Thursday, July 1, 2010

Luke 18: When The Son returns...

I've been meditating and thinking about Luke 18 for the past day. Sometimes, a line of scripture will stand out in my mind's eye, as if that laser finger wrote them on stone, in the mountain of God, and I can't turn it off or look away. That's how many studies begin. I know and accept that it is the Holy Spirit, probably rebuking me, or chastising me. Sometimes, it becomes more evident that it is really quite a blessing. There is only profitable chastening, and always grace with instruction.

So, this portion of the verse in Luke 18:8 kept poking me:
"When the Son of Man cometh, will he find faith on Earth?"

Interestingly, Jesus refers to himself in the mortal context "son of man", not "Son of God."

Many of the Gospel chapters harmonize with eachother, which means that there are multiple versions of the same incident or teaching. But, there are profound verses which stand alone in only one book. For instance, the Sermon on the Mount is found in Matthew, the birth of Jesus in John, and this late teaching sermon in Luke 18. So, we only have this one shot to get it's meaning.

On the surface, the four little parables in Luke 18 seem straight forward, but, they are the opening pages on virtual worlds.

Christ was preparing his Apostles and disciples for His death, and they had so far to go to understand. They had become illustrious through their dear friendship and association with this superstar prophet of the day. They were rock stars. They were prophets. They were revolutionaries.
They argued amongst themselves who would be seated on his right hand. They argued amongst themselves who was the greatest. They were filled with the same confidence we feel knowing the secrets of YHWH revealed. They were possessed by the identical arrogance we possess when we smugly see sinners and those in the dark, understanding that we have a ticket to ride, and a stairway to heaven'ts gates.

Not that they were any worse or better than we are. It's our choice, as was theirs, to follow Jesus Christ, based on hope and faith in God. This is not trivialized. But, like me, they thought they were safe. They felt like they knew the truth. They felt close to Jesus. What could man do to them, when God's own SON was with them?

Like them, reading these darkest of parables in Luke 18, instead of hope, I am filled with an instant despair and pang of separation. I am provoked into anger. Why is it so dark? Why am I brought this close to his face, only to be told I am no more worthy than a worm to enter into God's presence?

All of a sudden, I am not a seer, but, a victim of my own pride and ego, brought down to the pit by the sheer volume of God's sigh.

Luke 18:8...... nevertheless, when the son of man cometh, will there be faith on earth?


I am suddenly in that troupe marching with the Lord, with his beloved Petra and  Andrew, John and James, and Matthew, and.... the millions and millions who have followed his words through the darkness of the night, through the hardships of war, persecution, sickness, of hunger, of loss, of despair and with interminable hope of God's mercy and reconciliation.

I am simultaneously exalted and humbled, comforted and torn apart. My emotions are engineered by these words. Sometimes, the totality of Scripture is revealed in a few chapters, or in a line, or in one page, like Luke 18.

This is the beginning of the end, and the end of the beginning. This is literally the road to Calvalry, not just for the Lord, but, for them, and for us, in our own personal journey to the cross.

Yet, they didn't understand. Still, we don't understand. This meant that the Lord spoke these dark words of illumination against a sea of blackness, like the night sky. His words were only points of light, seen, but, not comprehended.

He commences by speaking of the unrighteous judge, who feared not God or man. He begins by telling a parable of a widow who was wronged. This is far from a fairy tale, or a simple homily. This is deeper than any ocean, and blacker than the night sky, even with punctuations of light.

The unrighteous judge is a magistrate who is not moved by awe of God, goodness, evil, or the emotional plight of his subjects. He is only moved to rule after the persistence of an anguished widow who pleads for justice.

18:1- He spake a parable unto them (tto this end)  that men aught always to pray, and not to faint.

18:2   Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:

  And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.

What a strange analogy to implore them to pray without ceasing. Instead of encouraging them to see God's throne, he brings them into the present to regard a secular magistrate being confronted with the cause of a widow who is wronged. 

He isn't struck with mercy or compassion. In fact, he isn't said to be considering the merits of her cause, whether she in fact was wronged, or perhaps, accusing another who was innocent, or victimized by her.

He finally succumbs to her pleas for intervention, out of annoyance, nothing else.

18:4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man

18:5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.

The widow can be seen as 1.Israel. 2. The Church, because, although we have joined our hopes to God, as Israel felt their identity was forged through Him, He is in reality, not actually dwelling with us. We are in every sense,  more like a widow than a bride, waiting for the hope that surpasses all reasonable human expectations, that through a supernatural event, we will be reconciled once more to the partner we are separated from on this Earth.

It's pretty deep.

The widow's cries are far more than metaphor, in the case of national Israel and the Jewish people. As a figure of millions of souls, the widow's cries echo through the centuries, unheeded. Instead, she is ravaged through invaders, chased into the wilderness, oppressed and persecuted. Neither man, nor God is impressed, or lends a hand.

Christ's use of the metaphor "widow" is indeed blacker than night. He was with the bridal party, celebrating. They were marching into Jerusalem, God's footstool. His followers were ecstatic, not in mourning. Here, he begins the final lessons, and these were meant to strip us bare, lay us low, destroy us, in order to recreate us into the image of Christ, son of God, son of man.

Imagine the confusion of hearing, not victory cries, but, the foreboding lecture of both hope and cold reality of the suffering that awaits all who follow him on the road.

18:6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.

18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?

There will be some who will say to me, that I look too deeply into this well, but, I believe there is no end to the depth intended. I can only scratch the surface, and I may be wrong on some level.

On a confident level, however, I can see the basic symbology of the judge, widow, offense and justice, as well as the contrast with the righteousness of God, His discernment, and His patience with us, even if it's masked with the impatience of the worldly judge.

The widow is an obvious metaphor for Israel. God's chosen people and their Land of Promise is oft cloaked in feminine context. Called, "The Bride", or "The WHore", or "The Betrothed" and now "The WIDOW",  because her legacy is shut down through the injustice of her adversary. In this instance, she is an occupied land, devoid of king, devoid of dignity, just another spec on the map, and one more territorial colonies of the great empire of Rome.

Her messianic hope is recognized in the son of King David, Jesus Christ, but, instead of allowing himself to be crowned, he eschews the honor, crushing their hopes, confusing them. They didn't expect this.

Christ is described as being from nobodies, but, they were the royal seed, both Joseph and Mary. Generations of the blood of kings ended with their birth. Through Mary, Christ was related to David, and through adoption by Joseph, he was Solomon's heir.

Many see Christ as homely, but, I see him as classically built, exactly a replica of King David, ruddy and beautiful. This is not an accident. This is who David saw. This seems appropriate, because, this was how the people saw him presented, as King David.

 He had to have a special appearance, as well as that mystical presence. The thick reddish hair stood out, and his handsome face created an attraction. It's not likely primitive people would have fallen in love with a troll, especially worldly people of his day who followed him.
His followers were very worldly. Even his most ardent followers were not sophisticated enough to grasp the depths of mystical messages.

He was a romantic figure, in every way. If not, why did his detractors bitch and moan about his allowing young loose women fauning on him, touching him, sitting at his feet? If he was hideous, they would see something different. The truth is that at 30, he was at the peak of maturity, yet, still young enough to possess the heart of lovers.

He was the image of Solomon's bridegroom, and that's who they perceived. Yet, here they thought they were going to a wedding feast, but, his words imparted an image of a persecuted and wailing widow crying for justice. He was telling them to see themselves and see what they were entering.

He was not speaking of victory, but, of being put to death, and preparing them to see themselves as the most helpless citizens in their midst, the widow denied her inheritance.

Yet, here's where there is the firmament of lights like pinholes in the black night, when he reassures them that God, who IS righteous and merciful, WILL avenge them.

Still, how crushing to feel on that spiritual high, walking down the path with Jesus Christ, only to be brought down to the dust, told in an offhand way that the trouble you've seen, ain't nothing to what lies ahead.

One of my problems with going to Christian  fellowship in our day, is this naivity I perceive, which is fine for them, but, not for me. These good people, nevertheless, are blessed, yet, I think they feed on eachother's worldliness and carnal delights. I don't mean sexually, but, carnality is whatever excites the body, and there's a contact high in church that centers on the celebratory aspects of being part of this exclusive Christ family.

It's fun. They claim this promise, rebuke that demon, and bestow upon eachother many blessings, mostly from thin air, exalting God, praising God, so who am I to have such a morbid seriousness about salvation? I'm a party pooper. I'm a dark soul, and that's why I stand out. I get kicked out, shunned, and they always get around to seeing demons in me. So, I stay the hell away from church. They are afraid of me, and their naivity scares me even more.

Maybe because of my background and history, salvation is a dark path, not the yellow brick road. It's more like a walk in the woods, beautiful and inspirational on the surface, but, also, menacing and sinister because I'm out of my element, and there are hidden dangers that are not seen, but, perceived.

Because of this, when in church, they read this opening passage in Luke 18, they are comforted, but, I am deeply disturbed and fearful. They see the message as being plain and clear: If the ungodly judge hears the widow's plea and grants her desire, through persistence, then, your heavenly Father will have an infinitely more swift inclination to hear your prayer, so, be encouraged.

The majority of Christendom is comforted by the next line, but, to me, it is a veil of mystery and terror:

18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

When I say it bothers me, I mean that I have spent countless hours studying the words, as if by understanding each context, the veil will lift high enough for me to peek inside, so the fear will be quelled by the brightness of knowing the mystery.

I have studied the Greek words, studied how they were used in every other passage in the New Testament, seen how the corresponding Hebrew words were used in the Tanakh.

Still, the words come in the night to awaken me with fear and dread. Salvation is a hard road, not that yellow brick road we've been led to believe we're supposed to skip down singing, claiming microwave ovens and big flat screen tvs.

When I hear his words, I am someone in that entourage, maybe even second tier, behind Lazarus and Mary and Martha, all with flowers in their hair, singing "Hosanna"
and skipping with innocence. 

It is the way he says these words that are the equivalent of a shockwave. He is not claiming to be the Messiah, firstly. but, the "son of man." It would take a thousand pages to explain this adequately, so, here's the ten cent interpretation. "Son of man" is a title used to designate our kinship with Adam, literally being interpreted, "son of Adam". So, he is "son of Adam,"   human being. 

Shockwave number 2 is that he speaks of his "coming back" again. This is linear to the image of the bridegroom, who customarily left the fiancee to build a home of their own. When this was accomplished, he came again to retrieve her, and this was when the wedding took place.

To dispel the image of "happily ever after," shockwave number 3, is the line "When the son of man cometh, will he find faith on earth?"

It's no longer a "Christian world" by majority. In fact, Christ is being replaced rapidly, even in the families of formerly CHristian lineages. Humanism is the main adversary, along with the choice of a plethora of other more carnally appealing  faiths, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, or strangely enough, Judaism (Babylonian style, not Old Testament)...

There are still approximately 1 billion professed Christians in the world, so, how could Christ find no faith on Earth, if he came back to us?

There are two possibilities which exist in the realm of exegesic textual interpretations. First, the hope of a calling out, beaming up, colloquially known by our generation as a "Rapture." I join my brethren in hoping this is why there are no Christians left when he again sets foot in Jerusalem.

The other possibility is that Christians will be slaughtered, so that is the message. It coincides with the altar of souls crying out to God beckoning Him to avenge their genocide.

One other concurrent possibility overlaps these two, which is that in the judgement of the church, in the Book of Revelation, the Church of Laodicea seems to represent the ultimate decay in spiritual substance of the latter day church. They participate in the sabbaths, such as they are (on the Roman day Sunday, not the original Sabbath.) They partake of Christmas, a pagan ceremony designed to provoke God. They feel secure in their worldly comfort and spiritual safety net by wearing the cross, not living the cross. They are certain of being saved, but, they are doomed. They are actually without faith, and are spewed out.

Does this describe me? It describes most of us, as painful as that is to hear, and we've been warned to take it seriously. It's our imperative to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, not being oblivious to sin and temptation, or cloaking our bodies with material things and feeling blessed. It's not the possessions or wealth which damns us, but, our abandonment of Christ's mission, and denying the Holy Spirit.

I'm certainly not trying to be, or to sound, holier than thou, because, that's the antithesis to my journey. I accept that I am saved by grace, by the skin of my teeth, and it's an ongoing process. I believe I deserve to go to Hell, or to be more precise, not worthy of entering the gates where Christ, the Lamb of God, and the Holy Angels dwell.

But, I'm terrified of how fast things are turning prophetically bad. While driving today, I was listening to the radio, and on an otherwise conservative chat show, they were marveling about how soon we will be required to have chips placed in our hands, or in our heads. They were laughing about it. LAUGHING!

This is far from a laughing matter. This is the MARK OF THE BEAST in literal form. The mark is generally a symbolic form of obedience to the world system, symbolically represented in the NT as Rome, and Nero Caesar, the figure for the first Antichrist 666.

The final Antichrist isn't here yet, as far as I know. While the shill in the leader's position is a component of the final coalition of evildoers, he's not actually the man of sin, the ultimate incarnation of that spirit. 

Hitler was possessed, like Nero. So, he is yet to be seen, but, the system is being rapidly devised. The nations are aligning into Groups of eight, groups of twenty, G8, G20, etc., all cohesively being compressed into a one-world government. That's why the puppet in office is pushing these agendas so rapidly. 

The demon's time is short, and while we may not see the ultimate Hitler/Caesar/666, the throne is sitting in our midsts, and the mark of the beast is obvious.

How many Christians will allow those chips to be put into their children's heads and hands? Oh, they'll believe it will keep them safe, with all the GPS info, so bad guys can't steal them away, and their medical info will be easily available. They'll buy into the idea, even very devout Christians.

They will lose their salvation instantly. There is NO GETTING REDEMPTION ONCE YOU ARE CHIPPED. MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT THIS. It is not only written, but, warned explicitly. We are without excuse.

So, what do we do if we're here and it's required? Rebel.

Get off the grid now. I know it's hard, but, do it anyway. Peel off all the material needs and learn to live off the grid. Otherwise, you will be forced to stand up to them, and may be imprisoned, killed, or forced to get the chip.

The chip is instant eternal damnation. I don't know why that is, but, it is written, so, I take it seriously. 

It is no laughing matter, and it is within a year or two of being policy with this clown puppet in office in this country, and with the world government in place.

When Christ returns, will there be faith on earth? If he returns and all church members are chipped, then, there will be the abomination of desolation. He told us to refuse the mark, and if we allow it, it is the same as eating the forbidden fruit. We are told to die rather than get it. 

WIll you be willing to die for Christ. Will you be willing to let your children die, rather than being damned by getting chipped, or will you accept the chip, like the Jews allowed the Gestapo to put stars on their chests while they marched them to the death camps?

Understand this. While we don't know the exact date of Christ's return, the day they force us to be chipped, the message is clear that there is less than 42 months left before Christ comes back. Will you gain the world and lose your soul all for 42 lousy months under a Hitler leader, or even a rotten leader like that rat in office?

So, I am scared by the darkness, hopeful of the light returning, but, he doesn't return with good cheer. The day of the Lord is a day of punishment towards the world, and I want to be found without the chip. I'm scared about it. I've been scared about it for 25 years!

That's right. 25 years ago, we were told about the chip, and we knew it was a matter of time, in our lifetimes, and here it is coming. I've tried to prepare all my life for this period. I didn't have kids because I didn't want to subject them to this terror, worse than the Nazis were. I didn't want to be dragged down, because, while I can resist the chips, how can I subject my kids to the punishments? The Nazis never went away. They are here, goose-stepping, hunting for us right now. They are cranking out the chips, and every Christian soul is a target, like the Jews were in the 40s.

I get overwhelmed by this subject. Help us Lord. Help me Lord to overcome. Help my brethren to understand, and have the stuff of martyrs. Give us that strength and clarity. Give us that sober and serious understanding, not this fluffy Christmas Easter egg mythology. We face our foe before the sword of Michael, and let your armor protect us, while your Spirit gives us the power to survive and retain our salvation by the blood of the Lamb
of God. In Jesus' Name, our hope is in the truth, the light, and the hope of salvation with eternal reconciliation with God, our Father, the King of the Universe, and the Creator.

(to be contd) 

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