FIRST-TRUMP#top..........Sound the alarm in Zion..... ...........................

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. A Priest sounds the alarm on a shofar

 

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House of Cards

DANGEROUS DOCTRINES

18Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 19When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. (Mat 13:)

23But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (Mat 13:)


"All roads lead to God. It doesn't matter what you believe just as long as you believe and are sincere in your beliefs."

"Oh no! That's not right at all. You have to believe the right thing or you'll go to hell for sure!"

"That kind of talk is intolerant. What right has one person got to tell another person that they're wrong in their beliefs? Besides, who's the one to know what's right and what's wrong. Only God knows the difference. To say you know the difference means you think you're God or something."

"Well, I know there's a difference is all. My Pastor says that if a person isn't saved and baptized that they'll go to hell for eternity. I'm not taking any chances. I did what I'm supposed to do."

"And there's another thing. You go to church, right?"

"Right. Well, most of the time."

"And you know your church is right and all the others are wrong, right?"

"Not all the churches are wrong, but a whole bunch of them are."

"And how do you know your church is right? Maybe your's is wrong and another one is right. And if that's true, then you'll be going to hell just like all those other people you say are going."

"No, no. that's wrong. Mine is right. I just know it is."

"Oh yeah? And just how do you know it's the right one?

"Because, because my pastor told me it is, that's how."


People seek power. Power is not an entity in itself. Power requires that something or someone acknowledge that power we claim to possess.

Throughout history there has always been someone in power. And regardless how much power that person holds, they demanded more. Great empires are evidence of this quest for more and more power.

In the past century we have seen strong examples of this quest for power, both on a large scale and on a small. We've seen the tragic impact this quest can have on those such a power is wielded upon. We've seen Hitler's Germany, Japan, and Mussolini's Italy. We've seen the rise and fall of Russia, and again the raising of it. And we are seeing the rebirth of ancient struggles and conflicts in the Middle East, and the consequences thereof.

On a smaller scale we've seen the Jim Jones suicide and massacre, and the Heaven's Gate suicide pact. We see employers enforcing their power over their employees, schools forcing their attitudes on trusting youth. We see parents demanding unquestioning obedience from their spouse and children, with the incidence of domestic violence on the rise. And we see the older and the bigger of children wielding their power over their smaller siblings.


Power is a natural part of human makeup. And power, unlike most other of man's natural instincts where self-discipline is desired , is not only tolerated and sought after, but encouraged both in society, and in the church.

And power is one area of endeavor were honesty and integrity are not only unlikely to be found, but not expected in those who possess it.


If I, as a writer, was to write a biography of Abraham Lincoln, you would not assume I lived the life of Abraham Lincoln, or that I was Abraham Lincoln, only that I was writing what I know about Abraham Lincoln. And for there to be authenticity to my writing, I should have Abraham Lincoln telling me what I am to write, and for him to correct my errors as far as accuracy of his life is concerned.

This is true in other fields as well. If I were to write a book about medicine and call it "Authoritative," you would assume I had credentials indicating that I had been fully educated in the field of medicine.


As a writer, I am not necessarily supposed to know as much about the subject I write about as I am the art of writing. However if I say I am an authority on a given subject, that's a different matter entirely. For instance, if I wrote about Abraham Lincoln and I claimed to be Abraham Lincoln, I become a liar and an imposter. Or if I was to write a book about medicine and claimed to be an accredited expert in the field, then I become not only a liar but a criminal and possibly liable at that.


If I claimed to be Abraham Lincoln, and you read my book and believed what I said, the most damage it could cause is that you might believe something that is a falsehood. It wouldn't actually do you any harm.

However, if you were to read what I might say about some medical diagnoses and the treatment of a serious ailment, believed what I said, and followed my advise, it could possibly cost you your health and even your life.


In the field of exegesis, that is the interpreting of the Bible, there are essentially three groups of people who take it upon themselves to write about the Bible and its meanings.

The first of these groups of people are those who oppose the Bible, often violently so, and are very possibly opposed to Christians and God as well. Some of these people are those of other religions who believe in God, but they have their own books and authoritarians they follow, and therefore they wish to tear down the Bible in effort to win converts to their way of thinking.

This can be understood as it is the same thinking and motivations held by Christians who criticize the writings of other religions and philosophies (and other denominations as well) that are not of their own.

During war time this is a common practice. The enemy will present themselves as a comrade or a dear friend in effort to introduce and spread their propaganda with the intent, not to help, but to harm those they have supposedly befriended. Again we see spies who's purpose is to learn the enemy's code and send false reports to that enemy in order to entice them into a dangerous or compromising situation.

War and religion are not the only places we find such behavior; we see it in business, in the media, in politics, and we see it in families where one sibling (or even parent such as in situations involving divorce) where one will make an effort to get the other sibling into trouble with the parents.

No damage can be more devastating than that damage caused by someone who is supposedly on our side.


There's another group of people who fit the above category who are not as interested in promoting their own ideology as they are merely discrediting the Bible. Their aim is to destroy all faith in the Bible for whatever their reason.

This group of people, rather than simply state their opinions as an objecting observer, place themselves in a position of authority by calling themselves "Christian Theologians." Very often these "Theologians" are highly educated men or women and have credentials from Theological seminaries and colleges. And many, if not most of these Theologians are (or have been) pastors in denominational churches, affording them just that much more credibility with which to persuade the unsuspecting.

However, instead of desiring to find, or to teach Truth, these Theologians spread what might be considered more of a venom in effort to undermine the faith of believers in the Word; or at least the faith of those not of their own persuasion or denominational views.

This class of Theologian, rather than attack Christianity and Christ from the outside as do those in the category above, have infiltrated the church and wear the name tag of the Christian and attack from the inside under the guise of promoting and clarifying that which they wish to destroy.

These Theologians can usually be recognized by the fact that their doctrines and their observations are fully accepted by the groups and individuals in the first example, and by the World in general. TV specials, especially around Christmas time, are usually dedicated to the works of these Theologians.

As you have undoubtedly noticed, this group of people are very similar to those in the first group. I think of the difference, not in the action of the person involved, but in the intent of their heart. For instance, the spy in the above situation might not care one way or another about the enemy he wishes to destroy, and the sibling might actually love the brother or sister she's trying to get in trouble. On this last group the one in the role of the destroyer might have a hatred for the people he sets out to destroy, or he might hate the ideology of the people he opposes.


An example of this category that comes to mind is that of the Jesus Seminar. We think because the Jesus Seminar is made up of professional and often highly trained men in the field of Christian Theology that their purpose is to give an honest appraisal of the Bible and of Jesus. We might expect that, as we would our own pastor if he was a part of such an institution, they would want to promote the Jesus they purportedly preach. But as we examine their "findings," we see they are very biased toward discrediting Jesus and all He has done or said. If an acclaimed opponent to the Bible such as Madeline Murray O'Hare was to give an account such as the one the Jesus Seminar promotes it would be thrown out of the box without being given a moment's notice. But since it came from "experts"' and "Lovers of Jesus," it holds great credibility with many people.

We know and we accept that the media, especially television, is anti-Christian. We fully expect what the media presents to us is going to be negative toward that which we purport to believe. Yet we see these splendid documentaries on the Bible that appear so fully authenticated and strongly in favor of the Bible. The "enemy" of the Bible is teaching us the wonders and the beauty and the truths of the Bible? Isn't that rather an odd paradox? Yet how can we possibly doubt their integrity? But pay close attention to who they use as their "authority." It's the same person who created and promotes the Jesus Seminar. Again, what if they had used for their authority on the Bible such a person as a Buddhist monk or even Madeline Murray O'Hare? Would we pay as much attention to their findings as we do? Or let me take this a step farther, if this man they use as their authority hadn't been an important part of the organization mentioned above, what authority would he be afforded?

Consider this: You search the web or some other resource for a product you can count on to do the best job for the best price. Let us say it's an Antivirus for your computer. You want to make sure you get the very best Antivirus available so you can relax and use your computer freely without worry. You find an Antivirus that's highly acclaimed by magazines as being the best. You see it has won prizes for its ability to do what you're wanting an Antivirus to do. You purchase the Antivirus, install it, and later you read where the Antivirus you installed is actually, not only ineffective as an Antivirus, but it carries with it a virus of its own along with multiple spyware as well. You do some more searching of the web. Now you notice that the magazines and the contests that promote the Antivirus you purchased are nothing more than subsidiaries of the same company that puts out the Antivirus you bought. If you think I'm making this up, you haven't done much research on this subject. This is a very common practice, that of creating businesses for the sole purpose of promoting the product (or the person) who has an agenda to propagate.

Those inside the church, those behind the pulpits can do far more harm than the ones holding up signs protesting your beliefs outside the church you attend. Yet it's the one who's patting us on the back and telling us how wonderful we are that is much more a danger to us than the one pointing a knife at our heart.


There's a word used in the Bible to denote those who oppose Jesus Christ and all He stands for. This word has a double, and what might even be considered a contradictory meaning. The word is "Antichrist."

According to the English dictionary, "anti" means to: "Oppose." This interpretation can also be found in the Greek concordance. And this meaning of the word certainly fits those who choose to place themselves in the two categories above.


There is yet another meaning to the word "Antichrist," and those Theologians who fit this description are the ones I am most concerned about, and the ones this study is directed toward.

The first definition (above) of Antichrist might easily fit Satan and his angels or "messengers." ("Angel" in the Greek means: "Messenger." For instance, John the Baptist was an "angelos," who went before and announced the Messiah. By implication a pastor of a church is also an "angel" since the word is derived from sources meaning: "a moving herd or drove," like cattle, and "to lead, or keep.") These antichrists work to destroy or tear down Christ, not take the place of Him. The serpent in the garden also tried to undermine God's Word, not usurp God. We see this use of the word Antichrist in the above examples of those who wish to tear down the Bible, not replace it, nor to replace Jesus.


The second meaning of Antichrist is to stand "instead of."

When we read the description of the "beast" (In the Greek: "venomous, wild, dangerous": derived from a word meaning: "trap, destruction") in the Book of Revelation we see someone who places himself in the place of God and demands worship. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, one of the temptations the devil presented was that Jesus should fall down and worship him (Mat 4:9). Worship belongs to God only.

We think of Theologians a being people who are well versed in the ways of God, and highly educated as well. This is very often found to be the case. However, we must keep in mind that what a Theologians learns is not actually what is taught by God, or by Christ, or by the writers of the Bible. What they have learned is what the school they attended teaches.

Schools of Theology are not designed to teach the Words of God, nor can they be expected to. Only God can teach His ways, and this is accomplished through individuals by the Spirit of God, that is the Holy Spirit. (Read John chapters 14 thru 16). What the schools, colleges and seminaries teach are given sets of doctrines that are to be studied and memorized, just as is done in any other school of learning. What the students in these schools learn (or at least are supposed to learn) are formulas, doctrines and rules as are believed and dictated by whatever denomination supports that school. (And as we know, those Theological Seminaries that had long stood as bastions of spirituality are falling more and more sway to the teachings of the World at large).

A student at Golden Gate or Faith Baptist Seminary will learn Baptist views of the Bible. Students of Oral Roberts or Regent School of Divinity will be taught Pentecostal beliefs, not Baptist.

Of course you might easily say that students of any of the above schools don't differ so very much in their theologies. It could be said that a student of one denominational school might have little difficulty adjusting to the thinking and the teachings of the other denomination. And this is true. But keep in mind, their doctrines are different, and yet they are both called theologies, and the students of these differing theologies are called "Theologians."

Let's up the ante a bit. Consider a student from a school such as St. Mary's or St. Patrick's University. Would you perhaps question that Theologian's theology, being trained in the doctrines of the Catholic church, if you were a Baptist?

Let's go a little farther up the scale (or down the scale according to your view of the matter). Let's consider graduates of the Brigham Young University (LDS Mormon), or the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead (Jehovah's Witness). How do you think these Theologians might fare at our Baptist church?

Now, let's take it a step beyond. We now have a Theologian holding a Doctorate from the Islamic University of Madinah, and an ordained priest from the Five Mountains Buddhist Seminary. Is there a possibility that these Theologians might hold concepts differing from their Baptist brethren?


Please keep in mind, this is not a judgement call placing one point of view over another. It is my effort here to point out that holding a piece of paper indicating that one is highly educated in the field of Theology ("The study of religion" according to Oxford) does not mean such a person has more of an understanding of God's Word than does anyone else. It just means they are more deeply indoctrinated in one set of ideologies than are others without that same education.

Nor is this a condemnation of Theologians, as much as it must seem to be. Theology is a very fine course of study, and I admire those who have taken such a course for their life. However, they, as well as we, must keep in mind that such studies cause a person to become much more entrenched in their beliefs than is healthy, believing that what they have been taught is the end of reasoning, rather than the beginning.

It should also be kept in mind that graduates of these schools of higher learning hold a Th.D. (or something similar) that proclaims to the world that they possess "truth" in a matter. This title indicates they are a Doctor of that which they have studied. We, the lay folk of the world, place a high degree of prestige, trust and expectation on those who have reached such a level as they have attained.

However, I'm afraid that all to often the doctors of the church have gone the way of the doctors in the field of medicine, the which is demonstrated all too often by the high rate of medical malpractice as is reported in the media. We use the word "doctor up" when we try to fix something that is beyond reasonable repair. A fitting epitaph I'm afraid for what is done all too often with the doctrines of the churches.

Because of the Theologian's education and interest in the Bible, they often feel it necessary to explore the subject they hold dear, and to find answers to questions that come to their mind, and that often plague the Christian world as well. And, of course, the answers they come up with they consider "conclusions," and "Truth," rather than the theory they in fact are.

When a Theologian's investigation leads into what appears to be a dead-end, with which the Bible is froth, rather than reevaluate their conclusions, they search for evidence, often bits and pieces from here and there, even from spurious sources they would never dream of considering, to support their findings. Then, having established one fixed point, they continue reconstructing all other information they find to conform with their faulted first conclusion.

The Theory of Evolution is resplendent with this type of thinking. When one duck is shot down, there's a frantic search for another set of broken pieces to take its place in the shooting gallery of higher education.


As an example of this type of reasoning in the church, I will present the conflict between two principal doctrines within the Protestant denominations. (These doctrines bleed out into the Catholic church, the Liberal churches and the "Cults" as well.) The doctrines to which I refer are the Calvinist and the Arminian views of Theology, the latter being an offshoot of the former.


To begin I will point out that there are two junctions at which these views merge, these are their concept of Total Depravity of Man (we are completely sinful); and the Substitutionary Atonement for the Elect of God. However, even here within this agreement there are differences of opinion either in their substance, or in what is required to remedy the situation.


On the point of Election (God decides who will and who will not be saved), Arminians believe that one must have faith to make their election sure. Calvinists on the other hand believe that faith is a kind of works (a naughty word), and therefore not a condition for Salvation (very loosely put).


Grace, as believed by the Arminians, is given freely to all converts, to be accepted or rejected by each and all.

Calvinists believe that Grace is only given to the elect of God, and is irresistible: that is, it can't be lost once given in spite of how sinful a person becomes after they are saved.


Who is saved: although both believe that the Gospel must be preached to all, they do not agree on who can be saved. Arminians believe that everyone can be saved.

Calvinists believe that only those preselected by God will be saved, and the others can not be saved. (If you are a Calvinist, you best hope you are one of the ones chosen to be saved, or else hope the Arminians are right and you are wrong. And as a point of information, how is one to know if they are one chosen, or if they have just been wasting their time trying to be perfect? Just a thought.)


Perseverance of the Saints: Arminians believe that Salvation is secured, and can't be influenced by outside forces (like the devil), but it can be surrendered by not following through to the end. In other words, it can be lost.

Calvinists on the other hand are divided into two camps. The Traditional Calvinists believe that once saved, always saved. This means that Jesus paid the price for all sins, that is, all sins for those He has chosen to be saved. Therefore, since all sins they may commit after they are saved have been paid for as well, there is no choice but to skate into Heaven on Jesus' coattails. As for those who haven't been called? I guess it's punishment in hell for those in spite of any effort to have it otherwise. To these traditionalists: those who continue in sin after they are regenerated are giving evidence that they were not saved to begin with because they were not sincere in the beginning.

The second camp, the non-traditional Calvinists (and other Evangelicals) believe a saved person can sin to their heart's delight, that is, they can become fully apostatized, and still must be let in through the Pearly Gates.


Two groups of people standing on opposite sides of a pit throwing rocks at one another, each claiming the other is wrong, and often claiming the other is doomed for the pit they stand at the edge of.


Stepping outside the Traditional views as pointed out above, we have the ever-growing concept that Jesus died for all sins, therefore everyone, even the devil and his demons, will be saved and taken to Heaven in the end. This would mean, I take it, that all the sacrifices of the Old Testament saints, and the Apostles, will get them no farther than will the dastardly sins of Adolph Hitler or Nero. Certainly such a concept would be supported by the teachings of the churches, that is, that works don't count, even though we read all through the Word that it's our works that will justify or that will condemn us.

Keep in mind that all these views, no matter how bazaar they may seem to you and to me, are fully supported by Scripture from the very same Bible you use. When you consider the, what must be millions, of verses in the Bible we can see that anything can be proven by God's Word, if we want to leave out everything that conflicts with what we want to believe. God's Word is sure, our doctrines are not. Only God can teach His Word, the Theologian and the pastor must by necessity teach doctrine, not the Word. The Word is read of course every Sunday, but it is explained away in the sermon that accompanies that reading.


What I have shown above is the major extremes of the Protestant church. Not all denominations fit into either of these camps; at least not fully. Some denominations take a piece out of this camp, and a bite out of the other, and form their own view upon which they build their wall around. As an example of this, I have shown the traditional and the non-traditional view of Calvinism.

Considering just Calvinism, there are subdivisions recognized as such (of course there are many sub subgroups and sub-sub-sub subgroups as well). A few of the subgroups have been called: Arminianism. That's right, Arminians are a subgroup of the Calvinists, just like all the Protestant churches are a subgroup of the Catholic church, and the cults are a subgroup of the Protestant church. Tell me when you get confused so I'll know I'm not alone. The sub groups are, as an example: the Hyper-Calvinists; the Four Point Calvinists; the Neo-Calvinists; the Neo-Orthodoxy Calvinists; the Lapsarianists; and the Christian Reconstructionists (which, I suppose, would include at least some of the cults).

In the 1970's there were estimated to be over 33,000 different denominations in this world. With all the dividing and subdividing since that date, I wonder how many more there are now? Of course the figure given here is not derived from proper accounting by the one conducting the research. But all of us know, just by looking at our own city phone directory, that there are many hundreds of very different theologies in this world.


I present a challenge to you. If you are a Calvinist, that is, you go to a Calvinist-based church to one degree or another (I could say Arminian as well, but I've listed more variations within the Calvinist doctrine so I use them), can you tell me what set of beliefs your church holds to? In fact, can you even tell me if your church is Calvinist or Arminian based?

Or is such information relegated to the theologians and the pastors of the various churches, do you think?

What do you think God thinks?

What do you think God thinks of all these obliterations of His Word?

Do you think any of this has any bearing on Jesus' admonition in Matthew where He said:


18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Mat 5:18)


Or this at the very end of His book where He said:


18For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Rev 22:)


We, you and I, are to follow the rules as laid out in the Bible. The fate of our "eternal soul" depends on our "works" here on earth. Many times throughout the Bible Jesus and the Apostles made it perfectly clear that if we are to make it to Heaven, and avoid the pit called hell, we have to follow the commandments of Jesus.

I ask you, if the "experts" of the Bible for the last 2,000 year can't even get within an eternity's reach of one another as to what the Bible says we are to do, then what chance have we that we will make it to that great city in the sky?


To begin this study I said that I would be criminal if I were to claim to be another person and write a biography as such. I would be worse than criminal if I were to write a medical book as one having information I don't have. This being the case, what would you say of people merely claiming to have, and understand, the Word of God that they dispense like candy to trusting and uneducated souls who count on them for their Salvation?

Yet this is exactly the situation we incur. We have people who have taken it upon themselves to interpret the Word of God and proclaim their interpretations as "Truth" that must be abided by.

I must clarify a point here. In some cases, and perhaps in many cases, the one who devised the theory and writes about it is not actually the one at fault. He or she is merely stating what they believe, just as I do here. But those who take such a theory, and make a religions of it as did the Pharisees in Jesus' time, are, in my mind, guilty of leading innocent and trusting people astray.

I must state also that those who follow people blindly are not free of guilt themselves. We are admonished to "search the Scriptures diligently" to confirm the Words spoken to us. I might add as well that we're to pray over that we've heard and seek the Lord and His will for us rather than continue blindly in the footsteps of the one who sets himself up as a leader under the guidance of the Lord. An extreme example of such blind following can be seen in the Jim Jones tragedy in Guiana.


Jesus said:


25These 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. (John 14:)


If we're to understand the Word of God we must have the Holy Spirit as our guide. If we do not have the Holy Spirit, then there's no way we will ever understand what God is actually saying to us. And if we do not seek the Truth, and thus having set our desires and our self-serving nature aside, we will not hear what God is saying.


10And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. (Mat 13:)


Jesus did not speak so those around Him will understand. In fact just the opposite is true. He spoke so those who hear, with their carnal ear, would not understand, and so they would stumble. Those who try to direct God's Word toward their own lusts, or their own chosen doctrine, will find themselves hopelessly lost in a quagmire of their own deceits.

Isaiah put it this way:


9Whom 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. (Isaiah 28:)


God wrote two Bibles. Although what we read appears as one, it is in actuality two. I know what you're thinking: you think I am referring to the Old testament and the New Testament.

This is not so. The New Testament can not be understood without knowledge of the Old Testament, and the Old Testament was essentially a preview and an explanation of what God had in mind, which is exemplified and fulfilled in the New Testament.


Some say that God wrote two Bibles, referring to the heavens above us, and the Scriptures.


The two Bibles I'm speaking of are written both in the New Testament and in the Old Testament.

There are two sets (at least) of every subject scattered about in the Scriptures, separated yet intermingled.

One set of these Writings is designed to lead the reader astray, into dead-ends, and into false doctrine.

The other set of Scripture can only be read through the instruction and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This last set of Scriptures make a great deal of sense to the Spiritual person, but to those who read without the Spirit it makes no more sense than does the Gospel to the World.

The Bible describes this phenomena in this way:


9Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. 10For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. 11And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: 12And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. 13Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: 14Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. 15Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? 16Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding? (Isa 29:)


It's our eternal life at stake. If we choose to follow the blind without question with no more regard for the integrity of what we hear than that which we apply toward buying a newspaper, then we deserve the consequences that are to follow.


Not all people fit into this category. There are some who are devoting all their life and energy into their service of the Lord as they see it. They have either grown up in the church they attend, and therefore know no other, or they have in one way or another chosen their church with faith. These are the ones I'm concerned with here in these studies. The ones who wear a badge that says they're Christian because it is the thing to do, or because it serves their purpose in some other way, I can't be concerned with. If someone doesn't choose to move, I can't be expected to direct them.


While I place myself as a critic of those who have elected themselves to be the Spiritual guide of others, am I not placing myself in the very seat of those I scorn? I should certainly hope not.

My intent is to direct all who will listen away from the advice and the doctrines of others. This certainly applies to all I say as well. Jesus said those who follow Him will be given the Holy Spirit, and it is He who will instruct, guide and explain what's given to them. He also said that those who have will be given more, and those who have not will lose that which they seem to have. This has certainly proven to be the case with the churches of today. The proof that the churches of today have not listened to the Lord is evidenced in their falling further and further away from the confines of God's Word, and more and more into the World's way of thinking. What they may have had as far as understanding of God's Word in the past was not respected or followed, therefore what little they had has been taken from them and they, without a light to guide them, are falling farther and farther into their own concocted darkness, while thinking their darkness is God's enlightenment.

The churches have been clinging to false doctrine, and teaching those doctrines as Truth. The proof of the fact that those doctrines were not God's Word is in their current apostasy. Had they the Truth, and sought more, they would be receiving more Truth, not less.


I don't want any one to follow me. I do not have the "Truth." I've said this from the beginning, and I do so even more now. Whatever I say must be taken with a grain of salt. My hope is that everyone who reads what I say will devalue all they already think they know, from whatever source they have learned it, and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit (which they supposedly possess if they are converted) and learn what He has to tell them. Mine is just another source of information, which I consider to be given to me by the Holy Spirit, and of course I consider it to be factual. But should my information be in fact right on target, it will suffice no one who accepts it if it isn't given to them by the Holy Spirit.

Unlike Theologians and Pastors, I do not claim to have the Truth, nor do I seek followers. Quite the contrary. Jesus chased all His disciples away except the most dedicated of His followers. In this same way I seek to chase those who are dedicated to the Lord to Him, and be counted as a fool and a heretic by those who have embedded themselves in doctrine and self-serving.

This said, I will continue.


In the days of the Old Testament there were people stationed on the walls of the city who were to check for enemies that may approach with the intent to do the citizens harm. If danger was spotted, they were to blow the shofar, a ram's horn trumpet. The signal was to be load and clear. (The picture on the pages of First Trump depicts this shofar, and the sound played is that of warning - 9 blasts with a trail at the end.)

The job of the watcher on the wall was very important. If the watchman failed to be alert, or if he failed to recognize danger when it presented itself, thinking an enemy was in fact friendly, or at least had no malicious intent, then the entire city could well be in mortal danger.

The consequences for being an incompetent watchman was high. We have this Scripture to tell us what God expects of His watchmen:


16And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 17Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. 18When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; BUT HIS BLOOD WILL I REQUIRE AT THINE HAND. 19Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. 20Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but HIS BLOOD WILL I REQUIRE AT THINE HAND. 21Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul. (Ezek 3:)


1Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: 3If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; 4Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 5He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. 6But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. 7So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. 8When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but HIS BLOOD WILL I REQUIRE AT THINE HAND. 9Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. (Ezek 33:)


36And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. 37Blessed are those servants, whom the lord WHEN HE COMETH SHALL FIND WATCHING: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. 38And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 39And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. 40Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. (Luke 12:)


15Behold, I come as a thief. BLESSED IS HE THAT WATCHETH, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. (Rev 16:)


God had placed Ezekiel on the wall to be a watchman. And if he did not warn the people when danger presented itself, the blood of those people would be on his head. This, as we have seen, also applies to those who have taken on the job as watchman.


God said that besides blowing an alarm when an enemy approached, it was imperative that he blow the right alarm; that his signal was to be loud and accurate. There were many different signals that were blown on the trumpet; the citizens heard trumpets all the time, every day. But only one sound blown on the trumpet would cause them to prepare to protect themselves. Paul put it like this (in reference to speaking in tongues):


7And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped? 8For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? (1Cor 14:)


Theologians have taken it upon themselves to be watchmen on the wall. They, for whatever their reason whether it be for ego's sake or because they believe they've been called, have placed themselves in the line of duty as spokesmen of God.

Along with these Theologians we have the pastors, the shepherds who echo the alarm, or the lack of an alarm, that the Theologians have blown.


God created Adam and Eve. One of the very first things God did after He created man was, first to give him a job to perform, and then He gave him a set of rules which he was to follow, and which he was to relay to those who were to come after him.

For Adam there was only one rule by which he had to live. He did not have a book he had to memorize, or a thousand pages of complicated Scriptures he had to wade through and make sense of. He had but one rule.


God created man. God created this world. This is God's creation, it is His to do with as He pleases. If He decided to wad the world into spitball and cast it into oblivion, who's to stop Him? It's His to do with what He will.

Man does not like the idea of not being in control of his own life and his own destiny. He tries to change everything to suit himself; and this includes trying to tell God how to run His business. And when God doesn't do things our way, we accuse Him of not playing fair:


1The word of the LORD came unto me again, saying, 2What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge? 3As I live, saith the Lord GOD, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel. 4Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. 5But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right, ....... 8He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man, 9Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD.......

21But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 22All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. 23Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? 24But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. 25Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal? 26When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. 27Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. 28Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 29Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?

30Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. 31Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? 32For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye. (Ezek 18:)


The Bible tells us that one of the very first occurrences in the Garden of Eden was that of deception. Whether it was during the first weeks after Adam and Eve were created, or if it was a hundred years, we don't know. But, we do know what the first deception was.

We think of the first sin, or error, committed was that of the serpent lying to Eve. It was not. The very first error made was the same as that of the Pharisees: adding to the Word of God in effort to make His law less likely to be broken. That was the Pharisee's error. The serpent, rather than add to God's Words in effort to protect His Word, altered the Words just enough to enable Eve to do what she (and Adam) wanted to do anyway. This is still going on today, and the words are being said by those who purport to know God's will. We hear the "protectors" of God's Word tell us that it's now ok to do as we will (if we've been baptized) because God no longer cares, or He doesn't see our sin because it's covered by the blood of Jesus. Adam and Eve's first covering for their sin was fig leaves they made themselves. Today we use doctrine already prepared and machine stitched together by the churches.

Here's what God said to Adam:


16And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Gen 2:)


But when confronted by the serpent, Eve had this to say about the fruit of the forbidden tree:


2And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. (Gen 3:)


In all fairness to Eve, she might have very well have been told by Adam that God said not to touch the fruit, just to make sure she got the message, which was the error of the Pharisees. But whatever the case, God's Word was altered, and they both fell into disobedience.

Here is what God said about altering His Word, even slightly:


18For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Rev 22:)


Jesus had this to say about the Words of the Bible:


15And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. 16The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. 17And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. (Luke 16:)


Let's go back to the garden, before the fall. Here we have the second transgression committed, and this time it was neither Adam nor Eve who was at fault, but rather a talking animal ("beast of the field").

Remember Eve altered God's Words by adding to them; the serpent didn't add to the Words:


4And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: (Gen 3:)


He changed God's Words until they had the very opposite effect than was intended. But at the same time there's an interesting little fact that's easily overlooked if one isn't knowledgeable in regard to the Hebrew language. The word God used when telling Adam that he would surely die is "Ye shall die die,' to emphasize the need to obey. Eve didn't use this term, but the serpent did! This tells me that Eve didn't hear exactly what God said, but the serpent was very likely there listening at the time God instructed Adam about the trees.


All through the Old Testament we have the Jews falling away from God, then after being punished for their transgression, they would return in tears.

God, when the Jews fell away, would send them a prophet to straighten them out and warn them what would happen if they didn't change their ways.

And each time, instead of change, they killed the prophet so they wouldn't have to listen to him.

At the same time God's spokesman was telling them what they must do to avoid punishment, there were many other "prophets" telling them what they wanted to hear.

We have this example:


5And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, inquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD to day. 6Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall I go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king. 7And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might inquire of him? 8And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so. 9Then the king of Israel called an officer, and said, Hasten hither Micaiah the son of Imlah. (1Kings 22:)


2Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2Tim 4:)


The king had 400 prophets telling him what he wanted to hear. There was one in his midst, not of the 400, who he knew would tell him the truth and who spoke for God. The King was not interested in hearing what the true prophet of God had to say, nor what God had to say; he only wanted to hear what he wanted to hear and no more. We have this as well:


19And the LORD said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner. 20Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will entice him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? 21And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the LORD said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so. 22Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee. (2Chron 18:)


20Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? (Rom 9:)


As we look back through history we see some terrible things done in the name of Christianity. We see the Crusades, the Inquisition, the torture of the saints; all this in the name of Christ. Did things get out of God's hands? Did the almighty, all-seeing, omnipotent God lose control of His creation? You know better than that. Yet such explanations as this is what we give to try and understand the will of God.

Could Hitler have done all he did when God's back was turned and His attention was directed elsewhere? I would feel like a fool if I tried to propagate such an idea. God sees every sparrow fall, knows the number of hairs on my head; yet He doesn't see or have control over the big events of the world? If God was unconcerned about WW2, then how can I possibly think He would be concerned when I come down with a cold and feel confident He's watching after me. Doesn't such a concept fly in the face of reason?

Jesus knew Judas was going to betray Him. Jesus even said the betrayal had to take place because, as He said, it had been prophesied hundreds of years before. God knew the Church would go astray as it has, we even have it in His Word. And the key figures in the course of the Apostate Church He put in place Himself. Why He does as He does I don't know. I don't think I would do it the way He does if I were God. But I'm not God, so it isn't my place to understand or to instruct God. It is my place, however, to pay close heed to what God is doing and not try to explain it away or to justify Him. He does not need me to "apologize" for Him or to explain His actions.

We have watched the churches go from bad to worse to terrible. God is fully aware of what's happening, and He has ordained it so. Joseph Smith did not come up with the "Golden Tablets" or an angel called Moroni on his own. Nor did any of the other of the leaders of cults or denominations develop their concepts by their own wits. God is using these people to fulfill His purpose. What we, you and I, have to be aware of is that this is taking place, and not blindly follow someone into oblivion. It only takes a tiny match to start a forest fire. Water destroyed the nuclear plants of Japan and devastated the country. We have had wind, something that lacks substance in itself, destroy huge parts of our country and has, and it looks like will again, cause such devastation as the Dust Bowl of the last century.

If you follow someone the Lord has placed in the pulpit, who has thousands or even millions of faithful followers; and that person is in place to cause the Church to shift just slightly off the mark; where do you think you will find yourself at the Judgement? Will you point your finger at the person you followed and blame him? God tells us over and over not to follow anyone, but rather to listen to the voice of the True Shepherd. Is it then God's fault when we choose to ignore His commandment, just as Adam ignored his?


We think of Theologians and Pastors as something of a higher creation than the rest of us. We consider them as having a special channel to God that we don't have. This is especially true in the Catholic church and some cults where such an attitude is propagated and encouraged.

We must, before we can understand God's Word, dispel such an attitude. God does not work through those who place themselves in an exalted position. In fact the Bible warns us in many places that those who exalt themselves God will cast down. How foolish we would be to follow such a person. God works through the meek, and the lowly, and the broken of the people. Jesus Himself said He came to serve, as a servant, and we are to do the same. He also said this:


8But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 9And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 11But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. (Mat 23:)


And just to show how strongly this rule is expected to be carried out, we have this:


3Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 4If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. (1Cor 6:)


22Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 24For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: 25That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. (1Cor 12:)


We think of the Church as being built on a "rock," and so it is. However, this fragmented mass of slivers that calls itself the church is far from what Jesus had in mind when He began His mission. And we all know this. However, in order to protect our egos, and our beliefs, we claim that all other slivers and fragments are built on shifting sand, but ours is true and right, and approved by God.

Surely we must know better.


The physical church is a multitude of sand castles built by small children on the edge of a rising tide. Soon it, and the makers of the sand castles will be swept away with that tide. Only those who have tuned their ear to the Lord and hear His voice calling them to; "Come out of her, My people" will remain to inherit the earth.

Voices from all directions, and with "great swelling words" pleasing to the ear, are instructing those who listen to them to remain where they are, that the tide which is to come will not effect them. (Isa 28:all). These watchers on the wall sleep and tell bedtime stories while the enemy approaches to devour the innocent these watchers are supposedly protecting.

While these watchers lull the self-directed to sleep, I'm blowing the alarm as loud as I am able so those with ears tuned for the call may hear.


Fantasies and bedtime stories.

What harm can a few wrongly directed and innocent misunderstandings of the Bible cause? Surely it makes no difference as long as a person has been baptized, repeated the sinner's prayer, and goes to church regularly, can it? If the "basics" are present, what harm can the lack of "nonessentials" make?

Have you tried such an explanation to a judge? to your parents? to a drill sergeant in the Army? Do you think a God who wiped out millions of people several times for the lack of "nonessentials" will be any more inclined to accept such an excuse from us?


In the studies to follow I'll be covering many of the doctrines of the churches, some of them are benign, and others are considered "Foundational." To one degree or another all these apply to every church who truly calls itself "Christian." My purpose here is not to explain or contradict any of these doctrines, it would require far too much time and effort for such a study as this. Those I consider more crucial I've covered in other studies on this web site. My intent is merely to show how devaluing, misinterpreting the meaning, or dismissing these doctrines can be detrimental to a Christian seeking a close relationship with God.

Neither am I going to make an effort to prove or state that a certain doctrine has a particular importance toward the salvation of an individual, although if it should seem appropriate, I will do so.


We are under the leadership of God: Like an Army. If the General tells a Sergeant to obey a buck private, that Sergeant must obey the private if he is to be obedient to the General. We have been told to obey! But rather than obey the One we have been told to Obey, we argue semantics and doctrine. Meanwhile, the firing squad is loading their rifles as we're having the blindfold placed over our eyes and stood before the wall because of our lack of obedience.

Obedience therefore is the point I stress. What a person chooses to believe or disbelieve I consider secondary to obedience. Man's first sin is that of disobedience. I suspect it will be his last sin as well, as is clearly depicted in the Book of Revelation. I for one do not wish to be a part of that scenario. I trust you feel the same.


 

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