May 2013 archives of www.christconnection.net down below
FRIDAY, MAY 31, 2013
SHOULD WE FOCUS ON SIN ?
"Christ Jesus came into the world TO SAVE SINNERS; of whom I am chief" (1 Timothy 1:15).
"Therefore He is able TO SAVE COMPLETELY and to THE UTTERMOST those who come to God through Him, because He ALWAYS LIVES to intercede for them" (Hebrews 7:25).
There's this school of thought in Christendom that THINKS it's their life's mission to call sin “SIN", as if a SINFUL world didn't know what the heck it was.
They are the ONES that picket abortion clinics with SIGNS that say "abortion is murder" (hang with me here for a minute, please), that constantly bash sinners, that constantly point an ACCUSING finger at homosexuals, and even crash homosexual funerals rejoicing that that person "has gone to hell".
I don't know what kind of "Christianity" that is, but it's not found in the New Testament.
The New Testament is ALL about REDEMPTION FROM sin (John 3:17).
My Jesus DIDN'T GO AROUND CONDEMNING SINNERS, as some Christians do today, thinking that's their lofty mission in life.
He went around OFFERING FORGIVENESS to ALL who'd receive Him (John 3:16).
And THAT'S what Christians, at least REAL Christians, should be preaching today.
Jesus' Message HASN'T CHANGED. It's THE SAME today as it was then.
He is THE SAME yesterday, today and FOREVER (Hebrews 13:8).
It's the "Christian" RELIGION, unfortunately, that has PERVERTED His Message.
The ONLY SINNERS that Jesus EVER denounced were the RELIGIOUS LEADERS of His day, who thought they were "better" and "more righteous" than everyone else.
They thought THEIR RELIGION and their WORKS could save them.
They trusted THEIR OWN righteousness, instead of His.
For the record, THERE'S NO RIGHTEOUSNESS BUT JESUS' (Isaiah 64:6).
For the record, "works" DON'T WORK... where Salvation is concerned.
Jesus, in fact, told these self-righteous religious leaders POINT BLANK that "prostitutes and sinners WOULD ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD AHEAD OF THEM" (Matthew 21:31).
Do you REALLY think that a sinner DOESN'T KNOW what he or she is?
Do you REALLY think that by condemning them and telling them HOW EVIL and SINFUL they are you're going to get them to stop sinning, let alone WIN THEM TO Christ?
No. What A SINNER -- ANY SINNER -- needs to hear is that THEIR SINS ARE FORGIVEN.
That's there's a God who loved them SO MUCH that He came in human form and ALREADY PAID FOR ALL -- and I mean ALL -- their sins (2 Corinthians 5:19).
That ALL they need to do IN ORDER TO BE CLEANSED of sin forever, is to RECEIVE THAT WONDERFUL God-Savior into their hearts and TRUST (have full confidence in) His unconditional love for them, His atoning death and Resurrection (John 1:12; Romans 10:9).
Those who want to go back to the Old Testament, where the law demanded "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth", and want to display those hateful SIGNS can do so. That is their right under the law.
However, they should keep in mind that they, too, will be judged by the same standard they apply to others (Matthew 7:1; James 2:10).
Furthermore, those who live under the Old Testament AREN'T SAVED!!!
Is abortion the killing of a human being? You bet!
Is homosexuality sin? YES!
Are they UNFORGIVABLE SINS? NO!!!
SIN ISN'T what Christians should be focused on.
We should focus on Jesus’ RIGHTEOUSNESS which He offers FREELY to ANYONE who’ll RECEIVE HIM into his or her heart.
We should focus on Jesus, THE ONE AND ONLY REMOVER OF SIN.
...The ONLY ONE who PAID FOR, and TOOK AWAY, the sin of the world (John 1:29).
That's WHAT He DIED FOR. That's what He LIVES FOR.
THURSDAY, MAY 30, 2013
BEGIN WITH PRAISE
Every child of God should begin his or her day with praise to God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The moment you wake up, before you put on your make-up (no, I'm kidding, that's a Dionne Warwick song)...
THE MOMENT YOU OPEN YOUR EYES each day, YOUR FIRST THOUGHTS should be about our wonderful Savior.
You should take a few moments, BEFORE DOING ANYTHING ELSE, to praise Him FROM YOUR SPIRIT.
This is one of those neglected, seldom taught truths, found in the Bible.
When the children of Israel sought God's guidance TO OVERCOME the Canaanites, God answered "Judah will go first" (Judges 1:1-2).
The word "Judah" (yehudah) MEANS "PRAISE".
PRAISE SHOULD ALWAYS GO FIRST.
King Jehoshaphat knew this, and appointed singers unto the Lord, praising God, His Mercy, which endures forever, and the beauty of Holiness, to go BEFORE HIS ARMY (to GO FIRST) against the armies of Ammon, Moab and Seir (Edom) (2 Chronicles 20:21-22).
The result? THEIR ENEMIES ENDED UP DESTROYING ONE ANOTHER.
We see this principle applied, again and again, in Jesus' ministry.
When His disciples asked "teach us to pray", the first thing He taught is to BEGIN WITH PRAISE "Our Father, who art in heaven, HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME".
Unfortunately, the Christian religion has turned this marvelous pattern for prayer INTO A VAIN, MEANINGLESS REPETITION.
When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, THE FIRST THING He did was to THANK AND PRAISE the Father OUT LOUD, for always hearing Him.
It was only AFTER PRAISING God, that He called out "Lazarus, come forth!" (John 11:41-42).
We see this principle in the apostles' ministry. When Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into a dungeon, they were sore and bloodied PHYSICALLY, but THEIR SPIRITS STILL PRAISED God, even at MIDNIGHT, and all the other prisoners HEARD THEM (Acts 16:25).
The result? God supernaturally shook the whole place, released all the prisoners, and the jailer and his entire household ended up getting saved. Hallelujah!
Praising Jesus AT THE START of your day MAKES us FOCUS ON HIM, HIS PERFECTION AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, instead of focusing on our own self with all its imperfections (Matthew 6:33).
Praising God makes us spiritually STRONGER.
Praising God AT THE START of our day puts us in the right mood, and gives us a positive, VICTORIOUS outlook, which will linger for the rest of your day.
Praising God MAKES YOU A WINNER.
Give Jesus THE PRAISE HE SO RICHLY DESERVES FIRST.
Put Jesus FIRST, and watch all your obstacles and enemies SELF-DESTROY.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 29, 2013
JESUS IS NOT NICE
I'll give those who just fell off their chairs a moment to get up, and massage their sore behinds...
I can almost hear them pointing the finger and shouting "blasphemy!!!"
If it AGREES WITH what God says about Himself, it CAN'T POSSIBLY BE blasphemy.
I'll tell you what blasphemy is: it's portraying Jesus as something He ISN'T.
That's also IDOLATRY.
I'm sick and tired of religion presenting a FALSE image of Jesus. I'm repulsed by their FALSE portrayal of a mousy, wimpish, sissy Jesus, a pitiful doormat that only speaks in soft, whispery tones, never makes waves, and lets everyone step ALL OVER HIM.
That's NOT the Jesus of the Bible.
That's NOT the Jesus I KNOW.
I'm determined, by the Grace of God, to ERADICATE that blasphemous myth and FOREVER DESTROY that false, idolatrous image.
Jesus WASN'T ALWAYS "nice".
Jesus was nice and merciful TOWARD SINNERS, especially repentant sinners.
But He was RUTHLESS with the hypocritical self-righteous religious establishment of His day.
Yes, Jesus can be supremely meek, loving, tender and gentle.
That SAME Jesus can also be FEROCIOUS.
Religion CANNOT PROCESS that the same Jesus who taught to "turn the other cheek", took a makeshift whip and herded the RELIGIOUS TRAFFICKERS OF HIS DAY (money changers) OUT OF HIS TEMPLE (John 2:13-17).
He THREW THEM OUT!!!
He also uncaged their animals and OVERTHREW THEIR TABLES!
That WASN'T very "nice" of Jesus.
But it was RIGHT.
Does ANY of that sound wimpy to you?
Does ANY OF THAT sound like the feeble, spineless, "meek and mild", jellyfish “Jesus” your religion preaches?
He also had a number of "UNKIND" THINGS to say about the Pharisees OF HIS DAY (Matthew 21:31; 23:14-33). And Lord knows the Pharisaic spirit is still going strong today!
Like Jesus, I'm NOT always nice.
I'm nice, supremely patient and gracious toward repentant sinners and earnest seekers of Truth.
I'm just as RUTHLESS with self righteous religious hypocrites as Jesus WAS AND IS.
Can't stand them!!!
I freely admit that I have ZERO TOLERANCE for them.
So, if you're looking for a "nice" preacher, who always speaks in religiously correct, "lovey dovey" "Kristian" tones, you've come TO THE WRONG PLACE and TO THE WRONG PREACHER.
The pretentious hypocrites you seek, who put up that "good Christian" FAKE FRONT, have no more REAL LOVE in their hearts than Judas.
Like him, they're just waiting for you to turn your back so they can BETRAY YOU and STAB YOU.
I tell you the Truth UP FRONT, whether you like it or not.
Those who are more interested in proper religious etiquette than in Truth, SHOULD NOT EVEN BOTHER reading this website, let alone writing us.
Likewise, those who care more about LOOKS, FORM or DEMEANOR than CONTENT, SHOULD take their sanctimonious phoniness ELSEWHERE.
This ministry is NOT for them.
They should seek one of those "NICE ministries" that are ALWAYS BEGGING FOR MONEY, speak perfect, MAN-MANUFACTURED Christianese, teach UNBIBLICAL GARBAGE and promote stale traditions of men.
If you're one of them, leave us alone.
Go get WHAT YOU DESERVE.
TUESDAY, MAY 28, 2013
GOD HAS NO RELIGION
Hope you were sitting down. I SHOULD HAVE warned you...
If you weren't, Martel proverb says:
"A liberated heart is worth a sore butt".
God is Love.
Love is the OPPOSITE OF FEAR.
Jesus (Divine Love) CASTS OUT FEAR.
All religion, even so-called "Christian" religion is FEAR BASED.
That's why God has NO RELIGION.
All religion, including ALL Christian denominations, was INVENTED BY MEN, NOT BY GOD.
Despite all the liars who claim their denomination is "THE ONE TRUE religion founded by Jesus", He founded NO RELIGION.
What they won't tell you is they're TERRIFIED OF CHANGE, and EVEN MORE TERRIFIED of anyone who's not EXACTLY "like" them.
Their hostility is based ON FEAR.
They hate diversity.
They feel THREATENED by those who do not think, talk or act as they.
Jesus didn't establish a religion, He founded A CHURCH.
The word "church" ekklesia means a group which INCLUDES A WIDE VARIETY of styles and elements.
Notice it says INCLUDES, NOT "excludes".
We get the English word "eclectic" from it.
His Church is NOT a denomination.
His Church cannot be contained in a man-made building, no matter how large.
His Church cannot be confined to MAN-INVENTED rules and regulations.
His Church DOES NOT CONFORM to what corrupt, mortal minds think should be "the norm".
It does not abide by sinful men's traditions or their contrived dogmas.
It's comprised of people INDWELT BY God's Holy Spirit.
People who are FREE (2 Corinthians 3:17).
People who DON'T LIVE IN FEAR.
They're a very large group of LIBERATED spirits who've broken off the shackles of religious idolatry.
God is MUCH TOO GREAT for fabricated religion to control... and so is His Church.
There's TOO MUCH RELIGION in this fallen world.
Thank God there's NO RELIGION IN HEAVEN.
TO HELL WITH religion!
ALL WE NEED IS JESUS.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there's ABSOLUTE FREEDOM.
Christ's Ekklesia IS eclectic.
It's comprised by people as DIFFERENT as each sunset.
But they're ALL reflections of the Most High God.
The world DOESN'T NEED religion.
The world is SICK OF religion.
What the world needs is JESUS.
MONDAY, MAY 27, 2013
THE FIRST RESURRECTION
Post-tribulation proponents often argue that the Rapture happens AT THE END OF the tribulation based on "the FIRST resurrection" mentioned in Revelation 20:4.
Because THERE IS a resurrection of the dead that takes place at the Rapture, they hypothesize that the "first resurrection" refers to the Rapture of believers, and that this "proves" it takes place at the end of the tribulation, when the Millennium starts.
While it's true that there will be a resurrection of the "dead in Christ" at the Rapture, they are then CAUGHT UP TOGETHER WITH LIVING believers to meet Jesus IN THE AIR, NOT on the earth (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
Those who take part in the "first resurrection" ARE NOT CAUGHT UP AT ALL, but remain HERE ON EARTH to reign with Jesus (Revelation 20:4).
Consequently, the “first resurrection” CANNOT BE the Rapture, or the Resurrection of the “dead in Christ” that takes place under it.
Post-tribbers ARE CONFUSED:
They confuse "Rapture" with "Resurrection".
They are, in fact, TWO DIFFERENT THINGS.
The Greek word for what is commonly referred to as "the Rapture" is harpazo which means to SUDDENLY SEIZE, or SNATCH.
The word for "resurrection" is anastasis which literally means to STAND UP, to RISE, or TO STAND AGAIN.
At the Rapture, there is a resurrection of "the dead in Christ", but there are also MILLIONS, if not BILLIONS, who ARE CAUGHT UP (SNATCHED) ALIVE to meet Jesus in the air as clearly expressed in 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17, also in 1 Corinthians 15:50-55.
The "FIRST" resurrection described in Revelation 20:4 is STRICTLY that of TRIBULATION MARTYRS, who come to faith in Jesus during the reign of Antichrist and are killed for their faith, as clearly described in that verse.
NO ONE IS CAUGHT UP, DEAD OR ALIVE, TO MEET JESUS IN THE AIR at the so-called "FIRST" resurrection.
The "rest of the dead" in Revelation 20:5 refers to the UNSAVED DEAD, who are not raised until THE END OF the Millennium and – unless they’ve turned to Christ by then – get tossed into the lake of fire, or SECOND DEATH (Revelation 20:13-15).
So the term "FIRST resurrection" refers, IN CONTEXT, to the first resurrection OF THE MILLENNIUM, since it takes place AT THE START thereof. It is STRICTLY FOR TRIBULATION MARTYRS, who reign with Jesus 1,000 years.
