top secret

“The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.”  (Psalm 33:10-11 NIV)

The former American president left his aircraft to climb aboard the jet of the U.S. Attorney General. Having appointed her while president to her federal judge post, they were old friends. The area was sealed by federal agents. No cameras or recording devices were permitted. The public was to remain unaware that the two had ever met.

The meeting lasted less than a half hour. Fourteen days later, it was evident more had been discussed than golf and grandchildren: The A.G. closed the case against the ex-president’s very high profile wife. Also, the FBI invoked a special secrecy agreement on their investigators. From the top, the way was cleared for the accused former Secretary of State to move onto other business–like running for president.

In 2nd Kings 6:8, the king of Aram was at war with Israel. He ordered his commanders to set up camp in a certain place, but when they did the Israelites avoided his trap. Each surprise attack attempt failed. The enraged king was certain he had a traitor in his inner circle. He demanded, “Will you not tell me which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?”

“None of us, my lord the king,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.” (6:12)

There was a prophet in Israel (cf. 2 Kings 5:3). He had special knowledge of what the king said in secret and was giving it to his king. Nothing was hidden from Elisha, because with the Lord there are no secrets.

Our Sovereign God has no secrets about his strategy. He openly declares his plans to his prophets (Amos 3:7).  Before the Lord acts he announces in His Word what he is going to do (Isaiah 42:9).

As far as keeping secrets from God, the entire idea is folly. “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13)

No audio recording devices, no cameras taking video or snapping pictures, nothing to capture the sights or sounds of a deal struck in private; still what is whispered in the secret place will be shouted from the housetops (cf. Luke 12:3). When we stand before God, we will all give an account for every careless word (cf. Matthew 12:36-37).

“A wicked man accepts a bribe in secret to pervert the course of justice.” (17:23) 

As for you Madame Secretary, your husband, Madame Attorney General, and your ilk who cloak deeds in darkness, “…would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart? (Psalm 44:21) 

 

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Therefore hear the word of the LORD, you scoffers who rule this people in Jerusalem. You boast, “We have entered into a covenant with death, with the grave we have made an agreement. When an overwhelming scourge sweeps by, it cannot touch us, for we have made a lie our refuge and falsehood our hiding place.  (Isaiah 28:14-15 NIV)

On the American political scene, a non-politician, Donald Trump, has succeeded in securing a record number of votes on his way to the Republican presidential nomination despite the harsh opposition of his party leaders. His popularity at the grassroots level stands in stark contrast to the acrimony emanating from the GOP establishment and the media. The “Trump Phenomenon” remains an unsolved mystery to the party’s hierarchy.  Leadership cannot grasp that their unpopularity is the reason for Trump’s rise.

Curiously, this is reminiscent of a Biblical pattern of which we need to be aware. The pattern is this: God always hides his imminent judgment from the religious establishment. Instead of the sophisticated, spiritual elite understanding future events, the Lord uses the foolish things of this world to shame the wise (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:18-31).

In the 8th Century B.C., Isaiah attempted to prophesy to his fellow Judahites, but they ridiculed his instruction (see above). While priests and prophets staggered from their wine and beer, they mocked Isaiah. His teaching was not intellectual enough for the pompous, learned leaders of Israel (cf. 28:7-10). 

Jesus faced similar resistance (cf. Matthew 11:13-19). Jewish rulers witnessed Christ’s popularity and listened to his message, yet they would have none of it. In response to the establishment’s determined opposition, Jesus said, “I praise you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things [emphasis mine] from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.” (Matt. 11:25-26)

A veil covered the spiritual eyes of those Christ came to save. “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” (Luke 19:41-44)

The same was true for Jesus’ apostles. Among the people, the uneducated disciples were held in high regard while simultaneously incurring the Jews’ wrath. The religious leadership fulfilled what Jesus promised in Matthew 23:33ff. There, the Lord directed his prophecy at them beginning with, “You snakes! You brood of vipers!”

