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Mid-week Manna

Satan’s Deceptions Part 9: Conclusion

MID-WEEK MANNA FROM PASTOR NAT’S DESK:
February 21, 2024

Satan’s Deceptions
Part 9

Our series on the subject of deception concludes here. However, this by no means indicates we have already achieved an exhaustive study and understanding of the subject as we should, and as it demands.

Deception was the ultimate brainchild craft masterfully employed by its originator, Satan, “the father of lies and murderer from the beginning” “the enemy of God and man,” to frame the “father” of all temptations thereafter “by which all man are tempted with.”

The sad and fearful record of sacred Bible history informs, as it seeks to educate and enlighten and warn fallen, sinful mankind, particularly those who profess to know and worship God, from the very beginning of Eden time to the close of probation time, that:

a) the first temptation embodying the first lie was facilitated by the first deception of the “father of lies”

b). caused the Fall in Eden-when Eve, then Adam disobeyed God and yielded to the combined deception-temptation of the main Antichrist, Satan, who has own vicegerent on earth; apostle Paul identifies him as “the man of sin and the son of perdition.”

Deception, and all its branches, variations, shades of meaning, applications, manifestations, fruits, results, and consequences, plays a critical and prominent role in the great controversy between Christ and Satan and the latter with mankind, specifically in the realm of religion, worship, and law of God as the foundation of His everlasting kingdom and rule of government over all His creation.

I conclude this series with a vital passage in the Gospels preserving Christ’ words right after He and His first disciples departed from temple of Jerusalem for the last time. This is when and where He unfolded His now familiar “mini apocalypse,” (Matt. 23; Luke 21, etc.) placing the earlier prophesied Destruction of Jerusalem (by the Roman army led by Titus, son of emperor Vespasian, 40 years after, as the type prefiguring the antitypical destruction of the last days due to the final apostasy prophesied in Revelation 13 detailing the major deceptions of the main players revealed in prophetic symbols.

Now, read from your own Bible Matt. 23: 1-31 (KJV) focusing on verses 1-5. But read verse 1 first. Then:
“And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, WHEN shall these things be? And WHAT shall be the SIGN of the of THY COMING, and of the END OF THE WORLD? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that NO MAN DECEIVE YOU. For MANY shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall DECEIVE MANY.” vs 2-6.

Only after this does Jesus go down the list of His mini apocalypse in answer to His disciples’ two part question of time and circumstance, “when”‘ and “what,” unaware that they correctly connecting the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple as the “sign” preceding His second advent (specifically its antitype!).

Until next topic, God willing. Bless all, NMF.

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Mid-week Manna

Satan’s Deceptions Part 8: NATURAL IMMORTALITY: SATAN’S FIRST GREAT LIE

MID-WEEK MANNA FROM PASTOR NAT’S DESK:
February 14, 2024

Satan’s Deceptions
Part 8

NATURAL IMMORTALITY: SATAN’S FIRST GREAT LIE

“Immortality, promised to man on condition of obedience, had been forfeited by transgression. [Thus] “Adam could not transmit to his posterity that which he did not possess; and there could have been NO HOPE for the fallen [human] race had not God, by the sacrifice of His Son,  brought immortality WITHIN OUR REACH [not automatically nor instantly. 

“While ‘death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned,’ Christ ‘hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.’ (Rom. 5:12; 2 Tim. 1:10).  And only through Christ [the Creator and incarnated Redeemer and Savior] can immortality be OBTAINED. Said Jesus, ‘he that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not shall not see life’ (John 3:36). 

 “Every man may come into POSSESSION of this priceless blessing [of life immortal] IF he will comply with its CONDITIONS. [What are they?] “All ‘who by patient continuance in well doing SEEK for glory and honor and immortality’ will receive ‘eternal life.’ (Rom. 2:7). 

NOTE. Here it clearly states that “immortality”, i. e., “immortal life” or “life immortal” the same as “eternal life” and “life eternal.” If fallen, sinful man or his “soul” is naturally “immortal,” why does the gospel teach that we are to “patiently and continually seek for it?

