Why would the bible end. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. God called prophets and gave scripture to Adam, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, and John. So why not give revelation and choose prophets today.
"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: 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" (Rev22).
This is just talking about the revelation given to John, that it shouldn't be added to or subtracted from. "Words of the prophecy" = the book of revelation. The Bible is many books and many prophecies. There is nothing in the Bible that says the Heavens are closed and God will not speak to man any more.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Why would the bible end. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. God called prophets and gave scripture to Adam, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, and John. So why not give revelation and choose prophets today.
Can you take relationships with you into the next life. We are told, "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal" (Matt6). We know we can take our relationship with God with us because that is the meaning of Eternal Life, "that they might know thee the only true God" (John17). But what about our wife, our children, and our parents. Will they be nothing to us in the next life? or are family relationships one of the treasures in heaven.
First, Adam and Eve were given to each other before The Fall. They were husband and wife in innocence in the Garden of Eden and dwelt in the presence of God as such (see Gen2). Second, Paul says: "Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God" (1Cor11). Third, I think many people misinterpret the "neither marry nor are given in marriage scripture" (see Mark12) Jesus is asked about a theororetical woman who marries 7 brothers. Whose wife should she be in the resurrection. Then Christ says there is no marriage in the resurrection. That is right. There is no marrying, or marriage in the resurrection. But there is marriage here on Earth. So, the answer is that she will be the wife of the first brother to whom she was married for time and all eternity and not just "till death do us part" or "for as long as we both shall live".
Peter was given a special priesthood power by Christ: "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" (Matt16). So, if someone is baptized on Earth, or married on Earth, or received any other type of ordinance that Jesus Christ established as part of his church that that ordinance would be in effect in this life and in the next after the resurrection. This is the power that the Pharisees denied: "Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? (Mark12).
Lastly, remember Jesus was asked: "Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Our family and neighborly relationships are so important because they are one of the only "treasures" that we can take with us into the next life.
Monday, November 28, 2005
"the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice" (1Kgs19).
I know I have prayed about decisions in my life and felt inspired, prompted by God's spirit (still small voice in my heart and mind) to go down a road I would not have thought to go down on my own. That has made all the difference.
When I have a choice to make, I prayerfully read the scriptures to know God's will. I weigh the pro's and cons and then make the best decision I can make on my own. Then I kneel down in a private place and petition God in the name of Jesus Christ (essential) to reveal to me if my decision is also his will. And then I listen. A "yes" answer feels to me like a warm, peaceful feeling in my heart and a satisfied "it makes sense" feeling in my spiritual mind. However, sometimes the answer doesnt make complete sense to my scientific worldly mind. A "no" answer feels like the issue is still clouded or out-of-focus. Many times I get a "be patient, you're not ready for the answer yet" feeling.
"Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?" (DC6).
Revelation from God through the feelings of the Holy Spirit must be consistent with the "fruit of the spirit." "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law" (Gal 5).
A few times I have been driving down the road in the car and a spontaneous, irrational thought will come to mind, "there will be an accident in the next intersection." That thought will be accompanied by feelings of fear, chill, or a rush of adrenalin. Then I think, "Was that thought from God, was that a spiritual warning?" I have found that such thoughts when accompanied by fear and adrenalin are not from God. "for perfect love casteth out all fear" (Mor8).
I have had other instances where a similar warning or direction had come into mind yet the thought was accompanied by "the fruit of the spirit" complete peace, calm, and focus. I have found that to be the voice of God. I am still training myself to listen and follow. "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John14).
The Bible is the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. Meaning, it was pure as originally written by the prophets. However, since then, there have been various states of apostacy among so-called believers. As was the case in Jesus' Day. So, it can be well understood how there could be lost books, additions, and deletions or just uninspired misinterpretations and interpolations of scripture. It is plainly evident the scriptures reference many other books an prophesies which are lost.
