Tuesday, January 31, 2017

CRUCIFIXION IS A HORRIBLE DEATH TO WATCH AND A TERRIBLE EXECUTION TO FACE. Yet The Son Of God Took Up His Cross And Said To All Who Would Listen, Follow Me. Jesus sayings are not easy to understand unless we are prepared to take up our own cross and follow Him; but when we do, we begin to understand the reason Jesus was crucified.

This question, though straightforward, is not so easily answered. If the question were why was Jesus crucified rather than shot with an AK-147, then this would be easily answered.

To understand why Jesus was crucified as opposed to being beheaded by the Romans, we need to understand the thinking of the Romans at the time. Wood was scarce and wooden beams placed on top of poles that had been secured in the ground were reusable. It appears that this was a favored method of the Romans because it was thought to emphasize the severity of the execution and expedient for maximum psychological effect as a deterrent.
When it was time to go to the place of execution, a heavy beam of wood, the crossbeam, was placed across the man's shoulders, probably attached there by leather straps to prevent the weakened man from dropping it. The route taken by the procession of soldiers and condemned man was along a crowded street, so that his suffering was evident to as many people as possible - crucifixion was used as a deterrent to other citizens who might be tempted to commit the crime for which the condemned man was being punished.—Torture and death in ancient times.
That Jesus was crucified appears to have been because this was what was done as a common means of execution at the time He was sentenced to death. But when we speak of the reason Jesus was crucified, we need also to take into account the reason for His death, which was to ransom humankind from the captivity of the Evil One, who reigns in those who violate the Ten Commandments.

Simply put, Jesus of Nazareth was permitted to die through a series of events whereby the authorities of the day were able to blame others for the execution of an innocent man and not feel they had committed any crime. This is evidenced when we read the following words from the gospel of Matthew:
  • And he said, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified.” So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” (Matthew 27:23-24)
The Jews had no legal authority to crucify anyone, for this was the jurisdiction of the Romans. Pilate had that authority. Yet Pilate claims he is innocent and merely suggests that he is doing what the Jews require. Pilate could have said that the man is innocent and therefore I find no charge against him. For this is what happened in the case of Apostle Paul, when he was brought before the tribune Claudius Lysias and then before Felix, who decided to write to King Agrippa. Both found Paul innocent and believed there was no crime for punishment. The following is what was written by Lysias to Felix and Felix to Agrippa:
  • Claudius Lysias to his Excellency the governor Felix, greeting. This man was seized by the Jews, and was about to be killed by them, when I came upon them with the soldiers and rescued him, having learned that he was a Roman citizen. And desiring to know the charge on which they accused him, I brought him down to their council. I found that he was accused about questions of their law, but charged with nothing deserving death or imprisonment.(Acts 23:26-29)
  • But I have nothing definite to write to my lord about him. Therefore I have brought him before you, and, especially before you, King Agrippa, that, after we have examined him, I may have something to write. For it seems to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not to indicate the charges against him. (Acts 25:26-27)
The Roman Governors were not always cruel despots who killed indiscriminately at whim. Contrary to what those who hate the truth think, those who were given authority over soldiers, cities and regions, were there to keep law and order.

Jesus was crucified by Pilate because the governor feared a riot. Political expediency was exercised, wherein Pilate made out it was not he who was crucifying the man, but those who had made the request that an innocent man should die. At the time, crucifixion was the favored instrument of punishment by the Romans to discourage the populace from unlawful acts. This meant that Jesus had to carry His own cross and be an example of what happens to those who create unrest.

Jesus was crucified because of political expediency on behalf of Pilate to avoid a riot, because the Omniscient One used the devious plans of men to bring about His own purpose.  God's purpose is to use the foolishness of man's wisdom to demonstrate His power and provide an inheritance of eternal life for all who accept the death of His Son on behalf of their futile lives—of being born only to die—without contravening each one’s freewill. Absolutely brilliant!

Political Expediency Seems Right To Those Who Desire Worldly Fame And Comfort

Monday, January 30, 2017

THE CHARACTER OF MOSES, JESUS AND MUHAMMAD ARE OFTEN THOUGHT WORTHY OF COMPARING BECAUSE THEY ALL SUPPOSEDLY ARE MESSENGERS SENT FROM GOD. Moses Came To Give The Torah, Jesus Came To Give The Gospel Of Salvation Through His Death And Resurrection, Muhammad Came To Bring The Quran. While Moses' message points to Jesus being the Son of God, Muhammad's message is contrary to the testimony of Moses and Jesus.

For example, Moses argues with God in the Torah and convinces God not to destroy the Jewish people. Do Jesus and Muhammad argue with God for whatever reason? If not, why not?
The word “character” has a number of different meanings. In terms of leadership there are some significant differences between the character of Moses and Muhammad. Jesus is in a league of His own, even though, as a human being, He was tempted as we all are tempted.

