Saturday Thought

Core Statement

Please either listen to the audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

I woke up this morning, writing in my mind a core message for this website and this is the message that I wrote:

We are fast approaching the greatest Christian revival the world has ever known. However, it will be accompanied by the worst time of tribulation the world has ever witnessed. 

The Early Church was empowered by the Spirit and moved in great signs and wonders. But yet they lived within the darkness of the Roman Empire. The Late Church will be empowered and move in the same way. But yet we will live within the darkness of the beast’s empire. 

If we are prepared for this coming tribulation then we will shine forth in the darkness and we will be able to bring in the great end-time harvest.

If we are not prepared then we will flounder and even fall away from the faith. We will be unable to take part in the harvest.

The wise will have filled their lamps with oil and they will be beacons of light and salvation to a crumbling and desperate world. The foolish will not have filled their lamps with oil and they will stumble in the darkness of the tribulation.

The Church often discusses and prepares for this great end-time revival. However, they foolishly ignore the tribulation aspect and they remain woefully unprepared.

We need to have a conversation regarding both the revival and the tribulation parts of the end-times that are fast approaching us. Then our hearts will be prepared. Then we will be a blessing to the world rather than casualties floundering on the side-lines.

Maranatha!

Sardis 4

This is a series of posts on the letters of Jesus to the seven churches in Revelation 2&3. This is my third post on the church of Sardis. To see all my previous posts on these two chapters, please look down at the end for a full list.

Please either listen to the audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

Revelation 3:4   “Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes.”

In every church there will be a wide-range of people, some who will be unfaithful and pretentious and others who will remain faithful and true.

Whilst the majority of the church in Sardis are described as being drowsy and compromised, nevertheless there was a remnant who were vigilant and alert. 

Scripture describes the tragic falling away from the faith of many people in the end-times.

Matthew 24:10  At that time, many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other.’

But yet here in Sardis we have a remnant who have not soiled their white robes of righteousness in the dirt of the earth. 

Revelation 3:4a  ‘They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy.”

This is the most wonderful of incentives: that we should value above all else, the righteousness we have been given in Christ Jesus, so that we may walk in the garden beside our dear Lord, knowing that he considers us to be worthy.

This is worth everything. 

Revelation 3:5  ‘“He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white.

Another timely reminder of the need to overcome and endure with perseverance until the Lord returns. We may have the most wonderful ministry and testimony but it will amount to little if we do not faithfully follow our Lord through the darkness that is coming to this earth.

Revelation 3:5a  I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father.”

This says it all. To have our name inscribed in the book of life will lead to eternal life in the presence of our heavenly Father. This is the beautiful path.

Tomorrow we move on to the church of Philadelphia and the key of David.

To read my prevous posts please click below:

Ephesus

Smyrna part a

Smyrna part b

Pergamum part a

Pergamum part b

Pergamum part c

Pergamum part d

Thyatira 1

Thyatira 2

Thyatira 3

Thyatira 4

Thyatira 5

Sardis 1

Sardis 2

Sardis 3

Sardis 3

This is a series of posts on the letters of Jesus to the seven churches in Revelation 2&3. This is my third post on the church of Sardis. To see all my previous posts on these two chapters, please look down at the end for a full list.

Please either listen to the audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

Revelation 3:2   “Wake up….But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.”

The Church in the West has often been described, perhaps with good reason,  as being half-asleep or drowsy at best.

There is an innate spiritual lethargy within the Church that most likely has been caused by the indulgences of a comfortable and opulent life-style.

I would certainly not want to put churches in other parts of the world on a pedestal but it has been noticed that hunger and persecution tend to deepen a person’s relationship with the Lord rather than diminish it.

I hasten to add here that I would certainly not want to glamorise hunger or persecution in any way at all. 

The way back to a deep relationship with the Lord is simple. we need to understand with clear insight the immense challenges that lie ahead of us.

The Parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25:1 tells of five virgins that were ill-prepared and fell away from grace, just before Christ Jesus returned. The other five virgins were prepared and welcomed Jesus the bride-groom at the door. 

The glorious return of Christ Jesus will be preceded by a short period of intense darkness. The Church will need to be prepared for this darkness, radiating a beacon of gospel light and reaching out to those who are perishing by the wayside.

Matthew 25:13   “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or hour.”

The onus here is for the Western churches to rouse themselves from their worldly slumber and take stock of the situation. We need to prepare ourselves for the challenging days ahead and we need to do so with an air of sensible urgency. 

The hour is late, dear children, and we need to prepare for the golden storm that is fast approaching.

Tomorrow we look at the faithful dressed in white robes. To get there now, please click here.

To read my prevous posts please click below:

Ephesus

Smyrna part a

Smyrna part b

Pergamum part a

Pergamum part b

Pergamum part c

Pergamum part d

Thyatira 1

Thyatira 2

Thyatira 3

Thyatira 4

Thyatira 5

Sardis 1

Sardis 2

Sardis 2

This is a series of posts on the letters of Jesus to the seven churches in Revelation 2&3. This is my second post on the church of Sardis. To see all my previous posts on these two chapters, please look down at the end for a full list.

Please either listen to the audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

Revelation 3:1a  “I know your deeds, you have a reputation of being alive but you are dead. Wake up!”

We have a tendency to assess ourselves and our churches but yet it is our Lord to whom we should turn, to know how well or how badly we are doing. 

Revelation 2:23a  ‘Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.

Churches come in all shapes and sizes. Some are remarkably genuine and some are sadly poor pretences.

We may put on a show and fool ourselves and those around us but we will never fool the Lord who sees behind our masquerades.

Hebrews 4:13  ‘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.’

Not for one moment would I want to glamorise persecution. However, churches and underground churches in some parts of the world, that experience persecution, have shone the light and humbled the Western church. China and Iran are perfect examples.

Churches in the West have often been criticised, with good reason, for putting the emphasis on the outer show, the externals, rather than focusing on genuine worship and devoted prayer.

The outer decoration of meeting-halls; music bands; light-shows and stage sets mean nothing if the heart of the church is devoted to the worship of a personality or celebrity, or a self-indulgent feel-good factor, rather than the Lord alone.

Since the onset of Covid, there has been a genuine move within churches, to rediscover the essential elements of church in its purest and most simple form.

This move can only be commended and supported. Please pray that we move forward in strength and not back to the sleepy old past.

Tomorrow we explore one more warning for a sleepy church. To get there now, please click here.

To read my prevous posts please click below:

Ephesus

Smyrna part a

Smyrna part b

Pergamum part a

Pergamum part b

Pergamum part c

Pergamum part d

Thyatira 1

Thyatira 2

Thyatira 3

Thyatira 4

Thyatira 5

Sardis 1

Sardis 1

This is part of my study into Revelation 2&3. ~This is my first post on Sardis.

Please either listen to the audio track above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

Revelation 3:1  “To the angel of the church in Sardis write:”

The church in Sardis, one of the seven churches mentioned in Revelation One, has a story behind it which is worth researching further at a later date.

Put simply, the city of Sardis was built upon a hill with three sides which were thought to be steep and unassailable. They therefore put all their defences and fortifications onto the one vulnerable side that held the entrance and gateway to the city.

Sadly, the three unassailable sides proved to be vulnerable after all, and the city was taken by an invading army. Moreover, they did not learn their lesson and the city was taken again, many years later.

Sardis stands as a prime example of believing in your own strength and becoming arrogant and careless, with disastrous results.

We could argue, with a degree of strength, that the church in the West has become foolish in its arrogance, believing that the persecutory powers that are sweeping through the world will never touch us. Tribulation will only happen ‘over there, to other people’ and not here.

There is always the possibility that we will somehow evade the ravages of the end-time tribulation. But sadly, we may be very wrong in our thinking and the onslaught of tribulation will catch us off-guard and sweep us to our demise.

There is a need for our churches to have a serious yet sensible conversation regarding our vulnerability to persecution, rather than burying our heads in the sand and hoping it all blows over our buried heads.

Calmly preparing in advance is so much better than ignoring the issue and panicking when it is too late.

Otherwise we may end up like the church of Sardis, bitterly regretting our foolish and unprepared ways and finding it is too late.

Tomorrow we explore the self-deception of our churches. To get there now please click here.

To view my previous posts on Revelation 2&3 please click below:

Ephesus

Smyrna part a

Smyrna part b

Pergamum part a

Pergamum part b

Pergamum part c

Pergamum part d

Thyatira 1

Thyatira 2

Thyatira 3

Thyatira 4

Thyatira 5

Thyatira 5

Hi, we are studying Jesus’ letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2&3 and this is my fifth post on the church of Thyatira.

Please either listen to the audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

Revelation 2:6  ‘To him who overcomes and does my will to the end I will give authority over the nations – he will rule them with an iron sceptre; he will dash them to pieces like pottery – just as I have received authority from my Father.’

This verse immediately takes us to Psalm 2, which describes the rebellion of this earth.

Psalm 2:1  ‘Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his anointed one.’

The kings of the earth, led by the antichrist, will rebel against the Lord and Jerusalem itself. Ezekiel describes this further:

Ezekiel 38:15   ‘You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, O Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.’

Gog is another name for the antichrist. Marching against God proves to be rather a foolish move!

Psalm 2:4  ‘The One enthroned in heaven laughs, the Lord scoffs at them. Then He rebukes them in His anger and terrifies them in His wrath, saying, “I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.”

King Jesus will establish his heavenly kingdom on earth, cowering the kings of the earth into submission, bringing peace and justice to this twisted fallen world.

And those who persevere until the end will be part of this glorious Kingdom on earth. This will be worth it. All the suffering, all the heartache, all the sacrifice will be worth it, just to be part of this glorious eternal kingdom that is coming.

This is a tremendous encouragement to all those who suffer under the persecution of their governments. The kings of the earth will seek to undermine and eclipse our faith but we must hold on strong because the King of kings will come to blow them away!

2 Thessalonians 2:8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendour of his being.’

Hasten the day…

Maranatha!

Next we explore the folly of Sardis. To get there now, please click here.

For my previous posts on R2&3 please click below:

Ephesus

Smyrna part a

Smyrna part b

Pergamum part a

Pergamum part b

Pergamum part c

Pergamum part d

Thyatira 1

Thyatira 2

Thyatira 3

Thyatira 4

Sunday Review 10

Hi, and welcome to this Sunday Review. This past week I have been writing on Revelation 2 and will continue to do so this week coming.

I have also worked out how to use Blurb software and I hope to produce my short e-books very soon!

Back in the day, when I was a young kid, we lived in caravans or trailers and so I spent most of my time playing down by the murky pond or else out in the cow fields. One winter’s day, my mother gave me a new coat, which was a real treat in those days. I remember going out into the fields, it was one of those clear frosty mornings with the winter sun shining down. The coat had deep pockets and a fur-lined hood and I was just the happiest boy there had ever been. I skipped across that field, grinning from ear to ear!

Many years later, in a prayer meeting, the Lord reminded me of that day and He told me that He had watched me skipping across the field.

God has such an immense love for everybody; but it is wonderful to know that God also loves us as individuals. He watches every moment of our lives, sometimes to His great joy, sometimes to our shame. And He keeps watching, singing over our lives, encouraging, admonishing, and believing that we will make it through to the end.

One day we will be part of a multitude that no-one can count; but yet God will know each one of us as unique individuals. And God will know me as the one who once was a kid with a new coat, deep pockets and fur-lined hood, who skipped across the cow fields one bright winter’s day, grinning from ear to ear!

Maranatha!

For my previous posts please click below:

Ephesus

Smyrna part a

Smyrna part b

Pergamum part a

Pergamum part b

Pergamum part c

Pergamum part d

Thyatira 1

Thyatira 2

Thyatira 3

Thyatira 4

Thyatira 4

Hi, we are studying Jesus’ letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2&3 and this my fourth post in the church of Thyatira.

Please either listen to the audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time.

Revelation 2:26   ‘To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority…’

There is a simple understanding here of the need to persevere and endure until the end. 

The greatest of ministries will come and go but maturity brings perseverance. 

Romans 5:3  ‘Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Those who endure the sufferings of life but yet remain faithful in the presence of Jesus will grow in perseverance, and this will yield character leading to hope.