Likewise, the "SECOND resurrection" or "SECOND death" is the SECOND resurrection OF THE MILLENNIUM, it's strictly for the UNSAVED, and takes place AT THE END of the Millennium (Revelation 20:13-15).
The term "FIRST resurrection" CANNOT POSSIBLY MEAN "the first resurrection EVER", since I can name, off the top of my head, AT LEAST NINE resurrections that have taken place PRIOR TO that one:
1. The boy Elisha raised from the dead (2 Kings 4:32-36).
2. The man who rose when his corpse touched Elisha's bones (2 Kings 13:21).
3. The widow's son at Naim (Luke 7:12-15).
4. The resurrection of the dead girl (Mark 7:39-42).
5. Lazarus (John 11:38-44).
6. Jesus (Matthew 28:6).
7. Many Old Testament saints that arose when Jesus rose (Matthew 27:52).
8. The resurrection of the "dead in Christ" at the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
9. The resurrection of the Two Witnesses during the tribulation (Revelation 11:11, 12).
Therefore, to say that the term "First resurrection" which is CLEARLY USED IN REFERENCE TO THE MILLENNIUM, is the same as the Resurrection of the "dead in Christ" at the Rapture, or the same as the Rapture, simply DOESN'T STAND UP TO BIBLICAL SCRUTINY.
It's NOT the first "group resurrection" either, since it was preceded by the resurrection of MANY Old Testament saints when Jesus arose, as stated in item #7 above.
To sum up:
Current believers, who are ALIVE when the Rapture happens, ARE TAKEN TO HEAVEN ALIVE and BEFORE the tribulation begins (Revelation 7:9).
Tribulation saints who SURVIVE are Raptured PRIOR TO the end of the tribulation (Revelation 15:2).
Tribulation saints who DIE (martyrs) are not raptured AT ALL, but RESURRECTED at THE START OF the Millennium , which IS the "first resurrection" (Revelation 20:4-5).
Unbelievers are raised at THE END OF the Millennium ("second resurrection") and are tossed into the lake of fire OR SECOND DEATH (Revelation 20:15).
There's NO WAY in heaven, hell, or earth, that the "first resurrection" can be THE SAME AS the Rapture.
SUNDAY, MAY 26, 2013
THE LAST DAY
If you've ever engaged in discussion or debate with post-tribbers, as I have, one of their favorite arguments is that Jesus spoke of resurrecting believers on "THE LAST DAY".
They quote the Gospel of John, which repeatedly states:
And this is the will of him who sent me: that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up AT THE LAST DAY (John 6:39).
For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up AT THE LAST DAY." (John 6:40).
"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up AT THE LAST DAY" (John 6:44).
"Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up AT THE LAST DAY" (John 6:54).
Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection AT THE LAST DAY" (John 11:24).
"There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him AT THE LAST DAY" (John 12:48).
This, post-tribbers contend, PROVES that believers remain on earth during the tribulation and that the Rapture takes place AT THE LAST DAY, AFTER the tribulation has ended. Hence, the Rapture CANNOT POSSIBLY BE pre-trib.
Notice what Jesus DIDN'T say: He NEVER SAID "and I will SNATCH believers who are ALIVE to meet me IN THE AIR, on the last day".
In EVERY ONE of the above passages Jesus spoke ONLY of RAISING PEOPLE UP, as in RESURRECTING THEM, or JUDGING them unto CONDEMNATION.
NOT ONCE does He mention CATCHING THEM AWAY to meet Him in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17). And I challenge ANY post-tribber TO PRODUCE ONE verse of Scripture that says THE SNATCHING, CATCHING AWAY or Greek "harpazo" (a/k/a The Rapture) takes place on the "last day".
So, even IF (huge "IF") Jesus had meant the LITERAL, last 24-hour day, this couldn't possibly refer to the Rapture of Christians.
The obvious question is "WHAT, then, did Jesus mean when He spoke about "the last day".
Had He meant the last 24-hour day, I have bad, bad news for post-tribbers: The ONLY ONES who get raised on the last 24-hour day according to Revelation 20:14,15 are THE DAMNED, who get tossed into the lake of fire along with Satan.
So, they sure as hell better pray Jesus didn't mean the last, LITERAL 24-hour day.
In Psalm 90:4 Moses tell us that, from God's perspective, "A THOUSAND YEARS in your sight are LIKE A DAY that has just gone by".
And, again, 2 Peter 3:8 states "ONE DAY with the Lord IS AS A THOUSAND YEARS, and a thousand years as one day".
The term "last day" refers to the prophetic "Day of the Lord" or Millennium, which is both, succeeded and preceded by 7-YEAR PERIODS.
The succeeding 7 years are the time for the Great White Throne judgment of unbelievers (Revelation 20:7-15; Ezekiel 39:9).
The preceding 7 years -- which we are in right now -- cover the birth pangs, the Rapture, the tribulation and the Second Coming.
So, when Jesus says "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the LAST DAY" (John 6:44) He meant SOMETIME DURING the prophetic Day of the Lord, which is a period of OVER 1,000 years (approximately 1,014 years) that begins with the birth pangs and ends with the White Throne Judgment when death itself, hell itself, and the unsaved are all cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15), whereupon there's a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1).
Indeed, there are SEVERAL RESURRECTIONS during that period, including:
1. The "dead in Christ" at the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).
2. The Two Witnesses (Revelation 11:11, 12).
3. The tribulation martyrs (Revelation 20:4).
4. The unsaved dead (Revelation 20:11-15).
It was THIS time span that John referred to again in the Book of Revelation 1:10 when he states he was "in the Spirit ON THE DAY OF THE LORD", whereupon he was shown, "things that are" and "things which shall be" (Revelation 1:19).
Those "things" he was shown, as taking place during the Day of the Lord or "last day", included the Rapture (Revelation 6:12, 7:9), the tribulation (chapters 8-19), the reign of Antichrist (chapters 13-19), the Second Coming or our Lord (chapter 19), all the way ‘til the end of the Millennium, the White Throne Judgment, the new heaven and earth, and the New Jerusalem (chapters 20-22).
Clearly, the “Day of the Lord”, or "last day", is a LONG period of time which encompasses ALL OF THE ABOVE.
So, the Rapture DOES take place near the START OF the "Day of the Lord" or "Last Day", BEFORE the tribulation judgments are poured out, as UNDISPUTEDLY described in Revelation 7:9 and 8:2.
One of the reasons it's called "the last day" is because, once this period ends, time as we know it, WILL BE NO MORE.
When the Day of the Lord ends, everyone and everything steps into the realm of ETERNITY which, ultimately, is the only REALITY, the ONLY TRUTH, there is.
The concept of the "last day" or Day of the Lord, and that there would be one or more resurrections during that period, was familiar to Jews in Jesus' time, since it's mentioned often in the Old Testament (Isaiah 2:6-22; 11:6-10; 19:16-25; 26:1-21; 58:13; Jeremiah 46:10; Ezekiel chapters 47-48; Haggai 2:23; Amos 5:18; Zephaniah 1:4; 2:2; Zechariah 12:8; 14:7, 20-21).
What they didn't know were the FINER POINTS of that Day, since those are given to us in the New Testament.
SATURDAY, MAY 25, 2013
TALE OF TWO SINNERS
In Luke 19:9-14, Jesus told the parable of TWO SINNERS, the Pharisee and the publican.
Pharisees were part of the religious hierarchy of the day. They were educated, well dressed, had sound theology, and were generally held in high esteem.
Publicans, on the other hand, were very common individuals, considered traitors, and dishonest, since they collected taxes for the Roman Empire, and often overtaxed their own countrymen in order to maximize profits. They were generally regarded as scum.
One thing I love about Jesus is that He often sat, ate, and hung out with publicans, but continually butted heads with self-righteous Pharisees.
Jesus NEVER spoke against publicans (sinners), yet He REPEATEDLY railed against holier-than-thou Pharisees, calling them hypocrites, to their face, as well as "vipers", and "blind guides".
For good measure, He added that publicans and whores would enter God's Kingdom AHEAD OF them [Matthew 21:31].
There's NOTHING new under the sun.
In the aforementioned parable, the publican humbled himself, ACKNOWLEDGED he was A NO-GOOD, WORTHLESS SINNER, asked for God's mercy, and went home justified.
But the self-righteous Pharisee who said:
Thank God I'M NOT like this sinful drug addict,
Thank God I'M NOT like this sinful homosexual,
Thank God I'M NOT like this sinful prostitute,
Thank God I'M NOT like this sinful thief,
Thank God I always use "proper" language, UNLIKE this profane sinner,
Thank God I'M NOT LIKE this sinful idolater,
Thank God I'M NOT like this sinful adulterer,
Thank God I keep the 10 Commandments
Thank God I tithe
Thank God I do good works.
Thank God I observe the weekly the Sabbath.
Thank God I observe the Torah.
Thank God I'M NOT like this SINNER,
Was NOT in right standing with God.
Despite his religion and his pretentious sense of SELF-righteousness, the Pharisee WAS LOST AND HEADED FOR HELL.
Fast forward 2,000 years: We still have "publicans" and, unfortunately, plenty of Pharisees.
We are ALL sinners.
There are only TWO CATEGORIES OF SINNER:
Those who acknowledge their sin, humble themselves, ask Jesus into their hearts, TRUST WHAT HE DID FOR US AT CALVARY, and ARE FORGIVEN and SAVED.
And those who THINK they can attain THEIR OWN righteousness, by "doing this" and "NOT DOING that", who TRUST WHAT THEY DO, NOT WHAT HE DID, who have fallen from Grace, will perish in their sins and GO STRAIGHT TO HELL (Galatians 5:4,5).
WHICH OF THE TWO CATEGORIES ARE YOU IN ?
FRIDAY, MAY 24, 2013
FEAR OF 666
It happens too often: an email comes in from a terrified Christian who thinks he or she has been given "the mark of the beast".
And what, in heaven's name, caused them to THINK that?
You name it: They were given a phone number or license plate with the feared 666, or they got an account number somewhere that contained 666, or they entered a chat room, and the message number contained 666, or they bought something and the total came to $66.65, or they went to the doctor for a blood test and the doctor's phone number contains the digits 666... or something or other pertaining to Obamacare contains 666, or their zip code contains "666", the list goes on and on.
I can understand superstitious unbelievers getting all riled up. I can understand NEW Christians being concerned, but people who claim to have followed Jesus FOR YEARS AND YEARS???
Give me a break!!!
How can some Christians be SO IGNORANT?
Doesn't ANYONE read the Bible anymore?
The mark of the beast is mentioned in Revelation 13:16-18, 14:9-11 :
1. Nowhere does it say it is given to people WITHOUT THEIR EXPRESS KNOWLEDGE AND CONSENT.
On the contrary, Revelation 14:9-11 and 20:4 are clear that people will DELIBERATELY CHOOSE to receive or reject the mark.
2. Nowhere are we told that the mark is a license plate, a phone number, an account number, a purchase price, an address, a zip code, or anything remotely similar.
3. Nowhere are we told it will be a "microchip implant". I know that's a popular theory. It may serve as amusing religious "entertainment" on YouTube, but there's NOTHING in Scripture to support that microchip technology being used worldwide.
Keeping in mind that such system isn't even in place, that the tribulation only lasts 3½ years and that God only knows what technology will be available, if any, after the devastation and chaos brought by the trumpet judgments, it's not even REALISTIC to think that such microchip system can be implemented worldwide as a means of buying and selling.
Also, the Greek word used is epi meaning "on" NOT "in".
4. We are explicitly told in Revelation 13:16 that it will be a mark on the right hand or forehead. The Greek word is charagma meaning a scratch or etching.
5. Nowhere are we told that the mark will consist of "666" in Arabic numbers, although it might. What the original Greek says is that the mark will be the Antichrist's number, and that it is THE NUMBER OF MAN (6) three times, symbolizing the times this spirit of Antichrist has incarnated.
The MARK itself IS GIVEN IN GREEK, SINCE THE ANTICHRIST HIMSELF IS GREEK and it looks like this: χξς
Since Greek letters have NUMERICAL VALUE, those symbols represent 666 in our numeric system.
6. Last but not least, HOW ON EARTH could you have been given the mark of the beast, WHEN THE BEAST ISN'T EVEN AROUND... yet?
Let me give everyone some practical advice:
As long as the Church is still on earth, the tribulation HASN'T begun and the Antichrist HASN'T appeared, I wouldn't worry about ANYTHING that contains three sixes or "666".
If you're still on earth, when the Church is gone, the world we know today no longer exists and is DEVASTATED, and an ancient Greek military hero rises from the dead, and takes control of the world - THEN WORRY.
DON'T TAKE ANYTHING that contains "666" at THAT point.
Until then, let's set aside all the delusion and paranoia and TRUST JESUS.
If you BELONG TO Christ, you have nothing to worry about.
Antichrist CANNOT give you his mark WITHOUT YOUR KNOWLEDGE.
Antichrist CANNOT give you his mark AGAINST YOUR WILL.
THURSDAY, MAY 23, 2013
WHERE’S THE SCRIPTURE?
“And then shall that Wicked One be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the breath of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
And WITH ALL DECEPTION OF UNRIGHTEOUSNESS IN THEM THAT PERISH; because THEY RECEIVED NOT THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH, THAT THEY MIGHT BE SAVED.
And for this cause God shall send THEM STRONG DELUSION, THAT THEY SHOULD BELIEVE A LIE:
THAT THEY ALL MIGHT BE CONDEMNED WHO BELIEVED NOT THE TRUTH, BUT HAD PLEASURE IN UNRIGHTEOUSNESS”
(2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).
It’s happened to all of us at one time or another: we want to quote a verse from the Bible which addresses a certain situation, and can’t seem to find it, or remember where we read it.
That, however, can be easily remedied by consulting a good Concordance.
However, I want to address the ever-growing trend to MAKE STATEMENTS – AS ABSOLUTE FACT – about God, Jesus, the Bible, Salvation or Bible prophecy WITHOUT ANY scriptural foundation whatsoever, and based SOLELY AND ENTIRELY on one’s personal opinion.
This is something I get CONSTANTLY, every single day, in emails, as well as YouTube comments.
Many in this wicked and adulterous generation seem to THINK that THEIR PERSONAL OPINION determines what is or isn’t true.
