Hebrews 13:6 – The Lord is My Helper

From the very first of this fiasco we call the COVID pandemic, the Lord put it on my heart to push back against the narrative.  When word initially came out that we were all to wear masks, something in my spirit didn’t agree with that directive.  I can’t in any way say that I knew it was a scam, but it didn’t feel right to me, and I resisted.  In our church, the pastor went along with the program in preferring people wear masks and that everything be wiped down and disinfected between services.  However, for prayer at the altar following service, the pastor did give leeway to the couple of us who wouldn’t mask up and allowed for people coming up to choose whether to stand before a masked or unmasked prayer partner.

When the discussion turned to the government ruse that COVID was spreading so rapidly it was necessary to shut down churches, again I argued against that.  Let the people decide if they wanted to “risk” coming to church.  In this issue, I was the lone (ignored) voice saying we should continue services, so we went online like everyone else.  After several weeks we did reopen, unlike many other churches in the area that remained closed.  Subsequently there was another period in which we briefly shuttered the doors to “reset” and get past the supposed worst of the infection among our people.

For my contrarian ways, I was somewhat of an outcast, but none of this ever really resonated with me that the government should be dictating to God’s people whether or not they should gather.

Then, of course, came the “vaccines.”  Because I’d been watching and investigating this process all along, and finding like-minded people on Youtube, i.e. doctors going against the grain, I did what little I could to spread the word that these approaches dictated by the medical establishment weren’t rooted in fact.  These alternative voices were in the minority compared to the mainstream governmental, media, and medical authorities.  Although I was, and continue to be, a tiny little minnow in my corner of the internet, Youtube started censoring me just like it did those who gained a platform that many people watched and heard.  As Dr. Lee Merritt has said regarding this, from her background having been a Navy surgeon for almost ten years, the military saying is that, “If you start receiving flack, that means you’re over the target.”  There are a number of such people who have been canceled because they zeroed in over the enemy target and were far too close for comfort by those who didn’t wish their lies to be discovered by the general populace.  We now know that the so-called vaccines are deadly poison, gene therapy masquerading as a solution.  Rather than providing immunity, they alter a person’s DNA and cause serious adverse effects, including death.  No one should take them.  NO ONE.

The aspect of all this that especially troubles me is the reaction of pastors and believers.  In my case, because I’ve been doing video Prophecy Updates for a while, as I learned the truth and spoke it, I know that the warnings I gave were clearly heard by pastors and many believers.  Early on I conveyed concerns about COVID being a manmade bioweapon.  As the pharmaceutical companies began releasing their vaccine solutions, I relayed the serious issues about them, e.g. that they caused cytokine storms (i.e. immune deficiency responses) and other troubling aspects.

Despite my speaking out about these things, people I knew – who had definitely heard what I’d warned about – took the shots anyway!  People that should have known better submitted to the narrative that the only way to beat COVID was to take the jabs.  I couldn’t believe it.

As people of God, shouldn’t we have discerned that what the world was saying might be a problem?  How could we submit to the fear that the media and all concerned were propagating?  What about our faith through all this?  Didn’t anyone realize that certain prophetic issues were being fulfilled right in front of us?

Apparently not.

In fact, as a Bible prophecy teacher for a number of years, I’ve seen the lack of interest in this portion of Scripture.  That has always astounded me because the prophetic Word makes up close to 1/3 of the Bible.  But few have wanted to hear or heed it.  In my connecting prophecy with this whole issue of COVID, vaccines, intentions of the global elites, the coming Tribulation, and the sooner Rapture of the true church, interest in these things has been a great big yawn.  Many in the church have taken the shots, some continue wearing masks, and there are even churches to this day that have never reopened their doors for fear of contracting COVID.

Yet, shouldn’t it be the church which stands against the dictates and ways of the world?  How is it that pastors and their congregations ignore the signs of the times and continue operating in ignorance and/or fear of contracting this illness, which has less lethality than the common flu each year?  Doesn’t Hebrews 13:5-6 urge us to:

… be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,

“The Lord is my helper;

    I will not fear;

what can man do to me?”

I know that many people have grave concerns over losing their jobs because of vaccine mandates.  I’m quite aware that many folks have taken the jabs to continue in school or to see loved ones whom the authorities kept isolated unless people took the shots.  But my questions are: For people of faith, where is the faith?  Why has so much fear infected the church?  Isn’t the Lord greater than any disease?  Shouldn’t He be obeyed rather than the State  in the circumstance that Caesar is issuing commands that contradict the ways of God?

Going even deeper, will there not be consequences for God’s people who ignore Jesus’ command to watch, be alert, and be ready for His imminent return?  The apathy in the church regarding this issue is appalling and, to me, greatly disturbing.

I’ve gotten to the point that our culture and even the church cannot be redeemed.  Those of us who love the Lord can only do what we’re called to within our own spheres.  We’re to continue occupying until Jesus comes.  That means to bring the truth of the Gospel to all who will listen, perhaps pulling some from the fire.  In other words, we are to do exactly what the writer says in Hebrews 13:16:

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Most of us have little influence in the greater culture.  God knows this.  So we do what we can with those who will listen, all the while waiting with eager expectation for that long-awaited shout from the clouds.

Awaken Bible Prophecy Update 11-17-21 – It’s Worse Than You Think

Awaken Bible Prophecy Update 11-17-21 – It’s Worse Than You Think – Sorceries & Human Souls

Well, here I am again, the purveyor of doom and gloom for the unbelieving world, but the messenger of glad tidings and Good News for those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

In the days of the prophets in ancient Israel – Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and others – the message from God they brought was hard, and not well received.  These men proclaimed God’s judgment upon a rebellious and disobedient people who didn’t want to hear it.  The people were righteous in their own eyes.  Everyone in that day – if asked if he was a good person – probably would have said YES.  That being the case, for Israelites to be told they were stiff-necked and an abomination to God – by these crazy men with long stringy hair, who wore scratchy goatskin clothes, and ate locusts for breakfast – was probably a non-starter.  The only problem was that the men who spoke for God were telling the truth, whereas the people they spoke to were living a lie.

