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Why "everlasting destruction" is a mistranslation. How to overcome a major hurdle to the truth of the salvation of all through Jesus (excerpt from upcoming book Duration of Destruction)

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- Read the story of my somewhat winding road to Jesus: From stripping to Scientology to Jesus

Monday, September 9, 2019

"Why I no longer believe the second death is figurative."

God tells us through the apostle Peter, "Yet be growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18 - Concordant Literal New Testament - CLNT). And those are my goals—growing and knowing.

Growing is sometimes painful, especially when I'm growing out of error and into truth. This entails admitting that I was wrong about something. Who likes to admit that?

I was wrong about the second death. This was due, in part, to errors I picked up while trudging through orthodox Christianity for 17 years. I liken these errors to ticks that affixed to my body in hidden places, slyly sucking precious life from me. But God, Who sees and knows all my affixed ticks by name, has plucked these parasites from me and set me free from many errors.

Having believed the error, and then been set free from it, makes me appreciate the truth that much more. The experiencing of both error and truth helps me relate better to people who are still in error. And freedom is more precious to a former slave than to someone who's never been shackled.

"What happens to those who are cast into the lake of fire?"


Revelation 20:14 tells us, "This is the second death-the lake of fire" (CLNT). When I was in orthodox Christianity I believed billions of people will be tormented alive forever in the lake of fire/second death. (Reading that last sentence makes me feel foolish for what I actually believed.)

The great white throne judgment and the second death are coming. They are on God's timetable and will arrive as scheduled. They are part of His grand plan, but not the end of His plan.

Revelation 20:15 says, "And if anyone was not found written in the scroll of life, he was cast into the lake of fire." So, if those cast into the lake of fire aren't tormented forever, what will happen to them? They will die. Period. End of chapter (but not the end of their book). You can go home now. There's no more to see here. Move along people, move along.

Not convinced?


I know, I know. The simple truths from God, like "This is the second death–the lake of fire," need unsimple explanations. This is because we are constantly having to untwist the Adversary's knotting of the Scriptures before we can see the simple truths. Every time God has moved me from error to truth, it has been delivery from a complex lie to the simple truth.

According to Hebrews 6:1–2, the teachings about resurrection and judgment are basic, and we should move past them to more mature subjects. But the Satanic and religious muddying of these basic truths takes time to clean up. And there are constantly waves of new people arriving on shore who need to be delivered from traditional lies to the truth.
KnotsBagTable
Here's my conversion story concerning the lake of fire/second death. Maybe it will help you see the truth of this part of God's plan.

Tied up in naughty knots


I believed for many years that the second death will be figurative. This means I believed people would be physically alive, but also in a form of death (or oblivion) mentally and spiritually. I believed this for several years, even after realizing that Jesus did indeed save all people on the cross. Even after realizing eternal torment and annihilation are demonic lies.

A few years ago, I was set free from this lie by God, His Scriptures, A.E. Knoch, and Martin Zender. I'm deeply thankful for this.

One passage I used to support my belief in a figurative second death was the parable of the prodigal son. In Luke 15:24, the loving father says of his returned wayward son, "for this my son was dead and revives; he was lost and was found." The son was not literally dead, but figuratively dead. He was oblivious to how good his life truly was with his father. Then he came to his senses and figuratively revived from his figurative state of death. I took this obvious figurative usage of death and illegally used it to support my belief in a figurative second death. I used it to reinforce the idea that dead people in the lake of fire will be alive while dead. I saw the lake of fire/second death as a sort of reform school of ultra-hard knocks that will bring people to their senses, like the prodigal son. I made the mistake of mixing the literal with the figurative. We must not mix what God has kept separate. And remember this rule for understanding the Scriptures: literal if possible.

Resurrection and vivification


My error was also largely based on a misunderstanding of the resurrections taught in the Scriptures.

There are two types of resurrections in the Scriptures. But most bible versions don't make a clear distinction between them. The Concordant Literal New Testament does.

Resurrection, in its lowest form, is a raising from the dead, but not to immortality. Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, was raised from the dead, but not made immortal (John 11:1–46). Even in its lowest form, resurrection is awesome. Imagine your dearest departed loved one in your arms again. See what I mean? Holding them again is worth having to eventually pay for their second funeral. But the highest form of resurrection is to immortality. Vivifiy is the word used by the CLNT to describe God's powerful work to give immortality to all.

We see the vivification of all in 1 Corinthians 15:22, "For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified." The CLNT maintains the clear distinction between resurrection (Greek: anastasin) and vivified (Greek: zōopoiēthēsontai).

Christ was not the first person to be resurrected. He raised several people from the dead prior to His own resurrection. But He is called "the Firstfruit" of resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15:20–23. If He wasn't the first to be resurrected, how can He be the Firstfruit? Here's how: He is the first One raised from the dead to experience vivification. And He is the only One, so far, Who has been vivified. 1 Timothy 6:16 clarifies for us what vivification is when it says of Christ "Who alone has immortality." He alone currently has immortality through vivification. Two classes of people will follow Him in like manner—"in Christ, shall all be vivified."

