Those who are wise will shine
like the bright expanse of the heavens,
and those who lead many to righteousness,
like the stars forever and ever. (Daniel 12:3)
Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world. (Philippians 2:14-15)
In these scriptures, the wise children of God are compared to stars, shining against the blackness of evil. Since the stars were thought to be angels in God’s heavenly council, this verse imagines the exaltation of the wise to a place of privilege within the divine courts. They shine so bright because they lead others to understand God’s plans and resist the unrighteousness of “a crooked and perverted generation“.
Are we in that generation now? How far have we fallen? What is the state of the world today?
Widespread divorce and cohabitation…
Abortion of billions…
Homosexuality, lesbian and transgender lifestyles celebrated…
The bankruptcy of our world…
What is the fruit of this crooked and perverted generation?
Devil’s advocate: are satanists now the good guys in the fight against the evangelical right? The Guardian, August 15, 2019
Now, a documentary threatens to rehabilitate Satan. Directed by Penny Lane, Hail Satan? follows the early adventures of the Satanic Temple, an institution that has hit upon the perfect counter-strategy to the evangelicals’ efforts to recouple church and state. Based in Salem, Massachusetts (where else?), the Satanic Temple is officially recognised as a tax-exempt religious organisation.
Abortions worldwide this year / Worldometer, January 25, 2020
According to WHO, every year in the world there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions. This corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions per day.
In the USA, where nearly half of pregnancies are unintended and four in 10 of these are terminated by abortion, there are over 3,000 abortions per day. Twenty-two percent of all pregnancies in the USA (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion.
The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian / Christianity Today, January 15, 2020
Every day, 8 Christians worldwide are killed because of their faith.
Every week, 182 churches or Christian buildings are attacked.
And every month, 309 Christians are imprisoned unjustly.
So reports the 2020 World Watch List (WWL), the latest annual accounting from Open Doors of the top 50 countries where Christians are the most persecuted for their faith.
“We cannot let this stand,” said David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors USA, during the 2020 list’s unveiling in Washington, DC, this morning. “People are speaking out and we have an obligation to hear their cry.”
The listed nations comprise 260 million Christians suffering high to severe levels of persecution, up from 245 million in last year’s list.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr told a University of Notre Dame Law School audience that attacks on religious liberty have contributed to a moral decline that’s in part manifested by increases in suicides, mental illness and drug addiction. Barr said that our moral decline is not random but “organized destruction.” Namely that “Secularists and their allies have marshaled all the forces of mass communication, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values.”
Where did our traditional values come from?
The Israelites were enslaved by the Egyptians, and around 1,500 B. C. God used a man named Moses to deliver them from their slavery. After leaving Egypt, the Israelites wandered through the wilderness on their way to a good land, which God wanted them to live in. While they were in the wilderness, God gave Moses the law, which Moses taught the Israelites to obey.
Then God spoke all these words:
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.
1. Do not have other gods besides Me.
2. Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. You must not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the fathers’ sin, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commands.
3. Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God, because the Lord will not leave anyone unpunished who misuses His name.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy: You are to labor six days and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. You must not do any work—you, your son or daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the foreigner who is within your gates. For the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything in them in six days; then He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and declared it holy.
5. Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
6. Do not murder.
7. Do not commit adultery.
8. Do not steal.
9. Do not give false testimony against your neighbor.
10. Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female slave, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. (Exodus 20:1-17)
This law provided the infrastructure for their society, for generations to come, and still impacts us today.
In this crooked and perverted generation, how do we shine like stars?
We can focus on the author of our faith:
This is why, since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I never stop giving thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the perception of your mind may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints,and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength. He demonstrated this power in the Messiah by raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavens— far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put everything under His feet, and appointed Him as head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of the One who fills all things in every way. (Ephesians 1:15-23)
Let’s unpack this scripture:
This is why, since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints
* Love is what grows out of your Faith.
* Faith manifests through Love. See Galatians 5:6. Love is the living proof of the Love of Christ in you. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:35
I never stop giving thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.
* Thanksgiving to our God helps us to enter His gates. Praise and thanksgiving brings His presence.
