Revelation 16: The Antichrist’s throne, darkness and the inevitable downfall - By Mark Creech - https://www.christianpost.com/voices/revelation-16-the-antichrists-throne-darkness-and-the-downfall.html
Author, political activist, and lecturer, Helen Keller once said, “I have often been asked, ‘Do you believe in the supernatural?’ I have said firmly that I do not. But I do believe in atmospheres. An inexplicable chill envelopes me when darkness falls.” Coming from someone who was both deaf and blind, Keller’s statement is a powerful testimony to the way darkness is a formidable force that instills fear deep within, and its presence can even be palpable at times.
One event in recent history that encompassed the elements of darkness, fear, confusion and chaos was the Great Blackout of 1977 in New York City. On a hot July evening, a widespread power outage plunged the entire city into literal darkness.
The dominating presence of darkness during those evening hours was inherently unsettling. As the lights flickered out one by one, it created a pervasive sense of isolation and vulnerability. The towering skyscrapers that defined the city skyline were reduced to anonymous silhouettes against a pitch-black backdrop. Streets typically bustling with activity became desolate and eerie, casting long shadows that would play tricks on the mind.
The initial moments of the blackout fostered disorientation and disorder. Traffic lights went out, causing major gridlock on the roads, and resulting in almost immediate car wreaks. Subway trains came to a halt, leaving commuters stranded in dark tunnels. Elevators no longer functioned, trapping people between floors, and nurturing a sense of helplessness.
As the blackout continued, fear seeped into the hearts of New Yorkers. Anxiety quickly spread as rumors about the cause of the blackout circulated. There were reports of looting and violence that escalated the sense of insecurity. With emergency services severely strained and communication systems disrupted, reliable information was scarce, leaving many in a state of complete disarray.
Although the darkness only lasted for approximately 25 hours, it left an indelible mark on the collective human experience, showing us how the absence of light evokes deep-seated emotions of fear, muddling, and mayhem, that can grip even a sprawling metropolis like New York which is always brimming with energy.
In Revelation, chapter 16, verses 10 through 11, the Word of God portrays a haunting image of darkness enveloping the seat of the Beast’s worldwide government. Here’s what it says:
“Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. His subjects ground their teeth in anguish, and they cursed the God of Heaven for their pains and sores. But they did not repent of their evil deeds and turn to God” (Revelation 16:10-11).
The prophet Joel foretold of this time, saying it would be “a day of darkness and gloom, a day of thick clouds and deep blackness” (Joel 2:1-2). Jesus also spoke of this time, saying, “At that time, after the anguish of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will give no light” (Mark 13:24).
Picture a scene where daylight is abruptly replaced by a comprehensive covering of blackness and misery. The usual radiance and clarity associated with a seat of power are suddenly extinguished, leaving its environs plunged into impenetrable shadows. This darkness, though real, serves as a profound symbol of the divine judgment and impending downfall that awaits those who oppose righteousness and wield authority unjustly.
As the darkness descends upon the throne of the Beast, it depicts the moral bankruptcy and corruption that prevail in his regime. It signifies the loss of enlightenment, truth, and virtuous instruction, leading to confusion, deception, and turmoil. This once visible, powerful, and supreme seat of earthly authority becomes shrouded by a cloak of concealment.
The late Jack Van Impe in his commentary, Revelation Revealed, says:
“Whatever the darkness is, we take it to be literal as was the Egyptian plague described in Exodus 10:21-23.” That text reads:
“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Lift your hand toward Heaven, and the land of Egypt will be covered with a darkness so thick you can feel it.’ So, Moses lifted his hand to the sky, and a deep darkness covered the entire land of Egypt for three days. During all that time the people could not see each other, and no one moved. But there was light as usual where the people of Israel lived” (Exodus 10:21-23).
In his book Exploring Revelation, John Phillips has written:
“Since men have chosen the powers of darkness as their spiritual guides and have scorned the Light of the world [Jesus Christ], God gives them what they want — darkness, thick darkness, a darkness like that of Egypt, which could be felt. It is a foretaste of that ‘blackness of darkness forever’ (Jude 13) which will be the eternal lot of these evil ones.”
