August 2013 archives of www.christconnection.net "WORD 4 TODAY"
SATURDAY, AUGUST 31, 2013
There's NO QUESTION, based on the Bible, that Alexander the Great is the Antichrist (Daniel 7:6; Revelation 13:2).
In November 2011 there was a widely circulated news item that his tomb had been found on the island of Thasos, off the coast of Greece.
A week ago (August 23, 2013)
British news service Mail Online published another article detailing
a massive structure unearthed by archaeologists near Amphipolis,
about 370 miles north of Athens, not far from the border with
Bulgaria, and dating to the 4th century B.C.
The time, location and size certainly line up with what we know about Alexander.
The question is: IS THAT REALLY HIS TOMB?
Other important people died in the 4th century B.C. who would have been deemed worthy of such monumental burial, among them Alexander's supposed father, Philip, his mother Olympias, who was from the region of Epirus, in northwestern Greece, and his tutor Aristotle who was from nearby Stagira, about 34 miles east of modern Thessaloniki.
So far, there's no definite proof that this is where he was buried.
We have, therefore, three major contenders: Alexandria, Egypt (the traditional site), Thasos, and now Amphipolis.
All three border on the Mediterranean and the last two on the Aegean Sea.
According to Revelation 13:1, it's FROM THE SEA (which in context, would HAVE TO BE either the Aegean or the Mediterranean) that he will emerge resurrected from the dead at the beginning of the tribulation.
The island of Patmos, from which John wrote the Revelation, is kind of IN THE MIDDLE of all three locations: A bit closer to Thasos and Amphipolis in Greece than to the Egyptian location in Alexandria.
But ALL THREE could fit his description that the beast arises "from the sea".
All three locations COULD, potentially, be the REAL site of his tomb.
I kind of chuckled as I typed that because --ironically -- THREE different LOCATIONS have also been offered as "real" burial site for Jesus: Holy Sepulchre, Garden Tomb, and a lesser known site on Mount of Olives.
My book lists all the similarities between the Christ and the Antichrist. Now, we can add yet another.
In Jesus' case I am 100% certain - and can prove biblically - that the Garden Tomb is where He was buried and from where He rose from the dead.
In Alexander's case, until decisive proof is given, we must keep AN OPEN MIND.
However, if I had to pick ONE location, based on what we know AT THIS MOMENT, it's a tough call.
A week ago I would have picked Thasos.
The association of Alexander's Tomb to the Ark of the Covenant on Thasos is just much too weird. Who would have thought about making such connection, UNLESS IT WAS TRUE?
If you want to read the two previous messages about the Thasos location, click on "Previous Word 4 Today messages" - DIRECTLY BELOW THIS MESSAGE & Jesus' pictures - and scroll down to messages of 11/11/11 and 3/26/12.
On the other hand, is it mere coincidence that Paul spoke about the Antichrist being revealed when the Body of Christ is "taken out of the way" to the Thessalonians (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8) and that Amphipolis is located just east of Thessalonica or, as it's called today, Thessaloniki?
Is the name Amphipolis also coincidence, meaning city "of BOTH KINDS" a clear reference to Alexander's dual nature and that he could exist both in sea (abyss) and on land?
Is it coincidence that both Thessaloniki's flag and seal consist of Alexander's profile wearing two horns?
Perhaps BOTH of these locations are significant.
His tomb could be in Amphipolis, and he could claim to have been entrusted with "the ark of the covenant" because it's "his rightful throne" and that he's kept it in Thasos all these years (2 Thessalonians 2:4).
We'll have to wait and see how it all plays out. It's really interesting, regardless of which turns out to be the real tomb, is that IN THE PAST 18 MONTHS THE BURIAL PLACE OF ALEXANDER has become, ONCE AGAIN, THE FOCUS OF ATTENTION, 2,300 YEARS AFTER his death.
Could it be because, according to Scripture, he's about to reappear soon, right after Jesus takes His Church Home? (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8).
The real tomb of Alexander remains one of the greatest archaeological mysteries in history.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 30, 2013
"But if the watchman SEES THE SWORD COMING AND DOES NOT BLOW THE TRUMPET TO WARN THE PEOPLE AND THE SWORD COMES AND TAKES SOMEONE'S LIFE, that person's life will be taken because of their sin, BUT I WILL HOLD THE WATCHMAN ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR BLOOD." (Ezekiel 33:6)
I cannot, in good conscience, tell God's people that they will not see ANY tribulation.
I can tell them, and have told them for the past 24 years, that they will be raptured AT THE BEGINNING OF the tribulation.
That means they will see VERY LITTLE of it.
But they will see SOME.
If I thought we'd be raptured within minutes or hours after the tribulation begins, I wouldn't bother telling anyone to prepare.
Even if I thought we'd be here for only the first 3 or 4 days, I wouldn't bother.
But 10 DAYS - while rather minor IN COMPARISON TO the 3½ years of UNRELENTING JUDGMENTS DEATH AND PERSECUTION the rest of humanity will endure - are NOT insignificant.
People can survive without food or water for 3-4 days.
Generally speaking, they DO NOT SURVIVE 10 DAYS without such essentials.
Hence, I STRONGLY ADVISE believers to prepare AS THEY WOULD IF A HURRICANE WAS HEADED their way.
And to do so NO LATER THAN 9/4/13:
Have plenty of drinking bottled water on hand, plenty of bread, peanut butter and jelly, flashlights candles and matches. If you have pets, have extra food on hand for them.
It's also a good idea to fill at least ONE bathtub with water, for daily hygiene, since you'll probably want to wash your face and hands.
The more I scrutinize Scripture and seek Spirit guidance, the more convinced I am that we will be here for that short period.
Every passage that points to our Departure shows A BRIEF INTERVAL between the signs that indicate the tribulation has begun and our REMOVAL from the earth.
I offered TWO CLEAR examples yesterday. Another such example is Matthew 24:29-31:
"IMMEDIATELY WITH the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.'
THEN will appear THE SIGN of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn WHEN THEY SEE the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.
And HE WILL SEND HIS ANGELS WITH A LOUD TRUMPET CALL: AND THEY WILL GATHER HIS ELECT FROM THE FOUR WINDS, from one end of the heavens to the other".
Notice that the signs take place "IMMEDIATELY with" the tribulation. We're not told, however, that "gathering His elect" takes place IMMEDIATELY.
We simply DON'T KNOW, and are NOT
TOLD, HOW LONG it will take to "round up" all believers, which
includes the "dead in Christ" who must be resurrected first (1
Once the Church departs, there is a brief period of "crossing over" into the heavenly dimension. I've taught on this before.
But in every Scripture that deals with this topic there's A TIME INTERVAL BEFORE the Rapture and subsequent crossover.
Best case scenario: if, by any chance, we are out of here MOMENTS - not DAYS - after the tribulation begins, those who remain on earth will be able to make good use of the stuff you leave.
I'm not asking you to build some underground shelter and stockpile stuff for months or years.
I'm saying to have on hand enough water and non-perishable food to last AT LEAST A WEEK, which is a wise thing to have on hand ALWAYS, tribulation or no tribulation.
We derive NO MATERIAL BENEFIT WHATSOEVER from sharing this information, and there's NO PERSONAL GAIN for me - of any sort - if you follow or not our advice.
My ONLY motivations in sharing these things are my God and Savior Jesus Christ, Whom I adore and serve, and to Whom I am accountable, and that I care about the Body of Christ.
If I were you, I'd get alone with
God somewhere quiet, seek Him with all your heart, and ASK HIM what,
if anything, He would have you do. Then, LISTEN.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 29, 2013
10 DAYS OF TRIBULATION - Part 2
I'm NOT NAMING ANY SPECIFIC DATE: you're free to draw your own conclusions.
I'm also NOT ANSWERING ANY QUESTIONS or comments concerning this matter. People are completely free to heed or disregard this message.
However, since we will be here for the first 10 days of tribulation, I advise everyone TO PREPARE.
I have never told anyone to stockpile anything, and I am NOT DOING SO now.
While this message is read in many parts of the world -- it's "hurricane season" in large parts of the United States, and many here in the States are going to the supermarket in the next few days to stock up for Labor Day weekend, anyway.
It's a good idea to have on hand AT LEAST A WEEK'S SUPPLY of bottled water to drink, and non-perishable items like canned meats, tuna, sardines, beans, etc.
Some bread, peanut butter and jelly, candy bars, protein or granola bars, cookies. Candles, matches, flashlights, batteries, can opener, etc.
If I were you, REGARDLESS OF WHAT COUNTRY YOU LIVE IN, I'd have some extra items such as these, on hand "just in case".
Don't forget first aid kit, prescriptions, if you take any, and FOOD AND WATER FOR YOUR PETS (dogs & cats are going in the Rapture, too, glory to Jesus).
A portable gas stove, like those we take on camping trips, or similar item, is a good idea, too.
IMPORTANT: GET THESE THINGS IN THE NEXT 7 DAYS (BEFORE 9/5/13).
What if it turns out that these items are NOT needed?
It never hurts to have them on hand in case of an emergency.
And you can always donate them to the needy, or they'll just stay behind for those who'll be here during the tribulation.
We know the sun gets dark. We don't know HOW LONG it stays that way.
We know there WILL NEVER BE NORMAL DAYLIGHT during the tribulation (Revelation 8:12, 16:10).
We also know that geography and topography will be drastically altered.
That means that basic utilities (water, electricity, gas, cable, phone, etc.) won't be available, at least momentarily and, possibly, permanently.
What YOU DON'T WANT TO DO IS TRY TO GET SUCH BASIC SURVIVAL NEEDS in the midst of the chaos and confusion that will SURELY follow these signs (Revelation 6:12-16).
What about cell phones, computers, and the like?
We know there's A HUGE QUAKE of both earth and atmosphere.
While it doesn't hurt to have your cell phone's batteries fully charged, etc., chances are such communications will be disrupted AT LEAST FOR A WHILE, and at least in some parts of the world.
So, don't count on being able to watch the sky rolled up like a scroll, or Jesus appearing in the clouds, on CNN. That may OR MAY NOT happen.
Chances are that it won't.
That's why Scripture tells us to LIFT UP OUR HEADS and LOOK UP, and not to run to the nearest TV (Luke 21:28).
But doesn't Scripture say NO ONE KNOWS the day and hour?
Yes. "Knows" is PRESENT tense.
When Jesus said "no one KNOWS" He meant CLEARLY AT THAT TIME (fist century A.D.).
Obviously, WE WILL KNOW both THE day and THE hour WHEN IT FINALLY HAPPENS. So will the angels and EVERYONE ELSE.
But don't you believe God will take care of His people?
But God also gave us the written Word, Spirit revelation, and BRAINS, so we would USE THEM.
But don't we get transformed from mortal to immortal in the twinkling of an eye?
