Could mankind stall the relentless march toward millennial reign? I don’t think so. We have come too far, too fast and must have gone beyond the point of no return. The Lord’s Spirit is moving and the Latter rain is intense. Good men are moving and bad men being moved to repent.
The point is that we each have a role to play, to keep the momentum going to bring the fullness of God’s plan to life. There is no time to be weary.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
The next nine months are going to be incomparable. After which, the Lord will return and gather His elect; the ingathering of Israel, for they will mourn Him. And then there will come two months of fire and brimstone; of cleansing of the land of its corruption. Many will die. Those who won’t repent.
Be prepared, imminently, to witness the greatest voluntary mass-migration in human history—the return of the diaspora from the nations to Israel.
An ingathering of the harvest: believers out of Babylon; exiles out of Egypt.
Wherever I see Jews, Messianics and Orthodox alike, I cannot help but see Messiah in them.
A Messiah who is the Angel of the Lord. A Messiah who is the Word.
I agree with the Parable of the Vineyard, further, that Paul was a true man of the Lord, truly repented and converted, but I do not think his letters were tampered with. I think recent challenging of the Pauline epistles show an element of naivete and misunderstanding from today’s Church. Few people will go to their execution, and in such grissly a manner as crucifixion, and not be unshakeable in their belief.
We are meant to hear and to believe, believe and to heed. To find the Word—i.e. to hear the Word—and to keep it. To do it.
Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
Scoffers and mockers abound, like Douglas Charles at BroBible: “the ultimate lifestyle destination for millennial men.” These millennial men know it all, seemingly. But that’s hardly surprising, according to 2 Peter 3:3-4.
3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
And keep those things which are written therein.
Worse still, the audience finds it amusing.
The citing of the USS Georgia at periscope depth was reported at Naval News, by H I Sutton:
The US Navy’s four Ohio Class SSGNs are by far the most heavily armed conventional strike platforms in the world.
This coincides with Iranian testing of new ballistic missiles in the central desert region.
The fat cats push the thin cats around.
And so it goes. Societies, particularly our modern Roman provinces, run on power, money, prestige, while the more important things in life, the kindness and love, often get left by the wayside as markers of weakness. Our societies thrive on a bigger-is-better attitude: on faster, higher, stronger. In short, culture run by antichrists.
And the littlest people get left behind.
Christianity challenges that sentiment. Through Christ, Christianity shows strength is meekness, not brute power; that love is in kindness, not fleshly lust; that reward is in giving, not earthly gain.
Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.1 John 2:18 (KJV)
For to give is to sow.
Power to the little people is the enduring strength of love, kindness, forbearance, humility, temperance, hospitality, and a grace under duress.
Power and might alone are not bad (consider Samson), but they tend to produce haughtiness and not humility, and from which they emanate as base, profligate, untrue … where they too often take advantage of or discriminate.
Christianity reverses all that without a reverse discrimination. Christianity still maintains a meritocracy: reward for merit. Christianity rewards that which is profitable, in the broadest sense of that word. But the way it defines merit is also somewhat different.
Christianity is a meritocratic culture less interested, say, in your football league ladder hierarchy, than whether you proffered to the vagrant you walked by this morning that morsel of bread. Yet mainstream culture shows this vast disconnect between the two: between going to the big game and giving to the needy. It is not so much that mainstream culture makes no effort to help the needy, but it is this chasm of a daily disconnect for prizing the unprofitable vanity of selfish spectacle over the personal offering of the basic necessities of life to the poor.
26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.Matthew 23:26-28 (KJV)
Who, today, is the Scribe and Pharisee? Where, today, is the good Samaritan? Which the wicked and adulterous generation?
Merit in God’s eyes and the merit in the eyes of the world, while not always in complete disagreement, are not always superimposed. Priorities gotten wrong. Misplaced anger. Poor execution of a good intent. And on and on. And with merit comes a humility, rather than haughtiness of spirit, with God alone. Consider Samuel. To be blessed is a responsibility to righteousness. To be blessed takes sacrifice.
3 And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; 4 That the Lord called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.1 Samuel 3:3-4 (KJV)
“Here am I.”
Ask not what God can do for you; but ask what you can do for God.
Have you fulfilled the Great Commission? Are you fulfilling the Lord’s commands (or need they be spelled out to you)?
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.Matthew 25:35-36 (KJV)
The littlest people receive succour. The outcast, forgotten, lowly, poor, the incarcerated, get treated with respect. The respect due all life as the outward show of the sanctity of (all) life itself. The desire to put truth and love atop the hierarchy; wealth and gain at the bottom.
