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Confessions of a Bitter Clinger - Pete Garcia - http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=7522
I don't know if it's just me, but it seems like every year of the Obama Presidency has had some kind of crisis threat against our Constitution. The worst part about it all, was the 24/7 media news coverage that bludgeoned us for months on end only to see whatever they were trying to pass, pass.
"And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." Candidate Obama (2008)
In 2008, it was the economic collapse...and both Republican and Democrats voted en masse to print billions of more dollars out of thin air in what was known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) I and II. Where did all that money go? Your guess is as good as mine. Far as I can tell, it was one big shell game and our economy is still struggling four years later and trillions of dollars deeper in debt.
At the time, there was a viral email floating around the Internet giving pretty solid advice on how to fix the economy. You give every person within the window of retirement (who was still working) a million dollars with the stipulation that they retire immediately. That would open up those positions to younger people looking for said jobs. Those retired with the million, could spend that money or invest or bequeath it to their children and grandchildren. Makes sense to me, so why didn't we do that instead of paying off billions of dollars to European banks and numerous companies that declared bankruptcy a year later?
"When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic." Ben Franklin
In 2009, there was the start to the Tea Party. Let's go back to the Constitution the masses chanted. Millions marched on Washington. "Don't tread on me" bumper stickers were on cars from coast to coast (ok, at least in the 'fly-over' country). And what did the White House, media, and Beltway cronies do? They ignored them. Then they marginalized them. Then they tried to criminalize them. Then they went back to ignoring them, but kept a 'watchful' eye on those crazy people with the tri-pointed hats. So now, if you are a flag waving, Constitution loving, back to our roots American, you're most likely to be found on some kind of a domestic terrorist watch list.
In 2010, Obamacare was all the rage. For a year straight we had 24/7 non-stop news coverage about how 1/6 of our economy was going to be under the control of the government for a year straight. Considering that the Post Office is broke, we are drowning in debt, and Congress hadn't passed a budget in years...what genius thought that giving 1/6 of our economy over to the government to run was a good idea?
Let's see, in 2011, there was the counter to the Tea Party with Occupy Wall Street. These are the ones Homeland Security should have been watching, but weren't. And no matter how hard the liberal media tried to make these feces slinging, window smashing anarchist thugs out to be the real patriots, they came up empty handed. Instead, they found lice infested squatter-villes with a bunch of commie-miscreants hell bent on destroying whatever they could get their measly hands on as well as assaulting each other.
"He that lieth down with dogs shall rise up with fleas." Ben Franklin
In 2012, not only did we have the whole Mayan doomsday prophecy to contend with, but we had an equally appealing prospect that we either get Slim Shady back in office for four more years, or we get Mr. Rogers. At this point, Christians were torn; do we vote with our ideology and throw the self-proclaimed socialist bum out of office? Or do we vote against our better Spiritual judgment and vote a Mormon in? Or do we just abstain altogether and hope that Ronald Reagan comes back from the dead and takes control?
Well, we see how all that turned out.
But 2012 wasn't without its other controversy's either (aside from a suspiciously troubling election). We had the Fast & Furious fiasco, Benghazi-gate, redefinition of marriage, and three highly publicized mass shooting events all back to back. If I may quote Seneca the Younger, who was counselor to Emperor Nero during the Roman Empire era;
"A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand."
This was common knowledge in the 1st century, so why are we going after the tool rather than the person wielding the tool in the 21st century? Have we not learned anything in 20 centuries? If we as a society are to go after anyone, why don't we first start with Hollywood? I mean they are a multi-billion dollar industry saturating our popular culture with violent movies and music to the point now where it is almost inescapable. Why aren't we going after the makers of violent video games, which inundate and desensitize the young in scene after scene of mindless violence? The government's handling of attacking the instrument used rather than the motive FOR doing it, seems as ludicrous as it is ineffective. If guns are outlawed, I have a sneaking suspicion that numbers for death by machete (as well as other blunt tools) will skyrocket.
"A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Bill of Rights 2nd Amendment
Our Constitution states that our rights are not granted by men and government, but by God. The Bill of Rights is a 'drilling down' of the specific rights we are guaranteed under the Constitution. It is to say, protection from the government rather than for the government. Obama has promised that he would like to fundamentally transform this nation (at least we can't say we weren't warned). So, if by definition we WERE a Constitutional Republic, and he wants to fundamentally transform us, that means that by that very definition, we would no longer be a Republic governed by a Constitution. We would become something else. An unarmed democracy maybe?
