A House Divided
You can look at modern 2020 life in one of two ways, as reliving the story of the Pied Pier leading rats to the sea to drown (C.E. 1284), based on a very real event in the 13th century, or a fulfilling of Christian prophecy of the year (C.E. 54) in 2 Thessalonians 2.
Not just the Americans but the entire human race is badly divided. Britain has agonized about leaving the European Union for two years now. The Congress of the United States has done basically nothing for three years as one party like a rabid dog seeks to depose the President. Media tell one story; statistics tell quite another about how Americans think.
Hong Kong young people have not discontinued their months long rebellion against the control of Beijing Communists. Iran is in internal conflict. Much of the continent of Africa is at war with itself. In South Africa killers enter the homes of farmers, shoot the husband and take over the land. War, not peace, rages all over the planet.
Here is what a prophet 2000 years ago had to say about this:
2 Thessolonians 2 1-3 Now, friends, read these next words carefully. Slow down and don’t go jumping to conclusions regarding the day when our Master, Jesus Christ, will come back and we assemble to welcome him. Don’t let anyone shake you up or get you excited over some breathless report or rumored letter from me that the day of the Master’s arrival has come and gone. Don’t fall for any line like that.
3-5 Before that day comes, a couple of things have to happen. First, the Apostasy. Second, the debut of the Anarchist, a real dog of Satan. He’ll defy and then take over every so-called god or altar. Having cleared away the opposition, he’ll then set himself up in God’s Temple as “God Almighty.” Don’t you remember me going over all this in detail when I was with you? Are your memories that short?
6-8 You’ll also remember that I told you the Anarchist is being held back until just the right time. That doesn’t mean that the spirit of anarchy is not now at work. It is, secretly and underground. But the time will come when the Anarchist will no longer be held back, but will be let loose. But don’t worry. The Master Jesus will be right on his heels and blow him away. The Master appears and—puff!—the Anarchist is out of there.
Traditionally Bible scholars believe that the AntiChrist, Anarchist, whatever he is called will set himself up as god in Jerusalem. And this might happen. But for Christians the Temple of God is them – their bodies, their spirits.
1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1 Corinthians 6:19 know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
I quoted the King James here to use the word “ye” which is plural – in other words You All. “Don’t you know you all are the temple of God?” The photo above shows the degradation of the human body and its being overwhelmed by the presence of sin.
So the better interpretation here is that the evil antichrist spirit will inhabit the bodies of backsliden believers and unbelievers. That seems to be the case across the planet. Everyone will have made their decision – for good or evil and then Jesus (Yeshua) comes to recognize His own people.
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The mess we are in
We can look around and see quickly that the pristine universe provided to us is no more. When and How did this mess all start?
God tackles that question immediately in Genesis, Hebrew for the Book of Beginnings.
Genesis 1 :26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over [g]all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that [h]moves on the earth.”
God’s first instruction to us humans is that we are made in His likeness. Children think of God as an old man on a throne. He is not some scary being in heaven out to cause you grief. He does want to communicate with you. But since people are afraid He made the Bible available to us so He can speak to us.
The words “Fear Not” appear 365 times in the Bible, one for every day of the year, so we must treat fear as our enemy. Fear will prevent us from hearing God.
His second instruction was to tell them they had authority over His creation, to manage creation, including the animal kingdom and to be productive. Adam was placed in charge with Eve under his authority because, as everyone who is in business knows, only one person can be in charge. He was with Eve when she took the fruit so he was held responsible for what ensued for the rest of time.
But God did have one caveat – they could not eat of the fruit of one tree, and one tree alone in the garden where he had placed them. Well, you know what happened. If you tell little kids they can’t do something, they look for a chance to have some excitement. But Adam and Eve were not little kids.
The two of them got to talking about that command with a snake and they ate the fruit. Some people will tell you that Adam was not there at the time.
Adam was there; the Bible says so in verse 6. Yes, Eve took part, thought it was a grand idea. But the snake, Adam and Eve all got a set of problems as a result.
Here is the passage:
The Temptation and Fall of Man
3 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was [a]pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves [b]coverings.
The Problem of Self-Will
In the beautiful, pristine garden where there was no visible evil, this original pair could not see the horrors they were bringing on themselves and the human race by rejecting the will of God.
You could say human history started on that day. From then on it was, as the rest of Genesis tells us, a long descent downhill to a world of depravity and degradation.
And for us in the 21st century, a long start upward to regain what we have lost by now accepting and doing the will of God as individuals faced with the same question – will we submit to the will of God or not? That is the question you will spend the rest of your life answering for yourself.
Don’t forget to highlight these passages in your Bible.