Monday, February 27, 2012

Who was Antiochus Epiphanes? What does he have to do with future events?

Both Luke and Matthew recorded the “Beginning of sorrows” when referring to the Olivet Discourses. These included False Christs, Wars, Famines, Pestilence and earthquakes and were also mentioned in the Book of Revelation. All three Books refer to the Abomination of Desolation, however, in Luke it was the earlier desolation occurring in the time of Antiochus, king of Syria (175-164 BC). Antiochus was an evil tyrant who added “Epiphanes” to his name meaning “the god who appears or reveals himself.” Antiochus wanted to eradicate the Jewish religion and replace it with polytheism. He outlawed the practice of circumcision, under pain of death. Antiochus offered a swine sacrifice in every village and erected an idol to Zeus in the Holy of Holies. This lead to the Maccabean Revolt.
Matthew’s account concerns an event that occurs after the "beginning of sorrows"; that is, a future "abomination of desolation." Here Jesus is referencing an event that happened two centuries earlier but will be repeated in the future. “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understandsmile Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains. (Matt. 24:15-16). Jesus is warning the Jews to flee to the mountains (Petra?) as the Great Tribulation is beginning.

Antiochus was prophetic of the Antichrist who will come to power in the 70th Week of Daniel. This coming prince will hold his own Abomination of Desolation in the midst of the 70th Week. He, too, will set up an idol-an image of himself-to be worshipped in the Holy of Holies in the temple in Jerusalem. Just as Antiochus tried to wipe out everything Jewish, after the Abomination of Desolation the antichrist will have contaminated the Holy of Holies and will kill and torture them. Ths will also be known as the "Time of Jacob's Trouble."

BIB501 Wk 10 DQ#4 What was the decree of Cyrus? Explain what this decree meant to the people of Israel.

The Bible is so very amazing, so many prophecies fulfilled. One of the most intriguing prophecies was the letter God dictated to Isaiah calling Cyrus by name more than a hundred years before his, Cyrus’ birth. Isaiah 44:27, “That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up thy rivers: 28That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.” Isaiah 45 is stunning as God calls Cyrus his anointed, Cyrus, a Gentile king.

Cyrus was certainly impressed by his letter from God. Cyrus freed the Jews and returned the Temple vessels to them and then offered to let the Jews return home and gave them money to rebuild the temple.

Ezra 1:2, “Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.”

Less than 50 thousand Jews actually returned to Judah. The Book of Ezra recounts the gold, etc. given them by Cyrus and a roll-call of those people who elected to returned to Judah. The people were to build the temple only and had no end of trouble from their neighbors. Finally Nehemiah was able to obtain the authority to rebuild the city. That authority was given by Artaxerxes Longimanus on March 14, 445 B.C. A very important day in prophecy!

PRO501 WK3 DQ#4 Will the Church go through the Great Tribulation? Defend your position.

There is the church lower case c, the building and the Church upper case, the believers in salvation through grace. These believers, and I count myself as one, will not go through the Great Tribulation. I also believe that the Church will not even go through the first half of the Tribulation.

The Seven churches of the Book of Revelation reflect a time-line of the churches.
1. Ephesus - The Apostolic Church
2. Smyrna - The Persecuted Church
3. Pergamos - The Married Church
4. Thyatira - The Medieval Church
5. Sardis – The Denominational l Church
6. Philadelphia – The Missionary Church
7. Laodicea - The Apostate Church

Thyatira is tied to “that woman Jezebel”. I’m reading “The Woman Rides the Beast: the Roman Catholic Church and the Last Days” written by Dave Hunt and referred to by Dr. Missler. It is both an interesting book and very controversial, so my kind of reading.

Many who call themselves Christians are in a modern day Laodicea church, lower case c. These are the churches that Jesus will spit out. 2 Timothy 4:3, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” Jude had much to say about the apostate church as well. We sure don’t want to be counted as a church member in a Laodicea church.

The Blessed Hope known as the Rapture, or Harpazo, involves Jesus coming for His Church in the clouds. The Second Coming is when Jesus actually comes to the earth to establish His kingdom. Those of us who believe that the Church will be removed prior to the seven-year period (the 70th Week) are known as pre-tribulationalists. References to the Rapture are found in John 14:1-3, 1 Thess. 4:13-18 and 1 Cor. 15:51-53. If the Church were to go through the seven year Tribulation, we would meet ourselves in the clouds as Jesus called us to him as He descended to earth. No, the Church will not go through the Tribulation!

The purpose of the "time of Jacob's trouble, the Great Tribulation is to drive Israel to return to God: Hosea 5:15, "I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.”

Those left behind who become believers and survive the tribulation will be blessed with quite a sight. Matthew 24:30, “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”

What is "replacement theology"? Is God finished with Israel? What is their destiny?

“Replacement theology” is evil and against God’s Word pure and simple! In my opinion those advocates of this corrupt religion are risking their eternal soul.
Here is how replacement theology is described on Wikipedia: “Supersessionism is a Christian theology that contrasts with Dual-covenant theology. Biblical expressions of God's relationships with people are known as covenants, so the contentious element of supersessionism is the idea that the New Covenant with Christendom replaces the Mosaic Covenant with the Israelites and Proselytes.”

