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An Eagle’s Perspective on Life

As someone who grew up 30 minutes from South Philadelphia, whenever an eagle is brought up, I immediately think of the National Football League franchise “the Philadelphia Eagles.” Meanwhile, the bald eagle became the iconic emblem of the United States on June 20th, 1782. While the eagle represents freedom in America, the Bible provides an eagle’s perspective on life.

Even youths shall faint and be weary, and [selected] young men shall feebly stumble and fall exhausted; 31 But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired, Isaiah 40:30-31.

Prior to the invention of drones, eagles would provide a bird’s eye of the earth. One Old Testament prophet compares the Lord to a mature eagle. Although young Christians become exhausted, tired and weak, the power of the Holy Spirit will rise you up by renewing your strength. The above passage serves as a promise from God whenever you feel like you don’t have the energy to take another step in life.

Then I [looked and I] saw a solitary eagle flying in midheaven, and as it flew I heard it crying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the rest of the trumpet blasts which the three angels are about to sound! – Revelation 8:13

Yet, the title of today’s blog comes from a vision from John the Revelator. Following the 4th of seven tribulations in the book of Revelation, John sees an eagle flying solo. After scanning the devastation from the first 4 tribulations, this eagle cries out in a loud voice. Like a news video after a natural disaster, this eagle’s perspective on life serves as a cautionary tale of the troubling times ahead in the end of days.

by Jay Mankus

Taking the Peace from the Earth

God’s timing is one of those things in life that can’t be forced. When individuals try to make something happen like Sarah’s desperate effort with Hagar in Genesis 16:1-16 only made matters worse. The birth of Ishmael took peace away from the earth as this child would be become the father of the Arab nations which are still at war with Israel today, even if it’s only behind the scenes for now.

Therefore do not pray for this people or lift up a cry or prayer for them, for I will not listen when they cry out to Me in the time of their evil trouble, Jeremiah 11:14.

Following the events of 9/11/2001, writers of the West Wing, a drama series on NBC, took a break from their regularly scheduled show to create a standalone episode entitled Isaac and Ishmael. This secular interpretation actually did a good job of illustrating how peace has been removed from the earth due to Sarah’s attempt to take matters into her own hands.

And another horse came out, flaming red. And its rider was empowered to take the peace from the earth, so that men slaughtered one another; and he was given a huge sword, Revelation 5:4.

While studying the Book of Revelation, I found the second seal relates to current events in the United States. As crime and murder rates skyrocket to reach new and all-time high in major cities across the country, perhaps the end of days is near. If global warming advocates continue to make false predictions every 10 years, dating back to the 1980’s, why can’t I chime in as well? While the third seal is still years away, may this passage serve as a warning to get to know Jesus so you can experience internal peace.

by Jay Mankus

Clues to the End of Days

Every year someone makes a bold declaration about the End of Days. Environmentalists blame global warming annually, projecting that the earth only has X number of years remaining. Meanwhile, prophets in the Bible provide clues to the end of days. These subtle signs point to a time when society deteriorates so much that it’s only a matter of time before Jesus returns in an event known as the Second Coming.

They told you beforehand, In the last days (in the end time) there will be scoffers [who seek to gratify their own unholy desires], following after their own ungodly passions. 19 It is these who are [agitators] setting up distinctions and causing divisions—merely sensual [creatures, carnal, worldly-minded people], devoid of the [Holy] Spirit and destitute of any higher spiritual life, Jude 1:18-19.

Jude suggests that civility in society will gradually decay over time. Meanwhile, scoffers will take center stage as if Jude had a vision of social media. When filters are removed and people begin to express whatever come to their minds, end times are quickly approaching. The apostle Paul compares later times to gullible Christians who are deceived and end up abandoning their faith, 1 Timothy 4:1-2.

And then many will be offended and repelled and will [e]begin to distrust and desert [Him Whom they ought to trust and obey] and will stumble and fall away and betray one another and pursue one another with hatred. 11 And many false prophets will rise up and deceive and lead many into error. 12 And the love of [f]the great body of people will grow cold because of the multiplied lawlessness and iniquity, Matthew 24:10-12.

Meanwhile, Jesus refers to the end of days as a pregnant woman dealing with labor pains. As a child is about to be born, these pains intensify. From a historical perspective, apostles and disciples of Jesus believed that the Lord would return in their lifetime. Despite their misinformation, every Christian should live their life as if today is their last day on earth. As more clues to the End of Days drop, make the most of every opportunity that you have on earth, Ephesians 5:15-17.

by Jay Mankus

The Un-Creation

Any book, drama or story has it’s own twists and turns. The Bible is no exception as Genesis describes a moment in history when God second guesses the creation of mankind. The author claims that the Lord regretted his decision to make human beings, disappointed by their actions on earth. The flood served as a do over, a way to re-shape the earth with descendants of Noah.

And the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved at heart. So the Lord said, I will destroy, blot out, and wipe away mankind, whom I have created from the face of the ground—not only man, [but] the beasts and the creeping things and the birds of the air—for it grieves Me and makes Me regretful that I have made them. But Noah found grace (favor) in the eyes of the Lord, Genesis 6:6-8.

Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for members of Noah’s family to let God down as well. Shortly after the flood waters receded, Noah built a vineyard. According to Genesis 9:21, Noah got so drunk one night that he passed out naked on the floor, unable to make it to his bed. Apparently, the sinful nature conceived in the Garden of Eden had corrupted Noah as well. Instead of covering up his father’s indiscretion, Canaan joked about this, bringing it to his brothers attention.

And this good news of the kingdom (the Gospel) will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then will come the end. 15 So when you see the appalling sacrilege [the abomination that astonishes and makes desolate], spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the Holy Place—let the reader take notice and] ponder and consider and heed [this]—Matthew 24:14-15.

Just prior to his betrayal and crucifixion, Jesus speaks of another disaster. Many scholars refer to this as the un-creation. According to Jesus, when the Great Commission has been fulfilled, the gospel preached to every tribe and nation on earth, earth as we know it will come to an end. To prepare and warn those who are willing to listen, Jesus leaves behind a series of signs to observe. The final indicator refers to an abomination that will stand in the Holy Place. Old Testament prophets also refer to this event as well.

The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people’s conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will vanish (pass away) with a thunderous crash, and the material] elements [of the universe] will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up, 2 Peter 3:9-10.

One of Jesus’ disciples has a vision of this un-creation in the passage above. Immediately following the second coming of Jesus, also known as the rapture, a series a tribulations will systematically destroy the earth. While cable television shows concoct far fetched theories about the destruction of earth, the book of Revelation unveils how the un-creation will play out. The point of this future event is to get your life right with God through confession, James 5:16, so that you and your family don’t get left behind.

by Jay Mankus

Is This Really Happening?

In 1997, Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts starred in Conspiracy Theory.  Gibson plays Jerry Fletcher, an outspoken critic of the government who is obsessed by numerous theories that he believes to be true.  Paranoid by the thoughts in his mind, Gibson’s character is portrayed as crazy, a lunatic that needs to be locked up in a mental hospital.  Meanwhile, Roberts plays Alice Sutton, a sympathetic lawyer from the Justice Department who humors Fletcher until some of his theories turn out to be true.

At that time many will be offended and repelled [by their association with Me] and will fall away [from the One whom they should trust] and will betray one another [handing over believers to their persecutors] and will hate one another, Matthew 24:10.

Early in the first century, a man from Nazareth developed a large following.  Without any formal education or schooling, this preacher puzzled religious leaders.  Experts of the law, Pharisees and Sadducees were amazed by his authority, communicating the Old Testament like a biblical scholar.  However, when Jesus prophesized about the end of days, public officials began to label Jesus as a lunatic and liar.  Following his death on a cross and resurrection, those who once mocked Jesus began to say, “is this really happening?”

But understand this, that in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear]. For people will be lovers of self [narcissistic, self-focused], lovers of money [impelled by greed], boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane, [and they will be] unloving [devoid of natural human affection, calloused and inhumane], irreconcilable, malicious gossips, devoid of self-control [intemperate, immoral], brutal, haters of good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of [sensual] pleasure rather than lovers of God, 2 Timothy 3:1-4.

I watched the History Channels version of Revelation: the End of Days the other night.  As a former seminary student, it wasn’t hard to recognize the various theological errors, stretching the truth to appeal to an American audience.  Nonetheless, when you read the Bible, listen to conspiracy theories espoused daily and watch reports of great stress and trouble on cable news, the end of days may be closer than I once thought.  When I reflect upon Jesus’ words in Matthew 24 and the apostle Paul’s comments about societal trends in 2 Timothy 3, to a certain extent these events have arrived.  According to the Bible, no one will know the time of Jesus’ second coming, but if I were you, I’d make my reservations for heaven immediately, 1 John 5:13.

by Jay Mankus

Beware of the New Age of Pharisees

At the beginning of the first century, two types of religious leaders emerged.  The lesser known Sadducees were members of the ruling class of Jewish priests.  Meanwhile, the Pharisees were a strict sect of law abiding individuals who stringently observed rites and ceremonies of the Torah.  This group’s legalistic mentality added rules and regulations not mentioned in the Bible.  Thus, it wasn’t uncommon for these elite members to play a gotcha style religion.

“Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation,” Luke 20:46-47.

Two thousand years later, a new type of Pharisee have arrived on to the scene.  Fueled by the gospel of political correctness, new talking points are introduced daily.  Controlling the airways, anyone who attempts to challenge, deviate or question progressive views are reprimanded.  Anyone who does not apologize by retracting previous statements are attacked, defamed and smeared by the media.  Those who cave to these threats become enslaved by this manmade religion.

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction, 2 Peter 2:1.

One of Jesus’ disciples receives a vision about the end of days.  According to Peter, false prophets will introduce various heresies.  A heresy is defined as any belief or opinion which is contrary to biblical doctrine.  Unfortunately. if the media controls and defines the narrative, absolute truth is suppressed.  This is the danger of these times as the influence of this new age of Pharisee intensifies.  In view of this cultural climate, follow the advice of 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 by testing everything you hear with the Word of God; then cling to that which is good.  May you endure these trying times as a New Age of Pharisees emerges.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

When the Truth is Silenced

If you have ever traveled to a foreign country, not every place you visit is safe.  Depending upon freedom of the press that exists, certain key elements, information or issues may be withheld, sugarcoating the truth.  Thus, whether you are a citizen, resident or just passing by, the message communicated in newspapers or portrayed on television may not be true.  As political correctness redefines daily coverage of the news, the truth of specific matters is often silenced.

Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction, 2 Thessalonians 2:3.

The Bible is no longer a moral compass to reference in America.  Nor is the Ten Commandments a measuring stick since its offensive to those who hold other worldviews.  Rather, a New Age is being introduced to public education through Common Core, where there is more than one answer to a question.  Subsequently, truth is now relative, silencing ethical and moral truths of the past.

For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way, 2 Thessalonians 2:7.

This topic reminds me of a classic Memorex commercial.  Sometimes technology can be used to deceive individuals from reality.  Films like Enemy of the State, The Net and Live Free or Die Hard illustrate how breeches in security can collapse an entire nation.  In addition, laws like Net Neutrality do the opposite of what they claim, actually silencing the truth rather than defending it.  In view of these signs of the end of days, may the Holy Spirit protect you from lies by clinging to God’s truth.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

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