Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Pope's Red Shoes 547-2-23-8

A Catholic friend called early this morning to tell us that the Pope was departing the Vatican. Originally I planned to write on DQ#2 concerning eschatology and the ignorance of it by most in the Christian community and certainly, IMO, within the Catholic Church. While I'm not particularly interested in Catholic affairs, I respect Pope Benedict's intellect. That said and full disclosure, I can have a very convoluted sense a humor at times and see patterns were perhaps none exist.
As is often my breakfast habit, I was working on a Word Search puzzle and half-way listening to the bloviating about the pope’s departure. I heard a comment about his red shoes. I was not aware that the Pope wore red shoes as one of the symbols of his office. Now that Benedict will no longer be Pope he has to relinquish his red shoes.
Interestingly enough, one word hidden in the word puzzle was “lamb” so I thought of the comparison between the Lamb of God and the regalia of the Pope. Rather than special red shoes and royal vestment, Jesus walked about in a pair of sandals and homespun. Rather than wearing red shoes, Jesus didn't consider himself above washing the feet of his disciples; a wonderful lesson for all.
So where else were red shoes of such importance? The Wizard of Oz came to mind. Like me, most of you have probably watched the Wizard of Oz any number of times. After Dorothy's house was flung by a tornado into Oz crushing an evil witch, Dorothy was presented with said witch's red shoes.
I started to make a mental inventory of the primary cast of characters in the story. There was sweet innocent Dorothy who was just trying to get back to Kansas. There was a scarecrow looking for a brain. There was the immobilized tin man looking for a heart. It was amazing how much a few drops of oil enabled him to move his joints. Even I can't stretch this far enough to compare the oil can to the sprinkling of holy water. Completing the trio of Dorothy's new friends was the lion looking for courage.
What does all of this have in common with the Catholic Church? Perhaps Dorothy could be compared to the millions of Catholics hoping to go home/ heaven and placing their reliance on church clergy. Accepting the gift of salvation through Jesus to me would be as simple as Dorothy clicking her red shoes together. Given the history of the Catholic Church, popes such as Innocence the third could certainly have used a heart as did the tin man. Like the lion in the Wizard of Oz, there is certainly no comparison between the Catholic Church and the coming Lion of Judah. As for the scarecrow wanting a brain, I would again compare this to those who don't seem to be able to think for themselves.
So much more I could add, the Prophecy of the last pope...

What are the "political correctness" issues of our day? 547-2 - 23-3

Political correctness is code for the suppression of freedom of speech granted by the First Amendment to our Constitution.Recently Dr. Benjamin Carson was a speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast and discussed political correctness:

“ what we need to do in this pc world is forget about unanimity of speech and unanimity of thought, and we need to concentrate on being respectful to those people with whom we disagree.”

“ But pc is dangerous. Because, you see, this country one of the founding principles was freedom of thought and freedom of expression. and it muffles people. It puts a muzzle on them. And at the same time, keeps people from discussing important issues while the fabric of this society is being changed. And we cannot fall for that trick. And what we need to do is start talking about things, talking about things that are important.”

While Dr. Carson's talk was very well received and his talk went viral on the Internet, the lame stream media went on the attack. The two groups most maligned by the far left are conservative women and conservatives minorities.

CM said that in an environment of spiritual darkness; in a cultural war, truth is the first casualty. And it sure seems that our country is quickly descending into spiritual darkness. To expand upon a few of the topics he listed; the theory/ religion of evolution. If we accept that “from the zoo to you by the way of goo” as truth, does human life have real value? The most helpless and innocent victims of the theory of evolution are the unborn in my opinion. Political correctness dictates that a woman has the right to her body and that includes elimination of even a fully functioning but unborn baby.

Political correctness dictates that anyone trying to teach intelligent design is in danger of losing his/her job. Holding a creationism view labels one as an illiterate fundamentalist.

Palestinian occupation is misrepresentation of truth. Even some of the evangelical organizations are mouthing the mantra of occupation by Israel undermining their long time support of Israel. The lame stream media bloviates about Israeli missiles but says little about the hundreds of rockets originating from the Muslim missile sites. Islam is promoted as a peaceful religion in direct contradiction to the Koran.

I would group CM topics of schools corrupting the minds of our children with the push for a “Nanny state Government” and add parents being made to seem less intelligent and evolved than their children. As a twice divorced mother of two perhaps I'm not one to talk about the nuclear family, however, it certainly is under attack in America. The administration wants preschool for every child thus enabling the nanny state indoctrination as soon as the child is out of diapers.

In direct contradiction to the Word of God, homosexuality is being promoted as a normal lifestyle. To reject this is to be labeled a homophobic.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

If the "Bene HaElohim" were fallen angels, who were the Nephilim? Discuss their role in Biblical history, Greek mythology, and the end times BIB 522 - 02-4

Man has long tried to explain these Nephilim/ hybrids as the off-springs of the gods of old seducing the women of earth. I took two years of Latin in high school and really enjoyed the myths of the gods and goddesses of the Romans. The Greeks had very similar myths of beings who were half men and half god. I found it to be interesting fiction or so I thought. Rather than legends of gods impregnating earth women it was the fallen angels who followed Satan.
Legends of the offspring’s of these unholy unions are told throughout the planet. 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). Eight people survived the flood. 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.” So the fallen angels were still spreading their progeny even after the flood wiped out all but eight people on the earth.

