The next course I selected as part of my Unschooled Master of Theology program was the KI course, Prophets of the Gentiles, a little 8 lecture course focusing on Jonah, Nahum, and Obadiah. Here are the Discussion Questions for the entire course along with my responses.

As a reminder, you can read all of my course assignments for the uThM here.

So, let’s get started….

KWL – What I Knew Before Starting This Study?

I actually knew very little about these three books, with the exception, of course, of Jonah. I struggle with prophetic books in general as they tend to be quite generic and often cryptic in their wording and meaning.

I had a basic understanding of the Jonah story, but was not really aware that the fourth chapter was his peculiar addendum onto the story proper about the this gourd and the worm and an east wind. How bizare!

KWL – What I Want to Find Out in This Study?

I would like to get an overall better understanding of prophecy in general and specifically end-times understanding. I want to know what events will lead up to the end-times tribulation period (7 years) or the 3 1/2 years if the mid-trip timetable is correct. I chose this course instead of the Revelation course because Daniel was so difficult I wanted something a little lighter to wade through before jumping into a longer book.

Lecture 1 Discussion Questions

1 Explain why Jonah attempted to run from God’s assignment.

Jonah knew God would forgive Nineveh if they repented and he was conflicted by both an nationalist fervor for Israel and out of fear that his prophetic word would not come true (that Nineveh would be judged).

Interestingly enough, God would later use Nineveh as an example against the Jews, stating that Nineveh, a gentile and adulterous nation, would stand up at the judgment and condemn the generation of Jewish people who should have known Jesus’ visitation but did not (Matthew 12:38–41).

2 What made Nineveh unique and relevant in ancient history?

Nineveh was established by Nimrod (Ge 10:11) who was a warrior. The city was large, protected but two massive walls and was self sustaining. Missler’s notes state the population was 600,000 but the Bible state it was 120,000 (or, at least, these were the people who could not determine their right hand from their left). It was a brutal city, known for atrocities against war captives. The knew they were evil and violent (Jonah 3:8) but they could care less (the ends justify the means). It was the capital of the Assyrian Empire. It was the Assyrian army that took Northern Israel, destroyed the walls of Samaria, and plundered the people, scattering them across the gentile land. It was also known for it’s idolatry, its pagan temples.

3 In what ways was Jonah a type of the Messiah?

It’s the only sign given to the “wicked and adulterous generation.” It was this: Jonah was three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The belly of the fish was “hades” (Jonah 2:2), and was then subsequently resurrected.

4 What parallels do you see between the predicament of Nineveh and America?  What might this predict for America’s future?

How much is America today like Nineveh then? America is a fortress on a global hill, yet we are now being surpassed in technology by our enemies. The very freedoms we have been granted are what have led to our ignorance and apathy. New generations are being indoctrinated by a mind virus and the previous generation is so preoccupied with itself that it seems oblivious to the reality that they have sold their children into slavery. The elites in American government and society willingly do evil, are willingly corrupt, but they do not care. Anything is justified by the ends they pursue.

My prediction for America is, we are doomed as a world leader, as a nation, and will be swallowed up by tyranny and corruption and our own debasement. And we have no one to blame but ourselves.

5 Contrast worship and obedience in your own life

How can we worship a God that we do not obey? I don’t know why this is such a difficult concept to grasp. We know from Paul that the war rages on within our own members, between our fleshly bodies and the spirit that indwells in us. We do what we don’t want to do and don’t do what we do want to do (Ro 7:15-25).

I know Missler has vaguely mentioned the concept that believers now have the choice to live by the spirit rather than by the flesh, spirit by spirit, moment by moment. I’ve never been able to understand how this is done exactly and I’m tempted to think it is more so a fanciful tripe than a realistic objective. If Paul could not do the things he knew he ought to do, what chance do I have to do what I know I should do, let alone all that I don’t know I should be doing?

The fact that there is even a chance that I might be saved in the end because of the work of Christ, regardless of the work I do on earth in this life, is itself a miracle. Buddhism does not have this. They state you either do the necessary work to gain the good karma or you meditate enough to reach enlightenment in this life, or you are destined to reappear from the karmic dharma wheel in accordance to your karmic scorecard. Do bad, you are reborn lower on the chain. Do good, you will be reborn higher on the chain. Only nirvana is the escape from the wheel altogether and there is never an explicit explanation of how one does that.

Under Christ, the work is done for us. The work that was started in us by Christ will be fulfilled by Christ. We are called to do the work of the father and that is, “that you believe in Him whom He sent.” (John 6:29).

6 What personal lessons did you learn from this session?

God does whatever he desires to do. We might not think it is correct or right or just, but it is all of these things and the fact that God does it is the reasons these things are so.

7 K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.

God is certainly a god of second chances. He desire that all men to be saved (1 Ti 2:4). Likewise, there is no nationality, no ethnicity bias in God or in his plans and purposes. He might save you or pass you over and save your enemy. In the mystery of the church we have a guarantee in 2 Co 1:22; 5:5; Eph 1:13-14, that our hope in the resurrection will be realized. Our hope is a reliance on Jesus’ words been true, for if he was dishonest or misunderstood or misquoted in any way, then our hope is in vain.

I’ve always found it fascinating how Jesus seems to have gone to intricate detail in authenticating so much of what the modern church and non-believing critics would argue against the validity of Christ or the Bible or Christians as a whole. Modern thinkers discount the veracity of Moses as the Torah author, yet Jesus authenticates him. The same is true of Isaiah or Daniel, yet Jesus went out of his way to establish both as accurate and true. The same can be said for Jonah, a book with much to say about prophecy, yet high critics insist the author was not Job, but a later scribe who wrote after the events took place.

This is all an attempt to delegitimize the Scriptures as a whole in an effort to secularize and twist the Bible to fit the materialist worldview. I’m thankful for the sure foundations that were instilled in me back in the mid 90’s while stationed in Germany, reading the Bible through on my own, book by book, and then immersing myself in the tapes of Chuck Missler and the mentors I had during those early years of my faith. That work has stood the test of false doctrine and false teachers and heretics and non-believers.

Much of Christianity and this walk is a mystery to me. I rarely if ever see clearly the work before me. Only when looking retrospect do I see God’s hand having moved through my life in a powerful way.

May his will be done.

Lecture 2 Discussion Questions

1 Describe at least five distinctions between Sheol (or Hades) and the grave.

These two terms are never synonymous of each other in the Bible. Grave is often used in a plurality (I.e. graves) while Sheol is never used in such a way. In fact, it is spoken of as a location that is other-earthly, residing on earth yet in a much different form than the grave which is more a universal state of being than a grave-site which is a few feet below the surface. One of the distinctions offered in the lecture was that graves can be held as possessions but Hades could not. I would disagree. I don’t think grave here in the biblical context is referring to a grave-site (as is Genesis 23:4-20). The grave is the state of being of the “living soul” as compared to simply the soul that exists without a body, hence is not living. The grave-site is the repository for the body that decomposes and disappears. But the grave universal speaks of the terminus of the living thing, the forceful and unwilling separation of soul form body and both from spirit. It is the combination of the three that constitute the “living being” or “living soul” who is capable of animating and existing the physical dimension. Additionally, we see the body in the grave is inanimate, unconscious, and altogether incongruent with the world of the living. The dead in Sheol, on the other hand, are clearly conscious, awake, able to process thought and exercise reason. They are able to speak and to drink (or at least they think they can).

Yet, despite all of this information, there is little actually written about this alternate dimension simply because the living soul cannot cross between this world and the next. The only account we have is the account of God himself.