But all indications are that the "TWINKLING OF AN EYE" happens toward THE END of the aforementioned 10 days".
Does God transform us into immortal beings and then LEAVE US ON EARTH for a while?
I don't see that ANYWHERE in Scripture.
The sequence, given in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 is:
The DEAD IN CHRIST RISE FIRST.
No telling EXACTLY HOW LONG it will take for ALL OF THEM to rise.
AFTER they've all risen THEN WE ARE CAUGHT UP (transformed) to meet the Lord in the air, TOGETHER WITH THEM.
Since we're not sure EXACTLY WHEN that transformation will happen, it's a good idea TO BE PREPARED.
It's also a good idea to tell your brothers and sisters in Christ and those you care about.
Of course THE BEST WAY to prepare for these events is to surrender our hearts and lives to Jesus Christ. If you've never invited Him to enter your heart, please do so now. If you're NOT 100% SURE of KNOWING Christ and of being saved, DO SO NOW.
Once you become immortal, you won't need food and water.
UNTIL you become immortal, YOU WILL NEED BOTH.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28, 2013
10 DAYS OF TRIBULATION
"...you shall have tribulation TEN DAYS" (Revelation 2:10)
The Church leaves the earth realm PRIOR TO the tribulation trumpet JUDGMENTS.
That is crystal clear.
The Church, however, goes through a VERY SMALL portion (the VERY beginning of) the tribulation.
This is clearly shown in Revelation 7:14 where one of the elders asks John concerning the innumerable multitude (collective Church) that appears in heaven suddenly and in glorified bodies:
"WHO ARE these? WHERE DID THEY come from"? (Revelation 7:13).
John answers: "Sir, YOU KNOW".
And the elder answers:
"These are they who CAME OUT OF the great tribulation"... (Revelation 7:14)
The ONLY WAY you can tell someone that you "CAME OUT OF the kitchen" is if YOU'VE BEEN IN the kitchen.
If we say "they CAME OUT OF the building" it's because THEY'VE BEEN IN the building.
Likewise, if the Church CAME OUT OF the great tribulation it's because the Church HAS BEEN -albeit BRIEFLY - IN the great tribulation.
So there's NO WAY of getting away from the fact that the Church CAME OUT OF the great tribulation because it went thru a VERY SMALL PART OF the tribulation.
To be precise, we are here for the first 10 days.
"Oh, but you're wrong, that was the message to Smyrna, in the first century".
Yes, and I'm sure that the Smyrna congregation ALSO HAD 10 DAYS OF TRIBULATION back then (Ecclesiastes 1:9).
However, the message to Smyrna ENDS with the following phrase "He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says TO THE CHURCHES" (Revelation 2:11).
Since THE CHURCHES (praise Jesus) are with us to this very day, and since WE ARE collectively THE CHURCH of the "time of the end", that message MUST have special application TO US.
Additionally, we know from Matthew 24:29 ("IMMEDIATELY WITH the tribulation") that the signs of the sun being darkened, the moon looking blood-red, etc. SIGNAL THE BEGINNING of the tribulation.
Those signs take place in Revelation 6:12, as Jesus opens the 6th seal.
Does the Church appear in heaven IMMEDIATELY after the 6th seal is opened? No.
The signs are followed by an unspecified period of restraining the winds of the earth and "sealing the 144,000" Israelites, AND THEN the Church appears suddenly in heaven (Revelation 7:1-3).
That period is 10 days.
Then (after the Church is safely in heaven) the 7th seal is opened and the terrible trumpet judgments begin, followed by the woes and the bowl judgments.
So, it is clear that while the Church will NOT go through the 3½-year tribulation, it will experience the very beginning thereof.
10 days IS A HECK OF A LOT BETTER THAN 3½ years.
For all intents and purposes THE RAPTURE IS "PRE-TRIB".
But such DETAILS are important.
Don't miss Part Two in tomorrow's message.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 27, 2013
ISAIAH'S "END TIMES"
When we think of eschatology, the Books of Daniel and Revelation immediately come to mind.
Perhaps the final chapters of Zechariah and certain portions of the Gospels...
But Isaiah's eschatology is almost entirely overlooked.
Isaiah chapters 13 to 27 give us a magnificent description of the end times.
In fact, the beginning of chapter 19, concerning Egypt, IS UNFOLDING BEFORE OUR VERY EYES RIGHT NOW.
Chapter 13 begins with the Rapture, describes the same signs given in Revelation 6:12 and Matthew 24:29 that indicate the beginning of the tribulation: the darkening of the sun, moon and stars, the shaking of heaven and earth, and the rearranging of earth's geography (Isaiah 13:1-13).
Chapter 14:12-17 has Satan cast down from heaven (Revelation 12:8-9), Antichrist being cast out of his tomb (Isaiah 14:18-19) and the temporary reign of Antichrist over the earth (Isaiah 14:4-11).
Chapters 15 &16 have the waters of Moab (southern Jordan) turning to blood, exactly as Revelation 8:10-11 describes, and some of God's people, natural Israelites, taking refuge there (Revelation 12:6).
Chapter 17 contains the destruction of Damascus. The Syrians seem to be doing a great job of fulfilling that prophecy themselves.
And if recent headlines are any indication, this could happen very soon, as the U.S. and its allies are very close to intervening militarily.
Chapter 18 contains the missiles sent from the Euphrates region in Revelation 9:14-15 that kill ONE THIRD of mankind.
Chapter 19 describes WHAT'S HAPPENING IN EGYPT RIGHT NOW, how they will be ruled by Antichrist (Daniel 11:43) and how they'll serve God, along with Israel, during the Millennium.
Chapter 20 is brief and contains an ancient prophecy about Egypt and Ethiopia that was fulfilled over 2,700 years ago.
Chapter 21 - Babylon is fallen. This applies to ALL THREE: ancient Babylon (already fulfilled), to modern Iraq which will be conquered by Iran during tribulation, and to mystery Babylon described in Revelation chapters 17 and 18.
The words of Isaiah 21:9 are quoted, verbatim, in Revelation 14:8.
Chapter 22:22 talks about the key of the house of David: These words are quoted by Jesus in His message to Philadelphia, almost verbatim (Revelation 3:7).
Chapter 23 is about Tyre. That prophecy has been fulfilled and will probably be fulfilled again during the tribulation.
Chapter 24 describes the awful judgments and destruction that will come on the earth during the tribulation: devastation, a large portion burnt up, depopulation, people scattered, and how God will turn the earth "upside down" and cause it to stagger like a drunkard.
Chapter 25 speaks of the victorious Christ who protected and delivered Israel and, upon returning, makes them a celebratory feast on Mount Moriah.
It also speaks of rejoicing in His Salvation (Jesus).
Isaiah 25:8 speaks of swallowing death up in victory and of God wiping away all tears from all faces. That's exactly what Revelation 21:4 says.
Isaiah 26 is a recap of the previous 12 chapters.
Isaiah 27:1 speaks of God SLAYING THE DRAGON that is in the seas and punishing Leviathan the serpent (Satan). Compare to Revelation 20:4, 10.
Isaiah is best known, of course, for his amazing prophecies about the Virgin Birth of our Savior (Isaiah 7:14) and His death to atone for man's sin (Isaiah 53, entire chapter).
He also offers wonderful descriptions of Christ's reign during the Millennium in chapters 2, 9, 11.
And His description of New Jerusalem in chapter 54 is MUST READ, as are chapters 60-66.
MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013
CHEAP & EVIL
"WHOEVER SHEDS MAN'S BLOOD, BY MAN SHALL HIS BLOOD BE SHED: for in the image of God made he man" (Genesis 9:6).
Human life in the Middle East has always been CHEAP - and is GETTING CHEAPER by the day.
This past week we saw hundreds of deaths in Egypt where protesters were killed as the military seeks to negate recent elections and re-assert complete control over that country.
There's also the plight of its 22-million strong Coptic Christian population, who are being systematically persecuted and killed by the Islamic majority.
Even more atrocious were the barbaric acts of brutal, heartless Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad who used chemical weapons indiscriminately against his own people, murdering hundreds, if not thousands, of women and children in the process.
Their crime, of course, is wanting FREEDOM FROM his oppressive regime.
As the U.S., U.K. and EU ponder what actions, if any, to take on this inhumane and horrific situation... And as Vladimir Putin and Russia pretend NOT TO see or hear what's happening in Syria...
It's ONLY A MATTER OF TIME before these upheavals spill over into tiny Israel, which is politically, ideologically, and geographically caught in the middle, which already lives under constant threat of terrorist attacks by Palestinians, and is already hemmed in by Hezbollah on the north (Lebanon) and Hamas on the south (Gaza).
One could make a case that the
only thing that would stop these civil wars, these Islamic fanatics
from killing each other, is
to unify them once again against their common "enemy", the national
entity they hate ABOVE ALL ELSE: Israel.
We are VERY NEAR the end of the 49-year period specified in Daniel 9:25, which would lead to the Second Coming of Christ.
Can there be ANY DOUBT - in ANY reasonable mind - that the "TIME OF THE END" IS UPON US?
SUNDAY, AUGUST 25, 2013
HE WHO HAS EARS
"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, HE WILL GUIDE YOU INTO ALL THE TRUTH: He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come (John 16:13).
In the Gospels Jesus repeats the phrase "he who was ears to hear, let him hear" no fewer than 8 times (Matthew 11:15).
This is understandable since He was speaking to individuals who were spiritually dead, because the new birth from above had not yet taken place.
We fast forward to the Book of Revelation, written some 65-70 years later, at the end of the first century.
By then many, many gentiles had been added to His Church.
By then the born again experience was available to ANYONE who'd receive Christ and was, presumably, shared by ALL believers.
And Jesus IS STILL REPEATING THAT PHRASE, time and again, TO HIS (presumably) BORN AGAIN CHURCH (Revelation 3:6).
Even more specifically, TO THE "END TIME" Church (us), since the Book of Revelation is almost entirely eschatological in content.
All born-again believers HAVE the Holy Spirit inside. If ANYONE does not have the Spirit of Christ, he or she does NOT BELONG TO Christ, and is NOT SAVED (Romans 8:9).
It's one thing for God to tell UNREGENERATE people to "have ears to hear", but for Him to tell HIS OWN CHURCH???
His own hyper-charismatic, tongue-talking, supposedly Spirit-filled Church?
The Church that constantly BOASTS ABOUT "moving in the gifts of the Spirit"?
The Church who for LOVE OF MONEY PRETENDS to heal and prophesy in His Name?
WHY would God TELL US to "have eyes to see" and "ears to hear" UNLESS we STILL ARE SPIRITUALLY DEAF AND BLIND?
Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to GUIDE US into ALL Truth.
But instead of allowing Him to guide us, WE WANT TO GUIDE HIM.
We want to drag Him around like a dog with a harness and have Him do OUR BIDDING.
