Thank you for visiting Endurance Ministries' 2019 ARCHIVED COMMENTARY BLOG Page.
2019 Archived COMMENTARY Blogs
On this page, ALL of the blogs below are most pertinent to walk in Christ except those having "NFB" = Not Favorite Blog.
January's Commentary Blogs
In / With SINCERE Humility: A Confession
I am both impressed and humbled by Martin Luther's testimony at the Diet of Worms in 1521.
His example - modeling multiple aspects of Christ-honoring character qualities - warrants following.
We'd like to apply one aspect in this blog: The act of confession when we should indeed express it.
We have been building an explicitly Bible-founded end-time position the past 2 decades. We have been tentative on some matters given some steps (toward building an eschat- ological position) are based on interpretations of some texts. Yes, the Final Trumpet (I Cor. 15: 51, 52) Rapture (I Thes. 4:13-18) Gathering (Mt. 24:31; II Thes. 2:1) position is a very explicitly biblical view BUT, like all end time views, also includes interpretations which make the view less than certain.
So here's our confession:
When we first published our book in 2009 we listed two possible options as to how one issue in Scripture affects end-time position- building. Our comments were tied to this verse: Daniel 9:27. (one of the most debated verses in all of the Bible)
The issues relating to the interpretation of this verse are multiple. In this blog, we wish to especially highlight 2 concerns:
1. The actual way this verse is translated by literal English versions of the Bible; 2. The choice we (at Endurance Ministries) make as to which translation we use to build the Final Trumpet Rapture Gathering position.
Let's address #1 first ...
Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sac- rifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate. (Daniel 9:27 ; NKJV)
And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator. (Daniel 9:27 ; ESV)
The translation issue we're highlighting here is this:
One group of literal Bible versions renders the translation of the Hebrew phrase as: "... in the middle of the week ..." while another group of literal versions read: "... for half of the week." (emphases ours) This difference is substantial and most significant.
BOTH translations are evidenced by their committees of translators - that is, BOTH translations are possible given the dynamics of the Hebrew language.
One set of versons brings a translation emphasizing WHEN the taking away occurs ("... in the middle of the week ..." ; KJV; NKJV; NASB; and others) ; the other set of translations highlights the DURATION OF the taking away ("... for half of the week ..." ; NRSV; ESV; and others).
Back to our confession:
In our first book edition we listed both options but favored the option "... in the middle of ..." given the other option had only recently come on the English Bible scene (in a more popular circulation context) through the NRSV and the ESV English translations.
We stated, prematurely (our confession), the Final Trumpet Rapture Gathering position could embrace both ways of translating the passage. That declaration on our part was incorrect and we apologize for this temporary inconsistency.
After dialogue with others on this matter, we confess we now need to, for consistency purposes, reverse our tentative view which favored the "... in the middle of the week ..." translation. We now, by way of interpretive decision - step #2 above - believe the more recent translation - in English Bibles - better fits the full Counsel of the Word of God - the analogy of the Bible ; the Scripture interprets Scripture hermeneitical principle.
Thus, our confession is this:
In providing a more thoroughly consistent end-time view, we now believe (and take the interpretive step) that the better translation of Daniel 9:27 should read as the NRSV and ESV render it:
" ... and for half of the week ..."
WHY have we taken this confessional step?
In part, we want to reiterate, as we've done in our book, this fact:
ALL end-time views include interpretive decisions in their view and thus fall short of (in their complete end-time package) absolute Truth. Yes, some end-time views are much more explicitly biblical than others (e.g., the Pre-Trib Rapture view has NO explicit Bible support while the Final Trumpet Rapture Gathering view is much more clearly articulated in the pages of Scripture).
While this is true and can be factually demonstrated to indeed be the case - so let's hold this Great Debate so as to better communicate on this important topic! - it's also true that all end-time views include less than certain interpretations.
In conclusion* ...
As Luther did at the Diet of Worms (confessing some of his writings included imbalance - he was but man and thus could err), we, too, wish to confess the need for adjustment. Specifically, we wish to adjust a minor tenet in our position, namely FROM a tentative viewpoint holding the "... in the middle of the week ..." translation to be the most likely correct translation TO a less tentative (but still less than certain) viewpoint (in light of the full Counsel of the Word of God) which holds this belief: The most likely correct translation of the Daniel 9:27 passage includes the phrase "... for half of the week." Given this is an either/or matter, (the actual Truth of the Daniel 9:27 passage cannot include both options above), we claim the "... for half of ..." translation as we further build our holistic eschatological proposal. ( CLICK HEREto view a related diagram addressing this Daniel 9:27 concern.)
We confess our limitations here - everyone is in this boat - but feel we are free to adjust the finer details of the Final Trumpet Rapture Gathering (in ever so slight ways like we've done in this blog) for the sake of improving positional consistency as the full Counsel of Scripture is more thoroughly considered. (Note well [NB]: This matter is addressed on pages 94, 179 and 180 in our book.)
NB: One aspect of the full Counsel of God's Word which plays into our decision to publically adjust our stance is based on Daniel 12:11which teaches there are 1,290 days between the taking away of the daily/ regular sacrifices and the setting up of the Abomination of Desolation.
While we confess real issues which require more tentative, less-than-certain conclusions, we also, in light of the clarity of God's Word, bring thus says the Lord appeals as well. These are seen throughout our New Covenant prophetic ministry efforts as we bring these warnings of care based on the clear revelation of God's Word.
PLEASE see our book which weaves this thematic perspective (of both the confession of less-than-certain appeals due to interpretive decisions and "T" truth through explicit Bible proclamation) into a tapestry bringing helpful clarity as to how we need to be living in Christ Jesus today - watchful, obedient followers of Jesus Christ by faith in His precious revelation to us and in sure hope given He is faithful to His Word.
