Tag Archives: biblical

On the Last Day . . .

As revealed in the last blog, an end to this age and judgment are coming! There’s no point in sugar-coating the basic truth regarding how things will end, and of the salvation God has offered from His judgment to come:

  • Jesus came to save the lost and accomplish the will of His Father: reconcile with His creation.

This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” —John 6:30-40.

Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. —2Corinthians 5:18-20.

He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach —Colossians 1:22.

  • All will be raised in the last day: some for punishment via hell, prepared for all disobedient spiritual beings; others for reward and eternal life as they’re reconciled with their creator.

Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. —Daniel 12:1-3.

 “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.” —John 12:48.

Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. —Revelation 20:11-15.

  • After the last day, The Father of Spirits (as He’s referred to by the writer of Hebrews) will destroy the old creation and usher in a new heaven and earth. At that time, He will dwell amongst those rewarded for their faithfulness. They will be His people, and He will be their God.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” —Revelation 21:1-4.

Where will you be on the last day . . . or the day after?

Keep an eye out for “Finding Answers to Stuff Churches Don’t Discuss!” scheduled for a mid-2015 publication. There, you’ll find roughly 60 topics related to daily life (such as sex, religion, finances, tattooing, and everything in between!) along with practical application of God’s guidance for navigating those difficult waters!

And, for a very comprehensive and detailed study of the very important topic of God’s judgment to come and being rescued from it, feel free to read my 2011 guide titled, “Finding the End of the World” available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and from www.ronbraley.com in paper and e-book formats. In the guide, you’ll find roughly 500 pages of building blocks to help you do your own complete and unbiased study based on Scripture and history!

Apocalyptic Misquotes . . . Part VII

 “The Bible says you can’t change anything in it!”

Misquote: The Bible says you can’t add to or take away . . .”

Like in my last misquote (“In Jesus’ Name”), this misquote is really more of an annoying misunderstanding than anything. Here’s the misused biblical reference:

I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. —Revelation 22:18-19.

This is the only place in the Bible you’ll find such a warning. And, it pertains to a very specific message given directly from God through Jesus to the Church at large. This makes sense, as it’s the only such direct admonishment from God through our Christ to us. We MUST NOT alter the message!

Having said that, I don’t think I’d want to be responsible for changing the intent of any of the writings of the prophets or Moses in the Torah or the apostles in our New Testament!

Here’s a great rule of thumb: always do your due diligence to understand a biblical writer’s intended message and not interpret it for personal significance or bend it to address a particular situation. In other words, avoid: “this is what it means to me . . .”

“There’s only ONE meaning, but many possible applications . . .”

For more information regarding the return of our Christ and our ‘marriage’ to Him, and of the end of our world as we know it, please consider studying my very comprehensive guide “Finding the End of the World”. You’ll easily find it in paper and electronic format at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and www.ronbraley.com.

Next week, we’ll look at more great examples of personal interpretation and bad hermeneutics as we continue to explore common misquotes and abuses of Scripture. The next topic: “Judging Others

Apocalyptic Misquotes . . . Part V

“God Needs an Audience”

Misquote: “Where two or three are gathered, God’s there too!

I’d always found this popular church cliché confusing, as it indicates that God needs an audience to show up. The basic truth is that God and our Christ are in heaven – the kingdom of God – making preparation for coming reconciliation of the saints to our God . . . and judgment. In the meantime, those who have entered into a covenant with God through our Christ’s sacrifice have received the Holy Spirit to teach, comfort, and intercede for them until His return.

At any rate, here’s the biblical reference taken out of its context:

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”—Matthew 18:20.

What you’ll discover if you read the entire chapter, keeping verse 20 in its context, is that the theme of Matthew Chapter 18 is salvation from coming judgment.

Verses 1-5: Those who are ‘heaven-bound’ will have to be ‘like’ children in their innocence and humility.

Verses 6-7: But, beware of the things that can keep us from being children of the most-high God and headed for His kingdom.

Verses 8-9: Do what you have to do to avoid sinful behavior and the judgment and wrath of God that will come as a result to those who are not His.

Verse 10: Intend nothing against those who are our God and Christ’s! This appears to go along with the rest of the verses that tell us to not cause our brothers and sisters in Christ to stumble.

Verses 11-14: Jesus’ purpose in coming to earth was to save the lost from coming judgment and punishment. This directly supports God’s will – His plan of reconciliation with mankind – and, again, is why we must not put up any roadblocks as admonished in the previous verses.

Verses 15-20: Those who are children of the most-high God must do what we can to aid in His plan of reconciliation by identifying and correcting sinful behavior in others within the Church. Quoting from the Torah in verse 16 (see Deuteronomy 17:6 and 19:15), Jesus is telling His disciples that His children within the Church must bring at least two other followers with them to address the sinful behavior if the offender refuses to listen during private correction. Why two or three witnesses? Failure to repent (change of action that comes from a change of heart) of truly sinful behavior will lead to a spiritual death sentence. This requirement of two or three witnesses was implemented to justly condemn a person to death in ancient Israel (i.e. Deuteronomy 17:6).

To summarize, we’re to believe and act appropriately out of belief. Those actions should often involve teaching, discipling, and correcting sinful behavior for the benefit of our brothers and sisters as we do what we can to aid our God in accomplishing His plan to reconcile mankind to himself at the end of time.

Remember – God doesn’t need an audience of two or three to show up . . . just you. As a follower of our Christ, you already have His Spirit within you and that connection to the Father of Spirits!

For more information regarding the return of our Christ and our ‘marriage’ to Him, and of the end of our world as we know it, please consider studying my very comprehensive guide “Finding the End of the World”. You’ll easily find it in paper and electronic format at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and www.ronbraley.com.

Next week, we’ll look at some relatively harmless misquotes (but misunderstandings nonetheless) as we continue to explore common misquotes and abuses of Scripture: “In Jesus’ Name” & “The Bible says you can’t add to or take away . . .”.

Apocalyptic Misquotes . . . Part IV

“No Weapon Formed Against me will Prosper” & “I can do all things Through Christ”

Let’s continue our Apocalyptic Misquotes with a look at more abuses that support a false and dangerous spiritual rock star mentality.

Misquote #1: “No weapon formed Against me will prosper” I’m continually amazed that we’ll justify our lack of biblical study in part by claiming that the Old Testament doesn’t apply to us. And, yet, we’ll pluck Scripture out of its context to support bad doctrine. Here’s the abused reference for this week’s misquote #1:

 “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their vindication is from Me,” declares the LORD.—Isaiah 54:17.

In this example (in its entire context), God is issuing a warning and promise through Isaiah about Israel’s current disobedience and loss of protection, and last-days reconciliation with Him. This is part of a near-far prophecy where God is basically saying to Israel, “You’re going to get a smack-down because of your unfaithfulness, but I’ll bring you back to me in the end and no one will harm you because of My protection.

Unfortunately, out-of-context abuse of this reference bolsters today’s Christian spiritual rock star doctrine that God will give us anything we want and nothing bad will happen to us. So, when someone’s prayer isn’t answered the way they believe it should have been and when bad things do happen, common responses from within or by others include, “The devil must be after me!” or “There must be something wrong with your spiritual walk!”.

Neither is necessarily true. First, Satan has no authority or influence on true followers of our Christ. Second, neither God nor our Christ ever promised earthly prosperity or escape from sickness or danger. We’ll talk more about ‘why bad things happen’ in a future blog; however, Jesus’ true followers can expect tribulation now and in the last days (e.g. Matthew 24:9 & 21; John 16:33; Romans 5:3 and 12:12; 1Thessalonians 1:6; Revelation 7:14, 13:10, and 14:12). We’re told to ‘count the cost’ (Luke 14:27-33). And, try telling the apostle Paul that there must’ve been something wrong with his spirit life because of all the trials he had to endure . . . (check out 2Corinthians 11:23-27).

Misquote #2: “I can do all things Through Christ” Here’s yet another verse that, when taken out of context, lends itself to spiritual rock star and superhuman ways of thinking.

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. —Philippians 4:13.

This verse is abused because it, like the others we’ve studied recently, has been taken out of its context. Read the entire chapter to determine the intent of the writer, and you’ll find that Paul is saying he has learned to be content in any situation.

Remember 2Corinthians 11:23-27 from Misquote #1? Good. Then you should understand that Paul had persevered through many trials experienced while doing Jesus’ will: preaching the good news of salvation from God’s coming judgment to the lost – all in support of the Father’s overarching will, which is to reconcile mankind to Him.

Christ’s strengthening and resulting perseverance were possible because Paul was doing the will of our Christ and God as he sought the ‘kingdom of heaven’ (cf. Matthew 6:33).

So, if you want the Spirit of God to strengthen you in your activities, aiding in perseverance, then make sure that whatever you’re doing is in pursuit of the will of God as you seek His kingdom before all else.

For more information regarding the return of our Christ and our ‘marriage’ to Him, and of the end of our world as we know it, please consider studying my very comprehensive guide “Finding the End of the World”. You’ll easily find it in paper and electronic format at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and www.ronbraley.com.

Next week, we’ll look at another great example of personal interpretation and bad hermeneutics as we continue to explore common misquotes and abuses of Scripture. The next topic: “God needs an audience to show up – where two or more are gathered . . .”.