<![CDATA[CHRONOS MINISTRIES - Blogs]]>Fri, 19 Apr 2024 10:31:20 -0400Weebly<![CDATA[Delegated Authority - Part 5]]>Thu, 11 Apr 2024 02:48:25 GMThttp://chronosministries.org/blogs/delegated-authority-part-5     John, the fisherman turned fisher-of-men, closes his Gospel with this final truth: “And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (Jn. 21:25).
      Luke, a physician and right-hand-man to Paul, closes his Gospel with these final words: “And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into Heaven. And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy” (Luke 24:50-52).
     After the four historical gospels, the next book in the New Testament is called Acts. It, too, is an historical book. We could call it the “Gospel Sequel” because it picks up with the historical account of Jesus appearing after His resurrection and then ascending to Heaven, and how the Church spread the Gospel during the first century after Christ.
       The book is divided into 28 chapters, but even that is not the end of the historical account. You see, as Jesus’ disciples, we’re still writing the story. More “living stones” are being added to God’s House. We’re closing in on the final chapters of the middle section of the story. We’re nearing the end of this age.
      There is more to the story because Peter says we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10). We are the “called out ones,” the Body of Christ, His Church, and His Bride.
        The Chronos Lesson: We’re still in the time when Satan has been judged and sentenced, but not yet incarcerated. His incarceration will happen during the first few years of the last Day, which is Christ’s millennial reign over the earth from Heaven. Until then, our assignment is to counter Satan’s lies and deceptions with the light of the Gospel.
         Of course, since Satan definitely qualifies as a violent one, he isn’t going to let this go easily. It is the nature of lawlessness to accelerate like a snowball rolling down a mountain. But there is coming a time when that snowball shall smash against a Stone and be crushed.
        I can assure you that at the appointed time in the age to come (the last Day), we will play a part in casting down Satan from the heavenlies. Until that time, trying to do so is wasted effort, which, of course, Satan loves to watch. We will also play a part in sending Him and his armies to the Pit, and ultimately, to eternal damnation in the Lake of Fire. More on that later. All of this can only happen at God’s appointed time. Even Jesus couldn’t do this before the appointed time.
        Matthew records an exchange between some demons and Jesus in the Decapolis, the area east of the Sea of Galilee. When Jesus and His crew come ashore, they are met by two demon-possessed men. The men are possessed to such an extent that they live in a cave and no one dares to come near the place because they are so violent.
         Suddenly they cry out, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?” (Matt. 8:28-29). Notice the time reference. Note, too, that they acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God. Wow, they know more than the Pharisees and religious scholars of that time! Yet they insinuate that Jesus can’t get rid of them because it’s before the time. What time? The appointed time.
        Surprisingly, Jesus could not incarcerate them and send them to the Lake of Fire at this point in the plan. But He wasn’t powerless, either. He could and did deliver the men from the demons. He could and did send the demons out of the men and into the “wilderness” by way of a herd of swine that promptly ran off a steep seaside cliff and drowned. Either way, the demons no longer had an earthly body—either men or unclean pigs—to house them.
       The bottom line for every believer here is that individually we have authority over Satan in the name of Jesus. That is why James 4:7 says to submit to God and resist the devil. The only way Satan can influence or oppress a believer is if he or she lets him. However, we can open the door to the devil by submitting to the world’s ways instead of God’s ways. We always have a choice. 
<![CDATA[Delegated Authority - Part 4]]>Mon, 01 Apr 2024 18:05:05 GMThttp://chronosministries.org/blogs/delegated-authority-part-4     As Jesus was preparing His disciples once again concerning His timely departure, He explained that boot camp would soon be over for them and they would be sent into action. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12). The passage goes on to say that they would do this through the leading and empowering of the Holy Spirit.
        As far as the Kingdom of God goes, our works have nothing to do with our status with God. But they do have something to do with our earthly assignment. Again, these works aren’t our own doing. That is another pitfall facing the Church in these times: Just go out and do it.
         They’re not our works; they’re His workmanship. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). Everything we do in terms of service to God is His workmanship—His power working through us, and not our own doing.
       The Chronos Lesson: Jesus gave us our marching orders just before He ascended. Matthew records them this way. “All authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:18-19).
