Thursday, December 31, 2009
If only Shmuly Boteach were passionate enough about Israel to follow Judaism to the Jewish homeland! You noted his mention of the Talmud. The Talmud also declares: “In all times, a Jew should live in the Land of Israel, even in a city where most of the inhabitants are idol worshippers, and not live outside of the Land, even in a city where most of the inhabitants are Jews.” In Eretz Yisrael, he could have plenty of Jewish neighbors and concern himself with Jewish and Israeli issues and leave the ghetto with all its woes behind. Furthermore, the Temple Mount doesn't only have hostile Muslim neighbors who aid and abet terrorism, it's polluted with their foreign objects where the House of Prayer for All Peoples is meant to stand! Doesn't that rile him? Why the woeful neglect? Run for office in Israel!
by Gil Ronen
(IsraelNN.com) A delegation of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace (RCP) met with U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Mr. James Cunningham, today and called for a reassessment of the entire U.S. policy vis-à-vis the Israelis and Palestinians. The rabbis told Ambassador Cunningham that it was time to try the Biblical approach to the dispute over the Land of Israel.
"The past 17 years have proven without a shadow of a doubt that every square inch ceded by Israel to the Palestinians was transformed into a platform of hatred and terrorism," RCP Director Rabbi Avrohom Shmuel Lewin told the ambassador. "In other words, the 'land for peace' formula in the Israel-Palestinian context, besides being a formula that goes against the Divine will, is ineffective, obsolete, and an exercise in futility. Most of all it is a dangerous policy that only leads to bloodshed and instability in the region and harms vital American interests in the region as well," Lewin said.
'Land for peace doesn't work'
The delegation was headed by Rabbi Joseph Gerlitzky, Chairman of the RCP, who is also the Rabbi
"It's all a play of words, there is no peace process."
of Central Tel Aviv where the US embassy is located. Rabbi Gerlitzky presented the ambassador with the Halachic (Jewish legal) ruling signed by over 350 prominent rabbis in Israel that it is forbidden to give up even one inch of territory controlled by Israel today because it will bring bloodshed and instability to the region.
"In the name of the overwhelming majority of rabbis in Israel," he said, "we request of you Mr. Ambassador, to convey our Halachic message to President Barack Obama that it is time for a complete reversal and reassessment of U.S. policy in the Middle East. The 'land for peace' policy never worked and harms U.S. interests in the region and the world at large."
Click here to read the rest of the story
It's absolutely true what the rabbis say, but why haven't they demanded the ISRAELI government remember the Law of Moses (Malachi 4:4), as Meir Kahane courageously taught, and GO BIBLICAL with Arabs (and everything else) in the Jewish homeland since the way of the UNJews, the humanist/Hellenist way, clearly hasn't worked and never would?
Lying Visions of Peace
Shimon Peres Has No Clothes: Where's the Peace?
Parents of Slain Son Cry For An End to Deadly Peace Process
THEY MUST GO
Peace Now: Arabs and Jews Must Go Their Separate Ways
Don't Expel Jews From Gaza!
Ariel Sharon: From Zionist to Traitor
Thoughts on Meir Kahane...
Israel's Only Way Out: Follow Kahane!
Christians Reject "Palestine" for the Promised Land of Israel
Christian Zionists, Jews, and Israel
EU to Conquer Anglo-Saxons and Jews
by Lowell Gallin
Cracking the Qur'an Code is based on the teachings and written in honor of Dr. Asher Eder of Jerusalem, Israel and Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi www.amislam.com of Rome, Italy. Dr. Eder and Sheikh Palazzi are the Jewish and Muslim Co-Founders and Co-Chairs of the Islam-Israel Fellowship of the Root and Branch Association, Ltd. www.rb.org.il.
(read more ...)
Monday, December 28, 2009
Nobody arrested me. I was detained when I faithfully reported to the Jerusalem police office at 9 a.m. Monday morning, January 9, 1996 (day before my birthday) the day after The Jerusalem Post published on their front page an article shedding light on what they were doing in the dark.
After my initial interrogation of six and one half hours, the Thursday before, I reported, as demanded, to the Jerusalem police station Friday morning, Saturday morning, Sunday morning, and then Monday morning the fellow who had actually been nice to me, he said his name was Moshe, was ordered to serve me a deportation order. He expected me to sign it and, appalled, I purposely dropped the accursed paper from my hands and let it fall to the floor where it belonged! I refused to sign it.