Never mind that their “OPINIONS” OFTEN flat-out CONTRADICT GOD'S OPINION and WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT IT.
If you THINK that God gives a hoot about your opinion…
If you THINK that you can BE SAVED based on YOUR PREFERENCES instead of God’s…
If you THINK you can MAKE the Antichrist be YOUR CANDIDATE OF CHOICE BASED ON PERSONAL WHIM…
If you THINK you DETERMINE who goes in the Rapture and who doesn’t.
If you THINK your FLAWED OPINION will make God accommodate HIS HOLY WORD to YOURS…
That’s DELUSION of the highest order.
Those who do are playing A VERY DANGEROUS GAME.
Those who THINK they can impose THEIR WILL on others and ON GOD HIMSELF, those who think THEIR OPINION, THEIR PERSONAL PREFERENCE, THEIR WILL – will OVERRIDE GOD’S…
…will find themselves one of these days in the fires of hell.
Don’t mess with God’s Word. Don't twist. Don’t add, don’t subtract.
It’s ONE THING to say “this is my opinion, but I don’t know”.
It’s ANOTHER to STATE AS FACT something that contradicts God, thus SHOVING Him and HIS WORD ASIDE, and "establishing" yours.
God’s Word is FOREVER SETTLED IN HEAVEN (Psalm 119:39).
Yours and mine is settled NOWHERE.
When some KNOW-IT-ALL comes to you, trying to impose HIS OPINION… WITHOUT ANY biblical support:
Stand your ground and ask: Really? Where’s the Scripture?
WEDNESDAY, MAY 22, 2013
144,000 & DANIEL 11
The parallels between the Books of Daniel and Revelation are awesome, many, and I keep finding news ones:
Just like Revelation has a couple of “forgotten chapters” (8 and 9) THAT NO ONE talks about, Daniel’s chapters 10 and 11 are ALMOST ENTIRELY IGNORED by the prophecy establishment and by Christians in general.
Since the Book of Revelation IS THE “UNSEALING”, BY JESUS HIMSELF, OF the Book of Daniel, these two Books complement each other beautifully.
If you want BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF REVELATION, YOU MUST study ALL of Daniel.
If you want BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF DANIEL, YOU MUST study ALL of Revelation.
And by “study”, I DON’T MEAN a “quick read”, although even that is better than nothing:
I MEAN DIGGING DEEP INTO THEM, reading them slowly, carefully, in the Spirit, paying attention to DETAILS (what we’re told and what we’re NOT told), allowing the contents to REALLY SINK INTO your spirit, meditating on them often, and LISTENING to the Spirit’s “commentary” about them.
Instead of running to the nearest “Christian” business (bookstore) for some worthless COMMENTARY written by some FALLIBLE MORTAL, why NOT pay attention to THE BEST, INFALLIBLE COMMENTARY ABOUT THE WORD OF GOD THERE IS?
Why not COMMUNE WITH, LISTEN TO, and PAY ATTENTION TO the Holy Spirit, the VERY GOD who inspired the written Word?
Revelation 7:1-8 tells us about 144,000 Israelites who are SEALED on their foreheads (with the Spirit of God and Mind of Christ).
Revelation 14:1-5 further describes these Messianic Israelites, who they are, how they live, and how deeply they are committed to serving Jesus.
It also talks about A SPECIAL RAPTURE, JUST FOR THEM, which takes place when their mission is accomplished, while Antichrist is still reigning.
There has been much debate in prophetic circles about WHAT THEIR PURPOSE DURING THE TRIBULATION MAY BE.
Since the Book of Revelation DOESN’T tell us, where do we get the answer?
You guessed it: IN THE BOOK OF DANIEL:
“And such AS DO WICKEDLY AGAINST THE COVENANT (in context, natural Israelites) shall he (Antichrist) corrupt by flattery: BUT THE PEOPLE THAT DO KNOW THEIR GOD SHALL BE STRONG, AND TAKE ACTION.
And THEY THAT UNDERSTAND AMONG THE PEOPLE SHALL INSTRUCT MANY: yet they (natural Israelites) shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by plunder, many days (Daniel 11:32-33).
Since THE ONLY ONES who will KNOW THE LORD and have understanding of the end times when the tribulation starts are the Two Witnesses and the 144,000 Israelites, we may safely conclude that THIS IS TALKING ABOUT THEM.
Antichrist, as Jesus Himself told us, will try to deceive, if possible, EVEN THE VERY Chosen Israelites (Matthew 24:24).
His false prophet (the risen Judas) will not only perform signs and wonders, but is himself Jewish and a former disciple, follower, and BETRAYER of Jesus.
We can only imagine the sort of trash and DECEPTION that will come out of his foul mouth.
It’s obvious from these verses that SOME natural Israelites will be deceived and FORSAKE the Holy, eternal Covenant that God made with Abraham and that Jesus CONFIRMED (Psalm 105:8-10; Galatians 3:17).
It will be the role of the Two Witnesses and the 144,000 Messianic Israelites to INSTRUCT many of their peers and share the KNOWLEDGE OF Messiah with them.
The tribulation will be a harrowing time for the whole world, but particularly for Israel.
Not only will there be supernatural and catastrophic events, not only will there be severe persecution, BUT GREAT DECEPTION as well.
TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013
Evangelical missionaries are the unsung heroes in today's church.
While slick televangelists get all the "glory", adulation, AND MONEY, these men and women of God risk life and limb, endure hardship, and make untold sacrifices daily to spread the Gospel of His Grace.
They must receive special training, then pack up and leave behind home, family, friends, comforts, and relocate to some remote area of the planet, often under dire and difficult living conditions.
They must become familiar with the local language and culture, so they can communicate The Message effectively and, in most cases, live under constant threat of being incarcerated, tortured, and even murdered for their faith.
They LITERALLY "lay down their lives" for Jesus' sake, AND FOR THE BRETHREN.
Our Lord said there's NO GREATER LOVE than this (John 15:13).
Missionaries are the closest thing we have to apostles in today's Church.
And yet their courage and UNSELFISH efforts often go unnoticed.
It takes the REAL call of God on a person's life to commit in such a way to this noble, unrewarded (at least in material ways), and often DANGEROUS mission.
While slick televangelists and MOST Western Christians bask in self-serving BUSINESS pursuits and are content to preach to the choir, like the original apostles, missionaries are SENT by God "into ALL THE WORLD" to preach His Gospel.
They don't live in mansions, don't drive Rolls Royces, don't fly private jets, don't wear Rolexes, don't own huge buildings, and seldom, if ever, are seen or heard on “Christian” media.
They enjoy few, if any, of the comforts the modern church has become accustomed to.
They aren't "Christian celebrities". Most of them are unknown to the world, and even to us.
If you know one or more of these HEROES OF THE FAITH, please take a moment to give them a loving word of encouragement, cover them and their families daily with the Blood of Jesus, tell them HOW MUCH their ministry is appreciated, and if you possibly can, SUPPORT them, BOTH FINANCIALLY AND WITH YOUR PRAYERS.
Missionaries of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, we LOVE AND HONOR you, and thank God for your selfless service.
Your ETERNAL REWARD is Jesus Himself, both in this life, and the next.
MONDAY, MAY 20, 2013
WHEN GOD SAYS “ENOUGH!”
Hardly a day goes by that someone doesn’t send us some conspiracy theory about some group (Islam, Masons, Bilderbergers, Rockefellers, Illuminati, Opus Dei, Trilateral Commission, Council of Foreign Relations, Skull and Bones, Bohemian Grove, FEMA) plotting to take over the world.
Since I DON’T READ FICTION, nor have time to read what OTHER PEOPLE THINK I SHOULD BE READING, those theories are promptly ignored.
How do I know it’s FICTION?
Simple: IT’S NOT FOUND IN THE BIBLE.
Approximately ONE-THIRD OF THE BIBLE is prophecy.
While some books in the Bible are NOTHING BUT prophecy, I can’t think of a single Book in the Bible that DOES NOT CONTAIN SOME AMOUNT OF prophecy.
Funny thing is, IN ALL THAT PROPHECY there isn’t ONE mention of ANY “secret society” taking over the world.
Such message, therefore, is TOTALLY UNSCRIPTURAL.
There isn’t ONE verse in Scripture that says Antichrist rises to power through some Machiavellian conspiracy.
His will be energized and possessed by Satan., and his rise to power will be allowed by God: that’s how God knows about it in advance and told us about it in Scripture (2 Thessalonians 2:9; Revelation 17:8).
So, either you conspiracy theorists KNOW MORE THAN GOD about the end times, or you’re missing the point, BADLY.
I DO NOT DOUBT FOR A MOMENT that there are certain “groups” – that secretly or not so secretly – are pulling strings and manipulating our lives to some extent.
I do not doubt for a moment that certain clubs, religious organizations, and religions would LOVE to take over the world, or that they actively seek such power.
Where all conspiracy theorists MISS IT is they FAIL TO FACTOR GOD INTO THE EQUATION.
They talk and THINK as though our Heavenly Father is OBLIVIOUS to what goes on in this earthly realm, and as though He has given free rein to power hungry organizations to do THEIR WILL.
As though the God who numbers the very HAIRS on our heads, and sees EVERY SPARROW FALL, does not care what happens on His earth (Psalm 24:1; Matthew 10:29-30).
They think and talk as though such societies are omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent.
I don’t care how influential they may be, or how much they’ve infiltrated the halls of power, THEY ARE NOT God, they are not everywhere, don’t know everything, and DON’T HAVE ALL THE POWER.
They can plot ALL THEY WANT.
They can come up with ALL THE CLEVER SCHEMES their corrupt minds can conceive.
Hollywood can keep filling living rooms and movie theaters with its amoral, Anti-God Anti-Christ message.
And God will give ALL FOOLS just enough rope to hang themselves.
He did with Sodom and Gomorrah.
He did with the generation of Noah’s flood.
And He will do likewise with OUR generation.
IT’S NO COINCIDENCE that Jesus compared the end of the age PRECISELY TO the days of Noah and days of Lot (Luke 17:26-28).
But make no mistake: there will come a point in “time”, WHEN GOD WILL SAY “ENOUGH!”
When He will say, “I’ve HAD IT, and I’m putting AND END TO this terrestrial fiasco”.
It’s at that point that Jesus will appear, every eye will see Him: those who love Him, and those who hate Him (Revelation 1:7).
It’s at that point that God will show all conspirators WHO'S REALLY IN CONTROL.
SUNDAY, MAY 19, 2013
ONE DAY AT A TIME
"Therefore TAKE NO THOUGHT, saying, WHAT SHALL WE EAT? OR, WHAT SHALL WE DRINK? OR, HOW SHALL WE BE CLOTHED?
For the Gentiles do seek after all these things: but your heavenly Father KNOWS THAT YOU HAVE NEED OF ALL THESE THINGS.
But SEEK FIRST the Kingdom of God, and His Righteousness (WITHIN YOU) and ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU.
Therefore TAKE NO THOUGHT FOR TOMORROW: for tomorrow shall take thought of the things for itself. SUFFICIENT UNTO THE DAY IS THE EVIL THEREOF" (Matthew 6:31-34).
"Behold NOW is the acceptable time. TODAY IS THE DAY of Salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2).
Much, if not ALL, of the fear and anxiety we experience comes from PROJECTING TO THE "FUTURE".
In this time-bound TEMPORARY world, where EVERYTHING has "a season" and "a time" (Ecclesiastes 3:1) it's normal for us to THINK in terms of "past", present and "future".
However, the "past" and the "future" are MERE ILLUSIONS.
In reality, THERE'S NO SUCH THING.
The ONLY Truth there is PRESENT, as in ETERNAL PRESENT, as in God.
The first being to "project" into the ‘future" was Satan.
And he did it OUT OF FEAR.
He would NOT trust God IN THE PRESENT, in THE TRUTH, so he FABRICATED THE LIE we call "future" (Isaiah 14:13-14).
THAT was THE FIRST lie: Satan's been LYING ever since (John 8:44).
He lies to others CONSTANTLY, and even LIES TO HIMSELF.
But ALL LIES are temporary. Truth is ETERNAL.
Sooner or later, LIES COME TO AN END, and ETERNAL TRUTH swallows up ALL TEMPORARY LIES (1 Corinthians 15:55; Revelation 21:1-4).
Jesus gave us two commandments: to LOVE God with all our hearts, souls and minds, and to LOVE our neighbor as our selves.
You CANNOT love someone "yesterday" or "tomorrow".
LOVE is ONLY possible IN THE PRESENT (in God Himself).
LOVE (God, Jesus) CAN ONLY BE EXPERIENCED IN THE PRESENT (1 John 4:16).
Likewise you cannot GET SAVED "yesterday" or "tomorrow", for Salvation requires FAITH (trust).
Faith is ONLY POSSIBLE IN THE PRESENT:
"NOW faith IS the substance of things hoped for"... (Hebrews 11:1).
That's why you CANNOT get saved "yesterday" or "tomorrow".
TODAY is THE DAY of Salvation (of Jesus).NOW is the accepted time (2 Corinthians 6:2).
If you "postpone" your DECISION TO INVITE JESUS INTO YOUR HEART and to RECEIVE Him as God, Savior and Lord UNTIL "tomorrow", or "next week", or "next month", or "next year", or to "ONE OF THESE DAYS", YOU WILL NEVER GET SAVED.
That means, conversely, THAT YOU WON'T BE SAVED... EVER.
When you "postpone" to the "future", you're stepping into Satan's territory.
When you do, the devil has you WHERE HE WANTS YOU.
And he'll beat the crap out of you, until you REALIZE and AWAKEN from his lies TO THE TRUTH WHICH IS ALWAYS "PRESENT".
Jesus' Day IS TODAY. Jesus' "TIME" IS NOW.
If you REALLY WANT JESUS (Salvation), DON'T WAIT UNTIL "tomorrow".
GIVE YOUR HEART TO HIM NOW, "TODAY".
SATURDAY, MAY 18, 2013
GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE
ALL LEGALISTS perceive themselves as BETTER, HOLIER and WORTHIER of Salvation than the rest of us.
They BASE such belief ON THEIR OWN “MERIT”, ON THEIR OWN “WORKS OF OBEDIENCE”.
The Truth of the matter is that LEGALISTS SIN JUST AS MUCH, OR MORE, than the rest of mortals.
