Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Lists and Rules

There was a book on things you could do and things you could not do. Of course, there have been many. But this was written by a Roman Catholic priest to explain matters of his church.

A lady was concerned about violating the no meat on Friday rule. She ate fish on Friday, but occasionally had bleeding gums and was concerned that the blood would be a violation of the no meat rule. Honestly. The priest put her at ease and told her that it was not a violation. There was a pope-approved exemption for this situation. You can imagine her relief.

Pastor Chuck Swindoll gave some similar advice to a congregation. His concerned was the issue of women wearing makeup. There must have been real tension in the congregation, because when Chuck said, "If the fence needs painting, paint it!" There was a collective sigh of relief from the painted fences in the congregation.

It's ok. The preacher said so!

I hope I sound like I despise such pettiness, because I do. Not only was scripture not cited in either of the authoratative pronouncements, but the message of the scripture was ignored. The spirit of the Pharisees lives on and even gets stronger. As if God sent His Son to be tortured and bleed over such things as these.

There is a Salvador Dali painting of the crucifiction as seen from above. It is as if God is looking down upon the scene. He must hate how we set up rules and barriers to the greatest gift ever given.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Fill'er Up

I just watched a video saying that Revelation 8:8-9 have been fulfilled. The reason given as proof was there had been a large fish kill in the Pacific Ocean. A picture of dead fish was shown as evidence. The kind of people who use headlines, unexamined, no doubt, as the final word on a subject might fall for this. There are a whole bunch of reasons why this fish kill is not the fulfillment of prophecy.

Revelation nine does not occur until after the church is taken out of the way (Rev. 3:10). Amazing how many people who should know better, apply events after chapter three to the church, though the church is not mentioned. There have been numerous fish kills before. Is each one of them a fulfillment of Rev. 8:8-9? Since they are referring to scripture, let's look at the cited passages.

And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood. Rev. 8:8

And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed. Rev. 8:9

I have seen no mention of the second angel sounding, or of a great mountain burning with fire being cast into the sea. A third part of the sea turning to blood, and a third part of creatures in the sea dying. No one claims that a third of ships were destroyed. This is how a fish kill is distorted into a fulfilling of prophecy. The timing of an event is totally wrong, the extent of the fish kill is exaggerated, and the other events in these two verses are ignored.

This is not an isolated incident. Remember the blood moons? Only a few people will interpret these things correctly. I have lost faith in the ability of sensation seekers and their "mis-leaders".

Monday, December 29, 2014

What I Would Most Like to Be

There are so many choices of what I could like to be. If I was rich it would soon be of no value, because my death would make it meaningless. Strong, same thing. How about wise? I could die and be known as a once wise man.

Nothing I could desire would survive my soon death, except one thing. It is found in both Old and New Testaments. Two great men speak of it--David, and Paul quoting David. It is the blessedness of God not holding our sins against us. This is what I desire most of all--innocence, the innocence that only God can give.

Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputesth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. Psalm 32:2

Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works. Romans 4:6

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Times of the Gentiles #2

I know we've talked about this amazing doctrine before. But I am manic about this one, not relaxed as I usually am.

A dentist showed me the ideal way to brush my teeth. "This is so important," he said, "that most dentists will not tell you." So it is with the "times of the gentiles".

This prophecy, told to us by Jesus, is so important, that many churches will not even read it. Since it deals with the kingdom of David--the kingdom of God on the earth--it conflicts with their own kingdoms of money, real estate, stocks, and people as cash cows. So naturally they hate it.

Let us read these words of Jesus:

and Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. Luke 21:24

How simple is that? It is only mentioned one time in the Bible by name, but it is dealt with in great detail in a number of places. The greatest (and easiest to understand) is in the second chapter of Daniel. There these times are pictured as a great statue of various metals, ending at the feet of iron mixed with clay.

So while the corporate churches are trying to divert you with parables and the sermon on the mount, one of the greatest of all prophecies is purposely neglected.

What are the "times of the Gentiles?" They are a period of times when the kingdom of David is in suspension. Simple as that. What are the time markers to this period of the recess of the kingdom? It started with the destruction of Israel's temple by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C. and ends when Jesus returns and destroys all Gentile power, every trace of it.

Until Jesus returns to the earth and destroys all Gentile power, we are living in the Times of the Gentiles. Does anyone believe that He has? Some try to put it into the past with all kinds of hula dances of "interpretation". But they don't dance too well, and they know it. So they avoid the above words of Jesus and the whole idea of the times of the Gentiles.

One verse, one chapter, tell the story. Right now, you and I are in the Times of the Gentiles. Israel will be restored. The Kingdom of David will be restored. The Gentile times have just about run out.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Things to Come

Not a mini-lecture on prophecy, but a rave review on a book on prophecy. That's why I included it in my starter book for your own seminary library. I've read a bunch of books (or started them) through the years, but where Bible prophecy is concerned, Things to Come, by Dwight Pentecost is the greatest of them all. It is easy to read and covers all major themes, including different interpretations, ending with his, which are classic and wonderfully explained. So I thought I would sneak it in among my choices for the most important books.

I read a piece on why women are better at getting mechanical work done on cars than men are. Why? They get more than one opinion. They check things out. To believe whoever gives you your Bible information, as if they were the final authority, is dangerously naive. To do so would lead to a bunch of denominations--just like we have. Men do not go to seminaries just to study prophecy, or even the Bible itself. Believe me, many preachers are as dumb/wrong as they can be.

Ever read the story of Frank Demara? He was a hoaxer, who performed surgery successfully and taught college by keeping a few pages ahead of his students in a text. It was easy. They made a movie about him, starring Tony Curtis. Just be less ignorant than those you lord it over.

In many congregations that's not hard to do. With Things to Come you will know more on this subject than almost any preacher. When you talk to them, confront them, they will melt like a snowman on a warm day.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Your Private Seminary Bookshelf

Every church should have a library, don't you think? Certainly, every seminary should have one. Imagine one person, a family, or a group of families setting up a library for their home church or home seminary. It would make them theologically independent. They would no longer need to rely on corporate churches for knowledge on the most important subject in the world.

It is terrible to think that fathers and mothers rely on someone else to teach their children about God and His Bible. You would not deny them food, or give them impure food. End of nag.

This beginning of a library which I want to recommend to you is what I have used for years. I promise that if you use it, even moderately, you will be able to cream any seminarian, plus eliminate many errors commonly promoted by them.

Of course, not everyone has the time or the money for even this basic library. I would recommend that a family or group appoint a "designated student" to use this list of books, and share them with others.

Ever notice that no matter how small a church, there will always be someone who can play the piano? God provides for our hymns. He will provide your own seminarian also.

Private Seminary Bookshelf Recommendations

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Present for Eglon - A Study for a Little Boy

My experience as a little boy was that the Bible was for sissies. It apparently taught you just to turn the other cheek. Meanwhile WWII was raging and we were not turning any cheeks. I thrilled to the story of Samson, to me, a great warrior.

My wife's aunt told me that as a child, she was thrilled to hear of Jesus braiding a whip and driving the money changers from the temple. Suddenly she saw a different side of Jesus, and she loved it.

So, I propose a little story (imagine it taught in a Sunday School class!) fit for a little boy.

Mothers love their sons as no one else does. But many of them have no idea of the war-like tendencies in a little boy's heart. But should we not work to eliminate it? In time, the Bible will do just that, but for little boys just starting out, their masculinity needs nurturing. Trust me, I've been there. First a man, then a gentleman.

I consider kittens the cutest of all animals. But how long will it be before they begin to practice fighting? It is in their nature because it needs to be.

So here is my little boy Bible story.

But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab. Judges 3:15

A present, how nice! A lefthanded man will deliver a "present" to Eglon.

But Ehug made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length, and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh. And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: Judges 3:16-17

And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly. Judges 3:21

I have left out some details, in case you are eating. But this man, an assassin, was sent by God. We need to hear of God the lion, as well as Christ the Lamb.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

As the Twig is Broken

"Don't you mean, "As the twig is bent, so grows the tree"? That certainly is true regarding the direction of growth. But some poor Christians are not bent, they are broken. They are not in danger of twisted growth, but of no growth at all.

Please don't turn me off as if this was a criticism of these people. The message I mean to convey is one of encouragement.

Almost anyone can take advantage of the greatest resources ever, to study and communicate the Bible. I have seen a preacher give up his position, once he departed from religion, to follow the Bible. People I love dearly have left a non-teaching corporate church because it was so sterile that they got nothing from it.

Don't let them bend you. Don't let them break you. A family church or home church can be free. Do not believe anything a religion or a church tells you, unless it is in the Bible.

Some day we Christians will have our works judged. When this happens, your churches, your priests, your "reverends" will not come to your defense. They will be busy having their own works judged.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Vision of the Macedonian Man

And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. Acts 16:9

This vision changed the history and direction of the church. Verse six of this chapter says, Then when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, (Acts 16:6) After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit suffered them not. (Acts 16:7).

The Spirit forbad Paul's missionary journey to Asia! So much for good intentions. God has his own plans that sometimes contradict ours. But Asia's loss was Macedonia's gain.

Often, when analyzing the course of the early church, some will say it was under the influence of Greek culture. Yes, but it was not just the influence of geography, but the will of God that so determined it. Not only "Go to Macedonia", but "Do not go to Asia.