The Replacement theology adherents should review the Old Testament, “And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” (Genesis 17:7-8).” Add to that, Geneses 12:3 and one can almost see the flames.
The Bible clearly shows that this was an unconditional and eternal covenant and God passed this covenant on to Abraham's son Isaac and his grandson Jacob and each time the covenant was renewed, it included their descendants, the Jewish people.
God is not through with Israel, however, Jesus held the Israeli responsible for not knowing the time of their visitation. It is as if their eyes are covered by scales and they are blinded to Jesus as Messiah.

Ezekiel 37 and the “Valley of dry bones” is a well-known as being prophetic of the restoration of Israel. However, in Ezekiel 36:22, “Therefore say to the Israelites, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name.” God cannot abandon Israel without breaking His Holy Word. God will protect the Jews as prophesized in both Ezekiel 38 and Psalm 83.
During the tribulation many Jews will come to accept Jesus as Messiah mostly through the work of the 144,000 Jewish Evangelist. Many will be killed by the antichrist and his minions. A remnant will escape to Petra. At the Second Coming the remnant “shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” Zechariah 12:10 The scales will drop from their eyes and they will be brought into the Kingdom.

What is the importance behind Jeconiah and the daughters of Zelophehad?

It is always amazing how God sets in motion an event that will have great important at a later date.

God was really fed up with King Jeconiah, a descendent of King David. “Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.” This meant that the Messiah could not come from a male in the line of David as there was now a blood curse pronounced on the only males in the royal line, Jeconiah and all his sons.
Centuries before in the time of Moses, the daughters of Zelophehad had no brother for their father to leave his goods and property to. So they petitioned Moses Numbers 27: 4, “Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he hath no son? Give unto us therefore a possession among the brethren of our father.” So Moses brought their case before the Lord. And the Lord said, Numbers 27: 8, “And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter.” When the daughter married her father would adopt his son-in-law as his son.
So the petition of the daughters of Zelophehad solved the future problem of the blood curse on Jeconiah and all his sons. Jesus’ mother Mary had no brother so her father could adopt her husband Joseph. Joseph was in the line of King David and was tainted by the blood curse; however, he was Jesus’ legal father. Mary was in the line of Kind David through his son Nathan. Mary was the biological mother of Jesus born of her “seed” as predicted thousands of years before in the Garden of Eden. God said, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise his heel.
How great is our God!

What was the "lesson" Nebuchadnezzar learned? Do you think he will be in heaven? Why or why not?

I believe that Nebuchadnezzar will be in heaven. He was a proud Gentile king humbled by God. Nebuchadnezzar actually wrote a Chapter in the Book of Daniel that ended praising God. Daniel 4:37 “Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.”

Nebuchadnezzar was privy to the visions and miracles of God. First was the dream of Nebuchadnezzar that Daniel interpreted years before. Then there was the miracle of the “Fiery Furnace” and the survival of Daniel three friends. Daniel 3:17, “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.” Not only did God deliver the three young men from the flames, Nebuchadnezzar saw a fourth man in the furnace, possibly an early incarnation of Jesus. Daniel 3:28, “Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God."

How quickly we seem to forget and Nebuchadnezzar had yet another distributing dream. His dream included a mighty tree that was cut down for a week of days leaving a stump. Daniel interpreted the dream and warned Nebuchadnezzar to repent. However, the proud ruler didn’t repent and boasted about all he had accomplished. One boast too many and it took seven years of eating grass to finally convince him of the authority of the one True God. So it was walking on all four for Nebuchadnezzar for a week of years and then later to Heaven for eternity.
Nebuchadnezzar was a remarkable man and important as a time indicator; the “times of the Gentiles” began with Nebuchadnezzar and will end with the Antichrist.

Re: DQ#7. What is the central message of the Biblical Text and how is that being attacked today?

Full disclosure and a little tongue-in-cheek, I played around the edges of the New Age/ New Thought movements about 20 years ago. I even sold crystals and tried to keep a straight face as buyers would pass their hands over the crystals waiting for the right “vibes.” I could never take the new age very seriously; however, I joined a “New Thought” church where about anything short of crystals goes. Nights I studied at their seminary for two years and was ordained as a ministry. My record with weddings wasn’t so good. The only marriage that I officiated at outside of prison ended in divorce. Perhaps since the other husbands were in prison, no time to argue with their wives.
I got firmly back on the right path that I started on as a little kid. I belonged to Jesus from a very early age and thankfully, he never let go of my hand.
The time I spent on the edge of the New Age/ New Thought movements taught me to be very discerning and very aware of how very seductive they can be. I now have Bible believing friends that I think are getting caught up in what I would call circling the new age drain. I was asked if I’d like to attend the leader’s seminar. NO! Been there, done that. These friends are very Bible centered so I pray they well take the good and ignore the throwing of balls of light and the gold teeth.
BTW, I’ve long felt a call to establish a prison ministry, perhaps someday.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

In Daniel Chapter 5, Daniel interprets the “handwriting on the wall"

Decades before the famous “Hand Writing on the Wall” Nebuchadnezzar had taken gold and silver goblets from the temple in Jerusalem to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar was finally convinced of the power of the True God and turned out to be a far greater king than his grandson Belshazzar. One night as Belshazzar and his entourage were drinking he called for the temple goblets. Perhaps seeing Belshazzar slopping down wine from the sacred vessels and praising false gods was just too much for our Righteous God. Belshazzar had crossed a line in the sand and was pass God’s forgiveness.

