The Devil’s Body Count

How does one write the unthinkable?

This was something I have faced before.  When I was given the Final Warning, I never imagined anything could be harder to write.  I was wrong on that count, in ways I could not imagine.

hell-burning

I find myself here once again.

NOTICE – The following issues have been found, and the necessary revisions have been made to The Devil’s Body Count:

First, several operations and functions for the sacrificial service on the Day of Atonement were reversed.  Specifically, the incense and the sprinkling of the blood were switched in their occurrence.  This has been corrected to reflect the proper order of events.  

Second, terms such as “shed”, “sprinkled”, and “spilled” are used interchangeably when speaking of different aspects of the blood sacrifice at the Temple.  The use of each particular term is governed by the context of the conversation.

When using similar terms interchangeably on a given subject, the crossing of those  terms becomes a distinct possibility.  As such, several of these terms have been identified as crossed, and result in possible confusion in the given discussion.

These terms have been revised to reflect their proper usage.

Third, several statements and blocks of text have been omitted or modified to maintain the current format of the printed or book version of Body Count.  These changes do not affect the context or understanding of the given conversations.  They simply aid in maintaining the current word count and format of the printed book.

Thank you for your patience in this matter.

The last time, I was tasked with documenting that believers can and will be lost.  I was tasked with showing that at least half that call the name of Christ would perish or be left to the tribulation.  Never had any task been so hard to come to terms with, let alone complete.  Yet, the Lord gave me what I needed.

It is no easy task to learn – let alone accept – that some of those that you call brother and sister will not taste eternity with the Lord.  Yet, even after Final Warning, there remained unanswered questions.

Exactly how does a believer actually lose their salvation?

What is the line in the sand where this actually happens?

We have all seen the arguments for and against the possibility of lost salvation.  Yet, none of them touch on the “how” of the proposition.  That has now changed.  By the time you finish this project, there will be many things that make sense for the first time in your life.  Those deepest unanswered questions will now have a resolution.

Many of the things that we are witnessing in the world will now make more sense as well.  The “why” will now become clear to you.

Once saved, always saved;

Pre-trib rapture critics;

The Lawgivers;

Tithing is unbiblical;

The gifts of the Holy Spirit have ceased;

The “Name of God” movement;

The Sabbath keepers;

The Hebrew Roots movement;

Faith is a sin;

All of these things are the source for the greatest false doctrines and deceptions of our time.  They also stem from a single source, suffer from the same depravity, and exist for the same terrible reason. . .

A body count.

Nothing more.

By the time you have finished this project, you will understand the terrible truths of all these things.

With that, let’s proceed.

Once saved, always saved?

There is a prevalent question in the church today that must be addressed.  Are we always saved once we accept Christ, or can we lose our salvation after the cross?  There are few topics that generate such debates as this.  It ranks with the rapture, tithing and speaking in tongues in the top five list of hot button issues.

The central premise and instigating factor is an abundance of scripture that seems to say both.  I see it in every single debate I witness.  Scores of believers literally baseball bat each other with their collection of scriptures which will surely carry the day and prove that they have the “most right scriptures”.  A cursory search of the internet will provide no less than five to 10 verses in support of each position.

Just as prevalent are the number of reasons given on how each position is possible in light of scripture that seems to indicate otherwise.  For the record, there are numerous scriptures that support both positions.  Also, there are numerous scriptures that contradict both positions as well.

However, this debate is at the very heart of what we will cover in this presentation, and central to a prophetic warning given in the Book of Hebrews.

There is something that must be understood.  The Bible does not contradict itself, nor is it wrong.

Ever.

So then, how is it possible that the Bible seemingly contradicts itself on this matter?  How is it possible that both positions can be right?

Understand, that if you have a collection of scriptures that hold one position – yet, there is a collection of scriptures that hold the opposite position – then there is only one possible explanation:

Both positions are correct, and do not contradict each other.

Understand that no scripture is incorrect.  I have spoken on this a number of times.  If you appear to have two contradicting scriptures, it means that you are simply missing the third scripture which ties everything together.  That is exactly the case with the debate on once saved, always saved.  I should say this – it is not that the tying scripture is missing, it is that most misunderstand what it is saying.

Let us get to the heart of the matter.

There is no way around what I am going to say next.  Once saved, always saved was the standard in the body for nearly 2,000 years.  What I mean is this – when a man confessed his sins and asked forgiveness, that is exactly what he got – forgiven.  It was permanent, and never to be revoked.  Once saved, always saved was the rule, not the exception.

That has all changed.

Now before everybody grabs the pitchforks, torches, tar and feathers, please take a breath and hear me out.  The natural response is an exclaiming shout that “the Bible does not change!”  That is absolutely correct – the Bible does not change.

“Well then, how can ‘once saved, always saved’ change from the rule to the exception?” if the Bible does not change?”

It is really quite simple.  The Bible does not change.  We, however, do change.  As individuals, as a group, as a species – change is inevitable.  Likewise, the devil also changes his tactics with us.  It is the nature of this change that reveals a terrible truth – that believers can and will lose their salvation.

We find the heart of the matter in the Book of Hebrews.

Hebrews and Willful Sin

Let’s start with a small block of scripture:

Hebrews 10:26-27 KJV – For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

This has to be the second most fearful set of scriptures in the Bible, ranking only behind “depart from me, I never knew you”.  The discussion around the meaning of “sin willfully” and “no more sacrifice” can run long, and has nearly as many offered possibilities as there are leaves on a tree.  Yet, all scripture has a specific meaning, and must be understood.

For the record, these two scriptures mean exactly what they say, on face value.  As we are learning more and more everyday, the scriptures are proving themselves to be far more literal than any of us could have ever imagined.  It’s not that we did not think think they were literal – it’s that there is simply no frame of reference for how to judge scripture.  How does one quantify something such as the beast in the Book of Revelation without having an example?  Without a point of reference it becomes a difficult task to say the least.

As we will see shortly, the full context of Hebrews chapter 10 shows that this is not a message to the unbeliever, but to the believer that has been to the cross.  One of the more popular interpretations of this scriptures revolves around it being a warning to those that know right from wrong, yet reject Christ.  However, the context of the chapter is clear – these two scriptures are not aimed at the unbeliever.

They are aimed squarely at those who have been to the cross first, BEFORE the willful sin became an issue.

There are actually two groups of believers that fall into the category of “willful sin”.  We will delve into the second group shortly, as that is where the bulk of this conversation resides.  For now, let’s look at the first group – the most common understanding of “willful sin”.

In its most common rendering, “willful sin” means exactly that – sin that we engage in willfully.  However, it is the meaning of willful that Satan plays on in an attempt to enslave the body of Christ.  Here is what I mean.

There is a difference between willful sin, and the sin that results from heeding the tempter.  You see, most sins in our lives come as a result of the work of Satan.  He comes to us, whispers to us, and catches our attention.  He inflames our passions and we fall to weakness.  This does not excuse the sin, and we need to take such things before the Lord.  Yet, the grace of the Lord is on us and our lives.

Think of it this way.  The difference between the willful sin that Hebrews speaks to, and sin that is truly covered by the grace of Christ comes down to the amount of influence the tempter has in the situation.  The more a particular sin needs the influence of Satan to manifest in your life, the less willful it is.  Stated differently, it comes down to what you are willing and desiring to do when no one else is there.  Willful sin is that sin you WANT to do, and need no help in doing it.

Pornography is a prime example of this.  Most instances, it starts out as a purely tempter driven sin.  It comes naturally to the flesh, yet it is Satan that will speak softly to us.  However, as time advances and we continue to give in, it takes less and less tempter to drag us down.  We start desiring the sin of pornography of our own accord.  More and more, it becomes our own flesh that wants to sin.

Eventually, we reach a point where we simply do not care.  We must have our fix, and it does not matter if it is right or wrong.  We desire the pornography above all else, and that is simply all there is to it.  We begin to make excuses as to why it is OK, or we simply no longer care.  We started out with more tempter and less will.  We ended with no tempter and all will.

That is the definition of willful sin.

We need to cover something critical to many believers.  Satan likes to ensnare and trap.  Many times, we will fall into sin at the behest of the tempter.  It may be a new sin.  However, most often it will be sin that has beset us over the years.  We have no desire to engage in the sin, nor would we shed a tear it is never again surfaced in our life.

Yet, Satan will come roaring in as a lion, seeking to devour us.

“You have sinned again!  You keep doing the same thing!  See, you clearly enjoy what you are doing.  Is that not the very definition of willful sin?  The Bible says that you have no sacrifice for willful sin.  That means you are lost and beyond hope!”

There could be nothing further from the truth.

We will be flooded to the point of near panic and suffocation over our “grave” error.  We will be filled with sheer terror over what we have done.  The words “I cannot be forgiven” will run through our minds, ripping at the very fabric of our hearts.  The guilt will be nearly more than we can bear.

Yet, the Bible tells us that these are things of the devil, and not from God.  Even when the Lord sends conviction for sin – at its harshest it is still kind.  It speaks the truth to you, yet it also speaks of hope and reconciliation.  It brings you face to face with your errors, yet it never takes you to the edge of hopelessness, with no possibility of forgiveness.

It leaves you better tomorrow than you are today.

Still, many believers are trapped in a prison of anguish built by an enemy that whispers “this is God’s doing!”  No, it is not.  It is the devil, and he has lied to you to strike you down.  You see, if he can beat you down long enough you will eventually give up.  Once you give up, his voice returns.

“Since you are already lost, you might as well have a good time while you can.”

That brings us right back to willful sin.  Only this time, he has used the lie that you were in willful sin to beat you down, and convince you to engage in actual willful sin.  As you hear his voice and give in, your flesh will devour those sins.  It will begin to crave the wanton death and abandon that can only appeal to a diseased and sin riddled flesh.

Far too many believers have fallen prey to this trap.  They sit in guilted silence, turning away from the task before them.  They are consumed with the thoughts that “I am not good enough”.  While this is ultimately true, it is also true that none of us are EVER good enough.  That is why Christ came, and why He died on the cross.

None of us will be perfect until we reach the other side of eternity.

Yet, the Lord still calls flawed and imperfect humans to the work of a perfect kingdom.  That is what all of us must understand.  The Lord does not set us back because we have fallen or made a mistake.  Everyday we wake is an exercise in mistakes.  No, it is not the Lord that sets us back.  We do this to ourselves.  The Lord never stops requiring service from us, mistakes notwithstanding.  Nor does He stop desiring for us to move forward.  He simply requires that we desire perfection, and strive to advance the task at hand – no matter what mistakes we make.

This does not mean that we will not be required to repent of sins.  It simply means that no matter how far we fall there is always a way back.

That is one of the reasons Satan tries to turn our attention inward to ourselves.  The more we look to ourselves, the less we see the Lord.  When this comes as a result of guilt over mistakes for our sins, then we lose sight of the fact that the Lord is still working on our lives.  I cannot count the number of times I hear from believers that do not think the Lord is with them, nor that they are hearing His voice.  Yet, as a third party observer I can see the Lord clear as day in their lives.  The Lord is there, and He is still moving in their lives.  They simply cannot see past themselves to recognize it.  Always remember this:

Our greatest victories in the Lord most often come at the site of our greatest failures.

Rebranding Sin

As I said earlier, there are two groups or types of willful sin.  We have covered the first type in some detail.  It is what most of us think of when we consider what willful sin actually means.  However, what must be understood is that the greatest danger rests not in what seems obvious – but in the prophetic and most insidious meaning of willful sin:

Rebranded sin.

We will touch on the prophetic nature of willful sin in just a moment.  For now, you will need to keep something in the back of your mind.  Hebrews chapter 10 is not just a primer on how to live for Christ.  It is a prophetic warning for the last days.  It is the last key to unlocking something we see from the Book of Genesis – the falling away and Lot’s wife.  As I said, we will speak more on this in a moment.

Hebrews 10:26-27 gives us a terrible warning – those believers that engage in willful sin lose the forgiveness of sins.  There is something that needs to be noted here.  In the original text, the terminology is indeed “sacrifice” for sins.  Let me ask you a question – why not say that there remains no more forgiveness of sins?  Remember, every word in the Bible is specific, and has a specific meaning.  Most read these two scriptures and make an assumption.  They assume that the Bible is saying there is no more forgiveness of sins.  That is incorrect.  This is not at all what the Bible is telling us.

What exactly is the difference?  It comes down to this – forgiveness is what comes from the sacrifice.  It is the sacrifice that make the forgiveness possible.  This reveals several critical pieces of the puzzle.  First off, it is not the forgiveness that ceases to exist – it is the sacrifice itself.  This is good news.  It means that if the willful sin is corrected then we once again have the forgiveness of sins.  You see, the sacrifice of Christ on the cross is stronger than any sin.  It was one sacrifice, offered once and for all.  It cannot be done away with permanently.

Now comes the second critical point.

With everything we just said, the next natural question is how can it then be possible that any sin can take away the sacrifice of Christ – a sacrifice that is greater than any sin?  Surely, if ceasing the willful sin can restore the sacrifice, then it stands to reason that it was never lost in the first place, right?

This brings us to the second point.

For all of his efforts, Satan will never get the results he wants by convincing believers to willfully turn to sin.  We have a clear cut warning of what this brings.  Certainly he has had some success in this.  Yet, most believers still resist falling into the wrong things.  As we have already discussed, there is less that qualifies as willful sin than most think.  Satan is not interested in only “some” success.  He means to hurt Almighty God, and the only way to achieve the numbers he desires is to change tactics.  He must come up with something new.  That is exactly what he did, and the Bible told us this was coming.

Isaiah 5:20 KJV –  Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

The whole of Isaiah chapter 5 sheds a great deal of light on the times to come, and this subject in particular.  However, we find what we need for the discussion in this verse.

Stated different, Satan has a brand new bag!

How do you get the Body of Christ to march headfirst into willful sin, knowing that it means death to do so?  Simple – you change the definition of sin.

You rebrand sin.

Satan cannot defeat the cross.  His only chance is to go around it.  He cannot take the forgiveness of sins from any of us.  He must find ways to convince us to do this for him.  So, he looks at the Bible much the way a defense attorney would.  He looks for the loopholes.  This in itself tells us how literal the Bible truly is.  The Bible is the word of the Most High God, and His word is truth.  It is also unbreakable.  So, if Satan can get the believer to go down this road, then by the Lord’s own word His sacrifice is wiped out.

Many of you are already shaking your heads in disbelief.  Not because you doubt my words, but because this is making more sense than you are comfortable with.  It also helps that the Holy Spirit goes ahead of projects such as this and confirms the words with the reader.  That said, this is already answering many questions that we have.  It explains why there is such an effort to turn sin into acceptable behavior, and justify it away.  This tactic has invaded every facet of the earth now.  No nation is exempt from the assault.  From the rampant and widespread sexual sin of the west, to the fanatical devotion to Islam in the near east – the entire planet is on the brink of the tribulation as the work of Christ has now nearly been undone.

Look at the sins that have become not just accepted – but praised in just the last 20 years.  For that matter, look at what the last year has witnessed.  There is no doubt in what I speak.  However, if you think about it enough, you will realize that the big overt sins are not the only problems.

What about all of the personal “minor” sins that we as believers now tolerate?  How many call the name of the Savior, only to violate the His Holy Word by gambling?  We attend Bible study on Wednesday nights, right after we play the Powerball.  Gambling was never accepted in the Bible.  It takes our faith and trust from the promises of the Lord, and places them on “chance”.  By the way, chance is nothing more than a contract with Satan.  You see, Satan has the power to grant you those lottery winnings – if he likes your counter offer that is.  If he sees a personal benefit to you having that level of wealth then he will grant it, for a time.

That is why the entertainment industry is so powerful and flush with cash and influence.  Satan gets more traction from movies and music than he does through any other endeavor.  There is no greater conduit for enslaving the masses.  It is the single greatest engine for pushing his agenda, and it happens time and time again in the equivalent industries in many other nations.  Hollywood is not the only avenue for this effort, though it is clearly the most powerful.

This is why there are so many actors and musicians that have seemingly the same story about how they achieve success in the industry.  How many times do we hear about the most successful in movies and music giving themselves over to “something or someone else” to play the part and secure success.  How many of the stars have literally admitted to worshiping Satan himself to achieve the power and fortune they crave?

All of these people have the same thing is common.  They had something to bring to the table that Satan could use.  Like Hitler, they had charisma, or looks, or the powers of speech.  There was something intangible that the Lord had given them for quite a different purpose.  Yet, they now serve the cause of Satan and the advancing of his agenda.  Still, there are plenty of people that have benefited from Satan’s largess with no discernible gift to return to him.  The key here is “discernible”.  What they do not understand about themselves, that the devil knows all too well is that their personal destruction may in and of itself yield a harvest worth the investment.  Remember, Satan does not create.  All of his power and authority comes with that most human of conditions.

It has limits.

Satan cannot create wealth out of thin air.  He has a great deal at his disposal, but his resources are not unlimited – they only seem that way.  Also, value is created in rarity.  If he gave every last person the wealth that they wanted, a new condition of lack would replace the old.

Ironically, the laws of economics are based in mathematics – the one universal language that the Lord gave us.  It is those same laws of economics that serve to limit the reach of the devil.

So, very few are given the keys to their own kingdom.  This serves an additional purpose.  It creates a state of want, as in we all want what we can’t have.  This harkens all the way back to the Garden of Eden.  There was only one tree in all the Garden that Adam and Eve could not eat of – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  They were even permitted to eat of the tree of life.  Yet, it was the one forbidden tree that they fell into sin over.

The forbidden comes with a false premise – that we can be like the Most High.  This is the very heart of willful sin, the very heart of defying the sacrifice of Christ on the cross for something “better”.

This brings us to something else that needs to be understood.  This will be critical to understanding what the rest of Hebrews chapter 10 reveals.  When we read in verses 26 and 27 that there remains no more sacrifice for sins, it reveals something about willful sin.

It attacks the very heart of who Christ is.  All of His promises, all that He is, all that He did – all of it becomes the target of willful sin.  It is literally spitting in the face of the Savior Himself.  We know this as the rest of Hebrews 10 bears this out.  We will speak more on this in a moment.  Willful sin attacks the very foundations of salvation itself.

Willful sin is at the very heart of the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.  This is something that we will also touch on shortly, as all of this ties together.

You see, it was the sacrifice upon the cross that brought Christ into the world.  It was the sacrifice for which the Bible was written.  It was the sacrifice that stopped the plan of Lucifer to be like the Most High.  It was the sacrifice that Satan would have stopped if he had known the truth.

When the Bible tells us that willful does not stop the forgiveness of sins, but rather, the sacrifice itself – there is no more personal an insult to Christ than to fall into willful sin.

It is also something that will not go unpunished as Hebrews 10 tells us.

That said, we still need to identify exactly how this takes place.  We need to define the exact process that our questions may be answered and we learn.

How can sin be confessed, yet unforgiven?

This piece of the discussion requires that we set certain Biblical truths about sin, confession and forgiveness from the outset.  Much of what I will say here is covered in detail in “The Final Warning”, including the full scriptural basis.  Here are several things which are critical to remember as we go into this study:

All sin originates in the heart.  It does not come from the mind or thought alone.  It is not the carrying out of sin that makes it sin.  It is the intent of the heart that makes something a sin.

There is a difference between justified death and murder.  The actions are the same – a life is taken.  However, the intent or reasoning behind the act is where guilt is found.  The same can be said of all sins.  Now, there are some sins that have singular reasons, such as the worship of another god.  However, many sins have equivalents that are in fact not sin.