I imagine a man with limited funds preparing to place an ad in a newspaper. He has the papers narrowed down to the Chicago Tribune or the Hebron, Kentucky, Weekly News. Which one will it be? His business advisor tells him, "Put the ad in the Chicago paper. You'll reach a lot more people. Some of the people in Hebron subscribe to the Tribune, but no one in Chicago reads the Kentucky Weekly News."

Not only in its outreach, but in its precision, the Greek language is our best source of what the Bible says. Hundreds of years before the time of Jesus, the Old Testament was carefully translated into Greek. This is the Septuagint, quoted by Jesus himself. Scholars, and even lowly Bible teachers, use the Septuagint to "get it right". Not a rare book at all, Amazon has them.

Now we are free to go anywhere, at least by radio, in our mission outreach. But we must not forget God's selection of the Greek language to record his word.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Congregations and Other Drunks

This is a terrible thing for me to do--comparing church congregations to a bunch of drunks. Of course, I don't mean all congregations, just the hyped up holies who lose their religion as soon as they reach the parking lot. Literally.

A friend told of attending a megachurch. As he prepared to drive away from the lot, someone who felt he had been cut off by my friend gave him the "finger". So disillusioning! At least they could have waited until they were out of the parking lot!

What I am speaking of is special behavior reserved for being in church. There are special tones of voice, special "churchy" smiles, and what troubles me the most are the dazed eyes some people have. That's where the allusion to drunks comes in. Do these people love the Lord all week long, or just on Sundays?

I have been around for almost eight decades, and in that time have seen plenty of drunks and a few mentally disturbed people. In both cases, I have had the feeling that reason has left them.

"Mere reason has been replaced by the Holy Spirit," some will say. I wish this was true, but whatever spirit many have, disappears when they leave the church property. Expressions change, even voices change. If God were to say, "Come, let us reason together," they would have to say, "I can't reason, I'm too filled with the spirit."

Paul is a wonderful example of a person who had both the Holy Spirit and reason at the same time. The presence of the Spirit of God should enlighten us and increase our reasoning. Whatever takes over these people must be something else altogether.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

No Cream, No sugar

It gets lonely on a third shift duty as a guard. Especially in winter, a cup of coffee can cheer you up.

A man I partnered with offered me some one night. Great, but it was black. In those days black coffee was about as appealing to me as a cup of battery acid. When I tried some, the taste without amenities was unpleasant. But after several tries I came to really like it and drank nothing else.

Like an infant, starting life with a taste for sweetness, I went through the same experience in reading the Bible. Most of the Word was meaningless to me, even unpleasant. It took years, but I learned to read the Bible without any additives. If I need a taste of "sugar and cream", I can turn elsewhere for them.

To read the Bible "straight" may cause you to shed some friends, or more likely, they will drop you. Churches may fall by the way, that is, religions. It happened to me.

Giving up Christmas was a shock. All my good friends did so too, including those with children.

I may seem like some kind of stern Puritan, but I'm not at all. What I have experienced is that people who follow unBiblical practices are the most intolerant ones. If anyone deviates from their practices, they are considered weird, perhaps shunned altogether.

America as the land of "rugged individualists" is nothing but fiction. Do and believe as others or get out is the norm.

In regard to Christmas, two of my friends developed a charming practice. Though their children missed Yule gifts at first, they might receive unexpected gifts at any time of year, like in July. These were called Rapture Day presents, and were rewards for kind deeds or just good behavior. Rapture Day, "at a time when you know not".

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Simple Definition of the Millennium

And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years. Revelation 20:2

And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison. Revelation 20:7

In two verses we have a simple description of the millennium. It is the period during which Satan is bound. You might think that would settle it. Satan is sure not bound now, so this is not the millennium.

Yet that we are in the millennium now is exactly what my Presbyterian opponent maintained. I debated him on this very topic.

Some people know only a little about the Bible. Some people know the Bible pretty well. But Presbyterians know more than the Bible. Prophecy is a subject most of such churches avoid. They say it divides congregations.

Anyway, they say, who can understand it? Better to avoid it. To them, Jesus revealed it to John in a vain effort. He failed in revealing vital truth. Anyway, it all came true many years ago in symbolic form. Nothing in Revelation is literal. Nero was antichrist, did you know that?

When I said that Satan will be bound a thousand years, my opponent said that he is presently bound, but only so that he cannot deceive the nations. Further, since God owns the cattle "on a thousand hills", thousand is an indefinite term. Once it is used to describe the cattle that God owns, it can never mean exactly one thousand years.

That anyone could say that Satan presently is not deceiving the nations, is astounding! Start with the United States. Are we being deceived?

When you attempt to reason with such people, you realize that you are way outside the Bible. Something else is in view. It is "kingdom grabbing".

