There is a fine older song titled “It Is No Secret What God Can Do.” And it is not a secret what God has done in the past, is doing today, and will do in our future. This is because it is all laid out for us to read and plainly see in the Holy Bible, which happens to be the very Word of God. The Bible is compiled by divinely-inspired human authors for the spiritual edification of all the peoples of the world, if those people will only open the pages of the Bible and read for themselves the true history and ultimate future of mankind.
The Bible has been translated into virtually every primary language of the world, so there is no excuse for anyone with access to a Bible or the internet to not read the Bible in their language.
Unfortunately, there are thousands or maybe millions of citizens right here in the United States, who have been deluded and deceived by Satan; and have, therefore, decided to hate their country and blindly go about their lives with absolutely no desire to know the truth about why they are here, what they should be doing, or where they are ultimately going after this life.
It seems many people would rather suffer with ulcers, mental illness, and other physical ailments than to learn the biblical truths about life. Knowing the truth about life will lead to a greater peace, joy, and contentment provided by the Spirit of God, once a person places their faith in God and believes in God’s Son, Jesus Christ, as the one and only Savior from their sinfulness.
When you decide to approach Bible reading with an open mind, it cannot help but change your life circumstances for the better by changing your mind about the daily life decisions you make.
Everyone who reads the Bible should be reminded up front that the Bible has a 100% track record when it comes to prophecies. That fact alone should impress any potential Bible reader.
The Bible is completely accurate when it comes to prophecies, because it is the Word of God. All future biblical prophecies yet to be fulfilled will be 100% accurate as well, because the Bible is the Word of God, and God always keeps His Word. That is why you can read the Bible and know what it says is true, including the prophecies pertaining to the ‘last days’ and the ‘end-of-times,’ as many people are experiencing or will experience here on earth in this current life.
What fascinates me is how unbelievers (non-Christians), who reject anything the Bible has to say, are actually doing as much as Christians, or even more, on a daily basis to advance the future prophecies found in the Bible, regarding: the coming rapture of the church (Christians), the seven-year tribulation, Armageddon, the one-thousand year Millennium on Earth, and beyond.
See if the following statement by Jesus sounds familiar in our world today:
Then Jesus told them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines, and pestilences in various places, along with fearful sights and great signs from heaven. But before all this, they will seize you (Christians) and persecute you. On account of My name, they will deliver you to the synagogues and prisons, and they will bring you before kings and governors” (Luke 21:10-12).
All of what Jesus stated above will increase as we advance deeper into the ‘last days.’
The Bible has much more to say about the ‘last days.’ If you like specifics, then read the following specific things we see happening in our world today – glaringly so, right here in America:
The Bible says that in the ‘last days’ terrible times will come. As described in 2 Timothy 3:1-5:
Men will be lovers of themselves; Lovers of money Boastful Arrogant Abusive Disobedient to parents Ungrateful Unholy Unloving Unforgiving Slanderous Without self-control Brutal Without love of good Traitorous Reckless Conceited Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God Having a form of godliness but denying its power
Wow! It’s clearly apparent, especially so here in the United States, that we are proceeding further and further, deeper and deeper into the ‘last days,’ as prophesied in the Bible.
This means we are moving closer and closer to the rapture of Christians from the earth, which will also usher in the coming horrific seven-year tribulation period on earth.
Here is what 2 Peter 3:3-10 in biblical scripture has to say about ‘last days’ scoffers and future Bible prophecy:
“You must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. ‘Where is the promise of His coming?’ They will ask. ‘Ever since our fathers fell asleep, everything continues as it has from the beginning of creation.’
But they deliberately overlook the fact that long ago, by God’s word, the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world of that time perished in the flood. And by that same word, the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
Beloved, do not let this one thing escape your notice: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some understand slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be dissolved in the fire, and the earth and its works will not be found.”
Ironic isn’t it? The very earth the secular liberals are so hell-bent on preserving – by strictly human effort – for future generations to come, will ultimately end up being destroyed with fire by God, because of the very sinfulness of the unbelieving and ungodly people trying so desperately to save the earth from destruction! God will do what he says he will do to the earth; and what ungodly humans are attempting to do to save it is simply a wasted exercise in futility.
Times of trouble are certainly present in current-day America and around the world. Ungodly people try to determine why every bad thing happens from strictly a human perspective. People talk, talk, talk; but they only address the symptoms of mankind’s troubles without ever getting to the root cause of mankind’s problem, which is our original sin nature of rebellion against God. Fact is, ungodly people have no desire to get to the root cause of mankind’s problems, because then they would have to admit there is a God and that the Bible speaks the truth.
The reason for mankind’s troubles are fully explained in the Bible, and the answer to resolving our sin problem is explained in the Bible for those willing to read it. Satan, however, does not want you to read the Bible and know Godly truth; so it takes extra resolve, commitment and spiritual guidance to make time for daily Bible reading in your busy life.
Be assured: Until the rapture of Christians from the earth, all the people of the earth, including Christians, will have trials and tribulations during their lifetime. For one thing, we will be bombarded daily with untruth spewed out by false teachers, false preachers, and false prophets.
If you are filled with the Spirit of God and can discern truth from untruth, it’s really not hard to spot these false teachers, preachers, and prophets on the Internet; in elected government officials; on television talk shows; in mainstream media news and commentary; on social media; in schools; in music; movies and books; and, unfortunately, even in way too many popular churches today.
When horrific tragedies happen periodically, such as in Las Vegas, the reason is hard to grasp; but we must remember that Satan does not need a ‘reason’ for what evil he accomplishes in the activities of humans. All he needs is an ‘opportunity’ in order to wreak havoc upon mankind anytime and anywhere he can, and as often as he can, by deceiving vulnerable people into becoming demon-possessed humans, who will commit all kinds of evil at Satan’s bidding.
Yes, there is a Satan. The Bible will tell you all about him and how God will ultimately deal with him. We can take consolation in that it will not be a happy ending for Satan and his demons.
If you want to experience in your life today the true peace and assurance, which only God can provide right now in these very troubled days, you need to believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior; and then read the Bible to learn about God’s wonderful promises and exciting eternal things in store for every Christian who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Read the Bible. There is so much truth to be found in the Bible. It is truly amazing, and knowing the truth is liberating. Unlock the secrets of what God can do in your life by reading the Bible.
Get to know God and His Son, Jesus Christ. There is absolutely no need for you to drift through this life like a ship without a rudder! We have a friend in Jesus, who paid the price for all of our sins, on the cross at Calvary. Accept the grace and mercy He offers to those who believe in Him.
“Then the angel who talked with me came out and said to me, ‘Lift your eyes now, and see what this is that goes forth.’ So I asked, ‘What is it?’ And he said, ‘It is a basket that is going forth.’ He also said, ‘This is their resemblance throughout the earth: Here is a lead disc lifted up, and this is a woman sitting inside the basket.’ Then he said, ‘This is Wickedness!’ And he thrust her down into the basket, and threw the lead cover over its mouth. Then I raised my eyes and looked, and there were two women, coming with the wind in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between earth and heaven. So I said to the angel who talked with me, ‘Where are they carrying the basket?’ And he said to me, ‘To build a house for it in the land of Shinar; when it is ready, the basket will be set there on its base’” (Zechariah 5: 5-11, NKJV).
We have had a tumultuous week here in North America, with the shootings in Las Vegas; the cry of ‘pure evil,’ referring to the man who shot all those people. We can also consider that this is a typical week in cities like Chicago, where 50+ people are gunned down each week. At the same time, we hear of sex trafficking going rampant in the world; and, for the life of me, it seems that more female teachers are having sex with students than men all of a sudden. We have the leader of North Korea threatening to launch a nuclear attack against the West, and on and on we can go. There is much more that we can probably talk about, but Evil is everywhere. And, as we approach the end times, it is rapidly going to get worse and worse.
The death of Hugh Hefner, who helped to make Pornography commonplace like all other books, signaled the end of an era. What he began as simply pictures of naked women has spawned into a global billion-dollar industry of immense proportion, with young women and young men now offering themselves to anyone who will pay attention. Pornography has helped to normalize such behaviors as homosexuality, lesbianism, having multiple partners, and just about any kind of sexual perversion one can think of. These things have always been around (Solomon had 1000 women at his sexual disposal). But, what pornography did was to bring them out of the shadows into the light. They made palatable what was once behavior to be hidden. And, last but not least, there has been a removal of shame from our lives.
It would seem that no behavior is shameful anymore; and worse, it seems that most, if not all, can now be excused by the cry of ‘I have a disease.’ Sinful choices are the fruit of our disease. Yes, the disease is our totally corrupted sin nature, and the only cure is Jesus.
Evil is Real, verses 1-8
Today, we will explore the eighth vision that Zechariah sees, that of a woman (representing Evil) in a basket; and her being taken away to the city of Shinar. As we get into this, we need to clear a few things up. In the King James Bible, the word ‘basket’ is referred to as an Ephah; it is a description of a basket that was common in the era, that carried an ephah of measurement. So, in translations like New King James, it is translated as a basket. That is what it was. In the basket sits a woman. An ephah, as far as I can research, was about 6-7 gallons. So, this basket was not big enough to hold a grown woman; but a lot of the deities that the Jews followed after in rebellion to God were female deities such as: Asherah (the lady of the sea) from the books of the Kings, who was supposedly the wife of God; Anat, the goddess of war and sister of Baal; and Astarte, the goddess of fertility.
There are others, but these were some of the ones who stole the hearts of the people of Israel. Later in the New Testament we would hear of goddesses like Diana and others, who were worshiped by many cities in the Roman Empire. Many of these female deities were worshiped in sexual perversion and promiscuity. In the Roman times, prostitution – including temple prostitution – was normal everyday behavior.
The book of Romans tells us in chapter 1:24-26 that, when we turn our backs on the Lord God, the Creator, we will then be able to do all manner of evil:
“Therefore, God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise, also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”
We see the whole idea of sexual perversion in these verses, but these are a gateway to other evils; and the two often go hand in hand. The word that is used in the Bible for evil is ‘Wickedness.’ This is defined as ‘baseness, viciousness, depravity, immorality, corruption, villainy and dishonesty.
Wow! This gives us a whole new understanding of the growth and prevalence of evil in our midst. We are an evil people, and we would love to be able to blame it on a disease, a mental disorder, a lack of proper upbringing – whatever takes the blame from me, us, the man in the mirror. I am evil, sold under sin, and so are you. Our world system is corrupt, sold under sin. The religious system is wicked, sold under sin and greed.
We have, as a society, turned our backs on God. Sadly, a lot of churches have done the same. They have traded the truth of God’s word for money, popularity and attendance. God’s truths are cast aside like dung. New ideas and new gospels are preached; and wickedness grows. How many pastors have been arrested for corruption or stealing, or have been caught in adultery? Some that I have read of don’t even believe the Bible, or have never trusted God as Savior. This is wickedness.
I recently read of a congresswoman in the US that was indicted on 37 counts of stealing from a charity to pay for her lifestyle. The corruption is just as strong in the Canadian government.
Folks, evil is alive and well in our time. It has taken over the schools. For instance: The man who helped to write the sex education course for the Province of Ontario was arrested for child pornography. This is wickedness. Now we can understand why the curriculum is so sexually explicit. He is helping to groom our children to be perverts like him.
There are systemic evils around us. The Vatican continues to cover up the sexual predators of the ‘church’ from all over the world. They even house some in Vatican City so that they cannot be prosecuted.
Idolatry is rampant. We have kicked God out of our homes and schools; and now He has to be replaced. We need something or someone to worship. God built that into us; we cannot escape it. So now, instead of prayer rooms to God, we have Muslim prayer rooms. We have more yoga being pushed on our kids than ever before. There are Buddhas, and just about everything but God.
It is hard to find a TV show that does not promote the homosexual lifestyle and make it seem normal. We murder 3000+ babies a day in North America; often their body parts are being sold for profit. There is no remorse and no regret, no shame, no fear of God, and no repentance. Abortion has become a get- out-of-pregnancy-free card. Sleep around, throw your legs open for anyone; and then just kill the child and do it again. Evil is prevalent and getting worse — and more and more accepted as the norm.
Evil is Kept at Bay, for Now, verse 7-8
There is a lead disc that is placed over the woman in the basket. With a bit of research, I was able to find out that this lead disc would have been about 108 lbs. or so of lead, enough to keep the woman in the basket. Evil is rampant, but it is still restrained by an outside force. In the New Testament, we find this verse in 2 Thessalonians 2:7: “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but the one now restraining will do so until he is out of the way.”
This verse tells us that lawlessness is now at work. Actually, the ‘mystery’ of lawlessness is now at work, but there is someone restraining it. Soon, that someone will be taken out of the way, and there will be no more restraining. If you think that we have evil today in the world, the world after the Rapture will make ours look like a sunny meadow filled with beautiful yellow daisies. Right now, the Holy Spirit is on the earth; it is the heavy weight on evil. Soon, we will be raptured; the New Testament church will be ‘caught up’ to Jesus. The Holy Spirit will leave His job as restrainer, and then evil will become rampant like never before.
Society has called for the removal of God for the last 50 years, and He has gradually allowed the evil bound in us to come to the surface. Think of how children were mischievous back in the 60’s; but, in the last 10 years, we have seen the growth of evil amongst our youth. We see a rise in deliberate disobedience and defiance to any authority. Just a few years ago, there was a prostitution ring run by teenage girls through Facebook. Two of the girls were 15 years old, and the other was 17 at the time.
We have seen more and more ‘girly boys,’ but now suddenly rampant are these young boys who see themselves as girls; and worse, their parents and the society around them are condoning it and even promoting it.
We have had the growth of churches who don’t preach against anything. Everything is okay because Jesus loves you, and He does not want to hurt you or make you feel uncomfortable. Maybe they need to read the passages in the Gospels where Jesus addresses the Pharisees as ‘hypocrites’ and as ‘grave sites.’ He called the apostle Peter ‘Satan’ at one time; and He simply did not water down the truth for Nicodemus, letting him know that he did not know anything, and that he needed to be born again – saved. This was a teacher of the Law, but Jesus was not afraid to speak the truth to him.
The preaching of the truth keeps evil at bay; it reminds men that they are sinful and in need of a Savior. Honest preaching of the truth of the scriptures is followed by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, and this keeps evil at bay. But too many have stopped preaching the truth. We have called sin a disease and not sin. We made it so that men are not responsible for their sin, their choices, and their decisions. Thus, there is no shame in doing evil. Once shame is removed, evil grows and grows and grows.
Imagine what life will be like without the Lord’s churches here and without the Holy Spirit here to thwart and hold down the growth of evil. I certainly do not want to be here. Even so, come Lord Jesus.
Evil Has a Head Office, verse 11
When we think of the New Testament church, we can immediately think of Jesus walking the streets of Jerusalem and the countryside of Israel. We can see Him as the King of the Jews. And if we are to trace our history, we can find our way back doctrinally to Abraham in Genesis 12. He left Iraq to come and find the Promised Land. We are told in Romans 4 that Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. That is all we have as well. We too are called to believe on the Lord Jesus, and we will be saved. Abraham links us to Jerusalem, as does Jesus. Jesus lived in and ascended from Jerusalem, and we are told in Revelation 19 that He will return to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is called the Holy city; it is the HQ (headquarters) of Christianity, so to speak. In much the same manner, evil has a HQ.
The first time we see an organized rebellion against the power and position of God, we find it happening in the plains of Shinar – a place in modern-day Iraq that we call Babylon today. If we are to go back and take a look at history, beginning with Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon, we can begin reading in the later parts of Jeremiah. Also in Daniel, we see that Babylon was the chief city of the Chaldean empire that took the Jews into captivity. They were conquered by the Medo-Persians, but the capital city stayed the same during that empire; we find that in Nehemiah. It was the Greeks who conquered the Persians; and, once again, the capital stayed the same during that empire. Then the Romans conquered the Greeks, and the capital of the empire moved to Rome.
Rome, for the most part, has never really been conquered; and it is gradually coming to life again in the form of the European Union. I have found out that the EU head office is built to look like the Tower of Babel from Genesis 11. They are the new persons defying God as a community and pushing God out of their space. There is no more pagan of a place in the ‘First World’ than Europe, and its paganism is growing by leaps and bounds.
There is a war coming: The kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of Light will clash. This sounds like a Disney movie, but I assure you that there is no happy ending, and no plot twists; rather, we will have a badly broken, beaten, abused and used-up world that Satan and his minions have ravaged. He, the father of Lies, has convinced some of us humans that he has the answers and that Jesus is the enemy. It is the same lie he told Eve in the Garden of Eden–God is cheating you; work for me and I will bless you beyond measure. But he is the ultimate ‘snake oil’ salesman. What you are going to see is Satan himself bound by angels and imprisoned for 1000 years, and then judged to Hell for eternity. If you follow him and believe the lie, you will be in hell with him as well. Repent; Jesus is coming soon. Don’t get caught in the Lie.
“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:4-10).
War has been declared. I’m not talking about a conflict between one nation and another, or even civil unrest within a nation. I’m talking about the war that Satan has declared against God. This spiritual war has been raging for thousands of years and will soon reach a climax. The first recorded act of this war occurred in the Garden of Eden. Eve knew that God said not to eat the forbidden fruit, but Satan lied, Eve listened, and she was deceived. “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5.The weapons used by Satan were lies, doubt, and deceit. Satanic lies caused Eve to doubt God’s truth and that’s when the battle lines were drawn. Eve believed Satan above God, Adam chose to join her in defiance of God, and the rest is history. Satan still uses lies to befuddle us, but Christians have no reason to be deceived. It should be easy for us not to be drawn in by Satanic lies because we have Scripture to arm us and the Holy Spirit to guide us. So why are there so many problems all around? Instead of following our Commander in Chief (God) we surrender to Satan.
Satan lies today just as he lied to Eve. He has infiltrated our congregations and convinced many pastors to water down their teachings in order to not offend anyone. Why? Sin is a part of our human nature, but only through the blood of Jesus Christ can our sins be forgiven. If a person sitting in a pew embraces sin and rejects Jesus, they’re as lost as a person who never has stepped into a congregation. God’s truth, from Genesis through Revelation, must be preached from the pulpits and taught in Sunday school. “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel, For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:14-17. Jesus entrusted the Gospel to Christians and it isn’t to be compromised, doubted, or watered down. Teach the Gospel. Don’t dilute it or add sugar to make it easier to swallow. Preacher, if you do then you’ve surrendered to the enemy and are taking your congregation with you. “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4. If the “god of this world” is put ahead of God Almighty then there’s a problem. In America there are tax advantages for watering down God’s word, so it’s useful to deny God’s truth rather than pay a tax penalty. That’s putting a false god ahead of the true God. If you’re more worried about being politically correct than standing firm on Biblical truth then you’ve surrendered to the enemy. How can you tell if you aren’t being taught God’s truth from the pulpit or in Sunday school? First of all you need to arm yourself with God’s word. You won’t be deceived if you know the truth. Don’t expect your pastor to arm you, and most Sunday school material won’t fit you for a thumb-war, let alone a full out spiritual battle. Study God’s word for yourself.
We see the results of Christian surrender all around. Drug addiction is at an all time high. I’m not just talking about the drugs you can buy in a dark alley. Prescription drugs are as destructive and addicting as any illegal kind. Could that be why God tells us to stay away from drugs? “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21. Look up each word in this list and be sure you aren’t harboring any of these works of the flesh, but I will pull out “witchcraft”. The Greek word is “pharmakeia” which is the use or administering of drugs, poisoning, sorcery, and magical arts. Mind altering drugs should never be a part of a Christians life. How many children do you know who are on drugs because the supposedly have ADHD? How many people do you know who take drugs for depression? Instead of standing on God’s word, Christians have surrendered to the enemy and turn to mind-altering drugs which can open the way for demonic entry. I challenge you to do an internet search for mass murderers who take prescription drugs and you’ll be surprised, if not outraged. Instead of firm discipline based on God’s word, we allow schools, psychiatrists (another way Christians surrender to the enemy), and doctors to tell you how to dumb-down your child. “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.” Proverbs 23:13-14. Don’t misunderstand this Scripture. God is not giving a license to abuse children, but is giving direction to discipline children and spank if necessary. The alternative is to give your child drugs. Don’t surrender to Satan or battle by battle the war will get deadlier.
When we step away even slightly from God’s word we open the way for troubles from Satan. Eve shouldn’t have talked to the serpent (Satan), but she did. Instead of standing upon what God said she tried to go over and above what His rules were. God said don’t eat the forbidden fruit. “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Genesis 2:17. God said don’t eat it…don’t take it into you and make it a part of you. Eve got it wrong; she tried to outdo God. “But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” Genesis 3:3. God didn’t say don’t touch it, He just said don’t eat it. We need to be aware of sin and know what it is, but not make it a part of our life. Today there are many people who do make sin a part of themselves…even Christians. In the verses above from Galatians we’re warned against adultery and fornication, but how many people sitting in a congregation have made these sins a part of their life? We know what those sins are but instead of turning away from them many professing Christians have surrendered to the enemy by making them part of life…acceptable to the god of this world but unacceptable to God Almighty. Where are the preachers who speak out against sin? They are silent so as not to step on toes. No wonder it seems as if Satan is winning the battle. Christians aren’t armed for battle.
Many Christians have no idea what God’s word teaches because they choose not to study it. Why is it that Christians are willing to participate in sin-filled “entertainment” but refuse to pick up the Bible. Could it be that they want to keep partaking of the forbidden fruit? How can you call yourself a Christian if you don’t love Jesus and His ways? How can you know His ways if you don’t study His word and apply it to your life? “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15. We have a huge blessing today because we have easy access to the Old and New Testaments. When Paul wrote these words to Timothy only the Old Testament was available and few people had access to it. Read and learn from all of Scripture by asking the Holy Spirit to guide your study. God’s word is perfect in the original languages and translations help us to read it in our own language, but there have been many influences by Satan at the hands of men who have misconstrued what God says. Today the politically correct/Biblically incorrect crowd are attempting to corrupt God’s truth. There are people who are attempting to change God’s word to be gender-neutral and accepting of homosexuality. Corrupting God’s word doesn’t change God’s rules but helps people to surrender to Satanic ploys which twist God’s truth.
Our attitude and way of life need to conform to God Almighty, not the other way around. Conforming to the world around us is surrendering to Satan. Jesus is our example, and though we fall short of His perfection we need to consciously sacrifice our own lusts and sin. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1-2. A soldier training in boot camp is transformed from a common citizen to a fighting soldier fit for combat. The drill sergeant makes sure each soldier is schooled in weaponry and that he knows how to fight. The training of Christian soldiers is no less important. Our training is often neglected and our weapons are rusted and dull. Instead of being battle ready we blend in with the enemy and surrender rather than cause waves. Shame on us.
Jesus never said it would be easy. His last talk with His disciples before He was arrested was one of love, warning, and revelation. Their faith in Him was about to be tested and they needed to be equipped for battle. These faithful men would soon face their fears and have to choose whether to follow Christ or flee. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. The words Jesus spoke to the disciples are true for us today. Things don’t get easy once we accept Christ, but He has defeated the god of this world. We may face tribulation in this world because Satan still spreads his lies, but Jesus Christ has given us the weapons of spiritual warfare. If we aren’t committed in our walk with Him then we’ve surrendered to the enemy. Very soon there will be tribulation that is unfathomable. Satan will make an attack against humanity as never seen before. If you’ve surrendered to the enemy then chances are you never truly accepted Christ for salvation and will be a part of Daniel’s 70th week. If you continue to embrace the god of this world and reject Christ you won’t escape the wrath of God. Satan’s lies continue. Study your Bible so that you won’t be deceived. Only faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ will save you from the wrath that will come upon the earth. If you claim to have accepted Him, then follow His ways.
Arm yourself with the weapons of the spiritual war and fight. Don’t surrender to the enemy.
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18).
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD” (Deuteronomy 6:4).
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:…” (Genesis 1:26).
“But of that day and of that hour knoweth no man, no not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father” (Mark 13:32).
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus: who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men, being found on fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:5-8). **All emphases mine.**
There has been such an uproar and so much confusion that has come to light regarding the issue of the deity of Jesus Christ. Now, since Jesus Christ is the central figure of not just history but of all the Bible, we must understand who He is since all of history revolves around Him. In fact, the entire Bible — the entire timeline of history — is nothing less than HIS STORY in which we ourselves participate. This Drama of the Ages has been unfolding for nearly seven millennia from the very instant God said, ”Let there be… .” At its center is the Triune Godhead.
If we are to understand sin, salvation, and eternity, then we must come to a clear understanding of who God is; for if we get the identity of God wrong, then we will get every other doctrine of the Bible wrong, including the most important doctrine of all, which is the doctrine of salvation; because upon this doctrine hangs the destinies of mankind’s immortal soul. If we get the doctrine of salvation wrong, then nothing else matters.
This is how important, how imperative it is that we understand who Jesus really is, for it is upon Him and Him alone that our eternal salvation rests.
In Isaiah, God is speaking to the nation of Israel through the prophet Isaiah. He begins by calling Israel to join Him in what I think of as one of the greatest teaching sessions of all time. Yes, we are to come to God by FAITH, but God never tells us to leave our intellect at the door.
Faith has to be based upon something, and here God is laying out point by point the very foundation of salvation through Israel’s coming Messiah, who was to be the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world.
Israel was already familiar with the concept of animal sacrifices, which God had set up to be visual object lessons to her; lessons that foreshadowed the coming Messiah who was to give His life as an atonement — a propitiation for sin — not just for the sins of Israel, but for the sins of the whole world (John 3:16; 1 John 2:2).
In Isaiah, in context, God is offering an invitation for Israel to “reason together” with Him regarding the meaning behind all of their sacrificial offerings — the point behind every sacrifice that pointed towards the One who was yet to come, who was to be the absolute and ultimate fulfillment of all that those inadequate animal sacrifices hinted.
The animal sacrifices of goats, bullocks, rams, doves, and lambs were visual object lessons to them of the coming Redeemer of all men, whose earthly lineage would be through the Jewish people. However, the sacrifice of these animals was not sufficient to pay in full the sin debt of all mankind. No, that debt could only be paid by GOD.
Only God could make a sacrifice that was both worthy enough and adequate enough to satisfy the JUSTICE demanded by the perfect Law of God. When Adam rebelled and sinned, he violated God’s Law; he thus became a guilty sinner. He “transgressed the Law of God,” the penalty of which was eternal separation from God.
This separation prohibited Adam and all of his descendants from ever being able to be in the presence of God. This loss of perfection and innocence is what Adam LOST. This is what the Bible means when it says we are lost sinners. We are lost, separated apart from God, and are unable to do anything on our own behalf or by our own power to reconcile ourselves back into a right (sinless) standing before an infinite and utterly holy God.
This is why only God could bridge the chasm between holy God and fallen man that Adam’s rebellion caused. This is why all of Adam’s progeny remains lost — separated from God; and this is why condemned mankind had to have a perfect Savior, and why this Savior had to be both fully God and fully man.
You see, everything in God’s Word from Genesis 1:1 all the way through the end of Revelation is intertwined and inextricably interwoven together. It is all one continuous story — HIS STORY, and although the timeline of history is divided into different segments called dispensations, or differing administrations, the entire timeline is all still HIS STORY.
This is the reason that all scripture must be read and studied in its proper context — that is, in context of the entire passage, in context of the book, and in context of the place in which it occurs on history’s timeline. In other words, in the proper dispensation in which the verse or passage of scripture occurs.
Context is everything. Since all scripture is divinely inspired and is “God-breathed,” that means that God Himself is the author of all of it. Every word in it is HIS word which He spoke through the forty different men whom He chose to be His amanuenses — His scribes if you will. It was these men who wrote, but it was God’s words that they wrote.
This is why one verse or portion of scripture cannot contradict any other portion of scripture. No one verse of scripture should ever be taken out of context and an entire doctrine built upon it; because if one verse is pulled away from the context of the entire passage, or the book in which it is located, or the dispensation to which it belongs — or if the group of people it’s addressing is confused or misapplied, then the entire meaning of the verse and/or passage becomes confused, and the meaning of the entire book or passage is misapplied. Once an error of that sort has occurred, then one has moved from sound doctrine into heresy and false teaching.
That’s how serious it is when we approach scripture with a “dumpster dive” methodology, and why it is so dangerous to build an entire doctrine around one verse or group of verses that are pulled out of proper context.
We must learn to approach and understand scripture in light of the whole counsel of God (that is in light of the entirety of what the Word of God teaches) — both Testaments, and in the proper dispensation of God’s timelines of history. When approached in this manner, all seeming contradictions disappear.
Let’s go back and look at one of the greatest controversies that lies at the center of Mark 13:32. That controversy is this: If Jesus is God (and He is), then is there anything that Jesus cannot know?
At first glance, Mark 13:32 appears to completely contradict the already stated fact that Jesus is God. A casual reading of this verse would seem to imply that Jesus cannot be fully God, because God is omniscient — all knowing; thus if there is even one thing that Jesus doesn’t know, then He cannot be God. This is indeed a conundrum, and one for which each of us as believers need to be able to “give an account” (1 Peter 3:15).
However, as we shall see, there is an answer given in scripture. Scripture always explains and interprets scripture, therefore the explanation for the seeming problem of Jesus’s deity being in question in Mark 13:32 is answered fully in Philippians 2:5-8.
In Heaven, which resides in the realm of eternity, the eternal presence of God is outside of Time — that is it is outside of the timeline in which humanity dwells. Jesus, being the second Person of the Triune Godhead and thus God, is eternally existent; eternally omnipotent (all powerful); eternally omnipresent (everywhere at once); and eternally omniscient (all knowing). Therefore, there is nothing that Jesus cannot know.
Now, let’s look at Philippians 2:5-8 and find the answer to the seeming contradiction that lies at the heart of Mark 12:32. In Heaven, before His incarnation into humanity, Jesus–God the Son–had all knowledge. He had to be omniscient because He is God. However, “in the fullness of time,” GOD the Son was incarnated into human flesh. He incarnated into human flesh in order to procure our salvation. He came as a man (albeit still being both fully God and fully man). He came to become as one of us so that one day He could make us to become like He is now!
Only because of His deity was He able to be both fully God and fully man. No mortal fallen man could pay the penalty of Sin that was demanded by the justice of God’s holy Law. In order for mankind to be redeemed, that which Adam’s rebellion lost, the infinite penalty that sin incurred had to be paid in full. Only God was able to do for fallen mankind that which needed to be done in order to save and redeem lost mankind from the eternal penalty of Sin. Only God could do this, but God the Son had to do it as a man.
The very Son of God wrapped Himself in the flesh of humanity, in order to live a perfectly sinless life in complete obedience to the LAW of God. This qualified Jesus, as a man, to die a sinless death in our place in order to pay the infinite pardon of Sin for all Adam’s progeny — a sin debt that was incurred by Adam’s rebellion.
The penalty for the Sin of mankind was required to be paid by a perfect man, to satisfy the righteous justice of holy God; One whose death could qualify as an atonement to redeem lost man; One who was qualified and able to conquer Sin, Death, Hell, and Satan by a victorious resurrection from the grave as a new and glorified man. Jesus alone was that perfect man. He became the firstfruits of all who are willing to be redeemed “in Christ” by believing, according to the scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). All of this was done by Jesus Christ in order that He might both procure and preserve our salvation.
Because Jesus was willing to pay our sin debt, He incarnated Himself into mortal flesh. In doing so, He placed Himself under the authority of the Father (even though in His divine state He is equal to the Father and the Holy Spirit in His divine essence).
Jesus, when He incarnate (embodied in human flesh), He did not use His own divine power to perform His miraculous deeds while on earth, but rather He acted in full obedience to the Father, and performed His works through the power of the Holy Spirit (Philippians 2:5-8).
On earth, Jesus was still just as much God as He always was; however, as shown in Philippians, He chose to limit or veil His own power, divinity, and omniscience to allow the Holy Spirit to work through Him. As such, while He was on earth, He chose to veil His own deity (although still retaining it) and limit Himself in obedience to the Father so that He could pay our sin debt as a perfect man. He alone was able to do this since, in His earthly incarnation, He alone was able to do so being both God and man.
After He arose from the tomb victorious, He ascended back to Heaven in a glorified body as the first fruits of all who are believers — a glorified body that all believers will one day receive. When Jesus ascended back to the Father after His resurrection, He took back His full authority and His complete knowledge, of which He voluntarily divested Himself when He came to earth.
Now, having ascended back to Heaven, Jesus has taken back all of His glory and divine knowledge. Therefore, Jesus does indeed know not only the day and hour of the rapture of the Church, but more so, in context of the passage in Mark, He knows the day and time of His second coming. It was never a matter of Him not knowing, but the case of Him voluntarily veiling some of His omniscient knowledge in order that He might be in complete submission to the Father’s will and to perform His work as the God man via the power of the Holy Spirit.
Now that He is resurrected and clothed again in the divine glory that has always been His, He is once again seated “at the right hand of the Father” with the full knowledge of everything that He as God possesses, and has always possessed.
The controversy of whether or not Jesus is God is what is at issue. This is why we need to understand what the whole counsel of God has to say, by putting this one verse in proper context. Of course I can’t quote the entire Bible here to make my point, but I can give some verses from both the Old and New Testaments that prove that only God can forgive sins. Therefore, if only God is able to satisfy the Justice of God, then the One who paid that price of redemption could not be anyone less than God.
In our opening verse in Isaiah, God is speaking of the coming Messiah who would be the sacrificial “Lamb of God” — the One who could permanently take their red and scarlet sins and make them “white as snow.”
Let me list a few of the verses from both Testaments that show, from cover to cover, the full deity of Jesus. Then we will conclude by “reasoning together” from scripture WHY Jesus is God, and what would be the eternally devastating consequences to all of mankind throughout history if He were not.
These are just a very few, but are enough to make the point:
I want to conclude this study with us reasoning together using both the scriptures and the intellects that God has given to us. As I said earlier, we are to come to God by faith, but it is not a baseless faith. Faith must have an object or else it is not faith at all, but merely fantasy or wishful thinking.
So, let us look at salvation. It is Jesus Himself who states emphatically that salvation — reconciliation with the Father — can come only through Him. In fact, in this verse Jesus is speaking of Himself, using the very name of God that God gave to Moses back in Genesis. When Moses asked God who He was, God’s response to Moses’ inquiry was “I AM that I AM.” In essence, God told Moses that He is the eternally existent One who is who He is.
God spoke in first person singular; and His answer encompassed His always eternal, self existing, never-ending nature. So, what did Jesus say about salvation? He said, “I AM the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh to the Father but by me.” And there you have it. The Jews certainly understood exactly what Jesus meant when He made that statement. They knew He was equating Himself with God. This was why they hated Him and sought to kill Him.
Now, think with me and let us reason together: Since Adam’s sin caused the downfall of all men, women, boys, and girls from Adam onward, and since no person is able to save him or herself, then this means that all mankind stands guilty and condemned before a just and holy God. And because we are sinners, we cannot live the sinless life that is needed to satisfy the perfection that God, by His holy character and nature, demands. We are justly condemned sinners (Romans 3:23; Romans 10:9-10; Romans 6:23; Romans 1:16).
This means that Adam’s sin has eternally condemned all of mankind born after him, because no one can live a completely sinless life. This includes being sinless not just in what we do, but in what we say, in what we think, and sinless in the desires and motives of our hearts as well. This is the level of perfection that is required to dwell in the presence of God. That is what Adam lost through his rebellion. That level of perfection is the only thing that could pay the penalty of sin.
This meant that mankind after Adam’s fall was eternally doomed on his own, because no sin-infected human being could ever live sinlessly enough to redeem or to pay the wages of sin, which was eternal death.
Now, God, being omniscient (all knowing) and eternal, already knew even before He created one molecule that man would fall; that man would lose his perfection. Therefore, in the mind and plan of the Triune Godhead–the Three in One, God had already decided that God the Son would become the God-Man; that in the fullness of time, God the Son would incarnate Himself into human flesh and become a man while still being fully God.
Jesus had to come and live as a man the sinless life demanded by the Law in order that He may satisfy the supreme justice of God. That sinless life could only be lived by Jesus, because He is God. The sinless life that Jesus lived qualified Him to pay the wages of Sin that mankind owed but which mankind could not pay. Jesus as the God-Man did qualify to pay that infinite price.
Jesus Had to die as a man in order that the debt could be paid in full. As the only begotten God-Man, this qualified His death to stand in the stead of all lost and fallen mankind. Also, a sinless man had to be raised from the dead perfect and incorruptible; therefore, Jesus arose from the tomb as that perfect man on the third day. He became the “firstfruits” of all of those who would be among redeemed mankind.
This is why Jesus is God, because only God could do all that was needed to be done to both procure and preserve mankind’s redemption.
Bottom line is this: If Jesus was not both fully God and fully man, then His death on the cross was futile and in vain; and if Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection was insufficient to pay the sin debt of man because He was not “God enough” then everyone is still lost and all of us are headed to an eternal Hell.
Now we can understand the full implications of misinterpreting this verse scripture in Mark. By implication, our misunderstanding of Mark 12:32 implies that Jesus is not fully God, which goes completely against scripture. If one does not believe that Jesus is God, then one does not believe the only gospel that alone can save a lost sinner.
Please, I beg you, harken to the whole counsel of God. There is only one gospel and only one Savior; outside of it all are lost. Jesus Christ, God the Son, is the central figure of everything. The cross is the fulcrum of all history.
In order to be saved, one must believe in Jesus, but one must believe according to the scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; John 3:16-18). If anyone denies or impugns the full deity of Jesus, then one has denied God; denied the cross; denied salvation; denied the Jesus of scripture, and has denied the only gospel that can set him free and save his soul from eternal Hell. That’s how important believing the full divinity of Jesus is.