Welcome to Looking Up

The name of this blog is taken from Luke 21:28 where Jesus says: “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

2 Corinthians 8:14 – Your Abundance at the Present Time

Can you see into the future?  Does your vision extend past the present and your current situation?  Are you able to get a sense of what’s coming?  Do you know how you’ll act when difficult times are upon us?  Will you represent the Lord in a manner worthy of Him?

I personally desire to answer in the affirmative.  I want the vision for things to come, yet when I get a glimpse of it, I wonder whether I’ll be up to the task.  Because of how the Lord has set my mind to view the world through a Biblical, prophetic lens, I see what Scripture says will soon be upon us.  In looking at the conditions of the world, it appears to me that they all line up with what God has declared in His Word will happen.  The problem is that from an earthly, fleshly perspective, that which is coming isn’t what I particularly want to experience.

I see the global elites scheming and plotting successfully to move us into their vision of utopia under the guise of the Great Reset, a.k.a. The New World Order.  I see their desire to eliminate a large swath of mankind, because the fewer the people , the easier it is to control the populace.  I see the totalitarian mindset that drives these people at the top to do what is necessary for achieving their purposes.  I see the capitulation of so many people to whatever they’re told because “it’s for their own good.”  I see the coming collapse of economies and monetary systems that will bring unprecedented chaos in America when our dollar loses its status as the world’s reserve currency.  I see the global supply chains already strained and at the point of collapse, such that when we lose them, we lose the ability to stock supermarket shelves and to feed many.  I see the political division that is reaching the breaking point in this country.  I see the fear driving people’s decisions to comply with unconstitutional dictates because they simply want a semblance of normality again.  I see the shaking of the church that God is allowing so that He can separate the sheep from the wolves.  I see the natural disasters all around us that will soon cause famine conditions.  I see the need for those who truly love the Lord to give, and to give of themselves, in ways we’ve never had to do.  I see many of us questioning how far we should go in this respect.

In Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth, he praised believers in Macedonia for their generosity in giving, and encouraged the Corinthians to do the same.  They had much and Paul stated that as a matter of fairness, they should desire to help others who had less.  The implication is that God gave them the abundance they enjoyed, and they had an obligation because of His blessing, to turn around and bless others without holding back.  He said in 2 Corinthians 8:14-15:

… your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”

There’s a sense of quid pro quo here.  This Latin phrase means “what for what” or more clearly: “favor for favor.”  Whatever the Corinthians gave in abundance woukd come back to them also in abundance.  There is a leveling of what one group has so the other has just as much.  This isn’t socialism because what is given is voluntary and from the heart; it’s not coerced and taken by force.  The other aspect is that in some manner the group on the receiving end will likewise give something of value to the givers, and all will have what they need.  This is the fairness that Paul speaks of.

How does this tie into my gloomy reflections above?

A day is coming, perhaps much sooner than we realize, that extreme hardship is likely to hit this nation.  As a result, many people will have serious need.  One thing that may occur is that when food is scarce in the cities, people will begin heading to the rural areas.  There will undoubtedly be much violence, but for those who come peacefully, what do we who live in the country do when people show up at our door hungry and needing help?

In The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004TS1MGK), the author recounts what her family did during World War 2 when the Jews were being rounded up by the Nazis for extermination.  They took them in, fed and hid them, and helped them to escape to other, safer countries.  The family shared what they had, and God provided.  However, their unselfish actions eventually caused them to be discovered and sent to a concentration camp.  Yet, the miracles that came out of this and the astounding faith this family demonstrated had incredible rewards.

Given what I see as I’ve outlined above, what will I be called upon to do by God?  What will I need to sacrifice in order to be worthy of being called a follower of Jesus Christ?

I don’t know the answers.  The one thing I do know is that trouble is coming, and we’ll all likely be called upon by the Lord to do something that honors Him before He whisks us away to a safe destination, a hiding place for seven years.  I suggest you think on these things.  They may happen a lot quicker than you think, and you’ll have to make some difficult decisions.  My prayer is that I’ll be ready, willing, and able to do all that God asks of me, and that many others will as well.

Awaken Bible Prophecy Update 9-15-21: A Frank Discussion on Medical Issues

People have come to realize that the COVID pandemic was a planned event.  They’ve seen the extent to which authoritarian government operatives are exercising their totalitarian instincts.  They’ve come to understand that the vaccines, rather than delivering freedom, actually offer debilitation and death.  As a result, they‘ve sought other means of treatment than what the corrupt medical establishment demands they take.