It takes some doing these days for someone to convince himself that things in the world will turn out all right, but many work hard at it and assure themselves through many lies that it will be.  Despite the witness before our very eyes, which reveals that the world is NOT okay, human nature desperately wants it to be.  The media proclaim normalcy is just around the corner.  The government says we only have to sacrifice a little more, and things will get better.  Churches preach portions of the Bible and ignore those parts that make their people uncomfortable, so the places that should understand the times are as ignorant as the pagan masses.

Despite evidence to the contrary, wickedness revealed at the highest levels continues to be called conspiracy theory.  When evil is exposed, those who pull back the curtain are the ones punished.  There are only a very few of us who echo the Word of God that Jesus is coming soon.  We’re usually laughed at or called demonic for saying such a thing.  Adding that the unbelieving world will shortly plunge into the greatest time of horror ever known, and that spiritual darkness with unparalleled deception will reign and bring a terrible end to humanity, unfortunately tends to turn people off.   When these things are communicated, the common response is fear first, then the unfounded hope that a Great Awakening will reverse all the momentum of the avalanche that is crashing down the mountain as the earth reaches its final end.  No one wants to believe that a loving God – if He exists at all – would take such drastic measures against mankind.  That’s certainly not the Jesus most people know.  They say, “That’s not MY Jesus!”  None of this can be true.  One way or another, the world will recover and we’ll go on as before.

That’s what Israel thought as well in the final days before God had had enough.

In no way do I compare myself with the holy prophets of Israel, but I can read.  God’s prophetic Word is clear.  We have reached the end of the line.  The abomination and depravity throughout the earth is no different from ancient times when God declared His intent to bring down righteous judgment.  Because we don’t want to see, we hide our eyes.  But there are two primary issues that prevail throughout every culture and society.  They are the same ones that brought destruction in the past.  No one wants to acknowledge it, but the world – because of these two issues – is worse than you think.  Soon God will exact a very steep price because of them.

 

Hebrews 11:29 – Our God is a Consuming Fire

Sinful man inevitably looks everywhere but to the God who made him for satisfaction in life.  God’s Chosen People are the example of this – a template of sorts.  When we consider the history of Israel and her consistent turning away from God, we should not pridefully think that we would never do such a thing.  We already have.

Ezekiel 16 is a harsh chapter.  Yahweh spares no sentiment in describing the faithlessness of Judah.  He explains through the prophet how He raised her from birth.  She was a pagan child, unwanted and unloved.  In His tender mercy, God cared for her as a loving Father, clothing her and giving her the very best of all He had.  During this time, He says in Ezekiel 16:8:

“… I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord God, and you became mine.”

But this willful child of a nation decided in her pride that she had grown beautiful and prosperous through her own means.  In the trusting of her own beauty, the people of Jerusalem did the unthinkable.  They turned to other nations with their pagan gods and idols.  What nation had ever abandoned its god before?  Yahweh expresses His dismay in Ezekiel 16:16:

You took some of your garments and made for yourself colorful shrines, and on them played the whore. The like has never been, nor ever shall be.

Through this abandonment of Him as Father, Husband, and God, the Lord wasted no words in describing Judah: she had whored like no other.  For her wickedness, Yahweh declared “woe, woe to you!” (Ezekiel 16:23)

The narrative goes on to describe how even Sodom, as Judah’s little sister, was more righteous than her!  How could that be knowing what we do about the abominations of Sodom and Gomorrah?  But that’s what God says and has against Judah.  For her sins, she, like her sisters, Samaria (i.e. the Northern Kingdom of Israel) and Sodom, would be destroyed.  Judah would be an object of reproach.  She would “… bear the penalty of [her] lewdness and [her] abominations…” (Ezekiel 16:58)

Later, in the letter addressed to the Hebrew believers, the writer reminds his readers that they must set aside all sin and persevere in their walk with God.  In their case, they may have grown weary in the constant fight to remain righteous.  Yet, look at what the writer says in Hebrews 12:4

In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

In other words, whatever you’ve had to deal with is nothing compared to what it could be.  You should expect difficulty as you live out your Christian life, and you may falter.  But remember this he says in Hebrews 12:5-7:

And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,

    nor be weary when reproved by him.

For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,

    and chastises every son whom he receives.”

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

Trouble may come; your faith may be tested, you may turn your eyes from the Lord.  Through these things, should you waver, God will give you a reminder.  He brings discipline, even rebuke if necessary, because of His great love.  You – Hebrew believers – are cherished as sons and daughters.  Anything that comes your way does so for a purpose so that you might grow in holiness.

Hebrews goes on to explain the terror of the Lord that God’s people experienced during their wilderness wanderings in the Exodus.  They had an encounter with God – remote as it was – with Him on the mountain and them far away.  It was terrifying.  Even … Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” (Hebrews 12:21)

The lesson to God’s people is outlined in Hebrews 12:25:

See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven.

Judah in ancient Israel did not receive these warnings with the fear and trembling that she should have.  Through her stiff-necked, obstinate, refusal to heed God’s Words, she brought great destruction upon herself as noted elsewhere: sword, famine, pestilence, wild beasts, and finally captivity.  Can anyone escape the One true God?  Does it make sense to willfully choose a path of self-righteousness with all its implications?

The history recounted in Ezekiel 16 made me think of our story here in America.  God nurtured us from inauspicious beginnings.  We grew up beautiful and prosperous because of His blessings.  But it seems as though Judah was indeed the model for our rebellion.  Our pride and arrogance grew.  We became fat and lazy.  When other gods wooed us, we whored with them.  The church as the people of God – which should have stood athwart this turning away –  joined it instead.  Rather than reject and stay apart from the world, we embraced and became the world.

