Friday, January 29, 2010

That They Should Believe A Lie

"For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12

When I saw the above ad for Chris Angels' new "show", I was immediately struck by the name of his new offering, and how the three middle letters were purposely highlighted. I had never seen any of Chris Angel's programs - I had only heard of him. So, after I saw the ad, I went to You Tube and punched in his name. I ended up watching two videos - one of him walking on water, and one of him walking through a window pane! How interesting that Yeshua both walked on water, and after His resurrection could just appear in a room with a locked door.

I cannot judge a man that I know very little about, and while it is tempting to ascribe "demonic power" to the source of Chris' "stunts", the truth is that I just don't know whether his "tricks" truly are just "smoke and mirrors", or if there really is something more sinister involved (as some claim). Either way, it's not really important for the sake of this post. What is germane to what I would like to address is the interesting correlation between the name of his show that is being advertised: "Believe." Notice that in his ad, the "L" "I" "E" in the word "believe" are in bold, so as to stand out. This made me immediately think of the verse that I highlighted above, namely, that those who refuse a love of the truth (Yeshua said "I am the way, the truth, and the life..." - John 14:6; He also said "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." - John 17:17, quoting Psalm 119:142 - "Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.) would "believe the lie." Notice the word "believe" and "lie" in that verse.

When I watched the You Tube videos, I asked the LORD "what is this?!" Immediately my thoughts were taken back to the Torah portion just two weeks ago, where Pharaoh's magicians mimicked with their "enchantments" the first few miracles that Moses performed by the hand of YHVH.

After Chris walked on the water, the reaction of the crowd was, of course, amazement. One woman in particular just kept saying "Chris is the MAN!"

When someone does something great (at least, "great" in the eyes of some), they are usually given immediate respect and honor. If someone were to perform a "miracle", most people would automatically begin listening to, and believing whatever they say. This is precisely the opposite of what the bible would teach us to do: We should pay attention to a persons words, AND ACTIONS - as in their lifestyle - in order to determine whether they are someone to be listened to or not. Biblically, a person can perform great miracles and signs, but be a false prophet (cf. Deut. 13 for example) actually allowed (and dare I say, sent?) by God, to further deceive the deceived, and to test His people.

Whether Chris' "magic" are simply clever "tricks", or whether there is something more involved is not the issue. What does Chris say? How does he live? What if he, in the future, began platforming some of his religious and political thoughts? How many people would listen to him solely because of the "amazing" things he performs? How about if someone in the future were to perform even greater "tricks" (say, like calling fire down from heaven perhaps? - Revelation 13:11-14 "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.)? How many people would listen to and believe a person who could do such things (Hint: We have the answer already. he will deceive "...them that dwell on earth by the means of those miracles....")?

I am convinced that the spirit of Antichrist has been at work for Millenia. I am even more convinced that he is stepping things up in these last days. And remember that John told us (in 1 John 2:18) that though there is/will be THE Antichrist, there are also "many" Antichrists already! I believe the spirit of Antichrist is becoming more brazen and bold as the days pass on, and the time of the "end" draws near (not "end" as in ceasing to exist, but "end", as in end of this "age"/"era").

Chris Angels' new "show" is just one more warning sign (I.M.H.O.) of the times we are heading into. The title of his new "show" is very revealing, I "believe" (yes, pun intended).

Read your bible daily (B.T.W. - when I say "bible", I don't mean the Quran, or the Bhagavad Gita, or the Tao, et al - I mean the "Bible", as in Genesis to Revelation!). I will say it again - READ YOUR BIBLE DAILY. Get to know the mind of God via His word (again, Yeshua said "Thy word is truth"), seeking His Holy (set apart) Spirit to teach you all things (cf. 1 John 2:27), and obey what you read, for He is able to guide you into ALL truth! In doing so you will gain maturity, and in maturity wisdom, understanding, and discernment, all of which will be, and already are, desperately needed in the days in which we live.

Chen v'shalom (grace and peace) in Yeshua our Messiah.

Secret Destiny Of America?

I am about 2/3rd's of the way through Tom Horn's new book "Apollyon Rising 2012: The Lost Symbol Found and the Final Mystery of the Great Seal Revealed" and I have to say that so far it is staggeringly alarming. I have been looking into the issues surrounding our "Founding Fathers", the founding of America, the obviously pagan architecture and symbolism that is all over D.C., as well as the one dollar bill, Freemasonry (My wife's Grandfather was a 32nd degree Freemason when alive) and their involvement in the direction this country has moved, and is still moving in.

I have appreciated David Barton's (Wallbuilders) work as well, and much debate surrounds the issue of the faith and belief of America's Founding Fathers. Personally, I believe that it is an issue of Tares among the Wheat (see Yeshua's parables concerning this if you don't understand).

The questions at this point are: Where are we now, where are we headed, who's taking us there, and what will be the outcome?

I would highly recommend Tom's book Apollyon Rising as it reveals some interesting facts surrounding the Great Seal that is on our dollar bill, and the fact that it is actually a prophecy concerning the direction and fate of this Nation, at least as is intended by certain groups and individuals.

In the meantime, you can get a glimpse of things at his blog, and this post is a good representation of the kind of information Tom is revealing via his vast research into the subject.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

All Of Scripture Is Prophecy

In my last post (Thematic Connections...) I made the statement that biblical prophecy is pattern rather than just simple prediction and fulfillment, and that ALL of scripture, including the first 5 books of Moses, and even books like the Psalms, Proverbs, Ruth, etc. are prophetic in nature. And I might add that not only is biblical prophecy pattern, but also that biblical history is prophecy. This does not mean that the books of Moses, nor the books of Ruth, Esther, et al are primarily books of prophecy (such as is the case with Daniel, or Revelation for ex.), for the narratives are indeed historical, but the patterns and details within the narratives give us prophetic glimpses that are more plainly laid out in the overtly prophetic books. In fact, though books like Daniel and Revelation are overtly prophetic, people often find difficulty in understanding them. I believe much of the answer (though not the whole of it) is in the fact that the prophetic themes found within them are drawn from the patterns that are already embedded in the other books of the bible, most notably the first 5 books (or, the books of Moses)! If we want to better understand Daniel and Revelation, for example, then we need to get very, very familiar with the narrative texts (as well as the prophets in the Tenakh - or, "Old Testament" - which is not so "old" if seen from the perspective that they speak of things relevant today through their narratives, a point I will explain further in this post).

In John 5:18, Yeshua is accused by the Jewish leadership of "...breaking the sabbath..." and "...making himself equal with God...", both of which were false accusations. Yeshua begins to answer them, and in vs. 39 He says to them "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." This statement is powerful, when viewed in light of the fact that the "scriptures" that he spoke of were those which make up the "TeNaKh" (an acronym for the "Torah", or, Gen. through Deut.; the "Nevi'im", which are the Prophets, and the "Ketuvim", which are the "writings", ie., the Psalms, Proverbs, Esther, Kings, etc.). The reason this is so powerful is that when one reads the Tenakh, it is not readily noticeable that they are speaking about Yeshua. There is no explicit verse that states that it is about a man named Yeshua, who would come to this planet, die on a cross, lie in the grave for three days, and rise again on the third day. In fact, Yeshua Himself said that the only "sign" that He would give for Himself was the "sign of Jonah", which of course, is a reference to Jonah the Prophet. The interesting thing to note concerning this is that when you read the book of Jonah, you don't really get the idea that it is supposed to be an historical narrative as well as a prophetic glimpse, a peek into the life, mission, and ministry of Messiah. When you read about Jonah being swallowed by a great fish, and being in the belly of the fish for 3 days and 3 nights, you only see it as being prophetic from our point of history. In other words, because Yeshua singled that narrative out specifically, and said that it represented Himself, we can now read the book of Jonah with that understanding - but I doubt that very many people that came before the time of Yeshua readily understood it as such (though I will say that the ancient sages of Israel DID in fact see many of the narratives of the Patriarchs and Prophets as being prophetic concerning the Messiah, such as is the case with what they call the akeidah - the binding of Isaac, or as Christians would understand, the narrative of Abraham and Isaac, when Abraham set out to offer Isaac up as an offering).

