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

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. A Priest sounds the alarm on a shofar

 

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SCATTER SHOT

2Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 3Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. (James 4:)


If we don't move forward, we fall backward (Isaiah 28:).

In the 60's all forward momentum acquired from the Great Depression, the Stock Market Crash, and World War II was lost, and as would be expected when forward movement is lost, a downward trend began (see A Time For Change when completed and posted). Every aspect of life became loose, pointless, and directed toward one's self.

Upward is against nature. There's always the pull of the "earth" that must be resisted. But downward is natural and has no resistance - except when it is splattered upon the ground.

We are in that downward spiral, and the end of our fall is in sight. But rather than try to put on our brakes, we try to fully experience the fall as if we are on a roller coaster, and expecting somebody to rescue us just before we hit bottom. We see this in our finances, our media, our schools, our government, in our environment, our ecology, and in our churches. All are falling, while looking for no resolution to the fall, but rather all are congratulating one another on the speed of the descent (Rev 11:10).

In the past we've had wars, famines, depressions and other calamities which saved us from our own destruction. I see no such occurrence in our future as a saving grace at this time. We are content with our fall, and we have severed ourselves from the only salvation available to us, just as had Israel in times of old.


A few years back I saw a TV program where the people of the community were having a fishing contest. As it turned out, the water was so polluted in the lake where they were holding the contest that no fish could reside there, so no fish of any size was caught. But the undaunted residents of this little community were not going to let the lack of fish impede their desire to have their annual fishing contest. However, after the contest was concluded, there could be no winner because no one could catch the largest fish, because no fish were caught at all. In order to decide the winner of this fishless fishing contest, each participant conjectured that the contest should be judged according to what he himself had caught. One fishlessrman thought the prize should go to the largest thing caught because he had caught the branch of a tree. Another offered the suggestion that it should be for the most unusual object caught because he had netted a pair of skin diver's rubber trousers. And another believed it should be based on the roundest object because he had caught an old tire by his hook.


In the early days of firearms the weapon of choice was what is called a Blunderbuss. A blunderbuss is loaded from the barrel end with whatever could be shoved into it: rocks, nails, pottery shards; whatever could be found at the moment. These guns were not very powerful because there could not be built up but little compression behind the load. And this was probably a good thing, because since these guns were not designed for power, they might explode through the breach if overcharged. Early shotguns of cheap construction were made by a technique similar to that of a welded coil spring, called a Damascus barrel. These wound barrels were noted for their tendency to uncoil upon firing.

The blunderbuss, although not accurate or efficient did have the ability to be very loud, thus the name blunderbuss which is derived from a Dutch word donderbus meaning "thunder pipe." What it lacked in ability, it made up for in noise.


Hunting has always been a dangerous recreation because of a hunter's tendency, especially a tenderfoot, to shoot at whatever happens to move. And since a hunter is often dressed in clothing to either imitate the game they're after, or to blend in with the surroundings in which they find themselves, there always exists the strong possibility of being an unwitting target for a fellow hunter. Many a hunter has been shot by his own hunting partner.

Hunters are not the only ones likely to be shot by the ones who are supposedly watching their back. We read in the newspaper frequently where a police officer or a soldier, or even an entire company of soldiers has been shot or in other ways wounded by what's called "friendly fire."


I picture a large number of people wearing blindfolds shooting at whatever happens to catch their attention, then, without truly investigating what they have hit, they paint a picture of a target where they've shot, and claim to have hit the intended target.


In 1970 it was estimated that there were over 33,000 different denominations in the world. (I myself feel this number is quite exaggerated, but in spite of exaggeration, the number might still safely be considered to remain in the high hundreds.) That is a lot of wild shots to have been taken. Since that time the number of denominations (or better said, independent groups or doctrinal views) has escalated considerably, as can be seen by the fact that almost daily we hear of new churches being formed, others blending into new denominations, and other established denominations dividing into even smaller groups of nonconforming believers. On top of this we have a large number of worldly and church Ecumenical groups trying to get churches to amalgamate into a blend of leavened nothingness similar to the world's concept of religion. And this endeavor is having an ever-increasing effect upon the church as can be seen by the actions of the old, established churches as they lean heavily toward what they preached so heavily against but a few years ago.

Where the Bible tells us that we are to be separated from the world and to be obviously different from the world (2Cor 6:11-18; Mat 5:11; John 15:20); we see even the ministers of "righteousness" living no different than the most worldly of the Worldly.

Where the Bible teaches us that we must be baptized, repent of our sins (stop doing them), and confess our sins one to another (Mark 3:4,5; James 5:16), we see a sprinkling of baptisms as a formality, no confessions of our sins, and repentance is a word long erased from the Word of God.

Where Paul said that a church must send an unrepentant sinner out of the church to be dealt with and matured by Satan: the churches have invited them to preach from the pulpit (1Cor 5:-- ;1Tim 1:--).

Where the Bible tells us that we are to stay away from idols and "other gods" (Hosea 13:4; John 10:1-7), the churches are now bringing these "other gods" into the churches and parading them from the pulpits (see Christian Agnostics, and Jesus and Other Gods when completed.)

[A note of explanation: It's now almost two years since I almost finished this article, Scattershot. The one I just finished (110 pages) I almost finished almost a year ago. The one in line to be next is one I almost finished close to three years ago. I have over 500 almost finished stories, the two just mentioned included. I'm trying to clean out my almost folder, which obviously is going to take more years than I have remaining on this earth.

