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"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ--
to the glory and praise of God."

(Philippians 1:9-11 NIV)





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The Church of the Firstborn,
 
In a recent message to you pertaining to an exchange between me and a member of my cyber-list (Randal Coats), I stated that I would obtain a copy of the book, Destined to Reign by Joseph Prince, pastor of the New Creation Church in Singapore.  After investigating the book and the pastor, to a limited extent, I've decided to forego that decision.
 
The book and the pastor is a proponent of the "prosperity gospel," which does have wide acclaim and does solicit mass-devotion in various Christian circles.  By "prosperity gospel," pastor Prince endeavors to convince his following that God expects you to reign in this lifetime, i.e., be successful in your personal, health, financial, business (etc) life, as well as in your spiritual life.  It sounds good of course; the only problem is that Scripture really doesn't support this type of success in this life.  In fact, it teaches that if you follow Christ, you will indeed suffer in many and various ways.  Scripture does in fact teach that you will "reign," but only should you be part of the "bride of Christ" and only during the Messianic Era.
 
Should you have any questions, I will be happy to field them.
 
 

 

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 1:00 PM
Subject: hello

 
Bro. Charles, it has been a long time now but i still get your emails and i enjoy them.
lately i have been reading Joseph Prince's "Destined to Reign" i dont know if you are familiar with him, he pastors the New Creation Church in Singapore malaysia over 15,000 members.
This book im almost finished with it has profoundly changed my life. He preaches the gospel of grace like the apostle paul. This ties in with your message, im no longer worrying about my sins being looked at, im forgiven because of the finished work of the cross, Christ's righteousness is imputed to me forever. the goal for me now is to work to obtain my regal status that i will have in the messanic kingdom by showing myself approved unto Christ.
what a burden has been lifted!
i read my bible now about 2 chapters every night pretty much and then read joseph prince's book to supplement it.
i have a long way to go but i can now see my role and what i need to do to obtain it.
just wanted to say hello.

JEREMIAH 31:3--This is a great statement about God's unending love: "The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore, with loving-kindness have I drawn thee."

 

 

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 4:50 AM
Subject: Re: hello
 
Randal,
 
So good to hear from you. 
 
I will have to obtain Prince's book.  It sounds like it should be an excellent read (i.e., in-line with the Word of the Kingdom message, which is predominate throughout the entire Bible).  I rejoice in your assurance of Christ's complete and totally efficacious work at Calvary pertaining to your spirit-salvation (John 3:6, 18; Acts 16:30, 31; Romans 8:10 [2 Corinthians 5:21]), a salvation that has only eternal verities in view (John 3:16), but which is the foundation for all future verities (1 Corinthians 3:11). 
 
Together, we must now live for Him toward our soul-salvation (Matthew 16:26, 27; Hebrews 1:14-2:3,10;10:39), i.e., to be approved at His judgment seat (Romans 14:10, 12; 2 Corinthians 5:10, 11; 1 Corinthians 3:12-15; Matthew 16:24-27), which has only millennial verities in view (Romans 8:12-17; 1 Corinthians 15:25; 2 Timothy 2:11-13; Revelation 19:7-9; 20:6).  In this we must be like the apostle Paul who "ran the spiritual race" and "pressed on" for the "prize" and who looked forward to the "imperishable crown," the "crown of righteousness" (1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Philippians 3:12-14; 2 Timothy 4:7, 8). 
 
And to "live for Him" in a manner that will be pleasing to Him and which will produce divine fruit that will stand the test at His judgment seat is to "abide in Him," which means that His Word, i.e., the "meat" of it (Hebrews 5:12-14), abides in us (see the companion passages of Ephesians 5:18-20 and Colossians 3:16) and we "by faith" die to ourselves daily (Matthew 10:38, 39; 16:24-27; Mark 8:34-38; Luke 9:23-26) and permit Christ to live "through" us (Galatians 2:20; Colossians 2:6), which is walking in the Spirit, not the flesh (Romans 8:4-6).
 
At all times, we must remember Christ's parting words to us in the book of Revelation, "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work." (Revelation 22:12)
 
Again, so good to hear from you.  Always feel free to contact me.
 
 



To my cyber-list and a few other dear friends:

 

Recently a very dear and spiritual friend of mine shared with me what I deem to be cautionary remarks regarding my concern over the deteriorating condition relative to our southern border.  As I recall, the advice was that possibly Christians should not be distracted from their primary mission of sharing Christ with the world by the political and secular events of the world.

 

His counsel came back to me early this morning as I watched the Lou Dobbs' television program (CNN), which outlined how Russia and China were uniting against the West, particularly the United States.  Yet I could not escape the connection between these "worldly" events and the clear statement of prophecy regarding the same as seen in both Testaments.

 

My friends' suggestion is not without scriptural merit.  When Christ outlined the morality and rules of the coming Kingdom in what is known as the "Beatitudes" in Matthew chapters five through seven, He stated in chapter six verses twenty-five, "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. . . ."  But then, contextually, these comments were an extension of His remarks pertaining to the serving of "two masters" (God and mammon [riches]) in verse twenty-four.  Which is to say, He wasn't directing Christians to be irresponsible regarding the secular care of themselves or to ignore their secular surroundings in this world.  He was simply and emphatically illustrating that such concerns can take the place of proper service to God. 

 

And, as previously mentioned, the "Beatitudes" was a message to the Jewish multitudes that followed Him from Galilee, from Decapolis, from Jerusalem, from Judea, and from beyond the Jordan (Matthew 4:25-6:1); and, it was a message relative to the morality and rules of the proffered kingdom that He was directing specifically to the Jews at that time in His ministry.

 

So, having seriously considered my friends advice over the past week and recognizing that it indeed has merit, particularly should a Christian become overwhelmed with secular and political events throughout the world, I have come to the conclusion that a measured and biblical interest should always be part of a Christian's experience. 

 

By this I mean that just as each Christian has the responsibility to be properly concerned with his or her "personal home life" (i.e., its orderly, financially effective, and spiritual conduct), so should each Christian be responsible for his or her "national home life."  I personally believe that there was no one more informed of world events, secular or spiritual, than our Lord.  And Christians should stay abreast of what is happening around them, on a local, national, and global scale.

 

This is not to say that anything happening outside one's personal sphere of existence should surprise, overwhelm, or distract a Christian.  If a Christian is grounded in Scripture, he or she will remain focused on serving Christ in this very evil world.  And this will be done regardless of any social or political extraneous circumstances.  But by paying attention to one's surroundings and evaluating them in light of prophetic Scripture, the Christian can only be encouraged as his or her faith deepens relative to the veracity of God's sure Word.  So instead of sinking into despair by keeping abreast of world events, the Christian's hope is conversely made stronger as he or she clearly sees that the truth of end-time events made so evident in Divine Revelation are indeed coming to pass.

 

Charles of www.bibleone.net





The Intractable Middle East Problem

By Arlen L. Chitwood

 

(Almost all of the following material, save for comments on current events, can be found in material that I've written at one time or another over the past thirty years, scattered throughout the books that I've had printed during that time. In this respect, the short of the matter follows, with little explanation and few references. The long of the matter, with explanation and references, can be found in the books.

 

This material is being put together and sent out because of a number of requests for comments brought about by the current Middle East situation. The existing problem is far from simple, though, from a biblical standpoint, not as complex as one might be led to think. One might say, from a biblical standpoint, a person can understand the problem; apart from a biblical standpoint, it is not possible to understand the problem.)

 

Israel, of course, is the key. And concerning problems existing between Israel and her mainly Moslem Arab neighbors in the Middle East, during the spring of 1991, James Baker, Secretary of State under the first President Bush, stated that this is 'the most intractable problem that there is.'

 

James Baker was also one of the two men who co-chaired the current Iraq Study Group, turning out a report ' the Baker-Hamilton Report ' several days back on Iraq and the Middle East in general that referred to the situation as 'grave and deteriorating' and warned of 'dwindling chances to change course before crisis turns to chaos.' And the somber faces and urgency in the voices of both James Baker and Lee Hamilton told the story apart from the report itself.

 

Was James Baker correct in his assessment of the situation in the Middle East fifteen years ago? Insofar as man solving the problem, he was as correct as one can become.

 

Was James Baker, Lee Hamilton, et al correct several days ago concerning the assessment of the current Middle East situation? That could be answered two ways: 1) from a biblical standpoint, the situation is far worse than the report indicates, but 2) also from a biblical standpoint, the situation is much brighter than the report indicates.

 

And the preceding would require explanation, providing, at the same time, information to address the whole of the issue at hand.

 

So, let's look at it.

 

First, dealing particularly with the intractable problem in the Middle East, this must be done from a biblical base. There is no other way. Apart from a biblical base, a person will only find himself as mired down in trying to deal with the problem as the problem itself has become.

 

A biblical base is simple and easy to come by. However, it would not be acceptable to the secular world at all. How could it be acceptable when most of those in the Middle East are Moslems, along with the fact that the Bible would not be acceptable as a base to work from by any nation attempting to solve the problem, whether the United States or elsewhere? Even Israel would have major problems in this respect because of that which would have to be stated and dealt with.

 

And the preceding would be true even among many Christians in these nations. Allow an example to illustrate the point, part of which bears directly on the Middle East situation. And, in order to understand the existing problem, this would have to be dealt with first and foremost anyway.

 

The One Nation with a God

 

In the '50s, during the Eisenhower administration, the words 'under God' were added to a line in the United States pledge of allegiance to the flag, making the pledge of allegiance read, 'one nation under God.' But is the United States 'one nation under God'? That is to ask, 'Is this true from a biblical perspective?' ' the only book where one can possibly go to answer the question.

 

Christians will fight the ACLU, et al in the parking lots over this issue. But does either group really know what Scripture has to say about the matter?

 

The biblical base for this and all the remainder of the Middle East problems can be found in Moses, the Psalms, and the Prophets. One doesn't even have to go into the New Testament. Such would be of little to no value in the matter anyway, for there is nothing in the New that cannot be found in some form in the Old. The New is simply an opening up and unveiling of that which had its beginning in the Old. So, for the most part, we'll simply stay with the Old since all the information is there anyway.

 

For 'one nation under God' a person would begin with Genesis chapter nine and go from there. This chapter deals with Noah and his three sons following the Flood, and everyone in the human race today can trace their ancestry back to Noah through one of his three sons.

 

Only one of these three sons ' Shem ' is said to have a God (v. 26). Neither Ham nor Japheth had a God, and if either was to receive spiritual blessings they had to go to the one son with a God. Ham and/or Japheth had to 'dwell in the tents of Shem' (v. 27). This is the manner in which God has established the matter in Genesis, and it can never change.

 

The lineage from Shem, in the respect seen in Genesis 9:26, goes through Abraham nine generations later and then through Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob's twelve sons, from whom sprang the twelve tribes of Israel, the nation of Israel. In short, the descendants of Shem

through this lineage alone have a God. The whole of this matter is something clearly revealed and seen in Scripture.

 

Other descendants of Shem, such as the Arab nations (from Abraham through Ishmael, or through one of the sons of Keturah, or through Isaac's son, Esau), are as the descendants of Ham and Japheth in this respect. They are to be reckoned among the nations (Gentile nations). Israel, on the other hand, is not to be 'reckoned among the nations' (Numbers 3:9).

 

With that as a base to work from, one can then understand verses such as Psalm 72:18 and Psalm 96:5. The first verse refers to 'the Lord God, the God of Israel,' and the second verse states 'For all the gods of the nations are idols [lit., 'nothing'].' That is to say, the gods of all the nations (whether they be idols, demons, or anything else) are 'nothing' in comparison to the God of Israel, the one true and living God.

 

Psalm 33:12 is often misunderstood in the preceding respect: 'Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord...' The statement, contextually, is not a reference to Gentile nations. It can't be! The statement has to do with Israel, the only nation with a God. The only way any Gentile nation can have a God is to go to the nation with a God, go to Israel. God made that quite clear at the outset of His word, in Genesis chapter nine. And today, with Israel in her current state of unbelief, for the most part scattered among the nations, for a Gentile nation to dwell in the tents of Shem and possess a God is not possible.

 

For a New Testament reference relative to the preceding, note Ephesians 2:12. Christians have a God, but that is only because of and through a Jewish Messiah Who came through Israel. The same thing cannot be true of nations per se.

 

Thus, from a biblical standpoint, it is not possible for any Gentile nation to look upon itself as 'one nation under God.' And that one truth really forms the central base for understanding the whole of the Middle East problem. At the center of the problem

is Israel, the only nation on the face of the earth with a God, a standing that Israel holds even in the nation's present unbelief. And surrounding this nation with a God are Moslem nations with a governmental system intermixed with a religious system with a god who is described in Psalm 96:5, the same place the god of the United States or any other Gentile nation is described.

 

Israel's Position among the Nations

 

Beyond that, Israel is God's firstborn son (Exodus 4:22, 23), the one and only nation among all the nations that God recognizes as possessing the rights of the firstborn ' a firstborn right among nations, which, among other things, includes the right to hold the scepter, to rule. Israel is the nation that God recognizes as possessing these rights, and, with Israel exercising these rights (which the nation one day will exercise, though that is far from the case today), the Gentile nations are to be ruled by and blessed through Israel (in accord with Genesis 12:2, 3, realizing another part of the rights of the firstborn).

 

The Gentile nations today rule under Satan and his angels (in accord with that seen in the latter part of Daniel 10). But Israel, not to be reckoned among the nations, occupies a position separate from this rule (also in accord with the referenced section in Daniel 10).

 

Satan knows all these things, and he has been doing and will continue doing everything within his power to prevent the one nation with a God from ever exercising her God-ordained position as God's firstborn son. He knows that when this occurs that not only will he no longer hold the scepter but conditions relative to Israel and the nations will be as described in Zechariah 8:20-23.

 

Satan and his angels, ruling from a heavenly sphere through the Gentile nations on earth, have been seeking for decades in the Middle East, through the nations, to bring about that stated in Psalm 83:4:

 

'Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the

name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.'

 

And There Is More'

 

Then, as if the preceding wasn't already too much for man to even begin to deal with, there is still more. There is the matter of Israel being driven out among the nations, because of unbelief, to effect repentance. And a remnant has returned back to the land before the time. The slayer, Israel, typified in Numbers chapter thirty-five, has returned to the land of her possession before it is time for the nation to return, creating a major Middle East problem.

 

It is the age-old story of Jonah asleep on board a ship headed away from God's calling and then finding himself in the midst of a raging storm out on the sea, a storm so severe that it struck fear in the hearts of those men on the ship, a storm so severe that it was about to destroy the ship. That is the picture that Scripture presents of the dire situation in the Middle East today.

 

Then, as if the preceding addition wasn't enough, add something else. God pictures Israel as having been wounded, being sick, because of past disobedience (Isaiah 1:4ff). And God states concerning Israel's condition in this respect that the one who brought about this condition (God, because of the nation's disobedience) is the only One Who can cure the nation (Hosea 5:13-6:2).

 

Thus, there is your Middle East picture as it exists today. God's firstborn son, the one who's right it is to hold the scepter, the only nation with a God, is sitting wounded in a place where the nation is not even supposed to be, in the midst of mainly Moslem nations, with the nations raging and the whole situation about to tumble out of control. And Satan, through existing conditions, is doing all within his power to destroy Israel through using the surrounding Gentile nations.

 

This is why there is a situation rapidly becoming uncontrollable, with the nations raging, in the Middle East today. This is why the world heard the cry from Nasser four decades ago that the primary goal of a war between Egypt and Israel was to drive Israel into the sea, doing away with the nation. And, as well, this is the reason why the present ruler of Iran (among others) is openly and defiantly calling for the destruction of Israel.

 

None of the basics behind these things are being taken into account in the nations' endeavors to effect Middle East peace. They can't take these basics into account. The intractable Middle East problem has both a biblical base and a false religious base, and the nations seeking to effect peace cannot operate in either realm. Both bases are spiritual and involve supernatural powers ' one emanating from the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the other emanating from the god of this age. Man's best efforts in either supernatural realm would be as powerless as trying to extinguish the flames of a burning skyscraper with an empty eyedropper.

 

And even if the nations could operate in the spiritual realm, the nations couldn't cure Israel of her current condition. Only God can do this, something that He clearly states that He will do following Israel being brought to the place of repentance.

 

The Middle East is a powder keg with a burning short fuse. It is going to blow, and man can't stop it, for the prophets have already spoken. How soon will that be? We're not told. So there is no need to speculate. Such would be useless anyway. Suffice it to say that is it later than most care to think, imagine, or admit.

 

Then, There Is Something Else

 

The preceding outlines the bad news. The preceding shows why a report such as the Baker-Hamilton report can't even begin to touch the problem, as it exists. And this is not to speak negatively of the report. Rather, it is simply to say, from a biblical base, as previously outlined, that there is an existing problem in the Middle East that man can't deal with.

 

But there is good news. The more the matter deteriorates, the brighter things become in another respect. The dawn always follows the darkest hour of the night.

 

The time is rapidly approaching when the Church will be removed, and after that God will allow conditions to deteriorate to a point, particularly in the Middle East, where Israel will have no place to turn other than to the God of their fathers. Scripture describes that time as a day 'that shall burn as an oven' (Malachi 4:1), and Scripture also speaks of conditions deteriorating during that time to a point where 'no flesh' would survive apart from divine intervention (Matthew 24:22).

 

It will be the story seen in the book of Exodus all over again. Israel, through Gentile persecution, will be brought to the place of repentance, a Deliverer will be sent, Gentile power will be put down, and Israel will be delivered.

 

That coming day will see the 'Sun of Righteousness' arising 'with healing in His wings.' Christ will return, Gentile world power will be destroyed, Israel will be cured of her wound, her sickness, and God's firstborn Son will then exercise the rights of primogeniture, with the Gentile nations being blessed through Israel. Then and only then, the intractable problem in the Middle East will be resolved. Then and only then, there will be peace in the Middle East.

 





Tribute to Steve Irwin

(Crocodile Hunter)

1962-2006

 

Yesterday (9-4-06) was a very difficult day for me, as I contemplated the death of Steve Irwin, the 'crocodile hunter.'  He was only 44 years old, but he had a passion for the animals of God's creation in his life.  In fact, you might say that when he entered your living room by way of his television specials he was 'larger than life.'  Having never met the gentleman, I felt that in some special sense he was part of my family.  How I loved to watch him and experience his infectious enthusiasm for God's animal creation.

