(Part 5) End Time is a contiguous event…

There are five On That Day sequential events to keep this study of End Time distinct:

  1. The appointed 7-year time of tribulation for Israel i.e., Jerusalem.
    1. 3 ½ years of a false peace.
    1. 3 ½ years of trials for Israel sometimes identified as Jacob’s Troubles    
  2. The time between the end of the 7-years, 3 1/5 of Jacob’s Trouble and Jesus setting up his Millennial Kingdom. He judges the nations between the end of the Tribulation and his Millennial Reign.
  3. The 1,000-year Millennial Kingdom
  4. Satan is released, his final run at overthrowing Jesus on earth begins for a short time.
  5. Eternity: one of two places. Both are permanent destinations, but neither is a grave.

2 Timothy 3:1-5

Verse 1: But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. To know, ginōskō, means “to know absolutely” [ginōskō; G1097, Strong’s]. Have NO doubt or question of its actuality. It will be evident to all. None can or will then deny it. Some, if not many, will think it circumstances as supported in verse 2. Mankind will try to ignore or refute anything when s/he does not know or understand, or it is self-serving to deny the truth. Check out verses 2 – 5.

This is the last half of the 7-year tribulation. This phase of “that day” explains what is going on in the world and specifically Israel. Times of difficulty is not singular. It is a continuum of difficult days. It is no joking matter but could be like one saying…” If it wasn’t for one’s bad luck, s/he wouldn’t have any luck at all”. This is not, however, an issue of luck, good or bad. It is inescapable. A fierce, perilous time [Strong’s G5467] like never before and never will be again. Matthew 24:21.

Verse 2: For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy…” Look around society today. Is there evidence of this today? Is it getting worse? This time period today is the hem of the garment of what is yet to come. People will be totally sold out to being:

  1. Lovers of self
  2. Lovers of money
  3. Proud
  4. Arrogant
  5. Abusive
  6. Disobedient to parents (authorities)
  7. Ungrateful
  8. Unholy (wicked by choice; denying God even exists)

Verse 3: …”unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despising of good…”

Consider today’s society. Do we see today as in verse three that people willingly call good evil and evil good? Even more concerning is, there will be people who know better but willingly accept these deceptions of truth; probably his or her attempt to be politically correct. Some will try hard to eliminate any history s/he feels is contrary to their personal or group agendas (kingdom against kingdomLord’s Prayer). This includes personal or group agendas against some other or other’s agendas. We do not need scripture to point this out. Just look at and follow the secular news. Smash & grab, BLM trumpeting points, KKK, district attorney’s refusing to call crime for what it is, cop killers, destruction of properties just to destroy, gender cancellation, the fight over a baby’s right to birth, political greed, etc. This splitting of sides is exactly what Matthew 24:7 means when it says, Kingdom against kingdom.” Agendas today are colliding in open warfare.

Verse 4:”treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…,” and the list continues. Does one see even one of these items listed as not currently true in society? To say “yes” would in and of itself be slanderous, arrogant, a despiser of truth. Although these societal and cultural differences have existed for thousands of years, they are accelerating; no longer subtle issues within a divided global society.

 JIV NOTE: We often hear the passage found in 11 Thessalonians to let no man deceive us. Less often do we hear the passage in 1 Corinthians that says, Let no man deceive himself.”

Verse 5: …” having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.” Keeping this discussion simple, if there is one God, (capital “G”) why are there so many denominations, religions, multiple definitions of right and wrong, pew dwellers, people making a laughing joke out of Christianity? Answer: Mankind’s free will to make God what HE wants it or him to be.

Is it church-goers that best define worship or is it the dedicated believer? Can one worship with unbelievers, those who attend church more out of habit than true worship? Sadly, there is even a division between doing church-like things instead of true worship and recognition of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Is it an appearance of godliness but no recognition or experience of the power of God? God’s power is being denied beyond salvation in some of the most conservative churches and denominations. Might it be that worshipers only find time for the symbolism of the workings of the Holy Spirit if it is a line-item in the church bulletin? Perhaps some prefer the Holy Spirit to not even be in attendance in the weekly worship service. The real question is “what do people (Christians and pew dwellers) define as worship?” Can true worship be so if unequally yoked with unbelievers IN CHURCH?

We find all of this as a lead up to the actuality of end time. These are the warning signs of which true believers must be aware and take notice. Without this knowledge one will not even see it coming; even when it has begun. We already know that Christ will return in a cloud like a thief in the night [1 Thessalonians 5:2] , at the twinkling of an eye. There is no room or time left, when this happens, to find the time to reference the Bible truths to see if something is Bible-based, or an aberration. Blink once and one will understand the time it will take for this to be fulfilled.

Have you ever wondered during the past few months if the seven-year tribulation has already begun? I know that it hasn’t yet started because Scripture says that we will be with the Lord before the antichrist establishes a covenant with Israel that starts the clock ticking for this time of God’s wrath (Daniel 9:27; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8). [Jonathan Brentner]

*Here is the real question for personal preparedness and study leading up to not only knowledge but understanding. Do the events discussed up to this point come during or prior to the beginning of End Time Tribulation? Go back to verse 3:1

What we see in this world today is a prelude, the seed soon to blossom. This is the setting of the stage for the beginning of the Tribulation in that day.  We call it End Time. Just as these seeds are taking root, as found in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, these casualties on earth will grow in intensity.

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2022

At the twinkling of an eye between understanding and choice leaves NO TIME for a choice. It will then be too late. Many are not even actively seeking knowledge [I Corinthians 15:52] but only desire religious activities.
Read from bottom to top of this list

*Action

Choice

Understanding

Knowledge

Awareness

(Part 4) End Time is one contiguous event

There are five On That Day sequential events to keep this study of End Time distinct:

  1. The appointed 7-year time of tribulation for Israel i.e., Jerusalem.
    1. 3 ½ years of a false peace.
    1. 3 ½ years of trials for Israel sometimes identified as Jacob’s Troubles    
  2. The time between the end of the 7-years of Jacob’s Trouble and Jesus setting up his Millennial Kingdom. He judges the nations between the end of the Tribulation and his Millennial Reign.
  3. The 1,000-year Millennial Kingdom
  4. Satan is released, his final run at overthrowing Jesus on earth begins for a short time.
  5. Eternity: one of two places. Both destinations are permanent but neither is a grave.

If what God created was good, according to Genesis 1:4, 1:10, 12, 18, and 25, how did it go bad? (cf. Genesis 1:31). Not only was it good, but some translations say it was VERY GOOD. Let’s not ignore the Serpent in the room. SATAN. Sin did not begin with man. It began with Satan. End Time has as much to do with the history of Satan and his fallen minion angels. Why? This battle between evil and good began with Satan while he still resided in heaven. As true of humans, one of the greatest challenges is wanting something so bad, one is willing to destroy it to keep it out of their hands. This is Satan at work on earth!!!

Satan wanted to be the ruler of Heaven. Jesus referred to Satan as “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). Satan’s initial ambition was to rule the heavens. He had to settle, albeit temporarily, for another of God’s creations, the world itself. Bottom line is this battle is between two powers…God and Satan. Here is a try battle of the only super-natural superpowers: God and Satan. We are living in the time of this battle of good and evil. Yet, the evil one or son of perdition has not yet been revealed. This guy is not Satan. We already know about him. This is the Antichrist who is yet to be revealed.

Lucifer was a creation of God. He is “One of these angelic-like creatures—which is actually called a “cherub” (Ezekiel 28:14,16)—was named ‘Lucifer’ (Isaiah 14:12), and Lucifer wanted to [be glorified] glorify himself instead of the Lord Jesus Christ. Lucifer wanted to be ‘like the most High’ (Isaiah 14:14): he wanted to be “possessor of heaven and earth’”.  He desired the praise that the Lord, the Creator, alone deserved. This creature fell into sin, and was re-named “Satan” (Hebrew for “adversary”): Satan became God’s chief enemy (*Ezekiel 28:11-19)…” (by Shawn Brasseaux; emphasis)

NOTE: Satan is also identified in scripture as the *King of Tyrus in Ezekiel 28:12-17. Keep this in mind as we study End Time. Satan wanted to be LIKE the most High. There is but one God. Satan did not create God; God created him. Satan knows this but his pride drives him to be desired and worshiped by others. After all, Lucifer means the morning bright light.

Here is an issue seldom found in commentaries and not likely to be heard from many if any pulpit. Do oneself a true discipleship practice. Examine in several bible translations of the words found in Ezekiel 28:16”the merchandise of thy (Satan’s) trading.” This should prick the curiosity of Bible students of what was or may have been going on prior to the creation of earth? Merchandise? Trading? A strong curiosity with all the universes, planets, suns, stars, other galaxies we know of that exist light-years apart. What was Lucifer in charge of while in heaven as a cherub? Consider the impossible. How many years back in eternity did Satan begin existing as a created being? Is the scientific phrase “light-years” a distance also created back in Genesis 1?

 JIV: Other galaxies are not our concern in this commentary, but this end of earth certainly is. Satan was a cherub angel. To find a description of a cherub, go to Ezekiel 10:14. A huge curiosity. Later in ahabiblemoments.com we will have a short commentary series on angels, their roles, their existence, there very being and responsibilities in heaven and on earth.

Continuing in this vein of aha or thought, cntrl/click on Ezekiel 28:19. This means there will be no “forever on earth” for Satan. This is God’s judgement yet to come following the Millennial reign of Christ on earth. Sounds a bit like the ending of End Time. Satan is more than an enemy to be defeated according to Ezekiel 28:19b. Satan will be and is fighting for his very existence. He knows it because God told him it would be his destiny.

JIV NOTE: God created *all things to be glorified by his creation (Revelation 4:11). Since we are created in the image of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we tend to desire being recognized by others for the things we accomplish in life. But… what may be these “things” in life to be credited to us as individuals? (2 Corinthians 5:10).

All things mean just that…all things: man, beast, nature, galaxies, universes.

Satan has a primary responsibility for the end time tribulation because of his challenge to God’s commands to worship God alone. He wants to be an equal to God as is Jesus. Perhaps in a very real way, he wanted to be in the shoes of Jesus. Not as a sacrifice for the sins of the human race, but as an object to be praised, worshiped, and ordained of God and perhaps a god in his own rights.

The one who withholds Satan is removed [2 Thessalonians 2:6–7]. Satan desires nothing less than to destroy God’s chosen people of Israel. Such is the rationale for the multiple invasions and multiple attempts to destroy Jerusalem over history. The tribulation is about the end of earth AND Jacob’s Trouble during this 7-years of history; one that is yet to be written. We find this in Jeremiah 30:7. But In That Day, Satan too will have an ending. A final destiny that puts him out of commission.

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2022

Closing thought: 2 Thessalonians 2:6–7Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,”

(Part 3) End Time is one contiguous event

There are five On That Day sequential events to keep distinct in this End Time study:

Photo by Jonathan Meyer on Pexels.com
  1. The appointed 7-year time of tribulation for Israel i.e., Jerusalem.
    1. 3 ½ years of a false peace. Temple rebuilt(?)
    2. 3 ½ years of trials for Israel sometimes identified as Jacob’s Troubles    
  2. The time between the end of the 7-years of Jacob’s Trouble and Jesus setting up his Millennial Kingdom. He judges the nations between the end of the Tribulation and his Millennial Reign.
  3. The 1,000-year Millennial Kingdom. Satan bound and non-influential.
  4. Satan is released, his final run at overthrowing Jesus on earth begins for a short time.
  5. Eternity: one of two places. Both destinations are permanent, but neither is a grave.

2 Thessalonians 2…

According to God’s timetable, the Day of the Lord and its accompanying judgment will not start until two things first happent: a global rebellion occurs, and the Antichrist is revealed. Paul then mentions what is currently keeping the evil one, man of sin, in check. “And now you know what is holding him back, so that he [Antichrist] may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed” (verses 6–8).

This End Time article will help a learner to distinguish between the 2nd Advent of Christ [#2 above] and the actual setting up of the “thy kingdom come” as stated in the prayer in Matthew and Luke. This is the central to the raptured believers of believers [pre #1 above].

In the quote from https://www.gotquestions.org/restrainer.html, there is a critical “sequence.’ The Day of the Lord (End Time) begins when there is a total world rebellion against Christianity and the Antichrist is revelation. Anything else is speculation based upon someone’s bias or agenda. There is a restrainer (?) of absolute evil of which scripture does not tell us who or what that may be. THEN…the restrainer is removed from earth. This frees Satan (Lucifer) from being held back even though to look around the world today one might think that has already happened. It hasn’t as of this writing.  

Revelation 12:7-12 (NKJV) Satan Thrown Out of Heaven

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

The dragon is Satan. He will have his personal trinity of father, son, and spirit in end time; himself as father, dragon or anti-Christ (Satan’s spokesperson), and the evil spirit or spiritual leader being the false prophet. This is during the 7-year Tribulation; most prominent during the final 3 ½ years. Once the Temple is rebuilt in Jerusalem, probably during the first three- and one-half years of the 7-year tribulation, it will be desecrated by the anti-Christ.

“…he was cast to the earth”. This casting of Satan out of heaven was to an existing earth. Perhaps at the time earth was then made void and without form by Satan occupying it. Revelation 12:9 gives us two reasons to conclude this. First, he was cast to earth, so earth was already here. Second, verse 9 tell us that this is also where he specialized in deceiving. We even see this in verse 10.

*Think on this. In Genesis God created an earth. Scripture tells us that God saw it and “it was good.” We find this same conclusion in Genesis 1:4, 1:10, 1:12, 1:18, 1:21, and 1:25. So how did it become void and without form? We consider this to be when Satan and his minions were occupying earth as pointed out in Revelation 12:9 but before the creation of man.

10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven (Ouranos; God’s place of dwelling), “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come for the accuser (Satan) of our brethren, who accuses them before our God, day, and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”

Now salvation…This is a reference to HOW “they” (mankind) overcome Satan…by the blood of the Lamb Jesus Christ. Salvation is available up to and including #2 in our chart. The accuser (Satan) is bound during stage #3 in our chart. He can no longer accuse or influence man.  Personal choice exists during the 1,000-year millennium. During that 1,000 years it is only man’s personal choices. Satan is bound. He cannot influence or deceive, but man will still have choice or what we refer to as free will.

Verse 12 has significant implications. “Rejoice Oh heavens and those that dwell (occupy) in them”.  Heavens is plural PLUS this verse includes it’s occupants. There are differing commentary takes on this verse. First is creation itself as in the heavens, not just Ouranos (heaven). If the rocks on the roadside to Jerusalem could cry out when Jesus entered the city on a donkey (Luke 19:40), then the stars, planets, and other created things can cry out when Christ returns. Verse 11 is a point in time. Verse 12 is a continuum over time. Rejoice for the provided salvation of mankind.

Others suggest this is only a warning to those who reject a true belief in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. “Woe to those…” The woe is to mankind who remain on earth after the rapture. The universe that is set in place is about to be changed with a new heaven(s) and a new earth.

Every beginning has an end. If not, it did not have a beginning. This concept may be tough to grasp at first pass. Think it through. The only alternative is an eternal existence. Something cannot begin from nothing unless created or has always been.

At minimum this defines creation to a proverbial “T”. If there is no evidence of its existence, it does and did not exist. Evolution tries to betray the obvious. Creation means to make something out of nothing. No matter how evolutionists try to manufacture life from something, it won’t ever exist. Genesis 1 says “in the beginning…” The beginning of what? Mortal life. An object may exist, but it is without life. From where did life itself originate? Evolutionists cannot not define life. Their claims include something that existed but evolved. That begs the same question. From what did this original life evolve?

End time began by the hand of God in Genesis 1:1 when he created it out of nothingness. He sustains it. Life ends when he commands it. No matter how many thousands, millions, or billions of years so-called science assigns to something, it had a beginning, but how old did it appear at its creation???. The obvious differentiating factor is the word LIFE. How did life enter into evolution; an inanimate object is lifeless? How can mortal man, a creation himself, assign an age to a created Garden of Eden when it was created as an existing fruit bearing garden that has life? The Garden of Eden did not begin as a bunch of evolving seeds but did have fruit bearing seeds. We see their offspring all around us.

What are the signs of the end? Jesus said that he knows of the events of end time but not the time of the end of the current era. Matthew 24:21 gives us a hint of the end. We know of many wars and wars to end wars, yet wars still exist. Obviously, man is not in control. He can only influence the flow of life’s events and then only to a limited degree.

“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be”. (NKJV)

Who controls the outcome of man against man or man against God or evil? The end will be a time worse than the time of the great deluge of Noah. Things and sin were so bad during the time of Noah God considered destroying the world He created. What God created was good as mentioned five different times in Genesis 1. We find these times in 1:4, 1:10, 1:12, 1:18, and 1:25. It didn’t take long for Satan to figure out the free-will given to man upon creation was also a weakness; an Achilles heel.

Satan, take note. You were also given a free will upon your creation. When the created wishes to over power the creator…You have made a personal and eternal choice.

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2022

(Part 2) End Time is one contiguous event…

Where and how to begin this narrative commentary series has been a struggle. It seems like one GOOD starting point is, the refilling of the Promised lands of Israel with Israelis. This comes from Ezekiel 37:1-14. Here is this passage from the NKJV: The dried bones of old and *all of Israel recreated…(NKJV). Then work backwards to scripture passages that describe end time events and how it will influence mankind and cultures.

*Some respected theologians suggest this is the second chance of all mankind. Hebrews 9:27 is used to reject such a thought. BUT…read this verse. It is appointed unto man once to die, then judgment. Is this a second eternal death or life with God. This concept blended with the renewed dry bones of Ezekiel 37 suggests “a second chance.” One MUST also consider (Jeremiah 30:4-10). Do not ignore that the passage in Ezekiel 37 states *all of Israel recreated…(NKJV).

37 The hand of the Lord came upon me [Ezekiel] and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed, they were very dry. And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

The Valley of dry bones are the bones of God’s elect, past, present, and future of the chosen of Abraham through Jacob. Why this is the elect from Jacob, not his father Isaac and grandfather Abraham? Abraham and Isaac had sons that did not constitute the make-up of the elect i.e., Israelis. They were/are Esau and Ishmael. All Israelis are Hebrew but not all Hebrew are Israeli. The valley is given no name. This means it is analogous to a generic place but certainly within Israel and from the four corners of the earth.

The dry bones are the descendants of Jacob; the 12 Tribes through his 12 sons. Jacob was renamed Israel by God himself. This makes him stand out from his father Isaac. Isaac was not renamed. Jacob and Abraham were renamed. Abram to Abraham and Jacob to Israel. Abraham means “a father of many nations”. Ishmael (Abraham’s son) and Esau (Isaac’s son) had a multitude of nations come from them. They, however, were not the anointed. Jacob (Israel) was the anointed of God to be the father of the Israelite nation.

So, I answered, O Lord God, You know.”

Ezekiel is stating the obvious. In man’s eye, to put life back into the DRY BONES of the ancients is inconceivable. Only God possesses the gift (spirit) of life. He is pointing out that life itself originates from God. God alone breathes life into any and all creation. We seldom hear that the life within all nature comes from God. This passage emphasizes “dry” bones of humans. This means and includes the bones of the ancients of Israel, and perhaps, the obvious; mankind will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgement.

Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely, I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.” ’ ”

Hear the word of the Lord? [shâma‛] is the Hebrew for the word “hear” in this verse. It means to “hear intelligently as in obedience.” No longer will it be a mystery to anyone. One must be cautioned…this does not mean absolute obedience by all will follow. It remains to be seen of this revelation and resurrection of “all Israel”. 

Zechariah 12:10 states…“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication…” This is the oft discussed second chance of all Israel past and present. The Spirit of grace and supplication still requires a response by those identified in this passage. The only thing promised by God is the opportunity of a second chance. This is not an automatic reprieve but an opportunity. (cf. Romans 11:27)

In a very real sense, this is God’s calling of Israelis from the four corners of the earth. It includes the Old Testament Israeli graves, the historically massacred, those who died prior to and during phase [1] of our chart posted in the introductory blog of this series.

The word “prophecy” in Hebrew is “naw-baw”. It means to “sing or speak by inspiration of a future event” (Strong’s #5012).

So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.

Genesis 2:7 says God breathed life into his creation. The rattling of the bones coming together did NOT happen at that time but were envisioned. Ezekiel was seeing a future re-creation of all who existed and were born into one of the 12 Tribes of Israel.

Go back to Ezekiel 37:6…: “…and now you will KNOW that I am the Lord”.

Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly *great army.

Why Ezekiel describes this renewal of life to all who are of the DNA (like it or not) of Jacob/Israel, is not clear as to his use of the term army. He could have said the nation of, the people of, those who descended from Jacob, but he calls them a army.

“…from the four winds…” Where have we read this before? This is the calling together of all Israelites. One might identify this as a total family reunion to which all Israelis will be in attendance. We see similar verbiage in Revelation 7:1-4. Examine these four verses in Revelation while keeping in mind this commandment to Ezekiel.

In the New Testament, the word for “spirit” becomes the Greek word pneuma, with the same meaning as its Hebrew counterpart. In John 20:22, when the risen Jesus appears to his disciples, John records a remarkable event: “He breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’’” This is a reminder to us of who first breathed into man’s nostrils the breath of life. [David Demick on December 1, 2004]

NOTE: These bones resurrected become, as we read in verse 10, an “exceedingly great army”. The sheer size or population of Israelis then present on earth will be so great, it adds reasoning to why the great size of the New Jerusalem…’1,200 furlongs by 1,200 furlongs as stated in Revelations 21:16. This distance is about the same as Michigan to central Florida; New York to Omaha, Nebraska…1,500 miles. Not convinced? Cut-and-past or click on:

https://www.metric-conversions.org/length/furlongs-to-miles.htm

11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. 14 I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.’ ”

“The whole of Israel.” Can this be clearer? It is the entirety of any who are from the twelve Tribes of Israel.

“…and bring you into the land of Israel!”

This passage, verse 11 – 14 (above), is nothing short of actuality yet to happen. It does not mention the members of the Christian church. They have been raptured according to 1 Thessalonians 4:17. The difference between the rapture and the 2nd advent of Christ is first, the uniting of believers with Christ in the clouds; the latter is Christ’s return to earth for his millennial rule over earth. In between these events we have the Tribulation…”Jacob’s troubles” (Jeremiah 30:4-10)

Eternity: one of two places. Both destinations are permanent, but neither is a grave.

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2022

End Time is one event… (Introductory commentary)

EVENT

This begins a new series of narrative commentaries about end time scripture. We wish it could be all inclusive but there is so many end time passages throughout the Old and New Testaments it is almost impossible to cover them all yet alone find every verse. This series will address many questions posed by believers and end time searchers. We will teach but you decide.

What makes an end time study so troubling? For most people it is the volume of information found in Old and New Testament, all pointing to the same end but no straightforward way of making them contiguous. Grasping this volume of end time scripture is like drinking from multiple fire hoses at the same time. This series is to help the reader understand that End Time is ONE EVENT. After that, it is all Millennial Reign then a New Heaven and a New Earth.

Photo by Kevin Bidwell on Pexels.com

Example fire hoses: Matthew 23:1-3 and 24, Jeremiah 30, Isaiah 34, Joel 3, Revelation 13, 14, II Thessalonians 2,4, 5, & 6, Daniel 2 & 7-12, Ezekiel 37-39, Isaiah 46, Joel 2. Simply reading this Example list makes one flounder in the volume of words, symbolisms offered, and content versus context. This list is but a small dent in the passages we will discuss. We will do our best to put these passages (and many more) into their context [see the following chart].

Let’s begin with a no-brainer. Revelation 21 explains what happens AFTER God judges the world, the skies, the people, and the fallen angels. However, how closely does one read the few words at the beginning of Revelation 21…a New Heaven and a New Earth? The first heaven and earth will be replaced. The ground we stand on, are buried in, the heaven above, and the seas that have swallowed up so much life will no longer exist. This is NOT the Millennial Reign. It is what follows it. 

How do we support this? Satan is bound for a thousand years then released into this present make up of our known universe(s). He is not part of the new Heaven and the new earth. Scripture promises that all will be new.

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It is the goal of this series of articles to pull these scriptures together. To make sense of their common denominators. The most common denominator is the phrase so often used within ahabiblecoments.com is In/On That Day. This is the Day of the Lord when God puts an end to any additional need to grasp the meanings of his multiple messages found in the Old and New Testament. From time-to-time, we will use graphics to help. That Day does not mean all will happen in a 24-hour period. It is an end-time-period that will bring an end to the Genesis 1:5 creation of time and the later influence of Satan with his fallen minions (angels).

Several times in the Bible, different prophets use metaphors to point out the same thing. It is common to find each Bible prophet to identify That Day from a different street corner, but the same corner. It helps to understand that even though the individual Bible book authors are looking at the same event, they see it from a different but common street corner. Simply put…there is only ONE END of TIME. Just as God created time itself in Genesis one, He ends it all at the same time. Any attempt to make each prophetic event an exclusive topic in and of itself tends to make the reader think it may be a different topic altogether. It is all a part of In That Day, an end time event.

There are five On or In That Day time events to keep distinct: 

  1. The appointed 7-year time of tribulation for Israel i.e., Jerusalem.
    1. 3 ½ years of a false peace.
    2. 3 ½ years of trials for Israel sometimes identified as Jacob’s Troubles
  2. The time between the end of the 7-years of Jacob’s Trouble and Jesus setting up his Millennial Kingdom. He judges the nations between the end of the Tribulation and his Millennial Reign.
  3. The 1,000-year Millennial Kingdom
  4. Satan is released, his final run at overthrowing Jesus on earth begins for a brief time.
  5. Eternity: one of two places. Neither will have a permanent grave.

We suggest you print out the above list. Keep it on hand to correlate the numbers 1 through 5 with the identities we discuss in each End Time event and scripture. There is but one end time (singular) event but multiple fire hoses [See opening paragraph; line #2]. We will drink from these hoses at a slower rate than trying to simultaneously drink from the five above mentioned fire hoses. Each commentary will fit a time span within End Time. 

A passage seldom understood as part of end time scripture is found in Genesis 3:15, better explained in the last book of the Bible, Revelation 12:9.  In Genesis 3:15 we read (NKJV) “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” In Revelation 12:9So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Is it any wonder why God will create a NEW heaven and earth? Satan will be bound to this one.

Neither of these two verses identify the woman’s seed, the woman, the heel bitten, how or when will be the biting at the heel, or details of the crushing of the serpent’s head. The Genesis and Revelation passages do point out that these events will happen, but when? ONLY God the Father knows that appointed time [Matthew 24:6]. The crushing of the head of the serpent (Satan) is hinted to in Romans 16:20:

And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Will God crush Satan’s (serpent) head or someone’s feet that he selects? We will delve deeper and hopefully offer a better understanding of this verse explaining how it fits into One That Day.

Something of thoughtful consideration is the serpent Satan biting at the heel. The authors of the Bible do not need legend or mythology to make a point, but God often uses comparative verbiage. That is, something that is similar but much shorter than would be a parable. In the case of why might this reference to the serpent Satan biting the heel [Genesis 3:15] of mankind infer a reference to a much later English phrase…Achilles’ heel? 

Be Aware

Satan will not go for the strong points in humankind but his and her weak point. We know the Achille’s heel story is Greek mythology. This passage in Genesis, like a simple parable, may be an inference to a future Greek mythological point. Satan attacks one’s Achille’s heel. If it is a simple parallel coincident, it is still valid.

Even if this is not an intended futuristic analogy, the Achille’s heel and Satan biting at the heel of man, it is valid. This does not mean defeat. Scripture tells us in Genesis 3:15c…” Satan can only (attempt) to bruise our heel.” God built choice into man upon creation. S/he can surrender to a temptation or opt for another path when Satan bites at our heel. Per scripture, Serpent Satan’s bite is not fatal, but our choices will be eternal. Once a choice in life is self-determined, one is now a servant to it. To change that decision requires one to change his or her choice.

An end-time parallel point seldom recognized is God’s judgements on the northern and southern Kingdoms of Israel and Judah by Assyria and Babylon and end time events. The Assyrian dispersion of the Northern 10-Tribe Kingdom had no refugees returning. There was no longer a kingdom to which to return. In the case of the 70-year Babylonian captivity of Judah, some returned but not to a kingdom. They returned to a geographical province under the thumb of Babylonia. Both kingdoms suffered a similar judgement of G-d parallel to what we will be examining in this series of narrative end time commentaries. Israel as a nation will suffer like never before. This will be during the second half of the 7-year Tribulation (i.e., Jacob’s Trouble). Then as did Assyria and Babylon suffer God’s judged for how they treated the Israelis, the world that aligns against Israel during the Tribulation will suffer greatly for their aggression against Israel (cf. Matthew 24:21).

It will look so hopeless for Israel during this global aggression against them, these people of Jacob’s descent will be forced to accept Christ as the chosen king of Israel. (Zechariah 12:3; cntrl/click) The world of nations, just as did Assyria and Babylon, will meet their demise. 

Now to begin our narrative scripture-based commentary on the different parts of the same thing…End Time.

Rev Dr. Jstark
2022

Crown of Jewels? End Time

The following is a question asked of an ahabiblemoments.com reader. She asks, “will our crown(s) in heaven actually have inlaid jewels?” It has taken a couple of days to reply as any research needs supporting Bible references. If there is nothing offered to support one’s conclusion it is nothing more than opinion; right or wrong. The following is our conclusion at ahabiblemoments.com.

Remember: We teach but You decide

Might one recall the old Sunday School nursery song of Climb, climb up sunshine mountain faces all aglow? We learn things as kids and adults that are not actualities, but symbolism. As a young child or a newcomer to anything, one tends to accept what is said as true, not symbolic. Our learning becomes fact to us and seldom will a person think differently later life. There is no sunshine mountain in either the Old or the New Testament. Mountains…YES, but no mountain named Sunshine. We can’t reach the proverbial top of a non-existing mountain on our own works and effort to climb it. This is what we are about to address per the good question of physical crowns and differing jewels within them.

First, consider Isaiah 28:5…(We often use the New King James Version or the New American Standard. These two are very close to direct interpretations of original Bible records) In that day the LORD of hosts will be For a crown (at-aw-raw’) of glory and a diadem (which means a crown) of beauty to the remnant of His people,”. Note that this is a reference to “His people”, a remnant in End Time. They are of Israel DNA. A crown of glory is not a physical crown but symbolic or figurative. The crown of glory is Christ (God) himself. The word CROWN can be both a noun and a verb. It is the GLORY that is the emphasis. The recognition of having earned a crown of glory.

Back up to verse 3 in Isaiah 28. The crown mentioned in verse 3 of Isaiah 28 is the crown of pride. Same thing in verse #1. Not a physical property but a figurative description of one’s sense of him or herself as something earned. One might say…This is Old Testament stuff. Well…read on.

Revelation 3:11 states, “Behold, I come quickly. Hold fast to what you have, that no one will take your crown. Again, this is the taking of one’s belief and confidence in Christ during the 7-year Tribulation…more accurately: this passage in Revelation is a reference to and during the trouble of Jacob; the final 3 ½ years of the 7-year Tribulation. To emphasize such symbolism, go to the next verse in Revelation 3. (V12) He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God. Like receiving the proverbial crown inlaid with jewels believers will not become literal PILLARS in the Temple of God. This has all to do with status recognition. Do not be misguided. One cannot earn his or her salvation, but we can earn status. EARN STATUS? Isn’t this incorrect interpretation of scripture? Let’s look at what Jesus said in Luke 9:48.

“Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great.”

Doesn’t this passage in Luke read as pointing out different levels of reward or differing levels of recognition in the eyes of God? If one needs additional scripture support, read Matthew 23:1-12 or Mark 9:30-37. Yes, it is the same verse as found in Luke, but to be repeated three times in three different books of the Bible suggests its significance.

We at this website have researched and studied well over 100 verses that address the words crown and jewels. I Thessalonians 2:19 helps support our conclusion. It reads: For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? Note that the word crown is again something descriptive of hope; joy; crown being recognition. Go to the very next verse in I Thessalonians (2:20). For you are our glory and joy.” Glory and joy are not properties but identities. Neither is the word crown a property but an identity. God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are it.

Regarding jewels.

After studying well over 116 passages that reference “jewels”. Again, most often it is symbolic of value, a very high value of finery as in well done my good and faithful servant (Matthew 25:23).

Isaiah 61:10 reads…I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Garments of salvation? Robes of righteousness? Not every bride decks herself with garland and adorns herself with jewels. Not “decking out” does not make a woman a non-bride. It is symbolism meaning to be in her glory. In heaven s/he will have the support of God’s glory upon him or her.

The jewels are the added value of one’s salvation, glory and reward at the Judgment Seat of God, but earned on earth. Look at 2 Corinthians 5:10…For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. This judgement is referenced in Revelation 20:11-15.

·        The Victor’s Crown. This crown (recognition) will be awarded to those who discipline their minds through the study of God’s Word and prayer (1 Corinthians 9:25–27).

·        The Crown (recognition) of Rejoicing, which will be given to those who have led others to Christ (1 Thessalonians 2:19).

·        The Crown (recognition) of Righteousness, which will be given to those who have a longing for the Lord Jesus—who look for Jesus’ return (2 Timothy 4:8).

·        The Crown of Life (recognition), placed upon those who have endured and triumphed over trial and temptation and persecution, even to the point of martyrdom (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10).

·        The Crown of Glory (recognition), awarded to the faithful shepherds of the people of God and to Christian leaders (1 Peter 5:4).

·        By definition from scripture, here is what crown means. “For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown (recognition in heaven) in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes?” (1 Thessalonians 2:19)

HMMM? We often ignore the Martyr’s Crown discussed in Revelation 2:10. Does one eagerly anticipate wearing it?

This list of six crowns )plus one) believers will receive after Christ returns and judges, is of recognition There may be more rewards, but the list validates our conclusion. It is an identity (crowns) with jewels probably being the additional rewards of great value once in…, read the next paragraph.

John 14 tells us that we will live in mansions. Oddly, we take or assume the word mansions to mean what we understand today as a dwelling. It may be a universe of our own or an estate that includes a universe. Modern science tells us that there are hundreds of millions of individual universes outside our own earth’s solar system and universe (I Corinthians 2:9 and 10).

When scripture tells us that we will lay our crowns before the feet of God (Father, Son, & Holy Spirit) it is again an allegory. It means as believers we will give full credit to the One we worship and who redeems us. Not of yourself but of God (read 2 Corinthians 3:5)… Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God,…” This is why the 24 elders of Revelation 4:4 toss their crowns (their status in heaven) before the feet of God as will all redeemed believers.

Joan N. I apologize for not being able to give you a plausible short answer. Our personal belief is that one must add supporting scripture to a correct conclusion. A conclusion is not accepted as valid unless one gives supporting reference. To simply say “take my word for it” is not a support. I have dealt with far too many people who quote, and too often misquote scripture to validate his or her desired conclusions.

Rev Dr. Jstark
2022- (a question from a reader)

Malachi 4

Malachi 4

This chapter is a wonderful way to end our Old Testament minor prophet series. It is both enlightening and encouraging. Click on the above Malachi 4 heading and read the final chapter for yourself. Here is a debrief of the final six verses of Malachi.

“For behold, the day is coming,
Burning like an oven,
And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble.
And the day which is coming shall burn them up,”

On that Day! God promised in Genesis to not destroy the world again by global flooding. This time large portions of the earth will submit to fire.

Says the Lord of hosts,
“That will leave them neither root nor branch.

No longer will God tolerate Satan’s proxy insurrection. Not a remnant of Satan’s influence will remain. He is bound in the bottomless pit for 1,000 years. Since he is the root of all sin and rebellion against God, the root is destroyed along with the branch. The branch infers his minion fallen angels and anti-God humans.

But to you who fear My name
The Son of Righteousness shall arise
With healing in His wings;

Healing? Click here and read [Ezekiel 47:12; Revelation 22:2].

And you shall go out
And grow fat like stall-fed calves
.

Have no fear about the weight gain. The word “fat” in the Hebrew is pûsh. It only infers that one will grow healthy and grow well; healthy, fulfilled, and complete.

You shall trample the wicked,
For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet
On the day that I do this,”
Says the Lord of hosts.

Ashes under the feet of the righteous? See 2 Peter 3:3-7. One will not trample the wicked but will trample the ashes of the wicked.

“Remember the Law of Moses, My servant,
Which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel,
With the statutes and judgments.

Once again we read…it is about Israel. Yes, the believer is redeemed meaning saved but the emphasis of end time – On That Day, is upon Israel as emphasized in Malachi. Bear it well in mind. In the *Old Testament GOD is the husband of Israel. In the New Testament Jesus is the husband as head of the church called believers.

It is about Israel – Not the Church of believers

*(Jeremiah 31:31-32 NKJV) “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; [32] “not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD.”


Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet

Send us Elijah? In this unique promise, God says He will send Elijah to Israel before the great and dreadful day of the LORD. This is In That Day. Some identify Elijah as John the Baptist. It is also possible since it is appointed for mankind once to die [Hebrews 9:27] and Elijah never died [2 Kings 2], he may be one of the two Tribulation witnesses [Revelation 2:3-11]. (emphasis mine)

And he will turn
The hearts of the fathers to the children,
And the hearts of the children to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”

This verse in Malachi is a reversal of Luke 12:53. What a wonderful promise … Millennial Reign.

This concludes our series on the 12 Minor prophets in ahabiblemonents.com. There are many other articles within this website. Feel free to search them out. Remember…

We Teach but You Decide (This is the free will of mankind)

Rev. Dr Jstark
2022

Malachi 3

Malachi 3

…’It is useless to serve God; What profit is it that we have kept His ordinance…” asks the Levite priests.

This quote is from Malachi 3:14a. It is the sum-total of the thinking (excuses) of the Levites and the Judeans. Today, one might call it a Freudian slip. The truth in their thinking surfaces. It has to do with profiting not worship. This type of profit first thinking may underline antisemitic attitudes over the centuries. Their demand and desires for riches exceeded their desire for Godly worship.

Malachi 3:1 Malachi in Hebrew means The Messenger. This verse talks about another messenger yet to come prior to the Messiah. This may have been a real downer for the Levite leadership. They have been waiting for their Messiah since Abraham. Now they are told there is to be another messenger yet to come. It is easy to see where in their minds they may think “how long must we wait?” We too as believers practice this impatience.

This is a promise of the New Testament John the Baptist. Following this Christ will be rejected by the sons of Israel at the 1st advent, a time of the Gentiles (Daniel’s 70-week prophecy), then the tribulation of Israel, finally followed by the 2nd advent of Messiah. To the sons of Israel this will be a bit of a shock. They rejected the 1st advent of Christ. It will take the Tribulation for the descendants of Jacob to finally realize their huge mistake. See Isaiah 40:3-5. Here is a simple graphics by starless-suite.blogspot.com

Verse 3:1 speaks of the suddenness of the coming of Christ as King of Kings. 1 Corinthians 15:52 affirms this suddenness.

Malachi 3:2  There is a second messenger according to this verse in Malachi. Who can endure his coming? The message of John the Baptist is ABOUT Jesus’ first advent. Malachi 3:2 is the second advent of Christ. How do we know the difference? The message of John the Baptist prepares the way for the ARRIVAL of Jesus and salvation to be provided by his crucifixion. The second talks about enduring. The entire 2nd verse, in a way, is threatening; to endure to the end of their (Israel’s) tribulation. Who can endure; who can stand when he appears (NOTE: not born but appears). This means Christ’s first coming has already happened. For those who do not know, Jews are still waiting for his FIRST coming.

…Malachi 3:3 is a continuation of verse 2. This verse once again identifies its primary audience, the Levite leadership. God’s promise is to purify the anointed Levites so once again their service will be honest; That they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness. 

NOTE: There is no mention or suggestion of the gentile New Testament believers commonly called The Church. This is specific to Israel as will be the 7-year Tribulation. Raptured believers will return with Christ at the 2nd advent. Another reason there is no need to mention the believers is that they have already been raptured.

QUESTION: Why is it so difficult for so many religious people to distinguish between the church as a building or denomination and the FACT it is exclusive to those who understand what real worship is and believe (to be and to live) in Christ?

Malachi 3:4 The issue with God through his messenger (Malachi) is that most Israelis and their leadership have departed from a true worship of God. He had become but one of several gods to them. Worship had become a traditional routine. Verse 4 points out that the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will [once again] be pleasant to the Lord. What worship was like in the times of Moses, Joshua, King David, and King Solomon, Israeli worship will be once again. This renewed integrity alone will position Israel as they were originally intended to be. A light on a hillside, admired by all others. (SEE NEXT VERSE AND THE ALIENS)

Malachi 3:5 is a powerful verse. Read it closely. We can easily understand the meanings of Jesus being the discerned or the judge. We can also see the basis for judging sorcerers, adulterers, perjurers, exploiting of widow and child-orphans (anyone in an honest need of help), but what about the aliens? 

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Verse 5 includes judgement against “those who turn away an alien”. Turn away aliens? Aliens are those who are not of Jacob’s DNA but living within the borders of Israel. It may mean those who are outside the borders of Israel and in need but refused their need by Israel. It may infer the lack of being a guiding light on the hillside for gentiles to admire then desire to emulate. One might find it of great interest the number of Bible commentaries that do not address this part of Jesus’s coming judgements.

We Teach but You Decide

JIV: In several of our previous Bible, book, or chapter narrative commentaries in ahabiblemoments, it has been pointed out that we must draw nearer to God for him to draw nearer to us. Verse 5 is one of but a very few times God moves closer to us first. This time it is in judgment. In other words, it is no longer a spiritual closeness but one that all will see; believers and nonbelievers alike. 

Malachi 3:6 This verse is DEEP in demonstrating God’s genuineness. He does not change. To the relief of all sons of Jacob, even though they have fallen away from what God wanted them to be, God will not fall away from his covenants with Israel and their patriarchs. Therefore verse 6 states: This is why you are not (already) consumed, oh sons of Jacob.” Another way to see this… the sons of Jacob have been preserved and will through their eventual and selective end time tribulation…. On That Day.

Malachi 3:7 Sometimes stupid breeds stupid; arrogance breeds arrogance. This is the arrogance of the Levites asking a question for which they already knew the answer. None the less, Malachi points out mid-verse that constant…If you draw closer to me, then God will draw closer to you. Their question in and of itself is shallow…”In what way shall we return?” This is another Freudian Slip. Their question is actually a confession that they have fallen away from the ordinances God gave to them. How can one ask a question about returning if they think they have not left? It isn’t ignorance, it is arrogance. These Levites were trained in the ordinances of God. Their attempt to live inside their own will’s means living outside of God’s will. They wanted their Temple worship and traditional practices to suffice as the extent of their worship. By this time of Malachi, they were offering blemished or damaged animal sacrifices. 

Malachi 3:8 The Levite leadership and priests are accused of robbing God of what is supposed to be his. They ask of Malachi, “in what way have we robbed God?” Earlier in Malachi 2 we discussed their shoddy sacrifices offered on the alter. Israelis had kept the best for themselves and offered fouled or leftovers as their offering and tithe. Deuteronomy 18:4, written by Moses almost a thousand years earlier, states that they were to give of the “first fruits” not the blemished and leftovers. 

Malachi 3:9 is expository. All the sons of Jacob have robbed God of his first fruits. Now all will be doomed. This curse will not be lifted until the end of End Time; On That Day. This will be Israel’s tribulation. Some identify it as Jacob’s Troubles.

Malachi 3:10 Be cautioned here. This verse has been abused by not-for-profit TV evangelists and mega-church preachers. Even though this verse says for us to “try it, it will work” (paraphrased), the pleading for money basically enriches the crier. Here is the real thing: (3:10b)

“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it.

Critical insight: Please grasp the intent of this verse. Is one giving in anticipation of receiving a high return on one’s investment? Is such more of an investment than a tithe? A true tithe is somewhat like the Lord’s Prayer. Go into your prayer closet praying in privacy. Wealthy so-called minister use this to extract funds from the one who is giving in hopes of a high return. This is not giving. It is investing. Their deceptive appeal is a play on words.

JIV NOTE: This is also why a group chanting or quoting the Lord’s Prayer is NOT scriptural prayer. Is it being done as commanded? Where is the prayer room and privacy in a group performance? Matthew 6:5-13. People wish to hear their own words instead of a prayer from the heart. Read the verses BEFORE the Lord’s Prayer. It explains the conditions upon which prayer should be offered. A group chant is NOT even remotely mentioned here.

Malachi 3:11 There is often an oversight in this verse. The first line in verse 11 promises that the devourer of Israel’s proceeds will be rebuked. This includes the deception of tithes and offerings including investing in hope of a great return. Is one’s tithes and offerings being bestowed upon the denomination without expecting a greater financial return for the giving? This incorporates both the one using a deceptive appeal for funds and the one giving to it. In short, Malachi is pointing out that God’s blessing will be equal to or greater than a tithe given as an offering. It has been heard by this writer to “give until it hurts.” To be more scriptural, one should say, ”Give until it feels right (good).”

Malachi 3:12 is after End Time and within the Millennial Kingdom. Thy kingdom come, thy will (is being) be done…

Malachi 3:13-15 is self-evident: [NKJV]

  “Your words have been harsh against Me,” Says the LORD, Yet you say, ‘What have we spoken against You? You have said, ‘It is useless to serve God; What profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, And that we have walked as mourners Before the LORD of hosts? So now we call the proud blessed, For those who do wickedness are raised up; They even tempt God and go free.’ “

Note the underlying motive of the Levites. They asked, what does it PROFIT US to keep God’s ordinances?” 

Malachi 3:16 is a very consequential verse. Those who believed and followed what Malachi was pointing out are added to a Book of Remembrance. It isn’t that God needs a notebook to remember. Do we meditate on his name? Might this be one of the books that are opened as stated in Revelation 20:12? Also see Daniel 12:1. Take note that according to Daniel, Michael is the guardian angel of Israel.

Malachi 3:17 is prophetic. It states, On that day…”. What day? The day of redemption. The day the books are opened. What may be overlooked is the fact that Israel will then become God’s jewels. We assume or have assumed that Israel was already the jewel of God. This verse states one of two things.

  1. Israel returns to being the jewel of God (see Jeremiah 3:8)…apple of his eye.
  2. This verse is speaking of all who believe (v16 and 17)

Rev Dr Jstark
2022

Malachi 2

Chapter summarized: …as if God is bound to bless them (Israel), while they consider themselves to be free from any conditional obligation to God for receiving God’s blessings. (JIV).

This is the purpose-in-point for chapter 2 of Malachi. It has been stated in other narrative commentaries found in ahabiblemoments.com that man has then and now determined God is somehow our creation, not the other way around. He is obliged to love us. We are somehow not obliged to honor (fear) him. We need only to acknowledge he exists. How wrong! Even Satan and his minions acknowledge his existence.

Malachi 2:1 zeroes in on Judah’s religious leadership. This chapter applies to all, past and present, but is specific to the religious sect of Judaic Judaism. A reminder to the reader of this commentary. The Old Testament is to a nation called Israel. The New Testament is to the world as individuals. The Bible is still our guiding light and GPS.

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Malachi 2:2 God through his messenger Malachi is as blunt as anyone can be in this verse. We have often reminded our readers that all promises or covenants in the Bible are conditional to If you (we) ____ then God will___.” This verse states promise in the negative. If you will not hear, then I (God) will curse any blessings intended to be yours. This is a paraphrase but exacting. The end of verse 2 points out that this has already happened to Israel/Judah and to the Levitical leadership. The example used in chapter 2 regarding God’s chosen (elect, not select) reflects a religious attitude but there is no sincerity of true worship. Week after week people sit in their same pews without “fear” of the Lord God. Many are more concerned about protecting his or her pew seat. God is a worship symbol more than a purpose to their daily living. This was true of Judah in the time of Malachi and is true today.

Malachi 2:3 Malachi is telling the religious leadership of Judah that they will now suffer the consequence of fake, insincere God/Jehovah worship. Fact is, they have already missed their intended blessings from God. Now it will get worse. Just around the corner they will lose their independence and be removed, forced to occupy other lands. Judah will cease to exist being renamed by the Romans to Palestine. First mentioned are their descendants. God will rebuke them. Do not misunderstand the meaning and focus of this rebuke. If their descendants follow and seek God, this prophetic consequence will not apply. They will all be blessed or cursed, not in their roots, but in their fruits. Choice is still theirs. There are far too many self-proclaiming Christians who are rooted in their denominational roots with no fruits. Attendance or tithing is misunderstood as a or their root.

Malachi 2:4Then you shall know my covenant with Levi” [Exodus 32:29]. This chapter is specific since verse 1 tells us it is the Levite priests and leadership Malachi is addressing. According to Numbers 3:41 it is by proxy the Levites become the “the first born” of the Israelites. Their job as first born is to lead, teach, instruct, and demonstrate what and how to worship and fear the Lord God Jehovah.

JIV: There is a possible and fascinating connection with this ordination of the Tribe of Levi. In previous ahamoment articles under the file name “Which Way Did They Go,” we discuss the dispersion of Israelites over the centuries to the north, south, east, and west. One of them is which way did the Levites go. There is a country today whose currency and former name identify them as The Levitical Confederacy.” We know it as SWITZERLAND! The Levite Confederacy.

Malachi 2:5 Click on this verse. It is a continuation of verse 4 stating that God’s covenant with Levi is one of life and peace. Consider this verse in addition to the comment in the above JIV. Switzerland avoided both World Wars. [Nevil Wylie’s Britain, Switzerland and the Second World War; Oxford University Press, 2003] does not mention any attempts by either warring side to press Switzerland to take an active part in the war[s]. Levitical life and peace as promised by God through Moses over 3,500 years ago. It continued during the world wars. If these scriptures from Malachi, Exodus, and Numbers do not echo an aha-moment concurrent with history, it is difficult to understand why not.

 Malachi 2:6 The 6th verse in this chapter expands upon why God put this responsibility and blessing on the Tribe of Levi. It all goes back the progenitor of the Tribe of Levi…Levi himself. Levi was anointed as the light to his own people. What is wrong here? Malachi points out the current Levitical leadership no longer had truth in their mouths or upon their lips. They no longer walked in peace and equity within the tribes of Israel.”

Malachi 2:7 For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, And people should seek the law from his mouth; For he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts…”

Malachi 2:8 Now comes the reason Malachi singled out the Tribe of Levi in chapter 2.

“… you have departed from the way;
You have caused many to stumble at the law.
You have corrupted the covenant of Levi,”
Says the Lord of hosts
.”

This is the charge being brought against them by God through his messenger Malachi. They are accusations they cannot deny, but they try. These charges against the Levites continue through the end of this chapter (v8-v17).

Malachi 2:9 [ESV] “….so I [now] make you despised and abased (despised) before all the people, because you do not keep my ways but show partiality in your instruction.” This is a direct reference and reminder of God’s specific charge to them in Leviticus 19:15. 100 plus years earlier this charge was also brought against the Northern Ten Tribes of Israel. We see this in verse 11: “…in Israel (northern kingdom) and Jerusalem (Kingdom of Judah). “Jews have been despised by the world for many generations. Simply put…They brought it upon themselves. This does not excuse Gentile rejection of Israelis too often mistakenly identified as “Jews”.

Malachi 2:10  Here is a charge of treachery and Infidelity. The infidelity being their unfaithfulness to God and God alone. Worship of God had become a routine, a habit, a tradition, something of less priority, not a heartfelt deep relationship with him and him alone. The one father referred to in the opening of this verse is Adam. The fiasco, even in the leadership of Judah, was they wandered off and into marriages with foreigners as individuals and as a nation. They wanted to do it their way. God said they must isolate and not mix [Ezra 9:1-2; Joshua 23:7]

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Numbers 36:6 states the Israelis may marry whomever they wish if it is within a clan of their father’s tribe. God knew that there would be inheritance issues of title to lands if they married outside of their tribal identity. Here is the stinger. Not only were they to marry within their own people (Israelis) but within their own tribe. For some reason God had set this DNA identifier to be for his people. WARNING: This has no connection with marriages of Gentiles including race. All races come from Adam and Eve. Societal culture has set a contrary scale of standards. Don’t be horrified. Did we not all come from Adam and Eve? Today all descended from Noah?

Malachi 2:11 Verse 11 differs from the charges and challenges of verse 10. In verse 10 it is a personal issue of marriage. In verse 11 Malachi juxtaposes the nation of Israelis with an adulterous scenario of Gentiles. God commanded marriage of Israelis to be within their tribal clans. The foreign god(s) referenced in this verse is the culture and other worship options outsiders bring into Israel if Israelis marry outsiders.

CAUTION: Depending on the translation we can read that Israelis as a nation is called “she” or “he.” Example:

For Judah has profaned The Lord’s holy institution which He [God] loves: He [Israelis] has married the daughter of a foreign god [NKJV]. The KJV, MKJV, LITV, ESV and other translations do not use the word “He.” Example from the LITV: …for Judah has profaned the holy place of Jehovah, which He loves and he [Judah] has married a daughter of a foreign god.” Usual practice is to refer to a nation or State as “she.” We defer to the accuracy of the YLT in this verse. It uses neither he nor she.

Malachi 2:12 may help explain why Bible versions like the NKJV use the word “HE” in the above paragraph. The identifier HE is found in verse 12… “The man who does this…” We see the word MAN is used. This should not be an issue within churches or bible study groups but the like has divided denominations. A nation cannot be cut off from itself, but an individual can be. The first line in this verse states: “may the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob the MAN…” who does such. Those of us who may have some degree of Israeli DNA are the consequence of a marriages outside of the Tribes and clan-ship of a tribe. In Bible times they were called Samaritans.

Malachi 2:13 Be careful. This verse smacks in the face of some denominational and individual customs and practices. It becomes an emotional display but shows no genuine worship. This is the second thing God has against (13) the [Tribe of] Levites. Bare in mind, the first thing was their fake religious practice and devotion by offering blemished sacrifices. Perhaps it was cattle or sheep with wounds or disease. Maybe something that no longer was of value to the owner. It even included sacrifices stolen from another to use as the thief’s personal offering.

An interesting word in English that sometimes does not translate well is regards. “So He does not regard the offering anymore…” The word “regard” in this verse is pânâh [H6437]. It means to face if translated directly. Within the context and content of verse 13 it means God does not face (accept) the false offerings and worship. These offerings may look good to onlookers but are not accepted by God. We might say today “face up to it.” He [God] does not see their tears, weeping and false offerings as meaning a worship of him. Their wailing, tears, perhaps tearing of clothing at the alter does not get God’s attention. It is more of a demonstration performance, not worship. It is Fake. This is true of or in some charismatic churches. A false or fake demonstration of one supposedly worshiping.

Malachi 2:14 The context of this verse if read without including the previous verse can be complex. Is this a reference to one’s marriage or is it, considering verse 13, the people of Israel have left their first love that being God…the God of their fathers in Israel’s younger years. An honest answer to this verse is God’s attitude about divorce. This is divorce at the man level and at the worship alter. Look at the verse  15.

Malachi 2:15 We are to be one in spirit, one in worship, one with God, one relationship. It boils down to what Maurer and Hengstenberg explain per this verse. Seek God meaning also seek a godly seed. Did not God make (us Israelites) one with God? He commanded they isolate from other nations and avoid mixed marriages. Israel was to be a Godly seed. There are many covenants with Israel that do not apply to those outside of Israeli DNA. Some have yet to be fulfilled.

JIV: Many seminaries try to teach students what to think instead of how to think. Liberal colleges and universities have routinely do this for many years.

Malachi 2:16  “For the LORD God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the LORD of hosts. Therefore, take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously.” For some this is a pill too large to swallow.

We Teach but You Decide.

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2022

Malachi 1

Malachi 1:1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. As we mentioned in the Malachi Introduction article, this is the ONLY time in the Bible where the word or name Malachi is given. Since the word malachi (lower case) means messenger of the Lord, it is feasible the assumed name Malachi could simply be written… The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by a “messenger of the Lord.” Some opinions in the Talmud maintain that (M) malachi was Mordechai, the hero of the Purim story in the Book of Esther, but referred to as malachi because of his position as viceroy of Persia—a designation similar to that of an angel (“malach”). Another view, supported by many authorities, is that malachi is a pseudonym for Ezra, a messenger of the Lord.

Malachi 1:2I have loved you”. Chapter 1 begins a series of seven questions asked to the messenger of Jehovah by the leaders of Judah. Let’s remember throughout this narrative commentary of Malachi that Jehovah God is not speaking directly to the people of Judah. He has a messenger…Malachi. Verse 2 is the first of the seven questions asked by Malachi throughout the 4 chapters of this book. Each of the seven questions asked by the Jewish leaders are a basic challenge to God himself, his Old Testament word, and COMMITMENT TO ISRAEL. The ones asking (challenging) questions are the same people to whom this book was written.

I have *loved Jacob, but (v3) I have *hated Esau. This challenge comes from priests asking MalachiHow has God loved us?These leaders of Judea do not need to ask a question for which they already know the answer(s). It is an avoidance question, a deference, not a question from ignorance. Might one go back to the beginning of how the captive Israelis were allowed to leave Egypt 1,000 years earlier. The identities of Jacob and Esau, twin brothers of their father Isaac, references their identities as Edomites and Israelis. From birth these two went in opposite directions in respect to their attitudes toward God. The Edomites, Esau’s descendants, go by several names: Edomites, Men of Mt. Seir, Idumeans, sons of Esau. King Herod of New Testament fame was a descendant of Esau…an Idumean. 

*John Calvin sees these two Hebrew words, loved and hated, as meaning accepted and rejected to be the light on the hillside [emphasis mine].

God, as promised, made a great nation of both twins. Esau’s offspring grew up hating Jacob’s offspring. When Moses led the captive Israelis out of Egypt, the Edomites refused to allow them passage through their lands. They had allied with the Amalekites to harass Israel when it was migratory from Egypt then continued attacking them as a new nation after the northern ten tribes seceded into a kingdom separate from the kingdom of Judah. No longer were the 12 tribes a nation, but two separate kingdoms. Edomites fought alongside the Babylonians to conquer Judah, especially Jerusalem. Then, moved into Judah’s abandoned homes. In end time God will again bring justice to the enemies of Israel. God does not need to justify himself. Genesis 12:3. Heaven and earth are God’s creation. God is not our creation. [John 1:3]

Malachi 1:3 Some modern day people have asked in their hearts or of their ministers, what did God ever do for Esau and his descendants? Look closer at the word “heritage” in verse 3. Nachălâh in the Hebrew means to be given something through inheritance. God promised to bless Jacob AND Esau. Esau saw his inheritance as a birthright. In Genesis 25:29-34 Esau willingly sold that birthright to Jacob. Later he wanted it back as do his descendants today. They try to take the lands of Israel as an inheritance via aggression, the UN, peace agreements, alliances, news media, and wars.

NOTE: The word “dragons” in Malachi 1:3 in some translations (v3) is a reference to female jackals. They are not the fire-breathing dragons some try to make them out to be.

Malachi 1:4 From the birth of Esau and Jacob around 1800 B.C., God has given Esau’s descendants, grandchildren of Isaac, ample time to turn (back) to him. They never did and still haven’t. Just as God brought judgment on many nations for denying HIM as God, He is the creator; He sets the conditions. Not us!

JIV NOTE: It may help our understanding of enemies of Israel by explaining or differentiating between those we group together (often incorrectly) as Arabs. The first people identified as (pure) Arabs descended through Eber. He had two sons: Joktan and Peleg. Joktan had twelve sons all identified today as pure Arabs. Abraham eventually descended through the line of Peleg. We can read about them as a point of reference in Genesis 10:25; 1 Chronicles 1:19. The short of this historical sidetrack is:

  1. Abraham is connected to one source of Arabs (Ishmael). Abraham’s great-great-great-great grandfather (Eber) is connected to both Arabs and Israelites. The same is true of Isaac through Ishmael. For a brief overview look at generational sequence of patriarchs before and after Noah, click on this

Abraham fathered Isaac and Ishmael. Ishmael fathered a different portion of the people we call (dirty) Arabs. Hagar mothered the Hagarites, Ishmael the Arab Ishmaelites. 

  1. Isaac fathered twins: Esau and Jacob. Esau had wives of Hittite DNA and (AHA MOMENT) seeing that Abraham and Sarah were troubled by his marriage to Hittite women, married a third wife…Mahalat, a daughter of Ishmael. What a mess! Esau fathered the Edomites and Idumeans who are classified as Arabs. This means there are three branches of so-called Arabs:
    1. Joktan, son of Eber, had twelve sons known as pure Arabs even by today’s Arab standards. His brother Peleg brought in the line through Abraham people known as Israelites. Both A and B are Hebrews, descendants of Eber.
    2. Ishmael, along with his mother Hagar brought into the Arab fold people known as dirty Arabs since they were not from a direct line of descendants as were Joktan’s 12 sons; Eber’s grandsons.
    3. Esau added to the line of dirty Arabs through his Hittite wives and the daughter of Ishmael, Mahalat.

Three sources of Arabs: One is considered pure and the other two are identified a dirty Arab mix.

Malachi 1:5 The eyes have it (The first words in verse 5). This verse portrays God’s concern for mankind well beyond the borders of “then-times” Israel/Judah. This is not selection but election. It is not predestination meaning rejection of different DNA peoples. A mankind today is connected through Noah. Every race today is somehow a cousin!

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Malachi 1:6 is an continuation of verse five. Malachi goes beyond descendants of Esau and Jacob. In general, parents, particularly fathers (not so much true in today’s society) are honored by their children (sons). Certain servants honor their masters. By extension, faithful employees reflect their employment. God asks, if this is true and I am your Father, where is my honor? This sets the stage for the next question by the Levitical priests who have dishonored God. They ask, In what way have we dishonored (despised) God?” 

Malachi answers in verse 7.

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Malachi1:7 Click on this verse and read it for yourselves. Bottom line: the Jews of that time were no longer honoring the God-set conditions for sacrifices and sin forgiveness. The people of Israel no longer brought the best of their flocks for sacrifice. The priests could see that the animals to be sacrificed were blemished. Yet, they defiled the alter and name of God by knowingly offering the blemished animals as good-enough sacrifices. This event set the stage some 400 years later for Christ to be the unblemished sacrifice for mankind’s sin. Verse 8 continues this question to the Levitical Priests.

Malachi 1:8 Would these same priests try to honor their governor (leader?) with blemished foods? Would he be honored? Would he accept being offered the blemished of their flock as a gift? Would such a gift to the governor be pleasing to him? Would it be deemed as a prized and honorable offering? We don’t need to try and sidestep this rebuttal by God through his messenger Malachi. Such is total insincerity as an offering and attitude.  

In another sense, the Levites are not happy since they were also the recipients of those food offerings. Historically they ate of it themselves. In the back of their minds, they are loathsome of the food that eventually goes on their dinner plates.

Malachi 1:9,10 God through Malachi goes full circle. Verses 9 & 10 sound like God had tolerated such offerings. God asserts in verse ten that the alter is HIS. It isn’t a property of the ones making the offerings. John Calvin suggest that God’s alter will not accept such deceptive offerings. It is not the acts of an individual that brings salvation as much as it is the intent of the heart and following God’s GPS: God’s Plan of Salvation. It is not man’s attempt to analyze what is good and what is not; what is honoring and what is insulting, then write the prescription on their terms. It is following God’s prescribed way. 

Malachi 1:11 is a critical verse. No longer can Israelis proclaim that God is “their” God alone. He never was exclusive to them, but this verse is a declared turning point. In a way, an introduction to the New Testament.  [NKJV]

“For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down,
My name shall be great among the Gentiles;
In every place incense shall be offered to My name,
And a pure offering;
For My name shall be great among the nations,”

My name SHALL BE GREAT. It does not say this in the current tense. This is pointing to the New Testament and the eventual unblemished sacrifice for sin through Jesus Christ. Add to this the millennial conditions.

Malachi 1:12 – 14 can be seen as not only contempt toward God by the priests themselves, but contempt toward the service of man to God. The priests knew better but continued to offer the blemished sacrifices. This is like a minister today who has no real relationship with God in his (sadly ‘her’) messages and personal life (one’s prayer closet). S/he sees the ministry as a social process, a habit, a routine, a tradition. S/he sees it as a job or career. This is why Malachi chapter 1 leads up to the break away from Israel being the light unto the world. Gentiles beyond Israel’s borders become that light unto the word. This includes Gentiles today being a light unto the former banner carriers instead of Israelis themselves. 

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2022