About Stephen Nielsen

I'm an author, a self publisher, and a painting contractor. I live in beautiful Minnesota, USA . Welcome to my blog site.

All eyes on Georgia and Nevada

My eyes are closely on these election races to keep Republicans in power. We need both the Senate and the House. It is so close. Down to the end. We can pray, but we have to leave it up to God. His plans are final. The nations may fall, but each person is accountable for himself. We do whatever we can and leave the rest to God. We pray for those in power as God wills it. And we pray for peace in the world and for our own holiness. We live in this world and do all things without grumbling so that we may prove to be blameless children of God in the midst of a crooked and perverse world; and we live to appear as light in the world, always doing good (from Phil. 2:14). We are so thankful that He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins (from Col. 1:13-14).

So we pray for our country, do what we can, mourn for the lost, and live joyously for Him without grumbling and with thankfulness to God for all He gives us.

The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13): Two Sources

Prayer A to Z

 

Someone once said to me, “None of us really has any original thoughts.  Whatever we think and say and write, we have heard from someone else, or have read it somewhere.”  If we look at Jesus in His humanity, that is also true of Him and of this prayer He has composed.  He got it from other sources, basically from two sources: from Jewish prayers, and from the Old Testament Scriptures.

But we could also look at Jesus from the perspective of His divinity.  That is, since He is really God, He inspired all of the Old Testament writings; and since He created all people, including the Jews, He gave them the words of their prayers.  Hence, all things are really from Him, including this prayer.

It would be good for us to keep this in mind.  However, I would like to look at the prayer from the perspective…

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Timeline Of Events Leading To The Bowl Judgments

I don’t know if we can be exact about when all the judgments will occur; but, according to most bible prophecy scholars, the seal judgments will occur roughly during the first twenty-one months of the Tribulation, the trumpet judgments during the second twenty-one months, and the bowl judgments during the entire second half of the Tribulation, for forty-two months or three and a half years. In the first half of the Tribulation (with the seals and trumpets) the earth will experience the wrath of the Antichrist, along with the harlot (or the false church); and in the second half of the Tribulation, known as the Great Tribulation, the earth and its people will experience the wrath of the Almighty God.

I don’t think it is super important to try to fit everything exactly into its proper place—nor can we; but, I think, to at least guess at it, we may get a better understanding of how things will fit together, especially during the time of the middle of the Tribulation and leading up to the bowl judgments.

The way I see it, there are two categories of time; events at the mid-Trib, and events a little later, leading up to the bowl judgments.

Events at the Middle of the Tribulation

1. The Antichrist is resurrected (Rev. 13:3). After this seemingly miraculous event, the Scripture says, “The whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast.”

2. The Antichrist breaks his peace covenant with Israel and puts a stop to animal sacrifices and grain offerings in the Jewish temple (Dan. 9:27). Notice that he does this in the middle of the week (meaning the seven-year covenant).

3. He exalts himself, and others exalt him, as God (2 Thess. 2:3b-4; Rev. 13:3b-4). In 2 Thessalonians we read, “The man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.” Then in Revelation it is written, “And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast, and who is able to war with him?’”

These three points will mark the exact time at the middle of the Tribulation. And this is the time when scholars believe that Satan fills and empowers the Antichrist so that he believes himself to be God and the resurrected Christ. Hence, it is at this time that he begins to speak so arrogantly against God and against believers and makes war with them (Rev. 13:5-7).

A Few Days or Weeks Later

We cannot be sure how long it will take the following events to transpire, but it seems logical that it will take at least a few days to a few weeks—but probably not longer than that.

4. The Antichrist destroys the harlot (Rev. 17:16-17). The harlot (the false church) will reign together with the Antichrist during the first half of the Tribulation (Rev. 17). But when he is fully controlled by Satan and thinks that he alone is God, he no longer will tolerate the harlot; and he, along with his ten kings will hate her and make her “desolate.” Now we don’t know how long it will take to destroy her, but I imagine that with just a strike of the pen, with an executive order, he will do it.

5. He will make war with all true believers (Rev. 13:7). Besides the false believers of the false church, He will also, and more, go against the true believers. In fact, he will hunt them down and kill them—all who are destined to be martyred (read Rev. 13:10).

6. The image of the Antichrist is made and set up (Rev. 13:14-15). We don’t know how long it will take for those “who dwell on the earth” to make this image and to make it speak, but I am guessing that it will take some time. However, the way advanced technology will be, it may not be long.