Jesus talked about the Judgment to come and people being thrown into a place of “outer darkness” and a “fiery furnace” (Matthew 8:12; 13:42; 13:50; 25:30, 41).
Some people have difficulty reconciling the contrasting images of darkness and fire. They ask how can there be both in the same place if the texts are meant to be taken literally. Fire is the source of light. How can Hell be a place of “outer darkness” as the Bible describes, if intense fire burns there, which would naturally provide light?”
Some scholars would propose the images of darkness and fire in hell are metaphorical and simply symbolize different aspects of punishment or separation from God. Darkness represents the absence of God’s presence or a spiritual void, they would say, while fire symbolizes the destructive and refining nature of God’s judgment.
Such explanations, however, do not do justice to the texts. A better interpretation would seem to be that the Bible is using paradoxical language to emphasize the incomprehensibility of hell. Fire and darkness are contrasting images that together underscore the unimaginable and indescribable nature of the eternal state of punishment. In other words, darkness and fire exist simultaneously and represent the inconceivable nature of being condemned forever in a place where God, nor His love, nor His goodness, nor His many gifts, exist. There is no happiness or joy there, no meaningful relationships, no kindness, no pleasures of any kind, only inexpressible pain, anguish, and suffering that is other-worldly. It is a place where its inhabitants burn but they don’t burn up. The condemned dwell in a depth of darkness so tangible, it seeps into their very core.
Imagine the darkest of nights, devoid of any stars or moonlight, combined with an eternal vacuum of emptiness that evokes a primordial fear, an instinctual terror that cannot be understood nor overtaken. It is an all-encompassing darkness that seems to mock the very notion of hope, extinguishing every flicker of light or belief in something better tomorrow.
The Scripture says that this darkness befalls the seat, or the throne of the Beast, the Antichrist. The Bible does not make it clear the exact location of the Antichrist’s seat of power. Many claims have been made, but apparently, the Scriptures have purposely left this matter a mystery for now.
Some believe the darkness described in Revelation 16: 10-11 is worldwide, while others think it’s limited to the capital of the Antichrist.
Dr. Henry Morris, in The Revelation Record, asserts that whatever the extent of the Antichrist’s kingdom at that time, distinct from all the kingdoms of the world over which he has gained control, “the darkness surely will center particularly upon the capital city. It may extend somewhat further, but the context makes it unlikely that it will extend throughout the world.”
“In any case, it will constitute one more, very powerful, evidence that God is still God; the reign of the Beast is outwardly impressive and global in extent but will soon be forgotten when Christ finally establishes his kingdom on earth.”
When God’s judgment of darkness fell upon Egypt, the book of Exodus says there was light everywhere that God’s people lived. God will protect and provide for his own as it serves his purposes. God has not appointed his children to wrath (I Thessalonians 5:9).
This is important because the book of Revelation was written primarily to uplift and encourage those of faith who were enduring great bouts of persecution. Revelation 16:10-11 provides an immensely exhilarating word for believers of every age, but most especially for believers in the last days, who go through the Tribulation. It’s a word that promises every oppressed child of God under wicked rule, shall ultimately see the humiliation of those who direct the masses under the influence of the Evil One. They will see the mighty power of God unleashed upon their authority. Darkness, a terrible, terrible darkness will come upon even the most diabolical leader and his or her administration. Doxology!!!
The bowl judgments prophesied in Revelation chapter 16 seem to move quickly in succession, consistent with something Jesus predicted about the end times. He said these events would take place like a woman’s labor pains which begin rather slowly but increase rapidly toward the end (Matthew 24:8).
Clarence Larkin in The Book of Revelation has penned:
“Notice that this Plague [Darkness] immediately follows the Plague of ‘Scorching Heat,’ as if God in his mercy would hide the Sun whose rays had been too hard to bear. The effect of the darkness was to make men gnaw their tongues [as it reads in some translations] for pain and their sores, showing that these plagues overlapped each other, or followed in such rapid order that they were not over the sufferings of one before they were suffering from another and that they were limited to a short period of a few months, and not distributed over a few years…”
But note the response by those enveloped in the darkness, even after the affliction of odious sores, the waters made vile, a fiery climate, and now a dense darkness. Through the worst of pain, they are not humbled, nor do they turn from their sins, but they blaspheme God.