The Kingdom of God on the earth, to them, was set up at the crucifixion. The kingdom really hit its stride with the invention of the Presbyterian church. Of course, there have been "setbacks", but they strive on. Some day, they claim, Jesus will return to the earth to congratulate them on the wonderful job they have done. The rapture will be the church rising in the sky to welcome His return.

I was confronted with this nonsense for years. The congregation wanted Bible study, though. They wanted the Word. Is it any wonder that such a denomination is losing membership?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Who Baptized John the Baptist?

Just asking. Remember the baptism of the disciples? Was Luther immersed?

Then there is my own situation. I was baptized as an infant! I just like to tweak believers in baptismal regeneration. Especially those who deny they believe it and yet follow it. They need a little tweaking.

The believing thief on the cross? God made an exception for him, they reluctantly say.

They look darkly upon infant baptism, but accept infant circumcision. They won't actually say that I will go to hell, but believe I should be re-baptized "just to be sure". I did not have a "believer's baptism", they say. This makes my baptism as a baby invalid, according to them.

Apparently, God does not choose. Only man can do that. Would God interfere with that most decidedly sacred institution, man's free will? Of course not! That would mean that salvation depends on God's choosing, and we can't have that, can we? God must stand aside while man makes his choice. Otherwise, God would be greater than man. Unthinkable to many.

To these people, nothing must violate man's will, not even God Himself. Sounds much like the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, of Ayn Rand, or of Adolph Hitler himself. But, not to worry, you can still have your God, just so his will is secondary to man's.

This reviewer rates the doctrine of man's will, ten out of ten in the ego gratification category. And that is what much of religion is all about. Beware to all who would impugn it.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Not What Should be, or Could be, but What Will Be

One of the penalties--some say insights--gathered from being old, is the rejection of speculation. You hear ideas proposed that are just the opposite of what the Bible says is going to take place. Case closed. At least that is how old cats feel. I do not say this with a sigh of resignation, but with rejoicing at the wonderful works of God.

His works are not proposals, not what we could accomplish if we all got together and did something. They are going to happen no matter how hard we work, or how we strive to oppose them.

As for us all getting together, there was the attempt to do just that, way back in Genesis 11:9. Therefore is the name of it called Babel, because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

But can't we finally do it? Can't we finally unite with one purpose to do some great thing? Yes, we can--at least many will get together, but even then will fail in their purpose. What began in Genesis will end in the book of Revelation.

And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. Revelation 20:8-9

First confusion of language and scattering, then finally, the destruction of all those who oppose God. From the first book to the last, human effort is nullified by God.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

And They Call it Bible Study

Well, isn't gathering a bunch of scriptures together--sometimes over a period of years--Bible study? Many people have done this, some founders of denominations. But the problem is the selection of scriptures--keeping the ones that seem to support your viewpoint (formed before the study began), and ignoring the scriptures that seem to go against your opinion.

This primitive practice has resulted in all kinds of freaky denominations, even freaky religions. So I don't call this Bible study at all. I call it "opinion reinforcement". One of the benefits of opinion reinforcement is that you never have to change your mind.

I believe that we are born with well established beliefs, or at least a predisposition towards them. They are latent, but there nonetheless. What can we do about this? Do I have some magic formula to avoid opinion study, rather than Bible study? Yes, it is called a concordance, a complete one.

While gospel songsters sing about "Dust on the Bible", I propose another song. "Dust on the Concordance". You could even have one (and this one is terrible)--"Dust on the Brain!"

For the combination of a complete concordance (free online), and the use of your brain can be so powerful and transforming, that at first you won't believe it. Your friends will hardly know you. Your church may wish they did not know you.

Looking at every scripture that contains a word or phrase is the beginning of real Bible study. Online, you can even compare a number of translations. Shockarama!

Soon you may alter your opinion-based beliefs. You might even buy a Septuagint and see how God's Word reads in Greek. Jesus quoted from this translation.

Try to prove that what you believe is wrong. Often, it is. But truth will give you a better understanding, however painful it may be at first.

One caution concerning this method of study. It can leave you feeling that you are standing alone. It definitely will destroy your faith in many denominations. Are you willing to pay the price?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Everlasting Life or Everlasting Death?

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23

In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; Titus 1:2

In the Word, eternal life is contrasted with death. How could it be more simple? The opposite of eternal life is eternal death. Not eternal torment of your immortal soul. To suffer forever one must live forever. Living forever, even in torment, is not eternal death.

Oh, the dodges and deliberate mistranslations that are used in the attempt to promote the evil torture theory!

There is much to rejoice over though. A quick search online shows that people are catching on. A man said that Reformation was not a one time event. It is rather a continuous process. Just as we take a series of baths to keep clean, we must continually wash away the contamination by the world, and worldly churches, of pure Bible doctrine.

