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.

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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/)