Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Friday, June 25, 2010
My answer, for the long term, is still no. But one of the messages preached at this conference really stirred me. The Pastor mentioned fighting for what was right and taking a stand, even if that meant a political one, and he said something about one last Revival before the whole thing collapse and the New Babylon arises. I don’t know why, but that statement rang true with me. In the last 18 months, we have had more souls saved and added to our Church than my previous 21 years here, and most of those were our own members who finally saw their lost estate and need for personal repentance, and they called upon the Lord for salvation! I have had the good pleasure of discipling some of them, and watching God change their lives. I am seeing God work in my own life in ways I did not expect, and in others as well.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Nope. No chance at all. But wait! , you say, you are one of them bible thumpin' Baptists that's always telling people they need to be born again or face the wrath of God! You must believe you can turn the country around.
No, I don't. I am of that extreme minority that Simeon and Anna were in when the Lord came the first time. They were not looking for a military messiah that would restore Israel, they were looking for the Saviour of their souls. I look to His coming, any day. I hold out no hope that our government can be turned around from its suicide course with socialism. I do not believe the United States will be a world power in the last days, and I believe we are in the last days, even the last hours, and I wait patiently for the coming of my Saviour to take me to my home in Heaven. Make no mistake, I do not enjoy watching the death of what was the greatest nation in the history of the world, anymore than Jeremiah enjoyed watching Israel go into bondage. But I have read the end of the book, and I know that this must come to pass.
I want you for a moment to consider what type of government will be in power during the Great Tribulation. Do you think it will be a great democracy or Republic? I do not. I think it is clear that this will be a totalitarian regime, and that any dissention will be met with swift execution. If all are required to receive the mark of the beast, which regulates their ability to buy and sell, then they effectively control their entire life. I don't pretend to know exactly what that mark will be, but I can tell you there are enough technologies available today to make this a reality tomorrow, if the public would accept it.
However, the thought that America will never be restored does not depress me, it spurs me on, because I know the time is short, and the coming of the Lord is at hand, and whatever impact I am going to have in this world I need to do now. Outside of the Word of God, no one can even hope to make any sense of the insanity of the days which we live in. Any sane and rational person can look at the actions taken by our own Government and know that they have signed the death warrant of the USA. Our National debt is now so large that there is quite literally no way to ever pay it off. We have no had our own rights over our own bodies surrendered to the Government in what they falsely label Heath Reform. We watch as corporations buy and sell governments, and where the only rule of law is the worlds golden rule: In the world, he who has the gold sets the rules. There are forces at work in the world today that have money beyond anything you and I could ever imagine. I borrowed money to buy a house, while they pay cash for a whole country.
So what should you do? If you do not know 100% for sure where you will spend eternity, I would love to tell you how you can in fact know that, just as I do. If you do know this, and you have a biblical testimony of salvation, please tell someone else while you still have the time and the liberty to do so.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Many people teach that the Two Witnesses in Revelation chapter 11 are Enoch and Elijah. They base this primarily on the verse from Hebrews 9:27 "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: ". Since Enoch and Elijah did not die, then the two witnesses 'must' (?) be Enoch and Elijah, right ????? Not so fast. Lest go back to II Timothy 2:15 and do some study before jumping to conclusions.
Law of Consistency.
The first thing I want to consider is what I call the Law of Consistency. This is the doctrine that the Lord does not change, and His Doctrine (singular) is one consistent whole, not diverse and changing parts. Malachi 3:6 and Hebrews 13:8 speak to this. We also know that God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), so what applies to one applies to all. With this in mind lets look at these two witnesses.
Hebrews 9:27 is quickly referenced when justifying the teaching that Enoch and Elijah are the two witnesses, because they were both caught up, and did not suffer death, and threfore must come back to earth to die. Hmmmm………….
The Raptured Saints.
If Hebrews 9:27 applies to all men, then I must ask: When do the saints taken out in the Rapture come back to die?
(1Th 4:16) "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (1Th 4:17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
- Death cannot stand in His presence (Jesus never attended a funeral). So, if the saints who are taken out in the Rapture will ever be with the Lord, they will never see death, because death cannot stand in His presence.
- There is no premise, scripture, or principle whereby one can say that the saints caught up in the First Resurrection when the Lord comes in the air will return to die.