      There are two truths we need to notice. First, Jesus said all authority has been given to Him. We’ve already seen that Jesus in turn gave this authority to His disciples. So if you’re His disciple, then you have His authority--all authority over the enemy and what he tries to bring upon you.
         The second truth is that we use this authority to make disciples, not just converts. One of the reasons the Church has been so feeble in the face of lawlessness is that most Christians accepted Jesus as their Savior, but were never taught how to be His disciple. They don’t know who they are in Christ. They don’t know how to stand in the victory Jesus secured for them.
        Mark recorded our marching orders this way. Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mk. 16:15-18).
        Let’s focus in on two more truths. The first is that we preach the Gospel. The Gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ. The original language actually calls it the too-good-to-be-true-news. Jesus summarized this beyond-comprehension-good-news as, “It is finished.” The prerequisite aspects of the divine to-do list found in Daniel 9 were accomplished with Jesus’ first coming. It is what allows us to release the authority and will of God on earth as it is in Heaven. The remaining objectives of the to-do list shall be accomplished with His second coming, thereby bringing the restoration of all things.
        Our boot camp assignment is to continue preaching this good news across the world. But notice that it’s not just talk. There’s also the walk. That is, confirming the truths of God’s Kingdom through signs and wonders and miracles. The things we see Jesus doing in the four Gospels, we’re to be doing as well by the same power of the Spirit working through us. We need to be about Father’s business as Jesus was, and not simply what we think needs to be done in our society to fix things. We use His authority to reveal Jesus’ finished work and the nature of the Father.
        If we’re not seeing this in our lives, then we need to get into the Word and really see it—that a-ha moment where we finally get it. We need to spend time meditating on His Word until we can see ourselves being His workmanship, not in our own power, but by the Spirit. We need to get as many people into the Ark that is Jesus Christ before the end comes.
        Psalm 115:16 affirms that “the heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s; but the earth He has given to the children of men.”    Hebrews 6:18 tells us that it is impossible for God to lie. Psalm 89:34 reveals the awesome power of His grace and mercy towards us. Despite Israel breaking the covenant over and over on their end, God declares, “My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips.”  Psalm 138:2 David proclaims, “I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above all Your name.” A person’s name is only as good as his word. We can trust God’s Word and the mystery-plan within it.
         To this Hebrews 1:2-3 affirms God’s awesome power at work in us because we are in Christ: “whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.” 
<![CDATA[Delegated Authority - Part 3]]>Mon, 25 Mar 2024 23:23:11 GMThttp://chronosministries.org/blogs/delegated-authority-part-3     In the last blog we saw how the violent use force to establish their ways on the earth. In most cases, this force is exerted through “judicial” channels. Their “authority” is established through re-educational games and rewriting history to deceive the unsuspecting masses. We can cry “foul” all we want, but the bottom line is that this is the mystery of lawlessness at work in this appointed time.
       No matter how hard we try, we can’t change God’s timetable, even if it seems unjust. Just ask David. Many of his Psalms (see Ps. 64 for example), bemoan the state of affairs in his country. Yet David is in the know. He knows that this injustice will not last; there is an appointed Day of Vengeance. As Paul explained in Acts 17:26, God “has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings.” Only God changes the times and the seasons and the nations.
        The Chronos Lesson: So what do we do? Do we fight back, trying to use the same judicial, educational, and media channels? There is a time and place for that. But it is not our major assault. Here’s how Paul explained our battle strategy in Eph. 6:10-13.
        “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

       The next few verses describe our unusual armor. The passage begins with the key command: Stand. When we take a closer look at the armor, it all has to do with our mind grasping the spiritual realities of who we are in Christ:
  • the truth and reliability of God’s Word, our righteousness (right-standing with God because of justification and forgiveness)
  • the peace that passes understanding because we are yoked with Christ
  • the measure of God’s faith we’ve been given
  • the power of salvation over every aspect of our lives
  • the power of God’s Word transforming us
  • and the power of the Spirit enlightening us and empowering us.
       In short, our battle isn’t with the world around us; our battle is in our mind. Our fight isn’t with the people blinded by Satan; our fight is with the ungodly thoughts and habits we’ve picked up along the way that don’t line up with God’s Word. You know, the negative strongholds.