 

But the moment I saw the news of his passing and over the sadness that I immediately felt from it, three distinct thoughts came to mind.

 

First, I remembered a specific point I was endeavoring to convey in Sunday's Bible study class, which I particularly directed toward a young teenager in the assembly.  The point being that no matter our age, life is fleeting and can end at any time.  In fact, from the moment we are born we proceed toward our death.  It is unfortunate that little to any thought is given to this certainty when we are young.  But even with age most of us ignore this reality.  The following scriptural passages came to mind:

 

For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. (James 4:14b)

 

All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away. (1 Peter 1:24)

 

Second, I wondered if Steve Irwin had ever placed his faith in Jesus Christ for his personal eternal salvation.  If so, his passing was indeed a blessing for him.  If not, then the time for the most important decision of his life had expired.  And coupled with this thought is how little attention man gives to eternal matters, often until it is too late.

 

Third, life only becomes truly genuine when we have a passion for what we believe and do.  This was certainly the case for Steve Irwin in his secular interests during his lifetime.  But how I hope that we all can have the same passion in living for our Lord who with greater passion and tremendous personal cost gave of Himself to become our sin and pay the penalty-price for our sin on the cross of Calvary.

 

Steve Irwin, I will greatly miss you in life.  My hope is that I will see you again in eternal life. 

 

Charles of www.bibleone.net

 





Inquiry from Rick

 

Charles, thank you so much for your instructive response.  Sometimes we need clarification from others who can answer more specific concerns. You said; "I also believe that as we continue in our Christian life and faithfully confess our sins, these sins won't come up at the Judgment Seat of Christ.  Now although we will be rewarded (or not) for the type of works we do during our Christian life, our sins as Christians come to bear because they have a way of keeping us from doing divine good works."

Can you elaborate on this just a little?  You answered my next question; will our sins be brought up at the Judgment Seat?  As you said, it makes since they would not if they are cleansed under the blood by our High Priest.  It gives me more clarity to read your statement that our works are judged and that our sins have a way of keeping us from doing divine good works.  That tells me a lot!  Could you tell me more about this with
some Scripture references?  I hope you don't mind, but you have really hit on something that greatly helps.


Thanks for your time, Charles.

Rick

 

Response

 

Rick,

 

Thank you for your message. 

 

I believe as Christians we will stand before our Lord at His judgment seat and answer for all that we have done  (labor/works) for Him while in this physical life, whether good or bad, for  which we will receive "rewards" if they indeed be "divine good works" (i.e., works done under the control of the Spirit) and not works accomplished while in the "flesh,' (i.e., works known as "human good works"'Ephesians 5:18; Isaiah 64:6).  And at the Judgment Seat we will also witness all of our other (human good) works being burned, i.e., consumed by our Lord's judgment (1 Corinthians 3:8-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Galatians 6:7; Ephesians 6:8; Revelation 22:12).

If we in fact do qualify for rewards, they will be administered as our "inheritance" of joint-heirship (co-ruling/reigning) with Christ during the Messianic Era (Romans 2:6; 8:17; 2 Corinthians 1:7; Colossians 3:24; 2 Timothy 2:12; 1 Peter 4:13).

But since "divine good works" (works done under the control or influence of the Holy Spirit) can be quenched (cut off or limited) by grieving the Holy Spirit with our sin (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19), there is therefore a direct correlation between our sin and our works.  Consequently, the more unconfessed sin (1 John 1:9) sin in our lives the more we will be limited in "walking in Christ," i.e., being filled with'controlled by' the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18), which walk comes by faith (Colossians 2:6; Hebrews 11:6) and absorption of God's Word, which in fact produces "faith" (John 15:3; 17:17; Romans 10:17; Ephesians 5:26).

I hope a study of the above scriptural passages/verses will be helpful to your understanding of this matter.

In His grace,

Charles






To Darrel, My Cousin, My Friend

www.bibleone.net

 

Sunday, the 23rd day of April, 2006, was a very sad and joyful day for me.  At about 5:30 in the morning my cousin Charles phoned to tell me that his brother, my cousin Darrel Yoder, had died from a heart attack at about 3:30 that morning.  The news hit me hard.  The pain of sadness overwhelmed me knowing that I would no longer be able to have fellowship with Darrel during this lifetime.  But after a ton of tears my sorrow turned to joy as I took solace in the assurance that Darrel was now in the presence of His Savior, a place of bliss that he had been looking forward to for most of his life, and in the assurance that I would join him soon to continue our camaraderie as we extolled the wonders and glory of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

 

Of all my Yoder-relatives, Darrel was special to me.  He was both my cousin and my friend.  It wasn't too many years ago when just after my retirement from Federal Service, I thought it might be interesting to visit him at his office in McAllen.  At the time I was still spiritually a good ways off from my Lord and struggling to know what direction I should then take in life.  Well, one visit led to another over a period of several weeks, and during each visit Darrel not only befriended me but helped me to understand that whatever path I should choose to take, it should be in God's will and in close proximity with Christ.  We not only joked and ribbed each other over myriad matters, but we always discussed our Christian faith.  In this sense, he was a spiritual mentor.

 

It was because of his gentle hand of direction that I realized that I truly needed to get back into a local church and the study of God's Word.  He also turned my attention toward many of the prophetic elements contained in the Bible, all of which were very influential in my return to Christ.  After time, through attention to the Word and with Christian associations, my spiritual life began to stabilize and strengthen.  In time, God led me to once again minister for Him.  Darrel was such a large part of this process.  When I felt led to initiate my Bible commentary website, Darrel was a constant supporter.  He continued that support when I was asked to lead a home Bible-study class on Sunday afternoons.   From the very start of these ministries until about 10:00 in the morning of Saturday, April 22, 2006, I kept him fully informed of my spiritual activities.

 

How thankful I am today to have had about an hour of fellowship with Darrel and his son Jeff on Saturday, the day before his path to glory.  The joy we experienced being together and ribbing each other over both secular and doctrinal matters is fresh in my mind as I sit and type this memorial to him my friend, even though selfishly I cry knowing these times are gone for now.  He always took satisfaction in showing me his latest acquisition from ebay.  That day, it was a 2003 Ford Explorer Sport Track, a type of truck I had once influenced him to buy and which became one of his favorites.  Darrel was fortunate to have ample means in which he could amass material possessions.  But now with his passing, I once again firmly realize how unimportant material wealth is in comparison to eternal wealth.

 

Later, as he said goodbye to me outside by the curb, he told me how young and healthy he felt.  He said that he always felt younger and more active than those in his age bracket, the mid-sixties.  He said that he could still run and do the things associated with a person of much younger years.  And he could.

 

Darrel also informed me that on the coming Tuesday he would be traveling to the Island (Padre), I believe with his son Jeff, to do some work on their investment condos.  Second only to his devotion to Jesus Christ, Darrel was completely devoted to his family his wife Lucy, his two sons Ron and Jeff, his mother Frieda, his brother Charles, and so many more.  He had a very large heart and a generous one.  But most of all, he loved and served his Lord.  Nothing better could be his epitaph.

 

Darrel, I will miss you here; but I look forward to being with you again at the feet of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  We will be together again.

 

Charles of www.bibleone.net

 




 


Good (Friday or Wednesday)?

(April 11, 2006, Chuck Missler's eNews issue)

 

The observances of Good Friday and Easter Sunday have perpetuated the traditional chronology that the crucifixion took place on a Friday, and that the Lord's body was buried on that day at about 6:00 p.m., and that he rose from the dead early on the following Sunday morning.  There are some, however, that feel this tradition is at variance with the Scriptural record.  One of the problems is reckoning 'three days' between Friday evening and Sunday morning.  Our Lord's definitive statement is one of the problems:

 

'For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.' (Matthew 12:40)

The mention of nights, as well as the number of days, makes it hard to render this as simply an idiomatic rhetorical device rather than a statement of fact.

The Sabbaths

Nowhere in the Gospels does it assert that Christ was crucified on a Friday.  In Mark 15:42, it refers to '...the day before the sabbath.'  This may be the root of the misunderstanding.

The Jews had other sabbaths in addition to the weekly shabbat (Saturday).   In addition to the weekly sabbaths, there were seven "high sabbaths" each year, and the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the 15th of Nisan, was one of them.  Further, Matthew 28:1 should read, 'At the end of the sabbaths,' (which is plural in the Greek), implying there was a plurality of sabbaths that week.

If Passover, the 14th of Nisan, fell earlier in the week, the 15th could have been any day prior to Saturday, the weekly Sabbath. 'When the sabbaths were past' would, of course, be Sunday (actually, Saturday after sundown), in accordance to the Feast of First Fruits.

 (Some hold to a Thursday crucifixion on a similar basis.)

The 17th of Nisan

Jesus had declared that He would be in the grave three days, and yet was to be resurrected 'on the morrow after the sabbath,' on the day of the Feast of First Fruits. It is interesting that the authorities, anxious to get the body off the cross before sundown, unknowingly were fulfilling God's predetermined plan, 'according to the Scriptures.'

Noah's flood ended on the 17th day of the 7th month.  This month becomes the 1st month at the institution of the Passover.  Our new beginning in Christ was on the anniversary of the Earth's 'new beginning' under Noah!

Israel's new beginning, the crossing of the Red Sea, is believed to have been on the 17th of Nisan.  Also, in their flight after Passover, Israel retrieved the body of Joseph from his tomb.  After Passover, Jesus was retrieved from another Joseph's tomb on this date.

The Jericho Journey

Another problem with a Friday crucifixion is John 12:1: 'Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany...' (from Jericho).  If the Friday view can be accepted, then six days earlier was the weekly shabbat, and on this day such a journey was legally out of the question for a devout Jew.

Summary

As for the Friday or Wednesday issue, there are many good scholars on each side of this controversy.  I personally have become rather cynical toward any tradition that is not supported by Scripture.

Good Friday is the 'traditional' view.  The Wednesday crucifixion is known as the 'reconstructed view.'  This article is intended to stimulate study and constructive conversation during this precious season.  However the important thing is that the tomb was empty.  The authorities made sure that this was indisputable.  Indeed, He is risen!

 





Gospel of Judas & Gnosticism

April 11, 2006 (Chuck Missler's eNews issue)

 

'For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.' (2 Timothy 4:3)

The May issue of National Geographic magazine hasn't even hit the news stands, but it has already triggered widespread debate.  The feature article in next month's issue describes a 1,700 year old manuscript that claims to tell the story of Christ's last days from the point-of-view of history's most notorious traitor.  This so-called 'Gospel of Judas' conflicts greatly with the Biblical account and is only one of several noncanonical gospels, often called the 'Gnostic Gospels.'  Scholars widely agree that none of these texts contain historically reliable information about the life of Jesus and that all were likely written in the second century or later.  However they do help us learn more about false teachings that early church leaders like the Apostle Paul preached against in book of Colossians and elsewhere.

Gnosticism is a system of false teachings that existed during the early centuries of Christianity.  Its name came from the Greek word for knowledge, gnosis.  The Gnostics believed that knowledge was the way to salvation.  For this reason, Gnosticism was condemned as false and heretical by several writers of the New Testament.  The Gnostics consisted of diverse groups, from high-minded ascetics to licentious charlatans.

Sources

Our knowledge of Gnosticism comes from several sources.  First, there are the Gnostic texts, which are known as the New Testament Apocrypha.  These texts are not recognized as Scripture because they contain teachings which differ from those in the Bible. Then, there are the refutations of the Gnostics by the early church fathers. Some of the more important ones are Irenaeus, 'Against Heresies;' Hippolytus, 'Refutations of All Heresies;' Epiphanius, 'Panarion;' and Tertullian, 'Against Marcion.'

A third source on Gnosticism is the New Testament itself. Many Gnostic teachings were condemned by the writers of the New Testament.  Paul emphasized a wisdom and knowledge that comes from God and does not concern itself with idle speculations, fables, and moral laxity (Colossians 2:8-23; 1 Timothy 1:4; 2 Timothy 2:16-19; Titus 1:10-16).  John, both in his gospel and in the epistles, countered heretical teaching which, in a broad sense, can be considered Gnostic.

Gnostic Gospels

A large number of spurious documents emerged during the centuries following the ministries of the Apostles and were universally rejected by the early church.  Copies of a group of these were found at Nag Hammadi in Egypt dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries.  These include 'The Gospel of Thomas,' 'The Gospel of Philip,' 'The Gospel of Mary,' 'The Gospel of Truth,' and about four dozen others.

They are not 'gospels' at all, but rather speculative opinions, totally devoid of any verifiable facts.  Furthermore, they were written under false pseudonyms in an attempt to gain legitimacy.  The early church rejected any documents under pseudonyms as being inconsistent with the concept of God-breathed inspiration. Lastly, they were all written centuries after the Gospel period'in contrast to the contemporaneous eyewitness accounts in the New Testament.

False Teaching

Ethical behavior among the Gnostics varied considerably.  Some sought to separate themselves from all evil matter in order to avoid contamination.  Paul may be opposing such a view in 1 Timothy 4:1-5.  For other Gnostics, ethical life took the form of libertinism.  For them, knowledge meant freedom to participate in all sorts of indulgences.  Many reasoned that since they had received divine knowledge and were truly informed as to their divine nature, it didn't matter how they lived.  Such an attitude is a misunderstanding of the Gospel.  Paul, on a number of occasions, reminded his readers that they were saved from sin to holiness.  They were not to have an attitude of indifference toward the law.  They had died to sin in their baptism into Christ (Romans 6:1-11) and so were to walk 'in newness of life.'  John reminded the Christians that once they had been saved they were not to continue living in sin (1 John 3:4-10).

These Gnostic teachings also had a disruptive effect on fellowship in the church.  Those who were 'enlightened' thought of themselves as being superior to those who did not have such knowledge.  Divisions arose between the spiritual and the fleshly.  This attitude of superiority is severely condemned in the New Testament.  Christians are 'one body' (1 Corinthians 12) who should love one another (1 Corinthians 13; 1 John).  Spiritual gifts are for the Christian community rather than individual use; they should promote humility rather than pride (1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:11-16).

 

'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.' (Colossians 2:8)

 





 

Digging into the Word

(From Chuck Misslers' eNews Publication)

March 7, 2006

 

All of us talk about seeking spiritual growth. But are we really serious? How serious are you? Let's assume that you already have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ. What then? Well, you began to study the Word of God and began to aspire to real growth "in the grace and knowledge" of our Savior. How's it been going?

Allow me to let you in on a "secret." One of the most rewarding involvements - and one that is virtually guaranteed to help you on your path of true spiritual growth - is a home Bible study. The intimacy, the family atmosphere, and the personal accountability all combine to create an environment of spiritual growth unequaled in more formal settings.

There are three key components to our Christian walk: study of the scriptures, prayer, and the fellowship of believers. While the facilities and formalities of Sunday services have become the norm for many, it was not always so. In the early church, the fellowships were, of course, in the homes of the believers. The church in the house of Philemon grew into the church of Colossae (Philemon 2). The church in the house of Nymphas became the church of Laodicea (Colossians 4:15). The churches in the house of Aquila and Priscilla, who seem to have made it their primary commitment, became the churches of both Ephesus and Rome (1 Corinthians 16:19; Romans 16:5).

If you are having a difficult time finding a group we encourage you to pray about starting one of your own. For those of you who might like to undertake leading a home Bible study, we have a free online guide with some suggestions called The Joy of Teaching God's Word (see link below). Our series, Learn the Bible in 24 Hours, is being used by many groups to gain a strategic perspective on the "whole counsel of God." It is now available in various formats (see special offer above). Another study we recommend for new groups is Prophecy 101. This series has been designed to give you a strategic overview of prophecy; past, present, and future.

A great place to start is with verse-by-verse study of a book of the Bible. Pick a book of Bible that interests you and acquire several commentaries on that particular book. After reading the introductory background, it is not hard to "stay ahead" of your group, taking about a chapter each week. From time to time, a particular background item, or special issue, will emerge which can give rise to a little extra research, so a home library which might include a concordance, a Bible dictionary or encyclopedia, etc., can be helpful. (Outfitting a basic home library is not that expensive and can be one of the most rewarding things you can do.) By the time you have completed a particular book in such a program, you will know that book better than you ever dreamed possible. And the commitment of supporting your group each week may be just the self-imposed "pressure" you need to really dig into the Word.

"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so (Acts 17:11)."

 

'   The Joy of Teaching God's Word - Koinonia House
'   Bible Study Resources - Koinonia House
'   Learn the Bible In 24 Hours - Koinonia House
'   Prophecy 101 - Koinonia House






To all,
 
I highly recommend that you read the attached (and pasted below) "Strategic Trends:  Year In Review" article, which is a product of Chuck Missler (Koinonia House, Inc./www.khouse.org) and published in his eNews issue of December 27, 2005.
 
Along with www.focusonjerusalem.com and a few other ministries, I have always encouraged those who are seriously interested in Bible prophecy to follow Chuck Missler's ministry and products.  A unique aspect of Chuck's ministry is a periodic publication of "strategic trends" throughout the world, which can contribute significantly to a Christian's understanding of "end time" events.
 
If you really wish to make sense of today's world events and understand the relevance of the Bible in these times, you will read it.  In fact, I think you should first print it and read it in hardcopy--just works better that way.
 
Again, God bless you all in the remainder of this year and hopefully, if the Rapture does not occur first, you will have a spiritually productive and physically healthy new year in 2006.
 
 
 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

Strategic Trends: Year In Review

from the Chuck Missler (Koinonia House/www.khouse.org) December 27, 2005 eNews issue

Our ministry goal is to create, develop, and distribute materials to stimulate, encourage, and facilitate serious study of the Bible as the inerrant Word of God. Each week the eNews staff examines current events from a Biblical point-of-view. We sincerely hope our efforts have helped you gain a better understanding of the times in which we live. We also hope we have been able to demonstrate how the Bible is as relevant and accurate today as it was two thousand years ago when Jesus Christ walked on the shores of Galilee.

Our staff regularly monitors ten specific global, social, political, and economic trends that we feel are significant to the Body of Christ. We follow these Strategic Trends throughout the year on our website and in our various publications. Today we would like to review each of these trends and take a look back over some of this year's major milestones.

Weapons Proliferation

The acquisition of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons by both terrorists and rogue nations is perhaps one of the greatest threats to our national security. US intelligence officials have focused their attention on Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Pakistan, and North Korea in their attempts to stifle weapons proliferation. They have also kept a close watch on Russia and China, key suppliers of technology, components, and weaponry.

