A Papal Prophecy? #1

Thursday, February 28, 2013

“And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time” (2 Thessalonians 2:6 KJV).

Today’s resignation of Benedict XVI as pope is being greatly discussed within “Christian” circles in light of eschatology. Are we seeing Bible prophecy fulfilled today, or is this simply the (usual) failure to “rightly divide the word of truth?”

Ever since the Bible—especially the book of the Revelation—was completed nearly 2,000 years ago, many have offered wild speculations regarding the identity of the antichrist. Before we attempt to tackle the issue of who he is, let us first ask and answer, “Exactly what is the antichrist and why is he even in the Bible?” The books of Daniel, 2 Thessalonians, and Revelation deal with him in detail more than any other Bible books, although brief, implicit references to him can be found elsewhere in the Old and New Testament Scriptures (Exodus, Psalms, Isaiah, the Four Gospels, 1 John, et al.).

In the next several studies, we aim to look at some of the most important Bible passages regarding the antichrist. There is much ignorance about him, his purpose, his plan, his origin, his reign, and his inauguration. We want to set aside our denominational biases, and the secular input from the lost Bible critics who sell their alleged “prophetic” books and television programs, and we desire to simply see what God’s Word actually says about this man, the “antichrist.” By the way, today’s Scripture is excerpted from a passage (verses 3-12) that provides one of the most graphic portraits of him found in the Holy Bible.

Firstly, we can briefly list at least three reasons why the antichrist is in Scripture:

  1. To be a literal, spiritual, and physical counterfeit Jesus Christ: he is anti(against)-Christ, the ultimate embodiment of Satan’s lie policy aimed at destroying God purpose and plan for creation.
  2. To deal with the nation Israel: to separate the believing Jews from the unbelieving Jews.
  3. To demonstrate that, in the end, God is far wiser and far more powerful than Satan and sinful man whom he controls.

Let us examine these three points in greater detail….

We have recently uploaded to YouTube the final part of 3 home Bible study videos that introduce dispensational Bible study, and specifically Pauline dispensationalism. Click here to watch it.

An Open Mind and an Open Bible

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

“The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going” (Proverbs 14:15 KJV).

Indeed, have an open mind… but have an open Bible too!

Not long ago, I attended a professional scientific presentation that involved a recent environmental issue—the 2010 Gulf of Mexico BP oil spill—and the news media distorting scientific information for the sake of sensationalizing. Newspapers and television newscasts hyped up the public, and their biased reporting caused an already scientific-illiterate public to become even more uninformed. They shied away from reality, choosing rather to focus on “worst-case scenarios.” As the news industry knows, sensational reporting sales more magazines, newspapers, and television programs.

The lecturer did a great job explaining the issue and the media’s intentional distortion of facts. However, he did not have spiritual eyes: he failed to understand that the media does not only deceive the public concerning scientific news, but also regarding political, economic, social, and more importantly, spiritual news.

Beloved, remember, the mainstream media is just as much an element of Satan’s policy of evil as the religious, economic, educational, and social systems. They are all anti-God and anti-Bible, for Satan is “the god [ruler] of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). This arrangement and the time period it dominates is “the course of this world” (Ephesians 2:2): the deceptive, anti-God system that has ruled the world ever since man’s fall in Genesis chapter 3, will continue until Christ’s Second Coming.

Today’s Scripture says, “The simple believeth every word.” The word “simple” here means “silly, seducible, foolish”—one who is naïve, unwise, who believes anything and everything he or she reads or hears. This is contrasted with the “the prudent man” who “looketh well to his going.” Being “prudent”—acting with the future in the mind—he is cautious about what he believes (and how it affects him in the long-term).

Be open-minded, but have an open Bible too! “Prove [test] all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). That which disagrees with the King James Bible rightly divided is of Satan’s policy of evil. Be ye prudent… and vigilant!

We have recently uploaded to YouTube part 2 of 3 home Bible study videos that introduce dispensational Bible study, and specifically Pauline dispensationalism. Click here to watch it.

Israel, Hope in the LORD

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

“Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities” (Psalm 130:7,8 KJV).

Today’s Scripture is a great hope of the nation Israel….

In Psalm 130, a believing Jew urges Israel to remember her faithful God, Almighty JEHOVAH: “Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD. Lord, hear my voice: let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning. Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.”

Israel, from her earliest days, was repeatedly unfaithful to JEHOVAH. He alone provided for her every need, but she ignored Him and praised and worshipped the pagan idols of the Gentiles. Even today, JEHOVAH offers to the whole world salvation from hell through Jesus Christ, but the vast majority ignores it. However, the psalmist, who represents the believing remnant within Israel, has not forgotten the faithfulness of JEHOVAH. Yes, Israel has been a horrible nation, but God’s grace and forgiveness can still overcome her wickedness—she simply needs to wait on Him to provide a solution to her sin problem (at the time of Psalm 130, Jesus Christ has not died yet).

In Jeremiah 31:31-34 (cf. Hebrews 8:8-13; Hebrews 10:15-17), God promises Israel the New Covenant via Christ’s shed blood: “for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” When Jesus Christ returns (His Second Coming), He will inaugurate this New Covenant, and “all [believing] Israel shall be saved… when [He] will take away their sins” (Romans 11:26,27; cf. Acts 3:19-21). As today’s Scripture indicates, Israel just needs to hope in the LORD and His Word.

We have recently uploaded to YouTube part 1 of 3 home Bible study videos that introduce dispensational Bible study, and specifically Pauline dispensationalism. It can be watched here.

Do Not Confuse Me With Facts!

Monday, February 25, 2013

“If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant” (1 Corinthians 14:37,38 KJV).

Some people will just never accept what the Bible actually says….

Every person is born spiritually “ignorant” and “dead in [his or her] trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1-3; Ephesians 4:17-19). However, only a minority will ever accept true wisdom (Matthew 7:13,14): just a few will ever acknowledge their pitiful Adamic state, and just a fraction of that minority will appropriate by faith Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork as sufficient payment for their sins. What about the majority? They will do their absolute best to pretend that they are not really lost, that they are not really going to hell, that their church tradition is the final authority. They have an agenda—never, ever submit to the Holy Bible (this is the attitude of those already in hell).

I have encountered many individuals in my ministry. Some eagerly believed the Bible verses I shared with them. They were thrilled to have God’s Word enlighten them. Unfortunately, other people I met laughed at the verses (including a grace preacher!), they blatantly ignored God’s Word, and some quickly ended the conversation and literally ran away! They also discouraged others from using dispensational Bible study. Their experiences, their preconceived notions, and their traditions were at stake, and they knew it. Essentially, there was only one thing to say, and their actions could be reduced to the following words: “Do NOT confuse me with facts!”

In the context of today’s Scripture, the Corinthians were abusing spiritual gifts (especially the gift of tongues). They wrongly believed that speaking in gibberish (“unknown tongues”) was a sign of spirituality, so Paul reminded them that the test for spirituality today is what Jesus Christ says in his epistles, Romans through Philemon (today’s Scripture). Today’s Scripture makes it very clear—if anyone refuses to believe what the Lord has to say through Paul, let the person remain in ignorance. Give them their wish—confuse them not with facts. Free will!

Monuments and Documents

Sunday, February 24, 2013

“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35 KJV).

Indeed, our Lord Jesus Christ was right!

I was recently touring the Old and New Louisiana State Capitols in Baton Rouge. Built in the mid-1800s and early 1930s, these structures are quite spectacular. The latter is 450 feet (137 meters) tall and ranked as the tallest state capitol in the United States!

While standing inside these historical buildings, I felt overwhelmed by history. The massive stained glass dome that crowned the central portion of the Old State Capitol, its huge spiraling staircase beneath, the gigantic interior doors, the polished marble floors and walls, all far too massive to cram into my camera screen, no matter what angle I tried to shoot! Atop the 350-foot (107-meter) observation deck of the New State Capitol, I observed people below who appeared to be mere specks, and the adjacent “mighty Mississippi River.”

Strolling through these buildings, I tried to imagine all the people of the many decades past, walking those halls and sitting in those rooms. Where were all those souls today—in heaven or hell? On display were 150-year-old government documents, which, despite preservation measures, will eventually disintegrate and will literally be lost forever. Even the buildings in which they are housed will crumble with time, lost to erosion by wind and rain. There, I could not help but reflect….

Though the literal wooden cross of Christ is long gone, the monument of God’s love for us still remains: His perfect blood that was shed on it still saves the wretched souls that shed it. Imagine, throughout all of eternity future, the doctrine of Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork will be upheld and proclaimed. The Holy Bible, a document penned so long ago on temporal papyrus, is nevertheless preserved for us to read today! It too will never pass away, unlike the documents of man.

The monument of God’s love for us—Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork—and the document that explains that love for us—the Holy King James Bible—preserved forever, never to be lost to time. What a monument, what a document, what a love, and what a God! 🙂

Unlearned and Ignorant Men… Sort Of

Saturday, February 23, 2013

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13 KJV).

They were not entirely “unlearned and ignorant….”

Christendom often requires one to have a degree to teach the Bible… or, ludicrously enough, even to sing in the church choir (!). Dear saints, memorize today’s Scripture, and let it, not traditional thinking, be your authority in that matter.

Firstly, studying the Bible’s original languages of Hebrew and Greek is not evil in and of itself. Regardless, our King James Bible says in English exactly what the divinely preserved Bible texts read in Hebrew and Greek. Also, it is critical to note that knowledge of Greek and Hebrew does not necessarily make one a sound Bible authority. Millions of heretics and apostates are Hebrew- and Greek-literate!

Music degrees are not evil either, but they do not necessarily equip us to worship God with musical instruments and singing. Millions of hell-bound Bible-haters have prestigious music awards and impressive discographies: their lyrics and lifestyles are certainly not bringing the God of the Bible any glory.

The second greatest blunder of the professing “church”—ranking just under its failure to study the Bible dispensationally—is its emphasis on education. Frankly, unless you have attended seminary for a decade, and save you have been “approved” by some denomination, you really are a nobody. While you certainly want a degreed surgeon, you might want to reconsider that principle when seeking a church leader! Why? Some of the most ridiculous, heretical, and blasphemous statements I have ever read and heard came from the pens and lips of preachers and teachers from seminary!

In today’s Scripture, Israel’s “educated” religious leaders were amazed when they observed the Apostles Peter and John. “Look at those silly fishermen who lack our education! How can such unlearned and ignorant men boldly preach such wisdom?!” HOW? “They had been with Jesus.” They had the Lord of glory as their personal teacher, as do we (1 Corinthians 2:11-16). Beloved, be not intimidated by the “sort of educated” (1 Corinthians 1:25-31). 🙂

Often-Overlooked Truth in the Book of Ruth

Friday, February 22, 2013

“And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried…” (Ruth 1:16,17a KJV).

Ruth did not know it, and (sadly) neither do many church members today, but she was actually uttering what believing Gentiles will say in Christ’s earthly kingdom!

The book of Ruth is usually known for its theme of the “kinsman-redeemer” (a wealthy next-of-kin who willingly redeems [“repurchases”] family property that was lost). It actually pictures what Jesus Christ, Israel and humanity’s “wealthy next-of-kin,” would do over 1,000 years later when He shed His perfect blood on Calvary’s cross in order to redeem them from sin’s penalty, hell. However, today’s Scripture identifies a second type (shadow/prophecy) in the book of Ruth, one often overlooked.

Ruth is a Moabitess (Gentile); her mother-in-law, Naomi, is a Jewess. Naomi, now bereaved of her husband and her two sons (one of whom was Ruth’s husband), wants to leave Moab (east of the Dead Sea) and return to Judah (the area of Jerusalem, northwest of the Dead Sea), now that Judah’s famine is over. Naomi says she will go back to Canaan and instructs Ruth to return to her (pagan) relatives in Moab. Ruth refuses: in today’s Scripture, she renounces her heathen (Gentile) religion and she wants Israel’s God to be her God! Eventually, she accompanies Naomi back to Judah.

Zechariah 8:22,23 describes believing Gentiles in the millennial reign of Christ: “Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.” Amazingly, this is basically what Ruth had said 3,000 years earlier!