To blaspheme means to show irreverence and disrespect for God. It involves showing contempt, dishonoring, or insulting him. Blasphemy can take on various forms, such as using profane derogatory language, mocking God and His order, or intentionally desecrating what is holy.
There is a common misconception that hitting rock bottom is a prerequisite for recovery from drugs, alcohol, and other addictions. Many often hit rock bottom, but still never recover.
My wife’s brother had serious addiction issues to drugs and alcohol. We did everything within our power to help him break free. We took him into our home. We loved him, shared the Gospel with him, and prayed for him. We even made a down payment on a house to get him on his feet. In the end, he only cursed us for getting in the way of his unceasing pursuit of intoxicants. Eventually, after burning all his bridges and living under a bridge in Raleigh, one dark night he fell into a swift creek after a heavy rain while drunk and drowned.
The National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC 2001-2002), a large-scale survey in the United States, found that among individuals with alcohol dependence, only about 25% achieved sustained recovery. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA) Longitudinal Study, a study that tracked the long-term recovery outcomes of individuals with alcohol dependence, showed that only about one-third were abstinent after 16 years, and the overall probability of maintaining recovery decreased over time. Research on gambling addiction also suggests the same. A study published in the Journal of Gambling Studies found that of the individuals who sought treatment for gambling disorders, only 10.3% were considered “recovered” at a two-year follow-up.
The point here is not that deliverance isn’t possible. However, no matter how badly some people suffer, though they should have long learned the lesson of the futility of their behavior, they press on unrepentant.
To a large degree, whatever the hardship or the misery produces depends on the nature of a person’s heart. Heat will melt butter, but it will harden clay.
Dr. H. A. Ironside in his Lectures on Revelation, sums the question up very succinctly, saying:
“Darkness and anguish do not tend to soften men’s hearts or to lead them to confess their sins. Their very suffering but stirs them up to blaspheme God the more. And so, in the outer darkness of a lost eternity, our Lord has told us there shall not only be weeping and wailing because of suffering endured, but there will be the gnashing of teeth, which implies rage and indignation against God. With permanency of character, he who rejects Christ is guilty of eternal sin, and eternal punishment necessarily follows.”
If you have never repented of your sins and given your life to Christ, then consider these invitations found in the Bible:
“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, ‘I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life’” (John 8:12).
“Yes, I am sending you to the Gentiles to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me” (Acts 26:17-18).
“For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins” (Colossians 1:13-14).
“For once, you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So, live as people of light!” (Ephesians 5:8).
Believe in the good news of Christ with your whole heart and come into the light while you still can.
God’s Measured Judgment – Terry James - https://terryjamesprophecyline.com/2023/09/10/gods-measured-judgment/
While walking from my office, passing through to another part of our home, I hear my wife’s music CDs playing. On many occasions I hear the same song, obviously among Margaret’s favorites.
Now I find myself humming that song, which has become much more meaningful and even deeply etched into my mind and spirit.
The song is “Teach Us to Number Our Days.” My wife’s favorite version—and now mine—is by Marty Goetz, a Jewish American songwriter and singer.
The words, as I said, powerfully resonate within my spirit. Perhaps that’s because of my advancing age toward the hereafter. However, I believe it to be more and more a God-prompted reminder of just how near I am to facing the Lord Jesus Christ in that glorious, twinkling-of-an-eye instant of Rapture. It might just be a heads-up alerting us to how near all believers, dead and alive, are to looking into Christ’s omniscient eyes at any second and standing before Him to be judged for rewards and crowns at the bema –the Judgment Seat of Christ.
The lyrics of Goetz’s song, based on the words of the following Psalm, are doubly meaningful to those who look for Christ’s soon return. Scripture indicates we should realize the time is drawing near when we will stand before Him, thus we should ask to be totally aware and living righteously every conscious second of our lives.
