End Time Deception and protection from it…

“Take heed that no one deceives you”

Deception can take many forms – unfortunately Christian concern about end times seems to create a particularly fertile ground for all kinds of weird and not so wonderful conspiracy claims. If the enemy can’t mislead someone one into complete rejection of the gospel, he will use whatever he can to corrupt the message ill-prepared Christians are believing, and lead them to focus on something other than Jesus and His revelation.

An important protection is the building of a foundation from Scripture – becoming more familiar with ALL of it, and not isolated verses or groups of verses. And knowing what scripture REALLY says instead of using parts of scripture to support claims unrelated to the gospel of the Kingdom.

Scripture builds up the believer’s discernment, enabling them to distinguish things that are relevant and true regarding God, His character and His purposes, from things that are attempting to draw them away to a different path to follow a false agenda.

As mentioned above, Christian concern about end times is one thing that can open the door for deception. And maybe THIS area is one that we NEED to ensure we are seeing from a BIBLICAL perspective and not according to popular culture or increasing ‘prophetic’ claims.

Regarding the end times Jesus warned His followers NOT to be alarmed by events that must happen, and to take care NOT to be deceived, because false christs (anointed ones) and many false prophets will arise and deceive many. Therefore it is essential that we make sure we equip ourselves to distinguish and separate the lie from the truth.

Books Read 2021: Holy Bible.

I have a ‘Books Read’ page accessible via a tab above. It currently records all of the books I read last year not including my Bible reading.

I start this year’s list with the Bible, because for the first time I read it as a book and not as THE HOLY BIBLE (imagine that being said in a resounding, booming voice, enhanced with a touch of reverb).

It’s NOT the first time I’ve read it1 – but I don’t normally start from Genesis and read straight through to Revelation. My usual practice is to read the books in related sections. For example, I start the NT with Luke (not Matthew) and then Acts followed by Paul’s letters, in the order they were written and not according to the traditional published order.

I also read the OT in a more chronological order instead of reading from Genesis and through to Malachi. It helps me to make better sense of the context of what I’m reading.

I started the year reading (mostly2) only the Bible taking up the #BibleBulldoze challenge issued by Stephanie Quick from FAI. The challenge was set to start on January 1st and run for 28 days, thereby reading the whole Bible in a month.

I did my reading with a CSB Reader’s Bible, printed more like a novel, with a single column of text, and chapter3 and verse numbers removed. It also doesn’t have the usual topic headings that are scattered throughout most Bibles.

That challenge is now completed! I read the last word of Revelation this afternoon: “Amen”.

I started on 30th December instead of waiting until 1 January, and it took 16 days, so I beat the scheduled 28 days by 12 days. I think I averaged a little under 4 hours of reading per day. Gloria finished yesterday, but she started a day before me.

I look forward to starting again tomorrow but this time at a much saner pace. And I’m pleased to be able resume my usual note taking as I read.

One thing that surprised me when I told people about what I was doing – is how many Christians confessed they had never really read the bible consistently, all of it; just bits of it here and there in a piecemeal fashion. So it’s not surprising that so many believers seem to have little idea of God’s overall agenda and how our individual salvation fits into His much larger, and glorious, eternal plan.



1 Last year I read the OT twice and the NT ten times.

2 I did read an occasional chapter of another book, which will probably end up listed as my second book of the year on my Books Read list. Ironically it was a book by Stephanie Quick that I’d started the day before she issued the #BibleBulldoze challenge

3 Chapter verses are given unobtrusively at the bottom of each page instead of interrupting the text itself

#BibleBulldoze Progress

So far this year I’ve done no journaling, and have not made any notes in my journaling bible. It’s all been about reading.

I’ve been using the CSB Reader’s Bible I received for Christmas as I take on the #BibleBulldoze challenge to read the whole Bible in 28 days.

We were supposed to start on 1 January, but I started two days early at the end of December. Gloria started a day earlier on 29th December. She is a little ahead of me, and as I type this she is reading Lamentations after just finishing Jeremiah.

About half an hour ago I finished Isaiah. Both of us are a few days ahead of the reading schedule which should be somewhere around 1 or 2 Chronicles.

Below is a chart of my progress so far, listing book title, number of chapters in the book, the date completed, and the total time taken to read the book.

Psalms is still a work in progress, taking 3 hours 40 minutes to read the first 102 Psalms.

Head Start on Reading Challenge

Why wait until the new year to start the #BibleBulldoze Bible reading challenge?

Gloria started yesterday and has completed both Genesis and Exodus. She is listening to a recording, and reading along in her Bible.

I started it today and read Genesis ( two and a half hours) and Exodus (two hours). I also added Psalms 1-20 (35 minutes). I prefer to read the Psalms in sections rather than the whole book at one time, so will read several Psalms per day to spread the reading of them across the month.

Before I get too far into this project I’ll be changing the order of some of the books in the timetable to match my usual Bible reading order. For example, I’ll be moving 1 & 2 Chronicles to the end of the OT readings to match the Jewish order of books rather than the traditional Bible order.

Also I won’t be reading the gospels one after the other, but will follow my usual reading plan, starting with Luke-Acts, then Paul’s letters in the order they were written, then Matthew will be grouped with James and Hebrews, Mark with Peter’s letters and Jude, and finally John’s gospel followed by his letters and Revelation.

As daunting as it seems at first, I’m finding its not so hard to read so much when you get into the flow of a book. What is also helping is using a “reader’s bible” – one printed more like a normal book: single column, no paragraph headings, and not divided into chapters and verses. There are fewer distractions and less temptation to take breaks after a few chapters.

New Year Challenge

2020 was a very profitable year for my Bible reading.

Making the most of the combination of chemo and covid restrictions, I tried to use the ‘isolation’ time wisely. By the time the relative isolation was no longer necessary, I’d developed a valuable habit and was able to read through the NT ten times and the OT two and a half times within the twelve months.

The following, from Facebook, is a challenge (opportunity) to give 2021 a running start.

I’m going top give it a go…

Anyone else?

Full reading program here: Facebook

Life, Health, Strength (journal 6)

do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity Proverbs 3:1-2

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones. Proverbs 3:7-8

Proverbs reveals more promises for life and health, conditional on heeding God’s word and wisdom.

All of these point to God’s will for His people – clearly He wants us healthy and alive because He wants us to be obedient and free from evil influences. Note the conditions:

  1. Remember and keep His word
  2. Don’t think of ourselves too highly
  3. Fear Him
  4. Avoid evil

These are not isolated cases linking obedience and keeping God’s word with an outcome of health and life. There are many examples, including the previously noted Deuteronomy 30, ‘now choose life’; and Psalm 119 repeats eleven times the phrase ‘preserve my life according to Your word’ (or variations).

The chapter in Proverbs following the two quotes above also promises:

turn your ear to my words.
Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body. Proverbs 4:20-22

Again there is an important linking of relationship with God’s word with our life and health; and in a way that unambiguously shows God’s will regarding the health of His people. Value and heed His word, and life and health are the result.

He Will Baptise with Fire

“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Matt 3:11)

Baptism of fire.

“The axe is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” Matt 3:10

“His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matt 3: 12

Also repeated in Luke 3.

These verses give the context of the only references to baptism in fire in scripture. Note the references given above are NOT repeated in the other gospel accounts that only mention Jesus baptising in the Holy Spirit, with no reference baptising in fire.

From that evidence I’d suggest there’s been a common misunderstanding and misapplication of the idea of “baptism of fire” throughout Charismatic/Pentecostal communities.

Some may point out the Pentecost “tongues of fire” in Acts 2 – but that description is hardly a baptism (immersion), any more than a sprinkling of water is a genuine baptism in water.