The Spirit of Truth is Now Exposing the Great Pretenders

by Veronica West

“My Spirit of Truth is now exposing the great pretenders from among you, the ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing, for I AM stripping the evil rulers of the nations of their garments of corruption and perversion that have long covered them… and naked they shall stand before Me and before the world to see!”

I felt a pressing burden from The LORD in the early hours of the morning to go into my prayer closet, and as I went before The LORD, suddenly The Spirit of The Fear of The LORD came upon me.

I heard The Spirit say, “My Spirit of Truth is now exposing the great pretenders from among you, the ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing, for I AM stripping the evil rulers of the nations of their garments of corruption and perversion that have long covered them, and naked they shall stand before Me and before the world to see.

For their evil works done in secret, cannot and will not be hidden from My Sight.

For what has been conceived and concealed in darkness, shall now be uncovered and revealed in the light.

And where My Glory once covered them and My Mercy once delivered them, now they shall be clothed with shame and dishonour, and crowns of bitterness and defeat shall adorn their heads and they will sit on the ash heap with no hope of restitution or redemption.

For their stiff necks shall be broken and their uncircumcised hearts shall be their downfall.  For I shall not be mocked, but I shall avenge My enemies with just one breath from My Nostrils.

Watch!  For sudden death and destruction shall come upon those who dare to stand in the way of My Governing Hand of Justice and Righteousness.

For I AM the great Judge over the Nations and My Courts have ruled for Life and Liberty over death and bondage.

So pay attention and listen!

For now there is a New Sound that is rising in the Nations, a sound of a roar, a roar of The Lion of Judah, a sound that will shake the wicked to their knees, and awaken My fearless Warriors to their feet!

Now watch and listen!  For in the midst of a great shaking, shifting and divine separating, a loud rattling sound shall be heard coming up from the valley as a mighty remnant army rises to take her place on the battlefield for the birthright and destiny of the nations.

For in great power and authority, this mighty Army shall advance and conquer the strongholds of the enemy.  And as the violent, they shall take The Kingdom by force!

Ha!  Who shall stop what I have begun and who shall restrain or contain what I have ordained?

For I tell you the truth my beloved, eyes have not seen, nor ear heard, nor have it entered the hearts of man what I have prepared for those that love Me!”

Blessings to you all.

Peter’s First Letter–1

Once a week, we a small ekklesia, are looking at an amazing scriptural letter by Peter who described himself as an apostle (a sent messenger) of Jesus Christ. He wrote to people he describes as aliens, strangers, they don’t belong here. How can that be?

He wanted to encourage them, to prepare them, for a most important, earth-shattering event was soon to take place. Terrible judgment was about to come on many back in Jerusalem and Judea. The temple and the Jewish religion as known for centuries, Judaism, would be destroyed and replaced by a new creation. This would also seriously impact them and many traditional Jews where they lived.

We read they were in various places, scattered throughout Pontos, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. These were real places in the Ancient World. It’s interesting if you check Acts chapter 2 you find those same places mentioned among the many other regions, from which people had come to Jerusalem for the Jewish Feast of Pentecost. Acts 2 describes how on that day the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them.

So Peter was addressing some of those same people who had heard him proclaiming on that day some 25 or 30 years previously. These would have gone back to their homelands and no doubt bore witnesses for Jesus by the power of the Spirit where they lived.

Peter calls them chosen by God the Father, sanctified by the Holy Spirit and sprinkled with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. This was amazing thinking for a man who was still ‘Jewish’ (as most early believers were) to put Jesus alongside the Holy Spirit and the eternal living Lord God, the Father. One God.

Here we see a a typical salutation of a letter in the Ancient World.

Peter then reminded them about the living hope that they had through Christ’s resurrection. The resurrection is the basis of the way, the truth and the great story of Jesus. Without the resurrection there would be no faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. There would be no Christians.

They had been truly reborn through God’s great mercy! We are all utterly dependent on his mercy. Born again to a living hope through Jesus’ resurrection of Jesus. Remember that happened only 25 or 30 years previous to his writing!

For us, it’s now 2000 years ago. That time lapse makes it harder for us but for these people it was fresh in their memory.  Just think, you can remember so many things clearly that happened 25 or 30 years ago in your life.