 “The only one who promised Adam [after Eve] LIFE IN DISOBEDIENCE was the GREAT DECEIVER. The declaration of the serpent [described as the “dragon” in Revelation] to Eve in Eden, — ‘Ye shall not surely die’— was the FIRST SERMON EVER PREACHED UPON THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL. 

 “Yet this declaration, resting solely upon the authority of Satan, is echoed [repeated ad infinitum] from the PULPITS OF CHRISTENDOM, and is received by the MAJORITY OF MANKIND as readily as it was received by our first parents. The divine sentence, ‘the soul that sinneth, it shall die’ (Eze. 18:20; cf. Gen. 2: 7, 15-17; 3: 1-24, etc.), is made to mean [exactly the opposite], The soul that sinneth, it shall not die, but LIVE ETERNALLY. 

 “We cannot but wonder at the STRANGE INFATUATION which renders men [mankind] SO CREDULOUS concerning the words of Satan, and SO UNBELIEVING of the words of God!” - Ibid, Great Controversy, 1911, pp. 533. AAA

 “The paradox of mortality is that the moment we are born we begin to die.” Death, “the wages of sin,” is the portion of all men,” “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Indeed, the “foundation” of  Satan’s final form of deception of end-time Spiritualism, “which will take the whole world captive,” is based on his very first deception and lie, “thou shalt not surely die”! Your only safety in these last days is simply the Word of God, “It is written.” 

To be continued next MWM, God willing. Bless all, NMF.

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Mid-week Manna

Satan’s Deceptions Part 7: THE MEANINGS AND DEADLY VARIANTS OF DECEPTION

MID-WEEK MANNA FROM PASTOR NAT’S DESK:
February 7, 2024

Satan’s Deceptions
Part 7

THE MEANINGS AND DEADLY VARIANTS OF DECEPTION

Before we peel back the many-layered coverings, “scales,” skins,” and “hides” Satan’s deception are camouflaged and hiding under, let’s remember this solemn warning, especially those described in Revelation 3 – as spiritually-lukewarm Christians, or those who confidently say, “I am already saved” for “once saved, always saved,” or “I have been baptized and my name is already in the church books and written in heaven’s book of life,” etc.

“Satan rejoices when he can lead souls to follow MISTAKEN IDEAS, UNTIL THEIR NAMES ARE BLOTTED OUT from the book of life and recorded in the names of the UNJUST.

 “We can overcome only in the way Christ overcame—by WHOLEHEARTED OBEDIENCE to every commandment of God [not just the fourth!]. 

  “TRUE RELIGION is obedience to all the commandments of God. . . . 

“We should keep EVER BEFORE US the fact that time is  short. Iniquity [sin; transgression of God’s law] is increasing on every hand. The RIGHTEOUS [the commandment-keeping saints of Rev. 14:12] are set as LIGHTS 

in the world. Through them the GLORY of God [His character which is transcribed in His law] is to be revealed to the world.

“Keep ever before you the SOLEMN EVENTS OF THE FUTURE—-the great review of Judgment and the coming of Christ. You and your family are to PREPARE for that day.” -E.G. White, Letter 92, Nov. 9, 1911.

Jesus promised His true disciples then and now that He would “go” to the Father after His resurrection “to PREPARE A PLACE for them that “WHEREVER I am THERE you may be ALSO” (John 14: 1-3, KJV).

The true and faithful, patiently-enduring commandment-keeping saints of these last days identified in Rev. 14:12, are Christ’s human ambassador “angel-messengers” who are His co-laborers on earth, functioning under the unction of the Holy Spirit, helping to swell to the loud cry earth’s final three-fold warning messages. They are simultaneously also intellectually and spiritually PREPARING their characters for “that day.”

