The Unpardonable Sin

 

  • Unpardonable sin…

    This means once committed it is not pardonable! Not now; not later; not ever. Satan are you listening?

    One of the most often asked questions is what is the unpardonable sin? What is blasphemy? Let’s take a look at what scripture tells us per these questions. However, it must be emphasized that if one is busy following Jesus and worshiping God, there is no chance of committing the unpardonable sin. Here are three synoptic gospel verses to consider.

    Jesus is the one making these statements:

    Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come (Matthew 12:31-32).

    Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation—because they said, “He has an unclean spirit” (Mark 3:28-30).

    And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven (Luke 12:10).

    Now let’s also include from our website Revelation Study the same word… “blasphemy.” Revelation 17:3 states, in part “…and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names…” Wikipedia defines it as Blasphemy is the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence to a deity…” It is a deliberate act on one’s part.

    Insulting; showing contempt; a lack of reverence? There goes the excuse of the one who says s/he is neutral per believing in a saving God and committing to Jesus. The blasphemy is found in the words, “lack of reverence.” Insulting and/or showing contempt are overt and obvious acts. But included in this definition is the simple act of not showing reverence; i.e. trying to be neutral, open minded or politically correct no matter what is the truth.

    Example: One knows that stealing is a crime. When one does not violate the law or simply does not get caught, they are not issued a penalty for their actions. When it comes to God, there is no such thing as “not getting caught” so that one does not fit in this situation. However, stealing is punishable. This is true even if up to this point it is the very first time one steals; i.e. a deliberate act on or one’s part or showing a lack of reverence for the law.

    Including the word “CONTEMPT” per the above definition adds to problem. It means getting caught and still showing contempt for the justice system and the law. A personal choice has been made. God is gracious in telling us in the above scriptures that such is forgivable if done against the son of God, Jesus. However, no such contempt against the Holy Spirit is forgivable. Just as in stealing, one made a choice and did the deed. The same is true of God the Holy Spirit. To reject him or turn ones back on him in a deliberate act is unforgivable. This is precisely why Satan does not have a choice to seek forgiveness and make everything alright between him and God. He showed contempt and there is no turning back or forgiveness.

    I recall a bible study where the instructor asked the question, “If Satan sought forgiveness, would God’s love be extended to him and forgive him.” There was great silence in the room as no one wanted to risk the fact that they believe God Is (only) Love. That statement alone, “God is Love,” is very misleading just as declaring the bible is full of stories. Stories may be true, but also may be just stories. It is very misleading to identify the Bible content as anything but history. Two books I have read include a History of the Civil War in America and “StoriesFrom the Civil War. The latter was qualified as unverified but still interesting as a read.  The author of this second book stated: “inside every story is often found a thread of truth.” A thread of truth????? What about Bible stories???? This is a gross misuse of Bible history when one relegates it to a book full of stories.

    Now back to the unpardonable sin focus of this article. None of the verses in our opening quotes from Matthew, Mark and Luke have a qualification. Satan has already done it. The Harlot (institution) will do it. The world has received the gospel of salvation but to reject it by NOT accepting God’s Provided Salvation (spiritual GPS) is akin to rejecting the civil statute of stealing. Once committed it is a done deal. There is and will be a price to pay.

    Nothing is said per who does the blasphemy or contempt. It remains a very loving and assuring statement to realize we can blaspheme Jesus or the Father God and it will be forgiven us. But rejecting, a deliberate act or not or no longer accepting HIM as holy is blasphemy. Notice in Matthew 12 that Jesus has just declared that a kingdom divided against itself (casting out demons in the name of Beelzebub) cannot stand. Without going into the detail of this history found in Matthew 12, anyone at any time can commit the one unforgivable sin. The only qualifier is one’s vocalization or demonstration of contempt for and/or claiming the Holy Spirit to be an unclean or non-existent spirit.

    So, can one lose his salvation? No! Can one surrender his salvation? Yes!

    Hebrews 13:5 “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” [NIV]

    Deuteronomy 31: 6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

    However, three passages in the New Testament say, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. Satan is already condemned but was once an angel of light in heaven. God will not forsake us, but we can at any time forsake His Spirit.

    Truth Text Red Black BurstFor the purpose of the series thinker, Let me add an after-thought. John 4:23, 24 states, “…a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth” [NIV].

    miniJimJstark
    November 1, 2016

 

The Fourth Commandment

Across America, Believers are resurrecting the exhibiting of lawnRev Paul Hoffmaster signs that depict the Ten Commandments.  What they hope to achieve can only be interpreted as a conscientious response to activating their Christian duty.  Bringing awareness to Biblical principles may identify one as a Christian, but does little to influence others into seeking a hunger for the things of God.

