The Lie Keeps Growing
“Believe me when I say…”

Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

Revelation 22:15 NIV

Well-known to our family, as I was growing up, was a man of whom it was said, “He’d lie, even if the truth made a better story.” When one lie unraveled, there was no embarrassment or retreat; it was just time to move on to the next whopper.

Leading the charge against the President of the United States, are some of the most accomplished and practiced tale-bearers imaginable. Their serious accusations have been around for three years: “Donald Trump is a liar and a traitor.” The evidence suggests, however, that most of the lying and treachery is coming from their side.

Do not dismiss this article as a Pro-Trump piece, for I am not pro-this man or anti-that man. I am Pro-Truth and Anti-Falsehood. This post is not a testimony to our current president’s character, but when comparing him to his accusers, President Trump looks almost saintly.

Last week, this country received the long-awaited report on Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. Those who greeted the U.S. Attorney General’s Summary as some kind of cover-up, are signaling this matter is far from over. In their eyes, Mueller’s and the previous investigations have not gotten to the truth. At the same time, they have blocked efforts to investigate their political friends who appear to have left real evidence that they have committed real crimes.

At this point, to continue to perpetuate the made-up story that the president, members of his family, or his staff, colluded in a criminal way with the Russians, takes a lot of gall. It seems the politicians, the plotters, the media in the middle of it all, and the former unelected, politicized, intelligence and law enforcement heads, have plenty of gall to spare. They are so invested in the false narrative, they have no choice but to keep the lie growing. It is an old Russian adage that says if you want to lie, you’d better have a good memory.

They are so crafty that they are master’s of deceit. They congratulate each other for being clever. In the morning, the “Lie du Jour” is prepared then passed around to all who hunger for it. Tune in and you will hear it served all day long, and sometimes longer, but these clever, crafty and cunning schemers have a bigger problem than remembering their last fabrication. They seem to ignore that God hates lies, and those who spread them.

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.

Revelation 21:8

I do not say this lightly, but if the dozens responsible for this Russian Collusion Hoax are not held accountable, then America is doomed. I am not sure we will survive this anyway. The ease with which audiences and readers swallowed one phony story after another, should send a chill down our spine. Add Russian Conspiracy to the Lie List that keeps growing longer.

A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?

Jeremiah 5:30-31

For the liars to still be leaders after they have been exposed, reveals where our country is headed. We are headed to the annals of history. With a growing wave of truth-bashers waiting for their moment in the limelight, and protected by the First Amendment’s “free speech clause,” they are not simply seeing the lie as a sometime useful propaganda tool, but as a way to riches, fame and power. They embrace it as a way of life.

A false witness will not go unpunished and he who pours out lies will perish.

Proverbs 19:9
The People of God (Revision)

Originally published in the summer of 2010, The People of God: Finding the Future in Your Bible, was written as an introductory volume to the “Prophets, Priests and Kings Series.” A newly-released edition provides an occasion to reveal my purpose for a revision and my hopes for its readers. Since, I asked myself a number of questions before committing to this project, I have chosen a Q&A (Question & Answer) format. I pray that it will provide rich insight.**

Q- What was the purpose of doing your revision of The People of God?

A- Although I was confident in it as far as the content, there were things that I felt needed to be improved. It bothered me that my use of footnotes made it too costly to convert The People of God to eBook. The other books are available for those who prefer to read from their hand-held device, but that was the big issue.

I relate it to building your first house. You valued the experience and really like how it turned out, but there are things you’d do differently, so you either live with the regrets or, if it bothers you enough and you have the time and money, you do a remodeling job. I chose to remodel. No one who read the original will have a problem recognizing it. I believe it reads better and looks better. I’m very pleased with the results and hope to hear what the readers think. There was no change to the basic book, is what, I guess, I’m saying.

Q- You have three other books now, and one you are working on–The Kings of God. How does The People of God rank with them?