The following two verses hint at a distinction between resurrection and vivification,
John 11:25,

Jesus said to her, "I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who is believing in Me, even if he should be dying, shall be living."
John 5:21,

For even as the Father is rousing the dead and vivifying, thus the Son also is vivifying whom He will.
And Jesus' mind-blowing words in John 5:28–29,
Marvel not at this, for coming is the hour in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, 29 and those who do good shall go out into a resurrection of life, yet those who commit bad things, into a resurrection of judging. 
The phrase resurrection of life also hints at something more than resurrection (Greek: anastasin). The word resurrection means restoration to life from death–to stand up. But why add of life to resurrection? Because God is pointing us to something more than a return to mortal life from the death state. He is pointing us toward true life—immortality. And this is what occurs in the resurrection of life. Thus, the resurrection of judging, even though it also gives life to the dead, lacks the level of life included in the resurrection of life.

I took Jesus' words literally when He spoke of these two distinct resurrections in John 5:28–29. But, when I was in error concerning the second death, I mentally added a non-existent limitation to what He said. I assumed there would be only these two resurrections in the future. I was ignorant of another resurrection—the final vivification. I thought Jesus was going to fire all of His bullets at death in these two resurrections. He will destroy the first death at the time of the great white throne judgment, "And death and the unseen were cast into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:14). But the second death would still exist. In my ignorance, I had to find a way for Him to overcome the second death with these two spectacular resurrections. So I had to somehow work immortality into the resurrection of judging.

The resurrection of life and the resurrection of judging


The resurrection of life is spoken of in the following passages,
Revelation 20:4–6,

And I perceived thrones, and they are seated on them, and judgment was granted to them. And the souls of those executed because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who do not worship the wild beast or its image, and did not get the emblem on their forehead and on their hand - they also live and reign with Christ a thousand years. 5 (The rest of the dead do not live until the thousand years should be finished.) This is the former resurrection. 6 Happy and holy is he who is having part in the former resurrection! Over these the second death has no jurisdiction, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will be reigning with Him the thousand years.
1 Thessalonians 4:13–18,

Now we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are reposing, lest you may sorrow according as the rest, also, who have no expectation. 14 For, if we are believing that Jesus died and rose, thus also, those who are put to repose, will God, through Jesus, lead forth together with Him. 15 For this we are saying to you by the word of the Lord, that we, the living, who are surviving to the presence of the Lord, should by no means outstrip those who are put to repose, 16 for the Lord Himself will be descending from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the Chief Messenger, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ shall be rising first.17 Thereupon we, the living who are surviving, shall at the same time be snatched away together with them in clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And thus shall we always be together with the Lord. 18 So that, console one another with these words. 
Luke 20:35–36,

Yet those deemed worthy to happen upon that eon and the resurrection from among the dead are neither marrying nor taking out in marriage. 36 For neither can they still be dying, for they are equal to messengers, and are the sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.
The resurrection of judging is found in Revelation 20:11–15,
11 And I perceived a great white throne, and Him Who is sitting upon it, from Whose face earth and heaven fled, and no place was found for them. 12 And I perceived the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne. And scrolls were opened. And another scroll was opened which is the scroll of life. And the dead were judged by that which is written in the scrolls in accord with their acts. 13 And the sea gives up the dead in it, and death and the unseen give up the dead in them. And they were condemned, each in accord with their acts. 14 And death and the unseen were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death–the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone was not found written in the scroll of life, he was cast into the lake of fire. 
I had a dilemma.

I believed Jesus is the Savior of the world—1 Timothy 2:4-6 & 4:10. By this I mean He already saved all people on the cross. "But," I wondered, "how can those cast into the lake of fire be saved if they are killed, and God has used up all of His resurrections?" Remember, in my error, I thought God only had two resurrections left. So I reasoned that those raised at the great white throne have to be made immortal if all will be saved.

Image result for lake blobSo I pieced together a way, using (or rather, abusing) the Scriptures, to grant immortality to all who will be raised at the great white throne. It was a lot of work putting Scriptural puzzle pieces together that didn't really fit. But I was so proud of the result! I had to do this. God had no more resurrections left. He needed my help.

In my misunderstanding, those raised at the great white throne will be made immortal prior to being launched into the lake. Their immortality will enable them to survive the second death. They will live through this figurative death, just like the prodigal son lived through his "death." When they come to their senses in the lake of fire, they will be delivered from it. Eventually, everyone will come to their senses, be freed from the second death, and death would have no more purpose. It will be rendered inoperative because all will be immortal (1 Corinthians 15:26).

The truth is, I later learned, those raised at the great white throne are not included in the three classes of 1 Corinthians 15 who are vivified. Many raised at the great white throne will be subject to the second death (meaning they literally die), thus they will not be immortal. Those raised at the great white throne who do not go into the second death are mortal and will enter onto the new earth. They will not be cast into the lake of fire because their names will be found in the scroll of life (Revelation 20:15), and they will have access to the new Jerusalem to be physically sustained by the fruit and leaves from the log of life (Revelation 21:22–22:2).

The end of the Bible is NOT the end of the story


Obviously we can't in reality limit God. Jesus is going to accomplish all of His Father's will (Acts 13:22–23; Hebrews 10:7–9; 1 Corinthians 15:20–28). But we can artificially limit God in our mind and in the minds of those we talk to. This artificial limiting does in reality affect us negatively. Our false ideas about God will never limit Him, but they will limit us.

Jesus' powerful revelation of the two resurrections in John 5:28–29 is true. But it is not the end of God's revelation on the subject of resurrection and vivification.

God, through the apostle Paul, cracks open wider the door to the future for us to see His plan for all humanity. This plan includes the vivification (immortality) of all humanity. I knew this was His goal. But I didn't see for a long time how He was going to get there.

Only by coming to understand the vivifications in 1 Corinthians 15 was I set free from the need to illegally immortalize all those raised at the great white throne. God has one more card to play. And it's a doozy.

Like most people bound by orthodox Christianity's false teachings, I thought the book of Revelation was the end of God's dealings with man in the Scriptures. I logically thought this because Revelation is the last book in our Bibles.

But God, in His wisdom and creativity, tucked the end of the story into the middle of the new testament. Has any author ever done something like that? Not that I know of. But God is the Author of authors. And He does what He does without needing anyone's permission. And that's awesome.

1 Corinthians 15 reveals to us the vivification of all (v.22), the end of death (v.26), the complete victory of Christ (vs.24–27), and God's ultimate goal for all people (v.28).
20 Yet now Christ has been roused from among the dead, the Firstfruit of those who are reposing. 21 For since, in fact, through a man came death, through a Man, also, comes the resurrection of the dead. 22 For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified. 23 Yet each in his own class: the Firstfruit, Christ; thereupon those who are Christ's in His presence; 24 thereafter the consummation, whenever He may be giving up the kingdom to His God and Father, whenever He should be nullifying all sovereignty and all authority and power. 25 For He must be reigning until He should be placing all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy is being abolished: death. 27 For He subjects all under His feet. Now whenever He may be saying that all is subject, it is evident that it is outside of Him Who subjects all to Him. 28 Now, whenever all may be subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also shall be subjected to Him Who subjects all to Him, that God may be All in all.
There it is, the vivification of all in verse 22 (also 1 Timothy 6:13, "... God, Who is vivifying all ... "). I see it so clearly now. But when you're tied up in an erroneous knot, clear things are often muddied or completely unseen. And we can only see truth when God opens our eyes (Luke 24:13–35; Acts 16:14; Philippians 1:29).

All of us, whether we are a believer or an unbeliever, will die the first death because of our relationship to Adam. Some will die in the second death as a result of their absence from the scroll of life (Revelation 20:12–15). But Death (the first and the second) will be abolished and have absolutely no victory. 1 Corinthians 15:54–55,
Swallowed up was Death by Victory. 55 Where, O Death, is your victory?
Death will have zero response to Paul's taunting question. Death will have no victory in the end when all are vivified and put beyond its reach. Death will be totally inoperative. That is an almost unimaginable scenario for us, given the fact that death currently reigns over all humanity. Have faith in Christ. He will gain total victory over Death!

The 3 vivified classes


Paul tells us there are 3 classes vivified in 1 Corinthians 15. The first is Christ, the Firtsfruit. The second and third classes will follow Him in vivification. What's true of Him will be true of us. The second class is "those who are Christ's in His presence." This is the resurrection of life for those who are granted belief in this life. The third class will be at the consummation (not the great white throne). This is the consummation of the eons when Christ successfully accomplishes all of God's will. The spectacular events at the consummation are detailed for us in 1 Corinthians 15:24–28 (read above). The Israelite jubilee was a time when all were set free (see Leviticus 25). The jubilee is a type of the consummation of the eons. There will be freedom for all through Christ.


Eternal tormentists and annihilationists proclaim everlasting death


Orthodox Christianity teaches the world that death is unending (whether it be eternal torment or annihilation). They obviously contradict God's version of the final, glorious events of the consummation of the eons. They ignorantly diminish Jesus' work and blaspheme Him while giving death and Satan great victory over a mass of humanity. They say Jesus didn't save the world on the cross. They say that Adam's sin has a greater scope of impact than Christ's work. And an unwitting world believes their lies and sees a grotesque distortion of God and His Son. And the world is depressed thinking everlasting death (whether literal or figurative) is the fate of most of humanity. Don't believe their lies. I did for a long time. The truth of Jesus set me free. Despite what orthodox Christianity teaches, Jesus is the Successful Savior (1 Timothy 2:4-6, 4:10; 1 John 2:2, 4:14; John 1:29).

Believe Him.

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Images
Tree Image by 12272790 from Pixabay
Knots: Christian Mercat [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Second Childhood by anoldent (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Monday, July 15, 2019

Rat-poison Bible versions

mashed potatoes, mushrooms, salisbury steak
Jim loved Beth. And he loved Beth's homemade mashed potatoes and beef gravy. (They do look delicious.)

Beth hated Jim. But she loved money, especially the money she couldn't collect until Jim was dead. Beth's biggest problem? Jim was young and as healthy as a healthy horse.

Beth knew she could use Jim's weakness for her award-winning cooking. So she increased the frequency of the dish at suppertime, with just a pinch of one new ingredient sprinkled in for a little extra zing. Jim gobbled up every plateful Beth set before him, unaware of the addition to the killer recipe.

Jim slowly became less healthy than a horse. Beth realized her plan to end him was working. She was willing to be patient and didn't mind seeing him suffer on the way to his grave.

After eight months Jim finally arrived at the cemetery. Beth is now wealthy, young, and single.

Killing us softly, slowly, and surely


Mortality by itself is hard enough on us. We carry the weight of death every day. Our ongoing struggle against death will end with its inevitable victory. Additional poisoning elements that compound our suffering on our journey to the cemetery don't help.

One possible source of hope and joy in our lives—the Bible—could actually be slowly, consistently poisoning us. Even if you don't read the Bible, you're not immune. The poison has been spewed for centuries from the pens and mouths of preachers and writers and infected humanity. The poison is dispersed, sometimes subtly, sometimes blatantly, through movies, TV shows and music. Pay attention, you'll see it.

99.995% safe


If you were told that something was 99.995% safe, you probably wouldn't think twice about eating, drinking, snorting or injecting it, let alone reading it.

The rodent-ridding brand d-CON® rat poison contains .005% active killing ingredient. The other 99.995% is inert. d-CON® was initially promoted as "undetectable (odorless and tasteless) by rats and does not produce bait shyness."

The poison in most English Bible versions is undetectable (odorless and tasteless) and does not produce Bible shyness. Millions of people continue to open their poisonous Bibles everyday and consume the toxins, unaware.

The poison is intentional mistranslation. I say "intentional" because the scholars who translate the Bibles should know better, having been trained in the original Hebrew and Greek languages of the Scriptures. But their tradition, and position in the club—The International Order of Bad Theologians (TIOoBT)—are more important to them than the truth. So they hide pellets of death within the lines of their self-proclaimed "Holy" Bible versions.

How to test your Bible for poison


Is your beloved Bible is poisoning you? Here's a simple test. Open your Bible to 2 Thessalonians 1:9. This is one of 12 verses (by my count) that speak of the duration of destruction for unbelievers. Here it is in three versions,
Authorized King James Version (AKJV)
who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
English Standard Version (ESV)
They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,
International Children's Bible (ICB)
Those people will be punished with a destruction that continues forever. They will not be allowed to be with the Lord, and they will be kept away from his great power.
The bold red word in each version is the interpretation of the Greek adjective aionion. I call it an interpretation, and not a translation, because translation is the unbiased use of words from one language to accurately convey the meaning of words from another language. An interpretation happens when a translator goes rogue, alters the meaning, and biases his "translation" to fit his personal theology. This muddies, and sometimes completely conceals, God's intended message to humanity through His sacred Scriptures. Thus we have unholy Bibles masquerading as holy Bibles. There's the .005%. It only takes one twisted word out of the 700,000+ words in the Bible to spoil the whole book. Throwing a bunch of seminary degrees and a very profitable pricetag into a Bible version doesn't make it holy. God's intended message remaining intact makes a version holy.

(And yes, you saw that correctly, they are even poisoning children through the ICB.)

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 fits nicely here,
For such are false apostles, fraudulent workers, being transfigured into apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel, for Satan himself is being transfigured into a messenger of light. 15 It is no great thing, then, if his servants also are being transfigured as dispensers of righteousness -- whose consummation shall be according to their acts. 
Satan's servants produce works, including unholy Bible versions, that appear to dispense righteousness. Don't be fooled by their supernaturally-white teeth and glossy seminary certificates. You might pose a common protest, "So you're telling me that all those theologians and scholars who translate Bibles are wrong?" Yes, Mary, that's exactly what I'm saying. If they distort God's words, they are absolutely wrong.

Here's 2 Thessalonians 1:9 properly translated,
Concordant Literal New Testament (CLNT)
who shall incur the justice of eonian extermination from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of His strength --
Young's Literal Translation (YLT)
who shall suffer justice -- destruction age-during -- from the face of the Lord, and from the glory of his strength,
God will judge unbelievers. This fact I am not disputing. But attempting to stretch His righteous eonian/age-during judgment of them into an unrighteous everlasting/eternal/forever judgment is wrong. Trying to squeeze God into a man-made religious tradition will land the scholarly interpreters in the bullseye of His judgment. They've added to His words. They've twisted something that is limited to the eons into something that never ends. But even their judgment will be limited.

This simple chart of the limited eonian times shows an overview of God's plans (Ephesians 1:9-12; 3:1-11). Look it over and check the Scripture references.


Note that the eonian times as a whole have a beginning and an end (red lines). And each single eon has a beginning and an end. Jesus' successful reign, which includes all judgment of unbelievers, will come to God's desired end. The details are found in 1 Corinthians 15:22-28,
For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified.
23 Yet each in his own class: the Firstfruit, Christ; thereupon those who are Christ's in His presence; 24 thereafter the consummation, whenever He may be giving up the kingdom to His God and Father, whenever He should be nullifying all sovereignty and all authority and power. 25 For He must be reigning until He should be placing all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy is being abolished: death. 27 For He subjects all under His feet. Now whenever He may be saying that all is subject, it is evident that it is outside of Him Who subjects all to Him. 28 Now, whenever all may be subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also shall be subjected to Him Who subjects all to Him, that God may be All in all.)
All are vivified (made immortal). All are subjected (including the Son). Death is abolished. God is All in all.

"Bill's a great guy, except for that child-molesting thing."


Bill is a great guy. And he doesn't molest children. But the rumor was started and advanced by trusted pillars in the community (all with seminary degrees). It spread like wildfire. Bill's life and reputation were marred by this one lie. 