Q. What “day” is here meant?
ANS. “The day of the Lord,” meaning, first, the antitypical DAY of atonement of the pre-advent investigative judgment that is now going forward in the most holy in the heavenly sanctuary that begun in 1844 where “our lives are passing in review. This is where it is eternally determined who are truly and fully fitted-up character wise, sealed in their foreheads, ready either to be raised in the “resurrection of the just” and the special resurrection, or translated, numbered among the 144, 000 in “whom there is no guile,” to finally see Jesus face to face in that “DAY and hour” of His actual appearing in all His glory with rapturous joy, after the seventh and last plague.

Are you and I preparing for this “day” of final reckonings? Not if we are heedlessly, presumptuously, or carelessly “following” any of the last day conspiratorial and esoteric “errors” of Satan’s unnumbered schemes and deceptions!
“”Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation.”

To be continued next MWM, God willing. Bless all, NMF.

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Mid-week Manna

Satan’s Deceptions Part 6 : GOD’S TEST REVEALS THE TRUTH AND EXPOSES SATAN’S DECEPTIONS AND LIES

MID-WEEK MANNA FROM PASTOR NAT’S DESK:
January 31, 2024

Satan’s Deceptions
Part 6

GOD’S TEST REVEALS THE TRUTH AND EXPOSES SATAN’S DECEPTIONS AND LIES

During His ultra-brief yet fully-finished, three and-a-half year mission and work on earth as the prophesied “seed of the woman” who would “bruise the head of the serpent” (Gen. 3:15; Gal. 4:4), Christ the Messiah, when replying to the accusations of the Pharisees and Jews against Him, also identified Satan and his character and works in these solemn words:
“Why do you not understand My speech? Even because ye cannot hear My word. Ye are of your father the DEVIL, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and ABODE NOT in truth, because there is NO TRUTH in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a LIAR, and the FATHER of it.” John 8: 43, 44, KJV. (Read the whole chapter for broader and proper context).

The first of all tests was administered by the Creator to the last and crowning act of His creative wisdom and power. Man was the only creature He made “in His own image and likeness.” This was because man, first named Adam, was divinely designed to be the Creator’s vicegerent on planet earth “and all that was in it,” was specifically created for him in six literal working days to be his kingdom. He was “to subdue and have DOMINION” over all the lesser creatures. (Gen. 1: 28, 26-31).

As the Creator’s designated vicegerent to eventually fully embody and reflect the glory of the character-image of the God “to the world, man, and angels,” man was created, formed from the pure dust of the ground in Eden by the Creator’s hands into a fully-formed man, not an infant, an intelligent, free moral agent, endowed with a conscience and a will, the God-endowed freedom, liberty, and power to choose intelligently, voluntarily, and willingly—the governing power in the nature of man.

At his creation man was sinlessly pure and perfectly innocent, yet had an undeveloped character slated to be developed by a simple test of obedience, activating his inherent power to choose intellectually and spiritually. (Note: “The thoughts and feelings combined make up the moral character”).

The transcript of God’s character—His law embodying His eternal and universal precepts and principles of love, wisdom, mercy, righteousness, and justice were written into their yet-sinless and uncorrupted hearts and minds.

God Creator’s first test was so simple as for a child to understand, as clear and distinct as day is to night, yet so all-encompassing in its divine diagnostic and prescriptive comprehensiveness that its results and consequences were instant, stark, and irreversible. At stake were God’s glory and man’s eternal interests. Awaiting to be revealed at the epochal moment in time were the great still-unknowns: the mystery of iniquity and the mystery of godliness. The destiny of man and the earth was to be decided by that first simple test in Eden.

And that test, the test of the ages administered in perfect love, wisdom, mercy, righteousness, and justice of Desire of Ages, who is the “same yesterday, today, and forever,” is still the the same simple test of OBEDIENCE—that obedience that is “constrained only by love;” driven only by the “fear” to offend the awesome God of love and mercy, and “to crucify Him afresh and put Him to open shame every time we sin;” that is produced by the divine “enmity” against “the world, the flesh, and the devil;” that springs from a longing desire to enter into that eternal covenant relationship of the church triumphant-bride with Christ the Bridegroom.

