Thursday, June 30, 2011

Emergent church questioning tactics are bad leaven

I've written before about the emergent church and its apostasy. One of the tactics of the apostate emergent person is to constantly question the bible and its doctrines. "Does hell really exist?" "Would a loving God punish?" "Is hell really eternal?" These and other doctrines are opposed not from a hatchet, but from lightly sprinkled leaven. Leaven-questions are designed by satan to diffuse into the person's heart and chip away at the authority of the bible, the certainty of the Word, and by extension, the questioner's faith.

Here is one example of the questioning tactic, best perpetrated by Emergent Rob Bell, lately known for his book "Love Wins". This quote is from his book 'Velvet Elvis' in which he likens the membrane of Christianity to a trampoline where we all jump and jump:

"But what if, as you study the origin of the word ‘virgin’ you discover that the word ‘virgin’ in the gospel of Matthew actually comes from the book of Isaiah, and then you find out that in the Hebrew language at that time, the word ‘virgin’ could mean several things. And what if you discover that in the first century being ‘born of a virgin’ also referred to a child whose mother became pregnant the first time she had intercourse?"

Bell's 'what if' questions continue:

"What if that [trampoline] spring [the virgin birth] were seriously questioned? Could a person keep on jumping? Could a person still love God? Could you still be a Christian? Is the way of Jesus still the best possible way to live? Or does the whole thing fall apart? . . . If the whole faith falls apart when we reexamine and rethink one spring, then it wasn’t that strong in the first place, was it?”

What he is saying is that the bible is confusing, the plain meaning of virgin could mean several things, and if you apply one of those several definitions to Jesus' birth then the whole 'thing' collapses. But God is stronger than one word, "one spring" in Bell's trampoline he calls Christianity, and the only thing actually falling apart is faith.

One question leads to another. Taking away the plain meaning of a word under the guise of deeper intellectual study of the passages is a very good tactic for chipping away at faith, because the questioner can lull himself into thinking he is performing intellectual study with honestly spiritual intentions. You can read more about the false doctrines of Rob Bell and how to spot them,here.

I had a conversation the other day with a person who has been a Christian for 50 years. She is a pastor's wife. Her husband is not pastoring a church right now and hasn't been for a long time, but he teaches in a community ministry and also teaches adults at a Sunday School. Their son in law is going to seminary. In other words, they look like a faith filled family, but her certainty in the basic doctrines are slowly being chipped away by her husband and son-in-law's constant questioning in a pattern that exactly mirrors what I showed you in the Rob Bell method of hermeneutics.

'I used to believe in the pre-trib stance' she said, 'I was taught that growing up. But now I'm not so sure.' That lack of certainty is torturing her, because as a good Christian she knows the bible isn't unclear, and as a good Christian wife she submits to her husband's teaching. There's a dissonance there that hurts. She didn't say it, but I could see it.

The bible is tightly woven. It is a perfect book. That means you believe it all or you believe none. Once you start disbelieving a central doctrine, like the pre-tribulation rapture, then you have to adjust your thinking in many other doctrines to accommodate your new stream of thought. If you think the rapture will happen later, into the Tribulation (it doesn't matter if you think it will be mid or post tribulation, satan is happy just to get you over the threshold in the time of Jacob's Trouble) then you have to start questioning all of the following:

2 Thessalonians. In that letter, (esp. verses 1-10) Paul sought to reassure the believers there who had been infiltrated with false doctrine. They had been told falsely that they missed the rapture- 'our gathering together to Him' as Paul terms it. Persecution had begun, and so thought that the Tribulation had started and they were out of luck on the rapture doctrine. They were deeply worried. Now, if the default position is that we all go through the Tribulation, why would Paul need to even reassure the Thessalonians that they hadn't missed the rapture?

The Restrainer: The rapture is to occur prior to the Tribulation. When disbelievers start questioning this, they have to resolve the sign that Paul gave in 2 Thessalonians indicating the Day of the Lord. The rapture is distinct from the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord is the period of time when Jesus punishes the corrupt earth. While the rapture can happen any time, The Day of the Lord cannot occur unless and until three things happen and one of those is the Restrainer is taken out of the way. In 2 Thess 2:6-7 Paul says the Day of the Lord won’t happen until and unless the antichrist is revealed, and the antichrist won’t be revealed until the Restrainer is taken out of the way. That’s a reverse timeline. The Restrainer is the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit, indwelling you and me as salt and light in the world. We act as a preservative from the Spirit’s influence in us and in the world. Once He is out of the way, the antichrist can come to the fore in all his corruptness. Now this is timeline presents problems to the post trib believer. Dismissing the plain meaning of the verse is hard to do, so instead they re-define who the Restrainer is. They say 'maybe the restrainer is a lawless governmental system. Yeah, that's it!' [Note: the Spirit doesn't leave the world in the Tribulation, He simply changes ministries, dispensing with one of them: His restraint of evil].

Encouragement: Paul explained in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 about the Day of the Lord in a passage titled, "The comfort of the Lord's Coming". He ended with saying to encourage each other with these words. Jesus said the Tribulation would be worse than a time ever experienced on the earth and never will be so bad again. It will be so bad that no flesh would be left alive if He didn't cut the days short for the elect's sake. Are you encouraged or comforted by the words that Christians will go through the worst time ever, be squashed by hail, have our head chopped off, get hunted, starved, and then martyred? "Be of good cheer! It will be awful but then Jesus will come!" I'm not encouraged. I'm not comforted. It is counter-intuitive to think that Paul would try to cheer up the Thessalonians by reminding them they would be appointed to go through the worst time in the history of the world, even worse than the Flood that wiped out everyone!

Wrath: Paul had written earlier in 1 Thess 5:9 that we are not appointed to wrath. His sentence is very simple: "we are not appointed to wrath." But rather than accept that statement plainly, the emergent questioner poking holes in the pre-trib stance must now resolve that statement to coincide with the fact that the Tribulation is wrath and we will be appointed to it. Indeed, my friend said, "I wonder, what IS wrath, really." Because the bible is tightly woven, one re-definition of a doctrine elicits another. Now they have to figure out what wrath really means. Like Rob Bell wondering what 'virgin' really means. Soon we'll have people saying 'that depends on what the meaning of is is." Oops, we already had that happen. That was President Clinton trying to escape the plain meaning definition of sexual intercourse.

There are more things a post-tribulation believer has to re-define but you get the idea. You can see how, once you drift away from the solidity of the bible's plain doctrines, supported by each other throughout the entire book ("Scripture interprets scripture"), that you have to begin an alternate construction which, because it is a man-made structure, is a house of cards on sand. Believing in the pre-tribulation rapture satisfies all questions and upholds all other doctrines in the bible. Believing in mid or post tribulation rapture elicts more questions ... that must be answered ... which causes more questions ... which induces re-definitions ... and you see how "a little leaven leavens the whole lump." (Galatians 5:8-9). The evil diffusive properties of bad yeast permeates and spoils.

People have said to me, "It doesn't really matter when the rapture takes place, before or in the middle or at the end, does it? It's only a matter of timing." Yes it matters. It is not a matter of timing. It is a matter of leaven.

The glorified properties of truth and the leading by the Holy Spirit into wisdom and understanding uplifts and solidifies, He doesn't create confusion. "Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." (1 Corinthians 5:8).

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Three US nuke plants on edge of disaster

The horrors of the Fukushima Nuclear disaster in Japan after the March earthquake and tsunami are vivid on American minds. Almost immediately it was apparent that the government was not telling near to the truth about the scope of the disaster. Soon the evacuation zone was widened, crops grown near the plants were recalled,  and not long after that, mutation began appearing in the animal ecosystem. A bunny was born without ears. And now, residents who had lived within 40 km are emitting radioactive urine.

