The last days? 

It has been said that a person’s eschatology determines their theology. Eschatology simply means the study of last or final matters. I believe the statement because wherever you think this thing is going determines your steps today. 

When it comes to this topic there is soooo much to be talked about it’s almost overwhelming. Part of the reason I started this blog was because over the last couple of years I have done some deep studying and have come across some things that gave me a new perspective on a few topics such as: The tribulation, the last days, the antichrist, the beast, the mark of the beast, the New Jerusalem, the Old Covenant, the New Covenant, etc. 

I’m goin to skim over some things in this post, and will speak more detailed on certain topics in the days and weeks ahead. The main point of this post is to get some wheels turning and awaken in you a desire to search these things out for yourself. 

Something that has been vastly overlooked when it comes to these things is the historical context they were written in. When it comes to the Olivet Discourse (Jesus’ prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem), and the book of revelation, if you don’t consider what context those things were written in you end up reading things into the Scriptures that God never intended you to. This is why there are so many different views on the last days. 

Much harm is done to the Bible concerning this topic because we forget that although the Bible is God’s word, it’s also a historical account of God’s dealings with man, and more specifically the Jewish people group. When we fail to consider the historical context, we lose the true meaning. 

I will lay down many examples of how things have been twisted in future blogs. I will give just one here to show what I mean. 

In Matthew 5:18 Jesus says, “Until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” He also says in Matt. 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” 

To be clear an “iota” or “dot” represents the smallest stroke on a page. So, what we should gather from Matthew 5:18 is that either we are still completely under the law, or did heaven and earth pass away and we somehow missed it?? 

Let me just say, the smallest stroke of the law would also include animal sacrifices, stoning people for certain sins, journeys to the temple in Jerusalem. But you might say wait, the temple in Jerusalem was completely destroyed in 70 AD. Aahh, that brings up a major point. In Jewish literature, “heaven and earth” was an idiom for the temple (google it). 

There are dozens and dozens of things like this in the NT, especially in the book of Revelation. 

What we must consider is the fact that so much of Jewish history is not included in the Bible, but in other historical books. The main purpose of the Bible is to point people to Jesus, but thankfully so much of history has been passed down that we can read the Word from the same perspective the original readers had, and then by the power of the Holy Spirit we can learn to apply these things to our lives today. 

The Bible was not written to us, but for us. It was written to the people in the context of the time. If we read it as though the writers were speaking to a generation thousands of years in the future we can read into it whatever we may choose. 

In the context of the NT times, the term “last days” actually referred to the last days of the Old Covenant, which was what their lives revolved around. The temple was the center of the universe for an ancient Jew. 

So, if we’re not in the last days, what days are we in? I’ll touch on this very briefly here, but more is to come. 

In Daniel 2 the young prophet Daniel interprets a dream that the king of Babylon had. In the dream he saw a great statue that represented present (present at that time) and future kingdoms. Then he saw a stone hit the statue on the foot and shatter it. That stone then became a mountain that filled the whole earth. 

Daniel explained to the king that this statue was the kingdom of God and it would be greater than all other kingdoms. In Matthew 13, Jesus compared the kingdom of heaven to leaven that is mixed into a batch of dough. Eventually it works its way through the entire batch until it is all leavened. He uses a few other examples in Matthew 13 to describe the Kingdom. 

We are living in the days where the kingdom of heaven is advancing. It may be quietly happening, but it is happening, actually more rapidly than ever before. Look at how the Muslim world is coming to Christ in droves! But all you hear in the news is how terrible ISIS is. Satan is a master distracter. He’ll do anything and say anything to keep God’s children from advancing the Kingdom. 

By the year 100 AD the Roman Empire, which included Israel was less than 1% Christian. Out of about 181 million people 1 million were Christians. Today more than 30% of the entire world are Christians (roughly 2.2 billion out of more than 7 billion). 

The kingdom is advancing! We get to share in it. However we must understand that the kingdom does not come all at once like we’ve been assuming. It slowly and powerfully advances until the earth is felled with the knowledge of God! Grace and peace 2u.

Stay tuned for more heavenly insights 

Powerless Christianity? Is that a thing??

Imagine a construction worker or an auto-mechanic ordering a tool to complete a task and after trying to use the tool finding much difficulty. How silly would it be if they called the tool company and told them their tool doesn’t work. The tool company’s first question would probably be, “Have you read the manual and followed all the steps?” 

I think this scenario paints a great picture of how we can sometimes be when it comes to the supernatural. God is at the other end of the phone line (aka our prayers) saying, “Have you read my words and acted on them?” 

When we do read His word we will come across a guy named Paul who wrote a letter to a church in a town called Ephesus. Ephesus was a town that was full of magic and occultism and much demonic activity. However, when Paul brought the message of the kingdom of God to that town it came with such power 💥 that people came and burned their magical books 📚 and the final sum of the worth of these books would be the equivalent to about $6 million in today’s currency! Check Acts 19 for details.

Miracles followed Paul wherever he went and God worked mightily on His behalf. When I first began reading the Bible I wondered why things like this don’t happen in the US today with so many churches and people who claim to believe in Jesus and in the Bible. 

(Let me make it clear that I believe the transformation of hearts is the most important thing. I’m in no way magnifying the gifts of the Spirit over the fruits of the Spirit. We need both!)

First of all, there are miracles happening in the US. You may have to look beyond the church down the street, but they are happening, and even more so as more people grow weary of powerless churches and powerless Christianity as a whole. 

Back to the letter Paul wrote to Ephesus. It’s so packed full of powerful insights that one cannot read it without wondering what this would look like on a daily basis. It should make you wonder any way…

I’m going to list a few things Paul says about the identity of Christ-followers: 1)we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in heaven (1:3, that one alone is enough to spark a revolution)…2) the immeasurable greatness of God’s power is toward us who believe (1:19), I believe this refers to miracle working power and power to live like Christ in every area of life, 3) we have been raised up with Christ and seated in heaven with Him (1:21-22; 2:6). 

The 3rd point meant a whole lot to people in Ephesus because Paul was basically telling them they have power over all the spiritual forces operating in that city. For us in the US we have power over every evil force that operates in our land, but if we do nothing they are free to torment and destroy. So, let’s do something! 

The gospel works and if we find ourselves not experiencing God’s power in our lives, whether it’s power over sin or power over physical sickness the problem is not that the gospel doesn’t work, the problem is we may not be connecting with the heart of God. 

For instance, Jesus told His disciples to keep asking, seeking and knocking until they found and experienced what they were looking for. Some of us may have prayed for a sick person or two and saw no result, then conclude that God isn’t healing sick people any more. We’ll never see miracles with that belief. I find the more I go after these things the more faith I have to see it happen. 

A good friend of mine was in Africa and heard from an African pastor his opinion on why Americans don’t see miracles (he was specifically speaking on raising the dead). He told the Americans the reason they don’t see the dead raised is because in America we tend to give up too easy. He proceeded to say that he sees the dead raised because when he prayed for the first one and saw no result he prayed again for the next one, and the next one, and kept doing it until it started to happen. And he has now seen over 50 people raised from the dead! Whether you believe this or not is between you and God.

I believe God is testing us to see how much we want to see His kingdom come. Are we willing to look weak in front of people so that the power of God can begin to manifest through us? These are questions we must wrestle with. The revival of America depends on it. Depends on you, man or woman of God. Grace and peace 2u. 

Word to the wise

For a long time I posted things on Facebook about God almost daily. Then the last two years if you look over my timeline there is hardly anything about God. 

We should always be willing to go through times of silence whether it’s a couple of weeks or a couple of years, so that God can reveal Himself to us in a greater way. None of us have the perfect theology or perfect understanding of God. In my opinion the perfect theology is the understanding that our own wisdom is foolishness to God and that if we truly desire to be wise we must first become as fools who know nothing (1 Cor. 3:18). 
Paul wrote these things to a church that was divided. Maybe the reason the church today has so much division is because we are more driven by being “right” than we are driven by fellowship with one another. 
The last couple of years I have been stretched like never before in every way. Much that I thought I knew about Him I found to be my own wisdom and by His grace He showed me those things. Here’s one awesome thing about God: He is not afraid of us having the wrong perspective on certain things. Some things of course are absolute (like the identity of Christ as the Son of God, the virgin birth, His death and resurrection, etc) but there are other things that have been debated by Christians for centuries. 
These other things I believe do have absolutes (for example, we know Jesus will physically return to earth, but how that will happen has been debated), but we must always remember that God is inexhaustible and the moment we think we have it all figured out is the moment we forsake wisdom and embrace folly.

 According to the book of Proverbs wisdom is a tree of life, so when I keep her close it is one way I experience heaven on earth. Grace and peace 2u.