Tag: rebellion

Thankful for end-time warning!

Scripture reading for December 8th:  1st Thessalonians 4-5, 2nd Thessalonians 1-3

Key Scriptures:  2nd Thessalonians 2:1-4  “Concerning the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him, we ask you brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.  Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come, until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.  He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called god or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”

Paul was concerned about false teachers who were leading the church astray concerning the gathering of Christ’s people at His return.  He told them to check out all messages by the Word.  That day would not come until a great rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed.  He would exalt himself above God and set himself up as God in the Temple of God.  These events were declared in Daniel’s prophesy.

Thankful for prophetic warning:  “The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom.  After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings.  He will speak against the Most High and oppress the saints and try to change the set times and the laws. ”  (Daniel 7:24-25)

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The man of lawlessness!

Scripture reading for September 22nd:  2nd Thessalonians 2

To correct some confusion in the church concerning the coming of Christ, Paul further explained some of the events that would happen before Christ returned.  “Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to Him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.  Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.  He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”  (2nd Thessalonians 2:1-4)

Paul explained that a day or time of rebellion against God’s rule and word would precede Christ’s return.  During this rebellion, a man called the ‘man of lawlessness’ would rise up by exalting himself.  He would oppose God and set himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God!  He would also come with false signs and wonders which would be empowered by Satan.  These signs would deceive those who were on the path of destruction.  “For this reason God send them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”  (2nd Thessalonians 2:11)

“But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers, loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.”   (2nd Thessalonians 2:13)  By standing firm in the Spirit of Christ and believing the truth, salvation is assured!

 

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Rebellion: today’s entertainment!

Scripture reading for March 20th: 1st Samuel 13-15

When we think about witchcraft and the occult, we tend to think about men and women dressed in black, moonless nights, bats, curses, spells, evil and  death.   Our modern culture has lots to say about the occult and many television shows and movies  highlight this evil.  A popular series of children’s novels, “Harry Potter”, has sold millions and most think that it is another form of entertainment.

Saul was anointed by God to lead the nation.  He was the answer to the people’s cry for a king like the other nations.  But Saul was impatient.  Samuel, the prophet, had told Saul to wait for him to come and sacrifice to the Lord.  Saul waited but grew impatient and decided to offer the sacrifice himself.  Samuel returned just after Saul completed the offering, and rebuked him by telling him that God was not going to let him continue as king.  (1st Samuel 13:13-14)  So the “good” thing that Saul had done for the Lord, was not done in obedience to the Lord.

Another account of Saul’s actions occurs in chapter 15.  Samuel tells Saul to attack the Amalekites and destroy everything as punishment from the Lord for their attacking Israel on their way from Egypt. (400 years earlier!)  Saul obeyed–partially!  He kept back the best sheep and goats for sacrifice and let King Agag live.  The Word of the Lord came to Samuel: “I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” (1st Samuel 15:10-11)  Partial obedience is not obedience!

God hates rebellion and stubbornness!  Ask the Lord to show you if these sins are evident in your life and allow Jesus to deliver you!  These sins don’t entertain God and should not be entertained in your life or home!  Don’t give God a reason to reject you as his child!  Or worse yet, cause your children be rejected because of this evil!

“But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord?  To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.  For rebellion is like the sin of divination (witchcraft-KJV)  and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the Word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.” (1st Samuel 15:22-23)

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The King’s Return

Scripture reading for April 1st: 2nd Samuel 19-20

After the rebellion of Absalom, King David was in mourning for the loss of this beloved son.  Even though this son had tried to take over his throne and kill him, David wished that he himself was dead instead!  This is the heart of God for all who perish outside of His grace!  He wishes none to perish but all to come to receive salvation!  (1st Timothy 2:3-4)  Joab, the commander of David’s army calls the king out of his mourning to be thankful for those who risked their lives to support him.

