Friday, January 28, 2011

TRUE REPENTANCE

Biblical Repentance
The Dramatized Gospel

Permission is granted to reproduce this. In fact, you are encouraged to do so.

There are different ideas in our day of what "repentance" is. But are they based upon what the Scriptures teach (2 Tim. 3:16,17)? Is it merely changing your mind or is there much more involved?

Let's take a look at some of the clearest and most accurate Biblical definitions of repentance, beginning with Jesus' teaching about Jonah and the Ninevites:

The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here (Mt. 12:41).

To find out exactly what Jesus meant when he said, "they repented," let's review the account to which he was referring:

The Ninevites believed God. They declared a fast, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh: "By the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish." When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened (Jonah 3:5-10).

The Ninevites humbled themselves and called urgently on God, giving up and turning from their evil ways. According to the ultimate authority, this constitutes "repentance," unlike what some in our day wrongly want us to believe--that it is simply "changing your mind."
The Prodigal Son's Example
Another good example of repentance is Jesus' teaching of the prodigal son:

When he came to his senses, he said, "How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men." So he got up and went to his father ... The son said to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son" (Lk. 15:17-21).

Jesus declared the prodigal's humility, regret, acknowledgment of sin and return to the Father caused this son to become alive again from his spiritual state of dead and lost:

"For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found." So they began to celebrate (Lk. 15:24).

This is obviously spiritual life and death, since the prodigal was not affected physically by this death.
How Important Is It To Repent?
Peter taught that repentance is the remedy to perishing:

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9).

Not only was repentance John the Baptist's message (Mt. 3:1,2), but Jesus' continued John's message after he was put in prison. There is no greater endorsement on the soundness of one's message than that of the Lord's:

When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee ... From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near" (Mt. 4:12,17).

Other Biblical Examples
David's repentance after his adultery and murder included acknowledging his sin (2 Sam. 12:13). See his heart-felt, sincere prayer in Psa. 51.

On the other hand, Saul was more concerned with being honored before the people than exhibiting true humility over his disobedience:

Saul replied, "I have sinned. But please honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the LORD your God" (1 Sam. 15:30).

Peter's reaction to his own sin (thrice denial of Jesus) was bitter weeping:

The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: "Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times." And he went outside and wept bitterly (Lk. 22:61,62).

How wise to follow the advice of James, who preached true repentance and which, by the way, refutes the "holy laughter" movement's view of revival:

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up (Jam. 4:8-10).

How Can We Obtain Pardon And Mercy?
To obtain pardon and mercy from the Lord, Isaiah advised, "Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon" (55:7). Notice it says God will "freely pardon," but in context it is conditional upon forsaking wicked ways and thoughts, and turning to the Lord.

The prophet Daniel was highly esteemed (Dan 9:23) and gave wise (though unheeded) advice to King Nebuchadnezzar:

Therefore, O king, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue (Dan. 4:27).

Nebuchadnezzar's son, Belshazzar, did not humble himself either though he knew about God's judgment on his father, and he even set himself up against the Lord of heaven (Dan. 5:22,23). How much wiser he would have been to follow Daniel's own good example:

I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed ... we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws ... yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to your truth (Dan. 9:4,5).

Jeremiah advised the officials and people to "reform your ways and your actions and obey the LORD your God" (Jer. 26:13).

Solomon prayed, "When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray toward this place and confess your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them" (1 Ki. 8:35). He also knew the following about repentance:

"And if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captivity and say, We have sinned, we have done wrong and acted wickedly'; and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their captivity where they were taken, and pray toward the land you gave their fathers, toward the city you have chosen and toward the temple I have built for your Name" (2 Chron. 6:37,38).

The Remedy
In the book of Ezekiel, the Lord commanded a mark be put on the foreheads of "those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things" [sins] being done in the city (9:4) to protect them from being slaughtered (9:6). Sometime afterward, God had Ezekiel prophesy:

"This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!" (14:6).

Ezekiel taught "The soul who sins is the one who will die" (18:20). However, God has a remedy:

But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live. Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? ... But if a wicked man turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he will save his life. Because he considers all the offenses he has committed and turns away from them, he will surely live; he will not die ... Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel? (Ezek. 18:21-23, 27, 28,30,31).

There is not a Christian who ever lived that was not tempted to sin, but the Holy Spirit provided a relevant, comforting truth to the Corinthian Christians which extends to us today:

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it (1 Cor. 10:13).

All will be tempted but no one has to yield to the temptation. How else can we avoid sin? The Apostle Paul gave us insight which can be a safeguard for our souls:

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace (Rom 8:5,6)

Conditional Forgiveness
Many popular teachers in our day wrongly proclaim that all the Christian's sins--past, present and future--have already been forgiven. In contrast, the Bible cites conditions to being forgiven after one has experienced true regeneration:

IF we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 Jn. 1:9).

The saved Apostle John included himself here by using the pronoun "we." This confession of sin to God must also be combined with a willingness to renounce those sins:

He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy (Prov. 28:13).

The Lord Jesus gave another startling condition to receiving forgiveness that few in our day are willing to preach:

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins (Mt. 6:14,15).

Jesus is directing this teaching to his own disciples who came to him (5:1,2). Notice also in Mt. 6:14,15 that Jesus told them "your Father" will not forgive your sins if you do not forgive men their sins. He can't be speaking to unsaved people since they do not have God as their spiritual Father.

King David wrote, "Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered" (Psa. 32:1) and told how he obtained forgiveness:

Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD"--and you forgave the guilt of my sin (Psa. 32:5).

Forgiveness didn't come automatically, as evidenced by the above verse. David had to do something to obtain his forgiveness. Perhaps John had this and similar verses in mind when he wrote 1 Jn. 1:9.

The Sovereign God's counsel through Isaiah was to:

... wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool" (1:16-18).

God is gracious and merciful, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Pet 3:9) but we must do our part as recorded in the holy Scriptures. The Bible does not teach that Christians are already forgiven even before their future sins are committed. Don't let the false teachers of our day deceive you. Heed the Scriptural message.
Repentance Is Foundational To Christianity
The writer of Hebrews taught (among other elementary teachings) that repentance is a foundational Christian principle:

Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God (Heb. 6:1).

We'll soon examine some of the "acts that lead to death." Paul told the Roman Christians that sin leads to spiritual death (Rom. 6:16) and James warned how this "death" occurs:

But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don't be deceived, my dear brothers (Jam. 1:14-16).

These were the basic, elementary teachings of the early church which are seldom repeated in our dark day and even worse, are denied by the eternal security teachers.
True Repentance Produces "Fruit"
Upon repentance and initial salvation, we pass from death to life (1 Jn. 3:14), from darkness to light (Acts 26:18; Eph. 5:8; 1 Pet. 2:9), and from the power of Satan to God (Acts 26:18). But it doesn't stop there. John the Baptist gave his Holy Spirit inspired understanding of what God requires of the repentant in Luke 3:8-14:

Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, "We have Abraham as our father." For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. "What should we do then?" the crowd asked. John answered, "The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same." Tax collectors also came to be baptized. "Teacher," they asked, "what should we do?" "Don't collect any more than you are required to," he told them. Then some soldiers asked him, "And what should we do?" He replied, "Don't extort money and don't accuse people falsely--be content with your pay."

Notice the human responsibility involved. Was John teaching a "works" salvation? Not at all. John's father, Zechariah, prophesied about him under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (Lk. 1:67) that John gave God's "people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins," v. 77. Though some might wrongly claim that John taught Old Testament "law" or "works," God gave the knowledge of salvation through him!

The Lord Jesus' teaching about the righteous was very similar and included action on the part of the redeemed or the "blessed":

Then the King will say to those on his right, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me" (Mt. 25:34-36).

Jesus taught, "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to" (Lk. 13:24). Yet "grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" (Jn. 1:17).

Although this conflicts with today's counterfeit "grace" message, it is the true Biblical grace of Almighty God. Choose whom you will believe -- the one with all authority in heaven and on earth (Mt. 28:18) or today's ungodly grace changers (Jude 3,4).
Prove Your Repentance And Keep Yourself
While we were unsaved, we bore fruit for death (Rom. 7:5). But now we must produce good fruit so as to avoid being cut down and thrown into the fire (Mt. 3:10). This requires action on our part which can't be a "works" salvation since Jesus endorsed John's message (Mt. 11:11). The Apostle Paul's standard gospel of grace message also concurs with John's:

... I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds (Acts 26:20).

Jesus sets us free from the slavery to sin (Jn. 8:34-36) but after initial salvation, Paul taught Christians to be persistent about seeking immortality, to continue by the Spirit and to put sin to death in order to live:

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life (Rom. 2:7).

For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live (Rom. 8:13).

Human responsibility and free will are also clear from Paul's advice to Pastor Timothy not to "share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure" (1 Tim. 5:22).

Similarly, John counseled his children to "keep yourselves from idols" (1 Jn. 5:21).

Someone might state, "but we're not under the law." True, we are not under the ceremonial law, but ,b>we are still under the moral law as seen by such verses as 1 Cor. 6:9,10; Eph. 5:5-7; Gal. 5:19-21; Jude 7; Rev. 21:8; etc. Remember that Paul told the Corinthian Christians not to be idolaters (1 Cor. 10:7). He knew the Christians could again become idolaters who would then end up in the lake of fire according to Rev. 21:8 unless they repent. Thus these apostles advised the Christians to keep themselves from such spiritual danger.

James taught what kind of religion is acceptable to God and what the Christians were to keep themselves from:

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world (Jam. 1:27).

These are all true grace teachings. The problem, then, lies with those who have a distorted view of grace.
Search Your Heart And Rid Yourself
Following the advice of the Psalms can be of great benefit to those who desire to maintain a godly walk before the Lord:

In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent (Psa. 4:4).

I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin (Psa. 38:18).

I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes (Psa. 119:59).

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psa. 139:23,24).

These types of prayers will help us to keep a pure heart, which is vital since those are the ones who will stand in God's holy place (Psa. 24:3,4). "Holding on to faith and a good conscience" will keep us from becoming spiritual shipwrecks (1 Tim. 1:19).

Peter and Paul gave us other important safeguards and commands:

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation (1 Pet. 2:1,2).

Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it (1 Pet. 3:10,11).

So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this [the home of righteousness, v. 13], make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him (2 Pet. 3:14).

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator (Col. 3:5-10).

To rid yourself of sin in order to return to God has long been a Biblical command:

If you are returning to the LORD with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the LORD and serve him only (1 Sam. 7:3).

Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel? (Ezek. 18:31).

True Repentance Includes Godly Sorrow And Shame
True repentance also manifests itself in sorrow, shame over sinful acts committed and an earnest desire to make things right:

When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life (Rom. 6:20-22).

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter (2 Cor. 7:10,11).

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise (Psa. 51:17).

On the other hand, the wicked are void of the fear of God and the sorrow which leads to salvation:

... An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes. For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin (Psa. 36:1,2).

A good checkpoint of your heart condition, then, is: do you fear God and hate your sin, or are you among the wicked as just described?
Acts Leading To Death
As previously mentioned, Heb. 6:1 declares there are acts that lead to death, but what are they? Sins such as listed in 1 Cor. 6:9,10, Eph. 5:5,6, Gal. 5:19-21 and Rev. 21:8 give us insight into things from which one must repent, since those who do them will not inherit the kingdom:

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9,10).

For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient (Eph. 5:5,6).

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:19-21).

But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death (Rev. 21:8).

What hope does the unfortunate Christian have who would fall into such sins after initial salvation? These abominations must be confessed and forsaken with forgiveness being sought from God. Jesus taught that the prodigal became alive again after a complete break from being with the prostitutes (Lk. 15:24,32). The same can be stated regarding David after he humbly sought the Lord's forgiveness from his sexual sin and murder (Psa. 51). Was David saved all during his detestable sin before he repented? Not according to the Sovereign God, who spoke Rev. 21:8 from his own throne after the infinite work of the Lord Jesus was completed. God made no exception for anyone, including a man who wrote part of the Bible. Thank God David repented before he died. Many don't. Ezekiel explains what happened spiritually to King David during that dark time of his life:

"But if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked man does, will he live? None of the righteous things he has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness he is guilty of and because of the sins he has committed, he will die" (Ezek. 18:24).

... "The righteousness of the righteous man will not save him when he disobeys, and the wickedness of the wicked man will not cause him to fall when he turns from it. The righteous man, if he sins, will not be allowed to live because of his former righteousness." If I tell the righteous man that he will surely live, but then he trusts in his righteousness and does evil, none of the righteous things he has done will be remembered; he will die for the evil he has done (Ezek. 33:12,13).

Similar to what Jesus taught about the prodigal, Paul told the Roman Christians:

For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live (Rom 8:13)

Those who are spiritual can help to restore a fallen brother:

My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins. (Jam. 5:19,20)

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. (Gal. 6:1)

If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that. All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death (1 Jn. 5:16,17).

Make Restitution
Thieves must give back what they stole:

A thief must certainly make restitution, but if he has nothing, he must be sold to pay for his theft. If the stolen animal is found alive in his possession--whether ox or donkey or sheep--he must pay back double. If a man grazes his livestock in a field or vineyard and lets them stray and they graze in another man's field, he must make restitution from the best of his own field or vineyard. If a fire breaks out and spreads into thornbushes so that it burns shocks of grain or standing grain or the whole field, the one who started the fire must make restitution. If a man gives his neighbor silver or goods for safekeeping and they are stolen from the neighbor's house, the thief, if he is caught, must pay back double .... In all cases of illegal possession ... The one whom the judges declare guilty must pay back double to his neighbor .... But if the animal was stolen from the neighbor, he must make restitution to the owner ... If a man borrows an animal from his neighbor and it is injured or dies while the owner is not present, he must make restitution .... If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price, and she shall be his wife. If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the bride-price for virgins (Exo. 22:3-17).

Does restitution apply to us under the New Covenant? Yes! At Zacchaeus' willingness to make restitution to others that he cheated, Jesus declared this showed that salvation had come to him:

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost" (Lk. 19:8-10).

But in the case of the dying, repentant thief, he couldn't return what he stole under his condition, yet still got forgiven (Lk. 23:42,43).

Friday, July 10, 2009

REVELATION 13 HAS BEGAN - POPE CALLS FOR ONE GLOBAL AUTHORITY

Pope calls for a "global authority" on economy
Tue Jul 7, 2009 3:25pm EDT

Excerpts from Pope Benedict's encyclical
07 Jul 2009
By Philip Pullella


VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict called on Tuesday for a "world political authority" to manage the global economy and for more government regulation of national economies to pull the world out of the current crisis and avoid a repeat.
The pope made his call for a re-think of the way the world economy was run in a new encyclical which touched on a number of social issues but whose main connecting thread was how the current crisis has affected both rich and poor nations.
Parts of the encyclical, titled "Charity in Truth," seemed bound to upset free marketers because of its underlying rejection of unbridled capitalism and unregulated market forces, which he said had led to "thoroughly destructive" abuse of the system and "grave deviations and failures."

An encyclical is the highest form of papal writing and gives the clearest indication to the world's 1.1 billion Catholics -- and to non-Catholics -- of what the pope and the Vatican think about specific social and moral issues.
The pope said every economic decision had a moral consequence and called for "forms of redistribution" of wealth overseen by governments to help those most affected by crises.

Benedict said "there is an urgent need of a true world political authority" whose task would be "to manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result."

Such an authority would have to be "regulated by law" and "would need to be universally recognized and to be vested with the effective power to ensure security for all, regard for justice, and respect for rights."
"Obviously it would have to have the authority to ensure compliance with its decisions from all parties, and also with the coordinated measures adopted in various international forums," he said.
The United Nations, economic institutions and international finance all had to be reformed "even in the midst of a global recession," he said in the encyclical, a booklet of 141 pages.

The pope's call for a supranational body to tackle global economic woes disturbed some Catholic capitalists.

"There is a difference between coordination and mandate ... a reckless loan in the United States can and did impoverish people in Latvia. So obviously coordination is important as long as it is not mandates," said Frank Keating, CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers and former Governor of Oklahoma.

LOFTY MESSAGE

The encyclical was addressed to all Catholics and "all people of good will" and was released on the eve of the start of the G8 summit in Italy and three days before the pope is due to discuss the global downturn with U.S. President Barack Obama.
In several sections of the encyclical, Benedict made it clear he had great reservations about a totally free market.
"The conviction that the economy must be autonomous, that it must be shielded from 'influences' of a moral character, has led man to abuse the economic process in a thoroughly destructive way," he said.

"In the long term, these convictions have led to economic, social and political systems that trample upon personal and social freedom and are therefore unable to deliver the justice that they promise," he added.
Profit was useful only if it served as a means to a brighter future for all humanity.
"Once profit becomes the exclusive goal, if it is produced by improper means and without the common good as its ultimate end, it risks destroying wealth and creating poverty," he said.

He said the current economic crisis was "clear proof" of "pernicious effects of sin" in the economy.

"Financiers must rediscover the genuinely ethical foundation of their activity ...," he said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had rebuked the pope earlier this year at the height of the row over a Holocaust-denying bishop, welcomed the encyclical as important encouragement for world leaders ahead of a G8 meeting in Italy.
"Pope Benedict has encouraged the state leaders to create rules so that this sort of worldwide economic crisis isn't repeated," Merkel told reporters. "I also saw this as an order to work toward a social market economy in the world."
The pope appeared to back government intervention "in correcting errors and malfunctions" in the economy, saying "one could foresee an increase in the new forms of political participation, nationally and internationally."

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

ABADDON - THE EVIL ANGEL

In magic and alchemy, Abaddon is the Destroying Angel of the Apocalypse.

Abaddon comes to mean "place of destruction", or the realm of the dead, and is associated with Sheol. (Job 26:6; Proverbs 15:11)

Revelation 9:1-11 describes Abaddon as being the king of the bottomless pit locusts that resemble battle horses with crowned human faces, having women's hair (denoting length), lions' teeth, locusts' wings, and the tail of a scorpion. It appears to have been St. John who first personified the term to stand for an angel.


Two Horns Like a Lamb

The "two horns like a lamb" (verses 11) may be understood as the two notable features of the United States system of government, civil and religious liberty. These two unique rights are guaranteed to all residents of America in the constitution of the United States.

Return to Rev.13:11

The 1260-day Prophecy

This 1260-day time prophecy is referred to seven times in the books of Daniel and Revelation. It appears as 1260 days in Revelation 11:3 and 12:6; as 42 months in Revelation 11:2 and 13:5; and as three and a half times (or years) in Daniel 7:25; 12:7, and Revelation 12:14 (see Revised Standard Version).

1260 days = 1260 days

42 months x 30 days = 1260 days

3-1/2 years = 42 months = 1260 days

AD 538 Rome freed from Arian control. Bishop of Rome begins his reign.

THEN

1260 days*

42 months

3-1/2 years

THEN

AD 1798 Rome captured by French army. Pope taken prisoner.

*Based on the year-day principle, as illustrated in Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6, a day in prophecy stands for a literal year in earth time. Hence this 1260-day prophecy refers to a 1260-year period of time that began in AD 538 and stretched to 1798, when the French general Berthier, at the command of Napoleon, marched his army into Rome, took the pope prisoner, and proclaimed the 1260-year rule of the Papacy finished. (This over-throw of the Papacy is referred to again as a "deadly wound" in chapter 13:3.)

Return to Rev.13:5

When the Image of the Beast Will Be Formed


"When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result," --The Great Controversy between Christ and Satan, page. 443

Return to creating this image though legisation

National Apostasy Will Result in National Ruin !

When the Protestant churches shall unite with the secular power to sustain a false religion, for opposing which their ancestors endured the fiercest persecution; when the state shall use its power to enforce the decrees and sustain the institutions of the church -- then will Protestant America have formed an image to the papacy, and there will be a national apostasy which will end only in national ruin. Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Ellen G. White comments, page 976, 1957 edition.

Return to "when Sunday observance is enforced"

"HIS MARK"

"If any MAN WORSHIP the BEAST and HIS IMAGE and receives HIS MARK in his forehead, ( affections) or in his hand" (revelation 14:9, refraining from labor on THAT DAY). (See Ecclesiastes 9:10; Romans 7:25.)

"The OBSERVANCE of SUNDAY by protestants is an HOMAGE THEY PAY in spite of themselves to the AUTHORITY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH." Plain talk for Protestants, page 213.

"Question- How prove you that the church hath power to command feasts and holy days?

"Answer- by the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of, and therefore they fondly contradict themselves by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other Feasts commanded by the same church."

Question- How prove you that?

Answer- Because by keeping SUNDAY they ACKNOWLEDGE the CHURCH'S POWER to ordain feasts, and to command them under sin." Douay Catachism, page 59.

"If the Bible is the only Guide for the Christian then the Seventh-day Adventist is RIGHT, in observing the Saturday with the Jew..... it not STRANGE, that those who make the Bible their ONLY TEACHER, should inconsistantly follow this matter the TRADITION of the Catholic Church?" Question Box, ed., 1915, page 179.

" The Catholic Church claims that the change was her act... And the act is a MARK of her eccesiastical authority in religious things." H. F. Thomas, Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbins.

Return to Rev. 13:17

"HIS NAME"

"And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the NAME of the beast, or the number of HIS NAME." Revelation 13:17.

"The number indicated by the letters of HIS NAME." 20th Century New Testament.

"Verse 18, Six Hundred Sixty Six. The number letters of HIS NAME shall make up this number." Douay (Catholic) Bible. Note on revelation 13:18.

"The method of reading generally adopted is that known as the GHEMATRIA of the rabbins, which assigns each letter of a name its usual numerical value, and gives the sum of such numbers as the equivalent of the NAME ." Word Studies in the N. T., Marvin R. Vincent, D.D.., notes on Revelation 13:18.

"The Pope is of such lofty and supreme dignity that, properly speaking, he has not been established in any rank of dignity, but rather has been placed upon the very summit of all ranks of dignities..."

"He is likewise the divine monarch and supreme emperor and king of kings."

"HENCE THE POPE IS CROWNED WITH A TRIPLE CROWN, AS KING OF HEAVEN, AND OF EARTH AND OF THE LOWER REGIONS." Ferraris' Eccl. Dictionary (Catholic) Article, Pope.

"What are the letters supposed to be in the Pope's crown, and what do they signify, if anything?"

" The letters inscribed in the Pope's miter are these: VICARIUS FILII DEI, which is the Latin for 'VICAR OF THE SON OF GOD.' Catholics hold that the church, which is a visible society, must have a visible head. Christ, before His ascension into heaven, appointed St. Peter to act as His representative....Hence to the Bishop of Rome, as head of the church, was given the title, 'VICAR OF CHRIST'."

WHO IS THE "DESTROYER"?

About A.D. 95, while in exile on the isle of Patmos, the apostle John was given in vision a glimpse of the end of the age (Rev. 1:10), called the "Day of the Lord" in numerous Old and New Testament Scriptures. During this "day of the Lord's wrath" (Zep. 1:18), God will punish humanity for their proud, sinful ways and their refusal to acknowledge Him as the true God. John recorded the visions he saw in the book of Revelation.

One of those punishments, chronicled in Revelation 9:1-11, will be the release of the depraved demons and fallen angels currently locked in the Abyss. The Bible teaches that the Abyss is a spirit prison (Luke 8:31; I Pet. 3:19; II Pet. 2:4; Jude 6). In the Abyss, some of the fallen angels are now bound in "everlasting chains under darkness" waiting "for the judgment of the great day." For more information on these angels and the Abyss, refer to my articles "Fallen Angels and Demons" and "Genesis 6-Who Were 'The Sons Of God'?."

In Revelation 9:11, an intriguing character is introduced:

REVELATION 9:11 They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon. (NASB)

Abaddon and Apollyon both mean "destroyer." Who is this ruling demon called the "Destroyer," who is released from the Abyss during God's wrath on mankind in the last days of this age? Does the Bible mention this being anywhere else?

The true identity of the "Destroyer" has long been misunderstood. In this article, I will attempt to piece together all the relevant Scriptures to show who Abaddon/Apollyon really is and what his role will be in end-time prophecy. Most have never realized how much the Bible has to say about this vital end-time figure, who is called by a variety of names.
The "Destroyer" Released

Let's start by reviewing the event that will allow this powerful fallen angel entrance into the world. This occurrence is recorded in Revelation 9:1-11. To rightly understand who this "king of the bottomless pit" is, it's vital to correctly interpret what this passage is saying. We must be guided by Scripture, not our imagination.

REVELATION 9:1 And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key of the shaft of the bottomless pit; 2 he opened the shaft of the bottomless pit and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft. (RSV)

First, notice that at the sounding of the fifth trumpet, an angel ("star") descends out of heaven to the earth. This angel has in his possession a key to the Abyss. With this key, he unlocks the "bottomless pit." This is very likely the same angel who later comes from heaven again with the key and a great chain to imprison Satan in the Abyss for the duration of the Millennium (Rev. 20:1-3).

REVELATION 9:3 Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth; 4 they were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green growth or any tree, but only those of mankind who have not the seal of God upon their foreheads; 5 they were allowed to torture them for five months, but not to kill them, and their torture was like the torture of a scorpion, when it stings a man. 6 And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death will fly from them. (RSV)

Regarding the "locusts" which ascend out of the Abyss, David H. Stern writes:

Demonic monsters are released which fly like locusts (Exodus 10:12-20; Joel 1:4, 2:4-14) and sting like scorpions (Ezekiel 2:6, Lk 11:12). (p. 816, Jewish New Testament Commentary)

God grants these evil "locusts" from the Abyss the power which scorpions have -- the power to inflict pain. God tells these paroled demons not to harm the earth or those humans who have His seal on their foreheads. Yet for five months God permits them to torment the unrepentant among mankind.

REVELATION 9:7 In appearance the locusts were like horses arrayed for battle; on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces, 8 their hair like women's hair, and their teeth like lions' teeth; 9 they had scales like iron breastplates, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle. 10 They have tails like scorpions, and stings, and their power of hurting men for five months lies in their tails. 11 They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon. (RSV)

Here we have a fantastic description of what these fallen angels and demons look like. The five-month period of their torture of mankind is also reiterated in verse 10. Then in verse 11, we have our first mention of Abaddon. He is identified as the angelic ruler over those who were released from the Abyss.
Abaddon Is The "Beast" Who Ascends From The Abyss

In Revelation 9:1-11, Abaddon is clearly identified as the king of the demons released from the Abyss. This fact identifies him throughout the rest of the book of Revelation. Twice specifically, and once symbolically, Abaddon is referred to as the "beast" who is to come up out of the Abyss.

REVELATION 11:7 When they [the two witnesses] have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. (NASB)

REVELATION 17:8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is to ascend from the bottomless pit and go to perdition . . . (RSV)

REVELATION 13:1 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea . . . (NKJV)

Revelation 11:7 and 17:8 are clearly referring to Abaddon as the "beast" who will ascend from the "bottomless pit." What we see described in the first part of Revelation 13:1 is a symbolic reference to the release of Abaddon from the Abyss. In Jewish thought, the Abyss was often associated with the ocean depths. Speaking of the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures in use at the time of Christ, The New Unger's Bible Dictionary says: "The LXX renders Heb. tehom, 'the primeval ocean' (Gen. 1:2; Ps. 24:2; etc.) as 'abyss'." (p. 18, "Abyss"). This identification of Abaddon as the primary "beast" mentioned in the book of Revelation will help us to learn more about his activities in the end-time.

There is one other Scripture that enigmatically mentions the release of Abaddon from the Abyss. This obscure reference is found in II Thessalonians 2, where Paul discusses the "man of sin." We'll look at this passage in depth to truly grasp the significance of what Paul is saying.

II THESSALONIANS 2:1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (NKJV)

Here, Paul is talking about the return of Christ. He tells the Thessalonian church not to be deceived if someone tells them that Christ has already returned, because some definite events have to occur before that event will happen. The first of those events is the "falling away" (Gr. apostasia) from the truth. Another event Paul says must take place is the appearance of the "man of sin," who will attempt to usurp the power of God.

II THESSALONIANS 2:5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining [katechon], that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way [ek mesou genetai]. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. (NKJV)

Paul says that the Thessalonians know what is now "restraining" the "man of sin" (v. 6), yet he doesn't state what it is in his letter. Paul had already taught the Thessalonians these things when he had been with them earlier (v. 5). The Greek word translated "restraining" here is katechon. According to Friberg's Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament, this verb means "hold back, detain, prevent . . . figuratively restrain, check."

The phrase "only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way" in the latter half of verse 7 implies that the one restraining the "man of sin" is a person. However, the Greek text here literally reads "only the thing holding back now will continue until out of the midst he comes [Gr. ek mesou genetai]." With an understanding of what is taught in Revelation about the release of Abaddon, we can see what Paul is saying. The following translation of verses 6 and 7 clarifies this passage:

"And you now know the thing [the Abyss] that is holding back [Abaddon], that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only the thing [the Abyss] which now restrains [Abaddon] will continue to do so until out of the midst [of the Abyss] he comes."

Paul goes on to say that only after his release from that which is now restraining him would the "lawless one" be revealed to mankind (v. 8). We'll look at the last half of verse 8 a little later, and show how it relates to some other prophetic Scriptures (Dan. 7:26; 8:25; Rev. 19:20).
Symbolic Description of Abaddon and His Kingdom

In symbolic language, Abaddon and the kingdom he will rule over are described in detail in the thirteenth and seventeenth chapters of Revelation. These chapters give us a great deal of information. Let's examine them, along with several other parallel Scriptures, to see what we can learn about this ruling fallen angel and his end-time kingdom.

REVELATION 13:1 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. (NKJV)

The last half of verse 1 describes Abaddon in symbolic terms. To determine what this description means, we'll have to look at some related passages in Revelation 17, where an explanation of these heads and horns is given.

REVELATION 17:1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication." 3 So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. 5 And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement. 7 But the angel said to me, "Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. (NKJV)

There are several opinions about the identity of the "woman" in this passage. We are told that this woman is riding (being supported by) the "beast" (Abaddon and his kingdom). Revelation 17:5 tells us that the woman is the "mother of harlots." Her harlot daughters are the false religious systems of this world. The "great harlot" is the sum total of all satanically-inspired religious/societal/governmental systems in existence since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden.

Revelation 17:5 tells us that the woman is "Babylon the Great." This fact is verified in Revelation 17:18. Revelation 18:24 tells us that in this woman "was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slain on earth." This Scripture declares that this woman is responsible for the blood of everyone who has ever been slain on the earth. Obviously this cannot represent any one "human" system.

"Babylon the Great" is the false religious/societal/governmental system of Satan, who has been a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44). The harlot is the "mother" of all human systems that have ever existed apart from God. The end-time version of this system will be hated by the "beast" and the "ten horns," and will eventually be destroyed by them (Rev. 17:16), in fulfillment of God's will.

Now let's examine the scarlet beast ridden by the great harlot. As you can see by comparing Revelation 17:3, 7 to Revelation 13:1, the "scarlet beast" the "woman" rides looks very similar to the "beast" which arose from the sea. Using Scripture to interpret Scripture, we can determine that they are one and the same.

REVELATION 17:8 "The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come. (NASB)

What does the angel mean when he tells John that the "beast" he saw "WAS and IS NOT and WILL COME"? The language used definitely implies a time element. As stated earlier, John likely recorded this prophecy around the year 95 A.D. The angel clearly tells John that, at that point in time, the beast "is not" (present tense). Yet the angel says that the beast "was" (past tense), and he also says that the beast "will come up out of the abyss" (future tense). What are we to make of this cryptic statement?

Actually, the explanation isn't that difficult to understand. Abaddon "was" free in the time before the Flood to interact with humanity. Yet because of the devious and destructive nature of his sins, God saw that it was necessary to imprison and thereby restrain him. So at the time John received his vision, Abaddon "was not" because he was locked in the Abyss. However, as the angel makes clear, this "beast" will in the future be freed from his confinement and "will come up out of the abyss."

Returning to the identification of the seven heads and ten horns, what does the Bible tell us about these features of the beast?

REVELATION 17:9 Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. 10 There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. (NKJV)

In the Bible, a mountain figuratively represents a kingdom or the ruler of that kingdom. The New Unger's Bible Dictionary states:

. . . When David says, "O Lord, by Thy favor Thou hast made my mountain to stand" (Ps. 30:7), he means to express the stability of his kingdom. In like manner the kingdom of the Messiah is depicted as a mountain (Isa. 2:2; Dan. 2:35), as is also the Chaldean monarchy (Jer. 51:25; Zech. 4:7). (p. 891, "Mountain")

Therefore, the seven mountains and the seven kings referred to in Revelation 17:9-10 are one and the same.

What does the angel mean when he says that "five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come"? Again, the angel is giving John a time sensitive clue.

As of 95 A.D., five of the symbolic heads (kingdoms) of the beast had already fallen from power. Those five were:

(1) Egypt
(2) Assyria
(3) Babylon
(4) Medo-Persia
(5) Greece

The kingdom in power at the time the Apocalypse was written was (6) Rome.

Some may wonder how we can know that the six kingdoms listed above are correct. There is one overriding principle about the Bible that gives us assurance. The Bible was written about and for the people of God. The six kingdoms listed above all have one thing in common that identifies them as the first six heads of the beast: they were satanically-inspired human empires that ruled over God's people.

That means that there is one remaining "head" yet to come which will rule over God's people. This last empire will be global in scope, as God tells us in the seventh chapter of Daniel.

DANIEL 7:7 "After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly B. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. . . . 19 Then I wished to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze, which devoured, broke in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet; 20 and the ten horns that were on its head . . . 23 Thus he said: 'The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. 24 The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. . . . (NKJV)

In his vision, Daniel saw four beasts: a lion with eagle's wings, a bear, a leopard with four heads and four wings, and a terrible beast with iron teeth and ten horns (Dan. 7:3-7). The beast John sees come up out of the Abyss (Rev. 13:2) contains elements of all the beasts seen by Daniel. It is an amalgamation of all the satanic empires that have come before. For more information on the identification of these beasts, refer to my article "The Beasts of Revelation and Daniel."

The fourth beast Daniel saw is the same as the seventh head of the beast John saw. It is the soon coming global government, the "new world order," which will arise out of the chaos that occurs during the opening of the first four seals (Rev. 6:1-8). Daniel shows that this one world government will be reigned over by ten kings, called "horns" (Dan. 7:24).

God tells us in Revelation 17:10 that this "new world order" will last only for a very short time. The apparent demise of this seventh head of the beast is shown in Revelation 13:3.

REVELATION 13:3 One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth followed the beast with wonder. (RSV)

What is this apparently deadly wound that will be inflicted on the seventh head of the beast? Daniel gives us the cause of the wound.

DANIEL 7:8 "I was considering the [ten] horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up [sileqat, "ascending"] among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words. . . . 19 Then I wished to know the truth about the fourth beast . . . 20 and the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up [sileqat, "ascended"], before which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows. . . . 24 The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; he shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings." (NKJV)

The fourth beast of Daniel 7 has ten horns, which we know is symbolic for a king or kingdom. These horns represent the ten kings or nations that will control the end-time global government. In his vision, Daniel saw a "little horn" ascend and rise up among these ten. This "little horn," Abaddon, king of the Abyss, will definitely be different from the first ten kings.

Probably using the evil spiritual forces God allows to be released upon mankind during the fifth trumpet as his army, Abaddon will destroy three of the ten rulers of the "new world order" (and possibly their nations). In so doing, he will appear to have "mortally wounded" the seventh head, the ruling world government. However, instead of totally destroying this satanic governmental structure, Abaddon will seize control of it and become its leader. As Revelation 17:8 tells us, almost the whole world will be amazed when they see Abaddon rise up.

REVELATION 17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition. 12 The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. 13 These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. (NKJV)

The beast is not one of the seven, he is the eighth; yet clearly he is of the seven. That is, he is given his authority by Satan (Rev. 13:4), just as the seven heads were. Apparently Abaddon will install three kings to replace those he "plucked out by the roots" (Dan. 11:39), and with the support of those ten kings (Rev. 17:12-13), he will become the ruler of the entire earth in the ultimate and final realization of Satan's governmental system.

REVELATION 13:4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" (NKJV)

After the resurrection of the mortally wounded seventh head, almost the entire world will worship Satan, who gives Abaddon his authority. They will also worship Abaddon because of his conquest of the "new world order."
The Length of Abaddon's Reign

The Bible tells us in several places how long Abaddon will reign. It is stated as 42 months (Rev. 13:5) or "a time and times and half a time" (Dan. 7:25; 12:7), which literally is "one year, two years, and a half a year," or a total of 3 1/2 years.

REVELATION 13:5 And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months; (RSV)

DANIEL 7:25 He shall speak words against the Most High, shall wear out the holy ones of the Most High, and shall attempt to change the sacred seasons and the law; and they shall be given into his power for a time, two times, and half a time. (NRSV)

DANIEL 12:7 The man clothed in linen, who was upstream, raised his right hand and his left hand toward heaven. And I heard him swear by the one who lives forever that it would be for a time, two times, and half a time, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end, all these things would be accomplished. (NRSV)

Revelation 11:3 mentions the same time span in days, and equates it with the testimony of the two witnesses. It's possible that this period in which the two witnesses give their testimony may slightly precede the 42 months that Abaddon is in authority.

REVELATION 11:3 "And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. . . . 7 When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them." (NASB)

The "Abomination of Desolation" in the Heavenly Sanctuary

Several Scriptures record the blasphemous acts of Abaddon during the time of his rule. Let's look at those passages now.

DANIEL 7:8 "While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great boasts. . . . 19 Then I desired to know the exact meaning of . . . 20 the other horn which came up, and before which three of them fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts and which was larger in appearance than its associates. 21 I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints [qaddiysh] and overpowering them 22 until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints [qaddiysh] of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints [qaddiysh] took possession of the kingdom. . . . 25 'He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints [qaddiysh] of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. 26 But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever.'" (NASB)

The Aramaic word qaddiysh literally means "holy ones;" it can be translated either as "saints" or as "angels." As we will soon see from parallel Scriptures, translating this word as "angels" appears to be the correct rendering in most instances listed above. This passage shows that Abaddon will speak against the Eternal God, and will attack the holy angels.

REVELATION 13:5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. 6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. 7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints [hagion] and to overcome them. . . . (NKJV)

As you can see in Revelation 13:6, along with God Himself, the heavenly tabernacle and those who dwell in heaven (the holy angels) are special targets of Abaddon's blasphemy. The word "saints" in Revelation 13:7 is the Greek word hagion. Although this word is generally used of humans, it can also refer to God's holy angels. This usage can be found in the Septuagint (LXX, Psa. 88:6, 8), and in the New Testament (I The. 3:13). Friberg's Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament gives the definition for hagion in I Thessalonians 3:13 as: "the holy ones, as a designation for angels."

Revelation 13:6-7 shows that Abaddon and his demonic forces are permitted to fight against the holy angels and temporarily defeat them. This defeat will allow Abaddon to occupy the courtyard of the temple in heaven and proclaim himself to be "God."

REVELATION 11:1 Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, "Come and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, 2 but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample over the holy city for forty-two months. (NRSV)

II THESSALONIANS 2:3 Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one destined for destruction. 4 He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple [naon] of God, declaring himself to be God. (NRSV)

Paul clearly says that Abaddon will occupy the temple of God, taking a seat in it and declaring himself to be God. The Greek word translated "temple" here is naon, a form of the noun naos. It generally refers to the (outer) Holy Place and the (inner) Holy of Holies in the temple proper. However, it is also used in the Bible to refer to the temple complex, including the courtyard. The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament says:

Mt. 27:5 tells us Judas cast the thirty shekels into the temple (eis ton naon) and went out and hanged himself. If naos is taken to mean the temple in the narrower sense, one may ask how Judas could bring the money into it, since only the priests were allowed access. We may thus assume that it is used in a broader sense, as in Jn. [2:]19 . . . (p. 884, vol. IV).

Most people interpret the "temple of God" in II Thessalonians 2:4 as either a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, or figuratively as the Church. Yet the Bible clearly shows that the tabernacle, and later the temple in Jerusalem, were earthly types patterned after the heavenly antetype (Exo. 25:9; Heb. 8:2, 5; 9:11, 23). It appears from the Scriptures that Abaddon's presence in the courtyard of the heavenly temple could be the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel and Christ. This heavenly desolation will likely have an earthly counterpart in Jerusalem (Luke 21:20).

LUKE 21:20 "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near." (RSV)

MATTHEW 24:15 "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains." (NKJV)

DANIEL 8:9 Out of one of them came another horn, a little one, which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the beautiful land. 10 It grew as high as the host of heaven. It threw down to the earth some of the host and some of the stars, and trampled on them. 11 Even against the prince of the host it acted arrogantly; it took the regular burnt offering away from him and overthrew the place of his sanctuary. 12 Because of wickedness, the host was given over to it together with the regular burnt offering; it cast truth to the ground, and kept prospering in what it did. 13 Then I heard a holy one [qadowsh, "angel"] speaking, and another holy one [qadowsh] said to the one that spoke, "For how long is this vision concerning the regular burnt offering, the transgression that makes desolate, and the giving over of the sanctuary and host to be trampled?" 14 And he answered him, "For two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state." (NRSV)

Abaddon and his army will be given victory over the host (literally, "army") of heaven. He will overthrow the sanctuary of the "prince of the host" (Yeshua the Messiah), and will cause the "regular burnt offering" to cease for "2,300 evenings and mornings." The evenings and mornings are referring to the time of the daily sacrifices; this means that the actual time period being defined is only 1,150 days, or half of 2,300.

If Daniel truly is referring to the Temple of God in heaven, then what are the "daily sacrifices" that Abaddon will cause to cease?

I PETER 2:5 You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (NKJV)

HEBREWS 13:15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. (NKJV)

REVELATION 5:8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. (NKJV)

REVELATION 8:3 Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand. (NKJV)

Physical sacrifices according to the Mosaic Law are not currently performed. Yet the New Testament does show that sacrifices remain for Christians; those sacrifices are spiritual sacrifices, which include praise and the prayers of God's people to the Eternal Creator of the universe. It is possible that these are the sacrifices spoken of here, instead of literal physical sacrifices.

Below is Gabriel's explanation of Daniel's vision:

DANIEL 8:16 And I heard a man's voice between the banks of the Ulai, who called, and said, "Gabriel, make this man understand the vision." 17 So he came near where I stood, and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, "Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end." 18 Now, as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep with my face to the ground; but he touched me, and stood me upright. 19 And he said, "Look, I am making known to you what shall happen in the latter time of the indignation; for at the appointed time the end shall be. . . . 23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their fullness, a king [Abaddon] shall arise, having fierce features, who understands sinister schemes. 24 His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; he shall destroy fearfully, and shall prosper and thrive; he shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people. 25 Through his cunning he shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; and he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without human means. (NKJV)

Gabriel clearly states that the events Daniel saw in his vision will occur at "the time of the end." At that time, when transgressors have reached their full measure, Abaddon will come on the scene. His power and authority will come from Satan (Rev. 13:4). The "Destroyer" will live up to his name; he will destroy the mighty and the holy ones (both the saints and the holy angels), as well as those humans who oppose him. He will delude himself because of pride in his accomplishment, thinking and even proclaiming that he is "God" (II The. 2:4). He will oppose Christ, the "Prince of princes," but he will eventually be defeated "without human means," as we will see in the next section.

This same time is detailed in the eleventh chapter of Daniel also.

DANIEL 11:31 Forces from him shall appear and profane the temple and fortress, and shall take away the continual burnt offering. And they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate. 32 He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant; but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action. 33 And those among the people who are wise shall make many understand, though they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder, for some days. 34 When they fall, they shall receive a little help. And many shall join themselves to them with flattery; 35 and some of those who are wise shall fall, to refine and to cleanse them and to make them white, until the time of the end, for it is yet for the time appointed. 36 And the king shall do according to his will; he shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods. He shall prosper till the indignation is accomplished; for what is determined shall be done. 37 He shall give no heed to the gods of his fathers, or to the one beloved by women; he shall not give heed to any other god, for he shall magnify himself above all. 38 He shall honor the god of fortresses instead of these; a god whom his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts. (RSV)

The Destruction of Abaddon and His Kingdom

As previously shown, Abaddon will have the support of most of the world after his conquest of the global human government. Daniel 11:39 shows the conveyance of rulership on some (the "ten kings") who acknowledge his power and authority.

DANIEL 11:39 He shall deal with the strongest fortresses by the help of a foreign god; those who acknowledge him he shall magnify with honor. He shall make them rulers over many and shall divide the land for a price. (RSV)

REVELATION 17:12 "The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. 13 These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. 14 These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful." (NKJV)

After the Israelites have returned to the Holy Land, Abaddon will summon his vassal rulers and their armies to help him attempt to destroy them (Eze. 38-39). These kings and their troops will gather at the mountain of Megiddo, north of Jerusalem.

REVELATION 16:13 And I saw, issuing from the mouth of the dragon and from the mouth of the beast and from the mouth of the false prophet, three foul spirits like frogs; 14 for they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. . . .16 And they assembled them at the place which is called in Hebrew Armageddon. (RSV)

These forces will then march toward Jerusalem. At this great battle, Yeshua, the Prince of the armies (hosts) of heaven, will destroy the armies of the beast and capture him. Then Abaddon, along with the false prophet, will be cast into the lake of fire.

REVELATION 19:19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh. (NKJV)

ZECHARIAH 14:12 Now this will be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the peoples who have gone to war against Jerusalem; their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongue will rot in their mouth. 13 It will come about in that day that a great panic from the LORD will fall on them; and they will seize one another's hand, and the hand of one will be lifted against the hand of another. (NASB)

Let's look at one other passage from Isaiah 14 that explicitly shows the defeat and fate of Abaddon. This Scripture is commonly thought to refer to Satan. However, if we look at the context and put away our preconceived ideas, it becomes apparent that Abaddon, not Satan, is the subject:

ISAIAH14:1 The LORD will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and aliens will join them and will cleave to the house of Jacob. 2 And the peoples will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them in the LORD's land as male and female slaves; they will take captive those who were their captors, and rule over those who oppressed them. 3 When the LORD has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve, 4 you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: "How the oppressor has ceased, the insolent fury ceased! 5 The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of rulers, 6 that smote the peoples in wrath with unceasing blows, that ruled the nations in anger with unrelenting persecution. 7 The whole earth is at rest and quiet; they break forth into singing. 8 The cypresses rejoice at you, the cedars of Lebanon, saying, 'Since you were laid low, no hewer comes up against us.' 9 Sheol beneath is stirred up to meet you when you come, it rouses the shades to greet you, all who were leaders of the earth; it raises from their thrones all who were kings of the nations. 10 All of them will speak and say to you: 'You too have become as weak as we! You have become like us!' 11 Your pomp [ga'on, "arrogancy"] is brought down to Sheol, the sound of your harps; maggots are the bed beneath you, and worms are your covering. (RSV)

The scene is set in verses 1 through 3. This is the time when God has given rest to His people; this is the Millennium, when the Israelites will be back in their land and Yeshua will be ruling from Jerusalem. Verse 4 identifies the subject of the passage: Abaddon, the "king of Babylon." Verses 5 through 8 show that God has broken the power of this king who had oppressively ruled the whole earth. Verse 9 shows that Abaddon has been cast into sheol. Sheol is used figuratively for the abode of those who are dead; in this instance, those wordly leaders who were under this king are specifically mentioned. Verse 10 shows them symbolically exulting in the fact that Abaddon, although at one time extremely powerful, has suffered the same fate they did. Verse 11 reaffirms that this arrogant king has been delivered to sheol. It's clear that Abaddon is no longer around during the Millennium.

ISAIAH 14:12 "How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star [Helel], son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! 13 You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High.' 15 But you are brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the Pit. 16 Those who see you will stare at you, and ponder over you: 'Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, 17 who made the world like a desert and overthrew its cities, who did not let his prisoners go home?' 18 All the kings of the nations lie in glory, each in his own tomb; 19 but you are cast out, away from your sepulchre, like a loathed untimely birth, clothed with the slain, those pierced by the sword, who go down to the stones of the Pit, like a dead body trodden under foot. 20 You will not be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land, you have slain your people. "May the descendants of evildoers nevermore be named!" (RSV)

In verse 12, this dead king is given a name: Helel. Some translations render this Hebrew name as Lucifer, which is Latin for "light-bearer." However, the real meaning of Helel is subject to conjecture by scholars. The Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament says that the hithpael form of "hll means 'pride oneself,' often with overtones of 'brag, boast'" (vol. III, p. 409). That meaning fits nicely with the depiction of the arrogant king in this passage of Scripture.

In this prophecy, Abaddon, although he conquered the nations and even heaven for a time, has fallen from heaven and been cut down to the earth. In verses 13 and 14, we see that Abaddon decided to ascend above the clouds and the stars into heaven. He wanted to establish his throne there, at the very place of God's heavenly temple, the mount of assembly. He wanted nothing less than to rule in place of God. Yet verses 15 through 20 show that he will be brought down to sheol, his power destroyed. The theme of this entire passage is the overthrow of the arrogant king, Abaddon, who wanted to be like the Most High God.

After the crushing defeat of Abaddon's forces, Satan, the power behind Abaddon's throne, will be captured also. He will be locked in the Abyss during the 1,000 year reign of the Messiah on earth.

REVELATION 20:1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time. (NASB)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

HOW TO KNOW THE LORD JESUS CHRIST

How To Study The Bible

The King James Version is used.

It is the first and highest duty of every rational being to learn from the Scriptures what is truth, and then to walk in the light, and encourage others to follow his example. We should day by day study the Bible diligently, weighing every thought, and comparing scripture with scrip­ture. With divine help, we are to form our opinions for ourselves, as,we are to answer for ourselves before God.” -The Great Controversy, 1884 ed, page 416.

Allow no one to be brains for you, allow no one to do your thinking, your investigating, and your praying. This is the instruction we need to take to heart today. Many of you are convinced that the precious treasure of the kingdom of God and of Jesus Christ is in the Bible which you hold in your hand. You know that no earthly treasure is attainable without painstaking effort. Why should you expect to understand the treasures of the word of God without diligently searching the Scriptures?

It is our duty to read the Bible daily. But casual reading of the Scriptures is not enough. The knowledge of God is not to be gained without mental effort, without prayer for wisdom in order that you may separate from the pure grain of truth the chaff with which men and Satan have misrepresented the doctrines of truth. Satan and his confederacy of human agents have endeavored to mix the chaff of error with the wheat of truth.

The study of the Bible demands our most diligent effort and persevering thought. As the miner digs for the golden treasure in the earth, so earnestly, persistently, must we seek for the treasure of God's word.

We should diligently seek for the hidden treasure, and seek wisdom from heaven in order to separate human inventions from the divine commands. The Holy Spirit will aid the seeker of truth. The Lord says, "If any man willeth to do His will, he shall know of the teaching." John 7:17.


How To Receive Answers To Prayer

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.” 2 Chronicles 7:14, 15.

One of the most astounding facts of the spiritual life is that God hears and answers prayer. The Bible abounds with the testimony of those whose prayers have been signally answered, and every sincere Christian can add his own personal experiences in which God has opened the windows of heaven and granted his petitions.

Prayer puts man in touch with God. It forms the connecting link between human weakness and God’s omnipotence. Out of weakness men are made strong. See Hebrews 11:34.


God's Greatest Gift for This World


At Christ's incarnation, sin had become a science. Rebellion had struck its roots deep into the heart of man. It was demonstrated before the universe that, apart from God, humanity could not be uplifted. A new element of life and power must be imparted by Him who made the world.

"With intense interest the unfallen worlds had watched to see Jehovah arise, and sweep away the inhabitants of the earth. And if God should do this, Satan was ready to carry out his plan for securing to himself the allegiance of heavenly beings. He had declared that the principles of God's government make forgiveness impossible. Had the world been destroyed, he would have claimed that his accusations were proved true. He was ready to cast blame upon God, and to spread his rebellion to the worlds above. But instead of destroying the world, God sent His Son to save it. Though corruption and defiance might be seen in every part of the alien province, a way for its recovery was provided. At the very crisis, when Satan seemed about to triumph, the Son of God came with the embassage of divine grace. Through every age, through every hour, the love of God had been exercised toward the fallen race. Notwithstanding the perversity of men, the signals of mercy had been continually exhibited. And when the fullness of the time had come, the Deity was glorified by pouring upon the world a flood of healing grace that was never to be obstructed or withdrawn till the plan of salvation should be fulfilled." The Desire of Ages, page 37.

Jesus Is Coming Again

The second coming of Christ is the great hope of the church, the grand climax of the gospel and plan of salvation. Patriarchs, in the Old Testament, looked forward to it (Jude 14; Job 19:25-27); and it has also been the blessed hope of the church in the New Testament (Titus 2: 13; Acts 3:19-21).

"So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." Hebrews 9:28.

When Jesus died on Golgotha, that act made possible the redemption of man from sin and from sin's influence and re­sults. He did not at that time actually complete His redemptive work. After His resurrection He ascended up to heaven, leaving His followers behind in a sin-cursed world. Most of the saints of past ages were still sleeping in their graves.

He had announced to His disciples, "I go to my Father," and to Simon Peter, "Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards." John 13:36. Let’s take a few minutes to study the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Signs That His Coming Is Near

After Jesus had assured His disciples that He would come again, they came to Him with the earnest inquiry : "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" Matthew 24:3.

Jesus affirmed, "There shall be signs." (Luke 21:25). This is a positive assurance. Christ's people will not be left in darkness concerning this crowning event in the work of redemption.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

EVOLUTION IS A HOAX!

Proof that Evolution is a Hoax
by David J. Stewart

Recently, a thought captivated my mind that proves that the theory of evolution is a big hoax. The thought is simple and yet profound ... why is there no recorded history before approximately 4,000 B.C.? The answer is obvious ... there was no history! Think about it! Evolutionists claim that man evolved over billions of years (that's billions with a "B"). If there were any truth to these false claims by unscrupulous scientists, then man's historical record should span back at least hundreds-of-thousands of years, if not millions. There is no record of a cataclysmic event that destroyed mankind prior to 4,000 B.C. And if there were, surely some of the survivors would have passed this information down to generations to follow. The Bible dates creation, as we know it today, at approximately 4,000 B.C. Thus, it was approximately 6,000 years ago that God, Jesus Christ, created the heavens and the earth in 6-days. It was 6,000 years ago that Jesus Christ spoke the stars into existence. It was 6,000 years ago that Jesus spoke animals, fish, plants, and land into existence. And it was 6,000 years ago that God formed man out of the dust of the earth.

Such Biblical claims seem absurd to modern evolutionists, who have convinced themselves that the earth is billions of years old. Ironically, they have absolutely NO EVIDENCE of such longevity. Evolutionists have sought out dishonest scientists, who distort the facts, use faulty testing methods, and make erroneous assumptions (unethically stating such assumptions as if they were facts). Evolution is at best still a THEORY. Yet, children are brainwashed in godless public schools all across the world, with evolution, which is taught as if it were a fact. This is evil. It is evil to deny students the Biblical account of creationism. The Word of God makes infinite more sense than the fairytale of evolution.

One of the simplest and best proofs that evolution is a joke, is the FACT that there is NO recorded history prior to 4,000 B.C. The world's history is CLEARLY defined by SIX world powers since time began: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Since Rome's fall in 476 A.D., there have been no world-powers (many super-powers; but, no world-powers). At the time of Moses, Egypt ruled the world. The Israelites were used as slave labor by Pharaoh to build the pyramids. Before Egypt, there is absolutely nothing recorded in history about a world-power. It is NO coincidence that Revelation 17:10 speaks of these world-powers, "...five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space." At the writing of Revelation, Rome was still a world-power. The Apostle John, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tells us that Rome is the 6th world-power, and there is one more to come. The 7th world-power will be the beast system, the kingdom of the antichrist. This diabolical New World Order is quickly forming now (i.e., a universal religious view, global centralized government, a one-world economic system, a cashless society, etc.).

Do you think it's a mere coincidence that the Word of God is so concise on world history? The Bible records the beginning of mankind at about 4,000 B.C., and secular history is eerily silent before 4,000 B.C. for those who claim to believe in evolution. If I were an evolutionist, I would be extremely disturbed by this FACT. Prove me wrong! I dare you. I triple-dog dare you to show me any recorded civilization before 4,000 B.C. And I don't mean some pottery jug or item that you claim is 14,000 years old--Show me any evidence of civilization prior to 4,000 B.C. You cannot. In fact, it is difficult to find much recorded history before 2,500 B.C., because the flood of Noah's day destroyed most of it. How can evolutionists be so naive and foolish as to totally ignore this incredibly obvious fact? There is NO recorded history prior to 4,000 B.C.--no writings, no carved stones, no battles, no wars, no countries, no nothing! It's as if mankind just suddenly began (which is exactly what the Bible teaches happened). God created man out of the dirt, the elements, of the earth.

There were no humans before approximately 4,000 B.C. Hard to imagine? Why should it be? There is no history to indicate that humans existed prior to 4,000 B.C. This fact is irrefutable. Oh sure, some stubborn evolutionists are going to start talking about carbon-dating, archeological findings, etc. BUT, the bottom line is that the history of mankind should be traceable far beyond 4,000 B.C., going back million of years IF evolution were true.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Pagan Origin of the "Cross"


The history of the cross, and its worship and use as a religious symbol by pagan nations long before the time of Christ, shows us plainly that it is not a symbol that Christians should attach any reverence toward.
Says Unger's Bible Dictionary:
"That the cross was widely known in pre-Christian times as an emblem has been clearly shown by independent investigators. Indeed. it was a well-known HEATHEN SIGN. The vestments of the priests of HORUS. the Egyptian god of light. are marked +. At Thebes. in the tombs of the kings. royal cows are represented plowing a calf playing in front. Each animal has an + marked in several places on it. Rassam found buildings at Nineveh marked with the Maltese cross. Osiris, as well as Jupiter Ammon, had for a monogram an +. The cross is found marked on Phonecian monuments at an early date" (p.227).

In his fascinating historical book The Two Babylons, Alexander Hislop tells us a great deal about the history of the "cross." Notice what he says about this ancient object of worship:
"There is yet one more symbol of the Romish worship to be noticed, and that is the sign of the cross. In the Papal system, as is well known, the sign of the CROSS and the image of the CROSS are all in all. No prayer can be said, no worship engaged in, no step almost can be taken, without the frequent use of the sign of the cross. The cross is looked upon as the GRAND CHARM, as the GREAT REFUGE in every season of danger, in every hour of temptation as the infallible preservation from all the powers of darkness. The cross is adored with all the homage due ONLY TO THE MOST HIGH; and for any to call it, in the hearing of a genuine Romanist, by the Scriptural term 'the accursed tree' is a mortal offence. To say that such superstitious feeling for the sign of the cross. such worship as Rome pays to a WOODEN or a metal CROSS, ever grew out of a saying of Paul, 'God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ' --that is, in the doctrine of Christ crucified -- is a mere absurdity, a shallow subterfuge and pretence. The magic virtues attributed to the so-called sign of the cross, the worship bestowed on it, never came from such a source. THE SAME SIGN OF THE CROSS that Rome now worships was used in the BABYLONIAN MYSTERIES, was applied by PAGANISM to the same magic purposes was honored with the same honors. THAT WHICH IS NOW CALLED THE CHRISTIAN CROSS WAS ORIGINALLY NO CHRISTIAN EMBLEM AT ALL" (The Two Babylons, p.197).
Notice! The cross that is so adored by Joseph Tkach, and others, dates back to ancient pagan worship --the "mystery religions" stemming out of ancient BABYLON! Thus Joseph Tkach is once again retracing his steps and going BACK TO BABYLON in his worship system of the doctrines of the Worldwide Church of God!
As David Whitaker points out in his article, "The Mark of the Beast and the Christian. Cross," the pagan/so-called Christian "cross" is a perversion of the mystic "Tau," the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The "Christian" cross has no direct connection with the "Tau," which was in the form of a capital "T" in English, but puts the cross-beam down the stem of the letter, as a small "t" shape. The Jews refer to it as cherev, or the "sword." It is a ancient pagan phallic symbol of the male penis, a symbol of pagan sex worship and the abominable rites of Baalism and the pagan temple prostitution carried out in worship of Astarte ("Easter") !
The major "crosses" of history, such as the Latin, Greek, and Maltese crosses, all have the cross-bar in the middle or upper part of the upright pole. The archaeologist Layard found the Maltese cross as a sacred symbol in ancient Nineveh of the Assyrians, close kin to the Babylonians (see Gen.l0:8-12). Layard identified the cross symbol he found with the sun, thus showing it was a sign of SUN WORSHIP!
The pagan cross was worn suspended from the necklaces of the Vestal virgins of Pagan Rome, even as Roman Catholic nuns wear it now, seemingly in imitation of their predecessors. The pagan Egyptians did the very same thing. Wilkinson, who studied the ancient Egyptians and nations of Africa, found that the people of many tribes "frequently had a small cross suspended to a necklace, or to the collar of their dress. . . showing that it was already in use as EARLY AS THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY BEFORE THE CHRISTIAN ERA"

What Must We Remember?
In the first and second commandments, Almighty God commands, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee ANY GRAVEN IMAGE, or any LIKENESS OF ANY THING that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not BOW DOWN thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me . . ." (Exodus 20:3-5).
Notice! God condemns the creation of any "graven image" of "anything" as an item of WORSHIP! To use the cross, therefore, as an item of worship, to loving finger it, hold it, to use it in worship, to spend time thinking of it INSTEAD OF JESUS CHRIST OR GOD ALMIGHTY HIMSELF, is an act of blatant IDOLATRY and a clear breaking of the commandments of GOD!
Rather than remember a lifeless object like the "cross," which has no power at all to deliver anybody from anything, but is an act of IDOLATRY, God tells us in His Word the things we should REALLY "remember," and keep in our minds!
Notice! God says,
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of THEM when thou sit test in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a SIGN upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates" (Deu 6:4-9).
God commands us to "REMEMBER all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a WHORING: that ye REMEMBER, and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God" (Numbers 15:39-40).
Instead of "remember the cross," which is a form of idolatry, God commands us to "REMEMBER ALL THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD"! God also commands us to remember how He delivered our ancestors out of Egypt, the first Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, and how He intervened and rescued and provided for our forefathers in the wilderness (Exodus Exo 13:3; Deu 5:15; 7:18; 8:2).
God warns us not to forget these things -- they are crucial to our salvation and overcoming!

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