For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness...Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. "” 1 Corinthians 10:1"“5, 11
In the example of Israel being led out of Egypt to the Promised Land, one of the most vivid scriptural illustrations of being saved out of the old life for the new, a very tragic thing occurs along the way. A significant number within the ranks of God's people so large that it is difficult to fully comprehend became so spiritually corrupt that God forbade them admittance into the Promised Land. Only a very few of the original group gained entrance. Some today would assert, "Well, it is obvious they were never saved to begin with", yet the Apostle Paul says "all were baptized into Moses", "all ate the same spiritual food"¦the same spiritual drink", and that they were all following the Old Testament incarnation of Christ. At the very least it seems problematic to state they were spiritual counterfeits with such impeccable qualifications. I would suggest there is much in this example to teach us about this present age in the final hours leading up to Christ's Return which illuminates the working of the apostasy "“ the "great falling away" "“ we are witnessing within the Body of Christ.
A Reader Asks:
"In the Millenium, there will be a Temple and at the Temple sacrifices will be made to atone for sin. Why is this? Surely Yeshua has atoned once and for all for sin? Can you pleased explain the significance of this?"
Pastor from Wales UK
Since the Hebrew Scriptures close with the prophet Malachi foretelling of a Messenger from God who would appear before the Messiah, and Jesus' ministry begins with John the Baptist calling the nation to repentance, most Christians assume that the intervening period of about four centuries includes little that is of any spiritual or Biblical significance. While this era is accurately known as the "silent years" in that no prophetic voice from God is heard during this time, it is a mistake for Christians to think of it as unimportant. Many of the prophetic visions of Daniel play out during this time. Most notably, the incredible and swift ascendancy of Alexander the Great and the kingdom of Greece to worldwide prominence. This period also sets the backdrop for the events that led to the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. Both stories are tied together and hold important lessons for Christians.
Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. (Hebrews 5:11"“14)
A few months back in the article "The Problem with "˜Discernment'" we looked at how the word "discernment" is used in order to understand what differentiates the gift of discernment from the general biblical admonition for all Believers to be discerning. Specifically we focused on the fact that in Philippians 1:9-11 where Paul encourages "that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment", the underlying Greek word for "discernment" is "aisthesis", whereas in 1 Corinthians 12:10 in Paul's list of the gifts of the Spirit, what many translations render as the gift of discernment he uses "diakrisis", a completely different Greek word which the NASB renders as "distinguishing". Whereas "aisthesis" is defined as perceiving with the senses as well as the mind "“ a process involving knowledge based on experience, "diakrisis" is the ability to distinguish the spiritual nature of something to determine whether it truly comes from God, from Satan, or the flesh. It is therefore quite interesting to note that the author of Hebrews speaks of the spiritually mature as having attained "diakrisis" not as the result of a supernatural gift, but as a natural by-product of a maturing faith.
"Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold." ( Mt. 24:12)
It does not matter what our former life was like or how buried in evil and sin our background may have been, but there is a common crossroads of crisis at which every Believer eventually arrives. At some point we find ourselves staring into God's Word knowing that we have fallen short. We have to face the fact that Scripture plainly reveals that some aspect of our life or behavior is incontrovertibly in conflict with God's Word and ways, and it is usually that one thing which is the absolute most difficult personal issue, the sin which we are the most hesitant to even acknowledge because it has become such a basic part of our character that we can hardly imagine changing it. I arrived at one of these intersections when it came to certain relationships. I knew that what God commanded in His Word and how I lived and behaved in regard to this issue was at the very least a contradiction, and if I were totally honest, was in actuality hypocrisy.
Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; (1 Th. 5:1"“5)
This is not a rhetorical question nor am I being derisive or sardonic, but can someone explain to me why the timing and structure of the End Times was no mystery to the Early Church and yet we seem to hold endless conferences and publish untold numbers of books and websites on the subject? In all fairness, perhaps I need to re-frame the issue. It actually seems that the problem does not pertain so much to the thirst for knowledge about the fulfillment of God's plans as the day of the Lord approaches, but how to live in the shadow of that knowledge. It might be the age old issue of the positioning of the cart relative to the horse. It seems that there are some who believe if they can just obtain enough information it will inspire them to live as they should in the shadow of the Last Days; Paul teaches we already have enough information so that we should be doing nothing BUT living as we should in the shadow of the Last Days.
But they acted treacherously against the God of their fathers and played the harlot after the gods of the peoples of the land, whom God had destroyed before them. So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul, king of Assyria, even the spirit of Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away into exile...to this day. "” 1 Chronicles 5:25"“26a (NASB)
"As I live," declares the LORD, "even though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were a signet ring on My right hand, yet I would pull you off; and I will give you over into the hand of those who are seeking your life, yes, into the hand of those whom you dread, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of the Chaldeans. "” Jeremiah 22:24"“25 (NASB)
I have crossed some sort of emotional line recently. I don't know whether to weep and mourn or scream and kick. There is a group of self-described "watchmen" and/or "discernment" ministries which are just driving me to distraction not because what they are saying is crazy and nonsensical, but because their following is growing. Yes, I understand the occasional visit to the carnival freak show, but when the whole venue comes to be filled with nothing but frauds and hoaxes put on display? That is what we are getting with a group of individuals whose popularity is increasing who say that they are End Times watchmen sounding an alarm to the Church whose chief weapon of so-called insight is nothing more than conspiracy theories. Why is it that non-believers can so easily laugh and dismiss them and saved Christians cannot?
By staff writers
The Massachusetts Bible Society says it plans to stand against hate and give away two copies of the Qur'an for every one Christian extremists burn.
The Massachusetts Bible Society in the USA has said it plans to take a stand against hate and give away two copies of the Qur'an for every one Christian extremists burn.
"But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase."
"“ Daniel 12:4
"I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?"
"“ Luke 18:8
For most people studying the book of Daniel, the emphasis would be on the visions, the miracles, and perhaps unraveling the various numbers provided which describe the timing of the unfolding of God's prophetic plan. In other words, the quest is often to determine the meaning of those things which, as of Daniel's time at least, were sealed up. But Jesus offers what at first blush is a contrast to the quest for knowledge in stating that the important character trait He will be looking for at His Second Coming is faith. (Lk. 18:8) I would offer that if we were to study the book of Daniel looking for what we as believers are to personally apply just like any other portion of Scripture, we will accomplish both goals simultaneously. In other words, the greater treasure provided in the book of Daniel is that biblical insight and understanding is promised not as a gift to a privileged few granted a superior intellect, but to anyone attaining to greater faithfulness by putting God's Word and ways into practice.
by Ronnie Cohen
I think that there's just so much that a normal person could put up with. We hear the sword rattling and ongoing rhetoric of the Iranians as they thrive to achieve nuclear power for "peaceful" purposes but under the same breath make no secrete of wiping Israel off the face of the earth. We hear the ongoing ranting of the Turkish government concerning their "peace" flotilla to help the poor besieged and suffering Gazans. Their "Love Boat" had terrorists from all the lands of the Middle East and were planning, in advance, a violent confrontation with the Israeli navy and, hoping, that someone gets killed so they can film it and send it to all the international press organizations. The only thing that was filmed was the beating of the Israeli unit as it boarded the ship. They were beaten and clubbed and still the Turkish govt. together with the rest of the Arab world and, unfortunately, many other nations, condemned the affair as "piracy, murder and a massacre". Well, it's good to see that the impartial United Nations has began an inquest into the affair.
Last week a number of rockets were fired by Hamas from Egyptian territory towards the gulf cities of Eilat and Aqaba. The resort city of Aqaba had one killed and many wounded. It was obvious who fired them but initially the Jordanian govt. refused to acknowledge that it was done by their Arab brethren. There comment was, "It was fired from somewhere in the west". And if that wasn't enough, Hamas makes a statement that Israel fired them in order to blame Hamas. Wait! Things get better! It's been an exciting week!
Along the Israeli-Lebanon border an Israel group of soldiers were cutting fallen a tree that had fell on the Israeli fence from the other side. Two shots were fired from snipers in Lebanese territory killing the commanding officer and wounding another. The Israeli army swiftly retaliated by hitting a number of Lebanese army positions killing four, including press reporter (Gee, did he just happen to be in the neighborhood?) It was a major incident and obviously well planned by someone on the other side. The UN troops stepped in to calm the scene and actually made a statement in favor of Israel that they were in their own territory and the assault was unprovoked. Right away the Arab press backed the Lebanese story that Israeli troops and entered their territory and they were protecting their sovereignty against Israeli aggression. It seems that since the Israelis were in the right, most of the world kept silent and made no comment of the affair.
Now, besides all this distorted press there seems to be another matter of grave concern that really bothers me and I assume, many others. What's the deal with the Muslims getting permission to build a 13 story mosque at "Ground Zero?" Is this insane or what? Of all places, why there? It's a slap in the face to all the families who have lost their love ones there. It seems to me a very much "In your Face!" by the Islamic world. I can understand tolerance of other faiths in the Home ofÃ‚Â "The Brave and Land of The Free" but this has gone far enough. But the OK came from Washington. Is anyone really surprised? It's going to be an Islamic cultural center as well. I wonder if they'll have a little exhibit of relics from 911.
I think much of the world is starting to lose their minds. I think there should be an awakening before it's too late! Hey, maybe now the Islamic world will be tolerant enough to allow a 3rd. Temple built upon the Temple Mount? Time will tell.