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants. (Psalms 90:12–13)
The days each of us has been granted are indeed numbered in God’s heavenly accounting system. God’s Word puts it this way:
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. (Hebrews 9:27)
The Creator of all things measures everything with unerring precision. We’re told that every star is named. Every hair on our heads is numbered. Each and every created order is accounted for. The heavens are stretched and measured. The Creator intimates that He is aware of each grain of sand. His omniscience is without error; there is no place that He isn’t there.
Thinking on asking this great God to teach us to number our days brings to mind, in considering His dealing with rebels down throughout the millennia, His judgment against disobedient humankind.
The thing that stands out to me is that His judgment is measured. We see this truth time after time. He always shows divine patience. He never changes His mind about not being willing for anyone to perish, but wanting all to repent.
Consider the time of Sodom and Gomorrah and the Lord talking with Abraham about measuring the sins of the people of Sodom. The Lord had obviously been patient, but now came down Himself to assess the wicked city’s sins. Finally, when not even ten righteous people could be found, His judgment fell—after He removed Lot and his daughters to safety.
Consider how He dealt with Pharaoh in the days of the great Exodus. His judgment was measured. Each succeeding plague became more punishing until the Israelites were free to go.
Think of Babylon and the wickedness there. God had finally had it after years of Belshazzar’s evil doings. God’s divine measurement system was on full display—and was visible for all to see as His own hand wrote on the wall.
And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. (Daniel 5:25–27)
Almighty God measures and numbers everything. All is under His all-seeing eye and His omnipotence. We are made in His image. He wants us to number all things in our lives and measure our actions so we will be accounted worthy when we stand before Him in judgment.
We’re told to judge ourselves in this regard so we won’t have to be deemed unworthy by Him:
For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. (1 Corinthians 11:31)
The prophetic application is that God’s measured judgment system is weighing all that is going on at this very moment. We are witnessing warnings of coming judgment because this world of rebels is being “weighed in the balances, and…found wanting.”
Still, the heavenly assessment is measured slowly, deliberately. God is still not willing for anyone to perish, but He wants all to come to repentance.
But judgment and wrath are on the way, make no mistake. And when they come, it will be the most destructive justice ever delivered:
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (Matthew 24:21)
Even during that most horrific time of all human history, the judgment and wrath will be measured carefully and precisely.
There will be twenty-one specific judgments to call humanity to repentance, while devastating those filled with anti-God rebelliousness. The seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven bowls of God’s wrath will incrementally rain down God’s holy and righteous anger in measured degrees.
You don’t want to be on this fallen sphere when that judgment falls. God wants us to number our days and live them through Holy Spirit-indwelt righteousness. This means you must be reconciled—made righteous under God’s way of salvation. Here again is how to make sure you go to Christ when He Calls, whether through death or in the Rapture—which we believe can happen at any moment, considering all the signs that are manifesting.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10: 9-10)
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How Long Do the Last Days Last? - by Bill Perkins - https://compass.org/how-long-do-the-last-days-last/
I’m guessing most of the people reading these Compass eNews emails sense we’re living in the very last of the last days. It’s almost surreal gleaning the news from a Biblical perspective.
We refer to the last days a lot because 17 out of the 18 times the Bible says “last days” or “latter days” it’s referring to what’s going on at the end of the age.
So just what are the “last days”? When did that time period start? How long does it last? How many days are in the “last days”? When do the “last days” end?
The Bible tells us exactly how long the “last days” will last in several verses. Peter famously stated that the last days began back in Acts 2 at Pentecost, by quoting Joel 2.
But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: ‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND;’” Acts 2:14-17
Hebrews, written I think by Paul, also refers to that time being in the last days.
(God) in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. Heb. 1:2
So the last days began almost two thousand days ago in the spring of 33AD.
The "last days" beginning some 2000 years ago sounds a little odd until you understand what Peter and Paul were referencing. They were simply stating what most Jews living at that time already knew. They believed the 7-day Creation Week was a template for all time.(1)
The six, 24-hour creation days and one day of rest (as outlined in Genesis 1) is God’s template for all of human history.
Seven is God’s number for completion. Therefore anything divisible by 7 (i.e., 7, 14, 21, 49, 70, 7000, etc.) used in the Bible refers to "completion." So God’s total design for human's time on earth will be based on 7.
How long will humans live in these sinful bodies on earth?