References are made to the Rephaites in Genesis 14 and in Numbers 13:33, “We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” There are additional references in the Old Testament, enough to prove that they were still around after the flood.
In my opinion there are Nephilim today that are often referred to as ETs. Years ago I thought that ETs and abductions were a bleed through from another dimension; that this occurred when people indulged in occult practices thus opening themselves to ETs and inviting dabduction. There are many rather consistence stories of abductions and being probed, the fallen ones experimenting with human DNA?

After the Harpazo the Antichrist and his false prophet will invent many scenarios to explain away the disappearance of millions of people. One likely explanation will be that those raptured were holding the rest of the world back from evolving to a higher dimension so they were taken out by some unnamed and imaginary spiritual force. Today many are very involved in the occult and ETs (Nephilim). I would expect that they would be receptive to this explanation.

Why does Paul live his life in a type of “paranoia?” BIB 534-1 - 07-4

Why would Paul who gave so much of himself to spread Christianity throughout much of the known world live his life in a type of paranoia? He was beaten, stoned and eventually executed for the faith and wrote, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8

Shortly before his execution Paul wrote, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 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.” 2 Timothy 4:6-8

With all that, Paul seems to have had a paranoia that he just hadn't done enough during his lifetime. Although he was secure in his salvation he was less optimistic of his reward(s) when he would stand in judgment before Jesus. A doctrine found in the New Testament is the Doctrine of Rewards and the Judgment Seat of Christ, called the Bema Seat Judgment. This brings to mind an image of Jesus sitting on a “raised platform” and judging His Church.

Although like Paul we will be in heaven, we will still have to make an accounting of what we did with our lives. And Paul wrote:

Hebrews 9:27, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”
Romans 14:10, “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”

2 Corinthians 5:9, “9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.”

1 Corinthians 3:14-15, “If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

I expect that a nanosecond after the blade severed Paul neck, Jesus said to Paul, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

As an aside, Dr. Missler’s briefing “Inheritance and Rewards” opens with:

“Are all believers going to be equal in heaven? Wasn’t it all decided at the Cross?
Is there a difference between overcoming sin and bearing fruit? What’s the difference between “entering” the Kingdom and “inheriting” it? What is a metachoi and how does one become one?”

What does it mean to you that Christ became sin for us? What did He give up BIB 534-1 - 07-6

God stepped out of eternity and suffered so much on our account. In keeping with Genesis and the Scarlet Thread, Jesus was born of a virgin. Like CM theorizes, I would suspect that Jesus had a rather humiliating childhood due to the belief that He was illegitimate. Psalm 69:12, "They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I was the song of the drunkards."

Jesus' siblings likely gave Him a hard time because of the mystery surrounding His birth. Psalm 69:8, "I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children." His brother James didn't believe in his divinity until after the resurrection.

Much as I would suspect that Jesus felt abandoned during his childhood, this would be nothing to the abandonment by God while on the cross. During those last several hours our righteous God could not even look at the Lamb who had taken on the sins of the world. The agony of despair that Jesus felt must be akin to that felt by those who are lost in an eternity of the absence of God.

What did Jesus give up in addition to suffering the extreme agony and humiliation of being nearly beaten to death and then being nailed and hung from a cross? I cannot begin to imagine what it must have been like for Jesus as he cried out “my God my God why have you forsaken me?"

As for what it means to me that Christ became sin for us, it granted us the opportunity to be forgiven of our sins and spend eternity with Him. And it also means that I should become a better person to honor Jesus who suffered so much for me.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Saturday Night Live version of the second coming of Jesus, "DJesus Uncrossed".547-2 - 22-8

Until a few hours ago I had every intention of answering Discussion Question 1. What are the details that make up a Jewish wedding and what are the parallels as they relate to Christ and the Church? Then I tuned to FoxNews, but I digress…

I rarely watch Saturday Night Live as it has little redeeming value and is too far left of center my opinion. Tonight I was watching the Sean Hannity Show on FoxNews and Sean was very distraught. Sean showed parts of the parody trailer, "DJesus Uncrossed" shown the night before on Saturday Night Live. And I quote from the trailer, "The parody was a spoof mash-up of Quentin Tarantino movies, Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained." In the trailer the DJesus character is shown first rolling the rock from the tomb and saying, "Guess who's back." He then invades the Roman guard and with a sword and slays dozens. The moderator says, "He may be wearing sandals but he can still kick a##." DJesus also kills many more with an assault rifle. Peter organizes the apostles into a Roman killing militia.

The trailer/spoof is extremely blasphemous and Sean Hannity couldn't quit saying they wouldn't dare do this to Mohammed. Also, it is extremely violent and has very rough language.
The trailer ends with the DJesus character saying "No more Mr. nice Jesus." Shades of Isaiah 61:2 after the comma?

I'm sure the intent of the producers of the above trailer was to ridicule Jesus and in turn his believers. However, I wonder if the producers realized that there was a germ of truth in their spoof. As in the trailer, Jesus will return to exact vengeance with a two edge sword. However, the two-edged sword will be the word of God and not a physical sword.

The irony of the fact that this trailer was shown Saturday night on the eve of our reviewing Chapter 19, "Return of the King" was not lost on me. It is my very strong opinion that there is an undercurrent of feeling in the United States/ throughout the planet that something is very wrong in the world; that events are spinning out of control. There's been considerable talk about the extreme weather, earthquakes, wars, diseases and more.

There are a lot of people rushing to and fro likely to compensate for their anxiety over feeling that they have little control over their lives much less world events.
Nevertheless, as a believer I recognize that we are in the end days. Soon we will be caught up to the wedding supper and watch the seven year tribulation from the mezzanine. I have little apprehension for the future other than the desire to bring more people into the kingdom while there is still time.

