Jesus’ Atonement for Sins – in View from the Beginning

 By GF Herrin

As part of my 2016 reading plan, Monday is my day to read from the Book of Genesis. I am amazed at how many key Bible verses come at the beginning of the book. The concept of sacrificial atonement in particular is actually presented early in the book. Thus, the foreshadowing of the coming of the Messiah and God-Man, Jesus Christ begins early in the book.

In chapter 3, Adam and Eve commit the Original Sin by choosing to eat fruit from the forbidden tree (Gen. 3:6). Now, you may ask, “Why was eating fruit from the tree such a big deal?” Well, this act was a willful decision by Adam and Eve to not believe that God knew what was best for their lives. Instead, they believed that they knew what was best for them and acted on that thought accordingly. Humankind has been making similar decisions ever since.

After Adam and Eve sin, they try to hide their nakedness by wearing coverings made of fig leaves (Gen. 3:7). God in turn provides them clothes made of tunics of skin (Gen. 3:21) sewn from animal sacrifices made to atone for their sins.

In chapter 4, Cain and Abel bring sin offerings to the Lord. Cain offers crops grown in the fields which are refused (Gen. 4:3). Abel offers animal sacrifices (Gen. 4:4) which are accepted. The idea, then, is presented early on in the Old Testament narrative that sin causes death (spiritual – see Gen. 2:17) and physical (animals must be killed to make a blood offering to atone for the sin committed). So begins a very important typology which ultimately points to the coming of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who came to die for mankind’s sins (John 1:35-36).

We also see in chapter 3 the earliest messianic prophecy in the Bible, which foretells of this ultimate sacrifice for sins that Jesus made for us on the cross and the strife and animosity that will be present between God’s children and the Enemy, the Devil: And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” (Gen. 3:15).

Ultimately, Jesus’ sacrifice for sins on the cross and victory over death crushed the head of the enemy even though he had attempted to bruise his heel in crucifixion. Barton Payne writes, “Christ rendered Satan powerless, broke the fear of death in which he held mankind (Heb. 2:14-15), and by His passion and particularly at His ascension, cast him down from Heaven (John 12:31;Rev. 12:9-10); (in this age), the church crushes him under foot (Rom. 16:20); in the millennium , Satan will be bound (Rev. 20:1-3); and after its expiration, he will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10)” (J. Barton Payne, The Encyclopedia of Biblical prophecy, 158).

The Importance of Biblical Inerrancy and its Relationship to the Resurrection

 

 By GF Herrin

Shortly after moving to Charlotte, my wife, daughters and I joined a small Lutheran church (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America). We had enjoyed the worship style, knew some folks who belonged there, and liked its close proximity to where we lived. In the new members class, though, after reading several passages from a King James Version of the Old Testament, the pastor lost me. He said, “remember that this is the Hebrew Bible and we can’t necessarily assume accounts like Jonah and the whale and other passages are literally true.” I struggle to recall what I said to the pastor in response, but the gist of the experience is that I instantly responded in a negative way, bringing up the points that the Bible is the inerrant word of God and central to our faith.

The Inerrancy of God’s word is a central point of the Christian faith. The reason it has been questioned in recent years is because there are teachers or so called scholars such as Bart Ehrman, John Shelby Spong, or Rudolf Bultmann whose teachings have been clouded by either anti-supernaturalist beliefs or   (in Spong’s case) a pro homosexual agenda . These teachers have long possessed a view that not the Bible is not literally true yet they have claimed to be Christians. But this begs the question that if you throw out part of the Bible as not true which part do you keep? If you doubt the authenticity of the Scriptures and discount the fact that the vast majority of the 12 apostles died for their faith in the Resurrection of Christ, how can you be assured that Christ from the dead? And if you can’t believe that Christ rose from the dead how can you believe that your sins were paid for on the Cross by Him?