Just as Israel did the unthinkable in sacrificing her sons and daughters in the fire to Molech, so have we sacrificed our children on the altar of convenience through Planned Parenthood.  We have done exactly the opposite of what Hebrews says: We have refused Him who is speaking.  The warning God has given from heaven through Scripture is clear.  How will we as a nation escape if we reject Him?

We won’t.

The time is near for our nation – just as it was for Judah with all the warnings the prophets had given.  The Word of God that we have in the form of the Bible has likewise warned us.  But we’ve refused to listen to its clear intent.

This is a message that few want to hear.  A major reason is that so many people in the church have decided that this world is our home.  Rather than accept that it’s an alien place not fit for the children of God, we’ve decided to hold it close in a vain attempt to make it better, despite such an attempt being contrary to prophetic Scripture.

America, and this world, are going down.  Neither can be saved.  Should we who love the Lord even desire such a thing as the reclamation of society at this point?  Shouldn’t our focus be toward heaven, which should be our real hope?

In the time remaining before Jesus comes to rescue us, we need a change of heart.  Rather than attempting to transform the world to make it conform to our expectations, we need to simply reach out to save as many as possible before the prophesied end.  That should be our major task.

As Hebrew 12:28-29 reminds us:

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.

Ezekiel 14:22 – Some Survivors Will Be Brought Out

When the people of Israel had gone so far from God that He could tolerate their sins no longer, He promised judgment upon His people.  It wasn’t just because of whatever unbelievers there may have been in the land, it was because those who were supposed to represent Him had turned their hearts away.  Throughout the writings of the prophets, we see that it was the leaders of Israel and the holy men who decided pagan gods were more worthy of worship than the One true God.  Because these men should have known better, since they were learned and knew the Scriptures more than anyone, when they spurned Yahweh, He called them out for special judgment.

In Ezekiel 14 the Lord has the prophet address the elders, the men of authority who had taken their idols into their hearts (Ezekiel 14:3).  This sin angered God since it caused these men to lay the idols as a stumbling block before the rest of the people.  In other words, the transgressions of the elders caused those who followed them to likewise sin.  To top it off, they consulted false prophets asking for a Word from the Lord.  God told them to repent, for these iniquities were bringing punishment upon all parties: leaders, prophets, and the entire house of Israel.

The infidelity of Israel throughout every strata of society left Yahweh with no alternative.  Ezekiel 14:12-14 reports:

And the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, when a land sins against me by acting faithlessly, and I stretch out my hand against it and break its supply of bread and send famine upon it, and cut off from it man and beast, even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness, declares the Lord God.”

As He often did, God decreed certain punishments that He would send to cause affliction upon the unfaithful.  One thing we see is that the Lord had three main judgments He inevitably brought, but He also had a couple more in reserve.  The first noted above is famine.  This always causes great hardship.  Surely God does this so that some people will realize that only He can provide the bread of life.

The other two primary means of afflicting His people were by the sword and pestilence.  Ezekiel 14:17,19 describe these in this instance.  War and plague of some nature tore down society and weakened it to the point of surrender.  That capitulation might be to the foreign power coming against the nation or in the personal life of someone who comes to understand how weak and broken he is.

In this case where God is pronouncing judgment, He also unleashed wild beasts (Ezekiel 14:15).  How awful that a person couldn’t turn around without the fear of being devoured by a wolf, lion, or bear!  Is there an antidote for fear?  Yes, only the Lord.

The final judgment, not noted directly in our text today was captivity.  Once God sent hostile invaders into Israel and they overcame the nation’s defenses, the attacking army often removed the people from the land to live in a strange and alien place.  Home becomes a distant memory.

God makes a declaration in these various verses in Ezekiel 14 that brings one mini ray of hope.  He speaks of Noah, Daniel, and Job.  Note what He says above: even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness.  The fact that they were righteous in God’s eyes is the redeeming factor for them, even in the midst of great judgment.  He repeats this several times: faithful Noah, Daniel, and Job are the ones whom God would deliver even within great affliction.

But then God goes further in bringing this tiny hope.  He says in Ezekiel 14:21-22:

“For thus says the Lord God: How much more when I send upon Jerusalem my four disastrous acts of judgment, sword, famine, wild beasts, and pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast! But behold, some survivors will be left in it, sons and daughters who will be brought out; behold, when they come out to you, and you see their ways and their deeds, you will be consoled for the disaster that I have brought upon Jerusalem, for all that I have brought upon it.”

God speaks here of a remnant, survivors from the terrible judgment that He will deliver.  They will be brought out as an encouragement and consolation.

Isn’t it just like God to give His people a Word that shows His love and care for them?  When all seems lost, when spiritual darkness has overtaken the land because the hearts of the people are far from Him, yet for those who continue to serve and honor the Lord, He makes a way.  There is always a remnant whom He saves.

So it will be with us in these current times.  The world en masse has spurned God.  It follows pagan gods, places idols before Him, and worships self.  Mankind has reached the tipping point where there is no possibility of God relenting from the punishment He must bring upon this unbelieving world.

But just like in the past, there is a believing remnant, those of us who have placed our faith and trust in Jesus Christ.  He will deliver us and no others.  Once He removes us then He will lower the hammer.  The judgments He has pronounced will include the sword, famine, and pestilence.  I have no doubt He will also release wild beasts to torment the unfaithful and cause many to go into captivity.

It’s a bleak picture that the Bible paints for the future.  Thankfully, our escape from these horrors is in the Person of Jesus.  It is because of His shed blood and our trusting in Him that we have hope.  He died for us to take away our sins.  He rose from the dead to demonstrate that we will likewise rise to join Him in glory.  He is coming back in the clouds to snatch us from this alien landscape and then to the earth once more where He will bring an end to unrighteousness.