* Prayer for others is a sacrifice given in love for their needs. See Romans 1:9. Intercession is paramount for the Body of Christ and a call to pray and love those who not yet know Jesus, our Messiah. There is a beautiful old song that says: “They will know we are Christians by our Love!” A wonderful witness!
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.
* spirit of Wisdom. Knowing what to do with the revelation Truth.
* revelation knowledge. Truth revealed ONLY by the Holy Spirit, and freely given to us to grow us up in the Image of Christ Jesus – the Pattern Son. We cannot even brag of what we know because He is the One who revealed it to us! See John 14:26.
* Wisdom and revelation knowledge goes beyond our finite minds and reasoning of carnality.
I pray that the perception of your mind may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints,
* the perception of your mind. This refers to your inner man. The perception of your mind needs to be enlightened.
* hope of His calling. Each of us has a calling on our lives. We were born with a purpose and destiny that we need to discover by having open eyes and hearts. See Jeremiah 29:11. See Philippians 3:15. : In Christ Through Christ For Christ With Christ
* the glorious riches. Though we might bask in His glory, all glory belongs to our God. He sometimes gives us a glimpse of His glory and when He does, man humbly falls on his face.
* His inheritance among the saints. The most precious possession is the church (believers). We share in the inheritance that the Father has given Christ Jesus. He gave Himself willingly for all to be saved who choose to believe in Him as the Son of God. See Colossians 1:12. See l Peter 1:4.
and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength.
* immeasurable greatness. YHWH is deserving of all praise and glory! He is the LORD of all, King of Glory! Transcendent, Immeasurable, More-than-Sufficient, I AM! God of the Universe! The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Divine!
* of His power! He is the One True God Divine in all His ways. His power is dunamis power – meaning dynamite power! It is the root word of our English words dynamite, dynamo and dynamic. He can do anything. Jesus said that does what His Father does. He does not do anything that’s powerful without His Father showing Him first.
* to us who believe We have the same inheritance, not because we deserve it or because we earned it, but just because He loves us and has a purpose for us. For those who desire more – spend more time with Him.
* according to the working of His vast strength. Almighty God, Father, Abba, Head over all, omnipresence, Jesus, Son of God, Son of man, Messiah, seated at the Right Hand of the Father. Holy Spirit, Teacher, Counselor, Comforter, Living in Believers.
He demonstrated this power in the Messiah by raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavens—
* raising Him from the dead. Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” John 2:19. He was speaking of Himself. Whom God raised up from the dead, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. Acts 2:24
* seated Him at His right hand. The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” Psalm 110:1
in the heavens
* our earth and sky we see is the first heaven. It is a world with sin due to the demonic realm effecting man and causing him the sin of disobedience. Our earth was made originally to be very beautiful and as a wonderful place for men, women and children to enjoy with Abba Father, Son Jesus and Holy Spirit to commune with us. This was lost to sin by Adam and Eve’s fall.
* the second Heaven is dominated by the demonic angels of many different ranks, who try to kill, steal and destroy mankind and the plans of our God.
* the third Heaven is where our Father and Jesus reign in all power and glory and dominion. It is also where the angels are dispatched to do what the God of Heaven and the Righteous of the earth tell them to do to rescue, heal, instruct, protect and direct.
far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
* His name is above all and He follows what the Father does in complete obedience. Therefore He is honored above all and has dominion over all, but chose to share this dominion with righteous men, women and children.
* not only in this age but also in the one to come. “The Ancient of Days” The One whose existence is eternal. Daniel 7:13
And He put everything under His feet, and appointed Him as head over everything for the church,
* Jesus said, “All authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on earth.” Matthew 28:18. See Hebrews 2:8.
which is His body, the fullness of the One who fills all things in every way.
* so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Romans 12:5. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Colossians 2:9. See l Corinthians 12:6. There is much to glean from the Word of God. Oh taste and see that the Lord is good. Psalm 34:8
As we wait for the imminent Rapture, we remember that we are in the world but we are not of the world. We are members of the human race but we have become citizens of heaven. We were born dead in our sins but have been made alive in Christ and become children of God and joint heirs with Him.. And when we trust Him in every circumstance of life and hold fast to the Word of truth – it will prove ourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God, who are above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation – to His praise and glory!
If you are not sure that you are saved, you can accept Christ into your life right now, by praying:
“Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior.”