The Remaining Days

Leap of Faith: Daily Lessons About Jesus Christ

Chapter: Islam and the Last Days (Pages 383-386)

Fight those who do not believe in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

Surah 9:29 (The Holy Qur’an-English Translation) (emphasis added)

And when the Word is fulfilled against them (the unjust), We shall produce from the earth a Beast to (face) them: he will speak to them for that mankind did not believe with assurance in Our Signs.

Surah 27:82 (The Holy Qur’an-English Translation) (emphasis added)

And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty.

Revelation 16:13-14 (nasb) (emphasis added)

 

And he stood on the sand of the seashore. And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his head were blasphemous names. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.

Revelation 13:1-2 (nasb) (emphasis added)

And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed.

Revelation 13:11-16 (nasb) (emphasis added)

This is the contrast to pay attention between the Quran and the Bible. This is what the battle is about…

Who are these two figures? How can we figure this out?

Who is the Mahdi? How does the Mahdi and what you have seen over the course of history play a role in fulfillment of God’s prophecy? Since the disappearance of the twelfth imam in A.D. 878, the Shi’ite sect has been anticipating this twelfth prophet to reappear at the end of days and become the final unifier of Islam. Called the Mahdi, this man, according to Islamic tradition, will be a military expert who will bring the world under the control of Islamic law and justice.

The word Mahdi translates as the guided one. The Shi’ites believe the Mahdi will be guided so directly by God that he will be divinely protected by God from all error and sin in all he does. He will interpret Islam to all men and lead the final Islamic revolution that will convert the world to Islamic faith. The Shi’ites believe the Mahdi will be both a political and military leader of great conquest.

John 3:16 (nasb) says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son

into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.”

While both the both the Sunni and Shi’ite branches have a teaching on the Mahdi, the Shi’ites have the strongest teaching, believing he will appear toward the end of the world. Ask yourself: “Did this have to happen in order for the End to come?”

Many Muslims believe that this man will unite Muslims into a single united kingdom. They also believe that if men do not submit to his teaching and instruction, he will beat them into submission until they return to Allah.They believe that those who rebel against him will meet a swift death by the sword of Islam.

As Christians, the truth is that we will always stand firm and take assertive action if necessary. I understand this necessary action…. Like I have said before, there will be no submission. What kind of a God teaches that unless you submit, you will be killed or beaten? The truth is that God does not beat our faith into our heads but gives us the opportunity to learn, and at times (Especially the here and now or near the End…) demands that we draw back to His law and His commandments…I want to reiterate the importance of following the direction given to us in the Bible. The Bible will not lead you astray. Trust God to do His part, and He will.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Romans 12:2

“Because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.”

Romans 8:7-8 (nasb) Key Note: Numerology…

 

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits (LISTEN and use your heightened sense of awareness) to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that is coming, and now is already in the world. You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”

1 John 4:1-4 (nasb)

 

Leap of Faith: Daily Lessons About Jesus Christ

 Chapter: Living out God’s Word (Pages 387-390)

In the face of our adversaries, we are to always trust God and stand firm in the face of evil. We need a commitment of community in order to accomplish this task.

There are many dark places in the world where grinding, miserable, and life-destroying poverty carries out daily violence to innocent people. We need to expose these hidden places with the light of justice.

We must analyze and comprehend what is at the core of the violence of the world and never allow ourselves to tolerate any of it again. Let me explain…As Christians, we listen and are aware…We walk through our every day lives and not various situations over the course of the day…As soon as we hear what is not of God and is hostile towards the truth, we must take assertive action…No more sitting back and watching or allowing for this behavior to be promoted in the world…This is how it will be in the End of the World…This is how the world will be judged by those that have been chosen, faithful, and called by God…This can also exemplify the Great Tribulation….When we pay attention to numerology we ought to pay attention to numbers and 14 is important in regards to prophecy (Specific Reference to Correlation is Revelation 12:14).…that number can help you know where we are and what has taken place…Also pay attention to the numbers 8 and 1….(Reflexive Numbers…) and the number 2…(The Second Coming of Christ)…The Sword of the Spirit is a clue…Revelation 11:3 gives you the EXACT number of 1260 days…

Acts 8:1

“And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a GREAT PERSECUTION (Tribulation) against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles…”

We need courage and bravery to face the darkness of the world without God. We need the absolute will and courage to reveal the darkness in the very structure of our world. We need the courage to confront the darkness in the face of evil.

