Monday, November 30, 2015

The “Six Woes” mentioned in Isaiah 5, true then and true today 519-1 - 2 - 4

With thanks to CM for a simplified listing of the Six Woes:
1. Materialism
2. Hedonism
3. Flaunting Sin
4. Denial of the Word of God
5. Relativism
6. Lack of Justice
As for materialism today, a recent example would be Black Friday. On Thursday Americans were giving thanks. Less than 24 hours later thousand were pushing and shoving each other in stores hoping to get stuff at huge discounts. Diametrically opposite to unbridled materialism was the apostle Paul. Philippians 4:11, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” [KJV]
Hedonism, “1. The pursuit of pleasure. 2. The ethical theory that pleasure is the highest good and proper aim of human life.” [] Hedonism harkens back to the expression eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you may die. The downside to such a lifestyle, in addition to boredom, is there may be a less pleasant eternal destination.
As for flaunting sin, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) community has hijacked God’s rainbow. They are having considerable success in getting their deviant lifestyle to be treated as normal. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed not just for the homosexuality of their citizens, rather also for the acceptance by the communities of homosexuality.
Denial of the Word of God, Atheists work very hard to prove the God they don’t believe in doesn’t indeed exist. So no surprise that atheists deny the word of God. In my opinion, while not directly denying the word of God, many claiming to be Christians do even greater harm. Higher criticism is "The study of the Bible having as its object the establishment of such facts as authorship and date of composition, as well as determination of a basis for exegesis." [] This prideful and arrogant denial had its start in the garden with the question, “Did God really say that?”
Relativism, "The doctrine that no ideas or beliefs are universally true but that all are, instead, “relative” — that is, their validity depends on the circumstances in which they are applied." [American Heritage Dictionary] Relativism embraces the belief there are no absolute truths, only what is right in his/ her own eyes. Not so, Proverbs 21:2, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts.” [KJV]
Lack of Justice due not just only to corruption in the judicial area but with those authoring laws and the POTUS who has a phone and a pen.
God speaking through Isaiah pretty well summed it up; Isaiah 5:20, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” [KJV]

Saturday, November 28, 2015

God gives five positive exhortations. Very applicable today 519-1 - 1 - 6

Isaiah 1:17, “Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.” [KJV]
The ISV states the passage slightly differently:
1. Learn to practice what is good
2. Seek justice
3. Alleviate oppression
4. Defend orphans in court
5. Plead the widow’s case.
Nature abhors a vacuum so for the first exhortation, learn to practice what is good, I work at keeping my mind focused on God and immersing myself in His Word.
As for seeking justice, decades ago I had hoped to become a lawyer and become an advocate for abused children. Although this dream was never fulfilled, I supported the American Center for Law and Justice for several years. The ACLJ is located in Washington DC and protects the rights of Christians and the unborn.
As for alleviating oppression, I will unpack that shortly.
In Isaiah's day a widow might have Levirate marriage. If not she could glean or prostitute herself. Today in America many widow either have their own work history or can draw on their late husband's benefits. Orphans are more or less cared for in this country by the Child Protection Agency. That said, I support programs that help women and children in third world countries start cottage businesses.
As for the third exhortation, alleviate oppression, where was compassion last year for Iraq's Yazidis who were trapped and hiding from ISIS in the mountains.
Today more than a year “After Massacre, Iraq’s Yazidis a Broken People.”
And today, there are thousands of people wandering through Europe as refugees, the greatest number since World War Two. Saudi Arabia is rumored to have a tent city that could hold up to 3 million refugees but the tents are empty.
Western governments including the US are under pressure to take in refugees. Rather than widows and orphans many of the refugees are men without family. Either the men are single or they left their wives and children undefended.
Bible passages such as the following are used to convince Christians to welcome refugees who have not had a through security evaluation. Matthew 25:40, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” [KJV] Often overlooked is that brethren refers to Jews.
From an interesting article Published by: Dan Calabrese on Friday November 20th, 2015, "Politics: What does the Bible really say about taking in Syrian refugees?"
"It's always problematic when you look to the mainstream media and other left-wingers for an understanding of what Scripture says. To listen to them, you'd think Jesus was concerned with little more than sending checks to the poor, installing solar panels on roofs and surrendering to any and all foreign enemies."
As for application, 1 Chronicles 12:32 “And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.”  [KJV]
From an article "Invasion U.S.A." By Jim Torres “Towers”
"They have the resources and abundant land, not to mention the same ideals and faith. There is a word in the Muslim faith, it is Al Hijra, which means taking over another country by means of infiltration, proliferation and subversion. Could this be some kind of sinister game plan to topple our country?"