For those who follow the teaching of men rather than the Bible, there is a revealing study by Joseph Dear, called, The Bible Teaches Annihilationism. It is long, but packed with great texts and ideas.

I should warn that those who believe this upsetting doctrine are considered dangerous. I should know, I am one of them.

Monday, December 15, 2014

His People

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21

And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness. Psalm 105:43

I have included the quotation from Psalms to show just who God's people are. It is so easy to say that God's people are everyone, all people.

I remember a TV drama where a nun says, oh so piously, "All souls are equally precious." Obviously this is not true. Judas as a "soul" cannot be compared to David. Heavenly and earthly rewards vary among His people, and not everyone is one of His people.

This democratization of people and its attendant giving of rewards has been largely aided by a non-interpretation of John 3:16. Those who find it super pious to quote John 3:16 should really study this famous verse. "World" is terribly taken to mean all people. For those who claim that God loves everyone, I must ask why He has not given everyone an opportunity to be saved.

Millions have lived and died without hearing the name of Jesus, even one time. According to the vast majority of Christians, their souls are in agony in hell. Probably because of an insufficient missionary program.

I will say that salvation and immortality are not "constitutional rights" intended for all people. They are special gifts for God's people, who were chosen before the world was made. The merciful aspect of this, where the unsaved are concerned, is that they will eventually perish--that is, DIE. They will not be tortured for eternity, which I am certain will be a disappointment to millions of Christians.

If only people would compare John 3:16 with the above scriptures. In extreme cases they might even find out what the word "world" means in all its different forms. But that is too much to hope for.

His people are a special group, compared to the earth's population. They were not, on their own, superior to the non-elect. Romans nine tells us that His people were chosen before they were born--before they had done good or evil. We deserve no credit for being chosen, any more than Israel does. Let us give the glory to God for choosing us.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Proton Decay, or the Expiration Date of Matter

Old matter? I remember how amazed I was at learning that some scientists have calculated the "shelf life" of elements. Just like people, they will grow old and decay. Looks like, just as matter had a starting point, it also has an ending point.

I know that this is considered just a theory by some, but then, what truths were not once just theories? I could say that science, the present item for world worship, keeps being revised, while the Bible remains unchanged. But for now, I'll be nice and leave it unsaid.

The united front of scientific truth has never existed. Scientists fight like cats and dogs, except cats and dogs get along a lot better. A lot depends on who pays them and how long they have held their views. Change for some scientists is impossible.

Their erronious beliefs will be buried with those who held them. It must be rough on materialists to have their god even questioned.

But, let's say what would happen if all matter ceased to exist. What would be left? Oh, yes, spirit. The Creator of matter will be left. Spirit beats matter once again.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Destroy Both Body and Soul

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28

"Hell" here is really geenna (Strong's G 1067), but what I find intriguing is that Jesus says both body and soul can be destroyed. This verse is often used to try to prove that we have immortal souls.

Immortal souls that can be destroyed? How can this be?

Why, "destroyed" doesn't actually mean destroyed, they say. It means to be separated from God. This from people who believe that once saved, always saved. So those in danger of being separated cannot ever have been united with God. Never united, but some day separated!

The torture people never rest. But then I do not plan to either, until death takes me away.

Is there a logical way to interpret this verse in Matthew? I believe there is. First of all, "destroy" means just that. The body and all that makes up our personality will be destroyed. This will happen to all of the non-elect.

The elect will also die and turn to dust, but they will be resurrected unto eternal life. This rest of the righteous dead is called being asleep in Christ. Those asleep in Christ will awaken at His call, to life eternal. Souls that are destroyed will cease to exist. Geenna is a place of death, not of eternal torture.

I believe that those who maintain the endless torture doctrine often love it more than they do their spouses. The famous Bible Belt actually has a higher than normal divorce rate. Many of these people would sooner separate from their wives and husbands, than turn away from this terrible, unbiblical belief.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Healer of All Wounds

Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. Hosea 6:1

This Old Testament passage applies to Israel. But surely the Lord does not tear or smite people in his church.

This sentiment might be believed by the young, but soon life will teach you otherwise. For often salvation is presented as protection against the harsh realities of life. Perfect health, trouble free marriages, happy children, and of course, prosperity are ours, if we have enough faith. Many modern preachers promise these things if we just follow their secrets of success.

One by one, their lies are exposed. Reality is forced upon us. Even a "good prayer life" does not suffice to protect us. Many are torn and smitten.

Those who teach the guaranteed happy life have an explanation for all suffering. It is the result of lack of faith. If the blind only had enough faith, they could be healed. If enough money was contributed, people would be prosperous.

But the faithful are torn and smitten. Some are killed.

