75 – NFL! SHAME ON YOU !!! STOP SHOW-BOATING!!! USAA! STOP SPONSORING NFL!!!

In The Arms Of An Angel-American Soldiers Tribute
NFL! SHAME ON YOU!!! STOP SHOW-BOATING!!! USAA! STOP SPONSORING NFL!!!

NFL Millionaires!!! Make a real difference!!! Go into the inner cities!!! “Encourage”the men, who are absent fathers, to get back into the lives of the children that they fathered, and left with single mothers who need more help than that which may be gained from your disgusting disrespect of our country and our flag!!!

USAA!!! GET REAL!!! I am more ashamed of you than I am of the NFL players, who have no idea of how our country was formed and kept together, through the sacrifices of soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, members of the Coast Guard, national guard and reserve, who were killed, wounded and missing, in all of America’s wars, totaling 2,893,818. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_casualties_of_war

Other sponsors of the NFL!!! Shame on you too!!! You need to get right with your real customer base!

There are more members of the armed forces, active duty, reserve and retired (not forgetting their families), than there are members and affiliates of the NFL. Corporate sponsors of the NFL, you should remember who it is that buys your products!!!

https://www.nflpa.com/players/sponsors

NFL Players Inc.

Current Sponsors

Anheuser-Busch
Barclaycard US
Bose
Bridgestone
Campbell’s Soup Company
Castrol
Courtyard Marriott
Dairy Management, Inc. (Fuel Up to Play 60)
Dannon
Extreme Networks
FedEx
Frito-Lay
Gatorade
Hyundai Motor America
Mars Snackfood
Microsoft
Nationwide
News America
Papa John’s
Pepsi
Procter & Gamble
Quaker
Verizon
Visa
USAA

https://communities.usaa.com/t5/Military-Hot-Topics-and-Current/Stop-Sponsoring-the-NFL/m-p/138264
Stop Sponsoring the NFL
https://www.infowars.com/usaa-rejects-vet-requests-to-pull-nfl-sponsorship/
USAA REJECTS VET REQUESTS TO PULL NFL SPONSORSHIP

For The Saluting Marine

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73 – The U.S. Military – A Symbol Of Freedom

“To The Shores Of Tripoli” was a movie that was made about World War II during that war. The Marines who are shown in the video are examples of those who train to fight for our nation. World War II was a very critical period of time in our nation’s history. To see the Marines as they are marching, is to also see, “freedom on parade.” If you will notice, Randolph Scott is leading the marching Marines, who are spread, left to right, “23 abreast.” The left heel of each Marine can be seen striking the ground, at the same time, in perfect cadence, with the beat of the drum. Watch how the marines make that wide right turn, with no one getting out of cadence, or out of place. Wow! Such an example of training and disciple! I have watched this video, many times, without ever getting tired of it.
(Randolph is the actor playing the Marine First Sergeant, leading the other Marines; ex-Marines, please help me with his rank.)(John Payne is the actor playing the Marine, “Private Winters.”)

The Axis Powers of Germany, Japan and Italy had plans to conquer the world for their cause of world domination. Without the entry of the United States military forces into World War II, the objectives of the Axis powers would have been achieved. Consider some of the related facts that are included as a part of this post.

Consider the following two verses; they may help you to understand this post.

1 Corinthians 3:1-2 Good News Translation (GNT)

1 As a matter of fact, my friends, I could not talk to you as I talk to people who have the Spirit; I had to talk to you as though you belonged to this world, as children in the Christian faith. 2 I had to feed you milk, not solid food, because you were not ready for it. And even now you are not ready for it,

Marines Raise Flag Over Iwo Jima Archival Footage PublicDomainFootage.com

Consider the Marines on Iwo Jima as they “raised a flag” in honor of their defeat of the Japanese armed forces. The Japanese attack on American forces in Hawaii took place on the morning of December 7, 1941. The American forces took the island of Iwo Jima on February 9, 1945. Consider the importance of paying honor to the flag of the United States Of America.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Iwo_Jima

http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/battle-of-iwo-jima

The Attack On Pearl Harbor – December 7, 1941

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axis_powers
The axis powers of the world, being led by Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), and Hirohito (Japan), had their declared intent of taking over the whole world. Hitler was already overrunning much of Europe. Great Britain was the last significant military force that Hitler was trying to overthrow. France had it’s “resistance,” but had no military force to oppose Germany. After the Japanese attack on American forces in Hawaii, on Dec 7, they attacked American forces in the Republic of the Philippines on the next day, Dec 8, 1941. Japanese forces began their plan of overthrowing all nations and forces in the south Pacific.