One of the Books I am reading early in my 2016 Bible reading plan is the Book of Romans. In Romans, Paul writes of the importance of understanding the physical Resurrection of Jesus Christ :

“Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. “ (Romans 1:3-4)

Notice that Paul emphasizes that Jesus was declared to be the Son of God by the fact that He was resurrected from the dead. This is an important point to understand. Jesus’ life, ministry, and sacrifice on the cross were declared as worthy by the occurrence of His physical resurrection. Think of this incredible event. Even after the soldier pierced Jesus’ side with a spear to confirm His death (John 19:34), Even after His lifeless body was laid in a clean linen cloth (Matt. 27:59). Even after Christ’s body was laid in the tomb (Matt. 27:60). Even after a large stone was rolled in front of his tomb which was also sealed (Matt. 27:60 & 66), Christ was resurrected! God the Father accepted God the son’s payment for sins with His life and the Resurrection of Christ is evidence of that.

 

So how should we born again believers in Jesus live in response to the Death and Resurrection of Christ?

Paul writes,

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:16-18).

 

We should not be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ but should be encouraged by it. The death and resurrection of Christ reveals God’s righteousness. Jesus’ death on the cross demonstrates that only a sinless sacrifice could buy each of us sinners grace and forgiveness. Nothing else would do! No animal sacrifices, no good works, no tithes or monetary offerings will pay the huge sin debt each of us would has to atone for. Jesus’ horrible death on the cross demonstrates that it was necessary to buy us our freedom. If it wasn’t necessary, why else would He have died for us?

 

Also, we need to make a concerted effort every day to live in righteousness. Paul mentions that our unrighteousness behavior actually suppresses the truth. So, if we are careless in living and sinning then those acts suppress God’s truth of a changes life. Not only is unrighteousness a demonstration of the unsaved condition of people, it is a bad witness for the forgiven sinner. So, if you are struggling with a besetting sin, remember that another reason to stay away from that addiction or habit is to make sure you demonstrate God’s truth by keeping away from that sin. Glorify the Lord in living righteously!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016: Applying God’s Word to the Times We Live in

by GF Herrin

For 2016, I have begun a 365 day that features a selection from a different book of the Bible every day. For example, on Thursday, I read from a book of writings: Job. On Friday, I read from one of the books of the prophets: Isaiah. Saturday, the Gospels: Matthew, and so on. This reading plan suits my taste very well, as I tend to read from several books of the Bible at once anyway. I believe that it is important for all believers to read from the Bible every day to stay grounded in God’s Word and to stay connected to our Heavenly Father.

So, in my daily reading it is my intent to share commentary on this site of impressions I believe the Lord is giving me to give to others based on His word. I am not a Greek or Hebrew scholar or a divinity student. I am simply a Masters level student, one course short of a Religion degree at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, NC.

What I do possess is a thorough understanding of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible with a special interest in understanding the context specific passages were written. However, even though these passages were written from 1900 to 3000 years ago, they have a broad application to humanity’s daily lives today. For example, while reading my Bible passages from Isaiah for Friday, a couple of verses stood out to me. Isaiah the prophet wrote specifically to the stiff necked, obstinate people of Israel who had rebelled against God and gone astray. Many of the verses from the beginning of Isaiah, though, could apply to the United States, a country founded by Christians long ago.

Isaiah 5:20-21

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!

 

Sin parades itself proudly in the streets of the U.S. today. Homosexuals and others march proudly in the streets and demand to be recognized. Their sin convicts them and they demand that others treat them with respect and assure them that they are “OK”. How dare the rest of the world keep men from marrying men and women marrying women? So what if marriage by its natural law can only truly be understood within the male – female relationship and their ability to mate with the opposite sex. Try to speak out against same sex marriage and you are castigated as evil incarnate, someone who must be stopped and silenced. Nothing else will do!

Isaiah 3:9

The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves.

