How to Rise Above the Coming Hive Mind — Part 1

For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.

[Jesus Christ — Matthew 24:24-25]

Let’s be serious for just a moment. We have reached a pivotal juncture in human history when our rediscovery of technology has finally caught up with our wildest science-fiction fantasies — even exceeding them. The mythos is becoming mainstream. Yesterday’s dream has become today’s reality with no end in sight. No longer must we imagine a day when man would be integrated with machines, uploaded with artificial intelligence and recoded with genetic modification, even pushing the boundaries of what it means to be human.

The next frontier of human “evolution” is here — so they say. Can we overcome the laws and limitations of this present reality and usher in the new age? The new mankind. The quest for immortality. It’s time for the upgrade, and the stage is set.

And yet the irony is that there is nothing new under the sun. What’s been done will be done again. What has been will be. Seems like we have seen this somewhere before.

And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.

[Genesis 11:5-6]

So the next phase in human evolution is to scrap human 1.0 and upgrade to version 2.0. Trans-humanism at it’s core is the ancient, alternative pursuit of mankind to achieve immortality and godhood by reintegrating all knowledge (science) and power (natural and supernatural). This is man’s chance to cheat death and ascend to the heights of the gods. This is man’s moment finally to make the universe in his own image for his own vain glory.

Trans-humanism is the same ancient lie of the devil — Satan — the prince of darkness. He was the first to promise man another path to godhood by seducing Adam and Eve with divine knowledge, supernatural power and perfect beauty. The lie of the enemy has always been to worship and serve that which is created rather than the Creator, who is forever to be praised. The lie of the devil is … be thy own god and do thy own will by any means necessary.

But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. 

[Genesis 3:4-5]

The devil says, “I’ll give you what you want now,” all the while knowing he will destroy you in the end. He promises instant gratification that never satisfies but only makes you a slave to sin. When the devil goes down, untold millions are going down with him. His path always leads to one place — destruction.

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’

Matthew 25:41

The Battle for the Mind

The devil is the deceiver of the whole world and the father of lies. So his most effective tactic is to manipulate the mind, keep us blind to the truth and take hold of our thoughts. It only stands to reason that the enemy is using any and every means possible to cast darkness and corrupt the minds of mankind.

On the one hand, we see the exponential advances in technology, science, medicine, artificial intelligence, cybernetics, robotics, quantum physics, virtual and augmented reality, and genetic engineering, which unfortunately are being used for unholy and ungodly purposes. On another front, there is a universal, spiritual deception from the supernatural forces of darkness manipulating mankind through principalities and rulers over the nations, through the power of sorcery [drugs], occult knowledge, black magic, pagan idolatry, sexual immorality, world mystery religions, naturalistic evolution, counterfeit Christianity, eastern mysticism, and new age theosophy.

Don’t forget the collective dependency of the modern world to be fed information through powerful and biased search engines, state/secular education, mainstream and social media outlets, movies, games, and entertainment, and the so-called scientific authorities. There is not a sector of human society that is not under the sway of the evil one.

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

[2 Corinthian 4:3-4]

This collective deception is what I’m calling the hive mind, and its ramifications are tragic for our reality. The world is primed and ready. Only those who are sealed with the Holy Spirit and possess the mind of Christ will be able to resist this mass deception and remain faithful to Jesus Christ and His gospel. God’s faithful remnant will never believe another gospel, whether it comes from the tongue of an angel of light or from the spiritual powers on the other side or an ancient alien from outer space.

There is only one true path to everlasting life and only one way to immortality. There are no original ideas with the devil. God has already promised and provided everything we could ever need, ask or imagine. Jesus Christ was born the Son of God so that we could be born again as sons of God. The Son of God became a man so that the sons of man could become sons of God.

We cannot ignore the mass deception and powerful mind manipulation that is taking place all over the world in these various capacities, and it’s only getting worse. It will be so bad in the end that if it were possible, even God’s elect would be deceived.

Primed for the Hive Mind

Super technologies and the advent of AI present one of the biggest threats to mankind as we know it. Mind-integrated machines are being developed at an exponential rate. We already have an entire generation who has never known the world without being dependent and connected to technology.

Elon Musk [Tesla] is just one of the many tech moguls perfecting mind integration devices that connect our neurons to a 5G network that can send and receive digital messages and turn parts of the brain on or off. Like most new technology, Musk is promoting his Neuralink device initially as a medical miracle-worker, but his intentions go far beyond healing the body. These devices are meant to integrate the mind with machine and propel mankind faster toward the singularity with Artificial Intelligence.

“Musk opened Friday’s event by emphasizing the wide variety of spinal and neurological conditions — including seizures, paralysis, brain damage, and depression — that Neuralink technology could help treat … But it’s worth highlighting that Musk wants Neuralink to do far more than treat specific health conditions. He sees the technology as an opportunity to build a widely available brain-computer interface for consumers, which he thinks could help humans keep pace with increasingly powerful artificial intelligence.”

[Vox, 08/2020 — Read Article Here ]

And then there is the internet of things — iOT — that is the next phase of upgrades will be to augment our own DNA and integrate our minds with the collective “cloud” of information and connect to the hive mind. You can read more about 5G and iOT in one of my earlier posts here.

It is point of perfect harmony and uniformity of a colony to be fully expressing the will and thoughts of the queen bee. It’s just we aren’t dealing with an insect population. We are talking about all of humankind being controlled by the prince of demons — the prince of the power over the air!

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind

[Ephesians 2:1-3]

So this virtual network, this internet of things [iOT] is powered and purposed by AI to unlock a new frontier of entertainment, escape, pleasure, creativity, power, knowledge, immortality, and eventually … godhood. Some already are beginning to upload their “cognitive personality” into a virtual data base, attempting to keep oneself “alive” after death in some interactive state of consciousness in the cloud.

Along with the common quest for the acceleration of knowledge and exponential growth of mental processing power (AI), however, technology also creates a two-way bridge, or doorway, to your brain, leaving you susceptible to mind control and behavior modification/manipulation. Anyone who opens themselves up to this technology will be taking the risk of giving themselves over to the powers of darkness and losing their very soul.

As you will see in my next installment [Part 2], the hive mind will be one of the devil’s most powerful weapons of spiritual warfare in these last days to keep the minds of unbelievers blinded from seeing the gospel of Jesus Christ and so be saved.

Jesus Christ Does Not COEXIST

So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.

[Jesus Christ — Matthew 10:33-34]

Whether Buddhists or Hindus or Mormons or Muslims — pagans or heathens or atheists or agnostics. They have one thing in common. They neither know, love, nor worship the One True Living God and His Son Jesus Christ. Every cult and false religion and heretical denomination in this world are at odds with the Word and Truth of God — Jesus Christ.

That’s the thing about truth — it is by definition exclusive. For something to be true, it must be at the exclusion of all other options. There can be only one truth — not many. Truth must be objective, not subjective. Otherwise it ceases to be truth. Truth is outside our time domain. It is the standard that by necessity transcends our own vain imaginations, limited knowledge, and biased perspectives. It is immovable, immutable, and infallible. Truth is not defined. It must be discovered.

So that becomes the test. Of all the different belief systems, world religions and so-called “paths” to God, which one is true? Are they all true? Which one conforms to reality? Which one passes the test of authenticity? We have billions of people claiming to have discovered the true way and the enlightened path — even if that path is their own. We have a million ways of looking at God and reality, yet there can only be one true God and one true reality.

That is the absurdity of moral relativism and religious syncretism. In the pursuit of inclusiveness, you cut objective truth off at its legs and replace it with that which is right in your own eyes. You deny the Maker who gave you life and at the same time create a vain god in your own image.

Yet when it comes to the Person, work and teaching of Jesus Christ, we discover a man who claims to be God in the flesh and self-identifies as the Creator and Savior of the whole world. We discover a man who validates His claim through His manifest miracles, wisdom, power, and authority, and ultimately through His glorious resurrection from the dead.

We discover Truth is not just a virtue, it is a Person — embodied in Jesus Christ. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Neutrality is not an option. Either He is who He claims to be, or Jesus is a lying religious fraud who was mentally deranged for claiming to be the God of Israel incarnate and the Savior of the whole world.

The implications are paramount.

If Jesus Christ is NOT Lord of all, then at best He is a lying lunatic and at worst a deceitful devil from hell. If He lied about who He is, then why should anything He says ever be trusted? Why would anyone follow a dead charlatan?

Yet if Jesus Christ is who He claims to be, then He is Creator and Lord and therefore has designed all of reality and defined all true morality and has set the terms of eternity and ultimately judges the hearts and intentions of humanity.

His name — the name of Jesus — is ABOVE every name that is named and could not possibly be equal to any other name.

Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. 11This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

[Acts 4:10-12]

In short — Jesus Christ is not an equal among peers. Jesus isn’t just another religious leader like Buddha or Mohammed or Darwin. He is the Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.

For this reason, I cannot and will not validate or associate with the modern COEXIST movement and mentality because in doing so I am reducing my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to a status far below His true, eternal nature. Jesus is no mere man, offering one of the many paths to God. He is God, offering the one and only gift of eternal life.

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

[Philippians 2:9-11]

Let’s consider the COEXIST mentality, then. The idea that all faiths can unite for a common cause, putting our obvious differences aside for the common good. This is part of a broader world-wide interfaith movement. On the surface it sounds commendable and progressive, but there is one glaring problem for those who know and love Jesus Christ.

He is the only guest who isn’t invited to the table. Sure, some perverted, compromised version of Jesus has been included, but not the historical Jesus. Not the Biblical Jesus. Not the exclusive Jesus. Not the true Jesus Christ.

This is why it is so dangerous to see mainline Christian denominations and the Roman Catholic Church compromising the true gospel of Jesus Christ in the name of tolerance and the universal brotherhood of man.

Catholic-Muslim Interfaith Council

Does the true Jesus coexist on the same level as other gods and prophets? Does Jesus belong in the same category? Does Jesus stand on equal footing?

According to COEXIST philosophy, He does.

According to Jesus and His gospel, He does not.

So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep …

“I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one.

[Jesus Christ — John 10:7-11, 25-30]

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

[Jesus Christ — John 11:25-26]

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me … I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.

[Jesus Christ — John 14:1, 6-7]

Jesus Christ belongs in a category all by Himself — God of gods, Lord of lords, King of kings, Creator and Judge. He doesn’t coexist alongside other gods. He is highly exalted above everything in all creation!

I ask that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know the hope of His calling, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and the surpassing greatness of His power to us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of His mighty strength, 20which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God put everything under His feet and made Him head over everything for the church, 23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all

[Ephesians 1:18-22]

I cannot in good faith affirm the COEXIST mantra because Jesus Christ does not affirm it. By affirming COEXIST I am fundamentally denying my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is contrary to His nature and His gospel. He provides no other option.

Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

[Jesus Christ — Matthew 12:30]

Jesus Christ is not a way of life. He is the Way of Life. He isn’t just another religious option. He is the One and Only Son of God and Savior of the World.

He did not come to bring peace but a sword because He will not share His glory with another. All who reject Him and refuse to bow the knee to Him are condemned already and remain under the wrath of a Holy God. Only by exclusively acknowledging Jesus Christ as Lord and believing in Him as Savior can anyone make peace with God and receive the promise of eternal life.

There is no other way, which is why Jesus Christ and His gospel cannot coexist with anything or anyone contrary to Him. For in the end, what does light have to do with darkness.

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

[2 Corinthians 6:14]

May the name of Jesus Christ forever be exalted to the praise of His glory. Amen!

Always a Remnant

In the same way, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.

[Romans 11:5]

As committed followers and faithful believers in Jesus Christ, it is easy to feel alone and outnumbered in this world — like a soldier trapped in hostile territory and surrounded by the enemy. As believers, we are forced to navigate in the world but are not of the world, remembering that if the world first hated Jesus, then it will hate us too.

Following Jesus in a wicked world means swimming against the strong current of the mainstream that leads to destruction and walking the narrow road that leads to life, however difficult or lonely it may be. Learning to live in the minority is one of the essential callings of the committed Christian. As followers of Jesus and children of God, we have been “set apart” by God from the rest of the unbelieving world.

Christians are called to be distinct, different, holy, and contrary to the world. We are a peculiar people saved for a peculiar purpose. Jesus reminds us of this in John 17.

I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world15I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

[John 17:14-19]

This has been God’s plan from the beginning. No matter how wicked the world or how evil the age, God always has and always will preserve for Himself a believing remnant — a people for His own possession. This was true in ancient times and is true today. Consider how many times God saved a remnant in the midst of a wicked and perverse generation.

  • God kept Noah and his family of 8 through the flood
  • God kept Jacob and his family of 70 through the famine
  • God kept Moses through Pharaoh’s slaughter of the Hebrew children
  • God kept Joshua and Caleb through 40 years of wandering in the wilderness
  • God kept Elijah and 7,000 who refused to bow the knee to Baal
  • God kept Daniel and the exiles through the Babylonian invasion
  • God kept Esther and Mordecai through Haman’s murderous scheme
  • God kept Ezra and Nehemiah to return to the land
  • God kept 120 faithful in the upper room waiting for the Spirit on Pentecost

You get my point.

And it is no different today than it always has been. God is faithful to preserve a faithful remnant in the face of overwhelming odds and outright hostility. The call to follow Jesus is the call to overcome — the call to endure and remain faithful to the end.

Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11The saying is trustworthy, for:

If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
13if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.

[2 Timothy 2:10-13]

Although the days are evil and we are living in the midst of a perverse and crooked generation, we must not lose heart. We are not alone. We belong to the remnant. Although our numbers be few, our faith is growing stronger. And even if we have to stand alone for what is right and true, then so be it.

To follow Jesus means to shun the world. To follow Jesus means to be hated by the world. To follow Jesus means to be outcast from the culture. To follow Jesus means to be mocked and ridiculed and reviled and persecuted for His sake. To follow Jesus means to be unpopular.

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

[James 4:4]

As the days grow increasingly evil, it will become more and more difficult to follow Jesus. We should expect to be mistreated, abused, and falsely accused. We should be prepared to suffer for sake of Christ and His gospel, but at the same time we can trust God to provide more grace to all of His people, knowing that difficult days are ahead.

Do not fear Christian. Do not be discouraged, O child of God. Do not let your hearts be troubled. May the words of our Lord and Savior provide comfort to us all, as we continue to walk the difficult road of faith and swim boldly against the current of the world.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

[John 16:33]

Even so, come Lord Jesus!