Believers emphatically believe that the Ten Commandments are the basis for social justice.  It is through obedience to these laws that the Sermon on the Mount can build Christian character.  If we promote the Ten Commandments, we are obligated to affirm all of them through our actions.  A problem seems to arise when the Fourth Commandment calls us to an action that is hard to justify by the Church.  “REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY TO KEEP IT HOLY.”  There is very little, if any, wiggle room to try to adjust or substitute a word for the Sabbath.  The observance of the Sabbath was to be perpetual, which means everlasting and never ending.  (Exodus 31:16)  What the Church tries to do is substitute the “Lord’s Day” for the Sabbath.  It is true the New Testament church did meet on the first day of the week to worship through the sharing of the Word, Communion, and fellowship, but that was not the purpose of the Sabbath.  It was to be a day of separation from the world.  It was a time to cease from the grind of six days and to rest in the Truths of God’s Word.  It was a time to shut out the world and its pollutants.  It was a time of worshipping God with spirit, soul, and body.  It was a time for renewal and spiritual reflection.  Jesus stated that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. (Mark 2:27)   What a gift God gave us, and yet we lose its blessing by diluting God’s intention.  We attempt to have the Lord’s Day be our Sabbath.  The problem is we think by going to church we have honored the intent of the Fourth Commandment.  In fact, if we take out Sunday worship, there is really no difference from any other day.    If we are going to substitute the Lord’s Day for the Sabbath, we must also be dedicated to keeping it Holy!

I remember years ago, as a young boy, my parents would not even let me change out of my church clothes. (People use to dress up to go the church, but today we dress down as we worship our God!)  I could not go out and play baseball.  My parents made sure we had enough food in the house so we did not need to go to the store.  Many stores were closed on this special day.  We would share the Word together and pray as a family.  There was also a time for a nap.  The day wrapped up by going to church in the evening. (It is very difficult today to find churches with Sunday night services.)  By Monday morning, we were ready for the challenges of the week.

The argument of Saturday or Sunday as the Biblical day for the Sabbath has long been the focal point of division.  It has even come to the point of birthing new denominations.  Straining over the actual day of Holiness has dwarfed the intent of the Fourth Commandment.  One day of the week is to be set aside for the renewing of our body, soul, and spirit.  If we want that day to be Sunday, then let it be.  We must be certain that whatever that day is, it is totally dedicated to God.  When we fail to keep any of His commandments and try to teach others the insignificance of any of His teachings, we will be called “least in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19)  Many Believers claim this Fourth Commandment pertains only to the Jewish people.  If we want to be completely truthful, all the Commandments were for the Jews because the Church had not yet been conceived.  Yet, the Ten Commandments have a place in the Church today, and all we have to do is let the Holy Spirit guide us into the application of not only the Commandments, but all the teachings in the Old Testament.  Instead of looking for loop holes in Scriptural principles, let us simply obey what God says.  Is it that difficult to set aside a day, different from all other days, to focus on Him and to honor Him?  May our Sabbath be a day that prepares us for the challenges of the upcoming week.  Let us rest in the Lord that we may serve Him in the days ahead!

Revelation 17- Part 1

miniJimThere is so much parallel between the Book of Daniel and Revelation, a simple blog could not begin to conclude. The truly amazing facts are not so much the content as the fact that both books speak to the same thing. God’s direction is powerful today (N.T.) and yesterday (O.T.). Simply put and without explanation in this blog is that Daniel sets the stage for the Book of Revelation. We get details in Revelation than Daniel can only infer. It is also a special note that what Daniel saw as individual creatures, Apostle John sees as ONE 10 horned beast; [Revelation 13:2] “And the beast which I saw was like to a leopard, and its feet as of a bear, and its mouth as a lion’s mouth. Who might be the combined military or governmental forces that are represented as a leopard, bear and lion of Revelation? Recall that the Dragon and the Beast are two different entities.

Untitled

One Step Closer to Pulling Things Together

Chapter 17 of Revelation takes us a step closer to figuring this out. We have the dragon, beast 1 and beast 2, the image of beast 1, a red dragon with multiple heads and horns, a woman riding the beast which soon those in charge turn against it rider, four forces converging on Har Megiddo, the seventh bowl, kings in some symbolic adultery with the woman on the beast, blasphemous names, a mysterious Babylon the Great, a book of life and names not in it, three symbolic frogs hopping nation to nation to call to arms these ignorant arrogant millennial losers, a speaking image of beast #1, 10 unnamed kings (for an hour) who then hand over their authority to the anti-Christ…

no wonder people’s heads spin when trying to put this all together as one orchestrated sequence of events leading the return of Jesus the Messiah.