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Even with the light of Jesus today’s spiritual climate is sinking fast 519-1 - 1 - 7

2000 years ago Christianity spread throughout the known world pretty much by word-of-mouth and documents written through the inspiration of God. No Google searches at that time and no mass produced Bibles. Today in free countries Bibles are readily available both in hard copy and in digital format. Favorites of mine are e-sword for PC and IPhone and Touch Bible for Android. These are great software packages that also have Strong’s Concordance and other Bible aids at your fingertips.
Unlike people in countries where Christianity is suppressed, we are without excuse. Even in countries where the Bible is suppressed, missionaries are bringing them in. There is a video that went viral on the Internet showing the reaction of people receiving their first copy of the Bible in their own language. Strangely enough, Christianity seem to flourish when and where under persecution.
Act 28:26-27, Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”
In the above, Paul is quoting Isaiah 6:9-10. As it was in both Isaiah’s and Paul’s day as it is today. In hearing the truth of the gospel many will not hear, seeing biblical prophecy fulfilled they still do not see.
According to Strong’s G4106 delusion is "objectively fraudulence; subjectively a straying from orthodoxy or piety: - deceit, to deceive, delusion, error." And that delusion is a judgment. 2 Thessalonians 10:11-12, “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
The six orchestrated terrorist attack in Paris last week were horrific and done by the spawn of Satan himself. Sadly, nearly 100 people were gunned down in the Bataclan Concert Hall. Two things really stand out. This happened in a gun free zone where people were helpless to protect themselves and the Eagles of Death Metal were performing that night. Rumor has it that the shooting started as the band was playing “Kiss the Devil.” Also, many attendees were making the sign of the devil during this blasphemous performance. Delusion, self-fulfilling or both?
Many are lost and rushing through the wide gate. One fact I use as a witnessing tool is telling people that the Septuagint Bible was completed nearly 300 years before the birth of Jesus and that He fulfilled more than 100 prophecies found therein. I also recommend several of CM’s teaching such as “How We Got Our Bible,” “How to Study the Bible” and “Footprints of the Messiah.” My attempt to bring a little light into a rapidly darkening world.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Church and the woman of Revelation 12, a mid-tribulation rapture? 533-2 - 8 - 8

The prophecy in Revelation 12:1-9 begins with a description of a woman clothed with the sun and having the moon under her feet. She is wearing a crown of twelve stars and is about to give birth to a man child.  A great red dragon is set to devour her child as soon as it is born, but before he is able to, the man child is caught up into heaven and the woman flees into the wilderness where God has prepared a place to feed her for three and a half years.  This time period is described in Daniel 12 as a time of trouble that has never been seen before and is often referred to as “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble.”
The above is from an article I wrote for I610 and posted on my blog. “It’s All About Israel.”
There are differing opinions as to who the woman of Revelation 12 really is. Some in the Roman Catholic Church claim she is Mary about to give birth to Jesus. Also, there is a minority who believe the woman is the Church which will hidden and supernaturally protected during the second half of the tribulation. Most Bible commentaries, however, identify the woman as Israel. Many things described in Revelation can be understood by information provided in the rest of the Bible, especially the Old Testament.  Genesis 37:9, the dream of Joseph is paramount to the identity of this woman. Both scriptures speak to the sun and the moon and 12 stars. Also, Israel is frequently referred to as a woman in the Old Testament; Isaiah 47:7-9, 54:5-6, 66:7-8; Jeremiah 4:31; Micah 4:9-10; 5:3.
The woman gives birth her child, Revelation 12:5, “And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.” As the Church do we represent the body of Christ and are we being raptured at this time? In verse 6 the woman flees into the wilderness where she will be protected during the second half of the tribulation, the period of time known as Jacob’s trouble. This would place the Rapture of the Church at the middle of the seven year Tribulation.
My prayer continues to be that there will be a pre-tribulation rapture of the Church. Our world is in tribulation, however and in my opinion, not The Tribulation. I eagerly awaiting the call of Jesus to come up, nevertheless, it will be in God own timing.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Tthe seven letters to the churches authored by Jesus are as relevant today as 2000 years ago 533-2 - 8 - 2