Added Later:

Perhaps I'm the only one who thinks "DJesus Uncrossed" might have been the product of an unconscious understanding on the part of skit's producer(s) of Jesus coming as the lion of Judah.

As an aside, I read the link you posted. It included that "The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) declaring the "violent depiction of Jesus" in Djesus Uncrossed deplorable." The irony of CAIR adding their condemnation is interesting as the Islamic version of Jesus is of a very violent man. In his book "Mideast Beast: The Scriptural Case for an Islamic Antichrist" Joel Richardson writes, "Even more shocking to many readers was the revelation that Islam teaches that when Jesus returns, He will come back as a Muslim prophet whose primary mission will be to abolish Christianity." There is no moral equivalency between the Jesus of the Bible and the Islamic version of Jesus in the Quran who will convert by the sword, so CAIR is hypocritical as usual.

What are the "types" or lessons that can be seen in the relationship between Adam and Eve as it relates to the Fall?547-2 - 22-2

In July of last year I decided to write a little offbeat discussion question number eight for the Genesis Class I was then taking: DQ#8 What would have happened if Adam had stayed in paradise?

In that earlier discussion question I wrote that “Eve was beguiled by Satan; however, Adam took that bite with full knowledge.” I then speculated what would have happened to the creation had Adam not been a foreshadowing of Jesus. That Adam in choosing to join his bride in a hostile world was prophetic of Jesus sacrificing his life on the cross for his bride, the Church.

Then I thought what if Adam stayed in Eden and Eve left by herself? Without Adam would she have fallen to such a lowly level that she would have accepted Satan as her god? Would Eve have become the bride of Satan and created a race of Nephilims? Would God have created another bride for Adam and if so would they then be restricted to an area guarded by cherubim? Would the planet then not be populated by the race descending from Adam and his second bride?

The cherubim were posted at the entrance to Eden keep out Satan, however, would Eve be able to see past the cherubim and see her husband Adam with a new bride? Satan uses the eyes is a portal to man or in this hypothetical case Eve. Would she become jealous and seek to aid Satan in his battle against God?

God uses hearing as the portal to man, again in this case, Eve. Perhaps Eve would remember enough of her conversations with God in the Garden to resist Satan out in that cold lonely and hostile world. Would she unite with God in defeating Satan and eventually redeem herself in the eyes of God?

So what are the "types" or lessons that can be inferred from Eve being tempted by Satan and Adam joining her in that fateful bite? It would be comforting to think that born-again Christians exhibit better morals then do our unbelieving brothers and sisters. However, statistics indicate that within the Christian community there's is a near equal percentage of abortions and divorces. We are a fallen race and given today's propensity to blame one's parents, we could blame our parents Adam and Eve; deny our own personal responsibility. The big however is that we do not have that excuse. Two thousand years ago the last Adam, Jesus Christ, stepped out of eternity to give God's fallen creation an opportunity to become his bride and share an eternity with him.

God's word is predicated on two critical discoveries.... 522 - 01-1

That the Bible is an Integrated Message System Is attested to by the many patterns seen throughout the Bible. Animal sacrifices started in the garden, continued through the sacrifice of the Lamb of God on the cross and will be re-initiated during the millennium. That the Bible is provable from outside our time domain is verified by hundreds of prophecies fulfilled over the eons. God is outside of linear time as we know it and knows the end from the beginning. To me these two attributes of the Bible are critical to the understanding of God's word because one approaches the Bible with a more open and receptive mind. It also enables the Christian apologist to stand firm on biblical truth when debating those who are in unbelief.

I've heard it said that Genesis and Revelation are newly mirror images of each other. Genesis starts with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and Revelation ends with the coming of the New Jerusalem. God first taught Adam and Eve the necessity of a blood sacrifice, in this case to procure animal skins for their protection. Eons later Jesus shed his blood to cover our sins.
One of the many patterns In the Bible is the Scarlet Thread that starts in Genesis with the seed of the woman. Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her’s; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

When departing Egypt God told Moses, Exodus 12:7, “And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.”

One of the interweaving of the Scarlet Thread was the story of sons of the unusual union of Judah and his daughter-in-law Tamar. Genesis 38:29-30, “And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his brother came out: and she said, How hast thou broken forth? this breach be upon thee: therefore his name was called Pharez. And afterward came out his brother that had the scarlet thread upon his hand: and his name was called Zarah. Pharez/ Perez was in the line of Jesus.

The Scarlet Thread was present with Rahab who also was in the line of Jesus. Hanging a Scarlet Thread from her window saved her life as well as those of her family.

God's Unconditional Promise to David seemed to be negated when He pronounced a blood curse on the male descendants of Jeconiah. Since King David was running out of male heirs it appeared that the Messiah could not come from the line of King David through his son Solomon. So the line to the Messiah descended from King David through his son Nathan to Mary and to the virgin birth.

Although Animal sacrifices will occur during the millennium, for Christians, Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice and, as Jesus said, it is finished!

Chuck Missler (from now on CM) states that he expects to see Nebuchadnezzar in heaven. Why?BIB 522 - 01-4

It is always interesting to go back to some of my earlier discussion questions concerning similar topics and update them for current classes. King Nebuchadnezzar has certainly been and continues to be an interesting study. From a proud pagan world ruler to a believer who wrote a chapter of the Bible.

Nebuchadnezzar was privy to the visions and miracles of God. First was his dream that he (Nebuchadnezzar) didn’t share with his sorcerers. After the king had his fill of the sorcerer’s failures, enter the young Daniel. Daniel was not only able to tell Nebuchadnezzar his dream but also was able to interpret it for him.