2 How does Gehenna differ from Hades (or Sheol)? How are they topologically opposites?

Hades is the netherworld, the realm of the dead (those who have been untethered from their bodily existence). It is described in the Bible as the infernal regions, a dark and dismal place in the depths of the earth, that which is the common receptacle of disembodied souls (which is distinct from disembodied spirits). Within Hades there appears to be three distinct compartments: Abraham’s Bosom (or Paradise), a Place of Torment (this and Paradise are fixed with an impassible gulf between), and Tartarus (the Bottomless Pit). It is claimed in the lecture that Tartarus only appears once in the Bible, but it actually appears 4 times: 2 Peter 2:4; Job 40:15; 41:23; Proverbs 24:51.

Gehenna, on the other hand, is the Lake of Fire described in Revelation 19:20. It is the final place of disposition for all those not written in the Book of Life. It will serve as some kind of extra dimensional prison for Satan, the antichrist, the Beast, for the fallen angels of Genesis 6:2-4; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6, and for the demons who (speculatively) are the disembodied spirits of the Nephilim who died in the flood. This is a place, or a state of existence, where the individual both existences and lives forever and is simultaneously destroyed. It is a concept whose reality is inconceivable to the human mind.

Why all of these supernatural dispositions (states of being) were at some point in Christian theology lumped together under the “hell” label is unknown to me at this point. I can only assume it has to do with the idea that dates back to the first century, that spirits (God, angels, demons, humans after death and in the resurrection) are ethereal, non-tangible, certainly non-fleshly, and are in some form of higher existence without corporeal nature. This is of gnostic influence that the spirit is greater than or more pure than the flesh, with the spirit = godly and the flesh = evil. Both of these ideas are incompatible with the biblical record, since the afterlife is populated with bodily resurrected beings who are thus once again “living souls.” Supernatural beings are not incorporeal, they are other than physical. No where in the Bible is there an instance of a supernatural being “manifesting” as we understand this term to mean of spiritual beings today. Rather, they are there and they are then not there. They eat, breathe, have some kind of substantive form, and carry forward many of the characteristics of the earthly, fleshly body into the future glorified body.

3 Discuss how the worship of Dagon among the Ninevites was relevant to the narrative?

Because Jonah chose to rebel against God’s command to preach to the Ninevites (who worshipped the fish god), he chose a monstrous fish to intercede in Jonah’s escape and bring him back to alignment with his purpose. It had to be quite an ordeal to be eaten whole by a fish, taken underwater for 3 days and 3 nights. He started praying and toward the end of the prayer he states, “I will pay what I have vowed.” This must mean that he was willing at this point to go and preach to those in Nineveh.

4 Discuss what Jonah’s prayer reveals about his change of attitude?

As previously stated, Jonah made a decision at some point between being swallowed by the great fish and his prayer to “sacrifice to [God] with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed.” Whatever it was that sparked his rebellion and disobedience, to the point of going in the opposite direction from Nineveh entirely, that was overriden by the reality that if he did not obey God he would certainly die (if he was not already dead). His disobedience would cost him the remainder of his life and, ultimately, he humbled himself and chose to fulfill God’s command.

5 Explain how the current U.S. Navy submarine technology is relevant to the Book of Jonah? Or is it?

The lectures and notes state that the subs of today can carry hundreds of people aboard while traveling for hundreds of thousands of miles all while submerged. This is something we have no issue believing. It is fact. Yet, we cannot comprehend how God (who created the fish, the sea, Jonah, and everything else on, in, and surrounding planet earth and the entire cosmos of the physical realm) could make room for one individual in the stomach of a fish for 3 days and 3 nights.

There does appear in the language of chapter 2 references to the reality that Jonah most likely died inside the fish, since he was “cast into the heart of the seas” and “the floodwaters surrounded him even to his soul” and he “went down to the moorings of the mountains” and “the earth with its bars closed behind me.” Jonah states in his prayer that God, “brought up his life from the pit” and (at least) his body was cast back onto land.

The miracle here is not how he made this account occur. God has his ways. He has all the ways in existence since he brought those ways into existence simply by thinking of them and willing them into existence. If there is something that is impossible to do in reality or in existence then God can simply will reality to be changed, can bring into existence that which a moment before did not exist.

It is an interesting idea to consider: how did Jonah survive inside the animal for so long? Did air get trapped inside as well (3 days worth)? But why do we have to struggle to apply human principles to what occurs naturally for God? He takes up mud and applies it to human eyes with his fingers and the blind can see. Why does he need the mud? Is it pretense? Is it secret magic? In the end it is yet another example of how we are given very little of the whole story surrounding the functionality of our reality, of this physical dimension, or of the seemingly limitless capacity available within the supernatural realm.

6 How does prayer change things? Share a personal example.

Missler states frequently that prayer is God’s way of enlisting us into what he is already doing. I’m not so sure this covers prayer completely. I’ve prayed in my life for God to save me from people who were out to harm me, who wanted to destroy my life, send me to prison for crimes I never committed – and God spared me and rescued me and held those people back from harming me. I also would pray for months that God would somehow find a way to explicate me from my failed marriage, where everyone involved was living a miserable life. Eventually (within the year), my wife made the decision (without me mentioning that I was unhappy in the marriage at all) that she no longer wanted to be married and wanted to go back to her old life and her old ways before she was a believer. I was freed and since then I’ve lived a life of solitude and contemplation that has rivaled those years of miserable marriage and all the years growing up before that.

But, was that answer to my prayers? If God wants two married individuals to remain together, would he agree to pull them apart because of prayer?

Why did God let Jonah go? His grave was most likely in the belly of that peculiar fish, and if he had not repented, he probably would have been left there to die (or already dead) until the resurrection. Would he have forfeited his salvation? Jonah seems pretty determined not to live. On the ship he seemed to have no fear, either of the storm or from the actions of the crew in throwing him overboard. We find later on, after the Ninevites were spared destruction that Jonah was heartbroken and asked that God would kill him. He was “angry.” He states, “it is better for me to die than to live!”

I can relate. For the longest time now, I’ve regretted my existence on this earth and have prayed frequently the prayer of Jonah, “God, it would be better not to live.” I have no interest any longer in the things of people, in their conventions like marriage or raising children or having a career. The church seemingly has no interest in my service, there is no monastery that will accept me, I am ill-fitted for life as a hermit (apparently), and current events seem to spell out the revealing of the new system that will destroy all of western culture and pave the way for the antichrist and his demands.

But, I also question Jonah’s premise. He certainly seems to question it himself while he’s in the fish. Is it really better to die than to live? If we are creatures made to indwell a body (whether that be a fallen, physical body or an immortal, spiritual-tangible body), and everything within our physical bodies and those physical systems that make up that body seem to be programed against death, to fight death at all costs, it makes me question the very premise, the ramifications of death itself. If death is the consequence of sin, and sin is the consequence of the fall (but then which came first sin or the fall), and humans were not originally (as in before the foundations of the world) designed to be a disembodied soul (i.e. exist as a soul without a body which is the state of death) then it stands to reason that death is a bad thing universally, at its core. It is not a natural state of man to be dead. It is not part of a “natural” process. It is wholly unnatural. Hades (Paradise and Torment) are temporary dwelling places, prisons on a dimensional level, in which humans will be trapped for all eternity if our King has not actually risen, and he does not redeem us at the end.

So, in light of this, how great can Paradise be if it is an unnatural state brought about by the curse? I recognize that at the end of Revelation 20 and beginning in chapter 21, there will be a new earth and a new heaven. All the old things have passed away. But this certainly does not occur immediately after death and before the resurrection. Who know how much time spans between these two points. For those in the first century that died (as they all have at this point) it has been 2000+ years. For me it could be an unknowable number of years (or I might be fortunate enough to be one who is raptured without being resurrected).