This cannot be taught in bible class but rather it comes from following Christ Jesus every difficult step of the way. The bitter tragedies and the mundane challenges of life are never welcomed, but yet they shape and strengthen our inner spiritual life if we allow them. 

The lessons we learn today will keep us in the end-times whilst we wait with perseverance for our blessed hope.

Titus 2:12  ‘It teaches us to say “No”, to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in the present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and saviour, Jesus Christ…

Knowing that the radiant victory of Christ over the darkness draws near.

Luke 21:28  ‘When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.’

And those who faithfully persevere until the end will enter into the authority of Christ as he establishes his heavenly reign on this earth and  we will briefly explore this next…and you can get there now by clicking here.

For my previous posts please click below:

Ephesus

Smyrna part a

Smyrna part b

Pergamum part a

Pergamum part b

Pergamum part c

Pergamum part d

Thyatira 1

Thyatira 2

Thyatira 3

Thyatira 3

Hi, this is a study into Jesus’ letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2&3.. We are studying the church of Thyatira at the moment.

Please either listen to the audio above or read the notes below or both at the same time1

Revelation 2:24  ‘Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secret,’

The craft of false religions is to create deep secrets that only those adherents in the centre of the chosen circle know about. This creates a sense of belonging and spiritual superiority. Some will crave this inner knowledge in order to gain power and/or recognition within the group.

There is a dark spiritual force that drives this craving for esoteric knowledge. Their spells and incantations become their purpose and identity. They become lost in the spirals of teachings that are woven by their corrupt masters. The answer is always just around the corner, always just at the next level, but it never seems to arrive.

There is always one more book that they need to buy, or one more conference to attend, where finally they will find the answer and enter the rarified atmosphere of enlightenment.

Their eternal search has fueled the industry that creates these false teachings.

The remedy within the church is always the sound but yet deep teaching of the holy scriptures that will satisfy and quench the inner thirst and search for spiritual understandings. 

End-time theology is poorly taught in our churches and many will go to the dear old internet searching for answers but yet there are charlatans and wolves just waiting to snatch them up.

Revelation 2:25 ‘Only hold on to what you have until I come.’

Tomorrow we look at perseverance. To get there now please click here

There is a wisdom here. The simple truths of scripture will hold us well until Christ Jesus returns in power and glory. Scripture is all-sufficient. Scripture is all that we need.

Thank you for reading this. My previous posts are below:

Ephesus

Smyrna part a

Smyrna part b

Pergamum part a

Pergamum part b

Pergamum part c

Pergamum part d

Thyatira 1

Thyatira 2

Thyatira 2

This is a series of posts on Revelation 2&3 and we are studying Jesus’ letter to the church in Thyatira.

Please either listen to the audio above or read the notes below or both at the same time.

Revelation 2:20  ‘Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess.’

Jezebel was the evil wife of King Ahab in 1 Kings 16:31, but I would also suggest that she represents spiritual deception that will try to enter the Church in ever greater measure as we approach the last days. 

Three times in the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24 we are warned by Jesus of end-time deceptions coming against us. We live in a world where spiritual deceptions absolutely thrive, from false religions to new age mysticisms, and it should be no surprise if these elements try to cross over the threshold and seek to penetrate and influence the church.

Having spent many years under the influence of these deceptions, I can confirm how enticing and seductive their arguments can be.

Revelation 2:23  ‘I have given her time to repent of her immorality but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering and I will make those who commit adultery with her to suffer intensely unless they repent of her ways.’

Jesus is giving these people time to repent but they refuse to change their ways.

These false teachings and practices can seem to be so innocent and harmless to begin with, but here we discover the harm and devastating damage that they can cause.

It is not for me to criticise any churches; that is beyond my paygrade. The risk of spiritual adultery will always be present in the churches and it needs all the wisdom and courage of anointed leaders to keep the church on the proverbial straight-and-narrow rather than falling into the seductive charms of false beliefs and practices.

Tomorrow we explore the deep secrets of the esoteric. To get there now, please click here.

For my previous posts in this series please click below:

Ephesus

Smyrna part a

Smyrna part b

Pergamum part a

Pergamum part b

Pergamum part c

Pergamum part d

Thyatira 1

Thank you for reading this!

Pergamum part d

Sorry, my posts are slightly out of order!

This is the seventh post in a short series on Revelation 2&3 which are the letters of Jesus to the seven churches. We continue with the church of Pergamum.

Please either listen to the audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

Revelation 2:17a   ‘I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it known only to him who receives it.

This is such a beautiful and tender verse.

Small pebbles were used in the first century as admission tokens to allow the holder entrance into a theatre or suchlike.

Therefore the white stone in this verse speaks of our entrance into the Holy City, into the very presence of God, in the New Jerusalem, when it descends from heaven to earth.

Revelation 21:2  ‘I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride, beautifully dressed for her husband.’ 

The whiteness of the stone relates to the robes of righteousness we will be wearing.

Revelation 7:9  ‘After this, I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no-one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and tongue, standing before the throne of God and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.’

The most deft and talented of earthly tailors cannot fashion such robes; the weave of these garments  comes from heaven itself. 

Salvation is a gift that we cannot earn or buy. It comes by surrendering our very souls to the King of righteousness who stands before us with welcoming arms.

Psalm 62:1  ‘My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him.’

And the new name speaks of the deepened relationship we will have with God. 

Revelation 22:3  No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city and his servants will serve Him. They will see His face and his name will be on their foreheads.’

And our new names will be personal and unique to ourselves. When we stand in this great multitude before the throne, we will not be just another unknown person in the crowd.

The eternal divinity of God will allow us to know God personally and for God to know us. We will not be just a statistic or number. We will spend the rest of eternity deepening our friendship with the God of all creation. 

Hasten the day…

Maranatha!

Tomorrow we explore the church of Thyatira. To get there now please click here.

My previous posts on Revelation 2 can be found by clicking below:

Ephesus

Smyrna part a

Smyrna part b

Pergamum part a

Pergamum part b

Pergamum part c

R2 Thyatira

Hi, we are studying Revelation 2&3, the letters of Jesus to the seven churches and we have arrived at the church in Thyatira.

To go to the beginning, to the first of my posts on the church in Ephesus then please click here.

Please either listen to the audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

Revelation 2:18  ‘These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze.’

There is no place to stand and argue with these words. Whilst he walked the earth, men could despise him and mock him behind his back.

Isaiah 53:3  ‘He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces, he was   despised and we esteemed him not.’

But here, the true nature of Jesus is revealed.

Hebrews 4:13   ‘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.’

To those who dwell in his loving presence, to gaze into his eyes will be sheer joy.

Revelation 22:4   ‘They will see his face and his name will be on their foreheads.

But those who have rejected him will say:

Revelation 6:16   ‘They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come and who can stand?

We get to choose now…surrendering to the Son of God or turning away.

We get to choose life or death!

Choose life!

The next post in this series explores the false spiritual practices that can enter the church. Get there now by clicking here.

Thank you for reading this. My previous posts in this series have been:

Ephesus

Smyrna part a

Smyrna part b

Pergamum part a

Pergamum part b

Pergamum part c

The Single Pearl

Revelation 21:21The twelve gates were made of twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl.

The pearl represents virginal purity and Jesus is the gate:

John 10:9I am the gate, whoever enters through me will be saved.’

The single pearl denotes that Jesus is the only way, the only gate through which we may enter the City.

John 14:6 Jesus answered: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.”

Only those washed in the righteousness of Christ Jesus may enter through these gates.

Psalm 24:3Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol.

Which agrees with:

Revelation 21:27 ‘Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.’

And this is everything:

Matthew 13:45Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.’

How beautiful is that gate!

Blessed are those who may enter the Holy city, the New Jerusalem!

Maranatha!

Sunday Review 9

Hi and welcome to my Sunday Review. Thank you, as ever, for all your support, I really do appreciate it!

Last week I started writing about Revelation chapters two and three, focusing on a futurist interpretation.

One of the great commentators of our day is Nelson Walters, who runs a YouTube channel, and he has very much inspired me over the years. His well-studied teachings are always challenging. I do not necessarily agree with everything he teaches, and he would not expect me to. However, his studies are soaked in humility and integrity.

One of Nelson’s teachings can be found by clicking right here.

This week I will continue with the Revelation 2&3 studies. I have in mind to write, after that, about the end-time beast.

The good news is that after waiting some twenty years in the background, I have finally been given the chance to teach Revelation in a small group, in my local church, for six weeks, starting next Thursday. I also hope to be able to give lectures as well. There has been a sea-change of thought within the leadership and my time has finally come, and so please pray for me that all will go well!

The photograph image above is one of my newest. It has symbolism built into it. I have bought a larger monitor screen which is amazing and I continue to learn and be inspired by other like-minded artists.

Autumn is slowly arriving and the temperatures are falling. I hope you are all keeping warm. Please continue to pray for Afghanistan.

Blessings…

Mike

Last weeks posts:

Ephesus

Smyrna part a

Smyrna part b

Pergamum part a

Pergamum part b

Pergamum part c

Pergamum part c

Hi, this is the sixth in a short series on Revelation 2&3. To see my previous posts, please at the end of this post.

Please either listen to the audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

Revelation 2:17   ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

This is another beautiful reminder of the need for deep communion between the churches and the divine. This has always been of paramount importance but will be especially important in the end-times, during the tribulation.

Revelation 2:17a   ‘To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna.’

This verse can be understood from the point of view that God will provide for our essential needs during the tribulation, in the same way that God provided manna to the Israelites during the Exodus.

Deuteronomy 8:16  ‘He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well for you.

This becomes especially relevant when we consider that ‘the black horse’ of Revelation 6:5 will bring hunger and food deprivation during the tribulation.

Revelation 6:5a ‘I looked and there before me was a black horse. Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand.’

However, John also tells us in his gospel that Jesus is the true bread of life.

John 6:47  ‘I tell you the truth, he who believes me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die.’

Therefore, our original verse regarding hidden manna can have two beautiful meanings at the same time.

Firstly, we will receive miraculous provision during the tribulation that we may overcome until the end.

Secondly, we will have such a sweet communion with our Lord Jesus during the tribulation. We may not be able to worship openly because of persecution but yet our inner hidden worship will be of the most divine nature.

As I write these notes, my thoughts and prayers go out to the Christians of Iran and Afghanistan, who suffer such persecution. May the Lord keep them and miraculously provide for their needs. And may the presence of the Lord be so very close, as they quietly worship behind locked doors. 

Maranatha!

Tomorrow we explore the white stone with a new name on it. To get there now, please click here.

To see my previous posts in this series please click the relevant button below:

Ephesus

Smyrna part a

Smyrna part b

Pergamum part a

Pergamum part b

Revelation 2 Pergamum part b

Hi, this is the fifth post in a short series on Revelation chapter two and three.

To get to the first post in the series, please click here.

Please either listen to the audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

We carry on this morning with our study of Jesus’ letter to the Pergamum church. Once again, I must apologize if this is a rather bleak post this morning but I promise it will be much more cheerful tomorrow!

Revelation 2:14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you. You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality.’

Jesus is referring to the account in Numbers 22-25 where Balak, a Moabite King, hires Balaam to curse Israel.

The message is one of enticement, seduction and temptation.

The church in Pergamum was clearly being tested to the limits to remain faithful to Christ. The pressure to compromise and join the pagan status quo was clear.

Some teach, with good reason, that this describes the end-time tactics of our spiritual enemy. Whilst the church is focused on an end-time harvest, so the enemy is focused on his end-time harvest of souls who turn away from Christ and worship him instead. And he will not hesitate to use enticement, seduction and temptation to get his way. We call this the apostasy.

Matthew 24:10At that time, many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.’

The world and his uncle will turn upon the end-time church and endeavour to seduce us to follow the easy path. Persecution will bring food deprivation and loss of social status. We will become the scapegoats of our society.

2 Peter 2:14 With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning, they seduce the unstable, they are experts in greed – an accursed brood. They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam, son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness.

The enemy will seek to seduce and drag many from the straight way and follow his path to destruction as well.

Revelation 2:12a ‘These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword.