Later the arrogant king was influenced by his advisers to build a statue and require the people to bow down to it. Daniel’s three friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to do so and were threaten with a horrific death. They were quoted in 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.” The three were thrown into the notorious fiery furnace. It is said that the king looked into the furnace and could see four people there, likely an early incarnation of Jesus along with three boys. 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 Nebuchadnezzar forgot and 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. Of course the proud and arrogant ruler didn’t repent and he boasted about all he had accomplished. After one boast too many God literally brought the king to his knees (and hands) 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.

I sure believe that Nebuchadnezzar will be in heaven. Not only was he a proud Gentile king who learned by being humbled by the power of God; Nebuchadnezzar actually wrote a Chapter in the Book of Daniel. That chapter 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.”

In what ways have trials been productive? Give personal as well as Biblical examples.BIB 534-1 - 06-6

“We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’” Acts 26:14 (NIV) A goad is a long stick with a pointed end used for prodding animals which Saul metaphorically kicked against until he met Jesus on the road to Damascus.
Paul prayed to God about his “thorn in the flesh”. Corinthians 12:9, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” As for productive, Paul certainly was that!
The “thorn in the flesh” or goad that I’ve been kicking against for more than a year involves family responsibilities. I left my home and moved in with my elderly mother to become her primary caregiver. She does have a caregiver twice a week for a few hours so I’m here mostly to see to her meals, doctor visits, reading her mail, etc. Since I stay pretty much home with mom I have time to study, a blessing. If I were home in Arizona I would've been at the swap meets buying beads that I don't need to make jewelry for sale in a down market; distractions I so enjoy. That said, I often pray to God to continue providing me the mental and physical strength to carry on. Paul was an outstanding individual with great strength of character sadly lacking in my case.
Since I’m pretty much tied down 24/7 the blessing is not just having the time to study but that I bury myself in my studies to avoid mental atrophy. So I can really dig into such things as the speculations about the next pope. Yesterday two of my mother's Catholic friends visited her and I tried to engage them in a conversation about the next Pope. Have you ever felt like you were talking to the wall? Little wonder that I bury myself in my studies and my blog.
Given the resignation of the pope I’m back to reading the book "Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope Is Here" co-authored by Tom Horn and Cris Putnam. The authors predicted that Pope Benedict the 16th would become the first pope in nearly 600 years to resign. Interestingly enough, two candidates for the papal seat have either Peter or a form of it in their name. So is it fulfillment of prophecy or convoluted use of prophecy by Rome?

What is the harm in attempting to compensate the giver of a gift? How does this influence our relationship with God? BIB 534-1 - 06-5

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:28 (KJV)
While the above verse is often quoted as referring to Jesus seeking a relationship with us, is it really understood? Jesus was speaking to the church of the Laodiceans. “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:16-17 (KJV) Chilling words indeed!

Jesus said to the Church of Laodicean “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Revelation 3:17 (KJV). This seems to reflect the attitude of many in our country/world today and goes back again to man's persistent attempt to "do with his own way".

John 1:26-27, “John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.” How many today still don't know Jesus and the wonderful gift He gave us?

Attempting to compensate the giver of a gift given with love is to marginalize the love of the giver. Attempting to compensate God for the gift of grace so freely given to us is a form of rejection of the completed work by Jesus on the cross and to spit in God's eye. That gift cost so much more than just physical pain to Jesus; it was the extreme emotional pain of being separated from God for those last several hours. I don't think any of us could imagine the physical pain that the Romans would inflict on their victims or the horror to Jesus as God withdrew His presence. It has been my long held view that hell is a burning of the soul in complete despair of knowing you are for ever absent from God and are in eternal darkness.
Will Attempting to compensate God for His gift ultimately result in one being sent to a very dark place where no reasonable human being would want to be? I leave that to God to sort out; nevertheless, I am so grateful to God for His gift of love and salvation.

Will the Next Pope Please Stand Up! 547-2 - 21-8

The prophecy world is all a twitter with the announcement yesterday that Pope Benedict the 16th was resigning. I was rather amused that a Catholic neighbor was in disbelief that the pope was actually going to step down, “After all are they (popes) really allowed to resign?” I reminded her that the pope was only a man and it's certainly within his rights to retire. Hopefully she'll think about this and realize that just maybe he really is not the Apostle Peter revisited.

Some months ago I was introduced to Tom Horn while taking the course I601. Thus began my adventure buying and trying to find time to read his books. While I've only read parts of his book co-authored with Cris Putnam, "Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope Is Here", I find what I’ve read fascinating. Mr. Horn and Mr. Putnam predicted that Pope Benedict the 16th would become the first pope in nearly 600 years to resign. If I understand Horn's book correctly, the last pope will be called “Petrus Romanus” based on the prophecy by Irish Archbishop St. Malachy. Further, “Petrus Romanus will be the last pope!

A few months after he was elected pope, Benedict asked Cardinal Tarcisio Pietro (Peter in English) Evasio Bertone to take up his current position of Vatican secretary of state. Rumor has it that Cardinal Bertone may be in the running for pope.

Others possibilities being considered to be named the new pope are from Africa; 64-year-old Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana and 80-year-old Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria.

The World Net Daily has published an article, 'Final pope' already running Vatican? That “Benedict might have 'stacked deck' in fulfillment of prophecy.” So did Benedict choose his successor?

A little from the book, “Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope Is Here.”