When I hear the term "Death of a thousand cuts", I think, only a thousand? Live long enough and you will pick up more than that.

Salvation--being born again--is the beginning of our lives in Christ. His healing will be His gift in the life to come.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Who is Steering the Ship?

Here I am studying the Valley of Hinnom. It's an obsession of mine. I keep finding new stuff. This is a formula for loneliness, and it almost always works. It is one of the "citronella" doctrines, it is a repellent--not of insects (mosquitoes still like me)--but of the Great Closed Minds of the church.

Early in life I learned that to go against the crowd, either in or out of the church , will isolate you like a germ that has caught penicillin. But I don't worry about the general population, it is the church which troubles me. The Greeks had Mars Hill, the Jews had the court of the temple, where debate was welcome, but the modern church has no room for discussion. It does take place, but only on the "higher level". No commoners (like me) are allowed.

I was once so naive that I believed study of the Bible was the answer to the doctrine of "hel" or "hell". Forget that! Each side has its own experts with degrees and fervent convictions.

I am an annihilationist. I believe that the unsaved will be destroyed, not eternally tortured. This makes me a terrible person in the eyes of both Protestants and Roman Catholics. They will have their doctrine of eternal torture. Nothing I can do about it. For scholarship is no answer at all. It is not steering the ship. A guy named Will is.

Since hell is not in the Bible, except by translation, I prefer original language. Hence "valley of Hinnom". Let me give you one example, which illustrates the proper and improper use of this term hell.

...whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Matthew 5:22

Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: I Corinthians 15:36

You may believe that calling someone a fool puts you in danger of eternal torture by fire in hell. But Jesus and Paul used the term which He warned against. Please let an insignificant one give another concept than that of eternal torment. Jesus was warning that if you called an authority figure--like the powerful Pharisees--a fool, you could end up being killed, and your dead body thrown into the Valley of Hinnom, or Gehenna.

This is what Jesus says in original texts. Hell, derived from the Anglo Saxon, was not what Jesus said. He spoke of the valley of Gehenna.This is the fate of those who call the wrong people a fool.

See The Gehenna Of Fire

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Utopia vs. the Bible

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
2 Peter 3:10

I was born in the great depression. People around me struggled. It was common to see men riding the rails looking for work. They came to the door asking for food. After the incredible struggles of WWII we saw a very unrealistic upsurge in unrealistic optimism. My village published a booklet on its plans for the near future. I remember the promise for a heliport. None of it came true, and reality crept back in.

Later there was a great emphasis on the promise of cheap energy from nuclear power plants. Remember President Eisenhower's "Atoms for Peace"? Today, I consider nuclear contamination the number one technical threat to the world. It cannot be stopped by anything man can do. Even people outside the Faith are speaking in apocalyptic terms.

Animals know when they are being hunted. Fish know when a net is closing about them. Humans seem to feel this same dread. But instead of turning to the one source of help, they plunge into escapism. The non-elect cannot do otherwise. They are deaf to the truth.

But there is no excuse for futile "positive thinking" among Christians where the world is concerned. They continue to vote for politicians promising reform and change. The earth itself is scheduled for destruction. Nothing can alter this, nor should it. Before a new message is written on a blackboard, the old one must be erased.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

First Resurrection, Then Eternal Life

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. John 11:25

Very plain. Before you can have eternal life, you must be resurrected. The NIV says it very simply, Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; (John 11:25).

Yet those who maintain that we have innate immortality will reach for their worn out rubber stamps that say, "That's just the body!" Scripture does not affect them. Jesus does not affect them. I realize that now. Satan's lie in Eden shall be honored. It appeals to the ego. God is immortal, and since we are gods, we are immortal also. These remarks of mine and the scriptural quotations will have no effect on these people.

So why do I write them? It is to go on the record. Those who deny human mortality, and who read my few words, can never deny that they have heard a contrary voice.

The resurrection is not just the icing on the cake--an additional benefit. If a proposed "soulish state" is so much superior to being raised with a glorified body, then what is the point of God's gift of resurrection? Without our bodies being resurrected, we are dead. We are not in heaven or the imaginary hell.

There may be no one who wants to hear my words, but I feel much more at peace having written them.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Two Cultures

There are, of course, a lot more than two cultures. But the ones I want to talk about are the automatic believers and the curious and skeptical. Almost everyone I know is in the first category. What they see on television or hear on mass media controlled radio is taken to be true and is considered beyond discussion or questioning.

This is true, of course, in religion also. Whatever paid liars say goes, and if you dare question it you are ostracized.

Let me name some sacrosanct subjects.