For me, prayer cannot be wrapped up as easily as it being a way for God to enlist humans in what he’s already preordained to occur. God does change his mind. There are things that were preordained that did not actually occur in the end. God relented. It is the mechanism by which we have been given a pathway of communication to our creator, as mysterious as it is. I think in this day and age it is more important to use it than to consider how or why it works as it does.

7 K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.

There is no escape from the will of God. If he has determined that you do something it will be accomplished at some point, in some way. What concerns me is when there appears to be no will concerning an individual’s life. There is a great deal of talk about “making your calling and election sure,” and determining what it is God is calling an individual to do. But, what if you have been waiting your entire life as a Christian and yet nothing materializes.

Likewise, I wonder if Jonah hadn’t changed his mind while indisposed, would God have accepted his decision (which was against God’s original will) and left Jonah in the belly of the fish as punishment or consequence for choosing to run? If so, what things could we have been preordained to do in our lives that were not actually realized because of our choices? Is it possible for an individual to miss the mark on their calling and election and yet still be saved in the end (as through fire)? If Jonah would have persisted in his disobedience, would he have forfeited his place in the Kingdom? At no time did he appear to doubt God’s existence. At no time did he appear to doubt God’s call on his life. It was simply a choice in that God was asking him to do something that convicted with his own, personal sense of morality and justice. Yet, God seems to have allowed Jonah to disobey. He put a storm in his way to the point that he was thrown overboard. Then he put a fish in his way to the point that he was swallowed whole.

What if there is no storm placed in an individual’s life? No fish blocking your way? No ministry opportunities?

One church I attended several years ago had a saying that it didn’t really matter what God was calling you to, you just needed to dig in and start participating. It didn’t matter in what. This of course was a veiled attempt to cover over the limiting nature of modern, evangelicalism. In any given church there are only so many “ministry” positions available. But there are always “jobs” that go unfilled because no one feels called to do them. The reality is, none of the jobs or ministry positions in a modern church have anything to do with an individual’s “calling and election.” Likewise, just doing a job that is available is not fulfilling your call.

It is clear that “…we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). The difficulty, at least I’ve found in the last 30+ years, has been determining what those “good works” actually are.

Lecture 3 Discussion Questions

Discuss the parallels of the story of Jonah and the story of Israel.

The stories of both Jonah and Israel are about second chances. Jonah was called twice and so was Israel. In fact, the nation was called back many times, God attempts reconciliation with Israel, even to today (Isa 11:11f; 61:5f Rom 11:15; Ezek 36: 24f; Zech 8: 20-23; Gen12:3; Isa43:10f; Ex19:5-6). They both suffered failure and consequences for their actions and were preserved (or will be) supernaturally by God (Deut30:1-5).

Explain in what ways the story of Nineveh was a rebuke to Israel.

The fact that a gentile nation from the king to the pauper repented after hearing a declaration from one of God’s prophets (a foreigner to them) was a testament against Israel, who had countless prophets sent to her and yet she would not repent and would not abandon their worship of idols.

Contrast the response of Nineveh to Jonah’s message with that of the Northern Kingdom of Israel to Hosea’s.

Jonah went to the people of Nineveh after the incident with the big fish and simply declared what would happen to them in 40 days, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” He didn’t try to convince them, didn’t try to explain to them why or what for because deep down he wanted them to be judged and ultimately destroyed.

Israel on the other hand had their prophet come to them with explanation and
Nineveh was a pagan people and Jonah was a stranger, a Jew. Yet they repented of their sins nationally.

Israel on the other hand claimed to be God’s people, yet ignored their own prophets and refused to repent. Their prophets told them that God was a loving and caring God and had provided both their prosperity and abundance, and if they did not turn from their ways God would be required to punish them. They were warned again and again, that God would use their enemies to destroy them. Yet, while Israel never repented from their idolatry, those in Nineveh heeded the truth of Jonah’s words and turned from their sin.

Name six people that could testify of our God being the “God of the Second Chance.”

Abraham (Ge 12:15; 20:2)
Moses (Ex 2:12)
David (2 Sa 11:4-15)
Peter (Matt 26:74)
John Mark (Acts 13:13
Jonah (Jonah 1-4)

Discuss in what ways Hosea’s message produced fruit?  (Cf. Isaiah 55:11)

The greatest way this prophecy from Hosea produced fruit was by providing an example to future generations in the record of the Bible. From the time the biblical account was written, as Paul declares, “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Ro 15:44). It is by Israel’s continued “blindness in part” that a way for the gentiles has been provided (Ro 11:25).

Discuss the role of “40” (days, years, etc.) in the Bible.  What justifiable conclusions can you draw?

There are many instances of “40” throughout the Bible. In Genesis 7:17 we have the rains falling on the earth for 40 days that resulted in the global flood that wiped out not only all humans on earth but also all living creatures both natural and supernatural. In Exodus 24:18 we see Moses asending the mountain and remaining there in the cloud for 40 days. Later we see the nation of Israel wandering in the desert for 40 years (Nu 14ff) and in 1 Kings 19:8 Elijah spends 40 days in preparation. Lastly, we see Christ fasting for 40 days in Matthew 4:2.

Interestingly, Missler points out in the lecture that it’s possible we also have our own experiences of 40 in our lives. I cannot personally think of any. The passages he referenced are 1 Th 5:6-9, Hebrews 9:27,a nd John 5:24.

I would agree that we should no longer sleep as the rest of the world does, oblivious to the signs of the times, to the inexplicable moral decay all around us. I take to hear the call of Christ, to be “sober.” It is a true claim, “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment..” How quickly this life passes before us and how easy it is to simply coast alone and do nothing and be nothing to anyone. I personally struggle with a Jonahic disposition toward the entire world. I can’t stand humans. As the adage goes, “Hell is other people.” I would rather see the world swallowed up in chaos and destruction than people be saved. Most people have nothing in them that would qualify them for salvation. No one deserves it. Most people go about life strictly in it for themselves, only concerned with how they feel, and believe they are entitled to a reality in which everything goes the way they want it, regardless of how it hurts the people around them.

The only hope I really have is in Christ Jesus, as John states, “he who hears My word and believes in hi who sent me has everlasting life and shall not come into judgment but has passed from death into life.”

This is really the only shot I have, the only hope I can rely on. If God will accept the work of Christ on the cross, the spilling of his blood on behalf of my sin, then there is a chance for me. I’m not concerned with rewards or with great apostolic feats. Better it is for a man to be a servant in the Kingdom of God than a King in the Lake of Fire. I trust whatever it is God has prepared beforehand for me, as whatever he has devised, I know it is by and far better than anything I could have ever conceived.

K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.

The cycle of a nation is an interesting proposition, as America seems to be following it verbatim. From our bondage that led to the founding of the country, to our spiritual faith (though I’m not certain there was such in America at the founding of the country), to liberty, to prosperity, then complacency, to apathy, and finally ending in dependency and a return to bondage.

Our lack of enemies echos that of Israel. Prosperity seems to spoil the masses and only through hardship are people awakened to the reality that surrounds them. Our society may never again experience the freedom I remember growing up. The sheer autonomy may never been known again. For much of the world, the American Dream has been just that – a dream. I was fortunate enough to have been born into it, been raised up in it, and now can see it falling apart, crumbling under its own straining weight.

Unless there is a response to the debased nature of our culture today, which I don’t see occurring (especially not as prescribed by Missler in the lecture – grass roots revival), the culture of freedom and independence, liberty and autonomy are gone. In their stead will be fear and restriction, propaganda and perversion, deception and evil intent, which is in the heart of every man. There will be no hope remaining for the America I grew up in. That kind of life is a thing of the past if it ever truly existed in the first place.

Lecture 4 Discussion Questions

Discuss the errors of Jonah’s attitude throughout the book of Jonah.