The kingdom of God, the will of heaven, is that organic community of individuals who in looking out for themselves are, by their very virtue, looking out for another. We are our brother’s keeper.
Eschew the boasting, the idle chatter, the vain pursuit, the diverse lust of flesh. Love thy neighbour, wherever you find them.
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?James 2:15-16 (KJV)
If Christians are society’s “little” (humble) people, it is because we are implored to never forget the littler still.
Little children; little people.
I have been struggling of late in my walk with the Lord, wrestling and tussling with Him yet still, somehow, obeying Him. I find the discipline all encompassing, and together with the resistance from the world and its persecutions, I feel overwhelmed.
For “every way of a man is right in his own eyes,” says Proverbs 21:2. And it’s true. Everyone thinks they are right and that they are in the right. Everyone complains when things don’t go their way, but do they search into why that may be the case or do they merely expect to get what they think is rightfully theirs?
It is this great and grand sense of entitlement that is what is sorely awry with this world. Everyone wants something for nothing. Everyone expects. Yet few understand that for expectations to be met, respective seeds ought to have already been sown sometime earlier. Everybody expects. These are the workers of iniquity that Jesus professed, in Matthew 7:23.
“And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
“But wisdom is justified of her children”, says Jesus in Matthew 11:19. Everyone is wise before their own eyes. Or, everyone seems able to justify their own behaviour. It seems possible, I would suggest, for people to rationalise just about anything and from any given vantage. That sentiment is especially prevalent today.
Everyone expects. But no one wants to sow.
Everyone expects. But few are willing to labour.
“The harvest is plenteous, but the labourers are few,” the Lord says in Matthew 9:37, registering many levels of meaning, I guess, not least of which the spiritual harvest of souls in these latter days. But it registers with me also on a much more basic level.
In 2 Thessalonians 3:6-10, Paul says:
“Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. 7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; 8 Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: 9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. 10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”
Everyone expects to eat, but no one is willing to bring in the harvest.
Everyone wants to be waited on, hand and foot.
There are a few wars coming, well apart from the “rumours” (i.e. reports) of actual wars already underway: wars of the so-called “Arab Spring,” including the nations of Iraq, Syria, Libya, Tunisia, Lebanon, Yemen (a Sunni-Shia proxy war between the KSA and Iran in all but name), Turkey (against Kurdish insurgents); the ongoing Somali Civil War; persistent war in Afghanistan; the on-again off-again conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh between Azerbaijan and Armenia; and others.
A common thread in many of these conflicts is Iran. But a heavy thread weaving through the fabric of these disputes, the tensed warp around which the Iranian weft could be said to be thread, is Turkey.
Of the major wars to come, of the more biblically relevant ones, first the antichrist (whoever he is) has to expand his influence.
War 1 – Antichrist wars – Daniel 11
In a back-and-forth battle for domination that spans antiquity unto prophetic future, The King of the North defeats the King of the South and in the process also wins over north Africa.
40 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. 41 He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. 42 He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.
King of the North (KOTN) and King of the South (KOTS) were appellations applied by Israeli prophets of God with respect to the direction from which invading forces came through Israel to battle one another, straddling (and at times implicating) Israel. In ancient times these were predominantly Assyria (modern-day Iraq) and Egypt, respectively. Israel was the natural gateway—natural to anyone wanting to avoid the Arabian desert—between Mesopotamia and north Africa and the Assyrians and Egyptians were the heavies of the day.
It’s hard to see anything, let alone anything of force, come out of Iraq today, although the Shia crescent, which ends in Lebanon, necessarily passes through Iraq, effectively putting Iran in KOTN posture. But such a focus would historically overlook the aggressive Hittite kingdom, forebear to the Turk; a kingdom that waged many wars against Egypt (KOTS).
War 2 – Ezekiel 38 War of Gog and Magog: Non-Arab Islamic Nations of the Middle East
To my reading, it is Turkey (Meshech and Tubal, later Gomer and Togarmah also), and not Iran (Persia), that leads this battle, a battle albeit incorporating Iran and leveraging its proxy influence in the Horn of Africa. Notably, the KOTN is widely and historically generally considered the archetype of the latter days’ Antichrist.
2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 3 And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: 4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: 5 Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: 6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.
Ezekiel continues (38:8-16):
8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. 9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee. 10 Thus saith the Lord God; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: 11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, 12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land. 13 Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil? 14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord God; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? 15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: 16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.
Notably, Arabs are not involved in the war. Rather, they (Sheba and Dedan) watch on with knowing glances. It seems incredulous to think that the KSA would watch and do nothing as a force led by arch nemesis—a force more-or-less of equivalent potence, Iran—came with regional hegemonic intent. It is more likely that the Iranians are co-conspirators here, beholden to a stronger Turkish force, a force that naturally precludes any thought of Saudi intervention.
Finally, when all is said and done and, perhaps internecine aggression spent, all of Islam will come together.
War 3 – Revelation 16, The Sixth Vial: Battle of Armageddon
12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. 13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. 15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. 16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
There is, however, one other war, an ultimate war against Gog that comes after the Lord’s 1000-year reign, when God releases Satan out of his prison, at the end of that time, for a short season. But for now, there is so little time and so much to be done, as it were—all these wars before Jesus comes—that best to postpone discussion of Revelation 20:7-10 for another time.
Until then, remember: the Tribulation is the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble.”
Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem.
At animals.mom.com, they speak of the characteristics of oxen:
A calm temperament is one of the most important requirements for an ox. They must have a willingness to respond to commands and be content to do the same sort of work day after day so long as they are well-fed and cared for.
According to Jesus (and I have reason to trust Him), in Matthew 6:25-26, your heavenly Father will feed and care for you:
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Approaching the final pre-millennial festivities, I am reminded that technically, of course, Christmas is not the King’s birthday but instead appropriation by more secular exigencies; exigencies perhaps rendering the whole process moot. But is not equally moot, but certainly not merciful, a penchant for chastising another’s good intent, an intent that does no harm, according to Colossians 2?
16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
That said, it is good to get facts straight nonetheless.
Whatever your conviction, whether for this feast day or for that, I proffer early my gift of verse (Luke 9):
49 And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. 50 And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.
The point is that everyone with good intent (no matter how it manifests), and who is doing no harm, is with us.
Even some (not all, of course) without proper intent are merely misled, awaiting conversion. Though they better hurry up.
Again, the point is you are working under duress making steady, if dour, progress and keeping your peace irrespective of the goings on about you. How else to develop that tenacious hide and protect that heart of pliable sense? That “willingness to respond to commands and be content to do the same sort of work day after day so long as they [you] are well-fed and cared for.”
Your mind sharp, your heart soft, … your hide necessarily thick.
But only if your heart is soft.
Therefore, this Christmas, Hanukkah, or any other occasion of good intent, recall one penitent who said:
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Innocent as a spring lamb, yes.
Be (also) like unto the oxen, brethren.
Your daily bread – “kavanah”
Press in unto the Lord. He in you; and you, Him.
He is the vine. The Tree of Life. Get rooted in. Don’t mess about. And be irrigated by rivers of living water. Take hold. Grow. Then flourish. In both temperance and zeal. Through a disciplined, purposeful, persevering intent toward the Lord and His Spirit.
The world is dark, trying to extinguish your light. Press into the Lord and press out against the world.
What’s the worst that can happen? You stumble? (There’s a prayer against that.) Even still, it will happen only seven times. Hold on true and the kingdom is yours.
Yield to the Lord. Resist the world.
Two opposing dispositions that you master when you listen for (and heed) the soft sound of the Spirit. You may hear the Lord himself speak to you. But the Spirit works in silence. Yet the more you block the world out, the more you “hear” and feel the Spirit’s Holy presence.
King Yeshua can be tough, necessarily ruling with a rod of iron. Fathers often discipline their children so. We call it tough love. The Holy Spirit is always kind, nurturing, a soothing comforter, and more often works in complete silence.
Press into the Lord.
Tune into the silence.
This amazing chart concurs with a Nov 19, 2021 reset. On that day, 15 Kislev, the earth goes up in flames. It commemorates the Abomination of Desolation, “the transformation, by Antiochus Epiphanes, of the sacred Temple at Jerusalem, in 168 BC, into a heathen one”.¹
Fervent heat. Hot. Very.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
The Apostle Peter concludes from what Noah’s rainbow can only allude to: this time, the earth goes up in flames.
6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
I am hoping to have been raptured before then, caught up on the Feast of Trumpets (not idiomatically known as “The Feast Of Which No Man Knows the Day or the Hour” for naught, mind you), logical date for the King to meet His bride.
But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
While the world awaits for a start to the tribulation, I recall that most “missed”—and from right under their nose—a First Advent’s significance, as it played out in real time. (Even those who literally walked with the Lord took, without exaggeration, half a century to reconcile what went on.)