The confession of sin originates in the heart.  It is only from the heart that the forgiveness of sins can be sought.  Moreover, it takes the Holy Spirit to convict the heart of its sins.  How many times have we heard (or may have been that person) of people uttering a prayer of forgiveness with their mouths, yet their hearts desired no such forgiveness?  How many times have we seen the fruit of these things?

All must be persuaded in their own hearts that sin is sin.  How many of you started to rattle off this verse as you were reading these words?  This is a premise that most of us know well.  It is from this scripture that we take the first real steps towards salvation.  If you are not convinced in your heart that what you do is sin, you can never truly seek forgiveness for what you have done.

Some of you are already making the connection.  Let’s bring this full circle and present the completed picture.

In modern times, as we approach the tribulation, one of the great challenges we face is the rebranding of sin.  This involves every facet of our lives, and there is not one of us that has not dealt with this.  At every turn is an effort to declare that which is sin as correct, and that which is righteous as wrong.  The Bible told us this would come, and it actually tells us why, and how this will manifest.  It is not simply to demonize the things of God.  It is an intentional strategy that is designed to catch the Body of Christ off guard, and to condemn each and every one of us.

Let’s take one specific example and use it for this exercise – the rise of homosexuality and gay marriage.  We can use any of the litany of sexual sins for this purpose.  However, the gay rights agenda is the issue that will allow us to paint the best picture, as it is the most clear.

If we used the growing trend in believers living together before marriage, and having sexual relations before marriage, it might inflame too many passions in a large segment of the readers and muddle the point.  So for now, I will stick with a much clearer issue.

How many of you have been thoroughly confused by the sheer volume of believers that are living in active homosexual relationships, yet they still go to church, praise the name of Jesus Christ – and still go to the altar confessing their sins – and are truly sincere about wanting their sins forgiven?

Yet, in the same breath they will proclaim that their lifestyle is right in the eyes of the Lord, and they truly believe that it is?

What’s more, these same individuals will appear to have many of the same blessings of the Lord that you do, yet the Lord has made it crystal clear to you that what they are doing is wrong – as in abomination of the Lord wrong.  It will even appear as though the Lord speaks to them at times.

How many of you have been scratching your head at this, wondering how this could even be possible given how wrong their actions truly are?  How is it that they seem to have the move of the Lord in their life as you do, yet they defy the Lord at every turn with the life they are choosing to live?  How is there no conviction for what they are doing?

What is sin to one is sin to all.  There is not a sin that is sin to one, but not sin to another.

Of course, there is the standard answer that the Lord tries to reach everybody.  Indeed He does, no matter who you are.  Salvation is for all of us, and Christ died that all might be saved.  Also, there is the prospect that the person is hiding the battle that is raging inside them.  This happens quite a bit.  Nobody wants to be found out and shamed publicly.  There is also the Biblical admonition that many are in deception, especially in these end times.  This is true of course, and some deceptions run deep.

While these answers do address all of the issues in some of the people, how many still feel as though they are missing part of the equation on this?  After all, these answers do not seem to satisfy the conditions present in all of the people, all of the time.  Or do they?

The short answer is “no”, they do not.  There is something more at work here.  It is that “line in the sand” that we have always known existed, yet none of us never quite knew where it was.  We never understood how to define it.  It is that line between forgiveness of sins, and there remained no more sacrifice.  It is that line that we have all tried and failed to define.  It is that line that none have been able to express.  It is that line that must be crossed to move from forgiven to lost, and lost to forgiven.

As I said, there simply seems to be something missing when we think on these things.

In other words, what is that singular moment or event when the saved becomes lost?  It is the last great mystery of the faith of Jesus Christ, and you are about to get the answer.

The Line in the Sand

In all things there must be an event horizon.  That is the exact moment that we transition from one state to another.  There is a moment where water first becomes ice.  There is a moment where water first becomes steam.  There is a moment where the lost takes the first step to salvation.  There is a moment where the grace of the Lord finally stops, and forgiveness of sins ceases.  What is the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back – that moment when we reach the tipping point, then add just one more sin?

The question is this – what is that line?

In another project on tithing, we spoke of the tenth, and why it was the number of the tithes.  The tenth is that point of no return.  It is the point where you can never go back of your own accord.  A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.  Ten percent is that number.

This speaks to that moment when there is just a measure beyond that which we can overcome.  Incidentally, this is why overcoming is the central theme in the Book of Revelation and on the topic of the rapture.  This will become clear as we progress.

Take our believer that lives an active homosexual lifestyle.  Notice the word “active”.  We are not talking about somebody that has been to the cross, and the Lord is bringing restoration and healing.  We are not talking about somebody that has turned from their sins and moved forward in Christ.  That is the same conversation all of us have in our lives as the Lord helps us to leave behind those things that do not please Him – that we should go and “sin no more”.

Our believer goes to the cross, and they ask that their sins are forgiven, the same as we all do.  Yet, there is something different.  What exactly is it?

Rebranded sin.

You see, when our believer asked for the forgiveness of their sins, they received exactly what their heart confessed – the forgiveness of their sins.  There is just one problem.

In their hearts, they do not see homosexuality as a sin!

That is the product of the rebranding of sin.  This is how a believer can truly confess their sins, yet there remain no more sacrifice.  When they declare the forgiveness of their sins, their heart offered up all that it saw as sin.  However, that which the heart is not persuaded to be sin is not offered up for forgiveness.

It is not offered up as the person does not see it as a sin in the first place.  In their heart it’s right.

Now, the Bible uses the term “remains no more sacrifice”.  Here is why.  If you take a thousand  sins before the cross they will all be forgiven.  Yet, if there remains one single sin that is unforgiven, then it matters not how many sins are forgiven.  If but one single sin goes unconfessed, it is still sin, and the guilty party cannot enter into the Joy of a perfect Lord.

One single unconfessed sin undoes the sacrifice for all other confessed sins.  Hence, there remains no more sacrifice for sins.  Just as the High Priest could not be touched and defiled before entering the Holy of Holies; just as Christ could not be touched before He ascended to sprinkle His blood on the furniture; just as a single blemish on the Passover Lamb disqualified it from its purpose; just as Christ could not commit even the smallest single sin and still die on the cross.

Yet, this did not need to remain a permanent condition.  All of these things had a “backup plan” given by the Lord Himself.  The sacrifice could be restored, and the forgiveness granted once more.  That is what must be remembered in all of this.

However, the very fact that they have approached the cross opens the door to their hearts, and grants the Holy Spirit access to work in their lives.  The Lord is going to do all that He can to teach them, raise them up in His admonition, and show them the truth about their life.  In any other generation this would have led to a life for Christ that blossomed, yet something always seemed “held back”.  Many of you will know what I am speaking about.  The Lord moved in your life, yet something was always “missing”, or “not right”.

It wasn’t until you were ready to face the hardest truths about smoking, drinking, pornography, gambling, etc. that you were finally ready to take that final step and truly overcome for Christ.  He had been working in your life, and had been building you up in His image – yet seemed that there was “something more” that you were missing.  That is the same thing that is happening in the life of the active homosexual that has sought the cross of Christ, yet still continues in a lifestyle that is clearly wrong before the Lord.

The Lord is working with them, and we have many stories of those that have been healed not just from homosexuality, but many sins.  These are the last and greatest strongholds to fall in our lives, and typically they go at that moment the Lord has appointed for them to do so.  Remember, even if we cannot see when the healing will come, the Lord can.  He knows that we are on the path to overcoming.  That is also what will allow many to be accounted as overcomers, even if it would seem otherwise to our eyes.  This is a good lesson in not judging a book by its cover.  You just never know where the Lord is in somebody’s life.  The Lord already knows where their heart is, and where it is heading.

This is how the active homosexual receives the move of the Lord and His blessings in their life.  He has them on a path that will lead them to where He wants them, just as He has done with you.  Just because the believer is not yet an overcomer, it does not mean that they will never be.  It simply takes time.

However, we have a major problem now – and it is the whole reason why Satan has bet the farm on rebranding of sin.  Time is running out.  We are the only generation that will not have the benefit of an entire lifetime to “figure things out”.  There will be no more 25 year “walks with the Lord”.  Those days are done.  We sit in the shadow of the tribulation, and the Lord is now at the Doors of the Heavenly Temple.  Soon, the golden shofars of God will be blown by the King Himself, and the Great Assembly will be convened in the first of its two prophetic fulfillments.  It must be convened twice to be fulfilled, to establish the appointed times of seven years.  It is convened once before the Temple of God in heaven, then it shall be convened seven years later, before the Temple of God on earth.

Those that still hold unconfessed sin cannot be called to the Great Assembly.  As we see from the study on the Book of Remembrance (we touch on this in the study on tithing), only those that overcome can be called to the Great Assembly.  Only those found written in both books can be called to the order of the Priesthood – to be a part of the Kingdom of Priests.

This is the play that Satan has made, his last shot “down field” if you will.

As we said earlier, the only way that Satan can interfere with the plan of salvation is to go around it.  He cannot take salvation from any of us.  We can, however, give it back.  It is a gift from God.  Yet, so many that bank on “once saved, always saved” miss the key component of “a gift from God” – the part where it is declared “a gift”.

All of the definitions for gift in the original Greek contain an understanding of the word “gift” – it is freely accepted.  However, as a gift, it is also freely rejected.  In all of the scriptures regarding salvation, it becomes clear that this is not a forced station of servitude.  It can be rejected at any point.  To force us to keep something that we no longer desire relates salvation to a condition of slavery – a word choice that was stringently avoided by the authors of the Bible.

This is also the condition that exists in Hebrews 10:26-27, where there remains no more sacrifice.  It is a willful condition where the heart refuses to hear the voice of the Lord on the particular sin of issue.  The heart may hear everything else.  But yet, it still rejects the word of the Lord on the issue at hand.  We know this as the Bible tells us that the Lord ever striving with us, to contend for us, that all might be saved.  Jesus Christ died on the cross that none should perish, and He never ceases to show us that which we need to make straight the way of the Lord, and to enter into the straight gate.

Satan’s last shot downfield is a real doozy.  Think of all the things that Body of Christ seems willing to accept as “OK”, “not a big deal”, “nothing to get excited over” – “tolerant”.

I saw a comment the other day of Facebook.  The commenter was remarking how everybody needed to chip in for a Powerball ticket.  It was their contention that the Lord moves in mysterious ways.  They seemed oblivious to what they were saying.  For the record, the understanding that the Lord can use evil for the purposes of righteousness works one way – the unrighteous being used to the purposes of God.

It never allows the righteous to descend into unrighteousness and make their robes dirty for the sake of the Kingdom.  Christ already did this for us.  The Lord does not need the righteous to soil themselves to get His will accomplished.  If the Lord means for you to have certain finances in your life, or if you righteously desire these finances seeking His Kingdom first, He will ensure that you have an understanding of Biblical giving and Biblical principles of economics.  He will also ensure that you have your house in order so that His blessing are not wasted on somebody that is not ready to receive them.

It was the pagan King of Persia that funded the Temple.  It was not righteous Jews that engaged in evil practices that made the money for the Temple.  The finances flowed from the unrighteous to the righteous, and the righteous never had to lower themselves to violating the will of the Lord.

Yet this is exactly what our believer was advocating.  The lottery had become so ingrained in our culture that to most believers it barely even registers on their radar.  It has been rebranded.  After all, the states funds schools with the lottery.  It’s for the kids!

How many other things in our lives does this fit?  How many believers have no second thoughts on drinking alcohol?  In a day when there is safe drinking water, and many other options, why would there be any desire to discuss that drinking “is found in the Bible”?  For the record, if you are making a case that so much drinking is OK as long as you don’t pass a “certain point” – or however you frame it – the question becomes “why?”

What is it in you that justifies even considering this, especially in a word where consuming alcoholic beverages simply is not necessary?  I know that many will want to argue about the quality of water from the tap, and fluoride in the water – along with many other issues.  However, consider this – in the times of the Bible, drinking water in some places could kill you within hours.

THAT is the definition of unsafe water.

If you live in a land where you can boil water, have filtered water, drink bottled water, or easily acquire any other form of safe drinking water – yet you still argue for consuming alcohol on the basis of “safety” – you might want to reread what we have presented so far on willful sin.

Then, take it to prayer.

The list here is practically endless.  How many Christians see nothing wrong with living with their soon to be spouses?  How many justify this with “we consider ourselves married – they did not need a license in the times of Jesus!”

No, they did not.  Here is why.  To be engaged required a contract to be offered and accepted.  Once this was done, the marriage process was officially started.  You were considered married – but with NO benefits!  If you partook of the benefits before the completion of the process A YEAR LATER – that little indiscretion carried some fairly stiff penalties.  In fact, what we would call engagement today meant a year of NO CONTACT WHATSOEVER!  The bride and bridegroom would not even see each other in most cases.

The contract of engagement was fully enforceable under the Law of Moses, to include death if so warranted.  To break the contract of marriage before the marriage was actually completed and  required a full legal divorce – one that could be granted only in the worst circumstances.

In other words, you did not even get engaged unless you were absolutely sure that this is the person that was meant for you.  A mistake in this endeavor could cost you your life, and I am not talking about a life in the prison of marriage to the wrong person.

Even finances and giving fall all into this discussion.  How many people make a stand against tithing?  Not only that, but they hide behind other forms of giving to justify breaking an express command of God to the Body of Christ.  If you have not done so, take the time to read our study on paying tithes.  It is mandated in the New Testament for the church, it is serious, and it is held as the highest sacrifice you can make before the Throne of Almighty God Himself. It is also a direct requirement to overcome.  Stated differently, no tithes – no overcoming – no rapture.  It’s just that simple.  If you are not yet obedient in this area, take it to the Lord.  He will work with you.  Remember, it is the state of the heart and the path you are on that determines overcoming.  You don’t have to be perfect in the tithes – you just have to be on your way.

How many turn away the beggar at the gas station because “they will probably use the money for beer or drugs”?  Is your resistance to giving truly about not wanting to enable destructive behavior?

Or do you use this as an excuse to mask greed?

Do you give to your church, or are Pastors simply “too greedy” to receive your money?  Never mind that it is not, nor ever was “your money”, and that you have no right or authority to withhold a single cent that the Lord says to give.

Do you spend more time complaining of greed in the Body of Christ than you spend looking at worthy Christian Missions that need help spreading the Gospel?

Here is a big one – do you spend more money on prepping for the tribulation – tomorrow – than you spend on the witness of Christ – today?  I call this a big one as the back half of this project will deal with the greater content of Hebrews chapter 10.  It is an ominous warning to those that fall into this camp.  More on that in a moment.

Remember that when it comes to giving, it is the obedience and intent of the giver that matters for you.  It does not matter what the other party holds in their heart.  Just as you will be judged for being an unfaithful steward of that which the Lord has placed in your care, so shall the ministry that squanders their blessing likewise be judged.

Remember this – sometimes the Lord brings blessing to the unfaithful.  Not only does it rain on the just and unjust alike, but a just God must allow us the opportunity to build the case for ourselves that will be presented when we stand before the Bema – or the Great White Throne should we not hear the voice of the Lord and heed His words.  Sometimes the blessing that gets squandered is nothing more than the evidence recorded in the ledger entries against us in the books of heaven.

Everything we have seen so far has but one purpose – to rack up a body count of believers that would otherwise not be possible.  As we will see going forward, Hebrews 10 speaks to just how successful this tactic will become in the last days.

The Great Warning of Hebrews Chapter 10

We have already spoken a great deal of what is revealed in Hebrews chapter 10.  It is not only a warning to the Body of Christ in general, but it is a very specific warning for the end times.  It is fully prophetic for the days we are witnessing, and it goes without saying that the rebranding of sin makes Hebrews 10 a fairly obvious lock as far as accuracy.

However, all of that was the good news.  Now the time has come for the bad news.

Hebrews chapter 10 is the key to unlocking the final mysteries of the great falling away found in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, and in the prophetic warning of Lot’s wife.

We have discussed on another page the coming time of Lot’s wife, and how she turned away at the last moment.  In the final days before the return of the Lord, in the final moments, there will be many believers that turn back to the city of Sodom and back to what they are leaving behind.  However, what is not widely understood is why Lot’s wife turned back, and what it means prophetically.  As we go through Hebrews chapter 10 and pull out the key pieces, it will become apparent what is soon to come, and how the last days will see these things come full circle.

There is one more thing that bears noting.  As we have covered in detail in the pages regarding Biblical evidences for the rapture (pre-trib rapture specifically), that when we break down and look at the original language we find that the revealing of the Antichrist is NOT the Abomination of Desolation.  Rather, it is the seven year treaty mentioned in Daniel 9:27.  This becomes critical in understanding that the black letter fulfillment of the falling away that comes before the revealing of the Antichrist actually comes before the start of the tribulation.

I used the words “black letter fulfillment” for a reason.  As we have detailed several times on this project site, every prophecy given in the Bible will have a letter for letter literal fulfillment.  This is the same for the falling away.  Certainly, we have seen a great falling away in the Body of Christ.  However, this is not the literal letter for letter fulfillment that must yet come.  It is the fulfillment of the spiritual meaning of the text (all scripture has a literal meaning, a spiritual meaning, and a level of mysteries or prophetic meaning).  There is yet one final fulfillment coming for the falling away.  It will come fast, run short, and die hard in a moment that no man knows.

In short, it must be of a nature defined and dramatic enough to be clearly identified as an event in and off itself.  That is how the falling away will be fulfilled.

Now, as we look deeper into Hebrews chapter 10, we find that verses one through 10 speak to the sacrifice of Christ, and the utter failure of the sacrifice of animals to the remission of sin.  It is here that we find that the death of Christ on the cross was written into our history from time immemorial.  It was always to be, and it was to replace the imperfect sacrifices under the Law of Moses.

In verses 11 through 14, we see that Christ offered a single sacrifice for all time.  However, we see a the first piece of the greater mystery of Hebrews 10 emerge.  After His sacrifice on the cross, Christ sat down at the right hand of the God the Father, and He did so waiting.  It’s what Christ is waiting for that sets the first piece into motion.  Verse 13 tells us that He is waiting until His enemies are made His footstool.  This is crucial, as it establishes a critical link to what is revealed in Hebrews 10.

Psalms 110:1 KJV – The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

Paul’s reference to the Book of Psalms sets a timetable to a certain event in the prophetic future.  He is speaking of faith in Hebrews 10, but he is also revealing a mystery.  It is a mystery that is now set to the end times.  Here is Psalms 110 in total:

The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

2 The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.

3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.

4 The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

5 The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.

6 He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.

7 He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.

Not exactly War and Peace in terms of size, but these seven simple verses speak volumes about what is being revealed in Hebrews 10.  In these scriptures, we see reference to not just one, but two events that occur – the return of the Lord at the start of the tribulation, and the Second Coming itself.  Stated differently, Paul is taking us back to Psalms 110 to frame what he is soon to share in his letter.  The prophetic warning is set to the seven years that will be known as the tribulation, and specifically the soon return of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ out the outset of the seven years.

There is something that needs pointed out in verse 14 that will play into the greater warning revealed later in the chapter:

For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

This is the key to understanding something we now see playing out in the Body of Christ – a return to the Law.  It presents itself under many justifications, yet at the heart over every last argument in the same insidious poison – the placing of the Law above the cross in an effort to prove the “righteousness” of those who are spiritually dead inside.  We will discuss this in more detail later in the study.

Verse 15 through 18 sets the subject of what Paul is going to reveal, and to whom this letter is directed.  It also sets a critical distinction, one that will be necessary to understanding a key difference a few verses later in the text.