During the last twelve months Iran's nuclear program has become the focus of international attention. The EU has attempted to reopen dialogue in recent weeks, but there is little hope of reaching an agreement. Iran has vigorously pursued weapons of mass destruction - nuclear, chemical, and biological - and their delivery systems as well as advanced conventional weapons. To this end, Iran has sought foreign materials, training, equipment, and know-how from nations such as Russia, China, and Pakistan.

Missile tests conducted earlier this year by Iran may be part of the development of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) warhead. Iran has practiced detonating its Shahab-3 missiles while in mid-air, which has lead some intelligence officials to suspect that Iran is practicing the execution of an EMP attack. An electromagnetic pulse, triggered by a high-altitude detonation of a nuclear weapon, poses a considerable threat to our national security and is one of a small number of weapons that could be used to bring the whole of America to its knees. An EMP attack would strike what has become our Achilles heel ' our relatively unprotected, yet vital, technological infrastructure.

The Struggle for Jerusalem

Yasser Arafat's death has plunged the Palestinian leadership into a massive power struggle, with various groups and factions battling for control. Despite Mahmoud Abbas' clear victory in January's elections, organizations like Hamas still pose a serious threat to his leadership. Abbas has refused to confront armed groups for fear of civil war. Instead, he has attempted to woo militia members with the promise of jobs and political participation. His strategy, however, has not been effective. The Palestinian Authority is spiraling into chaos. Palestinian Security forces in the West Bank and Gaza are weak, ill-equipped, and divided. Their ability to maintain law and order suffers from shortages of equipment and ammunition, widespread corruption, financial mismanagement, and various other stumbling blocks to the its effectiveness. Meanwhile, terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the al-Aqsa Martyrs' are better trained and better equipped.

The Israeli withdrawal from Gaza represents a major milestone in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. In August Israel evacuated all 21 Gaza settlements along with four of 120 settlements in the West Bank - a total of about 9000 settlers were forced to abandon their homes. Some believe that the Gaza withdrawal was necessary for Israel's security - although Israel will continue to control the borders, coastline and airspace of Gaza, it will no longer need to commit substantial military personnel and resources to the protection of settlers within Gaza. Yet in many respects, the Israeli evacuation of Gaza represents a victory for terrorism. In the minds of the Palestinian people, the Israeli withdrawal is proof that terrorism works.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's controversial plan to pull out of Gaza has caused division within the nation of Israel - even prompting talk of civil war. Sharon made headlines recently when he resigned his position in the Likud - the right-wing political party he founded in 1973. Sharon and his supporters left the Likud to establish a new political party that will be committed to reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians consistent with the US-backed Road Map Peace Plan. Sharon has named the new party Kadima, a Hebrew word which means "forward" in English.

America
's Challenge

The blood shed on September 11, 2001 became the catalyst in the war on terrorism. That tragic event briefly united Americans in a common cause, however that unity has splintered. National tragedy may have amalgamated the masses, but growing differences in values and philosophy have driven a wedge down the middle of American society. Americans are fighting a battle both in foreign lands and here at home. In the war against terrorism our enemy is easily defined, however the domestic battle lines are more muddled. It would seem that, as a nation, we have begun to abandon the faith and values of our founding fathers.

Controversial topics like same-sex marriage, abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and intelligent design have continued to divide the populace. Unlike the war on terror, however, this confrontation has primarily taken place in courtrooms rather than on battlefields. In many cases, such as the court battle over removing the words "under God" from the pledge, victory seems to hinge on the interpretation of our constitution and the definition of the Establishment Clause, from which the concept of separation of church and state is derived.

Perhaps one of the events history will remember most about 2005, is the dramatic changes that have taken place in the Supreme Court. In July, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor stirred up Washington by announcing her resignation from the Supreme Court. Her resignation was followed a few months later by the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist. Rehnquist has since been replaced by John Roberts. Samuel Alito has been nominated to take the place of the Sandra Day O'Connor.

Rise of the European Superstate

Over the last few years we have watched closely as the European Union has emerged as a growing world power. Bulgaria and Romania are set to join the EU in January of 2007 and both Croatia and Turkey have begun negotiations for membership.

The consideration of Turkey as a possible member of the EU has put the spotlight on Europe's growing Islamic population. Islam is quickly becoming a significant part of the cultural and political landscape of Europe. There are between 9 and 15 million Muslims living throughout Europe today, and Islam has become the largest religious minority. Considering current population trends and the need for immigrant labor, it is likely that the number of Muslims in Europe will continue to grow exponentially.

The Muslim population in Europe has expanded so rapidly that it now appears Europe is experiencing growing pains. However the problem is not overcrowding, it is increased cultural tensions. The situation came to a head in November, when widespread rioting broke out in France - in which over 7,000 vehicles were torched and various public buildings and businesses were destroyed. France's failure to integrate its North African and Muslim minorities is seen as the key reason behind the rioting.

Global Government

Often seen as the future embodiment of global government, the UN has been the subject of increased scrutiny. While the investigation into the Oil-for-Food scandal is at its height, the UN has been bombarded by accusations of corruption and mismanagement. The Oil-for-Food Scandal is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. As evidence is uncovered, the more apparent it becomes that UN lacks accountability.

It should come as no surprise that amidst the scandal the UN has announced plans for a massive overhaul. The huge reforms will be unlike any changes made since the organization was founded in 1945. Historically, government never downsizes voluntarily; it always increases its power and minimizes accountability to its citizens. Government reinvention is frequently an effort to avoid the consequences of failed policies in the past, or to justify a government's continued expansion by posing solutions to the problems it has created. Over the last decade, the United Nations has unabashedly pushed for what it calls "global governance." The UN is positioning itself for global power, no doubt it will use the scandal and the ensuing "reforms" to advance closer to that goal.

The Rise of Islam


The Muslim faith is becoming an increasingly volatile catalyst in today's international scene. With the continuing threat of terrorist attacks in the United States, it has become of paramount importance to understand the origin, nature, and agenda of Islam.

Many Americans believe that Islam is a religion of peace and that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. In public schools we teach our children a doctrine of tolerance, and in some schools students are even required to memorize passages of the Koran. While in comparison Islamic children are taught that America is the Infidel. We are the enemy. When the towers came crashing down on September 11, 2001 and thousands of innocent people were killed, Muslims all over the world danced in the streets and praised the hijackers. A survey taken in Saudi Arabia shortly after the September 11 attacks reported that 95 percent of educated Saudi men between the ages of 25 and 41 backed bin Laden's cause. Islamic terrorists are referred to in the West as radicals and extremists, while in the mid-east they are heralded by fundamentalists as martyrs and heroes, and the families of suicide bombers are rewarded monetary pensions. The disparity between the two perspectives is staggering.

To say that Islam is a peaceful religion requires turning a blind eye to the growing humanitarian crisis in Darfur, the bloodshed in Chechnya, the London terrorist bombings, and the ethnic conflicts in China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Pakistan and India ' not to mention the ongoing violence throughout the Middle East.

The Magog Invasion

Many experts believe that a large-scale confrontation between Israel and its neighbors could be on the near horizon. Which has made Syria's growing relationship with nations such as Iran and Russia more concerning. Over the past year or so, partly as a consequence of the war in Iraq, Russia has been carefully cultivating ties with Turkey, Iran and Syria. After losing the Mid-East foothold provided by Saddam Hussein's Iraq, the Russians have been building a new axis of power based on those three key countries.

Russia is now Turkey's second-largest trading partner, with a volume of $10 billion in trade per year. Russia has also strengthened ties with Iran by supplying it with nuclear-related technologies. Earlier this year Russia and Syria made plans to increase diplomatic and military cooperation. Russia wrote-off approximately 10 billion dollars of Syria's Soviet-era debt and has supplied Syria with Russian made SA-18 surface-to-air missiles, in spite of Israel's objections. Russian military experts have also been sent to the Gaza Strip to train Palestinian security forces. In addition to training, Russia is prepared to provide the Palestinians with armored vehicles, ammunition, and helicopters.

These developments could be a sign that the famed battle prophesied in Ezekiel 38 and 39 is on our near horizon. It is during this battle, that God will directly intercede to protect Israel from Magog and its allies.

The Rise of the Far East

China has quickly become a global power. In recent years, China has bought, borrowed, or stolen technology, which has catapulted its military capabilities into the modern high-tech arena. In the last year China has announced plans to launch 100 surveillance satellites, and has unveiled its new class of ballistic missile submarines. These submarines will be China's first truly intercontinental strategic nuclear delivery system. The Chinese military is preparing for a war with the United States, a war which its commanders believe is inevitable.

In March the Chinese government passed an anti-secession law authorizing the use of military force should Taiwan formally declare its independence. The law also increased Chinese military spending. China wants to avoid entering into an armed conflict over Taiwan, but that does not mean it is unprepared or unwilling to go to war. China's Foreign Minister made clear China's intensions when he stated publicly "We will never allow separatist forces to secede from the great motherland...we will never allow it."

Over the last few years China has strengthened its ties with the Middle East. It is already one of the biggest suppliers of weapons and military technology to Arab nations and has become a major consumer of Middle Eastern oil.

Biotech and Global Pestilence

According to the National Institute of Health infectious diseases remain the leading cause of death worldwide, and the third leading cause of death in the United States. Diseases thought to be obsolete have once again become a global threat, and in recent years new pathogens have emerged, some of which carry antibiotic-resistant genes or mutations enabling them to move across different species.

The Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization have been preparing for a possible outbreak of the Avian virus (also known as the Bird Flu), which officials believe could become a global epidemic if a new virulent strain of the virus emerges that can jump readily from human to human. If there is an outbreak health workers estimate that it would spread rapidly and could kill anywhere from 2 million to 50 million people.

In February of this year embryologist Ian Wilmut, the scientist that brought us Dolly the sheep, was given permission by the British government to clone human embryos for medical research. The announcement has renewed debate over the scientific and ethical implications of cloning and embryonic stem cell research.

Global Religion

It may seem difficult to imagine the world united under one ruler and one religion, especially with the bloody ethnic battles taking place in the world today. However, the violence caused by religious and cultural conflicts could in fact be the catalyst that brings about drastic change. The desire for world peace, the deterioration of moral values in the Western world, the restriction of religious freedom in America, and the continued persecution of Christians in other parts of the world could all pave the way for the emergence of a global religion.

The Roman Catholic Church is one of the wealthiest, most powerful institutions on the Planet Earth today. It has almost one billion followers, approximately 20 percent of the world's population. This year history witnessed the death of Pope John Paul II and selection of his successor, Pope Benedict XVI. The Roman Catholic Church - the Vatican - is poised to become the vehicle for the final ecumenical union of all religions. Many commentators believe that the religion of the Antichrist will not be atheism, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, or New Age. It will be a pagan form of Christianity.

Looking Ahead

As Christians, it is important for us to be able to recognize the "signs of the times" (Matthew 16:3), or as we like to call them, the "times of the signs". We are living in a very exciting age, about which the Bible has a lot to say if you really take the time to study it diligently. God made no mistake by placing us in this time and place, and as such we are admonished to be brave and to contend for the faith. We are soldiers in a mighty spiritual army. Each has a unique mission incapable of being filled by another. It is time to pray for direction and purpose, and then boldly do what He commands us to do. If we truly believe that we are in the "times of the signs", and that the coming of our Messiah is near, then we need to be about our Master's business. Our goal is to hear the words, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

 
 
 



Support of Israel and the Jewish People

www.bibleone.net

Editor's Comment

December 03, 2005

 

WWW.BIBLEONE.NET ardently, fervently, intensely, passionately, vehemently, fiercely, enthusiastically, jealously, strenuously (get the message?) supports the nation Israel and the Jewish people (also known as Hebrews, see Philippians 3:5).  They are God's chosen people and the day will come,
once the "fullness of the Gentiles has come in" (Romans 11:25), "all Israel will be saved" (vs. 26).

Christians must always understand that God's Word came to everyone (Jews and Gentiles alike) through the Jewish people, with only one exception being Luke.  Christianity was founded by Jews.  The incarnate Christ was a Jew.  The Apostles were Jews.  And the day will come when God will seal 144,000 Jews during the tribulation period so vividly illustrated in the book of Revelation.

I could go on, but suffice it to say that all Christians are beholden to the Jewish people.

So it is refreshing to see that there is a Jewish website that strongly supports Christians as "the last remaining obstacle to the moral deconstruction of America."  If you wish to view it, click on:

http://jews4fairness.org/

In Christ,

Charles of www.bibleone.net





Support of Israel and the Jewish People

www.bibleone.net

Editor's Comment

June 27, 2005

 

Should there ever be any misunderstanding regarding the position of www.bibleone.net in regard to the nation of Israel and the Jewish people located anywhere on earth, I would like all to know that I, and therefore the website, have been, is, and forever will be in full support of God's chosen people (Jews, Israelites) and their God-given homeland (Israel), which today is only a small portion of the land granted to them by God in perpetuity, and their rightful capitol city of Jerusalem.

 

When God chose Israel as His people, He not only placed them at the crossroads of history, but also at the center of the empires of their times.  Time and again, this little country has endured siege and upheaval, destruction and exile, only to rise from the ashes and start anew.  Israel's position in God's plan throughout the ages and the Millennial Kingdom soon to come is firmly ensconced in God's Word.  Israel is a country so small that there is no room to write its name on most world maps.  Yet it is a country that will continue to exist no matter the deadly, bloodthirsty endeavors by the Muslim world to totally destroy it.

 

Every Christian would do well to please their Savior to learn more of and support strongly God's chosen people!

 

In support of all Jews, Israelis, their country, and Jerusalem; this editor and his website, www.bibleone.net, follow, support, and recommend the following two ministries:

 

Editor:  Darrell Young

 

Zola Levitt Ministries, Inc.

Box 12268

Dallas, TX 75225-0268

 






From the Editor
Date: June 11, 2004

Overwhelming Impressions of the Life of Ronald W. Reagan
www.bibleone.net

During this week of national mourning over the death of the 40th President of the United States of America, Ronald Wilson Reagan, I have been overwhelmed with several impressions as I have heard numerous testimonies pertaining to his life and service to our country and to mankind everywhere. Here are a few of them:

1. First and foremost, he was a man of great faith in God and his Lord, Jesus Christ. Every aspect of his life was centered on this faith. As a young man in Dixon, Illinois, he placed his faith in Christ Jesus and became a child of God. From that time on I understand he never missed church, and he taught Sunday School for several years. It was only during his term in office as President that he selected not to create a 'scene' by attending church and worshiped alone. After leaving the White House he continued again to attend church regularly. He loved the outdoors and called his ranch in California his 'cathedral' with 'walls of oaks.' He was a man of constant prayer, often just looking upwards and saying, 'Glory to God.'

2. Second, he was a devoted family man. He counted himself the most fortunate man alive to have married his wife Nancy, who was his most loyal advocate throughout his life and who tenaciously stood by and supported him in all his adventures. He was equally as loyal to her and praised her upon every available occasion. They were two who were deeply and genuinely 'in love.' There may never be a more perfect example of two who found something of 'heaven on earth.'

3. Third, he was a man of sincere humility. He never thought of himself as one of great importance or status. He never missed an opportunity to stop, go out of his way and speak to the 'common' and 'working class' around him. He always felt it more important to connect with those of 'small stature,' rather than the 'rich and famous.' He was truly a servant of all the people.

4. Fourth, he was indeed a servant to all of us. He realized early in life that God's purpose for every human being was (1) to receive Jesus Christ, and (2) to be a servant for Christ to all mankind by sharing both His message and His nature. Ronald Reagan always placed others before himself. He understood that in all things God had established meaning, and it was his duty to help reveal this meaning in life for all mankind. President Reagan counted it a joyous thing to do this every day while he was in office.

5. Fifth, he was a man of firm conviction. His convictions, both theological and political, were never compromised by his words or his actions. Even though many of these were unpopular with many, he courageously stood by them. But more than that, he lived them. And by doing so he changed the face of this world for good'for you and me.

6. Sixth, he was a man of tenacious energy when it came to achieving goals. It took him three times before he was able to gain the Presidency of the United States. Prior to this he struggled in face of many failures and down-turns both personally and professionally. But he never gave up. He always, with great optimism and inner-strength of character, pushed on until he reached the very highest office and opportunity this world can offer.

7. And seventh and last, he was always a man of action. But it was always a focused action against evil and for good. He was never timid'considerate and kind at every turn, but never timid. He exercised his love for all of us by serving the one and serving the all. Every day and every moment was a stage on which he could perform for the glory of God and the good of mankind.

In these and more, Ronald Reagan was and remains a 'shining example upon a hill' for all of us. Let us never forget him!

Charles of www.bibleone.net






Wednesday April 16, 2008

A Middle East Evaluation Based on Recent Events (March 23, 2004)

By Darrell Young of  www.focusonjerusalem.com

 

Israel's pinpoint assassination of Sheik Yassin was appropriate; however, its timing was far too late, just as the assassination of Arafat would be way too late to do much good (although at this point they should go ahead and continue to attack terrorist anywhere they can find them).   Israel should have killed Arafat in 1982, if not sooner.  Israel held Yassin in prison several years ago, but consented to release him due to political pressure from the United Nations (UN) resulting from a botched assassination attempt in Jordan. Israel is in the process of withdrawing from portions of Gaza and the West Bank due to international pressure from the European Union-United States-United Nations (EU-US-UN) association in order to jumpstart the 'Peace Roadmap.'  In that staged withdrawal, Israel has decided to diminish the influence of Hamas in Gaza as much as possible.  Israel hopes that by cutting off the "religious head" that the snake of Hamas might crawl away, but that is not going to happen (the demonic hatred of Israel is the fuel that fans the flames of terror, and there are many, many more Yassins out there).

Hamas is fed military supplies from Egypt, Iran, and North Korea.  Egypt allows terror units to infiltrate via tunnels from the Sinai into Gaza (And Egypt is supposed to be a peace-partner?).  Abdul Aziz Rantissi is the military head of Hamas, and Israel miss-fired on an assassination attempt on him a few weeks back.  I expect that they will try again on him very soon, since he will now take over Hamas.  The Hamas military wing, Izzedine al Qassam, plans and carries out these insidious attacks on Israelis under Rantissi's direction.  The Palestinians are simply caught up in a frenzy environment of hate, and this hatred will not vanish with surgical strikes for it is fueled by the workings of Satan through a demonic religion.