       For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled” (2 Cor. 10:4-6).
        As for the positive strongholds? They begin with the truths of the Gospel. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). But it’s not just the truths you have heard and accepted as from God. It’s not just the truths that you mentally agree with. They are the truths that you have come to know through study and through practical experience. That is how we stand in these times.
        Standing is not inactivity. It is living according to the grace and authority that is ours. When we are light in this way, hurting and confused people will be drawn to it. Nor is this escapism as some bewail. No, this is boot camp! We’re in training for reigning in the age to come and into eternity.
<![CDATA[Delegated Authority - Part 2]]>Mon, 18 Mar 2024 19:19:34 GMThttp://chronosministries.org/blogs/delegated-authority-part-2      Every new recruit goes through a training regimen, affectionately known as boot camp. No new recruit is immediately assigned to the big guns. They have to first learn how to shoot a pistol. If you’ve never shot one, you might be surprised by the kickback. You have to be aware of the pushback coming and be prepared for it.
      Inevitably, there are some in the camp—including the Church camp—who can’t wait to hit the battlefield. They quote Jesus’ statement recorded in Matt. 11:12. “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” They hype up the army to jump into the fight with everything they’ve got and battle it out with Satan.
       But notice the time element here: from the days of John the Baptizer to Jesus’ earthly ministry. The political and religious leaders of Jesus’ time were making it difficult for Him, to say the least. They were throwing everything they had at Him, including the threat of crucifixion. That is the way of the violent. They use force.
         What do those in the Kingdom of God use? What Jesus told His disciples to use. And Jesus summoned to Him His twelve disciples and gave them power and authority over unclean spirits, to drive them out, and to cure all kinds of disease and all kinds of weakness and infirmity” (Matt. 10:1). “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19).
       This authority came directly from God the Creator. Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner” (John 5:19). So, by deduction, Jesus’ disciples knew that they would do the same things they had seen Jesus do in the same way—by God’s power. It wasn’t by their own works, but by God’s power working through them.
         And if that’s not enough for you, consider these consequences of the cross. “…the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come” (Eph. 1:19-21).
      The Chronos Lesson: The passage doesn’t stop there. The conjunction “and” tells us there is more to this truth. “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Eph. 1:22-23). In short, the same power that Jesus used when He ministered on the earth is the same power at work in us when we continue His ministry on the earth! Mind-boggling, isn’t it?
       That is why it is a process of getting this revelation, seeing it with the eyes of our understanding, and then acting on it by faith. Too often, we look at ourselves in the natural and roll our eyes or cover our faces and shake our heads in doubt. That is why there is boot camp training.
      Doubt is natural, but it’s not godly. The remedy is to trust God’s Word by faith, which comes by hearing and hearing, and continually hearing the Word of God. It’s especially helpful when we speak the Word aloud because it forces our brains to process that “data” and internalize it, building up a godly stronghold in our mind.
       Oh, by the way, in case you’re not battle savvy, there are both good strongholds and bad strongholds. Stay tuned.  
<![CDATA[Delegated Authority - Part 1]]>Mon, 11 Mar 2024 14:46:00 GMThttp://chronosministries.org/blogs/delegated-authority-part-1        God created mankind in His image with the intent that we would be His legal representatives on the earth. Our job description included having dominion over every living thing. We know that one of the results of the fall of mankind was to forfeit this authority to Satan and his evil hierarchy, setting up the cosmic conflict of the ages. Instead of protecting life, we brought death, disease, and every kind of corruption into the earth by yielding to Satan. The spiritual DNA of every human being would henceforth be “fallen,” contaminated by the prideful desire to please ourselves and yield to sin. That is, until the Seed would be manifested.
     There are several truths we need to establish in our hearts concerning this conflict, and they all have to do with understanding the times. We’ve already looked at the first truth from 2 Cor. 4:4—that Satan became the god of this world [age] and is working overtime to put spiritual blinders over the minds of everyone on the earth. This is why Paul prayed that the eyes of our understanding would be enlightened.
       The second truth has to do with our new position in Christ as a result of His crucifixion. When we accept our inability to overcome sin through our own will power and works, and receive Jesus as our Savior, our spirit is made new. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). We are literally a new kind of being—a blood-bought, forgiven, justified, and sanctified human being with new spiritual DNA. While our spirit is immediately changed, our soul and body await our full redemption at the rapture.