Hebrews 10:15-18 KJV – Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,

16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

I underlined the two key components in these three verses.  First we see that the subject of this letter are those that have the laws of the Lord written in the hearts and on their minds.  That alone leaves only one set of candidates as the subject for this letter:

The believer that has been to the cross of Christ.

Jeremiah 31:33 KJV – But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

At first glance, it seems that it is Israel alone that receives this promise.  However, as with all things in the Old Testament, the literal fulfillment is only the start of things.  There is always a greater, more perfect fulfillment of that which we read in  the Old Covenant:

Hebrews 8:6-13 KJV – But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.  For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.  For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

We see this driven home in verse 18, where it is clearly established who Paul is speaking to, and about:

18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

As we said a moment ago, this letter and the warning are aimed squarely at those who have accepted a covenant relationship with Christ.  This becomes critical to understand, as it ties into the warning of Lot’s wife, and what will come to the Body of Christ in the last days, just before the rapture.

However, it is key that we take notice of one small detail here.  In verse 18, Paul uses the term “offering” for sin, as opposed to “forgiveness” or “sacrifice” – both of which play integral roles in what is happening throughout the Book of Hebrews, and also throughout chapter 10.

The offerings were given daily and yearly at the Temple.  However, we will see verse 26 in just a moment, where the distinction of “sacrifice” is used on what seems to be the exact same concept.  Yet, they are not the same.  As we spoke earlier dealing with the subject of willful sin, verse 26 speaks specifically to the sacrifice that makes forgiveness possible once, for all.  In verse 18, we have the yearly, temporal offerings which must be made continually under the law.

In other words, for whosoever has the remission of sins through the shed blood of Christ, there is now no offering for sin.  As the prior verses in Hebrews 10 pointed out, once Christ died on the cross all of the offerings and sacrifices at the Temple ceased to be of any effect.  They became useless and needless.  They simply ceased to exist before the Throne of Almighty God Himself.

At this point, we need a quick recap to ensure that everybody is one the same page.  This is important as we are headed into the meat of the prophetic warning in Hebrews chapter 10.  Here are the key points that we must remember going forward:

Hebrews 10 is dealing with the seven years of the tribulation, specifically the beginning and the rapture.

It is addressing those that have been to the cross, and have ALREADY have the laws of the Lord written in their hearts and minds.  This is not a warning to those that are new in the faith.

Now, let us move forward into something that will leave you absolutely stunned!

Hebrews 10:19-22 KJV – Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

21 And having an high priest over the house of God;

22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Let us look first at verse 19, specifically the boldness to enter into the “holiest by the blood of Jesus”.  When the Lord first showed this to me, He emphasized a question in my spirit.

“Is this the actual Holy of Holies, or is this referring to the heavenly Temple?”

In most studies, there is a natural assumption that this is referring to the heavenly Temple, with Christ as the High Priest.  Given that verse 21 speaks to the House of God, and verse 20 speaks to the veil that is the flesh of Christ, it would seem a natural assumption.  For those that attributed verse 19 to the earthly Temple, it seems to be nothing more than a detail of a greater point in the text.

There is something that should stick out to all of us in this verse, however.  It is the word “boldness”, or “boldly” in other interpretations.  Either way, it means the same thing, and begs a glaring question:

Why would we need to be bold?

After all, it is not us that died on the cross.  All we need to do is accept Christ – hardly the definition of a bold action, at least in most circumstances.  It can be argued that it requires boldness to accept Christ in a nation where it can mean your life.  Also, Hebrews 10 does speak to the times of the tribulation, so the possibility of martyrdom for Christ exists as well.  Is that the boldness we are seeing in the text?  What I found next is what absolutely blew the lid off this whole thing.

temple illuminated

“enter into the Holiest” is found in the original as “entering of the Holies” – itself a solid indicator of where this is going.  This gives us εἴσοδον τῶν ἁγίων, or eisodon tōn hagiōn – Strong’s numbers 1529 and 39 (leaving out the number for “the”).

“eisodon” is a form of “eis” – Strong’s 1519, which means to move to, toward, into – to move spatially.  It is movement toward or into an area.  It has an additional meaning of “extending a goal or purpose”.  It is also an indicator of the logic of a situation – a marker of purpose or a result of time.

“eisodon” is a combination of two different root words, Strong’s 1519 and 3598.

Strong’s 3598 is “hodos”, which means a way, road, journey, path.  However, in the form we see in Hebrews 10 (and elsewhere in Hebrews), it means a physical path, or an actual road that can be physically traveled.  It does not have a spiritual or metaphorical meaning, such as we would expect if the verse was speaking of the heavenly Temple or salvation.

Quite literally, “eisodon” means to physically enter the structure in question.  Vine’s has it rendered as “a way in”, and denotes having a key that unlocks an actual, physical door.

Now we can bring in the back half of the verse.  Holies, ἁγίων, is hagiōn, a neutral form of hagios, Strong’s number 40 which means “set apart by (or for) God, holy, sacred.”  However, in the form found in Hebrews 10,  hagiōn adds the additional meaning of “place”.

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

STRONGS NT 39: ἅγιος

ἅγιος, , (from τό ἀγός religious awe, reverence; ἄζω, ἅζομαι, to venerate, revere, especially the gods, parents (Curtius, § 118)), rare in secular authors; very frequent in the sacred writings; in the Sept. forקָדושׁ;

  1. properly reverend, worthy of veneration: τό ὄνομα τοῦΘεοῦ, Luke 1:49; God, on account of his incomparable majesty,Revelation 4:8 (Isaiah 6:3, etc.), equivalent to ἔνδοξος. Hence, used:
  1.  of things which on account of some connection with God possess a certain distinction and claim to reverence, as places sacred to God which are not to be profaned,

The temple, Hebrews 9:1, 24 (cf. Bleek on Heb. vol. ii. 2, p. 477f); specifically that part of the temple or tabernacle which is called ‘the holy place’ (מִקְדָּשׁ, Ezekiel 37:28; Ezekiel 45:18), Hebrews 9:2 (here Rec.streads ἅγια); ἅγια ἁγίων (Winer’s Grammar, 246 (231), cf.Exodus 29:37; Exodus 30:10, etc.) the most hallowed portion of the temple, ‘the holy of holies,‘ (Exodus 26:33 (cf. Josephus, Antiquities 3, 6, 4)), Hebrews 9:3, in reference to which the simple τά ἅγια is also used: Hebrews 9:8, 25; Hebrews 10:19; Hebrews 13:11. ~

When taken together in verse 19, εἴσοδον τῶν ἁγίων, or eisodon tōn hagiōn has a literal rendering of “enter into the Holy of Holies, of the Temple of God in Jerusalem”.  It is quite literally the physical Temple on earth.

We see this definition strengthened in a similar study of “consecrated” and “veil” in verse 20, and “house of God” in verse 21.

“Consecrated” is translated as “dedicated”, ἐνεκαίνισεν – enekainisen, Strong’s number  1457., Passive – meaning to be put into effect, inaugurate, (act) to open: – consecrated.

“Veil” is καταπετάσματος – katapetasmatos, Strong’s number 2665., (lit: that which is spread out downwards, that which hangs down), a curtain, veil, of that which separated the Holy of Holies from the outer parts of the temple at Jerusalem, also of an outer curtain at the entrance to the Holy Place in the same temple.

Christ is called καταπέτασμα, in (Heb.) because, as the veil had to be removed in order that the high priest might enter the most holy part of the earthly temple, so the body of Christ had to be removed by his death on the cross, that an entrance might be opened into the fellowship of God in heaven. ~

“House of God”, specifically “house” (there is no mistaking the meaning of God) is οἶκον – oikon, Strong’s number 3624., means house, home, a physical edifice; of royalty: Palace; of deity: Temple; by extension: family lineage, people who live in, or originate from a particular house. . .

Vine’s renders “house of God” as “over God’s House”. ~

When we put all of the pieces together, we can render verses 19, 20 and 21 in this fashion:

“Having the full confidence to walk through the doors of the Temple, and enter into the actual Holy of Holies, God’s most sacred chamber in His Temple – His palace in Jerusalem”.

This would be a good time to stop and consider the implication of what Paul is speaking in these three verses.  Let’s bring 19-22 back into the picture:

Hebrews 10:19-22 KJV – Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

21 And having an high priest over the house of God;

22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

For the record, these four verses do have the full spiritual meaning of the heavenly Temple and heavenly things.  I do not want that lost in our discussion.  It is the spiritual meaning of these passages which really shine the light on what Christ truly accomplished on our behalf at the cross.  It is from here that our authority as born again believers stems and forms.  Even though our study is centered on the prophetic warning for the end times and the soon return of the Lord, this message would do a great injustice to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ if it did not acknowledge the spiritual meaning and implications of the passages in Hebrews 10.

That said, we need to stop for a moment and understand exactly what Paul has just shared with the veteran believers that he is addressing. More to the point – why would we need boldness to walk through the doors of the Temple, and walk into the Holy of Holies?

I said earlier that this was one of the first things that really caught my attention.  Why not the word for courage?  What does boldness actually say, that “bravery” could not say?  Paul could have said that we have strength through Christ to enter.  Yet, he did not.  It was boldness and confidence that he used.

Here is why.  Paul is making a critical point.  To use a word such as courage denotes doing something, despite fear of the consequences.  We have courage to charge into battle, though we face certain death.  We have bravery to walk through the door of a burning building, though we do not know what awaits us on the other side.  Words such as courage and bravery denote action in spite of a fear of the unknown, or even the known when it is of terrible consequence.

However, words such as boldness and confidence denote something different.  They denote certainty and knowledge.  If a man charges into battle with boldness, he does so already knowing the victory is assured.  If a man charges into a burning building with confidence, he does so with the knowledge that he is going to make it.

Both of these words tell us that the believer whom Paul is addressing has the full knowledge of something – something that allows them to enter into the Holy of Holies., and do so without fear or hesitation.

Here is the next question – why would we need certainty of anything to enter the Holy of Holies?  Why not simply waltz on in?  First, here is a quick refresher on the Holy of Holies.

The Holy of Holies was the third and innermost chamber of the Holy Temple.  It was the chamber where the Ark of the Covenant was kept.  It also had an equivalent chamber in the Tabernacle of Moses.  The rules regarding the Holy of Holies were the same for both the Tabernacle and the Temple.

No man could enter the Holy of Holies.  Only the High Priest alone could enter the Holy chamber one time a year, on the Feast of Atonement.  He would hide away in a “secret chamber” for seven days prior to the feast to purify himself and prepare.  On the day of the feast, he would remove the garments of beauty (ephod, breastplate, etc.), doning only the four white garments of the priesthood, and enter the Holy of Holies several times to offer the incense and sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice on the instruments.

When he emerged from his seclusion he could not be touched lest he be impure and disqualified for the service.  If the High Priest was successful in his duties the sacrifice would be accepted, and all of the sins of Israel were atoned for the coming year.

That was the good news.

However, if he had failed in his preparations – or his heart was impure – he was summarily struck dead by God while he yet stood in the Holy of Holies.

It gets worse.  Any other man that dared to enter the chamber to retrieve his body was also struck dead.

The High Priest would wear a rope around his leg that had bells attached to it.  When he went into the chamber, there would be silence during the entire process, until the High Priest emerged.  The entire Temple would go deadly silent, waiting to hear the telltale jungle of the fateful bells.  If they heard the bells, they knew they would have to use the rope tied about the leg of the High Priest to pull him from the chamber.

The entire process took about half an hour.  This is a picture that we likewise see in the Book of Revelation after the seventh seal is opened.  While it is beyond the scope of this study, it is worth the time to study the imagery of the Temple rituals found in the Book of Revelation.  The first half of the tribulation is a picture of the morning service at the Temple, with the second half of the tribulation as the picture of the evening service.

Any other time of the year the Holy of Holies was off limits on pain of death – literally.

When the Lord first began to reveal this to me, it was here that I began to see the warning that He had placed in Hebrews.  Paul was telling the Jewish believers that they had the confidence through Christ to literally enter the Holy of Holies.  They could walk into a situation that meant certain death for all others, and walk into the presence of God – and live!

From here, I could see where this was going, and how this applied to the end times.  Already, I could see a problem for a certain segment of believers.  Here we have Paul telling us that we are to have the confidence to face a situation of assured death, and do so because of Christ.  The first response from many – when they read this – is to automatically jump to the conclusion that this is speaking to the willingness to die a martyr for Christ.  After all, we have established that this warning speaks to the end times and tribulation.

That assumption would be dead wrong.

Remember, the word here was “boldness” and “confidence”.  These speak to doing the unthinkable, knowing fully that we will emerge from the endeavor UNHARMED.  In other words. to enter the Holy of Holies with boldness is to enter the chamber of death already knowing that we shall NOT perish from doing so.

That said, I still knew that I was missing something.  The Lord had provided a big piece of the puzzle, yet it was an incomplete piece as I already knew what the Lord had showed me on the rest of Hebrews chapter 10.  I knew that there was something more to come.

The Lord NEVER disappoints.

Even with everything we have discussed so far, I still had questions.  The door was still open for people to interpret what the Lord had shown me in the light of dying for the Lord.  There was still an element here that seemed to say “don’t be afraid to walk into a situation of certain death for the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – have faith that all will be OK”.  That is what we see for those that die as martyrs in the tribulation.  So, I had a warning, but it was still incomplete.  That was until the Lord asked me a question – in the form of a statement.

“What made dying in the Holy of Holies different from from any other death?”

Death is death, right?  Well, not exactly.  This was the light bulb moment that opened everything up!

The Holy of Holies was the single deadliest space in all of the universe.  I am not being dramatic when I say this.  I am being quite literal.  Here is why I say this:

When you die, there is no guarantee that you will stay dead.  I know some of you are scratching your heads.  I did as well when the Lord revealed this to me.  However, these words are absolutely correct.

You see, as believers, we know that the Lord can heal and raise from the dead.  How many times do we hear of people dying on the operating table and coming back to life?  How many of us know people that have died and come back?

There have been quite a few missionaries that have traveled to far and distant lands and raised the dead in the name of Jesus Christ.  This is one of the tools that the Lord utilizes to prove to heathen populations that He is indeed more powerful than the gods they worship.

Lazarus had no idea that he would die, and lay in the grave past the point of decomposition – yet walk out of the tomb!  Imagine the looks on the faces of those in Jerusalem when thousands of long dead saints hopped out of their graves and started strolling around the town.

We can go one better when it comes to death – the Book of Daniel shows us that even the most powerful forces of death can have no effect should the Lord desire.  Both the lions den and the fiery furnace were impossible to escape.  That is why both were methods of execution chosen by the kings of Babylon and Persia.  Yet, they had less than stellar performances on those days.

The Book of Revelation tells us that there will come a time where those that are not sealed with the seal of God are tormented five months and desire death from the agony.  Yet, death will not come no matter how those that suffer try.  There will be no suicide – only those that have tried and failed in the effort.  We have all seen the stories of failed suicide attempts from methods such as shotgun.  The results are nothing short of horrific.  Yet, this is what awaits those that will not seek the Lord.

To the contrary, there will be 144,000 sealed Jews that cannot be harmed in any manner whatsoever during the tribulation.  These servants of the Most High God could literally stand at ground zero of a nuclear detonation, and walk away without so much as a scratch.  It is the same for the two witnesses, until the their appointed 1,260 days are complete.  Even then, they will only lay dead for three days.  After that they will raise, death being unable to hold them.

This is what makes the Holy of Holies different.

The question that needs to be asked here is “WHO kills you in the Holy of Holies?”  Unlike any other death upon the earth, walking into the Holy of Holies was an offense for which God Himself struck you down.  There was no reprieve, no parole, no second chances.  To enter the Holy of Holies was to be guilty of an offense that assured you of the judgment of God.  It was the wrath of God contained in a single chamber upon the face of the earth, and it was permanent.

The Lord then opened up something else.  Was there anything else that shared this distinction?  After some thought it clicked.  The answer was “yes” – the Holy of Holies was not the only circumstance that held this distinction.

Sodom.  Gomorrah.  Babylon (the actual city).  The entire earth when the flood came.  That was the missing key.  The Holy of Holies wasn’t about that fact that you died if you entered.  It was about the fact that death came by the judgment and wrath of God.  It was non-negotiable.  If you were guilty of the offense of entering the judgment, you got the judgment.

There is more.  How many stories do we have in the Bible from survivors of the great flood that were NOT on the ark?

How many stories are from those that remained in Sodom when judgment fell?

There is a reason why there are none.  The judgment of God is complete and total.  There were no miracles of healing for those that were condemned.  There was no reprieve for those left behind.  However, there is still another element to what Paul revealed in Hebrews 10.

To be guilty of entering the Holy of Holies, you had to WANT to enter the chamber.

It was not possible to even reach the chamber by accident or mistake.  If you were a Gentile you were executed for even approaching a certain point before the outer courtyard.  If you were a Jew, you faced execution if you tried to enter the forbidden spaces beyond the inner courtyard.  Only the priests could approach these spaces.

If you attempted to approach the Holy of Holies you were executed.  Not by God, but by the priests themselves.  If you approached the Holy of Holies, it is because you wanted to enter the chamber.

Stated differently, you wanted to enter the judgment of God.  There was no other earthly reason to even attempt to do so!

As we will see shortly, this is a premise that makes a roaring debut in the days just before the rapture and tribulation.

There is something that needs addressed.

As for the priests, they knew that so much as breaking the plane of the threshold meant instantaneous death.  This was such a dangerous place, that even the High Priest had a backup priest standing by if something defiled him on the Day of Atonement.  Understand that the position of the High Priest was a family affair.  It passed from father to son (yet another picture of Christ), and there could be only one High Priest.  If the High Priest was defiled and could not enter the Holy of Holies, it meant that he was done – permanently.  He lost his job forever, as you simply don’t “promote” the next High Priest.  His son would have already performed the tasks needed to step in that day, tasks which took time, planning and purification.

Once the son was confirmed as the High Priest, his father was effectively unemployed.  His family still had the honor of the office of the High Priest, but the now defunct priest was shamed and ruined for his failure.  Needless to say, the Holy of Holies was avoided at ALL costs.

Even if somebody wanted to consider the possibility of a “prank”, and deposit a friend near the sacred chamber.  Those that thought to do such a thing would all die for the offense.

No, Paul’s words are not that believers are to face certain death with confidence in Christ.  That is not to say that this statement is not truth.  To the contrary, it is one of the most celebrated truth’s we have.  Death has no real sting to those in Christ.  Not only that, but this life is but a shadow of the things to come.  We will not truly know real life until we pass into eternity.

To the contrary, what Paul is saying is something much, much different here.  His words can be spoken as such:

“We have the full confidence to enter into the Holy of Holies, through the blood of Christ – knowing that we have the promise that we SHALL NEVER enter the wrath and judgment of God!”

Remember, the context of his words are boldness and confidence, which speaks of KNOWING what is waiting for us.  Also, it is in the context of walking straight into the existence of the full and direct wrath of God.  Taken together, it is walking into the wrath of God Himself, knowing that we shall not suffer this fate.

The coming time of the tribulation is a time that has not been since the foundations of the world, nor shall ever be again.  I mention this now for a reason.  One aspect regarding the rapture and the tribulation that gets missed is that the tribulation is the wrath of God that fall upon THE ENTIRE PLANET.  Stated differently, all that entered the Holy of Holies must fall to the wrath of God.  However, in the tribulation, the wrath comes to us as a species.  We do not go to it.

That is why the Bride must be removed first.  Whenever the wrath of God falls in the Bible, all present must suffer that wrath.  In the tribulation, ALL the world faces the wrath of God.  There can be no escaping it once it starts.