The first test of the Creator to the creature, then after the fall, the Savior to the sinner, the Redeemer to the redeemed, and finally the Bridegroom to the bride-to-be, contains the sum and substance of the everlasting covenant of God’s law, stated simply in Christ’s words : “If you love Me, keep [do, obey] My commandments” (John 14:15).

Thus, “the only question asked in the Judgment is, have they kept My Commandments.” So how much do you really love God in Christ through the Holy Spirit? There is only evidence and proof where God’s infallible Word is concerned. Any other is a deception and a lie.

To be continued next MWM, God willing. Bless all, NMF.

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Mid-week Manna

Satan’s Deceptions Part 5 : ALWAYS CUNNINGLY DISGUISED IN MEDIUMS, SCHEMES, WILES, AND CRAFTY DEVICES

MID-WEEK MANNA FROM PASTOR NAT’S DESK:

Satan’s Deceptions
Part 5
January 24, 2024

ALWAYS CUNNINGLY DISGUISED IN MEDIUMS, SCHEMES, WILES, AND CRAFTY DEVICES

After starting the first war and failed rebellion in heaven, Satan’s strategies were first employed upon Eve and Adam in their Eden home on yet-unfallen earth.

“Had Satan revealed himself in his real character, he would have been REPULSED AT ONCE, for Adam and Eve had been WARNED against this dangerous foe; but he worked in the DARK, concealing his purpose, that he might more effectually accomplish his object. 

“Employing as his MEDIUM the serpent, then a creature of FASCINATING APPEARANCE, he addressed Eve, ‘Hath God said, Ye shall NOT EAT of every tree of the garden?’ (Gen. 3:1). Had Eve REFRAINED from entering into ARGUMENT with the tempter, she would have been SAFE; but she VENTURED to PARLAY with him, and fell a victim to his WILES.

“It is thus that MANY are still overcome. They doubt and argue concerning the REQUIREMENTS of God; and instead of OBEYING the divine commands, they accept HUMAN THEORIES, which but DISGUISE the devices of Satan. 

‘The woman said unto the serpent, we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the MIDST of the garden, God hath SAID, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye TOUCH of it, LEST YE DIE. And the serpent said unto the woman, YE SHALL SHALL NOT SURELY DIE: for God doth know that in the day that ye eat thereof, then your EYES shall be opened, and ye shall be as GODS, KNOWING GOOD AND EVIL.’ (Gen. 3:2-5). 

“Satan declared that they would become like God, possessing GREATER WISDOM than before, and being capable of a HIGHER EXISTENCE. 

“Eve YIELDED to temptation; and through her INFLUENCE, Adam was LED INTO sin. They accepted the words of the serpent, that God did NOT MEAN what He said; they DISTRUSTED their Creator, and IMAGINED that He was RESTRICTING THEIR LIBERTY, and that they might obtain GREAT WISDOM AND EXALTATION BY TRANSGRESSING HIS LAW.” - E.G. White, Great Controversy, 1911, pp. 531, 532 (All emphasis and bracketed words mine). 

NOTE: In addition to the words I highlighted with caps, ponder the following:
The only guarantee of Eve and Adam from falling into sin were not:
1) their sinless natures “made in the image and likeness of God,” thus free of any propensities of disobedience or sin
2) the “citadel” of their garden Eden home that was exclusively designed-and-made by their Creator for them
3) their 20/20 vision for Eve’s eyes did not see Satan, disguised as the serpent, hidden among the branches of the forbidden tree till she approached it
4) then, mysteriously did not even stop to think that the lesser creature of animals do not talk,much less converse in intelligent human discourse
5) that the dazzling serpent she begun parleying with was actually Satan, who God had warned them of earlier.

It was and always will be love and trust that results in unquestioning and unhesitating obedience to all of God’s commandments and requirements.

Satan’s power to tempt is completely neutralized each time the tempted refuses to yield unconditionally, and resists by empowering grace. “God giveth more grace to the humble.

SUBMIT yourselves therefore to God. RESIST the devil, and he will FLEE from you.” (James 4: 7, KJV). Satan’s diabolical power to deceive is rendered impotent when the humble sinner relies exclusively on “it is written,” not on feelings, senses, human institutions and mortal wisdom.