So it will be tomorrow. Do not expect mainstream spiritual leaders, well-known Christian writers or TV evangelists to accurately portray future events. It is hidden from them. Judgment always begins with God’s household (1 Peter 4:17)–that is, those who come in God’s name. In fact, look for the prophets of God to stir hatred from Christian leaders.

Where will prophetic truth be found? Not from proud pulpits sorry to say, but in humble places where questions are answered from Scripture, not human-authored treatises created in ivy-covered halls of academia. Look for the direction of revelation to be from the bottom up, not top down. God is revealing his Sovereign end times’ plan to children, while hiding it from the wise and learned.

 

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When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them, and they said, “May the LORD look upon you and judge you! You made us a stench to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.” (Exodus 5:20-21 NIV)

While God worked to free Abram’s descendants from their misery and bring them into the Promised Land (cf. Genesis 15:13-14), the people were overcome by their fears. It seems they wanted a better life for themselves in Egypt–though they were slaves–rather than deliverance.

Earlier, God described to Moses what would happen (Exod. 4:21b): “When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.” Which part of harden Pharaoh’s heart didn’t Moses understand? God’s servant passed the complaint up the authority chain: Moses returned to the LORD and said, “O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.” (Exod. 5:22-23)

For the Hebrews, they could blame God for their harsh treatment and reject his words, yet He would fulfill his gracious promise anyway (Exod. 6:6-9). It is the Lord’s pattern that things get worse–much worse–before he acts to fulfill his precious promises.

Yesterday, my late-brother’s daughter gave birth to her first child. The midwife had been carefully chosen. All was prepared for the blessed event. The baby balked at coming on time.

Days past our niece’s “due date” the labor began. Then complications. It was more than the midwife could handle. So, no water birth, but off to the hospital they went. Hard labor cast a doubt over a long-anticipated process. Would mother survive? Would baby be okay? God answered in the affirmative! It is all good now, thank the Lord! Mom and baby girl are fine.

The world laments news of one atrocity after another. With each mass shooting or bombing attack, Christians cry, “Come Lord Jesus. Come!” Do we stop and consider that, according to the Bible, labor pains then the hard labor precede Christ’s return?

Some would teach rescue precedes great tribulation, but has that ever been true of God?  For the saints, Daniel and Jesus prophesied a time of great deceit and intense persecution. This is followed by unparalleled distress (Luke 21:7-24, Matthew 24:4-25). Paul warned in 2 Timothy 3:1, “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.”

Does this sound like we should be optimistic about the near future? We ought to ask “Do we want rescued or a better life in Egypt?” If you and I believe God’s Word, we prepare for the worst before the, oh, so much better. -jf

So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel– let the reader understand– then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.  (Matthew 24:15-16 NIV)

According to Wikipedia, the on-line encyclopedia, “Doomsday Preppers was an American reality television series that aired on the National Geographic Channel. The program profiled various survivalists or ‘preppers’, who are preparing to survive the various circumstances that may cause the end of civilization, including economic collapse, societal collapse, and electromagnetic pulse.”

Anyone taking the Doomsday Prepper approach in the last days is as misguided as the father who, instead of boarding Noah’s ark, moved atop a high mountain. His family may have survived a bit longer than the lowlanders, but so what! The outcome was the same (cf. Genesis 6:13).

The Bible offers God’s saints two possible escape routes: The first is specifically for his people who live in Judea (see Matthew 24:15 above), in the region of the Mount of Olives. In order to guide men and women in the Holy Land, they must be Scripture readers. Jews have the prophets Daniel and Zechariah while Gentiles also have Matthew. Those who reject the Lord’s instructions may exist a little while. Still they will perish.

In the end times, an alternate plan has been decreed for those who live among the nations: It is the “Jesus Way” (cf. John 14:6, 6:39). Like the mission God presented to Noah,  building the ark will save those who enter in. Those who believed the Word lived to see the next age. Those who trust in their own abilities and resources will perish in this present age.