 

Reality TV brings onto stage the deviant lifestyle of people who are famous for just being attractive. The Kardashian family, that internet TV reality family that has nothing noteworthy to their name except being famous fill us up with junk news on their sinful exploits. Kim Kardashian has babies out of wedlock and proudly updates us constantly to let know when she gets her “baby bump”. She shows displays certain parts of her body in selfies for others to see in the most

A man (Bruce Jenner), is so narcissistic and so consumed with self that he is convinced that he needs to become a woman to become truly fulfilled. He exists as a half man half woman with breasts and male genitals. He startles us with his freakish appearance and presents bathroom gender identity issues.   In a previous time, he would have been called a pervert. Yet ESPN proudly gives him an award for courage!

Christians who dare to call out such people out are labeled as bad for following God’s law for morality. Bad is truly being called good. Humanity is celebrated and godliness is mocked. As Israel turned to its idols, the United States has embraced its own idols in so many forms. America entertains itself to death via TV, movies, music, iphones, the internet and with false idols or beliefs such as the “freedom to be who you want to be”. But the Bible says, no one is truly free.

Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (Romans 6:16).

 

Either you are a miserable slave to sin or you are a joyful slave to righteousness. True freedom and peace, though, are found only in Jesus Christ and the forgiveness that only He could purchase for us by His sacrifice on the cross. Have you received it? If not, Pray to Him today!

 

 

The World Doubts the Miracle of Re-Birth

 

 By GF Herrin

I have marveled recently at the media slander that U.S. Republican presidential candidate, Dr. Ben Carson has endured. Carson, a humble, intelligent and godly man who thinks before he speaks, has written in his autobiography of how he had a violent temper when he was a teenager before he committed his life to the Lord. Skeptical that such a humble man could ever have a violent streak in his past, numerous media outlets have cast doubt on his story and raised the possibility that Carson made the whole thing up.

The toughest thing for any unbeliever to admit is that God actually exists, is active in the world today, and can make a difference in our personal behavior. Many anti-supernatural skeptics paint anyone who professes belief in a personal God as a freak or fanatic. In most cases, however, the unbeliever’s decision to not believe in a righteous, holy God is not an intellectual decision, but instead is one that comes from emotion. The unbeliever may have had an encounter or experience with someone who professed belief in God, but treated him or her badly or unfairly. Or maybe the person experienced tremendous pain or hardship in his life as a result of the loss of a loved one and blames God for the event. Often, the unbeliever just cannot admit that God exists because it will force him to make a lifestyle change upon admitting that God’s will is more important than his own.

The Bible is clear that in order to have a personal relationship with God, a change must take place. This lifestyle change is the result of being born again.

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:3-8).

The reason that the world (including Donald Trump) has a problem in understanding how a man like Ben Carson could change from an angry and violent man into a thoughtful, wise, intelligent, peaceful surgeon, is that they do not understand what it is to be born of the Spirit. The world continually fails to believe that Christians are of one family all united by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God. His indwelling is the reason that I can talk to a Japanese merchant, a seminary student from the Congo, or a Hispanic refugee from hurricane Katrina and know that they are all my brothers. From their personal relationship with Jesus Christ comes a common way of approaching life. It is a bond that goes beyond race or nationality.

Then His (Jesus’) brothers and His mother came, and standing outside they sent to Him, calling Him. And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking You.” But He answered them, saying, “Who is My mother, or My brothers?” And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.” (Mark 3:31-35)

Being born again into the family of God makes irrelevant the world’s classifications, biases, limitations and discriminations.  A Christian may not be free from the world’s judgments or biases against his belief in Christ as the Way, but he is truly free from being burdened by them.

Have you been freed today?

 

 

 

 

Where does it say in the Bible that Jesus is the Son of God?

Where does it say in the Bible that Jesus is the Son of God?

Reading the Bible requires intelligence and discernment. It also calls for thoroughness in reading the entire text. While I may excerpt Scripture from many selections of the Bible, I would suggest careful reading of the entire Book that the Scripture comes from. That being said, let’s examine some key Scripture that reveals Jesus as the God-Man “who is, and who was, and who is to come” (Rev. 1:4).

Let’s first examine the nature of the phrase “Son of God” to gain a better understanding of this title.

In the Book of Luke, Jesus clearly states that He is the son of God when he is questioned by a Pharissee.

