Monday, February 29, 2016

Revelation 1:3-8 comments: Jesus Christ, God Almighty

3 ¶  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. 4  John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 5  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 7  Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. 8  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

Verse 3 - The reader is blessed. The hearer is blessed. Those who keep this information are blessed. One definition of to keep is defined as to protect or guard as in the keep of a castle, the strong tower which is a defense of last resort.

Genesis 3:24  So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Another definition of keep is to maintain or follow something as in keep a rule or keep a covenant.

Genesis 2:15  And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

Genesis 18:19  For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.

Still another definition of keep can be to stay as in staying in bed.

Exodus 21:18  And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his fist, and he die not, but keepeth his bed:

It can also be for a man to stay at home and not be out partying as the following verse hints at the antichrist, the beast of Revelation to come.

Habakkuk 2:5  Yea also, because he transgresseth by wine, he is a proud man, neither keepeth at home, who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathereth unto him all nations, and heapeth unto him all people:

Or a wife, who should not be what we called down South a gadabout going around gossiping and visiting others for that purpose, always busy outside of the home.

Titus 2:5  To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Contrast the verse in Titus with these verses in Timothy.

1Timothy 5:13  And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. 14  I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

(Note that those verses do not mean that Paul thought women who have to work outside of the home were wicked. This is about bringing reproach on Christ’s name. See the reference to Lydia, a businesswoman, in Act 16:14, 15 and that there is no condemnation of her.)

The time is at hand – What does it mean when something is at hand? It means soon to arrive as in imminent or pending. It means that the time is near.

Genesis 27:41  And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him: and Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then will I slay my brother Jacob.

Jeremiah 23:23  Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?

Verse 4 - John is speaking to seven literal churches in Asia which are types of all churches throughout history. It is difficult to say that each church represents an historic age of the church but they could typify the dominant church forms of each age.

God, is Him which is, and which was, and which is to come. He is the great I AM.

Exodus 3:13  And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 14  And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

The seven Spirits, uppercase S, which are before God’s throne are the Spirits of the seven churches, the angels of the Seven Churches, as angels are spirits.

Psalm 104:4  Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:

Hebrews 1:7  And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.

They have spread the gospel over the entire earth and for all of the warnings that Christ is about to give them He has used them for His purpose.

Revelation 4:5  And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Revelation 5:6  And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

And Jesus Christ, who was shown to be the visible image of God and the Word by which all things were created is the faithful witness reporting what is about to be told in the form of an angel. He rose from the dead so that we can rise from the dead, showing us by example what would happen to us. Enoch and Elijah did not die when they were translated, but were taken out of the world bodily and alive. He is also God as the first verses of John’s gospel tells us and constant, eternal as Paul said in Hebrews.

John 8:58  Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

John 14:7  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him…9  Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

Hebrews 13:8  Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

He is the first begotten of the dead as He is the beginning of creation and holds it together.

Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by

him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

He is above the kings of the earth as the prince to whom they have not but will be forced to submit.

Psalm 89:27 Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.

Christ washed us from our sins against God in His own blood.

Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

As even usually unites two things that are the same, the forgiveness of sins is found through the redemption of Christ’s blood shed for us.

Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

For verse 6 please note the status of followers of Christ in;

1Peter 2:9  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

2Timothy 2:12  If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:

Revelation 20:6  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

The king of an ancient city was also the high priest, who offered up sacrifices, and was the highest religious authority. This is evident in an number of ancient writers such as Aristotle, Euripides, and Demosthenes and related in De Coulanges’ work The Ancient City (1).

(1)   Numa Denis Fustel De Coulanges, The Ancient City: A Study of the Religion, Laws, and Institutions of Greece and Rome (1864, repr. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2006), 173.

“…glory and dominion for ever and ever…”

Similar sentiments are expressed by Peter;

1Peter 5:10 ¶  But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

11  To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

And as part of the prayer given by Jesus to His disciples;

Matthew 6:13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Alluding to;

1Chronicles 29:11  Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.

God’s authority and power is limitless and unending. There is nothing before Him and nothing after Him. There is also nothing besides Him to compete with Him.

Verse 7 refers to verses like;

Daniel 7:13  I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

Matthew 24:30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.


Zechariah 12:10  And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

John 19:37  And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

Psalm 22:16  For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

Here is Jesus Christ in verse 8 declaring Himself to be Almighty God.

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

This will be expressed several times in Revelation (1:11; 4:8; 11:17; 22:13 as examples). See also in Isaiah;

Isaiah 43:10  Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 44:6  Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

Isaiah 48:12  Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.

Isaiah 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Remember, as well, that Jesus told Philip that to have seen Him was to have seen God the Father (John 14:7-9; also see John 8:58).

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Revelation 1:1-2 comments (edited): Introduction

Why the King James Bible as opposed to more modern versions? God gave the Scriptures by inspiration.

2Timothy 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Inspiration gave the men who wrote the Bible understanding, which is wisdom to write what God wanted written but to include their own style, some of their own opinions, and even things that aren’t God’s specific commands but kept in for us to learn from. This is not always word for word dictation.

Job 32:8  But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.

2Peter 3:15  And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

Romans 15:4  For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

God’s hand of inspiration extends not just to the original autographs but translations and copies and as Jesus clarifies God’s commands so can a translation make clearer what He wanted.

Jeremiah 36:32  Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah; who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire: and there were added besides unto them many like words.

From the previous passage you would realize that you do not know nor is it important what the originals said because God wanted us to have the final result. It took about 1500 years with dozens of authors, their secretaries, copyists, and even translators to give us the Bible. It took about the same amount of time to perfect and complete that work using copyists, translators, and those faithful to it to give us a perfect and complete Bible to use. God’s hand of inspiration is evident throughout.

The doctrine that God only gave by inspiration the original autographs is as vain and blasphemous a doctrine as the one that insists that your church tradition is equal to the authority of the Scriptures.

Two important events in the history of human thought took place around the time of the publication of the King James Bible. One began in the previous century and was called the Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation, an attempt to overthrow the authority of the Bible, which was the foundation of Protestant and other Nonconforming Christian’s worship. The other flowed from it in the next century and was called The Enlightenment, a vain exaltation of man’s reason over God as an ideal. It can be proven, and I have done so to my own satisfaction, that all modern Bible translations flow from these movements. The King James Bible, also known as the Authorized Version, was the last major Bible translation done before these two movements resulted in German theology and rationalism that led to the modern apostasy of the exaltation of reason over revelation and a general Bible illiteracy among Protestant Christians.

God preserved His word through the ages.

Psalm 12:6  The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.7  Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

Psalm 119:89  LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

Most fundamentalists believe that God’s word was found only in the original autographs, inerrant and infallible, something which they have never seen and which we cannot examine.

The King James Bible is the true Bible of God and our final authority in all matters of faith, practice, and doctrine. It is there for us to see, to examine, to question, and to study; and like Christ was physically touched by the Apostles we have God’s words to handle and He speaks to us through them.

One other thing to note is that modern, scientific man is so intent on breaking reality down into its component parts that he has a hard time seeing the beauty of the forest for the trees and even the individual twigs. Let us look at the verses in context and understand metaphors for what they are without creating an entire edifice of meaninglessness that the Holy Spirit never intended.

1 ¶  The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 2  Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

Who was and is Jesus Christ physically? Briefly, I will try to explain.

God is composed of three parts, as man and woman are; a body, a soul, and a spirit.

1Thessalonians 5:23  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

God has a soul, the seat of self-identity and will.

Psalm 11:5  The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.

This is God the Father, sometimes referred to just as God in the New Testament. He is invisible to us. As John says in John 1:18 and in 1John 4:12 no one has seen God, presumably God the Father, at any time. Every act of God’s will originates with Him.

God has a Spirit, how He moves throughout creation and acts on it and in it.

Genesis 1:2  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Romans 8:9  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.

This Spirit is called the Holy Ghost, the Comforter.

1Corinthians 12:3  Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

John 14:16  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you…26  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.

God has a body, His person, whom man can see, and has even touched, as God in the flesh, called the Son of God.

Hebrews 1:1 ¶  God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2  Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Colossians 1: 13  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:14  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:15  Who is the image of the invisible God

Of course, an image is the likeness of someone, what he looks like.

Genesis 1:26  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Genesis 5:3  And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:

Exodus 20:4  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

(Refer back to these verses when someone insists that the image of God is man’s ability to discern between good and evil, which is nonsense, as Adam was made in the image of God but did not taste of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil until he fell).

Jesus Christ is also the Word by which all things were created. Read the first 18 verses of the Gospel According to John.

One stark difference between man and God is that God’s three parts can act independently of each other and still be one God.

Deuteronomy 6:4  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

Mark 12:29  And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

Matthew 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

2Corinthians 13:14  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.

1John 5:7  For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

God reveals Himself to special select people under the Law and to all believers under Grace.

Amos 3:7  Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

John 14:26  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.

(To deny this is to say that the so-called ‘Great Commission’ of the end of Matthew does not apply to every believer but only the Apostles).

What is an angel?

An angel is an appearance of someone or some group of individuals who are somewhere else. It is that person or group’s presence.

Isaiah 63:9  In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.

Matthew 18:10  Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

Acts 12:13  And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda. 14  And when she knew Peter’s voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. 15  And they said unto her, Thou art mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. 16  But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished.

For all intents and purposes it is that individual.

Judges 2:1 ¶  And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.

Judges 13:21  But the angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the LORD. 22  And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.

Galatians 4:14  And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.

Revelation 21:17  And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

At the end of this chapter angels are the appearance of seven churches.

Verse 2 - John is called to relate all of the things he is about to be told and to see, which he does. You may not understand it all yet and perhaps he didn’t understand everything he saw. But, you are told about it so that when you see it you will know. See Jesus’ talk with his disciples in John 16:25. A prophecy can be given so that when it comes about you will understand it, even if you don’t beforehand.

Friday, February 26, 2016

2Peter 3:11-18 comments: to Him be the glory

11 ¶  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12  Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 14  Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 15  And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16  As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. 17  Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. 18  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Isaiah 34:4  And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.

Christians are to be waiting expectantly for Christ’s return and living accordingly.

Titus 2:11 ¶  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

All things which mankind has done that he admires so shall be destroyed and we shall be changed. I am certain that any modern scientist would insist I am mischaracterizing their work but I speak only as an unlearned regular person who loves science for what it has done in the realm of technology that makes our lives better and health that assists us in living longer and more productive lives. But, today, theoretical scientists using models based on mathematics and computer simulations see God’s handiwork from advanced equipment like the Large Hadron Collider in Cern, Switzerland in bursts of energy that manipulate and constantly adjust the physical universe that we know. Since they cannot believe in God they postulate particles they cannot see or directly test or directly verify as being the cause of these bursts of energy and action.  They give them names like the Higg-Boson particle which supposedly allows matter to have mass and exist at all which they refer to as the “God particle.”

And yet, as we learned from the book of Job, every action necessary for physical existence is taken by God and every consequence of those countless actions per second is a direct result of God’s constant attention. It will be a simple matter for Him to change the physical universe, destroying and reconstructing from the one tainted by sin, while our souls and spirits, which are not part of the physical universe remain untouched except for the fundamental changes He makes to saved and unsaved in the non-physical world.

Modern science has cut itself off from so much knowledge by ignoring or denying God’s existence and creating a false framework of unseen things that are only good explanations if you deny God’s hand in the matter.

There will be a new heaven and a new earth where righteousness will dwell and there will be no sin. God is not going to allow space to be populated with sinful human beings who kill and lust and war along the lines of Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, or Star Trek. If space is to be explored it will not be by mankind’s feeble attempts to counterfeit God and it will not be space tainted by sin and death, which was not in the original plan but man had to be shown that only God can create and maintain this reality. Man has shown that given the chance, regardless of the facts presented to him of his weakness in mind and body, that he will worship himself.

Revelation 21:1 ¶  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5  And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Peter encourages the Christian to be diligent, to be found without blame. Paul wished the same as is evident in the following great passage on the purpose of God.

Ephesians 1:3 ¶  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8  Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Peter repeats that God’s patience is necessary for our salvation. He ties that in with what Paul also said about the same thing which I quoted previously. This presents an important point about the Scriptures. The Bible says here that Paul wrote by the wisdom given to him, not by word-for-word dictation.

There are only two times the word inspiration is used in the Bible.

Job 32:8  But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.

2Timothy 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Notice in Job that God’s inspiration gives men understanding. Understanding is a synonym of wisdom mentioned here in 2Peter as made clear in dozens of verses throughout the Bible. Here is one example from Paul’s letters.

1Corinthians 1:19  For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

Peter is not writing word-for-word dictation from the mouth of God. He is writing from his own understanding given by God. The words are all important because God preserved them for us.

Psalm 12:6  The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7  Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

Psalm 119:89  LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

So, the doctrine of preservation is linked to the doctrine of inspiration in a way that cannot be denied. This means that God worked through men on more than just one occasion in faithful copyists and translators as well as the secretaries of the men who were authors of the Bible books if those men did not write their particular books themselves. He even changed the original autographs on one occasion that we know.

Jeremiah 36:32  Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah; who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire: and there were added besides unto them many like words.

We can also surmise, as a Bible-believing friend told me, that as it took 1500 years to put the Bible that God wanted together through dozens of writers, it also took a similar amount of time to perfect it in the English version of the early 17th century. Then, as I believe, after the Authorized Version, also known as the King James Version or King James Bible, was introduced the Roman Catholic Counter-reformation had its greatest success in Richard Simon and Jean Astruc’s criticism of the Bible, which was followed in German theology and criticism of the Bible. There was also what is called The Enlightenment when man began to revive the classical worship of man’s reasoning ability and intellect, excluding God from any rational discussion. All modern Bibles flow from these modern traditions. When you remove God from the equation by reducing Him to merely a philosopher’s first cause you only have man’s ability to interpret facts which can be highly subjective and does not necessarily lead to truth because of man’s finite understanding.

Peter admits that the Bible can be difficult to understand and many cause much harm by declaring knowledge they do not have. But, you do understand much of the Bible so that is no excuse to not read or hear it read. What you don’t understand is something you should, in prayer, ask for understanding and you will receive what God has for you, no doubt. God will speak to your spiritual heart and change you as He sees fit. You may not be satisfied that things you think need changed or things that others say need changed in you are not changed but know that God is the one in control and He knows what is best for your and what glorifies Him. Just don’t twist the Scriptures to justify your own fears, paranoia, bigotry, and lust for control of others.

Peter finishes up with saying that since they know these things ahead of time there is no excuse for them to be deceived and that can be expanded to you and me. For we have the complete Bible and we have no excuse to let someone trick us with false doctrine they come up with by taking verses out of context or using the Bible as a tool to drive their own agenda, even if their agenda seems Godly. If you destroy the source of your convictions by twisting the Bible in knots then you have no credibility, and so it is with much preaching.

Finally, the church need not be concerned with growing in numbers. It should be concerned with growing in grace. God will add the numbers as He sees fit. All efforts at soul-winning should be tempered by that understanding. We need to be faithful stewards of the mysteries of God as people visit our churches and as we meet people where they live.

To Him be the glory, both now and forever.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

2Peter 3:9-10 comments: God is patient

9 ¶  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Why we are given so much time? Compare world history to Israel’s history. Israel was warned for hundreds of years of what would happen if they did not turn from their sins against God.  Prophets lamented that God’s mercy was too gracious to those who talked a good game but did not have God’s Spirit in them.

Jeremiah 12:1  Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously? 2  Thou hast planted them, yea, they have taken root: they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit: thou art near in their mouth, and far from their reins.

But Peter agreed with Paul who said;

Romans 2:4  Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

God’s goodness in this verse in Romans is synonymous with His willingness to put off judgment and His patience. This goodness gives men and women ample time to repent from their dead works and turn toward God as the first doctrines of Christ in Hebrews 6 require.

Hebrews 6:1  Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

Hebrews 9:14  How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Compare verse 9 to this verse, also, to see what God’s wishes are even though He will allow men to choose otherwise.

1Timothy 2:3  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Verse 10 is a general statement about the manner of Christ’s returning and the end results in the creation of a new heaven and earth. There are two types of Christ’s return. One is to call out the church before He physically lands on earth to seize the kingdoms of the world.

1Thessalonians 4:17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

The second is fundamentally different in that Christ does physically touch on earth. From the Old Testament we have this passage;

Zechariah 14:3  Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4  And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 5  And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. 6  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: 7  But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.

    8 ¶  And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. 9  And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one. 10  All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses. 11  And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited. 12  And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. 13  And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.

And in the New;

Revelation 11:15  And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

In that time of the seventh angel sounding the last trumpet three events take place. One is the Translation or Rapture of the church.

1Corinthians 15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

1Thessalonians 4:13 ¶  But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15  For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Then, there is the marriage supper of the Lamb between Christ and the church, His bride.

Revelation 19:5 ¶  And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. 6  And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 7  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 9  And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Then, Christ and the church return to take the kingdoms of the world.

Revelation 19:11 ¶  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16  And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. 17  And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 18  That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. 19  And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 20  And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21  And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

Remember how the bride in the Song of Solomon is referred to?

Song of Solomon 6:4  Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners…10  Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?

Paul also referred to the Lord’s coming as a thief in the night.

1Thessalonians 5:2  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

As Jesus had warned in His parable about how Satan will be surprised so you know He’s not going to tell you what the date and the hour is going to be.

Matthew 12:28  But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. 29  Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.

Matthew 24:43  But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

This clearly refers to the Translation of the church for the return to take control is not of the same nature as the thief in the night. It is not quietly done.

Matthew 24:30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Zechariah 12:10  And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

Revelation 1:7  Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Luke 17:24  For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.

Peter, unlike Paul and John, does not discuss the distinction between events at the end or the millennial reign of Christ on earth but goes right into the creation of a new heaven and earth by the dissolution of the old one in which we live.

Isaiah 65:17 ¶  For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

Isaiah 66:22  For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.

Revelation 21:1  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

Peter will define the nature of this new heaven and new earth in the next passage in verse 13.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

2Peter 3:5-8 comments: all arguments aside

5  For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6  Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7  But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

These verses are often used by adherents of belief in a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 usually called The Gap Theory. Regarding these verses as applying to Noah’s Flood, though, we have a connection to events we can read about in great detail.

Genesis 6:17  And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.

Genesis 7: 17 ¶  And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. 18  And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. 19  And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. 20  Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.21 ¶  And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: 22  All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. 23  And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. 24  And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.

The heavens, the first two of our atmosphere and outer space whose creation is described in Genesis, suffered great devastation when God’s judgment was poured out at the center of the universe, earth. We can see the results of this judgment on earth as in the fact that sedimentary rock, rock laid down by water action, covers the surface of the earth although it makes up only a small percentage of the crust, covering as a layer the igneous and metamorphic rocks below. It was laid down by this Great Flood. The Bible says in this great event while theoretical scientists who reject God say this happened over billions of years in keeping with the uniformitarian idea mentioned previously that all things remain the same as they were since the beginning.

We also have fossil fuel which is thought to be what is remaining of the great biomass that covered the earth at one time, all life estimated by some at being 500 times what we have today covering the entire earth in a tropics environment as evidenced by discoveries in the colder parts of our current earth. This great biomass was crushed and held under great pressure and we tap the product created by it and run our civilization on it. It is not likely that God will ever let us escape that connection to the world before the Great Flood no matter how hard we try. Again, the atheist theoretical scientist believes this happened over billions of years.

We have evidence in the heavens of great destruction and discussions about how Mars lost its magnetic field and why Venus has the atmosphere it does and why it spin backwards, or why Uranus seems to roll on its side continue among astronomers. We have no evidence from Scripture connecting these things and many others to the cataclysm on earth but it is an interesting thought, nevertheless.

The twin ideas that everything has gone on from the beginning as it is now without miracle or interruption, and that, as a result, these events had to take billions of years, is unproveable and if you believe in the God of the Bible and His power and sovereignty over every event then those twin ideas become nonsense.

What we live in now is awaiting the fire of God’s judgment.

    8 ¶  But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

Compare that to these verses.

Psalm 90:4  For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

Ecclesiastes 6:6  Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good: do not all go to one place?

There were six days of creation. Christ came two thousand years ago, four thousand years after the creation, as many Christians believe. Note this, as Jesus appeared to His disciples in the fourth watch.

Matthew 14:25  And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.

The fourth watch was from 3am to 6am so it was near dawn.

And when He returns for us it will be like a thief in the night. (1Thessalonians 5:2 and later in 2Peter 3:10).

Matthew 24:37  But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 40  Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 41  Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 42  Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43  But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

Remember that Satan rules this world as its god at present (see 2Corinthians 4:4), it is his house  and we are told to wait expectantly for Christ’s return (Titus 2:13) to take control (Revelation 11:15). Jesus said when He walked on earth that the night was coming.

John 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. 5  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

The spiritual night we live in was coming beginning when Judas left to betray Christ.

John 13:26  Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. 27  And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. 28  Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. 29  For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. 30  He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.

Paul wrote;

Romans 13:12  The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

1Thessalonians 5:5  Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

Peter wrote;

2Peter 3:10  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

As Christ’s resurrection was revealed in the morning, we are waiting for Christ’s return for us, for the morning light to peek over the horizon;

Genesis 1:5  And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Psalm 30:4  Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. 5  For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

Psalm 130:6  My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.

2Peter 1:19  We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

So, while these cross-references do not clearly tell us the date of Christ’s return for His bride, the church, they do give us the impression that with a thousand years being like a day and a watch in the night, with it being spiritual night now without Jesus bodily present, and the morning being the time of His return, we do get the idea that it will be soon.

Since Paul tells us that the translation of the church will take place at the last trumpet, which is the seventh trumpet in Revelation;

1Corinthians 15:52  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

We would do well to look over the events leading up the that last trumpet to see what the church will be called to endure. Read Matthew 24 and the book of Revelation. Even if you disagree with me completely about when this will happen or its order and progression or even if there will be a translation, which is popularly called the Rapture, understand that you personally must always be ready to meet your Creator face to face.

John 7:6  Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready.

No one has a guarantee of tomorrow on this earth.

Job 7:1  Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?

Friday, February 19, 2016

2Peter 3:1-4 comments: scoffers in the church

1 ¶  This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: 2  That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

    3 ¶  Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4  And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

This second letter is a reminder of things the church was told by the prophets through their writings and by the words spoken to the apostles by Christ. Peter warns them about the nature of people in the last days. This, like Paul’s warnings, are not about the unsaved in the world for men and women have always been scoffers and reprobate. It is their nature. These warnings are about what to expect, just as it has happened, in the Christian community itself. Here are some warnings for Paul that are directed to the body of Christ so don’t waste your time looking ‘outside the camp’ for these people. They are in the pews and offices around you. Paul said to Timothy;

1Timothy 4:1 ¶  Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2  Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3  Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4  For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5  For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

And then, in the second letter, in more detail, and as mankind has always been like this we know this is a reference to the traitors to Christ in the church;

2Timothy 3:1 ¶  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6  For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7  Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8  Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 9  But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

Jude gave this warning within the context of a letter you should read as applying to this passage in 2Peter as well. So, please take a moment to read that short letter from Jude.

Jude 1:18  How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. 19  These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

And then, keep in mind this statement from Paul;

2Thessalonians 2:3 ¶  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5  Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

And remember how Daniel characterized this man, whose type has been revealed at various times throughout history.

Daniel 11:38  But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.

Now let’s go back to 2Peter. People will say that everything just keeps rolling along and nothing changes. They will mock the conservative Christian’s belief in the literal application of the Bible in favor of a pagan mixture of modern theoretical science and the Bible. People who claim to be Christian will embrace evolutionary theory and say the first three chapters of Genesis are metaphorical or a story about sin or some other thing so they can acknowledge that they consider Satan’s question in chapter 3 of Genesis to be their own mantra. “Yea, hath God said…?”

The error that things have always been just as they are now back into distant history and prehistory consisting of billions of years and that things will go on and on as they are now until the Sun burns out is not just in the secular world, but has invaded the church. It is there in the pulpits when a preacher talks about how God wound things up and watches rather than, as the Bible says, is intimately involved in every action of reality as God’s speech to Job reveals in chapters 38-41.

We have a Bible which says that God created everything including life. Even atheist scientists acknowledge the mathematical impossibility of life happening by chance on earth, so they postulate panspermia where life was seeded on earth after forming elsewhere in a stellar cloud.

We have a Bible that says that the Lord Jesus Christ holds all things together in Colossians 1:17 and yet they postulate something they cannot see or measure by observation in His place, called Dark Matter or Energy, to perform that task.

We have a Bible that implies that the earth is the center of the universe and states in Genesis, chapter one, that the stars and other heavenly bodies are there for reasons that have to do with the earth. Atheist scientists like Fred Hoyle admitted even that observational data shows we are at the center but then they treat it like it must be an illusion and state that they believe that anywhere in the universe will appear to be the center. Some of them believe that life is probably only possible here and that all of the physical universe is in perfect balance for it to exist as such but then deny that that means there is an intelligent designer or maintainer of it.

We have a Bible that suggests that bodies in space revolve around the earth and not the other way around and yet, these same atheist scientists admit that this is a matter of relative motion only and has no physical significance so, if the Bible indeed suggests that, it is not wrong.

We have a Bible that says the earth is spherical in Isaiah 40:22, in an age where some believed it was flat. We have a Bible that says that the earth hangs in empty space in Job 26:7 and is not on the back of a turtle or the shoulders of a god like some ancients believed.

We have a Bible that predicts events of future history like Cyrus the Persian and Alexander the Great hundreds of years before they arrived on the scene and that predicted the fall of Jerusalem and destruction of the Temple, all historical events, years before they happened. We have a Bible that is true in every particular and has not been proven in error by anyone except in their untestable theories.

More importantly than all, though, we have a Bible that says the Saviour will physically return to rule the earth and we are to wait for that glorious event, no matter what scoffers and so-called modernists believe. But, it is not surprising that these scoffers exist but that they are now within the very walls of Christian churches, unbelieving believers.

1Timothy 6:20  O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: 21  Which some professing have erred concerning the faith.

Colossians 2:8  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.