11. "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie."


    Some teach, based on this passage, that those who reject the gospel of salvation today will not have another opportunity to be saved during the Tribulation. This would mean then that very few would be saved in the coming day of the Lord, since the message of Christ's redeeming love has reached around the world today through every medium imaginable. Yet, the record is clear that a great multitude, "which no man could number" will be saved during the Tribulation (Rev. 7:9-15).
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« Reply #35 on: September 28, 2007, 05:52:15 AM »

The Present Obsession With the Anti-Christ (Part III)
By Paul M. Sadler


    After the Rapture, the program of God will immediately revert back to prophecy. Thus, Paul briefly shares with us here in II Thessalonians 2:10,11 the prophetic order of things following our departure to glory. Dear ones, it is imperative that we understand the immediate context in which these passages are set is the coming day of the Lord. Consequently, those who reject the "truth" in verse 11 are rejecting the truth of the kingdom gospel. Insofar as the terms of salvation will change in the future Tribulation, God graciously gives the world another opportunity to be saved.


    However, two things must be remembered. First, they will return to the Great Commission in those days, which gives Israel a position of preeminence over the Gentiles. This greatly diminishes their exposure to the gospel. In other words, the Gentiles will once again have to be saved through Israel. Second, the clock is ticking. The inhabitants of the world will only have three and one-half years before the Anti-Christ requires the mark of the beast, 666. Without this mark no one will be able to buy or sell. However, the moment those who worship the Beast receive the number of his name, they are eternally damned, without hope of reprieve (Rev. 13:15-18 cf. 14:9-11).


    To those who reject both the gospel of grace and the kingdom gospel, God will send strong delusion to believe the lie, that is, the Anti-Christ is God! Paul's reference to strong delusion here is to be understood as "a working of error or inward working of delusion." Hiebert comments: "It should be noted that God does not send them `error' as such, but rather an inward working of the inevitable consequences of error. They will fall under the influence of a power working within them which leads them farther and farther away from the truth. Since they deliberately chose falsehood in defiance of the truth of God, God subjects them to the power of error they chose. God uses their choice of evil as the very instrument to punish their sin."1 (See Prov. 5:22,23).


    Another area where the Devil will weave his tangled web of deception is in regard to the False Prophet. Like the Holy Spirit who speaks not of Himself but glorifies the Son, the False Prophet will exalt the man of sin. He will cause the whole earth to worship the Anti-Christ. The False Prophet is able to accomplish this by a set of carefully orchestrated miracles.


"And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles [Gr. semeion] which he had power to do in the sight of the beast.  And he 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" (Rev. 13:13-15).


    In the Old Testament the prophet Elijah called fire down out of heaven to turn the heart of the people back to the true and living God. Here, the False Prophet calls fire down from heaven to turn men away from the living God to worship the image of the beast that he miraculously causes to speak.


THE KINGS OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS



"And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming" (II Thes. 2:8 ).


    During the latter part of the Tribulation God will call His people into the wilderness where He protects and nourishes them for three and one-half years (Rev. 12:13-17). Apparently, near the end of this period the Anti-Christ discovers where Israel is hiding. He wastes no time assembling an army that would dwarf anything known to man today. Destination: the valley of Megiddo outside of Jerusalem. The plan is simple: wipe the chosen nation from the face of the earth. What he fails to understand is, like the Egyptians of old, God is going to draw him into the jaws of death.


    There have been many great battles since the dawn of mankind, but there is one battle yet to be fought that will be unlike any other before it - Armageddon! As the Apostle John stepped to the edge of this arena he saw the armies of the earth. They extended across the plain of the east as far as the eye could see. Then he looked heavenward and beheld another white horse whose rider that sat upon him "was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean" (Rev. 19:11,14).


    This is the Second Coming of Christ that will bring an end to the Anti-Christ's reign of terror. Christ will utterly destroy him with the brightness of His Coming when He returns in power and glory with the host of heaven. The scene will cause men's hearts to fail within them. "And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations...and He treadeth the wine-press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." This is a true demonstration of power, His almighty power. What a scene! The carnage will be so enormous that the blood is said to run to the horse bridles for two hundred miles (Rev. 14:14-20).


    He who deceived the world and caused millions to be damned will not be permitted to merely suffer an untimely death. Both the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet are cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone (Rev. 19:20). As Christ overthrows the kingdoms of this world and establishes His kingdom of righteousness, Satan will be bound during the Millennium. Interestingly, when he is cast into the lake of fire at the end of the thousand years, the biblical record states: "where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."


    A correct understanding of the Word rightly divided and "things to come" will keep us from being tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. If someone claims to know the identity of the Anti-Christ our response should be, "But what saith the Scriptures?" As a member of the Body of Christ I'm looking for the Upper-Taker, not the undertaker. Thankfully we have been delivered from the wrath to come!


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Endnote



1. The Thessalonian Epistles, D. Edmond Hiebert, Moody Press, Chicago, IL, pg. 319.
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« Reply #36 on: September 28, 2007, 10:52:52 AM »

An excellent article. I liked his comments on the Rapture being a mystery as it truly is and the fact that peoples attention to try to take the mystery out of it actually hinders their knowledge of scripture on end times teachings of the things that are most important. I also liked his comments on how people concentrate on false teachings that can and will cause many not to be able to observe and discern correctly.