- Enoch is a type of the faithful believer, taken out of the world before the judgment of the flood came, never to see death. If these two witnesses were Enoch and Elijah because of Heb 9:27, then there would also be scriptural evidence that the raptured saints would come back and die as well, but this evidence is completely lacking.
- Based on the doctrine of the rapture of the saints, being caught up alive to ever be with the Lord, we can know with certainty that Hebrews 9:27 is not talking about the saved.
Many in scripture were raised from the dead, and died again:
- John 11:14-44 Lazarus was raised from the dead.
- Luke 8:54 Jesus raised a young maid.
- In Acts 20:9 Eutychus fell from the balcony, died, and Paul raised him from the dead.
- II Kings 13:21 – a dead man was cast into the grave of Elisha and came out alive.
- II Kings 4:32-35 – Elisha raised the boy from the dead.
- II Corinthians 12:1-2. Paul speaks of dying, and coming back, and yet he died again.
There is no scriptural evidence or precedent to say that these individuals did not die again, which means they died twice? Does this not contradict our verse in Hebrews? Our text verse in Hebrews say it is appointed unto man once to die, and after this……….
Two Forms of Judgment: Krisis or Bema?
The word Judgment in Hebrews 9:27 is the Greek Krisis (where we get our English word crisis). For the believer, Romans 14:10 and II Corinthians 5:10 speak of the Judgment Seat of Christ, and the word judgment used here is Bema in Greek, meaning a 'rewarding stand'. It is not a born again believer that faces a crisis, it is the lost. When you couple this with the fact that the raptured saints along with Enoch will never see death, we begin to understand that this verse is speaking of the lost, not the saved. It is speaking of the judgment those that reject Christ will face, not the judgment the saved will face.
So we have firmly dismantled the idea that Hebrews 9:27 is speaking about the saved, and we have unshackled ourselves from the idea that the two witnesses must be Moses and Elijah, so then, who are they?! How 'bout we look at who they are and what they do….
The Two Witnesses are Olive Branches.
The Olive branch is a symbol of Israel, as demonstrated in Jeremiah 11:6, and Hosea 14:6.
Romans 11:13-25 speaks of the wild olive branch (the Gentiles) being grafted into the natural (the Jews). Zechariah 4 is a prophecy of these two olive branches in Revelation 11, and this brings us to the clear understanding that these two witnesses are Jews. Enoch was a pre-flood saint and a Gentile, not a Jew. This is strike two for the Enoch theory, and it narrows our pool to some Hebrews that stopped the rain, and turned the water into blood. Sounds vaguely familiar…..
What Miracles will they do?
Since we have established that these two witnesses must be Jews, how then can we determine who they are? Let scripture interpret scripture.
One witness turns the water into blood. In all of scripture, there was only one person that did that, and it was Moses.
(Rev 11:6) These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
Moses smote Egypt, a type of the world, with many plagues. He is the only one in scripture that did this.
Elijah is the only one that stopped the rain:
1Ki 17:1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.
Jas 5:17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
Elijah stopped the rain for 3 ½ years: the exact amount of time that these two witnesses will be on the earth.
The Mount of Transfiguration
Last, we have the Lord going to the mount of Transfiguration in Matthew 17:3, and of all people who do we find here talking with Him? Moses and Elijah. Enoch is not there. This meeting just coincidentally takes place in the same city that the Two Witnesses of Revelation are eventually killed. Strike three for the Enoch theory.
Moses and Elijah are the only two people in the Word of God that fit every aspect the Two Witnesses in Revelation 11. They are from the Olive Branch, they did the same miracles for the same amount of time, and they appeared with the Lord on the Mount of Transfiguration. The only reason there is any dispute as to who these two witnesses are is to a misunderstanding of Hebrews 9:27.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Since the 1930's, the principles and concepts this nation was founded on have been ridiculed in almost every college in America. No matter where you went to school, you most likely were not taught what the men that founded this nation believed in, and because of that we have a very misguided idea of what the principles which our nation was founded on were.
Public Service was an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators that were truly of the people, and for the people, with the intent that they would serve their term(s), and when their service to their country was finished they would go back to a private sector job with no special or ongoing benefits. Any legislation they passed would directly impact them.