Moses’ character had changed markedly from the day he fled Egypt to the day he was called by God to go back and ask Pharaoh to let the Hebrews go. Still we read Moses was presumptuous when striking the Rock rather than speaking to it (Numbers 20:8-12). Nevertheless, Moses was also courageous. Moses was self-deprecating. Moses was jealous for God’s name. Moses was also prepared to lay his life down for the sake of other people. In particular, Moses is known for being meek (Numbers 12:3).
On the morrow Moses said to the people, “You have sinned a great sin. And now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.”
So Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Alas, this people have sinned a great sin; they have made for themselves gods of gold. But now, if thou wilt forgive their sin—and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.”
But the Lord said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. But now go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you; behold, my angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them.” (Exodus 32:30-34)
Jesus did what no one else has done. His character reflected the glory of God. Not only did He heal people, even the ear of one who had come to arrest Him on the day of his crucifixion, but when on the Cross, Jesus cried out to our Heavenly Father to forgive those who had betrayed, whipped, cursed and hung Him up to die on a tree (even if cut down).
While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him; but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of man with a kiss?”
And when those who were about him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?”
And one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? (Luke 22:47-52 )
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. Luke 23:34
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Muhammad’s character appears to have changed after he moved to Medina from Mecca. In Mecca, Muhammad was a more simple preacher and his message appears to have been in line with the following:
Muhammad was no more than a human being, no different to the messengers of Allah who preceded him and just as prone to passing away at any time as they did (Surah 3:144). His prime concern was that his hearers should follow the way of his Lord (Surah 25:57). Although mocked and rejected as possessed with madness he was to see himself solely as a warner to call his people back to the truth (Surah 7:184). The Muslims were called to follow the faith of Abraham the upright and to respect the contributions of the great prophets of former times (Surah 2:135-136).
As for the truth of Muhammad’s convictions and faithfulness in following the faith of Abraham, as recorded in the Bible, the following statement highlights some important criteria to take into account after he left Mecca.
An analysis of Muhammad’s treatment of his enemies, in particular his relationships with the Jews and Christians of Arabia, as well as his many marriages will show to what extent his claims prove to be valid or not.
Moses was willing to lay his life down on behalf of others, but God says each will be requited for his own sin. Lord Jesus Christ gave up His life so that we might become the righteousness of God ourselves, by forgiving others, so that we might be forgiven of our own sin. Muhammad decided to kill those who disagreed with him.

There Is A Way That Seems Right But It Does Not Lead To Life Only Eternal Death

TEN COMMANDMENTS ARE LIKE ONE FOR EVERY TOE OR ONE FOR EVERY FINGER (IF YOU INCLUDE YOUR THUMB AS A FINGER). Walking The Walk And Not Just Talking The Talk Is What The Ten Commandments Are About. Unfortunately, most people do not know where to find the Ten Commandments.

This is what the Bible informs us that God says about those who have been baptized in the Holy Spirit and exercise obedience of faith:
  • “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” (Hebrews 10:16)
  • And Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)
The Ten Commandments that need to be understood by every person, which God Himself wrote with His own finger (translated from the Hebrew into English) are here (Exodus 1–17):
  1. And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. “You shall have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:1–3)
  2. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:4–6)
  3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.(Exodus 20:7)
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant, or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.(Exodus 20:8–11)
  5. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you.(Exodus 20:12)
  6. You shall not kill.(Exodus 20:13)
  7. You shall not commit adultery. (Exodus 20:14)
  8. You shall not steal. (Exodus 20:15)
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.(Exodus 20:16)
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” (Exodus 20:17)
Unfortunately, few people claiming to be Christians can actually quote the Ten Commandments. Likewise, few there are that understand them. Most people think they are too clever to have to understand The Only Words Written By The Finger Of God.
  • Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret for long ages but is now disclosed and through the prophetic writings is made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—to the only wise God be glory for evermore through Jesus Christ! Amen. (Romans 16:25–27)
May God bless you Brenda Kay Winters. May you discover the riches that are yours in Lord Jesus Christ as you come to understand the depth of the truth that is only to be found in the Ten Commandments. For these are the plumbline that enable people to size up and understand true doctrine; not to mention building a solid relationship with God and those walk in the light as He is in the light.

The Ten Commandments Were Designed For You To Enjoy And Possess Life

Sunday, January 29, 2017

ISIS IS THE NAME OF AN ANCIENT GOD BUT TODAY PEOPLE ASSOCIATE THE NAME WITH TERRORISM AND NOT A GOD. This Does Not Prevent People Desiring To Compare ISIS With Their Perception Of The Vengeful God Of The Old Testament. Surely the Creator God is not to be compared with ISIS.

There needs to be some clarification of matters in regard to the Israelites as recorded in the Old Testament. Too often their actions have been misconstrued to suit the narratives of those who are antichrists or anti-Israel. Such a misconception is conveyed by the implication of your question that the Israelites were murderers in the name of Lord God Almighty and His Son (Proverbs 30:3–4).

God gave a promise to Abraham that his descendants would be given (what we know as) the Promised Land after four generations.
  • Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know of a surety that your descendants will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs, and will be slaves there, and they will be oppressed for four hundred years; but I will bring judgment on the nation which they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. As for yourself, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. And they shall come back here in the fourth generation; for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” (Genesis 15:13–16)
The land that the Israelites occupied by force was given to them by the Creator God. After that time, every battle the Israelites were involved in had to do with defending the territory that they had been given.

ISIS is different to the Israelites that came out of Egypt, not only because they seek to establish a Caliphate over lands that were not given to Abraham by God, but also because this is a terrorist organization funded by the highest ranking political Muslim figure in the world—one who had received a Nobel peace prize. ISIS exists because a military power has sought to take advantage of existing hostilities and aggravate them for their own purposes. ISIS does not exist because it has been given a direct mandate from God.

According to Aaron Zelin (The Washington Institute of New East Policy) ISIS first had its roots in Jamaat al-Tawhid wa-l-Jihad JTWJ founded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi who possessed a “criminal past and extreme views on takfir (accusing another Muslim of heresy and thereby justifying his killing)”

The major difference between the ancient Hebrews of the Bible and ISIS is the first God ordained and the latter is manmade.

ISIS has grown from a group of malcontents that have been agitated by political operatives who have provided funding and arms in an surreptitious attempt to take out Shiite Syria while blaming this upon Sunni Islam.

The Hebrew people, who occupied the land that they were given by God, had come out of slavery and had been given a cultural system which to adhere, so they could honor God. The aim was for their well-being and success to be the envy of the nations as the people conformed to the will of God. Unfortunately, evil seemed to rule the people’s hearts rather than the desire for God and the goodness and pleasure of walking in His ways.

Although many people disagree, there are those who say that Israel today is reaping the blessings of God because the nation has turned what was virtually a desert into a thriving land of abundance (Isaiah 27:6) where their fruit would flll the world
Written: perhaps between 701-681 BC and Fulfilled: late 1900s. The prophet says; Israel would one day blossom and fill the world with its fruit. This prophecy has been at least partially fulfilled, literally and symbolically. Today, the land of Israel, which had been barren for centuries, is a leading producer of agricultural products, exporting food to many countries. This prophecy also has been fulfilled symbolically with the worldwide spread of Christianity. The very first believers; "The Way" began with Yeshua (Jesus) in Israel and now have about 2 billion followers worldwide. —Israel God's Prophetic Blessing
ISIS and the Hebrews that became the nation Israel are vastly different. The Hebrews were effectively delivering a judgment of God upon the Amorite peoples who occupied the land that God had promised Abraham. What ISIS is doing has nothing to do with the promise God had given to Abraham.

The Only Time God Spoke To A Nation He Gave Them What He Wrote Himself

Friday, January 27, 2017

STARVATION IS NOT SOMETHING PEOPLE LOOK FORWARD TO, YET PEOPLE WILL GO WITHOUT FOOD WILLINGLY. Not Everybody Looks Forward To Fasting, But People Fast In Different Ways. Some people are prepared to fast for days on end, others will give up after skipping lunch.

Harry Riches
Harry Riches · Requested by Anonymous

14 days drinking one bowl of powdered soup and drinking water

A friend of mine and I were in a situation where we had no money or food. We did have twenty-eight sachets of chicken-soup powder. While we were waiting for some money to come through, we decided to have a sachet of soup each day and this would be our food. We were expecting a friend to turn up in a couple of weeks, so we would have some food. By the 13th day I was feeling so hungry I thought I was going out of my mind. Anyhow, I lasted another day and the person we were waiting on turned up.

3 days no eating or drinking

I decided to go without food and water for 40 days. After 3 days my blood felt like it was drying up. I stayed in my apartment all the time. When I had a drink of water I could feel it move down to my stomach and then up into my brain before going around the body.

7 days taking Reliv weight-loss powder/ meal replacement

Once, I had tried to see how long I could last just eating a bowl of cornflakes for my meals. That idea lasted two days and I realized that cornflakes were not much value nutritionally.

I took a couple of Lelord Kordel multivitamin tablets every day and often went a day or two without food and felt fine, but found when pushing into the third day, I really needed some food.

When I was introduced to this Reliv product and I saw how much nutrition was in it, I decided to test it out and see how long I would last on it. I took the product three times a day and went for a 30 minute run every morning. I expected to last only a few days, after 7 days, even though I felt great, I started to feel like a steak.

7 days taking Ensure three times a day

After having taken the Reliv weight-loss powder for over a year, the person from whom I was purchasing the product wanted me to buy a year’s supply or he would not sell it to me. Consequently, I went looking for a substitute product. After trying a number of different products that failed the road test of 7 days without food and going for my 30 minute run every day, I came across Ensure. After 7 days, I decided to eat a steak and just take the product as a supplement, not as a meal replacement. But Ensure seemed to do the job.

8 days taking Reliv Classic and ArthAffect

I used to buy a can of Ensure every 20 days. The shop assistants would tell me that only old people took Ensure. I would then tell them that when I was in hospital, the staff refused to give me Ensure because they only gave to old people to keep them alive. Therefore the reason I take Ensure was to ensure that I would never die.

Anyhow, I lost all my cartilage in my left leg and it locked. Xrays showed that I suffered 40% porosity in my left leg as well. The doctor told me that I would be looking at a prosthetic before long (doctors know how to save lives). I consulted my vet to see if I could get some chicken cartilage. He gave me some powdered shark powder and told me give the dog a tablespoon for every 20 lbs of weight. Within three days, I could walk as if nothing was wrong. I took the shark cartilage for 2 months.
During this time, a pharmacist told me about Reliv Arthaffect and that it contains a protein which promotes bone growth. The shark cartilage was beginning to make me feel ill, so I decided to take the advice of the pharmacist. I began taking the multivitamin and herbal detoxifying Reliv Classic and ArthAffect. A couple of years later I road-tested the products and went 8 days without eating and going for 30 minute run. No problems. Just that I felt like a steak was in order on the 9th day.

Five years after taking the Arthaffect, I had a bone test. The bone density of my left leg was that of a twenty year old. Not bad for someone who was 52 yrs old.


I have read that people say they have fasted for forty days. These people have claimed that they have had exceptional spiritual experiences, even though they were not religious. I did not experience any exceptional spiritual experience during any of the above instances.

While I believe it is possible to go without food, I find it difficult to believe a person can survive long without water. Three days was sufficient for me to feel like I was beginning to dry up, and I was not expending energy—I was meditating during this time.

Ram Bahadur Bamjan (Buddha Boy) apparently has gone 10 months without eating or drinking or moving while he meditated under a tree with people watching him. While I can accept that this is possible, providing he is able to obtain water out of the air to replace any that is lost, I have no questions as to the authenticity of the claim.

The reasons for my doubts, apart from my own experience, is that from what I could see, there was no loss of condition in the boy’s face. Quite possibly, he could have slipped away for a short period of time during the night and obtained some sustenance. When my friend and I only had water and a chicken-flavored bowl of water once a day for 14 days, we were losing condition and our faces were gaunt.

Eating foods that are insufficiently nutritious is unhealthy. When it comes to powdered soup or cornflakes, this is equivalent to not eating at all. Merely providing the body with bio-available nutrition ensures that we are healthy and capable of doing strenuous exercise also. However, I am led to believe rats live longer if they eat less.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

ONE THIRD OF MANKIND DESTINED TO BE KILLED BY BIOLOGICAL WARFARE. People Reading The Bible Wonder Whether The Prediction That 1/3 Of Mankind Will Be Killed By Nuclear Explosions Or Conventional Warfare. Plagues come about because people do not have clean water, sewage collection and sanitation.

Revelation 9:18: "A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths." How is this likely going to happen? Will this be the result of a war, or something unimaginable caused by God? And does this literal mean 1/3 of the current population?

What is interesting about what happens at the blowing of the sixth trumpet is that unlike the other indications of 1/3 of people being destroyed or harmed, this is not stated in symbolic form, but we read “a third of mankind was killed”.

Some theories concerning the army of 2 million that kill with fire, smoke and sulfur are:
  • Demons attacking people.
  • The Turkish invasion of Europe that was stopped at the gates of Vienna.
  • The Muslims forcing the non-Muslims into submission.
  • The Chinese attacking the West.
When it comes to understanding the book of Revelation, there are many interpretations; but, unfortunately, when analysed, they fall short. The main reasons people attempting to interpret the book of Revelation miss the mark:
  1. People overlook that following the comments regarding the seven churches, the prophet is told that he will be shown what is to take place after what has happened to the Seventh Church. This indicates a chronological narrative.
  2. People place events that are clearly stated to occur in the future as having already happened. For example, many wrongly state that events from chapter twelve occurred before the foundation of the world.
  3. Misinterpreting the symbols and what they represent.
  4. Inability to distinguish between what is literal and what is symbolic.
  5. Assuming these events have been continuing to happen simultaneously since the first century AD.
Clearly, the text you query appears to be a future event and not something that has been happening over the two millennia since the prophecy was given to the Apostle.

Since this event occurs during the sounding of the sixth trumpet, this is also going to happen before the Antichrist is revealed. In all probability this event will be one of the major reasons why people are willing to accept a one world government.

The Bible clearly teaches that there will be certain kingdoms set up. Many people wrongly interpret these as ten countries. The evidence has been since the number of the Mark of the Beast was placed upon manufactured goods, that these kingdoms are going to be economic regions. Originally, ten regions were designated, but these regions have changed. We are now looking at seven economic regions with three states being exempted, which will become one—in line with what is predicted in the Bible.

This event will not occur until about eighteen years from now. Meanwhile, many people who are being indoctrinated into believing the lies that are promulgated within the disinformation system (disingenuously called “education” rather than “indoctrination”). The evidence is that this prophecy appears to point to chemical warfare—or maybe, biological. Fire, smoke and sulfur does convey an allusion to what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah. But this does not speak of brimstone. So it is possible this could be some weapon that, if not yet developed, is still to be developed.

When speaking of the number of people who are killed, the world’s population is currently (August 2016) close to 7.5 billion. In twenty years time, this will be approaching 10 billion. The Georgia Guidestones indicate that there are those who believe the global population ought to be be 500 million. Therefore, we can see some Dr. Evil (maybe a funder of Open Societies) who believes that there is a need to restrict population growth by a major culling of the population. Dr Francis Boyle says that the US has spent over 100 billion on developing biological warfare.

A massive culling will be required to bring the population of the world back to the ideal that is proposed by those from the Club of Rome, the Trilateral Commission, The Bilderberg Group, Council of Foreign Relations, Royal Institute of International Affairs, and the United Nations, etc. Those who are engineering this have to do so in a way that people will be crying out to them to help them. In the event biological agents are released for the purpose of population control and procreation prevention prove ineffective, then suicide warriors may be required to do the job, and consequently, one third of the world’s population is exterminated. Current events indicate how this could be done.

The Days That Lie Ahead Require People to Have A Sound Understanding Of Truth

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

ALL SCRIPTURE IS INSPIRED BY GOD YET MANY PEOPLE ARE NOT SO SURE BECAUSE THEY QUESTION WHAT "ALL SCRIPTURE" COULD MEAN. People Find It Difficult To Understand What Is Meant By The Saying "All Scripture Is Inspired By God". All scripture cannot possibly mean the writings of the every sacred book that is considered holy by the different religions of the world.

Harry Riches
Harry Riches · Answer requested by Michael Sellars

Actually the verse really reads (πᾶσα γραφὴ θεόπνευστος) every Scripture God-breathed. The context of what the Apostle writes tells us exactly to what he is referring, and this is the Old Testament.
  • From infancy, you have known the holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus. Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:15-17)
Timothy, the person to whom the Apostle to the Gentiles is writing, is reminded that the Holy Scriptures (the 39 books of the Old Testament) are able to make him wise for salvation through faith in Lord Jesus Christ. The Old Testament points to Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:39–40), the Son of God (Proverbs 30:3–4). Many people who call themselves Christians do not understand this fact and dismiss the Old Testament.

There is a caveat when the Apostle says, “every Scripture God-breathed”, for this could also read “every Scripture that is God-breathed”, which would be a more accurate translation. Because not all that is considered Scripture (Holy Writings) is God-breathed.

In respect to the New Testament, there are twenty-seven books and epistles that make up what is the accepted canon. Whether one wants to accept the sixty-six books of the Bible as authoritative, this becomes a matter of conviction that people who possess the Holy Spirit begin to recognize. As the Apostle Peter wrote:
  • For we did not follow cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” We heard this voice come out of heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.We have the more sure word of prophecy; and you do well that you heed it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns, and the morning star arises in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of private interpretation. For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke, being moved by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:16–21)
The key feature about the Bible is the prophetic witness that it contains. Those who reject it, do so because they think they know better. Those who accept this, do so because investigation has proven the Bible to be reliable. As is happens, the Bible states:
  • Every word of God is flawless. He is a shield to those who take refuge in him. (Proverbs 30:5)
Most people prefer to accept acculturation rather than truth. Because of this, we find that many people (but not all) who attend school, high school, college and university believe in the theory of evolution and accept it as fact. The evidence that they provide for their theory is what you would expect from the likes of Penn and Teller—an illusion. And, similarly, there are those who are indoctrinated in their belief systems about the Bible that reject the truth—which is, unless you know Lord Jesus Christ and are baptized by Him in the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11), you will not truly understand the truth of the Scriptures. This is because the Holy Spirit has to be the teacher (John 14:26). For what the Holy Spirit will teach you, will be “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

The scope of the words “all Scripture” means that which is profitable for instruction in righteous, so that every person who desires the truth and hates evil can walk in the joy of salvation.

The Only Words Written By God Himself Form The Plumbline That Enlightens

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Deception Of The Dogma That I Will Have Nothing Known Among You Expect Christ And Him Crucified

Are You Genuinely Seeking The Truth?

If we are genuinely seeking the truth we question all things, especially those that do not sound right. To do this, we are told is an intellectual pursuit and not a heart-felt pursuit of truth. In fact, many will people tell us to hang our hats at the door when we attend a meeting, and in so doing, we forget to take out brains out. For some reason people seem to disengage them when it comes to sitting down on a chair in a lecture hall or listening to a politician speak from the party for whom they vote or a preacher of the denomination they attend.

In the book of Isaiah, there is a scripture informing us we are to reason with God. This is what the scripture states:
“Come now, and let us reason together,” says Yahweh: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Is There Only One Scripture That Refers To Reason?

Many people say that because there is only one scripture in the Bible that clearly states we are to reason with God that engaging our capacity to think is of little importance. Yet when we the scripture from Isaiah, it is obvious that God wants us to appreciate our position in relation to Him in that we are sinners and He has taken what  was causing us to hemorrhage our blood, stop it and clean up the mess that we have made of our lives.  Now it makes sense that if we have the capacity to reason, then we are not creatures  who cannot reason. In the book of Jude we read about people who do not reason but function from instinctive. This is what Jude states:
 But these speak evil of whatever things they don’t know. They are destroyed in these things that they understand naturally, like the creatures without reason.(Jude 1:10 WEB)
The natural understanding of man does not take into account that we did not ask to be born or that being born to die is futile. But the reasoning man begins to think about why he is here or why there is so much suffering on Earth. The natural understanding of man is darkened by the god of this world and therefore accepts that everybody is nothing but a chicken and does his best to survive by climbing as high as possible in the pecking order.  The spiritual man begins to think like an eagle and see things that the chicken who is content to pick grubs from the ground cannot see.

When we being to ask questions and seek answers, we are doing what God expects us to do: exercising the capacity to think as to what is good and what is evil. Ideally, God would have us develop a hatred of evil. In fact, when we read the book of Hebrews, we find that people, who have acknowledged Lord Jesus Christ, as having died on behalf of their sins and having rose from the dead, are expected to become teachers because they have learnt how to exercise their faculties of reason to discern good from evil. This is what we read in the book of Hebrews:
But solid food is for those who are full grown, who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil. (Hebrews 5:14 WEB)
To discern good from evil requires us to have the faculty to do so. We usually refer to this as our intellect or our brain. Sometimes we refer to the mind of a person, rather than the intellect or the brain, to indicate that this belongs to somebody who is demonstrating sound thinking or if not, the loss of the mind, as in: he has lost his mind.

Paul Crucified With Christ

Now let us use our powers of reasoning and have a look at the following text:
When I came to you, brothers, I didn’t come with excellence of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, except Jesus Christ, and myself crucified.  I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.  My speech and my preaching were not in persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,  that your faith wouldn’t stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.  We speak wisdom, however, among those who are full grown; yet a wisdom not of this world, nor of the rulers of this world, who are coming to nothing.  But we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the wisdom that has been hidden, which God foreordained before the worlds for our glory,  which none of the rulers of this world has known. For had they known it, they wouldn’t have crucified the Lord of glory. (1 Corinthians 2:1-8)
Did you notice anything odd about that text?  The Apostle Paul is the person writing this. Essentially, we would have to agree that he would have nothing known among the people except the power of God in Jesus Christ and that he himself is crucified with Lord Jesus Christ.

However, verse 2 reads a little different in most versions of the Bible, stating:
For I determined not to know anything among you, except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
Instead of Paul being crucified with Christ as implied by the context, this verse  when stating “except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” seems to be a misfit and does not quite fit the context.  Either something is wrong with the translations and an error has crept in along the line or there has to be some major significance for this blatant misfit.

Is The Gospel About The Resurrection Or Jesus' Death?

What the verse appears to be saying is that nothing else matters other than Jesus Christ being crucified. The problem with this is that if Jesus was not raised from the dead, our faith is in vain and there is no gospel message. There is just a message of Jesus Christ crucified on the cross and this mystery is the wisdom of God. Essentially, the message is no different to that of the mystery cults. However, we know this is not the case and the Apostle in writing to the Corinthians later states:
 If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith also is in vain. …For if the dead aren’t raised, neither has Christ been raised.  If Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins. (1 Corinthians 15:14,16-17)
When we consider that the Apostle Paul is saying that unless Jesus Christ is raised from the dead, his preaching is in vain. Something seems to be amiss in respect to him saying that he would have nothing known among people except Christ and Him crucified. Don’t you think?

Has The Devil Found A Way In To Deceive?

The truth is there is a little sleight of hand going on. And this is due to the experience, understanding and perceptions of those who are doing the translation from Greek into English. For when we go to the Greek and have a look at what 1 Corinthians 2:2 actually says, we find the reason that this inconsistency within the translation exists.

The words we need to consider are:  καὶ τοῦτον ἐσταυρωμένον. The transliteration of the Greek reads: kai touton estauromenon, which in English means: “and this one having been crucified”.  So the verse could be translated “For I determined not to know anything among you, except Jesus Christ, and this one having been crucified.”

The King James Version Lexicon[i]  informs us:
touton  too'-ton:  this (person, as objective of verb or preposition) -- him, the same, that, this
Had Paul used αὐτοῦ instead of  τοῦτον  to read, καὶ αὐτοῦ ἐσταυρωμένον, this verse would have been translated,  “For I determined not to know anything among you, except Jesus Christ, and he himself crucified.”  

In this case, there is no ambiguity; the reference would be a direct reference to Jesus Christ as the one meant to be crucified. However, he did not, and because of this, the translators have erred a little to put in their preference rather than what it really ought to say in respect to the context.

[As stated above, translators will translate according to their perceptions if there is a possibility of some variance.And we should always bear in mind that the original manuscripts do not exist only copies of copies. But this is not a problem for us who are born of God and baptized in the Holy Spirit for He will lead us into all truth, if this is our desire.]

Paul is really saying, in the context of the text, that he is being crucified along with Jesus Christ, who has been raised from dead, and even though he is weak in his own crucifixion, he is putting his trust in the power of God. Hence, we read the following and it makes complete sense that this is the case.

When I came to you, brothers, I didn’t come with excellence of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, except Jesus Christ, and this one [meaning Paul] having been crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.  My speech and my preaching were not in persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith wouldn’t stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. We speak wisdom, however, among those who are full grown; yet a wisdom not of this world, nor of the rulers of this world, who are coming to nothing.  But we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the wisdom that has been hidden, which God foreordained before the worlds for our glory, which none of the rulers of this world has known. For had they known it, they wouldn’t have crucified the Lord of glory.

In respect to the word  ἐσταυρωμένον,(estauromenon) which is the perfect passive participle of σταυρόω (stauroo), Helps Word Studies informs us:
– to crucify, literally used of the Romans crucifying Christ on a wooden cross. "Crucify" (σταυρόω /stauróō) is also used figuratively of putting the old self to death by submitting all decisions (desires) to the Lord. This utterly and decisively rejects the decision to live independently from Him. [ii]
The  Bad News Of The Deceptive Message

What all this means is that many people take a verse out of context from the Bible because it appeals to them and they then make a dogmatic assertion that this is the basis of their belief or the motivation for their convictions. Over the years among Evangelicals and Calvinists, on numerous occasions, I have heard people misquote this verse, which is already misleading, and say, “I will have nothing known among you except Christ and Him crucified”.

Once a misconception enters into a person’s thinking, this becomes a stumbling block for continuing in the truth. Instead of people realizing that they need to actually be on the cross, because the translators have erred, to emphasize their belief that Jesus died on the cross, but do not understand the resurrection experience in their own lives, they have put a stumbling block in the lives of many other people.

The Truth Always Sets Us Free If We Want It

 However, if a person, like myself,  truly wants to know the truth, then erroneous teaching is no major issue, because we see the error of our ways, and as the Amplified Bible[iii] elaborates regarding the spiritual man, we examine, investigate, inquire into, question, and discern all things. This is why the Lord God invites us to come and reason together with Him. Only the truth will set us free.

Jesus said that if we continue in His word, we will know the truth and the truth will set us free. The truth is not men’s theology. The truth is the experiential Word of God at work in us in the power of the Holy Spirit, as we humbly allow God to place us on the cross and raise us out of our sin.

[i] The King James Version New Testament Greek Lexicon is based on Thayer's and Smith's Bible Dictionary, plus others. It is keyed to the large Kittel and the "Theological Dictionary of the New Testament." Public Domain.
[ii] copyright © 1987, 2011 by Helps Ministries, Inc. Used with Permission
[iii] Joseph P. Lightfoot. (Bishop of Durham — Died  21 December 1889) Notes on the Epistles of Saint Paul. From unpublished commentaries London: MacMillan and Co. 1895. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Why Are There So Many Religions In The World

If you have the view that the world as it is was predetermined and there is nothing that we can do about it, you would have to admit it is rather odd that there are so many religions in the world.

When people think of religions, they may think that there are about five religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and Judaism. These are often considered the main religions. Yet how many people practice Judaism? 

There are about five million Jews living in Israel and there is unlikely to be more than fifteen million Jews outside of Israel.  In fact, the worldwide estimates for Jews puts their number between around 14 million to possibly 18.5 million. The following are the estimates for the top twenty-one countries.

Enlarged 18,437,400
 United States
       5,400,000 - 6,800,000
 European Union
United Kingdom

World Religious Adherents
The following chart shows the top nineteen largest followings of religions. Secularism includes atheism, agnosticism.

2.200   million
1.800   million
1.100   million
1.000   million
Chinese traditional religion
   394    million
   376    million
Ethnic religions not mentioned
   300    million
African traditional religions
   100    million
     23    million
     19    million
     15    million
     14    million
       7    million
       4.2 million
       4    million
Cao Dai
       4    million
       2.6 million
       2     million
       1     million[ii]
We can see that there may appear to be some discrepancy in the numbers, but they are estimates. Judaism in the second chart is estimated at 14 million, where in the previous chart we have a slightly lower estimate and a larger estimate. Regardless of the fact that the figures are a little rubbery, this does give us an idea of the beliefs people have in the world. The so-called Abrahamic religions numbering over half the world’s population at just over 4 billion adherents. Secularism is the surprise figure with 1.1 billion adherents. Buddhism also surprises figuring a lower number of adherents than what it is usually claimed. This is because many people mix traditional Chinese religion and the population of Japan in with its numbers to give it a heuristic 1 billion adherents.

Using  Fear
The reason there are so many religions is because people are able to think and those seeking positions of power have been able to control the ignorant by using fear.  Fear is very much a feature of most religions. Roman Catholicism has used fear to control people since the time of Constantine. Islam is a religion of fear and nothing else. Hinduism is another religion where fear predominates as good works are promoted in order to progress in the cycle of reincarnation. Buddhism promotes the avoidance of suffering and this entails fear. Witch doctors and shamans use fear to control people. In fact, the fear of hell permeates all religions, except Hinduism and secularism. Hinduism has no hell, unless we want to call being reborn into the lowest of creatures and then being tormented in the next life on Earth, hell. Secularism does not believe there is any life outside the one we live now.

Positive Aspects of Religion
Within all the religions there is the recognition that goodness exists. Goodness is found in kindness, generosity, graciousness, positive attitudes, personal esteem, integrity, righteousness, virtue and charity. This recognition of goodness plays a major part within religion and those who practice doing what is good find more favor than those who do evil. Secularism likes to major on the goodness of being human, with humanism being a synonym for secularism.