Jesus is our one true and only hope in these last days.  Thank you, Lord, for showing us the way!

Ezekiel 12:27 – He Prophesies of Times Far Off

The visions that God gave Ezekiel are among the most vivid in the Bible outside of the book of Revelation.  Probably the most disturbing for the prophet occurred in the chapters for today’s reading.  Just as he had seen previously at the Chebar Canal, Ezekiel was shown the whirling wheels and the cherubim once more.

(Interestingly, although Ezekiel says they were the same creatures, the face of one in the earlier vision was that of an ox, whereas in this vision it had the face of a human.  All the other faces were identical.  There seems to be no consensus among scholars as to why the discrepancy; perhaps a later scribe simply copied it wrong, and it persisted in subsequent texts.  Regardless, it makes no theological difference.)

The reason for this vision was because of a drastic move on God’s part.  From the mouths of many prophets, He had warned the inhabitants of Judah that their disobedience had severe consequences.  The prophet reported in Ezekiel 12:1-2:

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, who have eyes to see, but see not, who have ears to hear, but hear not, for they are a rebellious house.”

This rebellious attitude caused the people to have a veil over their understanding.  What they saw and heard made no sense; none of it penetrated their comprehension.  Jesus later said the same thing in Matthew 13:15-15, when he described those around Him as having calloused or dull hearts.  If that weren’t the case, God would have actually been merciful to heal the people.  Then, as in this time of Ezekiel, their despicable ways prevented the Lord from acting as He truly desired.  Because of this, He had to bring judgment in order to cause the people to finally awaken and realize their desperate plight in life without Him.

In a series of moves, God showed Ezekiel how His glory was leaving the temple – His very dwelling place.  How disturbed the prophet must have been!  Because of how God had positioned the temple in Jerusalem in the minds of the people as His house, for Him to depart must have had a profound impact on Ezekiel, this man of God who loved Him more than anything else.  But it was necessary.  The visions revealed how the leaders in Jerusalem were worshiping pagan entities through idols that depicted the creatures of the earth as worthy of reverence, but not the Lord Himself who had created them.  The women honored a goddess of sexual immorality, and the occult things of the east were put high above God (Ezekiel 8).  The Lord could not allow this level of abomination to continue.

And so Ezekiel 11:22-23 describes:

Then the cherubim lifted up their wings, with the wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel was over them. And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain that is on the east side of the city.

Because God’s glory no longer dwelt in Israel, His protection was gone.  Chaos and violence would be the norm as lawlessness reigned.

Prior to all this, no one believed that God would act in such a way.  Weren’t the Jews His Chosen People?  Wasn’t Israel His Holy and Promised Land?  Their thinking that they could do anything with abandon, and the Lord would never punish them, was prevalent.  It’s why, when the prophets declared the coming judgment of God, they laughed.  They even had a proverb stating: “The days grow long and every vision comes to nothing.” (Ezekiel 12:22)

God went on to declare in Ezekiel 12:27-28 about their indifference and its consequences:

“Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, ‘The vision that he sees is for many days from now, and he prophesies of times far off.’ Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord God: None of my words will be delayed any longer, but the word that I speak will be performed, declares the Lord God.”

Just as Ezekiel foretold at God’s behest, the prophecies weren’t for a future time; they were ones that He would perform NOW!

Don’t we have the same attitude among those in the church today?  Isn’t Bible prophecy disdained and ignored?  How much do Christians desire to know about the things to come?  When confronted with the rapid approach of the Lord’s return, don’t many dismiss it as something they believed in the 1970s (because of Hal Linsay’s book The Late Great Planet Earth) but don’t any longer?  Aren’t they jaded at the thought of Jesus’s imminent coming with many saying that they’re pan-Trib in their belief?  In other words, whatever happens, it will all pan out in the end.  The hearts of many in the church itself have become calloused and dull.  There are few who observe the signs of the times and take heed, even as Jesus warned.

I don’t pretend to know what this means for true believers who dismiss the Words of Jesus, when He said to be alert and keep watching for Him, and they refuse to do so.  That’s a command that they ignore, seemingly at some peril, whatever that hazard might be.

However, based on God’s Word, as well as the birth pains that we’re in the midst of, it won’t be long before Jesus does come for His beloved Bride to Rapture us from this world that is not our home.  When He does, the Holy Spirit will also be removed.  Isn’t that similar to what happened in Jerusalem when God’s glory departed?  That act on the Lord’s part paved the way for the inhabitants of the land to face the sword, famine, and pestilence beyond anything they’d imagined.  Won’t the Tribulation following the Rapture bring these same disasters upon the unbelieving world?

Yet here’s the amazing second part of these prophecies.  God told Ezekiel to tell His people that he would regather them and bring great blessings, as told in Ezekiel 11:19-20:

“And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.”

Someday the entire nature of their relationship with God would change.  He would live inside them and they would truly be His people.

When Jesus snatches us out of this world, He will give us glorified bodies.  After hiding away in the Father’s house for seven years, we will return with Him to enter the Millennial Kingdom.  We will work with Him to execute justice and peace during this 1,000 years when He sits on the throne in Jerusalem.  It’s a different future than that of the remnant believers of Israel, but one that will be glorious and amazing.

God has a wonderful future in store for us.  Bible prophecy declares this is so.  However, before the joy comes the mourning.  We must stand fast in the Lord in faith and belief, and through the trials, He will deliver us into a time of delight that we cannot even comprehend.

