any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men
liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6But
let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a
wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7For
let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8A
double minded man is
unstable in all his ways. (James 1:)
Scripture is often used to prove that whatever we want from God we will
receive as long as we believe
we will get it, and not falter in our belief. The Prosperity preachers
especially like this Scripture.
Scripture that is used by the Prosperity proclaimers is this:
ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children,
how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to
them that ask him? (Mat 7:)
familiar? Luke has given us the same message with a slightly different
twist. Check this out and see if you have heard it very often from the
pulpit of those seeking funds from your wallet:
ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children:
how much more shall your heavenly Father give
the Holy Spirit to them
that ask him? (Luke 11:)
that what Jesus was talking about is not filling our mansion with
goodies, but something much more valuable and long lasting. He wants to
give us of Himself, His Holy Spirit.
look carefully at the introductory verses at the top of this page we
will see that what is being spoken of is not wealth, but rather the
very same thing Solomon asked for, the which he was given far more than
he could have ever hoped for.
we add the
two Scriptures together we find that they are in actuality saying the
very same thing. Both Scriptures are talking about wisdom and the Holy
Spirit because both are one and the same. To understand this connection
we must insert as a junction these Words that Jesus spoke to His
disciples before He had to leave them:
I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I
go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I
will send him unto you. 8And
when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of
righteousness, and of judgment: 9Of
sin, because they believe not on me; 10Of
righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11Of
judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. 12I
have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13Howbeit
when he, the Spirit
of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:
for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that
shall he speak: and he
will show you things to come. 14He
shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it
unto you. 15All
things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall
take of mine, and shall show it
unto you. (John 16:)
shall receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is Truth. And knowing
the Truth of the Gospel is Wisdom.
tells me that I should believe, doubting nothing. And that's exactly
what I am going to do. You try to tell me I'm wrong and that I should
change my mind. But I read where the Bible tells me that a
double-minded man is like the waves of the sea and will receive
nothing. And I see where God would rather have us cold than to be
lukewarm. So just keep your opinions to yourself from now on and don't
try to confuse me."
good points to be sure. What can I say but that you are right? Of
course you do realize I'm sure that you have just knocked your own
convictions out of the box. Haven't you been telling me all along that
you believe the cults and the other denominations are wrong in their
beliefs? Didn't you tell me that you try your best to straighten them
out and show them the Truth of the Word as you see it? Yet many of
these people are renown for their convictions and their missionary
work. Their beliefs are firmly planted. By your saying you should not
change, you confirm that they
should not change as well.
unwillingness to change one's mind is what Jesus got on the Pharisees
about. They were dead certain they were right, and they had hundreds of
years of tradition to back up their fallacious beliefs. The 'cursed and
unlearned" on the other hand who did not take a ridged view of what
they had been taught were open to receive the Truth when it was
presented to them, and because of their willingness to change their
mind, they were saved.
good thing. Confidence in one's beliefs is a good thing. But when that
faith and confidence is placed on a failed premise it is like the
building Jesus told us about that was built on sand. Truth is not truth
because of what we believe or because of what makes sense to us. Truth
is true because of Who told us it is true, in
spite of the fact it makes no
sense to us. Truth becomes apparent when it is explained and judged for
its own merits. But when we have already decided that we hold the
truth, and that there can be no other, we have dismissed any chance of
being shown what God wishes us to see.
no matter how certain I am that I hold the Truth, and such a certainty
comes from extensive study of the Word leaving out nothing that might
conflict with my findings, I still leave room for doubt. I have found
that often the Holy Spirit will lead me to a Truth that has a purpose
for the moment, and is clearly expressed in the Word; but that such
Truth is not an end in and of itself but rather a stepping stone to
further Truth that is to follow. The parable that warns us of the
danger of missing the forest because we have our eyes fixed on the
trees is very appropriately applied here.
built upon the clinging to a tree. I believe that many a denomination
has been founded by someone who has been given a partial truth and
rather than wait for their next leading, ran off and built a wall
around that partial truth, adding synthetic beliefs to their doctrine
to stand in support of that partial truth.
tells us: 'Pilate therefore
said unto him, Art
king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end
was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should
bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my
voice of Jesus we must be of
the Truth. We can not be stuck
in a falsehood believing
it is Truth. Jesus has said His sheep hear His voice. To hear His
voice, we must be one of Jesus" sheep. And if we can't hear the voice
of the Shepherd because we are overly confident in our false beliefs
then we are none of His.
tells us in chapter 16: '12I
have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13Howbeit
when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all
truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear,
shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. 14He
shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it
unto you. 15All
things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall
take of mine, and shall show it
our brilliance, or our position, or our education in the ways of the
church, we can not know the Truth without the Word of Truth, the Holy
Spirit, instructing us. And when we have entered into a learning
session with the Holy Spirit as our guide, but we tenaciously hold on
to what we believe before the Lord instructs us, we will never be
taught that which we are to know. Instead, because we have had the Holy
Spirit as an Instructor, even though we have never listened to Him, we
will become that much more convinced that we are the one and only
holder of Truth."
certain verses of Scripture which cause confusion when it comes to
understanding eschatology (the study of End Time and the prophesy
thereof) and the sequence of events leading up to the end of the world.
While many verses seem to point in one direction, such as an immediate
fulfilment of prophesy, other verses lend themselves to an extended
period of time with all events to be fulfilled in the future.
this study is not to debate one point of view over another. That I will
do at a later date. Such a study will require many long and tedious
days, if not months to complete. In my opinion such a study rests far
down the list of what I consider important. If all events are past, or
if they are going on at this present time, or if they are to come means
little to any of us except those who enjoy an argument, or who have a
special affinity for such things. What is important in my
mind. is that whatever view one takes, they make every effort to stand
prepared to meet the Lord, their lamps full and at the ready, when He
arrives for His bride.
the lack of consequence derived from eschatology, there are certain
things that have been brought to my attention that cause me to think,
and to wonder. One such thing is the use of the term: "these things
come to pass." If the endtimes events are to take place in the future,
then John and Paul have a very strange concept of "Shortly," since
almost 2,000 years have passed since they made their statement.
"Shortly" has been used three times in the Old Testament and twelve
times in the New Testament. Eight of those times different words were
used to express an immediate event, the which could be interpreted in
no other way but that of in the very near future.
four Scriptures are unlike those mentioned above, and they have more of
an application to the endtimes.
to express "shortly" is a compound of two words, and in this they
differ from the other uses of the word where a single word was utilized.
Greek words used in the four Scriptures in question:
en A primary preposition
denoting (fixed) position
(in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality
(medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest
(intermediate between G1519 and G1537); "in", at,
(up-) on, by,
etc.: - about, after, against, + almost, X altogether, among, X as, at,
before, between, (here-) by (+ all means), for (. . . sake of), + give
self wholly to, (here-) in (-to, -wardly), X mightily, (because) of,
(up-) on, [open-] ly, X outwardly, one, X quickly, X shortly, [speedi-]
ly, X that, X there (-in, -on), through (-out), (un-) to(-ward), under,
when, where (-with), while, with (-in). Often used in compounds, with
substantially the same import; rarely with verbs of motion, and then
not to indicate direction, except (elliptically) by a separate (and
From the same as G5036; a brief
space (of time), that is, (with G1722 prefixed) in haste:
- + quickly, + shortly, + speedily.
definition we have a preposition that tends to reinforce that which is
being expressed in the word we are interested in, which is the word
analysis of the use of the word "shortly," it would indeed appear
inescapable that what a writer using this word means is "in the very
have looked at the word out of its context, let us see how it looks as
used in Scripture.
Festus answered, that Paul should be kept at Caesarea, and that he
himself would depart shortly thither.
we have to deliberate as to whether Festus meant a few days, or if he
was talking about a couple thousand years.
I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences
contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18For
they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own
belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the
your obedience is come abroad unto all men.
I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto
that which is good, and simple concerning evil. 20And
the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be
with you. Amen.
begin to get a little sticky. Just what does Paul mean when he says
Satan will be bruised under their feet shortly? Little inserted words
or statements like this are why a study of simple things take on great
complexity. To understand Paul's statement, we must know what he meant
by Satan being bruised.
we see a reference of a head being bruised is in the Garden of Eden:
the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art
cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy
belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15And
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.
we have a
situation where there are two bruises spoken of. The second of the
bruises is on the seed of man's heel.
doctrines this is referring to Satan causing the crucifixion of Jesus,
who is taken to be "The Seed" referenced here. This certainly would
seem reasonable if it weren't that the serpent is to crawl on its
belly, and that it is a "beast of the field." Of course the Bible uses
a lot of similes and metaphors, so it is not impossible that this
interpretation is correct. Whatever may be the case, I don't care to
deliberated the topic here.
bruising is that of the serpent's head. Is this also a prophetic
statement referring to the cross? Did Jesus bruise (defeat as is stated
by some) Satan when He died on the cross? If this is so, then all is
fulfilled and there is nothing to look forward to. As it applies to us
of the 21 Century there is nothing we can do but look back at fulfilled
into a problem. Paul said: "20And
the God of peace shall bruise Satan under
your feet shortly."
were spoken long after Jesus died and ascended up to Heaven. And
besides, Satan will not be under Jesus'
feet here, but the believer's
bruised under the believer's feet? If it is an event that took place in
past history, I missed it. And if it is an event that is to take place
in the future:
that adds an entirely new perspective to the word "shortly," does it
another reference to bruising that may apply to our study. Isaiah said:
he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem
him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5But
wounded for our transgressions, he
bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was
upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.. . . . .10Yet
it pleased the LORD
to bruise him; he hath put him
to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall
seed, he shall prolong his
days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11He
shall see of the travail of his soul, and
shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify
many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12Therefore
will I divide him a portion
with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because
he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the
transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for
there is any question as to whom Isaiah is referring here. And I
believe we will all agree that it is an event that has taken place in
the past. Certainly the rewards spoken of here are future, but the
bruising has seen its completion.
this little detour of several thousand years, adding yet more confusion
to this study, we return to "Shortly."
us with a puzzle that as far as I can see has not been pieced together
as yet. When has, or when will
Satan be bruised by the believers?
reference to Shortly is found in Revelation. I find it interesting that
we have jumped from the beginning of the Church to what is considered
by many to be the very end of the Church age in order to learn what
"Shortly" means. And while we make this jump, we find we must leave the
answer to what Paul was referencing far behind.
Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his
servants things which must shortly
come to pass; and he sent
and signified it
by his angel unto his servant John:
by John is probably one of, if not the
most controversial verse in the Bible as far as the timing of
eschatology is concerned. We have already seen that as far as Greek
grammar is concerned, there is little doubt but that a short time is
being spoken of by John. However, we also know (those of you who have
been following my studies at all) that God the Father and Jesus hid
much of the Truth of the Word in parables and double entendres
(multiple meaning words and phrases). This has been done so the blind
may remain blind, and those who seek God's Truth through the Holy
Spirit may do so. Because of this, what may appear a certainty as it is
viewed, may well be a false avenue meant to be taken by the blind.
important that one have no preconceived notions when studying God's
Word. One concept held as a surety will become a stumbling block to
further progress in one's quest for Truth.
doubt that "Shortly" means "shortly." In other words, what John is
going to tell us about is something in the near future.
is it that John is saying will happen shortly? Of course we assume that
of what John is going to tell us will happen very soon after he has
seen the vision.
know that everything
can't be meant by "shortly" because there are obviously some
things John wrote about that couldn't possibly have happened in the
past. For instance: have we had hail stones the size of small
automobiles yet? Has the ocean turned to wormwood, or the lakes to
blood? Has the Babylonian church, whatever that might be, fallen yet?
And although some believe the Millennium under the complete peaceful
rule of Jesus has begun, I think it is safe to say that if this
is the Millennium, then Jesus died in vain.
can also be
quite certain that Eternity under the New Heaven and the New Earth with
God Himself being the light thereof, and the Tree of Life at our
disposal has not occurred as yet.
we know some
parts of John's prophesy has not been fulfilled; and by this we know
"shortly" does not refer to all of Revelation, then what does
shortly refer to?
just a little farther, just to the next word, shall we?
in the English language incorporates three words. And as we read these
words, we gain the impression that something is finished. But is that
necessarily so? Let's take a look at the original Greek:
TO PASS: G1096 ginomai A
prolonged and middle
form of a primary verb; to cause to
("gen" -erate), that is, (reflexively) to become
(come into being),
used with great latitude (literally, figuratively, intensively, etc.):
- arise be assembled, be (come, -fall, -have self), be brought (to
pass), (be) come (to pass), continue, be divided, be done, draw, be
ended, fall, be finished, follow, be found, be fulfilled, + God forbid,
grow, happen, have, be kept, be made, be married, be ordained to be,
partake, pass, be performed, be published, require, seem, be showed, X
soon as it was, sound, be taken, be turned, use, wax, will, would, be
find it very
interesting that controversial passages tend to be based on the
slimmest of premises. This is especially so in this instance since I
just recently finished a study on a subject of grand magnitude based on
the very same concept. The study I am referring to is: Lucifer,
the Making of a Doctrine.
of the doctrine of Satan having once been a beautiful angel fallen from
Heaven long before Adam and Eve were ever created, a single tilt of a
diaphone is used to create a vast cosmos wherein the mutation of slime
could evolve into the Son of God. The tactic used to perform this
miracle of deception was to distort the verb "to be" from meaning "was"
to mean "became."
the very same word standing as an obstacle, but without the intent of
fraud as in the Lucifer deception. Rather than an intentional twist of
Scripture, a word with various possible meanings stands as a junction
in the road that leads one toward several differing possibilities.
translation of the Bible presents us with the attitude that what is
expresses is behind us. That is, to say something has "come to pass"
intimates that it has passed. However in reality the word used is a
broad spectrum word that merely states that something "is" without
giving a definite state of the occurrence. If you look closely at the
definition you will see that the first expression of the word given is:
(come into being).