As King David returned, there were many things to make right again.  Rebellion leaves a residue.  People’s hearts are tested and their loyalties become clear.  Not everyone had sided with the king!  Some had openly dishonored him and some were still in rebellion.  David must again sit at the city gate and judge and encourage the people.  He must establish a team of advisers and leaders who will be loyal to help him.  As we read these chapters of 2nd Samuel, it is interesting to note how the king deals with these various situations.

First, David summoned the elders of Judah to meet with him.  Shimei, the Benjamite who had cursed David came with them with a thousand of his brothers and fell at the king’s feet, begging for mercy. (2nd Samuel 19:16-23)  Abishai recommended that he be put to death, but David gave mercy!  Revenge was not in his heart this day!   Mephiboseth, Saul’s grandson came before David and gave a conflicting story with that of his servant Ziba.  David gave a wise answer and did not make a judgment.  Barzillai, David’s friend and adviser came and David blessed him and gave him what he desired.

As we look at these events and how people came before David, I think ahead to the return of our King, Jesus Christ!  The return of Jesus will bring many surprises.  True loyalties will be exposed!  Our King will take with Him those who have been faithful and reward all who have come to Him for mercy.  He will not judge by what His eyes see outwardly, but He will be the faithful Judge who judges righteously.  He will deal with all rebels and dispatch them to their punishment.  He will return at a time when most are not expecting Him and His reward will be with Him.  I pray that you and I are ready and watching!

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Babel Went Up. God Came Down

Scripture reading for January 5th: Genesis 10-11

I love to build things and organize.  God designed us that way! In the days following the flood, the descendants of Noah had a fresh opportunity to obey God by being fruitful, multiplying and repopulating the earth. Shem, Ham, and Japheth had a whole new world that needed care and tending. They each had a wife and could begin again to obey God’s simple command. (Genesis 9:7)

Genesis 10 records the genealogy of these three descendants of Noah. Note that one of Ham’s descendants, Nimrod is given particular attention. He was a mighty warrior and hunter before the Lord. He built the cities of Babylon and Nineveh. (Genesis 10:8-10) His brother Canaan was the father of the Canaanite tribes that inhabited Israel in the time of Abraham and beyond. Note also that Shem was the father of Eber. (Genesis 10:21) Eber’s descendants included Abram and the “Hebrew” people derive their name from him! (Genesis 11:27)

Nimrod and his family group decided to settle on the plains of Shinar, which is modern day Iraq. There they organized all or most of the family to build a tower to heaven and make a name for themselves. They particularly did not like the idea of being scattered over the whole earth. (Genesis 11:2-4) There is some implication that Nimrod forcibly organized this rebellion and hunted down those who would not comply. He also organized a humanistic religion that worshiped the work of man’s hands and the creation, but not the Creator!

God came down to see this city and stated that nothing would be impossible with this kind of unity. They had unified in opposing the plans and purpose of God. He took action and confounded their one language so that they couldn’t understand one another. In the days of Peleg he scattered them across the earth and then divided the earth. (Genesis 10:25) He created the nations from these three families.

God wants to dwell with His people and desires fellowship with them. He longs to have a people willing to be under His rule and protective covering. We can learn from these records of God’s dealing with those after the flood. He is merciful, but demands obedience. Take a few minutes today and thank Him for His mercy and His plan of reaching all with the Gospel. God came down in Jesus Christ and is here now in His church!

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The Man of Lawlessness and Rebellion

Scripture reading for December 5th: 2nd Thessalonians 1-3

Because of Christ’s love He has warned the Church about one man who will come that will be known for terrible evil and lawlessness.  This person will be called the ‘man of lawlessness’.  We should know about him to motivate us to tell as many people as possible about the Lord and warn others.

“Concerning the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him, we ask you brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.  Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:1-3)

The coming of Jesus Christ will happen suddenly.  (1st Thessalonians 5:2-3)  According to Paul, this day will not come until this lawless man is revealed.  Some in Paul’s day were saying that the day of the Lord had already come.  He wrote this to address the concern that some had missed the rapture.  We are still watching for this to happen today.

