Thursday, March 29, 2012

7. Why do you accept the Bible as the Word of God?

That the Bible is the inspired Word of God is true beyond doubt in my opinion.
I think it was Hal Lindsey who answered this question by saying, “The Jewish people and that they still exist as a people.” Many enemies have come and gone and still Israel thrives. Many enemies still surround her and still she prospers. Israel has turned a waste land into a land from which she exports fruit and flowers. We in America have been blessed by God as we pretty much supported Israel in the past. Of course there was the time during WWII that we turned Jewish refugees away from our shores. Today we are pulling away from Israel as evidenced by an exchange March 28 at the State Department press briefing. “The press secretary refused to say that Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Israel. “We are not going to prejudge the outcome of those negotiations, including the final status of Jerusalem,” State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland said in response the question.” “The Marches to Israel’s Borders and the Global March to Jerusalem” begins tomorrow, 3/30/212. Interesting times we live in.
The Bible has thousands of prophetic verses that have been fulfilled or will be fulfilled in the future. The prophecies found in the Old testament that were fulfilled by Jesus are astounding. I never tire of posting the link, “Prophecies that Jesus Christ Fulfilled.” God said he’d return the people to the land in the “Valley of Dry Bones” and he did/ is.
The very structure of the Bible proves its divine authorship and is loaded with authentication codes having the fingerprint signature of the author, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. As an example there are the heptadic structures. A few are that the number of the consonants must be divisible by 7, evenly as must be the number of vowels, the number of letters and the number of words
Hundreds of thousands of people died for the crime of adhering to the early and true Christian theology rather than the medieval perverted versions. Jesus said “It is finished” and that we are saved by grace. Salvation isn’t a sometimes thing that has to continually be reinforced often by pledges of money. The common people were not to own a Bible much less read it thereby giving complete control to the priesthood.
That so many gave their lives to preserve the Truth and the survival of the Jewish people speaks volumes. Yes, the Bible is the Word of God.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

. Besides the messianic, what other prophetic themes are in the Bible?

I had decided to write once more on the Book of Ruth which is a favorite. However I was moved to write on the Ecumenical religion movement and the occult, more of the ways that Satan has tried/ is trying to thwart the plan of God.
“For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north,” Isaiah 14:12-14

Satan’s goal to rise above God and his attempts to destroy God’s Chosen people have failed, however, Satan keeps trying. Satan has whispered in many ears, “Did God really say that?” Many have inching ears and listen to and/or create many false faiths by falling into Satan’s trap. Satan excels at corrupting the gentiles who “do it their way.” Today even several Evangelical pastors are falling into the “All roads lead to God” trap and questioning God’s covenant with Israel. The devil has many helpers as the world rushes down the road to an Ecumenical religion and to the occult.

Jesus' salvation message is so simple, "For by grace are ye saved through faith." However, He warned us a number of times that we be not decived.

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” Matthew 24:4-5.

“Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” 1 John 3:6-8
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” 2 Thessalonians 2:2-4
In my opinion, Rick Warren, founder and pastor of Saddleback Community Church in Orange County California and several other pastors are promoting an apostate Christianity called Chrislam. Allah is not another name for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; rather Allah is the pagan moon god. Interestingly enough Robert Schuller and his ostentatious glass cathedral have fallen on hard times.
The Christ at the Checkpoint group has a Manifesto that includes:
Point 1, “The Kingdom of God has come. Evangelicals must reclaim the prophetic role in bringing peace, justice and reconciliation in Palestine and Israel.” Point 3, might surprise God, “3.Racial ethnicity alone does not guarantee the benefits of the Abrahamic Covenant.”
Point 10 is interesting: “10.Any challenge of the injustices taking place in the Holy Land must be done in Christian love. Criticism of Israel and the occupation cannot be confused with anti-Semitism and the delegitimization of the State of Israel.” So it’s an occupation of the land by the chosen people?
As for the occult, vampires and werewolves are in. Vampires drink blood and werewolves eat flesh. Sounds familiar. I have hardy gotten stated and already I’m nearing the 500 word limit so….to be continued.
Satan is the father of lies and intentionally causes confusion. I suspect that Mohammad really did have an angel reveal to him what was later written down as the Quran, however, that angel was one of the fallen angels. I have a number of Mormon friends who are good caring people who believe the Book of Mormon was from the angel Moroni. Moroni isn’t as hard on non-Mormons as the angel of Allah is on non-Muslims, however and in my opinion, both cut from the same cloth.
To quote Jesus, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Revelation 22:18-19.
As the time before Jesus coming for his Church grows shorter, I pray that those of the Islamic and Mormon faith will come to know the real Jesus.    To be continued.