Daniel 5:5, “Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. 6 His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became weak and his knees were knocking. Daniel 5: 25, “This is the inscription that was written: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN.” None of the king’s seers could interpret the writing so the queen mother suggested calling Daniel. Daniel 5:26, “This is the interpretation of each word. MENE: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; 27 TEKEL: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; 28 PERES: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.”

Meanwhile the army of the Medes and Persians had diverted the water that protected Babylon and were at the door so to speak. Daniel 5:30”That very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain. 31 And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.” Just as God had used the Babylon’s to bring His judgment on Israel God used the Medes and Persians to defeat Babylon.

To me the significance of the interpretation of “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN” is that as forgiving as God is there is a point of no return. God had weighed Belshazzar’s sins and they were just too great. The kingdom was finished, divided and given to the Medes and Persians.

There is so much to learn from the Book of Daniel. During the reign of Darius Daniel was falsely accused and survived a night in the lions’ den. As a result King Darius wrote “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. “For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. “

Daniel 6:28, "So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.”
As an aside, that Cyrus has a connection to Esther of the Book of Esther.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Why are the Jews “God's chosen people”? What is their destiny?

I like what Chuck Missler said, “The Jews are God chosen people because he chose them!” I would not even think to question the mind of our all-knowing God.
The birth of Jesus was prophesied in Chapter Three of the Book of Genesis:

15 And I will put enmity

between you and the woman,

and between your offspring[a] and hers;

he will crush[b] your head,

and you will strike his heel.”

However, “The call of Abraham” was the beginning of the Jewish nation. God wanted His own people and established the “Abrahamic Convent” with the righteous Abraham. God protected Israel when the people obeyed Him and scattered them when they didn’t. Israelites intermarried with the pagans and fell into idolatry and apostasy bringing God’s wrath upon then. The people repented and God provided them with a deliverer until the next time they again fell into sin.
Ezekiel 37 and the “Valley of dry bones” is a well-known as being prophetic of the restoration of Israel:
Ezekiel 37:21 and say to them, “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. 22 I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel.”
The establishment of the state of Israel in the last century is, as I understand, the final restoration of Israel before the second coming of Jesus. However, in reading Ezekiel 36:22, God lets us know that the restoration of Israel was for His glory:
Ezekiel 36:22, “Therefore say to the Israelites, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. 23 I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.”
God will protect the Jews as in prophesized in both Ezekiel 38 and Psalm 83. They are His chosen people period, end of discussion. Some church leaders preach replacement theology, a very grave error that could cost them their immoral souls. It’s up to God judge those who try to harm Israel, however, as for me, God says what He means and means what He says.

Give a summary of what the book of Ruth is about.

To expand on DQ#1 from week one – the Book of Ruth:
The Book of Ruth is a very short book and sometimes dismissed as a pretty story of Ruth’s devotion to Naomi and the love story between Ruth and Boaz. It is so much more! The book is prophetic of the coming of Christ, the grafting of the gentile Church to the olive tree and the re-birth of modern day Israel.
Due to a famine, Naomi and her family left their home in Bethlehem for Moab. The names of the sons, Mahlon (“unhealthy”) and Chilion (“puny”) seemed to be fitting as they died in Moab as did Naomi’s husband. Later Naomi heard that the famine was over in Bethlehem and decided to return. Her widowed daughter-in-law Ruth wanted to return to Bethlehem with her and Naomi tried to convince Ruth to stay in Moab. Ruth’s words to Naomi are often quoted:
16 But Ruth said

“ Entreat me not to leave you,

Or to turn back from following after you;

For wherever you go, I will go;

And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;

Your people shall be my people,

And your God, my God.

Once back in Bethlehem, Naomi and Ruth were destitute and Ruth gleaned in the fields of what turns out to be Naomi’s kinsman Boaz. Boaz noticed Ruth and asked an un-named servant who she was. When Boaz was told it was Ruth, his kinsman’s daughter-in-law he warned the men not to bother her and leave extra grain behind for her to find. Naomi realized the possibility of Boaz being the kinsman redeemer. So Naomi set events in motion that resulted in the marriage of Boaz and Ruth. So much in this short book:
o Names of all have special meaning
1. Naomi – beautiful, pleasing

2. Ruth – friend

3. Boaz – strength
o By the Law of Gleaning part of the harvest is left on the field for the poor to gather
o An Unnamed Servant is usually a manifestation of the Holy Spirit
o six measures of barley – six the number of days in Creation
o levirate marriage – the institution of the Go'el. Generally marriage with a brother’s widow was forbidden, however, it was an obligation when there was no son. If the levitate marriage resulted in a male being born, the son would inherit the estate of the deceased brother.
o Kinsman-Redeemer – Boaz was second in line but prevailed
Boaz and Ruth were in the line of Jesus. Boaz was the son of Salmon and Rahab who was said to be a prostitute. Boaz and Ruth had a son they named Obed who had a son named Jesse and in turn Jesse had a son named David, later known as King David. So a prostitute and a Gentile were in the line of Jesus, what redemption!
The Book of Ruth is prophetic of Jesus as the Kinsman-Redeemer and the Church as the Gentile Bride. As Boaz redeemed Ruth as his bride and Naomi her land, Jesus has redeemed the Church and He will redeem Israel.

