Can we, as the sanctuary of God, be possessed by demons?


Early Sunday morning found me doing my usual; listening to the morning devotional and playing Tiger Woods golf. As I listened to the devotional, the young man talked about how he did not know the Lord, but when he finally did, he became attached, in a sense, to Pastor James Robinson (he is also a television pastor,) as a youth minister.

James had apparently been talking about demons, and the young man admitted to Pastor James that he did not understand what was being said. This young man stated that James then had this youth minister and his wife come over to the house for homemade ice cream, and there James showed him this scripture.

Psalms 74:3 NASB Turn Your footsteps toward the perpetual ruins; The enemy has damaged everything within the sanctuary.

The young man thought about the scripture and what James had said, and then asked Pastor James, are you saying that we, as the sanctuary of God, are possessed by demons. To which James replied, well, what does it say? The premise was that we are.

At this point, I stopped everything for a moment, and asked the Father, if what he said was true. Here is what I began finger pecking on my phone.

In light of current events, that have us longing for Jesus’ return, we are often directed to 2 Thessalonians 2:3. There we see the word apostasy or falling away. As I have learned from Dr. Andy Woods, it should read the departure or gathering.

The idea of falling away and gathering are opposing points of view, and open the door for doctrines of demons to be taught.

The Apostle Paul explained that anything outside of what he taught, was a doctrine of demons. There are always those, who for example, cling to the King James only – I have heard several of these say, it is the only authorized Bible we are to use. I am snickering because almost every King James Bible states that it is the authorized version, and it was, for King James, at that time; that does not make it the best and only version we should use. The twisted logic is, that to use anything else would be to fall away, and that is not the case.

As Dr. Woods explained, the Catholic church had the Greek word apostasia changed from departure to apostasy, so as to better convey the State Church’s disdain for those leaving the flock and following after Protestantism.

Paul, in this letter to the church at Galatia, lays out how those who preach contrary to what he had taught should be accursed. What that looks like I do not know.

Galatians 1:6-9 NASB I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; (7) which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. (8) But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! (9) As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

Paul took this to the next step in his first letter to Timothy by explaining that there are doctrines of demons.

1 Timothy 4:1 NASB But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,

What if one of those things were the demon possession of believers, as Pastor Robinson seems to have indicated?

First, let me say, I don’t buy into the idea that a follower of Christ can be possessed. One of the few examples from scripture, that speaks about possession comes from Matthew 14: 43-45; there, it tells us that demons will come back to a clean and empty abode. That being the case, then let’s make the assumption that having Christ in your life fills that empty space.

Another passage that concerns itself with demons comes from the Psalms.

They did not destroy the peoples, As the LORD commanded them, (35) But they mingled with the nations And learned their practices, (36) And served their idols, Which became a snare to them. (37) They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons, (38) And shed innocent blood, The blood of their sons and their daughters, Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; And the land was polluted with the blood. (39) Thus they became unclean in their practices And played the harlot in their deeds. Psalms 106:34-39 NASB

Pay attention to how this passage above is worded.

  1. “They did not destroy the peoples, As the LORD commanded them, (35) But they mingled with the nations …”
  2. They “learned their practices, (36) And served their idols, Which became a snare to them.”
  3. They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons, (38) And shed innocent blood, The blood of their sons and their daughters, Whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan;”
  4. And because of their actions and the gods they followed, “the land was polluted with the blood.”
  5. And this is how “they became unclean in their practices,”

Paul, in writing to Timothy, spoke of “new converts” becoming snared by the devil.

1 Timothy 3:6-7 NASB and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. (7) And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

In Paul’s second letter to Timothy, he painted a picture of repentance by a believer (note that this time it says nothing about this person being a new convert,) which leads them to the Word of God, and a release from the captivity of Satan.

The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:24-26 NASB)

Now, how did a believer become captive to Satan?

Paul tells us, that they were snared by Satan because they were in opposition to the Word of God, which Paul spoke. Paul, by the way, spoke from the Old Testament, just as Jesus did, so don’t get all hung up on semantics.

I still don’t see the word possessed, but it certainly spells out a life in which the person, inadvertently becomes a follow of Satan. No pun intended, but let me play the devil’s advocate for a moment. Some may foolishly turn to a verse like we see in Mark’s gospel.

When evening came, after the sun had set, they began bringing to Him all who were ill and those who were demon-possessed. (Mark 1:32 NASB)

Here, many who were demon-possessed were brought, and Jesus healed them. But were ANY Christ followers, living in God’s grace and mercy? The answer is NO, they were, at best, ALL Jews.

Now keep in mind, we are not talking about a person that is filled with Christ in this next reference.

Luke 4:33-35 NASB In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, (34) “Let us alone! What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are–the Holy One of God!” (35) But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst of the people, he came out of him without doing him any harm.

Where was Jesus when this event happened?

You got it, in the synagogue.

Why is it that we don’t see anyone alarmed by what this Jewish man is saying?

Maybe its because he isn’t saying anything he hasn’t already heard repeatedly. They did not want Jesus nor his message, and that becomes very clear to us in the gospels. It is a common belief that Jewish men talk in caustic, argumentative manner all the time, and this day seemed no different.

What did the man say?

I will give you the first part, as it makes sense, to a degree. “Let us alone! What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth?” I would guess that any of these men would have gladly said this to Jesus. But the voice opened with a strange phrase and NO ONE caught it, “let us alone!”

So, who was being referred to?

To many in audience, the voice was referring to the general crowd. But Jesus knew immediately that the voice was referring to the crowd of demons in the man.

What was the next thing the voice said?

“Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are–the Holy One of God!”

At this point, “Have You come to destroy us?” may have applied to the Jewish audience, specifically the Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees; but again, Jesus knew exactly who the voice was referring to, the demon crowd inside the man. When the demons said this, all bets were off. I know who you are – the Holy One of God!, this had to have sent a shock wave through the synagogue, as NONE of them dared say such a thing. Some might try to argue, Nicodemus would have said such a thing; really, and risk his family wealth and position as a Pharisee. Scripture proves that he was a closet believer, at best, because he came to Jesus by night.

You must know there were those possessed in the Old Testament, however, the Old Testament does not use the word to describe someone possessed, even once.

I can’t find a thing that breaks this idea that a Christian, can be possessed unless of course, you choose to play with the devil, and I think it would be safe to say, you never knew the God you claim to know.

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I charge you in the presence of God. 1 Timothy 6:13.


If you are a student of the Bible, then you know that we are on the brink of the church being snatched out of here and God’s wrath is to be poured out upon the earth. The message, that I hear coming out the mouths of those who feel they are the global elite, is that they must reduce the population and control those who are left upon the earth, in a fashion that best suits the lifestyle they want to live.

The combination of God’s judgment and the cruelty of humanity will lead to a slaughter of those who choose to follow Christ during this time frame, and these are considered to be the martyred saints. (For those who think that humanity can be peaceful and fun, think again. At the point at which God had decided to destroy every living thing on earth, this is what He saw.

Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5 NASB)

Perhaps the NASB does not convince you of the depravity of the human heart, maybe the CEV translation might.

The LORD saw how bad the people on earth were and that everything they thought and planned was evil. (Genesis 6:5 CEV)

As John looks into heaven for the second time, he sees martyred saints; while the number was extremely large the first time, it is uncountable the second time. It is the death of these “saints,” in record numbers, that leads Christ to say, “the tribulation will be so great.” I will show you this in scripture but want you to pay attention to the wording and how it changes across translations. I will ask for you, as the Holy Spirit told me that several of you will say, why is that important?

The NASB seems to be the common translation, as far too many of us take those two words and apply them to the time of wrath.

“For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. “Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short. (Matthew 24:21-22 NASB)

The word great is the Greek word megas. For many of us, we are familiar with some store having a “mega sale”. The assumption is that their sale is bigger and better than anyone else’s. The simple explanation that the Holy Spirit is trying to make, is that this is exceedingly great.

It would easy to say, we have never seen anything like this, and though some fool may have told you that there was no holocaust, there was. Jewish death tolls reached 6 million; Soviet civilian death tolls reached 7 million; Soviet prisoners of war were around 3 million; non-Jewish Polish civilians hit around 1.8 million, and more than 700,000 people were killed in the death camps for being dissidents, activists, criminals, homosexuals, Jehovah witnesses, Gypsies, Serbians, and people with disabilities. To add to the graphic nature of these numbers, the people of Warsaw, said that it rained ashes daily. There is no doubt that the death toll, primarily of those who follow after Christ, during this time of wrath, will exceed those numbers that the death camps generated.

Tribulation is the Greek word thlipsis and – get this, means pressure, affliction, burdens persecution, troubles, and tribulation.

Dear Lord, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t experience some form of pressure or affliction. It makes me grateful that I was born in America, and up to March of 2020, it was a sane place to live without the threat of violence, as some of you have.

I light of my introduction above, Paul has some sound words for us all.

I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, (1Timothy 6:13-14 NASB)

End, page one.

Look at how the ESV expresses verse 13.

1 Timothy 6:13 ESV I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession,

Charge, as we see in the NASB, is the Greek word paraggello. It not only means to charge (as in a legal pleading), but it also carries the connotations of transmitting a message, enjoin (to forbid or prohibit), declare, or command.

Paul may well be saying to Timothy, I command you. Wow, that seems like a harsh way of speaking to someone who could easily be seen as a volunteer. Maybe that’s our problem, we merely see ourselves as volunteers, who have the option of walking away at any time.

But there is something I think we need to consider.

Skimming through the Book of Acts leaves you with the impression that everything happened in fifteen-minute increments over a short period of time, and that was not the case. Most of these events occurred over seasons and years.

How would you possibly build the strong bonds that Paul had with the varying bands of new believers he established, in just a few short weeks?

These bonds, built over an extended period of time, allowed Paul to feel that he could speak boldly into their lives, just as we see him doing with Timothy, a young man that may well be in his early thirties by this point.

Some people’s words apparently no longer have any value, but there was a time when we used to have people place their hand upon a Bible and swear to tell the truth; even though they do that, they still lie. Paul tells Timothy, I am writing this to you with God looking on, holding you to what I say. I am even calling upon the witness of Christ Jesus, who beaten and bloodied by Jewish and then Roman soldiers, and yet, still made a good confession before Pilate.

Now here is the punch line. I charge you, that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of Jesus Christ. That appearing, was for them, a long way off, but they lived as though it was coming any minute. On that note, I recently listened to Chelsi Bedell, a Christian vlogger, talk about a meeting that she went to with her husband. There, Benny Hinn was introduced to the audience. This is the same Benny Hinn that cheated on the wife; and, it is the same Benny Hinn who got wealthy from the ministry. After years of this showmanship, he denounced the faith movement that was so lucrative to him. On that stage that evening, Benny Hinn said, coming to Jesus is the easy part, staying close to Jesus is the hard part. Chelsi said when I heard this I knew it was wrong and that he was a false teacher. Think about Benny Hinn and the path he put himself on, it only seems logical that he would say, this road we are on is hard, simply because he could not leave the monetary wealth and was therefore sucked into cheating on his wife.

What did Jesus say?

Take my yoke upon you, for it is easy and my burden is light. I can tell you that Benny struggled, but his struggle wasn’t with God, it was with his own desires, for money and lust.

Once again, Paul tells Timothy, you keep the commandment without reproach.

Well, that’s great, but how do you do that?

The answer had already been given in verses 11 and 12, where it says:

But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:11-12 NASB)

End, page two.

You keep the commandment, without reproach by:

  • Fleeing from these things.
  • Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.
  • Fight the good fight of faith.
  • And. take hold of the eternal life to which you were called.

Paul told Timothy, in verse 14, that he keep the commandment without stain or reproach.

Stain may be best explained through the NLT translation, when it says, “Then no one can find fault with you.”

Reproach is the Greek word anepilēptos. It only occurs three times in the New Testament and all of them occur in 1 Timothy. It is best defined as irreproachable and means free from blame; upright, and innocent.

While God somehow sees us in this manner, it is hard to imagine how as we know the stumbles we make. But God looks through the lens of Jesus on the cross, where everyone was forgiven of sin and redeemed. Sin is that thing that is a part of us, thanks to Adam. Since that time we have been broken from inception.

Obviously, we needed help.

I have gritted my teeth and sweated as I tried to resist sin, and yet still failed – as far as I was concerned. So there is something here that keeps trying to tell me that staying above reproach is an achievable thing. I will not ask Benny Hinn how to stay above reproach, as he has proven, that he too, is merely a broken man; as we all are.

I want to add one more thing before I end this and move on to the next study.

I put myself in recovery because I was, and still am, an angry man. Before you get all judgmental hold on a minute and pay attention. In recovery I learned, that because of our brokenness we will never be free from our addictions; as I pointed out, mine is anger.

Many will say, doesn’t this life in Christ make us free from “everything” that bound us?

Having known the Lord for many years, and learned that He is faithful, I know that freedom is His heart toward all of us. He has done everything necessary to make that happen. You might remember that Paul whined about his thorn in the flesh – we, religious zealots, turn that thorn into a variety of things. I happen to think that Paul’s thorn was anger, just like mine. God’s response to Paul, was that His grace was sufficient. Translation, I have given you everything you need to be free. Alright, here comes the deep wisdom. An alcoholic, or an angry man, has to realize that while they walk this earth (before the rapture) they are dependent upon God’s grace and the investment that we have made in our relationship with Christ. What is that investment, since we have nothing to give but our lives? It is exactly that, we, knowing that we are incapable of managing our own lives, turn them over – daily, to the grace and mercy of the living God, Christ Jesus. In doing this (I got this from a television show I watch,) I have to make a conscious decision to choose wisdom. Is what I am contemplating worth the pain and harm I am going to do myself and those around me? I, like so many others, have been choosing wisely. Note: I am not asking your opinion, but God’s. His opinion is written in His Word. You should consider reading it if you aren’t already.

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The Lord began to awaken me with – tell them that I need them to stand down


This is more important and vital today.

A voice in the wilderness

The observant will notice that I dated this post in February of 2015. This was the beginning of the push to elect another President for the United States and Senator Hillary Clinton looked like she could be the one to take this nation of sheep into Socialism.  Having just edited and reblogged another post called, “An Open Letter to the Church” I ran across this and thought, this is more vital today than yesterday.

Sunday morning, February 22, 2015, the Spirit of the Lord began to awaken me with some rather vivid dreams. In these dreams he said, there are mighty and upright men that are willing and able to remove the corruption that controls these United States. Implore them that they are to stand down, for this situation is of my design and for my purpose. Over the course of an hour, the same dream kept coming back…

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I charge you in the presence of God. 1 Timothy 6:13,14.


If you are a student of the Bible, then you know that we are on the brink of the church being snatched out of here and God’s wrath is about to be poured out upon the earth. The message, that I hear coming out the mouths of those who feel they are the global elite, is that they must reduce the population and control those who are left upon the earth, in a fashion that best suits the lifestyle they want to live.

The combination of God’s judgment and the cruelty of humanity will lead to a slaughter of those who choose to follow Christ during this time frame, and these are considered to be the martyred saints. (For those who think that humanity can be peaceful and fun, think again. At the point at which God had decided to destroy every living thing on earth, this is what He saw.

Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5 NASB)

Perhaps the NASB does not convince you of the depravity of the human heart, maybe the CEV translation might.

The LORD saw how bad the people on earth were and that everything they thought and planned was evil. (Genesis 6:5 CEV)

As John looks into heaven for the second time, he sees martyred saints; while the number was remarkably large the first time, it is uncountable the second time. It is the death of these “saints,” in record numbers, that leads Christ to say, “the tribulation will be so great.” I will show you this in scripture but want you to pay attention to the wording and how it changes across translations. I will ask for you, as the Holy Spirit told me that several of you will say, why is that important?

The NASB seems to be the common translation, as far too many of us take those two words and apply them to the time of wrath.

“For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. “Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short. (Matthew 24:21-22 NASB)

The word great is the Greek word megas. For many of us, we are familiar with some store having a “mega sale”. The assumption is that their sale is bigger and better than anyone else’s. The simple explanation that the Holy Spirit is trying to make, is that this time, in which some megalomaniac rules the earth, the death toll will be exceedingly great.

It would easy to say, we have never seen anything like this, and though some fool may have told you that there was no holocaust, there was. Jewish death tolls reached 6 millionSoviet civilian death tolls reached 7 million; Soviet prisoners of war were around 3 million; non-Jewish Polish civilians hit around 1.8 million, and more than 700,000 people were killed in the death camps for being dissidents, activists, criminals, homosexuals, Jehovah witnesses, Gypsies, Serbians, and people with disabilities. To add to the graphic nature of these numbers, the people of Warsaw said that it rained ashes daily. There is no doubt that the death toll, primarily of those who follow after Christ, during this time of wrath, will exceed those numbers that the death camps generated.

Tribulation is the Greek word thlipsis and – get this, means pressure, affliction, burdens persecution, troubles, and tribulation.

Dear Lord, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t experience some form of pressure or affliction. It makes me grateful that I was born in America, and up to March of 2020, it was a sane place to live without the threat of violence, as some of you have.

I light of my introduction above, Paul has some sound words for us all.

I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, (1Tiimothy 6:13-14 NASB)

End, page one.

Look at how the ESV expresses verse 13.

1 Timothy 6:13 ESV I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession,

Charge, as we see in the NASB, is the Greek word paraggello. It not only means to charge (as in a legal pleading), but it also carries the connotations of transmitting a message, declare, or command.

Paul may well be saying to Timothy, I command you. Wow, that seems like a harsh way of speaking to someone who could easily be seen as a volunteer. Maybe that’s our problem, we merely see ourselves as volunteers, who have the option of walking away at any time.

But there is something I think we need to consider.

Skimming through the Book of Acts leaves you with the impression that everything happened in fifteen-minute increments over a short period of time, and that was not the case. Most of these events occurred over seasons and years.

How would you possibly build the strong bonds that Paul had with the varying bands of new believers he established, in just a few short weeks?

These bonds, built over an extended period of time, allowed Paul to feel that he could speak boldly into their lives, just as we see him doing with Timothy, a young man that may well be in his early thirties by this point.

Some people’s words apparently no longer have any value, but there was a time when we used to have people place their hand upon a Bible and swear to tell the truth; even though they do that, they still lie. Paul tells Timothy, I am writing this to you with God looking on, holding you to what I say. I am even calling upon the witness of Christ Jesus, who beaten and bloodied by Jewish and then Roman soldiers, and yet, still made a good confession before Pilate.

Now here is the punch line. I charge you, that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of Jesus Christ. That appearing, was for them, a long way off, but they lived as though it was coming any minute.

On that note, I recently listened to Chelsi Bedell, a Christian vlogger, talk about a meeting that she went to with her husband. There, Benny Hinn was introduced to the audience. This is the same Benny Hinn that cheated on the wife; and, it is the same Benny Hinn who got wealthy from the ministry. After years of this showmanship, he denounced the faith movement that was so lucrative to him. On that stage that evening, Benny Hinn said, coming to Jesus is the easy part, staying close to Jesus is the hard part. Chelsi said when I heard this I knew it was wrong and that he was a false teacher. Think about Benny and the path he put himself on, it only seems logical that he would say, this road we are on is hard, simply because he could not leave the monetary wealth and was therefore sucked into cheating on his wife.

What did Jesus say?

Take my yoke upon you, for it, is easy and my burden is light. I can tell you that Benny struggled, but his struggle wasn’t with God, it was with his own desires, for money and lust.

Once again, Paul tells Timothy, you keep the commandment without reproach.

Well, that’s great, but how do you do that?

The answer had already been given in verses 11 and 12, where it says:

But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:11-12 NASB)

End, page two.

You keep the commandment, without reproach by:

  • Fleeing from these things.
  • Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.
  • Fight the good fight of faith.
  • And. take hold of the eternal life to which you were called.

Paul told Timothy, in verse 14, that he should keep the commandment without stain or reproach.

Stain may be best explained through the NLT translation, when it says, “Then no one can find fault with you.”

Reproach is the Greek word anepilēptos. It only occurs three times in the New Testament and all of them occur in 1 Timothy. It is best defined as irreproachable and means free from blame; upright, and innocent.

While God somehow sees us in this manner, it is hard to imagine how as we know the stumbles we make. But God looks through the lens of Jesus on the cross, where everyone was forgiven of sin and redeemed. Sin is that thing which is a permanent part of us thanks to Adam. Since that time every human has been born broken by sin.

Obviously, we needed help.

I have gritted my teeth and sweated as I tried to resist sin, and yet still failed – as far as I was concerned. So there is something here that keeps trying to tell me that staying above reproach is an achievable thing. I will not ask Benny Hinn how to stay above reproach, as he has proven, that he too, is merely a broken man; as we all are.

I want to add one more thing before I end this and move on to the next study.

I put myself in recovery because I was, and still am, an angry man. Before you get all judgmental hold on a minute and pay attention. In recovery I learned, that because of our brokenness we will never be free from our addictions; as I pointed out, mine is anger. But many will say, doesn’t this life in Christ make us free from “everything” that bound us? Having known the Lord for many years, and learned that He is faithful, I know that freedom is His heart toward all of us. He has done everything necessary to make that happen. You might remember that Paul whined about his thorn in the flesh – we, religious zealots, turn that thorn into a variety of things. I happen to think that thorn was anger, just like mine. God’s response to Paul, was that His grace was sufficient. Translation, I have given you everything you need to be free. 

Alright, here comes the deep wisdom. An alcoholic, or an angry man, has to realize that while they walk this earth (before the rapture) they are dependent upon God’s grace and the investment that we have made in our relationship with Christ. What is that investment, since we have nothing to give but our lives? It is exactly that, we, knowing that we are incapable of managing our own lives, turn them over – daily, to the grace and mercy of the living God, Christ Jesus. In doing this (I got this from a television show I watch,) have to make a conscious decision to choose wisdom. Is what I am contemplating worth the pain and harm I am going to do myself and those around me? I, like so many others, have been choosing wisely. Note: I am not asking your opinion, but God’s. His opinion is written in His Word. You should consider reading it if you aren’t already.

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Premise is everything. A rebuttal of a post-tribulation rapture.


Once again, I am interrupting my train of thought on 1 Timothy; hope you don’t mind.

A few days ago, on my Twitter feed, a young lady proclaimed, “the more I read Revelation chapter seven, the more I am convinced of a post-tribulation rapture.”

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, even if it is wrong. However, a writer, of which I have several of his books, clicked like on her comment, and that causes me grief. I will tell you that I refused to get into a fight with her, primarily because at my age I cannot remember passages that I could use as a club against her. I happen, at this point in time, to find this memory issue a blessing, as I still remember key words and themes and will take the time to find a prudent answer.

If I am going to make a brash statement such as, we are destined to go through the “tribulation”, as though the seven years that are coming are called the tribulation, then I am going to have to present a premise (Let’s just say, a darn good reason why I believe that way.) Webster’s Dictionary of American English (1828), tells me that an aspect of the word premise is “To speak or write before, or as introductory to the main subject; to offer previously, as something to explain or aid in understanding what follows.

In the case of this young lady, her premise was nothing more than informing her audience that she read the seventh chapter of Revelation more than once. Merely announcing that you have read something more than once tells me nothing more than you can read. And so, just this morning, after finishing my other devotionals, I intentionally played Revelation 7, repeatedly, on my phone’s Bible application to see if I could pick up on what would tell me where she came to this conclusion; I found none.

Premise is everything, and if I am going to make the postulation that Revelation 7 is powerful evidence that we are going to go through the time of God’s wrath, then I need to define why, but I can’t do that if I don’t understand or believe that this time period is just that, a time of great wrath and judgment.

I told an acquaintance that God’s wrath is the basis for the seven-year period; to which he angrily responded, it is NOT. He would not back up his assertion as it was an emotional assumption based on traditional religious teaching. He merely proved to me that he had not read his Bible.

So my premise for understanding anything in the book of the Revelation, beyond chapter three, is that the seven-year-period is the time of God’s wrath and judgment and is the major focus, aside from Jesus, of the Revelation.

What is the first thing you see when you begin to read the Revelation?

Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ,

If I must have proof of this statement about this time being the time of wrath, then I have dig through the majority of scripture from Job through the Revelation. The understanding that the wrath and judgment of God are coming is seeded throughout the Psalms, the Prophets, and the New Testament.

Job chapter 19 is interesting as it has Job telling those with him, even as my flesh is destroyed, I will see God. There is no assumption that anything else will happen; and I am referring to any potential wrath that he might, by religious standards, deserve.

“As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last, He will take His stand on the earth. “Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh, I shall see God;” (Job 19:25-26 NASB)

And, there is the declaration from Job that,

“wrath brings the punishment of the sword, So that you may know there is judgment.” (Job 19:29 NASB)

King David understood that Israel had become a reproach to their neighbors, and he asked the Lord if He would pour out His wrath upon the nations instead.

We have become a reproach to our neighbors, A scoffing and derision to those around us. How long, O LORD? Will You be angry forever? Will Your jealousy burn like fire? Pour out Your wrath upon the nations which do not know You, And upon the kingdoms which do not call upon Your name. (Psalms 79:4-6 NASB)

End, page one.

And this is precisely what God will do, but you should know that God’s wrath is to be poured out on Israel as well.

When God began killing them, they finally sought him. They repented and took God seriously. Then they remembered that God was their rock, that God Most High was their redeemer. But all they gave him was lip service; they lied to him with their tongues. Their hearts were not loyal to him. They did not keep his covenant. Yet he was merciful and forgave their sins and did not destroy them all. Many times he held back his anger and did not unleash his fury! (Psalms 78:34-38 NLT)

The Prophet Isaiah declares,

Come here and listen, O nations of the earth. Let the world and everything in it hear my words. For the LORD is enraged against the nations. His fury – (many of the translations use the word wrath here) is against all their armies. He will completely destroy them, dooming them to slaughter. Their dead will be left unburied, and the stench of rotting bodies will fill the land. The mountains will flow with their blood. The heavens above will melt away and disappear like a rolled-up scroll. The stars will fall from the sky like withered leaves from a grapevine or shriveled figs from a fig tree. And when my sword has finished its work in the heavens, it will fall upon Edom, the nation I have marked for destruction. (Isaiah 34:1-5 NLT)

God also uses the term judgment(s) against the nations and Israel. Here is an example of what Ezekiel tells us.

“Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Because you have more turmoil than the nations which surround you and have not walked in My statutes, nor observed My ordinances, nor observed the ordinances of the nations which surround you,’ therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Behold, I, even I, am against you, and I will execute judgments among you in the sight of the nations. (Ezekiel 5:7-8 NASB)

Nahum says,

A jealous and avenging God is the LORD; The LORD is avenging and wrathful. The LORD takes vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves wrath for His enemies. (Nahum 1:2 NASB)

If Israel is the target of His wrath, then it safe to assume that many of them have become His enemies.

Mountains quake because of Him And the hills dissolve; Indeed the earth is upheaved by His presence, The world, and all the inhabitants in it. Who can stand before His indignation? Who can endure the burning of His anger? His wrath is poured out like fire And the rocks are broken up by Him. (Nahum 1:5-6 NASB)

If you wanted to know some of the ways in which Israel made God angry, try reading Ezekiel 16. There are so many details here that I will limit the passages. The NASB entitles this chapter the Lord’s faithless bride.

Ezekiel 16:2 NASB “Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations.

The NLT uses the terminology “her detestable sins.” So then what are some of these sins?

Ezekiel 16:16-17 NLT You used the lovely things I gave you to make shrines for idols, where you played the prostitute. Unbelievable! How could such a thing ever happen? (17) You took the very jewels and gold and silver ornaments I had given you and made statues of men and worshiped them. This is adultery against me!

End, page two.

Israel was barely out of Egypt when they coerced Aaron to make them the god Moloch. A massive image in the shape of a bull with outstretched arms and a hollow body in which they set a fire; the participants then roasted their children in the heated arms of this image.

What is the modern equivalent of such child murder?

We call it abortion and classify it as women’s health.

“Moreover, you took your sons and daughters whom you had borne to Me and sacrificed them to idols to be devoured. Were your harlotries so small a matter? “You slaughtered My children and offered them up to idols by causing them to pass through the fire. (Ezekiel 16:20-21 NASB)

Perhaps by this time you understand why God is bringing His wrath and judgment, and to whom this wrath is supposed to come – the nations (We who are not Jews fall under the category of Gentiles or nations, that is, until we gave our life to Christ. We never take the place of the Jews, however, the adoption process, that God instituted, brings us into the family by placing us into Christ.) and Israel.

If you believe that those of us who are in Jesus Christ are supposed to endure the wrath and judgment coming upon those who have ignored Jesus, you have a serious problem. The Apostle Paul said, this message, in opposition to Christ coming back to rescue His church, is a doctrine of Demons, and you need to repent.

What did Paul preach?

Romans 1:18 NASB For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

What is the wrath directed at? 1. All ungodliness, and 2. The unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth in the unrighteousness. When we accepted Christ’s life in us, we obtained His righteousness, nothing less, and in God’s eyes, we are righteous and accepted.

Just off the top of your head, who does it sound like God is talking to in Romans 1:18?

You would be right if you said the nation of Israel.

You want to know one of the ways they suppress the truth?

The rabbis in Israel prohibit the synagogue members from reading Isaiah 53 and the book of Daniel.

Why do you suppose that is?

Because both of these prophets very precisely spell out the Messiah and who He is, and they can’t have that.

This next paragraph applies to all who exhibit stubbornness and an unrepentant heart.

Romans 2:1-5 NASB Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. (2) And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things. (3) But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? (4) Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? (5) But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

How about this one.

Romans 5:6-9 NASB For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (7) For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. (8) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (9) Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

Christ died on that cross and rose again. It is because of those actions and our faith in those actions that we are saved from that WRATH that is to come. This statement is a short version of 1Corinthians 15:1-4.

End, page three.

1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 NASB (9) For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, (10) and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.

We are not only rescued from the wrath to come, but this wrath is not our destiny. Our destiny is a seven-year banquet, in heaven, with Jesus. Let me make a point here. Over the years, some of the more heavyset speakers – who obviously enjoy food, have told us, we will sit down to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Because of one of those men – a man who frequently dove into teaching the doctrines of demons, I did a word search for “supper of the Lamb.” It only shows up one time in our Bibles and that is in Revelation 19:9. In close proximity to that phrase, there is nothing to explain or define what that looks like, that is until you get to Revelation 19:17,18. Here a bloody scene has been described and obviously, God’s enemies have been slain.

And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. (Revelation 19:17-18 KJV)

Perhaps you get the idea. For me, just knowing that I will be thankfully clinging to Jesus, finally holding on to the one who was willing to give His life for me.

Pay attention, God has NOT destined us, who believe, for wrath, and that is the primary purpose of the seven-years. Surprisingly, the secondary motive is to draw all humanity to Him. Considering the horrors that are coming it is hard to conceive, but it is true as it is His nature and character.

For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, (1 Thessalonians 5:9 NASB)

The next verses speak of God keeping us from sufferings or, as some put it, tribulations. Here are the verses, and they refer to Lot as an example of how God keeps us.

Yes, Lot was a righteous man who was tormented in his soul by the wickedness he saw and heard day after day. So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while keeping the wicked under punishment until the day of final judgment. (2 Peter 2:8-9 NLT)

Since some of you may not be familiar with Lot I will give you a quick overview. Lot is Abraham’s nephew. They lived side by side, as Abraham watched over him for a time. As their herds grew and workers fought, it was time for Lot to move on. Given the pick of the land, Lot picked the area of Sodom and Gomorrah. You can speculate on the whys of such a move, but perhaps God had a story to tell and it required Lot to go there. Fast forward, this place is a deviant, sexual orgy hot spot, and on the day the angels came to town with one purpose – to destroy, they find Lot sitting in the gates of the city. This gate thing was important as this is where the law was handed down and affairs of life were adjudicated; from this, we know that Lot was a righteous decision-maker. The dickering was done, the place was to be destroyed, and we find Lot stalling. Having read the story it is hard to understand why he stalled, so the angels grabbed him and his family, saying, we cannot bring the pain until we get you to safety.

Rescue has become a hot topic, even more so lately, as the restrictions passed down by an omniscient few (Bill Gates and friends,) have put the world under oppressive restrictions for nine months, and it’s only getting worse. People who lean toward the prophetic (they read their Bibles and see that these events we find in scripture are being played out before us,) are crying out, Lord, come and rescue us, and soon. Of course, the opposition, many of whom claim there is no God, consistently screams you just want to escape. Well, this is good news for us believers, as escape is a theological concept and we see it in the word rescue.

End, page four.

Rescue is the Greek word rhuomai and it means, according to Thayer’s concordance “to draw to one’s self, to rescue, and to deliver.” Does the idea of drawing an entire global community of Christ-followers sound very similar to the rapture of the Church? That is because it is!

The word temptations or tribulations creates a problem only because we call God’s wrath the time of tribulation. Jesus said, in this world, because you belong to me, you will have tribulations. By-the-way, in the Revelation, there is a time period, the second half of the seven-years, of which Scripture says, that the tribulations will be so great that unless the Lord intervenes no one would survive. So a distinction has to be made between the common and sometimes violent, daily tribulations of life, and the apparent non-stop horror of the seven-years.

The English word translated here as tribulations or temptations is the Greek word peirasmos. It means to put to proof. The Word Study Dictionary tells us this, “When God is the agent, peirasmós is for the purpose of proving someone, never for the purpose of causing him to fall.

Since we operate under the assumption that God’s wrath is entirely for the purpose of killing off people who are in conflict with Him, then we cannot assign that time period to those who are deemed God’s people, in any way shape, or form as we should be excluded. I am hoping you see the logic here.

At this moment, you may not feel like one of God’s people even though you did all the appropriate religious steps and accepted Jesus. That’s just like Satan to tell you that, but you do belong to Him, and God does see you through the shed blood of Jesus. It is that blood, which you accepted in faith, that makes you righteous.

“in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:52 NASB)

At this point in time (in heaven,) feelings won’t matter anymore as you will be like Him.

Since the time of wrath is for the dispensing of wrath, then what do we former sinners get?

A home in heaven with the Father. Simply put, all the wrath of God was put on Christ for one purpose. So that we would not have to suffer wrath for sin. We were forgiven on that cross. Those who reject Him get to stay and endure.

Do we humans punish sins here on earth?

Certainly, we do, if we can prosecute you. God instituted laws for the lawless, and those who stumble into sin. Sin is so many things, including gluttony, but who is counting. Jesus took all the sin upon Himself, voluntarily, so that scripture could say, God so loved the world, that He gave His only son. He redeemed us, paid the price for us, and bought us back so that we could walk free in His love.

How do you repay Him?

You don’t, you open your arms and allow Him to come in. Remember, at that moment, in the twinkling of an eye, you were changed; you passed from life to death. Oh sure, your body will die if Christ does not come back first, but your spirit is alive to God now, and always will be.

Posted in death, departure, doctrines of demons, Faith, false teaching, gentiles, Jews, judgment, Our being caught up, rapture, rapture, return to the Lord, Revelation, strange doctrines, straying from the truth, teaching a different doctrine, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fight the Good Fight of Faith. 1Timothy 6:11 -12.


Most translations entitle this next section

Fight the Good Fight of Faith.”

But look at what the NASB translation says in 1 Timothy 6:11a.

But flee from these things, you man of God.”

You would think that the editors would have something associated with their opening title and grabbed our attention right away.

What do we get, flee, but from what?

Obviously from sin, but it also includes the things that Paul described at the beginning of this chapter. In a moment we will see that there is a call to fight, but it is NOT what you think.

By the way, flee and fight is two extremely different things. In general, we perceive those who flee to be fearful, and fear doesn’t do anything but demonstrate a lack of faith.

The majority of translations use the term flee. Flee is the Greek word pheugō which means to run away or escape.

The dictionary explanation of flee is this, “To run with rapidity, as from danger; to attempt to escape.” That same dictionary tells us that to fight is to “To strive or contend for victory, in battle or in single combat; to attempt to defeat, subdue or destroy an enemy.”

The CEV calls these things that Timothy is to escape from evil. Here is a recap of what we have seen in chapter six that falls under the category of evil.

  • Preaching a gospel that is different than anything Paul taught.
  • Disrespect for those to whom you are submitted.
  • Things that bring about strife, evil language, and controversial questions.
  • Constant friction between people who are deprived of truth.

These last two items played a role in conversations I had over the Christmas Holiday season of 2020. My son-in-law had referenced a previous Pastor as a friend of mine. So, I took the opportunity to point out that this former Pastor and I were nowhere close to being friends.

[This is the Pastor who took me to lunch in a very public restaurant and then proceeded to humiliate me, first, by telling me that I could not teach “that,” considering that he had already asked me to lead a chapter at the book study on discipline that night. I had shown him my prepared notes for the meeting. And he immediately assumed that I intended to cover every word put on those pages. He was not interested in hearing any explanation. Secondly, after several minutes of frustration, he asked me why I teach Eschatology. Odd, seeing as he has never heard me teaching Eschatology, nor had he given me an opportunity. I began to answer him with a standard line; Eschatology is pertinent because it is happening worldwide. That was about all I got out of my mouth when it turned derogatory and abusive. I quickly stopped him and said, is that what you think of me? To which he replied, yes. I ended our session there.]

That former Pastor has moved on in an effort to repair some damage he previously created, and I could care less if I ever saw him again. I talked to my son-in-law about what the Bible says about forgiveness and how we are to follow Jesus’ words, found in scripture, for direction on running our daily lives.

At least I had my son-in-law’s attention for a few minutes. When I stopped talking, he immediately dove into talking about the stolen Presidential election and Joe Biden’s flaws. Honestly, I do not think that the son-in-law is willing to grasp anything from scripture unless it creates strife, controversy, or scares him away from hell.

End, page one.

Note the translation as this one is less a fearful escape and more of a responsible migration away from the snare that Satan is setting for you.

1 Timothy 6:11 CEV Timothy, you belong to God, so keep away from all these evil things. Try your best to please God and to be like him. Be faithful, loving, dependable, and gentle. [Contemporary English Version]

The (AMPLIFIED Bible) conveys the idea of running. However, if you spend any time in recovery, you will meet far too many people who unsuccessfully tried to run. You want to know what this equates to; it equates to people trying to do things apart from God.

Does God expect you to sit on your butt until you build up your running muscles? Hardly, and the sad part is that you know that God desires you to do something. The problem then becomes one in which we need to run to God, but we don’t do that either.

The (BBE) tells us, “But you, O man of God, keep yourself from these things, and go after righteousness.” If I were to describe what a life of trusting God while running from evil looks like, I would say that it looks like what we see here in The Bible In Basic English. We are living a life where we go after the things of righteousness.

Let me be clear; righteousness is NOT following religious rules. It is the perpetual act of following after Jesus and His Word. In short, if He says it, do it.

On that note, let’s look at the CEV once again. Halfway through the sentence, it says, “Try your best to please God and be like Him.” This is precisely what following after Jesus looks like.

Ah, now this is where the fighting begins.

1 Timothy 6:12 NASB Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Here we are instructed to fight the good fight of faith.

Fight is the Greek word agōnizomai and means to struggle, literally (to compete for a prize), figuratively (to contend with an adversary.)

The “good” is the Greek word kalos and means beautiful (figuratively), good (literally or morally).

The second usage of the word fight is different from the first that we find 1 Timothy 6:12. Here, fight is the Greek word agōn and means a place of assembly (as if led), that is, (by implication) a contest (held there); figuratively an effort or anxiety…

End, page two.

So what do we get if we place the alternate words into 1 Timothy 6:12?

We frequently struggle as if we are contending with an adversary, as we speak forth the Word from the Bible of from our spirits through the Holy Spirit, in our places of assembly. In these assemblies, we often exert an effort as though we were in a contest. (Me)

If we are struggling or exerting an effort, much like an athlete, the question is, why?

We all have an adversary, and occasionally that adversary convinces well-meaning people, who call themselves followers of Christ, when in reality they are actively following after Satan’s advice, to open their mouths and give him their tongues for the purpose of creating strife.

My Pastor, Jack Hibbs, talks openly, since the Covid shut down of churches, about how people have come so that they could attend an open church. The problem is, they have come, and they bring whatever beliefs they have learned from their collection of churches, with them; this would not be a problem if they kept those twisted beliefs to themselves, but several of these recent attendees have stood in opposition to the Pastor, challenging and intending to bring strife and contention.

When we do this, bring strife and contention, ignoring the witness of scripture, what then are we relying on as a witness for our ramblings? Nothing more than tradition and false teachings.

Posted in 1 Timothy, bible study, Cult teachings, doctrines of demons, false teaching, pastor, sharing the truth in love, strange doctrines, straying from the truth, teaching a different doctrine, the will of God, Thoughts on scripture, Timothy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Content with what you have. 1Timothy 6:6-10


This section is how I ended my last post on Timothy.

Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers. Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare of their slaves. These are the things you are to teach and insist on. If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions, and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. (1 Timothy 6:2-5 TNIV)

Paul admonished Timothy to teach sound doctrine and insist on it; he then goes on to tell Timothy that if anyone teaches otherwise:

  • They are conceited
  • And they understand nothing.

Because we have been boiling in the hot water of liberalism for many years now, we, for the most part, will go into denial and defend someone teaching our elementary age school children about anal sex as a method of birth control. Sorry, that was a little rough, but we need to wake up and take action. Why do we have to get slapped in the face to wake up?

Paul goes on to say that these people, who have put themselves in opposition to sound doctrine, have an unhealthy interest in:

  • controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions, and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth.”

Just this evening, my son-in-law, who tells us that his relationship with Jesus is private, goes on a 45-minute rant about how evil the churches are because they closed their doors in response to California Governor Newsome’s lockdown order. He went on to say he would have never closed the doors to the church. You want me to buy into that oration, especially since you make NO effort to get you, or your family, into church; and, there are opportunities. His arguments do not end there as he continues with his rants about masks and safety. He suggests that we could segregate the church by having all those who choose to wear masks to sit on one side, while the unmasked can sit on the other side. I said, you can’t do that because the end result will be the two camps glaring at each other, thinking, how evil the other is; one for not caring, the other berating those with masks for acting in fear; all this helps to create turmoil within the church body. Paul says that people that cause this strife and friction have one goal financial gain. If you extend this twisted thought out to its end, do you think that your negative babbling will get you a teaching or pastoral position at the megachurch? Why, because you think the church is a source of financial gain. The son-in-law went on about how the pastors are getting rich. He referred to one I was recently involved with.

Alright then, let me just speak about the church I recently left. The most recent pastor was brought on as the new pastor by the pastor that was leaving, and he did so under the premise of bringing on a younger man that would carry on the work that the founding pastor began. As a church, we fed the poor and built homes in Tijuana on several occasions.

End, page one.

However, when this new pastor came, he effectively said, this church body is too old, and we need more people in the twenty to forty year age range. Obviously, irritating the majority is not a good way to start a relationship, but he did. He didn’t show up driving a Mercedes Benz; he drove a beat-up Chevrolet van; and, for a time, had to live in people’s homes and travel trailers.

Now, here is the oddity. My previous pastor owned a 2400 square foot home in New Orleans, not far from the small church he pastored before returning to Southern California. The community that he lived in was devastated by the floods brought on by the hurricane; however, his home was not destroyed. While the home was up for sale, and it took a while, a church member here in California, who owned several homes in a nearby affluent neighborhood, let the pastor rent one of those homes, for a meager price, until they could afford to buy another. Well, their New Orleans home sold for an excellent price, and the pastor eventually bought the home they were living in. The New Orleans home just about paid for the new one.

Would you say he was rich?

I wouldn’t.

Did he come here to get rich off of us?

I don’t think so, as it appears that he still wears the same jeans and shirts he showed up with.

Does it sound like I need to trash this pastor because he is trying to get rich off the church?

No, and not only that, I am quite sure that I would be judging the man, and therefore be subject to a judgment myself.

Is there an overabundance of greedy pastors destroying people’s trust in the church?

Absolutely, but if this will cause you to lose sleep, then walk away from that church.

So my son-in-law’s malicious talk, directed at ALL pastors and one I know a little something about, is clearly unfounded. All this sounds so negative, and it could be, but again Paul takes it to the next step.

1 Timothy 6:6 CEV And religion does make your life rich, by making you content with what you have.

If I used the NASB, it could be perceived that the pursuit of Godliness is a means to financial gain, and it is NOT. As you can see, the CEV translation makes it quite clear that your life can be richer through Christ by making you content with what you have.

Read about Paul’s take on this idea of getting rich off the church, as he went hungry on many occasions and had no permanent place to call home.

Keep something in mind if this challenges you.

1 Timothy 6:7-8 CEV We didn’t bring anything into this world, and we won’t take anything with us when we leave. (8) So we should be satisfied just to have food and clothes.

We are warned that those who want to get rich CAN fall into many temptations, snares, and destruction. To put it plainly, Dr. J. Vernon McGee says, “Riches will not bring satisfaction.”

End, page two.

1 Timothy 6:9 NASB But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction.

Eugene Peterson’s Message tells us.

1 Timothy 6:9 MSG But if it’s only money these leaders are after, they’ll self-destruct in no time.

As I read this, Benny Hinn comes to mind.

I will finish this off with the infamous, only because it is so frequently misquoted, by almost everyone, as a weapon to manipulate people and justify some’s poverty, who are probably dealing with their inability to control their spending.

1 Timothy 6:10 NASB For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

There it is; it is the love of money that is the root of all sorts of evil.

Love seems like a simple word, but again, that is not the case here. The GK word is philarguria, which means – avarice, or the love of money. If you look up the word avarice in the dictionary, you find this:

Avarice means an inordinate desire of gaining and possessing wealth; covetousness; greediness or insatiable desire of gain.

An insatiable desire of and for gain. This is the kind of thing that drives people to murder.

The Cyclopedia tells us, “Avarice consists not merely in seeking after worldly wealth too eagerly, or by unjust means, but in loving it excessively, even though it be our own. Avarice is in its nature, sin, and, according to St. Paul, a kind of idolatry.” [Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature.]

Considering what we have just spoken about, it is easier to understand how “some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

I want to close this out by retelling a story that Pastor Jack Hibbs shared with us one recent Sunday morning. He said, after the first service, a man came to him and said, I was raised in the church, been there all my life, and repented multiple times, as most of us did; but after hearing your sermon this morning, I am not sure I am a Christian. How can I know? Jack told us that he took a momentary look at the Bible in the man’s hand, which looked unused, and said, You take that new Bible in your hand and read it, if it tells you to do something, then do it; that’s how you follow Jesus; and it was Jesus who said, if you love me, you will follow me.

When it comes to money, you either use it wisely, or it uses you.

Keep yourself from sin and follow Jesus.

End, page three.

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Part two on my review of Robert Breaker’s message, Can you see in 2020?


In my last post, I indicated that I had recently become aware of Pastor Robert Breaker and a YouTube video he made on the rapture of the church. You can find this video here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccbzG8At9ak&t=783s

The YouTube site for Robert Breaker explains the video and title – to some degree.

“Missionary Evangelist Robert Breaker asks if you can see in the year 2020, and how what is happening now in the world appears to be pointing to the soon coming rapture of the church and the rise of the antichrist mark of the beast system.”

Robert, as I told you in the previous post, emphasizes the usage of the King James Version only. I debunked that premise and told you that you need to compare translations as God can miraculously feed us from multiple versions; we, as students of scripture, have to give due diligence and not be misled by false teachings that are interlaced through our Bibles, so keep that in mind as we progress.

A common but misleading theme within the church is the statement – NO ONE KNOWS THE DAY OR THE HOUR. This portion of scripture, which is taken out of context, is used as a big, Pharisaical stick against those who excitedly speak about the potential that the Lord could come back at any moment. Robert takes a calm approach to teaching and acknowledges that he is not trying to set a date as he directs us to scriptures that he uses to establish his point.

Robert repeatedly states I will not give you my opinion without backing it up with scripture. The first verse we were taken to is Hosea 6:1-2.

Hosea 6:1-2 AMP, COME AND let us return to the Lord, for He has torn so that He may heal us; He has stricken so that He may bind us up. (2) After two days He will revive us (quicken us, give us life); on the third day, He will raise us up that we may live before Him. [Isaiah 26:19; Ezekiel 37:1-10.]

While there is no denying that the assertion “on the third day He will raise us up that we may live before Him,” grabs my attention, but does it apply to me, us in general, or the church? To answer this we need to understand the context and subject of Hosea.

So what is the context of Hosea?

Hosea 1:1 tells us

“THE WORD of the Lord that came to Hosea son of Beeri in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam son of Joash king of Israel.”

Most of us who have been raised in the church understand that God told Hosea to marry a prostitute. Unless you are watching the movie “A Pretty Woman” marrying a harlot is generally thought to be a bad idea – the reasons are rather obvious.

Because Hosea 1:1 immediately gives us an overview we can historically understand the time frame [Hosea’s ministry spanned several decades, beginning near the end of the reigns of Uzziah of Judah (ca. 790-739 b.c.) and Jeroboam II of Israel (ca. 793-753 b.c.) and concluding in the early years of Hezekiah’s reign.], and which kingdom(s) God is directing His message toward – Hezekiah and the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and Judah, the Southern Kingdom, which will, in the course of time, also go into Babylonian captivity.

End, page one.

Does knowing that God is directing His message toward the divided kingdoms of “God’s” people, exclude those of Israel who will eventually be born to come; and, the Gentiles that will also come into the kingdom? No.

2 Timothy 3:16 NASB All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

One of the biggest issues that Hosea is directed to speak against, is played out by his marriage to Gomer who returns to being a harlot.

J. Vernon McGee tells us, “Israel like Gomer was unfaithful and went back to practicing prostitution. God is applying Gomer’s sin to the nation.” This prostitution, which is directed at God’s people, really comes into view in verse 4 of 2 Kings 18.

Being made aware of Hezekiah we learn from 2 Kings 18:3-6 NASB that:

  • He did right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father David had done.
  • (Verse 4) He removed the high places and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherah. (Asherah was the name of a sensual Canaanitish goddess Astarte, the feminine of the Assyrian Ishtar. Easton’s Bible Dictionary. Me: Let’s be blunt, a sex god.). He also broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the sons of Israel burned incense to it, and it was called Nehushtan (the copper serpent). [Ask yourself a question, what did God remove His people from when He extracted them out of Egypt? The answer is: habits, learned patterns, and idolatries from a people that did not know God.]
  • He trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel; so that after him there was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among those who were before him.
  • For he clung to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses.

An alternate translation lays out verse four in this manner.

2 Kings 18:4 GNB He destroyed the pagan places of worship, broke the stone pillars, and cut down the images of the goddess Asherah. He also broke in pieces the bronze snake that Moses had made, which was called Nehushtan. Up to that time, the people of Israel had burned incense in its honor.

Here, in the Good News Bible, we gain a better understanding of what these “high places” are.

At this point, Hezekiah seems like a good guy on God’s scale of morality. The problem is that 2Kings 18 and 20 continue to fill in details about Hezekiah, and we see him losing his faith in God and giving all the glory and wealth of the temple to the king of Assyria.

He said, “What have they seen in your house?” So Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasuries that I have not shown them.” Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the LORD. ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and all that your fathers have laid up in store to this day will be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the LORD. ‘Some of your sons who shall issue from you, whom you will beget, will be taken away; and they will become officials in the palace of the king of Babylon.'” Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the LORD which you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “Is it not so if there will be peace and truth in my days?” (2 Kings 20:15-19 NASB)

End, page two.

So, do we have a relational association with at least two scriptural witnesses that validate the idea that after two days He will raise us up?

Yes, and one of those associations speak of Christ’s death and resurrection.

1 Corinthians 15:4 NASB (4) and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

Although it is not word for word, the implications are that the time frame has taken place, and on the third day He raises us up by the catching away of the church, just as Jesus did. If you can handle it, Jonah is another example that validates being raised on the third day. In the case of Jonah the great fish spewed out on the shore and God raised him up. You see, you have to accept the fact that Jesus used Jonah as a sign when He responded to the Pharisee’s demand that He give them a sign. If Jesus can use Jonah as an example, then the logical assumption must be that Jonah was dead, for without Jonah’s death the reference does not work and makes Jesus a liar, which He is NOT.

The other assertion that Hosea 6:1,2 makes, is 

“that we may live before Him.”

Job, a man who suffered great loss and pain from affliction cried out –

Job 19:25-26 NASB “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last, He will take His stand on the earth. (26) “Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh, I shall see God;

Another version, the TNIV, tells us that even, “…after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh, I will see God;”

Where did Job get this kind of confidence?

If you are honest, most of us have heard little from the Old Testament that speaks of a future time of peace with the Father. Well, Job speaks with confidence about his future destination in which he will see God. Jesus, Himself, stated that we would see Him because we are in the Father.

John 14:18-20 NASB “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (19) “After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. (20) “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

The other scriptures, the Robert Breaker referenced, make a bit more sense.

2Thessalonians 2:1-3 is a popular one, as it references the apostasia, which is the gathering of the church. Sadly, most translations used the term falling away, which is incorrect. Having covered this, in-depth, in the previous post, I will let you pursue the problems with translation and why on your own.

Another verse is:

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 TNIV (51) Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— (52) in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

And lastly Matthew 24:34.

Matthew 24:33-34 TNIV Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. (34) Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

End, page three.

Jesus said these words to a Jewish audience and referred to things. What things?

  • Israel becoming a nation. That happened in 1948. Since Jesus said, this generation will not pass away, it behooves us to figure out the length of a generation. The average age of mothers at the birth of their first child was 20 and at the last birth 31, giving a mean of 25.5 years per female generation — considerably above the 20 years often attributed to primitive cultures. Husbands were six to 13 years older, giving a male generational interval of 31 to 38 years. https://isogg.org/wiki/How_long_is_a_generation%3F_Science_provides_an_answerSo we are looking at 38 years if we take the extreme. 2020 minus 1948 gives us 72 years and we have practically doubled that time; this tells me that we are living on borrowed time.
  • Wars. This seems to be a constant, as anywhere on the globe you can find warfare.
  • Famines. The WHO is predicting horrific famines, these are, of course, over and above what we see daily.
  • Earthquakes. These are happening daily, especially on the rim of fire that surrounds the Pacific Ocean.
  • Deception will be out of control. When Jesus said it, He referenced those who will come presenting themselves, either as Jesus, or the savior of the world. Islam is also looking for someone to do this.

These things, for the church, means that He is coming to gather us home. Yeah, I know, many of you don’t believe that, but it is going to happen. I know this because Jesus also told us that He would be killed and rise again on the third day. That event happened, so when He tells us that will come back and gather us home, it will happen too. But not to worry, He will not bother those who do not want to be bothered.

Our life in Christ comes through faith in Him and the price He paid to bring you home to the Father – that’s all.

Posted in bible study, Gomer, Harlotry, Hosea, raise up, rapture, return to the Lord, The third day, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can you see in 2020? Apparently, you can if you have the King James Version of the Bible.


I was recently made aware of Robert Breaker III, and his video teachings on end times events and a few other things. 

An internet search on his background gives you this information from the about page of thecloudchurch.org/.

“Robert Breaker III is an ordained King James Bible Believing Independent Baptist Minister. His father lead him to the Lord on July 29, 1992. A few years later he enrolled in the Pensacola Bible Institute and graduated there in 1998 with a Bachelors of Divinity. While attending Bible School, Robert pastored the Garcon Point Baptist Church for a short time. Two weeks after graduation, Robert journeyed to Honduras, where he eventually became a Missionary for seven years, planting several churches. Today Robert is a member of an Independent Baptist Church in Monterrey, Mexico, and travels throughout Central, South, and North America fulfilling his God-called ministry as a Missionary Evangelist to the Spanish-speaking people.”

I was directed to Robert Breaker from another YouTube video site, and the first thing I looked at was this. Can You See in 2020?

The YouTube sight for Robert Breaker explains the video and title – to some degree.

“Missionary Evangelist Robert Breaker asks if you can see in the year 2020, and how what is happening now in the world appears to be pointing to the soon coming rapture of the church and the rise of the antichrist mark of the beast system.”

I am giving you all this information, even though it is relatively brief because I thought that the person directing me to Robert indicated that he had a doctorate. As best I can tell, he does not.

I am NOT trying to discredit the brother, in fact, I rather like his teaching style because he uses a whiteboard so that I can see what he is doing, he has a voice that is easy to listen to, and he uses scripture to back up his claims. Now, to be honest, this last portion of my statement gives me a tad bit of grief, and here is why. Robert advocates the King James Version of the Bible ONLY. He tells you, this is because the KJV is the ONLY version that is true to the original texts, and, it is approved by God and is the inherent (original) Word of God.

Let’s address this KJV ONLY idea for a moment.

Dr. Chuck Missler, years ago, informed us, that of the translations, the KJV was the sanest only because the ERRORS were well known and documented. I suppose that means that with other translations, the errors are not so well documented. 

So, do I throw away any Bible I have that has errors? NO, because you would not have a bible worthy of usage. I rely on the Holy Spirit of God, which abides in me and teaches me, to speak to me about odd things I find in particular translations, and then I begin asking questions, such as, does the statement that I am reading diminish the authority and character of God. At that point, I merely look to other translations that convey the subject matter that I believe the Holy Spirit is trying to convey, most clearly. If it matters to you I have over 30 Bible translations that I can draw from on the Bible Study program I use, and I use many of those translations with frequency.

Robert Breaker implied that translators of the KJV searched the original manuscripts diligently, to produce this fine document, with all it’s “thees and thous”. The reality is, that the KJV met with much dissent from the presbytery, and they disputed the usage of the King’s colloquialisms as the common man did not use such language. So translators produced a product tailored for the King. Can anyone else see a problem with this?

End of page one.

Let me show you an ERROR that I was recently made aware of. You need to know that this error pervades virtually every translation since the 1600s; and, that an error of this magnitude tends to indicate that most did not go to the original texts but merely copied the error of others.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 KJV Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

This verse, and the phrase “a falling away” coming first, is preached frequently, especially in our current environment; an environment that has everything to do with a presumed governmental lockdown of businesses, the normalization of masks, a mandatory spatial distancing from others, and church closures, all because of Covid 19. This attack on our freedoms comes as almost all the voices on the internet, who are relaying their dreams and visions are emphasizing that the Lord’s return for His church is imminent.

The usage of the phrase “a falling away” implies that there has yet to be a turning away from the church and hence the Lord before the Antichrist can appear on the scene. 

Even though the English phrase is incorrect, how much more do we, as a church, have to do to turn our backs on God?

I became aware of this error, NOT ONLY with the KJV but the many other translations that use this terminology, while listening to Pastor JD Farag of Calvary Chapel Kaneohe, Hawaii. (https://www.youtube.com/user/alohabibleprophecy).

Pastor JD explained one recent Sunday morning, how that he learned of the error through Dr. Andy Woods, who had written a short booklet on this very subject (The Falling Away: Spiritual Departure of Physical Rapture?: A Second Look at 2 Thessalonians 2:3), and how that in the 1600s the state church, the Catholic church was disgusted and angered by parishioners who were leaving the church and migrating to Protestantism; therefore, church leadership decided to insert some added guilt and manipulation into scripture and make it the official Bible of the church. Translators were commissioned to change the words of this verse, in which the original Greek word – apostasia, was changed to read “a falling away.” Dr. Woods tells us that you have to go back to one of the earliest printed translations to find an appropriate translation with the words “the gathering”, and you find it in the Geneva Bible, which was printed in 1587, in contrast with the KJV which was published in 1769.

So, what then is 2 Thessalonians 2:3 supposed to say?

According to Dr. Andy Woods, the original word apostasia should have read, the gathering. I am not going to take the time to give you all the research and the reasons for this word apostasia to read, the gathering, but most can see that the phrase, the gathering is a game-changer for our understanding; and, I will add that this passage has been a constant source of confusion for me, for years. 

Here I have inserted the correct wording.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 KJV Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a gathering first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

With the words “a gathering first” I have come to understand that the church must be removed before the man of sin can be revealed. We are not waiting for anything else to happen.

If you are not convinced as yet, then I implore you to do two things: (1.) Look at the Geneva Bible’s translation of this verse, and (2.) continue reading 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8, which will give an added context for verse three.

I will show you the Geneva Bible here and add, it looks peculiar.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 Geneva (3) Let no man deceiue you by any meanes: for that day shall not come, except there come a departing first and that that man of sinne be disclosed, euen the sonne of perdition,

Whether it reads, a departing, or a gathering, makes no difference as both return us to the Son who is coming to gather His church – His body.

End of page two.

From the Museum of the Bible, we get this information about the Geneva Bible.

“Chapters and verses make it easy to read today’s modern versions of the Bible, but that wasn’t always the case. Although little known today, the Geneva Bible was considered by many as the most influential English Bible of the 16th and 17th centuries. The King James Version of the Bible in 1611 owed much of its success to the popularity of the Geneva Bible. Translated by the best Protestant scholars of the day, the Geneva Bible was highly regarded. It’s thought to be the Bible Puritans brought with them to America on the Mayflower, and it was the first Bible to use chapters and numbered verses, as well as marginal notes.”

If you continue on to 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8 you will see a comparable declaration, that shouts with clarity.

NASB (6) And you know what restrains him now so that in his time he will be revealed. (7) For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. (8) Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;

Here it is plainly stated that something is restraining the man of sin; and, that he (the lawless one) will ONLY be revealed when the restrainer is removed. We, the church, are that restrainer. There is no confusion, as verse 7 definitely implies a gathering of the church. Previously, when verse three read “the falling away”, there was nothing less than confusion. Verses 6-8 have never been a point of confusion, however, it was not uncommon for the preacher to leave those three verses out of the message. So gathering is the more appropriate word in verse three.

While I may not have convinced you about the usage of the word gathering, I would hope that you can see that there is NO perfect translation and that WE, as good students of the Bible, need to do comparative readings from other translations.

I will continue with a brief look at the teaching that Robert Breaker gave in the next post.

End of page three.

By the way, if you had not caught on, I am writing to believers – followers of Christ. I do so because ERROR and false teaching are running rampant in the church, and because we choose to cling to tradition rather than the Word of God we stumble all over these broken teachings. Example: One brother in Christ spewed some of his false teachings on the Bible study one morning, and so I challenged him on what he said by using the Word of God. He got a pained look on his face and then said, that’s my opinion and that is all that matters. Sorry my friend but it is the Word of God that matters, and that should be the end of all arguments. That seems like a magical concept, but then you all know that we Pharisees are prone to fight with each other.

Jesus is coming back soon. Ignore the fighting and put your faith in Jesus, the one who put himself on that cross, so that you might live.

Posted in 2 Thessalonians, antichrist, apostasia, Apostasy, apostasy, Catholic Church, COVID 19, departure, false teaching, Geneva Bible, God's character, Hearing God, lawlessness, strange doctrines, straying from the truth, teachers, teaching a different doctrine, Thoughts, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

He appeared to more than five hundred brethren. 1 Cor 15:5-11


We ended the last study on these verses.

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 NASB (3) For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, (4) and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

Of the utmost importance is the fact that Christ died for our sins. If you knew the scriptures and had some faith, that statement alone would be enough for you; there is, however, more. The Jews knew the scriptures, yet they chose NOT to believe, receive, or acknowledge Jesus. An excellent piece of evidence for their unbelief comes out of this story from Matthew 2.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for this is what has been written by the prophet: ‘AND YOU, BETHLEHEM, LAND OF JUDAH, ARE BY NO MEANS LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH; FOR OUT OF YOU SHALL COME FORTH A RULER WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.'” Then Herod secretly called the magi and determined from them the exact time the star appeared. (Matthew 2:1-7 NASB)

Deeply troubled, for several reasons, Herod calls the chief priests and scribes of the Jews and inquired as to where this King of the Jews was born. They knew the answer and exclaimed, in Bethlehem of Judea.

Micah 5:2 AMP But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, you are little to be among the clans of Judah; [yet] out of you shall One come forth for Me Who is to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth have been from of old, from ancient days (eternity).

Note how, in our example from Matthew, there was no denial and no refusal, but it was there. The fact that Herod had to turn to the Magi for answers is the most damaging piece of evidence against them, for their refusal to receive Jesus.

Many were aware of Christ’s death on the cross. The Apostle John was standing close enough to the cross for Jesus to direct John to take care of Mary, Jesus’ mother. Others witnessed this event, although they may not have understood what had taken place or what was about to occur.

There was a man named Joseph, who was from Arimathea in Judea. Joseph was a good and honest man, and he was eager for God’s kingdom to come. He was also a member of the council, but he did not agree with what they had decided. (Luke 23:50 CEV)

Though many despise the man, Kenneth Copeland preached a powerful message called, From the Cross to the Throne. What happened during those three days? We have evidence that tells us what happened during that time, and Hebrews 5 is one of them.

Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 5:8-10 NASB)

Page 1.

He (Jesus) suffered, not only the beatings, but the cross, and then hell itself. Yes, I have heard mere men like Hank Hannegraf express his scorn toward those that think that God could be put in hell. But what you, who are unwilling to accept that piece of information, forget is that Satan thought he had won. As far as Satan was concerned, he had killed Jesus. The problem with Satan’s logic is that hell was made for those who sinned, and that would have included all of us were it not for Jesus and the cross. Jesus was NOT born into sin like we are; and, He never sinned. Satan had put Jesus there illegally, kind of like Joe Biden and this rigged election. The difference being, because Jesus never sinned, Satan could not hold Him, and this is why Jesus was able to rip the keys of death, hell, and the grave from that moron’s hands; preach to the captivity, and set them free.

Let’s park here for a moment.

How many different ways could a person understand captivity?

At least a couple. Being born into sin, we are, in a sense, in captivity as we speak. The other definition of captivity comes from doing Satan’s will.

2 Timothy 2:24-26 NASB The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, (25) with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, (26) and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

This would be a most unfortunate and hopeless situation if there were no salvation. Ah, but there is a way to reverse this hopeless situation, and His name is Jesus. That change from a hopeless person to one that is hope-filled only comes through faith in Jesus’ price that He paid on the cross for you, and, occasionally, it requires that we walk away from things that would enslave us.

Romans 6:5-7 NASB For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, (6) knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; (7) for he who has died is freed from sin.

So if you find yourself doubting your salvation, or wondering if there are legitimate reasons for your salvation, keep in mind that there were witnesses. Paul spells out, in generalized terms, who they were. I will walk through this slowly.

1 Corinthians 15:5-7 NLT He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. (6) After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. (7) Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles.

At the time of its writing, this statement was vital, as many of these people knew Peter by visual contact. To add that most of these witnesses are still alive is like telling these readers to go look them up for yourself, as they will validate what I say. When you realize Paul’s potential age, as he wrote this letter to the church in Corinth around 59 A.D., you can guess the ages of those living witnesses and ascertain that they may not be around much longer.

Our faith is not the ramblings of fools and older men; they were the words of Jesus/God. John, in the opening lines of his gospel, tells us that Jesus spoke the worlds into existence.

Page 2.

John 1:1-3 NASB, In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) He was in the beginning with God. (3) All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him, nothing came into being that has come into being.

He told us what He was going to do, and then He did it with such a precision that it leaves the wisest baffled. He rose from the dead and is now seated with the Father. God put Him there and the writer of Hebrews tells us that.

Hebrews 1:1-4 NASB God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, (2) in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. (3) And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (4) having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.

He is not merely lounging around, waiting for His next mission, He is constantly standing on our behalf much like a defense attorney.

Hebrews 7:25 NASB Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him since He always lives to make intercession for them.

What Paul says next is a challenge to understand.

1 Corinthians 15:8 NASB (8) and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.

Some translations talk as though Paul is saying that he should have been aborted. I would like to tell you that something like this never happened in Paul’s day, but I cannot attest to the fact that it did not. Murdering a baby, as we do today, was detestable to the Jews, although handing your newborn into the arms of the god Moloch is no better. So, to read something like abortion is absurd, and therefore, forces us to look at some other meaning. The assumption then would be, that after all these years, perhaps he now wishes he could have been there at the beginning and walked with Jesus, as these disciples did. Paul tends to answer the question for us.

1 Corinthians 15:9 NASB (9) For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Why would he say, I am the least of the apostles?

Peter, originally called to be the apostle to the Gentiles, fumbled the ball, and Paul, in time, picked it up and ran with it, although we, for the longest time, still see Paul with a focus on the Jews.

When Paul says, I am not fit to be called an apostle because I persecuted the church, it makes sense. Remember, Paul told us he had a thorn in the flesh. You can continue to rant how you know what Paul’s thorn was, based on some traditional but incorrect teaching. Still, you fail to remember that Paul, was above all else, an astute theologian, with the only known composition they had, the law and the prophets. There, in the book of Numbers, God told Israel to eliminate the Canaanites, or they will become pricks in your eyes and thorns in your flesh. This reference to scripture by Paul tells us that he did not adequately eliminate something from his life.

Page 3.

If you have read the book of Acts, then you can admit that Paul was not only a passionate man but a man capable of a fast temper. Remember, he chased off John Mark and Barnabas, a decision that he may have regretted for years, and yet, there is this statement from Paul.

1 Corinthians 15:10 NASB (10) But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain, but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.

  • But by the grace of God, I am what I am.

What is it that Paul turned out to be? Only one of the most influential writers of not just the New Testament, but the Bible itself. If one of us Gentile believers thinks about a writer of the Bible, we think about Paul. You would think he wrote the book of Acts. He didn’t, but he was a dominant player as we learn about the grace of God first hand. We also saw the labors of Paul as he went on his missionary journeys. And finally, we see Paul point to the fact that it was the grace of God working through him that makes his labors so significant.

Paul closes out this fifteenth chapter of 1Corinthians with this comment.

1 Corinthians 15:11 NASB (11) Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

Wow, Paul put tremendous trust in the idea that others were following Paul’s lead and preaching the same message that Paul preached. We know he struggled with this idea and told young Timothy:

1 Timothy 1:3 NASB As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines,

As many of you know, doctrines are the foundational reasons for us having church, and clearly, this had become a problem in Ephesus. The phrase “to teach strange doctrines” is merely a repeat of the same word three times. It translates to English as instruct differently. Example. If the doctrine is one of salvation upon the cross, and you tell the Christians that attend your Bible study weekly that they are sinners with no hope of anything other than hell’s flame, then you are instructing differently. By the way, I mention this because I attended a bible study in which the leader repeatedly said such things.

Many of us have sat under false teachings. It is nothing short of a miracle, or perhaps God’s grace that we have come to know and understand this grace – the same grace that Paul preached.

One last thing. This forgiveness on the cross happened once, with no reason, whatsoever, to repeat the event, as the Jews had to do with their sacrifices. Having believed, we are saved eternally.

Hebrews 5:8-9 NASB Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. (9) And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,

In Christ, we have eternal salvation.

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