The Apple Of God's Eye

April 7, 2011

Five Doctrines Which Identify The True Church Of God

WHY were you born? After death, then what? What is man’s destiny?

These are the most important questions of your life, yet they are often lost in the shuffle of most religious debates.

A cloud of superstition has crept over the main denominations of Christianity. This cloud of counterfeit doctrines prevents mankind from seeing the clear scriptures which outline God’s master plan for man.

In place of the five fundamental biblical doctrines which identify God’s true Church, man has concocted five false doctrines, which are commonly assumed to be in the Bible.

Following is a two-pronged presentation of each of the five fundamental doctrines: first an explanation of the true biblical teaching; then a study of the counterfeit.

1. The “Plan for All Seasons”

The plan of God, expressed in the four following doctrines, is pictured by the first doctrine: the weekly Sabbath (Ex. 31:13-17) and the annual holy days (Lev. 23), which picture that plan of God through seven steps and three annual seasons.

The “plan for all seasons” begins with the Passover in early spring. This solemn memorial service pictures the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who died to pay the physical and spiritual penalty for man’s sins. This initial holy day is immediately followed by the Days of Unleavened Bread, picturing sin (as leaven) being removed from the lives of newly baptized Christians.

The third holy day, Pentecost, comes during early summer. Just as the early summer harvest is a small foretaste of the great autumn harvest, Pentecost pictures the relatively “small flock” of called-out Christians who receive God’s Holy Spirit during this 6,000-year age of man’s rule.

There are four more holy days clustered in one month of autumn. The first is the Day of Trumpets, representing the trumpeted end-time warning to the world and Christ’s subsequent return to earth at the “last trump.” The Day of Atonement follows nine days later, picturing the Christian’s resurrection to sonship (being “at one”) with God the Father.

Five days later is the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles representing the millennial fall “harvest” of human beings and the rule of God for 1,000 years.

The last holy day, called the “Last Great Day,” represents the time following the millennium when every human being who has ever lived (not having a chance for salvation in this age) will be resurrected to life and given his first chance to live the way of life God intended — on a beautiful, rebuilt planet earth. (more…)

February 21, 2011

What Is The Second Tithe?

tithinginfo.com

The second tithe is an additional tithe of one’s income and is saved by the individual each year for use in observing God’s Holy Days. Instruction concerning this tithe is found in Deuteronomy 14:22-26:

“Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. And thou shalt eat [of the tithe] before the Lord thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, … And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or if the place be too far from thee, which the Lord thy God shall choose to set His name there, when the Lord thy God hath blessed thee: Then shalt thou turn it into money … and thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth [desires] after… and thou shalt eat there before the Lord thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and shine household.”

The second tithe is used mostly for observance of the Feast of Tabernacles, which is held in the fall for eight days and is one Festival during which the whole Church comes together to worship and rejoice before God. The other annual Holy Days are observed in local church areas.

February 17, 2011

Conversion: Sudden Experience or Lifelong Process?

Filed under: Conversion — melchia @ 8:17 am
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The Plain Truth, April 1977

autoclave.com

At times I have expressed the idea I think many millions have come to believe and on which they are staking their eternity. It is this: You are on a journey on a railway train. It is your life’s journey, whether long or short. At the end of the line, because of Adam’s sin, the switch is automatically thrown to send you directly down to hell, where you will be burned alive — constantly burning, yet never burning up because you are an immortal soul that can’t die. Or, as millions also believe, it will shoot you directly to “purgatory.”

But, if at any point in your life during the journey you “accept Christ as your Savior,” then at the instant of that sudden experience, in whatever manner such experience takes place, the switch at the end of the line is suddenly thrown to shoot you immediately up to heaven. And there you shall live FOREVER in idleness and ease, in glorious surroundings of splendor, with nothing to do — no responsibilities anymore — nothing but to be enraptured with the delight of gazing continually on the face of Christ your Savior. A man once said to me: “Let me see if I can define your belief as contrasted to what you claim many millions of others believe.” Then he explained the belief of the many approximately as I have stated it just above.

“But you believe,” he continued, “that after one is initially converted, accepting Christ, he must then live a life of obedience to God’s way, struggling against himself to overcome all wrong ways and growing spiritually in Christ’s knowledge and in grace — thus training himself and qualifying to carry an important responsibility in the next life. You believe that when he dies, he is dead, will not go to heaven or hell, but will come to life again by a resurrection from the dead, and he will be here on earth. Then he will have immortality, and he will be rewarded according to what his works were in this life — the biggest reward being to have conferred on him the heaviest and most important responsibility. Is that what you believe?”

“Well, not exactly,” I replied, “but you are not too far off.” (more…)

February 12, 2011

Dinosaurs Before Adam: The Physical Proof Of Biblical Truth!

Filed under: Dinosaurs,Evolution — melchia @ 7:16 am
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ghostradio.wordpress.com

What do the facts of science and the Bible reveal about dinosaurs – about the earth before Adam? Why is evolutionary geology unable to account for the sudden extinction of dinosaurs? Here are the answers!

Did you know that once literally millions of dinosaurs and other creatures suddenly perished from the face of the earth? Why? How did it happen? Why are the scientists puzzled by this catastrophic “time of great dying?”

Evolution has no answers

The Bible answers all these questions. It reveals whether the earth is older than man – just what kind of world God created in the beginning.

But evolution has no answer to the sudden disappearance of dinosaurs. No answers to the almost complete change of both plant and animal life forms at the end of what scientists have dubbed the “Mesozoic era.”

Why is the present world fitted for man’s existence, while the world of the dinosaurs was unfit for human survival?

Suppose you visit a museum

Take a brief walk through any natural history museum. It will reveal a vast array of charts and fossils depicting the theory of organic evolution. geology, you will be told, provides evidence of a succession of life forms in the strata of the earth.

But does the record of the rocks really show this? Do the facts of science substantiate these “scientific” theories?

Furthermore, it is claimed, the earth is billions of years old and the fossil record – the aged bones, tracks and other remains of extinct animals and plants – proves that life has been evolving over millions of years.

Why have scientists reburied the facts only to resurrect them in the image of their evolutionary theories? This article explains why! (more…)

February 7, 2011

Was Jesus Really Tempted In All Things?

Scripture tells us that Jesus was tempted in all points as we are (Heb. 4:15).

Yet we know He wasn’t crippled or handicapped. He didn’t live through old age. He wasn’t forced into retirement and then forced to try to make ends meet on a pension.

How, then, can Jesus understand all that humans go through?

What about the myriad temptations and problems with which this modern world confronts us? Jesus didn’t live in a society quite like this — far from it, in fact.

If we are to come boldly to God’s throne of grace (verse 16), how can we be sure that Jesus understands what we feel and mean? After all, He is God — an immortal, almighty spirit being — we are mere flesh, and very weak. If Jesus has never experienced the exact sufferings that we do, how can He understand our personal needs?

Sure, we realize that Paul said most trials are common to all (I Cor. 10:13). And in Christian fellowship we are often surprised and comforted to find someone else who has gone through similar difficulties as ourselves.

Yet we each have experienced unique pains, trials and sufferings that we feel no one else can properly understand. And we may even wonder whether God Himself can. Is God able to really appreciate the depth of troubles we go through?

Peter tells us that Jesus suffered for us, leaving us an example (I Pet. 2:21). In what specific sufferings did Jesus lead the way? What confidence can we have that He does understand the personal traumas of each and every one of His people? Let’s look at the facts. (more…)

June 4, 2010

Your Marriage: Shell Or Substance?

You’ve seen it happen — a marriage that, from all outward appearances, has every reason for success crumbles from within.

Sad to say, it may have happened — or be happening — in your own marriage!

A couple may be what you would consider well-off. They own a house, car and nice furniture. They have plenty of food and clothing. They are well educated and have a good job and money in the bank. They have several beautiful children.

The husband can tell his wife 10 times a day that he loves her, take her out often, help her with household chores and with the children. The wife can cook delicious meals, keep the house spotless and be a model mother. They can have an excellent sex life. (more…)

October 21, 2009

What Does The Hebrew Word "Elohim"(God) Mean?

Filed under: God — melchia @ 3:47 am
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www.raptureready911.com

“”In the beginning God!”  The Hebrew word from which this word God is translated is Elohim and it occurs 2,570 times. The one which occurs most frequently is the word in the King James Version translated Lord [LORD], and in the American Standard Version, Jehovah.” (Translated from the tetragrammaton [YHWH], sometimes called Yahweh or Jehovah.)

Elohim, pronounced el-o-heem’, is translated “gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative: -angels, exceeding, God (gods) (-dess, -ly), and (very) great judges, and mighty (Stone, p. 10)”

Family Name

Elohim is a collective noun. It is similar to such English words as group, church, crowd, family, or organization. Take, for example, the word “church.” We find in 1 Corinthians 12:20 that there is only one church-the “one body” yet composed of “many members.” Even though it takes many persons to constitute the church, it is not many churches-it is only the one church! A family is made up of more than one person, yet it is only the one family.

In like manner, God is not merely one person, but a family. God is the supreme divine family which rules the universe! The Gospel Jesus brought to mankind is the good news of the Kingdom of God. That Kingdom is a family-a ruling divine family into which humans may be born!

June 21, 2009

The Cross: A Symbol Of Faith Or Rank Paganism?

chr4.tripod.com

The hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers” portrays the cross as the identifying sign of everything for which Christianity stands and around which Christians should rally in their fight against the forces of evil.

Throughout the world, people universally regard the cross as THE symbol of Christianity. Churches have crosses atop their steeples, on their walls, windows and doors. Catholics and Protestants wear crosses on necklaces, bracelets, rings, pendants, keychains and items of clothing. People in some churches “cross” themselves by touching the forehead, breast, and then each shoulder to form a symbolic cross in carrying out certain religious rituals or in blessing themselves or others. Some think the sign of the cross to be effective in warding off evil spirits and for generally protecting believers from harm.

So is it okay to wear a cross as a symbol of our personal faith? Is it OK to assume that the early Christian Church revered the cross as part of its religious observance? Check any encyclopedia or historical reference work on this subject. It makes for an interesting study for those who are not afraid to face the truth.

The cross, in many shapes and forms, was used centuries before Christ by abject pagans! Notice a few of the many examples:

  • In the British Museum is a statue of the Assyrian king Samsi-Vul, son of Shalmaneser. Around his neck is an almost perfect Maltese cross. On an accompanying figure of Ashur-nasir-pal is a similar cross.
  • The ancient Greek goddess Diana is pictured with a crosses over her head, in much the same way that the “Virgin Mary” is represented by many medieval artists.
  • Bacchus, the Greek god of wine, is often pictured wearing a headdress adorned with crosses.
  • Different types of crosses were used in Mexico centuries before the Spaniards arrived.
  • The Egyptians used cross symbols in abundance, as did the Hindus.

The shape of the two-beamed cross had its origin in ancient Chaldea and was used to represent the god Tammuz. Tammuz is the deified Nimrod, the first man to lead the opposition against God after the great Flood. He founded the city of Babylon, and along with his mother/wife Semiramis, founded the pagan Babylon mystery religion—the origin of all false religion today. The Egyptians used crosses in abundance, as did the Hindus.

The surprising thing is that the Christian use of the cross did not begin until the time of Constantine, three centuries after Christ. Archaeologists have found no Christian uses of the symbol before that time. According to one writer, “By the middle of the third century A.D. the churches had either departed from, or had transvestied, certain doctrines of the Christian 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” (W.E. Vine, Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, article “Cross“).