“Cardinal Arinze fits this description, and Conte interprets this qualification as best fulfilling “Peter the Roman” as a pope who “will reaffirm the authority of the Roman Pontiff over the Church; this authority is based on his place as a Successor of Peter” and “will emphasize the supremacy of the Roman Catholic Faith and the Roman Catholic Church above all other religions and denominations, and its authority over all Christians and all peoples of the world.” To this, Conte adds, “During the reign of Pope Peter the Roman, the great apostasy begins” and this pope will mark “the first part of the tribulation, during our generation.”[688] Conte envisions this apocalypse beginning in 2012 when, as he sees it, Benedict suddenly dies or steps down and is replaced by Petrus Romanus. This is followed by a series of cascading events resulting in World War III, which is triggered when Iranian-backed terrorists explode a nuclear bomb in New York City. The Great Tribulation begins, and by July 2013, Rome is destroyed when it is struck by a nuclear missile.”

A really interesting book, my recommendation, buy the book and read it.

List three technology statements in the Bible. Use Jeremiah 50:9 as one of those statements.547-2 - 21-6

In his briefing “Technology & the Bible” Dr. Missler listed examples of current technology alluded to in the Bible including:

Weapons Technology:

“For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain.” Jeremiah 50:9 (KJV)

This is basically a preview of the use of smart bombs. During Gulf One I was working for the McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company makers of the Apache helicopter. As the war started, the Apache immediately took out the Iraq radar thereby destroying any real resistance to our incoming aircraft. An even better equivalency would be the remotely controlled drones which are now being used by our government to actually kill US citizens who are considered terrorists, slippery slope.

A friend who is a bit of a conspiracy theorist was telling me about very small drones that actually are capable of firing bullets. These drones are feed facial recognition parameters and will seek out the person meeting those criteria. As soon as the drone has confirmation it takes that person out.

I've heard the expression that an aircraft has been painted or marked for destruction by a missile which will follow it until impact. The face of war is certainly changing rapidly and becoming very impersonal.

Weapons of mass destruction:

“And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.” Zechariah 14:12

Sounds like a good description of the effects of Thermonuclear bomb on a living person which leads us to “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened” Matthew 24:22

Circumcision/ Medical Hygiene:

“And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. Genesis” 17:13

While circumcision may be a manifestation of a covenant between Jews and God, it makes sense medically. As I understand there is a lower incident of cervical cancer in women who husbands have been circumcised. Circumcision being done during the eighth day of a baby's life is optimum with respect to blood clotting.

Also listed In Dr. Missler’s briefing “Technology & the Bible” were:

• Pathways in the Sea Psalm 8:8; Isaiah 43:16
• Meteorological Cycle Ecclesiastes 1:6,7; Job 36:27,28
• Global TV Coverage Matthew 24:15; Revelation 11:8-10
• Electronic Funds Transfer Revelation 13:17
• Round Earth Job 26:7; Isaiah 40:22; Luke17:34-36
• Sub-atomic Particles Hebrew 11:3
Lots of good witnessing information!

Discuss the decline of the "Fear of God" which is prevalent today? How do we repair this in our own lives? BIB 547-2 - 20-1

I was watching the Hal Lindsey Report Friday night and it was his wrap up of the “Prophetic Year in Review 2012." Hal repeated again that the antichrist will come out of the EU. I thought he somewhat denigrated other prophetic writer such as the former terrorist now author Walid Shoebat and best-selling author Joel Rosenberg who are tending towards an Islamic antichrist. While these arguments are intellectually very interesting, to me spirit of the antichrist is present in many of those walking the planet today. The United States which has been so blessed by God for centuries is now rapidly accelerating into darkness. It could well be argued that we started on the slippery slope when we turned our back on the Jews in the 30s and 40s and then in the 60s when God was thrown out of schools. A few generations later we see the fruit of that arrogance.

The Sandy Hook murders is a recent manifestation of the gun violence that seems to be gripping the United States today. Gun ownership by responsible owners isn't the problem; rather it is the growing lack of empathy and a decline in the Fear of God in this country. Surfing the Internet or cable TV brings up on enough violence to warp a young mind. Pornography and pedophilia is a growing problem.

Could it be that we're under judgment? In my opinion many are beginning to think so. This week-end the Northeast is digging out from the effects of Nemo. Some of the areas that were devastated by last year’s perfect storm Sandy were blanked by deep snow. Also, I understand there were hurricane-force winds in the Northeaster as well. Meanwhile there's another storm brewing out west that's going to meet up with warm air from the south so tornadoes are a slim possibility. That's just in the United States. There is been a serious uptake and earthquakes throughout the world in last week or so. Plus the usual bombings and flooding and more.

As is so often the case, many people are reacting to the bad news by trying to do it their way rather than turning to God. There are the survivalists AKA preppers who are stockpiling food, water and guns often in underground storage. Yesterday a friend told of people buying huge metal cargo shipping containers and burying them on their land. They are then building their houses over them with a hidden trap door leading to the buried container. While it is being responsible to have several days of water and food on hand in the case of an emergency, God is our Rock.

So how do we repair this in our own lives? Actually I have a very well developed fear of God. Although I’ll be with the Lord eventually, I know that I’ll then stand in judgment and fall on my face in despair as my many sins are exposed before our creator. In the meanwhile, I can pray and witness.

Give contemporary examples of "darkness" and its remedies.BIB 547-2 - 20-4

“A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.” Joel 2:2 (KJV) Now that’s real darkness, however, we have the promise of the light of Jesus.

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12 (KJV)

The closest I ever came to total physical darkness was on a country road after an argument and stating that I would walk home. It was a dark moonless and starless night and I was quickly in total darkness. After stumbling a few hundred feet I swallowed my pride and got back in the car. It wasn't just fear of the total darkness; it was the helplessness of knowing that I was several miles from home and had no idea how to find my way.