They put me in that dungeon called the Russian Compound, built hundreds of years ago by the Turks, and which has since been toured by Israeli parliament members who say it should be torn down! I was in a cell made for ten and at one time we had twenty one people in it, with mats lying all over the floor and bed bugs crushed on the walls and everyone but me (by the grace of God) had welts on them from their bites!
We had one "bathroom" for all of us in that cell: it was a literal hole in the floor, and the shower pipe (no showerhead) was just over that hole, and a filthy sink, and everyone had to practically beg for toilet paper. I was there for over two weeks before my unjust deportation, after being brought before the Jerusalem magistrate (who refused to release me, being represented by famous Israeli lawyer Naftali Warzberger), and later before Israel's High Court who agreed there was no reason I shouldn't have been set free, that there was no risk of flight, but now they were just going to deport me since my citizenship request was denied.
The Temple Mount Faithful paid for all my legal expenses, recognizing the whole ordeal was politico-religious persecution against all of us, yet the Leftists targeted little ol' me! Why? Because I had written an article published in Jerusalem that highlighted the plight of the Temple Mount suffering under Nazi-Muslim occupation: how the Israeli police enable Muslim discrimination daily against Christians and Jews who are unable to pray or read the Bible, in peace, upon the site of the holy temples.
Is it a crime to have an abiding love for Israel? To believe what's written in the Law and the Prophets concerning the Temple and our responsibility to construct it? To mourn that it hasn't been done yet? As the Jerusalem Talmud states: "every generation in which the Temple has not been built is as if the Temple were destroyed in it...." Isn't Israel's state emblem a gold menorah in between two gold olive branches?
Must I remain in exile, banished from the Land I love, because my hope, prayer, and dream is for Israel to fulfill what that symbol represents: the Temple and Israel's destiny to become a Light to all nations?
A House of Prayer For All Peoples?
Jews Must Demand Rights to Temple Mount
Restore Israeli Sovereignty Over Temple Mount
Still at Large!
Israel's Unjust Deportation of David Ben-Ariel
Why Edward Abington, Jr. Must Be Investigated!
Blow Up the Mosques or An Expired Visa?
From Toledo to Jerusalem
When Caesar Plays God: When the State Oversteps its Bounds
Sheik Palazzi expresses solidarity with David Ben-Ariel
Exposing the German-Vatican plot to occupy Jerusalem
Is Administrative Detention Just?
I have been accused of never agreeing with a leftist, but I do like to read what the left is saying if for no other reason than monitoring the enemy. Recently, I have found to my pleasant surprise many on the left are as upset with Obama as we are.
So don’t hesitate to ask your liberal friends to help us impeach Obama.
To prove my point, I am going to reprint an unedited column (profanity included) by the raving leftist professor David Michael Green. This column was first published on the unabashedly progressive Opednews.com. Green is a professor of political science at Hofstra University in New York.
The Leftists murdered Yitzhak Rabin and blamed it on the Right. I hope we don't see an American episode of it with the president usurper Obama/Soetoro/Obama.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Originally Posted by Ivan88
Good Job David Ben-Ariel. Yes, Peter's vision was not about food, but about the lost tribes of Israel dwelling in Asia & Europe considered by ordinary Pharisaical religion to be unclean because they were divorced from God in the time of Rehoboam.
The Israelites, like too many Jews, are Gentilized and need to remember our Hebrew roots and biblical responsibilities and forsake the unclean ways and polluted holidays of counterfeit Christianity. However, Peter's vision was concerning salvation being offered to legitimate ethnic Gentiles, not just Gentilized Israelites, and certainly had absolutely nothing to do with an imaginary change in the dietary laws (that have been in effect since Creation), as the traditional schizophrenic "Christian" slop goes.
Israel and Judah Must Get House in Order Before King Messiah Arrives
by William H. Ellis
MOST people carelessly assume that celebrating New Year's Eve is a Christian custom.
But did the practice of "waiting the old year out" really come from the Bible?
Is January 1 the true beginning of a new year? Who has the AUTHORITY to determine when a new year begins?
New Year's is one of the oldest and most universal of all pagan TRADITIONS! The custom of celebrating it has remained essentially unchanged for 4,000 years!
"There is scarcely a people, ancient or modern, savage or civilized," writes Theodor H. Gaster, in his definitive book "New Year", "which has not observed it ... in one form or another. Yet no other festival has been celebrated on so many different dates or in so many seemingly different ways."
In ancient Babylon, New Year's festivals were closely bound to the pagan feast called "Christmas" today. The little-known connection of New Year's with Christmas is made clear in our free booklet, "The PLAIN TRUTH About CHRISTMAS!" If you haven't read it before, write for it immediately.
When and how did New Year's celebrations originate? Who began the custom?
Notice the proof of history.
"Mesopotamia," writes Earl W. Count, "is the very ancient Mother of Civilization. Christmas began there, OVER FOUR THOUSAND YEARS AGO, as the festival which renewed the world for another year. The 'twelve days' of Christmas; the bright fires and probably the Yule log; the giving of presents; the carnivals with their floats, their merrymakings and clownings, the mummers who sing and play from house to house; the feastings; the church processions with their lights and song -- all these and more began there centuries before Christ was born. And they celebrated THE ARRIVAL OF A NEW YEAR!" ("4000 Years of Christmas", pp. 20-21.)
That is how it began. The celebration of New Year's began in ancient Babylonia in Mesopotamia. It was a pagan custom of ancient sun-worship 2000 years before the birth of Jesus.
The celebration of New Year's is never once commanded in the Bible. Jesus and the apostles never observed it. Moses forbade it!
Don't say "it doesn't matter." It does matter to God whether we adopt the customs of the heathen. Your Bible says, "Learn not the way of the heathen" (Jeremiah 10:2).
The New Year's festivities that had originated in Babylon found their way to Greece and finally to Rome. The Romans called it "Saturnalia" -- in honor of Saturn. Among them it was extremely popular -- a time of revelings, drinking bouts, orgies -- finally ending in HUMAN SACRIFICE!
"The first day of the Saturnalia shifted during the lifetime of Rome ... it began around the middle of December ... and continued until January first. In its midst was December twenty-fifth, the day, as the Romans calculated, when the sun was at its lowest ebb ...." (E. W. Count's "4000 Years of Christmas", page 28.)
It was Julius Caesar, Emperor of pagan Rome, who instituted the New Year's festival on January first. In 46 B. C., Caesar adopted the Julian calendar. He transferred to the first of January ALL of the licentious customs surrounding the Roman Saturnalia!
But how did such a thoroughly pagan day ever insinuate itself into our modern "Christian" calendar?
Read the answer from church history -- about 375 A.D. This is the period Emperor Constantine imposed "Christianity" on the Roman world.
"There were many immigrants into the ranks of the Christians by this time," writes Earl W. Count. "The Church Fathers discovered to their alarm that they were also facing an invasion of pagan customs. The habit of Saturnalia was too strong to be left behind. At first the Church forbade it, but in vain" (page 31).
Rather than resist the influence of pagan customs, the Catholic Church fathers compromised!
"The Church finally succeeded in taking the merriment, the greenery, the lights, and the gifts from Saturn and giving them to the Babe of Bethlehem .... The pagan Romans became Christians -- but the Saturnalia remained!" (E.W. Count, page 31.)
Modern Christians have gone A STEP FURTHER!
Rather than present a gift to Jesus Christ on the day they falsely assume to be His birthday, the world is busily trading presents among themselves! Christ has been not only forgotten at Christmas time, but is not so much as toasted amidst the partying of New Year's Eve!
During the Middle Ages many of the ancient Roman customs were maintained and augmented by the incoming heathen rites of the Teutonic peoples. It was during this period that the customary yule log and mistletoe were added to the popular New Year's festivities. The yule log is a carry-over from the bonfires of sun-worship, and mistletoe is a parasite used in Druid rites as a symbol of sex-worship!
As Teutonic customs were added, the date of New Year's celebrations was temporarily changed to March 25, to coincide with the Germanic spring rites of fertility.
Finally Pope Gregory re-instituted the ancient pagan Roman date of January first. He imposed it on the whole Western world in 1582 when his Gregorian calendar "reforms" were accepted. All Roman Catholic countries accepted this change AT ONCE! Sweden, Germany, Denmark and England, the strongholds of Druid customs, finally acquiesced to Rome in the 1700's!
Today, New Year's Eve has become a time for people to wallow in excesses of liquor! The modern attitude seems to be, "have a wild time on New Year's Eve, and turn over a new leaf on New Year's Day!"