In this Prophecy Update, I want to speak briefly about treatments.  As a result of this and many other factors, people want choices – they want answers.  We’ll discuss that to some extent today.

 

Sources: Please view at Rumble page

2 Corinthians 7:10 – Godly Grief

In his first letter to the church in Corinth, Paul expressed shock at what he had heard the congregation found acceptable in the actions of some around them.  There was sexual immorality in their midst, and they weren’t addressing it.  Paul said this must be corrected.  The man committing this sin – since he was unrepentant – must be separated from the church and given over to the world – to Satan – in order for him to come to his senses, if he would.

In the second letter to the church, Paul acknowledged he learned that the congregation did what he directed, and in so doing, had repented of their consent to the sin they had tolerated.  We don’t have a record of exactly what happened, whether the church wrote Paul a letter explaining how they handled the situation, or if he’d learned by word of mouth.  The one thing we know is that they turned strongly from their sin of allowing this man to continue doing what he did, toward a grief that consumed the body for their tolerance of the man’s actions.

To that end, Paul stated in 2 Corinthians 7:8:

For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while.

Their grief in getting right before God caused Paul grief.  He regretted having caused them such distress, but he knew it had to be done.  The importance of Paul’s rebuke is contained in 2 Corinthians 7:9:

As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.

The church had to feel such sorrow at their actions that it broke them and brought them to the place of repentance.  It was true grief, rooted in God, and because of that, He was gracious to them.

There is an anguish that is worldly.  It brings regret – often great remorse – but it doesn’t lead to a change in mind, heart, or behavior.  A man may cheat on his wife.  When the affair is discovered, it could lead to divorce and the loss of parental rights if there are children.  He may feel immense shame and guilt at the moment, but when those feelings pass, he may justify his actions and go right back to seducing a neighbor’s wife.  It may become a lifestyle that brings no real satisfaction, since the emptiness that caused him to stray in the first place is never truly addressed.

Godly sorrow, on the other hand, causes a change that leads to transformation.  Paul tells us this in 2 Corinthians 7:10:

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

When affliction or heartache cause one to bring his pain to God, and he truly repents, a miracle occurs.  If the person isn’t born again, his life may turn around in salvation.  If already a believer, through Godly repentance, it should strengthen his faith and resolve to sin no more.

The bottom line is that outside of a Godly response to sin, the actions of the flesh lead to death.  It’s one thing to fall into sin; it’s another altogether to dive into it.

Inadvertent sin can and should be recognized by the believer soon after committing it so that it can be confessed and dealt with.  Sin that is justified leads to more and greater sins.  Ultimately, they lead to a place outside of God’s will where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The lesson is that we must recognize sin, whether in our own body or the Body of Christ.  We must address it and repent of it.  Anything less and we run the danger of being cast back into the world – just like that man in Corinth – where Satan can have his way.

Let us grow in our zeal for God and do all that He commands.  The grace, mercy, and favor He pours out on us as a result will far eclipse any sin and its momentary pleasure.

2 Corinthians 6:16 – What Accord Has Christ With Belial?

The world is a subtle and tempting place.  It has its pleasures, and men desire them.  The allure of worldly things has caused many a person to stumble and fall.  It’s bad enough when someone secular succumbs and his end is grievous, it’s certainly worse when a Christian does so since he should know better.

A famous example of this shows up in Proverbs 6:27-29:

Can a man carry fire next to his chest

    and his clothes not be burned?

Or can one walk on hot coals

    and his feet not be scorched?

So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife;

    none who touches her will go unpunished.

Forbidden fruit always seems to be sweeter.  Because unbelievers don’t have the guiding light of God’s Word, they have fewer inhibitions in crossing the line into sexual immorality or any other action that is counter to the Lord’s commandments.  When believers choose to disregard what God has said as to how they should walk in righteousness, the end result may be worse than that of one who doesn’t have the Holy Spirit residing inside him.  Deliberate sin has severe consequences.

Because Christ-followers live in this fallen world, we are constantly around those who don’t believe.  Work relationships often arise, and more time may be spent with pagans than with fellow believers.  This can result in closer association with people who have no interest in holiness than is good and proper for someone in Christ.  Paul warns against this in the extended passage in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18:

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,

    and I will be their God,

    and they shall be my people.