Looks can deceive and have deceived from the beginning until its prophesied climax of Satan’s final “overmastering delusion” just before Christ’s return.

To be continued next MWM, God willing. Bless all, NMF.

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Mid-week Manna

Satan’s Deceptions Part 4: THE FIRST GREAT DECEPTION

MID-WEEK MANNA FROM PASTOR NAT’S DESK:
January 17, 2024

Satan’s Deceptions
Part 4

THE FIRST GREAT DECEPTION

“With the EARLIEST history of man, Satan began his efforts to DECEIVE our [human] race. He who had incited rebellion in heaven, desired to bring to the inhabitants of the earth to UNITE with him in his WARFARE [enmity] against the GOVERNMENT of God.

NOTES:
1) Inciting is one of many forms and stratagems of deception.
2) The eternal foundation of God’s everlasting government is His immutable covenant law of Ten Commandments, the transcript of His character and the revelation of His love, wisdom, mercy, righteousness, and justice.

“Adam and Eve had been PERFECTLY HAPPY IN OBEDIENCE to the law of God, and this fact was a constant TESTIMONY against the CLAIM that Satan had urged in heaven, that God’s law was OPPRESSIVE, and OPPOSED to the good of His people.

“And furthermore, Satan’s ENVY was excited as he looked upon the BEAUTIFUL HOME PREPARED for the SINLESS pair. He determined to cause their fall, that, having SEPARATED them from God and brought them UNDER HIS OWN POWER, he might gain POSSESSION OF THE EARTH, and here ESTABLISH HIS KINGDOM, in opposition to the Most High.”

NOTES:
In the same manner that God Creator ‘prepared’ a beautiful home-the garden of Eden—for the first ‘sinless’ pair so is the Redeemer Savior ‘preparing a place’ for all whose characters have been washed from all defilement and stain of sin by “overcoming by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.”

They were rendered sinless by this process even while yet in their mortal nature and sealed in their foreheads as such. The “finishing touch” of immortality and the incorruptible, glorified body is conferred upon them at Christ’s glorious return for “the resurrection of the just” and the translation of the 144,000 living saints in order to present “her” to the Father as to His “purified bride” and church triumphant of the ages.

To them is rewarded the everlasting covenant and promised “inheritance of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,” as “heirs with God and joint-heirs with Christ.” The earth made new is returned to them having been taken back from Satan “the prince of the earth”, by Christ “the promised Seed” and His “remnant of her seed who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” that have the “Spirit of prophecy which is the Testimony of Jesus.”

They, together with all the saints of the ages, starting with Abel, “overcame the world, the flesh, and devil” by faith in Christ and His plan of redemption in the everlasting gospel. They loved God and faithfully obeyed His law and died keeping and defending it. “The blood of martyrs was the seed of the gospel.” And the “blood of Christ is what cleanses from all sin.”

(All paragraphs in quotes are from the Great Controversy, 1911 ed.. p. 531 bearing the same title, The First Great Deception. All emphasis, Notes and Comments mine).

To be continued next MWM, God willing. Bless all, NMF.

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Mid-week Manna

Satan’s Deceptions Series Part 3: RATIONALISM IDOLIZES REASON AS BASIS OF RELIGION OVER INSPIRATION

MID-WEEK MANNA FROM PASTOR NAT’S DESK:
January 10, 2024

Satan’s Deceptions Series:
Part 3

RATIONALISM IDOLIZES REASON AS BASIS OF RELIGION OVER INSPIRATION

“Satan is constantly seeking to DECEIVE men, and lead them to call sin righteousness, and righteousness sin. How SUCCESSFUL has been his work! [Here’s the evidence]:

How often censure and reproach are cast upon God’s FAITHFUL servants because they will stand fearlessly in DEFENSE of truth! Men who are but AGENTS OF SATAN are praised and flattered, and even looked upon as martyrs, while those who should be respected and sustained for their FIDELITY to God, are left to STAND ALONE, under suspicion and distrust.