Jonah had a personal issue with saving the people in Nineveh. They were Israel’s enemy (though I struggle to find in biblical text or commentary examples specifically supporting this) and he did not want them to escape their punishment. So, he disobeyed God’s command.

It is difficult for me to assign blame to Jonah without knowing with certainty the rationale he was operating under. But, to some degree (at least all those that actually matter), maybe the justification, as honorable or as genuine as it might be, does not matter when one finds himself operating against God.

I’m curious about Jonah’s disagreement with God because, despite finally relenting and warning the Ninevites, when the outcome he dreaded occurred, Jonah was still angry and apparently plagued by dispair, to the point that he wanted God to kill him rather than go on living.

Interestingly, despite the setback Jonah experienced, he was not willing to kill himself. So it does appear as if Jonah was not depressed (as we would consider such today), but was in objection theoretically or ethically or morally to God’s providential choice to spare those in Nineveh.

Disappointedly, in the notes on this section there is a comment, “Guaranteed depression: remove yourself from people…” This is wholly simplistic and actually unbiblical. The word isolate is used only once in the Bible in this kind of context and that is in Proverbs 1. But this is just particular to the translation. It is also translated “he breaks out” and “he quarrels” and “he rages” and “he rebels.” At the same time, there are many examples in the Bible of individuals going out on their own, to be alone, and for extended periods of time, even for most of their lives (Jesus, Ezekiel, John the Baptist, etc). There is also a massive portion of Church History starting in the 400’s AD that illustrate many of the benefits to those who are called to a solitary life. Additionally, the collection of documents that we today call the Bible, God providentially entrusted to the hands of countless generations of scribes who meticulously copied and preserved for future believers. It is short-sighted (and I think a blind spot among Protestants, and especially evangelicals, to paint such a broad and condemning brush over such a large section of Christianity.

Over the course of my 46 years on this planet, hands down, the biggest difficulty I’ve had, the greatest challenges, the most painful lessons I’ve experienced have been at the hands of other people. Likewise, throughout my 20’s and 30’s, as I tried again and again to find a fit in the local church, I continually felt the fraud, as if I were faking who I was and what I was doing, constantly drained, conflicted and compromised. It was not until I made the decision to live as I truly felt called, to embrace who I was as an introvert, as someone who has never been naturally drawn to the company of people, that I really felt at home in my own skin. The last 10+ years have been blissful for me in this respect. The solitary life is not an easy one. It carries with it its own challenges. But it should not be so arbitrarily dismissed.

Jonah was not going off on his own in Chapter 4. He went out of the city to get perspective on the entire city. For some reason, he either anticipated the city’s destruction (most likely because of God’s prophetic condemnation – much like the issue with Abraham sacrificing his son – God said through is seed the whole world would be populated but at the same time he’d just called for the boy’s head. It was a God-sized problem of God’s own creation) or was interested in how God would equal out the equation. Of course, in hindsight, we know that God both spared Nineveh and also destroyed her. Her grace was not eternal but provisional. It delayed the original judgment by 150 years; way beyond Jonah’s purview (since by all accounts of the intermediate state, it is unclear at best if the dead are kept current of world events (Luke 16:19ff).

Explain the main lessons of the “gourd, the worm(s), and the east wind.”

It was difficult for me at first to understand the last chapter of Jonah. It seems distinct from the narrative of Chapters 1-3, as if appended onto it at a later date, or for a different purpose.

But, trying to piece together a consistent theme throughout, I think this is the best explanation. The gourd is the grace and mercy and comfort we are afforded in this life and all of it is a gift from God. The lesson here God was teaching Jonah was the gourd he extended to Jonah is the same as the grace he extended to Nineveh: here today and gone tomorrow. Jonah did not have a cosmic perspective in mind, he had a spacial, earthly, mortal one. He could not see 150 years into the future when his sworn enemy (unsubstantiated) would ultimately be destroyed. He was impatient in God’s good pleasure.

The same was true, though, for God’s provision given to Jonah with the gourd. It provided comfort and respite and peace from the environment (sun and rain and wind) but it was only passing. Now, Jonah was fine with the provide he was granted. He reveled in it. It changed his entire disposition while he had it. But within the day, the worm(s) came in and killed the provision (God took it away), and the wind was at him and made for a great discomfort. Anyone who has spent any time out in the woods or out in the environment unprotected knows exactly how Jonah must have felt. A camping trip is great in the warm summer months, but your entire personality and disposition can change at the sight of rain on the horizon. Nasty weather makes for a much different experience entirely.

Jonah was fine with his provision. But, for whatever reason, he was not okay with the people of Nineveh receiving any kind of provision, despite the severity difference. Jonah was just one person. Nineveh had, as God put it, 120,000 people who did not know their right from their left (could he be indicating innocent people despite the culture they were living in?).

Jonah was shortsighted. He could not see how he allowed his emotional state to change, his spiritual state as well, based on the provision he was given, despite the reality that God “makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Ma 5:45). Paul described it best, “godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content” (1 Ti 6:6-7).

If God loved the Ninevites, explain why He pronounced judgment upon them.

It is the same rationale behind John 3:16. In spite of (or because) God loved the world he gave his son so there was a path to redemption. God did not cause everyone to be sentenced to the Lake of Fire (depending on your view of predestination that is), but provided the only path out of it (because) he loved everyone. He is “…longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pe 3:9). But, this is, of course, not the entire story, as some details and some of the context have been obscured from mortal view.

Judgment was pronounced on Nineveh because of their sin and all people who live on the earth from the time of Adam to the time of the end must give an account of everything they’ve said or done. It is by God’s mercy that we all haven’t been wiped out and the majority of us ceased to be before we were ever born. Imagine being dead in our trespasses before we ever had the chance to experience them yet still being held responsible for them.

God balances his necessity toward justice (his view of justice not our own) with his desire for mercy that springs from his love for us.

Explain why the 4th chapter is included in the book of Jonah.

This was explained I think in a previous question. It was added as a lesson for Jonah (or Jonah became a case study) in how he was incorrect in accepting provision (comfort) for himself but denying it for those in Nineveh. It illustrated how the provision granted to Nineveh came with string attached (it was just a deployment not a non-guilty finding), just like the gourd survived only for a period of time. Jonah was basically being told to count his blessings where he can, accept what he cannot change, be content in all things, and give thanks to God always.

Are there “gourds, worms, and the east wind(s)” in your personal life?  Share how you are dealing with them.

Until this course I had no idea what kind of ministry God was calling me to. I’m still rather skeptical, I think because I’m instinctively equating a “correct” calling with an outwardly successful calling (i.e. financial, influencial).

I’m also struggling with a literal lack of gourds and a literal east wind (though mine is typically a northern wind). I have property that I hope to one day build a sustainable hermitage on and live out the rest of my days there in solitude. But, I’m struggling in my middle age, with illness, with lack of youthful exuperance to live the life I’ve always dreamed of. Maybe it is something I’ve romanticized and is not something I really want (i.e. like Lot I enjoy the comforts and ease of city life) or I’m being presented with struggles because my desire to seek a solitary life is misplaced, or I’m just not well-suited for such an arduous existence – I don’t know.

I see my neighbors all around me with their giant power boats and their elaborate McMansions scattered over the hills, and I wonder how they ever managed to carve out such a pristine existence? Is it all because of money? Does it boil down to wealth affording the affluent the life of my own dreams? Or am I not worthy? Would I be able to carve out my own paradise if only I were willing to put in the necessary work?

Discuss the eschatalogical implications of the removal of Lot prior to the judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah?

The fact that Lot had to be removed prior to God’s judgment indicates that for those believers who are living when Jesus comes with the wrath of God to destroy the earth and its inhabitants, they will need to be removed prior to that event begins.