To me my experience on that dark road would be a fraction of the fear and the pain of being in darkness without Jesus. So what is the “Lake of fire” and eternal damnation? To me hell would be the darkness and burning of the soul due to being removed from the presence of God for eternity.

CM referred to several occurrences of darkness in history including:

"May 19, 1780, New England, "The Dark Day", was somewhat explained as follows: The primary cause of the event is believed to have been a combination of smoke from forest fires, a thick fog, and cloud cover. The darkness was so complete that candles were required from noon on. It did not disperse until the middle of the next night."

Mar 19, 1886, Central Wisconsin, 10 minutes of darkness: “No one can explain the wave of darkness that swept over Oshkosh, ….."

I couldn't agree more with CM’s comment about Spiritual darkness; in a cultural war, truth is the first casualty was attested to by:

Palestinian occupation misrepresentation
Church Legalism rather then grace
Nanny state Government rather than personal responsibility
Islam is a peaceful religion, you think?
Far left Media
Schools corrupting the minds of our children

As for a remedy for darkness, keeping our minds centered on God and His Word. My favorite hymn is “It Is Well With My Soul” by Horatio Gates Spafford. Mr. Stafford had experienced great personal tragedy and could still write:
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!”

What are the similarities between baptism and circumcision? BIB 534-1-05-7

So what do baptism and circumcision have in common? Both are rituals that in part witness obedience to God's word; Circumcision for the Jew and baptism for the Gentile. For the Jew circumcision is an outward manifestation of his covenant with God. For the born-again Christian, immersion baptism signifies being buried and resurrected with Jesus.
Several years ago I was attending a Bible study when Peter was quoted, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” Acts 2:38. Having been baptized as a baby in a conservative Protestant church this was an epiphany for me. I'd heard the expression before but it never really sunk in so I asked how a baby can repent. Even with my early exposure to the Baptist Church via my best friend, I still hadn't quite understood the why of total immersion baptism. The balance of the class was spent on this very topic. The fact that I had not been baptized as an adult just ate at me for about another year. Finally the opportunity presented itself at the Baptist Church that I had started attending the year before. I opted for a baptism done in obedience to God’s Word as well as to publicly acknowledge my faith in Jesus.
While circumcision also is a ritual, it also has medical benefits. In CM’s commentary “Technology & the Bible” circumcision on the eighth day of life is only one of the many “technological advances” implied in the Bible.
We are saved by faith and not rituals/ works. Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” While rituals don’t provide salvation, they may have value in helping the practitioner to keep his/her mind stayed on God.
As an aside, one of my mother's friends just picked mom for Saturday service at the local Catholic Church. So mom is off to listen to their very popular priest repeat the church’s liturgy and parrot back the canned responses. As for me, I would rather dive deeply into the Word. I often remind mom that her salvation is a gift granted through faith in the completed work of Jesus on the cross and does not require repeated masses, etc. to maintain it.

What are your thoughts on “What is God’s greatest problem?” BIB 534-1 - 05-1

From last week’s DQ, “God’s greatest problem is just how does a righteous God forgive sins without compromising His righteousness? To a holy God, sin is sin. Romans 3:9-10, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” How was God to bridge the gulf between His righteous and sinful man? God stepped out of eternity to pay the ransom for our salvation. Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”

I would add that while we may be saved by grace, we have to accept the gift. A rejection of it is a rejection of the provision for salvation that God has provided.

It seems like the world gets more sinful every day and excels at sticking its finger in God's eye. I've been a longtime supporter of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) and have them as a "liked" organization on Facebook. This was posted yesterday on their Facebook wall. "Christian student groups are being forced off campus by a major college. Vanderbilt University has instated a policy that requires religious student groups to accept leaders regardless of their faith, even requiring Christian groups to allow atheist leadership."

How crazy is this? I visualize God with a book adding one more check-mark against academia. How many millions more minds will be given over to Satan by default? This is just one of many examples of how far this fallen world has fallen. How greatly His creation must grieve our righteous God!

Luke 18:8, "I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"

From Revelation Part 2, week 19; God's Three Alternatives in dealing with rebellious mankind as listed by Dr. Missler:

#1 He can indulge it and allow it to go on forever;
#2 He can force man into automata;
#3 He can withdraw Himself.
I read the Rapture Ready website daily and it seems that we are still at Alternative #1. I wonder how long God will allow the earth dwellers to persist in their blasphemous ways. Alternative #2 is not in God's plan as evidence by free will in the garden. So we're left with the eventuality of alternative #3.
I've often read that it wasn't the agony of the cross that was most painful to Jesus; rather it was God turning His back on His son. I cannot imagine the pure hell on earth when our righteous God totally withdraws Himself.
in the last week or so there has been a serious uptake in moderate to severe earthquakes throughout the world. In less than a week the remote Santa Cruz Islands area has had more than a hundred earthquakes greater than 4.5 magnitudes with a deadly 8.0 earthquake that caused a minor tsunami on the Solomon Islands.

What is God’s greatest problem? How is it resolved? BIB 534-1 -04-7

“God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever.” (Thomas Jefferson) “
God’s greatest problem is just how does a righteous God forgive sins without compromising His righteousness? To a holy God, sin is sin. Romans 3:9-10, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” How was God to bridge the gulf between His righteous and sinful man? God stepped out of eternity to pay the ransom for our salvation. Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”

Habakkuk 2:4, “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.” So what of the unjust man who does not live by faith? In my opinion, a relevant discussion question was included this week in Revelation Part 2, “5. Discuss the three alternatives that God has in dealing with rebellious mankind.” According to Dr. Missler, God's has three Alternatives:

#1 He can indulge it and allow it to go on forever;
#2 He can force man into automata;
#3 He can withdraw Himself.