I was to
tell you that something "came into being," would you assume I meant it
was no more, or that it had just begun and that there was still yet to
evidence that the word "shortly" here means "shortly to begin," we have
yet another time the very same phrase is used, albeit translated
Revelation 22:6 1And
he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal,
proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2In
the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was
there the tree of life, which
bare twelve manner of
yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were
for the healing of the nations. 3And
there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb
shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4And
they shall see his face; and his name shall
be in their foreheads. 5And
there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light
of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign
for ever and ever.
he said unto me, These sayings are
faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel
to show unto his servants the things which
must shortly be done. 7Behold,
I come quickly:
DONE: (G1096 - Same as "shortly come to pass")
have what appears to be an angel, or Jesus, or John (in my mind,
although the words are not in red, it could be any of these speaking)
saying that what is spoken will shortly be done. In this case, unlike
at the beginning of Revelation, what has just been spoken of could not
have been accomplished in 70 AD or at any other period of history.
presented here, as I said in the beginning, is not intended to prove
one point of view or another. As with all my studies, my intent is to
provide anyone interested in learning the Truth more information than
what they will find in the box of denominationalism. If, after
digesting what I have presented here, and having researched for
yourself the subject in effort to prove the fallacies of my thinking,
you believe as you did in the beginning, all the better. At least you
will better understand why
you choose to believe as you do rather than merely absorbing what you
have been told like an un-evolved sponge.
all the studies I undertake, this one has opened a door to another
subject I wish to pursue.
Satan being put under the feet of the believers "shortly." Although I
have concluded my study on shortly,
I am still in question as to the meaning of feet. As it seems to me
Satan is to be under the feet of the Christ rather than those of the
believers. Could Paul be wrong?
Cor 15: 23But
every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that
are Christ's at his coming. 24Then cometh
the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the
Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and
he must reign, till he
hath put all enemies under his feet. 26The
last enemy that
shall be destroyed is
he hath put all things under his feet.
But when he saith all things are put under him,
it is manifest that he is
excepted, which did put all things under him. 28And
when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also
himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may
be all in all.
it is, as
I thought. It is Jesus
who has everything under His feet. This being so, what was Paul talking
the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according
to the working of his mighty power, 20Which
he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him
at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21Far
above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every
name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is
to come: 22And
hath put all things
under his feet, and gave
him to be
the head over all things
to the church, 23Which
is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
this interesting. Jesus is the Head of the Church, is He not? A head
does not have feet. A body
has feet. In 1Corinthians 12 we have this:
if they were all one member, where were
the body? 20But
now are they
many members, yet but one body. 21And
the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the
head to the feet, I have no need of you.
the feet. And what is it feet do? Well, what does the ear
do: it hears. What does the eye
do: it sees. But what do the feet
do? Don't they stand? Stand on what? What was it the Paul said the
believers would be standing on shortly?
unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come,
whereof we speak. 6But
one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art
mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? 7Thou
madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with
glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: 8Thou
hast put all things in subjection under his feet.
For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that
is not put under him. But now
we see not yet all things put under him. 9But
we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the
suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace
of God should taste death for every man. (See Psalm 8:6)
fulfilled His part. The Head has overcome. What about the feet?
whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14How
then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how
shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall
they hear without a preacher? 15And
how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How
beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and
bring glad tidings of good things! (Isaiah 52:7:
suppose Paul or the writer(s) he was quoting were talking about someone
having beautiful feet. My suspicion is he was referring to the people
the feet of the body who were spreading the Good News. (Beautiful: the
Greek means "timely, of the right hour or season.")
Feet walk and preach the Gospel. Feet Subdue. Feet are shod with the
Gospel of the preparation of peace (Eph 6:15).
washed. Feet are cleansed in blood of the Lamb. (John chapter 13:
clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of
the LORD most high is
terrible; he is
a great King over all the earth.
shall subdue the people under
us, and the nations under
feet! I thought Jesus was going to have everything under His
something here? Is there something you
see that I don't?
not trying to prove a point. This page is far too small to take on such
an endeavor. I'm just pointing out some things someone might have
missed. Food for thought, as they say.
more little tidbit I would like to leave you with, kind of an appetizer
you might say. It's just a little something you might consider when
reading any passage that has to do with time or eschatology.
this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking
after their own lusts, 4And
saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell
asleep, all things continue as they
were from the beginning of the
this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the
heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the
the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7But
the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in
store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of
beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is
with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness;
but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish,
but that all should come to repentance. 10But
the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the
heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt
with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall
be burned up.
all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of
persons ought ye to be in all
holy conversation and godliness, 12Looking
for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens
being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with
fervent heat? 13Nevertheless
we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth,
wherein dwelleth righteousness. 14Wherefore,
beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may
be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 15And
the longsuffering of our Lord is
salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the
wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16As
also in all his
epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things
hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable
wrest, as they do
also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. 17Ye
therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these
things before, beware lest ye
also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own
grow in grace, and in
the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be
glory both now and for ever. Amen.
Does it sound as if I believe that anyone who commits sin after they
become a Christian is doomed to hell? As Paul would say: "God forbid!"
If I was to preach such a message as that I would have to lead the
fallen into the pit. I find myself returning to my own vomit more times
than I wish to even consider. And I have had (and I'm sure will
in the future) to catch myself on the backslide many times.
I hate to admit it. And I
hate even more to
believe it is so of me. But what I fear most is that on those occasions
I find myself heading back to my own flesh that God will give up on me
and just let me become reprobate.
No, I don't think sin is what makes for a sinner. "All have sinned and
come short of the Glory of God." And, I suppose, all of us still do
sin. What I believe is important is that we recognize that even the
slightest sin (as we would see slight) is an abomination to the Lord.
And if He has entrusted us with His Holy Spirit, and if He is
supposedly guiding us into Truth and Salvation: then how can we
continue sinning without feeling sick with ourselves and in tears
asking for forgiveness and freedom from our own wretched selves?
If we, as is taught by so many, can feel ok about ourselves when we are
less than struggling with our own humanity, then I believe we need to
take a very serious look at our Salvation, and the doctrines we are
listening to and choosing to follow.
Sin is not the question. The sinner without
asking the question is what in question.
BLINDED BY THE LIGHT
"I've been looking over your website, and I gotta' tell you: I think
you done gone over the deep end. Your theology is way off base, none of
what you say makes any sense to me, and there's nobody I know of who
agrees with you at all!
I don't mean to be cruel or
anything, but I
think you're groping in the dark, grasping at straws. In other words, I
think you're a fool working on nothing but blind faith."
"Thank you. I'm glad you
NEGATIVES AND POSITIVES
There are places in the Bible where Jesus was asked a question, or a
statement was made regarding Him to which he gave no reply or
contradiction. Preachers will often make an assumption by Jesus'
silence that He is affirming the statement.