We have USED HIM as convenient pretext to justify our greed and lusts.
We've HARDENED OUR HEARTS toward Him.
We've IGNORED the Spirit, SHOVED HIM ASIDE and TURNED A BLIND EYE AND DEAF EAR TO HIM.
By PAYING ZERO ATTENTION to the Spirit of God, we've grieved Him and quenched Him to the point we no longer hear His Voice (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19).
Remember how the children of Israel in the Old Testament asked God NOT TO speak to them?
Speak to us ONLY THROUGH MOSES, they said?
We live and act AS IF the Holy Spirit DIDN'T EVEN EXIST.
When Jesus specifically said that "it was BETTER" for us that He went away, so He could send the Spirit to us (John 16:7).
If you're born again, Are you EVEN AWARE of the Holy Spirit's Presence in you?
Do you even ACKNOWLEDGE Him in your life?
The Holy Spirit is THE MOST SENSITIVE member of the Godhead.
Jesus said that blasphemy against the Spirit is THE ONLY SIN that will never be forgiven, in this life OR THE NEXT (Matthew 12:32).
Lying to the Spirit of Truth caused Ananias and Sapphira to drop dead at Peter's feet (Acts 5:1-11).
If you want to be raptured, YOU BETTER START PAYING ATTENTION TO the Spirit and LISTENING TO HIM.
Don't lead the Spirit, let the Spirit LEAD YOU.
At the Rapture, it's the Spirit and the Bride (Church) that say to Jesus, IN PERFECT UNISON, "come" (Revelation 22:17).
Without the Spirit's guidance, the Church is deaf, blind and CLUELESS.
Without the Spirit, God's Church is going NOWHERE.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 24, 2013
JESUS & THE SABBATH
During His public ministry Jesus NEVER KEPT the Sabbath.
You heard me: During His public ministry JESUS NEVER KEPT THE SABBATH.
The fourth commandment, given 3,500 years ago to natural Israelites, DOESN'T TELL ANYONE to congregate ANYWHERE (Exodus 20:8-10).
Matter of fact, when the 10 Commandments were given there was no Jewish temple, no synagogues, and those buildings that Christians call "churches" DID NOT EXIST, and WOULD NOT EXIST, until almost 2,000 years LATER.
Congregating at the local synagogue was INVENTED 1,000 years later during Babylonian captivity.
During captivity it became a Jewish CUSTOM, to congregate at the synagogue on the Sabbath (Luke 4:16).
Jesus, being Jewish, FOLLOWED THAT CUSTOM.
He NEVER TOLD ANYONE to congregate anywhere on the Sabbath.
Such congregating was never a commandment. NEVER!!!
Hence, if Adventists, Armstrongnists and other Sabbatarians want to "follow Jesus' example", then they need to attend Jewish synagogue on Saturday,NOT A Seventh Day Adventist building, OR a Church of God building.
Fortunately, the Adventist heresy did not exist when Jesus walked the earth as it was invented by proven liar Ellen G. White a mere 150 years ago.
So-called United Church of God, and OTHER "Church of God" groups DID NOT EXIST either, since those heresies were invented by ANOTHER PROVEN LIAR, Herbert W. Armstrong a mere 47 years ago.
So, don't give me this lying crap that you congregate in those GODLESS, HERETICAL, RELIGIOUS BUILDINGS - teeming with religion but lacking in Truth - in order to "follow Jesus' example".
If you REALLY WANT TO follow Jesus' example, I want to SEE YOU at the local Jewish synagogue next Saturday.
You're NOT following Jesus' example, YOU'RE FOLLOWING YOUR MASTERS' ORDERS, LIKE GOOD, BRAINWASHED, RELIGIOUS PUPPETS.
What the 4th Commandment ORDERS natural Israelites to do is NOTHING: stay home and REST.
Cease FROM YOUR OWN LABORS and TRUST GOD COMPLETELY TO TAKE CARE OF YOU (REST in Him).
This brings us back to my opening line: I'm certain that Jesus, being raised in a Jewish home, RESTED on the Sabbath, as the 4th commandment instructs, during his childhood, teenage years, and even in his 20's.
But, when He began His public ministry, about the age of 30, He NO LONGER RESTED PHYSICALLY on the Sabbath...
John 5:16-18: "And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to kill him, BECAUSE HE HAD DONE THESE THINGS ON THE SABBATH DAY. But Jesus answered them, My Father WORKS TILL NOW, AND I WORK.
Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because HE NOT ONLY HAD BROKEN THE SABBATH, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God".
Again: "He NOT ONLY HAD BROKEN THE SABBATH, but said also that God was His Father, MAKING HIMSELF EQUAL WITH GOD".
Of course that portion of the Gospels will never be read, or even MENTIONED, at any Church of God or Adventist religious service, since that passage IS NOT APPROVED BY the founders of those heretical sects.
Like most of Paul's epistles, it's one of many portions of Scripture that DOESN'T FIT THEIR FALSE DOCTRINE, and which THEY SIMPLY EDITED and FILTERED OUT.
Jesus and His disciples plucked grain on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-2), TRAVELED on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-15), CARRIED STUFF on the Sabbath (John 5:8-11), and CURED PEOPLE (Mark 3:1-6, Luke 13:1-16) on the Sabbath.
Too bad that neither Ellen White nor Herbie Armstrong was there to "correct" Him.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 23, 2013
THERE'S ONLY ONE GOSPEL
Although YOU WOULDN'T KNOW IT from listening to various Christian groups, there aren't two Gospels, three Gospels, and certainly not 230.
There's ONLY ONE (Galatians 1:8).
Just like there's ONLY ONE God, Savior and Lord.
Just like there's ONLY ONE baptism that saves which IS NOT water baptism but baptism by the Holy Spirit INTO the Body of Christ, which is His Church (1 Corinthians 12:13). This baptism takes place AUTOMATICALLY when we receive Christ.
Just like there's ONLY ONE Church, not two, not three, not 230.
That Church, as you might have guessed, is NOT a denomination: it's THE SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY of BORN-AGAIN, JUSTIFIED HUMANS MADE PERFECT BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS AND BY HIS OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS (Hebrews 12:23).
That ONE Gospel is GOOD NEWS.
In fact, it's THE BEST NEWS EVER GIVEN:
Despite the fact we've sinned, God IS NOT angry with us (2 Corinthians 5:19).
He LOVES us.
He LOVES US UNCONDITIONALLY.
That means, He LOVES YOU: NO STRINGS attached.
He LOVED YOU ENOUGH TO DIE FOR YOU.
He PAID FOR EVERY SIN committed by humans - from the Garden of Eden to the final day of the Millennium - on that cross and WITH HIS VERY OWN, PURE, SINLESS BLOOD.
Your sins, WHOEVER you are, and WHATEVER you've done, HAVE BEEN PAID FOR!
TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY...
They have been ERASED FOREVER from your record...
They are FORGIVEN.
YOU ARE FORGIVEN.
Salvation is YOURS, RIGHT NOW, for the taking.
Do you WANT Salvation?
If you do, He's YOURS.
Receive Him, Jesus Christ, RIGHT NOW.
Invite Him into your heart, THIS VERY MOMENT.
Don't think about it, don't worry about it, and don't procrastinate.
Take Eternal Life, grab it! It's yours!
THIS is your moment.
You DON'T NEED TO "give up" anything... you DON'T NEED to "clean up".
Receive Jesus JUST AS YOU ARE, this minute.
He's ALREADY RECEIVED YOU.
Welcome into His Everlasting Kingdom.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 22, 2013
WHAT THEY DIDN'T HAVE
Have you been told that "God's true church is the one that keeps His commandments" (meaning the 10 Commandments)?
In Revelation chapter 12, John is treated to a rather dramatic scene in heaven: a woman about to give birth and a menacing red dragon standing in front of her wanting to devour her child the instant He is born.
Some see the Virgin Mary giving birth to Jesus in this imagery, and Satan instantly trying to kill Him by sending Herod's men to massacre the children of Bethlehem under two years of age.
I certainly see that, too. However, prophecies often have multiple fulfillments (Ecclesiastes 1:9).
And this metaphor would not be included in the Book of Revelation UNLESS it had relevance to the "time of the end".
The woman is CLOTHED in the sun, the moon is at her feet, and she's wearing a crown with 12 stars.
This woman represents both SPIRITUAL Israel (the glorified Church, clothed in God's Glory and crowned with the 12 stars which represent the apostles of our Lord) and NATURAL Israel who remains on earth.
She gives birth to the collective Body of Christ and He is IMMEDIATELY CAUGHT UP (raptured, same Greek word, harpazo, used in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) to God and His Throne.
It's the same event described earlier in Revelation 7:9-16, told from a slightly different perspective.
As the woman's Child (saints, collective Body of Christ) reaches heaven, Michael EVICTS Satan and his angels from heaven - permanently - and casts them down to earth, ALSO permanently.
After all, since the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden, these creeps have been occupying the heavenly places that ARE RIGHTFULLY OURS.
Then Revelation 12:17 makes THE MOST REVEALING STATEMENT (no pun intended):
The dragon is enraged with the metaphoric woman and goes after THE REST OF her children (here on earth) who were LEFT BEHIND.
So, this woman has ONE SPIRITUAL child to whom she gives birth in heaven (the SPIRITUAL dimension) and OTHER NATURAL CHILDREN who'll remain on this NATURAL earth during the tribulation.
Now, the King James and most other versions of the Bible render this passage "the REMNANT of her seed".
I'm not saying that translation is incorrect. However, some of these religious terms (like "remnant") often become clichés and, in the process, lose their meaning and their ability to SPEAK TO US and IMPACT OUR CONSCIENCE.
The Greek word is leipos meaning, literally, the "remaining ones" or those "LEFT BEHIND" of her offspring.
And, according to that same verse, WHAT DESCRIPTION does God give of this woman's children WHO ARE LEFT BEHIND on earth to endure tribulation?
WHAT CHARACTERISTICS define those children WHO ARE NOT RAPTURED, BUT REMAIN ON EARTH and are persecuted viciously by Satan and his Antichrist?
They are the ones WHO "OBSERVE THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD and have THE TESTIMONY (witness) OF JESUS".
Do you think that "observing the 10 Commandments" or the weekly Sabbath makes you a shoo-in for heaven?
Do you belong to A CULT that teaches you are "the only true church" because you're "the only ones" who keep God's 10 Commandments?
That you are the "faithful remnant" because you congregate on a 24-hour unit of finite time?
I got news for you:
You've been LIED TO.
God SAYS THE VERY OPPOSITE.
You're NOT going in the Rapture UNLESS you repent and TRUST Jesus ALONE for Salvation and FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
There is NO RIGHTEOUSNESS IN THE WHOLE UNIVERSE besides Jesus' (Mark 10:18).