In Psalms God equates 1000 years to a single day.
For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it passes by, or as a watch in the night. Psa. 90:4
Peter also equated 1000 years to a single day when he was talking about the last days…with an interesting emphasis on “don’t miss this one fact.”
But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 2Pet. 3:8
Therefore, we’ll make the case that each 24-hour day in the creation week could be 1000 years on our human-time template, 7000 years total. Again, creation week lasted only seven literal 24-hour days. But they are representative of seven x 1000 years of human history.
And there are other verses that back that up assertion.
For instance, creation week ended after six days of work with a day of rest. And we also know that the Millennial Reign of Christ is a 1000 years long, which fits like a glove—the Millennium equals God’s day of rest.
We also know it was almost exactly 4000 years from Adam to Jesus by adding all the quite-specific but rarely studied genealogy records in the Bible. The most famous was Ussher’s Bible Chronology, completed in 1650, that counted 4004 years between Adam and Jesus.
Other more recent research has also come up with similar conclusions showing approximately 4000 years between Adam and Jesus.
Now if we have 4000 years at the beginning of our 7000-year timeline accounted for, plus 1000 years at the end, that leaves 2000 years between Jesus and the Millennium, the Church Age.
Other verses also confirm the Church Age being about 2000 years long. For instance, the only reference to Jesus staying with the non-Jews was when he specifically stayed for two days and then returned to the Jews on the third day.
So when the Samaritans (the non-Jews) came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days…. After the two days He went forth from there into Galilee [returned to the Jews]. John 4:40, 43
And consider these two prophetic verses in Hosea 6:
Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him. Hos. 6:1-2
Translation: AFTER the 2000 years of being scattered, Israel will be raised up to LIVE before Jesus their Messiah for 1000 years.
That is one amazing prophecy. Using the 7 days equals 7000 years timeline, it’s predicting Israel will be scattered and wounded for two days/2000 years. Then God will raise them up again for the third day/Millennial Reign of Christ.
This “two days = 2000 years” is also seen in Exodus when we see God talking to Moses on Mt. Sinai:
The LORD also said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments; and let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.” Ex. 19:10-11
Those of us living in the Church Age are the only living humans ever consecrated by the blood of Christ. Today and tomorrow are two days or 2000 years. And on the third day (day seven of the creation model), the Lord will come down for the Second Coming—in sight/in person.
We know that’s not referring to the Rapture because it says, “in the sight of all the people.” In the Rapture Jesus is not seen by anyone on earth. But in the Second Coming, “Every eye will see Him” (Revelation 1:7).
Now think about what these three prophecies are all saying: The Church Age has to be completed before the Millennium begins with Jesus’ Second Coming. In other words, there is no mid-Trib Rapture. That dog won't hunt.
This also proves that the 7-year Tribulation is over before the Third Day begins. Which means if the Church Age is 2000 years long, and began in 33 AD, the Rapture would logically need to happen prior to October 2026, sometime between now and three years from now. Jeepers that’s getting close.
However, I know better than to date set. I certainly could be wrong. Shoot, when I was a new Believer I thought the Rapture was happening in 1977. Sorta missed that one a bit. Whenever He comes, He comes. But He did tell us we should be able to discern when it’s close.
The only time we can KNOW for sure the date of the Rapture is if the Lord gives the Church that same 7-day warning that He gave Noah before the flood.
“For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights;” Gen. 7:4
If something obvious happens 7 days prior to Rosh Hashanah… oh boy, that will be one wild week of loading the ark… AKA witnessing like crazy!
But the warning would have to be something obviously from the Lord, not something Satan could counterfeit—purposely trying to trip us up to make us look like idiots.
Satan probably has more scriptural understanding than most Christians, if not all. Hey, 2000 years ago he was quoting scripture to Jesus…albeit out of context...trying to trip Him up.
I’ve had several cards, letters and phone calls lately regarding the ungodly mid-Trib Rapture theory. So I would like again to point out that when Jesus said the Rapture would be “just like the days of Noah,” (Matthew 24) and we know Noah represents the Church, then it is safe to say that Noah, and Jesus, were pre-flood, not mid-flood, in their doctrine.
