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Author Topic: 1st Thessalonians Title Study  (Read 501 times)

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Hidden In Him

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1st Thessalonians Title Study
« on: September 28, 2018, 02:33:09 PM »
Stay Alert And Watching, For The Day Is Drawing Nearer

     Have you ever seen someone get all caught up in hysteria after watching a dramatic Youtube video or read some web article that prophesied the end was here? There are all kinds of "signs" people point to in order to claim that the end has come, yet often these signs turn out to be nothing. Has the end of the age come yet? No, it has not, and most of the "signs" you see people point to are false. But there are indeed some signs that suggest it is at least approaching, albeit still in the distant future, and these are the things we should be watching.
     Paul was addressing this issue in First Thessalonians. One of the key passages is 1 Thessalonians 5:4-11, where he stated the following:

     But you, brothers, are not in darkness that the Day should overtake you as a thief, for you are all sons of light, and sons of the Day. We are not of the night nor of the darkness. So then, we should not sleep as the rest, but watch and remain sober, for those who sleep sleep at night, and those who drink get drunk at night. But we who are of the Day should remain sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of deliverance, for God has not appointed us unto wrath but to obtain deliverance through Him who died for us, our Lord Jesus Christ, so that whether we watch or sleep we may live together with Him. Therefore encourage one another and edify each other, even as you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:4-11)

     This was that same imagery Paul used in Romans 13:11-12:

     And knowing this, the time, that it is the hour to be awakened out of sleep. For now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, and the day has drawn near. We should therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light. (Romans 13:11-12)

     The analogy used here was of viewing world events as signs of how long it might be before the Day of the Lord arrived, just as when night watchmen looked into the night sky and could tell by what stars where overhead how close they were to the day dawning. Like soldiers, Christians were to have their spiritual armor on so as to be ready when the armies of the Lord broke through at "daybreak" to deliver them from their enemies.
     One sign Paul said to watch for was when the nations would say "Peace and security."

     But concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to be written to, for you yourselves know accurately that the Day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, "Peace and security," then sudden destruction shall come upon them as labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they shall not escape. But you, brothers, are not in darkness that the Day should overtake you as a thief, for you are all sons of light and sons of the Day. (1 Thessalonians 5:1-4)

     When Paul first mentioned the nations saying "Peace and security," he was talking about the Romans. It was a dream they had about vanquishing all opposition throughout the world, so that the empire could finally dwell in peace. But there is another group now using this same terminology: The Muslims. According to Islamic prophecy, when the Mahdi arises and leads his armies to eventually conquer Israel, all who adhere to Islam will declare there is finally peace and security. Prominent Muslim writers often use these two words in combination. The following is just one instance among several I could cite:

     Upon the emergence of Hazrat Mahdi, all religious innovations and superstitions that began to be widely practiced throughout the world after the demise of the prophet Muhammed will be wiped out, and the world will attain security and peace as it exists in the essence of the Qur’an… all weapons will fall silent and wars will come to an end, and peace, love and justice will rule the world following the coming of Hazrat Mahdi. (America’s Failure To Perceive the PKK, Adnan Oktar [Harun Yahya], P.373-375)

     But this is precisely when their end will arrive, and because they have no faith whatsoever in New Testament prophecy it will take them entirely by surprise. Those who are spiritually prepared and have put on the armor of light will be delivered, yet those who continued to walk in darkness will suffer destruction from the Lord.
     As we shall see, there are numerous other signs that the scriptures say believers should be watching for, and all of them point to Islam.


Islam, And The Fourth Beast Of Daniel

     After this I looked, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible and exceedingly strong, and its teeth were of iron; devouring and crushing [it victims] to pieces, and it trampled the remainder with its feet. And it was altogether different from the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I noticed his horns and behold, another little horn came up in the midst of them, and before it three of the former horns were rooted out. And behold, there were eyes as the eyes of a man in this horn, and a mouth speaking great things. (Daniel 7:7-8)

     And they worshipped the dragon in that he gave authority to the beast, and they worshipped the beast, saying, "Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with it?" And there was given unto it a mouth speaking great things and blasphemy... (Revelation 13:4-5a)

     That the world will worship the beast and exclaim, "Who is able to make war with it?" means like all the other beasts before it in Daniel Chapter 7, it will be an Empire. In fact, the suggestion is it will be the largest empire in human history, and even greater than Rome. During New Testament times the church believed the Roman Empire would fulfill this prophecy because no one was able to make war with it either. So the first thing to watch for is how such an empire could come into existence in the modern world, and through whom.
     What nations today openly express a desire to rule the world? One would be hard pressed to find any nations in the West; most just want countries throughout the world to govern themselves as they see fit. But the stated objective of Islam is entirely different. They are intent on world conquest, and not the least bit afraid to say so. As one of the most famous Islamic scholars of the 20th century put it:

     Islam is a revolutionary faith that comes to destroy any government made by man... Islam doesn't care about the land or who owns the land. The goal of Islam is to rule the entire world and submit all of mankind to the faith of Islam. Any nation or power that gets in the way of that goal, Islam will fight and destroy. In order to fulfill that goal, Islam can use every power available every way it can to bring about worldwide revolution... Muslim nations are very special because they have a command from Allah to rule the entire world and be over every nation in the world. (Mawlana Sayid Abul Ala Mawdudi, as quoted by Gabriel in Islam And Terrorism, P.81)   

     Notice too how the prophecy says they will "devour and break in pieces, and trample the remainder with its feet." As prophesied in Revelations and Daniel, at the heart of the Islamic Caliphate will be ten kings who rule over ten nations. But according to their own sources, the suggestion is that this empire will expand and subjugate surrounding nations as it goes, and in a systematic fashion. This is how Muhammad did it, and this is how they will do it again:

     Allah commands the believers to fight the disbelievers, the closest in area to the Islamic state, then the farthest. This is why [Muhammad] the Messenger of Allah started fighting the idolaters in the Arabian Peninsula. When he finished with them... he then started fighting the People of the Scriptures [Jews and Christians]... whenever Muslims overcame a community, they moved to the next one, crushing the tyrannical evil doers. They did this in reverence to Allah's statement, "O you who believe! Fight those of the believers who are closest to you." (Tafsir Ibn Kathy, on Sura 9:123, Tasfir.com)

     That they will break surrounding nations "to pieces" suggests they will utterly dismantle of the governments of the nations they conquer, and by "trample the remainder with its feet" they will leave no one alive who might still oppose them.
     Is it fanciful to think that Islam could eventually become an empire, the greatest and largest in human history? Islam is today the fastest growing religion on earth, and there is little reason to think it will slow down. They are having children - lots of them - even as populations in the West are slowly dwindling away. Muslims are also immigrating into countries throughout Europe and the Western Hemisphere, and asserting ever greater influence as time passes. When such facts are taken into account, one is left with the impression that it is really only a matter of time now.

 
Militant Islam: A Religion Of The Sword

     The beheadings practiced by Muslims today are yet another fulfillment of Biblical prophecy, and yet another indication that Islam is going to be the religion through which the Antichrist manifests himself. In Revelations 20:4, the apostle John declared:

     I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4)

     Who still practices beheadings today? One would think it would now be consigned to mankind's more barbaric past. But not only do jihadists still practice it today, their religion actually sanctions beheading as the proper way to deal with sinners and infidels:

     Islam is the only major world religion today that is cited by both state and non-state actors to legitimize beheadings.... the practice has both Qur'anic and historical sanction... Zarqawi and other Islamists who practice decapitation believe that God has ordained them to murder their enemies in this manner. For this determined minority of Muslims, Islam is anything but a "religion of peace." It is, rather, a religion of the sword with the blade forever at the throat of the unbeliever. (Tulisan Murtad, Beheading: Mujahideen Blood Rituals, tulisanmurtadblogspot.com)

     The most disturbing part about this "religion of peace" is that scripture prophesies a time is coming when their arch-enemies, the Jews, will be conquered by those who attempt to bring about their utter extinction. This is what Jesus prophesied in the following passage:

     When therefore you shall see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ the one having been spoken of through the prophet Daniel (let the reader understand) - then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him that is on the rooftop not come down to take anything out of his house, and let him that is in the field not return back to take his garment. But woe unto those having a child in the womb, and to those giving suck in those days. Pray that your flight not be in the winter, nor on the sabbath day, for then shall be great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall be. And if those days were not shortened, no flesh would be saved, but on account of the chosen those days shall be shortened." (Matthew 24:15-22)

     Those who understand Israel's history know what Jesus was referring to here: The Antichrist who is coming will attempt to wage a war of extermination against the Jews, to wipe them off the face of the earth completely. Who expresses such a desire today? Numerous Islamic leaders have vowed this very thing. Numerous quotes are provided in another study, but the following excerpts from the sermons of Sheikh Ibrahim Madhi will serve as an example here:

     "We the Palestinian nation, our fate from Allah is to be the vanguard in the war against the Jews until the resurrection of the dead, as the prophet Muhammad said: 'The resurrection of the dead will not arrive until you will fight the Jews and kill them...'" (Richardson, The Islamic Antichrist, P.114)

     By "and kill them," he was not talking about just killing a few. He was referring to their complete annihilation, as the rest of the quote makes clear:

     "The battle with the Jews will surely come ... the decisive Muslim victory is coming without a doubt, and the prophet spoke about it in more than one hadith and the Day of Resurrection will not come without the victory of the believers [i.e. the Muslims] over the descendants of the monkeys and pigs [i.e. the Jews], and with their annihilation." (Richardson, The Islamic Antichrist, P.114)

     Those who think these are just empty words should consider what happened in NAZI Germany during WWII. Many thought Hitler's threats against the Jews were not to be taken seriously either until it was discovered that over 6,000,000 of them had been systematically murdered during the Holocaust. And notice the language. Muslim leaders are dehumanizing the Jews by characterizing them as "monkeys and pigs" in the same way the NAZIs did. This is to desensitize the people into thinking murdering them will be no big deal when the time comes. As far as Muslim hatred of the Jews goes, I once met a Palestinian woman with a similar sentiment. It didn't take long being around her before I got the sense that she truly wanted to see them exterminated out of existence. Her hatred for the Jews was almost palpable.


Islam's Mahdi: The Antichrist Of Scripture

     One of the surest evidences that the armies of the Antichrist will be Muslim can be seen in the nations scripture says will suffer God's wrath at His return. The following passage pf scripture names two of the most virulently anti-semitic regions currently in existence on the planet, two whom the Lord has promised will suffer great retribution when the Battle of Armageddon finally takes place:

     In those days, and at that time (i.e. in the last days), when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning My inheritance, My people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations... Now what have you against Me, O Tyre and Sidon, and all the regions of Philistia? ... I will swiftly and speedily return on your own heads what you have done... Proclaim this among the nations: "Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors! Let all the fighting men draw near and attack. Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weakling say 'I am strong!' Come quickly, all you nations from every side, and assemble there... Let the nations be roused. Let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side. Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow - so great is their wickedness! Multitudes, multitudes in the Valley of Decision! For the Day of the Lord is near in the Valley of Decision. The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine. The Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem. The earth and sky will tremble. But the Lord will be a refuge for His people, a stronghold for the people of Israel. (Joel 3:1-2, 4, 9-16)

     "Jehoshaphat" means simply "Yahweh Judges." Thus, in light of the rest of what is being said in Joel Chapter 3, the words "The valley of Jehoshaphat" mean literally "The valley where Yahweh is going to judge the nations," i.e. the valley of Megiddo, where the Battle of Armageddon is to take place.
     The above passage states that Tyre, Sidon, and regions of Philistia will have something "against" the Lord, and in the context of history it means that they will harbor resentments against His people. Where are Tyre and Sidon today? They are still highly populated cities in Southern Lebanon, home to the Shiite terrorist organization known as Hezbollah. Philistia is now what we refer to as modern Palestine. The Palestinians, in turn, are home to the Muslim terrorist organization Hamas. These two regions are not only staunchly Muslim, but two of the most rabidly anti-semitic populations on the planet, and deeply resentful the presence of the Jews in their region.
      Likewise, those regions prophesied to be cast into the Winepress of God are also currently Muslim:

     The wrath of the Lord is upon all nations, and His anger upon the number of them, to destroy them and give them up to slaughter. And their slain shall be cast forth, and the stench of their corpses shall arise, and the mountains shall be made wet with their blood. And all the powers of the heavens shall melt, and the sky shall be rolled up like a scroll… My sword has been made drunk in heaven. Behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and with judgment upon a people doomed to destruction… for the Lord has a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in Idumea… and the land shall be soaked with blood, and shall be filled with their fat (i.e. dead flesh). For it is the Day of the Lord's judgment, and the year of the recompense of Zion in judgment. (Isaiah 34:2-8 LXX)

     Idumea is the ancient Greek name for Edom, which is now modern Jordan, a Muslim nation surrounding Israel on both its northern and eastern borders. Mentioned along with Edom in other passages is Bozrah, such as here in the following passage in Isaiah:

     "Who is this who comes from Edom, with garments dyed from Bozrah? He who is glorious in His apparel, travelling in the greatness of His strength?"
     "I who speak in righteousness, Mighty to save."
     "Why are You red in Your apparel, and Your garments like he who treads in the wine vat?"
     "I have trodden the winepress alone… I will tread them in My anger, and trample them in My fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon My garments, and I will stain all My raiment. For the Day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come." (Isaiah 63:1–4)


     Where is Bozrah? It is located in the mountains of Edom southeast of the Dead Sea, making this passage a double confirmation that the nation of Jordan will suffer the wrath of God when the end-times come. And this raises yet another logical question: Scripture states that the armies of the Antichrist will surround Israel before their desolation starts ( ). How could armies be present on Jordanese soil if they were not Muslim? Unless they were strongly allied with nation of Jordan, they would be forbidden from entering Jordanian territory. And one more thing: Who else could grant the Jews the ability to rebuild their temple, presumably through a covenant, if it were not Muslims ( )? Muslims currently control the Temple Mount which is where it would have to be built. EVERYTHING points to Islam as being the religion through which the Antichrist will come.


Conclusion & Overview

     Who and what then should we be watching? Some theorist who says the rapture will take place before September 23rd? Or some historicist who figures out through calculations that it's now just a few years away? We need to take an educated approach to interpreting the events we see unfolding, and base what we believe on a clear understanding of the prophecies involved.
     This set of studies covers a number of issues. Study #1 covers what God is looking for in those He will choose for His end-time army. Studies #2-3 cover what will facilitate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the granting of great spiritual gifts during the end-times. Study #4 deals with how greatly the apostle Paul's ministry differs from that of many ministries today, and the price now being paid for not following his example. Study #5 covers Paul's thorn in the flesh, and why Satan's kingdom always tries to attack those who have received revelation from God. Study #6 covers how Satan is a tempter, and reveals the strategies he still uses today to derail good men and women of God. Study #7 treats the soldier analogy, and the importance of investing primarily in believers with a true soldier's mindset.
     Study #8 covers how the judgments of God are going to return to the church, likely including against those who practice adultery. Study #9 covers how the current army of God is languishing due to neglect, but how this will eventually turn around. Study #10 deals with the timing of the rapture, and clears up several misunderstandings of passages in the Book of Revelations regarding it. Studies #11-13 explain how God is going to cover the earth in darkness when His wrath comes, as a reflection of the spiritual darkness the wicked were determined to walk in. Study #14 deals with what it means to be a "son of light, and son of the Day," and how believers during the end-times will walk in true prophetic light.
     Studies #15-18 cover the armor of God which true soldiers of Christ must walk in, and which I have not seen taught accurately elsewhere, and Studies #19-21 have not yet been written, but I will update this post when they have been.       




« Last Edit: October 31, 2018, 07:46:51 AM by Hidden In Him »