Tag Archives: Second Coming of Christ

Victorious Entrance

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 19:11-16)

This Sunday, March 28, celebrates Palm Sunday when we commemorate Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem in the final week of His earthly ministry. We term this event as the “Triumphal Entry,” but in many respects, the term is a misnomer.

Daniel predicted the event to the very day of its occurrence. “Seventy weeks [70 x 7 years, or 490 years] are determined upon thy people [Israel or the Jews] and upon thy holy city [Jerusalem], to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness [beginning with the Millennial reign of Messiah], and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy [Messiah]. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem [decreed by Artaxerxes Longimanus, 444 BC] unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks [7 x 7 or 49 years], and [plus] threescore and two weeks [62 x 7 or 434 years; 49 + 434 = 483 years]: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined” (Daniel 9:24-26, emphasis mine). Daniel divides the 490 years (70 weeks) into three segments of 49, 434, and 7 years. The first segment began when Artaxerxes Longimanus issued the fourth decree to rebuild Jerusalem with its walls in 444 BC, and ended in 395 BC when the project was completed – 49 years.[1] The next segment encompassed the 400+ “silent years” until Jesus, Messiah, entered into Jerusalem. Four hundred eighty three (483) years were fulfilled at that time and the final segment of seven years remains to be fulfilled. At the end of the 483 years, to the very day, Jesus, Messiah, was “cut off” at the cross.

The prophet, Zechariah, predicted that the Messiah would present Himself riding on a donkey. “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass” (Zechariah 9:9, emphasis mine). All four Gospel writers record this event from their unique perspectives.[2] Most Bibles that use sub-title divisions of chapters title this event as the “Triumphal Entry.” However, Jesus did not enter Jerusalem as conquering king. He presented Himself as the Melek Shâlêm, the King of Peace. A conquering king would have presented himself with great pomp and ceremony,[3] riding on a white charger followed by his conquering armies, parading the spoils of his conquests.

Jesus entered humbly as the King of Peace. His week would end with a tortuous, humiliating death on a Roman cross. From a human perspective, that hardly qualifies as a triumph. However, the following Sunday, the earth shook[4] as Jesus ripped apart the chains of death and conquered man’s final enemy.[5] “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). Yet, we still die physically, but our spirit lives on. “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). One day, even physical death will be lost even to the memory. “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death” (Revelation 20:14). Our present bodies (whether alive or dead) will be transformed into eternal bodies like the body of the resurrected Christ. “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew 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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we [who are living at the time] shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:50-53, emphasis mine).

Jesus conquered death at His resurrection, but He has yet to enter Jerusalem in triumph. Our starting verse above, Revelation 19:11-16, describes His real Triumphal Entry. He will enter Jerusalem from His departure point on the Mount of Olives riding on a white horse – not a donkey this time. He will be followed by His heavenly hosts (angelic armies) and by the spoils of His victory, His saints, all riding white horses and dressed in white robes – no weapons in hand. When His foot touches Earth, the Mount of Olives will split in two,[6] half to the north and half to the south. From there He will travel north to the Jezreel Valley, for the Battle of Armageddon. That too is a misnomer, because it will be no battle at all. “And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” (Revelation 19:15, emphasis mine). That “sword” out of His mouth is His Word. He will speak and the “battle” will be over. “And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one” (Zechariah 14:9).

Now, that is a Triumphal Entry!

The current events of our world signal that the time of Jesus’ Victorious Entrance is soon approaching. He will come for His Bride, the Church, at any moment; although we do not know when. However, if the signs indicate that His return is near, that means the catching up of His Bride is even closer. Soon after that, Daniel’s final week, the last seven years known as the Tribulation, will begin. Those who are not snatched away by Jesus will remain on earth to suffer through the judgments of God like at no other time in world history. If you are not sure where you stand with Jesus, you can escape that awful time by putting your trust in Him as your Savior. Read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  John F Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, The Bible Knowledge Commentary- Old Testament, (SP Publications, 1985), p.1363.

[2]  Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; John 12:12-19

[3]  “The Triumphal Entry,” — https://erniecarrasco.com/2019/04/14/the-triumphal-entry/

[4]  Matthew 28:2

[5]  1 Corinthians 15:26

[6]  Zechariah 14:4

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Marked

[Christ] In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14)

When you were born, the hospital staff (assuming you were born in a hospital) employed a system of identification for you and your parents to prevent confusion of parent and baby. One such system uses four identical wrist bands with identical numbers. One band goes on the mother, one on the father, and the baby gets one on the wrist and one on the ankle. Such a system ensures that the baby goes home with the correct set of parents. A birth certificate also records the baby’s name, date and time of birth, weight, length, gender (a biological fact), and the names of both parents (normally). The document is sometimes “sealed” or stamped with the baby’s footprints. From then on, that baby will know to whom he belongs even if unforeseen circumstances separate him from his parents.

When you were born again,[1] Paul tells us that you were “sealed” (our starting verse above) with the Holy Spirit. The Greek word translated “sealed” is sphragizō and it means “to stamp (with a signet or private mark) for security or preservation,” Thayer’s Greek Definitions gives this definition: “to set a seal upon, mark (emphasis mine) with a seal, to seal; for security: from Satan; in order to mark a person or a thing; in order to prove, confirm, or attest a thing.” Jesus said, “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed” (John 6:27, emphasis mine). Born again believers are sealed/marked by God making us secure from Satan, and proving that we belong to Him. The Holy Spirit that indwells us is the “mark” or “seal” that proves we belong to Him. You either know this to be true or not; I do not know how else to explain it. For me, I know it is true; I have no doubt.

Being marked by God has some distinct advantages. Jesus taught what function the Holy Spirit would play in our lives. Jesus calls the Holy Spirit “the Comforter”[2] and “the Spirit of Truth.”[3] So, He reveals the truth of God’s Word to us and comforts us with God’s Word. The Holy Spirit teaches us from God’s Word and helps us recall God’s Word when we need it.[4] The Holy Spirit gives witness (testifies) of Jesus.[5] He reproves (convicts) “the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment [to come].”[6] The Holy Spirit guides us “into all truth” from God’s Word and of “things to come”[7] as taught in Scripture. He gives the glory to Christ, not to Himself.[8] One sure way to distinguish a true Christian from a false Christian is in the way they glorify Christ. If they hold Christ in low esteem, the Holy Spirit is not in them because the Holy Spirit gives glory to Christ.

Another benefit of God’s mark on believers is His special protection on His children. Jesus referred to believers as His “sheep.” He said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one” (John 10:27-30, emphasis mine). The security of which He speaks is eternal security, but eternity, for the believer, begins at the moment He accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior. The Bible says that “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36, emphasis mine). Note the present tense of the verb “hath” (has). It does not say “will have eternal life,” but rather “has eternal life.” So, the security the Christian has in the future can be enjoyed in the present, along with all benefits of God’s provision and protection.

The “mark” provides protection. In Revelation, a scene appears to John, the author, of 144,000 Israelis, 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes, being sealed/marked by God.[9] The sealing of these “servants of God” follows sometime shortly after the “sixth seal” of the scroll is broken,[10] and they witness until sometime after the midpoint of the Tribulation. Their witness results in the salvation of a great multitude of people during that time. “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands” (Revelation 7:9, emphasis mine). Apparently, God protects them from being killed until they accomplish their task, before being martyred. At their next mention, we see them in heaven. “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads … And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth” (Revelation 14:1, 3, emphasis mine).

No harm befalls God’s children who have His mark upon them, unless He wills it for His purpose and for His glory. I recently found another example of this in Ezekiel’s prophecy. Ezekiel had been taken captive to Babylon in the second stage of Babylonian captivity around 597 BC. He was contemporary with Daniel who was taken captive in the first stage. While there, God gave Ezekiel a vision of the third and final siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians which resulted in the destruction of the Temple and the razing of the city. In his vision,[11]  God showed him six men (angels). Five were dressed in battle array, and one was dressed in white linen (probably the pre-incarnate Christ) having a “writer’s inkhorn.” “And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof” (Ezekiel 9:4, emphasis mine). Jerusalem had sunk into the depths of depravity, yet there were many there who were still faithful to Yahweh and were grieved by the sins of Judah. These God said to mark. “And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house” (Ezekiel 9:5-6, emphasis mine). Ezekiel’s vision represented what took place in Jerusalem. The Babylonians finally breached the walls of the city and brutally killed young, old, men, women, and children. However, those whom God had marked were spared and were taken alive to Babylon. The Babylonians did not know whom God had marked, but God knew and they were spared.

Almost twenty years ago, I took a graduate course on the subject of Islam taught by a professor that came out of the Muslim faith. In the process of the course, the class viewed videos of actual stonings of Christians who had converted out of Islam. The victims were “judged” by their persecutors. Their hands were tied behind their backs, and a canvas sack was placed over the upper half of their bodies. Then they were lowered into a pre-dug hole that was about waist deep and the hole was filled in around them. With that done, judgment was pronounced and the victims were pelted with huge rocks until their limp bodies fell lifelessly forward, The pelting continued until the executioners were satisfied that the victims were indeed dead. I was in shock as I witnessed the savage inhumanity of the act. What gripped me most of the horrific scenes was the calm with which these Christian martyrs went to their death. They did not protest. They did not cry out for mercy. They did not struggle to free themselves from their captors. They did not renounce their faith, which would have spared their lives. They went quietly to their death. “How is that possible?” I wondered. As I pondered the question, it occurred to me that their calm spirit was a supernatural gift from God, just for such occasions. Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). These martyrs were marked by God. They belong to Him and even though He did not spare their lives, He gave them His peace to endure to the death. Then, the moment their spirits departed their lifeless bodies, Jesus was there to meet them at the gates of heaven with open arms.

Fox’s Book of Martyrs testifies of Christian martyrs of the past who were burned at the stake, drawn and quartered, hung, or beheaded. In every instance, the victims went to their death quietly refusing to recant. Such an act comes not from human bravery, but from a supernatural strength that only God can provide those who are marked by Him.

So, what’s the point? We live in a world full of uncertainty. Our economy is falling apart. Our enemies are circling our camp. The Chinese virus has the world hiding in fear and willing to trust in an unproven vaccine for their health. Even with that, health bureaucrats maintain the fear level by reminding all that the vaccine is not the panacea everyone thinks; all must continue masking and social distancing to ensure against the Wuhan Bug. Sadly, Christians get sucked into all the hype and are equally fearful along with the rest of the hopeless world. This ought not to be because as Christians, we are marked by God. We are assured of His provision and protection in EVERY situation. Even when things seem to go wrong from our perspective, we can be assured: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the [marked] according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, emphasis mine). Those who live in fear should be those whose only hope is in this life; that should not be Christians. Christians should be living a fearless, victorious life, knowing that we are marked by God. He is our Father; we are His children.

Reader, if you do not have that assurance, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  John 3:5-8

[2]  John 14:16

[3]  John 14:17

[4]  John 14:26

[5]  John 15:26

[6]  John 16:8

[7]  John 16:13

[8]  John 16:14

[9]  Revelation 7:1-8

[10]  Revelation 6:12

[11]  Ezekiel 9

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Happy New Year?

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: (Isaiah 46:9-10)

I really do not feel like writing. I am feeling rather sad, but I try to post something every week, so here goes.

The year 2020 has been the worst year of my 70 ½ years on this earth. I am certain that many of my readers share the same feelings. Now we are looking ahead to a new year. In the past, the New Year offered hope for improvement, but this year, the outlook, at least from my perspective, looks dismal.

Last year started out looking promising, but then COVID-19 hit and threw the entire world into a panic. Without recounting all the details, our nation suffered a great loss economically, socially, and religiously. Our shadow government, the unelected bureaucrats that seem to be the de facto legislators, instituted irrational mandates about wearing masks, social distancing, prohibitions on public gathering – all unconstitutional, by the way – and the public just fell in line like lemmings. What makes me really sad is how our pastors have willingly gone along with these (yes, I will say it) stupid regulations and closed their churches or instituted ridiculous rules on how we do gather – reduce attendance, wear masks, social distance, no “fellowshipping” inside the church, come in, wait to be seated, leave only when your row is dismissed, etc. Seriously, I have lost my desire to attend a “live” service. I know, Hebrews 10:25 tells us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, but one would think our pastors would look a little harder at that verse and consider also the one that says we should obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).

I get it. COVID-19 is highly contagious and can be deadly, but so can the flu. As 2020 came to a close, the death rate from all causes in the United States did not increase even with COVID-19 (the CCP Virus). In fact, the complicit media suppress the statistics published by the CDC that those that contract the disease have a better than 99% expectation of surviving it. The relatively small numbers that do die of the disease have other underlying complications that contribute to the death. And yet, the general public is paralyzed with fear of contracting the disease. I have to laugh (although it is actually not funny) when I see people driving in their cars or walking outdoors in the fresh air wearing masks. It’s funny, but it’s sad.

The ones making the rules (I will call them “the Swamp” because they are indeed swamp creatures) do not care about the welfare of the public, although they would have you think that they do. (By the way, have you noticed that none of them have missed a single paycheck while the rest of the proletariat are losing their jobs and their businesses?) Their interest and intent is complete control of the populous so that we will fall in line according to their dictates. The first step was to incite fear of an invisible enemy, the CCP Virus, and make everyone shelter in place, wear masks in public, and social distance. That worked. The next thing will be to force everyone to take a vaccine for a disease that has a 99% survivability rate. You might object, “The government isn’t making anyone take the vaccine.” You would be right about that – now – but it may happen in the near future. Consider that airlines are already talking about requiring proof of vaccination before they will allow passengers to board their airplanes. Many “Big Box” stores, like Amazon who does not even have “stores,” are saying they will require proof of vaccination before they will sell to you or allow you into their stores. It sounds a lot like the “Mark of the Beast” (Revelation 13:18). It is NOT the Mark of the Beast, but it certainly paves the way for it.

On top of that, 2020 was an election year that gave us what is arguably the worst case of voter fraud in history. The abundant evidence of fraud in a variety of forms clearly shows that President Trump handily won, but the Swamp persists in robbing him of a second term. Even many of those who claim to be on his side, starting with the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, encourage the President to concede the election, claiming that it would be in the best interest of the nation. Inhabitants of the Swamp include many RINOs.

Three days from the posting of this blog article, a joint session of Congress will meet to count the electoral votes. There are two Constitutional ways that President Trump can secure a second term. According to Article II, Section 1, and the Twelfth Amendment of the Constitution, the President of the Senate, VP Mike Pence, is responsible for counting the votes. If he determines that elections for certain states were improperly and unconstitutionally conducted, he can choose not to count the electoral votes from that state. We have at least five or maybe six states that conducted fraudulent and unconstitutional elections, and if VP Pence rejects those votes, it is quite possible that neither candidate will have a majority. In that case, the vote goes to the House where each state is allowed one vote for President. Since the majority of the states represented are Republican majorities, President Trump will get the majority of votes, and he will win a second term.

The second option is for a member of the House of Representatives to challenge the legitimacy of the votes from those states in question. That would certainly be a Republican Congressman. This would require a second to the motion by a member of the Senate. The two houses would then divide for debate, and if the challenge stands, again, the vote would go to the House of Representatives where each state would get just one vote, and again, the majority of states being Republican, President Trump will win a second term – if everything is on the up-and-up.

I have said this before; neither option for President will improve our nation’s situation. If Biden wins (God forbid!) our nation will rapidly sink into Socialism and submit to a One-World government. If President Trump wins, the Swamp will rise up like nothing we have seen to date.

The year 2020 was not a good year. The New Year, 2021 does not promise to be better. In fact, it will probably be worse. Can we have hope? YES! Signs around the world and our nation portend the soon return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For those who have placed their trust in Him, He will soon take us out of this world before the Seven-Year Tribulation devastates the planet. After the Seven-Year Tribulation, He will return with His saints to rule and reign on Earth. Then, and only then, we will have true world peace. Joy to the World! But for those who have not placed their trust in Christ, this year will be nothing compared with what is to come. If you do not know the Savior, read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Happy New Year?

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When Foundations Move

If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3)

Several years ago (I do not recall the exact year because I do not keep a diary), my backdoor neighbor, Tim, had the slab foundation of his house leveled because he noticed cracks in the brick mortar and wall separation on one side of his house. He caught me outside one day and pointed out that my house had the same problem as his and suggested my house needed the foundation leveled as well. I could not see any problem because I had not noticed any mortar cracking or wall separation, but my friend swore that he could see it. He worked in housing construction most of his life and has an eye for that kind of thing. I do not, especially if the defect is minor (to my eye). So, I ignored his advice.

Not long after that, I noticed that the sliding glass door leading to our backyard was developing some fogging between the panes of glass. These were very expensive insulating doors installed by Champion Windows & Doors ™ that came with a lifetime warranty. I called Champion out to see about replacing the doors. When the technician arrived, he informed me that they would not be able to replace the door because it needed to be reframed and the foundation had shifted. He said I needed to get the foundation repaired first, and then they would return to replace the door.

Convinced now that my neighbor was right all along, I called some foundation repair service to come to inspect and repair the foundation of my house. They came out and confirmed that the foundation sunk about three-fourths of an inch on the east side of my house. It took eight piers on the east side of the house to bring the foundation back to level. With that done, Champion came back and replaced our sliding glass door without any problems.

Fast forward to the year of the COVID-19 and the first year of my retirement, June and I decided we needed to do some “minor” renovations to our house. I avoided it as long as possible because, while I can do the work, it takes me a lot longer than it does a “pro” and besides that, my knees are not up to a lot of the getting up and down required by this kind of work. I convinced June that it would be better to get a “professional” to come in and do the work. Because they know what they are doing, they should be done in three to four days – two weeks at the most, while it would take me a month or more. The job was relatively small: replace five interior doors, replace the carpet in our bedroom with laminate flooring, and extend that flooring into our master bath.

June, being the ultimate bargain shopper that she is, found a “highly recommended” contractor on our “Neighborhood” web page, and she gave me his contact information. I procrastinated for several months until I finally called the man over to give us an estimate shortly after Thanksgiving. I had just accepted a very time-consuming and challenging teaching opportunity at church, so hiring this guy to do the work seemed like a good option. The estimate, for his labor only, seemed reasonable enough, so we hired him to do the job. While looking the job over, he recommended replacing our existing tile shower with a poly “shower kit” that would look so much better than our moldy old tile. That sounded good to me, so I bought the kit and included that with the “upgrade.”

Well, to make a long story short and to get to the point of my title, the man knew nothing about hanging doors. The floor and the shower he subcontracted out, and the men that did that work did an excellent job, but anything my guy and his workers did was very poor quality. I do not want to be too critical of the man, but it seems that he did not know the purpose of a carpenter’s level. The reason he had trouble hanging the doors was due to my original foundation problem. When my foundation settled, all the framing of the house shifted to the east, not much, but enough to throw everything off “plumb.” Had my contractor put a level on the door frames, he would have seen the problem and corrected it (or not). As it was, he wasted my time and his (a little over a month), and the job was ended by me in an incomplete state. Tim, my backdoor neighbor, came and helped me get the doors hung properly. In the past when Tim was working, all he did was install windows and doors, so with his expertise, we were able to correct all the problems. All the doors open and close properly. One problem still remains. The shower doors do not hang correctly for the same reason, but I know now what to do to correct it.

Jesus once said, “And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved” (Luke 5:37-38). Of course, His application had a different purpose, but the adage still applies. You do not put new doors on old door frames.

The movement of our house’s foundation was very subtle, almost unnoticeable. The walls “looked” perfectly straight and “plumb.” However, when a “square” door, a plumb line, or level – a perfect standard – is placed against, it exposes the defect. Corrections can be made to make things “look” straight, but the fact remains that the foundation moved and the whole building is now “off plumb.” Nothing can correct that without tearing down the whole structure and rebuilding from the ground up on a level foundation.

Our nation was founded on a firm foundation. However, in the 233-year history of our nation’s founding, so many extraneous laws, regulations, and edicts, the majority of which are unconstitutional, have been attached to our Constitution that the foundation is leaning and cracking. We hear of the “swamp” that is deep, wide, and far-reaching, that operates unfettered by the Constitution, and which makes and enforces laws and edicts of which most citizens are unaware. Our beloved President, Donald Trump fights against the swamp, but the swamp creatures are numerous, stealthy, and vicious. Some even appear to be “straight” (as in “upright”), but they expose their “swampiness” when they vote to enact perverse legislation, like the latest COVID-Relief Bill, against the good intentions of our President.

The moisture and soft marsh of the swamp weakens an otherwise solid foundation. The black mold of the swamp putrefies and decays the framework of any structure causing it to lean and eventually fall. This is where we are. The year 2020 has been the worst year of my lifetime, but it exposes the weaknesses in our nation’s once strong foundation. When foundations move, the building will eventually fall. I do not look forward to the year 2021 except for the fact that our Lord, Jesus Christ, will come for His Bride very shortly. He will destroy the foundations of this world, lay down a new foundation, and build an everlasting structure thereon. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

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A Star

I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. (Numbers 24:17)

As 2020 winds down to a close, we can look back and say, “It was a terrible year!” For me, it started with a drastic change in life called retirement. And before I could really adjust to my new lifestyle, COVID-19 hit and changed life for all of us. Do I need to recount the chaotic events? In November, we voted in the 2020 Presidential Election, and the candidate who campaigned the least and attracted the smallest following miraculously won the election – supposedly. Now we face the real possibility of having a Socialist government for the first time in our nation’s history. President Trump alleges that the election was stolen, and much evidence exists indicating that he has reason to protest and contest the results. He has a great team of lawyers that are fighting to get the election overturned (I pray that they do), but time is running out. However, there is still hope.

I have said this before, and I am still convinced that whether Biden becomes our next President or President Trump wins his second term, we face troubled times ahead. But there is hope. At least, for the Christian there is hope. We only need to remember that our primary citizenship is in heaven with our Lord, and the intensity of the trouble we experience today should alert us that He will soon return to take us home to be with Him. The intensity of the trouble will increase, and the more it increases, the closer we are to His calling us home. There is always hope.

Long ago, as the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness hoping for their Promised Land, their enemies rose up to thwart their plans. One such enemy was Balak, the king of Moab, who hired the prophet Balaam to curse Israel.[1] Balaam was not a “prophet of God,” but he knew God well enough to know that God would not allow him to speak against His people. No matter how Balaam tried, he could only speak the words God directed him to speak. In the end, Balaam pronounced a blessing on Israel, rather than a curse.

In that blessing, Balaam prophesied, “there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel” (Numbers 24:17, emphasis mine). On the face of it, the prophecy refers to a coming king of Israel that “shall smite the corners of Moab.” If we stop there, the prophecy leaves us in a lurch, but the Holy Spirit keeps no secrets from those who have “ears to hear.”

In his Gospel, Matthew tells us that “there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east and are come to worship him” (Matthew 2:1-2, emphasis mine). Yes, the baby born in Bethlehem was the Star, but a real star – a celestial object – appeared out of Jacob (Israel) to announce His birth. It is because of that Star that we have our Blessed Hope.

Notes:


[1]  Numbers 22-24

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