An additional problem is encountered when so many stories have been written over a long period of time. I forget what I've already written, how I expressed what I've written, and sometimes what I've already published. Because of this I continually find that what I'm now saying, I've already said. Please excuse me for this repetition.]


The World seeks to do good for mankind. The World desires peace and equality for all. The World wants to feed the poor, to save the environment, and to unite all the governments and the peoples of the world into one, happy group.

There's certainly nothing wrong with any of these endeavors. On a human level, this is what we should seek. But the Church, the Body of Christ is supposed to be different from the World. Then, to be different, does that mean we should seek disharmony and destruction of the planet and the abuse of the poor?

It is man's nature to see things in black and white, yes and no, good or bad. This kind of thinking must be set aside in order to understand the function of the Church as God intended it. Being a Christian does not put us in opposition with the World, it places us as a light unto the world. What our Worldly functions are should be separate from our Spiritual pursuits. When we look at the lives of the Apostles and of Jesus, we do not see them having an interest in, nor taking part in any way with the function of the world. The world was a distinctly separate entity that the Apostles and Jesus moved within. We are to be as strangers in a foreign land that we're just passing through. If we are a tourist, do we get involved with the politics and the issues of that country we're visiting? Do we try to change the attitudes and the behaviors of a family we're visiting? Did Jesus seek to improve the world? Surely He did what He could to take care of the individual hurts and problems that He encountered. He preached what needed to be done to achieve perfection, thus to be a part of Heaven. In fact Jesus' first words were:


1Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. ... 17From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Mat 4:)


John said this of Jesus as he baptized in the Jordan:


1In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Mat 3:)


Jesus told His disciples when He sent them out two-by-two:


5These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Mat 10:)


Jesus' last command as given to us in the Gospels was:


15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (Mark 16:)


And this has become what is known as "The Great Commission" to the Church, which is supposedly us.


2Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 3To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: (Acts 1:)


Here we have the purpose for which Jesus came to the World, and the last message He left with His disciples. Was that message to them that they should go out and bring change to the system? That's what the disciples thought He wanted them to do, and what they thought He came to do because their next statement was:


6When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? (Acts 1:)


What was Jesus' reply to this direct question that the church today, and the World is still asking and concentrating their attention on?:


7And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 8But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 9And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. (Acts 1:)


The very last Words of Jesus were to forget about changing the system, that all such things are in the hands of the Father. He told them that they should, through the Holy Spirit, go into the world and be a witness, a light, an example of what Jesus represents. Do we, the Church, do as we're instructed to do? Or do we continue to do as the disciples thought a disciple, a church should do?


17For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: (1Cor 1:)


These are the words of Paul. What did he say was his great commission? Was it to save the environment or to feed the poor? He did heal the sick and cast out demons, this we know, but the only time we see him feeding the poor that I can find is when he collected money from the churches of Asia to take to the those of the Church (not the world) in Jerusalem who were suffering from a famine.


10Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 12Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. (1Peter 1:)


As I read this, even the prophets of old, through the Holy Spirit, were talking to the Church and preaching the Gospel.

I would like to make a side note at this time. Please pay attention to what Peter is saying in this passage. Notice that the "Spirit of Christ" was in the prophets of old, and that it was the Spirit that was doing the speaking, and the prophets who the Words came through did not know what the Words meant. Wouldn't this suggest the Bible was not written by the prophets, but by God Himself? Isn't it interesting that the Spirit of Christ, which was in Jesus as well, was in the prophets and speaking through them? Does that cause you to stop and think at all?


4Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: 5Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. 6For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. (1Peter 4:)


It appears that even the "dead" had the Gospel preached to them. Are we preaching the Gospel to the living?


31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Mat 6:)


The churches do everything except what Jesus told them to do. He said not to worry about this life, to not do as the "Gentiles" (Worldly) do, and to preach the Kingdom of God. The church, instead of fulfilling this command, has become a social group doing exactly what the World is doing, meanwhile saying there is nothing to do because Jesus did it all.


17For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? 19Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. (1Peter 4:)


Where did Peter say judgement would begin? Was it the World? Read again. And he says if who might scarcely be saved? Who are the righteous? Perhaps the bench warmers at the thousands of denominations do you think?


13Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:)


Paul, of all people, feels the need to "press for the mark" (I take that to mean the center of the target) in order to reach the "High calling of God."


What is the "High calling of God"? Do you ever hear the high calling of God preached from the pulpits? Isn't everybody equally "saved" who sits in the pews every Sunday (or Saturday as the case may be)? Doesn't the lowest of the "saved" Christian receive the same reward as the greatest of martyrs and the most dedicated of Apostles? Surely it must be so. I have heard nothing else preached or intimated.


24Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (1Cor 9:)


Paul has to worry about being a "castaway"? If Paul is concerned about being a castaway, then what must I be doing? And, just what is a castaway? Maybe a castaway isn't so bad after all, just as long as I get my little cabin in the corner of Glory.


CASTAWAY G96 adokimos From G1 (as a negative particle) and G1384; unapproved, that is, rejected; by implication worthless (literally or morally): - castaway, rejected, reprobate.


Rejected? Worthless? I don't know about this. I have a vision of a fishing net thrown into the sea, and a great catch being taken into the boat. It seems to me Jesus said something about a net:


47Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: 48Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. 49So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, 50And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Mat 13:)

There's that word "cast" again. And here the "bad" were cast away. I take it those in the net and brought into the boat are those who were "saved" out of the sea (the World). But aren't we taught that if we're baptized we receive the Holy Spirit who can't leave us for any reason, even if we become the worst of reprobates? Is there something wrong with this picture? But then, maybe I've jumped the gun and have the picture all wrong. I'm inclined to do such things, being human and all. That's why I like to refer to the Scriptures to confirm or disallow what I think the Bible is saying. I think here would be a good time to look father into this castaway thing, don't you?

I think first of all those who are in the boat, not cast back into the sea are "chosen," that is, they are among those who were taken from the condemned of the World and are attending a church somewhere. Otherwise, what's the difference between those in the net and those still in the sea? And I should think that if I am "chosen," then my destiny must be quite secure. Doesn't that make sense? It surely fits all the doctrines I've ever heard, even (I'm sure there are exceptions) the most strict of doctrines:


18If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (John 15:)


Yup, there it is, plain as day. Jesus has chosen those to be with Him out of the World. Sounds like a secure place to be. After all, the twelve disciples closest to Jesus were even brought closer to Him. A very secure place to be indeed.


18I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. (John 13:)


Jesus chose His twelve, and one of those twelve was Judas. All twelve were "chosen." And what happened to Judas? What is it he did? Didn't he, being one of those securely in the boat, go on to do great things right along with the others who were chosen?


66From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 67Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 68Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 69And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. 70Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? 71He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve. (John 6:)


Jesus chose a devil to be in the boat with Him? According to Peter, all believed that Jesus was the Son of God. Isn't that all it takes to be saved forever? But how can a devil be saved forever, especially if he is an Apostle and is a believer?


19Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (James 2:)


I thought "believing" is all there is to being an eternally saved Christian. But yet even the devils believe, and one of the faithful disciples of Jesus who cast out demons was a devil. Doesn't this go against every doctrine of every church?


16So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen. (Mat 20:)


Many are called (is that the casting of the net do you suppose?), but few are chosen? We've seen that being chosen is not as secure a place as it would seem: how much less secure must being called be? And what was that Jesus said about Judas?


70Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?


One of the "chosen" was a devil. Can a devil be permanently saved and destined for Heaven? And this is not only a devil, but a devil that betrayed his Master, the Son of God who he had followed and listened to for over three years. Didn't Judas walk the narrow, straight road he was required to walk in order to make it to heaven? Didn't Judas forsake all just as had the others, and just as Jesus had commanded His disciples to do?

Yet we have:


21But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table. 22And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed! (Luke 22:)


Woe! I wonder what Jesus meant by "woe"? Is it maybe the being cast away like the "bad" fish do you think?


21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. (Mat 7:)

43Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 44Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. 45But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; 46The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. (Luke 12:)


It seems to me that it's long past time that the churches turn around and face the target that God has set up for them. It's not the job of the churches to be a social organization. It's not the job of the church to be a center of entertainment. It's not even the job of the church to change the world or to improve human conditions. And it's not the job of the churches to just bring fish into a net, especially a net that is filled with holes. It's the job of the churches to instruct those who are seeking the Lord, how they should find Him (through the Holy Spirit) and to be a light, and an example of what a fully matured Christian is to be. None of these are being done in the churches, so the churches are drifting ever faster into the ocean of the world, and casting nets that bring the fish into a tide pool rather than into the boat.

We, like Paul, should not be trying to make the congregation of the churches comfortable and giving them a sense of confidence and security in their reprobate condition; but rather we should be causing those in attendance to feel insufficient in their quest to achieve perfection, and to get up off their comfortable pew and begin to run the course along the narrow road that takes them through the Valley of the Shadow whereby they might become strong soldiers of the Lord (Luke 17:10; Eph 6:11; Ezek 44:all; Jer 6:12-17; Ezek 13:22-23; Mal 3:16-18).


13Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:)


Take off the blindfolds and read the Word with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Aim for the mark of the high calling, and no more scatter shots.


17Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. 19Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? (James 2:)


SIN (often referred to as "Missing the Mark in the Hebrew) H2403 khat-taw-aw', khat-tawth' From H2398; an offence (sometimes habitual sinfulness), and its penalty, occasion, sacrifice, or expiation; also (concretely) an offender: - punishment (of sin), purifying (-fication for sin), sin (-ner, offering).


H2398 khaw-taw' A primitive root; properly to miss; hence (figuratively and generally) to sin; by inference to forfeit, lack, expiate, repent, (causatively) lead astray, condemn: - bear the blame, cleanse, commit [sin], by fault, harm he hath done, loss, miss, (make) offend (-er), offer for sin, purge, purify (self), make reconciliation, (cause, make) sin (-ful, -ness), trespassive


REVELATION 1:

3Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. 4John to the seven churches which are in Asia: (Rev 1:)


We know, and take for granted, that the message to the Churches of Asia has some application to us as well. Some, however, discount these messages thinking they have no application whatever to us, but are strictly a piece of recorded history. But since the book of Revelation is written to the seven churches, then the entire book must either be counted as long past, or applicable to us now and in the future. We can't (although we do) take what we like from any of the Scriptures and apply them willy-nilly to where they fit our desires and our purposes. To do this is to set ourself up for eternal problems when we stand before the Great White Throne. It is obvious that we do exactly this, that is we take what we like from the Old Testament and consider it as a foreshadowing of what is covered in the Gospels. And that which we don't like, we discount and say it's merely history. We do this, but we will not get away with it in the end when we're put to the test.

This concept of picking and choosing, like the scatter gun, is practiced by every church doctrine I have seen. The strongest example that comes to mind is that of the promises in the Bible. Every supposed promise that was ever made to anybody is without reservation clutched with voracity by the clergy and the lay church goer alike. The "If"s" and the warnings, and the clear statements that define who the promises are given to are tossed unceremoniously to the side, while the fulfillment of the promise, even those promises never made, are demanded by even the worst of sinner bearing the name of Christian. The fact is that if we are truly in the will of God, and seeking His way, we are promised that we will be persecuted and despised by this world; that we will suffer hardships for His name; and that we will receive "Daily Bread" like the Hebrews did in the wilderness in the form of manna. We are to be content with the minimum, and be thankful for the little. We are not to demand our cake without even having to acquire the ingredients to make the cake. Such an attitude can only lead to the fire required to bake the cake, which is a promise given to all fruitless branches on the tree of the Church.

If you do not believe that the book of Revelation, in its entirety, is for you, then remember that the fulfillment of the promises to the Churches this book is given to is at the end of this very same book. And those promises then are only for those of Asia, which if you do not belong to such a church (which almost no one does) then all the promises given in this book do not apply to you. You are only left with the consequences promised to those who are not part of these churches, that is, you are part of the "Earth" that will be the target of the Tribulation.


4Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 5And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; (see also 5:10 & 20:6)


Remember who John is speaking to here. He made it very clear that it is to those in the seven churches. Are you a part of those seven churches that are made kings and priests? If you think this letter (vision) is written to an ancient people, then it can't be including you, can it?

Of course this statement has been made elsewhere and includes other than the churches of Asia, which could, if a person chooses to do so, nullify any significance to this statement I just made.


6to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 7Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. 8I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. 9I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, 11Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.


Note again who this book is written to. Are we included? Also, there are some churches who don't like parts of this book because it doesn't say what they want to hear. In order to escape the "bad" parts, they attribute huge chunks (the essence of the book in fact) to the natural Jews. But do you see anywhere that Jesus says this book is to be sent to the Jews scattered all over the world? If you do, you have sharper eyes than I do.

Many times we are able to glean a great deal of understanding into what the Word is telling us by numbers and the etymology (derivative) of a word. This has been exemplified numerous times by the illusions and dreams of the prophets and the parables of Jesus. This is also exemplified by such things as the construction of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, and the sacrificial system of the Hebrews.

Many, if not all churches, teach that the Bible was written by man, with man's understanding and view, with just the inspiration of God assisting them. Jesus made it clear that every word that He spoke was the Father speaking, that the words were not His own. I believe this is true of the entire Bible. If I believed otherwise, that I could pick and choose what verses were really meant and what were somehow slipped into the Bible, then I would just discount the entire book and count it as another religion, as obviously the churches have done.

Almost, if not every church to one degree or another seems to believe that the Bible, although accurate in its original manuscript, is now "holey," that is, it has holes in its accuracy. They say there are verses (and sometimes entire books) either altered, added, or left out. Again, if I couldn't count on the accuracy of the Word, of God's ability to keep His Word intact, how could I possibly trust Him to guide my life or to control the functioning of this world? As the extensiveness of this website will attest, I've done a bit of study of the Word, and as yet I have not found a single discrepancy. I have (and certainly had) found areas that didn't make sense to me, but in due time the Lord has revealed the connections that I had missed which cleared up my confusion. The "secret" to understanding God's Word is first to believe that any error or confusion I find is on my part, not on the part of the Word. When we try to shuffle around our misgivings, we end up with conflicting doctrines, as can easily be seen in the Church world of today (and the last nearly two thousand years).

The words in the Bibles we read are not the words the Bible was written in. The closest any translator can come to accuracy is to choose a word out of the many meanings (this is especially true of the Hebrew) the reader can understand. The discounting of the numbers and the meanings of words has led to Bibles interpreted in modern languages where these words and numbers have been changed. That might lead to interesting and clear reading, like a children's illustrated comic book where only the story, like David and Goliath or Samson and Delilah are portrayed: but little can be learned from the reading of such books or translations.

Some people and churches believe the King James version of the Bible is the only version that is accurate. I believe the KJ is closest to the Truth, but even it has areas where the true understanding of a portion of Scripture is lost due to a changing understanding of words, as well as multiple and fuller meanings of the ancient languages. For this reason I go to the original language as best I can, and also check every verse the word used has been translated in a different form, and also all the other ways the word has been used: "Here a little, there a little."

In order to understand what we might learn from these seven churches, and to see if they apply to us today, it may help to learn what the names of the cities used in Revelations mean in the original language. Unfortunately much information, including the derivation of the names, has been lost for most of the cities, as well as for Asia itself. We only know that Asia (the Asia of Paul's ministry), to those who live in the East, was looked upon as the West. And those in the West, that is the European countries, Asia was representative of the East. It's still that way with those of us in the US and in Europe: Asia consists of all those countries to our east. And in the early part of US history, America was considered the East since Columbus sailed west hoping to find a new way to reach Asia, which to them was the East.

It might be said by this that, to whoever lives in whatever country, Asia represents the world at large, not including Israel which is seen as the "Middle East" (meaning Egypt to Iran, those nations directly involved with the Jews, and the combatant progeny of Abraham).


12And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;


What are the seven golden candlesticks? Candles are representative of what we, the Christian are supposed to be. We are to be a "Light unto the World," just as Jesus was a Light unto the World. But a candlestick is not a light, it only holds the light, the candle (or in this case the wick and the oil, the "lamp"). Might the candlestick then be churches that hold people, the lights unto the World? (Mark 4:21; Rev 1:20; 11:4)


13And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 14His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.


Take note that His feet are as fine brass as if burned in a fire. Consider brass, and consider what fire does.

Fire purifies. Brass is purified in fire, as is gold and silver. In the outer court of the Tabernacle everything was made, not of gold and silver as were the articles inside the Tabernacle proper, but of brass.

Brass is indicative of the believer who has yet to qualify for the presence of God. They're still in the process of surrendering their Adamic nature. They continue in the works area of the Tabernacle. The Laver where the priest examines himself for spots of impurities and washes what he finds is made of brass (brass looking glasses, mirrors). The alter of sacrifice is made of brass. This is where the priests offer sacrifices, both for themselves, and for those seeking to be prepared for the presence of, not the Lord, but that they might remain in the good stead and presence of the people of the nation. Anything impure was to be either stoned to death, or sent out of the camp. Sin required sacrifice, no matter how small that sin might be.

Paul tell us:


14How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:)


In another place we read that, in referring to the Church, the head cannot say to the feet I have no need of you. We are the mouth, the eyes, the hands, the heart, and the feet of Christ, who is the head of the body. The feet must be purified if it is to serve the Lord. Jesus washed the disciples' feet, indicating the importance of keeping our walk clean and ready for the service of the Lord.


We know that water is representative of the Holy Spirit, which we are to be born of if we are in the family of God. Water is what the roots of the Tree of Life are planted into, and that we are to draw from. Water is what the river that flows from under the throne is composed of (Rev 19:5-6; 22:1).

We, the Church, are to be as a channel for "rivers of living waters" that is to flow through us and from us (Mat 3:3; Mark 16:15; Isaiah 24:14-15; 55:1).


16And he had in his right hand seven stars.


It's assumed that "stars" are representative of the tribes of Israel because of a single phrase in the Old Testament that depicts a dream Joseph had, and a dream that had in fact come true (Gen 37:9-10). Somehow, it is in man's nature to see things in such a way that whatever has been said of one thing must always be seen as that single thing. But yet when we see something in the Bible we want to apply elsewhere, especially to ourselves, we have no qualms whatever about stealing it for ourselves. For instance this statement made by Jesus to His disciples who had faithfully followed Jesus through His trials, and were about to carry on His mission unto their own death:


27Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? 28And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Mat 19:)

14Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. 16Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. 17These things I command you, that ye love one another. (John 15:)


This entire chapter is talking to the twelve and telling them that they must obey His commandments if they expect to reap the rewards. Jesus is speaking to those who have shown their faithfulness, yet He demands that they continue to do so if they are to be a part of the Kingdom. And yet we, and the churches teaching this very thing, believe that without any form of obedience, nor following Jesus one step, or producing a single piece of "fruit," may call Him "friend" and ask of Him whatever we want and He will gladly give it to us.

Our views are warped. We're shooting into the air, and what we shoot up, will return back to us and bury us.


16and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. 17And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.


John, the Beloved Disciple, who apparently was closest to Jesus and obeyed the commands of Jesus for his entire life, and suffered the consequences for doing so, "fell at His feet as if dead." We sometimes hear the falling on our face before the Lord message, but we do not hear the need of falling before the Lord. Nor do we see it exemplified in those who should be teaching this. But there will be a day...:


11For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. (Romans 14:)


We see Christianity as a game, as an interesting activity in which to take part. The churches add to this game by trying to figure out the best way to bring people in to their church; which Worldly activity they might add to their weekly show that will bring the people in. To them the fact that people are in the church, their church, indicates they are doing all they're supposed to do to play the game to its fullest.

There will come a day when the games will cease. Then comes the judgment. At this time it will be too late to decide to take the game of life seriously. It will be too late to evaluate if we are following all the rules of the game that we have volunteered to play. And when the game is over, I want no one to be able to point their finger at me and say: "You knew this, why didn't you tell me?" I want you to know here and know, I told you so.


46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Mat 25:)


Please take note: It's the righteous who will be rewarded. It's not the unrighteous Christian spoken of here. Those who remain unrighteous remain part of the world, no matter what name they've taken on or what commitment they've undertaken. In fact by taking the name, and making the commitment, we place ourselves closer to the edge of the pit than those who have not done so. Those who serve, or who sign on to serve, are the ones who are judged, not those who haven't taken the step forward.


And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: 18I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. 19Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; 20The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.


It appears that Jesus has not read the doctrines of the denominations which state the stars represent the tribes of Israel. He seems to think stars represent the pastors of the seven churches. If Jesus is right, then what does that do to the many doctrines that have based their theories on the idea stars represent Israel? And if stars represent the churches, then what does the sun and the moon represent? Again the doctrines say these represent the nation of Israel. And the stars are considered by the denominations to be Israel. Could they, the sun and moon, also have something to do with the Church as well?

Is there anywhere in this book of end times where stars are mentioned other than this one?


12And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 13And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. (Rev 6:)

12And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. (Rev 8:)


Here we have stars again. But we know this has to be referring to the stars we see at night. There can't be any doubt of that. But is it possible this might also have reference to the churches as well? Could it be churches (or Christians) are going to be cast to the earth and lose their place in Heaven?

Naaah, couldn't be.


1And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: 2And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. 3And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. (Rev 12:)


This is understood to mean the nation of Israel giving birth to Jesus. Of course this makes no sense at all, and the only evidence for this doctrine in existence is the fact that the moon and the stars are mentioned. And there are two very important reasons we must accept that this is Israel, because for one, if it is the Church, then what happens to the Pre-Trib Rapture theory? It would mean the Church is still present during the Tribulation. It would mean Satan has power to afflict the Church and to bring it down, to cast those not securely in the arms of God, the very elect, out of their firm grasp on salvation.

It must be accepted that the stars are Israel, and not the churches as Jesus has stated earlier (the seven stars). So which are we to believe? The theologians? Or Jesus?

12Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. 13And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. (Rev 12:)


Now we run into even more complications. If, I say if the woman clothed with the sun isn't Israel, then who is the man child that she is pregnant with? It's supposed that this is referring to Jesus. But do we read about Satan persecuting Jesus as described in this chapter? Certainly Jesus was persecuted, but so were the Apostles and all the early Christians. And if the man child is the Church, which it would be if this is referring to Jesus and the Apostles, then it is the Church that is involved here, and the Church is still yet here on earth and not somewhere floating around on a cloud. And if this is placed in the future, which it obviously is since it's in the book that describes the very end times for the Church, what is Satan doing in Heaven? How did he get there if he was supposedly cast out billions of years before man was even on this earth? In addition, even if this is supposed to be taking place two thousands years in our past, again I ask, how did Satan get back to where he had been cast out of?

Also it might be noted that the "heavens" rejoiced. What are "heavens"? Are they clouds do you think? Maybe heavens is where God dwells. But then, does God have more than one heaven that He dwells in? Do clouds rejoice? What does heaven sound like I wonder?


7And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (Rev 12:)


Here we have a war in Heaven. Satan is cast out. Satan was deceiving all the world while he was in Heaven? After he's cast out, then he is persecuting the woman? But, hold on, if the woman is Israel, what is Satan doing at the end times being cast out? And if this war took place a billion years ago, then where was Israel that he could be persecuting her? Israel isn't a billion years old, is it?

No doubt about it, in order to protect our doctrines of Satan once being a beautiful angel, and that the Church is no longer on this earth during the tribulation, and that all who call themselves Christian are gone before the trouble starts: we must accept the fact that the stars represent Israel, that this war took place a billion years ago, and that the man child is Jesus. What else could it mean?

I do have a question however: I'm wondering why God would bother telling us what happened a billion years ago, or even two thousand years ago, right smack dab in the middle of Him telling us what He is going to do in the future. This book of such importance, why should God tell us something He hadn't even hinted at throughout the rest of mankind's history? Oh, I know there are verses and tittles that have been twisted and mangled to create such hints. But without this passage above those mangled pieces would have never even been considered. (For more on this subject, see: Fantasies. Lucifer, Making of a Doctrine).


REVELATION 2:


1Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; 2I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:


We may say these churches are not a part of the Body of Christ as we know it today. We might go as far as to say that these churches no longer exist. But since this book was written long after the Old Testament we can't do with it as we did the Old Testament: We can't dismiss what is told to John as something for someone else. And since the Book of Revelation is specifically for the end times, not even the time of the Apostles, we can confidently assume it was not just for (if at all) the churches of John's time. We can be very sure that what Jesus is telling John is for our churches. Jesus certainly wouldn't tell the churches of old to do one thing, and our church to do just the opposite. So what we read in these letters and warnings to the churches we had better listen to, and apply to ourselves and our church, or we had better realize that the reckoning these churches will see, we will see.

"Cannot bear those who are evil." What does Jesus consider to be "evil." I don't think we need wonder about what Jesus calls evil. He has told us what He considers evil in many ways and many times. He considers evil what we place on our magazine covers; what we watch on the tube; what we teach our children in our schools; and He considers evil what the leaders of the churches do that we applaud and who we elect into our pastorate. Jesus considers all those things evil that we dismiss today and say God no longer cares if we do them or not. We are taught that God no longer looks upon our sin because Jesus died for all sins. We are told that God now turns a blind eye to what we do, just as long as we took a bath.

I have just one comment to make in regard to this:

Hmmmm!


"Try those who say they are apostles."

Well, since John supposedly outlived the other of the Apostles, we know they're not the ones who are being tried. Who then are those claiming to be apostles? Perhaps a question we might first ask is: just what is an apostle?

According to the Greek concordance an "apostle" is, and has been translated as such, a: "Messenger, a commissioner, and he that is sent." By this then we might consider anyone who comes to us with a message to be an apostle. The question we must ask is: who sent the messenger (apostle)? what is the purpose of the apostle, and the one who sent him? and how credible is the message sent to us?


12But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. 13For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (2Cor 11:)


We must try the messenger. What messenger do we see at least weekly if we are regular attendees of a church?

Later we'll discover that messages are sent to the "Angels of the churches." Did you know you have angels in your church? You sure do. The word that's interpreted in every case as "angel," is the very same word that's translated "messenger," and by implication a "shepherd" since the word is derived from the Greek word for "herd." That's right: your pastor is an angel, a messenger, a sent out one, an apostle.

What is the message your apostle is bringing you? Have you been trying the apostle sent to you?


11These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:)

15Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. (2Tim 2:)


When you stand before your Maker: what kind of a showing will you make?

Note that Acts tells us of a people who had an open mind, they listened with readiness to what was being told to them. I get from this they were not judging what they hear according to their preconceived ideas and doctrines as did the Pharisees (and those in the churches today). But neither were they gullible. They searched the Scriptures to see if what they heard fit with what the Bible tells them.

Keep in mind these were probably Gentiles that were hearing the Word. And the New Testament wasn't available to them as yet. So what Scriptures where these people studying? Wouldn't it have to be the Old Testament?

The Jews knew the Old Testament by heart. They grew up knowing the Old Testament. When the Apostles were sent out to preach the Word, and when Philip talked to the eunuch, they didn't have to preach days worth of sermon in order to explain the advantages of being a Christian. The people (Jews) they spoke to knew the Scriptures and anything they had to tell them as well as did the disciples. All the disciples had to do is point at Jesus and say "He's the One you've been reading about and waiting for." A little bit of showing how the Scriptures had been fulfilled in Jesus is all they needed.

Consider the woman at the well in Samaria. Jesus spoke to this outcast woman in an outcast town not accepted by the Jews, but who also studied and knew the Scriptures, for just a short time. Then we read: "The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?" She, as were the people of her village, knew of and were waiting for their Messiah. She believed in Jesus with just a little prompting. She hadn't been healed, or fed miraculously. Just words convinced her. Then we read: "And many more believed because of his own word; And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world." We read of Peter's recognizing Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. Those who know the Old Testament will recognize Jesus as being the One. Those who disregard the Old Testament as something passee cheat themselves from the true understanding of what God is telling us, and who Jesus really is.


3And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 4Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works;


This is a difficult passage to understand in this day and age. We are not taught to have a "First Love," but rather that God loves us and just wants to do everything wonderful for us. We are unable to return to our first works, because we have never had works to begin with. In fact we are taught that "works" is a naughty word that Jesus is against. And as for repenting: What's that? The first time we were supposed to repent is when we were baptized. Were you told to repent and confess your sins as did the Christians of the Bible? You may have heard the world "repent" on occasion: but did anyone even bother to tell you what the word means? Did you even bother to investigate what repent means, even though repentance is a key factor in receiving that salvation you were after, and were supposedly promised?


Or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.


There's that word "repent" again. What are we supposed to repent from? We read a lot in the Bible about what God considers to be sin. But of course we know that doesn't apply any more to those of us wonderful people who are under the blood.

Remove his candlestick? Does Jesus mean like take away the church? Could that be a reason why the churches are failing, and falling into the corruption of the World? and why the churches are now using Worldly advertising methods and Worldly entertainment to bring the World into the churches? Are our churches falling into corruption in your opinion? If the churches are falling, and if the churches are what God calls "heavens," then might the stars of heaven that is to fall be those stars of our churches, and even the churches themselves?


6But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. 7He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;


Do you and your church hate the deeds of the Nicolaitanes? Do you even know what deeds those are that the Nicolaitanes perform?

"They (the Nicolaitanes) were seemingly a class of professing Christians, who sought to introduce into the church a false freedom or licentiousness, thus abusing Paul's doctrine of grace (comp. 2 Peter 2:15,16,19), and were probably identical with those who held the doctrine of Balaam (which see), Revelation 2:14." (From the Easton's Bible Dictionary)


Wikipedia adds
: "Nico" means "conquer" in Greek, and "Laitan" refers to lay people, or laity; hence, the word may be taken to mean "Lay conquerors" or Conquerors of the Lay People."


Hmmm.


"
Licentiousness (Disregarding therules of behavior, especially in sexual matters" (Oxford Dictionary).


Are you wondering who these "lay" people might be that are being taught to "do your own thing" and don't worry about the consequences that no longer exist?


Here's an interesting quote I found on the web. It's not official, of course, because what is? (Certainly nothing that I say). It's just something for you to consider:


"In fact, I would go so far as to say that the doctrine of the Nicolaitans exists still to this day...only under another name (Unconditional Eternal Security)."


Lay: "Not ordained into the clergy." (Oxford Dictionary).


The layity that is being taught, whatever is taught in your church: is you. Do you check to make sure you're not being taught the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes?

To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.


"To him that overcomes." What does it mean to overcome? Do you have this explained to you in church? Are you perhaps told that the mere fact you were baptized and come to that church you are automatically an "overcomer" who will inherite eteranal life? Aren't you the lucky one though? The Jews hads to go fourty years in the wilderness after spending over 400 years in slavery to even think of receiving anything at all from God. They had to go though a very strict sacrificial system to even remain a part of their nation. The Apostles and the early Christians had to face lions and fire and all other forms of persecution to be part of the Church. And all you have to do it take a bath. Just imagine. If only you and they could have swapped places, wouldn't that make them happy?


Here's some verses about overcoming. Pay close heed because you're going to see that word a lot in the next few Scriptures. It's almost as if God wants us to pay attention to this concept. I wonder why since everyone who's taken a bath is already an overcomer. I guess it's like Paul said:


10As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (Romans 3:)


And Isaiah:


8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:)


This is what the Bible tells us about overcoming:


21To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. (Rev 3:)

32Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. 33These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:)


How did Jesus "overcome the world"? In the above verses Jesus was preparing His disciples for His coming crucifixion. So, how do you suppose He overcame the world?


29And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. 30Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. (John 14:)

14I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. (1John 2:)

2By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 4For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? (1John 5:)


[ I think a note is in order here. Eternal security is taught by the pastors from this Scripture. But look at it carefully. Notice the condition that must be met. Notice the word "believe." For this to be seen as a security clause, then the "keep His commandments" clauses must be ignored. And "believe" becomes nothing but a mental consent. If this is the case, then even the most Worldly of churches are "overcomers." Can you think of a denomination or two that you feel won't make it? Yet they fit this criteria of overcoming just as much as you or I do?