May we be found strong in the grace of the Lord to face the testing times ahead. May we continue to learn from our brothers and sisters in Iran and Afghanistan, that we might be fully prepared for these coming days and that we will fight off the tactics of the enemy; that we might help others to come to the light, and that we will see a great end-time victory in Christ Jesus.

Hasten the day…

Maranatha!

Tomorrow we focus on the good news of this letter…I promise! To get there now, please click here.

To see my previous posts in this series please click the relevant button below:

Ephesus

Smyrna part a

Smyrna part b

Pergamum part a

Revelation 2 Pergamum

Hi, this is the fourth in a short series on Revelation two and three.

Please either listen to the audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

The third church that Jesus writes to is the church in Pergamum which is to be found in the modern state of Turkey.

The beginning is dramatic:

Revelation 2:13 ‘I know where you live – where Satan has his throne.

This verse has been well researched by various commentators and this is just a short potted account for any who have not come across it before.

The city of Pergamum was dominated by an altar to Zeus. A massive stairway led to a bronze bull, hollowed inside, where martyrs would be put inside and burnt alive as an offering to Zeus.

In the 1930’s this huge construction was moved to Berlin and placed in a specially-built museum. The design caught the imagination of the Third Reich and a replica was built and used during their infamous night-rallies. They built a podium where the bronze bull would have stood, and from here, Adolf Hitler would have preached his demonically-inspired orations to his armies.

The term ‘holocaust’, which would come to describe the horrors of the gas chambers of the concentration camps, literally means a whole burnt offering. This is a clear link back to the macabre burning alive of the martyrs in the original altar.

The same spirit that drove the worship of Zeus also drove the Third Reich.

The museum exhibition has been closed for restoration but some surmise that it will eventually be returned to Turkey. This could possibly coincide with the planned re-emergence of the Ottoman Empire, envisaged by Recep Erdogan, the present leader of Turkey.

We will have to wait and see!

This is a macabre account if ever there was one. And we will have to remind ourselves that there is another throne, where God is seated, that is eternal and from whence flows the river of life.

Revelation 4:2At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was throne in heaven, with someone sitting on it. He had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald encircled the throne.’

Revelation 22:1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, down the middle of the great street of the city.

The thrones of men, with all their macabre ugliness, will pass away.

The throne of God is beautifully eternal.

Maranatha!

Tomorrow we explore Pergamum part b. To get there now, please click here.

To view my previous posts in this series, please click below:

Ephesus

Smyrna part a

Smyrna part b

Revelation 2 Smyrna part b

In Revelation chapter two, Jesus addresses the church in Ephesus. He now turns his attention to the church in Smyrna, the city of myrrh, the incense used for burial.

Please either listen to the audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

I apologize in advance if this post seems too serious or morbid but there is light at the end of the tunnel!

In the last post we explored how some in Smyrna were facing persecution. We can learn great lessons for our generation by learning about martyrdom. that not-talked-about subject that in the West we earnestly seek to deny or avoid.

The Church may need to have a sensible, down-to-earth conversation with itself about martyrdom rather than ignoring it and hoping it will never involve us.

Only a misguided fool glorifies or seeks out the sufferings of persecution. But this time of tribulation has been measured out by our Lord, a short period of time that will even be shortened that we might endure and flourish in.

Matthew 24:22   ‘If those days had not been cut short, no-one would survive but for the sake of the elect, those days will be shortened.’

The Lord calls us to be faithful.

Revelation 2:10a  “Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

The bitter reality is that many will be martyred in the end-times. But those who embrace martyrdom will instantly be brought into the very presence of the Lord and will receive the white robes of sanctified glory.

Revelation 6:11   ‘Then each of them was given a white robe…’

And then each person will be given a crown of life for all eternity.

Revelation 2:11a   “He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.”

For there is no death by persecution that can touch a believer’s soul. We are redeemed and brought within the loving care of the Lord.

Romans 8:35   ‘Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness, or danger or sword?

The misshapen claw of persecution will be bitter indeed. But yet the fury of the enemy is his own downfall and his vicious attacks bring his own defeat.

Revelation 12:10a  ‘For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.

Daniel 11:45   ‘He will pitch his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain. Yet he will come to his end and no-one will help him.’

Once again, I apologize if this all sounds morbid and serious. But this is a conversation that we need to have. There is joy and light in the darkness though!

Hasten the day…

Maranatha!

To read my previous two posts in this series, please click below:

R2 Ephesus

R2 Smyrna part a

Tomorrow we look at the infamous altar of Zeus in Pergamum. To get there now, please click below:

R2 Pergamum

Many thanks and blessings!

Revelation 2 Smyrna part a

In Revelation chapter two, Jesus addresses the church in Ephesus. He now turns his attention to the church in Smyrna, the city of myrrh, the incense used for burial.

Please either listen to the audio above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

Revelation 2:9   ‘I know your afflictions and your poverty – yet you are rich!

Many Western Christians, bunkering down in the ivory towers of their opulence, are filled with a blend of guilt and compassion, knowing their brothers and sisters in the faith, in other parts of the world, endure the horrors of persecution.

But yet the beautiful irony is that Christianity often finds its perfect expression when being pummeled from every side. The storm of persecution brings purification so that the Lord may radiate from within ever more brightly.

Not wanting to sound too gloomy but it is possible that persecution may turn up at our door in the West one day.

Revelation 2:10  ‘Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer.’

Persecution brings coils of fear that seek to entangle us, smothering the very life out of our faith, reducing us to apostate fools. This is where close communion with Jesus rescues us, as we feed upon his wisdom and reassuring confidence.

John 16:33   “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

The Christian message may be judged as a message of hate to a sinful world. Then the enemy will seek to imprison some of us, no doubt taking our leather-bound bibles and multi-translation bible phone apps from us as we pass through the detention gates.

Revelation 2:10a “I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you”

Our real enemy will not be the guards though, no matter how rough or cruel they may appear but rather the dark hand that controls their fallen minds.

If we do pass through these detention gates, we will enter the crucible of testing, the furnace of tribulation, that will test our faith to its very limits.

1 Peter 1:7   ‘These (trials) have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.’

The Lord has promised to be with us every step of the way. We may be terrified but we will have nothing to fear. In the presence of the Lord we will find the greatest of joy despite our circumstances.

Romans 8:37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.’

There is hope in the darkness!

Maranatha!

This is the second in a short series. To go to the first post on Ephesus please click here.

Tomorrow we explore Smyrna part b and the cheerful subject of martyrdom. To get there now be click here.

Sunday Review 8

Hi, yesterday I finished my series of posts exploring Matthew 24, the Olivet Discourse, from the point of view that these precious verses form a lighthouse of warnings and encouragements for all generations but especially for the end-time generation. However, certain theological positions seek to dilute or even evade these sound warnings.

If you missed any of this then please get to the first post by clicking here.

I am very conscious, as I type these notes, that the world is trying to move on from the disaster in Afghanistan but that we need to keep praying for our brothers and sisters in both Iran and Afghanistan.

On another matter, I wrote this thought a few days ago:

One of the most beautiful gifts that we can develop is to turn our eyes away from our own precious ministries for a moment and focus on the gifts that God is birthing in others around us.

To see, notice, appreciate, encourage, promote, advertise, challenge, chide, admonish, love, bless, cherish and pray for the spiritual gifts in others. 

And in so doing, we may have birthed the most precious of gifts in our own hearts!

This week I will be writing on Revelation chapter two and three which I hope will be a blessing!

Thank you for reading this…

Revelation 2 Ephesus

This is the first post in a short series exploring Revelation chapter two and three.

Please either listen to the audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

Revelation 2:1 ‘To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:

In Revelation 2, Jesus is speaking to the church in Ephesus.

Revelation 2:2I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them to be false.’

Back in the day, everything seemed so much easier to understand. The good guys rode around with white hats, and the bad guys donned black hats and they scowled and looked mean.

These days, one can never be certain about just about anything. Were the elections rigged or not; is the vaccine good for you or part of a sinister conspiracy, and is there a world government waiting in the wings, waiting for the right circumstances to take control?

We live in confusing times.

In Ephesus, with their wealth of character, they knew a good apostle when they saw one. And they were quick to show the bad ones the back-door.

Scripture warns us repeatedly of the threat of deceit in the end-times. Sweet-talking men and women will arise, with miraculous signs and wonders, and many will chase after them, swallowing their lies like gullible fools.

Matthew 24:24For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect – if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time.’

There is a call to be discerning without being cynical. To observe with discernment and to have the courage to call out deceit when it turns up at the door.

And in the midst of this worldly confusion, when up seems like down, and vice-a-versa, good men and women will be called to boldly speak out the truth and uncover dishonesty in our midst.

But yet our first love is of primary importance.

Revelation 2:4 ‘Yet I hold this against you: you have forsaken your first love.

It remains of paramount importance that we are filled with trusting love, holding on to the cloak of our Saviour, eyes blazing like fierce prophetic fires, resolutely following the path of true light laid out before us.

Revelation 2:7 ‘To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’

The invitation to the wedding supper in the presence of our divine Lord draws us forward. This is our blessed hope. This is the reward that we need to keep our eyes firmly fixed upon.

Hasten the day…

Maranatha!

Tomorrow we look at Jesus’ words to the church in Smyrna. To get there now please click here.

Sunday Review 7

Hi and welcome to this Sunday Review. The week just gone, I carried on with my study on the identity of the rider on the white horse in Revelation 6:1.

To get to the first post in this study please click here and to skip to the conclusion please click here.

This week coming I am starting a study on Matthew 24, the Olivet Discourse. I will be exploring some end-time arguments that try to negate or dismiss the explicit warnings and advice given by Christ Jesus in that chapter.

And after that, I am intending to write on Revelation 2&3 from a futurist perspective.

Below is a free-flow article that I wrote a couple of weeks ago on the subject of scripture memorization. May it be a blessing to you:

Remembering scripture

It begins by writing out by hand your chosen Bible verse on a bit of paper and sticking it in your purse or back-pocket, and during the day you take it out and begin to memorize it,  a few words at a time, slowly and painstakingly, until you have the verse memorized.

And then you wake up the next morning and you cannot remember a single word of it, and so back to the drawing-board, or slip of paper, and begin the process all over again, and this time it seems easier to remember it.

But the next day you can remember some of it, but perhaps a part of it eludes you, but you persevere, and now you can begin to recall the verse, whilst driving, or lying in bed at night or whilst queuing at the supermarket, until you become confident that you have mastered remembering this verse.

And then you head off to a Sunday morning meeting and proudly read out your verse from memory in front of everybody, hoping to impress all and sundry, and then your mind freezes and you make a complete mess of it and everyone is trying not to laugh, but no need to worry because God is just taking you through the humbling process.

And then perhaps you begin to remember other verses and they begin to become a part of you, feeding you from within, and even if you forget them, you find that a moment of revision and they come back to you because your memory cogs are getting stronger.

And perhaps, maybe, sometime in the future, when they turn the internet switch off and confiscate your bibles and smart-phones, you will still have these precious verses buried deep within you and when someone asks you the reason for the hope you have, these verses will just gush out of you, a river of flowing grace.

And you will be such a blessing to others that all the hard work will have been worth it.

And the journey begins today!

God bless!

Highly Recommended!

This video was made some three years ago but it remains as poignant and as relevant today as it did then.

It features a member of the underground church in the Middle East who gives two dramatic accounts, first in Iran and then Kurdistan, of the miraculous appearance of ‘the man in white,’ clothed in spectacular brilliance, who intervenes and brings faith to Muslims.

With recent events in Afghanistan, this video is well worth watching. We need to pray more for Jesus, ‘the man in white‘ to appear. Jesus can walk past check-points and through border controls to reach those who are unreachable.

Joel Richardson continues to bring first-class presentations on end-time subjects with refreshing clarity and studious integrity.

Joel’s website can be found by clicking here.

Global Catalytic Ministries can be found by clicking here.

Joel also works with Frontier Alliance International who can be found by clicking here.

Another great resource that has been of great help to me is Zion’s Hope. I have just finished watching their latest video teaching, given by Bob Hunt, on the subject of Mystery Babylon. Bob gives clear and precise teaching on what is quite a challenging subject. This is well worth watching!

Zion’s Hope website can be found by clicking here.

Bob Hunt’s video teaching can be found by clicking here.