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« Reply #37 on: September 29, 2007, 12:01:56 AM »

Pastor Roger,

Brother, the Apostle Paul used the term, "Mystery", over and over again. Some people wonder about this term when they hear it. It has to be put into perspective with the entire Bible before one realizes the real significance of this term. This wonderful "Mystery" involves the greatest event in human history, JESUS CHRIST! Many things before HIM were just shadows, but JESUS CHRIST was and is the REALITY!

I give thanks that GOD has revealed this most precious TRUTH to us. I can't imagine how bad this short life would be without JESUS CHRIST!


Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable GIFT, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour Forever!
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« Reply #38 on: October 01, 2007, 05:55:12 AM »

Day of the Lord... Christ's Rule


There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall  grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The  Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The  Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. His delight is in the  fear of the LORD, And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor  decide by the hearing of His ears; But with righteousness He shall judge  the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall  strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His  lips He shall slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of His  loins, And faithfulness the belt of His waist...the Gentiles shall seek  Him, And His resting place shall be glorious." (Isaiah 11:1-5,10) 

"But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after  those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it  on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. "No  more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother,  saying,' Know the LORD,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of  them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their  iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." (Jeremiah 31:33-34) 

"It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while  they are still speaking, I will hear. (Isaiah 65:24)   

"..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 #39 on: October 12, 2007, 07:48:46 PM »

"However, most of the world doesn't appear to be paying any attention. In fact, the RUSH appears to be hastening away from GOD - NOT toward GOD."

This is a most true statement.  Things are accelerating and as a Christian it is so hard to watch.  It seems that organizations like the ACLU and others are succeeding in taking God out of and off of everything.  They are blocking Christians at every turn.  Government is letting it happen while they look the other way or plain agree with it.  Or let it pass out of fear of a lawsuit that would be to timely, costly and possibly ruin their political careers.
Even children's cartoons are so infested with demonic forces and symbols.  I was, ...well I can't say shocked, but I hadn't realized how far it had gone until recently when I was watching cartoons with my 3 year old grandson.  I had to turn them off!  Of course when I say that it has polluted music, TV, movies, games you all know that already.  Alternative live styles are so common place 4th grade teachers are reading to their classes about it!  Child molesters are getting slaps on the hands and being sent to half way houses or home to live with mama.

What frustrates me most is the political stuff and why can't we stop it.  What do we have to do?  Of course we pray, etc, etc.  But how can we fight this destruction?

Well there is my rant for today.  Feed back?
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« Reply #40 on: October 12, 2007, 08:03:15 PM »

Quote
Government is letting it happen

In many cases government officials are the ones that are making it happen. God says that these things will happen so they will happen. This does not mean that we should stop trying to do something about it though. We need to continue the good fight. Pray in all things that we do, attempt to support and vote in politicians that are willing to do something about it and continue to spread the good news of Salvation through Jesus Christ.

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« Reply #41 on: October 14, 2007, 03:49:17 PM »

Hello Grammyluv,

First, I'll say AMEN to what Pastor Roger said - Christians must keep standing until JESUS takes us Home to Glory. If these are the last days of this Age of Grace, things will get much worse. Bible Prophecy speaks of the GREAT RESTRAINER who is THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD. The GREAT RESTRAINER currently Restrains the actions of the devil, but the GREAT RESTRAINER will be removed at GOD'S Appointed Time, and the devil will be given full reign on the earth. There is disagreement about some details in timing and sequence of events, but THE CHURCH WHICH IS THE BODY OF CHRIST will be caught up to meet the LORD in the air and also be removed from the earth. Personally, I believe that we are part of that RESTRAINING Force because we have the HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD living in our hearts.

I'll just say that the time will come when evil mankind will get what they want, and the devil will be COMPLETELY LOOSE on the earth. The times will be incredibly evil, and all of mankind left on earth will suffer in ways that are beyond human imagination. Most of mankind will die during a period of time called the Tribulation Period. Bible Prophecy tells us that the last half of the Tribulation Period will be especially horrible, and it will end with the SECOND COMING OF CHRIST in GREAT AND RIGHTEOUS WRATH. JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF will lead Heavenly Hosts into battle against evil, and JESUS CHRIST will most obviously win. Great hosts of evil men will be killed, and they will await the FINAL JUDGMENT. The devil will be locked away for 1,000 years and will also await FINAL JUDGMENT. JESUS CHRIST will rule and reign over the earth from the Throne of David in Jerusalem for 1,000 years.

Many people, even Christians, don't understand that JESUS CHRIST is the anointed KING of Israel, and HE will not be denied HIS THRONE. Israel denied HIM 2,000 years ago, but Israel will accept HIM at HIS SECOND COMING. Israel has been punished for those 2,000 years, and the greatest punishment is yet to come for Israel. HOWEVER, GOD will restore Israel after HIS SECOND COMING, and JESUS CHRIST will claim and take what has always been HIS. Israel was unfaithful, but GOD is ever faithful, and GOD always keeps HIS Promises Perfectly.