Read over the following verses and comment: Deuteronomy 17:18; 27:1ff; 31:10

Deuteronomy is a review of the law and is the book that Jesus quotes from the most.
Warnings are given in Deuteronomy about compromise as well as disobedience. The tribes of Gad, Reuben, and half of the tribe of Manasseh fulfilled their responsibility to their people by fighting to re-claim the land to the west. However they later returned to the east side of the Jordan and turned to idolatry and pretty much imploded.
Deuteronomy 17:18-19 talks to the role of the king:
18And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites.
19And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them.
Deuteronomy 17 also prohibited kings from accumulating wives, a law too often ignored by the kings.
In Deuteronomy 27 God promised the people a “land flowing with milk and honey” if they would “Keep all these commands that I give you today.” After crossing the Jordan the people were told to write the Laws given to them on large stones and coat them with plaster. These were to be set up on Mount Ebal and the people were to build there an altar to the Lord. There were laws concerning the building of the altar and to offer burnt offerings and more.
I can picture God looking frustrated and saying, “All I have I want to give you if you would just do as you are told.”
It seems Israel has often tried the patience of God. God commanded, Israel disobeyed, God punished them, Israel repented and God blessed them. However, Israel was and is the chosen people of God, a fact our country, our church and our politicians should remember.
The Book of Deuteronomy commanded three mandatory feasts: the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Shavout, and the Feast of Tabernacles.
And contains the awesome Sh’ma, the Great Commandment (Deuteronomy 6:4-9): “Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God is one LORD: and thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thine soul, and with all thine might.” And along with that love, just obey God already!

Why is it important to "make deposits”? What biblical passages have served you well over the past few months?

Ephesians 6 equates the sword of the Spirit to the Word of God as part of “The Whole Armour of God.” My limited knowledge of the Bible is helpful to me:
1. When I’m emotionally in the “valley”, I think of Paul

2. When I’m debating a Biblical questions with a “Gotha” type person, 2 Timothy 4:3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables..
Studying the Bible, attending/ leading Bible studies and really immersing ourselves in the Word is comparable to making “spiritual knowledge deposits.” One can draw on his/her Biblical amount to witness and add, “It’s not me saying that, it’s in the Bible”. Isaiah 53 could have been written at the foot of the cross rather than hundreds of years before the fact.
It is politically correct to promote the theology that “All roads lead to God,” yes all roads except the “Way” leads to god; however it’s the god of this world. Some of the worst offenders are people who claim to be Christian and take a non-biblical stand. Many people incorporate just enough Biblical truth to sound convincing, a trick well-used used by the devil. Many promote their “Designer god(s)” and now at least one mega-church is endorsing Chrislam. Allah is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! The Quran has twisted the role of Jesus into pretty much the same as the False Prophet of Revelation. I’ve witnessed to a Muslim friend and at least he lets me talk. Great inroads are being made by other in bringing Muslims into the Kingdom by exposing them to the Word as compared to the Quran. What a harvest that could be!
Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God” helps me when in the valley. The shortest verse in the Bible, “Jesus wept”, show me His great compassion. Jesus knew He would bring Lazarus back to life, however, for that instant, Jesus showed His love and His humanity, wholly human and wholly God. Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” How unlimited a love is that and what a great promise of salvation.
Paul is such an inspiration, “2 Timothy 4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

What biblical character has been the most encouraging to you? Tell us why?

Jesus is everything to me and the greatest encourager ever. There are so many other men and women of God who were larger than life. Ruth was prophetic of the Gentile church, Boaz the Kinsmen Redeemer was prophetic of Jesus as the redeemer of the Church and Naomi is the redeemed Israel. Hoshea/ Joshea and Caleb were willing to challenge the Nephilim and finally got their chance decades later. Paul’s story is very encouraging as he was a man chosen by Jesus even though he once persecuted the believers. To think that Paul (Saul) saw the risen and glorified Jesus and was converted. Paul is an example of God’s forgiveness.
Lot was Abraham’s nephew and a sinner who had fallen far short of the mark. Like me Lot was a well-meaning but flawed individual. Lot chose prosperity by living in sin filled Sodom. Lot must have risen to some prominence as he became a councilman sitting at the gate to the city. As a righteous man Lot realized that the two visitors approaching the gate of the city were angles. The rest of the story is well known most notably Lot’s wife who turned around to look at the city and was turned into a pillar of salt. Lot and his daughters were willing to leave the immoral city, however it seems that his wife resisted thereby bringing judgment on herself. Later Lot’s daughters turned out to be less then righteous, however, that’s another story dealing with the beginning of some rather nasty people.
If a self-absolved man who chose the most prosperous and sin filled city to live in was still spared, there is hope for me. Luke tells us, “It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.” Luke 17:28-29.
It seems that God with-holds final judgment until the righteous are removed. Lot gives me the assurance that even a far from perfect person such as myself will be spared God’s Wrath. Lot is prophetic of the Church being rescued before the time of God’s Wrath on the Earth as well. God’s promise of the Blessed Hope, the Rapture of the Church.