The Bride must be removed before it begins.  If the Bride is not removed, than the words of God that declare His wrath is for His enemies only is proven a lie!

There is something more that must be understood here.  Not even the High Priest himself could break the threshold of the chamber.  In other words, even God’s elect were not exempt from His wrath.  It did not matter that you were a Jew.  It did not matter that you were a priest.  It did not matter that you were the High Priest.  the wrath of God was so complete, so all encompassing, that no one on the face of the earth could escape it.

Yet, those that serve the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ had a promise – a promise that the wrath of God would not befall them.  How do we know this?

Hebrews 10:22-23 KJV – 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

The ESV has it this way:

22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

The rendering of the ESV is closer to the original than the KJV.  However, the point is clear in both.  The Lord made a promise – a promise that requires FULL assurance of faith – that we have a hope (The Blessed Hope), and the Lord is faithful to keep that promise!

Recall that earlier we saw that Paul was taking us all the way back to Psalms 110 to set the prophetic timing of this warning.  In doing so, he established that this was about the day of the Lord’s wrath, and His coming.  Specifically, when you read Psalms 110, it deals with both the rapture and the Second Coming.  It is time to bring something else about the conversation.

After Paul encountered Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus, he was sent to Mount Sinai in Arabia.  Once there, he spent several years receiving the revelation and mysteries from Christ Himself (this is how Paul is called “Apostle”).  Among the revelations he received was the mystery of the rapture.  There on Mt. Sinai, the Lord revealed the mysteries to the second Moses.  Just as Moses led Israel to the promised land, Paul would lead the church as well.

On the mount where the Lord gave Moses the picture of the rapture in Exodus 19, he gave Paul the revelation of the rapture.

After his time on Mt. Sinai, Paul returns and gets to work.  The very thing he taught was the rapture, as this was the central focus of 1 Thessalonians.  For those that did not know this already, the Bible is not in chronological order.  You can purchase chronological Bibles, however.  1 Thessalonians was the very first letter that Paul wrote, and the rapture was the very first thing he taught.  It was one of several mysteries that Paul was given, with another being that Israel would be restored.

This becomes important to understand.  Here is why.  When He writes of the hope that Christ promised in Hebrews chapter 10, he has already taught and established the doctrine of the Blessed Hope, or the imminent return of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  By the time he writes the letter to the church in Hebrews, it is already understood not only that there is a rapture, but that it is the fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets.  This is what further cemented the understanding of the Blessed Hope, and why it was a “hope” in the first place.  It is beyond the scope of this study, but it is absolutely critical that believers understand the link between the rapture and Trumpets.  It is this link that lays the foundation for understanding that the rapture not just simply the Lord up and returning one day for no reason.  It is the key to understand and unlock the multiple aspects of the Law of Moses for which the rapture is required to be fulfilled.

When Paul speaks of the hope that Christ promised, he is already speaking established doctrine to an established body of Jewish believers.

Before we move on to the next piece of the puzzle, we have to take a moment and review something we shared earlier:

“The Holy of Holies wasn’t about that fact that you died if you entered.

It was about the fact that death came by the judgment and wrath of God.  It was non-negotiable.  If you were guilty of the offense of entering the judgment, you got the judgment.

There is more.  How many stories do we have in the Bible from survivors of the great flood that were NOT on the ark?

How many stories are from those that remained in Sodom when judgment fell?

There is a reason why there are none.  The judgment of God is complete and total.  There were no miracles of healing for those that were condemned.  There was no reprieve for those left behind.  However, there is still another element to what Paul revealed in Hebrews 10.

To be guilty of entering the Holy of Holies, you had to WANT to enter the chamber.

It was not possible to even reach the chamber by accident or mistake.  If you were a Gentile you were executed for even approaching a certain point before the outer courtyard.  If you were a Jew, you faced execution if you tried to enter the forbidden spaces beyond the inner courtyard.  Only the priests could approach these spaces.

If you attempted to approach the Holy of Holies you were executed.  Not by God, but by the priests themselves.  If you approached the Holy of Holies, it is because you wanted to enter the chamber.

Stated differently, you WANTED to enter the judgment of God.  There was no other earthly reason to even attempt to do so!”

Though it may not yet be apparent, this becomes the central focus of what will soon be a fully revealed prophetic warning and truth.  Keep this in the back of your mind as you read further.

There is another point that must be understood.  We touched on it briefly already.

There is a reason why there are none.  The judgment of God is complete and total.  There were no miracles of healing for those that were condemned.  There was no reprieve for those left behind.

How many reports do we have in the Bible where those that were condemned to the judgment of God ever came back to life afterwards?

The fall to the judgment of God was to die for all eternity!

There is no raising from the dead.  There is no second chance.  There is no salvation after judgment is executed.  In fact, to be given over to the judgment of God was to be in the only possible situation where death is actually assured.  If Almighty God Himself stepped off His Throne to personally take your life, it is assured that this life would never be given back to you.

In short, the judgment of God is for eternity.

To be guilty of entering the Holy of Holies, you had to WANT to enter the chamber.

This is a terrible truth that bears special significance in the days just before the rapture and the tribulation.  We will delve into this more in just a moment.

At this point we need to change gears.  We need to discuss how it was possible for the High Priest to enter the Holy of Holies, though only on a single day each year.  In fact, what exactly was it that determined that nobody else could enter the chamber, touch the Ark, or anything else associated with coming into such close proximity to the presence of God.

Clearly, “because the Lord said so” is the first, most valid reason.  Yet, there is not a single example in all the Bible of the Lord doing something “just because”.  All of the rituals, all of the feasts, all of the sacrifices – everything we see in the Torah – all of it was based in commonsense reasoning.  In other words, there were actual reasons for everything in the Law of Moses, aside from “the Lord said so”.  The Holy of Holies was no exception.

Every year, on the Feast of Atonement, the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies to offer the incense and sprinkle the blood on the instruments.  This is the only time of the year where this was possible to do.  The Feast of Atonement took place on the 10th day of the seventh month, after the Feast of Trumpets.

The Feast of Atonement is the picture of the judgment that follows the tribulation.  When taken with Trumpets, the 10 total days that includes both feast days and the eight days between them are the picture of the rapture, tribulation and Second Coming.

After the Feast of Trumpets, the High Priest would enter seven days of seclusion to prepare for Atonement.  Everything had to be perfect.  If the High Priest was not absolutely ready, he would be struck dead in the Holy Chamber.  The High Priest would emerge on the eighth day, dine with the priests, and celebrate the Feast of Atonement the following day.

During the days prior to the Feast of Atonement, the High Priest could not be touched by the people, lest he become unclean.  So, he would not leave the Temple, keeping only the company of the other priests.  Aside from the eighth day meal, he would keep to himself, except as absolutely necessary.  

On the Day of Atonement, the High Priest would remove the garments of beauty, and don only the four white linen garments of the priesthood.  When the time came for the sacrifice, he would make the public sacrifices at the altar.

There would be three sacrifices made that day (not counting the regular sacrifices).  These would be for the High Priest, the Levites, and for the Israelites.

After the time of sacrifices, the High Priest would take the blood of the animals, and enter the secret chamber of the Most High God.  This is when the atonement process would begin.  The High Priest would sprinkle the blood on the instruments.  This would include the horns of the altar, the veil, and the Ark of the Covenant.

This would occur several times during the course of about half an hour (three specifically, with a fourth at the end).  When the process was complete, the High Priest would exit the Holy Chamber, and get dressed in the royal garments, or the garments of beauty.  He would then head to the Eastern Gate, and stand before the congregation.  He would raise his hands and speak the three words that the crowd wanted to hear most:

It is done!

This would conclude the sacrifices of atonement.  All Israel know knew that their sins were atoned for the coming year.

There is a lot of ground that can be covered in what we have spoken so far.  The process of atonement is the picture of the ascension of Christ to heaven, and His return for the saints, followed by the Second Coming.  During the atonement process, the High Priest would emerge from the Holy of Holies for a moment after completing one series of the process.  The incense had been offered.

Even though the High Priest emerged from the chamber, his coming out was in secret.  He would then return to the Holy Chamber to continue the process, this time offering the blood.  It was only after the third entry into the Holy of Holies that the High Priest would emerge publicly.  It is the same process that played out of the Feast of First fruits, when Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to heaven in secret to sprinkle the blood on the instruments in heaven, after which He returned for 40 days.  Soon, He will exit the Holy Chamber in secret again.

To fully grasp the warning in Hebrews 10, we must have an understanding of the process of sprinkling the blood, especially on the Ark of the Covenant.  The sprinkling of the blood on the horns of the altar and the menorah speak to the work of redemption.  However, the blood on the Ark is where the rubber truly meets the road.

Most of us have at least a passing knowledge of the Ark of the Covenant.  If you have seen “Raiders of the Lost Ark” you will likewise have a cursory idea of what the Ark looked like.  While I am fairly certain that there were differences between the real Ark and Ark the Indiana Jones rescued from the Nazi’s, the Ark in the movie was of a similar size and appearance to the Ark described in the Bible.

ark

It was a wood chest that was covered in gold.  It was carried on two poles by four priests.  It had a “lid” called the Mercy Seat.  On top of the Mercy Seat were two Cherubim, or the covering angels.  Inside the Ark was several items, which included the two stones tables of the Ten commandments, the rod of Aaron, and a golden pot of manna that never went bad.  In the Temple, the Ark would sit in the Holy of Holies between to larger Cherubim.

Here is the operative part.  Taken together, the contents of the Ark represented God’s judgment against sin.  They represent the judgment that comes from breaking the covenant with God.  This will become critical in understanding what Hebrews 10 is telling us.  Did you ever wonder why the Mercy Seat is called the Mercy Seat?  It is the separation of man from the judgment of God.  It is the one things that stands between man and death at the hands of the Most High God.  To remove the Mercy Seat is to subject yourself to the vengeance of God.

We see this in 1 Samuel chapter 6:

19 And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the Lord, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the Lord had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.

20 And the men of Bethshemesh said, Who is able to stand before this holy Lord God? and to whom shall he go up from us?

21 And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kirjathjearim, saying, The Philistines have brought again the ark of the Lord; come ye down, and fetch it up to you.

There are several key points that need understood, each critical to what Hebrews 10 tells us.  First point is this – even when his intentions are good, man’s attempts to honor the Lord will always result in death.

That is what happened at Beth Shemesh.  The Philistines had captured the Ark.  However, when they had set the Ark in the Temple of their god, Dagon – well, Dagon did not fare so well in the presence of the Holy Ark.

Neither did the city of Ashdod, where Dagon was located.

So, the Philistines were at a loss, and carried the Ark to Gath.  They carried it around in Gath, unsure of what to do with it.  That was until the Lord laid waste to Gath also.

Let’s just say that the Philistines reached a “consensus” on what to do with the Ark.  It was promptly loaded on a cart for immediate shipment back to Israel.

The Philistines decided that they needed to honor the God of Israel with a trespass offering.  This way, God would be pleased and lift His hand from them.  So, the Philistines loaded the Ark on a new cart, with the guilt offering, and set the yoke on two milk cows that had never been yoked before (they had never been used for work or pulling).  They then gave the cows a slap on the rear, and off they went.  The Philistines wanted to see which direction the cows took the Ark.

If the cows went back towards Israel and Beth Shemesh, they would know that it was the God of Israel that struck them.  However, if the cows went a different direction, they would know that it was pure coincidence that misfortune fell upon them.

Long story short – it wasn’t misfortune.  The two cows headed straight for Beth Shemesh.

When the people of Beth Shemesh saw the Ark coming they rejoiced.  Why not?  Here came the Ark, the symbol of God’s presence with them.  It had been taken, now it had returned.

The-reapers-lifted-their-eyes-and-saw-the-ark-500x323

So, the men of Beth Shemesh took the Ark off the cart, and used the cart to build an altar.  They sacrificed the cows to the Lord and took the guilt offering for the Lord.  So far, so good.  However, in man’s best intentions we still fall short.  You see, we find that the men of Beth Shemesh made a terrible mistake.

They looked inside the Ark.

The question becomes “why?”  Why would anyone dare to open the Ark in the first place?

There are several reasons why they would do such a thing.  First off, the Philistines had taken the Ark.  Now it had been returned.  The first thing that occurs to any of us after receiving property that had been stolen from us is that everything may not have been returned.  So, just as we would check our returned wallets for money, or luggage for jewelry, so too did the men of Beth Shemesh look to see if the sacred pieces of the covenant were inside.

There was another dynamic here as well.  The Philistines had offered a guilt offering to appease the Lord, and lessen His wrath against them.  So, as the men of Beth Shemesh removed the guilt offering from the cart, they also looked inside to see if there was anything else that the Philistines would have placed inside.

Both instances demonstrate an incredible lack of faith by God’s anointed.  After all, the men of Beth Shemesh were Israelites.

It should have occurred to the Beth Shemites that the Philistines could not have opened the Ark without facing the wrath of God.  Yet, they did not approach the situation with the understanding of God.  They approached it with the understanding of men.

“Well, we got the Ark back.  Let’s build an altar to the Lord and sacrifice to Him.  After that, we need to check the Ark.  You don’t know what has happened to it while it was gone!”

Yes, we do know.  That is the problem.

You see, as it is today, far too many that worship the Lord pay lip service at church, yet live according to their own understanding of His ways.  They go through the motions, yet turn to their own definitions of who and what God is.  That is what the Beth Shemites did.  They went through to motions to worship a God that they in turn discounted in practical terms.

If they had seen the Lord in the full context of who and what He is, they would have never considered even touching the Ark, let alone opening it.  They would have known that God was more than capable of keeping His word when it came to the Ark.  They would have known that to open the Ark would have meant instant death to ANY Philistine that had dared to attempt such a folly.

If they had leaned on the Lord’s understanding, instead of their own, they would have known that there was NOTHING to fear with regards to ANYTHING inside the Ark.  Yet, as so many do in these last days, they went through the motions, said the right things, desired even to honor God – yet discarded His words and promises when it actually mattered.

50,000 died as a result of this prophetic indiscretion by the servants of God.

That is something else that needs pointed out.  It was not 50,000 heathen Philistines that died.  They lost two cities, yet cities in the days of ancient Israel were no more than a few thousand in population.

It was 50,000 servants of God, from an entire region of Israel.

It was 50,000 of those that had the promises of God.  It was 50,000 that lived with His power and promises first hand.  It was 50,000 of His chosen.

It was 50,000 of those that said the right things, did the right things – and called Him “Lord”

It was 50,000 that lacked a full and abiding faith when the time of decision came upon them.

It was 50,000 servants of the Most High God that perished for all eternity for that lack of faith.

That was the first core point that needs understood.  Now for the second point.  The Beth Shemites did something that they should have never done, something that should have never entered their minds to do.  They dared to open the Ark – an offense made all the worse as it was born of lack of faith.

In their lack of faith, the Beth Shemites had removed the mercy of God from the judgment of God.  This is what the Mercy Seat represents.  In doing so, there was nothing to stop the wrath of God from falling on them.

Why 50,000 of them?  It would not have been 50,000 that physically opened the Ark, or looked in when it was open.  The number here reveals yet another truth.  The deceptions that made the lack of faith possible had spread far and wide.  It was epidemic.  You see, the Lord does not pick arbitrary numbers.  For 50,000 to have died, it tells us that the sin which had convinced them to open the Ark permeated their society.

Understand, the very fact that the Ark had been taken in the first place tells us something.  It tells us that doubt in the power and promises of the Lord was spreading.  After all, how was it even possible that the Ark could be taken in the first place.  As it is today, men have an incredible inability to look beyond themselves.  They lost the ability to see their own sins and failures.

Instead of seeing their own unrighteousness, they looked to a faulty view of God.

That the Ark had been taken opened the door to doubt.  So, while the Beth Shemites continued to “worship” the Lord, their lives became a practice of a far different sort.  A lack of faith had begun to shift their view from God to their own hands, own capabilities – their own understanding.  That is how it was possible for them to even think the Philistines could have opened the Ark and gotten away with it.  In their minds the Ark should not have been taken in the first place – never connecting the dots that it was the Lord who allowed this in the first place.  It was a lack of faith that would spread throughout Israel.

It would eventually lead Israel to ask for a King.

The death of 50,000 Beth Shemites was the number required, as it was the number of the collective lack of faith.  It was the number of the decision to open the Ark in the first place.  Remember, they were tending to the harvest when the Ark came rolling into town.  That meant that everybody was in the fields when the Ark came home.  To build an altar, sacrifice the cows and account for the guilt offering takes time.  During this time, the Beth Shemites would have come together, and made a collective decision – open the Ark and confirm the contents.

Never forget, the sacrifice they offered shows that they had “good intentions”.  In fact, they had the “best of intentions”.

How many believers today exercise faith with the “best intentions?”  More on this shortly.

There is another event that we need to examine when it comes to the Ark:

2 Samuel 6:5-7 ESV –  And David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the Lord, with songs[c] and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. 6 And when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. 7 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God.

What we have here is another example of men trying to serve the Lord according to their own understanding.  Here is why.  David was in the process of moving the Ark.  So, Uzzah and Ahio were driving the Ark on a new cart.  That is the first problem here.

The Ark was not to be transported on a cart.  The was not the way that the Lord gave in the Law of Moses for the Ark to travel.  It was to be born by four priests, upon their shoulders, upon two poles.  That was the only way Israel was to move the Ark.  Yet again, we have men trying to achieve the will of God, without honoring the will of God.  To them it seemed the best of ideas.  Without a doubt, they simply desired to move the Ark in the most expeditious manner possible.  I highly doubt there was any ill will towards the Ark or the Lord.

Yet, it is a greater transgression before God to serve Him according to our own understanding, and against His, than it is to not serve Him at all.  Again, this is the very heart of Hebrews 10.

So, as Uzzah and Ahio were driving the Ark on the cart, the Ark began to slip.  So, Uzzah went to grab and steady the Ark.

Bad move.

As we see from the scriptures above, God struck Uzzah dead on the spot.

This is a good lesson for all of us.  If we obey the Lord in the first place, we won’t find ourselves in a situation where such “accidents” can happen.  If the Ark had been transported according to the Law, Uzzah would not have died that day.

However, there is a difference that we need to see in this example.  Uzzah never opened the Ark.  He simply touched it, and did so in a moment that is natural to all of us.  We would all have done the same thing.  In that moment, Uzzah simply reacted naturally.  To some, it seems harsh that the Lord should strike him down for an honest accident.  Yet, there is a reason for this.

Even the best of intentions cannot mitigate sin, disobedience, lack of faith, etc.  If it could, the Lord would have to throw out the entire Old Testament.

Uzzah put himself in this position in the first place.  As every Israelite would have understood, there is a way that this should have been handled.  Yet, something had slipped into the mindset of Israel that made it possible to entertain the thought that this was OK.  So, even though Uzzah was acting in the best interest of the Ark, he was doing so because he had already violated the Laws of God in the first place.  This is something that we must not forget.

It does not matter what our intentions are when we seek to serve the Lord.  If our worship starts from a place of disobedience, then it will not matter what we do to serve the Lord.

We will still perish from the disobedience that sits at the heart of our efforts!

Just as it was with the Beth Shemites, so it was with Uzzah.  They thought they understood God, and what God wanted from them.  They did not.  They had started out with the proper understanding, as they would have been raised with the Torah as children.  Yet, as they grew in the faith, their picture and understanding had grown warped from the growing deceptions that engulfed Israel.