This, of course, is predicated on the idea that believers who are saved by grace will not be allowed to endure the tribulation period. Pre-Tribs would argue that they must be removed before the 7 year period begins, but Mid-Tribs (which I think I am) and Pre-Wraths state that the church will and can go through the first 3 1/2 years of general tribulations but will be removed before the second half of the 7 year period (which is when God pours out his wrath on the whole world).

I do see places in the Bible where it indicates (though not directly) that believers will escape the judgment of God. I do not see where it states the rapture will occur before the 7th trumpet (last trumpet).

K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.

There were actually several things in this lecture that I had never heard of before. First, I had never heard anyone remark that the kosher laws are modern day contrivance and not biblical. I have heard it is used today as a money-making tactic for those involved.

Second, I never made the connection between Jonah and Jesus, that both preached a message that was used to save gentiles. Jonah, though, did so in protest, not wanting the Ninevites to experience any kind of grace. Jesus, on the other hand, certainly desired salvation for everyone. But, his went even further, as he not only desired for everyone in the first century generation to be saved but every generation before and after and also those generations that do not yet exist in the future (however many there may be). Extrapolating even further, if there are civilizations in existence on other planets in this physical dimension (or any virtually any dimension) that is in need of salvation, Jesus likewise had them in mind, too, since to be saved they will need to look at the work of Christ on the cross on the planet earth at the time it occurred (just as the OT saints looked forward to Christ’s coming and were saved). It would even stand to reason that any additional future creative events Christ/God/Spirit chose to endeavor in (after Revelation 22), they too would look back toward the cross (on earth) for their salvation.

Lastly, this was really the first time I’ve heard Missler (or maybe the first time I was oriented to hear it) talk about Koinonia Institute being a Christian think tank, and that it has several features I would be interested in finding more information about.

1. He mentioned that KI had Research Associates. Are these different than Student Assistants? I know Research Associates are affiliated with the Issachar track? I assume if you finish this you are qualified? Are there other qualifications?
2. He mentioned that KI had Internships? Are these different than the Israel tours?
3. I would assume #1 and #2 are volunteer positions. What exactly do these individuals do? How do they work?
4. He also mentions Special Projects. Is there any information about these? Is there active research being conducted at KI in any area?
5. He mentions Discipleship Centers? What are these?
6. He also mentions Regional Ambassadorships? What are these?
7. He mentions the Issachar Data Base (IDB)? Is this still in existence? Has it ever been implemented? If so, do students at KI or Research Associates have access?

[For those who might be interested in the above “positions” at KI, I’ll let you know what the response was from the KI administrators. These were projects/positions initially proposed in the early days of KI and either never came to actual fruition or were discarded after Dr. Missler’s death.]

Lecture 5 Discussion Questions

What personal application(s) can you make from your study of Nahum?

The one thing I take away from reading Nahum is the God is always faithful and fulfills his promises utterly. Jonah was distressed at the forgiveness God granted Nineveh 150 years before, but this simply illustrated God’s long-suffering nature. This became a teaching moment with Jonah (and with us), and yet God fulfilled both the mercy of his will toward those in Nineveh who “did not know their right from their left” and his justice of his will toward the Israelites (most specifically Judah).

I think it’s sobering that the ten tribes were utterly lost before Nineveh was destroyed.

Discuss how God can inspire serious reverence and respect without causing fear.

Personally I don’t think this is correct. Proverbs 1:7 states, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Paul also clarifies, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (He 10:31). The very nature, the very fundamental reality of God is so beyond anything we could possibly even comprehend, fear is a natural bi-product of this. Fear is actually a good emotion to feel when what you fear is legitimately fearful.

What would be missing from your picture of God if Nahum were left out of the Bible?

We would not have a picture of God’s ultimate justice against Nineveh, nor would we see the fulfillment of the prophecies Jonah originally leveled against them.

Name five characteristics of God that Nahum describes for us in chapter one.

God is jealous, wrathful, slow to anger, great in power, and good.

Read Nahum 1:2-3 and Hebrews 10:26-31.  Explain God’s goodness and severity as if you’re explaining it to someone who does not know God.

God is unique. He is not only simultaneously a God of love and a God of wrath, but he is the only true and living God (Jeremiah 10:10). He is slow to anger, great in power. He does not allow the wicked to escape judgment. In fact, God has a special interest in working all things together for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28).

Nahum interestingly describes God as “…having his way int he whirlwind and in the storm…” and “the clouds are the dust of his feet.”

This is an interesting set of phrases, which one commentary in my collection wholly skips. Yet, the UBS Handbook speculates that this verse likens the coming of God with the ability to track a traveler on the dry roads of Palestine because of the dust clouds his feet raised. It provides a provocative allusion to the words of John, “He is coming with clouds” (Re 1:7) and again in Daniel 7:13, Matthew 24:30 and 26:64. We likewise see it in Job 38:1, when God answered out of the whirlwind.

There is, indeed, a complexity or severity found in the God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of the Christ, who is Jesus, that cannot fully or completely be apprehended. Psalm 18:9-11 states, “He bowed the heavens also, and came down with darkness under his feet. He rode upon a cherub, and flew; he flew upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness his secret place; his copy around him was dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.”

The very idea that terms like “dark waters” and “darkness was he secret place” are exhilarating to me. It indicates our failure (either by limitation of our language or our knowledge) to adequately describe the fullness or completeness of who the God of the Bible truly and fundamentally is. He is not just the quaint, passive, God of modern seeker-sensitive evangelicalism. He is also a jealous, vengeful, furious, wrathful God, who makes no provision for willful sin, who appears to harbor now mercy toward those in his direct command who violate the law of heaven (Jude 6; 2 Peter 2:4; Lu 10:18). Only a certain and fearful expectation of judgment await his adversaries, those who reject the Law (and are thusly condemned by it), and who trample Christ underfoot. The only expectation is fear and loathing for God says,“Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” and “The LORD will judge His people.”

Explain what the Tigris River had to do with the fall of Nineveh.

The city wall ran alongside the Tigris for 2 1/2 miles and a section of this wall was broken and this flooded the city.

K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.

I struggle greatly with prophetic books of the Bible. I always have. Certainly, I find difficulty in personally applying their content to my own life and existence in general, but I really have a problem with the endless applications of prophetic verses that have little to no direct connection to either world events or no way to verify those connections. Too many would-be modern prophets or end time evangelists spout off about apache helicopters and Revelation 9:10 or the wound of Revelation 13:3 as the removal of the Berlin Wall.

Prophecy is way too cryptic, convoluted, and all too vague to be of much practical use. Just saying this verse or that verse applies to this or that current event does not make it so and the history of the church is replete with date-setters and arbiters of “God’s will” in this or that matter.

Every generation has been convinced it was living in the end times. They’ve so far all been wrong with a 100% track record. Why should we assume our current tribulation is any different? If 2000 years are any indication, we have no idea what will occur next on the global stage, what God is doing or how the world will respond. I never could imagine a scenario where America or any western country would or could willing give up their freedoms and rights. Yet, today I do not struggle to offer examples of just that. It seems humanity is its own worst enemy. When left unchecked by sorrow or plight or struggle, the fallen human condition (and maybe even the immortal one – hence the Garden incident) demands its own self-destruction. Christ could indeed return I the very next breath, but his return could still be 1000 years off. There is no way to tell and no prophecy in the Bible seems to indicate where we are in God’s timetable.

I wrestle with what I’ve been given, this faith in a God I do not understand, with a timeline of both the world and my own individual existence where neither are fully in view, and I prepare myself psychologically for my own death. I’m not certain I understand very much, if anything at all, about a God that claims to love me, yet simultaneously seems disinterested in everything about me or about my concerns or my anxiety.