Therefore go out from their midst,

    and be separate from them, says the Lord,

and touch no unclean thing;

    then I will welcome you,

and I will be a father to you,

    and you shall be sons and daughters to me,

says the Lord Almighty.”

It’s very clear what Paul was saying when we look at Strong’s #2086 for the word yoked: It “is used figuratively of Christians wrongly committed to a partner holding very different values (priorities), i.e. that run contrary to faith (the kingdom of God).”

The implication is that we’re looking at vastly different ways of thinking about things when a follower of Christ and a lover of the world join together.  That may cause the Christian to do things contrary to God’s Word to his detriment.  The world says, “It’s okay to cheat on your spouse and have an affair with your neighbor.  No one will know.  No one will get hurt.”

Yet, such yoking merges light and darkness and causes a murky gloom to settle on the participants.  For the believer to engage in such behavior, it can be equivalent to his pursuing worthless idols in place of the true living God.

Paul elsewhere discusses how, since our body is the temple of God, we corrupt it through sexual liaisons outside marriage.  That action causes more than physical yoking; it creates a psychological and spiritual connection.  In the sexual realm, this interrelatedness is probably the worst, but attachments between light and dark can occur in business and even friendships.  If they aren’t rooted in the Word and will of God, they may cause grief to the believer.

It’s why God simply says, “Don’t do it!”  Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord.

He has so much better for us, even if we think in our fleshly estimation that such a union may result in good.  God’s ways being higher and better than ours means He’s got insight that we don’t.

God wants His children to have and experience good things.  Only when we follow all His ways and are obedient to Him – honoring and pleasing Him – can we truly receive the best of His love for us.

Proverbs 24:11 – Rescue Those Taken Away to Death

The times in which we live are creating multiple schisms. We have the big one of the day being between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. There are many who are working hard to cause this rift to be even greater. They want a bifurcated society, not of haves and have-nots, but of the jabbed and jabbed-not. Those who refuse to take the shot are being marginalized. The proposition is out there that the unvaccinated should be denied basic necessities; some have even declared they should be locked up or simply eliminated.

We also have the split within the church of those who advocate for taking the vaccines and those who resist with horror. There has long been a falling away in the church from sound doctrine; this fissure is one that threatens unity in Christ.

I am unabashedly against taking these experimental biological agents that pose as vaccines. The dangers they present to God’s marvel of creation, the human body, are extreme. The thousand of deaths and hundreds of thousands of other adverse reactions are a testament to this. Many people, however, are either unaware of this data or willfully reject the large amount of evidence that has accumulated since the shots began to be administered in December 2020.

To rectify this situation, many medical professionals who became aware of the significant peril in taking these shots began to speak out. Because there has been a larger narrative driving the giving of these vaccines, these brave individuals were shut down in many ways from communicating the knowledge they had. It caused some to lose their job or positions at hospitals and certainly tarnished their reputations, which were trashed mercilessly by those who did not want the message of truth brought forth.

There have been others of us fortunate enough not to be in situations where these kinds of pressures can be brought to bear or that might matter to us. We have nothing to gain by speaking out against the wicked agenda and the tools being used to implement it. But, we do so out of obligation. For secular people doing this, they simply have a heart for others and don’t wish to see them injured.

For believers in Christ, this first reason is certainly valid, but our efforts are fueled by what the Lord has given us through the sacrificial gift of His Son, and we want to be faithful and obedient to Him in return. It means we must stand firmly and boldly against what we believe are atrocities perpetrated upon mankind and against God Himself. Knowing what we do, Proverbs 24:10-12 comes alive for us:

If you faint in the day of adversity,
your strength is small.
Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,
and will he not repay man according to his work?

This is a day of adversity in many ways. Although our strength – even the reach that we have in communicating to others – may be small, the battle isn’t ours. It is God’s, and we must rely on His strength, not our own. What is being done to mankind through these so-called vaccines is horrendous. People are being deceived and encouraged to take a drug that will either kill them outright or cause deteriorating effects in their bodies, i.e.prompting them to stumble to their slaughter.

We who know the truth, whether medically educated or having learned through study over these past months, have a Godly obligation to speak out. Consider what the Lord says in this Proverb. God knows that we know the facts. If we do nothing, will that not count against us? Most assuredly it will! For us to have learned these things and refuse to attempt to pull people from the fire is surely a sin of commission – a purposeful, willful negligence that would not go well with us when we stand before God.

Paul spoke of similar things to the church at Corinth. They had obligations to Christ just as we do, and none of us should use the excuse that in being obedient it will cause us harm. Paul expressed this in 2 Corinthians 5:6-10:

So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

The important lesson for us in all this is the necessity to walk in courage by faith and not by sight. We see the threats around us, and who knows where that might lead? The powers that be certainly know who we are. Yet, are we faithful to Christ regardless of what might come our way? Does it matter what man might do to us? Or, is it more important that we keep the eternal prospect in mind that we will someday stand before Christ at the Bema Seat of Judgment?

God, give us the strength to stand. Might we rescue others if You allow us to do so. Might we glorify You in all we do!

2 Corinthians 4:18 – Things That Are Unseen

What we see happening around us in the world can be overwhelming. There are times it takes our breath away. We ask, “How could this possibly happen?” “Is anyone in charge?” “What next?” It seems that from one week to the next, things get worse. “Is there no end to this?” “Can’t we get back to normal?” The short answer is no.

There are many who are hopeful that an incredible turnaround will take place. In this camp are those who believe in God and those who don’t. Despite the two opposing views, they have great hope and confidence in a Great Awakening. From their perspective, everything that has occurred since the 2020 election was strategic: Donald Trump was aware of the fraud that would happen, but had to let it go forward. He did this so that a large majority of people would truly see the corruption of the Left. They would experience it firsthand. There was the necessity of going through the legal process of demonstrating the vast conspiracy to win the White House illegally. Then, when all this and more had been accomplished, the people would rise up and in unity demand the reinstatement of the rightful president. Once that happens, it changes the trajectory of evil for good, and we’re able to move forward into a future that finally destroys the wicked.

That’s a lovely scenario. It’s hopeful, optimistic, and completely non-Biblical. Within the camp who believe and are trusting for this outcome, there are many Christians. I don’t doubt the sincerity of their faith whatsoever. However, in their believing this storyline, I wonder what Bible they’re reading.

Scripture has a combination of literal and allegorical writings. Typically when something is symbolic, it is pointed out as such. Sometimes there is hyperbole which could be taken literally – as many have over the years – but common sense indicates the figure of speech must be considered. However, when the plain sense of God’s Word and its context indicate for us to take the text literally, why should anyone attempt to spiritualize it or make it figurative?

One of the major aspects of this deals with end-times issues. People go to great extremes to twist the Word in order to convince themselves and others that there is no pre-Tribulation Rapture. For whatever reason, they have determined that Christ’s 2nd Coming contains all the elements of the vanishing of true believers in the twinkling of an eye along with Jesus returning to earth victoriously with His Bride following immediately behind. They conflate Scriptures and argue that what many of us see as our blessed hope through the promise of God to keep us from the wrath to come, is all an effort in escapism. They say we have to gird ourselves, prepare for the Tribulation to come, and endure the hardships. The conditions around the world currently being experienced are the harbingers they use to assert that we’re most assuredly going through this most awful seven years. Find a bolthole, stock up on supplies, get your guns ready!

How about if we look at the world through a Biblical, prophetic lens? Consider what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18:

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Perhaps what we’re going through right now is the end game. Maybe the craziness around us is what God is allowing us to undergo as light momentary affliction so that we get our minds and hearts right for the eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison that is coming. How about, rather than God wanting us to set our eyes on the things of the world, maybe He desires to correct our vision? Perhaps we are to look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen?

We have an eternal hope that God’s promises are true. From His Word, we see that our hope in Him isn’t something like what the world hopes for. When the world hopes, it is speculative. There is no assurance that what is hoped for will actually come to pass. For believers, hope in God’s promises takes on a whole other dimension. The world says that seeing is believing. Those of us who are true and faithful in Christ Jesus agree with the Bible which says that believing is seeing. We can’t look only at the things around us and think that’s all there. What emptiness that brings!

No, we must take the perspective that Paul does: For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. This is one reason we don’t go along with the crowd that says: “Get ready for the Tribulation.” God has made certain promises in His Word, i.e. Revelation 3:10:

Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.

Pre-Trib believers cling to this as a sure Word that God will keep. There are many others. The hope that we have is more than how the world hopes. Ours is a confidence that is unshakable. Why? Because God said it. We believe it. That settles it.

Yes, the world is deteriorating before our very eyes. Scripture clearly says this will happen. It will get worse before it gets better. On this earth, prior to the worst of the worst, the Lord will snatch us away. Only after the time of God’s judgment upon this unbelieving world will we return with Jesus. Then, and only then, will the wonder and glory follow as we enter the Millennial Reign of Christ.

We have much to look forward to; in the meantime much to be thankful for. When we place our faith and hope in the Lord, He will see us through whatever is coming our way. We can also rest assured that He will keep us safe in the hiding place with Him.

2 Corinthians 3:14 – Their Minds Were Hardened

The nation of Israel had everything going for it.  After all, when God has specially chosen you to be the focus and recipient of the purpose and destiny He has planned for mankind, surely He would pour out incredible mercy and goodness upon you.  That’s certainly the case, but Israel squandered it.

God gave Moses the Ten Commandments to teach the Israelites how to live a holy and righteous life.  But these rules were supposed to be just the beginning.  In reality, their instruction was to be a tutor and cause for the Jewish people to turn to Yahweh with willing minds and softened hearts.  There was a supernatural glory in the Ten Commandments; God’s giving of them to Moses caused such brilliance to come upon him that the people required him to wear a veil.  The reality is that he represented the sinlessness of God in that condition and they – in their sin – couldn’t stand to see such holiness.  As these things unfolded, what should have brought life to the Jews, actually brought condemnation and death.

This condition has continued for Israel to the present age.  Paul describes this in 2 Corinthians 3:14-16:

But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.

Because the Jews as a whole have rejected Jesus as Messiah – as God – and continued believing that through the Old Covenant they will find salvation, God has kept a veil over their minds to keep them from understanding the truth.  Indeed, their minds are hardened such that some even persecute Christians for daring to appropriate their Scriptures and distort them.

This idea of a hardened mind is not limited to the Jews and their particular situation.  It appears to be something that can come upon, not only an individual, but also an entire class of people.  It can lead to misunderstanding or misinterpreting information -perhaps even a willful rejection of truth – and result in actual harm to others.

Finding a diversion of shows or movies to watch is difficult when your heart is toward the Lord.  The vast majority of such productions include gratuitous sex, languange, and/or violence.  Even shows that start out well can devolve into celebrating these deviancies.  My wife and I have begun watching many a series from Netflix (in the past when we subscribed to that) and from Amazon Prime, that we’ve had to turn off and walk away from.

Recently we began watching the PBS-produced Victoria that began in 2016.  (https://www.amazon.com/gp/video/detail/B01N7IM7RE/) For anyone who enjoyed Downton Abbey, you would probably like Victoria as well.  It’s an intriguing fictional representation of Queen Victoria and her reign in the 1800s, which is exceptionally free from moral issues that cause disgust for many of us.

In one episode a cholera epidemic hits a certain area in London.  No one knows why.  The medical establishment is clueless and expresses both their ignorance and biases in diagnosing the causes of the outbreak.  Only one doctor takes a true interest in determining the plague’s cause.  He researches, goes into the area where the infestation is rampant, and as scientifically as he can for that day, tracks down the reason so many succumb, particularly women and children.  It’s because he cares, and cares enough to act, that they end up finding the source and ending the epidemic.  His mind and heart were soft and willing to listen and to learn, unlike those of his colleagues with their hardened minds.

You may guess where I’m going with this.  The medical establishment of today is of one uniform, hardened mind as to the causes, prevention, and treatment of COVID and its related issues.  From all over the world, there are numerous videos and reports that chronicle the deadly approach doctors and hospitals have used to deal with this planned epidemic.  They have abandoned all sane medical practices by declaring that literally everyone has COVID that they see and must be treated accordingly.  Any suggestion that a patient may have some other illness – particularly when the specific symptoms indicate this –  is disregarded.  Patients are dealt with as though by robots, uncaring and unaffected by reasoning from family or friends that counter their programming.  I’ve labeled these physicians and their ilk zombie doctors.

There is a dark spiritual aspect to all this.  I did a Prophecy Update on this subject called Puppet Master Conspiracy, that details the demonic manipulation going on: https://rumble.com/vl06lq-awaken-bible-prophecy-update-8-11-21-puppet-master-conspiracy.html.

A few brave medical professionals have spoken out against the wickedness that is being perpetrated by their colleagues.  They are horrified at what they see their beloved profession doing to people they are supposed to be helping.  The stand these individuals have taken has been at great cost for many of them.  They have been ridiculed and lost their positions at the hospitals they served.  They’ve been canceled and deplatformed for daring to speak truth to expose the evil lies perpetrated by Big Pharma, the government, and the lapdog media.  Their ability to get out a counter narrative has been stymied and limited to primarily alternative media sources.  If they’d been allowed to speak freely, the staggering foolishness associated with the whole COVID fiasco, from treating patients only after they were deathly ill, to the extreme vaccine injuries with the massive number of deaths associated with the shots, could have been reduced probably by greater than 75%.  This has led many of us to conclude that all this is the result of a planned genocide.  Only extremely hardened hearts could be subject to such manipulation.

Is there an answer?  Paul states it in 2 Corinthians 3:17:

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

Only by the grace of Christ can this be comprehended and stopped.  Some of the medical rebels know the Lord well, others only in passing, and still more are secular.  Regardless, I have no doubt that in one way or another the Lord has worked in the hearts of all these individuals to speak boldly against the travesty they are seeing.  It is Christ who causes these people to act in the interest of others at the expense of their own reputations and careers.

Those of us with a pre-Tribulation Rapture worldview know all that is happening in this regard is preparing the way for the Tribulation.  Nothing of what is done in those horrible seven years originates without preparation.  There is a progression of events that occurs, from devising the technical aspects necessary to institute the worldwide system for controlling buying and selling, to the conditioning of people to obey and eventually worship the son of perdition.  All this and more paves the way for Antichrist’s Beast System.

It all begins with minds that are hardened.  The only solution is Jesus.  The world as we know it isn’t going to get any better.  The demonic realm and their human minions are operating at warp speed.  They will not relent as they see NOW as their time to strike.  God is allowing this so as to define His true church.  When the conditions are right, He will remove us to allow all these wicked actors to have their way, even as He pours out His wrath upon the world.

While we wait for our blessed hope, let’s continue to stand boldly for Jesus.  Perhaps even some of these with hardened minds will see the light.

2 Corinthians 2:15 – The Aroma of Christ

Have you ever stopped to think why certain people hate true believers in Jesus Christ so much?  The ultimate answer is that these non-believers are infused with the spirit of Satan.  Because he is such a hater of God with all He has made and done, this anti-God fervor infects and infests those who have chosen – not only to reject God – but to follow their dark lord.

However, there is another, more practical reason for this hatred.  It’s something that exists on the physical, or natural plain of existence, perhaps at a subconscious level, but there nonetheless.  Consider what the Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 2:14-16:

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?

Because Christ is now and forever victorious over Death and Sheol, and because all who believe in Him have that same victory, we are no longer subject to the ravages of the normal course of life.  Whether we die (go to sleep!) or are snatched away by Jesus in the Rapture while still breathing, we will go to be with Him.  Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, the grave cannot hold us and the pit cannot keep us.  Jesus made this painfully aware to the demonic realm when He descended into Hell with the keys of eternal life and freed the captives, i.e. the Old Testament saints.  He led them out as He ascended to heaven in triumphal procession, displaying them before the dark spiritual forces.  He paraded the saints in victory as He removed them from the place of eternal gloom.  No longer were they in chains in Sheol’s dungeon, but freed to go to their rightful place.

How this must have angered the powers of this present darkness!  How it must have been a stench in their nostrils.  They well know God’s promise for them.  When He brings all history as we know it on earth to an end, these rulers are destined for eternal torment.  It’s why they rage against God and His creation, especially mankind made in His image.

When Jesus brought forth those saints, how the atmosphere must have changed in that dark place.  The living God was in the midst of hell where sulfur burns and its stench rises to the earth.  But not when Jesus was there!  The fragrance of God was in and upon Him.  Can you imagine how it must have offended those who were to remain in that place?

This is the same aroma that encompasses the living when we’re saved.  None of us can consciously smell it, although we sense it in another true fellow believer.  It’s part of the unity of Christ that He makes possible.  In that other person, we recognize Christ in them – the aroma of Christ that draws people to Him as Savior and Lord.  It’s why we can assemble in sweet fellowship when we come to worship Him, or simply enjoy the presence of the company of someone who likewise loves the Lord.

But to the one who has chosen to reject God, it’s another story.  Think about what happened at Jesus’ betrayal in the Garden of Gethsemane.  There’s the amazing statement in John 18:6:

When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

How the aroma of God must have overwhelmed these men!  How the revealing of the Great I AM must have stunned them.  So overpowering was the presence of God – likely from every sense these men possessed – that they fell as though dead, collapsing in a heap upon the ground.

Why?  They smelled the fragrance of death upon themselves.  It may have been that hell even had a hand in pulling them downward.  Can you imagine the fear they must have felt at the forces of heaven and hell working simultaneously upon them?

We see similar kinds of responses in people today.  As the darkness overtakes the land, the distinction between those walking light and dark will increase.  Even so, have you ever spoken the name of Jesus to someone and they pulled back?  Were they offended?  Probably.  But perhaps they also got a whiff of sulfur and the sense of their own mortality.  This is the aroma of death that is the constant companion of all who hate the Lord and who makes himself known when Jesus in the flesh (us!) appears.

The only hope for such as these is a wholesale change of heart.  From our fleshly perspective, that seems impossible.  Yet, isn’t Jesus the God of the impossible?  After all, He brought astounding transformation to Paul.  He’s done it innumerable times over the years with communists, Muslims, Hindus, and with people of every other type of belief system.  The truth transformed them and made them free.

Perhaps as we encounter those in our current time who pull back at the knowledge of our saving grace and the fragrance of God that surrounds us, it may be that God will be gracious to such people, so that they might be drawn out of the fires that await.

Our job is to be salt and light as Jesus commanded.  As we’re obedient to that, His fragrance of life will cause some to turn and to likewise experience life eternal with Him.

2 Corinthians 1:9 – The Sentence of Death

If you look around and think the world has gone nuts, you’re probably right.  As we near the end of history as we know it, with the soon-coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, the veil of deception has overshadowed the vision of most of secular society.  The very thing that Jesus warned about is occurring.  Consider Matthew 24:3-4 (NKJV):

Now 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?”

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.

Here we are at the end of the age; if someone disputes that… well, perhaps they’ve been deceived.  The deception is so thick, it’s like fog that could be described as the proverbial pea-green soup.  We often quote this saying from Jesus, but only because it’s so incredibly true for our times.

Most of us can agree that the prophet’s warning in Isaiah 5:20 is upon us:

Woe to those who call evil good

    and good evil,

who put darkness for light

    and light for darkness,

who put bitter for sweet

    and sweet for bitter!

Sadly, this is the new normal where everything said and done is literally upside down.  What do you do other than shake your head at it that things could be so out of whack?

Not only has every government around the globe been expressing its totalitarian instincts, but literally every other institution – whether trusted or not – has joined them.  We have only to look at the medical establishment for proof.  What is the Hippocratic Oath?  Some excerpts:

  • I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
  • I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.
  • I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. 
  • I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
  • Above all, I must not play at God.

Briefly, some comments:

  • With COVID, has there been overtreatment?  Considering that the template for hospitals was to send people home when they contracted the illness, and to have them wait until they got really sick; then when the infection was at its worst, they would put them on a ventilator – yes, I would say they’ve overtreated.

Therapeutic nihilism is interesting.  According to Wikipedia, it is: “a contention that it is impossible to cure people or societies of their ills through treatment.”

Has the medical establishment gone along with the government narrative that everyone must be vaccinated in order to cure the world of COVID?

  • Reports from many quarters as to how COVID patients have been treated at hospitals are that there is no examination of true underlying symptoms.  Everyone is considered to have COVID and treated accordingly.  They are isolated and not allowed to have any family or friends visit or advocate for them.  Dealing with people as human beings has gotten lost in the rush to make everything about COVID.
  • Is there any medical privacy today?  It’s hard to conceive of given the fact that everyone’s vaccine status is a matter of public exposure.
  • Prevention has gone out the window.  Valid, safe, and efficacious drugs such as Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and Ivermectin have been ridiculed, demonized, and outlawed.  The idea that Zinc and Vitamins C and D3 might actually be useful to build up the immune system is scoffed at.

