Last year I began setting aside a time daily to read the Bible. My first few months were disorganized and had no real purpose other than to read the Word of God daily. In December I decided that I would begin January 1st with a program to read through the Bible in a year. Primarily because I had been listening to people talking about prophesy and those who believe in a pre-tribulation rapture versus those who believe in a post tribulation rapture. There is also a lot of controversy over the word ‘rapture’ because it is not specifically used in scripture. I decided that I wanted to again read the entire Bible to refresh my memory and to make sure I read all the prophesies including those that speak of the return of the Messiah and the resurrection so I could determine for myself just what the Bible says about it and make up my own stupid mind about this rapture controversy.
Well, I am not one to leave a story in the middle of a dramatic plot development. I found myself reading two or three days worth of daily readings almost every day. Today, Sunday May 28th I completed the entire years reading. I picked up a lot of things that I had missed in other readings and refreshed my memory on other things. I read a different version than I had read before. I’ve read several versions over the years and the one I read this time, Holman Christian Standard Bible, was in a more current vernacular than others I’ve read. In the process of reading I relied heavily upon looking up what was originally used by using the e-Sword free Bible software on-line. The e-Sword is in the King James Version and has the ability to look up the Strong’s Concordance references with the click of a mouse. So much more handy than it used to be looking up the passage in a KJV then going to the Strong’s and looking up the words used in the KJV Bible. Technology is wonderful!
I’ve known the passage about putting on the full armor of God for decades. But, it’s been a long time since I really took it to heart. Here is the full reference of which I speak:
Ephesians 6:10-18 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
10 Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. 12 For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. 13 This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. 14 Stand, therefore,
with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest,15 and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace.16 In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.17 Take the helmet of salvation,and the sword of the Spirit,which is God’s word.
18 Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.
I noticed that there a couple of other passages in the New Testament that speaks of putting on the armor as well. Romans 13:12 speaks of putting on the armor of light and also we read in 1 Thessalonians 5:8 where scripture says to put the armor of love and faith on our chests and a helmet of the hope of salvation. I had never before retained these additional passages in my memory.
In my reading this time through I understood better what the full armor of God really means. We must put on Christ because he is the truth that is the belt to which all body armor is attached. His righteousness is the only righteousness that will protect us as our own righteousness is as filthy rags. Our marching boots are the gospel of Jesus Christ, Yeshua, who came to earth as a man without sin to be the sacrifice for our sins that we may have eternal life through him and eternal peace in Christ and with the Heavenly Father, Yahuah. That shield of faith is our faith in Christ and God that all he has promised he will do. This faith in Christ shields us from anything Satan can throw at us in our lives; temptations, persecutions, doubts, troubles, deceptions, anything designed to discourage our faith in the God of Creation and his Son our Savior. That helmet is our salvation where we accept the sacrifice of the Messiah and ask him, by the Holy Spirit, to dwell within our hearts that we may be one with Yeshua as he is one with the Father. Then there is the weapon, the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God and Yeshua is that Word.
John 1:14 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
14 The Word became flesh
and took up residence among us.
We observed His glory,
the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth.
Putting on the full armor of God we are ready to fight the good fight, to go into the battle, the spiritual warfare that we as Christians must fight daily. I don’t fully understand how all these things can be. It is beyond my human ability to fully understand, but, it is not beyond my ability to believe that it is and will be just as written in scripture. I want to be as Abraham who believed Yahuah and it was counted to him as righteousness.
So, now I’ve read the full text of the Word once again. Taking up my sword, I will begin again with a different plan in mind. This time from cover to cover and I am going to use the את CEPHER I got for myself for my birthday this year. All the books, including many that are not included in our current English language Bibles, are placed in the order in which they were written. Included in this translation is the name of God in every place that the tetragrammaton is found, plus every את (eth) found in the Hebrew text is included. The aleph tav, first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet, there has to be a significant meaning that has never been translated into English Bibles when it occurs over 9000 times in the Hebrew texts. Yahuah is the aleph tav, the beginning and the end, the divine. So, everywhere it appears there has to be some divine meaning attached. I’m pretty sure this time it will take me more than 5 months to read through the whole thing, but it will be an adventure.
One last thing, I still haven’t solidified my opinion of this controversy over pre and post tribulation rapture theologies. I think there is more to it than meets the eye or that we understand. See, God doesn’t work on our timeline, he is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. He knows all things and I think that just possibly there are events that are not specifically within our timeline that prophets could only express in their linear thinking. I have decided that I’m not going to worry about it and that I am going to continue to prepare my heart and soul for the return of the King.