As a child I was brought up in a Protestant church and wondered why Catholics still have the risen Jesus hanging from a cross. If those of the Roman Catholic faith still have icons of Jesus hanging on the cross and really believe that bread and wine become His body and blood how does that fit with Jesus’ words, “It is finished?” Add to that a good friend told me she had returned to the Catholic Church. In my surprise I said something to the effect that at least the church no longer sold Indulgences or believed in purgatory. I was told that purgatory is still there to purge all sin from the recently deceased.

So off to Google purgatory and yes it’s still part of the Catholic theology and lining the churches’ coffers. If I understand it correctly, between Jesus and the church saints there is a repository of good credits that one can draw from to limit the length of time spent in purgatory. These credits can be applied to the dead. Also, your own good deeds such as number of masses attended can go into your purgatory avoidance account.

The Catholic Church hasn’t burnt anyone at the stake for a long time for the simple crime of reading the Bible. However, when I last attended the local Catholic Church with Catholic family members, I was again reminded of Psychology 101 and the Skinner Box we used for experiments. The caged rat would respond to a stimulus, run to its water dish and be rewarded with a drink. The priest would say something and the people would add their canned response.

We are all free to pursue any religion, however, I am very concerned about the millions of Catholics following a theology that rejects Jesus’ words on the cross. We are saved by grace through faith, so are Catholics saved? God will have the final say, however, I pray they are saved. After the Church is removed will the Roman Catholic Church emerge as “The Woman Who Rides the Beast” of Revelation?

Why was the crucifixion NOT a tragedy but an accomplishment? BIB501-2-1-2

The crucifixion was an accomplishment as it was a fulfillment of many prophecies, paid for our (my) sins so that we (I) can stand before God, offers salvation through grace and more. The Resurrection and Ascension confirm that life doesn’t end at the grave, that a home is waiting for us beyond our imagining and most important, we’ll be in the presence of Jesus. The resurrection of Jesus is a source of conform for those who have lost a loved one and for those about to pass into eternity. To think that someday we’ll be with Jesus in a body free of pain is beyond words. The Crucifixion was prophesied in the Old Testament many times. That the crucifixion happened as prophesied substantiates the Bible as the inspirited Word of God. I’ve heard it said that it wasn’t the nails that held Jesus to the cross; it was His love for us. A few of the prophetic verses from the Old Testament that were fulfilled include:

· Psalm 22, could have been dictated from the cross.

· Isaiah 53 was so accurate that opponents tried to post-date it
· Daniel 9:26 “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself…”
· Zechariah 11:12 “And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. 13And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.”

That Jesus would remain in the tomb for three days was prophesied by Jonah’s three days in the whale. At an early age I wondered how Jesus could have been crucified on Good Friday and His resurrection take place in less than two 24 hour days. Several years ago I read that Jesus was likely crucified on Wednesday and arose on the Shabbat. This is far more logical as that would mean that Jesus was in the tomb Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights. By deliberately incorrectly dating the crucifixion and resurrection the church was attempting to distance the Crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus from the Jewish Passover. Even at that early a date, anti-Semitism was being promoted by the church.

God stepped out of eternity to become a man. After two thousand years Jesus remains the most important man ever; He was, He is and He will forever be. We are so blessed!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

12 Minor Prophets of the Old Testament

The Term “Minor Prophets” refers to their size of the book and not to their significance.

In the case of 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. In one verse we are told where the Messiah would be born, that He is eternal and would rule.

Hosea wrote to the Northern Kingdom during the reign of Jeroboam the Second. Hosea married a harlot and his children were given pretty dismal prophetic names. Should Israel (the Northern Kingdom) repent the prophetic names would become positive names as would the land.

Joel prophesied to Judah (the Southern Kingdom) during the time of Amaziah and stressed “The day of the Lord.”

Amos was not a priest or a Levite, rather a layman who had a number of visions. Amos had a vision of Gog who seems to be a demon king rather than a human king as is often assumed when reading Ezekiel 38.

Obadiah was in the late part of the Southern Kingdom, Judah. Obadiah’s prophecies were against Edom, the enemy of Israel who always had an active alliance with whoever was against Israel.

Jonah didn’t want to do as God directed and was swallowed by a fish. He finally preached to the people of Nineveh in a less than PC way. The king and the people repented and the judgment of God was stayed for another hundred years.

