Thursday, October 31, 2013

Trading With the Caddoes

To say I was a little nervous about my trading visit with the Caddo tribe is understating it. I was a member of the Darbs, an imaginary tribe that had never met them before. But I had heard they were a peaceful people who traded extensively with other tribes. They were famous for their very artistic pottery.

And so it was that I was plying their river's waters in my canoe, loaded with goods. Soon I smelled the smoke of their fires and a little later saw two men on the river's bank as if they were waiting for me. Had they anticipated my arrival and even my peaceful purposes?

One of the men called out to me as I came to shore. I could not understand his words, so I immediately dialed my dream translator and we began to speak the same language. We pulled my heavily laden canoe onto the bank and exchanged greetings. These intuitive people knew my mission was all about trade, and soon a blanket was spread out on the ground to display my goods.

My first offer was a display of sewing needles, from giant darning needles to small ones for embroidery. A little girl ran to an old woman to show her a pack. The elderly lady, probably her grandmother, squinted at them, not seeing or comprehending.

Quickly I unveiled a card of reading glasses and selected a pair of 3x power with jeweled rims. I walked to the lady and gently slid them onto her face. I held up the needles and she bent to look. She stared in unbelief. Had she been bewitched ? She began to cry, moved by her restored vision.

Next I produced a hand axe with a nice curved grip. I demonstrated its use on a nearby log, then showed how to sharpen it with a double sided whet stone. More of the Caddoes pressed round the trading blanket as I brought out more objects. Fish hooks and line that became invisible under water. A large magnifying glass for close viewing and magically starting fires. A saw with replaceable blades.

And for the ladies, a set of artist paints and brushes. They were fascinated with the bright colors. Their favorite seemed to be fluorescent orange. Then of course, the manditory trading beads, in colors they had not seen before.

Last of all I presented the chief with a stainless steel knife featuring a grip cap set with a compass. The end cap unscrewed to reveal a hollow handle. He was fascinated by the machined threads. To his wife I gave a fluted clear glass vase. She turned it in her hands, entranced by the rainbow of colors the sunlight cast upon her blouse.

A silence came upon my little group. One of them asked, "What do we have that we can offer you in exchange for these wonderful things?" I explained I would be very happy with some of their seeds--bean seeds--that no one else had.

At first they were perplexed. Beans? I explained that everything I had brought them was man-made, but the seeds were made by God and were a great treasure. I was presented with a large, decorated bowl heaped with the precious beans.

My dream was running out. After tearful goodbyes, I paddled away from the Caddoes with my treasured seeds. The beautiful bowl would some day be displayed in a museum, but I would plant the seeds. After all the trading was over, I had gotten the better part of the deal. My gift was alive.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Synagogue of Satan at the Church's Feet

Behold,I will make them of the Synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I loved thee. Revelation 3:9

This promise of Jesus to the church of Philadelphia is so amazing, so controversial, I am sure it will never be a sermon topic. Can't we all get along?


It shocks the church into silence. Sounds like a sure way to lose your 501(C)(3) tax deferment. Let's avoid it. Never mention it, as we do many words of Jesus.

Who can understand such a radical idea as anyone worshipping the church? Not as God, but in fealty, in times to come when the tables are turned. Better yet like Jesus and the money changers, the tables will be overturned. It can't be of this time.

Presently the Satanic Synagogue rules, and only a colossal battle of divine intervention will reverse things. The church declines as both Paul and Peter wrote that she would in their last epistles. There are so many reasons for Christians to want to ignore these words of Jesus. Yet they remain, and they shall remain, though the heavens and the earth pass away.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hannah's Baby Boy

So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying "Because I asked the Lord for him." I Samuel 1:20, NIV

Is there a more touching and thrilling story in the Bible? Surely the story of Samuel ranks way up there. His mother's prayer in I Sam. chapter two is so great and deserves to be read and heard much more than it is.

Her husband is presented to us as a very loving and understanding man, also. A barren woman prays so fervently that the priest believes she is drunk. After she states her case, she is told that her heart's desire will be granted.

In some parts of the world a child is weaned at a later age than in the US or Europe, but Hannah's boy was still a baby when, as she had vowed, she parts company with him. How wrenching that must have been, for both mother and child. God then granted children to Hannah. She became mother to five more children.

At a tender age God reveals himself to Samuel. He is to become one of the great men of the Old Testament--so instrumental that he anoints David to be king. The transition from Saul to David comes from the hand of Samuel. One of the greatest men of God was born because of the prayer of a childless woman.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Don't Give Me That Old Time Religion

Give me that old time religion
That old time religion
It was good enough for Cain
And it's good enough for me

Bob Goulding and Ray Elliot--"Bob and Ray" of earlier fame--did a skit about collectors. One fellow collected antique meat. He had albums of really old meat. The oldest was a pork chop found in a log cabin over two hundred years ago.

The idea of "older is better" can sometimes be true. Many very old varieties of roses are unmatched by today's offerings. But I believe the opposite is true concerning religion.

A very prominent preacher (he was once my associate pastor) brags that he has a Latin Vulgate in his pulpit. This man feels the King James, or Authorized Version is too modern. His theology stops with Calvin. I am a "Calvinist" of five point supralapsarian persuasion and, in that regard, can feel at home in such churches as he represents.

But what he and his church do to prophesy shouldn't happen to a dog. PETA and the SPCA would complain. As a mark of their often antiquarian system of theology, they do not like prophecy. Their churches do not teach it or debate it.

This is not just something I have read about. It is something I have lived. I once was assigned to regularly meet with a charming but superficial pastor who said, "I was told not to teach prophesy. It divides people." He was TOLD!

John, who wrote Revelation, says of this book, that those who read it and those who hear it are blessed. So who were those who advised this naive man to the contrary? They are known as the "Kingdom Builders", who teach that we are presently building an earthly kingdom.

Revelation teaches that this present world ends in destruction. So if you want to invest in the world, you must avoid Revelation. Simple as that.