Paul goes on to describe the man of lawlessness as one who will opposes truth and set himself up as god.  He will do this through Satan by counterfeit signs and wonders.  (2nd Thessalonians 2:9-10)  These signs will deceive people who have refused to know and love truth.  They will be deluded and go to their destruction.  (2nd Thessalonians 2:11)

We have a choice each day to read and believe God and His word.  If we reject the truth, we have nothing left but a lie.  Lies may sound good, but they lead to destruction.  God chose us to be saved by the sanctifying work of the Spirit and belief of the truth.  This is all a gift of God’s grace.  Because of this grace will will share in the Lord’s glory when He comes.

Take time today to share Jesus Christ with someone who does not know Him.  Ask them if you can share this passage about the coming man of lawlessness.  Let the Holy Spirit lead both of you to discover truth and to love it!

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Rebellion: Today’s “entertainment”!

Scripture reading for March 20th: 1st Samuel 13-15

When we think about witchcraft and the occult, we tend to think about men and women dressed in black, moonless nights, bats, curses, spells, and evil that is ugly.  It usually includes violence, blood and death.  Our modern culture has lots to say about the occult and many television shows and movies that highlight evil are watched by millions.  A popular series of children’s novels, “Harry Potter”, has sold millions and no one thinks much about it other that another form of entertainment.   When we imbibe of this evil, we are stubbornly rebelling against God’s command.  (Leviticus 19:26)

Saul was anointed and empowered to lead the nation.  He was the answer to the people’s cry for a king like the other nations.  But Saul was impatient.  Samuel, the prophet and judge, had told Saul to wait for him to come and sacrifice to the Lord and seek counsel.  Saul waited but grew impatient and decided to offer the sacrifice himself.  It was not his job or place, but he went ahead anyway.  Samuel returned just after Saul completed the offering, and rebuked him by telling him that God was not going to let him continue as king for all time.  (1st Samuel 13:13-14)  So the “good” thing that Saul had done, was not done in obedience to the Lord.  He had impatiently rationalized his action and fell under God’s disfavor. There was no repentance either.

Next, Saul’s son Jonathan acted in courage and faith to attack the Philistines.  He and his armor-bearer scaled a cliff and killed 20 men in a short time.  They had not been around when Saul had made the men swear not to eat anything until the enemy had been defeated.  Jonathan ate some honey to gain energy for the  ensuing fight.  One of the soldiers told Jonathan about the oath of his father, but he had already tasted the honey.  Saul acted impetuously with the vow and then wanted to execute his own son! (Remember Jephthah!)

The final account of Saul’s actions occurs in chapter 15.  Samuel tells Saul to attack the Amalekites and destroy everything as punishment from the Lord for their attacking Israel on their way from Egypt. (400 years earlier!)  Saul obeys–partially!  He kept back the best sheep and goats for sacrifice and let King Agag live.  The Word of the Lord came to Samuel: “I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” (1st Samuel 15:10-11)  Partial obedience is not obedience!

God hates rebellion and stubbornness!  We can call it entertainment, but God still calls it sin!  Ask the Lord to show you if these sins are evident in your life and allow Jesus to deliver you!  These sins don’t entertain God and should not be entertained in your life or home!  Don’t give God a reason to reject you as his child!  Or worse yet, cause your children be rejected because of this evil!

“But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord?  To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.  For rebellion is like the sin of divination (witchcraft-KJV)  and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the Word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.” (1st Samuel 15:22-23)

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God’s Chosen Authority

Scripture Reading for February 16: Numbers 17-20

Our reading today follows the awful deaths of Korah and his family.  The earth actually opened up and swallowed them all and they went down to Sheol crying out. (Numbers 16:31-34) They rebelled against the leadership of Moses and, in doing so, against God.  It’s so easy for people to criticize leadership.  Each person seems to be able to see a different or better way to do things.  Each leader has his own faults as well– none are perfect!  But we learn from this record that God Himself chooses leaders and places them in authority.  When we rebel or criticize leadership, we are rebelling and criticizing God!  He is not pleased with grumbling and rebellion!