Nahum preached to Nineveh about a hundred years after Jonah. Although the people repented after Jonah they didn’t in the time of Nahum and so were absorbed by Babylon as Babylon rose to power.

Habakkuk is perhaps best known for the verse that motivated the Reformation when Martin Luther read it, “The just shall live by his faith.” Paul wrote extensively about this in his letters.

Haggai predicts the rebuilding of the Temple. He was after the Babylonian captivity and one of the three post-exile prophets along with Zechariah, and Malachi, who close out the Old Testament.

Zechariah made the famous prophecy “they shall look upon me whom they have pierced.” He also talks to the Temple being rebuilt, and the Second Coming.

Zephaniah preached about the wrath coming upon Judah and the later wrath coming upon all nations. One of his most unusual prophecies was that when Israel would be re-gathered in the land, they would return to pure Hebrew as a language.

Malachi asks us to test God by tithing.

Comparisons between Israel in Hosea's day and the USA today.

A comparison between Israel in Hosea's day and the USA today, where to start is the real question!

Hosea wrote to the apostate Israel (the Northern Kingdom) during the reign of Jeroboam the Second. The Northern Kingdom had recovered all of the territory previously lost and was in a time of prosperity. Here the big however is they were into pagan worship, adultery, violent crime and other activities that God deplores. Hosea warned the people that continuing to stick their thumbs into God’s eye would lead to God using the enemies of the Northern Kingdom to bring God’s judgment on them.

Were the terrorist’s attacks of 911 comparable to Hosea’s prophecy to the Northern Kingdom concerning God using their/our enemies as a partial judgment? If so as a country we sure haven’t taken the warning seriously. There are TV series glorifying vampires and werewolves. The “New Age” embraces many activities that are denounced in the Bible. Homosexuality is promoted as “an alternative lifestyle. Babies are ripped from their mother’s wombs. Add to that Christians are as likely as non-believers to have abortions, divorces and more.

We in America along with much of the world are embracing an Ecumenical Religion. Many Christian churches including Evangelical churches are abandoning Israel and questioning their right to land given to them by God. As anexample the Christ at the Checkpoint organization has a Manifesto which includes in part:
1. The Kingdom of God has come. Evangelicals must reclaim the prophetic role in bringing peace, justice and reconciliation in Palestine and Israel.
2. Reconciliation recognizes God’s image in one another.
3. Racial ethnicity alone does not guarantee the benefits of the Abrahamic Covenant.
4. The Church in the land of the Holy One has born witness to Christ since the days of Pentecost. It must be empowered to continue to be light and salt in the region, if there is to be hope in the midst of conflict.
5. Any exclusive claim to land of the Bible in the name of God is not in line with the teaching of Scripture.

I guess these great minds should lookup Geneses 12:3 again and be a little more spiritually sound and little less PC.

Although many try to deny it, our country was founded on Christian principles. Ronald Reagan was quoted as saying “America is a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere. The text of President Reagan’s Farewell Address (January 11, 1989) speaks to an America past, perhaps we can again….

Sunday, March 4, 2012

In which of the 7 churches (Revelation 2 & 3) are you living? What exhortation do you need to heed? What commendation has Christ given you?

The Seven churches of the Book of Revelation reflect a time-line of the churches. The first three are pretty much in the past. Of the remaining four I sure would not want to be counted as in any except the Philadelphia Church. As for the Thyatira Church, it is entwined with “that woman Jezebel” and thought by many as representing the Catholic Church in the Last Days. I have family members and several friends who are Catholic so I talk about salvation by grace when any will listen. Jesus did it all and yet I’m told that we have to spend time in Purgatory to be purified enough to be presentable to God. Also, praying for those in Purgatory is thought to help reduce time they spent there. Filling out/ buying Mass cards also help get people out of Purgatory. Then there are the ornate robes, incense, icons and more. At least I think the sale of Indulgences has stopped. In my opinion, the Catholic Church is a money generating organization that promotes works instead of salvation by grace. Rather than getting deeply into the Bible the priest recites and the people answer, all very canned. Here the exhortation to heed is to remember Jesus said, “It is finished.” And then too there is the statement by Jesus that we come to the Father only through Jesus, not through Many, not through the saints and not through the priest. I'm concerned for the salvation of the above mentioned family and friends.