The Truth is they’re NOT BETTER, HOLIER OR “WORTHIER” of ANYTHING EXCEPT DAMNATION.
Legalists are those who INSIST that keeping the Law, or portions thereof, like the 10 Commandments, the Sabbath, circumcision, and dietary laws prescribed in the Torah, or SOME COMBINATION THEREOF, is ESSENTIAL to Salvation.
Despite the testimony of Scripture, legalists DO NOT BELIEVE OR TRUST that Jesus’ Death, Resurrection and Ascension ARE ETERNALLY SUFFICIENT TO SAVE US AND PUT US FOREVER IN RIGHT STANDING WITH GOD (Acts 4:12; Hebrews 9:12; 10:14).
Hence, legalists DO NOT BELIEVE IN GRACE, AND HAVE NO FAITH.
Hence, ALL LEGALISTS ARE LOST.
Legalists such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Church of God, Church of Christ, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists and (unfortunately) SOME branches of Messianic Judaism, BELIEVE THAT WHAT THEY DO EXTERNALLY CONTRIBUTES TO THEIR SALVATION.
They often accuse REAL Christians of “sloppy agape” and “greasy Grace”.
Meanwhile, they PAY LITTLE OR NO ATTENTION to what takes place INTERNALLY, in THEIR HEARTS.
They have NO SPIRITUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD WHO IS SPIRIT, yet THINK they can IMPRESS God (Eternal Spirit) with WHAT THEY DO PHYSICALLY IN THIS TEMPORARY REALM.
Legalists PRETEND to be Christians, but what they really are is practicers of A LEGAL CODE.
They’re just as saved AS MOST LAWYERS who’ve passed the bar exam but wouldn’t know Christ is He appeared in glory and spit in their blind eyes.
They CLAIM to know the Christ of the NEW Testament, but live under the OLD, ABOLISHED, Old Testament WHEN CHRIST WAS NOT KNOWN (Jeremiah 31:31, 33-34).
They claim to “believe in Jesus” BUT THINK AND ACT as though Jesus’ Death, Blood, and Resurrection HAD MADE NO DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER.
They are hell-bent on PROCURING THEIR OWN, FAKE “righteousness”, which is AS FILTHY RAGS in God’s nostrils (Isaiah 64:6) when the ONLY RIGHTEOUSNESS IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE if that of God Himself.
They INSIST on living under the law and IMPOSING law-keeping on others WHEN THEY THEMSELVES HAVE NEVER KEPT THE LAW.
Jesus said that ONLY KNOWING Him (the Son) is what SETS US FREE (John 8:36).
But legalists prefer BONDAGE to the Law WHICH WAS GIVEN TO A BUNCH OF SLAVES, and has ONLY PRODUCED SLAVES.
Legalists have never heeded Paul’s maxim that “The letter KILLS, the Spirit GIVES LIFE” (2 Corinthians 3:6).
After Israelites had lived under the Law FOR 500 YEARS, their own King David said THERE WERE NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE!!! (Psalm 53:1; 143:2).
After Israelites had lived under the Law 1,500 YEARS, Jesus said that NONE OF THEM HAD KEPT THE LAW! (John 7:19).
Legalists ONLY PRETEND to be “holier” and “cleaner” than the rest of us.
But they are AS SINFUL AND DIRTY AS CAN BE, SINCE THEY HAVE UNREGENERATE HEARTS.
Like first century Pharisees, they SEEM CLEAN ON THE OUTSIDE, but INSIDE are full of decay and UNCLEANNESS, just as Jesus said (Matthew 23:27).
In fact, that’s PRECISELY what legalists ARE: MODERN DAY PHARISEES, clouds without water, trees without roots, TWICE DEAD AND PLUCKED UP BY THE ROOTS (Jude 1:12).
They ACT “righteous” ON THE OUTSIDE, but are “full of INIQUITY” AND FILTH ON THE INSIDE.
ALL they base their “righteousness” on are FINITE, FILTHY, IMPERFECT WORKS (Galatians 2:16).
WORKS that will be CONSUMED, DESTROYED AND FORGOTTEN (2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 21:4).
But they’ve NEVER RECEIVED JESUS INTO THEIR HEARTS or KNOWN HIM PERSONALLY (John 1:12; 1 John 5:12).
They’ve NEVER experienced His Presence or His Holy Spirit ON THE INSIDE (Romans 8:9).
They wouldn’t KNOW PERFECTION (God’s Holy Spirit) if He SMACKED THEIR UGLY, TWISTED, CORRUPT MINDS.
They can accuse REAL Christians of “greasy Grace” all they want, BUT GOD’S GRACE IS THE ONLY THING THAT SAVES US (Ephesians 2:8-9).
They can accuse REAL Christians of “sloppy agape” ALL THEY WANT, BUT AGAPE (love) IS THE ONLY FULFILLMENT OF THE LAW THERE IS (Romans 13:9-10).
WORKS ARE NOT, AND HAVE NEVER BEEN, THE FULFILLMENT OF THE LAW which THEY CLAIM TO UPHOLD.
ALL LEGALISTS ARE HEADED FOR HELL.
God (Jesus) IS LOVE (1 John 4:16).
Isaiah 12:2: JESUS, the embodiment of God’s LOVE AND GOD’S GRACE, IS THE ONLY SALVATION THERE IS.
FRIDAY, MAY 17, 2013
The doctrine of so-called British Israelism has been around for a long time. It was INVENTED in the 17th century by British heretics, and popularized in the 50's thru 80's by that infamous false prophet named Herbert W. Armstrong, who is now in the flames of hell.
Armstrong founded the so-called Worldwide Church of God (WCG). Mercifully, after Armstrong's death, God's Truth and Grace got through to the leaders of that FORMER cult and they now teach salvation through Grace ALONE, and changed their name to Grace Communion International (GCI).
I've been dealing with it, debating the misguided fanatics who follow this lunacy, and DENOUNCING IT, for a LONG time.
British Israelism is one of the many MYTHS that come to us under the guise of "biblical prophecy".
They have religious infomercials on TV which CLAIM to teach "Bible prophecy".
Again I ask, HOW can something BE "Bible prophecy" WHEN IT'S NOT FOUND IN the Bible?
There are many denominations that promote Armstrong's lies to UNSUSPECTING Christians, like the so-called "United Church of God" (UCG), the so-called "Restored Church of God" (RCG) or the so-called Philadelphia Church of God (PCG), as well as their FALSE PROPHETS like Gerald Flurry and David Pack.
Never ceases to amaze me how some Evangelicals run into a YouTube video produced by these liars, or some website or blog that promotes their false doctrine, and thinks he or she has had this "epiphany" when, in fact, they're watching or reading FALSE doctrine, NOT SUPPORTED BY the Bible, from A CULT.
The false doctrine of British Israelism basically states that ONLY English speaking people are the TRUE Israelites mentioned in the Bible and that Queen Elizabeth II, or whichever monarch occupies the British throne, is a direct descendant of King David.
There is NOTHING in the ENTIRE Bible that supports, let alone PROVES, such nonsense.
Likewise, there is NOTHING in credible, reputable, DOCUMENTED secular history that supports, let alone PROVES, such nonsense.
NO ONE denies that 10 of the 12 tribes, became dispersed in 721 B.C. when the Assyrians conquered the Kingdom of Israel and took them captive, leaving only the Kingdom of Judah in the South.
Where exactly those 10 tribes are today is KNOWN ONLY to God.
In chapters 36-40 of the Book of Ezekiel God promises to bring them back into the Land of Israel during the Millennium.
So, the world has lost track of them, God hasn't.
Consequently, to claim they are EXCLUSIVELY the English speaking people of the world, to claim EXCLUSIVE Anglo-Saxon israelism, LACKS ANY BIBLICAL OR HISTORICAL BASIS.
Cases in point: in recent years there have been Israelites from places like Ethiopia and India coming back into Israel because they have a long-standing tradition of being descendants of one of the 10 "lost" tribes.
In Spain and Portugal there are millions of people who descend from one or more of the so-called "10 lost tribes".
It's HISTORIC FACT that many displaced Israelites relocated to, and flourished, in Spain and Portugal, at least until the Spanish Inquisition in 1478, and until they were kicked out of Spain in 1492.
They are called the Sephardim.
There are also many people with Israelite roots in Eastern Europe: Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, etc. They are called the Ashkenazim.
So, this theory is FALSE, RACIST, anti-Semite, BASELESS and UNSCRIPTURAL.
Although the 10 northern tribes became dispersed the TWO southern tribes of Israel -- namely Benjamin and Judah -- WERE MOST DEFINITELY NOT.
The TWO tribes in the Kingdom of Judah were taken into exile by the Babylonians in 586 B.C., but THEY RETURNED TO ISRAEL 70 years later as both the Bible and secular history confirm (Jeremiah 29:10; Daniel 9:2; Nehemiah chapters 1,2).
They are just as Israelite as the other 10 tribes. And they, together with some Levites, comprise most of the population of the modern State of Israel, WITHOUT THE SLIGHTEST DOUBT.
Indeed, God PROMISED that He would always leave ONE TRIBE, Judah, intact "for David's sake" (1 Kings 11:13, 32; 2 Kings 8:19).
Of course, you'll NEVER HEAR ANY OF THAT from any Armstrongnist, because it DEBUNKS their very FLAWED and elitist theory.
British Israelism is A CULT.
Armstrongnists don't lead ANYONE to Christ.
They teach THE LIE that Jesus' Blood and the Grace of God AREN'T ENOUGH. That WORKS, such as Sabbath keeping and 10 Commandment keeping are NECESSARY for Salvation.
Their doctrine leads people STRAIGHT TO HELL. That's why it's thoroughly denounced by THIS ministry and on THIS website.
Jesus PAID IN FULL the price to SAVE US, down the last sin any of us will ever commit (Matthew 5:17-18; John 19:30;).
Armstrong didn’t die for you, didn’t shed his blood for you, didn’t rise from the dead and didn’t ascend to heaven, but DESCENDED INTO HELL.
Jesus IS THE TRUTH (John 14:6). Armstrong was A LIAR (Romans 3:4).
You can TRUST Jesus, or you can trust Armstrong, but you CAN’T TRUST BOTH.
THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2013
NO GUILT HERE
We received a whole bunch of emails in response to Monday’s message entitled “Going Down the Tube” by Christians WHO NOW FEEL GUILTY because they saw the videos about atheism and SAID NOTHING.
FAR BE IT FROM ME to put GUILT in anyone’s heart when Jesus has REMOVED ALL SIN and, consequently, ALL GUILT, from those who’ve placed their trust in Him.
My purpose in posting that message WAS NOT to make anyone “feel guilty”, but rather, TO MAKE SOME OF YOU TAKE AN INTROSPECTIVE AND REALISTIC LOOK AT YOUR CHRISTIAN WALK.
Salvation has NOTHING to do with it.
If you’ve given your heart to Jesus, YOU ARE SAVED NOW AND FOREVER.
It has to do with how we REPRESENT Christ and HOW EFFECTIVE we are at bringing others to Him.
After all, His command JUST PRIOR TO ASCENDING TO HEAVEN, was that we “GO INTO ALL THE WORLD” AND PREACH HIS GOSPEL (Mark 16:15).
Please note that He SPECIFICALLY SAID “GO INTO ALL THE WORLD”.
He NEVER SAID “go into all THE CHURCH”.
The CHURCH DOESN’T NEED the Gospel. The WORLD DOES.
Those who ARE saved don't need to hear that Jesus died and paid for EVERY SINGLE ONE OF OUR SINS (past, present and future), that ALL our sins are already FORGIVEN AND FORGOTTEN, that God’s NOT angry at you, and THAT JESUS RECEIVES YOU WITH OPEN ARMS if you come to Him NOW, JUST AS YOU ARE: with all your filth, guilt, shame, reproach, and “past”.
It’s THOSE WHO AREN’T SAVED THAT NEED TO HEAR IT, dummies!
Believers don’t need to hear that Jesus offers THE GIFT OF SALVATION FREELY to ANYONE who will receive Him into his or her heart FOR THE MILLIONTH TIME, WHEN THERE ARE BILLIONS OF UNBELIEVERS WHO’VE NEVER HEARD IT (John 1:12).
The Church needs to GROW and be edified in the Salvation THEY ALREADY HAVE.
The world HAS NO SALVATION, UNLESS they turn to Christ.
Which part of THAT don’t you get, “Christians”?
That’s why I chuckle when I hear all these religious clowns talk about “taking America back”.
BACK TO WHAT?
To your stale, sterile, putrid, man-invented RELIGIOUS PHONINESS?
WHY do you think we “lost” America IN THE FIRST PLACE?
Because society AIN’T BUYING YOUR BOGUS ACT, and your phony religious baloney!
Because they see right through you.
Because they KNOW that YOU WON’T MAKE A STAND FOR JESUS OR FOR WHAT YOU CLAIM TO BELIEVE.
BECAUSE THEY KNOW THAT YOU SAY ONE THING, BUT DO ANOTHER.
Because you bask in self-righteousness and FROWN on people who use words like "hell", "sh*t", "damn" and "@ss"...ALL OF WHICH ARE USED BY GOD HIMSELF IN THE BIBLE, then turn around AND PAY $10 to watch a stupid movie that uses the "F" word 80 times and the Name of Jesus as a derogatory exclamation 50 times, and THINK NOTHING OF IT!!!
Because you picket abortion clinics and gay funerals, INSTEAD OF TELLING abortionists and gays that Jesus LOVES THEM, FORGIVES THEM, and HOW THEY CAN BE SAVED.
You SAY you want to “take America back” (presumably THE WHOLE COUNTRY) WHEN YOU CAN’T EVEN HANDLE A FEW ATHEISTS!!!
When you're TOO LAZY, WEAK and chicken-sh*t to go on the Internet INCOGNITO, UNDER A FICTITIOUS NAME, AND MAKE A COMMENT acknowledging YOUR CREATOR!!!
THE SOLUTION TO abortion is NOT picketing clinics, SHOUTING, and holding condemning signs.
Nor is it to highjack the Supreme Court so it votes “in your favor”.
We answer to an INFINITELY HIGHER Court.
The solution is PREACHING JESUS CHRIST, CRUCIFIED AND RISEN.
If every abortionist got saved, THERE WOULD BE NO ABORTIONS.