If you REALLY WANT TO be "righteous" you better have Him CREDIT HIS OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS TO YOU, (2 Corinthians 5:21) FREELY, by sheer Grace, ‘CAUSE THERE'S NO OTHER, HONEY CHILD!!!
Yes, that includes many natural Jews, who practice traditional Judaism, but it also INCLUDES all the members of false sects, all supposed "Christians" WHO THINK THEY CAN WORM THEIR WAY INTO HEAVEN by THEIR OWN SELF-RIGHTEOUS "commandment keeping", "Sabbath keeping", vegetarian or kosher eating, etc. etc.
Those "left behind" on this earth, UNSAVED, to suffer tribulation, are THOSE WHO claim to "OBSERVE the commandments" and have the TESTIMONY (have heard the Gospel) of Jesus.
WHAT THEY DON'T HAVE IS FAITH IN JESUS.
That's WHY they remain on earth and go through the tribulation:
They know God's 10 Commandments
and CLAIM to "keep them". They've heard the Gospel. But
THEY DON'T BELIEVE IT. Jesus ISN'T ENOUGH.
And, like it or not, TRUST IN JESUS is THE ONLY THING THAT RAPTURES US (Ephesians 2:8-9) :
TRUSTING JESUS COMPLETELY is THE ONLY THING THAT SAVES US.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21, 2013
Tenacity is persistence, firmness of purpose.
Though similar in meaning, tenacity must be distinguished from stubbornness, which is dogged determination NOT TO CHANGE ONE'S ATTITUDE OR POSITION ON SOMETHING, IN SPITE OF good arguments or reasons.
Tenacity is a rare virtue, and getting rarer by the minute.
In the world of “drive thrus”, “fast this” and “instant that” it’s much too tempting to take the easy way out and simply GIVE UP if we don’t get what we want right away.
However, true believers NEVER give up.
That term shouldn’t even form part of our vocabulary.
The Book of Hebrews tells us that it’s through faith (trust) and perseverance (persistence, tenacity) that we INHERIT God’s promises (Hebrews 6:12).
Contrary to human reason, God promised Abraham when he was 100 years old, childless, and married to a 90 year old barren old woman that he’d be father of a great multitude and his descendants would be as numerous as the stars of heaven.
Abraham believed God (Genesis 15:6).
Did he get to see the fulfillment of that Promise IN THIS WORLD?
No, but thank God he didn’t give up on it. Cause we’re about to see it IN THE NEXT.
If you doubt it, read Revelation 7:9-16.
Another terrific example is Elisha. Elijah had taken Elisha under his wing and become his spiritual mentor.
When it was time for Elijah to go up to heaven in a whirlwind alive, Elisha asked for a “double portion” of his spirit, which -- considering that Elijah had brought drought, then rain, and caused fire to come down from heaven -- was NO SMALL REQUEST (1 Kings 17:1; 18:41; 2 Kings 1:10).
God granted Elisha’s request, but not before testing his mettle:
As they journeyed together to the place where Elijah’s personal rapture would take place, Elijah tried to dump Elisha in every town:
Gilgal, Bethel, Jericho… Each time that Elijah would tell him “stay here”, Elisha replied:
“As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU” (2 Kings 2:2-6).
Elisha got his “double portion” and did some AMAZING miracles.
Even his bones could RESURRECT THE DEAD (2 Kings 13:21).
The king of Israel didn’t even need spies to know what the king of Assyria was planning, because the Spirit of God would reveal to Elisha EVERYTHING that the dude and his counselors spoke in secret (2 Kings 6:12).
Has God promised you something and it hasn’t happened yet ?
…To save a loved one?
…To grant some special request?
…To give you victory in a certain area?
Did He promise to catch away His Church and you’ve been waiting… and waiting… and waiting…
DON’T GIVE UP!
He is Faithful and TRUE.
He’s never too early or too late, but always RIGHT ON TIME. (Pause and meditate on THAT).
Remember the two T’s: TRUST and TENACITY.
That’s HOW we inherit His promises.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 20, 2013
WHAT THE SPIRIT SAYS
Each message to the 7 churches in Revelation is sent to a specific congregation that existed in the first century.
However, each message closes with the phrase "he that has an ear, LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAYS TO THE CHURCHES" (plural).
These 7 messages have RELEVANCE to ALL Christians, of all ages, but PARTICULARLY to the Church of "THE TIME OF THE END" which is NOW.
That is obvious since Revelation addresses END TIME EVENTS, almost exclusively.
So, I've taken excerpts of Christ's words, verbatim, and compiled a single message to today's Church:
"You have forsaken THE LOVE YOU HAD AT FIRST. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first" (Revelation 2:4).
"Fear none of those things which you will suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison... and you shall have tribulation ten days: be FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH, AND I WILL GIVE YOU A CROWN OF LIFE" (Revelation 2:10).
"I know your works and where you dwell, even where Satan's throne is: and you hold fast my name, and have not denied my faith"... (Revelation 2:13).
"Nevertheless I have a few things against you, BECAUSE YOU ALLOW THAT WOMAN JEZEBEL, WHO CALLS HERSELF A PROPHETESS, TO TEACH AND TO SEDUCE MY SERVANTS...
And I GAVE HER TIME TO REPENT OF HER FORNICATION; AND SHE REPENTED NOT.
Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and THEM THAT COMMIT ADULTERY WITH HER INTO GREAT TRIBULATION, except they repent of their deeds.
And I will kill her children with death; and ALL THE CHURCHES SHALL KNOW THAT I AM HE WHO SEARCHES THE MINDS AND HEARTS" (Revelation 2:20-23).
"Be watchful, and STRENGTHEN THE THINGS WHICH REMAIN, THAT ARE READY TO DIE: for I have not found your works perfect before God.
REMEMBER THEREFORE HOW YOU HAVE RECEIVED AND HEARD, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore you will not watch, I will come on you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you" (Revelation 3:1-3).
... "I would that you were cold or hot.
So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.
Because YOU SAY, I am rich, and increased with goods, and HAVE NEED OF NOTHING; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" (Revelation 3:15-17).
"Behold, I STAND AT THE DOOR, AND KNOCK: if any man hears my voice, AND OPENS THE DOOR, I WILL COME IN TO HIM, and will eat with him, and he with me.
TO HIM THAT OVERCOMES WILL I GRANT TO SIT WITH ME IN MY THRONE, even as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father IN HIS THRONE (Revelation 3:20-22).
"...behold, I have set BEFORE YOU AN OPEN DOOR, AND NO MAN CAN SHUT IT: for you have a little strength, and have kept my word, and have not denied my name.
Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, WHO SAY they are Jews, and ARE NOT, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and TO KNOW THAT I HAVE LOVED YOU.
Because you have kept the word of my patience, I ALSO WILL KEEP YOU FROM THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION, WHICH SHALL COME UPON ALL THE WORLD, TO TRY THEM THAT DWELL UPON THE EARTH.
Behold, I come quickly: HOLD FAST THAT WHICH YOU HAVE, THAT NO MAN TAKE YOUR CROWN (Revelation 3:8-11).
He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says unto the churches" (Revelation 3:22).
MONDAY, AUGUST 19, 2013
People come up with THE DUMBEST excuses for NOT receiving Christ:
1. "Well, I have to think about it"
You mean you're NOT SURE whether you want to go to heaven or hell? WHAT'S there to THINK?
2. "I'm NOT SURE THERE'S A GOD"
Invite Jesus into your heart and you'll FIND OUT.
3. "I've never been religious".
Good. Neither are REAL Christians.
4. "I'm afraid of what OTHERS will think"
Why? Is other people's opinion worth AN ETERNITY IN TORMENT?
Do they pay your rent, mortgage, groceries, or utilities?
WHO CARES what "they" think?
Is their TEMPORARY "approval" worth YOUR ETERNAL LIFE?
TRUE friends love UNCONDITIONALLY. If they "don't like you" because of Christ, and DON'T RESPECT YOUR DECISION, they were never your friends to begin with.
Coming to Jesus is a great way to prove who YOUR REAL FRIENDS are.
5. "Being Christian is too boring"
No way! Being RELIGIOUS IS boring.
Having a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with Jesus is the MOST EXCITING experience in the universe!
There's NEVER a dull moment.
There's NOTHING more exciting ANYWHERE than EXPERIENCING Christ Himself.
The thrill of worldly experiences WEARS OFF.
The THRILL of KNOWING Jesus IS PERMANENT.
Experiencing THE ECSTASY of His LOVE is worth EVERYTHING you've got, or are afraid to "lose".
6. "Well, I DON'T WANT TO GIVE UP ____"
You DON'T HAVE TO.
Come to Jesus NOW, JUST AS YOU ARE.
He'll WELCOME YOU with open arms.
No matter WHERE you are.
No matter WHAT you've done.
7. "Well, I DON'T HAVE THE TIME"
No kidding! But YOU DO MAKE TIME to text others incessantly about silly things, or to watch some stupid movie, or to "keep up" with Khloe what's her name.
What the hell kind of excuse is THAT?
WHAT'S YOUR EXCUSE for NOT receiving Christ?
You've got EVERYTHING to gain and NOTHING - absolutely NOTHING - to lose.
Personally, I can think of ONLY TWO REASONS for rejecting the GREATEST OFFER of all time:
You either HATE Jesus MORE THAN you love yourself. Or,
You're just TOO DUMB.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 18, 2013
THE INNER DIMENSION
The born again experience takes place when we receive Jesus into our hearts.
It is THE BEGINNING – not the end – of our spiritual journey in Christ.
When Jesus enters us He reconnects our spirit to His Spirit.
He draws us INWARD (to Himself) for the first time.
But in 99% of cases, believers get to that stage and STAY THERE.
Instead of going ALL THE WAY IN, they enter God’s temple (their innermost being) and REMAIN IN THE THRESHOLD.
When God’s Word has told us for 2,000 years to “come boldly INTO the Throne of Grace” (Hebrews 4:16) which is where God’s Mercy Seat is situated, in the Holy of Holies.
THE WAY TO THAT INNER SANCTUM IS JESUS HIMSELF.
Jesus promised repeatedly that He would “receive us UNTO Himself, that where He is, there we may be also” (John 14: ).
Again, He stated in “if I be lifted up I WILL DRAW ALL MEN UNTO ME” (John 12:32).
Scripture says our bodies are the temple of God.
The born-again spirit is presently located in the stomach area (threshold).
We need to be CONSCIOUS OF our spirits, humbly surrender to Jesus and allow Him to draw us deeper and deeper INTO His temple, into the Holy Place (chest area) until we in spirit reach His Throne Room, the Holy of Holies which is OUR HEAD.
When Jesus draws us higher and deeper into Himself, when our HEADS (minds) are renewed, that’s when our transformation (rapture) will happen (Romans 12:1-2).