One can't fail but notice that all the news media outlets reported that Israel's actions would only escalate the violence.  That is a presumptuous necessity on their part, because they are controlled by a conglomerate/global hierarchy.  They want a cycle of escalation and they always cast the blame on Israel instead of on the terrorists. They all desire Israel to make more concessions and more pressure to be placed on America.

Surgical strikes are now only a 'band-aid' defensive measure by Israel on their malignant cancer of terrorism.  Israel should have long ago gone on a total offensive against terrorism, but the UN would not then and will not now stand for this.  And any American President who fails to coerce Israel into peace concessions, who supports Israel in their attacks on terrorism (like the US is attempting), or who moves the American embassy to Jerusalem will find that He has placed the U.S. in the gun sights not only of Al Qaeda but the whole world.  Even moderate Palestinians feel like Israel is encouraging the inevitability of war because of its political decisions during the Oslo process that made life intolerable for the average Palestinian.  The return of Arafat (agreed to by Rabin) fostered the promotion of Yassin, and others like him.  The average Palestinian lost freedom due to this!   Israel should have NEVER entered into any association with the EU-UN Middle East Peace brokers, which allowed for the reinsertion of Yasser Arafat back into Gaza.  

Arafat and his thugs were isolated in Tunisia, and they should have never been permitted to return to Israeli-territory.  But, due to UN-Vatican pressure, Arafat was allowed to return to Gaza in return for his repudiation of terror in 1990 (Israel swallowed that "pill of poison" because she is desperate for peace, and remains blind to the truth of the Prince of Peace). We now stand at the threshold of WWIII because of that error.  This Arafat-complicity has served the conspiracy of the Antichrist (AC) perfectly.  The AC's manipulation and control of world events has prevented Israel from exercising sovereignty over Jerusalem, and has placed Israel squarely in the eye of a gathering demonic storm'terrorism!

Hamas, under Yassin and Rantissi, has become allied with Hezbullah in South Lebanon. Israel, under the pressure of constant terror negotiations, is being slowly entrenched into a logistical pincer/vice.  Hamas and Hezbulloh, along with Arafat's PLO, are doggedly inching forward for the kill as America becomes increasingly isolated.  They have coordinated strategic plans with Al Qaeda, PFLP, and many other State-sponsored (Syria, Iran) terrorist organizations to gain concession after concession from Israel; and to gradually reduce American influence and resolve in the support of Israel.  This strategy is a scheme of the global AC-order of world events.  He through them is using Islam to weaken the US; and thereafter, to render Israel helpless in its defense.

I believe that America is in for a BIG (nuclear) HIT sooner or later.   I believe the EU, UN, and the 'globalist ideologues,' many of whom are well-positioned in the US government, are working through political intrigue to decrease American dominance in the world (they hate Bush and his Middle East "pre-emptive doctrine" that supports Israel's right to exist).  This year's election will be extremely important to America's fate.  It is clear that the Carter-Kerry-Chirac-WesClark-Anan-liberal/socialists celebrities clique are coordinating a plan to extinguish the independence of our Christian republic, and to transition the U.S. into a 'One World Socialist-Democratic Order' in which a UN/European Super Man (AC) will dominate.

I see where Satan is marshaling his demonic forces on several fronts against America so that he can later set his final sights on Israel.  They follow:

  1. The juridical war to change American law and Christian morals, as they pertain to homosexuality and marriage issues.
  1. The campaign against Christian roots in America, such as the elimination of the Ten Commandments and the enforcement of an unconstitutional separation between church and state.
  1. The political war to blacklist traditional Conservatism in America politics.
  1. The culture war to entice Americans into paganism, sexual perversion, etc.
  1. The religious war to eradicate 'fundamentalism' in Christian America by promoting contemporary ecumenicalism, praise worship (music, etc.) and religious tolerance/unity, etc.
  1. The terrorism war to isolate America from international acceptance, and its efforts to force America to abandon Israel.
  1. The global-ideological war to discredit America (Bush) and coerce it into a submissive 'New Order.'

The recent terrorist bombing event in Spain has highlighted the terrorism/security urgency within the world.  European leaders have flatly stated that the only way to defeat terrorism is to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Bin laden himself laid out the scenario for all of us 3 years ago: 'There will be no peace for the world until there is peace in Palestine,' and the peace that he and the 'elite world leadership' have in mind is a world where there is no Christianity and no Israel.  Only then can they have their peace!  Israel and America (under Bush) could wage a successful war on terrorism, through surgical strikes, and selective campaigns in certain States, but unfortunately, the world just won't take all that risk for the sake of little ole "expendable" ISRAEL.






From the Editor


Date: July 28, 2003

To all,
I can't help but be a little sad today over the passing of a very great person, Bob Hope (1903-2003). I suppose I feel this way because of the numerous memories I have of what appeared to me to be of a very generous and caring person for the United States, what our country stood for and all the troops in the field that served to defend it. Although Bob was known for many things, the greatest to me was his service to our men and women in the Armed Services. When I was stationed in the Canal Zone (Panama) years ago it was my fortune to personally attend one of his live shows at the Utopoa Air Force Base. It is one of the few memories of my 12 plus service (U.S. Army) years that I will always retain.

But no less honor should go to Bob's wife, Dolores Hope. I cannot help but speculate on how often she had to endure hardship and loneliness in order to support Bob and his efforts in supporting our troops. And in these recent years, just as Nancy Reagan has been the care-giver to her husband Ronald (another great American), Dolores has provided continuous and loving care to her increasingly failing (in health) husband. Because of this and as far as I'm concerned, she merits just as much credit, if not more, as he.

I do not know if Bob was a Christian. But if he was, I look forward to a "time without end" that I may fellowship with him and many of you in the angelic realm before our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

My last thoughts are these. As I think on the death of this very great person (1) I am reminded that all our lives will--maybe soon, maybe later--come to an end here on earth, and therefore we should all be concerned with what is beyond our very brief earth-life experience, (2) I also believe Bob's last name of "Hope" should remind all of us who have accepted Christ alone by faith alone that we have a very real and exciting hope for all eternity, which surely will come!

Goodbye Bob............"and thanks for the memories."

Charles www.bibleone.net




Date: June 19, 2003

Dear Friends,

The position of this web site, because it is the position of its editor, is that the primary reason America has been a prospering nation to the extent that it is today the only true world super power is because of its continuing support for God's chosen people, the people and Nation of Israel. It is true that the founding of America was grounded on a far superior moral basis than what exists in this country today, and this may also be somewhat attributable to its rise to prominence. But the principal reason for it blessings lies in its support of Israel.

This is confirmed in God's unilateral covenant with Abram (later to be designated Abraham) when he resided in Haran, as is recorded in Genesis 12:1-3, wherein God specifically said to Abram, 'Get out of your country, from your family and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.'

Down through the ages the Israeli Nation has continued while numerous other nations have declined and have become extinct. As God promised they have since been reestablished in their land and have been reconnected to Jerusalem. This progression of the Israeli State will continue and as long as the United States supports them, America will continue to prosper.

It is for this reason the following excerpt from Chuck Missler's K-House eNews for the week of June 17, 2003 is quoted:

 

ON BEHALF OF ISRAEL

The Middle East conflict arguably receives more headline space than any other conflict in the world and has successfully divided human opinion into two basic camps. One camp considers the plight of the Palestinian people, forced from their historic homeland by Jewish invaders. The other sees the world's only Jewish state battling terrorists within, surrounded by ambivalent Arab states without, and fighting for its very existence. As we consistently have stood with the latter, we offer the following brief list of arguments on Israel's behalf.

1. God gave the land of Israel to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as an "everlasting" possession (Gen 17:8,19; Gen 48:3,4). The LORD put no condition on his promise to Abraham, and while there have been times of exile and times of domination by other powers, there has always been a Jewish presence in the land. (Actually, while current politics bickers over the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and the pre-1967 borders, the original borders stretched all the way to the west bank of the Euphrates [Gen 15:18].)

2. There has never been a country of Palestine ruled by Palestinians. The Romans originally called the area Judea, but around AD 135 renamed it "Palaestina" - presumably after Israel's enemies the Philistines. After the Romans, the area was controlled in turn by the Byzantine Empire, Arabia, the Seljuk Turks, Mameluke forces from Egypt, the Ottoman Empire, and the British.

3. The "Historic Palestinian Homeland" isn't exactly historic. For hundreds of years, Palestine was a miserable backwash part of the Ottoman Empire. Poor administration practices by the Ottoman Empire and a war with the invader Napoleon in 1798 severely reduced the population of Palestine. Both Arabs and Jews emigrated to happier locations and only a dismal, scattered population was left. In his book Innocent's Abroad (1869), Mark Twain repeatedly notes how empty and desolate he found the Holy Land during his travels through. Even Jerusalem held a population of only 14,000 people, and Twain noted there was great variety in those 14,000, including, "Muslims, Jews, Greeks, Latins, Armenians, Syrians, Copts, Abyssinians, Greek Catholics, and a handful of Protestants." It wasn't until the last part of the 19th century that the Arab population started growing again.

4. The Jews had need of their own state. Jews also started an exodus into the Holy Land in the late 1800s, fleeing persecution in Europe. After WWI, Britain gained control of the territory of Palestine and, under the League of Nations' British Mandate, sought to create a national homeland for the Jewish people. However, because of Arab pressure, Britain turned around and limited the number of Jews who could legally immigrate and settle, leaving millions of Jews to be slaughtered in Europe during WWII. (Meanwhile, thousands of Arabs who were attracted by the high living standards in Jewish cities were freely allowed to enter the land.)

