– A primer for beginners/A reminder for waverers –
(with editing help from a sister in Christ, Lynda Janzen)
Har Shatan and the Decline of Man:
THE ‘ANCIENT OF DAYS’ GOD THE CREATOR
In the Heaven of the Heavens, God rules. We cannot begin to comprehend the omnipotence of His being; such is the scope of His power and majesty. He reigns within the midst of a throng of mighty angelic beings.
At the time of creation, one member of the angelic host stood above all others in sheer beauty and magnificence. Such favor and prestige did he enjoy that he occupied a special place in precedence over all the angelic host in service to God.
So exalted had this angel become in his own eyes that he could not imagine nor countenance that God had created another special being, made in the LORD’S own image. Standing above the angels themselves, this new being immediately stood above him.
Perhaps, when this angel, whom we know as Har Shatan or Satan, saw the magnificence of the created world, he presumed to rule it directly under God. Instead, he sees it given to another! Instantly, man becomes his enemy: he has usurped a position that Satan saw as belonging to him as first among the angelic host.
Among the powers of angels given them by God was that of being able to present themselves in other forms. The Bible teaches that Satan then assumes the shape of a serpent. Capable of speech, he approaches the woman.
THE SERPENT’S DECEPTION
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field that the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?‘ The woman answered the serpent, ‘We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden, but about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You must not eat of it or touch it, or you will die.’ ‘You will not surely die,‘ the serpent told her. ‘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.’
‘When the woman saw that the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eyes, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom, she took the fruit and ate it. She also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. And the eyes of both were opened.”
All mankind, born following the temptation, is tainted by this original sin, born as we are with the knowledge of good and evil. The price man paid for expulsion from the Garden was:
- Death of our flesh
- To be conceived and born in sin
TWO DEATHS – THE PRICE OF SIN
An unrepentant sinner has nothing to offer God and receives no offer of redemption. Death in the flesh (the First Death) is the initial price of sin. It was eternal until Jesus, our Messiah, defeated death as He atoned for the sin of mankind by the shedding of His life-blood from within His own sinless being.
In the sight of God, this act of divine grace washes clean all who seek it. And God, seeing no sin in them, but only the pure blood of His Son, permits the ‘Second Death’ of eternal separation and damnation to ‘pass over’ them. So also did the Angel of Death pass over the homes of the Hebrew slaves, the lintels of which had been daubed with the blood of an unblemished, one-year-old male lamb.
Anyone calling upon God through the Messiah’s name, e.g., “Jesus, save me, a wicked sinner!” and confessing to one other person will, at that moment, have their sin debt of denial canceled. One single, contrite act and the sinless blood of Jesus (grace) passes over them, washing away denial. In its wake flows life everlasting.
THE SATANIC DELUSION OF SIN
The attraction of sin is that it counsels abandonment of all moral restrictions, making us less able to apply our conscience and reason. Deniers retreat from the preventative counsel offered by the Holy Spirit and God’s Word. And unconstrained by evil desire and lust, they are prone to hurt others.
Those who say “I am without sin” are spiritually blind. Their existence is a façade built on lies. When, finally, the actuality of physical death claims their flesh, they face the Second Death.
THE FIRST ADAM BROUGHT DEATH – THE NEW ADAM DEFEATED IT FOREVER
Death in Adam, Life in Christ (Romans 5:12, 15)
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, so also death was passed on to all men, because all sinned…. But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.”
The man, Adam, bore the direct responsibility for sin. Through his own flesh, Adam brought sin into the world for all mankind. And death reigned supreme from Adam to Moses, who received the Law.
Moses is the earthly foreshadowing of Jesus Messiah (a pattern). But neither Moses nor his brother, the High Priest, Aaron, could forgive sin even with the sacrifice of many thousands of animals, whatever their degree of purity. And they were themselves both of the fallen seed.
All this changed with the life and death of Jesus (the Son of God) upon the Cross. Jesus was born of a virgin by the power of the Holy Spirit. He did not have the same sin-nature body everyone else has.
THE DEFEAT OF ETERNAL SEPARATION (The Second Death)
The ascension of Jesus to Heaven saw His body of flesh transformed as it was translated to a new eternal body. This signaled the defeat of sin and the end of the ‘second death’ of everlasting separation from God as the ‘new Adam,’ Jesus Messiah, rose to new life. Jesus is the ‘first-born of the dead.’
From this point onward, reconciliation with God is only possible for those washed clean in the blood of Jesus.
“Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.”
The awful result of the condemnation that befell the cities of the plain serves to remind us of the ultimate fate awaiting the unrepentant. As Jesus had not yet come, they were not aware of Him or the grace of atonement He would offer. All mankind, however, from Adam, is born with the knowledge of good and evil: the people of those evil cities knew their lifestyle was sinful in the extreme but pursued it anyway.
For over 2,000 years since the crucifixion, there are those who know that Jesus is the Son of God and yet reject Him and the grace He offers. These ‘deniers.’ will be resurrected and judged by God following their First Death of flesh.
Upon confirmation of sentence upon their resurrected souls, they will suffer ‘the Second Death’ of eternal separation and everlasting torment. Those condemned to this ‘living death’ cannot die in the manner that we understand death. Without final oblivion, they ‘live’ within the consciousness of their eternal suffering.
THE REPENTANT HEART SEEKS THE FORGIVENESS OF GOD
The alternative to the ‘Second Death’ is our Salvation, bought by the atoning grace of Jesus.
Those who repent a life spent in sin and denial of its consequences have, while the breath of life remains within them, a chance to beg forgiveness in the name of Jesus. It will not be denied! Having called upon His name as your Savior, confess it to one other person, and your spiritual reconciliation is complete, your name immediately inscribed within the ‘Book of Life.’
At your resurrection (within your translated body), your life is now eternal! A ‘forever’ life of joyful experience, wonder, and worshipful adoration of God. Judged faultless in the eye of God, you are home, crowned with your rewards earned in the name of Jesus. Only the degree of your ‘crown’ awaits.
No one escapes judgment in either sense. Either for reward or punishment: all of mankind is resurrected. Deniers, however, are brought before the Great White Throne in condemnation.
JESUS – THE ALTERNATIVE TO ETERNAL DEATH
Jesus was sent by God to offer all mankind a way out of eternal death. The world denies this is possible as they also deny the existence of any ‘god’ capable of doing this.
For two thousand years since the ascension of Jesus, and our pre-history back as far as the Flood (also denied), God has shown his forbearance when He could well have destroyed every vestige of mankind. Instead, He saved Noah and his family, whose seed was untainted.
Noah worshiped God and did not deny Him. Noah warned the people around him that a great disaster was going to come on the world. We, too, in our age, both Hebrew and Gentile, have been warned that a final, terrible judgment of man is coming.
Millions now race to accept very doubtful vaccines, partly because the ‘herd’ instinct guides them to believe that we must ‘all do this together,’ even though a huge amount of contrary medical advice continues to emerge. Why, then, will they take no overt action to save their souls?
Many people believe that a ritual act of confession alone is sufficient to wash away the dirt of an evil lifestyle, followed by an offered act of absolution. The Bible is perfectly clear. The gospel teaches that no other intermediary can replace what must take place in secret directly between you and Jesus. Your repentance and contrition are deeply personal. Jesus is your confessor and the only intermediary permitted between you and God.
THE COMING OF TRIBULATION (The Day of Wrath)
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
The passing of this world is now very close. God has said, through Jesus, that He will not destroy this world until the words spoken by Jesus have been made known to all mankind. And a 30-second browser search will find Jesus and the Word of God. Even the most obscure village that has not seen or heard a missionary can now ‘find’ Jesus.
Iran is a wonderful example. Ruled with an iron fist by an Islamic theocracy, Christian evangelism is, right now, quenching a burning thirst to know Jesus and His Grace. Thousands upon thousands of Muslims are coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Bible (as opposed to the Isa Jesus in the Koran).
“But concerning that day and hour, no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left….”
No one will know the final day until, on that last day, the end will fall upon the world.
THINGS THAT HAPPEN DURING THE TRIBULATION
“Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.”
Artificial intelligence is now well and truly here. Everyone is talking about how wonderful it will be: A wave of our hand or just nod your head (if that is where the chip is located), and purchase is immediately certified. Even our entire health history can be scanned instantly.
Scripture explicitly describes that anyone not willing to accept what is called ‘the mark of the beast’ will not be permitted to make purchases of any sort, including food. Nor will they be able to sell anything to make money.
THESE SINS ARE SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED:
“But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
(The eternal death is the punishment that occurs after the flesh dies and your resurrected soul is judged by God.)
HOW CAN YOU AVOID THIS OUTCOME?