Jesus had been killed and then came alive!

Peter’s readers are described as a possessing an inheritance that is reserved safely in heaven for them. They were already enjoying that sure hope! They were strangers and aliens here on Earth, like we are today but there’s an inheritance waiting for us who believe that’s reserved for us in heaven too! What a fabulous investment.

In the meantime, these aliens were protected by the power of God through faith for a full salvation he says is ‘ready to be revealed in the last time’.  They believed they were in the ‘last days’ when their salvation would be revealed.

Peter mentioned this idea of the ‘last time’ several times in his writings. This salvation ready to be revealed the original word is apocalypse. That brings to mind the time of the end. Peter saw his writing as fitting into that period. His readers could greatly rejoice in this understanding, even though now for a ‘little while’, short time—not a long, long time.

A little while and then things will radically change for them. If this mighty change was in a little while for them, how can it be soon for us today?

For a short time they will have various trials. Difficulties will prove the genuineness of their faith. Really it’s when we are subject to trials that our faith is is proven, tried out.

That experience, that assurance is much more precious than gold which is perishable. Peter reminded them that the testing by fire would be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation (apocalypse) of Jesus Christ.

 His appearing, his coming and Peter goes on to say that although you have not seen him you love him and though you do not see him now you believe in him and you greatly rejoice with joy in express expressible and full of glory.

He went on to talk more about this wondrous salvation now experienced by God’s people.  All those OT prophets prophesied of the grace that would come. They tried to work out this mystery. We had studied them together—how they accurately foretold the coming of the messiah and the suffering that he would experience.

They never experienced what these Peter wrote to had experienced. Even the angels in heaven were ignorant of what those early believers understood. So us also today!

In view of what will take place ‘in a little while’, Peter goes on to appeal to them to modify their behaviour, to prepare themselves for action, and fix their hope completely on the grace about to be brought to you at the revelation (apocalypse) of Jesus Christ.

Clearly they were expecting the coming, the revealing, of Jesus within their lifetime.  They must not be conformed to the former life which they had in their ignorance. and so they needed to conduct themselves appropriately during the (very short) time of their stay on the Earth.

Today we too must be prepared. We too must live appropriately. We also are not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from a futile way of life inherited from our forebears. We too have just a little while! The Father will impartially judge according to each person’s work, Peter reminds us.    For “all flesh is as grass and withers. But the word of the Lord abides forever.”

What does ‘This Generation’ mean?

Jesus said: Assuredly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.

Jesus prophesied these unforgettable words to four of his disciples on the Mountt of Olives as recorded in Matthew 24:34, Mark 13:30 and Luke 21:30.

It is critical to understand which generation Jesus meant. Taking the plain meaning without any bias, Jesus was referring to his generation.

But some scholars say Jesus must have meant a future generation. 

Some insist Jesus meant the word “race”,  i.e., the Hebrew race. They reason that because the Hebrew race remains today, the coming of Jesus has not taken place, putting his coming far into the unknown future.

These scholars avoid the obvious meaning in the context of the gospel, dogmatically committed to a future return of Jesus, instead of simply accepting that Jesus spoke of the closeness of His coming.

Jesus prophesied to those disciples on the Mount of Olives, that He would return before His hearers’ generation had passed away. Yet the same people accept that Jesus spoke literally about the coming fall of the Jerusalem temple among other events. So then there is no logical reason to exclude the coming of Jesus.

There is no doubt the disciples took Jesus’ words “this generation” to mean soon, at the door, at hand. They knew His coming was imminent, perhaps even in their lifetime. We see it in their writings.

Their letters in the N.T. frequently reflect their expectancy of a soon coming, though the hour and day were unknown. We read of their warnings, their urgency to proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom of God and their urgings to live righteously.

They knew Jesus warned them to get the Kingdom of God proclaimed in the towns of Judea before His coming (Matthew 10:23).

Check these references out for yourself: Rom 13:11-13, 1 Cor 10:11, Phil 1:6,10, 1 Thes 1:10, 4:17; 2 Thes 1:7; 2 Tim 3:1; Heb 1:2, 9:28, 10:29; Jas 5:3; 1 Pet 1:5, 7-9, 13, 17, 20; 2 Pet 3:3; Jude 19).