Even Peter alluded to the fact that Noah was pre-flood.
who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons [representing the church], were brought safely through the water. 1Pet. 3:20
And it was only the ungodly who received the punishment:
and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; 2Pet. 2:5
There were no Godly people on the earth under the ark. Just like there will be no Godly people left on the earth immediately after the Rapture.
You can’t be brought safely through the Tribulation. To argue the mid-Trib position you have to have believe millions of Believers will die horrible deaths. Sorry, I've got my eyes up for my rescue, not down on the world's wrath. Just saying.
If you’re one who gets saved in the Tribulation then you’ll likely die! Those that make it through the entire seven years are few in number (Isaiah 24:6). That's why we’re rescued FROM the Wrath, just like all eight in Noah's family.
So this Sunday is seven days away from the last trump of Rosh Hashanah. We’ll see if God talks turkey to the Church… in a way we know for sure it's the Lord.
Watching all that’s going on in the world it sure seems like the Rapture could happen this year. You can make a definite case for it. As Andy Woods says, there's not one problem he has that the Rapture won't solve.
But I have to say, due to the gold and silver yet to be discovered in Israel, I think that’s a deal-killer for Rapture this year.
However, I certainly could be wrong. If the Lord does an obvious miracle that, in no uncertain terms is of the Lord, somehow telling Born Again Believers in the Church that the Rapture is happening in seven days, it’s time to be bold and tell our unsaved friends and family it’s the last opportunity to get out of Dodge.
The thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 1Cor. 2:11
The Way, the Truth, the Life - Nathele Graham - firstname.lastname@example.org
If you talk to most people, they'll tell you that they will go to a "better place" when they die. They can’t tell you what that better place is, or where it’s located, but they’re sure it will be where their friends are. When you press them on the subject, you'll find out that, in their opinion, they are good enough to spend eternity in that wonderful place because they think they’ve been good enough. By human standards they may be very good and kind, but God doesn’t judge by human standards. By human standards, I’m not too bad. I don’t cuss, I occasionally do something nice for someone, and when I fall short of God’s standard of perfection, I can usually logically excuse my actions. If measured by human standards, I’m no worse than anyone else. It isn’t human standards we must meet, it’s God’s perfection that is our standard. By God’s standard, I’m not “just as good as the other guy”, but I am just as bad. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23.
Now that I think about it, I fail quite often in my walk with the Lord. I’m sure you do too. “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” Romans 7:24-25. I’m not a man, I’m a woman, but the cry is the same.
Sin is very serious in God’s eyes. God loves every person who has ever lived, but right from the beginning, mankind rebelled against God’s rules. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” Genesis 1:1.
He started with nothing, then created everything. The first thing He spoke into existence was light. “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” Genesis 1:3.
There wasn’t a long period of time as light evolved. One moment there was darkness and the next moment there was light. “And God saw the light that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” Genesis 1:4-5.
Each new day brought new wonders which God created. On the second day He divided the waters and put the firmament of Heaven above the waters, then on the third day He brought forth the dry land, and gathered the water into Seas. The Earth was to bring forth grass and herbs, and fruit trees all after its kind. On the fourth day it was time to gather the light. “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning was the fourth day.” Genesis 1:16-19.
When we read of the two great lights, the word is “ma’or”. This holds the light, like a lantern or a candlestick. Now it was time to fill creation with living things such as fish, whales, birds, and every living creature. “And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.” Genesis 1:22-23.
In order to be “fruitful and multiply” there had to be male and female of each creature. They were all to procreate after their own kind. Fish weren’t to mate with birds, and sheep weren’t to crossbreed with horses. God wanted no genetic tampering.
Then came the sixth day. All things were ready for God’s ultimate creation: humans. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Genesis 1:27-28.
Don’t let anybody tell you that you aren’t a special creation of God. Humans were made in God’s image and aren’t just another animal. You didn’t evolve from goo, but Adam was created in God’s image. God created a male and then a female was taken from Adam. Today, we have some very deceived people who think they are “non-binary”, meaning they are neither male nor female, but opt for “other”. There are some who are deceived into thinking that a genetic male is really a female, or a genetic female thinks she’s a male. Then artificial hormones and body mutilation happens, and truth is turned into lies. That is a delusion and a lie from the father of lies, Satan. A doctor can tell if a baby is male or female long before birth, but now children who are barely potty trained are allowed to choose their gender, even though they can’t be trusted to cross the street alone.