Marines Raise Flag Over Iwo Jima 1945 United News Newsreel; World War II

Consider the allied forces, of which the United Sates assumed leadership.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allies_of_World_War_II

After the United States of America was drawn into the second world war, American military forces also began engaging axis forces in Europe and North Africa. Other nations of Allied support followed the lead of the United States to stop Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito as they brutalized the citizenry and military of the nations that were on their map of world domination. As stated above, without the entry of the United States into World War II, Hitler would have overthrown Russia and Asia, through its attack from the West, with Hirohito advancing from the East, and Mussolini attacking from the South. Could any nation have succeeded in defending itself from such a three-front attack? Consider the numbers of Russian civilians and soldiers that died at the hands of Hitler’s soldiers, minus the forces of Japan and Italy.

Soviet military dead and missing, 8.7 million

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties_of_the_Soviet_Union

Consider the Blitzkrieg, of Britain by German aircraft.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blitz

The importance of the presence of U.S. forces in the battle against the axis powers can not be understated. Without the defeat of the forces of Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito, the freedom of America, and other free countries, would not have been saved.

Group of American and British prisoners are marched through streets under German …HD Stock Footage

(U.S. And British POWs being marched by German soldiers through a French city. Notice how the French citizens mistreat the POWs.)

Hitler had a strong hold in North Africa, and would have marched southward, until all of Africa would fly the flag of Nazi Germany. Germany, Italy and Japan would have continued their assault on Asia, until the flags of those nations would fly no more. The nations of the Pacific, to include the continent of Australia, would be easy prey for the assault of the axis forces, with the result of many more Nazi flags flying in the lands of Nazi-led conquest.

After the attack on Hawaii, there was great concern that the west coast of the United States would also come until Japanese attack. There was also a fear that sympathizers of Japan living in the United States would begin attacks on the mainland of the United States. Democrat President Franklin Delano Roosevelt reacted to the fear of attack “from within” the USA, by the internment of citizens of the USA, who were of Japanese ancestry.

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/roosevelt-ushers-in-japanese-american-internment

Concerns of the President were found to be valid when a German u boat was sunk off of the east of coast of the USA, and was found to have loaves of bread from a local bakery stored in the boat.

The military forces of the USA was at a weakened state of readiness when the Japanese attacked Hawaii. Without a national resolve to defend our country, and defeat the axis forces in other parts of the world, the USA would have been the starting point of axis entry into North, Central and South America, where the Nazi flag would have been planted. The success, liberty and tolerance that we have as great fortune in the United States of America, would have been replaced with the Nazi desires for our country, as well as for the rest of the world. There would be no NFL, NBA, MBL, or multi-millionaire contracts for athletes. Every other aspect of our lives would be totally different, whether it would be employment, hobby, relaxation, recreation, or religious.

The Liberation of Dachau

Notice the American Soldiers liberating the German concentration camp at Dachau. The prisoners were Jews of the Holocaust.

https://ww2.kqed.org/lowdown/2017/05/25/interactive-american-war-deaths-by-the-numbers/
Notice the numbers of American War deaths.

405,399 Americans of our armed forces lost their lives in World War II. They died in their support for our flag, and to keep it flying.

LEE GREENWOOD GOD BLESS THE USA

Many of us have known members of the armed forces who gave their lives in defense of our nation. My friends, who were such brave and honorable patriots, were those of the Vietnam War era. There is a bible verse that sheds rich thought on such brave and honorable people. “The greatest love you can have for your friends is to give your life for them.” (John 15:13)

I am proud to be an American, and proudly salute our flag.

The United States Air Force (USAF) turned 70 years-old on September 18. On September 18, 1947, Chief Justice Fred Vinson swore in Stuart Symington as the first secretary of the air force, officially founding a new branch of the U.S. military. Gen. Carl A. Spaatz became the USAF’s first chief of staff eight days later on September 26, 1947.

I am also very proud to be, “U.S. Air Force, Retired.”

72 – Take A Knee? Really?

Marines Raise Flag Over Iwo Jima Archival Footage PublicDomainFootage.com

Consider the Marines on Iwo Jima as they “raised a flag” in honor of their defeat of the Japanese armed forces. The Japanese attack on American forces in Hawaii took place on the morning of December 7, 1941. The American forces took the island of Iwo Jima on February 9, 1945. Consider the importance of paying honor to the flag of the United States Of America.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Iwo_Jima

http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/battle-of-iwo-jima

It is “football Sunday” in much of the USA. Very soon, as players and fans enter into football stadiums, to see a game that will determine which of the two opposing teams will be declared to be “the best team” on this day. Unfortunately, there will be multi-millionaire football players who will decide to not stand for the national anthem but, instead, will choose to “take a knee.” During the past week, there have been videos of “eight year old boys,” who have also decided to “take a knee” at the beginning of their game. The playing of the national anthem has been done for many years in honor of the armed forces of the United States of America.