Christians have Promises from GOD that are different and unique from the Promises that GOD made to Israel. Christians are THE CHURCH WHICH IS THE BODY OF CHRIST - NOT Israel. Many people studying the Holy Bible confuse Israel with the CHURCH or confuse the CHURCH with Israel. The two are separate and distinct from each other, and they have different Promises from GOD. As a Christian, I'm not awaiting an earthly Kingdom. My Home and Citizenship is in HEAVEN for Eternity. JESUS CHRIST is already my KING, and I'm an adopted Child of GOD with an Inheritance with the Saints IN LIGHT. The LIGHT is JESUS CHRIST! I have already been QUICKENED - TRANSLATED INTO THE BODY OF CHRIST! All of GOD'S Promises to us are so sure that we can consider them to be ALREADY DONE!

Israel still awaits their MESSIAH AND KING. They don't realize that they rejected HIM 2,000 years ago. Israel will cry out to GOD during the Tribulation Period at a time when they fear total annihilation. GOD will hear them, and their MESSIAH AND KING will come and rescue them. Israel will accept their Anointed and HOLY ONE this time, and Israel will be restored. IN CONTRAST:  Christians have already been rescued from the curse of sin and death, and JESUS CHRIST is already our LORD and SAVIOUR. I consider GOD'S Promises to us to be far better than the Promises HE made to Israel. I've already been rescued. JESUS CHRIST has gone before me to prepare a place for me. I await being given a Glorified Body like the one JESUS CHRIST has and GOING HOME!


Love In Christ,
Tom

Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable GIFT, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour Forever!
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« Reply #42 on: October 16, 2007, 10:00:36 AM »

Good Morning Tom and thank you!  I agree with every thing you said, Praise God!  I have been a Christian for a long time and have even taught bible study so I know that all you said is so true and so encouraging for those of us that are already saved by God's good grace and love. Amen.
Although I know that all these things must happen before the rapture, which I believe is at hand, I am amazed at society's blindness, nativity, and out right rebellion.  I know also that it's because their hearts are hardened and their eyes are blinded to the truth.  And as I said earlier or maybe in a different post, it is so hard to watch what is going on now.  Chalk that up to my compassion I suppose.

On another note, I have been reading a lot of these posts and I am so grateful for you, Pastor Roger and DreamWeaver!  I so appreciate the knowledge that you all share with us on here!  God bless you!
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« Reply #43 on: October 17, 2007, 03:57:08 AM »

Hello Grammyluv,

You are most welcome. We have a large number of sweet Christians here who enjoy sharing with each other and the entire world. The times grow short, but I give thanks that GOD is still using HIS WORD and the GOSPEL in mighty ways around the world. Hosts of people are still accepting CHRIST and GOD gets all of the Glory.

I've given thanks many times that we can still share in SAFETY, and then I think about the Christians all over the world who are being persecuted, beaten, imprisoned, or killed for trying to do the same thing we are here. We shouldn't take anything for granted and give thanks for all good things. Again, GOD gets all the Glory, Honor, and Praise.

We don't know what will happen tomorrow in this ever increasingly evil world, but we do know that no power can pluck us out of the Mighty Hands of GOD.

Love In Christ,
Tom

Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable GIFT, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour Forever!
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« Reply #44 on: October 24, 2007, 05:51:25 PM »

Israel and the Church: Two Great Days, Two Great Doctrines
From A Voice in the Wilderness - Page 1 of 6

        -Grand Summary of these Two All-Important Days
        -God's Prophetic Time Out   

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Two Great Days, Two Great Doctrines

The first day, May 24, A.D. 33, marked the spiritual birth of the church  in Jerusalem. The second day, May 14, 1948, marked the national rebirth  of Israel in Tel Aviv.

The first event supports the view that the church is neither a  continuation nor a replacement of Old Testament Israel. The second event  supports the view that God is not finished with Old Testament Israel.

The remainder of this article will briefly examine the circumstances and  implications of each day.


THE FIRST DAY


Both covenant and replacement theologians teach that the church has  become God's elect people, instead of Israel. But this is not the case,  as seen by the following eight arguments.

1) The Promises Are Different.


-- The promises and provisions concerning Israel were basically earthly  in scope:

If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is  right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His  statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on  the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you (Ex15:26; cf Dt28)

-- The promises concerning the church are basically heavenly in scope:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed  us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. If  then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above,  where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on  things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and Your life is  hidden with Christ in God (Eph1:3; Col3:1-3)

2) The Seed Is Different.

-- Abraham's physical seed refers to Israel:

Nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, "In  Isaac your seed shall be called" (Rom9:7)

-- Abraham's spiritual seed refers to the church:

Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham  (Gal3:7)

3) The Births Are Different.

-- Israel celebrated its birth at the base of Mount Sinai (Ex19-20)

-- The church celebrated its birth at Pentecost (Acts 2). The author of  Hebrews brings out the great contrast between these two entities  (Heb12:18-24)
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