7. Many Jews flee to safety into the wilderness (Rev. 12:14; Matt. 24:15-21). We know exactly when these Jews—as many as decide to go—will begin fleeing for safety into the wilderness. It will be, as Matthew 24:15 indicates, when they see the Abomination of Desolation standing in the temple. This, I think, is the image of the beast (I won’t go into more details as I have already written on it on pages 155-157).

8. All people are required to take the mark of the beast (Rev. 13:16-18). These verses (vs. 16-18) explain it quite well. Everyone, no matter how old, how wealthy, or what status, will be required to take the mark; which is a mark representing the Antichrist. It will be the government’s system to control people. And if you want to buy or sell anything you must have the mark.

But we know that there will be many who refuse to take the mark. All true believers will not take the mark; for it is a sign of the Antichrist and for those who worship Him (Rev. 14:9-10). And since all who take the mark will suffer the wrath of God (hell), we can be certain that believers will not receive it, nor will they be force to get it, or be tricked into getting it. However, we know that God will somehow provide for them; He will provide for any believer that is destined to live during that time.

Now one of the reasons I decided to do this timeline is to give us an idea as to when the bowl judgments will begin; because the first bowl is a judgment on those who received the mark and who worship his image. For that reason, the first bowl will not commence until after the image is set up.

However, in saying that, I think we can be certain that even though there is a gap of time between the mid-Trib and the first bowl, there still will be plenty of Tribulation-suffering going on in that short gap of time.

Rooting for the Underdog

Booker T. Washington

I previously wrote an article on African American slavery, and some of the topics I am planning to blog on. This is a topic that I have been quite interested in lately—I’m not sure why. But I feel that God is calling me into it. The more I read and think about it, the more I feel called. I guess I just like to root for the underdog. And the African American, esp. those who came out of slavery were that. Lately, in my reading, I have seen how they have made great advances as they came out of slavery, even though treated very badly: with lynching, segregation (in the Jim Crow era), being treated so badly by whites, poor working conditions; etc.

And there were a few that were heroes like Ida B. Wells, who dedicated herself to an anti-lynching crusade and made a big difference. I am especially intrigued by Booker T. Washington; a great leader of his time. He rose up out of slavery and became a great educator and encouraged all struggling-colored people to get educated and learn a craft. Many African Americans own their lives to him. Some African Americans have great success stories: how they worked their way to the top, started a business and became rich. It’s so inspiring to read about it. I can’t help but to root for anyone who overcomes such great odds. Recently I found two books by two great African Americans who were slaves but became great leaders: Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington. The fact that I found those books so effortlessly is evidence to me that God has given me an open door to continue my study on this subject.  

8 Teachings of Jesus on Prayer — Teaching #8

Prayer A to Z

Jesus taught that prayer must be with forgiveness (Matthew 5:23, 24; 6:14-15; Mark 11:25-26) 

In these passages Jesus seems to be teaching us that if we have not forgiven someone we may as well not pray at all.  Mark 11:26 says, “If you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

Jesus is not saying here that if you don’t forgive others you have lost your salvation; but He is saying that in your unwillingness to forgive someone you have cut off your fellowship with God.  Why?  Because in your sin against others (in not forgiving them) you sin against God too.  Sin always separates us from God, and so this is why when we sin He will not regard our prayers (Ps. 66:18, Jn. 9:31).

Now we know that there are many different kinds of sin, and all of them, if unconfessed will separate us…

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The Song Of Moses And The Lamb (Revelation 15:1-4).

I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues — last, because with them God’s wrath is completed. 2 And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and over the number of his name.

Here, as John sees the last plagues coming (v. 1)—which will finish the wrath of God—he then sees the victorious ones in heaven, rejoicing in their victory over the beast and in the greatness of God.

They will sing the song of Moses (Ex. 15:1-21), which the people of Israel sang after they passed through the Red Sea; and they will also sing the song of the Lamb (Rev. 5:8-14), which is their rejoicing in the blood of Christ to redeem them from sin.

Verses 3 and 4, I think, is a short condensation of the song of Moses and the Lamb, and is the high points of what will be their worship to God and to the Lamb. In these verses they extol His greatness and holiness and sing of His future millennial reign in the new kingdom when “all the nations will come and worship before [Him].”

They held harps given them by God 3 and sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb:

“Great and marvelous are your deeds,

Lord God Almighty.

Just and true are your ways,

King of the ages.

4 Who will not fear you, O Lord,

and bring glory to your name?

For you alone are holy.

All nations will come

and worship before you,

for your righteous acts have been revealed.”