Thursday, October 31, 2019

End Song

The Darkness threatens to enter my home 

And proclaim the great things that man has done

These hands of men and their great rebellion

That have finally removed the need for God

Imagine there’s no future 

Beyond the hardness of man’s heart

The rich and haughty, smart and mighty

Declare that they have won

And it appears that they are right

For no man can overcome their stronghold

“Join us!” they say, “We are strong, and we are one!”

No giant ever seemed so large 

Or logic seemed so sound



However



I know of One more mighty

His great strength beyond compare

His knowledge of this moment 

Preceded both limb and hair

He laughs at the rebellious 

As they scheme toward a defeat

So easily avoided

Had they simply given heed 

To words from the beginning 

His declaration of peace

For anyone so humble 

As to acknowledge their need

Now we wait His grand return

Though the world around us laughs

And pray that they will likewise 

Before seven trumpet blasts
copyright ©2019 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/)

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Is There Room for Women Pastors?

We shouldn’t steer away from difficult conversations or controversy, and it’s important to understand opposing views if we are to influence the world around us with the truth of Scripture. This is a hard topic, and I ask that you don’t assume where I’m going with this subject. So here it goes…

What’s wrong with this scenario: in a public forum, a prominent minister was asked how he would respond to a certain woman’s name. (https://youtu.be/NeNKHqpBcgc) His response was direct and cutting: “Go Home!” From the response of the crowd, he obviously knew his audience. They laughed and applauded his response, creating a reason for a post-Christian culture to become outraged. In this case, the woman is wildly popular as a Christian teacher, the head a ministry that has inspired countless people. 

Let’s suppose for a moment that he had every reason to criticize her teachings as unbiblical. Was his response appropriate? Did he respond in a firm, clear and loving fashion to another believer? In other words, did he speak the truth in love? (Ephesians 4:15) Did he treat her as Christ treats His Bride? I believe the answer is clear; even if he was entirely legitimate in criticizing any wrong teachings, did he treat her as another person of great worth, created in God’s image? Remember in Genesis: male and female He created man in His image. (Genesis 1:27) He attacked the person and not the issues and by doing so did not represent God well. I would argue that for this minister’s public transgression, he should publicly apologize for how he conveyed the message. His apology should not flow from a utilitarian perspective of how our society perceives this jab, but he should acknowledge how important it is for each of us to repent when we do something wrong, especially godly leaders.

To be fair, there are reasons why people believe women should be pastors, and they reference both Deborah in the Old Testament (Judges 4-5) as well as Phoebe, Aquila, Pricilla and others in the New Testament (Romans 16) as precedent for women leadership. They look at when the Bible was written and point out that the culture wasn’t ready for women leaders, arguing that the Church fathers were pushing the envelope as far it could go to drive equal rights. 

But is that how we should look at Scripture? Are we like a Judge reviewing a law and examining precedent rulings to discern how to apply it? Should we read it in the context of our cultural environment, or should we look at all Scripture as timeless, God-breathed and suitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness? (2 Timothy 3:16) If we try to interpret the Bible in the context of relevance to our current culture, we will go astray. Instead, Scripture should be interpreted in the context of Scripture.

How can we pick and choose what we’ll believe in Scripture and expect that any of it is from God? If a person doesn’t believe the whole Bible, their belief system does not have a firm foundation, and it is based on whatever argument can sway them. Sure we may struggle in understanding certain concepts, but that is an invitation by God to press into Him for better understanding. If we conveniently avoid certain verses to fit with what we want to believe, we will be in error.  When righteousness is based only on what we choose to believe, it reflects the old testament description for the wicked: each doing what is right in their own eyes. They may be well-intentioned, but they are in opposition to God because they are not in agreement with His Word. They could be extremely sincere, but they are sincerely wrong… not because I say so, but because God says so in His Holy Word. (Hosea 8)

If I’ve offended you in these statements, it’s not because I’m insensitive. It’s because I am speaking truth to you with the loving intent that you understand and change the direction in which you are going! The entirety of the Bible is divinely written and inerrant; it is His chosen way to communicate truth clearly to us, truth that changes us.

So, what does the Bible say about women being pastors? We know very little about Phoebe, Aquila and Priscilla, and the specifics about their roles are unclear. Regardless of their specific ministry responsibilities, it would be consistent with the rest of Scripture, especially in the context of Paul’s other teachings. What the proponents of women pastors often overlook is 1 Timothy 2:12. Paul clearly writes: “I don’t allow a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. Instead, she should be quiet.” 1 Corinthians 14:33-34 states it equally clearly:
God is not a God of disorder but a God of peace. As in all the churches of God’s holy people, the women must keep silent. They don’t have the right to speak. They must take their place as Moses’ Teachings say.
Romans 16 states clearly that Phoebe is a deacon (leader) while Aquila and Priscilla are co-workers in the service of Christ. Clearly, they had a leadership roles, as did Deborah in the Old Testament. And while the qualifications for a deacon are described in 1Timonthy 3, the responsibilities of a deacon are not. (https://www.9marks.org/article/biblical-qualifications-and-responsibilities-deacons/) In 1 Timonthy 3, Paul refers to the wives of deacons as well, implying that deacons are men. So we may wonder if the women of Romans 16 were an exception to the rule or if maybe their leadership responsibilities didn’t involve teaching or having authority over men? Did they teach only women and children? Did they have a hospitality ministry? 

This is consistent with the recurring theme of headship established in Genesis and reiterated throughout Scripture. It is the man’s role to be a spiritual leader both in the church and in the home. And if we look at the full story of Deborah, it’s obvious that the man in the story did not demonstrate the leadership that he was called to live out. Exploring the story further in the song of Deborah (Judges 5), it’s clear that the men of Israel were not standing in opposition to the evil in the land. 

I personally believe the story of Deborah tells us that when men abdicate their role as spiritual leaders, a woman may temporarily fill it, but that is not God’s first desire. This is true in the home as well as the church. Still, we did not see Deborah picking up a sword to fight Sisera. Rather, she was encouraging Barak to step into his role and lead well. There was no power struggle for dominance in this story, and the victory song belongs to both Deborah and Barak. They worked together as a team to line up with God’s will and rejoiced together in the victory that God gave them through the woman, Jael. 

To be clear, a leadership role in the Kingdom is not the same as in the world where people lord it over others. The worldly kind of leadership is an abusive and misogynistic oppression that created an easily divided people, looking to find fault in others. Also, we should all understand that a person’s leadership role does not indicate greater worth; it is simply what God has called us to do. Role does NOT equal worth. A godly leader is a servant-leader, seeking to bring out the best in others, unwavering in righteous conviction because it is founded upon Scripture, yet humble and gentle in how we treat others. 

I can tell you we all fall short of this model of godly leadership. There is only One who demonstrates this godly model perfectly, and it should be our aspiration to reflect Jesus’ servant-leadership as revealed in Scripture and as He patiently demonstrates in our personal walk with Him. He is asking us to actively join Him, submitting to His ways as He works with us to become more like Him.
My thanks to my own wife, Deborah, who offered many challenges and suggestions as I wrote this.
copyright ©2019 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/)

Sunday, September 15, 2019

A Tale of Two Scrolls

The Book of Revelation talks about two scrolls. One is sealed and no one is initially found worthy to open it until finally Jesus is deemed worthy to open this important document. It is closed by seven seals, and as each seal is opened the long-foretold events of prophecy will be realized in our world. The first four seals are often referred to as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, which I understand as: the peaceful victory of the Antichrist in establishing a global government, followed by war, famine and death. The fifth seal is a global massacre of the saints that continues “just a little while longer” until the remainder are martyred, followed quickly by the earthquake I believe will occur in the middle of the seven year tribulation period that marks the Rapture, the end of man’s rebellion and the beginning of God’s wrath upon the rebellious. The seventh seal is then broken as the Lamb has now reclaimed the earth for God and His people, and there is a great and solemn moment in heaven, which is completely silent for a half hour. Shouldn’t there be exultation rather than this great solemnity? 

But hold that thought for a little bit while I talk about a second scroll in Revelation. It’s small and open for anyone to read, yet the contents are a bit of mystery to the reader. The scroll is announced loudly and echoed by seven thunders, yet when John starts to write down what has been said, he’s told not to write it down. The mystery is meant for the last days, when the angel is ready to blow the seventh trumpet. So John is told to eat the scroll, warned that it will taste sweet in his mouth yet will be bitter in his stomach. What could taste so good and yet leave him feeling so unsettled? 

In our brokenness, I’m sure there are many things that might be like this scroll, things such as revenge or justice dealt to our antagonists. It feels good at first, but would it feel as good if we knew the full story? Stephen, the first Christian martyr, set an uncommon example as his tormentors were stoning him, crying out: “Forgive them! They don’t know what they do!” And wasn’t he just imitating Jesus’ words on the cross as He slowly died: “Father forgive them! They don’t know what they do!”.

So what is the significance of the silence when the final seal is broken? And what is this small scroll that is open for anyone to read until it melts like honey in John’s mouth? I believe the silence and the bitterness of John’s stomach are related. Once that seventh seal is broken, no one else will enter heaven. We think of Christ’s return as our long-awaited victory, and it is certainly all that and more! But heaven has patiently waited millennia to pull in the harvest. It has tolerated the sowing of weeds next to the wheat, harvesting carefully so that nothing would be lost. While I’m grateful for this, I’m not nearly grateful enough… without God’s gracious patience I would be lost!

But what about this small scroll, the one that open for anyone to read, carried by a loud angel whose words are resounded by seven thunders? It’s obviously no secret yet the words spoken about the small scroll are stricken from John’s record. Could it be the list of people who still could have been saved? If so, I’m grateful that the list is small! I’ve no doubt the list is filled with all sorts of reprehensible people, perhaps even some of our past, present or future tormentors, people so reprehensible that heaven would be better without them, right?

Some of the most beautiful believers I’ve met were once totally depraved. Hearing the stories of how God redeemed their lives always fills me with such awe in God as well as a surprising compassion for person for all the events that led to their original depravity. As the saying goes: there but for the grace of God go I. Can you imagine what it would be like to see your worst tormentor die without being redeemed by Christ’s love? I bet it might taste pretty sweet at first, but in the light of eternity how will we feel. When we understand fully how our enemies are a product of how they were wounded, I believe it will leave a bitterness in our stomach and a regret for how we may have contributed to that wounding. Or maybe we’ll feel the shame for how we withheld our hand from helping them out of fear of being bit. 

No man knows the day or the hour of Christ’s return, but the time is short, shorter than it’s ever been. We can see the signs that Jesus gave us, that his disciples and the prophets have given us, so how shall we respond? Will we act the part of His Ambassadors to this world or pretend to be residents of this foreign kingdom? Will we continue to be willing to witness in love to the people who ridicule us, torture us, and someday martyr us like Stephen, or will we shirk away in fear and weakness? 

When Stephen died, there was a man standing in approval of his stoning. A rising star among the religious authorities of his day, this young man actively sought to destroy the early Christians, but his life was turned completely around as he met the risen Jesus on the road to Tarsus. We don’t know how Stephen’s testimony affected Saul as he meditated for 3 days in blindness, but I look forward to hearing Paul’s story from him directly one day. Likewise, we don’t know what seeds are sown through our faithful suffering, but we will one day! 

I don’t claim to have God’s heart or to see things as He sees them, but I desire to see as He sees and to feel as He feels so that every dark cloud I pass through fades and every giant shrinks. No one looks forward to suffering, at least no one who has a healthy mindset. Yet we all enjoy the victory received when we push through momentary hardships! 
Lord make us faithful in times of trial and triumph, praising You for every victory in the past, present, and future!
copyright ©2019 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/)

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Loving without Agenda

One of my mentors in the workplace used to open certain meetings with the phrase: “Everyone has an agenda. Let’s not have any hidden agendas here.” He would then find out what people were hoping to get out an initiative, why they were participating in the meeting, and how we could possibly all work together toward a common end. I believe this is a great way to get people working together, and while I imitate my former mentor in helping others to collaborate, this is not the way we should love others. Our love should reflect God’s love and be without selfish agenda. Now it’s true that everyone has an agenda, and it’s good to strive toward worthy goals, but when it comes to loving others our agenda is simply to love. 

But what is love? In English, we only have one word for love. We use it to describe how we feel about our spouse, parents, children, pets, toys, food, activities, etc. In many cases, we use the word love to describe what we lust after. Lust is the desire to get something; it feeds a desire. It isn’t necessarily sexual. Lust continues to want with an ever increasing, never fulfilled appetite. Love is different, though. It’s a decision to give. Love is truly divine.
Agape - The Divine Love of God
Unlike English, the Greek language of the New Testament had more descriptive words for love. When Jesus asked Peter 3 times if Peter loved him, Peter always responded with a lesser form of love than what Jesus used. He loved Jesus as brothers love each other. The brotherly love that Peter had is a powerful love. It’s a bond that is far reaching, but it was still a lesser form of love than the word Jesus used. Jesus used the word “Agape”. The first two times that Jesus asked about Peter’s love, Jesus used the word Agape. “Peter, do you agape me?”. Peter essentially answered with: “Lord, You know I love you like a brother!”  Each time, Jesus responded to Peter’s reply with a command: “Feed My sheep.” The third time Jesus came  down to Peter’s level, using the word for brotherly love that Peter used. The subsequent command was the same: “Feed My sheep.” So why do you think Peter avoided responding with Agape?

Agape is so much more than the brotherly love that Peter was able to commit to. It is a love so pure, formed of a decision to do what is in the best interest of others, regardless of whether the beloved wants it or if the lover feels like doing it. It is self-sacrificial, putting the needs of others before oneself. It is the love of God, demonstrated by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, the Father sacrificing His only Son out of a decision to love people undeserving of His love: us, even when we didn’t want or deserve His love. There was no selfishness in the decision to love. If no one responded to His act of love, He would have done it anyway. Philosophers and skeptics may argue over how God’s foreknowledge of the outcome was guided by a selfish agenda for companionship, but they’re wrong. Jesus didn’t know the outcome, and while He was fully God, He was also fully human, complete with our limitations. He simply trusted in the Father for the outcome. It wasn’t without suffering and it wasn’t effortless. Remember His emotional struggle in the garden before He was handed over for His tribulation. He still trusted in the Father for a favorable outcome, knowing only the sacrifice He would make. He knew that He was called to make the ultimate sacrifice: no greater love has any man than to lay down his life for a friend. (John 15:13)

As followers of Christ who are called to represent His Kingdom, we are called to Agape love. If we suffer for doing what God approves of, then like Jesus, we trust it’s going to result in our heavenly reward. He taught us that principle in the Beatitudes (Matt 5:1-12). We don’t love others so that they will respond with Church attendance, cleaned up lives, a sinner’s prayer, or evangelistic contribution. We love others without any agenda, just as Jesus does today. If you are an Evangelical and the last two sentences bother you, please keep reading! 
Is there an agenda to making disciples? 
Ultimately, we were created with a pure, selfless agenda: to love and be loved. Each of us longs to be known, fully known, and loved despite our many flaws. While we can reflect God’s divine agape to some degree, only God can love with full, intense and eternal knowledge, extending from before our birth into the infinite beyond. Yet somehow as we bathe in His purest love, we are transformed to reflect His agape more fully, to love as He loves because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

Now here’s the tricky part: we are called to love without agenda, and yet we are commissioned to make disciples. (Matt 28:19) Is there an agenda to making disciples? At first glance, these appear to be mutually exclusive, right? But consider this: can our agenda for others’ sake be driven by love and obedience without treating each person as a project? Can we create plans to facilitate discipleship without any expectation of any individual’s response? In other words, make plans that give us opportunity to disciple without any expectation for how any given person will respond to that opportunity, choosing to love people because they were made in God’s image, made to be loved? 

Maybe Peter had an inkling of what Jesus was really asking, and like you or I he inwardly fought the idea of loving like God, knowing that it meant dying to oneself. We look at saintly examples of God’s agape and place them on a pedestal without daring to think we are also called imitate Christ’s love. We say: “I’m no Mother Theresa…” knowing that we are called to love like she did, but fighting the call because of our selfishness. The reality is that God’s love (Agape) does what is in the other’s best interest, and that is the food for Jesus’ sheep. It’s served with solid Biblical teaching that explains this divine mystery of purest love. 

Love is the only agenda in a relationship regardless of our commission to develop others. I don’t reflect that highest love as I should, but spending time with Him on an intentional daily basis, I can see His love grow in me. With intentionality, we walk a task-oriented path where our agenda to be available for mentoring others is congruent with our love for each person regardless of their response. Church with any relational agenda other than loving has decimated Christianity in America. It does not represent Christ or His teaching well, even if it was done with great intentions. Rather, when we introduce others to Jesus, it’s out of excitement for my friends to know each other, knowing that they will be enriched by their relationship with Jesus just as I have been. We are ambassadors of His grace (2 Corinthians 5:20), representing Him as best we can through our on-going relationship with Him. We are Children of God (CoG), a CoG in the framework He builds daily, unique to the time and place where God has positioned us. We are a babe in His arms, a CoG in His plan, and yet a representative of His agape love. 
Lord, help us each to join You in the work You are doing today,
loving everyone we meet as a representative of Your Kingdom.
copyright ©2019 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/)

Friday, August 16, 2019

We Be Fools

When I went to college, I had never heard the term “frenemy”, but it definitely described people in a group I joined as a Freshman. It wasn’t exactly a fraternity, but it was a co-ed club where first year members went through a hazing period. After the first year, I had no desire to treat others the way I had been treated, and not having close ties to my acquaintances in that group, I found other interests and mostly kept a distance during my second and third year. A young man joined the group my second year (we’ll call him “Guy”), and I would often hear about his flaws whenever I attended the club events. From what little I knew about him, the criticism seemed legitimate, and so I mentally grouped him with the everyone else, keeping a healthy distance and judgmental attitude. As I entered my senior year, the leadership over that group asked for my help. The hazing had become abusive, with several of my Freshmen peers being the greatest perpetrators. The abuse had become so severe, the leadership were thinking of disbanding the group, and I became more active to try and salvage the reason why the group was formed. Guy was also asked to help, and in a few short weeks I discovered that Guy was actually a really good guy! We became friends and remain so today. 

I also discovered that he had kept his distance from me for the same reason I’d kept my distance. Our mutual acquaintances were very adept at pointing out our flaws and expounding upon negative perceptions. The truth is that everyone except God has flaws. We can focus on the chinks in their armor and start to despise them, vilify them and consequently ridicule them. Every strength can become a weakness, so it’s easy to exaggerate characteristics, pronounce judgements and repeatedly hammer away until others start to echo destructive words. Words when repeated enough start to form as “fact” in the mind of the listener, who subconsciously looks for ways to support their perception. We see it in corporate power-struggles and electoral politics. We saw it in the antisemitism of Pre-World War 2 Germany, and we see it in the depiction of Bible-believing Christians today. 

I don’t believe anyone would be surprised to know we have stark political division in America, and I hear that the political divide is equally pronounced in many other countries. I believe we’re being played as fools, creating an ever widening chasm between people who could otherwise come together and accomplish great things. E Pluribus Unum is the Latin motto for our country. It means that we have come from many and become one, but modern America is splintering, going in the opposite direction. 

I value truth, and it is truly reprehensible to me whenever I hear a lie. But there are others who can’t understand where I’m coming from. Remember Pontius Pilot when Jesus used the word “truth”? He responded with “What is truth?”. For some people, the concept of truth is irrelevant. They are all about agenda. Now everyone has agendas, and the pursuit of a worthy goal is a good thing. But agenda without truth leads away from the greater good; it is wickedness. It is in opposition to what is true and right. It is like the difference between righteousness and self-righteousness, one based in goodness and truth, the other founded on selfishness. Alliances are made to drive agendas, strengthen power, and edge out anyone that is seen as a threat who isn’t onboard. 

Their walk does not match their talk. They decry others in power to grow and solidify their own position. We have seen it in every Communist Revolution: mobilize the proletariat against the bourgeoise, take from the privileged class and redistribute the wealth… ultimately delivering that wealth into the hands of the revolution leaders! They convince people that religion is the opiate of the masses and declare that God is dead! Truth is not important; it is all about agenda, where the one most successful in advancing their agenda ascends to power. 

Crony capitalism is no better, and the financial elitists are growing their power through other means, and while each directs our attention to the other as the enemy, they collectively move toward a one-world collective alliance. They are godless globalists who arrogantly believe they are mankind’s hope for survival. After all, when the world has only one government and no religion, they will eradicate the evils of war, right? 

It is the epitome of lawlessness, rebellion against God, and an arrogant pronouncement of human-deity.  It is the new tower of Babel where the real war is a power-struggle of hell on earth. Ultimately, one person will come out on top, and when that happens who will be able to oppose him? Like the blood purges of Stalin, or the dynamic destruction of Hitler’s Third Reich, people will realize too late who their real enemy is, and the tragedy of global victory will be the end of checks and balances, where historically nations have allied themselves against a great evil. 

Yes, as terrible as war is, as terrible as any violent action can be, it is sometimes the last option to oppose a greater evil. People are not basically good, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Even if you do not believe in God and what the Bible says, you should be able to see where we are heading. The advances in weaponry, informatics, and communications are leading toward a global empire, complete with a global emperor. 

This can be truly scary for those of us not in the position to secure a power base fast enough. After all, in a world with limited resources that are rapidly being depleted by a planet with too many people, the upper echelons of humanity will find a way to reduce the overall population, right? I imagine the ones that are taken out first will either be the least talented or the most talented, who pose the greatest threat to those in power. 

Yes, it would be truly scary if we didn’t already know how this story ends: God wins! However it ultimately plays out, Yahweh told us about the growth of lawlessness, where everyone does that is right in their own eyes. He told us that one man would rise to power and stand in opposition to God and His ways. He told us that Jesus would return for His Bride, the Church. He told us that in this world we would have troubles but to take heart because He has overcome the world! 

Yes, God wins. His Kingdom prevails, and He even gave us a clear sign: Israel became a nation again after a couple thousand years. The Jewish people, God’s Chosen People, retained a common culture despite the long years of exile, and once again Israel became a nation so that the remaining prophecies of Scripture will materialize. The temple is about to be rebuilt, and the Man of Lawlessness, the Antichrist, the one world leader prophesied in Scripture will do that abominable act in the temple. This is what Scripture refers to as the Abomination of Desolation.

I believe a likely scenario is that he will declare the deity of man. More likely it will be a self-professed deity, and possibly through the advancements in AI and cybernetics, he may announce the evolution and synthesis of man with his technological creation to not just build a tower of Babel, but to become the very essence of that tower. 

Yes, we be fools, the fools who have helped build this new tower through our complicit bickering and failure to learn and believe the truth of Scripture, accepting false gospels of prosperity, altruism and social justice. We be fools who refused to be the blessed peace-makers and accepted agenda-driven identity politics.

But let me give you one more sign that Christ’s return is near as prophesied in Scripture: the very ridicule this blog post will receive, because we know that scoffers will mock any mention of Christ’s return. No, I’m not declaring a day or an hour, but I can tell by signs in the atmosphere when it is about to rain, and I can see that so much is lining up for what He told us would happen thousands of years ago. I can’t tell you when the first raindrops will hit, and I haven’t heard thunder yet, but storm clouds appear to be approaching. With God’s help, I will weather the storm. Will you?

copyright ©2019 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/)

Sunday, August 4, 2019

The Kingdom of Hell

I have written about the Kingdom of Heaven in a previous blog. It is God’s rule in our lives and by extension through us it moves into the world around us. His love changes us (2 Corinthians 3:18 and other verses). Our response to His love is to love in return, loving others as we have now learned what love is (1 John 4:19). Love is the prevailing characteristic of Heaven.

In contrast to the Kingdom of Heaven, C.S. Lewis wrote the Screwtape Letters as a description of hell, where a major demon coaches a minor demon. I read where Lewis said that this book was the easiest for him to write, and yet it was the one he enjoyed writing the least. He modeled the culture of hell after corporate America, and as someone who has worked with many global enterprises, I understand why. In most corporate cultures, people are encouraged to be “nice” without being kind. They are driven by their personal agenda over the needs of others, often succeeding without thought to what is right. I believe the corporate culture is now the prevailing culture of society: it is commonplace in the American political environment as well as social media; I see love dwindle from society while lust gains an ever-stronger presence; I see the culture of hell advancing.
Love (agape) is a decision to give, and lust (eros) by comparison is the desire to get.
I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but I’m pointing out my observation of what Scripture foretold long ago: in the last days the love of many will grow cold. (Matthew 24:12) It makes sense that the Kingdom of Hell, the reign of hell’s culture, would become the predominant worldview in the end times. It is made of many alliances, people joining forces to establish their position and advance their agenda. It is very much like the Survivor TV show, build an alliance with others so that you can get rid of the stronger, independent competition, all the while waiting for when you will betray your allies because they are no longer useful in achieving your personal goals. It’s like Hitler’s rise to power. It is like his speeches that were designed to appeal to the listening audience based on their reaction to his opening statements. He would tickle their ears, give them what they wanted to hear, appeal to their desires and manipulate them for his own purposes. His neuro-linguistic programming leading them to agree repeatedly on the way to a demonic conclusion. And wolves in sheep’s clothing are teaching in this way from the pulpit. 

Satan has been using this tactic for millennia: eat the fruit and you will be able to judge good and evil; you will be like God Himself. It is our own lust that makes us so pliable, useful to the Kingdom of Hell. Yes, everyone wants to be happy, and God gave us things to enjoy, both in this world and the next. But our pursuit of pleasure is what pulls us in the wrong direction. It is our avoidance of pain that hinders our growth. And our ancient enemy will try to exploit this weakness in us. Bait is placed upon the trap; will we pursue it? Gnats and adversity stand in our way; will we allow them to discourage us? 

We have no hope apart from Jesus. It is His daily working in us that allows us to will and act according to His good purposes (Philippians 2:13). Since ancient days, the alliances of the hell’s culture have been working in rebellion against the Kingdom of Heaven, and whether it is ultimately the financial elite, the socialist revolution, a caliphate, or an alliance that brings about one global kingdom, nothing surprises our God. We are told to trust in God and do good things, to live in the land and practice being faithful. (Psalm 37:3) We are told to surrender ourselves to the Lord and not to be preoccupied by the evildoer that succeeds in wicked schemes. (Psalm 37:7) We are told to delight ourselves in the Lord and He will give us the good desires of our hearts. (Psalm 37:4) When we trust Him, He acts on our behalf (Psalm 37:5), making our righteousness shine like a light (Psalm 37:6). It is only in His Presence that we are changed and made able to stand. 

So pray and in His power be made strong for one more day: give us this day our daily bread, the Bread of Life; lead us away from temptation and evil. Lord help us to spend each day in Your Presence, sensitive to the leading of Your Spirit, obedient to Your leading, in Jesus’ Name as King of All!

copyright ©2019 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/)

Sunday, June 30, 2019

You Are Why the Time is Near

This is something you need to understand: You are the reason why the time of Christ’s return is near. That’s right: you. Assuming of course that you are the Remnant, the Confessing Church, the Bride of Christ. It is His love for you, for me and for all the hidden, universal church that will bring an end to this Age, a conclusion to the rebellion that began with the Serpent, Eve and Adam.

Now let me explain how you play such a critical role as this age comes to a close and Yahweh’s judgement draws near. First, let me be clear that I’m not declaring a day nor an hour of His imminent return. Scripture tells us that only the Father knows that. But look at the signs and just as the weather can be predicted (somewhat unreliably) by certain indicators, we can look at the prophecies in Scripture and recognize that everything is lined up. I won’t go into all the details, but Israel became a nation again and the generation that saw that pivotal event is in their latter years. The temple prophesied about in the books of Daniel and Revelations is about to be rebuilt, an unblemished red heifer is available for the prescribed purification ceremony, and a High Priest has been identified. The only thing remaining is to remove the political barriers for the construction. 

But it’s really about you. God’s judgement comes when the people of God are either inescapably oppressed or corrupted. Better the former than the latter. When we are oppressed, we see God coming as our Redeemer, our Savior, our Almighty God Who removes the yoke of tyranny and places us upon a pedestal that we truly don’t deserve. What a great rejoicing when we see Him coming to bring us the victory we can’t achieve in our own power, and He will do just that! 

However, when the church has been corrupted, that is a completely different story! 

The visible church has been infiltrated with agents of the Enemy since the time of the Church Fathers, and the plans of the wicked are coming to fruition. Yet Psalm 37:7 tells us not to be preoccupied with the success of the wicked. The preceding verses in that chapter encourage us to focus on our right relationship with God. He is God and we are not. He loves us unconditionally and has made a plan for restoring us to be the people He has made us to be. He has set us up as Holy Ambassadors of His Kingdom to this world to expand His Kingdom.

Let me quickly explain a key concept about the Kingdom of God. Jesus gave us many parables about the Kingdom, and I encourage you to look at those. But do we understand what the Kingdom is? It’s not some other-worldly-removed-from-physical-reality-esoteric-concept. In the Lord’s Prayer, we ask for His Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven. It’s not some far removed time in the future, but it exists now. It is the Reign of God in our lives, and it is meant to impact the world around us. As we live according to Christ’s will in our lives, we change the very nature of the world around us through our obedience. It is like salt that brings out the best flavor of food; salt, which acts as a preservative. But as Jesus warned: if we lose our saltiness… what then?

The Antichrist is often called the Man of Lawlessness / Rebellion. What are he and his followers rebelling against? God’s reign of course. Jesus explained how He did not come to remove the Law but that He was fulfilling it (Matt 5:17). The Law is, was and always will be good. It reflects the reality that God created, and the Son upheld the Law of God. By grace we are freed from the consequences of being lawbreakers, and our love-response should reflect Jesus’ attitude. 

In contrast, Scripture warns us of wolves in sheep’s clothing, masquerading as ministers of righteousness who tickle our ears with what we want to hear rather than how we need to live. They pervert the Good News with false gospels of prosperity, social justice, cheap grace, awakening the god within us. Unfortunately, mankind prefers the darkness of these feel-good messages to the light of truth telling us: you are going in the wrong direction and need to turn back to living rightly. In other words: repent.

Yes repent! Turn away from your wickedness. Stop listening and stop supporting these agents of the Evil One. With love, speak the truth of God’s Word. Boldly and yet humbly represent the Kingdom of God in action as well as speech, seeking to advance the truth and love of the God of Scripture Who chastises His children out of love rather than placates to their pleasures and comforts. 

When the believers of a society have been corrupted by the world around them and choose a behavior that no longer reflects the rule of God in their lives, the wrath of God will become manifest. When that happens the worldly things that we have chosen over Him will be removed and revealed for all their ugliness. The Light of God will reveal our own ugliness and filth and prompt us to return to what is true, noble and right. The perpetrators of corruption will be destroyed, and the elect will be humbled through a discipline they could have avoided. 

So like Joshua to the people of Israel, I ask who you will serve? Who will you choose to find pleasure in? What is your plan for following through on this decision? It will not be easy, but I assure you it’s worth it. If you are seeking the pleasures and comforts of this world over the reign of God in your life, you need to turn back to your God, and change the way you think and act. I promise you that when you do, He will always be faithful to bring healing into your life!

If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My Face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sins and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14
copyright ©2019 Mitchell Malloy http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/ 

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Learning from Nehemiah’s Prayer

I came across this prayer by Nehemiah in the context of praying for America. It was a departure from my planned reading of Scripture, which has me re-exploring the book of Luke in the New Testament. Instead, the Lord directed me to this Old Testament passage:

The Present
32 And now, our God, you are the great, mighty, and awe-inspiring God.
    You faithfully keep your promises.
Do not consider all the hardships
    that we have been going through as unimportant.
        The hardships have come to our kings, leaders, priests, prophets,
            ancestors, and all your people
                from the time of the kings of Assyria until now.
33 But you were fair about everything that has happened to us.
    You have been faithful, but we have been wicked.
34 Our kings, leaders, priests, and ancestors didn’t obey your teachings.
    They didn’t pay attention to your commandments or the warnings
        that you gave them.
35 When they lived in their own kingdom and enjoyed the many good things
    that you gave them in a vast, fertile land
        which was set in front of them, they didn’t serve you
            or turn away from their wicked lives.
36 Look at us now. We’re slaves!
    In the land you gave our ancestors,
        they could eat its produce and enjoy its good things.
            But now we’re slaves!
37 The many products from our land go to the kings you put over us.
    This is because of our sins.
        These kings have control over our bodies,
            and they do as they please with our livestock.
                We are in agony.
Nehemiah 9:32-37 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

“Do more with less!” is a common saying I hear as people become more and more enslaved to their jobs in fear of impending lay-offs. The shrinking middle class and unimaginable wealth of an ever-shrinking few is used by selfish politicians to further their own selfish and ungodly agendas. Racial tensions increase as we focus on differences and privileges rather than uniting around a common fight for inalienable rights of every person – every person who bears the image of God – every person whose blood runs the same color as the One who bled and died for our freedom from sin and the wages of death. The Church has been corrupted with a new gospel, one of social justice, that perverts the understanding of Scripture with a more palatable yet less truthful interpretation. 

Who is to blame? Is it our leaders in government, business or the church? Is it the Entertainment industry? The News Media? Education? Who is to blame? As Nehemiah described it in verse 37 above: “The many products from our land go to the kings you put over us. This is because of our sins. These kings have control over our bodies, and they do as they please with our livestock. We are in agony.”

We looked to our government as our provider instead of God. We set our places of work up as idols. We shopped for churches that filled our desires rather than our needs, drifting away from our own responsibilities to grow the Kingdom. We chose to be entertained rather than to grow more fully into the people God desired us to be, and we chose the convenience of listening to talking heads tell us what to think rather than exerting the effort to learn by the leading of the Holy Spirit. 

We are to blame and we need to return to the God of the Bible. Ultimately, we know from Scripture that there will be a great falling away and that Our Lord and King will return, but we who believe should live in purity, love and truth in either preparation for His coming or to push back the tide until that Day.

copyright ©2019 Mitchell Malloy http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/ 

Saturday, May 25, 2019

My Top Five


My top five is really YOUR top five; they are the most read posts on this blog. It’s made me wonder what makes them the most read posts? So I decided to post one of my shortest blogs (this) and list the Top 5 to see if it changes how they rank. If any of these links resonates with you, please send the link to a friend or two who you think might be interested. So without further commentary, the top 5 most read posts listed in order are:
  1. 1.       How to Fight - Oct 15, 2018
  2. 2.       End of Age Handbook - Nov 27, 2017
  3. 3.       Two Sides of the Coin - May 30, 2012
  4. 4.       Man Up, Boys! - Aug 11, 2013
  5. 5.       What Is Your Value-Add? - Jul 28, 2013

copyright ©2019 Mitchell Malloy http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/

Sunday, April 28, 2019

What is a Soul? (and other related questions)

Ok, let’s be honest, who has ever heard a clear definition of a soul. It’s a mystical, ethereal thing that is somehow the same as and yet different from our spirit (Hebrews 4:12). I’ve heard it described as the mind, will and emotion, which is both true and says absolutely nothing. The best definition I’ve heard is that it’s our habit of thinking, those thoughts we think without realizing that we are thinking, and that concept finally opened doors for me to understand how the soul is indeed the mind, will and emotion all tied up together in a way that describes the essence of who we are. 

And that understanding opened many more doors to see how this battleground of the soul is where Satan operates. If he can get us to think wrongly without even realizing our self-sabotage, then the battle is almost won (by him… bad for us!). He can neutralize our efforts by the self-sabotage of our habits of thought. He can create discouraging feelings when God’s Word tells us to be bold and walk by faith. It is only by an act of will that we press forth against the feeling toward a goal that we cannot see, taking captive every thought for the victory that Christ intends for us. (2 Corinthians 10:5) Our mind knows how God wants us to live, but segments of our soul have been manipulated by the Enemy to work against us, creating feelings that don’t represent the truth or perceptions that cry out “you’re going the wrong way!”. So we walk by faith and over time that walk teaches us and repetition creates changes in our soul rendering the Enemy’s words as ineffective and over time, even laughable! If God is for us, who can be against? (Romans 8:31) 

There’s a book I highly recommend called R.A.R.E. Leadership (see on Amazon) that offers so many practical tips for training our brain to become the leaders who can change lives, starting first with our own. The time is short (1 Corinthians 7:29-31), so we need to be sober minded (1 Peter 5:8-9) – intentionally pursuing a transformation from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18) I’m not saying that our soul is merely a physical attribute of the brain (read the book for context), but I believe like the Israelites that the physical and spiritual are both equally real and tightly intertwined. 

What, then, does it mean to save a soul? It starts with saving your own soul by agreeing with everything that Christ tells you is true and acting on it. We lead ourselves first, and we are inspired to lead others. R.A.R.E. Leaders start with becoming that R.A.R.E. Leader while at the same time reaching others. When we live by faith and not by the way of the world, we are changed, and that change is a beacon to people enslaved by fear. Out of fear and pain, they may reject the message, but they are watching and hoping that despite their words and actions to discourage us, we can show them the path to eternal healing. Truly they need God and us to forgive them, because they don’t know what they do. (Luke 23:34) 

The Word of God instructs us through the leading of the Holy Spirit and we can speak directly to spirit in each person we meet in a way that treats them as a valued brother or sister rather than a project. We find a freedom that we can’t keep to ourselves because we remember the kingdom of fear, afraid of the righteous judgement coming our way. We see the captives longing for delivery while not daring to hope it’s even possible. But perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18), and Satan needs to flee from the battleground where confidence in God’s loving grace has cast out all fear and anxiety. 

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:4 - NIV) 

So don’t fight with the weapons of this world and ask for creative ways to lead others, taking God’s truth into the workplace, the neighborhood, the school, the gym or wherever you happen to be, because you born for a time such as this! (Esther 4:14, Acts 17:26)

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Who Is This Person, Jesus?


Who is Jesus?” That was the question I asked on Good Friday 30 years ago. I had come to doubt all that I had learned growing up in a Christian church. My first degree was in Philosophy, and my definition of a Philosopher was the same as Gandhi’s definition of Hindu: a seeker of Truth. I was a young naval officer who had just come off a miserable 6 week mini-deployment and in preparation for the six-month deployment brought along only “positive” things. I only brought music that I believed would be positive, and I only brought books that would be positive. I read several Hindu books in my search for truth, and I brought a Gideon’s Bible that had collected dust since being handed to me 4 years earlier. I had been praying that if God was real, for Him to reveal Himself to me. I was ready to throw away the concept of God or change it to whatever I discovered. After reading from the Hindu books, I reluctantly picked up the Gideon’s Bible. It only had the Proverbs, Psalms and New Testament. As a philosopher seeking truth, I had just put down a book on Hindu proverbs, and it seemed only right that I should start in the Book of Proverbs. 

So I was hit with the truth. As I started reading, I was confronted with words telling me that I was acting like a fool, and I understood in a very awkwardly heartfelt fashion that I could either embrace the Truth or run away from it. In either case, I knew in a very real way that it was the Truth. Truth with a capital T, absolute and unarguable. It wasn’t a relative truth or subjective thing. And I was a fool. I didn’t like what I read, but I couldn’t argue with it. So, I chose to embrace the truth that I had found. 

I continued to read through Proverbs, more and more convinced that God was real and speaking to me through this book. I was on a six-month deployment in the Mediterranean Sea reading Proverbs and the only One teaching me was God Himself. I don’t know of anyone who has met God first through Proverbs, but that is how He reached me. 

Completing Proverbs, I decided to continue into Psalms. I believed in God with greater conviction and wasn’t ready to start reading the New Testament yet. I knew from my upbringing that Proverbs was from the Old Testament, part of the Jewish Scriptures. As I continued to read from Psalms, I changed my prayer. I said: “God, I believe You are real, but who is Jesus?” 

I said this prayer on Good Friday, as I opened up to Chapter 22 in Psalms. And I saw it there. I understood from my upbringing that Psalms was an Old Testament book, pre-dating Jesus. Yet here I read the story of the Messiah’s crucifixion, a prophecy of that first Good Friday. I did not, and do not, believe in coincidences. If God exists as I believe He does, then He was speaking to me and saying: “Yes, Jesus is the Messiah, My Son. Listen to Him.” 

That day changed my life and led me one night to say to God: “I believe You are God. I have made myself to be my own ruler, but I realize now that my control over my life hasn’t been leading me to where I need to be. I make a pretty poor god over my own life, and I ask You to be not just my Savior, but my Lord. Lead me!” 

So Who is this Jesus? When I read that chapter in Psalms, I learned that God Himself planned for Jesus to go to that cross, and I subsequently believed in the rest of His story: He died for my sins (past, present and future). He proved He was God incarnate by rising from the grave on Easter. I now believed that both the Old and New Testaments were relevant to my life. How could I understand Jesus as the Pascal Lamb without knowledge of the Jewish Passover Celebration? 

Easter is a celebration of Life, a remembrance of both His resurrection and His promise that He did not come to change the Law of the Old Testament, but that He came to complete it. (See Matthew 5:17) He completed the Law by paying the price for our violations of the Law. His mercy and grace don’t negate the Law, but they emphasize how the Law is still good and true, exacting the price from God’s own Son for our violations of the Law. His grace declares His undeserved love for us, His proclamation of peace and good will toward man as announced by angels when Jesus was born. (Luke 2:14) 

Paul was awed by God’s amazing love and boundless grace, but he was quick to point out that God’s love and grace are not an license to continue in sinful lifestyles. (See Romans 6:1-2) Rather, it’s an invitation to grow in holiness as we imitate Christ (1 Peter 1:16, 2:21), Who came not just to save us but to show us how to live. We are not required to live our lives perfectly; we can’t live it perfectly! Rather, we are called to walk with Him daily in a relentless pursuit of Truth that is ridiculed by men and discouraged by demons. 

Who is Jesus? He is our Lord, our Mentor, and the very Model of a life in relationship with God the Father. He is alive, risen from that grave, working in the lives of men who are tenacious enough to follow Him in a world that prefers darkness over light. And He is the King that we represent daily as Ambassadors of Grace, changing us from glory to glory as become more like Him. (2 Cor 3:18) 

Jesus is my Lord, God, and Brother, and with His help I will serve Him and rule with Him through all eternity!

copyright ©2019 Mitchell Malloy http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/

Friday, April 19, 2019

Prayer for Revival on Good Friday

As I write this, I would really like to go to bed, but the Lord told me to get up and type this prayer and then to schedule it to be published on April 19th, 2019. This date has a special meaning to me: it is the 30 anniversary of when I asked Jesus to be Lord of my life. But it has special meaning to believers as Good Friday, the day that we remember Jesus’ death on the cross when He assumed all punishment for our sins, our many, various and repeated sins. 

And yet the Church today is sick, giving little thought as to how far we are from Christ and His ways. We need to repent. And so I offer this prayer:
Lord, let there be a revival in America and a renewal in Your Church throughout the world. We have let You and the world down. We have not lived as we should. We have sought to entertain ourselves rather than to find joy in Your Presence. We have sought our own comforts over the needs of our brothers. We have acted spiteful toward others instead of loving our enemies. We have not represented You or Your Kingdom well. We have not led well and for that we are truly sorry.
We are no better than our ancestors and prone to the same weakness. We focus on self and even look to You as the Provider of all our wants and desires, mistaking Your love and grace as a sign that You are our personal genie in a bottle with unlimited wishes. We follow in the steps of Adam, believing that we can choose what is good for ourselves rather than turning to You as Lord, God and Father, Who knows what is best for us, even if it is hard. We whine about your correction instead of thanking you, understanding that correction is a sign of a Loving Father. 
So change our hearts, minds, and habits of thought to make us as You want us to be. Change our habits so that we find pleasure in You. Draw us into your Presence and change us; fill us with Your joy. Let Your joy truly be our strength, and fan this flame in our hearts to pray, so that we pray just to be close to You and so that we pray for Your good and perfect will to be done in our lives and in the world around us. Rekindle in us the fire of Your Love and inspire us to join You in the work You are doing. Open our eyes to see that work, but don't let the work overshadow why we work or for Whom we work. 
Bring into our lives seekers and give us the words and actions to represent You well. We have no hope apart from You, and the people in this world need to know that You are the One True Hope for all mankind and for all the elect. So open our hearts, minds and souls to Your good and perfect will. Change our request from "Help me, Lord!" to "Show me how to best serve You, Lord!" And help us to pray. To set aside time to pray. Lord teach us once again how to pray and lead us into intercession for a worldwide revival! 
It's Good Friday, a day to remember who we are and what Christ has done for us. May we all truly turn toward God in a new and more tenacious fashion!

And all God's people say: Amen!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Palm Sunday and the Branch of Jesse

I have a direct message for the Church but need to remind you of a few things first: 

The fickle hearts of God’s people - with palm branches they praised the arrival of Jesus to Jerusalem and days later they were crying: “Crucify Him!” Jesus knew His mission. He came to seek and save the lost, in particular the lost sheep of Israel. He came to extend the Father’s offer of peace and goodwill to men. He was the Messiah, the prophesied Savior and Branch of Jesse. But people prefer darkness to light and choose to do what is right in their own eyes. They preferred a righteousness of self, choosing what is right as if they were God Himself, the Author of all creation, the Authority of all that is right and wrong. 

So the Jewish people welcomed the person they believed to be the Messiah, the Chosen One of God, and days later repeated the words of Satan spoken through the religious leaders of their day. “Crucify Him!” “He saved others, let Him save Himself!” 

Now, two thousand years later, we look at these people and call out their foolishness. God’s judgement came down upon them and they were scattered throughout the earth. As Biblical scholars tell us, the promise was passed on to the Church. A new testament was written describing the new covenant that God extended to gentiles. The Law of the old covenant was replaced with the gospel of grace, a new contract with the Church. The truth of God’s grace was revealed to man, and the Father showed us the peace offering realized through Jesus. Justice, Peace and Grace are all exemplified in a humble and mighty Savior. Jesus showed strength in His sacrifice, endured in complete obedience to the Father despite the extreme suffering He endured for our sake. 

While Jesus came to the lost sheep of Israel, it was through Him that the gentiles found hope. Because of Israel’s unrepentance, branches were grafted onto the vine, and the nations received scraps that had been refused by the children of Abraham. 

But what if the recipients of this new covenant refuse the reign of God in their lives? What happens if the Church, like Israel, chooses to do what is right in their own eyes? 

Now if some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among them and participated in the richness of the olive root, do not boast over the branches. But if you boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. Then you will say, “The branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted! They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but fear! For if God did not spare the natural branches, perhaps he will not spare you. Notice therefore the kindness and harshness of God – harshness toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness toward you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. And even they – if they do not continue in their unbelief – will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these natural branches be grafted back into their own olive tree?  
For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 
- Romans 11:17-25 

Who is foolish now if not the Church in America? Who is fickle if not the Bride of Christ that has decided hours of TV or smartphone screen time are preferable to even 15 minutes a day in the presence of Christ? Technology and entertainment aren’t bad, but seeking the pleasure of entertaining ourselves rather than spending time with the One Who extended this priceless gift is the sign of a selfish and fickle people. David Wilkerson pointed out rightly that we can have as much of Jesus as we want. What I wonder is: How much do we truly want Jesus? Men prefer darkness to light. We prefer our pleasure over God’s pleasure, even when His desire is for our benefit. At what point will God choose to remove the branches grafted onto the Vine and replace them with the natural branches? 

Has the full number of Gentiles come into the Kingdom? (see verse 25 in the passage above) 

When we see the nation of Israel reborn in fulfillment of prophecy with a growing openness to receive the Gospel, is that partial hardening of Israel being removed? Has this happened at a time when lawlessness increases, the love of many has grown cold and many of the bridesmaids have failed to keep oiled in the Spirit? And don’t I see scoffers from within the Church ridiculing the return of Christ our King? These are all signs of Christ's imminent return! If these thoughts scare you, consider how God may want you to respond. A good place to start is in prayer, and a good place to seek answers is in the Word of God, His Scriptures

  • John 12:13 
  • Mark 15, Luke 23, John 19 
  • Luke 19:10 
  • Matt 15:24 
  • Luke 2:14 
  • Isaiah 11:1 
  • John 3:19 
  • Deut 12:8, Judg 17:6, Prov 12:15 
  • Gen 3:5 
  • Matt 27, Mark 15, Luke 23 
  • Eph 3:6 
  • Rom 11:7 
  • Matt 15:27 
  • Eze 36-38, Isa 66:8-9, Jer 16:14-15 
  • Matt 24:12 
  • Matt 25 
  • 2 Peter 3 
copyright ©2019 Mitchell Malloy http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/

Monday, April 1, 2019

Why is He Called the Beast?

Mankind is so foolish. We seem to think that evil presents itself as a horrible, ugly, repulsive thing that we would run away from. I wish that were the case. I wish I was repulsed by evil. But if I’m honest there is something attractive about some things that I know are wrong. The promise of pleasure or luxury or security lures many people astray. We are all flawed with the desire to feed all our wants. It is the nature of our flesh.

When we give into our base nature, we feed the flesh. But the paradox of man is that we can rise up above our selfish wants and sacrifice ourselves for something greater. We can show such nobility and hope in the darkest times. Our base nature is like that of beasts but we reflect the divine nature of God as His image bearers when we rise above our flesh. We are conflicted, vacillating between good and evil, spirit and flesh, godly desire and carnal desire. 

The Beast feeds the fleshly desires. The beast is what we all need to rise above. It is the image of the beast in our nature that will be drawn to the Beast in Revelation. Yes, I said we would be drawn toward the Beast, the Antichrist. Scripture tells us that Satan can appear as an angel of light and his men as ministers of righteousness. How much more will the Antichrist appeal to us? He will be charismatic, physically as well a intellectually. He will know how to cater to people’s emotions and draw them in. He will demonstrate a lot of initial success in what appear to be good and impossible things. He’ll broker a middle east treaty and likely demonstrate the leadership to pull our world out of dire crises. He will appeal to every concept of hero and usher the earth into an apparent prosperity that most people can’t imagine. Every fiber of our flesh will be drawn to the gifts presented by the Beast. 

And all we’ll have to do is forget what God has told us. Forget the scriptures that warn against this great delusion. Forget the prophecies and forget the power of God. Focus instead on the power of the Beast, the comforts and conveniences that will be made available to everyone who submits to the authority of the Beast. No person in the history of the world has ever held the power that the Beast will have, aided by technologies that haven’t even been invented yet. There will be such opulence available to those that submit to the authority of the Beast, and people will be called fools for not partaking of the finest mankind has ever produced. 

The world will label these fools who refuse to submit to the new and best-ever opportunities the Beast has made possible. The world grow to hate these fools for Christ, who suffer for no good reason when they could just embrace the new ways and stop holding out for some out-dated myths, the myths of religion that have brought on so many wars. 

The giants will have never appeared to be bigger and the temptations will have never been stronger. 

And our only hope is God. Our only hope is the Creator of All, Who predicted that this time would come. 

So it is imperative that we get back into the Word of God, reminding ourselves that no matter how big the giants, our God is greater. Remembering that if God could provide for the nation of Israel in the desert for forty years, He will provide for all our needs. Preparing ourselves for the truth that many things we think we “need” are nothing more than wants that appeal to our flesh. Preparing ourselves against the temptation to please ourselves and to take our salvation into our own hands. Trusting that God is the same today, tomorrow and yesterday. Accepting the label that we are fools for Christ as we hold on to the words of people like Jim Elliott: “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” 

I respect my brothers who believe the Rapture comes before the Antichrist rises to power, but I don’t see that in the Scriptures. The pre-trib belief places assumptions on verses that supposedly assure that the Church will be spared from the Tribulation. I would love to be wrong and spared this time of trial, but I recognize the Tribulation is only temporary. The Beast will appeal to our flesh just as he is consumed with feeding his own insatiable appetite. He will embody Satan, literally be possessed by the most powerful of the demons. And he will seek to rend the creation of God apart in subtle and ingenious ways. 

But God our Father has a plan, and our God will not be surprised or thwarted by some angel kicked out of heaven long ago. Satan couldn’t win then and he certainly won’t prevail against our God in the end. Choose the winning side and prepare yourselves now. 

copyright ©2019 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/)