Also, just look at how the KJV of the bible came to be. The books of the Bible were decided upon by the great Catholic councils (eg Trent, 1545). A few Catholics I've met argued that there was pure doctrinal harmony before the reformation. This is just not so as the many councils (eg Trent, Nicea) were necessary to determine what the official doctrine was to be. But these councils failed to establish unity because they do not recognize an important truth. Just because a majority of people vote for something it doesn't make it true. So, in response there arose the great protesters (eg luther, calvin, cromwell, wesley). During the reformation, other great Christian martyrs such as Whycliff translated the Catholic Vulgate Bible from Latin to English and then later Tindale translated the original Greek Pentateuch in English. Before this time the Bible could not be read by the average person. Tyndale is quoted saying to his fellow catholic priests, "I will make a boy that driveth a plow know more of the Scriptures than you do." The KJV contains about 85% of Tindale's translation. King James was not of himself a saintly person, but the many scholars who worked long and hard on the project did a fine job to whom we owe an enormous debt of gratitude. But the translation was of men and therefore, imperfect.
So, where do you go from there. The Bible itself contains the answer. The Bible says: "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God" (James 1). I think we need to turn to the scriptures but we should not forget to turn to God in prayer to seek personal revelation from him. Without the spirit of revelation any verse of scripture is up for argument.
EXAMPLE:"When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt 16).
Personal revelation by prayer and the Holy Spirit of prophecy is the rock of which Jesus is speaking. "Would God that all the LORD’s people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them! (Num 11).
Friday, November 25, 2005
"But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen2). The sin of Adam and Eve brought on both physical and spiritual death. Physical death is separation of our spirits from our bodies. Spiritual death is the separation from our souls from God.
The psalmist and Isaiah recognize that the spiritual and temporal consequences of the FALL have been passed down on all mandkind. "Thy first father hath sinned, and thy teachers have transgressed against me" (Isa 43). "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me" (Psalm 51).
"The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation" (Ex 34). Spiritual and temporal effects of sin can be seen everyday in families. For instance, family psychologists talk about "breaking the cycle of abuse." If an individual is abused as a child he is more likely to be abusive to his children. Many aspects of sin opperate like this and not so much because God has cursed them. "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Prov. 22). Unfortunately the opposite is true as well.
The Law of Moses teaches that the atonement of Jesus Christ covers sin done in ignorance. "And if any one of the common people sin through ignorance, while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty; Or if his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned. And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay the sin offering in the place of the burnt offering" (Lev 4).
Although there are concequences of sin passed down from father to son, the Law of Moses teaches that man will be punished for his own sin and not the sin of a parent throught the atonement of Jesus Christ. "The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his down sin" (Deut 24).
The atonement of Christ covers all the consequences of original sin. All men will be resurrected and brought back to the presence of God to be jugded according to their own works whether they be good or bad according to the individual's knowledge and circumstances. Little children who die before becoming fully accountable are covered by the atonement of Christ or judged according to their degree of accountability.
"For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1Cor15).
People always ask, is that scripture speaking in a temporal sense or in a spiritual sense. Did the Red Sea really part and the Israelites pass through on dry ground. Did Jonah really spend three days in the belly of the whale or was that just an allegory foreshadowing Christ's death and resurrection on the 3rd day. The answer is YES to both. The things in the scriptures all really did happen. And they also represent spiritual truths which can be applied or likened in your own walk with Christ.
Armageddon has deep significance to our spiritual lives. But the armies of the Earth at some future date will gather together against the city of Jerusalem. The 2 witnesses will walk the streets of Jerusalem and hold the armies off with the power of God until they are finally killed and their bodies will be paraded throughout the streets. Then when the city is about to fall, Jesus Christ will appear on top of the Mount of Olives. There will be a great earthquake. The mountain will split in half, while the opposing armies are decimated like Isaiah and the Assyrian armies, and the survivors will rush thru to meet their Messiah. After which they will ask "What are these marks in your hands and in your feet" Christ will then answer "They are the marks I received in the house of my friends" And then the people's eyes will be open and they will know that they crucified their God, and fall down and worship Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the Savior of the World, the Son of God.
The concept of armies of the Earth gathering together to fight a country was unheard of until World War One and the creation of the United Nations.
"God is the same yesterday, today, and forever." There were prophets who spoke with God face to face before Christ such as Adam, Moses, Abraham, and Isaiah. There were also prophets who spoke to God face to face after Christ's coming such as John the Revelator, Stephen the disciple, and Paul. And so we shouldn't think the "heavens are sealed" or that "God has done his work" or that the "Master of the Vineyard has traveled to a far country." The Bible prophecies of two witnesses in the last day who will prophesy" (Rev11). If there will be prophets in the streets of Isreal in the last day, then why not now?