False interpretations by theologians and scholars deform God's character in the eyes of those who swallow the .005% poison that is mixed into their trusted Bibles. Christianity, for the most part, seems to have no clue how their horrible teaching of everlasting destruction makes God look. Some, understanding that it does make Him look bad, never mention it. But if you probe them with alien-like skill, they'll spill the beans, and tell you that they do, in fact, believe in a forever-destroying god (intentional small "g").

This one horrible demonic doctrine permeates all of Christianity's systems. And the world says, "God's a great Guy, except for that everlasting-destruction thing."

The false idea of everlasting destruction, if it is believed, depresses anyone who has half a heart for their fellow man. I've known people who are nearly paralyzed at the thought of themself, or their unbelieving loved one(s), suffering at the hand of God forever. But it's a rat-poison lie. Don't believe it. Stop eating Beth's delicious mashed potatoes and beef gravy. You remember what happened to Jim, right?

I urge you to replace your poisonous Bible(s) with a health-inducing one. I don't care if you love your poisonous Bible and have had it since you were in diapers. If it's tainted (even if it's only .005%) and tells lies about God, it's J-U-N-K. I recommend the Concordant Literal New Testament. You can read it online or buy a copy. You can also get a copy of the Concordant Version of the Old Testament or download it.

Once you grasp the true meaning of aion and aionios, you will see God in a new light. And you will have hope, joy, and peace in anticipation of Him completing His plan for all mankind.

  • Go here for several more versions of 2 Thessalonians 1:9 (most are rat poison).

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Photos
Mashed-potatoes-mushrooms-salisbury-steak, Robert Loescher
"D-CON KILLS MICE AND RATS!!!!" by Chris (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0); cropped
Holy Bible by Derrick Alexander from Pixabay; "UN" added 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Jesus settles egg debate: "Eggs are good!"

On Tuesday, Cheddar News interviews a scrawny dietician who says "Eggs are good for you. Eat at least an 18-pack every week, and you'll live to be a healthy 105." Two days later on CNN, an obese researcher contradicts her, "Eggs are going to plant you into a deep, cold, early grave."

What do us poor simpletons do in such a contrasting dilemma? I, my fellow simpletons, turn to God. He understands His own creations better than anyone else (except, of course, theologians).

I want to enjoy all of God's gracious gifts. And I count the mighty egg as one of His greatest blessings. If I listened to Dr. Death on CNN, instead of Jesus (and scrawny girl), my breakfasts would be ho-hum. I dislike ho-hum breakfasts.

Jesus' word on this issue is the last I need to hear. He said to His disciples in Luke 11:11–13,
Now of some father of you a son will be requesting bread. No stone will he be handing him! Or a fish, also. Not, instead of a fish, a serpent will he be handing him! 12 Or he will also be requesting an egg. He will not be handing him a scorpion! 13 If you, then, being inherently wicked, are aware how to give good gifts to your children, how much rather will the Father Who is out of heaven, be giving holy spirit to those requesting Him!
—Concordant Literal New Testament (CLNT)
Eggs are good. Scorpions? No. Now you know.


He skimmed the love letter


The point of this post isn't your physical diet, but your spiritual diet (which definitely can affect you physically). My goal in this post is to encourage you to read through the entirety of the Scriptures so that you don't miss anything that God has for you, like the glorious truth of the egg.

The Scriptures are a gold mine of truth and encouragement. When a gold prospector finds a hot spot, he keeps going back to get the goods. As I regularly read through the Scriptures and learn and grow and get to know Jesus better, it keeps me coming back for more. This is the hot spot for truth—truth directly from God. Some days yield better results that others. But I've experienced the benefits of consistently seeking God through His word.

Following are two reasons why I think you should read the entire Scriptures. This is not a law, only a suggestion for your benefit.

Matthew 4:4, CLNT,
Yet [Jesus], answering, said [to Satan], "It is written, 'Not on bread alone shall man be living, but on every declaration going out through the mouth of God.'"
And the apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:16–17, CLNT,
All scripture is inspired by God, and is beneficial for teaching, for exposure, for correction, for discipline in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be equipped, fitted out for every good act.
Everything that God communicates to us through the Scriptures is important and beneficial.

Jim the skimmer could have benefited from the advice to read thoroughly.
Jim received an email from Beth, his newest girlfriend. She had been overseas on business for many months. The letter was extremely long, so Jim skimmed over it like it was Facebook's Terms and Conditions agreement. Then he got back to his life's many demands.
Later that week on Friday, Jim arrived home from work in the darkness of evening. The rain was pouring down. As he approached his house, he could see a figure standing outside with no umbrella, surrounded by suitcases. As Jim pulled into the driveway, he realized it was Beth, soaking wet and furious. Before Jim could get out of the car to help her, Beth rushed at him, pulled out her Smith & Wesson Bodyguard-38 and shot Jim four times in the head. Jim died.
Sadly for Jim, he didn't see the part in the email where Beth said she was coming to see him this Friday. (Did I mention Beth was psycho?) Now you know.
Though the true living God is not a psycho, I hope this little story shows you the importance of reading all of God's words. The Scriptures are a letter to you from your heavenly Father. There are amazing truths to be found on the lesser traveled roads of Scripture. Explore. I have no idea how God will use His words to speak directly to you in your unique life. But He will.

But please realize this important fact: although we can learn from everything God has given us in the Scriptures, it's not all written to us. For example, God gave the law to Moses who in turn gave it to Israel. He didn't give it to the nations outside of Israel. God never requires the nations to do what He required of Israel. If you take the commands He gave to Israel onto yourself, you'll end up miserable, because attempting to keep the law is not the way to freedom. Believing in Jesus is the way to freedom.

Most people will say that if you're new to the Scriptures, start reading in the book of John. I, along with others, suggest starting in the book of Romans. This is the apostle Paul's letter that lays out foundational truths that will solidify your faith in God.

God's revelation of Himself to mankind is progressive, and Paul's letters reveal God's most up-to-date dealings with mankind. Having a solid foundation in Romans will help you understand as you read the rest of the Scriptures. Martin Zender has an excellent series on Romans that can help you as you read through the Scriptures.


Jesus used the Scriptures to defeat Satan (so can you)


Take a look at how Jesus uses Scripture to fend off Satan's temptations in Matthew 4:1–11,
Then Jesus was led up into the wilderness by the spirit to be tried by the Adversary. 2 And, fasting forty days and forty nights, subsequently He hungers. 3 And, approaching, the trier said to Him, "If you are God's Son, say that these stones may be becoming cakes of bread." 4 Yet He, answering, said, "It is written, 'Not on bread alone shall man be living, but on every declaration going out through the mouth of God.'" 5 Then the Adversary is taking Him along into the holy city, and stands Him on the wing of the sanctuary. 6 And he is saying to Him. "If you are God's Son, cast yourself down, for it is written that 'His messengers shall be directed concerning Thee' and 'On their hands shall they be lifting Thee, Lest at some time Thou shouldst be dashing Thy foot against a stone.'" 7 Jesus averred to him, "Again it is written, 'You shall not be putting on trial the Lord your God.'" 8 Again the Adversary takes Him along into a very high mountain, and is showing Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, "All these to you will I be giving, if ever, falling down, you should be worshiping me." 10 Then Jesus is saying to him, "Go away, Satan, for it is written, The Lord your God shall you be worshiping, And to Him only shall you be offering divine service." 11 Then the Adversary is leaving Him. And lo! messengers approached and waited on Him. 
—CLNT
Arming yourself with the truth in the Scriptures enables us to stand against the Adversary. Ephesians 6:11–17 shows us,
Put on the panoply [suit of armor] of God, to enable you to stand up to the stratagems of the Adversary, 12 for it is not ours to wrestle with blood and flesh, but with the sovereignties, with the authorities, with the world-mights of this darkness, with the spiritual forces of wickedness among the celestials. 13 Therefore take up the panoply of God that you may be enabled to withstand in the wicked day, and having effected all, to stand. 14 Stand, then, girded about your loins with truth, with the cuirass of righteousness put on, 15 and your feet sandaled with the readiness of the evangel of peace; 16 with all taking up the large shield of faith, by which you will be able to extinguish all the fiery arrows of the wicked one. 17 And receive the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is a declaration of God.
—CLNT
God has equipped us to stand against our true enemies—Satan and the spiritual forces of darkness and wickedness. They are relentless. Prepare yourself for battle.


"Did you see this?"


So many beneficial revelations can be found throughout the Scriptures. Don't miss out on these and the blessings that come with knowing them. Keep in mind that the main reason God gave us the words in the Scriptures is so we can know Him. The Bible is the almighty, loving, invisible God revealing Himself to us. Apart from this revelation, we could not know Him.

The opening chapters in Genesis show us the beginning of our human race, and they unveil much about our Creator. Read them.

We learn great things about God in the midst of His dealing with Israel as He talks with His friend Moses on Mount Sinai,
And Jehovah comes down in a cloud, and stations Himself with [Moses] there, and calls in the Name of Jehovah, 6 and Jehovah passes over before his face, and calls: "Jehovah, Jehovah God, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in kindness and truth, 7 keeping kindness for thousands, taking away iniquity, and transgression, and sin, and not entirely acquitting, charging iniquity of fathers on children, and on children's children, on a third [generation], and on a fourth."
—Exodus 34:5–7 Young's Literal Translation (YLT)
In 1 Kings 22:19–23, and in the first two chapters of Job, God gives us front-row access to events in His throne room in heaven. Enjoy the show.

Wisdom can be found throughout the Scriptures. Proverbs 22:7 says, " ... the borrower is slave to the lender." This has caused me to be mindful of the pitfalls of financial debt in my life. Who wants to be slave to a banker or Visa?

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Jeremiah 32:27. God said to Jeremiah, "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?" What is your answer to God's question? Mainstream Christianity teaches that saving all people is too hard for God. Who are you going to believe? The Scriptures will cause us to think about what we really believe. God's words will affect us.

Paul wrote in Romans 5:18, "Consequently, then, as it was through [Adam's] one offense for all mankind for condemnation, thus also it is through [Jesus'] one just award for all mankind for life's justifying" (CLNT). All mankind was condemned by Adam's offense. All mankind was justified by Jesus' work. And in Romans 11:32 he wrote these mind-blowing words, "For God locks up all together in stubbornness, that He should be merciful to all" (CLNT). God will be merciful to all! Does that give you hope?

I could go on and on. Read the Scriptures for yourself. Putting your eyes on God's words will benefit you.


Spoiler alert


I have many pet peeves.
Here are two. I'm peeved by people who talk through movies (not the actors, but those who are watching with me). I'm equally peeved when someone tells me what's coming next in the movie.

Well, I'm about to point you to the end of Scripture's story and all the awe-inspiring details. I know, that makes me a hypocrite, but I can't stop myself. It's just so good!

The last book of the Bible—the book of Revelation—is not the end of the story. It is not the most distant point in the future that God reveals to us.

Here are the most distant events that God has unveiled for us. They are given to us by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:20–28.
20 Yet now Christ has been roused from among the dead, the Firstfruit of those who are reposing.
21 For since, in fact, through a man came death, through a Man, also, comes the resurrection of the dead.
22 For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified.
23 Yet each in his own class: the Firstfruit, Christ; thereupon those who are Christ's in His presence;
24 thereafter the consummation, whenever He may be giving up the kingdom to His God and Father, whenever He should be nullifying all sovereignty and all authority and power.
25 For He must be reigning until He should be placing all His enemies under His feet.
26 The last enemy is being abolished: death.
27 For He subjects all under His feet. Now whenever He may be saying that all is subject, it is evident that it is outside of Him Who subjects all to Him.
28 Now, whenever all may be subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also shall be subjected to Him Who subjects all to Him, that God may be All in all.
—CLNT
How encouraging is that? God will be "All in all!"

Is there anything there that you've never seen before? Or maybe never noticed in the way you just did? I'm regularly seeing new details in Scriptures that I have previously read several times before.

Hopefully reading this passage encourages you to dive into all of God's words. The truth of eggs can benefit our taste buds and stomachs. God's words can also benefit our minds and emotions by giving us love, faith, knowledge, hope, peace, contentment, joy and so much more.


Learn from faithful teachers


The Scriptures aren't always easy to understand. Searching them is an ongoing endeavor that will reward your effort. Keep in mind that the ultimate purpose of the Scriptures is to show you God and His Son so you can know Them better.

Read from a good translation of the Scriptures. I strongly suggest the Concordant Literal New Testament, and the Concordant Version of the Old Testament.

God has provided people to teach us. Two of my most trusted teachers are A.E. Knoch and Martin Zender. I've learned a great deal from these faithful men, and you can too.

I encourage you to download Unsearchable Riches. It's a publication that's been going since 1909 and contains articles by A.E. Knoch and other good teachers.
________________________
Photo credits:
- "Egg in a metal spiral egg cup." © Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY 2.5
- "Reagans in the White House theater" By Unknown - Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40054480 (words added)

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Did Judas have a choice? "The Problem of Evil" Part 2


Published by Concordant Publishing Concern
Why did Judas Iscariot betray the Savior of the world? Did he have a choice in the matter?

A.E. Knoch’s chapter examining Judas’ dilemma is worth the price of the book.

Here are some quotes from the chapter THE GOD OF JUDAS ISCARIOT,
“Our knowledge of God is put to its supreme test when we consider His connection with the vessels of indignation. Perhaps no case of this kind is more typical than that of Judas Iscariot.”
“To be sure, the subject is shunned, because it seems to cast a somber shadow across God’s glory, and leads into distressing difficulties.”
“Did [Christ] do anything, so far as the record goes, to save [Judas] from his terrible fate?”
“But this most important task Satan did not leave to others. Contrary to all precedent, he himself entered into [Judas] and transformed him into a traitor (Luke 22:3).”
“Let us now count up the forces which were for Judas and those which were against him.”
“Let us rejoice that the judgment of Judas is in the hands of One Whom we all can trust. He knows Judas, and is able to sympathize as well as condemn. Thank God that He is the judge of all.”
Order today.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

"The Problem of Evil" Part 1

https://www.concordant.org/product/the-problem-of-evil-and-the-judgments-of-god/
Published by Concordant Publishing Concern

There are so many great statements from A. E. Knoch in this book that my red pen ran out of ink as I underlined and starred his most impacting words.

I'm giving you some of the shiniest gems that I dug out of this info-packed publication.

Many of the heavy truths in these pages clash with traditional Christianity. And it’s possible that some of your long-held beliefs may be tested and found lacking.

Knoch has a knack for diving deep into the Scriptures while presenting his findings in an understandable way to his readers.

My faith in Jesus has grown, and I know yours will too.

I’m not making any money on the sale of this book. But it’s definitely worth an investment of your money and time. It will help you grow in your understanding of God, His sometimes mysterious ways, and His beneficial plans for all mankind.

Here are some highlights ...

PREFACE

“All of mankind must learn to realize what God is to them by an actual experience of what it means to be without Him.”
“But God’s judgments are corrective; they set matters right.”

EVIL AND SIN

“Creation is enslaved by corruption with a view to a liberty which can be enjoyed only by one who has experienced its opposite. There is one feature which is common to all opposition to this truth, and that is the failure to distinguish between evil and sin.”

“So long as we think of evil as essentially sin, the door is barred to an understanding of its introduction into the universe.” 

Get your copy today.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Recent Reads: "The Problem of Evil and the Judgments of God"

"Where did evil originate?"

Mankind has been asking this puzzling question for a very long time.

And the answer has been right in front of us, hiding in plain sight. It's been read by millions, but believed by few. God, speaking for Himself in Isaiah 45:7 says, "Former of light and Creator of darkness, Maker of good and Creator of evil, I, Yahweh, make all these things" (Concordant Version of the Old Testament - CVOT).

Well, there it is in black and white in the best selling book of all time:

God is the Creator of evil.

Nobody likes to hear this ... at first.

But what's the alternative? Evil is created by another? Who, then is this other creator in the universe? What are his/her/its plans for the creation of evil? And can God control this inventor of evil, or is it an independent entity that has no leash?

If God is love, and the Scriptures teach us that He is (1 John 4:8,16), and if God is the Creator of evil, which the Scriptures also teach us, can we trust that He will use the evil that He creates for His ultimate goals of goodness for the entire universe? Or will the universe forever be infested by evil and its untamable creator?

These questions have solid answers that will bring you peace of mind and comfort knowing that your loving heavenly Father is in control.

So I'm recommending to you a solid-answer book that I've recently read:


https://www.concordant.org/product/the-problem-of-evil-and-the-judgments-of-god/Following is the description of the book from the publisher, Concordant Publishing Concern:
This book traces the divine function of evil (whatever is harmful or destructive) from its inception to its consummation, by presenting scriptural solutions to the various long-debated questions concerning God and His sovereignty. As one of its subjects, it probes and takes issue with the commonly accepted explanation that Satan, and not God, is responsible for evil. To quote the book’s author: “Almost all of us are shortsighted. We see the judgments, but fail to recognize that they are only part of God’s way with mankind, that they are definitely not an end. We confuse the going with the goal. Judgment is God’s strange work. He uses it as a preparation toward a glorious consummation.” The message in this book is especially valuable to us in these days of doubt and distress, to lead men to rely on and rest in God alone.

Below I've listed the book's individual article titles that are put into 2 main categories - The Problem of Evil and The Judgments of God

The Problem of Evil

  • Evil and Sin
  • The Source of Sin
  • Sin for Sin
  • The "Fall" of Satan
  • Satan's Supreme Sin
  • The Knowledge of Good
  • Man's Greatest Mistakes
  • Sin in Act and in Fact
  • The Human Heart
  • Conscience
  • Man's Will or God's
  • The Phantom of Free Will
  • The Transmission of Sin
  • The Unpardonable Sin
  • Sin's Justification
  • The Repudiation of Sin
  • The God of Judas Iscariot
  • God's Will and Intention
  • The Deity of God

 

The Judgments of God

  • "Responsibility"
  • What is Judgment?
  • The Dais of God and His Christ
  • Requital at the Dais
  • Revealed by Fire
  • Suffering and Shame
  • Endure and Reign
  • Tribulation and Wrath
  • The Judgments of the Nations
  • The Function of the Great White Throne
  • The Second Death
  • The Appreciation of God

I'm planning on doing a series of posts on this book. In each part I'll choose an individual article and give you some of the best and most thought-provoking quotes.

I encourage you to order the book here. I'm not making any money from the sale of these books. I'm simply pointing you to good information when I find it. And I've found it in this book by one of the best authors I've ever studied under, A.E. Knoch.

The book also contains a helpful Scripture Reference Index.



Friday, November 23, 2018

The Ten Commandments Produce Criminals

Try keeping the law God gave to Moses and you will fail, and that's God's plan. He uses your failure to drive you to the One Who never fails, His Son, your Savior.

Another good video from Martin Zender.

I'm away from my computer most of the week, so I haven't been writing much. I hope these videos by Martin will teach you valuable truths, as they have me.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Saturday, September 22, 2018

"Just if I'd never sinned."

When we believe God, this is how He sees us through the work of His Son on the cross—"just if I'd never sinned"—justified.

Justification is usually misunderstood because of man-made traditional religious bunk. It's been muddy in my mind for a long time. But it's one of the greatest blessings of the Scriptures. My friend Martin Zender recently wrote a great article on this topic of justification.

This article removed some hard, caked-on mud from my eyes. The information in this article has the power to radically change your life this very day.

Here are a few tasty tidbits from the article:

"God only wants to be believed, even for the radical things that He says. When we believe what God says, then we bathe ourselves in it and live by it in spite of what we see. God wants us to enjoy it now even before it happens. Why wait until it happens in order to get a kick out of it?"
...

"For it is not the elimination of sin via struggle that delivers one from slavery to Sin, it is Christ on the cross and His six hours of suffering—this is what delivers from Sin."
...

"Since God is the One Who justified us, it is insane to think that He could possibly be the One Who could indict us. How could the One Who calls us “not guilty” then turn around and charge us with a fault or offense? What about Jesus? Will He condemn us? Again, this is an insane consideration, for Christ is the One Who worked out God’s justification of our sin at the cross.

"No, I’m afraid that the only entity that could indict us, is us. Unless we know the truth of Justification, we are our own worst enemy."
...

"What a difference between sitting around all day wringing one’s hands over one’s failures, and basking in the sunshine of God’s affection and thanking Him all day for not reckoning Sin. True and lasting peace can only come on the heels of Justification, for—

Being, then, justified by faith, we may be having peace toward God, through our Lord, Jesus Christ. — Romans 5:1

God would rather be thanked all day than begged all day for forgiveness."
Check it out.