They had fallen to false doctrines that brought a lack of faith.  In that lack of faith and false doctrine, they sought to serve the Lord in the way that made sense to them, as opposed to what the Lord commanded.  They died for their false understanding and lack of faith.

With all of this said, the question remains:

What actually made the Ark “work”?

This can be answered in two parts.  First, we can address this from the standpoint of the Beth Shemites.

As we said earlier, inside the Ark are the sacred pieces of the covenant.  It is a covenant that says “God is with you, so long as you are with Him”.  A covenant is the most solemn agreement that can be made.  To break a covenant is death.  The covenant that the Ark embodied is the covenant of God’s mercy, justice and judgment.  If you kept His covenant – you lived.  If you broke His covenant – you died.  It was just that simple.

Here is where the Beth Shemites come in.  They had made a fatal mistake.  They had opened the Ark and looked inside.  Here is the thing.  You cannot look upon God as a mere mortal.  Even Moses is an example of this.  He could not look upon the burning bush, and it was the representation of God in person.  However, that was not the worse part of the their transgression.

ark-covenant

The Ark is covered with a lid called the Mercy Seat.  It is called the Mercy Seat for a very practical reason.  It represents the mercy of God.  It is more than a representation, however.  It was quite literally the ONLY thing that stopped the judgment of God from being unleashed.  For whatever reason the Beth Shemites were convinced that they could pop the top and take a look.

When they removed the mercy seat, they removed the only thing standing between them and the wrath of God.

When the wrath of God pours out, it is total.  That is why 50,000 of them had to perish.  There is no escaping the judgment of God when it comes.  Only His mercy can save you, and mercy is not granted to ANYONE once the judgment comes.  This will have a profound impact on what we cover shortly.

It does not matter where or who you are when God’s wrath comes forth.  It will find you.  It cannot be bargained with.  It cannot be mitigated.  It cannot be stopped.  If you are on deck when the judgment comes, there is simply nothing you can do.

You have missed the time of mercy.  Missing the time of mercy is something that is ALWAYS done by our own hand.

From the Beth Shemites we have learned that the wrath of God is total and all encompassing.  From Uzzah, we learn something else.

Uzzah did not open the Ark.  He did not remove the mercy from the judgment.  Yet he still suffered the wrath of the Lord.  This time, however, it was just Uzzah.  Remember, he was not alone when he died.  Ahio was with him, and just as guilty of breaking the Law of God.  Yet, Ahio did not die.  Uzzah alone touched the Ark.

In these two examples, we see some critical lessons emerge.

First off, when we violate the word and will of the Lord, judgment will come to us.  However, the greater takeaway from this is that it does not matter that we think we are right, or that we have the right intentions.  If our understanding deviates from that of the Lord, we MUST face His wrath and judgment.

That is what happened with Uzzah.  He had sought to serve the Lord, yet did so according to what made sense to him.  Certainly, God would be pleased because Uzzah cared enough to want to drive the Ark, instead of having it carried.  To any of us, this seems as the right thing to do.  Especially in honor of the Lord.  Surely God will be pleased with what we give to Him.

Just ask Cain how that turned out for him!

Lesson number one – when you serve the Lord, it must be according to His word – the WHOLE word.  We cannot zero in on the pieces that make the most sense to us.  It is a zero sum game.  If there are ten scriptures on a topic, then the Lord will require all ten to be understood.  If one Old Testament scripture establishes something, yet another New Testament scripture puts it away, then it is put away.  If the Old Testament scriptures establish something, and the New Testament does NOT put it away, then it is not put away.  If both the Old and New Testaments confirm a thing – then it is confirmed!

When we take only a portion of scripture we will always risk the judgment of God.  This is what happened to Uzzah.  He disregarded all of the scripture on the Ark, and selective judgment fell upon him.  He fell into deception, and then he passed the point of no return.  That was the difference between Uzzah and Ahio.  Ahio was also in the same deception.  Yet, he did not cross the uncrossable line.  Uzzah took one step too many and paid the price.  I suspect Ahio never made this mistake again.

That is the key here.  If you remain in deception for too long, eventually you cross the line.  You pass a point from which there is no returning.  We touched on this earlier in the project.  We see it in the rebranding of sin, and falling into willful sin.  When it becomes all you, and no tempter – you are lost!  Uzzah had reached the point where he was in full blown sin, and thought it an honor before the Lord.  He was wrong, and when he went too far it cost him eternity.  Uzzah did not need convinced the load the Ark on a cart.  It seemed the most practical thing in the world to him.  In other words, it simply made sense to his flesh.

Lesson number two – even with the mercy of God in place, His patience eventually comes to an end.

Deception will push you ever forward into greater trespasses against the Lord.  Mercy and grace cover these transgressions.  We all make mistakes.  We all make multiple mistakes!  Yet, the further we go, the less it becomes mistakes, and the more it becomes disobedience.  Eventually, that disobedience will push you beyond the mercy of the Lord.

It is never wholesale jumps from “mistake” to “willful sin”.  It is a graduated path, taken one step at a time.  Each step taken makes the next step all the easier to accept.  When you start a square one, square ten seems an eternity away.  Yet, if you take enough individual steps, you will eventually see step ten from step nine.  That is the distance of but a single step.

Lesson number three – when enough of God’s people cross the same lines of the same deceptions, the mercy seat is removed by committee.  In other words, the body can collectively bring the judgment and wrath of God.  It will not matter that they called “Lord, Lord” when this day comes.  As a whole, they ALL signed off on the abomination and sin.  As a whole, they ALL lifted off the Mercy Seat.

Understand that it was not all of Israel that fell into judgment.  It was a segment of the God’s people that had embraced the deception.  Here is a prophetic warning for the end times – it was not the majority either.  The majority of the saints understood the truth.  It was a smaller segment that thought they figured out something new.  There are quite a few smaller groups of believers that are falling into the same trap these days.  In the past couple years, there has been an explosion of all sorts of new understanding and revelation that has taken these groups from the doctrines that they grew up on, and from the things that the church understood for 2,000 years of success in Christ.

When it came to the Ark, there are several things that we need to point out.  First off, we see that we need only be in proximity to God’s judgment in order for it to fall.  Uzzah did not open the Ark.  He was nearly in close proximity, and was in deception with regards to the word of the Lord.  There was still a Mercy Seat between Him and the judgment of God.  Yet, this mercy does not stop the Lord from judging us individually.  Uzzah found this out the hard way.

The closer you get to God, the more you had better be listening to Him!  If you get too close under your own understanding, will must be judged and destroyed.  Here is why.  The closer you get to God, the more others look upon your example and emulate it.  If the Lord does not judge you for your transgression, then others will follow you in the same transgression.  This cannot be allowed to happen.

Second, the closer you get to God, the more difficult the journey.  This is this way for a reason.  You cannot happen into close proximity to God by accident.  You have to want to be there.  This is the case in both situations.  You have to want to draw closer.  You heart must intention to walk this path.  We touched on this earlier when speaking of entering boldly into the Holy of Holies.  You cannot reach that point by accident.  You have to be there.  You have to want to walk through the veil.

We all start this journey with an innocent righteousness.  Yet, we are all at risk from deception.  The mercy and grace of the Lord requires that we are able to get so far, even under deceptions.  However, it also requires that we willfully disregard when the Lord speaks the truth to us to correct us.  The further into the deception we slide, the slower our journey forward will go.  Yet, as we spoke earlier, the Lord will still take even the smallest opening to get through to us, to reach us.  That is why so many that are in sin as believers are still seeing some of the benefits of the Lord.  Over time, those blessings will slow, then cease.

Here is the tragedy of this.

Once you have reached the point where the blessings stop, chances are you have walked God’s mercy to the point that mercy must cease and judgment come.  Like Uzzah, you have been riding around with the judgment of God in a box, and you finally slipped up and touched the wrath of God.  Uzzah drove far enough down the road that Ark was ready to overturn.  When that happens, the Mercy Seat comes off on its own.  Uzzah attempted to stop the hand of the Lord, doing so by his own understanding, in a situation he created from the deception he labored under.

Here is the thing.  To even approach the Ark required the strictest of steps.

On the Day of Atonement, the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies.  He would do so after making the required animal sacrifices and collecting the required blood.  His first trip in would see the offering of the incense.  After this, his second trip into the chamber would see the blood sprinkled on the Ark.  Here is an interesting tidbit – it was the shedding of the blood first that allowed the incense to be offered.

In other words, it was not until the blood was spilled that the prayers of the Saints could reach the Throne of God.  You see, that is the incense offering.  As the incense burned, it carried the prayers of the congregation before God.  Stated differently – no blood, no talking to God.  Not only did the incense smoke protect the High Priest from the glory of God, but this is the prophetic picture of the prayers of the saints in Revelation!

It was the blood that allowed the High Priest to approach the Ark of the Covenant.  It was the blood that went before him.  Without the blood, the High Priest would have died upon entering the Holy of Holies and approaching the Ark.  It was the blood – carried before the High Priest – that kept the wrath of God from consuming him.

Even though the blood of bulls and goats was far from perfect, what made it “work” is that it was brought before the Ark after the most rigorous of rituals.  Understand, it is not that the rituals were performed that the blood was acceptable.

It’s that the heart of the High Priest had to be right before God.

You see, the reason there was so much work required for one day is that it showed the heart of the High Priest.  It took days for the High Priest to prepare under the Law of Moses.  The only way any man would ever see such a long and exhausting process through is to truly desire to serve the Lord.

In fact, when you really break down the rituals in the Law of Moses, everything from the lineage of the priesthood (High Priest in particular), to the rituals of Atonement, to the people offering the individual sacrifices, it all came down to the intent of the heart of the High Priest.  It all started with him.

The High Priest started the preparation days before.  He had to be purified and right in his heart.  He had to practice and rehearse the complicated process over and over again.  If he made so much as a single mistake, he would fail and Israel would be in deep trouble.  It was only after countless hours and days of exhausting preparation that he was finally ready to perform the rituals for real.

Already, the intent of his heart and devotion was beyond measure.  No man goes through what the High Priest went through without a true love for the Lord.  Even the High Priest in the times of Jesus had this love.  It seems odd to say, but when you examine the scriptures that love is evident, if slightly misguided.

Once the Atonement process starts, it must be flawlessly performed.  First comes the sacrifice which provides the blood to allow the High Priest to atone for himself.  Without this, the process could not go forward.  If this process was wrong, the High Priest would soon pay for the mistake with his very life and Israel would be doomed.

After this came the blood for the Levites.  This is critical as one mistake would mean that not a single priest could complete the sacrifices for the people, nor could a single song of worship be sung to the Lord.

Finally, then came the blood for all of Israel.

Here is the order that needs understood.  First the blood for the High Priest would allow him to minister for the priests.  Second, the blood for the Levites would allow the priests to minister for the people.  Thirdly, the blood for the people would allow them to bring their own sacrifices before the Lord.

Once the blood for each was collected, it was only then that the High Priest could approach the Ark.  He would enter the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood on the instruments and the Ark.  He would collect the blood three times at the altar.  He would then sprinkle it seven times on the east side of the Mercy Seat.  The seven times represents the seven times that Christ would bleed on seven parts of His body, for the perfect redemption from sin.  It also represents the blood that Christ would shed that redeemed a church, and the seven church ages that would come after, ending at His return for that very same Bride.

Once the blood was sprinkled, the High Priest would exit the Holy Chamber and be seen by the priests of God.  It was a secret exit of the Holy Chamber, for the benefit of the priests only.  This is a picture of the rapture of the Bride.  This exit lasted only a moment, and the world would not see the High Priest.  He would then re-enter the Holy Chamber to complete the remaining process.

It should be noted that this actually happened twice, denoting the secret return first for the 40 days between the resurrection and the ascension (the first ascension was likewise secret), then the secret return that is the picture of the rapture.  It is that picture that we emphasize here, as that is the next event to transpire.

It wasn’t the perfection of the animal blood that allowed the High Priest approach the Throne of God on earth, as this is what the Ark of the Covenant was.  To the contrary, animal blood itself is not good enough to open anything.  It was that the High Priest was so desirous to serve the Lord that he was willing to go through such a process to collect the blood – a process that no man willingly engages in absent only the greatest love and devotion to God.  If the High Priest was willing to go this far – knowing that his life was on the line – then God would stay His hand from destroying an imperfect human being that dared to approach God Himself!

That was the key to all of this.  The blood did nothing.  It redeemed nothing.  It stopped nothing.  However, it was the evidence of the heart of the High Priest.

It was the blood which stained the Mercy Seat that kept the promise of Mercy as a remembrance before the Lord.  It was the blood that effectively “locked” the Ark of the Covenant and kept it from being “opened”.  If the Ark cannot be opened, then judgment could not fall upon all Israel!

That is why it was such a process to go through.  It was why the blood was offered for the High Priest first.  If he would go through all of this and willfully risk his life, than God would grant a pardon for one day to the requirement that all who approach His Throne must die for doing so.

That is the picture of God’s mercy.  Hence, the term “Mercy Seat”.

When the blood was applied to the Mercy Seat, it was the reminder before God for the next year that the High Priest so loved God and Israel that he was willing to risk it all and enter certain death that they might live.  He did this also understanding that if he got it wrong, he not only died – but that he perished for eternity!

After he atoned for himself, then and only then was he fit to offer the atonement for the Levites and Israel.

It was only after all of this was accomplished that men could now approach the Temple and offer the sacrifices required for the next year.  If the High Priest had failed, then not only would he have not been able to approach the Throne of God – neither would anybody else.

rent in twain

Many of you already see the picture of Christ in all of this.  There was only ever going to be one sacrifice of blood that was worthy to actually hold the hand of God.  There was only one sacrifice of blood that actually held the power in and of itself to forever secure the mercy of God.  There was only on blood sacrifice that could stay the wrath of god forever, for those that carried the blood before them.  It was a sacrifice that required the pure heart of The High Priest.  It was a sacrifice that require a full and intent heart to accept.

Luke 21:34-36 KJV – And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.

35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.

36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

At this point, these three scriptures are likely making a great deal more sense than they did before.  The blood and the Ark are at the very heart of what Jesus is speaking here.

Paul’s admonition that we have the boldness to enter the Holy of Holies itself speaks to the nature of the shed blood of Christ.  The first 18 verses of Hebrews 10 bears this out.  The High Priest had an imperfect blood that granted him access the the Throne of God Himself one time during the year.  The blood went before him, the first thing to enter the Holy Chamber, and the first thing that Almighty God saw in the presence of a sinful and fallen man.

Yet the Blood of Christ permanently, once and for all, was sprinkled on the Mercy Seat for all mankind.

When you have been to the cross, the blood is now upon you.  It covers you.  It goes before you.  No matter where you go it is there.  There it shall remain.  The only problem comes when men seek to place something even before that very blood of Christ.  Remember, God the Father see only what comes into His presence first.  If you are an unrepentant sinner, then that sin it what He sees.  If you are saved by the blood of Christ – then the heavenly Mercy Seat covers the wrath of God before you.  The wrath of God cannot fall is the blood is what Almighty God sees.  If you have the blood first in your life, it is ALL that He can see.

However, as we will learn from Hebrews 10, man can turn around and place something in front of even the the Blood of Christ.  Remember, God the Father sees only what comes before you.  If it is the Blood of Christ comes first into His presence – you live.

If it is anything else – you die.

It’s just that simple.

There is something else that needs to be considered here.  Paul is talking about walking into the Holy of Holies without ANY of the rituals, purification, lineage or requirements that allowed the High Priest to enter once a year.  Think about that for a moment.  We will discuss some of the things that we are seeing these days, and how Hebrews 10 specifically warns against them.

Many of the Laws that so many are quick to embrace – and condemns others over not practicing – were devoted to keeping the Israelite’s, Levites and the priests alive in the presence of God.  Yet, we learn from Paul that the Blood of Christ opens the veil for anybody – regardless of who they are.

The filthiest Gentile can now walk head first into the most dangerous space in the universe that a mortal can enter.  They can do this and live!

No wonder the High Priest was so threatened by the followers of Christ.  What a thing to teach to Jews!

Now that we have an understanding of the Holy of Holies and what took place there, we can better understand what Paul is revealing in the rest of Hebrews 10.  Let’s look at the next couple of scriptures in our study:

22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

The words “full assurance of faith” speaks to what we have covered already – the boldness to enter the wrath of God Himself, knowing that we are not destined for wrath under ANY circumstances.  These are the type of words that many utter, yet do so without understanding.  It is the same mistake that the Beth Shemites made when the Ark rolled over the hill.

Let’s look at the meaning of “full assurance”:

Strong’s Concordance

plérophoria: full assurance

Original Word: πληροφορία, ας, ἡ

Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine

Transliteration: plérophoria

Phonetic Spelling: (play-rof-or-ee’-ah)

Short Definition: full assurance

Definition: full assurance, conviction, confidence.

HELPS Word-studies

Cognate: 4136 plērophoría – properly, full carry-through (“fully come to bear”). See 4135 (plērophoreō).

NAS Exhaustive Concordance

Word Origin

from plérophoreó

Definition

full assurance

NASB Translation

conviction (1), full assurance (3).

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon

STRONGS NT 4136: πληροθορια

πληροθορια, πληροθοριας, ἡ (πληροθορέω, which see),fullness, abundance; πίστεως, Hebrews 10:22; τῆς ἐλπίδος,Hebrews 6:11; τῆς συνέσεως, Colossians 2:2; full assurance, most certain confidence (see πληροθορέω, c. (others give it the same meaning in one or other of the preceding passages also; cf.Lightfoot on Colossians, the passage cited)), 1 Thessalonians 1:5. (Not found elsewhere except in ecclesiastical writings (cf. Winer’s Grammar, 25).)

“Full assurance, most certain confidence” speaks directly to what we have covered so far.  This is not the faith that so many have in abundance in these last days.  It is a faith that few seem to have.  It is a faith that willingly rests on the promises of the Lord.  It is a faith that will take the money that would be spent on arms and ammunition, and instead sends it to missions knowing that when the Lord says He will provide, that is exactly what He means.

In the case of what Paul reveals in Hebrews 10, it tells us that we are to have the faith to bet our very lives on Christ.  That is the heart of what he tells us when he says we are to enter boldly into the Holy of Holies.  It is the faith that chooses to pay tithes when it seems that we are but one step away from ruin.  It is the faith that stands and declares that I will not fear, when fear is all that is left.  It is a faith that says to rid ourselves of every implement of survival and rely solely on Christ in the face of the coming tribulation, though the world screams “PREPARE!”

At this point, we need to open up the study to get the full revealing of what Paul speaks to starting at verse 22.  There really is no way to do justice to the dire prophetic warning in Hebrews 10 without looking at the subject of the scriptures in question.

One of the most critical tools in the study of the Bible is the identification of tense and subject.  Tense is the key to understanding timing, which is the key to unlocking prophecy.  However, there is another equally important key – subject.  The ability to see and determine the subject of a verse is the key to knowing what the Lord is saying, and who He is saying it to.

We have covered tense numerous times in Trib Rising.  However, the subject of the scripture is something that has went largely unaddressed.  We will remedy this, and take a few minutes and examine subject of Hebrews 10.

Before we start with Hebrews, we need to understand the concept of “subject” when it comes to scripture.  Simply stated, it is the focus of the scripture.  Sometimes there is a singular focus.  Other times there will be several points of focus, or subjects.  We are all familiar with the shortest verse in the Bible:

“Jesus wept.”

In this verse we have a singular subject – Jesus – and a singular action – He wept.  Now, the subject here can reveal something to us.  It tells us that if Jesus wept, then He wept for a reason.  Not only this, but what the subject does not say can also reveal important information.  In this case, if Jesus wept, then it means that He did not laugh.  I know that seems trivial, but it will help to understand where we are going in just a few moments.