Survivalists living off the land and off the grid or storing goods in a bunker will all fall short of the goal of survival. The devil would deceive us into thinking butter, bullets and beans are what’s necessary to weather any storm. This strategy is foolishly misguided.

Jesus’ Way is to form communities of sincere love, truth, endurance, sharing and mobility. As Hebrews urges, Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the day approaching.” (10:25)

True Preppers are guided by God’s Spirit. As with the rest of the Lord’s flock, they find security in the sheepfold and eternal life in the Shepherd.

 

 

Recent posts in the “Biblical Prophecy” section of this blog should not be missed. I’m gaining a wealth of understanding from Brother Elijah’s 5-part series on Haggai.

E. ties in the prophet’s message with the end time’s in a way I’ve never heard. Great stuff. No person or scholar whom I know writes about prophecy in a more accurate and consistently insightful manner than our Brother Elijah. Consider yourself well-educated if you follow his posts.

Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. (Matthew 10:34 NIV) –Jesus

Since Descending into What? was posted over a week ago, have we seen chaos increase or decrease? A glance at recent headlines reveals the precipitous fall continues–only faster. For example, there was a likely terrorist-related air disaster over the Mediterranean; Venezuela, once a paradise for socialism, was described this week as “a living hell”; and American intelligence reported China’s nuclear subs are ready to terrorize the South China Sea and the Pacific, waters vital to the nation’s interests. If that’s not enough, days ago, China sent a warning to the U.S. that her military is prepared for war if provoked.

End time events will happen so fast, heads will spin. While the world seems eager to fulfill last day’s prophecy of “wars and rumors of wars”, the Lord is preparing his sword. Soon the earth will have its great war. This war of all wars must occur before the 1000-year reign of Christ can begin.

The Prince of Peace alone has the power to halt our fall into oblivion. This is seen in “Shalom”, the traditional Hebrew greeting. Its meaning is more comprehensive than simply “peace”. Shalom implies “well-being, prosperity and rest”–in other words,  the full blessing of God. Shalom is a synonym for “perfect peace” (Isaiah 26:3) or “the peace of God” (Philippians 4:7). This is chaos’ opposite.

A sword (Matthew 10:34) is the Lord’s instrument for bringing peace. Tent Stake Ministries and others explain the composite meaning of the three Hebrew characters from which Shalom is derived. Shin, Lamed and Mem reveal how peace comes. Our Prince “destroys the authority that brings the chaos”.* In his first epistle, John described it this way: “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” (3:8b NIV)

The saints also have a large role in overcoming confusion’s source (Revelation 12:11, Romans 16:20). Darkness, deceit, terrible times, death and chaos will have increasing power. Far from doom-and-gloom, our world’s downward-direction shows that He who bears the two-edged sword must soon appear to bring relief to the righteous and disaster to the wicked (2 Thessalonians 1:5-7). When all Christ’s enemies become a footstool for his feet, then the Kingdom will usher in an unprecedented age of glorious “shalom” peace to men on whom God’s favor rests (Luke 2:14).

*Thanks to Brother YY for his insightful teaching on Shin, Lamed and Mem or שׁום .

For the LORD has a day of vengeance, a year of retribution, to uphold Zion’s cause… God will stretch out over Edom the measuring line of chaos and the plumb line of desolation.           (Isaiah 34:8a, 11b NIV)

As if serious warnings of the health risk related to the Zika virus is not bad enough for Brazil, host country for this summer’s Olympic Games, they have impeached their president. Brazil’s senate has voted to bring their leader, Dilma Rousseff, to trial on corruption charges. She has been suspended from governing for at least six months, or until her trial is over. For now, in a distressed Rio, it is let the games begin.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., the presumed candidates for the nation’s highest office have their own problems. Former State Department head, Hillary Clinton, is attempting to keep her campaign ship afloat while the FBI tightens their investigation into charges she illegally used a private email server to release classified information. These are charges Mrs. Clinton has staunchly denied.

On the Republican side, Donald Trump is drawing criticism for not releasing his current tax returns. Regarding the billionaire businessman, a story broke yesterday in The Washington Times that the widely-circulated Washington Post has dispatched twenty investigative reporters to dig for dirt. The news is The Post will be searching for sleaze in each phase of Mr. Trump’s past life. Let the ripping and shredding of politicians intensify in America.

As the fabric of Western democracies, like Brazil’s and that of the U.S., tears to pieces, many are being driven to the devil! Weeks back, a headline in The Conversation asked “Can a burgeoning Satanic movement actually effect political change?”

Satanism is no longer a small, anti-establishment spiritual movement, it’s become big business as well as a political force. When people distrust their leaders, it leaves a void that chaos fills. It has begun. We are descending into darkness!

Christ is the cosmic glue that holds all things together (Colossians 1:17). Once His Mighty Hand is taken out of the way, then what? Prophecy indicates one will emerge from the anarchy, the mob-rule, the destruction, the wars, violence and social upheaval. He will lead the Satanic revolution and point worshipers toward the altar of Baal. He will be the solution desperate rebels crave.

Soon the perfect storm of confusion will bring Satan’s spawn to the forefront. His name is “The Abomination that Causes Desolation”. After he is thrown into the Lake of Fire and his master, Satan, is cast into the Abyss, 1000 years of the Prince of Peace follows (Revelation 19:20, 20:2-3).

The wicked spirits of this age, the powers and principalities of this world, are, in fact, creating the present descent into chaos. While the Anti-Christ is the Prince of Desolation,  Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

Next, we will examine what the Great Cosmic Conflict of the Ages will be fought for. Let the war begin! JF

The LORD’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous. (Proverbs 3:33 NIV)

Today, in the U.S., Christians are meeting in halls and hotel ballrooms for “The National Day of Prayer”. Since 1952, when Congress set aside the first Thursday in May for prayer, the faithful have humbly asked the Lord for His blessing. From coast to coast, this annual event has drawn godly men and women to look to heaven for divine help.

This day, believers will bow in the spirit of Solomon’s prayer in 2 Chronicles 7:14 (“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray”). Yet, an objective evaluation of the past year’s events must concede: We are in a state of rapid decline. This does not just apply to the West, but to our world, as well.

No longer can our nations look to leaders or institutions with hope. (I am not suggesting the saints’ prayers are ineffective; I do think we error if we casually dismiss God’s curse.)

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin brings reproach, shame and disgrace (Proverbs 14:34).

The Lord cannot disavow his Word. If He places before us blessings for obedience and curses if we disobey, what should we expect if we choose sin? We should count on being disgraced for turning from God’s commands. Nothing short of sincere repentance from the head of government down can alter our destructive course (cf. Jonah 3:10). As individuals, families and communities, we must separate ourselves from the path of the wicked. Prayers asking for prosperity without first demonstrating the fruits of repentance, conflicts with God’s expressed will. Such petitions dishonor the Lord.

The final nail was driven in America and Europe’s coffin the day they turned against Jacob’s offspring. When we began siding with anti-Semites in our midst and Israel’s enemies abroad, we doomed ourselves.

God pronounced a blessing on Abram (Genesis 12:3). It was repeated to Jacob in Genesis 27:29 (“May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.”) The people known as Jews call on the God who declares, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

When Christians rise from their knees from now on, they would do well to reaffirm God’s identity, cast aside their country’s flag,  then prepare to carry their cross. We’re under a curse for which there is no remedy—except the one Israel’s King Solomon proposed in 2 Chronicles 7.

At this point in history, how foolish to think God can bless America. Am I spreading pessimism or attempting to awaken the Body of Christ? Each reader will decide. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord God Almighty, the God of Jacob, the King of Israel!

Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Matthew 19:28 NIV)

Speaking to his disciples (above), the Savior pledged–or so it seemed–a throne for each, as well as great riches (19:29). In the next chapter, James and John’s mother asked the Lord to grant her sons positions at the right and left (of his throne).

A question first needed answered: “Were James and John willing to drink of the cup from which he drank?” When they said, “We can,” Jesus responded, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.” (20:23)

The mention of thrones and wealth planted seeds of ambition in all twelve (20:24). Ambition is only a kingdom trait if it inspires service and sacrifice, not lust.

Holding on to the vision of authority and the power, riches and honor that go with it, the disciples inquired again in Acts 1:6-8. (“Are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”)

Jesus’ reply did not feed their desire for fame. Instead, he humbled them. (“Its not for you to know the times and dates the Father has set by his own authority.”) They would be Christ’s witnesses beginning in Jerusalem and proceeding outward to the ends of the earth. If there was a throne in their future, they would be too busy carrying the gospel to sit.

The Federal Head principle explains what Jesus’ disciples did not know: With Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, David and others, the Lord made a covenant he would honor throughout all generations. In the way Jacob’s twelve sons were first generation Israelites, the disciples would become spiritual ancestors to a great family. Two millennia later, Jesus’ followers owe much to the twelve. When Christ prophesied about thrones to Peter, James, John and the others, he was peering down time’s corridor to twelve of their spiritual offspring.

Everything promised in Acts 2 to the 120 in the upper room, including the gift of the Holy Spirit, belongs to this generation of believers. But–and here is the rub–so does the cup Jesus promised! Teachers may reject the premise that Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21 applies to Gentile Christians, but they are foolishly dismissing the fact Jesus’ disciples are Federal Heads.

Heavenly crowns and pleasures preoccupy our thoughts. Riches are gladly received, yet when, for example, Matthew 24:9-10 or 24:21-22 are read, our humanity often kicks in. No longer do we wish to have the Federal Head principle apply. Does it work that way with an inheritance? What we inherit is not ours to choose.

If the first generation of disciples (our Federal Head) understood that endurance was part of their mission (i.e. Matt. 28:18-20), then it is guaranteed those who will receive a hundred times will overcome tremendous hardship as well (Acts 14:22, 2 Timothy 2:12).

Entering the kingdom is not for everybody. The cup of suffering will not be offered to all. Crowns are worn by only a few. Jesus, our chief Federal Head (1 Peter 2:21) took up his cross before he wore the crown (Hebrews 12:2-3). Disciples of all ages must do the same.

First generation or last, the Great Commission has not changed. Our Federal Head requires our service, not our willingness to be served. All will be fulfilled–the great suffering as well as the future great exaltation. JF

 

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But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8 NIV)

To accurately interpret Bible prophecy, it is essential we understand the “Federal Head” principle. This is how it works: Speaking to his chosen servant(s), the Lord calls them to initiate an action that will continue through the generations and only completed by their offspring. It makes sense that we see this principle often in Genesis, the book of beginnings.

Noah and family obeyed the Lord and were saved from the global deluge. We have all come from this righteous man and his wife. After the waters subsided, the Lord made a covenant with his Federal Head. “Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.” (Genesis 9:1 NIV)

Noah’s sons and their wives would initiate having lots of babies, but they could not complete the assignment. Not until the end of the next age, the Millennium, will Noah’s family cover the earth.

No one in the Old Testament exemplifies the Federal Head more than Abram. Because this servant believed God, he became known as “the Father of our Faith”. To him, the Lord promised: “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:2-3 NIV)

Becoming a great nation implies generations of fruitful, happy and prosperous sons and daughters. In Abram’s case, this meant they would number like the stars (Gen. 15:5). (See also Genesis 17:3-8). Whoever blesses the Jews, for instance, will themselves be divinely blessed.

Other Old Testament models of the Federal Head are Jacob’s sons (Exodus 3:8), Job (Job 5:25), David (2 Samuel 7:16) and Phinehas (Numbers 25:10-13). Each of God’s promises has prophetic significance. Each has yet to be fulfilled.

Next, we will find the Federal Head in the New Testament, then, I believe, draw some interesting conclusions.

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