       In short, we are no longer under the authority of the god of this age. If you don’t believe me, believe God’s Word. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it” (Col. 2:13-15).
     The Chronos Lesson: Have you ever wondered what was happening during the time between Christ’s death on the cross and the stone being rolled away from the tomb on the Sabbath? Well, here’s one item. Jesus went to Hades. His descent served two purposes. The first was to preach salvation to the Old Testament saints who were taken to Abraham’s Bosom when they died. It was a secure and separate place within Hades. They could not be saved until the Seed had been manifested on the earth and had died for the sins of mankind. When Jesus preached the New Covenant to these Old Covenant people, they believed and were taken to Heaven to await the end of the Days.
        The second purpose was to serve notice to Satan’s kingdom that a major shift had taken place in the cosmic conflict. Satan no longer has power over believers because Jesus crushed his head as Genesis 3 records in the first prophecy of the Bible. Satan didn’t realize that the cross would only bruise the Seed’s heal.
       Through His resurrection, Jesus now has the keys of Hades and Death (Rev. 1:18).  As the perfect Son of Man, Jesus had justly paid the price for sin and could thereby legally release His authority in the earth through His Body. In a sense, Satan was judged and sentenced, but not yet incarcerated. Why not? Because fallen mankind could still choose to follow Him. The mystery of lawlessness is still very much at work.
       Did you catch the all-important adjective there? Fallen. As born-again believers, our spirit is no longer fallen. We can be confident in this, even when we sin in our flesh (body and mind), because the Holy Spirit lives within our spirit. This is what Paul is talking about in the Colossians passage quoted above. That guilty verdict against us was wiped clean away. The result is that the evil forces working against us, including Satan, have no power over us. That is, unless we let them.
      Our situation is similar to the aftermath of World War II. Even though the peace treaty had been signed, the war continued in the isolated islands of the Pacific. The combatants hadn’t gotten the word yet. The allied forces were victorious. Those fighting on the islands just didn’t know it yet. But when they received the word, they overcame the enemy in the authority that they had received from the Commander.  
<![CDATA[The True Israel]]>Mon, 04 Mar 2024 15:10:36 GMThttp://chronosministries.org/blogs/the-true-israel       We should point out that it took Jesus’ disciples some time before they had their aha-moment of fully seeing with the eyes of their understanding about the nature of His ministry. For example, they had just witnessed the miracle feeding of 5,000+ people with five loaves of bread and two fish. Afterward, Jesus tells them they shall cross over the Sea of Galilee. He spoke it; it shall be done.
       He is exhausted from teaching, so he snuggles up in the bow of the boat for some shut-eye. No doubt his disciples are chattering about what they just saw. That is until they see a storm brewing around them. The Sea of Galilee is notorious for these spontaneous boat-crushing storms. In the natural, their lives are in danger and yet Jesus is sound asleep. Doesn’t He care? How dare He rest! When they wake Him up and voice their complaints, He simply speaks to the storm. All is calm. Except for the disciples. Their minds are blown by what they have just witnessed! Who is this man who has control over nature?
       The good news is that they do come to recognize that Jesus is the Christ, God’s anointed One. But like the Jews, they will still struggle with the implications of that. They, too, still think that a military encounter and an earthly throne are in their future. They have no clue what all this entails and what must happen because of who Jesus is. They’re still learning to walk—and sail—by faith and not by sight.
       In the natural, they are Jews. That is their history. Now they are being asked to accept a different future. That is, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified” (Gal. 2:16). It is the first paradigm shift they will have to grasp—grace, not works.
      That shift will require the ultimate sacrifice, which they will not understand at first, either. “For as many as are of the works of the Law are under the curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the Law, to do them.’ But that no one is justified by the Law in the sight of God is evident, for ‘the just shall live by faith.’ Yet the law is not of faith, but ‘the man who does them shall live by them.’ Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith’ ” (Gal. 3:10-14)
       This is the second paradigm shift they will have to grasp—for Jew and Gentile alike. It must have been mind-blowing, to say the least. They were losing their ethnic identity. Yet in doing so, they would gain a new identity. “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:26-29).