Now let’s look at some instances of Jesus’ phrase this generation in the gospels, paying close attention to the context of each. You will see they consistently refer to the people alive then as Jesus spoke (and this list is not exhaustive):

Mat 12:45. . . the last of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

Mat 12:41-42. The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented. . . The Queen of the South will rise up with this generation at the judgment. . .

Mark 8:12. Why does this generation seek . . sign? Truly I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.

Mark 8:38 : “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels”.

Here Jesus warned people in that crowd that some of them, this generation, will be alive ‘when He comes in glory!

Luke 17:25. But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

Mat 17:17. O faithless generation, how long shall I bear with you . .  the crowd who had no faith to heal

Mat 23:35-36. Assuredly, I say unto you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Jesus’ phrase all these things is repeated in Mat 24:34, Mark 31:30, and Luke 21:30.

Mat 24:34f, Mk 13:30f, Lu 21:30f. NKJV. Assuredly, I say to you,this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

All three synoptic gospels! And all three carry the word assuredly! (Grk amen) and the affirmation that though heaven and earth could pass away, his words stand forever!

So who would dare to change his plain words?

In Mat 23 we read Jesus’ savage attacks on the Jewish ruling elites of that current generation: Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  Then after the 7 woes, we read verses 31-36:

Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Further, this particular generation was condemned to such a great extent, that Jesus warned those weeping women as He was led to the cross saying: Weep not for me but for yourselves and your children . . . as he knew what terrible times they would face (Luke 23:28).

Conclusion

In the Olivet discourse of Matthew, Mark and Luke, the generation named by Jesus can only mean the generation of people Jesus was addressing.

We can see that this is consistent with the other numerous references of his using the phrase this generation.

There is no logical or hermeneutical reason why we should not believe and accept that Jesus spoke literally about “all these things will come upon this generation.” (Mat 24:34).

Our Amazing Hope

Isaiah 51:11

Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return and come singing unto Zion, and everlasting joy shall be upon their hearts. They shall obtain gladness and joy and sighing and sadness shall flee away.

Now, here in Brisbane, Australia, most of us we face all the hype –if not the hope–of the Olympics coming to Brisbane. And people will be waiting for the event.

And as a dear friend of mine said today on his fb page “I guess the closer 2032 comes the greater the excitement”

He then said “and yet as we wait for the return of Christ there will be little mass hysteria but on that day the whole world will know that the King has come.”

Well . . . . ! Not all of us!

No.

Some of us, admittedly not many believers, are NOT actually waiting for the return of Christ, believing as Jesus told his students on the Mt of Olives (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21) that he “assuredly” would come before some of his listeners had passed away (see Mat 16:28, 24:34, Mk 13:30, Lu 21:32).

Ha! We are certainly waiting for that wonderful moment, not far off especially for us ‘oldies’, when “we, the redeemed of the Lord shall return and come singing unto the (heavenly) “Zion”,

and everlasting joy shall be upon our hearts.

We shall obtain gladness and joy and sighing and sadness shall flee away.”!

Yes!

Assuredly!

This now is our blessed hope.

An Interesting Inside Story

I saw this comment to a dream by Praying Medic (www.prayingmedic.com) by one David Gracely. July 21, 2021

“If the Communists want to rail against “white privilege” they only have themselves to blame because that is what they want taught in the public schools.

It is called the Theory of Evolution and the full title of Darwin’s book is “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.”

Darwin favored the elimination of the Negro and Australian peoples because he looked upon them as inferior. Hitler took Darwin to heart. So did Karl Marx who wanted to dedicate Das Capital to Darwin, who declined his request.

My generation got the bum’s rush with the teaching of the Theory of Evolution in public schools in the 19t50’s. This is how that came about.

A very bright fellow worked for the Bureau of Standards, then the CIA, and finally worked for NASA, rising as high in the ranks as you could go without getting involved in politics. He was told by his superior to write up a schedule for the space program.

He was a very meticulous man and he wanted to do the job right, and so it took him two years to complete the job. He turned over his work to his supervisor who turned it over to President Eisenhower. Von Braun and his rocket team were ready to go. But President Eisenhower did nothing. The man who had labored so hard to make up the space schedule was not a happy camper with the President’s response. And then the Russians launched Sputnik and were lauded by our MSM to no end. The President asked the military to try to launch but failed at least twice. Finally he gave the green light to Von Braun and his rocket team and they were successful. But the damage had been done.

The cry went up by the liberal educational establishment.

“How come the Russians beat us into space? Why do they have better scientists then we do? Why, they teach their children the Theory of Evolution in school! That’s why they have better scientists. We need to teach our children the Theory of Evolution too”.

And so my generation got the bum’s rush with the Theory of Evolution.

How do I know about this inside story? Well, my dad told me about this shortly before he died in 2005. The man who wrote up that report was his oldest brother, Fredrick Gracely.”

With grateful thanks to David Gracely and Praying Medic–and Almighty God who gave us all we have. Ian.

The Thessalonians and the Parousia

The apostle Paul, writing about 51 AD to believing Christians in Thessalonica in the Roman province of Macedonia, expected with them, an imminent return of the Lord. Paul wrote they had turned from idols to serve the living God and to wait for his son from heaven (1 Thessalonians 1:10).

As we read this letter today, bear in mind we are reading mail written to believers living 2000 years ago. We must reject the temptation to think we are being addressed by Paul. This is not about us.

The Thessalonians were anticipating the most profound life-changing thing to occur within their lifetime: the Parousia of their saviour! Yet they were deeply troubled and Paul was addressing their concerns.

First, let us ask: Were they still waiting for Jesus to come when they all passed away 2000+ years ago?

Think: Jesus’ second coming was near for these believers, so it cannot be near for us. And if Jesus’ return is near for us today, was Paul in error? If they had the wrong expectations, why didn’t Paul correct them? Why didn’t he write ‘sorry, you’ve got it wrong, Jesus won’t be coming back for a long, long, time.’

Now let’s look at that 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 passage carefully in more detail.

 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as the rest of mankind do, who have no hope.

Paul’s concern as he wrote to these troubled believers, who were worried that those Thessalonians who had died before the Lord’s coming were going to miss out. Their concern was not about the truth of resurrection, as it was when Paul wrote 1 Corinthians. For the Thessalonians the fact of the resurrection was not the issue.

14 for if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.

Paul reasoned: we believe Jesus died and rose, even so [Greek, kai houtos—likewise, it follows] God will bring with him’ those you are concerned for! Great news! Jesus’ resurrection guaranteed theirs also!

Isn’t this evidence that both Paul and his readers believed Jesus was coming soon, not aeons hence?

Some scholars think the bodily resurrection comes at the end of the Messianic age—still in the future.

But does that agree with Paul’s teaching? We ask, do all deceased believers now sleep for thousands of years before their resurrection? Are the Thessalonians and Paul still asleep in Jesus today? Let’s see.

Paul wrote some have fallen asleep in Jesus. Did God bring them ‘asleep’ i.e., with disembodied spirits with Jesus? Or had they been raised when the Lord descended from heaven as it plainly says in v16)?

Is there any hint this resurrection would not occur until 2000+ years hence, as some others claim?  Would that idea really comfort his readers?

15 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 — shall not precede those who have fallen asleep.

Now Paul gave them more details. He said what he wrote about this came from Jesus. If Paul was mistaken, was Jesus also mistaken? No way!  Recall that Jesus was ignorant of the day or hour of his coming (Mat 24:36), and so Paul could not be certain about it either.

Here we read of two distinct groups of long-ago saints at His coming: first, those ‘fallen asleep’ and second, those alive and who remain. Jesus had twice told His disciples that there will be some people hearing His words who will remain alive at His coming (see Mat 16:27,28 and 24:34,42,44).

Paul has now said enough to reassure his readers. But surprisingly, he continues with such extraordinary, strange remarks and making verse 17 perhaps the most puzzling in the NT:

16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first.

Paul expects Jesus will descend from heaven; not to Earth, not to Jerusalem. The text in v17 mentions clouds and air for the meeting site, not Earth.

Paul tells them the ‘dead in Christ’ will rise first. They will not miss out on their experience of the Parousia. Is this not their resurrection from the dead—not a spiritual rising. They are raised first, before those who remain alive. Those who remain will also experience resurrection. There are no time limits given. Nobody in Christ will miss out! (Are we today not in a somewhat similar state as those remainers?)

Some writers (For example author, Mike Rogers, www.mikerogersad70.com) think the resurrection comes at the end of time at a single point-in-time event in the future. But this does not follow from the text.

Paul later explained to the Corinthians “Christ has been raised from the dead the first fruits of those who are asleep . . . so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming. (1 Cor:21-27.)

The phrase each in his own order implies, not a mass collection of millions together, but one at a time—’each’ not ‘together’; ‘his’ not ‘they’. As Isaiah 27:12-13 prophesied, On that Day the Lord will thresh from the flowing stream of the Euphrates River to the brook of Egypt, and you will be gathered up one by one, you sons of Israel. It will come about also on that day that a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were perishing in the land of Assyria and who were scattered in the land of Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.  And Moses declared If any of your scattered countrymen are at the ends of the earth, from there the Lord your God will gather you (Deut 30:4).

We can see Paul expected the Parousia soon, as did all the apostolic writers, but they said nothing about any post-Parousiabelievers like us, far in the future. Did they assume there would be no future?

Paul wrote ‘The last enemy that will be abolished is death’ (1 Cor 15:26). And Jesus did so—see Rev 20:14, Heb 2:14, 2 Tim 1:10. We all die one at a time (Heb 9:27) and when each dies, is not death abolished, one at a time? That’s what has been declared at funeral services for centuries.

Like Paul, I know that if my earthly tent is torn down, I have a building from God . . . That’s reassuring indeed! He goes on, For indeed, in this tent we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, since in fact after putting it on, we will not be found naked. For indeed, we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. (2 Cor 5:1-4). Can we gauge what joyous state Paul expected from this and other passages e.g., Phil 1:21-24? Seems like he couldn’t wait to be so clothed when he wrote that!

I can’t imagine Paul still ‘unclothed’, as a disembodied spirit. Can you?

Paul goes on with some puzzling details, but not about the nature of resurrection . . .

17 Then we who are alive, who remain, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

Note the adverb of sequencing, then. The original word is epeita meaning thereupon, thereafter, afterward (Strongs G1899). So this catching up was not simultaneous with the coming of Jesus with the risen saints. This leaves open the possibility those ‘remaining could be ‘caught up’ at any time.

Paul here used the 3rd person, we who remain, not ‘you’. Did Paul think he might be included among those remaining? Recall that both Paul and his readers expected a soon return of Jesus (see 1:10, 3:13). We know Paul was executed around 66/67 AD. Has Paul been raised or is he still ‘fallen asleep’, waiting for a ‘general resurrection’ at the end of time as some teach? I think not.

To the Philippians Paul confidently and eagerly wrote our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body (Phil 3:20f).     

We may wish Paul had said more. What happens to unbelievers? Or believers who will remain alive?

Reflect that the apostle John died an old man sometime after AD 98 in Asia Minor and Thomas died in AD 72 in India, both still alive and remaining on Earth after the time when all these things take place as Jesus declared to His disciples on the Mt of Olives recorded in Matthew 24, verse 34.  

Many more questions arise. Could Paul have been among the countless numbers brought with Jesus, all having died before the Lord’s coming—as he had—and already risen? If those who remain are caught up together with them, do they come together all risen and meet the Lord in the sky? Does this include the untold numbers of saints from the earliest of times? Fantastic, mysterious language!

Why did Paul, writing to the Corinthians 5 years later about the resurrection (1 Cor 15) not even hint there, or anywhere else in the New Testament, of such phenomena as we read in this letter?

Is there some other explanation of how they meet up with the risen believers in the air? Do you think all the remaining saints really took off, leaving behind their corruptible bodies, rising into the clouds and meet the Lord there with those who died in Jesus? Taking it literally raises many difficult questions.

Think about Paul’s use of that word ‘caught up’ (Greek hapazo, to seize, carry off by force)here: he was caught up into paradise (2 Cor 12:22f). Let’s consider how can all believers have already come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:22-24)—just how have they come? What about John’s being ‘in the Spirit’ and being ‘called up here’ (Rev 1:10, 4:1)? And how Phillip could be suddenly ‘snatched away’ and was found at Azotus (Acts 8:39-40).

Are these not examples of ‘rapture’ without anyone leaving the Earth?

Paul was not that concerned with detailing the method of the Parousia—that was secondary. Comforting his readers’ fears was his objective. Paul was not writing a systematic theology for people living 2000 years in the future! Rather he writes to assure them that nothing can separate them from Christ (Rom 8:38).

Verses 16 and 17 contain highly symbolic, apocalyptic language like we find in Matthew 24:29-30 and in Revelation–angels, trumpets and the like.

Let’s try taking this not literally, but figuratively.

First, the remaining—including you and I today—are, and can be ‘caught up’, with those gone before, just like Paul was caught up into the third heaven (2 Cor 12:22ff). Was Paul here applying his experience to the Thessalonians as additional comfort?

And where? Well, not up into the air where the birds fly—Paul would have used a different Greek word, oranos.  No. Here Paul used the Greek, aer, not oranos (see Strongs). This aer is the air we all breathe, as God designed, spontaneously, the foundation of all life (Gen 2:7; 7:2,15), a ‘spiritual’ air, and a realm inhabited by spiritual beings (Eph 2:20), as Greek speakers in Paul’s day would have understood. In Greek mythology, aer was the god of the lower atmosphere in charge of the air breathed. (For more uses of the word aer see 1 Cor 9:2, 14:9; Eph 2:20; Rev 9:2, 16:17.)

In that space, we who believe remain forever with the Lord. Whether we live or die (Romans 14:8) we remain in a mystical union with Jesus that begins by faith and is with us for and into eternity. As William Neil wrote in his 1950 commentary of Thessalonians, being a part of that Body of which Christ is the Head. Jesus taught we already experience eternal life when we believe. And He said Truly, truly, I say to you, a time is coming and even now has arrived, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself . . (John 5:19-30)

 18 so, then, comfort one another with these words.

Would they have been comforted and encouraged if this was not going to happen in their lifetime? No.

If Jesus’ coming was near for them, as Paul wrote around 55 AD, and both they and their dead loved ones were raised and live eternally with Jesus, then the Parousia cannot be near for us today. If this happened to them as described and within their lifetime, then it is impossible for this be near for us.

Because we today look confidently to Jesus to raise each of us incorruptible in the future (though we cannot say when) we can conclude that Paul was writing figuratively in his earnest desire to comfort the distressed Thessalonians.

So we can take this figuratively and not literally. As I said, five years on when he wrote to the Corinthians, that mysterious language was absent. There he simply declared ‘I tell you a mystery’. Mystery!

When Paul writes to them by the word of the Lord (v.15), then we must take that literally: that we who are alive and remain . . .  shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. But in verses 16 and 17 it seems he was “prophesying in part, seeing dimly as by a mirror (NASB margin in a riddle)”?  Mystery!

Conclusion

I don’t believe that Paul taught that the Thessalonians were to be literally ‘caught up into clouds’. When I consider that Paul’s use elsewhere of his being ‘caught up’ and how other apostolic writers wrote of various ecstatic experiences, and his use of the Greek word, aer, helps me to make sense of this passage. 

If the Parousia is coming near for us today, as many teach, the Thessalonians all died without the comfort Paul was assuring them. So God did not come down from heaven and they were not ‘caught up’ then.

According to many Christian friends, this event is all in the future and it’s going to happen ‘soon’, 2000+ years after Paul wrote this letter? Has the meaning of the word ‘soon’ been changed to mean ‘sometime’?

Paul did not teach that the resurrection comes at the end of time as a single point-in-time event in the future. From what he wrote then, I can’t imagine Paul still now, ‘unclothed’—a disembodied spirit.

Paul concluded “so we will always be with the Lord”. Praise God! We can be encouraged as well—so shall we be also always with the Lord—nothing can separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:38). That’s something so clear and concrete that all His brothers and sisters can be in agreement as one.

What do you think? I am eager to hear your comments, both positive or critical.

He rescues me

I was recently asked to share a story in answer to the question “Have you ever been rescued?”

Yes!

The Almighty living true God, the One whom Jesus called Abba (Daddy) rescued me in May 1959.

He rescued me from a life of wondering what life was all about and transformed me into a new existence which biblical writers call “eternal life”.

I was blind, I was lost, I was enslaved to my own desires, imaginings and inclinations. My worldview changed overnight.

Yes, I have been rescued in every way.

God sent a black man from Uganda and his companion from Tanzania. As I listened to his story and saw his joy, I knew I had to have what this man, these people, so obviously had.

Yes, truly I have been rescued.

And I have been continually rescued day by day and year by year since then and today, more than ever, I am thankful.

The mighty God maintains each of my 70 billion body cells every second.

So I am so grateful to Him and to those two East Africans, whom He sent to rescue me.

Living in Fear?

Photo by Inzmam Khan on Pexels.com

It is clear to me that governments and mainstream media are either deliberately or

unwittingly collaborating the promotion of fear in the Western World.

Read what C.S. Lewis said here many years ago, to the British readers, so as to put things in perspective.

Of course, a much greater threat than Lewis lists here, is threatening us today. I refer to the immense satanic evil of the ominous one-world government that is being openly proposed which will radically change our way of life from freedom to slavery.

Nevertheless, we know that a better world awaits us who believe in the One who died for us and has set us free from fear and anxiety.

All you who read this, if you have not made reconciliation with Almighty God through his death, you must tremble.

But there is an alternative open to you. A way out.

And that is to change your mind, radically, completely and wholeheartedly about Jesus and commit your life into his hands and receive the gift of eternal life.

In doing so you will certainly receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and no longer live in abject fear.

America is feeding the Cuckoo

I heard The Spirit say, ”Sheep Nations must stop feeding the Cuckoo! America is feeding the Cuckoo!”

by Veronica West

As I heard those Words, I was a little confused as to it’s meaning. But as I inquired of The Holy Spirit, He immediately spoke these Words, ”Look to the Cuckoo, a parasitic bird, for its work is an abomination in My Sight. This bird is an imposter which has taken over the nest!”

As I heard those Words, I ran to a trusted bird manual and sure enough, I saw that the female Cuckoo bird watches the nests of other female birds, then the Cuckoo lays in wait, watching until the other female bird lays her eggs.

Then, when she flies off to find food, the female Cuckoo quickly goes and lays one egg in the nest of the other female bird.

Now when the bird returns from finding food, she is totally unaware of what has just happened and she sits and incubates all the eggs, including the Cuckoo egg.

Over time, the Cuckoo egg hatches and as soon as the Cuckoo chick emerges from its shell, it proceeds to throw out all the other eggs from the nest.

The Cuckoo chick is then fed and reared by the female bird until it’s fully grown and ready to fly the nest.

The female bird is totally unaware and blind to the fact that there is an imposter in her nest and that all her babies have been destroyed.

The Cuckoo chick is fed all day long, and the small female bird spends all day looking for food to feed the ravenous Cuckoo chick, who has an appetite of ten small chicks put together…

The Cuckoo chick is an imposter in the nest. It takes full advantage of the ignorance of the small female bird, and from the moment it hatches from its shell, it seeks to kill and destroy any of the other eggs or chicks in the nest so that it can be solely fed and reared in the nest.

Now, as I read about this interesting aspect of the Cuckoo bird being the imposter bird, I heard The Spirit say, ”America is feeding the Cuckoo!”

As I heard those Words, suddenly Joe Biden (an imposter) and the nation of China (also an imposter) both came up before me and I heard these Words, ”Listen! Watch and be alert! Pay close attention! For in this season, the sound of the Cuckoo… Cuckoo… will be heard.

For the time of Divine Exposures and a Righteous Unraveling has begun to take place in the Nations.

Watch, as the works of the sleight-of-hand will be uncovered and revealed.

Watch, as My Governing Hand moves to expose the demonic spirit of an imposter in the midst of you!

Watch, as I move strategically in the days ahead to cut off and stifle the supply lines that have feed the Cuckoo, for cry of the ravenous Cuckoo will soon be silenced!”

Blessings to you all.
~ by Veronika West

An Undeniable and Amazing Miracle

Let me share an amazing story, truly miraculous, which has unfolded early this year.

My son has an IT business with Egyptian-born Atef. Atef and his Philippine-born wife, Emelie were living on the Central Coast of New South Wales with their three young boys when she became pregnant again.   

In November 2020, Emelie was given the most distressing news by doctors at the local hospital. She faced the most dangerous possible outcome because of the baby’s position. The placenta was growing in a verticle crevice left by a previous caesarean delivery. The thin wall of the placenta could easily puncture.

When my wife Joan and I heard this terrible news from Atef, we began praying and then we recruited others praying day and night for the blessing of God upon them, for a miracle. It had to be a miracle.

She was then referred to the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney where she was told that the doctors would be assembling a team of specialists (not just obstetricians) to be on hand for a March delivery as the lives of both mother and baby would be in grave danger due to potential haemorrhaging. An all-day procedure would be necessary. When they asked the specialist about the odds of having a successful outcome, the doctors gave no reply. Could the situation rectify naturally? The specialist said that was impossible. They were told that even if the delivery was successful the growth of the child could be compromised.

Well, our prayers were about to be answered in an extraordinary way.

On the 7th of January, Atef and Emelie went to Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital for a scheduled scan of the pregnancy. Then they were told the most astonishing good news.

The scan at the Sydney Hospital revealed that Emeiie could expect to have a completely normal finish to her pregnancy. The specialist was stunned and said this was totally unexpected. He said the womb was completely normal and “it didn’t even look like she had undergone three previous C-sections”.

A few weeks later, the parents made another scheduled visit expecting Emelie to undergo an MRI scan. But after an Ultrasound was performed, the specialist they saw confirmed total normality! He had no explanation but had to acknowledge this was a miracle. There was no need to have the scheduled MRI, nor another visit to Sydney, and she was told she could have the baby at their local hospital.  Wow!

When they made the necessary arrangements for a March delivery at the local hospital, the medical staff were sounding very concerned that the procedure would not be without very serious results despite the recent scans at the Royal North Shore Hospital.  So they proceeded to have a team of specialists ready for the worst-case scenario, an all-day procedure. We kept trusting God and encouraged Atef as well.

The big day arrived. On 11th March, Emelie and Atef proceeded to the local hospital and there a beautiful, perfect baby girl weighing 3.5 kg was born by normal C-Section. There was no abnormal bleeding and the condition of the womb did not look as if there were any previous C-sections. They said, “there was not even any bad scarring visible!”

The climax of an amazing miracle.

Isn’t God wonderful! Atef and Emelie are over the moon. Excited. And so thankful to God and to all who joined in prayer. God loves us so very much. To God be the glory.

Surely, God intended the arrival of this precious little life and He intends many blessings for this family!

Rejoice with us and be encouraged in your faith and prayer life. Keep on asking!

Jesus died and rose and lives for us

Happy Easter! Christ is risen!

By Caleb Stephen and the team at CitizenGO

The everlasting message of Resurrection Sunday speaks life and love every calendar year. 

2021 is no exception. The world still faces a darkness that idolizes killing pre-born babies, destroying the family and promoting harmful curriculums in schools.  

The reality is that Christ has conquered death and given us immortality. We are made for eternity. 

This is why we rejoice: we as sinners have been redeemed. We have been saved at a high price – nothing less than God himself offered up to pay our debt. 

We have been released from the chains of mediocrity, sadness, hopelessness, fear, hunger, suffering, and even death. 

We do not deny that most of 2020 and 2021 have been difficult — with the health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19. Still, it is also true that our Hope transcends these current harsh realities.  

Because Christ has risen and has opened for us the doors of Paradise, a true homeland for you and for me. A place without darkness but also without hatred, bitterness, enmities, or unpaid debts. A homeland of joy, good humor, tenderness, and happiness. In short, a homeland of love for which we are created. To love and be fully happy.  

Do not let the difficulties of these present times rob you of that joy. Remember that Christ is stronger than death and, of course, the coronavirus.  

Happy Easter! Enjoy this Easter Sunday however you manage to spend it. 

There is nothing in this world that can change an empty tomb.