Ezekiel 7:2 – An End Has Come

Have you ever read an Old Testament passage and felt that it could have been penned yesterday for exactly the times in which we’re living?  In my reading of Ezekiel 7, I couldn’t help but see the parallels of what was decreed for ancient Judah, to the disaster that is soon to come upon our land and the entire world.  It may seem in my writings that I concentrate on the prophecies of doom that the Lord gave for His Chosen People, and also those He stated He would bring upon the earth in the latter days, i.e. the times in which we now live.  This is why the Bible is such a NOW book, a living testament.  The Word of the Lord was relevant back in Biblical times; it is exceedingly relevant for today.  If I, or anyone else, ignores what God proclaims will occur; in other words, if we neglect our role as Watchmen, then the Lord declares woe upon us!  As Proverbs 9:10 states:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

God gives us His Word to raise up wisdom within us.  He shows us through Bible prophecy what will happen under certain conditions, both good and bad.  Through our knowing Him, and what He says in Scripture, He provides insight and understanding.

Here with some minor commentary (is any really needed?) is Ezekiel 7 proclaimed by the prophet for Judah, but entirely relevant for today:

Ezekiel 7:1-4

The word of the Lord came to me: “And you, O son of man, thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel: An end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land. Now the end is upon you, and I will send my anger upon you; I will judge you according to your ways, and I will punish you for all your abominations. And my eye will not spare you, nor will I have pity, but I will punish you for your ways, while your abominations are in your midst. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”

  • With the convergence of all prophesied signs, we are at this same point in world history.  We have reached the end.  Our abominations rise as a stench in the nostrils of the Lord.  His punishment is upon us.

Ezekiel 7:5-9

“Thus says the Lord God: Disaster after disaster! Behold, it comes. An end has come; the end has come; it has awakened against you. Behold, it comes. Your doom has come to you, O inhabitant of the land. The time has come; the day is near, a day of tumult, and not of joyful shouting on the mountains. Now I will soon pour out my wrath upon you, and spend my anger against you, and judge you according to your ways, and I will punish you for all your abominations. And my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity. I will punish you according to your ways, while your abominations are in your midst. Then you will know that I am the Lord, who strikes.”

  • Are not the disasters mounting up?  Is not the chaos around us indicative of God’s hand being withdrawn from this world?  Can you not sense the anger within God for all we have done to spurn Him?

Ezekiel 7:10-13

“Behold, the day! Behold, it comes! Your doom has come; the rod has blossomed; pride has budded. Violence has grown up into a rod of wickedness. None of them shall remain, nor their abundance, nor their wealth; neither shall there be preeminence among them. The time has come; the day has arrived. Let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn, for wrath is upon all their multitude. For the seller shall not return to what he has sold, while they live. For the vision concerns all their multitude; it shall not turn back; and because of his iniquity, none can maintain his life.”

  • When you observe the ways of man and see through the veil, isn’t the pride of many in their exalted positions that which you know the Lord must come against?  They execute violence, because in their wealth they have the ability to do so.  But God says they will be brought low.

Ezekiel 7:14-22

“They have blown the trumpet and made everything ready, but none goes to battle, for my wrath is upon all their multitude. The sword is without; pestilence and famine are within. He who is in the field dies by the sword, and him who is in the city famine and pestilence devour. And if any survivors escape, they will be on the mountains, like doves of the valleys, all of them moaning, each one over his iniquity. All hands are feeble, and all knees turn to water. They put on sackcloth, and horror covers them. Shame is on all faces, and baldness on all their heads. They cast their silver into the streets, and their gold is like an unclean thing. Their silver and gold are not able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord. They cannot satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs with it. For it was the stumbling block of their iniquity. His beautiful ornament they used for pride, and they made their abominable images and their detestable things of it. Therefore I make it an unclean thing to them. And I will give it into the hands of foreigners for prey, and to the wicked of the earth for spoil, and they shall profane it. I will turn my face from them, and they shall profane my treasured place. Robbers shall enter and profane it.”

  • This is such a perfect description of the coming Tribulation, it makes me tremble.  We already see the sword, famine, and pestilence having been unleashed.  How much worse will it get?  Oh, so much greater!  We have the stated Dark Winter approaching just as the globalist elites have told us.  I don’t doubt that many people will suffer from cold and lack of food.  Will there be another, more severe bioterror attack?  It wouldn’t surprise me in the least.  What wickedness do these earthly minions have in store for those who oppose them?  What deadly plans are they waiting to execute against people who stand against the purposes and will of the enemy?  The Apostle Paul was so right when he said in 1 Timothy 6:10 that: For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.  We’ve seen this love played out excessively in this time of COVID, as far too many people have been ensnared by it to do wicked acts that should awaken their moral sense.  But they ignore God’s inner warning and sear their conscience.

Ezekiel 7:23-27

“Forge a chain! For the land is full of bloody crimes and the city is full of violence. I will bring the worst of the nations to take possession of their houses. I will put an end to the pride of the strong, and their holy places shall be profaned. When anguish comes, they will seek peace, but there shall be none. Disaster comes upon disaster; rumor follows rumor. They seek a vision from the prophet, while the law perishes from the priest and counsel from the elders. The king mourns, the prince is wrapped in despair, and the hands of the people of the land are paralyzed by terror. According to their way I will do to them, and according to their judgments I will judge them, and they shall know that I am the Lord.”

  • It will all come crashing down upon those who follow Satan and suppose that they can thwart the will of God.  Whether in secular circles, or in the church where the Lord has been disdained, His wrath will bring terror.  Fear will indeed paralyze those who have chosen their way apart from Him.  He will judge them, and they will know that the One true God is greater than any other.

The writer of Hebrews was addressing an audience of Jewish believers, but his reminding of them in Hebrews 10:30-31 of the other side of God’s character, opposite that of His overwhelming love, is a Word for all who believe they can live without Him and do what they please:

For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Read again what Ezekiel warned was about to happen.  Read this verse in Hebrews once more.  God is about to do an exceedingly great thing in this earth.  I’m thankful He will deliver His beloved from the wrath to come.  For great is the woe that He will soon execute upon those who remain.

Hebrews 10:22 – A True Heart

Many of the practices of the Catholic Church are in direct contradiction to the Word of God.  There are numerous rites and rituals imposed upon its congregants from the Vatican – far too many to chronicle in this brief essay – but the one I’ll comment on today deals with its priests.

