Posted in Alexamenos, encouragement, mockers and scoffers

Mockers gonna mock

Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. (1 John 3:13).

The Alexamenos graffito is a piece of Roman graffiti scratched in plaster on the wall of a room near the Palatine Hill in Rome, which has now been removed and is in the Palatine Hill Museum. It may be the earliest surviving depiction of Jesus, and if so is the earliest known pictorial representation of the Crucifixion of Jesus, together with an engraved gem. It is hard to date but has been estimated to have been made c. 200. The image seems to show a young man worshipping a crucified, donkey-headed figure. The Greek inscription reads something like, “Alexamenos worships [his] God.” The graffito was apparently meant to mock Alexamenos, a Christian. (Wikipedia)

The graffiti was first discovered in an excavation in the 1800s near the Roman site of the Circus Maximus.
A tracing of the drawing.

The original drawing

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. (John 15:18)

If you are being mocked, scoffed at, humiliated, take heart. Christians always have been. This is because those who do not believe cannot think right.

If you are enduring the modern equivalent of graffiti, say, an inter-office email that you have stumbled upon, a crass doodle of you on a napkin left behind in the lunchroom, an overheard conversation scoffing at your faith, do not be troubled.

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)

You stand in a long and noble line of those who were scoffed at, including the worshipful Alexamenos, a long-dead, unknown person who loved Christ enough to stand up for Him by kneeling to worship in a crass culture that hated righteousness and truth. Like our culture now. Some things never change! You are never stronger than when you are kneeling at His feet.

Persevere!

Posted in family, mockers and scoffers, pilgrim's progress, pope, tolerance

Dealing with In-Laws, family, personal apostasy/backsliding, dealing with mockers

A variety of links for you to enjoy while I sit here achy and grumpy on day 3 of aches and fever and probably flu.

Aimee Byrd “The Housewife Theologian” writes a thoughtful essay about Revelation’s letter to the Church at Thyatira and the danger to a church of tolerating even one person’s false doctrines. “I Love Your Love but I Hate Your Tolerance

From the archives of Andrew MacDonald at The Protestant Standard:
Five Joyce Meyer quotes you won’t post on Facebook

Former Catholic and now Christian apologist Mike Gendron has a biblical response to the Pope’s recent announcement: Pope Says the Division Between Evangelicals and Catholics Is A Work of the Devil

Pope Francis is the one who is doing the work of the devil by rebuilding the religious tower of Babel as he seeks to bring all Christians back home to Rome. Tragically, some evangelicals are jumping on his ecumenical bandwagon and departing from the faith (1 Tim. 4:1-3).

I’m a special education para-professional and I see what goes into parenting our precious special needs children. Kara Dedert on showing glory to God in doing the the mundane; special needs parenting. Jesus isn’t looking for flashy.

The Christian Pundit has some thoughts on Leaving and Cleaving

“A couple should live at least a hundred miles away from both sets of parents for at least the first year of marriage.” That’s what an older couple told us as we rode to church in the back seat of their car. We thought we were doing pretty well by that standard: it wasn’t quite our first year of marriage, but we were 3,000 miles away from all four parents.

Focus on the Family has some thoughts on In-Law Relationships

What do I owe my in-laws? That’s an interesting question. Another way to phrase it might be, “As a son-in-law or daughter-in-law, what’s required of me? What are my obligations, whether I feel like it or not, in relating to my spouse’s parents?”

At Steve Lawson’s blog Dustin Bruce has some thoughts about Backsliding: A Tragic but Common Descent

Speaking of personal apostasy, here are 9 Steps Toward Personal Apostasy from George Alvarado. He got them from John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, and modernized the language.

“John Bunyan in the classic novel, Pilgrims Progress, illustrates the 9 progressive steps toward personal apostasy. This list is modified and modernized for your understanding. Please read and take heed. Save this in your journal, your computer, or make it your bookmark, but remember this well. I have bolded words that are important elements of understanding. If you want to read this portion of Pilgrims Progress in context, click here.”

Robin Schumacher shares How to Unmask a Hardened Skeptic AKA a “scoffer”.

It’s important to understand that the Bible advises against continually evangelizing certain people. … While the warning about such people is easy to understand, what’s oftentimes difficult for the Christian is recognizing the scoffer and heeding the Bible’s advice on dealing with them. To help with this, I’d like to pass along one method that’s worked fairly well for me.

 And just for fun:

Posted in end time, mockers and scoffers, prophecy, rapture, second coming

The Lord is not slow…the rapture will happen

On one of my older posts, I received yet another comment telling me that I am delusional. Why? Because I believe the Lord’s word that He will return for His bride in the rapture and then render wrath onto the sinning world.

“Aw, they’ve been saying that since the first Christians!” the commenter said. I agree. The Lord told us early on that He will return and take us to where He is. He is preparing a place for us and He will bring us there in His timing.

The passage in 2 Peter 3:1-10 says,

The Day of the Lord Will Come

1This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, 3knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

8But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,a not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

And it’s true, they are saying it. What is also true is that we still believe it. Our Lord does not lie. No lie can pass His lips.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible explains about the mockers–

Now therefore let us see how this point stands, both on the believer’s part and on the part of these seducers: the believer not only desires that he may come, but, having a promise that he will come, a promise that he himself has made and often repeated, a promise received and reported by faithful witnesses, and left upon sure record, he is also firmly and fully persuaded that he will come:

on the other hand, these seducers, because they wish he never may, therefore do all that in them lies to cheat themselves and others into a persuasion that he will never come. If they cannot deny that there is a promise, yet they will laugh at that very promise, which argues much higher degrees of infidelity and contempt: Where is the promise, say they, of his coming?

 III. We are also forewarned of the method of their reasoning, for while they laugh they will pretend to argue too. To this purpose they add that since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation, v. 4. This is a subtle, though not a solid way of reasoning; it is apt to make impressions upon weak minds, and especially upon wicked hearts. Because sentence against them is not speedily executed, therefore they flatter themselves that it never will, whereupon their hearts are fully set in them to do evil (Eccl. 8:11);

thus they act themselves, and thus they would persuade others to act; so here, say they, “The fathers have fallen asleep, those are all dead to whom the promise was made, and it was never made good in their time, and there is no likelihood that it ever will be in any time; why should we trouble ourselves about it? If there had been any truth or certainty in the promise you speak of, we should surely have seen somewhat of it before this time, some signs of his coming, some preparatory steps in order to it; whereas we find to this very day all things continue as they were, without any change, even from the beginning of the creation.Since the world has undergone no changes in the course of so many thousand years, why should we affright ourselves as if it were to have an end?”

Thus do these scoffers argue. Because they see no changes, therefore they fear not God, Ps. 55:19. They neither fear him nor his judgments; what he never has done they would conclude he never can do or never will.

IV. Here is the falsehood of their argument detected. Whereas they confidently had said there had not been any change from the beginning of the creation, the apostle puts us in remembrance of a change already past, which, in a manner, equals that which we are called to expect and look for, which was the drowning of the world in the days of Noah. This these scoffers had overlooked; they took no notice of it. Though they might have known it, and ought to have known it, yet this they willingly are ignorant of (v. 5), they choose to pass it over in silence, as if they had never heard or known any thing of it; if they knew it, they did not like to retain it in their knowledge; they did not receive this truth in the love of it, neither did they care to own it.

Note, It is hard to persuade men to believe what they are not willing to find true; they are ignorant, in many cases, because they are willing to be ignorant, and they do not know because they do not care to know. But let not sinners think that such ignorance as this will be admitted as an excuse for whatever sin it may betray them into.

Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 2439). Peabody: Hendrickson.

The Lord will return for His Bride. The Lord has made me ready by His grace. Since then I seek to live a holy life among the priesthood of believers and as a witness to the very ones who scoff at His soon return. So the question is, are you ready?

EPrata photo, with Pixlr post processing

Posted in encouragement, lot, mockers and scoffers, sodom

Surely You’re Joking, Mr Lot!

Angels of Sodom, Gustave Moreau 1890

“Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place. For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, “Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.” (Genesis 19:12-14)

The scene is of Sodom, of course. The angels who had been sent by God were set to destroy the city are telling Lot to gather his family and get them out of the city. Its sins had reached an outcry ascending to heaven, and God had arrived at the limit of His longsuffering patience.

Lot was righteous (2 Peter 2:7–8, Genesis 19:7). Even though Lot had allowed his witness to become tarnished by living in the city walls with all that sin around him, and in so doing, failed to raise his family in a more Godly way, Lot knew the living God and was faithful to Him after all was said and done. Living in Sodom greatly distressed and tormented Lot as he saw and heard wicked deeds daily.

His sons-in-law no doubt would have heard Lot speak of sin and righteousness, and have begged them to do right in God’s eyes. After all, he said as much in Genesis 19:7.

So here’s the thing. When the angels came to the city, and Lot recognized them as angels right away, and they said they were going to destroy the city, Lot went and got his sons-in-law. Despite having seen Lot’s righteousness, outwardly flimsy or inconsistent though it may have been, it must have seen bright compared to the dark backdrop in Sodom. The men thought Lot was kidding, and refused to believe him.

In Romans we see a progression of sin and the point at which God gives a society over to it. First, you will see mass sexual immorality. (Romans 1:24). If they persist, then God will give them over to depravity in the form of homosexuality and lesbianism (Romans 1:26-27). If they continue and will not repent, the last stage is that God gives them over to a reprobate mind. (Romans 1:28).

Destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah, Joachim Patinir c.1520

The term depraved mind here actually means worthless, failing the test. In other words, their mind can’t think straight and they are futile. Gill’s Exposition explains:

“God gave them over to a reprobate mind; a vain empty mind, worthless, good for nothing devoid of all true knowledge and judgment; incapable of approving what is truly good, or of disapproving that which is evil; a mind that has lost all conscience of things, and is disapproved of by God, and all good men”.

This is clearly seen in the form of the lusty mob which had just been struck blind, still groping for the door to gang rape the angels! As a matter of fact, we see the mob scream at Lot in a way we see mobs (on comment streams and Facebook) scream today when someone tries to point to righteousness. In Genesis 19:9 we see that Lot had ascended to a position of responsibility, “sitting at the gate”. It was where the elder men sat and spoke of wisdom and judicial matters. Boaz went to the men at the gate to settle his marriage to Ruth. But even though Lot was an elder at the gate, he was still not seen as one of them.

But they said, “Stand back!” And they said, “This fellow came to sojourn, and he has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.””

They’re saying ‘You’re a foreigner, you have no right to judge us! Because you dared to speak, we will go after you and not let up!’

Don’t we hear that today?! ‘Who are YOU to judge?” And then they turn from their original discussion to go against the one talking of Jesus and deal worse with them.

Reprobate minds are seen in the form of sons-in-law, who, however minimally exposed to righteousness of God through Lot, thought Lot was joking when he spoke of imminent judgment. Their mind was so far from righteousness, they didn’t even think of God at all. They didn’t even for a moment believe there would be consequences to sinful actions. Connecting sin and judgment was so far from their conscience, they thought it was a joke.

Don’t we see that today? As in Sodom, our sins have piled up to heaven. As Lot did, many faithful pastors and watchmen speak of the coming judgment. As in Genesis 19, the society in which we live is full of sexual immorality, homosexuality, and people with seared consciences and reprobate minds doing what ought not to be done. If you speak of judgment to them, they think you’re joking. And then they rabidly claim you can’t judge and they go after you like mad dogs (or blind mobs).

In Romans 1:32 the terrible progression of sin concludes this way:

“Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”

Deep down they know it’s wrong but their mind is so futile they instead applaud the sin and joke about judgment. Jude 1:18-19 reminds us–

“But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.”

The section of Jude there is titled “A Call To Persevere”. That is our call. Despite the heavy weight of sin all around us, we must persevere. Lot persevered, though not without many stumbles. In the end he tried to get the mob to stop…he pleaded with his sons-in-law… he listened to- and believed–  the angels sent by God.

After reminding us that in the last days there will be mockers and scoffers, Jude gives us some practical advice:

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.” (Jude 1:20-23)

That’s a lot of great advice! As we wait for the Lord’s return, let’s unpack that list and see how rich it is with what we can and should do:

–build yourselves up in your most holy faith (read your bible, go to church, fellowship with brethren, repent daily)
–pray in the Holy Spirit, (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
–keep yourselves in the love of God (Psalm 119:11, 2 Timothy 3:16)
–wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life (Isaiah 40:31)
–have mercy on those who doubt; (Matthew 5:7; Colossians 3:13)
–save others by snatching them out of the fire (Matthew 28:16-20)
–to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh (Proverbs 8:13)

Jesus walks on Water, Ivan Aivazovsky, 1888

Our wonderful bible is so rich with instruction and comfort. Though you may be vexed by sin where you live, or even in your own family, the Word of God shows us that we are not alone. Abraham, Lot, Paul, Peter, Jude…all lived with the same circumstances. Paul sent letters to the Corinthians who lived in a culture of orgies and temple prostitution. He sent letters to the Romans, who were being burned alive as torches for Nero’s garden orgies.

 If you are in a sin-storm or are living in a sin-storm, look to Jesus, who saves, comforts, sanctifies. The first century churches had the letters from the Apostles to encourage them. And we have the entire word of God, where-

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16).

The greatest hope is that he is coming soon. Whether by death or rapture, we know this life is not the end, but a paltry and mean beginning of eternal glory with our Holy Jesus.

Posted in drones, end time, mockers and scoffers

What next? Oh, it’s drone proof clothing on the runways

I read this article the other day in RT about drone-proof, anti-surveillance clothing. A NY artist is ‘about to unveil a whole line of garments designed to make the wearer nearly invisible to drones’, RT reported,

“Brooklyn-based artist Adam Harvey used to work primarily with photography, but he undertakes an entirely different medium with his newest project. He says that in the years since the United States post-9/11 PATRIOT Act has been in place, cameras have stopped becoming “art making tools” and have instead become “enablers of surveillance societies.”

Too true.

I am old enough to remember when bar codes on products at the grocery store came into use. The bar codes looked vaguely sinister and technologically suspicious to us. Of course, along with bar codes the clunky old checkout cashiers had to be upgraded. The old ‘punch ’em’ keys on the registers you toted with your fingers and your brain were now upgraded to lightly ‘binging’ smooth talking machines that rang up the groceries in infrared. This was another suspicious advance it took a while to get used to.

Can you imagine a world where there were no surveillance cameras on street corners? None in the stores? Actual store guards used to watch for shoplifters, not cameras.

Nowadays we have so many cameras in the sky watching us that enterprising artists and fashionistas are creating clothing that will deflect the drone cameras. This is a good thing, because some “surveillance drones “can zoom in and read a milk carton from 60,000 feet,” according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.”

As the RT article says, “Ultimately, it’s a fashion statement that says an earful to those enabling a growing spy state.”

It has only been 39 years since the bar code was used commercially, and only 36 years since the first realistic desktop personal computer was sold. Yet the technological advances have been massive- and concerning. It will all culminate in the mark of the beast.

So much has been written about this mark. It comes from Revelation 13:16-18.

“Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.”

John MacArthur preached on the verses in 1993. He said,

“In other words, you can’t be involved in daily commerce, you’re going to starve to death frankly. You can’t buy anything and you can’t sell anything. You can’t get any food, you can’t go to the source of food and buy it because you don’t have the brand. And you can’t get anybody to buy it from you because you don’t have the brand and you can’t get any money, you can’t involve yourself in daily commerce, the needs of life are therefore cut off to you. Except the one who has the mark. Now you get the picture. One world power ruling the globe, one system of economic operation, one central controlling computer with the name of everybody. Very likely currency is gone. Controlled credit takes over. And rather than a card, which can be stolen or lost, you have a mark…a mark which identifies you as a part of the system.”

Since at least 1975 with the latest advances of computerized technology the road to the end has closed fast. If you step into Revelation and see the prediction of the global economic system’s massive reach into the lives of every person on the planet, and look backward to the mid-1970s you can see how we global citizens have been slowly boiled frogs. It has been just in my own lifetime that we went from non-computerized to humanoid robotic, drone-surveying society!

Years ago, if you were a born again believer and you read these verses, you’d shake your head and wonder how it would all come about. Well, today, unfortunately, we see. A drone can fly over and note who you are, mark your location, read your license plate…

The exciting thing is, as you look backward from the perspective of the bible’s end, and you see the closeness of the prophetic fulfillments, it means that Christ is even closer to calling us home. If we can see not only the end from where we are today and also see how the end might come about, then the rapture would be even closer than that.

When He does call, I think we will be so surprised that it was at THAT moment. Whenever it happens, it will seem sooner than we thought. Peter wrote an epistle to his flock to remind them that the Day of the Lord will come.

“This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles,” (2 Peter 3:1-2)

This reminder goes quadruple gazillion for us, two thousand years later!

“Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:11-13)

Peter asked, knowing the will come, ‘What manner of people must we be?’ It is a good question. What manner of people may we be??

Clarke’s Commentary answers–

“Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be? By holy conversation and godliness, expecting and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God, etc.’ We are the opposite of the mockers and scoffers Peter mentioned in the same chapter, verse 3. We are speaking confidently of His coming, while earnestly looking for Him and desiring righteousness to come reign over our hearts and our world.

The world seems so solid, hard with rocks and deep with caverns and high with mountains- but it will be dissolved! Yet we, our ridiculous flesh that is so weak, will remain! Therefore what manner of person will we be? Godly, I hope. Expectant I trust. Eager, I pray. We will not wear drone proof garments to block out the infrared light, but robes of righteousness that shine the light of glory. Soon, and soon.

Posted in DC quake, mockers and scoffers, warnings

Virginia Earthquake 2011: USGS Warns it May be a Foreshock

Well, that would be terrible…but it cannot be ignored when an official source is saying it. Here’s more.

“A 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia rocked the Mid-Atlantic, sending shockwaves up and down the East Coast through Washington D.C., New York City, and up all the way to Concord, N.H., and Toronto, Canada. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the quake happened at 1:51 p.m. at a depth of 3.7 miles. The quake was centered 27 miles east of Charlottesville, Va., near the town Mineral in Louisa County. The movement lasted for no more than 30 seconds. Minutes after the quake, the director of the USGS, Marcia McNutt — who watched objects falling from the shelves in her office — cautioned that the shaking might not be over. “What the concern is, of course, is that this is a foreshock. If it’s a foreshock, then the worst is yet to come,” McNutt told The Washington Post.”

What I find ironic is that the east coast experienced a good-sized a quake before the west coast did, where all the faults are. But Jesus said there shall be earthquakes in diverse places, in the Tribulation. (Mt 24:7). He also said that the days before His coming will be like the Days of Noah, when they were all eating and drinking and marrying and giving in marriage, building and planting…unsuspecting of the judgment soon to come. (Mt 24:37). Not that there were no warnings, Noah’s 100 years of preaching and the ark itself were a big clue. But they ignored it, mocked and scoffed, just as they will in the last days. “First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires” (2 Peter 3:3).

It will be the same once again. The time just before Jesus Second Coming will come after a period of inexpressible tumult and natural disasters, and yet they will ignore them as warnings and judgments. How much more easy is it today to ignore the warnings a graceful God is sending. Pretty easy.

A commenter made an observation in the last entry I’d published about the twin quakes on Aug 23 in CO and DC. Anonymous said, ” A newscaster made a comment about the DC quake that since there was no real damage every thing has gone back to “normal”. One newscaster who experienced it was even talking about the earthquake excitedly like something cool had happened. It will be nothing more than one of many topics on facebook, twitter posts and water coolers around America. I know this is an understatement but the world is going to get blindsided by the coming time of Judgement.”

Very true words.

As for the mocking and scoffing of God’s warnings, Isaiah said, “Now stop your mocking, or your chains will become heavier; the Lord, the LORD Almighty, has told me of the destruction decreed against the whole land.” (Is 28:22)
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Posted in bendandi, harold camping, mockers and scoffers

Taiwan ‘prophet’ unfazed by apocalypse no-show

Did you know that according to ‘prophet’ Wang, a 14 magnitude earthquake was supposed to occur in Thailand on May 10, 2011? On May 10, the apocalypse didn’t show up.

Did you know that according to self-taught scientist and seer Raffaele Bendandi ‘the big one’ was supposed to level Rome on May 11, 2011? On May 11, the apocalypse didn’t show up.

Did you know that according to self-styled bible interpreter Harold Camping, the rapture followed by the apocalypse was supposed to occur on May 21, 2011? On May 21, the apocalypse didn’t show up.

Peter prophesied, “Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, ‘Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation’ ” (2 Peter 3:3-4). We all know that the media and the world’s citizens did a good bit of mocking that the prophesied rapture did not occur on Camping’s falsely predicted date. Peter was right, there are mockers and scoffers and there will continue to be mockers and scoffers. Their flippant and demonically gleeful rhetoric and behavior will climb to a fever pitch, eventually culminating in the Tribulation after the Two Witnesses are killed. At that time, “Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.” They will be so happy and mocking that the Witnesses’ testimony did not come true they will give gifts literally over their dead bodies.

Not to fear, though, the Two Witnesses will be resurrected by the power of God and ascend in front of their eyes, the entire world in astonishment looking on. God’s Word is always true.

The people who mock, say ‘Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation’ and believe that just because things seem to have always been the same they always will be the same are laboring under a psychological condition called “normalcy bias.” As this mental state is defined, “The assumption that is made in the case of the normalcy bias is that since a disaster never has occurred then it never will occur.”

But Peter reminds us as his verses continue, that they forget that the world has NOT gone on as it always has since the beginning. They forget, there was no beginning, since God has always existed. But there was a beginning for humans, when God who existed prior to the world being made, but then it was made. They forget that there was another time when the world was destroyed by water. Things have certainly not been going along as they always have been. There have been two cataclysmic events that have interrupted the flow and progress of time. And there will be a Third.

Honest science recognizes that the surface of the earth unequivocally shows enormous total hydraulic cataclysm. Why else are there fossil shells on the top of mountains…or in the desert? Everything has not gone along since the beginning. Peter continues, “For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.’ (2 Peter 3:5-7). Notice the word ‘willfully.’ This means that despite evidence that things have not gone on as always, they purposely sink into a preferred delusion so that their craven lusts can continue unabated.

Just because the LORD has not judged the world a second time doesn’t mean He is never going to. As a matter of fact, in one sense ‘Prophet’ Wang is right, there will be a 14 mag quake.

“I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.” (Revelation 6:12-14). The Japanese quake of March 2011 was a 9.0 magnitude that moved the island 8 feet to the east and sank it by 16 feet. If every island and mountain is moved, that is a big quake, something on the order of a 14.0 mag I would guess.

In one sense, Bendandi is right, too, Rome will be leveled, likely in that same quake because the verse continues by saying that men hide in rocks and caves. In one sense, Camping is right, the rapture will occur. The fault comes in trying to predict a date. Peter reminds us that God’s promise [of judgment] is not slack. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9). He is giving us time to repent.

Emily over at Extending Eager Hands pondered the plethora of self-proclaimed prophets these days. She wrote in a quick note, “I tend to distrust anyone who tacks the title “Prophet/Prophetess” in front of their name.  Perhaps this is wrong of me, but it makes my hair stand on end.  I understand this is a valid spiritual gift, but it’s a gift, not a personage, right?” I responded, “In my experience, most people who tack ‘Prophet’ onto their name also are into revelatory experiences that usually begin like- “God showed me…” or “Jesus took me to heaven and said…” The Revelation from Jesus to us is closed (Jude 1:3), there are no new revelations. It is all in the bible, delivered to the saints once for all, and we are not to add nor take away from the Word. If any ‘prophet’ claims to have new information from Jesus, then you know immediately they are false. On the other hand, people who have the gift of prophecy exhort, educate, or explain the prophesies that are already IN the bible, by the strength of the Holy Spirit. Spirit driven saints who have been given the gift of prophecy tend to be humble, knowing that the things they say, write, or act upon are known to them only because the Holy Spirit has imparted this wisdom. It tends to be humbling rather than ego-boosting.”

Peter again reminds us in the chapter previous to his famous mockers and scoffers passages, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.” (2 Peter 2:1-2)

Final words from Peter on the subject, “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”(2 Peter 3:17-18)

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Posted in casting pearls before swine, end of days. prophecy, mockers and scoffers

Dealing with mockers and scoffers

The bible is full of imperatives. Some call for positive action: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Mt 28:19-20)

Some imperatives call for negative action: “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” (Matthew 7:6)

With the Spirit inside us we are admonished in Matthew 7:6 to be careful of offering holy and pure Gospel truths to those who are only snarling dogs, waiting to tear them apart for their own vicious pleasure. In this day and age of instant social contact through blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other media, Gospel outreach is all the more prevalent. But so is the ease with which the dogs and swine mock and scoff.

“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of His coming?” II Peter 3:3-4

So how do we react to those who reject the Gospel in such a  ferocious fashion?

“Jesus’ point is that certain truths and blessings of our faith are not to be shared with people who are totally antagonistic to the things of God. Such people are spiritual dogs and swine, who have no appreciation for that which is holy and righteous. They will take that which is holy, the pearls (the rarest and most valuable of jewels; see Matt. 13:45–46) of God’s Word, as foolishness and as an insult. A wild animal whose main concern is scavenging for food will not appreciate being thrown a pearl. He will resent its not being something to eat and possibly attack the one who throws it.  Dogs and swine represent those who, because of their great perversity and ungodliness, refuse to have anything to do with the holy and precious things of God except to trample them under their feet, and turn and tear God’s people to pieces. In Revelation 22:15, they are classified with sorcerers, whoremongers, murderers, idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” As John MacArthur admonished in his sermon “Casting pearls before swine“.

“The admonition of the Lord in our text then clearly means that his disciples shall not give, nor minister the gospel, or its provisions, its promises, its comforts, its ordinances, or any of its commands, to any who are thus designated dogs, or who are in nature, disposition, practice or appetite as unlike the regenerated and spiritual people of God as dogs are unlike and inimical to the sheep and lambs.” Gilbert Beebe (1800-1881)

“When people not only reject the gospel, but insist on mocking and reviling it, we are not to waste God’s holy Word and the precious pearls of His truth in a futile and frustrating attempt to win them. We are to leave them to the Lord, trusting that somehow His Spirit can penetrate their hearts-as He apparently did with some of those who at first rejected the preaching of Paul and the other apostles-or leaving them to the just judgment of God.” [MacArthur]

It’s clear that the imperative to go and make disciples of all nations does not include those who are reviling of the Gospel. You have already offered them the highest, and they have countered with the lowest, content to remain in the muck as swine do. They refuse to lift up, and in choosing to continue a conversation, there is no place for you to go but down. Rather than arguing with them over the most beautiful of truths, it is OK, even preferred, to leave them alone. In those cases, the faithful Holy Spirit will enact His will on those lost and brutal souls. The Holy Spirit shall “guide you into all truth… he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” (John 16:13-15).

The age of Twitter and its 140 characters means easy outreach to all, but it is superficial to the sinner. See LR Shelton’s presentation of the process through scripture:

“The sinner must first be awakened by the Holy Spirit before he can be enlightened, according to Eph. 5:14, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”

“Second, he must be enlightened before he can he convinced or convicted: “And when he is come, he will reprove (convince) the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.”

“Third, the sinner must be convinced before he can be wounded to death by the “sword of the Spirit” (Rom. 6:3-4) “So many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death.”

“Fourth, the heart of the sinner must be wounded and broken before it will turn from sin to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation (Psa. 38:8-9), “I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart. Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.”

“Fifth, the heart of the sinner must turn to Christ (Joel 2:13), which is repentance, and run after Him (Song of Solomon 1:4), seeking Him with all the heart (Psa. 69:32), “Your heart shall live that seek God,” and (Jer. 29:13), “Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” That is faith.”

By all means, use social media and personal witness to encourage the brethren, and employ all possible means to introduce the lost to Jesus. But leave the mockers and scoffers alone, and do not persist in casting pearls to swine and dogs.
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Posted in atheism, end time, end time. prophecy, mockers and scoffers

The Tragedy of Atheism

“Beulah! Peel me a grape!” Who could forget Mae West’s famous quip in her second film, “I’m No Angel”? Her ribald lines, superficially innocuous, were delivered in a lazy, mocking elocution that had audiences either loving her bawdiness or up in arms over propriety. The line itself was hilarious because of the visual of Mae telling her black maid to peel the tiny fruit, an effort that was ridiculous but perfect in highlighting her character’s gross self-centeredness.

“Bring me evidence, Beulah! And while you’re at it, peel me a grape!”

‘God! Peel me a grape!’ Is the same attitude atheists exhibit today. Their mental laziness, mocking tone, and orders to bring them some evidence of God and then they’ll think about it, only serve to highlight their gross self-centeredness in which they proudly luxuriate.

Imagine if you had a loving husband, your groom, who daily gave you beautiful gifts. Who served you, ministered to you when you were sick. Who told you that could trust completely and said he never would leave you. Where his loving effects on others around him were obvious. And one day, He came up to you and said, “I love you!” and you answered, “PROVE IT! BRING ME EVIDENCE!”

First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. (2 Peter 3:3)

Worse, what if your 14-year-old son responded that way? If, there he was, in his well-appointed American bedroom, stuffed with laptop, digital camera, games, comfy bed, with his bank account passbook noting his growing college fund, and the key to the deposit box containing his inheritance. And you walked in one day, bringing him his supper that he wanted to eat in his room, and you lay it down and said, “Honey, I love you!” What if he answered, “PROVE IT! BRING ME EVIDENCE!”

I would think there would be punishments all around. I’d think he would receive a stern talking-to, and a grounding from his fun activities. And yet, our Lord, who has all power, does not respond this way. He patiently accepts mocking, self-centeredness, and constant demands for evidence that He has already provided (in His love and mercy). He has given us the world and we demand more.

Jesus, Lord of the Universe, Who has the worlds as a footstool for His feet, as your loving groom served us. He healed, ministered, told us in a thousand ways that He loves us and wants to be with us forever. He even dispensed with His own glory, and poured Himself into the form of a man, and washed feet, served food, and died for us whom He loves. Jesus still loves His children, all of them. And when you relate this eternal fact to unbelievers, they scream, “PROVE IT! PRODUCE SOME EVIDENCE!”

This selfish attitude should not surprise us. We are told by Paul in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 that “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.” This is an age of unrestrained revelry and self-indulgence. Humility, diligent searching, and submission are anathema to culture today. 

The tragedy of atheism is the hopelessness of the self. People who refuse to believe put their entire stock into their own strength, brain, abilities, and they say that any day now, the world will be better because of their own strength, brain, and abilities. It never will be, because we are sinners. But the proud refuse to accept their own sin as the stain that it is and humble themselves to Him who heals, loves, and saves.

The tragedy is that a whole class of people deliberately shrink their world to the provable and seen. Their world is of the brain, but not the mind. It is of the natural and not the supernatural, of the drearily provable and not the awe-inspiring mysterious. Their world is littered with decaying peeled grapes, while the believer’s world is endless, eternal, and perfect. The tragedy is in thinking that peeled grapeskins is all there is to life, when they could have so much more. Even in Apostle Paul’s day this attitude of ‘serve me’ was prevalent: “Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.” (1 Corinthians 22-23)

Is this you? “Bring me evidence! But let me finish indulging in my debaucheries first…”

The tragedy is in the non-believer passively lying on a reclining Roman couch, demanding evidence when the bible says “Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. (Psalm 105:4). This is an active command, not a passively receptive one. He even told us how to do it:

“My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” (Proverbs 2:1-5). Again, this verse is full of active verbs, not passive tenses indicating a lolling receptivity.

Atheist, get off your lazy duff and seek His face! He is right in front of you!

How do we accept Jesus? Admit your sin. Yes, we all do wrong things, and we should be sorry for those. Apologize to Jesus and ask Him to be your Savior (saving you from eternal separation from Him) and also your Lord, (humbling yourself and admitting you need Him to lead you in life). Immediately you begin to understand how low you really are in your sin, and how permanently you deserve to be low forever compared to His holiness and glory. However, immediately begins His gifts. Far from your worst fears realized, that this is a permanent abasement, (as it should be) instead in His mercy He will lift you up! He will give you good work! A plan for your life that spiritually you intuit as better than the one you created for yourself! Talents and abilities to accomplish this work! A guarantee of your place in heaven and an inheritance of eternal life! It is within your reach, non-believer. But first, you have to get off the couch.

Posted in charles darwin, end time, mockers and scoffers, prophecy

Was Darwin wrong? a new study asks

Now here’s a headline that ought to brighten the day of any Christian:

Darwin May Have Been WRONG, New Study Argues
“A new study published in Biology Letters argues that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution may have been wrong. While Darwin argued that competition was the key force driving evolution, a research team from the University of Bristol argues that “living space” is in fact the primary driver. Michael Benton, a co-author of the study, said his team concluded that “competition did not play a big role in the overall pattern of evolution. “Throughout geological time, patterns of global diversity of tetrapod families show 97 per cent correlation with ecological modes,” Sahney writes in the Biology Letters article co-authored by Michael Benton and Paul Ferry.

That Darwin’s theory, and remember it is only a theory, is being challenged at its most basic precept, is not cause for concern. Science almost always goes through iterations. Remember alchemy? Trying for almost a thousand years to turn lead into gold? For a long time scientists used to think the earth was the center of the universe. It was only 150 years ago we began to understand about germs. Even though DNA was discovered in 1859, it wasn’t until the middle of the twentieth century that scientists accepted that DNA was the main part of heredity, not proteins. And every week it seems like, there is a new “missing link” that will solve the issues in evolution. Now there is a new key theory of evolution itself.

Science is not bad. It is good. But science should not be a religion. The failures and problems with the theory of evolution should cause any person, Christian or not, to realize that such a notion could never answer the fundamental question of the universe: where did we come from? We came from God, who formed us with His hands. It is laughable to think that we came from monkeys, or further, that one animal changes into another, as the theory of evolution proposes.

Publicly disbelieving in evolution these days provokes a more severe reaction than ever. People are not holding back their contempt for the notion of a God-formed world, their derision for people who accept it, and their mocking of our submission to His order of things. But we should not be surprised, we were told that in the last days, there would be mockers and scoffers.

2 Peter 3:3-4 states “knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 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 creation.” Jude 18-19 states “how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit…”

Along those lines,  in defending a young earth, faith in Jesus, and creationism, people have said the following to me lately:

not just you – all believers in any supernatural systems have very simple processes at work.”
Wow, you are so blissfully ignorant. Have fun with that.”
I have a big problem when people get hope, meaning etc from a supernatural beings. I would rather they got those things from self-belief, their education and an understanding of the collective power of people.”
of course you think that. Your brain has engineered itself that way”
please consider that thinking for yourself and looking around are unsettling but rewarding experiences”

Those are the mild ones. The ones that use profanity or hurl threats or insults, I blocked and/or deleted. Christian, things are going to get worse before they get better. The world will increasingly hate us and love satan. Please pray for your teenagers and young adults who are in college or living away from home and will undoubtedly be enduring such mocking at an overt and a covert level. They are most as risk. Pray for each other to be strong and willing to stand up for bible truths, no matter how unpopular they are in this fallen world. After all, God’s Word is forever, and the fads and mistakes in different theories come and go, sometimes monthly. God’s truth will never pass away, and neither will the Christian who believes!