My father when he was younger tended to be very dogmatic in his
beliefs, and he was very outspoken when his beliefs were contradicted.
I, my family, and anyone else who knew him learned to not disagree with
I had not seen my father for
during his "maturing" stage. When I next saw him I was very surprised
to see that he had made certain changes. One of those changes that I
had a hard time adapting to was his ability toward silence. When a
situation arose where I or someone else contradicted my father, instead
of arguing, he would just remain silent, not even offering a gesture or
a hint of disapproval.
On these occasions, even
though I was
certain my father was very much in the wrong, I would carry with me for
some time a lingering suspicion that he knew more than he was
revealing, and this unspoken knowledge was further evidence that he
knew what he was talking about.
In other words, what my
father had not
said seemed to carry more weight than what he had
Preachers and commentators like to grab on to every sliver of possible
evidence that what they are teaching is fact. An excellent example of
this process in action I have portrayed in Lucifer:
the Making of a Doctrine.
The Bible is designed to
those who try to understand it with the carnal mind. Peter called this
type of behavior: "Willingly ignorant."
There are so many places in the Bible where we can be led astray. There
are a multitude of dead-end roads that can be, and that are taken by
anyone foolish enough to continue on them. The multitude of
denominations testify to this fact. But while we leave Spiritual
understanding of the Word, along with our good sense as well, at the
starting gate of knowledge: let us not be so foolish as to assume the
silence of God for agreement with our desires.
DUMBING DOWN CHRISTIANITY
It appears that Christians are becoming dumber and dumber with each
generation. If it was just my own observation that indicates such to be
the case, I would hold such a statement in high suspect.
I wish I had the statistics here so I could print them, but I don't.
However, I believe most of you readers will know full well what I am
talking about having heard or read the statistics elsewhere.
For thousands of years people have read religious books. In fact many
religions read their books religiously. For instance, what are the
chances of meeting a Buddhist who is not familiar with the Sutras, or a
Hindu who has not read many times the Bhagavad Gita?
Yet, to meet a Christian who has read the Bible, that is who has taken
more than a periphery skim of select texts, is rare indeed. In fact
there are a great many churches who discourage the reading and the
carrying of the Bible, preferring instead to make use of bulletins,
cheat sheets and projected images to read from during service.
Then, to comply with the
implied dictum of
the Word that seems to indicate it is unChristianlike to not have a
Bible, books that are hardly more than elementary school readers that
soften the meanings of God's word are produced.
There was a time when it was not only unChristian to not read the Bible
regularly, but un American as well. Even the beaver pelt hunters who
spent their lives in the wilderness of the mountains were likely to at
least know the Word. Those who traversed this land in search of a new
life, should hard time befall them and everything must be dumped along
the roadside, they would treasure their Bible above all their meager
Belief in God has become a cliche, a byword without meaning. The
churches are expected
to preach a little Gospel, so some still do. But the bulk of the church
meetings are about social interaction and community events, with
perhaps a talent show and a dab of human psychology thrown in for good
The chances of finding a Christian who knows more about Christ or
Christianity than that they are supposed to attend Sunday School once
per week and pay tithes (whether they do
even these or not) to remain in good standing with God is very slim.
Christianity has become a farce when applied to denominational
churches. For the most part, the only place to find anything near true
Christianity is in the outcast "cults" who, although their doctrine is
often far off kilter, are behaving as God expects them to behave, and
are much more likely to be familiar with their books of guidance and
with the Bible than the traditional churches.
Am I talking about you? If not, good for you. If you feel offended, do
something about it, get in there and do what your conscience is nagging
at you to do and prove me wrong.
An addendum: I found some statistics. At the end of this study I have
copied statistics regarding Christians and the use of the Bible for
those of you interested in such things. As for me, I am not.
FRIENDS & ENEMIES
I saw a website with this logo: "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."
Is this a reasonable
statement? At first
glance it would seem to make sense, but after a moment of thought....
when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for
the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth
thine hand. And he stretched it
out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. 6And
the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the
Herodians against him, how they might destroy him. (Mark 3:)
Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him,
and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate. 12And
the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before
they were at enmity between themselves. (Luke 23:)
ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship
hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light
with darkness? 15And
what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that
believeth with an infidel? 16And
what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple
of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them;
and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17Wherefore
come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch
not the unclean thing;
and I will receive you, 18And
will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith
the Lord Almighty. (2Cor 6:)
to be carnally minded is
death; but to be spiritually minded is
life and peace. 7Because
the carnal mind is
enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither
indeed can be. 8So
then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9But
ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of
God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is
none of his. (Rom 8:)
ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it
upon your lusts. 4Ye
adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the
world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the
world is the enemy of God. (James 4:)
"Enemies forced by circumstances to work together; members of an
unlikely alliance, often attacked as an 'unholy alliance. True it is,
'that politics makes strange bedfellows.' Charles
IS THE LAW ABOLISHED?
this shall be
the covenant that I will
make with the house of Israel;
After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward
parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they
shall be my people. 34And
they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his
brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the
least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will
forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. (Jer 33:)
as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are
not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7Neither,
because they are the seed of Abraham, are
they all children: but, In
Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8That
is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are
not the children of God:
but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
is therefore now no
condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the
flesh, but after the Spirit. 2For
the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from
the law of sin and death. 3For
what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God
sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin,
condemned sin in the flesh: 4That
the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us,
who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5For
they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they
that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6For
to be carnally minded is
death; but to be spiritually minded is
life and peace. 7Because
the carnal mind is
enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither
indeed can be. 8So
then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9But
ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit,
if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.
Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (Rom
are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: 3Forasmuch
as ye are manifestly declared
to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but
with the Spirit of the living God; not
in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it
is written of me,
delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy
within my heart. (Psalm 40:)
the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those
days, saith the Lord; I
will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and
I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: ((Heb 8:)
the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in
the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
the great commandment in the law? 37Jesus
said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and
with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This
is the first and great commandment. 39And
the second is
like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40On
these two commandments hang all the law
and the prophets. (Mat 22:)
beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present
your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which
is your reasonable service. 2And
be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing
of your mind, that ye may prove what is
that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Rom 12:)
the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they
are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them,
because they are spiritually discerned. 15But
he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no
who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But
we have the mind of Christ.
WE TEACH WHAT WE KNOW
answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest
not these things? 11Verily,
verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we
have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 12If
I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye
believe, if I tell you of
heavenly things? (John 3:)
answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words:
and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our
abode with him. 24He
that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings:
and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
things have I spoken unto you, being yet
present with you. 26But
the Comforter, which is
the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach
you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I
have said unto you. 27Peace
I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth,
give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be
have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again
unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto
the Father: for my Father is greater than I. 29And
now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to
pass, ye might believe. 30Hereafter
I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and
hath nothing in me. 31But
that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave
me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence. (John 14:)
he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not
planted, shall be rooted up. 14Let
them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead
the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. (Mat 13:)
There are a lot of Spiritually blind leaders out there preaching and
teaching what they call: "The Word."
A new Christian is like a
blind having no discernment. We trust our leaders to guide us into the
If we, the Spiritually blind
ourselves to a Spiritually blind guide, we will find ourselves in the
ditch along with our guide.
every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom
of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many
will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy
name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many
wonderful works? 23And
then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye
that work iniquity. 24Therefore
whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken
him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25And
the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat
upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26And
every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and
doeth them not, shall be
likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27And
the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat
upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. (Mat 7:)
IS THEY FAITH
Jesus healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and even raised the
dead. Of these He did not say: "Great is thy faith." Yet, what faith
must a leper or a blind man have to be healed? Except for Naaman, no
leper had ever been healed. What faith it must have taken to be a leper
and have faith that they might be healed.
At no time in recorded
history had a blind
man ever been given sight. This was an impossibility. Yet blind men had
faith that they could be healed by Jesus. What faith that must have
Can you imagine what faith a
dead man must
have had to be brought back to life after being dead for four days?
Or how about the man
possessed with a legion
of devils, who asked not
to be delivered, how much faith must he
All these above were outcastes in the eyes of society. None of these
would have been allowed in the Temple, into the presence of God, even
if they were born of the priestly tribe of Levi because they were less
than perfect. They were of no stature, and they knew
they were "nothings" in the eyes of man and of God.
Then on the other end of the
have the priests, the scribes, the Pharisees who thought they were
special in the eyes of God, of man, and especially in their own eyes.
Jesus said of none of these: "Great is thy faith."
Yet Jesus did
say to some: "Great is thy faith." It might well behoove us to see who
these people were who had such great faith.
Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. 22And,
behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto
him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou
Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 23But
he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him,
saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. 24But
he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the
house of Israel. 25Then
came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. 26But
he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and
to cast it
to dogs. 27And
she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from
their masters' table. 28Then
Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is
thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made
whole from that very hour. (Mat 15:)
when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion,
beseeching him, 6And
saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously
Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. 8The
centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest
come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be
I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this
Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my
servant, Do this, and he doeth it. 10When
Jesus heard it,
he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I
have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 11And
I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall
sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. 12But
the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness:
there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 13And
Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so
be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
(Mat 8: also Luke 7:1-10)
We find that one of those commended for her faith is someone who
acknowledged that she was a "dog" in the eyes of society, and was after
no more than "crumbs" for her daughter. This was a Samaritan woman. She
would not be allowed to be in the temple, nor would she be accepted by
any Jew regardless of how perfect a person she might be. She had no
reason to accept Jesus' accusation that she was a lowly dog. Yet she
did. And by so accepting such an accusation, she was given praise from
On another occasion of praise we find just the opposite to be true.
This man is not a Samaritan, nor a Jew, but a Roman leader. This man,
contrary to what we would suspect of any Roman, had gained much respect
from the Jews. This man, essentially, had it all.
Yet, this man of means and
power said of
himself: "I am not worthy that you should come under my roof."
We hear from the pulpit, and
we read for
ourself, that what this man was commended for was his faith that his
servant could be healed. What faith should that
take considering that he had heard of Jesus' fame as a healer of
everybody who came to Him, without a failure. We might consider this
Roman's faith was in that, like the Samaritan woman, his being a non
Jew, Jesus would even bother with him at all. But I don't think so.
Jesus had a ministry of preaching good things for the humble of heart.
He tore down those who praised themselves, and He lifted up and healed
those who considered themselves as low. The Beatitudes are an excellent
example of this.
Here we have a unique
situation where a
person of high position is humbling himself. This is unheard of. And to
this humbling of oneself we hear Jesus say: "I have not found so great
faith, no not in Israel."
I believe that the faith Jesus is looking for is not the faith to be
healed. I believe the largest part of "Faith" is our ability to humble
ourself at the feet of Jesus and do with us as He will.
Jesus called them unto him,
and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion
over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 26But
it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you,
let him be your minister; 27And
whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28Even
as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and
to give his life a ransom for many. (Mat 20:)
the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the
greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 2And
Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as
little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4Whosoever
therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is
greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Mat 18:)
likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are
commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that
which was our duty to do. (Luke 17:)
the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but
few chosen. (Mat 20:)
Apparently the scientists are now capable of cloning animals. And, of
course, we humans are animals. I find it amazing that science can't
cure the common cold, or often tell the difference between a tummy ache
and a heart attack, yet they can discover thousands of miles of DNA in
each of us and reproduce us without the aid of God.
It causes me to wonder: Who
is behind all
this do you think?
We like to imagine that Man is valuable, especially in God's eyes. If
Man is valuable in God's eyes, then we,
being Man, are valuable in God's eyes. And if we, as an individual are
valuable in God's eyes, He will do all He can for us, and He will
certainly not send us to a fiery pit.
Let's consider: We are in God's image. How valuable are we in one
another's eyes? I don't mean our friends and our family, nor even the
attractive man or woman on the boob tube. I mean, how valuable is that
panhandler on the corner who bugs you every day for a handout? Or how
valuable is that no-account brother-in-law who is always laying around
your place, making a mess and expecting you to feed him as if he were
your own son? Or how about that grubby little kid who eats out of
garbage cans, spends half his time in jail, and the other half trying
to pick your pocket. Or consider the mass-murderer who ate his young
victims while they were yet alive?
Are any of those listed
above below the
level you would consider "valuable"? Have I named any you would place
on the "expendable" list?
Consider Hitler. How do you think he, should he ever gain a position of
authority (we all know such a person as him could never influence a
civilized people, don't we?) How do you think he
would value those he considered beneath him? Or closer to home, how
about the Indian hunters of the 1700's, or the slave owners of the even
more recent past? How do you think they
would catagorize the human race.
Already we have counted
those unborn as
unworthy of life. If we chose to kill them, even though they have been
born (when will the age rise to puberty?), we may do so without a fear
in the world of reprisal. We can murder more than Hitler ever
considered (and we have done already) and have no officials breathing
down our neck telling us we did a naughty thing by taking the most
innocent of life. And who pays for these murders? Why, you and me, the
tax payers. In other words, regardless of how you say
you feel about the value of human life, you call yourself a hypocrite
by the fact that you support
the killings and do not oppose them.
"I didn't kill any Jews. I
would never do that!
I'm a Christian
after all. All I did is give Hitler the money, that's all."
We now, in spite of what we
say, no longer
value human life. After all, there's so much
of it running around with nothing to do but get into trouble and use up
government resources. Euthanasia, abortion, declining Medicare
benefits, high cost of medical treatment and drugs: these are what
separate us, the "Civilized" nations from those of the third world
where such niceties as abortion on demand are unapproved of, and even
From the top of the age
list, the end of the
ailing list, and the bottom of the youth list we arbitrarily count them
useless and cancel their life.
We, by making choices we
would never allow
God to make, decide who and who will not live.
do this in order to abate the overpopulation problem the "uncivilized"
nations are experiencing.
The population must be controlled.
Then, why clone? Why produce people ( that must be fed and otherwise
cared for) through other means than through the God-given birth process?
Who would benefit? You? Me?
Imagine if Hitler had an
army of people
without birth certificates: Without human rights: What do you suppose
he could do with them? Wouldn't you say he could do anything with them
he wanted to?
Imagine if you were able to
should you have the wealth needed to do so. And lets say you had a need
of a heart, or a liver: where do you suppose you might obtain such
vital parts? And what could you do about it if someone chose to "abort"
their own clone?
Consider, a clone is just as
much human as
that person who cloned them. What do you suppose it must be like for
the clone to learn that their heart was to be removed?
What if you
were that clone?
What if you were that
What would you say those
those aborted babies are going to say at the Judgement Throne when it
comes time for them to testify for or against those who aborted them?
In spite of what we say, we do not value life. We only value our
We are made in God's image.
We should be
able to understand God by understanding ourselves.
If we do not value life
unless it suits our
needs to do so. If that life we do
value is valued only because it has a value to us, then why should we
suppose God is any different?
And if God is not
different that us, then when it comes time for God to decide who will
live for eternity with Him, and who will spend eternity separated from
Him, who do you suppose He will choose: those who chose to listen to
and to serve Him, or those who chose to have God serve them?
MATURING INTO CHILDHOOD
Have you ever seen a 70ish woman, overweight and flabby skin wearing a
bikini? How about a man of the same age and body structure with rings
through his lips, a pony tail to the back of his bald head and the
crotch of his trousers down around his knees?
What did you think of these
people? Did they
impress you with their display of maturity? Were you wowed by their
apparent wisdom? Would you feel comfortable turning your wallet or your
child over to them for safe keeping?
I thought not.
Yet this very thing we do
daily in our
When I was growing up shortly after the last World War when people were
thankful to be free and still be alive, it was common for older folk to
at least try and set an example of what a mature adult was to be like.
At that time immature behavior in an adult could however, on occasion,
be seen. Such behavior was usually frowned upon and apologized for,
unless that immature display happened to be at a ball game, a wrestling
match, or a bull run. But on the norm we rather expected our senior
citizens to act their age, and for the younger generation to aim toward
that same goal.
When I, as a child, attended church I was not expected, nor was I
allowed to act like a child. In spite of the fact that I was yet a
young boy, I was expected to act, not my age, but as an adult I would
Before my day, and for thousands of years before, in just about every
culture, children were taught to become adults. It was not expected
that adults would be taught and encouraged to act like children.
Our media has changed this considerably.
In the beginning the media
aimed at the
adult (one reason for this being so, is that adults were the ones with
the money) and toward the higher end of human behavior.
Then came the age of
self-centered youth. Instead of focusing on training children to be
adults so that they could fit properly into society, society turned its
focus on those who refused to grow up, and who demanded their right to
be respected in their Peter Pan state, the perpetual child.
In the beginning this childish behavior took on an air of quiet
innocence, called the "Beatnik" age. But nothing begun remains as
begun, but it either dies, or it moves in the direction it is facing.
Since the eyes of the
nation, and the media,
were no longer on the mature, but on the child; the mature began to
cater to, and to become as the child.
This attitude is easily seen
on the screen,
on the news, and in the music we hear.
And it is seen in the
was a child in
church, I was expected
to act the part of an adult until I became an adult. Adults wore a suit
and tie to church. And even though my good shoes had holes in the
soles, the soles of which were tearing away at the seams, I wore a suit
and tie to church.
suits, and girls wore their loveliest dress, full at the hem, and at
least to the knees.
was listening to a sermon on the radio recorded from a popular church
of considerable size. The sermon was about this very same subject, what
now constitutes the church.
to the great glee of the young audience, stated that it is now the day
of the youth, and the church should be directed toward bringing in
these youth. If the older parishioners didn't like it, they could
either lump it, or they could go elsewhere.
I thought. Take the maturity out of the church, and the mature who
wanted to remain mature must go elsewhere to do so.
the mature is no longer in the church, or setting the example, how will
the immature learn to become mature? And if immaturity is the aim of
the church, what possible motive would the child have to become mature?
wonder, what Jesus died for? Is this what the Apostles dedicated their
life for? Is catering to the babies in the church the higher goal of
catering to the youth is that it is important to bring in the youth to
the church. And as it stands, this is true. But, why stop with just the
rock and roll generation? I mean, if a church who claims to be unbiased
and anti-prejudiced is going to bring in the offscouring of society,
why not also aim toward the dead-heads, the gangsta's the druggies, the
sexual perverts...(ooops, they already are,
aren't they). I mean, let's not stop with a live band that is striving
to become the next top ten of the World scene, let's add some rap, a
few bloody skulls, and other such paraphernalia that will attract the
typical youth from off the street.
what? There are churches doing just that. There are churches that, if
you don't listen to the words being sung, you would swear you were in
some ghetto dive or a Rock concert.
not taking over the World as it claims to be doing. The World has taken
over the church.
disciples to go into the World and spread the Gospel. To the churches
this means to bring people into a building, take a bath, say a few
words, and maybe sign a piece of paper.
justifies the means.
must be like the World to entice the World into the church, then so be
as though I think conforming to the World is going to mean hell for
those who do so? I don't mean to sound as if that is what I mean at
all. No, I see the behavior of the churches as a symptom,
not a problem. I think the problem lies far deeper than that which
at all what the church does. It can be just as vile as it wants to, or
it can behave perfectly as laid out in the Word. It is not in what is done,
but rather in Who does
what is done.
Church, the body of Christ, is not interested in filling up a building
or an enrolment sheet. The true body of Christ is interested in filling
up with the Holy Spirit while dumping their own fleshly lusts and
desires. The True Church is working to form an Army of dedicated
soldiers ready and willing to sacrifice their life, if need be, in
service of their Leader, and for one another.
can never be established by a group playing church and catering to the
lowest and youngest of its membership.
who are responsible for the condition of the membership of the church
you lead: if Jesus was to return during one of your services, and if He
was to walk in your door: would He be pleased with what He sees? Would
Jesus commend you for doing well with the talents he gave you
(authority over His Church); or would He cast you out as an unworthy
study with an example of how God has written His Word in such a way
that a person can read out of it what he or she wants from it. If
Godliness and Truth are what a person wants, they can read one version
of what Jesus has said and ignore the others that help clarify God's
meaning. God has written His Book so that we can direct everything to
our own wants if we so please; or we can direct our desires to pleasing
the Lord, which is what God has sought in His creation since Adam and
another set of Scriptures that are very popular in this day and age as
we grow ever closer to the end of time. And with the prevalence of
books and movies concerning the Rapture growing day by day, Scriptures
concerning that event also become more popular.
Scripture I am sure you have heard and read many times:
learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and
putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is
likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even
at the doors. 34Verily
I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things
be fulfilled. 35Heaven
and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. 36But
of that day and hour knoweth no man,
no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37But
as the days of Noe were,
so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38For
as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and
drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe
entered into the ark, 39And
knew not until the flood came, and
took them all away; so
shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 40Then
shall two be in the field; the one
shall be taken, and the other left. (Mat
everyone who reads this, especially after reading the book or seeing
the movie by the same name wants to be taken. But what basis do we have
that the ones "taken" are going to be rewarded in the clouds, and that
the ones left will have to suffer the tribulation? Couldn't it just as
easily be the other way around?
if you were a Jew standing along the railroad tracks as your friends
and neighbors were being herded on to a train bound for Auschwitz,
would you wish to be taken? Or would you rather be "left behind"?
doctrine from our preacher. Whatever our preacher tells us is so, that
we believe. This is why our preachers are going to stand before the
Lord carrying a much greater burden seeing as how they have taken it
upon themselves to interpret the Words of God to His sheep, and if they
have done so, lead the sheep astray.
study let us forget what the books, the movies and our preacher says
and turn for once to the Word of God for our doctrine.
us that in the days of Noah we will find understanding as to what will
happen in the end of days. This being so, let us look back 4,000 years
at those days:
all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle,
and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth,
and every man: 22All
in whose nostrils was
the breath of life, of all that was
in the dry land,
every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the
ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of
the heaven; and they were destroyed
from the earth: and Noah only remained alive,
and they that were
with him in the ark. 24And
the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days. (Genesis
account there doesn't seem to be any information given one way or the
other to clarify taken or left, unless we consider that Noah and his
family "remained" (left behind) and that all living things were
"Destroyed." As it stands, such is mighty slim reasoning to base a
doctrine that counters so popular a one as the Rapture. But then again,
isn't stretching fact past the breaking point what church doctrine is
and Paul has given us other references to the days of Noah that might
give us a clue into the true meaning of "Taken," these, as far as I can
see do not clarify or lend support as to whether being taken or being
left is what we might desire.
fortunate for us, Luke has not left this topic unmentioned. As I have
said elsewhere, we often have at least two versions whereby we may pick
and choose what we wish to believe. Let us take a look at Luke's
account and see whether we should like to be taken or to be left on the
docks of the railway station:
they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them,
nor follow them. 24For
as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part
under heaven, shineth unto the other part
under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. 25But
first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation. 26And
as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the
Son of man. 27They
did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage,
until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and
the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28Likewise
also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they
bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29But
the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone
from heaven, and
thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. 31In
that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the
house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the
field, let him likewise not return back. 32Remember
Lot's wife. 33Whosoever
shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his
life shall preserve it. 34I
tell you, in that night there shall be two men
in one bed; the one shall
be taken, and the other shall be left. 35Two
shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
shall be in the field; the
one shall be taken, and the other left. 37And
they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them,
Wheresoever the body is,
thither will the eagles be gathered together. (Luke 17:)
the floods came and "took them all away." The "Taken" people have taken
this to mean that Noah and his family were the ones taken away above
the destruction below. It appears to me that Luke sees it just the
opposite. And what was it that the Bible tells us about "destroyed" and
"remained" in Genesis 7?
Rapture and Noah, there are other Scriptures where the use of the word
"Taken" has been utilized. Here is one that, I believe, makes itself
quite clear what is meant by "taken," at least clear as it is being
referenced in this context:
we are all as an unclean thing,
and all our righteousnesses are
as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like
the wind, have taken us away. (Isaiah 64:)
makes it clear that "taken" is for the bad, wouldn't you say? Do you
have any doubt now as to whether you want to be taken or not?
said. God likes to throw a monkey (Darwin?) wrench into the works:
righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it
to heart: and merciful men are
taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the
evil to come. 2He
shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each
one walking in
his uprightness. (Isaiah 57:)
it is the righteous
who are taken away and rewarded. I wonder why I haven't heard this
verse quoted by the "Takers."
to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious
a fading flower, which are
on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine! . .
. . . 7But
they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of
the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink,
they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong
drink; they err in vision, they stumble in
all tables are full of vomit and
filthiness, so that there is
no place clean.
shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand
doctrine? them that are
weaned from the milk, and
drawn from the breasts. 10For
precept must be
upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line;
here a little, and
there a little: 11For
with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 12To
whom he said, This is
the rest wherewith
ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is
the refreshing: yet they would not hear. 13But
the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon
precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and
there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and
be broken, and snared, and taken.
hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which
in Jerusalem. 15Because
ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we
at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall
not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood
have we hid ourselves: 16Therefore
thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold,
I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious
a sure foundation: he that
believeth shall not make haste. 17Judgment
also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the
hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. 18And
your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with
hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through,
then ye shall be trodden down by it. 19From
the time that it goeth forth
it shall take you: for
morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it
shall be a vexation only to
understand the report. 20For
the bed is shorter than that a
man can stretch himself on
it: and the covering narrower
than that he can wrap himself in
the LORD shall rise up as in
mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in
the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and
bring to pass his act, his strange act. 22Now
therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have
heard from the Lord GOD of hosts a consumption, even
determined upon the whole earth.
said all this has been fulfilled in 70 AD. However, doesn't it say the
devastation will cover the whole earth? Has that happened yet?
far as I
can see I have not proven one way or another if "Taken" is what a
person should be preparing for. Nor, as I have said earlier, is that my
intent. What I want to do here is say that whichever may be true,
anyone counting on gaining rewards for their Couch Potato Christianity,
resting their confidence on a bath and a few words they have spoken had
best prepare to be disappointed at best, and to gnash their teeth (or
worse) at their Judgement.
if I (or
you) happen to be one who has appointed himself shepherd over the
Lord's flock, and I find I am teaching the Lord's sheep to graze in the
wrong field, I just might prepare myself to be "Taken."
G3880 paralambano par-al-am-ban'-o From G3844
and G2983; to receive near,
that is, associate with
oneself (in any familiar or intimate act or relation); by analogy to assume
an office; figuratively to learn:
- receive, take (unto, with).
G863 aphie mi af-ee'-ay-mee From
G575 and hie mi (to send;
an intensive form of eimi (to go));
to send forth,
in various applications: - cry, forgive, forsake, lay aside, leave, let
(alone, be, go, have), omit, put (send) away, remit, suffer, yield up.
scape goat at the Feast of the Tabernacles, and the sheep divided from
the goats at Judgement.]
the question of whether or not we want to be taken is at issue. Nor do
I believe the timing
of the "Rapture" is the relevant issue. Of course if there were to be
such a thing as a Pre-Trib "Rapture" that might be nice. Even with my
acrophobia sailing past the clouds might be a fun adventure.
if the "Rapture" takes place after
the tribulation, and I must live through it, then I needn't fear God's
judgement because I will either be worthy enough to stand under God's
protection, or I will die at the hands of ungodly sinners and win an
when, or how the "Rapture" will take place: it's what the rapture is
that is important. And since everyone
believes they already know what the rapture is, no one questions it.
