Posts filed under ‘israel’
It is the Rapture that is expectantly waited on by the powers of darkness. They know that once it occurs, the Holy Spirit will no longer have the invisible Church through which to work, to convict the world of sin and to call them to righteousness. At that point, Satan and his minions will have far greater leeway to work. They will not hesitate to use every dark art to their advantage as they race toward the culmination of human history in Armageddon. Satan actually believes he has a chance of “besting” God, but we know that Satan (via Antichrist) will be destroyed by a word from the mouth of our returning Jesus, during His Second Advent (2 Thessalonians 2:8).
What? Moses was accused of God as not believing Him! Moses? Yes, Moses, the man who walked with God and spoke with Him as one man speaks to another. Moses spent years learning from God, trusting Him, and being obedient to Him. Yet, here, just prior to the end of Israel’s journey to the Promised Land, Moses makes a terrible mistake and that mistake was the result of the fact that Moses chose not believe God. Wow. Stop and consider that for a moment, will you?
THEN we get to verse 6b of Zechariah 13 and the famous verse that some take to refer to Jesus. It is clear that the false prophet is being questioned here, but about what? The “wounds” on his arms. This is where some people assume it refers to Jesus (because of the wounds He received leading up to and including the crucifixion). Unfortunately, IF we consider that the context is all about false prophets, then the wounds referred to here are more in line with what the prophets of Baal did to themselves in 1 Kings 18:28. They cut themselves in order to get Baal’s attention, much the same way Muslims cut themselves today during certain ceremonies to gain Allah’s attention and favor. Throughout history, there were many of these types of self-mutilation ceremonies connected with Phrygian, Syrian, Cappadocian, and other cultures.
What our friend completely fails to grasp is that the chapter began with a brief parable of the lost sheep, then segued into the lost coin. In both of those brief stories, the emphasis is on the sheep owner and the woman, both of whom went out of their way to search for what was lost. In essence then, we could say that these are examples of Jesus coming to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” and attempting to win them to Him. Israel has always had an “in” and “out” relationship with God. That cycle continues to this day, yet I do not believe for one moment that just because someone is an orthodox Jew, they are “saved.” Jews need to be saved today the exact same way that everyone else is saved, by grace, through faith, in Christ. I also believe that God will one day take from the nation of Israel a final “remnant” of people who will come to believe in Jesus as Lord, Savior, and Messiah. These will represent the final version of the nation of Israel. Still, the method of salvation is always the same.
The “day of the Lord” (DOTL) represents a time of judgment and that is very clear even from the few verses we have touched on in this series. What is not necessarily as clear is how long a period of time is represented by the DOTL and when it is supposed to occur. We’re going to look at a few more Scripture references to see if we can shed more light on the subject. Eventually, we want to cover all the Scripture that deals with anything to do with the DOTL.
The problem of course is that, while some choose to believe that Paul’s reference to the “man of sin” is a metaphor that refers to the Christian and the fact that our body is now the temple of the Holy Spirit, this stretches the credulity of the text itself. They believe that the “man of sin” is an appellation for the spiritual man created by the Holy Spirit. They do not see Paul’s words as being literal, but merely figurative. Unfortunately, there is nothing in the text that supports this. Paul seems to be clearly pointing ahead to a time still in front of us when a man will walk onto the scene and will surrender himself to Satan. Satan will then give him his authority and enabling (supernaturally). This man will be known as the Antichrist, or “man of sin.” Paul’s use of the singular here is very important. He is speaking of ONE specific individual.
I believe since then, Satan has been busy attempting to rebuild a Tower of Babel, but not in the physical sense. I believe Satan has spent thousands of years bringing people together as “one” in thought, religion, government, and societal structure. This will make it much easier for him to completely indwell one coming individual who will be offered the same thing Jesus was offered in Matthew 4. There, Jesus was offered all the kingdoms of the world if only He would bow down to Satan and worship him alone. We know that Jesus rejected without consideration Satan’s temptation. We also know according to 2 Thessalonians 2, the coming “man of sin” (which is not a metaphor), will likely face the same temptation and, unlike Jesus, will succumb to Satan. At that point, Satan will supernaturally endow this coming “man of sin” with all of Satan’s ability. We learn this in Revelation 13:3-4, which states, “And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast.”