The writer of Hebrews laid out how in following the Law the Jews could never realize truth and freedom.  Why was that?  It’s stated in Hebrews 10:1:

For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.

In a sense, what is said here is similar to the definition of insanity as stated by Albert Einstein:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

What did the Old Testament priest do?  They offered the same sacrifices time after time, year after year, in the expectation of their sins being forgiven.  Insanity.  They never fully were because the moment the sacrifice was completed, a new body of sin would arise to burden the people.  And so, this is why Hebrews 10:3-4 says:

But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

The reality was that these sacrifices and offerings brought Yahweh no pleasure.  Indeed, over the years the people of Israel in worshiping this way did it with hearts far from God.  They went through the motions and lost the reason for honoring Him.  Obligation through strict legalism became their rationale.

It’s for this reason that Jesus Christ came to this world.  God wanted there to be a better way.  Jesus did this through the offering of His body as a living sacrifice, both to do away with the repetitive blood offering of bulls and goats, and to do God’s will in a manner pleasing to Him.

This brought an amazing benefit as noted in Hebrews 10:10:

And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

If something is done once and it’s done for all, as opposed to that which was endlessly repeated by each individual, that’s a sea change in methodology and results.  It led to this declaration in Hebrews 10:14:

For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

The single instance of Christ’s sacrifice sufficed for everyone.  It meant that the priests would no more be required to bring continual blood offerings – Jesus became that very sacrifice.  No longer would the people have to purchase an animal for its blood to be shed on their behalf.  Jesus did it all!

And so, the Lord declares in Hebrews 17-18:

… “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”

Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

The result of what Jesus did is the invitation from God that invites us in Hebrews 10:22 to:

… let 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.

What had been lost through rote, rite, and ritual could be regained as hearts were changed, minds transformed, and lives brought into alignment with God’s will.

But what has the Vatican imposed upon its people?  Essentially the very system that Jesus did away with through the sacrificial gift of His very life.  The Catholic Church doesn’t do blood sacrifices, but it does crucify Jesus over and over each time Mass is taken.  In their view, as signified by the crucifix, He remains on the cross.  His work there wasn’t sufficient for the absolute cleansing of sins.  More must be done.  They must be purged by human agency.  To do this, the Vatican requires its people to attend Mass or effectively lose salvation points.  They must take the Eucharist under the false notion that it is transformed into the actual body and blood of Jesus each time, something the Lord never intended.  It was to be a remembrance, not a means of “work” that we must do for salvation’s sake.

In effect, Catholicism does the opposite of what Hebrews says: The people are to remember their sins and lawless deeds so that they can take the necessary actions to eliminate them through their own efforts.  It’s a complete abomination of the intent of God, as it results in hearts that can never be given the true assurance of faith.

God has given us a great gift through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  He has done all that’s necessary for us to come into right relationship with the God of all creation.  What a wondrous present to mankind!  Let us glory in this, and give Him all our hearts and lives, now and forever!

Ezekiel 3:17 – Watchman to a Rebellious House

The encounter the prophet Ezekiel had with the Lord is one of the more spectacular ones that we’re privy to in Scripture.  Isaiah may have seen a similar sight, but his description was almost subdued compared with that of Ezekiel.  Recall that in Isaiah 6 the prophet stood in the throne room of God in the Divine Council setting.  He witnessed the glory of Yahweh and the creatures who served him.  In all that, he realized how unclean he was and unfit for his own service to a holy and righteous God.  In Ezekiel’s case, Yahweh in His glory came down to the prophet with one of the stranger visions in all of God’s Word.  It has led some to speculate (wrongly) that what he saw was an intergalactic spaceship with alien beings.  Indeed, quite spectacular, but belonging wholly to the realm of our Creator God.

God’s call upon Ezekiel was marked with two major items.  The first was that the Lord continually described those to whom he called the prophet as a rebellious house.  He said in Ezekiel 2:3:

And he said to me, “Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to nations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. They and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day.”

In telling His servant what he wanted from him, God said in Ezekiel 2:8:

“But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Be not rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you.”

The servant of the Lord was to be completely different from those to whom God sent him to speak.  Ezekiel’s demeanor was to be humble and receptive to what Yahweh declared.  The Words that God gave him to eat, digest, and repeat were food for the soul.  They brought life and liberty.  However, those who would hear them would refuse to listen.  The rebellious house of Israel wanted nothing to do with their God because they had decided that He wasn’t worthy of their time.

Despite this, Ezekiel’s assignment was to bring the Word of the Lord to them anyway.  Their refusal to listen was already preordained.  God in His sovereignty and omniscience had already seen their future and knew their response.  Regardless, Ezekiel 3:11 reveals that the prophet was to:

“… go to the exiles, to your people, and speak to them and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord,’ whether they hear or refuse to hear.”

You would think that if a true prophet of God went to the people of Israel – given their background and calling as a theocracy under the provenance of Yahweh – that they would at least listen with some respect and consider what was said.  And, you (and I) would be wrong in thinking that.

Knowing this, and understanding that Ezekiel knew how Israel would react, God gave him an incentive.  Surely Ezekiel – upon being given this assignment, in which God specifically said the people were rebellious, disobedient, and wouldn’t listen – might have been reluctant with the attitude of what’s the point?  To overcome that possible inertia, God told Ezekiel if he gave him a warning to deliver, and the prophet didn’t do it, that would have severe consequences.  The Lord said in Ezekiel 3:18:

“If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.”

In other words, Ezekiel would be held accountable for his own disobedience.  On the other hand, if he complied as a faithful Watchman, then as Ezekiel 3:19 notes:

But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.

The same consequences held true for God’s Word delivered or not to a righteous person.

In this judgment, to die was to go to Sheol with no means or opportunity for the redemption that God had long promised His people.  Their penalty was eternal separation from the living God.

