Sunday, September 19, 2021

To Be Loved

What does it mean to be loved? How can love be found? It’s the subject of movies, books, philosophers and romantics. The pursuit of love has steered history. Why does the human heart crave this even if the essence of love is elusive? I’m reminded of the musical “Oliver” as the main character sings “Where is Love?” A young orphan, his heart yearns to find someone who will love him. Like most musicals this ends happily, but the reality for many is that love remains beyond their grasp. 

There are loveless marriages, loveless families, loveless lives. We all have a need to be known and accepted for who we are and not simply for what we do. When dating, we put forth our best image, not just because we desire the admiration of another, but because inwardly we desire to be a that type of person. I’ve often heard the words “He/She brings out the best in me” as a person strives to be better for the sake of the person they love. 

What is love?

Love is a powerful feeling, but it is more than just a emotion. Some of love’s elusive nature for native English speakers may be the fact that the word can mean many things. In Hebrew, there are three words that we can translate as “love”. In Greek there are seven words, each with a distinctly different meaning, and the highest form of love is Agape, unconditional love. 

We are each designed with the need to be loved unconditionally. Our fear is that if someone knows about our dark side, we will be rejected. To be known, warts and all, and still be loved. This type of love is truly divine and reflects the nature of God. God looks at each of us and loves us more than we deserve. He sees our lies, our melt-downs, and our self-serving actions, yet He still chooses to love us. 

In our fear of rejection, we can often reject others before they have chance to reject us. We can rationalize the lies that Satan whispers in our ear. “You’re not good enough” can become “Who can live up to a perfect standard?”, and that can continue to morph into bitterness against God or others. Rather than being “dumped”, a self-destructive pattern is to sever the relationship first. That’s what so many do with God. Yet God loves us unconditionally, and until we can experience that Agape of God, we can’t fathom anyone loving us like that.

Betrayal and Rejection

Our experiences in life may be filled with betrayal and rejection. From an early age, “love” may have only been experienced as a result of our performance, a conditional love. Attention may have only been received if we were attractive, and so we pour our efforts into being “beautiful”, believing that will make us more “lovable”. Or our strivings could be through athletics, academics, the arts, or status. It’s all a born of desperation to be loved even if it’s all conditional.

And when our efforts fail? Sometimes our love runs dry when we have loved well, but a person who should have returned that love rejects us, betrays us. Why should we love well when others do not? That question can become a death spiral, where we have learned the wrong thing from our experience and decide that love is an illusion or a foolish game. Yet still our hearts long for love.

The Answer

No document, podcast or movie can fully answer all these questions, but let me offer some thoughts that have shaped my life. They aren’t original but they are cohesive when contemplated together. First, we experience pain and rejection because wounded people wound people. Second, God loves us unconditionally, knowing both what we’ve done and what we will do. Third, we can only love like God if we experience His unconditional love. Fourth, love is a decision to give, and in giving we somehow receive. Fifth, if we “love” to receive, that is loving conditionally, which is not really love at all. 

Focusing on the third point above, we can only love because God first loves us. (see 1 John 4:19) If we want to be loved, we need to start with the One Who loves us perfectly and Who will fill up our love tank so that we can love like Him. Then and only then can we be ambassadors of His love, and He promises that if we delight ourselves in Him, He will give us the desires of our hearts. (See Psalms 37:4) I believe that it was basking in God’s love that Francis of Assisi could pen his prayer. (See http://mitchellmalloy.blogspot.com/2010/04/800-years-later.html) And basking in His love, our own prayers come alive.

copyright ©2021 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/) 


Saturday, September 11, 2021

America remembered on 911

20 years ago today America was attacked. This is not a day of celebration, unless we celebrate the first responders who stepped up to their sworn responsibility. This is not a day to forget either. “Those who fail to remember history are destined to repeat it.” 

For me, it’s a day of reflection, remembering where I was as the first plane hit the tower, the call from my wife, the amazing stories of lives that were somehow spared because they didn’t follow their normal routine. And in the days that followed, listening to a liberal pundit turned conservative as he realized that many of his liberal colleagues truly hated America. 

We have made mistakes, but I believe the vast majority of Americans have desired good things for our neighbors and tried to do what is right, both domestically and abroad. But I also see the moral decline, increase in selfishness and waning of love. Brother fights against brother and violence increases… and it will continue to increase unless we come back to our First Love.

It is our love of God that makes us loving. (see 1John 41:19) When we spend time with Him, in His Presence, we are transformed, becoming more like Him. This is our only hope; He is our only hope!

I love America, the ideals that made this a giant among nations for a season. The ideals weren’t original. They came from Scripture, the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. These same ideals can come alive in each of us today if we would just return to a love for God and the collections of history, prophecy and proverbs that He has given us in His Holy Word.

America is no longer a superpower. Others will try to fill that void, but we live in biblical times. Israel is once again a nation and will grow in riches and power as the Bible predicted. America will heal as the unproductive shoots are pruned, and pruning doesn’t feel good at the time. Still, God is in control, and all of this is proof of His Word and His love for us. 

So at the risk of sounding like a street preacher: repent… turn back to God… because the time is truly near. No man knows the day or the hour, but it is surely nearer today than ever before. It’s your move. It’s my move. May we move wisely.

copyright ©2021 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/)

Saturday, July 31, 2021

The God that Looks like Me

I have been confronted many times with the statement: “everybody needs a god that looks like them”. There’s something appealing about this assertion, like candy for the soul. I like candy, but pleasant sweets are not always a healthy thing. So I have wondered about this statement. Is it an eye-opening realization of what people need or a subtle lure toward what people want?

If I draw further on the nutrition analogy, treats like chocolate and honey have benefits in moderation. Likewise, people need a relatable God to have a relationship with God, and it’s true that we were made in the likeness of God. Male and female, we were created in God’s image. And when I look at the splendorous differences of all races, I can understand that God had a purpose in creating racial variety. The diverse nature of mankind is a reflection of the infinitely multifaceted nature of God. I can appreciate the differences in race and gender, and like a Frenchman proclaim: “Viva la difference!” I appreciate the distinction between men and women, seeing both as equal, different and valued.

But then I’m startled by the image of a woman on the cross, or a black madonna, or an asian Jesus. It shocks my understanding, until I then look upon the anglo-saxon portrait of Christ that I grew up with. Is it true then that everybody needs a god that looks like them? Is our picture of God like gazing into a mirror? Were we were made in God’s image or was He made in ours?

To be sure, God understood our need to be able to relate to Him. Jesus was undeniably male and Jewish, and that is how God chose to represent the Christ. Y’shua (a.k.a. – Joshua, Who we call Jesus) represented the Kingdom of God to this world as both the Son of God and the Son of Man, relatable to us in every way except that He never succumbed to temptation. He suffered as all mankind suffers, and like us, He had friends and family whom He loved. He often referred to His Father in heaven and told His disciples that they knew what God the Father was like if they knew Him.

Some people have difficulty viewing God as a Father. Perhaps it’s because their earthly father wasn’t present or failed to show the love and leadership that should go with the role. Or maybe the reason some struggle with Father God is that they personally feel unvalued as they were created. But God the Father made no mistakes in how He created each of us, loving each of us with such intensity and duration that we can only imagine and still never fully comprehend. In everything, He has a purpose: our height, our hair color, our gender, and our skin color.

I don’t look like a middle eastern Jew, which is the form He chose to send His Son, Y’shua. Does that mean I am inferior and loved less? Of course not! Regardless of gender and race, we are loved by God the Father with the same eternal intensity as He loves Jesus. As His adopted children, we know the fullness of His love and approval.

Yet I know of people who feel they can’t relate to God as masculine. They find comfort in Scripture verses where God describes Himself with traits that are feminine. They see where the wisdom of God is described as a woman or where Jesus compares to his feelings to that of a mother hen yearning to gather her chicks. These feminine descriptions complement God’s masculine nature. God looked at Adam and declared that it was not good for him to be alone, so the Father created a partner for him. Eve was not valued less than Adam. No, she was of equal worth, valued equally as having completed the creation of mankind. Male and female, God created them in His image. The use of allegory, metaphor and simile in Scripture demonstrate the value of every person, male and female, as an image bearer, a reflection of God’s image.

But that is not enough for some. Some misguided believers have embraced the “divine feminine”, a concept which asserts a feminine counterpart to the patriarchal and masculine worship structures in Christianity. In other words: the goddess nature of God. It’s true that we see the fullness of God’s love through feminine similes and metaphors in Scripture, but that does not equivocate God and goddess. Let me emphasize, this doesn’t devalue women in the least bit. Just as God’s chose to reveal Himself as a Jewish man didn’t devalue other races, there is no lesser value placed on women than men. There is no race superior to another and no gender greater than the other. Y’shua showed the greatest respect for all people, male and female; however, He always referred to God as Father and never once taught about the goddess nature. Some might argue that Jesus avoided the topic since it would have been viewed as too extreme for the culture, but that didn’t stop Jesus from saying other things that would have Him killed. No, Y’shua was pretty bold in His teachings, including His own deity.
Let me be clear: the "divine feminine" is a lie from hell and an insertion of pagan theology into Christianity.
But “everybody needs a god that looks like them”, right? Just as too much candy is unhealthy, so does this thought process damage the church when taken too far. The reality is that we were made in His image; He was not created in ours. We were made to reflect His glory, but in our brokenness and pride we strive to project our likeness onto the god (or goddess) of our choosing. Mankind’s greatest sinful tendency is to remake themselves as gods, and a god who looks like us becomes an idol when taken to the extreme.

If your pastor is teaching, supporting or refusing to rebuke the heresy of the divine feminine, you should lovingly confront that person. They may refer to the allegory of Wisdom as the goddess nature of God, and it’s likely they were even taught such things in seminary. It’s true that the Bible describes God’s nature using feminine analogy, but no doctrine can be derived from such figurative language. Ask your pastor for Biblical evidence, and when they can’t produce anything more than allegory, metaphor and simile, ask Jesus how you should respond. If teachers allow false doctrine, can that church remain healthy?


God created us in a variety of shades and sizes. He created mankind as both male and female and together we reflect His image, and while as a species we often fail to reflect His goodness, He is always good. Despite our often toxic behavior, when God created mankind, He called us good. He made us to be good, so there is no toxic masculinity and femininity is part the goodness He created to reflect His majesty. One is not greater in value than the other, and when we resent the differences in God’s creation, we are inwardly rebelling against Him as the Creator. We were made for love, to love and to be loved, to know and to be known, forever growing in our understanding and appreciation for each other. Viva la difference!

copyright ©2021 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/)

Friday, May 28, 2021

Ezekiel's Prophecy for America

America is not specifically called out by name in the Bible,  but there are truths in the Bible we can look towards and say with confidence: "Surely, this applies to America!" Take Ezekiel 14 for example: 

12 The Lord spoke his word to me. He said, 13 “Son of man, suppose a country sins against Me by being unfaithful to Me. I will use my power against it, cut off its food supply, send a famine to it, and destroy its people and animals. 14 Even if these three men—Noah, Daniel, and Job—were in that country, they would, by their righteousness, rescue only themselves,” declares the Almighty Lord.

15 “Suppose I send wild animals through that country and they make it childless and turn it into such a wasteland that no one travels through it because of the animals. 16 As I live, declares the Almighty Lord, not even Noah, Daniel, and Job could rescue their own sons or daughters. They could rescue only themselves. And the country would become a wasteland.

17 “Suppose I bring a war against that country by saying, ‘I will let a war go throughout this country.’ Suppose I destroy the people and the animals in it. 18 As I live, declares the Almighty Lord, not even Noah, Daniel, and Job could rescue their sons or daughters. They could rescue only themselves.

19 “Suppose I send a plague into that country or pour out my fury on it by killing people and destroying animals. 20 As I live, declares the Almighty Lord, not even Noah, Daniel, and Job could, by their righteousness, rescue their sons or daughters. They could rescue only themselves.
Our nation was dedicated to God at it's foundations, and because I see the obvious increase in lawlessness, and corresponding decrease in love, I know that we as a country have been unfaithful. And as noted in previous posts we have openly and intentionally departed from God and His ways. Surely America fits the criteria of Ezekiel 14:13: a country that sins against God by being unfaithful to Him

So what can we expect? Look at the men being referenced in Ezekiel 14 and understand that while Noah was able to save his family from the flood, in our current scenario, he would only be able to save himself. So understand that unless America turns back to God, we will see a devastation like we've never known. And our children will not be spared from the coming wrath just because we have the saving grace of God in our lives; rather they will only be spared through the righteousness of Christ's saving grace in their own lives. 

This understanding creates a reverent fear in me for the sake of my own children. I love them each dearly and yet am concerned for them. Only God knows their hearts and their motivations, and I understand that God's Grace and Holiness are two sides of the same coin. I desperately desire for each of them to seek shelter in His shadow, to be made righteous by the covering of His Grace. 

Likewise, I desire this for each of my friends, my extended family and my co-workers... for all my countrymen! So I write this as a warning and plea, asking the reader to not even trust what I've written but to humbly believe what God has written compelling them to draw close to Jesus because the hour is near!

copyright ©2021 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/)

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Certainty in Uncertain Times

Thirty-five years ago this month, I was commissioned as a naval officer and reported to my first duty station in Pensacola, FL, and today my oldest son reports for active duty as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. My heart swells with pride in his decision to serve, knowing that these are indeed uncertain times. The world has changed dramatically over the past year, and I have no doubt that we will see changes over this next year like no other time in history. 

If I could go back to my younger self, there's so much I would try to teach him, things that I have tried to pass on to my children, some of which they've internalized and some things that cause smiles, jokes and eye rolls. I'm glad to have the transparency with my kids and glad to have them challenge my thoughts as they form their own. Even if they disagree on certain things, they know my beliefs and even how to finish my dad-isms that I've learned and repeated through the years:

  • A smart man learns from his mistakes, but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.
  • It's okay to drink, but it's never okay to get drunk.
  • Love is a decision to give; lust is a desire to get.
There's so much I want to impart to them, so much I wish I had known. And there are things I'm not sure that I've said enough:
  • Life is hard, but God is good. 
  • Sometimes you know you're on the right path by the resistance you feel along the way.
  • God can be trusted, even if no one else can.
  • God is in control, and He is working everything together for good.
If I could go back to my younger self, I'd tell him what I've tried to teach my kids: to persevere in doing what is right and to not be discouraged by the setbacks in life; instead, press into the opposition. It's taken me years to learn that, and in truth, I'm still learning. But everything happens in God's timing, and He prepares us for the path He's prepared for us. Yes, God is in control and He is working all things together for good for those who are called according to His purposes. 

Our world is cast into uncertainty, but God can be trusted. There is nothing that takes Him by surprise and I can look at Psalm 37 and rejoice in the words He gave us. I can choose to trust in the Lord and do good things, to be faithful and to not be preoccupied by an evil doer succeeding in his schemes. I can choose to wait patiently on the Lord, knowing that He called out the times that we are living, that He foretold the end from the beginning, because He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. 

Look at Israel. He called the Jacob a deceiver and gave him the new name of Israel, the one who struggles with God. He blessed Israel yet foretold how they would fall away from Him and promised to bring them back as a nation fully dedicated to Him. What other nation has been scattered to the winds, throughout the entire earth for 500 years or even a hundred years and survived as a people to become a nation again? Yet Israel was scattered for nearly 2000 years and returned as a nation just as God said. 

This is not coincidence or some happy accident. It is proof that God is Who He said He is and that His Word can be trusted. There is no specific mention of America in the Bible, and I've written numerous times about my beliefs for America's future and Israel's succession. We've seen the enemies of the Constitution seek to deconstruct this nation as part of a great reset planned and proclaimed by globalists, evil men who appear to be succeeding in their schemes. 

Yet my son goes off to serve in these uncertain times, and God is still in control, working all things together for good. And me, I wait patiently on the Lord, trying to be faithful. Like Israel in captivity, I will figuratively plant and build as I wait upon God. I will take comfort in what God has said and Who He is. I will actively resist evil, looking for ways to be that servant-leader in other's lives as I seek to join God in the work He is doing. And I will trust that God will work in my son's life, in all my children's lives, as He has worked in mine despite my own struggles with Him. I too am Israel. Like Jacob, I have not always been faithful, but God has promised to be my Provider and Protector. He has given this promise to me like He did to Israel:
The Lord has reversed the judgments against you.
He has forced out your enemies.
The king of Israel, the Lord, is with you.
You will never fear disaster again.
...
At that time I will bring you home.
Yes, at that time I will gather you together.
I will make you famous and praised among all the people of the earth
when I restore your fortunes right before your eyes,” says the Lord.

copyright ©2021 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/)

Thursday, May 6, 2021

National Day of Prayer 2021


The need for a national day of prayer has never been greater than today. This country has forgotten its foundation as a Christian nation and fallen into division. The enemies of this nation have embedded themselves in the power structures of government, education, media, big tech, and big business. A great economic reset is being planned for the world. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Pandemic 2.0 comes along because fearful people are easily controlled. 

But our God is in control and nothing happens that He does not allow. He tells us to draw close to Him, and He will draw close to us. He promises to work everything for good. He reminds us that while this world is not our home, to live in the present as ambassadors of His Kingdom with an eye on our eternal home, as salt and light in this world. And in Psalm 37, He tells us to surrender to His will, waiting patiently, without being preoccupied by the apparent success of evil doers. 

Finally, we lean upon Him and His grace to do that which we can’t do on our own. So simple Yahweh’s request from the beginning: obey and He will bless His people. Yet we have strayed... again and again and again. A simple promise is found in 2 Chronicles to Israel. The name Israel means “struggles with God”, and like Israel, this nation dedicated to God at its foundation has struggled with obedience. The internal struggle is now a call to open defiance fighting with the call to return to God. Which will you answer? Will you turn to the God of our fathers or succumb to the rebellion in this world?

So pray. Pray that God will be merciful and work in His people so that we can obey His good and perfect will. Let this nation find the healing it desperately needs!


Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Good vs Good

“It’s all good.” Now there’s a positive outlook for you… the phrase is used to soothe emotions after an awkward, sensitive or disappointing event. But if I stop to consider it, I believe this attitude is more accurate than the traditional “good vs. evil” mindset. It’s not my nature to see circumstances in this context. I can often overlook patches of vegetation, focusing on the barren ground that surrounds it, rather than the fact that there is life with the potential to grow further. I have allowed myself to become discouraged by the changes occurring in the 2020’s, but as long as there is life, there is hope!

It's hard to see the world as it is and as it could be

Yes, philosophically it truly is all good: evil is the privation of good just as cold is the absence of heat and darkness results from the lack of light. Weakness is the absence of strength. I believe God has given us many natural analogies to help us understand this truth: that evil is not an equally powerful opponent of good. Rather, evil results from a lack of goodness. Now there is only One Who is fully good, and that is God. But at some point, the lack of good in a person or entity is correctly labeled as “evil”.

So what is “good”? I can fall into the trap of “feeling good” over “doing good”, not that it’s wrong to feel good, but seeking to please oneself is hedonism. Some people have claimed that ultimately everyone is hedonistic, saying that philanthropic actions stem from the desire to feel good about doing good, but I know better: we don’t always feel good by doing good and with God’s help, we can persevere in doing good despite the negative reinforcement of some life experiences. The highest form of love, Agape, is doing what is in the best interest of another person even when they don’t want it and you don’t feel like doing it. That is the kind of love Jesus showed us in going to the cross. No one appreciated His sacrifice at the time, including His closest friends. And the night before His death, Jesus prayed for His suffering to pass Him by, but nevertheless, He fully surrendered in obedience to what the Father called “good”.

The Old Testament often referred to evil times as when people do what is right in their own eyes. In other words: people chose to only do the good that made sense to them at the time. We see early in Genesis that Adam and Eve desired the knowledge of good and evil so that they would be like God. In essence, they wanted to choose what was good rather than submit to the Author of all goodness. It’s really no different than when kids only obey what they want to obey. Their partial obedience is really rebellion / lawlessness. It asserts their will to choose what seems right to them as fits their own interest. I have seen my kids even get into fights because of partial obedience: “Dad said YOUR turn on the TV was over after that show!” First world problems flowing from selfish hearts; the symptoms may vary across cultures but the root cause is still the same. Mankind has a tendency to only do what is right in our eyes, a limited goodness that falls short of God’s best in our lives.

But God is good all the time and all His ways are good at all times. His Word is true and good; Scripture in the context of its entirety is always good and true. However, we live in a time when people choose segments of Scripture that make them feel good, while they explain away the parts that are inconvenient. Rather than doing good, people are more interested in feeling good, doing the good that pleases them. Many churches avoid the counter-cultural teachings in Scripture, and Christians avoid the awkward truths of the Bible when dialoging with others. While avoidance can be an acceptable tactic in conflict resolution, it is a poor long-term strategy. Confrontation can be abrasive, but it doesn’t need to be: stick to issues and respect people with opposing viewpoints. Love, Kindness and Self-Control are more important than winning a debate; good Fruit sows good seeds.

We must also consider how to encourage each other to show love and to do good things. We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming.
Hebrews 10:24-25

Be both patient and bold, seeking the Spirit’s leading in every word and inflection. The time is short. In this age of lawlessness, we need, each of us, a strategy for speaking the truth in love… the full truth in agape love. We were, each of us, placed upon the earth for such a time as this, being fruitful in the Fruit of the Spirit by watering in God’s presence daily.

copyright ©2021 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/)

Monday, April 19, 2021

The Mystery of Daniel Revealed

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.

Proverbs 25:2

Introduction

I have long been fascinated with the life of Daniel and the mysteries in his prophetic book. Daniel and his friends grew up in the ruling class. They likely heard about a religious fanatic who was despised by many of the nobles because he kept predicting the inevitable judgement of God. We know that fanatic as the prophet Jeremiah. I can imagine the parents of Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah as devout followers of Yahweh and can picture conversations they may have had about the controversial messages of Jeremiah. We know that Jeremiah was ultimately was proven to be God’s man, but at the time, his behavior was strange even for a prophet, and his message was disturbing. God’s judgement came in the middle of Jeremiah’s prophetic ministry as the Babylonian exile began.

Daniel and his friends were contemporaries of not just Jeremiah, but possibly had childhood interactions with King Jeconiah before his rule and subsequent exile. I also wonder if they ever met and spoke with Ezekiel, either before or after the exile. And I’ve even read of certain rabbinic traditions that Daniel was Mordechai’s messenger killed by Haman in the book of Esther. Although this last relationship seems far-fetched to me, Daniel certainly lived at a pivotal point in Jewish history. 

Daniel’s life was surrounded by mystery and prophecy. From his early years before the Babylonian exile to his own growing understanding of God’s will as he studied Scripture, Daniel lived obediently and prayed for an ever-greater understanding. Yet the visions he received were often a mystery even to him, and more than once he was told to seal up the end times vision that was written for a future generation.

God has many purposes and He weaves all things together in ways we can only understand in part. While the book of Daniel has been used to strengthen believers through millennia, I have come to believe it was primarily written for God’s people in these end times to comfort and encourage us. 

A Book for the End of the Age

The Book of Daniel clearly predicted things that could not have been known by man, such as the rise and fall of Alexander the Great and the corresponding rise of Western culture. I believe God gave Daniel these predictions in large part so that we can have greater confidence in the events that have yet to unfold. It shows us that God is in control. It reveals the history of the world as foretold through Daniel and paints a picture for last days that God and His Scriptures can be trusted. More importantly, the book answers Daniel’s question to God about when Israel’s sins will be atoned and promises God’s redemptive faithfulness in the days that are coming.

So how is Daniel’s prophetic writing to be understood as an encouragement in these last days?

  • Chapter One encourages us to be faithful in captivity. Just as God blessed Daniel and his companions, He will reward our faithfulness to Him when circumstances pressure us toward compromise. 
  • Chapter Two reaffirms that man’s rebellion will be destroyed by the Rock of God, Jesus. God will destroy the rebellion of man as represented by the idolatrous image of man and will shatter the 10 regions (toes) of the final rebellious kingdom represented by this idol. The chapter also reminds us that God still speaks and answers our attempts to understand Him. 
  • Chapter Three teaches us that God protects the faithful. God will walk with us through our tests of obedience to Him, and He will use our faithfulness so that others will come to believe.
  • Chapter Four reminds us that God will discipline and humble us for our own good. He will do whatever it takes to break down our resistance to Him and His ways; His discipline is a reflection of His love. How much better if we discipline ourselves in humility!

After these first four chapters, Daniel’s story is no longer told chronologically. 

  • Chapters 5 & 6: Years go by, and Daniel is forgotten until a supernatural hand appears writing an ominous warning on the wall. The king who showed contempt for the God of Israel is disposed overnight and a new king is established who raises Daniel to a position of great prominence. All the schemes of the wicked have no significant effect upon Daniel. 
  • Chapters 7 & 8: Revealed to Daniel around 553 BC, years before the events of chapters 5 & 6, we see how God was unfolding the rise of western civilization to Daniel. God is in control and the shifts of world powers do not surprise Him; it is all part of His plan.
  • Chapter 9: around the same time as the events of chapters 5 & 6 (539 BC) and about one year before the Babylonian Exile ends when the Temple is rebuilt, Daniel prayed in intercession for the Israel and is given a revelation of the seventy weeks of Israel’s redemption. These are non-contiguous weeks that extend well past the Babylonian Exile, beyond the Diaspora and into our future. These final seven years that have yet to occur are when all rebellion against God will be brought to an end. 
  • Chapters 10 – 12: the final revelation in Daniel is explicitly for the latter days (Daniel 10:14) was revealed to him around 556 BC, long before the revelations of chapters 7, 8 and 9. Twice Daniel is told that this revelation should be sealed up until the end (Daniel 12:4,9) because it is not for him to understand. It is intended for God’s people in the last days.

The Book of Daniel is not just a prediction for Israel but for all God’s people. All of Scripture tells the story of how God created man as a companion, but man rebelled against God’s rightful authority and rejected His love. God was not surprised and already had a plan to end the rebellion and woo His Beloved back to Him. That plan is a Person, Jesus, meaning “Yahweh Saves!”. Still, God’s salvation plan through Jesus was initially rejected by Israel just as Daniel predicted. And that prediction continues to describe a time that is coming when the rebellion of man will ultimately be squashed… Jesus will be enthroned and the Remnant who accept His authority will be remade as God always intended us to be!! God is gracious, patient and loving, but He is also just. In these last days, the Bride will be lifted up, but those who continue reject His rightful authority will be cast into eternal fire. 

The Book of Daniel is a comfort for those who trust the promises of Yahweh and His plan of salvation through Jesus, but it is a warning of coming judgement for those who remain obstinate in their rebellion against God and His ways. Jesus is coming soon in victory. God described the end from the beginning and His Word can be trusted! Stand strong, Beloved, and purify your hearts in preparation for His arrival. The rebellion of man shall be put down just as the rebellious believe they have won, and King Jesus will present it all to His Father. 

Be strong and courageous, people of God!

copyright ©2021 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com /)


Sunday, April 4, 2021

Christ is Risen!

The Lord has risen indeed, hallelujah! 

Easter and Christmas are my favorite holidays, and I wrote a short story available on Kindle for both Christmas and Easter. It is called The Shepherd's Letter and is available for free download from Saturday, April 3, 2021, 12:00 AM PDT to Monday, April 5, 2021, 11:59 PM PDT. 

Or select from below if you want to read some of my previous posts for Easter: 

Friday, April 2, 2021

A Story for Good Friday

Easter and Christmas are my favorite holidays, and I wrote a short story available on Kindle for both Christmas and Easter. It is called The Shepherd's Letter and is available for free download from Saturday, April 3, 2021, 12:00 AM PDT to Monday, April 5, 2021, 11:59 PM PDT. 

Or select from below if you want to read some of my previous posts for Good Friday: 

Monday, March 29, 2021

Making Holy Week

Holy Week precedes Easter, but it’s up to us to make it a holy week. But what is “holiness”? It’s simply setting something apart for God. For example, the Sabbath is holy, dedicated and set apart for God’s purposes. Holy Days are likewise set apart for God. And then there’s Easter, which is set apart from all other days of the year to recall Jesus’ triumph over the grave. Next Sunday, we will celebrate Easter and proclaim that He has risen, a demonstration of His power over sin and death!

Yet Holy Week is just another week if we fail to make it holy!

Sure, it still shows up on the liturgical calendar and churches will do some special things. Easter eggs will be hidden and found; families will get together to feast in celebration! The week starts with Palm Sunday, remembered by some as the day of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Some evangelical pastors will use Palm Sunday as a last chance reminder for people to invite others to next week’s Sunday service. After all, it’s one of the big two days for reaching the unchurched: Easter and Christmas! It’s a chance to prove the fruitfulness of the church through new converts and growing congregations!

You may detect the cynicism in my writing but understand that it’s not because anything in the above paragraph is inherently wrong. We should be inviting our unchurched friends to our Easter celebration, and it is good thing for families and church communities to gather in remembrance. Yet, we’re often as clueless as that Jewish community that celebrated Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday. We are comfortable in our expectation of what God is doing FOR us rather than seeking to understand how He is calling us to JOIN Him, and year after year, the traditional teachings are bearing ever less nutritious spiritual fruit.

Jesus told us that we would know a tree by its fruit, but what is that fruit?

A pastor friend of mine visited a church where the gifts of the Spirit manifested wildly, but I knew of serious doctrinal errors in that church and asked him what were the fruits of that congregation. He responded that the fruit was good, citing the many supernatural manifestations and baptisms. But listen to me when I tell you that he was looking at the wrong thing! Satan is capable of supernatural manifestations, so just because it’s supernatural, doesn’t mean it’s from God! Yet what about the baptisms, lives being handed over to God? Isn’t that “fruit”? 

Yes and no: people come to a saving knowledge of God as a side effect of our own obedience to God, and they can come to know Jesus from our faithful witness. Still, it is God’s working in them that brings about salvation and not the power of our arguments. If we can persuade a person into the Kingdom, Satan’s agents can just as easily convince them otherwise. It is not head knowledge that saves! Tozer had written about head knowledge and likened it to a revelation of God in a lifeless body, but he explained that the Holy Spirit is the illumination that fills a body with a soul and brings life. 

But in the church my friend visited if the supernatural manifestations came from a different spirit, what were the converts submitting themselves to? Were they converts to God or to something else, perhaps a man or even something supernatural? Surely God can use anything and anyone to bring a person to Him, and I even know of a person who came to know God in a cult before Jesus ultimately delivered him from that organization. His salvation was a result of God working in his heart despite the wickedness of his environment. 

We can look at all this and understand several things: 1) my pastor friend was sadly mistaken in his evaluation based on a misunderstanding of spiritual fruit, 2) if a pastor doesn’t understand spiritual fruit, he can’t impart that knowledge to his congregation, and 3) if in Jesus’ words, we can know a tree by its fruit, but no one knows what good fruit is, they can’t discern a good tree from a bad tree. 

But doesn’t the Bible tell us about fruit? It might not be in one of the gospels, but it is a list that allows us to examine ourselves, an indication of the condition of our heart. It says that the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. We can look at this list like a mirror and immediately recognize our spiritual condition. When this fruit is growing on us, we are sometimes the first to recognize it, and when it’s absent, we can feel the loss. It only grows when we spend time with God, and it wanes as we look upon lesser things. 

The Fruit of the Spirit is a state of being that is reflected outward in behavior, and while the behavior can be mimicked, it can’t persist without God’s presence in our lives. That Fruit calls out to true seekers, and the trees that grow this Fruit seek to do the Father’s will. It is not getting someone into a church as an Easter project that wins souls, it’s inviting them into our lives and introducing them to our great Hope! People are not a project. People are the object of God's (and our) affection.

Those who live holy lives on earth are the noble ones who fill Me with joy! (Psalm 32:8)

This Holy Week is only as holy as you allow it to be. How badly do you want to see God? How desperate are you to see Him reach others? In these last days it’s our separateness, our holiness, our faithfulness, that brings life and revival, but are we prepared for the cost of real revival? Jesus paid the price for us, and He longs for us to model His example. He lived for the eternal and died to the ways of this world. Every great awakening started with prayer and then fizzled as the "works" of revival overshadowed the prayer that brings revival. 

Do YOU want revival? Are YOU prepared to pay the cost? Are YOU set apart for God or simply allowing God visiting access to some aspects of your life? 

You may respond: “I’d pray more, but I’m so busy!” Are you busy in pursuit of God or the things of this world? Do you rest in the light of an electronic screen or in the light of God’s truth? David Wilkerson who led a vibrant urban ministry started by turning away from television and praying. I wonder what God’s people could do if we turned off the electronic screens of entertainment and social media to pray. 

What if God’s people truly set themselves apart for Him? How would that Fruit grow upon us and how might He use us? We may never know until we stand in front of His throne of all the opportunities that were lost while we pursued lesser things. 

copyright ©2021 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com /)


Saturday, March 20, 2021

For Those Called by His Name

Who is called by His Name? Christians receive their name from Christ and we are anointed with His Name. Y’srael (Israel) was the name God gave to Jacob and it has been the name of God’s people since before Jesus’ birth. Yahweh gave Jacob (meaning “deceiver”) a new name that means “struggles with Yahweh”, and that is the story of God’s people ever since. Like Israel, we struggle with our own rebellion against God and His ways. We struggle against our SELF as we learn to love, learning that love is a decision to give rather than lust which vainly seeks to feed the SELF. Yet how many of our prayers reflect our lust rather than our love?

Our typical prayer is for SELF: deliverance from our circumstances, provision, protection. Yes, we should always turn to God as our Provider and Protector, yet we often we look to other constructs like employers or governments as our provider or protector in place of God. When we put our faith in these things, it is idolatry. Perhaps they aren’t made of wood and stones, but they are idols nonetheless. The SELF is inwardly afraid of its limitations and naturally looks to something greater than itself, which should prompt us to turn to God as our Provider and Protector. It is our dependency upon God that can allow us to seek Him as our Father, and while these prayers for SELF are okay, there is a prayer of love that desires for all God’s people as well:

Abba, work in Your people, those who are called by Your name so that we, Your people, humble ourselves and pray, seeking Your face and turning from our wicked ways. Close the ears of Your people to the words of the Enemy and cleanse their hearts, their minds and their souls from the echoes of the Enemy. Fill Your people with Your truth and love! 

Remove the clouds that keep Your people from seeing Your face and silence the noise that mutes Your voice, so that Your people can hear You, see You, and know that You love them, that You are near and that You are working all things together for their good!

Father, work in Your people so that Your name is kept holy and let Your kingdom come! Give Your people their bread, day by day. Forgive them and give them grace to forgive everyone else. Do not let Your people be tempted, but deliver them from all evil: the schemes of man, the assault of demons and the wickedness of their own hearts.

We have no hope apart from You! Remove these hearts of clay and give Your people hearts of flesh! We can’t, and You never said we could. You can, and You always said You would!

Grant us favor in Your eyes, Father, and grant us favor in the eyes of others. Bless us and make us a blessing to others. Expand our territory to grow the reign of Your Kingdom! May You be glorified by Your people: pick us up when we stumble; redirect us when we misunderstand; and fill in our gaps as we execute Your plan.

Answer this prayer as You answered Jabez and remind us of Your great love! Be our Shepherd and carry us forever!

copyright ©2021 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com /)


Saturday, February 6, 2021

American Manifest Destiny

This is a vision for America’s future and not a lingering tour on its past, expanding upon America in the End Times  - Part 1 and America in the End Times  - Part 2 

In the 19th century, a phrase was used to describe a vision United States had to encompass the North American continent, extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans. The people saw it so clearly, believed it so vividly, that it became a reality. The phrase was “Manifest Destiny”. 

Writing this, I realize that some people could be offended. The title alone may offend Americans in Canada or Mexico, and I don’t mean U.S. citizens residing in Canada or Mexico. I was reminded years ago by a Canadian friend that people in both those countries are also American and that the U.S. still claim the title “American” as a holdout to the days of Manifest Destiny. 

Other readers may be offended by the way the U.S. claimed the North American continent for its own without respect to the indigenous peoples. As a nation, we owe an apology to the Native Americans. I sometimes wonder what this country would be like if we had grown together collaboratively over time, but without wanting to sound callous, we can’t change the past, and the only healthy response is to try to move forward together. It’s unproductive to dwell on what-if scenarios and together we should answer the question: what now? 

The Latin motto for the United States is E Pluribus Unum, from many one, and the current mantra is a call to Unity. But can there be unity with opposing values? This war of values is nothing new, and in my half-century on earth I’ve seen it become increasingly pronounced. The truth is by its very nature exclusive so we’ve been asked to let go of truth; the agenda or party line is the new truth, a fluid concept defined by whoever is in power. Unity is therefore found in Conformity: don’t make waves and do your part. Maybe one day you’ll ascend to power and be able to define what is true for others. 

Truth does not yield to the finite power of man!

However, the fluid truth of “progressive” thinkers is incompatible with following Christ. In reality, we only become one from many by pursuing and yielding to an absolute Truth. The current call for Unity is in direct opposition to the Creator of Truth, the Truth Incarnate, the All-Powerful God, Who alone defined reality at the dawn of the universe. As followers of Christ, we can’t participate in a relativistic culture and represent the light of God’s truth; it’s time to stop living otherwise!

The reality is that the universe was ordered by God at the very beginning into the natural and moral law. Yet since the tower of Babel, man has attempted to organize and centralize power under the banner of Unity, to reach the point where man can say “I have no need for God since I can do all in my own power. Now, what I have made is good because I have called it so.” Mankind has reached a point where they believe they can rewrite the creation as desired.

Sadly, the prevailing worldview reflects the culture of hell as described by C.S. Lewis in the Screwtape Letters. He modelled hell’s culture after corporate America, where the powerful exploit useful idiots to grow their kingdom. This is the culture of the financial and socialist elites as they centralize control over everything: news, education, government, commerce and even speech. The globalist centralization of power is the culmination of rebellion against God that started in the Garden of Eden. I wonder: has mankind reached the pinnacle of lawlessness that God foretold for the last days?

But true Americans will not submit!

America was founded with the biblical value for every individual, that each and every person is created with the inherent right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. People were not made to conform to the powers that be, the power centers that seek to control their fiefdoms. Americans realized the innate value of every person, the weak and the strong, understanding the responsibility of the strong is to protect the weak. While this belief has not always been modelled well, it is nonetheless the standard to which we’ve been called. This calling separated us from the British monarchy and later rallied us to oppose the threat of Hitler. Over time, these beliefs broke the evil chains of slavery and opened doors for civil rights. 

America has symbolized freedom and hope for nations across the world and slowed the threat of globalist elites, but this American Dream had to be removed for a New World Order to appear. This new order is simply the old powerplay of the past where strong prey on the weak, and we are now facing giants that are larger than ever, unprecedented power centers of elitists that seek to use and oppress the common man for their own purposes. 

So this is what the Almighty Lord says to them: I will judge disputes between the fat sheep and the skinny sheep. You fat sheep push the skinny sheep with your sides and shoulders, and you knock down all the sick sheep with your horns. You have scattered them all over. So I will rescue my sheep, and they will no longer be prey. I will judge between one sheep and another.

Ezekiel 34:20-24

America in the Bible

I’ve written about my belief that Isaiah 18 is a prophecy for America. It describes a nation beyond the borders of the known world and is referred to as the land of whirring wings (shadowed by buzzing wings), renowned from their beginning. This country is divided by many rivers and its inhabitants are recognized by their height, their strength and their smooth skin, a sign of health, prosperity and beauty. Where did man learn to fly but in America? What nation was filled with airplanes until locked down by COVID fears? The shot heard around the world was the start of the American Revolution in defiance to the greatest giant known up to that time, the British Empire. From it’s very beginning, America’s founding fathers were renowned and victorious for shaking off the yoke of tyranny. They humbly acknowledged God as the source of their independence, and they dedicated this nation to Him.

Like Israel, so long as we followed God we were strong, but by turning from His ways, we have been handed over to our enemies, betrayed by the domestic globalists serving a New World Order. But like Israel, this unnamed nation in Isaiah 18 has a triumphant destiny. It’s not ordained for destruction like Moab in Isaiah 16. No, this nation will be pruned like a fruit tree to make it more productive, and I believe this nation has been given the great privilege of pronouncing Christ’s return!

Read chapter 18 in Isaiah asking God to reveal its meaning. Verses 1 and 2 describe the unnamed nation. Verse 3 describes the nation’s calling. Verses 4-6 outline when and how this nation will be readied to fulfill its destiny as finally explained in the 7th and final verse.

A New Manifest Destiny

Just as our Founding Fathers did not have the strength to overcome the giant of their day by their own strength, we cannot overcome the evil that has embedded itself to our nation through reliance upon our own power. We cannot borrow from the playbook of immoral leftists without becoming like them. So how do we subdue the subtle insurrection that has stolen this country? We need God to work in us and through us, and we need a vision for the future. We cannot achieve victory without first understanding what we are fighting to attain. 

With God’s help, America shall find its new manifest destiny by overcoming the unproductive shoots that have sprung up in this nation. These are not just the unproductive branches of Church, the halls of government or the mode of commerce. It is taking the entire culture with the truth of God; it is all encompassing, everything submitted to the King of Glory!

I truly believe that America will find its manifest destiny by resisting and overcoming the tyranny of the global elite, who arrogantly believe they have won. The oppression will increase until God’s people refuse to participate. Then, our triumph will be like a banner on the mountains and like the sounding of a trumpet that the Rapture is imminent. Finally, when Christ’s Millennial Reign begins, true Americans will offer the gift of this Christian nation, submitted fully to Him and His authority. 

An America dedicated to God is a nation that is inviolably tied to biblical values and principles. The Constitution was a means to that end but is not an end in itself. The individual leaders are a means to this end but not an idol to be worshipped. We cannot place our hope and trust in individual leaders or in anything that we’ve made. Our only hope is in Christ alone fueled by the ideals outlined in Scripture. Our governance, our commerce and every established system must yield to biblical values and principles or fall to the tyranny of the institution. For it is in the institutional centralization of power that we become enslaved to a law that is not from heaven. True freedom and empowerment is only found in dependency upon God’s provision and protection. 

To retake America for Christ, every leader and every construct can only be embraced as temporary mechanism for progress… yet cautiously viewed as a potential fortress for institutional tyranny. When our goliath falls, it will not be through the power of our own hands but in faithfulness to what God has told us to do. So when this giant topples, we will be like the men of Gideon rejoicing in the power of the God Who Saves!

Rather than trusting in our own strength, we will yield to the power of the Holy Spirit, wise as serpents yet innocent as doves. It was a serpent that Moses raised up in the wilderness to bring healing, and the wisdom of serpents is a mystery to man. A serpent stays hidden when possible and does not seek a confrontation, but serpents strike quickly when left no choice. It will be like the triumph of Esther as the unproductive shoots are pruned from this nation.

Over the coming years, draw close to God and remain close to Him for the time is near.

copyright ©2021 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com /)



Sunday, January 31, 2021

America in the End Times - Part 2

Continued from America in the End Times  - Part 1.

This is not a political post, so bear with me for a paragraph or two. 

A new administration has taken office and globalists have assumed executive power and essentially taken the House as well as the tie-breaking vote in the Senate. There is too much happening to describe it all, but the globalists are securing their power base in America… or so they think. I write this not as a reactionary far-right extremist but as a law-abiding citizen, naval veteran, and Bible-believing Christian. The media and far-left would paint me as the former, and some have even accused me being a Trump-lover. 

The truth is that I didn’t vote Trump into office, and I often cringed at some of his behavior. Yet the way mainstream media twisted his words and attacked him actually led me to look at his words and actions more closely to discover that his policies reflected my desire as a Christian. That didn’t make him a perfect president or a perfect person, but it did lead me to vote for him in 2020. 

I admit that some of his supporters have looked to him for more than what he is or should be, but our hope was never in Donald Trump nor in the U.S. Constitution. Yes, I believe that the Constitution is the finest legal document constructed by man. It prescribes a set of checks and balances to resist corruption that reflect a biblical acknowledgment of man’s depravity and supports a set of values that brought out the best in men. But my hope is not in the Constitution, it is in Jesus Christ alone. It is not in what we can do by the power of our own hands or by the constructs of our own minds. God has brought us to these dark times to see our deep need for Him and so His Word will be fulfilled in the End Times. 

The globalists have not secured America as they believe, they have simply been used by God in a similar way that the Assyrians and Babylonians were used to chastise Israel. This is a result of our own infidelity to God, the hypocrisy and idolatry in the Church, and allowing the Church to be influenced by the culture rather than influencing the culture. It has happened over the span of decades. As I pointed out in a previous post, America started its slow decline in 1962 when we removed God from schools, raising generations to submit to a secular god. The idol of secularism needs to be removed from our lives and our government for God’s blessings to return to this nation. 

We need to remove the idols from our land wherever they have been erected.

Yet our current government leads us in different direction. Rep. Emanual Cleaver opened this current Congress by invoking the names of many gods, yet all most people know is that this pastor turned congressman ended his prayer with “Amen and ‘awoman’”. His words and his prayer have brought God’s judgement upon this Congress, and I believe it will entail more than the events of January 6th. The actions of the current administration and Congress to remove religious liberties in this nation pronounce their own condemnation. God will protect His people in this nation and remove the poisoned branches. 

I believe that Isaiah 18 is God’s prophecy for America, and we are entering a time of trouble that He has predicted for us. Yet it comes with a promise of hope and restoration. Look at verses 4-6 and see what God has planned:

This is what the Lord says to me:

I will keep quiet and watch from my dwelling place.

My presence will be like scorching heat in the sunshine,

like heavy dew in the heat of the harvest.

Before the harvest, when blossoms are gone

and grapes are ripening from blossoms,

he will cut off the shoots with pruning shears

and chop off the spreading branches.

They will be left for the birds of prey on the mountains

and the wild animals.

The birds of prey will feed on them in the summer,

and all the wild animals on earth

will feed on them in the winter.

Yet immediately after this time of pruning, God describes how this nation will bring gifts to the Lord or Armies in Zion. This is a nation that is pruned and not destroyed, refined and remade into what we were always meant to be.

As the globalists prepare to celebrate their victory, it will be plucked away from them. That does not mean that we go without suffering in the interim, and we need to be prepared to endure hardship well, representing Him well, treating those who abuse us as Image Bearers. Yes, treating people with respect who disrespect us, speaking the truth in love with the hope that we can win over those who have set themselves against us because of the God we serve. We should be prepared to actively resist the evil of this present age without drawing upon the tactics of the enemy. We should be wise as serpents yet innocent as doves, drawing close to Christ for strength and direction. The weapons we fight with are not of this world, and we should imitate Christ Jesus and not Donald Trump as we seek to join God in the work He is currently doing in these last days. We don’t know who in our camp will defect before the end, and likewise we don’t know who will join us from the other side when Christ comes for His Bride.

I confess my own frustration with those who pervert Scripture to breed passivity, calling for unity where we must remain separate, peace by accepting ungodly practices. No, we must actively resist evil with both our words and our actions, practicing civil disobedience when the law of the land contradicts the Law of our Lord. Yet always, our behavior in person and on social media should not resort to the ways of this world; rather, it should reflect the Fruits of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. We will not be overcome by evil, but we will conquer evil with good (Romans 12:21), and we should be thankful that God has found us worthy for such at time as this.

Read more...

copyright ©2021 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/)


Monday, January 18, 2021

The 70th Week and 2021 - Part 2

Continued from The 70th Week and 2021  - Part 1 

As Jesus explained the End Times to His disciples in Matthew 24, He referenced chapter 9 of the prophet Daniel. Looking to that book, we find Daniel in a prayer forgiveness for his people, basing his petition upon God’s name and not anything that Israel deserved. Israel had sinned and was deserving of God’s judgement, and the historical tendency of Israel to turn away from God and His ways burdened Daniel just as our own tendency toward selfishness should bother us.

In today’s environment, we would do well to imitate Daniel’s prayer for Israel and apply it to the Church and to our country. Take a look at Daniel 9:3-20 and consider how to imitate Daniel’s example in prayer and supplication. 

So Daniel prayed, and as he did, he was visited a second time by the angel Gabriel (v21), who told him:

24 “Seventy sets of seven time periods have been assigned for your people and your holy city. These time periods will serve to bring an end to rebellion, to stop sin, to forgive wrongs, to usher in everlasting righteousness, to put a seal on a prophet’s vision, and to anoint the Most Holy One. 25 Learn, then, and understand that from the time the command is given to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the anointed prince comes, seven sets of seven time periods and sixty-two sets of seven time periods will pass. Jerusalem will be restored and rebuilt with a city square and a moat during the troubles of those times. 26 But after the sixty-two sets of seven time periods, the Anointed One will be cut off and have nothing. The city and the holy place will be destroyed with the prince who is to come. His end will come with a flood until the end of the destructive war that has been determined. 27 He will confirm his promise with many for one set of seven time periods. In the middle of the seven time periods, he will stop the sacrifices and food offerings. This will happen along with disgusting things that cause destruction until those time periods come to an end. It has been determined that this will happen to those who destroy the city.”

Other translations refer to the seven time periods as weeks, and as you can imagine, the time measurements of Daniel’s prophecy have been cause for speculation. Earlier in the chapter (v2), Daniel mentions the prophet Jeremiah’s prediction that the Babylonian exile would last for 70 years, so the seventy sets of seven are both a reference to Jeremiah’s prophecy as well as an extension to it. 

The Babylonian exile began in 586 BC / BCE. In 538 BC, Cyrus defeated Babylon, and in 539 BC Cyrus permitted Jews to return to Judah. Finally, in 516 BC Cyrus sent the command to restore Jerusalem (see v25) and the 2nd temple was rebuilt. 586 BC – 516 BC, seventy years exactly as the prophet Jeremiah predicted, seventy years without a temple to worship Yahweh. Seventy years were lost, stolen by the armies that had invaded Israel and Judah. 

But as mentioned earlier, the time periods in Daniel’s prophecy are not as clear as Jeremiah’s and they can only be understood through other biblical prophecies. Starting at 516 BC, we can count forward 49 years (seven sets of seven) to 467 BC, possibly the time of Israel’s salvation through Esther. And counting forward another 434 years (sixty-two sets of seven), we arrive at the year 33 BC, slightly more than a century before the temple is destroyed in 70 AD. We also see that the Annoited One (Jesus) wasn’t cut off until his crucifixtion in 33 AD. 

Again, we have a clear start and end to the Babylonian Exile, but the math isn’t as simple with the Daniel. Yet even if the timeline is uncertain, the outcome is certainly clear:

  1. bring an end to rebellion
  2. to stop sin
  3. to forgive wrongs
  4. to usher in everlasting righteousness
  5. to put a seal on a prophet’s vision
  6. to anoint the Most Holy One

From the list above, we know the first four and last one will occur when Christ returns. The fifth item above adds to the mystery, and by reading further in Daniel to verses 12:4 and 12:9 we see that God’s message was not for Daniel to understand. In fact, it cannot be understood until the end. 

We also can understand that these sets of weeks are not all contiguous since the last week has been delayed by two millennia. Yes, Jesus wasn’t cut off until after at least 483 years had come to pass. (i.e. – 49 + 434 = 483K), but the foretold events occurred over a period of decades... 103 years of apparently unaccounted time! Or was the time really unaccounted for?

Remember, the context of this entire prophecy centers on Jerusalem and the discipline for Israel’s disobedience. At the center of all this is the temple, where Israel worships Yahweh. The temple was destroyed for 70 years before the temple was rebuilt before it was again destroyed in the diaspora, when Y’srael was scattered across all nations. Yet true to God’s word, the nation was reestablished, Jerusalem was reinstated as its capital and the preparations for a new temple await the ashes of an unblemished red heifer

The prophet Joel also predicted Israel’s destruction by armies sent from God in judgement of Israel. These armies are compared to locusts, yet Joel 2:25 promises to restore the years the locusts / armies have stolen (from worship in the Temple), and if you look at the entire context of that chapter in Joel, you’ll see that it also refers to the End Time outpouring of His Spirit. 

So in those first 7 weeks and 62 weeks, 70 years were restored to the timeline so that God’s people could worship Him in the 2nd Temple. In addition, in the middle of that extension, Jesus was born and ultimately rejected by Israel, completing that part of Daniel’s prophecy. The life of Immanuel (“God With Us”) further extended the timeline by 33 years, completing the first two sets of seven leaving only the final set of seven years. The remaining seven years will bring an end to sin and the rebellion against God’s ways that started with Adam and Eve. This final week, the 70th week, will be completed as God foretold through Daniel, through John in Revelation and through the many other prophecies in Scripture. 

The world has been waiting for this 70th week of Daniel and the outpouring of God’s judgement. We deserve it, and like Daniel we should be praying for ourselves, our families and our countrymen, trusting in God’s nature and not our worthiness. The time of this 70th week is near and perhaps is upon us. Thankfully for us, He has decided to cut that time period short (Matthew 24:22)! 

How will we know for sure that this period of tribulation has started?


More to come…

copyright ©2021 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/)


Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Chaos at the Capital

Although the details are still not clear, what happened today at our nation’s capital was tragic, and it has both complected and further delayed closure to the 2020 presidential election. Our system has stalled and is in serious jeopardy of breaking down completely. We have been agitated by the endless name-calling, deceptive half-truths, and repetitive vilification of those with opposing viewpoints. Our leaders on both sides of the isle have not led well, and yet we have followed their example as a culturally-divided society. 

I look at the paragraph I just wrote and wonder if anything else needs to be said. With tensions high, it’s our weakness as humans to jump to conclusions, to look for a guilty party, and to bring them to swift justice. 

Many people are blaming the president for this tragedy. He is neither a saint nor the demon people make him out to be. I heard a news report that immediately following the protest, President Trump tweeted a video asking for protesters to peacefully disassemble, but that video is being blocked by Twitter. In response, he posted a shorter text. But people want a scapegoat.

We can include Big Tech and propaganda-like news coverage in our list of scapegoats. We can add all the elected officials, appointed judges and federal law enforcement officials who through either cowardice, incompetence or maliciousness failed to resolve any appearance of election impropriety before today. 

If looking for scapegoats, we might wonder why the police were at the perimeter of the crowd that surrounded the capital instead of pushing them back to a safe distance. At least that is what I seemed to notice on video as I wondered at the loose security for such a momentous day. 

Videos show the people who stormed the capital dressed as Trump supporters. It’s likely that they were deranged MAGA hat-wearers who were frustrated by the events that brought us to this historically infamous day. It’s equally likely that they were Antifa progressives dressed as Trump supporters who wanted to create an incident that both stopped the congressional dialog and interfered with the due process. 

We should ALL be angry that election integrity was compromised. We should ALL be angry that anyone should storm the capital. We should ALL be angry that loyalty to a party is more important than loyalty to our country. And we should together mourn the life that was lost today in the shooting. This is the emotion should unite us and not divide us.

Instead, we have been played, and we are being turned against each other. There are those actively trying to deconstruct this great nation, and while people have actively participated in this subversion, I believe the real enemy is not flesh and blood. Rather, it’s spiritual principalities and a great Deceiver that is at work… laughing at us. If looking for scapegoats, we should include ourselves for being so easily agitated and manipulated against our countrymen. We need to remember that if “they” are not against us, they are for us. They are our countrymen. 

We need to stop jumping to accusations and together seek the truth. The great majority of people in this country have good intentions and we are all operating with limited information. We need to understand that the news media is partial, and even well-intentioned reporting will include some cognitive bias. All reports should be reviewed with an analytical mind and seldom at face-value. 

So we need to draw near to God at this time like never before and ask Him how we should join Him in this battle, praying against the principalities who know their time is short. We need to hold on to what we know is true, remain uncompromised on the principles that founded this country such as Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion. We need to stand unmoved by the bullying tactics of those that oppose these principles, and most importantly we need to encourage others in the truth, even when they seem resistant to hearing it. Many of our countrymen have been deceived, or not yet learned to question authority while still respecting it.

copyright ©2021 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/)


Monday, January 4, 2021

The 70th Week and 2021

The prophet Daniel had a vision of 70 weeks, where each “week” was a period of 7 years. All but one of those weeks has been accounted for in history, leading up to the time of Jesus. Then the clock stopped, leaving a remaining week, which many believe to be the seven-year Tribulation period. That remaining week remains a divine mystery, tied to the end of this age.

Jesus’s disciples asked about the end, and He explained in detail, referring to the vision God gave Daniel. So understanding that God’s timing is different from our timing, yet His timing is always perfect, I’d like to take you through Jesus’ answer, considering what we know and prayerfully exploring what may be.

The first thing Jesus said, when answering His disciples’ question was “Be careful not to let anyone deceive you.” (Matt 24:4b) He said that many would come claiming to be Him, (Matt 24:5) which we have certainly seen. He warned that there would be wars and rumors of wars, famines and earthquakes, and these were the beginning of the end, birth pains according to some translations. (Matt 24: 6-8) The 20th century saw two world wars and was the deadliest in human history. Is it possible that the last hundred years were the beginning of birth pains that Jesus talked about? We like to think in smaller timeframes, certainly not centuries that span generations, but has God been building up to that 70th week slowly by man’s terms?

Jesus further warned that Christians would be handed over for torture and martyred. (Matt 24:9) While the United States has so far been free from persecution, worldwide persecution of Christians has continued to rise to as many as 260 million in 2020 with eight Christians martyred daily for their faith. (Christianity Today) That is a 6% increase in 2020 from the previous year. (Facts & Trends) The persecutions have certainly been increasing, but what does that tell us about God’s timeline? Nothing definitive yet other than the fact that we continue to near the end.

So Jesus further explaines that many will lose faith at this point in history. (Matt 24:10) In fact, Christianity has declined in many places throughout the world in a trend that’s labelled “post-Christian”. America has followed suit as well and according to Barna: “the share of practicing Christians has nearly dropped in half since 2000.” (The Barna Group). 

In the next verse, Jesus tells us that many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. If you’ve followed my writing, you know that I believe in the active working of the Holy Spirit in both ordinary and extraordinary manifestations, but I’ve also warned against an imitation of Christianity that looks more like witchcraft. (Signs in the End Times Church - Part 2). There are some very popular “christian” teachers whose teachings do not reflect the Bible and the fruit of their “ministry” is rotten. I would have no problem calling them “false prophets”.

So up to this point in Matthew 24, I’m starting to think we may be entering the End Times when I look at verse 12 and the year 2020 seems to resound in affirmation of Jesus’ prediction. He said that lawlessness would increase and the love of many would grow cold. We saw the riots and not-so-peaceful protests in the streets of major US cities as well as the nastiness on social media, but this wasn’t constrained to America. It was a global phenomenon with disparate causes, but the result was the same: lawlessness. Some Bible translations refer to this as “rebellion”. 

The reality of the “End Times” can be a scary thought for people, and Our God knows that which is why the next verse is an encouragement to His people: “But the person who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matt 24:13) And verse 14 continues in this positive note, adding a confirmation of where 2021 stands in Biblical prophesy: “This Good News about the kingdom will be spread throughout the world as a testimony to all nations. Then the end will come.” Has everyone heard the gospel message? Sadly, no. But are there any countries without some foothold of Christianity? Any countries without access to all the Biblical resources available on the Internet? The Gospel has gone to every nation and is available worldwide!

Beloved, we were born for such a time as this. Our God has told us the end from the beginning! He is in control and has brought us to this point in history. Are we at the beginning of the End Times? Has that last week, the 70th week begun? Let’s continue to look at what the Bible has to say…

It’s at this point in Matthew 24 that Jesus makes reference to the prophet Daniel, but before going there I want to take a quick detour because some people claim that Matthew 24 is simply about the destruction of Jerusalem and that this has already occurred. However, none of the verses we just explored had truly taken place until our present time. Furthermore, just look at what Matthew’s Gospel tells us following these verses in chapter 24. From verse 15 to 34, He continues to describe what will happen, shifting to a description of His triumphant return and how we need to stay alert (see verses 35 to 51). He continues with this theme in chapter 25, using the parables of the Ten Bridesmaids and the Three Servants before explicitly coming back to the subject of His return to judge the world. I encourage you to read this in its context, asking the Lord to reveal His truth to you! 

I’ll continue with Daniel’s vision. Until then, pray that we all see through the great illusion that is our present world. Pray for godly leaders, however God wants to establish them, and pray for His peace that surpasses all understanding as we rejoice in the fact that Our God reigns! He has promised to work all things together for good for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose! (Rom 8:28) 

And in closing, if you resolve nothing else in 2021, resolve to stay close to God! The time is near!

copyright ©2021 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/)