It seems we are still somewhat in alternative #1, however, God will certainly not allow our sinful behavior to go on forever. It would seem that the current world-wide birth pains would attest to God’s losing patience with mankind.

God created man with free will him and never seemed to indicate any desire to have a kingdom of robots. So this eliminates option #2.
So we are left with opinion #3 and the fact that God can choose to withdraw himself from us by withdrawing His hedge of protection from America. Given world events, it would seem that any hedge of protection has long since been removed from many other countries and is being removed from American.

“‘Behold I am about to bring a calamity upon this place, at which the ears of everyone that hears of it will tingle. Because they have forsaken Me … and because they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I never commanded or spoke of, nor did it ever enter My mind; therefore, behold, days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when this place will … be called … the valley of Slaughter.’” (Jeremiah 19:3-5) Fast forward to the present and the millions of babies destroyed on the altar of abortion, so much for our God given hedge of protection.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A combination of 5. and 7. BIB 547-2 - 19-8

To put it simply and to quote CM, Idolatry equals spiritual fornication. Idolatry is not limited to non-Christians. The icons found in the Catholic Church certainly could be equated to idols. Idolatry is anything that takes the place of the true worship of God. Often this takes the form of acquisition of more and more material goods, money and power. As the expression goes, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Last fall there was a series on the History Channel titled "The Men Who Built America." Even in the case of John D. Rockefeller who was a devout Baptist, money did seem to be a lesser god to him. These men who built America were absolutely ruthless in their competitiveness.

The theory of evolution denies the creator God with the result that many worship at the altar of science. As an aside, science itself is a witness to intelligence design. The so-called right of a woman to her body has become another form of idolatry resulting in the destruction of about 50 million babies in the last 40 years. Pornography and violence resulting in pedophilia and mass killings seem to be in the news daily.

There are so many more forms of idolatry that could be cited. So just what does a righteous God do with a rebellious mankind? This leads us to discussion question #5.

Rebellion was a lesson taught in the garden by that most rebellious of God's creation, Satan. Early on in Genesis Nimrod built the Tower of Babel as the “centerpiece” of his rebellion against God and we see how well that worked out for him. The result was a “confusion of tongues.” Rebellion against God has continued in many ways as mankind insists on "doing it his way." After the birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, the simple message of the Gospels was often either either rejected or redacted.

To quote Dr. Missler, God's has three Alternatives in dealing with rebellious mankind:
#1 He can indulge it and allow it to go on forever;
#2 He can force man into automata;
#3 He can withdraw Himself.

In my opinion, we are still somewhat in the option #1. However, God will certainly not allow our sinful behavior to go on forever. It would seem that the current world-wide birth pains would attest to God’s losing patience with mankind.

God created man with free will him and never seemed to indicate any desire to have a kingdom of robots. So this eliminates option #2.

So we are left with opinion #3 and the fact that God can choose to withdraw himself from us. To me, this represents God withdrawing his hedge of protection from America. This hedge of protection has pretty much surrounded us since the dawn of our country. In reading the news, it would seem that any hedge of protection has long since been removed from many other countries and is occurring in American.

When was the last time that you told Jesus that you love Him? List seven reasons that you do. BIB 547-2 - 19-6

As for the last time I told Jesus I love him, pretty much throughout the day; as I woke up this morning, several times throughout the day and now as I compose this.
When I read this discussion question I immediately thought of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnet "How Do I Love Thee." Likely she was writing to her husband Robert Browning. However and in my opinion most of the sonnet could have been written by the Church to Jesus.

How Do I Love Thee? By Elizabeth Barrett Browning
"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death."

So how do I love Jesus? Let me count the ways.
I love Jesus for his willingness to step out of eternity to become a propitiation for this fallen race.
I love Jesus for the gift of salvation He so freely gave me.
I love Jesus for the redemption that He gives me.
I love Jesus for filling the hole that would be in my soul without His love.
I love Jesus for his promise of my spending eternity in Heaven with Him.

Among Christians, what is the most common heresy regarding the nation Israel? Explain its source and its dangers. BIB 534-1 - 4-1

I’ve written so many times about Replacement Theology that this post could practically write itself. Replacement Theology is the heresy that since Israel rejected Jesus all of her Covenant(s) with God passed to the Christian Church. This of course is pure nonsense because God has an eternal covenant with Israel. As for the source of Replacement Theology, I would suggest that most of the credit goes to the Roman Catholic Church. Unfortunately, the hero of the Reformation was also known for his Anti-Semitism stance. As for the dangers of Replacement Theology, today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Six million Jews exterminated while the world stood by.

To quote Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu from his Facebook Wall today, “Anti-Semitism has not disappeared and – to our regret – neither has the desire to destroy a considerable part of the Jewish People and the State of Israel. They exist and they are strong.”
So I “Liked” and “Shared” PM Netanyahu’s post along with my comment:
“I wonder if God has forgiven those in this country who stood by and did nothing as millions were exterminated. BTW, this includes those professing to be Christians while rejecting the people who gave us our Messiah. Obama has started once more on the manta of the so called "Two state solution." Add to that Obama's Secretary of Defense Nominee, Chuck Hagel. I've written before about America reaping what she sows when sticking her finger in the God's eye.”!/sally.j.cooper/posts/432204206847740?notif_t=like