And if you have read Lucifer,
the Making of a Doctrine, then
you know that I believe the more people there are who believe a
doctrine, the higher the probability that it is in error.
that is a
subject for another study.
with these final Words to us from Jesus:
I come quickly: (Rev 22:)
Neuter singular of G5036
(as adverb); shortly,
that is, without
or (by surprise) suddenly,
or (by implication of ease) readily:
- lightly, quickly.
16: 3:11; 11:14; 22:12, 20)
was made almost 2,000 years ago. I wonder what God's concept of time
is, and how it differs from ours?
are statistics concerning Christians and their use of the Bible
according to two sources:
Bible Ownership, Reading, Study and Knowledge in the United States
by Michael J. Vlach
Bible continues to be a revered book in the United States. In fact, no
other book comes close to having been read and re-read as much as the
"Good Book". Every year, millions of Bibles are printed in this
country. Researcher George Gallup points out that so many Bibles have
been printed in the United States "that even rough estimates of the
total number published to date do not exist." 1
How do Americans use the Bible and what do they know about it? Recent
research has produced important information about Bible ownership,
reading, study, and knowledge in the United States.
Most Americans own a Bible. In fact, 92% of households in America own
at least one copy. Of those households that own a Bible, the average
number of Bibles is three. This includes not only the homes of
practicing Christians but hundreds of thousands of atheists as well. 2
Although most Americans own a Bible, use of the Bible varies
significantly. In a poll taken by the Gallup Organization in October,
2000, 59% of Americans reported that they read the Bible at least
occasionally. This is down from 73% in the 1980s. The percentage of
Americans who read the Bible at least once a week is 37%. This is down
slightly from 40% in 1990. 3
According to the Barna Research Group, those who read the Bible
regularly spend about 52 minutes a week in the scriptures. 4 Barna, "The
Bible," data is from 1997.
Which gender is more faithful at reading the Bible at least weekly? The
prize goes to the women. Women (42%) are more likely than men (32%) to
have read the Bible in the past week. What version do people prefer? As
of 1997, those who read the Bible preferred the King James Version to
the New International Version by a 5 to 1 margin. 5
When it comes to going beyond merely reading the Bible to actual study
of the Bible, the numbers decline sharply. Only one in seven Americans
report an involvement that goes beyond just reading the Bible. Fourteen
percent of Americans currently belong to a Bible study group. 6 This is down
a full one-third from 1990 when 21% said they were involved in a Bible
study group. 7
How about knowledge of the Bible? According to Gallup, "Despite the
impressive statistics concerning Bible reading and study, it is
apparent that ignorance about its contents is widespread." 8
evidence for this conclusion:
adults interviewed nationwide could name any of the four Gospels of the
those interviewed could name all four Gospels.
adults were able to name as many as five of the Ten Commandments
(70%) were able to name the town where Jesus was born, but just 42%
could identify him as the person who delivered the Sermon on the Mount.
George Barna has also documented the lack of Bible knowledge in the
Americans believe the entire Bible was written several decades after
Jesus' death and resurrection (While this is true of the New Testament,
the entire Old Testament was written hundreds of years before the birth
of Jesus Christ).
believe that Noah's wife was Joan of Arc.
that the Bible teaches that money is the root of all evil. (The love of
money is said to be the root of all types of evil).
that the Bible teaches that God helps those who help themselves. 10
Lindbeck, the famous Yale theologian, has commented on the decreasing
knowledge of scripture from a professor's perspective: "When I first
arrived at Yale, even those who came from nonreligious backgrounds knew
the Bible better than most of those now who come from churchgoing
Recent research highlights the decreasing influence of the Bible in the
United States and the importance of serious Bible study by Christians.
As our society becomes increasingly pluralistic and subjective in its
worldview, the more important it will be for Christians to know and
study their Bibles. Only by doing so can we intelligently present a
biblical worldview to those who know so little of the Word that is able
to save their souls.
Gallup, Jr., The Role of the Bible in American Society (Princeton: The
Princeton ReligionResearch Center, 1990)
Barna Research Online, "The Bible," www.barna.org. This information is
based on 1993 figures.
Alec Gallup and Wendy W. Simmons, "Six in Ten Americans Read Bible at
Least Occasionally," TheGallup Organization, www.gallup.com, October
Barna, "The Bible," data is from 1997.
THE BARNA GROUP (HTTP://WWW.BARNA.ORG/)
2006 48% of
all adults agreed strongly that the Bible is totally accurate in all of
its teachings compared with 42% in 2002 and 35% in 1991.
again Christians disagree that "the Bible is totally accurate in all of
its teachings." (2006)
both women (74%) and men (62%) believe that the Bible is totally
accurate in all of its teachings. (2006)
the Bible is totally accurate in all of its teachings by generation:
Mosaics 50%, Busters 66%, Boomers 72%, Elders 68%. (2006)
who attended high school or less believe that the Bible is totally
accurate in all of its teachings compared with 52% of those who have
graduated from college. (2006)
living in the South strongly affirm that the bible is accurate in all
of its teachings versus 50% of those in the Midwest, 42% in the West
and 37% in the Northeast. (2006)
are the group most likely to believe that the Bible is totally accurate
in all of its teachings compared with 68% of whites, 62% of Hispanics,
and 39% of Asians. (2006)
majority of Republicans (78%) believe that the bible is totally
accurate in all of its teachings, while 69% of Democrats believe in the
bible's accuracy. (2006)
During A Typical Week By Year 1988- 36%; 1991- 45%; 1992- 47%; 1993-
34%; 1994- 37%; 1995-31% ; 1996 34% 1997-36%; 1999- 34%; 2000- 40%;
2001 - 37% 2002-42%; 2004-44%; 2005-45%; 2006-47%
evangelical Christians have read the Bible in the past seven days.
are more likely than are men (42%) to have read the Bible in the past
week. (2006) Women 2004-49%; 2002-46%; 2000- 46%; 1997-38%; 1993-40%;
Men 2004-38%; 2002-37%; 2000-35%; 1997-34%; 1993-28%
out of ten born again Christians (67%) have read the Bible in the past
week, compared to 35% of those who adhere to a non-Christian faith.
Protestants have read the Bible in the past week versus 28% of
Catholics (29%) (2006)
during a typical week drops as age drops: 58% of Elders (Builders and
Seniors); 47% of Boomers; 42% of Busters and 32% of Mosaics read the
Bible in a typical week. (2006)
are the ethnic group most likely to have read the Bible in the past
week, followed by whites (45%), Hispanics (41%) and Asians (20%).
by adults during the week by region-Northeast 38%; West 42%; Midwest
45%; South 57%. (2006)
adults in California, Oregon, and Washington that read the Bible during
the past week (other than while at church), has risen from 29% in 1994
to 42% in 2006.