John 20:1-18 Acts 6:8-15; Acts 7:1-4 Genesis 15:1-6 John 1:1; John 1:14; John 8:48-59 Galatians 3:8 Genesis 18:1-5 John 5:19-22; John 16:1-15 Matthew 27:45-51 John 20:11-18
John 20:1-18 Acts 6:8-15; Acts 7:1-4 Genesis 15:1-6 John 1:1; John 1:14; John 8:48-59 Galatians 3:8 Genesis 18:1-5 John 5:19-22; John 16:1-15 Matthew 27:45-51 John 20:11-18
Daniel 11:36-45 Genesis 41:1-46 Genesis 41:56 Genesis 47:17 Daniel 11:36-39 Genesis 47:25 1 Thessalonians 5:1-5 1 Thessalonians 5:11 John Lennox “Against the Flow” “At first (reading Daniel 11:36-39) it looks…
Dr. Michael Heiser in his book: “The Unseen Realm” makes this statement:
“The seeds of that failure were sown in the events of the conquest. For whatever reasons – lack of faith or lack of effort, or both – Israel failed to drive out their enemies. They allowed vestiges of the targeted bloodlines to remain in the land in the Philistine cities. They chose to coexist (Judges 1:27-36). The visible Yahweh, the Angel, asks the rhetorical question, “Why would you do such a thing?” and he announces the consequences: “Now I say, I will not drive them out from before you; they will become as thorns for you, and their gods will be a trap for you” (Judges 2:2-3). The name of the place where he uttered these words was thereafter appropriately remembered as Bochim, a Hebrew word that means “weeping”.
John North wrote the foreword to Malcolm Muggeridge’s book titled: “The End of Christendom”
The book is based on Malcolm Muggeridge’s lecture series given in 1978 at the University of Waterloo, Ontario.
“Most of the great universities of the West were founded with the conviction that theology is the queen of the disciplines, and that the key to man’s wholeness is the pursuit of the truth of God through Jesus Christ. Apart from that truth, it was believed, all other expressions of truth are fragmentary and sterile. Now, in the latter part of the twentieth century, that tradition has almost disappeared. Where Jesus Christ and Christian doctrine are the subject of formal study, it is usually as a minor are of Comparative Religion or in a divinity school well segregated from the general student body. Religious enthusiasm among students is an embarrassment; belief in the authority of the Bible and the deity of Jesus Christ is treated as naivety to be enlightened rather than life to be nourished. Scholars in the arts, letters, and sciences who show signs of Christian devotion are likely to be shrugged off as simplistic and eccentric. Coincidentally, truth itself has become devalued, especially in the humanities and social sciences and increasingly in the pure sciences, its consequence and even existence of matter of doubt.
Universities seem to promote fragmentation, in part by undermining general studies in favor of specialized and practical studies, in part by ignoring the signs of decay in the spiritual, moral, and emotional health of the academic community.”
Biblical scholars have long ago arranged Matthews Gospel into five main sections, which they point out correspond with the five books of Moses, also known as the TORAH. The Jewish people call the entire Old Testament THE TANACH. All five main sections refer to Jesus’ teachings:
Section One: SERMON ON THE MOUNT 5-7)
Section Two: JESUS PERFORMS MIRACLES AND SENDS HIS DISCIPLES (8-10)
Section Three: PARABLES ABOUT THE KINGDOM (13)
Section Four: HOW GREATNESS WORKS IN THE KINGDOM (18)
Section Five: JUDGMENT IN THE KINGDOM TO COME (24-25)
Matthew simply states WHO JESUS IS and NOW YOU HAVE TO WRESTLE THROUGH THE IMPLICATIONS YOURSELF. Matthew is fully convinced that presenting Jesus this way to us, we will get to know Jesus and also get to know who we are.
In the Hebrew text the words used to describe the earth are TOHU and BOHU.
IN THE PHYSICAL REALM MEANS: without form and void or chaotic.
IN THE SPIRITUAL REALM MEANS: that which is nonfunctional and unproductive
John Walton in his book: “The Lost World of Genesis One” writes:
“In the Old Testament God has no needs and focuses functionality around people. Consequently, functionality cannot exist without people in the picture.
In Genesis people are not put in place until day six, but functionality is established with their needs and situation in mind.
This conclusion is further supported by the meaning of the repeated formula “it was good,” which I propose refers to “functioning properly”.
Such a conclusion is not arbitrary but based on the context.
Throughout Genesis 1 any number of possible meanings have been proposed for “good”. In the history of interpretation, it has often been understood in MORAL/ETHICAL terms or as a reference to the QUALITY OF WORKMANSHIP.
While the Hebrew term could be used in any of those ways, the context indicates a different direction. We can find out what the author means when saying all of these things are “good” by inquiring what it would mean for something NOT TO BE GOOD.
Fortunately, the near context offers us just such an opportunity: “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18)
This has nothing to do with moral perfection or quality of workmanship – IT IS A COMMENT CONCERNING FUNCTION.
The human condition is not functionally complete without the women. Thus, throughout Genesis 1 the refrain “it was good”, expressed the functional readiness of the cosmos for human beings. Readers were assured that all functions were operating well and in accord with God’s purposes and directions.”
Matthew 1:1-17 Matthew 5:17 1. Matthew STARTS IN GENESIS 2. Matthew HIGHLIGHTS OLD TESTAMENT SCANDALS 3. Matthew INCLUDES THE PSALMS 4. Matthew INCLUDES THE PROPHETS Amos 3:7 Luke 24:19-27 5.…
Isaiah 55:6-11 1. From being the FAVORITE TO A FOREIGN SLAVE Genesis 37:1-36 2. From being a SLAVE to BEING A PRISONER Genesis 39:1-21 3. From being a Prisoner to BEING PRIME MINISTER Genesis 41:1-46; Genesis 40:8 4. From being Prime Minister to BEING A PROVIDER Genesis 45:1-11
Most people in churches today are familiar with the story recorded in Genesis 1 -3 and some of them are going even further all the way to Genesis, chapter 12. But few understand that the recorded divine transgressions found in Genesis, chapter 3 and another described in Genesis, chapter 6 are part of a gigantic battle in the supernatural world that not only shapes human history, but has also been a major component of the ancient Israelites supernatural world view.
Without this supernatural world view, not much of the rest of the Bible makes sense. As a matter of fact, stripping the Bible of its supernatural world view leaves us to deal with spiritual bread crumbs. All we have left is a Bible from where we get some insight HOW TO LIVE A BETTER LIFE TODAY. HOW TO DEAL WITH THE PROBLEMS OF TODAY AND HOW NOT TO BE LIVING LIKE OTHERS AROUND US DO. Such teaching can do a lot of good in the here and now, but misses the more important truth with eternity in mind.
Did you notice that the Gentile nations are not called GOD’S PEOPLE? Israel is the only nation that God calls HIS PEOPLE. WE will look at that a little later. This is important to understand. Why? Because the birth of Jesus Christ, God coming to this earth in human form, as a human being, is not just good news to individual people but also good news for individual nations.
During those 339 years, the people started to reject the God who created them and longed to communicate with other gods, spiritual beings God also created. Under the leadership of Nimrod, the name means REBELLION, the people started building a tower in the midst of a great city called Babylon, in defiance of God’s command to populate the earth. A gigantic battle took place in the spiritual realm against God’s purpose for the Adamic race.
The Apostle Paul is summarizing this battle in Romans, chapter One.
It is difficult to understand this battle between God Almighty and some of his spiritual beings which rebelled against him, until we read God’s response to the rebellion at Babel in Deuteronomy 32:8-9 (ESV) When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God. But the Lord’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage.
Other translations say: When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations, when He separated the sons of Adam, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel.
Remember, all the other nations have been given over by God to lower spiritual beings to rule over them. These lover spiritual beings will rule the nations of the world with a corrupt administration and will wage war against God’s only nation on earth, ISRAEL. God started new with Abram. From now on He is known as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jacob’s name will later the changed into ISRAEL.
The battle is intense, but the outcome is certain. Jesus came as a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel, was the great proclamation of Simeon as he was holding God’s son, Jesus Christ, in his arms.
The gigantic battle is still raging and will until Jesus will return the second time to this earth, this time not in the form of a Baby or a servant, but as the King of Kings and Lord or Lords to rule and reign in the spiritual as well as the physical world.
Christmas cannot be understood apart from this simple truth revealed to us in Genesis 3:15
And I will put enmity between you and the women, and between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.
The entire Old and New Testament was written so we can understand the spiritual struggle thousands of years in the making. Just think about the New Testament alone. Every chapter provides a glimpse into this spiritual conflict. Follow Jesus footsteps and you are confronted with the fact that wherever He goes, whatever He says, whatever He does, spiritual confrontation with the unseen powers are a daily occurrence. Eventually, the conflict pursues him unto death – it was just a matter of time; God’s time.
Today, the Christmas story has been so sanitized we miss the whole story altogether. It did not happen over night. This romanticizing has taken place over centuries and eventually was picked up by Hollywood, and commercialized by the merchants of this world. The church is not without fault in all of this. Throughout the western world, churches idealize the birth of Jesus Christ through songs, pageants, musicals and dazzling performances.
As we address the theme of this series: “It’s just a matter of time” in the next few weeks, we will pull back the curtain to see what is going on in the spiritual and physical world for thousands of years, eventually culminating when Christ returns the second time to this earth. It’s just a matter of time; God’s time when everything will come to a completion.
Remember, at that time political intrigue, racial tension, increased immorality and societal instability was the norm. This was a time of unprecedented economic and political success for the rich only. For the rest of the Roman empire it was a time of unprecedented economic and political oppression. In other words, for the Jewish people it was anything but ideal. They were hoping that their Messiah would show up and once again lead them out of bondage like Moses did when leading the Hebrews out of Egypt. It was such time as this that God the Father sent His son to this earth. It does not look good. The chances of success are slim from a human perspective.
The problem with the world at large is that people’s lives are dominated with the headlines of the day. God works behind the headlines to accomplish His will. In His word, He revealed to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear what He will do IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME. He tells us WHERE, WHAT, WHEN AND HOW.
Today’s time are no different when Jesus was born. Political corruption…religious compromise…economic crisis. These will always be headline news. Just remember, God uses desperate times, anything but ideal times, to accomplish His eternal purposes in our world and in our lives.
I believe that the church in America as a whole is misunderstanding the importance of being witnesses of God’s faithfulness. We may be involved in evangelism, involved in church activities, involved in Bible studies, or involved in preaching and teaching. While all such activities are good in general, they are no prove that we are witnesses of God’s faithfulness.
We live in spiritual and physical dangerous times. This world is changing with lightning speed not to the better, but to the worse. Once again, the Lord “sees that wickedness of man is great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart is only evil all the day.” (Genesis 6:5)
So, how should we live as followers of Jesus Christ? Is there any hope? Can the church in America be turned around? Can the society in America be changed?
The answer to all these questions depends on THE WITNESSES OF GOD’S FAITHFULNESS AND THE RESPONSE OF THE PEOPLE.
God spoke to those who are witnesses of His faithfulness through His Word, that was written down by men MOVED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. Everything you and I need to know that pertains to life and godliness is revealed in His word. Notice that we are hearing what God speaks to us because WE KNOW HIM. And because we know Him, we take His word for what it says. We can hear God speak to us through His word.
Warning: A witness hears God speak and as accepted a FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH:
God’s way is better than my way;
God’s truth is better than my truth;
God’s promises are better than my promises;
God’s word is better than my ideas.
We have plenty of examples in the Bible alone of witnesses whose confidence in God and His promises was unshakable.
• Refused to be deceived by their 5 senses. Their confidence was not in what they could see, taste, touch, hear or smell.
• Refused to put any confidence in the latest news reports.
• Refused to give up when the promises of God did not come to pass immediately for they knew God is faithful.
Moved by the Holy Spirit, they believed that God is 100% trustworthy. His timing is always perfect. In other words; seeing is not believing. This is a lie from the enemy of our soul.
During Noah’s time nearly all people were drugged one the fumes of their egos. Wickedness has become the number one, all-consuming human addiction. So, Noah was listening to God. Noah also had an unshakable confidence in what he heard from God. Noah’s faith in God was uncontaminated. But such faith needs to be tested. And surely, Noah’s faith, Noah’s confidence in God’s Promises would soon be challenged. By whom? By God!
Noah’s acceptance of this mission proved one thing beyond a shadow of doubt. This man had an unshakable confidence in God.
This was not a weekend project, or something he worked on in his spare time or in the evenings. No one to hire, no power tools, no chainsaws, no sawmills, no cranes, no Menard’s or Lowe’s. It took 120 YEARS to build. He did not give up. What a witness of God’s faithfulness.
Are you fully convinced of the faithfulness of the promises of God for your life? Remember, the promises of God are just as faithful, just as powerful, just as reliable and just as true as they were in the days of Noah or the days of Peter. If you have heard him speak to you today and have an unshakable confidence in God you are a witness of God’s faithfulness, moved by the Holy Spirit to bring glory and honor to God alone.
The 7th and final bowl judgment is first mentioned here as a summary, the final judgment upon this earth before Jesus returns to set up His kingdom right here, head quartered in Jerusalem.
Before we get into the details of this text, I need to unpack for you a few details that pertain to this particular subject called “Babylon”
1. There are two distinct Babylon’s mentioned in Revelation. The first one is called “Mystery Babylon” and the description is found in the 17th chapter of Revelation. It deals with a spiritual entity. A counterfeit of the true spiritual worship.
2. The Second one is revealed in the next chapter, which is the 18th chapter of Revelation, and this one represents a Commercial Babylon, a counterfeit to the true riches found in Christ Jesus alone.
Notice the name written on the forehead of a WOMEN:
“Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth.” It’s a mystery. It’s a hidden truth. The Bible is full of examples how God at the proper time reveals mysteries to His people. We call it progressive revelation. To the prophet Daniel, who by the way was living in Babylon when God sent His people into captivity because of rebellion against His law, God revealed many mysteries. Yet, God did not unpack every mystery to Daniel.
In other words, these words, these prophecies will be unsealed at some specific time, the time of the end, which always refers to the time when the Lord will judge the nations and set up His kingdom on this earth. Daniel did understand many things, but not all things. The Apostle John did understand many things, but the Lord did not unseal everything.
In other words, John saw everything, but he could not understand everything. Then an angel said to him: why do you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the women and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. John must have gotten excited to hear those words. The angel will explain everything to me. But not so; The angel simply says: I WILL TELL YOU THE MYSTERY OF THE WOMEN AND OF THE BEAST AND OF THE SEVEN HEADS AND TEN HORNS. Again, the angel goes on to tell the mystery, but as you can see, the mystery deepens with every word the angel says. We will unpack those words next week. For now, let’s go all the way back in the Bible, where the word Babylon is mentioned and see if we can connect the dots.
How did it all start? In heaven it started with Lucifer aka Satan. The conspirator is Satan himself. Why is Satan doing this? What’s his purpose? What is his goal?
There is an earthly conspiracy underway. The goal is to enthrone the Antichrist, the “child of the devil” as God of the earth. The spiritual conspiracy is that Satan wishes to enthrone himself above God in heaven. Satan wants to be the supreme ruler in the heavenlies, while the imitator of Christ wants to be enthroned on the earth as the supreme ruler. This conspiracy is called “THE PLAN” by those who are following the new age movement. The secret societies refer to it as ‘THE MYSTERY’. And the Bible calls it: Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.
Did you notice the phrase: AND THE BEGINNING OF HIS KINGDOM was Babel. A kingdom has a king, the first king on this earth was Nimrod.
The name Nimrod means: “rebellious, revolt, indignation or disgraceful”.
The word Babel or Babylon means: “confusion”.
In other words Nimrod (rebellion against God) is the founder of Babylon (confusion).
I want you to know that today, when we hear Babylon or the name of Nimrod, most people think that this man was of little intelligence, probably clumsy, and a red-neck at best. The only thing this man had going for him and his people is that he knew how to hunt game.
But that’s not the true picture. Nimrod was a mighty leader, the founder of the first great empire of post-flood civilization – the kingdom of Babylon.
In order to understand what is revealed in this 10th chapter of Genesis, we need to back up a little bit. The flood of Noah devastated the world Noah once lived in. After the waters receded, and Noah and his family left the Ark, God commanded the survivors to “Be fruitful and multiply, and FILL THE EARTH.” (Genesis 9:1) God repeated the same command in verse 7.How the reacted to this command is eye-opening. Nearly 200 years after the flood, the descendants of Noah began to multiply in great numbers. Noah’s close descendants became the patriarchs of a great number of families, who, eventually, had developed into nations. This disbursement would set the stage for the eventual Babylonian Empire, and the Babylonian Religion.
Noah’s grandson Cush was one of these early patriarchs; the one who became the leader of many. He decided not to follow God’s commandment to “fill the earth”, but instead, he wanted to bring all of the people together. It was Cush who started to unite everyone into one huge nation. With that, he started the unification movement and the center of it all was THE TOWER OF BABEL. We do not find much information about Cush or Nimrod or the Tower of Babel in the Bible. Genesis 10:8 simply states how it all began. However we can learn many details from other ancient texts that Cush and Nimrod would become legendary throughout the secular/religious world.