* This is a very deep subject so if you'd like to discuss this more thoroughly with the author of this blog, please email Jon Swanson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scripture Interpreting Scripture (Part 1) On Daniel 8:9-12 & Daniel 11:29-31
We have a major threat today within Christendom. It's tied to this wrong concept: The Word of God is not reliable as Christians' authority for faith and practice.
There are many contributors to this erroneous view. One contribution comes from the many English versions today. Frankly, the English versions vary - sometimes in radical ways. Some have used this reality (of differing data within literal English Bible versions - e.g., Rev. 22:14 - scroll down to blog B32;16) to evidence their claim the Bible is not reliable.
Here's one example of variation in one verse, a variation which pertains to important end-time considerations. ...
The ESV translates Daniel 8:11 in this way:
It became great, even as great as the Prince of the host. And the regular burnt offering was taken away from him, and the place of his sanctuary was overthrown.
Here's how the NKJV translates Daniel 8:11:
He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down.
[ The "it" / "he" / "him" of verse 11 is the little horn - see the context beginning with verse 9. ]
Did you discern the Hebrew is translated DIFFERENTLY by the two versions?
One states the daily sacrifices were taken away BY him; the other version states the regular offerings were taken away FROM him. This is MOST significant. One Bible version teaches he is the one taking away the daily sac- rifices while the other teaches the daily sacrifices were taken away from him. There's a HUGE difference here!
So how does one RESOLVE the problem, especially since both translations are clearly not paraphrases but lean toward a literal translation theory? Which translation is correct?
GREAT QUESTIONS !
Answer (that is, resolution!) : We use other Scripture to discern which version is the correct one. Here's one related text:
Note: The "him" in this 31st verse is tied, in the context, to the antichrist - the same individual as Daniel 8:9ff (the little horn).
The ESV translates Daniel 11:31 this way:
Forces from him shall appear and profane the temple and fortress, and shall take away the regular burnt offering. And they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate.
The NKJV translates Daniel 11:31 this way:
And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation.
NOTE: BOTH translations of Daniel 11:31 teach the forces which defile and take away the daily sacrifices are aligned with "him" as he is the one who musters the forces which act the way they do. "Forces FROM him ..." (ESV) and "Forces ... mustered BY him ..." (NKJV) - emphases ours - teach the "him" of the verse is working WITH the forces to take away the sacrifices and then go on to set up the Abomination of Desolation. THIS IS MOST SIGNIFICANT.
THIS passage rejects the ESV translation of Daniel 8:11. The daily sacrifices were not taken away FROM him but BY him (through the forces under his control).
This observation is sufficient warrant/evidence - Scripture interpreting Scripture - to REJECT the ESV's faulty interpre- tation of Daniel 8:11 - "from him" - and retain the historical understanding that the daily sacrifices were taken away by him through forces under his power.
While this matter may seem to be an insignificant issue, it is anything but trivial. Is it another example of how some sectors of modern culture are trying to corrupt the Word of God so that the Bible is seen a unreliable. Be warned dear Church! God's Word is MOST trustworthy - Ps. 119:89, 160; Matthew 5:17-20, etc.
NB: The ESV has other translation-based difficulties. For example, contrast the way the ESV and the NKJV translate Mt. 5:22! The ESV, due to its faulty commitment to the Alexandrian Greek text, creates a MAJOR problem because it excludes "without a cause" / "without cause," making ALL anger toward a brother, wrong. Was our Lord Jesus Christ wrong when he had and demonstrated anger toward his Jewish brothers during the times He strongly confronted them? Of course not! The Majority Greek text includes the phrase, "without cause" whereby the inconsistency/difficulty (supported by the Alexandrian text) does not exist.
The "has God said?" attacks on the Word of God continue to deny our Psalm 119:105 sure hope. May we heed the insight contained in Psalm 11:3. Be warned dear Church.
A Letter To The KINGS Of This Earth *
Dear Earth-dwelling lords,
Just DO It you kings of the earth!
You act as though the Truths of Almighty God are repulsive to you, so act in accord with your beliefs. Don't play the hypocritical whore.
You hate the one True YHVH God, so just do it: Take Him on, literally!
You think attacking His people in Jesus Christ is sufficient? It's not. PROVE yourselves and the secular worldview to be superior by going after the LORD, the Creator of Heaven and earth. IF you take Him out, you'll be good to go, once and for all. Just do it !
Here's a suggestion toward that end:
Amass your militaries' most advanced high-tech weaponry. Use only the best-of-the-best militia - the mighty men of today. And choose a strategic battlefield, the one which would give you the greatest advantage over the soon-coming One. We would recommend Meggido but you're too wise to choose to fulfill Bible prophecy ... or is(are) your pompous perspective(s) such that even this wouldn't bother you? (at least at this juncture anyway!)
Take note and take full advantage: Take confidence in the prior conditioning which paves your way! You can do this, oh kings of the earth, for so many continue to hold false-hope enthusiasm in the already-failed-attempt concept, the thought advertised in the Independence Dayfilms. Don't pretend (in deceit) that you're not fully aware of these (false) prophetic appeals which so many of the earth-dwellers hold so passionately. You know full well the day is coming.
So just do it. PROVE your superiority over the Most High God. Fight in your battlefield plain and take Him on ... take Him out. Don't be hypocritical like your father the devil. Evidence your claims that the everlasting Creator God is not here and is silent due to your so-called victory of rhetoric - e.g., God is dead, anti-God origin stories and evolution myths (be it be from space because it sure hasn't happened here on earth!); denial of the historical Immanuel; and now contradictory (to reality) rejections that final end-time prophecies are unfolding.