“In the papal system, as is well known, the sign of the cross and the image of the cross are all in all. No prayer can be said, no worship engaged in, no step almost can be taken, without the frequent use of the sign of the cross. The cross is looked upon as the grand charm, as the great refuge in every season of danger, in every hour of temptation as the infallible preservative from all the powers of darkness. The cross is adored with all the homage due only to the Most High; and for anyone to call it, in the hearing of a genuine Romanist, by the Scriptural term, “the accursed tree,” is a mortal offense. To say that such superstitious feeling for the sign of the cross, such worship as Rome pays to a wooden or a metal cross, ever grew out of the saying of Paul, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ”—that is, in the doctrine of Christ crucified—is a mere absurdity, a shallow subterfuge and pretense. The magic virtues attributed to the so-called sign of the cross, the worship bestowed on it, never came from such a source.”

“The same sign of the cross that Rome now worships was used in the Babylonian Mysteries, was applied by paganism to the same magic purposes, was honored with the same honors. That which is now called the Christian cross was originally no Christian emblem at all, but was the mystic Tau of the Chaldeans and Egyptians—the true original form of the letter T, the initial of the name of Tammuz—which, in Hebrew, radically the same as ancient Chaldee, as found on coins, was formed as in No. 1 of the accompanying woodcut (below), and in Etrurian and Coptic, as in No’s. 2 and 3. That mystic Tau was marked in baptism on the foreheads of those initiated in the Mysteries, and was used in every variety of way as a most sacred symbol. To identify Tammuz with the sun, it was joined sometimes to the circle of the sun, as in No. 4; sometimes it was inserted in the circle, as in No. 5.” (The Two Babylons, Alexander Hislop, page 197).

www.americanpresbyterianchurch.org/Rites%20..

There is an enormous body of evidence proving that the cross is not a Christian symbol but has its roots in rank paganism. Some will argue, however, that we may use the sign of the cross because it represents the manner in which Jesus Christ died, or that they are not using it today to worship a pagan deity. However, using it as a Christian symbol is a product of syncretism, (the blending of pagan traditions and methods of worship with the true worship of God), something God strongly condemns.

Before entering the land of Canaan, God told the Israelites,

. . . take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, “How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.” You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. (Deuteronomy 12:30-31)

Does the cross even represent the manner in which Jesus Christ died? I have argued against this in another article on this blog. The Bible does not specifically state which method the Romans used in the crucifixion of Christ, and as far as I can tell, no one has yet conclusively proven on what shape of instrument of torture Christ was crucified. Does it even matter? We have to consider if it is even appropriate to use the very tool that was used to kill our Savior as an emblem of our faith. If Jesus Christ had been killed by hanging, would we use a gallows or a noose as a symbol of our faith? If He had been beheaded, would we use a guillotine? It makes no sense to parade the instrument of shame and death before the world and be proud of it.

Satan the devil knew long before Jesus was born that Christ would die by crucifixion (Numbers 21:4-9; John 3:14; Psalm 22:16). He has deceived the entire world (Rev. 12:9) into worshipping a false Christ by making the cross a popular symbol of worship.

Most importantly, God forbids the use of any item that takes the place of faith. He instructs His true followers to worship Him in Spirit and in truth (John 4:23), and forsake all of this world’s false religions, rituals and pagan symbols of worship. This includes the cross, which assists only to add to a dead, empty faith. As the apostle Paul exhorted, Christ’s true followers walk by faith, not by sight (II Cor. 5:7).

June 18, 2009

Mystery Of The Ages: Free Book Clarifies Life's Unanswered Questions!

1One of the best books I have ever read is called, “Mystery Of The Ages,” by Herbert W. Armstrong. It really clarifies the most important knowledge ever revealed from the supreme Source of understanding—about man, his origins, his identity, the world around him—knowledge that has mystified humans since mankind first appeared on Earth.

I highly recommend this book as it is written in a straightforward manner, with no twisted scriptures, no private interpretations – nothing but factual truth, straight out of the word of God.

If you have an open mind, then you are ready for the true biblical answers to seven of life’s most puzzling mysteries:

1. WHO AND WHAT IS GOD?

God reveals himself in his Word, the Holy Bible, yet almost no one has understood it. The Bible, as author Bruce Barton said, is “the book that nobody knows.” The Bible itself is the basic mystery that reveals all other mysteries.

2. THE MYSTERY OF ANGELS AND EVIL SPIRITS

Is the existence of spirit beings fact or myth? Is there a devil? Did God create a devil? If there are holy angels, what is their purpose? Do evil spirits influence humans and even governments today? Do they affect your own life?

3. THE MYSTERY OF MAN

What and why is humanity? Is man an immortal soul? Do the dead know what the living are doing? Is man flesh and blood being with an immortal soul within? Is there meaning and purpose to human life?

4. THE MYSTERY OF CIVILIZATION

How did civilization develop? Why does our world of awesome advancement and progress also have such appalling evils? Why can’t the minds that develop marvels of science and technology solve the problems of human helplessness?

5. THE MYSTERY OF ISRAEL

Are the Jews the ancient nation of Israel? Why did God raise up one special nation? Are they God’s favorites? Does God discriminate against other nations? Is God a respecter of persons? What is Israel’s purpose in the divine order of things?

6. THE MYSTERY OF THE CHURCH

Why should there be the institution of the Church in the world? Is it one Christ-originated Church, or does it consist of many differing denominations? Does it have government and authority? How could one recognize the true Church today?

7. THE MYSTERY OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD

Jesus’s gospel message was “the kingdom of God.” Is the kingdom of God something within each person? Is it something that may be set up in men’s hearts? Is it the institution of the Church? Or is it something else altogether?

These are the seven great mysteries that concern the very lives of every human being on earth. The plain truth of all these mysteries is revealed in this eye-opening book, and it is yours FREE for the asking! It is given away here.

May 24, 2009

What You May Not Know About God

Filed under: God — melchia @ 2:17 am
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pinker.wjh.harvard.edu

pinker.wjh.harvard.edu

God is invisible (I Tim. 1:17), being made of Spirit. We can’t see Him, but He is nevertheless very real. In fact, if we looked upon God’s face, we would actually die (Exod 33:20). That is why no one has ever seen God (John 1:18), except for Jesus Christ.  However, when we are spirit being like God, we will be able to see Him, and we will have the same glory as God.

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (I John 3:2).

Arguments: Teach Your Mouth!

Filed under: Attitude,Hatred — melchia @ 1:32 am
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True Christians must learn to control what comes out of their mouth. Proverbs 16:23 says:

“The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.”

Educate yourself in good things, so you will have good, upbuilding things to say:

“The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.”

So don’t speak hastily. The things you say are very important; and many people aren’t careful about that. But God is highly concerned! (Ps. 37:30-31).

Sometimes what we say results in arguments. The root cause is usually pride (Luke 22:24) – a result of someone thinking too highly of himself. Lust is also a huge factor in division among people (Jam. 4:1). God says He resists the proud and give grace to the humble – not to the loudest, the most powerful, or the quickest of wit. Remember, if we’re looking out for the other person instead, that will eliminate a lot of arguing.

May 10, 2009

Will Aborted, Stillborn, or Miscarried Babies Be Resurrected?

angela-stevens.com

angela-stevens.com

In this past century, the world has changed from abortion being unacceptable (with minor exceptions) to abortion being an accepted form of birth control.

But the fetus is indeed human, as evidence proves. By seven weeks, the unborn child has its own measurable brain waves. Brain waves are among the legal criteria to determine whether a person is dead, so also, brain life, or the point at which brain waves are first detected, should determine the viability of a fetus.

Since brain waves can now be detected at seven weeks, doctors are in fact aborting living humans. And of course the fetus is already alive before the seven weeks!

If one has any doubt when a human life begins, one should give the baby the benefit of the doubt. As U.S. President Ronald Reagan once wrote, “If you don’t know whether a body is alive or dead, you would never bury it.”

A matter of attitude

Consider this: A woman rushes to a hospital in labor. Within minutes she gives birth to a 22-week-old premature baby. Since the mother wants the child, the hospital will do everything within its power to save the life. Great sums of money in health care may be spent on the effort.

Now go down a corridor and into another room. There a woman has her 22-week-old fetus aborted. The mother didn’t want the baby. We are told that her 22-week aborted baby isn’t a viable human being! How can it be human in one room and a nonviable human in another?

The difference is the woman’s — and the doctor’s — attitude.

Proabortionists want to believe that the growing baby within the woman is nothing but “fetal tissue.” They either avoid or conceal the fact that the baby is actually a human and dies a painful death when aborted.

Science shows early life

Since 91 percent of abortions within the United States, for example, occur within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, let’s look at fetal development of the unborn:

  • Within 18 days after conception the beating heart already pumps blood through its own bloodstream.
  • By six weeks the nervous system begins to function. The kidneys and stomach begin working.
  • At around seven weeks, the unborn embryo has its own brain waves. (Brain waves are among the legal criteria that determine whether a person is alive or not.)
  • At nine and 10 weeks the thyroid and adrenal glands function. The embryo can squint, swallow and respond to noise.
  • By 10 weeks the unborn basically has everything a newborn baby has.

What happens when an attempt is made to end this life? To kill the unborn 10-week embryo may require the D&E (dilation and evacuation) technique. The abortionist basically draws and quarters the embryo.

When the abortionist’s instrument first touches the uterine wall, the embryo immediately recoils and the heart rate increases. The unborn responds by attempting to escape the instrument. The abortionist grabs an arm or leg and rips it from the body. Blood begins oozing from the baby. Then the abortionist finds another arm or leg and tears it off. He continues until everything is severed.

Finally the dead, dismembered embryo has its skull crushed. The parts are then sucked out. It’s all over in about 15 minutes. To say this embryo perceives no pain is, at the least, not telling the entire story. Today’s society doesn’t tolerate convicted murderers to die this kind of death!

Prenatal research also reveals the unborn responds to pain, touch, cold, sound and light. The unborn gets hiccups, sucks a thumb, passes through waking and sleeping stages and respond to hearing their mother’s voice.

It seems that the womb is not the quiet place some thought it was.

Source: Plain Truth, 1985

Are the unborn resurrected?

It is God’s great master plan to make salvation and eternal life available to every human being who has ever lived or will live in the future. He will resurrect those who die without having had this opportunity.

We have seen that unborn babies are fully human at the earliest stages, and so it is no small leap of faith to say that the spirit in man (Job 32:8), which goes up to God upon death (Ecc. 3:21), enters at conception. So if after conception, the zygote (a fertilized egg cell) has the potential to produce a human life, we can logically conclude that babies who die before they are born will be raised in the second resurrection. There is of course no way to know with 100 percent certainty, but we do know with certainty that God is merciful and, with His infinite wisdom, will maintain His master plan.

April 8, 2009

Why Does The Bible Say God Is Jealous?

Filed under: Emotions — melchia @ 7:22 pm
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The verses which make reference to God as a “jealous God” are often misunderstood. The reason is that we are accustomed to jealousy referring to envy or bitter resentment. However, this is not the intended meaning of the word JEALOUS when used in reference to God. A better translation, then, is ZEALOUS. 

Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary” has this as one of the definitions of JEALOUS: “vigilant in guarding a possession.” This is the proper sense in which we should understand this word as applied to God. Please compare Exodus 20:5 with Deuteronomy 4:24 and Hebrews 12:29.