The question for us today becomes: Is America a rebellious house similar to that of Israel?  I believe it is.  We have turned far from God and the righteous foundations He gave us.  He has been systematically removed from every sphere of our society.  Our secular culture is steeped in anti-God sentiment, with apostasy raging even in the church.  We decided long ago that we didn’t want to hear what the Lord had to say.  Our attitude was one in which we concluded that our own wisdom and self-righteousness were of greater benefit than what God would provide.  We’ve had false prophets for years declaring peace and safety, that we would turn from our wicked ways and experience a Great Awakening.  All will be well because the Lord would never execute judgment upon us.  He’s too loving for that.

The few Watchmen God has raised up to speak to our nation have had their voices muted.  Even when the Word of God they brought came to light, it has been mocked and derided.  The church has been among the most dense in this respect, failing to discern those who truly spoke for God versus those who decreed from their own imaginations.

Yes, I believe our nation could rightly be called a rebellious house.

In this environment, what are we who still love and serve the One true God to do?  Be obedient.  In these last days as darkness encroaches upon the land, Satan and his minions are gathering strength.  Perhaps you’ve noticed greater spiritual attacks in one form or another.  These include strikes against us in the physical, mental, and spiritual realms, each of us where we might be most vulnerable.

To combat these demonic efforts to take us down, it is our resolve and then action to obediently follow the Lord that will see us through.  We don’t do this in our own power, but in the strength and might of the Holy Spirit.  It is only He who can bring us through to the end.

And that end cannot be far off given all that we witness about us today.  The rubber band is stretching to its breaking point.  Soon it will snap.  When it does, the world will be ready to destroy us, but Jesus will come just in time for our delivery.  Let us keep looking for Him with eager expectation.

Lamentations 4:17 – Our Eyes Failed

My wife and I were heading into town in our separate cars.  She was in the lead.  Suddenly on the rural road ahead, I saw the aftermath of what had been a two-car accident.  My wife turned at the intersection to get out of the way, and I followed, doing the same.  There was already another woman at the scene.  In the larger vehicle that was still on the road a woman sat stunned.  The other car, which had collided with her, rested off the road against a small tree, its airbags having been activated.  Its driver was out looking confused, but he had just called 911.

Apparently what had happened was that the young man, Daniel, was driving down the main road, and the woman, Rachel, pulled in front of him despite her stop sign.  He hit her on the driver’s side with his right front end.  The airbags of Rachel’s car hadn’t deployed.  As a result, her head hit the windshield leaving her dazed and mostly incoherent.  It was unclear if Daniel had also hit his head, but the accident had certainly left him in a state of shock.

The woman already there before us kept up a running dialog with the female victim so that she wouldn’t slip into unconsciousness.  My wife helped her with that.  In the meantime, I sat with Daniel and talked with him.  Before long an ambulance and a fire engine arrived.  A paramedic came over to us.  When I was comfortable that Daniel was cared for, I got out of the way.  The firemen had to get a “spreader” from their truck to open Rachel’s door to get her out.  As they began that process, my wife and the other woman likewise pulled back to let them do their job.

As this rescue effort began, the three of us that had been there left, knowing we had done what little we could, and that both Rachel and Daniel were in good hands.

In leaving the scene, I reflected about how fortunate these two people were that the emergency crews came within ten minutes.  The rapid response gave – particularly Rachel – the opportunity to be rescued before further damage from concussion might have progressed.  Because of the fortunate timing of the emergency personnel coming so quickly, it was almost as if we were still living in normal times.

However, we’re not.

Because of a combination of factors, police, firemen, and paramedics have gone missing in many areas.  My belief is that a goodly number of them have suffered adverse effects from the requirement that they get the bio-weapon known as the COVID vaccine.  Many first responders are also walking off the job to protest the unreasonable mandates that they be forced to take this poison jab in order to retain their positions.  This has resulted in severe labor shortages among emergency units, as well as, of course, with nearly every other job position around the country.

What if the emergency workers in our area had been affected by these circumstances?  How long would we have had to wait for someone to show up?  Would there even have been help under an extreme shortage of responders?  What would we at the scene have needed to do at that point?  Will our rural location soon see the scarcity of crisis employees becoming prevalent elsewhere?

When Jerusalem was under siege by the Babylonians, great scarcity occurred over time.  Supplies ran out, food was at a premium, and people lost hope, Jeremiah among them.  He said in Lamentations 3:16-18:

He has made my teeth grind on gravel,

    and made me cower in ashes;

my soul is bereft of peace;

    I have forgotten what happiness is;

so I say, “My endurance has perished;

    so has my hope from the Lord.”

In fact, the situation in the city was so starkly hopeless that Jeremiah grieved in Lamentations 4:10:

The hands of compassionate women

    have boiled their own children;

they became their food

    during the destruction of the daughter of my people.

It led him to groan in Lamentations 4:17:

Our eyes failed, ever watching

    vainly for help;

in our watching we watched

    for a nation which could not save.

There was no one who could or would save them.  Their sins had mounted up to such a high level that Yahweh had purposed to deliver them into judgment.  Many would die and the remnant would go into captivity.  If any emergency situations arose in the city during this time, there would be no response.  It was every man, woman, and child, for themselves.  Social order had broken down, and they were lost.

Although Jeremiah mourned at all this, and at even his own fate, he was able to say in Lamentations 3:21-25:

But this I call to mind,

    and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;

    his mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning;

    great is your faithfulness.

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,

    “therefore I will hope in him.”

The Lord is good to those who wait for him,

    to the soul who seeks him.

Even in the midst of complete hopelessness, Jeremiah recalled the goodness of the Lord and decreed that He would redeem His people.  Ultimately, He did, but it was a terrible road they had to travel to reach that point.  All the faithful could do was to keep their eyes on God and remember the goodness of His love and mercy.