Creation was finished and God rested from His work. He had created everything needed for life to continue. Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden and the beauty there must have been something to behold. It wasn’t tainted by sin and everything was new and fresh. There was no death. “And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” Genesis 1:31.
When God says it’s good, then it’s good. There were many trees for food, but the fruit of one tree was dangerous for Adam to eat. “And the LORD God commanded the man saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 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.
The command was given to Adam prior to Eve being created, and Adam was entrusted with teaching God’s word to Eve. Adam loved her from the moment he saw her, but Satan was already plotting his lies to deceive Eve. How long did they live in the Garden? How long until Eve chatted with the serpent? A week? A year? Scripture doesn’t say, but the tactic that Satan used was the same tactic he uses today…lies and deception. God’s words are twisted to make God look bad and seem as if He only wants to ruin all your fun. In truth, God’s rules are in place for our protection. Adam ate the Forbidden Fruit and death entered into creation, just as God said. Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden and life has been a struggle ever since. God didn’t lie to them, Satan did. Why is it that people still believe Satan’s lies instead of God’s truth?
God didn’t stop loving Adam, Eve, and their descendants. He had a plan for salvation and it took many years to bring that plan about. Study both the Old Testament and the New to understand God’s plan for redemption. “And so it is written, The first man Adam was mad a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” 1 Corinthians 15:45. Death came through Adam, but life comes through Jesus Christ. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at the coming.” 1 Corinthians 15:22-23.
Every human is under the curse of death. Our bodies grow old and wear out. We die. For those of us who have chosen to place our faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, it’s only our body that dies. Our spirit will live eternally with Him. Going back to the first paragraph above, when I think I’m a nice person and good enough to live eternally, I’m wrong. I’ve sinned, and even one tiny sinful thought is enough to condemn a person to eternal death. God’s standard is perfection. “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression,” 1Timothy 2:14.
Adam sinned by choice, and all of Adam’s children will die, but God chose to step into His creation to offer us eternal life. Only through true faith in Christ can we be made alive for eternity. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13. Jesus was God incarnate. He gave His life for our salvation. There is no other way.
Today people are still being deceived by the same old lies that Eve listened to. Satan twists God’s truth and people believe him. He tells us that all roads lead to Heaven, so go ahead and participate in yoga and open yourself up to the kundalini spirit (a demon), or empty your mind in meditation so any passing demon will take up residence. Satan would like us to believe that Mormon’s, Muslims, and Eastern beliefs are all the same as Christianity, and all roads lead to God. Does Jesus agree? Jesus told His disciples that He was going to His Father’s house, but would return one day. “And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.” John 14:4.
Jesus was headed to Jerusalem where He knew He would be crucified…the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He wasn’t talking about the disciples following Him there. He was talking about following Him to eternity. There is no other way to eternal life than through true faith in Jesus. Thomas wasn’t sure what Jesus meant, so He asked. Jesus answered Him with very reassuring words. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6.
There is no other way. If you think you can make it to Heaven by being “good enough” you are wrong…dead wrong. There is only one way, and that is through the righteousness of Christ. “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith” Philippians 3:9. Adam’s sin caused death to enter creation, but today we have a solution to that sin. Adam made a choice, and so must we. We must choose to receive Christ for salvation.
Don’t be lost for eternity. Find salvation through Jesus Christ because He is the only way, the only truth, and the only life.
