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Monday, May 30, 2011

This is a sample on Facebook of how Many Americans feel about Mexicans.docx - Google Docs

This is a sample on Facebook of how Many Americans feel about Mexicans.docx - Google Docs

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shall We Trust the Specific Word of God, Or Man's Interpretation?


The following is a repost of an article that appeared on the "Hearken the Watchmen" web site, of which permission has been granted.
This article is part of a special series dealing with the issue of the Rapture by author Joe Ortiz. This series argues against the “pretribulation Rapture of the Church in the Last Days.







     The Rapture debate will continue regardless of what we may believe, as it has for decades. We can only hope that our contribution to the dialogue will help to inform those whose interest lay in the topic and/or hopefully can allay the fears of those who suffer much anxiety in regards to the times we are experiencing. Many believe the return of Jesus Christ is imminent, based primarily on the ever increasing apocalyptic notions that permeate our highly advanced technological messenger-modus operandi.
     One thing is certain, who ever chooses to submit their views on the matter, needs to insure their polemic is as accurate as possible to the original intent of God’s word, or they shall find themselves going against it.
     First and foremost, we have been commanded not to add to the word of God, (Deuteronomy 4:2). While we have been given direct access to God’s word, as is stated in Proverbs 30:5, that every jot and tittle is pure, many fail to render the true meaning of many of His words as we proved in our last column concerning the true meaning of the word “left” in Luke 17:34-36. There we learned the word “left” in those verses actually means to forgive rather than to abandon to suffer God’s wrath. But, as we have seen in the works of many self-proclaimed prophets throughout the centuries (but more so in these latter days), Ecclesiastes 5:7 tells us that behind their prophesies, visions, dreams and many words lay diverse vanities. Sadly, in this day and age where many profess to be prophets of God (claiming they can see Bible predictions of famine, pestilence, earthquakes, and wars unfolding by virtue of CNN reports), we can see that that the true famine is in hearing the true words of God, as we read the prediction that was made by the prophet in Amos 8:11 being more profoundly fulfilled than ever before. 
    Moreover (as I explained in depth the major difference in the meaning between ‘prophecy’ and ‘predictions’ on my blog dated December 28, 2009), much of the religious rhetoric we see in the eschatological marketplace has caused great confusion for those who seek to understand the true intent of God’s word.
     We have been warned by God “not to hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, (Deuteronomy13:3). God tells us the consequences that ‘false’ prophets will experience for altering His word in Deuteronomy18:20. We are also told in Deuteronomy 21:5 that by His word, all of our “controversies” will be tried.
     As concerns the Rapture to Heaven doctrine, let me state that God’s word clearly does not provide any succinct scripture to validate this theory. Many eschatologists (especially in the last 180 years, or so) have promoted this escape from tribulation to Heaven doctrine by claiming that much scripture proves this theory; however, most of the verses theorists use are primarily based on assumption, conjecture or inference, while much scripture blatantly states otherwise. For example, who can objectively deny the veracity of the following verses? Speaking about Jesus’ present location, we read from the author of the book of Acts that while Jesus will eventually return, we are told that, heaven must receive (Jesus) until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. Acts 3:18-21. Obviously, if the Rapture to Heaven is to occur seven years before the 2nd Advent, the restitution of all things is far from being accomplished. Secondly we hear this most specific prayer to God from Jesus Himself, that His disciples not be Raptured to Heaven, but clearly and specifically He makes the opposite plea to the Father hours before His crucifixion, as He states, My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one, (John17:9-15).
     Many well-intentioned eschatologists are genuinely convinced their polemic is correct; however the Apostle Paul also claims that some of them have a hidden agenda. He warns us that many actually practice deceit, but like Paul, we 2have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God, (2 Corinthians 4:1-6).
     I prefaced the above remarks to set the introduction of the portion of my book that I have attached today, which I hope will provide you with a better understanding concerning the doctrinal camp I abide by, which is none other than the word of God, which I believe speaks for itself. The prevailing doctrinal perspectives are examined and are included in the Prologue of my first book, The End Times Passover, of which the subtitle of this book reads: Etymological Challenges to Millenarian Doctrines.
     In essence, in the Prologue, which was written after I completed my original manuscript, I address from the outset an issue which I face daily. Which is, while many claim they view my polemic as emanating from specific doctrines such as Premillenialism, Futurism, Preterits, Amillennialism, Postmillennialism, Pre, Mid, or Post Tribulationalism, or even Pre-Wrath, I will not be marginalized (nor adhere) to belonging to any doctrinal camp whatsoever. While each of the doctrines of the many eschatologists whose material I examined deeply contains much truth, my perspective comes from no loyalty to any specific doctrinal camp other than the explicit word of God as can best be discerned.
     At the beginning of my walk with Christ (which began on January 5, 1975), until about 1983, I was an adamant supporter of the Pre-Tribulation to Heaven theory. Although I was born and raised in the Catholic Church, I stopped attending at age thirteen. Twenty years later I accepted Jesus Christ and began attending an Assemblies of God church in Montebello, California. The majority of my Bible studies training came mostly from Pentecostal preachers and teachers who, for the most part, adamantly believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture to Heaven doctrine. However, after reading and studying a myriad of books on eschatological matters, and comparing their content with God’s word(s), I’m sad to say that the majority of them did not present a consistent polemic that could substantiate a discernible pattern and fluidity to build a logical understanding to the message that God intended for His creation. While many of these books presented clear and concise scripture to build on a specific doctrine at the outset, further on the authors boxed themselves into a corner, forcing them to present unsustainable scripture to prove their point, which upon closer scrutiny was not consistent with the precise meaning of the verses they quoted. Once again, like the example we presented concerning the true meaning of the word left in Luke 17:34-36, many of the author’s unclear interpretation of certain words forced the reader down the wrong path and away from the direction that scripture was unveiling when they began their dissertation.
     Basically, whenever these authors made a specific comment, statement or arrived at a specific conclusion, and cited a scripture verse to validate their claim, I went to the Bible to examine the verses they used to ascertain if their proclamation was accurate. For example, Hal Lindsey, the author of the book, The Late Great Planet Earth (recognized as the preeminent author on the Rapture doctrine) made many references throughout his book that the church is a mystery which has been hidden from all ages past. Lindsey used Ephesians 3:10 and 11 as proof that “God is teaching the angels His manifold wisdom through the body of Christ, and that is in accordance with the purpose of the ages, which is made possible through Jesus our Lord. Upon closer examination of that group of verses, they plainly reveal that through the church the mystery hidden throughout the ages is the manifold wisdom of God which should be made known to the rulers and authorities by the church. Some people may not consider this aspect as important nor relevant to Lindsey’s Rapture polemic; however, millions of Christians who have read that book believe that statement and have passed it along to others who didn’t (nor would spend the time to) verify if Lindsey’s statement was accurate. It is blatant statements and claims such as these that have compounded error upon error distorting the word of God and thereby causing a greater degree of confusion to those who earnestly seek God’s truth.
     As the reader will see after they read the prologue to my book, they will also understand the study approach I used to glean the information presented in both of my books. They will hopefully recognize that I tried most adamantly to remain neutral to most and any of the existing doctrines that are being promoted, and tried to view the material presented by many of the authors in an objective manner.
     As the attached prologue will reveal, I removed any previous doctrinal precepts I was exposed to during the first ten years of my journey with Christ, and allowed myself no other doctrine to influence my research other than trusting solely and exactly what God’s word (as originally written in the original manuscript) revealed. I then compared that exact word and meaning with how it was used in other verses, to gain a more clear and precise understanding as to what each word clearly meant.
     As the reader will see and soon realize, the myriad of doctrinal battles that exist today are based more so on hearsay, culture, tradition and the denominational subjectivism that has ensued for several hundred years in their respective churches. Rather than allowing God’s specific words to define their actual meaning, we have allowed our congregational loyalty to dictate what God is telling His children, rather than listening to God Himself. Click on The End Times Passover Prologue to read today’s attachment.
~
Joe Ortiz has the distinction of being the first Mexican American in US history to conduct a talk show on an English-language, commercial radio station. He began his broadcasting career in 1971 at KABC TALK RADIO 790 AM in the highly competitive Los Angeles media market. He went on to become an award-winning broadcaster, news reporter and newspaper columnist in Los Angeles for over 20 years. Joe writes regularly on his two blogs The End Times Passover and Why Christians Will Suffer Great 
Tribulation.



Sunday, May 08, 2011

Pretrib Rapture Vs. FACTS (No. 2) by Dave MacPherson

 
All of us at The End Times Passover Blog are always excited when renowned author Dave MacPherson calls upon us to help him share insights concerning the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. As many of you know, Dave has spent over forty years researching this matter. He has provided much data that explains how the Pre-Tribulation Rapture to Heaven doctrine exploded on the scene in the mid-1800's, and who was really responsible for creating the biggest myth that has divided the church more than any other polemic in its history. Following is the 2nd edition of a series of material that Dave has chosen to reveal to the public through this blog. We feel privileged and honored to be his official pulpit.

~
Have you heard that I'm a criminal? It's true. I'm a criminal in the eyes of pre-tribulation rapture promoters for daring to reveal the year when 19th century British theologian John Nelson Darby first understood the concept of a pre-trib rapture and, more importantly, the year when he first began to actually teach it. Here are some real pretrib quotes followed by real facts:

     "John Darby arrived at a pretrib rapture belief as early as 1827."

     FACTS: My previous installment (No. 1) mentioned this claim which was proven to be groundless. 1827 is the date of Darby's first paper (on any subject). Even the great Darby defender of our time, R. A. Huebner, couldn't find anything more significant in it than these themes: "our conversation is in heaven" and "the church is a heavenly people." And Huebner avoided admitting that Darby, in that same paper, was then waiting for only "the restitution of all things" and "the times of refreshing" (Acts 3: 19, 21) - both in a posttrib setting!
     Incidentally, after Huebner admitted later on that his initial claim for 1827 really was groundless, pretrib defender Thomas Ice (while admitting that he knew that Huebner had in effect canceled out that claim) kept stating that Huebner "has positive evidence" that Darby was pretrib in 1827 - and a scan of the internet demonstrates that Texas "hired gun" Ice has been repeating this falsehood since 1991 and that many pretrib scholar wannabes have unwittingly been echoing the same Texas repeater!


     "John Darby's later reminiscences prove he was pretrib in 1827."


     FACTS: Even John Bray, who calls himself a posttrib, has provided ammunition for the dying pretrib cause by claiming that Darby, in his later years, said he was pretrib as early as 1827. A "memory" Darby had (in his 1835-1838 time period which recalled his earliest prophetic development) focused on Isaiah 32 which brought Darby his "first blessed truths" including "a complete change in the dispensation" in the future, but Darby said nothing in this recollection of his of any sort of rapture belief. While analyzing that chapter, Huebner found only a future millennial scenario and also a church/Israel distinction (even though "church" isn't mentioned!) - but no prior rapture!
     But Darby's second "memory" (dated 1850) of his earliest prophetic progress did reveal the year he first came to "understand" (his term) a prior rapture disconnected from the final advent to earth - and he stated that he first understood this new concept in 1830 (and not 1827)! He came to understand it in 1830 because that new belief was first publicly aired in Rev. Edward Irving's quarterly journal in September of 1830 and Darby admitted that he was an avid reader of it. Darby also admitted that he visited Irving's church and heard him preach. Darby, by the way, never claimed to have originated pretrib rapturism. (Darby's writings are still being reprinted by Bible Truth Publishers of Addison, Illinois.)
     So why do today's paid "lobbyists" for the pretrib view (like Thomas Ice, Tim LaHaye, Grant Jeffrey, Hal Lindsey, Jack Van Impe etc.) keep trying to portray a pretrib Darby in 1827? Because the documentation in my book "The Rapture
Plot" proves that the Irvingites as well as their inspiration, Margaret Macdonald, taught pretrib BEFORE Darby did and that Darby didn't clearly adopt it before 1839! By repeatedly emphasizing "1827" for Darby, they falsely have him preceding 1830 (the year associated with Margaret and the first public teaching by the Irvingites) - and with their falsehood they think they can disassociate their idol Darby from the less-than-orthodox Irvingites who even had some occultic notions and associations!
 


     "Darby was dispensationalism's great systematizer."

     As my "Rapture Plot" book brings out, a "system" was something that Darby
looked on with evident disfavor.

     In some undated writing (possibly produced in the 1840s), Darby said: "A system takes the place of godly subjection to the word."
     In 1866 he wrote: "I should deplore as ruinous, slipping into the place of followers of a system of doctrine."
     In 1880 he remarked: "Truths are sometime simpler, when we take them simpler and do not make a system."
     John Darby, as mentioned, never claimed to have originated the pretrib rapture view. And it's apparent that we shouldn't view him as a systematizer. But he certainly was a world-class promoter of the new pretribism; when referring to it in his correspondence he admitted that "the thoughts are new," called it the "new wine," etc. And we can safely regard him as a revisionist (of
some of his early thoughts) and even as a plagiarist (see my "Rapture Plot" book for sources for all of the evidence presented in this installment)! 

     Those who continue to label Darby as the "father of dispensationalism"  (even though Darby wasn't original with any crucial aspect of that doctrine!) will in truth be telling the world that they are merely copyists and not researchers!
     Finally, my thanks go to my California friend and theologian, Joe Ortiz, for providing this platform here for my many decades of historical discoveries.

     If you haven't read Joe's two books, which are exceptional in debunking many of the 'pop prophecy' books in the Christian literary marketplace, you have to do so before we are caught up to have that meeting in the air with Jesus. Of course Jesus never takes us back to Heaven, but immediately brings us back to earth with Him, as Joe aptly proves in his well researched book, The End Times Passover." 
~

For more information about Joe Ortiz and his books, please click on The End Times Passover and Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation To access his web sites and blogs, please click on Joe Ortiz.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Are you Starving at the Father's Table?

     So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed My lambs." --John 21:15

     There is today no lack of Bible teachers to set forth correctly the principles of the doctrines of Christ, but too many of these seem satisfied to teach the fundamentals of the faith year after year, strangely unaware that there is in their ministry no manifest  Presence, nor anything unusual in their personal lives. They minister constantly to believers who feel within their breasts a longing which their teaching simply does not satisfy.
     I trust I speak in charity, but the lack in our pulpits is real. Milton's terrible sentence applies to our day as accurately as it did to his: "The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed." It is a solemn thing, and no small scandal in the Kingdom, to see God's children starving while actually seated at the Father's table. The Pursuit of God, p.8, By A.W. Tozer

     Brother Tozer is so “right on” about the sheep dying of hunger. Oh, they are getting many messages from other sheep who like to boast how much knowledge of the scripture they possess; some to the point of ad nauseum infinitum. By this we mean that that these ersatz evangelicals believe their views (or misinterpretation of the Bible) are more accurate than others, and who also feel they possess sufficiently enough (or more) wisdom than their audience, feeling superior enough to even pass judgment on them.  Sadly, it has become more fashionable for many to boast they have a better grasp of scripture rather than feeding their listeners with the message God would have them receive.
     Nowadays, teaching or sharing the basic message of salvation that should serve as scripture-building blocks to greater wisdom, many in the church choose to debate such issues as the trinity, predestination and discerning the signs of the end of the world.
      Yes, I wrote a book (The End Times Passover) twenty-five years ago about the perception many have about the Rapture to Heaven and Left Behind mythology. My purpose was to biblically debunk that titillating message and warn the church of God that it would not escape tribulation. My books most certainly did not deal with predictions or the signs of the times, no life-saving suggestions and most certainly no date settings whatsoever. Those who have read it completely, recognize the Bible tells us that God’s children will indeed experience much tribulation; but (sadly) they are not prepared to endure perilous times, because they are not being fed the truth!
     Yet, the incessant debates on matters of eschatology are aflame more so than ever due to the more visible life crisis and smoldering events being reported via the advanced communications technology that was nonexistent twenty years ago. Now, anyone who has a computer has jumped into the fray and has become a prognosticator of future events and a prophet of doom. The major problem with this is their failure to recognize that true prophecy has nothing to do with predicting the future, nor discerning that the calamitous events we are experiencing should be based on their analysis of news items and misinterpretation of Old Testament prophecies. True prophecy is about proclaiming the will of God!
     Throughout the entire Bible, especially in the New Testament, God has provided us with all the wisdom and knowledge we need to walk with Him until His return. We are told that no one knows when that time will come, nor should we concern ourselves with times and epochs, that only the Father knows that precise date. Yet, modern day (and self appointed) prophets are more preoccupied with matters of the end times rather than feeding the sheep.
     Rather than being fed the food that builds faith and the knowledge the sheep need to pick up their cross and follow Jesus more effectively, they are being inundated with paranormal minutia (such as UFOlogy, demonology, secret societies and conspiratorial machinations) that few have any control over. While some of these theories of ancient knowledge are illuminating, these matters are not equipping the servants of Christ with the knowledge that God wants them to have to carry their respective crosses.
     Throughout the New Testament, in the writings of Paul and others, God has given us specific guidelines to strengthen our faith through prayer and worship. He has provided us with all the wisdom to deal with all of the personal and societal relationships and issues we face daily through proverbs, and how to overcome our fears under all circumstances. He has provided instructions and guidelines as to how the sheep should collectively work together and, more importantly, how we should practice true religion, (James 1:26-27).
     Yet, the sheep are starving. Rather than receiving meat, they are being fed milk. Rather than moving from a pablum diet to full course Bible banquet, and teaching others how to be leaders in their respective environments, they are being fed spiritual soup de jour rather than a loaf of true bread, which can only come from above (Matthew 16:11-12; John 6:32-35, 41, 48, 50, 51, 58; 1 Corinthians
5:8).

     When Jesus asked John to feed my sheep (John 21:15), we know He wasn’t speaking about filling the stomach, but encouraging him that the true word of God does not include a diet of man-perceived esoteric information, but rather God’s wisdom that sustains the heart and soul. Some sheep may complain they are receiving only small portions of the same grain each day. Some may not be ready for bigger portions, yet. However, the planting and harvesting of the kernels of God’s wisdom are sufficient to meet our every need. Empowered by the living waters of Holy Spirit, the specific seeds of God’s knowledge should produce flocks that will begat more sheep to the glory of the Kingdom of God.
     It has been written and recorded that Americans are the most well-fed nation in the world, one whose citizens also have become the most obese. We Americans (Christians included) have become the most indulgent people in the world. Because we have so much more abundance that other countries don’t have, we have also become so spoiled that food no longer represents basic sustenance, it has become a preoccupation (think of TV shows like Man Vs Food, Food Wars, etc.). 
     It’s the same with the titillating and soothing gospel we are being fed today, religious-style dogma that fails to feed the hungry hearts of a spiritually dying nation. Rather than focusing on the widows, the poor, the orphans, the aliens and others in need, we fill ourselves to the brim with seductive dogma and other ungodly distractions to our own demise. It is unnecessary information and such data (regardless of their religious overcoats) that fails to build up the faith that produces the fruit of the spirit that is so sorely needed in these perilous times we live in.
Peter? Do you love me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed My lambs.”
     Who prepares your meals, and what’s on your plate, O fellow disciple?

For more information about the author’s two books, The End Times Passover and Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation. To access his web sites and blogs, please click on Joe Ortiz.