5. Both the Jews and Arabs were offered their own states. Only the Jews accepted. The original British Mandate included land on both sides of the Jordan River, but the area now known as Jordan was given to the Arabs.  By the time the carnage of the Holocaust became fully known, the Jews and Arabs had been fighting over Palestine for decades and British efforts to reconcile the sides had not succeeded. In 1947, the UN stepped in and voted to partition Palestine into two separate states - one Palestinian and one Jewish. The Jews were not happy with the partition plan but agreed to the compromise. The Arabs, however, maintained an all-or-nothing position and refused to accept the UN's plan. Had they agreed, the Palestinians would have had their state in 1947.

6. It is a miracle Israel still exists. On May 14, 1948, as the British effectively terminated their Mandate on Palestine, the new State of Israel was proclaimed. Israel was quickly recognized by the US and many other nations. Surrounding Arab states, however, immediately attacked the new State of Israel. Yet, in spite of the Arabs' greater numbers and superior military, the new state survived. The world's only Jewish state has been victorious in every subsequent battle with its neighbors.

7. Too few Palestinians truly desire peace. Since its creation, Arab groups have desired the elimination of the State of Israel. Most Arab nations have yet to officially recognize the right of Israel to exist, and many Muslim groups, like Hamas and Hezbollah, will not allow peace unless it comes in the form of Israel's destruction. In the schools, Palestinian children are consistently taught to hate Israel and not to seek and pursue peace. The Palestinian leadership has long condoned terrorism against Israeli civilians. Peace proposals have been answered with greater numbers of terrorist attacks. When former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered the most far-reaching concessions ever, Yasser Arafat rejected them and the 2000 intifada started shortly thereafter. Until the Palestinians' desire for true peace is stronger than the efforts of the terrorists, no "Road Map" will work.

8. Israel is a great nation and an ally. In less than fifty years, the Jews have formed one of the world's most advanced democratic nations. They share western ideals of freedom and independence. Israel is a multicultural land filled with immigrants, and Israelis affirm the equal rights of every Israeli citizen, regardless of race, religion or gender. In spite of the constant terrorist destruction, economic difficulties caused by wars and embargoes, and the effort to absorb hundreds of thousands of immigrants over the years, Israeli society has flourished.

Being in support of Israel, however, is not equivalent to being against the Arab people living in the land. The Palestinians should stir our compassion. They have been lied to by their own leaders, who have put self-aggrandizement and political agendas above the welfare of the people. They have lost freedom because of the terrorists among them. They have lost their jobs and homes and family members during their desperate war against the Jews. Most importantly, they do not know the freedom and peace that comes from a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

The only time there will be true peace in Israel is when the Prince of Peace comes to rule it. Until then, may we continue to pray for the people of Israel, both Jews and Gentiles, that God would reveal Himself to them in a powerful way through the knowledge of His Son.

Other salient information on Israel, world affairs and Bible doctrine may be obtained from Churck Missler's web site, www.khouse.org.






Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2001 07:50:17 -0500

Dear Friends,

Over the past several days I've been watching "psychologist," and "psychoanalysts," and other social "experts" comment about all the stress we are experiencing due to the recent terrorist activities in New York. They've been telling us about our "fears," our "sleeplessness," our "anguish," and a whole host of other disquieting traits ad infinitum and ad nauseam.

So here I am wondering what's wrong with me. I simply haven't experienced any of this. I've had no fear, sleeplessness or anguish. Certainly I have felt sorrow for all who have suffered loss. But other than that, I've felt a peace and calmness and a certain excitement over world events. So, am I abnormal, a nut or just a vessel with a blood thirsty nature? I don't think so. Personally I've come to a place in my life where I'm too emotional over someone's (or some animal's) hardship or suffering. But as for my own well being, I feel no fear. As for the downturn of world events, I also have no fear.

I rather believe this may be the position of many Christians. Once one knows Jesus Christ and enjoys swimming in His Word on a regular basis, he/she realizes that God is in firm control. He understands that God is bringing about world events so that eventually, but after the Rapture, there will be one world government and one world religion, which will be the hallmark of the Tribulation and Great Tribulation. He also knows that should death come prior to any of this, for any reason, he will be with Christ.

So, there is no room for fear, sleeplessness or anguish. There is only room to marvel, to be thankful and to offer praise. There is no better time to be Christian.

Just a thought.

Charles





September 20, 2001

I think it is noteworthy for the Christian to understand how unique and extraordinarily special is the doctrine to which he adheres. If this doctrine was a product of 'man,' it could not be classified as such. The Christian doctrine is unlike the doctrines of all other religions worldwide in at least three distinctively key elements.

First, the Christian doctrine proclaims a 'living' Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a perfect (sinless) life, was put to death on the cross, but rose alive from the dead to ascend to sit at the right hand of God the Father. The 'founders' of other religions are all dead.

Second, the Christian doctrine worships one God in essence (fundamental nature, character) who reveals Himself in three personalities (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). This superlative concept is not found in any other religion.

Third, the Christian doctrine teaches salvation by grace only through faith; not by good works, rituals or any adherence to a system of law. All other religions, and even some that call themselves 'Christian,' adhere to a 'salvation by works' method of achieving a better or eternal life.

If you are 'born again,' i.e., a Christian, then the Holy Spirit witnesses with your spirit of your special place in the Body of Christ. Knowing that you are indeed very special, then follow Christ's commandment to love and serve Him.





Kevin writes from Wheaton, Illinois asking about the portion of core doctrine in which it is stated 'Jesus died a spiritual death.' He says, 'Are you saying that Jesus spent three days being tormented in Hell. My Church's interpretation of this in the Apostles Creed is that hell is the state of being dead, not the place of eternal punishment. If you could elaborate on this I'd appreciate it.'

I answered on March 31, 2002:

No, our Lord most definitely did not spend three days being tormented in Hell; although He did have to suffer 'spiritual death.' The following is my commentary from Revelation 1:17&18, which may clarify the question somewhat.

-------------------------- START -------------------------


Upon seeing Christ, John fell at His feet and moved not a muscle. Christ then placed His right hand on John and told Him he had no need to fear. Again Christ confirmed that He was the Everlasting God. He assured John that even though He suffered death (on the Cross), He was now the 'Living One' and would never more die. Christ also assured John that He was in complete control by stating that He had the keys to death and Hades. Hebrews 2:14, 15 = Since the children have flesh and blood, He [Christ] too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil-- and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. Hades in the Greek is the same as Sheol in the Hebrew, which was the place of the dead. Prior to the Cross, all who died went to Sheol or Hades. This location had two compartments, one for the wicked [the unseen world] and the other for the righteous [Paradise].

Luke 16:22, 23
The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. In hell [Hades], where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away [Paradise], with Lazarus by his side.

Luke 23:43
Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.

Acts 2:27
because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.

Ephesians 4:8-10
This is why it says: "When He ascended on high, He led captives in His train and gave gifts to men." (What does "He ascended" mean except that He also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)

When Christ died He went to the righteous side (Paradise) of Hades and emptied it. The wicked side (the unseen world) will be emptied in Chapter 20.13 of Revelation.

-------------------------- END -------------------------


Frankly Kevin, I don't wish to be too dogmatic regarding this. But at the present this is what I believe Scripture teaches regarding where Christ went subsequent to His physical death on the cross. But this doesn't answer your question, specifically. God's Word says the 'wages of sin is death' (Romans 6:23). The death spoken of here is 'spiritual death.' The Greek word for death actually means 'separation.' Sin separates one from God. This 'separation' from God occurred in respect to mankind in the person of Adam in the Garden of Eden when Adam disobeyed God. Not only will a person who fails to come to Christ alone by faith alone suffer an eternity separated from God, but he/she will do so in a very terrible place (Revelation 20:14, 15 - the 'second death'). Christ did take our sins and 'became' our sins, so that anyone by faith alone in Him alone would never have to suffer 'spiritual death' (separation from God). The fact that He took our sins and paid sin's price meant that He had to suffer separation from God in our place. He in fact did this between the 6th hour and the 9th hour while on the cross. This occurred prior to His physical death. This is why during these hours when darkness fell all around that Christ cried out, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' (Matthew 27:45, 46; Mark 15:33, 34). Once Christ completed the payment for our sins by suffering spiritual separation from God (and please don't ask me to explain how this was accomplished - just like the Trinity, there are many things that only God understands), He said, 'It is finished' (John 19:30) and then He voluntarily gave us His physical life (Luke 23:46) - man did not take it from Him. God Almighty was in control from the first unto the last, just as He has always been in control.

You see, Christ suffered such an intense and painful separation from God the Father during that 'brief' time on the cross, which pain far exceeds all that mankind could suffer during an eternity of time. For me, to understand how Christ paid this most horrific price in our place so that we may go free, only humbles me and deepens my gratitude for all that He has done. God's way is truly one of grace and mercy.

Now if this doesn't satisfactorily answer your question, don't be too concerned. There are many mysteries in God's Word that we may never agree on and will only be answered once we are before Him. The important issue is that you are God's child and we are brothers looking for His soon return.





Come to Texas to learn a little about the editor.



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