What must I endure in the future? What does humanity have to do to escape this godawful existence on earth? To be born into sin, without hope, for a sinful and fallen nature being all that I’ve ever known throughout my entire 46 years of existence, it is difficult for me to even ask the right questions, let alone attempt to find the answers.

Lecture 6 Discussion Questions

Discuss how Esau and Jacob developed in accord with their natural characteristics.

Esau was hairy and his name is connected to Seir and admoni “red” or Edom, which is the name of his descendants.

Jacob was born grasping the hell of his brother, and his name is connotative of “deceitful, sly, insidious” but literally means “may God protect.” Interestingly, when I was a new believer in Germany, a friend of mine sat in front of me in Church one morning and told me he and his wife had just named their new son Jacob. I immediately found it odd and remarked, “You know what that name means, right?” My friend was noticeably upset when I showed him the footnote in my Bible but then seemed to brush it off. A week later, I saw in the bulletin, my friend spelled his newborn son’s name Jakob instead. Needless to say, my friend was not an avid studier of God’s Word.

Discuss the origin of today’s “Palestinians.”

This topic I find quite provocative. I’ve always wondered where the Palestinians came from since no one in the Middle East seems interested in claiming them or even helping them. From Abraham’s three wives (Sarah, Hagar, and Keturah) we have 3 children. Isaac produces the Israelites, but also from Esau and his Ishmaelite wife we have the Edomites which are grouped together with all the descendants of Hagar and Keturah. I always assumed Arabs were descendant from Ishmael, but did not recognize the Edomite connection.

I’m curious why the Saudi’s do not foster some kind of comradery with their Ishmaelite kin, but why would they since they are a distinct offshoot from Keturah through Jokshan. I also never knew Bedouins were an ethnic people group; I thought they were a nomadic lifestyle. I wonder what the relationship is like between them and the Saudis since they are more closely connected. I would also like to explore further the lineage of Esau and his wife and how they developed specifically into the Edomites.

Discuss the origin of the Saudi Arabians and Bedouin Arabs as contrasted with the general term “Arabs.”  Why do you believe the press does not make this distinction?

As described in the previous question, the Saudis and Bedouins sprang from sons of Keturah, Abraham’s third wife. They are considered “Arab” under the auspices that they are other than the descendants of Isaac through Jacob (from Abraham’s first wife Sarah).

As far as the press, they don’t want to deal with clarity or facts at all. They are under the sway of the spirit of the antichrist and will do anything they can to confuse and compromise the current political powder keg that is the Middle East. I would imagine by this point their reputation and standing is below that of the lawyer or tax collector.

Briefly explain the Barkhba revolt and how it historically affected the Land.

Known as the Jewish Expedition, this was revolt led by Simon bar Kokhba against Rome in the mid second century. It was the third and last of the Jewish-Roman wars. It resulted in large-scale depopulation of the region with over 500,000 Jews being killed. Nearly 1000 villages were destroyed with many Jewish war captives being sold into slavery. The aftermath motivated Roman leaders to erase Judea or Ancient Israel by removing their Jewish names and replacing them with Palestinians as the descriptor for the people living there. It is viewed as an effort to sever the connection of the Jews from their historical homeland. The Jewish people were subsequently barred from Jerusalem and without a temple Jewish messianism was replaced with rabbinic Judaism, a spiritualized and allegorical form of religious belief (similar to the Christian allegorization after the legalization of Christianity after the 400’s.

God often reverses the natural order of man.  Explain why Reuben was a by-passed first born.

Based on Deut 21:17, Reuben should have received a double share of the inheritance from Jacob. But, this did not occur and the double portion was given to Joseph (Ge 48:21-22) because of Reuben’s moral character defect. Jacob compares his son to an uncontrolled, destructive flood, without self-control in reference to Reuben sleeping with Bilhah, his father’s concubine (Ge 35:22; 1 Ch 5:1-2).

Briefly compare and contrast Jerusalem’s destruction in 586 BC and 70 AD. 

The destruction of Jerusalem in both 586 BC and 70 AD have many similarities. In both the Jewish people experienced terrible deprivation, starvations, and brutality. In the first raze, though, the total death tole is unknown and less than 5000 were taken into captivity. This is starkly contrasted by the second raze where Josephus claims over a million were killed, almost 100,000 were enslaved, with thousands of those being forced into the gladiator games where they were eventually killed for sport.

Similarly in both, the leadership of the rebellions were captured. Zedekiah and the other leaders of the first raze were forced to witness their sons being murdered, with Zedekiah then losing his eyes and being taken into captivity in Babylon where he spent the rest of his life in prison. Similar fates were experienced by many of the Zealots in the second raze, though they struggled to establish a dependable leadership due to infighting, which resulted in poor training and a lack of discipline. One example of this when crowds of fighters gathered at the gates only to be trampled by their fellow soldiers when in the fray.

Both saw a remnant in the land after the battles were over, but this was short-lived for those of the first raze. Some returned after fleeing when a Jewish governor was installed, but he was murdered a few months into his office and those who remained fled to Egypt. It was a little different after 70 AD as there were at least three strongholds that stood against Rome. Herodium and Machaerus fell quickly but when Masada was taken, the Roman soldiers discovered those inside had committed mass suicide.

In both instances, the Temple was destroyed completely, plundered, and the utensils were carted off and paraded as spoils of victory.

K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.

I did not realize how horrendous these destructions were or how many people had lost their lives in the may-lay. The 70 AD destruction seems more brutal just in sheer numbers of lost if nothing else. The fact that many were carted off and forced to die in the arenas as fighters is a wonderment of human brutality. It makes me wonder what things Christians and opponents of the New World Order and the antichrist will have to endure. Will it be live events, televised globally, with believers having to wrestle with wild animals or fight robots or some unearthly creature concocted in a lab?

There certainly is no shortage of madness in the mind of man.

Lecture 7 Discussion Questions

List the 12 Old Testament men named Obadiah and their corresponding scriptural references.

A chief in the household of King Ahab (1 Kings 18:3), a chief of the tribe of Issachar (1 Chr. 7:3), a descendant of Saul (1 Chr. 8:38), a Levite, after the Captivity (1 Chr. 9:16), a Gadite who joined David at Ziklag (1 Chr. 12:9), a prince of Zebulun in the time of David (1 Chr. 27:19), one of the princes sent by Jehoshaphat to instruct the people in the law (2 Chr. 17:7), a Levite who superintended the repairs of the temple under Josiah (2 Chr. 34:12), one who accompanied Ezra on the return from Babylon (Ezra 8:9), the head of a family who went up with Ezra from Babylon (Ezr 8:9), one of the men who sealed the covenant with Nehemiah (Neh 10:5), and a gate-keeper in the days of Nehemiah (Neh 12:25).

Explain the sins of Edom and why God would bring destruction.

They were judged for several sins, but the most central was the pride of the heart. From that sprung a confederacy against Israel, violence and looting against Israel, rejoicing in Israel’s downfall, and their active hindering of Jews trying to escape as well as their drunken celebrations.

Explain the term “Lex Talionis.”

This is defined in the lecture as the Law of Retribution as also described in Matthew 7 and Galatians 6:7. This is important because Edom was guilty of looting, killing fugitives, and handing over survivors to the enemy, and rejoicing over Israel’s losses. Basically this law states that Edom has it coming. It’s loosely similar to a karmic kind of law, only has no bearing on the afterlife.

Share in what ways your Nation can be compared to Edom.

The United States has over the last several decades shown it’s true nature in its denial of God and everything that he stands for. The leaders in America are now traditionally corrupt, evil, and out to increase their own material prosperity. Anyone who gets into politics for the purpose of serving the people can no longer survive.

Just as with Edom, America (and Americans) are overflowing with personal, professional, and nationalistic pride. There is a sense of hyper isolationism, individualism, and totalitarianism that borderlines on insanity. It is okay for individuals to flaunt and be congratulated for a variety of sins, but any mention of Jesus or God an the individual is relegated to the sidelines, is chided for being stupid or ignorant, or is hostilely attacked for their beliefs.

Additionally, America has seemingly and purposefully in the last several years gone against Israel. I think in the next few years they will aggressively counter Israel political decisions, and will join the UN and the rest of the world in a “confederacy” against the lone nation.

America loots the world, and congress people from their public pulpits defame Israel to the press.

I have no love for my country or the people in it. Then again, I have no love of any earthly government, as I await eagerly the coming of my King and the end of all this subterfuge and duplicity living in a corrupt and debased world. For the majority of my existence on this planet, my culture and way of life (those around me, my supposed leaders) have sought after the flesh and all that entails rather than seeking after the way of the Spirit. Even the church in America seems almost holly corrupt and enamored by increasing numbers and revenues over spreading a biblical gospel or standing on biblical sound theological principles.

I’ve taken to heart the description Dr. Missler uses to describe himself, that he is a Monarchist rather than a republican or democrat, liberal or conservative. This has given me a lot of comfort over the years, since I have no desire to participate in the system on this earth.

Discuss the phrase “the Day of the LORD.”

This will be a devastating day for all who dwell on the earth. Presumably, the rapture has already taken place, so for the church this will be a lesson at a distance, though how sobering and sever I’m sure it will still be.

It comes upon the earth, “upon everything proud and lofty” (Isaiah 2:12) and “every man’s heart will melt and they will be afraid” (Is 13:6), because it will be “cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger (Is 13:9). So many Christians I’ve met over the years who have no concept of how horrible the Day of the Lord will be because they have no interest or desire to actually study his Word or know what he has said. He said it himself “I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their iniquity, I will halt the arrogance of the proud (Is 13:9-11).

In Zephaniah 1:14- 18 it states the Day of the Lord is not only near but it is “hastening quickly” meaning it is rapidly approaching. It is like the earth, which seems to move on its axis ever so slowly, and seems to us to be stationary and stable, yet, in reality it is plummeting through space at 67,000 miles per hour perpetually. It is like the tsunami that first draws the water out of the bay only to return with such force and destruction and chaos and rage. God says, “The noise of the day of the LORD is bitter; There the mighty men shall cry out. That day is a day of wrath, A day of trouble and distress, A day of devastation and desolation, A day of darkness and gloom…”

I’ve always loved Peter’s account, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10-12).

In the end, though, if the pre-millennial, zionist view is correct, the Day of the Lord really has little to do with the church and even less to do with the earth dwellers who will simply be destroyed and finally removed from the equation. It has to do with the nation of Israel, when Christ returns they will look upon the one whom they pierced and they will be cleansed, forgiven (Zechariah 12:10; John 19:37; Revelation 1:7), and as Obadiah states in the last line, “the Kingdom shall be the Lord’s” (Oba 21). I love the description in Revelation when the seventh angel sounds his trumpet, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”

Explain how the Edomites were participants in the destruction of Jerusalem.

They were betrayers to the Jewish people, they plundered and looted their possessions, they ere violent toward them, they encouraged their destruction, they blocked their way of escape, they gathered the survivors and turned them over to the enemy.

K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.

This was an interesting lecture. I had never realized that the eagle was the insignia of Israel’s enemies. This might hint at a spiritual (or even future) reality for America (though I think it shows more the true essential origin and fundamental nature of the American spirit). I don’t think America will last much longer on the world stage (or even remain in existence). It is possible we will be exterminated on a global scale with nuclear weapons or will be enslaved by China and Russia and/or the UN. Open borders might be used to dilute current political populations of America and within a few generations shift the majority to the minority, if not by sheer numbers then by cultural propoganda (or both) as is being done in South Africa today.

I found it interesting that Israel was promised 300,000 square miles of land but has only ever occupied at best 30,000 of it. This lends credence to the alternative view that there will come a war in the future that will allow Israel to seize all that was promised to her and she will be able to live in peace and safety.

Missler also makes a very good point, that there is no reason to be concerned for Israel, as they are firmly in God’s hand. But America has no such provision in the prophetic record. The United States is still a very young country and we have no roots at all. Many if not most of our original moorings are being loosed and our culture (albeit originally mostly fabrication) is being eroded at such a rate there will be nothing left within one or two more decades. There is no reason for a military coup since the American identity is eating itself from the inside out and will be soon self-obliterated.

Also fascinating, despite all the hardships the Edomites put on Israel over the centuries, God prohibited the Israelites from abhorring their foes (Deut 23:7-8). I’m not certain the Jews are keeping true to this command since there are many in the nation of Israel today that have a searing hatred for the Palestinian people. I’m not saying they are not justified feeling this way since war is a true horror, but it is certainly a high bar God has placed on his people.”

Lecture 8 Discussion Questions

What nations, surrounding Israel, are missing in the Magog account presented in Ezekiel 38 & 39?  What do you believe is the significance, if any, of them not being listed by Ezekiel?

Deban and Sheba – Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrians, Iraq, Jordanians, Egyptians, Saudi Arabia are all missing.
It is only those who are at a distance that are listed as the enemies that attack.

There is a prerequisite victory that allows Israel to expand their borders (encompassing presumably all their immediate neighbors) and also possibly a resource or financial success that makes them attractive to the at-a-distance enemies to attack for their resources.
They most likely will go to war against the first confederacy (immediate neighbors) who are united to wipe Israel off the map. But this confederacy loses and Israel widens it’s borders. Israel then becomes an exceedingly great army and they dwell safely.

List the scriptural references in Ezekiel 38 & 39, which suggest nuclear weaponry and warfare. Should these verses be taken literally or figuratively?  Why or why not?

39:9-16 are quite pointed toward nuclear weapons use. A fire that burns for 7 years? Gog will have an eternal grave there in that one spot, and travelers will be turned away from that region, and they will spend months burying the dead so that the land can be cleansed.

39:14-16 states that there will be a professional team of searchers who go about that specific region looking for remains so they can be properly disposed of. Once they find remains they have to first flag it so a separate crew can come in and properly bury them.

I always use the rule that Scripture should be interpreted literally unless there is a prominent reason to allegorize. Valid reasons would be that the Scripture somewhere else allegorizes that particular passage or the author himself provides an explanation for the text because it was allegorized. There is no reason to allegorize simply because we don’t like what the Bible says.

Discuss whether Israel is with or without “walls” today.  Support the location of walls in your response.

Israel has an extensive wall system with at least 7 sections: Lebanon-Israel, Metula (planned), West Bank barrier (still under construction), Green line, Gaza-Israel, and Egypt-Israel. These defend Israel from terrorist encroachment through Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Gaza, and the West Bank. Interestingly enough, there appears to be no south-eastern border between Israel and Jordan (I’m not certain why).

These walls are typically 16ft high, complete with razor-tipped wire and are manned by Israeli military. It is impossible to honesty state Israel today lives without walls.

Explain the term the “The Tents of Edom.”  In what way do you see these existing today?

The Palestinians have been grouped into approximately 68 camps, 58 official and 10 unofficial, with several having started after the Six-Day War and the remaining starting after the 1948 war.

These are refugees registered as having their original home and/or livelihood in Palestine territory and were displaced by the two wars. Palestinian refuges initially started around 750,000 and has grown to around 5 million as of 2013.

These groups live in terrible conditions and are used by the surrounding Arab countries as pawns in the Mid-East Conflict.

Using Scripture explain the destruction of the Midianites?

They were declared the enemy of Israel by God because they led Israel to sin. Israel was instructed to kill all the males, take the women and children captive, and burn all their cities and camps (Numbers 31:7-18). Later God would make reference to his victor of the Midianites (Psalm 83:9; Isaiah 10:26).

Explain why the Rabbis today call the Edomites “International Globalists.”  Share a current event to support this position.

I’m not certain I grasped the actual connection between the Idumeans and how they became the Edomites or globalists. If Idumeans became assimilated with what is known as Palestinians today, how are they globalists? Palestinians are by and large contained in slums in Gaza or in one of the many Palestinian camps around the region.

Dr. Missler uses the Amschel Moses Bauer example and how his son became the Rothschild family of international bankers that work behind the scene of the global stage. But how is he an Edomite? The Rothschild family are of German Jewish origin. Is this the connection to Revelation 2:9 where they say they are Jews but are not? Why would their globalist agendas disqualify their heritage?

I think I’m missing something here.

K-W-L Self Assessment: L- Describe what you LEARNED from this session.

This is certainly an interesting alternative view to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. I especially find the idea that Israel needs to expand it’s borders via a war against it’s immediate neighbors quite provocative as this would allow for them to construct a new temple. I also am encouraged by the “hints” in the text concerning the already raptured church.

I am missing the connection between Edomites and globalists since the Palestinians are in no way leading the globalist agenda across the globe. These are predominately European and American elites who are incredibly wealthy individuals and families who have decided that the earth needs to be depopulated by about 50% and they are the only ones worthy to survive an apocalyptic restructuring of the world order.

With this sentiment I’m perfectly comfortable with. I would much rather spend the rest of my days until the bodily resurrection in Paradise (or Hades if God so deems – I can’t imagine the Rich Man thought he would end up there) existing as a disembodied soul than live under the authoritarianism of the rich on a god-forsaken planet such as this.

It is entirely possible that these days are nothing more than additions to the multitude of false alarms sounded throughout the history of the church. There may be another 1000 years left of the church age before the time of the end arrives. I don’t think that is the case (I hope it is not). But, either way, let God’s will be done.

Conclusions

Overall, I would say this was a pretty good course. I always get bogged down by prophetic books, so mileage may vary here. I did apply the alternate approach I wrote about in my Daniel course. This helped a great deal not only get through the material more timely but it was much more enjoyable. Some of the test questions I thought were really challenging, but all the more fun. There is no timer and they are open book, so I can take as much time on them as I need. I did find myself on multiple tests taking well over an hour to finish, mostly to research what I either missed in the lectures or was not actually covered in the lectures. There were also a few “theories” that Dr. Missler presented in the lectures that don’t quite make sense or were not covered in enough detail for me to connect all the dots. I’m hoping they will be covered again in future courses. One disappointment was finding out that there are no Research Associates at KI anymore (if there ever were any to begin with). Like any typical think tank, there are researchers who dig into the source material and present white papers and other documents to those who are interested (something Missler alluded to wanting to develop in the future). Unfortunately, this apparently never got off the ground, had no justification, or there were not enough people to reach the required level in the program to become “Research Associates.” I did find out (not in this course) that there are only a few thousand who have finished Gold, only a few hundred to finish Silver, and only about 15 to finish Gold in the Koinonia Program. This makes sense given that to make Gold would require a great deal of investment in time. Not many can afford such luxuries. Thankfully, God has provided me with both the time and the desire to pursue the KI program to completion as part of my uThM.

Until my next assignment….


Please consider supporting my writing, my unschooled studies, and my hermitic lifestyle by purchasing one or more of my books. I’m not supported by academia or have a lucrative corporate job – I’m just a mystical modern-day hermit trying to live out the life I believe God has called me to. So, any support you choose to provide is GREATLY appreciated.


Excerpt from Our Daughter:



“Okay, mom,” Randy said.

“You behave yourself and be nice. You’re lucky to have company while you wait for the doctors.”

The woman turned and started back the way she came.

“The nurse said it would be twenty or thirty more minutes, so we’ll eat quick and be back up here before they take you in, okay?”

“Okay, mom.”

“Sorry for him,” the woman said to Katie as she walked by.

“He’s funny.”

Katie grinned.

As the woman left, Katie noticed the boy moving around again on the bed. Before she realized what was happening, the tiny lump disappeared and she could hear the faint sound of bare hands and feet on the tile floor.

He was low crawling under the beds toward her.

A moment later, Randy popped his head out from under the nearest hospital bed, craning his neck around to look up at her.

“Hello, there,” Katie said.

Randy disappeared back under the bed, the bed sheet draping down almost to the floor. Katie could still see three little fingers pressed to the tile.

“What are you here for?” Katie asked, readjusting her seat in the chair, trying to get the ache in her chest to lessen.

For whatever reason, the wheelchair was really uncomfortable.

“Why are – “

Randy’s voice trailed off for a moment as he looked around.

“Why are you here?”

“I’m getting my leg fixed,” Katie said. “See?”

Randy poked his head back out from under the bed and looked at the leg she was pointing to.

“What’s wrong with it?”

“The doctor said it’s broken,” Katie said. “Shattered.”

“Ouch.”

“Yeah. Ouch.”

“Can you feel it?” Randy asked, able to stay out from his hiding place.

“I can feel it, but it’s not too bad,” Katie said, then tapped the IV in her arm. “This thing is giving me medicine of some kind for the pain. At least that’s what the nurses said.”

“Why are you – ”

Randy stopped mid-sentence.

He scooted out from under the bed entirely and slowly crept over to er on all fours.

“What are you, some kind of spider?” Katie asked, giggling a little.

“What are you?” Randy echoed.

He was now only about a foot away from her chair and sat there, his legs folded up under him, gawking up at her.

“What are you staring at me for?”

“I’ve never – ”

Randy put out a hesitant hand and ever so gently touched her arm.

“Are you some kind of ghost?”

He looked around again.

“Are you – ”

He leaned in, talking in a whisper.

“Are you dead?”

A nurse came around the corner and stopped abruptly, spotting the empty bed in the far corner where Randy should have been.

“Randy Andrews,” the nurse said, her hands now on her hips. “You get right back into the bed and you stop playing around, please. They are ready for you in surgery.”

Katie watched as Randy scrambled on all fours under the beds and back up onto his, pulling the sheet back over top of himself again.

She started to ask him about his question, but couldn’t get the words out before his parents appeared at the door.

Katie sat there quietly, watching Randy stare back at her from under his sheet. She glanced over at his parents and the nurse, noticed Randy’s dad had no hair on the top of his head.

Are you dead?

What kind of question was that?

The snap of the wheel locks being disengaged on Randy’s hospital bed jarred Katie out of the confusion she was in.

The doctor she’d first seen was now at the door, waiting for Randy.

He was his surgeon.

They wheeled Randy out of the room, his parents following right behind, disappearing to the left, heading for his operating room.

The pre-op room was empty again.

Dead.

Are you dead?

What kind of crazy question was that?

The nurse came back through the double doors.

“It won’t be long now,” she said.

“Okay.”

Katie tried not to think about the dull ache growing just behind her sternum.

The nurse disappeared around the corner as Katie watched the double doors to the operating rooms slowly shut.


Buy my book Our Daughter and begin the adventure of a lifetime, as you uncover the mysteries behind Katie Cadora’s new life after the horrible accident that stole her mother away from her. Will she find sure footing again? Will the pain ever stop? Will she discover the secrets her new foster family are keeping from her? Is the boy’s question right? Is Katie Cadora actually dead?

Click here and grab your copy today and jump into this Witch Gnostic Heresy trilogy with both feet!

But, trust me when I tell you, there are deceivers in our midsts!  Get started in this bone chilling suspense novel right away and find out why….sometimes….you’re just better off DEAD!


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