My Update: Covid, Reading, Writing, Prophecy

I usually have a few New Year’s resolutions. Not this year. I guess I’ll just let the Lord lead me. Here are some things happening with me.

Getting over covid. I never got very sick. I had a very low-grade fever, some weakness, some chills, a general lack of desire to do much, and a cough that at first made the muscles in my chest really hurt. I think that’s about it. I still have a cough. I’m sure it will linger for a while.

Reading Pilgrim’s Progress. I have had a couple copies of the book and have read maybe half of it. For some reason I never really got into it. This time I’m more into it—I have more patience now to read it. It’s actually quite fun. It’s one of those very old books written in the 1600’s that was very popular in its time, but not so much in these days. The author, John Bunyan also wrote about eight other books.

My writing on the Tribulation. I’ve been writing about the Tribulation and I’m also blogging through it.  It is a biblical study.  I’m always very slow at writing. I don’t spend more than one-half an hour each day with it. And most of that time is spent in reading and research. But it’s all quite fun for me. I just keep plodding along. I’m just now finishing a chapter on personalities in the Tribulation, and next I will start writing on the seals, Trumpets, and bowls. For those chapters I want to write more than what is written in Revelation—to expand it as much as possible. It will be a challenge. I don’t want to make it fictional, but maybe just put some imagination into it. I at least want to do some extra reading on it, and then offer my thoughts.

The way of the country and the world. I admit I am not very good at seeing what is happening in the world prophetically—seeing how things are falling into place. But there are some people who are very good at it, people who have studied biblical prophecy. So, I will keep listening to those people—most of them agree together, and that is conformation that they are on track. It is easy to see how in the last couple of years things are on track with the coming new world order and the Antichrist, how Biden is being used, and how Satan is using this recent covid thing to move evil things into place. Yes, Biden has been used dramatically to reduce and take down our country (USA): to make us less energy independent, to weaken our boarders and open us up to all invaders, to reduce our freedoms with illegal mandates, to destroy our economy by insisting that we must “build back better” (into the green new deal). I see the “black horse” coming (Rev. 6:5-6)!

The January 6 findings. This is all ridiculous. Very soon now a panel of 300 witnesses will reveal their findings about the January 6th “insurrection.” But it is all so bios. It will all be testimony against trump—an effort to take him down and reduce his likelihood of getting re-elected and even jailed. But there will be no testimony about how Trump tried to get National Guard to come; and there will be no testimony about how Nany Pelosi did nothing to get the National Guard. And there will be no testimony about how Antifa was involved—nothing. All testimony will be directed against Trump.

The Source Of The Tribulation

The source of Tribulation is primarily the execution of God’s wrath on the earth. This wrath, as we will see from the following verses, is different from what we have now. It is much more intense and with a purpose. Here, without any comment, is a few references on the One who will bring wrath to the earth during the Tribulation period. Notice, for emphasis the bold type.

Isaiah 24:1-6

Behold, the Lord lays the earth waste, devastates it, distorts its surface, and scatters its inhabitants. 2 And the people will be like the priest, the servant like his master, the maid like her mistress, the buyer like the seller, the lender like the borrower, the creditor like the debtor. 3 The earth will be completely laid waste and completely despoiled, for the Lord has spoken this word. 4 The earth mourns and withers, the world fades and withers, the exalted of the people of the earth fade away. 5 The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they transgressed laws, violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant. 6 Therefore, a curse devours the earth, and those who live in it are held guilty. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left.

Isaiah 26:21

21 For behold, the Lord is about to come out from His place

To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity;

And the earth will reveal her bloodshed,

And will no longer cover her slain.

Joel 1:15

Alas for the day!

For the day of the Lord is near,

And it will come as destruction from the Almighty.

Zephaniah 1:17-18

And I will bring distress on men,

So that they will walk like the blind,

Because they have sinned against the Lord;

And their blood will be poured out like dust,

And their flesh like dung.

18 Neither their silver nor their gold

Will be able to deliver them

On the day of the Lord’s wrath;

And all the earth will be devoured

In the fire of His jealousy,

For He will make a complete end,

Indeed a terrifying one,

Of all the inhabitants of the earth.

Revelation 6:15-17

And the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; 16 and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17 for the great day of their wrath has come; and who is able to stand?”

Revelation 11:18

“And the nations were enraged, and Thy wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to give their reward to Thy bond-servants the prophets and to the saints and to those who fear Thy name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.”

Revelation 14:6-7

And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people; 7 and he said with a loud voice, “Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.”

Revelation 14:9-11

And another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or upon his hand, 10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.

Revelation 14:18-19

And another angel, the one who has power over fire, came out from the altar; and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Put in your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe.” 19 And the angel swung his sickle to the earth, and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God.