The Attack On Pearl Harbor – December 7, 1941

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axis_powers
The axis powers of the world, being led by Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), and Hirohito (Japan), had their declared intent of taking over the whole world. Hitler was already overrunning much of Europe. Great Britain was the last significant military force that Hitler was trying to overthrow. France had it’s “resistance,” but had no military force to oppose Germany. After the Japanese attack on American forces in Hawaii, on Dec 7, they attacked American forces in the Republic of the Philippines on the next day, Dec 8, 1941. Japanese forces began their plan of overthrowing all nations and forces in the south Pacific.

Marines Raise Flag Over Iwo Jima 1945 United News Newsreel; World War II

Consider the allied forces, of which the United Sates assumed leadership.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allies_of_World_War_II

After the United States of America was drawn into the second world war, American military forces also began engaging axis forces in Europe and North Africa. Other nations of Allied support followed the lead of the United States to stop Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito as they brutalized the citizenry and military of the nations that were on their map of world domination. Without the entry of the United States into World War II, Hitler would have overthrown Russia and Asia, through its attack from the West, with Hirohito advancing from the East, and Mussolini attacking from the South. Could any nation have succeeded in defending itself from such a three-front attack? Consider the numbers of Russian civilians and soldiers that died at the hands of Hitler’s soldiers, minus the forces of Japan and Italy.

Soviet military dead and missing, 8.7 million

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties_of_the_Soviet_Union

Consider the Blitzkrieg, of Britain by German aircraft.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blitz

The importance of the presence of U.S. forces in the battle against the axis powers can not be understated. Without the defeat of the forces of Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito, the freedom of America, and other free countries, would not have been saved.

Group of American and British prisoners are marched through streets under German …HD Stock Footage

(U.S. And British POWs being marched by German soldiers through a French city. Notice how the French citizens mistreat the POWs.)

Hitler had a strong hold in North Africa, and would have marched southward, until all of Africa would fly the flag of Nazi Germany. Germany, Italy and Japan would have continued their assault on Asia, until the flags of those nations would fly no more. The nations of the Pacific, to include the continent of Australia, would be easy prey for the assault of the axis forces, with the result of many more Nazi flags flying in the lands of Nazi-led conquest.

After the attack on Hawaii, there was great concern that the west coast of the United States would also come until Japanese attack. There was also a fear that sympathizers of Japan living in the United States would begin attacks on the mainland of the United States. Democrat President Franklin Delano Roosevelt reacted to the fear of attack “from within” the USA, by the internment of citizens of the USA, who were of Japanese ancestry.

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/roosevelt-ushers-in-japanese-american-internment

Concerns of the President were found to be valid when a German u boat was sunk off of the east of coast of the USA, and was found to have loaves of bread from a local bakery stored in the boat.

The military forces of the USA was at a weakened state of readiness when the Japanese attacked Hawaii. Without a national resolve to defend our country, and defeat the axis forces in other parts of the world, the USA would have been the starting point of axis entry into North, Central and South America, where the Nazi flag would have been planted. The success, liberty and tolerance that we have as great fortune in the United States of America, would have been replaced with the Nazi desires for our country, as well as for the rest of the world. There would be no NFL, NBA, MBL, or multi-millionaire contracts for athletes. Every other aspect of our lives would be totally different, whether it would be employment, hobby, relaxation, recreation, or religious.

So, how do we respond to the millionaire athletes that think that they should not show honor for the members of our military, by not standing in respect for the flag of the USA? The players can continue to “take a knee,” but I will not be watching their games. If enough people were to make the same decision, that I have taken, NFL ratings would take a nose dive. If fans would not go to NFL games, teams would be sent a direct message.

The assault on America exists also in the media which broadcasts “sports.” Consider ESPN.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESPN

ESPN has become a “paid political announcement” for things that are anti-God, anti-USA, and anti-family. It is hard to watch a college football game that is not shown through an ESPN affiliate. But, now, my tv set will not give a rating to any ESPN station, nor will it give a rating to ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, or to any network that broadcasts programs that oppose the values of God, family or country. My tv set used to be set for me to watch NFL games every Sunday, and on any other day that NFL games would be broadcast. My tv set also used to be set for me to watch ESPN-telecast college football games every Saturday, and on other days. But, that is history. I will not support ungodly entities that are trying to destroy our country with values that are not of God, family or country. I will no longer watch the SEC or ACC networks, because they have ESPN corporate involvement.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SEC_Network

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ACC_Network

Consider the relationship that ESPN has with Disney and ABC. My money will not be spent at Disney Land or Disney World. I will not give money to buy “Mickey’s ears,” to a company that has men openly kissing other men, “during Disney’s “gay days!” Consider the shock that comes across the faces of parents who have that experience also being forced on their impressionable children.

http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-gay-days.htm

As for my viewing of local tv stations, I will watch local news broadcasts, but I will not watch those stations once they switch to network viewing of ABC, NBC or CBS programs.

