Rm. 10:9 "Jesus is Lord"

 

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Articles from Witness; A Christian Hunter's Insights & Outlook *

Articles from Genesis: The Patriarch's & The Flood: Fact or Fiction? *

Articles from Revelations; The Second Coming of Christ, Armageddon & The Millennium *

 

  

 

Articles from Witness; A Christian Hunter's Insights & Outlook

 

Table of Contents

(Go to the Article by clicking on the star-link next to the title.)

Why? *

 

A Hunter Who Survived Suicide

I was born to unwed parents, a twelve-year-old girl, and an eighteen-year-old boy. I was then adopted by Dr. Roger Michels and his wife Pat, and grew up in Willmar, Minnesota, where I attended St. Mary's Catholic Church. After high school I enrolled in St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota, with plans of going into wildlife research. But, I left college to work as a horse trainer and trail guide on a guest in ranch in Loveland, Colorado. After several years I moved to Cheyenne Wyoming, where I managed a pet store and sold men's clothing. My life was fairly settled, I had a good job, dated occasionally, and on the outside I appeared happy. But, I felt alone, and I was depressed.

While I was in Cheyenne my parents had become "Born Again" Christians. Learning of my depression they flew to Cheyenne and shared their newfound knowledge of Christ with me. Shortly after they left I found myself in a Catholic church for the first time in years, and I knew I had found what I was looking for, a relationship with God. I began to attend church regularly, and a few months later I was invited to a "Charismatic" prayer meeting by one of the nuns from the church. Within weeks I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, received "the Baptism of the Holy Spirit" and became a "Born Again" Christian.

For the next several years I was on fire for the Lord, and became the leader of the prayer group in Cheyenne. When I moved back to Willmar I became the leader of a prayer group at the local Junior College. In 1997, I moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota to manage a pet store. I was also trying to start a new business as a pet wholesaler, and working as a musician. Then my girlfriend broke off our relationship. I became depressed and attempted suicide by placing the barrel of a 12 gauge shotgun under my chin and pulling the trigger.

I don't remember much about the incident, except putting my hands to my face, feeling that a third of it was gone, and realizing that I couldn't see or speak. I reached for the phone and dialed the operator, but because I couldn't speak, I couldn't tell her what was wrong or where I was. I thank God that she realized something was very wrong. Because I couldn't speak she tried to trace the phone call. When she couldn't trace the call she tried to find out where I was by asking questions and having me tap on the phone receiver; once for "yes" and twice for "no."

Meanwhile, my sister Debbie had been trying to reach me on the phone, but she kept getting a busy signal. Because she was worried she called the operator and asked them to cut in on the phone line. The operator told her she couldn't cut in because it was an emergency situation, and they were trying to trace the call. Debbie explained who she was, and promptly gave the operator my address.

The next thing I remember was the sound of the ambulance coming down the street and the operator telling me that help was on the way. When the paramedic got to the house, he picked up the phone and I remember him telling her, "We're here. It's bad, I don't think he's going to make it." When I heard those words I gave up, and thought to myself, "Well God, here I come. I haven't been real good, but I haven't done anything real bad either. I hope I make it to heaven."

I don't remember the ride to the hospital in the ambulance, or the paramedics trying to get me to lay down on the stretcher, so they could put a tracheotomy tube into my throat to help me breathe, because I was drowning in my own blood. I don't even remember the emergency room doctor asking me if I wanted them to help me. I was in such bad shape that the doctors didn't know if I would live.

Two months later, as I stood in front of the mirror in my hospital room, I saw my face for the first time after shooting myself. What I saw was a swollen, mutilated, grotesque face, with a plastic brace screwed onto the outside of my shattered jaw to hold it together. At first I felt like I was in a bad dream, and that everything would be all right when I woke up. When I realized that what I saw was real, I tried to jump out the window of my hospital room. Thank God it was locked.

In the following months I had several surgeries to repair the damage I had done to myself. Some of the surgeries were so difficult that I was given the Last Rites. At one point I had seven major surgeries in thirty-five days, one of those surgeries lasted 14 hours. When I woke from the last of those surgeries I had new incisions on my face, both of my legs, my chest, my left side, my left arm, and my left wrist.

While I was in the hospital my parents had flown back from Guam, where they lived. They, along with my sisters, prayed that I would live. They witnessed to me about God's mercy, and told me that they were sure that God had a plan for me. In spite of several failed surgeries, I somehow kept my faith in God.

Over the next ten years I had major surgery every six months. Muscle was taken from my upper arm, my side and my chest to repair my face and the roof of my mouth, which was no longer there; blood vessels were taken from both my feet, and the top of my head to provide blood for the muscle transplants. Bone was taken from both my hips, the left side of my pelvis, and a rib from my right side to repair my upper and lower jaw; skin was taken from my upper thighs six different times to transplant to my mouth and sinuses. I barely recovered from one surgery before I went in for another one. After I had my twenty-first surgery I decided not to have any more. Even though the doctors told me they could do more, I had had enough.

While I was still having reconstructive surgery I met my wife Diane, and we were married in 1984. I adopted her daughter Melissa two years later. We then had a son, Dallas, and another daughter, Tawnya. In an effort to regain some semblance of a normal life I attended the Wilderness Guides and Packers School in Jackson, Wyoming, where I received my diploma as a certified hunting guide. Two years later I formed T.R. Michels Guide Service; booking hunts for several guides and outfitters in North America. I also guided for elk in New Mexico, and for goose, deer and turkey in Minnesota. For the next few years I was busy throughout the year booking hunts, guiding, and giving seminars at sport shows. Then, because I was away from home for much of the year, Diane left me.

During the first years of our marriage our family had attended church regularly. But, we had not been attending prayer meetings. After Diane left I felt the need for Christian fellowship, support and prayer, and I began attending a Catholic Charismatic prayer meeting in North Saint Paul, Minnesota. Within six months Diane returned home and our family began to regularly attend prayer meetings, with a renewed faith in the Lord.

One night while we were praying in tongues at the prayer meeting my son Dallas whispered to me that he wanted to pray in "tongues" too. But, he said he didn't know how. I told him, "Maybe you don't know how, but the Holy Spirit does, just let him do it for you." While I was talking to him I noticed that my youngest daughter Tawnya was praying in tongues, which she had never done before. And then Dallas began praying in tongues. I know now that they had both accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and that on that night they received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit; Dallas was eight years old, Tawnya was six. My oldest daughter Melissa gave her life to Christ later that same year; she was 13.

By the grace of God I began writing my column Maximum Effort Hunting System, which has been published in several Midwest publications, in 1987. I began giving seminars at sport shows throughout the Midwest in 1988. I designed Konifer camouflage for the Cabela's catalog in 1989, and Field "Stalker" for the Herter's catalog in 1992. I wrote my first two books Goose Addict's Manual and Elk Addict's Manual during that time. In 1997 I began writing for the National Rifle Association's American Hunter. I currently write for the National Wild Turkey Federation's Turkey Call, Petersen's Bowhunting, Buckmasters, Bow and Arrow Hunting, North American Whitetail, Fur-Fish-Game, Midwest Outdoors, Big River Outdoors, Midwest Bowhunter and several other regional and state publications. I write the "Deer Management and Nutrition & Deer Research" column in Rublines magazine, and the "Deer Biology and Behavior" column in Whitetail Fanatic magazine. I have also written articles for the Christian Bowhunters of America Speaking Out magazine, and the Christian Deer Hunters Association newsletter. I also author the "T.R.'s Tips" forum at www.HuntingNet.com and at www.WomenWhoHunt.com.

In 1999, Melissa became engaged to Greg Boehmer, who she had been dating since she was 13 years old. Later that year a local evangelist, Lowell Lundstrom, invited me to speak at the 2000 Wild Game Dinner at Celebration Church in Lakeville, Minnesota. Greg accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior at the dinner that night. Then, on Easter Saturday of 2001, five weeks before he married Melissa, Greg was baptized, confirmed and celebrated his first communion in the Catholic Church. I am proud to say that I now have another "Born Again" son.

I thank Jesus for dying on the cross for me, for coming into my life, for saving my life, for returning my speech and sight, for saving my marriage, and especially for saving my soul. Jesus is my Lord, and my Savior.

T.R.

 

Grampa

I can still see him sitting in his chair, reading his newspaper.

I can still smell his pipe as he knocked out the last of the ashes.

 

I remember the first time he let me pack his pipe,

showing me how to push the moist brown tobacco

down into the bowl of the pipe with my finger.

 

I can still hear the match flair and his puffing as he lit the pipe.

I can still hear him talking through clenched teeth,

and see the puffs of smoke as he got the pipe going.

 

I remember going to the garden with him,

to pick vegetables and dig potatoes.

 

I remember going down to the cellar and looking with awe

at the jars of canned tomatoes and sauerkraut,

as the light shone on them, all lined up on the shelves.

 

I remember how he picked up my children,

put them in his lap, and let them listen to his pocket watch,

just like he'd done with me.

 

I remember how he made dog and cat sounds,

and made my children laugh,

just like he'd done with me.

 

I remember him feeding the birds,

and showing me how to hold a sunflower seed in my teeth,

so a chickadee could land on my lip,

and pluck the seed from my mouth.

 

I remember him doing a jig with his tap shoes,

to the tune of "It Ain't A Gonna Rain No More."

I remember him sitting under the maple tree,

and playing cribbage with Hank.

 

I remember his voice booming out on Sundays,

as he read the scriptures,

in the way that only he could do.

How could I ever forget.

 

Memorial, Leo Michels, by T.R. Michels, Grandson

 

Dad

I remember the way he put my children on his lap and made bird calls,

just like Grampa did for me.

 

I remember the way he tossed my children in the air, then held them close to his face,

just like Grampa did to me.

 

I remember when he let me help him put the cords on the decoys before duck season,

just like I did with my children.

 

I remember him teaching me gun safety, and how to shoot,

just like I taught my children.

 

I remember him carrying me on his shoulders through the cattails,

just like I did with my children.

 

I remember him giving me my first duck call, and teaching me how to use it,

just like I did with my children.

 

I remember going to church with the family every Sunday,

just like I do with my children.

 

I remember him giving me a dollar to put in the collection,

just like I do with my children.

 

I remember all of these things,

passed on from my grandfather, to my father,

to me, to my children,

and hopefully to their children.

 

But there are other, more important things passed on to me,

things that can make us all better persons.

 

Having a deep love of God,

and believing that He is a good

and powerful force in our lives.

 

Having faith that prayer can,

and does help,

in every part of our lives.

 

Believing that sharing with others less fortunate than we are,

is part of believing in God.

 

Believing that love is given to others,

no matter their color, race or creed.

 

Believing that Christ died for our sins,

and is our God, our Lord, and our Savior.

 

Believing that the Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts,

and helps us to be better followers of Christ.

 

Believing that miracles happen.

Believing that we are saved by our faith alone.

Believing in Heaven.

 

Without those beliefs I couldn't make it through life day by day,

or be the husband and father that I am.

 

Thanks Dad,

I love you.

Memorial, Dr. Roger Michels, by T.R. Michels, Son.

 

Is God Real?

Sooner or later we must all ask ourselves, "What if there is no God? Would that make living the lifestyle of a Christian any less important? Would that make the philosophy of the Bible any less meaningful? Even if there is no God, and Christ was not the Son of God, can't we still use the Bible as a manual on how to live our lives? Shouldn't we still strive to achieve the lifestyle of what we call Christianity?

Is there a God? The question seems almost rhetorical. From what historians and archaeologists have found it appears that even primitive man knew, or believed, there was a higher existence, something greater than mankind. Many of these primitive cultures offered sacrifice, honored, prayed to, or asked for help from, this higher existence. Earliest man may have believed that he came from "mother earth." The Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Greeks and Romans of the Middle East and the Mediterranean area believed in several "gods." The peoples of Asia believed in "gods" and "spirits." The native Americans believed in "The Great Spirit." Three of the world's most influential religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) believe in one God and in spirits or angels. Many of the people of these cultures and religions believe their god or gods created man, and believe that their gods could or did affect their lives. That is why they offered sacrifices, honored, prayed to, or asked for help from this higher existence.

Many of these people also believed there was a negative force that fought for control of earth and men's lives, against the positive force or forces of the higher existence that created man. These negative forces were referred to as angry gods, evil spirits, devils, or Satan; and they came from Hades or Hell. In the Zoroastrian religion of ancient Persia this place was referred to as Ahriman, "the source of evil and lord of darkness." But, what is evil? Many cultures regard anything that affects humans or their environment negatively as "bad." If a person harms another person physically or emotionally, or affects their life in a negative way, it is considered "wrong." Anything that helps a person, or mankind, is considered "good" or "right." Thus, we have established that most humans believe there is a good and bad (evil), or right and wrong; and that there is a spiritual side to existence, and thus to mankind.

Incidences of wrong or bad behavior, that may not cause physical danger injury, or emotional or spiritual harm or injury, that are not purposeful in nature, can be excused as accidental, and therefore can be forgiven or overlooked. Incidences of wrong or bad behavior, that cause physical danger or injury, or emotional or spiritual harm or injury, that are purposeful in nature, are not excusable, and are considered as wrong. Evil then, could be considered as anything that comes from purposeful wrong or bad behavior that results in physical danger or injury, or emotional or spiritual harm or injury, to another human. I don't think that anyone would argue when I say that causing personal injury, rape and death, of hundreds of people by the Nazi's; and by various ethnic or religious groups against other ethnic or religious groups is evil.

Much of mankind has learned that coexistence with other humans is less stressful, more peaceful, and in the long run easier if we don't treat each other badly, or wrong, especially if there is nothing evil involved. In fact, we have found that evil creates more evil. We have also found that treating others with kindness, respect, compassion, understanding and love results in a less stressful, more peaceful and easier existence. There seems to be no reason not to be "good" or to treat others "right."

If humans believe in "good," and believe that good may be related to a higher force, and that this higher force created humans, we have to ask, "Is there a God?" Since Christians trace their belief in a god back to Judaism, and the beliefs and history of the first five books of the Bible (the Pentateuch), let us look at the Bible as a historical reference about the belief in God. For the purposes of speaking about Christianity, let us refer to God as "Yahweh" or "Jehovah" which means "I am; the eternal living one," because that is what the God of the Hebrews called himself when he appeared to Moses; "I am."

Although there may be differences of opinion about who actually wrote the Pentateuch, most religious scholars and Christians believe that Moses and other writers received inspiration from Yahweh about behavior, religious rules, and laws. This inspiration, passed on by memory or writings; combined with memories and other writings about the history of the Hebrews, has been passed on to us through the Pentateuch, which is not only the foundation of our faith in Yahweh, but also in the Bible as the word of Yahweh. Since Christians believe that the Bible is the word of Yahweh, it follows that they should also believe what it tells us about the creation of the world. The question that arises then is, "Is the Bible the Word of God, and is it historically correct?"

Is the Bible the Inspired Word of God?

While most Christians accept the fact that the Bible is the inspired "Word of God," they accept it on faith, not necessarily on the reliability of the Bible based on historical, geographical, scientific or linguistic reliability, or on the number of fulfilled prophecies within it. As a Christian, coming from a strong Catholic family, I've always believed the Bible was the Word of God. You can see how I was raised by reading the eulogies I wrote for my Grandfather's and my Father's memorial services. I also attended a Catholic school for the first 8 years of my schooling. During that time I received extensive teaching in Christian dogma and doctrine, with the result that I never questioned the belief that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. But, during my forties I began an extensive study of the Bible, to determine if it was sound from a scientific aspect; and I found that it was remarkable reliable.

However, anyone who was not raised as a Christian, any Christian who has not had the Christian instruction and training that I and many other Christians have had about Christianity, and anyone who has not read and researched the Bible, may not accept the fact that the Bible is the Word of God based on faith alone. They need some kind of proof, where others of us need only our "faith."

What is Faith?

Faith is defined as "accepting as reliable". For most Christians faith means to accept as reliable something which can not be completely proven. It means to accept the Bible, and believe that something we don't completely understand, something the human mind cannot comprehend as "the truth", is in fact Gods' truth. And that "truth" is that God exists, that there is only one God, that the name of God is Yahweh (YHWH), that God created everything in the universe from nothing, that God is made up of three distinct beings, God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in the one Godhead we refer to as the Holy Trinity.

Faith to a Christian is "trust in God." In other words, without faith there may be no belief that the Bible is the Word of God. Thus "Christian" faith is essential to believing that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, and believing that the mystery of God is that Jesus is God, one in being with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, in the one Godhead of the Holy Trinity. This "Christian/spiritual" faith is essential to the beliefs, teachings, tenets, doctrines and dogmas of Christianity; which in turn leads to a proper understanding of Christianity, and what it means to be a Christian.

Throughout his ministry the "faith" that Jesus asks us for is the act of trust and self abandonment by which people no longer rely on their own strength, beliefs and policies but commit themselves to the power guiding word of him (Jesus) in whom they believe. (Mk. 1:15; Mt. 21:25, 32; Lk. 1:20, 45)

It is this concept of "faith" that is most perplexing to humans, especially when it comes to God. God is something that thinking, searching, contemplating humans shall always wonder about, ponder, and never have a complete understanding of, until we join God in Heaven.

But, we must also realize that it is "faith" that is required of humans, in order to be saved. For we are saved by faith alone. The great thing about God is, he foresaw the problem we would have with believing in something we could not prove, namely God, and He gave us a way to believe in it, without proof. It is the spiritual Gift of Faith, given to us by the Holy Spirit, often when we finally realize there are questions without answers; when we realize there must be more "out there" than just the physical world; when we realize there must be more to our existence than just living, struggling, fighting to survive and then dying; when we finally accept Jesus as God, part of the Holy Trinity accept the belief/fact that He died on the cross for our sins, accept that God raised Him from the dead and that we likewise will be raised from the dead, to live in heaven with God forever.

This often occurs to us during our "reborn experience" known as the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. And Jesus clearly told us that unless we are reborn of water and the Spirit we could not enter the kingdom of Heaven. This "born again" experience and our receiving of the Gift of Faith appear to go hand in hand. For how can we believe in God without the Spiritual Gift of Faith, and how can we receive the Gift of Faith without believing in God?

That we are led to this point in our lives, often by our own questions, thoughts, beliefs and conclusions; and that we come to our acceptance of Jesus as God, Lord and Savior at the same time we receive the Gift of Faith, which in turn allows, or leads us, to our questions, thoughts beliefs and conclusions; is one of the mysteries of Christianity, and one of the proofs of the existence of something else out there, namely God/Yahweh.

So, if you are a Christian, your faith should tell you that somewhere from creation to evolution and beyond, is the truth of how the earth came to be. Your faith should also tell you that God always was, and always will be, and that it it will remain a mystery, until you are with God. Your faith and the Bible should also tell you that it isn't creation and evolution that is important, or believing every word of the Bible is exactly as it seems. What matters is the essence, the meaning of the Bible, having faith, and believing that Jesus is God, Lord and Savior. Your faith should also tell you it is important to live your life by the Bible; do what you can in life, for God, others and the world, with what you have been given to work with; and always strive for more faith, more understanding, more love and more to work with.

As stated above, many Christians believe we are save by faith alone. But some Christians feel that you must also do good works in order to be saved. I believe Hope and Charity are an outcome (a natural occurrence / way of life) if you have Christian Faith as outlined in the Bible. Faith is not "Christian" Faith without Hope in the truth of our Christian "beliefs"; and Faith (and our beliefs) lead us to Charity (doing good works) without thinking about doing them for the sake of salvation; without thinking about it beforehand (conscious decision to do a good work). We are, or should be, Charitable because it is part of our Christian nature. Thus, we are saved by faith alone, because salvation begins with, and is dependent on, Faith in Yahewh Sabaoth and his divine Word (Jesus) as is stated in the Christian Bible.

Biblical Accuracy

Many scientists and scholars have tried to show that the history of the Bible is wrong, about many things. If it is, they could question the validity of the inspiration of Yahweh in its writing, which would bring into the question the belief of Christians in a God/Creator. However, whenever the validity of the historical aspects of the Bible have been questioned, it has been shown to be remarkably correct, especially considering how long ago it was written, and how the information in it was passed on.

In my own research of Genesis I found that none of the patriarchs listed in the Bible lived through the flood, except Noah, his three sons, and their wives. With the unbelievably long lives of the patriarchs, and the fact that none of the actual dates of their births or deaths were recorded, nor the date of the flood recorded, it is no less than amazing that whoever wrote the text of the Bible made sure that none of the patriarchs alive at the time of the flood (other than Noah's family) lived through it. I found it almost incomprehensible that the one person listed in the Pentateuch (Methuselah, who was the longest lived) did not survive the flood, but in fact, died the very year of the flood. With the primitive way that the lives of men and the events in their lives were recorded, it is inconceivable that the person who wrote it got it right, unless Yahweh inspired it.

As I continued to research Genesis I found that scientists and current literature refer to the names of the patriarchs as several of today's ethnic groups. Most encyclopedias list Shem, Ham and Japheth as the sons of Noah, and tell us which ethnic groups they are associated with. Shem's descendants are referred to as Semites, who inhabited the Middle East and northern Africa. Ham's sons are referred to as the Hamitic people of Africa. Japheth's sons are referred to as the Aegean peoples of Europe, Asia Minor and Asia.

The fact that several Semitic groups (Assyrians, Babylonians, Chaldeans) were closely related to the Hebrews, and the nearness of the Semitic and Hamitic groups geographic locations, made it easy for the writers of Genesis to know of and write about them. But, how did the writers of Genesis know about the sons of Japheth in their far away locations; such as Ashkenaz (the Scandinavians of Norway, Sweden and Denmark; the Goths of Germany; the Franks of France; the Angles, Picts and Saxons of England); Gomer (Cimmerians; the Gauls of Galatia and France, the Gaels and Celts of Scotland and Ireland); and Magog (the Mongols) of Russia and China?

As I did further research I found that the related names/ethnic groups in Genesis (that now live in widely separated geographic locations) use closely related languages. How is it that the Hebrews of 3000 years ago knew about these widely scattered people, and grouped them according to language? The study of linguistic geography (related languages in different geographic locations) did not even begin until the 19th century. The only explanation of how the Hebrews knew of these people and grouped them together correctly, is because they were listed in the Pentateuch, which was divinely inspired by a higher existence, Yahweh.

The Pentateuch has been shown to be historically correct by several people. Scientists have been able to show (through documents other than the Pentateuch, and the carbon dating of artifacts) that the Hebrews were in Egypt; when they left Egypt; when they entered Palestine; and when they were conquered by the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks and Romans. These scientists go so far as to use the dates of the Pentateuch to backup their findings. This shows that the Pentateuch is often historically correct, and that many of the persons, places and dates in it are real.

The question that still remains about a God/creator is, "Is Yahweh real?" The answer to that question lies in the writing of the Pentateuch itself. The fact that it is consistent, and historically correct, when it seems so implausible, can lead us to only one conclusion; it was inspired by a higher intelligence, Yahweh.

 

Biblical Prophecy

No other religious book that I know of contains verifiable prophecy. The Bible is filled with it. The prophecies are specific and historical, not vague and subject to interpretation. About a quarter of the Bible was prophecy when it was originally written, and approximately half of those prophecies have already been fulfilled literally. Although skeptics have argued that these must have been added to the text after the events came to pass, that contention does not hold up under close scrutiny.

Forty-eight prophecies about Jesus have been fulfilled; at least 33 specific Old Testament prophesies in the 24 hours before he died. The probability of that happening by chance is about 1 in 1,000,000,000,000,000,000. Many of those prophecies were written in Isaiah. The Dead Sea Scrolls include a complete copy of Isaiah probably copied before Jesus' crucifixion, and the community at Qumran had no reason to interpolate. Those prophecies are still contained in Jewish scriptures, despite the fact that Jews do not acknowledge that Christ was the promised Messiah. As an example, read Isaiah 53.

10 Prophecies
Below are the summaries of 10 fulfilled Bible prophecies. The web sites, at www.100prophecies.org and www.konig.org explain the fulfillment of 100 Bible prophecies, including the 10 below.

1. Genesis 28:10-15 - Jacob had a vision 4000 years ago that the Jews would be scattered worldwide, that they would have a worldwide impact, and that they would be brought back to Israel. All three happened - each to an extreme unmatched by any other people in history.

2. Jeremiah 30:11 - Jeremiah said 2600 years ago that God will save the Jews and destroy their enemies. Gone are the Assyrian, Babylonian, Roman and Nazi empires. Each tried to destroy Israel and the Jews. And each have been destroyed. But not the Jews and not Israel.

3. Genesis 12:2-3 - Genesis said the Jews would have a worldwide impact. And indeed their contributions in the sciences, politics, arts and economics are vastly disproportionate to their numbers. The Jews introduced the one-true God concept, now embraced by 3 billion people.

4. Micah 3:11-12 - The prophet Micah said 2700 years ago that Jerusalem would be destroyed and literally "plowed like a field." When the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 135 AD, they ran a plow over Jerusalem, they literally plowed Jerusalem.

5. Deuteronomy 28:64 - Deuteronomy said 3400 years ago that Jews would be scattered worldwide. History has but one example of a people being forcibly scattered as far west as California, as far east as Japan, as far north as Scandinavia, as far south as South Africa: The Jews.

6. Leviticus 26:31-32 - Leviticus said 3400 years ago that the Jewish homeland would be inhabited by enemies. And what other nation in this world today has so deeply rooted within its boundaries a sworn enemy that has so openly sought to destroy its host?

7. Zechariah 8:13 - Zechariah said 2500 years ago that Jews would be persecuted, but preserved. What other group has endured 19 centuries of exile, persecution and genocide, only to find the strength to re-establish their homeland, as did the Jews in 1948? Zero.

8. Deuteronomy 28:65-67 - Deuteronomy said the Jews would be persecuted in many nations. The Romans killed 1.5 million Jews. The Crusaders killed tens of thousands. England, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium banned Jews from living there. The Nazi's murdered 6 million.

9. Jeremiah 16:14-15 - Jeremiah said the second Israel would be more impressive than the first. The first Israel arose 3400 years ago after Jews had been enslaved in Egypt for 4 centuries. The second was born in 1948 after Jews had been scattered worldwide for 19 centuries.

10. Leviticus 26:3, 7-8 - Leviticus said the Jews would be disproportionately powerful. In 1948, Arab nations with a total population of 20 million sought to destroy Israel with its 600,000 Jews. The Jews won that and other wars since then. In 1967, Israel won a war in 6 days.

There have been hundreds of books written on the subject of the evidence of the divine inspiration of the Bible, and this evidence is numerous and varied. Unfortunately many people have not read any of these books. In fact, few have even read the Bible itself. Many people, Christians included, to go along with the belief that the Bible is full of mistakes and that it is no longer relevant to our modern world. Nevertheless the Bible writers claimed repeatedly that they were transmitting the very Word of God, infallible and authoritative in the highest degree. This is an amazing thing for any writer to say, and if the forty or so men who wrote the Scriptures were wrong in these claims they must have been lying, insane, or both. But, if the most widely disseminated and influential book in the world, containing some of the most beautiful literature in the world, with such a wonderful moral code, was written by deceiving fanatics, what hope is there for ever finding the meaning and purpose of our lives in this world? If you seriously investigate the Biblical evidence, you will find that the claims of divine inspiration of the writers (stated over 3,000 times, in various ways) are justified.

Fulfilled Prophecies

Hundreds of Bible prophecies have been fulfilled, specifically and meticulously, often long after the prophetic writer had passed away. For example, Daniel the prophet predicted in about 538 BC (Daniel 9:24-27) that Christ would come as Israel's promised Savior and Prince 483 years after the Persian emperor would give the Jews authority to rebuild Jerusalem, which was then in ruins. This was clearly and definitely fulfilled, hundreds of years later.

There are many fulfilled prophecies in the Bible that deal with individual nations and cities and with the course of history in general, many of them in Isaiah. More than 300 prophecies were fulfilled by Christ; at His first coming. Other prophecies deal with the spread of Christianity, as well as various false religions, and many other subjects. There is no other book, ancient or modern, like this. Only the Bible manifests this remarkable prophetic evidence, and it does so on such a tremendous scale as to render completely absurd any explanation other than divine revelation.

Historical Accuracy of the Bible

The historical accuracy of the Scriptures is in a class by itself. It is far superior to the written records of Egypt, Assyria, and other early nations. Archeological confirmations of the Biblical record have been almost innumerable in the last century. Dr. Nelson Glueck, probably the greatest modern authority on Israeli archeology, has said:

Scientific Accuracy of the Bible

Another striking evidence of divine inspiration is found in the fact that many of the principles of modern science were recorded as facts of nature in the Bible long before scientist confirmed them experimentally. A sampling of these would include:

Roundness of the earth (Isaiah 40:22)

Almost infinite extent of the sidereal universe (Isaiah 55:9)

Law of conservation of mass and energy (II Peter 3:7)

Hydrologic cycle (Ecclesiastes 1:7)

Vast number of stars (Jeremiah 33:22)

Law of increasing entropy (Psalm 102:25-27)

Paramount importance of blood in life processes (Leviticus 17:11)

Atmospheric circulation (Ecclesiastes 1:6)

Gravitational field (Job 26:7)

Scholars suggest that there are about 1,000 prophecies altogether in the Bible, approximately 800 in the Old Testament and 200 in the New Testament.

 

What if Christ is a Hoax?

The answer to this question lies in the historical correctness of the Bible, specifically the New Testament. Scientists can prove that the persons and places in the New Testament existed and that the events actually occurred, by what we now accept as reliable scientific proof.

The Jewish historian Josephus, of the first century, called Jesus the "Christ." Josephus'. Antiquities XVIII, iii, 3, states:

About this time appeared Jesus, a wise man (if indeed it is right to call Him man; for He was a worker of astonishing deeds, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with joy), and He drew to Himself many Jews (many also of Greeks. This was the Christ.) And when Pilate, at the denunciation of those that are foremost among us, had condemned Him to the cross, those who had first loved Him did not abandon Him (for He appeared to them alive again on the third day, the holy prophets having foretold this and countless other marvels about Him.) The tribe of Christians named after Him did not cease to this day.

Another source writes:

The Roman historian Tacitus, of the second century, notes that "Christus, the founder of that name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea, in the region of Tiberius..." Lucian, a satirist contemporary of Tacitus notes, "the man who was crucified in Palestine because he introduced the new cult..." Suetonius (A.D. 75-160) considered Christ (Chrestus) as a Roman insurgent who stirred up seditions under the reign of Claudius (A.D. 41-54): "Judaeos, impulsore Chresto, assidue tumultuantes (Claudius) Roma expulit" (Clau., xxv). Lucian sneered at Christ and the Christians, as he scoffed at the pagan gods. He alludes to Christ's death on the Cross, to His miracles, to the mutual love prevailing among the Christians ("Philopseudes", nn. 13, 16; "De Morte Pereg").
There are also alleged allusions to Christ in Numenius (Origen, "Contra Cels", IV, 51), to His parables in Galerius, to the earthquake at the Crucifixion in Phlegon ( Origen, "Contra Cels.", II, 14). Before the end of the second century, the logos alethes of Celsus, as quoted by Origen (Contra Cels., passim), testifies that at that time the facts related in the Gospels were generally accepted as historically true. The historical character of Jesus Christ is also attested by the hostile Jewish literature of the subsequent centuries. His birth is ascribed to an illicit ("Acta Pilati" in Thilo, "Codex apocryph. N.T., I, 526; cf. Justin, "Apol.", I, 35), or even an adulterous, union of His parents (Origen, "Contra Cels.," I, 28, 32). Additionally, the details of Jesus' ministry, and his beliefs, are written in clear detail in the Bible.

Jesus, this seemingly unimportant man, has had a greater impact on the world than any man before or since. He founded one of the most widely spread religions in the world. The calendar of most of the western world is based on the date of his birth. The Bible, which contains the details of his life and his beliefs, is the most widely published book in the world. His message to us, through his own words and actions, and the words and actions of his followers, is that we should not only love our neighbor, but also our enemy, and treat him as you would have him treat you. Jesus believed in this so strongly that he gave up his life for you and me, so that we could live in eternal life with Him.

Because there is not a better, more humble yet noble way to live, than to be good rather than evil, to be humble rather than be proud, to help others rather than to be self serving, we should all choose to live the lifestyle of a Christian, even if there is no God, and even if Christ wasn't real. If you believe that we should live a Christian lifestyle then you need to ask yourself, "What have I done for my fellow man today? Did I visit or comfort the sick? Did I feed, clothe or house the poor? Did I stand up against social injustice? Have I set a good example for all those around me, especially my family and friends? Have I tried to make the world a better place?" Only you can answer those questions.

Because I personally believe that there is a God, and that Christ was real, I need to say, "I love you Father, el Shaddai (God Almighty); for you created me. Thank you Jesus, for being born, and for dying for my sins; for your saving grace; you are my Lord and my Savior. Thank you Holy Spirit, for coming into my life, so that I could know Jesus; and for giving me the ability and the strength to profess my faith and reach out to others; so that they may come to know and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior."

 

Is Jesus God?

In December of 2003, on my "T.R.'s Tips" internet message board at www.HuntingNet.com, I was made aware of the fact that some Christian denominations don't believe Jesus is God, or that Jesus is one in being with the Father in the Holy Trinity. As a Christian, who was raised as a Catholic, and who is still a practicing Catholic, this astounded me. I was raised to believe Jesus is God. However, one of the "Christian" posters on the forum said that they believed in the Holy Trinity, but not that Jesus was God, but he was just the son of God, he was in effect a human.

Another "Christian" poster said he believed Jesus was God, but that he was not one in being with the father, he was in effect a another god, a second god. Two more posters said that while the believed there was man named Jesus, and that he was possibly a god or a spirit, they also said they believed there were other Gods and spirits, and said that they were Druids. Because some of these people had been asking questions about hunting on the forum for several months, I had come to know and care about them.

This topic, and the studies I did on it between December 20 and January 1, 2003, consumed me. I thought about it most of the night, every night. And fortunately I was also able to watch the series on Jesus and the Bible on the History Channel, CNN and A & E during Christmas week of 2003. If you missed those series hope they run them again, because they were very enlightening. The following are quotes form the forum during December and January of 2003.

In response to those on the forum who did not believe Jesus and God are one and the same I wrote:

I don't expect that even all Christians may agree with this. What I write here are my own thoughts, meant for those Christians who believe Jesus is God, one in being with the Father and the Holy Spirit, in the one triune Godhead of the Holy Trinity. If you don't believe that, you don't have to agree with what I say, you also have the option of not reading this. If you don't agree, please try not to start a long debate, you can state your own beliefs, but let's not try to dispute each other's beliefs. We've done that and gotten nowhere. If you have questions feel free to ask.

As a preface to what I want to say let's take a look at the evolution of the thoughts of the Middle East and Western world on the nature of gods and God. Prior to Abraham's journey out of Ur in the Mesopotamian region of Iran/Turkey most of the people in the Middle East believed there was a god father-head named El or Al, and a god mother-head, with their god children called Baals (pronounced bails). Thus these people believed in multiple gods, whom they worshipped, and prayed to. But, after the journey of Abraham, the Semitic group known as the Hebrews began to worship only one god. However, they still believed there were other gods.

When Moses went up Mt Sinai the first time God told Moses his name was "YHWH" (Yahweh), the God of your ancestors Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, ... This is my name for all time, and thus I am to be invoked for all generations to come." (Ex. 3:15) Then, when Moses received the Ten commandments from God, God told him in no uncertain terms that he YHWH was to be their only God, that there were no other gods, they were to worship no other gods, and they were to worship only YHWH. From this time forward the Hebrews, and subsequently the Jews and the Christians, believed there was only one God.

The question is, "Is Jesus God?" The answers can be found in the Bible.

One poster wrote.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." "The word was God...the Word was made flesh". What more can be said. There it is...straight from the inspired Bible! God is God. Jesus Christ is God. The Holy Spirit is God. The Godhead is made up of 3 persons, hence the word "Trinity". Some things simply cannot be understood nor accepted by men until God has opened their eyes to see His truth.

Way back in Genesis 1:26, the Bible declares "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." You see, that was written thousands of years before Jesus was born as the Son of God to a woman in Bethlehem. But notice the usage of the plural words "us" and "our". That is because the triune God was there...God in 3 persons. It was Not 3 Gods.

The first chapter of John's Gospel shows very clearly who Jesus Christ is. Since these things remain a mystery to some, perhaps these verses will shed further light on the matter... 1 Tim. 3:16 (KJV) "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. " That verse is speaking of Jesus Christ. God manifest in flesh! Surely, that verse teaches that Jesus is God.

Phil. 2:6-8 (KJV) "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Again, a verse about Jesus, the God-man ... in the form of God ... equal with God. As I have shown, the Bible repeatedly says there is one God! How can Jesus be equal with God when there is only one God? The answer is clear to Christians ... Jesus is God!

I then added this:

The Greek word for God used in 1 Tm. 3:16 is theos, which is translated as "the divinity" or "the supreme being." The Greek word for manifest used in 1 Tm. 3:16 is phaneroo, which is interpreted as appear, or shew/show (self), to render apparent, declare. There can be no doubt that what is meant is that God himself appeared in the flesh. If the God of this quote was not Jesus, then who was it?

The poster added this:
Hebrews 1:1-14 (notice what God Himself says to and about Christ) God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, [2] Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; [3] Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person ... 5] For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? [6] And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. [7] And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. [8] But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever : a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. [9] Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. [10] And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: [11] They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; [12] And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.

Col. 2:1-23 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; [2] That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; [3] In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. [4] And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. [5] For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. [6] As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: [7] Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. [8] Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. [9] For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

John 14:6. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

I added this:

This is a prophecy of Isaiah regarding Jesus the Christ. Isaiah 9:6. "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." I don't see any way to interpret that but that the "Mighty God, Everlasting Father" and the "Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace," are one and the same. "And I see no way to interpret the "Mighty God" and the "Everlasting Father" as anything but YHWH.

"He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." What is particularly interesting about this verse is the way in which it is written. The two names associated with Jesus (Wonderful Counselor and Prince of Peace) surround the two names associated with God the Father (Mighty God) and Yahweh (Everlasting Father). The intent of the writer is quite clear; the Father is one and the same as, and one with, Jesus.

Now let's look at the words of the Hebrew passage. The words used to describe Jesus, are the words of God.

"by whom also he (Jesus) made the worlds;" Here God the Father makes it clear that Jesus made the universe. In Genesis 1:1 it states, "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth ..." If there is only one God, then the only way God the Father and Jesus could both make the universe is if they are one and the same God (YHWH).

"the express image of his (God's) person" Here God says Jesus is the express image of God.
"the first begotten into the world" Here God says Jesus is the firstborn of the earth, which means Jesus "was" before Adam and Eve had their first child.

"unto the Son he (God) saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever" Here God calls Jesus "God." So, unless there is more than one God, Jesus is God.

"And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:" Here God says Jesus laid the foundation of the earth and the heavens. If God (YHWH) laid the foundation of earth and heaven, the only way Jesus could have laid the foundation of earth and heaven is if Jesus is God (YHWH).

The poster wrote:

Matthew quoted Isaiah 7:14 when he wrote his gospel. But the Bible goes even further in that verse... it defines the word "Immanuel." It is a very significant definition. Matthew 1:23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel." which means, "God with us."

I added:

The Greek word for Immanuel in both Isaiah and Matthew is Immanuw'el, which means "with us is God." The Hebrew word el (as we have seen) means God. Can there be any doubt that Jesus is God?

(There is a lot more discussion on this, and unless you like to read, you may want to skip the rest of this article.)

I then added this:
We are re-hashing the same question as that before the Council of Nicaea 1600+ years ago. And now we can see why they came to the conclusion they came to, Jesus is one in being with the Father and the Holy Spirit, in the one Godhead of the Holy Trinity. 1 Tim. 3:16, states, "God was manifested in the flesh, vindicated ion the Spirit, seen by the angles; preached among the gentiles, Believed in throughout the world, taken up into glory." The Greek word for God used here is theos, which is translated as "the divinity" or "the supreme being." The Greek word for manifest is phaneroo, which is interpreted as appear, or shew/show (self), to render apparent, declare. There can be no doubt that what is meant is that God made himself flesh. If the God of this quote was not Jesus, then who was it?

"Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God; there is none else beside him.: (Deuteronomy 4:35)

"Thus saith the Lord, the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? Ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? Yea, there is no God: I know not any." (Isaiah 44:6,8)

"I and my Father are one." (Jesus speaking). (John 10:30)

"For thou shalt worship no other god; for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: (Exodus 34:14)

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)

"By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth." (Psalms 33:6)

"Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." (Hebrews 11:3)

"And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God." (Revelation 19:13)

"And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, even in his son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life." (I John 5:20)

"Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Phillip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?" (John 14:9)

"Come near unto Me, hear this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord God, and His Spirit, hath sent Me." (Isaiah 48:16) Who is speaking. Go back to verse twelve. Hearken unto Me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am He; I am the first, I am also the last." Who is the Alpha and Omega of Revelation? Jesus Christ. So we know who the speaker is. It is Jesus Christ. The Creator, verse thirteen. "Mine hand has also laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand has spread out the heavens, when I call unto them, they stand up together". So we know it is the Lord Jesus Christ speaking.

Other passages to note are Matthew 3, where Jesus is being baptized, the Spirit descending like a dove and the Father¹s voice saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." All of them there, all of them present at the same time at the same scene. There are people who say, "We don¹t believe in the Trinity, once He was the Father, then He became the Son and now He is the Spirit." How can you explain all three of them at the baptism at the same time? In Romans 8:9 they are all there. In First Corinthians twelve they are all there. In second Corinthians thirteen they are all there. Ephesians four they are all there. So we believe in the Trinity. It's a very important doctrine.

One of the Druids wrote:

T.R.,

Thanks for your response. Like I said I understand how Christians use Satan to get their point of view across. Of course I can only speak for myself, but I would listen to someone explain about Jesus all day long. I wont listen to "well if you don't believe the same as me then your not going to heaven , your going to hell, your a heathen, etc....." I thought there were lots of good points coming out from both sides about Jesus being God/Jesus being the son Then Bam! the name calling started. And yes, telling someone they are not practicing right is in a way name calling. You yourself have said that if folks don't feel the same as you then they are wrong. I honestly don't believe you mean to sound bad but ... All I'm trying to say is if we are going to debate then lets debate and learn. There is no reason to tell someone they are wrong, most of the folks here already know what the Bible says about satan and not excepting Jesus. What does calling someone a heathen or telling them they won't make it to heaven have to do with learning, all it accomplished was bad vibes and hurt feelings.

The fear factor (of Satan) may have it's use, take Johnny crack head on the street, the only way to make him wake up is to put the fear of God into him. Take Big Bad Bob the wife beater drunk, he may need a wake up call, so throw the fear of God / Satan into him. Now take a respected person with some smarts and give them credit for having some brain matter, no need for fear, ... education, teaching, but not scare tactics.

I responded with:

A couple of things need to be pointed out here. Stating what I believe to be fact is not "name calling." Saying a particular view on Christianity is "heresy" when "in fact" that is what it is, is only stating the truth. When someone says that if you believe this or that you won't get to Heaven, they are saying it based on their belief of Christianity, because that is what they were taught. Do you really think there are no consequences for not believing "some" things?

Let's look at it like this, you believe that jumping out of a plane will not kill you, because you did it while the plane was on the ground. And you are right, as far as your experience goes. I, on the other hand, believe that jumping out of plane at 20,000 feet can kill you, based on what I've been told, seen or read. You might even believe that jumping out of a plane at 20,000 feet wont' kill you, because you know someone who did it with a parachute who survived. But, no matter how you jump out of a plane at 20,000 feet you can be killed, especially if you do it without a parachute. So, should I say, "There is no consequence to jumping out of a plane at 20,000 feet"? That would be irresponsible on my part.

Lets' look at it another way. I remember taking my kids to the doctor for their shots. They asked if it was going to hurt. Many conventional parents and nurses would say "No." But, because I have always told my kids I will never lie to you, I told them, "I'm not gonna lie to you, it will hurt." My kids trust me because I TRY to never lie to them; and they respect me, and what I say, because of the way I am.

Those examples will show you EXACTLY how I am, and what you can expect of me here. I will tell you the truth as I believe it. To tell you anything less, to tell you just part of what I believe to be the truth, would be telling half-truths, and I will not do it. As a (JG) Christian I believe there are consequences to not being a (JG) Christian. And the Bible tells me one of those consequences is not going to Heaven.
There is no nastiness involved here, especially when it comes to my posts. That is your perception of what "my tough love" is, and you just have to be selective enough to look at what you believe may be positive truth, and not think about what you perceive as negative (truth).

In this instance, if you want to learn about Christianity, consider me and some of the others here the teachers, and read what we have to say; then take it or leave it. I've listened to you, and learned your view on Druids, and I respect you. I just don't accept your views as Biblical truth. However, it may well be Druid truth, which I don't agree with.

I don't know about the rest of you "Jesus is God, one in being with the Father" Christians, but I see that the proof that "Jesus is one in being with the Father" is there, in the Bible. This discussion has only made my beliefs, and my faith, stronger.

T.R.

I then posted this:

I suggested to another Christian (who has come to his own conclusions that Jesus is the "Son of God" but who is not "God") that he had come to the wrong conclusion, because he has not referred to any writings about Christianity except the Bible. He does not use a Concordance or a Bible dictionary; and he does not regularly discuss his personal beliefs about Jesus with others. I told him that without input from others he might never understand what the meanings of several words in the Bible were, or what the original writers of the Bible intended when they wrote the Bible.

I then posted this:

This is for anyone who reads a Bible that is not annotated and uses it without any reference material. Explain these terms found in the Bible. You can't use anything but a Bible that has no footnotes, if you do, let us know. You can't use any dictionary, encyclopedia, condordance or the internet.

Cush, Nisan, Havilah, Rephaim, Horite, Saraph, Hin, Tammuz, Peleg, Kor, Eber, Seah, Terebinth, Hittite, Ashkenaz, Samaria, Baal, Urartu, Hurrian, Christ, Philistim, Shinar, Togarmah, Sabaoth.

There are a couple of "gimmes" in there.

(As noted in a later post I didn't add Sabaoth until later, as can be seen by my post; original date 1/7/2004 11:22:47 PM. In the posting it reads, "Message edited by trmichels -- 1/9/2004 8:35:11 AM." That is when I added the word Sabaoth to the list of terms to be explained. Pay attention to how God used that word to prove a couple of points several days later.

Lord, help me to be humble enough to follow you, have faith enough to use your gift of wisdom, be wise enough to understand your Word, and be strong enough to profess your truth. If I fail you, convict me. Amen.

I then posted this:

If any of you really want to understand the Bible, I suggest you start at the beginning, use a Concordance and a Bible dictionary, and join a Bible study group. Then pray that God will help you understand the true meaning of the Bible through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. If you don't have input from others, especially knowledgeable teacher or instructors, and the Holy Spirit, you may not understand everything, and you may come to some wrong conclusions.

I then posted:

I'm going to "explain" one of the terms above. Now, I'll be honest and say that adding that term was an afterthought, but I knew it was in the Bible several times. However, I wasn't even sure what it meant, because I had never looked it up. Then two days ago I did look it up. And then this morning, while continuing on with my chapter by chapter reading of the Bible, I ran across the term four times in Is. 14:22-27. It is also found in Rm. 9:29.

I did not stage this sequence of events to make a point. Since this is the second time in a week that my Bible reading has related to the particular relevant subject on this thread, I can only come to one conclusion. God knew about this discussion all along, and He "staged" these coincidences for me, to support my teachings.

Pay attention (----), and everyone else (including you who are reading this), God is trying to get your attention. He's certainly got mine.

The term in those verses, used in some Bibles, is Yahweh Sabaoth. Now, unless you already know what Yahweh and Sabaoth mean, you have to use a Bible Dictionary or a Concordance to find out, which is precisely one of the points I am trying to make here. Point 1. You "must" use outside sources to find out the original meaning of words, or to find out the original intent of the writers, to avoid coming to wrong conclusions. Point 2. This particular term points to the fact that Jesus is God.

Yahweh as we all know refers to God, the one and only "God" of Christians and Jews. But, what does "Yahweh Sabaoth" mean? Sabaoth is the Greek form of the word tsebaoth, which means "armies." Yahweh Sabaoth means Lord God of Hosts, which in the mouth and mind of an Ancient Hebrew meant "the leader and commander of the armies of the Hebrew nation."

Let's use a little theological deduction here. This entity is called Yahweh Sabaoth, meaning God and leader, of the army of the Hebrews. This entity is not just the leader of the army of Israel, but also the ONE AND ONLY God of Israel, and of Christianity. And who or what is the leader of the army in Revelations? Jesus!!! Jesus is Yahweh Sabaoth; God-Jesus. Jesus is God!!! What more proof do you need that Jesus is God, and that he and the father are one and the same "One God."

I am in awe as to how this thread has "gone hither and yon" as (-----) put it, and has lead us to so many parts of the Bible, digging into so many meanings. There is no doubt in my mind that this thread, in fact my putting all of the Christian threads on this particular forum, was caused by or inspired by God. How else could some of us be led, or be just coincidentally reading parts of the Bible that were relevant to the particular topic of this thread, at the right point in time, to support or views, based on the original dogma of Christianity. I'm not a mathematician, but I'll bet the chances of these "coincidences" occurring are beyond belief.

Thank you God for leading this discussion through all its twists and turns, and all of its disagreements and debates. Thank you Holy Spirit, for guiding me, and others here; so that we could come to the knowledge of your Biblical truth, which is that, "Jesus is God, one in being with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, in the one Godhead of the Holy Trinity."

If any of you (including anyone reading this) still doubt that Jesus is God, you have been blinded. Take off the blinders!!!

If you think that any of us here (on the web site thread) are intelligent, scheming or shrewd enough to stage the outcome of this thread, you overestimate us, and you far underestimate the power of God.

One of the Druids was looking for "proof" that Jesus is God. I responded with:

The whole thing boils down to faith, faith that YHWH exists, and that He created everything from nothing, and faith that what He said/inspired in the Bible is true. Therefore, if I have faith I believe Jesus is God. And I also believe that God is a Jealous God, that He, in the manifestation of Jesus, said that the only way to be saved is to believe Jesus is God, and that Jesus gave his human life for us.
No other religion has had their God give His (human) life for us, so that we could live forever with Him. No other religion has had a God that was killed, then rose from the dead. No other religion has a God that shows such love and mercy.

Now, if YHWH is the only God, he certainly isn't going to allow the practices or beliefs of any false gods or religions to be performed, believed in or adhered to when He comes to earth. So, we who are Christians, have to be careful that we don't let the beliefs of other religions pollute, dilute or corrupt YHWH's religion. And, if the Bible is the word of YHWH, then non-believers, or those polluted, diluted or corrupted by other religions aren't going to have eternal life. I prefer to try to stay true to YHWH's religion.

The Jewish religion believes Jesus existed, the Islamic religion accepts Jesus as a "prophet." I've already shown you that the pagans of Rome (Tacitus and Lucian) wrote about Jesus because He existed. What more do you want?

We've given you enough proof that Jesus existed, enough proof that He is God, that were it any other subject than religion you would more than likely take it as fact. But, some people won't accept it, it is what Christians call "blinded." We've given you more proof than the Theory of Relativity, the Theory of Evolution, than Black Holes; and more proof than the belief that Aristotle, or Pliny, or Sosthenes existed, and most people, including scientists and theologians, believe they did.

Because I've really come to know and respect you, I've come to like you, and I care about you, as I do for others here. It appears (---) has been hurt by my comments here, and no longer participates. I have probably lost a friend over this. But you know what? If I loose a friend over the truth, but may in some small way contribute to them seeing the truth of YHWH, and eventually being saved, it is worth it.
I'm not doing this to win an argument, or because I like to expound, or show off, or try to make myself seem superior. I'm doing it to lead others to YHWH, and that means you my friend.

The Druid responded with:

I agree about faith, you see things one way, I see them somewhat different, no harm in discussing our differences; this is how we learn. I also understand about "faith" in the Bible. What I don't understand is who's interpretation is correct? Do you understand why I believe what I believe and why I don't believe what you believe. (There were several other questions that I didn't copy here.)

I responded with:

As to your non-belief in Jesus, I understand totally. If I wasn't raised Christian I would have an extremely difficult time with it too. Hey, try this. Find the nearest Christian "born again" Charismatic/Pentecostal prayer meeting, go there and ask to be prayed over so that God shows you His truth, whatever that may be. I'm serious, and take (---) you. If you believe in God, what have you got to lose? Nothing, but you could gain the truth.

(As a mere human I wonder where these next thoughts are coming from, but as a "born again who has been given the Gift of Wisdom, I know my thoughts are guided by/inspired by the Holy Spirit. I know I am not intelligent or wise enough to come up with what I am writing (next) on my own. So, pay attention, I fully believe that what I am writing is guided by God Himself.)

There is no way to prove Jesus is God. But, that is because God want's you to trust Him enough to believe, by faith. It isn't proof that save you, it' faith, and faith alone. Faith in the belief that Jesus is God, and that He died on the cross for your sins (meaning you and ---). That is the "test" we have to pass; if you will. But, the test is rigged, in your favor (because of a loving God). All you have to do is trust God. Is that too much to ask for eternal life? Hey, it's free.

But, if you rely on your feelings, your beliefs, and the need for proof that God exists; instead of trusting God that YHWH is (exists), that YHWH is the only God, that Jesus is God, that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, so that you can have eternal life, then your feelings and your beliefs, your search for "proof," will get in the way of "faith in God." You can't have faith if you rely on proof; it's a contradiction. Christian faith by definition is "belief in God; knowing that God is real, even though we can't see Him" (as in: even though we can't prove his existence). The Bible says that God is strongest when we are weakest.

If you want God to actively come into your life, stop relying on what you see, feel and think, because as long as you rely on your senses, your personal beliefs, your thoughts and conclusions, and ask for proof of YHWH"s existence, you will never be able to experience "Christian faith." You have to stop what you are doing, and let God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, come into your life. Until you do that, you will never be complete. Stop trying to be in control, stop trying to be selfsufficient. That is not what God wants. He wants you to turn every aspect of your life over to Him. If you believe there is a God, then let Him guide you, let Him spiritually enter your soul or spirit. Then, and only then, can you become one with God, in the body of the Savior. (1 Cor. 12:17)

(From here on these are my own thoughts.)

My faith, my posts in response to your questions, are as much proof as I can give you that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are God. How else do you explain my train of thought? I assure you I don't sit and contemplate this beforehand, I write as it comes into my head, given to me by the Holy Spirit. I am amazed at what I write. Although I'd like to say I am as wise/intelligent as I appear here in these matters of God, I know I am not, and I cannot take credit for it. When I write of these matters, I write through the power of God alone, but in my own crude ways. I pray that they are good enough to get God's thoughts across to those who read them.

Somewhere you mentioned polluted, I did not mean that you were polluted, (you seem to have kept to your beliefs). I just meant that each Christian, and the Christian Faith itself, if it is the one true Faith in YHWH, must not allow ourselves/itself to be polluted, corrupted or diluted (watered down) by the beliefs of others, or of other religions. We are warned by the Christian religion that it is wrong to do so, because, as the Bible predicts in Revelations Satan will use the corruption of Christian belief to lead humans away from God. With the result that many souls may not being saved, or they may not be granted eternal life with God in Heaven. We have seen this corruption, this straying from Christian dogma and doctrine here. It cannot be good, or what God wants.

I think of this discussion as a learning tool. I have been forced to look deep into the Bible to justify my beliefs, with the result that they have been vastly strengthened. I have come to trust myself as a growing teacher for Christianity, I have learned to trust the Gift of Wisdom given to me by God, and I realize that this has been God's preparation for what He wants me to do next, whatever that may be. You see, this is me "trusting" that this was guided by God, this is me giving myself over to God, and me having "faith" (another Gift of the Holy Spirit) in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Thank you YHWH Sabaoth. Jesus is Lord. Amen.

By the way, 1 Cor. 12:3 states, "no one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit." If this is true, then I must have given myself to God. (I just now looked this up) Using Anakrina's Bible gift to me I see that the footnote on this verse says. "The validity of any speaking exercise is determined by the truthfullness of it. If the speaker affirms the lordship of Jesus, it is the truth from the Holy Spirit. What a person believes and says about Jesus is the test of whether he speaks from the Holy Spirit. He always leads people to Christ's lordship."

I'll let all of you here judge me. And I'll let God pass judgement on me.

The Druid had many more questions, one of which was how could Jesus die if he was God. I responded with:

Jesus' body is dead forever, his soul and spirit aren't. When He comes back it will be as God. Read 1 Cor. 15:42. "It is the same too with the resurrection of the dead: 43 what is sown is perishable, but what is raised is imperishable; what is sown is contemptible but what is raised is glorious; what is sown is weak, but what is raised is powerful; 44 what is sown is a natural body, and what is raised is a spiritual body." Jesus will come back as an imperishable spiritual body.

I honestly don't think you have come to the end of your path, yet. You are here, asking questions, because deep within in you is a yearning for more. I believe you are here because God want's you here, to show you His truth. He is trying to get your attention. Why not give the Bible a try (reading it I mean).

Why not say right now, "God help me to understand your truth, grant me the faith to completely trust in you. I give my whole life, my body, my soul and my spirit to you. Amen."

I just prayed it for you, I hope you will pray it with me. I also hope all of the other Christians will pray that prayer for anyone here who needs it.

(God Inspired thoughts)

As to would I believe in Jesus if there were no Bible? It is a fair question, God foresaw that many humans wouldn't believe in Jesus without the Bible. So, 4000 years before Jesus came to earth, God (in the being of the Holy Spirit) began to inspire men with his thoughts, and He told them who, when and what to look for. And those prophecies did come true. Then when Jesus was here, he continued to pronounce His (God's) thoughts, so they could be added to God's previous thoughts, and compiled into a library called the Bible, so we would know about God and Jesus, so we could have faith that Jesus is God.

Now I'm going to introduce a possibly new theological concept to you. It is called predestination. Rom. 8:28. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him., who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his son, that he might be the first born among many brothers. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called he also justified; those he justified he also glorified."

Some of us were pre-destined (destined before we were born) to be called to God. Some of us just believe without prodding. Some of us are also chosen, as the Israelites were chosen to be the race from which Jesus came. I think some of the chosen are "hardheads" like the Israelites. God gives us signs and warnings, and chance after chance, but we want to do it our way. (Read the story of the Hebrews in the Old Testament, and see what I mean.) Eventually, because he wants us and loves us so much, he gets our attention, sometimes through some deep personal struggle, conflict, pain or loss in our lives. And we may have to go through this several times. But, eventually we realize He wants us. And we willingly come to Him.

Those of you who don't believe Jesus is God need to take the blinders off. If you are here, reading this, YHWH is giving you signs. Maybe you should pay attention to the signs.

(personal thoughts)

You miss my point about "parts of my posts." Some of what I write are thoughts from God, specifically parts of this post and the last one; that are meant for you. But, also for anyone else who needs to hear what God is saying. I wasn't talking about my faith, or flaunting my faith. I meant that God "is" talking specifically to you. All you have to do is listen, and have faith in God, and understand that He wants you to believe that Jesus is Lord.

You say you aren't trying to change my beliefs. Unlike you I am trying to change your beliefs, and so is God. If you haven't prayed that prayer yet, why not do it. What have you got to lose?

I then posted this:

I was contemplating this about an hour ago (1:30 AM). The gift of faith is what is given to a person who may or may not have had someone lay hands on them and been prayed for, when they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The reason I say that is because they immediately believe Jesus is God, Lord and Savior, without question. The only way they can do that, if they did not believe it before, is through the gift of "faith." It is faith, given to them from God through the Holy Spirit, who allows them to believe.
Obviously some people grow into faith, or are given faith without being prayed for or having hands laid on them. But, it is still given to them through the grace of God. This same gift of faith leads them to accept Jesus as God, Lord and Savior; and believe the Bible is the inspired word of God.

So, faith is something God does to, in, or for us, if you will. God is the acting agent. He gives us faith through grace, primarily for ourselves, to believe YHWH is the one and only God, made up of three persons Father, Son and Holy Spirit; and to believe the Bible is the inspired word of God.

I then posted this on Feb 13, 2004:

If all the other references showing Jesus is God weren't enough for those who don't believe Jesus is God try this. Is. 45:,21 -22 "...There is no other god except me, no saving God, no Savior except me. Turn to me and you will be saved, all you ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is no other. By my own self I swear it;" God himself says there is "no Savior except me." The only way Jesus could be Lord and "Savior" would be because He is God. If you profess that Jesus is your Lord and Savior, but believe that Jesus is not God, you do not completely believe in the divine inspired Word of God.

 

The Holy Trinity; Human Logic or Spiritual Faith?

One mark of a mature true Christian is FAITH. Faith is not just saying. "I believe in God". True Christian FAITH is believing in monotheism (that there is only one God, and that his name is Yahweh Sabaoth), and believing that he has three distinct yet inseparably intermingled manifestations, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

Faith, and faith alone will allow you to accept that truth. As long as any of us try to understand and live Christianity on human terms, on human logic, we will never have the true Spiritual Gift of Faith. We, as humans, need to allow our human selves, our "essence" our understanding, our mind, our spirit to die; and be reborn of the Holy Spirit, before we can come into the fullness of FAITH, understanding and acceptance of Jesus as one the three manifestations of the ONE Godhead of the Holy Trinity.

One of the mistakes some people have made with their use of logic seems to be a false conclusion that Yahweh is limited in his ability to be, and appear, in as many persons, and places, as he desires. Yahweh is not limited in his abilities as we are, he can be and do anything he wants. God is not finite, he is infinite. For some to use this as an argument defies all understandings of "a god", and thus Yahweh. If their understanding of Yahweh is synonymous with / part of their logic, then their logic is flawed. Thus their conclusions are flawed. They are not using FAITH.

As long as anyone insists on relying on logic and human reasoning, they will never achieve the fullness of the Spiritual Gift of FAITH.

This use of human understanding, reasoning and logic is a self defeating path, and a dangerous path, because it can lead to the non-Biblical belief that either there is more than one God, or Jesus is not God, both of which are wrong/false conclusions, which are in opposition to God's Word, the Bible. Therefore they are in opposition to God Himself.

I also suspect that it is these false beliefs, that will allow many humans, including those who are Christians, those claiming to be Christians, those who are uncommitted to Christ, those who do not believe in Christ, and those who refuse to believe in Christ, to be deceived by the anti-Christ. After all he is called the Deceiver.

Since we know anti-Christ/Satan will deceive some of these people, it is most likely that of those who call themselves Christians, it will most likely be those who have a poor understanding or misunderstanding of Christianity, those who are not yet mature Christians, or those who do not have the Spiritual Gift of Faith to help them accept the truth of the mystery of the Holy Trinity.
Thus, an incomplete understanding of the Holy Trinity, a false belief that Jesus is not God, a false belief that Jesus is not one-in-being with Yahweh Sabaoth (he is not a second or third God) is not a path I would want to be on, and I would think, neither would anyone who wishes to be saved.

We are saved by FAITH alone. Those of you who do not yet have the Spiritual Gift of Faith, who wish to be saved, should ask Yahweh Sabaoth to give you the Gift of Faith, through the second manifestation of the One Godhead of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit.

If we accept the theory/belief/supposition of monotheism, which is exactly what Abraham's understanding was, thus it was the understanding of the Hebrews (Abraham was called a Hebrew, because he came from the "other" [east] side of the Jordan River. The Aramaic word for "other" is eber, from which we get the word Hebrew.)

God told Moses that there is only one God, and no other god shall be put before him, when he gave Moses the Ten Commandments. The term Yahweh is first used by God of himself in Ex. 3:15, when Moses ask what he should tell the Israelites God's name is. God responds, "You are to tell all the Israelites, 'Yahweh, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. "This is my name for all time, and thus I am to be invoked for all generations" This is why, when I pray, I invoke the name of Yahweh Sabaoth.

Sabaoth is the Greek form of the Aramaic word tsebaoth, which means "armies." Yahweh Sabaoth means Lord God of Hosts, which in the mouth and mind of an ancient Hebrew meant "the leader and commander of the armies of the Hebrew nation." This shows that the Hebrews/Israelites/Jews believe the Messiah (to us Jesus), the leader of the armies of God at Armageddon, will be Yahweh Sabaoth, the Lord God of Hosts. Yahweh and Jesus are the same person.

So, one tenet of Judaism is there is only ONE God; Yahweh Sabaoth. But, as has been discussed at length elsewhere, and as has been shown by several excerpts from the divine inspired "Word" of God (the Bible), another Aramaic word for God is eloi or elohim which was understood by the Hebrews, and likely many other Middle East cultures as being pluralistic. So, because there is only ONE God, but He is plural, the only conclusion we can come to is that he has more than one part.

We know that the Hebrews understood this, by the use of the words "Spirit of God" in the very first verse of the Bible. Those words imply that there are not two Gods, but one, but that there is another part of Yahweh Sabaoth, which is the "essence" or felt or heard "presence" of Yahweh or his mind/thoughts, without Yahweh actually being seen. So, we already have two manifestations of Yahweh; one that we inherently know about/understand as "being", that is able to "appear" as a non-corporeal spirit or a burning bush; and another manifestation that is heard or felt without being seen.

We know that the Hebrews knew there was also the physical manifestation of Yahweh in human form, by the use of the words "Angel of the Lord". This "Angel of the Lord" was the physical manifestation of a man "in the likeness of God" that appeared to many of the Old Testament Patriarchs and Prophets. If Adam saw Yahweh, this would have been the manifestation shown to him.

I do not know if this human form of Yahweh looked like Jesus, but since Yahweh had previously manifested himself in the incarnation of a human type body, it may well have been the same appearance as Jesus in his adult years. I think it is possible that Moses, Elijah, Enoch and others would recognize Jesus as the "Christ" as soon as they saw him. And they would know that he was in fact Yahweh Sabaoth (interpreted by the Hebrews as "God-the-leader-of-the-armies-of-Israel"), which is how the Jews expect Yawheh to appear some time in the future.

I cannot say that I understand how difficult it is for those of you who were not brought up in strong Christian-based families, or did not go to Christian schools, where children are raised with the concept of the ONE Godhead of the Holy Trinity, because I was in that type of environment, and it has been engrained in me as far back as I can remember. I have known nothing else, therefore there is nothing else, even if I have wondered, and asked questions, and searched the Bible and non-Biblical sources; the more I search, the more convinced I am of the FACT of the Holy Trinity.

So, all logic tells me that Jesus is NOT a god who is NOT part of Yahweh. Jesus is NOT one God, and Yahweh is another God, and the Holy Spirit is a third God. IT CANNOT BE; for THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD, His name is YAHWEH SABAOTH, and I will not put any god, or gods, before Him.

This is one of the central issues/beliefs (dogma) of Christianity, that probably cannot be accepted/understood on logic or proof. It in fact, may be necessary to be accepted, with the very definition of belief in God/Judaism/Christianity; which is FAITH. And, as I have noted elsewhere, faith is one of the Spiritual Gifts (charisms) that Yahweh will deny no man or woman, if they seek the truth of Yahweh, and simply ask for the Gift of FAITH. For, if we really understand Christian faith, we know it is a gift, it helps us to accept and believe in Yahweh Sabaoth/the Holy Trinity, even though it is beyond human comprehension.

To comprehend Yahweh we must have the FAITH of a child. So, be a child, of Yahweh Sabaoth, and you can accept the truth of the Holy Trinity, without proof, without logic, without total understanding.

If we look at the New Testament, we will find that many early Jewish converts simply accepted the truth of Jesus, accepted that he was God, because they already had faith in Yahweh Sabaoth. And, when they accepted the truth of Jesus, many of them began speaking in tongues, as a sign to them, that something new, something different had come into their lives. Their belief in Jesus had allowed the Holy Spirit, the "essence" of Yahweh to manifest himself in their lives, and in their minds and bodies.

Without this "baptism of the Holy Spirit" (the Paraclete) that Jesus promised he would leave behind with/for us when he (Jesus) left earth; without this manifestation of Yahweh in us, through our soul and spirit, it is difficult for us to know/understand/completely comprehend Yahweh's Word (the Bible), and to live the life reminiscent of Jesus the Christ, the life of a true Christian.

This is why being a "born again" Christian is so important, for it is only by being born again that we are saved, and are able to allow the Holy Spirit to manifest himself (the essence of God) within ourselves, and allow us receive and use the "Gifts of the Holy Spirit" (charisms) meant for each of us. Read 1 Cor. 12-14:25, it is not just some reference to spiritual manifestations of the time of Christ, this is an explanation of what you can have and do, now, in your life. And, as the "end of days" grows nearer, and the falling away from Yahweh occurs, and apostasy increases, these gifts will become more manifest in Christians, and more important in our collective battle against evil and moral corruption.

We should all seek to receive the Spiritual Gifts God desires each of us to have, and we should use them. If you are not a "born again" Christian, and are not a Charismatic Christian (one who has and uses God's Spiritual Gifts) then take the next step in your Christian walk, and seek and ask to become "born again" and to receive your Spiritual Gift. 1 Cor. 14:7 says, "To EACH person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good." God has a Spiritual Gift for you. Have you asked for and been given it? Are you using it? You should be, for it is given "for the common good." If you are, or want to be, part of "the body of Christ" then you should be using the gift God has for you.

Yahweh Sabaoth, I fervently pray that all who read this receive this most precious Gift of the Holy Spirit, the gift that must come before all other gifts, the Gift of Faith in you. I also ask that those who are not "born again" of water and the Holy Spirit, be born again; and I ask that they seek, ask for, receive and use, the Gifts of the Holy Spirit you have for them. I ask this in the name of the Lord God Jesus Christ. Amen.

I ask that you all pray that prayer with me.

I love you all, your servant in Christ, T.R.

What is a Christian?

The topics on "Is Jesus God?" and "Is the Bible the Inspired Word of God?" on my Internet talk forum led me to another question. That being "What is a Christian?" to understand what a Christian is, or should be, we must first understand what the Christian faith is. The Christian faith is based on the belief that there is only one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, all being one in the Godhead of the Holy Trinity. The following is a quote from one Christian source.

"The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the "hierarchy of the truths of faith." The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men "and reconciles and unites with himself in those who turn away from sin."

If you don't totally agree with the above quote, it is time to get out your Bible and do dome serious reading, and some serious research. One passage says it very clearly, John 1:1-14. (What are you waiting for, get out your Bible and read it.) If that doesn't make it clear to you read John 10:30. "The Father and I are one." That, I personally believe, puts the nail in the cross, so to speak. Jesus is one in being with the Father and the Holy Spirit, in the Holy Trinity.

To put things into perspective the god Allah of the Muslim is not the God YHWH of the Christians, because they do not believe Jesus is the human manifestation of God, one in being with the Father, in one Godhead of the Holy Trinity. The following is from the web site of The Institute of Islamic Information and Education:

Chapter 112 of the Qu'ran reads:

Islam rejects characterizing God in any human form or depicting Him as favoring certain individuals or nations on the basis of wealth, power or race. He created the human beings as equals. They may distinguish themselves and get His favor through virtue and piety only.

The concept that God rested in the seventh day of creation, that God wrestled with one of His soldiers, that God is an envious plotter against mankind, or that God is incarnate in any human being are considered blasphemy from the Islamic point of view.

"People of the Book, go not beyond the bounds in your religion, and say not as to God but the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only the Messenger of God, and His Word that He committed to Mary, and a Spirit from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers, and say not, 'Three.' Refrain; better is it for you. God is only one God. Glory be to Him - (He is) above having a son." (4:171)

One of the reasons I mention this is because if you are a "Jesus is God, one in being with the Father" Christian, it is important to the salvation of your soul. In this time of Christian apathy, with the political-correctness of tolerance and acceptance of other non-Christian religions; and the "Jesus is not God, one in being with the Father" Christians; we Christians who believe Jesus is one in being with the father need to be very careful not to accept the beliefs of those religions/denominations. We also need to be careful not to allow our ignorance, misinterpretation o, misunderstanding of basic Christian dogma and belief, or political correctness, to corrupt the above stated truth of Christianity. That is, if you want to stay true to that definition of Christianity.

 All we have to do to realize the outcome of corrupted or co-mingled Christian and non-Christian religious beliefs is look at the book of Revelations. This book alludes to the "False Prophet" who many believe will instigate the founding of a new religion, incorporating the beliefs of many of the worlds religions, Christian and non-Christian alike. (Note: I prefaced this with an if.) If the belief of the "Jesus is God, one in being with the Father" Christians is correct, it means that the Anti Christ and the False Prophet will deceive those who have no Christian religious faith, those who may not be strong in their Christian faith, and those who accept the beliefs of the "Jesus is not God" Christians and the non-Christians into believing the Anti Christ is God. The "False Prophet" will then compel every human being to be branded on the right hand or forehead with the mark of the beast (Satan).

Unless people have this brand they will not be allowed to buy or sell anything. That is quite the punishment, for not following the teachings of this "False Prophet" and his god Satan. But, the punishment, by God, for allowing this brand to be placed on them is even worse; the sword of the Rider will kill them. Most Christians interpret this Rider as Jesus, and the sword as his voice or vocal command. (However, there may be a way out of this dilemma.)

This understanding of "God" even goes as far as the founding of the United States of America. When the founders of this great country said, "In God we trust" they meant the Holy Trinity, because they were Christians, many of them Puritans. There was no "Jesus is not one in being with the Father" church or movement around. And the dominant religion of the European immigrants was Christianity. But, now we have residents and immigrants who are not Christian. We have Buddhists, Moslems, Confucianists, Shintoists, Native American Shamanists, Druids, etc. We can no longer say that the God of our fathers is the one God that most Americans currently put their trust in.

The dogma, the central belief of Christianity, is the Nicene Creed. In the early 300's AD, the hierarchy (bishops/archbishops) of the Christian church were called together in Nicaea by Emperor Constantine. This meeting is referred to as the "Council of Nicaea." The purpose of this meeting was to lay down the central beliefs of the entire Christian church. One of the doctrines that came out of that meeting was the "Nicene Creed" or Christian "Statement of Faith." About this creed one source states:

"A creed is a summary of Christian Faith written by the church in order to confess clearly what it believes. The Nicene Creed was originally written in 325 AD (in Greek) when the Roman Emperor Constantine called together the Council of Nicaea (in Asia Minor) to address the fragmented character of the Christian church--a church fragmented primarily because of disputes over whether or not Jesus Christ was fully God. It was expanded to the current text at Constantinople in 381 AD. The contemporary translation of the Nicene Creed adopted by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) was completed by an ecumenical body, the English Language Liturgical Consultation in 1987." Ecumenical means "universal," as in a large number of different churches/denominations.

The Christian Nicene Creed

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.

For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.


The words "of one Being with the Father," "one in Being with the Father," "being of one substance with the Father," "of the same essence as the Father" meaning Jesus is the same as God, are found in this very same creed in the Anglican, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Methodist, Calvinist, Christian Reformed, United Church of Christ, Free Reformed, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Armenian, Orthodox Church of America. If you doubt me type in "NiceneCreed" in the Google Search engine on the Internet.

One source states:

"The Nicene Creed is the most widely accepted and used brief statement of the Christian Faith. In liturgical churches, it is said every Sunday as part of the Liturgy. It is Common Ground to East Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Calvinists, and many other Christian groups. Many groups that do not have a tradition of using it in their services nevertheless are committed to the doctrines it teaches."

So, What is a Christian? (these are possible definitions)

1. If the definition of a Christian is "one who believes in God (YHWH)" then Jews and Muslims could be considered as Christians. But, they aren't."

2. If the definition of a Christian is "one who believes Jesus is God" then Jews and Muslims could not be considered Christians.

3. If the definition of a Christian is "one who believes Jesus was the Messiah sent by God" then Muslims could be considered Christians. But, they aren't.

4. If the definition of a Christian is "one who believes Jesus is God incarnate/Jesus is God" then Muslims and those who believe Jesus is only the human son of God could not be considered Christians.

5. If the definition of a Christian is "one who believes in the Holy Trinity, but not that Jesus is the same as the Father" then Muslims and those that do not believe Jesus is one in being with the Father" could not be considered Christians.

6. If the definition of a Christian is "one who believes Jesus is God, one in being with the Father and the Holy Spirit, in the unity of the one Godhead of the Holy Trinity" then those who do not believe in the Unity of the Trinity could not be considered Christians.

As we can see, a person's personal definition of what a Christian believes often determines whether or not they consider themselves Christians, or whether or not they consider others as Christians. The question then arises, "Does each person have the right to define their own description of what a Christian is?" Unfortunately or fortunately, the vast majority of the Christian Church defines a Christian as #6.

This leads to other questions, "What is the Bible's definition of a Christian? What is our (as mere humans) definition of a Christian?" Does one or the other of those definitions mean you have to believe Jesus is God? Do you have to believe Jesus is God, one in being with the Father, in the Holy Spirit? Do you have to believe there is only one God, consisting of three manifestations?

Can you believe Jesus is not God? If so it flies in the face of what I have been taught that most Christians believe is Biblical truth. Can you believe the Father is one God, Jesus is another God, and the Holy Spirit is yet another God, and still be a Christian? If so, this flies in the face of monotheism (only one God), as was given to Moses on Mt. Sinai. And it goes against the Ten Commandments.

Does believing Jesus is only a man, but a man who came to die for our salvation, brings us salvation? Does believing there are three different Gods bring us salvation? These are questions we should all be looking for answers to, because it may make a difference.

Let's put it in the perspective of my children and myself. If they ascribed to either of the beliefs that Jesus is not God, or that Jesus is a different God than God the Father, I would worry about their salvation, because of what I was taught. In the same way I worry about those who read this. As I mentioned earlier, I believe it is the pollution, dilution and corruption of the original Christian dogma that is exactly what Satan will use to deceive us into following Satan instead of Jesus.

We have shown that we cannot use the word "Christian" to define all Christians as believing that "Jesus is God, one in being with the Father and the Holy Spirit, in the one Godhead of the Holy Spirit;" because some people (who consider themselves Christians) don't believe Jesus is God, and some don't believe there is just one God. So, how do we define what it is to be a Christian? And is it right to redefine or expand the boundaries of the description of what it is to be a Christian. I personally believe, as a result of reading the Bible (in particular Revelations) that we need to be very careful of where we go, and how far we go, from what Christian dogma teaches us to be the truth of the Bible. I believe that at some point we, as Christians, will be called upon to draw a line in the sand, and say, "This is not right." The questions is, where is that line? There is no question that there has to be a line.

Recently (and it may have been foreshadowed in the Bible by calling Satan the "deceiver") I/we can no longer use the Nicene Creed description of a Christian to describe all of those who call themselves Christians. As has been pointed out, just saying you are a Christian does not make you a Christian. And if we have people who are not Christian who are purposely or not purposely misleading us, we may be in trouble. Mind you, I am just pondering the possibilities, because I think it is important to the salvation of those around us, those we talk to, those we teach, and those who come after us.

The Christian community considers that not believing Jesus is God, one in being with the Father and the Holy Spirit, in the Holy Trinity is heresy. Heresy being defined as "a contradiction of a dogma," and dogma being defined as "regarded as unquestionable." (from Webster's Dictionary) I'm not stating this to hurt anyone, and I am not judging, I'm just stating the Christian church's position on this subject.

I don't want to hurt or offend anyone. I really don't want to risk friendships, or alienate anyone, with the results that someone may think badly of me, talk badly of me, or refuse to read anything I write, which could result in lost income. I've tried to avoid that in the name of political correctness. However, if I am a true believer in Christianity, then I have to stand up for the beliefs of the Christian church, and say that I believe as it believes. At some point Christians are forced to stand up and tell it like it is.

Would it be better if I didn't tell the truth as Christians see it? Would it be better if I lied, and said that, according to the Christian church, Jesus is not God, one in being with the Father and the Holy Spirit, in the Godhead of the Holy Trinity; and that saying so is not heresy? If I did, many Christians would loose all respect for me. And I wouldn't be a very strong Christian.

If I am a Christian, and I firmly believe Christian dogma and teachings, and I really do care about others and their souls, I, as a Christian, have the responsibility to point out how their beliefs have gone against Christian dogma, beliefs and teachings. If I really care about others I must do it, even though it may cost me friendship, respect or income. I can only hope that at some point in their lives they realize that I only wanted the best for them, and that I practiced (for lack of a better term) tough love. Sometimes (in this case of Christianity) the dogma hurts.

To you who are "Jesus is God, one in being with the Father and the Holy Spirit, in the Holy Trinity" Christians I say this, "Please be very careful what you believe. Before you accept anything outside of the Nicene Creed, check it out.

 

Is Satan Real?

In November of 2003 I also asked this question on my "Hunting Forum" T.R. 's Tips" at www.Hunting Net.com. "Do you think Satan/the Devil is real?" I had already posted several Christian related topics on the hunting forum, and I had received a lot of complaints about them, because according to several posters "Christian topics don't belong on a Hunting forum." In spite of that I was glad I posted this topic particular topic because it was "hit" 255 times in two days. One of the reasons I liked it was because it forced me to examine the reasons why I believe Satan and evil are real. I think you will find the following excerpts from the forum interesting.

One responder wrote:

I believe that the devil is very real for some folks. I believe that the idea of Satan, Lucifer, The Devil, etc., is strictly relevant to one's level of commitment to their faith. As that level rises and eventually becomes fundamentalist ideology, the idea of evil personified corrupts the very tenets of our faiths, which are compassion and tolerance. Compassion and tolerance for all faiths is paramount to the survival of any one culture.

Jews, Muslims and Christians all share the same God...yet we have numerous fundamentalist quacks which insist on sending their brother man to hell. Bin Laden, a fundamentalist Muslim believes that American Christians are infidels and crusaders. So you can easily see that the Dark Ages are alive and well in a good portion of the world. But when we get so enamored with the notion that the Devil actually exists, we lose all sight of the true meaning of God and stray towards an endless pursuit of emptiness. The belief in the Devil absolves us of all personal accountability and responsibility...that's why you can't use the defense up in front of a jury..."the devil made me do it". To dismiss criminal behavior and actions as simple possession of one's soul is inexcusable.

I don't believe in evil but rather greed. I believe that greed is a part of human nature. I believe that there are those who want for material things, for power, for simple pleasure ... and they exploit others to meet that end. We label that pursuit as being evil and the work of the devil, but again, it dismisses our conscious responsibility to our fellow man, which is compassion and tolerance. Compassion and tolerance are the only things we have to counter greed.

I'd also like to add that we are at a very trying time for all faiths. Due to rapid technological and scientific advancements over the past 100 years, it seems that our heads are at war with our hearts. As Darwinism collides with Theism, we struggle to make sense of the aftermath ... and what we don't understand; we associate with what we know. Many people feel they know the devil and thus the connection is made.

I responded with:

I think if you polled many Christians you WOULD find that the Born Agains, Charismatics, Pentecostals and Fundamentalists believe more strongly than others that Satan and evil are real. But, I have found that it is because they have a more complete understanding of the Bible, and a stronger faith in it as the inspired word of God.

I've found in others, and in myself, that a deeper understanding of the Bible, and a belief that evil and Satan are real, has not corrupted their or my faith, so that they or I put the blame for personal bad behavior on evil or the Devil, but rather on themselves or myself. In other words, they and I are more aware of what they/I do wrong, how they/I MAY be influenced by Satan, devils, evil spirits, evil etc., but that ultimately it is our/my decision to act badly or not, and the blame when they/I do lies squarely on them/me. It is the awareness of this that makes us more compassionate, tolerant and caring. And that is the mark of a true "getting there" Christian.

I can tell you that my personal understanding that Satan and evil are real has led me to a greater reliance on God (which is what He wants), a deeper understanding of God and Christianity, made me a far better, more loving, more compassionate, understanding, tolerant person. And I am not empty. My life is full with loving and serving God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit, and my family, my friends, my fellow Christians and non-Christians. I hope you can look at what I am and do here and see what Christians TRY to be and do. If you find that I am a caring person, who helps others, then realize that I was not like this before I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and I would not be like this except for the grace of God.

The question arises, how many "born again" Christians do you know and regularly associate with? From your lump assessment I would guess that either you know and associate with very few, or you know Christians who don't truly understand what it means to be a Christian. I've read the writings of several "Christians" here who don't act like Christians, or write like Christians, yet. I say this because they either aren't Christians in the true sense of the word, or because they are a work in progress.

While it may be true that Jews, Christians and Muslims supposedly have the same God; they do not adhere to the same tenets, which means they vary widely in their belief and actions. Neither Jews nor Muslims believe Jesus is God, therefore, they do not have/believe in the same triune God that Christians have/believe in. Which means they don't take/understand the New Testament as a history and the teachings of God on earth. So, there is a big difference between Jews and Christians. Since the Moslems believe Mohammed was a prophet, which neither the Jews or Christians accept, it moves them farther from the views/beliefs of the Jews and Christians.

If you add the word MIGHT to your assessment that fundamentalism leads to corruption of belief in our respective religions I could agree with you. But, the fact is fundamentalism doesn't always lead to corruption, or to intolerance. It may lead to differing beliefs and interpretations. And sometimes it does lead to corruption, which is exactly where the believers of many religions and faiths have ended up.

Although Bin Laden and his followers are a prime example of what fundamentalism can lead to, it doesn't mean all fundamentalists in all religions or in all faiths can/do end up acting the same way. Since Bin Laden is an extreme example, from only one small sect of Islam, we shouldn't judge all Muslims by his actions, nor should we judge all Christians and Jews by their actions. Neither should we equate them to each other.

As much as I don't understand the hatred of some fundamentalist Muslims for Christians (as well as other sects within Islam) I don't understand the hatred between the Protestants and Catholics in northern Ireland; nor the hatred between the ethnic and different religious groups of Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia; nor the ethnic cleansing between different tribes in Africa.

I say I don't understand it, but I know what causes it. It is Satan's influence on mankind, but ultimately it is mankind's choice to act with hatred and violence, and those humans responsible should be held accountable. For them I have no tolerance.

When I see a concerted effort to annihilate a group of ethnically or religiously related people, by other ethnic or religious groups, I know it is evil, and I believe Satan prompts it. Why? Because the Bible says it Satan's mission to lead humans astray and create chaos on earth until Jesus comes to take control.

How else can you explain the almost continuous effort by several different ethnic and religious groups to repress and annihilate the Hebrew/Israelite/Jewish people? Those involved include the Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Medes-Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Turks, the Nazi-Germans, the Arabs, the different religions of those areas before Christianity, and now the Muslims. No other people have had this amount of problems, by so many different groups, for so long. And it isn't because they started it, are bad people or because they deserve it. They are good people, who just want a land of their own (one they believe God gave them to use), and they only want to be left alone.

In my search for truth I can find no other explanation than the fact that they are God's chosen people, and something or some group of entities/people doesn't like it. Therefore some force in opposition to Gods' will is acting. Since that force has continued for almost 4,000 years, on one group of people, by several different ethnic groups, by several different religious groups, over such a long time frame, that force must be very powerful and long-lived. I call it evil, and it is propagated by Satan.

(I guess I waited long enough to speak my piece.)

I want to thank you guys. Without your views and thoughts I couldn't have dug deep enough into my soul to write that. Your views, thoughts, questions and answers only make me stronger in my faith. You may have been an instrument of God, to help me search my beliefs and marshal my thoughts. And I don't feel defensive, or antagonistic toward anyone. I feel great. Thank you Holy Spirit for your help. Sorry Satan. You may be alive and well, but your loosing ground, and you lost this round, with me anyway.

(This continues with another long discussion.)  

Another poster (who is a practicing Druid) wrote:

No, he is not real (or at least that is what I believe). The Christian's are the ones that invented Satan, There were lots of religions kicking around when the Christians came rolling in and they needed power to spread there beliefs. The devil, Hell, Satan, etc. ... was invented to get people's attention and it worked. If you can not force people into believing something then the next best thing is scare them into believing it. I am not a Christian, but I also don't deny that there could have been Jesus. I also am not knocking Christians, but you asked and I gave my thoughts. One all mighty power, One God, how could there be another God that controls evil?

I responded with:

After researching the Bible the only conclusion I could come up with is the Bible is remarkably sound, which adds credibility to it's divine inspiration. I can't find another explanation. And you know I have an analytical mind, and I am somewhat of a skeptic, until it is proven to me. Heck, that's why I began my Bible research.

That being said, it wasn't the Christians who invented Hell, the Devil or Satan. That stuff is all mentioned in the Old Testament. So those ideas are Israelite beliefs, from centuries before Jesus was born. And the ideas probably came from other Middle East cultures, like the Chaldeans, Babylonians, Assyrians etc. We Christians can't take credit for them.

Being that Lucifer is mentioned as one of the fallen angels (and there are a lot of references to some of the inhabitants of the Mediterranean areas as being fallen angel/human hybrids), many Christians believe he is a real being. However, probably just as many Christians don't believe he is a real entity.

One Christian (who believes God "is changing", not always was and always is the same) responded with:

I believe that the devil is very real for some folks. I believe that the idea of Satan, Lucifer, The Devil, etc., is strictly relevant to one's level of commitment to their faith. As that level rises and eventually becomes fundamentalist ideology, the idea of evil personified corrupts the very tenets of our faiths, which are compassion and tolerance. Compassion and tolerance for all faiths is paramount to the survival of any one culture.

Jews, Muslims and Christians all share the same God ... yet we have numerous fundamentalist quacks which insist on sending their brother man to hell. Bin Laden, a fundamentalist Muslim believes that American Christians are infidels and crusaders. So you can easily see that the Dark Ages are alive and well in a good portion of the world. But when we get so enamored with the notion that the Devil actually exists, we lose all sight of the true meaning of God and stray towards an endless pursuit of emptiness. The belief in the Devil absolves us of all personal accountability and responsibility...that's why you can't use the defense up in front of a jury ... "the devil made me do it." To dismiss criminal behavior and actions as simple possession of one's soul is inexcusable.

I don't believe in evil but rather greed. I believe that greed is a part of human nature. I believe that there are those who want for material things, for power, for simple pleasure... and they exploit others to meet that end. We label that pursuit as being evil and the work of the devil, but again, it dismisses our conscious responsibility to our fellow man, which is compassion and tolerance. Compassion and tolerance are the only things we have to counter greed.

I'd also like to add that we are at a very trying time for all faiths. Due to rapid technological and scientific advancements over the past 100 years, it seems that our heads are at war with our hearts. As Darwinism collides with Theism, we struggle to make sense of the aftermath ... and what we don't understand we associate with what we know. Many people feel they know the devil and thus the connection is made.

The Druid wrote:

Satan was used to scare folks from that time period; it is still used somewhat even today. With the fear of Satan comes the fear of God also, no one wants to make God make mad, for FEAR that he won't except him or her, if that makes sense. I'm not saying whether we shouldn't or should fear God that is personal. All I'm saying is that fear was a tool of conversion back in the day. I do agree with your post, faith needs to come from within, but when a youngster is scared at an early age does the true faith ever come out?

Once again I ask how do you know Satan exists? When I look out my window or take a walk all I see is Gods work, I have never seen anything "evil" that could not be explained? Just some food for thought. I don't really like to use the word evil because as soon as it's used it brings up the thought of a hell with Satan as the Ruler. I believe there can be bad or mischievous spirits, but not evil.

One of the Christians wrote:

We have seen him (Satan) in wars as well as the taking of life like the World Trade Center disaster. This was the working of one evil man distorting his religion to make his wraith upon us. If he was not influenced by the devil, then why aren't the twin towers still standing today?

The "God is changing" Christian wrote:

Osama Bin Laden his is a man with a wire crossed, it has nothing to do with the devil. You believe strongly in your religious views, no matter how bad Osaka may be to us, he sees himself as performing his religious work. Humans created evil, do animals have a devil running around them, life is simple why add more fictitious characters then needed. There is only one God, to make a devil would be admitting to having another God, The evil God would have his world and then God would have this one. Now even Christians only believe in one God, correct? If humans create a Satan that a person will be with for eternity then wouldn't that make it 2 Gods? Now you say Satan is not a God fine but if a person is going to be with him/it for eternity with NO way out, then that leaves him as their God. Also if there is a devil then can God enter his world? From my understanding he can't or at least won't, that does not make sense, because if that were the case then God would be giving something that he does trust power.

I've been a BIG fan of the Dalai Lama for some time now. Buddhism is a fascinating way of life. Compassion and tolerance for your fellow man. We struggle and we stray because we lack something. It could be the basic necessities of life, or love and compassion, or some other simple thing. When we don't need or want, we are content. But when we do, we sometimes struggle and we stray from God's teachings, which is compassion. When we lose sight of compassion, we take advantage of those we are responsible for ... which is our fellow man. As I've stated before, and it's a direct tenet of Buddhism, the success of one culture is dependent upon the security, stability, and survival of ALL other cultures ... especially those different from our own. The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism all relate to suffering. With wisdom, we can ease the suffering and enjoy the oneness of God as a great community of his children.

Would anyone here characterize the Crusades as being the work of Satan?

I wrote:

Now there is a loaded question, especially when looked at in the light of the fact that I am a practicing Catholic. I'd never though about it until now. And I don't know enough about the reasons behind them, and the effects and results of them, to come to any kind of informed decision/comment. I'm not avoiding the question mind you; I just don't have the needed information. I'm betting that there were some atrocities committed, on both sides, in the name of God. Which leads me to the conclusion that since both sides were somewhat religious-oriented in nature, and fought over another religious-oriented part of the earth, not all of their religious fervor was a result of their respective religions, (which teach tolerance). Some of it was fueled by hate, greed, intolerance etc. which was fed by Satan. You have to believe that if God choose the Jews to be his special people, from whose race the Savior of mankind would and did come from, and then chose that land to give to them, that Satan has and will continue to either control them and it, or try to destroy them and the land. It's the age-old, "If I can't have it nobody can" behavior. Which, by the way, describes Satan to a T.

Which brings us to the prophecies of the Bible; Daniel, Ezekial and Revelations to name just a few. The fact that so many of the prophecies about Palestine/Israel have come true adds significantly to the credibility of the Bible. I mean come on you non-Bible believers, or Bible "pickers and choosers." Take a good look at that land. If it weren't for the religious history of the place, and the value of it to those who want their ancestral land back, not many people would want it. Take away that, and you couldn't give it to me, anymore than I would want a piece of Death Valley or the Red Desert. Something else is going on there. Could it be Satan?

Your question can be a two edged-sword, especially in light of the fact that I am also a "born again" hopefully "Holy Spirit Filled," "Charismatic" Christian. I do believe the Spanish Inquisition was influenced by Satan and carried out by those who choose to instigate it and go along with it. I also believe the "paying" of money or goods as a way of gaining indulgences for sins, which was offered by the Catholic clergy during the Middle Ages, was influenced by Satan, and carried out by the clergy. In both cases the humans are and should be accountable for their sins. It is their fault.

The same can be said about all the child abuse and molestation within the Catholic Church in recent years. Talk about a great way to discredit the largest denomination of Christians in the world. Nobody ever said Satan wasn't clever. He's doing a good job of tearing down the Catholic Church, in both the eyes of Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

As opposed to many within the church, I say the priests who abuse children are personally responsible, and should be held personally responsible. Both those priests responsible and the clergical hierarchy who knew, condoned or hid the abuse, along with the Catholic Church itself, should be held criminally and civilly responsible. Again, I have no tolerance for this. I'm not pawning the whole thing off on Satan. This is from a third generation American Catholic of German decent, whose family has been known as staunch Catholics.
Would anyone here characterize the plight of the Israelites/Hebrews/Jews, as far back as history accounts for, as anything other than evil, as instigated by Satan, and carried out by much of mankind?

If any of my German relatives, who may have been practicing Catholics, participated in the atrocities on the Jews, have not repented, or have refused to repent, I say they either need to, or God will exact his retribution on them. It is their fault.

The Druid wrote:

Has anyone here seen the workings of Satan or evil, what does it look like?

I responded with:

I have seen the workings of Satan. I have seen those who were supposedly possessed by a devil writhe in pain when they were touched by those around them praying that the devil would leave their body. I've seen them spit up black juice, I've heard them curse God uncontrollably, and I've heard them speak languages they had no knowledge of. When one of these people was asked who was speaking to us, the answer was Beelzubal. I heard it clear as day, because I was no more than a foot away from the lady as she lay writhing on the floor, while I laid hands on her and prayed. She is not the only one. These people were some of the meekest, kindest people you could ever meet. Often they were cursed with depression, physical ailments or had thoughts of suicide.

There is no doubt about the existence of evil and devils or demons when you experience this as many times as I have over the last 20+ years. I'm not trying to con you, nor am I making up stories.

From me to anyone reading this, evil exists, and Satan is real. Trust my word on this more than on anything I have ever written or said. This is for real, and it is dangerous.

I eventually wrote:

I knew this would be a thought provoking subject, and a hot topic. And while that may have been MY reason for posting it (mentally speaking) it probably wasn't the reason my soul wanted me to ask the question. My soul being the part of me that is in touch with God, even when I'm not consciously aware of it. It is the probably the part of me that actually knows right from wrong, good from evil, and is the part of all humans that makes them (I believe) different from the animals, plants and all other living things.

I know there are a lot of "church-going," "God and Bible believing," possibly even "Jesus died on the cross for my sins believing" Christians who have read about or heard about evil/devils/Satan. But many of them have never been aware of it in their lives, or who don't believe Satan is a real entity who is alive and well on planet earth, because we can't (yet) see him in a physical form. It is my hope that some of those who read this topic (as well as all my other Christian-related topics), will become more curious, and study the Bible more diligently, so that they become more spiritually aware (in the Christian sense) of how God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit can and do affect our lives, if we are open to them and allow them act in our lives.

Then hopefully they (like those of us who have already delved deep into the Bible and become more spiritually aware) will realize that evil, and Satan and his minions are real, and that Satan is struggling with humans, their bodies and their minds, for control of human souls. Far too many people are unaware of this fact.

Why do I personally believe Satan is real? Just as some of those who have posted here believe God is real (even though they don't believe evil and Satan are real) I believe Satan is real. I base that belief on the same information/source that causes me to believe in God and the Holy Bible. If your belief that God is real is based (in any part) on the Bible, then there is good reason to also believe that evil and Satan are real. There are hundreds of references (I got tired of counting) to evil in the Bible. I found 109 references to devil or devils in the Bible, and 59 references to Satan's or Satan. And, as has already been mentioned by one of the other posters, Satan is only one of several names given to the leader of the fallen angels. So, how can you not believe evil and Satan are real?

The only way not to believe Evil and Satan are real (if you believe the Bible is the inspired word of God) is to ignore the references to them in the Bible and/or CHOOSE not to believe they are real. And that is EXACTLY what the "Deceiver" wants. He wants humans to not believe in, or ignore, his existence; until he comes to deceive those who are not knowledgeable about his existence and power prior to Armageddon; when he will increase his efforts to conquer as many souls as possible, before he loses the battle against Jesus, in what is going to be a total and humiliating defeat.

Now, here is where the "faith" factor comes in. If you believe God is real; and if you believe God can and does talk to/inspire humans, such that He did inspire humans to write down thoughts they themselves received from God, or ideas they received from others in the same manner, and that those thoughts eventually became the Bible; and if your belief is based in any part on the Bible; then you have to believe evil, devils and Satan are real.

If you belief in Jesus on faith, and believe the Bible is the inspired word of God, based on your faith, then you should accept the whole package. You don't get to pick and choose. Either you have faith enough to believe the whole thing or you don't. Unfortunately, many humans don't have enough faith to accept the whole package; they want to pick and choose. And picking and choosing what you do and don't believe of the Bible is, again, exactly what Satan wants; in fact, picking and choosing from the Bible could be defined as the workings of evil, as caused by Satan.

As a researcher I'm certainly not saying that you shouldn't put the Bible to the test, to see if it holds up, because you should put it to the test. For many of us, it is only after we put it to the test that we begin to really understand it, believe in it, become spiritually aware enough to realize that evil and Satan are real, and learn how to combat evil and Stan.

And those of us who are spiritually aware will need to know how to combat Satan: 1. because we are called on to help those around us (who don't believe evil and Satan are real) to combat evil and Satan. 2. because we are the ones Satan won't try to deceive (because he knows we are unlikely to be deceived). Instead he will attack us head-on, using our bodies and our minds, possibly even our souls, against our very being.

To those who don't believe Satan or evil is real:

If you put any credence in the Bible as the inspired word of God, I suggest you read the Bible, study it, test it, and reference it against the beliefs of older civilizations, beliefs and religions. I hope you will come to the conclusion that God is real; that the purpose of Jesus' life, death and resurrection was to expiate your sins so you can live with God in Heaven after your death; that evil, devils and Satan are real and they want to either deceive you, or make a bargain with you, so that you join them, because they are foolish enough and prideful enough to think they are equal to God, who created them.

If you are searching for answers, I hope you find the truth of your existence. I believe it is to find and accept Christianity. If you are not a believing Christian (even if you are), ask yourself this, "Is it possible I have been deceived, by evil or Satan? If so, what are the consequences."

Fortunately I believe that those of you who have posted here are intelligent enough to see the possibilities, and I believe that if you truly want to know the truth, it will lead you to Jesus. I know that is what God wants. If I am truly a Christian, it is what I want too.

I've made some new friends here, and I've gotten to know some of the regulars better. I want all of you to go to Heaven. I won't try to convert anyone, and I won't judge anyone. But, that doesn't mean I don't care about you.

To that end I will pray that everyone who reads this will come to know and accept Jesus as his or her Lord and Savior. I want to see every one of you in Heaven. Who knows, maybe we can ride up the mountain together for an elk hunt.


May God bless and touch every person who reads this,

T.R.

A Born Again, Spirit Filled, Charismatic Christian

Because I profess to be a Christian who is also a Catholic, and Born Again, Spirit Filled and Charismatic, I have had several people, including Christians, ask me what being a "Born Again Christian" or "Spirit Filled Christian" is. Being "Born Again" occurs when a person accepts Jesus Christ as God, and their personal Lord and Savior; along with that they believe that Jesus died on the cross so that all mankind could be forgiven for their sins (provided they believe in God and Jesus), they believe God raised Jesus from the dead, they believe it in their heart, and they actually say it.

Many "Born Again" Christians attribute the "Born Again" experience to accepting Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, and asking to or having the Holy Spirit manifest Himself in their life. Sometimes the person is prayed over by others, sometimes they accept Jesus quietly, on their own. When people are "prayed over" some of them feel extreme peace, relief, love or other emotion. Some people cry tears of joy while they are being prayed over. Some people have a feeling of physical warmth, tingling, or electricity going through their body. These feelings and reactions are attributed to the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit."

The presence of the Holy Spirit often manifests itself through the "Gifts of the Spirit" (Charisms), particularly the "Gift of Tongues" (1 Cor. 14: 2-4, 22) giving the person the ability to praise God in "tongues," often an unintelligible sound or language. Sometimes these "tongues" are in fact known languages, although the person has no previous knowledge of the language. Other "Gifts of the Holy Spirit" include Prophecy, Wisdom, Knowledge, Faith, Healing, Miracles, Interpretation of Tongues, and Discernment of Spirits. The expression of these gifts is referred to as being "Charismatic" or "Pentecostal".

The "Born Again" experience is often the beginning of a change in the individuals life; a commitment to God; a release from drugs, alcohol or other problems. It often leads the person to profess their faith and belief, gives them a strong desire to share their belief, and gives them a desire to bring others to Christ. With that in mind let's look at what the Bible says about being Saved, Born Again, Spirit Filled, and Charismatic.

What Do You Have To Do To Be Saved?

Jn. 3:5 Jesus himself said, "I tell you in truth, no man can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born again of water and the Spirit." Before you can enter heaven you must be born again of water, and of the Holy Spirit.

Rm. 10: 9 "For if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord, and you believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." It is very clear that, in order to be saved, you must not only be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, you must also be able to say that "Jesus Is Lord" and believe that God raised him from the dead.

How Can You Be Born Again?

Mk. 1:10 "And at once, as he (Christ) was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit, like a dove, descending on him." Jesus was the first man to receive the Holy Spirit. He received it when John baptized him.

Acts 2:33 "Exalted to the right hand of God, He (Christ) has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, and has poured out what you now see." Jesus pours out the Holy Spirit on us, and fills us.

Acts 19:2-3 In this verse Paul asks the Ephesians, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? They answered, "No we have not even been told there is a Holy Spirit." So Paul asked. "Then what baptism did you receive? "John's baptism, they replied." John's baptism was a baptism of water, which is a forgiveness of sins.

Acts 19:4 -6 In this verse it states, "Johns baptism was a baptism of repentance; but he insisted that the people believe in the one coming after him - namely Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, and the moment Paul had laid hands on them the Holy Spirit came down on them, and they began to speak with tongues and to prophesy."

Acts 2:4 - 5 "When the day of Pentecost came they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit enabled them." When you accept Christ as your Lord and savior, you receive the Holy Spirit, and you are born again.

What Does It Mean To Be Born Again?

1 Pt. 1:23 "For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring words of God." You are born again, and become imperishable, to live forever, through God's living and enduring word, and your faith in Jesus.

How Do You Know If You Are Filled With The Holy Spirit?

1 Cor. 12, 3. "... no one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit." If you can say, "Jesus is Lord" and sincerely mean it, you have done so by the power of the Holy Spirit, and therefore you have been baptized in (filled with) the Holy Spirit. If you can say that, and you believe it in your heart, you have also received the spiritual "Gift of Faith" because the only way you can say Jesus is Lord, and believe it, is because the Holy Spirit has given you faith. You can't physically prove God is real, or prove Jesus died on the cross for your sins, you just believe it, without question, because of the free "Gift of Faith" given to you by the grace of God.

What Happens To You After You Receive The Holy Spirit?

Tt. 3, 4 - 5 "But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life." When you are baptized in the Holy Spirit you are reborn and renewed. You are also justified by God's grace, so that you become and heir of God, and have the hope of eternal life.

 Acts 19, 6 "When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them and they spoke in tongues and prophesied." The gift of tongues is often the first charism (spiritual gift) to manifest itself after a person has received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is a tangible sign that the person has been filled with the Holy Spirit. Before you can outpour with the "Gifts of the Spirit" you must be filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus was able to outpour his "Gifts" only after he received the Holy Spirit.

What is Charismatic?

1 Cor. 12, 7-11 "Now to each one the manifestation of the Sprit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different tongues, and to still another the interpretations of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines." When a person is charismatic in the spiritual sense, they are able to use the gifts that the Holy Spirit has bestowed on them. These gifts are wisdom (good judgement, good counsel), knowledge (knowing things you wouldn't normally know), faith (believing strongly in God and what He is able to do in our lives), miracles (the ability to perform God related supernatural acts), prophecy (speaking about the future of people or events with the knowledge of God), discernment (being able to distinguish between God and evil spirits), speaking in tongues (spoken words of wisdom, knowledge or prophecy in a language unknown to the speaker) and interpretation of tongues (the ability to understand another person's unknown tongue).

Mk. 16, 17 "And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will place their hands on sick people and they will get well." It does not say that God will do these things (use the Charismatic gifts), but rather that those who believe in God will do these things. But, we do them through our belief in God, and by the power of the Holy Spirit.

A Child Of God

Mt. 18, 3 "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." The best way to believe in God is to be as humble and trustworthy as a child is. Children will do almost anything to learn, and they often accept what they have been told without question

Mt. 3, 6 "Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in thee Jordan River." When you accept Jesus as your Savior, you should confess your sins, ask forgiveness for them , and ask to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Once you believe in, and proclaim, that Jesus Is Lord; and believe in your heart that Christ died on the cross for your sins; you receive the same baptism as Jesus, the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit" and you are "Born Again" and "Saved." When you accept Christ as your Lord and savior you will receive God's grace; which will give you the trust, patience and love of God that will make your entire life peaceful, and a joy to God and those around you.

To read what the Catholic Church has to say about the Charismatic movement go to this link: http://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/charismatic_renewal.htm. It is very enlightening.

 

Are You Predestined to go to Heaven?

One of the members of one of the Internet forums I write for wanted to know what predestination was. Then he wanted to know if miracles could be considered a form of predestination, or if life saving miracles were just luck. And he wanted to know if some people were predestined to "do" particular things in life, or if they were predestined to "be" something different or special while they were alive.

I responded with this:

You are using the word predestination without a complete understanding of its Biblical use. You also use it in reference to miracles, when in fact it MAY not apply. Miracles are God's intervention in your life, whether you have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior or not. Miracles often cause a person to accept (or at least realize) there is more to life than the natural or coincidental.

Look at Romans 8:29-30, which talks about predestination. It states, "For Whom (or those whom) He foreknew he also predestined." Most Biblical scholars take that to mean that "God knew about some people beforehand, and He may have had plans for them to accept Him (God), and accept Jesus as God, Lord and Savior. Some (but not all) people were predestined to be believers, and to be saved.

The support for this can be found in the called, the elect and the chosen. Some people were chosen beforehand by God. Some heard the word and were called to follow God. Some were elected by God's grace (as in the Hebrews, Israelites and Jews) Ro. 11:5, 1 Pt. 1:2, Is. 45:4. I believe a person can be all of these, or anyone of them.

The instances of luck in your life should be looked at as the divine intervention of God, and you should thank Him for them, not luck or coincidence. Those incidences or co-incidences may be a wake up call, as in you asking these questions, possibly re-thinking you choice of the word/or belief in "luck" and how God can act in you life. Obviously you need to re-think it, because when you have God in you life, there is no luck.

As to predestination: some people are predestined, and their walk in Christianity (at least in the end) is already set. Others are called, but they may not respond. We can all use our free will to get off the path from time to time, in which case God may intervene, or allow trials and tribulations to occur, to see if we don't choose the right path again.

What many of us who have been made aware of real truth of Jesus have, is the ability to do what we want with the information we have. We can follow God, Jesus and the Bible; follow or own instincts and desires, for worldly things, and possibly be tempted by Satan; or follow Satan unwittingly, or in outright rejection or rebellion of God.

Let's look at the idea of predestination from some instances in the Bible. Enoch (the patriarch of Genesis, and interestingly the 7th generation from Adam) was predestined. As a result of God "knowing" Enoch beforehand he walked with God he/was raptured instead of dying, because he strongly believed in Yahweh. That could have been the end of it, but look what happened to his son Methuselah, who lived 969 years (the longest lived human of all). Then, realize that it was prophesied during Enoch's father's (Jared) time, that when Methuselah died, a great tragedy would occur; which it did, the flood occurred the very year of Methuselah's death.

Now lets say that Jared, Enoch and Methuselah were strong believers in Yahweh, and passed the belief down to their sons, by fatherly example. Methuselah's grandson was Noah, who's sons survived the flood; each in his own way contributed something to his family/generation; maybe it was only prophecies, but also a strong love of God..

This love of God continued down through the generations (6 of them) to Noah's sons; or at least that far. In fact, it is the line of Shem (Noah's son) from whom Jesus came. And we know that a savior came from a direct line from Adam. And it is the line of Shem that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob come from, and which the Israelites, and the tribe of Judah, and the current Jews come from.

Predestination for some may go as far back as Judah, or Abraham (21st generation from Adam), or Eber (the 14th generation, and whose name the word Hebrew is taken from, and during whose time the world was split after the fall of Bablyon), or Methuselah (7th generation) or Adam. See a recurring theme here?

Some of us are predestined to do great things in our lives, some of us are predestined to have our children do great things in their lives, or have momentous things occur during their lives. But, we are all called to pass on our love of God, and belief in Christianity, and set good examples as parents.

(The following comes to me through my gift of wisdom, it is inspiration from God. I am not intelligent enough to write it, and it amazes me what comes into my thoughts at times like this. Praise God. Thank you Jesus and Holy Spirit.)

1 Cor. 12:12-31 speaks directly to the question about how we all fit into the "body of Christ". Verse 29 rhetorically states, "Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?" Verse 31 states, "But earnestly desire the best gifts..."
This is talking not only of the spiritual "gifts" of the Holy Spirit, but also the "works" of the Holy Spirit. We all have different gifts and works to perform, and "Christ's body" needs all of us and our gifts to be complete.

Some of us are called to be leaders, some teachers, some to use the spiritual gift or knowledge, some to use the spiritual gift of prophecy, and some to use several different gifts. We, as Christians, are all useful and needed in the Christian body of "the church". God has something for all of us to do, as long as we are willing to step out in our spiritual "gift of faith" and profess to all we meet, that Jesus is our Lord. That is our responsibility as Christians. Once we do that we will start to accomplish what God wants to use us for.

(end of inspired thoughts)

I was reading a couple of different definitions of predestination the other day, and a couple of essays on the subject. One of them suggested that the Middle Age Christian Bible scholars thought that anyone who eventually ended up in heaven was predestined.

This line of thinking makes a lot of sense theologically. If God is the Alpha and the Omega; then it means God is omnipotent, all knowing; he knows everything, past, present and future.

If some of us are chosen or elected, to end up at some particular point in our lives (or as the Hebrews were chosen, as the people from whom the Messiah would come, and to whom the land of Palestine would be given to "occupy" until the Messiah comes back to claim it as his [God's] own land, and from which he would rule earth/the universe); then some of us, maybe even families, tribes, races or nations are destined to "do" certain things, or end up in Heaven or Hell.

If God gave us free will, then we have the ability to choose which paths we choose to follow at particular points in our lives. And there may be numerous decisions and paths all at the same time, and numerous decisions and paths throughout our lives. Since we humans have the ability to choose, those of us who know God, can choose to passively (blindly) follow God, without thinking about it, or by accepting what we were (or are) taught about God and Christianity. We can also choose to actively follow God, by studying and discussing His word (the Bible), by seeking and learning the truth, so we can live a good Christian style life; by loving, honoring, praising, worshipping and serving God, and by helping others, setting good examples, going to church, spreading the "good news" etc. Or we can also/in addition to surrender ourselves to God, by asking Him to take control of our lives, which many of us do by accepting Jesus as God and our personal Lord and Savior when we are "born again" through the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit"; as a result of which we often have a deeper relationship with God, and may be led to try to lead others to Christ.

We can choose to do things the way "we" want to do them, for human gain (such as get material goods, human pleasure, money, power, fame etc.), while still adhering to all, most, or some, of our Christian beliefs. We can also choose to passively (or through ignorance) follow Satan, by not setting people straight about the truth of Christianity, and not complaining about, or worse yet by accepting the continuing erosion of, the true definition of a Christian (as in the Nicene Creed); and by not complaining about, or worse yet by accepting the moral corruption around us, in our families, in our neighbors, in our cites, in our states, in our government, in other governments, all over the world, in all humanity. Or we can actively choose to follow Satan, by accepting him as our leader and worshipping him instead of the one true God Yahweh, who we know to consist of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, all being one God, in the triune Godhead of the Holy Trinity.

Taking all of this into consideration, some theologians came to understand that God "foreknew" that some humans would end up believing in Him (Yahweh); accept Jesus as God, Lord and Savior; would serve God; and would eventually, no matter which paths they chose (with the exception of those who actively chose to follow Satan until their death), would be saved and end up in Heaven.
So, all those who eventually end up in heaven ARE predestined. Because, even though we have free will, God, being all knowing, knew beforehand exactly which of us would accept Yahweh; accept Jesus as God, Lord and Savior; and would end up in Heaven. And He knew which of us would end up in Hell.

What we humans are here, alive, on earth for, is to find out how well we perform during our time (this test) on earth. And we will be judged accordingly. We determine, by our actions on earth, how we will be judged by God.

 

Non-Biblical Anti-Hunting

The attack on hunting and hunters doesn't seem to be letting up. In fact it is getting more intense, and anti-hunters are using more varied reasons to oppose hunting. The most often used reasons against hunting are; guns are dangerous, hunting is detrimental to the animal population, and hunting is morally wrong. These reasons are often used in attacks that are open and aimed at hunting in general.

Recently there was a personal attack on a hunter, brought to my attention by Larry Huffman owner of the Legendary Whitetails display containing the racks of the Jordan, Breen and other whitetail bucks. The anonymous sender of a FAX, sent to the hunter said that his son had been playing at the hunter's house, and had seen the hunter's trophy mounts. The sender stated that the hunter must be sick to shoot God's animals and display them on the wall, and proceeded to say that if the hunter didn't get rid of the mounts he (the sender) wouldn't let his son play with the hunter's son anymore.

When Larry received a copy of the FAX he felt compelled to reach out to his friend. He had a copy of a newsletter I wrote for just this purpose, reflecting the use of "God's creatures" by man, taken from the Bible. So, he sent my newsletter and the following note.

(This is a portion of the newsletter sent by Larry to his friend.)

Man was a hunter/gatherer before he was a farmer or tender of livestock. In early cultures hunting was an accepted lifestyle and was actually revered. God gave man dominion over the animals (Genesis 1:26) to do with as he pleased, which included the responsibility to manage the animals properly. God gave animals to humans as food (Genesis 9:3). Hunters need feel no shame for what they do.

(Larry wrote this letter to his friend.)

Dear -----,
I know, and you know, that it is impossible to educate an anti-hunter. Mr. T.R. Michels' words should be shared with these fanatics. The word of God is on our side.
I don't mean to sound like a preacher but I just had to pass this message on after reading the letter. Hope I have been of some help.
Sincerely,
Larry L. Huffman

When anti-hunters present their views openly I respect them for their views and their courage, even if I don't agree with them. When a group of anti's or an individual express their views anonymously, condemning hunting, hunters, and calling them names, I don't have much respect for them. It takes very little courage to send a FAX, and even less courage to send it anonymously. When the attacker brings children into the argument I have no respect for them at all. I can only pray for them

The attitude of "I won't let my child play with your child," is a way of saying "If I can't hurt you directly, I will hurt you through your child." In this case it is the adult, not the child, who is acting with less than mature behavior. This is a form of blackmail, to try to get someone to conform to his or her views. If the adult doesn't give in, their child suffers by not being able to associate with their friend. What better way to hurt a parent than through their child?

Hunters and the hunting community have cited many reasons why we hunt, two of which are:

1. Man is instinctively a predator (evidenced by eyes in the front of the head and the incisor teeth).

2. Hunting is a needed management tool.

In response to our reasons for hunting anti-hunters often base their reasoning on "Thou shalt not kill." taken from the Bible. This is a reason commonly used by anti-hunters that is not addressed or refuted by hunters. The Bible is the most widely published book in the world (and the basis for many cultures worldwide). Because anti-hunters base their reasons against hunting (which are not Biblically correct) on the Bible, hunters need to understand the correct Biblical philosophy of hunting and use it to refute, and correct, the incorrect reasoning of anti-hunters who use the Bible to support their views.

The best defense is a good offense, and a good offense is based on an understanding of the opposition, it's views, and tactics. In order for hunters and the hunting fraternity to defend against this anti-hunting view and logic they need to understand it and be knowledgeable about it's background. When the end result of a view is based on flawed reasoning, or misunderstanding of the source, the end result is flawed.

In this case the reasoning is not only flawed but it is wrong. When anti-hunters use "Thou shalt not kill," the Bible, or God, to prove their point, they are wrong, and hunters need to be able to show why. It probably won't change the anti-hunter's view, or educate them, but at least the hunters will be able to support hunting using the same source. Not only is hunting morally correct, it is mandated by God and the Bible as a responsibility of man.

God gave man dominion over the animals. That means we can do with them as we please, but it also implies that we have a responsibility to manage them properly. And we do that through habitat protection and improvement, predator control, and hunting.

Christian Witness

Because I openly talk about my Christian belief I have met many new friends over the last few years. Any of you who have called me about hunting, or hunting products, knows that sooner or later the subject of God comes up, and we end talking about how great the Lord is instead of hunting. In fact almost everyone who calls to talk to me personally about my hunting books turns out to be a Christian.

It started several years ago when Bruce Balmer was interested in my Goose Addict's Manual. He told me that he was the manufacturer of the Flapperz goose decoy wings, but was having problems with marketing. He was also a recovering alcoholic, trying to find a way to support his mother. He had attended AA and was searching for something more, so I shared my experiences and faith with him for the next hour. Another call came from Dr. Dick Riese in Iowa. He called to ask me how to hunt a nocturnal buck in a cornfield, ordered a book, and we ended up talking about Christ. (I told him to find another buck to hunt.) I mentioned that I was a "Born Again Christian" and Dick said he was too. I then related my personal testimony to him.

A couple of years later I went to Iowa to look at some whitetail hunting property with Darwin Linn of Pheasants Galore. Darwin leases several thousand acres with some of the best pheasant and bobwhite hunting in Iowa. Some of the property also has those big Iowa bucks we have all heard about, and he wanted to get my help on booking and guiding turkey and whitetail hunts. The couple at the host home where I stayed (Dick and Jean Barr) turned out to be Christians. We talked about deer for two hours the first night, then talked about the Lord for another two hours.

Since then I have talked to Al Lindner of In Fishermen, hunting writers Dwight Schuh, Larry Jones, Russell Thornberry and Charles Alsheimer, and Dan Hendricks of the North American Bowhunter television show. Each of them are Christians who have shared their faith with me. Charlie Alsheimer sent a letter that said, "My greatest joy in life is being able to share Christ." I also talked to Grant Woods, who is a deer researcher and is the innovator of the Deer Activity Index written about in Deer and Deer Hunting. He sent me a note saying, "May the Lord guide you in all aspects of your life." Each time I talk to one of these people, and we share our love of the Lord, it builds my faith.

It's been that way for several years. When I give seminars at the shows I usually mention that I am a Christian, and there is generally someone listening who is either a Christian, or who wants to know more about what being a Christian means.

That's what this is all about, witnessing about the Lord. The Bible says that if you confess with your lips that Jesus Christ is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Rm. 10, 9). So, to enter heaven you have to believe that God raised Christ from the dead, and not only accept Christ as your Lord and Savior, but confess it with your lips.

To confess means to profess; to talk about it. But, it doesn't do much good if the only people you talk to about Christ are your family and friends. As a Christian you have an obligation to spread the Good News and reach out, not only to other Christians, but to those who do not know the Lord, or have not accepted Him as their personal Lord and Savior. In other words, let people know you are a Christian, not only by your actions but also by telling them. You will be surprised at how many doors will open, giving you a chance to "witness" to others by sharing your faith and your testimony. There is no better way to build up both your own faith, and the faith of others, than by sharing your Christian beliefs. Every time I share my belief in Christ with others I come away with a "spiritual high." I even have friends who ask me to share my testimony with their friends just to see how "wound up" I get. I know they do it because they get the same high I do, even though they have heard my testimony several times.

I know that this is the reason God spared my life after I tried to commit suicide. He had something in mind for me; to tell others how He saved my life and my soul, and to help bring others to Him; to tell them Christ is my Lord and Savior, and tell them that He is in complete control of my life, and my business. Without Him I can do nothing.

It took me a long time to get to that point, turning my entire life over to Christ. But I have tried it so many times my own way and failed, or have not been satisfied with the results. I'm glad I finally learned to turn it all over to God. He is a much better manager of my problems than I ever was, or ever could be.

That's what each one of us should strive for, the ability to humble ourselves enough to say, "I can't do it on my own. Please help me, Lord." It's the times when we are the weakest, when things get so bad that we can't handle it, that we can turn to God for help. When we finally admit that we can't do it on our own, God will show us how strong He truly is. Many of us only turn to God when things are so bad we don't have the ability to handle it, or when we feel we can't handle it. But, when things are going well, we forget to rely on God, or to thank Him. We also forget to turn to God for help when little problems arise, because we are accustomed to handling them ourselves. But we don't have to.

Have you ever stopped to think that if He can handle the big problems how easy it would be for Him to handle the little ones; or how much easier it would be for us if we would only let Him guide our entire lives, our marriages, our children, our bills, our jobs, our business? Yes, I said it would make our lives easier. If you give everything to God and ask him to guide you, and show you the way, it can relieve you of all the worry and tension in your life. And if you don't have worry and tension, you can be much better Christian and witness to God.

If you believe that Christ died on the cross for you, and that God is your Father, you should not have to worry, because He is in control. But, you have to give Him control of every aspect of your life, and giving up control is hard to do. Most of us are programmed into believing that in order to feel good about ourselves we must succeed, and we must do it on our own. It has taken me over twenty years to have enough faith to give control of my life to God. But, once I did, He taught me to trust that He would take care of my needs. Don't get me wrong I still have to try, I still have to work, I still have to get ideas; but I trust Him to show me which path to take. When things got bad before I knew God, I would worry. I don't have that worry now, because I have learned to trust Him to get me through it.

Because I have learned to trust God, I have received the peace Christ promised he would give all of us through the Holy Spirit. This peace has allowed me to continue hoping, and to be able to love in times that would normally be stressful. This in turn allows me to be a better witness for Christ. And I know that that is the real reason I am here, to witness to the power and love of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And it is the reason you are here too.

This is my challenge to you, that you be a witness for Christ. You may feel foolish sometimes when you bring up the fact that you are a Christian, but do it anyhow. There was a time when I felt I was supposed to do something different at a prayer service, so I told myself, "I can't do that, I'll feel like a fool." And then I heard a voice in my mind, "Be a fool for Christ." So, I did, and I have been doing it ever since. And you know what? It feels great.

Why don't you be a Christian Witness? The rewards are fantastic; you will receive everlasting love and peace, and a place in Heaven with God.

Keep Your Spirit Up

Over the years I've learned that it's hard to keep my spirit up if I don't receive reinforcement. Experience has shown me that two of the best ways to get Christian reinforcement are to stay in the Word and to have fellowship. By staying in the Word you stay in Christ, for Christ is the Word. (John 1:1-5, 14) If you don't renew yourself and your faith by reading and understanding the Bible you'll have a hard time practicing what it teaches. All of us need to read the Bible daily to start us off on the right foot.

You also need to talk to and listen to other Christians about your faith, and you need to discuss the Bible to keep your spirit up. Besides going to church on a regular basis you can join Promise Keepers, St. Joseph's Covenant Keepers, Christian Businessman's Fellowship, start a small group fellowship, attend a Billy Graham Crusade, start a Bible study, attend a prayer meeting or join one of the Christian outdoorsman's groups listed at the back of this book. These can all help keep you centered on Christ, and help get you through the week. I can's stress this enough, we all need reinforcement to keep our spirit up.

During mass one Sunday our priest talked about asking forgiveness for our sins. I though about that, and then told him after mass that since I gave my life to Christ I don't think I sin as much as I used to (I'm certainly not perfect, or even close), but, that I do ask forgiveness more, because I realize there are little things I do that I should change. But more than anything else I ask forgiveness for the things I don't do. I don't read the Bible enough, I don't pray enough, I don't thank God enough and I don't witness enough. I wonder if any of us do?

Not only has there been a lot of interest and activity in "New Age" movements like astrology and psychics (that will lead you down the wrong path), but also in God. On one of Billy Graham's TV crusades I saw Charlie Daniels singing a Christian song that he'd written, and then he announced that he had given his life to Christ. There have been a number of songs mentioning Christ, God, Mary, angels or faith on the country stations recently. I know it reaches me and hopefully it will reach others. Even as I write this, the song "What if Jesus comes back like that?" is playing on the radio. Hey, if cowboys, athletes and country singers can talk about God, so can hunters and fishermen.

Keep Your Spirit Up.

 

Be A Vocal Christian

Anyone who has talked with me for more that five minutes knows that one of the first things to come out of my mouth is, "I'm a born again Christian." Saying it is not a conscious thing I do, it just comes out. I think the Holy Spirit grabs hold of my mind and tongue and prompts me to say it. The good thing about it is that I have opened the door for a conversation about God, Christ and the Holy Spirit. I have never had anyone get mad at me for saying it, (that I know of). I have never even had anyone walk away. Sometimes my statement of faith leads to nothing; sometimes it leads to a new friend.

Because I am a hunting guide and outfitter, and because I research game animals, write, and give seminars for a living, the conversation usually gets around to hunting, if it doesn't start with God first. Most of the time it leads to a conversation about God, or I end up giving my personal testimony. With the last three people I met while I was hunting those very special words came out of my mouth, "I'm a born again Christian."

The first time it was with a father and his two sons. The boys were playing under the bridge on one of the properties I lease. I stopped to tell them to be careful because there was a mink trap on the bank by the river. Then I asked where they were from, and what they were doing. The father said he was looking for a place to hunt deer and predators. I told him that I was guiding deer and turkey hunts on the property, but if he wanted to hunt predators to please go ahead and do it. I would even show him the best places to go. Then the Holy Spirit prompted me to say I was a Christian, and the conversation was off and running. Two weeks later the man and his sons stopped at the house and we had a long talk about Christ, and I shared my personal testimony.

About a week later I was driving down the same road an eighth of a mile from where I met the man and his sons, when I noticed a man painting a scene of the river. I was planning to archery hunt deer that evening, and I was in a hurry. Although I was only going 30 miles an hour I must have been a hundred yards past the artist when I stopped the truck and backed up. I asked where he was from, and inquired about his painting. He said his name was Fred Sommers, he lived twenty miles away, and he stopped to paint the river because it looked so beautiful in the late afternoon light. Again I blurted out that I was a born again Christian. He said he was too, and another new friendship was born. Fred and I have become good friends. Several months later Fred gave me the name of a man with a Christian Ministry in the town where we now live, and we are now involved with that ministry. .

The third man I met was running his yellow lab on the property, so I stopped to talk. He said he had been looking for a place to hunt pheasants and the dog needed to get out of the truck. I told him I had leased the property but he could hunt the river bottom if he wanted to. We talked about hunting, he asked if I had heard about the possible new world record whitetail, and I mentioned that I was a Christian. The conversation drifted back to hunting and that was the last time I saw him. However, he knows who I am, what I do, and most importantly he knows what I am, a Christian.

I don't ever force feed God to people I meet, I let the Holy Spirit guide me. If they are open to a conversation about God I usually end up giving my testimony. If they aren't open, I talk about hunting. With the third man I may have planted a seed, I may have watered a seed someone else planted, or I may have put fertilizer on a plant that was already growing. But, I had done my part. I like to think of myself as a gardener, I nourish the plant. I don't consider myself a harvester; I'll let God take care of that.

Romans 10:9 states, "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." That's a very strong statement, one that all Christians should grab hold of, have faith in, and practice. This is the key to eternal life and happiness.

According to that verse you will be saved if you do two things: 1. You must believe in your heart that God raised Christ from the dead. If you are a Christian you already believe that. If you aren't a Christian, or you don't believe Christ died on the cross for your sins and was raised from the dead, but you do want to be saved, it's time to get with the program. 2. You must confess with your mouth that "Jesus is Lord." This is where many of us Christians, including myself, need a little work. We don't always confess that "Jesus is Lord."

Instead of the word "confess" the New Jerusalem Bible uses the word "declare." I think that's an excellent interpretation. Declare means to say it loud and clear; to make it known. If you want to be saved you need to declare that "Jesus is Lord." That doesn't mean just telling your family and friends, or the people you meet at church, meet at a Promise Keepers meeting, meet at a Billy Graham crusade or meet at any other Christian function. It means to tell it to the whole world. Tell every person you meet. Don't worry about where you are or what you are doing. Don't be timid, and don't be afraid. Believe that Jesus is Lord and that He left the Holy Spirit here on earth to continue His work. Trust that the Holy Spirit will give you the strength to say "Jesus is Lord" and will help you know when to keep talking about God, or when to declare your belief and leave it at that. In these troubled times; with lies, deceit, intolerance, hatred, genocide, wars and rumors of wars and all the other forms of evil we face, we all need to declare that "Jesus Is Lord."

He Came to Divide Us

I think part of the reason God shows all of us that his words in the Bible are true, is to build our faith in him, especially when we are having a hard time with life. But, I also think that part of the reason he shows me personally that his words are true, is so that I can write about what he shows me. That seems to be the case with the title of this article.

I've always had a hard time understanding the verses in Luke 12: 51-53, "Do you think I have come to establish peace on earth. I assure you, the contrary is true; I have come for division. From now on a household of five will be divided three against two and two against three: father will be split against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law."

How can it be that God, through his son Jesus, who brought us a message of love, understanding, forgiveness and hope of eternal salvation, came to divide families? I can believe that Jesus came to divide non-Christians against Christians; and as a result of that divide nations, cultures, ethnic groups, and even neighbors and friends; but, family members against family members?

I know that sometimes families argue about religion. I see it in my wife's family, some of them think there are a lot of things wrong with the Catholic Church, of which I am a devoted member. But, the arguments I see between family members are primarily about the differences in the doctrines of different Christian denominations, or the differences in personal beliefs. I can't say that I have ever personally seen a belief in Christianity divide a family, although I have seen it cause some worry and sadness. That is, I have never seen it until April 14, 2001, which was when my future son-in-law, 21 year old Greg Boehmer, was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic Church and received his first communion.

Greg had been going out with my daughter Melissa since she was 13, and he was pretty much part of the family. So, when Melissa announced that she and Greg were going to get married, it was no surprise. And It was no surprise when Melissa came to me and said, "Dad, I know I'm going to heaven, but I'm worried about Greg." I told her that the first thing they needed to do was decide which denomination they wanted to belong to. She informed me that she intended to remain a Catholic, and that Greg had agreed to become a Catholic. I told her that Greg should enroll in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) given at the Catholic church they attended, and that they would need to go through pre-marriage counseling if they were going to be married in the Catholic church. And that's what they did.

During the time that they were going through their classes I was asked to be the featured speaker at the 2000 wild game dinner at Celebration Church in Burnsville, Minnesota, where evangelist Lowell Lundstrom is head Pastor. Lowell was instrumental in leading fishing professionals and In Fisherman hosts Al and Ron Lindner to Christ. One of their cameramen was also speaking that night. When he was done I gave my talk on deer hunting, and then gave my personal testimony. Then Lowell gave his message on God's salvation and invited anyone who wanted to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior to raise their hand. When I saw Greg raise his hand, my heart began to pound and my knees went week. I was ecstatic. Not only had a personal acquaintance of mine accepted the Lord, he was going to be my son-in-law.

Because Greg and Melissa both lived 40 miles away, and because they both have full time jobs, I didn't see much of them for the next year while they were attending their classes. The next thing I knew it was time for Greg to be baptized and confirmed. So, the night before Easter of 2001, many of the family members gathered at the church. That's when I learned that Greg's father didn't participate in anything related to church matters, and had refused to attend his son's baptism and confirmation. And to support his father's wishes, his mother chose not to attend either. I was shocked. How could a mother and father not attend one of the most important celebrations in their child's life? And how would a child feel when their parents didn't support their decision to become a Christian?

Although I couldn't understand his parent's decision, or Greg's own feelings about his parent's refusal to attend his initiation into Christianity, I was extremely proud of him. Even though his father didn't support him, Greg had chosen to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior, and to be baptized and confirmed into the Christian faith. To put it in blunt terms, it took guts. I had never seen anything like it. That's when I recalled the words of Christ, "I have come for division." I don't think Greg's father had ill feelings toward his son, but he certainly didn't show support or respect for him on the most important day of his life; the day Greg formally proclaimed his belief in Jesus. I hope that, if the time ever comes when I have to stand up for my personal Christian beliefs, I have the strength that Greg did.

 

Another Daughter

I try to live by Romans 10:9, which states, "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." I try to tell every one I meet that I am a Christian, and I try to live like a Christian. If we, as Christians, don't try to do those things how can we expect to reach out to those who don't know Christ? And how can we expect to get through to them? If we are really trying to live as Christians we have to "Proclaim the good news." Every once in a while I get confirmation that, through me, God has touched someone's life, and gotten through to them.

Of all my children, my youngest daughter Tawnya (fifteen at this writing) is probably the most like me. She is confident in her beliefs about God, Christ and the Holy Spirit; and she is very outspoken about it. Several of Tawnya's friends come over to the house regularly, but the one who is here most often is Kayla. Kayla's parents are divorced; her father is an alcoholic who has remarried; her mother lives with a boyfriend. Kayla lives with her mother on weekdays, and stays with her father on weekends. When things get difficult at her father's house Kayla usually asks if she can come and stay with us, and of course we let her.

About six months after first coming over to the house to visit Tawnya, Kayla began calling me "Dad." I didn't think anything about it at first, because when I was young I called several of my friends mothers "Mom." Then one day I asked Kayla why she called me "Dad." She said, "Because you're the Dad I never had when I was little." (Kids can make you cry at the worst of times.) I told her, "That's one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me." Kayla is like a daughter to us, and we love her.

On December 22, 2001 Kayla called at 12:30 PM and asked if we could come and get her. So my wife Diane drove five miles to pick her up. While she was waiting for Diane and Tawnya, Kayla got on the computer and wrote a letter, which she read to us the next day. I think her letter clearly explains why I keep saying that as Christians we all need to confess with our mouth's that "Jesus is Lord."

Following is a copy of Kayla's letter to Tawnya.

Dear Tawny,
Over the past years you have been so good to me, even when we were upset with each other. But you know what? That just proves what kind of a friend you really are. And the little things you do show what kind of a person and friend you can be. Your personality and determination of religion can really inspire people. I know it has inspired me. And I hope that it continues to as the days go on.
I am truly grateful for what you and your family have done for me. You gave me a warm and caring home when I wanted to get away from my own. You gave me love and hope. You and your family gave me something to believe in when I thought that I had nothing left to believe in. And as I sit here and think of the important people in my life, you and your family come to mind. And I now know why. God has truly blessed me by being able to have more than one "family." I am so grateful that your family is the other family in my life.
I really don't know what kind of a person I would be without the love that I have from you and your family. And I don't know where I would be without you and your dad. You both have impacted me in a way that no one else could ever do. You were there (and still are) for me when I needed to "talk," when all I really did was cry. You were more than willing to stay up till all hours of the night just trying to get through to me, and help me through whatever I was going through. Your father (and mine now) gave me the love of a dad that I never had when I was little. He cared for me, and he still does. He's behind me all the way, and when I fall you and he are there to help me pick myself back up. And all I can say is THANK YOU.
What I am even more thankful for is that you and your family have helped me believe in God more than I EVER had in my life. And I do believe in Him with my whole heart! And I believe in you, your Dad, your Mom, Dallas and your grandma's. It was all of you who helped me see who I really was and what I was really doing with my life, and how to fix it. Even though I am still working out a few things, I am happy to say that all the advice that I have ever received from you has been helpful. Thanks a million, God Bless!
Love Always & Forever
Kayla Jean Amundson

 

Return of A Prodigal Son

I've received a lot of e-mail letters over the last few years, but none as exciting as the one I received on June 18, 2001. It was from an exhibitor I had talked to at the Ohio Deer and Turkey Expo. I had some time on my hands before the show opened so I stopped to talk one of the exhibitors, because I knew the owners of the company he worked for. He'd noticed that I was giving a seminar on whitetail hunting, mentioned that he had read some of my articles, and asked me a few questions. As usual, I mentioned that I was a "born again" Christian and talked about God and hunting. I think I talked to him a couple more times before the show was over. I didn't think much more about the show, or the man I had talked to, until I got his e-mail about three months later. Following is a copy of the e-mail letter I received.

 Hi TR,
I'm not sure you'll remember me, but I'm the regional sales manager for Antler King Trophy Products. We met at the Deer Expo in Columbus, Ohio this past spring. We talked a lot about deer hunting and some about faith. Right now I'm more interested in talking about faith.
I wanted to thank you for your openness and honesty in sharing your faith with me. I am sort of a "prodigal son" By that I mean when I was about 17 years old I asked Jesus into my life as my Savior. Then, for a variety of reasons, within a few months, I turned my back on Him. I can tell you that the next several years were a living hell. I began to find my way back to faith when I was about 20 years old. The problem was that I was still lost, though I felt I was on the right track again.
As the next 20 years went by I built a personal relationship with God but attended no church. I made prayer a daily part of my life and did my best to live by spiritual principles, but was reluctant to read the bible or get too specific about just what it was that I was praying to or believing in. As I'm sure you can imagine, this was not enough. My faith and efforts to live by spiritual principles definitely improved my life but did not fill me as I knew I could be filled. About a year ago I realized I needed more of the presence of God in my life. I began to pray for direction and guidance as to how to grow in my faith. The most wonderful things began to happen. I started seeing people who had a peace that I wanted for myself. People who were happy, positive, optimistic and loving. I began to meet people in all areas of my life that made their beliefs known to me and I felt drawn to them. I was still hesitant and uncertain and, to some extent skeptical, but as time has gone by I've become more and more certain that these were people who lived in a way that I wanted to live.
Meeting you in Columbus felt like a gift from God. Your faith is powerful and plainly evident. I can't tell you how many more strong believers I've met recently and a profound change is occurring in my life right now.
I now realize that the God I've been praying to and living for the past 20 years is same Lord I asked into my life back in my teenage years. Life is taking on an entirely new perspective. I have hope. I am less afraid of people. I look for opportunities to share my positive feelings with others. For the past couple months I've been reading the Bible every day upon waking. Sometimes it's just a few chapters, sometimes more. I meditate on the message and try to see how it applies in my world today. I was given a copy of the New International Version of the New Testament by a Baptist friend down in Alabama. Everywhere I turn I'm finding more friends in the Christian faith. Even the gym I exercise at provided a new Christian friend. In fact, he turns out to be the pastor of a local Baptist Church. I am visiting with him about joining that church.
When I was 17, I was "born again". Now I'm 40 and am "born again" again. When I met you I was hesitant to tell you about my spiritual life because I was ashamed of my abandonment of my Savior. I am now determined not to turn my back on my Savior again. I am tremendously grateful He welcomed me back and am sorry I was "gone" so long. So many people never get the chance to experience the peace of faith. I am deeply thankful that I've got two chances!
You played an important part in my return to faith and for that you'll always be much more than a fellow deer hunter to me. If our paths cross again I'll be grateful to see you ... if not, just remember you've helped a lost brother find his way back to the Lord's own hunting camp.
Your friend,
Craig Johnson
W12590 Charcoal Rd.
Hixton, WI 54635

After reading Craig's e-mail I wrote back and thanked him for sending it. Knowing that I had helped Craig find his way back to God helped me as much as I helped him. I've always said that I consider myself more of a farmer's helper than a farmer. I may plant the seed of faith, fertilize the seed of faith, or water the seed of faith, but I leave the harvesting up to God. By that I mean that I don't personally know that I have ever led anyone to Christ, I may have, but I don't know it. But, knowing that I helped bring Craig back to God really made my spirit soar. If you aren't currently a vocal Christian, telling others about your faith, why not give it a try. Only God knows who you'll reach, and the rewards are fantastic.

 

The Moment

One of the "members" of my "T.R.'s Tips" forum posted this:

T.R. I have read your posts and think they are amazing. I wanted to share my own "awakening" with you and others. Maybe people have also been in my shoes. If I could ask the question: When was THE DAY when you felt saved and turned your life around?

I guess with me, it was back around 1984 before I was married and had kids. I was in the Coast Guard by day but a horrible binge drinker by night. No, no, no, I wasn't a 100% raging alcoholic. There is a difference. I could stop and did stop. But, when payday came around, Woo-hoo buddy... I was in the bars getting trashed!

The lowest of the low came back when I was going out with Arlene (a nice girlfriend that I had at the time). It was a payday weekend, and it was a Saturday and I was still buzzed from the night before. I went to a buddy's birthday party and there was a keg of beer (we all lived off base in apartment complexes). All I remember is drinking beer and going back up to my apartment to get a bottle of Jack Daniel's. I returned to the party and made a bunch of boilermakers and got unbelievably drunk. I don't remember the rest, but, I remember leaving the party with my Jack Daniel's, and falling upstairs (how do you fall going UPSTAIRS?) and then passing out on my couch.

The phone rang sometime later and it was Arlene really mad because I was late picking her up. She could hear that I was drunk, but she was so mad she still wanted me to come over to her house. Yes, everyone, I actually got in my car and drove to her house and I was so drunk I couldn't see. Somehow by the grace of God, I made it safe and sound to her house (I drove on "autopilot" I guess). She saw how drunk I was and said for us to head back to my apartment. So we got in my car and she instantly started nagging and yelling at me for being drunk! Again, somehow by the grace of God, I didn't get us killed or kill anyone on the road, as I headed back to my apartment.

Then, THE MOMENT happened that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I couldn't take Arlene's nagging and complaining, and me trying not to kill us by driving drunk, so I pulled off the road into a small restaurant parking lot. I grew violent and flew into a rage. I lunged over at Arlene, grabbed her shirt with my right hand, and held up a very hard cocked left fist. I seethed at her, "Shut the $*#& up! You say one more word and I'll break your jaw!" I will see the look in Arlene's eyes for the rest of my life. She had the horror-stricken look that went into my soul. She pulled away and was screaming and crying and said, "Oh my God... You need help. You got problems. I'm sorry, but I'm outta here. I never want to see you ever again!" ... and she got out of the car and walked out of my life forever. I sped off and headed back to the apartment. Once I got back, I found the half-empty bottle of Jack Daniel's and decided to ease all my troubles, so I chugged the ENTIRE REST OF THE BOTTLE! My life was in ruins; I was drunk, and I just tried to beat up my girlfriend. I remember saying to myself; "There can't be a God, because if there were, He wouldn't let me live like this." and I passed out on my couch.

Hours and hours later, I woke up and something hit me where I remembered everything. I remembered what I did from the very beginning. I remembered what I almost did to Arlene. My world all came crashing down and I couldn't handle it, so I ended up laying on the couch and bawled like a baby. I became sick and rushed to the bathroom. That's when my new beginning was about to start.

I threw up over and over and lost body control and wet myself, my pants, the floor, etc. and sat there hollering and crying, "If there truly is a God, please help me! I don't want to do this any longer!". Now, I didn't hear a voice, I didn't see anything, but in my heart, I felt better and I stopped puking. Something in deep down that to this day, I can't explain, but something in my soul, told me, "Okay, you are now at a crucial moment in your life. There is a fork up ahead. Which road are you going to take? Are you still going to deny existence and take the road to drunkenness and sorrow, or are you going to acknowledge the presence of a God and clean yourself up?" Then, something in my heart said to me and made me realize, "I have always been there for you, but yet, you have denied my existence. Nobody could tell you anything because you were always too hardheaded to realize it. You had to find it out for yourself that I actually do exist! Remember, anytime you need me, look into your heart and spirit and I will be there to guide you."

Carter "Butch" Ammon, Richmond, VA

NY Bowhunter responded:

wow what a story Butch. I'm glad you God gave you the strength to pull you out of your situation and help lead you down the correct path. I'm also glad you were able to listen to him and have the faith in him to follow.

BadshotBob responded:

Butch, thanks for sharing that. That took a lot of guts to put out here. Thank God you reached out to him.

You know Butch, with the exception of a very few people, most people that have found God have been heading down a seriously destructive road. Nothing to be ashamed of, it's sin that consumes us and chains us to that path of destruction. Thank you Jesus you found a way off that path. I know that path. It's not fun.

I am thankful that my dad got saved after reading a book on the end times when I was 12. He took us to the closest church that preached salvation - a loud fire breathing Pentecostal Church of God. Coming from the United Methodist church, this was a culture shock to say the least. Up to that point in my life, I was always a good kid, just didn't know a thing about salvation. Knew of God, Jesus, Biblical stories, but not God. Heck, my dad even taught Sunday school back then.

The first time I walked into that little Church of God, that Sunday morning was an exceptional service. It was one of those services that the preacher never gets to preach because the Holy Spirit takes over the service. People were getting slain in the Spirit, Baptized in the Holy Spirit, tounges and interpretation of tongues, loud music, people shouting, screaming, yelling to Jesus thanking him, laughing, crying. It was nuts man. Let me tell you it was flat out insane. I LOVED IT!

I thought that was the coolest thing I'd ever experienced. I had no idea what I was feeling at the time, but I found out later that it was the undeniable overwhelming flood of the Spirit of God in me. I later gave my life to Jesus in that church. I got baptized in water and in the Spirit in that church. Since then, I've been saved at least 480 more times throughout the years and have been down some rough roads I'd rather not talk about (can you say, "A fool returns to his folly like a dog to vomit?" well it's true).
Anyway. Thanks for the post. This has made me realize more than ever the grace of God and it is never a bad thing to be reminded of our spiritual roots.

Bob O'Dea

Butch responded:

Thanks... I wrote from the heart and just let it fly. I was mainly inspired by T.R. Michels' posts after reading them. My family wasn't real hardcore, fire 'n brimstone, religious types. We all believed, but were, I guess, laid back on various issues. We celebrated the meaning of Christmas, Easter, etc. We always went to the Presbyterian Church and sang Christmas carols on Christmas Eve service, and always went to Easter service too.

When I was in the service, I had two very good friends of mine from the farthest edges of the spectrum. *** An E-7 CPO who was a great guy, but a headstrong, fire 'n brimstone, screaming Pentecostal. HE was cool and all, but {don't take this wrong} occasionally he'd go overboard. Like, "Yes, Chief. Chief... Chief... Okay, I get the message! Whoa...."

Then you had my co-worker, also an E-5, who was a pure, absolute, Atheist. No matter what you'd say, he's shoot it down in flames. He had books from Darwin. He had books from that guy/magician/whoever named James Randi. He had all these scientific books and stuff that were so ignorantly written, they didn't make sense.

Then there's me. I was lost in the middle trying to make sense. Trying to find my way. I never went to church since I was a kid. I had one foot believing and one foot sort of agnostic/questioning everything. I always believed that with all the bad things I have done, that if I did step foot in a church, the roof might fall in! ha ha ha. But since that fateful day in the spring of 1984, I decided to choose the right road to travel down, cleaned myself up, and realized that God actually does exist in us all.

BadshotBob responded:

Since I have overflow of the mouth right now, hope you don't mind if I share another great experience. I had been in college a few years, living everywhere from FL to MI and in between when I made up my mind to go to a university in MI. When I went up there, I was a bad dude - cool car with a built motor, in shape body, I was a real gentleman (NOT!). I started in graphic design school and nearly flunked out my first semester because I was way too busy for class - you know, with dope to smoke, beer to drink, parties to attend. My design teacher basically said you suck, find something else to do. That hurt me so I stuck at it.

Let me throw this in at this point - a mother's prayers are quite powerful. I got out of class one day and decided to look up my new party friends on campus for an afternoon buzz. That day driving around all I saw was signs for a Christian group on campus. I thought, "hey, that's cool, good for them." Of course, I wasn't about to have any part of that group. For the next week all I saw were these signs - Chai Alpha this, Chai Alpha that - this group, it was haunting me. I couldn't get it out my sight or my mind. Well, keep in mind that my mom was praying that I would find a good "group" of friends to hook up with at college.

One day after class I decided to stick around campus and check this group out at their Thursday night meeting. I walked in a little late and the first guy I saw nearly fell off his chair - it was a classmate going through the same program I was - he was in every class I had! He walked up and said, "Bob? Wow! Welcome man!" He was floored because I was know amongst my design classmates as a party boy burnout beer guzzling loser flunky.

See, what got me to the meeting was a heavy-duty dose of good old-fashioned Holy Spirit conviction. (For those of you who don't know what that is - it's the pull God has on your soul, the same thing that makes you think about God whether you believe in him or not). I surrendered and gave my life back to God that night. The guy in my class became a very good friend and throughout the next two years of school, I became deeply involved with this group. Got all A's and B's too! Thank God for praying moms.

Anonymous e-mailed me this and I posted it.

You can post this if you like and use as you see fit. Please don't attach my name to it.

I was 18. Fresh out of jail from another state and headed back home. I was young and dumb. My dad died when I was 15 and I blamed the world for it, the world and God. I came back from jail and decided to quit school and so I did. No real reason just stupid. I went to the beach with all the seniors as this would have been my senior year as well and we partied and drank and used pot and had a grand old time. Now when I got back I thought, man I better get a job. And so I did.

And while working the local McDonalds making $4 per hour I met the manager and decided to hang out with him. Well we hung out for a while and partied and one night we were doing pot on a can (like a bong sort of) and he hands it back to me and I just hit it hard. There was no pot on there, but rather crack. I hit it a few more times that night and after that
I was hooked. I stole money to get it, lied, everything. Even got arrested for it once.

This went on for about a year. I weighed round 180 in HS and after 7 or 8 months of being hooked on crack I got down to 105. This was without a doubt the lowest point in my life. I did a lot of things I am ashamed of.

Well, crack takes it's toll and I was in the hospital being fed with tubes and everyone just knowing I was going to die. I never told anyone I was on it and no one suspected it from me. They all thought it was just depression and the results thereof.

While I was lying there one night shaking and sweating from the withdrawal, I decided to go outside and have a smoke (cigarette). I went out through the lobby with a large "rack" of IV's hooked to me and went outside to smoke. I was wondering how long rehab would take and if it really worked and how to get started on it.

I went back to my room and there was this nurse in there. She said she had a lot of my tests back and wanted to talk to me in private. She said she found out I was on coke and wanted to know what I intended to do. I told her I was just thinking about that and really didn't want to go to a rehab or have my family find out. She said I only had one other alternative and
she said that God was it.

Now, I had already been saved years earlier and didn't believe you could get saved again. But in retrospect, I was saved once by God and rescued several times. I never went to rehab, nor did I ever do crack, or any other drug for that matter, again! That was *the moment* I really tried to start living my life for God.

Mykey posted this:

Before I start I'd like to say I've visited this forum many times and read many post and get a blessing every time I come here. After reading these testimonies I feel lead to share one of mine as well. I have a very long testimony and I don't quite know where to start because there's so much I'd like to say so I'm just going to say what comes to mind.

I was raised in a very abusive alcoholic home and i grew up with lots of hate in my heart and life. As a child growing up my Mother tried to take us to church when my drunken father would allow it which wasn't that often. I believed there was a God because we were told there was but I didn't understand much more than that.

As i grew older i left home at the age of 14 and moved in with my sister and started using drugs and alcohol and God never crossed my mind. I didn't stay in one place very long and moved around to different relatives homes and the drugs and alcohol just intensified as I grew older and I tried about anything I could get my hands on. I did manage somehow to stay in school and graduate, which I still can't figure out how I managed that but I'm glad I did. After high school I jumped around to different jobs and continued to drink and do drugs every step of the way. I was headed for a dead end road no doubt and I just didn't really know why i was here and had no meaning what so ever to life.

I didn't know what was about to happen but my life was about to slowly change. I was coming home from the ABC store one afternoon and decided to drop by my mother's house and when I arrived I was told she was at my Grandpa's because he didn't feel well.

When I got there he was having a heart attack and they were waiting on the EMT people to arrive. My grandfather and i were very close and I was upset and afraid he was about to die. I stayed briefly and was told they were going to take him to the hospital so I went on home. When I got home I felt so bad I was about to take a drink but I just didn't have it in me at the time. All Ii could think about was my Grandfather. Shortly there after i found myself on my knees asking God not to take my grandfather.

That was the first time I had prayed in many years and I was actually at a loss for words and didn't know how to pray and wondered if God would hear what i was saying. My grandfather stayed in the hospital for about two months and it was during those two months that a change started happening. It seemed that every time I turned on the TV there was a preacher preaching or something religious taking place, and every car I passed had one of these little signs hanging in the window "Jesus on Board" or a bumper sticker on it proclaiming something about God.

During all this I had a dear friend where I worked witnessing to me about God. I found myself running away from God, under a conviction so strong I couldn't sleep at night. I just didn't understand what was happening but God did. I remember telling my Mother that I was going to go to church but my intentions were not to get saved and become a Christian and I told her I wasn't going to get saved I was just going to see what it was like. I remember her saying, "if you start going to church seeking something, you're going to find it". I began to visit a local church but I was still running and wasn't ready to give in, I guess God had more work to do on me or something, or maybe it just wasn't time.

Then the time came. Seems that God's plan wasn't for me to be saved at church. I was a forklift driver at my workplace and while loading an 18 wheeler I was thinking of God and how he hung on a cross and was beaten, stabbed, and died for such a sinful world. I backed off the truck and as I entered back into the warehouse it happened. You hear people say that God touched them in a special way but mine was somewhat different. I feel like he not only touched me but he reached down and took my heart and squeezed it until it literally took my breath and the tears began to flow down my cheeks. I knew at that point what i wanted to do and as my friend approached me he saw the tears and asked, "are you ok"? I replied, "I'm about to be". I asked him to finish loading the truck for me and he said ok. I walked out back to a small flight of stairs and I just stood there with such a heaviness in my heart.

Then it happened! It was March 29,1988. I looked up and said "God I'm a sinner and I'm lost and I can't take this life anymore, I know you died for my sins and i confess my sins to you and ask you to please come into my life and save me" At that moment time stood still and I truly felt the spirit of God go through my body and lift that heaviness off of me and Jesus saved me. It felt like i stuck my hand in an electrical socket and got zapped. As i walked back in my friend approached me and saw the smile on my face and we hugged and rejoiced. I was baptized on April 15, 1988 and married on May 5, 1988.

Shortly after all this happened my grandfather came home from the hospital. He was also unsaved and I had the opportunity to witness to him and he gave his life to Jesus before he passed about 6 months later. I really think it was all in Gods plan the way things worked out for us both to find Christ. I wasn't there when he passed but those who were quoted him as saying on his death bed, "if I die right now I'll be in Heaven in 10 minutes" praise God for that!

Let me finish by saying I'm in no way the perfect Christian and I've stumbled in my walk with God many times but he has always been there to pick me up and still does. I also have my ups and downs but with God in my life the ups are higher and the downs aren't quite as low.

I was so blessed in 1988 and God completely turned my life from one I hated into one I'm blessed to be alive to talk about. I've been married now for 15yrs, have 2 beautiful kids, a home, a good job and i guess you could say the package and i thank God for it all.

If this post does nothing else I hope that someone that is unsaved or on the road I was on reads it and sees that Jesus can and will make a difference in our lives if we'll only allow him too. Thanks for the opportunity to say the things I've said and

God Bless you all!

Michael J. Guy

 

Does Hunting Create Problems in Your Life?

Does your wife spend time with her friends? Does she go off to see her mother or the immediate family? (These are basically rhetorical questions, not accusations.) Do "you" think your hunting affects your marriage, children, family or other responsibilities. Does your hunting affect your marriage, children, family or other responsibilities. Or is it your wife's perception that it does.

I guess the questions here are, "Does your hunting (or anything else) negatively affect something in your life? If so why does it and how can you change it? If it does not negatively affect something in your life does someone think or say that it does? If someone thinks it does or says it does, why do they feel that way?" If someone other than you says it does; then it may, or they just may not like the amount of time you spend doing it. Maybe they are against hunting, maybe they don't like you being away, maybe they are fearful, or maybe they don't understand why you like to hunt. Does everyone involved understand why you like to hunt?

If you think you and your wife are having a problem with your hunting you should sit down and talk about it. For many of us addicted hunters, who work long hours to provide for the family, and who don't often spend a lot of time with our friends, the hunting season is our special time to take a short respite, away from the stress of work, the thoughts of obligations, and take a vacation away from the family. You need to explain that to her.

Before civilization and modernization men were providers, which meant they often were gone for long periods of time looking for food, primarily meat or fish. Men were often taught to fight, to protect themselves, their families, their possessions, their tribes, their cities, their countries. Men were also taught to be competitive, or good at what they do. In other words men were accustomed to being gone from the family, to roaming around looking for food, to using their strength or weapons as both defense and offense, and they were accustomed to the challenge of getting the best of an animal or man.

All of that is ingrained in many men, even to this day. Obviously selective breeding has resulted in some men using these traits to succeed in sports, in their job, in business, in finance. But, the fact remains that men were bred and taught to be roamers, hunters, gathers and fighters. And some of us (whether it is still ingrained in us to hunt, or whether it is just a way of recreation taught to us by father or friends) still enjoy the hunt, and it is a great way for us to redirect some of the tendencies that might otherwise be perceived as negative forces in our lives.

For some of us at least, it can surely be said that when we hunt, away from home, we are doing what we were bred to do. Explain that to your wife. Explain why you like to hunt. Don't just say, "I like to hunt." Stop and figure out why you like to hunt and maybe write the reasons down. Then explain to your wife that sometimes you need a vacation; you need to get away from work, home, her, the kids and responsibilities, so you can recharge yourself. Or ask if she would like to hunt with you.

Explain to her that hunting isn't something you can just decide to do any weekend you want to, because most hunting seasons are restricted to particular weeks of the fall or spring. If you are going to hunt, you have to plan it well ahead of time, and restrict your hunting to those weeks.

If you are a deer hunter explain that you would actually like to get a deer, that you don't get a chance at, or even see a deer everyday, which means that it often takes several days to get a deer, and even longer to get a buck.

If you have to leave town to hunt, which many of us do, explain that there is no decent deer hunting nearby, and that if you want to get a deer, you have to go where the deer are. Which means you will be gone a while.

Tell her, that if she will let you hunt, you will let her do what she wants to do. Then, work out compromises if you need to. And remember, God comes first, but families aren't far behind.

 

Is the United States becoming a Godless nation?

Is the United States becoming a Godless nation? If Godless means "moral decay" then we must ask ourselves what is moral decay. If you are a Christian it might be the acceptance of deceiving stockholders by company executives who pocket large sums of money for personal use. It might be the acceptance of poverty, homeless people, and lack of medical care for all Americans. It might be simply looking the other way when someone causes harm to another person, or steals, lies or cheats.

It might be the acceptance of a vocal minority who don't want any mention of God in our court systems, on public property, in schools, in the Pledge of Allegiance, in the Constitution or Declaration of Independence; or on privately owned but publicly used web sites. It might be not standing up for the Christian God you believe in. It might be the acceptance of "political/religious correctness" so you don't offend anyone.

It might be the acceptance of homosexuality, and same sex marriage. It might be the acceptance of Christian church hierarchy being openly homosexual. It might be churches hiding or denying child abuse by church personnel. It might be the growing acceptance of the beliefs and practices of non-Christian religions.

As time goes on we humans seem to allow more of this to go on in our lives, and around us, without saying anything or doing anything. We are beginning to accept what Christians, and other religions, considered unacceptable behavior a few years ago. Where will it end?
Do we as a nation and people accept religions, denomination, sects or religious-political groups that allow, condone or use terrorism, to promote their religious beliefs in our nation?

Are we becoming a godless nation? Some would say yes, some no. We are certainly becoming a multi-god nation. Are we becoming a nation of people who may no longer accept Yahweh as their only God. Certainly. Are we becoming a nation of SOME people who do not believe in any God? Certainly. Will becoming a godless or multi-god nation affect our people? Certainly. Will it affect our nation? Certainly. Will it lead to moral decay? In the eyes of many Christians it already has. Will moral decay lead to the ruin of our nation? If history is any evidence yes.

Can we do anything about our diversifying religious makeup? Not if we are a nation that espouses religious freedom, as opposed to denominational freedom. (I'm not suggesting we become a one-religion nation, but many other countries are.) Can we do anything about our downward spiraling moral decay? Probably not, but we Christians can pray to Yahweh that we weather the storm; and we can teach and demand better moral standards, from ourselves, our children, and our business and political leaders.

Has this all been predicted? Yes. Is this nation ripe for multi-religion acceptance? Yes. Is the world ripe for multi-religion acceptance? More so than ever. Is the world ripe for either an all-encompassing religious leader or a non-religious leader? Yes. Is the world ripe for a multi- or uni-political world-messiah? Yes.

Will we ever have world peace, and will all mankind be completely moral? IF the Bible is correct, THEN it will only happen after the battle of Gog and Magog, which is at least a thousand years from now. And, IF the Bible is correct THEN we will have a thousand years of Yahweh's reign on earth, before the Battle of Gog and Magog, during which there will be peace.

And, IF the Bible is correct, before all of that, the world is headed for moral decay, war, plagues, pollution and destruction; and the emergence of a world-messiah, who will deceive much of mankind. And there will be another battle, before Yahweh's reign on earth, the battle between good and evil, between Christ and the anti-Christ, the Battle of Armageddon.

I personally believe the Bible is true, and this will happen. If I am right some people might want to reassess their lives and beliefs.

 

Why?

Have you ever asked yourself, "Why am I here?" or "What is the purpose of life?" The reason you are alive is because God wants to share his love with you; He loves you. Your purpose in life is to praise and glorify God and bring others to him, to testify to his love and his grace. Your destiny is to live with God in Heaven, forever.

Why do Christians believe in and worship God? Because they believe in a higher existence, that created the heavens, earth and man (with his power of reasoning and his understanding of right and wrong and good and evil). Let's narrow the questions down to those who believe that Jesus is God.

Why do Christians go to church? The usual answers are:

1. Out of a feeling of responsibility or guilt. Because it is what they are supposed to do.

2. Out of a need for fellowship. Because the music, sermon, communion and sharing their beliefs with others is uplifting.

3. Out of need to ask God for something. Because they are going through hard times.

4. Out of a desire to hear the Word of God. Because they are seeking answers to some difficulty in their lives

5. Out of a need to worship and praise God. Because they want to give thanks to God.

In other words, many people go to church because they feel it is their responsibility, or they need something: forgiveness; fellowship; physical, emotional or spiritual help; because they are looking for answers; or because they want to give thanks to God for something. In the end it all boils down to the fact that most of us are looking for help, and wondering where and how we get it. We are all looking for something better than we have, That something is Heaven, living forever in God's presence, where we will need nothing. If you haven't figured it out yet, the way to get what you really want in life is by being saved: from need. The Bible says that in order to be "Saved" you have to believe in your heart and profess with your lips that Jesus is Lord (Rm. 10, 9). There are two requirements to fulfill before you can be "Saved." Not only must you believe in your heart, you must also profess with your lips; you have to say, "Jesus is Lord."

Many of us believe in our heart that Christ is our savior, and we profess it to our families and friends. But, we may not profess it openly to others. The Bible tells us to "Proclaim the Good News." To proclaim means to announce officially. If you do not profess with your lips frequently and openly, so that all of those around you know your beliefs, you have not fulfilled both of the requirements needed for you to be saved.

If you are not a professing Christian, proclaiming your beliefs, how will others know what your beliefs are? How can they find you, or how can you reach out to them? God wants us all to "Proclaim the Good News" and reach out to everyone we come in contact with, to show them our love for Christ and our fellow man, to help others find and know Christ, so they can also be saved.

If you want to receive Jesus into your life, He will come, and He will change your life. All you have to do is say, "Jesus, I believe you are God. I am a sinner, and for that I am sorry. Please forgive my sins and cleanse my soul. Thank you for giving your life for me on the cross. I ask you to come into my life, and to be my Lord and my Savior. Send your Holy Spirit to help me live my life, so that I can live with you in Heaven forever. Amen."

If you have any questions, or need prayers, feel free to contact me: trmichels@yahoo.com. May God be with you always.

Your servant in Christ,

T.R. Michels

If you have questions, log on to the Christianity Forum on the "T.R.'s Tips" Message Board / Forum

 

Articles from Genesis: The Patriarch's & The Flood: Fact or Fiction?

(Go to the Article by clicking on the star-link next to the title.)

Introduction

One of the best pieces of advice I have come across on how to study the Bible comes from The New American Bible, which states, "Even if you read your Bible in an up-to-date American translation, such as this one, you need guidance. Therefore read the introductions to the Bible books, and pay attention to the footnotes! Know that if you want to understand what God wants to tell you through Scripture, you must first understand what the writer wants to say. The Bible is man's words and God's word. One must understand man's word first in order to understand the word of God." The Catechism of the Catholic Church also has a great commentary on interpreting the Bible, which many people take literally.

Paragraph 110 of the Catechism states, "In order to discover the sacred authors' intention, the reader must take into account the conditions of their time and culture, the literary genres in use at that time, and the modes of feeling, speaking and narrating then current. "For the fact is that truth is differently presented and expressed in variou types of historical writing, in prophetical and poetical texts, and in other forms of literary expression."

Paragraph 115 of the Catechism states, "According to ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture: the literal and the spiritual, the latter being subdivided into the allegorical, moral and anagogical (leading) senses. Along these lines we must realize that the Bible is made up of several different literary forms. The New American Bible categorizes them this way: The Parable, a short fictitious narrative from which a moral or spiritual truth is drawn Christ's parables); The Allegory, a figurative story with a veiled meaning (Genesis 2:3: 4:1-16; 6-8; 11:1-19). The Beast Fable, used by the author to convey his message (Genesis 3:1-15); The Short Story and Historical Novel, or midrash in which the core of the story is historical, but in which the writer used traditions, and without taking time to find out what actually happened, he fashions them to bring out a religious lesson (Genesis 37-50); The Problem Story, that tries to show ways to solve political or other issues such as the "race" issue (Ruth); and The Speech as Literary Device, in which the speeches or sayings of persons may not be verbatim, but which the writer may ascribe the words to a person of authority (1 Kings 8:14-21, often used in the Acts of the Apostles).

Correctly interpreting the Bibles is especially true when it comes to science. Paragraph 159 of the Catechism states, "Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth contradict truth. Consequently, methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are."

Interestingly, this view was probably brought about as a result of the work of Galileo in the 16th century (during the time of the Inquisition), who was on the verge of being considered a heretic by the church hierarchy, because he believed the earth was not the center of the universe, nor even of our galaxy. Galileo proved the theory of Copernicus, who first proposed that the sun was the center of our galaxy, and the earth revolved around the sun; not the other way around, which was the position of the church. The church did not accept this fact until the 18th century, only 200 years ago.

The point is; we have to use our own God-given reason when we interpret the scientific aspects of the Bible. A classic example of this is Joshua 10:13 which states, "And the sun stood still, and the moon stood halted, until the people had taken vengeance on their enemies." Of course the sun stood still! In relation to earth we now know the sun is basically stationary at the center of the galaxy. But, what the writer believed (and what tradition stated) was that the sun revolved around the earth, and therefore the writer wrote that the "sun stood still". Reason demands that we do not take this literally.

There are many different ways to interpret the Bible. Literalists or fundamentalists interpret and explain the Bible literally (Jonah was swallowed by a whale). At the other end of the spectrum, liberalists qualify the whole Bible as another book of fairy tales. Many main-line liturgical churches (Catholics, Lutherans, etc.) fall somewhere in between, using a middle of the road approach, a sound balance between fundamentalism and liberalism; or as I like to think of it a sound balance between faith and science. You have to choose which of these views you wish to adhere to. I personally prefer the middle of the road.

May you "walk with the Lord"

T.R. Michels

The Pentateuch

We now know that Moses probably did not write the Jewish Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament referred to by Christians as the Pentateuch), but that he had a great influence on its writing, because of his contributions through the Mosaic Law. When studying the Pentateuch we must remember that although it consists of stories and myths from several different cultures of the Middle East, Christians believe that the writers of the Bible were divinely inspired by God. The Torah itself first appeared in written form about 600 BC. It contains traditional stories from at least four different sources:

1. the Yahwist, which uses the divine name Yahweh for God, comes from the kingdom of Judah around 900 BC.

2. the Elohist, which uses the common noun Elohim for God, comes from the kingdom of Israel around 750 BC.

3. the Deuteronomist, used in Deuteronomy, came after the reign of Josiah around 600 BC.

4. the Priestly Code, which contains laws from around 500 BC.

After the defeat of the northern kingdom (Israel) by Assyria in 721 BC the Yahwist and Priestly documents were combined into one document, the Elohist.

The use of the noun Elohim, in the Elohist sources from the Kingodom of Israel, is very significant, for both Christians and Jews. The word Elohim is the plural form of the word El, Elo or Eloha; meaning that in this case Elohim (God) is plural, consisting of more than one being; not just one being as many Jews mistakenly believe. In many verses of the old testament the word Echud is used when referring to one, but it is used in reference to one with more than one part; as in a, which is divided into day and night, or morning and evening; as one bunch of grapes, which is made up of many grapes; as in a marraige, in which a man and a woman become one flesh; as in God, which Christians believe is made of three entities. If God had meant the writers of the Bible to imply that He, God, was one entity, He would have used the word Yachid, which means one, instead of the word Echud, which means one but allows for plurality. And He would not have used the plural form Elohim when referring to himself, but would have use the singular form of the word, Elo or Eloha. Christians believe is made of three entities. If God had meant the writers of the Bible to imply that He, God, was one entity, He would have used the word Yachid, which means one, instead of the word Echud, which means one, but allows for plurality. And He would not have used the plural form Elohim when referring to Himself, but would have used the singular form of the word, Elo or Eloha.

 

The Creation, Did it Occur in Six Days?

The Biblical account of creation is very similar to the Accadian/Babylonian Enuma Elish account of creation, from which it may be partly derived. The story of the creation of the world in seven days is almost incomprehensible, unless we understand the prophetic interpretation of a day. 2 Peter 3:8 states, "that with the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." That statement is hard to understand until you realize that time is a human concept. A day to us is as long as it takes the earth to revolve once on its own axis; 24 hours. A year is as long as it takes for the earth to revolve around the sun; 365 days. A thousand years are 365,000 days. But, how long is a day in God's realm?

I couldn't begin to understand this concept until I looked at an encyclopedia to find out how long a day is on other planets. Suppose you developed the concept of time while you were living on Pluto. The time it takes Pluto to revolve on it's own axis once is equivalent to 6 earth days. The time it takes Pluto to revolve around the sun once is equivalent to 90,700 earth days, which means that a year on Pluto is equivalent to 544,200 earth days: more than a half a million earth days or 1,490 earth years. If a prophetic day is like a thousand years, then a prophetic day on Pluto is equivalent to 1,490,000 earth days; or 4,082 earth years. If we proceed with this process, and use the length of Pluto's day and year in our calculations, it could have taken 28,000 years for God to create earth.

Now, suppose you were not living on a planet, and that you were suspended in space, where there is no day or night, and no need to measure time. Then you can begin to understand what time is to God. Time is like God, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. For God, it takes no time at all to create something, and it can last forever. This may mean that it took forever (in our minds) or no time at all for God to create the heavens and the earth. Astronomers now believe that the universe is between 12 and 14 billion years old.

On the Biblical concept of days and nights in Genesis St. Augustine writes:

It is a laborious and difficult task for the powers of our human understanding to see clearly the meaning of the sacred writer in the matter of these six days. (p. 103)
These seven days of our time, although like the same days of creation in name and in numbering, follow one another in succession and mark off the division of time, but those first six days occurred in a form unfamiliar to us as intrinsic principles within things created. (p. 125).
The days of creation are beyond the experience and knowledge of us mortal earthbound men ... we must bear in mind that these days indeed recall the days of creation but without in any way being really similar to them (p. 135).
... we should not think of those days as solar days... He made that which gave time its beginning, as He made all things together, disposing them in an order based not on intervals of time but on causal connections (p. 154).
But in the beginning He created all things together and completed the whole in six days, when six times he brought the 'day' which he made before the things which He made, not in a succession of periods of time but in a plan made known according to causes (pp. 175-176).
The reason (why the narrative employs the device of the six days) is that those who cannot understand the meaning of the text, "He created all things together" cannot arrive at the meaning of Scripture unless the narrative proceeds slowly step by step (p. 142).
... in matters that are obscure and far beyond our vision ... we should not rush in headlong and so firmly take our stand on one side that, if further progress in the search of truth justly undermines this position, we too fall with it. That would be to battle not for the teaching of Holy Scripture but for our own, wishing its teaching to conform to ours, whereas we ought to wish ours to conform to that of Sacred Scripture. (p. 41)
"Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of the faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men.... Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by these who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. (pp. 42-43)"

Matt Permann writes,

"If it can be shown that Genesis does not require the meaning of twenty-four hour days, then this clearly shows that it is at least possible that the "days" are used to refer to long periods of time. It will further be demonstrated that the text actually implies an interpretation other than solar days, making the "age" interpretation likely.

The Hebrew words yom, ereb, and boqer

Yom is the Hebrew word translated "day." It can be used to indicate the period of daylight as contrasted with nighttime (Gen 8:22), a period of twenty-four hours (Gen. 39:10), or a period of unspecified duration without any reference to solar days (Gen. 2:4).According to Hebrew scholar William Wilson, yom is "frequently put for time in general, or for a long time, a whole period under consideration...Day is also put for a particular season or time when any extraordinary even happens."Examples of various uses of the word yom are Genesis 4:3, where it means a process of time; Genesis 30:14 where it means wheat harvest time; Joshua 24:7 where it means a long season; and Isaiah 4:2 where it means a future era.
Ereb is the Hebrew word translated "evening." It also means "sunset," "night," or "ending of the day." Boqer is the Hebrew word translated morning. It means "sunrise" or "beginning of day," with possible metaphoric usage. The evening and morning of the creation days refer to the beginning and ending boundaries of the day, not the rising and the setting of the sun. "For example, in my grandfather's day refers to my grandfather's lifetime. So the morning and evening of his day would be his youth and old-age." By his references to the evening and morning of the day, Moses is showing that creation was in definite, ordered stages, instead of an arbitrary, unplanned event.
It should also be noted that this "day-age theory" does not mean that the "days" ("ages") were defined by millions of years of light, then evening, and then millions of years of darkness, etc. It means that "day" in Genesis means an age of unspecified length during which solar days carried on as usual, as we have seen."

Astronomy/Astrology

We must realize that when the Bible or other ancient historical texts refer to astronomical/astrological names and events (or use astronomy/astrology to calculate dates) that astronomy at least, is a legitimate science. The study of astronomy goes back as far as 2000 BC, to Egyptian and Babylonian civilizations. These cultures used astronomy (the study of planets, stars and space) to define the length of a day and the length of a year, by studying the sun. They defined the length of a month by studying the moon. The Greek philosopher Aristarchus of Samos, who lived sometime between 280 and 64 BC attempted to determine the relative distances of the sun and moon from the earth, and proposed that the sun was at the center of the universe. Eratosthenes (276-194 BC) accurately measured the earth's diameter. Hipparchus (c. 190-125 AD) discovered the wobbling of the earth's axis. Ptolemy (c. 100-170AD) summarized much of the Greek understanding of astronomy into a volume later referred to by Arab astrologers as the Almagest; which influenced astronomical thought for the next 1,500 years.

We must also realize that the cultures of the Middle East relied heavily on the use of astronomy and astrology to mark time, and to predict future events. The birth of Jesus (the Messiah) was marked by, and to the astronomers/astrologers of the time, foretold by, a star. The prophecy of Balaam in Numbers 24:17 foretells of a star emerging from Jacob, a scepter rising from Israel. In the ancient Middle East a star signified a god, and consequently a god/king. The three wise men of Matthew 2 were known as Magi. The Magi were originally a class of priests among the Persians and Medes. The Magi are mentioned in the book of Jeremiah as part of the retinue of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Chaldeans. The prophet Daniel was "head of the magicians, soothsayers, Chaldeans and exorcists" in Nebuchadnezzar's court, where he foretold of the coming of a priest King. The prophecies of Daniel were well known to the Chaldeans, Babylonians, Persians and Medes. Because of this, the wise men of the Middle East had been expecting a god/king since the time of Daniel around 600 BC.

We now know that Jesus was not born in the year 0 AD, but more likely in the year 6 BC. Astronomers have found that Saturn, Jupiter and the moon all aligned in the constellation Aries on April 6th in 6 BC. To the astronomers/astrologers of the ancient Middle East that alignment would have signified the birth of the expected god/king.

 

The Length of a Biblical Year

There is now very good evidence that a year on earth was not always 365 days long. The calendar year of the ancient inhabitants of Tiahuanaco, South America contained 291.2 days. They may have had 10 lunar months of 29 days. Prior to biblical patriarch Peleg's time (when the earth was divided) the Hindu, Persian, Chaldean, Assyrian, Chinese, Greek, Roman and Mayan calendars all had 360 days. Around 700 BC the Chaldean, Hebrew, Selucid, Syrian, Roman, Egyptian, and Chinese calendars changed to 365 days. In 701 BC Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome, added 5 days per to the 360 day calendar. His Jewish contemporary King Hezekiah reorganized the Jewish calendar by adding a month (Adar II) during each Jewish leap year; which was the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th and 19th year of a 19 year cycle. Between 300 BC and 500 BC the Mayans developed what is referred to as the "long count" calendar of 365 days; which meant that their previous calendar probably had fewer days. The Biblical calendar, from Genesis to Revelations, uses a 360 day year.

Again we must ask ourselves some questions. How many days were in a solar year when God created the earth? How is it that such widely separated cultures as the ancient Babylonians/Chaldeans, the Egyptians and the Mayans all appear to have had knowledge of the study of astronomy, and where did this knowledge come from? The answer to this last question may be because these people are all related to each other through Shem, Ham and Japheth, and their knowledge of astronomy and use of astrology may have come from the Nephilim, the fallen angels of earth, who we will learn more about later.

Did The Patriarchs Really Live That Long?

Although the lengths of the lives of the patriarchs in the Bible seem quite long, they are short in comparison to the lengths of the rulers listed on the Weld Prism of World History, which is stone inscribed with hieroglyphics believed to have come from Sumeria around 2000 BC. It lists 10 kings, among them Alalgar and Dumuzi, who each ruled 36,000 years. One of the questions I had to ask myself while reading the Bible was, "Can the list of names of the patriarchs, and the lengths of their lives really be true? While I cannot say I found the answer to my question I did find some interesting things during my research.

The Bible states that all the people of earth (except Noah and his family), were destroyed in the Great Flood. Again we must realize that the "entire World" to the people of the Middle East probably meant only the area of the Middle East, not the World as we know it today. To determine if any of the people listed in the Bible lived through the flood, and to find out if the story of the flood was possible, I placed a line at the time of the flood. To my surprise none of the people listed before the flood survived. Methuselah, the longest-lived man, and the only named person still alive at the time of the flood did not live past the year of the flood. In fact, he died the year of the flood. If the Bible is just a story (as some experts and theologians suggest) then someone performed very meticulous calculations to get this correct, and it never got corrupted through all the translations of the Bible. How did this happen? Did someone do this just to make a good story?

According to the dates of the Bible, Adam died only 126 years before the birth of Noah. Could the years listed be correct? Let's use some currently accepted dates, and two different Biblical events, to find out. Scientists believe Abraham and the Hebrews first passed through the land of Canaan about 1850 BC. According to the Biblical genealogy Abraham first went to Palestine 2,023 years after Adam was created. Adding 1,850 years from the scientific date of 2,023 would make Adam's creation 3,873 years BC; very close to 4,000 years.

Now lets look at the time when the Israelites took control of the land of Palestine. According to the Bible, Jacob's birth was 2,148 years after Adam. He arrived in Egypt when he was 130 years old (Gn. 47:9), 2,278 years after Adam. The Israelites remained in Egypt 430 years (Ex. 12:40), until 2,708 years after the creation of Adam, then they wandered in the desert for 40 years before entering Palestine, 2,748 years after Adam. Scientists believe Joshua entered Canaan about 1200 BC. If we add 1,200 years to 2,748 years we come up with 3,948 years, or about 4,000 years after Adam was created.

When we combine current scientific belief with Biblical genealogies concerning these two different events, using the creation of Adam as a starting point, there is only a 75-year difference in the two calculations. It appears that the time frames of the Biblical genealogies are quite reliable, at least in some aspects. In 2000 AD the Hebrew year was 5760, which is only 173 years different from my calculations taken from the Bible.

 

The Flood; Fact or Fiction?

Genesis 6:1-4 makes us aware of the moral decay of humans, introduces us to the "sons of God" or fallen angels, and sets the scene for the Flood. The Nephilim were supposedly the offspring of the fallen angels and human women. One of the Qumran scrolls refers to the Book of Enoch (the Enoch who walked with God), in which it states that during the time of Jare (Enoch's father Jared) approximately 200 hundred "watchers' came down from heaven. These watchers are probably the Nephilim. According to the scroll, Enoch was warned of an impending disaster, but was told that as long as Methuselah was alive this disaster would not occur. Methuselah's name may be interpreted as "man of the dart" or "in his day it shall be sent." According to my records, Methusaleh died in 1656 AA, the very year of the flood. The disaster foretold in the scroll appears to have been the flood.

Several cultures have traditional legends of ten people or gods, a great flood, and eight people in a boat. The Sanskrit texts of the Mahabharata (Vana Parva) state, "the earth, as if oppressed with excessive burden, sank down, suffering pain in her limbs, and the earth in distress was deprived of her senses by excessive pressure." The Accadian/Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic accounts of a flood state that "the god of the underworlds tore out the posts of the dam" and "all the earth's spirits leaped up with flaming torches, and with the brightness thereof they lit up the earth." A Greek legend states "Zeus broke up the fountains of the deep." A Mesopotamian text states "a black cloud rose up from the horizon." The Brazilian Flood Legend says that the god Monan sent a great fire to burn up the world and it's wicked inhabitants, and a magician caused so much rain to fall in extinguishing the flames that the earth became flooded.

A Chinese legend refers to a boat with eight people, eight people united together on earth, and a great flood. The Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic mentions a flood. The Weld Prism from Sumeria outlines world history and lists ten kings, who ruled before the flood. Over 200 different cultures around the world have similar legends of a flood. The people of India refer to nine Bhramadikas, and their founder Brahma, who make up the ten petris (fathers). The Arabs refer to the ten kings of the Adites. The Chinese refer to ten Emperors, who were considered to be divine. There are ten patriarchs between Adam and the flood of Noah. Is it just coincidental that so many widely separated cultures have legends of ten patriarchs, a great flood, and eight people in a boat. Or is there some factual basis for these legends?

In the last few years an older Middle East version of the flood legend has been found in a British museum. Interestingly, the Gilgamesh Epic suggests that there was a flood on the Euphrates, and that a boat with humans floated down the Euphrates and landed in what is now Bah'rain in the Persian Gulf. Archeologists have found evidence of a flood along the Euphrates about 5,000 years ago, which is about the time of the Biblical flood 3,000 years BC.

After the last ice age scientists believe the oceans may have risen by as much as 200 feet. There is also evidence that there was a surge of cold water into the Gulf of Mexico around 12,000 years ago, and evidence that the flood that flowed down the Mississippi valley may have been as much as 10 to 20 times higher than any recent flood peak.

 

The Ark

The Ark is called Nuh'un Gemisi (Noah's boat) in the Kurdish language. Sanskrit legends describe the Ark as a raft. The Egyptian god Ra sailed a reed boat referred to as Uaa Nu (the divine boat of Nu, or Noah). The Mittani of the Middle East worshiped a "rain god" called Mithra, and referred to the boat of their legends as Ma-banda-anna (the boat of the sky). The "rain" could be a reference to the flood, and the "rain god" could be the man who survived the flood, Noah. Persian, Vedic and East Indian myths refer to the ark as Varuna's (Noah's) house of clay. The Haulapai Indians of the southwestern United States believe the survival boat of their ancestors was made out of stone.

According to Moslem tradition in the Koran, the ark was believed to have landed on a hill called Cudi or Sura Houd, which had a north-south axis. The ark supposedly lies on the western side of the hill. The hill known as Cudi is part of the mountainous range of Ararat. The hill of Cudi is also known as MahsurGunu (sounds similar to Sura), a Koranic phrase of Arabic background, meaning "raised from the dead." This could refer to the survival of Noah's family from the flood. The Gilgamesh Epic states that the landing site of Utnapishtim (Noah) is Mount Nisir. The Turkish village of Uzengili on the slopes of Ararat, was once known as Nasar. Since none of the Semitic languages used vowels in their writings, the word Nisir would be spelled nsr, and could be written as msr, nzr or nsr; Mahsur, Nazar or Nisir. The East Indian translation of the word Nasar is "to make a presentation or sacrifice." Noah built an altar of thanksgiving and offered a sacrifice when he landed on Ararat. Again the question must be asked, "Are the similarities of these legends coincidental?"

 Noah

Several cultures make reference to the father and mother of all men. In the Sumerian and Accadian traditions Noah is the preserver of the seed of man. According to an Egyptian tradition Noah was the begetter of the gods, and his wife was the mother of all living people.

Human Genetics

At this point I feel I must inject some verifiable scientific evidence as to the origin and migration, or dispersal, of man. Recent genetic testing and mapping shows that modern man first appeared in Africa, and had black skin. The first migration out of Africa occurred about 50,000 years ago, as some of these black skinned people moved through the Middle East, into India, through southern Asia and eventually into Australia, where their descendants became the Australian Aborigines. Another migration occurred as people moved into the Middle East, where it appears they developed into the Tartar/Turkic/Mongoloid type peoples. Some of these types eventually moved (in two groups) into what is now northern and southern China. At least two other migrations occurred out of the Middle East, probably from the area around Kazakhstan. One group migrated into northern Russia, a second group migrated into Europe. Some of the first group continued across the Bering land bridge into North and South America to become the Native American Indians.

This means that the first humans were black, and they developed into several different types. The first group remained as the Negroids of Africa, the dark skinned peoples of India and Malaysia, and the Aborigines of Australia. A second group may have developed into the Mongoloid types of Mongolia, China and Russia. A third group may have developed into the Tartar types of the Middle East, which may have later developed into the Turkic types of southwestern Asia, Asia Minor (Turkey) and the northern Middle East. This third group may have developed into two other groups; one group eventually becoming the Chukchi type people of Russia, who later developed into the Native Americans; and a second group, who became the eventual Japhetic types of Europe. The first Aborigines appeared in Australia 60,000 years ago, the first people appeared in Siberia 39,000 years ago, Indians appeared in America about 14,000 years ago.

To try to reconcile this scientific evidence with the Story of Creation may be difficult, but I can try. It is possible that two different legends, the flood legend, and the dispersal of mankind were combined into one legend. It is also possible that the people of the Middle East did not have knowledge or a memory of the early migrations, because of the lack of communication skills, such as language and writing. They may only have had a limited knowledge of a dramatic event (such as a flood) that encompassed part of the Middle East. The flood legend may only pertain to one of these migrations, such as the second migration out of the Middle East, which led to the eventual development of the Semitic types (Jews/Arabs), Japhetic types (Europeans and Asians) and the Hamitic types (Africans and Aborigines). In the context of the Bible the Semitic type is best described as the Syrian/Semitic/Arabian; the Japhetic type as the European/ Mongol/Tartar/Turkic/Sinitic (Oriental)/Melanesian/Polynesian; and the Hamitic type as the Negroid/Australian Aborigine.

The Nephilim; Were there Fallen Angels on Earth?

Several different cultures of the ancient Middle East believed that "fallen angels" came to earth. Sumerian records mention gods who descended from the stars. Sanskrit records mention gods who hybridized with human females, and state that their offspring had supernatural learning abilities and the skills of their celestial fathers. As mentioned earlier, one of the Qumran scrolls refers to the Book of Enoch, in which it states that during the time of Jare (Enoch's father Jared) approximately 200 hundred "watchers' came down from heaven.

Genesis 6:4 states, "The Nephilim were on earth in those days (and even afterwards) when the sons of God resorted to the women, and had children by them. These were the heroes of days gone by, men of renown." This makes it clear that the descendants of the Nephilim were still on earth after the flood. The Hebrew word nephil is translated as "feller" as in one who cuts down, it is also associated with the word "giant." As further evidence of the Nephilim being giants Deuteronomy 1:28 states that when the Israelites were going into Canaan they said to Moses "Our brothers have discouraged us by saying that the people are stronger and taller than we are, their cities immense, with walls reaching to the sky. And we have seen Anakim there." The -im suffix means sons of God (as in Cherubim and Seraphim).

The Anakim, Avim, Emim, Philistim, Rephaim, Zamzummim (Zuzim) are the legendary names of the aboriginal inhabitants of Palestine. These people were identified with the Nephilim, who supposedly raised up huge monuments. 2 Samuel 21:18-22 mentions the giant sons of Rapha, from whom the Rephaim get their name. It also mentions that some of these giants had six fingers and six toes. Rock paintings from around the world show figures of beings with six fingers. Deut. 3:11 states "Og king of Bashan was the last survivor of the Rephaim; his bed was the iron bed that can be seen at Rabbah-of-the-Ammonites, nine cubits long and four wide; according to a human cubit." This bed would have been 15 feet long by 7 feet wide. The Hebrew word used here for Rehpaim is Raphah, which is translated as "giant.

If these hybrids were the descendants of the fallen angels, they probably had knowledge far beyond human understanding; including knowledge of astronomy, advanced mathematics and physics. This would have allowed them to measure time and distance, and help them build huge monuments like the Tower of Babylon, the pyramids of Egypt and South America, Stonehenge in England, and the Medicine Wheel in Wyoming. This would also explain how the Sumerians knew about Mercury (Mummu), Venus (Lahamu), Earth (Ki), the Moon (Kingu), Mars (Lahmu), Jupiter (Kishar), Saturn (Anshar), Uranus (Anu), Neptune (Ea), Pluto (Gaga) and a mysterious celestial body known as Marduk or Nibiru.

It is odd to think of these beings in any other way than as characters of mythology. However, one must take into consideration the fact that the Sumerians seemed to do just that.

One such piece of evidence that demonstrates their view of these so-called Gods as real beings can be seen within the "King-Lists" of the Weld Prism of Natural History. This clay "prism" or stone is supposed to be a record of the kings of early Sumer. The Prism is strange because it includes both easily acceptable and historically verifiable information and information that can be nothing more (when analyzed under the guiding pattern of the accepted paradigm) than fantastic myth.

The "King-Lists" are divided into dynastic periods, that occurred before the flood. The most startling of these sections is the list dealing with the pre-deluge Kings (Larsa list No.1). Eight Annunaki Kings are listed, as are five city-states where centralized rule apparently was held. Length of rule is given in what is known as a "sar". All of the remaining King-Lists sections have the length of rule measured by years. The sar was apparently the period of time required for the "heavenly abode" of the Annunaki to complete one revolution around its (our?) Sun. This 'sar' was equivalent in length to 3,600 years.

(This list is from the Weld Prism of World History, found at Kish (Cush), and dated about 2000 B.C.)

Annunaki (Annakim): King, City of Rule, Length of Rule (Sars Years)

A-lu-lim NUN 8 28,800

A-la (l)-gar NUN 10 36,000

En-me-en-lu-an-na Bad-tabira 1,243,200

En-me-en-gal-an-na Bad-tabira 828,800

Dumuzi Bad-tabira 10 36,000

En-Sib-zi-an-na Larak 8 28,800

En-me-en-dur-an-na Sippar 5 (5 ner) 21,000

(?) du-du Suruppak 5 (1 ner) 18,600

 

During this time only two Annunaki held overall reign. The first was Enki (later known as Ea) ('En' meaning 'Lord') and the second was Enlil, a half-brother of Enki. The event that ended this first list was the legendary deluge. It was also during the latter part of this first period of the King-Lists that "modern humanity" appeared. So when did these gods of the Kings List arrive on earth, and where did they come from? If a sar is 3,600 years it would place the arrival of the Annunaki at about 450,000 years ago.

If the "watchers" of the Qumran scrolls were fallen angels, and actually appeared during the time of Jared (460-1422 AA), they were on earth well before the time of the flood (1656 AA) and before the time of Peleg (1757-1996 AA), when the tower of Babel is believed to have been destroyed. The Tower of Babel was thought to be an immense ziggurat, a forerunner of the pyramids.

We know that the Sumerian rulers, the emperors of Rome, the pharaohs of Egypt, the emperors of Japan, and the kings of the Inca believed they were descended from Gods. We also know that many of the Indian cultures of South America used humans in their sacrifices. The belief that these men were descendents of gods is blasphemous, the human sacrifices were evil. God may have destroyed the tower of Babel not only because the people wanted it to reach heaven, but because the city may have been built by fallen angels.

If the flood "rid the surface of earth of the human beings" that God created (Genesis 6:7) the Nephilim could have been present after the flood because: 1. they were not "human beings" (which they may not have been); 2. more fallen angels came to earth after the flood; 3. some of the original Nephilim survived the flood. Since the Bible states that all living humans (in the vicinity of the Middle East) perished during the flood, except those on the ark, it may be that more fallen angels came to earth after the flood.

Ham's son Mizraim appears to have been descended from the Nephilim, as suggested by the -im suffix of his name and the names of all seven of his son's families. There is a legend that Ham's wife was a Rephaim. As further evidence of this Genesis 10:13 states that the Philistim were descended from the Caphtorim, who were grandsons of Mizraim. The giant Goliath (whose name means splendor) was a Philistim, and he was reportedly 10 1/2 feet tall. There is also a legend that Og, King of Bashan who "was the last of the Rephaim" stowed away on Noah's Ark.

Since Noah's son Japheth produced the Kittim, also known as the Dodanim or Rodanim of Cyprus and Rhodes, his wife may have been a descendant of the Nephilim. However, because the Kittim are Japheth's grandsons, they may have received their fallen angel ancestry, not from their grandmother, but from their mother, Javan's wife. Javan is supposedly the father of the Greeks, who had legends of Giants in their culture.

Neandertal Man

Here is a quote from Johan M.G. van der Dennen:

"Fuhlrott took the finds (of Neandertal man, TR ) to Hermann Schaaffhausen, professor of anatomy at the University of Bonn, and after a preliminary announcement by Schaaffhausen, the pair presented the Neanderthaler ('Neanderthal Man') to the world at a meeting of the local natural history society in June 1857.
This was the first evidence of a distinct (and now extinct) species or subspecies of human, Homo (sapiens) neanderthalensis, that lived during the later part of the Pleistocene epoch, more familiarly known as the Ice Age, some 200,000 to 30,000 years ago. Sites at which (by now abundant) Neandert(h)al fossils have been found are distributed in Europe and western Asia from the Atlantic in the west to Uzbekistan in the east, and from Wales in the north to Gibraltar and the Levant in the south.
Most palaeoanthropologists, according to Stringer & Gamble (1993, p. 65) accept that the Neandert(h)als evolved from European middle Pleistocene ancestors who were either a late form of Homo erectus or a descendant of that species. This would be either Homo heidelbergensis or 'archaic' Homo sapiens."

I pulled this quote from the Koinonia newslettera at www.khouse.org:

"The Neanderthals possessed the hyoid bone, which is necessary for human speech. They have been found with tools and weapons, cave drawings, evidences of burial, and even a musical instrument. In fact, the finger holes of the Neanderthal flute found in Slovenia in 1995 were spaced according to the diatonic scale - do re me fa so la ti do - which argues that its maker possessed both intelligence and a musical ear. The Neanderthal image is having to be revamped as scientists realize that while they were thicker boned and more physically powerful than we are today, these humans were also intelligent, creative, and spiritually aware people.
In fact, Dr. Jack Cuozzo, a New Jersey orthodontist who has studied several of the Neanderthal skulls firsthand, argues that based on his experience of studying bone growth, the Neanderthals may have simply lived extremely long lives - perhaps 400-500 years rather than our typical 80."

My questions are, could these Neandertals be the half-human offspring of the Nephilim (Fallen Angels) or could they be the long-lived ancestors of Homo sapiens mentioned as the Patriarchs in the Bible? Could they be evidence of a First Earth Age, before The Flood?

Biblical Inconsistencies

There are inconsistencies in the Bible, because although it was divinely inspired by God it was written by men. Gen. 5:32 states that Noah was 500 years old when he fathered Shem. Gen. 7:6 states that Noah was 600 years old when the flood occurred, which would make Shem 100 years old at the time of the flood. However, Gen. 12:10 states that when Shem was 100 years old he became the father of Arpachshad "two years after the flood." Shem could not be both 100 at the time of the flood, and two years after the flood.

There are also inconsistencies in the genealogies of Matthew and Luke.

Jesus Genealogy

Generations from Adam to Jesus (adapted from Matthew)

1 Adam

Seth

Enosh

Kenan

Mahalalel

Jared

7 Enoch Lived 365 years, then God took him to heaven.

Methusaleh Longest lived human, but he did not live through the flood.

Lamech Why was he 777 years old? Because he was a just man, or because he was a Godly man?

10 Noah When he was 500 he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.

Shem

Arpachshad

Between Arpachshad and Shelah Luke inserts Cainan.

Shelah

14 Eber Heber (Eber) means "from the other side" probably referring to the time before the earth was divided.

Between Eber and Peleg the Greek Septuagint Bible adds Peleg with 130years.

Peleg During his time the earth was divided. (Babel?)

Reu

Serug

Nahor

Tereh

20 Abraham

21 Isaac Lived 180 years.

Jacob Renamed Israel by God. He lived 147 years.

Judah Married a Canaanite and fathered Er, who married Tamar, who later posed as a prostitute and had relations with Judah (her father-in-law) and gave birth to Perez.

Perez

Hezron Between Hezron and Amminadab Luke inserts Arni and Admhi.

Ram Ram is not listed in Luke, it could be Arni. But there is still one generation left out.

Amminadab

28 Nashon

Salmon Married Rahab the Canaanite prostitute.

Boaz Married Ruth the Moabitess. Boaz was 1/2 Gentile (a non-Israelite).

Obed Obed was 3/4 Gentile.

Jesse Jesse would have been at least 3/8 Gentile.

Saul Became the first king of Israel.

33 David David would have been at least 3/16 Gentile. He planned to eliminate Bathsheba's husband Uriah. After David killed Uriah, he married Uriah's wife, Bathsheba (the Hittite).

At this point Luke's genealogy indicates that Mary (the mother of Jesus) is not descended from David's son Solomon, but from his son Nathan, whose mother was also Bathsheba.

Solomon His mother was Bathsheba. He was at least 3/8 Gentile. He married the daughter of a Pharoah, turned from

God, and his son Rehoboam would lose the kingdom.

35 Rehoboam His mother was Naamah, the Ammonite. He was at least 3/4 Gentile. It was during Rehoboam's reign that the split between the Israelites and the Judahites occurred. Instead of remaining King of all Israel Rehoboam became the first King of Judah.

Abijah

 Asa

Jehosophat

Joram (Jehoram)

These next three names are left out of Matthew. They are confirmed in Kings and 1 Chronicles.

Ahaziah

Joash

42 Amaziah

Azzariah (Uzziah)

Jotham

Ahaz

Hezekiah

Manasseh

Amos (Amon)

49 Josiah

Jehoiakim (Eliakim) Left out of Matthew.

Jehoiakin (Jeconiah) Last King of the Jews.

Shealtiel

Zerubbabel

Abiud

From here on the names are not mentioned elsewhere in scripture.

Eliakim

56 Azor

Zadok

Achim

Eliud

Eleazar

Matthan

Jacob

63 Joseph

Jesus

Matthew lists 14 generations from Abraham to David, then fourteen more generations from David to the Babylonian deportation (to Josiah), and fourteen more generations from the Babylonian deportation to Christ. However, he includes David in the first two calculations, thus counting David twice. He also leaves out three names found in other portions of the Bible. He leaves out one more name between the Babylonian deportation and Jesus. Fourteen times three is 42 generations, using the Godly number 7, (which is probably why Matthew used these calculations). However, Matthew only lists 41 names.

If we use all the names that should be listed in Joseph's lineage from Adam to Joseph, we end up with 63 names, keeping the number 7 in the equation (7x9=63). Greek manuscripts mention the name Cainan between Arphaxshad and Shelah, with 65 names from Adam to Jesus (not Joseph). But, if we add Cainan's name to Matthew's calculations there would be 42 names, again putting 7 in the equation. The genealogy mentioned in Luke is Mary's lineage from Nathan, one of the sons of David. Luke names 77 generations from Adam through Mary to Jesus, again keeping the number 7 in the equation. Is this just coincidence?

It is interesting to look at Matthew's genealogy of Jesus. Any time a woman's name is mentioned in scripture it should be noted. Ruth, Rahab and Bathsheba were not Hebrews/Israelites; Rahab was a Canaanite and a former prostitute, Ruth was a Moabite, Daniel's wife Bathsheba was a Hittite. The Moabites are the descendants of one of Lot's daughters, who had a sexual relation with her father while he was drunk. All of the Canaanites and Hittite's were supposed to have been killed by the Israelites (when they entered the land of Canaan), because they practiced idol worship. All these women would have been considered Gentiles (non-Israelites). This means that Christ was part Gentile, and was descended from people of many different ethnic populations and many different backgrounds, from prophets and kings to prostitutes.

 

From Genesis to Revelations

The original Twelve Tribes of Israel, as listed in Genesis, in the order of the birth of their namesakes are: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issacher, Zebulon, Joseph and Benjamin. The tribes of Israel named in Revelations 7:5 are Judah, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issacher, Zebulon, Joseph and Benjamin. Judah may be listed first, with Benjamin last, and the other names in between, to signify the grafting of theTen Tribes of Israelites into the House of Judah (the tribes of Judah and Benjamin) as mentioned in Ezekial 37:15-29.

In Numbers 1, the tribe of Levi is left out of the list of the Twelve Tribes, because its members were priests. The list here is: Reuben, Simeon, Judah, Issacher, Zebulon, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan, Asher, Gad, Naphtali. The first seven names in Numbers are listed in the order of their birth from Jacob's first and second wives, with the sons of the first wife Leah listed first, and the son's of the second wife Rachel listed last.

The other four names in Numbers 1are those of the sons of Leah's and Rachel's two servants, but they appear to have no semblance of order; they are not listed in the order of their birth, or in relation to their mother. Dan is the first son of Bilhah, Asher is the second son of Zilpah, Gad is the first son of Zilpah, Naphtali is the second son of Bilhah.

The reason that the sons of the servants are listed in this order may be to imply equality between the sons by placing the first son of the second wife's servant before the first son of the first wife's servant. Dan is the first son of Jacob's second wife's servant and the oldest of these four brothers; Asher is the second son of Jacob's first wife's servant and the youngest of these four brothers. Gad is the first son of Jacob's first wife's servant and is older than Naphtali, who is the second son of Jacob's second wife's servant.

The listing of the twelve names in Numbers 1, may be an attempt at family integration (by mixing the names of the sons of the servants) while still preserving the sanctity of marriage (by listing the sons of the married wives before the names of the servants) and preserving the order of the marriages to the wives, and the order of the births of the sons.

In Revelations, Judah and Reuben are listed first and second. Judah is the first son of Jacob and Leah, Reuben is the fourth son of Jacob and Leah. The reason they may be listed first and second is because they are the two brothers who did not want their half-brother Joseph (the son of Jacob and Rachel) to be killed. Judah may be listed first because it is the tribe from which Jesus is descended.

The rest of the names listed in Rev. 7:5 are in some semblance of order. Gad and Asher are the first and second sons of Leah's servant Zilpah. Naphtali is the second son of Rachel's servant Bilhah (her first son Dan is not mentioned). Manasseh is Joseph's second son (who along with Ephraim was claimed by Jacob as his own son). The tribe of Manasseh replaces the tribe of Joseph (Ephraim is left out). Simeon, Levi, Issacher, and Zebulon are Leah's second, third, fifth and six sons, and are listed in their correct order, leaving out Reuben and Judah. Joseph and Benjamin are Rachel's first and second sons.

Neither the tribe of Dan, nor the tribe of Ephraim are mentioned in Revelations. The tribe of Levi replaces Dan; Ephraim is replaced by its original founder Joseph. Dan left its ancestral land in Israel to go to Aram (Armenia, Turkey), where the tribe worshipped the carved idol of Micah until the Assyrian invasion of Israel. Because of their idol worship the tribe of Dan may have lost its inheritance in Israel. The tribe of Dan is never mentioned n the Bible again.

The tribe of Ephraim also left its land, which may be the reason it is not listed in Revelations. The tribe of Ephraim was the leader of the Lost Ten Tribes of Israelites, who did not return to Canaan after they were deported to Halah on the Habor (Khabor river in modern Turkey). The tribe of Ephraim, as well as the other nine tribes of Israelites, probably mixed with the Gentile nations. This could be the fulfillment of Jacobs (Israel's) statement that Ephraim will become a multitude of nations; and the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham in Genesis 17:4, "For my part this is my covenant with you: you will become the father of many nations." (read Genesis 17:1-8)

The primary instances of the tribe of Ephraim being mentioned after the deportation are in reference to past events, or in relation to the restoration of Israel, as in Ezekiel 37:16. It is quite obvious that the reference in Ezekiel is to the House of Israel, not specifically to the tribe of Ephraim. The tribe of Ephraim is not mentioned in the New Testament.

No one knows where the tribe of Ephraim or the other tribes of Israelites currently are. The mention of their names in Revelations, in conjunction with the restoration of Israel, suggests that they still exist. They are not Jews, because they are not descended from Judah or Benjamin. But, that does not mean some of them do not currently practice the Jewish faith. However, since some of them appear to be believers in Christ prior to the Second Coming of Christ, and because they are not Jews, there is a good chance that some of them are Christians of diverse ethnic origin, from all over the world.

The Twelve Tribes of Israel

(as mentioned in the books of the Bible)

 

Genesis Numbers Revelations

Reuben Reuben Reuben

Simeon Simeon Simeon

Levi (left out because they were priests) Levi

Judah Judah Judah

Dan Dan Mannaseh

Naphtali Naphtali Naphtali

Gad Gad Gad

Asher Asher Asher

Issacher Issacher Isaacher

Zebulon Zebulon Zebulon

Joseph Ephraim (Joseph's second son, adopted/chosen by Jacob over Mannaseh)

Manasseh (Joseph's oldest son, adopted by Jacob ) Joseph

Benjamin Benjamin Benjamin

 

Gog and Magog

Because the descendants of Noah (as listed in Genesis, Ezekiel 38 and Revelations 20:10) are important at the Second Coming of Christ, and after the Millennium, let's look closer at the names. Ezekiel 38 states, "Magog chief prince of Meshech and Tubal" is mentioned as the primary name. Persia, Cush, Put, Gomer and Beth-Togarmah are also mentioned.

Magog is interpreted as the Scythians or Tartars. The Tartars are called Turks (a branch of the Aschin Huns) in western Asia; in eastern Asia they are called Mongols. Meshech and Tubal are both sons of Japheth. Meshech is either Moscow or Moschi (a people on the borders of Armenia and Colchis in Turkey). Tubal is thought to be the Georgians of Russia, and possibly the people of Portugal. The areas of these people include southern Russia, China, Mongolia and Manchuria. This is the land of Magog. Incidentally, this area was once considered the Mongol (Magog) Empire.

The connection between these peoples is quite evident in their names and ethnic background. Some of the peoples of Mongolia are the Kazakhs, as are the people (Cossacks) of Kazakhstan in southwestern Asia. The Aschin Huns were a Mongol tribe who nearly destroyed the Roman Empire; they defeated the Goths (Germanic tribes) of Eastern Europe; and they invaded Gaul (France). After they were defeated, the Huns were absorbed by the other racial strains of Europe. The Name Asia may be a corruption or transliteration of the word Aschin, from the Aschin Huns. And the word China may be a corruption or transliteration of the word Aschin, Ch'in; which was associated with the Sinites, one of the tribes of the sons of Canaan, who was a son of Ham.

Persia is interpreted as Iran, Cush as Ethiopia, and Put as Lybia. Both Cush and Put were sons of Ham, and their lands were part of the Persian Empire, as were most of the Arab Middle East countries of today.

Gomer was a son of Japheth, and is interpreted as the Cimmerians, who were chased out of Russia by the Scythians (Mongols and Turks). They eventually crossed the Caucasus Mountains in southeastern Russia, and went into Asia Minor (Turkey). The Cimmerian people also include the Cimbri (a Germanic tribe that eventually entered Germany, France and Italy), the Gauls of France, the Gaels of Scotland and Wales, and the Celts of Ireland. Gomer may have been corrupted/transliterated into the word German. The Germanic tribes include the Angles and Saxons of England; the Franks of France; and the Teutons, Jutes and Goths of Germany and Scandinavia. Finland is not included in the ethic group of Scandinavan countires, because the Fins are related to the Huns, Turks and Mongols. This means that Gomer comprises most of the European countries. Togarmah was a son of Gomer. Beth-togarmah means ''house of Aramea" which is now Turkey. The Germanic tribes originally came from the Iranian Plateau, and into Europe through Asia Minor, which we now call Turkey.

If we believe Ezekiel and Revelations will come true, then the Mongol people of China, southwest Asia and eastern Europe will join their Turkish relatives from Turkey, the Arab people of the Middle East and northern Africa, and the people of Western Europe. Many of these people are Moslems. Thus, the families of Japheth (European/Asiatic people) and the families of Ham (African/Arabic people) would be allied against the family of Shem (Jewish people).

It is interesting to note that the language of the Turks in Asia Minor; the Azerbaidzhani, Kazakh, Kirghiz and Turkomen people of south central Asia; the Hungarians and the Fins of Europe; the Bashkir, Chuvash and Tartar people of the Volga River area of Russia (from north of Moscow to the Caspian Sea); and the Yakut people of Siberia, are all in the same Uralic/Altaic language family as the Mongolian and Manchu people of China. This suggests that the Turks, the Hungarians, the Fins, the Russians in the area of Moscow, the Mongols and the Manchu people are all linguistically related. It appears that the Bible is correct in associating these peoples together. But, the science of geographic linguistics (associating ethnic groups by their similar languages) was unknown when the Torah was written over 2000 years ago. Again the question is. "How did the writers of the Bible get it right?"

For more information on the subject of the Second Coming of Christ, and the Battle of Gog and Magog, refer to my book Revelations; The Second Coming of Christ, The Battle of Armageddon and The Millennium.

Middle East Nations

The early people of Persia came from southern Russia and called their language Aryan, from which the word Iran came. These people were originally called the Horites, Hurrites, Hurrians and eventually the Aryans. This helps explain who the Aryans really were. They were a people from the Iranian Plateau of Iran, Afghanistan and Russia. They are a white race credited with the spread of the Indo-European languages to most of Europe.

The Mongol origin Turkish Moslems of Turkey and the former USSR, the Moslem/Buddhist Mongols of China, and the Persian origin Moslems of Iran and Afghanistan, have little ethnic background in common with the Arab Moslems of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Libya. This is evident by the animosity between the Arabs, and the Iranians and Afghanis. The Arab Iraqi's and the Mongol/Tartar Turks oppress the Kurds because the Kurds of Turkey and Iraq are related to the Medes-Persians (current Iranians and Afghanis), not the Turks or the Arabs. What these people do have in common is that they are not Jewish or Christian, they are primarily Moslem.

The war in Afghanistan was fueled by the fact that there are several different ethnic background tribes struggling for power of their country. The war over Kashmir between Pakistan and India was fueled by the fact that the people of the area are both Persian Muslims and Indian Hindus and Buddhists. Both Pakistan and India would like to see their relatives in Kashmir become part of their countries.

Southeastern Europe

Understanding the ethnic and religious diversity of southeastern Europe puts into perspective the recent unrest there. The people in this region were often overrun and conquered by outside ethnic groups. Southeastern Europe is an area where the Mongol origin Mongols/Tartars/Turks from Asia met the Thracians of Macedonia, the Javans of Greece and Italy, and the Slavs of Eastern Europe and Western Russia. This area has been overrun by the Thracians; influenced by the Greeks; been part of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Bulgarian Empire, the Serbian Empire, the Turkish Empire, and the Communist USSR conglomerate.

The former Yugoslavia is an area where many ethnic groups were overrun and conquered. The Slovenes and Croats are Roman Catholics; the Serbs are Eastern Orthodox; the Macedonians are descended from the Thracians (Etruscans, Tuscany, Italy), and many are Moslems; the Montenegrins are part of the Serbian branch of the Slavs, and many are Moslems. The resentment of these people toward each other was often oppressed by the rule of other people. Their freedom after the fall of the USSR has given them the desire to gain independence and their own homeland, while some groups still try to suppress their neighboring groups.

Are all these wars going on at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century the "wars and rumors of wars" mentioned in Revelations, and are they a sign of the "end times"?

If you have questions, log on to the Christianity Forum on the "T.R.'s Tips" Message Board / Forum

 

Articles from Revelations; The Second Coming of Christ, Armageddon & The Millennium

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Personal Note

My book, Revelations; The Second Coming of Christ, Armageddon & The Millennium, is the result of an on-going ten-year study (as of 2004) of Genesis and Revelations. I must point out that without a thorough understanding of Genesis you may miss some of the nuances of Revelations, and it would be hard to understand some of the events of Revelations and what causes them. I suggest you first read my book Genesis: Creation, The Patriarchs and The Flood, Fact Or Fiction?

The book is to be used only as an aid to understanding some of the obscure meanings of Revelations, to give some possible explanations of those meanings, and to try to determine a time line of the events of Revelations. I strongly suggest you study Revelations while using this book.

During my studies I relied heavily on The King James Bible, The Holy Bible; New International Version, The New American Bible, The New Jerusalem Bible.MacArthurs Study Bible, and Dake's Bible; as well as Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Smith's Bible Dictionary, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament, the World Book Encyclopedia and the New Age Encyclopedia and other resources. In this book I have summarized each chapter of Revelations. An indentation or asterisk indicate my own personal interpretation, however, there may be many other interpretations.

While writing the book I asked myself several times why I was doing it, and what gave me the right to presume to try and interpret Revelations. The only answer I could come up with was that I felt compelled to do it.

I have not changed the order of any of the events in Revelations to fit a pattern. Instead, the occurrences I list follow the chronological order of Revelations. I believe that the Seven Seals will all occur during the Tribulations, but not necessarily in the order that they are given. The first four seals will cause death to 1/4 of the inhabitants of earth. The Seals are signs, given to warn us that the next events will soon occur.

The Seven Trumpets are also signs, which result in the death of 1/3 of the human race and destroy 1/3 of the earth. However, the Trumpets are worse than the Seals, and they end with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ at the sound of the Seventh Trumpet. The Seven Trumpets probably occur in the sequence given. They could all be the result of the struggle between world powers for control of the Middle East. They are signs foretelling the formation of a world power referred to as The Empire, and the destruction that will occur prior to the 3 1/2 year occupation of Israel, which will culminate in the appearance of the two witnesses, and their 3 1/2 day death. The following day is called the Day of the Lord, and also the Day of Wrath. This begins the "Retribution" which is comprised of the Seven Plagues.

The Seven Plagues will all occur during one day (see Is. 47:9), the Day of the Lord, but again not necessarily in the sequence given. They could all be results of the war for control of the Great City referred to as Babylon, which may be Jerusalem. On this one day the city will fall, and the Battle of Armageddon will occur. I believe it is at the time of Christ's return (prior to Armageddon) that the First Resurrection (resurrection of the martyrs/believers) occurs, and when living believers of Jesus Christ will be caught up or "raptured" to join Christ. Then the Thousand-Year Reign will occur.

At the end of the thousand year reign of Christ on earth Satan will be released, and The Battle of Magog will occur. After The Battle of Magog, the Second Resurrection (resurrection of the dead/non-believers) and The Last Judgment will occur, and The New Heaven and Earth will be formed. Believing Christians will then reign with Christ forever.

I must note that there is good evidence that the predicted future events of Revelations may have already occurred. The number 666, which is stated as 616 in some manuscripts, may refer to either of two Roman Emperors, Nero or Gaius Caesar. The fall of Rome to the Scythians may have been the predicted fall of Babylon. However, if you have read my book on Genesis you know that prophecies often predict more than one event, so there may still be the fall of another empire, and a future destruction of Babylon. And it must be noted that Jesus had not yet returned to earth to reclaim Israel as his own.

A part of the proceeds of the book are a tithe to the Lord, without whom I can do nothing. I hope this study builds your faith and gives you the hope of a new and better life in Christ.

 May God be with you always,

 T.R.

Introduction

One of the best pieces of advice I have come across on how to study the Bible comes from The New American Bible, which states, "Even if you read your Bible in an up-to-date American translation, such as this one, you need guidance. Therefore read the introductions to the Bible books, and pay attention to the footnotes! Know that if you want to understand what God wants to tell you through Scripture, you must first understand what the writer wants to say. The Bible is man's words and God's word. One must understand man's word first in order to understand the word of God." The Catechism of the Catholic Church also has a great commentary on interpreting the Bible, which many people take literally.

Paragraph 110 of the Catechism states, "In order to discover the sacred authors' intention, the reader must take into account the conditions of their time and culture, the literary genres in use at that time, and the modes of feeling, speaking and narrating then current. "For the fact is that truth is differently presented and expressed in variou types of historical writing, in prophetical and poetical texts, and in other forms of literary expression."

Paragraph 115 of the Catechism states, "According to ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture: the literal and the spiritual, the latter being subdivided into the allegorical, moral and anagogical (leading) senses. Along these lines we must realize that the Bible is made up of several different literary forms. The New American Bible categorizes them this way: The Parable, a short fictitious narrative from which a moral or spiritual truth is drawn Christ's parables); The Allegory, a figurative story with a veiled meaning (Genesis 2:3: 4:1-16; 6-8; 11:1-19). The Beast Fable, used by the author to convey his message (Genesis 3:1-15); The Short Story and Historical Novel, or midrash in which the core of the story is historical, but in which the writer used traditions, and without taking time to find out what actually happened, he fashions them to bring out a religious lesson (Genesis 37-50); The Problem Story, that tries to show ways to solve political or other issues such as the "race" issue (Ruth); and The Speech as Literary Device, in which the speeches or sayings of persons may not be verbatim, but which the writer may ascribe the words to a person of authority (1 Kings 8:14-21, often used in the Acts of the Apostles).

Correctly interpreting the Bibles is especially true when it comes to science. Paragraph 159 of the Catechism states, "Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth contradict truth. Consequently, methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are."

Interestingly, this view was probably brought about as a result of the work of Galileo in the 16th century (during the time of the Inquisition), who was on the verge of being considered a heretic by the church hierarchy, because he believed the earth was not the center of the universe, nor even of our galaxy. Galileo proved the theory of Copernicus, who first proposed that the sun was the center of our galaxy, and the earth revolved around the sun; not the other way around, which was the position of the church. The church did not accept this fact until the 18th century, only 200 years ago.

The point is; we have to use our own God-given reason when we interpret the scientific aspects of the Bible. A classic example of this is Joshua 10:13 which states, "And the sun stood still, and the moon stood halted, until the people had taken vengeance on their enemies." Of course the sun stood still! In relation to earth we now know the sun is basically stationary at the center of the galaxy. But, what the writer believed (and what tradition stated) was that the sun revolved around the earth, and therefore the writer wrote that the "sun stood still". Reason demands that we do not take this literally.

There are many different ways to interpret the Bible. Literalists or fundamentalists interpret and explain the Bible literally (Jonah was swallowed by a whale). At the other end of the spectrum, liberalists qualify the whole Bible as another book of fairy tales. Many main-line liturgical churches (Catholics, Lutherans, etc.) fall somewhere in between, using a middle of the road approach, a sound balance between fundamentalism and liberalism; or as I like to think of it a sound balance between faith and science. You have to choose which of these views you wish to adhere to. I personally prefer the middle of the road.

Revelations was written at a time when the early Christian community was under persecution and stress. It was written to increase the hope and determination of the new church. It is considered not only as prophetic (knowledge of the future) writing, but also as apocalyptic writing. The word "apocalypse" is a transliteration of the Greek word apokalupsis, which means disclosure or revelation. Apocalyptic writings claim to reveal hidden things imparted by God, particularly hidden events in the future.

Revelations is much like the book of Daniel because the visions of the writer may be symbolic, and the explanations of the visions are often given in other passages or chapters within the book. Revelations is probably comprised of several different visions, each vision with several parts: Chapters 1-11, Chapters 12-13 and Chapters 14-22. Chapter 17:8-18 gives an explanation of Chapter 17:1-7, and a partial explanation of Chapters 12 and 13. Some historians believe the letters to the churches (Chapters 1: 9-3:22) were added at the time of final edition.

Because the "Revelations of John" were about events that were to occur several years into the future, the writer of Revelations could not have understood what he saw, and he had no way of accurately describing what he saw. Therefore, some of the descriptions are fantastic and ambiguous. Some of the visions and their explanations (especially Chapters 12 and 13) may also have more than one meaning.

Sequence of the Events of Revelations

Seven Events
1 Event The Tribulation

Seven Seals
The Seven Seals occur to 1/4 of the earth.
1 Seal Death by sword. Mk. 13:7 wars
2 Seal Death by famine. Mt. 24:7 famine
3 Seal Death by plague.
4 Seal Death by wild beast.
5 Seal The Martyrs Mt. 24: 9 put to death
6 Seal The earthquake Mk. 13: 8 earthquake
The sun turns black.
The moon turns red.
Mountains and islands are shaken.

2 Event The 144,000 Israelites. Lk. 21:12 witness
The Faithful in Heaven (Martyrs?)
7 Seal Silence in Heaven for 1/2 hour. Mk. 13:19 distress

Seven Trumpets
1 Trumpet Hail and fire.
2 Trumpet Blazing mountain.
3 Trumpet Burning star. Mk. 13:24 falling star
4 Trumpet Darkness. Mk. 13:24 darkness

The first four Trumpets occur to 1/3 of the earth.)
The final three trumpets occur to all the earth.

5 Trumpet Locusts.
Five months of pain.

6 Trumpet Army of 200,000,000

3 Event The three and a half year occupation of Israel. Mk. 13:14 horrible abomination

4 Event The three and a half day death of the witnesses. MK. 13:20 time shortened

5 Event 7 Trumpet The Day of the Lord. Mk. 13:26 Son of man
The Appearance of Christ and the 144,000 on Mt. Zion.
The Reaping of The Harvest (explanation of the Rapture?)
The Winepress of Gods Wrath

Seven Thunders (God's voice)
1 Thunder God commands the writer to eat the Scroll.

2 Thunder God commands the angels to pour out their seven bowls. The Day of Wrath

Seven Plagues
Because of the mention of the Euphrates these probably happen in the Middle East.
1 Plague The virulent sores.
2 Plague The sea turns to blood. Lk. 21:26 ocean turmoil
3 Plague The rivers and springs turn to blood.
4 Plague The sun scorches people with flames.
5 Plague The empire is plunged into darkness . Mt. 24:29 dark
People in pain.
6 Plague The Euphrates River dries up.
The arrival of the kings of the east.
The preparation for Armageddon.
7 Plague Lightning, thunder and earthquake.
The great city called Babylon is split.
Islands vanish and mountains disappear.
90-pound hailstones fall from the sky.
The people curse God.

3 Thunder God announces that the "end is come."

4 Thunder God commands the people to leave Babylon, "come out my people, away from her." (Escape of the 144,000?)
The Fall of Babylon.

5 Thunder God commands the people in heaven to "praise our God."
The Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
The Battle of Armageddon.
Satan is locked up for 1000 years.
The First Resurrection
The 1000 year Reign of Christ

6 Event The release of Satan
The War of Magog
The Second Resurrection.
The Book of Life
The Last Judgment
The Second Death, the lake of fire.

7 Event The New Heaven and Earth.
The New Jerusalem.
The River of Life.

6 Thunder God tells us "Look, here God Lives among human beings."

7 Thunder God tells us "Look, I am making the whole creation new."

Note that there are Seven Events. Four of these include the Seven Seals, the Seven Trumpets, the Seven Plagues and the Seven Thunders of the Day of the Lord; none of which end by themselves, they each continue into the next event. The Seventh Seal begins the Seven Trumpets; the Seventh Trumpet begins the Seven Thunders and includes the Seven Plagues; the Seventh Event begins the New Heaven and Earth. The Seventh Trumpet announces the Day of The Lord/The Day of Wrath and has Seven Plagues; they are complete and they fulfill God's anger before he creates the New Heaven and Earth. The Seven Thunders complete the Mystery of God.

 

The Woman, Dragon, Beast, Seven Heads, Ten Horns

There is a lot of confusion about the Chapters 12, 13 and 17 of Revelations. However, Chapter 17 verses 1, 7, 15, and 18 give us an explanation of the other chapters.

V.1 Come here and I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute (the city v. 18) who is enthroned beside abundant waters (large numbers of people v. 15).

v. 3 A woman riding a scarlet beast that has seven heads (v. 9 seven hills and seven kings *probably representing kingdoms or empires.) and ten horns (v. 12 ten kings who have not yet been crowned, they will possess royal authority along with the beast, but only for an hour.)

v. 4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet and glittered with gold and jewels...with the disgusting filth of her prostitution; on her forehead a cryptic name; Babylon the Great.

V.7 I will tell you the meaning of this woman and of the beast she is riding, with the seven heads and ten horns.

v. 8 The beast you see (emperor or empire) was once alive and is alive no longer (Does this mean non-existent at the time Revelation was written? If it does, the Roman Empire cannot be the future empire spoken of, because it was in power over Israel at this time.), it is yet to come up from the Abyss (The release of Satan and the locusts.), but only to go to its destruction. And the people of the world whose names are not written in the book of life will be astonished to see how the beast (emperor or empire) once was alive, is no longer, and is still to come.

v. 9 The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman (city v.18 ) is sitting. They are also emperors (*Empires over the Israelites. Probably the 1. Egyptian, 2. Assyrian-Scythian, 3. Babylonian, 4. Medes-Persian, 5. Greek and 6. Roman Empires). Five (*empires) have gone (1. Egyptian, 2. Assyrian-Scythian, 3. Babylonian, 4. Medes-Persian, 5. Greek), one is here (6. Roman) and one is yet to come (7.?); once here he (the empire with ten heads) must stay but only for a short while (the same phrase as Rev. 20:4 in which Satan is released at the end of the Thousand Years "but only for a short while.")

V. 11 The beast (*empire) who was alive, (one of the earlier Egyptian, Assyrian-Scythian, Babylonian, Medes-Persian or Greek empires); and is no longer (not the then existent Roman Empire), is at the same time the eighth and one of the seven (The eighth empire is the same as one of the seven empires. But, since it was alive and is no longer it cannot be the same as the Roman Empire, it must be one of the Egyptian, Assyrian-Scythian, Babylonian, Medes-Persia or Greek empires) and is going to its destruction (it will stay for a short while before being destroyed.). Where do the Mongol and Ottoman Empires, that also controlled Israel, fit into this?

v. 12 The ten horns ... are ten kings (*leaders, countries) who do not have power yet but will have royal authority. But the Lord and his followers; the called, the chosen and the trustworthy will defeat them.

v. 16 But the ten horns (kings/leaders/countries) and the beast (*emperor or empire) will turn against the city and destroy it. God has influenced their minds to agree to give their power to the beast until God's words are fulfilled (*total destruction of the city?).

 The Second Beast

Revelations 13:11 states, "Then I saw a second beast (anti-Christ), emerging from the ground: it had two horns like a lamb, but it made a noise like a dragon. This second beast exercised all the power of the first beast (empire), on its behalf making the world and all its people worship the first beast, whose deadly injury had been healed."

The number of the beast is the number of a human being, the number 666; 666 could be symbolic for someone or something trying to attain the perfect power of God. God's number is 7, three seven's would be the triune God; 666 would not achieve this perfection.

The Empire

There is speculation among Christians as to which countries were, or will be, part of the empires in Revelation. The empires that included the land of Palestine in their domain before Revelations was written were the Egyptian, Assyrian-Scythian, Babylonian-Chaldean and Medes-Persian Empires. The Roman Empire controlled Palestine at the time of the writing of Revelations. Since then both the Mongol and Ottoman Empires have controlled Palestine (modern Israel). The Crusades were fought to free Palestine from the Ottoman Empire.

The European countries included in the earlier empires that controlled the land of Palestine were; Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, England, Wales, Italy, Switzerland, Yugoslavia, Austria, Romania, Albania, Bulgaria and Greece; the Asian countries were Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia; the African countries were Egypt, Ethiopia, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria and Morocco. Any of these countries may form an alliance with the others and become the ten kingdoms and eighth empire of Revelations.

The Roman Empire

There is also some misunderstanding about the Roman Empire. Because Rome sits on seven hills it is assumed that the city spoken of as Babylon must be Rome. Then, because the Vatican is in Rome, it is assumed that the Vatican is Babylon. This assumption that the Vatican and Rome are the same as the Babylon of Revelations is given credence by the fact that the Vatican was once the political power of the Holy Roman Empire.

However, the "Roman Empire" which controlled Palestine during the time of Jesus' life, and the "Holy Roman Empire" are not the same. The Holy Roman Empire was a Germanic (not Roman) empire. This suggests that the Holy Roman Empire or Catholic Church is not the "Roman Empire" of Revelations.

I have already noted that the eighth empire is probably not the Roman Empire. If we consider the "empire" of Revelation as a religious empire, it could include the Moslem countries of the Middle East and northern Africa. The Middle East Moslem countries include Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria and Saudi Arabia; the African Moslem countries include Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. Any of these countries may form an alliance and become the ten kingdoms and eighth empire of Revelations. This would be similar to the historic Assyrian-Scythian Empire.

Mystery Babylon; What City Is It?

From the description of the city of Babylon in Revelations it appears that the city is a political, financial and possibly religious city. The use of the name "Babylon" for the city that is the capitol of the world empire, and the use of the term "kings of the East" may provide us with a clue as to which former empire is yet to come two more times; once as the Seventh Empire, and again as the Eighth Empire. "Babylon" may be Jerusalem, which has been corrupted (according to some people) by Moslem influences. Since the anti-Christ may be predicted (in Daniel) to seat himself on the wing of the Temple (Mount) when he proclaims himself world leader/messiah I suspect that he will make Jerusalem the capitol of his empire. Thus, Jerusalem will be the Mystery Babylon of Revelations. The term Mystery Babylon may well apply to the mystery that Babylon (current Iraq) is able to become an empire again. However, the city could also be New York City, home to the headquarters of the United Nations, and the New York Stock Exchange.

The Assyrian-Scythian and Medes-Persian Empires

Sargon of Akkad, a Semitic ruler, conquered Babylon about 2300 BC. Sargon II of Assyria (Assyrian Empire) conquered Israel about 720 BC. The Scythians (Tartars/Monglos) under King Partatua, allied themselves with the Assyrians in about 653 BC. Partatua's son, Madyes, defeated and killed the King of the Medes (whose country we call Media or Persia, current Iran). Media then remained under control of the Scythians until 625 BC. Cyrus, king of the Persians, overthrew the Median empire in 558 BC. The Arab tribes of Ishmael, and the Scythians were undoubtedly some of the people of these last two empires.

Ethnically speaking, we would not normally include Iran and Afghanistan in the "Arab" countries. The Iranians and Afghani's are of Persian descent, and many of them still speak Persian, the language of their ancestors. However, when the Persians conquered the Medes they did not treat them as conquerors. Medes were appointed to places of power under Cyrus and his successors, and the kingdom was often referred to as the "Medes and Persians" (Dan. 5:26). The influence of the Arabs on the native people of Persia remains to this day. The Persian language contains many Arab words, and it is written in the Arabic alphabet. Iran and Afghanistan should be included in the "Arab World" because they are both primarily Moslem countries. About half the people of Iran are Arabs; and Afghanistan is now the home of Osama bin Laden, an Arab from Saudi Arabia. Incidentally, the kingdom of the Medes included the current countries of Azberbijan and Kurdistan, and the areas known as Luristan, Ardelan and Arak Ajemi.

Isaiah 14:25 may support the theory that the Assyrian-Scythian Empire may be the empire of Revelations, "I will crush the Assyrian in my land; on my mountains I will trample him down." Verse 29 states, "Do not rejoice you Philistines (people of Palestine, possibly the Palestinian Arabs), that the rod that struck you is broken; from the root of that snake will spring up a viper, its fruit will be a darting venomous serpent." This may imply that Assyria is where the Ant-Christ will come from. Christ is called the "root of Jesse" (Is. 11: 10) and the "root of David" (Rev. 5:5). The only mention of the "root of the serpent," which could be interpreted as the serpent of Genesis, and "the serpent, called the Devil, and Satan" of Revelations 12:9, is this one verse in Isaiah.

This leads me to believe that the seventh and eighth Empire of Revelations may be a revival of the Assyrian-Scythian or Medes/Persian Empires, which are now made up primarily of the Middle East Arab countries. It would also explain how the seventh and eighth Empires (which according to Revelations are the same) include the people of Magog, the Scythians, who are the current Mongols, Magyars, Tartars, and Turks. However, much of this same are is the area of the former Babylonian-Chaldean Empire, which is current Iraq, and parts of all of the surrounding countries.

The Second Coming of Jesus Christ

We can look at the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, for an understanding of when the coming of the Lord and the beginning of the Millennium will be. Mt. 24:3. "Tell us, when this is going to happen, and what sign will there be of your coming, and of the end of the world?" The events mentioned are: many persons claiming to be Christ, wars and rumors of wars (but the end will not come yet) nation fighting against nation, famines and earthquakes in various places.

"This is only the beginnings of the birth pangs. You will be handed over to torture and put to death, people will fall away and betray and hate one another, many false prophets will arise, increased lawlessness, love in most people will grow cold, but those who stand firm will be saved. When you see the appalling abomination (*statue or temple to a deity?), which Daniel mentioned, set up in the holy place those in Judea should flee to the mountains, then there will be great distress unparalleled since the world began and will never be again. If that time (*of distress) had not been shortened (*the 3 1/2 days of Revelation) for the sake of the chosen, no human being would have survived. If anyone says Christ is here do not believe them for false Christs and false prophets will arise, the coming of the Son will be like lightening striking in the east and flashing far to the west. Immediately after the distress of those (*shortened days, the tribulation) the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give light and the powers of heaven will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven and come on the clouds. Then the trumpet will sound to gather the elect." Who are the Elect? They are probably those who believe Christ is Lord, but only after he appears; possibly the Israelites.

The Israelites and The Messiah

The Jews are not wrong about the appearance of the Messiah. To them the Messiah will come as a Priest King God, and as a warrior, the Lion of Judah, to set up the final reign of God. That is exactly the way Jesus will come at the Millennium. The Israelites didn't recognize Jesus as the Messiah because of the way he came and the way he died.

Wars, Meteors and Earthquakes

When we are discussing the events of Revelations, questions invariably arise as to what the disasters are, and when they occur. If we take the descriptions of the disasters literally, and in the order in which they are given, it would appear that the Seals happen first, then the Trumpets, and finally the Plagues. The First through the Fourth Seal appear to be war; and famine, death and destruction which are probably a result of the war; and they only occur to 1/4 of the earth. This could easily be the Middle East, but it could also be anywhere else.

The Fifth Seal is the martyrs asking how much longer God is going to wait before he takes vengeance on earth. The Sixth Seal appears to be an earthquake, because earthquake is mentioned. However, the sun turning black, the moon red, stars falling unto earth, mountains and islands shaken, sounds like the result of fallout from a volcano or bomb blast, or from the impact of a meteor. If it is a nuclear blast, it is unlikely that it occurs in Israel, because the war of Armageddon with its 200,000,000 troops may occur within 3 1/2 years. No army would enter this wasteland after a nuclear attack, because of the threat of radiation, and because there would probably be nothing left to fight for. Therefore, I suspect that the Sixth Seal is a meteor impact or a conventional bomb.

The Seventh Seal is repetitive of the Sixth Seal because of the earthquake; and because the Seventh Seal begins the Seven Trumpets, they may be the same. The First Four Seals mention hail, fire mixed with blood, burning vegetation, a blazing mountain falling into the sea, a star blazing like a torch falling onto rivers, and the sky turning black; this again sounds like a meteor or fragments of a meteor. This could also be the result of a nuclear rocket sent up to destroy an approaching meteor; it has been discussed by scientists as a way to avert a collision with a meteor.

The Fifth Trumpet sounds like war with airplanes, possibly using biological weapons. The Sixth Trumpet sounds like troops following up this biological assault with guns and artillery. The Seventh Trumpet is a warning of the Seven plagues, which appear to occur to the city (*of Jerusalem) within one hour. This is supposedly the worst destruction to occur since the creation. The Seven Plagues sound like the results of a war, which would easily destroy Jerusalem in one hour, and would seem like the end of days. This could also be the result of some unheard of form of God's Wrath. The only way Jerusalem would be inhabitable after all this destruction, especially after a nuclear blast, would be if God changes it!

Frequently Asked Questions

I personally believe that believers will be saved from the Wrath, even though they may go through the Tribulation. Romans 5: 9 states, "How much more can we be sure, therefore, that, now that we have been justified by his death, we shall be saved through him from the retribution of God." Thessalonians 1: 10 states, "It is He who saves us from the retribution." It does not say we are saved from tribulation. The Greek word for tribulation is thlipseos; which means tribulation, trouble or affliction. The Greek word for retribution in Romans 5: 9 and Thessalonians 1:10 is orge; which means wrath or anger, as a state of mind. This is the same word used in Revelations 6: 16-17, referring to the "great day of wrath." The two different words used here make it clear there are two different events occurring.

What Will Happen During The Rapture?

1 Cor. 15:50 tells us "mere human nature cannot inherit the Kingdom of God: what is perishable cannot inherit what is imperishable. 51 "Listen, I tell you a mystery, we will not all sleep, but we are going to be changed, 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. 53 for the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: 'Death has been swallowed up in victory."

What Will Happen To Those Who Die?

1 Cor. 15:42 tell us, "It is the same too with the resurrection of the dead: 43 what is sown is perishable, but what is raised is imperishable; what is sown is contemptible but what is raised is glorious; what is sown is weak, but what is raised is powerful; 44 what is sown is a natural body, and what is raised is a spiritual body." The Christian dead will be changed and given a spiritual body!

Will Believers In Christ Go Through The Wrath?

1Thes. 5: 9 states, "For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." This says that we will not suffer wrath, it does not say we will not suffer tribulations. Revelations 15: 1 says states, "the seven last plagues - last because with them God's wrath is completed." The Wrath is the Seven Plagues. The term "wrath" is used in Revelations in reference to the "great day of their wrath," (Rev. 6: 16-17, 11:18). Rev. 19:16 states, "he will rule them with an iron scepter. He (Jesus) treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty." This clearly shows that The Wrath does not occur until Christ comes. Rev. 18:4 states, "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues." God is obviously calling out his people here, so that they may be saved from the plagues. If his people weren't still there he wouldn't need to call them out. If the "Reaping of the Harvest" is the Rapture, it occurs in Revelations 14, before the explanation/occurrence of the Seven Plagues.

When Does The Wrath Occur?

When will the Wrath occur? If you are a Christian and are "caught up" when Christ comes you won't have to worry, because you will be "immortal." 1Thes. 5:3 tells us when the wrath will come. "While people are saying, 'Peace and safety,' destruction will come on them suddenly." Matt. 24:14 says, "And the gospel of the kingdom will be preached to the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."

The pronouncement of the reign of God Almighty occurs in Rev. 19:6, at the coming of Christ. v. 15 "So when you see the appalling abomination, of which the prophet Daniel (Dan. 9:27) spoke, set up in the holy place (let the reader understand) those in Judea must escape to the mountains." This suggests that Christ, and the Wrath, will come when there seems to be peace. I believe this peace will occur after the Anti-Christ kills the two witnesses (which will be a time of peace) and then proclaims himself God. Christ will then come to show the Anti-Christ (and those people who follow him/believe that he is a god) that he is not God at the Battle of Armageddon.

How Long is The Wrath?

How long is the Wrath? One writer believes it is the difference in days between Daniel's 12 Chapter in verses 11-12; 1290 days and his 1335 days, or 45 days. I personally believe that the time may have been shortened from the final week of Daniel 9:27. The last half-week may be the 3 1/2 day death of the witnesses in Revelation. Mark 13:20 says, "And if the Lord had not shortened that time, no human being would have survived; but he did shorten the time, for the sake of the elect whom he chose." Who are the Elect? In this case, the elect are those chosen by God not to experience an extended period of tribulations or The Wrath.

How Will We Know When Christ Is Coming?

How will we know when the Second Coming of Christ is near? Luke 21:9 gives us some signs. "When you hear of wars and rumors of wars and revolutions, do not be terrified, for this is something that must happen first, but the end will not come at once. 10 Nation will fight against nation and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes and plagues and famines in various places; there will be terrifying events and great signs from heaven." Those signs are happening now.

When Does Christ Come?

If the chronology of Revelations is correct, Christ will come after the Tribulations, but at the Wrath. Mark 13:24 tells us the signs to look for. "But in those days, after that time of distress, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give light, 25 the stars will come falling out of the sky and the powers in heaven will be shaken. 26 And then they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then he will send the angels to gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the world to the ends of the sky." He will come at the Seventh Trumpet, and we will join him. Only then will he tread out God's fierce Wrath at the Battle of Armageddon.

According to one writer the book of Psalms places the Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ within 13-1/2 years of each other. He states, "There is a timetable in the book of Psalms that has been visible now ever since the fig tree budded. It describes the wars against the Jews in 7 individual wars against the nations. Each war is described in the chapter that aligns with the year the event took place. One example is the budding of the fig tree. It is recorded in Chapter 48, and it happened in 1948. Correlating events continue on through Chapter 119. Chapters 120 through 135 speak of the Lord dwelling with us here on the earth as in the millennium period. Chapter 136 through the end of Psalms speaks of the period Satan is released from the bottomless pit and tries to influence the nations on the earth again. This period appears to be 15 years, or chapters."

Is it coincidental that Abraham, the man that God promised Palestine to, was born 1,948 years after the creation of Adam? In 1948 Israel became a nation in the land of Palestine again. Seventy-five years after God's promise to Abraham, in the year 2023 AA (After Adam), the Hebrews entered Palestine for the first time. Is there a connection with the date 2,023 and the Second Coming of Christ? We should also note that Abraham, the 20th generation from Adam, was not allowed to enter Palestine, but that the next generation, the 21st or 3x7 generations (using the Godly number 7) did enter Palestine. How many generations have there been since the birth of Christ? Is it significant? Could there be a tie-in with the 21st century?

Impersonators Come Before Christ

But, we must be careful, because people impersonating Christ will come before Christ does. Mark 13:21 "And if anyone says to you then, 'Look he is there. 'Do not believe it, for false Christ's and false prophets will arise and produce signs and portents to deceive the elect, if that were possible."

The Anti-Christ Comes First

The anti-Christ must also appear before Christ returns. 2 Thes. 2:3 "Let no one seduce you, no matter how. Since mass apostasy has not yet come nor the man of lawlessness been revealed - that son of perdition and adversary who exalts himself above every so called god proposed for worship, he who seats himself in God's temple and even declares himself god. v. 9 This lawless one will appear as part of the workings of Satan, accompanied by all the power and signs and wonders at the disposal of falsehood -." Don't be fooled by the first person to claim he is God, even if he performs miracles.

What About the Reformation Of Israel?

Mark 13:28 gives us another sign of the end times. "Take the fig tree as a parable; as soon as its twigs grow supple and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29 So with you when you see these things happening: know that it is near, right at the gates. 30 In truth I tell you, before this generation has passed away all these things will have taken place. 31 Sky and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 32 But as for that day or hour, nobody knows it, neither the angels in heaven, nor the son; no one but the Father." The fig tree may be the reforming of the nation of Israel. It may also be the revival of the Holy Spirit and Christianity on earth. The generation may refer to the generation that sees the reformation of Israel.

According to some Bible scholars the generation that sees the reformation of Israel as a nation will see the Second Coming of Christ (Matthew 24:32-36). The Bible contains two generations: the generation that did not enter the Promised Land for 40 years and the 120 years of Genesis 6:3. The longest generation in the Bible is 120 years; the shortest is 40 years. If these numbers are correct and the fig tree is the reformation of Israel in 1948; then the Second Coming of Christ could be any time from 1988 to 2068. If a generation is the 75 years from the time Abraham was told the Hebrews would enter Palestine, until the time they did enter it, then the date of Christ's Second Coming may be the year 2023. However, we know that Christ was not born in the year 0 AD, but that he was probably born 6-8 years before that. We need to add 6-8 years to our current date to know how many years we actually are from the birth of Christ, or subtract 6-8 years from the predicted times. In 2000 we are actually 2,006 to 2,008 years from Christ's birth. Many people and cultures have predicted a change in the world as we know it around the year 2000. The Incas predicted the end of the world would occur on Dec. 23, 2013. It's believed they used the winter solstice on December 22, 2013 as the end of current time.

Hosea may also give us a clue as to the time of the coming of Christ. Hosea 16:2 states, "after two days he will revive us, on the third day he will raise us up and we shall live in his presence." Some scholars believe that we should use the prophetic one day equals 1,000 years when interpreting this verse. That the prophetic day equals 1,000 years comes from 2 Pt. 3:8 "that with the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." This would mean that after 2,000 years Christ would raise up the Israelites. But, does it mean that they will be raised up 2,000 years after this statement was made, 2,000 years after Christ was born, or 2,000 years after Christ died? If it means 2,000 years after the statement was made in about 720 - 730 BC, the time has passed. If it means 2000 years after Christ's birth or death it could be from 2000 to 2033. If we expand on this theory we could suggest that, according to the Bible, God created the world about 4000 years before the birth of Christ. It has been 2,000 years since the birth of Christ, and if 2,000 is when he comes again to reign on earth for 1,000 years as it currently exists, then the current earth will have existed 7,000 years; 7 is considered the Godly number.

What About the Rebuilding Of The Temple?

Many scholars believe that, because of the prophecy of the 70 weeks in Daniel, that the temple has to be rebuilt in Jerusalem. The temple was already rebuilt after Daniel's prophecy. Therefore, it may not have to be rebuilt again prior to Christ's Second Coming. However, 2 Thes. 2:3 states that the second beast will seat himself in God's temple and declare himself god. "Let no one seduce you, no matter how. Since mass apostasy has not yet come nor the man of lawlessness been revealed - that son of perdition and adversary who exalts himself above every so called god proposed for worship, he who seats himself in God's temple and even declares himself god." The second beast/false prophet/Anti-Christ cannot seat himself in God's temple and declare himself God unless there is a Temple of God. But, the ruins of the temple are still there.

What is The Horrible Abomination?

Daniel's prophecy also talks about the horrible abomination on the wing of the temple. This horrible abomination is thought to be a statue to a false God. The horrible abomination is first mentioned in 1 Maccabees 1:54, when Antiochus Epiphanes erected an altar of Baal Shaamen (the Olympian Zeus) on the Jewish altar of burnt offering. Today The Dome Of The Rock stands on the Temple Mount. This may be another horrible abomination because it is built as a place of worship for the Moslems. The call to prayer each day for Moslems professes that, "God is Greatest; I confess that there is no God but God; I confess that Mohammed is the Prophet of God." The Jews would not agree that Mohammed is a Prophet of God, and therefore, The Dome Of The Rock would be considered a horrible abomination. If this is the horrible abomination spoken of in Daniel, it is already there; all that is left is for the Anti-Christ to proclaim himself God.

What happens to those who refuse to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior?

What will happen to those who refuse to accept Christ as Lord and Savior, or who do evil? Rev. 20:5 tells us, "The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended." Since the martyrs and the dead in Christ have already come to life, the dead are the non-believers. In Matthew 13:41-43 Christ says, "The Son of Man will send his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of falling and all who do evil, and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. Then the upright will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Anyone who has ears should listen." The key here is "his kingdom." Christ's kingdom is not formed until after he appears. People are given ample time during the Tribulations to believe in Christ. They may also be given time during the 1,000 year reign of Christ. It is at the end of the Millennium that the nations are led astray by Satan, that the War of Magog occurs, and that "fire is rained down on them from heaven." (Rev. 20:9)

When Is The End of The World?

The Second Coming should not be confused with the end of the world, in fact the words "end of the world" do not appear in the Bible; the words "the end," "the end of time" and "the end of days" are used. Some people believe Christ will reign on earth for 1,000 years after the Second Coming. Then heaven and earth will be changed and God will rule in the New Jerusalem among his people. In Matthew 13:49-50 Christ says, "This is how it will be at the end of time: the angels will appear and separate the wicked from the upright, to throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth." This is at "the end of time" which is probably after the Millennium. Since heaven will be on earth after the Millennium, there is no end of the world, just a New World. Since "there will be no night there" (Rev. 21:25) there is no way to tell time, thus it may be "the end of time".

The third century BC Chaldean astronomer Berosus, who lived in Babylon, wrote the book Babylonaica, or as Josephus refers to it the Chaldaica. Berosus claimed to be a priest of the God Marduk (Bel). If this is true he was probably a member of the Magi. Berosus believed that he knew what astronomical event causes the catastrophes at the end of time. He states, "Some suppose that in the final catastrophe the earth too will be shaken and through clefts in the ground will uncover sources of fresh rivers which will flow forth from their full source in large volume. I, Berosus, interpreter of Belus, affirm that all the earth inherits will be consigned to flame when the five planets assemble in Cancer, so arranged one in a row that that a straight line may pass through their spheres. When the same gathering takes place in Capricorn, then we are in danger of the Deluge." There was an alignment of five planets in the northern hemispheres in early 2002, this may be the "consignment" of fire of Berosus. It may actually happen until the same gathering occurs in Capricorn.

I don't know if the planets aligned at the time of the flood, but it appears that Berosus believed the future catastrophe is composed of rivers of flame or fire; possibly volcanic flows, that may occur when five planets align near the constellation Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere. When the signs of the zodiac were first named, the winter solstice (the day when the sun is farthest from the earth) occurred in the Capricorn section of the zodiac. The date of the winter solstice is December 22; which is the date when the ancient Incas believe the world as they knew it would end. This is very close to the date when we believe Jesus was born, and a bright star appeared in the sky. Could history repeat itself?

I've taken the following passage from the website at www.newjerusalem.com/worldsend.htm. I suggest you read the entire site, it provides some interesting views and insights into the "end of time," the anti-Christ and the Second Coming of Christ.

"Seven hundred years ago, St. Malachy, the abbot of a great monastery in Ireland, produced a prophetic list which he gave as a royal gift to the King of France. In this list, he gave a cryptic name to each of the popes who would reign over the Roman Church from that time until the until the end of the world. The short names have been remarkably accurate describing the circumstances of each of the popes which have come. There are only two remaining on the list after Pope John Paul II. The pope before John Paul II, John Paul I, was named: "Mediate Lunae" or "Of the term of the moon." He reigned exactly 30 days: the term of the moon! The current Pope, John Paul II's cryptic name on Malachy's list is: "Laboris Solis" or "The labor of the sun." This likely refers to the passage: "and the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give her light, for the powers of heaven will be shaken." (Matt.24:29) From this it becomes clear the TIME OF TIMES will actually occur during the reign of the present pope: John Paul II !! The pope to follow John Paul II, is termed: Gloriae Olivae" or "The Glory of the Olive", which refers to a period of world peace, and to the reconciliation of Israel. The LAST Pope on the list of St. Malachy is termed "Petrus Romanus" (Peter the Roman). Malachy's only written comment is on this last pope:" (In extreme persecution, the seat of the Holy Roman Church will be occupied by Peter the Roman, who will feed the sheep through many tribulations, at the term of which the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the formidable Judge will judge his people. The End.)"

Who is involved in the Battle of Armageddon?

Because the descendants of Noah (as listed in Genesis, Ezekiel 38 and in Revelations 20:10) are important at the Second Coming of Christ, and after the Millennium, let's look closer at the names. "Magog the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal" are mentioned as the primary names in Ezekiel 38. Persia, Cush, Put, Gomer and Beth-Togarmah are also mentioned. While many people interpret Rosh as Russia, if we look at rosh as used over 600 times in the Hebrew Old testament, and use a concordance we find that the word rosh is an adjective and means chief, captain or leader. This verse should be interpreted as "Magog chief prince of Meshech and Tubal." Meshech and Tubal are both sons of Japheth. Meshech is either Moscow or Moschi (a people on the borders of Armenia and Colchis in Turkey). Tubal is thought to be the Georgians of Russia, and possibly the people of Portugal. Since the leader Gog is mentioned as being aligned with these nations in Ezekial, these are probably the nations involved in the battle of Armageddon. In Revelations 20 Gog is the chief prince of Magog. These are two different battles, but the same armies may be involved. I've taken the following passage from my book on Genesis.

Most writers interpret Meshech as the Muscovites of Russia and possibly the Pole, Finn, Lapp, Czech, Slovak, Yugoslavian, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Romanian, related groups. Tubal is interpreted as the Siberian, Albanian, Georgian, related groups; and Spain and Portugal. Persia is interpreted as Iran, Cush as Ethiopia, and Put as Lybia. Both Cush and Put were sons of Ham, and their lands were part of the Persian Empire, as were most of the Arab Middle East countries of today. Gomer was a son of Japheth, and is interpreted as the Cimmerians. The Cimmerian people include the Cimbri (a Germanic tribe that eventually entered Germany, France and Italy), the Gauls of France, the Gaels of Scotland and Wales, and the Celts of Ireland. Gomer may have been corrupted/transliterated into the word German. The Germanic tribes include the Saxons of England; the Franks of France; and the Teutons, Jutes and Goths of Germany and Scandinavia. Finland is not included in the ethic group of Scandinavian countries, because the Fins are related to the Huns, Turks and Mongols. This means that Gomer comprises most of the European countries. Togarmah was a son of Gomer, Beth-togarmah means ''house of Aramea" which is now Turkey.

If we believe Ezekiel will come true, then the Turkish-Hunnish peoples of Meshech (Russia and the eastern European countries), Tubal (Georgia, possibly Spain and Portugal), Persia (Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, possibly the Arab countries of Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon), Cush (Ethiopia), Put (Lybia), Gomer (Germany, France, the western European Countries and possibly the United Kingdom) and Beth -Togarmah (Turkey) will join forces to come against Israel.

The words "north" and "far north" are mentioned several times in Exekial 38 in conjunction with the home or country of Gog. Many writers interpret this to mean a land far to the north of Palestine/Israel such as Russia. But, to the Israelites a land to the north might have meant something a lot closer. In Jeremiah 4: 6, wher eGod is talking about the destruction of Israel it states, "For I am bringing disaster from the north..." Jeremiah 25:9 talks about the destruction of the House of Judah, where God says. "I shall send now for all the families of the north (Yahweh declares, that is, for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon my servant) and bring them down on the country and its inhabitants (and on all the surrounding nations)" Here the "families of the north" is Babylon, which is actually north east of Israel.

In Jeremiah Jeremiah 6:22 -23 God says "Look a people is coming from the land of the north, from the fare ends of the earth a great nation is riding; they are armed with bnow and spear, they are cruel and pitiless; their noise is like the roaring of the sea, they are riding horses, they are ready to fight against you as one man, against you, daughter of Zion." In this case the destruction is upon Israel by the Babylonian-Chaldean empire. But, in Jeremiah 50:41-42, God is referring to the destruction of the Babylonian-Chaldean empire by the Assyrian-Scythian empire, "Look, a people is coming from the far north, a might nation, from the far ends of the earth. They are armed with bow and spear, they are cruel and pitiless; their noise is like the roaring of lions, they ride horses, ready as one man to fight you, daughter of Babylon." These are almost exactly the same words, but refer to two different destructive empires. Could the "nations of the north" be the former Babylon-Chaldean empire (current Iraq) and her northern Arab and Tartar/Mongol allies; or could it be the former Assyrian-Scythian empire and it's southern Arab allies? We must remember that a large part of this battle appears to include the "Kings of the East."

 

Who are The Kings of the East?

Many writers believe the "kings of the East" refers to Russia and China. I tend not to agree with this belief. If we research the use of the words "sons of the East" "princes of the East" and "kings of the East" we will find that they are probably the part Hebrew - part Egyptian people we call Arabs. The first mention of the "sons of the East" is in Genesis 12. Abraham sent away his Egyptian slave Hagar and her son Ishmael, who was Abraham's first born son. Because Abraham was distressed at having to send his first born son away God told him, "Do not distress yourself on account of the boy and your slave girl. Do whatever Sarah says, for Isaac is the one through whom your name will be carried on. But the slave girl's son I shall make into a great nation." This would have happened sometime around 1850 BC.

Ishmael grew up in the Paran desert and became an archer. The Paran desert is the Iranian desert, which is east of the land of Canaan. In Genesis 17:20 God tells Hagar that Ishmael's sons will be twelve "rulers" and they will become a great nation. In Genesis 25:16 the twelve sons of Ishmael are also called tribal "rulers." Judges 6:3 states that Midian and Amalek along with the "eastern peoples" marched against the Israelites. Midian was one of the four sons of Abraham's Egyptian wife Keturah. Keturah's sons were considered the leaders of the four tribes of southern Arabs. The Midianites were later referred to as Ishmaelites. Judges 8:22-27 refers to Midian as Ishmaelites." The "kings of the East" may well be the twelve northern Arab tribes of Ishmael and the four southern Arab tribes begun by the sons of Abraham's wife Keturah.

Who is involved in the Battle of Gog and Magog?

In Revelations 20 only Gog and Magog are mentioned. Most writers interpret Magog as the Scythians or Tartars. The first century writer Philo identifies Magog with southern Russia. In an eighth century reference the Great Wall of China was called: Sud Yagog et Magog "The Rampart of Gog and Magog." The Moslems refer to Gog and Magog as Vadjudj wa madjudj in the Koran. Bible commentary writer Chuck Missler believes they are the Magyars of Russia and Hungary. The Tartars are called Turks (a branch of the Aschins or Kushuns / Huns / Magyars) in western Asia. In eastern Asia they are referred to as Mongols. The areas of these people include southern Russia, China, Mongolia and Manchuria. This is the land of Magog. Incidentally, this area was once considered the Mongol (Magog) Empire.

The Aschin / Kushun Huns were a Mongol tribe who nearly destroyed the Roman Empire; they defeated the Goths (Germanic tribes) of Eastern Europe; and they invaded Gaul (France). After they were defeated, the Huns were absorbed by the other racial strains of Europe. The Name Asia and word Hun may be a corruption or transliteration of the words Aschin or Kushun. And the word China may be a corruption or transliteration of the word Aschin or Ch'in; which was associated with the Sinites, one of the tribes of the sons of Canaan, who was a son of Ham. The battle of Gog and Magog may not to involve the Arab nations, nor the European nations.

May God be with you always,

T.R.

If you have questions, log on to the Christianity Forum on the "T.R.'s Tips" Message Board / Forum

 

Internet Bible Study Links

Basic Theology: http://www.basictheology.com/

Hypertext Bible Dictionary: http://www.bible.gen.nz/dictionary.htm

Bible Encyclopedias: http://www.christiananswers.net/dictionary/sabaoth.html I http://www.studylight.org/enc/isb/

http://bible.crosswalk.com/Encyclopedias/CondensedBiblicalCyclopedia/ I http://www.searchgodsword.org/enc/isb/

Catholic Bible Encyclopedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/

 

  

Christian Outdoorsman's Organizations

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3640 West 13th St.

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www.CBA.org

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Dr. Tom Rakow, President

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Mike Brooks (co-founder) T.R. Michels (co-founder)

10592 W 63rd Ave.

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800-705-5892

www.christiansportsman.com

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PO Box 1531

Eau Claire, WI 54701

715-926-3816

(organization)

 

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Gerry Caillouet

8193 Emerick Rd.

West Milton, OH 54383

E-mail GGOUTDOORS@AOL.COM

www.ggoutdoors.org

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