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"The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law. (Dt. 29:29)
As the Preacher has already told us, "There is nothing new under the sunÃ¢Â€Â. (Ecc. 1:9) So why should we be surprised that yet another person has been the exclusive recipient of yet another "secretÃ¢Â€Â from God and, for the first time in the history of the world, is making it known to us? For some reason, instead of writing it down in one of the original languages of the Bible and making it freely available to all like the original Prophets of old, this time around God chose to have it printed in English and sold for $16.99 ($9.00 on the Kindle). For a fee, the "prophetÃ¢Â€Â will come and speak about it. False teaching disguised as "revelationÃ¢Â€Â like Jonathan Cahn's The Harbinger have been around sinceÃ‚Â handwriting was invented and such will, no doubt, persist until the Lord returns. Please do not buy it or even bother reading a friend's copy; why should you take away time from your personal meditation in Scripture, the only true source of revelation? But such things keep coming up, so I keep going back to the above verse.
- Fact 1: God has not revealed everything to us, nor will He.
- Fact 2: He has already revealed everything we need to know in His Word. There is no room for new books in The Book.
- Fact 3: If we cannot be obedient to what has already been revealed, there is no "newÃ¢Â€Â or further revelation coming.
In addition to outright false teachers and false prophets who teach error, there are also those who, "Ã¢Â€Â¦speak a vision of their own imagination, not from the mouth of the LordÃ¢Â€Â. (Jer. 23:16b) In either case, it is to be rejected just the same.
Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12)
There seem to be some Christians who are afraid that they will accidentally, or by some kind of clever ruse, be tricked into receiving the mark of the beast. However, Scripture teaches us that spiritual deception does not work that way, but is the inevitable destination of someone who willfully and consciously chooses to live in opposition to God's Word and ways. In Paul's teaching about the coming of the Antichrist, we are provided with a list which confirms exactly that, showing precisely what it takes to be deceived by Satan in the character of the Antichrist: "they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved" is the foundation leaving them vulnerable to "a deluding influence" ultimately causing them to "believe what is false" because "they did not believe the truth". This is succinctly summarized as "pleasure in wickedness". By standing in the future and looking back from the point of view of the end result, Paul is also giving us a test for apostasy, a kind of roadmap by which we can gage the progress of apostasy at its earliest stages in the present time. These are not merely measurements which we strictly apply to others, but even more importantly that we use for ourselves.
Then he said to me, "Write, "˜Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'" And he said to me, "These are true words of God." Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Revelation 19:9-10)
The Apostle John, through the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit of course, authored what is arguably two of the deepest and most important books of the Bible. The Gospel of John is often cited as the number one choice desired by those who theoretically become stranded on a desert island and can only have on book. From an earthly perspective of the Messiah, it is one of the most important books in history. But ironically the Apostle John also produced Revelation, which looks at future history from a heavenly perspective. (The repeated return to what is happening in heaven throughout Revelation is the "glue" that binds the themes of Revelation together.) John, as a kind of celestial court reporter, provides a transcription of how heaven sees things. He is unique in being used to author works which provide insight into the Lamb from both of these drastically different perspectives.
Remarkably, the angel at the forefront of conveying the heavenly visions provided to John places both the earthly record of the Gospel of John and this embodiment of heavenly revelations on equal footing. "For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" is a statement that these two seemingly different books are actually two sides of the same coin. The writings and teachings of the Apostles about the Lamb who came to take away the sins of the world in the Gospels is the very spirit, life and soul of the prophecies in Revelation describing the concluding work of the one and only Lamb who brings all things to an ultimate fulfillment. The testimony of all the Apostles and Prophets who bore witness to Christ is the flipside of the coin to the spirit of prophecy endowed to the angels relating it back through the Apostle John. I believe this to be foundational to the interpretation of Scripture: there can be no right and sound eschatology without right and sound theology. Biblical prophecy is not exempted from any of the rules of interpretation employed to establish the foundational doctrines of the rest of Scripture. In fact, it is impossible without them.
A nudge of the vector accelerating towards Daniel's Seventieth Week.
New York Post
December 16, 2011
by Nina Shea
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday ended the "Istanbul Process," a three-day, closed-door international conference hosted by the State Department on measures to combat religious "intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization."
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near. (Revelation 1:1-3)
I get the feeling that many people rush past the opening verses of Revelation (perhaps even the first few chapters) in order to get to the seals, trumpets and bowls"”what they feel is the "important" part of the Book. There are two very important conditions which are provided in these opening verses which make all the difference for understanding everything else to come: (1) This is not something that is written for everyone, but given "to show His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place", and (2) hearing and reading this Scripture (as with all Scripture, actually) must be followed up with heeding it"”that is, putting it into practice. If the Book of Revelation is written exclusively for those who are in a right relationship with Christ who are actually putting His Word into practice, what are the odds it will ever make sense to those living contrary to His Word and ways?
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:1-7)
This is probably one of the best biblical description of what is taking place spiritually with the Occupy Wall Street and similar movements of unrest in the Western world. I cannot begin to number the editorials, news reports and articles in every form of media that has crossed my path which espouse disbelief and incredulity at what is taking place, both secular and Christian. Repeatedly we receive reports that even when the protestors finally articulate some kind of demand, position or statement that can be understood, it is in direct contradiction to their actions and attitude. Their hypocrisy puzzles just about everyone. They claim to be holding to the finest traditions of America and the Civil Rights Movement, but their actions certainly do not prove it. By most third-party accounts the participants are insane, claiming things which directly conflict with their subsequent words and actions. This is supposed to be something new? I'm supposed to be surprised at this? For years prior to the Occupy movement anyone could have reported the exact same things about the church and those calling themselves "Christian": it is hard to know what they stand for, their actions almost always contradict their words, and they do not seem to bear any resemblance to the legacy and heritage they claim to come from. The hypocrisy and insanity in the world is merely a reflection of the hypocrisy and insanity in Christendom.
But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: "Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:
"˜And it shall be in the last days,' God says,
"˜That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
And your young men shall see visions,
And your old men shall dream dreams;
Even on My bondslaves, both men and women,
I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit
And they shall prophesy.
And I will grant wonders in the sky above
And signs on the earth below,
Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke.
The sun will be turned into darkness
And the moon into blood,
Before the great and glorious day of the LORDÃ‚Â shall come.
And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.' (Acts 2:14-21)
On the day of Pentecost, the event which most would agree inaugurates the beginning of the Church Age, Peter provides a scriptural context from Joel 2:28-32 to properly explain what is taking place. Curiously, only the first half of Joel's prophecy actually and literally has come true, which pertains to the pouring out of God's Spirit; the last half, however, describing supernatural signs associated with "the great and glorious day of the Lord" have NOT been actually and literally fulfilled. There have been many explanations offered as to why this is and what it may mean. But what if Peter, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is describing not just the beginning of the Church Age with the fulfillment of the first half of Joel's prophecy for Pentecost, but is also identifying the end of the Church Age as being that time when the day of the Lord finally comes? In other words, because the first part of Joel's prophecy has Ã‚Â literally come true, we are therefore assured that the second part will also literally come true when the Church is removed and provides the scriptural basis that the Church will enter into and experience at least part of the Tribulation before the Rapture takes place.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. (2 Ti. 2:15)
A just balance and scales belong to the LORD;
All the weights of the bag are His concern. (Prov. 16:11)
I fully realize that the prime and literal meaning of Proverbs 16:11 has to do with our fair and honest dealings with others, but I have wondered lately if it has an application to our "accurately handling the word of truth". Could the "balance and scales" characterize our entire handling of God's Word and each of the weights the various doctrines and teachings presented throughout Scripture? Each of these doctrinal weights "are His concern", but in our pursuit to accurately handle the Word do we properly balance the scales as a whole? While there are out-and-out false teachers whose assertions contradict the plain truth of God's Word, there are faithful brethren in Christ we come across who are generally right the vast majority of the time, but can be found clinging to an error or two here and there. They are not heretics or false teachers and therefore do not warrant treatment as such, but the question persists, "How can those who are doctrinally secure biblically in most areas be found to be in error in some other area?" I think it often has to do with how they balance some of the weights without full regard to all of the weights.
By Tim Ross, Religious Affairs Editor
9:02PM BST 12 Jul 2011
The Church of England will cease to exist in 20 years as the current generation of elderly worshippers dies, Anglican leaders warned yesterday.
The average age of its members is now 61 and by 2020 a "crisis" of "natural wastage" will lead to their numbers falling "through the floor", the Church's national assembly was told.
The Church was compared to a company "impeccably" managing itself into failure, during exchanges at the General Synod in York.
The warnings follow an internal report calling for an urgent national recruitment drive to attract more members.
In the past 40 years, the number of adult churchgoers has halved, while the number of children attending regular worship has declined by four fifths.
The Rev Dr Patrick Richmond, a Synod member from Norwich, told the meeting that some projections suggested that the Church would no longer be "functionally extant" in 20 years' time.