Flips

Brief (try to be!)  To the point.  Things that jump out.

"Flips on the radar"

Three Eschatologies

posted Aug 26, 2013, 1:04 PM by David Gerhart   [ updated Sep 2, 2013, 11:06 AM ]

At the time of Noah, after the events of the flood, God made a solemn promise... as Noah was worshiping with a sacrifice at the altar atop Ararat.

"And the Lord smelled a sweet savor; and the Lord said in His heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite every living thing, as I have done." Gen 8:21 KJV

Note the relevant position of the enemy of God in scripture at the time of David: 

“Early I will destroy all the wicked of the land, That I may cut off all the evildoers from the city of the Lord.” Ps 101:8

This scripture is particularly important I think, because of it’s a forecast of Mt 24:22 – “... days cut short ... for the sake of the elect.”

“The righteous will never be removed, But the wicked will not inhabit the earth.” Prov. 10:30

“... And deliver him who is plundered out of the hand of the oppressor...” Jer. 21:12

There is a sense that there are three distinct eschatological forms – the following being one manner of “classifying them.”

1.) Preterist – “Replacement” Theology – An obvious error; God is not finished with Israel.
2.) Rapturist – “Bridal” Theology – requiring different peoples for different God-head’s (most glaringly leaving out the Holy Spirit.)
3.) Escapist*  – “Harvest” Theology – reconciles all people of God; many branches, grafted into a single vine (Christ.)

* "Escape for thy life, look not behind thee... escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed." Gen 19:17
"then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains." Mt 24:16 KJV

Within “no one knows the day or hour” portion of Matthew ch. 24 – lies an important question: Who was “taken?”  In another post the “Wheat and Tares” parable (Mt. 13:24-30, 36-43.) is cited as being foundational to our understanding.  

To this end, one notes in Ch. 24:39, the word “took” - and the realization that this should, therefore, control the inference of “who” due to the word “taken” in v’s 40 & 41.  In the story of Noah, it is the evil that is taken out of the World.  And so, when one is taken from the feild and another from grinding flour, it is the unsaved -- taken out to judgement.

As to timing of events, we should presuppose nothing, except what scripture indicates.

If the harvest is to follow the Lord’s wrath on evil men, then one supposes these events to occur in relatively quick succession ... as would the harvest predicted by Christ in Mt. 13. Imagine: all of the evil gone, and the Lord’s workers diligently and carefully bringing in the Harvest... then it's probable when He comes for us, our personal experience will happen in an instant (as Paul forecast.)  But for believers widely separated across the face of the earth, it won’t happen everywhere all at once – just as a harvest begins with the ripest grain and proceeds over a period of time to collect each area of the fields.


“Immediately after the tribulation of those days ...Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Mt 24:30-31

It’s possible the mourning will be for those taken, whom the elect will realize -- have gone to their doom. OT mourning took time: Israelites mourned thirty days for Aaron (see Nu 20:29) but fasted only seven days for King Saul (see 1Sa 31:13).

These pictures are very deep, and not much discussed.

And then there is the OT law / lesson of the reapers leaving the corners ... ?

Taken

posted Aug 3, 2013, 9:33 AM by David Gerhart

Since about 1850 the concept of the Rapture has existed.  But particularly within this generation, we view scripture through the lense of a very muscular latter-day hermeneutic men developed over decades in support of a particular eschatology.  (Perhaps most recently given rigorus intellectual treatment by Geisler, for example.)   Rapture theory. In the case of the story of the two people in bed, one taken and the two women grinding grain, one taken -- we have always heard it taught that this is picture of the Lord come to "take us home."

Yet prior to this in Mathew 13:24-30 Jesus gave the Parable of the "Wheat and Tares" -- in which He clearly capped the issue -- Saying in his subsequent explanation (13:36-43) that He was the sewer and that the "feild is the world."   The seed would be left to grow until the time of the end, so that the seed of the Lord would not be disturbed.  Very plainly this is a picture of His Church.  And it is not a picture of an interruption of His Church by the Rapture of the Church, and then more seed being saved in the Tribulation.

"And they will weed out of His Kingdome everything that causes evil and all who do evil." Mat.13:42

Importantly the Tares are first "cut down" and destroyed in the fire.  Then the "Wheat is gathered" into the Lord's Barn. 

“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man.People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.

“It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.

“It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day no one who is on the housetop, with possessions inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. 

Remember Lot’s wife! Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it. 

I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left.  Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.” 

“Where, Lord?” they asked.

He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.” Luke 17:26-37

Then, it is CERTAIN that those taken are not being lifted to heaven, but carried away to destruction ... where the "vultures will gather."

Where the Vultures gather

posted Aug 2, 2013, 7:37 PM by David Gerhart   [ updated Aug 2, 2013, 9:54 PM ]

Death draws those who feed on carcasses.

“Where, Lord?” they asked. He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.” Lu 17:37

In a dead church one encounters those who feed on the rotting substance of perverted doctrine.

The scripture -- the Deciples are wondering about the ones taken -- one each from the bed and from grinding grain.  "Where Lord, have they been taken?"  Christ's response is that the vultures are gathered where death is.

Remember the Parable of the Wheat and Tares -- that the seed sewn by the Enemy is left to mature along side the wheat until the time of the end, then the Angels are dispatched to first cut down the tares and burn them, and then the Lord gives the command to gather the wheat into His barn.

Another picture is of Noah -- where he was kept away from the flood that took all those who didn't enter the Arc.

The Three Living Trees

posted Jun 6, 2013, 1:33 PM by David Gerhart   [ updated Aug 2, 2013, 10:01 PM ]

Dream 5/28/2013

I saw three green living (eternal) plants each a different size. they were very plain, no flowers but very dark green with shiny leaves that covered their trunks – sharing a small, inexpensive, even disposable plastic pot. I think it was square. Maybe 4”X 4”. Like what you’d grab off the sidewalk at the grocery store in the summer. The soil they were in seemed light and airy, damp but not wet. It was explicit: three plants with separate stalks and leaves sharing the same soil in a pot with four sides. The pot seemed fragile, flexible at the touch, the black plastic kind. The pot and the plants didn’t weigh much. I held the pot balanced in the palm of my left hand and protected them from tipping with my right. From these plants came a thick spongy rubber-like product used to retread old shoes – and if used, the shoes would always be quiet, never slip, never wear out and always remain new. There was a link to the clothing one wore with the retreaded shoes – like the clothing came once the shoes were treated in that you didn’t wear the shoes and not the clothes – very nice, plain finished cottons (I think, or a linen?) but almost formal, pressed smooth black jacket, pants and white shirt, no neck ties, open collars – which I understood were symbolic of knowing – being able to discern between good and evil, right and wrong. The people wearing the garments would not have been out of place at a symphony hall. This is a small aspect, diminished in importance*: The same garments were worn by the poor and wealthy, those new to faith and those long established. They were almost indistinguishable – but the poor seemed less comfortable with their clothes, almost wary they might soil them. Reverential, protective. The wealthy seemed to carry the clothing more as if they were used to being well dressed, as if the expectation was there that they deserved their clothes. Whereas the poor had never touched anything so fine, seemed wide-eyed and astonished that someone would give such nice things away. The focus always came back to the eternity of the plants that were entrusted to my care, in an incomprehensible way – I can’t give those attributes adequate words. The smallest plant was hidden among the other two – a larger one up front and a middle sized one to right side. It was somehow given to me to assure that people could come and get the shoe product – there was never any question that the plants would not live on, nor that they would increase or diminish in size. I did not apply the plant extract to the shoes, my job was to hold and protect the plant (sort of) and yet be sure one at a time would be welcome to see and touch, receive from the plant. The place seemed crowded, but there wasn’t much attention given the plant, yet I knew people would come occasionally, sort of in a steady stream. No one was unwelcome, I had nothing to do with announcing that the plant was there, what it did or anything. I was only to hold it and assure it didn’t spill (all the time knowing that even if that happened the plants could not die.)

As much as the clothing was equivalent from person to person, no pair of shoes was the same - everyone had different shoes**.

5/29/2013

Relative to the dream, I ended my day up in Lu 17:20. -- which discusses an internal manifestation of the kingdom of God. And then I went to sleep. I did not re-dream that dream at all. (What a relief!) But in sleepy prayerful dialogues with the Spirit all night I understood these things...

There are three main aspects to the dream.

  1. All of the stuff about the “Eternal” – Mainly the Gifts of rebirth and life, and of covering for entering the Kingdom of God. 
  2. All of the stuff about me – Boundaries between what I am and what I can do. 
  3. All of the stuff about the the Clothes – Though given initially with a covering of insignificance, becomes the main point of the dream! 
About the clothes – Those wealthy and poor, those new to Christ and those who’ve “worn the Faith” for decades all dressed alike with the knowledge of good and evil.  And then discernment of contrasting internal attitudes to which I can only blurt: Do we have great reverence and concern for the Temple of God? See Lu. 17:20.

Some of this seems to echo the Flip (see here) that includes discussion of the Little Book bitter in Johns stomach.  Resonating with “many are called, but few are chosen...” the assertions of Christ:  "The first will be last, the last first" (see Luke 13, Mat. 22, Lu 14.)  

One notes differences between those who have come to the party expecting rewards and those who arrive only out of willingness to serve.

One receives the impression that despite having the new shoes and nice clothes, and equivalent appearance – the wealthy and the great will be shocked by what the Lord has for those who come late, are poor and live with the humble gratitude and great thanksgiving of those who know from what they have been redeemed. Their reverence and worry over not spilling or staining the clothing is a picture of how they treat the “Temple of God” – bodies and minds – all of this is to show that few will really find God in their inner being and let his presence rule them in their life. Many come for the reward, counting the gain against the cost. Few come, only with a willingness to serve

Please carefully read Mathew chapter 20!   Those that came late?  Hungover, unworthy, dirty, unprepared? What wage could they expect?  Was it their willingness to serve, to give what they had -- labor for an hour -- that the Lord received as his preferred offering.

“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” Ps 51:17

The main point of this dream is the internal Temple of God. What is wrapped in likeness (Church Goers!), covered and shod with gifts of grace does not assure the quality of what is contained.

Lord increase our faith. Establish us in good soil, with like neighbors – and keep us from the deception of works and appearance, from the temptation to count the gain and avoid the cost – so that we will truly and daily manifest, in your time, the fruits you wish us to bear.

_________________________________

*Pay attention to that which we first judge unimportant … it may be the fulcrum of undersanding.

**Shoes – The place where everyone walking along the Way contacts the world.  The substance retreading the soles of the shoes cushions against sharp stones on our path, insulates us from the chill and heat. The retreading provides a firm grip, not slipping. Every walk, gait and foot is different requiring different shoes. No matter how far one progresses, there is no wear, the shoes are new every day.

7/31/2013 -- Have recently noted that in the book Pilgrims Progress (John Bunyan. 1690, written while in prision for preaching the Gospel in England)  -- at the Palace Beautiful early in the story -- Christian, as part of his armor, recieved shoes that would never wear out.

The Original Church

posted May 30, 2013, 1:37 PM by David Gerhart   [ updated Jun 1, 2013, 9:09 AM ]

Three verses prior to his prophesy about the "Day of the Lord", Zechariah says of the Sword of the Lord:

"Strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will be scattered; then I will turn my hand against the little ones." Zech. 13:7

It is widely understood that Jesus was to the Disciples in His age as Pastors are to the Church in our age.

In many new testament instances we read of the Disciples questioning Jesus, his answers, encouragements and cajoling.  His teaching was interactive, participatory, focused on 12 men.  When He sent them out it was two by two.  After Pentecost the examples detailed consistently feature a single speaker and helper going out to "Preach the Gospel."

Preaching is so strongly featured in scripture, the "Church" as we've become used to it, revolves around a single someone giving a speech in a lecture format.  Out of a "successful" ministry, the Pastor publishes commentaries, daily readers, and self-help how-to books.  To Sunday services, toss in some "worship" and don't forget the offertory interlude ... perhaps coffee in the "fellowship" hall were "drive-by" Christianity blossoms.  Communion anyone?  We are less surprised by a video or skit, or some other props.  I once saw a Preacher (whom I respect) drive his Harley onstage to use it in a manner that seemed to make sense at the time.  Christians hear sermons live in groups of thousands, over the radios in our cars in 22 minute sound bytes so there is time to stump for money and sell books, DVD's and trips to Israel.  We watch preaching on TV and it gets worse.  We download and listen later.  Pretty convenient! All very sanitary and consumer oriented.  Lucrative products with stunning economic size (estimated $1T in 2009.)   Which is a very, very bad sign.

Plainly, the evidence of scripture is that preaching was associated with Evangelism.  This is the Gospel going out to unbelievers. 

When the Original Church met -- comprised of committed believers -- the time was filled with news and digesting current events, hearing of Godly experiences.  The meeting was collaborative, supportive and designed to build up relationships between believers, strengthen the roles of men and women both in congregation and at home.  This sounds more like a Workshop than a "Church Service."

Paul speaking on orderly worship:

"...When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.  If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret.  If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God.  Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.  And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop.  For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged.  The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets.  For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people." 1 Cor. 14:26-33

One can imagine that by having two or three brothers sharing on this and that, each contributing in various ways, it prevented an individual from drawing all of the attention to themselves, it spread the responsibility for preparation which provided avenues for more perspectives to enter the dialogue. Such diffusion of interests insulated the group from having a particular view or doctrine become unbalanced in their catechism.  Further, by having "the others weigh carefully what is said" -- consensus is forged before dispute can take advantage of a vacuum.

Notably: by having several lead the meeting, the credit -- as well as condemnation could be shared.  If enemies captured one, the fellowship could fall back, regroup and begin again, only fractionally reduced.  This is participatory Christianity and very exciting to imagine!

As alluded to at the top of this post: We should be paying attention.  We may need to revert to these habits.  Elsewhere in this site is discussed the "Great Falling Away" ... and that it will be precipitated by the "Great Deception" whereby many turn from the faith.  What percentage of believers are hungry enough for Gods word to become active in their faith?  Few. What percentage, if their pulpit was suddenly empty and not refilled -- would gather themselves and continue privately?  Even fewer.

Paul goes on to RECOMMEND (using the word should) that Women remain silent...  ouch, right?  He then strengthens his argument citing Hebrew law.  But he doesn't stop there.  The next few assertions he makes outline an order that political and social engineering has been battling into non-existence in our Western Culture -- that families in balance are represented in Church by Husbands and those Husbands are at work at home to develop their families, most especially answering spiritual needs of his Wife.

"Women[f] should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. Or did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? If anyone thinks they are a prophet or otherwise gifted by the Spirit, let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. But if anyone ignores this, they will themselves be ignored. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way."  1 Cor. 14:34-40

That we are missing the point seems clear.  Smaller "Home Churches" may be the nearest present-day representation of the proper diversity of the Body of Christ.  The homogenization of believers into large flocks of church-going, look, sound and act-alike drones, is to kill off the intended life that Paul is pushing for.  We tend to "enjoy" the same narrow spectrum of music, prefer a stale list of subjects and keep all of it safely at arms length by only engaging in 1-way encounters (sitting through services or crashing through podcasts at the gym.) The stink of death rises from the Laodicean Church.  She is RICH with the wealth of knowledge.  But not wise.  The end-times Church is full of real believers, but they are being poorly served and encouraged to remain listless, lukewarm.  They are being mislead out of convenience and connivance.

We need to re-think "Church" and quickly.

Vultures already infest the pews.  And false teachers regale their followers from the dais.  The incredible fact is that Church blindness is so pervasive, and that deafness is so silencing -- those Vultures and False Teachers live with great confidence and pride that they're right and on a true path.

Lord!  

The small book, bitter in the gut

posted May 21, 2013, 12:14 PM by David Gerhart   [ updated May 29, 2013, 12:47 PM ]

"So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, "Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but 'in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.' I took the little scroll from the angel's hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour."  Rev 10:9-10

In Revelation 10, John is fed the small book that becomes bitter in is stomach -- a picture of what precedes vomiting up a poisonous meal.

"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!  So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked."  Rev 3:15-17 

These verses are never related?  Why?

In the old testament, the picture of atonement and the book of life are prominent.  In Revelation the scroll with seven seals is opened.  What is this small scroll that caused John's nausea?  

In the Revelation 3 instance, Jesus is directing his comments to the lukewarm church.  So why haven't scholars related the small book bitter in John's stomach to the latter-day church?  What doctrines are prominent in these times?  Which beliefs are prevalent with the wealthy, self-confident, idle, self-indulgent church?  Which of these are sweetest to men?  To name one: Rapture Theory.

"But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes.  He asked, 'How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?' The man was speechless.  Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' "  Mat 22:11-13

 In the Parable of the Wedding Banquet (also found in Luke 14:16-24) the unwanted guest was expelled.  And the summation is given:

"For many are called, but few are chosen."  Lu 14:16.

Interestingly, this summation is repeated in the unique Parable of the the Workers in the Vineyard given in Mat 20:1-16.  It is accompanied by Jesus emphasizing:

"But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first."  Mat 19:30 and again Mat 20:16.  Are we paying attention?

This is a difficult message for Christians to engage.  Christianity today is rife with defense of the idea that believers will be "taken out" before great tribulation happens on earth.  Despite all of the evidence that God protects the faithful, church leadership insists the only way the Almighty can accomplish this is by removing them from earth.

In another post (click here to open it), the discussion revolves around how church leaders will expel some "thinking they are doing God a service."  Woe to the absent and negligent Shepherds!  It's the Lord himself who will ultimately cast out the unworthy.

Peter encourages us, in his detailed warning against false prophets:

"Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;  and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."  2 Peter 1:4-8

It seems interesting, that as much as church leadership assumes they possess the attributes, their blindness and deafness increases.  Isaiah laments "Ariel" or  "Lion of God" -- a type of Jerusalem and the Church...

"Or if you give the scroll to someone who cannot read, and say, "Read this, please," they will answer, "I don't know how to read."  The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught. Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish."  Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the LORD, who do their work in darkness and think, "Who sees us? Who will know?"  You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, "You did not make me"? Can the pot say to the potter, "You know nothing"?   Isa 29:12-16

Their worship is based on human rules they have been taught?  Latter day theories?  How many attend churches based solely on the hope of escape, and what will be the result if / when they learn the theory isn't actual?   Could this be the difficulty, the "doctrine too hard to accept" -- like it was in Jesus' time?  "And many walked with him no more."

Selah.









Hebrews 13

posted Apr 6, 2013, 12:05 PM by David Gerhart

"I've been hoping you'd call."

There are many believers that who presently find themselves "outside the gates."   The gates of the the latter-day church have become a point of separation -- between followers of God and followers more beholden to the personalities and messages proffered in the church.

Still, we are to honor our "leaders" ... and this provides a natural opportunity for our common enemy.  Conflict, discord.

Charles Spurgeon:

"The Christian’s reason for leaving the camp of the world’s sin and religion is not because he loves to be singular, but because Jesus did so; and the disciple must follow his Master."

Paul writing to the Hebrew Christians:

"Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so." Heb 13:9

Christ died for us, outside the camp.  We also note that His accusation and persecution began inside those gates.

It is proper to remember that persecution for standing, or being shunned -- is a method the Lord uses to instruct BOTH parties.  In one case the humility of being oppressed, in the other the possibility of  conviction.  

Callous, loveless discipline is not biblical.   Love costs us something.  Casting out those with differences to enforce commonality is the very definition of Xenophobia.

For those outside, we are not permitted to rail against methods but instead return honor.

"Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account." Heb 13: 17

"Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith." Heb 13:7

We consider outcomes, NOT methods.  Many are the promises of blessing if we wait on the Lord ...

And finally Paul's prayer - in it's wonderful simplicity and grace...

"I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon" Heb 12:19

When `Putting on` is a put-on ...

posted Mar 22, 2013, 8:38 AM by David Gerhart

Put on ... the full armor, the righteousness of Christ ... there are many and varous scriptural instructions to clothe oneself in the garments of Christian life.

I heard a speaker insist that a person can be kind, even when they feel like hell.   Wearing on the outside something that we aren`t on the inside sounds like a facade.  It sounds like it`s not genuine.  It sounds like a lie.

Jesus said that adultry is committed in the heart.  Murder also.  In the heart.  Over and time again Christ insisted `it is not what goes into (or onto) a man that contaminates him (or cleanses), but what comes out of the mouth, for out of the heart the mouth speaks.

Authenticity requires that when one puts on the mantel of Christ we not only look like the love we appear to have but that we actually have the love in our hearts.

God knows the heart of man better than man himself.

`I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to thier conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.` Jeremiah 17:10

Unpardonable sin

posted Jan 11, 2013, 12:45 PM by David Gerhart   [ updated Jan 11, 2013, 12:50 PM ]

Calvinism (the strict variety) says that the Lord pre-ordains (from before creation) those he'll redeem, sanctify and bring into his kingdom.  Seems that the system is rigged?  Arminism at the opposite end of the "Reformed" church says "once saved always saved."  Meaning there is an aspect of self-determinism.  An awakening to the truth, that results in a choice.

Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit." John 3:5

Scripture says that men can permanently end their hope of Heavenly relations -- by denying Christ.  Which by implication must mean we have a choice; and among big theological questions circulates those on the existence and extent of free will.  

Blasphemy "... the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for a religious deity or the irreverence towards religious or holy persons or things."

Opposite contempt is reverence.  "The fear of the Lord--that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding." Job 28:28

  • Warning:  this is a hard read.  And a bit longer than usual...
  • Spoiler alert: Christians need to begin this study by pointing fingers at ourselves (first removing the beam from our own eye...)

The "Emergent Church" has drifted significantly.  But so also have traditional "conservative" denominations.  Doctrines have surprising similarities and subtle differences across church boundaries.  

Do apostasy and blasphemy overlap?  Which acts are unpardonable?  Which beliefs are apostasy?

Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you." Deuteronomy 4:2

"And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book." Rev. 22:19

Clearly included in scripture but seldom (and thinly) taught is the issue of Presumptive sin.   The Example of Korah's Rebellion directly follows instruction  in Numbers 15 on sin of presumption. 

“‘But anyone who sins defiantly, whether native-born or alien, blasphemes the Lord, and that person must be cut off from his people. Because he has despised the Lord’s word and broken his commands, that person must surely be cut off; his guilt remains on him.’” Numbers 15:30-31

This is then illustrated by the story of Korah and his followers when they presumed to assert position and power, replacing the anointed leaders of the Lord. 

"Korah... rose up against Moses. With ... 250 Israelite men, well-known community leaders who had been appointed members of the council.  They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, “You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?”  Nu. 16:1-3.

Korah rebelled against and "presumed" equality with the Lords' appointed men and processes ... and suffered the judgement consequences.  He and his people were swallowed by the earth.  Quite an image -- to be damned directly to hell.

As emerging church doctrines reinterpret, replace, even substitute new theology for biblical doctrines, God may act very quickly.  God is not patient in His treatment of deceptive leaders (ones who use Christianity for the pursuit of wealth, power and fame.)  This is open rebellion against the truth.  Perhaps within a single generation we will witness Gods wrath.  

Apostasy is  '... defection or revolt', from (or) is the formal disaffiliation from or abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person.

Emergent doctrines aren't Apostasy.  They are Blasphemy, and sins of purposeful presumption.  Selective reinterpretation of scripture to exert an extra-biblical inclusiveness is this kind of error.  Examples include prosperity by faith, divorce, couples living together out of wedlock, LGBT clergy. 

"Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us." 1 John 2:18-19

God loves us each and everyone, but we must accept his law, not attempt to justify our error.  The examples given above are not "sins unto death" ... but are opportunities to turn ... "repent! for the Kingdom of heaven is near."  The do's and don'ts are clearly given in scripture.  Changes taking place in our churches are important for true believers to note and respond to:

"If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death." 1 John 5:16-17

Since Jesus claimed to be the "...way, the life and truth..." rebellion against His message of salvation is the very definition of the unpardonable sin.  There is no way to the Father except through the Son, and so rejecting the Son means eternal separation from the Father -- an unpardonable sin against the free, divine gift of saving Grace.

John 8:33

posted Jan 4, 2013, 12:22 PM by David Gerhart   [ updated Jan 4, 2013, 12:25 PM ]

"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:33

"I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."  John 14:6


"Truth, a predicate representing inclusion in a domain, is the logical property by virtue of which one thing may be identified and distinguished from another at any level of resolution."  Christopher Langan  

In his work The Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe Mr. Langan explores new avenues that assert a creator must exist because a language of the universe definitely exists. (If that less-than adequate description can summarize his rigorous treatment.)   While some have called him the smartest man alive, Christopher is not credentialed in a "traditional" sense -- he has no diplomas, he's not a Post-Doc researcher theorizing within the confines of his education.  

An enjoyable truth:  "The Lord trains the called. He seldom calls the trained."

Congratulations Christopher!  Thank you for your efforts on intelligent design and bringing so many diverse points in the spectrum of science and philosophy into a single discussion.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."  John 1:1-5


1-10 of 37