"Surely the Lord God will do nothing but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets" (Amos 11).
If there were a living prophet of the true and living God, who would he/she be? I suspect he would be known as a prophet by his followers like Moses. He would humbly aknowledge that he is a prophet but not flaunt any supernatural powers or seek to bring power, fortune, or fame to himself. Athough he is accepted as a prophet by a small minority of believers, he would be generally overlooked, or possibly deemed a fraud by the rest of the world in general.
What would be he message? First off, A prophet professes Christ. So he would bare witness that Jesus CHrist is the Messiah, the Saviour of the World, the Son of God. A prophet is a special witness of Jesus Christ with a special commision to teach all nations, and preach Christ to all kindreds, tongues, and peoples. He would travel the world to inspire and exhort mankind to live the teaching and doctrine of Christ:faith, repentance, baptism by water and of fire (Spirit);and to be meek, be humble, full of love, patient, kind, and honest.
Next, a prophet is a seer. So he would be able to see things as they really have been, as they really are, and as they really will be. Accordingly, a seer would be warn us of the problems and ills of society and the future consequences of our actions. I suspect a seer would be inspired to speak out about the disintigration of families and family values, honesty, pornography and the internet, consumer debt, violence, alcohol, drugs and tobacco as well as speaking about war, terrorism and world conflict.
Finally, a prophet is a revelator. God would reveal to his prophet things that have never been known by man about the future. The prophet would not comment on the time of Christ's second coming for "no man knoweth the hour" but he would be inspired to speak out on the future calamities that have been foretold by ancient prophets in the scriptures and exhort us to prepare both spiritually and temporally for the disasters, plagues, famines, tempests, earthquakes that are to occur before the second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Everyone existed before they were born as spirit children of Heavenly Father and we lived with him in a state of innocence in heaven. "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God" (Rom 8). God reveals this truth to Jerimiah the prophet when He says, "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations" (Jer 1).
Also, the scriptures in revealing the divinity of Jesus Christ make it clear that Christ existed before he was born to Mary: "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him" (John 8). Remeber, "I AM", is the name Jehovah of the Old Testament gives to himself when speaking to Moses in the Burning Bush. The Pharisees were going to stone Jesus because he revealed that he ,Jesus Christ of the New Testament, was Jehovah of the Old Testament.
The state of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden symbolizes this pre-mortal existence. Their fall and being thrown out of the Garden of Eden is akin to our leaving the presence of God and coming to Earth. We lived with God in heaven in a state of innocence. Except, we didn't get cast out of Heaven like Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden. But the Bible tells us that there was a third-part of the angels of heaven who were cast to the Earth. This is known as the "War in Heaven."
"And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth. . . And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. . . for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. . . And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." (Rev 12)
Unlike Lucifer and his followers, we heard the great plan of salvation and accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior. That is why the scriptures call Christ "the lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev 13). We fought with Adam against Lucifer and his followers. Revelations tells us how we prevailed against Satan then in the pre-mortal existence, "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death" (Rev12).
Instead of fighting against the plan of God and being cast to Earth without bodies, the scriptures tell us we were happy and shouted for joy, "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?. . . When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" (Job 38). In accepting Christ and coming to Earth the scriptures say that we are those who have kept our "first estate." "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day" (Jude 1).
Satan and his angels were cast to earth without a vail over their memory of thier former life and birth like we have. They know the plan and are fighting against it. "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble" (James 2). The war of heaven still rages here on Earth. The issues for which the war is being fought hasn't changed, and "The Way" to overcome Satan remains the same.
Though the war still rages untill the "End of the Earth," the scriptures reaveal the end result. "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms" (Isa 14).
Being damned means being stopped, arrested, or frustrated in your ability to progress, develop, achieve, learn, and grow. Hell is having regret. Regret is what burns like a lake of fire and brimstone. Hell is being cut off from the presence of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Being cut off from God is a spiritual Outer Darkness.
The great flood was the baptism of the Earth by water. Which represents the burial of Jesus Christ at his Death. "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death" (Rom6).
The Earth will then be baptised by fire at the Second Coming of Christ. "FOR, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up" (Mal. 4).