Yes, there will be outer “signs” visible to all, but signs are not for believers but for unbelievers (Luke 11:29).
Believers already have THE SIGN, which is Jesus Himself, LIVING ON THE INSIDE.
We just need to allow Jesus to DRAW US IN, deeper and deeper, higher and higher.
Believers should be focused on their inner born-again, Divine Nature.
We may see signs in the sky, but we are not raptured from without:
We are raptured FROM WITHIN.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 17, 2013
IS HELL REAL?
Today, the valley of Hinnom is a green and relatively tranquil place, and one must use his imagination to envision the horrendous acts that actually went on in this place 2,700-2,800 years ago :
Much of Israel was engaged in gross and extreme idolatry, to the point of offering THEIR OWN BABIES in sacrifice to the Cananite “gods”.
Jesus repeatedly used that place, which by the first century A.D. had become the local trash dump at the Hinnom Valley (Gehenna), just south of Jerusalem, to symbolize the final destination of unbelievers (the wicked).
The fact that the fire of Jerusalem’s Gehenna was eventually extinguished has led many religious opportunists to claim that such is the case with hell.
That people who are lost are simply destroyed and CEASE TO EXIST:
That there is NO PLACE of torment and eternal punishment for unbelievers (the wicked)…
That a LOVING GOD would never allow such thing, let alone designate a place for that purpose.
Are they right?
Not a chance in….
What do these jokers expect, anyway?
That Jesus would take everyone ON A GUIDED TOUR OF THE LAKE OF FIRE?
Since Gehenna’s fire burned non-stop 24/7, it was the perfect example.
The fact Gehenna’s fire eventually was extinguished and today it’s nothing but a green valley is a poor argument.
We live in a TEMPORAL realm where EVERYTHING – sooner or later – comes to an end.
Jesus simply used a local place, that everyone knew at the time, to illustrate THE ETERNAL PLACE.
Paul reminded us that “things which ARE SEEN are TEMPORAL, things which are NOT SEEN are ETERNAL” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
Jesus clearly spoke about certain people who would go to “THE ETERNAL FIRE prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).
And, in that passage, He DOES NOT use the word Gehenna, referring to the local (temporal) place, but aionion pur which LITERALLY MEANS “ETERNAL fire”.
Therefore, Jesus Himself refuted that shabby argument.
Others argue that such fire WOULD CONSUME the individuals in it, and thus they would CEASE TO EXIST.
These people need to read THE OLD TESTAMENT that THEY LOVE SO MUCH and STOP SETTING LIMITS ON GOD – as to what He “can” or “cannot” do.
Spirit beings are IMMORTAL and capable of experiencing such consuming fire (that would turn flesh into a crisp), WITHOUT BEING CONSUMED.
God gave Moses one such example in the bush that burned, yet IT WAS NOT CONSUMED (Exodus 3:2).
What about Ezekiel 18:4 that says “the soul that sins, IT SHALL DIE”?
If the soul DIES, doesn’t that mean it CEASES TO EXIST?
In this temporal world we think of dying in PHYSICAL terms: The body dies and we THINK they’ve CEASED TO EXIST.
Truth be told, that individual’s spirit and soul STILL EXIST and are INDESTRUCTIBLE.
A dead spirit or dead soul DOES NOT CEASE TO EXIST. Spiritual death is MERELY BEING ALIENATED FROM Jesus WHO IS THE LIFE.
In Him ALL THINGS AND BEINGS ARE.
OUT OF HIM, all things and beings ARE NOT.
They are DEAD, although they still exist.
Those who EXIST ALIENATED FROM Christ, are TWICE DEAD (Jude 1:12).
That’s WHY Revelation 20:14 calls it “the SECOND death”.
There’s PHYSICAL death where the PHYSICAL body disintegrates and goes back into the dust.
There’s SPIRITUAL DEATH which is EXISTENCE WITHOUT CHRIST in torment.
There are A LOT OF HUMANS walking around this earth right now WHO ARE PHYSICALLY ALIVE, yet SPIRITUALLY DEAD.
If they want SPIRITUAL (ETERNAL) Life, they MUST invite Jesus INTO THEIR HEARTS and hook up with Jesus spiritually.
He is THE WAY, the Truth and THE LIFE.
There’s NO LIFE APART FROM Him, even for those who exist.
NO ONE goes to the Father (ETERNAL Life) EXCEPT THROUGH Him (John 14:6).
But what about those WHO’VE NEVER HEARD OF Jesus?
God KNOWS each human heart. And every human REALIZES on some level that there MUST BE Someone MUCH GREATER THAN themselves who created everything around us.
God will move heaven and earth to reach those individuals who SEEK God the Creator with all their hearts, regardless of Whom He may turn out to be.
Last but not least, would A LOVING God send people to that place of torment?
Actually, THEY SEND THEMSELVES.
God gave EVERY HUMAN FREE WILL to choose his or her own eternal destiny.
If they CHOOSE NOT TO receive Him, if they want NOTHING to do with Jesus, they ARE CHOOSING ALIENATION FROM Him and instead of being purified and perfected by His consuming fire, they WILL BE TORMENTED.
The word Sheol appears 64 TIMES in the Bible.
The word Hades appears 11 TIMES.
Abussos appears 11 TIMES.
Tartarus occurs ONCE.
Eternal fire appears ONCE.
Gehenna appears 12 TIMES.
Lake of fire appears 5 TIMES.
God TALKS ABOUT hell, in one fashion or another, a TOTAL OF 105 TIMES.
That’s A LOT OF TALK about a place that “doesn’t exist”.
So, either HELL DENIERS ARE LIARS, or GOD IS.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 16, 2013
ONE HELLUVA PLACE
English Bibles refer to ALL THE PLACES where unsaved beings are as “hell”. This oversimplification has led to much confusion, as well as doctrinal error.
The New Testament uses FOUR different Greek words for what we usually call “hell” :
The first three are TEMPORARY places.
Gehenna is eternal, and THE FINAL destination of ALL THE UNSAVED.
Additionally, the terms Eternal Fire (aionion to pur, Matthew 25:41) and Lake of Fire (limnen tou puros, in chapters 19, 20 and 21:8 of Revelation), are used to describe the same place depicted by Gehenna.
Let’s take a closer look :
HADES – refers to the underworld and is equivalent to the Hebrew Sheol,the grave, pit, the place of the dead.
It is viewed as a place of stillness and darkness cut off from God.
PRIOR TO Christ’s Resurrection, Hades was compartmentalized and ALL THE DEAD, both the righteous and the unrighteous, would go there, regardless of what they chose in this life.
According to Luke 16:23-26, there was A CHASM in Hades SEPARATING the righteous dead, in the bosom of Abraham, and the wicked dead who were in torment. It prevented any crossover from one area of Hades to the other.
ABUSSOS – Usually translated as “abyss” or “bottomless pit” (equivalent to Hebrew tehom) refers to the portion of the underworld, WHERE THERE’S A SUDDEN DROP or CHASM.
It’s a place VERY DEEP IN THE SEA. It’s the abode of demons (disembodied spirits of pre-Adamic civilization), as noted in Luke 8:31 where Legion begs Jesus NOT TO send them there.
According to Revelation 9:1, there’s a shaft that leads in and out of the abyss, which can be opened or shut.
According to Romans 10:7, it’s from this place that Jesus rose from the dead.
According to Job 41:32, the abyss is also the home of leviathan, the sea serpent or dragon.
It is from this abyss or bottomless pit that the Antichrist will soon emerge, resurrected from the dead (Revelation 11:7, 17:8).
Finally, according to Revelation 20:3, the pit is also where Satan himself will be bound for A THOUSAND YEARS.
TARTARUS – A special place in the underworld where the wicked receive punishment (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6).
In ancient Greek mythology Tartarus is THE DEEPEST PART OF THE ABYSS (bottomless pit) that is used AS A DUNGEON OF TORMENT AND SUFFERING FOR THE WICKED.
The Iliad (c. 700 BC) says that Tartarus is "as far beneath Hades as heaven is high above the earth."
Tartarus is known in Hellenistic Jewish literature from the Greek text of 1 Enoch, written in 400–200 BC.
1 Enoch 20:2 states that God placed the archangel Uriel "in charge of the world and of Tartarus".
Tartarus is generally understood to be the place where 200 fallen Watchers (nephilim) are imprisoned.
GEHENNA – This word is made up of two Greek words ge, meaning earth and henna meaning “red”.
While its literal translation from Greek is “red earth”, it’s actually a derivation of the Hebrew Gehinnom, or Ge Ben Hinnom, and refers to a place in southern Jerusalem known as the Valley of the Son of Hinnom.
It was at that location that apostate Israelites who worshiped Baal, Moloch, and other Caananite gods, sacrificed their children by fire (2 Chronicles 28:3, 33:6).
Consequently, it was deemed to be A CURSED PLACE (Jeremiah 7:31, 19:2-6) and hence, in Jesus’ time, it was used as the place where refuse was continually burned, day and night. For that reason, the fire at that place was never extinguished.
Jesus said it was better to go into eternal life with ONE eye than having BOTH EYES being cast into Gehenna (Matthew 18:9).
Jesus used THE LOCAL GARBAGE DUMP, WHERE THE FIRE NEVER WENT OUT, as vivid example of what the lake of fire is like.
This has been used as a convenient excuse by several cults to deny the existence of hell and of the lake of fire.
We will talk about that in the next message : IS HELL REAL? Don’t miss it.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013
It's easy to see WHY there is SO MUCH CONFUSION among unbelievers, and even among Christians, about how to be saved.
Not only do the cults teach a FALSE "gospel" of Salvation thru Jesus PLUS WORKS, so-called "Evangelical Christianity" is guilty of it as well.
Most Evangelical ministers, while officially claiming to believe Salvation is by grace ALONE, don't preach accordingly.
Most preach A MURKY "Gospel" that, unless we're obedient, and live "holy lives" AFTER Salvation, we're not really saved, and they label it "cheap grace".
Cheap Grace? Is there such thing?
HOW DARE any so-called "Christian" make such statement?
HOW DARE they call the Grace that saves us "cheap" when it cost NOTHING LESS THAN THE BLOOD OF JESUS to make that Grace available?
HOW DARE they degrade the UNIMAGINABLE PRICE Jesus paid, subjecting Himself to separation from the Father, terrible humiliation, agonizing physical pain, even unto death, and spending three days and nights in hell itself?
The fact that OUR ONLY "COST" in obtaining Salvation by Grace is our hearts -- doesn't cheapen God’s Grace in any way.
The reason it doesn't COST US anything but our hearts is BECAUSE OF THE AWESOMELY HIGH PRICE IT COST GOD.
It's because HE ALREADY PAID THE PRICE (ALL of it!) IN FULL!