“If you are the Christ, “they said, “tell us.” Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer. But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.” They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You are right in saying I am” (Luke 22:67 – 70).

Jesus also stated clearly that He had an eternal nature and was alive a long time ago when He said, “Before Abraham was I AM (John 8:58).   This is also a reference to the name of God when He declared to Moses, “I AM that which I AM” (Exodus 3:14).

In addition, Jesus makes clear comparisons to Himself and the Son of Man:

“The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. “But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy” (Matt. 26:63-65).

Given that the Pharisees reacted so strongly to Jesus’ claim that he was the Son of Man, they knew that He was claiming to be God Himself.

Where does the Son of Man fit in all of this? Who is he?

The Son of Man was another title for God in the flesh: the long promised God-Man spoke of in Daniel who would reign on Earth and establish Peace on Earth.

“I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed” (Dan. 7:13 14).

“At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory” (Matt. 24:30).

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats” (Matt. 25:31-32).

See also, Matt. 24:27-30, 25:31-34, Rev. 19:11-21. Mark14:61-62, 64 which clearly present Jesus declaring His Deity. If a Muslim tells you, “Jesus never actually said that he was the son of God, rest assured that He did indeed lay claim to this title.

September – By GF Herrin

September

Our hearts were ringing
In the key that our souls were singing.
As we danced in the night,
Remember how the stars stole the night away

Ba de ya – say do you remember
Ba de ya – dancing in September
Ba de ya – never was a cloudy day

(song lyrics by Earth, Wind, and Fire)

 

There is an amazing correlation of events coming together in the timeframe of September of this year. Pick any variety of events that could possibly occur, and there are theories out there. But most importantly, there are “signs in the moon, sun, and stars” (Luke 21:25) that coincidently are occurring on feast days this September.   What does the Bible say about the sun, moon, and stars? Genesis says, “let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years” (Gen. 1:14). What does the Bible say about the biblical feasts? Leviticus 23:2 says, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.”

For Bible readers, you must surely know that Jesus fulfilled the first four biblical feasts of the year perfectly already. In 32 AD, on Passover, Jesus, the Lamb of God was slain for the forgiveness of sins. Concurrent with that feast is the Feast of Unleavened Bread, during which the Messiah was laid in the tomb, dead. On that following Sunday, the Feast of First Fruits, Christ rose from the Dead, a type of first fruits of every born again Believer who will be resurrected to an immortal life to be lived in the presence of God Almighty. On the Feast of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon the early Believers, who were suddenly anointed with God’s Sprit and spoke the Gospel in tongues to people at the Temple.

So, yet to be fulfilled are the three remaining Feasts:

Rosh Hashanah, (The Feast of Trumpets)

Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement)

Sukkot (The Feast of Tabernacles)

Lunar Tetrad– The fourth in a series of four lunar or blood moon eclipses that have all occurred on biblical Feast days, will take place on September 28th, the Feast of Tabernacles. This feast is generally believed to be a typology of God (Jesus) living with His creation, us. Prior to this occurrence, on September 13th, Rosh Hashanah, (the Feast of Trumpets), there will be a solar eclipse.

The books of Joel and Revelation contain prophecies that speak of a blood moon and a blackened sun that will take place just before the “day of the Lord” (the End Times).

“The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord” (Joel 2:31).

“I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood” (Rev. 6:12).

The Shemita – A recent book by Jonathan Cahn (author of The Harbinger) recounts financial (and other) disasters that have taken place in the United States around the time of the completion of the Sabattical year cycle during the years: 1987, 1994, 2001, and 2008 (among others). The Shemita is the year that the people of Israel were commanded to observe every seven years so that the land would regenerate itself and continue to be fruitful.   The Israelites were commanded to let the land lay fallow in the seventh year and to forgive debts that were owed to them.    “Six years you shall sow your land and gather in its produce, but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave, the beasts of the field may eat. In like manner you shall do with your vineyard and your olive grove” (Lev. 23:10-11).

In addition, Israel was commanded to forgive debts and release servants from their debits every seven years. “At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts. And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the Lord’s release” (Deut. 15:1-2). September 2015 comes at the end of the Shemita cycle.   Could the U.S., the country that has the largest Jewish population in the world, fall under the same covenant requirements as the nation of Israel? The theory is that the U.S. will fall victim to either a financial collapse or a natural disaster in September since the recent trend has been for great calamity to take place during this timeframe.

A pope speaking on Global chaos – Back on May 14th, 2014, the foreign minister of France, Laurent Fabius, made a statement at a press conference with U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry that startled many and that seemed very out of place. The foreign minister stated that we have 500 days to avoid “Climate Chaos”. Fast forward to exactly 500 days from when that statement was made to September 24th, which just happens the day after the feast day of Yom Kippur. This day also happens to be the day when Pope Francis comes to the United States to speak to the UN and the U.S. Congress regarding a subject that has suddenly become important to the Roman Catholic Church in the last year: Global climate change. Why would he speak before congress regarding something so nebulous and off topic from the mission of any (although the RCC is hardly biblical in its official doctrine) church? Supposedly, it is to plead the case of millions around the world who suffer from poverty today. But, one must ask the question, what is the pope up to? Is Pope Francis the false prophet prophesied of in Revelation 12 and 16 who will perform great signs? Chapter 17 of Revelation clearly identifies the harlot or false religion to come as being located in the city that sits on seven hills. Rome is a city that is well known to sit on 7 hills or mountains. So, it makes sense to understand from that Roman Catholicism, which has a hold on untold millions across the world will become the predominant one world religion, Babylon, that controls many peoples until it is removed.

Asteroid and comet predictions – In April or May, Lyn Leahz, a Christian author, made a YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4c0NS4jLNA

in which she said that she had been told by a retired military friend connected to resources within the space industry or some similar area that a 2.5 mile wide comet was on a course to strike earth in September. Supposedly, the impact date would be right around the 15th to 28th timeframe. The fact that she urges the viewers to pray about this message leads one to believe she is sincere.

Jade Helm – is an apparent military exercise involves United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) with other U.S Armed Forces units in multiple states, including Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Utah, and Texas. The exercise began on July 15th and is scheduled to conclude on September 15th. Troops engaging in the exercise will assume the roles of either occupying or resistance forces. Most locations are in sparsely populated arid regions near small towns. Some participants will wear civilian attire and drive civilian vehicles. The belief of some is that it is a rehearsal for disaster recovery in case a catastrophy hits the U.S. (some of this information was gathered from Wikipedia).

UN to establish a Palestinian State? – Reports say that the “UN Security Council is likely to be voting on a UN resolution which will establish a Palestinian state.” The resolution would include a forcing of Israel to go back to their pre-1967 borders that were in place before the six day war. http://www.infowars.com/something-else-coming-in-september-a-un-resolution-establishing-a-palestinian-state/

Earthquakes coming? – There have been some reports in the last two months that scientists expect an earthquake to occur in the western U.S. soon.    http://www.weather.com/science/nature/news/earthquake-pacific-northwest-big-one-cascadia

Also, records show that of the 40 strongest earthquakes ever recorded, 11 have occurred since 2000. http://www.world-earthquakes.com/index.php?option=sta

 

America, the Deplorable? – Judgment coming soon? Same Sex marriage is now legal and Planned Parenthood sells the bodies of aborted babies for profit, tainting the millions of tax payer dollars that it misuses each year to kill the unborn. The American porn industry rakes in $11 billion annually on pornography each year. Americans spend $83 billion per year on beer alone (according to the Washington Examiner, 2014). 4 out of 10 children are born to unwed mothers per year. America, the Beautiful, is clearly in many ways an abominable and immoral people now. If the rapture were to occur today, it is clear that the United States, would incur God’s wrath in the Great Tribulation. Judgment is long overdue for a land that brags about being blessed by God, yet fails to bless Him.

A New way of understanding the 70 weeks?  The traditional way of understanding the Daniel 9:24 – 27 prophecy of the 70 weeks (one week = 7 years) is to place the beginning of the first 7 weeks (49 years spent rebuilding Jerusalem) in 445 BC (Neh. 2:1, when the decree to rebuild was given) + 62 weeks (434 years) when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey as King in 32 AD, with the last remaining week a future event of the 7 year Tribulation.

(See my 6 part article on Dan. 9:24-27 beginning here: http://lamp-light.com/?p=92)

However, in recent years it has come to light that there could potentially be another way of interpreting the timing of the first 69 weeks. Isaac Newton apparently wrote about this, as have others who have recently revealed that another period of 483 years (49 years + 434 years) may also be concluding in September of this year. From an article on the web from brother Randy who posts frequently on Fivedoves.com (http://www.fivedoves.com/letters/june2015/randy628-2.htm) : “the walls of Jerusalem were being REBUILT once again during the period of 1535-1542 AD….and specifically that the Lions Gate was being rebuilt in 1538-1539 AD. AND……the date of Aug 20, 1539 points forward with 62 weeks of years EXACTLY to June 7, 1967 and THEN the 7 weeks of years point forward EXACTLY to Sept 23, 2015, (which is the Feast day of Yom Kippur)……a time when we were ALREADY WATCHING based on Jonathon Cahn’s analysis pointing to Sept 13 and Mark Biltz LAST Blood Moon on Sept 28.

So……Sept 13 >>>> Sept 23>>>> Sept 28.

Rosh Hashanah>>>>Yom Kippur>>>>>Tabernacles. ALL 3 of the FALL Feasts of the Jews !!!!!!!!!!!”

 

One pre-condition to the events of the 7 year Great Tribulation has not taken place yet. That is the establishment or building of the third Temple in Jerusalem. The book of Daniel clearly indicates that in the middle of the 7 year period, the anti-Christ will violate the treaty that he has made with the nation of Israel when he puts stop to the daily sacrifices, “Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate” (Dan. 9:27). Therefore, it is mandatory that before the final 7 year period that immediately precedes the Second Coming of Christ, there must be a third temple in existence in Jerusalem.

However, the Rapture could certainly occur today or tomorrow, or in September. We are called to watch. With all of these strange coincidences and events correlating around biblical feast days in September there is every reason to believe that something will occur of prophetic significance, whether it be related to Israel or Christ’s bride, the church.

Remember, Stay Tuned and “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:28).

 

 

 

 

 

Called Out to be More

By GF Herrin

Have you ever been called out or recognized for something you have done? Maybe you did something at work that involved going the extra mile or you worked extra hours to get a project finished. Or maybe you just happened to be in a situation where you helped someone in need or offered someone some help when their car broke down on the side of the road? It is kind of humbling to be recognized for work you have done isn’t it? With that recognition comes a gratitude for being singled out for doing the right thing. Sometimes, though, when you are recognized, you feel a certain obligation to keep on doing the right thing since you might feel that more attention will be given to you for how you live your life.

If you are a Christian, you have also been called out. Not to live like everyone else but to live in a Christ like way.

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but just as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all that you do, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:14-16).

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul (2 Peter 2:9 – 11).

Notice in these passages that there is a clear delineation between the behaviors of the people before they are saved (red font) and the behaviors that they exhibited after conversion (green font). Before they were saved, the people that Peter was writing to were conformed to the lusts of the world. When we think of lusts we automatically think of sexual lust, as it is the most prevalent. However, lust can occur for any object that is worldly. It may be a lust for food, money, power, clothes, real estate, or temporary distractions such as music, TV, movies, or sports. But it is important to note that these “lusts” were things that were clearly marked as former distractions or diversions that the unsaved occupied themselves with in the past.

So, clearly, there was a sharp distinction between the actions that the people engaged in before they were saved by Christ and after they got saved. Similarly, if you have truly been saved you should be able contrast your present style of living to the one that you lived before you were born again. You should be able to point to a particular time when you repented from your sins and began a relationship with God. This is not to say that you have mastered all of your sins or are perfect. However, in your present life, you should have a conviction or guilt within yourself when you sin. Also, if you are leading a changed life, then you should be regularly reading God’s Word, the Bible. For it is in the Bible that we understand what holy behavior is and what it is not.

In two weeks: The Bible, where did it come from, and how is it relevant to us today?

Next week: September 2015, is it shaping up to be a prophetic time?

I’m Not a Date Setter, but…

By GF Herrin

To my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, who follow my blog posts, I truly apologize for not writing more lately.  To be honest with you, the huge amounts of signs pointing to something significant happening prophetically in the September to October timeframe of 2015 have me almost in shock. I have been weighing my actions and what I should do in my day to day evangelizing efforts and trying to come up with a good plan.

Let’s look at why we as Christians can expect to know when the time is getting close to the Lord Jesus’ return:

1 Thess. 5:1-6

1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.

2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.

3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.

4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.

5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.

6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.

 

There are many that I talk to regarding End Times prophecy and the time of Jesus’ return who exclaim, “but Jesus said that we will not know what day He is coming back!” pointing to Matthew 24:36 (also Mark 12:32) “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.”

And of course, while we may not know that exact day in time when our Lord and Saviour will return, 1st Thessalonians tells us that we can expect to know when that day is approaching. Also, the one feast day (Rosh Hashanah, the Feast of Trumpets) that seems most likely for the Rapture is a feast day of which no one knew the beginning from year to year. You see, it is based on the occurrence of the new moon, which in ancient days, no one knew the beginning of ahead of time. So, it seems likely that this quote that the Lord spoke was an idiom.

 

Psalms – Renewing our Spirit with His Word

I am continually amazed at the time we live in and all the turmoil in the world that seems to be fulfillment of prophecy. But I must occasionally take a step back for a minute and simplify things. One thing I like to do when simplifying is to read from the Book of Psalms. Have you ever gathered yourself in a remote place or some location where you are alone and simply read aloud from Psalms?

First of all, keep in mind that you were made to glorify the Lord. Then, realize that you were also made for God’s good pleasure. Then, read out loud His word to Him. After all, He uniquely created you. When you speak His word aloud you are in a sense reading it to Him. This is a type of communion experience in which you are drawing closer to Him. In a time when you do not know what to pray, the Book of Psalms has a way of putting you in a frame of mind to draw closer to your heavenly father.

One of my favorite Psalms is chapter 34. I would recommend committing several verses from this chapter to memory. It is believed that this is one of the Psalms written by David (not all of them were). It is considered a Yahwehistic Psalm. Yahwehistic Psalms (Psalms 1 – 41) are dominated by their reference to Yahweh and this divine name (mentioned 272 times in these Psalms. Perhaps, that is why I like Psalm 34 so much. The attention in Psalm 34 is given to God and His divine and all encompassing nature.   When we give attention to God and put our gaze on Him, everything else tends to fall to the background and He becomes pre-dominant in our lives. His absolute power and ability to solve any problem becomes more apparent to us. As a result, our spirit is renewed within us.

 

 

Psalm 34:7 – The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him and delivers them.

David must have been comforted knowing that he was protected wherever he went in his battles against the Philistines and King Saul’s assailants, also. Similarly, we, being the Lord’s children, are protected by His angel. As a matter of fact when the Bible mentions the Angel of the Lord making an appearance, there is clearly the understanding that this Angel is the Lord Himself, (Gen. 16:7; Judg. 2:1, 6:22, 13:2-22) Indeed, many scholars hold the view that this Angel is the pre-incarnate Christ. How amazing to know that the Lord personally is encamped around us and is personally involved in our protection.

 

Psalm 34:14 – Depart from evil and do good. Seek peace and pursue it.