God bless you all,
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Daily Jot: The Biden lie machine - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
Over opening weekend of pro and college football, the Biden campaign aired a new ad targeting minorities and those in battleground states such as Michigan, Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada and Iowa. That alone, should give pause to anyone watching as many of those were the very states where voter fraud claims led the national headlines in 2020. It was an example of how the Constitution protects freedom of speech, but the protected speech doesn’t have to be factual or truthful. Axios reported, “The new Biden campaign ad, titled “Got to Work,” highlights President Biden’s economic achievements amid inflation.” What Axios didn’t do was a fact check on the ad. So here we go…
The ad says, “They said, ‘millions would lose their jobs,’ and the economy would collapse, but this president refused to let that happen. Instead, he got to work. Fixing supply chains. Fighting corporate greed. Passing laws to lower the cost of medicine. Cut utility bills. And make us more energy independent. Today inflation is down to 3%. Unemployment the lowest in decades. There’s more to do. But President Biden is getting results that matter.” I don’t know what planet the Democratic Party media consultants are living on, but to folks like you and me, this is a total propaganda piece, ignoring the truth of the economy. But if they say it over and over enough, people will believe they are living in utopia. Hey frog, how’s that boiling water?
Let’s start with inflation. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics a $100 dollar bill in January 2021 has the same buying power in July 2023 of $116.86—that’s nearly a 17 % inflation rate. I’m sure you are feeling that at the grocery store and the gas pump as well. The government’s US Energy Information Administration (EIA) says utility bills are higher, too. In fact, EIA says, “Last year had the largest annual increase in average residential electricity spending since we began calculating in 1984.” EIA says the average home electric bill reached a 40-year high in 2022. The national average price for regular gasoline when this ad ran was $3.84 a gallon. When Biden took office, regular gasoline was $2.39.
There is likely no relief in sight for Americans because Biden drew down the oil reserves farther than any American president to put a band aide on inflation and fuel prices while he forces a transition to electric. He canceled drilling leases, including in Alaska, and was angered by Saudi Arabia and Russia agreeing to continue oil production cuts. Unemployment in 2019 was 3.5%, the lowest in 50 years. Unemployment in August was 3.8%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—certainly, not the “lowest in decades.” 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” Don’t be deceived. The only fact in Biden’s campaign ad was that he “is getting results that matter.” They matter because he is ruining the economy and destroying the middle class. Don’t buy the lie machine.
Daily Devotion: We Need to Tell Them - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
Remember what it says: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled.” —Hebrews 3:15
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/we-need-to-tell-them/ - Listen
The story is told of an attorney who was trying to deliver an important document to a man who was determined to avoid him. The man reasoned that it was a subpoena of some kind, and he went out of his way to dodge it.
Fourteen years passed, and the man found himself lying in a hospital, dying of cancer. Through a strange chain of events, the attorney was sick also, and the two men ended up sharing the same hospital room.
The dying man turned to the attorney and said, “Well, you never got me! I escaped you all this time, and now it doesn’t matter. You can go ahead and serve your subpoena. I don’t even care.”
“Subpoena?” the attorney replied. “I was trying to give you a document that proved you had inherited 45 million dollars!”
People can be the same way when it comes to the Christian faith. They go out of their way to escape a relationship with Jesus Christ. They go out of their way to avoid Christians. As a result, their hearts get harder. And they just might go too far.
People reject Jesus because they don’t know of all that He offers. They don’t know of His great promises. That is why we need to tell them. That is why we need to go out of our way to tell people about the love of God.
So let’s keep praying, and let’s keep trying to reach these people. You may even know someone who seems as though they have a hardened heart beyond the point of no return.
Take heart. Think of Saul of Tarsus, whose conversion was so radical and unexpected that the first-century Christians thought it was some kind of trap in which he was trying to infiltrate their ranks. They didn’t believe that God could save someone who was as wicked, hostile, and against the church as Saul of Tarsus was.
But then Saul of Tarsus became known as Paul the apostle.
You may know someone who seems so hardened and so far gone. Keep praying, because God could reach them.
Or maybe there has never come a moment in your life when you’ve personally asked Jesus Christ to forgive your sin. You know about God, but you don’t really know Him. If you know something to be true and don’t respond to it, that can harden your heart.
The Bible tells us, “Remember what it says: ‘Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled’ ” (Hebrews 3:15 NLT).
If you don’t yet know Jesus Christ in a personal way, then do something about it immediately. Now is the time. If you keep putting it off, there will come a day when you won’t hear from God anymore, because you will have hardened your heart irreparably.
Yes, there is a point of no return. Don’t let it happen to you. Don’t live another day outside of God’s will and His purpose and His blessing for you.
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