As we experience hardship of many kinds, will we recall these words that Jeremiah penned in Lamentations 3:55-57?

“I called on your name, O Lord,

    from the depths of the pit;

you heard my plea, ‘Do not close

    your ear to my cry for help!’

You came near when I called on you;

    you said, ‘Do not fear!’

How many of us will remember not to fear because the Lord is close at hand?  Didn’t Jesus say that we as His followers would suffer trials and tribulations?  That time is here, yet we have His promise of something better.  Jesus has given us His Word that He will return to take us to our heavenly home as His beloved Bride.

Let us cling to that promise and hope, persevering even through these very difficult times.  It will be worth it.

Lamentations 2:9 – The Law is No More

In reading the Lamentations of Jeremiah, I couldn’t help but think of the comparisons with our nation today.  Of course, there are many differences.  Judah was supposed to be a theocracy under the rule of God.  That was never the intent for America.  God had chosen the Hebrew people to specifically be His children, favored and blessed, a light to the nations.  Only because we honored and revered God at our founding, and then through the efforts of many dispelled the darkness of nations, did the Lord prosper us.  Judah, like the Northern Kingdom of Israel before her, fell far from Yahweh upon being wooed by pagan gods and then shamelessly sought them out.  America has fallen from grace as we’ve thrust God from every sphere of our society.  God’s Chosen People, despite having been warned repeatedly about the dangers and consequences of spurning the Lord, did so anyway, to their great regret.  Regardless of the fact that we have God’s Word in abundance, we have neglected its warnings with the result that we also are going down to destruction to the consternation of many.

The Lord gave Israel the Law and the Prophets.  He devoted an entire chapter of His Word in Deuteronomy 28 describing how marvelously blessed Israel would be if she followed all His ways.  In that same chapter, Yahweh also cataloged how immensely cursed Israel would be for ignoring His ways and turning her back on Him.  As Jeremiah penned his grief about the terrors experienced by the people of Jerusalem upon her destruction at the hands of the Babylonians, his descriptions echoed many of the curses outlined in Deuteronomy.

Here are a few of the disastrous outcomes in Deuteronomy 28 that God promised His people for not obeying Him:

  • Curses, confusion, frustration (v20)
  • Pestilence that sticks to them (v21)
  • Wasting disease and fever (v22)
  • No rain, resulting in hardened, unproductive soil (v23)
  • Defeat by enemies (v25)
  • Boils like those in Egypt among the plagues (v27)
  • Madness, blindness, confusion of mind (v28)
  • No one to help them (v31)
  • Other nations consuming their produce (v33)
  • A foreign ruler set over them (v36)
  • Serve other, useless gods (v36)
  • Unproductive labor (v38)
  • Great debt (v44)
  • Sons and daughters raised by others (v45)
  • Cannibalism (v53)
  • Sickness and affliction beyond what Scripture records (v61)
  • The Lord’s delight in bringing them ruin (v63)
  • Slavery and captivity (v68)

Given what God’s people knew about Him, and how He had responded in the past to their many transgressions, you would think they’d have tried a little harder to obey and serve Him in order to avoid this lengthy list of scourges the Lord decreed.  But, you’d think this incorrectly.

And so, for her iniquities this time around, God brought many of these afflictions.  Here are several noted from Lamentations 1 and 2:

  • Exile (1:3)
  • Foes have become the head (1:5)
  • Majesty departed (1:6)
  • No one to help (1:7)
  • Became filthy in her sins (1:8)
  • No comforter (1:9)
  • The people groan under the weight of oppression (1:11)
  • Young men in the city crushed (1:15)
  • Captivity (1:18)
  • Dishonor upon the kingdom (2:2)
  • God withdrew His hand of protection (2:3)
  • God became her enemy (2:5)
  • The temple became a waste (2:6)
  • False visions by her prophets (2:14)
  • Derision by others (2:15)
  • Cannibalism (2:20)
  • No escape from God’s wrath (2:22)

All these things and more came upon Jerusalem.  Why?  The reason is captured in a phrase.  Lamentations 2:9 says:

… the law is no more… 

It’s as simple as that.  The people disregarded the Law of the Lord and became exceedingly disobedient to Him.  This rebellion in the hearts of so many brought down upon their heads the wrath and punishment of God.

Are we in America so different today?  I don’t think so.  Here are several afflictions that we currently suffer:

  • Drought
  • Reduced crop output
  • Major supply chain problems
  • Serious shortages of every kind
  • Coming famine
  • Exceedingly great debt
  • Excessive weather events
  • Engineered plague among all the populace
  • An evil medical “solution”
  • Extreme and excessive health conditions that are growing worse
  • Young people experiencing life-threatening health issues
  • Wicked rulers
  • Confused priorities
  • Direction from a foreign nation (China)
  • Open borders bringing in unknown numbers and types of peoples
  • Madness within the medical establishment
  • Sons and daughters taught in public schools by others with an evil agenda
  • God’s Word a rarity in the public sphere
  • No other nation to help us
  • An epidemic of depravity through sexual immorality
  • Removal of God’s hand of blessing
  • People groaning under the weight of oppression

I’m sure I’ve missed some, but you get the point.  The nation that turns away from God will experience distress and severe consequences.  We are at that point, and according to Scripture, none of this will improve.  The amazing thing of it is that we are simply in the birth pain phase.  Our nation hasn’t even gotten to the place of labor yet.  That will come as the true church of Christ is Raptured and the world falls into the Tribulation.

Given all that’s going on now, all the grief that these many afflictions are already causing, I’m grateful the Lord has promised to deliver us who love and serve Him through the incredible gift of His Son.  For those who are truly Christians, but believe we’ll go through the Tribulation, what hope do they have?  Is there joy in this prospect?

This is why I cling to the Bible’s clear teaching that Jesus will return in the clouds to rescue us before the worst of this comes to pass.  My encouragement is in the soon fulfillment of His glorious appearing.