The Liberation of Dachau

Notice the American Soldiers liberating the German concentration camp at Dachau. The prisoners were Jews of the Holocaust.

https://ww2.kqed.org/lowdown/2017/05/25/interactive-american-war-deaths-by-the-numbers/
Notice the numbers of American War deaths.

405,399 Americans of our armed forces lost their lives in World War II. They died in their support for our flag, and to keep it flying.

LEE GREENWOOD GOD BLESS THE USA

I am proud to be an American, and proudly salute our flag.

U.S. Air Force, Retired.

70 – Revelation 2 – The Things Which Are – Data

How is Jesus preparing a place for us in heaven?

Your First Hour in Glory, What Will Heaven Be Like?

God’s love for Israel

Restoration of Judah and Israel’

Ezekiel 16:60 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Covenant Remembered

60 “Nevertheless, I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.

16:60 I will remember My covenant. God is gracious and He always finds a covenant basis on which He can exercise His grace. The Lord will remember the Abrahamic Covenant (cf. Gen. 12:1ff.) made with Israel in her youth. Restoration will be by grace, not merit. an everlasting covenant. This is the New Covenant, which is unconditional, saving, and everlasting (cf. 37:26; Is. 59:21; 61:8; Jer. 31:31–34; Heb. 8:6–13). The basis of God’s grace will not be the Mosaic Covenant, which the Jews could never fulfill, even with the best intentions (cf. Ex. 24:1ff.). When God establishes His eternal covenant, Israel will know that God is the Lord because of His grace. (Note: MacArthur Study Bible)

Introduction To Post

There are some people who may be confused about the meaning of the following verse, because of inclusion of the words, “to whom who overcomes.” Some may believe that their salvation is not secure in Christ. Some may believe that more than faith in Christ is necessary to keep them secure in Christ, which makes their understanding of salvation as being based on “something that they have to do.” So, they are constantly trying to determine what it is that they must do to keep them secure in Christ. The truth of scripture is that faith in Christ keeps us “secure in Christ,” at all times, and under all circumstances. We can never fall out of the eternal and saving grasp of Christ. The parachute of saving faith is nothing that we can make for ourselves; Christ makes it for us. It is nothing that will ever fail to open; Christ opens it for us. It is nothing that will ever wear out; Christ makes it new, and keeps it new. We would never know how to make the spiritual parachute of saving faith, or that we would need such an umbrella; only Christ makes it, offers it to us, and maintains it in eternal perfection.

It is very helpful to use scripture to explain scripture, as is shown in the “scripture that follows the scripture,” of concern.

Revelation 2:7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

7 …”To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.’

The following scripture shows that whomever has been born again, is an overcomer, and will find their eternal place of residence in the Paradise of God, which is the Presence of God. See the MacArthur Study Bible note.

1 John 5:4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

MacArthur Study Bible note.

5:4 overcomes. John clearly defines who these overcomers are: they are all who believe that Jesus is God’s Son, and all that means. The overcomers are believers—all of them (cf. 2:13). The word for “overcomer” comes from a Gr. word meaning “to conquer,” “to have victory,” “to have superiority” or “conquering power.” The word reflects a genuine superiority that leads to overwhelming success. The victory is demonstrable; it involves overthrowing an enemy so that the victory is seen by all. Jesus also used this word to describe Himself (John 16:33). Because of believers’ union with Christ, they too partake in His victory (Rom. 8:37; 2 Cor. 2:14). The word “overcomes” in the original language conveys the idea that the believer has continual victory over the world.

Revelation Chapter 2-3 – Data

Text – Revelation Chapter 2-3 – God’s Plan For The Ages 70

Revelation 2-3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Chapter 2

Message to Ephesus

1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:

The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this:

2 ‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; 3 and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent. 6 Yet this you do have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.’

Message to Smyrna

8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write:

The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this:

9 ‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.’

Message to Pergamum

12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write:

The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this:

13 ‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. 15 So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’

Message to Thyatira

18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write:

The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this:

19 ‘I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first. 20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. 24 But I say to you, the rest who are in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not known the deep things of Satan, as they call them—I place no other burden on you. 25 Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come. 26 He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations; 27 and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

Commentary. Notes provided by MacArthur Study Bible.