“And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'”
Only those who seek forgiveness through Jesus and confess their wicked life of sinful denial are to be saved. Confess this with your mouth. Do not be ashamed or afraid to confess to another that you have been saved from eternal damnation by Jesus, the Christ King of God.
ARE WE WARNED OF THE ‘DAY OF THE LORD’?
“For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘There is peace and security,’ then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.”
The signs that Jesus spoke of are all around us, but few are listening, particularly not the denominational and evangelical churches.
‘Come on there! Are you saying that all hell will suddenly fall upon the world, even worse than Covid-19, and we won’t be prepared?’
Yep! Yes Sir! Si Signor! Oui! Ja! Evet! Tak! Ya! Da!
“Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
- Get right with God’ now!’
- Seek out Jesus in prayer.
- He will hear you.
- Confess the uselessness of the life you’ve been leading.
- Ask Jesus to accept your repentance.
Repentance is your understanding of how wrong you have been to live a life that ignored the Creator. The glory that belonged to Him, you reserved for yourself. Jesus is the only name under heaven to save you from eternal death.
THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT COLLAPSES:
“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.”
Many millions of people know Jesus is God come to earth. Yet still, they deny God and hate Jesus, even though they know that this world is in big trouble.
‘It’s all because of ‘climate change, isn’t it!’
The ‘Greens,’ the ‘Vegans,’ the U.N., the Pope, and even little Greta tell us we are doomed unless we ‘save the planet.’ Only trouble is, Planet Earth doesn’t belong to us. And our spiritual landlord is far from happy!
“Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.”
This revelation is telling us of the return of King Jesus in his ‘Second’ coming. Triumphant; His Second Return is in glorious majesty, accompanied by a mighty host of saved believers. When Jesus snatches away these believers, His true and faithful church, no one other than the redeemed will ‘see’ it happen. But everyone will see His return as he defeats the nations and rules the earth.
THE ‘LATECOMERS’ IN CHRIST WHO COME IN DURING THE TRIBULATION
“Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days.”
Nothing of this world is to remain.
- Ah! But you’re okay! You’re really flying!
- Mortgage payments up to date!
- Money in the bank!
- Profitable investments!
- Up-market holidays!
- Could Life get any better, Amigo?
‘Sorry, Sam! Big problem, mi Amigo!‘ Your chassis has a ‘Use By Date.’
‘Sam, Sam… didn’t you know? Weren’t you ever told?’
‘Your soul is immortal. Resurrected, all of us stand before God for judgment.’
Those belonging to God received a crown of glory and are welcomed home.
No repentance was found in your soul, and in condemnation, you ‘live’ the Second Death as biblically described: in torment and everlasting separation from the presence of God.
No indulgences bought or granted to the living enable eternal salvation. Only the grace bought by Jesus at the terrible price of His spilled blood atones for our wicked denial of God.
Carpe Diem. ‘Seize the Day!’
“Jesus, Jesus! Save me!”
THE SCOFFERS AND DOUBTERS
“Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.’
Jesus predicted exactly, almost to the letter, how the peoples of the World would make evil the centerpiece of their lives.
THE GOOD SHEPHERD
“And this is the will of Him Who sent Me, that I should lose nothing of all that He has given Me, but raise it up on the last day.”
Jesus said that those that God gave Him, through their faith and broken repentance, would be personally raised to heaven as was He Himself.
Jesus stated that on the day ‘this world’ of the unredeemed passes in destruction, all the redeemed souls, saved by His atoning grace, will be raised. He is not referring to the passing of the Earth: it is to be renewed. This world will not be renewed. God has already judged ‘this’ world. He will now judge individual deniers whose pleasures and self-will always came first.
JESUS IN MODERN IDIOM
Jesus, the Christ of God, is the ‘3.10 to Yuma.‘
Those who purchased their ticket and are waiting on the platform will be ushered to their reserved seat. Those still carousing in the nearby saloon will hear the whistle in the distance as their train vanishes forever.
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
The very heavens are to be shaken, the sun is darkened, and the light of the moon ceases. Stars flash, falling across the sky, and then the sign of His coming appears across the sky. No matter where you live, which town, city, province, or nation, you will see this. And then the wicked will cry for themselves as they see His glory.
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions.”
That time is now!
“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”
Raising false hope with their demagoguery and unbiblical interpretation of Scripture, they lead themselves and their congregations to their eternal doom.
Deny it all: but know that in doing so, you defy the will of God.
To be continued in Part IV: Going, Going, Gone!