That Jesus wept, and there is no mention of laughing – or smiling, talking or joking for that matter – reveals that whatever it was that made Jesus weep must have been the most solemn and heartbreaking of affairs.  This scripture can set the tone for the revealing of just exactly how Jesus felt about the subject being discussed in that block of scripture.  In fact, understanding the subject of a scripture can tell you all that you need to know about whatever it was that made Jesus weep – even if you never read the rest of the scriptures that give the context.

In other words, we don’t what made Jesus weep, but whatever it was, He sure wasn’t happy about it.

We can take it a step further.  In examining scripture, the subject can open the deeper spiritual and prophetic meanings that we might otherwise miss.  Let’s use a couple examples to illustrate how importance of the subject of a scripture, and how it reveals the truth to us.  Let’s start with a generic sentence that could have been pulled from the Bible.

And the Lord said “you shall drink water, you and all your generations.”

The subject here is fairly straight forward.  It tells us that starting with the present generation, everyone alive now, and all that shall one day live shall drink water.  We see many examples of this type of scripture in the Bible.  The Ten Commandments come to mind first and foremost.  Still, there are other examples of this:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and serve Him only.”

This is very much a present tense scripture, meant for all of us, no matter when we live.  It leaves very little to question.  Now, let’s use our water example, and look at another aspect of the subject of the scripture.

“The Lord spoke unto Judas, “why have you not drank the water which I have given unto you?”

In this example, the subject of the scripture changes.  Now, we have a question of why Judas is not drinking the water, which was given by the Lord.  Here, the subject reveals that Judas is in disobedience to the Lord.

“And the company of men drank not the water, which the commanded in the Law of Moses”.

In this example the subject shifts yet again.  We have the entire company of men that are not drinking the water.  However, we have a second piece of the subject – that which was commanded in the Law of Moses.  So, in examining the subject of this verse, we get in interesting observation:

A growing segment of the population has turned not only from drinking the water, but also turned to a growing disobedience to the Law.

Still, we can shift the subject even further:

“And the Lord looked upon the land, and there was not found a single vessel filled with the water of life.”

In this example, the subject reveals a critical insight.  In finding that there is not a single pot that has any water in it, we find that there is no one in all the land that is drinking the water.  Now, when taken with the additional verses, the picture emerges:

The entire land has turned to open and outright rebellion against God.  Not only is there no water in all the land, there is no vessel filled – which means that it was no accident that there was no water.  All the land did not suddenly run out of water.

It means that they never filled the pots in the first place.

Let’s take our example one step further:

“let us not go thirsty, as is the practice of the heathens.  But, having the water of the Lord, let us drink freely of the well.

For if those that have been to the well now turn aside as the water is drawn, then shall the day come when the many that have done the same shall fall into a fierce and terrible wrath.

How much judgment does a man deserve for rejecting that which was once his?

How much judgment should a man expect for insulting the gift that was given to him?”

The meaning of such a scripture is unmistakable.  We see here that there are many that have already come to the well before, but now they turn against what once sustained them.  Not only this, but for their insult to God they must now expect the fiercest of wrath and judgment.

While these are not actual scriptures, they demonstrate the principle of subject all the same.  When we read any scripture, we must ask ourselves the who, what, when, where, why and how of what is being spoken.  Is the scripture a direct reference that is plain to see?  Does it reveal a tense and timing?  Does the scripture in question reveal what is happening with the people involved?  Here is one of the major questions we must ask – can I learn from this scripture by the inverse meaning?

The inverse meaning is what we demonstrated in the examples above.  By declaring “let us not go thirsty, as is the practice of the heathens”, we can see that someone such as Paul is addressing that this very thing is actually happening.

In other words, there would be no reason to say “let us not” if some of the folks weren’t already guilty of “let us”.  You don’t say “let us not” if nobody is doing these things in the first place!

Now that we have a better understanding of what the subject of a scripture is, and what it reveals, let’s turn our attention to the task at hand – Hebrews chapter 10.  What we are going to see is applicable to all of the letters in the New Testament (every book of the Bible for that matter, but especially the letters).  When we apply the rules and understanding of subject, it opens up the terrible prophetic truth for the end times generation.

We will start with verse 22 and move forward.  It is the block of scripture that reveals what Paul is actually addressing.  It tells us what had manifested in the lives of the Jewish believers after they had come to Christ and found the cross.

22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

32 But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. 35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37 For,

“Yet a little while,

   and the coming one will come and will not delay;

38 but my righteous one shall live by faith,

   and if he shrinks back,

my soul has no pleasure in him.”

39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

We find the key to the subject of this block of scripture in the general premise of what Paul is speaking.  It is a warning of judgment to those that are doing something.  Not really a stretch to say this, as most of the letters of the New Testament are the very same thing.  What makes this block of scripture different is whom Paul addresses, why he addresses them, what they were doing, what it means to us – and what is coming to any believer that falls into this category.

Think of the ground we have covered so far.

We have discussed boldness and entering the Holy of Holies.  We have discussed that this chamber was the physical manifestation of the wrath of God on earth.  We have discussed how we can enter that wrath, knowing that we are never to suffer that wrath.  We have discussed the blood, and how the Ark and the Holy of Holies actually worked.  We have discussed how we are to be willing to wager our very lives on the promise that we will never fall to God’s wrath.

We have discussed that those who suffer the wrath of God have to want the wrath of God.  We have discussed that there is no other way possible to get there.  You cannot “accidentally” walk into the wrath of God.

You have to ask for it!

Now for the meat of the discussion.  Understanding that Hebrews 10 is a warning – especially from verse 22 forward – we can look at the subject of the individual verses and find the subject for the overall block.  You will recall this example:

“let us not go thirsty, as is the practice of the heathens.  But, having the water of the Lord, let us drink freely of the well.

For if those that have been to the well now turn aside as the water is drawn, then shall the day come when the many that have done the same shall fall into a fierce and terrible wrath.

How much judgment does a man deserve for rejecting that which was once his?

How much judgment should a man expect for insulting the gift that was given to him?”

It is in this example that we find the proper context for examining the subjects of the individual scriptures.  In declaring what we are to do, or not to do, we can find the inverse, or opposite meaning of each scripture.  Inverse and opposite are not the same thing, but they both convey what it is that we will find in this study.  In other words, if Paul says “don’t do this”, it’s because somebody is doing EXACTLY that!

Let’s go through each scripture and pull out the subject, and what it reveals to us.  Remember, Paul is addressing Jewish believers that have already come to Christ and had the Law written into their hearts.  These are not new believers, nor do they simply not “know any better”.

I suggest that you follow along in your Bible as you read through this listing.

Verses 22-23:

You are not drawing near to me anymore.

You no longer have a true heart.

You no longer have the assurance of a FULL FAITH.

Your hearts are no longer clean, because;

You now have an evil conscience.

You have washed in dirty water.

You no longer hold fast to the confession of our hope;

You have wavered in that hope.

You fail to understand that Christ is faithful to keep His promises.

Verses 24-25:

You need reminded to love your brothers, and work to the Lord’s purposes today,

As you have stopped getting together with your brothers.  This has caused you to forget the truth that the Lord is coming again soon, and turn to your own understanding.

You need to be reminded of this even more as the day of His return is nearly upon us, lest you forget again.

Verses 26-27:

Look – you know better than this.  You have no excuse.

If you willingly continue down this road you will be lost!

You will receive the same judgment that falls upon the unbeliever, which has rejected the payment for sin altogether.  Even worse!

You will receive the same judgment of fire – the wrath reserved for the very enemies of God!

Verse 28:

It’s like this.  As Jews, anyone that breaks the Law of Moses has no mercy waiting for them,

And they shall die on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

Verse 29:

So, if this is the fate of those that simply break the law, how much more do you deserve an even worse punishment for walking all over the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ;

By cursing, trashing, and spitting on the blood of His covenant. . .

The very same blood that he shed as a covenant of grace, which saved and sanctified you.

Verses 30-31:

You know what God has said.

“Vengeance is mine; I will repay.”

“The Lord will judge his people.”

It is a terrible thing for The Lord’s own to fall into His judgment.

Verses 32-34:

Remember the earlier days, that came AFTER you found Christ and had His Word written into your heart.

His promises were enough, and you needed nothing else.

You were willing to stand on His promises alone and endure whatever came your way.

Sometimes it was you that was publically humiliated and persecuted.

Sometimes it was your friends that were publically humiliated and persecuted.

You were filled with compassion.

You would willingly walk into the very same prisons that would have seized you, and minister to the captive with no regard for your own life.

You would have gladly had everything taken from you if it meant one more chance to minister the Gospel.

These things were material things only, and you had something much better waiting for you.

So, you did not care to hide away and secure the treasures and things of this world.

Verses 35-37 :

You have thrown away the promise of the Lord!  You have thrown away the boldness that you once had!

That promise has a reward beyond measure.

You have no more endurance!

You know longer do the will of God, as you once did.

You will no longer receive the promise that Christ gave for those that DO His will.

Here is that very promise that you now reject:

Verse 38:

The moment is at hand, when Jesus Christ will return.

He shall not delay!

You no longer live by faith.

You are no longer His righteous servant!

You have fallen away.

You have recoiled from my promise.

You no longer please me!

Verse 39:

You shall be destroyed for falling away.  You shall be destroyed for recoiling from my promise!

Do not be one that has fallen away.

Have faith in Me, and preserve your soul! ~~

If you have followed along in your Bible, you are doubtless stunned at what you have seen.  If you are one of those that this block of scripture speaks to, then you are likely looking for a reason to discard what you have just been reading.  After all, this block of scripture has been at the center of so many debates and lessons over the years.

Yet, even if this is not what you want to accept, you know in your heart – even now – that the Holy Spirit is confirming this.  It may not matter, and that is your choice.

Few things have ever been more clear in the scriptures once the Lord removed the blinders.  We have not seen this message until now, as it has remained one of the end times mysteries for when Satan stepped up his attacks on the soon return of the Lord.

Consider carefully who all is addressed in Hebrews 10, and what this chapter actually tells us.

These are believers that had been to the cross.  They already had the Law written into their hearts.  We spoke of this already.  But what else do we see here?  Many of you already know without the additional commentary.  It is kind of hard to miss now.  Hebrews 10 truly is prophetic picture of the things we are seeing unfold right now, before our very eyes.

We are seeing exactly what Hebrews 10 said we would see:

A mass of believers falling away from the promise of the Lord.  They are falling back into their old lives and understanding, and they are doing so as they have lost the faith and confidence to wager their very lives on that promise!

When Paul began to break down what was happening, it revealed a terrible end times message.

Remember first of all, that Paul is addressing Jewish believers.  What had happened is that these Jewish believers had started strong.  However, by the time Paul wrote this letter, Jerusalem was under siege from the Tenth Legion.  Destruction was upon Jerusalem, and that same spirit of deception that had hit the other churches reared it’s ugly head yet again.

The tribulation was at hand, and the Lord had not yet returned!  It was the same spirit which gave us the second letter to the Thessalonians.

The Jewish believers had fallen to a spirit of fear, and began running back to the things they knew and understood before they found Christ.  They began looking back to their old lives, their old understanding, their old natures for salvation.

They stopped showing up for the work of the Lord.

They stopped relying on the promises of the Savior.

They went back to the Temple and the Law, and began to do the things that Christ had come to complete.

If they had stood on the promises of the Lord, they would have known that this was not the tribulation.  They would have known this as the promise of the Savior that the overcomer will not be present for the time of God’s wrath.

In fairness, not all Jewish believers backslid from the promises of the Lord.  This was a source of great aggravation to the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem.  Many of the Jewish Christians did remember the promises of Jesus, and remembered His words.  When the armies of Rome surrounded Jerusalem, they simply picked up and headed east – into the area we now know as Jordan.

When Jerusalem and the Temple finally fell, those Jewish believers that had faith in Christ already had new lives established – in a territory ruled by a member of Herod’s family!  All the while 6,000 died on the Temple Mount for not trusting the words of Jesus.

That is a lesson in and of itself for those that have rejected the Blessed Hope, and leaned to their own understanding and the things that once made sense to them.

When Paul speaks to entering the Holy of Holies with boldness, he is telling these believers something that must not be missed.  They had turned from the blood of Christ out of fear for the future.  They had opened their hearts to doubt, and now that doubt was getting the better of them.

So, they started looking back to the Law as a backup plan.  They began to run to what they understood in their old lives.  It could not be as simple as accepting.  Surely, they must do something – anything – more to secure their future.

That said, we can go back to these verses, and confirm exactly who is addressed in this end times warning.  These are the different groups addressed in Hebrews 10.  Feel free to follow along in your Bibles again.

Verse 19: Those without the boldness to wager their very lives on the promises of Christ that they shall never see the wrath of God.

Verse 22: Those unwilling to stand on full faith in Christ.

Verse 23: Those that have waivered on the confession of the Blessed Hope of Christ.

Verses 24-25: Those unwilling to work today for the Lord, discouraged because the Day of the Lord is at hand.

Verse 26: Those unwilling to forsake these sins.

Verse 29: Those that choose to willingly trample and reject the same sacrifice of Christ that once sanctified them through grace.

Those that have thrown away the spirit of grace.

Verse 32-34: Those that have the Law written in their hearts, and know better than what they now do;

That had once cared not about tomorrow; now caring ONLY for tomorrow.

Had not cared for their “things”; now spend all that they have been blessed with to protect the same – while the Gospel goes preached to others.

Would have gladly let every last possession be taken from them; now guards those same possessions regardless of the cost.

Cared more for others than their own lives; now thinks only to that which they must do to save their own lives tomorrow.

Would have given everything up without asking to do that which the Lord set before them today; yet cast’s today away for the fleeting promise of who they “will be” when the time of testing finally comes.

Verse 35: Those that have thrown away their confidence in the promise of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Verse 36: Those that were once consistent and steadfast in their faith, yet have lost all endurance to finish these days, that they might have the promise of the soon return of the Lord.

Verse 38: Those that fall away from the full faith of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

There is no way around what we see in Hebrews 10 – this list covers nearly false doctrine that seeks to supplant the soon return of the Lord.  Look at who we are truly talking about in this list:

Mid-tribbers;

Pre-wrathers;

Post-tribbers;

No rapture;

Those that condemn for not practicing the Law;

The Sabbath Keepers;

The “Name of God” keepers;

The Hebrew Roots movement;

The Preterists.

All of these groups share a singular distinction.  Each requires believers to adhere to man made efforts to prove their righteousness.  Each of these groups deny a full and abiding faith in Christ by refusing complete and total surrender to the Lord.  It is always righteousness through something that they do under their own power.

When you converse with these groups, it becomes an exercise in the arrogance of the human flesh.  They alone have the truth of God.  All that deny their words are doomed to an eternity in Hell.  Yet, there is an old adage that holds true even with these folks.

We are quickest to condemn that which we are most guilty of ourselves.

We are not talking about a genuine conversation against sin and wrong doing.  All that follow Christ are called to such a task.  What we are talking about is an unwillingness to simply speak, and let the Lord do the rest.

Those that fall into these deceptions can never let the conversation rest at simply speaking the “truth”.  They must have surrender, not agreement.  You see, false doctrine cannot risk standing on it’s own merits.  It must sell itself.  It must have the surrender of those that oppose it.

Have you ever wondered why debates with these folks never seem to end?  Have you ever wondered why they are not content to simply speak, and let the chips fall where they may?

The answer is simple and profound.  The deceived believer NEEDS others to accept the lies they hold.  They are lies.  They have no substance.  If nobody buys the lie, then it begins to unravel in their own hearts.  This is why nothing less than full surrender is acceptable, and why all of these forces conspire against the soon return of the Lord.

The pre-trib rapture alone is the singular doctrine that stands on it’s own merit.  It does not need to be sold.  The Holy Spirit confirms the truth of the matter in the hearts of those that are willing to listen.  So long as there remains overcomers that know the truth of the rapture, and cannot be swayed into the same lies that have consumed so many others – then the false doctrines we have spoken of hang by a thread, and nothing more.

That is the reason why many of these deceived believers border on nothing short of the most vile hatred in their dealings with those that know the truth of the pre-trib rapture.  To these deceived believers, the existence of a single pre-trib believer is the greatest threat to humanity.  There is nothing more hated and despised than the pre-trib rapture to these folks.

There is something else that we must address here.

Malachi 3:13-15 ESV –  “Your words have been hard against me, says the Lord. But you say, ‘How have we spoken against you?’ 14 You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God. What is the profit of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the Lord of hosts? 15 And now we call the arrogant blessed. Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape.’”

These words were spoken after the Lord admonished Israel for not paying the tithes and offerings.  They also reveal a critical end times truth that needs addressed in this conversation.

We have covered the requirement of tithing to be accounted an overcomer and worthy for the rapture.  There is no way around this.  You can refer back to the project on “Does the New Testament Require Tithing from the Church” if you have questions.

When Malachi records these words, they reveal the very thing we are seeing unfold today.

When I was working on the tithing project, I was floored to find out just how many Christians denounce tithing as unbiblical.  This is always a dangerous proposition with any subject found in the Bible.  Even if it is simply an “Old Testament” doctrine, it is one that is never rescinded in the New Testament – which is the basis for judging what aspects of the Law remain in effect for the church.

Yet, at least 75 percent of all Christian ministry websites I came to did exactly this.  Tithing was a practice steeped in greed, denounced by those that call the name of Christ, and those that honor the tithes were literally heretics in some circles.

Your words have been hard against me, says the Lord.

Hard is the only word that adequately describes how many Christians speak when it come to the tithes.  It is a practice that garners no mercy from those that oppose it.  It is not enough that a tither simply agree to disagree.  They become the victim of a rancid vitriol second only to that of the pre-trib rapture.

Tithing has become a denounced practice in nearly every denomination.  Those that speak against the tithes do so from a position of unbridled arrogance, ever puffed up at just how “wise” the anti-thither is.  Why, they are simply too “smart” to be suckered by a bunch of godless hypocrites bent on wealth and the manipulation of the word.

As it is with every other conversation in this project, hatred of the tithes is yet another example of willful sin masquerading as the highest order of righteousness possible to men.

Here is an excerpt from the project on tithing that speaks to what tithing truly is, and why so many have fallen away from it, and into willful sin:

So, is tithing mandated in the New Testament?  Why did the Lord chose 10 percent in the first place?  What is tithing truly for?

Is it really nothing more than a “Holy slot machine or lottery ticket” for the greedy to exploit?

Or is it something more?

Specific and quantifiable – that is what tithing is.

Tithing, unlike many other areas of faith, is not an abstract expression of faith that brings an abstract fulfillment.  It is easy the have an abstract faith, a faith that does not require concrete results.  We can say that when we die we will go to heaven.  This is easy, as there is no danger of being put to the test before we die.  There is no chance to be declared a liar, proven false, or required to show in quantifiable terms that your faith is true.

This is a real faith to be sure, but it is abstract and not quantifiable while we yet live on earth.  It is a future fulfillment of a future event.  It does not require that you provide a definitive proof now.  This is why anybody can speak these words.

This is credit based faith.  It is “buy now” based faith.  You buy it now, and pay later so to speak.  There is nothing to which the believer is required to step out on “the ledge”.

However, much like the pre-trib rapture, tithing is a verifiable quantity.  What makes tithing so different, is that it is a defined and quantifiable act of faith.  The Bible declares that is you do this specific thing, then you can expect this specific result.  When you tithe, you receive a quantifiable and verifiable response now, and not many years in the future.  The Lord’s response to your tithing comes in real time, for all the world to see.

Tithing is an act of faith that requires an accounting now.  That is what makes it so dangerous to so many believers.

Quantifiable and verifiable faith requires the willingness to get called on what you believe.  It requires a willingness to get called on a lack of results.  It is an iron-clad result that can show the believer to be lacking in their walk with the Lord.

Stated differently, it is a spotlight on the soul of the individual believer.  If you fail to produce the promised results, then it becomes a clear indication that there is something wrong – and it is not the Lord!

Just as many believers are falling into fear and disbelief, attempting to turn to their own devices to save themselves during the tribulation, tithing requires that you stand on full faith in God now, before the benefits of that faith are realized.  Either you are willing to stand on the promises of the Lord and act in faith on His word, or you will fall into the “tomorrow” pattern, where all of your faith will stand “tomorrow”, while never being required to stand today.  For the record, if you are a believer that is trying to prep your way through the tribulation, to get “prepared” – let me help you with something.

It is the complete and total wrath of God.  It cannot be prepared for.  It cannot be mitigated.  It cannot be stopped.  It is His wrath, and it is reserved for His enemies.  If you find yourself in the tribulation, it means that you missed the one and only thing you actually could have done. . .

Overcome.

Healing is another example of abstract faith.  I know that seems incorrect – but bear with me.  There are many believers that will declare that the Lord heals.  They will ask for healing, and pray for healing for themselves and others.  Yet, in their heart it is not the miracle of healing they are looking to.  It is the natural healing that will automatically come even if a single prayer is never uttered.  There is a true doubt in their heart that miracle healing will come.  So, they go through the motions hoping for healing – rather than standing on the faith in the healing of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Stated differently, they will pray a prayer for an abstract healing from an abstract faith.  Yet, they will never dare to lay hands on the sick.  Even though it is the Lord that tells us when to do such a thing, they will be filled with a doubt that convinces them that the voice of the Lord is not really His voice.

That is abstract faith – a faith that will never risk looking like a fool.

This is the very heart of tithing.  Unlike other expressions of faith where the overcomer is not always called, tithing is the one expression of concrete, quantifiable and verifiable faith to which every last one of us are called.  We are not all called to prophesy.  We are not all called to lay hands on the sick.  We are not all called to move mountains.  All of these are quantifiable acts of faith for which we are proven in our relationship with the Lord. ~~~

Moving forward.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

Yet, this is exactly what they had done.  They had wavered.  Tribulation had come to Israel. and to the rest of the Empire.  Christians were being persecuted, and Israel was being driven into extinction.  Collective fear and doubt had begun to set in the hearts of those that should have known better.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Let us bring back something we spoke of earlier:

At this point, we need a quick recap to ensure that everybody is one the same page.  This is important as we are headed into the meat of the prophetic warning in Hebrews chapter 10.  Here are the key points that we must remember going forward:

Hebrews 10 is dealing with the seven years of the tribulation, specifically the beginning and the rapture.

It is addressing those that have been to the cross, and have ALREADY have the laws of the Lord written in their hearts and minds.  This is not a warning to those that are new in the faith.

This gets to the heart of the prophetic warning for the end times.  Paul is telling all of us that we need to be holding each other up, keeping each other working toward the prize.  We are not to be turning to our own salvation.  We are not to be investing our time and finances in a “plan B” that declares anything less than a full and abiding faith in Christ is acceptable.

What does it say to the world when those that serve Jesus Christ cower like cowards behind the preparations of our own salvation?  How does it look when we utter “have faith in Christ”, yet it is clear that we have no such faith?

We have covered this before numerous times on this website.  How many that claim the name of Jesus are running around in fear, trying to “prep” their way through a tribulation that they have the promise to never suffer – so long as they are faithful to the Lord?  How many spend every last spare dollar on rifles, ammunition, gold, silver and emergency provisions?  He many fail to pay tithes, give to ministries, feed the homeless – all the while looking only to their own safety?

Here is something we spoke of earlier:

Even finances and giving fall all into this discussion.  How many people make a stand against tithing?  Not only that, but they hide behind other forms of giving to justify breaking an express command of God to the Body of Christ.  If you have not done so, take the time to read our study on paying tithes.  It is mandated in the New Testament for the church, it is serious, and it is held as the highest sacrifice you can make before the Throne of Almighty God Himself. It is also a direct requirement to overcome.  Stated differently, no tithes – no overcoming – no rapture.  It’s just that simple.  If you are not yet obedient in this area, take it to the Lord.  He will work with you.  Remember, it is the state of the heart and the path you are on that determines overcoming.  You don’t have to be perfect in the tithes – you just have to be on your way.

How many turn away the beggar at the gas station because “they will probably use the money for beer or drugs”?  Is your resistance to giving truly about not wanting to enable destructive behavior?

Or do you use this as an excuse to mask greed?

Do you give to your church, or are Pastors simply “too greedy” to receive your money?  Never mind that it is not, nor ever was “your money”, and that you have no right or authority to withhold a single cent that the Lord says to give.

Do you spend more time complaining of greed in the Body of Christ than you spend looking at worthy Christian Missions that need help spreading the Gospel?

ere is a big one – do you spend more money on prepping for the tribulation – tomorrow – than you spend on the witness of Christ – today?  I call this a big one as the back half of this project will deal with the greater content of Hebrews chapter 10.  It is an ominous warning to those that fall into this camp.  More on that in a moment.

Remember that when it comes to giving, it is the obedience and intent of the giver that matters for you.  It does not matter what the other party holds in their heart.  Just as you will be judged for being an unfaithful steward of that which the Lord has placed in your care, so shall the ministry that squanders their blessing likewise be judged.

We are warned specifically against this in both the Gospels and Revelation.  “Behold I come as a thief” is a prophetic warning given in connection with the gleaning, or the four corner harvest.  For those that find themselves alive in the tribulation, there will come a time where it is not enough to simply help others.  It will be a requirement of salvation to render such help in the name of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – knowing that this will bring a certain horrific death.

Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?

Think about what this says.  Jews under the Law were dead on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  Yet, this is NOTHING compared to what awaits those that throw the death of Christ under the bus.  That is exactly what we are talking about here!

We have all seen it more times than we can count.  There will be somebody that absolutely derides believers for not practicing the Law.  The conversation is always the same.  When you ask them if not practicing the Law will condemn us to hell, they will of course say “no”.

Yet, aside from that singular comment, every time they broach the subject of the Law, it is always to “save” the deceived believers that have fallen from grace!

If practicing the Law is not a deal breaker on salvation, then why does anybody need to be saved from the damnable heresies of grace?

Look at the language Paul used to describe this:

trampled underfoot the Son of God

has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified

and has outraged the Spirit of grace?

Ladies and gentleman, there is only one thing that we can do that will ever touch this level of abomination – take the shed blood of Christ, and place something else in front of it.  There is a reason why the words trampled, profaned and outraged are the one chosen by Paul.  They are the only words that do justice to what was happening.

Look at all Christ suffered so that none should perish under the Law.  Think about what it truly says when you place the Law above grace.  Those that fall into this deception are quick to point out that what they do is nothing more than “honor the Lord.”  Yet, as we said earlier, every conversation they start hinges on “saving” the deceived believer.

Let’s bring back something covered earlier dealing with the blood:

It was the blood which stained the Mercy Seat that kept the promise of Mercy as a remembrance before the Lord.  It was the blood that effectively “locked” the Ark of the Covenant and kept it from being “opened”.  If the Ark cannot be opened, then judgment could not fall upon all Israel!

That is why it was such a process to go through.  It was why the blood was offered for the High Priest first.  If he would go through all of this and willfully risk his life, than God would grant a pardon for one day to the requirement that all who approach His Throne must die for doing so.

That is the picture of God’s mercy.  Hence, the term “Mercy Seat”.

When the blood was applied to the Mercy Seat, it was the reminder before God for the next year that the High Priest so loved God and Israel that he was willing to risk it all and enter certain death that they might live.  He did this also understanding that if he got it wrong, he not only died – but that he perished for eternity!

After he atoned for himself, then and only then was he fit to offer the atonement for the Levites and Israel.

It was only after all of this was accomplished that men could now approach the Temple and offer the sacrifices required for the next year.  If the High Priest had failed, then not only would he have not been able to approach the Throne of God – neither would anybody else.

Many of you already see the picture of Christ in all of this.  There was only ever going to be one sacrifice of blood that was worthy to actually hold the hand of God.  There was only one sacrifice of blood that actually held the power in and of itself to forever secure the mercy of God.  There was only on blood sacrifice that could stay the wrath of god forever, for those that carried the blood before them.  It was a sacrifice that required the pure heart of The High Priest.  It was a sacrifice that require a full and intent heart to accept.

Luke 21:34-36 KJV – And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.

35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.

36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

At this point, these three scriptures are likely making a great deal more sense than they did before.  The blood and the Ark are at the very heart of what Jesus is speaking here.~~

This is what we are talking about when believers fall into the trap of placing the Law before the blood.  Remember, Almighty God sees that which is first in our lives.  If it is the blood of Christ, than the blood of Christ is the standard by which we are judged.  Yet, if it is the Law, the Law becomes the standard by which we are judged.

Why has this become a problem in the last days?  The answer is quite simple.  We can look to several of the popular deceptions that we covered earlier, and see the common denominator between them:

The Lawgivers;

The Sabbath Keepers;

The “Name of God” movement;

The Hebrew Roots movement.

What do all of these things have in common?  The members of these movements are forced to look to their own efforts to prove that they are righteous.  They do not have the Holy Spirit moving in their lives.  They do not hear the voice of the Lord.  They have no supernatural confirmation that the lives they live are pleasing to the Lord.  This presents another problem.

They fall into deceptions that deny the very move of the Holy Spirit.  They likewise fall into deceptions which deny the power of faith.

While they are not all guilty of all of these things, they will be if given enough time.  Among the doctrines of the church which become “heresies” are the rapture, tithing, faith, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, miracles, revelations of the Holy Spirit and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

All of these things require faith, and they are quantifiable acts.  In other words, they bear good fruit that is unmistakable.  They provide the proof to the world that you are a servant of the Most High God, and do so without ANY act or actions on the part of the particular believer.  That is why these things must be denounced now.  As the “Day” draws near, the Lord continues to open our understanding of what it truly means to overcome.

The rapture is no longer an abstract concept that will occur “someday”.  It is at the door, and many believers have fallen away as they have had no choice.  They have not listened to the few things the Holy Spirit has spoken to them.  They have not listened as the Holy Spirit has attempted to guide them back to the path they once walked on.

“Remember this – sometimes the Lord brings blessing to the unfaithful.  Not only does it rain on the just and unjust alike, but a just God must allow us the opportunity to build the case for ourselves that will be presented when we stand before the Bema – or the Great White Throne should we not hear the voice of the Lord and heed His words.  Sometimes the blessing that gets squandered is nothing more than the evidence recorded in the ledger entries against us in the books of heaven.”

We covered this earlier in the presentation.  This is what happens every time these wayward believers grieve the spirit of grace, and the Holy Spirit.

As we said, the rapture is now at the door.  It is easy to believe in something if you are not in any danger by its very existence.  That is no longer the case.  Now, to accept the rapture is to accept that you may not be accounted worthy to go, or that those you love will not be accounted worthy.  That is the heart of the Great Falling Away and Lot’s Wife.  It is the last minute deluge of believers that are suddenly forced to come to terms with the things unfolding before their very eyes.

It is what happened just before the destruction of the Temple.  It is what Paul is addressing in Hebrews chapter 10, both for then and now.

For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

How many preppers will fall into the vengeance of the Lord?  How many will find out – when it is too late – as they pass into eternity lost when the rapture rolls through and the judgment of fire hits?  That would be the same judgment delivered in 2 Peter chapter 3.  We have covered this judgment in great detail at multiple junctures on this site.

But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated.

In the former days of their salvation, our wayward believers could have never been persuaded to discard the promise of the Lord.  They did not think about what they might lose, or what could happen to them.  There was only today, and Christ.  Everything else was in the Lord’s hands, and nothing else matters.

Yet, as Paul makes clear, the former days have come and gone.  As time progressed, a steady assault of the world, the flesh and the devil has broken their confidence and resolve.  As the days wear on, they became unsettled.

“I wonder how much the world will see before the tribulation starts?”

“We will be kept from the wrath of God, but the wrath of Satan can still get to us!”

This brings up another point.  I see this all the time, and I can scarcely believe what I am witnessing.

If you call yourself a Christian, then how do you justify focusing ONLY on the power of Satan?

I cannot count the times I see believers attempt to justify the church entering the tribulation on the basis of “the wrath of Satan”.  There will be a wrath of Satan.  Yet, it occurs at the SAME TIME as the wrath of God!  Even if it did not – so what?

Is not God more than Satan?

Is He not the Most High?

Does He not have all power in Heaven and Earth?

As a believer that has been to the cross, what do you think it says about you that Satan is where your thoughts and obsessions reside?  Before anybody gets upset over this, don’t take my word for it.  Conduct your own survey of those that fight the rapture, and declare that the church must suffer the wrath of Satan.

See if you can find ANY evidence of faith in the power of the Lord.  The entire conversation will be an exercise in what Satan can do.

The last time I checked, Satan was defeated at the cross.

For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.

This goes to exactly that point.  Look at what Paul is saying.  There was a time that believers would have never traded their own safety and “stuff” for the work of the Lord.  They would not have looked to “tomorrow” at the expense of today.  They would have never let another soul perish because they had to prepare “plan B”.

Not one spare dollar would have been spent on anything other than the work of the Lord.  They certainly would have never taken funds from the work of the Lord today, to secure their own safety tomorrow.

They would not have even worried about tomorrow in the first place!

Matthew 6:25-34 ESV – Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

I think one of the most telling verses above is verse 30:

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

“O ye of little faith!”  Imagine the meaning of this!

Not only that, but they would have walked into the very prisons that sought to imprison them.  They would not have cared.  They had the promises of the Lord.  Their stuff was expendable.

Yet, this was not what Paul found.  He found a lukewarm church that had returned to the life they were supposed to have left behind.  They looked back.  When the heat got a little too high, they melted.

Revelation 3:14-18 KJV – And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

It is interesting that these scriptures also speak of purchasing a Holy gold, tried by fire.  This is a prophetic reference to what we are seeing this very day – to what Paul so explicitly warned against.

“Yet a little while,

   and the coming one will come and will not delay;

38 but my righteous one shall live by faith,

   and if he shrinks back,

my soul has no pleasure in him.”

39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

There can be no mistaking the meaning in these scriptures, nor the promise made here by the Lord.  Those that shrink back, those that fall away, those that cancel the blood of Christ by putting the things of man before the Mercy Seat – there is but one fate awaiting them:

They shall be destroyed!

The Lord return is at the door.  Those that understand this live by faith.  Those that deny that which is spoken above are annihilated at the Lord’s return.

We have covered the nature of the rapture, and what it actually does when it comes.  We have documented beyond contest that believers can and will be destroyed by the storm of lightning and fire that is the rapture.  We have covered beyond doubt that this is the coming judgment of fire spoken of by Peter.

Hebrews 10 is the final piece of the puzzle.  It is the piece that answers the last of the great questions.  We have known that believers can and will miss the rapture.  We have known why this can happen.  Now, we know the “why”.

Now, let’s look again at the scriptures that started this conversation:

For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

We have covered willful sin quite a bit in this project.  However, it is time to bring something back in that we spoke on earlier:

“The Holy of Holies wasn’t about that fact that you died if you entered.

It was about the fact that death came by the judgment and wrath of God.  It was non-negotiable.  If you were guilty of the offense of entering the judgment, you got the judgment.

There is more.  How many stories do we have in the Bible from survivors of the great flood that were NOT on the ark?

How many stories are from those that remained in Sodom when judgment fell?

There is a reason why there are none.  The judgment of God is complete and total.  There were no miracles of healing for those that were condemned.  There was no reprieve for those left behind.  However, there is still another element to what Paul revealed in Hebrews 10.

To be guilty of entering the Holy of Holies, you had to WANT to enter the chamber.

It was not possible to even reach the chamber by accident or mistake.  If you were a Gentile you were executed for even approaching a certain point before the outer courtyard.  If you were a Jew, you faced execution if you tried to enter the forbidden spaces beyond the inner courtyard.  Only the priests could approach these spaces.

If you attempted to approach the Holy of Holies you were executed.  Not by God, but by the priests themselves.  If you approached the Holy of Holies, it is because you wanted to enter the chamber.

Stated differently, you WANTED to enter the judgment of God.  There was no other earthly reason to even attempt to do so!”

Though it may not yet be apparent, this becomes the central focus of what will soon be a fully revealed prophetic warning and truth.  Keep this in the back of your mind as you read further.

There is another point that must be understood.  We touched on it briefly already.

There is a reason why there are none.  The judgment of God is complete and total.  There were no miracles of healing for those that were condemned.  There was no reprieve for those left behind.

How many reports do we have in the Bible where those that were condemned to the judgment of God ever came back to life afterwards?

The fall to the judgment of God was to die for all eternity!

There is no raising from the dead.  There is no second chance.  There is no salvation after judgment is executed.  In fact, to be given over to the judgment of God was to be in the only possible situation where death is actually assured.  If Almighty God Himself stepped off His Throne to personally take your life, it is assured that this life would never be given back to you.

In short, the judgment of God is for eternity.

To be guilty of entering the Holy of Holies, you had to WANT to enter the chamber.

This is a terrible truth that bears special significance in the days just before the rapture and the tribulation.  We will delve into this more in just a moment. ~~~

When taken in total, Hebrews chapter 10 reveals something that we are seeing play out today.  How many of us know of believers that WANT to enter the tribulation?  It is literally the saddest thing to witness.  Everything that the Bible says about what the tribulation is, and yet we still have those that have been to the cross actually clamoring for their shot.

We spoke earlier of the two primary differences in willful sin.  Here is where it comes into play for the end times.

In the lives of many believers, there is a lack of genuine relationship with the Lord, and a lack of faith.  As these days have drawn on, the flesh is weak and doubt is present.  Satan begins to exploit this doubt one piece at a time.  It starts with simply entertaining “possibilities”.

Is it possible we might see some things before the tribulation?

Certainly we have and will see things continue to build.  However, as it was in the days of Lot and Noah, so shall it be a the return of the Lord.  Noah watched the world grow evil, even as he built the giant boat.  Lot was troubled in his very soul at the evil around him.

Yet, in both cases, life continued forward.

There was nothing to convince the unbeliever that anything was different the day the judgments came.  They heard the warning from those they marginalized.  Yet, their lives were unaffected.  They saw nothing different, as no judgments had begun to fall.  Noah, Lot and their immediate families knew different.  Yet, there would be nothing from the Lord until the righteous were removed.

The flood would not come until Noah and his family were sealed inside.

The fire would not fall until Lot and his daughters were secure inside Zoar.

So, while things will continue to build, they will not break loose so long as the righteous are present.  Remember, God’s wrath is reserved for His enemies.  As we have covered before, the time of God’s judgment cannot fall so long as a single righteous soul is left upon the earth.  For those that try to argue that the wrath of God does not fall until the very end, and that Satan’s wrath falls first – you would do well to take a closer look.

We detail the timing of the tribulation in “Time, Times, and a Dividing of Times” and “Biblical Proof of a Seven Year Tribulation”.

As we were saying, it starts with “possibilities”.  We talked in detail earlier in this project about how sin progresses in our lives.  It starts out as all tempter, and no self.  With each step forward, our sin becomes less tempter, and more “us”.  Eventually, we reach the point where our sin is all “us”.  That is the point of willful sin that Paul is talking about.

There is a reason this is contained in Hebrews 10.

As believers begins to entertain doubts about the near future, they begin to open doors to Satan and greater deception.  With each doubt that is entertained, a greater searching apart from Christ, the cross, and salvation begins.  Believers begin to do what they did in Paul’s day – they begin to look to the things they are most comfortable with, most familiar with.  That would be our old lives, and the things that make the most sense to our flesh.

The more we surrender to doubt, the more we look away from the cross.  The more we look away from the cross, the harder it become to hear the voice of the Lord.  The harder it becomes to hear the voice of the Lord – the more we start looking elsewhere to confirm that we are righteous.

Even though it is no longer the voice of the Lord or the Holy Spirit that is doing the confirming!

As this process progresses, Satan begins to redefine prophecy for us.  He brings us to the two or three scriptures that can be used to manipulate our flesh to his purposes.  This is where so many of those “three scripture wars” come from.  You will see believers literally baseball bat each other with their three “more right” scriptures.  It will not matter that there are scriptures which show that their interpretation is wrong.  All that matters is that they now have the two or three scriptures they need for the deception to be maintained.

As the doubt of the flesh and the silence of the Lord grows, Satan continues to introduce deceptions, one at a time.  Now that he has the doubt in place, and several scriptures that appeal to who we are as fleshly creatures, he begins to introduce new “doctrines” that just happen to perfectly fit who we are, and the things that our flesh wants to believe.

This is one of the most amazing things to behold.  The next time you are involved in a debate with one of these folks, pay careful attention to how they conduct themselves personally.  Watch the things they say when they are NOT debating others, but when they are talking with those that already agree with them.  These are the conversations where their real personalities shine through.

You will be floored to find out just how perfectly suited their interpretation of scripture happens to be with who they actually are!

As this process is refined, the deceived believer begins to find comfort in the false doctrine that they have fallen into.  This is because the doctrine has been tailor made just for them.  It will generally match other similar false doctrines.  Yet, when you look at them very carefully, not a one will agree perfectly with anther.  Each example of false doctrine will, have something personal to the deceived.

There is a reason why pre-trib is the only position that maintains any consistency.  Even with the abundance of new understanding the Lord has opened, pre-trib remains supernaturally consistent.

As that comfort grows, so does the reliance of the deceived believer on that false doctrine.  It is now providing a confirmation of their righteousness – a confirmation that used to come from the Lord before they turned against the cross.  Soon, they reach the point where they WANT their deception.  It becomes their new identity.

Their sin has now become willful.  They no longer want anything else.

Think about the times you have discussed the rapture with those that are dead set against the pre-trib rapture.  There is an almost perverse joy in the thought of the tribulation.  Here is an excerpt from “The Vision of the Things to Come” that really speaks to what Paul is addressing in Hebrews 10, and the willful sin that is falling in the end times:

To the believers that did not overcome it was a mixed story.  They likewise knew something was different with history as it was unfolding, yet there was no real consensus as to what that may ultimately be.  They felt a calling in their spirits, yet there was always some reason to disregard what they knew at the deepest levels.  It was a “government” thing, a “constitution” thing, a “rapture heresy” thing.  It was always a “thing” that would convince them to discard that undeniable voice in favor of something more suitable to them.

After all, is it not far better to get left behind to fight the Antichrist?  Look at what they could do for the Lord if they stay here.  In each of their minds the story was always the same – different players, yet the same narrative.  They would prepare for this – unlike the “escapist” rapture fantasy believers that “always sat on their behinds never doing anything”.  This is a narrative that will steadily reverse itself to the dismay of the believer left behind as they find that indeed the rapture believer had taken steps to prepare – for them.

Rifles, ammunition, emergency food, Bibles, DVD’s, CD’s, gold, silver, medicine – all these things will be found in the homes of many rapture believers that, sadly, understood exactly why the Lord called them to prepare.  They knew in their heart of hearts who the materials were meant for – and it was not them.

There will be a collective shame when they come to understand that the Lord had led many rapture believers to prepare for the days to come, yet do so silently.  There will be a collective shame that falls upon those left behind as they begin to understand that what they held was nothing more than an excuse to throw away the warning of God for their own ideas and designs.

All too soon they shall come to understand the folly of thinking that they had any real concept of the tribulation to come.  All too soon they shall understand that if they could not hear and harken to the voice of the Lord when death, doom and destruction was not the order of the day then they truly stand little chance of resisting when the harsh reality of the tribulation is revealed.  All too soon they shall understand that they are not the singular saviors of mankind as they had imagined in their own hearts.  No, they did not say “I shall defeat the Antichrist”.  No, it was much deeper, more insidious than even that.  As they counseled their minds on the subject of the end times there was an ever present understanding that permeated all that they did.  In all of their images they could see the death yet it was disconnected.  It was always someone else that fell.  In every image that played in their minds it was they that would find shelter, store weapons and arms, find or stockpile food, avoid the armies of the Antichrist, refuse the mark and somehow always escape the dread to come.  They would organize resistance and fight.  They would see others fall but never themselves.

For the few that dared to entertain the thought it was always a short lived experience.  They would be captured, refuse the mark and pass into eternity.  Absent was any real grasp of the horror of the moment.  Never came the understanding that to be found in such a state would come a subjection to the greatest horrors never conceived of by the normal human mind.  They never saw that their enemy would truly hate them with a genuine demonic hate.

It is not merely a question of conversion.  It is a question of making their enemies pay for the mere insolence of resisting their god – of daring to even consider themselves as equal.

While all must answer for the choices of their own hands the truth of the moment cannot escape our failed believer.  It is because they would not hear the voice of the Lord that this has come to pass.  What they would have said differently if they had only listened!  But instead they scoffed.  There is no rapture!  It’s not in the Bible!  You can’t find the word Rapture!  Christ will not save his church – he will let them be purged so that they are worthy!

How many will find this fate when they realize that you cannot receive from God that which you do not believe?  The harsh reality of their lack of faith drives upon the mind and soul now.  How many times did the Lord send someone before them to declare the rapture as a reward of faith, not of salvation?  How many times did they dismiss the parables of the virgins, the foolish servant, two in the field and every admonition that “to him that looks to the promise of his coming”.  Only now will it make sense.  Only now do they see and understand.  Now, however, it is too late.

If only they had listened when another believer actually offered to show them these things.  But no, to actually listen and consider the evidence was a risk they could not take.  If they had considered the evidence they would have had to acknowledge that the proof was indeed there all the time.  They simply latched on to the excuse that felt best to them and from that point there was no need to listen.

They now understand all too well what the Bible meant when it said that the rapture comes upon them as a snare.  It was not a snare to those that were taken.  It is now a snare to our non-overcomers.  Now they cannot escape.  They now know in their heart of hearts that they must pay the price – a price they have willingly earned and now deserve – for throwing away the voice of the Lord simply because it interfered with their own vision of who they thought they were.

However, the greatest tragedy will occur in the hearts of those that took a nearly romantic pleasure in the simple notion that Christ must somehow allow the church to be purged before it could ever be accepted as “the bride”.  Their hearts will flood with a despair that they could have never conceived of as they come to understand one simple, immutable fact:

The shedding of their blood purifies nothing.  It is the blood of Christ alone that can save a soul.

Yet how many times did they revel in their own hearts at the trials to come?  No, they never spoke aloud of a desire the see the body fall.  Yet it was always there.  In their heart of hearts they secretly imagined a day when they alone would stand vindicated for their “insight” into the true nature of things.  They would glean a secret unspoken pleasure as the many “deceived heretics” of that false rapture doctrine come begging to them for salvation.  It was they that would not be duped into that whole “Margaret McDonald 1830 rapture heresy”.

Then the bitter truth of God’s Word comes roaring as a lion.  They cannot escape the memories of each and every time that one of the deceived heretics offered to show proof that the rapture was taught throughout the history of the church.  Each time an offer of yet another early church father teaching the rapture was presented it was conveniently ignored.

The misery of the soul will be nearly unbearable for them – yet they will live until they face the rugged blade of the executioner.  Then they will decide their fate.

Until that day they shall bear an unknowable anguish as the weeping and gnashing of teeth.

No, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit prior to this served to cement men to the desires of their hearts.  Those that held a love for the Lord, a desire to serve and the faith in the promise of his coming were moved in such a direction and seemed concerned more and more with the things of the Lord.  Those that did not look to his coming found themselves pushed to whatever excuse that held their personal attentions.  Now the results are undeniable – the Law of Separation is complete and those believers left behind now face a bitter truth.  It is not just the believer from the unbeliever, the unrighteous from the righteous – it is believer from believer.  Either you overcome and look to the promise of his coming or you do not.  Now, all are separated.

That is, those that survive to regret their incredible lack of faith.  Sadly, many will simply pass through the rapture and straight into Hell for their unrighteousness.  The realization of what has happened will last but a mere moment for many, as the fires of judgment sweep the earth and consume them in a fury that is beyond comprehension.

Sadly, the last thing they will realize as they draw their final, agonizing breath of flame is just how badly they turned from the Lord, and leaned to their own flesh, desire and sin.

Our fallen believer has reached the point where they WANT their sins.  It is all them now.  Satan did his job, and now these believers – like Lot’s wife that turned back at the final moment, BEFORE the judgment fell – will soon know the terrible truth of their mistakes.

It has become their singular identity.  It fills them with pride.  They will stand for the Lord tomorrow – never realizing that they have failed the Lord TODAY.  These deceived believers WANT the tribulation.  They now NEED the tribulation.  It is all that gives them identity in Christ now.  The voice of the Lord is no longer there.  This is now the only means by which they can prove to themselves that they are righteous.  Sadly, that “proof” is nothing more than a terrible lie.

They need to speak the Hebrew name of God, though it has not been required of the church at anytime in our 2,000 year history.

They need the Law, even though Paul himself speaks very clearly against what they now require for salvation.

They must practice the Sabbath, even though we are specifically told NOT to hold the salvation of another hostage for not practicing the Sabbath.

It does not matter that the Lord built and carried the church through 2,000 years WITHOUT that which they now use as a weapon against others.

I have wondered how anybody ever got saved that does not speak Hebrew.

There is just one problem – there is a reason why the Savior warns us specifically of Lot’s wife, and those that seek to preserve their life shall lose it:

For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

“Yet a little while,

   and the coming one will come and will not delay;

38 but my righteous one shall live by faith,

   and if he shrinks back,

my soul has no pleasure in him.”

39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

This is the terrible truth of Hebrews 10.  It is not some abstract theological exercise, but an unrelenting warning for those that would turn from the cross that once saved them.  It is a warning to those that would spit on the cross, and trample the blood itself.

It is a warning for those without the courage to look to the task at hand, wagering their very lives on the promise of the Lord.

It is a warning to those that would invest today in their own safety, and sacrifice the soul of another.  Every dollar spent today in an effort to prepare to “survive” the wrath of God will be accounted for one day.  Each dollar squandered in the ultimate act of betrayal of Christ will be answered for.

Each dollar given to be spent for the kingdom – in faith – will be dug up from whence the foolish servant buried it.

When taken in total, Hebrews chapter 10 reveals something that we are seeing play out today.  How many of us know of believers that WANT to enter the tribulation?  It is literally the saddest thing to witness.  Everything that the Bible says about what the tribulation is, and yet we still have those that have been to the cross actually clamoring for their shot.

I am going to close this project by bringing in the material from another page that was meant to be rolled into this project.  Rather than rewrite the material, I will simply add it in as it says everything as it is currently written.  It was pieces of two short articles I wrote dealing with those that scoff at the rapture, and the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.  This plays into the current conversation, and is part and parcel to Hebrews 10.

The blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is the final manifestation of Hebrews 10:26-28.

Many of the points you will read from this point forward have already been covered in great detail, but they serve to show additional revelation and understanding.  Here is the additional content:

For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

With that, lets look at the last section to this project.

2 Peter 3:1-10 KJV – This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:

That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. ~

The return of the Lord is at hand. For all of those that scoff – you are in mortal danger! These scriptures do not describe the Second Coming. . .

The rapture will not resemble anything we have been raised to believe. There will be no piles of folded clothes.  It will be a judgment upon the earth, and millions of unbelievers will perish right along with believers that refused to accept the return of the Lord was possible, and with believers that lacked the faith to trust the promises of the Lord that he can provide.

There are many believers that scoff. I hear many excuses and see every possible twisting of scripture to justify why God is powerless to save the overcomer. Some of the things I see are downright disturbing in what they reveal in the hearts of the believer that speaks them. There is literally a lust in the hearts of many of these believers – a lust to see the tribulation come – a lust to be proven right – a lust to see others suffer just to shout “I told you so!”

Watch their conversations carefully – it is there.

The standard refrain becomes “pre-tribbers need to pray that they don’t lose faith in the tribulation.”

Oh really? Never mind that the Gospels declare otherwise.

Mark 13:9, 11 – But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.

But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost

Luke 21:12-15 – But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.

13 And it shall turn to you for a testimony.

14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:

15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.

There is a terrible truth to face for those that declare such deceptions, and do so with lust in their hearts. It is not of others that they speak – it is of themselves.

When they utter such words as “pre-tribbers will fall into deception”, “pre-tribbers will accept the Antichrist” or “pre-tribbers will lose faith in the tribulation” – they are revealing what is in their own hearts!

Matthew 12:33-37 KJV – Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Luke 6:43-45 KJV – For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

If you have comforted yourself with such words, holding yourself up as “wise” because you can see where others are failing, it will be you that shall fall by your own ignorance.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of those that scoff at the soon return of the Lord and have reached the point where this is the fruit they bear.  Many of those are already lost – they simply don’t know it yet. As the scriptures above make perfectly clear, this is a point where the heart has hardened to the point that there is nothing left for them.

We will cover this in a moment, but it no accident that this is also the block of scriptures that declares the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

You better quit worrying about pre-tribbers, and worry about your own soul.

What happens when the rapture sweeps the earth, and does not look like the traditional picture we all grew up with. What happens when the voice of the Lord comes to you and tells you what has occurred.

What happens when fear fills your heart, and the words “I was wrong” weigh on you like a terrible plague.

What happens when you are forced to come face to face with the terrible truth – that you never had the faith in Christ that you thought you had? What happens when the truth truly dawns on you that you were the foolish virgin. What happens when you are cast to outer darkness, and you weep and gnash your teeth in anguish?

What will you do then?

~ Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. ~

“Where is the promise of His coming?” Does this sound familiar?

You will have a choice.

You can repent, as we all do now when the Lord speaks to us. Or, you can deny the voice of the Lord when he reveals the truth to you.

Then you will have real problems.

Ever wonder why Satan fights the pre-trib rapture so hard? You see, the greater the deception before the rapture, the less chance of recovering from that deception after the rapture.  Satan is working on building his body count, and scoffing believers are target number one. That would be those believers that always bring a “but” to the party:

“I have faith in Christ, but – God helps those that help themselves!”

The last time I checked, Ben Franklin was not in the Bible. Sage advice to be sure, if but for one tiny problem. . .

It is a direct violation of the Bible. Ever really stop and think about what Jesus was saying all those times he spoke of “taking no worry for tomorrow”?

Matthew 6:25-34 KJV – Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Those that refuse to see and understand the truth on this – those that scoff – will be desperate for a reason, any reason – why the voice of the Lord crashing inside their souls is not really the voice of the Lord.

They will be desperate to hold onto that delusion that made them special, that delusion that said they were stronger than everybody else. That delusion that gave them station and status before the rapture.  A station that allowed them to believe they were better than the rest of us.

To them, it simply will not be possible that they got this wrong. They will look to anything as proof. They will see the sheer volume of unbelievers that perished, and it will provide the required proof.

“See, it is everybody that has fallen. This was not the rapture – it was the judgment of God. This is the tribulation!”

Next comes the critical error – the unforgivable error:

“That voice that keeps saying the rapture has occurred – it cannot be God speaking. I can see with my own eyes that this was not the rapture. If it’s not God. . .

It is Satan! The Devil is trying to break my faith! Get behind me Satan!”

It’s game over at that point.

Matthew 12:31-33 KJV – Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. ~

Blasphemy here is Strong’s number 988 – blasphemia – Blasphemy, slander, malicious talk. It is evil speaking, railings or railing against something.

The blasphemy of the Holy Spirit – or the evil railing or evil speaking against the spirit of God. It is declaring the words of the Lord as the words of Satan. It is declaring the revelation of God as a lie from Satan.

It is unforgivable. We will come back to this in a moment.

Those guilty of such an offense are lost forever. To make matters worse, if their hearts were so puffed up and they were so full of their own lusts that they could fall to such a state – what is to stop them from the next lie, the next deception to come?

“The Lord meant me for the times of the tribulation that I might save others. That means I can take the mark to advance his kingdom. I bet the scriptures actually say that somewhere!”

It will not matter whether they accept the mark or not. They are already lost.

That is why Satan fights the pre-trib rapture so vigorously. If he can snag the believer, they are at risk of walking down a path from which they can never recover.

Let’s take this point, and expand on it further.

Very soon, salvation and overcoming will take on a whole new meaning.

Those that sat down on Christ, expecting to “make their stand” in the tribulation shall soon get their chance. However, they will find that overcoming required three elements :

The world, the flesh and the devil.

Unfortunately, they will learn first hand why Christ warned that those who scoff and deny his soon return are living in their own flesh. They will soon understand in all too real terms why Christ said these very people would be cast into outer darkness.

They will soon learn of what Christ was warning – if they could not overcome, having full faith in his promises when their life was not the price – they stand little chance of standing when horrors beyond their imagination are thrust upon them.

Sadly, that is not even the greatest danger to their souls.

Let’s go a little further on something we covered a moment ago. Many of those that scoff will not be able to bear the thought that it was they that were wrong. They will search for any reason why the voice of the Lord inside them is not really the Lord. A voice that is calling them to repent.

Satan shall be all too happy to provide them with one.

Have you ever wondered how a believer that has the Holy Spirit could miss the rapture, end up in the tribulation – and then end up perishing?

It works like this – as believers we still fall down and sin. We are called to repentance. When the Lord comes to us, and makes us aware of our sins, we are to seek forgiveness. We all do this everyday. Here is the problem – up until the rapture occurs, there is nothing yet to point out, as everyday prior was an active chance to get it right.

*** We covered this aspect specifically in the first part of this project.  This is how s many believers can turn to willful sin, yet the Lord is still trying to reach them. ***

The rapture is the reward for faithfulness. Salvation is the reward for salvation.

These believers will miss the rapture with some pretty big things to repent of. If they die without this repentance they are lost. It goes to what Paul said about willfully sinning after salvation, and there being no sacrifice left for us.

Hebrews 10:24-27 – And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Let’s take this back to something I said a moment ago.

So, what will happen is that the Lord will come to these wayward believers and call them to repentance. However, that flesh they failed to overcome will have a greater hold on many of them. There is no way they were the ones wrong. What happened did not even look like the rapture!

Then Satan will come.

“It was not the rapture – it was a judgment. It is in the Bible that this would come. I always knew the tribulation would come first! So, that voice – it’s not God – it’s Satan, trying to get me to lose faith!”

It’s game over at that point.

That is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. At that instant their names are blotted from the Lamb’s Book of Life, the Holy Spirit departs from them – and they are lost forever.

As we said earlier, the Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is the one unforgivable sin.

The Lord did not take their salvation, nor did any man.

Our wayward believer gave it back – freely, of their own accord.

In the name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 


  • A confirmation site for those in the tribulation.