April 7, 2009

Does God Condone The Immorality And Violence Of The Bible?

The Bible is the great instruction book that tells man both how to live and how NOT to live. Jesus said that we should live by every word of God (Matt. 4:4). The Bible is a very practical book, and, besides containing direct instructions from God, it also contains examples of real-life situations from which we all can learn. It shows that disobedience to God’s laws always exacts a penalty.

The Bible shows that all people are subject to human passions and that everyone makes mistakes (Rom. 3:23). Human weaknesses and shortcomings are not covered up. In fact, the sins of even the most righteous are revealed in a plain and truthful manner. Why? God wants us to know that His laws are eternal, and that we, living in this modern, sophisticated world, are not somehow immune to or exempt from the laws which govern human behavior.

The recorded examples of the mistakes of others are meant to help keep us from making the same mistakes. The things others have done act as stop signs and traffic signals to help keep us on the straight and narrow way which leads to eternal life. Study I Corinthians 10:6 in this light.

Although the accounts of immorality are a necessary part of teaching us what is right and wrong in God’s sight, the Bible never dwells on such acts. Certainly, it may leave no doubt about the nature of an event, but no account in the Bible could be described as being “dirty” or pornographic.

The essential facts are simply recorded, and then it is left up to us to learn the lessons. Without a doubt, learning by example is far better than learning by personal experience that sin brings dire consequences and, without repentance ultimately leads to eternal death. When final judgment is passed, no one will be able to say to God that He didn’t care or that He didn’t warn us about sin. God is love, His law is perfect, and His written Word is a lamp to guide us to perfection and life everlasting (Ps. 119:105; 19:7; I John 4:8, 16; John 12:48-50; Gal. 6:8).

April 6, 2009

Does I Corinthians 10:27 Advocate Eating Unclean Meats?

Filed under: Clean/Unclean Meat — melchia @ 6:29 am
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114I Cor. 10:27 says: “If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast and you be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you eat, asking no questions for conscience sake.”

Did God here make an exception to His law? Are there circumstances under which it is all right — even advisable to eat unclean meats? For the answer, we need to consider to whom these instructions were given.

The Corinthians, converted from pagan idolatry, came from a society in which sacrificing to various idols was a daily way of life. Those offerings were sacrificed in the pagan temples continually, and the meat was usually eaten by the person who brought it.

Often, however, not all the meat was consumed. Each day the priests were left with a surplus. Not willing to miss a chance to turn a quick profit, they sold the extra meat to local butcher shops — called “shambles” — where it was sold to the public. This is where the problems arose.

Paul had taught the converts at Corinth not to become involved in pagan rituals or sacrifices (I Cor. 10:14-21). Christians should have no connection with such idolatrous practices.

But some questioned eating the leftover sacrificial meat sold in the butcher shops. How were Christians to tell the difference between ordinary meat and that which came from pagan altars? And if you were invited to a friend’s home, how could you be sure the host wasn’t serving “defiled” meat?

Paul explained that the idol was just wood and stone (verse 19). The meat offered to it was just meat. The sin would be in actually participating in a pagan ceremony (verses 20-21). Therefore, Paul told the Corinthians to stop worrying and to go ahead and buy their meat from the meat markets without asking whether it had been sacrificed to idols (verse 25). It didn’t matter where the meat came from as long as it was good meat.

The same principle applied to eating at the home of a friend. It did not matter where the meat came from or what had happened to it. Meat was meat — regardless. As long as it was clean meat, it was all right to eat. That is why Paul said, “If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you” (verse 27, RAV).

When Paul wrote “whatever,” he was referring to any clean meat which either had or had not been offered in sacrifice to an idol. Paul’s statements have nothing to do with the question of clean versus unclean meat. He was not claiming God’s dietary laws were done away. He was simply showing that it was all right to eat clean meat which had once been part of a sacrifice to an idol.

Paul did add one warning, however. He said to ask “no question for conscience’ sake” (verse 27). In other words, don’t ask the host where the meat came from. It is better to ignore that matter, since it makes no difference anyway. If the Christian questioned the host about the meat, and then ate it, the host might be led to think that his Christian guest was compromising his belief. And others present might be left with the impression that idol worship isn’t so bad in the eyes of a Christian. If someone volunteers the information that the meat is “tainted,” then, in consideration of that person’s conscience, the Christian should refrain from eating it.

The context of this chapter concerns whether or not it is permissible for a Christian to eat meat that had been offered to idols. Unclean meats is not the subject under discussion and is not even mentioned. As other parts of God’s Word show, unclean meats should never be eaten (Lev. 11 and Deut. 14).

April 4, 2009

Does God Forbid Hypnotism?

Hypnotism is the inducement of a sleeplike state during which an individual remains responsive to outside suggestion. In other words, a person under hypnosis temporarily loses full control over his thought processes and his actions. 

Christians should never to be involved in any such practices! The Bible says, “Gird up the loins of your mind” (I Pet. 1:13). We are to control our EVERY THOUGHT so that it is in obedience to 

Jesus Christ (see II Corinthians 10:5). This would be impossible to do in a trancelike condition during which one’s mind can be manipulated by outside suggestion. 

Rather than purposely allowing our minds to become blank and giving control to others, we are told to fill our minds with those things that are true, honest, pure, lovely, and of good report (see Philippians 4:8). God gives His people the spirit of a sound mind (II Tim. 1:7).

April 2, 2009

Is There A Biblical Prohibition Against The Symbol Of The Heart?

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Graphicshunt.com

Is any biblical prohibition against using the symbol of the heart, since it is often associated with the pagan observance of Valentine’s Day?

 We should remember that it is God who made the heart. Reference is made to it many times in the Bible. God uses this organ as a SYMBOL of our attitude and thoughts, for example. 

The pagans merely adopted a stylized drawing of a heart as a symbol in their worship, as for Valentine’s Day. In fact, a number of other objects in God’s creation have been treated in a similar manner. But, the misuse of an object by this or that group, even if the people are atheistic, should not prohibit a Christian from putting it to a proper use. Based on this principle, it is not wrong to use the heart shape in jewelry, pillows, or other items. 

There is one other factor to consider — conscience. If a person feels that the heart symbol is “tainted,” so to speak, because of its connection with the pagan Valentine’s Day, then it would be wise to avoid its use. The Bible tells us, “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom. 14:23).

April 1, 2009

Is America Abandoning Israel?

markmcdonnellhowiseetheworld.blogspot.com/

markmcdonnellhowiseetheworld.blogspot.com/

 

An interesting article in the Israel National News quotes a former highly-placed U.S. intelligence source as saying that America may soon be abandoning Israel in favor of the Arabs. The quote is:

“The Obama administration is no friend to Israel, is no friend to the Jews in America and is no friend to democracy or freedom in America.  …Just by his very appointments, we can see him filling positions of power with people who are anti-Semitic, who want to see Israel essentially dissolved as a nation, if not by diplomacy, then certainly by war.”

He explained this would happen “when our administration provides more support to Arab countries [with] financial and military aid, undercutting Israel’s defense efforts all while pushing Israel to succumb to the pressure of unreasonable demands designed to end with their political annihilation as a nation.” 

In the past, one country has always stood by Israel: whether it be by vetoing UN resolutions or supplying military and economic aid, Israel’s most reliable ally in recent decades has been the United States. But apparantly U.S. administrations have been following such a policy of abandoning Israel for several years.

Not only is this policy aimed at the nation of Israel, but also Jewish interests at home. The above named source is also  quoted as saying:

“Whatever the reason, the anti-Israel, pro-Islamist policy makers will be appointed or have already infiltrated nearly all levels of the U.S. government. These are the people who place anti-Semitic references in school textbooks, promote revisionist history regarding Islam, 9/11, and are the same people who allow or even promote the Islamic agendas in all aspects of Western society, especially the restrictions on speech against Islam.”

What is so insidious about it all is that the US is turning its back against its only true friend in the Middle East.  Israel is a tiny country surrounded by enemies. The United Nations Commission on Human Rights routinely adopts a hugely disproportionate number of resolutions against Israel (26 percent of the total) and Israel is the target of more investigative committees and such than any other country in the UN. 

The Security Council also routinely condemns Israel while not once adopting a resolution critical of Palestinian attacks on Israel. The fact that terrorists are camped on Israel’s doorstep hurling death their way daily matters little to the UN. Or witness the country that inspires and backs the various terror groups bent on Israel’s obliteration—Iran. 

So what happens now that the alliance between two former friends has deteriorated? Bible prophecy suggests this very thing would happen. Zechariah 11:14 shows  a prophecy that God would “break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.” Is this the future rift between America (biblical Israel) and the Jewish state (Judah)?

If Israel is left isolated and vulnerable, this would set the scene for a further biblical prophecy to be fulfilled: one that sees Israel seeking help from Germany—biblically, Assyria (Hosea 5:13). Evidently, by this time the U.S. is no longer willing, or able, to come to Israel’s aid.

It is God who rules the affairs of men. He will prove to the Jews—and to all the world—that He does have power over what they do when they turn their back on Him: “….the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will” (Daniel 4:17).

March 31, 2009

Did The Catholic Church Change The 10 Commandments?

150Did the Catholic church change the ten commandments?

This is an important question, and the answer is clear when we are guided by God’s Word. There is no doubt as to the NUMBER of the Commandments. There are ten (Ex. 34:28; Deut. 4:13; 10:4).

It is their CONTENT which is of vital concern. It was not until the fourth century A.D. that this confusion even began to exist. It was then that Augustine (Catholic bishop of Hippo in North Africa) devised a new way of presenting the Ten Commandments in order to allow the use of images and statues in religious worship. He dropped the Second Commandment altogether, divided the Tenth into two “commandments,” and then renumbered his revised list of ten.

Dropping the Second Commandment makes it appear that there is only one commandment against idolatry. But, there are two kinds of idolatry — and two distinct commandments prohibit these two major sins:

  1. The First Commandment forbids worship of anything in the place of God (Ex. 20:3).
  2. The Second Commandment is altogether different and forbids bowing down to, serving, or otherwise using statues in the worship of God (Ex. 20:4-6). The latter is the one Catholics do not like, for obvious reasons.

The following from the Catholic Encyclopaedia Vol. 4, p. 153 also confirms the deletion of the second Commandment and the change of the fourth.

“The church, after changing the day of rest from the Jewish Sabbath of the seventh day of the week to the first made the third commandment refer to Sunday as the day to be kept holy as the Lord’s Day.”

As mentioned before, in order to retain the correct number of commandments, Augustine made two “commandments” out of the Tenth (Ex. 20:17). According to Augustine’s mistaken idea, the Ninth Commandment is: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife,” and the Tenth is: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.”

But notice how a New Testament servant of God was inspired to quote five of the Commandments — including the Tenth. Paul wrote: “For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not COVET,’ and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself'” (Rom. 13:9, RAV).

Unlike Augustine, Paul made no distinction between coveting a neighbor’s wife and a neighbor’s house. Paul elsewhere wrote, “For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said,

‘You shall not covet'” (Rom. 7:7, RAV). Clearly, only one principle is involved, and only one commandment governs it.

Below is the official Catechism of the Catholic Church for comparison – Vatican.va

Exodus 20 2-17 Deuteronomy 5:6-21 A Traditional Catechetical Formula
I am the LORD your God,
who brought you out
of the land of Egypt,
out of the house of bondage.
I am the LORD your God,
who brought you out
of the land of Egypt,
out of the house of bondage.
1. I am the LORD your God:
you shall not have
strange Gods before me.
You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself a graven image,
or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above,
or that is in the earth beneath,
or that is in the water under the earth;
you shall not bow down to them or serve them;
for I the LORD your God am a jealous God,
visiting the iniquity of the fathers
upon the children to the third and the fourth
generation of those who hate me,
but showing steadfast love to thousands of those
who love me and keep my commandments.
You shall have no other gods before me
. . .
You shall not take
the name of the LORD your God in vain;
for the LORD will not hold him guiltless
who takes his name in vain.
You shall not take
the name of the LORD your God in vain
. . .
2. You shall not take
the name of the LORD your God in vain.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days you shall labor, and do all your work;
but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God;
in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son,
or your daughter, your manservant,
or your maidservant or your cattle,
or the sojourner who is within your gates;
for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them,
and rested the seventh day;
therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.
Observe the sabbath day,
to keep it holy
. . .
3. Remember to keep holy the LORD’S Day.
Honor your father and your mother,
that your days may be long in the land
which the LORD your God gives you.
Honor your father and your mother
. . .
4. Honor your father and your mother.
You shall not kill. You shall not kill. 5. You shall not kill.
You shall not commit adultery. Neither shall you commit adultery. 6. You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal. Neither shall you steal. 7. You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness
against your neighbor.
Neither shall you bear false witness
against your neighbor.
8. You shall not bear false witness
against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house;
you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife,
or his manservant, or his maidservant,
or his ox, or his ass,
or anything that is your neighbor’s.
Neither shall you covet
your neighbor’s wife . . .You shall not desire . . .
anything that is your neighbor’s.
9. You shall not covet
your neighbor’s wife.10. You shall not covet
your neighbor’s goods.

Fourth commandment also changed

Notice also that the Catholic church has changed the fourth commandment to suit her Sabbath breaking. In 1562 the Archbishop declared that tradition now stood above scripture.

“The authority of the Church is illustrated most clearly by the scriptures, for on one hand she recommends them, declares them to be divine, and offers them to us to be read, and on the other hand, the legal precepts in the scriptures taught by the Lord have ceased by virtue of the same authority. The Sabbath, the most glorious day in the law, has been changed into the Lord’s day. These and other similar matters have not ceased by virtue of Christ’s teaching (for He says that He has come to fulfill the law, not to destroy it), but they have been changed by the authority of the Church.” — Gaspare de Posso Archbishop of Reggio, Council of Trent.

Most denominations falsely believe the fourth commandment refers to Sunday. The Catholic church however, the same one who changed this commandment in the first place, amazingly acknowledges this fact. Many of her official writings point to the fact that she changed the Christian worship from the biblical Sabbath (Saturday) to Sunday.

Here are some revealing Catholic source quotes which show the incredible audacity of this  un-christian church:

  • “Is not every Christian obliged to sanctify Sunday and to abstain on that day from unnecessary servile work? Is not the observance of this law among the most prominent of our sacred duties? But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.” — James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers (1917 edition), p. 72-73 (16th Edition, p 111; 88th Edition, p. 89).
  • “For example, nowhere in the Bible do we find that Christ or the Apostles ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday. We have the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath day, that is the 7th day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the [Roman Catholic] church outside the Bible.” — Catholic Virginian, October 3, 1947, p. 9, article “To Tell You the Truth.”
  • “The holy day, the Sabbath, was changed from Saturday to Sunday. ‘The day of the Lord’ was chosen, not from any direction noted in the Scriptures, but from the (Catholic) Church’s sense of its own power…People who think that the Scriptures should be the sole authority, should logically become 7th Day Adventists, and keep Saturday holy.” — St. Catherine Church Sentinel, Algonac, Michigan, May 21, 1995.
  • “Question – Which is the Sabbath day? Answer – Saturday is the Sabbath day. Question – Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday? Answer – We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church, in the Council of Laodicea (A.D. 364), transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.” — Peter Geiermann, C.S.S.R., The Convert’s Catechism of Catholic Doctrine, p. 50, 3rd edition, 1957.
  • “It is well to remind the Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, and all other Christians, that the Bible does not support them anywhere in their observance of Sunday. Sunday is an institution of the Roman Catholic Church, and those who observe the day observe a commandment of the Catholic Church.” — Priest Brady, in an address reported in The News, Elizabeth, New Jersey, March 18, 1903.
  • “They [the Protestants] deem it their duty to keep the Sunday holy. Why? Because the Catholic Church tells them to do so. They have no other reason…The observance of Sunday thus comes to be an ecclesiastical law entirely distinct from the divine law of Sabbath observance…The author of the Sunday law…is the Catholic Church.” — Ecclesiastical Review, February 1914.
  • “It was the Catholic church which…has transferred this rest to Sunday in remembrance of the resurrection of our Lord. Therefore the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the (Catholic) church.” — Monsignor Louis Segur, Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today, p. 213.
  • “I have repeatedly offered $1,000 to anyone who can prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says, ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’ The Catholic Church says: ‘No. By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week.’ And lo! The entire civilized world bows down in a reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic Church.” — father T. Enright, C.S.S.R. of the Redemptoral College, Kansas City, in a lecture at Hartford, Kansas, February 18, 1884, printed in History of the Sabbath, p. 802.

Change led to death of innocent people

Yes, the Catholic church brags about her authority being above the Bible. This brazen change led to the torture and death of between 50 and 150 million Christians accused of being heretics for 1260 years called the dark ages.

The following two quotes reveal who the Catholic church refers to as heretics

  • “He is a heretic who does not believe what the Roman Hierarchy teaches.” — The American Textbook of Popery, p 164 (quoting from the “Directory for the Inquisitors”).
  • “Heretics (those who are not members of the Catholic Church or who do not hold to Catholic doctrine) worship a God who is a liar, and a Christ who is a liar.” — St. Augustine, (quoted in “Patrologiae Cursus Completus: Series Graca”, by Fr. J. P. Migne, Paris: 1866, 42:207).

The following quotes prove why they tortured and murdered innocent people.

  • “The church may by divine right confiscate the property of heretics, imprison their person, and condemn them to flames. In our age, the right to inflict the severest penalties, even death, belongs to the church. There is no graver offense than heresy, therefore it must be rooted out.” — Public Eccliastical, Vol. 2, p.142.
  • “A heretic merits the pains of fire…By the Gospel, the canons, civil law, and custom, heretics must be burned.” — The American Textbook of Popery, p 164 (quoting from the “Directory for the Inquisitors”).
  • “When confronted with heresy, she (Catholic Church) does not content herself with persuasion, arguments of an intellectual and moral order appear to her insufficient, and she has recourse to force, to corporal punishment, to torture.” — The Rector of the Catholic Institute of Paris, H.M.A. Baudrillart, quoted in The CathoClic Church, The Renassance, and Protestantism, p 182-183.

Obviously, the Catholic church today does not officially follow this practice anymore, but she has the same doctrines that led to the murder of innocent people. She has not rejected that which she firmly believes in. Yes, a modern pope has made a concillatory public apology, but it was not sweeping in depth, and neither was it genuine.  And it did not acknowledge the MURDER of innocent people, only a general wrong comitted.

We have to realize that the Bible says we are to judge by fruits. NO CHURCH  can commit murder and at the same time have Christ as its Head. The commandments forbid it.

So the changing of two commandments (without scriptural guidance) show that her false popish heads have acted on mere human carnal impulses, rather than spiritual guidance through Jesus Christ. A final quote saying Catholics should follow the Pope even if he were Satan himself supports the notion that we have here the worst type of idolatry portrayed as a Christian church, giving us commands contrary to the Bible:

“Even if the Pope were Satan incarnate, we ought not to raise up our heads against him, but calmly lie down to rest on his bosom. He who rebels against our Father is condemned to death, for that which we do to him we do to Christ: we honor Christ if we honor the Pope; we dishonor Christ if we dishonor the Pope. I know very well that many defend themselves by boasting: “They are so corrupt, and work all manner of evil!” But God has commanded that, even if the priests, the pastors, and Christ-on-earth were incarnate devils, we be obedient and subject to them, not for their sakes, but for the sake of God, and out of obedience to Him.” — St. Catherine of Siena, SCS, p. 201-202, p. 222, (quoted in Apostolic Digest, by Michael Malone, Book 5: “The Book of Obedience”, Chapter 1: “There is No Salvation Without Personal Submission to the Pope”).

Please try to find the command this person speaks of. Such mockery of scripture is an affront to anyone who seriously studies the Bible. So gross is the audacity of the Romish church, her popish head puts himself in place of God:

“The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ, Himself, hidden under the veil of human flesh.” — Catholic National, July 1895.

We should not sugarcoat this quote in any way. Its author does not, why should you? It means exactly what it says!

Conclusion

None of this post has to do with any animosity against those who are Catholics. They are simply misled and unaware of the facts because they are not spoken of or taught. But historical records do not lie.

It is the entire system of worship – the ancient pagan mystery religion – that I am against. To anyone sincerely seeking truth, this should be abundantly clear. The commandments are willfully changed and broken. Her doctrines willingly go against the written word of God. it couldn’t be plainer, yet millions upon millions on this earth are confused. This merely reinforces the scripture in revelation 12:9, where God says:

“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world….

Note carefully what it says.  Don’t just gloss over this verse or spiritualize it away. Your Bible says it‘s the majority of the earth’s inhabitants who are deceived.  Now ask yourself this question: Are you one of the many who are deceived?

March 27, 2009

Does God Hear The Prayer Of Sinners?

All people have sinned and cut themselves off from God (Rom 3:23; 5:12). The prophet Isaiah wrote, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isa. 59:2, RAV). So to answer the question, no, God does not hear sinners (John 9:31, first part), and will have no fellowship with them (II Cor. 6:14; I John 1:6). He hears only those who are righteous (John 9:31, last part).

But there must be a way for sinners to come to God — or else we could never become righteous. How can sinners seek God? Isaiah answers:

“Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.” But how do we call upon God? Well, we ourselves cannot do it. there is no such thing as a feeling to go the right way, or an altar call. It is God Himself who has to call us (John 6:44). This last scripture has to be one of the most ignored in the Bible, yet that makes it no less plain. Only God can call us into His work. If he has not done so, then all those who profess to be with God are deceived.

Barnes’ Commentary On The Bible says “the word ‘draw’  is used to denote such an influence from God as to secure the result, or as to incline the mind to believe.” That’s right, it is not the person who makes up their mind, but God who reaches out and “draws” that individual in.

Strong’s says the word “draw” means to literally or figuratively drag someone. But even so, there must be evidence (fruits – Matt. 7:20) such a person has indeed been called by God and is walking with God. The answer is:

“Let the wicked forsake his [own] way, and the unrighteous man his [own] thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isa. 55:6-7, RAV).

But what is true repentance? It is more than saying ” I’m Sorry.” The person must forsake the way he has been living and begin to obey God. He must desire a life long commitment of obedience to God while at the same time having a Godly sorrow for past sins. Once he has repented of going the wrong way then God begins to work with that person, giving him His Holy Spirit (Acts 5:32), without which the deep things of God cannot even be understood (I Cor. 2:10).

After repenting and being baptized (by God’s ministry), a person is no longer a sinner in God’s sight because he has been forgiven. His prayers are now fully answered by God.

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