Be warned you kings of the earth. God WILL appear in the heavens as foretold by His Son in Matthew 24:30 and as revealed in Revelation 6:14-17. Acknowledge, you bound pawns in satan's hands: You will fear when that day unfolds. But due to your deceived state, you will indeed eventually seek to battle against the Most High God as Revelation chapters 16 - 19 declare.
So just do it you kings of the earth. Go for it and contribute to God's will for both heaven and earth - that evil will one day be forever put in its rightful Lake-of-Fire place.
So it has been written (Mt. 6:9, 10; et al.), so let it be done. Even so, please come quickly Lord Jesus.
* Just in case you missed it due to the deceiving influences of Postmodern relative language games - e.g., Reader response faith commitments - the full title of this blog is:
A Letter To The KINGS Of This Earth: A Satire
In Response To Response: Denying Preterit Deception
Our response is firm:
Daniel 8:11 should NOT read "from him" but should indeed read "by him" as stated, in different words, in Daniel 11:31.
Now that differing sides have been highlighted - see commentary blog CB1B;19 above - we ask: Which view - ours OR those who promote the ESV rendering of Daniel 8:11 - is correct?
Using Scripture to further interpret Scripture, please consider this additional evidential piece, one toward support for the historical rendering of the preposition - namely, "by" (not "from"):
Daniel 9:27 is clear, at least on this point of debate: The "he" of this verse is the one who makes a covenant with many for one week. Here's how the ESV and the NKJV translate this verse:
And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator. (ESV)
Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation which is determined, is poured out on the desolate. (NKJV)
The prince who is to come - not the Messiah/annointed one - via his people, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The context separates what takes place in verse 26 from that which takes place in verse 27. The Messiah is cut off and the destruction of the city and the sanctuary occurs after the 62 weeks. These two events took place in the First Century, A.D. The 70th week is yet future (to 2019) in light of the full Counsel of God's Word concerning end-time matters, for Jesus Christ has not yet returned.
Back to verse 27 ...
The same prince of verse 26 - the one who "is to come" - will make a covenant with many for one week, during which time "he" shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. The full Counsel of the Word of God demands the events of this 70th week are this: They are eschatological - that is, related to END-TIME matters and events just prior to the return of the Lord of lords and King of kings, Jesus Christ!
The argument in support of the KJV's/NKJV's translation, "by him," (and indirectly, of the NASB), is certain, and its interpretation sure in spite of what some incorrectly claim, especially given the holistic end-time picture the Bible paints.
"He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down." Daniel 8:11 (NKJV ; emphasis ours)
WHY is it we are willing to step on toes over this matter?
Because we genuinely LOVE to the extent we are willing to address CRUCIAL matters tied to rightly obeying our Lord's directive to "watch" whereby we are not ill-prepared due to embracing false teaching which contributes to disobedience to His end-time command to be ready as He so outlines, we persist in bringing these truth appeals.
We're NOT Being Persecuted !
Christians - those holding biblical worldview convictions - are not hated or ill-treated by the growing secular USA culture.
There are some who reject cultural facts today, who would boldly claim we are not in the era of end-time lawlessness and more outright tribulation. Some of these folks would indeed go on to make claims similar to that of this blog's title and the opening comment immediately above. PLEASE, for your protection, mark/note these false heralds because what they are suggesting - an appeal for us to put our heads in the sand by turning a deaf ear to what is happening in our culture today - fosters dangerous ill-preparedness concerning important end-time matters. The Holocaust continues to offer some crucial lessons for us, today. E.g., the quiet, compromising German church and its sinful refusal to stand up against the evils of their day.
We have testimonials of strong persecution here in the USA on a daily basis. By the way, just because news providers don't cover the stories DOES NOT MEAN they don't exist. But you (the reader) have already wisely come to understand this reality.
Here are some more recent cultural crimes (in light of a biblical Truth standard of justice) against our Constitutional, and even more importantly, our God-given freedoms ...
The Covington High School Intolerance Story
~ MY what injustice on the part of the God-haters - even to the extent of death threats? ... WOW! ~ The half-truth Fake News deception of the left continues to discredit their dishonest moral foundation - recall the lies expressed during the Kavanaugh appointment process. ~ The Social Media mobsters are everywhere and they are making LOUD (but faulty) accusations and are carrying large guns. Question: WHY do the atheists, anti-theists and active agnostics seldom speak out against intolerance any longer, especially now that they are in majority? Hmmm
The Ongoing Disrespect Shown to Public Servants (including gross disrespect for our President)
~ Pelosi, Schumer, Tlaib, Waters, Schiff, Cummings, etc. (these politicians have, to varying degrees, been disrespectful - and yes, President Trump also needs to make some correction on this matter of mutual respect.) ~ Denial of basic services by progressives (in the case of Sarah Huckabee at the Red Hen and Ted and Heidi Cruz due to a disruptive group from a branch of the Democratic Socialists of America organization) is hypocritical, especially in light of past historical cases when their peers, themselves, called for punitive action against those who wished to withhold services - e.g., the bakers in Colorado (Masterpiece Cakeshop) and Oregon (Sweet Cakes); the florist in Washington (Arlene's Flowers); the photographer in New Mexico (Elane Photography); et al. What hypocrisy indeed. WE DARE NOT FORGET THESE evil actions given the opposition is not sorry for (to the extent it will not discontinue 1) calling for unrest or, 2) committing these acts) these past expressions and will continue, in the future, to act against those who endure in living out their more godly convictions.
The Legal Battles currently going through our court system
~ Those persecuted for their personal moral convictions ~ Those seeking to stop evil murder through abortion ... will the Covington HS students be sued by some who are opposed to those who wear red hats while advocating on behalf of the unborn ... who may also include fake charges of illegal bigotry as a result of simply smiling at a drum-beater (who approached the group of high school students in the first place!) ? Again: WOW ~ Punishments (from the anti-God advocates) which do NOT fit the degree of the so-called crime(s) committed ... punitive injustices indeed!
We DO NOT WANT the evils of the rising rebellious society! For an eye-opening contrast between two polar-opposite worldviews, CLICK HERE.
Please recall our predictive insight found in blog CB10C;18. The dark opposition has forced itself into a corner ... because their time is running out! This calls for the enduring patience of the Saints in Jesus Christ.
February's Commentary Blogs
Scripture Interpreting Scripture (Part 2) On "Translation" Sequence
By way of introduction ...
In harmony with Scripture, one MAJOR internal (to the book) chronology of the New Testament book of Revelation is this:
Fact 1 1st The Seals Rev. 6 - 8 The 7th Seal includes the 7 Trumpets: 2nd The Trumpets Rev. 8 - 11 The 7th Trumpet is followed by wrath: 3rd The Bowls Rev. 15, 16 (acknowledging the historical parentheticals of chapters 12, 13 & 14)
Fact 2 In the context of the days of the passages above (and other passages), we find various people groups. Three groups which we are highlighting in this commentary blog include:
1. The 144,000 2. The 2 witnesses 3. The Church
Fact 3 Details about the 144,000 can be found in Rev. 7 & 14
Fact 4 Details about the 2 witnesses can be found in Rev. 11
Fact 5 Details about the end-time Church can be found in Rev. 2 & 3
Observations of the texts RE: the 144,000 ...
O1 The 144,000 of Rev. 7 are sealed before the 7th Seal is opened.
O2 Those sealed are protected from the torment of the locusts during the 5th Trumpet period. (The 144,000 are present on earth during this 5th Trumpet era.)
O3 The sealed 144,000 are the FIRST to be redeemed from the earth as they are the "firstfruits" to God and to the Lamb. (Rev. 14)
Summary of observations O1 - O3 above:
144,000 are sealed prior to the opening of the 7th Seal. Their being sealed protects them from the stinging locusts. They are on earth during this locust period - the period of the 5th Trumpet. Sometime during the 6th Trumpet period they are translated to heaven where they are then recorded to be singing a new song before the throne of God (that is, in heaven). Because these 144,000 are the firstfruits, they are the ones who are gathered first - from earth to heaven.
Observations of the text RE: the 2 witnesses ...
O1 During the 6th Trumpet period, the 2 witnesses are killed and resurrected (and translated to heaven in a cloud). Their gathering takes place before the 7th Trumpet. This event (of the taking up of the 2 witnesses) concludes the 2nd woe of Rev. 8:13. (The 1st woe is the 5th Trumpet era - see Rev. 9:1-12).
Please recall: Because the 144,000 are the firstfruits to God, they are taken up sometime after the 5th Seal - as they are protected through this 5th Seal - BUT before the taking up of the 2 witnesses (who are translated at the end of the 6th Trumpet period).
O2 Once the 2nd woe is past (the 2nd woe period is the 6th Trump of Rev. 9:13-21 and includes the translation of the 2 witnesses - see Rev. 11:11-14), the 7th Trumpet blows. This 7th Trumpet is the last trumpet blast of the Revelation trumpets (also see I Cor. 15:51, 52). This concluding trumpet blast brings on the final trumpet rapture gathering of the Church.
O3 The 1,260-day prophetic ministry of the 2 witnesses ends during the 6th Trumpet period, just prior to the 7th and final trumpet of Rev. 11:15. These 2 end-of-days prophets pre- sent their message(s) for 3.5 years prior to their translation (view this chartfor further details). The period of time when the 2 witnesses are active includes a portion of the Rev. 6 Seals - Seals 4, 5 & 6.
Summary of observations O1 - O3 immediately above:
The 2 witnesses bring prophetic appeal for 3.5 years. As the 6th Trumpet period begins to come to an end - following the event of the taking up of the 144,000 - the 2 witnessses are killed. Three days later they are resurrected and translated to heaven.
There are additional observations detailing this end-time matter of translation order ...
Quotations of certain biblical texts RE: the rapture gathering of the Church ...
I Thes. 4:13-18 (NKJV)
But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore, comfort one another with these words.
Matthew 24:29-31 (NKJV)
Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
I Corinthians 15:51, 52 (NKJV) Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed - in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
In conclusion ...
The order of the from-earth-to-heaven translation gatherings of God's end-time people is this, biblically speaking:
A. First: the 144,000 (sometime after the 5th Trumpet) B. Second: the 2 witnesses (at the close of the 6th Trumpet)
C. Third: the Church - those who still remain - I Thes. 4:17 (at the sounding of the 7th Trumpet)
We believe this dear Church of God in Jesus Christ:
In light of Bible data ( in harmony with Scripture ), this presentation is certain and its interpretation is sure.
Scripture Interpreting Scripture (Part 3) Honestly Defining The Eschatological Playing Field
Fact 1 No explicit account of the Rapture Gathering of the Church is given in the book of Revelation. All end-time views use inferential interpretation as to where the Rapture Gathering takes place (in the setting of this Bible book).