A- This book is my favorite–of course I have said that about all of them. I could read it a hundred times and still find it a blessing. It is like having five children. They all are your favorite, especially the one you’ve just spent some quality time with, but The People of God was my first born. There is a special delight I have in it, because this was the one that revealed my destiny, or my reason for being alive. Working on it, I rediscovered the special place it has in my heart. I truly love it and can open up anywhere–as I did recently–and be thrilled by the revelations and insights, or what I call the nuggets of gold.

I got this from my mother: She spent time in her Bible because she loved it, not because of some religious duty. I caught my love for God’s Word from her. The first experience of sitting down to write and I was hooked. I received so much joy from the Lord as he unwrapped these gifts of discovery before my eyes. I hope that is something the readers sense–my joy as I share what God has shown me. Even now, I have happy tears thinking about the nuggets God planted in this book. Make no mistake, the Spirit of God is the author, I’m the writer. I’ll take whatever blame for the mistakes in the way it is written, but the revelations and content are straight from God.

Q- How do you know your insights–what you call nuggets–are from God?

A- That’s a point of contention with some I have found out, but only when what I write disagrees with what they believe. Some interpret my confidence as arrogance, I suppose, but it is far from being prideful. God wants us to know we are saved, right? He wants us to know the truth, right? Then the truth is knowable? Jesus is knowable? The Word of God is trustworthy and true, so it has nothing to do with me and everything to do with being a workman of God who rightly handles the Word of Truth.

Q- So what now are your expectations?

A- Ten years ago, expectations were very high because I thought truth was enough for readers to take The People of God and run with it. No, really, I believed that if I backed up my arguments with Scripture that would be enough–and it was for some. My expectations are lowered considerably. Let’s say that I’m a bit more realistic about the part human nature plays in the persuasion process. Also, I think the spiritual malaise that America and the west are in, is a major obstacle to thoughtful or thought-provoking works outside the mainstream.

My hopes are high because I settled it that my writing belongs to God, he is in charge of marketing. When those saints who reverence the Word begin searching for a book or series that is built on a bedrock of the testimony of Jesus and on a foundation that will last 1000 years, The People of God will be found by them, the Lord will see to it. I will be so bold as to say that it will live among the classics that survive this modern culture of correctness, either political or Christian correctness. I don’t mean for this to sound boastful: I believe The People of God and what came after will be among the very first books that revealed the Kingdom Age, which is soon to come.

Q- What about plans for success?

A- Though I still have much work to do, I believe the success is already here. It happened whenever I started to work writing in earnest and God gave the support of people that I needed. Spiritually, I’ve received the down payment already. It has nothing to do with fame or financial reward–I want nothing to do with anything the world gives. In fact, if I succeed in doing what God has laid out for me then I expect to endure scorn, affliction, persecution, not to mention hatred, betrayal and all the rest. I believe I am on a trajectory to receive all the suffering that Satan inflicts on God’s saints.

I count it a success that a few readers have changed their views on prophecy and are now teaching all 66 books of the Bible accurately. I see it as a success that I may be personally attacked but my writing is unassailable. I say that on the basis of being sound Scripturally and solid logically. For every criticism, I’ve heard praise to counter it. For every reader who said it was hard to understand, I have had others say it was an easy read, so there you are. I look forward to hearing more success stories of how The People of God transformed their understanding of the Bible.

As to the original version, I thank the readers for their encouragement. The foundation is firm and will not be going anywhere. No need for another rewrite after this, the typos in The People of God will remain. The arguments are sound, the principles are secure. The truth is upheld and the Lord Jesus is glorified. The true believers do not only have a book they can have confidence in, but a series they can follow all the way to the blessed throne of God. Knowing I have contributed in some way to my King’s happiness and to His kingdom is my success. **

**Note: The People of God is now available on-line wherever you buy books. The writer recommends Booklocker, the publisher, for individual or gift purchases. This is the link https://booklocker.com/4816 

For volume discounts contact Jfink@theprophetsofgod.com using PayPal or major credit cards.

Allow two weeks from this date (03/24/19) for the on-line purchase of The People of God in eBook, Kindle, Nook, iTunes, etc.**

The People of God (Revised)

Originally published in the summer of 2010, The People of God: Finding the Future in Your Bible, was written as an introductory volume to the “Prophets, Priests and Kings Series.” A newly-released edition provides the occasion to reveal my purpose for the revision and my hopes for its readers. Since I asked a number of questions before committing to this project, I have chosen a Q&A (Question & Answer) format for this post. I pray that it will provide insight.**

Q- What was the purpose of doing your revision of The People of God?

A- Although I was confident in it as far as the content, there were things that I felt needed to be improved. It bothered me that my use of footnotes made it too costly to convert The People of God to eBook. The others are available for those who prefer books on their hand-held device, but not The People of God–there were other things too, but that was the big issue.

I relate it to building your first house. You valued the experience and really like how it turned out, but there are things you would do differently, so you either live with the regrets or, if it bothers you enough and you have the time and money, you do a remodeling job. I chose to remodel. I tried to remove what I consider the negatives, but no one who read the original will have a problem recognizing it. I believe it reads better and looks better. I’m very pleased with the results and hope to hear what the readers think. What I am saying is that I did not changes to the basic book.

Q- You have three other books now, and one you are working on–The Kings of God. How does The People of God rank with them?

A- It’s my favorite–of course I say that about all of them. I could read it over and over and still find it a blessing. It is like having five children. They all are your favorite, especially the one you have just spent some quality time with, but The People of God was my first born. There is a special delight I have in it, because this was the one that revealed my destiny, or my reason for being alive. Working on the revision, I rediscovered the special place The People of God has in my heart. I truly love it and can open up to any part of it–as I did recently–and be thrilled by the revelations and insights or what I call the nuggets of gold.

I got this from my mother: She spent time in her Bible because she loved it, not because of some religious duty. I caught my love for God’s Word from her. The first experience of sitting down to write I was hooked. I received so much joy from the Lord as he unwrapped these gifts of discovery before my eyes. I hope that is something the readers sense–my joy as I share what God has shown in prophecy. Even now, I have happy tears thinking about the nuggets God planted in this book. Make no mistake, the Spirit of God is the author, I’m the writer. I’ll take whatever blame for the mistakes in the way it is written, but the revelations and content are from straight from God.

Q- How do you know your insights–what you call nuggets–are from God?

A- That’s a point of contention with some as I have found out. No problem until they find out what I’ve written disagrees with what they believe. Some interpret my confidence as arrogance, I suppose, but it is far from being prideful. God wants us to know we are saved, right? He wants us to know the truth, right? Then the truth is knowable. (“You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”) Jesus is knowable! The Word of God is trustworthy and true, so it has nothing to do with me. My job is to be a workman of God who rightly handles the Word of Truth.

Q- So what now are your expectations?

A- Ten years ago, expectations were very high because I thought truth was enough for readers to take The People of God and run with it. No, really, I believed that if I backed up my arguments with Scripture that would be enough–and it was for some. My expectations are lowered considerably. Let’s say that I’m a bit more realistic about the part human nature plays in the persuasion process. Also, I think the spiritual malaise that America and the west are in, is a major obstacle to thoughtful or thought-provoking works outside the mainstream.

My hopes are high because I settled it that my writing belongs to God, he is in charge of marketing. When those saints who reverence the Word begin searching for a book or series that is built on a bedrock of the testimony of Jesus and on a foundation that will last 1000 years, The People of God will be found by them, the Lord will see to it. I will be so bold as to say that it will live among the classics that survive this modern culture of correctness, either political or Christian correctness. I don’t mean for this to sound boastful: I believe The People of God and what came after will be among the very first books that revealed the Kingdom Age, which is soon to come.

Q- What about plans for success?

A- Though I still have much work to do, I believe the success is already here. It happened whenever I started to work writing in earnest and God gave the support of people that I needed. Spiritually, I’ve received the down payment already. It has nothing to do with fame or financial reward–I want nothing to do with anything the world gives. In fact, if I succeed in doing what God has laid out for me then I expect to endure scorn, affliction, persecution, not to mention hatred, betrayal and all the rest. I believe I am on a trajectory to receive all the suffering that Satan inflicts on God’s saints.

I count it a success that a few readers have changed their views on prophecy and are now teaching all 66 books of the Bible accurately. I see it as a success that I may be personally attacked but my writing is unassailable. I say that on the basis of being sound Scripturally and solid logically. For every criticism, I’ve heard praise to counter it. For every reader who said it was hard to understand, I have had others say it was an easy read, so there you are. I look forward to hearing more success stories of how The People of God transformed their understanding of the Bible.

As to the original version, I thank the readers for their encouragement. The foundation is firm and will not be going anywhere. No need for another rewrite after this, the typos in The People of God will remain. The arguments are sound, the principles are secure. The truth is upheld and the Lord Jesus is glorified. The true believers do not only have a book they can have confidence in, but a series they can follow all the way to the blessed throne of God. Knowing I have contributed in some way to my King’s happiness and to His kingdom is my success. ** 

**Note: The People of God is now available on-line wherever you buy books. The writer recommends Booklocker, the publisher, for individual or gift purchases. This is the link https://booklocker.com/4816 

For volume discounts contact Jfink@theprophetsofgod.com using PayPal or major credit cards.

For eBook purchases, allow two weeks from this date (03/24/19) for The People of God in Booklocker ePub, Amazon Kindle, Barnes and NobleNook, Apple Store iTunes, etc.**

Question Everything!
Questions often precede understanding.

…my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.

Hosea 4:6a NIV

We have may have trouble remembering when we were annoying? Perhaps I can remind you. Your mom or dad would state the simplest thing, like, “You are too young Bradley to stay up until 10:00 on school nights?” Immediately, we would ask “Why?” Then we would add, “Jimmy’s dad lets him stay up until 11:00!”

After several more “Whys,” your frustrated Mom or Dad said firmly, “Because I said so, that’s why! GET YOURSELF TO BED NOW!”

However, what if the question is an attempt to understand? Is Jimmy’s dad wrong or is mother being too strict and, therefore, unjust? It would be best to table the discussion until the next day, not press it at bedtime.

Next, Bradley is in college. His professor states that religion is for the weak. He goes on to say that Christians are repressed, and try to impose their values onto society. The professor has his Ph.D. and teaches a course in which the ambitious Bradley needs an A. He is likely to earn that same angry stare he saw as a child, but his hand is raised and the questions are asked, “Sir, why take that position? Are you downplaying the value of morals to a society, and what of all the good that men and women of faith have contributed?” What if Brad had not ask for a further explanation or clarification? The professor’s anti-religious claim would stand.

A few years go by and Brad is the new man in town and attending Sunday services. His pastor (beloved by all) includes in his sermon the declaration that Jesus died for the sins of the world, and that includes Muslims and Buddhists, so who are we to judge and say our faith is better than theirs?

The inquisitive Bradley notices his right hand wants to go in the air, something he had never seen in church. The pastor has all the degrees and years of experience as an authority on the Bible, so what if the new guy challenges him?

The hand goes up. Brad has a question. He is recognized and stands. “I intend no disrespect but you made a statement that no real Christian can argue with, like Jesus died for Muslims and Buddhists–Yes, Jesus died for the whole world, we all agree, but then you followed it with an error of logic. You said that His death and resurrection shouldn’t have an effect on religious Muslims, Hindus or Buddhists, some of whom, by the way, are persecuting and even killing minority Christians around the world?”

There goes the church welcome packet with the free pen, but do you see the benefit of Brad’s intelligent questioning. It casts a light on dubious statements that might otherwise pass for truth.

As a trained pastor, I have been challenged. One came when I was fresh out of seminary. According to the tradition to which I belonged and my seminary training, I accepted a church family’s request to baptize their baby. After I was challenged to defend infant baptism, I did what the confident student suggested and read the Scriptures on baptism. As a result, my first infant baptism was my last. That began a series of other questions that resulted in an early departure from the denomination.

So here is the point: Question everything that does not square with sound Bible doctrine and all things illogical. Question everything where evidence is lacking. Question what someone is trying to push as an agenda and question what you believe is false. Know this: God is true. Always yield to His truth and to grace, make allowance for what might be done in sincere love. As for human wisdom and pride, suspect the lie (cf. Romans 3:4) Question everything, and, if you must, do it publicly.

In this age of deceit, we should question the experts, the scholars, the scientists or the academics. Some will earn our trust by their response and as their answers stand up to scrutiny, but be determined to get at truth.

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

Acts 17:11

As to my books on prophecy or posts, question what I write! Do so in the manner of the Bereans. I have been wrong in the past and will probably have facts wrong in the future. I make no claim of infallibility, but strive for truth and fill my pages with Scripture. Re-examination may result in affirming or correcting, but always through the prism of rightly interpreted Scripture. No angry stare from me, but a “thank you” for the question. For the questioner, there is the opportunity for greater understanding. For the Bradleys out there, there is an opportunity to gain their ear.

Judge or Advocate?
Lady Justice wearing a blindfold, with scales in her left hand and a sword in the right.

My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. (Proverbs 3:21-22 NIV)

In thinking of a major malady of our times, the phrase “rush to judgment” comes to mind. For example: A young black man dies and a white police officer is involved, so what is reported in the first 24 hours? A white, Catholic, strict-constructionist nominee for the U. S. Supreme Court awaits a confirmation vote when an unsubstantiated charge is made targeting his stellar reputation. A group of white Catholic high-schoolers are at a Pro-Life rally. One teen with a red MAGA (Pro-Trump) hat, is face-to-face with an older-looking Native American. So how did the main-stream press portray their interaction? (Here’s a clue: The school was flooded with threats via the social media, so, for security reasons, school had to be closed.)

A black TV star claimed he was attacked by men wearing red MAGA (Pro-Trump) hats. He files charges with the police stating he was a victim of a hate crime. Immediately, he appears for numerous TV interviews. The next day we begin to hear that his “attack” may have been staged for publicity. Apparently, he was confident he could get away with exploiting our prejudices for personal gain.

These are a few of the recent examples of how the world is rushing to judgment. We can list the stereotypical elements: white, Catholic, Pro-Life, Pro-President Trump contrasted with blacks or other minorities, and all things anti-Trump.

Great harm is done by rushing to judgment. Journalism in America has hit an all-time low for objectivity or public trust.

Instead of investigative reporting, many in the media have turned to advocacy work disguised as real journalism. No longer inviolable is the presumption of innocence; the pillar of a free society. Notables are verbally or symbolically hung, drawn and quartered, and otherwise bludgeoned every day in our papers. If you do not see it in the front section, look at the editorial cartoons on the op-ed page.

Christians should be the last to allow bias, pro or con, to affect their judgment about a person’s innocence. We ought to be making sound judgments using God-given discernment, before becoming an advocate. Discernment allows us to detect bias, and wonder if, indeed, all the evidence has been revealed. In getting at the truth, it is important in an article to ask ourselves, “What questions are not being covered or what is going unreported? What is barely mentioned in the last paragraph as opposed to what is the bait for the reader trumpeted in the headlines?” In buying a used car, it is what the salesman does not tell us that will matter most, after the purchase. This takes discernment.

Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?

(1 Corinthians 6:2)

Reserving judgment until all relevant evidence is heard is essential to having “sound judgment.” It is a poor judge, indeed, who allows prejudice or politics to predetermine the outcome. Unfortunately, it has gotten to that point at the highest levels of our judiciary. The legal system needs adversaries, they are called the prosecution and the defense. But, even more, a free society requires sound judgments from judges, and a press that is impartial. If not, get used to violent mobs incited by advocates who jumped to conclusions, then took justice into their hands.

We may be lulled to sleep by living in a bubble of biased news coverage, but when we are the one in the negative spotlight and wrongfully accused, then a prayer for justice is all we may have.

The Rider on a White Horse

I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked and there before me was a white horse. Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest. (Revelation 6:1-2 NIV)

Ever notice how some responses purposely deceive? Evasive answers surface in investigations because the truth incriminates. Since deception is meant to throw us off the trail, the answer will sound believable, but is it truthful? Once untruths happen in our church pulpit, we should question everything we have heard.

The rider in the important Revelation 6:1-2 passage (above) is an example. Many Christian teachers have said this is Jesus on the white horse. The illustration at the top is entitled “Jesus on White Horse with Bow and Arrow.” “Well it could be,” we say. “Western good guys, like the Lone Ranger and Zorro, rode white horses, so it fits a stereotype.”

“Is it Jesus?” This is a serious question with huge implications. Is stating “Jesus rides out” in Revelation 6:1-2 a desperate attempt to veil the rider’s true identity? Believing it is Christ can be only for one reason: Because we want to!

Utilize the “Major Rules of Bible Interpretation” to learn the facts. Is it “Jesus” because of his horse’s similarity with that of Revelation 19:11-16? Examine and compare. What does the rider in Revelation 19 have that the other is missing? Absent in Revelation 6:1-2 are crowns, many in fact, and eyes that blaze like fire. In 19:11-16, we have names signifying he is the glorified Christ. There are different weapons: the sharp, two-edged sword from Jesus’ mouth versus a bow.

“Is rider one Jesus?”  The context of Revelation 6 shows four riders, not just one, and woes on the earth with each opened seal. Jesus does not fit the immediate context.

To resolve seeming conflicts, we gather all relevant Scriptures, then let the evidence speak for itself.

Imagine you have reviewed the above. Teaching on our subject is “an expert.” He confidently declares the Revelation 6:1-2 rider is Jesus. You raise your hand.

Teacher: “I’m sorry, I am lecturing. I do not take questions during my lectures.”

Student: “Excuse me, but this is a point of clarification. I want to be sure I understand what you just said.”

Teacher: “I thought I was quite clear. What don’t you get?”

Student: “From Chapter 5, we agreed that Jesus is the Lamb of God. Isn’t that correct?

Teacher: “Yes, but…”

Student: “In Chapter 6 the Lamb opens the first seal, and out rides the one you say is “Jesus.” Correct?”

Teacher: “That’s, uh-er, but…

Student: “Then, in 6:3, it reads, ‘When the Lamb opened the second seal…’ Please help me see how ‘Jesus the Lamb’ can open seven seals and ‘Jesus the rider’ be out conquering at the same time?”

Teacher: “What’s your name? See me after class.”

There is no substitute for common sense. Check the references in Matthew 24:4-5, 10, 22-26, and 2nd Thessalonians 2:9. Ask “who” might be behind the confusion about identities, then we will know the “why”.

Put Scriptures together and we see why those with a false message of “peace and safety” (1st Thessalonian 5:3) would like Christ’s followers misled. Any questions?

Lese-Majeste

If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. (1 John 5:16 NIV)

Do not agitate the lion! What fool sticks his finger in the eye of the king? Will not such a thing be judged?

Since the time of the Roman Empire, laws have been made to punish anyone who does injury to the emperor, a monarch, or head-of-state. “Causing harm to a reigning sovereign,” is a rough translation of the French “lese-majeste.”

Thailand’s lese-majeste laws sanction anyone who defames or attacks the king, his queen, a regent or the heir-apparent to the throne. If guilty, sentences range from three to fifteen years per count, making Thailand’s lese-majeste laws the world’s strictest. I contend the weakness of democracies is an unwillingness to enact such laws.

Blasphemy is what God, the High King of Heaven, calls the act of defaming Him or diminishing His glory. For such an offense, do we know what His consequences are? There will be no forgiveness or mercy, since it is a treacherous act against a Holy God (Matthew 12:31).

Can you imagine the furor in America if a judge gave a three-year jail sentence for insulting President Trump or members of his family? Would that we could enforce lese-majeste! We could use at least some restraint. But, alas, I fear it is too late.

Our system of government appears bound for the ash heap. At the root of America’s great schism is “an absence of fear for God in particular or of authority in general.” Authority is being undermined by government leaders who demand respect themselves. Insolence and vulgarity, directed at the leader of the free world, cast a long shadow on the future of free speech.

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear God and shun evil. (Proverbs 3:7) 

“No fear of God or authority” means we slander and think nothing of it. Each day brings fresh disrespect, threats, attacks and insults. There’s no fear because no one ever pays for the harm they do. So what results from all this? We have a general breakdown in authority resulting in increases in police officers shot, with many gunned down ambush-style.

It is no coincidence Satan worship is rising in popularity in the Western world. According to the late-Saul Alinsky, in his “Rules for Radicals” Dedication to Lucifer, the evil one is the original radical. Once a certain percentage commit to spreading lies, hate and discontent, a tyrant will eventually assume power. Look at the 20th Century successes of the revolutionary Communists and Fascists.

There is little doubt of what will replace what we now have, but failed to protect? Since God places rulers on their thrones, an attack on authority is a lese-majeste against the Most High. Read Romans 14, then, before it is too late, teach respect and pray for those in authority so that we all may live in peace.

Love Never Fails

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (Galatians 5:6b NIV)

On consecutive days last weekend, a large group of Americans turned out in different cities to demonstrate for what they believe in. The March for Life on Friday, the 18th, saw tens of thousands support the right to life for the preborn. Self-interest was not the motivation for the many who traveled the long distance to brave the cold in the nation’s capital.  Love was the reason.

Saturday, the 19th, witnessed massive numbers of women marching in major U.S. cities. Female celebrities’ speeches and the signs carried a message that no one would confuse with love. If love was their motive, they would have been in D.C. on Friday, standing for their unborn sisters.

The love on Saturday was the fawning media’s coverage as opposed to media’s involvement in the hatred that boiled over for students of a private catholic school in Covington, Kentucky. Seems that a fake news story about a group of the school’s teens at Friday’s event stirred hatred and threats from across the country, so many in fact, that the school needed armed-guard protection for classes this week.

In the Crosshairs

So where’s the love? Love is in the crosshairs because those who preach about tolerance also shout hate. Today Jews and Catholics are publicly despised, but tomorrow it will be all who call themselves Jesus’ followers. Fear not dear Christian brother and sister, because love never fails.

Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:6-8a)

To commemorate the life of a man who knew full well about violence, the recent M. L. King annual holiday was celebrated in America. Who better than Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. understood what was provoked by exposing hypocrisy and a demonstration for equal justice under the law? For Dr. King, his actions provoked an assassin peering through the crosshairs and pulling a trigger. This giant-figure in American history also understood love’s power, because he saw it overcome hostile threats, fire hoses, police brutality and ignorance, to change minds. In speeches, Dr. King exhorted the faithful, since it was natural to grow weary in the struggle. He often put it like this:

“You can beat us with clubs, burn our churches, attack us with your dogs, and put us in jail but we will still love you. Yet be assured of this, we will wear you down with our love.”

Change comes at a price

Hearts are only changed by love, but for hate to be defeated a price must be paid. The Covington Catholic students now know something about that.

For love to shine, hate must be exposed.

Love walked with three young Hebrews in the fiery furnace. Love shut the lion’s mouth. Love hung on a cross. Irresistible force that it is, love never fails. (Quote from unknown source.)

Conclusion- Deception Surrounding Matthew 24

Since a king’s word is supreme, who can say to him, “What are you doing?” Whoever obeys his command will come to no harm, and the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure. (Ecclesiastes 8:4-5 NIV)

To illustrate that some deception is a learned skill, our picture (above) is of a magician ready to pull a surprise out of his hat. The craft is called sleight-of-hand. After a seasoned magician’s illusion, we typically ask, “How did he do that?”

As with other crafts, magicians are usually mentored. In Charles Dickens’ novel “Oliver Twist,” the mentor Fagin worked with The Artful Dodger and other urchins training them to walk London’s streets and to stealthily remove a wealthy man’s pocket of its valuables. Fagin, more than anyone, knew such things must be taught. Skills like pick-pocketing are not naturally acquired.

So it is with the type of deception surrounding Matthew 24. It was not naturally acquired. Taking what we read at face-value is natural and what Jesus intended. Mentoring is necessary to promote an “any moment” rapture since there is no plain, “face-value” way to support it with Scripture. Skill and craftiness are mandatory, if one is to declare Jesus’ Matthew 24 prophecy is irrelevant to Christians.

The same applies to those who teach The Olivet Discourse is not meant to be understood as literal end time prophecy. Naturally, if one is taught to take the Gospel’s preceding and following chapters literally, then Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 (The Olivet Discourse) should be understood literally as well or so one would think. Literal is natural. If the plain sense makes sense then we have the right sense. Beware of teachers who proposes something other than common sense, no matter how clever it sounds.

The same scrutiny that we may give a magic act or a card trick needs to be directed at those who speak for God concerning prophecy. In Matthew 24:4, Jesus warned, “Watch out that no one deceives you!” The Lord’s specific warning was about cunning deceivers in the last days who loudly claim that He is the Christ. Many will be tricked or victimized. With a magician we know they are performing an act, with false teachers and false prophets we will not know it was a skillful performance until it is too late.

Taken alone, this post may be confusing. It would be worth it to review from the beginning. In our 10-part series, we have attempted to expose the most common tricks used to turn saints away from Jesus’ clear foretelling of future events.

Knowing the “5 Major Rules for Bible Interpretation” and slowing down the verbal sleight-of-hand is the key. It is my fervent hope that this blog’s readers will examine the preceding articles and be forearmed against Satan’s deception in the last days.

“Let the reader understand” -Jesus, Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14

If this series has done nothing but educate on the Major Rules of Bible Interpretation then I have done my job.

We are here to help. Your insights are always welcome.

 

Rule #5, The Five Major Rules

Rule #5, The 5 Major Rules of Bible Interpretation

“Watch for near/far prophetic applications in Scripture.”

We have been warning readers about popular Christian teachers who are attacking Jesus’ prophecy. From both extremes of the “how to interpret Matthew 24″ issue, we have anxious Christians. Individuals on both sides are deeply concerned about America’s political drift from a long-held tradition of economic liberty toward socialism. They say, “Where has socialism ever worked? Show us when a government takeover of commerce has ever benefited the people it promised to help?” Their argument is called “an appeal to history.” God also says, “Look at history!” Rule #5 is an example.

Where is His-story largely told but in the Old Testament. Rule #5 encourages believers to look for “near/far prophetic applications” in the account of God’s people. The “near” is a past model for what is promised in the future. The “far” shows that if He can do it once, God will do it again–but next time for the world to see.

The LORD is faithful to all his promises. (Psalm 145:13b NIV)

God’s angel spoke to Daniel while in Babylon. The prophet described the “near” and “far” warning signal for Israel.

“The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood… He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple, he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” (Daniel 9:26b, 27).

As our savior, the Lord recorded the “why” “what,” “when” and “where” in Scripture. The “why” is “destruction will be poured out” on Jerusalem. The “what” was “the abomination that causes desolation,” the “when” was “near” while the “far” was halfway into the last seven years. The “where” was inside the temple’s courts.

Centuries after Daniel’s prophecy, Antiochus Epiphanes appeared, ruler of the Greek-Syrian Empire. After sacrificing a pig on the sacred altar, this antichrist-figure proclaimed himself to be God, placing his image inside the temple (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:4).

Those privileged to have the Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek version of Daniel’s prophecy, but ignored it, paid with their lives. (See The Apocrypha’s 1st and 2nd Maccabees). Eighty thousand died, forty thousand violently, while another forty thousand were taken into slavery.

Two hundred years later, Jesus said that Daniel 9:26-27 was a sign of His coming and of the end of the age. Those throughout the world choosing to reject it, will do so at their own peril.

Jesus said, “Let the reader understand:” Readers of the Scriptures, The Book of the Law and the Prophets and The Old Testament. Many others have Matthew, Mark and Luke. Failure to take the Lord seriously will result in a mass execution of Jew and Gentile.

Those like Judas Maccabeus who in 168 B.C. fled to the mountains, lived to tell what happened. He read and understood. Naysayers who discouraged taking Daniel’s prophecy to heart, tragically, were unprepared. They stood around like frozen statues waiting to die. It will be just like that again, only the massacre and ensuing time of great distress will be global. Take heed.

Next: A short series summary