A Better Country

But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

[Hebrews 11:16]

The American ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have been the bedrock of this great nation. A government represented by the people and for the people. A place where anything is possible, no matter who you are or from where you have come.

America has been a bastion of hope and beacon of light in a dark, oppressed world. Millions have sought refuge within her borders and have risked everything for the opportunity to get a second chance on life.

We call it the American dream — where the fairytale of rags to riches actually becomes reality.

I do not take this God-given privilege for granted. I understand how blessed and fortunate I am to have been born in America and to be able to raise my family in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And I also realize how quickly it all can be taken away.

Every great and powerful nation rises and eventually falls. No empire is immune to the disintegrating diseases of greed, immorality, corruption, ignorance, and apathy. Anyone with eyes to see knows that the United States is dangerously close to the edge of its own demise. And like most great nations, America will not fall to a more powerful enemy, but rather we will fall from within. For if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?

I can only pray that it doesn’t happen under my watch or in the days of my children or grandchildren.

Many believe tomorrow’s presidential election to be one of the most pivotal in the history of our nation, determining the course of our future and threatening to rip the social fabric of our land. Although it is easy to become slaves to the moment, I am convinced this election is the most important in my lifetime, and perhaps ever.

Whichever way it goes tomorrow, however, my mindset and mentality will not change. My purpose and passion will not change. My ministry and my mission will not change.

And that is because — as much as I love and appreciate this land I call home — at the end of the day, it is only a temporary, earthly home in which I am passing through. America is not my destination nor my ultimate desire, for God has prepared a better country for His people, and I am first a citizen of heaven.

For Abraham was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God … These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.

[Hebrews 11:10, 13-14]

As beautiful and blessed as America has been, it is but a pale shadow compared to the coming Kingdom of God, which Christ Himself has promised to all who believe in Him.

Believers must hold on loosely to this world and to the things of this world, for this world is not our home. As strangers and sojourners in a foreign land, we are but passing through, seeking our true home — a better home — whose designer and builder is God!

So regardless of who wins this election and where our country goes from here, I take great comfort and find peace in knowing that my eternal home will be with God in His kingdom and in the city of New Jerusalem, where righteousness dwells forever.

Hear me O child of God — the best is yet to come!

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 4“And you know the way where I am going.” 5Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

[John 14:1-6]

The Big Reveal

Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence.

Isaiah 64:1

Reality consists of two worlds — two realms — separated by a veil. The physical dimension here on earth is but a shadow — a dim reflection of the spiritual realm — and in this present age we are unable to see behind the veil. Although the heavens are the true substance of things to come, they remain hidden from us — invisible to the naked eye.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

1 Corinthians 13:12

Fortunately, the Bible provides some interesting glimpses into heaven when the veil is partially lifted and man is able to peek behind the curtain, as it were.

Think of Jacob and the stairway to heaven [Genesis 28]. Ezekiel, Isaiah, and John and their visions of the LORD on His throne [Ezekiel 1, Isaiah 6, Revelation 4-5]. Elisha and his servant surrounded by the armies of heaven [2 Kings 6], and Stephen’s vision of Jesus as he was being stoned to death [Acts 7:54-56].

As intriguing as these glimpses into heaven may be, they were limited in scope and vision, but one day that will all change.

This day is what I like to call the Big Reveal!

This is the revelation of Jesus Christ. The day of God’s visitation. The arrival of the King. There is coming a day when the heavens will be ripped open and the Lord Jesus will come down in all His power and glory and every eye will see Him for who He truly is.

It is a singular day — the culmination, crescendo and climax of history. It is the end, the finale. That is why the prophets always refer to this unique day as “the” revelation of Jesus Christ [see Luke 17:28-30, 1 Peter 1:5-7, 13, 4:13]. It is a day like no other.

The return of Jesus is THE BIG REVEAL! For believers … it is the moment we all have been waiting for. For the rest of the world, however, it will be the most dreadful day imaginable.

So how will this Big Reveal go down?

Let’s see what the Bible says.

The Veil will be Torn

Instead of thinking of the heavens as empty “space,” we must understand that the heavens consists of some form of material substance, though invisible to us. This what is known as the very fabric of space. The Bible repeatedly describes God the Creator as the One who “stretches out the heavens” like a tent or a curtain. [see Job 9:8, Psalm 104:2, Isaiah 40:22, 42:5, 44:24, 45:12, 48:13, 51:13, Jeremiah 10:12, 51:15, Zechariah 12:1]

So if heaven can be stretched out like a tent or curtain, then it stands to reason that it also can be rolled up like a scroll or torn apart. That is precisely what will happen during God’s big reveal. The veil between heaven and earth will be ripped open to reveal the LORD Jesus, and He will at that moment come down in all His power and glory.

Consider the overwhelming testimony of Scripture that describes this unique moment when the veil is torn and Jesus comes down from heaven to earth and treads upon the wicked in judgment.

Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down,
that the mountains might quake at your presence—
2as when fire kindles brushwood
and the fire causes water to boil—
to make your name known to your adversaries,
and that the nations might tremble at your presence!

Isaiah 64:1-2

In my distress I called upon the LORD;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.

7Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
8Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
9He bowed the heavens and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
10He rode on a cherub and flew;
he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.

11He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him,
thick clouds dark with water.
12Out of the brightness before him
hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.

Psalm 18:6-12

Bow your heavens, O LORD, and come down! Touch the mountains so that they smoke! 6Flash forth the lightning and scatter them; send out your arrows and rout them!

Psalm 144:5-6

Hear, you peoples, all of you; pay attention, O earth, and all that is in it, and let the Lord GOD be a witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple. 3For behold, the LORD is coming out of his place, and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth. 4And the mountains will melt under him, and the valleys will split open, like wax before the fire, like waters poured down a steep place.

Micah 1:3-4

Draw near, O nations, to hear, and give attention, O peoples! Let the earth hear, and all that fills it; the world, and all that comes from it. 2For the LORD is enraged against all the nations, and furious against all their host; he has devoted them to destruction, has given them over for slaughter. 3Their slain shall be cast out, and the stench of their corpses shall rise; the mountains shall flow with their blood. 4All the host of heaven shall rot away, and the skies roll up like a scroll. All their host shall fall, as leaves fall from the vine, like leaves falling from the fig tree.

Isaiah 34:1-4

When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, 13and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. 14The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.

Revelation 6:12-14

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.

Revelation 19:11

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Matthew 24:29-30

There will be no mistaking God’s Big Reveal when the veil between heaven and earth is ripped open and the Lord Jesus Christ returns to earth in all His glory!

If that weren’t enough, here are a few more supplemental details that help put this monumental event into perspective.

The Angel Armies will Descend

Once heaven is opened and the veil is lifted, the entire host of heaven will be exposed for all to see.

[God will] … grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

2 Thessalonians 1:7-8

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne

Matthew 25:31

It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones.”

Jude 1:14

And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.

Revelation 19:14-15

The Nations will Mourn

There will be collective wailing and mourning by all who have rebelled against the God of heaven on that day.

Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.

Revelation 1:7

The great Day of the LORD is near— near and coming quickly.  Listen, the Day of the LORD!  Then the cry of the mighty will be bitter. 15That day will be  a day of wrath,  a day of trouble and distress, a day of destruction and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness, 16a day of horn blast and battle cry against the fortified cities, and against the high corner towers. 17I will bring such distress on mankind that they will walk like the blind, because they have sinned against the LORD. Their blood will be poured out like dust and their flesh like dung.

Zephaniah 1:14-17

Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?

Revelation 6:15-17

And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

Luke 21:25-27

Fire will Consume the Wicked

The final outpouring of God’s wrath is always associated with an all-consuming fire to be poured out on the wicked.

For behold, the LORD will come in fire,
and his chariots like the whirlwind,
to render his anger in fury,
and his rebuke with flames of fire
.
16For by fire will the LORD enter into judgment,
and by his sword, with all flesh;
and those slain by the LORD shall be many.

Isaiah 66:15-16

Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by him.

Nahum 1:6

When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9

But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly … But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed … waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn

2 Peter 3:7, 10, 12

The Lord Jesus will Come Down to Wage War

God’s Big Reveal culminates with the Lord Jesus coming down from heaven to earth in bodily form to crush the Beast and his armies in the war to end all wars!

Behold, a day is coming for the LORD, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. 2For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. 4On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east … Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.

Zechariah 14:1-3, 5

And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast. 13These are of one mind, and they hand over their power and authority to the beast. 14They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.

Revelation 17:12-14

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.

2 Thessalonians 2:8

And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. 20And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.21And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh

Revelation 19:19-21

Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!

The Top 10 Reasons I will Vote for President Donald Trump

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

1 Timothy 2:1-4

For years I despised the corrupt partisan politics of American government and purposefully avoided anything to do with it. I even sat out several elections, believing that my vote wouldn’t make a difference anyway.

As I have matured over the years, my disdain remains for politics in general and for most politicians themselves, but my appreciation for representative government and our constitutional republic far outweighs my political frustrations.

Just as there is no perfect political system in a fallen world, there certainly is no perfect political candidate. Case in point — President Donald Trump.

We are all aware of Trump’s sordid past, including multiple wives and affairs. Many of us cringe when Trump goes on the offensive and starts name calling and publicly insulting his opponents. He has been accused of being divisive, chauvinistic, arrogant, boastful, crass, impulsive, tactless, and flat out rude.

I can understand how many Americans — including followers of Jesus Christ — are hesitant to endorse Trump. The most common objection to voting for Trump is on the grounds of his moral character — whether real or perceived. And although I do wish President Trump were a better moral example for the rest of us, I tend to see things a little differently.

First of all, how can any of us really “know” the true moral character of any president or politician? Unless we personally know someone at the local level of government, it is almost impossible to really know who our government leaders are behind closed doors.

Secondly, we are electing a president, not a preacher. Men of God who seek the office of pastor must meet the Biblical qualifications to oversee the church [see 1 Timothy 3, Titus 1, 1 Peter 5]. But men and women who seek the offices of government are not held to any such standards,. Although God ordains all authority, including government officials, He is always working with severely flawed individuals.

With that being said, I believe every person must vote his or her convictions and conscience and be willing to live with that choice. For a good article on this very issue, read Dr. Michael Brown’s thoughts here.

Here are the top 10 reasons I will be voting for President Donald Trump in this election.

#1 — Pro Life

Since the landmark decision Roe v. Wade in 1973, it is estimated that the innocent lives of over 60 million babies have been murdered in the name of abortion in America. The sanctity of human life and the protection of the unborn is always THE PRIMARY ISSUE in any election! As long as politicians and judges have the power to regulate laws on abortion and use taxpayer dollars to fund organizations like Planned Parenthood, then I will always cast my vote for the most pro-life candidate.

Sadly, neither of the two primary political parties have done anything to end the shedding of innocent blood in our land. This present Democratic ticket of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris has been rated as the most pro-abortion ticket in American history, supporting the slaughter of innocent babies up unto birth. The Republican Party platform is uniformly pro-life, however, they have done little to nothing in my lifetime to end abortion.

Yet from the very first day President Trump stepped in office, he has been the most pro-life president in American history, taking immediate measures to fight for the life of the unborn. If you don’t believe me, here is an article with some of Trump’s pro-life accomplishments during his first term.

If it were this reason alone, I will vote for Donald Trump.

#2 — Friend of Israel

Ever since President Harry Truman cast a deciding vote in the United Nations which gave Israel the right to be recognized as a sovereign nation in 1948, America has been an ally to the state of Israel and a friend of the Jews. Not only are there theological implications in blessing and supporting Israel [see Genesis 12:3], but there are significant geopolitical implications as well.

Israel is the only true bastion of freedom and democracy in the Middle East, and yet it is surrounded by hostile, enemy nations who overwhelmingly refuse to recognize Israel’s legitimacy to govern herself in her own land. If America withdrew her support from Israel, the Jews would be threatened again with extinction.

President Trump has proven to be a faithful friend of Israel and has taken Middle Eastern relations to a historical level of peace.

First, Trump recognized Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel — which is what God says in His word — and in an historic move, Trump relocated the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

For the LORD has chosen Zion;
he has desired it for his dwelling place:
This is my resting place forever;
here I will dwell, for I have desired it.

Psalm 132:13-14

Furthermore, Trump has since reached peace deals between Israel and other Middle Eastern nations — such as United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Sudan — normalizing relations between these countries for the very first time in history.

#3 — Border Security

Trump campaigned on building the wall in 2016, promising to secure our southern border with Mexico and to stop the influx of illegal immigration and trafficking into the country. Not only is border security necessary to protect America from potential terrorists attacks, but also it will prevent overwhelming numbers of illegal immigrants from entering the country and potentially placing irreparable stress on our economy.

As of October, the Trump administration has built or reinforced over 300 miles of border walls, with over 500 miles to go. Here are the latest figures on the Trump Wall Construction.

#4 — Fighting Human Trafficking

One of the primary plagues of our present day is the epidemic of sex trafficking and the human slave trade. It is estimated that some 25 million human slaves are being held against their will around the world any given day, most of them women and children for the purposes of sexual exploitation. This is another reason border security is so important, knowing that thousands of children are trafficked into the U.S. each year to be sold into a lifetime of slavery.

President Trump and his administration have been intentionally fighting against human traffickers and will continue to do so if elected. Just recently, the U.S. Department of Justice pledge $100 million to combat human trafficking, and Trump just released his comprehensive plan to continue this fight if reelected.

#5 — Conservative Judges

With so many policies and major decisions being decided by both federal and Supreme Court judges, I will vote for the candidate who is committed to appointing conservative justices who uphold the Constitution of the U.S. and who do not attempt to legislate from the bench. So far President Trump has appointed 220 conservative federal judges, including his latest nominee who was confirmed to the Supreme Court — Justice Amy Conny Barrett.

#6 — Economic RESOLVE

Before Covid-19, the American economy was running at record strength, with unemployment rates at historic lows. In spite of the unprecedented economic fallout created by this Covid “crisis,” the economy has held its own and is making a much faster recovery than expected. Read the latest here at the Wall Street Journal.

Few will debate that economic acumen is one of Trump’s greatest strengths, and his ability to make business deals has helped the American worker more than anyone else. Trump has been working to bring overseas manufacturing jobs back home and to keep energy costs low, among other things. Trump also is committed to putting America’s best interests first and is not afraid to stand up to foreign powers like Russia, China and the EU.

#7 — Non-Partisan

Although Trump again is running on the Republican platform, I appreciate the fact that he is not a career politician and is not tethered to partisan politics. He is more pragmatic than partisan. There are many in Trump’s own party who publicly despise him for this very reason.

This is one of Trump’s most appealing aspects to me. Most politicians spend a lifetime making political favors and padding their pockets with special interest lobby groups, so by the time they reach the top, their hands are tied like puppets. Most politicians enter the game with modest incomes only to become multi-millionares by the time they’re through.

President Trump, on the other hand, made his own fortune in private business, put up much of his own money, and did not depend on the millions of dollars from special interest groups, which gives him the freedom that few presidents have ever had.

If you think about it, what would motivate a man to give up a life of wealth and comfort, risk financial loss, suffer relentless public scrutiny, and willingly put himself and his family in the direct aim of character assassination? Unless … he really wanted to make America great again.

#8 — Military Strength and Morale

President Trump has rebuilt the morale and strength of the U.S. armed forces, while at the same he is bringing more and more troops home from overseas. I agree with Trump’s policy to avoid senseless foreign wars while bolstering our military and protecting our homeland defense.

#9 — Law and Order

Trump supports our police and men and women in uniform and will not stand for civil unrest and the violent riots that have marred our country over the last 6 months. While Trump has acknowledged that there will always be individuals that misrepresent our law enforcement agencies and abuse their powers, the overwhelming majority of our police officers in this country are loyal, honest, men and women of integrity who desire to keep our streets and neighborhoods safe for society.

I believe that our law enforcement agencies will be supported, well-trained, and properly funded under Trump’s administration, as opposed to the socialist cries of “defund the police” that have become all too common from other political leaders.

#10 — Promise Keeper

My final reason for voting for Donald Trump is simply because, by and large, the man does what he says. Last time I checked, this is rare among politicians. Most will tell us what we want to hear until they are elected and then do what they want for the next four years.

Not Trump. He has kept virtually every promise that he has made to the American people. If we are going to measure the morality of a political candidate, how about we start with this simple standard.

Have they done what they said they would do?

If I a measuring Trump by this standard, then he has kept his word, and I can live with a president that at the very least, keeps his word to the American people.

Simplifying the Second Coming of Christ

As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

Matthew 24:3

Over the last century, a majority of Christian churches in America have taught that Jesus Christ can come at any moment for His church — otherwise know as the rapture. But is the rapture the same thing as the 2nd Coming? Well, apparently it depends.

Few would argue that the 2nd Coming of Christ is one of the most essential, non-negotiable doctrines of the Christian faith. Christ has come. Christ will come again. Sounds simple, right?

Unfortunately, because of a man-made doctrine — namely dispensationalism — the 2nd Coming of Christ has been distorted into a convoluted belief system that unnecessarily complicates the clear teaching of Scripture. For example, when dispensationalists say “second coming” they don’t really mean second coming. What they mean is that Jesus can “come” at any moment to rapture His church back to heaven, but also that He will “come” again to judge the earth.

In other words, the dispensational belief system has to divide the coming of Christ into two “phases” or “stages” in order to make sense of it all. Taken to its logical conclusion, there are not two “comings” of Christ, but rather … three!

Having been raised on the dispensational doctrine of the pre-tribulation rapture of the church, I once affirmed this man-made system without question.

But then one day … I started reading the Bible for myself.

What I discovered was that the Scriptures did not align with dispensational theology, especially the notion that the church would be whisked away to heaven before the great tribulation. Nothing could be further from the truth!

I began to see that the Scriptures plainly teach that the “coming” of the Lord immediately follows the great tribulation at the end of the age on the Day of the LORD [see Matthew 24:27-31, Mark 13:24-27, Luke 21:25-28]. In other words, there is only one 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ. The 2nd coming of Christ is one event, one advent. Not one verse in all of Scripture presents the Second Coming of Christ in “two phases” or “two stages.” Once I came to that very important conclusion, the Scriptures began to make perfect sense.

Since dispensationalists refer almost exclusively to the writings of the Apostle Paul to support their view of a pre-tribulation rapture of the church, I thought it would be worth some print to demonstrate how the Apostle Paul actually destroys the pre-tribulation argument in his epistles.

Using only his letters to the church in Thessalonica, I will demonstrate how Paul understood and taught the essential doctrine of the 2nd coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Parousia

The Greek word used predominantly in regard to the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ is the word — parousia [παρουσία] — which means “coming, presence, arrival, advent.” Jesus Himself used this word to describe His return, as did Peter and John, but Paul used parousia more than any other New Testament writer.

For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

Jesus Christ — Matthew 24:27

By using this very specific and technical term as a thread in Paul’s letters to the church in Thessalonica, all the unnecessary confusion about the 2nd Coming of Christ becomes crystal clear. Let’s take a closer look.

1 Thessalonians

For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

1 Thessalonians 1:9-10

Paul’s message to the saints in Thessalonica was one of encouragement and hope due to the intense persecution the church was suffering at the time. Here in the first chapter of his letter, Paul commends the church for turning from idolatry to the “living and true God,” and he encourages them to wait for His son “from heaven.” Although parousia is not used here, clearly Paul is referring to the 2nd Coming of Christ when He returns from heaven to earth. Notably, it is at this time that Jesus will deliver the saints from the wrath to come.

For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? 20For you are our glory and joy.

1 Thessalonians 2:19-20

Paul first uses the term parousia here in chapter two. He says that the church has become his crown of boasting, which he will present before the Lord Jesus “at his coming.” Paul invokes the very same imagery in his second letter to Timothy, when he says, “Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. [2 Timothy 4:8]

So Paul is expecting to receive his reward from the Lord “on that day” — the Day of the LORD and of His appearing.

May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

1 Thessalonians 3:12-13

The next time Paul uses the word parousia he provides more detail. He says that the coming of Jesus is “with all his saints” — or holy ones. The 2nd coming of Christ is often characterized by the heavenly host, dressed in white robes of righteousness, coming with Jesus to earth. [see Matthew 25:31, Jude 1:14-15, Revelation 19:11-16]

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

The passage above has been branded as the “classic” rapture passage in all of Scripture, and while it certainly describes the catching up [Greek harpazó] and gathering of believers to meet Christ in the air, we interpret this event within the context of the passage. This “rapture” event is connected to the parousia — the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ [see 1 Thessalonians 4:15]. This is the visible, public, glorious return of Jesus Christ from heaven to earth with loud shouts from heaven and the sound of the trumpet of God.

Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. 2For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night3While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-5

Staying consistent with the theme of his letter, Paul finishes by encouraging believers that the parousia — the coming Day of the Lord — will NOT take believers by surprise! As children of light and of the day, true believers will be ready in hopeful expectation and will be aware of the signs and seasons preceding the coming of the Lord.

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

Paul concludes his letter by reminding us that our complete redemption will take place “at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,” which includes our “bodies” to be resurrected on the last day at the end of the age.

Before we move to 2nd Thessalonians, let’s recap Paul’s teaching about the second coming.

  1. Jesus is coming from heaven to earth.
  2. Jesus is coming with his reward.
  3. Jesus is coming with the saints.
  4. Jesus is coming down visibly on the clouds.
  5. Jesus is coming with loud shouts from heaven and the voice of the archangel.
  6. Jesus is coming with the trumpet blast.
  7. Jesus is coming to raise the righteous dead.
  8. Jesus is coming to gather all believers who remain alive until His return.
  9. Jesus is coming like a thief in the night to surprise those in darkness.
  10. Jesus is coming to judge the wicked.

2 Thessalonians

Paul’s second letter to the church in Thessalonica picks up right where it left off in his first letter, emphasizing the coming of the Lord Jesus and the Day of the LORD. We can begin to complete our list of details with Paul’s words.

This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— 6since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.

2 Thessalonians 1:5-10

Paul opens his letter by providing one of the most comprehensive accounts in all of Scripture of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. He says that God ultimately will grant relief to believers when “the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire!” No one can dispute that this is the second coming of Christ. He goes on to describe both the judgment of the wicked and the triumph of the saints “when he comes on that day.”

Up until now, Paul has been speaking about the same singular event when Christ comes in glory — the day of the Lord. This is the parousia — the very same coming that Jesus Himself predicted. The language only allows for one event, and Paul will drive the proverbial nail in the pre-tribulation coffin in the next chapter.

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, 2not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4

Once again, Paul wants the believers in Thessalonica to make sure there is no confusion concerning the coming of the Lord Jesus and the rapture of the church — “our being gathered together to him.” Paul is adamant that believers will not be deceived or surprised at the coming of the Lord because there are several clear signs that must take place before the day of the Lord and the rapture of the church.

Paul could not be more straightforward. He says, “for that day will not come, unless the rebellion (apostasy) comes first, and the man of lawlessness (Beast) is revealed.” The reason believers will not be deceived or surprised is because we will know that the Lord will not come until these two major signs take place. First there will be a great falling away from the faith in the last days and then son of destruction — aka the “antichrist” — will be revealed and will enter the temple to set up the abomination that causes desolation [see Matthew 24:15].

And if that weren’t enough, Paul ties a massive bow on his teaching about the 2nd coming of Christ by giving us the precise element of timing. That’s right. Paul tells us exactly when Jesus is coming back — speaking of the parousia.

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.

2 Thessalonians 2:8

Jesus Christ will destroy the lawless one — the son of destruction — how and when?

Jesus will kill the Beast with the “breath of his mouth” by the “appearance of HIS COMING!

It could not be more clear. Paul builds His entire case of the singular event — called the coming of the Lord — and he provides as many possible details connected to this singular event to help believers understand the key elements of timing that accompany the return of Jesus and the day of the LORD.

The final detail Paul provides is the most telling. Jesus Christ will destroy the Beast when He comes on that Day in flaming fire with His mighty angels to be glorified in His saints!

Case closed! This happens at the end of the great tribulation, which means that there is no “pre-tribulation” or “mid-tribulation” rapture of the church. The rapture of the church coincides with the 2nd coming of Jesus, which is precisely when Jesus kills the antichrist by the breath of His mouth.

The book of Revelation describes this very even in more detail, which again supports the timing of the post-tribulation rapture of the saints during the 2nd coming of the Lord at the end of the age.

And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army20And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. 21And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.

Revelation 19:19-21

Types and Shadows — The Long Day of Joshua

At that time Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD gave the Amorites over to the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel,

“Sun, stand still at Gibeon,
and moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.”


13And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped,
until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day. 14There has been no day like it before or since, when the LORD heeded the voice of a man, for the LORD fought for Israel.

Joshua 10:12-14

When it comes to typology, the character of Joshua emerges as one of the most pronounced figures of the Messiah in all of Scripture. Not only does Joshua share the very same Hebrew name as the Lord Jesus (Yeshua), but he is the commander of the armies of Israel who is commissioned by God to conquer His enemies and lead His people into the land of promise.

Joshua deserves several separate posts in and of himself, but today I want to focus on just one of his exploits that directly provides one of the clearest foreshadowings of the day of the LORD and the return of Jesus Christ.

I am speaking of the day the sun stood still — Joshua’s long day.

An Evil Alliance of Kings

Then the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon, gathered their forces and went up with all their armies and encamped against Gibeon and made war against it.

Joshua 10:5

Upon entering the Promise Land, Joshua and the Israelites had been tricked into making a covenant with the Gibeonites, which placed them on terms of peace. It wasn’t long before the wicked kings of the Amorites made an alliance and declared war against Gibeon, forcing Joshua to honor his commitment and to come deliver Gibeon out of their hands.

I find it fascinating that the leader of this evil alliance was Adoni-zedek — King of Jerusalem. When we consider that the final end-times Beast also will form a Middle-Eastern alliance of 10 kings and lead a brutal campaign against Jews and Christians (Revelation 13:1-10, 17:12-14), the typology cannot be denied. Furthermore, the final Antichrist will invade Jerusalem and will set up his throne in the Temple, declaring himself to be God (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, Matthew 24:15). In this final act of defiance, the Beast will claim to be the king of Jerusalem.

Joshua’S Surprise Attack

So Joshua went up from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valor. 8And the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands. Not a man of them shall stand before you.” 9So Joshua came upon them suddenly, having marched up all night from Gilgal.

Joshua 10:7-9

The next distinct similarity is found in Joshua’s surprise attack. By marching all night up into the mountains, the army of Israel caught the Amorites off guard, as they weren’t expecting such a sudden response. You could say that Joshua slipped up on the Amorite kings like a thief in the night. The element of surprise, of course, is one of the primary characteristics of the Day of the LORD.

Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Matthew 24:42-44

Unfortunately, many have misinterpreted the “sudden” coming of Jesus like a thief in the night to mean that no one can know when the return of the LORD is near. Nothing could be further from the truth!

The Scriptures are clear that the sudden destruction of the Lord’s return will come upon the ungodly and wicked, who remain blinded in spiritual darkness. Those who belong to Christ, however, are children of light and will not be surprised at His coming but rather will be fully aware of the signs preceding His return (see Matthew 24:32-35).

For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.

1 Thessaloninas 5:2-5

The Signs in the Sun and the Moon

And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day14There has been no day like it before or since, when the LORD heeded the voice of a man, for the LORD fought for Israel.

Joshua 10:13-14

One of the most distinct signs of the Day of the LORD and the return of Jesus will involve celestial anomalies in the sun and moon. There is no mistake that exceptional cosmic activity accompanied Joshua’s campaign against the Amorites. This has become known as the long day of Joshua. The extra daylight distinctly allowed Israel to route its enemies, making a full end of their armies.

For a fascinating theory on the celestial mechanics of Joshua’s long day, I highly recommend Chuck Missler’s presentation. You can access his teaching here.

And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. 

Joel 2:30-31

Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it. 10For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light.

Isaiah 13:9-10

When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood,

Revelation 6:12

The Outpouring of God’s Wrath

And the LORD threw them into a panic before Israel, who struck them with a great blow at Gibeon and chased them by the way of the ascent of Beth-horon and struck them as far as Azekah and Makkedah. 11And as they fled before Israel, while they were going down the ascent of Beth-horon, the LORD threw down large stones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died. There were more who died because of the hailstones than the sons of Israel killed with the sword.

Joshua 10:10-11

Once again, many fail to understand what God’s word means when it says that His people are not destined to suffer His wrath. In no form, shape, or fashion will believers in Christ Jesus experience the wrath of God, but that does not mean that God’s people must be removed from the earth during God’s judgments. This episode of Joshua’s long day is a perfect example.

Joshua and the army of Israel attacked the kings of the Amorites in battle, but it was the LORD Himself who did the most damage by directly casting large hailstones upon the enemy armies, while at the same time protecting Israel from His wrath. God is quite capable of directly targeting the wicked and ungodly in wrath, while at the same time removing, sheltering, and preserving His own.

How else can one explain the precision of these massive hail stones that were cast from heaven on Israel’s enemies? Surely both armies were fighting hand-to-hand and in close proximity to each other, and yet only the Amorites were crushed by the stones.

Severe hail is another primary sign of the coming Day of the LORD, and just like the long-day of Joshua, the LORD will shelter His people from His wrath while directly targeting the Beast and his armies.

But on that day, the day that Gog shall come against the land of Israel, declares the Lord GOD, my wrath will be roused in my anger19For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, On that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground. 21I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Lord GOD. Every man’s sword will be against his brother. 22With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur. 23So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.

Ezekiel 38:18-23

The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” 18And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake. 19The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath. 20And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found. 21And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe.

Revelation 16:17-21

Hide us from the Wrath of the Lamb

“These five kings fled and hid themselves in the cave at Makkedah. 17And it was told to Joshua, “The five kings have been found, hidden in the cave at Makkedah … And when they brought those kings out to Joshua, Joshua summoned all the men of Israel and said to the chiefs of the men of war who had gone with him, Come near; put your feet on the necks of these kings.” Then they came near and put their feet on their necks. 25And Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid or dismayed; be strong and courageous. For thus the LORD will do to all your enemies against whom you fight.”

[Joshua 10:16-17, 24-25]

Finally, we see the fate of these evil Amorite kings once confronted with the wrath of God Almighty. Not only did they hide themselves in the caves to try and escape the wrath of God, but by placing his feet on their necks, Joshua was symbolically putting the seed war on display.

As we know, the very first prophetic passage in Scripture is Genesis 3:15, where the LORD promises a coming Savior who ultimately will crush the head of the Serpent and tread His enemies under the winepress of His wrath.

We see this identical language once again in the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?

[Revelation 6:15-17]

From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

Revelation 19:15-16

What an amazing foreshadowing of the coming Day of the LORD! May we not be surprised like those in darkness, but as we begin to see all these things take place, may we lift up our heads for our redemption is near!

Maranatha!

The Seat of Satan’s Throne

And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword. I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.’

Revelation 2:12-13

In 1864 a German engineer and explorer, Carl Humann, was excavating the ancient ruins of Pergamum and discovered the colossal altar dedicated to the Greek god, Zeus. The pagan altar was perched atop the highest point in the ancient city as the centerpiece of the greater temple complex. Stone by stone the altar was unearthed and relocated to Berlin to be reassembled and put on display in its own museum.

The Great Altar of Zeus at the Berlin Museum

By the 1930s, Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party dominated Germany, yet they had much bigger ambitions. In order to increase national enthusiasm with Nazi propaganda, Hitler commissioned his chief architect, Albert Speer, to design the parade grounds for party rallies in Nuremberg. Speer spared no expense, and using the ancient altar of Zeus as inspiration, he designed Hitler’s own Zeppelin tribune as the grandstand for his most mesmerizing speeches. Most of Hitlers rallies took place at night under what was known as the “Cathedral of Lights.”

Hitler’s Grandstand the Zeppelin Tribune in Nuremberg

As we know, Hitler eventually would lead Germany and the Axis of Evil in an attempt to conquer to free world, murdering an estimated 11 million civilians, including 6 million Jews in the Holocaust. Hitler’s irrational bloodlust for Jews and Christians was so insatiable that by the end of WWII he re-concentrated most of his resources and manpower to the Nazi death camps, murdering as many as possible before his defeat.

Today, there is another superpower rising in the Middle East with identical ambitions of Nazi Germany. Under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey has emerged as the most dominant and dangerous threat in the Middle East. Erdoğan unapologetically has expressed his desire to resurrect the Islamic Caliphate and the glory of Ottoman Empire that dominated the region for over 600 years (1299–1923 AD).

In just over a decade under Erdoğan, Turkey has expanded its military reach and influence into Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Kurdistan, and now Qatar. In a speech just last week, Erdoğan publicly claimed Jerusalem as “our city,” which echoes the anti-Semitic rhetoric of Hitler’s day.

In this city that we had to leave in tears during the First World War, it is still possible to come across traces of the Ottoman resistance. So Jerusalem is our city, a city from us.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, October 1, 2020

Hatred of Jews and Christians has always been at the heart of Islam and its teachings, since Mohammed beheaded 600 Jews at one time in one of his terror campaigns.

According to Ibn Ishaq, “The apostle went out to the market of Medina (which is still its market today) and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for [the men of the Qurayzah] and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out to him in batches.” Ibn Ishaq puts the number of those massacred at “600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900.”

(Ibn Ishaq 464) Ibn Sa’d says “they were between six hundred and seven hundred in number.” (Ibn Sa’d, vol. II, 93)

Muhammad said: “I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslims.”

Sahih Muslim 4366

Those who reject (Truth) among the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) and among the Polytheists, will abide in hell-fire, they are the worst of creatures.

Quran — Sura 98:6

Since Hitler’s Nazi Germany, no ideology has posed such a clear threat to God’s people than the radical teachings of Islam, and Erdoğan is leading the way in the resurrection of a Middle Eastern Islamic Empire. And if it weren’t strange enough that both Hitler and Erdoğan share similar ideology and hatred for Jews, they also share an uncanny physical resemblance.

Adolf Hiter and Tayyip Erdoğan

The Throne of Satan

What are the chances that the dominant power in the Middle East is emerging out of Turkey? Well, students of Bible prophecy aren’t surprised to discover that the Bible predicted that the final end-times empire of the Antichrist would be Turkey (Javan). The prophet Daniel was shown a vision of the “latter days,” when the “little horn” would emerge out of modern-day Turkey (Javan) as the king of the north [see Daniel 8 and 11].

Furthermore, Ezekiel provides prophetic details about this evil end-times enemy of Israel named Gog of Magog, which also is modern-day Turkey [see Ezekiel 38-39]. For a more in depth study of Gog of Magog, you can read my series on the profile of the antichrist here.

To cap it all off, the Lord Jesus tells us precisely where the “throne of Satan” is. In His letter to the church in Pergamum, Jesus gives us a literal geographic location of Satan’s throne. Pergamum is “where Satan dwells.” And where is ancient Pergamum located?

You guessed it … modern-day Turkey.

The Bible informs us of the evil supernatural principalities and powers working behind every world government and empire, and it seems that Satan has concentrated his influence in Turkey. The same spirit of antichrist that was behind Hitler’s Germany is now behind Erdoğan and his emerging Islamic Caliphate. This should get our attention. It is no coincidence that Turkey is emerging in these last days as the greatest existential threat to Israel.

Now for the record … I DO NOT BELIEVE that Erdoğan is the final end-times Antichrist, but I do believe that he is one of the pivotal political leaders that Satan has in place to set the stage for the Beast kingdom. As we know, once the 10-headed Beast kingdom is established, all authority will be given to this one man — Satan’s superman, as even Satan himself will give his throne to the Beast.

And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. 2And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. 

Revelation 13:1-2

And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast. 13These are of one mind, and they hand over their power and authority to the beast14They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.”

Revelation 17:12-14

As Satan maneuvers and schemes to deceive the whole world and attempts to establish his final kingdom here on earth, God’s people must pray without ceasing, preach the gospel without fear, and prepare to face the worst time in human history. And above all we must remember that Jesus will return on that Day to destroy Satan and his Beast and to establish His everlasting kingdom on earth.

The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, 27and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.

Revelation 2:26-27

Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!

Types and Shadows — The Tabernacle

Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tabernacle that the Lord set up, not man.

Hebrews 8:1-2

That which is visible is temporal, only a shadow of the true substance of reality, which is invisible and eternal — yet presently hidden from our view behind the veil of the spiritual realm. We walk by faith and not by sight, knowing that we yearn for a far better country — which is our heavenly home.

Our forever dwelling place.

But we, as God’s children, journey through a world that is not our home as we await our very great reward. Until that Day — the Day of the LORD — we must trust in what the Scriptures reveal to us about the heavenly realm.

God has revealed through His servants the prophets to His beloved people a gracious glimpse behind the curtain into the unseen realm. Sometimes the LORD uses visions and dreams to show His prophets a glimpse of heaven, and other times He uses patterns and copies of earth to teach us something about the true nature of His heavenly abode.

The tabernacle/temple motif is one that is interwoven through the entire scope of redemptive history. From Eden to Sinai to the Temple to the cross of Christ to His Return and His Millennium Kingdom, the climax of the gospel story will be the day when ultimately the LORD will say …

I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore.27My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Ezekiel 37:26-27

Nothing will be truly right in this age or the next until God is on His throne in the midst of His people — dwelling with us on earth as it is in heaven. Of Course the Lord Jesus Christ is the supreme and express revelation of God in the likeness of man, as the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us, full of glory, grace and truth. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is Immanuel — God with us.

In Hebrew the word for tabernacle is מִשְׁכָּן (mishkan)– which means dwelling, tent, habitation. In Greek the primary word use for tabernacle is σκηνή (skene). The ultimate purpose of the tabernacle is to provide an earthly representation of a heavenly reality so that sinful man can learn how to approach the Holy One in sacred space.

The tabernacle is all about approaching God on His terms, not our own, and also about acknowledging that we are helpless and hopeless without One mediating for us to provide access to the Father. And the tabernacle of God — an early tent of meeting — provides one of the most significant prophetic patterns in all of Scripture.

This one topic will be difficult to exhaust in and of itself, but for now I would like to share two general observations that should help set the stage and lay the foundation for this study.

The HEAVENLY LIGHT Casts Earthly Shadows

But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

Hebrews 11:16

The Scriptures are clear that the LORD dwells in the highest heavens (Psalm 115:16), which are His heavenly tabernacle.

It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,

and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;

who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,

and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;

Isaiah 40:22

Within this heavenly canopy there is a radiant city — The New Jerusalem — that God has prepared and will bring down with Him when He returns to dwell on earth with His people. This city is the true template for our future home with God.

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband … And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, 11having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.

Revelation 21:2, 10-11

Fixed in the center of this heavenly city is God’s true temple — the heavenly tabernacle. Once again, this is the true tabernacle that the LORD set up, not man.

The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD’s throne is in heaven; his eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man.

Psalm 11:4

And this heavenly tabernacle is the blueprint that the LORD used to show Moses and David and Solomon how to construct a copy on earth. The earthly was patterned after the heavenly [see Exodus 25:40]

And in this holy temple in heaven there is an outer court with the bronze altar and the bronze laver. There is a holy place with the golden lamp stand and the table of showbread, along with the golden altar of incense. And then there is a veil of separation that covers the Most Holy Place — the Holy of Holies — that contains the cherub-covered ark of the covenant along with the mercy seat.

The mercy seat is the throne of the Most High God. The inner sanctuary of the tabernacle is patterned after God’s heavenly throne room, as it defines the sacred space on earth for the manifest glory and presence of God in the midst of His people.

The Way, Truth and Life

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Hebrews 10:19-22

There are three distinct entrances to the tent of meeting and each corresponds to different levels of our relationship to God and of His provision for us. The first threshold is the door to the outer court. Everyone outside the court is separated from God and His sacred space. Yet once a sinner, separated from God, enters the door to the tent of meeting, he has come the only way possible to God.

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and no one may come to the Father except through Him. This is a direct reference to the layout of the tabernacle. Let’s take a closer look.

The WAY

Once a man entered the first door to the tabernacle he would immediately be brought before the bronze altar where an atoning sacrifice would be made for him. A sinner is not able to approach the Holy One without first confessing sin and seeking forgiveness and cleansing.

That is why the cross of Christ is the only way that man may come to God. If a sinner is to be reconciled to God, it will only be through the death of the Son. The bronze altar is the shadow of the cross, as Jesus became sin for us and laid His life down as the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Christ serves as the high priest as well, who is our intercessor and mediator between God and man.

Once atonement has been made, the sinner may then wash in the bronze basin, which is a symbol of the cleansing power of the cross, as the blood of Christ purifies our hearts and provides a clean conscience to approach the Lord in worship.

The TRUTH

The next door was the entrance to the holy place — which is the next level of our relationship with God. As a sinner has received mercy and a purified heart, he then is able to approach the LORD with a pure conscience to worship Him in Spirit and in truth!

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 

John 1:14

The holy place contains the golden lampstand — the menorah — which signifies the light of Christ that shines in the darkness and is the light of men. When we see Christ for who He is in the light, then we also see ourselves as we truly are. It is God’s word that is a lamp unto our feet and light unto our path.

Then there is the table of shewbread, which is a shadow of Jesus as the eternal bread from heaven who came to offer His own body for us. He is the bread of life, and we enter through the veil that is His flesh, which was torn for us. The shewbread also is a symbol of God’s personal invitation to come and dine with Him and abide with Him in fellowship.

Then there is the golden altar of incense, which always signifies the prayers of God’s people — representing deep communion with God. Prayer is in many ways the personification of worship, as we approach the God of the universe in humble adoration, in awe that He would desire relationship with us.

The LIFE

There is a veil in the tabernacle embroidered with cherubim — guardian angels — which covers the Most Holy Place. In this inner sanctuary, the ark of the covenant represents the LORD’s footstool and the mercy seat His throne. This is the throne room of God, containing His manifest presence and shekinah glory. Any man who approached the LORD casually or profanely would immediately be consumed by the fire of His glory. No man can look upon the face of God and live.

And yet, Jesus is the life. He is eternal life, and He offers eternal life to all who believe. Jesus is the resurrection and the life, and through Him, we too will be raised in glory and be given immortal bodies. We are able to enter the Holy of holies because through the work of Jesus, the veil was torn and believers have gained access to the throne of God’s grace before His mercy seat.

We will dwell with God forever! He is our God and we are His people! Jesus has made the way to the Father, who from everlasting to everlasting is our God.

So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
3Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
4So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.

Psalm 63:2-4