Jesus wrote letters to seven churches of the first century; Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodiceans. These churches seems to embody the characteristics of churches throughout the ages. Within two generations of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus His message of the good news was being distorted.
Jesus had concerns about all churches except for the churches of Smyrna and Philadelphia. The church of Ephesus was the early apostolic church and guarded itself from “them which are evil” and liars at the cost of losing their first love.” It has been said that the greatest distance in the 18 inches from the head to the heart. It is one thing to read of God’s love and quite another to internalize it, to give it a home in the heart.
The church in Smyrna was the suffering, persecuted church. In the days of Nero Christians were set on fire and used to light pathways. Fast-forward nearly 2000 years and there is a growing intolerance towards Christians in the United States. Add to that the horror of torture and murder of Christian in countries that practice Islam..
The church in Pergamos allowed the gospel to be compromised by paganism, and today?  While denying the divinity of Jesus, many worship the created rather than the creator. Rather than sacrificing babies to Moloch in the last half century millions of babies have been sacrificed on the altar of a woman’s choice.
The church in Thyatira is in danger of being required to go through the tribulation. The Roman Catholic Church is at best a pagan religion with its Mary worship, veneration of saints plus not believing Jesus when he cried out on the cross “It is finished.” At its worst, the Roman Catholic Church is responsible for the torture and murder of millions over the centuries. While the torture and murder by officials within the Roman Catholic Church seem to have stopped, there is the perversion of the belief of millions thereby possibly condemning them to an eternal separation from God.
The church of Sardis foretold of the many denominations in the Protestant church. Breaking away from the Roman Catholic Church was a good start but the Reformation has never been completed. Replacement Theology crept in resulting in the marginalizing of Israel and ultimately the Holocaust. Today Anti-Semitism is prevalent throughout much of the world.
The church at Philadelphia represents the Church that I strive to be a member of and fail daily. Jesus told the church that “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” Revelation 3:10.
The church of Laodiceans was lukewarm and so distasteful to Jesus that He spits them out of His mouth. Like some of today’s mega-churches, the Laodiceans considered themselves rich and did not have a passion for God. Revelation 3:20, “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.” So here is Jesus standing outside of the church of the Laodiceans waiting to be asked in. This is a great demonstration of the mercy of God and his desire that none should be lost.
It is time for the church to wake up and regain its early passion for Jesus and for spreading the Word to the outermost.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Discuss the objective of Paul’s teaching in Acts 28:23. 533-2 - 7 - 7

Act 28:23, “And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.”
More than a hundred prophecies in the Old Testament were fulfilled by Jesus as alluded to by Peter. 2 Peter 1:21, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
By teaching out of the Law of Moses and out of the prophets Paul was using common ground to present the ministry of Jesus, His birth, death and resurrection in such a way that it couldn’t be refuted and would perhaps be more acceptable to the listeners.
CM often states “The New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed; the Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed.” Proverbs 25:2, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.” Does this Proverbs not apply to us, the Church, as we are referred to as priests and kings?
When Jesus walked the earth there was no New Testament. Jesus taught from either the Hebrew Bible or the Septuagint and most often from Deuteronomy. After the crucifixion and resurrection Jesus taught two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Luke 24:27, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. “
The prophecy of the incarnation of God as the human Jesus was prophesied in the Garden. Genesis 3:15, “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. A reference to the scarlet thread that would have its final culmination on the blood stained cross. Psalm 22:6, “But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.” This harkens back to the Coccus ilicis, the scarlet worm. When she reproduces, the female attaches herself permanently to a tree and covers her eggs with her body. The worm gives her life to feed her baby worms resulting in a crimson liquid that leaves a red stain on the tree.
Luke 24:44, “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.”
Still the doubt; John 5:46, “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.”
According to CM, “on twelve different occasions Jesus was presented as the Messiah from the Hebrew Old Testament.” From morning till evening Paul carried that message to “the uttermost part of the earth.”

I believe the man of God rather than the experts 533-2 - 7 - 3

1. a clergyman.
2. a holy or devout person, as a saint or prophet.
I’d believe the man of God, second definition, rather than the experts when it comes to who to believe. An expert has been described as “A squirt under pressure” or someone 50 from home; all too often correct! To me the test is who is speaking based on Sola Scriptura.
In his book Final Warning author Carl Gallups reminds us that “Jesus stood alone against all those scholars – and the scholars were wrong. Practically every one of the now-revered biblical prophets stood alone against all those scholars. And again, the scholars were wrong. The apostle Paul regularly proclaimed absolute heresy, as far as his religious-elite peers were concerned, when he insisted that Jesus was the Christ. Nevertheless, he was right, and the scholars were wrong. The wise men from the East were willing to go against the accepted dogma of all those scholars of their day, and they found the Messiah … the scholars did not.”
As an aside, Carl Gallups also authored the very controversy book The Rabbi Who Found Messiah: The Story of Yitzhak Kaduri and His Prophecies of the Endtime.
There is the group of “experts” called “Christ at the Checkpoint.” The first point of their manifesto is, “1.The Kingdom of God has come. Evangelicals must reclaim the prophetic role in bringing peace, justice and reconciliation in Palestine and Israel.”  Replacement Theology as well as denigrating God’s chosen people; no Sola Scripture here.
I tend to group scholars, false prophets, false teachers and experts together. There is the New Apostolic Reformation movement where the self-anointed anoint each other and so on. The few times I’ve watched Word of Faith tele-evangelists the word anointed is freely thrown around as is prophet. 2 Peter 2:1, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.”
The best protection against false teaching is to study the Word and “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11.
CM reminds to be like the Bereans, Acts 17:11, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
IMO, Jude’s book was written for such a time as this and written to today’s “The Beloved.” As believers we are part of the beloved whom Jude is pressuring to “Contend Earnestly for The Faith.” Jude was writing to counter the apostasy that was occurring within the infant church and the arrival of many false teachers; as it was nearly 2000 years ago so it is today.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Finding the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel 533-2 - 6 - 3

In researching this question I came across some very interesting information concerning Anglo-Israelism & British Israelism.
Anglo-Israelism & British Israelism: “The principal belief of Anglo/British Israelism is that the British (and by extension Americans, Canadians, Australians, and others) are the spiritual and literal descendants of the ancient Israelites.”
British Israel writers developed the belief that these "ten tribes" were able to retain their identity and cohesiveness, became lost to history, and wandered far even to the British Isles. In my opinion, things get rather convoluted with the stone (Stone of Scone) used in the coronation of King David being transported to the British Isles and being used for the coronation of British queens and kings. The Anglo-Israelism belief was mostly discounted in the early 20th century, however, John Allen’s book “Judah's Scepter and Joseph's Birthright" spread the concept through the Adventist and other churches. I suspect that Mr. Allen’s book was used as more fuel to the fire of the heresy of Replacement Theology.
Several weeks ago I had a discussion with a Mormon concerning the DNA studies that disproved any linkage of a lost tribe of Israel and the Native American Indian. I recall that he mentioned something about Joseph and the migration to England. Perhaps he was referring to Mr. Allen’s book.
“The History of the Ten ‘Lost” tribes Ango-Israelis Examined” by David Baron, provides many relevant scriptures including the two cited below.
2 Chronicle 11:16, “And after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the LORD God of their fathers.” So representatives from the Northern Kingdom tribes relocated to the Southern Kingdom to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
This is reinforced by 2 Chronicle 15:9-15 details that numbers of the religious and more spiritual of the Ten Tribes joined forces "Judah."
The Abrahamic Covenant that God unilaterally made with Abraham is an unconditional covenant. Relevant Scriptures include:
Genesis 28:15, “And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.”
Ezekiel 39:28, “Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.”
If any of the twelve tribes of Israel were to be lost it would likely have been the tribe of Benjamin. In the Book of Judges the tribe of Benjamin is nearly wiped out in what to me is a very strange series of events. Judges 19; a Levite and his concubine stopped for the night in an area belonging to Benjamin. The men of Benjamin demanded "...Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him." Instead the Levite gave his concubine to the men of Benjamin. In the morning the concubine was dead so the Levite cut her into 12 pieces, "and sent her into all the coasts of Israel." 
As a result "the children of Israel" killed all but a few hundred Benjamins. "The children of Israel" asked God Judges 21:3, "And said, O LORD God of Israel, why is this come to pass in Israel, that there should be to day one tribe lacking in Israel?" Wives were found for the remaining Benjamins so they could continue, the result, no lost tribe. Great men such as the Apostle Paul and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are from the tribe of Benjamin.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Three charges brought against the Apostle Paul. 533-2 - 6 - 1

Act 24:5-6, “For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover (G2795) of sedition (G4714) among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes: Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, and would have judged according to our law.”
Tertullus, Advocate for the Prosecution, brought three charges against Paul.
The first charge was a personal charge claiming that “he is a pestilent fellow.” G3061 – pestilent: a noun masculine and can be a plague, literally the disease, or figuratively a pest, more likely Tertullus’ opinion of Paul.
The second charge was a political charge of sedition and that Paul was leading an illegal religion, a mover of sedition. G2795 - mover: verb to stir literally or figuratively, Paul certainly could stir up people with his witness. G4714 – sedition: a noun feminine, by implication a popular uprising; figuratively controversy: - dissension, insurrection, uproar.
The third charge was a doctrinal charge that Paul was profaning the temple.
Of course the charges leveled against Paul were all false. Paul was persistence, not a pestilent fellow. Rather than an uprising, Paul created something of an uproar by preaching the Good News including the resurrection of Jesus.
As an aside, could these charges leveled against Paul by Tertullus be leveled at believers by unbelievers, the “all roads lead to God” proponents, those professing other faiths and those who are Christians in name only?
I have been verbally attack for "imposing" my Christian beliefs on others. Actually in these cases I said nothing but apparently it was just my presence perhaps augmented by the fact I wear a cross.  
Politically the cost of being a Christian is accelerating if one is pro-life and against same-sex marriage. I recall a few years ago that there was talk of returning veterans and born-again Christians being placed on a watch list by the government. If our government maintains such a list, being on it would, in my opinion, be an honor.
As for a doctrinal charge, Sola Scriptura is being marginalized by many calling themselves Christians. I have been criticized for having an elitist attitude, after all, don’t all roads lead to God. My reply is that it is not me, rather the dictates of the God before whom we will all someday stand in judgment.