But back to old religion. I know very little about Sumer and Akkad. But if I desire to study the horrible, pagan religions of the later ancient nations, Like Babylon and Egypt I can do so without leaving the church. It is marinated in "Old time religion. Easter is a perfect example.

I could happily live with those of the old religions, if they would keep it out of the church. Drink all the beer you want, but please don't toss the cans in my yard.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

She Tried to Bake a Cake

She was very young, and this was her first try at baking. She decided on a yellow cake with chocolate icing. She opened her cookbook and found the recipe she wanted and began to gather her ingredients.

Everything proceeded nicely, and soon she was icing the cake. Her mother entered the kitchen and smiled with approval.

"Did you have enough eggs?" she asked.

Her daughter reacted with consternation. "Eggs?" she replied. She reached into the refrigerator for the eggs.

The mother patiently explained that it was too late to use them now. Ingredients need to be blended together in sequence. You can't put in the eggs after the cake is done.

This rather implausible story illustrates how many approach the study and teaching of the Bible, especially prophecy. Being in a hurry, not reading carefully, and neglecting to place things in the proper sequence can lead to great errors.

The person who said they read about King Saul's experience on the road to Damascus is an example of what can happen. The names were the same, but of course the people who bore them were separated by almost a thousand years.

Law and grace suffer the same fate. It happens all the time.

But I am most aware of the grievous wrongs done to the study and teaching of prophecy, and to peoples' lives. It seems that many feel they can take an event that seems to fit into a prophecy and assume that it is currently being fulfilled.

Hitler as Antichrist was widely taught during his time. But to a student of end times it was totally false. Wrong nationality, wrong country, wrong timing, perhaps worst of all.

World conditions, as precisely illustrated in Daniel's great image, show that Antichrist arises in the time of a ten-nation confederation composed of countries out of the ancient Roman empire. This is represented by the image's ten toes. Such a confederation has not yet occurred.

Simply put, God's actions and world history , occur in time and space. They are not made of Silly Putty, to be shaped as we want. There is a whole school of misinterpretation based on this falsehood. I abhor their willful errors. I wouldn't want to eat a cake they would bake.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Upside-Down Fish Hook

When a dear friend's daughter was a very little girl, she was riding in a shopping cart as it approached the checkout counter. She was wearing a bronze pin with the figure of a hook--a "J" actually.

The nice lady at the register noticed the pin and said, "Hello, little girl, what's that pin you're wearing?"

The little girl piped up, never one to be shy, that it was the path of Jesus returning to receive His saints in the air and take them to heaven. The reaction of the checkout lady is not known, but a child had explained the wonderful truth of the Rapture.

Yesterday I heard a sound bite of the Bible Answer Man saying that this doctrine is found nowhere in the Bible. You see it is only people levitated into the air to greet Jesus as he returns to Earth to rule over His kingdom. It is based on the Roman practice of the populace greeting victorious generals outside the city gates and escorting them back to town.

This, apparently, is based on the Bible! Anything to deceive. Anything to divert us from the plain Word of God.

My patience is all used up. Like a scarred old tom cat, I have been in too many battles. I no longer believe there is any hope for people, often highly educated and sophisticated, to receive this truth. Like the Bible Answer Man and his preterist interpretations, they live to deceive, and flee the truth like cockroaches running from the light.

The Rapture is revealed from Enoch in Genesis to the 144,000 in Revelation. There is no excuse to pervert it or to say it is the modern invention of ignorant people. These people are not just arguing against those (like me) that they look down upon, they deny the very Word of God.

If such deniers were to wear pins showing their vainly invented doctrine, they would have them upside down. Instead of honoring the return of Christ in the air, they would illustrate mankind returning to the earth.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Driving Off the Road

You are driving down a deserted road and decide to tune in your car radio. You begin to pay more attention to the radio than the road, and soon a rumbling sound and jerking of the wheel tell you that you're going off the road. Though there are dangerous places ahead--rivers and rocky cliffs--your stretch of the highway is level and grassy, and soon you correct the error. No harm done.

There are two ways your car can go off the road, left or right. Either could be fatal. But you had a nice gentle warning, just in time to remind you to be careful from now on.

This is like our beliefs about the nation of Israel. If we are wrong in our understanding, let's get things straight. Perilous times are ahead.

I was once a member of a large, prestigious church that taught that Israel was over, never to be seen again. Except of course as it was morphed into the church. We could now eat bacon, and long, untrimmed beards were out.

A large branch of traditional Christianity teaches that Israel as a a nation will never be restored. The very idea is an affront to them. Much of this is an inheritance from earlier days and Reformation theology. This is one side of the road churches can drive off of.

Then there is a rapidly growing faction who believe that Israel is being restored right now. Kill enough Palestinians, bulldoze their homes, and build the new, United Nations brand of Israel. These are churches caught up in Zionism, or "Why wait for God? Let's do it now!" But we don't want to go off this side of the road either.

Is there another view, plainly taught in the Bible, that is the road we want to stay on?

Both Old and New Testaments reveal that Isreal will be in abeyance " for many days", then be restored to greater glory than she had previously had. While Israel sleeps, God calls out a people who are not Israel, though some Israelis are in it. People of every nation and tribe are included in it. These people are the church, being formed up now and almost complete in number.

Do we have proof? Abundantly! But let me site just one place--a very important place--where Old and New Testaments are brought together to illustrate and prove that the days we are living in now and the future of Israel are in the plan of God. Acts chapter 15 to the rescue.

Here we find the first church council, and a contentious one it was. Jews and Gentiles argued over the composition of the church, and the future of Israel. It is all brought together and solved by none other than James, brother of our Lord.

Verses 15 through 17 cite the Old Testament. But the whole chapter is so important for us to read. It is our map of the future. If we follow it, we will not go off the road.

And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Acts 15:15-17

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Just an Ordinary Guy

Along came Joe, just an ordinary guy.
He made some wings of sucker sticks
And sailed into the sky.

Joe was an ordinary guy--actually sub-ordinary, if there is such a category. He failed to graduate from high school, though later he acquired a college degree. He never had a good job or made much money. Joe's house was by most evaluations, substandard.

Is there any way you could say that Ordinary Joe did succeed? Well, according to his idea he did. He wanted to know the truth--not the Trivial Pursuit type of truth and certainly not the type suited for a profession. But he wanted to know about the world itself, not by man's standards, but by God's.

He had never found a place in the world and was convinced he never would. For Joe believed he did not belong here. He belonged to another realm and sought to know as much about it as he could. Very slowly his world view became a heavenly one. Heaven would be his home.

Isn't it amazing what 30 or forty years can produce in someone who only had fleeting moments of happiness?

He had been attracted by worldly knowledge. And strange to tell, though he later repudiated it, such knowledge became valuable. He used it to talk to those still caught in its web.

Enough of negatives. What was Joe's secret of escape?

Very simply, it was the Bible. He could remember when he turned in the old wisdom of man for the wisdom of God. He became a Christian, and this made all the difference.

He had been reared in church--not Biblical--creeds. As he read and thought, the old creeds fell away. He learned the Reverse Way of Thinking. Instead of starting with beliefs and ideas and using them to interpret (or ignore) parts of the Bible, he learned the Bible and used it to judge church teachings and often pagan-infested dogma.

He had discovered how to be lonely. But as a wise saint once said, "The truth is a divine thing, a better friend than any human friend." Some day, in heaven, Joe would no more be lonely.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Clash of the Kingdoms

And the seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ. and he shall reign for ever and ever. Rev. 11:15

Does this passage refer to the past or the future? In my childhood we sang the hymn "This is My Father's World". How could I know that this title was true only if your father is the devil? For the world is now the kingdom or empire of the wicked one.

Does this statement shock you? I hope not. Had the title been, "This is my Father's Earth", it would have been true, of course.

In Luke chapter four when Jesus was tempted of the devil, he was offered all the kingdoms of the world, if only he would worship the wicked one. Feeble attempts by the "kingdom now" crowd say that the devil made a false claim of ownership of the world's kingdoms. If this claim was false, there would have been no temptation to resist. For how can one offer that which he does not possess?

Some will say that at the time of the temptation the devil did possess the world, but this is no longer true because the Crucifixion won the world back. Or the advent of the church did. So they make Revelation 11 a thing of the past, not of the future.

To these kingdom now people and their followers, I would say, "Is this your idea of the kingdom--a world drenched in misery and death?" I know the argument, because I grew up in it. "His kingdom is not of this world." O, how this verse has been twisted and distorted!

Here is my testimony. This present world is the result of the devil's rule. It will continue to belong to him until the yet future final victory of Jesus.

You might be surprised at how many churches teach that the present evil world is the kingdom of God. "Of course there is a little "mopping up" to do. Things are not perfect yet, but we're gaining." What a horrible deception!

Final argument. Isn't the church in the kingdom now? Yes we are, but by translation. The world has not changed ownership, but we have.

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear son. Col. 1:13

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Our Self Centered Culture

For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8

This is not to be a rant against self indulgence or self reference, but a view of theology that leaves out why Christ came to the Earth. In a time submerged in sin--that is our personal sin--we miss the big picture of the universe's greatest struggle.

We know that there was rebellion in heaven. Lucifer and one third of the angels were cast out. The judgment of God has yet to be fulfilled concerning this most horrible event.

Presently there is an attempt to put a burden on people which they cannot bear. I grew up in such a goody goody atmosphere, ever striving to be better and better, hopefully to eventually earn the right to go to heaven. Christ set the moral example we were to follow in this bettering process.

No one told me how close we had to come in our imitation to achieve salvation, but you had to do your best. That was the goal. A man who preached part time told me, "I do the best I can. No one can ask more than that."

The Sermon on the Mount, which McGee called the sermon on the plateau, was the highest form of self salvation. So we were to follow that. Can you see how hopeless a young boy felt facing this challenge? It was a bloodless religion. It was all up to us.

Avoiding alcohol was very important. Imagine being cast into hell to burn forever, because you drank booze.

It took decades, on my own, to see that a greater struggle was in view than my personal behavior. First I wish to say that Christ died for His people--every one of which will be saved.

But how thrilling to see the great battle take form, not just on earth, but in heaven. The angel Michael and his angels will cast the devil to the earth. Shortly thereafter, Christ will come to earth to set up his kingdom. Satan will be bound for 1,000 years, ending in the Great White Throne judgement.

Why do I repeat these wonderful things? It is as if the little, misinformed boy that I was has been delivered from a religion of self-salvation, to live to see the great plan of God and His salvation. Now, as an old man, I want to revel in this. Please forgive me if I ramble.

Monday, October 21, 2013

We Had to Move

Some of the young people had laid down rocks, about a foot apart, from the river's edge. It was not accurate in feet, but was a good indicator of changes in the water's height. We would check it from time to time as our camp was nearby. It varied up and down, after a rain especially.

Then one spring, the rains continued until many of the rocks were beneath the water. The Wise Ones said we should move everything to higher ground as there could be a flood that would inundate our camp. So the long tortuous process began.

Tent cots were folded. Self erecting hunting blinds were put into their cases. One travois was community cooking pots and utensils, though I kept my sauce pan for myself. Luggable Loos were packed along with ground cloths where we would sit around our fires. Bags of clothes and a five gallon washer had their own travois.

So the trek to higher ground began. We must have dragged our belongings--our little village actually--for several hundred feet to a place of safety. Our journey was finally over and the process of setting up another camp was soon under way.

We were still on the edge of the woods, so we could take refuge if it was needed, and close to where we could gather wood. The book locker had its own hunting blind and soon became our library once again.

In all, the move to our new site must have taken an hour. If you count a trip to retrieve our firewood, an hour and a half. But soon we would be sleeping in our new location overlooking the rising river.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Music Man, the Empty Man

At 18, I worked with a chemist who was, even then, emotionally isolated. To put it plainly, he just didn't dig the people he worked with. Somehow, he and I clicked, literally, for we shared an interest in photography, which then of course, was mechanical, chemical, and optical. The closest we came to electronics was the use of flashbulbs. This was the first bond we shared.

I found that what was the world of chemistry could be sterile and unemotional. Many of its practitioners were that way too. I thought of them as a herd of cats, each one pursuing his own tasks and agendas. I did not belong in such a world, yet it was a job and I did it.

My mind wanders and invents. When tied down, I make up humor, say ridiculous things. I tried it with my new friend, my boss at the time. He welcomed such flights of fancy.

Once he assigned me a chemical chore requiring equipment in short supply, such as large chemical flasks and condensers. He told me to check it out in a cabinet of such items. "Kill, if necessary," he instructed me. I understood his urgency and his humor.

Eventually, I was invited to his home for dinner and some photography--developing and enlarging. He revealed his passion for classical music, showing pictures of him with friends in a room lined with music albums on the walls. A friend of his listened to eight hours of music every day.

We shared many interests as time passed. He lived across from a small airport and bought a light plane. We flew together until one day when he collided with another plane while on the ground, ending his aviation career. His friend picked me up when I made a parachute jump. All rather external pursuits.

He described his disillusionment with religion--a classic case really. A preacher had an affair with a church member. Things like this shake those who expect people in the church to be free of sin, whose minds are set on humans and not on the Word. I might add, those who have not read of the life of David. I thought he would recover, but he never did. I was just out of high school, what did I know?

In the following years, my friend became obsessed with music--possessed, really. Guests who came to his home were treated to wall to wall recorded music instead of a friendly visit with him and his wife. After years of this, he caught on. "I have learned not to play music for guests," he told me. "They really don't want to hear it."

But in his private life, recording music came to occupy his hours, his life. It began with transferring radio broadcasts and LP's to reel to reel tape. Eventually he used three state of the art recorders each cued to electronic timers. His whole wall was lined with boxes of tape reels.

I figured he had come to an end of this manic pursuit one day. The recording stopped, replaced with cataloging efforts. This was the climax of years of work, or so I thought. But he found that some of the oxide coating on the reel to reel tapes was deteriorating, peeling off. It was then he decided to transfer them all to DVDs. The process, taking years, was begun again. Once again, the timers went off as he went from machine like a hyper robot.

In the midst of his labors, he told me, "When I die, they'll all end up in a dumpster. No one in my family wants them." The horrible truth is, it was the task of an empty man. My friend no longer conversed or revealed any of his thoughts and emotions.

His friend, who became an English teacher, became obsessed with writers--the arty set. He invited many of them into his home and seemed to prefer their company to that of his wife. She divorced him.

Over the decades I lost a friend. He did not communicate, overcome with desire for an ever-shrinking world. He still is alive, though suffering from dementia.

Nature abhors a vacuum, I learned as a young man. When we are not filled with worthy thoughts and actions, we are like the man Jesus spoke of, who though cleansed, was empty and became the home of demons.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

He Owed His Life to Wolf Man

An interview with a jazz musician:

Interviewer (I): Who would you say has had the most influence on your career?

Jazz musician (JM): I believe that would be Wolf Man.

I: You call this person Wolf Man?

JM: No man, that's what medical science calls him.

I: He sounds like a terrible person.

JM: Actually I owe my life to Wolf Man.

I: Wolf Man saved your life?

JM: It's just that he hasn't killed me yet.

This revealing dialogue could be used in an allegorical way, I suppose. I imagine Wolf Man as a figure representing a psychopathic government sustaining people, yet capable of killing them at any time. Those who used such terms and had such ideas were once considered paranoid. Their status has now been updated to describe prophets such as Eric Blair, the Orwell of 1984 fame.

Ever wonder how Biblical prophets were regarded in their lifetimes? They were often discounted by the common man. But those in power and authority understood the dark references to themselves and their satanic systems.

The prophets were slain in the times in which they wrote. Today they are called extremists.

Friday, October 18, 2013

A Purely Hypothetical Case

He had a successful blog, one which occupied a very large proportion of his time. Too much of it, some said, considering its modest returns. Certainly, on an hourly rate, it was not cost effective.

But, that was not what most concerned him. It was, rather, the prospect of standing before the Bema or rewards throne of his Savior and having his works judged. That most of his hours were spent on the technical aspects of his various projects that bothered him the most. Is there not something he could do that would have a more humanitarian effect?

After much thought and prayer, he made a decision, one of the most important in his life. He decided to sell his beloved blog and invest its earnings. In financial ways? Certainly not. They were plunging every day, and even if they were not, would God be impressed with their temporary gains?

So he decided on a radical change of direction in his life. He would study herbal healing. Since society was crumbling around him, he felt this had the most enduring qualities of any plan of action open to him. Some day, perhaps soon, conventional medicine would no longer be available, either for technical or financial reasons. So it was he planned to learn natural healing through herbs and pure foods.

Being of limited visual ability, he searched for and found audio sources of instruction. He even had a crank powered listening device that made him free of electricity entirely. With the sale of his blog, he planned to pay for an herbal course and natural remedies. A valise full of natural remedies would hold a beginning supply. Many were available free from nature.

How practical was his plan? How practical was his alternative--his entanglement with a crumbling system whose future was limited in duration and scope? What time frame did he have in mind? In practice he figured on one year. After all, he had learned to live just one year at a time.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

You Can Go Anywhere You Want

As a little boy of eight I asked my older sister what it was like to be grown up. High school frightened me. The prospect of study in the big text books worried me. And so I asked.

"It's really neat," she said, possibly sensing my fear. "You can take a bus on your own and go anywhere you want." This is just what I needed to hear.

Later, I did just what she said, and was thrilled to go to the afternoon movies all by myself.

Many years later I had a different experience. I tugged at the restraint of churches that I felt had departed from the Word, or had not completed an adequate knowledge. Thus came my withdrawal from the "business churches" as I call them. When you set your own course, guided only by the Bible you become free. You can go anywhere you want.

It seems that each person has a different call. Some can get all kinds of understanding from Wisdom Literature. Some are geniuses of piety and prayer. Possibly because I had been brought up in the tradition of being a better person and thus possibly earning my salvation, by "gooding my way to heaven", I rebelled against such teaching or programming. I discovered the actions of God, independent of human effort, often in spite of it.

I learned the tabboo subject of prophecy, hated by many and wrongly-applied by others. Though I glory in the whole Word, this area became my special interest. Years of study helped to give me some knowledge here and also make me feel more and more alone.

Not many want to ride this bus. You will often travel alone. But you will be free.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Mother Rabbit and Mother Fox


For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. Romans 8:22

This is not the folksy story of Uncle Remus, with rabbits in aprons and foxes wearing granny glasses and dust caps, but the truth of a highjacked and bloody world after the Fall.

Mother Rabbit pulled fur from her chest and made a snug little nest for her babies. They were yet blind and helpless as Mother Fox left her young in a den to hunt for food. She approached the rabbit nest down wind and was thus undetected.

A young lad was viewing the scene with his new rifle, a single shot .22 Magnum with a 4X Redfield scope. His father had given him the gun as a pre-Christmas gift, because the boy had helped out so much with their small farm. He showed the boy how to zero his gun in by firing only three shots.

The lad began to blow his distressed animal call, imitating the sound of a wounded rabbit. He was startled to see Mother Fox emerge from the tall grass in response to his call. She stood still for a moment, sniffing the wind.

The boy's father had taught him how to shoot, using the old Army acronym of BRASS. Breathe--relax--aim--slack--shoot. So his son lined up his scope on Mother Fox's chest and squeezed off a shot.

The slug penetrated her thin shoulder blade and took out her lungs. She jumped convulsively and fell to the ground, dying. Soon the exultant boy would take his trophy home and skin her, covering her discarded little body with a few shovelfuls of soil.

In the den, the little foxes waited for their mother to return with food for them. She never would. Their bright eyes would dim as they slowly weakened with hunger. Far too young to hunt, they were helpless. Without their mother they would soon starve.

Mother Rabbit's babies were safe for now. Someone else had died, and her young ones too.

Stand back and admire Nature, but do not look too closely. For the struggle against death never ceases. Until the blessed day, described in Isaiah chapter 11, brings in the Peaceable Kingdom, the tragic fight will go on. Some will die that others may live. Finally all will die. None of the little creatures will die of old age.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Saltiness of the Sea

All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; Ecclesiastes 1:7

Solomon understood the hydrological cycle. This complete passage shows it. I took a course in geology at the University of Cincinnati. My wife took more courses on the subject than I did.

I was fascinated with the history of geology. The early geologists basically followed what the Bible has to say. They believed in the flood and in other great catastrophies. In fact they were call catastrophists. The story goes that after the French Revolution, people were traumatized by such upheavals that they longed for a steady, progression of events. So they invented a gradualistic theory of the Earth processes. These people were called Uniformatarians. Not sure if that is a valid explanation for the modern theories, but it is commonly told.

I see a much darker picture--a revolt against God and His Word. Along came a skeptic of the Uniformative explanation of events. One of the questions he asked was about the sea's saltiness. Is the sea about six thousand years old and a result of the flood? After all, the Bible tells us plainly that the sea is not as old as the earth and that at the time of the flood, "fountains of the deep" combined with a huge band of moisture above to create the great deluge of water and change the earth forever.

One of the questions such skeptics ask is, from where did the salt in sea come? Surprisingly, they conclude, that it came from the land via the rivers. Just like my mothers tea kettle became encrusted from boiling hard water. Was the original sea salty? Some believe it was not, but became salty by a process of evaporation. Now this can be measured, and a time line established, that indicates a young Earth--certainly not one that is six billion years old as the modern cabal claims.

Do you believe that science is objective and truthful? It is a battleground! Those who believe in a framework that agrees with the Bible have trouble getting published. But they are there. They cannot get jobs, so they create their own venues, like the Creation Research Institute. I shook hands with its founder. He wrote The Genesis Flood, which has panicked unbelievers in universities. I have seen it happen.

The book is extremely well documented, about one forth footnotes. A young student said, "It's the only book I've ever seen that begins with 'The', footnote number one." He was kidding, but not so far from the truth.

Monday, October 14, 2013

It Won't Hurt Him, I Love Him

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things,... Ephesians 4:15

She awoke in the early a.m. Her baby was sick, and it was time for his medicine. In her early morning fogginess she reached for the wrong bottle and gave this to her child. At first she was horrified. She had given an adult dose of a totally inappropriate medicine to a tiny child.

Then she thought, "It won't hurt him. I love him." Let's hope this never happens.

It is just as wrong to think that "loving" can mask error in our doctrine.

My wife's happiness was marred when her mother was caught up in a cult religion. Her mother was a kind lady, with nothing but good intentions. But she was terribly wrong in her doctrine. All her love, and ours, could not pull her out of this religion.

Hours before she died, she was visited by an old preacher, near retirement. But his kind instruction showed her the right way. Her last words to us were, "I'm back in the fold. I'll see you in the rapture."

Love had been there all along. But it was not enough. She needed the truth and she got it.

It has been said of the above verse from Ephesians, that "truth" precedes "love". This may be significant, but the lesson is that we need truth as well as love. Sometimes trying to be a "truth cat" can be a lonely calling. People will say to you, "Where's your love?" As if trying to give out truth, and asking people to "Look before they shoot." was not an act of love.

If someone were to bake you a nice cake, you would rightly consider this a loving thing to do. Wouldn't it be nice if the same feeling would be extended towards those who bring us truth? After all, it takes a long time to get the recipe right and to bake the "truth cake".

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Incompatible With This World--The Red Coffin

Back around 1972 I read The Revenge of Heaven, by Ken Ling. China had undergone The Great Struggle and the author's girl friend had died in a battle. He was in his teens as he described the day she was buried.

He described the day as dark and gray, yet his lover's coffin stood out with its bright red color. "It was set apart from the drabness and grief. "That is why it was so incompatible with the world," he wrote.

I remember the thrill of these words. Against the odds he cut through to a higher reality. Later he swam to safety and escaped this horrible scene of death and oppression.

His words touched me. Our lives, if lived aright, are incompatible with the world.

I honestly never felt at home in the world. I was detached and estranged. Not as some unworldly saint, but as one who knew "this wasn't it". Awful how we need to have the stuffing beat out of us to make way for God's grace and truth.

It would be nice to say that I finally found my way and achieved a successful life. Nice, but not true. Throughout my life I felt like a "stranger in a strange land".

There is only one home for those like me--the fellowship of those, almost all long dead, in the Word. I can say when I look at the amazing variety of people God has used to enlighten us, that I am not a stranger in their land.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

I Wish I Knew Everything

And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. John 16:23

I realize this promise by Jesus can be variously interpreted. We need to realize this promise by Jesus could be taken to apply to different things. It could mean that some day (in that day) we will have all the material things and blessings that we need, that there will be no more hunger for instance. His promise means to me, that we will know all things, even as He does.

A lady friend I knew said she once prayed that God would reveal the secret things that John heard in the book of Revelation (chapter 10 verse 4 ). She promised not to tell anyone. She just wanted to know. How human to want to know. I share this desire.But that wonderful day when we will know is coming. Until then I hope to work on the things we are to know. This is, of course, a full time job.

I am astounded by those who deride knowledge. I have received looks of pure hatred for even mentioning Bible teaching. Not by myself, but that there are such people and that we need them. There is a large group today that believe that they have all knowledge revealed to them by the Holy Spirit.

I worked with such a person. She was a nice lady, but lamented her greatest wish had not come true. She told me, "I have a big diamond ring, a new Buick with cruise control, but what I want most is for my family to pray with me." She confessed she heard an inner voice telling her to look up a particular chapter and verse. But when she searched for it, there was no such combination. Something urged her to look for a scripture but it was not the Holy Spirit. That she had to even try shows that she did not have all knowledge.

The last message Paul left us with was to learn and teach doctrine. This is open to us all. But it is the result of study, not special revelation.

Friday, October 11, 2013

A Spiritual Bypass Operation

"My preacher says" and "Our church teaches" are two statements I don't want to hear. So much confusion and division, and even grief, comes from following them.

Today I listened to two preachers on video with really bad messages. One smilingly proclaimed that there will be no Rapture and, furthermore, that Jesus will not return.

Another claimed that Jesus never claimed to be the Messiah, except for the Gentiles, as the Jews do not need him. They have him already. A lady, bless her, quickly refuted the latter idea, citing the direct statement he made while talking to the woman at the well.

You can see how people trusting in men can become confused. Then there are those who follow church teachings as if they were an infallible guide. My father was one who did this. Not only did he believe many wrong ideas, but he missed the true joy of the Faith, of knowing you are saved once and for all.

Please don't think that this is just a diatribe about evil systems, like people who read a menu and tell you what they do not like. Rather it's about bypassing these troublesome practices and going directly to the Word.

This is not so difficult as some think. When we go directly to the Word we eliminate the pitfalls of men and systems. It is like taking a bridge over a treacherous swamp.

Augustine, from the four hundreds did this, and so did Luther. I believe they could have talked together and agreed on almost every point, though centuries separated them. The Bible brings people together, human agencies divide them.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Why Christians Scare Me

This is a terrible thing for a Christian to say, but it's true. Someone will say about a person they want me to meet, "He's a real Christian." Or worse, "a red-hot Christian." Usually, if I am to converse with this person, I fear I will spend time with either an ignorant person or a badly deluded one.

I feel better for having made this confession.

I have known two preachers personally, and I make exceptions for them. Talking to them was fascinating, because they were both open to ideas. Paul's statement that he was all things to all men, was especially true of one of these men.

You can check me on this, but when I meet most Christians I will meet a person who is ignorant, not only about the world, but about the Bible. As one preacher said, they're trying to "good their way through."

Here is my test. If a Christian meets a non-Christian, can he or she talk to them about what concerns THEM and not hit them with the threat of going to a "devils hell?" Can the Christian be knowledgeable and interested in the unsaved person?

In other words can the Christian be the kind of person the non-believer would like to get to know? It soon may be that the non-believer asks about why you are so happy and live in such a desirable way.

I recently was invited to a going away dinner at a church for my best friend's son. Seated at my table was a person who was like Kryptonite for Superman. I felt bad for three days after meeting him. I mentioned that archeologists have found Noah's ark. Not that they think they might have, but this is it. The dimensions are just as the Bible says.

I thought he would be interested. His next statement was, "When I was in Israel I saw the remains of an old boat." A person who has been in Israel but is not interested in finding the ark! "An old boat" does not describe the ark of Noah.

I was supposed to say. "Wow, you've been to Israel!" as if this made him an expert on anything.

There is a current theology that says that ignorance is a virtue. It keeps you holy and unspotted from the world.

My last job was as a security guard. I worked with a young man who was a Christian. We prayed together. I used to read the newspaper between rounds and used a ruler to tear out articles. He said to me, "I see you seem to want knowledge all the time. I always believed that learning was of the flesh."

This from a man who told me that at a recent church meeting, when the piano player got sick, the Holy Spirit filled in and played the piano. The other variation of the story is that the Holy Spirit sang the part for a missing member of a quartet. It is a popular story.

Awful to say it, but feeling good, and prosperity are the two parts of what drives many people. Too bad no one told Paul about them.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What! Leftovers Again?

I knew a man who refused to eat leftover food. If a meal was not entirely eaten it was thrown into the garbage. I happen to enjoy them, especially cold chicken.

I wish we could transfer my friend's attitude to our faith. As much of our beliefs are left over from paganism. These are not just curious little antiques from a bygone age, but very powerful archetypes that even today cause us to misinterpret the Bible. In some cases to avoid sound doctrine entirely.

My best friend and I were discussing the harrowing of hell concept that was proclaimed in the Original Scofield Bible. Forty years later, the New Scofield (my favorite Bible) denied this doctrine.

This reminds me of a reviewer at the La Scala opera who said he heard a crowd applauding a third rate singer. They called him back for three encores. Finally an astute critic called out to him, "Keep singing until you get it right!"

I am one of the few who believe Bible translations are getting more accurate as time goes by. Many say that Bible translations are going "liberal". Though the King James is the most beautiful and most compact. I love them all.

Do you remember a Star Trek episode called "Who Mourns for Adonis?" I found it very touching and profound. The Enterprise is proceeding nicely until it is gripped by a giant hand. It is in the grip of a Greek god. After quite a philosophic struggle the god fades away. People no longer believe in him.

I happen to like reading the old myths. They have much to teach us about human nature. I just don't want them to be included in our Bible doctrines.

"Let go your hand, pagan myths. Let my church go free."

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Two Ways to be Saved

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: I Thessalonians 4:17

Does it shock you that the guy who says he is a Fundamentalist claims there is more than one way to be saved? If we were talking about eternal salvation it would be a shocking thing to say and you would be entirely right to be shocked.

We know that faith in Jesus is the only way for a person to be saved in that way. Although many who are Christians still try to be good enough to merit salvation on their own.

But I want to talk about a different kind of salvation, a salvation from distress even death in this world. You find examples throughout the Bible. One way is to be helped through a terrible time though suffering in it. The other is to be removed from the situation entirely.

Imagine a man waiting for a bus when a rainstorm is about to let go. It has just begun to rain when a kindly soul in his car sees the man standing there. "My goodness," he thinks, "this man is about to be drenched!" He pulls over to the curb and offers the man his umbrella. He has just saved the man from a terrible wetting. He knows the bus will soon be there and though he will get a little wet, the man will make it.

As he drives on he sees another man in the same situation. The storm will hit very shortly. He pulls to the side again, but this time he does not offer the man an umbrella. He says rather, "Get in, I'll take you to your house so you won't be rained on."

Two men have been saved--one from the full effects of the storm, though he will have to go through it. The other has been saved by being taken out of danger entirely.

I speak of God's provision for Israel and for the Church. Both Israel and the Church will be saved in the Day of Trouble which is coming. Israel will be saved though it, and the church will be saved from it entirely. Of course I speak of the Great Tribulation and the Rapture of the Church from the earth.

Oh, how the Rapture is hated, and I mean by some people in the church. There are people that I admire and really like, who deride it. They say the word "rapture" is not even in the Bible. Neither is the Presbyterian church mentioned in the Bible, but it is a true church.

Would these skeptics prefer the term "caught up"? That is in the Bible and its message is very clear. Some are waiting to be taken away from the storm and to their homes. Others will be given an umbrella to protect them until the storm is over.

Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. Jeremiah 30:7

Monday, October 7, 2013

Go to Sleep, America!

His watchmen [are] blind: they are all ignorant, they [are] all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Isaiah 56:10

If you are one who watches or reads alternative media, you have heard many times the cry, "Wake up, America!" I mean, if we are to "turn the country around" we must all wake up and do something.

It is easy to assume that people are asleep after a hard day's or night's work. This is not directed to such people. But rather I am talking about "the most-warned" people in history, who refuse to heed the many warnings that are given to them. Only the approach of death and famine to their literal doorsteps will make believers of them.

I was driving a lonely country road on a bright but chilly morning. As I crested a small hill I saw a snake basking on the sun-drenched road. I braked to give it a chance to escape, but though he wriggled vigorously it was too late.

Yes, I draw a lesson from this. While the snake could not see peril until it was too late to escape, what can we say for the all wise human race? I can think of no excuse for those who have been warned, but not only will not heed it, but will not even tolerate hearing it at all.

"Who is that nut building what he calls 'an ark?' ? There has never been a flood before, not even any rain. The past is an infallible guide to the future. Worry not."

I saw a New Yorker cartoon showing a fretting woman. Her husband tried to reassure her. "I'm sure if the world was going to end, Johnny Carson would have mentioned it." What a humorous way to say it.

Now, let me add my personal reassurance. There will be no famine, not in this country. Our food supply will not be contaminated by Monsanto. The economy is on the mend. The FEMA camps are for the poor to vacation in.

Wake up, my beloveds. As for the deniers, there is a vacant place on the road, where the snake used to be.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Our Catching Away

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Revelation 3:10

My best friend sent me an article by a popular preacher which derides the doctrine of the pre-tribulation rapture. His article blames this wonderful promise by Jesus, to deliver believers from the terrible time that is coming upon all who dwell upon the earth, as a non-political stand.

The preacher gives not one example of a saint who got involved with government. Great saints of the Bible served the government, shocking as this is. I can think of no greater example than Joseph in Egypt. Nehemiah, of course, served as cup bearer to the king. The god of politics, that is political power, did not come under the wrath of Jesus. Religious leaders were the subject of His anger.

I keep thinking of Joseph. Who sought to kill him, and put him into a dry pit? His own brothers. Who elevated Joseph to a position of power and glory but Pharoah.

I am so angry and disappointed with Chuck Baldwin for mocking pre-tribulation rapture people (like me) that I should not be writing this right now. But Chuck proves the point that opposition to truth is most likely to arise from within the church. Chuck blames Scofield and Walvoord, for example, for promoting an escape doctrine.

The Scofield Study Bible is the greatest study Bible I have yet to see, and I get something from any Bible. I hold the view that every Bible has something to offer. I should have my Fanatic License torn to shreds. But the very scriptural Scofield is the greatest guide I have seen, and I have looked. About all that critics of Scofield can do is to criticize him personally. This desperate ad hominum tactic would eliminate David and Paul from writing.

I don't just believe in the rapture, I totally love it! The fact that "catching away" is used in the Bible and that rapture is not, proves nothing. After all, denominations are not mentioned either, yet they are filled with believing saints. Even Chuck is not named. Does that mean I should not believe him?

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Let Us Bow Our Heads as Our CEO leads us in Prayer

My good friend and web master sent me a delightful article by Chuck Baldwin on churches pastored by ministers who resemble CEOs. He speaks of concerns I have witnessed and object to.

Since my niece has just quit just such a church, I feel close to this problem and have experienced it myself. She has seen doctrine watered down or neglected for the sake of contributions, or more properly, income. Huge church expansion and attentdent debts have caused sermons to turn into fund raising drives.

Chuck is concerned that churches with a tax exempt status are afraid to speak out for fear of problems with the IRS. Texe Marrs gave up his 501C3 exemption so that he was free to speak out on any issue. As a result of his fearless stand his contributions have gone up. Beyond tax problems I wonder how Texxe has not been killed. That is how bold he is.

Now this is not a plea for activist churches. This is a matter of individual concience. But to see the Bible and its doctrines slighted to avoid tax problems and to increase membership is a very sad thing to see. Churches run as businesses lose very good people, such as my niece, and some day soon, face the judgement of God.

View Chuck Baldwin's article, Why Pastors Won't Take A Stand.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Great Flow Chart

He was so proud, and so happy as he showed the chart of how his church was run. "It's very simple, really," he said. He showed me how his church was set up. He explained that it was run like a company and joined to other companies like it was a corporation.

"This is the most efficient way to do things. Our officers are all under control of a central headquarters. Like a lady comedian used to say, 'Don't fight it John, it's bigger than both of us.' Since we came under the influence of one central head we are unstoppable."

"Sounds like some form of communism," I told him.

"Communism, Fascism--what's the difference? As Soviet General Secretary Nikita Khrushchev explained it, 'People are like dogs on a leash. The only difference in your system is that the leash is a little longer.'"

"Wow," I told him, "I'm not sure I want to be on a leash."

"But what if you were the one holding the leash?" he countered. "We like to break up into small groups. It gives people the illusion of autonomy. We call them study groups."

I realized how massive and pervasive this system could be.

I had entered the word "Joel" into Google, thinking I could get some information on this Biblical book. Silly me! What I got instead was screen after screen of "Joel Osteen". Finally I entered "Book of Joel" and got what I was looking for.

His eyes sparkled at the mention of Osteen. "Now there's a man who understands the system."

I was afraid to ask who the one at the top of the chart was, though I thought I knew. "What about the bottom bracket?" I asked.

He gave me a look of contempt. "Don't worry about them. They're just the ones who pay for it all."

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Great Heat

And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
Revelation 16:8

There is much talk about the temperature of the Earth and seas. Arctic ice is melting at a rapid rate. This can be easily proved. A North West Passage has even opened up for shipping.

A subsidiary debate is about its cause. Some say the sun radiates more heat, others that Man has caused it. Regardless, the temperature is rising and so is the sea level.

As far as the passage in Revelation? You might ask, "What has that to do with the church? We will be in heaven before the fourth angel pours out his vial." And you would be entirely correct.

The events of Revelation sixteen happen to Israel and to the Gentiles. But the question arises, are we seeing preliminary events? Are they "warning shots"?

People who never gave it a thought, are beginning to think of "the beginning of sorrows. The Rapture seems more needful now, and even more desirable. Humans, supposedly masters of the world, are revealed as impotent in the face of what is beginning to occur.

Soon all talk of "carbon footprints" will cease. Not that the world will change, except to become more evil. But the illusion of mankind's dominance will be shattered. Men will not repent, but they will witness the act of God, through his angel, as he pours out his vial upon the sun.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Gomer for a Homer

So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley. Hosea 3:2

For someone first reading this passage it might seem like a deal for someone buying a horse. But the subject of the sale is, in fact, a woman--a woman to be a man's wife! Most of those commenting on Gomer, the woman who is the subject of this transaction, assume that she is a prostitute. The language is so clear they say, it is so obvious.

Yet I disagree with this view, held by many experts. I once heard a world-famous teacher analize Gomer's status this way: she was from a nation committing religious infidelity with God himself. As such she was a woman of whoredom, or from a nation being unfaithful to God.. I was thrilled to hear his contrary belief to the usual interpretation.

Years later, I heard the same teacher read the same passage and say that Gomer was indeed a prostitute. He had changed his message. I was disappointed to see the change.

But as dramatic as the story of Gomer, her marriage, and her children is, the book of Hosea is not about her at all. Rather it concerns the desertion, by Israel, of their covenant with God, and their pursuit of false religion.

This book, the first by the so-called minor prophets, is so concentrated it is like drinking the strongest coffee you could make. There are no diversions or side stories after the transition from Gomer to Israel. We can see this in chapter 2 verse 8. It begins with "she" and concludes with "they".

Now the language here is so subtle that it is easy to miss the meaning. But later God makes things so plain. He compares Israel to a faithless wife who strays from her husband. She returns. Will he take her back? Will she be restored? Will Israel rise from the dust?

This is not a question to one who rightly divides God's word, as the following passage from this powerful and precious book reveals.

For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king , and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an Ephod, and without terraphim:
Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days.

Hosea 3:4-5

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

His Extreme Holiness the Right Reverend Most Highly Exalted Archbishop of Everything

"But you are not to be called Rabbi,' for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers." Matt. 23:8, NIV

This admonition of Jesus was soon ignored. It is doubtful if it was obeyed very long after the Apostles died. Soon names crept in and the beginning of the cult titles proliferated. Shortly the title of pope was instituted.

Now that the fascist-corporate business model of church is in sway I expect the use of CEO, or Chief Executive Officer to be used. This will not be a mystery to anybody as you could shine your car pushing it through a mob of business leaders on their way to board their corporate jets. Instead of elders we will have board members. Those who were once missionaries will be opening branch offices.

If this was not effective, why would business model churches use it? These practices are aided by at least two things, the 501(C)(3) tax exempt status of the church (in America), and congregations dumb enough to pay for their slave masters.

I may sound like I am mad at somebody. Really, I am not. But not being part of any such system gives me a freedom that I relish. Bibles are readily available, and I have precious friends to study with.