Thank you for reading this and I pray it is a help and a blessing.

Awesome Thunder!

Revelation 4:5 ‘From the throne came flashes of lightening, rumblings and peals of thunder’.

This Old Testament style of description adds to the drama of the moment and speaks of the awesome power and glory of the presence of God.

Exodus 19:16 records: ‘On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled’.

We will see this description of flashes of lightening and thunder throughout the Book of Revelation.

Revelation 16:17The seventh angel poured out his bowl in the air and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying: “It is done”. Then there came flashes of lightening, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake.’

God’s omnipotent and ever-powerful presence saturates the chapters and pages of this magnificent book!

We should approach the Book of Revelation with a sense of awe and wonder…

Turning Off The Fire-Alarm 6

This is the last post in a short series. To go the beginning, to the first post, please click here.

Please either listen to the short audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

Jesus warns us, in Matthew 24, that there will be an end-time period of tribulation.

Matthew 24:21  ‘For then there will be great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now – and never to be equalled again.’

In this short study we have explored how many attempt to dilute or erase the warnings of Matthew 24 and the tribulation that is fast approaching.

We have seen, with brief brush-strokes, how Pre-Tribulation Rapture, Post-Millennialism, Symbolism and Escapism have conspired to ‘turn off the fire-alarm’ of the warehouse owner in my first post:

I heard of a warehouse owner who was constantly being annoyed by the fire-alarm going off all the time. He asked the advice of a friend who told him how to switch the alarm off. And it worked! He was no longer bothered by the alarm at all. Sadly, soon after, a small fire started at the back of the warehouse, the switched-off alarm did not go off and the warehouse burnt to the ground.

Turning off the fire-alarm is never a wise option!

Hiding our heads in the sand or heading up into the mountains and hiding out is not an option. We are called to embrace the coming tribulation, knowing this will be the Church’s finest hour. There is a harvest to be brought in; a dying world to minister to and the coming King and Lord to glorify.

This is not a time to panic or run away with the latest teachings of an ecstatic internet maverick. This is the time to cast off  these erroneous teachings and prepare ourselves for the final hour when the true light will shine in the darkness, when the church will embrace the golden storm approaching, and when our beloved Christ Jesus will return in power and glory.

Psalm 27:5For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in his dwelling, he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above my enemies who surround me, at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy. I will sing and make music to the Lord.’

The hour is late, dear friends, and it is time to prepare our hearts to face the golden storm that is approaching.

Hasten the day…

Maranatha

This is the last post in a short series. To go the beginning, to the first post, please click here.

Turning Off The Fire-Alarm 5

Head in the Sand Escapism

This is the fifth post in a short series. To go to the beginning, from the first post, please click here.

Please either listen to the short video clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

Jesus warns us, in Matthew 24, that there will be an end-time period of tribulation.

Matthew 24:21  ‘For then there will be great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now – and never to be equalled again.’

Many have adopted a rather casual and cavalier approach to this end-time warning. And perhaps there are understandable reasons. This generation has had its fair share of ecstatic mavericks who are only too pleased to share their latest wacky prophecy or message from God.

Some plump for a policy of waiting and seeing. This seems wiser. Why scare their congregation unnecessarily. “Who can tell what will happen but I am sure it will all pan out in the end. If the tribulation comes , we will prepare for it then” they tell themselves.

This seems like wisdom but it is sadly a folly of the highest degree.

The thrust of scripture, and especially Matthew 24, is that we need to prepare for the end-times in a calm and sensible way.

Matthew 24:25  ‘See, I have told you ahead of time.’

As I write these notes, the Taliban have taken over Afghanistan. Wonderful testimonies have come through underground networks telling of bravery and fidelity in the face of intense and horrendous persecution. But these Afghan Christians have been prepared over the years by Iranian Christians going into Afghanistan and circulating through the underground church.

They have been taught of the tribulation that is to come and the need to stand firm in their faith. They have been taught of the explosive power of the gospel and the outpouring of miraculous signs and wonders. They have been taught of the golden storm approaching.

By contrast, many leaders in the West are churning out their soporific messages that are stripped bare of any need for the Church to prepare for the tribulation days that are barrelling down upon us like a run-away train.

I could say that those who choose to hide their heads in the sand will be bitten on the bottom.

But it is far more serious than that.

There is an urgent need for Christians to sensibly prepare themselves for the days ahead. To resolve now that death is irrelevant compared to holding on to our faith and receiving the crown of eternal life. To be prepared to minister to a falling world, no matter how dark it becomes. To embrace the golden gospel and be the shining light in a world that is plunged into darkness.

Revelation 2:10  ‘Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.’

The hour is late, dear friends, and it is time to prepare our hearts to face the golden storm that is fast approaching.

This is the fifth post in a short series. To go to the beginning, from the first post, please click here.

To get to the conclusion, please click here.

Turning Off The Fire-Alarm 4

Symbolism and Metaphor

This is the fourth in a series of posts. To go to the first post in the series, please click here.

Please either listen to the audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time.

Jesus warns us, in Matthew 24, that there will be an end-time period of tribulation.

Matthew 24:21  ‘For then there will be great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now – and never to be equalled again.’

I have written before, that the warnings of Matthew 24 are like a fire-alarm, preparing us for the days ahead, but that many have sought to ‘turn off the fire-alarm’ for the sake of a quieter life.

These warnings of a coming tribulation are not just confined to Matthew 24 but are to be found wherever you go in scripture, including Revelation; Paul’s letters and throughout the Old Testament.

One proven way of evading these warnings is to resort to symbolism. Everything then becomes a symbol or metaphor of this or that, according to the imagination of the writer.

Brian Simmons, in his book ‘The Passion Translation’ writes:

 ‘There is always a deeper meaning to the literal understanding of the text of the Bible. This deeper meaning does not negate the literal, but gives a fuller comprehension.’   1

And I would kind of agree with this. Scripture does contain symbolism and metaphor and allegory and so on. And scripture does have its levels of understanding.

But then Brian describes the ‘beast’ of Revelation 13:1:

‘The “beast” is our self-life (Ps. 73:22). We are called to overcome this beast through the life of Jesus within us.’   1 location 29342

And I would sort of agree with this level of understanding. But then Brian goes on to ‘negate the literal’ by denying the very existence of an end-time ‘beast’ that is clearly the Antichrist.

Brian writes: ‘There is no reference to the Antichrist in the book of Revelation. The beast is equated to the nature of humanity.  1location 29230

With the greatest of respect, I would have to disagree. I would suggest that the Antichrist is mentioned clearly throughout scripture but not given the specific name ‘Antichrist.’ Brian is not seeing the wood for the trees.

By using symbolism, Brian has done what he said we should never do, by negating the literal warning of an end-time Antichrist and the need to prepare for his emergence, by suggesting that the ‘beast’ is just the inner self-life‘.

In scripture, the ‘beast‘ always describes a coming evil king.

Scripture explains scripture and the beast is clearly described in Daniel as being an end-time leader within an evil kingdom.

Daniel 7:7  ‘After that, in my vision, at night I looked, and there before me was fourth beast – terrifying and frightening and very powerful…v.23 He gave me this explanation: “The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on the earth.”

To use symbolism to explain away this end-time beast as purely being the ‘inner self-life’ is criminal. The ‘beast’ is a bitter reality that is emerging in our times.

Scripture provides clear warnings about an approaching tribulation. We can use all our ingenuity to dilute or prevent these warnings but nevertheless the tribulation will come. It has been ordained.

We can turn off the fire-alarmas did the warehouse owner in my first post. But when our warehouse burns down we will be sorry.

Be wary of getting drunk on symbolism. Scripture is very down-to-earth.

The hour is late, dear friends, and it is time to prepare our hearts to face the golden storm that is approaching.

This is the fourth in a series of posts. To go to the first post in the series, please click here.

  1. Simmons, Brian. The Passion Translation New Testament (2nd Edition): With Psalms, Proverbs and Song of Songs (p. 1251). BroadStreet Publishing Group LLC. Kindle Edition location 29230 & 29342

Turning Off The Fire-Alarm 3

This is a seven part series on the subject of Matthew 24, the Olivet Discourse, that Jesus gave on the Mount of Olives, shortly before Gethsemane.

Please either listen to the audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

This is the third post in this series. To go to the beginning, please click here.

The Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24 has always stood as a challenging encouragement to all generations. As we enter the very end-times, these precious words of Jesus have become a blazing light-house, casting its vivid warnings and sage advice to those who are prepared to listen.

Many have sought to ‘turn off’ the fire-alarm warnings of Matthew 24 by various theological stances. This study briefly explores some of these stances.

Post-Millennial Theory

This theory holds that the Church will grow like a mustard seed to the extent that the world will become strongly influenced by Christianity. Whole nations will be converted and discipled in the ways of the Lord. When the righteousness of Jesus has filled the earth, then and only then, will Christ Jesus return in power and glory.

I appreciate that this is rather a potted impression of Post-millennial thought but this is all that space allows.

The challenge to this theory has always been that certain parts of scripture seem to speak of a darkness falling on this earth, immediately preceding the return of Christ Jesus. This would include Matthew 24; Paul’s letters; the Book of Revelation and most of the Old Testament!

The Post-millennial camp have tried to evade this problem by arguing that these challenging verses describe the fall of Jerusalem in AD70, rather than the end-times.

However, it has to be noted that this line of thought, generally called Preterism, or Partial Preterism, has an enormous wealth of problems in itself.

Tragically, both forms of Preterism tend to lead towards Replacement Theology that argues that in AD70, God cast aside Israel and made the Church the new Israel.

I have to assert,  at this point, that the Post-millennial camp have moved from mistaken theology to out-and-out heresy. Sadly, many Charismatic churches have fallen down this dank hole of thought.

Post-millennialists wrongly believe that the world is gradually getting better and better and the thought of a coming darkness is deemed too pessimistic to even consider. They therefore leave themselves completely unprepared and vulnerable to the approaching golden storm.

The coming miraculous revival that they rightly long for will be embedded within the storm of tribulation.

This dark storm of tribulation will knock many off their feet and they will be unable to embrace the golden revival within. Their dreams of revival will be lost because most will be floundering, crushed by fear and disappointment, unprepared for the storm that holds the gold.

Post-millennialism tries to ‘turn off the fire-alarm‘ of Matthew 24 and bring an illusory peace. We need to put these sun-drenched yet false teachings aside and embrace the warnings and encouragements of Matthew 24.

May the Lord prepare us for the coming storm that we might embrace the gold within

Once again, I do apologise for my brevity of criticism but I intend to return and write more on this subject later. I have included links below to sterling work done on this subject by Joel Richardson and Dr Brock D Hollett. 

To go to the beginning of this series please click here.

Tomorrow we explore the use of symbolism to turn the fire-alarm off. To get there now, please click here.

Exposing the Errors of Preterism https://youtu.be/3r30CC88tJ8 A Joel Richardson interview with Dr Brock. Very helpful indeed. There is also a sequel.

Dr Brock D  Hollett   Debunking Preterism  Morris Publishing A comprehensive reference book. Absolutely well studied. A classic. This is not a brief paperback!

Turning Off The Fire-Alarm 2

This is a seven part series on the subject of Matthew 24, the Olivet Discourse, that Jesus gave on the Mount of Olives, shortly before Gethsemane.

To begin at the first post in this series, please click here.

Please either listen to the audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

The Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24 has always stood as a challenging encouragement to all generations. As we enter the very end-times, these precious words of Jesus have become a blazing light-house, casting its vivid warnings and sage advice to those who are prepared to listen.

Many have sought to ‘turn off’ the fire-alarm warnings of Matthew 24 by various theological stances. This study briefly explores some of these stances.

We begin with the Pretribulation Rapture Theory

Jesus warns us, in Matthew 24, that there will be an end-time period of tribulation.

Matthew 24:21  ‘For then there will be great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now – and never to be equalled again.’

This study argues that the Pretribulation rapture theory seriously undermines the warning that Jesus teaches in the verse above.

For many years, the Church has wrestled with the question of whether or not she will endure this period of intense persecution or be safely gathered up beforehand.

The Church will certainly be raptured, most are agreed on this. The debate lies in the timing of this rapture; whether it happens before, after or during this tribulation period.