There is a reason, of course.  If these alternative treatments were available and considered useful, then the so-called vaccines could not have been approved under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).  Authorities worldwide could not dictate that the entire populace of the planet must get jabbed.  Big Pharma would not rake in the billions that it has.  The conditioning of people to prepare them for worldwide submission could not happen.  Preparation for the absolute control of people’s lives could not occur.  The coming Beast System under Antichrist couldn’t be realized.

  • The classic version of the Hippocratic Oath begins in this way:

I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepius and Hygieia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfil according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant:

Isn’t it fascinating that originally doctors swore this oath to false gods?  Can anyone truthfully say that the medical establishment today isn’t playing at god?  All one must do is look at the man who has assumed the role of chief deity: Dr. Anthony Fauci.  You did see, didn’t you, where someone suggested he be addressed as Saint Fauci?

I preface with all this background information to come to my main point.  Mankind has come under a dark cloud of deception and lawlessness.  Those who have eyes to see and ears to hear – mostly true Christian believers, but some otherwise, as well – understand that the medical system is being used as the mechanism for the implementation of totalitarianism.  This has strong Marxist roots; ultimately, it is spiritually demonic.  The ones who will be targeted for their civil disobedience and non-compliance in all the various demands the government makes will be those of us who stand boldly for Christ.

Over a year ago I wrote that it was quite likely the church would go through some level of trials and tribulations before the Rapture.  That made a number of people uncomfortable because, quite naturally, they (as we all do who believe in the pre-Trib Rapture) wanted Jesus to come snatch us away before we had to endure any difficulties.  We’re seeing now that the true church of Christ must undergo some amount of persecution and suffering.  I’ve always said it would surprise me if the only oppression and hardship we in the western church had to deal with was ease and comfort.

God needed to shake us out of our lethargy.  We were too apathetic and lukewarm in our faith.  Consider what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 1:9-10:

Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.

Why did Paul have to go through the many ordeals that he did?  God had to show Paul how he must rely only upon Him.  It was when Paul received the sentence of death that he knew there was no escape other than by placing his entire trust in God.  And what did He do?  He delivered Paul and gave him the confidence that He would do so again – always being with him in times of trouble.

This is what the Lord wants for His true church.  This is why we are alive for such a time as this.  God will shape and mold us into believers of staunch faith whereby we boldly proclaim the Name of the Lord Jesus.  Those who don’t will fall away.  They will be revealed as the wolves in sheep’s clothing they’ve always been.

As we experience the darkness, we must not despair.  What we see around us is grievous.  But God wants us to keep our eyes on Him.  He is our only hope.

What does that song say?

Turn your eyes upon Jesus

Look full, in his wonderful face

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of his glory and grace.

This is what we need to remember in these difficult times.  The Lord will deliver us as we keep our focus on Him.  He will come for His beloved Bride.  Then the real trouble on the earth will begin!

Awaken Bible Prophecy Update 9-8-21: Biblical Curses Upon America

America has entered a time of Biblical judgment.  We are not Israel.  The US is not a theocratic state.  However, our nation was founded on Biblical principles.  God in His wisdom provides patterns of blessings and judgments so that all who read and understand His Word can see the parallels from the past to the present.

Ancient Israel is an example to us of how a nation falls, and what it can expect as a consequence of turning from God.  Scripture is filled with details of how Israel chose not to obey God, and in so doing, followed other lesser gods.  Although the people of Israel knew better, they purposely chose the path away from Yahweh.  God gave them much help to live correctly.  He sent the prophets and gave them the Law, but in their sin and free will, they decided they didn’t want or need God.

The people in America are no different from those in ancient Israel.  We want what we want, and we’ll get it by whatever means necessary.  If that means ignoring God and His warnings of judgment, we think we can overcome through our own self-sufficiency.  That philosophy didn’t work out for Israel and it won’t work for us.  This nation is going down.  The evidence is stacking up.  God has removed His hand of blessing upon us.  We are barrelling headlong at 100 mph toward the oncoming Tribulation.  Literally every marker is in place.  All that is required is for the Lord to snatch His church from this God-forsaken planet in the pre-Tribulation Rapture, and the unbelieving world will proceed to destroy itself.

God gave Moses a lengthy discourse on Blessings and Curses in Deuteronomy 28.  We’re going to look at some of the curses intended for Israel and point out some striking parallels to where we are today.