We MUST remind ourselves that the mind of God is so far greater than ours, it should be a simple thing to understand that our mental capacities are not equal to God’s, but our faith and hearts should be totally online. If not, then we need to check with our spiritual internet provider; what I enjoy calling our spiritual GPS; Gods Provided Seal on our forehead.

The very first thing we see in C17 is Apostle John in a bit of a dither. This is when I default to Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) as it is probably the most “literal” translation of scripture; but often difficult to read just for that reason. We say, the boy went to the game. YLT in in its literal translation would write, the games is to which the by went. Other translations try to simplify their translation but often lose something(s) in the process.

For this reason I include the YLT of C17: (1898) – All emphasis mine

And there came one of the seven *messengers, who were having the seven vials, and he spake with me, saying to me, `Come, I will shew to thee the judgment of the great whore, who is sitting upon the many waters, *often meaning angels

with whom the kings of the earth did commit whoredom; and made drunk from the wine of her whoredom were those inhabiting the earth;’

and he carried me away to a wilderness in the Spirit, and I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet-colored beast, full of names of evil-speaking, having seven heads and ten horns,

and the woman was arrayed with purple and scarlet-colour, and gilded with gold, and precious stone, and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and uncleanness of her whoredom,

and upon her forehead was a name written: `Secret, Babylon the Great, the Mother of the Whores, and the Abominations of the earth.’

And I saw the woman drunken from the blood of the saints, and from the blood of the witnesses of Jesus, and I did wonder — having seen her — with great wonder;

and the messenger said to me, `Wherefore didst thou wonder? I — I will tell thee the secret of the woman and of the beast that [is] carrying her, which hath the seven heads and the ten horns.

`The beast that thou didst see: it was, and it is not; and it is about to come up out of the abyss, and to go away to destruction, and wonder shall those dwelling upon the earth, whose names have not been written upon the scroll of the life from the foundation of the world, beholding the beast that was, and is not, although it is.

`Here [is] the mind that is having wisdom; the seven heads are seven mountains, upon which the woman doth sit,

10 and there are seven kings, the five did fall, and the one is, the other did not yet come, and when he may come, it behoveth him to remain a little time;

11 and the beast that was, and is not, he also is eighth, and out of the seven he is, and to destruction he doth go away.

12 `And the ten horns that thou sawest, are ten kings, who a kingdom did not yet receive, but authority as kings the same hour do receive with the beast,

13 these have one mind, and their own power and authority to the beast they shall give over;

14 these with the Lamb shall make war, and the Lamb shall overcome them, because Lord of lords he is, and King of kings, and those with him are called, and choice, and stedfast.’

15 And he saith to me, `The waters that thou didst see, where the whore doth sit, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues;’

16 and the ten horns that thou didst see upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and shall burn her in fire,

17 for God did give into their hearts to do its mind, and to make one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast till the sayings of God may be complete,

18 and the woman that thou didst see is the great city that is having reign over the kings of the land.

Before moving on I feel totally compelled to issue a warning by example. During this end falseamongrealof time Tribulation, Satan will confuse many with false prophets, so-called miracles, a silver tongue of persuasion, unmatched deceit and a look-good universal church. Look at the picture on the right. If you look real close one can see the weeds that have grown up so close to the real flowers, one can easily be deceived into thinking the weeds are actually part of the flower arrangement. This is what Satan’s church will look like during the first 3 ½ years of the Tribulation. These fake flowers of beauty are so close in proximity to the genuine, one easily misses them.

Gradually more and more look-similar and delicate, but weeds grow up amongst the real thing. So close in proximity even the gardener will miss them. Eventually they overtake the garden while one stays politically and garden correct by watering, tolerating and wishing to be inoffensive to the garden saying it takes too much time to clean them out. They are allowed to be a part of the garden via compromise or failure to recognize they are plants but NOT flowers. This is precisely what is happening in our churches today.

Examples of what these weeds will look like:

  1. A song sung in church with a great tune but unidentifiable as a praise or worship song
  2. A person whose tithing is a goodly share of the church budget but demands political correctness be exercised within the church; not identifying or giving warning of sin.
  3. Pastors who fear calling out sin as defined in the Bible; Ephesians. Don’t be offensive.
  4. Board members who command weight and influence within the church, a community, city or politics but have little to no bible knowledge.
  5. Those willing to sit in the pews and not overtly stand on the promises of God.
  6. Inter and intra denominational bickering that leads to separation of church and church. There is but ONE CHURCH of which Jesus Christ is the head; not the pope or St. Peter.
  7. Churches that teach good living and self-improvement while ignoring the WORD.
  8. Beautiful buildings with debt that requires a congregation of several #2’s (above) to pay the debt.
  9. Singers and instrumentalists on the Praise Team who are really good but live lives unbecoming of The Church of Jesus Christ.
  10. Prayer that is not in the spirit as commanded in Romans 8 (study the entire chapter).

Take a moment of pause while using your weed-sin pulling tools and write in more cautions from which will come the universal false church.  [Mark 13:22, Matthew 24:24]

During the final 3 ½ years (Tribulation) there will no longer be any doubt. Satan sets himself up in the Temple of God in Jerusalem, slaughters Jews and those who refuse to bow the knee to him while claims to be God. Those who refuse to worship will be shrewdly eliminated.

Back to our study; C17:1 – 6 (we will pick up on more of 17 in our next blog)

The first six verses set the somewhat mystery stage of dragon, woman, fornicators, scarlet beast,…with their explanations in the remainder of C17. Let’s look at them.

The beast that was, is not, and is about to come up from the abyss then go away to potofdestruction is often identified with the Roman Church of the dark and pre-dark ages. It wasn’t until Napoleon disposed of the Pope who ultimately died in prison do we get the “then it was not.” The future and news worthy items today per the pontiff and his decrees show the Roman Church and its global influence is once again asserting [coming alive] itself.

Drunken (17:6) from the blood of the saints can be present or past tense. Most likely it is a continuum or revival of the Holy Roman Empire that replaced the original Roman Empire. Still considered the Roman Empire but with the innocuous word “holy” as the first word in the title. However we read “the blood of the Saints and of those who witness of Jesus.” The saints are those from the past and those who witness and are present at this time of bloodshed.

Revelation Chapter 14 (b)

Continued from Chapter 14 (a)miniJim

Revelation 7

This chapter is very specific in identifying who will be marked; 12,000 from 12 Tribes of Jacob (Israel). The Tribe of Dan walked away from their designated spot in the Promised Land and is not included as a tribe mentioned in Revelation 7. Ephraim’s name is simply replaced by the name of his father, Joseph of Egypt fame. Manasseh, Joseph’s first born in Egypt is listed as one of the twelve Tribes.

Additional considerations from Revelation 14:

  1. The souls under the throne and the handing out of white robes until the right number have died. Might this “right number” equal 144,000?
  2. Those who appear in great multitudes that cannot be counted.
  3. Who are 24 elders?
  4. The woman in chapter 12 and the woman in chapter 15
  5. The dragon, 1st beast, 2nd beast, the image and the false prophet.

A blog cannot cover all of this but we do recommend that the serious student go through Revelation Chapter 14-1Power Points provided and identified with chapter 14 and chapter 15 in this website. The PP for chapter 14 is long but has an identified division point where one can leave off and return to it at later time. The Power Point blog addresses many of the specifics of chapter 14.

The “virgin status” of those “men” (People) identified in C14 are people who are new babes in Christ, probably converted during the Great Tribulation. They know (YADDA) they are going to pay a severe price for their decision by accepting Christ therefore denying the mark of the Beast and his image. They have no reason to violate any of Gods laws or principles since their decision is a permanent and a do or die decision. These are not Sunday or Sabbath Day Christians. It is and end in and of itself so no purpose is served in them making a false statement. No lie is to be found on their lips after this decision to follow Christ to their death during the Tribulation of 7 years.

no more ignorance14:6 & 7 answer the question of whether or not all people hear the gospel or are doomed to condemnation due to their ignorance. There is NO IGNORANCE. Every tongue, every tribe, every nation, every people; leaves little room for someone to be missed. After all, this last angel with the final opportunity to accept the gospel follows the 3 ½ years of the two witnesses in Jerusalem who also were heard world-wide. Yet, many still refuse to accept Christ.

We have a fascinating sequence of events within the next few verses;

Verse 6 finds an angel announcing to the world (no exceptions) the eternal Good news. Verse 7 gives due warning and instructions for all individuals who heard the angel in verse 6.
Verse 8 Informs the same global population that the false prophet and leadership (Babylon) is now destroyed so they have nothing to fear from this group.
Verse 9 tells of the consequence for not heading this final warning and message from an angel in the sky. It also explains the consequences for taking the mark of the beast or worshiping either it or its image. It is the unforgivable sin.
Verse 10 says it straight… “He also shall drink of the wine of God’s wrath and ultimately tormented with fire and brimstone (in hell).”
Verse 11 specifically states it is forever and ever.

Here is an absolutely new fact of end time as read in Revelation 14:13…

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. From henceforth now, says the Spirit that they may rest from their labors. For their works follow them. [BRB]

“…from this point forward?” These people are probably the ones redeemed from earth for their flawless living after all the above has transpired. We are well into the Great Tribulation at this point in time and any choice is but one; follow Christ or follow the beast. No murky waters or fog at this time in history. This also explains why these men of earth who reject the beast and accept Christ are identified as the first-fruits and sinless from that point forward. They have everything to gain and KNOW IT. They also know the only thing they have to lose equals NOTHING! Poor example but a human thought with heavenly meaning…to give up a fake pass to Disney for an everyday any day pass is not a loss. There is no need to fake anything.

JIV NOTE: In 14:10 we read something about “spiritual fornication.” Does one actually grasp the depth of this statement? Revelation 10:9-10…

9) “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,

10)  he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.

There is a parallel to this when the Tribe of Dan “leaped out of Bashan, leaving the Promised land in the Old Testament. His people worshiped idols and set up”high places” outside the realm of what God had instructed Israel, His chosen, to do. They walked away from the Promised Land and are not included in the list of Tribes and 144,000 identified in Revelation 7.
The very first commandment of the Old Testament states: ‘mankind’ shall have no other gods before me.” In verse 9 we see many will have openly worshiped the beast and its image receiving their “seal [club membership] of approval.” It is a one way membership club. One can get in or stay out, but cannot get in then back out. Verse 11 re-explains who these folks are. Here is no guess work. It is laid out in plain language.

harvest readyChapter 14:14 to the end of this chapter is the reaping of the earth. The first thrust of the sharp sickle is to harvest the *fully ripe grain or followers of God/Jesus Christ. This is the first harvest.

In verse 17 we discover a second harvest; one of grapes. These are thrown into the wine-press of God’s WRATH. Not a good thing. They are crushed or punished for their continual rejection over the past 7 tribulation years;  3 ½ years with the two witnesses in Jerusalem but who were heard and seen worldwide; the angel who proclaimed the gospel to the entire world near the end of the Great Tribulation period; the individual witnessing of the 144,000 who died “from this point forward” for their testimony [14:13]; and the their acceptance of the false prophet, the beast, its image and the Mark of the Beast.

Revelation Chapter 14 (a)

There are three other articles/blogs on this website that address specific topics within miniJimchapter 14; 666, What happens to those who never hear of the Gospel? The 144,000.  This blog is more of a shorthand review of other issues with which one should be familiar and  connected to Revelation 14.

Chapter 14 begins with the mentioning of the 144,000 standing with Jesus (the lamb) on Mt Zion. They have the Father’s name written in their foreheads. Some translations say the Father’s and the Lamb’s (Jesus) name. Let’s consider some of the differences between this 144,000 in C14 and the 144,000 in C7.

  1. end of the ages Revelation 7: the 144,000 are all identified as specifically from the multiple Tribes of Israel, then in verse 9 John sees *a great multitude around the throne wearing white robes that **came out of the ongoing Great Tribulation; 7:9. Before the tribes of Israel and their count is given; 12,000 from each, the first couple of verses in this chapter express a great calamity about to overwhelm man and earth. The 144,000 Israelites are protected from these calamities. In short, the calamities (God’s bowl judgments; the 7th Seal) are about to be poured out. These 144,000 folks are still on planet earth.

*They were from every nation, tribe, race of people, and language of the earth. They were standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They all wore white robes and had palm branches in their hands [ESV].

** “These are the ones who have come out of the great suffering” [ESV; 7:14]. JIV: perhaps these are the souls under the throne waiting for their deaths to be avenged by God [Revelation 6:10].

  1. 144,000 of Revelation 14 have specific traits that differ from the 144,000 discussed in chapter 7 of Revelation. John sees them standing with the Messiah on Mount Zion going everywhere he goes. This passages says they are “purchased from among men” (on earth) and are the first fruits. The word “men” here is “anthrōpos” meaning redeemed from the *earth. Contrast this to the specifics of chapter 7 where the 144,000 are selected from specific Tribes of Israel; not the generic anthrōpos,  men on earth and in general.

*redeemed from the earth is quite different than being protected while on earth.

  1. C14 has angels flying around making proclamations where C7 mentions a few angels with specific jobs or tasks to perform. Chapter 14 becomes what I call the “harvest chapter.” The only mention of great masses of people in this chapter is associated with a warning to NOT worship the beast, its image or take his mark, and the reward for those who do NOT take his mark or worship him. (14:7 and 14:9). People are still on earth and God’ kingdom on earth has yet to be established.
  • They sing a NEW song only they can learn (also with an orchestra of harps)
  • They are new babes in Christ (virgins); totally committed 24/7 for the duration of the Tribulation
  • They follow the lamb everywhere. This suggests Christ 2nd advent has now occurred.
  • No lie has crossed their lips since their tribulation acceptance of the coming messiah
  • They stand before the Throne, the elders and the 4 Living creatures.
  • They are reaped through the gospel message proclaimed world-wide by the angel spreading this good news and with fair warning found in verse 6.

There are some other passages we should consider as they too relate to chapter 14. One should ask, what about some of the other distinguishing or mentioned characteristics unique to groups of people in end time sealed or marked in one way or another.

Ezekiel 9

This book is focused on Israel, as is most of Revelation following the first four chapters that discuss the seven Messianic Christian churches.

  1. Ezekiel’s vision is isolated to Jerusalem, not throughout the world
  2. Those marked (tauv) in Jerusalem by the angels lament the sins of the city (historical past and present just as did Daniel for the nation of Israel in *Daniel 9). Here is how Rev. Dr. Robert Deffingbaugh puts it:
    1. Verses 24-27 [of Daniel 9] begin to spell out future events in detail rather than with vague, mysterious symbols. While all may not agree on the meaning of these verses, all Christians would agree they provide very specific information concerning the last times. For the first time in Daniel’s prophecy, the suffering and death of Messiah is introduced.
  3. The rest of the population [in Jerusalem] is slain without pity
  4. The context of this judgment goes back to Ezekiel 7: (1-10) but should include the entire chapter 7 in Ezekiel.

tavPS: Tauv is the last letter of the Hebrew Alphabet.

 

When The Vet Can’t Fix Me

Things have been tough lately for me and my mom. I know when she hurts but it is I who bytheShadowhas been in a lot of distress lately. My mom struggles with Multiple Sclerosis and she tells me the doctors “manage” the disease but there is no cure. Unfortunately, there is no cure for me. I’ve already had many tests and more tests would pinpoint exactly what is going on with me. But my Vet, Dr. Heather has primary tests results with reason to believe it is a life-long condition with no cure. We are working on keeping the symptoms managed. The exact diagnosis and radical treatment would be super expensive and the treatment could be harsher than the disease.

Dr.Heather and Shadow

I love my Vet!

So what’s a dog to do? Number one: I take my medication and sleep more. Much of the time I seem “normal” to people but my mom sees my pain. I have good days and play hard then and I am still a good working Service dog for the most part. I love my job. I love my mom. Lately I wash away my mom tears as she hugs me more and tells me she is sorry. This I do not understand because she hasn’t hurt me.

My mom tells me Ancient Wisdom says there is a time for everything. There will come a time when my time is up; whatever that means. And there will be a time when my mom’s time is up also. My mom calls this time simply Heaven and that we will hurt no more.

But like my mom who has and is fighting a tough battle to keep on keeping on; so will I. With the help of my Vet, Dr. Heather and my mom- I will continue to fight until I can fight no longer. After all, there is much work to do and my mom needs me. We need each other.

If you are in a battle of any sort, fight on and never give up. We are doing all we are able to do. There will be a time when the “time” will come for all of us. For me and my mom that time is called Heaven.

Oh, say, can you see

 

The Star Spangled Banner

In 1814, Francis Scott Key wrote the poem, Defense of Fort McHenry. The poem was later put to the tune of (John Stafford Smith’s song) The Anacreontic Song, modified somewhat, and retitled The Star Spangled Banner. Congress proclaimed The Star Spangled Banner the U.S. National Anthem in 1931.


Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watch’d, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro’ the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen thro’ the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov’d homes and the war’s desolation;
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

posted by Murphy James

666: the Mark of the Beast

What number is more intriguing than 666; 13? Perhaps, but for those who like miniJimmental puzzles 666 is one of the best and almost universally known. Standing in line at the check-out one time, the cashier handed me a receipt that totaled $6.66. She handed it to me and said, “Good luck today.” Yet, this is not a game. Neither is it a vain pursuit. The book of Revelation instructs us: “Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast” (13:18).

Sadly, when it comes to wild ideas, it may be difficult to surpass the absurdities finagled into the public domain as are solutions to the enigma of 666. Popular ultra-modern views include concepts of a cashless society, the universal use of bar codes, the implantation of computer chips and biochips in each individual for identification and control, and the most recent “face imaging” via those hidden cameras throughout society. It is easy to see how the anti-Christ might control commerce, even private lives through technology. We have television sets that are voice activated and don’t ever totally shut off. They are capable of recognizing voices in the room or house.computerchip

At the other extreme, many commentaries on Revelation assert that it is useless, foolish, or even dangerous to attempt to discover a specific name with a fulfillment of 666. They treat 666 and most items in Revelation as if they were parables devoid of specific predictions with only historical significance. Many even write articles that are well worded and convincing to those who are not founded in bible study; that Revelation has already played out and we are now in some type of ozone territory.

It was no one less than the Holy Spirit, the real author of Revelation, who directed John to write: “Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666” (Rev. 13:18). We are instructed to “calculate” or “count,” as some translations translate it. We are dealing here with a mathematical computation. The Greek word means “count,” as illustrated in the only other text where it appears in the New Testament: “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it”(Luke 14:28). This parable also has a spiritual application. It is talking about a man counting his money. This brings to mind the number of people who don’t count or budget what s/he has and then will have in disposable time, energy, or money before making a commitment or taking on a project. Seldom if ever do people when personal energies or ambition exceed what it will take to complete the race.kidcounting

Seldom does Revelation directly tell us to apply understanding to grasp the meaning of a particular symbol. It does not tell us to try to figure out who the lamb-like beast is. It does not tell us that if we have wisdom we can figure out the meaning of the third trumpet or many other symbolic representations. It only hints at the identities of the beasts from the sea and earth. However, when it mentions 666, it specifically tells us to calculate or count.
There is a view that Rev. 13:18 should not be translated “the number of a man,” but rather “the number of man” (without the indefinite article “a”). The reason given is that the indefinite article “a” is missing in the original. Of course, it is missing; Greek has no indefinite article. For this reason, one must examine the context to determine if the translation into English should include the indefinite article or not; “a” versus “he, she or it.” Better yet, use a proper name when identifying a person, place or thing. Revelation 13:18 says to calculate this name, but not everyone will be able to.

Some theologians and I use this term liberally, Give distant historical dates when this all happened. This leaves us in a bible void time today. If one thinks this all happened in the distant past, then where are we biblically referenced in the here and now?

The following tables are included so the reader of this blog can venture down this trail of “calculating the name” of this man. It has already been done dozens if not hundreds of times and to little absolute avail. In Bible times primary languages included Greek, Latin (in Rome) and Hebrew as concerns commerce and common communication. On the table to the right, find the equivalent numeric number for Greek letters and their number value. On the right find an example of doing this. Caution: English was NOT a primary language at this time when John wrote Revelation. English does not have a numeric equivalence.

 

greeknumber

latios

The above is but one example of the meaning and identity of 666; i.e. the Roman Catholic Church and its leadership. For those who are old enough to recall, the Catholic Church said mass in Latin for hundreds of years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In order to include all possibilities, we would need to include the Hebrew letter-to-number equivalence and include the use of Roman (Latin) numerals. We can only deduce that John means to use the Greek since Revelation and most of the New Testament was written in Greek. However, Revelation 13:18 is after the Rapture of the church so perhaps it is intended to be “calculated” in Hebrew… those chosen as God’s special people. Remember or know for the first time that a sign was posted over the cross of Jesus that said “He was the King of the Jews.” It was written in Greek, Latin and Hebrew.

Now What?

WashingtonThe zeal with which the Christians addressed the political atmosphere over the last year seems to have been unparalleled in past elections. Editorials and expressions of opinions, which were based on fact or fiction, were scattered throughout the populace. It was the hope of the expositors of personal belief that there would be a turning from confusion to a certainty of belief based upon their understanding of the Word of God. These agents of zeal should be commended for their efforts to try and stabilize this country of shifting moral and ethical standards.

The question is, was their motive one of self-interest or was it in the interest of the Body of Christ? Were they directed by God or was it a promotion of their agenda? How big a role did the Christian community play in the Presidential Election? Now that it is over, can the Body of Christ say in confidence that the reelection of our President was the will of God? Local churches throughout the land held prayer vigils to petition God to have the right man elected. Are we to assume that the prayers were heard and that the reelection of the President to another four years was the answer to the petitioning saints? If the Church believes the wrong man was elected, does that mean their prayers went unanswered?

To many Christians, there seems to be a glum and doom atmosphere; depression to some, and human prophesy of difficult days ahead by others. Some Believers are using carnal weapons of fiery darts to fly accusations toward the duly elected President. The pre-election zeal of Christians has become the post election standard of behavior. Instead of bringing healing to our land, the Believer continues to keep the wound of separation open.

Why are we surprised at the way this country is going? Are we so ignorant of Scripture that we fail to recognize the signs of the end of the age? The Church needs to recognize that we are in the last days and what is needed is not offensive behavior, but zeal to lead people to God through His Son Jesus Christ. If the Believer would spend as much energy on representing the Kingdom of God as he does in opposing political agendas, there might be enough Believers in this country to vote responsibly and thus give this land an extension of life expectancy.

Every Christian needs to understand that the powers that be are “ordained” of God. (Rom. 13:1) It is imperative we understand that God has everything under control. God loves this country [its people], but He will also chastise it. How He will do that is not to be a concern of ours. We are called to be a witness of His love, not a rod of judgment. We are called to be a peace maker, not a tool of division. We are not called to expose the obvious, but to present the hidden treasure of Jesus Christ. Abortion is wrong, new birth is right. Homosexuality is wrong, joined to Christ is right. Artificial highs are wrong, overdosed in Jesus is right.