What are the weapons of our Spiritual warfare?

In Ephesians 6:13 Paul tells us, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Paul speaks to the whole armour of God, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Paul includes “the helmet of salvation” and “the shield of faith.” To me, the helmet of salvation helps us to keep those negative thoughts from Satan from entering our minds. The shield of faith keep our mind stayed on Jesus and the “darts and arrows” of Satan bounce off our helmet. With the “sword of the spirit” we can be prayer warriors for God.
Paul even adds, “And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” We are to walk in peace and be an example to others and not stray off the path of righteousness.
A commentary by author John Henry Jowett compared “therefore, having your loins girt about with truth." Ephesians 6:14 with a soldier’s beltholding the different pieces of a soldier's armour securely in their place.” To me a modern day comparison would be a carpenter’s tool belt. To be useful, both must be organized with each tool (armour) in place for the job at hand.
Each day I read the Rapture Ready website and each day the world seems to be sinking further into sin. While the “Whole Armour of God” protects believers from this environment of sin, we must shod our feet and get about “The Great Commission” and bring as many as possible into the Kingdom

How do the Ten Commandments fit into your life?....

I have some problems with the commandment to honor your father and mother. My father left my mom and us three children when I was two or three years old. He never attended our high school or college graduations or the important events in our lives. Growing up my mother was my hero, however, now she is getting to be a master of the guilt trip. She would like nothing better than for me to move in with her in California. IMO, California is a modern day Sodom. Much as I honor her as my mother I’m honest enough to admit that she drains my life of joy. Thankfully I have Abba Father who will be with me while in California. I try to use the commandments as a guide to living while failing most every day. Thank you Jesus for washing my sins in your blood!

Jesus charged his disciples and the Church with “The Great Commission:” Matthew 28: 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Jesus also added; John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
Book of Galatians: Here the apostle Paul was under attack by the Judaizes who were encouraging the Christians to be circumcised and return to the Law. This would marginalize the taking on of our sins by Jesus on the cross. God would not look at Christ as he hung on the cross covered with our sins and Jesus cried out, “God, why have you forsaken me?” Believers are saved by grace and are not under the Law. Through Jesus we have a standard of righteousness and The Holy Spirit as that inner voice. Unbelievers will be judged by the Law as they are not cover by the blood of Christ. Try as the unbeliever may, good works and trying to adhere to the Law will not bring them salvation.
Commandment #3, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain” is not about swearing, however, we should never so abuse the name of God. The Word of God never returns empty. If we said something “In the name of God” or swear “By the name of God”, we better know what we are asking for.
Believers were on their knees praying when the Ten Commandments were being attacked. Believer or not a believer, the Ten Commandments are a valuable guide to living. Many people don’t want to question their life-style and try to destroy the message.

BIB501 wk 3 DQ#4 What is the lesson behind Noah's Ark?

What is the lesson behind Noah's Ark?
The Nephilim had corrupted the earth with their hybrid off-spring. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them” (Gen. 6:5–7). However, God gave us hope right from the very beginning as evidenced by the gemology of Adam through Noah. “Man [is] appointed mortal sorrow; [but] the blessed God shall come down teaching [that His] death shall bring [the] despairing rest.” The New Testament story of the Gospel contained in the Old Testament.
So even with the evil state of the world, God did not leave us without a way of salvation. Noah was without fault and saved by grace as we can be today, The apostle Paul says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:8–9).
When God said to build an ark, Noah built an ark, spending more than a century building it. The amount of gopher wood required is mind boggling. And building a huge boat when there had not been rain before, a very great act of faith. Noah’s blood line was not tainted by the Nephilim. However, I would suspect that the blood of his wife and/or daughters-in-law was/were tainted as there were Nephilim after the flood. As an aside, Moses sent twelve spies into the Promised Land to check it out before the people crossed over into it. Ten of the twelve spies came back with reports of huge men, Nephilim, and were fearful. Two of the twelve said something to the effect that God is with us so we’ll defeat them. The ten fearful spies convinced the people to stay in the wilderness and cried out that better to die in the wilderness then to be killed by the Nephilim in the Promised Land. Well, God gave them their wish and they wandered another 38 years until all of that generation was dead with the exception of the two spies who trusted in God.
There are several lessons in the building of the ark by Noah:
· Do as God commands

· The grace of Noah also allowed his family to be saved

· When God says to enter the boat, do it

· Once the door closed there was no chance for anyone else to be saved

· Accept the gift of grace provided by Jesus before your close your eyes for the last time, like boarding the ark before the door is closed

What are your thoughts concerning the Nephilim? What are your thoughts about UFOs and alien encounters?