       The Chronos Lesson: This covenantal shift was always part of the plan. We must remember that Noah walked by grace in the favor of God. Abram was called by grace to walk in faith. “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as of many, but as of one, ‘and to your Seed,’ who is Christ” (Gal. 3:16).
       Our relationship with God has always been a faith thing. In Christ, the natural labels by which we identify ourselves pale in significance. That is why it’s no big thing that males are part of the Bride of Christ. And likewise, it’s no big thing that females are called sons of God and sons of the Day. All that really matters is that we are “in Christ.”
      Our gender, our ethnicity, our nationality, and our status in this life, do not totally define us. What does set us apart is our unique calling. For we are the called out ones, the ekklesia, the general assembly and Church, His Body and Bride. We shall fully realize that calling when we are made perfect through resurrection at the rapture.
     But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in Heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel” (Heb. 12:22-24). Stay tuned for more about the True Israel.   3/4/24
<![CDATA[Stewards of the Mysteries]]>Wed, 28 Feb 2024 23:26:28 GMThttp://chronosministries.org/blogs/stewards-of-the-mysteries       Why is it so important that we understand God’s mystery-plan? For one thing, it was said of the tribe of Issachar, that they had an understanding of the times. Good for them. So what? “To know what Israel ought to do” (1 Chron. 12:32). In terms of what? The context of the passage is when King Saul had been told that God had rejected him as king. Samuel the prophet had anointed David instead. Saul wasn’t buying any of this, so David was in hiding. In this governmental turmoil, the tribes needed to know what Israel should do.
      The New Covenant was set in motion through Jesus’s earthly ministry. It was established by His death on the cross. In effect, God’s agenda was no longer hidden, particularly as it relates to the Church and the new rules of engagement.
       Understanding God’s times and divine agenda enables us to know what we are to do in our own time. Uncertainly breeds fear. Understanding breeds comfort, hope, and victory—even now. For as Christ is in Heaven, so are we now on this earth (1 John 3:17).
         Because we are in Christ and charged with preaching the good news of the Gospel and making disciples, we are automatically also stewards of the mysteries. It is required of stewards to be found faithful (1 Cor. 4:1-2). It’s time for the mystery-plan to be understood and manifested.
         Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith—to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen” (Romans 16:25-27). This series is designed to help you see the mystery from the first to the last book of God’s Word.
         John opened his gospel account by reminding us that, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2). The mystery of God is the mystery-plan, leading to the restoration of all things. Through God’s Word, as manifested in the earthly ministry of Jesus, we can come to see the end from the beginning.
        It is clear that Jesus’ disciples understood very little about the mystery prior to the cross. They didn’t understand why He was leaving, much less that He would come back. On the night of His arrest, they all fled in a state of confusion. As we’ve seen, this is because the mystery had been hidden prior to Christ’s resurrection. His resurrection signaled that it was time for the mystery to be fully revealed.
     Though prophets, lawgivers, and psalmists had spoken their respective parts of the mystery, the various prophecies lay strewn throughout the Old Testament record like a jigsaw puzzle, jumbled and unassembled. No one could see how the pieces fit together, not even the prophets themselves.
     As we might imagine, these pieces did not come together overnight. It took some time to fully assemble the prophetic puzzle. The disciples’ encounter with the risen Christ on the road to Emmaus, and later again that same evening, gave them a noble start.
     The apostles perceived that a great mystery was beginning to unfold. As the Holy Spirit reminded them of what the Master had taught, Jesus’ words began to take on greater meaning. They remembered that He spoke of the mysteries of the kingdom. For example, after teaching a particular parable His disciples came to Him privately, asking, “What does this parable mean?” Jesus responded, To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables” (Mark 4:10-12).
       The knowledge of the mystery was not for impatient bystanders or disinterested hearers, but for those who had a desire to seek out the truth. The parables were merely designed to whet their appetite for such choice morsels. Therefore, the secrets were only parceled out to those who were really hungry to know.
     So after the cross the disciples began to connect the dots, assemble the pieces, and comprehend the mystery. Quite remarkably, the prophetic puzzle (God’s plan) was fully assembled within the forty years that followed Jesus’ resurrection. Scholars generally agree that most of the New Testament was written and already in circulation prior to the destruction of the Jewish Temple in 70 AD. Only the three letters of John, along with the book of Revelation, are generally assigned to the latter part of the century, between 85 and 95 AD. In other words, the mystery was fully revealed and understood by the first-century apostles. 
      The Chronos Lesson: Since the mystery of Christ also concerns His second coming, these foundational apostles eventually understood the secret things concerning His return at the end of this age. The truth is the first-century apostles had a much better grasp of end-time prophecy than our generation has exhibited up to this time! And with Christ’s return so near, it is time to retrieve what has been lost.
      The Holy Spirit entrusted the first-century apostles with these revelations and they were faithful to record them as part of the New Testament record. Unfortunately, as the apostles passed off the scene, and in the centuries that followed, corrupt teachings infiltrated the Church. As a result, we lost sight of certain aspects of the mystery as it was revealed to these early apostles. 
      As it stands right now, we have a confusing assortment of views and interpretations concerning the end times. We are not unlike the perplexed disciples who made the journey to Emmaus on the day of Jesus’ resurrection. But they were not without hope, for the appearance of an unperceived Stranger on the road banished their confusion by the journey’s end (see Luke 24:13-45). By the end of the day, the Church was in one accord. If God could do it then, He can do it now if we honestly seek the truth and lay aside our preconceived, man-made views.
<![CDATA[Another Repeat Performance]]>Tue, 20 Feb 2024 19:36:40 GMThttp://chronosministries.org/blogs/another-repeat-performance      Sometime after the Day of Pentecost, seven of the disciples are back where it all began, along the Sea of Tiberius (Galilee). Restless, Simon Peter decides to go fishing, and the others join him. They’re out on the water all night and catch nothing. I can’t help but wonder if it reminded Peter of the moment when Jesus called the fisherman to follow Him. Or maybe his thoughts were still replaying the three times he denied Jesus.
      When the weary fishermen start to make their way to shore, a man is there whom they do not recognize (John 21). He calls to them, “Children, have you any food?” The empty boat should have given the answer obvious, but they respond in the negative anyway. The man tells them to “cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.
      That’s enough for Peter to recognize who it is. He plunges into the water and swims ashore. His fishing buddies are left dragging the boat and the net filled with fish to shore. When they finally arrive, Jesus has a fire going, along with fish and bread somehow. Okay, boys, how many hints do you need! Apparently they have an idea, but they dare not ask. It’s almost as if it is too good to be true. Could they all be hallucinating at the same time with the same mirage?
      Then we’re told that this is the third time Jesus has shown Himself to them after His resurrection. Maybe they just couldn’t wrap their heads around the idea of the resurrection and seeing Jesus appear again.
      They break bread together and chow down on some fish. Jesus turns His attention to His disciple who is struggling with his triple failure back in Herod’s court. The account seems to indicate that Jesus took Peter aside to deal with him privately. Three times Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him. Peter confesses his love three times. Seriously, Lord, how many times do you need to ask? The same number of times that Peter fell short! The disciple’s heart is right, but he probably sees himself as a useless servant. So three times Jesus reaffirms the call: Feed My lambs, tend My sheep, feed My sheep. Like His Lord Peter shall be a shepherd, too.
     The Chronos Lesson: Their first time together began with a miracle catch of fish. Jesus had called them to be fishers of men. Their last time together on the earth is another miracle catch of fish—153 to be exact. Jesus is the beginning and the end. Researchers have pointed out that there were 153 known species of fish at that time. It’s a vivid reminder that the disciples shall go into the known world and preach the Gospel, bringing people from every tribe, nation, and tongue into the Kingdom of God.
       However, the impromptu breakfast by the sea ends in a peculiar manner. After reaffirming Peter as His disciple, Jesus prophesies Peter’s future. “ ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.’ This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ ”
     To our natural minds, this doesn’t sound like the best way to encourage Peter to act on his calling! But spiritually speaking, Jesus is showing Peter that he indeed has the shepherd’s heart, one that is willing to lay his life down for the sake of the sheep and the Gospel. Tradition has it that when Peter was condemned to death in Rome, he requested that he be crucified upside down because he didn’t feel worthy to die in the same manner as his Lord.
        But before the significance of what Jesus has just told him could sink in, Peter looks at John and asks what that disciple’s future looks like. Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.” In short, it’s none of your business, Peter. Our faith is personal, and God deals with each individual according to His design for them.
       Not surprisingly, this got tongues wagging. “Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die,” even though that is not what Jesus said. It is interesting, though, that John is generally thought to be the only one of the original 12 disciples to have died by natural causes.
      While in prayer and in the Spirit on the Sabbath on the Isle of Patmos in Asia Minor (Turkey), John hears a voice behind him. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia.” Thus begins the Vision that is the Book of Revelation. Actually, it is a series of visions. More on that later. It is a vision of the “things which must shortly take place.” Jesus adds that the time is near, so it is time for the prophecies to be made clear.
        At the end of the book, John is reminded that the time is at hand, so he is told not to seal up the prophecy. Why is this significant? You may recall that Daniel got a vision concerning Christ’s first and second coming as part of the 70 Weeks Prophecy (Daniel 9). The prophet gets one last prophecy, recorded in Daniel 12. It foretells the time of the end as well.
        “At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness. Like the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:1-3). But unlike John, Daniel is told to “shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end.” It is not yet time for the revelation to be understood.
       Rest assured that time will come:  “[Then] many shall run to and fro and search anxiously [through the Book], and knowledge [of God’s purposes as revealed by His prophets] shall be increased and become great” (Dan. 12:4, Amplified Version). Can you guess when that time is?
        We’re in it now! As the end of this age draws so near—within this decade—the Spirit is bringing clarity to the end-time doctrine. It’s time to be in the know so that we know what we ought to be doing.
        Our predecessors sought to understand, and passed along what they thought they knew. But the fact that there is so much confusion about the end-times tells us something is wrong, and it has to be on our end because God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33). Their motives were right, but it wasn’t time to see it fully yet. Now is the time to understand the things that shall shortly take place!  
<![CDATA[A Heavenly Reversal]]>Mon, 12 Feb 2024 20:50:42 GMThttp://chronosministries.org/blogs/a-heavenly-reversal       You may recall from when we first set out on this journey through the Bible in light of God’s Chronos agenda that the knowledge of evil manifested itself on the earth very quickly. The first recorded murder occurred in Adam and Eve’s immediate offspring. It wasn’t very long before Scripture records, “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5).
      After the great reset of the Flood, the knowledge of evil still lingered in the hearts of men. A few chapters later (Gen. 11) we read about the prideful rebellion against God at Babel, as mankind determined in their hearts to disobey God’s command to be spread across the earth. Instead, they built a tower to Heaven. They wanted to be like God. Sound familiar?
       The Chronos Lesson: Through Christ’s death and resurrection, the next stage in God’s agenda could take effect. God’s presence on the earth would be manifested by the 3rd Person of the Godhead—the Holy Spirit residing in the spirit of every believer. This is why the outpouring of the Spirit is the distinguishing mark of the latter Days. We are all “living stones” built on the foundation of Christ the Word and the prophet’s declarations. We are the living temple of God’s presence on the earth.
         The Spirit empowers believers to continue Jesus’ earthly ministry with signs and wonders confirming the Gospel. Wherever there is a “living stone,” he or she is holy ground. We stand in this righteousness through Christ’s shed blood. Do you see yourself in this way?
          We need to, because you-know-who will do all he can to deceive you into thinking you’re not good enough to display God’s power working through you by the Spirit. He’s right in one sense—since he sees us only in ourselves and not in Christ. But we are not on our own. We are in Christ!
         This is why the baptism of the Holy Spirit is so important. It is why Satan has done his best to debunk this vital experience. This is a separate and distinct baptism by Christ with fire—symbolizing the anointing of God (Luke 3:16). It is different from the baptism into the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit that happens the moment we accept Jesus as our Savior. We need both to function fully in God’s power in this age.
          Along with the baptism into the Spirit comes the ability to speak with other tongues. The Holy Spirit enables us to pray in the spirit with heavenly languages unknown to us. As we yield our voice to the Spirit, we release what God has declared in Heaven on earth. In effect, it is the two-edged sword of God’s words and our words of agreement on earth.
       We are united as one Body by the Spirit (Eph. 4:4). This is a reversal of the division that happened at Babel. Through the gift of tongues, we speak in one accord with the Spirit. This is the reversal of the language of mankind being confused at Babel. This sets us up for the final reversal that shall come at the last Day, when the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever! (Rev. 11:15). God’s Word always accomplishes His purposes. The declarations of unredeemed mankind have no chance against the Almighty God, the Most High!
<![CDATA[A Heads-Up Event]]>Wed, 07 Feb 2024 20:22:08 GMThttp://chronosministries.org/blogs/a-heads-up-event       While they are together in the upper room, Jesus commands His disciples not to leave Jerusalem until they have received the Promise of the Father “which you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” (Acts 1:4-5).
       It is the next festival in the spring season, the Feast of Weeks, which marks the first harvest of their agricultural season. You may know it as Pentecost; pente is Greek for 50. Fifty days after the crucifixion, the Holy Spirit is poured out on the men and women who had been cleansed by the blood of Jesus and had received His righteousness. You may recall that the number 50 symbolizes release, as in the Jubilee Year.
       Earlier, Jesus had foretold the event to His disciples, saying it was very needful and would be better than if He remained with them. Of course, as the third Person of the Godhead, Jesus could also honestly say that He would never leave them nor forsake them because God’s Spirit would abide in them. The Spirit would not only comfort them, but also bring what Jesus taught back to their remembrance and teach them all things concerning the truths of God’s Kingdom.
       But there was more. In their last time together, Jesus drives home the point of why they must wait for the Spirit to fall upon them. “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). It is the Spirit that directs and empowers our witnessing to others. To do so apart from that empowering is simply human effort.
       Notice that the statement begins with another “but.” This pivotal statement is connected to the words Jesus had just spoken in response to a question asked of Him. The question shows us that the disciples still didn’t fully understand the mystery-plan. But as we read the New Testament letters, it’s clear that the Holy Spirit is an excellent Teacher because they came to understand the plan. 
        At this point, though, they ask, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” They’re referring to David’s kingdom and the promise that his lineage would rule forever. Armed with hindsight, we know that the promise pointed to Jesus Christ, who was from David’s lineage. But they hadn’t seen this yet.
        Jesus’ next statement is often taken out of context and therefore misunderstood. “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.” Jesus wasn’t saying they could not know, for earlier He had said that they would come to perceive the times and seasons   and understand what they were to do. Notice, too, that Jesus didn’t say that the kingdom would never be restored to Israel. He only said that it was not yet the appointed time. They had more important matters to attend to—namely, preaching the Gospel and establishing the Church.
      What happened next is equally significant in terms of the end-times sequence of events. Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward Heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into Heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into Heaven’ ” (Acts 1:9-11).
      The Chronos Lesson: The Spirit was poured out on the Day of Pentecost. It is what distinguished that unique day in God’s plan. It is also what distinguishes the latter Days. It is one of the corresponding kairos signs of the last Days. Another is the authority to use Jesus’ name to continue His work of signs and wonders. For it is the goodness of God that draws people to repentance.
       Now let me ask you a question. Did the disciples literally see Jesus ascending to Heaven? Yes, the wondrous details are recorded in Acts 1. This means that He will literally return to the earth because that is what the angels announced. What they said is confirmed in the Old Testament prophecies. So let me ask you another question. Have we seen Jesus literally descending from Heaven? Has the whole world seen Jesus coming in the clouds yet, as Scripture foretells?
      No, so don’t let anyone rob you of this truth by saying that the Kingdom has already come. We are not Third Day Christians yet! We don’t count the time using our earthly calendars, which is why Y2K was not a big deal in God’s sight. Nor has the kingdom come figuratively, because the Spirit is within us. The Spirit within simply marks the first two Days of the latter half of the great Week (Today and Tomorrow when counting from Jesus or Days 5 and 6 when counting from Adam).
      Hear God’s definitive Word on the matter. Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (Heb. 9:28, emphasis added). At His first coming, Jesus appeared in order to take away the sin of the world. At His second coming, Jesus will appear to take us away to Father’s House to complete our full salvation—our soul and body made new, even as our spirit was when we first believed. This is when we shall fully and truly have the mind of Christ, and a glorified body like His.