Let this country hear that there is an answer to its problems. It is not by hearing what is wrong with it, but rather how right it can be when it returns to its Creator.

Paul Hoffmaster

Paul Hoffmaster

What’s In Your Church?

churchChurch services are meant to be about worship, ministry, instruction in the word, and the sacraments. They are not about foolish displays of human bravado and unnecessarily tempting or testing the Lord in experiences. How some who claim Christian standards can get their priorities so bent out of shape, wrong emphasis, and distraction of study is quite remarkable.

When the Apostle Paul was under guard and being transported to Rome to exercise his Roman citizen right of appeal to Caesar, he gathered wood for a camp fire. In this process he was bitten by a viper [Acts 28:1-6]. Even though he shook it off into the fire, those from the Malta population around him were startled that he did not dminiJimie. At first, in verse 4, they thought Paul “to be a murderer” and their superstitions considered the snake bite an omen and him a “dead man.”    However, he simply shakes the viper off into the fire and continues unaffected. The local natives who lived on the Island of Malta then thought him a god. Both of their assumptions were based upon weak knowledge, superstition, and past experience.

There is no later mention, message or proclamation by Paul that this is due to his faith and that this should now be a test of one’s belief in Jesus Christ. He did not seek to prove anything and had just saved his prison guards from a shipwreck. This happened while he was serving not seeking. As Bill Muehlenburg puts it, Paul was not “majoring in a minor principle” for living a life in Jesus.

The real danger in this passage is to think the successful practice of snake handling snake handlingis some form of proof of one’s faith. Some churches in the South do precisely this. Many good intending men (and women) have died, one might say, in his or her misunderstanding of a minor incident per scripture and attempting to major in it as a routine church-sanctioned practice; just like the Malta Islanders who witnessed this event by the campfire swung from one unproven expectation to another false conclusion. Miraculous yet minor incidents in scripture should never become major practices or theological planks.

This instance is only mentioned as one incident in the travels and life of Paul (Acts 16:18). It also may be based upon and incorrectly juxtaposing a supposition from Mark 16:18. Mark is the first New Testament book ever written. There is even strong theological thought that Mark 16:8 was actually the end of Mark’s passage in chapter 16. Mark 16: 9-20 seems out of place from the previous 8 verses since it is based upon a suddenly hurried shorthanded coverage of events. Some translations don’t even mention the verses in 16:9-18. The ESV, GNB, Wescott-Hort Greek New Testament, and the Lexham English Bible, to mention but a few, put these verses and passage in [brackets] to denote the possibility these were inserted by someone else at a later date. The Book of Mark is the ONLY synoptic gospel to record this account.

NOTE: Scripture is inerrant however, those who translate it can be in error. Some may even have an agenda for so doing. Study, Study, Study to show one’s self approved [2 Timothy 2:15]; begin with awareness, next step is to study for understanding, only then comes personal conviction of accept or reject what one was originally and only recently made aware. A jump from awareness or introduction to new information to conviction misses the critical step of study or understanding. Knowledge without understanding is very dangerous ground. Such is the original basis of ‘jumping to a conclusion.’

The reference in Mark 16:9-20, whether he actually wrote it, is often a situation of reading the text outside of its own context. In verse 14 we read that whomever, presumably Jesus, is addressing “the eleven and their unbelief” of it being Him who appeared to them. His statement per “the eleven” becomes what is ­­-called in grammar, an antecedent to the “believers” mentioned in verses 16 and 17. These men were not without fault. They were sitting at their tables not even remembering that Jesus promised his resurrection would be three days after his crucifixion. In verse 14 Jesus rebukes their unbelief. Yes, some of these guys were in unbelief. Then, in the following verses (16 and 17), talking to the same eleven and knowing the free will of man has not been removed, Jesus says “those who remain as unbelievers will not have this power that is mentioned in the following verses” (my paraphrase). But, those who with their free will decide to totally believe, to them will be given the powers to overcome the things mentioned in verses 17 and 18.

Once again to address a previous article about what some call grave-sucking. This was an Old Testament one-time occurrence that was NOT intended for anything but to fulfill a promise made to Elisha and to get this dead guy out of the way so the other Israelis could flee the scene. It was nothing other than an act of urgency. Just as with snake handling, and the rest of Mark 16: 17, 18 which is only discussed in the Book of Mark. The eleven were protected, but were not instructed to practice this to prove anything. There is real caution and danger of practicing “grave sucking” to supposedly absorb the spirit of the deceased. A person is opening one’s self up to be dwelt by a spirit or spirits. Who can control what type or kind of spirits may leverage this opportunity. As Christians we already have the indwelling of the most powerful Spirit; i.e. the Holy Spirit.