Creating a vision formed around community, tolerance, compassion, justice, and the sacredness of human life should be our mission. Doing away with injustice and striving to establish global peace as well as human dignity should be our main objective. But, you see, during this Great Tribulation, the evil is so persistent upon harming the innocent that assertive action must be used…

Let us talk about power.

“It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute.”

Luke 21:13-15 (nasb)

 

To address the issue of terrorism: it is being fueled by a radical movement of religious fundamentalism for regional and global power. This type of mentality is the problem, because it ignores the values of liberty, equality, and human rights. Terrorism is an attack on values. The root of the problem is that evil ideology is currently overriding God’s values.

From what I have seen, I understand that the breeding and recruiting ground for terrorism is due to people dehumanizing poverty and creating hopelessness and desperation. When organizations go to do mission work in countries outside of the United States, they ought to set the correct example. One of the observations that I have seen from my personal experience is that some individuals treated some of the staff that were indigenous to Sierra Leone in a manner that was degrading and destructive. I understand frustration, but there is no excuse for this type of treatment when someone is doing all that they can to help to the best of their ability…Can you imagine for a minute what a person from Sierra Leone, who is looking for hope from America, would feel like by being harshly degraded by a senior staff representative? This can also apply to situations of war…What kind of an impression would this make upon an individual? What if the leader of our own country has seen it in this way? What if someone in the  past misrepresented what was intended to be helping others through what was intended to represent Christian Volunteer Work…and people from all countries around the world were involved…how might this misrepresent Christianity? What if someone was put into a situation in which he they no opportunity to speak their mind and were told what to do all the time without ever having an opportunity to use his own ideas or thoughts? This is where we can associate campaigning and fund-raising (monetary substance) to be a core issue of corruption and lack of freedom…Do you understand how critical the qualifications of individuals that are representing a Christian-founded organization must be?

Not-for-profit organizations that allow for anyone to serve need to be looked into thoroughly in regards to evaluating their volunteers on a basis of faith. Can you see where these individuals can have such a major impact on how the United States and Christians are perceived? We need more people who understand what it means to be a leader from a godly standpoint. We need people who want to empower, encourage, and build leaders up spiritually rather than tear them down and degrade them. This type of condescending action is unacceptable, and we need to fight to do away with it completely. I can personally say that I understand what this feels like to have someone always telling you what you’re doing wrong and treating you in a degrading way… This can be detrimental to people who come from extreme poverty, hopelessness, and desperation. It is destructive.

 

We need to strive to develop complete understanding as to what our American government has demonstrated in our name. How would you know, unless you had been there to witness it? That is why education on a “higher level” demands thinking outside of what you have been familiar with…Be considerate of world geography and international events.

One of our goals needs to be to focus upon establishing an international effort against terrorism through compassion, generosity of spirit, and a desire to relieve the suffering of people who have been abused and abandoned. One of the major issues that needs to be addressed is that certain people are recruiting individuals from situations in which they have forever lived in extreme poverty and pain, never knowing anything different, in order to fulfill an agenda of establishing absolute control and taking away their freedom, either subtly or directly (Evident to All). These are the people that we need to watch out for. These recruiters can be very dangerous and detrimental to our society. If used in a manipulative way, as many do, they can brainwash individuals into completing their underlying agenda. In my eyes, it does not get more malicious or evil.

To be clear, this is at the heart of our problems within the world. When we do mission work, what is the example that we are setting? Actions speak louder than words. Live out what you believe when you go to serve other countries.

I can tell you right not that this representation and example of Christianity is a serious issue to be addressed. We need to be living it and not just talking about. We need to be ministering to the poor and needy in way that reflects our faith.

This should help many begin to understand the core issue within our society. What if a man was taken out of extreme poverty into a job doing eye exams on patients in an extremely

 poverty-stricken country like Sierra Leone and was treated like a “slave” (Modern Terminology) or uncharacteristic of Christianity? What if this man was never given the opportunity to speak his voice and to share his ideas? What if this man had witnessed an example of an angry man getting frustrated with people who could not understand because they had no prior education and could not communicate effectively? This is where patience is KEY in volunteer work and demonstrating the Christian Walk…Do you understand why the example of treating others the way we would like to be treated, according to the Word of God, is so vital to communicating God’s message and demonstrating His love?

 

Because without living out the faith, people can be misinformed and breed into someone full of anger and rage. (The Quran Teaches these ways…) It is about control…and greed…conforming and fulfilling someone else’s will other than God’s…When we consider the molding of our current leaders we ought to think about what they have been through…We need a leader who can withstand and understand how to overcome these types of individuals…But, this has gone on for so long and never changed…UNTIL the Second Coming of Jesus Christ…

Key Note: Revelation 13…End of the World Prophecy….