You and I COULDN’T HAVE PAID IT IN A GAZILLION YEARS, SO God BECAME HUMAN AND PAID THE WHOLE, INCALCULABLE PRICE HIMSELF!!!
There's NO MORE PAYMENT TO BE MADE... by anyone.
There's NO MORE PAYMENT that CAN BE made... by anyone.
Unless, of course, you think HIS PAYMENT WASN'T ENOUGH.
And if Jesus’ PAYMENT wasn't enough (perish the thought!) WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOUR MEASLY "PAYMENT" – in whatever form it takes – WILL BE?
Actually, Grace is the COSTLIEST, MOST EXPENSIVE thing in the ENTIRE Universe.
It cost God... HIMSELF.
What’s REALLY CHEAP and disgraceful is that supposed ministers of THAT GRACE – who should KNOW BETTER – DON’T FULLY TRUST the very Grace in which they claim to believe.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 14, 2013
10 TRIBES: ARE THEY LOST?
In 721 B.C. the Northern Kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Assyrians, who led them captive into other nations, leaving only the Southern Kingdom comprised of two tribes, Benjamin and Judah.
To this day, they are referred to as the “10 lost tribes” and I’ve read books by more than one Jewish rabbi saying that they are untraceable as they’ve been assimilated into other nations (gentiles).
Human perspective is one thing, Divine perspective is another.
God hasn’t lost anything.
Repeat: God HASN’T LOST ANYTHING that belongs to Him.
And the 10 northern tribes, despite their rebellion, BELONG TO Him.
Our heavenly Father KNEW, before He even created the universe, that they would rebel, that they’d fall into idolatry, and that they’d be taken captive.
And He CHOSE THEM, anyway.
It was all part of His plan.
In Genesis 12:3, He makes this promise to Abraham:
“And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and IN YOU SHALL ALL FAMILIES OF THE EARTH BE BLESSED”.
Of course, THE GREATEST BLESSING for all the families of the earth is Abraham’s Seed, Jesus Himself.
In Him, WE ALSO BECOME Abraham’s seed and HEIRS according to God’s promise (Galatians 3:29).
But here’s the biblical conundrum: God made His Covenant with Israel (Jeremiah 31:31-34).
Scripture makes it abundantly clear that ALL GENTILES who come to faith in the Jewish Messiah, become part of the SPIRITUAL Commonwealth of Israel (Ephesians 2:12).
Could God have allowed the exile of the 10 tribes so that most, if not all, people on earth would become NATURAL, as well as SPIRITUAL, Israelites?
Could it be that, instead of being assimilated into the nations (gentiles), as some suppose, it’s THE OTHER WAY AROUND? THAT GENTILES HAVE BEEN ASSIMILATED INTO Israel?
No mortal knows WHERE the 10 tribes are.
No mortal knows WHO is from the 10 tribes and WHO (if anyone) ISN’T.
God obviously knows WHERE EACH TRIBE is, and PROMISED to bring them back into the Promised Land (Ezekiel 36:16-37).
He even promised that David would be king, once again, over ALL OF THEM (Ezekiel 37:22-24).
In line with all this, He also promised that Israel’s territory during the Millennium would be VASTLY LARGER, encompassing all the land from the Euphrates on the north to the Nile on the South.
Someday soon, a lot of “gentiles” may be surprised to find out that they ACTUALLY ARE ISRAELITES, and have been all along.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 13, 2013
DOWN TO THE WIRE
The written Word of God is exquisitely nuanced.
One thing I love about the Holy Spirit is how He takes some seemingly unimportant, tiny detail that we’ve read a million times and thought nothing of, and all of a sudden He quickens it and reveals some “hidden” Truth.
Take, for instance, 2 Peter 3:9:
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but IS LONG SUFFERING TO US-WARD, not willing THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, but THAT ALL SHOULD COME TO REPENTANCE”.
God knows what He said in Daniel 9:25.
He knows the Book of Daniel would be UNSEALED -- BY JESUS HIMSELF -- as the time of the end draws near (Revelation 5:9-10).
Why would He tell His children that “He is NOT SLACK” concerning HIS PROMISE, unless He intended to fulfill it AT THE LAST POSSIBLE MOMENT?
Then there’s Luke 21:32-33:
“Verily I say unto you, THIS GENERATION SHALL NOT PASS AWAY, till all be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away”.
The way Jesus phrased that is SO REVEALING.
He could have simply said “this will all happen within this generation”.
Or, “All these things will be fulfilled in this generation”.
That’s how most people would say it.
But He put it in the context of this generation NOT PASSING AWAY.
Again, it indicates everything will happen AT THE VERY LAST MINUTE:
Just as this generation is about to END, and a new generation is about to BEGIN.
Of course, 2 Peter 3:9 strengthens this even more by telling us WHY He waits till the last possible moment, namely, that He doesn’t want ANYONE to perish, but He wants ALL to come to repentance
God NEVER lies.
God ALWAYS keeps His Word.
He’ll keep His Word with regards to our Departure.
You can bank on it.
But He’ll keep it AT THE LAST POSSIBLE moment. Selah.
This thing’s going down to the wire.
MONDAY, AUGUST 12, 2013
OPINIONS AREN’T PROOF
People have a high opinion of THEIR opinion.
In more than a decade of ministry, I have encountered time and again that, when confronted with Truth, people often place THEIR OPINION above PROOF.
They totally disregard SOLID EVIDENCE – including SCRIPTURAL evidence – and try to make their opinion prevail.
Some have deluded themselves into thinking that THEIR OPINION EQUALS TRUTH.
I ask for SCRIPTURAL proof and I get OPINIONS.
I ask for HISTORIC proof and I get OPINIONS.
I ask for SCIENTIFIC proof and I get OPINIONS.
I never get “corrected” with Scripture, which I TOTALLY RESPECT, but with PERSONAL OPINIONS which I don’t.
People think that “I don’t agree” is REASON ENOUGH to make me reconsider BIBLICAL Truth.
They think that “I THINK” or “I believe” are valid arguments to make me change God-based teachings.
Truth is Truth, REGARDLESS of who “agrees” or “disagrees”.
God’s Word (Jesus) is THE TRUTH whether anyone believes it or not, likes it or not, understands it or not, agrees with it or not, thinks it’s logical or not.
But what really takes the cake is when they offer some book written by some mortal as “proof”.
Let’s set aside for the moment the fact that I don’t read FICTION…
Since they VALUE THEIR OWN OPINION SO MUCH: do they HONESTLY THINK I’m going to place the biased musings of some fallible human with a religious agenda, ABOVE GOD’S PRONOUNCEMENTS?
Not a chance in Hades!
God is TOTALLY UNIMPRESSED BY human opinion.
Heaven’s not a democracy, it’s a theocracy.
Angels have better things to do than take surveys to see how many people like or “agree” with what God has decided IN THE ETERNAL realm.
And, glory to Jesus, WE DON’T GET TO VOTE in the Kingdom of God.
God “agrees” with Himself and EVERYONE in His Kingdom agrees WITH HIM.
Opinions come and go, but God’s Word (Jesus) STANDS FOREVER.
Opinions CHANGE more often than most of us change our underwear. God’s Word NEVER CHANGES.
Opinions may or may not be true, but God’s Word is THE TRUTH yesterday, today and FOREVER.
I’m totally UNIMPRESSED BY human opinion, INCLUDING MY OWN.
I advise you to DISREGARD your opinion, and ACCEPT HIS.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 11, 2013
WORK IT OUT
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, WORK OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION WITH FEAR AND TREMBLING : for IT IS GOD WHO WORKS IN YOU, both to will and to do his good pleasure”.
“See that? See that? Paul said we have WORK OUT OUR SALVATION. That means we are saved by grace plus works”!!!
Whoa, whoa, whoa… Not so fast, Bubba…
Had Paul said that we are saved by works, he’d be a two-faced liar and I’d the first to take my Bible and throw it in the trash can.
Because if there’s ONE RECURRING THEME in Paul’s Epistles, from Romans to Hebrews is that we ARE NOT saved by works. That works have NOTHING, repeat, NOTHING to do with our Salvation.
Just a few examples:
“For we conclude that a man is justified BY FAITH, WITHOUT THE WORKS of the law” (Romans 3:28).
“For you are saved by Grace through Faith and that not of yourselves, it is THE GIFT OF GOD, NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
“NOT BY WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH WE HAVE DONE, but ACCORDING TO HIS MERCY HE SAVED US, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5).
“Wherefore HE IS ABLE ALSO TO SAVE THEM TO THE UTTERMOST THAT COME UNTO GOD BY HIM, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).
This is a prime example of the danger of editing God, of TAKING HIS WORD OUT OF CONTEXT, of using the portion that serves our agenda and ISOLATING IT FROM the remainder of that verse.
The REST of the verse says, CLEAR AS CRYSTAL, that IT IS GOD WHO DOES THE WORK.
Repeat: IT IS GOD (NOT YOU) WHO DOES THE WORK:
“…WORK OUT YOUR OWN SALVATION WITH FEAR AND TREMBLING:
For IT IS GOD WHO WORKS IN YOU, both TO WILL AND TO DO his good pleasure”.
Which part of “it is God WHO WORKS in you” don’t DISHONEST CHARLATANS understand?
That verse says NOTHING, ZERO about living under the Law. The word “law” is not even MENTIONED!
That verse says NOTHING, ZERO about following “commandments”. The word “commandments” DOESN’T APPEAR in the text, either.
That verse says NOTHING, ZERO about WORKING FOR OUR SALVATION.
What is says is TO WORK OUT THE SALVATION WE ALREADY HAVE (that’s why it’s YOUR Salvation)… since IT’S GOD HIMSELF (Salvation Himself, Jesus) WHO WORKS IN US…
Jesus IS Salvation.
What that verse is saying is LET THE JESUS (Salvation) YOU HAVE ON THE INSIDE, WORK from THE INSIDE OUT. In other words, let the Jesus you have inside MANIFEST through you “work Him (who IS YOUR Salvation) out”.
There is NOTHING ANYWHERE in that verse that says we are to work FOR Salvation. NOTHING!!!
This just shows HOW BLATANTLY DISHONEST some religionists are.
They will move heaven and earth and DISTORT God’s Holy Word ON PURPOSE in order to “justify” THEIR FALSE DOCTRINE.
If you’re one of the CORRUPT hypocrites WHO ENGAGES IN SUCH deliberate deception, I advise you to repent, receive Jesus into your heart, fall on your face, and beg God’s forgiveness:
Works have NEVER saved a single soul.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 10, 2013
CHILDREN AND SLAVES
The Law (TORAH) was given to SPIRITUALLY DEAD PEOPLE.
Again: the Torah was given to SPIRITUALLY DEAD people.
When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, they had HEARD OF the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
But they didn’t even KNOW HIS NAME (Exodus 3:13).
Obviously, then, they DIDN’T KNOW HIM.