If the whole world KNEW Jesus, THE WHOLE WORLD WOULD BE OURS:
If EVERY American KNEW Jesus, WE WOULDN’T HAVE TO “TAKE ANYTHING” BACK.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 15, 2013
DON'T YOU KNOW?
So often we hear from people who say "I've always THOUGHT of myself as a Christian".
Or "I've always been a Christian".
Or "I believe in God, and believe I'm a Christian".
Well, don't you KNOW that you are?
If you don't KNOW that you are, chances are... you AREN'T.
I'm not talking about "baby" Christians, who just gave their hearts to Jesus a couple of weeks ago, or even a couple of months ago.
They're newborns, who may not yet fully realize what has taken place inside them.
I'm referring to people who have CONSIDERED themselves "Christian" for years and years.
How can you NOT KNOW?
The definition of a Christian is someone in whose HEART Jesus lives.
Someone in whose HEART the Spirit of Jesus (God's Holy Spirit) resides (Romans 8:9).
HOW can you have GOD HIMSELF living in you, and NOT KNOW IT?
God's Presence in us is Holy.
It's wonderful and VERY enjoyable.
God's Presence in us is Powerful.
God's Presence in us is exciting and UNDENIABLE.
You may THINK you're Christian because you were brought up in a Christian home. Or because you attended a Christian congregation, or belonged to some Christian denomination, or participated in some Christian sacrament or ritual. Or because you MENTALLY believe in God, or even in Jesus Christ.
NONE OF THAT makes you Christian.
Christianity ALWAYS INVOLVES YOUR HEART.
There's NO WAY of getting around THE HEART.
NO ONE HAS "always" been Christian.
There's no such thing.
Every REAL Christian is someone who wasn't.
Again: Every REAL Christian is someone who, at one point, wasn't Christian.
There had to come a point in time, when you CHOSE to RECEIVE JESUS into your HEART.
There had to be a moment when Jesus ENTERED YOUR INNERMOST BEING and you passed from darkness to Light, from death to Life.
We BECOME Christians ONLY when we INVITE JESUS INTO OUR HEARTS, receive Him as our Lord, Savior and God, and are born-again of His Spirit.
That's the ONLY THING that makes you, me, Billy Graham, Mother Theresa, the Pope, or ANYONE ELSE, Christian.
If you'd like to KNOW JESUS and BECOME Christian, please write us, or click on the link below.
TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2013
WHO GOES WHERE & WHEN
There is a TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF CONFUSION ABOUT THE AFTERLIFE and the salvation or damnation of various groups.
Whenever a brother or sister is asked about this, usually he or she HAS NO CONCRETE ANSWER.
We will endeavor in today's message to CHANGE ALL THAT.
We have divided our study into FOUR SECTIONS: BEFORE the Resurrection, AFTER the Resurrection, During the Tribulation, and During the Millennium.
1. BEFORE THE RESURRECTION
BEFORE the Resurrection of Christ, the Old Testament was still in force.
Everyone (Jew or Gentile) WHO DIED IN THE FAITH, BELIEVING IN the true God (the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) and TRUSTING His promise of a Redeemer went to Paradise. Everyone who DIDN'T went to hell.
The abode of the dead or underworld (Sheol in Hebrew), located in THE CENTER OF the earth, according to Luke 16:22-26, was divided into TWO sections:
Paradise, a/k/a the "bosom of Abraham", for those who died in the faith and hope of the promised Savior (Genesis 3:15), and HELL ITSELF, described as a fiery place of torment (Luke 16:24).
In 1 Peter 3:18-20 we read that during the three days and nights Jesus spent in the bowels of the earth (in hell itself) Jesus went in Spirit and preached to those who had perished during Noah's flood.
2. AFTER THE RESURRECTION
The Death and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ CHANGED EVERYTHING:
It's AFTER His Resurrection that the New Testament went into effect.
When Jesus rose from the dead and ascended, He took ALL THOSE IN Paradise to heaven with Him (2 Corinthians 12:2-4; Ephesians 4:8-9).
Some He took ONLY in spirit and soul.
Others, He took in spirit, soul AND BODY (Matthew 27:52-53).
The UNSAVED stayed in hell and remain there to this very day.
When a born-again believer dies today, he or she IS INSTANTLY TAKEN to the Presence of our Lord in spirit and soul (2 Corinthians 5:8).
Those who die presently WITHOUT knowing Jesus, still go to hell.
At the Rapture, those who have DIED in the faith under both Old and New Testaments*, RISE FROM THE DEAD FIRST, and those of us who (by God's Grace) remain alive are TRANSFORMED "IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE" AND CAUGHT UP TOGETHER WITH THEM (1 Corinthians 15:50-55; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17).
* The exception being the Old Testament saints mentioned above, who ALREADY ROSE AND ASCENDED with Jesus (Matthew 27:52-53).
3. DURING THE TRIBULATION
The ONLY believers on earth during the tribulation will be the 144,000 Israelites (Revelation 7:1-8), the Two Witnesses (Revelation 11:3) and those who come to faith in Christ during the reign of Antichrist.
There are THREE SPECIAL raptures FOR BELIEVERS during the tribulation:
1. The Rapture of the 144,000 (Revelation 14:1-3).
2. The Rapture of the "harvest of the earth" (unbelievers who come to faith in Christ during the reign of Antichrist). They are taken up BEFORE the final and MOST SEVERE "bowl" judgments (Revelation 14:15-16 and 15:2).
3. The Resurrection and Ascension of the Two Witnesses (Revelation 11:11-12).
Except for the Two Witnesses who'll be resurrected PRIOR, ALL BELIEVERS (Jew or Gentile) WHO DIE DURING the tribulation are RESURRECTED at the START OF the Millennium to reign with Jesus during the 1,000 years (Revelation 20:4).
Natural Israelites who survive the tribulation are SAVED by their Messiah who returns and establishes His Kingdom on earth in Jerusalem (Romans 11:25-26).
UNBELIEVERS who DIE during the tribulation go to hell.
Unbelievers who SURVIVE the tribulation, somehow refused the mark of the beast, and acted KINDLY TOWARD natural Israelites, and LAST MINUTE BELIEVERS who received Jesus just prior to His Second Coming, remain alive and go into the Millennium (Matthew 25:31-40).
Unbelievers who SURVIVE the tribulation, and have acted wickedly toward natural Israelites are sent to the lake of fire (Matthew 13:41, 46).
Those who took the mark of the beast are sent into the lake of fire forever, without ANY POSSIBILITY OF SALVATION, EVER (Revelation 14:9-11).
The Antichrist and False prophet are hurled ALIVE into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20).
At that point, Satan's angels are presumably sent there, too (Matthew 25:41).
Satan. himself is imprisoned in hell for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1-3).
4. DURING THE MILLENNIUM
During the Millennium there will be NATURAL as well as SUPERNATURAL humans on earth.
The SUPERNATURAL humans will be the collective Church. We will return with Jesus in immortal, glorified bodies to reign with Him (Daniel 7:27; Revelation 5:10).
The NATURAL humans will be either natural Israelites, Gentile tribulation survivors (see above) or their descendants who are born during THE 1,000 YEARS.
Lifespan for natural humans will be greatly increased during that Era.
Human death will be VERY RARE during this peaceful Era. Most humans will remain alive throughout the Millennium (Isaiah 65:20).
At the END OF THE MILLENNIUM the faith of natural humans will be tested.
Why? Because Salvation IS, has ALWAYS been, and will ALWAYS BE by grace through faith (Genesis 15:6; Habakkuk 2:4; Ephesians 2:8).
This applies to EVERYONE, Jew or gentile.
Faith, according to Hebrews 11:1 is "the substance of things HOPED FOR, the evidence of things NOT SEEN".
However, since Jesus Himself IN PERSON will be SEEN, reigning in Jerusalem, it won't take any faith, AT THAT POINT, to believe in Him.
It's at that time when Satan. is loosed from hell for a brief period, allowed to go forth and tempt gentile nations for the last time, and the FINAL BATTLE OF ALL TIME referred to as Gog and Magog takes place (Ezekiel chapters 38-39).
Natural Israelites will have learned their lesson by then, and remain true and faithful to their Messiah, who'll be living in their midst (Romans 11:25-26).
Satan. and his hordes will attack Jerusalem IN A FUTILE LAST ATTEMPT to topple the Kingdom of God and the rule of Jesus the King of kings (Revelation 20:7-9).
Needless to say, the creep FAILS.
At that time Satan. is sent into the lake of fire FOR ALL ETERNITY (Revelation 20:10) Amen.
Those who side with Satan., those in hell who have not repented and trusted Jesus by the end of the Millennium, and HELL ITSELF, are subsequently tossed into the lake of fire which is ETERNAL and IRREVERSIBLE (Revelation 20:15-16).
All UNBELIEVERS OF ALL THE AGES, WHO ARE STILL IN HELL AND HAVE REFUSED ADAMANTLY TO RECEIVE JESUS, ARE SENT AT THAT TIME INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE (Revelation 20:11-15).
NO ONE WILL COME OUT OF THERE, EVER.
Natural humans who remain faithful with Jesus get to populate the New Earth. There will be NO MORE DEATH (Revelation 21:1-4).
They will have access to New Jerusalem which is the heavenly city POPULATED BY US, HIS CHURCH (Revelation 21:24-27).
In view of all this, it's not only convenient and EXTREMELY DESIRABLE, but SUPREMELY WISE to receive Christ into your heart RIGHT NOW.
If you receive Jesus Christ into your heart AS GOD AND SAVIOR you NEVER HAVE TO FEAR, WONDER OR WORRY ABOUT ANY "condemnation" (Romans 8:1).
For those who TRULY KNOW JESUS, there's NO CONDEMNATION OF ANY KIND, EVER.
Glory to Him, who is God and Savior from everlasting to everlasting! Amen.
MONDAY, MAY 13, 2013
GOING DOWN THE TUBE
Ideas have consequences.
Some ideas are positive and improve the quality of our lives.
Other ideas contribute to its downfall.
Like most modern ideas, YouTube can be used for good or for evil:
To inform or TO CONFUSE.
To edify or to tear down.
TO SAVE or to damn.
One of the perils of living in a modern, open, democratic society is that FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, while being a wonderful blessing, can also be MIS-used and abused.
This ministry HAS a YouTube channel.
Why? Because, for better or worse, it's a medium that MILLIONS access each day.
We feel compelled to use every means at our disposal to spread the Gospel and share the faith of Jesus Christ.
But is EVERYTHING we see on YouTube TRUE?
Is EVERYTHING there WHOLESOME?
Is EVERYTHING there EDIFYING?
Is EVERYTHING we see, read, or hear FACTUAL?
The answer, in the VAST majority of cases, is a resounding "NO".
I can't say that EVERYTHING on YouTube is evil, untrue, misinformed, or downright deceitful.
There are A FEW - and I do mean - VERY FEW small glimmers of light.
But some of the WEIRDEST, most ungodly, most twisted, MOST SATANIC, MOST DECEPTIVE VIDEOS I've watched are NOT those uploaded on secular channels, but ON RELIGIOUS, and especially on ALLEGED "Christian" channels.
EVERYONE who has an idea - no matter how stupid or misguided - can post a video on YouTube.
Teenagers can do it.
Cultists can do it.
Satanists can do it.
Conspiracy theory nutjobs can do it.
So can pseudo-science aficionados.
And so can Bible illiterate yahoos who CLAIM to "know Jesus" but wouldn't recognize Him if He appeared in glory, with 10,000 angels and slapped their stupid faces.
It would be hypocritical on my part to advise others NEVER to watch anything on YouTube since we have uploaded 42 videos to date in various languages including English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Mandarin.
However, I would advise EVERYONE to be VERY CAREFUL and VERY SELECTIVE about what you watch, and even more about what you allow to LINGER on your mind.
If you START watching some video that looks promising, entertaining or informative, and suddenly realize IT'S satanic, or unscriptural, GET THE HECK OUT OF THERE... PRONTO!
If it troubles you and brings fear or confusion, LEAVE AT ONCE.
As a final point, I want to express my dismay at the LACK OF participation by believers in WORTHWHILE VIDEOS.
Many are quick to nit pick or "correct" our teaching about Salvation, Jesus, or prophecy.
However, we recently did a three part presentation titled the "END OF ATHEISM".
To Jesus be ALL the glory: it presents some SOUND, INTELLIGENT, THOUGHT PROVOKING, and VERY LOGICAL arguments - based on both PROVEN SCIENCE and the Bible - that EXPOSE AND DEBUNK atheism and agnosticism, and are very much pro-Christ.
You'd THINK that Christians would be interested and enthusiastic that SOMEONE in their camp can go toe- to-toe with atheists and MAKE SOLID ARGUMENTS to refute that false belief that keeps people from KNOWING the Savior.
No sooner were the videos posted WE STARTED RECEIVING A VERITABLE FLOOD of comments from atheists, 99% of which were critical.
THAT MUCH was to be expected.
But much to my dismay, NOT ONE Christian made his or her voice heard (NOT ONE!!!)
NOT ONE Christian offered ANY word of support, encouragement or affirmation.
There was ONE "pro" comment from someone who may or may not be a believer.
And THE LONE "Christian" who commented did not contribute in ANY WAY shape or form to the debate, but rather tried to use the forum as a means to make some stupid, off-topic comment about Obamacare being the "mark of the beast".
Since such comment would play right into atheists' notion that ALL Christians are a bunch of stupid, uneducated, empty headed, superstitious morons (I hate to side with them on anything, but they are PARTIALLY RIGHT about THAT), and SINCE IT HAD NOTHING to do with atheism, that LONE "Christian" comment was promptly removed.
What I find ironic, disappointing, and rather disheartening is that I answer no fewer than A DOZEN letters each week from Christians who have watched videos about some dream or vision someone else had, or about some UNPROVEN religious theory, or about some worldly, occultist, or sci-fi video that ALARMS and CONFUSES THEM, and then COME TO ME as their last desperate resort to UNCONFUSE THEM, or to DISPROVE the garbage THEY CHOSE to watch and FILL THEIR MINDS WITH.
But NOT ONE of them was there FOR US when we tackled this topic RARELY addressed by Christian ministers or authors.
NOT ONE of them saw this AS AN OPPORTUNITY to share the Savior they claim to know WITH UNBELIEVERS.
Why STICK YOUR NECK OUT with THE HOSTILE UNSAVED, who REALLY NEED THE GOSPEL, when you can stay in the COMFORT ZONE of those religious channels and religious forums where you can PREACH TO THE CHOIR?
Long story short, in TWO DAYS we received over 105 comments from atheists each of which we answered, mostly publicly and some privately.
After braving the onslaught ALL BY MYSELF for two days, and seeing THE LACK OF INTEREST and LACK OF PARTICIPATION from believers, I had to ALTOGETHER DISABLE the "comments" feature as I could not answer ALL THE FEEDBACK in addition to all the comments on other videos, emails, and my already TAXED TO THE MAX daily workload.
What A WASTE...
What a MISSED opportunity!
However, it DID PROVE ONE THING:
Most Christians AREN'T INTERESTED IN Truth, or in winning souls.
ALL they care about is EAR TICKLING, BOREDOM KILLING "ENTERTAINMENT".
All they seek is mind-numbing FILLER for their sterile and addled brains.
SUNDAY, MAY 12, 2013
THE ROD OF GOD
"And Moses... returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took THE ROD OF God in his hand" (Exodus 4:20).
"And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill WITH THE ROD OF God in my hand" (Exodus 17:9).
"Thy ROD and thy staff they COMFORT me" (Psalm 23:4).
The "rod of God" was a simple, ordinary WOODEN POLE (staff) that shepherds in the Middle East used to lead their flock, and PROTECT IT FROM PREDATORS.
God called Moses from a burning bush, when he was almost 80 years old, to lead the Israelites out of Egypt (Exodus 3:7, 10).
Moses felt inadequate for this great and SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE task and questioned the Lord's Wisdom in CHOOSING HIM to be the deliverer of Israel.
Moses whined that he was "nobody", that he wasn't even a powerful orator, and that "no one would listen to him".
God then became a little angry with Moses and asked: WHAT IS THAT IN YOUR HAND?
And Moses said, "A ROD".
That humble shepherd's ROD would become the ROD OF GOD by which He would perform wonders and lead His people OUT OF BONDAGE (Exodus 4:1-4).
This rod, the shepherd's rod which Moses used in tending the flocks of Jethro, his father-in-law, in the land of Midian, would later be called the "rod of Moses," the "rod of Aaron," the "rod of Levi," and, most significantly, the "rod of God."
Every time Moses and the Israelites were in trouble, He would LEAN ON THAT SPECIAL "ROD OF GOD" and USE IT.
Such was the case, for instance, when the people camped at Rephidim and were parched with thirst in the middle of the hot, barren desert with water NOWHERE IN SIGHT.
When they complained, became desperate and were about TO STONE Moses, God directed him to smite the rock with HIS ROD and WATER CAME OUT OF THE ROCK, in sufficient quantity to quench their intense thirst (Exodus 17:1-6).
Likewise, soon thereafter, when the Amalekites came to fight against Israel, Moses stood ON TOP OF THE HILL with THE ROD OF GOD in his hand (Exodus 17:9).
The name Amalek can be roughly translated as "unfortunate people".
It comes from two Hebrew words am meaning people and lek meaning "hapless", "poor" or "unfortunate".
The Amalekites were the ARCHENEMIES OF Israel. The most infamous Amalekite is wicked Haman, the archetypal Antichrist figure in the Book of Esther 9:24, who came within hours of WIPING ISRAEL OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH.
A most curious thing happened while Moses stood ON TOP OF the mountain and the Israelites fought Amalek:
"When Moses held up his hand... Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed" (Exodus 17:11).
Moses' hands inevitably GOT TIRED, to the point he could NO LONGER hold them up.
Consequently, IN ORDER TO DEFEAT Amalek, Aaron and Hur had to stand on each side of Moses, with Moses IN THE MIDDLE, and hold up Moses' hands, UNTIL THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN (Exodus 17:12).
And WHAT was THE RESULT?
"Joshua (Yehoshua or "Jesus") SLAUGHTERED Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword" (Exodus 17:13).
Moses would later say: "The LORD your God will raise up for you A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM AMONG YOU--FROM YOUR FELLOW ISRAELITES; YOU MUST LISTEN TO HIM" (Deuteronomy 18:15).
Fast forward 1,500 years to the first century:
Jesus, the Prophet "like Moses" that God raised WOULD ALSO GO ON TOP OF THE HILL, with His hands OUTSTRETCHED ON EITHER SIDE between TWO thieves, held up TO GOD'S ROD (the WOODEN CROSS) by TWO 7-inch Roman NAILS,and FOREVER DEFEAT our "Amalek", or ARCHENEMY (ha Satan.) BY DYING IN OUR PLACE AND SHEDDING HIS MOST PRECIOUS, HOLY, SINLESS BLOOD for your sins and mine.
Like Moses, HE HUNG ON THAT CROSS WITH HIS ARMS AND HANDS OUTSTRETCHED ON BOTH SIDES "UNTIL THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN" (Mark 15:42-45).
THAT was the ONE and ONLY way to DEFEAT THE ENEMY (ha Satan.) in Moses' day.
THAT is STILL THE ONE AND ONLY WAY to defeat Satan. TODAY: THOUGH JESUS AND HIS CROSS.
Praise you, Jesus!
The humble rod of God's own Shepherd would become OUR SCEPTER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, OUR ROD OF VICTORY.
SATURDAY, MAY 11, 2013
YOU ARE WHAT YOU THINK
"As a man THINKS... SO IS HE" (Proverbs 23:7)
The world says we are "what we eat". That MAY be true with regards to these temporary PHYSICAL bodies we currently use to get around.
But physical food has NOTHING to do with WHO we ultimately are in our SOULS.
Your soul is comprised of your mind, your will and your emotions.
What we ALLOW to linger in our minds: that to which we devote our attention, will affect our lives for better or for worse.
THE HUMAN MIND is the territory in which Satan. does his dirty work.
And his work is ALWAYS EVIL and DIRTY.
When he came after Eve in the Garden of Eden, he PUT IDEAS IN HER MIND: we've been living with the disastrous results ever since (Genesis 3:1-4).
Satan. knew he COULDN'T touch her spirit.
And even to affect the human body, he has to WORK ON THE MIND.
WHAT do you ALLOW to LINGER in your mind?
Hatred and resentment will not only make you unhappy and miserable, it will probably affect your health at some point.
Likewise, if you allow porn to form a mental stronghold, there's NO WAY you'll ever have a happy and healthy marriage or relationship WITH ANYBODY.
Moreover, you will become ADDICTED and may reach the point where no normal person is able to satisfy you.
Jesus warned that RELIGIOUS DECEPTION in His own Name would be the hallmark of the end of this age (Matthew 24:4).
I have warned TIME AND AGAIN about meandering all over YouTube in search of "exciting" RELIGIOUS entertainment which DOES NOT LINE UP WITH GOD'S WORD.
I have warned TIME AND AGAIN about reading and participating in those "Christian" forums where people can post ANYTHING that pops into their minds, whether supported by Scripture or not, and where the alleged "moderators" are, for the most part, BIASED BIBLE ILLITERATES.
Those who do, END UP BEING CONFUSED and ENTRAPPED BY SATAN:
Those who do, ARE GIVING PLACE TO the devil:
You seek some religious entertainment, some fantasy, or "supernatural" religious experience, APART FROM JESUS HIMSELF, and Satan. WILL GLADLY provide it for you, CONFUSE YOU and PUT DOUBT AND FEAR in your heart and mind.
THAT'S what he does BEST.
ANY THING that causes fear IS OF SATAN.
ANY THING that brings insecurity, CONFUSION, unrest or makes you doubt your salvation IS OF SATAN.
ANY THING that feeds your old, carnal nature IS OF SATAN.
Most Christians get CONFUSED ON PURPOSE.
You CHOSE to view that piece of crap, and WORSE:
YOU CHOSE to believe it when there's NOT ONE SMIDGEON of CREDIBLE scriptural, historic, or scientific proof behind it.
YOU CHOSE to DWELL on it.
YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR THINKING.
To "repent" means TO CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK.
I advise you NOT to delve into that stupid fantasy anymore, and when thoughts about it enter your mind, TO CHANGE YOUR MIND and start meditating the Bible, even if it's just ONE verse, even if it's just John 3:16.
"Be RENEWED in the spirit OF YOUR MIND...Give NO PLACE to the devil"... (Ephesians 4: 23, 27)
A CHILD OF GOD HAS NO MORE BUSINESS meandering into Satan's territory than a fish has any business stepping out of the water.
Make no mistake about it: When you do, YOU PAY A PRICE.
FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013
DANIEL AND JOHN
There's a special connection between Daniel (Daniyyel, meaning "God is Judge") and John (Yochanan, meaning "God is gracious").
For one thing, they are God's TWO PRIMARY END-TIMES PROPHETS.
For another thing, they often speak about the same topics.
In fact, there are no fewer than 24 references in the Book of Revelation, penned by John, to the Book of Daniel.
It's IMPOSSIBLE to understand Revelation without Daniel, and vice versa. In conjunction, these two books give us a cogent and orderly picture of eschatology.
Besides their marvelous visions and revelations, there are striking similarities between the two prophets:
Both were exiled (Daniel 5:13; Revelation 1:9).
Both lived under oppressive regimes (Babylon & Rome).
Both served God from their youth.
Both were TOTALLY DEDICATED TO Jesus.
Both got to SEE Jesus (Daniel 10:5-6; Revelation 1:13-16).
Both fainted when they saw Him (Daniel 10:8-9; Revelation 1:17).
Both were given SPECIAL REVELATION by Him.
Both saw our "future" in great detail.
Both gave amazing, chronological timelines.
Both were supernaturally delivered from death (Daniel from the lion's den, Daniel 6:16-24, and John from frying in a pot of boiling oil where he was thrown by evil emperor Domitian).
Both were GREATLY BELOVED (Daniel 9:23; 10:11,19; John 13:23; 20:2; 21:7,20) .
Every believer should study their books, and meditate their content, with an open heart and mind, and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, especially in these last days.
Even THEIR NAMES have prophetic significance: God is Judge but, praise His Name, He is also GRACIOUS.
May His Grace be with us all.
THURSDAY, MAY 9, 2013
If you think life is rough and crappy, you should read the Book of Ezekiel sometime.
To be sure, none of the prophets had an easy life, but I've always felt special empathy for poor Zeke.
He was exiled to Babylon at age 25. Lost his beloved wife in captivity, had to deliver the most unpopular messages concerning Jerusalem's impending destruction, and God commanded him to do some VERY difficult and unpleasant things.
On the positive side, he received some SPECTACULAR VISIONS about the glory of God, the Millennium, Israel's restoration, and the millennial temple.
How'd you like to be BOUND, so you CANNOT turn or move, and have to lie 390 days on your left side (that's OVER A YEAR), then 40 days on your right side?
I would have gone out of my freakin' mind. I would have ended up in the funny farm.
I know, I know... some of you think I belong there now... Ha! You wish...
How would you like to have NOTHING to eat ALL THAT TIME except "Ezekiel bread" while you're bound, unable to move, and lying on your side?
How would you like it if God told you to bake that bread using HUMAN FECES for fuel?
And when the prophet complained about HOW UNPLEASANT it was to use human dung, and how under the law he would become "defiled", do you know what God answered?
"O.K. Use COW SH*T instead".
Do you think I'm making this up? Read it yourself in Ezekiel chapter 4. It's a SHORT chapter. You can read it in ONE minute.
Obviously, if Ezekiel couldn't move AT ALL during ALL that time, since he was bound, that means he would have had to pee and defecate all over himself.
Poor guy couldn't even clean himself up, bathe, brush his teeth, have sex, walk, sit, you name it.
And there were NO TV, Internet or cell phones at that time.
Any normal human would have totally lost it.
Only God's Grace and supernatural intervention would have kept the prophet from going nuts.
Why am I talking about this? Why not give a more "inspirational" message?
Because the believer's walk IS NOT ALWAYS PLEASANT.
Because it's important to tell THE WHOLE STORY, and not paint only a rosy picture of what it's like to serve God and live for Him.
As a believer in Christ, YOU MAY HAVE TO PUT UP WITH A LOT OF SH*T sometimes.
Because religion has FALSELY portrayed being Christian as floating around in some sort of numinous Shangri La, where we NEVER sin, NEVER get angry, NEVER lose our temper, NEVER use "foul" language (I'll deal with that in another message, Lord willing), and NEVER do or say anything wrong, shocking or improper.
Christians -- at least REAL Christians -- are AS REAL and AS HUMAN as ANYONE ELSE.
They are subject to the same temptations and challenges as ANYONE else.
The believer's life is often fraught with suffering, hardship and SACRIFICE.
God sometimes calls us to follow Him in BLIND OBEDIENCE.
Although I'm sure he must have asked himself A THOUSAND TIMES WHY God would require THIS of him, Ezekiel, to his great credit, obeyed unwaveringly.
All true believers in the One TRUE God know that, despite what we may face in this temporary existence, THE ETERNAL REWARD of Christ's OWN LIFE will manifest in us FOREVER, and is ours EVEN NOW.
We KNOW that "our present sufferings are NOT WORTH COMPARING with the glory that will be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18).
Because I want everyone to realize that the Bible is THE MOST INTERESTING and EXCITING BOOK EVER WRITTEN, bar none.
There's NOTHING dull or tedious about it, if you read it in the right spirit and the right frame of mind. It's tapping into the Mind of God, the Wisdom that created and sustains THE UNIVERSE.
Instead of meandering all over cyberspace in search of some worthless religious novelty or buying the latest piece of Kristian Krap on the market, containing no more biblical Truth than Harry Potter, YOU SHOULD GIVE GOD'S WORD A CHANCE SOMETIME. You just might be surprised what you learn...
And because I want Christians, religious idiots and unbelievers alike to see that God's not as huffy and puffy, nor as "proper", as religion has FALSELY made Him out to be.
He's REAL and He can and will talk YOUR LANGUAGE.
He's A STRAIGHT SHOOTER, and will tell you the Truth, clearly, directly, and without conforming to MAN INVENTED "religious etiquette".
He's also a SUPREMELY GRACIOUS, kind, loving, understanding, wonderful and FORGIVING God.
That's the God I know, the God I love, the God I serve.
That's the God OF THE BIBLE.
That's the TRUE, One and ONLY God.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 8, 2013
WHY DON'T JEWS BELIEVE IN JESUS?
If you believe a disingenuous leader in the Seventh Day Adventist cult, it's because REAL Christians preach GRACE.
The true Christian faith, as taught in the Gospels, the Book of Acts, and the entire NEW Testament is Salvation BY GRACE ALONE.
Salvation's not a thing, He is a Person.
Salvation cannot be earned, it's A GIFT of God's grace to ALL who receive and place their trust in the Person of Jesus Christ, and His perfect, FINISHED work of redemption.
According to this individual, the reason most Jews reject Jesus is because Jews follow the law [at least they CLAIM TO, John 7:19] and REAL Christians teach we're NOT under the law.
This guy IS LYING.
He's been BLINDED by religion.
If he stripped his mind and unregenerate heart of his man-invented, woman established religion, humbled himself before God, and sought Jesus with ALL his heart, he would realize the GROSS ERROR in his teaching.
As one who has both, won Jews to faith in Christ, and debated some of their anti-Christ detractors AND SHUT THEM UP, I can tell you THAT GRACE is NOT the main reason they reject Jesus.
Fact is, that Jews were GIVEN the law, but they have NEVER KEPT the law (John 7:19).
They can CLAIM to "observe the law" ALL THEY WANT, but they DON'T.
Fact is, Jesus IS the ONLY law observing Jew, who KEPT and FULFILLED (SATISFIED) the law, ON OUR BEHALF, down to every last jot and tittle (Matthew 5:17-18) as He Himself plainly said.
The various objections that our Jewish friends will offer include the Messiah not being God, but a mortal man born of normal, human parents (that's NOT what their own Tanach says, see Isaiah 7:14; Psalm 110:1).
Or that his kingly ancestry from David's lineage must come from the real father, not a stepfather like Joseph (again, they contradict their own Torah., since Genesis 3:15 undisputedly says it will come from THE MOTHER).
In Jesus' case, it came from BOTH.
And since God IS David's ultimate Father, and Jesus is both Son of God and Son of David, that argument is pretty much kaput.
But, after all is said and done, their MAIN objection to Jesus being the Messiah is that He did NOT restore the Kingdom to Israel.
At least, He didn't restore a Kingdom VISIBLE to natural human eyes (Luke 17:21) in His First Coming.
Jews expected, and to this day expect, a Messiah who will restore David's Kingdom to Israel, bring Israelites back from exile, and usher in an era of peace, where Jews will no longer be oppressed or subjugated by other nations.
ANY rabbi will confirm that THIS is the ultimate test, and that is THE criteria by which THEY will recognize the Messiah.
Had Jesus used His Omnipotence back in the first century, toppled the Roman Empire, liberated Israel, brought back the 10 northern tribes from exile, and set up His earthly Kingdom in Jerusalem, I have no doubt that Jews would have enthusiastically welcomed Him as Messiah, whether He told them to keep the law or not.
ONLY ONE PROBLEM:
Had He done that, He COULDN'T have PAID FOR, and COULDN'T HAVE redeemed Jews and ALL of mankind from their sins (Genesis 22:8; Isaiah 53: 5, 6).
Had He done that, our Jewish friends would still be sacrificing animals, and shedding THEIR innocent blood for THEIR sins.
Why? Because they were and are UNABLE TO keep the law.
And we know animal blood could NEVER TAKE AWAY sin. Otherwise, those sacrifices wouldn't have been OBLIGATORY and offered DAILY, day after day, and year after year (Hebrews 10:1-4).
So, we needed, Jews needed, THE WORLD NEEDED, a Messiah whose SINLESS Blood could remove our sins ONCE AND FOR ALL (Praise His Holy Name forever!) (Hebrews 9:12).
A Messiah who could BY ONE SACRIFICE, Himself, FOREVER SATISFY Divine Justice and put us in right standing with God the Father (Hebrews 10:14).
A Messiah who could not only bear the punishment for sin, which is death, BUT OVERCOME DEATH ITSELF, by RISING FROM the dead (Hosea 13:14; Psalms 16:10; Isaiah 26:19).
Jesus did ALL that, and then some.
He hasn't forgotten natural Israel.
He WILL restore A VISIBLE, EARTHLY Kingdom to Israel (Luke 1:32-33; Zechariah 14:9).
He WILL bring the 10 tribes back from exile and resettle them in the Promised Land (Isaiah 11:12; Ezekiel 36:11, chapters 47, 48).
He WILL forever deliver Israel from oppression or tyranny, His Name be praised (Joel 3:16-17).
He WILL usher in an era of Peace (Isaiah 2:4).
Best of all, from earth's perspective, we're only 3½ years away from the fulfillment of these awesome prophecies (Daniel 9:25).
Jews WILL, eventually, recognize and receive Jesus as their Messiah (Zechariah 12:10).
"And of His Kingdom there shall be NO END".
TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2013
JESUS CAUSES BLOODSHED
At least that was the "argument" that a Jewish rabbi recently used in response to someone who said on his YouTube channel "come on... Jesus is the Messiah: There is NO QUESTION about that"...
The rabbi's reply, VERBATIM was:
"Oh and WHAT HAS HE DONE (meaning Jesus) FOR THE WORLD PEACE during the last 2000 years?
Has war stopped?
How many millions of people were burned, hacked to death, women raped and cities pillaged in his unholy name?
There is no doubt he never was is or will be anything OTHER THAN A DELUDED GUY".
In yet another comment, the rabbi said that Jesus "was NOTHING".
Is the rabbi CORRECT?
Is Jesus DIRECTLY responsible for all the bloodshed spilled during the infamous Crusades, ALLEGEDLY in "His Name"?
Is Jesus DIRECTLY responsible for the horrendous torture and "forced conversions" that took place ALLEGEDLY "in His Name" during the infamous and UNHOLY Inquisition?
NO. HE ISN’T.
MAN-INVENTED RELIGION is the CULPRIT.
Jesus had NOTHING to do with ANY of that.
Repeat: Jesus had ZERO, NOTHING, NADA to do with ANY of that.
This was my reply to the rabbi:
"Jesus DIDN'T DO those things. He was a man of peace. You can't find ONE instance in the Brit Hadasha (New Testament) where He advocated violence.
He taught to FORGIVE, "turn the other cheek", and to LOVE EVEN OUR ENEMIES!!!
That blind, misguided religious fools PERVERTED His Message five or more CENTURIES later,locked it up in monasteries where NO ONE could read it, and then SUPPOSEDLY in "His Name" committed such atrocities, has NOTHING TO DO with Jesus Himself.
They were using Him FALSELY as an excuse" (to justify their ungodly agenda).
Had those blind, brainwashed, religious ignoramuses STUDIED Jesus' life and ministry THEY WOULD HAVE NEVER COMMITTED THOSE HORRENDOUS ACTS, as they are TOTALLY CONTRARY TO EVERYTHING that Jesus taught, lived and EXEMPLIFIED.
It's because the Words of Jesus were HIDDEN, INACCESSIBLE AND UNKNOWN, it's because those UNSAVED religionists were taught since childhood to BLINDLY BELIEVE what their man-invented religion SAID that "Jesus said" or "Jesus wanted" that they were led astray to commit acts that Jesus would have CONDEMNED.
Religion thus FOREVER tainted and defamed His Most Holy Name in the eyes of many.
No wonder historians refer to that evil and unfortunate period as "the DARK ages".
When the Bible, and specifically the New Testament, became widely available and READABLE by all, those vile acts CAME TO AN ABRUPT HALT.
Christians soon realized they'd been sold "a bill of goods" by the religious establishment FALSELY in the "Name of Jesus", which the REAL JESUS WOULDN'T HAVE APPROVED OF, OR TOUCHED, WITH A 10-FOOT POLE.
As for Jesus being "nothing", I argued that HOW COULD "NOTHING" CHANGE THE WORLD?
HOW COULD "NOTHING" EVEN CHANGE THE CALENDAR?
That "nothing" has more followers TODAY than at any time since the first century.
And that "NOTHING" has transformed millions of lives and done for OVER TWO BILLION what the rabbi's DEAD RELIGION CANNOT DO FOR EVEN ONE person.
Let's be fair, rabbi: the ONLY Blood that Jesus is DIRECTLY responsible for spilling... is HIS OWN.
MONDAY, MAY 6, 2013
THE FEAR OF THE LORD
"The fear of the LORD is THE BEGINNING OF wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding" (Proverbs 9:10).
"There is NO FEAR IN LOVE; but PERFECT LOVE CASTS OUT FEAR: because FEAR HAS TO DO WITH PUNISHMENT. HE THAT FEARS IS NOT MADE PERFECT IN LOVE" (1 John 4:18).
Are those two statements found in Scripture CONTRADICTORY?
Not a chance!
It's NATURAL for unbelieving, unregenerate mortals to fear God, and just about anyone or anything that moves or breathes.
Are BELIEVERS supposed to LIVE IN FEAR?
Fear entered the world as a result of SIN (Genesis 3:7-10).
Sin made man perceive himself "separate" from the loving God who had created him.
Sin, as the verse above so accurately states, gave man a sense of guilt and being worthy of punishment.
Thus, SIN BROUGHT FEAR OF Divine retribution (Romans 1:32; 6:23).
Since then, even those who tried to obey God, approached Him with dread or, at the very least, REVERENTIAL FEAR (awe).
Fear, however, brings SLAVERY (Hebrews 2:15).
Jesus, God the Son, makes us FREE (John 8:36).
Jesus (God) enters us WHEN WE LOSE SOME OF THAT FEAR AND TRUST HIM (have faith in Him, John 1:12).
When we FULLY realize that Jesus is IN US, and that Jesus IS us, we no longer see ourselves "separate" but as One with Him.
FEAR then LOSES ITS GRIP AND COMPLETELY VANISHES.
When His Nature (Divine Love) is allowed to FULLY DEVELOP in us to the point our mind is TOTALLY RENEWED, He (Divine Love) CASTS OUT FEAR:
COMPLETELY and FOREVER!
The vast majority of us are not "there" yet because our minds have not been renewed.
Therefore SOME degree of fear is natural.
However, it's IMPORTANT to KNOW that FEAR DID NOT, AND DOES NOT, COME FROM GOD (2 Timothy 1:7).
It comes from Satan. and from our guilty conscience, IN THAT ORDER.
When Jesus translates His Body, His Church, into the heavenly dimension, our minds will be fully renewed and that fear WILL BE GONE FOREVER.
It's that FULLY RENEWED, LOVE FILLED, FEAR-FREE MIND, CONSCIOUS OF our UNITY with God, that will trigger our transformation from base to glorious, from mortal to immortal.
The MORE we experience Jesus THE LESS we fear.
The less we experience Jesus THE MORE we fear.
It's NATURAL for SLAVES TO FEAR their Master.
It's SUPERNATURAL (more natural THAN natural) for SONS to TRUST their wonderful, Loving Daddy.
The One and only God, besides Whom there is NO OTHER, Father, Son and Holy Spirit - who LOVES US SO MUCH He took on human form and PAID AN INCALCULABLE PRICE to BUY US BACK unto Himself (redeem us) IS WORTHY OF our COMPLETE AND ETERNAL TRUST.
Salvation is ALL about TRUST (NO FEAR) FROM BEGINNING TO END.
SUNDAY, MAY 5, 2013
The late Richard Halverson, former Chaplain to the U.S. Senate, once made the following observation:
"In the beginning the Church was a fellowship of men and women CENTERED ON THE LIVING Christ.
Then the Church moved to Greece, where it became A PHILOSOPHY.
Then it moved to Rome, where it became AN INSTITUTION.
Next, it moved to Europe, where it became A CULTURE.
And, finally, it moved to America, where it BECAME A BUSINESS".
Truer words were never spoken.
Jesus spoke of being about His [and our] Father's business.
But today's "ministers" use our Father's business as a CONVENIENT PRETEXT to promote THEIR OWN businesses.
Just this past week "the world's largest" "Christian" network held their tri-annual Beg-A-Thon, where despite their vast resources, including over $500 million in surplus cash, they begged, pleaded, cajoled, DECEIVED, and practically coerced their viewers into sending them money, in the midst of an international recession.
Same old "entertainers", if you can bear to watch or listen, same old, boring songs, same old "unless you give money to us, you won't get anything from God" blasphemous message.
Of course, six months from now, when their promised "prosperity" fails to materialize, you'll never hear them explain WHY it didn't, much less any sort of apology for grossly distorting the Word of God, and the Gospel message.
If, by any chance, you wrote them telling them you gave and GOT NOTHING BACK, it'll NEVER be read on the air, or even ACKNOWLEDGED.
By then, they'll be gearing up for the NEXT Beg-A-Thon.
Just like the myriad hucksters who peddle FABRICATED “prophecy” that’s NO MORE based on the Bible than Nostradamus.
The CONVENIENT "excuse" in both instances is that they “share the Gospel”.
Who watches Kristian TV? The UNSAVED?
THEY LAUGH at the gullibility and stupidity of “Christians” who actually believe the BS that’s being dispensed.
By the same token, WHO BUYS THOSE STUPID “prophecy” BOOKS AND DVD’S which are SPECIFICALLY MARKETED TO dumb, entertainment-seeking Christians?
You guessed it: the ONLY ONES who buy them are DUMB CHRISTIANS.
Not ONE unbeliever would throw away $14.95 on some SPECULATIVE, UNPROVEN, disingenuous piece of crap.
It’s the UNSAVED that need the Gospel, NOT THE SAVED. Duh.
And by the way, IF IT REALLY WERE “THE GOSPEL”,IT WOULD BE FREE.
Repeat: IF IT REALLY WERE “THE GOSPEL”, IT WOULD BE FREE.
They WOULDN'T sell ANYTHING, charge ANYTHING, nor constantly hit you for "pledges" and "donations".
PAUSE and meditate ON THAT.
I DON’T see Jesus, Peter, John and James peddling SOME WATERED DOWN VERSION OF “How to be saved” for $19.99, DO YOU?
And so spins the MONEY merry-go-round in Kristian HUCKSTERISM.
Why should they change when NO ONE holds them accountable, and MILLIONS of Christians keep falling for their scam, WITHOUT EVER LEARNING ANYTHING about TRUE Bible prophecy, and WITHOUT EVER SEEING ANY RETURN ON THEIR GIVING?