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." Ben Franklin
WSCD? (What Should Christians Do?)
All sarcasm aside, where does this leave the Christian just trying to survive in this world gone mad? The Apostle Paul states;
"Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same." Romans 13:1-3
As much as we may not like it, God has appointed President Obama to be the President of the United States in this day and age. We can only assume, since God is perfect in His attributes of Righteousness and Justice, and President Obama is usually aligned polar opposite of that...that Obama's appointment is some kind of judgment on our nation by God. We are getting the leaders we deserve. Maybe it is a quickening of our destruction, so that the Revived Roman Empire can rise up and take our place as leaders in this world? Maybe he is just a by-product of our national decline and God is letting nature take its course. Maybe it's one, or maybe all...but none of these options are really palatable, but they are what they are.
I for one am going to take Paul's sage advice from Romans 13 and abide under the rules established by our government. Joshua Boston (retired Marine) states an often overlooked truth in his interview with CNN that "unconstitutional laws aren't laws". He is correct in that just because the Obama Administration has ideations about this and that, it does not trump the Constitution. But if a day comes when the 2nd Amendment is abolished and owning a firearm is as illegal as owning heroin or Cuban cigars, we have to respect our earthly rulers. But for the time being, we have the ability to own firearms to hunt with, protect our families, and for recreational use.
But remember dear Christian, you were bought with a price. You are no longer your own, but the property of the Creator of this universe. Not a hair on your head is going to be harmed, unless God first allows it to happen. And if that was the case, gun or no gun, it was your time anyway.
But finally I want to respectfully say to President Obama (if you read this), that I am a bitter clinger. But if given the choice, I will cling to the Old Rugged Cross. And you can have my Bible when you pry it from my cold, dead, fingers.
THE LAW OF THE SWORD - By Chuck Baldwin - http://www.newswithviews.com/baldwin/baldwin736.htm
My last two columns which stated that my line in the sand has been drawn and I will NOT register or surrender my firearms, even if that makes me a lawbreaker (in the sight of government), have generated multiplied thousands of reader responses. And while the vast majority of these responses expressed complete agreement, there were several responses from professing Christians telling me that I was in violation of Holy Scripture for making such a stand.
As one might expect, some of my brethren argued the erroneous "obey-the-government-no-matter-what" interpretation of Romans 13. For the sake of the many new readers of this column, let me point out that my son, constitutional Christian attorney Timothy Baldwin, and I have co-written a pivotal book dealing with this fallacious interpretation of Romans 13 in a book entitled "Romans 13: The True Meaning of Submission." This book takes the entire Word of God to show that nowhere does the Bible teach (including in Romans 13) that Christians should submit to unlawful government. In fact, just the opposite is taught: Christians often have a duty to RESIST unlawful government.
But perhaps the verse of Scripture that my slightly confused brethren quoted most in their attempt to rebuke me was Matthew 26:52, "Then said Jesus unto him [Simon Peter], Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword." (KJV) This, they said, proves that Christians have no right to keep and bear arms if the government said it was illegal to do so. However, with all due respect, this interpretation is opposed to the overwhelming evidence of Scripture to the contrary.
In the first place, consider what Jesus said just a few moments before making this statement. Just before arriving in the Garden of Gethsemane (where the statement was made to Peter to "put up thy sword"), Jesus told his disciples, "But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." (Luke 22:36 KJV)
After hearing Jesus' command, the disciples replied, "Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough." (Luke 22:38 KJV)
Notice that Jesus plainly and emphatically told Simon Peter and the others to arm themselves. So emphatic was Jesus' command that He told them if they could not afford to purchase a sword they were instructed to sell their clothes if necessary and buy one.
After hearing Jesus' command to arm themselves, the disciples noted that already two of the disciples were carrying arms. Jesus' response, "It is enough," did not mean that only two swords (out of eleven men--Judas Iscariot had already left to betray Christ) was sufficient, for He had plainly commanded EACH MAN to arm himself. He was simply acknowledging that they clearly understood what He had just told them.
Ladies and gentlemen, the First Century Roman sword was the most efficient and lethal personal defense weapon in the world at the time. It is no hyperbole or injustice to language to say that the Roman sword was the First Century equivalent to a modern AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. It was designed to kill swiftly and efficiently. And Jesus commanded His disciples to buy and carry one!
Also note that the same word "sword" that is used in this passage is the same word that is used in Romans 13:4, "He (government) beareth not the sword in vain." In other words, Jesus told His disciples to carry the same-type weapon that government soldiers were carrying at the time.
After this exchange, Jesus and His disciples walked to the Garden of Gethsemane where the events of Peter and the sword took place.
Simon Peter had already told Jesus that he was willing to die for him (yes, Jesus rightly predicted his denial, knowing how Simon would react to the events that unfolded in the garden), and when the armed soldiers from the High Priest (tantamount to the President's Secret Service officers today) came to arrest Jesus, Simon Peter drew his sword in defense of his Master. He intended to cut off the soldier's head, but the man ducked, and Simon cleanly sliced off his ear.
Notice that Jesus did not rebuke or chastise Simon. Remember when He sternly told Simon, "Get thee behind me, Satan"? No such rebuke is found here. And notice, too, that He did not tell Simon to "GIVE UP thy sword." He said "PUT UP again thy sword into his place," meaning into its scabbard. He fully expected Simon to retain possession of his sword.
It is also noteworthy that as Jesus was being arrested, the power of His voice totally overwhelmed the soldiers, which caused all of them to sway backward and fall to the ground. (John 18:6) This accomplished a couple of things: it caused every soldier in that garden to fully understand that theirs was not the preeminent power present. It also allowed His eleven disciples to leave unscathed TAKING THEIR WEAPONS WITH THEM, as the soldiers were either totally distracted by the surprise of what had just happened to them, or they were totally disinterested in attempting to disarm the disciples after this incredible demonstration of power against them.
But as Jesus had come to this earth to give Himself a ransom for sinful men, which meant that His betrayal, arrest, and crucifixion were all a part of God's sovereign plan for His only begotten Son, Simon's armed defense of Christ was not necessary. Jesus calmly reminded Simon of the legions of angels that were available for His defense, should He call on them. Then Jesus gave Simon the assurance that "all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword."
And despite what you've heard so many preachers say regarding this verse, this was not a WARNING to Simon Peter; it was a PROMISE to Simon Peter.
What Jesus was doing was assuring Simon Peter that the tyrannical Roman and Jewish forces that were now using the sword against Him would one day themselves be destroyed by the sword, but that it would not be Simon's sword that would be the one to do this. In other words, Jesus was stating a divine principle that tyrants and despots who unjustly rule with the power of the sword would one day be brought to the judgment of the sword.
Jesus' statement had nothing to do with Christians disarming themselves in the face of tyrants; it had everything to do with God's pronouncement of judgment upon tyrants who force their will on people by the power of the sword. He was saying, "Those who ruthlessly rule and govern by the sword will be brought to justice by the sword." THAT is what Jesus said.
Did Jesus' promise come true? You bet it did. A few years later, the Jewish nation was destroyed by the Roman sword; and a few years after that, the Roman nation was destroyed by the sword of the Goths, et al.
This promise to tyrants is repeated by the Apostle John in Revelation 13:10. Here Jesus inspired John to write, "He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints."
The context of Revelation 13:10 is unmistakable: those who put men into captivity by force shall themselves be put into captivity by force; those who kill with the sword shall themselves be killed with the sword. John then adds: "Here is the patience and the faith of the saints." In other words, the victimized, terrorized saints can take comfort in the fact that God will send His judgment to the oppressors in the like manner in which they oppressed others.
What John said in Revelation 13:10 was a repeat of what He had heard Jesus say in Matthew 26:52. Jesus telling Peter to put up his sword has absolutely nothing to do with Christians willingly surrendering their arms to an oppressive government. Instead, it is a promise to oppressors that if you live and rule by the sword, you will die by the sword!
And since Jesus had commanded them to do so, we can assume that His disciples carried their own personal arms for the rest of their lives. Yes, yes, I realize that the disciples allowed themselves to be martyred for their faith. They CHOSE to not "accept deliverance," (Hebrews 11:35) as did the famed missionary, Jim Elliott, who was armed at the time of his death, and, therefore, was fully capable of defending himself against the savages that attacked him, but CHOSE to not defend himself, and thereby accepted the martyr's death. But these examples have nothing to do with the divine principle of lawful self-defense, which Jesus duly recognized in His instructions to His disciples.
Pray tell, how did Gideon deliver God's people from their oppressors? By "the sword of the Lord and of Gideon." How did Samson throw off the tyrants of his people? How did Barak and Jephthah defeat Israel's enemies? By the sword! And note that each of these deliverers were commissioned and empowered by God to use the sword to destroy those tyrants that had ruled by the power of the sword. This was God's promised judgment on oppressors for thousands of years before Jesus uttered this eternal truism in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The Second Amendment guarantee that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" is as much a sacred right as it is an American right. The principle of armed self-defense is rooted in both Natural and Revealed Law. That Barack Obama and Dianne Feinstein want to strip the American people of this right should be met with the most vociferous resistance, and that includes FROM CHRISTIANS!
Yet, all across America, pastors and Christians seem to be willing to sheepishly surrender their Second Amendment rights. Some are no doubt sincere; they are only reacting as their Christian mentors and leaders have told them is right to do. Others are no doubt using Scripture as a covering for their own cowardice.
But for those Christians who seek truth and genuinely desire to know how they should respond to this current attack against our Second Amendment liberties, my son, Tim, and I are in the process of producing a brand new book entitled, "To Keep Or Not To Keep: Why Christians Should Not Give Up Their Guns." This book is designed to equip Christians with the scriptural tools and knowledge they will need to make wise decisions about the defense of their family. We are working hard to have this book ready for release by early spring.
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The second DVD, "Seven Letters to Seven Churches" covers chapters two and three of the book of Revelation. The book of Revelation is the unveiling of Jesus Christ. The book unveils his relationship to the church, to judgment and to the things to come in the future. The purpose of the Revelation is to reveal to his servants things that must soon take place. Chapters two and three deal with s
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Don't Fence Me In - By Grant Phillips - http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips176.html
Some of you will recognize the above title from a western song of the mid-thirties. It has been made popular by Roy Rogers, Kate Smith, Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters, Ella Fitzgerald, Gene Autry, Eddy Arnold, Willie Nelson and others.
That being said, let's just concentrate on the title, "Don't Fence Me In" not as a song, but as a statement projected by rebellious mankind.
Have you ever noticed that animals that are fenced in often yearn to be freed from their fenced in area? Obviously this is so, or there would be no need for the fence.
Could this same desire also apply to human beings? I think it does. For example, anyone incarcerated in prison would certainly rather be free. Those who work for a living look forward to the end of the work day so they can go home. Young children will leave the safety of their own yard if they are not supervised. School children long for the last bell of the day which means it's time to go home. So whether we are in a pleasant environment or an unpleasant environment, there is still that longing to be free to go where we choose and do what we like.
Some men feel fenced-in, or trapped if they have to go shopping with their wife. A woman may experience the same smothering feeling if confined to an all-day event of televised ball games.
Is it possible that we are all just striving to make that need for independence a reality in our lives?
Why do children, especially teenagers, go through a "rebellious" stage in their lives? They want to be independent. Some even want to "have their cake and eat it too" by being dependent on their parents for financial well-being, but independent in making their own decisions.
I think the bottom line is; whether we refer to animals or human beings, we all want to be free to do as we please. Unfortunately, that never works. Why? Because bad decisions often cause problems for those making the decisions for themselves, and for others affected by their decisions. That is why we have laws, rules and/or fences.
All humans are indwelt with a soul. Because of sin, that soul is always searching for satisfaction, thinking personal satisfaction can only come by our being free to "do our own thing."
God sees it differently. Jesus said,
"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." (John 8:36)
We are never actually free until we submit our independence to Jesus Christ and depend totally upon Him. Then we are no longer fenced in.
Apostasy has brought to our generation the idea of submitting some of our independence to Jesus but keeping some for ourselves. Remember the children I mentioned earlier who want the financial support of their parents but want to make their own decisions about everything else?
Many people today want to say, "I'm a Christian" but it's my business if I choose to live with someone else, sexually, outside of marriage. "I'm a Christian" but it's my body to do with as I please. "I'm a Christian" but it's my business if I cheat, lie, or steal.
If you really are a Christian, these words are for you.
"For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." (1 Corinthians 6:20)
"Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men." (1 Corinthians 7:23)
"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" (1 Corinthians 6:19)
"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" (2 Corinthians 13:5)
If you are cattle fenced in a pasture, you are not your own. You belong to an owner, a master.
If you are a dog in a fenced in lot, you are not your own. You belong to an owner, a master.
If you really are a Christian, you are not your own. You belong to an Owner, a Master. However, the difference in this case is, whether you realize it or not, you are truly free.
When we live for self, we are a prisoner to sin and its originator, Satan. When we try to obey the Law to obtain righteousness, we are a prisoner to the Law. When we obey Christ, we are a faithful servant who is "free indeed." We are His friend.
"Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." (John 15:14)
As good parents would never give harmful instruction to their children, God certainly would never lead us astray. When we obey Him, we are free to enjoy life to its fullest, knowing that He would never ask of us anything that would harm us.
BUT ... you say, don't Christians suffer? Yes. And God's response is:
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)
This world is not our home. We are fenced in and bound by Satan's restrictions, but in Jesus the fence has been removed. We are free to follow Him wherever He leads us, no fences, and He is always with us.
In these earthly bodies, we think too much in earthly terms, and need to allow God to change our thought pattern to thinking in spiritual terms. We can't always understand why some things happen to us, but if we just trust Him, everything will work out "to His purpose."
The teenager may think his/her parents are being cruel by restraining them from one area and guiding them toward another, but they will understand when they get older. When we reach our full maturity in Heaven, we will understand and see all things in a different light.
If you feel fenced-in in your life and are not a Christian, you will never enjoy freedom until you come to know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. Then you can enjoy true freedom.
If you are a Christian and have these feelings of being fenced-in, your Savior is waiting to be your Lord. Only when He is your Lord do you then experience true and everlasting freedom. No more fences, just joy in serving Him. As His child you were free all along, but when you submit "all" of your independence to Him and trust Him, you experience that freedom.
Until we are a servant, a bond-servant no less (the lowliest of servants), of Christ, we are not free. However, by our submitting our will to His, we are then free. This certainly sounds like an oxymoron, but it isn't. It's Biblical. It's the only way for the fences to be torn down and be truly free.
Pre-Rapture Commentary http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html
Young Islands, Canyons, and Dinosaurs - www.khouse.org
According to most respected geologists, the Earth is 4.7 billion years old, give or take a few days. Suggesting that the Earth is much younger can raise the ire of even the most chipper, likeable geology professor. Yet, there is evidence that geological processes can take place in a much shorter time span than historical geologists tend to assume, and odd things have been found out of place - in the wrong time and the wrong geological layer.
The true age of the planet remains somewhat of a mystery, and geologists certainly have reason to regard the world as fairly old. After all, Hadrian's Wall cuts along northern England, relatively solid after two-thousand years of weathering. The Great Pyramid of Giza remains more than 4500 years after its completion. When geologists consider that mountain ranges have washed away and the once jagged peaks of the great Canadian Shield have been worn down to rolling hills, they reason that such massive erosion could not have taken place in a mere few millennia.
At the same time, sometimes geological events do much greater creation and destruction in a short time than we'd ever have expected.
On the 14th of November in 1963, a steaming, smoking volcanic eruption that had started 426 feet below sea level produced enough cooled rock to peek out of the water. Over the course of that week, the island grew to a height of 145 feet. When the island finally stopped rising in June of 1967, it had matured to a height of almost 500 feet and covered an area of two square miles. The island was named Surtsey after the Norse god of fire, Surtur.
Because of its newness, Surtsey has been closely studied by scientists who want to watch how the flora and fauna of the island develop and by others who have monitored its growth and its subsequent decay. The amazing thing about Surtsey, though, is not just its rapid birth, but its rapid aging as well. In 1964, when Surtsey was just a year old, Iceland's top geophysicist Sigurdur Thorarinsson described the island in his book, Surtsey: The New Island in the North Atlantic:
"On Surtsey, only a few months sufficed for a landscape to be created which was so varied and mature that it was almost beyond belief... You might come to a beach covered with flowing lava on its way to the sea with white balls of smoke rising high up in the air. Three weeks later you might come back to the same place and be literally confounded by what met your eye. Now, there were precipitous lava cliffs of considerable height, and below them you would see boulders worn by the surf, some of which were almost round... and further out there was a sandy beach where you could walk at low tide without getting wet."
The geologist continued his amazement later in National Geographic ( 127(5):712-726) in 1965, saying: " ... in one week's time we witness changes that elsewhere might take decades or even centuries ... Despite the extreme youth of the growing island, we now encounter a landscape so varied that it is almost beyond belief."
Perhaps "elsewhere" the changes did not take decades or centuries after all. Perhaps geologists just assume they did. Without the ability to watch features form firsthand, geologists can infer the history of a site based more on reasoning than on experimental evidence. Unless they can watch the same geologic processes take place elsewhere, producing the same results, they can err in the story they put together from the rocks.
Mt. St. Helens:
When Mount St. Helens erupted in late May of 1980, it created geological results in minutes and days that were previously believed to take vast lengths of time. On June 12, 1980, a mud flow left a deposit 25 feet thick with thin laminae and beds. These kinds of sedimentary laminae and beds had been assumed to represent thousands or millions of years as they were laid down one season at a time. Instead, this mud flow produced 25 feet worth of thin layers in a single day.
Mount St. Helens taught geologists that erosion can take place rapidly as well. Badlands topography in the form of rills and gullies appeared at the margins of seam explosion pits within five days after the Mount St. Helen's pumice had been deposited in May of 1980. Nearly two years after the explosion, on March 19, 1982, a mud flow eroded a canyon much like a miniature form of the Grand Canyon in the headwaters of the North Fork of the Toutle River Valley. It did not take millions of years for this canyon system to erode; it took a day.
Mount St. Helen's rapid formation of geologic features should give geologists pause. The results of the mountain's eruption and mud flows do not prove that Earth is extremely young, but they do demonstrate that canyons and thick layers of sediment are not necessarily old.
There's more than growing islands and volcanic eruptions to disrupt the textbook story about the age of the earth. From their early school days, children are taught that dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago at the end of the Cretaceous. Yet, in art and in mud, there are signs that dinosaurs and humans weren't always apart.
Legends of dragons can be found in cultures across the world, from China to Norway. Dinosaur-like creatures are also found in a wide variety of ancient art that can be readily seen today - at ancient sites around the world, at various creation museums and in pictures conveniently placed online [see links below]. Sauropod-shaped handles on pottery jugs from the Mississippi Caddo Indians of the 13th century AD; a stegosaurus carving on a column of the Ta Prohm monastery in Cambodia, dedicated in 1186; burial stones from Ica, Peru showing pictures of dinosaurs and humans together; the faint, desert varnished pictograph of a sauropod on the wall next to other Anasazi wall art on the inside of the Kachina Bridge at the Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah, and many other forms of dinosaur art demonstrate that human beings did see dinosaurs in times far more recent than 65 million years ago.
"And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and everything that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." - Genesis 1:24-26
"Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee;" -Job 40:15
This world is a mystery. The pages of its history given to us have left many stories untold. We do not necessarily have tales for every flood or hurricane or tsunami. We don't know what earthquakes or volcanic eruptions or glaciers rocked and carved the earth. The more data we collect, carefully and honestly, the greater the clues we have of the tales that are still written to us in the very rocks. Which, if we don't beat them to it, may still cry out in praise to our God.
Prophetic Overview: American Caliphate gun fight--Sound the Alarm - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Taking a page from his Muslim Brotherhood ally whose terrorist sponsoring factions like Hamas use children to shield them from their enemies, the occupant of the Oval Office, children at his side, took the first sweeping step toward bringing the end time antichrist system to American shores. He has set out to disarm the American public. By Executive Order and Congressional Action, the government that for 237 years guaranteed the rights of free speech, religious freedom and gun ownership to protect them is now in a Constitutional red zone with every citizens' life, liberty, and property at risk. This pro-Islamic presidency is taking wide ranging action to a revolutionary takeover of the United States of America.
The line in the sand is clear. This president's executive orders and legislative proposals set in motion an infrastructure to spy on Americans, pit Americans against Americans, even to use your own doctors to interrogate you about whether you own guns or know anyone who does. Look for a complete system where anyone who owns a gun or wishes to own a gun will undergo extensive background checks and will be under the watchful eye of government agencies. This system will extend well beyond guns. Everything you do, every place you worship, the things you say and buy will soon become property of the state. This particular move by the White House sets it in motion like never before. But it's not without planning.
Under the direction of this president, Homeland Security released an April 7, 2009 report that stated: "Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration."
In other words, if you are a pro-life Christian who is against illegal immigration and does not completely trust the government, you likely own guns and are considered a threat to this regime. You will be the first to be pointed out and watched under the occupant's gun program. This is not all about guns, it is all about disarmament and getting rid of the opposition either by taking them out of society via arrests or otherwise, OR making you compliant to the government's wishes. We all know that law-abiding citizens do not misuse guns. It is the criminals and crazies who get them under the radar of the law.
Less than 60 days after the Homeland Security report, the president gave his Islamic Awakening Cairo speech, signaling the beginning of the Muslim Brotherhood/alQaeda revolution known as the "Arab Spring."
Scholars can disagree all they want about the end times, but there is no wiggle room when you study the nations that come against Israel in the end. They are all Arab and Muslim. This tells me that the rise of an Islamic caliphate is on the end time horizon. It didn't have to include America, but unless Americans stand against this president's actions, America will be like all the other nations he has helped overthrow--Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen--Islamic Sharia Law states. And you do not want to be a Christian in any of those countries.
I always have believed that while we cannot stop the march of prophecy, we can determine our place in it. America was established by Christians as a nation that would be free to worship, evangelize, and make disciples. And YHVH God blessed this nation. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 24:4, "Take heed that no man deceive you." Taking the stance that we cannot stop this and must accept it is not God's perfect will for you as a Christian. He gave us this land. He blessed it. He has protected it. He has done his part. If we do nothing to preserve it, if we do not stand and overcome evil with good, this land will no longer survive what is about to come. We are on the precipice of losing it if we do not stand. Free will has its responsibility and part of that is stewardship. I am sounding the alarm.
A Choice in the Matter - Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit."
After hearing the voice of Jesus on the road to Damascus, Saul (later to become Paul) was left blind. He was led to the home of a man named Judas in Damascus, and he had no idea what would happen next.
Enter an unsung hero named Ananias. God appeared to him in a vision and said, "Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight" (Acts 9:11-12).
But Ananias said, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem . . ." (verse 13).
I can understand the reticence on Ananias' part. The idea of Saul's becoming a Christian would not even be believable or plausible.
Yet God was unmoved by Ananias' protest. He said, "Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel" (verse 15).
So Ananias obeyed, and Saul received his sight. Everything happened just as God said it would.
Sometimes God will ask us to do something we may be reluctant to do. But we have a choice in the matter. We don't have to obey God. When God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach to them, he went-in the opposite direction. And eventually Jonah ended up doing what God wanted him to do.
So you can be a Jonah, or you can be an Ananias. You can say yes, or you can say no.
Man has his will, but God will always have His way.
FROM THE HEART
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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Collecting... for the Saints - Ron Graham - email@example.com
"Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem." 1 Corinthians 16:1-3. First notice that Paul says "concerning the collection for the saints" Paul specifically states who the collection is for... the Jerusalem saints. The purpose of the collection was to help provide the saints in Jerusalem with sustenance - apparently they were in great need.
Secondly, we find the true understanding of the verse above to be somewhat diverted in our English translations. The English phrase "the first day of the week" is translated from the Greek words "mia sabbaton". The Greek word "mia" means "only one or someone" and it comes from a root word that simply means "one"; it does not mean "every" such as every week. The Greek word "sabbaton" is translated into Greek from the Hebrew word "Sabbath". Sabbaton means seventh, as in the seventh day of the week, or it can simply "week."
If we back up a few chapters to 1 Corinthians 7:1 we find that Paul has received a letter from Corinth. He's attempting to answer the concerns of that particular assembly. In chapter 16 Paul continues his reply to that same assembly, this time it's in regards to a collection for the saints in Jerusalem. Paul spends two chapters on this subject - the ministering to the saints. He's concerned for the plight of the saint's in Jerusalem. As Paul did with the assemblies in Galatia, he requests that those in Corinth help their brethren in Jerusalem.
I've received numerous letters from my readers who've requested a biblical explanation of tithing. I'll not attempt to turn my brethren away from giving. On the contrary, I wholeheartedly convinced that giving of our abundance as we purpose in our own hearts is of God. We, as the children of God, more than any other people on earth should be of the mindset of helping our brothers and sisters "in Christ" who are in need. In this commentary I will attempt to set many minds at ease when it comes to tithing, using the inerrant word of God as our guide.
What is God's view of tithing? There is no example of tithing in the New Testament. The tithe was a requirement of the law in which all Israelites were to give 10% of everything they earned back to God. One reason for giving back a portion of what God had blessed them with was the need of the Levites. The Levites were priests, thus they had been given no land. Without any land they had no way to sustain themselves. They relied on the rest of the Israelite tribes for their sustenance.
"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart..." 2 Corinthians 9:7. On the other hand, the "ekklēsia" (the called out congregation of Jesus' followers) was never given the commandment or directive to tithe. Giving with a glad heart pleases God, giving one percent or ten percent of our abundance, or giving everything we have, is a decision based solely on how we purpose giving in our own heart. No man should be provoking another brother to give or to give more than they've purposed in their heart.
We are given confirmation of the Greek word "mia" meaning "one" and not "every" in another verse in Matthew. "In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher." Matthew 28:1. Clearly Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to the sepulcher only once. They didn't arrive "every week" seeking to prepare the body of our Lord for burial, but one time only.
"For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you:" 2 Corinthians 9:1. The Greek word "perissos" is translated into our English word "superfluous", and a more defined meaning would be: over and above, more than is necessary. In other words by now its apparent from Paul's statement above that the assembly at Corinth were keenly aware of what Paul expected of them concerning the collection for the saints... unto Jerusalem.
1 Corinthians 16 and 2 Corinthians 9 are the two main chapters used by those who wish to bind the Ekklesia of Christ with a stumbling block - one of tithing. Yet, as we study the original Greek language, we find these two chapters have nothing to do with tithing or giving on a continual weekly basis. Nor do we find in Paul's admonition to the Corinthians any exhorting of the faithful to collect weekly, not to mention for the purposes for which they are collected today.
Basically what Paul is requesting is "one" offering to take place on the seventh day of the week. Remember who he's writing to. These were Gentiles who had become Christians, they had never been observers of the Sabbath. Nor did this offering have anything to do with worship services; Paul wasn't telling the Corinthians to worship on "Sabbaton" but to collect liberality (a onetime gift)... on the seventh day. And, as I've already mentioned, to give it to those saints who were suffering in Jerusalem. Don't take my word for the correct rendering of the original Greek but look them up in your own concordance/dictionaries.
The correct interpretation of 1 Corinthians 16:1-3 indicates that the collection Paul requested was not something he admonished the parishioners to repeat every week. It was a onetime blessing for the saints in Jerusalem collected from the assemblies in Galatia and Corinth. Paul made it clear he intended to send one of the brothers of the Corinth congregation to Jerusalem with this one time offering. That was it. Paul never says bring your tithes every Sabbaton so we can build new beautiful buildings, pay pastoral salaries, pay for grounds upkeep, musical instruments, stages, lighting, sound systems, and all the rest of the entertainment specialties that people seem to need today. These verses have been used to accommodate the hierarchy (the clergy) for hundreds of years, but as I've just demonstrated this was clearly not God's intent.
Please don't misunderstand my intentions with this commentary. I'm only trying to give my readers a clearer picture of the correct interpretation when it comes to tithing - from scripture. There are many pastors who are under extreme pressure from their board of directors to squeeze more from their congregations in regards to funding. In most cases these funds are not used to help the suffering brethren but, as I've already mentioned, to add sources of entertainment or pay for overhead to an already bloated building fund.
Supporting others in need through our own abundance is exactly what Jesus teaches us in the parable of the Samaritan. Almost immediately, as Jesus begins this parable, He uses the word compassion. However, He never mentions that this Samaritan was under orders from his pastor or anyone else to help the man who had been attacked by thieves. The parable tells us that the Samaritan purposed in his own heart to help this man. Instead of passing by, Jesus showed that this Samaritan loved this man with a sacrificial love. He didn't wait to be asked; seeing the need right in front of him was enough to compel him to action. He also gave freely of both his time and his resources. He didn't filter his giving through a "benevolence" fund or send it to a charity where most of the funds were siphoned off for administration purposes, but shouldered the responsibility himself. By laying out this parable, Jesus was attempting to answer the question "Who is our neighbor?" What we come to understand from this parable is that everyone is our neighbor. We should have compassion for our fellow man, no matter who that person may be.
"If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?" James 2:15-16. In many cases we pray for the hungry, naked, and destitute but give them little if anything at all to eat, cover themselves with, or help them pay their monthly heating cost. If we are of no help to others what profit, or what benefit, is it to them? Here's a suggestion. Look around your own community or congregation and see who is in need, then help them directly. Even if you want to stay anonymous there are ways to accomplish that also.
Anyone who tells you that if you don't tithe you can't be born again is mistaken. Many in Christian leadership continually insist that the members of their congregations who don't tithe are standing against God's precepts. Jesus Christ is our Saviour and He is our King, and a King doesn't tax his own children. We're free to give as we prosper and as we purpose in our hearts.
"...so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:7. The Greek word "lypē" is translated into our English word "grudgingly", and it means: sorrow, pain, grief. We aren't to be in serious state of wanting ourselves when we give because then we will be giving grudgingly. The Greek word "anagkē" is translated into our English word "necessity" and it means: imposed either by the circumstances, or by law of duty regarding to one's advantage, custom, argument, calamity, distress, straits. In other words, no one should be provoking us or brow beating us into giving or tithing. Clearly when we give we are to give out of our love for someone else - God says give cheerfully, joyfully; when we do so we honor God pleasing Him in love.
God bless you all,
All original scripture is "theopneustos" God breathed
Please continue your prayers for my health. The diabetes has taken a detrimental effect on my eyesight, the Myasthenia is worsening and both the MG and the diabetes have begun to take a real toll on my body. The prostate cancer is back and I must begin hormone treatments again. Through all this "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13.
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