Posted by: biblestudyseattle | September 4, 2017

End Times Mailer

The other day, I received a mailer titled, “The DAY of the LORD.  Now you can share the bible truth about the second coming!”  So I read all 48 pages.  Many points were good, like warning against date setting.  But a few points may not be correct.  On page 15, it talks about signs of the end from Matthew 24.  One is ‘Wars and rumors of wars’.  The problem here is that wars and war deaths have been level or decreasing recently.  https://ourworldindata.org/war-and-peace/    On page 24, it says, “God’s people will meet the Lord in the air.  Because Jesus does not touch the earth at His second coming, we can know He will not appear on the earth, as many teach.”  Wait a minute:

On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.”  Zechariah 14:4

On page 28, it says, “Another common misconception of the secret rapture theory is that people will continue to live on the earth for several years after Christ’s return.  However, the Bible clearly teaches that when Jesus comes, there will be no human left alive on this planet.  In describing this time, the book of Jeremiah explains, “At that day the slain of the Lord shall be from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth.  They shall not be lamented, or gathered, or buried; they shall become refuse on the ground.” Jeremiah 25:33

Maybe.  But here’s a few thoughts:
Son of man, prophesy against Gog and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshek and Tubal.  I will turn you around and drag you along. I will bring you from the far north and send you against the mountains of Israel.  Then I will strike your bow from your left hand and make your arrows drop from your right hand.  On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you. I will give you as food to all kinds of carrion birds and to the wild animals.  You will fall in the open field, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord.  I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in safety in the coast lands, and they will know that I am the Lord.

“‘I will make known my holy name among my people Israel. I will no longer let my holy name be profaned, and the nations will know that I the Lord am the Holy One in Israel.  It is coming! It will surely take place, declares the Sovereign Lord. This is the day I have spoken of.

“‘Then those who live in the towns of Israel will go out and use the weapons for fuel and burn them up—the small and large shields, the bows and arrows, the war clubs and spears. For seven years they will use them for fuel.  They will not need to gather wood from the fields or cut it from the forests, because they will use the weapons for fuel. And they will plunder those who plundered them and loot those who looted them, declares the Sovereign Lord.

“‘On that day I will give Gog a burial place in Israel, in the valley of those who travel east of the Sea. It will block the way of travelers, because Gog and all his hordes will be buried there. So it will be called the Valley of Hamon Gog.

“‘For seven months the Israelites will be burying them in order to cleanse the land.  All the people of the land will bury them, and the day I display my glory will be a memorable day for them, declares the Sovereign Lord.  People will be continually employed in cleansing the land. They will spread out across the land and, along with others, they will bury any bodies that are lying on the ground.”  Ezekeil 39:1-14

On page 31, it says, “I had been taught that the Greek word ‘parousia’ always referred to the Rapture and that other words were used for the Coming of Christ in glory… but I found that this is not true… We might go through all the writers of the New Testament, and we would fail to discover any indication of the so-called ‘two stages’ of our Lord’s Coming… That theory had to be invented by man.  Search and see.  There is no verse in the Bible that even mentions it.”

Au Contraire!

Let’s look at the Old Testament:

“The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”

But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he will kill me.”

The Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’  Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.”

Samuel did what the Lord said. When he arrived at Bethlehem, the elders of the town trembled when they met him. They asked, “Do you come in peace?”

Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.”

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lordlooks at the heart.”

Then Jesse called Abinadab and had him pass in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” Jesse then had Shammah pass by, but Samuel said, “Nor has the Lord chosen this one.” Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.”   So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”

Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”

So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features.

Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”

So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.”  1 Samuel 16:1-13

Then,

All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “We are your own flesh and blood.  In the past, while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.’”

When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel.

David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years.  In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months,and in Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.”  2 Samuel 1-5

Now, it could be argued that these represent Jesus’ first and second comings, and not a two stage second coming.  But consider this:

“When David was old and full of years, he made his son Solomon king over Israel.”  1 Chronicles 23:1  And,

The next day they made sacrifices to the Lord and presented burnt offerings to him: a thousand bulls, a thousand rams and a thousand male lambs, together with their drink offerings, and other sacrifices in abundance for all Israel.  They ate and drank with great joy in the presence of the Lord that day.”  

Then they acknowledged Solomon son of David as king a second time, anointing him before the Lord to be ruler and Zadok to be priest.  So Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king in place of his father David. He prospered and all Israel obeyed him.  All the officers and warriors, as well as all of King David’s sons, pledged their submission to King Solomon.

The Lord highly exalted Solomon in the sight of all Israel and bestowed on him royal splendor such as no king over Israel ever had before.”  1 Chronicles 29:21-25

Notice that between the two annointings, the temple preparations are begun.

On page 37, it says, “Obviously, life on earth for humans during the thousand years is not possible.”  Where does it say that??

On page 38, it says, “The saints will not determine who will be saved or lost.  This work will have been accomplished by God already.  Rather, the work of judgment during the millennium involves the redeemed going over the case of every evil angel and lost human so that no question remains in the mind of the redeemed concerning God’s justice and mercy.”  This implies that the judgment is a mere sentencing or verdict, and not a complete trial (that may last centuries).

The truth is that the second coming will be more complicated than most think.  It will not merely happen in a few hours.  It will have many stages.  There’s no way to predict it all correctly ahead of time.  The totality of the second coming may take a thousand years or more.

Advertisements
Posted by: biblestudyseattle | August 26, 2017

Sniffing out the Truth

In this video about longevity, at the 7:58 mark, the speaker says one of the keys to living to 100 is the flu shot:

She says it’s more important than exercise or diet.  I was left scratching my head.  Really?!?  The more I thought about it, I came to the conclusion that it’s probably false, and that she may have been paid to say that as part of soft advertising.  I haven’t done enough research to prove that, and it’s possible that she’s right.  But it sounds very suspect to me, after having done dozens of hours of research into vaccines.  I believe vaccines are an abomination to God.  If not, would he not have instructed us to do so?  Vaccines have been around for perhaps 1000 years: https://www.historyofvaccines.org/timeline

If eating meat with the blood in it is an abomination to God, how about injecting something that was cultured in aborted fetal tissue?  Or even just injecting mercury (which the flu shot has)?  As Paul says, we must test everything.

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | August 25, 2017

Cheap Grace, etc.

One of the main challenges of religion is to make their offering cheap, but not too cheap.  If a religion is too strict, it will have few adherents.  If it is too loose, nobody respects it.  Some religions are spiritual get rich quick schemes.  ‘You can have paradise if you jump through our easy rituals’.  As the tendency is to desire large numbers and the associated income, the rituals aren’t too difficult.  Cheap grace is when believers are offered get out of jail free cards because, “Jesus paid my sin.”  Many Christians believe that their sins are covered, so there is not much to worry about.  The truth is, sins are covered, but only if one repents.  A great example of this:
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  Matthew 6:14-15   And,

“When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”  At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.”  John 5:6-9

Now notice what Jesus says:

“Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”  John 5:14

This man was an invalid for 38 years.  Yet Jesus says something worse may happen if he does not stop sinning.  Now notice that Jesus doesn’t say, “Stop sinning in this life or something worse may happen to you.”  It is impossible to completely stop sinning in this (first) life.  Therefore the command must extend into the next life.  That next life is going to include demands to repent and forgive others.  Many Christians are going to be surprised.  They thought, “Jesus covered my sin” so I don’t need to change anything.  Jesus admonished:  “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.”  Matthew 5:25

Those courts he is referring to will be in Jerusalem.  It is described in detail in Ezekiel chapters 40-48.  Attendance at the Feast of Tabernacles will be required:

“Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles.  If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain.  If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The Lord will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles.  This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles.

On that day holy to the Lord will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the Lord’s house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar.  Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them. And on that day there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord Almighty.”  Zechariah 14:16-21

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | August 14, 2017

Red Rain

Blood red rain has fallen:  The Kerala red rain phenomenon was a blood rain event that occurred from 25 July to 23 September 2001, when heavy downpours of red-coloured rain fell sporadically on the southern Indian state of Kerala, staining clothes pink.[1] Yellow, green, and black rain was also reported.[2][3][4] Coloured rain was also reported in Kerala in 1896 and several times since,[5] most recently in June 2012,[6][7] and from 15 November 2012 to 27 December 2012 in eastern and north-central provinces of Sri Lanka.  (from Wikipedia)

Immediately we flash to Egypt:  “The Lord said to Moses, “If they do not believe you and are not convinced by the first miraculous sign, they will be convinced by the second sign.  And if they don’t believe you or listen to you even after these two signs, then take some water from the Nile River and pour it out on the dry ground. When you do, the water from the Nile will turn to blood on the ground.”  Exodus 4:8-9

There may be no link, but it’s interesting that these things still happen.

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | August 12, 2017

Psalm 121

“I look up to the mountains—does my help come from there?

My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth!

He will not let you stumble;
    the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
    never slumbers or sleeps.

The Lord himself watches over you!
    The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon at night.

The Lord keeps you from all harm
    and watches over your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
    both now and forever.”  Psalm 121

The Lord never sleeps?

On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work.  And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.”  Genesis 2:2-3

Evidently rest and sleep are not the same.  Indeed, the law says to do no regular work on the Sabbath.  It does not say one can’t work at all.  It is meant to be a day of rejuvenation, as the millennial Sabbath will be!

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | August 10, 2017

Vacation

I’ve just returned from vacation, or holiday as they say in Britain.  Holiday comes from Holy Day, which is appropriate.  YHWH’s calendar laid out in Leviticus gives everyone the seventh day off, plus seven days off at Passover, a day off fifty days removed from first fruits, a day off on the first of the seventh month, a day off on the tenth of the seventh month, and finally eight days off from the 15th to the 22nd of the seventh month.  It also appears that the first day of every month was a day off, if not a celebration.   Then the Israelites got the entire seventh year off!!  And, every fifty years, the seventh year and the eighth year off!  YHWH clearly wants us to rest and even periodically party.

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | July 30, 2017

Sabbath Observance?

Every serious Christian should acquaint themselves with Bible Student teaching, but this sermon didn’t sit with me:  https://chicagobible.org/the-sabbath-the-rest-of-the-story/

The essence of the argument is that the priests were exempt from the Sabbath since they had to work on the Sabbath.  But where does it say priests were exempt?  Notice what Jesus says:

At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them.  When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”

He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry?  He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests.  Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? ”  Matthew 12:5

So the priests aren’t exempt, but work, desecrating the Sabbath, yet YHWH commanded them so.  No one is exempt from the Sabbath.  Jesus possibly rose on the Sabbath (he possibly rose on the first day (Sunday).  The scriptures aren’t clear.  That’s another post, but it’s possible that this is foreshadowing the resurrection occuring during the millennial Sabbath and the millennial Jubilee.

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | July 19, 2017

Bakers, Silver, and Cups

A good friend pointed out these ties…

“and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver.”  Matthew 26:15

“When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.

“I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”

“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”

So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.

The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.”  So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners.  That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day.   Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”  Matthew 27:3-10

Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I am reminded of my shortcomings.  Pharaoh was once angry with his servants, and he imprisoned me and the chief baker in the house of the captain of the guard.  Each of us had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own.   Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream.  And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us: I was restored to my position, and the other man was impaled.”  Genesis 41:9-13

They said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come on us.”

Reuben replied, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn’t listen! Now we must give an accounting for his blood.”  They did not realize that Joseph could understand them, since he was using an interpreter.

He turned away from them and began to weep, but then came back and spoke to them again. He had Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes.

Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to put each man’s silver back in his sack”  Genesis 42:21-25

Now Joseph gave these instructions to the steward of his house: “Fill the men’s sacks with as much food as they can carry, and put each man’s silver in the mouth of his sack.  Then put my cup, the silver one,in the mouth of the youngest one’s sack, along with the silver for his grain.” And he did as Joseph said.”  Genesis 44:1-2

In the story of Joseph, Simeon likely represents Judas.  Simeon was the one who most wanted to kill Joseph.  Hence he was treated the harshest.  The whole story of Joseph (Genesis 37-50) is the story of Jesus and the Israelites, from the calling of Jacob all the way through the first and second comings of Christ.

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | July 15, 2017

Healing

It’s amazing what a difference it makes when everything in your world is right.  Suddenly you don’t have unkind thoughts and everything is better.  But often adversity is our lot.  This is when our real character comes through.

“But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.”  Malachi 4:2

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”  Proverbs 13:12

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | July 12, 2017

Where are we in History?

Where are we in history?  Many Christian groups that focus on ‘end times’ preach that the world is going down hill, and this is a necessary precondition for the second coming.  They point to the signs in Daniel of increased travel and knowledge and say the end is near.  But the actual statistics say that the world is going uphill.  People live longer, extreme poverty is down substantially, crime is down, war deaths are down.  So what do we make of this?  Scripture seems to say that times will be very bad just before the second coming.  This author’s opinion is that things will continue to get better before they get worse.  And the worse part is probably a century or more away.  My opinion is that we are prophetically living in the seven plentiful years of Joseph.  Then comes the famine.

Older Posts »

Categories