Later today I posted on Facebook. Well, now that he has been re-elected the gloves are coming off. This is extracted from my blog, can't repeat it enough!”
"Here in the United States several presidents from both parties have bullied Israel into giving up land that not only did God say was their land but they won it after being attacked. As an aside, I can’t remember any of our presidents offering to return Southwestern US to Mexico. Every time I hear our politicians refer to any of Israel as “The Occupied Territory” I visualize God recording it as one more black mark against our country. We in the United States seen to have disregarded Genesis 12:3 and we are under judgment from God."
"Obama secretly pledges to divide Jerusalem"

I hope that I am counted worthy enough to be a watchman on the wall and support God’s chosen people at every opportunity. The United States put enormous pressure on Israel to withdraw from settlements in Gaza and along came Katrina. Before that there was the Madrid Peace Process, and along came “The Perfect Storm" in 1991.
In Googling both “Madrid Peace Process the perfect storm sallycp” and “Gaza Katrina sallycp” there were six and ten 10 references to my blog respectfully.
God will protect and take care of Israel; however, I’m concerned that the United States is under well-deserved judgment by God and He has dropped His hedge of protection.

Give examples of the phrase “We become like the gods we worship BIB 534-1 - 3-1

Pride and being competitive are major faults with me. Getting an education and having interesting and productive jobs was of prime importance to me. In my early career I worked in the Consumer Produces area. Later I changed my career orientation drastically and went to work in the aerospace field. I soon discovered what computers could do I decided that I needed to learn more. And learn more I certainly did. I worked my way into a niche and was happy for years.

In all the years I worked with computers they were not a god to me so much as just being very importance in my life. While I haven't turned into a computer; I find that is so very often I think like one. A friend told me once that I don't suffer fools gladly. I find illogical statements especially annoying. That so many people cannot analyze a situation often grates on me.
Last fall there was a series on the History Channel titled "The Men Who Built America." The competition between John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie for being the wealthiest man in America seemed to be more important at times that their effort in building their industries. Although Rockefeller was a devout Baptist, money did seem to be a lesser god to him. These men who built America were absolutely ruthless in their competitiveness. Money consists of printed paper and/or metal coins. Neither form holds any warmth and can get worn down through the years. Coins lose their distinct stamping and paper money gets torn. Today our money is backed by nothing more than promises on paper and base metals. Money as a god is temporary and as the expressions goes, “You can’t take it with you.” Interestingly enough, later in their later years John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie seem to complete as philanthropists.

Some people become so involved in pornography that it can become a lesser god to them. I don’t have firsthand knowledge of someone addicted to pornography; however, I would expect that being absorbed in perversion would result in that person becoming perverted.

I’ve known people who have gotten so involved in mysticism and dietary rules that they became as emancipated looking and as lifeless as the statures they so admire.

I stay in touch with some of my New Age friends from years ago. Several of them still seem to be as vague and undefined as the any and all gods they worship.

I really liked the example CM provided of becoming like the gods we worship; the Egyptians and the dung beetle. I have a small collection of reproductions of Egyptian stuff including a number of scarabs. Now that I have a little more insight into what they represent I'll get rid of them.

Added Later:

Back to the subject of computers, I started out with a Commodore 64 and then transitioned to MS-DOS. So I never was an Apple fan.

After the recent death of Steve Jobs with all the attendant publicity, I started to study their logo, an Apple with a bite taken out of it. I thought I wonder if this was intended to be a reference to Genesis. I don't believe that the actual fruit that Adam and Eve took a bite of was identified, however, it is usually pictured as an Apple. So was Steve Jobs saying that computers are taking a bite of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Just an interesting passing thought I had the other day. The amount of information and the speed of acquiring it via computers/ Internet could become a near deity to an information junkie, ouch.

I would suspect that the pornography junkies worship at the altar of online pornography just as those who crave violence are able to find no end of it via the alter of video games and Hollywood. So do those addicted to the pornography and/ or violence become an out picturing of what absorbs their mind? Mass shootings and pedophilia would say absolutely.

Why is it easier to witness to pagan man vs. moral man? Give some personal examples. BIB 534-1 -3-2

Matthew 23:5-7, "But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi." Exodus 28:33, "And beneath upon the hem of it thou shalt make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, round about the hem thereof; and bells of gold between them round about"

So I would expect that the bigger the phylacteries (leather boxes) that contain Scriptures and the longer the hem the more devote the wearer thought he was. Keeping the letter of the Law and appearance was of the utmost importance. However, Jesus had this to say about appearances in Matthew 23:27-28, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”

In my opinion, it is easier to witness to the pagan then these having a high opinion of his/ her morality. Many of the pagans today fit nicely into the category of the New Agers and bounce from one guru to another. I've tried to witness to a few friends in the New Age without much luck but at least they'll listen. Sadly many consider born again Christians to be judgmental which some actually are.

Often a New Age friend will talk about the horrific things done in the name of Jesus. The Catholic Church has been an aid to Satan in turning many away from Christianity. I try to explain that there is a vast difference between Catholic doctrine and the evangelicals who hold to the Bible.

I tried to witness to a close friend who had a short time to live but he would only repeat that he was a good person. I asked a family friend shortly before he died the really important question, “If you were to die tonight where you would spend eternity.” He smugly said “Heaven, I already wrote the check."

I've tried to talk to Catholic family friends about Jesus saying "It is finished" and that adding works is not necessary to their salvation. What I've been told is that faith in Jesus grants salvation to the Catholic, however, keeping that salvation is conditional and repeated masses, etc. are necessary to assure that salvation is kept. Futher, I was told by another Catholic friend that of course you pray to Mary because what better way to reach Jesus that through His mother. In my experience, life-long Catholics are set in their beliefs so I'll pray for them and let God sort it out.