Sunday, August 31, 2014

A roundup of news stories about people who have technology implanted in their bodies, AKA microchips

It's amazing how far medicine has advanced in my lifetime. I remember the first transplanted heart operation (1967). The first test tube baby (1978). The first cloned mammal (Dolly the Sheep, 1996).

Now it seems that every other day some company or other is touting the benefits of a chip under our skin or a removable technological tattoo. The technology is there for the antichrist to embed a tattoo or other technological device so as to keep track of who can buy or sell - and who cannot. (Revelation 13:16).

The technology is there. LOL, I remember how shocking and strange the TV show in 1974 was, The Six Million Dollar Man, the bionic man. Steve Austin, the reconstructed man was actually the first widely televised cyborg. A very nice Terminator, as it were. The show's tagline was "we have the technology" ...

Harve Bennett: Steve Austin, astronaut. A man barely alive.
Oscar Goldman: We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Better, stronger, faster.

Methinks it is God who makes us stronger, better, faster ... by glorification, not technology. And personally, with my plantar fasciitis acting up, I can't wait to be pain free!

Here is a smorgasborg smorgasboard of recent news stories about a chip-

Is there a chip in your future? (not mine!!)

Digital tattoos and advanced phone technology advertised by Motorola

Microchips Will Be Implanted Into Healthy People Sooner Than You Think

Real cyborgs: People who have technology implanted in their bodies
[What's interesting to me in this article was the increase in sales. Why anyone who doesn't need a chip would get one is beyond me. His company is based in Seattle.]
Amal Graafstra sells implantable RFID chips through his website, Dangerous Things (he has an RFID chip in each hand). Traffic has increased from one sale a week in 2012 when he launched the site, to at least one a day now. He sells two different injection kits, for $57 and $99, and he estimates that he's sold two to three thousand chips total.
Here is another story about Amal Graafstra and his chips, from the Irish Examiner-

BIG READ: When man meets machine - Amal Graafstra and his bio-hacking body
Proponents of chip implantation point out that as it stands, there is no single convention for communicating with the range of machines that facilitate our lives. Card readers, ATM machines, smartphones, and building access panels all rely on a myriad of different technologies, from PINs to chips to magnetic strips and security questions. A single RFID implant could provide the single means by which we engage with the technology our lives have come to depend upon.

And that would be the last step, wouldn't it? The single means for the antichrist to track those who are left behind and choose to worship him so they can buy and sell (Rev 13:16-17).

Ultra-compact implantable image sensor using body channel communication
[Wow that's small!]

Technology has come a long way in the last few decades, so quickly.

Religion is represented as a woman

In the bible, religion, whether bad or good, is always represented as a woman.

Mystery Babylon - the first false religion and the last - (and all of them in between) is represented in Revelation 17 as a woman.

And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.” And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. (Revelation 17:3-6)

The church at Thyatira was plagued with idolatry, in the form of a represented Jezebel,

But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. (Revelation 2:20)

Whoredom is spiritual adultery and spiritual adultery is whoredom, Hosea 1:2

When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the LORD.”

On the positive side, Israel is represented as a woman in Revelation 12:1,

And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars

Jesus as the Bridegroom, has sacrificially, lovingly, and eternally chosen the church to be His bride,

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5:25–27)

Public Domain
In the end, the true believers will be forever united with Christ as the wife.

Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb." (Revelation 21:9)

What a day that will be!!! Made perfect and holy, adorned and loved, freed from even the presence of sin. Our Savior, our Groom is a tremendous God!

Seasons change, God stays the same

EPrata photo

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Victoria Osteen: "When we obey God, we're not doing it for God...we're doing it for ourselves"; Bill Cosby responds, video

Two days ago, a friend emailed me the link to an amazing clip of a video going viral. It is a 38-second clip of Victoria Osteen, co-pastor with Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church. In the clip, she is telling the audience that they are to worship themselves, because God is pleased when they do that. I am not making this up.

I assure you.

Here is the transcript courtesy of Cross Map, Heather Clark, the same author as the piece at Christian News I mention and link to below.

Here's Victoria Osteen, speaking to approximately 16,000 attendees,
I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we're not doing it for God-I mean, that's one way to look at it-we're doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we're happy," she declares in the undated 36-second clip with her husband standing by her side and nodding. "That's the thing that gives Him the greatest joy...
So, I want you to know this morning: Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy," Osteen continues. "When you come to church, when you worship Him, you're not doing it for God really. You're doing it for yourself, because that's what makes God happy. Amen?
I searched to see if the video was a hoax. It HAS to be, right? Yet...the Joel graphic was embedded in the video, and the two figures on stage indeed were indeed of Victoria and Joel. Her lips moved in time with the sound of the words, so it hadn't been dubbed or altered. I looked at Snopes and Hoax Slayer but nothing came up. Though the clip was from their website, unfortunately only the Joel-portions of the Lakewood services are put up (that I could find) not the first half with the music and the short message from Victoria prior to when Joel begins his speech.

So I waited.

It kind of took the social media by storm. It is such a blatant statement, shocking to our core. No, we are not surprised an Osteen would say something like this, but it's shocking nonetheless.

In adulterous marriages, when one spouse intuits that the other spouse is engaging in adultery, our brain handles the information. However it is an entirely different story when we are confronted with the cold hard fact of it. We are not surprised, because we kind of cognitively knew it all along, but it is still a shock to the system emotionally, through and through. Or so I read.

The Osteens and all their kin are spiritual adulterers. We know it- cognitively. We know it theologically. But when we see it, we are as emotionally shocked as if Victoria had put rollers on her bed and theatrically performed actual adultery while rolling down Main Street. There is a difference between knowing, and knowing.

Essay edited to include this thought:
What is shocking about Mrs Osteen's speech is that they aren't even bothering to hide their apostasy anymore. Usually they cloak their speeches and comments in Christianese, paying lip service to Jesus. Here, that veneer is ripped away and they simply come out as who they are: evil blasphemers.

Meanwhile Christian News Net published a thorough article on the video and the Osteens. It's here. And that was that. I wasn't going to write about it because Christian News said all there was to say, and better than I could. Until I saw this video on Twitter. It's from Manuel Brambila ‏@mbrambila, who I do not know, retweeted by Bjørn Storm, who I do know. I took a look at the video, it is on Bryant Harris' Youtube page. But because so many of these videos are scrubbed from the net, I downloaded the video to my own hard drive and then put it up here. Hopefully this will keep the Archival Evidence of Gross and Craven Apostasy intact.

Though the Christian News article is good, I think this response is better.



Further reading

Victoria Osteen Ripped for Telling Church 'Just Do Good For Your Own Self'; Worship Is Not for God, 'You're Doing it for Yourself'

A pictorial representation of the churches of Revelation

This is a creative, artistic rendering of my view of the 7 churches in Revelation. The original photo, which I took, is of an abandoned church in the area in which I live. Photographic manipulation and imagination did the rest.

In the first century, there were 7 churches Jesus caused John to write messages for. These were actual churches with actual congregations, doing and saying actual things. Jesus told apostle John, exiled at Patmos, what to write to these congregations. Jesus spoke commendations, criticisms, and instructions. Not all 7 churches were commended. Not all 7 churches were criticized. All had an instruction, though.

The church at Smyrna and the church at Philadelphia were not criticized. The church at Laodicea was not commended. The rest had both.

The churches were: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea.

Can you imagine being assembled on Sunday, hearing a knock on the church door, a messenger arriving and handing a scroll to your pastor, and the pastor reads a letter from the head of the Church, Jesus Christ Himself? Jesus is very much alive and in charge of His global body of worshipers, AKA His bride. He was directly involved then, and He is directly involved now.

Each of the seven churches was not only an actual church but is also a type of church dealing with a problem mentioned in the letters. The problem is not unique to that church for that time. There are always the same kind of systemic problems many churches deal with and have been recurring throughout the centuries. Always, there is a church somewhere that is busy but not alive. Always, somewhere, is a church that is indifferent and lukewarm. On this earth, there is a collection of churches gracefully enduring suffering, or being persecuted. And so on.

Please read Revelation 1-3, it is not hard. Those chapters offer the reader plain language and it's not heavily symbolic. Meanwhile here are my renderings of the churches in Revelation with their pictorial representation of the problem (or commendation) they had. Below the photo essay is a short artist's statement of how the interpretation came about.



Artist statement:

Ephesus: I was struck by the fact they had abandoned their fervent love for Jesus. I imagined how hearing this, John might have felt like he had ashes in his mouth and ears. "Nothing cold as ashes, after the fire is gone." (Loretta Lynn). The photo is as if ashes were smeared on it.

Smyrna: No criticism. Only light, the crown of life in heaven, and joy. The bubbles are angels surrounding the church Jesus commends in love and encouragement.

Pergamos: Compromise was their problem. Anyone who ever had a house built knows that if the contractor compromises on the concrete foundation, cracks appear at the first frost-freeze-thaw cycle. Nothing cracks a structure or an organization faster than compromise. Hence, the cracked door and walls.

Thyatira: This church had a problem with a seductress teaching sexual immorality and the people tolerated it. It is a harlot church, literally. Hence the lipstick on the walls and the hearts and fireworks and pink.

Sardis: Revelation has a change in tone here. Sardis is dead. I used tombstone engraving font for the verse.

Philadelphia: No criticism. This church is loved eternally from above. Its door will never close. Hence the sunburst coming out, the eternal stars above to indicate they will be taken before the wrath, and the font in script like a love letter. This church is beloved in heaven.

Laodicea: Indifferent. Jesus hates that worst of all. He excoriates it with a lengthy invective no other church received in their message. He will vomit this church from His mouth. Hence the bilious green splat from heaven.

(I never said I was THAT imaginative.)

Interlude: The Scripture cannot be broken

I'm working on a very hard-hitting and uncompromising blog essay. In these apostate times it's easy to become depressed at all the false teaching, the turning aside of beloved friends, the wolves coming out of the woodwork. God promised this, He said it would happen and it is.

But His promises of faithfulness are just as sterling and perfect, too. Before I do publish the essay I'm working on I wanted to stop for an interlude. There is a verse I love. It is John 10:35-

If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken—

The verse is part of a longer conversation between Jesus and the Pharisees, but let's focus on the fragment inserted into the verse: scripture can't be broken.

In today's world, everything breaks. I have a Weber Showcase & Fixture Co. turn of the last century Banker's Chair. It is heavy oak, with a steampunk mounting and swivel that would hold a tank. It is well made. Only in the last year did it break. The threads stripped enough so the chair won't stay high at the table for me to use it. In the beginning of the 20th century and the century before, they made things to last.

Now, everything's broken. We have broken marriages, broken homes, disposable toasters, throw away watches. Your TV breaks? Buy another. Dishes are no longer carefully handed down from generation to generation, when they break, just go to Target and buy some more.

Scripture CANNOT be broken. It will never be broken. Pulpit Commentary says of the John 10:35 verse,
cannot he broken; loosed, destroyed. A fine testimony to the confidence which our Lord exercised in the Holy Scripture. He was accustomed to educe principles of life from its inward structure, from its concealed framework, from its underlying verities.
S. Lewis Johnson says of the verse
There is one other point I think we ought to notice. And that’s that little statement, “And the Scripture cannot be broken,” in John 10 verse 35. That gives us some idea of our Lord’s view of the word of God. The Scripture cannot be broken. It is of indefectible authority. It cannot fail and the things that it teaches cannot fail either. All of the designs and purposes of the word of God shall be accomplished, just as all of the designs and purposes of the Son of God shall be accomplished. The Scripture cannot be broken. That’s striking isn’t it?
What joy to see our Savior model complete trust and rest in His Father's word. We do the same. We know that though false religions will come, and wolves and destroyers; so will peace, fulfillment of all the scriptures, and everlasting promises of the Lord our God.

The scripture cannot be broken. In wrapping ourselves in the scriptures, we cannot be broken either. No matter how  upsetting, no matter how concerning, no matter how terrible things get, all the promises God said would happen will happen- including His working things to the good, our coming hope and joy, the Banquet, the rapture, Jesus with us in person, eternal perfect worship. All of it. Because...scripture cannot be broken.

EPrata photo

Friday, August 29, 2014

Loving the unlovable

Love the weird, the crazy, the tactless, the ones who move through the world differently than you do, AKA the unlovable in your church!

I'm one of the weird ones, so I'm grateful for this verse ;)