Fact 2 Other passages speak to the gathering together of God's elect, an event which seems to be separate from our Lord's descent to the earth in His 2nd Advent as described in Rev. 19. (see John 14:1-3; I Thes. 4:13-18; II Thes. 2:1-12; the gathering of Mark 13:27 / Mt. 24:31 - vs. the 2nd Advent of Mt. 25:31)
Fact 3 Unlike most end-time views, the Final Trumpet Rapture Gathering viewpoint proposes a 3-part "return of Jesus Christ." We make this proposal based on the full Counsel of Bible data: There is an initial appearing of Christ prior to the gathering event. Mt. 24 & Mark 13 highlight this - and please recall: these words are the very words of our Lord as He describes His return. This 3-part Second Coming also seems to be described in the book of Revelation in this way:
Affirming Scripture interprets Scripture, we suggest starting an end-time Bible inquiry with the clearest and most complete articulation of Christ's coming and the end of the age - again: this description is Christ's very teaching on this matter! Please study Mt. 24 & 25, Mark 13 and Luke 21.
In this Olivet message, Jesus Christ surely allows for a gap between His initial appearing (Mt. 24:30; Mk. 13:26; Lk. 21:27, 28) and the gathering of His elect (Mt. 24:31; Mk. 13:27 - "then" and, while Luke 21 does not include the event of the gathering, please note Lk. 21:28 in the context of Mt. 24:33 and Mark 13:29). Pretty cool!
After His sign (Mt. 24:30; Mk. 13:26; Lk. 21:27; also pre- sented in Rev. 6:14-17), the event of the rapture gathering occurs (Mt. 24:31; Mk. 13:27; and, highlighting the Scripture interpreting Scripture principle: Rev. 11:15ff and Rev. 14:14-16).
Then, after the wrath of God is poured out on those who reject God (in the bowls of wrath), Jesus Christ returns to the earth (Mt. 25:31; Rev. 19).
There are those who discount the proposal outlined above BUT please note well: They do not have sufficient grounds to outright dismiss this viable end- time proposal in light of explicit Bible Truth. Raise questions, yes; outright reject, no.
Here's where God's prophetic ministry continues, but in an even more sure manner ....
While the chronological details above are cast in the setting of a proposal for your prayerful and exegetical consideration - due to interpretation steps taken - we go on to bring application appeals based on end-time Bible themes, ones tied to a very Bible- affirming end-time chronological view. Please look over our many blogs which speak to crucial end-time principles-for-living today. These principles highlight contemporary thematic action steps toward God-honoring readiness, including a perspective of watchfullness built on His holy Word of Truth.
It's Simply GOD's Narrow Way
There is an earthly dad who has a child who persists in living in a rebellious, disrespectful way. The dad, in seeking to emulate the Heavenly Father, has set in place the following prerequisite for entering into his (i.e., dad's) relational presence, that is, in a reconciled-relationship manner.
" [ child ], you are more than welcome to come and see me in my declining state BUT it's contingent upon THIS condition (requirement):
You simply (humbly) begin your visit with a sincere confession and apologize that you have acted in most disrespectful ways toward your dad over the past couple decades. If you're willing to honor this needed (in my eyes and I believe in God's eyes) request (gracing you with affirmation of my forgiveness), then YES, by all means, please come. You will most warmly and lovingly - in mercy and grace - be received. Although I have already for- given you (as my Lord has Counseled in His Word), you need to take the action step above - that is, if you desire to see me.
IF you cannot sincerely bring confession, please don't offer it. And yes, this would mean you are not invited to come and see me.
Please HONOR this request from your dad, an elder follower of Jesus Christ and one who tries his best to model our heavenly Father's relational mandates (toward reconciliation) for mankind. As YHVH Father God requires confession in the relational (making-right) process, so too do I require, from you, confession of YOUR sin against me and God by your violation of His 5th Commandment." (Ex. 20 & Eph. 6:1-3)
So here's our simple appeal in this blog:
Unbelievers, Creator God welcomes you into His presence BUT it must be through His Son. Only Jesus Christ forgives sin before God. His death on the cross - including His shed blood - has secured reconciliation forgiveness for all. BUT there's a condition to APPLY this privision!
God asks each and every one of us to confess the truth concerning our sad state that we are all sinners in need. He, through His redeeming glory, uses our sinfulness to encourage us to make right our broken relationship with Him. In fact, He commands it - see I John 3:23. IF we are humble such that we confess our sin and sin's consequence (death - both physical and spiritual) and receive His provision, He, in mercy, graciously, in His Son, Jesus Christ the King of kings and Lord of lords, grants cleansing to the extent we can indeed enter His glorious holy presence in fellowship.
Please, dear sinner, HONOR that which God has decreed and simply humble yourself to the extent you're willing to confess the Truth - that you are stained by sin and that you are dead in your trespasses and sins. Accept God's solution to these two most ugly universal human problems (sin and death - sin's consequence, which includes both physical [bodily] death and spiritual [soul] eternal death).
Receive Christ Jesus as your provision for forgiveness of sin before Father God, as this is HIS only chosen provision against sin and death. YES, it really is indeed GOD's way (life eternal) or the highway (of eternal separation from God).
Jesus Christ's followers stated it this way:
Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name [Jesus Christ] under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
Father God's SON, Himself states it this way:
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
John 10:7 Then Jesus said to them, again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep."
Mt. 7:13, 14 [ Jesus speaking ] Enter by the narrow gate [ door ]; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruc- tion, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
(above passages taken from the NKJV ; emphases ours)
The choice of the child (in the analogy above) is clear: Rightfully ask for dad's forgiveness, as he asks, and enjoy restored fellowship with him. The other option - also highlighted above - brings grief.
Your choice, dear created child, is clear: Ask for Father God's forgiveness as He so outlines (if you haven't already done so) and enjoy sweet fellowship with Him, FOREVER. The other option - highlighted above - is grievous, one which will indeed bring eternal weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The choice is yours. For more details, please CLICK HERE.
On February 8, 2019 we noticed a BIG format change on one of our newer web sites. The presentation of the pages on the web site was terrible. The problem was major, not minor. It was bad enough, aesthetically, to prompt the following response ...
Folks, let's be honest. IF hackers, web site hosts or even browser providers - Explorer, Chrome, etc. - (to name only a few potential source threats) change the format relating to software tied to configuration, for example, of web sites, this could cripple one major form of communication. The changes could be so radical in effect that vital material on sites could no longer be available. And this issue - of configuration - is only one of many ways censorship of material could take place. Selective censorship could also easily take place today, even through legitimate channels - e.g., a change in ICANN policy RE: domain URLs, etc.
All the above to say ...
In response to potential threats outside of our control, given approximately 60% of our material is posted online and is most pertinent for 2019 - 2025, please download our Truth-based data.
You can find all our posted materials at the web sites below. (We also bring live presentations which include more sensitive material which we have decided not to post online - additional end-time insight from God's Word.)
As we stated in an earlier blog, one could download the material in about 2 - 3 hours. Suggestion: Use a separate thumb drive or USB data stick / jump drive.
May you, through this Bible-affirming material, be ready as our Lord Jesus has called His true Church to be!
March's Commentary Blogs
MIMICS Who Bring CHEAP Substitutes
From the very beginning of time, fallen lucifer has tried to replace God's glorious Truths with inferior alternatives. In each bait-and-switch attempt, satan offers substitutes which ultimately bring false-hope dispair. He's even doing this through one of his contemporary pawns: the secular state (who seeks to replace God's beauties in the Church with hopeless fakes).
His cheap alternatives ooze one of his strongest character qualities: DECEIT. These shackle-inducing deceptions are often eternal in duration, at least for many. How sad!
But God ...
YHVH God, who is able to redeem even the darkest bondages, can, AND DOES, bring victory over the evil dragon. He esp- ecially does so through Jesus Christ His Son - the Lord of lords and King of kings - and His Spirit. In seeking to foster proper humility, God asks us to confess our sinfulness and look to His only provision for freedom from satan's eternal prison, the Lake of Fire.
Will you, if you haven't already done so, take God at His Word and receive His Son today? You really can move from dark bondage to the devil to freedom from sin and death.
CLICK HERE for presentations of God's Good News. Don't allow darkness to keep you in its grip. Accept God's loving, full-Counsel outline as to eternal Life with Him. Do so today! In Christ you will find means to discern the contemporary, satanic mimics who, like their spiritual father, bring ugly, cheap substitutes.
Present Appeals From The Past
Larry Norman (April 8, 1947 - February 24, 2008)
I Wish We'd All Been Ready *
Life was filled with guns and war And everyone got trampled on the floor: I wish we'd all been ready. Children died, the days grew cold A piece of bread could buy a bag of gold: I wish we'd all been ready.
There's no time to change your mind The Son has come and you've been left behind.
A man and wife asleep in bed She hears a noise and turns her head, he's gone: I wish we'd all been ready. Two men walking up a hill One disappears and one's left standing still: I wish we'd all been ready.
There's no time to change your mind The Son has come and you've been left behind.
Life was filled with guns and war And everyone got trampled on the floor: I wish we'd all been ready. Children died, the days grew cold A piece of bread could buy a bag of gold: I wish we'd all been ready.
There's no time to change your mind How could you have been so blind?
The Father spoke, the demons dined The Son has come and you've been left behind ... you've been left behind ... you've been left behind.
We prepare and are ready in light of the end-time view we hold. CRUCIAL question:
Is our end-time view true in light of actual Bible Truth whereby we are preparing correctly ?
* Lyrics taken from a published YouTube.com concert posted on 10/17/2006 by Rick Vaughn. This song can also be found on Larry Norman's albums: Upon This Rock (1969) and Only Visiting This Planet (1972).
Concerns Over A Growing THREAT
Our sincerely DEEP concern is this:
Given the crafty ways darkness goes about deceiving, isn't it wise to embrace a perspective which is willing to - at the very least - listen to Bible-affirming warnings about potentially binding entrapments, ones bringing terrible eternal consequences?
In part, we're concerned about growing closed-minded dogmatism when there is not sufficient biblical grounds to hold certain views.
Two examples are highlighted in this blog:
I have a friend who is not teachable when it comes to Bible insight on some topics (even though she's a believer). She is so dogmatic about what she believes that she won't even give fair consideration to explicit Bible Truth.
After sharing with her about some significant cultural affairs - which I've done on multiple occasions now - concerns found addressed in the Word of God, she simply responds by saying: "I believe differently."
This one doesn't even discern the degree to which she is willfully choosing to put herself in harm's way due to the less-than-certain opinions she holds. It would be one thing if the topics didn't matter much but the issues we talk about are fraught with consequence. They have become MOST significant indeed!
I've done my best to bring warning but what else can I do if she's not open? KEEP PRAYING the Spirit of God tells me.
Allow me to share a second somewhat recent example ...
About five months ago I talked with another who claimed to be a Christian yet who puts his personal convictions ABOVE (as more authoritative than) God's Word.*
At first it didn't seem to me like this was the case because he was affirming a Bible doctrine - the security of the true believer. As we talked, though, it became clear this one's ACTUAL final authority for faith (belief) and practice was NOT the Word of God because he went on (in the very same conversation) to reject other portions of the Word which did not support his dogmatic version of once saved always saved.
I asked him this: "On what grounds do you believe in the security of the believer?" "The Scriptures," he said and then proceeded to show me Bible passages which do indeed affirm two precious Truths:
1. No one can pluck us out of His hand - John 10 2. Nothing can separate us from the love of God - Romans 8
"So the BIBLE is your source of authority for this belief?" I asked.
"Absolutely!" he responded.
I then shared with him some other passages. (I highlighted the fact that these passages, too, come from the same Book of authority!) I included passages that teach the reality of apostasy, shipwreck of faith, God's judgment at times - even wrath - on His rebellious people, the blotting out of one's name from the book and many passages which teach the holistic doctrine of salvation - passages including "conditions" and other enduring "qualities" of genuine saving faith.
He responded, "But I don't believe these things because they teach contrary to the eternal security passages." (KEY: As HE had developed the passages into his foreign-to-the- holistic-Word worldview perspective!)
I then called for a reality check. "If that's indeed the case - that you don't believe these other passages - can you honestly say the Bible (in its whole) is your authority for faith and practice? You seem to be inconsistent in that you accept SOME passages but, when push comes to shove, you reject others."
He didn't know what to say in response.
Here's our passionate, God-given concern:
The rejection of the full Counsel of the Word of God is an all too common reality among Christians today. The act of accepting some Scriptures but not others - "cherry-picking" - is a frequent phenomena of many believers in this age of free grace where some folks feel they can make up their own version of Christianity, unbiblical as it is. THIS WILL NOT FLY ON THE DAY OF ACCOUNTING. We bring this warning because of God-given tough love; we raise this concern because we genuinely CARE for you!
Reality: Half-truths can be dangerous! Imbalances to one extreme or the other - where some Bible passages have to either be rejected outright or twisted/misinterpreted - often lead to consequential disaster.
Here's one example highlighting an imbalanced perspective using the topic eternal security :
The incorrect attititude can be summarized in this way:
1. I am saved. 2. I cannot lose my salvation. 3. Therefore, I cannot fall away from the faith. 4. Therefore, I can embrace the spirit of antichrist, I can live any way I choose, I can even take the mark of the beast ... because I'm already saved.
(Do you see how eschatology** is, in this example, intimately tied to soteriology*** !? The BIBLE warns against certain end-time heresies, which, if embraced, bring eternal separation from God! These TRUTHS matter too!)
The false attitude (1-4) above - a very imbalanced per- spective - is most dangerous indeed.
A fascinating cultural point well made: CLICK HERE.
PLEASE, dear pilgrim, believe and obey the FULL Counsel of God. Satan delights in misleading sheep through half-truths. Don't fall into this common trap.
* Our Lord Jesus Christ addresses this topic in Mark 7:1-9. ** Eschatology: The study and/or doctrine of end times *** Soteriology: The study and/or doctrine of salvation
Scripture Interpreting Scripture (Part 4) Addressing End-Time Chronological Fine Hairs
Please view this blog's chart using this link: CLICK HERE
Question: Does the charted time line linked immediately above evidence this faulty charge: "Endurance Ministries date sets in violation of Bible data."
Answer: No, because the "date-setting" issue is tied to the Lord's return. The "date-setting" prohibition does NOT mean we cannot make observation details about the war against the Saints and other end-time events.
"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only." (Jesus speaking ; Mt. 24:36 ; NKJV)
As a result of the above, we make this claim:
The Final Trumpet Rapture Gathering end-time view never date sets regarding the Second Coming.
~ It doesn't date set RE: the initial appearing of Christ in Mt. 24:30 and Rev. 6:14-17 because we don't know how much time takes place as the heavenly signs blaze. (see Mt. 24:29 & Rev. 6:12, 13)
~ It doesn't date set RE: the final trumpet rapture gathering in Mt. 24:31 and Rev. 11:15 & 14:14-16 because we don't know the duration of the 6th Trumpet era. Rev. 10:5-7: YES; The exact "day or hour": NO, as the "then" of Rev. 11:15 is not specifically defined.
~ It doesn't date set RE: the 2nd Advent of Christ to the earth in Mt. 25:31 and Rev. 19 because we don't know how long it takes the armies (of Rev. 16:14) to gather for the Rev. 19 battle event when our Lord accomplishes a great victory over them through His simple - but powerful - Word!
It's amazing how clear God has been regarding end-time details. His Word is Truth and will come to pass as He has declared.
Please use our end-time Bible reading schedule - B13;19 - now posted on our weekly blog page.
April's Commentary Blogs
As It Was In The Days Of Noah & Lot
Then He [ Jesus Christ ] said to the disciples, "The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. And they will say to you, 'Look here!' or 'Look there!' Do not go after them or follow them. For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day. But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot's wife. Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. Two will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left." (Luke 17:22-36 ; NKJV ; omissions immediately above are made in light of the actual N.T. Greek texts)
In the days of Noah and Lot, many folks were living according to the dictates of their own hearts. It's as though the principle of Judges 21:25b was being lived out by the majority:
" ... everyone did what was right in his own eyes."
Today we find the same perspective emphasized through various appeals, including:
~ Do what YOU feel is best. ~ YOU are the lord of your life. ~ "Let's find what makes YOU happy because, honestly, that's what it all comes down to. ... We're all in this pursuit of pleasure."
In biblical response: There is a way which seems right to mankind, but the end thereof is destruction. And when individual wishesconflict with the power of the majority, watch out!
In a post-Christian day when anti-YHVH God society calls the shots, we find growing hatred and aggressive violence being expressed. According to the Word of God, it will only grow worse.
A question for those still wise enough to seek Him ... (Remember: "Wise men still seek Him.")
Will we heed our Lord's Counsel and, by God's grace, assure our eternal state, whatever the cost? Will we submit to His call, "Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it" ? (Lk. 17:33 ; NKJV)
Society will get to a place - shortly - where true followers of Jesus Christ will have to decide:
Will I save my earthly life by yielding to the pressures from the satanic community - pressures to compromise (which will be my own volitional response to the dark mandates) ?
Will I do what Creator/Savior/soon-coming King has called His followers to do: Be willing to take even further steps in losing my life so that I will not apostatize but instead, per- severe in my eternal existence in Jesus Christ the Lord ?
We are NOT accountable to God for other's actions, even when they seek to wrongly rule over us. What we ARE accountable to God for are our actions in response.
Don't allow excuses - ones which won't be accepted by God on the day of accounting - to govern your response (e.g., "The devil made me do it." ... "The secular society forced me to capitulate." etc.).
NO, God holds each of us accountable for our actions.
According to the Word of God, we mustn't compromise, for to do so would be to fall away from the faith. [ The false perspective promoted in the dark film, Silence, will mushroom soon: CLICK HERE (see blog B7;17 for details). ]
Our Lord Jesus has called us to very different actions:
Revelation chapters 2 & 3 have helpful insight ...
2:5 Repent [ and turn from having left your first love ] 2:10 "Be faithful even unto death" if need be 2:14-16 Repent [ from fleshly compromise ] 2:20 Be sexually pure 3:2, 3 Hold fast, repent and watch 3:10 Persevere/endure (as opposed to compromise) 3:15, 16 Do not be lukewarm - see vs. 17 for qualities thereof 3:19 If degrees of a lukewarm state have crept in, repent and be zealous
Consequences of disregarding His call:
2:5 Removal of your lampstand 2:10 No crown granted, perhaps? 2:17 No overcoming 2:22, 23 He will kill her children (those who work unrighteousness), including apostates 3:5 Blotting our name from the Book of Life perhaps? 3:10, 11 Not kept from the hour of trial ; crown taken away 3:16 Being spit out of His mouth - rejected 3:21 No overcoming
God has graciously highlighted a very simple but crucial mindset through time. His Word suggests the same most helpful per- spective during our end-of-days period:
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil. Ecc. 12:13, 14
Toward moving in the direction of returning to our first love ... "If you love Me, keep My commandments. ... He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him." Jesus Christ in John 14 (vv.15, 21)
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus ... Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Phil. 2:5, 12, 13
(passages above taken from the NKJV)
Lord God, please help us endure to the end as Your Son has so clearly outlined in Mt. 24:13, in Jesus Christ's name we ask, amen.
God's Familiar Call
Throughout history God's people have grieved Him. He abundantly extends His loving, gracious mercies and yet, His people persist in wandering into spiritual adultery.
This wasn't only so throughout the Torah, the historical books of Judges, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles and the prophets. This sad tendency toward unfaithful compromise is also characteristic of much of the church age. It would not be incorrect to label YHVH God's people, hypocrites.
This unfaithful quality is especially true of the end-time church ... today's church.
But God !
In the context of great apostasy today, YHVH God continues to call His people to repent.
Will we humble ourselves, confess our sin and seek His help to live in ways which honor Him? Will we follow His Son's clear Counsel as graciously given in Revelation chapters 2 & 3?
Dear Church, let's honor our Lord by, in love, obeying Him. Let's stop quenching, grieving and enraging/insulting His Spirit of grace! Instead, may we walk in the Spirit of God and - therein - produce fruits glorifying to God. (The messages in Galatians 5 are SO needing to be pondered by us today!)
May we abide in Christ Jesus our Vine and manifest true faith as opposed to being branches which are cut off and thrown into the fire.
God help us.
And that He does. PRAISE to His glorious name. Psalm 42
PRECIOUS Reasons To CELEBRATE
We thank God for His kind insights concerning wise living in these days prior to His Son's return. He has been SO graciously generous to us in giving His Word which informs about thematic and chronological matters so pertinent for today. We've highlighted some pressing concerns in the handouts immediately below:
We also praise Him for the celebrations at hand - we continue rejoicing over THIS significant 2,000-year-old anniversary: The birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2,000 years ago God walked this earth. As we further contemplate the saving victories in His death and resurrection, may the peace and joy we experience in our celebrations bring further praise to and adoration of our dear Savior.
BLESSED holy weekto each and every one!
Woe To Those Who Call Evil, "Good" And Good, "Evil"
Some churches call those who are Bible-proclaiming Amabassadors of Jesus Christ, "dangerous" or "evil" while at the same time - can you believe it! - affirm those who practice abomination life-styles - calling them fellow brothers of humanity and the like. Consider this Word from the Lord:
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! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe to men mighty at drinking wine, woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink, who justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away justice from the righteous man! Isaiah 5:20-23 ; NKJV
Woe to some "church" folks who do the same, who go on to express the following attitude by their actions of disaproval of God's Saints in Jesus Christ who press on in declaring His Counsels of warning:
We will not walk in it [the old paths]; We will not listen [to the watchmen's sounding of the trumpet warnings]. (see Jeremiah 6:16, 17)
But God's calls for repentance - His messages of mercy and grace - do not stop there!
Ponder Isaiah 24 - 26 - yes, three whole chapters! In the context of the New Covenant in Jesus Christ, recall the words of this precious hymn:
Oh the deep, deep, love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless free! Rolling as a mighty ocean, in its fullness over me! Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love; Leading onward, leading homeward, to Thy glorious rest above. (words by Samuel Francis)
So please consider this offer:
"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword"; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken. (Isaiah 1:18-20 ; NKJV)
For Good News which is eternal in scope, CLICK HERE. IF you enter in, the following Truth rings strikingly dear: In the household of God through Jesus Christ our saving Lord, a hymn of praise is most appropriate:
Read Isaiah 12:1-6
You can find our CURRENT 2019 commentary blog posts here: