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© 2009 – Brian Clark firstname.lastname@example.org
Foreword: It is my sincerest hopes that this book will find its way to those which are in serious need of guidance with understanding some of the mysteries surrounding the shroud of life itself, and by doing so finding solace and peace; knowing that no matter the vastness of our own human understanding, and depth of perception into the spiritual aspects of our own existence – that we are truly not alone. This book is not a “Christian” book, to the effect that it does not try to dissect and disseminate the other belief systems in the world. However, due to the spiritual viewpoints contained, it does describe how the Christian faith and the biblical account is by every method part of historical evidence, very real and also in some cases – very mislead. Many Christians reading this book may have a hard time associating themselves with some of the information within, but this is to be expected – please however, keep an open mind as both the Old Testament and New Testament are very real even to this day, and must both be taken in – in order to accept the Father both past and present, the Son of God – Jesus the Christ, and the Holy Spirit. If you can only accept half of the story and knowledge contained within the bible and other confirmed historical sources, then you only know God “a little”. There are also many references to history and historical evidences which can be found throughout. No one is expected to be a professional historian or have a doctrine in theology – although it always helps to have this type of knowledge, but all one has to really do is accept that there may be a point that has been brought up worth investigating, and then doing so for your own account. I’ve invested a great deal of time reading, watching documentaries, and understanding how and where some of the current practices and beliefs that we have, came into our way of worship and our way of life concerning God. It is these things which I wish to share with you, not with the hopes that you will just “settle” with what I have brought to the table as being fact, but in truth for you to challenge them and in doing so, conducting your own investigations so that you either may substantiate my claims to being true, or find error with them. I have also spent many waking moments in my life seeking out the deeper meaning of our connection with one another and its connection with our spiritual family. I personally like to dissect things from a scientific standpoint and see how it relates and associates with the spiritual, however concerning the historical values that I outline throughout the book – what I write is what I have learned through the evidences which are out there to support what I believe to be truth; if I am wrong then history and the historians reporting these events are wrong. I never enjoyed history in school, but being older now; I feel it is a necessary and very useful tool to finding out the truth.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - Breaking the silence – A thief in the night ..................................................... 5 Chapter 2 - Churches and Denominations ..................................................................... 14 Chapter 3 - Religious and Spiritual Holidays ................................................................. 22 Chapter 4 - Behind Closed Doors ................................................................................. 35 Chapter 5 - The Bible Belt ............................................................................................ 41 Chapter 6 - Religious Symbols and Their Roots ............................................................. 45 Chapter 7 - Angels and Spirits ..................................................................................... 57 Chapter 8 - The Holy Spirit........................................................................................... 69 Chapter 9 – Concerning Life and Death ........................................................................ 79 Chapter 10 – Heaven and Hell ...................................................................................... 89 Chapter 11 – Deceptions by Tradition .......................................................................... 96 Chapter 12 – The Power and Price of Knowledge .........................................................112 Chapter 13 – The Final Battle / A New Beginning ........................................................ 116
Chapter 14 – Being Lost / Being Found ....................................................................... 124
Final Commentary .....................................................................................................133
Chapter 1: Breaking the silence –A thief in the night
Answering one of the most important question of this time, Did Jesus really exist?
Did Jesus really exist? Typically when this question is asked, the person asking qualifies the question with "outside of the Bible." We must allow the notion that the Bible is to be considered one source of evidence for the existence of Jesus. The New Testament contains hundreds of references to Jesus Christ. There are those who date the writing of the Gospels in the second century A.D., 100+ years after Jesus' death. Even if this were the case (which we strongly dispute), in terms of ancient evidences, writings less than 200 years after events took place are considered very reliable evidences. Further, the vast majority of scholars (Christian and non-Christian) will grant that the Epistles of Paul (at least some of them) were in fact written by Paul in the middle of the first century A.D., less than 40 years after Jesus' death. In terms of ancient manuscript evidence, this is extraordinarily strong proof of the existence of a man named Jesus in Israel in the early first century A.D. It is also important to recognize that in 70 A.D., the Romans invaded and destroyed Jerusalem and most of Israel, slaughtering its inhabitants. Entire cities were literally burned to the ground! We should not be surprised, then, if much evidence of Jesus' existence was destroyed. Many of the eye-witnesses of Jesus would have been killed. These facts likely limited the amount of surviving eyewitness testimony of Jesus. Considering the fact that Jesus' ministry was largely confined to a relatively unimportant backwater area in a small corner of the Roman Empire, a surprising amount of information about Jesus can be drawn from secular historical sources. Some of the more important historical evidences of Jesus include the following: The first-century Roman Tacitus, who is considered one of the more accurate historians of the ancient world, mentioned superstitious "Christians " ("named after Christus" which is Latin for Christ), who suffered under Pontius Pilate during the reign of Tiberius. Suetonius, chief secretary to Emperor Hadrian, wrote that there was a man named Christus (or Christ) who lived during the first century (Annals 15.44 ).
Losepos, son of Mattias, better known by his Roman name Flavius Josephus, is the most famous Jewish historian. In his Antiquities he refers to James, “the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ.” There is a controversial verse (18:3) that says, "Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man. For he was one who wrought surprising feats. . . . He was [the] Christ . . . he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him." One version reads, "At this time there was a wise man named Jesus. His conduct was good and [he] was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to Flavius Josephus (37 AD - 100 AD) die. But those who became his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion, and that he was alive; accordingly he was perhaps the Messiah, concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders."
Sextus Julius Africanus quotes the historian Thallus in a discussion of the darkness which followed the crucifixion of Christ (Extant Writings, 18).
Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, born Gaius Caecilius or Gaius Caecilius Cilo, who is also known and better known, as Pliny the Younger. In Letters 10:96, recorded early Christian worship practices including the fact that Christians worshiped Jesus as God and were very ethical, and includes a reference to the love feast and Lord’s Supper.
Pliny the Younger (61 AD - 112 AD)
The Babylonian Talmud (Sanhedrin 43a) confirms Jesus' crucifixion on the eve of Passover, and the accusations against Christ of practicing sorcery and encouraging Jewish apostasy.
Lucian of Samosata was a second-century Greek writer who admits that Jesus was worshiped by Christians, introduced new teachings, and was crucified for them. He said that Jesus' teachings included the brotherhood of believers, the importance of conversion, and the importance of denying other gods. Christians lived according to Jesus’ laws, believed themselves to be immortal, and were characterized by contempt for death, voluntary self-devotion, and renunciation of material goods.
Lucian of Samosata (125AD-180AD)
Mara Bar-Serapion confirms that Jesus was thought to be a wise and virtuous man, was considered by many to be the king of Israel, was put to death by the Jews, and lived on in the teachings of his followers.
Mara Bar-Serapion (? >40AD-?<73AD)
Next, we have all the Gnostic writings (The Gospel of Truth, The Apocryphon of John, The Gospel of Thomas, The Treatise on Resurrection, etc.) that all mention Jesus. In fact, we can almost reconstruct the gospel just from early non-Christian sources: Jesus was called the Christ (Josephus), did “magic,” led Israel into new teachings, and was hanged on Passover for them (Babylonian Talmud) in Judea (Tacitus), but claimed to be God and would return (Eliezar), which his followers believed - worshipping Him as God (Pliny the Younger). There is overwhelming evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ, both in secular and Biblical history. Perhaps the greatest evidence that Jesus did exist is the fact that literally thousands of Christians in the first century A.D., including the 12 apostles, were willing to give their lives as martyrs for Jesus Christ. To further expand on the death of the 12 apostles due to their overwhelming faith in Christ – here is an account of their persecutions and ways of death: Judas Iscariot: According to the Bible, either committed suicide by hanging (Matthew 27:5) or fell down and exploded (Acts 1:18). Not considered a martyr. There are however, other sources
that paint a completely different picture of Judas. Judas was one of the closest of disciples of Christ – and Christ, being the Son of God – picked Judas. There has to be more to the story than Judas just being the “betrayer”.
John: Not said to have been martyred and was reported to have died of old age.
James, son of Zebedee: Killed by Herod (Acts 12:2). The Bible gives no further information about his death, including whether it was willing. The fourth-century church historian Eusebius quoted an earlier, lost work by Clement of Alexandria which allegedly claims that James' calm demeanor at trial sufficiently impressed one of his accusers to convert him. Simon Peter: Crucifixion, as implied by Jesus in John 21:18-19. Tradition usually holds that this occurred in Rome, as mentioned by second-century sources such as Tertullian and the apocryphal Acts of Peter. The Acts of Peter also claims that Peter accepted crucifixion willingly, making him one of the few apostles for which the claim of willing martyrdom is at all plausible. Eusebius dismissed this book as spurious and heretical. Andrew: Reportedly martyred by crucifixion on an X-shaped cross ("St. Andrew's cross"). According to legend, he taught a gathered crowd while on the cross and refused their offer to take him down. This information comes from the apocryphal, probably second-century Acts of Andrew. Eusebius dismissed this book as spurious and heretical. Philip: According to the apocryphal and probably fourth-century Acts of Philip, died after being hung upside-down with iron hooks through his ankles by the proconsul of Hierapolis. According to the Acts of Philip and before dying Philip cursed his enemies, causing seven thousand people to be suddenly swallowed up by an abyss. In return, Jesus appeared and rebuked Philip for "returning evil for evil", and told him that he would be admitted to Heaven, but only after being tortured outside its gates for forty days as punishment. Like Andrew, Philip allegedly refused a crowd's offer of rescue. The New Advent Catholic encyclopedia calls this work "purely legendary and a tissue of fables" . Bartholomew: According to the third-century schismatic bishop Hippolytus, he was crucified in Armenia. A different tradition claims he was beheaded in India on the orders of King Astreges, who belonged to a demon-worshipping cult. Some traditions add that he was flayed alive before, or instead of, suffering either of these two fates. The New Advent encyclopedia says the manner of his death is "uncertain”, and adds that other than his name, "Nothing further is known of him".
Thomas: Tradition holds that he was sent to India to preach, where he was killed by being stabbed with a spear. This claim is made by local Indian Christians and an apocryphal gospel called the Acts of Thomas, which Eusebius dismissed as spurious and heretical. The New Advent encyclopedia says that "Little is recorded" of Thomas' life, and that "it is difficult to discover any adequate support" for the tradition of his death in India. It also notes that the Acts of Thomas presents Thomas as the twin brother of Jesus, who is not accepted by Christians today or in the past and seems to be a Christian/Gnostic-themed variation of a pagan salvation cult that followed twin gods called the Dioscuri. Matthew: Conflicting traditions. Catholic.org says, "Nothing definite is known about his later life", and it is even "uncertain whether he died a natural death or received the crown of martyrdom". The Christian History Institute says, "We have nothing but legend about Matthew's death." Even among those who do believe he was martyred, there is no evidence as to where. Another source says there is conflicting information about whether he was martyred in Egypt or in Persia. The manner of his death is unknown, and some churches even say he died a natural death. James, son of Alphaeus: Conflicting traditions. There are several people named "James" in the New Testament and early Christian history, and it is uncertain which, if any, should be identified with this apostle. He is often identified with the "James the Less" mentioned in Mark 15:40 as the son of Mary and Clopas, which is fairly uncontroversial. However, the Catholic Church also identifies him with James, the brother of Jesus, which is not widely accepted by Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches. If this identification is correct, the Jewish historian Josephus says that James was stoned by the Pharisees. This is seconded by Hippolytus. However, other sources say that James son of Alphaeus was martyred by crucifixion in Egypt. Jude/Lebbaeus Thaddaeus: Conflicting traditions. It is often said that he went with Simon to preach in Armenia, though New Advent says this legend is a late development not mentioned by contemporary historians of that region. The Catholic Patron Saints Index says he was clubbed to death; however, the apocryphal Acts of Thaddeus says he died naturally. Still another account says he was crucified. No reliable written sources seem to exist to corroborate any of this.
Simon the Zealot: Conflicting traditions. According to Catholic.org, Western traditions hold that he was martyred in Persia with Jude, usually by crucifixion, while Eastern tradition says he died naturally in Edessa. Other sources, according to New Advent, variously give his place of death as Samaria (Israel), or Iberia (Spain), or Colchis (Georgia), or even Britain. Some sources dispute the crucifixion account and claim he was instead sawn in half.
Matthias: According to the 14th-century historian Nicephorus, died by crucifixion in Colchis, in the modern nation of Georgia. Alternatively, the 17th-century historian Louis-Sébastien Le Nain de Tillemont says that he was stoned and then beheaded in Jerusalem. According to the New Advent Catholic encyclopedia, "all... information concerning the life and death of Matthias is vague and contradictory”. Many apocryphal sources confuse Matthias and Matthew. In conclusion - people will die for what they believe to be true, but no one will die for what they know to be a lie. There are many arguments about those willing to sacrifice themselves to achieve ‘martyrdom’ in reference to things such as “suicide bombers” – but, there is also a big difference between taking your own life to accomplish something, and someone taking your life for the mere fact of your beliefs. It is also mentioned in many places, and by many Muslim leaders and teachers – that the ideals of these small groups which embrace the idea of suicide are rejected by the mosques, are not being faithful to the Quran, and are considered as cults, both isolated and rejected by the Muslim religion. In the Quran, Muhammad teaches and guides followers to be those bound by love and peace, and not of war and the spilling of blood. Suicide bombers and the foundation of their activities are surrounded by the idea of a Jihad, or holy war. It would be no different if we were to take one of the campaigns of war out of the Old Testament and claim that is the way God, The Father, would have us conduct ourselves.
But was/is Jesus truly the Messiah, the Son of God?
We have taken historical evidence from secular and non secular places, which by all accounts do substantiate that Jesus was indeed a man who lived, one for which caused a lot of commotion not only in the Jewish community, but also in the Muslim community, and the Roman community. The Quran, although describing Jesus as a good prophet instead of the Messiah, still identifies Him as being a man who existed and did many deeds for God. In order to identify the signs of the Messiah, we have to go to the Old Testament: The Old Testament contains well over 300 prophecies concerning the Messiah. All of these prophecies were made at least 400 years before the birth of Christ. No one else in the entire world could have fulfilled these prophecies. Here are just a few examples: The Messiah would be born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14; fulfilled in Matt. 1:22,23) The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2; fulfilled in Matt. 2:5,6) The Messiah would be "called out of Egypt" (Hosea 11:1; fulfilled in Matt. 2:15) The massacre of innocent male children (Jer. 31:15; fulfilled in Matt. 1:16-18) The Messiah would be preceded by a messenger (Isa. 40:3; fulfilled in Matt. 3:3) The Messiah's work would begin in Galilee (Isa. 9:1,2; fulfilled in Matt. 4:12-16) The Messiah would take "our infirmities" (Isa. 53:4; fulfilled in Matt. 8:17) The Messiah would teach by parables (Psa. 78:2; fulfilled in Matt. 13:34-35) The Messiah would enter Jerusalem on a donkey (Zech. 9:9; fulfilled in Matt. 21:1-10) The Messiah would be sold for 30 pieces of silver (Zech. 11:12; fulfilled in Matt. 27:9) Lots would be cast for the Messiah's clothing (Psa. 22:18; fulfilled in Matt. 27:35) This list goes on, and on and on with the various prophecies that Jesus fulfilled during His lifetime. One must understand that these prophecies were not fulfilled secluded from view – but amongst scores of thousands at times during his walk. One of the biggest proofs here is the upset in religious balance that the Jewish community was feeling due to the presence of Jesus in the region. This is not only documented well in Jewish history, but also in Roman, Muslim, and Indian history. Jesus was not just your normal average everyday Jewish man – but someone that caused such a disruption to the “system”, that His acts and teachings have spread across the entire world. In order to have this type of fuel, there has to be more than just an omen or any single action, or any single miracle which was performed. In truth, there would have to be many to have witnessed, many to have seen, many works and miracles performed, and many to have spread the word of His deeds from a firsthand account, in order to have that sort of propulsion into the mainstreams of society. The people of this world may at times be gullible in their association with new things, but eventually the question comes up “what proof do you have of this”. That very question would have to have an answer by something amazing, something radical beyond normal human comprehension, from the followers and the faith filled, in order to grow as it did. The question is, what? Jesus did hand the cup over to the disciples to carry on with spreading the word, and spreading the truth. It is quite possible that these legendary abilities and powers were also granted to them in this passing. In truth, scripture dictates this to being the case – but we must also speculate that is also the very reason that most of the disciples
ended up being tortured and put to death, most likely due to the general fear of the people, beliefs that they were consorting with demons, or upsetting the religious balance abroad such as Jesus. No other faith in the history of the world has been scorned and reviled such as Christianity – no other belief system has as much creditable documentation and evidence to it either. The truth can set us free, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not going to be scary and hard to accept either. Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them" (Matt. 4:23,24). As Jesus visited the 240 towns of Galilee, the caravans passing through the country carried reports of His works into the surrounding regions of "Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan" (Matt. 4:25). Jesus said His miracles were a greater witness to His Divinity than John himself (John 5:31-36). This is because no one in history had ever claimed to be the Messiah and had the ability to perform genuine miracles. The prophets of old were able to perform the miracles, but never claimed to be the Christ. Other men claimed to be the Messiah, but could not perform genuine miracles. While predicting the destruction of Jerusalem, Jesus said that "many will come in my name, saying, 'I am Christ'" (Matt. 24:5). Flavius Josephus, a Jewish priest and historian, tells of many individuals who claimed to be the Messiah, including one who had over 30,000 followers. These miracles and wonders were performed by Christ, during the life of Christ: Remember, it was not one person who saw them – but hundreds, sometimes thousands. Healing Miracles of Christ
Event Official's son Possessed man Peter's in-law Many at sunset Leper Paralytic Man at Bethesda Withered hand Crowd in Galilee Centurion's son Widow's son 2 demoniacs Jairus daughter-1 Unclean woman Jairus daughter-2 2 blind men Dumb man Touching clothes Crowd in Galilee Few in Nazareth Matthew Mark 1:21-27 1:29-31 1:32-39 1:40-45 2:1-12 3:1-6 Luke 4:33-37 4:38-39 4:40-41 5:12-15 5:18-26 5:1-17 12:9-13 4:23-25 8:5-13 8:28-34 9:18-19 9:20-22 9:23-26 9:27-31 9:32-34 14:34-36 9:35 6:6-11 7:1-10 7:11-17 8:26-39 8:41-42 8:49-56 8:49-56 John 4:46-54
8:14-15 8:16-17 8:1-4 9:1-8
5:1-20 5:22-24 5:24-34 5:35-43
Gentile's daughter Deaf man Multitude Epileptic boy Blind man Blind/dumb man Man of Bethsaida Stooped woman Man with Dropsy Lazarus raised Ten Lepers Crowds in Judea Bartimaeus Many in Jerusalem Ear of Malchus Resurrection
15:21-28 15:29-31 17:14-21 12:22-24
7:24-30 7:31-37 9:14-29 9:37-42 9:1-41 11:14-15 8:22-26 13:10-17 14:1-16 11:1-45 17:11-19
19:1-2 20:29-34 21:14 28:1-10
18:35-43 22:47-53 24:1-53 18:10-11 20:1-31
Other Miracles of Christ
Event Water to wine 1st catch of fish Calms a sea Feeds 5000 Walks on water Feeds 4000 Money in fish Tree withered 2nd catch of fish Matthew Mark Luke 5:1-11 8:22-25 9:10-17 John 2:1-11
8:23-27 14:13-21 14:22-33 15:32-39 17:24-27 21:18-22
4:35-41 6:32-44 6:45-51 8:1-10 11:12-24
Speculatively, there are many arguments over Jesus being the Messiah – there are many viewpoints which need to be taken into perspective – however NO viewpoint can be argued that does not or cannot provide historical evidence as a means of substantiating itself. I could walk outside and argue that the sun will no longer rise from the east, instead it will rise in the west. But that does not mean that does, ever has, or ever will. Too many people are quick to postulate to others that their answer is the right answer – and that may very well be the case, for them – but not necessarily for the rest of society or even something which whispers any inkling of truth. This is after all, how cults and clans are formed from religiously malignant people, seeking to spread their ideals like a plague to all which will listen. There are even many “Christian denominations” which, although they are teaching from the same scriptures and the same bible, fail to abide by the words the way that The Almighty would have them. I will not point at any denomination specifically – but these characteristics of religious practice are at the very crux why many walk away from Christianity as a whole, and never look back. For shame to any
which push another away from finding the real truth, giving them some candy coated version, or one that cries out of hell fire and brimstone for the sinner. Looking at all the methods and teachings of the various denominations for the Christian believer, it is no wonder there are so many out there who ask the question “which one should I go to, how are we sure they teach the truth” .. Christianity is no longer at war with the Romans, or pagans. Christianity is at war with itself and by being this way – turn many away.
Chapter 2 – Churches and Denominations
Looking at organized places of worship, religion, and denominations as a whole
The majority of the churches which you see today are not resting upon the original principal that was laid out in either the old, or the New Testament. A good timeline which outlines some of the very notable historical events in Christian history can be found here: Timeline of Christianity. If you don’t necessarily wish to examine charts and timelines then I will put it into simple layman’s terms: The first Christian “church” to spring up, was the church of the Pentecost in 30 AC. The Pentecost church was the “Apostolic Church”, meaning it was built on the continued teachings and walk of the Apostles – and ones named to carry on the word. It is widely based on the book of Acts, and is the originating source of the original Catholic Church (not the one that is around today). The Catholic Church teachings say it was founded by Jesus when Jesus called Peter (the first pope) the Rock and said on this rock I will build my church. Peter was crucified by the Romans in Rome circa 65AD. By the end of the 1st Century AD, according to historians, the apostles of Christ had traveled to northern Africa, Asia Minor, Arabia, Greece, and Rome to found the first Christian communities. By 100 AD it is believed that over 40 Christian communities had been established in the world. Other historians estimate that there were around 9,000 Christians in the world at the time. The Catholic Church remained underground after 100 AD to the 4th century being regularly persecuted by the Roman government. During the next 200 plus years (100 to 320 AD) the number of Christians increased and various Christian bishops were elected or appointed in large cities of the Roman Empire. The concept of the primacy of the Roman bishop over other church bishops was increasingly recognized by the Christian church at large from at least the second century forward. From the year 100 onward, teachers and doctors like Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp, Origen, Irenaeus Justin Martyr, Augustine of Hippo and many others defined Catholic teaching, rituals and traditions. In 325, the First Council of Nicaea convened in response to the threat of Aryanism, formulated the
Nicene Creed as a basic statement of Christian belief, and divided the church into geographical and administrative areas called dioceses. Although this council sanctioned the primacy of three dioceses— Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch—Rome had certain qualities that destined it for particular prominence; it was considered the see of Peter and Paul, it was located in the capital of the empire. Further, church scholars were desirous of obtaining the Roman bishop's support in tricky doctrinal disputes, and it was wealthy and known for monetarily supporting other churches around the world. Emperor Constantine I commissioned the first Basilica of St. Peter and several other sites of lasting importance to Christianity. By this time, the altar as the focal point of each church, the sign of the cross, and the liturgical calendar had been established and in 380, Christianity was declared the sole religion of the Empire. The Council of Rome in 382 created the first Bible when it listed the accepted books of the Old and New Testament. The Council of Ephesus in 431 and the Council of Chalcedon in 451 defined the relationship of Christ's divine and human natures. The Council of Chalcedon also elevated the See of Constantinople to a position "second in eminence and power to the bishop of Rome". For the later denominations, here is the years they were adopted: 1517 – Lutheran, 1520 – Reformed, 1525 - Anabaptists, 1534 – Anglican, 1560 – Presbyterian, 1612 – Baptist, 1787 – Methodist. I will not include any denomination after the 1800s because if a “denomination” is that young, one should seriously consider and question the safety of its methodology, and its teachings. Even churches which were formed 1500 years after the crucifixion of Christ, one truly needs to take some serious considerations toward by asking the question – if their answers are the correct answers, why did it take them 1500 years to realize it.
The Old Testament Church:
Numbers 14:5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. Deuteronomy 31:30 And Moses spake in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song, until they were ended. The truth is – the Old Testament “church” was not a church at all, but a synagogue. From Wikipedia, here is the definition of the word synagogue. A synagogue (from Greek: συναγωγή, transliterated synagogē, "assembly"; כנסת ביתbeyt Knesset, "house of assembly"; שולor תפילה ביתbeyt t'fila, "house of prayer", shul; ,אסנוגהesnoga) is a Jewish house of prayer. Synagogues usually have a large hall for prayer (the main sanctuary), smaller rooms for study and sometimes a social hall and offices. Some have a separate room for Torah study, called the beth Midrash — "( מדרש ביתHouse of Study"). Synagogues are not consecrated spaces, nor is a synagogue necessary for collective worship. Jewish worship can be carried out wherever ten Jews (a minyan) assemble. A synagogue is not in the strictest sense a temple; it does not replace the true, long-since destroyed, Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
The word "church" is not found in the Old Testament. It is a New Testament word and a New Testament institution. The Greek word for church is "ekklesia" = that which is called out. That is the only word for church in the whole Bible.
The New Testament Church:
1. It is the Lord's Church of which He is the Head. The real church is the body of Christ on earth. Jesus said, "I will build MY church." It is still under construction. "And He is the head of the body, the church" (Colossians 1:18). For His body's sake, which is the church" (Colossians 1:24). 2. Only those who are the "called out ones," as the Greek word implies, are a part of that church. (Called out of the world purified and cleansed by His blood to be His own.) 3. It is the Lord that adds people, who get saved, to the church (Acts 2:47). 4. The church is more than an organization; it is a living, growing, organism, with the life of Christ within. 5. Each member is a part of that church and has an important function. "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ." Read 1 Corinthians 12:13-31. An individual Christian is not a church but is to function as a part of the church. 6. God set in the church various gifts and ministries. "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues" (1 Corinthians 12: 28). "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive" (Ephesians 4:11-14). 7. The church needed to choose deacons or men "of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom" to "serve tables" (minister to the material needs of widows) -- to do those tasks so the apostles could give themselves to prayer and ministry of the Word (Acts 6). 8. There were strict moral and spiritual requirements to qualify to hold office in the church (1 Timothy 3:1-14; Titus 1:59). 9. There must be discipline in the church, according to Jesus (Matthew 18:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:6.) 10. The body of believers operated as a church: they worked together as a church; they fellowshipped together, exhorted one another, and prayed together as a church. They were ministered to as a church by those whom God had set in the church to do that. They were persecuted as a church.
11. Individual, local, churches were established to carry on the work of Christ as a local body of believers. "And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily" (Acts 16:5). 12. The churches needed to be edified (strengthened, built up), exhorted, sometimes reproved, instructed. If a Church does not embrace the complete doctrine of Christ, they are failing to provide the substance which Christ had desired – thus only representing fragments of the complete picture.
The number of different denominations out there in the world, just in Christianity alone, is staggering. The purpose of having a separate denomination is the development of a new religion, which suffices to say, is taking an already existing view and altering it to fit the needs or demands of its following, or congregation. As Wikipedia suggests “Denominations often form slowly over time for many reasons. Due to historical accidents of geography, culture and influence between different groups, members of a given religion slowly begin to diverge in their views. Over time members of a religion may find that they have developed significantly different views on theology, philosophy, religious pluralism, ethics and religious practices and rituals. Consequently, different denominations may eventually form. In other cases, denominations form very rapidly, either resulting from a split or schism in an existing denomination, or if people share an experience of spiritual revival or spiritual awakening, and choose to form a new denomination based on that new experience or understanding”. In truth, a denomination is a break away from an already existing belief. To me, this need for variance almost suggests a cult-like ideology – but we know better than that, right? The most important factors are found within the church structure, not necessarily the denomination, but the actual doctrine which the church rests upon, represents, and teaches. As I have stated above, if the church does not embrace the complete doctrine of Christ and not just bits and pieces, then it’s either following a false doctrine or is an infantile church, with no spiritual growth or focus on the spiritual side of The Father, Christ, or the Holy Spirit. What the churches should be doing is focusing on the truth – and not the denomination or religious practices it tries to adhere to in order to remain “Baptist” or “Methodist”. This is where God and the views of man conflict more-so than anywhere else in the world, and in truth – recorded history. Below is only a partial list of some of the major denominations in the world – it does not include many of the sub denominations, or other less acknowledged cultish organizations in the world. Advent Christian Church African Methodist Episcopal Church African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church Albanian Orthodox Archdiocese of America American Association of Lutheran Churches
American Baptist Association American Baptist Churches in the USA American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church American Rescue Workers Anglican Catholic Church Anglican Catholic Church of Canada Anglican Church in America Anglican Church of Canada Anglican Orthodox Church Apostolic Christian Churches of America Apostolic Church of Pentecost of Canada, Inc Apostolic Faith Mission of Portland, Oregon Apostolic Orthodox Catholic Church Armenian Apostolic Church of America Assemblies of God Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (General Synod) Associated Gospel Churches Association of Free Lutheran Congregations Canada Association of Free Lutheran Congregations Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America Association of Unity Churches Association of Vineyard Churches Baptist Bible Fellowship International Baptist Convention of Ontario & Quebec Baptist General Conference Baptist Missionary Association of America Baptist Union of Western Canada Bible Church of Christ, Inc., The Bible Fellowship Church Bible Way Church of Lord Jesus Christ, World Wide, Inc. Brethren Church, Ashland, Ohio Brethren in Christ Church Byzantine Catholic Calvary Chapel Canadian Baptist Ministries Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Canadian and American Reformed Churches Catholic Charismatic Church Celtic Orthodox Christian Church in North America Charismatic Episcopal Church Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Christian Church of North America, General Council Christian Churches and Churches of Christ Christian Methodist Episcopal Church Christian Reformed Church in North America Christian Union Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada
Christian and Missionary Alliance Church of England Church of God (Anderson, IN) Church of God (Cleveland, TN) Church of God (Seventh Day), Denver, CO Church of God: General Conference (Morrow, Georgia) Church of God in Christ Church of God of Prophecy Church of God, The (Charleston, TN) The Church of Scotland Church of the Brethren Church of the Lutheran Brethren Church of the Lutheran Confession Church of the Nazarene Church of the United Brethren in Christ Churches of Christ Churches of Christ in Christian Union Churches of God, General Conference (Findlay, Ohio) Congregational Christian Churches in Canada Congregational Holiness Church Conservative Baptist Association of America Conservative Congregational Christian Conference Coptic Orthodox Church Creation 7th Day Adventist Church Cumberland Presbyterian Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America Diocese of the Armenian Church of America Episcopal Church Episcopal Missionary Church Evangelical Congregational Church Evangelical Covenant Church Evangelical Free Church of America Evangelical Free Church of Canada Evangelical Friends International - North American region Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada Evangelical Lutheran Synod Evangelical Mennonite Church Evangelical Methodist Church Evangelical Presbyterian Church Fellowship Of Christian Assemblies Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches Free Methodist Church of North America Free Reformed Churches of North America Friends General Conference Friends United Meeting Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship
Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches and Ministers General Assembly of Korean Presbyterian Church in America General Association of General Baptists General Association of Regular Baptist Churches General Church of the New Jerusalem General Conference Mennonite Church General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches Grace Gospel Fellowship Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Hutterian Brethren Independent Assemblies of God International (Canada) Independent Baptist Church Indian Orthodox Church International Church of the Foursquare Gospel International Council of Community Churches International Fellowship of Bible Churches International Pentecostal Church of Christ International Pentecostal Holiness Church Liberal Catholic Church International Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod Lutheran Church-Canada Mar Thoma Church, Diocese of North America and Europe Mennonite Church Messianic Jewish Missionary Church Moravian Church in America National Association of Congregational Christian Churches National Association of Free Will Baptists National Baptist Convention of America, Inc. National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. Old Catholic Church of Utrecht - Mathew Succession Open Bible Standard Churches, Inc. Orthodox Catholic Church in North America Orthodox Church in America Orthodox Presbyterian Church Patriarchal Parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. Pentecostal Church of God Pentecostal Fire-Baptized Holiness Church Pillar of Fire Polish National Catholic Church of America Presbyterian Church (USA) Presbyterian Church in America Presbyterian Church in Canada Presbyterian Reformed Church Primitive Baptists Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc.
Protestant Reformed Churches in America Reformed Church in America Reformed Church in the United States Reformed Episcopal Church Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America Religious Society of Friends Roman Catholic Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia Salvation Army Separate Baptists in Christ Seventh Day Baptist General Conference Seventh-day Adventist Church Southern Baptist Convention Southern Episcopal Church of the U.S.A. Sovereign Grace Baptist Swedenborgian Church Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch Ukrainian Orthodox Church of America United Baptist Convention of the Atlantic Provinces United Church of Canada United Church of Christ United Methodist Church United Reformed Churches in North America Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches Wesleyan Church Wesleyan Holiness Association of Churches Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod Worldwide Church of God Now, if you are like me – you are probably wondering “what in the world, what’s the point with all of these”. I am not particularly fond about seeing these denominational splits because it’s usually the result of one church feels that you should wear a suit and tie, while the sub denomination allows for more casual wear / relaxed wear. To me, this is just a clear way of saying that the only way to stop the bickering of indifference is to “create your own religion” or a “personalized religion”. In today’s world we need truth – not the topic of today’s fashion statement or maintaining the status quo, trends, or appeasing to the ideals of man or material objects. The churches really need to consider that Christ wants to maintain a “One Church” approach – why people cannot see this, is beyond my scope of reasoning. It just seems that everything has been blown way out of proportion and has become so confusing and complex in this world, that you find it even within the foundations and structures of the churches, almost like it’s more acceptable this way. This is not the way that God would have intended it – it is not the way Christ would have deemed acceptable – it’s because people cannot get their head out of themselves long enough, and their hearts back to the basics, which is founded in truth. There is no need for so much differential movement when it comes to God.
My final statement about Denominations is this. There are many churches out there which are in high esteem of their denomination (or religious belief). When Christ came, He did not change the Old Testament laws, general assemblies, or practices – He fulfilled them, completed them. Christ also abolished religion and tradition – because God is much more than that. Anyone in their right mind should be able to see that you cannot put God in a box; you cannot fashion or sculpt Him to fit your needs. We either are serving Him, or we are serving ourselves – there is no in between, it is that black and white. If a church would ever point me away, or would expect me to wear a suit and tie after I became a member of their following, I would flat out walk away from them and never return. If God felt it necessary for me to have pressed and proper garments, it would have been laid out in the scriptures as such – it is not. One quote I have read is quite whimsical but it’s the truth “wear a suit, wear a tie, be a slave until you die” – all God fearing and loving Christians, rich and poor, great and weak are ambassadors of Christ. If God felt the need for proper attire for any spiritual purpose, then why was His Son amongst the beggars, whores, thieves, needy, the diseased, the very dusts of the earth and society? Why did Christ not entertain the Kings of the earth, or their emissaries? For that, you have to understand Christ in a more personal way – such as what He was really trying to show us, and not just His accomplishment on the Cross of Calvary, but all of His accomplishments and teachings. The sacrifice, understanding it, and accepting it – is what grants us salvation, cleansing, and restoration but this is not His teachings – only the fulfillment of the flesh and blood requirement for our sins. To Christ, “church” was considered the people, the gathering, the outpouring of kindness and brotherly/sisterly love, the “church” is the body of Christ – and as scripture clearly points out, the “body” is the saints – the believers. For this reason, Christ stated “where two or more are gathered in my name, I will dwell among them” – the “church” is not comprised of four walls – it does not have halls in it, it does not have bathrooms, it does not have pews.. It has lungs, a heart, a soul – a consciousness.
Chapter 3 – Religious/Spiritual Holidays
Some of the biggest lies we are presented around the national holidays
Before I begin, I need to stress that I have done A LOT of investigation into the holidays that we celebrate, their origins – their practices, and their implications. I strongly encourage each and every one of you to do your own personal search into the facts I will present to you, because it will place you in a situation which may be very uncomfortable, a call for change from things which may have been traditional in your family, deep into your ancestral roots.
Jeremiah 10:2-4 “Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. “
We find in the Catholic encyclopedia that Christmas was not even among the earliest church festivals. It was not until the latter part of the fourth century that the Roman Church began observing December 25th as Jesus' birthday. By the fifth century A.D., the Roman Church ordered the birth of Messiah to be forever observed on December 25th. At the time of this decree, the Roman Church knew full well that the pagan religious cults throughout the Roman and Greek worlds celebrated the pagan sun god, Mithra, on this same day. This winter festival was known as the Nativity of the Sun. It was also known in the Roman Empire as Saturnalia [another name for sun worship]. Christmas (or Christ’s birthday) was first assigned in 336 AD by the Roman Catholic Church, signifying that December 25th was His birth date, and a cause for celebration. December 25th was in fact, the birth date of the Roman pagan God “Mithra”, and the already established celebration called the festival of Saturnalia. The Romans also held a festival called on December 25 of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, "the birthday of the unconquered sun", commonly known now as the “feast of Sol Invictus”. During these celebrations “orgies, gift giving, colored ornaments to ward off evil spirits, festive meals, and of course, decorated fir trees, public sex, debauchery, rape, homosexuality, public nudity, and violence” were all accepted and tolerated because the days of celebration were considered days with “open rules”. Some of the other Gods which were supposedly born on December 25th are Baal, Dionysus, and the Egyptian god Osiris. The present day Christmas tree goes back to the worship of sacred trees in the ancient Babylonian system. The green evergreen symbolized the incarnate Baal coming to life through the incarnate baby Tammuz. The custom of decorating and worshipping trees spread throughout the known world, with the variety of tree used selected according to the natural growth of each area of the world. The Druids worshipped the oak tree, the Egyptians worshipped the palm tree, while in Rome it was the fir tree. Stepping further back in time, the original celebrations which were later adopted by the Romans, were celebrations which honored the pagan sex and fertility God – YULE. The Scandinavian Norsemen , had a celebration which lasted for 12 days – where a large single log, considered a phallic idol was lit on fire and kept burning for 12 days, on each of these 12 days animal or human sacrifices were offered in the fire to appease the Goddess/God. During these celebrations, blood orgies, giving of gifts, and violence ran rampant. The Advent Wreath had its beginnings from YULE, from the pagan fire wheel, made from greens to symbolize life. Some people burned greens on the hillsides; others made great wheels set them afire and rolled them down the hills. APPROPRIATE YULE GODDESSES : All Spinning Goddesses. Some Yule Goddesses are: the Dagda, Brighid, Angeronam, Eve, Pandora, Zvezda, Metzli, Yachimato-Hime, Tiamat , NuKua, Isis, Demeter, Gaea, Diana, The Great Mother.
APPROPRIATE YULE GODS: All Re-Born Sun Gods. Some Yule Gods are: Apollo, Balder, Oak/Holly King, Ra , Saturn , Helios , Ukko Odin, Lugh, The Horned One, The Green Man, The Divine Child, Mabon, Frey SYMBOLISM OF YULE: Rebirth of the Sun, The longest night of the year, The Winter Solstice, Introspect, Planning for the Future. SYMBOLS OF YULE:
Evergreen trees, Yule log, eight-spoke wheel, spinning wheels, evergreen boughs or wreaths, holly and mistletoe hung in doorways, gold pillar candles, baskets of clove studded fruit, a simmering pot of wassail (or spiced apple cider – or beer, or wine), poinsettias, christmas cactus. ALTAR DECORATIONS: mistletoe, holly, small Yule log, strings of colored lights, Yule/Christmas cards, a candle in the shape of Kris Kringle, homemade wreath, presents wrapped in colorful paper.
Is it beginning to look a lot like Christmas to you? In 46 BC, when the Roman "Julian Calendar" was adopted, December 24th was the shortest day of the year. Therefore, December 25th was the first annual day that daylight began to increase. Thus, the origin of the REBIRTH or Annual Birthday of the Invincible SUN. In accordance with the Roman "Julian calendar," the "Saturnalia" festival appears to have taken place on December 17th; it was preceded by the "Consualia" near December 15th, and followed by the "Opalia" on December 19th. These pagan celebrations typically lasted for a week, ending just before the late Roman Imperial Festival for "Sol Invictus" (Invincible Sun) on December 25th. In 1582 AD, Roman Catholic Pope Gregory the XIII caused the current "Gregorian Calendar" to be adopted, in order to eliminate the solar time shift error introduced by the "Julian Calendar." By December 1582 AD the shortest day of the year had shifted 12 days on the Roman "Julian Calendar" to Wednesday, December 12, 1582. However, the Original December 25th 'Birth Date' was retained for all pagan Sun gods by the Roman "Saturnalia" and "Sol
Invictus" traditions; which were at this time were now called the "Twelve Days of Christ Mass." (twelve days of Christmas) In the 7th century - Pope Gregory the First, ordered Augustine of Canterbury - to incorporate any and all pagan practices and customs into the Roman Catholic Church. During the middle ages, CHRIST-MASS had common practices of “open sex in the streets, homosexuality, riots, and murder.” In 1652 - ChristMass was banned in England. However, in 1656 - and after the appointment of Charles the II, England’s monarchy was restored - and so was Christ-Mass. Every facet of Christmas that we see today, including mystical spirits with the ability to fly and to enter and leave a house through its chimney, tricksters who treat or taunt little children, not to mention those elves — all derive from older, pre-Christian Europe. S.A.N.T.A. = S.A.T.A.N. = N.A.T.A.S ? Perhaps so, considering the entire history of Christ-Mass, and all the traditions which have been handed down over the ages. But lets take a look at Christ specifically. According to scripture the Bible does not specify a date or month. One very big problem with December is that it would be unusual for shepherds to be “abiding in the field” at this cold time of year when fields were unproductive. The normal practice was to keep the flocks in the fields from Spring to Autumn. Also, winter would likely be an especially difficult time for pregnant Mary to travel the long distance from Nazareth to Bethlehem (70 miles). A more probable time would be late September, the time of the annual Feast of Tabernacles, when such travel was commonly accepted. Thus, it is rather commonly believed (though not certain) that Jesus’ birth was around the last of September. Also the probability is that the mighty angel sent, leading the heavenly host in their praises, was Michael the archangel; this occasion was later commemorated by the early church as Michaelmas (‘Michael sent’), on September 29, the same as the date of the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. It would have at least been appropriate for Christ to have been born on such a date, for it was at His birth that ‘the Word was made flesh and dwelt (literally tabernacled) among us’ (John 1:14). I am sure that we have all heard the idealistic story about Christ’s birth even. About 2000 years ago, the evening of December 25. Mary rides into Bethlehem on a donkey, urgently needing to deliver her baby. Although it’s an emergency, all the innkeepers turn them away. So they deliver baby Jesus in a stable. Then angels sing to the shepherds. Afterwards, they all join three kings with camels in worshipping the quiet, newborn. Almost every statement about that is absurd – read your bibles! The Bible doesn’t say how she got to Bethlehem; it only says that she came with Joseph. The bible doesn’t suggest that she arrived on the night of Christ’s birth - God’s Word simply states, “while they were there [in Bethlehem], the days were accomplished that she should be delivered” (Luke 2:6). Arriving in town well before her due date would make more sense. Was Jesus born in a stable? Or a barn? Or a cave? The Bible does not mention any of these three places in connection with Christ’s birth, only a manger. Scripture simply reports that they laid Jesus in a manger because there was no room for him in the guest room. The Greek word used in Scripture is kataluma, and can mean guest chamber, lodging place or inn. The only other time this word was used in the New Testament, it means a furnished, large, upper story room within a private house. It is translated guest chamber, not inn (Mark 14:14-15). According to our Bible archaeology experts, Jesus was probably born in the house of relatives,
but outside (under) the normal living and guest quarters. The Bible does not say that any kings or camels visited young Jesus. It does report wise men (“magi”) came, but it does not say how many. None of the early Church Fathers, suggested the magi were kings. Since the word “magi” used in the Bible is plural, there were apparently at least two, and there could have been more—even several more. The Bible simply mentions three costly gifts they presented—gold, frankincense and myrrh, but this does not necessarily indicate the number of magi. There is also no proof of what country these men came from. Before the arrival of the magi in Bethlehem, Jesus traveled to and from Jerusalem for presentation in the Temple (Luke 2:21-22). Also, the wise men clearly did not visit Jesus when he was still lying in the manger, as is commonly shown on greeting cards and in plays. The magi did not arrive until sometime after Christ’s presentation in the Temple in Jerusalem (Luke 2:22-39). At this time, Scripture calls Jesus a “child,” not a “baby.” It is possible that little Jesus was walking and talking by then. Based on the calculations of King Herod and the magi (Matthew 2:16), Jesus could been two years old or under. Be wary the next time you say “Merry Christ-Mass”, carefully consider, and think about the things you are implying. Christ-mass (Christmas) may be what it was in the past, which differs from what it did back in the adoption into the Roman Catholic Church – but it is still what it is, a lie based solely on pagan practices and worship. Nowhere in the bible, does it state, imply, or give rise to the assumption that we should celebrate the birth or death of Christ – only acknowledge and accept the sacrifice and resurrection for what they are to us as a Christian – and even at that it does not suggest setting a date aside to celebrate this event – as a Christian, it should be an every day celebration because victory has been won!
The term "Easter" originated with the name Astarté from ancient Greece, she was the "Teutonic dawn goddess of fertility is known variously as Ostare, Ostara, Ostern, Eostra, Eostre, Eostur, Eastra, Eastur, Austron and Ausos." Her name was derived from the ancient word for spring: "eastre." Her name is the second name in an energy chant sometimes used in Wicca: "Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna." Astarte, or Ashtoret in Hebrew, was the principal goddess of the Phoenicians, representing the productive power of nature. She was a lunar goddess and was adopted by the Egyptians as a daughter of Ra or Ptah. In Jewish mythology, She is referred to as Ashtoreth, supposedly interpreted as a female demon of lust in Hebrew monotheism.
Astarte was worshipped as many things, to the Egyptians, She was honored as a Goddess of War and tenacity, to the Semites, She was a Goddess of Love and Fertility. Among the Greeks She was transposed into the Goddess of Love Aphrodite. In the Bible, She is referred to as "the abomination". The worship of Astarte spread far and wide, and in time, she was worshipped by the Phillistines, the Greeks, the Romans, the Sicilians, and in many parts of Europe and Africa. The goddess Astarte was also worshipped as Freya by the Norse, Indrani by the Hindus, by the Celts as Danu, and by the Egyptians as Hathor. The biblical warnings of worshiping her can be found in Jeremiah 44
The Egg is a sacred symbol of Astarte, representing fecundity, new life and the powers of the Goddess. The Pomegranate, the "fruit bearing eggs" is an important part of Her sacred rites.
The Easter Bunny is older than Christianity; it was the Moon-hare sacred to the Goddess in both eastern and western nations. Recalling the myths of HathorAstarte who laid the Golden Egg of the sun, Germans used to say the hare would lay eggs for good children on Easter Eve. Later in history, eggs were hidden and then hunted. It was a strong belief that whoever found the gold colored egg would conceive and bear a child during the year. Many believe also that these eggs would bring them good fortune. The "Easter egg" was also a sacred symbol of the ancient Babylonians. They believed a fable that declares "an egg of wondrous size fell from heaven into the Euphrates; the fish rolled it to the bank, where doves settled upon it and hatched it, and out came Astarte, the goddess of Easter." Like all the church's "movable feasts," Easter shows its pagan origin in a dating system based on the old lunar calendar. It is fixed as the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, formerly the "pregnant phase of Astarte passing into the fertile season. The sunrise services that are done are also a leftover of Babylon Sun worship. These are all part of Baal worship. It’s actually quite interesting, the pagans know that it’s a pagan festival, and wonder why Christians are still celebrating their holiday. They do not hide that fact from the rest of the world – yet the world still continues to embrace this practice as if it is of no consequence.
Another pagan association regarding Easter as the Christian resurrection, and pagan festivities is that most pagan religions in the Mediterranean area had a major seasonal day of religious celebration at or following the Spring Equinox. Cybele, the Phrygian fertility goddess, had a fictional consort who was believed to have been born via a virgin birth. He was Attis, who was believed to have died and been resurrected each year during the period MAR-22 to MAR-25. "About 200 B.C. mystery cults began to appear in Rome just as they had earlier in Greece. Most notable was the Cybele cult centered on Vatican hill ...Associated with the Cybele cult was that of her lover, Attis (the older Tammuz, Osiris, Dionysus, or Orpheus under a new name). He was a god of ever-reviving vegetation. Born of a virgin, he died and was reborn annually. The festival began as a day of blood on Black Friday and culminated after three days in a day of rejoicing over the resurrection." 3 Wherever Christian worship of Jesus and Pagan worship of Attis were active in the same geographical area in ancient times, Christians "used to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus on the same date; and pagans and Christians used to quarrel bitterly about which of their gods was the true prototype and which the imitation." Many religious historians believe that the death and resurrection legends were first associated with Attis, many centuries before the birth of Jesus. They were simply grafted onto stories of Jesus' life in order to make Christian theology more acceptable to Pagans. Ancient Christians had an alternative explanation; they claimed that Satan had created counterfeit deities in advance of the coming of Christ in order to confuse humanity. Modern-day Christians generally regard the Attis legend as being a Pagan myth of little value. They regard Jesus' death and resurrection account as being true, and unrelated to the earlier tradition. In ANY case, just as Christmas – Easter was also adopted into the calendars as a Christian day of worship by the Roman Catholic Church by Augustine of Canterbury in the 7th century – yet another example of paganism / Christian merging by the Roman Catholic Church. The celebration which is overlooked by most of the United States Christian community is Pasch. This is the actual celebration to acknowledge Passover. Pasch or Passover Jews of all classes and ways of thinking look forward to the Passover holidays with eagerness. With the exception of the Temple sacrifices, their manner of observing it differs but little from that which obtained in the time of Christ. Directions for keeping the feast were carefully laid down in the Law (see Exodus 12, 13, etc.), and carried out with great exactness after the Exile. The preparation The feast of the Passover begins on the fourteenth day of Nisan (a lunar month which roughly corresponds with the latter part of March and the first part of April) and ends with the twenty-first. The Jews now, as in ancient times, make elaborate preparations for the festival. Every house is subjected to a thorough spring cleaning.
The Saturday preceding the day of the Pasch (fifteenth) is called a "Great Sabbath", because it is supposed that the tenth day of the month Abib (or Nisan) -- when the Israelites were to select the Paschal lambs, before their deliverance from Egypt -- fell on a Sabbath. On this Sabbath, the day of the following week on which the Passover is to fall is solemnly announced. Some days before the feast, culinary and other utensils to be used during the festival are carefully and legally purified from all contact with leaven, or leavened bread. They are then said to be kosher. Special sets of cooking and table utensils are not unfrequently kept in every household. On the evening of the thirteenth, after dark, the head of the house makes the "search for leaven" according to the manner indicated in the Mishna (Tractate Pesachim, I), which is probably the custom followed by the Jews for at least two thousand years. The search is made by means of a lighted wax candle. A piece of ordinary, or leavened, bread is left in some conspicuous place, generally on a windowsill. The search begins by a prayer containing a reference to the command to put away all leaven during the feast. The place of the piece of bread just mentioned is first marked to indicate the beginning of the search. The whole house is then carefully examined, and all fragments of leaven are carefully collected on a large spoon or scoop by means of a brush or bundle of quills. The search is ended by coming back to the piece of bread with which it began. This, also is collected on the scoop. The latter, with its contents, and the brush are then carefully tied up in a bundle and suspended over a lamp to prevent mice from scattering leaven during the night and necessitating a fresh search. The master of the house then proclaims in Aramaic that all the leaven that is in his house, of which he is unaware, is to him no more than dust. During the forenoon of the next day (fourteenth) all the leaven that remains is burnt, and a similar declaration is made. From this time till the evening of the 22nd, when the feast ends, only unleavened bread is allowed. The legal time when the use of leavened bread was prohibited was understood to be the noon on the fourteenth Nisan; but the rabbis, in order to run no risks, and to place a hedge around the Law, anticipated this by one or two hours. The Paschal feast On this day, the fourteenth, the first-born son of each family, if he be above thirteen, fasts in memory of the deliverance of the first-born of the Israelites, when the destroying angel passed over Egypt. On the evening of the fourteenth the male members of the family, attired in their best, attend special services in the synagogue. On their return home they find the house lit up and the Seder, or Paschal Table, prepared. The head of the family takes his place at the head of the table, where there is an arm-chair prepared for him with cushions or pillows. A similar chair is also ready for the mistress of the house. The meal is called Seder by the Ashkenaziac Jews, and Haggadah (because of the story of the deliverance recited during it) by the Sephardic Jews. All the members of the Jewish family, including servants, sit round the table. In front of the head of the family is the Seder-dish, which is of such a kind as to allow three unleavened cakes or matzoth, each wrapped in a napkin, to be placed on it one above the other. A shank bone of lamb (with a small portion of meat attached) which has been roasted on the coals is placed, together with an egg that has been roasted in hot ashes, on another dish above the three unleavened cakes. The roasted shank represents the Paschal lamb, and the roasted egg the chagigah, or free will offerings, made daily in the Temple. Bitter herbs, such as parsley and horseradish, a kind of sop called charoseth,
consisting of various fruits pounded into a mucilage and mixed with vinegar, and salt water, are arranged in different vessels, sometimes disposed like candelabra above the leavened bread. The table is also furnished with wine, and cups or glasses for each person, an extra cup being always left for the prophet Elias, whom they expect as the precursor of the Messiah. The first cup When all are seated around the table the first cup of wine is poured out for each. The head of the house rises and thanks God for the fruits of the vine and for the great day which they are about to celebrate. He then sits down and drinks his cup of wine in a reclining posture, leaning on his left arm. The others drink at the same time. In the time of the Temple the poorest Jew was to drink four cups of wine during this joyful meal; and if he happened to be too poor, it was to be supplied out of public funds. Though four cups are prescribed, the quantity is not restricted to that amount. Some water is generally added to the wine. In early days red wine was used; but on account of the fear of fostering the groundless blood accusations against Jews, this usage was discontinued. Unfermented raisin wine or Palestinian wine is now generally used. The bitter herbs and afikoman After drinking the first cup the master rises and washes his hands, the others remaining seated, and Eldersheim is of the opinion that it was at this point of the supper that Christ washed the disciples feet. After washing his hands, the head of the family sits down, takes a small quantity of bitter herbs, dips them in salt water, and eats them, reclining on his left elbow. Jewish interpreters say that only the first Passover was to be eaten standing, and with circumstances of haste. During the Passovers commemorative of the first they reclined "like a king [or free man] at his ease, and not as slaves" -- in this probably following the example of the independent Romans with whom they came into contact. After the head of the family has eaten his portion of bitter herbs, he takes similar portions, dips them in salt water, and hands them round to be eaten by the others. He then takes out the middle unleavened cake, breaks it in two, and hides away one-half under a pillow or cushion, to be distributed and eaten after supper. If this practice existed in the time of Christ, it is not improbable that it was from this portion, called afikoman, that the Eucharist was instituted. As soon as this portion is laid aside, the other half is replaced, the dish containing the unleavened cakes is uncovered, and all, standing up, take hold of the dish and solemnly lift it up, chanting slowly in Aramaic: "This is the bread of affliction which our fathers ate in Egypt. This year here, next year in Jerusalem. This year slaves, next year free." The second cup The dish is then replaced and the shank bone, roasted egg, etc. restored to their places above it. All sit down, and the youngest son asks why this night above all other nights they eat bitter herbs, unleavened bread, and in a reclining posture. The head of the house then tells how their fathers were idolaters when God chose Abraham, how they were slaves in Egypt, how God delivered them, etc. God is praised and blessed for His wondrous mercies to their nation, and this first part of the ceremony is brought to a close by their breaking forth with the recitation of the first part of the Hallel (Psalms 112 and 114) and drinking the second cup of wine, which is triumphantly held aloft and called the cup of the Haggadah or story of deliverance.
The meal proper The ceremony so far has been only introductory. The meal proper now begins. First all wash their hands; the president then recites a blessing over the unleavened cakes, and, after having dipped small fragments of them in salt water, he eats them reclining. He next distributes pieces to the others. He also takes some bitter herbs, dips them in the charoseth, and gives them to the others to be eaten. He next makes a kind of sandwich by putting a portion of horse-radish between two pieces of unleavened bread and hands it around, saying that it is in memory of the Temple and of Hillel, who used to wrap together pieces of the paschal lamb, unleavened bread, bitter herbs, and eat them, in fulfilment of the command of Exodus 12:8. The supper proper is now served, and consists of many courses of dishes loved by Jews, such as soup, fish, etc., prepared in curious ways unknown to Gentiles. At the end of the meal some of the children snatch the afikoman that has been hidden away, and it has to be redeemed by presents -- a custom probably arising from a mistranslation of the Talmud. It is then divided between all present and eaten. Oesterly and Box think that this is a survival from an earlier time when a part of the paschal lamb was kept to the end and distributed, so as to be the last thing eaten. The third cup When the afikoman is eaten, the third cup is filled; and grace after meals is said, and the third cup drunk in a reclining posture. A cup of wine is now poured out for the prophet Elias, in a dead silence which is maintained for some time, and the door is opened. Imprecations against unbelievers, taken from the Psalms and Lamentations, are then recited. These were introduced only during the Middle Ages. The fourth cup After this the fourth cup is filled and the great Hallel (Psalms 115-118) and a prayer of praise are recited. Before drinking the fourth cup, the Jews of some countries recite five poetical pieces and then the fourth cup is drunk. At the end a prayer asking God to accept what they have done is added. Among the German and Polish Jews this prayer is followed by popular songs. " Christ never suggested dropping the bread, and picking up the bunny with eggs, as a matter of fact Christ never suggested to change any of the celebrations of old… You have to remember, that we – being the Gentiles, have to turn back to our Jewish brothers and sisters to acquire the truth through the scrolls. Yet, somewhere the celebrations were never brought into our system of prayer and worship – we’d rather go chasing after a fictitious bunny laying eggs from a pagan practice and belief. This screams out of such a tyranny in our Christian belief structure. Halloween – All Saints Day All Saints' Day (also called All Hallows or Hallowmas), often shortened to All Saints, is a feast celebrated on November 1 in Western Christianity, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity in honour of all the saints, known and unknown.
In terms of Western Christian theology, the feast commemorates all those who have attained the beatific vision in heaven. Specifically, in the Roman Catholic Church, the next day, All Souls' Day, commemorates the departed faithful who have not yet been purified and reached heaven. "On this day the Church honors the Angels and Saints in heaven. It is a holyday of obligation. This day is a great family feast. It has its origin in the year 610, when [Pope] Boniface IV dedicated the [pagan] Pantheon of Rome to the Blessed Virgin and all the martyrs. It is in special commemoration of the millions of Saints in heaven who have not been officially canonized by the Church, and thus have no special commemoration during the year. "This day commemorates all the souls in Purgatory. It is a day for pious remembrance of the dead, and for offering Masses and prayers for them. On this day as on Christmas, priests are allowed to say three Masses, for the souls of the departed, that they may be free from Purgatory. "From noon of All Saints' Day till midnight of the next day (All Soul's Day), all those who have confessed and received Holy Communion on either of the two days may gain the 'toties quoties' indulgence: a plenary indulgence applicable to the souls in Purgatory every time they visit a church or public chapel, and pray six 'Our Fathers', six 'Hail Marys', and 'six glorias' for the intention of the Holy Father [the Pope]" (My Catholic Faith, 1963, p. 417). – 6, 6, 6 – now, that’s an interesting number of hails isn’t it – what kind of “saints” is the catholic church honoring?
"The principal fire-festivals of the Celts . . . May Day and the other on Allhallows Even or Halloween, as it is now commonly called, that is, on the thirty-first of October, the day preceding All Saints' or Allhallows Day . . . the feast of all souls. At the beginning of November, which under a thin Christian cloak conceals an ancient pagan festival of the dead . . . in the manner of their celebration and in the superstitions associated with them, and alike, by the antique character impressed upon both, betray a remote and purely pagan origin" (The Golden Bough, p. 733-34). "Do not pursue after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? I will do likewise. You shall not likewise to the Lord your God: for every abomination that the Lord hates, they have done to their gods. They have even burned their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. Whatever I command you, be sure to do it: you shall not add to it, or take away from it" (Deut.12:30-32 Para.).
The following sources show that Halloween was originally a holiday celebrated in honor of the god of the dead, it is still being celebrated by pagan groups, wiccan groups, and satanic groups: "The earliest Halloween celebrations [in the British Isles] were held by the Druids in honor of Samhain, Lord of the dead, whose festival fell on November 1" (Halloween through Twenty Centuries). "It was a Druidical belief that on the eve of this festival [Halloween], Saman, Lord of the Dead, called together the wicked spirits . . . (Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition, "Halloween").
In the ancient pagan world, it was believed that the souls of good people would rise to heaven and the souls of evil people would be turned over to the lord of the dead. And once a year, the spirits of the dead people would be let out. "Hallows' is an old word for a saint and Allhallows' Eve (31 October) is the vigil of All Saints (1 November), the Christian festival corresponding to an ancient feast of the dead. In many European countries it is traditionally a time when the spirits of the departed visit their former homes; a fire, food and drink are put ready for them. "In Sicily the ghostly visitors bring gifts for the children – toys, sweets and clothes stolen from the shops. The Welch believe that a ghost came and sat on every stile when the clock struck twelve. In some parts of Wales the wandering shades [ghosts] appeared as a white lady, while in north Wales and Scotland people feared the spectral Black Sow" (Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Magic, Venetia Newal, p. 16). "In Wales until the eighteenth century it was customary to burn a candle in church to see what the future held. A bright flame meant a prosperous, happy year. An irregular flame foretold trouble, and if it went out this signified one's own death. Hallowe'en divination probably derives from Samhain . . ." (Ibid, p. 16). Halloween is a purely pagan, occult holiday. The symbols of Halloween tell the true meaning of the day. The Jack-O-latern is an idol to the Lord of the Dead. The lighted candle within is a remnant of Halloween Fires to light the way for the returning spirits of the dead. The witch represents the high priestess of Satan worship. The full moon is the Sabat night on which witches perform
their ritual worship of the spirits and Satan. The black cat is associated with witchcraft and symbolizes a witches' spirit guide. The skeleton depicts Ankou, Lord of the Dead who allegedly traveled in the dead of night to claim his victims. Superstitious beliefs portray Ankou as living in an underground palace filled with thousand of candles. Each candle is supposed to represent a human life. He claims his victims by blowing out the candles. Along with being part of the Catholic system of worship, Halloween is also the high Sabat for witches around the world. And the practices of witchcraft are condemned in the Bible (Deut.18:9-14).
My final sentiments on the holidays of old, and the current practices is this. If you truly want to remain vigilant to the scriptures and truly honor our Father, you should turn away from any and all practices which remain questionable and full of lies and deceit. As a Christian, we are not suppose to participate in any pagan practices, whether they be tradition and common to the rest of the world or not. This is not a direct attack against the Catholic church or faith – however , the truth exists that all the pagan festivities have been incorporated into both the church faith, and practices. There is absolutely no way that the current Pope, and all the other scholars of the Catholic community do not know about the order of Pope Gregory the First, to Augustine of Canterbury – because it was then, that most of the “religious” holidays were merged and incorporated into the Christian community. By ignoring this much left out fact, is to ignore truth itself, which to me speaks in abundance about the current state of Catholicism as a whole.
Chapter 4 – Behind Closed Doors
The failure of the clergy, barring important information out of the canon
There was a constant history of faithful people from Paul's time through the Apostolic and Post Apostolic Church. Melito, bishop of Sardis, an ancient city of Asia Minor (see Rev 3), c. 170 AD produced the first known Christian attempt at an Old Testament canon. His list maintains the Septuagint order of books but contains only the Old Testament protocanonicals minus the Book of Esther. The Council of Laodicea, c. 360, produced a list of books similar to today's canon. This was one of the Church's earliest decisions on a canon. Pope Damasus, 366-384, in his Decree, listed the books of today's canon. The Council of Rome, 382, was the forum which prompted Pope Damasus' Decree. Bishop Exuperius of Toulouse wrote to Pope Innocent I in 405 requesting a list of canonical books. Pope Innocent listed the present canon. The Council of Hippo, a local north Africa council of bishops created the list of the Old and New Testament books in 393 which is the same as the Roman Catholic list today. The Council of Carthage, a local north Africa council of bishops created the same list of canonical books in 397. This is the council which many Protestant and Evangelical Christians take as the authority for the New Testament canon of books. The Old Testament canon from the same council is identical to Roman Catholic canon today. Another Council of Carthage in 419 offered the same list of canonical books. Since the Roman Catholic Church does not define truths unless errors abound on the matter, Roman Catholic Christians look to the Council of Florence, an ecumenical council in 1441 for the first definitive list of canonical books. The final infallible definition of canonical books for Roman Catholic Christians came from the Council of Trent in 1556 in the face of the errors of the Reformers who rejected seven Old Testament books from the canon of scripture to that time. As we have previously learned about the Catholic Church’s decisions and indecisions of creating what is known and accepted as our religious holidays – they also mandated which books should and should not become part of our “New Testament” – as shown above. There is quite a few books out there which are considered “Gnostic” testaments – that were not included in the New Testament. Some of these books are as listed: The Prayer of the Apostle Paul The Apocryphon of James (also known as the Secret Book of James) The Gospel of Truth
The Treatise on the Resurrection The Tripartite Tractate The Apocryphon of John The Gospel of Thomas a sayings gospel The Gospel of Philip a sayings gospel The Hypostasis of the Archons On the Origin of the World The Exegesis on the Soul The Book of Thomas the Contender The Apocryphon of John The Gospel of the Egyptians Eugnostos the Blessed The Sophia of Jesus Christ The Dialogue of the Saviour The Apocryphon of John The Gospel of the Egyptians Eugnostos the Blessed The Apocalypse of Paul The First Apocalypse of James The Second Apocalypse of James The Apocalypse of Adam The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles The Thunder, Perfect Mind Authoritative Teaching The Concept of Our Great Power The Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth - a Hermetic treatise The Prayer of Thanksgiving (with a hand-written note) - a Hermetic prayer Asclepius 21-29 - another Hermetic treatise The Paraphrase of Shem The Second Treatise of the Great Seth Gnostic Apocalypse of Peter The Teachings of Silvanus The Three Steles of Seth Zostrianos The Letter of Peter to Philip Melchizedek The Thought of Norea The Testimony of truth Marsanes The Interpretation of Knowledge A Valentinian Exposition, On the Anointing, On Baptism, and On the Eucharist Allogenes Hypsiphrone The Sentences of Sextus The Gospel of Truth Fragments Trimorphic Protennoia On the Origin of the World
But then you have other books (Apocalyptic Literature) which were also discarded from inclusion into any part of the cannon such as: The book of Baruch, The Apocalypse of Moses, The Books of Enoch, The Revelation of Esdras, Testament of Solomon, The Testament of Job , and many, many others. Now – granted, some of the reading material has to be carefully weighed against its originating source. Not all information is creditable or can be substantiated as fact, but for ANY Church to deny sources of information which are indeed notable, is to me withholding information, period! And for a Church to do this, makes them a bad source for any truth – the credentials are gone, with their secretive position in all of this. We also do not consider that, for example the “Shroud of Turin” or “Jesus burial shroud” was hidden away in secrecy by the Roman Church for a very long time before announcing its existence. DESPITE if it is authentic or not, these secrets cannot continue to go unnoticed by Christians who are truly dedicated to finding the truth, and relying on what we have today to find it One also has to take careful consideration into the mystical writings and teachings as well – which are considered Kabalistic documents. God is a VERY spiritual being, Angels are spiritual beings, Jesus miracles are divine and very spiritual, the Holy Spirit is divine and spiritual, who is to say that there is not a “mystical” (which is another word for anything surrounding the divinity of God) side to our life on this planet. If we can believe in water becoming wine, or food and drink miraculously created to feed the multitudes, or resurrection, or God appearing in the form of a pillar of fire, or burning bush – how is everything else written about this divinity so unacceptable? The current bible we have is a wonderful source of information – both old and new testaments. But to think it accounts for everything, would be accepting the same type of brainwashing the mass media places on the general public. The information is not always informative, but rather disinformation is given to keep control and conformity. Perhaps my way of thinking is a bit on the radical side, but I also know – that the God that was then, is still the same God today, and will be the same God forever. God did not lift away His presence in this world after the Birth and Death and Resurrection of His Son – nor did the Holy Spirit just whisk out of sight and activeness – such as many denominations believe. He is ever present, and one does not have to have spiritual experiences one after another to see it, only realize the truth – and it will truly set you free. The greatest limitation that we can place on ourselves is to not recognize the spiritual activeness in the world we live in – most of us don’t even take a moment to consider that all of our forefathers knew of the ever present spiritual world, yet the majority of us today are blind to it. Most are too busy for it, many are too busy to just breathe, and take the surroundings in.
The Holy Bible
As noted above – the Holy Bible New Testament is based on the additions and subtractions of the canonical books compiled from the Roman Catholic Church. It is mere fantasy to believe that Saul (later known as Paul) was the one that had the final say to the biblical compilation that we see today – there was still far too much change for Christianity to undergo, primarily in Rome. Oddly enough, after all the chief apostles met their untimely deaths for their faith or otherwise, it was Rome that reached out to the rest of the world to embrace that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. Even more amazingly, the
teachings of Jesus surpassed and survived a completely Roman based religion called Mithraism. Historians believe the reason for this, is that Mithraism was not outward and open like Christianity, it was a secretive society of followers. The Old Testament was later recompiled from the original Hebrew and Greek sources. Relying heavily on Wikipedia to define the history of the current Old/New Testament that we have (KJV), here is what the website had to say: “The Authorized King James Version is an English translation of the Christian Bible begun in 1604 and first published in 1611 by the Church of England. The Great Bible was the first "authorized version" issued by the Church of England in the reign of King Henry VIII. In January 1604, King James I of England convened the Hampton Court Conference where a new English version was conceived in response to the perceived problems of the earlier translations as detected by the Puritans, a faction within the Church of England. The king gave the translators instructions designed to guarantee that the new version would conform to the ecclesiology and reflect the Episcopal structure of the Church of England and its beliefs about an ordained clergy. The translation was by 47 scholars, all of whom were members of the Church of England. In common with most other translations of the period, the New Testament was translated from the Textus Receptus (Received Text) series of the Greek texts. The Old Testament was translated from the Masoretic Hebrew text, while the Apocrypha were translated from the Greek Septuagint (LXX), except for 2 Esdras, which was translated from the Latin Vulgate. While the Authorized Version was meant to replace the Bishops' Bible as the official version for readings in the Church of England, it was apparently (unlike the Great Bible) never specifically "authorized", although it is commonly known as the Authorized Version in the United Kingdom. However, the King's Printer issued no further editions of the Bishops' Bible; so necessarily the Authorized Version supplanted it as the standard lectern Bible in parish church use in England. In the Book of Common Prayer (1662), the text of the Authorized Version replaced the text of the Great Bible — the Epistle and Gospel readings — and as such was "authorized" by Act of Parliament. In the United States, the Authorized Version is known as the King James Version. The earliest appearance in print of the phrase "authorized version", to mean this particular version of the bible, was published in 1824. The phrase 'King James version' first appeared in print in 1884. By the first half of the 18th Century, the Authorized Version was effectively unchallenged as the sole English translation in current use in Protestant churches. Over the course of the 18th Century, the Authorized Version supplanted the Latin Vulgate as the standard version of scripture for English speaking scholars. In most of the world, the Authorized Version has passed out of copyright and is freely reproduced. In the United Kingdom, the British Crown holds perpetual Crown copyright to the Authorized Version. Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, HarperCollins and the Queen's Printers have the right to produce the Authorized Version. While the Authorized Version was meant to replace the Bishops' Bible as the official version for readings in the Church of England, it was apparently (unlike the Great Bible) never specifically "Authorized", although it is commonly known as the Authorized Version in the United Kingdom. However, the King's
Printer issued no further editions of the Bishops' Bible; so necessarily the Authorized Version supplanted it as the standard lectern Bible in parish church use in England. In the 1662 Book Of Common Prayer, the text of the Authorized Version finally supplanted that of the Great Bible in the Epistle and Gospel readings - though the Psalter nevertheless was provided in the 1539 version. The case was different in Scotland, where the Geneva Bible had long been the standard Church Bible. It was not till 1633 that a Scots edition of the Authorized Version was printed - in conjunction with the Scots coronation in that year of Charles I. The inclusion of illustrations in the edition raised accusations of Popery from opponents to the religious policies of Charles, and of William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury. However, official policy favored the Authorized Version, and this favor returned during the Commonwealth - as London printers succeeded in re-asserting their monopoly of Bible printing with support from Oliver Cromwell – and the "New Translation" was the only edition on the market. F.F. Bruce reports that the last recorded instance of a Scots parish continuing to use the "Old Translation" (i.e. Geneva) as being in 1674. The Authorized Version's acceptance by the general public took longer. The Geneva Bible continued to be popular, and large numbers were imported from Amsterdam, where printing continued up to 1644 in editions carrying a false London imprint. However, few if any genuine Geneva editions appear to have been printed in London after 1616, and in 1637 Archbishop Laud prohibited their printing or importation. In the period of the English Civil War, soldiers of the New Model Army were issued a book of Geneva selections called "The Soldiers' Bible" (1643, Herbert #577). In the first half of the 17th Century the Authorized Version is most commonly referred to as "The Bible without notes"; thereby distinguishing it from the Geneva "Bible with notes". There were several further printings of the Authorized Version in Amsterdam - one as late as 1715 (Herbert #936) - which combined the Authorized Version translation text with the Geneva marginal notes; and one such edition was printed in London in 1649. During the Commonwealth a commission was established by Parliament to recommend a revision of the Authorized Version with acceptably Protestant explanatory notes; but the project was abandoned when it became clear that these would be nearly double the bulk of the bible text. After the English Restoration, the Geneva Bible was held to be politically suspect, and a reminder of the repudiated Puritan era. Furthermore, as the disputes over the lucrative rights to print the Authorized Version dragged on through the 17th Century, so none of the printers involved saw any commercial advantage in marketing a rival translation. The Authorized Version became the only current version circulating among English speaking people. Slowest of all was acceptance of the text by Biblical Scholars. Hugh Broughton, who was the most highly regarded English Hebraist of his time (but who had been excluded from the panel of translators, due to his utterly uncongenial temperament), issued in 1611 a total condemnation of the new version; criticizing especially the translators' rejection of word-for-word equivalence. Walton's London Polyglot of 1657 disregards the Authorized Version (and indeed the English Language) entirely. Walton's reference text throughout is the Vulgate. The Vulgate Latin is also found as the standard text of scripture in Thomas Hobbes Leviathan of 1651, indeed Hobbes gives Vulgate chapter and verse numbers (i.e. Job 41:24; not Job 41:33) for his head text. In Chapter 35: 'The Signification in Scripture of Kingdom of God' , Hobbes discusses Exodus 19:5, first in his own translation of the 'Vulgar Latin' , and then subsequently as found in the versions he terms "...the English translation made in the beginning of the reign of King James" , and "The Geneva French" (i.e. Olivetan). Hobbes advances detailed critical arguments why the Vulgate rendering is to be preferred. For most of the 17th Century the assumption remained that, while it had been of vital importance to provide the scriptures in the vernacular for ordinary people; nevertheless for those with sufficient education to do so, Biblical study was best undertaken within the
international common medium of Latin. It is only in 1700, that modern bilingual Bibles appear in which the Authorized Version is compared to counterpart Dutch and French Protestant vernacular Bibles. In consequence of the continual disputes over printing privileges, successive printings of the Authorized Version were notably less careful than the 1611 edition had been – compositors freely varying spelling, capitalization and punctuation; and also, over the years, introducing about 1,500 misprints (some of which, like the omission of "not" from the commandment "Thou shalt not commit adultery" in the "Wicked Bible" (1631, Herbert #444)), became notorious. The two Cambridge editions of 1629 and 1638 attempted to restore the proper text – while introducing over 200 revisions of the original translators' work, chiefly by incorporating into the main text a more literal reading originally presented as a marginal note. A more thoroughly corrected edition was proposed following the Restoration, in conjunction with the revised 1662 Book of Common Prayer, but Parliament then decided against it. By the first half of the 18th Century, the Authorized Version was effectively unchallenged as the sole English translation in current use in Protestant churches; and was so dominant that the Roman Catholic church in England issued in 1752 a revision of the 1610 Douay-Rheims Bible by Richard Challoner that was, in actuality, very much closer to the Authorized Version than to the original. However, general standards of spelling, punctuation, typesetting, capitalization and grammar had changed radically in the 100 years since the first edition of the Authorized Version was produced; and all printers in the market were introducing continual piecemeal changes to their bible texts, to bring them into line with current practice - and with public expectations of standardized spelling and grammatical construction. Over the course the 18th Century, the Authorized Version supplanted the Latin Vulgate as the standard version of scripture for English speaking scholars and divines, and indeed came to be regarded by some as an inspired text in itself; so much so that any challenge to its readings or textual base came to be regarded by many as an assault on Holy Scripture. A key milestone in this process was the publication in 1737 of Alexander Cruden's Complete Concordance to the Holy Scriptures, in which the English words of the Authorized Version were analyzed with no regard to the original tongues.” It is important to note, that due to translators and the ability to form sentences and word structures from one language to another in a meaningful way, it gives rise to some interpretation. I do believe that the scholars of that day did make a strong attempt in keeping words and patterns intact to its original meaning – but it was still flawed and gave rise and suspicion to its authenticity from various groups and organizations out there (it is still this way, to this very day). One has to understand that the acquisition of knowledge and attempts to find the truth were taken very seriously back in those days – it was strongly believed that if one had the full and true “book of knowledge”, or the “Great Codex” of God – that they would somehow possess great power and ability. I suppose that this quest to attain the knowledge of God, even if it was not with the complete intent on “sharing it with the rest of the world” was a good thing, at least for the Christian community. Rome was doing the same thing, and on top of the acquisition of knowledge, they were also attempting to acquire any and all possible religious artifacts which they could – very much like the desire Hitler had to finding and acquiring great religious artifacts, such as the “spear of destiny”, the “holy grail”, the “crown of thorns”, the “arc of the covenant”, and the “burial shroud” . His concept of this task was to make himself invincible, immortal, supreme. Not many people associate Hitler’s campaigns with biblical and religious artifacts – but that was one of the great desires he was trying to fulfill during his reign over Germany. The movie series “Indiana Jones” brushes on that historical fact, but many people regard these movies as being fantasy – when in truth, it was more of a reality than many know or realize.
Chapter 5 – The Bible Belt
Losing touch with the basic fundamentals of Christianity as a whole
I am not going to candy coat or inject innocence into the religious factions that we have out there in the Christian community. Mankind as a whole is so quick to judge others for their differences, religiously or non- religiously. While on the same token, take so very long to pull themselves out of their self made blindness, which some never accomplish in this lifetime. We have about as much business passing any judgment on another human being, as someone has the right to say you’re an alien from Planet-X who has come to devour the population of the world. There is way too much of this going on in the Churches, which really leaves a fire burning in my collar. Who really cares if someone comes walking into a Church looking like they just stepped out of a rock concert from hell – at least they are there and not trying to summon the princes of darkness from the bowels of the earth, or drinking someone’s blood (hopefully they are there to be washed in the blood of Christ) .. Now, I am not saying all churches are like this – but I am saying that the majorities out there have a certain take on appearance, and put value upon this opinion, and have even put it into their requirements for “membership” What saddens me even more, is the actual church (the body, the people) are even more typical to reject or distance themselves from such an individual. I could only pray, if I had a foundation of four walls called a “church”, that the majority of those coming in to seek God were the lost, the lonely, the afraid, the forgotten of society… That is who God wants to reach the most, because He wants NOONE to perish. We need to have a reality check here, Christ did not come for the stout right man, or the virtuous man – but for the sin soaked, the deprived, and the weak. I am sorry, if I wanted to join some sort of social or country club I would not be at a “House of God”, I am not there to attract attention or to try and entertain the pastor or other member of the church with my wit, my status, my designer dress clothes, or scope out the Christian chicks sitting in the pews. I am there to give thanks, praise, and glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This is a personal commitment and relationship that I have with the whole of Heaven – not to the bricks and mortar that I stand inside. We need to get back to the basics, back to the very fundamentals that God the Father and Jesus want us to know and implement into our lives – and get away from the stains and tarnish which are in the “Bible belt” of today. One of the very first things that we need to do as a Christian, and a “Citizen of Heaven” – is acknowledge a very crucial and integral thing. God, the Father – is not called “The Father” so that we understand the hierarchy of Heaven. He is called “The Father”, because He is literally THE FATHER of all fathers – and we are all of His little children. He is “big daddy” – and Christ warned us of our inability to enter into heaven if we didn’t get or understand this:
1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. I suggest that you read Matthew 18 as a whole. But for the sake and purpose of trying to get everyone to realize that God, the Father – is our literal spiritual daddy, I did not post the rest. The most important factor here – is how we view God and who He is to us. Not everyone is within this mindset, and in my opinion it’s one of the biggest that we have to realize because it places us at the very core and foundation of who we are to God, and how very important each of us are to Him. Just how important are we to Him? Well, He gave us dominion over pretty much the earth and everything upon it. He gave us the stars, to gaze upon. He gave us spiritual powers and abilities which most of us seldom even acknowledge. He gave us freewill – and allows us to decide how and what we are going to lead our lives. He protects us and intercedes when we need spiritual guidance and help through the Holy Spirit, other spirits, and angels. He protects us from utter destruction by cosmic influences, such as meteors, comets, solar winds, and many other catastrophic events. And greatest sacrifice of all, gave His only begotten Son to die upon the cross as the sacrificial lamb for all our numerous sins. He knows us so well, even better than we know ourselves. He numbers the hairs on your head. Luke 12:7, Matthew 10:30 He knows your words before you speak them. Psalm 139:4 He knows your thoughts before you think them. Psalm 139:2 He knows your prayers before you pray them. Matthew 6:8 He knows your walks and struggles, and accounts for every tear. Psalm 56:8 This reminds me of a short poem that I read, and loved. Unfortunately I cannot find the source of the poem but I would like to share it with you: "God cares for you! He does not watch the sparrow alone, and turn His eye away from man; His love is strong And swifter than an arrow, From heaven to earth is far the shortest span. "God cares for you! He does not clothe the blossom And leave you naked to the wint'ry blast. His eye perceives, His arm is never shortened, His loving care around each soul is cast. "God cares for you! Your very hair is numbered; He hears your cry,
He also counts your tears; Consider this, be comforted, my brother, Today, tomorrow, and through all the years." God looks at sparrows, animal life, and the whole created order with a different eye than we do. God values the created order differently. It was not God who placed the value of sparrows at half-a-cent. Who among us takes notice if a sparrow falls to the ground or a squirrel drops from a tree or the polluted streams kill the fish or toxins cause birds to have thin-shelled eggs that crack too soon? Who really cares? On the scale of human values they're insignificant. But, what did Jesus say about how God looks at those parts of creation, which are of little human value? Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father. God notices, cares, and values what humans consider of least value in the created order! The tiniest of birds does not come to the end of its life and drop from the sky without the awareness and consent of God. The Creator of billions of spinning stars, planets, and galaxies has an eye on the tiny sparrow. One might pose the question, how do I accomplish myself towards God the way He would have me? I would suggest first to slow down. This world goes by and spins too much at a fast pace – if we speedily try to have a relationship with God from one day to the next – we will find this relationship slowly falling down on our list of priorities. In truth, if any relationship is a rushed one, constantly on a roller coaster ride, is it even a relationship at all? A really good song by the group “Casting Crowns” states this : “It's a slow fade when you give yourself away It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid When you give yourself away People never crumble in a day The journey from your mind to your hands Is shorter than you're thinking Be careful if you think you stand You just might be sinking” And the reality of this is the truth; this “fade” is something that is slow and so subtle that we aren’t really paying attention to it. If we had a day-to-day personal relationship with God, a truly loving, close bonding, relationship – “invisible” or not, we wouldn’t have this fade to deal with. This is where we must slow down. The love that we have for God should never be rushed, but tempered and hardened through time – despite the particularities in our own personal life – we must remember that we would not have that life to be particular about, if it was not for The Lord. The second thing that I would suggest is to take some time getting back to a simpler view on the world. We live in a computerized, technologically based soup bowl of junk, video games, and time wasting distractions. The majority of the population tries to find methods of “entertainment” to fill in the blanks of their life. When is the last time you admired the simplicity of a blade of grass? You might find that it is not so simple after all, but created much like we are – and that the only major difference is the requirements it has to survive. Or how busy and hard workers the ants are, how they have very thriving communities and organized units and structures in their anthill. Did you know, scripture describes the ants as a “people”? God does not forget them, neither should we.
Finally, seek God, seek the truth. The most important thing that we have to accomplish in this lifetime is to try and find the truth of our existence, the meaning to the foundation of life itself. Men have tried to formulate and speculate many different opinions and variations of “the truth”. Some believe in the chaos theories, the spontaneous theories, the riddle of the chicken and the egg. But you know, the truth is right there – deep within our own self – and most people “know it”, but that does not make them “seek it” or “acknowledge it”. The very basic principles of life itself have been etched within our own beings – and this basic “code” or foundation can be found all through time itself. The native American Indians knew it , even without the bible – they believed in Father Sky (interesting how close they were) , they also knew of spirits, devils, they were in tune with the animals and nature such as in the times of Eden. The majority of them were not “savages” – perhaps to the cultures of the Europeans who invaded, raped their lands from them, and forcing their people into slavery - causing them to rise up against the ‘white man’ , but not as a civilization is concerned. As a people, they were very giving, very trusting, cared for the land, animals, and mankind. We need to really revisit some of our ways of thinking – even when it comes to the blood ritual traditions of the Incans and Mayans – were they so “brutal” and “violent” ? If you think carefully, the Mayans may have been “Indians” being that they did not wear the funny clothes of the Europeans who first encountered them – but if you look in our very own Old Testament – we too, in our religious history – performed blood rituals and blood sacrifices. The Mayans created an advanced calendar – so accurate that it is still telling time perfectly to this day. This is, mind you – without any “schooling” and without any “technological advances”. The Incan’s God was “Apu Inti”, the Mayan’s main God was “Kukulcan” – who are we to say that these are not other names of the Lord of Lords? It is a very interesting and very intriguing thought that these tribes had such commonalities even without direct contact with outsiders or people from other countries, or even literatures from other civilizations. To me, it confirms the breakdown at the Tower of Babel, in Genesis – and the separation of the tongues and tribes to the four corners of the earth. The story of the life of the Mexican divinity, the story of Quetzalcoatl, closely resembles that of the Savior; so closely, Quetzalcoatl and Christ could very well be the same being. It is also very interesting to note the resemblance of the Quetzalcoatl legend with that of the myth of the Pahana held by the Hopi Indians of northern Arizona. Scholars have described many similarities between the myths of the Aztecs and those of the American Southwest, and posit a common root. The Hopi describe the Pahana as the "Lost White Brother," and they expected his eventual return from the east during which he would destroy the wicked and begin a new era of peace and prosperity. Hopi tradition maintains that they at first mistook the Spanish conquistadors as the Pahana when they arrived on the Hopi mesas in the 16th century. In any case, the more that we search for the true similarities , social structures, and religious practices – from the great organizations called “states” or “countries” of today all the way back to the ancient tribes – the closeness to being in tandem with one another, is almost unbelievable. But as we advance further in our quest for a better “video game” or “scarier movie” – we are losing grip with some of these basic truths and foundations into the true facts – much like the disappearing traditions and secrets of the Native American Indians – they are a broken culture, and it is so sad, because they introduced so many things into our lives that we cannot just ignore it and feel content with ourselves. God, The Father – the creator of all things, is not going to leave these “tribes” helpless and mindless to His ways. No, they may not understand the fundamentals and fundamentalist movement of the church that we see today, but the God above all Gods --- well, yes – this they can relate to. What is His name? Tetragrammaton? Adonai? Elohim? YHVH? AGLA? IAOTH? SCHEMA AMATHIA? Why do we have so many names and
references to God? Perhaps it is due to the split of tongues – but one thing remains consistent, God of Light – God above all.
Chapter 6 – Religious symbols and their roots
What you may not know about the cross and other religious symbols may surprise you
Everyone at this point is quite familiar with the Christian cross, and the hexagram or the Star of David/Shield of David which is used as the symbol identifying the Jewish flag, and the Jewish religion. What many may not recognize is their actual origins.
During the first two centuries of Christianity, the cross was rare in Christian iconography, as it depicts a purposely painful and gruesome method of public execution. They considered it to be the most shameful, the most painful, and the most abhorrent of all executions. The Roman statesman Cicero called it "the most cruel and disgusting penalty" (Verrem 2:5.165) and "the most extreme penalty" (Verrem 2:5.168). The Jewish historian Josephus, who certainly witnessed enough crucifixions himself, called it "the most wretched of deaths." The Roman jurist Julius Paulus listed crucifixion in first place as the worst of all capital punishments, listing it ahead of death by burning, death by beheading, or death by the wild beasts. And from Lucius Annaeus Seneca (also known as Seneca, or Seneca the Younger) we have this quotation, which is one of the most unique descriptions of a crucifixion in non-Biblical literature: “Can anyone be found who would prefer wasting away in pain dying limb by limb, or letting out his life drop by drop, rather than expiring once for all? Can any man by found willing to be fastened to the accursed tree, long sickly, already deformed, swelling with ugly wounds on shoulders and chest, and drawing the breath of life amid long drawn-out agony? He would have many excuses for dying even before mounting the cross (Dialogue 3:2.2)”. The ancients considered death by crucifixion to be not just any execution, but the most obscene, the most disgraceful, the most horrific execution known to man. The cross symbol was already associated with Christians in the second century, as is indicated in the anti-Christian arguments cited in the Octavius of Minucius Felix, chapters IX and XXIX, written at the end of that century or the beginning of the next, and by the fact that by the early third century the cross had become so closely associated with Christ that Clement of Alexandria, who died between 211 and 216, could without fear of ambiguity use the phrase τὸ κυριακὸν σημεῖον (the Lord's sign) to mean the cross, when he repeated the idea, current as early as the apocryphal Epistle of Barnabas, that the number 318 (in Greek numerals, ΤΙΗ) in Genesis 14:14 was interpreted using numerology as a foreshadowing (a "type") of the cross (T, an upright with crossbar, standing for 300) and of Jesus (ΙΗ, the first two letter of his name ΙΗΣΟΥΣ, standing for 18), and his contemporary Tertullian could designate the body of Christian believers as crucis religiosi, i.e. "devotees of the Cross". In his book De Corona, written in 204, Tertullian tells how it was already a tradition for Christians to trace repeatedly on their foreheads the sign of the cross. The followers of Tammuz also marked the forehead with a cross. Tammuz was a god of Assyria, Babylonia and Sumeria where he was known as Dumuzi. He is commemorated in the name of the month
of June, Du’uzu, the fourth month of a year which begins at the spring equinox. The fullest history extant of this saviour is probably that of Ctesias (400 BC), author of Persika A pagan sign of the mystic Tau of the Chaldeans and the Egyptians, this cross was a symbol of the Roman god Mithras and the Greek Attis, and their forerunner Tammuz, the Sumerian solar god, consort of the goddess Ishtar. Conveniently, the original form of the letter 'T' was the initial letter of the god of Tammuz. During baptism ceremonies, this cross was marked on the foreheads by the pagan priest. The cross symbol (T) was the original cross of Jesus: The cross of Christ, as experts seem to agree, was actually a bar placed across the top of an upright, so it was not a cross at all. It was a “Tee” (T), called “Taw” in Hebrew and “Tau” in Greek. So the cross that the victim was suspended from was actually a crossbar, and perhaps in those days this was called the cross. The “Taw” sign was the symbol of the dying and rising god, Tammuz, and “Taw” was the sign that was made on the heads of those marked for salvation by the god. So, crucifixion images might not be as conventional as the ones based on the Catholic crucifix. The Cross and Crucifixion -from Bullinger's Companion Bible ap. 162 ("In the Greek N.T. two words are used for "the cross" on which the Lord was put to death. (1) The word "stauros"; which denotes an upright pale or stake, to which criminals were nailed for execution (2) The word "Xulon", which generally denotes a piece of a dead log of wood, or timber, for fuel or for any other purpose. It is not like "dendron", which is used of a living or green tree, as in Matt 21:8, Rev 7:1,3: 8:7, 9:4. As this latter word "xulon" is used for the former "stauros", it shows us that the meaning of each is exactly the same. Our English word "cross" is the translation of; the Latin "crux"; but the Greek "stauros" no more means a "crux" than the word "stick" means a "crutch". The letter Chi, X, the initial of the word Christ (Xploros), was originally used for His name..... These crosses were used as symbols of the Babylonian sun-god, and are first seen on a coin of Julius Caesar, 100-44 B.C., and then on a coin struck by Caesar's heir. (Augustus), 20 B.C.") Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary- cross ("noun. "Stauros" 4716 denotes, primarily, "an upright pale or stake." On such malefactors were nailed for execution. Both the noun and the verb "stauroo", to fasten to a stake or pale, are oridinally to be distinguished from the ecclesiastical form of a two beamed "cross
The actual cross was adopted six hundred years after Jesus’ departure. And was not even welcomed as a “symbol” or “icon” of faith, until after the Roman Catholic Church brought Christianity into the perspective of the European faith. In order to increase the prestige of the apostate ecclesiastical system pagans were received into the churches apart from regeneration by faith, and were permitted largely to
retain their pagan signs and symbols. Hence the Tau or T, in its most frequent form, with the cross-piece lowered, was adopted to stand for the "cross" of Christ.)
It will also come as a surprise to many that the first known figure of a god on a cross is a likeness of the sun god Orpheus from some three centuries B.C. According to the Bible, Jesus was crucified on a tree: The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. (Acts 5:30, 10:39) Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree: (Galatians 3:13) Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (1 Peter 2:24)
Now, if we look at these two representations of two distinctly different religions and crosses, and incorporate them into one – we get this:
This incorporation was not a mistake, or an oversight, it was again, an incorporation of pagan religion and Christianity by the Roman Catholic Church. Below, you will see examples of this concept put to use in early roman/catholic artwork:
One thing that truly needs to be identified here, is that the “nimbus” or circlet around the representation of Christ in these pictures is only the “circle”, commonly signifying an enlightened state such as the “nimbus” pattern which can be found around the disciples portrayed in art. The true picture behind Christ is not fully displayed in these pictures, but the one below is the full picture, which consists of the Baal cross with abbreviated Greek words for Jesus Christ (abbreviations indicated by horizontal lines), and "nika" meaning "conqueror."
Here are more examples of this cross, including a Celtic cross, which may or may not have made its way to the northern hemisphere by the roman influences of the time.
It is very important to identify the fact that Jesus and the “cross” have two completely separate origins and meanings. Each person’s identification to any particular symbol is what truly empowers it’s meaning to them, however if I were to wear a inverted pentagram with a goat’s head picture into a Christian place of worship stating that I wear it to represent that God will accept me no matter what sort of item I wore – I would probably be tackled to the ground and have a prayer group there pointing at me with bibles in hand, telling me to rebuke the evil image. There are those things which are blatant in their meanings, and then there are things, such as the true history of the cross – which are more-or-less hidden in their representations. This is where someone has to seek the real truth, and not ones based on just general acceptance from traditions and passed down through history. The “cross” was never considered as a symbol of power because it was a symbol solely conceived by mankind, to stand as a particular representation – whether that representation was to be identified to Baal or Christ. There are however, many symbols which are true representations of knowledge and spiritual powers of the Almighty, which I will be covering in the latter parts of this chapter. Our personal faith, commitment or representation of it, really does not have any bearing on how God views us. He knows what’s in our hearts and what we represent as a person and what the icon or item means in a spiritual sense. What we need to do however is seek to know the truth when it comes to spiritual matters so that we do not make the mistake of allowing others to dictate or recommend things which may not be healthy to our overall walk. After the sack of Israel in 70AD by Rome – a lot of the “truths” were mandated and coordinated by the Roman Catholic Church. Today, here is a picture of that same church. Again, there are symbols which are blatant, and things which are questionable.
The roman catholic church may make the “official” claim that the cross represents the crucifixion of Peter being crucified upside down – however, to probate into this argument: why did the Vatican create a throne to represent Peter – knowing good and well Peter would not have approved of such a thing. Even more suspicious – is that the biblical scriptures (New Testament) which the Catholic Church canonized gives no mention how Peter was crucified, or that he was crucified at all. The only places which we can find the details of the crucifixion of Peter is historically through Rome, and also in "The Acts of Peter" (2nd century CE), where we can find the story of Peter being crucified upside-down, supposedly at Peter's request, because he stated he was "unworthy to die in the same manner as my Lord." However, neither mentions an inverted cross, or even a cross at all – only that he wanted to be crucified with his head facing toward the ground. It would be unlikely that they would have inverted an already created cross towards the ground anyhow, and even as such – the nails in his feet or ankles would not have been able to sustain the fullness of his weight on that inverted cross. So the claims of the Catholic Church, and the evidence thereof, do not coincide with the facts. To me personally, the cross represents something important – even if the history and how the cross of today was originally born. It represents 3 points of God – The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. The Father being the top of the cross, pointing into the heavens. The bottom, which represents the Son, His sacrifice, His Blood and His walk here on earth. And the horizontal bar, which represents the Spirit of God – which comforts and guides us from the east to the west. The Hexagram The hexagram or otherwise known as the “Seal of Solomon”, and the “Star of David” – has been around for an extremely long time. The first observed symbols appearing on a stone bearing the shield from the arch of a 3-4th century synagogue in the Galilee. Its usage as a sign of Jewish identity began in the Middle Ages, though its religious usage began much earlier. There are many usages of this star pattern, which found its way into Hinduism and other Eastern Religions – and truly supports and substantiates the case that the early walks of the apostles led them into India and the other outlining countries. In various places in the Qur'an, it is written that David and King Solomon were prophets and kings and therefore they are revered figures by Muslims. But even in our very own bibles, and the Hebrew scrolls – it reveals the same thing. King David and King Solomon were the principal architects and founders of Israel as a nation, and as a people through the blessings and bestowment by God, The Father.
In the Indian cultures, the original meaning of this symbol was lost and has been replaced by something quite different. The two components are called 'Om' and the 'Hrim' in Sanskrit, and symbolize man's position between earth and sky. The downward triangle symbolizes Shakti, the sacred embodiment of femininity, and the upward triangle symbolizes Shiva, or Agni Tattva, representing the focused aspects of masculinity. The mystical union of the two triangles represents Creation, occurring through the divine union of male and female. The two locked triangles are also known as 'Shanmukha' - the six-faced, representing the six faces of Shiva & Shakti's progeny Kartikeya. This symbol is also a part of several yantras and has deep significance in Hindu ritual worship and mythology.
In witchcraft, the six-pointed star is commonly used both as a talisman and for conjuring spirits. In the Book The History and Practice of Magic, Vol. 2, the six-pointed star is called the talisman of Saturn and it is also referred to as the Seal of Solomon. It discredits the originating source of the symbol, the historical and spiritual meanings, and consequently uses it sort of the same way that we have used the knowledge of Einstein , with his understanding of the atomic and sub-atomic. It can be used as an instrument to save lives, or one to destroy with.
The hexagram has also been perverted and used for magical purposes by people such as Aleister Crowley – and even been perverted as a symbol in whole with the creation of the unicursal hexagram. It is used to express a high level of self-confidence and belief that one can achieve the highest of goals and become a divine figure. Crowley's adaptation of the unicursal hexagram into Thelema, placed a five petaled rose, (symbolizing the divine) in the center; the symbol as a whole making eleven (five petals of the rose plus six points of the hexagram), the number of divine union. A unicursal hexagram can also be seen as a symbol of the solar system in some Pagan philosophies, with the central intersection representing the sun and the outer intersections and points representing the celestial bodies
The Jewish symbol is a very powerful symbol indeed – and those surrounding themselves with the arcane knew it – which is why it has been perverted for personal gain and magical incantations. The actual meaning will have to be left for the Father and/or Jesus to explain – but there is no question to its roots or heritage. Adolph Hitler used the “Star of David” to mark the Jewish people , and in turn used it to identify those which were to be subsequently slaughtered. The Pentagram The pentagram , or five pointed star is one of those symbols which has fell under much scrutiny. It is widely used in wiccan, and pagan practices – but let us look more carefully at this symbol. The number 5 has always been regarded as mystical and magical, yet essentially 'human'. We have five fingers/toes on each limb extremity. We commonly note five senses - sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. We perceive five stages or initiations in our lives - birth, adolescence, coitus, parenthood and death. In these, there are many other symbolic references to the number 5. In Christianity, five were the wounds of Christ on the cross. It is also believed to be the “Star of Jacob” (Numbers 24:17) finds it fulfillment in the "manifestation" of Jesus to the Gentiles (Matt. 2:1-2). This is also a five pointed star. The Amish and other traditional German Baptists have long used these “barn stars” around their property. To some it may just be of simple ornamental value, but it became increasingly popular in the 1930s -1940s and up into today. There was a story which slowly evolved that the Pennsylvania Dutch farmers put the "hex signs" on their barns to keep evil spirits away or to bring them good luck. Whether this is factual or not, and whether it represents why they do so today is speculative. There were five virtues of the medieval knight - generosity, courtesy, chastity, chivalry and piety as symbolized in the pentagram device of Sir Gawain.
The USA uses this same star to represent both the stars (suggestive of states) in our flag, and also as the principal star in our currency. Even the Hollywood “stars” are the five pointed stars. It does raise question as to why it was a five pointed star rather than a 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10 pointed star. Perhaps it is because it is the most basic of geometric star patterns – or perhaps there was an underlying reason. The five pointed star in fact originated from Islam, contrary to any belief that witchcraft somehow outdates the faith of the Middle Eastern religions. The Muslims have a five pointed star to represent the five pillars of Islam. These five pillars are each named: Shahada, Salah, Zakat, Saum, and Hajj
Flag of Turkey
The meaning of these pillars are ritualistic, much like the Old Testament or Judaism is. They stand for 5 responsibilities of the believer. The first is Shahada – which is Testimony and declaration of faith, the second is Salah – Prayer 5 times a day, the third is Zakat – 2 ½% charity to the poor, the fourth is Saum – Fasting during the month of Ramadan, and finally the fifth which is called Hajj – A pilgrimage to Mecca at least once a lifetime. Now this is a much different view of religious responsibility in the Christian perspective – however it is quite similar to Judaism in its structure – even embracing many of the Old Testament figures, especially Moses and Abraham. One must understand however that the God, Allah – and the God “The Father”, are one in the same, the God of Abraham, the God of Moses, and the God of our redeemer Jesus Christ. The pentagram has been perverted from its original meanings by the pagans, those conducting sorcery and witchcraft – or those which believe in the “self”. Two major examples of this is the wiccan practice, and the satanic practices – which are in truth, one in the same – both perverted versions of a sacred symbol which is much older and ancient than either of those religions. The wiccan kiss is fivefold - feet, knees, womb, breasts, lips. 5 is an important number to the wiccans, because it represents the five points of the elements and the five points of their views in creation and existence.
Wiccan Symbol of the elements and the spirit
Satanic Symbol denouncing the Holy Trinity
The Satanic Symbol is referred to as the Sigil of Baphomet. They use it much the same way as the Pythagoreans, as Tartaros literally translates from Greek as a "Pit" or "Void" in Christian terminology (the word is used as such in the Bible, referring to the place where the fallen angels are fettered). The Pythagorean Greek letters are most often replaced by the Hebrew letters לויתןforming the name Leviathan. Less esoteric LaVeyan Satanists use it as a sign of rebellion or religious identification, the three downward points symbolising rejection of the Holy Trinity.
The angelic order were referenced as “stars” many times in the bible, and also in the torah. These “stars” will also have symbolic stars representing themselves – which is where many of the ancient star patterns of old came from. The most important thing is to not get sucked into the deceptive nature and the pagan perversion of these symbols. It is quite easily identified, if the biblical account for Lucifer is correct – which star he represents. In Latin, the word "Lucifer", meaning "Light-Bringer" (from lux, lucis, "light", and ferre, "to bear, bring"), is a name for the "Morning Star" (the planet Venus in its dawn appearances). The Latin Vulgate version of the Bible used this word twice to refer to the Morning Star: once in 2 Peter 1:19 to translate the Greek word "Φωσφόρος" (Phosphoros), which has exactly the same literal meaning of "Light-Bringer" that "Lucifer" has in Latin; and once in Isaiah 14:12 to translate "( "היללHêlēl), which also means "Morning Star". In the latter passage the title of "Morning Star" is given to the tyrannous Babylonian king, who the prophet says is destined to fall. This passage was later applied to the prince of the demons, and so the name "Lucifer" came to be used for Satan, and was popularized in works such as Dante Alighieri's Inferno and John Milton's Paradise Lost, but for English speakers the greatest influence has been its use in the King James Version (more modern English versions translate the term as "Morning Star" or "Day Star"). In perspective, the morning star – if in conjunction with the planets would be Venus. Venus is called Phosphorus and Lucifer, the latter name meaning "light bearer." Because Venus rotates one-hundred and eighty degrees on its polar axis between inferior conjunctions, at each superior conjunction Venus shows Earth the face that during the inferior conjunction faced the Sun, while the side that was facing the Earth during the conjunction now faces the Sun. But this is not the most extraordinary feature of the Venus cycle. When one plots the cycle of any important turning point of the cycle of Venus for five or more consecutive cycles, a remarkable pattern forcefully emerges — a five-pointed star. Is this symbol or pattern of Venus’s orbits the correct symbol for Lucifer? Accounting for what the Satanists and pagans believe in their symbolism, it could be a possibility. The Eight Pointed and Seven Pointed Stars – Octagram and Heptagram/Septagram I am confronting the eight pointed star before the seventh pointed star because of the religious/spiritual confusion surrounding them. Somewhere in history and the adoption/adaptation of these two symbols became dislodged and it is important to understand approximately where this dislodging occurred. The eight-point star was used as a symbol long before the rise of Islam. Nevertheless Islam sees the eight pointed star as an important symbol in their art and their symbolism. It is believed that the eight pointed star was also one of the Solomon Seals protecting from evil and foul spirits and could have been the symbol found upon his ring. The eight-pointed star is an Islamic symbol of harmony. It is called khatim or khatim sulayman, seal of the prophets, as in signet ring. The phrase “seal of the prophets” is also used in the Koran and has particular ideological meaning for Muslims. Moroccan zillij artisans also refer to the eight-point star as sibniyyah, sabniyyah, which is a derivative of the number seven sab’ah. The design of the Muslim khatam was likely inspired by Jewish version, which is the Seal of Solomon. Muslim legend recounts Solomon using the star to capture djinns, genies, the immaterial counterparts to humans. The symbol is also called The Rub el Hizb (Arabic: الحزب رب is an Islamic symbol which is ) found on a number of emblems and flags. In Arabic, Rub means lord,
sustainer, provider, supporter, nourisher, sovereign, ruler, master, or protector, while Hizb means a group, party, or sect. The Rub el Hizb is an eighth of a juz'. The symbol is used as a marker for the end of a chapter in Arabic calligraphy. It is represented by two overlapping squares as in the Unicode glyph ۞ at U+06DE An Italian nobleman named Pietro della Valle discovered the use of an eightpoint star as a seal in the ruins of the ancient city of Ur (~2000BC), Tell al Muqayyar, in the mid-seventeenth century. He wrote “I found on the ground some pieces of black Marble…which seem to be a kind of Seal like what the Orientals use at this day: for their Seals are only letters or written words…Amongst the other letters I discovered in a short time was…a star of eight points…”. Ur is considered by many to be the city of Ur Kasdim mentioned in the Book of Genesis as the birthplace of the patriarch Abram (Abraham). Abraham, the shared prophet of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam lived in the Sumerian city of Ur. Excavations from Ur reveal early use of the eight point star, often in the form of an eight petal rosette used in jewelry or metalwork decoratation. Ur is mentioned four times in the Tanakh or Old Testament, with the distinction "of the Kasdim/Kasdin"—traditionally rendered in English as "Ur of the Chaldees", referring to the Chaldeans, who were already settled there by around 900 BC. The name is found in Genesis 11:28, Genesis 11:31, and Genesis 15:7. In Nehemiah 9:7, a single passage mentioning Ur is a paraphrase of Genesis. (Nehemiah 9:7) Some could speculate that the eight pointed star represents Ishtar (or better known as Astarte) – but there is no connection between the symbol, and Ishtar. The oldest mention of Ishtar can be found in “The Epic of Gilgamesh” which is an epic poem from Ancient Mesopotamia and is among the earliest known works of literary fiction. Scholars believe that it originated as a series of Sumerian legends and poems about the mythological hero-king Gilgamesh, which were gathered into a longer Akkadian poem much later; the most complete version existing today is preserved on 12 clay tablets in the library collection of the 7th century BCE Assyrian king Ashurbanipal. It was originally titled He who Saw the Deep (Sha naqba īmuru) or Surpassing All Other Kings (Shūtur eli sharrī). Jewish circumcisions are traditionally performed on the 8th day of life, and with baptism being the New Testament equivalents of circumcision, the base of baptismal fonts often have eight sides. In the Christian community this is considered the Star of Regeneration. Eight is the symbol of regeneration, often associated with baptism or resurrection. In Christian views, it is considered the Star of Bethlehem – and can be seen in many mosaic craftworks of the Amish and the Mennonites as such.
Amish Star Quilt
Star of Bethlehem
Mennonite Star Quilt
Now , since we have accounted for the Christian, Muslim, and Judaic versions of what this symbol means, we now have to account for what the eight points means from a pagan perspective. The primary or chief deviation is the pagan fire wheel, but it also walks hand in hand with the other astrological based variations of the same. We need to be mindful when we start waking up to the fact that the deception that is out there is great. It is so great that it twists and perverts principal symbols and relevant meanings that should have their roots still in God, The Father. These symbols truly have power to them, both in the perverse and their original meaning – but we must recognize the differences before we can ever realize what they truly represent. This star later became the Star of Isis by the pagans. Many occultists have embraced the star of Isis having eight points and have fashioned jewelry to account for this belief, however the star of Isis is of 7 + 5 and 1 point as shown in this tablet. In Egypt, the orientation of the temple of Isis is described by an inscription which reads: “She (the star of Isis) shines into her temple on New Year’s Day and she mingles her light with that of her father Ra (the sun god)”. The particular star of Isis was Sothis, or Sirius (the Dog Star), and it has been determined by calculation that a conjunction of Sothis and the sun took place in 700 BC. This was the very date on which the great zodiac was constructed in the temple of Osiris at Denderah, so one can speculate that it was built as a memorial to the conjunction of Isis and Osiris (or Ra).
As a matter of fact, the eight pointed star is also considered the “Sigil of the Beast” by the Catholic Church because it is apparently suppose to represent 666 in the star of the demon Astaroth. But in truth the star and sigil of Astaroth is far from the eight pointed star as seen here. There is no evidence to support that the eight pointed star is connected to Ishtar, Astarte, Astaroth, or Isis. Both symbols seen within this picture are those which can be found in religious symbolism from both Islamic and Hindu cultures. Again we see the surface of the eight pointed star, with the swastika. Many question why the symbols were used by Hitler – but going back to historical beliefs, the Germans embraced the swastika meaning Thor or the Hammer of Thor, and possibly being connected to the Bronze Age sun wheel. If this is indeed the case, it would explain also the background eight pointed star – which represents the same concept of the pagan fire wheel.
There are some organizations out there which have adopted the more appropriate symbolism into their practices. Such as this star "Emetgis de Saitan" or 'Seal of the King of Hell'. The heptagram (or seven pointed star) has a dark side (like most symbols which were twisted from their original spiritual meanings) , but it also has a light side to it’s origin. The first heptagram to ever be used, was as a symbol in the Kabbalah – which means (Hebrew: , ַב ָּהlit. "receiving") , Kabbalah is a discipline and school of thought ק ָּ ל discussing the mystical aspect of Judaism. It is a set of esoteric teachings that are meant to explain the relationship between an infinite, eternal and essentially unknowable Creator with the finite and mortal universe of His creation. The septagram/heptagram is important in Western Kabbalah, where it symbolizes the sphere of Netzach, the seven planets, the seven alchemical metals, and the seven days of the week. In some belief systems the angelic septagram/heptagram was created by Azaradel for invocation of the Angels ruling the planetary days and hours of every week. Michael (Sun), Anael (Venus), Raphael (Mercury), Gabriel (Moon), Cassiel (Saturn), Sachiel (Jupiter) and Samiel (Mars) going from top clockwise. Azaradel is a fallen angel in Christian belief that appears in the first book of Enoch, where he is said to teach humans the motions of the moon. Much later alterations of this Kabbalah symbol were adopted by Aleister Crowley and the Ordo Templi Orientis where it was known as the Star (or Seal) of Babylon. Even more recent adaptations would be the acute heptagram which is known as the elven star or fairy star, a sacred symbol to Wiccans who follow the fairy tradition. It has also been adopted as an identifier by members of the other kin subculture. The number seven has always been the prime number of God the Father, so it comes as no surprise that this number in any pattern would be blatantly misused – there are over 1,500 references to the number 7 in the bible. In the Hebrew/Judaism – seven is also a prime number. The fact that the Torah begins with a verse containing 7 words and 28 letters (divisible by 7) is hardly remarkable. But when placed within the context of the overwhelming number of associations in Judaism with '7', a fascinating tapestry begins to unfurl surrounding the number, its roots, and its spiritual meaning. There are many other symbols which have been perverted from their original form but it will require much more depth to discuss all of these, perhaps in a separate book. The most important thing to remember when looking at symbols is to uncover their original meanings before jumping to conclusions – you may be surprised or shocked in your final findings. If we, as a culture – are going to be true to ourselves, then we must – at the very least seek out the truth in all things, as the bible suggests that we should do.
Chapter 7 – Angels and Spirits
You may think we walk alone, but we are NEVER alone
The foundation of Christianity as a whole is the ability to look beyond our world – to see outside of our own existence and scope of view. To be able to embrace the spiritual and supernatural feats of not only Christ, but all who walked for God in the Bible. All who truly stood as a beacon of strength and hope for God and His word and works, were surrounded by the mysterious and supernatural wonders. From the Walls of Jericho, to Noah’s Ark, to the staff of Aaron and Moses, to the blessings of Abraham, to Daniel in the Lion’s den, to the amazing works of Christ – you will not find the un-supernatural in the amazing
people of the Bible. But you also need to realize, that these were only the stories which were written down – it does not include the continuing and amazing works of God thereafter. The New Testament is and was compiled, and sourced, by the Roman Catholic Church – to think that there are not many amazing things to have occurred during the walks of the disciples after Christ ascended into Heaven is insane at best. I was raised with pretty much a conservative Baptist view toward a lot of the “spiritual” things and occurrences of this world – but I had many curiosities growing up so I was one of the “oh by the way” Christians – meaning that I didn’t really have my heart or roots set into God, and let’s face it – the majority of the Baptist churches out there are quite – boring. It’s more like attending a lecture about good and bad, right and wrong, than it is about really learning about who God is to me, personally. Even with that, the learning side was very tight and stringent – Miracle healings, divine intervention, demons and angels, bah! All those things happened during Christ’s life – but after that, there was no need for them so they just somehow “stopped”. The pastor was a very nice man, and even had some great humors about things at times – one time, he made the statement that he owned a Honda Accord, and said he loved that car, because when he took his family out – he always knew they were all in “one accord”. But at the same time the church embraced the concept that the spiritual aspects of God were isolated to the people of that day, because they always looked for “signs” and “wonders”. However after Christ – and the completion of the bible works (Paul) they were no longer needed so God stopped functioning in that way. Even way back then, I was compelled and knew God and Jesus existed – I didn’t know how, it wasn’t because everyone was telling me these things – it was more of a spiritual knowing. I was very young, very curious, and very rebellious so one thing led to another and before you knew it I was testing my hand at witchcraft to see if I could get some sort of proof or evidence that would confirm things one way or another – plus I thought at the time levitation or making someone fall in love with you from an enchantment would be really cool. I didn’t get either. Demons / Fallen Angels What I did get about 6 months into my spiritual deviation was a visit from something extremely terrifying. I was 16 or 17 at the time, and I was reclining in my room watching television – when all of a sudden my vision became blurry and distorted, it looked as if I was peering through a glass of water. I was so weak that I could not move out of the position I was in. I used what energy I had within myself to scream out to my mother who was several rooms away. She came in and sat down - I told her what I was experiencing and asked her to help me. She grabbed my arm and as she did, she started experiencing the exact same thing I was experiencing. Somehow she managed to get me up and we ran out of the room – I was exhausted, hot, in a panic state, and out of breath.. I asked her to come outside with me that I needed some fresh air. We went to the back porch and not 5 seconds after we were out there I heard something that I will never forget in this lifetime. A scream/growl that had many sounds and voices all at once. It was not something “of this earth”, and I include the heavenly angels in that classification because they were never meant to be “earth bound” beings. Whatever manner of creature it was around my house that night, it had took up some sort of interest in me, and was very unhappy that I escaped it’s grasp. I prayed very heartily that night – and made it my last with messing in witchcraft. I felt extremely at peace, and I did know within my spirit and heart that I was safe – so I ended up sleeping in my room alone that night. My mother would not step foot into my room that night, she thought I was crazy going back in there, and I think she had a problem going in there for a while afterwards. I wasn’t worried at all – because there was such a peace in there, a peace I couldn’t explain but I just knew. Even after that evening I was still very immature and young spiritually to understand God in a “heightened and deeper” state – but I knew I was not going to trek the other
direction any longer. I really felt compelled to draw closer to God. I wasn’t sure where to begin so I started reading, doing research and trying to find the truth about the other side of things. Over the years and during the course of my learning I became very interested in the biblical book Revelation, where angels were seen to be the deliverers and instruments of the apocalypse. I was frightened and fascinated at this because of my experiences with the occult – and the fact that God bestowed such trust in the angels that they hold the fates of mankind, in their hands. I was very interested in getting to the bottom of both my experiences and the experiences of other who messed around with the darker side of spirituality. It was then that I learned some very crucial pieces about angels both fallen and those which are still in heaven. “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” -- Colossians 1:16-17
Angels both fallen and those which are present in the kingdom itself have one very important thing in common other than the fact that they are all creations of the Father. And that is the gift in which God has granted to them, just as He did with mankind – freewill. There is very little context in the Bible about angels, why the battle in heaven was waged, why Lucifer was able to sway so many into following him. But through my studies into scripture, both Old and New – and also through the scriptures which weren’t “canonized” it hit me like a ton of bricks – Lucifer was able to seduce Eve and then Adam to directly go against the Father’s command not to partake of the fruit of knowledge (of both good and evil) – the same way he was able to sway the angelic hosts (1/3 of heaven) into partaking of his campaign against the Father. What he was able to lure them into believing is a mystery – but the whole relation between the fall of mankind and the fall of the angels, I believe has to somehow be interconnected. Something major had to occur in Heaven in order for 1/3 of the angelic order to be uprooted – the only thing which I can personally see is something surrounding the creation of mankind –I would find it highly unlikely that the war was waged over a friendly poker game gone sour, I may be mistaken in this so don’t quote me on it. There is some simple math that one has to do in order to know that the angelic order indeed has the gift of freewill. The first is Lucifer, how he was able to defy the Father in the garden, and also how the third of heaven which fell were able to rise up against the Father. The next, is the “Sons of God” (which can be found in Genesis 6:1-4) fell in love with the “daughters of men” and had offspring of what is called the “Nephilim” or Giants. This is the account of why the great flood of Noah had to occur – to wash the land clean of the angel’s interactions with mankind, which obviously was not accepted nor authorized by God. The list of good deeds carried out by angels in scripture does not always suggest that God commanded them to that specific task or even commanded them at all. One thing is clear however, when the bible suggests that God sent one – then there is a good chance that He did. We have to be cautious and careful in our view of any angel, whether that angel is fallen or that angel is kingdom bound. The word itself derives from Late Latin daemon, from Latin, spirit, from Greek daimon, divine power. The dictionaries online do not define “demon” correctly – most references point to “an evil supernatural being, devil”. I took it upon myself to find any reference that I could in scripture connecting Lucifer, or any other angels being considered the word , “evil”. I found no connection in scripture to this. The word, “EVIL” is listed 592 times in the King James Version of the bible. It is listed
from the beginning – in Genesis – all the way through to the very end – in Revelation. If we take a topical bible (referencing the word “evil”) such as Naves, or Torrey’s - we start seeing what evil really is – “The mouth” (by words/slander/lies/deception), “The eyes” (by desires / lusts / hatred), “The mind” (perverseness / lewdness / self indulgence and absorption / envious), “The heart” (bitter, without love, cruel intentions, wicked desires), and by “Action” – (carrying out those things in the mouth, the eyes, the mind, and the heart). Could the desires of Lucifer or the desires of another angel make them “evil”? Yes, but no different than it could for any of us. Evil in itself is based upon some sort of thought or action – not the being that has came into existence by the Father. A grave misconception is that the fallen angels (demons) were somehow deformed into hideous creatures of the night – losing all their former powers and glory. Scripture indicates this NO WHERE – as a matter of fact that idea closely resembles the beliefs of the cursed creatures in Greek mythology such as the centaurs, Echidna, Erinyes, Medusa, the Minotaur, etc… There is absolutely no biblical support for this sort of nonsense. As a matter of fact, it states that in the end times – Lucifer will deceive many – if I saw someone like this asking me for my support – despite how bent out of mind I might be at the time, my answer would be a resounding NO. Another greatly misunderstood concept about the fallen-ones, is that there is no hope for them. That they are bound forever to be disassociated with God and the Kingdom of Heaven. I could not disagree more – if that were the case then there would be no cause for the fallen to be kept around – God could have simply uncreated them – or destroyed them all in one fell swoop. This is also evident when Jesus was dealing with the most famous of “demons” (yet not demonic at all) presences in the bible, known as “Legion”. Mark 5:1-13 states this: 1 And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. 2 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 3 Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: 4 Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. 5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. 6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, 7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. 8 For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. 9 And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. 10 And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. 11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. 12 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. 13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea
Clearly you can see the state of the man, and what these ‘tormentors’ were doing to him – but look at what it says in Mark 5:6 “But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him”. The spirits/devils were not “demons” – but rather foul/unclean spirits. This story is very deep, Jesus did not condemn them – nor did He judge them. Instead He showed them mercy, and sent them into the swine. The swine were driven mad and drowned in the sea, but the spirits were released at that point back into the world. Jesus could have sent them reeling down into the abyss/pit – but he did not. There is something that one needs to truly identify here and that is, if Jesus felt there was no hope for them at all – and that they were truly hell bound beings – there would have been no reason to show them any mercy and the pit is where they all would be placed. A lot of Christians bark at Lucifer and curse him, scorn him, revile him – but think carefully, are we not becoming like him when we do this, and is it possible that this attitude could be the grand deception of Lucifer against humanity in itself? The bible states clearly to love your enemies as you would love yourself, period. It doesn’t say love one portion of the creation by the Father, and revile the fallen angels or those which have fell victim to lies and deceit. When Job was undergoing everything which was happening to him – he did not shout profanely at Satan, cursing him and reviling him – he persevered because he knew that God would keep him safe even though everything was looking bleak. We use the term “the devil made me do it”, and unfortunately we fall into this system of blaming someone (or something) else for our own poor judgment or bad decisions. The devil has not, cannot, and will not “make” anyone do anything. This is important to recognize because it is within our own selves that we can resist and rebuke those thoughts, feelings, desires, and tendencies that would otherwise go rampant if left unchecked. Lucifer is very wise, and does have the ability to taunt and seduce us with some things which can be extremely hard to resist, but Jesus proved in the desert/wilderness that it can be accomplished – even when we are at our weakest moments. It is crucial to identify those angels, both good and bad – are just as mankind of both good and bad. We have the ability to change, and as the granted freewill of all of the created, so do the fallen angels. If we are to take into consideration what Hebrews 13:1-3 states as literal statements: 1 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
Then we should be able to identify that the presence of God is ever present here on this earth, and even walks amongst us, both visible and invisible.
Biblical Angels The biblical account for angels as a whole in all their diversity, splendor, and magnificence is very vague and pales in explanation. The word “angel” actually comes from the Greek word aggelos, which means “messenger.” The matching Hebrew word mal'ak has the same meaning. Here are some visual facts about angels through scripture: Angels almost always appear in the form of a male figure; only one passage is questionable as being a female form. Angels have great diversity in their appearance Five types of angels are identified in the bible: Cherubim, Seraphim, Thrones, Archangels, Four Living Beasts .
In Genesis 18:1-19, God and two angels appeared as men and actually ate a meal with Abraham. Angels appear as men several times throughout the Bible (Joshua 5:13-14, Mark 16:5) Luke 24:3-4 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. John 20:12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
"In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory." (Isa 6:23 KJV)
Seraphim Four Living Beasts of Revelation
"... and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come." (Revelation 4:6-8 KJV)
"And their whole body, and their backs, and their hands, and their wings, and the wheels, were full of eyes round about, even the wheels that they four had ... And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle." (Ezek 10:12, 14 KJV)
Matthew 28:2-3 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightening and his clothing as white as snow. Acts 12:7 Now behold, and angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison: and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, Arise quickly! And his chains fell off his hands.
Figure in white – Lightning face White orb – of energy / lightning
The pictures above are two of the possibilities in connection with the two scriptures presented. While there could be a connection on the “orbs” caught on film, and the connection to angelic beings, it is speculative. One thing is for sure, angels have been described producing light, and having a face of “lightning”, so it leaves a lot of room for wonder. But if scripture again holds true to what Psalms 91:11 suggests, then it is one strong possibility. “11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. 12 In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone. 13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. 14 "Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. 15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation."
The Thrones are a class of celestial beings mentioned by Paul of Tarsus in Colossians 1:16 (New Testament) and related to the throne of God the Father. They are living symbols of God's justice and authority. According to the New Testament, these high celestial beings are among those Orders at the Christ's service. The Thrones are mentioned again in Revelation 11:16. The corresponding order of angels in Judaism is called the "abalim" or "arelim"/"erelim".The Ophanim (Wheels or Galgallin) is a different class of higher liberated celestial beings, under many Christian angelic hierarchies, that are also known as the "Thrones", from Daniel 7:9 (Old Testament). They are the carriers of the throne of God, hence the name. They are said to be great wheels covered in eyes.
And finally the Arch Angels – which according to many sources are 7. The seven angels that stood before God in Revelations are considered to be the Archangels. Although it is agreed that there were seven Archangels, there has been some debate on who the seven were. Most accounts name, Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, the remaining three are generally chosen from Metatron, Remiel, Sariel, Anael, Raguel and Raziel. The Archangels were the divine messengers between the humans and God. There are many that believe that we have guardian angels, or protectors – and I also believe that to be the case because of the numerous experiences that I have had throughout my own personal life. Angels are personal spiritual beings having aspects of intelligence, emotions, and will. This is true of both the good and bad angels. Angels possess intelligence (Matthew 8:29; 2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Peter 1:12), show emotions (Luke 2:13; James 2:19; Revelation 12:17), and demonstrate that they have wills (Luke 8:28-31; 2 Timothy 2:26; Jude 6). Angels are spirit beings (Hebrews 1:14) without true physical bodies. Although they do not have physical bodies, they are still personalities. Because they are created beings, their knowledge is limited. This means they do not know all things as God does (Matthew 24:36). They do seem to have greater knowledge than humans, however, which may be due to three things. First, angels were created as a higher order of creatures in the universe than humans are. Therefore, innately they possess greater knowledge. Second, angels study the Bible
and the world more thoroughly than humans do and gain knowledge from it (James 2:19; Revelation 12:12). Third, angels gain knowledge through long observation of human activities. Unlike humans, angels do not have to study the past; they have experienced it. Therefore, they know how others have acted and reacted in situations and can predict with a greater degree of accuracy how we may act in similar circumstances. Though they have wills, angels, like all creatures, are subject to the will of God. Good angels are sent by God to help believers (Hebrews 1:14). Here are some activities the Bible ascribes to angels: They praise God (Psalm 148:1, 2; Isaiah 6:3). They worship God (Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 5:8-13). They rejoice in what God does (Job 38:6-7). They serve God (Psalm 103:20; Revelation 22:9). They appear before God (Job 1:6; 2:1). They are instruments of God's judgments (Revelation 7:1; 8:2). They bring answers to prayer (Acts 12:5-10). They aid in winning people to Christ (Acts 8:26; 10:3). They observe Christian order, work, and suffering (1 Corinthians 4:9; 11:10; Ephesians 3:10; 1 Peter 1:12). They encourage in times of danger (Acts 27:23, 24). They care for the righteous at the time of death (Luke 16:22). Angels are an entirely different order of being than humans. Human beings do not become angels after they die. Angels will never become, and never were, human beings. God created the angels, just as He created humanity. The Bible nowhere states that angels are created in the image and likeness of God, as humans are (Genesis 1:26). Angels are spiritual beings that can, to a certain degree, take on physical form. It is chiefly because of the reasons above that physical “possession” , such as the one shown in Mark 5:113 with “Legion” – cannot occur by angels. The body is not a suitable host for a being such as an angel – it is however suitable for wicked spirits of those which have passed on. We have to understand that the great Day of Judgment has not occurred yet – so therefore, these beings have the ability to roam free until they are called forth or unless God has placed them in the pit to await that time. Most spirits have not found or learned how to present themselves back into the physical world, but some have which is why we have sightings of ghosts, poltergeists, EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) , mediums are able to commune with the deceased, etc. Spirits There are many references to spirits in the bible – Christ spoke of them, they are written about in almost every book of the bible, and John teaches us how to discern them: 1 John 4 1Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world
4You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit[a] of truth and the spirit of falsehood. John was not speaking metaphorically – nor was it a metaphor when Jesus taught the disciples and many others how to cast out unclean / impure / and wicked spirits. These are literal statement. In Deuteronomy 18:9-13, it speaks about the practices of the mystics and mediums that use the spirits to attain powers and knowledge: “9 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in [a] the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. 13 You must be blameless before the LORD your God.” All through the ages, mankind has established the existence of good spirits, and bad spirits - EVERY established culture has acknowledged it, EVERY tribe/civilization whether that tribe is "cultured" by western ideology and/or standards or they are not still has embraced the spiritual realm as being very real - and very active. Individuals for the separate tribes have been put in place to deal with these spirits - and aid the rest of the tribe when calamity strikes. Shamans, Medicine men, witch doctors, clerics, bishops, priests, etc We - being the "cultured and refined" western civilization - have became too laxidasical in our belief of the spirit world - and have embraced our technological and medical breakthroughs, and most of us have found some way of allowing skepticism to sculpt our views - why? Well - when you can rationalize something away or find some scientific method of defining the unexplainable - it's notably acceptable - we don’t typically talk to our buddies and say "I had an encounter with a spirit" - we say instead - my feet were tingling and cold last night, I need to go see a doctor. Bumps in the middle of the night - insanity - night terrors the list is to long to even mention... All of which carry a thousand scientific possibilities - all of which only have one true answer, and everyone is so quick to make their own view the truth, especially those of modern medicine.
Our forefathers - and ancestors - kept us, kept our linage alive - all this time, without medical and scientific breakthroughs of our modern society - - Think about that carefully..... We need shows such as "Ghost Hunters", and other paranormal sleuth groups to re-evaluate and re-establish something that our forefathers already had established?? If you think about it - that's shear and utter madness in itself... We knew, now we don’t; now we're interested in finding out again - with the preconceived notion that it's not true or real... So, have we advanced - or have we truly regressed? I know there are alot of skeptics out there, but I study in theology, theosophy, and preternatural anomalies (or the supernatural). I have came a long way in my studies and investigations - and I know without a shadow of a doubt, that we are not "alone" in creation.. For some - especially found in those which practice Christianity in a "religious" aspect, the supernatural forces (or anomalies) are always evil unless something divine occurs by their presences. I am a firm Christian man in my faith and belief, but I am not religious by any means - and I will tell you that if you believe that spirits in general are “evil” we really need to talk... The bible holds many accounts of spiritual interactions which weren’t evil. One example is when Saul confronts a medium in Endor to call up Samuel, in 1 Samuel 28... The desire was wrong of Saul, so was the action and the pretenses, but hopefully no one would consider Samuel as being “evil” because he was able to communicate from the other side.
The most vulgar of all spirits are those which lead people in life convincing them there is no God, there is no power greater than mankind. The best method of influencing the minds of the uncertain is with the minds of the undermined. It is with these types of individuals (and spirits leading them) , that satan has rooted the greatest stronghold – because it is with them that he attempts to capsize religion with reason, supernatural with science, belief and law with philosophy. It is these same people that believe that the world should have “freedom from religion” rather than “freedom of religion”, the same sort of mindset that Hitler had when he ordered the burning of any and all religious books and bibles during the holocaust. This country is slowly migrating to this mentality, whether the Christian believer wishes to take up notice or not. There are more laws in place to deter Christianity, then there are to protect and preserve it. People with this spirit generally support scientific explanation, yet fail to recognize the scientific breakthroughs such as the genome project conducted through National Geographic, which proves without a shadow of a doubt that all men on the face of this earth originated from one seed. This can be isolated through men’s Y chromosome and allows science to get a “map” or rather a blueprint, of each person’s ancestors. Or how a person can sustain life after being struck by a bolt of lightning, which
travels about 60,000 miles per second, can reach temperatures of over 54,000 degrees fahrenheit, hot enough to fuse silica sand into glass channels, and has an average power rating of about a terawatt, or one trillion watts. This is not to mention the return stroke of power from the lightning, and has an amp output on average of around 5,000 to 20,000 amps. Under normal circumstances, it only takes about 0.030 amps to kill a person with a weak heart, though it's usually around 0.05 amps to kill a healthy person. When science and the laws of nature can offer no viable explanation – this particular spirit postulates to an amazing yet rare scientific phenomenon instead of miracles and divine intervention. What do you think happens when evil / cruel / wicked spirits go unchecked and unmanaged? If you have a world filled with people who do not believe, do not have the time in their busy schedules to even think about spiritual things, do not want to know out of fear or those which have a grave misunderstanding of the spiritual world? The foulness of the spiritual world reigns over this unsuspecting world – and the world is slowly driven into chaos and madness. This has been slowly evolving after Christ’s Resurrection – and after the knowledge of the old ways has been put down, forgotten, or lost in dealing with these foul beings. Individuals which delve into the occult and spirit-channeling types of practice do so for a reason. The evil beings are much quicker to reveal themselves and divulge information (or disinformation) to the practitioner. From an occult standpoint, this interaction enables the person to learn secrets, to obtain abilities which they would not naturally have, or to capitalize on it by means of offering their services to unsuspecting victims seduced by their arcane knowledge. People generally think of mediums and those which deal with the dead as requirements to be in contact with the deceased but the truth of the matter is, the spirits and spiritual world is all around us – all the time, the majority of us however cannot perceive it as such. Whether this is resulting from individual understanding, upbringing, teachings, beliefs, personal comfort zone, or views, it still does not change the truth behind the veil of the seen world. I talk to an invisible God, I also talk to a “physically” deceased man called Jesus – and I talk to the Spirit of God, called The Holy Spirit all the time. If by my acceptance of these three, I reject the rest – do I even truly believe in the promise of eternal life in the hereafter? There is good spirits as well, but as scripture states; every spirit must be tested to see if they are spirits of God, or spirits of the antichrist. We have the option of shrugging the notion off that we have spiritual guests around us playing a spiritual game of chess and tug of war – but that does not mean it is not there, or that it will ever go away no matter how much we refuse its existence.
Chapter 8 – The Holy Spirit
The most important Spirit you could ever come to know
The Fatal Sin
The Holy Spirit is by far one of the most mysterious beings listed in the Bible – and yet very obvious through scripture that It /He / She (or all of them together) can cause God to be unforgiving of a sin, because it is listed that the one unforgiveable sin is blasphemy of The Holy Spirit. Matthew 12:31-32 states this – “31Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 32And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” There are many speculations as to what Christ was trying to teach here, we do know that Jesus spoke in parables often times, and wanted those that would understand, to understand the ways of The Father. There are a lot of idea which are floating around, such as the context of the situation Christ was in at the time with the Pharisees following Him around trying to find fault and flaw in His teachings and activities. Matthew 12 starts out with the Pharisees trying to point out faults at the disciples – and later in Matthew 12:24 it reads that the Pharisees make this comment about Jesus specifically “24But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.” . They were suggesting that Jesus used the powers of Satan to cast out evil spirits/devils – instead of having the power of The Father. This statement is very strong, and so was the response of Christ – in Matthew 12:31-32. Speaking against the Holy Spirit, speaking against the powers of God the Father, speaking against miracles and divine works through God are those which are unforgiveable. It all equals one very important thing, rejection of the Holy Spirit. This rejection can come from both the one who believes, and also to the one who disbelieves. The rejection occurs when an individual (or group) refuse to acknowledge the blessings and bestowments are from or are of God. If for example, someone was divinely cured of cancer (which there are many, many, many accounts of spiritual healings out in the world) from God – and it was attributed to the actions and activities of Satan, or the person which it occurred to, or any individual assisting in prayer of, or a spiritual healer laying on hands to try to heal– being in league with Lucifer and acquiring those powers from him instead of God.
Rejection can also occur in other things as well – to blaspheme here is not to cuss or swear, it is to pervert – to disassociate spiritual things which occur away from God and give the credits to Satan. Even the bad things which occur must be associated with God – for example the plagues onto Egypt and Pharaoh through Moses by God. Had Pharaoh accused Moses as being in league with the devil (or perhaps he did), the harshness from God would probably have been that much more severe. But we also must remember that God sets the rules – even for those which live in darkness, such as Satan and his followers. It may not seem this way if we look at things from a personal perspective or take a generalized view on the world, but in truth if Satan had his way, we would already be stripped of our gift and blessing of choices, or to be able to live in relative peace in our faith amongst disbelievers. All through the ages scholars and studies have tried to identify and define The Holy Spirit as known in the Trinity but finding provable and substantial evidence to give a set definition is almost impossible, because is widely a matter of personal accounts through experiences and faith. We know that The Holy Spirit has been here before the firmament was in place. Genesis 1:1-2 reads as such: “1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” The Spirit of God / and the Holy Spirit are one in the same being – throughout the scriptures. The Spirit of God comes upon a person, and dwells within us in such a way that it could very well be considered a spiritual possession – a bonding, connection, or even literal “twain” with our own spiritual existence.
Here is a small account of the passages of The Spirit of God clearly showing that the Holy Spirit fills, resides within, and comes upon an individual: 2 Chronicles 24:20 - Then the Spirit of God came on Zechariah 2 Chronicles 15:1 - Now the Spirit of God came on Azariah the son of Oded Job 33:4 - The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life. 1 Samuel 11:6 - Then the Spirit of God came upon Saul mightily when he heard these words, and he became very angry. Ephesians 4:30 - Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Romans 8:9 - However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Exodus 31:3 - I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship Romans 8:14 - For all who are led by God's Spirit are God's children.
Matthew 12:28 - But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you. 1 Corinthians 12:3 - Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost 1 Corinthians 3:16 - Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 1 Peter 4:14 - If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. Matthew 3:16 - And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: Numbers 24:2 - And Balaam lifted up his eyes and saw Israel camping tribe by tribe; and the Spirit of God came upon him. 1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. Acts 2:4 - And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 4Ezra14:22 - But if I have found grace before thee, send the Holy Ghost into me, and I shall write all that hath been done in the world since the beginning, which were written in thy law, that men may find thy path, and that they which will live in the latter days may live Matthew 3:11 - I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire We also know that the Holy Spirit sustains and gives life, comforts, brings joy, and holds to truth by these passages. To list all evidences of the Holy Spirit would take a completely separate book, as the entire Bible is entwined with the actions and activities of the Spirit. The word “joy” alone, is referenced 242 times: Job Holy Spirit gives life 33:4 Holy Spirit sustains life 34:14-15 Psalms Creates life 104:30 Sustains the repentant 51:11-12 Let them ever shout for joy 5:11
Ezekiel Spirit brings life 37:1 Romans Joy in the Holy Ghost 14:17 Galatians Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace 5:22 1 Thessalonians Joy of the Holy Ghost 1:6 Luke Returned to Jerusalem with great joy 24:52 Proverbs To the counselors of peace is joy 12:20 1 Chronicles David the king also rejoiced with great joy 29:9 2 Samuel David danced in exceeding joy 16:14 John The truth will set you free 8:32 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth 16:13
even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me 15:26 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive 14:17
Ephesians For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth 5:9
Fruits of The Spirit
I was always one to pose the question, how do you really tell the difference between the self confessing Christian, and the spirit-filled practicing Christian. There really is a difference because the self confessing Christian is the type of Christian who may truly believe in God, but does not maintain a healthy and loving relationship with The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit – and they can be known by the “fruits they bear”. These “Fruits” are actually representations of a person’s spiritual health and being. This relationship the person either maintains or does not maintain can really carry a substantial weight over
the person’s ability to have healthy relationships outside of God too and also the person’s spiritual testimony toward others. People that have no real connection with God generally do not seek a deeper more spiritual meaning in love either. The below passages teach of these Fruits, and how you can identify someone that possesses them: Ephesians 5:8-9 8For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Galatians 5:22-23 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Romans 14:17 17For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. The below scriptures is Jesus teaching about the Fruits of The Spirit in us: Luke 6:43-45 43For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 44For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. 45A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. There are many fruits that are listed in the bible; however the fruit of The Spirit is specifically the ripeness of one’s spiritual being with the Father.
Gifts of the Spirit
I use to be one of those individuals that would look at those in the charismatic churches as being “Holy Rollers”, or wacked too many times in the head as a child. I remember turning on the television and watching TV evangelists of churches which participated in these activities, just to have a good laugh. This was a long time ago, during my soul searching years – where I was a dull and boring pew warmer, instead of taking up cheerleading for Christ and God. I really thought that people that acted this way were trying to get attention, prove a point, or just fit in. That was until I started realizing that there was something wrong with me – I wasn’t joyful, I wasn’t those things which define people having the good fruits, and I definitely wasn’t having a good time in my interactions with the Lord. Much later down the road I learned through scripture what the actual Gifts of the Spirit were – and then I really had to ask myself the question, “Who am I to judge anyone”... Remembering back in my youth at all the times I laughed at those celebrating, being joyful, dancing as David danced, singing, clapping their hands and shouting for glory, being slain in the Spirit of God, speaking in tongues, faith healings, etc…. One can argue all they want about the authenticity of any given individual, but no matter what argument is posed, where do we have the right to do so? And even more so, it is not our concerns that those who fraudulently act as if they have been spiritually touched by the Holy Spirit have to worry about, they will ultimately answer to Jesus, God, The Holy Spirit, and all of the Assemblies of God. Some people may be frauds, but that does not discredit what the scripture holds to be true, which are the Gifts that the Spirit, that The Spirit can and does bestow upon people. Even Christ Himself stated in John 14:12-13, which was originally spoken to the apostles, but applies to all who truly follow and love Christ. In most scriptures, the apostles wanted to share the truth that was revealed to them, with the rest of the world. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. Below is what I call the blueprint for the Spirit’s gifts. It does not specify all the gifts which are made available – because it speaks of diversities (or many different variations) of the listed gifts. 1 Corinthians 12
1Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 2Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 3Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 4Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 12For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 14For the body is not one member, but many. 15If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 16And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 17If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 18But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. 19And if they were all one member, where were the body? 20But now are they many members, yet but one body. 21And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 24For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked. 25That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 26And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. 27Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 29Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 31But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
This entire chapter speaks out in specifics of many gifts – there are many other spiritual gifts out there which are available to the believer – things which defy gravity and surpass reason. Jesus indicated that if we had true faith, the size of a single mustard seed (Matthew 17:20) – we could command the mountain move, it would obey. Of course Christ was not referring to a literal mountain of stone – but He was most definitely referring to a spiritual mountain. Jesus was given the Holy Spirit without limits (John 3:34), in other words He had the entire power of God at His disposal – we on the other hand must grow, learn, find the spirit, believe in the invisible, have an intimate relationship with our daddy, God – our Lord and Savior Jesus, and yes, The Holy Spirit of God.
The Holy Spirit is the power, breath, love, life, and the being of the Father. Jesus refers to The Spirit as the Comforter, more powerful than that of himself. The Holy Spirit sustains us which is why we cannot live by bread alone “And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” We can acknowledge this case by fasting, and can be observed by how long our bodies can physically survive without – just as Jesus did when he was led by the Spirit to the wilderness and fasted for 40 days. By allowing God to sustain us in the without, we learn that we are with instead. Just as many people who have experienced near death experiences – it can bring people closer to the spiritual aspect of our existence. While many that have experienced these near death experiences come back with visions and life changing revelations there are others which did not experience anything, or are too afraid to speak about them. In these accounts, they may not have been allowed to see the other side or come back with a revelation by the Father’s choice, for one reason or another. Perhaps it was the simple fact that they need to grow more – or as a spiritual test. Or possible still, the darkness they saw was the darkness of sleep until the great day of judgment. Being “awake” means more than having your eyes open at 6:30 am to prepare for work – the state of being awake means to having been revealed, and have faith in the truth. There have been many debates over life-death experiences, some report seeing familiar faces, some a bright light – some very horrific images, and some complete darkness. Given to science to examine it would postulate that the synapses in the brain are misfiring and causing random images to appear from our subconscious – as if in a dream state. I disagree because the brain’s activity ceases as the body stops functioning – if that hypothesis was correct, then the heart would also have random misfires at death, and it does not. There is no cognitive activity of the brain in a physical state of death. One could argue that the experiences occurred at the point of revival in the body – however, how does this account for reports of individuals floating above their body and seeing (even in some cases) describing in detail – the individuals which are present in the room.
Titles of the Spirit
The official “titles” which the Spirit of God/Holy Spirit has are in relation of the following: Eternal Spirit (Hebrews 9:14) Free Spirit (Psalms 51:12) Good Spirit (Nehemiah 9:20; Psalms 143:10) Holy Spirit (Psalms 51:11; Luke 11:13; Ephesians 1:13;4:30) Spirit, The (Matthew 4:1; John 3:6; 1 Timothy 4:1) Spirit of the Lord God (Isaiah 61:1)
Spirit of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2; Acts 5:9) Spirit of God (Genesis 1:2; 1 Corinthians 2:11; Job 33:4) Spirit of the Father (Matthew 10:20) Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9; 1 Peter 1:11) Spirit of the Son (Galatians 4:6) Spirit of life (Romans 8:2; Revelation 11:11) Spirit of grace (Zechariah 12:10; Hebrews 10:29) Spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10) Spirit of adoption (Romans 8:15) Spirit of wisdom (Isaiah 11:2; Ephesians 1:17) Spirit of counsel (Isaiah 11:2) Spirit of might (Isaiah 11:2) Spirit of understanding (Isaiah 11:2) Spirit of knowledge (Isaiah 11:2) Spirit of the fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2) Spirit of truth ( John 14:17;15:26) Spirit of holiness (Romans 1:4) Spirit of revelation (Ephesians 1:17) Spirit of judgment (Isaiah 4:4;28:6) Spirit of burning (Isaiah 4:4) Spirit of glory (1 Peter 4:14) Out of all the titles which the Spirit carries, you can start to see a pattern or design of creation, and where The Spirit fits in as a whole. All those things which represent the positive aspects of our own existence can be found within these titles. In Genesis 2:7 it reads “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul”, In Job 27:3 it states “All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils”, and in Job 33:4 “The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life”. These scriptures all run parallel with one another, and to put it all together – it is my own personal belief that we, being the created image of God which were born of dust and the breath of God, are the literal marriage/matrimony between heaven and earth – comprised of both, completed into one being. What an amazing poetry of love, life and creation God brought together, when He created us. While there are those which believe that we were not “created from the dusts of the earth”, all one has to do “scientifically” is look into the periodic table of elements and remember that science can prove onto itself, but it hasn’t and cannot disprove that God is the start of it all. One may ask, “What is the scientific proof that man’s body came from the dust of the ground, as the Bible says?” The human body is made up of materials and minerals found on the surface of the earth, and not from its molten core. Oxygen, being the most abundant element on the earth’s crust or on the ground, makes up 65 percent of the human
body, and carbon, also abundant on the top soil of the ground, is about 19 percent, and hydrogen is about 10 percent. Below are the primary elements, the other elements are not as significant as the rest of these, but they are still present. 65% Oxygen , 18.6% Carbon, 9.7% Hydrogen , 3.2% Nitrogen , 1.8% Calcium, 1.0% Phosphorus, 0.4% Potassium, 0.2% Sodium, 0.2% Chlorine, 0.06% Magnesium, 0.04% Sulfur, 0.007% Iron, 0.0002% Iodine There are a total of 59 elements found in the human body, and they are all found on the earth’s crust. This is amazing because what the Bible says perfectly match the scientific composition of a human body. The scientific community cannot dispute this fact. The more we try to understand how things are created, the further we get from knowing or understanding the Creator as a main part in our family – as a main part of our life, and existence here on Earth. But, apart from that – while science continues to advance in its tests and test equipment we see something that many Christians are already aware of, the proof and existence of a “Higher Being”, a “Higher Order”, but instead of trying to distract the obvious, why do they not just say God. I can answer “why”, it is because it would capsize scientific reasoning – since “God” cannot be studied on a scientific level, apart from looking at certain facets of creation individually, it would destroy the integrity of many known scholars and scientists who have put stake every credential they have towards scientific explanation. In other words – science can “almost” be considered a religion in itself. It has its own viewpoints and has its own belief system, all stemming that everything within our creation and the creation of all things – can be explained through scientific means, or the minds of man. To hold true to what scriptures say, oxygen (man’s word, on the periodic table of elements) is what holds and sustains us – oxygen comes from the tree - “Tree of Life” (Genesis 3:22, Rev 2:7), and can also be found in the water. “Water of Life” or “living water”(John 7:38-39,Revelation 22:17), the bible references water 722 times so clearly it is an important item of discussion. It is fairly safe to say that oxygen is in fact the “Breath of God” – especially when you also consider that the “Blood”, which is also scripturally important, needs to be oxygenated in order to stay alive – along the same lines, so do all the other organs. Since we tend to look at things in a scientific manner – we can overlook some of the simplest spiritual things, by giving them human minded explanations. So many times I have heard “There has to be a scientific explanation”, no there doesn’t have to be one – not unless you have somehow been able to decipher the secrets of the cosmos and can say without a shadow of a doubt “there’s nothing to all of this”. And it would not come as any surprise to me if the truth is so close to us, that we are blinded by it because we are trying to formulate something so much more complex. God isn’t in the business of tricking us, or making things so complex and confusing that we cannot figure out the truth. In other words, God would be more apt to put the truth right in front of our eyes, to see if we figure it out for ourselves.
Chapter 9 – Concerning Life and Death
What is life and death according to the scriptures?
Jesus said: (John 14:6 KJV) "I am the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me." Jesus was making a firm and confirmable statement of power when He stated these words. In order to truly realize what was meant when He said these words, one must really seek out who Jesus was as a person, how He lived, what He was accomplishing in His walk, His teachings both directly by action and through His parables, His love towards humanity as a whole through His sacrifices, and by the precious blood He shed on Calvary. Jesus was and still is the Lion of Judea, but He was and still is the Lamb of God – the ultimate sacrifice that God presented to mankind as a whole to atone for our sins. One part of His walk was in the spirit, the other was in the flesh. He accomplished His works in both, and will return to finish when the world becomes ready, as The Father sees fit. There are two lives which we are awarded in creation. The first is an obvious one, one of flesh and bone – one of trials and tribulation, one which we are separated from the Father and from our true home, Heaven.
The First Life
A parent with older children can relate to this, or young adults that have moved out and started their own family – under normal circumstances, the true identification of love, respect, and admiration, is not truly realized by children until after they have left the nest. There are some children which do come to terms with the tight bond of their parental counterparts before leaving, but this is not your typical situation. Their minds are too focused on the great curiosities of the world, the adventures and excitement of being “free” to roam, and their desires to become independent and get away from the authorities of the parents. However, once everything starts coming into fruition and reality sets in, and when the excitements of being free to fly starts to wax cold – the truth slowly starts setting in, that home wasn’t so bad in comparison to the shadows and darkness which is out in the world. For this same reason, our life granted to us on this earth –is a time of separation, it is a time to either come to know Him, or a time to refuse and reject Him. Since we have not lived in His house, or we
cannot remember doing so, there is no “parent-child” complications associated with our journey of getting to know Our Father, Jesus, and The Holy Spirit. There are a great many ways that we can start realizing our spiritual family from the ground up – many times it is though our own life experience, which to me is the key to acknowledgement. It puts us into the position of realizing, if there wasn’t someone there watching over us – so many bad things would have happened, which somehow (maybe even miraculously) did not. There is no better way to realize true love, and that is what it really boils down to – do we truly love Our Father, Heaven, our brothers and sisters here on this earth? Can we overlook our own judgmental ways, our own personal little world, and truly see life as God had intended? Can we see just how close we are to one another before it’s too late? Can we see that we share the same Father, the same house (Heaven), the same Spirit, and the same love? Or will we fail to learn what the Father really wants us to learn while we are here? We could take individual instances in our lives as being coincidental – but hardly coincidence when you start piecing everything together – all of life’s experiences. The chaos theories which are out there do not hold true, the universe and everything in it harmonizes – and comes to a balanced order no matter what happens on a small scale. If a meteor comes and destroys most of the population of earth, we (and sciences) could look upon this as part of the chaotic order of the universe – but there was no chaos other than what’s in the minds of those still surviving, asking “why”. The meteor didn’t disrupt the balance of order in the cosmos – only the population of earth – this is the common mindset of the chaos theories – most are based on the small scaled view of one mind. This mind tries to dilute our reasoning and draw us in. If you look at the atom – you will see the same schematics as you would in our solar system, our galaxy, and our creation. Even right down to the DNA and molecular studies, there is an order to creation. It is within these studies of order vs. chaos that we can truly begin to understand that we were bound into the very same fabrics that hold our universe together, a fabric that has a blueprint, has a purpose, a plan, and a direction. Life itself cannot be created on a chemical level – science has already tried, and is still trying to create a simple celled organism from chemical bonds. They cannot, and it is for this very reason that the evolutionists can be proven into fraudulent claims. The root of the evolutionist is hypothetical and farfetched chaos theories, that somehow a bacterial “pea soup” started forming in the oceans from chemical bonding – or that spontaneous life somehow “just appeared”.
If the process is so simple to digest by society, why is it no one able to prove it – and since our sciences have became more bold and our tools have increased by leaps and bounds – why can’t this “simple” thing be duplicated? We can smash atoms, we can fly to the moon, we can go to the deepest of oceans, we can recombine DNA structures, see far out into the cosmos with high powered telescopes, and we can grow “test tube babies” – but we cannot create a simple single celled organism in a controlled environment with chemicals… The answer is in the argument, chemicals cannot nor will never be able to mix into “life” – there had to be something to “inject” this “life” into the lifeless face of our chemically balanced planet. How we walk upon this earth, what things each one faces out there – define “our personal lives”, but it does not define “life”. We tend to get wrapped up in our walk that we do not see the walks of our brothers, or our sisters – we’re just way too busy in our own “life”. But what happens when we are faced with “life” as a whole – the person next to us, the people around us? In a burning building, do we trample over the person in front of us to save our own neck, or do we try to help the person so that we both may be safe? This is a fundamental question because it answers in part the being inside of you – the spiritual being. If you are able to trample that person to save yourself and live with the conscious that they died because you didn’t help them and were interested in saving only yourself for whatever reason – do you feel that God should feel differently about you in the next life? Could you even answer that question, being a person that values their life over another, would you even care to answer – or even believe in God at all? God’s eye is on the sparrow. Meaning, that God values the life of all things, no matter how insignificant we may see it to be. Life “as a whole” was given to us as a gift by The Father – we are running around doing our own things, deciding our own careers – paths, travels – adventures and roles in the world. How much your earnings are, may help “you” here, but it surely is not what defines how you have lived. Understanding and respecting life – not just our own, is one of the more important yet basic defining factors. Realizing just how small of a dot we are on the map, or how many droplets of water fill the ocean, and we are just one, or how many grains of sand fill the beaches, shores, and the ocean floor – and we are but merely a single grain – this mindful way of seeing the world is deep yet it is still “human” , God’s way of seeing us – is as His child, just as important as His child next door, or His child in prison, or His child starving in Africa, or His child at war in the middle east. There is no private selection, nor secret societies, or even a guest list because of who you know – it’s just you and your relationship with The Father. Everything thereafter gets paved along the way, but one thing is for sure – it defines who you are, how you are, and how you “live” while in this first life. The physical life is not the only thing that gets defined during the fleeting moment we have to walk upon this earth; it is also what defines our walk in the days that our spirit awaits final judgment. If we
are unable to value life on this earth then how will we ever get into Heaven where God values all those things which we do not – or we saw as insignificant?
The First Death
The bible describes death being associated with sin. One must understand that everyone must pass through the first death, to reach the second life – there is no way around it, and has been here since the time of Adam and Eve. Genesis 2:15-17 show where death was brought upon mankind through sin:
“15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Before that time, we were walking in Eden with the Father – we could cohabitate with God because we were without blemish and without the knowledge of evil and the knowledge of sin – it is because of this tarnished state that we became, that caused us not to be able to walk in the Garden with the Father and were also separated from the tree of life, which provided everlasting life. The precious gift that Jesus gave us, was the ability to restore ourselves by going through Him – that He would wash us clean, purify us through His blood. He also acts and speaks on our behalf to the Father. In Romans 5 we can find the fulfillment of Christ and the promise we have when we face the first death “1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. 6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. 12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. 15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” For the Christian, those who have truly found the truth and life through Jesus, we conquer death –not the first fleshy sin filled soiled bodies we have now – but the second death which is death of the spirit,
or final judgment and given into hell. Going to 1 Corinthians 15:50-57 it states that we must “shed” our body because it does not inherit the Kingdom “50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” If you notice something interesting in paragraph 51 “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed”. It means that there are some of us go into a “sleep” state when we pass into the physical death but not all of us – which also emphasizes the presences of spirits/ghosts roaming around “awake”. The next paragraph states “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” It speaks of the sounding of the trumpets in Revelation – when Christ returns to the Earth to complete His works. We have to take also into consideration what it states in 2 Corinthians 5:8 because this verse is taken heavily out of context “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” So many professing Christians believe that this verse signifies that when we die, we will go to heaven – this is not the case. Paul was not afraid to die for his testimony to the word of God and what he had been taught by Jesus Christ after his conversion. No one has ever gone to heaven or is going to heaven where God’s throne is after they die. Jesus Christ Himself stated: "No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man." (John 3:13, RSV) The apostle Peter said: "For David did not ascend into the heavens; but he himself says, 'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I make thy enemies a stool for thy feet.' " (Acts 2:34-35, RSV) No one ever has gone to heaven after they died except Jesus Christ. Other than Jesus Christ, all who have ever died throughout history are still in their graves, or “awake”, awaiting a resurrection from the dead. If they were called to salvation and are dead in Christ, they will be resurrected at the return of Jesus Christ to this earth (1Thessalonians 4:13-18). If they have never been called to salvation, they will be resurrected after the 1000 year Millennium of the reign of Jesus Christ on this earth (Revelation 20:5).
Going to heaven is not the reward of the saved. Like so many others, it is a false doctrine begun by the Roman Catholic Church and eventually adopted by most of professing Christianity. We cannot enter into heaven until after God has finalized His judgment upon us, just as it states in Revelation.
The Second Life and Death
The bible teaches that the second life is the everlasting life of the spirit. This eternal life can be a good thing or a bad thing – because those which names are written in the book of life will receive an everlasting life in Heaven. However, those which did not turn from their ways – acknowledge the truth, accept Christ and His sacrifice, and do what they could in righteousness with the time vested to them eternity will not be a welcoming place, because Revelation warns that the “lake of fire” will burn eternally and the wicked will find their place there.
Pointing out what 1 Corinthians 15:51 states, not everyone will be asleep during the wait for the return of Jesus – there is a mystery attached to this statement and I believe that it is time for those which have
not changed yet to redeem themselves – or moreover a “grace” period. God does not wish for any to perish, we are after all, all of His children. Stepping back to how Jesus was with “Legion”, having compassion for the unclean spirits and not sending them to the abyss/pit – it tends to jump right out at you if you take some time and think carefully about it. The abyss/pit is a place that the truly wicked, which will never change (and God knows this) shall stay until after the great tribulation period and after the 1000 years of Christ’s reign, where they shall be released to wage war and conquer. If you notice this scripture, it is an obvious difference between Hell and the Lake of Fire: Revelation 6:8 “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” Going further into scripture we find this: Revelation 20:13-15 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. This casting into the lake is to “perish”, to be given into the second death – but there is hope – and that hope is found here: John 3:16 (KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:36(KJV) 36He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. The key word here is “perish” – this is not the same as “death”, “to die”, “to faint” or to “pass away”. Perish is to be lost, completely.. The best example in the bible that reflects this difference can be found in Luke 21:13-19 13 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake. 13 And it shall turn to you for a testimony. 14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: 15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. 16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. 17 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. 18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish. 19 In your patience possess ye your souls.
If you notice Jesus is reflecting that “death” is not the same as perish, because He stated that even in death, not a hair of your head will “perish”. There is only one mentioned place reserved for those which “perish”, and that is the lake of fire found in Revelation. It is the only place which appears anywhere in the textbooks where things are ultimately destroyed, consumed forever-more. If you look in Revelation 21:8 it reads “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” In translation to this scripture we can see that those which taste “the second death” are those which are judged and then cast into the lake of fire. This is however not before the great tribulation period, and not until after the “first resurrection” (or 1000 years of Christ’s reign). Below you will notice also, the abyss/pit/bottomless pit is mentioned here as well, being the holding place of Satan for the 1000 years of Christ’s reign on earth. Revelation 20:1-10 1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. 7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Satan is loosed out of his prison after the 1000 years of Christ’s reign, after the great tribulation period – and this scripture also says “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” – which are those which will face the final judgment of the Father. Proof of the first judgment and first resurrection can be found in this scripture – these are those which will reign with Christ for 1000 years on earth, and are brought to judgment by Christ BEFORE the final judgment occurs.
So many people believe that Satan is stuck in hell until the end comes – this is not true at all, Satan is currently roaming the earth and preparing for his time to strike against God, God’s children, and God’s armies – if you do not believe this then you have forgotten the encounter Jesus had in the desert with him, and also the test of Job: Matthew 4:1-11 1Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 3And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. 5Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 11Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him. Job 1:1-7 1There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. 2And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. 3His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east. 4And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. 5And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually. 6Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 7And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. Satan is freely moving about on this earth right now – despite our thoughts in the matter. This means, that so are the 3rd of the heavenly which fell with him. So many Christians fail to recognize the importance of this – they are all looking for Satan to be loosed upon the earth, when in truth he already is – he has just not made his presence or his rise into power clearly present and visibly known as of the writing of this book.
Chapter 10 – Heaven and Hell
Where are they and how do they fit into everything on earth?
Heaven (the heaven of heavens) and heaven(s) are different within scripture – one means the literal Heaven – where Christ, The Father, and The Throne exist and the other is what we stretch our vision outward into the skies. One is visible from here on earth, and the other – invisible. Isaiah 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: Isaiah 66:1 Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? Matthew 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. The actual location for Heaven is located in direct approximation to earth as you can clearly see in these scriptures. For one to think that God is out there somewhere, in the far expanses of space is incorrect – there would be absolutely no reason for God the Father to have located Heaven at such a distance that the angels which fell from Heaven would have to travel billions of miles just to be cast down to earth. If you also take into consideration that the burnt offerings / sacrifices of the old testament pleased God because it signified the casting off of one’s sins onto the offering. Throughout the Old Testament, the sense of smell often refers to a sacrifice. Every day, the Temple needed to be cleansed by the burning of incense and the sacrificing of animals. The burnt offerings were referred to as a sweet fragrance in the nostrils of God. God can also smell sin. In Genesis 19:13, the angel of the Lord said of Sodom and Gomorrah’s sin, “For we will destroy the city completely. The stench of the place has reached the LORD, and he has sent us to destroy it. Now if God were out there in some distant place, there is no way “aromas” or even an offering would have been acknowledged. Isaiah is very specific where Heaven is.
So what is Heaven like according to scriptures? Revelation 21: 15-21 15The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. 16The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. 17He measured its wall and it was 144 cubits thick, by man's measurement, which the angel was using. 18The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. 19The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass. Also you must account that the old earth, and old heaven will pass away – this is the definition of the New Heaven which will be established – and what about the new earth? Jesus and The Father will abide with us - This New Heaven and New Earth is going to be beyond anything that our imaginations can even begin to conjure up. The above Scripture verses only give us a miniscule vision of what we are all going to end up with in this new environment. The best thing to do is use your imagination because when there is no death, no evil, no hunger, no sickness, no need for money, and all needs will be provided for – the mind can tend to wander into oblivion.
Accounting scriptures the vastness of our universe, other stars and other planets, were created for several different functions as well, but this accounts for the “visible heavens” and not the spiritual Heaven. To serve as signs to mark the seasons, days, and years [Genesis 1:14] for life here on earth To give light upon the earth [Genesis 1:15, 17] To "govern" the day and the night [Genesis 1:18]--to provide consistent markers, giving order to creation To separate light from darkness [Genesis 1:18]--to show visually here on earth, the distinction between the two To declare the glory of God [Psalm 19:1-6]
To cause us to praise Him [Psalm 136:3-9] To reveal His attributes to mankind, and to draw mankind to call upon Him [Romans 1:20; 10:18] It is easy to see how the moon and the sun have always been used for timekeeping. God provided man with these reliable timekeepers long before we developed timepieces of our own. Even today, time is based upon the "solar calendar". Our "months" originated from the phases of the moon..."the lunar calendar". This is why the Bible gives special attention to the sun and the moon as being the "two great lights". Migration for many animals is initiated by the change in the length of the day. So here the sun marks the seasons. The stars, planets, sun and moon also "govern" the day and night according to the Bible. What does that mean? By "governing" the day and night, these heavenly lights serve as consistent markers and guideposts for orienting us not only in time, but in place. Many birds use the stars as directional navigators for their migration. Sailors used the sun, moon, and stars for navigational directions. Even our own complex inertial guidance systems for air flight and space travel use the positions of the sun and stars to stay on course. Voyager 2 is an example of this. Voyager 2 used planetary positions and star positions to track its course. Without these heavenly bodies, man would be disoriented not only to TIME, but to SPACE as well. Without the sun's light, we could not exist. But even at nighttime, the moon reflects the sun's rays to cast light upon the earth. The stars also shed a considerable amount of light upon the earth. These lights mark out day and night, without leaving the night utterly dark The universe declares the glory of God much the way a painting declares the talent of an artist. Louis Pasteur said, "The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator." Other planets, and also the stars, serve as gravitational and magnetic stabilizers to maintain earth's stable orbit around the sun. Imagine the sun, Mercury, and Venus pulling the Earth. Because of the location of earth's orbit, it would tend to decay inward-towards the sun--resulting in extreme heat and an inability to support life. But God created Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto to provide a stabilizing pull outward to keep the earth in its orbit. Likewise, if Mercury and Venus were not there, the earth's orbit would tend to decay outward--resulting in extreme cold and lack of life on earth. So the planets [and even the stars!] provide a stabilizing effect upon earth, so that it can maintain life as
a whole. If you do not believe this, talk to anyone knowledgeable in astrophysics. The gravitation and positioning of the other planets in our solar system, keeps us in a balanced orbit. When God created Earth, He created it with a predetermined identity – it does not mention any other planets with this uniqueness in scripture.
Every time that word gets brought up, images from cartoons seen in my youth pop into my mind. A entourage of devils dancing around with pitchforks, trying to poke you into a blazing pot to make their stew, while laughing at all of your screams. Hell is not this place, and is definitely not the “lake of fire” spoken of in Revelation. In the first place, bear in mind that the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, and the New Testament in Greek. The word hell is an English word sometimes selected by the translators of the English Bible to express the sense of the Hebrew word Sheol and the Greek words Hades, Gehenna, and Tartaroo. The word hell in old English usage simply meant to conceal, to hide, to cover; hence the concealed, hidden, or covered place. In old English literature records may be found of the helling of potatoes— putting potatoes into pits; and of the helling of a house—covering or thatching it. The word hell was therefore properly used synonymously with the words grave and pit, to translate t he words Sheol and Hades as signifying the secret or hidden condition of death. The Hebrew word Sheol occurs sixty-five times in the Old Testament. In the King James Version it is translated hell thirty-one times, grave thirty-one times, and pit three times. If the translators of the Revised Version had been thoroughly disentangled from error, they would have done more to help the English student than merely to substitute the Hebrew word Sheol and the Greek word Hades as they have done. They should have translated the words. But they gave us Sheol and Hades un-translated, and thus permitted the inference that these words mean the same as the word hell has become perverted to mean. Yet anyone can see that if it was proper to translate the word Sheol thirty-one times grave and three times pit, it could not have been improper to so translate it in every other instance.
A peculiarity to be observed in comparing these cases, is that in those texts where the torment idea would be an absurdity the translators of the King James Version have used the words grave or pit; while in all other cases they have used the word hell, and the reader, long schooled in the idea of torment, reads the word hell and thinks of it as signifying a place of torment, instead of the grave, the hidden or covered place or condition. For example, compare Job 14:13 with Psalms 86:13. The former reads, "O that thou wouldst hide me in the grave [Sheol]" while the latter reads, "Thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell [sheol]." The Hebrew word being the same in both cases, there is no reason why the same word grave should not be used in both. But how absurd it would have been, for Job to pray to God, and hide him in a hell of eternal torture. As before noted, the word hell occurs thirty-one times in the Old Testament, and in every instance it is Sheol in the Hebrew. It does not mean a lake of fire and brimstone, nor anything at all resembling that thought; not in the slightest degree! Quite the reverse: instead of a place of blazing fire, it is described in the context as a state of darkness (Job 10:21); instead of a place where shrieks and groans are heard, it is described in the context as a place of silence (Psa. 115:17); instead of representing in any sense pain and suffering, or remorse, they context describes it as a place or condition of forgetfulness (Psa. 88:11, 12). There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge in the grave [Sheol] whither thou goest Eccl. 9:10.
The meaning of sheol is the hidden state, as applied to man’s condition in death, in and beyond which all is hidden, except to the eye of faith; hence, by proper and close association, the word was often used in the sense of grave—the tomb, the hidden place, or place beyond which only those who have the enlightened eye of the understanding can see resurrection, restitution of being. And be it particularly noted that this identical word sheol is translated grave thirty-one times and pit three times in our Common Version by the same translators- more times than it is translated hell; and twice where it is translated hell, it seemed so absurd, according to the present accepted meaning of the English word hell, that scholars have felt it necessary to explain in the margin of modern bibles that it means grave. (Isa. 14:9 and Jonah 2:2.) In the latter case, the hidden state, or grave, was the belly of the fish in which Jonah was buried alive, and from which he cried to God. In the Jewish teaching, Gehenna symbolized the Second Death—utter, complete, and everlasting destruction. This is clearly shown by its being contrasted with life as its opposite. It is better for thee to
enter into life halt, or maimed, than otherwise to be cast into Gehenna. It is better that you should deny yourselves sinful gratification than that you should lose all future life, and perish in the Second Death. The Greek word Tartaroo occurs but once in the Scriptures and is translated hell. It is found in 2 Pet. 2:4, which reads thus: "God spared not the angels who sinned, but cast [them] down to hell [Tartaroo], and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment." This word very closely resembles Tartarus, a word used in Grecian mythology as the name for a dark abyss or prison. But Tartaroo seems to refer more to an act than to a place. The fall of the angels who sinned was from honor and dignity, into dishonor and condemnation, and the thought seems to be— "God spared not the angels who sinned, but degraded them." It is also very important to understand that when Jesus walked and taught the apostles, He did not teach them of any other thing – which would in contrast, contradict the Old Testament scriptures, and in itself defy the laws put forth by the Father. The original scriptures HAVE to remain consistent with the Old Testament teachings – but the words “Sheol”, “Gehenna”, “Hades”, and “Tartaroo”, have all been adopted into one word of the English language - “Hell”. This simple alteration changes the original meaning and definition drastically, especially when you attribute it to the place which has not been created yet, and Hell is casted into in the end with Death – “The Lake Of Fire” – or eternal destruction. It is also very important to understand that Sheol and Paradise existed in the same place or ethereal plane of existence – we can pick this up through what Jesus Himself stated in Luke 16:19-26 "There was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar, named Lazarus, who was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table; moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom; the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivest thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that they who would pass from here to you cannot; neither can they pass to us that would come from there." The citizens of Sheol and the citizens of Paradise could see each other, even talk to one another – this is especially important to acknowledge because of the misleading idea that “Hell” is the unquenchable fire in The Lake of Fire.
The concepts of hell, and pitchforks, and cauldrons of bubbling flesh from those sent into it is straight out of “Dante’s Inferno” or otherwise known as “The Divine Comedy” . This ridiculous rendition of Hell and spirituality has been fully adopted into the Catholic belief system. This same Catholic system of beliefs embrace “purgatory” and other “ideas” and “concepts” which have no biblical backing, the word “purgatory” itself is nowhere to be found in scripture. This is a made up place, despite the Catholic defense that it represents the same thing as “Sheol” – it doesn’t have the same rules. In fact there is a practice of worship for those which are in this fictional place called “purgatory”. Old Testament and New Testament scriptures have all those words listed above – and personally, it makes my skin crawl to think that ANY spiritual organization professing to be scripturally backing the truth, could still sustain itself with an organized following. There is no question where the Catholic faith leads, and there is an important WARNING in scripture which points this out – which is, the closing of the bible itself: Revelation 22:17-21 17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. 18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. 20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Perhaps the Catholics are led from reading this portion of the scriptures, because anyone who truly focused and dedicated in finding the truth would have to start questioning all these “extra” features in their system of worship, when there is no supporting scripture to back it all up.
Chapter 11 – Deceptions by tradition
What about other traditions which have been handed down?
We have already looked at several of the major holidays that we celebrate of our time, and some of the symbolism of today, and their roots. We have also taken into account certain spiritual deceptions which can tend to cause the Christian believer to embrace some personality traits which could be devastating to their walk and mission. Something that we have not really touched on is other items which have been traditionally handed down over the centuries, which also have no foundation in the Christian system of truth. Some of these will be hard to accept and absorb, but as I have requested throughout the entirety of this book – please do your own research to find out the truth for yourself.
Marriage is a wonderful and exciting experience for everyone! The gifts, the rehearsals, the anticipation, the planning, the gathering of loved ones, the extravagant gowns, flowers, invitations, rings, and of course the vows between soon to be husband and wife. But what about the origins of the traditional wedding – many are led to believe it is all of “Christian” origins, that there are scriptures backing the whole proceeding, and that the verses which are traditionally spoken by a pastor/priest are that which have been rendered according to biblical law. These elements, along with many of the symbols of marriage that we have today are NOT part of the historical ceremonies found in the bible, nor are they backed by any scripture, and most certainly are not and were not a requirement by the laws set forth according to ancient Jewish standards nor God’s standards.
Rings The wearing of rings is believed to have originated from the ancient Egyptians, according to most historians. Rings and bracelets were plaited from reeds that grew beside the fertile Nile River where the biblical basket containing the baby Moses was found by the Egyptian princess. Initially, rings were made from vegetation but since it required frequent renewal, it was replaced by tougher materials such as bone or ivory, and leather. The Egyptians believed that the veins on the third finger of the left hand traveled directly to the heart. However, at that time, rings were worn more for their decorative worth than their sentimental value. The practice of wearing a ring is also thought to stem from earlier pagan practices when a man would encircle a likely woman in rope to ensure her spirit would remain under his command. In 332 BC, after conquering Egypt, the armies of Alexander the Great continued to adopt the notion of this "vein of love" or veno amoris and eventually, passed it on to the Romans who took on far greater importance on the finger rings. The pagan origin and meanings of the finger ring raise questions about the legitimacy of its adoption by Christians to represents marital commitment. In the Bible the value of symbols is determined by their origin and meaning. The Sabbath, the Passover lamb and blood, the Lord’s Supper, baptism, and foot washing are all valuable symbols, because they have been established by God to help us conceptualize and internalize spiritual realities. Their value is derived from their divine origin, meaning, and function. By contrast, the meaning of the wedding ring as a symbol of marital commitment finds its origin not in Scripture, but in pagan mythology and superstitions. To invest a pagan symbol with a sacred Christian meaning, can easily lead to a secularization of the symbol itself. The Romans were also the first to use finger rings to "tie" people not only to their social classes, but also to their marital partners. During the betrothal ceremony the bridegroom gave a plain iron finger ring to the family of the bride as a symbol of his commitment and financial ability to support the bride. Marriages were not made in heaven but over a negotiating table. Originally the betrothal ceremony was more elaborate and important than the marriage rite, which was a simple fulfillment of the betrothal commitment. The betrothal ring also served to protect the future bride's rights in the face of possible home-wreckers. In paganistic Roman beliefs, it was believed that the ring finger symbolizes the nameless finger of magic, associated with healing powers and abilities.
It was only much later in Christian history that the ring was made part of the wedding ceremony. In 200 AD, practicing Christians continued the Roman practice of the betrothal ring. The Christian betrothal rings have been found in the catacombs outside Rome. The actual use of a wedding ring in a marriage ceremony is first recorded in the early part of the fourth century. . The bottom line is that the Jewish and Christian communities adopted the practice from the Romans. The Bible gives no indication that finger rings were used as betrothal or nuptial rings. The signet ring is the earliest type of ring mentioned in the Bible. When Tamar disguised herself as a harlot to entice her father-in-law, Judah, she asked him for his signet, cord, and staff as a pledge for his promise to send her "a kid from the flock" (Gen 38:17-19). Jeremiah informs us that the Israelites wore the signet ring on the right hand (Jer 22:24). The signet ring was used to seal various contracts. It was a symbol of authority, dignity, and social status (James 2:2). Pharaoh gave his signet ring to Joseph as a symbol of authority (Gen 41:42). Likewise, Ahasuerus gave his signet to Haman to seal a royal decree (Esth 3:10, 12). Upon his return the prodigal son received a ring from his father as a symbol of dignity (Luke 15:22). The finger rings mentioned in the Bible are signet rings used as symbol of authority and dignity – not marriage. Several late historical notes on rings: During the Middle Ages, gold rings set with gems overtook iron as the most fashionable demonstration of eternal love. 13th Century Customs In the early 1200s, Pope Innocent III decreed that a waiting period between betrothal and marriage should be observed. This created a practical need for the engagement ring. In 1217, the Bishop of Salisbury decreed: "Let no man put a ring or rush, or of any other material, upon the hands of young girls, by way of mock celebration for the purpose of easily seducing them." 16th Century Customs The Puritans avoided the notion of wedding rings in the 1500s, as they perceived jewelry to be materialistic and frivolous. Instead, couples had to exchange more practical and useful wedding thimbles when they were married.
It was not until 1549, when King Edward VI of England officially declared the third finger as the "ring finger" and designated the left hand as the "marriage hand" in the Book of Common Prayer. 19th Century's Victorian Era In 1840, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert handed out six dozen rings to guests, each engraved with the queen's profile, on their wedding day. 20th Century Wedding Rings During World War II, many young soldiers chose to exchange rings with their bride so they could be reminded of their wife during the long separation. 21st Century Generation In 2000, the world's largest gold ring is made in Saudi Arabia. It consists of more than 56 kilograms of gold.
Engagement / Promise / Betrothal
The process of betrothal is a promise unto marriage – according to ancient standards the betrothal is an interest and intent of marriage. The marriage cannot occur until the man of the betrothed woman would pay a dowry to her family / father. This dowry was not necessarily money, or precious things – sometimes it was a deed or act for the family or father of the betrothed woman. It was simply a gift or token to the family of the woman to be wed – and a symbol of uniting families and sharing wealth. Genesis 30:20 And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun. Genesis 34:12 Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me: but give me the damsel to wife. Exodus 22:17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins. 1 Samuel 18:25 And Saul said, Thus shall ye say to David, The king desireth not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king's enemies. But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. 2 Maccabees 1:14 For Antiochus, as though he would marry her, came into the place, and his friends that were with him, to receive money in name of a dowry. The betrothal of ancient times is interesting – as we see it in this day and age, as being “engaged” – or promised to someone. But according to scripture – the betrothed couple could very much have physical relationships with one another – where today, couples are told that it isn’t proper and to wait until marriage is consummated. The scripture however, clearly shows that a man is bound by God’s laws concerning the decision not to wait until the marriage.
Exodus 22:16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife Deuteronomy 20:7 And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her. Deuteronomy 22:28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Deuteronomy 22:29 Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days 1 Corinthians 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 1 Corinthians 7:36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry. This however does not give the right for anyone to have justifiable and free ability for physical relationships with just anyone. Or use these biblical standards and laws to seduce anyone of their choosing, either by promises of marriage or perversions of the truth. There are some ramifications in scripture for these sorts of activities, as well as the physical and spiritual consequences of committing them. The biblical scriptures account for the following marital laws: Accusations of Whoredom / Whoredom Deuteronomy 22:13 If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, Deuteronomy 22:14 And give occasions of speech against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: Deuteronomy 22:15 Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate: Deuteronomy 22:16 And the damsel's father shall say unto the elders, I gave my daughter unto this man to wife, and he hateth her; Deuteronomy 22:17 And, lo, he hath given occasions of speech against her, saying, I found not thy daughter a maid; and yet these are the tokens of my daughter's virginity. And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. Deuteronomy 22:18 And the elders of that city shall take that man and chastise him; Deuteronomy 22:19 And they shall amerce him in an hundred shekels of silver, and give them unto the father of the damsel, because he hath brought up an evil name upon a virgin of Israel: and she shall be his wife; he may not put her away all his days. Deuteronomy 22:20 But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Deuteronomy 22:21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you. Adultery / Infidelity
Deuteronomy 22:22 If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel. Deuteronomy 22:23 If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Deuteronomy 22:24 Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you. Rape Deuteronomy 22:25 But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die: Deuteronomy 22:26 But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter: Deuteronomy 22:27 For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her. Promises of Marriage / Seduction/ Fornication Fornication is a very interesting word when taking Greek, Hebrew, and English variations and applying them to the meaning of the word. The greatest usage of the definition in the bible is more-so pointing towards having a relationship without a covenant – or sexual partners without commitment. Marriage is considered a covenant between man and woman, while the covenant between man and God is the law. To be without the law in physical relationships, would be to be with a harlot or to be a harlot – both considered a disgraceful act, scripturally punishable by death.
Matthew 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. Matthew 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. Ezekiel 16:15 But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was. Ezekiel 16:26 Thou hast also committed fornication with the Egyptians thy neighbours, great of flesh; and hast increased thy whoredoms, to provoke me to anger. Ezekiel 16:29 Thou hast moreover multiplied thy fornication in the land of Canaan unto Chaldea; and yet thou wast not satisfied herewith. 1 Corinthians 5:1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. 1 Corinthians 6:13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them.
Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. 1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that commiteth fornication sinneth against his own body. 1 Corinthians 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 1 Corinthians 10:8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 2 Corinthians 12:21 And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed. Jude 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire Revelation 19:2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And finally an example of fornication – which in truth is probably the best context toward the spiritual meaning around the absence of a covenant, or commitment: The Wisdom of Solomon 14:12 For the devising of idols was the beginning of spiritual fornication, and the invention of them the corruption of life. One of the most important factors to acknowledge here is the covenant between man and woman, how God sees it as a covenant from a spiritual perspective, and that it is binding even into death from a biblical/scriptural perspective. Just as God finds the covenant between Himself and man to be binding even until the end of time, He also sees a covenant made between man and woman. This was so even at the dawn of mankind. In Genesis, God created Eve from Adam, for Adam. Below are the supporting scriptures: Genesis 2:18-24 18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. 19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. 20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him. 21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed It is extremely important to notice that God did not suggest any ceremonies, instead that man and woman should come together, and in twain – be one flesh. The covenant between man and woman was as much a spiritual covenant as it was a physical one. God’s intentions were to have an equal harmony of righteousness between both male and female – and to truly visualize this epic event, one needs to understand that Eve was literally created out of Adam – thus it has been suggested that many of her traits originally were bound into Adam’s being and He relieved Adam of specific qualities for only her to possess. One creature into two, so that together – they are a literal whole and complete physical and spiritual being. Genesis also does not describe any factors for divorce, or punishments by means of sinful behavior. There was no sin at this point, the introduction of sin came later on. Adam and Eve were blameless and had no need for law, after all, they walked in the cool of the garden with the creator of all things. In Numbers 30 the establishment of “vows” were written, but not the “to have and to hold until death do us part” sort of traditional marital vows. These vows are that of a binding effect toward each other, and how God views it as a covenant or established commitment. We have fell so far away in our society that we do not take accountability for the words that we utter – instead we throw words such as “I love you”, “marry me”, “make love to me”, “be mine forever” around as if it were candy. Many times its to achieve a personal goal, or becoming overzealous and without realizing the true consequences of what we utter. God does not take any commitment lightheartedly, He expects us to stand by them. Numbers - 30 1 And Moses spake unto the heads of the tribes concerning the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded. 2 If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth. 3 If a woman also vow a vow unto the LORD, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father's house in her youth; 4 And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand. 5 But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the LORD shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her. 6 And if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul; 7 And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard it: then her vows shall
stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand. 8 But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and the LORD shall forgive her. 9 But every vow of a widow, and of her that is divorced, wherewith they have bound their souls, shall stand against her. 10 And if she vowed in her husband's house, or bound her soul by a bond with an oath; 11 And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her, and disallowed her not: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she bound her soul shall stand. 12 But if her husband hath utterly made them void on the day he heard them; then whatsoever proceeded out of her lips concerning her vows, or concerning the bond of her soul, shall not stand: her husband hath made them void; and the LORD shall forgive her. 13 Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void. 14 But if her husband altogether hold his peace at her from day to day; then he establisheth all her vows, or all her bonds, which are upon her: he confirmeth them, because he held his peace at her in the day that he heard them. 15 But if he shall any ways make them void after that he hath heard them; then he shall bear her iniquity. 16 These are the statutes, which the LORD commanded Moses, between a man and his wife, between the father and his daughter, being yet in her youth in her father's house. To confirm that God very much expects us to keep our commitments, we have this verse to close the gap – as Jesus speaks about things which are bound here on earth: Matthew 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. It is a very necessary thing to translate this statement, it is a confirmation by Christ that those things which are bound, are not only bound on earth, but by our creator as well in Heaven. Even though Christ was using this statement directly towards Peter, it still shows the magnitude of promises, especially in regards to commitments with another person, or commitments made to God – and how it translates in Heaven.
Jumping back to the laws of MOSES, regarding husbands and wives – and of course divorce we see these scriptures: Deuteronomy 24:1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. Deuteronomy 24:2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife.
Deuteronomy 24:3 And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; Deuteronomy 24:4 Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. Deuteronomy 24:5 When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken. Although the instruction is vague concerning the “bill of divorcement”, because back then they had no bureau of vital statistics, nor court or house to enforce such papers – the reason is quite clear, that love is no longer present within the household between husband and wife because of uncleanness. But what does Christ say about this situation? 3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. 10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. 11 But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. 12 For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it. In Matthew 19:3-12 Jesus stated the same laws which the Father gave to Moses – the same laws which can be found in 1 Corinthians , but something even more interesting was said in Matthew 19:8 , with the statement “but from the beginning it was not so.” – Christ was referencing back to the Garden of Eden, back to Adam and Eve – and where our commitments should still remain when we make a marital covenant, in truth with the Father. God the Father, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, and all the chorus and choirs in heaven would never want us to have or carry a hardened heart, for anyone – especially our wife or husband. Although this law is given to us out of love and mercy from God, who does not want us to walk through life miserable, He still wants us to hold on to any strand of grace, and hope we have before we allow love to fail.
The Wedding Day
Going into the facets of weddings/ to wed/ or to marry someone there are a lot of traditions which have been adopted through the years, to become what it is today. There is very little information in the bible to what defines a biblical wedding, except for the marriage of Heaven in revelations, and those mentioned of kings. It was unusual in Galilee to have a "ruler of the feast" as in Judea (Jn 2). There was no formal religious ceremony connected with the Hebrew marriage as with us--there is not a hint of such a thing in the Bible. The marriage was consummated by entrance into the "chamber," i.e. the nuptial chamber (Hebrew chedher), in which stood the bridal bed with a canopy (chuppah), being originally the wife's tent (Gen 24:67; Jdg 4:17). In all lands of the dispersion the name is still applied to the embroidered canopy under which the contracting parties stand or sit during the festivities. In Arabic, Syriac, and Hebrew the bridegroom is said to "go in" to the bride. It does not require too great of an imagination as to what the rest of the traditional ceremony is. A general survey of ancient marriage laws and customs shows that those of the Hebrews are not a peculiar creation apart from those of other peoples. A remarkable affinity to those of other branches of the Semitic races especially, may be noted, and striking parallels are found in the Code of Hammurabi, with regard, e.g., to betrothal, dowry, adultery and divorce. But modern researches have emphasized the relative purity of Old Testament sexual morality. In this, as in other respects, the Jews had a message for the world. Yet we should not expect to find among them the Christian standard. Under the new dispensation the keynote is struck by our Lord's action. The significance of His attending the marriage feast at Cana and performing His first miracle there can hardly be exaggerated. The act corresponds, too, with His teaching on the subject. He, no less than Paul, emphasizes both the honorableness of the estate and the heinousness of all sins against it. The most characteristic use of marriage and the family by our Lord is that in which He describes the kingdom of God as a social order in which the relationship of men to God is like that of sons to a father, and their relation to each other like that between brothers. This social ideal, which presents itself vividly and continuously to His mind, is summed up in this phrase, "Kingdom of God," which occurs more than a hundred times in the Synoptic Gospels. The passages in which it occurs form the interior climax of His message to men. It is no new and noble Judaism, taking the form of a political restoration, that He proclaims, and no "far-off Divine event" to be realized only in some glorious apocalyptic consummation; but a kingdom of God "within you," the chief
element of it communion with God, the loving relation of "children" to a "Father," a present possession. Future in a sense it may be, as a result to be fully realized, and yet present; invisible, and yet becoming more and more visible as a new social order, a conscious brotherhood with one common, heavenly Father, proclaimed in every stage of His teaching in spite of opposition and varying fortunes with unwavering certainty of its completion--this is the "kingdom" that Jesus has made the inalienable possession of the Christian consciousness. His entire theology may be described as a transfiguration of the family (see Peabody, Jesus Christ, and the Social Question, 149 ff; Holtzmann, New Testament Theology, I, 200; Harnack, History of Dogma, I, 62; B. Weiss, Biblical Theol. of the New Testament, I, 72, English translation, 1882). Beyond this Jesus frequently used figures drawn from marriage to illustrate His teaching concerning the coming of the kingdom, as Paul did concerning Christ and the church. There is no suggestion of reflection upon the Old Testament teaching about marriage in His teaching except at one point, the modification of it so as to allow polygamy and divorce. Everywhere He accepts and deals with it as sacred and of Divine origin (Mt 19:9, etc.), but He treats it as transient, that is of the "flesh" and for this life only. One of the most amazing scriptures about marriage which needs to clearly be seen for what Jesus was referring and suggesting to mankind – is this: Matthew 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. What God has joined together, let not MAN put asunder. This implies many things when you stop and think about it – it was a very powerful statement by Christ concerning marriage, it also clearly shows that man’s involvement in the man and woman, husband and wife, selective process and termination – is of little to no consequence. We seek pastors/ministers to marry us, and lawyers/judges to divorce us – but of what weight do these manmade ceremonial activities have with our Lord God Almighty and are they truly binding according to the scriptures? Well, according to scriptures we are not to put our husband / wife away except for fornication – according to Jesus. But what about other things outside of the already named?
There are several instances in scripture that states we are not to be unequally yoked (bound by marriage or other reasons) with a disbeliever, if one is a believer – then they are not to put their other half away, instead stay with them. But scripture also states that if the disbeliever wishes to depart, let them depart. This suggests that the believer should remain consistent with biblical law, and if the disbeliever of the scriptures/laws wishes to leave, do not stop them from doing so – because they do not carry the covenant in their heart. (1 Corinthians 7:15) The bible also gives us descriptions in the form of beasts of burden. If a donkey and an ox are yoked together (which God forbid the people of Israel to do in Deuteronomy 22:10), the yoke will weigh heavily on one animal while choking the other, or as the animal with the longer stride moves ahead it
will painfully drag the other along by the neck! They would not be able to pull smoothly or painlessly together and little work would get done. But when two animals of approximately the same size and weight are yoked together, they pull the plow smoothly, helping each other, and work is accomplished. While this has much more emphasis on the spiritual nature of being yoked, a physical example was given – most likely to give a representation of a situation like this would cause in someone’s walk with God. God does not want to find us in a position that our faith and belief be swayed for any reason – including that of our marital counterpart. For this same reason God wants us to “maim” ourselves – to remain established in His ways and not fall astray. The following scriptures are not of physical intentions, but rather spiritual. Matthew 18:8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. Matthew 18:9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. A lot of people do not understand the context of these scriptures but the bible establishes the answer in 1 Corinthians 12:12-26. 12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. 19 And if they were all one member, where were the body? 20 But now are they many members, yet but one body. 21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked. 25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Marriage is a partnership between husband and wife – The book of Genesis suggests how God creates us, and creates us to have a primary counterpart in this world. Even in the situation where polygamy was (even to this day in some cultures and religions) practiced – there was always a first wife. Traces of what is known as beena marriage are found in the Old Testament, e.g. that of Jacob, where Laban
claims Jacob's wives and children as his own (Gen 31:31,43), and that of Moses (Ex 2:21; 4:18). This is that form of marriage in which the husband is incorporated into the wife's tribe, the children belonging to her tribe and descent being reckoned on her side (compare W. Robertson Smith, Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia, 94). In Samson's case we seem to have an instance of what is known among Arabs as tsadqat marriage (from tsadaq, "gift"), the kid here being the customary tsadaq (Jdg 14; 15:1; 16:4). There is no hint that he meant to take his wife home. It is differentiated from prostitution in that no disgrace is attached to it and the children are recognized as legitimate by the tribe. Such marriages make it easier to understand the existence of the matriarchate, or the custom of reckoning the descent of children and property through the mothers. The influence of polygamy would work in the same direction, subdividing the family into smaller groups connected with the several wives. There is, however, no clear evidence in the Old Testament of polyandry (a plurality of husbands), though the Levirate marriage is regarded by some as a survival of it. In other words, polygamy among the Hebrews seems to have been confined to polygyny (a plurality of wives). It is easy to trace its chief causes: (1) desire for a numerous offspring ("May his tribe increase!"); (2) barrenness of first wife (as in Abraham's case); (3) advantages offered by marital alliances (e.g. Solomon); (4) the custom of making wives of captives taken in war (compare Ps 45:3,9); (5) slavery, which as it existed in the Orient almost implied it. The strongest aspects of polygamy were/are in place, and have survived in family structure in the Old Testament and even throughout the New Testament, were chiefly due to God’s command “Be fruitful and multiply”. The Lord sees the family unit/tribe/lineage as being something extremely important to continue – and obviously the more offspring from various people, will increase a tribe’s overall size. In the general view today – we see this as being an improper and disrespectful trend – but no matter how much we wish to argue over the general opinion, the scripture – if viewed as a whole, true, and infallible source of knowledge about God, there is no way we can ignore the practices and the fact that polygamy was indeed very real – and not looked at disgracefully from God. One relationship is quite enough if you ask me – we are responsible for tending to and taking care of our family. Having more than one family under most circumstances is far too complicated, expensive, and unpractical in today’s world. King Solomon (son of King David) had many wives, and many concubines – but as the story states, bringing foreign wives into his family structure, some of them having religions and beliefs other than God’s word - pretty much destroyed him. We have to understand that God is, was, and always will be the same God. This is something that many Christians fail to understand and/or recognize. Just because someone has a second half, that they claim as a wife or husband – does not make them one. With all respects to every individual out there in the world, a marriage is a covenant – if your other half is not keeping true to the covenant made – that covenant has already been broken. In the eyes of God, covenants are never to be broken because it is and was, considered fornication. The whole scope of today’s view climaxes marriage with the wedding proceedings, when in truth it should climax with God finding favor of the two people willing to carry the sacred covenant of marriage, making the covenant of the marriage in binding effect (made flesh), and create another strong foundation within the family or tribe.
Marriage was never about paper, or rings, or dresses, or rice, or flowers, or festivities. Marriage was about establishing a commitment/oath/covenant between both man and woman, and man and woman toward God. Friends, guests, and relatives were always welcome to attend one’s wedding – there was no cake or ice cream however. No booze, no liquors. It was normally just them, the food, and of course the tents. Some could argue that in Matthew 22 – it gives a description of how a wedding should be conducted, look like, and for example “To decline the invitation to a marriage was a gross insult”. In perspective, to refuse a king of anything was in many cases punishable by some form of death or torture. But In Matthew 22, Jesus was speaking in a parable to the Pharisees and the Herodians about several complicated questions. It is my belief that these were the things that He was referring: a. This is an accurate portrayal of God’s judgment on the Jews, especially the Jewish leaders, who rejected His two invitations to accept the Messiah. Jesus brought the first invitation Himself, and the apostles brought the second invitation in the Book of Acts. b. This parable demonstrates that the indifferent and the antagonist toward the gospel share the same fate; neither made it to the feast. Whether one chooses to ignore God or is openly antagonistic towards Him, the end result is the same. c. The bad were invited to the feast, but they did not remain bad. They were made fit for the feast by the king’s garments. d. This parable, as pointed and direct as it was, had no effect on the sin-hardened hearts of these religious leaders. Jesus many times spoke in parables on loaded questions that he was presented with – because His parables were just as loaded with a wealth of information for those taking the time to seek out the full meaning. The wedding dress In fact, in the grand scheme of things, the tradition isn't even all that old. The white wedding dress of today is deep-seated tradition, and for many is worn to signify virtue as well as uphold tradition. Millions - in fact billions - of women all over the world start thinking about the perfect white wedding gown before they have even found the perfect partner. Britain is a place that is rife with traditions and legends, so it is little wonder that the tradition of the white wedding dress was started by the English Monarchy. It was the wedding of Queen Victoria that spawned the interest and popularity of white wedding dresses as we know them today.
Queen Victoria married Albert of Saxe in 1840, and wore what would then have been considered a flamboyant white gown. Of course, this did not start the tradition immediately; however, many women saw this as a statement of class and style, and copied the Queen by also getting married in white. The white wedding dress in those days had nothing to do with being virtuous - it was all about wealth. Getting married in a white, extravagant gown was a sign that you could afford to buy a dress that you would never be able to wear again because of its style and color (whites were not easy to clean in those days as they are today!). Of course, women still continued to be married in various colors and styles of dress - it was only the vain and the wealthy that insisted on white to follow in the footsteps of the wealthy Monarch. However, during Edwardian times, the white wedding dress once more soared to new heights of popularity, as Coco Chanel unveiled its new knee-length white wedding dress, complete with extravagant train. Even so, with the depression that followed World War I and the approach of World War II, many women continued to make do with whatever type of dress they could afford, and this went on for decades. Some women would marry in simple white dresses, which could then be dyed and used as an everyday dress. Again, it was only the fabulously wealthy that could really afford to splurge on an elaborate gown. However, from the 1950s onwards, as the world watched Hollywood stars, royalty and members of high society get wed in stunning white gowns, the tradition of white became signed and sealed. “All that is not charity, is vanity”. 1 Corinthians 13:3, "Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." Why we have found the time and need to dress ourselves as kings and queens, break our bank accounts getting the finest foods and most extravagant floral arrangements – trying to pattern ourselves outside who we really are, is beyond my reasoning. It does carry a scriptural weight however. Christ would ask us why we have boasted ourselves heavily, and adorned ourselves in riches, when there are the hungry right outside our doors. Think about how many dinners an $8,000 wedding dress would feed someone without a dime to buy a piece of bread. It would be just as appropriate that this wedding dress would be the clothes which were worn by the person, the day God wakes the dead to be judged – just as a reminder that the money vested in a dress, for a one day event, could have fed someone for an entire year. It is simple flaws in our way of thinking that can truly have dire consequences on our souls.
Chapter 12 – The Power and Price of Knowledge
Understanding how man’s knowledge and reasoning caused God to separate the world.
The human mind, is an incredible engine – so much that it truly does scream past the fastest computer processor we have out there. There are a lot of stories and theories out there that we only use about 1011% of our brain and in truth – that is a lie and a myth. The brain’s functionality adapts and changes, and over time we are able to acquire and store vast amounts of information – but this storage is not static, meaning it does not store certain memories of your cat in one area of your brain, while storing the lasted football scores in another. The recall effect of information is much like a hard drive – it seeks until it finds all segments of this information, to form a complete memory. The mind has vaguely charted, and there truly are areas in our brain which can and do affect certain primary functions of our anatomy – sight, hearing, motor functions, etc. Most people think we all have the ability to be as great or greater than the next person, but that is just not so. Even though our minds receive the same information as the person next to us – they may be able to come up with one answer, while we may come up with something completely different.
These dynamics have been studied intensely through ink blot pictures – where one person sees something in an ink blot picture, and the next person which is given the same test could very well see the same thing, but could also see something totally different and unique from anything the field practitioner has ever heard of. It is these variations that show our minds utilize the same information quite differently.
The general opinion scholastically is that an overachiever is brilliant and will go far, while an underachiever is a statistic and will not do well in life. Albert Einstein, a brilliant scientist, enlightened the world with his innovative ideas. Even though he didn’t get good grades in school, he still became one of the greatest scientific minds in world history. The fact that an underachiever will not go far does not hold true in many cases. While perhaps the underachiever is doing poorly at the moment, is it because their mind is not functioning properly, or because it is overwhelmed with other thoughts, or is it not being exercised properly, or even that the person that is not applying themselves is bored
because their mind is brilliant in other areas? There are many other possibilities but who can rightly say what the case may be. Growing up, I was considered an underachiever in middle school and high school, and many thought that I would end up being a statistic, because of my character and my disinterest in public schools. I am now an engineer for a Fortune 500 company, and my position remains secure even through these turbulent economic times. While this may change at any moment, with all the unsteadiness of the world economy – I could speak of many out there with Doctrines and PHDs that cannot find a position to steady their income at this moment, and I thank God for my fortunate circumstances which have allowed me to provide for my family. I could spend a good amount of times with clichés, but I will not because I do pray every day for those which have been landed by this unfortunate season. In the season of the Lord which the tribes of Noah began to increasingly flourish, there was an overwhelming outpour of information amongst the people and they started erecting a tower to stand as a testimony of man’s achievements and knowledge. This knowledge is believed to have originated from the fruit of the tree of knowledge, of both good and evil – but I believe that the angelic hosts also played a part in man’s understanding of things both scientifically, and spiritually – it was obvious through the Nephilim/Giants (or half-angel / half-human) which caused the flood to begin with, that human and angelic interactions did occur back then. To what effect or magnitude this knowledge was given or gained is questionable – because there are no specifics in scripture. The bible also does not go into detail when the “Tower of Babel” was erected, nor departed from – there is a vague timeline which we can only conceive based on science and based on scriptural knowledge. Genesis 11:1-9 1And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 2And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. 3And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. 4And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. 5And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
8So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 9Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
There were two trees named in the Garden of Eden – one was the Tree of Life, and the other was the Tree of Knowledge. God obviously had reason to separate these two trees, because the Tree of Knowledge contained knowledge of both good and evil. To understand evil is one thing, with understanding we can shun it, refuse it, and rebuke it. If we take this knowledge and devise wicked devices and taint ourselves with their impurity – we obviously are creating, embracing, and engaging in evil things. Going back to the knowledge of Einstein for a moment - the atomic bomb was designed around his E=MC2 calculations and understanding. This atomic energy was used as a device of evil and wickedness – even though it “stopped the war”, it caused millions of innocent civilians to lose their lives – as a “gesture” of the supreme power in world government. It was only some time later that the atomic energies were used for good and positive purposes, rather than purposes of death, and destruction. It is within these simple fundamentals that we can see Good / Evil usage of knowledge. No wonder that God separated the people from this “Tower of Babel” or “Tower of Understanding” – because in truth the people were erecting it to stretch into the heavens – so that they could (non scriptural) be as Gods, such as that found in the temptation of Eve from the serpent. God Himself stated in Genesis 11:6 “Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” This particular scripture leaves so much room for wonder, but to me it suggests that this great wealth of knowledge and understanding was dangerous enough for God to split the tribes up and scatter them, and give them different languages – and that He foresaw the ultimate design which was coming. 1 Samuel 2:3 Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Ecclesiastes 1:18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow. Through these, it’s obvious that knowledge can be something for great good, or that of great evil. Those which carry great knowledge and wisdom, will also suffer the effects of sorrow and grief – their minds being opened up to things which are divinely influenced, is a great burden to carry because they
see that others do not, cannot, or will not – despite their actions, interactions, and teachings.
From a biblical perspective – a lot of these mysteries were lost and spread around the globe during the separation of tongues and tribes in Genesis 11 – however, some of these ancient secrets must have survived to build the pyramids in Egypt. Archeology has proven there was a “golden age” of understanding that dwarfs our modern achievements. For instance, on a tremendously high and nearly straight up mountain in the Andes Mountains of Peru, South America, a city was discovered. It had many terraces that ran a distance down the mountainside. The city is perched on a very narrow peak hidden by the clouds. Massive stones were taken from quarries, some 250 miles away, and somehow transported straight up to the top of the mountain. These huge stones weighed tons each. Each massive stone was placed in the exact location to build an earthquake-proof city! Other cities are being found in the dense jungles of South America that are just as surprising as this one described. A lot of the ancient knowledge of old have long since disappeared, much like tribal spiritualism and understanding of our spiritual purpose here. There are many mysteries surrounding some of the architecture and structures of ancient times – leaving people pondering the question “how in the world did they do that”. Daniel 12:1-4 1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. 4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. It shows by Daniel that during / close to the end times, knowledge shall be increased. If you have done any studies about the sciences – the majority of scientific, archeological, materials, and mathematical breakthroughs have been within the past 1500 years of man’s “industrial” presence here on earth. Had a civilization existed such as ours in present day – unless it was melted to cinders, or buried in the deepest parts of the ocean – we would have found some trace or evidence. The expansion of mankind is at it’s greatest peak since the beginning of time, as far as our sciences can prove currently through genetics and archeology of ancient cities. I see the “Tower of Babel”, in Genesis as a warning, of arrogance and of being “puffed up” in knowledge. This increase in knowledge can also be witnessed to the broken down language barriers through online chat systems, online translators such as Babel fish, and “Babylon” – both with appropriate names if you ask me. Then we have email translators, and software/web pages which will allow people of all languages to converge together in merchant activities. This rebuilding of the communication barrier through the internet, plus the internet as a “catch all” place for knowledge could
very well point directly at the foundations/fundamentals of the coming apocalypse warned of in Revelation.
Chapter 13 – The Final Battle / A New Beginning
From the chaos of the expiring end, into the dawn of a new era
The book of Revelation is a book chalked with mystery, frightening imagery of impending destruction for this world, angels at their heightened moment in history – with the fates of the apocalypse in their hands, the dead rising, the great trumpet blasts, the great judgments, the final battle – and of course our Holy Savior coming back to finish what He started – to bring both heaven and earth into completion. The key authors and books of the prophetic end times are listed below. Isaiah Jeremiah Ezekiel Daniel Hosea Joel Amos Micah Nahum Zechariah Malachi Revelation Christ gives the best summary of these events and how to prepare for them. These are found in Matthew chapters 24-25, Mark chapter 13, Luke 12: 37-48, Luke 17: 20-37 and Luke 21: 5-38 So many people are looking for catastrophe and calamity to all of a sudden, in a moment’s time –visibly show itself. Such as an unraveling of a mystery movie – slowly building into the climax at the end, all within a 2 hour period of time. What many do not understand is that the book of Revelation has been coming into effect and into season – right before our very eyes for quite some time now and many in the world have not even paid close attention to the signs of these times. There have been many moments throughout history that those living in that particular timeframe saw it as “the end”. Many people in the world which are aware of these prior predictions, and also “prophetic” people claiming that the time was near. They look at this day and age as being just another scare brought on by people frightened by change. The idea that we are in the End of Days is very much a possibility, however – just as there have been many false Christs, many false prophets, many false Christians, many false religions, when it is time for the real thing to come – it will be religiously rejected – just as Christ was rejected.
All points of the past , where people believed that the end was upon them – had they carefully looked at scriptures as a whole, instead of singular occurrences of their time it would have become apparent that they were not living in the times of the end. Jesus stated to be watchful of the sky, and know the signs of the times. One thing that I emphasize when it comes to the interpretation of the end times, and biblical prophecy, Gods chosen Prophets! God has already chosen enough prophets to describe the end of the world, and they have given enough details to know exactly “when” the world will come into fruition, ripe, and ready to be harvested. God’s chosen prophets have also explained what it will be like by what we can be expecting. Jesus has also given plenty of references to the end, and many of His words about it support and strengthen the words of Daniel. I have been confronted with an enormous amount of sources, there are many people who watch the media, the politics, the wars, the government, climatic changes, the financial state, the loss of biblical principal in schools, the breakdown of family structure, homosexual marriages, the list is far too long to list the overwhelming decent and degrade that our world has become, in less than 50 years we have progressively became the immorality found in Sodom and Gomorrah. Since the time of recorded history – NONE have even came close in comparison. To those which watch the individual events which are happening all around the world, my heart goes out to you, however I would think that carrying that type of burden would consume you and not allow you to live a fruitful and joyful life which is what God wishes for us to do. Many have been laughed at because their thoughts and “predictions” rather than “prophecies” (there is a major difference) were wrong. But I have to ask you, were they – or is the timing just slightly incorrect? Anyone can predict things safely, as long as they are not claiming to be a prophet without actually being one. Over the course of our recorded history each society/empire has had its individual problems to overcome, or fail miserably doing it – but the ENTIRE WORLD? What we are faced with here in the United States, is not confined just to the US – the corruption of our country is also in the majority of other countries of the world – and it’s happening in tandem (or at the same time) as ours. Our influence may have a slight impact on other countries – but I say slight because it does not change the internal structure of the country – unless we do something to the country which changes those dynamics, such as war or takeover, liberation, etc. There is undoubtedly something major going on – and while many do chase around the specific things/events and add them to their list of evidences, I feel that we need to be more focused on the spiritual aspects of the prophecies. God wants us to have spiritual eyes and understand things from a spiritual nature, not necessarily those of physical appearance. The rapid changes in this world are not by chance, it is something that we have been progressively evolving into – the frightening thing is that it has only started showing it’s face.. The entire world is beginning to draw into a state which will usher in the 7 years Lucifer will rule it, and those that turn away from the absurdities of this world will once again be the Christian caught between the Roman empirical system of rule – which is, “Do, or die, Christian believer”. Christ tells us what to do so that we will know His return:
Mark 13:31-37 31Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. 32But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. 33Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. 34For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. 35Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: 36Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. 37And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch. To watch, or post watch means to stand ready and be prepared – you can tell that Jesus does want us to keep a close eye out for Him – in Mark 13:34, where it says “and commanded the porter to watch”. The porter, is the one who either a) carries luggage to and from rooms , or b) a doorman or gatekeeper of a building [Latin porta door] – in either case it would be quite appropriate to the statement Jesus made. We are to keep a vigilant watchful eye for the Christ’s triumphant return to us from Heaven. The last generation saints are called watchmen. They are watching for the Lord's return. This prophecy says that the posted watchmen (the last generation) will not give the Lord nor themselves rest until the issue of Jerusalem reaches a final conclusion. A final conclusion for Jerusalem, being made a praise in the earth, is when the Messiah has returned and makes it His resting place. Therefore, we can conclude that the generation that sees the issue of Jerusalem come to the world's forefront (when all nations come against) are the appointed watchmen. They will not cease to be until the issue is resolved. This is a clear description of the last generation; the generation that sees Jerusalem made a praise in all the earth. It is no wonder why so many people watch the news and headlines and attribute things to The End – there are several key things which absolutely have to happen first. Many of the other signs have been rapidly growing, earthquakes, famine, pestilences, diseases, wars and rumors of wars – and as Christ Himself stated “All these are the beginning of sorrows.” They are only the birthing pains for the coming Great Tribulation period.
The First Prophetic Sign Israel
One of their clearest signs presented in scripture, of the end-times is the nation of Israel. Before Israel even entered the land, under the leadership Moses, the future of the nation was declared. Moses told Israel if they were obedient as a nation, they would be blessed above all the nations of the world.
"Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. Deuteronomy 28:1 (1450 B.C.) Israel Scattered Moses also warned Israel, if they rebelled against the Lord, they would suffer rebuke. The nation, even before they entered the land learned from Moses, about their future. 64 "Then the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods, which neither you nor your fathers have known-wood and stone. 65 "And among those nations you shall find no rest, nor shall the sole of your foot have a resting place; but there the Lord will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, and anguish of soul. 66 "Your life shall hang in doubt before you; you shall fear day and night, and have no assurance of life. 67 "In the morning you shall say, 'Oh, that it were evening!' And at evening you shall say, 'Oh, that it were morning!' because of the fear which terrifies your heart, and because of the sight which your eyes see. Deuteronomy 28:64-67 In A.D. 70, 37-years after Israel rejected Christ as Messiah, as foretold in the book of Daniel (Daniel 9:26), over 1,000,000 Jews died at the hands of Romans under the General and future emperor Titus. Sixty years after Titus, Hadrian massacred another 580,000 Jews who had rebelled against Rome. Hadrian was determined to erase the history of the Jewish people from the world. Hadrian renamed Jerusalem and Judea, Jews were no longer allowed in the area. The people of Israel were scattered throughout the Roman Empire fulfilling the words of Moses written 1400 years earlier. 26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. Daniel 9:26 (539 B.C.) The history of the Jewish people for the last 2000 years continues to fulfill what Moses said would happen to Israel. The Jewish people have maintained their identity, but were at the mercy of the nations, they suffered at the hands of the Byzantines, Crusades, Muslims, Europeans, Russians and most recently the Nazi’s. Moses warned Israel in verse Deuteronomy 28:66, “Your life shall hand in doubt before you; you shall fear day and night, and have no assurance of life”. Israel gathered Moses also promised Israel they would one day be gathered after they scattered and they would be restored to the land of their fathers, the land of Israel. They would be blessed even more then forefathers.
