Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Did the Exodus Happen?

Today I am bringing you a video that looks at a few of the arguments against the Exodus and discusses them. I think it's good to know what some of the arguments are against and why they do not hold any water  sand! It's only about 5 minutes long...enjoy!



Hope you have a good day! 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Philadelphia, The Faithful Church


Philadelphia became the greatest trade route in the whole country in Byzantine times, which gave the city its commercial prosperity. It was a center for spreading the greek language and culture throughout the asian provinces. The city was prone to severe earthquakes that caused the people to move out and dwell in tents at times. A key crop in Philadelphia was grapes for wine making. 

The city was known for its resistance to Islam and kept it's christianity long after some of the other cities in the area. The city had many pagan temples, including Dionysus, the god of wine and revelry. 

In Revelation, Christ is revealed in this church as holy and true. He is also identified as the One who opens and shuts. This church is said to have an 'open door.' The commendations to this church was evangelism, works and missions. Though they were few in number, they kept the Word and did not deny Christ, despite those of the 'synagogue of satan,' who also persecuted them.

There is no correction spoken, but there is a warning that they should believe God's promises and stick with Him. They are told to 'hold fast,' which has a strong connotation meaning to cling to tenaciously, with a warning that if not, someone may take their crown. This implies that if you let a God given opportunity slip by, God can call someone else to do it and they crown will go to them. You will lose your reward! 

As believers, we have a permanent identity in Christ. The believer will be given a new name, uniquely his (Rev 2:17). He also says he will 'keep thee from the hour of temptation.' The word 'kept' means to preserve and protect.  To take care of, to guard.  The word 'from' means out of, or it can mean, in the midst of. God is with us through our trials! 

This church, also known as being faithful and having brotherly love,  was a church that Christ loved. In this church, Christ is revealed as having the key that opens and shuts the door to salvation. The door is wide open for most of the missions established during this time, as well as times of revival. 

As Christians we are called to be overcomers. What does this mean? We must be totally loyal to Christ, sharing our love and the Gospel with all men. This relationship with our saviour should be the focal point of our lives. Our minds set on Christ and His will for our lives. Then will our lives truly have full meaning and satisfaction. To be in the will of God is the most exciting place to be! 

The Seven Churches of Revelation

Introduction to the Seven Churches of Revelation
Sweet Smelling Smyrna
Where Did I Leave My Love (Ephesus)
Pergamus: Compromised and Indulged
Sardis: The Living Dead
Falling Away into Laodicea
The Church of Thyatira




Monday, October 5, 2015

The Four Horsemen of Revelation, Color Study

Sometimes Scripture shows us things so clearly, that we miss it!

In Revelation we are introduced to four horsemen as the Lamb breaks open the First Seal. These ride horses, each with a different color. The focus is on the riders. First we are introduced to a white horse whose rider rode forth conquering and to conquer. Many interpret this as conquering through great deception as the Antichrist is ascertained by many to be the rider of this horse. Then a flaming red horse follows whose rider takes away peace from the earth. Next a black horse appears whose rider brings famine upon the earth. The last horse is a pale horse (chloros in the Greek, which is actually pale green). It's rider's name was Death and he was closely followed by Hades.

Four Horsemen by MarkWilkinson
                                                Source: Four Horsemen, by Mark Wilkinson, Deviant Art

These have authority over a fourth part of the earth to kill and bring famine, plagues, pestilence & disease and wild animals. We are not told that they kill a fourth part of the earth, rather that they have authority and power over a fourth part of the earth.

So we have been introduced to four horses and given some specific information about each of their riders, but what of the horses? Each horse has been identified with a color. Could this have any meaning at all? Since God took the trouble to label each horse with a distinct color, wouldn't it suggest that there is meaning to these colors? Yes, sometimes prophecy is stranger than fiction and it's so easy to miss things if we don't look closely. Let me remind you that many people missed the First Coming. We look back and wonder how they missed it, but if we're not careful, it'll happen to us too! 

I watched a video by Pastor Steve at Discover Ministries and it is him I thank for this information. I may not necessarily agree with everything Pastor Steve says, but I found this particular information to be interesting and somewhat enlightening. If you would like to watch the video, I will provide a link below.

Pastor Steve connected the colors of the horses to Flags, and a rather interesting picture emerges. Have a look at the flags I've pictured below. What do you see? 

Image result for Flags,JOrdan
Jordan

Image result for Flags,palestine
Palestine

Sudan

Kuwait

United Arab Emirates

Image result for flags, libya
Libya

Image result for flags,afghanistan
Afghanistan

Image result for flags,syria
Syria

Iraq


Arab Revolt Flag (not a nation, but interesting nonetheless)

If you're not sure, the answer is: White, Red, Black and Green. Each of these flags uses the same color combinations. This makes sense, because they have similar roots. Did you also take note of the countries, states, or nations that fly these flags?

The countries that will lead World War 3 (Psalm 83) share the same colors on their flags!

[Map of Arab world using national flags. Image from unknown source.]
                                                                                   Source: Wikimedia.org

Here's another map for comparison:
Image result for arab world in flags
                                                                            Source: Jewish Virtual Library.org

I guess the question then becomes, are the Four Horsemen already riding? Has the First Seal been opened? Interesting, right? I don't know for sure yet, but I stand amazed over and over again at how detailed God is and how interesting His living Word is. Those who say it's an antiquated outdated book, probably haven't taken the time to read it and take it seriously!

As promised, here's the link to Pastor Steve's video.

You Will Never Read the Book of Revelation the Same Way Again!

Have a good week and Blessings to you and yours! 

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Church of Thyatira


Thyatira: 'Continual Sacrifice'

Thyatira was a prosperous town which was well connected to other important cities. It was located on the Hermus River, 38 miles from Pergamos, and 32 miles from Sardis. It was an important manufacturing center noted for dying fabrics and garment making (Lydia, in Acts 16:14 had a business in fabric dyes). Thyatira was also known for its pottery, it's coppersmithing and brass working industries. These powerful Trade Guilds not only controlled business, but each Trade Guild had its own gods which were involved in pagan religious worship and immorality. It was almost impossible to conduct business without belonging to a Trade Guild. 

During his second missionary journey (Acts 16:13-15) the apostle Paul travelled to Phillipi where he meets Lydia, a seller of purple. She listens to Paul's preaching and is so convinced of his message that she and her household are baptized. It is likely that Lydia helped spread the Gospel throughout Thyatira.

In the message to this church, Christ calls Himself, the Son of God, stressing His deity. He is revealed as a Judge. The 'eyes like a flame of fire' suggest discernment and perception which searches out all iniquity. His 'feet like fine bronze' shows He is all powerful in judgment. Bronze, which symbolically means testing shows that Christ tests the works of man. The reference to bronze is also an illusion to the brass working industry of Thyatira.

Christ praises this church for works, love, service, faith and patience. This is the only church that Christ gives praise to for its love. It's love became a part of the problem, though. The congregation loved so much that they tolerated sin and failed to exercise church discipline. This church allowed 'Jezebel' to teach compromise and immorality. 

(Remember King Ahab's Jezebel. She was the daughter of a priest king of Tyre and was married to Ahab for political reasons. She had a strong, domineering, forceful character and was fanatically devoted to Baal. This eventually led to the death of many true prophets of God.)

God extends grace to the Jezebel of Thyatira to repent, but she would not. This indicates she made a conscious choice to continue on in her sin of compromise and immorality. She tolerated evil and had learned Satans' so called 'deep secrets,' which she also taught.

This church therefore allowed 'Jezebel' to teach compromise and immorality. They evidently did not accept the finished work of Christ on the cross as enough, but thought they needed other gods and religious systems, much to their hurt!

However, those who are victorious and do not fall for her deception, God gives authority to rule over the nations. He says they will rule with an iron sceptre and dash them to pieces, like pottery. Another allusion to one of the top industries of Thyatira - pottery. He says He will give them the place of the morning star.

(Lucifer is called the morning star, as well as Jesus Christ. The title was a place that Lucifer attempted to gain but which was triumphed over by Christ, who is the true Morning Star! The 'morning star' will be given to believers who rule and reign with Christ in the Millennium. Revelation 2: 28; 2 Peter 1:19; Daniel 12:3)

The Seven Churches of Revelation

Introduction to the Seven Churches of Revelation
Sweet Smelling Smyrna
Where Did I Leave My Love (Ephesus)
Pergamus: Compromised and Indulged
Sardis: The Living Dead
Falling Away into Laodicea
Philadelphia, the Faithful Church

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sardis: The Living Dead


(Sardis: Revelation 3;1-6)

Sardis was the capital city of the ancient kingdom of Lydia prior to the colonization of the Greeks. It was built on a steep hill surrounded by loose rock and was therefore considered to be impregnable even though Cyrus of Persia, Antiochus the Great and the Romans all overtook the city by surprise attacks. The people of the city falsely thought they were safe based on their feelings of security in the City’s location.

The city was on an important trade route. Their chief industry was dyed woolen garments of beautiful coloring, and they were also known for their jewelry making. It was a wealthy city with powerful influence. Emperor worship, pagan temples and idols, and occult practices were all part of the religious environment of Sardis. Little is known of the church there, other than its reputation for being alive, though they were dead. Herodotus tells us they were lax in their morals.

On a positive note, this church has some who have not defiled their garments (a reference to their woolen garment industry) and whom God accepts and clothes in white. In other words, some in the church were morally pure even though most had lost their zeal, were apathetic and indifferent, and compromised with the world of the day. Theirs were dead works.

Dead works are anything that is not inspired through the Holy Spirit. This is why He had not found their works ‘perfect.’ These were not fulfilling the purpose of God but were motivated by a desire to build their own reputaitons. This church may have had a lot of activity and programs, but none were supported by the Holy Spirit.

Christ’s counsel to them was to watch (you must be awake to watch), strengthen what remained (that which was good), hold fast (keep His word and commandments) and repent (of wrong attitudes and practices). The challenge given was perfection: "walk with Me in white." Soiled garments in the bible frequently relates to the mingling of pagan practices with biblical faith to the point of defiling our relationship with Christ.

Having a combination of wealth and power combined with lax morals and poor Christian influence definitely affected these people. In God’s eyes, they were as good as dead. The city was finally completely destroyed in 640 AD and never rebuilt, as to this day. There are only ruins and a small village near the site of the old city. They did not repent so God removed their lampstand.

What is the personal application?  Do not be quick to judge outward appearance, for reputation is no guarantee of inward character!

How do we remain alive and moving in the Spirit, especially amongst dead Christianity? Know and be alert to the tactics of the enemy. Keep your purpose in Christ as the focus of your life! 

Image result for Sardis, Dead
Source: Danieltrainingnewtwork.org

The Seven Churches of Revelation:

Introduction
Ephesus: Where Did I Leave My Love?
Sweet Smelling Smyrna 
Falling Away Into Laodicea
Pergamos: Compromised and Indulged
The Church of Thyatira
Philadelphia, the Faithful Church

Have a good week everyone!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Who are the Genuine Children of God?

I came across this post through Berean Research and thought I'd have a peek. Honestly, I found this to be a very on-point essay on what it is to be a child of God. So read on and see what you think.

Who are the Genuine Children of God? 

by Mike Ratliff

28 Καὶ νῦν, τεκνία, μένετε ἐν αὐτῷ, ἵνα ἐὰν φανερωθῇ σχῶμεν παρρησίαν καὶ μὴ αἰσχυνθῶμεν ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ ἐν τῇ παρουσίᾳ αὐτοῦ. 29 ἐὰν εἰδῆτε ὅτι δίκαιός ἐστιν, γινώσκετε ὅτι καὶ πᾶς ὁ ποιῶν τὴν δικαιοσύνην ἐξ αὐτοῦ γεγέννηται. (1 John 2:28-29 NA28)

28 And now little children, abide in him that when he is manifested, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before him at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you also know that everyone practicing righteousness has been born of him. (1 John 2:28-29 translated from the NA28 Greek text)

I am sure many of you have come across the following video lately that many younger "Christian Leaders" are saying defines Christianity in the eyes of the "Millennials."


In 1 John 2:28 - 3:10, the Apostle John gives us "evidence" that is most definitely not "politically correct" that will enable us to determine those who really are the genuine children of God and those who aren't. Of course, we should take a close examination of ourselves as we go through this passage.

View Original on Possessing the Treasure

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Pergamus: Compromised & Indulged

                                                                                               Photo  Source: Bible History Daily

Pergamus, located in modern Turkey, was a provincial capital and the seat of Emperor worship. It was the center of four of the greatest pagan cults: Zeus, Athena, Dionysus and Asklepious. The latter was the god of healing and was honored with a great medical school which was associated with the worship of this god. This idol was shaped like a serpent, a symbol still used for the medical profession today. It was a very wealthy city sporting a library of 200,000 volumes later given by Anthony to Cleopatra.


The name 'Pergamos' according to some means 'elevated to marriage' or 'bigamy and/or
polygamy.'  In other words, 'mixed marriage' or 'compromise,' indicating the marriage of the church to the world. This was indeed what happened in this great city. However, the word etymology is mostly uncertain.

According to Revelation, this church is in a dangerous place, as this is where Satan's throne dwells - in fact, this is where Lucifer is not only present, but 'dwells.'  He also rules, as is inferred by the word throne.

The Pergamon Altar or 'Altar of Zeus'scholars believe was the Throne of Satan mentioned by John in Revelation
                                                                                                Photo Source: Bible History Daily
When Emperor Diocletian died in 305 AD, the succession of the Roman Empire was in dispute. On the night before a battle, Constantine had a vision of a flaming cross in the sky with the latin words "by this sign conquer." He won the battle, became emperor and stopped all christian persecution. Christianity became the state religion, and by law everyone had to profess to be a christian or lose his job. All heathen temples were converted to churches, all the names of the pagan entities were changed to christian names. Pagan feasts were converted to christian holidays but some maintained their pagan symbolism - like Easter and Christmas. In fact, many of the practices that exist in the Catholic church today trace their beginnings to this time period.

Unfortunately, Constantine brought about a religious dominion backed by secular power, which brought about a religious system with a form of godliness, without the power thereof. His efforts brought about an apparent freedom for christians, but at the altar of compromise.

Revelation mentions two false doctrines being practised:

The doctrine of Balaam (Numbers 22:2-6,12; Numbers 25:1-3). Balaam taught that people should intermarry with the heathen in order to compromise their beliefs.

The doctrine of the Nicolatians: "Niko" means 'to conquer,' "laity" means 'the people.'
This was a group who tried to separate laymen from clergy for the purpose of power. They claimed to be christians but lived immoral unclean lives believing that what you did to the body had no effect on the spirit (gnosticism).  They Lorded themselves over the laymen of the church, therefore this doctrine destroys the concept of the body of Christ as a whole unit.

Even so, Christ had commendations for them; their good works, they did not deny the faith; they held fast Christ's name. They were challenged to 'eat the hidden' manna'  (manna refers to God's provision for the Israelites in the wilderness and typifies Christ.) 

Did you know? 

The Altar of Pergamom was re-assembled in the Pergamum Museum in Berlin during Hitler's reign. Only the foundations of the altar can be seen at Pergamos today. The Turkish government wants this structure back on it's base and has been pressuring Germany for the return of the Zeus Altar.

The Base of the Altar in Pergamum. Photo Source: wingsofeaglesct.com

The Altar in Berlin.    Photo Source: whale.to
The Seven Churches of Revelation:

Introduction
Ephesus: Where Did I Leave My Love?
Sweet Smelling Smyrna 
Falling Away Into Laodicea

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

What's his Name & his Limitations!

                                                        Gustave Dore, 1866, Public Domain

There are many names the Bible uses for the devil and his minions. I came across an interesting tidbit about the name 'Satan,' but first, here's a bit of an overview (not exhaustive) of some of the names he is called in the Bible. Some of these are interesting and I suggest you look those up.

Abaddon- Hebrew name meaning 'destruction.' Rev 9:11
Accuser - Rev 12:10
Adversary - 1 Peter 5:8
Angel of Light -  How he likes to present himself. 2 Cor. 11:14
Annointed Covering Cherub - Before the Fall.  Ezekiel 28:14
Apollyon - Greek name meaning 'destroyer.' 
Beast - Rev. 14; 9,10
Beelzebub - "Ruler of demons." Matthew 12:24
Dragon - Rev. 12:9
God of this age - 2 Cor. 4:4
King of Tyre - Ezekiel 28:12
Lucifer, Son of the Morning - Isaiah 14:12-14
Prince of the power of the air - "The spirit who works in the sons of disobedience." Ephesians 2:1,2
Ruler of Darkness - "Over spiritual hosts of wickedness."  Eph. 6:12
Ruler of this world - "Who will be cast out." John 12: 31,32
Serpent of Old -  "Who deceives the whole world." Rev. 12:9
Son of Perdition - "He sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." 2 Thess 2:3,4
Wicked One - Eph 6;16

And there are many more, including 'Satan.' 


In many cases, the translators chose to transliterate 'saw-tawn,' which means 'adversary, accuser or opponent' as 'satan.' Then they changed the word into a name by using a capital 'S,' so 'saw-tawn' was turned into a proper name, 'Satan.'

Saw-tawn in Hebrew, and satan in Greek is not a proper name. It is simply a word that means adversary, accuser or opponent! 

So now you know! :) 

What are his limitations?


"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness int he heavenly places."
Ephesians 6:12

There's no doubt that he is powerful, but he is not like God. Satan is a creature, as Ezekiel 28:15 states. He is a created being! However, we must also remember how the archangel Michael did not make any reviling accusations against him when they were contending over the body of Moses, but merely said, 'the Lord rebuke you!' (Jude 1:9). If an archangel was careful in how he confronted Lucifer, perhaps we should be too?

Regardless of this, he does have his limitations, as listed below.

He is not omniscient: 

Only God knows all things, but Lucifer does not. He can make guesses because he knows man, mankind's history and not just the prophetic words of the Bible, but the whole Bible.

(It's a big bit of an advantage, therefore in addition to knowing God and having relationship, this is one more important reason we have to read the Word of God!)

Those who rely on mediums and fortune tellers should know that when their 'prophecies' are not outright deceits, they are just guesses based on the information given and the medium tapping into the spiritual hosts of wickedness who are familiar with man. Thus, familiar spirits...but this is not necessarily true knowledge, nor will it ever be true knowledge of what is to come. 

God made a challenge to all false gods in Isaiah 41:21-24.  He states that they are less than nothing and their works are utterly worthless! 

He is not omnipotent:

He cannot do anything he wants to do. God puts boundaries on him. Remember the story of Job? Only God is omnipotent!

He is not omnipresent:

He cannot be everywhere at the same time. He wanders to and fro on the earth seeking whom he may devour (Job 2;2).  However, he does have many angels doing his bidding since a third of the angels (now called demons) fell with him. 

The true God can help all who call on Him, all at one time!! He is omnipresent.

We must never underestimate the devil, neither must we overestimate him.

God is our strength. He limits Lucifer and will never permit us to be tempted above what we are able to handle, and he will always provide a way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13).

Blessings, 
Carmen

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Two Questions: Holiness vs Unholiness

"Rainbow" by Dan. Freedigitalphotos.net
It's funny how we read something and it stays with us, but not always in the way we remember it! I love the Amplified version of the Bible. I mentioned something I had read at my bible study the other day, but when I couldn't find the verses I waited and looked it up when I got home.

What I remembered was "Unholiness is infectious, Holiness is not infectious."

Here are the Scripture verses I was trying to remember, which it turns out are in the form of questions.

Haggai 2:12

If one carries in the skirt of his garment flesh that is holy and with his skirt he touches bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any kind of food, does what he touches become holy? And the priests answered, No!  (Holiness is not infectious).

What is the meaning of holy? Something dedicated or consecrated to God. Something sacred.

Haggai 2:13
Then said Haggai, If one who is unclean because he has come in contact with a dead body should touch any of these articles of food, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered, It shall be unclean! (Unholiness is infectious).

What does 'unholy' mean? Sinful, wicked, ungodly, profane, evil, corrupt, etc.

Haggai is saying that if something holy touches something unholy, it does not make the unholy thing holy. 

However, if something unholy touches something holy, it will taint it with unholiness. 

- Holiness is taught, not caught!

- Sin (or unholiness) is not learned, it's a nature every person is born with - and without the grace of God, all men would be the darkest and most wicked of all creatures!

Here are a few more verses that seem to be saying the same thing.

1 Corinthians 15:33: Do not be so deceived and misled, evil company corrupts and depraves good manners, and morals and character.

Proverbs 22: 24,25: Make no friendships with a man given to anger, and with a wrathful man do not associate. Lest you learn his ways and get yourself into a snare.

1 Kings 16:25,26: But Omri did evil in the eyes of the Lord, even worse than all who were before him. He walked in all the ways of Jeroboam, son of Nebat, and in his sin by which he made Israel to sin, to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger with their idols. 

When we bring unholy things into our lives, our church, our world, they can and will make us unholy. Plus they can easily infect others. Sick people infect healthy people.

When we willingly play in sin and contaminate ourselves with the unfruitful works of darkness, it makes us unholy. Everyday we come in contact with gossip, lies, pride, hatred, anger, jealousy and more. The temptation to give into these may be great, but the christian is kept by the power of God and has dominion over the power of sin through Christ! For without holiness, no one can see God!! Serious stuff here!!

Hebrews 12:14,15: Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Looking dilligently, lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you and thereby many be defiled. 

Christ is the only one who can sanctify and transform us. We are in the world, but not of it. He sets us apart, but our holiness is not contagious, and we must not allow ourselves to be infected by unholiness. I know how easily sin can befall us and appeal to that sin nature within us if our minds are not set on things above.

Though it looks attractive and promises much, it delivers emptiness and futility in the long run. Remember Adam and Eve? Things haven't changed much!

If this be true, how then do we minister to unbelievers? 

God wants us to rub off on our non-Christian friends, but Satan wants them to rub off on you!!

We should definitely spend time ministering to others, but keep in mind that unholiness can infect holiness, and for your deepest friendships look to those who are holy, godly and like-minded. Let your closest companions be those who have made Christ their closest companion!

The solution is not to engage in compromising activities with others, but to point people to Jesus because He can take away their unholiness and replace it with holiness.

Philippians 4:8,9 is a good verse to be mindful of: 

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Have a great day! 


Carmen