Romans 14:19 (nasb) says, “So then let us pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.”

Leap of Faith: Daily Lessons About Jesus Christ

Chapter: Coexistence/Foreign Policy (393-396)

A country’s foreign policy, also referred to as the foreign relations policy, consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals within international relations milieu...

Key Point: Since international relations are so paramount to our national safety as well as our economy, the policies are usually designed by the government through high-level decision-making processes. FPA contributes to all communication between nations.

From a negotiation standpoint, we should never negotiate out of fear, but on the flip side we should never fear to negotiate. By maintaining this moral mindset we can reduce the possibility of war. War should not be a solution to our problems in the world. War is not an option for helping to stimulate growth within our economy and should be the last option in all circumstances. There are no grounds for sacrificing the lives of innocent people in order to benefit ourselves. When it comes down our reliance upon fossil fuels such as coal, oil, natural gas, and petroleum, we have the resources available (New Resources Could EASILY be implemented…) and we do not need to be reliant upon other countries as our source of fossil fuels.

From a standpoint of increasing our standings with other countries, we must be discerning of where we place an interest. It is important to see the world’s diversity and to make improvements for the United States’ standing in the Third World. We must understand and promote the idea that we do live in a “free world.” Freedom derives from God through His Son…

In literature from ancient times, especially in the Bible, we see an accumulation of experience in dealing with foreigners. The ancient writings give us a great deal of evidence and thoughts concerning the management of relations between peoples.

“Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; for indeed you do practice it toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you; that you may behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need.”

1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 (nasb) (emphasis added)

“Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, focus your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be Holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be Holy, for I am Holy.”

1 Peter 4:13-16 (nasb) (emphasis added)

We must strive to do our best to be Pure and Holy. This is one area in which we can all improve.

1 Timothy 5:17 (nasb) says, “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.”

When we consider Jesus, was He a pacifist? Absolutely not. Jesus made it very clear in His day when confronted by the Jewish mob in the garden at His arrest that he could call twelve legions of angels to His defense (Matthew 26:53). The point here is that Jesus made it very clear that He could overthrow the Roman government, similar to the United States, and establish His kingdom right then and there, but at that time he did not“at that time”...Jesus made statements such as “turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5:39) and “love your enemies” (5:44).

 

When considering these statements we ought to know that they are directed directly to individuals and not to nations. A nation is never expected to stand by as an aggressor invades and attacks its sovereign domain. These actions are not pleasing in the sight of God. Be aware that these statements are not intended to convey that we are not to defend ourselves and to allow others to take advantage of us. The direct command to turn the other cheek is a command against retaliation, and the command to love your enemies is a command to choose to have a different attitude against those who oppose you.

I know how hard this can be…

Jesus’s goal was “to seek and save the lost”(Luke 19:10 (nasb)). To clearly outline this, His goal was the salvation of humanity, not to teach pacifism.

To be clear, in Revelation 19:11-21 Jesus returns to earth as a conquering Savior…

“And I saw heaven opened; and behold a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war. And His eyes are a flame of fire and upon His head are many diadems; and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself. And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called the Word of God.”

Revelation 19:11-13 (nasb) (emphasis added)

Jesus was not a pacifist. Also, understand that this battle is one of a spiritual nature that has the ability to become very real. This why having your mind sharp, living in the spirit, and knowing how to maintain it is essential in our current worldly situation.

There are times when war is necessary. People are sinful, and people do sinful things. If we attempt to expand this to the national level, we see that every country on this earth is full of

sinful people; this includes the government level. If a nation begins to become aggressive and to engage in a sinful war of aggression, it becomes necessary by all means to a) defend yourself and b) repel the aggressors.

The term “just war” is based on specific criteria.

1)  Intentions must be pure and just. Ex. self-defense against an evil aggressor.

2)  Having a “competent government authority” declare war.

3)  War is only justified as a last resort.

4)  Will the results of victory exceed the damage that war will cause?

5)  Reconciliation must be an option after the conflict is over.The goal should never be complete destruction of the other side—be mindful of the innocent people.

6)  There must be a good chance for victory.

7)  There must be room for conscientious objectors.

The Bible does not condemn war, but neither does it condone war. War is perceived as a necessary evil in a sin-stained world. War is necessary for protection against an aggressor or deceitful entity or enemy…Powerful countries, such as the United States, have the right to protect our sovereign interests but also to combat evil in the world and protect those less fortunate…God understands that…But, in the End, all of the nations will come together and those that believe in the Son of God will become a part of Him…the called and chosen…until it is finished...

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