In Numbers 17, we have a record of God’s mercy towards the people of Israel.  He had the leaders of each tribe bring their staffs and lay them before the Lord in the Tent of Meeting.  The next morning, Aaron’s staff had budded, blossomed, and produced ripe almonds! (Numbers 17:8)  The other staffs were still dry sticks of wood!  God had demonstrated his choice of authority!  Only Aaron and his sons would be High Priests!  Moses was to take this rod and place it in the Tabernacle of Testimony as a reminder of his chosen authority. His desire was to stop the grumbling and call the people to faith and godly submission.

This incident is a picture of Jesus Christ as God’s chosen authority!  He meekly and obediently followed God’s instructions as he lived and walked on earth. He lived a sinless life and was crucified and laid in a tomb.  All religious Jews had criticized His leadership and servant ministry.  But God raised Him from the dead!  He produces fruit in raising to eternal life all who put their trust in Him.  He is presently God’s “rod of authority” seated at God’s right hand.  He is our High Priest forever!  He ever lives to make intercession for us!  What a pleasure to trust God’s authority!  All those who won’t trust will end up like Korah!  The earth will open up and Sheol will swallow them with weeping, crying and gnashing of teeth!

Take some time today and pray for those in authority over you. Give them a call or drop them a note and let them know that you appreciate them. Practice giving honor to God’s chosen authority!

“Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.” 1st Peter 2:17

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The Confused Tower Builders!

January 5th Scripture Reading: Genesis 10-11

In preceding chapters of Genesis we saw that God chose Noah to start the population of the world all over again.  His three sons and their wives were all that were saved from the world-wide flood.  Did you ever wonder how we got all the different nations of the world?  Did you wonder where all the languages and nationalities came from?   This would not be understandable if it were not for Genesis 10 and 11.

God blessed Noah and told him and his family to be fruitful and multiply and fill the whole earth.  (Genesis 9:1)  Noah’s grandson born to Ham, Nimrod, led a rebellion around 100 years after the flood.  The rebellion consisted of gathering family members together on the plain of Shinar (Ancient Babylon, current Iraq).  They decided to build a tower that would reach to the heavens and to make a name for themselves and avoid being scattered over the face of the earth as God had commanded.  (Genesis 11:1-4)  This seemed harmless enough, except it was in rebellion to God’s will and plan.

God came down!  Man had built himself a tall tower, reaching to the heavens but God still came down.  Man could not come close to reaching heaven on his own or with his own strength and plans.  Pride was behind this, the very sin that got Satan removed from heaven.  In fact, it was the very sin that got man removed from his daily walk with God in the beautiful Garden of Eden (delights).  God realized that with one language and rebellious leadership that nothing would be impossible for them.  He confused their language and scattered them over the earth and they stopped their building.

God did one more thing that insured that they would not get back together for rebellion.  Genesis 10 is a genealogy of the son’s of Noah.  One of Shem’s grandsons, Eber, had a son Peleg.  Peleg means “division” and verse 25 states that “in his time the earth was divided. . “.  Some creation scientists believe that this is when God could have separated the continents following the judgment at the tower of Babel.  Those scattered people groups represented by the 70 family groups of Genesis 10 formed the nations of the world that we see in existence today.  (see The Genesis Record by Dr. Henry Morris, pages 260-261)(also book review page and sidebar).   A side note is that “Eber” is probably where the name “Hebrews” was derived.  The concentration of genetics in each group through mating could have resulted in the races and nationalities we see today.

God truly works out everything for our good and accomplishes his plans!  Take time today to thank Him for your heritage and for showing mercy in judgment at the Tower of Babel.

“From one man he (God) made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.  God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.” Acts 17:26-27

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