Notice, what happens when we make the conscious decision to stop doing bad things. We have a desire to do good. This should not be mixed up with a false belief that to get to heaven when we die we must do good works. After all, the thief who died on the cross next to Christ was assured that he would see Him in Paradise (Luke 20:40-43), and we know he didn’t have time to do any good works before he repented and placed his trust in Him. Instead, what this passage alludes to is our very nature as humans to either be slaves to sin or slaves to righteousness (Rom. 6:17-19). When we put our trust in Christ and become born again, our heart is changed and we have a desire to do good things in appreciation for Christ’s sacrifice for us on the cross. Also, anyone who suffers from the sin of addiction (alcohol, drugs, sex, money, food) knows that when they stop practicing that addiction (doing evil) the best thing to do to continue live holy is to start doing good (living for God, spreading the Gospel helping widows , prisoners, and orphans).

 

Psalm 34:15 – The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their cry.

How awesome is this verse?! If you have put your trust in Christ and are not counting on anything else but Him to get you to Heaven, then you are positionally righteousness. That means as a child of God, He has His attention on you and is open to hear your prayer anytime because your sins have been blotted out by Jesus’s payment for them. So, cry out to Him for your needs. More than likely, what you pray to the Lord will be directly what He has revealed to you that you need to bring to Him. I was recently in a dry and waterless place spiritually and as I was driving somewhere in my car, I just uttered those very words to Him. I told Him I really needed His rain (spiritual empowerment). Suddenly, as I drove, I felt His presence and grace overcome me and I began to cry. It was just the personal encounter with El Shaddai that I needed and the experience empowered me for the activities that followed shortly after. Praise Him, as He is surely deserving of Praise! Amen!

 

The Ides of March

 

By GF Herrin

Since the March 17th Israeli election took place, it has become ever apparent that U.S. President and Secretary of State John Kerry seem more determined than ever to strike some semblance of an agreement with the known terrorist nation of Iran. Realizing that the people of Israel have essentially mandated that the vigilant Benjamin Netanyahu stay in office, Obama and Kerry seem determined to sign a treaty no matter what impact it may have on the Jewish state. As the article states below, many have misgivings regarding a deal with such an unpredictable and hostile adversary.

Negotiations with Iran Going Down to the Wire

In the aftermath of the castigation of Netanyahu for his boldness in addressing Congress on March 3rd, it is refreshing to hear someone speak lucidly on how the present administration has suddenly turned its back on Israel lately. Marco Rubio, the U.S. senator from Florida, lays out the unfortunate series of recent events very well.

Rubio Speaks on the Obama Administration’s Treatment of Israel

Remember the quote from the Shakespeare play, Julius Caesar? “A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March”? Some of the origins of this saying date back to ancient religious customs. The March observance of Mamuralia was a Greek ritual that involved a scapegoat in the form of an old man dressed in animal skins and being driven from the city. One wonders if perhaps Israel is the scapegoat that all of the nations are raising a stick to now in an effort to drive them out into the wilderness (see Revelation 12:6).

Or perhaps the scapegoat was God, who seems to be, more than ever, in the United States anyway, being driven out of the moral fiber of this world, and in particular, the United States. Recently, the state of Indiana enacted a religious freedom law that gives individual business owners who are Christian the freedom to not cater homosexual weddings , which are clearly a sin and against basic Christian doctrine. The reaction to the law from homosexuals and the liberal media has been almost beyond belief in its veracity and insistence that humans everywhere are now being discriminated against.

Liberals against Religious Liberty in Indiana

More than likely the roots of the observance of Mamuralia come from the Passion of the Messiah, who, in fulfilling the law of Leviticus, became the real scapegoat for mankind’s sins (Leviticus 16:8-10;20-22).

“Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for the Lord and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat on which the Lord’s lot fell, and offer it as a sin offering. But the goat on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord, to make atonement upon it, and to let it go as the scapegoat into the wilderness” (Lev. 16:8-10).

“And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat. Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness” (Lev. 16:0-22).

Ultimately, Jesus’ becoming a scapegoat for us has saved us from the burning pit of Hell and given us a personal relationship with the Living God.

“God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness” (2 Cor. 5:21).