In my opinion, many churches today would be considered as typical of the Church of Laodicea, the Apostate Church. I was brought up in a protestant church where the minister would have a lesson taken from Bible verses, nothing that set my hair on fire. However, I did learn many Bible verses during the few times I attended a Baptist church with my grade school friend.
When I’m home in Arizona I attend a Bible based Baptist church. Our church sends out missionaries and does lots locally to bring more people into the kingdom. I would label the church as close to the Philadelphia Church. I’m also attend a local Assembly of God Church, again, when I'm in Arizona. What I like best is a small Bible study group that meets regularity and really studies the Word in depth. I’m currently like a fish out of water as through family responsibilities I’m living in California for the foreseeable future. Once my mom can be left alone more I’ll check out the local Calvary Church as well as a nearby Baptist church. I prefer to be with like-minded people who take the Bible as the inspired Word of God.
Jesus stepped out of eternity to become a man who was born a Jew and died a Jew. Matthew 25:36, “ I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Here Jesus confirms Geneses 12:3, we will be judged by how we treated His people Israel.
In John 13:34 we read, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
Then there is “The Great Commission.” Matthew 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 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.”
So we are to witness and work to bring more into the Kingdom.

Why a virgin birth? Explain.

Why a virgin birth? Because God said so.

One of the many Messianic prophesies of Isaiah concerned the virgin birth. 7:10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz, 11 “Ask the LORD your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the LORD to the test.” 13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Doubters have tried to say it was a “young girl” not a virgin birth, not according to God.

It is awesome to realize how God works and how interwoven His Word is. Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” Woman don’t have a “seed”, rather it comes from a man. So way back in Genesis we have a prophecy of the virgin birth.

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.” In turn Moses brought the problem of no male heir before God who 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

Later God had all He could tolerate from King Jeconiah, a descendent of King David. Jeremiah 22:30 “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.

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 via Solomon thus under the blood curse. 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

What is the significance of the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel 37? Does Isaiah 11:11 have any bearing on Ezekiel 37?

“The call of Abraham” was the beginning of the Jewish nation. God wanted His own people and established the “Abrahamic Covenant” with Abraham. God protected Israel when the people obeyed Him and scattered them when they didn't. The people repented and God provided them with a deliverer until the next time they again fell into sin.
I find Ezekiel 36 of great interest as God let the Israelites know, “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 would not put aside his covenant with Israel.
Ezekiel 37 and the “Valley of dry bones” is a well-known as being prophetic of the restoration of Israel. Ezekiel was taken in a vision to a valley scattered with dry bones. Dried out bones wouldn't have any possibility of life in them and most likely not even a little DNA. As Ezekiel watched the bones came together and humans were formed. The bodies didn't have life unit it was breathed into them.
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.”
In my opinion, like Ezekiel 37:21, Isaiah 11: 11 also is/ has been happening. “In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush,[a] from Elam, from Babylonia,[b] from Hamath and from the islands of the Mediterranean. “In that day” would be after the rebirth of Israel as a nation. There is a story about people in Ethiopia heading for a location but not knowing why. When they got to what seemed to be their destination, airplanes were waiting to take them to Israel, “On wings of Eagles.”
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:
God will protect the Jews as prophesized in both Ezekiel 38 and Psalm 83. They are His chosen people and have an eternal covenant with God.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

PRO501 WK4 DQ#2 When do you believe the rapture will occur in the tribulation period (pre, post or mid-trib)? Why?

I am a pre-tribulation believer period and I am in good company!  Grant Phillips of the Rapture Ready website has this to say, “The Church will not go through the Tribulation.”  Here is the link to his article, “Will the Church Go through the Tribulation?”  Mr. Phillips lists several of the same reasons as found in our current teaching.
Much of what I wrote last week about the Church (the capital C) not going through the tribulation also applies to this DQ.  “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.  We would be going up and coming down at the same time.  No, the Church will not go through the Tribulation!
The big however is that the Church is going through persecution in many countries.  Here in the United States we see the continuous erosion of morals as unborn babies are killed and homosexuality is promoted as normal.  Believers in Jesus as the Way are ridiculed as is Jesus Himself.  Some states no longer allow Christians to hold services in public buildings even though they pay rent.  While the Church will be spared the Tribulation, we will likely go thought persecution even here in the United States.  Our support of Israel is waning so God may take/ is taking His hand of protection from us. 
The Rapture could occur anytime as all conditions have been met.  No one knows the hour….however, I hope it’s soon.  I attend Bible believing churches that work to bring non-believers into the Kingdom so one day we will be on our way to meet the Lord in the clouds…..I keep looking up.
The tribulation period is for Israel; however, it is my prayer that it is not too late for those gentiles “left behind” to come to salvation.