  • That 6,000,000 people died in the Holocaust--you can go to prison in some countries if you say you do not believe it. Prison for disagreeing!
  • Global warming deniers will hold you in contempt if you say the temperature of the earth is going up. That sea levels are rising and arctic ice is melting is beyond denying. The South Florida video linked below is just one illustration.
  • In Japan, telling the truth about Fukushima radiation is now very dangerous.
  • Dare to deny the "official" version of the 9-11 destruction of the World Trade Center and you will be frozen out, even in your own family.
  • In religion, you are mocked and even hated if you question immortal souls, or hell, or believe in election.

There is a closing net of control of inquiry and opposition to discussion. So, since enforced acquiescence shows fear of disclosure, I assume the following.

  • The 6,000,000 person holocaust is a made up lie.
  • Global warming and sea level rises are now taking place.
  • Fukushima radiation is a horrible reality and threatens all life on earth.
  • The 9-11 attack was an inside job.
  • Immortal souls are a pagan hoax, as is hell and eternal torment.

Do you see a pattern here?

For further inquiry, see the following.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Lighting the Incinerator With a Paper Match

In a nearby city, there was a huge municipal incinerator. It could be seen from a long distance, it was so large. It was used to burn all the waste of a city of half a million people. A conveyor belt moved the trash as it burned until there was nothing left but ashes. The only things that made it through unburned were grass clippings and watermelon rinds. They needed to be recycled.

A reporter asked what source of heat was used to heat it. The operator said, "It just burns by itself. We start it with a paper match."

To most, the mention of the mistranslated word "hell" describes a place deep within the earth where immaterial souls are tortured by material fire before they are put on trial. Again, where brimstone or sulfur is mentioned in the Bible, we are seeing a description of an open-air dump for the incineration of corpses. The interior of the earth has no need for sulfur to heat it. Without an air supply it would not burn there anyway.

Away with pagan myths and the eternal torment theory!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Elect of God

And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. Mark 13:27

That God has chosen certain people to be His, before the world was made, is easily proven from multiple scriptures. Yet it is considered a "controversial" doctrine, and one which can get you hated and yelled at. For not only does the Bible plainly say that some people are chosen to be saved, but that some were created to be destroyed.

Let me make it very simple. One chapter of one book can do these things very nicely. That would be chapter nine of Romans. In extreme cases one could even look up two words in an exhaustive concordance--"elect", and "election". Online, it will take less than a minute. You would find every mention of the two words in context. I have just done this before my present writing.

Bible study can often be so easy, yet so few will do it. They would rather rely on church teaching, or just get angry, which comes naturally.

This doctrine really stirs up the flesh as few others will. It takes self, or ego, entirely out of the picture. It makes our origin and destiny a matter of God's will, not ours. Once understood, it is a source of peace like no other.

  • See KJV references for "elect" here.
  • See KJV references for "election" here.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Helicopters With Hair Like Women?

And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. Revelation 9:8

As unlikely as it is that the locust-like creatures of Revelation chapter nine are helicopters, it is quite often proposed. Each feature given in chapter nine is interpreted as a piece of military hardware. This is done by those who have a total bias against anything outside the realm of nature as they know it. This is called the anti-supernaturalistic bias. Old and young have it.

I have tried to reveal the errors in this interpretation by using the old word substitution technique. You put their word in the place of the Bible's word and read it that way. Thus we have helicopters with hair like women.

While stationed at Ft.Knox, I came across a helicopter square dance used as a demonstration for visitors. Helicopters were dressed up as "hill billys" and performed a dance to country music. It did show extreme skill on the part of the pilots, but no one thought the helicopters, with pigtails fastened to them, were locusts.

Of all the books of the Bible in which to deny the supernatural, Revelation must be the worst to try it in. But the deniers persist. In its extreme form, this is exhibited by a denial of the death and resurrection of Christ, because this was supernatural.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Who the Woman is Not

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. Revelation 12:1

Many rightly ask, "Who is the woman?" Here is a short theology course. To the Roman Catholics, she is Mary. To the Protestants, she is the church. Bingo, both are wrong.

Now who am I to disagree with the two giants of Christendom? Simply one who has chosen to study the Bible and to ignore so-called "church teachings". Since these two entities disagree, at least one of them is wrong anyway. In fact, both are.

Before these two erroneous views are examined, lets look at the first text in the Bible that mentions the woman. Though she is prominent in Revelation, her story begins in Genesis. Amazing how many errors could be avoided by really studying the first book in the Bible!

Here she is,in Joseph's dream.

Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisanse to me. Genesis 37:9

"But there are only eleven stars, and where is the woman?"

There are twelve stars, eleven stars bowing down to one star. And Israel is here, but she is not pictured as a woman until she is ready to give birth to the manchild.

Let us examine the Roman Catholic view first. By simply replacing Mary for the "woman" in our readings, its errors are obvious. It works in a number of places, but I'll choose Revelation 12:6. And Mary fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God.

Why is Mary, known to the Catholics as Queen of heaven--even Queen of the universe--fleeing into the wilderness? They will say that this is her flight to Egypt to escape Herod. But that event is in the past, while Revelation deals with events yet to occur. And Egypt was certainly not a wilderness.

I could go on substituting "Mary" for the "woman", but I'm sure you get my idea.

The main line Protestants have real problems too. For if the woman is the church, who is she giving birth to? Not Israel, not to Jesus. But they try to cram the church in where she does not belong.

So then who is the man child? Israel has been formed up long ago. The church is in heaven. So who is he? There is a group (for the woman and her child are not singular, but plural) born during the exact time covered in this prophecy. They come out of the twelve tribes of Israel and they are all men. They are caught up to heaven, as firstfruits, as soon as they are born. They are the 144 thousand of Revelation 7:4-8, and 14:4.

I was shocked when I heard this explained by Finis Dake in Revelation Expounded or Eternal Mysteries Simplified. Maybe you are too. But compare the manchild with the 144,000. They fit together perfectly.

This explains who the woman is.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sing Me a Song of Doom, Please

Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: Ecclesiastes 7:8

A man witnessing a baseball game between a prison team and a visiting team wondered why the inmates cheered for the visitors, but booed the home team. "The home guys represent the prison, which they hate," he was told. Same for me, concerning the world. I hate it and the devil who runs it. I am eager for it to die.

But, like Sodom, the righteous must leave before the end of the present world. There will be a refuge for "the Woman" (And the woman fled into the the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. Revelation 12:6). The church will be taken out (Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. Revelation 3:10, NIV).

At this point it would be lovely to discuss who the "they", who will feed the woman, are, but I will restrain myself. We will be in heaven, Israel will flee to a place "prepared of God". Then He will try the earth in horrible ways. After this seven year period, the last three and one half years of which are the Great Tribulation of Matthew 24, will come the thousand years of peace, with Christ on the throne. New Jerusalem will be our home some day, so die world, die.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Triune Man?

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing and even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

It is being taught that, just as God is triune, man is also. We are body, soul, spirit. We are , after all, made in God's image. According to this philosophy, we are little gods! If an impertinent person (I would never do this) were to ask if man is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the answer would be, "Certainly not!" But, the argument maintains, man has three of something, and therefore is God-like.

The quest to elevate man never ceases in some quarters, as does the quest to make the church the all-in-all. Most sermons are about how to be better and more successful, though God is mentioned as a kind of coach to aid us in our goal of self-improvement.

The quote from Hebrews speaks of man's heart, another aspect of our humanity. Body, soul, spirit, mind, and heart--that basically defines man. Not divine, but descriptive of our natures.

Did I say "soul"? We all have one, but like the rest of us, it ceases when we stop breathing.

Are we God-like? We should try to be Christ-like. How well are we doing?

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Last Seven Years

"Seventy 'sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put and end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place. Daniel 9:24

We commonly use decades to measure time, but Israel uses septads, or periods of seven years. These septads are often called "weeks".

Many years ago, I found a little book called Daniel's Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks. I was just beginning to think of prophecy as a subject to study. So, I read the little book. It was incomprehensible to me. I persisted though. Slowly, I was learning the Bible's way of saying things. Often this is new to us. Years later, I came to love this book on Daniel's great prophecy.

The seventy weeks are foretold in only four verses. These verses, the whole book, are shunned by old-line churches, like the Presbyterians, who believe they have supplanted Israel. But sleeping Israel will be back, and that is what the Seventy Weeks are all about. Therefore Presbyterians and Jews (though Daniel is their prophet) treat this amazing prophecy as Superman does Kryptonite.

At this time it would be appropriate to ask, "So what have all the septads got to do with me?" Then I would have to be honest and say, "Nothing, directly." It was written by a Jew, for the Jews. But God loves his people, don't you?

Plus, when Israel comes back to life, after the church is in heaven, the greatest events in her history will occur. "The prince who is to come" is antichrist. His rule will take place within the last half of the prophecy's seventieth septad. It is foretold in several places as 42 months (Rev. 11:2 and Rev. 13:5), as 1,260 days (Rev. 11:3, and 12:6), and as "a time, times and half a time" in Rev. 12:14.

Daniel's time table mentioned in the book of Revelation? This part is future of our day. This prophecy is well rooted and verifiable in history. The faithful spread palm leaves on the street of Jerusalem to welcome Messiah, based on it. It has been, and will be accurate to the day, based on the lunar calendar. It promised and delivered our Savior to an unbelieving nation.

Sixty nine of the septads are already fulfilled. There is only one septad left. It's starting point will be the signing of a treaty between Israel and antichrist. That will light the fuse to history's biggest explosion.