They had NO SPIRITUAL CONNECTION to God whatsoever.
They had been slaves for 400 years. They were used to BEING TOLD WHAT TO DO.
They were accustomed to FOLLOW ORDERS (COMMANDS).
Hence, THAT’S PRECISELY WHAT GOD GAVE THEM: COMMANDS OR COMMANDMENTS:
Do this. Don’t do that.
If this happens, do this, but if it happens this other way, then do this other thing.
They were still supposed to obey, NO QUESTIONS ASKED.
The IMMENSE difference being, of course, that God is Almighty, a supremely gracious and merciful God, had miraculously delivered them from Egyptian oppression, made them an independent nation, provided abundantly and quite supernaturally for them, protected them, guided them, blessed them, worked wonders, and that He is WORTHY OF our loyalty and obedience.
However, God has never wanted slaves.
Repeat: God HAS NEVER WANTED SLAVES.
If He did, He wouldn’t have given man FREE WILL.
If He did, He would have simply exerted His infinite dominion over us and FORCED US ALL to obey Him.
He had to meet His people WHERE THEY WERE.
Since THEY DIDN’T KNOW HIM, He had to teach them what He liked and disliked, what pleased Him and what displeased Him.
So, He began TRAINING THEM with the Law.
That’s exactly what Paul says in Galatians 3:24: that the Law was OUR TUTOR UNTIL Christ came.
But, he adds in verse 25: “Now that faith has come, WE ARE NO LONGER UNDER A TUTOR”.
Hence, we are NO LONGER UNDER the Law.
In verse 26 He says that “in Christ Jesus YOU ARE ALL CHILDREN OF GOD THROUGH FAITH”.
There’s A HUGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN a slave and a child.
A slave has NO RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS MASTER. He cannot ask questions of the Master. He simply does as he is told.
A son or daughter, on the other hand, enjoys a CLOSE relationship with Dad, TRUSTS Him, can ask questions and GET ANSWERS, can ask Dad for SPECIAL FAVORS, has the Father’s UNCONDITIONAL love, and THE FATHER’S OWN NATURE, THE FATHER’S OWN SPIRITUAL DNA, INSIDE (Romans 8:9).
That’s HOW he or she CAN PROVE paternity.
Because they have the Father’s OWN Divine, Perfect, righteous, Torah-compliant Nature, ON THE INSIDE, they DO NOT FOLLOW COMMANDMENTS ON THE OUTSIDE.
That’s why children DO NOT LIVE UNDER Torah:
They have THE TORAH GIVER -- AND ONLY TORAH SATISFIER -- LIVING ON THE INSIDE.
It’s AN INSULT to their Father to go back to a system designed to keep slaves in line.
When all they have to do is PAY ATTENTION TO, and allow the Father’s OWN NATURE inside them, to manifest and lead them.
They KNOW their Daddy REALLY, REALLY WELL.
Children LOVE their Dad.
They NATURALLY WANT TO obey Him.
If they mess up -- as ALL children do from time to time -- despite their best intentions…
They simply go up to Daddy and say “I’m sorry”, “I’ll try not to let that happen again” and ALL IS FORGIVEN.
WHY, in heaven’s name would a son or daughter, WANT TO LIVE and ACT AS A SLAVE?
Yet that’s EXACTLY what your religion tells you to do.
Religion takes people that Christ HAS SET FREE and TURNS THEM into slaves.
DO YOU WANT TO BE SLAVES OR CHILDREN?
Under Law, GOD HAD NO CHILDREN (John 3:16).
The Law CANNOT, and HAS NOT, turned ANYONE into a child of God… EVER.
Faith has TURNED BILLIONS into His children.
That’s why FAITH SAVES.
That’s why Torah HAS
NEVER SAVED A SINGLE SOUL, and NEVER WILL.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 9, 2013
“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, DECEIVING, AND BEING DECEIVED. But CONTINUE IN THE THINGS WHICH YOU HAVE LEARNED and have been assured of, knowing of whom you have learned them; And that from a child YOU HAVE KNOWN THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, WHICH ARE ABLE TO MAKE YOU WISE UNTO SALVATION THROUGH FAITH which is in Christ Jesus.
ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION of God, and IS PROFITABLE FOR DOCTRINE, FOR REPROOF, FOR CORRECTION, FOR INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:13-17).
Just in the past few days I’ve had people tell me, CATEGORICALLY, that “the Bible says”:
A. That we will observe the 24-hour Sabbath in heaven.
B. That Paul never taught to forsake the Torah.
C. That NO ONE will know who the Antichrist is until he appears.
D. That Jesus didn’t nail the law to the cross.
E. That if you’re a gentile believer you cannot call yourself that any longer.
F. That there won’t be any people in heaven.
G. That Jesus did not take away sin.
H. That the tribulation lasts 7 years.
I. That the Antichrist signs a 7-year peace treaty.
J. That Mystery Babylon really is the United States.
And that’s just off the top of my head.
The Bible says NONE OF THE ABOVE.
Repeat: The Bible says NONE of that.
That’s why it behooves all believers to KNOW and meditate the Scriptures WITHOUT BIAS, listen to the Spirit, and – most importantly – when someone tell us that “the Bible says” check it out and MAKE SURE THAT’S WHAT IT REALLY SAYS.
A lot of DECEIVERS use that trick of providing one or more scriptural citations (I’ve had them provide A DOZEN) TO GIVE THE FALSE IMPRESSION that their beliefs are supported by Scripture, when in fact the Scriptures provided DO NOT SUPPORT their claims AT ALL.
Also, don’t fall for ANOTHER COMMON TRICK which is to quote ONLY the portion of Scripture that “FITS” their religious agenda and DELIBERATELY OMIT the portion that DOESN’T.
Case in point: A Judaizer, who says Torah keeping is ESSENTIAL to Salvation, quoted me 1 John 3:4:
“Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law”.
Does 1 John 3:4 say that? Yes!
However, he conveniently OMITTED the VERY NEXT VERSE (1 John 3:5) which says:
“And you know that He appeared TO TAKE AWAY OUR SINS”…
He also omitted 1 John 1:8 that says “If we SAY that we have no sin (i.e., that we “keep the Torah”) WE DECEIVE OURSELVES, AND THE TRUTH IS NOT IN US”.
Look, we all make mistakes.
Anyone can make an INNOCENT mistake every now and then due to ignorance, being tired, having been misled, and a number of other reasons.
But to EDIT God, to ADD and SUBTRACT from His Holy Word INTENTIONALLY in order to promote some pet doctrine or denominational teaching, -- to put words in God’s mouth that He NEVER UTTERED -- is SIN.
Not only is it sin, but according to Revelation 22:18, IT SENDS PEOPLE TO DAMNATION.
The Holy Spirit inspired the whole Bible. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is THE ONLY SIN, according to Jesus, that has NO FORGIVENESS in this world or the next (Matthew 12:32).
I’d be VERY, VERY careful about saying “God says” or “the Bible says” UNLESS YOU’RE ABSOLUTELY, 100% CERTAIN that is, in fact, WHAT HE SAID.
Jesus warned us NOT TO BE DECEIVED (Matthew 24:4).
Because, according to Him, religious deception IN HIS NAME would be RAMPANT in these last days.
NOT ONLY HAVE JESUS’ WORDS BEEN RIGHT ON TARGET, but deception will get WORSE, not better.
Hold on to Jesus. Trust Him alone, and NOTHING OR NO ONE ELSE.
Always check the Scriptures and DON’T BE EASILY MOVED from sound, time-tested, Scripture based doctrine.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 8, 2013
THE ART OF INTERCESSION
Moses is THE GREATEST intercessor in the Bible, second only to Jesus Himself.
The very nature of intercession requires that we confess and ask forgiveness for THE SINS OF OTHERS as if they were our own.
Moses went up to Sinai and pleaded with God for Israel after they committed spiritual adultery (idolatry) with the work of their own hands (a golden calf).
As Moses went before God, he piled all their hideous sin upon himself.
He went so far as to tell God that, if He were unwilling to forgive Israel, then to blot him out of the Book of Life (Exodus 32:32).
When you seriously think about what Moses did, how he put his own relationship with God -- and his own salvation -- on the line for Israel, it takes a holy man, a man committed to God, a man who TOTALLY TRUSTS God's mercy and goodness -- and MAJOR CHUTZPAH – to issue such ULTIMATUM to God’s own Face.
Does intercession work?
While it does not override individual free will, it does affect the collective outcome.
Through Moses’ intercession God forgave Israel, went before them, and provided supernaturally during their long sojourn in the desert.
Daniel is another of the great intercessors found in Scripture.
It was after a period of fasting, searching the Scriptures and deep intercession for his people, that God sent Gabriel with the amazing “70 weeks” prophecy (Daniel 9:3-24).
If we read Daniel chapter 9, from verses 4 - 19, you will notice that he confesses a lot of sins that Judah and all of Israel had committed AS THOUGH HE HAD COMMITTED THOSE SINS HIMSELF.
1. General confession of sin: “we have sinned and done wrong” (Daniel 9:5, 8-9, 11, 14, 15).
2. Confession of SPECIFIC sins:
A. WE HAVE TURNED AWAY FROM YOUR commands and laws (Daniel 9:5).
B. WE HAVE NOT LISTENED TO YOUR SERVANTS THE PROPHETS, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land (Daniel 9:6).
C. Being DISLOYAL or UNFAITHFUL to God (Daniel 9:7).
D. REFUSING TO OBEY God (Daniel 9:11).
E. Compounding their rebellion by STILL REFUSING TO REPENT and seek God, even in exile, despite all the calamities that had befallen them : …“yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth” (Daniel 9:13)
Had Daniel really committed all those sins?
No, he hadn’t.
Anyone who risks his life and chooses to eat only vegetables in order not to break his Lord’s commands…
Anyone who refuses to stop praying to his God under threat of being thrown into a hungry lion’s den…
And anyone whose righteousness (which is really God’s, since there is no other righteousness anywhere) is expressly mentioned in Ezekiel 14:14 …
DID NOT ENGAGE in the rebellion and idolatry in which most of his countrymen had participated.
After cataloging and confessing their sins, Daniel acknowledged that “the Lord our God IS RIGHTEOUS IN EVERYTHING HE DOES… (Daniel 9:14).
He then asked God to turn away His anger from Jerusalem, in keeping with His Righteousness, and look with favor on the Holy City (Daniel 9:16-18).
Daniel makes it clear that he is not making such requests because he or the Jewish people deserved it:
NOT “because we are righteous, but BECAUSE OF YOUR GREAT MERCY” (Daniel 9:18).
Although it took about 70 years
before Jews were able to return and Jerusalem somewhat restored, the
prayer was answered, Jerusalem was restored and that tremendous
prophecy speaks to us even to this day.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2013
Probably the best and most beautiful example of true repentance (teshuva) found in Scripture is that of the prodigal son, in the Gospel of Luke.
The word prodigal means “reckless” or “uncontrolled”.
This young man had squandered his father’s estate on “riotous living”.
He’d blown off his inheritance on booze, sex, drugs, jet-setting, nightclubbing, and all manner of excess.
One fine day his proverbial chickens came home to roost and he found himself penniless, hungry and HOMELESS.
He ended up A BEGGAR, in mire and filth feeding pigs, doing someone else’s bidding, digging into trash cans for food, and eating whatever leftover scraps he could find in order to survive.
Then one day it DAWNED ON HIM: Even THE SERVANTS in my father’s house live BETTER than this!
I will RETURN (do teshuva) to my Father’s house and beg his forgiveness, and ask him to take me back as one of his servants (Luke 15:15-17).
The prodigal doubtlessly felt bad about his sins, but it was a change of mind, a change IN HIS WAY OF THINKING, which in turn led to a CHANGE OF HEART, that made him decide to RETURN to his dad’s house.
“Father”, he said, “I HAVE SINNED against heaven, and in your sight, and AM NO MORE WORTHY TO BE CALLED YOUR SON”.
The Father would hear NONE OF IT.
In fact, He COULDN’T EVEN WAIT for the son to arrive and, seeing him from a distance, RAN OUT TO MEET HIM.
Filthy and stinky as the rebellious son was, the Father hugged him and kissed him (Luke 15:20).
He immediately put a signet ring on his finger, dressed him in the most beautiful Armani robe from his own closet, and prepared a sumptuous feast to celebrate his return (Luke 15:22-24).
Scripture doesn’t say so, but I’m sure the son also got a nice, hot bath and some badly needed Calvin Klein cologne shortly after.
Traditional Judaism says that in teshuva restitution MUST be made.
Jesus, however, said otherwise.
The prodigal couldn’t restore anything, even if he wanted. He was flat broke and had NOTHING to offer.
ALL he could do was throw himself at his Father’s mercy and beg to be received as a lowly household servant.
But the Father’s love for him was UNCONDITIONAL.
There are NO CONDITIONS TO His Love.
He loved the rebellious son REGARDLESS of what he’d done and was READY, WILLING AND ABLE TO FULLY FORGIVE , FORGET and RESTORE.
Glory to His Name!
The prodigal realized that despite his rebellion, his brazen SELFISHNESS, his irresponsible foolishness, and stubborn disobedience, in his Father’s eyes HE WAS STILL HIS SON, and HE WOULD ALWAYS BE.
Are you like this guy?
Have you squandered God’s talents and blessings?
Did you once love Jesus, but have forsaken Him?
He’s NEVER forsaken you (Hebrews 13:5).
Are you sick of hanging out with pigs?
Are you hungry for a nice, nutritious meal and the comforts of home?
Your Dad waits excitedly and with open arms to WELCOME YOU BACK.
Come on, prodigal. It’s time to RETURN.
It’s time to COME HOME.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 6, 2013
“Beloved, NOW WE ARE the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but WE KNOW THAT, WHEN HE SHALL APPEAR, WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM; for WE SHALL SEE HIM AS HE IS: And every man that has this hope in him PURIFIES HIMSELF, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:2-3).
In Revelation chapters 2 and 3 the Church is told 7 times to “repent”:
REPENT, REPENT, REPENT, REPENT, REPENT, REPENT and REPENT.
While the messages were directed to 7 churches that existed in Asia Minor in the first century, they are DIRECTED PRIMARILY to today’s Church, since Revelation is THE BOOK that deals with END TIME events.
Hence the phrase at the end of each message “he who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says TO THE CHURCHES” (plural).
The Greek word for “repent”, found in these verses, is metanoia which means TO CHANGE ONE’S mind.
That “change of mind” leads to a CHANGE OF HEART which we refer to as the “born again experience” (John 3:3-5).
In those who ALREADY ARE born-again, it also leads to deeper communion (intimacy, common union) with our God, Creator and Savior.
The Hebrew word for “repentance”, however, is teshuvah which means TO "RETURN".
Repenting is RETURNING to God, from Whom we came.
Which view is right, the Hebrew or the Greek?
I have to wonder if that’s why God inspired some of the Bible’s authors to write in Hebrew and others in Greek.
Because in fractured (since the tower of Babel) human language it takes BOTH tongues to fully explain certain CONCEPTS like that of repentance.
Although repentance can take place AT ANY TIME, we are entering the season in God’s calendar specifically designated for that purpose.
It was during the season of teshuvah that Israel was forgiven for its idolatry of worshiping the golden calf (Exodus 32:8).
Their idolatry caused Moses TO BREAK the first set of stone tablets -- wherein the original Ten Commandments were written – in sheer anger at their rebellion and fickleness, on Tammuz 17(Exodus 32:19).
Moses then went up again on Tammuz 19, a second time, to intercede for Israel 40 days and nights and descended Sinai, WITHOUT ANY ASSURANCE, on the 29th of Av (Exodus 32:30).
It was on Elul 1 that God called Moses to ascend for the THIRD TIME to Mount Sinai where he spent YET ANOTHER 40 days and nights, and finally returned to the Israelite camp on Yom Kippur with A NEW SET of tablets (Exodus 34:28).
Are Christians supposed to observe these customs?
We don't have to "do" anything. We’re free to do (or not do) anything we want.
However, we ARE living at the VERY time of the end.
There is A LOT OF REBELLION and A LOT OF IDOLATRY, in various forms, taking place in God’s Church.
I, for one, am being led by the Spirit to intercede for His Church, to examine myself, and to confess both my sins and those of His people.
This ministry DOESN’T FORCE ANYONE to do anything.
Those whom the Spirit moves to intercede for the Body of Christ are more than welcome to join us.
Just so that no one misunderstands: those of us who KNOW Jesus are SECURE in His Salvation, which is ETERNAL, and cannot be lost.
This repenting has NOTHING to do with fear of “losing” salvation. It has NOTHING to do with fear, period.
It has EVERYTHING TO DO WITH ANTICIPATING the appearing of our Lord, the King.
1 John 3:3 says: “he that has this hope PURIFIES HIMSELF”.
MONDAY, AUGUST 5, 2013
ABUNDANCE OF THE HEART
In Matthew 12:24 Jesus said: "O
generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, SPEAK GOOD THINGS?
OF THE ABUNDANCE OF THE HEART, THE MOUTH SPEAKS".
What can’t they EVER SHUT YOU UP
Is Jesus REALLY in your heart?
SUNDAY, AUGUST 4, 2013
Christ’s Church is not a denomination: it’s a SPIRITUAL ENTITY (Romans 8:9).
Jesus said that, although we’re TEMPORARILY in this world, we are NOT OF IT (John 17:14).
Our Home is New Jerusalem (Hebrews 10:11, 16).
There are NO DENOMINATIONS in heaven.
Hence, ALL denominations, regardless of when they came into existence, or WHAT they are called, were INVENTED BY SINFUL MORTALS WITH CORRUPT MINDS.
Denominations exist only in this temporal, imperfect earth realm.
There’s NO SUCH THING in the spirit world.
There are no Catholics, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodists, Pentecostal, Baptist, Presbyterians or Messianic Jews in the heavenly realm.
And, sure as hell, there aren’t any Mormons, Adventists, Church of God, Church of Christ, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Scientologists, New Agers, Rastafarians, Christadelphians, Christian Science, atheists, agnostics, or ANY OTHER MAN-INVENTED GROUP.
There aren’t special sections for special groups, either.
There won’t be a compartment over here for Calvinists, and another compartment over there for Arminians.
There won’t be a subdivision for those who speak in tongues and another for those who don’t. In fact, by then, tongues will have ceased (1 Corinthians 13:8).
You won’t be able to say “hey,
God, don’t put me with those Methodists, I want to be in
All believers will be of one heart, one mind, and one faith (Ephesians 4:13).
All who KNOW CHRIST and share the
born again experience will be there – regardless
of what they’re called on
Because after all is said and done, there are only TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE in the spirit world:
Those who ARE saved, and those who AREN’T.
Those who KNOW JESUS, and those who DON’T
SATURDAY, AUGUST 3, 2013
THE ENDLESS DAY
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. AND ON THE SEVENTH DAY God ended his work which he had made; and HE RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY from all his work which he had made. And God BLESSED THE SEVENTH DAY, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made”. (Genesis 2:1-3)
Time is NOT absolute. It’s relative.
To achieve the notion of “time’ one must have A COMBINATION OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS at regular intervals.
In Genesis chapter 1, as we read the account of God’s Creation, we find the following phrases:
“And the evening and the morning were the first day” (Genesis 1:5).
“And the evening and the morning were the second day” (Genesis 1:8).
“And the evening and the morning were the third day” (Genesis 1:13).
“And the evening and the morning were the fourth day” (Genesis 1:19).
“And the evening and the morning were the fifth day” (Genesis 1:23).
“And the evening and the morning were the sixth day” (Genesis 1:31).
However, as we can see in the anchor verse above,
NO SUCH STATEMENT IS MADE WITH REGARDS TO THE SEVENTH DAY.
After being so meticulously careful to say it over and over with regards to the previous six days, there MUST BE an important reason for God to DELIBERATELY OMIT the phrase “and the evening and the morning were the seventh day” with regards to the Sabbath.
The seventh 24-hour day of the 168-hour week is Saturday.
The Sabbath or day of rest, as expressed in the fourth of the 10 Commandments, is Saturday.
There is NO QUESTION WHATSOEVER about that.
However, in Colossians 2:16 Paul instructs Christian believers NOT TO ALLOW ANYONE TO JUDGE THEM with regards to Sabbaths (Saturdays).
Furthermore, in the very next verse, Colossians 2:17, he refers to the 10 Commandments’ weekly Sabbath (Saturday) as A MERE SHADOW.
He then ADDS that THE REAL THING, the SUBSTANCE, THE TRUE SABBATH (of which the weekly Sabbath is but a shadow) IS Christ Himself.
Shadows are NEVER the real thing.
Repeat: SHADOWS are NEVER the REAL thing.
Your shadow is not you and my shadow is not me.
Shadows are mere reflections or representations of SOMETHING MUCH BIGGER AND REAL.
The reason God DIDN’T say that limiting phrase with regards to the Sabbath is this: the TRUE SABBATH OF THE LORD NEVER ENDS.
If we think in terms of FINITE, 24-hour days, the Sabbath day is Saturday.
If we think NOT IN TERMS OF TEMPORARY, FINITE EARTHLY SHADOWS but OF ETERNAL Truth, as in PERMANENT REALITY, the REAL Sabbath is NOT a 24 hour day.
Never has been, never will be.
THAT’S WHY God NEVER SAID “the evening and the morning were the seventh day”: