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The Narrow Way And The Broad Way; Revival In The Wilderness (part 2)

That it was time to prepare the way of the Lord “in the wilderness” was a prophetic statement in Isaiah regarding things to come. This is exactly what John the Baptist proclaimed when he appeared on the scene during the heavy-handed rule of the Romans over the Jewish people. I see this as a type and shadow, revealing what it will be like on earth for God’s people when He returns. The oppression against us will only increase, causing those who are not under the power of the delusion to look up and cry out to God for the last, great end-time deliverance.

Matthew says that John came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying;


“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near [1448- “to draw near, to approach”].” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: ‘A voice of one calling in the desert, “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight [2117- “straight, level, straightforward, upright, true, sincere”] paths for him.”

(Matthew 3:2-3/NIV)


The forerunner ministry is the sign that the Lord is about to draw near. Its purpose is to warn people to prepare their hearts for the imminent coming of the Lord. When this ministry appears, in the wilderness, outside of an inhabited area (i.e. the church in general), you can be sure that the appointed time of the Lord for His return is near. This is why it’s time to repent, if necessary, to make things right before the Lord within us. I see this occurring within the remnant of His people in our nation at this very moment.

In my own case, my wife and I were led out of the corrupt religious system in our nation years ago. The time that we have been led out has been used to prepare us for what is about to occur. It’s a difficult place of solitary confinement where all dependence of worldly things is stripped from you, forcing you to look to Jesus for your very sustenance.

By Divine design, we have been dwelling in a barren, sterile, uninhabited place where not many souls pass through. It’s a place where the Lord was led immediately after His baptism to battle the devil and the desires and passions of the flesh (Luke 4:1-13), in preparation of His public ministry. After His confrontation and defeat of him in this place, He returned to Galilee in the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:14). Jesus, therefore, showed us the way we should go. Why then do we not think that we would have to travel the same route as well to receive the same power?

In recent years the devil has successfully introduced alternate routes of power to the church that will NEVER put us in this place. Instead, it will look at the wilderness as a place of powerlessness that you should not be dwelling in. They claim that prosperity in Christ, apart from that dry place, is the place to be. It often involves some type of godliness as a means to financial gain. This demonic counterfeit will ALWAYS result in a counterfeit power from hell. You then become open to all kinds of broad-way deception that if not separated from will lead to your destruction.

In his letter to the Philippian Christians, Paul spoke about broad-way Christianity. Like Jesus in Matthew 7:13-14, he mentions many whose walk leads to destruction. Their mindset was not on the higher things of God (i.e. “the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” in v.12-14), but the lower things of earth;


“For many walk [4043- “to conduct oneself”], of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite [2836- “the innermost part of a man, the soul, heart, as the seat of thought, feeling, choice”], and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.”

(Philippians 3:18-19/NASU)


The cross of Christ is the place of His sufferings. It’s only as we join Him in this place of being conformed to His death, a death to our wills, our earthly passions and desires (Galatians 5:24), that we can experience the power of His resurrection in our lives. There are no shortcuts. As I like to say whenever the opportunity affords, we cannot experience the glorious power of Pentecost without first experiencing the shame and suffering of Calvary.

If then, through Christ, we have been seated with Him in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6), we need to keep seeking those higher things, remaining by faith in that place where He abides, rather than the lower things of this earth that lead to destruction. It is the foolish virgins that hear but do not take seriously the upward call of ascension to the higher life of self-denial in Christ.

In His mercy, the Lord is giving us a final, midnight cry from those who have been led into the wilderness in order to help us to prepare our hearts for His return (Matthew 25:6). So let us encourage each other as we see His day approaching to stay the course, standing firm until the end so as to be saved (Matthew 10:22).


The Smooth Pathway


To “make smooth” a pathway for the Lord refers, by definition, to an upright life (see Psalm 5 below). It’s as we clear, or prepare the way within us that His glory will be revealed in us. We ourselves must be walking on the highway of holiness first before we can show others the way (Isaiah 35:8; see the Bible study The Heart-way To Zion). The barriers in our hearts must be removed first for the glory of the Lord to be revealed to us, or should I say in us.

Two major obstructions today that I have observed among God’s people are rebellion, and the religious system that operates on its own authority. Both are about to be dealt with swiftly and thoroughly. They have become a hindrance for many, within and without the church, to see the Way in (John 14:6).

The lowly valleys being lifted up, and the prideful mountains and hills being brought low represent a level place of humility that all mankind must come to in order to be joyfully received in the coming of the Lord. It’s important to note that the Hebrew definition for the “valley” that will be exalted is “a valley, a steep valley, a narrow gorge.” This “narrow gorge” represents the narrow way of suffering in Christ that the “few” in Him will cross over at. Because of their willingness to follow their Lord, having become united with Him in the likeness of His death, they will be highly exalted in the age to come with great authority.

He said that the “rough ground” must “become a plain,” and “the rugged terrain a broad valley.” Per the original Hebrew words, “rough ground” is defined as “deceitful, sly, slippery, steep, hilly.” While “plain” is defined as “a level place, uprightness; figuratively, straightness.” The deceitful, slippery slope within us must become a place of sure footing in Christ through uprightness of heart.

David revealed for us the Lord’s requirements for those who seek the “upward call in Christ Jesus”;


“Who may ascend [5927- “to go up, to move from a lower place to a higher place”] into the hill of the Lord [i.e. Zion, Psalm 2:6, 15:1]? And who may stand in His holy place [6944- “holiness, holy thing, sanctuary”]? He who has clean [5355- “free from guilt, innocent”] hands and a pure [1249- “pure, clear, sincere, clean, empty”] heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood [7723- “deceit, deception, emptiness, vanity, lying, worthlessness”] and has not sworn deceitfully [4820- “deceit, treachery, fraud”; the “rough ground”]. He shall receive a blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face — even Jacob.”

(Psalm 24:3-6/NASU)


The Hebrew interpreted as “rugged terrain” in Isaiah 40:4 is defined as “roughness or bound up, impeded, the impassable or mountain chain.” It implies the sin that binds God’s people, thereby preventing us from passing over with the Lord at His return (see the Bible study Binding And Loosing). The lack of response to the final cry of this age from the forerunners in this appointed time among Christians, right before the Lord’s return, is why “few” will enter in. It’s also why “many” will fall away from Him with an apostate heart.

The “broad valley” in Hebrew is defined as, “properly, a split, i.e. a wide level valley between mountains.” This seems to be the only acceptable broad-road of the Lord. Again, it’s “a wide level valley between mountains” that is caused by being loosed from that which binds us.

The reason for all of this is revealed in verse 5, Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Then, and not until then, when all the things mentioned in Isaiah are fulfilled in the remnant of His body, will the glory of God be revealed to all flesh.

According to Paul, the glory of God will be revealed in those, and through those who share in the sufferings of the wilderness experience in the Lord;


“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings [i.e. the cross of Christ] in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

(Romans 8:16-18/NIV)


And again he said;


“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”

(Colossians 3:1-4/NASU)


So, the encouragement of this word of the Lord is, knowing that the appointed time of the Lord has come, we must “keep seeking the things above” where He has placed us, “not on the things that are on earth” which are the actions of the foolish virgins, lest we fall away from Him and our place at His table, as many will do. May the Lord strengthen our resolve to continue in steadfastness of heart in our commitment to serve Him.



Psalm 5See the note below.

1 Give ear to my words, O Lord, Consider my groaning.

2 Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God, For to You I pray.

3 In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.

4 For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; No evil dwells with You [see John 15:7].

5 The boastful [1984- “to boast, to be foolish”] shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity [205- “trouble, wickedness, sorrow, vanity”; see Matthew 7:23].

6 You destroy those who speak falsehood [3577- “a lie, an untruth, a falsehood, a deceptive thing”]; The Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.

7 But as for me, by Your abundant lovingkindness I will enter Your house, At Your holy temple I will bow in reverence for You.

8 O Lord, lead me in Your righteousness because of my foes; Make Your way straight [3474- def. in Isaiah 40:1-5 above] before me.

9 There is nothing reliable [3559- “what is right, fixed, established, certain”] in what they say; their inward part is destruction [1942- “an engulfing ruin, destruction, a calamity”; Matthew 7:13] itself. Their throat is an open [6607- “doorway, opening, entrance, gate”] grave; They flatter [2505- “to be smooth, slippery, deceitful; to divide, to scatter”] with their tongue [see Jude 16].

10 Hold them guilty, O God; By their own devices [4156- “counsel, plan, principal, device, a purpose”] let them fall 5307- “to be cast down, to fall (away), to let drop”]! In the multitude of their transgressions [6588- “a revolt, rebellion”] thrust them out [5080- “to drive out, banish”], for they are rebellious against You.

11 But let all who take refuge in You be glad, let them ever sing for joy; and may You shelter [5526- “to hedge, fence in, to cover”] them, that those who love Your name may exult in You.

12 For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord, You surround him with favor as with a shield.

NASU


In this Psalm of David, he mentions the same thing that Jesus said in Matthew 7:23 regarding the “workers of iniquity.” He also says in verse 8, “O Lord, lead me in Your righteousness because of my foes; Make Your way straight [3474] before me.” The definition for “straight,” as seen in Isaiah 40:5 above, is “to be right, to be straight, to be level, to be upright, to be just, to be lawful, to be smooth.” One translation was, “lead me in Your righteousness because of those who lie in wait for me.” What I see in this is that because of our enemies who desire to take us down, it’s vital that we are led by His righteousness, of His way of walking “upright.”

It is by knowing the Lord’s will to walk by, and then doing it that we are protected from those who wish to destroy us. Our disobedience to God is what gives an open door to the devil to afflict us. He tempts us to draw us away from walking obediently in Christ, with Him. The wolves lie in wait right outside the Lord’s boundary. It is in this foreign place to the Lord that the “boastful,” foolish virgins dwell as “workers of iniquity” who are not seriously concerned about repenting from in order to separate from after turning to Christ (Hebrews 10:26-31).

David says that with his foes, “There is nothing reliable [3559- “what is right, fixed, established, certain”] in what they say; their inward part is destruction [“an engulfing ruin, destruction, a calamity”; Matthew 7:13] itself. Their throat is an open [“doorway, opening, entrance, gate”] grave; They flatter [“to be smooth, slippery, deceitful; to divide, to scatter”] with their tongue.” Jude writes about these people in the New Testament.

Referring to the angels who rebelled against the Lord, abandoning their secure place of habitation in Him, Jude warns Christians to not follow their example of rebellion. In fact, he says that these people in the church will become “twice dead” (v.12). This means they were dead in their sin, became alive in Christ, and then through continued rebellion without any desire to repent became dead again. Jude says, “These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.” (Jude 16/NIV) As David says, “their inward part [i.e. inner man] is destruction.” They are those who practice the slippery slope of broad-way Christianity “that leads to destruction.” It’s not a place of sure footing in Christ, but one when walking in that manner is sure to cause you to stumble and fall away from Christ, in particular at the end of this age during the great apostasy prophesied by Paul (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12). David strongly declares, “In the multitude of their transgressions [“a revolt, rebellion”] thrust them out [“to drive out, banish”], for they are rebellious against You.”

On the other hand, “But let all who take refuge in You be glad, let them ever sing for joy; and may You shelter [“to hedge, fence in, to cover”] them, that those who love Your name may exult in You. For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O Lord, You surround him with favor as with a shield.” In the few remaining moments we have before His wrath is poured out on earth, may we be moved to seek the Lord’s way of righteousness and then walk in it so that we may be protected from our enemies and be covered by His favor.



The following section is from the Bent Double Bible study;

Paths Of Righteousness


Proverbs 4:10-11; 18-27- This passage is also used in the discussion of Luke 13:11 above. If we will listen and follow (being “doers” of His word, not just hearers), the Lord will lead us along “straight” paths, paths of righteousness that will bring us many years of life (see Isaiah 40:29-31 above). The path, or way of the righteous, the upright, is described as being like the light of dawn that shines brighter and brighter until the “full day.” The full day, or “perfect day” as other versions say, is a reference to God’s children standing erect, being perfected, gaining His glory, in what is referred to in Romans as the “fullness.” Again, we are told to “pay attention” to His words, listening attentively to what He says. Our response will be a matter of life and death. (See the Bible study Narrow Way And Broad Way.)

10 Hear, my son, and accept my sayings, and the years of your life will be many.

11 I have directed you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in upright [3474- “straight”; see def. below] paths.

18 But the path of the righteous [“just, lawful, righteous”] is like the light of dawn [see the Bible study The Womb Of The Dawn], that shines brighter and brighter until the full [3559- “to be erect”; see definition below for more] day.

19 The way of the wicked is like darkness [like those described in Isaiah 60:1-3]; they do not know over what they stumble.

20 My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.

21 Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart.

22 For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their whole body [again, this is the “way” of health and deliverance of the Body of Christ represented by the “bent double” woman].

23 Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.

24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put devious lips far from you.

25 Let your eyes look directly ahead, and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.

26 Watch [6424] the path of your feet, and all your ways will be established [3559].

27 Do not turn to the right nor to the left; turn your foot from evil.

(NAS)


6424 palac (paw-las')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

a primitive root; properly, to roll flat, i.e. prepare (a road); also to revolve, i.e. weigh (mentally):

KJV-- make, ponder, weigh.

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

to weigh, to make level, to balance

a) to weigh out

b) to make level or smooth


3559 kuwn (koon)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

a primitive root; properly, to be erect (i.e. stand perpendicular); hence (causatively) to set up, in a great variety of applications, whether literal (establish, fix, prepare, apply), or figurative (appoint, render sure, proper or prosperous); to be firm, to be stable, to be established



Proverbs 3:5-8- See the note right below.

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

6 In all your ways acknowledge [3045- yada- [yaw-dah’]- “to know, to find out and discern, to distinguish, to recognize, to confess, to declare”] Him, and He will make your paths straight [3474].

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil.

8 It will be healing [“a cure”] to your body, and refreshment [“moisture, refreshment”] to your bones [“bone, body, essence, substance”].

(NAS)

8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.

(NIV)


3474 yashar (yaw-shar')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

a primitive root; to be straight or even; figuratively, to be (causatively, to make) right, pleasant, prosperous:

KJV-- direct, fit, seem good (meet), + please (will), be (esteem, go) right (on), bring (look, make, take the) straight (way), be upright (-ly).

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

to be right, to be straight, to be level, to be upright, to be just, to be lawful, to be smooth

a) (Qal)

1) to go straight

2) to be pleasing, to be agreeable, to be right (figurative)

3) to be straightforward, to be upright

b) (Piel)

1) to make right, to make smooth, to make straight

2) to lead, direct, to lead straight along

3) to esteem right, to approve

c) (Pual) to be made level, to be laid smoothly out

d) (Hiphil) to make straight, to look straight


The only way for the church, the woman, to “straighten up” is through acknowledgment of God in all our ways. Right now we have too much of our ways that we must repent of (see 2 Chronicles 7:13-14, Matthew 22:5, Proverbs 1:31 for the Lord’s rebuke of our way).

Notice in verses 7-8 that IF you and I “fear the Lord and turn away from evil,” not participating together with it in any way, it will be “healing” to our body, and, therefore, the Body of Christ. It also says it will be “refreshment” (“marrow” in the KJV, “strength” in the NKJV) to our bones, which means “moisture.” This is why the fear of the Lord must re-enter the American church. The difficult circumstances we will enter into will accomplish that.

I am reminded of Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel 37. The Hebrew for “dry” is taken from a word that means “to be ashamed, confused or disappointed, to be dry, to be withered (see the Bible study The Withered Hand Restored).” As Ezekiel prophesied, the Spirit of God entered the dry bones and they came to life.

Verse 10 says, “So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet-- a vast army.” The Hebrew for “life” is defined as “to live, to be quickened, to revive, to be restored to life or health.” As the word of the Lord is declared through those whom He sends out, the bent-double woman in the church who has been bound for years will stand up. She will be revived, restored to an upright, righteous state, becoming the army of the Lord used to destroy the enemy (Joel 2:11).

Pertaining to the Day of the Lord, Joel 3:9-10 says, “Proclaim this among the nations: prepare a war; rouse the mighty men! Let all the soldiers draw near, let them come up [5927- “mount up” in Isaiah 40:31 above]! Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, ‘I am a mighty man.’” There is a call from the Lord right now to His deliverer’s to stand up[right] and come up His mountain. Obadiah 1:21 declares, “Deliverers will go up on Mount Zion to govern the mountains of Esau. And the kingdom will be the LORD's.” This is the mountain, Mount Zion, that the Lord’s deliverer’s are being called to ascend. It represents the place of His rule, His government (see the Bible study The Return Of Jesus Christ for much more on Zion.)



Matthew 3:1-3- John’s message was to prepare people’s hearts for the first coming of the Lord. We too must make the necessary preparations (“make ready” in verse 3) in anticipation of His second coming. Straight paths are upright paths; fruits of true repentance.

1 Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying,

2 "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

3 For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet, saying, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight [“upright, true, sincere”]!'"

(NAS)


Acts 9:10-12- After Paul had literally gotten knocked off his high horse, seeing a bright light that was Christ, he was blinded. It’s interesting that he was lying helpless in a house on a street called Straight. Like the woman who was bent double, the Lord, through His servant Ananias, laid hands on him and he was healed. Afterwards Paul stood upright physically and spiritually.

10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Behold, here am I, Lord."

11 And the Lord said to him, "Arise and go to the street called Straight [2117], and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying,

12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight."

(NAS)


2 Peter 2:15- In this passage, Peter is describing false prophets who have left the “straight way.”

15 They have left the straight [2117] way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness.

(NIV)


2117 euthus (yoo-thoos')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

perhaps from 2095 and 5087; straight, i.e. (literally) level, or (figuratively) true; adverbially (of time) at once:

KJV-- anon, by and by, forthwith, immediately, straightway.

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

1) straight, level

2) straight forward, upright, true, sincere

3) straightway, immediately, forthwith



Proverbs 2:12-15- Wicked men leave the “straight paths,” the way of upright speaking and living before God, to walk in the dark, pursuing wickedness. Solomon says that their words are “perverse.” Per the definition of the Hebrew, this means “perversity or fraud.” Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines perverse as “Literally, turned aside; hence, distorted from the right.” In other words, they have exchanged the truth of God for lies (Romans 1:18-27). They will have much blood on their hands. See the article Shelley’s Dream for a three part dream the Lord gave my wife over the course of a year that involved those who were exiting the straight path.

12 Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse,

13 who leave the straight [3476] paths to walk in dark ways,

14 who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil,

15 whose paths are crooked and who are devious in their ways.

(NIV)


3476 yosher (yo'-sher)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from 3474; the right:

KJV-- equity, meet, right, upright (-ness).

(Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon)

straightness, uprightness

a) straightness, evenness (moral implications)

b) rightness, uprightness

c) what is right, what is due



Hebrews 12:11-14- The discipline of the Lord surrounding His children is not pleasant at the time, but, when submitted to, yields His “peaceful fruit of righteousness” within us. The Greek for strengthen refers to the healing of a deformed person, such as the bent double woman. It is in the doing of the word, the upright course of conduct walked out by faith, the righteous rut (see the definition for “paths” in verse 13), that we are healed. As John the Baptist declared, it prepares the way for the Lord to pour out His saving Spirit upon us. Otherwise, our crippled natures will continue to “twist out,” turning away from Christ our healer. We are exhorted to “pursue” (which means “to run after, to press on, to seek after eagerly”) peace with all men, and “the sanctification without no one will see the Lord.” Purity in life and conduct are critical for beholding and entering the way of deliverance in Christ.

11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

12 Therefore, strengthen [461- see def. below~ same word in Luke 13:13 above] the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble [3886- “to loosen, to weaken, to dissolve”],

13 and make [4160- “to do, to form, to fashion, to prepare”] straight [3717] paths [5163- trochia-“a course of conduct, a track of a wheel, a rut”] for your feet, so that [the limb] which is lame may not be put out of joint [1624], but rather be healed [2390].

14 Pursue [1377- dioko- “to run after, to press on, to seek after eagerly”] peace with all men, and the sanctification [“consecration, purification”] without which no one will see the Lord.

(NAS)


461 anorthoo (an-orth-o'-o)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from 303 and a derivative of the base of 3717 [see definition right below]; to straighten up:

KJV-- lift (set) up, make straight.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

1) to set up, make erect; used of a deformed person

2) to rear again, to build anew [see the Bible study Rebuilding The Fallen Tabernacle Of David]


3717 orthos (or-thos')

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

probably from the base of 3735; right (as rising), i.e. (perpendicularly) erect (figuratively, honest), or (horizontally) level or direct:

KJV-- straight, upright.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

straight, erect

a) upright

b) straight, not crooked


1624 ektrepo (ek-trep'-o)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

from 1537 and the base of 5157; to deflect, i.e. turn away (literally or figuratively):

KJV-- avoid, turn (aside, out of the way).

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

1) to turn or twist out; in a medical sense used of dislocated limbs

2) to turn off or aside

3) to be turned aside

4) to turn aside

5) to turn away from, to shun a thing, to avoid meeting or associating with one


2390 iaomai (ee-ah'-om-ahee)

(Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

middle voice of apparently a primary verb; to cure (literally or figuratively):

KJV-- heal, make whole.

(Thayer’s Greek Lexicon)

1) to cure, to heal

2) to make whole; to free from errors and sins, to bring about (one's) salvation


(This is the end of the section from the Bent Double Bible study.)



Mark 13:19-23See the note below.

19 "For those days will be a time of tribulation [2346- “a pressing together, pressure, affliction, anguish, distress”] such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will.

20 "Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect [1588- def. above], whom He chose [1586- “to select, pick out, choose, to choose for oneself”], He shortened the days.

21 "And then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ'; or, 'Behold, He is there'; do not believe him;

22 for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray [635- “to cause to wander away from, seduce, lead into error”], if possible [1415- “able, powerful, mighty, strong”], the elect [1588].

23 "But take heed [991- “to look at, to see, observe, discern, understand, looking at oneself”]; behold, I have told you everything in advance.

NASU


In Jesus’ conversation with Peter, Andrew, James and John, He’s explaining the way things will be at the end of this age. There will be an extremely difficult time known as the tribulation (i.e. Jacob’s trouble) which will be so terrible that if the Lord didn’t shorten those days “no life would have been saved.”

Jesus makes the statement that false Christs and prophets will show signs and wonders “in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect.” “If possible” means that, as we read in 2 Thessalonians 2:4, 8-12 earlier, it can be possible for the “elect,” the select, chosen by God, to be seduced through the lies of the devil. Jesus is warning us, before these things take place, so that we “take heed,” closely watching ourselves and others concerning what is happening around us in order to not be deceived. (See Simon the sorcerer in Acts 8:22, “…if possible…”) Obedience is the key to our preservation. Disobedience, on the other hand, will be the reason for us to be led astray.

In the beginning of this dialogue with His disciples, Jesus, in response to their questions, said, “See to it [991- see v.23 for def.] that no one misleads [4105- “to go astray, to wander or fall away, to lead into error, to deceive”] you. Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He!’ and will mislead [4105] many.” (Mark 1:5-6/NASU) Similar to the definition for the Greek word interpreted in verse 22 as “lead astray,” to be misled is “to be deceived, to be led into error.” Jesus is clearly telling us that there will be many, not just a few who will be deceived by false signs and wonders. Their rebellious hearts have resulted in them being able to be deceived by the devil. When we see these things taking place, as we now are, we need to depend upon the discernment of the Spirit to see who the author is. If possible, the Holy Spirit will let us know whether or not it’s of Him.



Revelation 17:12-14In the final battles of Jesus in this age against the devil and all that is wicked, He comes with His trustworthy followers who are the “called, chosen and faithful” among His disciples.

12 "The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast.

13 They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast.

14 They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings — and with him will be his called [2822], chosen [1588] and faithful [1403- “faithful, trustworthy, reliable”] followers."

NIV


(See part 3; The Lord's New Thing In The Wilderness For The Chosen)




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