Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Validity of Extra-Biblical Sources

Recently I have witnessed an ongoing debate about the authenticity and reliability of the Book of Enoch as being on a par with the Bible. Today I wandered onto a website that spoke of not only the Book of Enoch and other apocryphal books as being hidden knowledge that is being kept from people, but also this person set forth that real truth, hidden truth, truth that one cannot find just by reading the Bible, can be found in the well-known Hidden Bible Codes.

These aforementioned sources, along with people's visions, dreams, prophecies, appearances of Mary (which I address in this article MaryWorshipandAppearances) and other spirits, seem to be a growing source of references for people's beliefs and doctrines and those who are preaching eschatology on the internet. Because these things are starting to become a major obstacle for Christians who are trying to teach the truth based on a literal interpretation of the Scriptures alone, I thought it might be a good idea to address whether or not these extra-Biblical sources are of use in trying to determine what will happen in the days ahead.

A good place to start seems to be first determining if what we know as the Old Testament is the only Scriptures that we should accept before the Gospels. The easiest way to determine this is to see what Christ accepted as the Old Testament Scriptures. That would be the Tanakh or the Jewish Bible (Old Testament). In the Tanakh we find the following books.

The Torah (Teachings) or Five Books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy

The Nevi'im (Prophets): Joshua, Judges, Samuel (I & II), Kings (I & II), Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habbakuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi

The Ketuvim (Writings): )Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, Song of Songs (Solomon), Ruth, Esther, Ezra-Nehemiah (they count this as one book), Chronicles (I & II), and Daniel.

These are the books that are accepted as canon by Judaism. These are the books that would have comprised the Tanakh when Yeshua walked on earth. Of the Old Testament apocryphal books that exist, the one which comes most into question is the Book of Enoch, although the books of the Maccabees is also considered truth. While the first book of the Maccabees seems to be a historical record and can be used for historical reference, it is not considered divinely inspired by Judaism. The second book is partially a revised version of some of the history given in 1 Maccabees, and then it presents some questionable Pharisaic traditions and teachings, which are not in agreement with Scripture, making it suspect. The Book of Enoch, while having one verse quoted by Jude, has some things in it which are clearly refuted by the Scriptures (such as the antediluvian world having rain before the Flood, which Scripture said it did not have Genesis 2:5 "And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground." While some of what the Book of Enoch tells may indeed be historical (we can't know for sure), again it is suspect and not to be trusted as truth, even though very interesting and seemingly plausible in many respects. And as it is in disagreement in places with Scripture, it is clearly not divinely inspired. The rest of the apocryphal books were excluded from the canon for the same reasons. That Yeshua quotes from the rest of the Tanakh, but never quotes from the apocryphal books, nor does he ever indicate in any way that these excluded books should be considered equal with the books of the Tanakh, makes it clear that they are not divinely inspired and should therefore not be used to determine truth. This does not mean that some of them may not have some truth in them, but they are not to be trusted in the same way that we can trust the canon. We cannot be sure what is truth and what is not.

Now we come to the New Testament apocryphal books. We do not have Yeshua to guide us in the matter of what can be trusted to be canon and what cannot, as these books came after His sojourn on earth. We do know that Judaism does not accept any of them, but that is irrelevant as they do not accept Yeshua either. So, we must now look to the people who convened to determine what the canon would be. The twenty-seven books of the New Testament - the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles (which is really part two of the book of Luke), the epistles, and Revelation were written mostly in the first century A.D. and universally accepted by the time of the 300's A.D. Over the centuries there were debates and councils to officially determine if these twenty-seven books all belonged in the canon and were the only books that should be in the canon, and they stood the test of each challenge. The apocryphal books did not stand up to this test. But, some may argue, may these men not have been wrong? While we have Yeshua's judgment to rely upon for the Old Testament, dare we trust men to determine the validity of what books belong in the New Testament? Fortunately we do not have to trust men. We can trust God.

Psalm 12:6-7,”The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt preserve them from this generation forever.”

Psalm 119:89, 152, 160, For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever. Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.”

Isaiah 40:8, “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”

Matthew 5:18, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”

Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

Deut. 4:2, “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”

Prov. 30:5-6, “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”

Rev. 22:18-19, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Prov. 13:13, “Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.”

All of these verses tell us that 1) God can and will preserve His Word, 2) anyone that adds or deletes from God's Word will suffer tremendously and 3) if a person despises God's Word, he will be destroyed. So we know that God has promised us that He will make sure we have all of His Word, not be missing any of it, and that He will make sure that anyone who tries to add or delete from the canon will suffer for it. He also says that anyone who despises His Word (tries to remove or change it from what God intends) will be destroyed. We can assume from this that their effort to destroy His Word will also be thwarted. While Satan will try to add, delete, and corrupt God's Word through new revelations, bad translations, and edited versions, I believe God has promised that His pure Word can be found somewhere. That is why you need to really be careful of the Bible version you use. People do not give God enough credit to think that He can and will make sure that we have all His Word and nothing but His Word in a book that is known to be His Word. In fact, this warning applies not only to apocryphal books, but to books such as the Book of Mormon, writings by Ellen G. White, Charles Taze Russell, or anyone else who claims to have a new revelation from God and writes a new book. Nothing, and I repeat NOTHING was to be added after the book of Revelation. God made this quite clear. The same applies to deletions such as Thomas Jefferson's scissored version of the Bible, or newer translations that eliminate entire verses or passages from the Bible. To repeat once more, Rev. 22:18-19, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Now we come to a much more difficult thing to discern. That is the subject of dreams, visions, prophecies, appearances, etc. When it comes to appearances, the rule is to 1) test the spirits according to the command given in 1 John 4:1-3 "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist." 2)makes sure that anything that is said is in agreement with Scripture, and 3) If a spirit pretends to be someone who was a human (as opposed to an angel or "alien") it can be immediately assumed to be a fallen angel or demon, as human beings upon death either go immediately to be with the Lord or to hell. As true appearances by angels of God are rare to non-existent these days, most spirits that appear will not pass rule number one. The problem is, most people just accept these appearances and never challenge the spirit with this test.

Dreams, visions, prophecies, and "new revelations" are much harder to pinpoint. The only guideline we have for these things is to examine them very carefully against Scripture and see if they agree or disagree, or in the case of prophecies, whether or not they come true. As most people either do not know their Scriptures, or handle Scripture in the most careless way, this becomes a real problem, as they may validate and accept dreams, visions, prophecies, and especially new revelations that are not Scriptural. This new revelation is then passed on to others as truth, which then leads others astray. A prime example of this is Harold Camping. He has not been satisfied to accept God's Word at face value. He had to come up with hidden knowledge (something Satan loves to use to deceive people) by way of a math language and formula, rather than merely reading what God has to say. This is a common theme with people who start new cults or belief systems. They claim to have discovered "hidden" knowledge that nobody has ever had before. God does not work with hidden things. God is out in the open. Satan is the one who loves to hide things. The Babylonian mysteries were hidden from everyone but the initiated. The occult is all about hidden knowledge. The secret societies that worship Satan all have hidden agendas, hidden codes, hidden writings, and hidden rituals. So anytime someone claims to have discovered hidden knowledge, one should immediately start running the other direction. The only thing that God hid, He actually told us He was hiding until the time was right for it to be finally opened and understood. That hidden knowledge is the book of Daniel, but it is no longer hidden, as we are now in the end times when the book has been opened to understanding.

As for the Bible Codes, while God has many layers of understanding in His Word, a brief examination of this process immediately makes one discount it. First, it seems that these codes prophesy multiple futures. That renders it unacceptable right at the start, as the future is clearly and openly outlined for us in the Book of Revelation, as well as the Old Testament prophets. There is only one future and we are told what it will be. Second, while I do not understand Hebrew, it seems very questionable how they come up with these words that they supposedly find in the texts. People seem to be finding words that are English in the Hebrew text. I find that a little unbelievable. People say they are finding their names. Really? What is your name in Hebrew, do you know? How do you know it is you to whom it refers? How can you say that it is your name spelled out using Hebrew letters when Hebrew has no vowels. For instance, if we were to look up our president's name, without vowels it would be "Brk bm". Now are we too look for the equivalent Hebrew letters of Brkbm and assume if we can find those letters it is referring to the president? Maybe it stands for Eber Kabim, whose name would also be "brkbm"? How about cities? I have heard they have found Los Angeles mentioned. Would that be "Lsngls"? Maybe the letters before and after the "l" and "s" should be included. There are unlimited ways to do this and "see" something there. Plus you can go up, down, back and forth, and probably diagonally. If you search long enough you could find anything. People see what they want to see. In fact, this "code" can be carried out on any lengthy work of literature. Shakespeare is a great source for this sort of thing. In fact, it would seem like finding English words in an English text that would actually spell them out would be easier and more believable. This practice is actually an occult practice which was no doubt brought back from Babylon by the Kabbalistic Jews when they returned to Judah. Again, God is very open with us and tells us a great deal in His Word quite openly. We just don't study enough to understand it all. While He is certainly capable of having the layers of His Word be quite deep and remarkable, it is not His intention that we get our information that way. He wants us to study the Word as is.

Rather than looking for new revelations or hidden knowledge, people need to get into their Bibles and learn what God has to say. To follow any religion or theology that is based upon extra-Biblical revelations is to turn from what is known to be truth to what is most likely lies.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Display of Christian Faith

Occasionally I depart from my ongoing Bible study to discuss things that strike me as important. Today I attended a funeral. It was the funeral of the newborn daughter of a family member. They had been told during the pregnancy that the little girl, whom they appropriately named Grace, would not live long after birth, if she survived the birth at all. God felt, for His own reasons, that it would be best to take her right at birth. As her father so accurately put it, she was born into God's arms.

Like any Christian should be, I am definitely pro-life. A soul exists at the moment of conception, and that is a Scriptural fact. Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee: before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee...." A person exists at the moment of conception and anything that is done to halt that life is murder in the eyes of God. Even hurting a child is a heinous crime with God. Matthew 18:5-6 "And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." Matthew 18:10 "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven." Mark 9:36-37 "And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me." Mark 9:42 "And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea." Luke 17:2 " It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones." Clearly God feels very strongly about anyone who would hurt a child in any way.

This couple had known that Grace would not survive, yet they chose to give her what little span of life she might have, as they knew with a certainty that every life is given by God and has a purpose, no matter how short it may be. Their unbelievable strength and poise in the midst of such a terrible sorrow was an incredible testimony to the faith that sustains them. Grace gave her family the gift of allowing them to display the action of her name. They were a picture of God's magnificent grace in a time of deepest anguish. The program that accompanied the funeral had some letters they had written to their little girl. The Scriptures they chose to read, the songs that were sung, everything about the service was not about their sorrow, but about the triumph of a life that had existed and a child that was now living in a much happier place with our Savior. To say that her life did not leave a mark on the world would be wrong. The number of people that came was a testimony to the effect this couple's faith has had on others. The message that was given was powerfully pro-life. I cannot imagine that people left the place the same as when they came in. This baby's life has surely affected someone, although we may never know whom or how.

This should be a message to us. If a child who never drew a breath of life, apart from her mother's womb, could leave an impact on the world for God, then how much more should those of us who can count our time on this earth not in minutes or seconds, but decades think about the effect we are having on others? Everything we do, say, believe, feel, think, has an impact. What we have to constantly keep in mind is, are we leaving an impact for or against God? Today I saw a baby who never saw daylight, and a family who will have a permanent hole in their lives, leave an indelible mark for God on a great many people.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Other Articles

For my readers,

I usually do my writing on the weekends, but I have had and still do have a busy schedule that has prevented my doing any writing of late. For those who many not have checked out my other blog, Bible Conundrums and Controversies, there are some articles that some of you may find interesting. Here is a list of articles that can be found in the archives. Should you find any interesting I am including the link below.

Does the Bible Teach Infant Baptism or Immersion After Conversion?
Is Being Gay Okay, and Can a Gay Person Go Straight?
Why Did God Allow a Human Sacrifice?
Judgment Begins With the House of God
Harold Camping Failed and Tries Again With October 21, 2011
How Many animals Did Noah Take on the Ark?
How to Interpret the Bible - Literally or Allegorically
The Shroud of Turin - Hoax or Real?
Replacement Theology
Divorce and Remarriage
Mary Worship and Virgin Mary Appearances
The Role of Women in Church Leadership
The Sabbath or Sunday?
Who is Melchizedek and Who are the 24 Elders?
Is It Really Christian Music
Full-time Ministry vs. Working in the World
Is It Permissible to Drink Alcohol According to Scripture?
The Submission of a Woman to Her Husband
The King James Version Only Controversy
How Did Judas Really Die?

All of these articles can be found at

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Consequences of Bad Decisions

The State of New York recently decided to approve gay marriage. God is not amused. This past weekend Hurricane Irene hit the coast and parts of New York (as well as Vermont, who also allows gay marriage) have been devastated. This hit close to home for me as my hometown where I grew up (I no longer live there) was one of the casualties. It has been destroyed, as has the town in which I went to school and some neighboring towns on the same riverfront. One town is a 100% total loss. The town (or I should say the land, as there is no town anymore) is not even accessible anymore as bridges on both ends of town are destroyed. People were trapped in the town. A friend of my family's was lost in the flood when she was unable to reach her husband and was swept away by the waters and killed. People that I know have lost everything - homes, material possessions, and some have lost their jobs and businesses. In some cases rebuilding will be difficult simply because the land is no longer there. It has been eroded by the waters into gorges. Businesses may never open again. People will have to start from scratch again, and some are in their "golden" years.

Vermont suffered greatly too. Many years ago I also used to live up there where all this flooding took place. It has made me very aware of God's wrath, having two areas in which I have lived be devastated in this manner. Is God punishing these states for their anti-Biblical stand on homosexuality? This storm acted in a most bizarre manner in what it did to certain areas. Why did God allow these areas to be targeted? I couldn't say. Maybe there is no specific reason. I have no idea what is going on in these communities, but I do not think this punishment of New York State will stop with them. I think all of New York is going to suffer for this thumbing of their nose at God and His holy laws. Those who have not suffered yet should be prepared. The other shoe may be about to drop. Christians are not exempt. The rain falls on the just and unjust alike. The woman who was swept away in the flood was a Christian.

All we can do is pray for all the people who have suffered from this storm and ask for God's forgiveness for the sins of the legislators in allowing this law to be passed.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Beast or Antichrist in the Old Testament Pt. 8

Jeremiah 48

This chapter deals with the destruction of Moab by the “spoiler.” While as in all prophecies, it speaks anciently of Moab's destruction, prophetically it speaks of a nation in the future that may not be Moab in physicality, but Moab spiritually. In looking at the verses, we will see a parallel to the description of future Babylon, and how “the spoiler” (a name we have seen previously referring to the beast or antichrist) will destroy her. While it cannot be said that this is necessarily speaking spiritually of Babylon, the parallels are remarkable.

To show the parallels, I will give the verse from Jeremiah 48 and show the parallel verses from Revelation or other books.

Verse 2-3 “There shall be no more praise of Moab: in Heshbon they have devised evil against it; come, and let us cut it off from being a nation. Also thou shalt be cut down, O Madmen; the sword shall pursue thee. A voice of crying shall be from Horonaim, spoiling and great destruction.”

Revelation 17:16-17 “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire, For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.” Jeremiah 50:10, 26,37-38 “And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the Lord.....Come against her from the utmost border, open her storehouses: cast her up as heaps, and destroy her utterly: let nothing of her be left....A sword is upon their horses, and upon their chariots, and upon all the mingled people that are in the midst of her; and they shall become as women: a sword is upon her treasures; and they shall be robbed. And drought is upon her water; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols.”

Verse 6 “Flee, save your lives, and be like the heath in the wilderness.”

Revelation 17:4 “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Jeremiah 50:8 “Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he goats before the flocks.” Jeremiah 51:6 “Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the Lord's vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence.” Jeremiah 51:45 “My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the Lord.” Isaiah 48:20 “Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; say ye, The Lord hath redeemed his servant Jacob.”

Verse 7 “For because thou hast trusted in thy works and in thy treasures, thou shalt also be taken: and Chemosh shall go forth into captivity with his priests and his princes together.”

Isaiah 47:10 “For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me. Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know.” Revelation 18:7 “How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.” Jeremiah 50:35 “A sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith the Lord, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men.”

Verse 8 “And the spoiler shall come upon every city, and no city shall escape: the valley also shall perish, and the plain shall be destroyed, as the Lord hath spoken.”

Finally in this verse we see mention of the beast or antichrist by the name we have seen before, spoiler. The spoiler will come upon every city to destroy it, and none of them will escape from his hand. He shall destroy the valleys and plains as well, and the Lord has ordained it. Verses about Babylon that parallel this are the following:

Jeremiah 50:3 “For out of the north there cometh up a nation against her, which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell therein: they shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast.” Jeremiah 51:56 “Because the spoiler is come upon her, even upon Babylon, and her mighty men are taken, every one of their bows is broken: for the Lord God of recompences shall surely requite. And I will make drunk her princes, and her wise men, her captains, and her rulers, and her mighty men: and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts.”

Verse 9 “Give wings unto Moab, that it may flee and get away: for the cities thereof shall be desolate, without any to dwell therein.”

Revelation 17:4 “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Jeremiah 50:8 “Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he goats before the flocks.” Jeremiah 51:6 “Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the Lord's vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence.” Jeremiah 51:45 “My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the Lord.” Jeremiah 50:13 “Because of the wrath of the Lord it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate: every one that goeth by Babylon shall be astonished and hiss at all her plagues.” Jeremiah 50:40 “As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the Lord; so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein.” Isaiah 48:20 “Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; say ye, The Lord hath redeemed his servant Jacob.”

Verse 11 “Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity: therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed.”

Revelation 18:7 “How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no window, and shall see no sorrow.” Isaiah 47:1 “Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate.” Isaiah 47:8 “Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow,l neither shall I know the loss of children.”

Verse 12 “Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will send unto him wanderers, that shall cause him to wander, and shall empty his vessels, and break their bottles.”

Isaiah 47:15 “Thus shall they be unto thee with whom thou hast laboured, even thy merchants, from thy youth: they shall wander every one to his quarter; none shall save thee.” Jeremiah 50:10 “And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 50:16 “Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handleth the sickle in the time of harvest: for fear of the oppressing sword they shall turn every one to his people, and they shall flee every one to his own land.” Jeremiah 50:26 “Come against her from the utmost border, open her storehouses: cast her up as heaps, and destroy her utterly: let nothing of her be left.” Isaiah 13:14 “And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land.”

Verse 15 “Moab is spoiled, and gone up out of her cities, and his chosen young men are gone down to the slaughter, saith the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts.”

Jeremiah 50:10 “And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 13:18 “Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children.” Jeremiah 50:30 “Therefore shall her young men fall in the streets, and all her men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 50:32 “And the most proud shall stumble and fall, and none shall raise him uip: and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all round about him.” Jeremiah 51:3 “Against him that bendeth let the archer bend his bow, and against him that lifteth himself up in his brigandine: and spare ye not her young men; destroy ye utterly all her host.” Jeremiah 51:40 “I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams with he goats.”

Verses 16-17 “The calamity of Moab is near to come, and his affliction hasteth fast. All ye that are about him, bemoan him; and all ye that know his name, say How is the strong staff broken, and the beautiful rod.”

Revelation 18:5,8 “For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.” Revelation 18:10-11 “Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour is thy judgment come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more.” Revelation 18:15-19 “The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, and cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! For in one hour is she made desolate.” Jeremiah 50:23 “How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! How is Babylon become a desolation among the nations!” Isaiah 47:9 “But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments.”

Verse 18 “Thou daughter that doest inhabit Dibon, come down from thy glory, and sit in thirst; for the spoiler of Moab shall come upon thee, and he shall destroy thy strongholds.”

In this verse we again see mention of the spoiler. This spoiler, which we know to be the beast (whether or not this is speaking of modern day “Moab” which is Jordan, or modern day Babylon, which I believe to be America) will spoil or take away the wealth of Moab as well as destroy its strongholds or places of military, as well as financial strength.

Isaiah 47:1 “Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate.” Isaiah 47:5 “Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called, the lady of kingdoms.” Jeremiah 51:30 “The mighty men of Babylon have forlorn to fight, they have remained in their holds: their might hath failed; they became as women: they have burned her dwellingplaces; her bars are broken.” Isaiah 51:53 “Though Babylon should mount up to heaven, and though she should fortify the height of her strength, yet from me shall spoilers come unto her, saith the Lord.” Isaiah 51:56 “Because the spoiler is come upon her, even upon Babylon, and her mighty men are taken, every one of their bows is broken: for the Lord god of recompences shall surely requite.” Revelation 17:16 “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.” Revelation 18:7-8 “How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.” Revelation 18:19 “And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! For in one hour is she made desolate.”

Verse 19 “O inhabitant of Aroer, stand by the way, and espy; ask him that fleeth, and her that escapeth, and say What is done?”

Jeremiah 50:28 “The voice of them that flee and escape out of the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God, the vengeance of his temple.” Jeremiah 51:10 “The Lord hath brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the Lord our God.” Jeremiah 51:31 “One post shall run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to shew the king of Babylon that his city is taken at one end.”

Verses 20-25 “Moab is confounded; for it is broken down: howl and cry; tell ye it in Arnon, that Moab is spoiled, and judgment is come upon the plain country; upon Holon, and upon Jahazah, and upon Mephaath, and upon Dibon, and upon Nebo, and upon Bethdiblathaim, and upon Kiriathaim, and upon Bethgamul, and upon Bethmeon, and upon Kerioth, and upon Bozrah, and upon all the cities of the land of Moab, far or near. The horn of Moab is cut off, and his arm is broken, saith the Lord.”

Jeremiah 50:2 “Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not: say, Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces.” Jeremiah 50:46 “At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth is moved, and the cry is heard among the nations.” Jeremiah 51:8 “Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed.” Jeremiah 51:47 “Therefore, behold, the days come, that I will do judgment upon the graven images of Babylon: and her whole land shall be confounded, and all her slain shall fall in the mist of her.” Revelation 18:9-11 “And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour is thy judgment come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more.” Revelation 18:15, 18-19“The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing....And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! For in one hour is she made desolate.”

Verse 26-27,29,42 “Make ye him drunken: for he magnified himself against the lord: Moab also shall wallow in his vomit, and he also shall be in derision. For was not Israel a derision unto thee? For since thou spakest of him, thou skippedst for joy....We have heard the pride of Moab, (he is exceeding proud) his loftiness, and his arrogancy, and his pride, and the haughtiness of his heart...And Moab shall be destroyed from being a people, because he hath magnified himself against the Lord.”

Isaiah 47:6-8,10 “I was wroth with my people, I have polluted mine inheritance, and given them into thine hand thou didst shew them no mercy; upon the ancient hast thou very heavily laid thy yoke. And thou saidst, I shall be a lady for ever: so that thou didst not lay these things to thy heart, neither didst remember the latter end of it. Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children:.....for thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me.” Jeremiah 50:11 “Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls.” Jeremiah 50:29,31 “Call together the archers against Babylon: all ye that bend the bow, camp against it round about; let none thereof escape: recompense her according to her work; according to all that she hath done, do unto her; for she hath been proud against the Lord, against the Holy One of Israel...Behold, I am against thee, O thou most proud, saith the Lord God of hosts: for thy day is come, the time that I will visit thee.” Revelation 18:7 “How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.”

This chapter goes on and repeats more of the same, so I will not cover the entire chapter, as this seems to be enough to show the parallel between Babylon and what is said of Moab. God uses the same imagery throughout the Scriptures, which clearly shows that God is the author of the entire Bible, and men were merely instruments through whom He wrote. It also shows that God wants us to see the spiritual parallels between these passages and realize that while they may have applied to the ancient lands which are mentioned in the immediate future of the writers, they also have a further application in our future. The fact that these were often not fulfilled in the completeness of literalness, but only partially fulfilled in the literal sense, or in some cases metaphorically fulfilled in the past, means that there is yet more to come. As some of these nations no longer exist in name, one has to then analyze as to whether it is referring in the future to the geographic area upon which the ancient nation existed, or is it spiritually referring to another nation, who spiritually fits the description, in the future. This is the difficulty in trying to understand prophecy. The parallels between the spiritual entity of future Babylon and future Moab can be seen. Does that mean it is speaking of the same future spiritual entity, or are there two spiritual entities? Or are they two geographic areas about which a similar prophecy is being spoken? Only time can verify an answer.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Beast or Antichrist in the Old Testament Pt.7

I finally (after a few months) have my computer back and working, so am now able to get back to posting articles on my blog. My apologies to any readers who have not had anything new to read in a while.

For a while I have been writing on verses in the Old Testament that seem to refer to the beast or antichrist. I have gone through Isaiah and am now in Jeremiah, but I want to digress for a moment. I want to step out of Jeremiah for this post, as something brought to remembrance the fact that many people feel that the beast will come out of the tribe of Dan. They believe this because of the prophecy made about Dan by Jacob when he pronounced blessings on his sons before he died.

Before getting into that prophecy, it bears mentioning that these blessings (and curses) were not merely vain words expressing approval, disapproval, hopes, disappointments, or desires. Our words actually have the power to come true prophetically. Have you ever heard the "mother's curse?" "I hope you have a child just like you?" In my case, if my mother uttered it, and I imagine she probably did, she may have meant it as a curse, but unknown to her, it was a blessing. While I may not have been the world's most perfect child, especially in her eyes, I was a child who gave their life to the Lord at a young age and did my best to try to live a life pleasing to Him (in spite of my many sins). Likewise, my children both gave their lives to the Lord at a young age and now in their twenties are young men who still have a vital relationship with the Lord. While not perfect (who is?), they strive to be good young Christian men who put the Lord first in their lives. I have uttered the "mother's curse" on them as a blessing, as I would like to see them have children who turn out as well as they have.

We (and I am sinfully as guilty of this as anybody) all speak words without thinking of the power they have. The Scriptures tell us that words have power. They have power because God's words have power (He spoke the world into being) and we are created in the image of God. He is the one who gives our words power, as He hears and fulfills the things we say. As such our words have great power. We do not stop and think about that, but we are told it is true, even to the point of life and death.

Proverbs 18:21 "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof."

Our words can bring life of death to others as well as ourselves. Those who exploit the power that the tongue can bring will eat of the consequences.

Proverbs 6:2 "Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth."

Proverbs 18:7 "A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul."

There were severe consequences in the Law of Moses for cursing one's parents.

Matthew 15:4 "For God commanded, saying. Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death."

Mark 7:10 "For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother, and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death."

We are told that the tongue is the most dangerous member of our body.

James 3:5-10 "Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!" And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth preceedeth blessing and cursing. my brethren, these things ought not so to be."

Matthew 15:11, 17, 18 "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. Do not ye yet understand that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man."

We are told to guard our mouths and tongues for our own safety and sake, to think before we speak, and only utter those things which are good and edifying.

Proverbs 4:24 "Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee."

Proverbs 13:3 "He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction."

Proverbs 21:23 "Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles."

Proverbs 15:28 "The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things."

Ephesians 4:29 "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers."

One of the reasons we need to guard our tongues is that God hears what we say and acts accordingly. That is why our words have power. When Israel was complaining that they would die in the wilderness, God said this to them. Numbers 14:28 "Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you." As a consequence, that generation did die in the wilderness, just as they had pronounced upon themselves. I have heard people say that they would like to die young, so they don't become a decrepit old person. Guess what. They do.

Ecclesiastes 5:2 "Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few."

A good example of this was the vow that Jephthah spoke in Judges 11 when he vowed to give the Lord as a burnt offering whatever met him as he returned, if the Lord would deliver the Ammonites into his hands. Unfortunately it was a rash vow spoken without thinking it through properly, as his only child, a daughter, was the one to run out and greet him. Now this is a passage atheists use to condemn God as a person who demands human sacrifice, but this was not the case. God hates human sacrifice. That is Satan's domain. God never would have allowed this had not Jephthah made a vow, but God had said that whatever was vowed must be kept by the person, so Jephthah had no choice but to offer his daughter up. God put this story in the Bible to make us realize how careful we must be not only in making vows to Him, but in uttering things without thinking. It is a sad story with a very important lesson.

We shall answer for every word that we have spoken. I am dreading that day as I look back upon things I have said in my life. I am pretty sure everybody will feel the same.

Matthew 12:36 "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."

We are told what we should be saying, though. We are told to bless others, including those who persecute us.

Matthew 5:44 "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you."

Luke 6:28 "Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you."

Romans 12:14 "Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not."

Even praying over or asking God to bless our food has certain consequences. This verse alone lifts all restrictions that having to eat kosher, as taught in the Law, requires. (In spite of what Messianic Jews or Hebraic Christians may teach).

1 Timothy 4:3-5 "Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer."

By asking a blessing over the food, we render it safe and permissible for us to eat.

When we look at the New Testament, especially the words of Yeshua, we see that He pronounced blessings on us by the score, if we follow Him in obedience. There are so many blessings that we could obtain, if we are only aware of them. God's Word is full of them, just waiting for us. When some people preach that these blessings are available, they are often seen as preaching a prosperity gospel. It is not the same thing. The prosperity gospel is that you deserve and demand everything good from God, and nothing bad should happen to you if you have faith. That is not what the Bible teaches. We do not deserve anything, and we have no right to demand anything. The Bible teaches that if we walk with God, are obedient and do his will, we can expect that the blessings He has promised for certain behaviors will come our way. However, this does not mean that we will never have bad times or suffer. We are guaranteed that through the times of tribulation God will be with us, that He has his reasons for allowing these things to happen (whether for our benefit or someone else's), and that in the end it will be a blessing. Blessings are not so much based on faith as they are on obedience. Obedience only comes though, when one has faith.

The Old Testament patriarchs were very aware of the power of words - blessings, and curses. When Esau lost his blessing, he was distraught beyond measure, as he finally realized its importance. He had already treated his birthright with contempt, because he sold it for a bowl of stew. This birthright was a double portion of Jacob's estate when he died and a special blessing. When a patriarch was on his deathbed, he would utter blessings (or not so much of a blessing in some cases) over his sons. When Jacob knew his time was near, he told Esau it was time for the blessing and instructed him to carry out his command first. Isaac, at his mother's instigation, tricked Jacob into giving the blessing to him before Esau could do what his father had required. When Esau realized he had lost the blessing too, he was exceedingly distressed. He wanted the blessing, as the blessing was a part of the birthright and was a guarantee of sorts, of success, but he was too late. He lost the spiritual blessing upon the oldest son when Isaac tricked Jacob. Esau should have known how important the birthright was, but he did not treat it with the seriousness it deserved, and as a consequence he lost it all. He cried and begged and pleaded for a blessing. Why get so upset if it were just some words. The reason is, it was not just some words. It was a prophecy uttered by a patriarch to his son, which God would hear and fulfill.

Now understanding how these blessings are prophecies, we look to see what Jacob said to Dan. Genesis 49:16-18 "Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward. I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord."

Dan was the elder son of Bilhah, Jacob's first son by a handmaid instead of a wife. By declaring that Dan would judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel, Jacob (Israel) was saying that the sons of the handmaids had equal status with the sons of the wives. As it was, Dan had one of the most famous judges in his line. Samson was from the tribe of Dan. But the rest of the prophecy is not quite so nice. It says that Dan will be a serpent or adder in the path. The snake that seems to be referred to here is the cerastes. It is a horned serpent the color of sand, which likes to lie in wait along desert paths to attack its prey. As such, it is often come upon before the prey knows of its presence. So a horse would trample upon it, and being bitten would throw its rider. The symbolism found in the fact that this is also a horned serpent should not be lost on the reader. Satan is referred to as a serpent, and is often pictured as being horned.

In a previous posting on the beast, it was seen in verse 14:29 in Isaiah that it called the antichrist a fiery flying serpent, who came from the root of a serpent and cockatrice. "Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent." We know that Satan is the original serpent who has his own seed that will be the enemy of the seed of Eve (Christ). Genesis 3:15 " And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Satan is the first serpent mentioned, and then there is a cockatrice from whom this fiery flying serpent comes. The cockatrice is a mythological dragon with a rooster's head. Whether this stands for Dan, or for Antiochus Epiphanes, who was the foreshadow of the beast, another antichrist figure, or whether it is someone yet to come is uncertain. The fiery flying serpent, though, is the last in the line, so therefore must be the beast. That it is called a fiery flying serpent leads one to believe that this may be an entity who passes itself off as an "alien" come to save mankind. It is known that the beast will be inhabited by a demonic force (Revelation 16:13-14) and will have the power to perform miracles (2 Thessalonians 2:9), so being able to fly (without mechanical means) is not beyond comprehension, nor should posing as an alien in this day of UFOs be an unreasonable hypothesis.

The last line of this prophecy has puzzled scholars for centuries. It seems to be a random statement totally out of place with what goes before or after it and does not seem to make any sense in its context. It does not make sense, that is, if you do not take this prophecy to be speaking of the antichrist. However, if one sees this prophecy as being about the beast, it then makes sense. The time of the beast upon earth is the time when all of God's people will be looking for the salvation of God (or the rapture and the Second Coming) to occur. People will be anxiously waiting for the Lord to return to rescue them. Within this context, this part of the blessing makes perfect sense and is completely in context to what is being said. That being so, it appears that this blessing may indeed be a prophecy about the antichrist and would make it appear that he is in fact a descendant from the tribe of Dan in some way.

Having determined that there is a good possibility that the beast comes from the tribe of Dan, many commentators have then jumped to the conclusion that the beast must be Jewish, but in fact that is an erroneous conclusion. The tribe of Dan is not Jewish. In fact, none of the ten lost tribes are Jewish. Only the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and some of the tribe of Levi are technically Jewish, as those were the tribes in the land of Judah. The other ten tribes (as well as some of the Levites) were the land of Israel, which was taken into captivity by Assyria, and were dispersed among the nations to be "lost". For all we know, some of the tribe of Dan (although evidence indicates that much of the tribe of Dan migrated up to the area of Germany as indicated by names such as the Danube River, Dnieper, etc.) may see themselves as part of the non-Jewish Middle East. In other words, Arab, Iraqi, or etc. So a descendant of Dan might very well be a Muslim. Possibly the cockatrice spoken of in Isaiah was Hitler, as we know he was the seventh mountain spoken of in Revelation upon which Babylon sat. (Revelation 17). He was from Germany where it appears the tribe of Dan settled in and around. There have been people (and even a movie) which have speculated that Hitler has been cloned and will appear again. I do not know that I believe this, but that speculation is out there. What we do know is that a descendant of Dan would not be Jewish, but could claim descent from the nation of Israel, and as such would be able to claim a blood brotherhood with the Jews, while not being one. As it has been wondered how the "Arab" world and Israel could possibly come together under one leader (the beast) and find him acceptable, this would provide a link between the two. A man descended from the nation of Israel who is a part of the Islamic world would have a foot in both worlds. It is mere speculation, but one that bears keeping in mind.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Judgment Begins With the House of God

Satan has been on the attack with my family for quite some time now. One of the latest things was the crashing of my computer. To date, I am still waiting to get my computer back up and running and see how much was lost. This is why I have not been writing on my blogs of late. Right now I am using someone else's computer just to write this, and may be able to put some posts out there using this one until mine is back in order. With all that has been going on with my family, and some other's whom I know to be strong, stalwart Christians who are not allowing themselves to be swayed by the heresies and things that are going on in the church, and given the events in the Middle East, I have come to the conclusion that there is a reason for these attacks other than just the usual harassment. I believe that we are about to enter Daniel's 70th week in the near future, and because it is a time of severe testing, God is now separating the wheat from the chaff in Christendom to see who needs to be refined and who is a Philadelphian.

1 Peter 4:17 “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

If Peter said this to the audience of his day, how much more is it applicable to us today, many of whom will no doubt see the Coming of the Lord? The indications are there that God has already begun to sift the wheat from the chaff of this generation to decide who will have to suffer the Great Tribulation, and whom He will preserve through it. Ever since the church came into existence there has been apostasy. One need only read Paul's letters to see that. Doctrines of demons, wolves in sheep's clothing being leaders of the flock, corruptions of the gifts of the Spirit – all of these things have been a constant enemy to battle. Yet the church survived and continued as generation after generation of people saw this apostasy and split away from the institution of the church to try to weed out the yeast. They would begin new churches under new names calling people back to repentance and the literal interpretation of God's Word, trying to weed out man's traditions and heresies. The remnant has always been a small group bucking the system of religion that reigns in Christ's name. But God forewarned that at the time of the end, the apostasy would be greater than ever, just as the Tribulation that they would enter into would be the worst in the history of the world. Given that information, and most Christians (here I will specify Christians as referring to true born-again believers, not people who identify with a denomination but have no personal relationship with the Lord) believing that we are in the end times, one would think that every Christian would be studying their Bibles diligently and be very wary of every new doctrine or “way of doing things” that comes into the church, and some have. But that “some” represents a very small percentage of those who attend church and call themselves Christians. Most tend to not have a clue what their Bible really says, as they expect to be spoon fed the information (regardless of whether it is erroneous or not) by their pastors and teachers. Most have bought into the idea that it is not a personal command to go out and preach the gospel, but feel it is the church's (meaning their place of worship) duty to do the witnessing for them. As a result, the idea of making church a palatable place for non-believers to come, be entertained, and receive some watered down, inoffensive message about salvation has become the goal of most congregations. This is in direct opposition to what the Bible teaches the local church is supposed to be, a place where believers meet to worship corporately, praise and thank God, study the Scriptures to grow in understanding and wisdom, pray for the body's needs, and fellowship together for encouragement and camaraderie. It is not meant to be a place to bring people to be saved, although that can sometimes be a side-effect.

Because of this disobedience to shift away from personal responsibility to corporate responsibility, Satan used the foot in the door to bring in more paths to perdition. Rather than preach the Word, which we are told will be an offense, the social gospel, and other damnable heresies like the prosperity gospel began to creep in. Where that did not work, other truths were distorted and corrupted. New Age beliefs began to be brought in. Now churches have yoga classes and other occult practices given as part of their reaching-out-to-the-community programs. The music changed. Originally the church sang the psalms. Then there were hymns that praised God. Then the hymns began to focus on man's blessings from God, then man's response to God. Then the music started to move away from the style that was solely identified with the church to music that sounded exactly like the world's. Then the music became solely the world's music, first with some oblique references to God thrown in, and finally with the words focusing on man with occasional oblique references to some higher entity or power, not necessarily the God of the Bible. Instead of worship praising God, meetings have become entertainment for social purposes. Bibles have been removed from the pews, and the Lord's Supper eliminated for being offensive to non-believers. God has become a person who loves everyone and will not be judgmental, so there are not only no standards anymore as to what behavior is acceptable, but also what qualifies for getting into heaven.

Has it crossed anyone's mind as to why God is allowing things to go so far this time? I believe it is because the final judgment has commenced. God is separating those who love and obey Him from those who want to have itching ears, or are like the chaff in the wind blowing about with any doctrine that they find interesting or pleasing for their comfort. False prophets and teachers are in abundance. One cannot travel very far anymore without seeing billboards of one group or another announcing the end of the world on a particular day. At the moment of this writing, I know of three different groups setting a date. All different of course, based on their "infallible leaders'" twisted versions of the Bible. The fact that we are told by God that we cannot do this has not stopped them. They “know” and they are “right.” Within the churches are those who have seen the apostasy and have left the church to start home churches. This was a good move at the beginning, but as usual, people are lazy, preferring to be spoon fed, and do not want the responsibility of answering straight to God without that intermediary pastor to blame when something goes wrong, so do not trust the Lord to be their only Shepherd. Just as Israel clamored for a king so as to be like everyone else, not trusting God's system of judges whom He would divinely appoint and who would judge according to the Spirit given to them, people feel the need for a pastor or leader. As a consequence, those who initially are the wheat leaving behind the room full of chaff, make themselves more slaves to Satan's deceptions by turning to the wolves outside the church who are looking to devour them. Thus they end up worse than before, becoming a part of some cult.

At first I wondered how this could be happening, and why. Having seen several friends fall into this last category, friends whom I was persuaded loved the Lord with all their heart, and who left the church due to apostasy, I went to the Lord asking for wisdom to understand what was happening. I was brought to the verse at the beginning of this article and led to understand that it is all a part of the sifting process. God has allowed Satan to enter the churches and defile them. This is the first sifting of those who embrace the turning from God from those who stay and tolerate it while not approving, and those who shake the dust from their feet and leave. Those who turn from God will probably be lost. Those who stay and tolerate will find themselves thrown into tribulation to refine them. The next sifting comes to those who come out of the church. He needs to find out who will follow and rely solely on Him, and those who insist upon having a human shepherd. I believe the reason for this sifting is that, as the Tribulation approaches we will have no one but the Lord to guide us, and He needs to separate those who have studied and know His Word, having had Him teach it to them, and who have learned to hear His voice and instructions, from those who will listen to man and can be deceived.

I believe the next sifting comes on a much more personal level. I have noticed that God seems to be taking away some of His protective hand from His faithful servants and allowing Satan to attack them in their Achilles heel. Whatever your weakest point, if you have passed the tests to this point, you can be sure that Satan will go after your weak spot to try and tempt you and drag you away from the Lord that way. To qualify as one of the remaining remnant, one must be living a life in which striving for holiness is a daily quest. The Ten Commandments are our guide. Granted, meeting that goal may not always happen, but repentance and continuing to fight the good fight and finish the race is for what God is looking. We should be able to say as Paul did “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7. We are running in a race which we can lose if we are not careful. 1 Corinthians 9:24 “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” Judgment is happening all along the way on this path to the finish line. For those who fail along the way, they can expect to be one of those for whom the sword is waiting during the Tribulation. They might make it to heaven, but it may be through a trial by fire. 1 Peter 4:12-13 “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” The timing of this is “when his glory shall be revealed.” That means that this fiery trial will be around the time of His return. Note that Peter is saying that they will think that this fiery trial is a strange thing, or something they were not expecting. How many do not believe they will go through the Tribulation, but be raptured beforehand? One of the so-called rapture dates predicted, came and went last month (the May 21, 2011 one) and now has been "rescheduled" for October 21. The people who follow this teaching came out of the apostate church, but then wanted to hear that they would not suffer, as they were godly Christians, who did not condone the apostasy. They deserve to be rescued do they not? How our pride can deceive us. We deserve nothing but hell. It is only through Christ's blood that we can even aspire to receive God's forgiveness. Pride is a dangerous creature. It can lead us astray so easily. When one thinks they are incapable of being deceived, at that moment Satan has you. He will find something that you really desire (in this case people wanted a way out of tribulation) and he will find a way to convince you that you can have it. If these people were studying their Bibles, instead of taking this man's words as gospel truth and never checking on him, they would not have been led down the primrose path. God would have been able to show them where he is in error and they could have been saved. Instead, they traded comforting words for possibly their very salvation.

People often condemn me for preaching that we will suffer, as they say that is not looking for Christ, but for the antichrist or that I believe in working for my salvation (suffering being the work), not justification by faith. Really? When did Christ say we would never suffer? That is not what I read in my Bible. I read to take up my cross and follow Him. I read that the trying of our faith brings patience. Do you not look all the more for Christ's return if you are enduring terrible hardships and trials? I know I need to be refined. I am very aware how far from perfect and righteous I am. I know I do not deserve an easy “out.” I am scared to death that I could be deceived, if I am not extremely vigilant. I have seen it happen to others. I do not look forward to the Tribulation, but look through and beyond it to my salvation which waits on the other side. How much more incentive do I have to live a holy life, if I know what lies in the balance?

God's judgment on His house has begun. The sifting process is underway. Are you wheat? Or are you chaff?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Something strange going on

To my readers,

There are strange things going on with my blog. I am not sure what it is. I noticed that suddenly my followers are missing, yet on the dashboard it says they exist, but the info is completely missing. I am also having some problems trying to post. I don't know if my blog is being messed with or not. I have had to move my Bible Conundrums blog to a new address and that has caused some problems. I think I may be making Satan mad with what I write as he has been actively attacking my family lately. We are becoming spiritually stronger, but there are things like my blog problems that seem to keep cropping up. Please continue to bear with me as I try to sort through all this and get back to writing.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

My Bible Conundrums & Controversies Blog

Due to some unforeseen problems, my other blog, Bible Conundrums and Controversies is temporarily out of commission. I am trying to get it back up, but so far no luck. If I can't get it back up under the same name, I will go with a very similar name and re-post the website over on the side.

Update: I now have the conundrums and controversies blog at

Friday, May 27, 2011

Harold Camping Failed and Tries Again With October 21, 2011

I thought when May 21, 2011 passed that we would be done discussing Harold Camping, but it seems we are beginning all over again. If you have not read my first article on Camping explaining why his predictions cannot possibly come true, and a rather "out there" explanation as to what really could have happened should it seemed to have come true, you can read it here.

Now again, for the twelfth time Camping is predicting the end of the world. Yes, that is correct, this is not his second or even third try, it is his twelfth. People are simply not aware of the other ten (or more correctly nine as many people are aware of the 1994 debacle) tries as they did not receive the publicity and media attention this last one did. The following is a list of predictions that Camping has made over the years.

Prediction #1 - 1978 – Camping tells his Alameda Church that the rapture would occur that year.

Prediction #2 - Sept. 6, 1994 – Camping predicts end of world (Rosh haShanah) – Writes book 1994?.

Prediction #3 - Sept. 15, 1994 – When Sept. 6 fails, changes to the 15th (Yom Kippur).

Prediction #4 - Sept. 29, 1994 - When Sept. 15 fails, changes to the 29th (Feast of Tabernacles).

Prediction #5 - Oct. 2, 1994 - Claims Christ was born on Oct. 2, 7 BC and would return exactly 2000 years later.

Prediction #6 - Dec. 25, 1994 - Claims Christ will return on Christmas and Bible supports it.

Prediction #7 – March 16, 1995 – Claims Christ will return on Purim. Says it is “Watch #1 of a new wave of dates (rapture/wrath, etc.)

Prediction #8 – Sept. 24, 1995 – Watch #2 – Claims there is Biblical evidence of Christ returning 383 days after Sept. 6, 1994. Also claims Sept. 24 is 721 + 91 Ceros. (A ceros is a little over 18 years – 223 lunar cycles or revolutions. A ceros is the complete revolution of the sun, moon, stars, and planets). Camping claims these revolutions predict the end. Also states that if you divide the 2300 days of Daniel 8 by the number “6” you get 383. Thus you add 383 to Sept. 6 and come to Sept. 24 which ends the 383 days period. This is the day before Rosh haShanah.

Prediction #9 – April 3, 1996 – Watch #3 – Claims there is Biblical evidence of Christ returning 191 days after Sept. 25, 1995 (Rosh haShanah) on Passover 1996. (Passover was actually April 4.)

Prediction #10 – May 3, 1996 – Camping claims a 30 day grace period based on Mark 13:35 (which makes no sense as it says “ Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morning.” This says you won't know the day. He must not have read it carefully.)

Prediction #11 – May 21, 2011 – Camping says rapture/resurrection and judgment will occur exactly 7000 years to the day after Noah's Flood and end of world will come on Oct. 21. (He must not realize Noah did not use the calendar God gave Moses. Noah's Flood started in the second month of the civil calendar, which is what Noah used. Plus the Flood was not 7000 years ago.)

Prediction #12 – Oct. 21, 2011 – Camping says rapture/resurrection and end of world will come. May 21 was an invisible rapture and the end will still come on Oct. 21.

Getting back to his latest failure, I did not hear his post-failure speech live, but between youtube clips and reading articles online, I now know what he said. I have included some transcripts of the interviews, as youtube links may be removed at some point, so putting one in may not work in the future. You can decide for yourself what kind of person he is. While you have the right to disagree with my comments, I have included my thoughts in italics after his answers.

Question: What advice do you give to those who took you literally and gave away all their money or donated to Family Radio and now may not have the funds to survive now until October 21?

Camping: Please understand. We don't advise anybody what to do. We are not in the business of financial advise. We just had a great recession. A great recession. There are lots of people that lost their jobs. There are lots of people that lost their houses. Lots of people Not just a few, but lots of people. And somehow they all survived. They all had maybe a cousin helped them, or a sister, or the city helped them, or maybe they lowered their expense way, way down. Sometimes it was very severe. I will tell you what has happened to the average person that has been faithfully listening to the Family Radio. It is not nearly as grievous as the recent recession where people lost their homes. People cope. And we are not in a business of giving any financial advice. We are in the business of telling people “Look, there is someone you can talk to, that can maybe guide you, maybe help you. And that's God. Come boldly to the throne of grace. Pray without ceasing. I will tell you, it is wonderful. It is wonderful when we get to a point in our life where a lot of times, the best time is when our back is against the world and we don't know where to go, and finally you are pleading with God. “Oh, God, please have mercy, I don't know what to do.” And that could be just the time that when you are really drawn to God like you have never had. Believe me, God is very real.

So Camping is denying ANY responsibility in leaving these people destitute? Homeless, penniless, jobless? Wow. And he is comparing taking their money under false pretenses, as a charlatan con artist as people who are suffering from the economic recession? I don't think there is any comparison. He has deliberately fleeced people of their money telling them they would “save the world.” Now he expects everyone else, their families, their friends, the government to help these people out? Family radio does millions of dollars in business. Maybe they could help them out since they are in part responsible for people being in this state. I say “in part” because these people are equally to blame for listening to him instead of studying their Bible and seeing his errors. I guess he is like any charlatan and figures if people are stupid and gullible enough to believe them, that they deserve what they get. He certainly is copping to that attitude. He doesn't think it is grievous? He isn't the one destitute. He's rolling in dough. He suggests that there is someone who “maybe?” can help them. Yes, God is the ONLY one who can help them at this point. But it doesn't take coming to the throne of God boldly. It takes coming to the throne of God humbly, confessing and repenting of their sin of believing a false prophet and humbly asking God to forgive them and help them out of this dilemma. Just pleading mercy and telling Him you don't know what to do is not going to cut it. He requires confession and repentance for the sin before He'll help out. I love the way Camping feels that it is wonderful that he has helped people get closer to God by taking everything from them.

Questions: I agree with you, so I think that what they have to do, you are saying, is pray because of self-reliance and not rely on someone else's information, because it is maybe incorrect? Just to go within and trust themselves, perhaps? Is that the advice, maybe?

Camping: No, that is the point of prayer. You don't rely on your own understanding. That's the point of prayer. You are relying on God to help you. Now look. I am praying to God. I don't have a job. So I am lying on bed, “Lord have mercy, I need a job. I need a job. Lord have mercy. I need a job. I have a family to support.” But boy, this bed is comfortable, I don't want to get out of this bed. That is pure hypocrisy. We don't go to the Lord like that.

Camping is missing the point of the question, deliberately missing it. The interviewer is saying that people should trust themselves and check up on others and what they are telling them instead of believing everything someone tells them. Especially someone with a really bad track record. Camping is saying that people should not rely on their own gut reaction to someone like him. Of course not. He doesn't want anyone questioning what he says. That could be seen on his Forum talk shows. Any time that someone tried to chastise him or correct him or disagree with him, he would have them cut off so they couldn't talk anymore. He actually told one caller who challenged him that he was challenging God. Camping has a God complex. He thinks he is God, which is why he thinks he knows the date the Christ told us only the Father would know. He changes the topic from relying on someone else's information to relying on someone to support you. He has a habit of changing the subject when it is one he does not want to address.

Questions: Is it safe to say that mainstream population that heard about May 21 didn't believe it? It didn't happen, and now you are saying is, see this is ridiculous, and at best, misguided prediction or some kind of scam. Does it worry that you have hurt the credibility of religion?

Camping: Excuse me, just like what I have said before. Most pastors would never admit they make a mistake, because they are trying to preserve their own credibility in the eyes of those who are listening, or maybe they insist they are maintaining the credibility of the Bible, but the fact is they are not. And all I can do is to go to the Bible, and very humbly say, “Look, I have done some more studying, or somebody has sent me an idea about this phrase, and I checked it out, and I find that I have to make a change.” That does not hurt the credibility of the Bible at all. We are not perfect and God has to keep opening our eyes. God says again and again, He resists the proud and shows mercy to the humble. Verse after verse in the Bible, God resists those who come in their pride. And there is nothing in the world......There is one thing that should be seen in everyone who claims to be the child of God is humility. Whatever I know or whatever I am doing, I have to pray to God altogether. I pray again and again. The verse Philippians 2 where it says work out your own salvation, that is salvation that God has provided, you work it out, and it says, “though it is God who causes you to will and do of His good pleasure.” So even if we do something well done, I can't take any credit at all. Lord, I thank you that you have guided me this way. I am nothing. I will tell you, I can recommend this to anybody. It's a wonderful way to live, when we walk humbly before God. So you are never trying to show how smart you are or how wise you are. I have given all the credit to God and that's where it should go.

Notice when Camping violently disagrees or feels that someone is challenging or criticizing him the first thing he says is “Excuse me.” That's his way of entering into a condemnation of what has been said as being directed against himself as the “anointed prophet of God.” First he says that other pastors won't admit their mistakes because of pride, but that they aren't maintaining their credibility when they do that. Well, he should realize that by not admitting his mistake he is not maintaining his credibility either. He just looks worse for not admitting he is totally wrong and taking responsibility. You might at least respect someone who owns up to something this awful. Now he tells us that someone has sent him a way out of his mess to save face and not admit his failure, and he gropes at it as a lifeline from God. The fact is, the excuse he has given, that it was an invisible rapture (which is a ridiculous notion) did come from a friend of his who was trying to bail him out of this mess. The credibility that has been destroyed is ours. Those of us who are preaching God's truth are now subjects of mockery when we try to tell people the Lord will be returning one day soon. Now we look like the fools and our message is ignored and scoffed at. He is right that God resists the proud, and nobody has more pride than Camping. If humility is a sign of being God's child, he is definitely not among the children. Now he quotes a verse that says to work out your salvation, and tells people they have to work it out? What happened to “We can't do anything to get salvation, not repentance, not faith, nothing, because it all has to do with God electing us. So we do nothing except cry for mercy and hope we are one of the elect.” Does he even listen to himself. I do believe we have to work out our salvation in that once we repent and accept the Lord as our Savior and the Lord and master of our lives, we have to work at maintaining that relationship with Him, as I do believe we can walk away from Him. I know that from watching two of my closest friends through this debacle. They went from being solid Christians who had a hold on truth to cult followers of Camping. They have accepted his excuses for this “invisible” rapture, as far as I know (one is no longer talking to me, which indicates she is still on board with him, and the other seems to be waiting for October). As a consequence of this, I believe they are no longer on the path to salvation. They are no longer working it out by maintaining their relationship with God, as they have abandoned God and His truth and replaced him with Camping as their God and his lies for their truth. Unless they repent before they die, I believe they will find themselves not annihilated, as he teaches the non-elect will be, but spending the rest of eternity in hell. Camping says that he thanks God for guiding him. It is not God who is guiding him, it is Satan and Camping's own arrogant pride. He thanks God for allowing him to walk humbly and not show how “smart” or wise he is. He credits his revelations to his ability (his smartness) to do all these math calculations (which is a bunch of bogus numerology). Then he calls anyone who questions his “smartness” a mocker of God. Yes, that is true humility.

Question: How do you personally feel about the woman who tried to kill her life and her two daughters' lives?” (A woman tried to kill her daughters and herself on May 20 fearing the wrath of God.)

Camping: Murdering is terrible. It is contrary to everything the Bible teaches. That would have been a horrible thing if she has done that. That will make me weep. That will fill me with sorrow that she would do that. The Bible teaches that we are to save life, not kill. If it is going to be death, leave it to God. God knows who He wants to kill and make alive. That is His business, not our business.

Question: Do you take any responsibility for that?

Camping: I don't have any responsibility. I can't be responsible for anybody's lives. I am only teaching the Bible. I am not teaching what I believe, as if I am the authority. I am just simply teaching what the Bible says. And I don't have spiritual rule over anybody.

Notice that Camping again denies any culpability in this case. He says he is only teaching what the Bible says, but that is not the case. He is teaching his own heretical teachings of what he has twisted the Bible to mean. He does not take the Bible literally, he takes it allegorically. Therefore he makes it say whatever HE wants it to say. If we want to say what the Bible says, we have to say what it literally says, not interpret it for people as to what we think it means. Discussing what the Bible literally says is permissible, as long as you don't try to change the literal meaning, but when you ignore the very face value of what is said and make it mean something completely different, you are presenting your own gospel, which is what Camping does. And he does have spiritual rule over all of his followers. They take his word on everything, completely ignoring the clear Word of God. If they believe Jesus, they would accept His teaching that NO ONE would know the day or hour of His return except the Father. Camping says Jesus didn't mean what he said and reinterprets that for people. That is not teaching the Bible, that is teaching your own doctrines.

Question: Mr. Camping, you admitted that the Bible is very complex and difficult to interpret. That you made a mistake about what happened on Saturday, that is was spiritual and not physical, even though you guaranteed that it would be physical. How can you now, in good conscience tell your followers that the world would end in October when you have made a mistake interpreting the Bible already?

Camping: I have never, never told anybody that I am infallible. But God and His proofs are infallible, because they come right out of the bible. But what I am saying is that I am not infallible. All I have to do is be honest. That's all. I am trying to be honest with the bible; I am honest with those who are listening to me.

Wait a minute. Camping did not say that he was the one guaranteeing this rapture. He clearly said, and we can prove it from all those billboards, that the BIBLE guaranteed it. He claimed to have been given the key to understanding the Bible on this from God. If he was wrong about declaring that the Bible guaranteed it after saying that he got this information from God, then clearly he is not hearing from the God of the Bible, and clearly he does not understand the Bible at all. Therefore all he has been doing is presenting his own ideas, not the truths of the Bible. Either you understand the truths of the Bible or you don't, and clearly he doesn't. He most definitely is infallible. Actually he has no understanding of the Bible whatsoever. He has done this eleven times now and has been wrong each time. It doesn't matter how many years he has been studying. If he is using incorrect study methods he will always come to incorrect conclusions no matter how many years he studies it. And he is using incorrect methods of interpretation.

Question: You have not publicly apologized. Are you prepared to do it at all?

Camping: If people want me to apologize, I can apologize, yes. I did not have all of that worked out exactly as I should have, or wish I could have had it. That doesn't bother me at all, because I am not a genius. And I pray all the time for wisdom, and when I make an error, I admit, “Yes, I was wrong.” And I have said that already, more than several times tonight. I was wrong. It should be understood spiritually, not physically. Yet the sense of it is still the same. The judgment has come. The world is now under judgment where it was not prior to May 21. Spiritually there is a big difference in the world that we can't detect with our eyes. But we can know from the Bible.

This man never gives up. Notice that the apology and admittance of being wrong is not really an apology and admittance of wrongdoing at all. It is saying that he was simply wrong in that he expected a physical manifestation, but it was spiritual and invisible instead. Nobody will see it, but it did happen. He still has not said that he was wrong. He says when he makes an error he admits it, but he is not admitting it. He is claiming it still happened, it is just that we are all unaware of it. That is like the story of the Emperor's New Clothes where some charlatans use a emporer's pride against him for their own gain. They convince him that they make an invisible cloth that only the truly intelligent and those competent and fit for their job can see. He buys into the idea even though he can't see the cloth. His pride won't let him admit he may not be intelligent and competent (which if he were he would realize he was being conned). So he has some “clothes” made and proceeds to go out and parade through the streets to see if everyone in his empire is as smart as he. Well, everyone has the same pride issue as he does, so they pretend to admire the clothes as he parades naked through the streets. It isn't until some child yells, “But he doesn't have anything on,” that the emperor realizes that everybody is seeing him naked and that he has been a total fool. Camping's pride will not let him admit he is wrong even in the face of his complete and utter failure in the face of the entire world. And his followers pride will not let them admit it either. He is naked, but continues to play the fool as do his followers. Nothing of what he said came true, and trying to say that it did but in a spiritual way does not work. It is just plain stupid to think anybody with any sense would believe this anymore than invisible cloth can be seen by the truly wise and competent.

We will at least be spared the advertising campaign for October 21, 2011 as Camping says that judgment has fallen, therefore nobody can be saved from this point on, so there is no need to promote the date. Besides, this debacle has promoted that date for him already. So he can take the money that people are still sending (believe it or not) and use it for a nice vacation to help him get over this trauma. Now as God will not be spending the next five months pouring out His wrath, (which Camping has rationalized as not happening, because we could never survive more than a few days of God's wrath, much less five months) we will spend the next five months caring out life as normal. And on October 21 life will continue to carry on as normal for all of us except Campingites who will spend the next five months in more anticipation of the end and the rapture. And on October 22 they will again be disappointed and turn to Camping for another excuse. I am sure he will come up with something. I have no idea though as it would seem he must be running out of excuses by now. After all, how many times can God come invisibly or change His mind about a date that He supposedly is supposed to know when it is. He does not seem to be getting the message across to Camping very clearly. One has to wonder what God's problem is. Personally I can tell you that the Bible guarantees that the end of the world will not come on October 21. It doesn't guarantee that there won't be earthquakes, or famines, or wars, or even an “alien” invasion, as we are told to expect these things as the day approaches. But it has told us the exact signs that will precede it, and if we keep close watch for those signs, we will know when the day is close at hand, although we will not know the exact day or hour. Daniel's 70th week has to occur first and that hasn't started yet. The temple has not been built yet. The antichrist or beast has not declared himself God in that temple. The tribulation hasn't happened. The sun hasn't gone dark and the moon hasn't turned to blood. We haven't been hit by an asteroid. The demons of hell have not been let loose to torture mankind for five months. None of the many things that have yet to happen have even begun yet. We still have time. We can only continue to live life, as we were told to do, right up until the day He returns. If you don't know what to expect and watch for, get into your Bible, and take it literally. If you have trouble understanding, read my blog at (you may already be there, as I am posting this article on both my blogs) for help. But start at the beginning with the introduction, don't try to jump into the middle. You won't understand what is going on if you do that. I don't try to interpret what God's Word says, as much as try to elucidate the literalness of it more clearly by coordinating it with other passages in the Bible.

Getting back to Harold and his followers thinking he is a true prophet of God, let us take a look at that declaration. What he predicted did not come true. Period. It simply did not happen in any respect. Scripture is very clear about this sort of thing. Deuteronomy 18:20,22 “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die..... When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.” In retrospect he says he “misunderstood.” Did any of God's true prophets ever misunderstand the prophecies they were given? When they spoke, the thing came true, in a very visible, physical way. Christ came very visibly when He first came. He did not come “spiritually.” Now let us take a look at and compare Camping to another so-called “prophet” of God, such as Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses. The similarities might astound you.

“Russell was a charismatic figure, but claimed no special revelation or vision for his teachings and no special authority on his own behalf. He stated that he did not seek to found a new denomination, but instead intended merely to gather together those who were seeking the truth of God's Word "during this harvest time." He wrote that the "clear unfolding of truth" within his teachings was due to "the simple fact that God's due time has come; and if I did not speak, and no other agent could be found, the very stones would cry out." He viewed himself—and all other Christians anointed with the Holy Spirit—as "God's mouthpiece" and an ambassador of Christ. Later in his career he accepted without protest that many Bible Students viewed him as the “faithful servant” of Matthew 24:45, and was described by the Watch Tower after his death as having been made "ruler of all the Lord's goods"” (Wickipedia)

Let's compare Camping to Russell. Now I would in no way call Harold charismatic with his boring, droning voice and typical old man looks, but apparently he is very appealing to his followers.

Russell claimed no special revelation, vision,, or authority. Camping claims no special revelation or vision, and says that he has no special authority on his own behalf, but merely speaks the Word of God in the Bible, that He only speaks what the Bible teaches. Yet his very teachings were unheard of until he came up with them. His interpretation via math calculations is a new revelation whether he wants to acknowledge it or not.

Russell said he did not seek to found a new denomination, that it was merely a gathering of those seeking the “truth” of God's word during the “harvest time” or end of the world tribulation period. Harold claims his followers are not a church, as he no longer believes in churches, that they are merely “gathering” to seek the “truth” of God's Word during this “time of tribulation.” However, followers of Camping are a church, in fact they are a cult with him at the helm. They even have a name as do all cult followers. They are called “Campingites.” When a group takes on the name of their leader, it is a clear indication that it has become a cultish group.

Russell said that he was teaching the “clear unfolding of truth” due to the fact that “God's due time has come” and if he did not speak there might be no other agent than the very stones to cry out. Camping has said that God teaches through the book of Daniel that at the time of the end this sealed book would be unsealed so that we might understand, due to the fact that the end is upon us. Because Camping is the agent God has chosen to understand this new revelation through the unsealing of the book of Daniel, he is the bearer of “truth.”

Russell viewed himself and all of his followers as God's mouthpieces and ambassadors to relate this truth to the world. Camping sees himself and his followers, who are part of the “true” church, having left the “Satan controlled” churches as the ones chosen to bring this truth to the world. Russell accepted the title of “faithful servant” from his followers. Camping accepts his followers making him “God's servant the prophet” according to the verse he and they constantly quote in Amos 3:7 “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” So far the parallel is uncanny.

He and his group believed they had found significant errors in common Christian belief. As a result of such study, the Russell believed he had gained a clearer understanding of true Christianity. Russell wrote many articles, books, tracts, pamphlets and sermons expounding on them. Camping believes he has found significant errors in the basic Christian beliefs. As a result he has a better understanding of true Christianity than anyone else, and especially the churches. He has written a number of books, pamphlets, and teaches on his radio show.

Russell was introduced to some new views that convinced him, amongst other things, that those Christians who were asleep in death would be raised in April, 1878. When 1878 arrived, failure of the expected rapture of the saints brought great disappointment for Russell, his associates and followers. Confused by what was perceived to be an error in calculation, Russell re-examined the doctrine to see if he could determine whether it had biblical origins or was simply Christian tradition. Following his analytical examination of the Bible, Russell and other Bible Students came to believe that Christian creeds and traditions were harmful errors which had led to the mistake. His conclusion that it was tradition led him to begin teaching, through the pages of the Herald, what he believed to have discovered on the subject. He believed he had restored Christianity to the purity held in the first century. Such views and conclusions were viewed as heresy by many Church leaders and scholars in his day. Russell had many critics and was often labeled a heretic

Camping's studies convinced him of some radical new views and theological premises. He came to the conclusion that the rapture/resurrection would first occur on September 6, 1994. When that arrived and passed uneventful, it brought great disappointment for him and his followers. He re-examined his calculations and said that he had found an error. Camping then wrote new books showing his new discovery of where he went wrong and what the real date was supposed to be. Camping has come to believe that Christian creeds and traditions are harmful errors and has abandoned most Biblical doctrines as well as Scriptural mandates such as communion and baptism. He believes he has the only true version of Christianity, as he says even Jesus could not save anybody when He was here. Camping is labeled a heretic and cult leader by all of mainstream Christendom from liberals to evangelical fundamentalists.

When it comes to doctrines, Russell agreed with other Protestants on the primacy of the Bible, and justification by faith alone, but thought that errors had been introduced in interpretation. Russell agreed with many 19th century Protestants, including Millerites, in the concept of a Great Apostasy that began in the first century AD. He also agreed with many other contemporary Protestants in belief in the imminent Second Coming of Christ, and Armageddon. Some of the areas in which his Scriptural interpretations differed from those of Catholics, and many Protestants, include the following:

Hell - Russell maintained that there was a heavenly resurrection of 144,000 righteous, as well as a "great multitude", but believed that the remainder of mankind slept in death, awaiting an earthly resurrection.

The Trinity - Russell believed in the divinity of Christ, but differed from orthodoxy by teaching Jesus had received that divinity as a gift from the Father, after dying on the cross. He also taught that the Holy Spirit is not a person, but the manifestation of God's power.

Christ's Second Coming. -Russell believe that Christ had returned invisibly in 1874, and that he had been ruling from heavens since that date. He predicted that a period known as the "Gentile Times" would end in 1914, and that Christ would take power of Earth's affairs at that time. He interpreted the outbreak of World War I as the beginning of Armageddon, which he viewed to be both a gradual deterioration of civilized society, and a climactic multi-national attack on a restored Israel accompanied by worldwide anarchy.

Camping has altered many fundamental doctrines of the Bible. He does not believe in salvation by repentance and justification by faith. He believes solely in election as the means of salvation. This means that one need not even know Jesus Christ and repentance is a work, and one cannot work for salvation, therefore repentance is not a requirement. He does believe in a Great Apostasy and in fact teaches that Satan entered the churches in 1988 (conveniently the year he was thrown out of his church for heresy), therefore nobody can be saved in them since that time, nor is anybody remaining in them saved. He believes in a Second Coming and final Day of Wrath to destroy the earth. Other similarities in beliefs to Russell are:

Hell – the wicked are resurrected for judgment day at which time they will be permanently annihilated. 200 million will be raptured/resurrected for eternity.

The Trinity - is more of a modality, meaning that God exists as three people, but not at the same time. Jesus originally existed as Michael (which the Jehovah's Witnesses also teach) but was granted divinity and became the Son of God upon the resurrection.

The Second Coming - Camping said that in 1988 God judged the churches and nobody was saved from that time until September 1994 (which was his original rapture date) when the tribulation (which he now extended from seven years to seventeen) began. Because his predicted date of the Second Coming failed, he now says that God came on May 21, 2011 invisibly and judged the world. Since that day, nobody has or will be saved. The end is supposed to come on October 21, 2011 (which it obviously will not) and God's wrath has been reduced from five months to one day.

In 1881, Russell founded Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society (Jehovah's Witnesses). His Bible study group had grown to hundreds of local members, with followers throughout New England, the Virginias, Ohio, and elsewhere who annually re-elected him "Pastor", and commonly referred to him as "Pastor Russell". Congregations that eventually formed in other nations also followed this tradition. In 1988 Camping was thrown out of his church and founded his fellowship (he refuses to call it a church, since he said that Satan rules in the churches). It has local members and he has convinced his national and international followers to leave their churches and worship with him on Sundays via the radio. They look to him as their pastor, even though he refuses the title, because he says that pastors are controlled by Satan.

Russell's views and management style were strongly criticized by certain individuals associated with his ministry. They accused Russell of being a dictatorial leader and a shrewd businessman. He accused those involved as being “guided by Satan in an attempt to subvert his work” as a “minister of the gospel.” Camping's views and management style are criticized by a number of his employees. They accuse him of being a dictatorial leader who takes criticism from nobody. He has raked in millions of dollars from gullible followers. He accuses anyone who disagrees with or criticizes him as being a wicked person who is mocking and challenging God, as if challenging him and God are the same thing. Many of his employees do not agree with his teachings and those who dare voice it are summarily dismissed from their jobs.

Russell had no qualifications as a minister and his moral example was not very Christian. He admitted he knew nothing about Latin and Hebrew, and that he had never taken a course in philosophy or systematic theology. He believed that his ordination was “of God” according to the “biblical pattern”, not requiring any denominational approval. Camping has no qualifications to teach except that he says he has studied the Bible for 50 years. He is an engineer. He claims to know Hebrew and Latin but checking up on him shows that he does not. He looks up words in a concordance and merely makes them mean what he needs them to mean for any particular verse. He believes he is anointed by God as a prophet and he need not be accountable to anyone for anything, whether it is his doctrine or his behavior. He feels no responsibility towards the financial losses his followers have suffered at his hands just blowing it off as their problem.

Russell's followers considered themselves to be “in the truth.” Jehovah's Witnesses consider secular society to be morally corrupt and under the influence of Satan and limit their social interaction with everyone other than their own. Camping's followers consider themselves to be the only ones in “truth” and consider that everyone else, including Christians in the churches to be under the influence of Satan.
Russell came up with dates for the Second Coming based on calculations of measurements of the Great Pyramid of Giza, which he felt had been built by the Hebrews. The key to interpreting these measurements came from information in the book of Daniel. Camping came up with the date for the rapture based on math calculations of random numbers found in the Bible. The key to interpretation came from the book of Daniel.

When the 1914 date failed, Russell said that there could be a good number of years of transition between the invisible spiritual rapture and the end. First it would start with the utter destruction of all other Christian denominations. The target dates were set for 1915-1918. Those who left their churches and came to Russell could escape the downfall of Christianity. When nothing happened, these predictions were not said to fail, but to be fulfilled in spiritual ways that they had misunderstood. The next target date for the end was 1925. This date was chosen by a new understanding of the Jubilee years. The comparison to Noah was made in that God has given us even more to know the date than He told Noah 120 years before the fact. 1932 and 1941 also saw the predictions of Armageddon as did 1975.

When Camping's 1994 date failed, he first set a bunch of new dates and, as they failed, said he had come to a new understanding of the tribulation. He said that God began judging the Church in 1988 by leaving them (all denominations) and turning the churches over to the reign of Satan. This would be a transition time. The tribulation then commenced in1994. There would now be a number of years added to the time of tribulation as normally taught, and the new target date for the Second Coming was 2011. Those who left the church and turned to Camping could escape the judgment fate of the Church. When the recent target date of May 21, 2011 failed, Camping suddenly “realized” that he has misunderstood and that it had happened “spiritually” not physically. The prophecy was fulfilled, but it was a spiritual fulfillment that he had not understood before. The next date has been set for October 21, 2011. Both of these dates were calculated using supposed Jubilee years and the date of Noah's Flood. The comparison was made that if God told Noah when the Flood would begin, how much more would he tell us when the rapture would occur.

Russell's own chronology of the Bible said that 1975 was supposed to be the 6000th anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve. The date was also arrived at using the one day equals 1000 years theory. Camping's own chronology of the Bible said that May 21, 2011 was supposed to be the 7000 anniversary of the Flood of Noah. His calculations also used the one day equals 1000 years theory. Both chronologies were wrong.

People sold their possessions and cashed in life insurance policies, etc. in anticipation of the Jehovah's Witnesses date of 1975. After the missed date, they (the date setters) realized their error was a mathematical calculation of the date of creation. The last time they predicted a date was 1994.(Isn't it odd that the dates now collided for Camping and the Jehovah's Witnesses?) In the aftermath of all of the predicted dates from 1914 to 1994, it was denied that they were absolute predictions, but mere speculations that could change as new understanding was brought about through more study. The only chance for salvation for Jehovah's Witnesses is to actively preach the end of the world. To not do this and be caught not doing it when it does happen, will mean to die with the wicked. But that is simply annihilation. Many of Camping's people sold all of their possessions and cashed in their life savings in anticipation of both September 6, 1994 and May 21, 2011. After the dates passed, they denied that it was a false prophecy and say that it is because there was not enough understanding. They believe the only chance for salvation was to actively preach the end of the world is coming. They may or may not be one of the elect, but to die simply means annihilation. Neither the Jehovah's Witnesses nor Campingites will acknowledge that they are deceived and led by false teachers and prophets. They continue to blindly obey and follow these leaders as all cult members do.

Were we to examine other false prophets, we would probably find very similar stories. It is just that the parallel between Russell and the Jehovah's Witnesses and Camping and Family Radio is so eerily close that it is quite astounding

In the end, it seems that it is impossible to help those who are determined to protect their pride and indulge their ignorance of the Scriptures by following not only Camping, but all the false prophets and teachers out there. Our only course of action should be to study the Bible diligently to see that we are not among the deceived. Yeshua told us to not be deceived, that many would come in His name. We should listen and take that literally, because it is most certainly true.