I would suggest that the only ones who needn't concern themselves with this Scripture are those like Paul who are reaching for the higher calling.]


29Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. (Mat 22:)


This passage could very well be misunderstood. These men knew the Scriptures forwards and backwards. What Jesus is pointing out is that they knew the Scriptures too well, and what they knew overpowered what God is saying:


3Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? ....... Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. 7Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Mat 15:)


We think we're above putting our traditions and our doctrines above the Word of God. This is one of our biggest problems, that of not recognizing we are standing under the same judgement the Pharisees found themselves under. We are the blind following the blind, and because of our ego and our blindness, we believe that darkness is natural and light is to be avoided at all cost.

In the example above the Scribes and the Pharisees were trying to catch Jesus in His Words by using Scripture against Him. This is not uncommon, Satan did this very thing with Jesus during His tempting in the wilderness, as did the serpent with Eve in the Garden of Eden. Satan and his ministering angels know the Scriptures far better than do you and I. Because of our lack of knowledge and our inability to understand the Word, we have to remain very close, under the apron we might say, of the One who is the Word. When we come out from behind our shield and try to do battle with Satan on Scriptural ground, we're then playing in Satan's ball park, and we're bound to lose.


45Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, (Mat 24:)

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:)


The Apostles knew the Scriptures inside and out. But they didn't understand what they knew. Even following Jesus three years and listening to His every word did not change the fact that they were in the dark. Evidence of this lack of understanding is seen in the fact that they acknowledged Jesus as being the Messiah, the Son of God; yet when Jesus was crucified, they ran and hid, thinking that everything was lost. They doubted their own beliefs. It took Jesus opening their eyes to what they already knew for them to understand. This is the same with you and me. We can know the Bible like the back of our hand, but until Jesus opens up our understanding through the Holy Spirit, we can not begin to understand what He is saying.


2And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, 3Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. 4And some of them believed, (Acts 17:)

25This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. 26And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. 27And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: 28For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, showing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ. (Acts 18:)

10Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? 11Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 12If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? (John 3:)

13But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 14But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2Tim 3:)


"We teach what we do know." Nicodemus was a leader, and since he was part of the Sanhedrin, he had superior knowledge of the Bible. Yet we see that he knew and understood little to nothing about what Jesus was saying. Timothy on the other hand was born of a mixed marriage. His father was a pagan Gentile and his mother was a devout Jew. His mother instructed him well in the ways of God, so much so that, unlike Nicodemus, he recognized the truth when he heard it.

Notice how often all Paul and the others had to do was point at (preach) Jesus in order for their listeners to understand and believe. That's because they, the listeners, already know the Scriptures, just as did the Samaritan woman at the well.

In the above passages we see there was a man fervent in the Lord, and preaching the Word as he understood it. But his understanding was limited. Today we're very much the same way. We are taught, and preach what we know. And what we know is not the Bible, but our interpretation of the Bible as we believe it to be.

Unlike the man who had to be more perfectly instructed in the Word, the preachers (and us as well) are not willing to be instructed beyond what we already think we know. This causes a blindness, both of the teachers, and of those being taught.


When we read, we don't read what is written. Instead we read into what is written that which we already think we know and what we have been taught. Very often in fact we merely skim over the words in a section that appears to be saying what we already "know," and we either look for something new, or we look for something different than what we know. If what we find is different than what we believe, we stop our skimming and begin to read. If what we read disagrees with what we know, we look at what is written with a critical eye, trying to find the flaws in a given portion of that writing, without considering how that portion is applied, since so much of what is written has been missed by our skimming. If, on the other hand, what we read agrees with what we already believe, we study what is written with a favorable eye, looking for the valid points that were made in order to strengthen our own suppositions.

What we know, that is, what we've been taught we consider to be of vital importance. If we've been taught that we have all the information we need and that anything we hear outside of what we're taught is wrong, then we will discount any other view, and very likely discount the one who holds that opinion as well.

Human nature is made up of a mixture of ego and self-serving. Everything is directed toward us. We are the center of our own universe, and the poles around which the rest of the universe must revolve as well. When something upsets our universe, we rebel, and we do all we can to cast it out of our way. Our ego, especially the ego of the educated, will discount anything that differs with it. The Pharisees were noted for doing this very thing, even to the point of killing their Messiah. We are right, and even God is wrong when He disagrees with our opinion. We will twist God's Word to make it conform to our beliefs, and if the Word refuses to twist, we will discount it all together, stating that it is an error in the transcription.

If however we have been taught (which is highly unlikely) that we can never obtain truth, and that truth is elusive and must be sought diligently: then we are much more likely to find what is closer to truth itself, and at the same time we will be more tolerant of those who hold contradictory views, realizing that no one is the holder of truth except God Himself.


19Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; 20Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. (James 5:)

1I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 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:)


What I present here and in my other pages is hard to swallow. It doesn't say what you (or I) want to hear, and it nowhere near fits the doctrines of any of the churches. It only makes sense that you will discount what I say, in spite of the overwhelming evidence I present. I expect my words to be rejected. I'm prepared for that, and I fully understand the need for such a rejection. Only one thing: When we stand before the Throne, don't point at me and say "Why didn't you tell me!"


 

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