Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12)
There seem to be some Christians who are afraid that they will accidentally, or by some kind of clever ruse, be tricked into receiving the mark of the beast. However, Scripture teaches us that spiritual deception does not work that way, but is the inevitable destination of someone who willfully and consciously chooses to live in opposition to God's Word and ways. In Paul's teaching about the coming of the Antichrist, we are provided with a list which confirms exactly that, showing precisely what it takes to be deceived by Satan in the character of the Antichrist: "they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved" is the foundation leaving them vulnerable to "a deluding influence" ultimately causing them to "believe what is false" because "they did not believe the truth". This is succinctly summarized as "pleasure in wickedness". By standing in the future and looking back from the point of view of the end result, Paul is also giving us a test for apostasy, a kind of roadmap by which we can gage the progress of apostasy at its earliest stages in the present time. These are not merely measurements which we strictly apply to others, but even more importantly that we use for ourselves.
More than a year ago, a visitor to Walk with the Word noticed that one of the organizations we encourage Christians to financially support was Wycliffe Bible Translators. They wanted to know how we could support an organization which was purposely mistranslating the Scriptures for Muslim people groups so as not to offend them. Those of us directly connected to Walk with the Word not only have had tangible involvement in missions organizations, but long-time personal friends and ministry contacts at Wycliffe. Truthfully, we rejected this assertion out of hand and politely rebuked the submitter for making an accusation without providing tangible evidence to support it. To our dismay, we were then provided a host of documents and presentations which sort of politely rebuked us right back. As it turned out, not only had members of Wycliffe/SIL published mistranslated Scripture so as not to offend Muslim-centric people groups when it comes to the issue of Jesus "the Son of God" and "God the Father", but there were executives actually advertising this "advancement" as part of their recruiting presentations to enlist new translators to the ranks. Since then we have become aware of a host of websites, blogs and online forums all devoted to this issue.
A pastor friend of mine wrote and sent me this saying, "I couldn't help but write this after I prayed through our church's prayer chain today." I think it's meaning is self-explanatory.
|The Local Church in America||The Persecuted Church Throughout the World|
|J.V. "“ Pray for my 6-year-old son Johnny. He's had a soreÃ‚Â throat for 4 days. Pray that he will get well and be able toÃ‚Â play soccer again.||V.J. "“ Pray for the B family whose son's throat was slitÃ‚Â by Muslim extremists on his way to school. Pray for thisÃ‚Â family during their grief, and ask for protection for theirÃ‚Â other three children. The police have not filed charges.|
|B.K. "“ Pray for the S family; their favorite pet Fido has been diagnosed with cancer and the vet is telling them the chemotherapy may run around $6000! They are praying that God will provide the necessary funds.||K.B. "“ Pray for the C family. Islamic extremists burned their house and crops, and killed their goats. Now they have little to eat. Pray for the rest of the village to rise up and help meet their daily needs.|
|S.P. "“ Please pray for me that God will help me lose weight.||P.S. "“ Please pray for us. We have no grain left due to the drought and we have not eaten more than a handful of rice in 7 days.|
|C.L. "“ We have opened escrow on our new four- bedroom, 3-bath house. Pray that God will see that the escrow closes as soon as possible. We have outgrown our 3-bedroom house.||L.C. "“ Last night our village was burned by Muslim rebels. We are now hiding in the jungle praying that the rebels will not find us. The monsoons start next week.|
|M.N. "“ My car needs fixing. Pray that God will provide the funds.||N.M. "“ The village chief, who is Muslim and has threatened us to leave our village, has taken possession of our water buffalo and we now have no way to plow our field. He says infidels should not live among Allah's chosen ones.|
|T.U. "“ Pray for my daughter. She's being bullied at school by some mean girls.||U.T. "“ Pray for A.B.. She was falsely accused of blaspheming Islam and has been in prison for over a year. She has been sentenced to death under Shiria law. There is a fatwa on her family.|
|L.H. "“ Pray that B will win his football game. He's worked so hard this year.||H.L. "“ Pray for our church in Shanghai. The government has barricaded the doors shut saying that we are an illegal church, even though we've been trying to become registered for 3 years. Now they will not allow us to meet in a park and many of our members have been imprisoned.|
|R.S. "“ Our daughter J is having difficulty deciding which college God wants her to attend. She wants her decision to be God's will and is waiting for an answer or a sign.||S.R. "“ Pray that God will give me the grace to make good bricks. That is the only kind of work my class is allowed in B.. Pray that I will show great love to my Hindu boss.|
|I.W. "“ Please pray for my daughter who has been struggling with acne and needs to look good for her senior prom.||W.I. "“ Please pray for my Christian daughter K.. A suitor threw acid in her face because she refused to marry him, a Muslim man twice her age. She is now in the hospital, blinded in both eyes. The doctors say she will be permanently disfigured.|
Because of reports that visitors to the Moriel website might have experienced infection by malicious software often called a "trojan" or "virus", we have twice taken down the website and, in concert with technical resources supplied by our host provider, conducted scans in concert with the implementation of additional monitoring tools. In spite of a clean bill of health, a small percentage of visitors still report problems. Not every infection is caused by visiting a particular site. One of their tricks is to make it look that way in order to disguise their true origin. Because this is not happening to every visitor, the most likely cause is limited to people using a computer that is not current with its operating system updates, not using the latest version of a good antivirus package, not using the latest version of their preferred web browser, or a combination of all three. We strongly encourage everyone to make sure their system is up to date in each of these areas.
However, we are going to take the added precaution of redeploying the Moriel website to an entirely new server just to eliminate the possibility of something undetectable taking place on the current server. Because we are an all-volunteer organization, this will take a little longer than we would like, but we anticipate that this will be fully accomplished by the end of February.
Moriel received the following question:
Has Moriel heard of the allegedly "prophetic" ministry of Graham Cooke from Manchester, England who presently is in leadership in a church called "Mission" in California?
Manchester, England, where Moriel has an affiliated church in neighbouring Reddish and where I once lived doing evangelistic ministry in the Jewish community (and where my grandfather was born), is a spiritually destitute city that does not need to export preachers, it needs to import them.Ã‚Â But the climate and affluence are much nicer in California (where Moriel also has an affiliated church). Graham Cooke apparently left from a church in South Hampton (where I sometimes speak at the local Calvary Chapel). Graham Cooke was not a well-known figure in British evangelical circles before he left for America at the apparent expense of his marriage and, because Ã‚Â of that, his witness to the lost.
Then he said to me, "Write, "˜Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'" And he said to me, "These are true words of God." Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Revelation 19:9-10)
The Apostle John, through the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit of course, authored what is arguably two of the deepest and most important books of the Bible. The Gospel of John is often cited as the number one choice desired by those who theoretically become stranded on a desert island and can only have on book. From an earthly perspective of the Messiah, it is one of the most important books in history. But ironically the Apostle John also produced Revelation, which looks at future history from a heavenly perspective. (The repeated return to what is happening in heaven throughout Revelation is the "glue" that binds the themes of Revelation together.) John, as a kind of celestial court reporter, provides a transcription of how heaven sees things. He is unique in being used to author works which provide insight into the Lamb from both of these drastically different perspectives.
Remarkably, the angel at the forefront of conveying the heavenly visions provided to John places both the earthly record of the Gospel of John and this embodiment of heavenly revelations on equal footing. "For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" is a statement that these two seemingly different books are actually two sides of the same coin. The writings and teachings of the Apostles about the Lamb who came to take away the sins of the world in the Gospels is the very spirit, life and soul of the prophecies in Revelation describing the concluding work of the one and only Lamb who brings all things to an ultimate fulfillment. The testimony of all the Apostles and Prophets who bore witness to Christ is the flipside of the coin to the spirit of prophecy endowed to the angels relating it back through the Apostle John. I believe this to be foundational to the interpretation of Scripture: there can be no right and sound eschatology without right and sound theology. Biblical prophecy is not exempted from any of the rules of interpretation employed to establish the foundational doctrines of the rest of Scripture. In fact, it is impossible without them.
The following was written to Jacob:
What might be the greater spiritual meaning of Joseph's gifts to Benjamin?
"To each of them he gave changes of garments, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five changes of garments." (Genesis 45:22)
I know that silver always has something to do with redemption and garments with one's deeds, but I'm not quite connecting the dots here. Commentators seem to universally dismiss this as simply Joseph's affection for Benjamin and at most connect it to the number "5" which they believe is the biblical number for "grace". But since I don't believe such details are merely given as window dressing to the story, I was wondering what you thought.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near. (Revelation 1:1-3)
I get the feeling that many people rush past the opening verses of Revelation (perhaps even the first few chapters) in order to get to the seals, trumpets and bowls"”what they feel is the "important" part of the Book. There are two very important conditions which are provided in these opening verses which make all the difference for understanding everything else to come: (1) This is not something that is written for everyone, but given "to show His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place", and (2) hearing and reading this Scripture (as with all Scripture, actually) must be followed up with heeding it"”that is, putting it into practice. If the Book of Revelation is written exclusively for those who are in a right relationship with Christ who are actually putting His Word into practice, what are the odds it will ever make sense to those living contrary to His Word and ways?
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:1-7)
This is probably one of the best biblical description of what is taking place spiritually with the Occupy Wall Street and similar movements of unrest in the Western world. I cannot begin to number the editorials, news reports and articles in every form of media that has crossed my path which espouse disbelief and incredulity at what is taking place, both secular and Christian. Repeatedly we receive reports that even when the protestors finally articulate some kind of demand, position or statement that can be understood, it is in direct contradiction to their actions and attitude. Their hypocrisy puzzles just about everyone. They claim to be holding to the finest traditions of America and the Civil Rights Movement, but their actions certainly do not prove it. By most third-party accounts the participants are insane, claiming things which directly conflict with their subsequent words and actions. This is supposed to be something new? I'm supposed to be surprised at this? For years prior to the Occupy movement anyone could have reported the exact same things about the church and those calling themselves "Christian": it is hard to know what they stand for, their actions almost always contradict their words, and they do not seem to bear any resemblance to the legacy and heritage they claim to come from. The hypocrisy and insanity in the world is merely a reflection of the hypocrisy and insanity in Christendom.
Moriel Ministries has initiated the Jacob Prasch Channel on YouTube. While we appreciate those who have previously posted Jacob's sermons in their own channels or under their own accounts (and would encourage you to continue to do so), it is important for those familiar with Moriel Ministries to understand what we are specifically attempting to do in this particular instance.
We are specifically making an effort to reach the unsaved, particularly that demographic which is most attracted to YouTube. Most of us old timers find it surprising to learn that the U.S. 18-35 year-old population spends more time on YouTube than all other media outlets combined, even television. I have seen this in my own household where a couple of twenty-somethings spend hours on any given day on their laptops with YouTube, even while sitting in front of the television.
For this particular segment of the unsaved population, we do not believe they will appreciate having to try and watch each of 15 parts of a sermon or something which requires more than an hour's worth of attention. Ã‚Â By definition, what appeals to them are short videos that are self-contained. So what we are specifically trying to do is excerpt short clips (less than 10 minutes max) which in and of themselves address a whole topic. We hope you will understand that this particular endeavor is intended as an outreach to the unsaved and that you will link unsaved friends and family to these video clips as appropriate.
Finally, for those of you who have already come across the channel, please be assured that Jacob is not ignoring your YouTube requests to be "friends" or to in turn subscribe to your own channels. Jacob is not actually running the channel as it is being handled by ministry volunteers. Don't take it personally that we are ignoring all such requests; we are merely trying to upload relevant content from Jacob's sermons. If you're even vaguely aware of Jacob's globe-trotting speaking schedule, you know he couldn't possibly have time to undertake something like this personally.
Please pray that we can contextualize the Gospel in a manner that will reach a generation whose culture and worldview is different from our own.