Battle-lines have been drawn and theologians have developed and sharpened their arguments. This is certainly no time or place here for discussing the merits of opposing arguments.

The Pretribulation Rapture position holds that Jesus will not allow his Bride to endure this period of tribulation and He will gather his beloved beforehand. However, others will argue that the Church has never been immune from the ravages of persecution but that Christ Jesus walks faithfully by her side.

The argument rages on! I have great respect for all those who hold the Pretribulation view but I believe they are very much mistaken.

The point of this short study is to raise concerns regarding the Pretribulation Rapture viewpoint and I know that I am not alone in this.

If the Church is convinced that it will not face this period of intense tribulation then the grave danger is that it will be ill-prepared when this time comes.

Michael Snyder writes persuasively: ‘The hard times that are coming are going to cause millions of Christians to plunge into depression and despair – especially after they realize that the Pre-Tribulation rapture that they were promised is not coming.

The overwhelming danger here is that many Christians are living in a cocooned dream-land, wrongly believing they will be raptured up as soon as the tribulation begins.

The disappointment they will face when the tribulation comes, will cause many to doubt their faith and fall away.

Matthew 24:10  ‘At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other.

The Pretribulation Rapture position therefore tries to evade the warnings of the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24 with disastrous consequences. We need to be sensibly and calmly prepared for the tribulation beforehand so that we may face these times, strengthened by the presence of Christ Jesus, confident that the Church  will be the bright light shining in the darkness, reaching out to a falling world, and proclaiming the gospel of Jesus until the very last moment.

The hour is late, dear children, and we need to prepare our hearts for the golden storm that is fast approaching.

Tomorrow we explore Post-millennialism, to get there now please click here.

To begin at the first post in this series please click here.

Quote from Snyder, Michael. The Rapture Verdict (p. 15). Unknown. Kindle Edition.

Turning Off The Fire-Alarm 1

This is a seven part series on the subject of Matthew 24, the Olivet Discourse, that Jesus gave on the Mount of Olives, shortly before Gethsemane.

Please either read my notes below or listen to the audio clip above or both at the same time!

Let me begin with a short story:

I heard of a warehouse owner who was constantly being annoyed by the fire-alarm going off all the time. He asked the advice of a friend who told him how to switch the alarm off. And it worked! He was no longer bothered by the alarm at all. Sadly, soon after, a small fire started at the back of the warehouse, the switched-off alarm did not go off and the warehouse burnt to the ground.

Hopefully, the story above shows the dangers of willfully ignoring warning signs!

The Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24 has always stood as a challenging encouragement to all generations. As we enter the very end-times, these precious words of Jesus have become a blazing light-house, casting its vivid warnings and sage advice to those who are prepared to listen.

Many have sought to ‘turn off’ the fire-alarm warnings of Matthew 24 by various theological stances. This study briefly explores some of these stances.

Using sparse brush-strokes, we will explore Pre-Tribulation Rapture theory, Post-Millennialism, Symbolism and Escapism and see how they act to dilute the ordained warnings contained within Matthew 24.

I hope these notes, over the next four days, will be both challenging and encouraging.

We live in the most blessed of days.

The hour is late, dear friends, and it is time to prepare our hearts to face the golden storm that is approaching.

Maranatha.

Tomorrow we explore Pretribulation Rapture theory and how it affects our understanding of Matthew 24. To get there now, please click here.

Even To The Point Of Death

Please either listen to the audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time.

We were praying and fasting this week for Afghanistan and in our prayer meeting I saw, in my mind’s eye, that Jesus was standing before a blackboard with a piece of chalk.

And Jesus was saying that Afghanistan would be his blackboard and he would teach us many lessons through this nation, if only we had the humility of heart to learn.

I know that the Christians of Afghanistan have been prepared, for so many years, by the underground church of Iran. I would imagine that one of the key verses taught would be Revelation 2:10a.

Revelation 2:10aBe faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.’

It would be too easy for us to abstract the very meaning out of this verse. We could say that this means that we have to die to self and transcend to a higher understanding of the life of Jesus..and so on and so forth…

For many, it will mean that there is a knock at the door, and someone puts a gun to your head and asks you if you are a Christian or not…

Sorry to be so dramatic…but this is the reality for so many.

We will do well to commit this verse to memory, allowing its harsh beauty to infiltrate our soul, until it becomes part of us.

The hour is late, dear children, and we need to prepare our hearts, for the golden storm is fast approaching…

Thank you for reading this…

Rider on the White Horse conclusion

We have been studying the rider on the white horse in Revelation 6 and trying to discern his true identity.

Please either listen to the audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time.

The Book of Revelation contains the description of two riders on white horses.

Revelation 6:1 I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, ‘Come!’ I looked and there before me was a white horse Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

and

Revelation 19:11   ‘I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse whose rider is called Faithful and True.

It would be wrong though to confuse the two as being the same person.

After all, if Napoleon Bonaparte rode past on a white horse, and then later, Lady Godiva, we would not conclude that they are both the same person on account of the fact that they are both riding white steeds.

The differences between these two riders is too great to ignore.

1   Revelation 6:1 describes how Jesus the Lamb opens the first seal to reveal…the rider on the white horse. It seems strange that Jesus should open the seal to reveal himself.

2   Revelation 6:3-8 describe three other horsemen who clearly represent war, hunger and death. It seems strange that Jesus should be in the midst of this demonic trio, no matter how hard we try to confuse their symbolic meaning.

3   The horsemen are summoned forth by the living creatures. They are unlikely to be ordering Jesus to come forth in a voice of thunder since they were worshiping him in the previous two chapters.

4   The first rider comes with a heart bent on conquest. Our relationship with Jesus is one of willing love and not of forced conquest. Jesus does not come to conquer his bride.

5   The rider in Revelation 6:1 and in Revelation 19:1 wear different forms of crown. The former wears a crown of victory. The latter wears a crown of royalty.

I would conclude therefore that the two riders are completely different persons. In Revelation 6:1 we have an imposter; an imitation Christ; white-washed with a veneer of deceptive righteousness but with an evil heart that seeks to conquer souls for himself and his own twisted glory’

In Revelation 19:11 we have Christ Jesus who has come to fight and destroy this enemy.

It is imperative that we can discern between Christ Jesus and the deceptive Antichrist, so that we can tell who is who, otherwise we risk being horribly deceived in these last days.

When we understand that this rider on a white horse in Revelation 6:1 is the same as the ‘beast’ in Revelation 13:1; who is the same as the ‘beast’ of Daniel 7:23; who is the same as Gog of Magog of Ezekiel 38:2; who is the same as ‘the pierced head’ in Habakkuk 3:14; who is the same as ‘the man of lawlessness’ in 2 Thessalonians 2:3; who is the same as ‘the helpless one’ in Daniel 11:45; who is the same as ‘the captured beast’ in Revelation 19:20…and so on and so forth…then the rest of Revelation will simply fall into place!

Thank you for reading this.

My previous posts on this subject can be found here:

Rider on White Horse 1

Rider on White Horse 2

Rider on White Horse 3

Rider on White Horse 4

Rider on White Horse 5

Rider on White Horse 6

Rider on White horse 7

If you have any questions or problems loading this site then please let me know. This is a big help to me. I will reply as soon as I possibly can, as time allows. I am currently using the Alves theme in WordPress.

My philosophy is: write simple and leave lots of space. All the Artwork is by myself. Some images are stranger than others! This website is powered by copious amounts of Aeropress coffee!

Writing is a lonely old business and all encouragements are rapturously received!

Sunday Review 6

Welcome to this Sunday Review.

Last week I focused on the identity of the rider of the white horse in Revelation 6:1. The links are below. I have two more posts on this subject which I will put up this week and I will probably bring it all together in one long post too.

Yesterday I recommended two videos by Nelson Walters and ‘One For Israel’ which both brilliantly describe the Feast of Trumpets and its meaning. This post can be reached here.

The next subject I wish to tackle is entitled ‘Turning Off The Fire-alarm‘ which will describe how many have neutralized the warnings of Matthew 24 in their church teachings.

We continue to pray for Iran and Afghanistan. I will leave you with one testimony that has come out of the underground church by means of Global Catalytic Ministries.

The light of God is so visible, and it is piercing Islam.”.

Testimony from an underground leader: “It has been really exciting to meet other Christians here, in this time. Our hearts have been more connected, because they see we have not abandoned them. There was a man that was upset because he thought we would leave but then to see us still here, he was so happy. I have been telling him ‘we are family’ for a long time, and now he can see what that means and it is true. He told me how much it meant to know that I could have left, but I chose to stay with them. I am so thankful to be used by God this way. So there is pain and joy right now. God hasn’t left. There is no need to fear what the Taliban is doing, yes bad things may happen to us but God will do something and glorify His name. If something bad happens to me, I will remember God and how he works miracles. In the Bible, He miraculously hid people in danger, and other times He allowed them to be beaten and killed. I trust God and I am meeting many believers that have been very afraid. It is a very special time, I still cry every day and struggle to sleep, but I have so much joy. The light of God is so visible, and it is piercing Islam.”.

Blessings for this week!

Last weeks posts can be found by clicking below.

Rider on a White Horse 1

Rider on a White Horse 2

Rider on a white Horse 3

Rider on a White Horse 4

Rider on a White Horse 5

If you have any questions or problems loading this site then please let me know. This is a big help to me. I will reply as soon as I possibly can, as time allows. I am currently using the Alves theme in WordPress.

My philosophy is: write simple and leave lots of space. All the Artwork is by myself. Some images are stranger than others! This website is powered by copious amounts of Aeropress coffee!

Writing is a lonely old business and all encouragements are rapturously received!

Recommended!

The Feasts of the Lord, his appointed times and holy assemblies are faithfully recorded in scripture.

Leviticus 23:4 ‘These are the Lord’s appointed feasts, the sacred assemblies you are to proclaim at their appointed times.’

We have just celebrated Yom Teruah, the Feast of Trumpets, with its festive feasts and sounding of shofars, followed by ten days of repentance. heading towards Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, on Wednesday 15th 2021 with its day of fasting and repentance.

Some Christians will consider these Jewish appointed times to be irrelevant.

Many are finding the beautiful love story of the gospel embroidered into the very fabric of the Jewish calendar.

Some are seeing these annual feasts as being a rehearsal of the return of Christ Jesus and his betrothal to his glorious Bride.

There are many books and videos out there, describing these appointed times and their relevance to the Church. One such is by Nelson Walters. I have followed his YouTube channel for some time now. He speaks brilliantly on a wide range of matters regarding the end-times. Some are more out there than others and I do not always agree with him! But he has a genuine integrity and his research is formidable. He is refreshingly non-dogmatic with a humble heart and he enjoys questioning and challenging previously well-held views. I always seem to learn something new when I study with him.

Nelson released a YouTube video a couple of days ago on the Feast of Trumpets which I highly recommend. It can be found by clicking here.

Another video was also released a couple of days ago by One For Israel ministry. This is a wonderful, well-researched and healthy look at the Feast of Trumpets. Find it by clicking here. This group is a constant source of inspired teaching.

I will leave you with just one verse!

Isaiah 27:13 ‘And in that day a great trumpet will sound. Those who were perishing in Assyria and those who were exiled in Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.’

Hasten the day…

Maranatha!

On Monday I will continue with the Rider on the White Horse series. If you want to seem my previous posts on this subject, please click below:

Rider on a White Horse 1

Rider on a White Horse 2

Rider on a white Horse 3

Rider on a White Horse 4

Rider on a White Horse 5

If you have any questions or problems loading this site then please let me know. This is a big help to me. I will reply as soon as I possibly can, as time allows. I am currently using the Alves theme in WordPress. By all means use a false email address if you wish to remain anonymous.

My philosophy is: write simple and leave lots of space. All the Artwork is by myself. Some images are stranger than others! This website is powered by copious amounts of Aeropress coffee!

Writing is a lonely old business and all encouragements are rapturously received!

Rider on the White Horse 7

Revelation 6:1   ‘I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, ‘Come!’ I looked and there before me was a white horse. Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.’

This week we are exploring the identity of this rider on the white horse in Revelation 6:1.

Please either listen to the short audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

Revelation 6:1a ‘Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.’