From across the Pacific, which proved to be little comfort as a barrier, Americans watched in horror as this nuclear disaster unfolded and as the nuclear cloud wafted our way. The power of the quake and the enormous force of the tsunami shook many people to their core. I know that it did for Christians, who knew they were watching the majesty of the Lord warn us again.

Well it wasn't long before American shared in nuclear horror, as for the last month we have been hovering on the very knife's edge of a similar kind of tragedy. Three nuclear plants are under the Sword of Damocles and no one knows when or if the horsehair will let go. The National Weather Service reports significant flooding is occurring in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. Portions of the Interstate in Nebraska was closed. CNN has a good overview here. Here are some pictures to ground us on where these things are happening and how they impact each other

Here is the news roundup:

Cooper Nuclear Station: Snowpack and rain runoff continue to swell the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. This flooding has damaged or ruined thousands of acres of farmlands, and spring planting was interrupted. Hole cities have been evacuated, homes lost and lives destroyed. Along these waterways are oil refineries, and nuclear power stations. Cooper is one of those nuclear stations that is inches away from inundation. As we all learned from the tragedy at Fukushima, water and nuke plants do not mix. However, unlike Fukushima, the Corps of Engineers and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission knew of the coming flooding weeks ahead and began to prepare. Whether their preps will be enough remains to be seen with at least another month or tow of flooding to come:  "One of the biggest threats to the safety of any nuclear power plant would be a prolonged loss of electrical power because the plants need to be able to continue pumping water over the radioactive fuel to keep it cool...Cooper also has two main lines of outside power, at least three generators on site and a battery system that can power the plant in an emergency. Flooding remains a concern all along the Missouri because of the massive amounts of water the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released from upstream reservoirs. The river is expected to rise as much as 5 to 7 feet above flood stage in much of Nebraska and Iowa and as much as 10 feet over flood stage in parts of Missouri. The corps expects the river to remain high at least into August because of heavy spring rains in the upper Plains and substantial Rocky Mountain snowpack melting into the river basin."

Ft Calhoun: This is more of an issue. The waters have indeed encroached upon the plant, actually inundating parts of it and there has been a fire, power outage for a short time, and failure of a berm yesterday. This local news report from KLKN-TV insists "all is well, no worries and no threats exist." I truly hope that is the case.

The Gavins Point Dam: "Record water flows of about one-point-one million gallons per second are still jetting from Gavins Point Dam into the swollen Missouri River, with no sign of a break ahead for many weeks." This dam is under a lot of pressure as historic, even epic, flows have kept the Corps of Engineers busy for weeks. Nuclear consultant Arnie Gunderson said recently that the issue is the dams and levees upriver. Controlled releases mean more water downstream, which is bad for the Ft. Calhoun and Cooper Station plants, just mere feet away from total inundation. Gavins Point is under pressure, and as a result, the wild rumors going around the internet is that that particular dam is cracked. This article mentions it in an interview with a nuclear regulatory chairman who was on site, inspecting the Gavins Point dam, and the answer is short and to the point: "See that YouTube video about a supposed crack in the Gavins Point Dam? Ruch said that's hogwash. "It's crazy," he said. "The dam isn't cracking, it's performing as designed." Other mentions in that same article are as follows:

* A berm burst near the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station early Sunday, but government officials say the plant remains safe. It has been closed since early April for refueling.
* Flood water surrounded two buildings at the plant, but officials said those buildings can handle flood waters of 1,014 feet above sea level. The river is now at 1,006.3 feet and is expected to crest at 1,008 feet.
Jaczko will visit the plant Monday.
* The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working to secure the levee at Cass County's Lake Waconda, Col. Bob Ruch said.
* Several sand boils, or leaks, have been spotted in the levee that holds the Missouri River back from the dam.

Sand boils or Sand Volcanoes occur when water under pressure wells up through a bed of sand. The water looks like it is "boiling" up from the bed of sand, hence the name. Sand boils can be a mechanism contributing to levee failure during floods. This effect is caused by a difference in pressure on two sides of a levee or dike, most likely during a flood. This process can result in piping, whereby the removal of soil particles results in a pipe through the embankment. The creation of the pipe will quickly pick up pace and will eventually result in failure of the embankment. A sand boil is difficult to stop." [Wikipedia]

All is well, we keep hearing. In my opinion, the news is mixed. Now let's take a look a bit south and east.
Los Alamos Nuclear Lab: Wildfires rage 50 feet from Los Alamos. On the right of the map is the Missouri River basin with the affected dams and nuclear plants.On the left of the map where the pin is shows the Los Alamos Center. Notice that in between is Joplin MO, where the tornadoes were last month. The mid section of the nation has been hit hard.

"The wildfire that surrounds the nuclear lab in Los Alamos, N.M., has grown to at least 61,000 acres amid mounting concerns about what might be in the smoke that's visible from space. Such fear has prompted the Environmental Protection Agency to bring in air monitors, along with a special airplane that checks for radiation levels. So far, officials have not been able to find anything. "Our facilities and nuclear material are protected and safe," Laboratory Director Dr. Charles McMillan told ABC News."

All is well. All is well. Here is a photo.

It does not look as though all is well. Not at all.

The Iranian state news outlet, Press-TV has a good summary here of the situation with American sources noted.

One last thing. I noticed in the above article where there is video also, that the newscaster noted that the smoke can be seen from space, and they show a NASA satellite photo of all the smoke. The Eritrea volcano (Nabro) erupted for the first time ever and the way that the populace knew it erupted was the satellite photo. (News from the sparsely populated and tightly controlled Eritrean civilization rarely makes it outside the border). And the Chilean volcano eruption caused a bunch of satellite photos to be circulated...And the floods can be seen from space, too. (here). If we were astronauts I'm sure I'd be looking at a planet under a lot of smoke, strife, and overall visible negative activity. Our planet is groaning!

The only proper response to the Word

I read Nehemiah 8 this morning. It is a short book in the Old Testament, and it is good. Nehemiah was the fellow who supervised the rebuilding of Jerusalem and alongside Prophet Ezra help to purify the Jewish community that had re-gathered there. Nehemiah was governor and Ezra was the priest and the scribe.

The day came when Ezra called all the adults, and all children who could understand, to come and listen to the reading of the Law. They stood and listened. The Levites were there to help them understand what they were hearing. Soon there were tears, weeping, and crushed hearts. They fell on their faces. "For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law." The Jews realized how far they were from God. But Ezra said not to weep, for it was a day of rejoicing. The Festival of Booths was born, and the people celebrated, giving gifts to those who had nothing, and went their way eating and drinking. It is a short chapter. I recommend reading it.

The response of the people was the only proper response but it is one from which we can gather strength and praise our Savior all the more. First, the people listened to the word. Any walk with the Lord should begin with listening, either by reading yourself and listening with your mind and heart, or listening to a pastor. The people were instructed, and that is a good start.

Then they wept. There are a lot of reasons people weep when they read or hear the Word. It is precise,  beautiful, true, and convicting. It is a gift delivered once for all to the saints, and it is good for reproof, exhortation, and education. The Word also reminds us how far we are from Him, Him as savior and we as sinners forgiven by His blood and His grace. But the Word also reminds us of how close we can be to Him!

Then the people were glad. He restores us! He hears prayer, he regenerates us in His likeness, and we are glad, going forth in joy to know that we CAN know our Savior personally. They celebrated, and they gave gifts. We should do that as well, always being on the lookout for those who are in need to fill that need. Giving the gift of the Word, or our time, or our love or all three!

Finally, the people went away rejoicing but their response to hearing the Word did not stop there. They DID something. In this case it was to begin the Festival of Booths (Sukkot). The Israelites evidenced an emotional response but the instructors encouraged them to apply the words to a spiritual response, and they did so.

What is your response to hearing the word? Do you remain unaffected? Do you fall on your face? Do you weep? Do you rejoice....but remain inactive? Or does hearing the word motivate you to a response in the world that in turn affects others?

Our joy should be all the greater because not only do we have the word, we have the promise of the Word.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." (John 1:1-5)

May He shine brightly in your heart today. If it has been a few days,...weeks...months since you have really listened to the Word, do it today. In Him is life!

18 Children killed in lightning strike

Lightning kills 18 kids at primary school
"A LIGHTNING strike at a primary school in western Uganda has killed 18 students and injured 50. Lightning hit Runyanya primary school in Kiryandongo district, about 225km northwest of Kampala, killing 15 girls and three boys yesterday, police spokeswoman Judith Nabakooba said. "The injured were taken to hospital nearby and 15 of those who were seriously injured were transferred to Mulago hospital," in Kampala, Nabakooba said. Local media reported that a further 21 pupils were burned after lightning struck at a second school in Zombo district, about 380km north of Kampala. Police could not confirm the incident. Nabakooba could not provide an exact figure for the total number killed by lightning in recent weeks, but local newspaper The Daily Monitor reported a total of 28 killed and scores injured in the past week, including Tuesday's incidents. Uganda is experiencing unseasonably heavy rainstorms and concern about the number of recent lightning strikes has prompted lawmakers to demand an official explanation from government."

In this article, though it is stated that lightning strikes are common in that locality, the fact that so many had occurred at once shook the town leaders:

"The lightning hit the victims in a classroom at a school in Kiryandongo, 130 miles north of Kampala, police said. Another 38 children were admitted to hospital. The East African country has suffered a wave of fatal lightning strikes in recent weeks during unseasonably heavy rains. The deaths were debated in parliament on Monday, with MPs calling on the government to come up with strategy to deal with what several termed “a crisis”. "I don’t know which minister is in charge of the lightning but let the government come up with a statement to inform the country on what is going on and how we can manage it,” Speaker Rebecca Kadaga said. Local meteorologists have criticized the government for not providing enough lightning conductors for buildings in storm hotspots. “The 19 were killed in single lightning strike on Monday,” a police spokesman said. “They were ready to leave school but there was a heavy downpour and so they sheltered in the classroom and then, all of a sudden, it struck."

In early June, a lightning strike at Camp Shelby in Mississippi sent 77 cadets to the hospital. Lightning has been busy lately. Similar lightning strikes have occurred in Northern Nigeria, also. "15 killed by Nigeria lightning"

I was heartbroken to read that it was children who were killed, and shocked to see that they had been inside a structure. However, I was not surprised to see the reaction of man, that a 'natural' event had to be managed or even could be managed.

In The Language of God series, I wrote about lightning. You can read that essay here, with scriptures and my interpretation of what lightning strikes may mean. Meanwhile, we can also pray for the families of the little ones taken from earth. I can't imagine the horror and sorrow of the families who learned that eighteen of their children had been killed. In the US, 18 children comprise an entire classroom. Imagine what the headlines would be if a bus filled with children slid off a bridge, killing the kids on board! Or if there had been a fire, or a shooting, or similar tragedy where so many children had lost their loves! It is terrible.

But worse is the response of man. To make statements that lightning must be managed, to refer to man's strength instead of Jesus' mercy, is a worse state of mind and heart. We know that soon, after the rapture, the 'natural' events will not be able to be explained. Until then, brothers and sisters, remain strong and sure of His calling and election in your life, and witness through that strength. Peace and calm He gave to us and in addition, He gave us the Spirit, salvation, and an eternal blessing to dwell with Him. I look to and through and beyond the events like the Ugandan lightning strike, to His hands who holds the lightning bolts, and count my blessing He calls us friend.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Why 'gay pride' is an oxymoron

I've written many times about how language alters perception. How we say words, and the frequency with which we say them, penetrates the brain and footholds are begun. From footholds, we get strongholds. Satan knows this and from the first to the last, he attempts to get us to change meaning. Hell isn't eternal torment... Wrath isn't really wrath... 'Did God really say'?

In 1969 there was "a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. They are frequently cited as the first instance in American history when people in the homosexual community fought back against a government-sponsored system that persecuted sexual minorities, and they have become the defining event that marked the start of the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world." (Wikipedia). The homosexual community itself marks Stonewall as their watershed moment when homosexual issue burst upon the cultural scene with force and violence. In other words, the gay agenda was launched.

One of those bullet listed items was to remove the word homosexual and to use the word gay instead. Though the term 'gay' had been in intermittent use, by the mid twentieth century it had come to be synonymous with homosexual and was considered less pejorative than 'queer.' By the end of the twentieth century various academic disciplines, medicine, journalism, the law, government, business, and industry were regularly including it as standard in their style guides. Once the word fell into common written use for standard disciplines, its verbal ubiquitousness was only a matter of time. The 1960s was the threshold for this word shift, and the Stonewall riots accompanied the bursting-in. Gay was in and homosexual was out.

Gay is so friendly sounding, Homosexual is so...clinical. Queer evokes oddness, but gay is so average, typical, and thus, is non-threatening.

We're all familiar with the rest of the gay agenda. Even the language around the definition of 'gay agenda' is under contention. Liberals say that the gays advocate for rights, while conservatives say that the homosexuals militantly force a minority point of view on the larger society. Add to this linguistic battle, the iteration from deviant homosexuality to gay pride.

Gay pride is an oxymoron. Homosexuality is a sin. To march in parades under the gay pride banner is an open display of rebellion against culture, against morality and most importantly, against God that is so deep that the people doing it have no clue of the eternal destiny that awaits. Trumpeting pride in your sin is egregious and horrifying. It would be the same as if people organized for a parade and marched under banners shouting "Adulterers Awake!" or "Greed is good!" There is no pride in sin, any sin. But to be so militant about one's homosexuality that you go through the streets unashamed, trumpeting carnal desires to one and all, is exactly the scene immediately prior to Sodom's judgment.

Let's take a look at that scene in Genesis 19:1-11:

Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. And he said, “Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.”

And they said, “No, but we will spend the night in the open square.” But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house.  And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.”

So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him, and said, “Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly!  See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.”

And they said, “Stand back!” Then they said, “This one came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them.” So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door.  But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door.  And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door.

Illustration from Figures de la Bible (1728)

Did you get all that? The Sodomites were attacking Lot's house to get what was inside, to them, delectable new meat. This is no different than the animalistic rage a rabid dog goes into. They were predators, hunting prey. Then Lot tried to reason with them, and they would not listen. Not only would they not listen, they were further infuriated at Lot and hated worse that Lot was acting "as a judge". Their reprobate mind was so complete that the mere mention of reason enraged them further and violent promises were made.

Now this last part really overwhelms me. The angels struck the men with blindness. Being supernaturally struck with blindness did not stop them for one moment. They knew it had to have been an angel, for so many been were struck at one time and instantly. Despite the nearness of God in their presence, and despite being blind, they kept trying to get through the door. "They wearied of trying to find it." This means the perverted mob continued trying to find the handle to break in the door and got tired because of the futility of the endeavor and not because of the sinfulness of it! They did not stop because they realized they were being impolite. They did not stop because they realized it was wrong to attack a man and his property. They did not stop even when they were struck blind. (which of course is a spiritual metaphor for them being so deep in their sin that they could not find Jesus, the door). They stopped because they got tired.

So Gay pride. The definition of pride is "a feeling of self-respect and personal worth; satisfaction with your achievements." Thousands of homosexuals march openly shouting of their satisfaction and feeling of personal self-worth in their sin.

Isaiah 5:20 speaks of this: "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!" Isaiah is telling us that at some points in culture, sin is so deeply embedded in the psyche they call sin good and sin-haters evil! It's all reversed. Like "gay pride."

Homosexuality is a sin. There is no pride in that, only shame. There is shame in all sin, and the glory of His grace is that He forgives it. But to dwell in sin so deeply that you are openly proud and actively recruiting for the culture around you to accept it , revel in it, and uplift is, in my opinion means we have come to that exact moment in Genesis. You all remember what happened the next morning God judged the city.

But there is hope! Jesus paid the debt for all sins, for all time!! He loves each and every person. Look at the verses here:

"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,  nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

It is true that no sinner inherits heaven. It is also true that any sinner can be washed! Any sinner can be sanctified! Any sinner can be justified! Paul says that some of the very people he is writing to were once sinning in the ways he describes, including homosexuality. But Jesus is bigger than all that. He forgives because He loves. It doesn't mean a person never sins again after being forgiven, but a close walk with the Holy Spirit means that He helps and as you grow, it becomes less of a battle to resist the temptation.

There is no such thing as "gay pride." There is only sinner's shame, Jesus, grace, and forgiven sinner's gratitude. Be part of the gratitude, showing pride in HIS achievements!

Monday, June 27, 2011

One 'lost' tribe coming home to Israel? The twelve tribes of Israel in prophecy

A very interesting story out of The Jerusalem Post:

"Thousands of kilometers to the east, in the furthest reaches of northeastern India, a long-lost community continues to nourish its age-old dream of returning to its ancient homeland, the land of Israel. The Bnei Menashe, or “sons of Manasseh,” are descendants of one of the 10 lost tribes of Israel, which were exiled by the Assyrian empire more than 27 centuries ago. The community, which numbers 7,232 people, resides primarily in the Indian states of Mizoram and Manipur, along the border with Burma and Bangladesh. Despite generations of wandering, the Bnei Menashe never forgot who they were, where they had come from, or where they aspired to return. Three times a day, every day, they turn in silent prayer toward Jerusalem, pleading with the Creator to put an end to their long exile and bring them home to Zion. That dream is now poised, at last, to become a reality." [Below, I created a map to show where Manasseh resides now and how far that is from Israel]

"This past Monday, an extraordinary meeting of the Ministerial Committee on Immigration and Absorption took place in the Prime Minister’s Office. At the top of the agenda was the issue of the Bnei Menashe. ... As Chairman of Shavei Israel, an organization that has been assisting the community for over a decade, I had lobbied intensively for much of the past year for the committee to address the issue. ... And rest assured, I told the ministers, the Bnei Menashe are our lost brethren. In March 2005, Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar recognized them as Zera Yisrael, or the “seed of Israel,” and said they should be brought to the Jewish state."

"So I turned to the members of the committee and made a simple yet forceful plea: It is time for Israel to let the remaining Bnei Menashe come home."

"And then a miracle took place. After deliberating the matter, the ministerial committee, headed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, formally decided to draft a government resolution and bring it to the cabinet for approval no later than the end of July. The resolution will permit all the remaining Bnei Menashe in India to make aliya, and will finally bring an end to their years of waiting and uncertainty. Both the foreign minister and Absorption Minister Sofa Landver said they were behind the measure. This means we are just one month away from an historic turning point, one that will restore 7,232 precious souls to the Jewish people. ... Soon enough, I am sure, the Bnei Menashe will cross the sea, reuniting with the Land and people of Israel after a remarkable journey. Just as the prophets foretold, Manasseh’s children are at last coming back. And all one can say is: Thank God."

So when in 2005 Shlomo Amar, Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, announced that he regarded the Bnei Menashe's claim of tribal inclusion to be true, under the Law of Return this allows them to migrate to Israel, as long as they formally convert to Judaism in accordance with halachic standards. This is what the author of the Opinion piece above was explaining.

It is a miracle, hands down, that all the tribes and the People, including the Bnei Menashe, never assimilated, never acculturated, but maintained a distinct identity apart from their surroundings. That has never happened to any people or culture in history, ever. The study of the twelve tribes is an interesting one, however there are no clear answers as to which of the tribes will end up being considered a 'real' tribe in the Millennium Kingdom. We do have a list in Revelation 7:5-8 of which tribes receive the blessing of being chosen to participate in the sealing of the 144,000 in the Tribulation. (12,000 from each tribe). God certainly knows His remnant and under His sovereignty He chooses the tribes. Here is the Jewish Virtual Library's list of the twelve tribes if you care to see a list and explanation of the characteristics of each tribe.

I do think that it is highly interesting that several years ago Ehud Olmert (Israel Prime Minister) stopped the Bnei Menashe's aliya (return) and now the Powers That Be seem open to it. Just the fact that one of the Tribes of Israel is in the news is prophetically interesting. Praise the Lord for His works and wonders!

The above chart's information was gotten from, here and I put it into chart form. Additionally, the piece explains: "Some Bible teachers understand Dan being left off the list in Revelation 7 because of what is said in Genesis 49:17, “Dan will be a serpent by the roadside, a viper along the path, that bites the horse's heels so that its rider tumbles backward.”

The Levites are not mentioned in some lists perhaps because they never went to war and they never were given land, rather, they were assigned to service in the Temple. So maybe they are considered more of a priestly caste than a Tribe. (Joshua 14:3).

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Australia- Inskip Point swallowed up by sinkhole, India- Olpad endures groundwater spurt

The Australian Courier Mail reports:
"A MASSIVE sink hole is swallowing up the beach at Inskip, north of Tin Can Bay. Campers have told The Courier-Mail the hole, which appeared about 11am, could be up to 100 feet deep. Camper Shane Hillhouse said four-wheel-drives had been travelling along the popular stretch of sand, near Inskip Peninsula, shortly before the hole appeared."

"This has the potential to take the tip of Inskip Point with it – this is huge and on a scale I’ve never seen before," he said. "People are bringing chairs and sitting back to watch it in awe. "This is absolutely amazing – it’s almost at the tree line now." Mr Hillhouse said the sink hole had expanded dramatically since 11am. "It’s three times bigger than it was an hour ago," he said. "Chunks are falling out of the beach into nowhere. Where is the sand going? It’s just incredible." Another camper said sand was dropping 150m into the ocean, although the depth of the hole is unknown. "Sand is sinking in big sections," he said. No one is believed to have been injured."

This article says:

Beached sucked away
"CAMPERS are watching in awe as a giant sinkhole swallows a popular stretch of beach at Inskip Point, near Rainbow Beach north of Tin Can Bay. A 100m-wide stretch of beach has been sucked into the ocean since 10.30am, and trees were this afternoon being pulled under. Visitor Rhonda Harris said it was a "phenomenon". "When we first came up about 11am the water was actually bubbling like it was boiling," she said. "We saw the 'no camping' sign get washed out."

There is Brisbane news video of the sinkhole from beach side and ocean side but I couldn't get it to play. It kept buffering. Maybe you'll have more luck. Of course, the ad played, but not the news vid, lol. Here is the link to '7 News Brisbane'.

This is citizen's Video of it at Fraser Island (the youtube name is misspelled):

"In other news, there is a 'peculiar' situation in Olpad, India. There, groundwater is gushing out to the surface from different locations. And later in the week, the same thing began happening at nearby Surat. The news article reports on the fact of it happening, and what the government is doing about it, but not why it is happening in the first place."

Another locality spurts groundwater
"Despite efforts to control the peculiar situation in Olpad, water woes continue to haunt people of the area. In fact, the situation worsened on Sunday with groundwater starting to spout from another area of the town late on Saturday night. Groundwater started coming out with high pressure at Isanpore area, which is more than four kilometres away from Olpad town. It spurted from bore-wells and the ground floor of two houses at Halpati Vaas of Isanpore. After complaints from residents, officials rushed to Isanpore and asked residents not to panic. Along with Isanpore, water started to spurt from two more places at Asamanabad."

"Meanwhile, four families were shifted from Malifalia to government quarters in Olpad on Sunday. Houses of these families got filled with water, after groundwater seeped from cracks in the floor. These families were provided necessary requirements after shifting to government quarters. Moreover, ONGC officials started drilling its well no. 1 located at Olpad in a bid to control the situation. Officials also started digging a temporary pond beside the well, to pump out excess gas and water. Sources said that the drilling and digging procedure will be completed within a week."

I've been showing that one of the signs of the imminent return of Jesus is that the weather (air and circulation systems), earth itself, and celestial bodies will be behaving increasingly erratically. During the Tribulation this will be apparent in a big way as soon enough, nothing will be working correctly any more. A third of the sun will go dark, earthquakes will be happening on a monumental scale, the moon will go blood red, there will be no rain for three years, the sea will be struck as blood, and more. In the time just prior to the Tribulation, known as the Church Age, the signs o these things to come will be increasing. Jesus said they will be like birth pangs. The metaphor He relayed is akin to the contractions in a woman having labor. When the water breaks then you know the baby is almost here. The rapture will be the water breakage and the upheaval, bloody and painful labor that will be the Tribulation will eventually birth a new earth and Jesus' kingdom, fresh and new

One of those signs will be the earth cracking up. Things will get so bad that by the very end,

"The earth is broken asunder,
The earth is split through,
The earth is shaken violently.
The earth reels to and fro like a drunkard
And it totters like a shack,
For its transgression is heavy upon it,
And it will fall, never to rise again." (Isaiah 24:19-10)

The indicators that these things are almost upon us are the continual earth changes, cracks, and upheavals that the people themselves who are experiencing them call 'peculiar', 'strange', 'unexpected', or 'unprecedented.' They are are correct. It is a sign that 'natural' processes that we have come to think are ours to manipulate are not. The earth is in the LORD'S hands, not ours.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Newly discovered asteroid to swing closer to earth than some satellites

You can read or watch video the entire summary of the world's recent weather here, from Irish Weather Online. Below is one short video focusing on the North Dakota flood situation, but there is so much more going on in the world! The Irish Weather link gives a great overview.

The situation in Minot ND is dire. The is about to be wiped off the map. Flooding has been particularly swift and record-breaking there, and 800 National Guardsmen have taken over the town to try and keep it above water. This report from AL Jazeera English acknowledges "Mother Nature's" participation in this terrible event. Sigh. The soldier talking about it is at the .53 mark and generously gives 'Mother Nature' a vote in the proceedings.

Asteroid to Pass Extremely Close By Earth On Monday
"Here's something to dwell on as you head to work next week: A small asteroid the size of a tour bus will make an extremely close pass by the Earth on Monday, but it poses no threat to the planet. The asteroid will make its closest approach at 1:14 p.m. EDT on June 27 and will pass just over 7,500 miles above the Earth's surface, NASA officials say. At that particular moment, the asteroid — which scientists have named 2011 MD — will be sailing high off the coast of Antarctica, almost 2,000 miles south-southwest of South Africa."

Er, the asteroid was just discovered on Wednesday. Four days' notice?? With all the fancy telescopes and all the billions in dollars they spend scanning for, well, asteroids? The astronomer in this next piece tries to explain the oops. The headline from made me laugh out loud. It is exactly the headline one would expect to see in an end of the world spoof, but the headline is real.

Incoming! Asteroid to narrowly miss earth on Monday!
Astronomer Mark Thompson reports on the large asteroid that will pass within 8,000 miles from Earth and why we were given such short notice.
"This may sound like late notice, but astronomers have just spotted a rather chunky asteroid heading our way, set to narrowly miss us on Monday. In fact, it will be such a narrow miss that astronomers in the Southern Hemisphere should be able to spot the flyby with fairly modest telescopes. Coincidentally, I was watching yet another re-run of Armageddon the other night when the heroic Bruce Willis and his motley crew of oil drillers-turned-astronauts saved Earth from certain asteroid doom. On arrival at the asteroid, and having sacrificed many of the team, Willis et al. succeeded in dropping a typical Hollywood-style uber-bomb into the depths of the incoming asteroid and blew it to bits, giving everyone on Earth a glitzy meteor shower."

'Coincidentally' the near earth asteroid passage made him think of an end of the world movie?? Hmmm, to continue the article from Discovery News:

"This newly discovered interplanetary interloper is thought to measure no more than 20 meters wide, making it no real threat -- but it's a warning all the same."

Yes, it's a warning! Jesus said He would send warnings. "Men's hearts failing them for fear and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth for the powers of heaven shall be shaken" (Luke 21:26). It is unfortunate that though Christians correctly see this as the warning that judgment cometh, astronomers and secular people see this as a warning that they need better telescopes or something.

"If 2011 MD did hit us, then it would more than likely break up in the atmosphere and give us an amazing display of fireballs and meteors. As it turns out, it will sail harmlessly by at a butt-clenchingly close distance of only 7,500 miles, 32 times closer than the moon, and closer than some geosynchronous satellites."

'Butt-clenchingly close?' Descriptive language for an astronomer. However, he mirrors biblical language.

"Then the king's countenance was changed and his thoughts troubled him so that the joints of his loins were loosed and his knees smote one against another." (Daniel 5:6). In other words, the king didn't clench his butt close enough, and he pooped his pants. That is a physiological reaction to seeing the power of the Lord unleashed and His imminent judgment against you. In Luke during the Tribulation, when they see these things they will faint dead away in perfect fright. There is nothing like the Power of a Holy God to remind us all that we are puny and He is mighty. And, that we are accountable.

New York State approves gay marriage law

NY legalizes gay marriage 42 years after Stonewall

"Champagne corks popped, rainbow flags flapped and crowds embraced and danced in the streets of Manhattan's Greenwich Village as New York became the sixth and largest state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill shortly before midnight Friday, almost 42 years to the day that the modern-day gay rights movement was born amid violent encounters between police and gay activists at the Stonewall Inn."

According to secular experts,When New York became the sixth and by far the largest state to legalize same-sex marriage, following a grueling overtime session in the state Legislature on Friday, it immediately transformed the national debate over the issue, legal experts said. ... "I think that having same-sex marriage in New York will have tremendous moral and political force for the rest of the country -- in part because New York is a large state, and in part because it hasn't come easily," said Suzanne Goldberg, a professor at Columbia Law School. The New York Assembly passed same-sex marriage legislation twice before, in 2007 and 2009, but in both cases it stalled in the state Senate, as it nearly did again this week. The bill passed late on Friday after legislators agreed on language allowing religious organizations to refuse to perform services or lend space for same-sex weddings. The new law's impact can be measured in part by the numbers at play: New York is home to more than 42,000 same-sex couples, according to an analysis of U.S. census data conducted by the Williams Institute. This means, among other things, that the number of same-sex couples living in states allowing same-sex marriage has more than doubled overnight."

Wasn't that nice of them, to provide a footnote acknowledging that at the moment at least, the law won't force people who honor God to dishonor Him by performing unbiblical marriages.

The photo above of the "revelers" in the streets exulting in the passage of the gay marriage law reminds me of what it will look like during the Tribulation, when revelers do all sorts of ungodly celebrating. One of those ungodly celebrations will be when the Two Witnesses are killed and they dance in the streets and send gifts over their dead bodies. "And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth." (Revelation 11:10)

The bible regards homosexuality as immoral. Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:26-27; and in 1 Corinthians 6:9 it is noted that the homosexual will not inherit the kingdom. Because of their unbelief, God gave them over to their degrading lusts. (Romans 1:24). The model for our marriages is the first marriage and that was between a man and a woman.

We can no longer think of the NY gay marriage law, which failed two times previously, as a Sisyphean effort. Sisyphus was the mythological man who was condemned by the 'gods' to eternally roll a rock up a mountain, only to have it roll back to the bottom again just as it reached the top. The rock has reached the top and has been loosed on the other side. It will gather steam as the forward progression of immorality continues ever faster in this labor pang world.

Our Jesus is a forgiving Savior and will open His arms to anyone who repents. God hates sin but He loves His children, and He wants to help them remove themselves from their degrading lusts with the aid of the Holy Spirit. He is gracious, and will send the Spirit to all who repent. He will regenerate that person into a new creation, one that is righteous and pure in His eyes.

For those who refuse to repent however, Jesus is the Rock.

As Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar 's dream: "You, O king, were looking and behold, there was a single great statue; that statue, which was large and of extraordinary splendor, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was awesome. “The head of that statue was made of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. “You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them. “Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth." (Daniel 2:31-35).

It's obvious the world is fallen and I believe the NY gay marriage law is indicative of that. Further, the passage of the law in that state means that we have pushed the rock to the pinnacle of the mountain and the next phase will be a fast downward slide that soon roars into a pell mell tumble into depravity. Revelers take note! Jesus is the rock who will crush the world's fallen governments and establish His righteous Kingdom on earth!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Tips on spotting Emergent church falsity in yourself or others

The false doctrines of emergent Christianity are permeating everywhere. I usually think of them as existing and infecting churches in Seattle or California, not in Georgia, not in the people I know. But those poisonous doctrines are everywhere, including right around me.

One of the typical doctrines of this false religious movement is incessant questioning under the guise of intellectual openness. They relentlessly cast doubt on the authority and reliability of Scripture. It is a lie from the first lie, from satan who said “Hath God indeed said…??” It is not intellectual openness to continually ask questions of biblical truth, it is a the chipping away of the absolute authority of God.

If you find yourself going in this direction you’re infected with it:

“I used to believe in the pretrib rapture, now I’m not so sure.” Substitute any word for pretrib and you have the same Emergent questioning tactic. “I used to believe in hell but now I’m not so sure.” “I used to know what ‘the wrath' is but what is wrath, really?”

They say, “I’m being intellectually honest.” But they’re not, actually. They’re being spiritually dishonest.

Asking constant questions, and worse, always being available for the next or a different answer chips away at the absolute nature of Truth. That truth is found in the bible and once you let the Holy Spirit form the answer in you, to lead you to the verses where it is clear, then let it stay. It’s work to remain absolutely staunch but you have to do it. Here is the nut of the matter: as long as there is the possibility of a different answer, you don’t have to defend the one you're temporarily clinging to.

Here is a tip: Any time you go from a stance of understanding to one of doubt you are going in the wrong direction. Now, I’m not saying questioning is bad. I do that all the time. I ask a million questions each day. I ask, why did Eve take the fruit? How did Satan convert a third of the angels to his way of thinking? Where is heaven? What are the physics behind the creation? How did Paul stay so positive in the faith throughout his trials? But here is the difference. God is the author and perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2). He is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). When you ask questions on doctrinal things and you turn to the bible for answers, if you are coming away with more questions than answers, you’re infected. If you come away with clarity and peace, you’re not. The bible satisfies answers. Satan is the one with the questions.

Eve's sin: lust. A very special kind of lust (part 2)

Yesterday we looked at the biblical background for the moment when Eve sinned. That was Part 1, and I recommend you read it or at least skim it to get the context and flavor if what I am going to say next.

The central verse we're exploring is this one, "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate." (Gen 6:6a).

We mentioned yesterday that biologically, the eyes see the world but in the verse it is a metaphor for the mind's eye, and that mind's eye is connected to the heart. It is a heart connection. Jesus said "Where your heart is there your treasure shall be also." That verse in Matthew 6:22 is preceded by talk of eternal treasure and followed by talk of a good eye and a bad eye.

We noted yesterday that the Hebrew word for 'pleasant' to the eyes was much more than the seemingly benign pleasantness of a piece of fruit. It means literally she saw the fruit through eyes that were lusting exceedingly and greedily. Wait, all that over fruit? I'd asked, Eve saw that fruit every day. Why were they drooling over it now? What was the difference? Satan. I have an idea of one of the schemes he uses to reduce the unwary to a lusting, slavering greedy sinner. He doesn't use it every time with all sinners, it actually is a method that is used in few instances, but of that moment with Eve, I think he did it. What is it, then? For the answer, let's look at vampires.

I am sure that you have heard, or read, or watched a movie or even a crime show where the conversation revolves around a criminal or an evil person, and they say "He has such a hypnotic stare". Or the sociopath has "such penetrating eyes", "piercing eyes." "One glance and she was under his spell," as they say in the romance novels. The current fascination with vampirism firmly centers on how the vampire looks at the hapless woman, "pinned under his penetrating gaze." Accompanying the hypnotic stare is the erotic element so familiar to any vampire aficionado.

The first story in English of a vampire was written by John Polidori. This publication also spawned the Gothic genre of literature. Not only was the story in English for the first time, but up until the publication of The Vampyre, the undead beast had been universally seen as a demonic kind of thing, to be feared and run away from. Polidori's depiction introduced the vampire as: "characterised in folklore: from the peasant classes, living a rural existence, uneducated, dirty and quite frankly having no appeal whatsoever for its victims. This is clearly the Nosferatu, a violent scavenger, a brainless revenant seeking only for the blood it needs to survive. ... At this time however the Nosferatu was the familiar shape for the vampire to take."

"With the advent of Polidori the figure of the vampire took a dramatic leap forward, leaving behind the shabby, stupid, blundering image of the Nosferatu for a more sophisticated and refined social animal, the Toreador or Byronic vampire. Here is a creature in strictly human form, with no huge teeth in the front of its mouth (the canine fangs were a later invention), and no bald head or pointed ears, a creature with human emotions and human drives, a creature that can pass freely in the world of men and need not fear detection in the enlightened society through which he stalks. The aristocratic figure who mingles in high society, delighting and thrilling all with his strange mannerisms and moods, is a far cry from the lonely beast rampaging through the forest tearing out the throat of any passing creature in order to carry on his vile existence. Here instead we have a creature altogether more terrifying in its sheer plausibility: it looks human, acts almost human, talks like a human, and moves among the highest echelons of society. Surely the menace inherent in such a creature is of a more insidious and horrifying kind than that of the weird, supernatural entity of the Nosferatu." (Source)

Who's going to get further with a woman, the lumbering beast or the dashing gentleman with the hypnotic gaze? That when he gazes at you, makes you swoon with eroticism and lust? We are all familiar with the cultural references of the link between eroticism and the pull of the vampire's gaze. It is the same across cultures, the vampire is lusty. I believe that cultural ubiquitousness exists because there is a germ of truth to it. I believe satan (and all the fallen angels) have an ability to gaze into a human's eyes and manipulate the physiology to the degree where you are reduced to a puddle of lusting flesh, insensible to your true surroundings to the point where you simply succumb to the sinful pheromones now coursing through your body. I think satan did that to Eve.

Angels have a different physiology than humans. They exist on a different plane or dimension than we do. They are endowed with powers that far outstrip ours. I mentioned some of their powers in the essay on Angels. All these are biblical facts. That satan could look into our eyes and manipulate the brain chemistry is something that is entirely possible.

Biologically, the optic nerve is the pathway to brain and then the central nervous system. It IS the lamp of the body. We know that human interaction includes chemistries and one of those are pheromones, which are simply secreted or excreted chemical factors that trigger a social response in members of the same species. Dopamine is the brain's natural neurotransmitter in triggering arousal and desire. Suddenly Eve 'saw' the fruit, it was 'pleasant' to the eyes, and she 'desired' it. How easy would it be for an evil angel to manipulate brain chemicals within our biology? Let loose a little dopamine and watch us swell up with sexual desire, swooning for more and tied begging for more of that pleasant drug that is behind the fallen angel's eyes? Easypeasy. The optic nerve, also called cranial nerve II, transmits visual information from the retina to the brain. This is interesting news from 2007: "A neuroscientist believes a little-known cranial nerve may be the secret to lust, and evidence suggests it may be the conduit for sex pheromones." Hmmm.

Dr. Robert Hare wrote in his book "Without Conscience, The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us" that psychopaths often make very intense eye contact, or have unusually piercing eyes. Other researchers have also mentioned the "reptilian gaze" of the psychopath, resembling that of a predator about to consume his or her prey. Victims of the psychopath also often refer to the 'laser beam stare.' Strangely enough, women often confuse this gaze with sexuality, and find it attractive. Many films depicting seductive yet immoral creatures such as vampires, often depict the vampire as having a very strong, psychopathic stare. Some psychologists have compared the psychopath to the vampire, or state that the psychopath has a 'vampiric personality' or lifestyle, as well as being parasitic." Note that the author chose to present his book with a cover illustrating the hypnotic eyes.

What if satan pierces Eve with his gaze, inducing a lustful response - one which we know was different from all the other times she had looked at the fruit- and after all, the bible shows that she had a strong and inappropriate reaction to it?

"Pheromones are odorless, airborne chemical signals that are released by an individual into the environment. These chemicals affect the physiology or behavior of other members of the same species. Although pheromones have been shown to exist in virtually all species of insects and mammals, they also control the behavior of humans, acting as sexual attractants." (Source) More on brain chemistry here.

There is a reason vampires and romance heroes are said to have a hypnotic, powerful, penetrating, or otherwise piercing gaze. There is a reason why eroticism and loosened inhibitions are included in the descriptions and depictions of vampires. Remember at the beginning of this essay when Polidori's Vampyre story showed not a lumbering beast but a 'sophisticated and refined social animal, ... a creature in strictly human form, ...with human emotions and human drives, a creature that can pass freely in the world of men and need not fear detection in the enlightened society through which he stalks. The aristocratic figure who mingles in high society, delighting and thrilling all with his strange mannerisms and moods..." And we are reminded of the Hebrews 13:2 verse that says "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it." "And no marvel for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light" (2 Cor 11:14) so we know they delight in appearing as human and for the fallen ones, they delight in tricking us.

Remember the verse that says "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not lest __ the light of the glorious gospel of Christ who is the image of God should shine unto them" (2 Cor 4:4) and here blinded the mind means "blowing smoke which causes (spiritual) blindness, i.e. experiencing "clouded vision."

I think satan and his fallen angels, when they incarnate and pass for human to do their work of lying and destruction, can look into a human's eyes and make them drip with lust and swoon with cloudy brain to do and say all sorts of things they might not otherwise.

NO, I am NOT saying that Eve is not at fault. She is. We all are responsible for our own sins! But vampires have to be invited in, (According to the lore anyway), and that old fallen angel Lucifer would not have gotten as far as he did if Eve had done the correct thing and responded to satan's question "Hath God really said..." with "YES, HE SAID, now go away." She didn't, and this was satan's invitation to press further. We know the rest.

The verses in Matthew 6 about the eye being the lamp of the body allude to a heart condition. Satan severs the eye from the heart and suddenly when you look at something you are lusting for it and excluding God. Your eyes should not be on the things of the earth but on the treasures of heaven. That is the doctrinal message of these two part of the essay about Eve. The supernatural message is that the vampire stories in my opinion have a grain of truth and that grain is in the ability of fallen angels to look into our eyes and manipulate our brain chemistry to sway under their spell. I think this will be a common method for them after the rapture, with so many willing participants in the lusts of the earth that post-rapture living will be. Third, I think they are here now, doing it in smaller measure. If you run across someone who has this marvelous way of looking at you that excites you beyond normal capacities and for no reason...RUN! Like Joseph shedding his cloak from Mrs Potiphar, run away immediately. Do not look, for entertaining their double-tongued talk and gazing into those hypnotic eyes will only lead to destruction.

Prayer: O, Lord,
"Incline my heart to Your testimonies,
And not to covetousness.
Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things,
And revive me in Your way."
Psalm 119:36-37

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Eve's sin: lust. A very special kind of lust (part 1)

Eve is in a perfect garden having a perfect marriage. We know it was perfect because everything before the Fall (when sin was introduced into the world) was perfect (Gen 1:31). She had a perfect husband (Gen 2:18; 20b). Adam had dominion over all the animals. (Gen 2:19) There was no confusion of gender roles. (Eph 5:25). She had a perfect body image. (Gen 2:25). She was spiritually perfect and walked with God in the cool of the day. (Gen 3:8). All was well.

Now Lucifer the fallen angel came to Eve, that old serpent, who is the devil- so Revelation 20:2 reminds us of his names. Satan means adversary and devil means blasphemer. That old serpent who is the fallen angel Lucifer came to Eve and talked with her. His first recorded words are "Hath God really said...?" (Gen 3:1). They had a conversation. Then...

"And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was pleasant to the eyes and a tree to be desired to make one wise she took of the fruit thereof and did eat and gave also unto her husband with her and he did eat." (Gen 3:6)

OH, NO!! And people usually stop there in the study of this eternal take-back moment. But let's go a little deeper.

'And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food...' Saw means discern, behold or make to enjoy. (More on this in part 2.) Well, they weren't starving, were they? Presumably they had had food before this, all that they wanted from all over the garden. Why was she seeing THIS tree as good for food all of a sudden?

"...and that it was pleasant to the eyes". This is the second time we see the verse mention 'eyes'. (She saw...pleasant to the eyes." The word for pleasant is usually translated desire, but it really means "exceedingly, greedily, lusting." Wait, all of a sudden Eve is reduced to an exceedingly lusty state of greediness, panting after...fruit? More on how in part 2.

The word for pleasant in verse 3 is 'avah', or 'taavah'. There is a parallel event in the bible that talks about lust of this kind. The parallel is named Kibroth-Hattaavah, alternately spelled, Qibrowth hat-Ta'avah. It translates to "the graves of lust." The graves of lust, one of the encampments of Israel in the wilderness, where they desired of God flesh for their sustenance, declaring they were tired of manna, Numbers 11:34,35; 33:16. Quails were sent in great quantities; but while the meat was in their mouths, God smote so great a number of them, that the place was called "the graves of those who lusted," Psalm 78:30-31, a monument to warn mankind against the sin of discontent, 1 Corinthians 10:6. (Bible Dictionary).

In Mark 7:22 there is a list of the unclean things in a man: "Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness." But in most translations the evil eye is translated 'envy', with the Greek word for it being ophthalmos. You will recognize our word opthamology, the branch of medicine for anatomy, physiology and treatment of the eye. You get envious of things you see that other people have. The eye again.

What is all this about the eye? "Eve saw that it was pleasant to the eye," the evil eye, lust and envy coming in through the eye? There are a lot of warnings in the bible about the eye.
  • Proverbs 3:7 - "Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. Eve wanted to be wise in her own eyes." Eve did not depart from the devil
  • Proverbs 15:30a "The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
  • Proverbs 22:9 "He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed for he giveth of his bread to the poor."
  • Mathew 6:22 "The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light."
It is talking about the mind's eye. There is a connection between your eyes and your heart. What you look at betrays your heart condition. The moment when Eve 'saw' the fruit and she lusted for it, she betrayed her heart condition. She turned away from Godly things to lusting after the things of the world. THAT is when the first sin came. "She saw that it was pleasant to the eyes" and not just pleasant to the eye, but wanting that fruit heartily, greedily, exceedingly. All of a sudden, that is ALL she wanted, her world focused on that fruit- to the exclusion of God.

The verse immediately preceding the eye being the lamp of the body in Matthew 6:22 is "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness." (KJV) Because at that moment Eve saw the fruit and lusted after it, became double minded. Single here does not mean having one eye, lol. It means being singleminded. Wesley says, "If thine eye be single - Singly fixed on God and heaven, thy whole soul will be full of holiness and happiness. If thine eye be evil - Not single, aiming at any thing else."

All this talk about the eye doesn't mean just to look. Christians go window shopping every day, looking at all sorts of goods. If you have the right heart condition, you look at a boat or a new house or a dress or golf clubs and you say, those are nice, but you don't suddenly turn into a puddle of exceedingly lustful slavering desirous people like Eve did wanting the fruit. You have the right heart condition. What makes the difference then? Satan, and I have an idea of how he did it. More in part 2.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

First footage of Nabro Volcanic eruption

On June 12, 2011, seismologists around the world were stunned to watch an event unfold that has no precedent in modern history. A series of moderate sized earthquakes with two strong ones  occurred in a circle around the Volcano Nabro along the border of Eritrea and Ethiopia. According to the Global Volcanism Project at the Smithsonian Institute, "The 2218-m-high Nabro stratovolcano is the highest volcano in the Danakil depression of northern Ethiopia and Eritrea." It is a stratovolcano whose last known eruption has been described as unknown, or never. On June 12, shotly after the earthquakes were reported, ti erupted.

Initially shocked by the thought, the eruption was attributed to nearby Dubbi, which, having four known eruptions would make the activity rare but not unprecedented. However, eagle eyed internet surfers soon found a satellite photo of the ash plum and pin-pointed the eruption to Nabro. This was later confirmed to be the case.

News was slow to emerge from the regions, being so unpopulated. However ti did make news that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton left the region in a hurry because the ash plum was disrupting flights. She had been speaking tot he African Union in neighboring Ethiopia. This week, Nabro erupted again. Below is some news and then the first video footage of the eruptions has finally surfaced. Irish Weather Online posted the footage, which is permeating the web quickly at this moment

Nabro volcano erupts again Thursday (6/16)
"Volcanic activity has increased at the Nabro volcano in Eritrea, just four days after the stratovolcano sent an ash plume more than 15km into the air. The ash drifted westnorthwest over Sudan Thursday evening threatening to bring further disruption to air traffic in the east Africa region. Sunday night’s eruption led to some flight cancellations in neighbouring Sudan, Djibouti and Ethiopia, and saw a massive ash plume being carried as far away as Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkmenistan, the Central African Republic and Egypt."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Let's have a conversation

I want to make a tough post. Some of you will not like it. If you chafe at the following words, then please pray, and "examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith; prove yourselves. More about what that means and how to do it, here.

We are in post-modern times. That is "a tendency in contemporary culture characterized by a problem of objective truth ... It involves the belief that many, if not all, apparent realities are only social constructs, as they are subject to change inherent to time and place." If you have heard someone say "that may be true for you, but it isn't true for me," then you have the essence of post-modernism. The emergent church movement is a match made in hell with post-modernism in that suspicion of objective truth is central. Emergent Christians claim that biblical truth is impossible to achieve, know, understand or interpret. It is something that invites arrogance and intolerance is divisive, and prevents unity. The bible is old and 'not relevant', and is subject to be changed to conform with these times. All are buzz words stemming from the pit. Satan is the original perpetrator of "Hath God said?" when he asked Eve if not eating the fruit in the Garden was what He really meant.

As for unity: there is no such thing. Rather, there is unity. All false religions are united but Christians are not supposed to conform to the world. Jesus came to bring a sword and that sword divides. (Mt 10). It does not unite.

Now, to the meat of the post. I am increasingly impatient with the emergent church's phrase "Let's have a conversation with..." Muslims, Wiccans, Buddhists, Hindus. etc. They point to Paul's appeal at Mars Hill, in Acts 17:22-33. They say that Paul went to Mars Hill and talked, conversed, shared, with the idolaters there. It was all so friendly and a tea party. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Paul went in and told them they were all wrong, and introduced them to Jesus.

Now, about a conversation. I am setting this next paragraph within the context of a witnessing, Christian conversation. Secular conversation is not the issue here. The definition of conversation is "oral exchange of sentiments, observations, opinions, or ideas". The key part is exchange. It assumes that within the conversation, any Muslim, Wiccan, Hindu has an equal idea to share back. That the exchange will occur on an equal basis. It doesn't.

I was tweeting another Christian the other day and he was so happy to share about his talk with a Muslim, saying to me, "Hey, "they believe in Jesus too!" I reminded him that their version of Jesus (Isa) was a non-Resurrected Jesus and that their religion was therefore false. He (a bit haughtily) said that Paul talked with the people on Mars Hill.

This is a terrible watering down of the Gospel. The Christian frog has been sitting in water that has warmed up by incremental degrees as satan is wont to do, and so many people are hardly aware of how close they are to boiling. You know, when water boils, it heats up until 212 degrees. But if it stays at 211 degrees, it will not boil. Christians who entertain Isa are at 211 degrees and they don't even know it.

Let's make a picture analogy. If you are of the ilk that wants to share, have a conversation, and accept what the other religions have to offer, then this is what you are doing.

You sit at a table across from a Wiccan, Buddhist, or Muslim. In front of you is a plate of gold. On top of this golden plate are crackers of such a pure white, they almost hurt your eyes to look at them. They gleam. When you pick one up and offer to to the person across from you with whom you are having this conversation, the cracker almost sings as an angelic choir.

Likewise, since conversing is sharing and exchanging, the Muslim picks up a cracker. It is moldy, so moldy it has green spots on it that have actually grown hairs. They have a plate too. It is made of compressed sewage and atop this plate is a big, steaming pile of warm turds. There are maggots crawling over it. They take a filthy, dirty encrusted knife, dig into the pile of poop, and spread it on the moldy cracker. They hand it to you. Hey, it's an exchange. We are all at the same table, sharing, aren't we?

I want to be clear. Our Wiccan and Buddhist and Muslim friends are our friends. Jesus died to save them and we love them as our neighbor. They are not the enemy. The lie they have swallowed is satan's lie. He is the enemy.

A lot of Christians are eating the poop, believing that they are helping the cause of the Gospel by sharing in conversation at the same table. It isn't. Jesus doesn't need the plate of crap. What Christians need to do is share the Truth, the ONE truth, in love and humility but with certainty. Other religions and other people sharing their religions with us have nothing to share. There is Jesus, Who is the Truth, and there is every other religion, which is the lie. Period. I hope I've been clear.

Prata's Place / Graceful Garlands: Gradual Growth

My title comes from Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland ...