The Apocalypse…God’s Doing or God’s Allowing?

When the Apocalypse comes, when the 7 seals are opened, when the bowls of God’s wrath are spilled on the earth, when the fecal matter hits the air circulation unit, will this be something that God does or something that God allows?

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When Noah and his family left the ark, Noah sacrificed to God. And this is what happened then (Genesis 8:21 CJB):

 Adonai smelled the sweet aroma, and Adonai said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, since the imaginings of a person’s heart are evil from his youth; nor will I ever again destroy all living things, as I have done.

This is the reason I ask if God will be the one who destroys the earth. If he does, meaning that God, himself, directly performs the curses that come from the opening of the seals and the bowls of wrath, then he is breaking his covenant with Noah, isn’t he?

Yet, if God doesn’t actually do the “bad” things, but the bad things happen because of something God doesn’t do, then is that the same as actually doing something?

I know, I know…it sounds like a convoluted bit of excuse-making, but it is, I believe, important to know whether God actively destroys the world or simply doesn’t prevent it.

Regarding Deuteronomy 28, which is referred to as the Blessings and the Curses Chapter, I have often stated that the blessings we receive are actively given to us by God. He directly causes these good things to occur. However, the curses, which are the exact opposite of the blessings, aren’t actively sent to us by God, but instead are visited on us because God is not actively blessing us.

In other words, the world is already a cursed and fallen place and tsouris is what we should expect when living in a cursed and fallen world. The blessings we receive are God’s kippur, his covering, which protects us from the curses. When we are obedient to the instructions God gave us regarding how to live and worship him, he protects us from the world. That is why blessings are given and curses are sent, although they really aren’t sent because you can’t send what is already here.

I believe that when we read of the destruction of the world in the Book of Revelation that is the same sort of thing. Yes, the bowls are of God’s wrath, and yes, the 7 seals were sealed up by God, but it isn’t God who opens the seals and it isn’t God who pours the wrath upon the earth.

Revelation 6:3 says that the rider on the red horse was to take away the peace of the world and cause people to slaughter themselves; it isn’t the rider or God who is slaughtering the people, they are killing themselves.

In Revelation 7 we are told that God says to the destroying angels to wait until the servants of God have received their seals to protect them; as I said, God will not be causing the destruction to follow but is protecting those who are his own from it.

As for the rule of the Beast, it is allowed to rule. It has always been here, and since it is will be allowed to rule, that means prior to that time it was kept from ruling anything.

The seven bowls of fury are poured out on the earth, but the authorization comes from a voice from the Sanctuary (Rev.16:1) and the bowls were given to the angels by one of the living creatures. The bowls are filled with God’s wrath, which is just and correct because of all the sins of the world, but God is not pouring them out, himself, he is just allowing it to happen.

Do you see the subtle difference I am trying to point out?  God has been protecting us from the consequences of our sins all this time. His wrath and judgment are correct and justified, but he has withheld the punishment we deserve. It won’t be until the end of his patience when he will no longer hold back the judgment we all deserve, and then he will allow the angels, his executioners, to do their job.

From the moment God told Noah he will not destroy life again, he has been actively protecting the world by suspending the execution of his righteous and perfect judgment of the sinners in the world. He is waiting, hoping that he can issue a reprieve from the judgment his holiness demands he makes upon the world. In Ezekiel 18:23 he says that he doesn’t get any pleasure from the death of the sinner but would rather they turn from their sin and live, and since the days of Noah he has been giving everyone as much time as he can to do just that.

God will not destroy the world any more than a judge kills a criminal found guilty of a capital crime. The judge orders the punishment, the executioner performs it, but the one who is really responsible for the death of the guilty person is the person, himself.

Thank you for being here and please share these messages with others. I would also ask that you subscribe, check out my books, my entire website and don’t hesitate to comment if you would like to agree or even if you want to argue. Just be nice.

Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Sticks and Stones…

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I try to keep these posts related to the word of God and to steer away from political or social issues. Yet, politics and society are also something that is very closely related to what is happening on a spiritual level. With that in mind, I really need to get this off my chest.

Let’s talk about Rosanne Barr and what happened with her.

For those that may not be aware, Rosanne is a comedienne who had a hit show in the 1980’s as the wife in a blue-collar family with politically incorrect ideals. She was outspoken and a strong feminist. Recently ABC television has re-booted her show to demonstrate that they are willing to put on more conservative shows, being labelled as a liberal network. Rosanne recently “tweeted” about a past government official that had undertones of a possibly racist comment. She was immediately fired and her show cancelled.

The liberal front applauds this action, and the conservatives ask why ABC states that those racist and improper comments are not part of their corporate culture, yet have failed to apologize for the stingers and insults they have hurled at the Conservative politicians and the President.

Before I talk about this I want to say something clearly and unequivocally: racism is wrong. Hatred is wrong. Bigotry is wrong. I do not believe that anyone should use racist language or hateful accusations against another.

I also believe that when someone accuses another person of something, until that accusation is proven to be true the person accused is innocent. When two or more people have an issue both sides should be given an equal chance to give their side of the story and mediation should be the first choice. Neither of these things happen anymore in this country.

I have seen and also been the victim of unfair and unjustified accusations in the workplace and also where I have volunteered. I once corrected someone I was mentoring as a Docent at the Philadelphia Zoo who was giving bad information during a training session.  I was NOT nasty or mean- I simply told her she needed to study up more.  She went off and cried about it and another woman heard her and asked what was wrong. I don’t know what was said between them, but the one who interfered was not present at the training and did not hear what I said to the trainee, yet she complained about me and next thing I knew I was told I couldn’t be a mentor anymore, or even teach classes to the trainees. Another time I was accused of sexual harassment at the place I worked and told I would have to take a sexual harassment test and sign a letter acknowledging the claim. I asked who accused me and what did I do and was told they wouldn’t tell me. I refused to do what they said without knowing why, and filed my own complaint. When the facts came out it was discovered that the investigation was totally one-sided and that the person who accused me was not even an employee. The person was in the public cafeteria and overheard someone else talking about a joke they THINK I may have told someone else. The eavesdropper thought that the joke MIGHT be upsetting to someone and complained to HR. HR ran with this and immediately created a sexual harassment case out of nothing more than hearsay from someone who wasn’t an employee and was invading someone else’s private conversation! I was totally innocent, never found out who said what or if I even was really the person they were talking about. Yet, my reputation was damaged.

More recently in the public and corporate world Starbucks had two Black men arrested for loitering and ended up shutting down all their stores to hold anti-bias training.  Dove, H&M and Old Navy corporations have all apologized for what employees have (or may have) done to upset people of different races. Netflix fired Kevin Spacey on allegations of sexual improprieties. Again- not after he was found guilty in a court of law, but just because someone accused him. Maybe he is guilty, maybe not, but this country is based upon the idea that someone is innocent until proven guilty.

At least, it used to be that way.

Looking at this from a spiritual view, I see the enemy at work in these actions. What I see happening is that we are becoming an overly sensitive nation of victims where free speech is becoming illegal. If I say something that even has a hint of being politically incorrect it is immediately flagged as bigoted, sexist or racist and I am wrong. It doesn’t matter if it was purposefully nasty or an accidental slip of the tongue. In today’s world whoever complains first, wins. Investigations don’t mean getting both sides of the story anymore. Today investigations mean asking the accuser what happened and seeing if anyone else will confirm it, then telling the accused they are wrong. And because of this immediate finding of guilt, even if later it’s discovered to have been a mistake it won’t matter to the accused because that person’s reputation is now permanently stained.

The way to take charge of a nation is to remove its freedoms; one of the most important freedoms is that of free thought and free speech. Now, don’t go off on a tangent and think I am saying anyone can say anything about anybody. I am not saying that. What I am saying is that when people are being treated unfairly and there is immediate and sever reaction (not action but RE-action) to statements they make, it gets to the point where everyone will be afraid to say anything against anyone else for fear of being persecuted.

Yes, I said persecuted and I meant it. Rosanne Barr is not a favorite of mine, but to be treated the way she was is (to me) a form of persecution- guilty without opportunity to repent. And when she did repent, she was not forgiven. Even though the person who she sinned against has said it was something she is not going to be upset about, those who weren’t even subject to the “slammer” are still unforgiving. As if they were the ones who were hurt.

They weren’t hurt but they are afraid.  Afraid of social media coming against them. The REAL reason they are afraid is this: they don’t want to lose money! They are willing to lose the show’s income in the short run to avoid losing sponsors in the long run. And the sponsors are afraid of losing customers (money) if they are associated with a show that had a star say something wrong. Even though what that person said was not part of the show or had anything to do with the network or its sponsors.

Can you see where this leads? By having a nation of self-centered and emotionally weak people, the enemy will be able to manipulate the national lack of confidence and victim-mindset to create an environment of fear. It is wrong to say bad things about people based on their sex, race or religion, but I see this over-sensitivity and over-reaction becoming something that the enemy will use to expand upon to the point where people will be afraid to speak out at all. Then when the enemy speaks against Messiah, no one will argue. When he speaks against the Lord, no one will dare stand up to him for fear of being called racist or possibly losing their job. And when the enemy proclaims himself as the one we should be worshiping, no one will stand against him for fear that they will be ostracized and persecuted.

This is what I see happening and I hope that some of you out there reading this can also see what I am seeing. These events may seem like nothing more than social and political mishaps, but it is really the spiritual battle we have been warned about.

When I was a child we used to say, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”

Today we say: “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words are now a Felony.” 

The time is now when the enemy of God will try to take over the world and the best way to make people do what you want is to take away their courage to stand against you. If you can make people afraid to speak out against someone for fear of being labelled in a non-socially acceptable way, you are half-way to total control.

Yeshua says in Matthew 17:15-20 that we can tell who someone is by their fruits. For me, if someone says something that demonstrates they are racist or sexist, their own words convict them and we should just ignore them. Again, I am not saying to be racist or bigoted is acceptable and if someone is doing something that is harmful, physically, to another they should be punished. But if someone’s speech and opinion just shows how stupid they are, ignore them.  Let them have their opinion and allow them to show themselves to be what they are. When David was cursed at by Shimei the Benjamite as he fled from Absalom (2 Samuel 6:13) David ignored him. Proverbs says that a soft word can turn fierce anger and we are told not to return evil for evil but to wait upon the Lord. These are all biblical examples of being strong enough, emotionally and spiritually to ignore what isn’t important.

I do not like people being nasty to each other, but we are humans and that is part of what we are. I see it constantly even in discussion groups composed of Believers.  It isn’t good but it is what it is and it isn’t going away until the Olam Haba (world to come), so let’s stop being so sensitive and just get on with the important stuff.

The day that we can’t voice an opinion without being persecuted for it is the day we are no longer free.

Jesus, the Son of the Father: Are we talking the Messiah or the Murderer?

We all know the accounting of the trial of Jesus (Yeshua), and how Pilate offered the mob a choice: kill Jesus, the king of the Jews or kill the condemned murderer, Barabbas?  The mob (which was actually controlled by the few, politically powerful men who wanted Yeshua out of their hair) screamed to kill Yeshua.  So the murderer Barabbas, a sinful man who was rebellious to the authorities above him, was released and saved from the death he deserved, and Yeshua, an innocent man who wanted nothing more than to properly interpret the Torah and lead people closer to God, was savagely tortured, nailed to a tree and left hanging until He suffocated to death.

FYI: when crucified, if shock from being nailed to a tree didn’t immediately kill you, death came slowly and tortuously because your body would begin to slump, and with your arms above your chest eventually you would have your airway blocked and you then suffocated.

In some circles, it is believed that Barabbas’ full name was Yeshua Barabbas, which when translated means “salvation, the son of the father.” Now, isn’t that interesting?  So the “son of the father” was freed from sin and death by the sacrifice of “the Son of the Father!” Which, consequently, allowed all people to be saved from the consequences of their sinfulness.

This information may not be new to many of you, but I confess I never really thought about it until recently. Wouldn’t it be interesting if Pilate misunderstood the mob? What I mean is, maybe they were really calling for Barabbas to die and to release Yeshua, but since they both had pretty much the same name, Pilate got it wrong?  That would mean, if Pilate did crucify the wrong man, that  what most of Christianity has taught for 2000 years, specifically that the Jews killed Jesus, would be false!  The right man was crucified, from the standpoint of God’s plan of salvation, but maybe the Jews have been given a bum rap all these years? Maybe we didn’t kill Jesus? Maybe we really wanted to accept Him as Messiah and it was that Roman doofus, Governor Pilate, who didn’t know the difference between Yeshua bar Yosef and Yeshua bar Abbas, that deserves the blame?

For the record: Jews didn’t kill Jesus, and neither did the Romans, it was sin that was the real cause of Jesus having to die.

Well, well…this is an interesting thought, but it isn’t what happened. The mob cried for the Messiah to die; Pilate knew the difference between the murderer Barabbas and the king of the Jews; the right man was crucified and the sins of all men (and women) were nailed to that tree with Him. Not the law, not the Torah, not the commandments, but the consequence of our sin of rejecting those things is what died with Yeshua.

You see, once the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, there was no place for people to perform the guilt or sin sacrifice, which meant to the Jews that rejected Yeshua they would have no way to atone, thereby able to avoid dying in their sin. Just think for a second how terrible a realization that must have been to them! Yeshua’s sacrifice replaced the need to bring your sacrifice to the Temple, which is how we avoid the consequences of our sin when we repent and ask forgiveness through His name.

Please note that repentance (T’Shuvah) is mandatory for forgiveness- just confessing that you sinned and asking forgiveness, when you really aren’t sorry, really don’t care and don’t have any plans to stop sinning, is not going to get the job done.

The fact that both Yeshua and Barabbas had pretty much the same name (when translated) is an interesting point: it’s not earth shattering, it’s nothing that will affect your salvation, nothing that will turn heads and make people say, “WOW!!”….it’s just an interesting point.  The Messiah and a rebellious murderer had the same name, the same fate and the same judge, but the innocent died and the guilty was freed.  Now, what makes it more interesting (to me) than anything else is not the coincidence, but the similarity to me: I was the guilty, rebellious murderer (of myself) and Yeshua was innocent, but through His death I was set free.

And it can be the same with you: if you are reading this and haven’t accepted Yeshua as your Messiah, who will expiate your sins and provide the justification you need for redemption, then maybe you have been crucifying the wrong person?