2:1—3:22 Although these 7 churches were actual, historical churches in Asia Minor, they represent the types of churches that perennially exist throughout the church age. What Christ says to these churches is relevant in all times.
2:1 angel. The elder or pastor from the church (see note on 1:20). Ephesus. It was an inland city 3 mi. from the sea, but the broad mouth of the Cayster River allowed access and provided the greatest harbor in Asia Minor. Four great trade roads went through Ephesus; therefore, it became known as the gateway to Asia. It was the center of the worship of Artemis (Greek), or Diana (Roman), whose temple was one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. Paul ministered there for 3 years (Acts 20:31), and later met with the Ephesian elders on his way to Jerusalem (Acts 20). Timothy, Tychicus, and the Apostle John all served this church. John was in Ephesus when he was arrested by Domitian and exiled 50 mi. SW to Patmos. seven stars. See note on 1:16. seven golden lampstands. See note on 1:12.
2:2 who say they are apostles. The Ephesian church exercised spiritual discernment. It knew how to evaluate men who claimed spiritual leadership by their doctrine and behavior (cf. 1 Thess. 5:20, 21).
2:3 not become weary. For over 40 years, since its founding, this church had remained faithful to the Word and the Lord. Through difficulty and persecution, the members had endured, always driven by the right motive, i.e., for Christ’s name and reputation.
2:4 left your first love. To be a Christian is to love the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:21, 23; 1 Cor. 16:22). But the Ephesians’ passion and fervor for Christ had become cold, mechanical orthodoxy. Their doctrinal and moral purity, their undiminished zeal for the truth, and their disciplined service were no substitute for the love for Christ they had forsaken.
2:5 remove your lampstand. God’s judgment would bring an end to the Ephesian church.
2:6 the deeds of the Nicolaitans. A problem in Pergamos also (vv. 12–15), this heresy was similar to the teaching of Balaam (vv. 14, 15). Nicolas means “one who conquers the people.” Irenaeus writes that Nicolas, who was made a deacon in Acts 6, was a false believer who later became apostate; but because of his credentials he was able to lead the church astray. And, like Balaam, he led the people into immorality and wickedness. The Nicolaitans, followers of Nicolas, were involved in immorality and assaulted the church with sensual temptations. Clement of Alexander says, “They abandoned themselves to pleasure like goats, leading a life of self-indulgence.” Their teaching perverted grace and replaced liberty with license.
2:7 him who overcomes. According to John’s own definition, to be an overcomer is to be a Christian (see note on 1 John 5:4; cf. vv. 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21). tree of life. True believers enjoy the promise of heaven (see notes on 22:2; Gen. 2:9).
2:8 angel. See note on v. 1. Smyrna. Smyrna means “myrrh,” the substance used for perfume and often for anointing a dead body for aromatic purposes. Called the crown of Asia, this ancient city (modern Izmir, Turkey) was the most beautiful in Asia Minor and a center of science and medicine. Always on the winner’s side in the Roman wars, Smyrna’s intense loyalty to Rome resulted in a strong emperor-worship cult. Fifty years after John’s death, Polycarp, the pastor of the church in Smyrna, was burned alive at the age of 86 for refusing to worship Caesar. A large Jewish community in the city also proved hostile to the early church. the First and the Last. See note on 1:17.
2:9 who say they are Jews. Although they were Jews physically, they were not true Jews but spiritual pagans (cf. Rom. 2:28). They allied with other pagans in putting Christians to death as they attempted to stamp out the Christian faith. synagogue of Satan. With the rejection of its Messiah, Judaism becomes as much a tool of Satan as emperor worship.
2:10 devil. The Gr. name for God’s archenemy means “accuser.” For discussion of Satan, see notes on Eph. 6:10–17. tribulation ten days. Their imprisonment will be brief. crown of life. It is the crown which is life, or the reward which is life, not an actual crown to adorn the head. “Crown” here does not refer to the kind royalty wear, but to the wreath awarded winning athletes.
2:11 who overcomes. This identifies every Christian (see note on v. 7). the second death. The first death is only physical; the second is spiritual and eternal (cf. 20:14).
2:12 angel. See note on 1:20. Pergamos. Pergamos lit. means “citadel” and is the word from which we get parchment—a writing material developed from animal skin, which apparently was first developed in that area. Pergamos (modern Bergama) was built on a 1,000-foot hill in a broad, fertile plain about 20 mi. inland from the Aegean Sea. It had served as the capital of the Roman province of Asia Minor for over 250 years. It was an important religious center for the pagan cults of Athena, Asklepios, Dionysius (or Bacchus, the god of drunkenness), and Zeus. It was the first city in Asia to build a temple to Caesar (29 B.C.) and became the capital of the cult of Caesar worship. two-edged sword. See note on 1:16.
2:13 where Satan’s throne is. The headquarters of satanic opposition and a Gentile base for false religions. On the acropolis in Pergamos was a huge, throne-shaped altar to Zeus. In addition, Asklepios, the god of healing, was the god most associated with Pergamos. His snake-like form is still the medical symbol today. The famous medical school connected to his temple mingled medicine with superstition. One prescription called for the worshiper to sleep on the temple floor, allowing snakes to crawl over his body and infuse him with their healing power. Antipas. Probably the pastor of the church. faithful martyr. Tradition says Antipas was burned to death inside a brass bull. “Martyr,” a transliteration of the Gr. word, means witness. Because so many of the witnesses faithful to Christ were put to death, the word “martyr” developed its current definition.
2:14 doctrine of Balaam. Balaam tried unsuccessfully to prostitute his prophetic gift and curse Israel for money offered him by Balak, king of Moab. So he devised a plot to have Moabite women seduce Israelite men into intermarriage. The result was the blasphemous union of Israel with fornication and idolatrous feasts (for the story of Balaam, see Num. 22–25). things sacrificed to idols. See Acts 15:19–29.
2:15 Thus you also. The teaching of the Nicolaitans led to the same behavior as Balaam’s schemes. doctrine of the Nicolaitans. See note on v. 6.
2:16 sword of My mouth. See note on 1:16.
2:17 overcomes. See note on v. 7. hidden manna. Just as Israel received manna, God promises to give the true believer the spiritual bread the unbelieving world cannot see: Jesus Christ (cf. John 6:51). white stone. When an athlete won in the games, he was often given, as part of his prize, a white stone which was an admission pass to the winner’s celebration afterwards. This may picture the moment when the overcomer will receive his ticket to the eternal victory celebration in heaven. new name. A personal message from Christ to the ones He loves, which serves as their admission pass into eternal glory. It is so personal that only the person who receives it will know what it is.
2:18 angel. See note on 1:20. Thyatira. Located halfway between Pergamos and Sardis, this city had been under Roman rule for nearly 3 centuries (ca. 190 B.C.). Since the city was situated in a long valley that swept 40 mi. to Pergamos, it had no natural defenses and had a long history of being destroyed and rebuilt. Originally populated by soldiers of Alexander the Great, it was little more than a military outpost to guard Pergamos. Lydia came from this city on business and was converted under Paul’s ministry (Acts 16:14, 15). eyes like a flame of fire. See note on 1:14. feet like fine brass. Cf. 19:15; see note on 1:15.
2:20 Jezebel. Probably a pseudonym for a woman who influenced the church in the way Jezebel influenced the OT Jews into idolatry and immorality (cf. 1 Kin. 21:25, 26). sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. Cf. Acts 15:19–29; see note on v. 14.
2:22 sickbed. Lit. “bed.” Having given this woman time to repent, God was to judge her upon a bed. Since she used a luxurious bed to commit her immorality, and the reclining couch at the idol feast to eat things offered to false gods, He was to give her a bed in hell where she would lie forever.
2:23 her children. The church was about 40 years old as John wrote, and her teaching had produced a second generation, advocating the same debauchery. who searches the minds and hearts. God has perfect, intimate knowledge of every human heart; no evil can be hidden from Him (Ps. 7:9; Prov. 24:12; Jer. 11:20; 17:10; 20:12). according to your works. Always the basis for future judgment (20:12, 13; Matt. 16:27; Rom. 2:6). Works do not save (Eph. 2:8, 9), but they do evidence salvation (James 2:14–26).
2:24 the depths of Satan. This unbelievable libertinism and license was the fruit of pre-gnostic teaching that one was free to engage and explore the sphere of Satan and participate in evil with the body without harming the spirit (see Introduction to 1 John: Background and Setting).
2:26 overcomes. See note on v. 7.
2:27 rule them with a rod of iron. Lit. “shepherd them with an iron rod.” During the millennial kingdom, Christ will enforce His will and protect His sheep with His iron scepter from any who would seek to harm them (cf. Ps. 2:9).
2:28 the morning star. John later reveals Christ to be “the Bright and Morning Star.” Although the morning star has already dawned in our hearts (2 Pet. 1:19), someday we will have Him in His fullness.