1 "Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God drives you, 2 "and you return to the Lord your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, 3 "that the Lord your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you. 4 "If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you. Deuteronomy 30:1-4 (1450 B.C.) The gathering of the Jews in Israel today was foretold 3400 years ago, even before Israel ever possessed the land of Israel. One of the most prophesied events in scripture is the end times gathering of Israel. (See Jeremiah 30:3, Isaiah 11:10-16, Isaiah 14:2, Ezekiel 36-37, Joel 3:1-2) Ezekiel writes, 8 "After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely. 11 "You will say, 'I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates' 12 to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land. Ezekiel 38:8 (592 B.C.) According to Ezekiel, after a long period, in the “latter days” (Last days) Israel would return to a land “Long” desolate. The people of the “New” nation would be collected from many nations and many people. The people are living in safety in un walled villages, in a formally desolate lands. This description can only match the present day state of Israel. The Jewish nation is gathered from many people and nations, after an almost 2000-year period of desolation. In May 1948, after the death of 6,000,000 Jews in Nazi Germany, the world out of sympathy for the Jewish descendents of voted small Jewish nation into existence in the land of Palestine. Palestine was the name given the land by Hadrian almost 1900 years earlier when he tried to erase memory of the Jewish people and their land. The Jewish descendents choose the name Israel for their new nation. The prophecy of the end times clearly defines all nations as coming against Jerusalem. When Jerusalem was captured by the Israelis in 1967, a major prerequisite for the end time scenario was met. It is the issue of Jerusalem and who controls it that has dominated world history. World empires have tried to
control it only to fall into history's scrap heap. But it is when Jerusalem is in Jewish hands, does the world come against her. The issue of Jerusalem also compels Israel and the Jewish people. David Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, spoke for all Israel when he said, Without Jerusalem, there is no Israel. He spoke in our day of a truth that has existed for many generations. Each Passover in the dispersed nations the final words of each years Passover is A Next year in Jerusalem, The Psalmist said it this way. If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget her skill. PSA 137:5
The Second Prophetic Sign
Matthew 24:3 3And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? 4And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. 10And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. The gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations. The Church's primary collective commission during our age, the present era, is to announce—to inform the world about—the coming of God's Kingdom, not to establish it. That is why, when asked what would signal His coming and the end of this age (Matthew 24:3), Jesus emphasized that the Church is to continue announcing His coming Kingdom, even to the very end of this age. That is why He said that "this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come" (verse 14). This is commonly known as “The Great Commission” – or the preaching to all nations, kindred, and tongues. In truth, with all the language barriers gone through translators and the internet, international radio and television broadcasts, evangelical and missionary work – this is rapidly becoming prevalent in our day and age. Does this mean that every ear and eye would have to see the biblical teachings and
understand? No – what this means is the availability and opportunity to acknowledge God in faith, and opportunity to accept the belief – and understand it’s meaning. Even in foreign countries which do not “embrace” Christianity, through the teaching of history, peoples, and religious beliefs in foreign schools – the knowledge is still getting to the youth. The two signs above are the major milestones before the coming of the end. There are plenty of other signs, and in short order they are listed below: * Spirit to be poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28) * Universal apostasy (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4) * The watering down of the gospel, teaching the doctrines of man rather than those of God. Even priests will be led astray. (2 Tim 3:5, Matt 15:9) * False prophets and false Christs (Matthew 24:24) * Good will be called evil and evil good. (Isaiah 5:20) * Restoration of all things (Acts 3:19-21) * Gospel to be preached to all the world (Matthew 24:14, Revelations 14:6-7) * Worldly knowledge to increase (Daniel 12:4) * Israel to be restored as a political state (Deuteronomy 28:64, 30:3 Jeremiah 29:14, 30:3 Isaiah 43:5-6, Ezekiel 36:24, Amos 9:14-15 * Earthquakes, floods, famines, plagues and diseases such as the world has never seen. (Matthew 24 and Luke 21) * Peace taken from the earth. Wars increase throughout the earth until war is on every land (Matthew 24 and Luke 21) * Increase in the wickedness, murder and crime among men. Increase in belief in the occult. (Matthew 24, Luke 21, 2 Timothy 3:1-5, 4:3-4) * People will not believe the signs (2 Peter 3:3-4, Matthew 16:1-4) * Increase in persecution of the Christians (Matthew 24:9, Mark 13:9) * Christ will come suddenly to His temple. (Malachi 3:1) * Signs and Wonders in heaven (Mark 13:25) * Mountains made low, valleys made high (Isaiah 40, Ezekiel 38) * Christ to receive his dominion from the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:9-14) * Two prophets preach in Jerusalem for 1260 days. They have the power to bring famines and plagues. They are killed and lie dead in the streets for three and a half days while the wicked of the earth rejoice in the streets and exchange gifts in celebration of their deaths. On the third day they arise striking fear in the hearts of the wicked. (Revelations 11) * Armageddon. The nations of the earth gather to fight Israel at Jerusalem, at Armageddon in the valley of Jehoshaphat. (Revelations 16:16) * Sun darkened, moon becomes as blood (Joel 2:31, Acts 2:20, Revelations 6:12) * Jerusalem is taken captive, the houses riled, the women ravished. (Zechariah 14:2) * The Lord appears at Mount Olive leading his people to victory (Ezekiel 38, 39, Daniel 11, 12, Joel 2,3) * Christ appears to all the earth. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ. (Phillipians 2:11) * The righteous caught up to Christ, the wicked burned as stubble. (Malachi chapters 3-4) * The judgment and first resurrection (Matthew 25:31-46, Revelations 20:5-6) * The thousand years of peace ushered in, Christ to reign personally on the earth (Revelations chapters 20-21)
So how can one be sure that our generation is the days spoken of by the prophets? Besides the signs and the prophecies coming true, there is another thing which points to this – a unified opinion of the churches – that we are in the end times, the final days. This was spoken by Jesus concerning the parable of the fig tree. No matter the denomination (possibly specific churches and their teachings, but not the collective opinion) the greater spiritual leaders, and small town pastors all know that we draw very near to that time – possibly even in our current generation, but definitely soon. There are still many “mysteries” surrounding the biblical account, especially in prophesy – simply because it has not happened yet and can lead to imaginations running wild, and opinions stacked upon opinions. But many are guesses and not necessarily the way they will be when the events unfold. A very firm opinion of mine, concerning Revelation and “The Harlot”, or Babylon the Great – I feel scripture is referring to the internet. Nowhere else, can someone commit acts against God and His commandments then through the internet. The internet can corrupt the kings of the world at the same time it can corrupt the quiet and innocent Christian sitting at home. You don’t even have to go searching for the corruption, as we receive porn in our spam mail, and by visiting websites unknowingly falling into a web of seduction by sidebar advertisements and pop ups. The internet is in almost every industrialized culture, tribe, and nation – or at the very least it is accessible in some way form, or fashion. The internet unifies all tribes and all nations and all tongues into one common place, and the internet is used immensely for buying and selling – it does not matter what your currency is, most shops on the internet are able to handle any type of currency. Our minds are seduced into believing that the internet is wonderful and great, but it truly is an engine of corruption and filled full of every blasphemy and abomination imaginable to mankind (whether it be digital or not). There is no place that the world can go to simultaneously and become corrupted – even unknowingly. From the minds of the children, to the minds of the elderly – this engine is available, and is readily used for almost all common tasks. While this may be a hard thing to choke down, one cannot deny its presence, its size, and it has emerged , becoming one of the most important and powerful “tools” of our time. Evil shall appear as good – leading and leaving many astray. But, who could live without their internet right? Technology and advances in science have brought us a long way, at the same time has dulled our senses and made many rely more on our gadgets, medicines, and sciences then on God. Perhaps we are looking at revelation too literal, blood meaning blood, and not something more spiritual in meaning. We see beasts walking around drinking the blood and birds eating carcasses in revelation, and these can paint a truly frightening and morbid picture for us of what’s to come – but what if they too mean something other than the physical nature of events. There are many indications of this, not just in the book of Revelation , but also through the other prophets – and through the many other Christian and spiritual writings which were not included in the bible when it became the cannon. A prophet typically would have visions, and then interpret these visions, such as Daniel did – what if revelation is left un-interpreted intentionally – so that the end time “watchmen” would be able to see and understand it’s full meaning as events unfolded. I do utilize the internet , but I try to limit my usage to specific things, and not to have the “full experience”. I am not a hypocrite by any means with what I said above nor am I judging anyone using
the internet, but as with anything that is truth, no matter how hard it is to swallow – it should never be denied. In part the internet does have its technological advances, but we must remain in preparedness and truth at what it could eventually evolve into, and how it could infiltrate itself deep within our personal spiritual structure. Even from a non Christian viewpoint, it is still a festering plague upon the traditional family – it can separate children from their parents, even going out and having fun with friends, or finding interest in a good book, or spending time talking. A family that is broken between separate computer terminals is not a healthy interactive family – it’s a family separated by technology and self interests. It is a widespread problem and growing ever more each day. I hold on to the great truth and great hope, when Jesus returns to us and rids us of all these spiritual and physical plagues and pestilences, what joy we can have even in this turbulence – knowing the time is drawing near when they shall be no more.
Chapter 14 – Being lost, Being found
We are not in the lost and found box, what we face is subject to penalty
From the beginning of time, to the end of time God will remain just as He first was. This is not something that any of us can account for in ourselves. We go through so many changes and challenges in life which sculpt our way of thinking and our views – but when we do arrive at the end we will have to account for what we have learned. If after our life expires we are revealed to the fact that God did exist and we spent our whole lives denying Him and rejecting conversations about Him, or possibly even talking against Him – the “If I would have known, I would have been different” isn’t going to help us. God of course still loves him that did the rejecting – but at this point it would be unjust for everyone that did take account to God (in blind faith), for Him to allow someone of that nature into our house (heaven). There are so many simple ways that we can attribute to God – without getting carried away into all the technical details and jargon “knowledgeable” men have.. He is, simply put – the best Daddy in all of creation. Problem is, most of us do not associate Him as such. Being lost, in the wilderness (or wildness) of this world is where God sometimes sends us – to learn just how much we need Him, and to learn just how little control we have of anything surrounding us. We can also be lost in this world by our own choices – whereas God would like us to be somewhere else, yet we ignore the call. God rejects no one, but definitely has many who reject Him. It is usually to have the freedom of delighting in sinfully natured things, having to look into one self and see the horrible image staring back, or the unwillingness to change lifestyles, and actions. Even for those out there which say “I am a good person, I just don’t believe in God” – and do live up to that by maintaining a “good” system, will most likely still be on the other side of the gates after judgment, because the love-bond, the covenant – between us and God, will not be there to account for them. All of their actions in life were at their digression, and no glory went to the Lord in anything they did. What we most typically fail to do individually is associate ourselves with the “guilty” , if you have ever heard of those stuck in jail/prison – they by their own accounts are innocent and stand ready to reach out to anyone they can with that innocence. In truth, those which are in prison are no different than we are, they just got caught and penalized for their crimes and/or actions. We do not typically associate ourselves with murderers, thieves, and those which carry out the actions regarded as “crimes” – but let
me ask you something – if we have ever thought about hitting someone, killing someone, stealing, lying, or look at someone in a rude or profound way – are we really any different? In perspective, if we have already done these things in our mind, our thoughts, our words, or our emotions – we have committed the action, spiritually. It is a very hard association for most of us to accept – but it is within these thoughts, these images, these emotions and ideas – that crimes are conceived, and for those which lack self control and strength of character, will sometimes be carried out into physical actions. This is the web, the seduction, and a trap, that Lucifer tries spin against us. By erecting strongholds in our spiritual being, and attempt to sway/deviate us from the plan that God has in mind. He’s not going to be doing that with a pitchfork – he does it with a luscious apple, and a promise of greatness – as we can see from our failure in the Garden of Eden. For those Christians believing that Lucifer is not a mighty angel, and is just a pushover and can be “stomped on” – may I remind you that being a Christian does not free you from sin, or the ability to sin. Many Christians cannot or will not even conceive the nature of their own actions, thoughts, and words – as being sinful. I could name a million different things which are sinful in this world, participation in just one – makes you a sinner and you have knowingly or unknowingly been seduced into Lucifer’s plan. Yes, God and Jesus forgive the sinner – if they did not – we would be in a tremendous amount of trouble – but they can only forgive what we are willing to admit to ourselves. If we fail to see that there is an amazing and supernatural, tug of war, spiritual battle going on in the background for our very salvation and soul – we have rejected scripture completely. Lucifer has the ability to send the entire “world” against you – because they do not want you to believe in the Holy and written word.
We can run, but we cannot hide from the truth…. If you have your entire world crumbling around you, what wall of fortitude will you be hiding behind? If you do not have a wall of fortitude, may I suggest God – through faith, hope and love – as your shield? It is amazing that so many wait until a time of great crisis and peril to come to terms with God – but is it just in the hopes that He is out there because you face your life or someone else’s life expiring, or have run out of your own options? It’s ok, I was there quite a bit myself before I came to terms with truth. I was tired of running, tired of hiding, and tired of trying to find my own way to fix things – when each and every time I found myself in another crumbling and deteriorating situation. We, being creatures wanting immediate answer and resolution – have to find patience and temperance. The world we see may be crumbling down so that God can rebuild things properly, with structure. If we try and take these reins away, we could very well turn out to be our own worst enemy and biggest stumbling block. There are quite a few references that point to this patience in scripture – but it’s just common sense when you take into account , that the rain for the great flood didn’t come before Noah started building the ark God commanded him to build.. Noah could have looked up in the sky and said, “the sky is clear with not a cloud – I don’t believe I need to build an ark”.. Instead he did what was commanded, I am sure painstakingly – plank by plank and joint by joint – for the time that “the storm”
would come, in God’s time – and not his own. God made sure that Noah was successful, but He didn’t build the boat, nor did He make Noah have the faith. What would have happened if Noah did not have the faith, and did not build the boat as God commanded? Mankind, all of it – and most of the land based animals – would have been wiped off the face of the earth during God’s cleansing. We can be used in this way too, but we have to allow God to take the reins, accept that “Father knows best” – and have patience. We are not responsible for what tomorrow brings us, we are responsible for the here and now – in this particular breath, and this particular heart beat. We may not wake up tomorrow, or tomorrow may not even be here at all for that matter. It is up to each of us to remember, that no matter how slight or simple a request that the Spirit may have for us – it is not insignificant, and very well may turn into that ark down the road. The biggest obstacle that we have is by our own design. In the earlier centuries, Lucifer was taken very seriously and he was spiritually acknowledged as someone who feverously wanted domination and control over mankind. Today, we see a comical and disrespectful rendition over one of the most powerful angels that God ever created – at the same time, instead of turning to God in times of plagues, arising crisis, pestilences, corruption, destruction – we turn to man for the “cure” .. Let me ask you, if Lucifer created a plague (such as the black death) – and then empowered mankind with the answer – the cure for the calamity. Where do you see people turning to for answers? God, or the person holding the answer by inoculation which has proven to be successful? It is this type of mindset that we need to see the actions being carried out by Lucifer, the necessity of relying on God being obstructed by “man’s ability and knowledge” to cure the problems we face. This also holds true to mental illnesses, behavior disorders, anything which affects the living. Turning back to scripture we can see Jesus and the other apostles successfully dealing with plagues of the body and of the mind – not with medical sciences, but with spiritual acknowledgement and understanding where these “plagues” were actually originating from. The health of the body , can very well be impacted by the health of the spirit, and the faith of God. Medical sciences cannot explain spiritual healings, it breaks the bounds of science – and shows that “something” else is at work. But most scholars and scientist of today, which are faced with explaining this phenomenon, only suggest that the body has an amazing ability to heal itself – taking no notion of the spiritual involvement. This amazing “phenomenon”, and man’s explanation – creates a mockery of God’s ultimate power and love over us. Man has no office on this planet, big enough to suggest that they hold the “ultimate answers” to these events. Lucifer, if creating the calamity, and empowering the minds of men with the cure – has successfully turned our attention from God, to man. He has quietly placed mankind on a pedestal, tricking us into believing we reign above the plague that we suffer from.
Any of the “medications” out there may help our current conditions – but none of the medications come without risk of something else – you hear about all the side effects, and all of warnings of secondary conditions they can produce. If they were of “God” or came from God as a cure, would there be any repercussions by using them. If God created the “blue pill” which eliminated our body of all contaminants – would it not do exactly as God created? Would there be any side effects besides good? Would there be any hidden contradictions or hidden reactions – or even negative bodily reactions to this pill? The answer is simply put, no. God operates in mysterious design, but there is no fine print to read of the possible side effects. God operates in mystery so that the enemy cannot see what His plans are. If they knew, they would do everything they could to put a stop to it – or to pervert it’s original intent. This has been shown throughout scripture – God keeps us safe and His design safe, by staying mysterious. The bible and scriptures are very mysterious and intriguing at the same time. No book in the history of the world has ever sparked so much attention, wars, controversy, conflict or arguments. The Christian faith has been under attack since it's start, there has been absolutely no religious belief in the history of mankind which has caused so many to lose their lives as a result, so much blood to be shed by means of believing in brotherly and sisterly love. This conflict rages on - through systematic dissolution of church and state, atheists and civil activists attempting to break down the rights for freedom of religion by creating a flanking "freedom from religion" mentality in the mainstream, removal of prayer and rights to pray or even carry a bible into the schools. Teaching and treating Darwinism as a religion and training our youth to embrace such teachings as the "new religion" - even though the basis of Darwinism stems from the same radical thoughts such as spontaneous reproduction, chemical life, evolution from a made up/fictitious "pea soup" which all of a sudden appeared in the oceans from the chemical life/spontaneous reproduction. Human DNA and genomes can be traced back to our very beginnings - there are absolutely no supporting sciences to back the idea that we somehow "evolved" from any single celled amoeba, plant life, or that "primates" (monkeys) are related to us in any given way - despite any similarities they may have to us. The actual "Sciences" are based on what can be proven as being correct, and accountable by substantial evidences - the ideas and concepts of Darwin , has never and will never have any proof to substantiate it to being scientific fact - yet it is taught feverously throughout the school systems as science - while the notion of God is overruled by these sort of fraudulent teachings. It is quite interesting that man attempts to prove that man has superior intellect in one sentence, then states that we evolved from slugs in the ocean, and that our closest relative is the monkey in the next. Somehow, they just do not maintain cohesion.
Even more interestingly - if the "evolution" concept was indeed true - and monkeys still exist to this day, then every other level of this evolving process would still exist as well. But we do not see half men - half monkeys do we? Have they hidden themselves so well that we do not know of their existence here on earth? Science would argue that "we have skulls and bones which show the evolutionary process from ape to man". True , they do have some bones which show differences in the bone structure - but not enough bones to substantiate that these were an evolving or evolutionary race of being or to discredit or substantiate that it was a different being all together. The sciences and the evidences just do not add up properly. Scientifically speaking - exposure to nuclear materials, raw or otherwise could very well be a reason for these differences. If the ancient tribes were camped out on a uranium rich area, drinking water or just bodily exposure to this uranium - could have caused all sorts of things to happen. In 1996, Lijon Eknilang from Rongelap Atoll told the International Court of Justice how she and other Marshallese women had given birth to ‘monster babies’: ‘One woman on Likiep gave birth to a child with two heads. There is a young girl on Ailuk today with no knees, three toes on each foot and a missing arm - she was raised on a nuclear contaminated area. The most common birth defects have been “jellyfish” babies, born with no bones in their bodies and with transparent skin. We can see their brains and hearts beating. The babies usually live for a day or two before they stop breathing.’ - since these events happened during the course of our recorded history - we have a valid explanation to support them - nuclear radiation exposure. If science were to find and examine the remains of these deformities from times long ago they would just try and fit them on the evolutionary scale and process - discrediting any notion that it was due to any environmental factors which could have very well changed the structure of the tribe, gradually or quite rapidly, depending on the circumstances. I must warn you, the following pictures are sad, and quite graphic - but you do not have to go very far to see that there is plenty of other explanations to things dug up from the past. Science goes way out there at times, and some of its ideas (especially in regards to evolution) border the outlandish extremes, with very few facets to support them.
There are however, many scientists out in the scientific community which very much embrace God as being fact - and keep their focus on the scientific truths while either avoiding the controversial or talk against it. God cannot be explained by science, because He is the source of all the sciences - He therefore must not exist. In the eyes of the science of man, everything is explainable through scientific process (or) reasonable explanation. Science should hold "true" to the fact that everything which is scientifically explainable, should be able to be recreated and/or duplicated - in the matters of Darwin, and God - they cannot, therefore since Darwin was a real man and had the best scientifically notable argument against creation by God - he is right? How scientifically mad is that. In order to be found, one needs to be truly lost - and we are all this way until we come to that realization. If we are not seeking to be found or to find the truth, then we wish to be forgotten. There is a big difference in relation to the two types of individuals. One can be helped, the other has to help them self before anyone has a chance of penetrating that blockade. Jesus himself was led into the wilderness/desert for a test of faith and confrontation with the devil. If we do not realize that we are already in that wilderness then how does God ever have a chance of reclaiming or gaining that position in our lives? It is our spiritual responsibility to come out of the world, and into the hands of He who holds our best interests in mind. To completely understand the magnitude of this, we have to realize that Lucifer does not typically hold a personal conversation with any of us - or tempt us with a fool's ransom - he does two things that he has been doing a very good job at. The first is blinding us to the truth of God - we assume that the song taught to us in our youth is the right song, but throughout this book I have challenged these values and
traditions which many hold very dear. Satan knows this, and knows that as long as we are blinded - his works can continue. The second is his constant and ongoing destruction of our values and morals - we live in a world of chaos fueled by shameful, sinful and very deceptive trends - if you deny or refuse to accept this to being fact then you are part of the world's ways and not the ways of God. This chaos is not rooted in God, because God never intended the world or our lives to be this way - this chaos is given out by Satan with the absence of God's ways. It is up to us to wake up, and really realize that we are not in control – no matter how great and knowledgeable we think we are. I am but a simple man myself, but I do know that my Daddy is always with me – and always has a watchful eye on any happenings around me. If my life expires, it will be by the design of God, even if evil feels that they have accomplished something great by taking my life – it was already secretly laid out in God’s time. This can also be witnessed through the execution of Jesus himself – Lucifer felt that he had accomplished something grand, when in truth – it was already planned out in secrecy for this to occur in the time and place that it did. We can very much go on throughout our lives thinking there is no mystery, there is no invisible God, there is no invisible spirits, angels, or invisible powers holding everything together – but that would also mean that everything perpetually sustains itself – which completely capsizes any of the chaos theories, and scientific notions we have to date. Science to mankind, is only the tip of the iceberg to God – we see things in relation to how things work, not explaining the whys or the interrelation to the rest of creation. We could take anything conceivable as an example, and would see that we are touching only the outer crust of understanding to the particular thing. Everything, even the introductions of devices, such as a combustion engine – its design, its construction, and it’s operation can be seen. We have the ability to engineer and reengineer it to what we see as being technological advances. But what about the origin of this knowledge which was gained to create such a device? Where did this come from? To what ultimate effect will it have on mankind as a whole – are we truly seeing the big picture, or are we just seeing the outer advantages of having it – without any greater thoughts or reasoning? By just “accepting”, we have become lax in our observations. An automobile can be a very useful tool to us – but at the same time, it is a vehicle or an instrument of many deaths, and destruction to the air we breathe. Does the goodness of this, outweigh the negative – or are we too focused on the benefit of our own selfish interests to see beyond the veil and how it relates to the rest of creation? In truth, lets look at the wars, desires, and ambitions of greed surrounding something which the engine cannot function without – oil, and it’s bi-product – gasoline. What if the original concept was handed to us by one of the fallen, or even Lucifer himself – for the widespread greed and chaos that such a device would cause? We could say “surely not” – but my question in response is why not? We have spent so much time orienting ourselves around an already designed system and structure in this world, but what if we have completely missed the mark by the desire to fit in and make this system work for us, rather than search out the deeper calling and see what God wants us to do – despite the
system. In order for us to be able to accomplish this, we have to do exactly what Christ was teaching us to do – to be called out of the world, and let go of our materialistic attitude. It is hard to do , especially in a world that feels that a nice shiny car, or boat, or big house – represents status, position, and power. To top it off, our political views make or break us with one another, or if we belong to certain clubs, groups, or organizations – each with their own specific agendas. We are responsible for representing what is truly important to us, and if that is God – then we cannot try to fit into a profound world that is completely migrating away from God, and into a new system of human dynamics and philosophies. Science would see innovation as a means of human achievement and advancement as a people – but I ask, through breakthroughs, new sciences, technologies and innovations – are we growing closer or further away from the spiritual, and away from God. Taking a step back to understanding “knowledge” – the lust/desire for it in the Garden of Eden, the puffed-up attitude of mankind at the Tower of Babel, and finally the great increased to be experienced during the days marking the end (in revelation) – knowledge is not shown to be a spiritually healthy thing – but rather is seen as a spiritually hindering thing. I got excellent grades in science – all through school, and have a passion toward understanding “how things work” , but these understandings will never hinder, dampen, or draw me away from the truth. Instead, the understanding allows me to see the dynamics of God at work and in action. So many get lost in their IPOD, cellular, blackberry texting, online chatting, playstation/xbox gaming, or watching the flurry of television shows – with no time to step back and spend time in love with their creator… If the majority of us only realized just how much God enjoys having a loving conversation with His children and His creation, there would be a whole lot of people labeled as clinical schizophrenics because we would all be talking to the sky… Our world is littered by a never ending perpetual cycle of short sighted, blind and ill-mindedness – which is constantly seeking to lure and draw us ever deeper into its entertainment snare. With television shows and entertainers seeking pleasure in mocking our Father, Jesus, and the Creation as a whole… God has a great sense of humor, after all – he created us, and gave us the amazing gift of laughter and joy – but I do not think that He ever conceived us to mock him with it. I do not see a Father sitting in heaven full of fury and fire ready to rage it down upon us because we make fun of Him, I see a father sitting in His easy chair (throne) – weeping at the actions of His children, who are breaking His heart every day. It is the human intellect, and the thought processes of man which separate God away from being a very active family member. We separate God every time we say “God first, family second” – It’s family first, period – and if we do not include our heavenly father into our family – how much in measure is He in our lives? The angels are the harvesters, in revelation and throughout the bible – they are the ones which carry out the works of God on this planet, under normal circumstances. As I have outlined in my previous chapters, the spiritual aspects we face are very misleading and blinded by again, the human intellect and resolve. Mankind walks around with a swollen head, thinking it knows all there is to know about things. There are some religions and practices which believe they have the will
and ability of commanding angels to do their bidding – they are not bound by our will – only by that of God. Angels and spirits alike have free will, and in truth – if spirits and angels are interacting with us and allow us to know of their presences – it is a response through love, mercy, teaching, awakening, or punishment directly constrained by God’s plan. Even in the worst of spiritual cases regarding “invisible entities”, God is ultimately in control. Science has plainly failed in understanding the oldest and most important values that all the tribes of the world have embraced (until science started taking over), and that is the spiritual truth, which can be found everywhere. Those which still walk awake in this world, want to be heard – known and seen. If you were a disembodied spirit – would you want someone to hear you, see you, feel you – interact with you? Are we to believe that spiritual beings have no feelings or emotions? If that is the case, I suppose the same can be spoken of about God. Most individuals which try to communicate with those which do roam unseen, are thrill seekers looking for some sort of spiritual proof – but they do not know, believe, or understand the forces which are out in this world – and are absolutely unprepared when they are confronted with the truth. For most, the actual ability of these free-roaming spirits and non-corporeal beings is frightening to the thrill seeker or curious – and fear instead of understanding usually takes over. This is not the lesson which needs to be learned – what truly needs to be realized – is that the spirit world is very real, very active – and so is God, which is who binds everything and everyone together.
May each and every one of you find the truth, and God My final suggestions to anyone who wants to genuinely reach out to God is to confirm Him above and beyond anything and everything in your life. This is the manner that we should exalt Him – no cutting corners or having “in between” states, or allowing outside influences to sway our views. God is not someone we should be in constant struggle with, we need to be more conscientious when we face trials and struggles in life – there are many different variables which come into play, even though they will all come back to God’s attention in the end. If we have dealt with loss of anything, loved ones, possessions, prizes, money, esteem – there is always, despite the circumstances or situation, a reason even if we cannot clearly see it at the present moment we go through the storms in life. Society and Non-Christian influences can suggest so many arguments posing the “how can this be of God” – such as death, illness, suffering, homelessness, children mortality – but the scorecard and reasons will be found in heaven – and not on this earth. Even though our very simple and feeble minds cannot see a point or a reason, does not mean there is not one. We must reconcile our differences towards God, and trust in Him completely – the place in which we live is only temporary, and short at that. There are so many people out there who want to make their mark on this world, and there are only two types of people which do that – the tyrant, and the hero. The tyrant will constantly seek upon self gain and self propelled goals, while the hero seeks to find a solution for everyone’s well being and genuinely care enough to be there as a friend when times are at its worst. Outside of that, people generally do not even get into the spotlight – and even if they do it will be on a small scale, localized. Just a little dot on the map, for a brief moment in history. The hero wants to teach others his values and attempt to expand to other people to do right to others. While the tyrant attempts to enforce his views upon others, and claim more people through fear, confusion, and chaos. If you realize this, then you will understand the spiritual background of this world as well – and when we start looking at things on a spiritual level – it is as plain as black and white, night and darkness, good and bad, God and Lucifer. Whichever influence you sway toward is indeed the one in the background that is influencing you. Because there is no scale, weights and measures, or severity of sin itself – sin is sin is sin, the dominating factor is where our focus truly needs to be on. The biggest question we can ever ask ourselves in any decision making – or soul searching is “what would God think, say, or do” – in truth it forces us to be honest with ourselves, and forces us to acknowledge how a truly good father would think. In the end, there will either be rejection, or love. What we choose, is what we will receive. The spiritual line was drawn not on this earth, but in heaven – and what we see, is only a fraction of what is truly going on. Even though we may not be placed upon a throne with a kingdom because everyone thinks we are great – we still, have the opportunity to make a considerable impact on people, one person at a time. Life is by far, too short to be wasting it on absolution, it is also too short to be wasting it on self preservation and self fulfillment. God knows if we are being genuinely sincere in our hearts towards
others, and so do we. If we are seeking to do the right thing, and point our fingers to God and say , “ok, I did a good thing – see what I did, you owe me one” - we are no better than the tyrant who is trying to get ahead, for his own selfish reasons… It has to be a natural transition, something you feel in your heart and something you need no reward for, that God’s smile at the moment is more than enough… This is the definition of righteousness, and sacrifice. God has always wanted us to realize who we are towards one another, how He would like us to be, what the greatest rewards and riches truly are, and where we fit into the scheme of things on earth, and in heaven. The proof of this is and has always been in the scriptures, it is a blueprint of how to truly live, and how to truly love. There is hope, even when it seems all hope is lost. We are the ones that determine if we fly the flag of hope; or just let go, give in, and give up. It all starts with you.
God bless all of you
Many thanks go out to those which stood by me during this time, and have supported all my efforts into making this book into a reality. I would especially like to thank God, above all else for allowing me to have the time to compile this amazing work of His. Even though, through publishing and rights publishing – I cannot take any credit for the book itself, if I did – I would not feel right within myself. The Holy Bible goes without saying, that it is a written compilation of many great testimonies - in my opinion the Bible – although it is a completed work in itself, does not account for the testimony that each of us can bear onto the world about the marvelous wonders and tell how amazing and wonderful God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit truly are. It is here, in this book – that you will find my testimony and desire to reach others with the truth.
© 2009 – Brian Clark
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