So to get back into the meat of this post, when Yeshua said to the Jewish leadership that the "scriptures" were they that spoke of Himself (again, understanding that He was speaking of the Tenakh, ie. "Old Testament"), He wasn't waxing cute with them - He meant it! And this means that, taking the Jonah narrative for example, when we read it we are also reading prophecy! This point is further reinforced by the fact that in Revelation 19:10, an Angel tells John "...worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." Now, remember that Yeshua had already told the Jewish leadership that the "scriptures" were they that spoke of Himself. Now we have an Angel declaring that the "testimony of Yeshua" is the "spirit of prophecy!"

In my previous post I quoted Luke 24:27 where Yeshua tells two of His disciples that the scriptures spoke of Himself, and "...beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself." So again, we see that when Yeshua says that the "scriptures" speak about Himself, we are given specifics as to what scriptures He is talking about..."Moses."

If you are at all familiar with Yeshua's teachings in the gospel accounts (Matthew, Mark, etc.), then no doubt you have noticed that He often taught using parables. This is a very common style of teaching in the bible, and Yeshua made prolific use of the style for various reasons including the use of parabolic narrative to illustrate spiritual truths, as well as using parables to hide the truth from the proud and arrogant (who would not bother to ask, nor seek to understand the parable) and give it to the humble of heart (who would ask, and seek to understand).

Eddie Chumney of Hebraic Heritage Ministries has made the statement that the Torah (the 5 books of Moses) are actually a parable! He bases this off of the following scripture -

Psalm 78:1,2 - "Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old."

I believe Eddie is right. What is the subject of Psalm 78:1,2? Well, it begins with God telling His people to give heed to His "law" (ie. the 5 books of Moses). So, His law is the subject. He then goes on to tell them that He will "...open [His] mouth in a parable." In other words, the "parable" that He will speak; the "dark sayings" that He will "utter" will be/is a parable - His law ("law" here is literally "Torah" in Hebrew, which means "teaching, instruction, etc.")!

So to summarize, we can see that Yeshua Himself taught that ALL of the scriptures (which consisted only of the Tenakh in His day) spoke/speak of Him. We see that the "testimony" of Yeshua, which are the "scriptures" (again, the Tenakh), are the "spirit of prophecy", or, in other words, the scriptures themselves are "prophecy." And we see that the "scriptures" (at least the 5 books of Moses) are actually a giant parable!

This has immense implications for us today. You see, what many call the "Old Testament", that body of work that is, for the most part, simply viewed as ancient history, is really a prophetic document that contains FAR, FAR more than we could have ever imagined. And what's more, it has prophetic implications for the days and times that we live in today! In fact, books that are commonly accepted as "prophetic" (such as the book of Revelation, the book of Daniel, etc.) cannot be understood, without first having a good grasp of the beginning, ie., Genesis to Deuteronomy. In fact, Isaiah says the following in Is. 46:10 - "Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure." Literally he is saying that the "end" is declared "out of" the "beginning." The "beginning" is a specific reference to the book of Genesis, and more specifically to the very first Hebrew word in the bible - "B'reishit" - ie., "In the beginning." If we want to understand the times of the "end", then we need to firmly understand what is taught in the "beginning."

In the future I hope to flesh this out more, and go into specifics as to the prophetic "pictures" that are displayed in the "parable" of the "Old Testament!"

Until next time, shalom.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Thematic Connections...And How They're Relevant

Under the heading "Teaching Websites" on my blog, I have listed Tony Robinson's website called "Restoration of Torah." Tony's main teaching emphasis, is finding thematic connections in the scriptures. The main motivation for this is that Yeshua told His disciples in Luke 24:25-27 the following - "Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself" (emphasis mine). Notice that in vs. 27 Luke explains that, starting at Moses, Yeshua showed the two disciples on the road to Emmaus the scriptures that spoke about Him.

It is written in Psalm 40:7 the following: "Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me." This verse is quoted in Hebrews 10:7, and applied to Yeshua. Notice that it says "...in the volume of the book it is written of Me." In other words, we are being told that the whole of the scriptures (and at the time of this verse being written, and even in the time when the writer of the book of Hebrews was written, the "volume of the book" referred to what we call the "Old Testament", or, as is referred to in Judaism, the "Tenakh") speak of Yeshua.

There is a problem with this however. Nowhere in the "books of Moses" (Genesis - Deuteronomy) do we read about the Messiah coming to the Earth, suffering, dying, and then resurrecting three days later explicitly. The only way we are are going to find these things are if we begin to look for the patterns that are strewn throughout the Tenakh (ie. "Old Testament"), and see the thematic connections between the narratives of the Patriarchs, and the fulfilling of the narratives, which happen to be prophetic patterns (the Hebraic and/or biblical understanding of prophecy is pattern, not just prediction with a single fulfillment - more on this another time) by Yeshua and His disciples. In the future, I hope to share many of these patterns with you.

Having said all of that, I wanted to share a "thematic connection" that I found this Shabbat, and I hope to share with others what I have found in the days and weeks to come - not only to share just how amazingly the scriptures tie together from beginning to end, but also to share how I believe these "connections" are relevant to us today (because as I said above, biblical prophecy is pattern, and I contend that ALL of scripture has prophetic implications).

(A quick word about thematic connections - it is making connections between various biblical passages based upon similar themes, or words, ideas, etc. that, when made, bring more clarity to the whole picture once viewed in it's thematic totality - in a nutshell!)

So, here we go with a thematic connection I made just this weekend.

In Exodus 12, we read about the first Passover. Within the narrative, we read about the who, what, when, why, and how of the very first Passover, which occurred in the land of Egypt, when the Hebrews were kept in bondage there by a Pharaoh that simply did not want to release them unto their freedom. Up to this point (chapter 12), the book of Exodus narrates the rise of a new Pharaoh in Egypt, the ensuing enslavement of the Hebrew people (the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), the birth of Moses (and his subsequent departure from Egypt to Midian), his calling by the God of his Fathers and return to Egypt to bring deliverance to and for the Hebrew people, and the progressive plagues that are brought upon Egypt by God for the refusal of Pharaoh to let them depart (for more info. and detail concerning these matters, read Exodus 1-11).

The points that I want to highlight here for the sake of the thematic connection that I want to share are as follows:
1) The setting/time frame is the Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread (the two run together, and are thus considered basically one and the same, though they ARE technically two separate "Feasts").
2) Verse 11 says the following: "And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD''s passover." Notice in this verse that they were to have their "loins girded", and their "shoes on [their] feet", and they were to eat "in haste."
3) They were delivered shortly after having eaten the Passover meal, and were thus delivered out of bondage (cf. vs. 51)

So, to recap, it was during the Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread. They were to "gird" their "loins", put on their "shoes", and eat "in haste." And last but not least, they were delivered from bondage.

Now comes the thematic connection. In Acts ch. 12 (interesting that the chapters of the two events I want to share happen to be 12!), we read about Herod having James, one of Yeshua's disciples, killed. And because he saw that it pleased some of the Jewish authorities, he had Peter arrested, intending to have him put to death as well. But here is where I want to start pointing out specifics.
1) In v.v 4 and 5, we see that the timing is the Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread. It is during this Festival time that Peter is in "bondage" (v.v. 3 and4, Peter is put into chains and prison, ie., "bondage").
2) Peter is visited by "the Angel of the LORD" (who turns out to be a "deliverer" for Peter) in the prison, and told to "rise up quickly" (in Greek, "anistēmi en tachos" - Lit. "arise in haste"). So, Peter is to be "in haste." He is also told to "gird" himself, and put on his "sandals."
3) He is delivered out of the prison ("bondage").

So, to recap, we have Peter in bondage during the Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread. He is told to arise "in haste", "gird" himself, and put on his "sandals." He is then delivered out of "bondage."

I believe that what we have here is a thematic connection. This "connection" shows us a link between the first Passover/Exodus from Egypt ("bondage"), and subsequent deliverence of God's people, and a later deliverence from "bondage." The narrative of the Exodus of God's people is also prophetic pattern for how God will deliver His people out of bondage again, and again. The deliverence of Peter represents the future deliverence of God's people from the bondage of this world system, of which Egypt is a biblical "type and shadow."

I hope this encourages you to begin to seek out the patterns that God wants to teach us in His word, so that we may grow in understanding.