Quest for the Truth
The underlying reason there are so many religions is that true religion is neither a faith nor a system of thought nor beliefs, but a quest for the truth. However, we could say that we are born at zero and we have to arrive at 100 to be a hero. Like the game of snakes and ladders, each one of us to discover how to get past the pitfalls of life and overcome death and its cause, if we are to be set free by the truth.

Snakes and Ladders
The game of snakes and ladders is an apt analogy for the quest for the truth. This is because the Bible tells us that a snake (the serpent) deceived the first woman and brought about the fall of man. In doing this, God was challenged and events took on a trajectory into the future that were not intended originally. Instead, a righteous God was forced into a position where he had to work with the freewill of men and women and bring about justice for all concerned.

Justice is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, justice provides compensation for those who suffer loss, while on the other, it requires retribution for injustices committed.

As it turns out, the Bible tells us that the first snake decided to invite other angels to join him. These angels left their positions of responsibility and became poisonous snakes too. The reason they are poisonous snakes is they seek to cause people to self-destruct by violating the laws of righteousness (i.e. sin), rejecting God and worshiping the fallen angels. This is why snakes and ladders is all about getting the victory over the snakes to find one’s own place in the plan and purpose of God.

Religion comes about because the recognition of the existence of opposing ideas such as good and evil, love and hate, peace and fear, joy and anger, happiness and suffering, right and wrong, true and false, justice and injustice, life and death, hope and futility.

Two Types of Religion
There are two types of religion. Personal religion is the quest for the truth. Organized religion is the quest to control the masses by those who want to rule.

Disregarding organized religion and considering personal religion, then we are all of a quest to find our roots and establish our true connection with our Heavenly Father. How we do this depends on a number of factors. The more serious we are in seeking the answers for our existence, the more earnest we will be. If we recognize that we are not seeking personal gratification but the truth, then we will not rest until we have discovered it.

The way to the truth is where most people get caught out. This is because like the game of snakes and ladders there are many snakes that want to prevent us from finding the truth, even if we have begun to align our thinking and our ways towards knowing the source of life, because this is our heartfelt desire.

Only Person To Truly Rise From The Dead
Jesus of Nazareth is the only person in history of whom it is attested that He has risen from the dead.  People mock this and point to other fables that are recorded about people rising from the dead. Only we do not have any religion today where the originator rose from the dead with adherents claiming that they have met the one who has been raised, except for those who claim to have had an encounter with the risen Lord Jesus Christ.

Apart from the fact He was crucified an innocent man and rose from the dead, what is significant about Lord Jesus Christ is He clearly stated that not only He is the Way, but also that He is the Truth, and He is the Life.  Acknowledging the futility of being born to die, the desire for justice, and the recognition of personal responsibility, are three basic elements inherent within religion, or any quest for ultimate truthestablishing the existence of eternal life and the purpose of existence.

Different Views Among Christians
Even among people who call themselves Christians, who begin to look to God and desire to find the truth that will enable them to enjoy life forever, there are many different views. Looking to God is the beginning of discovering the way.

Unfortunately, the snakes want to divert our thinking, and they will do whatever they can to cause us to accept a falsehood as truth. Because of this, within Christendom (a better term for Christianity), the kingdoms of the world that like to identify with the sayings of Jesus establishing, we find many organizations that acknowledge Jesus but in different ways. Some say Jesus was a great man. Others say Jesus was a prophet sent from God (Islam and Judaism acknowledge this but not His resurrection. Then there are those people who acknowledge Jesus' death for the sins of the world and His resurrection.

The Narrow Way
The way back to the Father of Creation is a road for many is a windy road (up hill and down vale) that suffers potholes, sinkholes, and landslides, and requires a do or die earnestness on the part of the seeker if the truth is to be found.  When we consider this, and the fact that we have adversaries intent on our destruction, we can begin to understand why there are so many expressions of religion in the world. For as Lord Jesus Christ Himself said, when on Earth:
 “Enter in by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter in by it. How narrow is the gate, and restricted is the way that leads to life! Few are those who find it. (Matthew 7:13-14 World English Bible)
In the book of Proverbs, speaking about wisdom personified in the Eternal Son of God, we have this instruction:
I walk in the way of righteousness, in the middle of the paths of justice; (Proverbs 8:20 World English Bible)
Heart For Justice
If we have a heart for justice, we will desire the truth more than flattery of men and the lies of the evil one. However, those who love justice, need to find it for themselves first, before they can help others. This is true religion: the pursuit of justice. You did not ask to be born. You did not ask to suffer. You did not ask to die.

Those who use religion as a means of deception to confuse, delude and reign over you, are not of God, but from the devil. The devil is the god of this world. If the Devil can have many religions to bring about his purpose to thwart the will of God, then like the snakes in game of Snakes and Ladders, every time the Evil One can get his fangs into your thinking, he will drag you down, and, if possible, even create a new religion using you. This is why there are so many religions.

However, Jesus is the Way, the truth and the Life. Besides Lord Jesus Christ, there is no other.