The Bible tells us Jesus Christ did in-fact die, which was a direct result of the FALL. "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." If Christ were not part mortal (by Mary) He would not have inherited the concequences of the original sin. Jesus is called the son of David not because they mistakenly thought he was the son of Joseph but because Mary and Joseph were first cousins.
"But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1Cor15).
"For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man." (John 5).
"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison" (1Pet3).
This sounds a lot like Hercules, which is what the Romans and Greeks were likely to have said to Paul. "And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will [NOT] hear thee again of this matter" (Acts17). In saying this, I do not wish to deminish the glory, perfection, power, and mercy of God or of His Son Jesus Christ. Rather, I feel these teachings of the Bible reveal man's special relationship to God and Christ."as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device" (Acts17).
Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God in the Flesh and also the son of Mary. Because of this singular parenthood, Jesus Christ had the power to lay down his life and then take it up again. "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father."
If Jesus Christ were 100% immortal at his birth, he could not die. But Jesus Christ did die because he was partly mortal and was resurrected because he was partly immortal. And then through the power of the resurrection, "He being the First that should rise." Jesus Christ's mortality put on immortality and He became 100% immortal and exalted.
That Christ would come from the seed of Eve and of woman only was prophesied in the Garden of Eden, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; thou shalt bruise his heel, but He shall crush thy head."
In the millennium, when Christ reigns upon the Earth for 1000 years, we will finally live on this planet after the manner in which we were intended to live. We will enjoy perfect economic, social, educational, religious, and governing systems. Can you imagine the symphonies that will be written, the scientific and technological breakthroughs, and the peace and prosperity we will enjoy. The best painting, music, poems, dance, technology have yet to be created. This is why the ancient prophets were led conclude "we are strangers on Earth, sojourners or wanderers in a strange land."
Adam and Eve's mistake was even more profound than God telling them that "Ye shall not eat it." Adam and Eve's mistake was that they partook of the fruit in following the command of Satan. And in doing so, eating of the fruit became an act of worship or Satan. Eating of the fruit wasn't their only sin. Once they began to "harken" to the devil, Satan made them ashamed or thier nakedness and commanded them to make aprons of fig leaves. So, they "harkened" unto Satan once again.
So, how do you resolve God giving Adam and Eve a command to "not partake of the fruit" and to be "fruitful and replenish the earth." Well, Adam and Eve could have simply asked for permission."Wherefore I, the Lord, command and revoke, as it seemeth me good"
You don't really know someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. You spent a lot of time with your parents, but you really didn't know them until you became a parent yourself. We not only need to have a personal relationship with God through prayer, but we need to begin to do the things he would do. So, what would God do? God's work is to bring to pass the eternal life and exaltaion of all people by teaching faith in Jesus Christ and repentance.
"When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." (MATT 16)
Jesus is referred to in Scripture as the ETERNAL FATHER for several significant reasons:
1. Divine Investiture of Power (Durable Power of Attorney).
2. Christ created the Heavens and the Earth and therefore his the father of the heavens and the earth.
3. Christ is the FAther of our ETERNAL LIFE, when we accept Christ's sacrifice we become HIS sons and HIS daughters
4. Perfect revelation of the father"he who has seen me has seen the father"
Stephen, when being stoned, saw the heaven open and saw Jesus Christ on the right hand of the Father. When John the Baptist baptized Christ, the heavens opened and the voice of God was heard and the spirit of God descended like a dove.We are all Spirit Children of Eloheim, Our Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ is the Eldest spirit child of Heavenly Father. Jesus is the only begotten Son of God in the Flesh. Heavenly Father is the father of our spiritual bodies. Our earthly father is the father of our physical bodies. Jesus Christ is the father of our eternal bodies.
JESUS CHRIST IS JEHOVAH OF THE OLD TESTAMENT. He existed in spirit in heaven before coming to earth in the flesh. We existed in heaven as spirit children of Heavenly Father before coming to earth. Chirst spoke to Moses and gave the Law of Moses under the direction of God our Heavenly FAther. Jehovah told Moses his name was "I AM THAT I AM." Jesus Chirst told the Pharisees, "Before Abraham was I AM""
God has established a pattern of revealing his PLAN OF SALVATION to his children. In every age God has called special servants or PROPHETS, SEERS, and REVELATORS. "surely the Lord God will do nothing save he revealeth his secret to his servents the prophets" (AMOS)
PROPHETS= profess and testify of Christ as special witnesses who travel the earth and establish his church and ordain elders (Read ACTS).
SEERS= see things as they really were, as they really are, and as they really will be. REVELATORS= they reveal things unto man that have never been known, even about the future.
All peoples rejected the prophets of thier age, stoned them, and killed them. The people in Moses time didnt want to listen to Moses but pretended to listen to Father Abraham. The people in Isaiah's time pretented to listen to Moses and Abraham but rejected him. In Christ's time they accepted Abraham, Moses, and Isaiah but not Christ himself. If there were prophet's today, would we be any different?
After Judus killed himself the 11 Apostles choose a replacement. Then Paul is called as a special Apostle to the Gentiles. A verse also refers to James as an Apostle. So, why were the governing body of Christ Church replacing it's members as Apostles were martyred such as James and then Peter. What happened to Christ's Church as he organized it.
God teaches us how to know a "true prophet": 1. "By their fruits ye shall know them." 2. "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (MATT) 3. "If any of you lack wisdom let him ASK OF GOD, that giveth to man liberally and upbraideth not." (JAMES)
Don't believe your preacher's interpretation of the Bible by his words only. The Bible teaches us to trust in God and not man. We can pray to God directly to know the truth. "cursed is he that puteth his trust in man." The "ROCK" of God's church is Christ but also REVELATION. "would God that all the LORD’s people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them" (NUM). And you can pray about that for yourself.
I heard this on a Christian Radio Station
John the Revelator sees a vision of God. He describes God in his vision as having a glorified body, parts and righteous passions. Moses talked with God face to face. Stephen while being stoned saw the heavens open and a vision of Jesus Christ standing on the right hand of God. So, if it is so wrong for us to think of God as having a glorified body, parts and passions, why does the Bible describe him in those terms. Is it just doctrinal milk given to an unbelieving and unsophisticated people. I don't think so. I don't consider myself any better believer that those saints at the time of Christ. If it were wrong to think of God in these terms, the Bible would't describe God using them.
"Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device" (Acts17).
"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.""Eternal Life is the greatest of all the gifts of God." So if God wishes to grant unto us Eternal life throught the grace and mercy of the sacrifice of his Son Jesus Christ, then, how will we arrive at a point as which we truely "know" God. What are we to God. Just fish in a fishbowl. IF one of us dies, ooh well. Or are we something more. "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ."
PARABLE OF THE PIANO TEACHER
Becoming sanctified is a process thought the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ. So, we accept Christ as our personal savior and we are born again that we become a new creature, and have no more disposition to do evil. But, is that all. Is all done. Well, it's like learning to play the piano. I can tell my piano teacher that I am really sorry I didn't practice the song and that is why I cannot play it. So, the piano teacher forgives me. But that is not the end. The piano teacher really wants me to learn to play the piano and feel the true joy and happiness though "magnifying that talent." So, I am given time to practice. And if I still cannot play next week. I apoligize and I am forgiven and given annother opportunity to play the piano piece. Jesus Christ wants us to eventually become Master Pianists. And this life is the time given us to repent and improve through the grace, mercy, and merits of Christ. Also, he will grant us the power and ability through his Holy Spirit as we faithfully strive and endure to the end. This is how we "grow from grace to grace"
After the gospel of Jesus Christ will go to all kindreds, tongues, and peoples; then will come the testimony of earthquakes, tempests, vapors of smoke, pestillence, famines, the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds. If we will not listen to the testimony given by Christ's chosen servants than maybe the people of the earth will harken to this last testimony of the earth in tribulation""two working in the field, one will be taken the other left" Does this mean the righteous will be taken and not reside on Earth during the tribulation (Rapture = not a Biblical term) or is it talking about the wicked being destroyed by fire at Christ's coming (Earth baptized by fire) and the righteous who endured the tribulation meeting Christ and his Hosts of Heaven in the air and then landing on a purified and paridisiacal Earth. Remember, "the meek will inherit the Earth." and Christ will reign personally apon the Earth as "King of Kings and Lord of Lords" during his Mellenial Reign.Remember how Joseph intepreted Pharoah's dream with the 7 years of plenty and the 7 years of famine. We must prepare for the time of famine both spiritually and temporally. I hope Christianity has not missinterpreted the Bible about the so-called rapture. This is certain; "if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear."
Any sin, no matter how small will keep us from entering into heaven for "no unclean thing can enter HIS prescence." However, there are those sins that are easier than others to repent of. Some sins are more serious because full restitution is not possible. Murder- you cannot bring someone back from the dead. Adultry/Fornication- difficult to restore trust, may result in broken family, children born into suboptimal family environment. Other sins are more serious because they also reflect the "hardness of your heart" or distance of your soul from the "light of Christ." However, through the grace of Jesus Christ we can repent and forsake our sins and be justified and sactified through his holy sacrifice.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Many interpret the Bible to say that one must only confess Jesus is the Christ to qualify for salvation. The Bible also states that at some future date "all knees shall bow and all tongues shall confess that Jesus is the Christ." Does this mean that everyone despite our comportment in this life will be saved and go to heaven. Well, yes and no. This issue comes down to our understanding of salvation and heaven.
Paul discussed the redemption of the the body at the time of the resurrection by describing differing states of quickening, "there are bodies Celestial... Terestrial... and Telestial." These states are likened unto the differing glories of the sun, moon and stars in magnitude respectively. So, according to Paul all men will be resurrected, saved from hell, and redeemed to some level of glory by the grace of God. But, only those who are raised to Celestial glory not only receive salvation from hell but also exaltation.
What is the Mormon concept of heaven, salvation, and exaltation? Mormons believe that one who qualifies for the highest degree of Celestial glory will, together with their spouse to whom they have been married for time and eternity, live with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. They will receive perfect glorified bodies, will be able to progress in intelligence, power, and have eternal increase until they have become like God. They will have Eternal families and enjoy the same sociality enjoyed in this life. Some consider this concept of heaven and salvation as heresy, sacrilege, and blasphemy.
What about that scripture that says "they neither marry, nor are given in marriage?" Well, that is correct. After the resurrection there is no more marriage. Marriage is something to be done on earth before death and resurrection. Though the keys given to Peter, "what is bound on earth will be bound in heaven." Do you really believe in your heart-of-hearts that your wife and children will be nothing to you in the next life?
I desire an eternal family and eternal progression in the next life and these are things that other faiths have no concept of. Mormon missionaries are not telling people that they are going to hell if they don't become Mormons but that there is more to the next life than just heaven and hell. Ask yourself. What does you’re religion teach about the what heaven in like? What have you always felt it will be like? Do you want to just be saved from hell, or do you want an Eternal family and Eternal progression? Mormon's believe that all people will get exactly what they expect. If you expect to live in heaven, with Christ, with no family relationships, and serve him forever, that is exactly what you're going to get. That idea of heaven is only runner-up to what Mormon's and God's Word teach is possible.
(Gen. 1: 27) "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth."
(Gen. 3: 22) "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil."
(Ps. 82: 6) "I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High."
(Isa. 41: 23) "Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil."
(Matt. 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."
(Matt. 22: 30)(Mark 12: 25) "For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven."
(John 10: 34) "Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?"
(John 17: 3) "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."
(1 Cor. 2: 9) "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
(1 Cor. 11: 11) "Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord."
Paul tells of glories like the sun, the moon, and the stars (1 Cor. 15: 39-41). He also speaks of the “third heaven” (2 Cor. 12: 2). Jesus spoke of “many mansions” or kingdoms (John 14: 2).
(Rom. 8: 17) "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ."
Theist, Atheist, Agnostic. Lets weight the risks and benefits. What do you get if you believe in God and God does not exist? A good, happy life. A few restrictions. However, I do not regret avoiding smoking, drinking, lying, cheating, stealing, killing, fornicating, idoliterating or adulterating. Oh, and I have to pay 10% tithing. But church has been a nice social club and is worth the money. Believing in God helps me and inspires me through the hard times.
So what do you get if you believe in God and God exists? All of the above and a chance at Eternal rewards. What do you get if you do not believe in God or don’t know and God does not exist? I get to do what I want but have to learn from my own mistakes. I risk suffering adversity alone. I make up my own rules. I risk hurting others and risk have regrets. But when I die, I die and its over. There may hope in reincarnation. What do you get if you do not believe in God or don’t know and God does exist? All of the above and the risk of Eternal punishment.
Hey, I am partly a theist because of what I get out of it. If there is an after-life and if there is a God, I want to be ready to meet Him and be judged by Him; my actions, thoughts, and desires. What do I loose? Well, so far I have everything I have ever wanted. And even when bad things happen in my life, some lose, some adversity, my faith in God strengthens me, and gives me hope. What hope? That If I do what I believe God wills me to do in this life that the things that matter most: family, friends and ability to love will go with me into the next life. Rabbi Kushner a renowed Jewish Rabbi in a BYU talk of the year in 1995 said that believing in God gave him value as an individual and self worth to think that the supreme intelligence, being, and power of the universe cared about what he ate for breakfast, who he slept with, what clothes he wore, and what he did on Sunday.
Agnostics declare ignorance or the reality of God's existance. They, in many cases, honestly conclude that they do not have enough circumstancial evidence one way or another to convince them of God's existence. Well, this is also a risky position.See, an agnostic is making a big assumption. He is counting on that his ignorance of God’s existence justifies him from any penalties. But, if God does exist, it’s God who makes the rules and not man. There is a chance that ignorance will not be an acceptable excuse for violating God’s rules. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.” (Isa. 55:8)
Link1Link2It is impossible for man to prove God’s existence. It is like-wise impossible for man to disprove God’s existence. Man acceptance of God is based on faith, hope, and imperfect knowledge because if he were to have a perfect knowledge of God, he would be god. “Eternal life is to know God” Eternal life equals life as god. Also, rejection of God is also based on faith and imperfect knowledge. And, just as Dr. Lund argues, an Atheist would have to be a god to prove that God does not exist.
Gerald Lund states about an antangonistic and agnostic character in the Book of Mormon: "Korihor will consider only evidence that can be gathered through the senses. In such a system, it is much easier to prove there is a God than to prove there is not a God. To prove there is a God, all it takes is for one person to see, hear, or otherwise have an experience with God, and thereafter the existence of God cannot be disproved. But here is what it would take to prove there is no God: Since God is not confined to this earth, we would have to search throughout the universe for him. We assume God is able to move about, so it would not be enough to start at point A in the universe and search through to point Z. What if after we leave point A, God moves there and stays there fore the rest of the search? In other words, for Korihor to say that there is no God, based on the very criteria he himself has established, he would have to perceive every cubic meter of the universe simultaneously. This creates a paradox: In order for Korihor to prove there is no God, he would have to be a god himself! Therefore, in declaring there is no God, he is acting on "faith," the very thing for which he so sharply derides the religious leaders!Gerald Lund's "Countering Korihor's Philosophies." (Ensign, July 1992)
Friday, October 21, 2005
This is the age of science and technology; the new age of reason. Superstition has given way to observation, instrumental analysis and rational interpretation. The language of mathematics describes our universe with which we can now determine the past and predict the future. The evidence is overwhelming, and even miraculous. Everyday, physicists and mathematicians are performing experiments that predict and describe the behavior of atoms down to their fundamental elements. However, according the Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, when it comes down to it, math really cannot tell you 100% exactly what’s going on. But it gets you really close. So, we take it as a matter of faith that math will unlock all mysteries and even, one day, will grant us salvation and immortality. Math is the perfect language, and science the power of creation; the voice and will of god.
Look at what organized religion has given us: prejudice, intolerance, and war. When hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the masses concluded, "god is punishing the wicked." Rational thought tells us regions on the Gulf of Mexico are prone to strong hurricanes, which may or may not be influenced by global warming and a complex 60-year Atlantic Ocean Climate cycle and the poor are most susceptible. But, when disaster strikes, we can do something about it and alleviate suffering, and prevent catastrophes like this from happening again. Science can be altruistic and is not always “survival of the fittest.” However, I don't remember any scientific organizations contributing to hurricane relief.
Depite this Utopian hope, here is something in my heart that believes in God. Science will not ever invent an instrument to prove or disprove God’s existence. God has already invented it-- the human heart. Geneticists tell us we are pre-programmed to believe in God and they are diligently searching to find the god gene and see what happens when they delete it. I suppose I must have an overactive God gene then, because despite the "miraculous" scientific evidence, I will continue to put my faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. His words hold the true answers to life and salvation. And there is ample evidence of that in my life and in the lives of millions.