If we ever intend to see that again, and see the Citizens of the United States represented, and not special interests from every side, then 'We the People' need to return our Congressman in the House and Senate to citizen legislators. To do this we the people need to strip them of the perks and benefits that have crept in over the years and return this position to a place of honor, and not a career.
There are several things that I think would help. These are not all original ideas; I have simply boiled them down to a short list of actionable items that could realistically happen if the right people are elected in 2010.
1. Term Limits: 12 years only, one of the possible options below.
A. Two Six year Senate terms
B. Six Two year House terms
C. One Six year Senate term and three Two Year House terms
The principle here is that public service was never intended to be a career field, so let's remove the possibility of it being one.
2. Congressional Benefits Plans are eliminated.
Congress shall not have, nor create, nor participate in, any benefit plan that is not available to the citizens of their State. This includes, but is not limited to, Health Insurance, Life Insurance, Retirement, and Investment plans.
- The current Health Insurance plan will end 1/1/2012. Congressman can purchase an individual plan from the provider of their choice that is licensed to provide coverage in their home state.
- The current Retirement plan will end 1/1/2012. All funds currently in the Congressional Retirement Fund will be placed in the Social Security Fund. Congress will be eligible for the same Social Security benefits as any other citizen.
- Any other benefit plans will cease on 1/1/2012 as well
- There is no continuation of benefits beyond their term of service. This should be a moot point since there will be no benefits to be carried over!
After their public service they go back to the private sector just as the Founding Fathers intended them to, with no lifelong benefits. The Principle here is to make this a citizen legislature again.
If all the rest of America, from the small business man to the Union Employee, must renegotiate their contracts from time to time, it is past time that our Representatives have their renegotiated.
3. Congressional Pay Increases. Congressional pay will rise each year by the Consumer Price Index or 3%, whichever is less.
No one else in America has the luxury of voting themselves a pay raise, why should Congress. The practice breeds corruption. Since they are of the people, treat them as the people. If Congress passes laws that are damaging to this nation, they need to feel it in their wallet just like the rest of America does.
Ban on post-service lobbying. No Congressman may, during or after leaving office, accept employment or income from any lobbying organization. The penalty for violation is forfeiture of all income since leaving office.
The principle we are trying to communicate here is that when your services is done, you are done! You are no different than any other citizen.
As long as our Congressman are above the people, they will not make decisions and legislate in a way that is for the people. The office of a Congressman is to be a position of Honor, not of privilege, and we need to restore the office to that place. Make them live by the policies they pass and we will have better policies! If we do not, then we cannot expect our nation to see any improvement at all, regardless what your view of progress is.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
In order to find the answer to the riddle, we need to examine the god of Epicurus. Epicurus was a philosopher, a lover of man's wisdom, and he believed that there was no greater power in the world than the wisdom of man. In his riddle he speaks of god, but he did not believe there was a Creator, so why would he write a riddle about someone he did not believe existed. It's like writing philosophy about Santa Clause. So if Epicurus is not talking about the God of Eternity, what god is he speaking of? What was his framework for 'god'? According to his philosophy the greatest power in the world is the wisdom of man, which is authored by man. Therefore man is also the highest authority and thus, his own god. In this riddle, the god Epicurus is speaking of is his own intellect, and when you look at this riddle in light of what Epicurus considered to be god, it makes perfect sense:
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
The God of Eternity paid for all evil in Jesus Christ. And in His own time, according to His own purpose, He will end all evil as well.
Friday, January 22, 2010
"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. 10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. 11 There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after." Ecclesiastes 1:9-11
Do we really wonder why this world seems to continue to repeat the same mistakes over and over again? Solomon gave us some words on this subject in the book of Ecclesiastes. This book is about how things are 'under the sun', (ch 1:3), meaning here upon the earth. We see this phrase 27 times in the book of Ecclesiastes, and it is surely the theme of it.
Consider verse 11 "There is no remembrance of former things". You would think that we could look back at history and see the mistakes other nations made that caused them to fall, and not make them, yet as a nation we do not. We are also exhorted to look at people in the bible and learn from their mistakes:
"1Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."
God told us why He put so many people in His Word, and showed them as they were, warts and all. He did not cover up their mistakes, but rather, recorded them for our admonition, so that we can do better than they did.
Knowing that by nature you are not inclined to learn from the past, it will make you more aware of the fact that you should, and perhaps you will!