Revelation 15:7-8

And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever.

Revelation 16:1

And I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the seven bowls of the wrath of God into the earth.”

Revelation 16:7

And I heard the altar saying, “Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Thy judgments.”

Revelation 16:19

And the great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath.

Revelation 19:1-2

After these things I heard, as it were, a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,

“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; 2 because His judgments are true and righteous; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants on her.”

Jesus and the Pharisees: Luke 17:20-21

This is our thirty-first study. Please click HERE for an introduction to this study.

Luke 17:20-21

20 Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”

Observations

John MacArthur has stated that the Pharisees “may have asked the question mockingly, having already concluded that He was not the Messiah.” Jesus’ response no doubt surprised the Pharisees; they believed that the Messiah’s triumph would be immediate. They were looking for Him to overthrow Rome. They most certainly were not thinking that they needed to look within them for the kingdom.

Application

The kingdom of God is within us. And we need to make Him our Lord.

Jesus and the Pharisees: No servant can serve two masters (Luke 16:13-15)

This is our thirtieth study. Please click HERE for an introduction to this study.

Luke 16:13-15

13 “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”

14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.

Observations

When Jesus set forth the principle, you cannot serve God and money, the Pharisees sneered at Jesus, because they believed that their own riches justified themselves before God. And this, their self-righteousness, was their downfall.

Application

The love of money is idolatry. Money is useful only if it is used to benefit His kingdom—otherwise it will be our downfall. Therefore, let us stay away from any thought of getting rich for our own good. Let us despise that idea.

The Rise of the Antichrist

Even before the Rapture of the church—which will come before his ultimate rise to power—the Antichrist will be a man fully engaged in the military. We see this about him in Daniel 11:37-38; it says that “he will honor a god of fortresses.” In fact, it also says that “he will honor him [his military god] with gold, silver, costly stones and treasures”—which means that he will spare no expense in financing his military might.

We also know that he will at some point rise to power in the government; and ultimately it will be the government of the E. U.  I say that because of what it says in Daniel 9:26. In that verse, “the prince who is to come” is referring to the Antichrist; and “the people of the prince” are the Romans, the ones who destroyed the city and the sanctuary—which already happened in A.D. 70. Therefore, this passage is prophesying that the Roman people (which is part of the E.U.) will have a prince, and this prince will be the Antichrist.

We don’t know for sure when it will all come about, but we know that there will be ten kings with ten kingdoms that will be set up in the E. U. It is my guess that he will be totally engaged in that work, so much so that he will have no time for a normal life; for as Daniel 11:37 says, “And he will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any other god; for he will magnify himself above them all.”

He probably won’t be fully convinced in himself that he is God (2 Thess. 2:4) until Satan possesses him at the midpoint of the Tribulation. However, I imagine that he will be demonized before that time, to the point that he will have no time for anyone else except himself; and he will more and more believe that he alone will fix the problems of the world.

In addition to government and military business, he will make it his business to aid and encourage those religious leaders who will be setting up a new global religion. For I think he will see how all the world is being influenced by the new religion and he will see that he must jump on that bandwagon to be effective himself.

In fact, Scripture (Rev. 17:2-3) seems to indicate that he and all the world leaders will be influenced and taken in with her false teaching, to the point that she (the harlot, which is the name given to the false religion) will control him. But soon, when he is given full power by Satan, he will destroy her.

Shortly after the rapture of the church, and after the Ezekiel war (Ezek. 38-39), he will find his opportunity to focus on world peace.

Jesus and the Pharisees: from Luke 15:1-7

This is our twenty-ninth study. Please click HERE for an introduction to this study.

Luke 15:1-7

Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Observations

In this parable the Pharisees though that the sinner had to seek God and His forgiveness—to earn the right to be in His presence. But God turns it all around. He is the one who reaches out to the sinner, to befriend the sinner in order to save him. God loves every one of his created ones, even those who are not yet found (saved).

Application

We all have a lot of work to do to bring the lost back into the fold. We must do whatever it takes to bring them to salvation. We must be a friend to them.

Earnest Prayer: a study of the greek word agonizomai

Prayer A to Z

Agonizomai.  This word means to struggle, to wrestle with, to contend or compete with an adversary.  In Colossians 1:28-29 we see that Paul labored and struggled (agonizomai) with all the energy of God, which was working (energeo) in him, to admonish and teach everyone with all wisdom, with the goal to present everyone perfect in Christ.  So here, whereas some people struggle just with their own personal problems, Paul struggled and worked (with the power of God behind him) in behalf of others. 

And we can believe that, as he struggled to admonish and teach, the real struggle was with the devil (Eph. 6:10-13), and his weapon against him was prayer.  For this reason, we can say that earnestness in prayer is working and struggling in prayer (by the mighty power of God) against the forces of evil.  And we do it with the goal…

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The Ezekiel Invasion

There are many scholars who believe that the Ezekiel invasion (Ezek. 38-39) happens during the Tribulation. But other scholars take the view that it will happen either before the Rapture or between the Rapture and the Tribulation. I believe, with Ron Rhrodes and Thomas Ice, that it will probably occur just after the Rapture and will set the stage for the signing of the peace covenant with Israel and the Tribulation.

As it is given to us by the prophecy of Ezekiel, God calls out Gog, who is probably a demonic inspired Russian leader; and He summons him, with all the nations under him, to invade the small country of Israel. The countries that come under his command are these:

  • Russia (called in Ezekiel Rosh)
  • Turkey (called Meshech and Tubal and Gomer and Beth-togarmah)
  • Iran (called Persia)
  • Sudan (Ethiopia)

And there will also be “many people with you” (I think this terminology suggests that non-military people will come with all the troops to join in the battle).

Scripture says that God will call them into battle at a time when Israel will be living securely ((Ezek. 38:8, 11-12, 14)—which is now. And these nations will cover the land of Israel “like a cloud” (v. 16). This suggests that they will completely cover the land; in fact, verse 15 says, many people, a great assembly and a mighty army will come. They will probably have tanks and trucks, and helicopters and planes, and some may even be on horseback. There will be millions of them that will come to do battle.

Hence, it appears that God will draw them in, in order to bring His four-fold judgement on them at this chosen time and place (Ezek. 38:19-22).

A great earthquake. Though this quake will be great, Scripture indicates that it will be local to the land of Israel. All living creatures and all men (in that region) will shake at His presence; and the mountains and every wall will be thrown down.

Infighting. Verse twenty-one tells us that God will “call for a sword against him [Gog]…Every man’s sword will be against his brother.” Hence, it appears that God will so confuse them that all communication will breakdown and no one will know who the enemy is. This strange phenomenon, as you may know, happened a few times before in Jewish history, where each time it was the Lord’s doing (Judg. 7:22; 1 Sam. 14:20; and 2 Chron. 20:23).

Disease. Because of all the dead bodies, and because of so many birds and animals feasting on them, this will cause on outbreak of disease.

Heavy rain, hail, fire and brimstone. This final judgment will be most devastating. The skies will pour down heavy rain and hail so hard that it will kill. And the sky will also rain down fire and burning sulfur; this may be from volcanic eruptions caused by the great earthquake.

As I mentioned above, it is likely that the invasion, along with God’s judgment on the invading nations, will occur just after the Rapture of the church. And for the following reasons, that will set that stage for the signing of the peace covenant with Israel and the beginning of the Tribulation.

1. Since almost all Muslims will be wiped out by God’s judgment, this will open the door to a more peaceful, or at least compliant, interaction with them. Since their power and influence will be limited, it will be likely that Israel will dominate the holy sites and will have no trouble building their third temple on the temple mount.

2. Since the soon-to-be-Antichrist will probably reside somewhere in the E. U. and will be one of those who will question the invasion (read Ezek. 38:13), this will put him in a good position, after the failed invasion. In fact, he may claim that he had something to do with it.

3. This Antichrist, who by this time will be a great leader, will take advantage of the situation and will make great friends with Israel; and he will make to them great promises of peace—all fake promises.

Jesus and the Pharisees: from Luke 14:1-6

This is our twenty-eighth study. Please click HERE for an introduction to this study.

Luke 14:1-6

One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. 2 There in front of him was a man suffering from dropsy. 3 Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?”  4 But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him away.

5 Then he asked them, “If one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?”  6 And they had nothing to say.

Observations

The Pharisees were much too rigid and legalistic in their Sabbath laws. Jesus wanted them to know that the Sabbath was made to help people not to restrict them. So He gave them an example of what to do if something came up: if an ox or a son falls in a well on the Sabbath.

Application

In our dealings with people, take time to explain why things are so; don’t just say that the bible says so.

Earnest Prayer: a study of the Greek word energeo

Prayer A to Z

Energeo.  We said earlier that earnestness, by the word ektenos, conveyed the idea of not relaxing in effort.  Well, energeo carries on that idea but goes further.  Energeo brings the idea of work being efficient, effective and productive.  In prayer our earnestness is effective for only one reason—because God is helping us.  He is the one who puts earnestness in us, and helps our prayers to be productive.  He works His power in us so that whatever effort we make in prayer, that work becomes effective—so that it will bring answers to our prayers.  But more than that, when He works in us by His mighty power—as He is putting His own earnestness into our prayers—He will bring things into our life that far exceed what we ever thought of asking for (Eph. 3:20).

Elijah was a great example of one who prayed with true earnestness—earnestness that was effective. …

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