 I took two years of Latin in high school and really enjoyed the myths of the gods and goddesses of the Romans. Then on to the Greeks and very similar myths. I found it to be interesting fiction or so I thought. So these legends of gods impregnating earth women had basis in fact? Not gods but Satan and the third of the angels who followed him. We are told in Genesis 6:4 “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of the human beings and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.” Legends of the offspring’s of these unholy unions are told throughout the planet.
God regretted that He had made human beings and so the flood. Noah’s blood line was not tainted by the Nephilim so he and his family were spared in the well-known story of the Ark. However, I would suspect that the blood of his wife and/or daughters-in-law was/were tainted as there were Nephilim after the flood. When Moses sent twelve spies to investigate the Promised Land they came back with reports of huge men, Nephilim. Then there was David and Goliath and his four brothers.
In addition to creating hybrids I believe that the fallen angles manipulated human DNA as evidence by the strange gods of Egypt, a head of falcon, a head of a cow, a head of a lion and many others. God struck the Egyptians with plagues specific to the various gods. Ray Vander Laan's teaching "God Heard Their Cry" deals with this. Lesson learned; don’t mess with God’s creation.
Man has long tried to explain these hybrids as the gods of old coming into the women of earth. As an aside, I’m an opera lover and especially like those of Wagner. His operas often deal with these legends, for example The Ring which consists of four operas for a total of 16 hours. The first 15 hours are filled with the pagan gods and goddesses and their offspring’s. The final hour is the downfall (twilight) of the gods, yes. Then there is the opera Tannhauser where the Christian Elizabeth wins Tannhauser away from the goddess Venus and brings him to seeking salvation through her prayers and devotion.
In my opinion there are Nephilim today that are often referred to as ETs. Years ago I thought that they were a bleed through from another dimension. I just could not buy into ETs and abductions. I now believe that people can open themselves to these evil beings and invite abduction. There are many rather consistence stories of abductions and being probed, the fallen ones experimenting with DNA? To me, keeping our thoughts focused on God is our best protection.

Young Earth 501-1 - 2 - 8

Was there really a Big Bang from nothing to something? Is the Universe really 16 billion years old? Did our ancestors really swing through the trees? Did we really evolve from some primordial soup? Does the universe tend towards negative entropy as would be evidenced by lower forms of life evolving into higher forms violating the second law of thermodynamics? Is the fossil record that depends on the Geologic time scale correct? But does not the fossil record allow geologists to date and compare rocks across geological time?

Sounds like Circular Reasoning:
Strata are dated by the fossils
Fossils are dated by the strata.

In my opinion, the whole concept of evolution just does not make sense other than Micro evolution within a species. Add to that the fraudulent attempts to create “the missing link” to prove evolution. Methods include the use of a tooth from an extinct pig, the jawbone of a modern ape filed and treated to make it look old. An old man suffering from arthritis and teeth were from an orangutan. Evolution is taught in schools and promoted as the true.

Why the resistance to Creation? If the universe was created then there would be a Creator to whom we would be accountable. I believe the universe was created by God as described in the Bible. The Bible is history written in advance and has been proven time and again. My God is an awesome God who stands outline time!

In his book “Learn the Bible in 24 Hours” Chuck Missler provides technical example after technical example of a Young Earth and a Young Universe. He also suggests the Gap Theory after the earth became without form between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. Lucifer rebelled and took a third of the angels with him and the earth became his domain. The fallen angels and the Nephilim, subject for next week. From Genesis 1:2 we read of God's plan of redemption.

Back to the Young Earth, several years ago I bought a DVD collection By Dr. Dino including “The Age of the Earth”, “The Garden of Eden” and more. There are images of petrified trees standing upright through geological strata. Fish fossils nicely laid out in rock so I guess these dead fish don’t float. Then there is Mt. St. Helene developing lots of strata in a few decades after it erupted.

There is so much about the age and properties of the universe in the Bible, to quote just a few:
Isaiah 64:1 says space can be torn
Psalm 102 says space can be worn out like a garment
Job 9:8 He alone spreads out the heavens, And treads on the waves of the sea

We live in a young earth created by God in six earth days. We did not descend from apes. Evolution is a false religion that has caused great harm. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

What experiences do you have with Small Groups? In your experience what makes a group good?

Summers I spend in a RV park in Michigan in an area called “The Bible Belt of Michigan”, yes! I attend a wonderful Bible study where we start out with praise reports and prayer requests. Then we view a 20-25 minute DVD from the Faith Lessons by Ray Vander Laan. Then we spend the balance of the hour discussing it. The group has nearly outgrown our park library and gets larger each year. The format is perhaps a little rigid however we stay on topic and get to discuss the film. For two summers I also attended a Bible study at a private home. It was a wonderful group of women but we did seem to go down lots of rabbit holes, my fault as much as anyone else. The woman who held it no longer comes to Michigan during the summers.
Winters I spend in Arizona and for the past several years I attended a Bible study held in a private home. It was a fairly small group of about 14 to 18 people. We sat around the room and could see each other. Perhaps it was too successful as we moved to the church and now sit in pews facing the front. We have many more people and it seem more like another sermon, now where have I heard that?
My favorite Bible study is a small group meeting at a camping site in the desert in a 10’ x 20’ tent. Arizona gets a lot of “winter visitors” so the group starts out small in the fall and grows through the winter. Our leader prepares throughally and has references and references. I keep one of my electronic Bibles on the scripture we are studying and use another electronic Bible for fast look-ups. Our group leader tries to keep the meeting to about one and a half hours.

For me a successful Bible study:
1. Small group
2. Informal setting
3. Stays on topic
4. Leaders who are well prepared and gently controls the flow of the meeting
New York City decided that holding Christian services/ meetings in public schools will no longer be allowed. The church services were held when the schools were closed and I understand that the church paid rent. Shades of things to come?
“Some 35 Ethiopian Christians face deportation from Saudi Arabia for "illicit mingling", the global rights body Human Rights Watch (HRW) says. Police arrested the group - including 29 women - after raiding a prayer meeting in the second city of Jeddah. The women were subjected to strip searches and the men beaten and called "unbelievers", according to HRW.”

List three things that Jesus loves and three things that He hates.

Matthew 22 and 23 covers a laundry list of what Jesus hated. Hypocrites seem to head the list.

Again, Jesus hated hypocrites: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness." Matthew 23:27 
Jesus hated what was being done to the temple: "The Scriptures declare, 'My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,' but you have turned it into a den of thieves." Mark 11:15-17

Jesus hated an nongiving nature, Matthew 25:45, Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'

Conversely, Jesus loved a giving heart, Matthew 25:40, And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'

As an aside, the verses in Matthew 25:40 and 45 are usually thought to apply to all people. However, Jesus was born a Jew. He was surrounded by Jews. To me, these verses can be compared to Genesis 12:3, " And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."

Again, Jesus loved a giving heart. In the story of the widow who donates two mites, Jesus explains to his disciples that the small sacrifices of the poor mean more to God than the extravagant donations of the rich.[2] Mark 12:41-44, Luke 21:1-4.

Jesus loved a loving heart both for God and others. Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shall love thy neighbour as yourself, There is none other commandment greater than these.
As for following in the dust or your Rabbi concerning these things, I’m so grateful that we are saved by grace. Try as I may, every day I fall far short of the mark. I’m honoring my mother by helping her out during her current medical challenge, however, I sometimes find myself resenting her demands. I donate money but not my time. I try to love others but find that I’m still judgmental. I share Jesus’ distain for hypocrites. I love and support Israel unconditionally. Not mentioned above is “The Great Commission, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19. I witness whenever I can.

Jesus loved and hated many traits in man; however, the really big sin was to blasphemy the Holy Spirit. Matthew 12:31-32 "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." As I understand this is the unpardonable sin that would bring destructions.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Developing the Patience of Job

Like Job I was enjoying a good life. Unlike Job, my children are grown up; however, I have wonderful Church and Bible study friends. Unlike Job I have no wealth; however, I have enough. Unlike Job my two homes are rather humble, and I spend winters in my Arizona home and summers in Michigan. Like Job I have physical challenges as a polio survivor, at least no boils. Like Job I give God the glory.

Good life or not, for years my brother and I have waited for the other shoe to hit the floor concerning our 99 year old mother living in California. Mom is mentally sharp and gets around at home using a walker. Mom is nearly blind with just the ability to see outlines of people. Between her renter/ part-time care-giver and her twice a week care-giver mom was doing OK until last month. However, there was the ever present knowledge that I would have to eventually move in with mom. Add to that the feelings of guilt for wanting to have my own life. I know I’m lucky to still have my mom and many would give anything to have just one more day with their mothers.

The aforementioned shoe hit the floor last month. Wherever someone is needed to stay with mom 24/7 I’m it and the last time it was for seven month. I’m now looking at living at my mom’s place for as long as she can remain at home and my health holds up. Her care-giver will still be coming in twice a week so that’s a big help. Various family members have given me “Atta girls” when a little help with mom would be far more appreciated than empty platitudes. Add to that my brother has major health problems so no help there. I love my mom and am happy that she is getting stronger every day. So I keep asking God what is this all about and I keep coming back to my learning patience. I was rather aggressive when it came to work, a fact commented on by my first boss after college graduation. This carried into retirement and I started a new career, vending and online selling.

Like many others, I’ve long felt that I was to do more to bring people into the Kingdom and did too little about it. So here I am in rather morally corrupt California. My mom suggested that I start a Bible study in her park. Also, there is a Calvary Church nearby so as mom gets stronger I’ll go there. So in addition to the lesson of patience, for the foreseeable future, God is closing the door on my Arizona life and opening a window in California.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Which fulfilled prophecies are most impressive to you?