For information that relates to the preparation of this post, and to sources of information, please click onto the following link.

https://cchurchchurchblog.wordpress.com/post-preparation-sources-of-information/

69 – Israel – 444 BC To The Roman Empire

Ship Full of Holocaust Survivors Sing Hatikva in 1945

Watching the following video made me cry.

March of the Living – Tribute to Liberators

Soldiers, Russia, British and American, are seen as they free Jews who had been enslaved, tortured and starved by Hitler’s Nazis. Yes! There was a holocaust. Some people deny that act of inhumanity, but, it happened.

Israel 444 BC To The Roman Empire

In order for anyone to have a clear understanding of the culture of Israel, and the Jewish people, it is an imperative that the religious aspects of such a people be considered. Before this post is read, it is advised that the prior posts be read, in their order of being published:

1. Israel, A Look Within, From Without
2. Israel 931-586 BC
3. Israel 586-445 BC

As has been mentioned in this study of Israel, the Jews have always had a great respect for their prophets, from whom “God’s chosen people” (per, Deuteronomy 7:6), believed that they received revelation from God. The prophets were identified as being major or minor prophets. The only difference between the two groups was the length of their writings. The major prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel) had no greater significance than did the minor prophets (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi). The prophets wrote prior to the deportation of the Jews, during the exile of the Jews, and after the return of the Jews to Jerusalem and surrounding Judah. The times of the writings of the prophets occurred from approximately 850 B.C. until approximately 400 BC.

After the return of the Jews to Judah and Jerusalem, three other important books were written that Jews hold in high regard. Those books are Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther.

Ezra. The Book of Ezra is devoted to events occurring in the land of Israel at the time of the return of Jews, from the Babylonian captivity and subsequent years, covering a period of approximately one century, beginning in 538 BC. The Persian King, Cyrus, issued an edict in that year., for the return of the exiled Jews to Judah and Jerusalem. The temple, which had been destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC, began being rebuilt in 535 BC, and was completed in 515 BC. Ezra was a Jewish scribe and priest; he was a descendant of Aaron, and was well-versed in the Law of Moses. He was commissioned by King Artaxerxes of Persia to return to Jerusalem and restore the Law for the Jewish people (Ezra 7:1-16). Ezra returned to Jerusalem in 458 BC. The time of writing was from about 457 to 444 BC.

Nehemiah. The Book of Nehemiah was likely written between 420 and 400 B.C. It continues the story of Israel’s return from the Babylonian captivity, and the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, which were also destroyed in 586 BC by Nebuchadnezzar. Nehemiah was the Jew who was appointed as the Governor of Judah, in 444 BC. He was appointed Governor by the Persian King Artaxerxes, and was serving as the King’s cupbearer (he tasted the King’s food to make sure that it was not poisoned). Nehemiah went to Jerusalem in 444 BC, and completed the rebuilding of the walls of the city in 443 BC.

Esther. The events of this book took place in Persia, which is current day Iran. Its author is anonymous, however, some believe Mordecai, (Esther’s cousin and guardian), wrote it. It was written approximately 470 BC in Persia. The key personalities are Esther, Mordecai, King Ahasuerus (or Xerxes), and Haman. The book is a post-exile story about Jews who stayed behind, after most returned to Jerusalem after captivity. Babylon was conquered by Persia, and Esther miraculously became the queen of the land. She was a brave young woman who saved her people from being exterminated. She became the queen of Persia around 475 BC, after winning a beauty contest. Esther’s cousin, Mordecai, saved the king’s life once, when two men in the palace tried to attack him (see Esther 2:21-23). He also played a big part in helping Esther stand up for her people. Haman is the villain of the story. He came up with a plan to kill every Jew in Persia. He built a tower, which he was going to use to hang Mordecai. But, Haman got the justice that he deserved; he was hung from his own tower (see Esther 7:9-10). After helping to save his people, Mordecai was promoted to second in rank to only the King (see Esther 10:2-3). As a Jewish maiden who had become the wife of the powerful king, Esther reached a crossroads of faith. Dare she stand up for the Lord and His chosen people? Or would she just blend into society as Persian royalty?

From 722 BC, when the northern ten tribes of Israel were taken captive by Assyria, until 586 BC, when the southern two tribes were taken captive by Babylon, until 539 BC, when Babylon was defeated by Medo-Persia, the Jews were under the control of world empires. Greece defeated the Persians in about 330 BC, and became the next world empire; they controlled and influenced the Jews in the culture of the Greeks until Rome became the next word empire. Jews became the writers of the New Testament of the Bible (minus Luke, a gentile), and wrote their scriptures in Greek, to include some Aramaic verses. While in exile, many Jews lost their knowledge of their native Hebrew language. Prior to their deportation in 586 BC, some Jews were also speaking in Aramaic, as recorded in 2 Kings 18:26 (713 BC) and Isaiah 36:11 (710 BC).

Consider the oppression of the Jews while they were under the rule of the Greek Empire. The temple that had been rebuilt in 515 BC was desecrated by the Greeks in 167 BC. That event is recorded in the Old Testament book of Daniel, in Chapter eleven, verse 31. A second account is provided by a Jew, by the name of Matthew, in the New Testament book of Matthew, Chapter 24, verse 15. Most Jews do not accept the writings of Matthew, from a spiritual standpoint. However, the facts of Matthew are very consistent with the account of Daniel.

The following notes come from the writings of Dr. John MacArthur, as he discusses Daniel, Chapter, Verse 31, and Matthew, Chapter 24, Verse 15.

11:31 DEFILE THE SANCTUARY. Antiochus’ soldiers, no doubt working with apostate Jews, guarded the temple, halting all worship, while others attacked the city on the Sabbath, slaughtering men, women and children. Soldiers desecrated Israel’s temple, banned circumcision and daily sacrifices (1 Macc. 1:44–54), and sacrificed a pig on the altar. The Syrians on Chislev (Dec. 15, 167 B.C.), even imposed an idol statue, in honor of the Olympian god Zeus, into the temple. Jews called it “the abomination that causes desolation,” i.e., emptying or ruining for Jewish worship. ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION. Antiochus’ soldiers profaned God’s temple by spreading sow’s broth on the altar and banning daily sacrifices (cf. 8:14 and see note there) as described in 1 Macc. 1:44–54. Both Daniel and Christ said this atrocity was only a preview of the abomination that would happen later, under the final Antichrist (9:27; Matt. 24:15).