John describes this rider on a white horse in Revelation 6 as being given a crown.

The Greek word used here is ‘stephanos’and denotes a victor’s wreath.

This is in sharp contrast to the Greek word ‘diadema’ which denotes a crown of sovereignty and is worn by Christ Jesus in Revelation 19.

Revelation 19:12His eyes are like blazing fires and on his head are many crowns.’

Therefore, the rider on the white horse here in Revelation 6 wears a different form of crown to the many crowns worn by the rider of the white horse in Revelation 19:11, thus separating the two as being different people. One is Christ Jesus and the other is the false Antichrist.

I would conclude therefore that since the horseman of Revelation 6:1 and the horseman of Revelation 19:11 have completely different crowns on their heads, that they are actually different persons.

Interestingly, the expression ‘given’ used here when the rider receives his crown is translated from the Greek word ‘edothe’.

This is echoed in Revelation 6:4a when the rider of the fiery red horse is ‘given’ power to take peace from this earth;

This reflects Revelation 13:5 when the Antichrist beast is ‘given’ a mouth to utter proud words and Revelation 13:7 when he is ‘given’ power to make war against the saints

The implication here is that the rider has no authority of his own but only the crown of victory that he is given.

This would agree with Daniel 11:21 where the Antichrist is described as being without a natural royalty of his own.

Daniel 11:21 He will be succeeded by a contemptible person who has not been given the honour of royalty.’

The emerging end-time Antichrist will have no crown or authority of his own but will be empowered by the enemy. God, in His sovereign wisdom, allow this to happen.

Everything comes under God’s sovereign rule; indeed God often uses his enemies to achieve his purposes.

Tomorrow I will bring this subject to a conclusion.

My previous posts on this subject can be found here:

Rider on White Horse 1

Rider on White Horse 2

Rider on White Horse 3

Rider on White Horse 4

Rider on White Horse 5

Rider on White Horse 6

If you have any questions or problems loading this site then please let me know. This is a big help to me. I will reply as soon as I possibly can, as time allows. I am currently using the Alves theme in WordPress.

My philosophy is: write simple and leave lots of space. All the Artwork is by myself. Some images are stranger than others! This website is powered by copious amounts of Aeropress coffee!

Writing is a lonely old business and all encouragements are rapturously received!

Rider of the White Horse part 6

Revelation 6:1   ‘I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, ‘Come!’ I looked and there before me was a white horse. Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.’

We are exploring the identity of the rider on the white horse of Revelation 6:1.

Please either listen to the short audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

Revelation 6:2   ‘I looked and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

The rider on his white steed rides out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

I would argue that this rider is the Antichrist whose purpose is to coerce and dominate the souls of the inhabitants of this earth by spiritual deception.

Revelation 13:7  ‘He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them.’

This is in sharp contrast with Christ Jesus who patiently offers the invitation of grace and freewill.

Revelation 3:20  ‘If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me’.

Our relationship with Jesus is one of willing love and not of forced conquest.

Revelation 6:2a Its rider held a bow…’

The rider on the white horse carries a bow but no arrows.

It is important to note that Christ Jesus, riding a white steed in Revelation 19:11 does not carry a bow,  therefore distinguishing him from the rider here in Revelation 6 who does.

Brian Simmons, the author of  ‘The Passion Translation’ writes: ‘He holds a bow to shoot the arrows of truth into our hearts.’

With the greatest of respect, I will have to disagree once more with Brian, who wrongly suggests that this rider in Revelation 6 is Christ Jesus.

It is unusual for Jesus to be described as shooting arrows of truth into our hearts like Cupid. The firing of arrows is usually used in a very negative context.

Ephesians 6:16   ‘In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one,’

Most have noticed that there is no mention of any arrows or quiver in Revelation 6.

The suggestion is made that this rider comes to wage a spiritual war through deception and falsehoods, as well as a military conquest.

It can be argued that the Antichrist comes to frighten and intimidate with his given might. However, he has no real sway over those who hold fast to Christ and will be easily defeated by those who stand firm. He has no real arrows to fire!

Revelation 12:11   ‘They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.

The power of the Antichrist is therefore an illusory bluff. If we stand firm in the armour of God then he can hold no sway against us.

Once again, it is imperative that we can discern between Christ Jesus in Revelation 19:11 and the deceptive Antichrist, here in Revelation 6:2a, so that we can tell who is who, otherwise we risk being horribly deceived in these last days.

May we see clearly!

Tomorrow we explore the crown that the rider is wearing. to go there now, please click here.

My previous posts on this subject can be found here:

Rider on White Horse 1

Rider on White Horse 2

Rider on White Horse 3

Rider on White Horse 4

Rider on White Horse 5

If you have any questions or problems loading this site then please let me know. This is a big help to me. I will reply as soon as I possibly can, as time allows. I am currently using the Alves theme in WordPress.

My philosophy is: write simple and leave lots of space. All the Artwork is by myself. Some images are stranger than others! This website is powered by copious amounts of Aeropress coffee!

Writing is a lonely old business and all encouragements are rapturously received!

Rider on the White Horse 5

Revelation 6:1   ‘I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, ‘Come!’ I looked and there before me was a white horse. Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.’

This is the fifth in a seven part series on the identity of the rider of the white horse in Revelation 6:1.

Please either listen to the audio clip above or read the notes or both at the same time!

So we are exploring the identity of this rider on a white horse in Revelation 6:1.

Brian Simmons, author of the book ‘The Passion Translation’ writes that ‘the colour white is found throughout Revelation and is always associated with Christ or spiritual victory.

With the greatest of respect, I have to disagree with this interpretation.

It is certainly true that the colour white is associated with Christ Jesus. However, I would suggest that the coming Antichrist will seek to imitate Christ Jesus, to be a deceptive and evil substitute.

He will certainly ‘dress himself up’ as a Messiah figure and even have a false righteousness about him. We must be careful not to be misled by his deceptive ways, This even includes the false signs and miracles that he will perform.

Matthew 24:24  ‘For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect – if that were possible.’

In scripture, the colour white is also associated with falsehood, deception and cover-up.

When Paul confronts the Sanhedrin, in Acts 2:33, he says to Ananias, the high priest: “God will strike you, you white washed wall.’

To whitewash something is to cover up the dirt and hide it under a veneer of deception.

Ezekiel writes:

Ezekiel 22:28  ‘Her prophets whitewash these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations. They say, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says” – when the Lord has not spoken.’

Likewise, Jesus was critical of the Pharisees.

Matthew 23:27 Woes to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.’

Jesus discerned clearly, the corruption that lay underneath the dark of the hearts of the Pharisees.

In the same way, we are called to see underneath the deception of the Antichrist, who pretends to be a Messiah figure.

Matthew 24:26   ‘So if anyone tells you, “There he is, out in the desert, do not go out; or Here he is, in the inner rooms, do not believe it.”

So this rider on a white horse may appear to be righteous but he has covered his corruption with lies and falsehoods. We are called to see behind his deceptions and know his evil heart.

We need to discern. We must stay close and true to Jesus!

Next week we look at who this rider will conquer. To get there now, please click here.

To be taken to my previous posts on this subject, please click below:

Rider on a White Horse 1

Rider on a White Horse 2

Rider on a white Horse 3

Rider on a White Horse 4

If you have any questions or problems loading this site then please let me know. This is a big help to me. I will reply as soon as I possibly can, as time allows. I am currently using the Alves theme in WordPress.

My philosophy is: write simple and leave lots of space. All the Artwork is by myself. Some images are stranger than others! This website is powered by copious amounts of Aeropress coffee!

Writing is a lonely old business and all encouragements are rapturously received!

Rider on a White Horse 4

Revelation 6:1   ‘I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, ‘Come!’ I looked and there before me was a white horse. Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.’

Please either listen to the four minute audio above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

We have been exploring the major differences between Jesus riding a white horse in Revelation 19:11 and this rider on a white horse in Revelation 6:1.

Revelation 6 describes how the living creatures take it in turn to call someone forth.

Revelation 6:2   ‘Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder,Come.

The word “Come” is an imperative word of command. There is some debate over whether the living creatures are calling John forward or instead, the riders on the four horses who are being called forward. The imperative tense would strongly imply the latter.

The ‘voice like thunder’ would also intimate that it is the riders on the horses who are being compelled to come forth and not John. The creatures would have had more respect for John than to speak to him in a voice like thunder.

It seems strange and unlikely for one of the  living creatures to be commanding or ordering Jesus on a white horse to come forth. In the previous two chapters they were devoutly worshiping him day and night. mt

It seems more likely that the living creatures are ordering, in a voice like thunder, the Antichrist, riding on a the white horse, to come forth, and then the three other riders of warfare, hunger and death in turn.

The implication here is that the horsemen cannot simply turn up when they choose; they are bound to wait until summoned. In other words, G-d is sovereign and completely in control. The enemy can do no more than he is allowed.

If we agree that this first rider of the white horse is the Antichrist, then it seems fitting that he is summoned and commanded by the living creatures.

This would agree with Ezekiel 38:4 where Gog, the coming Antichrist, is forced to come forward with his army to do God’s sovereign bidding.

Ezekiel 38:4 ‘I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army.’

Therefore I would conclude that the living creatures command the horsemen to come forth in turn. The first horseman is the Antichrist dressed in deceitful white. He must come forth to fulfill the destiny that G-d has ordained for him. Then he will be defeated when Christ Jesus returns in power and glory.

Tomorrow we look at the white cloth of this rider. To get there now please click here.

To be taken to my previous posts on this subject, please click below:

Rider on a White Horse 1

Rider on a White Horse 2

Rider on a white Horse 3

If you have any questions or problems loading this site then please let me know. This is a big help to me. I will reply as soon as I possibly can, as time allows. I am currently using the Alves theme in WordPress.

My philosophy is: write simple and leave lots of space. All the Artwork is by myself. Some images are stranger than others! This website is powered by copious amounts of Aeropress coffee!

Writing is a lonely old business and all encouragements are rapturously received!

Rider on a White Horse 3

This is the third in a seven part series on the identity of the rider on the white horse in Revelation 6.

Revelation 6:1   ‘I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, ‘Come!’ I looked and there before me was a white horse. Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.’

Please either listen to the three minute video above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

Revelation 6:3-8, which we will explore soon, describe three horse-riders that clearly represent warfare, hunger and death. It seems strange to put Jesus in the midst of such a motley crew of horsemen!

It would be much more likely that this rider is the Antichrist who will actually bring warfare, hunger and death in his wake.

Some have attempted to turn the elements of warfare, hunger and death into symbols of this or that but this seems like a desperate attempt to symbolize the meaning out of the text in order to deny the existence of the coming Antichrist.

Paige Patterson, a superb commentator, writes: ‘Since the second, third, and fourth seals must be regarded as devastating judgments of God on the tribulation earth, one can hardly imagine the significance of the appearing of the Messiah in seal number one.’ 1

Spurgeon held that literal interpretation was the manner in which the Scripture was to be interpreted. He told his students that, “The first sense of the passage must never be drowned in the outflow of your imagination; it must be distinctly declared and allowed to hold the first rank; your accommodation of it must never thrust out the original and native meaning, or even push it into the background”

Some will strive to deny the existence of an emerging Antichrist because it does not fit with their post-millennial theology. They hold that the world will become predominantly Christian before Christ Jesus returns and therefore they must deny any end-time tribulation or emergence of an Antichrist preceding the return of Christ Jesus. They resort to elaborate symbolism to bolster their erroneous end-time understandings.

I must strongly conclude that it is the Antichrist described here, in the midst of his bitter fruit of war, hunger and death.

Tomorrow we will explore the relationship with this rider and the other riders. To get there ahead of time please click here.

For my previous posts on this subject please click:

Rider on the White Horse part 1

Rider on the White horse part 2

Quote comes from Patterson, Dr. Paige. Revelation: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture: 39 (The New American Commentary) (Kindle Locations 4544-4546). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. Location 4531.

Quote from Charles Spurgeon comes from https://archive.spurgeon.org/eschat.php

Many thanks for reading this. If you have any questions or problems loading this site then please let me know. This is a big help to me. I will reply as soon as I possibly can, as time allows. I am currently using the Alves theme in WordPress.

My philosophy is: write simple and leave lots of space. All the Artwork is by myself. Some images are stranger than others! This website is powered by copious amounts of Aeropress coffee!

Writing is a lonely old business and all encouragements are rapturously received!

Rider on the White Horse 2

Welcome to the second post of this seven post series exploring the identity of the rider of the white horse in Revelation 6:1.

Revelation 6:1   ‘I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, ‘Come!’ I looked and there before me was a white horse. Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.’

Please either listen to the short audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

We looked yesterday at how most modern commentators are in full agreement that this first rider on a white horse is a false imitation of the depiction of Christ Jesus riding a white steed as described in Revelation 19.

Revelation 19:11  ‘I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse whose rider is called Faithful and True.

Both riders, in Revelation 6:1 and 19:11, ride a white horse but this certainly does not mean they are the same person. There are just too many differences between them, as we will explore.

I am suggesting here that this rider in Revelation 6:1 is actually the deceptive Antichrist.

It is imperative that we can discern between Christ Jesus and the deceptive Antichrist, that we can tell who is who, otherwise we risk being horribly deceived in these last days. mt

When we read Revelation 6, there would seem to be a clear distinction between Jesus the Lamb and this rider on a white horse.

Jesus the Lamb opens the first seal to reveal a rider on a white horse. He does not open the seal to reveal himself! This would not make much sense!

It certainly makes much more sense that Jesus the Lamb opens the first seal to reveal someone other than himself! Someone such as a false imposter. mt

I would therefore argue again that there is a clear distinction between Christ the Lamb who opens the seal and this rider on a white horse.

This would lead me to believe that Jesus the Lamb opens the seal to reveal the Antichrist riding on a white horse, a false tyrant posing as a saviour.

Tomorrow we will explore even greater differences between Jesus the Lamb and this Rider on a White Horse. To travel ahead of time and go there now please click here.

If you have any questions or problems loading this site then please let me know. This is a big help to me. I will reply as soon as I possibly can, as time allows. I am currently using the Alves theme in WordPress.

My philosophy is: write simple and leave lots of space. All the Artwork is by myself. Some images are stranger than others! This website is powered by copious amounts of Aeropress coffee!

Writing is a lonely old business and all encouragements are rapturously received!

Rider on the White Horse 1

Welcome to this seven part study into the identity of the rider of the white horse in Revelation 6.

Please either listen to the three minute audio clip below or read the notes or both at the same time!

Revelation 6:1   ‘I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, ‘Come!’ I looked and there before me was a white horse. Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.’

Some have equated this rider on a white horse in Revelation chapter 6 with the rider in Revelation 19:11 on the basis that they are both riding white horses.

Revelation 19:11 ‘I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse whose rider is called Faithful and True

However, there are major differences between the rider of the white horse in Revelation 6, and the rider in Revelation 19 as we shall explore over the next few days.

“I must emphasize that just because they both ride white horses does not make them the same rider!”

Most modern commentators are in agreement that this rider in Revelation 6 is the Antichrist, a false imitation of Christ Jesus portrayed in Revelation 19. Satan has always lacked originality and is forced to produce false deceptive images of the honest truth, in order to lead people astray.

This rider on a white horse in chapter six is therefore taken to be the infamous Antichrist who will come in deception.

He correlates perfectly with the beginning of the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24:4 where Jesus warns: ‘Watch out that no-one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming ‘I am the Christ’ and will deceive many.’

Throughout the course of history there have been anti-Christ figures that have chosen to ride white horses. The classic example would be Napoleon Bonaparte who famously rode a white steed at the head of his army; and in recent days, Saddam Hussein of Iraq was often pictured riding a white mount. Both examples reveal the propensity and arrogance of man to lust after conquest.

“It is imperative that we can discern between Christ Jesus and the deceptive Antichrist, so that we can tell who is who, otherwise we risk being horribly deceived in these last days.”

Tomorrow we will explore further major differences between the two riders described. To travel ahead of time and go there now, please click here.

If you have any questions or problems loading this site then please let me know. This is a big help to me. I will reply as soon as I possibly can, as time allows. I am currently using the Alves theme in WordPress. By all means use a false email address if you wish to remain anonymous.

My philosophy is: write simple and leave lots of space. All the Artwork is by myself. Some images are stranger than others! This website is powered by copious amounts of Aeropress coffee!

Writing is a lonely old business and all encouragements are rapturously received!

Sunday Review 5

Hi and welcome to this Sunday Review. As I write this, encouraging words are coming out of Afghanistan of the fearless work of Christian evangelists risking their very lives and sharing the gospel. At the same time, the youth of Afghanistan are disillusioned and disgusted with the behaviour of the Taliban.

This gives a wonderful opportunity for the gospel of Christ Jesus to spread throughout this embattled nation.

In the West, we often speak of the wonders of the Early Church, the conversions and the miracles etc. We tend to underplay the horrendous persecution of that time.

In Afghanistan, they are living through such a time and we pray that the hearts of the Afghan people will be opened to the warm balm of the gospel of Jesus Christ. May they have dreams and visions and miraculous signs and wonders. May Jesus be glorified!

One important aspect of the Taliban re-taking control of Afghanistan was the speed of events. Everyone seemed to be taken by surprise.

I believe there is a warning here, staring us in the face. The emergence of the Antichrist will be sudden. And he will use shock-and-awe tactics in order to throw everyone into total confusion. Many will be caught off-guard.

There is a vital importance for Christians to prepare their hearts for the coming days or they will be overwhelmed by events and fall by the wayside instead of helping a falling world.

Sadly, many are choosing to ignore or even deny the existence of the Antichrist who will emerge in the final days. Some attempt to deny his existence in their teachings. This is equivalent to denying the existence and dangers of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Back to the writings:

For the last two weeks I have been focusing on the Gates of Nehemiah.

It is wonderful to see the gospel of Jesus embroidered into the fabric of scripture.

To read the conclusion, showing how the names of the gates describe the gospel please click here.

To read the first post, the first gate, and work your way through, please click here.

This week I start a five-post series, one each day, exploring the Rider of the White Horse in Revelation 6 !

Global Catalytic Ministries are one of the best sources of information concerning the underground church in Afghanistan. Find them by clicking here.

Frontier Alliance International is also doing great work in this field. Find them by clicking here.

If you have any questions or problems loading this site then please let me know. This is a big help to me. I will reply as soon as I possibly can, as time allows. I am currently using the Alves theme in WordPress.

My philosophy is: write simple and leave lots of space. All the Artwork is by myself. Some images are stranger than others! This website is powered by copious amounts of Aeropress coffee!

Writing is a lonely old business and all encouragements are rapturously received!

Nehemiah’s Gate conclusion

We have explored the names of Nehemiah’s 10 Gates, that were built to fortify Jerusalem after the Babylonians conquest. We have seen how they describe the gospel of Jesus.

It is wonderful to see that the gospel is embroidered into the very fabric of scripture.

Please either listen to the short audio text above or read the notes below or both at the same time.

Therefore, we can bring this altogether and say:

1 The first gate is the Sheep’s Gate and looks forward to Christ Jesus being the sacrificial lamb, the perfect sacrifice, who died for the sins of the world.

John 1:29Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world..

2 The second gate is the Fish Gate, and by Christ’s sacrificial death, we may become fishers of men and preach the good news to the world of salvation through faith in Christ.

Matthew 4:19 “Come, follow me”, Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.

3 The third gate is the Old Gate. By receiving Christ Jesus as our Lord and Saviour we become new creations, the old has gone and the new has come.

2 Corinthians 5:17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone the new has come!’

4 The fourth gate is the Valley Gate. On our Christian path we will meet many valleys and times of weakness and despondency. These dry valley periods will serve to strengthen us and keep us depending on Christ Jesus for support.

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…’

5 The fifth gate is the Dung Gate. As we walk the Christian path and devote ourselves to the means of grace, we will find the Holy Spirit sanctifying us, removing the dross and purifying us from the inside out.

Psalm 51:7 ‘Cleanse me with hyssop and I shall be clean, wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.’

6 The sixth gate is the Fountain Gate and the promise is that the presence of Jesus will be a fresh source of pure water. At any moment we may turn inwards and feel the gentle reassuring balm of his sweet presence.

John 4:13Jesus answered, “Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

7 The seventh gate is the Water Gate. This pertains to the holy scriptures that will wash us as we immerse ourselves in their divine truths.

Ephesians 5:25a ‘…Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word and to present her to himself, as a radiant church…’

8 The eighth gate is the Horse Gate that pertains to spiritual warfare. As we immerse ourselves in the presence of Jesus and guard our hearts with the belt of truth of scripture then we will be able to stand and fight against the enemy.

Ephesians 6:13 Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground…’

9 The ninth gate is the East Gate which looks forward to the return of Christ Jesus in power and glory, to gather his family, defeat the enemy, and usher in the Kingdom where he will reign for all eternity from the New Jerusalem.

Matthew 24:27 For as lightening that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.’

10 The tenth gate is the Inspection Gate that speaks of the accountability of every Christian who will be rewarded when Christ returns, and the judgement for those who have deliberately denied Jesus and turned their back on the gospel because they prefer their own darkness.

Revelation 22:12Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.’

Next week we explore Revelation 6 and the rider of the white horse.

To read the previous eight gates click on their name:

Gate 1 The Sheep Gate

Gate 2 The Fish Gate

Gate 3 The Old Gate

Gate 4 The Valley Gate

Gate 5 The Dung Gate

Gate 6 The Fountain Gate

Gate 7 The Water Gate

Gate 8 The Horse Gate

Gate 9 The East Gate

Gate 10 The Inspection Gate

If you have any questions or problems loading this site then please let me know. This is a big help to me. I will reply as soon as I possibly can, as time allows. I am currently using the Alves theme in WordPress. This site is powered by copious amounts of Aeropress coffee!

My philosophy is: write simple and leave lots of space. All the Artwork is by myself. Some images are stranger than others!

Writing is a lonely old business and all encouragements are rapturously received!

Sunday Review 4

Hi and welcome to my fourth Sunday review where I list my posts over the last week and discuss my coming posts.

This week has been taken up with events in Afghanistan. We have all been going through the whole gamut of emotions. Above all, we find ourselves drawn to prayer.

In the midst of the unspeakable horror and the understandable terror, we have reports of large numbers being added to the underground church and this is good news indeed!

If you are searching for guidance on what to pray for, or how to give so that the money gets directly to the underground church then I can highly recommend Global Catalytic Ministries who can be found here.

The week just gone I started my series on Nehemiah’s Gates and I have done five so far, with five more to do this week. This series explores the name of the gates that Nehemiah and friends built and how the gospel is to be found in the names.

The first gate, the Sheep Gate can be found here and you can work through the gates from there.

On Saturday I reviewed and highly recommended a video on the situation in Afghanistan by Joel Richardson. This video can be found here.

This week will be taken up with the remainder of Nehemiah’s Gates and I am working on Revelation chapter six after that.

I have had a couple of reports of images on this site not downloading well and perhaps the site having compatibility issues. I have consulted WordPress and they have not found any problems but the WordPress theme itself may have issues with Microsoft Explorer 10 or earlier. Apologies for this and I am exploring changing the theme although that will involve a fair bit of work to a non-techo like me!

I have also added a comments box below. Please note, I believe you can send a message anonymously by typing a few random letters and then adding @gmail.com or @aol.com or similar and that should get through to me. I appreciate that many, like myself, are wary of giving out their email address willy-nilly.

Thanks for listening!

Highly Recommended!

I make no apologies for once more recommending a video by Joel Richardson. This one is entitled ‘The Black Flags from Khorosan, the Taliban and Biblical Prophecy.’ A link is provided below.

Joel is well-known for his books and videos. His writings are well-researched and scholarly, but yet presented in an easy and understandable way. He seems to be a pretty good guy too!

He begins this video with an outline of the Global Catalytic Ministry (link below) which is doing such a sterling work, day and night, to support the Christian community in Afghanistan who are in such a desperate plight. Some are staying put and some, understandably, are fleeing for the mountains and trying to cross the borders.

GCM coordinate prayer for this region and have set up a support fund and are able to get supplies to where it is needed. Head to their website to add to their funds. They will need plenty over the coming days.

Joel then describes the media-savvy Taliban who have established the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan. He discusses Islamic prophecy and the ominous-sounding ‘Black Flags of Khorosan‘, whose stated intention is to conquer Jerusalem.

As ever, Joel discusses these subjects with honesty and integrity.

Highly recommended!

J, Richardson 30 minute video ‘The Black Flags from Khorosan’ click here.

Global Catalytic Ministries click here

I am in the midst of a daily study on Nehemiah’s Gates which I will continuing next week. To study the first four gates, please click below:

Gate 1 The Sheep Gate

Gate 2 The Fish Gate

Gate 3 The Old Gate

Gate 4 The Valley Gate

If you have any questions or problems loading this site then please let me know. This is a big help to me. I will reply as soon as I possibly can, as time allows. I am currently using the Alves theme in WordPress.

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My philosophy is: write simple and leave lots of space. All the Artwork is by myself. Some images are stranger than others!

Writing is a lonely old business and all encouragements are ravenously received!

Nehemiah’s Gates 5

The rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem by Nehemiah was birthed in tears and prayers and fasting.

Nehemiah 1:3a ‘The wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates have been burned with fire. When I heard these things I sat down and wept. for some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.’

Ten gates are mentioned in Nehemiah chapter 3, proceeding counter-clockwise from the north wall of the Temple. The circumference of the walls was approximately two and one-half miles, encompassing, I believe, approximately 220 acres.

The names of the gates looked forward to the gospel and the Messiah Yeshua who was to come. And so we can see how God’s sovereign plan to bring redemption to mankind was birthed from the very beginning.

Please either listen to the short audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

5   The Dung or Refuse Gate

Nehemiah 3:14  ‘The Dung Gate was repaired by Malkijah son of Recab, ruler of the district of Beth Hakkerem. He rebuilt it and put its doors and bolts and bars in place.’ 

This was the infamous garbage pit of Jerusalem that burnt day and night. Nearby was the Kidron Valley. The prevailing wind would hopefully carry the smells away!

We were all born into unrighteousness.

Psalm 51:5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.’

Isaiah 64:6  ‘All of us have become like one who is unclean and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.’

However, mercifully, by sanctification we are cleansed and made pure from the inside.

There is a miraculous process here. As we devote ourselves to the means of grace, by prayer, scripture, worship and wise fellowship, and as we grow closer to the Lord, we find a transformation happening within us. It will probably not happen overnight! But as we walk faithfully with the Lord we will find old habits falling away and old temptations no longer appealing.

There will always be times when we fall over and go backwards, but as we pick ourselves up, brush off the dust and focus our eyes on our Saviour once more, with sincere hearts, then we will quickly make ground and advance along this road of righteousness.

A wise old man once told me that we cannot turn off the darkness. All we can do is turn on the light and allow the light to dispel the darkness.

Hebrews 4:15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.’

The Dung Gate therefore pertains to the cleansing of the filth of sin. The Holy Spirit begins to cleanse and sanctify us from within.

Psalm 51:7 Cleanse me with hyssop and I shall be clean, wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.’

Ephesians 5:25 ‘Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing of the word...

May the Christians of Afghanistan and Iran be purified as they pass through the straits of persecution and may they shine out as bright beacons in a dark and corrupt world! As I write this, the news of the bombings in Kabul Airport are coming through.

The hour is late and we need to prepare our hearts for the days ahead. Maranatha!

Tomorrow: the Fountain Gate. Get there now by clicking here.

To study the first four gates, please click below:

Gate 1 The Sheep Gate

Gate 2 The Fish Gate

Gate 3 The Old Gate

Gate 4 The Valley Gate

If you have any questions or problems loading this site then please let me know. This is a big help to me. I will reply as soon as I possibly can, as time allows. I am currently using the Alves theme in WordPress.

My philosophy is: write simple and leave lots of space. All the Artwork is by myself. Some images are stranger than others!

Writing is a lonely old business and all encouragements are rapturously received!

Nehemiah’s Gates 3

Thanks to those who helpfully commented on compatibility issues. WordPress tell me it may be the theme I am using which is not compatible with Explorer 10 or earlier. I will look at changing the theme. One dear friend commented that my more abstract artworks always look as if they have compatibility issues. I found that rather amusing!

Nehemiah and friends returned to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem which had fallen down during the Babylonian conquest.

Ten gates are mentioned in Nehemiah chapter 3, proceeding counter-clockwise from the north wall of the Temple. The circumference of the walls was approximately two and one-half miles, encompassing, I believe, approximately 220 acres.

The names of the gates looked forward to the gospel and the Messiah Yeshua who was to come. And so we can see how God’s sovereign plan to bring redemption to mankind through Christ Jesus was birthed from the very beginning.

To begin at the beginning, at the first gate, please click here.

Please either listen to the short audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

3   The Old Gate

The Old Gate is also known as the Jeshanah Gate.

Nehemiah 3:6  ‘The Jeshanah Gate was repaired by Joida, son of Paseah and Meshullam son of Besodeiah.’ 

There is always the temptation to go back to the past when things go wrong. This is especially true when the ‘honeymoon period’ that we have, when we are first saved, wears off.

Gosh, I know a fair bit about this. I am eternally grateful to to those who cherished and held us close during our early days when there was ever the temptation to retreat back to the sub-culture that Jesus had taken out of.

However, we are new creations:

2 Corinthians 5:17  ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come.’

The Christian life certainly has its fair share of challenges! There is always the temptation to throw it all in and go back to the illusion that the sinful life offered. Simon Peter had the answer for this though:

John 6:66From this time, many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”

The Old Gate therefore pertains to the old nature of the self which is done away with as we embrace our new nature in Christ Jesus.

I pray that as the Afghans discover the gospel that they will be strong and true and not be tempted back to the old ways, no matter how hard or tough the road may become. I pray that they will be caught up in the magnificence of the words of eternal life.

I pray also for the emergence of true shepherds in both Iran and Afghanistan who will be able to guide and counsel their flock and develop other disciple-makers.

Tomorrow we explore the Valley Gate. Get there now by clicking here.

Thank you for reading this…

To begin at the beginning, please click below:

Nehemiah Gate 1 The Sheep Gate

Nehemiah Gate 2 The Fish Gate

Sunday Review 3

Hi and welcome to this Sunday Review, dated 22/08/2021.

Last week, I continued to focus on my series ‘The Martyrdom of Stephen‘ which explored the idea that Acts 6-7 is a foreshadow of the end-time tribulation which is approaching soon.

Hopefully I was able to express the golden essence of the closeness of God to Stephen and the victory of the gospel in the midst of the horrific martyrdom of death by stoning.

The light was shining in the darkness!

To check out this series from the beginning, from the first post, then please click here.

This week I am starting a short series on Nehemiah’s Gates. A friend asked to do some research into the meaning of the ten gates of the rebuilt second temple which I was happy to do. That should take seven days and then I intend to take a look at Revelation chapter six.

Whilst I was writing the notes for ‘The Martyrdom of Stephen’ , world events took centre stage with the taking of Afghanistan by the Taliban. We continue to pray and give in this hour of desperate need.

Many believe that the events of Afghanistan are a turning-point for the Church.

There are still too many Christians who are drifting along in a semi-conscious bliss, wrapped up in the cotton-wool of ever-deeper inner healing, pursuing a post-millennial dream, completely unaware of the tsunami of tribulation that is coming.

If Afghanistan has taught us anything, then it is the speed of events unfolding. Many believe that they will prepare themselves when the time comes. They believe this is wise advice. Sadly, they are terribly wrong, and tragically they are teaching this falsehood from the pulpit to others.

Remember though, that the light will shine in the darkness. I have no doubt, that in the midst of the horrors of the Taliban invasion, that the truth will emerge of great courage and perseverance, of miraculous signs and wonders, and great numbers rejecting the god of the Taliban and embracing the love and holiness of the God of Israel, our heavenly Father.

If ever there was a time to pray then it is now!

Helpful verses: Revelation 2:10; Revelation 6:9-12; Revelation 7:15-17; Revelation 12:10-12 and Revelation 19:11-17

Helpful articles:

Global Catalytic Ministries found here

Nelson Walters article found here

One For Israel video found here

Bless your day!

The artwork is ‘The Golden Wood’, from my new collection of abstracts.

The Martyrdom of Stephen 9

This is the ninth and last in a series of short posts on the martyrdom of Stephen, described in Acts 6-7, exploring if this is a foreshadow of the end-time tribulations.

To start at the beginning, at the first post, please click here

Either listen to the short audio clip above or read the notes or both!

In this series we have explored how the tragic martyrdom of Stephen, brought victory to the fledgling early church.

Whilst the hateful stones were hurled through the air, Stephen was being wrapped in the eternal presence of Jesus, and his death was no more than a transition into the courts of heaven.

Whilst I began this series, starting nine days ago, the Taliban conquest of Afghanistan took place. The theology of Acts 6-7 has become an unfolding real-life reality.

We pray that the horrific persecutions of the fledgling church in Afghanistan will cause the church to go from strength to strength and that a wonderful harvest of righteousness will abound in that area.

We see this principle at work, in China and Iran. Whenever the enemy seeks to bring darkness, the bright light of the gospel of salvation shines ever more brightly!

Jesus knows the troubles that we face but he also knows the victory that is coming.

Revelation 2:9  ‘I know your afflictions and your poverty – yet you are rich.’

Those who hold unswervingly to the faith will know the great victory in Christ.

Jesus will come to gather his bride, his beloved church, to bring them into the heavenly courts.

Matthew 24:30a ‘They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.’

In the heavenly courts, Jesus will tend to those who have suffered in the tribulations.

Revelation 7:16 ‘Never again will they hunger, never again will they thirst. the sun will not beat upon them nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd, he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’

And then, note carefully, King Jesus will return to earth once more, to bring justice and retribution.

Revelation 19:11  ‘I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire and on his head are many crowns.’

2 Thessalonians 2:8  ‘And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendour of his being.’

And then King Jesus will establish his blessed Kingdom on earth.

Psalm 72:19 ‘Praise be to his glorious name for ever, may the whole earth be filled with his glory, Amen, Amen.’

Isaiah 35:10a They will enter Zion with singing, everlasting joy will crown their heads. gladness and joy will overtake them and sorrow and sighing will flee away.’

Hasten the day…

Maranatha!

To go to the beginning, to the first post, please click here.

Thank you!

The Martyrdom of Stephen 8

This is the eighth in a series of nine short posts on the martyrdom of Stephen, described in Acts 6-7, exploring if this was a foreshadow of the end-time tribulations that are coming.

To start at the beginning of the series, at the first post, then please click here.

Please either listen to the short audio clip above or read the notes below or both at the same time!

Acts 6:15 ‘All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.’

The death of Stephen may have seemed like a defeat but yet it was a victory. The blood of the martyrs upon the earth always brings a victorious harvest. The Church went on to grow from strength to strength.

As I write, the Taliban are continuing their dreadful persecution of the Church in Afghanistan and we continue to pray for our dear brothers and sisters over there. But yet we know that these persecutions, horrific though they may be, will produce a glorious harvest of righteousness in this whole area.

Acts 8:1 And Saul was there, giving approval to Stephen’s death.

Saul, who watched by the side, went on to persecute the church even further.

Acts 8:2 ‘Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.’

But yet God had profound plans for Saul, who was to use his Roman name of Paul, and he would be miraculously saved and go on to become a powerhouse of preaching and teaching to the Gentile world.

Acts 9:15 ‘But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man (Paul) is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.’

We pray that many ‘Pauls’ will be raised up in Afghanistan!

The Church is called to walk in perfect love and forgiveness. Even though it may seem that the Church is being brought to nothing, nevertheless our faith, the faith of Jesus upon the cross, will ensure the victory of King Jesus who will return in power and glory and destroy the enemy with just one breath!

At times it may appear that the Church will have lost the battle and will be done away with.

Isaiah 60:2See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you.’

We have already seen this principle at work, in China and Iran. Whenever the enemy seeks to bring darkness, the bright light of the gospel of salvation shines ever more brightly!

Jesus knows the troubles that we face but he also knows the victory that is coming.

Tomorrow we explore this victory further.

To start at the beginning of the series, at the first post, then please click here.