There are so many prophecies that have been fulfilled; far more than 500 words would permit. These three were covered in the current teaching and I would agree than they are very, very impressive.
1. Ezekiel 37 and the Valley of dry bones and the rebirth of Israel
2. Isaac 53 could have been written at the foot of the cross
3. 30 pieces of silver and the potter’s field – Zechariah 11:13, Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver and the same 30 pieces of silver were used to buy a potter’s field.
In anoter of Dr. Missler's teachings we studied the meanings of the names of the genealogy from Adam to Noah that told the story of the "Good News."
When King Saul had Samuel conjured up, the departed Samuel predicted that King Saul would be with him (Samuel) the next day and he was.
Psalm 22 was a nearly blow by blow description of the Crucifixion of Jesus. God could not look upon Jesus as Jesus was sin in our place. Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Often readers think that Jesus cried out because of pain. In my opinion it was because Jesus felt the emotional pain of God’s rejection. Jesus cried out to God rather than addressing God as Father or Abba as was His usual salutation.
Then there is the Book of Daniel and the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar in Chapter 2 and Daniel in Chapter 7. Both foretold of the series of four empires. When Alexander the Great entered Jerusalem, he was shown the writings of Daniel. Alexander realized that he was in the prophesy and spared the city. While not prophetic as such, the fourth man in the “Fiery Furnace” was an early incarnation of Jesus. And that Daniel could lay down with lions, a foretelling of the millennium when the lamb will lie down with the wolf. While not prophetic, the “Hand writing on the wall” written by the finger of God told of Belshazzar’s imminent death.
The birth of Jesus in Bethlehem was prophesized in Micah 5:2, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
Then there are the Seven Churches/ ages in the Revelation of Jesus. In my opinion, we are in the Laodicea Church age for the most part. There were many warnings about what to expect towards the latter days. Jude told of the coming apostasy of the church. Paul gave many warning about itchy ears. Peter warns of false prophets. These are surely fulfilled today as people listen to false prophets and distorted theology.

Where do you see the United States in end time prophecy?

In answer to the question, I don’t! There has been a lot written about why there seems to be no mention of the United States in end time prophecy including:
1. The United States imploding economically and becoming a third rate country
2. The United States will reduce its military to the point of being marginalized as a world power
3. There will be great destruction from an asteroid, earthquake or plague
4. There will be near annihilation due to war
5. The Rapture will take so many Americans to Heaven that the economy and society in general will collapse
The title “young lion” is a mentioned several times in the Old Testament and one theory is that it’s a reference to England as the lion and the United States as her young lion. I serious questioned this theory and did a word search of the Bible. In my opinion the United States just is not mentioned in the end time narrative as found in the Bible. However, we are a part of the gentile nations that the original and later day apostles were send to by Jesus and “The Great Commission.”
In my opinion, the United States is under God’s judgment for a number of reasons:
1. Our demonizing of Israel
2. Our demanding that Israel give up land given her by God
3. Replacement theology being promoted in some churches
4. The increase in Anti-Semitism
5. Our loss of moral compass
6. Throwing God out of schools and pretty much under the bus
7. Approval of abortions as being a woman’s right
8. Approval of the homosexual life-style and same-sex marriage
Now to be more positive:
1. Revival seems to be quietly happening across the United States. My place of residence, Quartzsite, AZ just ended a month of revival meetings
2. Many are joining Bible studies
3. There are many Bible believing websites readily available Online
4. Many are coming to faith across the planet
So bottom-line, I don’t see the United States in end time prophecy. My prayer is that this is due to the Rapture and not some horrific annihilation. Also, I pray that the many bread-crumbs left by believers will be found by those “Left Behind.” Hopefully and prayerfully the post Rapture time will find many coming into the Kingdom.

What lessons have you learned from the book of Job?

The express often said is “The patience of Job,” perhaps the dedication of Job to God would be a better phrase.

The Book of Job is considered to be the oldest book in the Bible dating back to about 2000 BC. The geographical setting of the Book of Job is thought to be the area of the Arabian Desert east of Palestine, where Midian was located, Saudi Arabia today. Of great interest are the many scientific insights found in Job and later proved by scientists. Also, the Book of Job answers the question of are there dinosaurs in the Bible.
The story of Job addresses the question, “How are the goodness and justice of God reconciled with the suffering and pain in the world
Unknown to Job Satan has challenges God to put Job and his piety to the test. First a little about Satan, he is accountable to God and can’t do anything without God’s permission. God knows Satan’s mind and Satan lacks the omnipresence and omniscient of God. And no surprise, Satan is behind the evil so prevalent on planet Earth. As for Job, he had great wealth both in material things and family. God replied to Satan, Job 1:12, “And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD”. Satan wiped out Job’s wealth and children but did not touch Job. Regardless of his losses, Job still glorified God.

Next Satan wanted to harm Job physically so God allowed it, 2:5 “But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. 2:6 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.” Job was covered with painful boils and his wife told him to curse God and die. Job answered, “shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?”
Then came the friends Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar who suggested that Job being punished by God for his sins, being a hypocrite and being wicked. Many discussions later, Job finally called out to God who asks, “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.”
Finally the contest is over and Job is rewarded two-fold.
Lessons learned:
1. Having God remove His hand of protection has terrible results
2. God is God and His way is not our way

3. Take what friends have to say with a big grain of salt
4. God created the world and is in control

5. Have patience and truth in Him
So much more is in the Book of Job.