antichrist / man of sin / son of perdition

A Friend Forever

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:5,6 KJV).

While today’s Scripture is to and about the nation Israel, there is a parallel with us today in the Dispensation of Grace. Let us see what it is!

Recently, I dealt with a despairing child. One “friend” had “stolen” another friend from her. Now, those two friends were associating… and ignoring her. My advice to her was that dissolved friendships are a part of life (this was her first direct experience of it). Sometimes, friendships can be repaired; other times, they cannot. Even after we reach adulthood, envy and self-centeredness divide us and our friends. My additional advice to her was though her friends disappoint, leave, and abandon her entirely, she still has the Lord Jesus Christ, one who never disappoints, leaves, or abandons. Israel has been granted such a promise in today’s Scripture.

To fully appreciate today’s Scripture, we must remember that the Book of Hebrews relates to end-times prophecy (see Hebrews 1:1,2; Hebrews 2:3-5; Hebrews 10:25-31; Hebrews 12:25-29; Hebrews 13:12-14; et cetera). It especially deals with Jews living in the future seven-year Tribulation, the Antichrist’s reign. This satanic political leader will institute his infamous “mark of the beast,” a special relationship needed to buy or sell in his economy (Revelation 13:16-18). Since Messianic Jews who believe in Christ will reject the Antichrist, they will also reject his “mark,” thus causing them inevitable economic hardships (namely, famine and homelessness). It will also break apart their families, unbelievers shunning believers in Christ (Matthew 24:9,10; cf. Matthew 10:21,31-37).

In the midst of their financial struggles, their “friends” and family abandoning them, the Lord speaks to Israel’s Little Flock, these circumcision believers, in today’s Scripture. They should be content with what they have. Most importantly, they should be thankful they have HIM, ever, ever, EVER faithful to them. He will provide them with the spiritual stability needed to get them through their troubles, until He returns for them. We have the same promise—a Friend in Christ forever! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What does 1 John 1:8 mean, ‘We deceive ourselves?’

Love Commended, Love Rejected

Monday, February 6, 2017

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8 KJV).

Friend, one of life’s greatest disappointments and injuries occurs when you offer someone your love and they trample it underfoot. They did not deserve your love; you did not deserve their hate. Likewise, we do not deserve God’s love, yet we enjoy it; He does not deserve our hate, and yet He receives it.

“Haters of God” (Romans 1:30) gripe about how He was so cruel and bloodthirsty in the Old Testament. What stares them in the face is the groundwork, the predictions, of the cross of Christ, found in those ancient writings. As they mumble and grumble in total ignorance, they ignore the love that God commended toward them at Calvary. To “commend” means, “to offer/present as worthy of acceptance or praise” (similar to “recommend”). Howbeit, they will neither accept nor praise that love that motivated Christ Jesus to die for our sins! Since they reject Father God’s truth and His love proclaimed therein, He will give them exactly what they prefer.

Second Thessalonians chapter 2 pronounces their impending doom, the coming of Satan’s emissary, Antichrist, the extreme depths of human wickedness: “[10] And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. [11] And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: [12] That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Once they are consumed in Jesus Christ’s fiery Second Coming, and swiftly ushered alive into the everlasting fires of hell, they will know that it is not God who is “unloving.” No, they were unloving in that they “received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved” from such a hateful place!

My friend, hate God no longer. Come to Him by faith in His Son, and His Son alone!

The Precious Blood of Christ #5

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18,19 KJV).

God the Father and God the Holy Ghost think the blood of Jesus Christ is “precious.” And you?

When Scripture says the blood of Christ is “precious,” it means “valuable” or “esteemed.” That word is rendered “had in reputation” in Acts 5:34 when referring to the respected rabbinical scholar, Gamaliel. Paul confessed that, despite all his afflictions for preaching the Gospel of Grace, he did not count his life “dear” to himself (Acts 20:24). We read about “precious” stones (or gemstones) symbolizing good doctrine at the Judgment Seat of Christ (1 Corinthians 3:12). Marriage is called “honourable” in Hebrews 13:4. God’s promises to Israel are called “precious” (2 Peter 1:4). That word “precious” is also used to describe the immense wealth of the Antichrist’s future religious-political system (Revelation 17:4; Revelation 18:12,16). “Precious” is descriptive of the radiant stones that make up New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:11,19).

Chapter 2 of 1 Peter, not far away from today’s Scripture, declares: “[4] To whom [the Lord] coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious… [6] Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture [Isaiah 28:16], Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. [7] Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is become the head of the corner….” This is the cross-reference for the precious blood of Christ” in today’s Scripture.

Father God “laid in Sion” a “chief corner stone” means His Son’s earthly ministry, culminating with His crucifixion. Believing Israel (to whom Peter is writing) embraced Jesus, while the nation’s religious leaders encouraged most Jews to reject Him. To Father God, Jesus Christ is “precious” and His blood is “precious.” Believing Jews agreed. Still, what makes Jesus’ blood so “precious?” It is ever so valuable because it holds together God’s purpose for creation….

False Prophets

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:11 KJV).

While actually describing the future state of the world, today’s Scripture is easily seen today.

Recently, while visiting a local park, I encountered four cult members distributing free literature at a sidewalk booth. They undeniably call themselves “Christians.” While they were friendly people, and probably more generous and loving than the average Christian, their doctrine is so far removed from sound Bible teaching that they could not be rightly called and never be rightly called Christians. Having spoken with a friend who was saved out of that group, having read their literature, and having spoken with several of them over the years, I know their denominational hierarchy has them slaving away in doing good works in hopes of them entering God’s kingdom. You can be sure these four heard the Gospel of God’s Grace from me. What they do with God’s Son is on them now!

The Lord Jesus gave His Second Olivet Discourse in Matthew chapter 24—the context of today’s Scripture. His apostles wanted to know the characteristics of the end-times, events that would occur leading up to His return (Second Coming). He issued seven warnings not to be deceived (verses 4,5,11,23-26). The chief characteristic of the end-times is deception. In the words of Jesus Christ, “Many” deceivers deceiving “many.” Why?

People will be claiming to be “Christ,” God manifested in human flesh. There will be people professing to be “prophets,” God’s spokespeople to mankind. People will be performing miracles using Satan’s power, but claiming to be God’s miracle-workers. They will all pave the way for the Antichrist, the epitome of deception, the Man of Sin and the Son of Perdition (Damnation), the physical representation of Satan’s lie program. The world having been so deceived in the 2,000 years since Jesus spoke today’s Scripture, it is so easy to see just how easily the Antichrist will enter with little opposition. Having rejected the love of the truth, they can now enjoy “strong delusion [deception]” and “believe a lie” (2 Thessalonians 2:2-12).

Friends, let us stay with the Word of God rightly divided. ‘Tis the only way to avoid the deceivers!

Our special-edition Bible Q&A #275: “Was the Apostle Paul a false prophet?

The Holy One in Israel

Monday, April 4, 2016

“So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel” (Ezekiel 39:7 KJV).

The King has returned!

Friend, hopefully, you read today’s Scripture slowly. Lest you did not, we duplicate its final words: “…the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.” Note the little two-letter (seemingly insignificant) preposition “in.” Usually, in the Old Testament, we read of “the Holy One of Israel.” That term highlights that the Being separate from sinners—the Creator God—belonged exclusively to the nation Israel (as opposed to all nations). But, in today’s Scripture, the underlying thought goes beyond Israel merely having a relationship with God. Here, He is “in” Israel—not the “the Holy One of Israel” but rather “the Holy One in Israel!” You must be cognizant of the context of today’s Scripture to fully appreciate the change in terminology.

Chapters 38 and 39 of the Prophet Ezekiel’s giant book explicate the Antichrist’s reign and Jesus Christ’s return to fight and destroy him and his confederacy of nations (Battle of Armageddon). Also highlighted is the re-gathering, salvation, and restoration of the nation Israel so that she enters Jesus Christ’s Millennial Kingdom on Earth. The Jews, punished by God for centuries of pagan idolatry, have been scattered for over 2,500 years throughout every nation under heaven. At the point of today’s Scripture, this dispersion has ended.

At the time of today’s Scripture, Israel’s Messiah (Jesus) is no longer a royal exile in heaven. He went there 2,000 years ago when they refused to have Him as their King and demanded His crucifixion. Now, He is back, and He is literally standing in the land of Palestine (cf. Zechariah 14:4; Zechariah 8:23). The whole world can see Him in a physical body, the visible representation of the invisible God, literally right there in Israel’s midst! How exciting! Little wonder, we read: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen” (Revelation 1:7).

The Living God #8

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? (Deuteronomy 5:26 KJV).

Exactly why is the God of the Bible called “the living God?”

Recall how we discussed today’s Scripture when we began these studies. Although Israel declared their God was “the living God,” they really did not believe it. Remember, not long after they accepted the Covenant of Law, they fashioned and worshipped a golden calf idol (Exodus 32:1-35). Their behavior never improved. As the centuries passed, the Israelites became increasingly idolatrous. They embraced additional gods and goddesses the Gentiles had worshipped and served. (Hence, as our earlier studies show, JEHOVAH repeatedly reminded them He was “the living God.”)

We have finally reached the last five occurrences. After our Dispensation of Grace (mystery program), Israel’s prophetic program resumes where it paused 2,000 years ago. Notice what Hebrews 3:12 says to Israel in those last days: “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” And, Hebrews 9:14: “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

Also, Hebrews 10:31: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” And, Hebrews 12:22: “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,….” Finally, Revelation 7:2: “And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,…”

The Jews are encouraged during Daniel’s 70th week to turn from their spiritual blindness, renounce their idols, trust the living God, and not return to that ignorant idol worship. During that seven-year Tribulation, Israel will be greatly pressured into accepting the Antichrist’s false religious system. If they are to survive God’s wrath, they cannot embrace the Antichrist’s idols and Satan’s policy of evil.

Now, to summarize!

Their Loss Not Ours!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

“Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked; For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out” (Proverbs 24:19,20 KJV).

What great advice—to Israel or to us!

A Christian sister recently browsing social media grew angry. (We can all relate.) She had drifted onto the webpages of certain people who had greatly wronged her in the past. Her stirred-up emotions, not having a mind of their own, had caused her to (wrongly) believe the past was ongoing. She had kept perusing to see more text and additional pictures of their “success,” “popularity,” and overall “nice” outward appearance. Everyone had “flocked” to them—she was the outcast, even after all those years trying to do right. The anger gradually escalated. My advice to her was simple: “Get off! Move on! Get off!”

Brethren, let today’s Scripture sink into your hearts and minds. This is as close to “heaven” as lost people will get. Let them heap to themselves as many “friends” as possible on Earth—there are no “friends” in hell! Let them heap to themselves as many “pennies” as possible on Earth—there are no “riches” in hell! Let them heap to themselves as much “nice outward show” as possible on Earth—there is no “beauty” in hell! Let them live it up now. Except they die in Jesus Christ, here is as good as it will ever get for them. Once their “candle” is “put out”—their house is darkened because they have died—we certainly do not want to envy them at that point! Most certainly, they gained the whole world temporarily and lost their soul eternally (Matthew 16:26)!

Today’s Scripture is actually God the Holy Spirit encouraging believing Israelites (poor, destitute of goods, rejected, despised, imprisoned, bereaved) not to look at their unsaved Jewish brethren who are prospering materially and socially for following the Antichrist, yet future (Revelation 13:15-17; cf. Psalm 37). Why? The unsaved… when death comes, they lose their fortunes, their friends, their lives, and finally their souls. My, how we pray earnestly for their eternal salvation in Jesus Christ before it is too late. Without Him, it is their loss, not ours!