24:15 ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION. See notes on Daniel 9:27; 11:31. This phrase originally referred to the desecration of the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes, King of Syria, in the second century B.C. Antiochus invaded Jerusalem in 168 B.C., made the altar into a shrine to Zeus, and even sacrificed pigs on it. However, Christ clearly was looking toward a yet-future “abomination of desolation.” Some suggest that this prophecy was fulfilled in A.D. 70, when Titus invaded Jerusalem and destroyed the temple (see note on v. 2). However, the Apostle Paul saw a still-future fulfillment (2 Thess. 2:3, 4), as did John (Rev. 13:14, 15)—when the Antichrist sets up an image in the temple during the future tribulation. Christ’s words here, therefore, look beyond the events of A.D., 70 to a time of even greater global cataclysm that will immediately precede His second coming to earth (cf. vv. 29–31).

Antiochus Epiphanes was a Greek king of the Seleucid Empire who reigned over Syria from 175 BC until 164 BC. He is famous for his brutal persecution of the Jews. Consider the following article that discusses the oppression of the Greeks and Syrians on Israel. The Maccbees were Jews. Consider the comment on Chanukah, also spelled Hanukkah.

https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/israel/history-10.htm

333 BC-143 BC – Greek Rule

From the year 180 BC until 161 BC the Maccabees rebelled against the Syrian king Antiochus IV, who persecuted the Jews. He launched a campaign to crush Judaism, and in 167 BC he sacked the Temple. At the end of the period, after the rebels had conquered Judah and Jerusalem, the Temple was re-inaugurated. The Jewish holiday of Chanukah, also spelled Hanukkah, is based on these historic events.

In 168 BC, Antiochus, being defeated in his plans against Egypt, turned his anger against Palestine, and undertook the extermination of the Jewish religion and the complete Hellenizing of Judea. The walls of Jerusalem were thrown down, but the old city of David was fortified and occupied by a Syrian garrison. The observance of Jewish rites, the Sabbath, and circumcision, was prohibited. Those who resisted were put to death. In December 168, at the great altar of burnt offering in the temple of Jerusalem, a pagan altar was built, and on the 25th Chisleu sacrifices were offered on it.

Even after having suffered greatly from other kingdoms and nations, Jews still hold strongly to the promise that was given to them by Moses in 1451 BC, in the book of Deuteronomy. Consider the following verses:

Devarim 7:6 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

6 For thou art an Am Kodesh unto Hashem Eloheicha; Hashem Eloheicha hath chosen thee to be an Am Segullah (Treasured People) unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of ha’adamah.

Deuteronomy 7:6 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

6 For you are a people set apart as holy for Adonai your God. Adonai your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his own unique treasure.

Deuteronomy 7:6 New Living Translation (NLT)

6 For you are a holy people, who belong to the Lord your God. Of all the people on earth, the Lord your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure.

Jews also hold to the writings of Moses, that they believe to be given to him by God, and date back to 2126 BC. Consider the following verses from the Book of Genesis:

Bereshis 12:3 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

3 And I will bless the one blessing you, and curse him that curses you; and kol mishpochot haadamah shall be blessed through you.[T.N. There is a brocha in this verse that many do not know but that every true follower of Moshiach should know.]

Genesis 12:3 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

3 I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed.

Genesis 12:3 New Living Translation (NLT)

3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”

Jews believe that the promises of Genesis 12:3 flow to them from Abraham (the object of this verse, Gen 12:1-2), through the bloodline of his son, Isaac, and his grandson, Jacob, who become known as Israel, per Genesis 32:28. The Jews also believe that by being the chosen people of God, He will use their bloodline to bring the promised Messiah into the world (Isaiah 7:14; 9:7). Jews also believe that they will inherit a place of key significance during the, “yet future,” Kingdom of God (Zephaniah 3:8).

Consider the words, “Judah” and “Judea.”

Prior to the exile of Jews from Jerusalem, the tribes of Judah and Benjamin made up the southern kingdom of Judah.

After the Captivity the name, Judea, was applied to the whole of the country west of the Jordan (Haggai 1:1, 14; 2:2). But under the Romans, in the time of Christ, it denoted the southernmost of the three divisions of Palestine (Matthew 2:1, 5; 3:1; 4:25), although it was also sometimes used for Palestine generally (Acts 28:21).
The province of Judea, as distinguished from Galilee and Samaria, included the territories of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, Dan, Simeon, and part of Ephraim. Under the Romans it was a part of the province of Syria, and was governed by a procurator.