Why should they change, DUMB CHRISTIANS, when they keep getting RICHER AND RICHER, at YOUR EXPENSE?
SATURDAY, MAY 4, 2013
It's not just Armstrongnists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, or 7th Day Adventists that want to IMPOSE legalistic burdens on believers. That is to be expected.
Sadly, the list of heretics now includes some so-called Messianic Jews.
Most of you are familiar with my background: I was baptized as a baby in the Catholic Church. When I made a conscious decision to receive Christ into my heart, as an adult, I was baptized in water by a Messianic Jewish Rabbi.
As a young Christian, I attended a Messianic Jewish congregation. We congregated on Saturday, not Sunday.
However, I never heard Rabbi teach that congregating on Saturday, or observing the Sabbath, had ANYTHING to do with one's Salvation.
Had he taught such heresy, I would have been out the door faster than you can say "shalom".
We believed in Salvation thru Jesus Christ ALONE. We believed Jesus was and is God Almighty manifested in the flesh. WE BELIEVED IN HIS PERFECT, COMPLETE, FINISHED, WORK OF REDEMPTION.
Many Messianic Jews still believe that today. I still believe that today.
Sadly, there are so-called "messianic" groups who, while claiming to believe Jesus is the Messiah, DO NOT believe His work of Redemption IS SUFFICIENT to eternally save us, and FLAT-OUT DENY HIS DEITY.
They want to ADD to Jesus' All-Sufficient, Perfect, ETERNAL Work of Redemption; as if any of us pitiful mortals could IMPROVE on WHAT HE DID.
They RESENT our COMPLETE REST [TRUST] on what Messiah did for us, and insist we MUST also keep the 10 Commandments, observe the Sabbath, and eat kosher in order to have right standing with God.
They want to claim Jesus as Messiah but, at the same time, cling to their old, dead religion.
Just like the followers of Herbert W. Armstrong, they want to IMPOSE the YOKE OF LEGALISM on others.
They even sound like Armstrongnists, and use the same FALSE, UNBIBLICAL arguments.
This desire to COMPROMISE Christianity by mixing in Jewish legalism ISN'T new. It's been around since the first century A.D., when the Christian faith began to spread.
In Acts chapter 15, the apostles, including such pillars of the faith as James, the brother of our Lord, Peter, Paul and John held a special meeting in Jerusalem to debate those VERY issues.
The apostles were ALL Jewish, brought up in the Jewish religion and culture.
Therefore, if what these heretics claim were true, HERE WAS THEIR GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY TO FOREVER SET GENTILE CONVERTS, AS WELL AS FUTURE CHRISTIANS, ON THE RIGHT PATH, ONCE AND FOR ALL.
What was the apostles' reply to those who wanted to impose Judaism, including Law keeping, 10 Commandment keeping, Sabbath keeping, circumcision, and dietary laws?
"For it seemed good TO THE HOLY SPIRIT [and there's NO ONE HOLIER], and to us, TO LAY UPON YOU NO GREATER BURDEN than these NECESSARY things: abstain from foods sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if you keep yourselves, you will do well. Fare well". [Acts 15:28,29].
Do you read any mention of the Sabbath as "necessary" for Salvation? No. Any mention of the 10 Commandments? No. Any mention of eating kosher? No. Any mention of Judaism? No.
Nothing's changed in 2,000 years of church history. There were "Judaizers" in the early Church [Galatians 2:14], and they're still around today.
Judaism hasn't saved ANYONE, NOT ONE SOUL, in 5,000 years, AND NEVER WILL.
The 10 Commandments haven't saved ONE soul... ever!
Sabbath keeping hasn't saved A SINGLE SOUL... ever!
Circumcision OF THE FLESH has never saved ANYONE.
Hate to be so graphic, but kosher eating doesn't even AFFECT the soul, since it's eliminated by the body in a matter of hours.
In contrast, Faith [TRUST] in Jesus, having His Holy Spirit in our hearts, HAS SAVED MILLIONS.
And will save MILLIONS MORE.
In fact, Jesus will save EVERYONE who comes to Him and receives Him into his or her heart as ONLY Savior and God.
All religious heretics share one thing: THEY WANT TO SERVE TWO MASTERS.
They want to serve Jesus and Moses at the same time.
They want to serve Jesus and Judaism, or Jesus and the 10 Commandments, or Jesus and the Law (Torah) or Jesus and the Sabbath.
It WON'T WORK.
It's Jesus, PERIOD.
There's NO OTHER NAME under heaven, given among men, whereby we MUST be saved [Acts 4:12].
FRIDAY, MAY 3, 2013
GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT
We’ve all seen it and heard it: you’re channel surfing one day and you come across one of those religious channels that promise God’s “blessing” in exchange for $$$.
The scam artist whips the audience into an emotional frenzy tells you to go to your phone and donate and then, like a perfectly programmed piece of greed-driven software, “prophesies” that “God” just told him (or her) “there’s a person watching who NEEDS TO send a $10,000 gift right now” and when he does, his business troubles will magically END.
Or he erupts into gibberish to impress the audience with how “spiritually gifted”, “spiritually superior”, and HOW “FILLED with the Spirit” he is.
He’s FULL OF IT, alright.
Those who regularly appear on “Christian” TV are “Christian leaders” and you’re supposed to do EVERYTHING THEY TELL YOU, right?
Besides, everyone knows you HAVE TO BE SPIRITUALLY SUPERIOR to speak in tongues, right?
ON BOTH COUNTS.
99% of the “tongues” spoken on air are FAKE.
ANYONE who “speaks in tongues” ON CUE is A FREAKIN’ FAKE.
The gifts of the Spirit manifest NOT when WE WILL, but when THE SPIRIT WILLS (1 Corinthians 12:11).
But even REAL tongues (and, yes, THERE IS such thing as the GENUINE gift of tongues) DO NOT PROVE that anyone is “spiritually superior” to anyone else.
The gifts of the spirit are listed in 1 Corinthians 12:
1. Word of wisdom.
2. Word of knowledge.
4. Gifts of healing.
5. Working of miracles.
7. Discerning of spirit.
8. Different kinds of tongues.
9. Interpretation of tongues.
1 Corinthians 12:7 says gifts are given to the Church for “profit”, meaning SPIRITUAL profit.
Unfortunately, the hucksters that flood Kristian airwaves, took that verse to mean FINANCIAL PROFIT and, sure enough, they’ve been PROFITING from our gullibility and IGNORANCE ever since.
The word translated “profit” is sumpheron which means “to bring together”.
The gifts of the Spirit are NOT given to manipulate others or squeeze money out of our peers.
They are given TO BRING believers together in unity of Spirit.
Paul made it clear that CARNALITY is what causes DIVISION among us (1 Corinthians 3:3-4).
Far from proving “superiority”, the very fact we need those gifts JUST PROVES HOW SPIRITUALLY DESTITUTE AND NEEDY WE ARE.
Matter of fact, the gifts of the Spirit manifested most abundantly in the MOST CARNAL congregation established by Paul, the church at Corinth:
Corinthians were THE MOST CARNAL, SINFUL group of Christians to which Paul had ministered, to the point that one guy in particular (1 Corinthians 5:1-2) was sleeping with his own stepmother!
In addition, they struggled with worldliness, there were, as already noted above, DIVISIONS, believers were SUING one another and allowing THE UNSAVED to settle disputes among them (gee, where have I heard THAT before?) (1 Corinthians 6:1-11).
They had trouble with marriages and celibacy (7:1-40), there was competition between males and females (11:2-16), and even about taking Holy Communion (11:17-34).
And yet, they were MORE PROLIFIC in gifts of the Spirit than ANY OTHER congregation.
While genuine gifts of the Spirit are nothing short of wonderful, they are also rather easy to imitate, WHICH HAS MADE SPIRITUAL COUNTERFEIT REACH PANDEMIC PROPORTIONS IN OUR TIME.
No one’s ever accused Satan. of being a poor imitator (Matthew 24:4).
It’s RARE and extremely difficult to find a so-called “Christian ministry” on TV that’s not working some angle on “gifts of the spirit” to extract money from its viewers UNDER FALSE PRETENSES.
If ANY ONE gift is desperately needed in our time, it’s the gift of DISCERNMENT.
THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013
A BEAST BY ANY OTHER NAME
The apostle John wrote his magnificent Gospel, three short epistles, and the Book of Revelation.
In the epistles he refers to the incarnation of Satan. as "antichrist" [1 John 2:18; 2:22; 4:3; 2 John 7], but throughout Revelation he refers to him as "the beast".
Why did he call him "the beast" ONLY in Revelation?
The Book of Revelation is the "unveiling" (revelation) of Jesus Christ, as well as the "unsealing" of the Book of Daniel [Revelation 1:1; 5:1-5].
The Book of Daniel is the ONLY book in the entire Bible which Jesus Himself SEALED.
He told Daniel it would remain sealed UNTIL the time of the end which is, UNQUESTIONABLY, our time.
Since Jesus is the One who sealed it, Jesus is the ONLY One who can unseal it. [Revelation 5:7-9].
What John reports is the unsealing of Jesus' Revelation to Daniel. Jesus Himself opens the 7 seals, one by one [Revelation 6:1-12; Revelation 8:1].
The reason John refers to Antichrist as "the beast" ONLY in Revelation, is because the Antichrist is described as A BEAST in the Book of Daniel:
In Daniel 7 he's described as A LEOPARD (Daniel 7:6).
In Daniel 8 he's described as A GOAT (Daniel 8:21).
John was making reference to these two chapters in Daniel, particularly to chapter 7.
In Revelation chapter 13, where THE BEAST is described, there are NO FEWER than 8 DIRECT references to Daniel chapter 7.
In Daniel 7:6, he describes THE ANTICHRIST BEAST [Alexander the Great] as a leopard.
In Revelation 13:2 John describes the antichrist beast [Alexander the Great] as a leopard.
That's the MAIN REASON, though certainly NOT the ONLY ONE, that we KNOW the Antichrist will be Alexander resurrected from the dead, brought back from the bottomless pit by the "working" of Satan.
The Greek word in 2 Thessalonians 2:9 is energeia from which we get our English word "energy".
Like some malevolent version of the "energizer bunny", Alex's body will be indwelt and energized by Satan. himself.
So, call him what you like: "seed of the serpent" [Genesis 3:17], "man of sin", "son of perdition" [2 Thessalonians 2:3], "little horn" [Daniel 7:8], "king of fierce countenance" [Daniel 8:23], "the king" [Daniel 11:36], "The Antichrist" [1st John 2:18], or "the beast" [Revelation 13:1].
The beast, by any other name, is still the offspring of Satan., the enemy of mankind, the enemy of men's souls, and ENEMY of God.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 1, 2013
"WORTHY" TO ESCAPE
Luke 21:36 offers ONE OF THE MOST UNFORTUNATE and MISLEADING translations of Jesus' words found in the New Testament.
This is how it reads in the KJV and several other English translations:
"Watch therefore, and pray always, THAT YOU MAY BE ACCOUNTED WORTHY TO ESCAPE all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man".
See that? It says that, in order to go in the Rapture, and escape the tribulation, we must be found "worthy".
NO, IT DOESN'T.
This is the ONE verse that legalists FRANTICALLY CLING TO in order to "prove" that going in the Rapture DEPENDS ON our conduct and our own merit.
WHAT, you may be wondering, is wrong with this passage?
The words "ACCOUNTED WORTHY" are NOWHERE FOUND IN the original Greek text.
Repeat: The words "ACCOUNTED WORTHY" are NOWHERE FOUND IN the original Greek text.
Wait a second, Martel, are you telling me that someone ADDED to Jesus' words?
I'm also telling you that THEY FLAT-OUT CHANGED what Jesus SAID to accommodate their religious bias.
The Greek word ERRONEOUSLY translated as "accounted worthy" is katischuo. It means "TO HAVE STRENGTH", or to "HAVE POWER".
It has NOTHING to do with "worthiness": ZERO.
It comes from two Greek words, kata, meaning "down" or "under" and ischuo which means "TO HAVE STRENGTH or POWER".
So, what this passage ACTUALLY AND LITERALLY SAYS is:
"Watch therefore, and pray always, THAT YOU MAY HAVE THE STRENGTH OR POWER DOWN UNDER (in your spirit, which is presently in our stomachs, John 7:38) TO ESCAPE all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man".
Jesus IS the POWER OF God (1 Corinthians 1:24).
It’s His Power (Spirit) WITHIN YOU that will make you “escape”. NOTHING ELSE.
This verse is telling us, IN ESSENCE, THE SAME AS Matthew 25:1-12,that ONLY THOSE WHO HAVE Jesus in their hearts and His ANOINTING (oil) or Spirit are going into the marriage feast, or will be raptured.
It has NOTHING, ZERO, to do with "being worthy" of ANYTHING.
In fact the Greek word for "worthy" aksiosis NOWHERE found in this passage.
But don't you teach that the Bible is the INERRANT Word of God?
The Bible, AS IT WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN by Jesus' apostles and prophets, is ERROR FREE.
TRANSLATIONS of what they wrote into modern languages, like English, ARE NOT ALWAYS error free, as I've pointed out on many occasions.
As I've told you repeatedly, the earliest translations of the New Testament into English took place in the 14th century, some 1,200 years AFTER it was originally written.
By then, A LOT HAD HAPPENED in Christendom.
The Early Church was gone.
Strange, unbiblical doctrines had crept into the Church.
Soteriology and Eschatology had changed.
The translators - even if we give them the benefit of the doubt - that they all MEANT WELL and tried to do the best and most accurate rendering of each passage, WERE HUMAN.
As humans, they COULD NOT HELP being influenced - consciously or subconsciously - by some of the garbage being taught such as "salvation through works" or, worse, that you could BUY your salvation by purchasing hierarchical "indulgences".
Salvation through works or through purchase would, indeed, be based ON MERIT.
Only ONE TINY PROBLEM: NO SUCH THING IS TAUGHT IN THE BIBLE, Old or New Testaments.
That's why if you ever read something in whatever translation of the Bible you use that doesn't seem kosher, and doesn't line up with true, orthodox Christian doctrine, CHECK IT OUT IN THE ORIGINAL Hebrew or Greek.
We can TRUST God to ALWAYS tell the Truth.
We CANNOT trust mortals to do so.
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