“COUNTERFEIT HOLINESS, SPURIOUS SANCTIFICATION, IS STILL DOING ITS WORK OF DECEPTION. Under various forms it exhibits the same spirit as in the days of [Martin] Luther, DIVERTING MINDS from the Scriptures, and leading men to follow their own FEELINGS AND IMPRESSIONS rather than yield obedience to the LAW of God. This is one of Satan’s most successful DEVICES to cast reproach upon PURITY and TRUTH.

“Fearlessly did Luther defend the Gospel from the attacks which came from every quarter. The Word of God proved itself a WEAPON MIGHTY in every conflict. With that Word he warred against the usurped authority of the POPE, and the RATIONALISTIC PHILOSOPHY of the schoolmen [scholars, church theologians, etc.], while he stood firm as a rock against the FANATICISM [specifically the Munzer Movement] that sought to ally itself with the [Protestant] Reformation.

“Each of these opposing elements was in its own way SETTiNG ASIDE the Holy Scriptures, and exalting human wisdom. Rationalism idolizes reason [a prominent form of spiritual idolatry forbidden by the second commandment] and makes this the criterion for religion. . . .

“True Christianity receives the Word of God as the great TREASURE-HOUSE of inspired truth, and the TEST of all inspiration.” – E. G. White, Great Controversy, 1911 ed., pp. 192-3 (all emphasis and bracketed words mine).

When anyone who loves God undertakes the sacred and difficult work of exposing the deceptions ensnaring the churches and the world in these last days, he must be constantly aware that he is not confronting “flesh and blood” but “principalities and powers of spiritual wickedness in high places”—Satan himself and his host of evil angels. He must carefully “count the cost” first, then “make his calling and election sure” by knowing how to “put on the whole armor of God” and how to use it efficiently to secure the victory in and for Christ.

We are called to be courageous soldiers in God’s spiritual army. Have you willingly volunteered and enlisted?

To be continued, God willing. Bless all, NMF.

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Mid-week Manna

Satan’s Deception Series Part 2: DECEPTION CORRUPTS THE MIND; THE HOLY SPIRIT ENLIGHTENS IT

Satan’s Deceptions Series:
Part 2

Satan’s Deceptions Series:
Part 2

MID-WEEK MANNA FROM PASTOR NAT’S DESK:
January 3, 2024

Satan’s Deceptions Series:
Part 2

DECEPTION CORRUPTS THE MIND; THE HOLY SPIRIT ENLIGHTENS IT

 “For I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled [deceived, NKJV] Eve through his subtility, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” 2 Cor. 11:3, KJV (see verse 4). 

From E. G. White’s The Great Controversy, 1911 ed., we are further enlightened and warned (all emphasis and bracketed words mine):

“Satan can present a counterfeit so closely resembling the truth that it deceives those who are WILLING to be deceived, who desire to shun the SELF-DENIAL AND SELF-SACRIFICE demanded by the truth; but it is IMPOSSIBLE for him to hold under his power one soul who HONESTLY desires, at whatever COST, to know the truth. CHRIST is the truth, and ‘the light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.’ (John 1:9).

The Spirit of truth [the Holy Spirit] has been sent to GUIDE men into all truth. And upon the AUTHORITY of the Son of God
it is declared, ‘Seek and ye shall find.’ (Matt. 7:7). ‘If any man will DO HIS WILL, he shall know of the doctrine [of the ‘truth as in Jesus.’].” – p. 528.

One of the most important divinely-appointed ways to protect oneself from falling victim to the “roaring lion” Satan’s end-time “wrath” manifested in any and all of his unnumbered schemes of deception is to faithfully obey and practice Christ’s example of self-denial and self-sacrifice—the opposite of self-pleasing, indulgence, and intemperance even in things that are good in and of themselves. This is part of the “fiery baptism of the Holy Spirit, the work of sanctification “unto righteousness and holiness,” the fitting up for heaven, the earth made new, and eternity.

To be continued next MWM, God willing. Bless all, NMF.