New Year's resolutions are empty and meaningless, usually trifling matters of jest! Few people make a lasting change.
Most people seem to have convinced themselves that God is out of the picture for good. That God is not concerned with their modern revelings, drunken parties, promiscuous behavior!
What does God have to say about New Year's? Does He condone observing a pagan festival? practicing pagan customs in the name of Christ?
God Almighty does not compromise! Notice the Eternal's stern warning to Israel as they conquered the pagan nations of the promised land:
"Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou INQUIRE NOT AFTER THEIR GODS, saying 'How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.' THOU SHALT NOT DO SO UNTO THE ETERNAL THY GOD: for EVERY ABOMINATION to the Eternal, WHICH HE HATETH, have they done to their gods ...." (Deut. 12:30-31.)
What were the customs God hates and condemns in Deuteronomy? What are those pagan rites that are an ABOMINATION to Him?
These very rites and customs practiced in ancient Canaan and Syria included the NEW YEAR'S FESTIVALS! From the ancient Canaanites the Greeks learned the same rites.
Theodor H. Gaster writes concerning the familiar "New Year's babe":
"Actually the New Year babe is FAR OLDER than he looks. In ancient Greece, it was customary at the great festival of Dionysus to parade a babe cradled in a winnowing basket. This was taken to symbolize the annual (or periodic) rebirth of that god as the spirit of fertility!" (New Year.)
None other than Bacchus -- the god of wine! In his honor the Greeks held a festival called the "Festival of the Wine-Press" at the time which corresponds to our months of January-February!
Today more alcoholic beverages are consumed during the "holiday season" than at any other time of the year! New Year's Eve is noted for its licentious, wild, and wanton partying. People are deceived by riotous pagan holiday spirits -- for the most part emanating from liquor bottles -- all the while calling it "Christian"!
Another symbol of New Year's celebrations is equally pagan! It is the familiar figure of a white-haired man carrying a scythe. What does he represent? The ancient Greek god Cronos. It is from the name "Cronos" we derive our "chronograph" which measures time.
Among the Greek gods, Cronos originally cut a swath of HUMAN SACRIFICE with his sharpened scythe! The "silent reaper" anciently "reaped" little children in horrible episodes of mythical CANNIBALISM! This Greek rite of human sacrifice was adopted by ancient Rome, where human sacrifice was practiced at least until 300 A. D.
No wonder God Almighty warns the pagan New Year's celebration is AN ABOMINATION to Him! See Deuteronomy 12:31.
Strange as it seems, the professing Christian world praises and practices customs and days of pagan origin -- thinly cloaking them in "Christian" sounding names! You too, may have accepted these vain traditions of men, never realizing they are PAGAN TO THE CORE!
"In VAIN do they worship me," said Jesus Christ, "teaching for doctrines the commandments of men!"
Jesus said it is possible to WORSHIP GOD -- to venerate the NAME of Christ -- and still do it ALL IN VAIN!
"Full well YE REJECT THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD, that ye may keep your own tradition," He continued, "... making the Word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered!" (Mark 7:7, 9, 13.)
Many people will confess, when forced to, the pagan origin of these days. But they stubbornly REFUSE to stop observing them! God is their Judge!
Don't you make this mistake!
Remember! It is God Almighty who created the Universe. He set the heavenly bodies in their courses at Creation. It is by His "master-clock" that time is determined.
The earth's rotation regulates the length of a day -- the lunar phases indicate the length of a month. And the orbit of the earth around the sun dictates the length of a year!
But ONLY GOD has the AUTHORITY to set the date of the beginning of the new year!
God's sacred calendar year begins in the spring -- not in the middle of a dead winter! Notice Exodus 12:1-2, "And the Eternal spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the FIRST MONTH OF THE YEAR TO YOU."
The first month of God's sacred calendar is called, in the Bible, "Abib". It means the month of "green ears." Later, the Jews called it "Nisan" -- a Babylonian word having the same meaning.
It was in the month of Abib or Nisan that Israel came out of Egyptian captivity under Moses (Ex. 34:18). The Hebrew month Abib overlaps the months of March-April on the pagan Roman calendar in use today.
God placed the beginning of the sacred year in the early spring to mark the beginning of the seasonal harvests. The two annual harvests in Palestine foreshadowed God's Plan for the twofold SPIRITUAL harvest of souls to be born into His Kingdom.
Your Bible speaks of a great false religious system which will "think to change times and laws" (Dan. 7:25). This system has deliberately thought to change the beginning of God's calendar year in an attempt to hide God's Plan for the salvation of mankind! But man has no authority to change God's "master-clock."
Satan, however, has cleverly deceived the world into believing the new year begins on January first!
The very same pagan practices God condemns in the Old Testament are being perpetuated in our modern world today!
The very same festivals of paganism adopted by ancient Israel have become an integral part of this modern society!
Read, in II Kings 17:15-18, the reason why God Almighty took ancient Israel into captivity: "And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the Lord had charged them, that they should not do like them!"
What was the result of Israel following the customs of the heathen nations around them?
"Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight .... and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight .... SO WAS ISRAEL CARRIED AWAY OUT OF THEIR OWN LAND TO ASSYRIA UNTO THIS DAY!" (II Kings 17:18, 20, and 23.)
Israel NEVER returned as a nation to the land of Palestine!
Israel was lost! Its true identity was concealed until modern times! Now there is proof that the lost ten tribes of ancient Israel migrated to Northwestern Europe. The chief peoples among them have become the United States and British Commonwealth today! (If you don't already have your copy of our free booklet, "The United States and the British Commonwealth in Prophecy", send for it immediately.)
Do you suppose God has changed His mind about compromising with paganism?
"For I am the LORD, I CHANGE NOT!" warns the Eternal in Malachi 3:6. This same reminder is repeated in Hebrews 13:8.
Speaking to the modern nations of Israel today, Almighty God says, "As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Eternal God; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols and thereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me: but POLLUTE YE MY HOLY NAME NO MORE with your gifts and with your idols" (Ezek. 20:39).
In other words, God is saying, "Be pagan if you insist; but quit calling it Christian."
God continues to warn modern Israel against the holidays of paganism, in Hosea 2:11:
"I will also cause all her mirth to cease, HER feast days [days THE PEOPLE chose], HER new moons [marking the beginning of the pagan New Year], and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts." Notice that these were Israel's feast days -- those Israel had acquired from the pagan nations around them -- NOT those God had originally instituted through His Bible! "And I will visit upon her the DAYS OF BAALIM, wherein she burned incense to them ..." (verse 13)!
The very same punishment awaits any nation today that forsakes God's law as revealed in His Holy Bible, and turns to the customs of pagan nations -- observing pagan days of worship!
Does it make any difference if YOU continue observing pagan customs -- like New Year's? IT CERTAINLY DOES! God says so!
"And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power, and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he said mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen.
"Her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues!"
New Year's celebration began in Babylon 4,000 years ago. It is practiced today by almost every people on the face of the earth. Satan the Devil has indeed deceived the whole world! (Rev. 12:9.)
But God Almighty has sent His ministers to warn this world -- to cry aloud, and spare not, and SHOW HIS PEOPLE THEIR SINS (Isa. 58:1). Punishment will not be forever withheld!
May God help you to HEED THIS WARNING, and FORSAKE THE PAGAN PRACTICES of this modern world!
The Plain Truth - December, 1964
On April 2, 2002, as Israel implemented its Defensive Shield operation to combat the Palestinian terrorist infrastructure, in Bethlehem "a number of terrorists took over St. Mary's Church grounds and...held the priest and a number of nuns there against their will. The terrorists used the Church as a firing position, from which they shot at IDF soldiers in the area. The soldiers did not return fire toward the church when fired upon [emphasis added]. An IDF force, under the command of the Bethlehem area regional commander, entered the Church grounds today without battle, in coordination with its leaders, and evacuated the priest and nuns."33
That same day, "More than 100 Palestinian gunmen...[including] soldiers and policemen, entered the Church of the Nativity on Tuesday, as Israeli troops swept into Bethlehem in an attempt to quell violence by Palestinian suicide bombers and militias."34 The actual number of terrorists was between 150 and 180, among them prominent members of the Fatah Tanzim. As the New York Times put it, "Palestinian gunmen have frequently used the area around the church as a refuge, with the expectation that Israel would try to avoid fighting near the shrine" [emphasis added].35
And in fact this was the case. The commander of the Israeli forces in the area asserted that the IDF would not break into the church itself and would not harm this site holy to Christianity. Israel also deployed more mature and more reserved reserve-duty soldiers in this sensitive situation that militarily called for more agile, standing-army soldiers.36
On the other hand, the Palestinians did not treat it the same way. Not only did they take their weapons with them into the Church of the Nativity and fire, on occasion, from the church, but also reportedly booby-trapped the entrance to the church.37
On April 7, "one of the few priests evacuated from the church told Israeli television yesterday that gunmen had shot their way in, and that the priests, monks and nuns were essentially hostages....The priest declined to call the clergy 'hostages,' but repeatedly said in fluent English: 'We have absolutely no choice. They have guns, we do not.'"38
Christians clearly saw the takeover as a violation of the sanctity of the church. In an interview with CWNews, Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, the Vatican's Undersecretary of State and the top foreign-policy official, asserted that "The Palestinians have entered into bilateral agreements [with the Holy See] in which they undertake to maintain and respect the status quo regarding the Christian holy places and the rights of Christian communities. To explain the gravity of the current situation, let me begin with the fact that the occupation of the holy places by armed men is a violation of a long tradition of law that dates back to the Ottoman era. Never before have they been occupied - for such a lengthy time - by armed men."39 On April 14, he reiterated his position in an interview on Vatican Radio.40
On April 24, the Jerusalem Post reported on the damage that the PA forces were causing:
Three Armenian monks, who had been held hostage by the Palestinian gunmen inside Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, managed to flee the church area via a side gate yesterday morning. They immediately thanked the soldiers for rescuing them.
They told army officers the gunmen had stolen gold and other property, including crucifixes and prayer books, and had caused damage....
One of the monks, Narkiss Korasian, later told reporters: "They stole everything, they opened the doors one by one and stole everything....They stole our prayer books and four crosses...they didn't leave anything. Thank you for your help, we will never forget it."
Israeli officials said the monks said the gunmen had also begun beating and attacking clergymen.41
When the siege finally ended, the PA soldiers left the church in terrible condition:
The Palestinian gunmen holed up in the Church of the Nativity seized church stockpiles of food and "ate like greedy monsters" until the food ran out, while more than 150 civilians went hungry. They also guzzled beer, wine, and Johnnie Walker scotch that they found in priests' quarters, undeterred by the Islamic ban on drinking alcohol. The indulgence lasted for about two weeks into the 39-day siege, when the food and drink ran out, according to an account by four Greek Orthodox priests who were trapped inside for the entire ordeal....
The Orthodox priests and a number of civilians have said the gunmen created a regime of fear.
Even in the Roman Catholic areas of the complex there was evidence of disregard for religious norms. Catholic priests said that some Bibles were torn up for toilet paper, and many valuable sacramental objects were removed. "Palestinians took candelabra, icons and anything that looked like gold," said a Franciscan, the Rev. Nicholas Marquez from Mexico.42
A problem that arose during the siege again shows Christian fear of Muslim domination. Two Palestinian gunmen in the church were killed, and the PA wanted to bury them in the basilica. "With two Muslim bodies inside the Church of the Nativity, Christianity could be facing an absolute disaster in Bethlehem," said Canon Andrew White, the special representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Middle East. "It would be catastrophic if two Muslim martyrs were buried in the church. It could lead to a situation like that in Nazareth," he said.43 Only after intensive mediation efforts were plans to bury the bodies inside abandoned.
excerpt from THE BELEAGUERED CHRISTIANS OF THE PALESTINIAN-CONTROLLED AREAS
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Christian Zionists, Jews, and Israel
For some Sderot residents, however, the celebration of Hannukah, which commemorates the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and the Jewish people’s defeat of the Syrian Greeks over 2,000 years ago, brings back more recent memories of hardship. Read more
I doubt the world cares about Sderot when it's clear the "Jewish" government of Israel doesn't. If the Hellenist government cared for its Land and People, they would defeat and drive out their sworn Arab enemies as Meir Kahane reminded the nation Moses taught they must do or suffer the consequences (Malachi 4:4).
- David Ben-Ariel
Sderot Rally for Hope: Stop Rocket Attacks on Civilians!
Thu Dec 24 2009 06:48:57 ( 7 Tevet 5770)
From shelled to sheltered: Sderot's new reality
Thu Dec 24 2009 00:47:12 ( 7 Tevet 5770)
Tiny organization fights to make Sderot's voice heard
Thu Dec 17 2009 15:18:27 ( 30 Kislev 5770)
Sderot residents light Chanukah menorah made of Gaza rockets
Thu Dec 17 2009 12:02:21 ( 30 Kislev 5770)
National Public Radio: "Shell Shock Lingers for Israelis After Gaza War"Tue Dec 15 2009 07:13:06 ( 28 Kislev 5770)
DBA should contemplate why it is that everyone who knows him detests him.
They hate the one who rebukes in the gate, And they abhor the one who speaks uprightly.
Not everyone detests me [Christ in me]... only those who hate the plain truth of the Bible and history that I dare to share, only those who are hateful and dishonest and deceitful like you - folks who are left without excuse and deserve the punishment that's coming.
Will God Curse Our Countries for Christmas?
You've been warned: believe it or not! But instead of focusing on the message, taking it to heart, thanking God for bringing these truths to light and offering a way out, too many want to shoot the messenger but it will backfire on them.
The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.
Is the Plain Truth Too Strong?
I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
...they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.
Drunks and Whores
Shape up or get shipped out!
Plea to Diehard Catholics & Protestants to Repent
At Kwanzaa 2009, for the first time since political activist Dr. Maulana Karenga established the holiday in 1966, the U.S. has a President of African-American ancestry. Yet President Barack Obama and his family will not be celebrating Kwanzaa. Indeed, some observers suggest that the holiday has lost much of its appeal to African-Americans just as it has entered the mainstream of American consumer culture (“Kwanzaa celebrations continue, but boom is over,” Associated Press, December 17, 2009).
Are people rejecting Kwanzaa because it is a “manufactured” holiday that does not accurately reflect historical fact and tradition? If so, they should consider applying the same standard to Christmas. Religious scholars acknowledge that Jesus Christ was not born on, or anywhere near, December 25. Neither Christ nor the Apostles celebrated His birth and, for generations afterward, His birthday was neither known to nor celebrated by professing Christians. “The [Church] Fathers of the 2nd and 3rd centuries, such as Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Epiphanus, contended that Christmas was a copy of a pagan celebration” (“Christianity,” Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol. III, p. 499).
By setting aside the time between Christmas and New Year’s Day, Kwanzaa-keepers are doing just what the first Christmas-keepers did—co-opting the surrounding society’s existing times of celebration. Yet it was not until the 4th century AD that most professing Christians throughout the Roman Empire began to honor December 25—a day then holy to worshipers of the false gods Mithras and Sol Invictus—as the day of Christ’s birth. One Roman almanac notes a December 25, 336AD observance of Christmas, though other cities resisted the innovation for decades longer. Correspondence by Cyril of Jerusalem (ca. 348–386AD) shows that as late as 385AD, the Church in Jerusalem (birthplace of biblical Christianity) was not keeping a Christmas celebration.
“But what’s wrong with inventing a harvest festival that pictures a time of harmony?,” you may ask. Few who observe Kwanzaa realize that God Himself gave human beings a “harvest festival” to observe. All around the world, genuine Christians—following the example of Jesus Christ and His disciples—celebrate the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles. Unlike Christmas or Kwanzaa, the date of the Feast of Tabernacles comes from Scripture (Leviticus 23:34). The Feast of Tabernacles, also called the “Feast of Ingathering,” is a harvest festival (Exodus 23:16; 34:22), but unlike Kwanzaa it carries a deeper God-given meaning. God uses the Feast of Tabernacles to teach Christians about the future Kingdom of God, during which Jesus Christ, born to be a king (Luke 1:32–33), will rule all nations (Revelation 11:15). Under Christ’s coming millennial rule, all the Earth will keep the Feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14:16–17).
During the Feast of Tabernacles, God’s people reside in temporary dwellings as a reminder that they are strangers and pilgrims on Earth (Hebrews 11:13). They rejoice that under Christ’s soon-coming rule, the world will be at peace and His “harvest” will encompass all human beings, not just the few who in our age have heard and responded to His message.
Billions keeping Kwanzaa or Christmas are missing out on the inspiring truth God has given in Scripture. The annual Holy Days reveal His plan for humanity with a depth not known to those who instead keep man-made holidays. To learn more, read our inspiring booklet, The Holy Days: God’s Master Plan, or watch our Tomorrow’s World telecast, “The Missing Message.”
Friday, December 25, 2009
This greatest of all the “Christian” holidays began in antiquity, as a pagan observance of the winter solstice, and has morphed into a quasi-religious observance that is really a great merchandising opportunity for merchants who cater to every whim, as people scramble to buy gifts for family, friends, and business associates. Surely, one can’t be against booming commerce which brings jobs and prosperity to so many people.
Then comes the day after the big celebration, when the reality of the credit buying binge crashes in on many families who financed their generosity with credit cards bearing high interest rates. Many heads ache from the over-indulgence in food and drink that would be unthinkable at other times of the year, but which is perfectly acceptable during this winter season. The stress and strain associated with all that goes on leading up to the climax of the observance takes a toll on many of the participants.
Still, you might be thinking, “If I’m willing to accept the responsibility and put up with all of this pressure to conform, why should anyone care? It’s nobody’s business but mine!” And, if you are not concerned about what the Bible has to say about the situation, you would be right. However, actions have consequences, which include the universally popular observance of Christmas.
Consider that the Bible says that truth is important. Notice John 8:32: “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” I’m certain you are aware that one of the basic ten commandments given by God on Mt. Sinai concerned being truthful: “You shall not bear false witness” (Exodus 20:16). With that in mind, consider that Jesus Christ was not born on December 25th. So, the basic premise of the observance is based on an untruth – that’s right – a lie!
Another big part of the celebration, especially for children, is the Santa Claus tradition. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but there is no Santa Claus. It is a lie!
What does the Bible say about the fate of liars? It is not pretty. Revelation 21:8 states: “…all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Clinging to traditions is not new. Jesus dealt with the subject when He strongly corrected the Pharisees and Sadducees saying: “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition” (Mark 7:9). In another place, Jesus explained that paying lip service and using His name is not what is required. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). What is His will? That we worship him with sincerity and truth (1 Corinthians 5:8; cf., 1 Peter 1:22).
Christmas is not the only popular tradition or teaching that is not biblical. If you have the courage to face reality about many of the things taught by mainstream Christianity, then you will find our free booklet, Satan’s Counterfeit Christianity very helpful.
As you read this booklet you may find yourself saying with Scrooge, in the popular Christmas story, “A Christmas Carol” – “Bah! Humbug!”
The truth 'will' set you free.
But, first it's going to piss you off."
-- Solomon Short
Especially when you dare to share the plain truth of the Bible and history about the baptized paganism of the "mass of Christ" or Christmas trees!
Is the Plain Truth Too Strong?
Will God Curse Our Countries for Christmas?
Plea to Diehard Catholics & Protestants to Repent
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Even though I quit keeping the Roman Catholic hollow day of Christmas years ago, as soon as I found out the plain truth about how God hates Christmas as a whitewashed pagan abomination, I've been to Bethlehem on "Christmas Day." It's a Nazi-Muslim, Arab-occupied place now - certainly not a Jewish village Miriam, Yosef or Yahshua would feel welcome in!
I was thrilled to see you dare to share the plain truth about how Christmas is spiritual adultery and amounts to sun worship, and then so disappointed when I see you fall for Rome's replacement theology of SUNday and use the lame excuse it was the day of Yahshua's resurrection (which even if it were true, doesn't follow God changing His mind (Malachi 3:6) or Christ - who is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrew 13:8) - about his holy commandments).
SUNday is spiritual adultery! God help you to come out of Babylon all the way.
Baptist heretics responded:
We are New Testament followers of the Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles.
We are not Old Testament followers of Moses.
The apostles changed the form of worship, just as Jesus had prophesied (John 4:20-24; Col 2:16-17; Heb 9:10).
If Jesus were your Lord, you would love and obey Him and follow His example. He kept the Sabbath, his disciples kept the Sabbath, and the whole world will keep the Sabbath when the King of the Jews returns and reigns. Furthermore, the Sabbath didn't begin or end with Moses.
Sad you commit spiritual adultery by bowing to ROME every SUNday, whether you chose to remain in drunken denial of this fact or not. True Christians know God has not changed His mind and Yahshua is the same yesterday, today and forever. Jesus prophesied about false followers speaking against the holy commandments of God (that they may keep their own idolatrous traditions), and Daniel warned about those who would "think to change times and laws."
Remember the Sabbath
Roman Catholic and Protestant Confessions about Sunday
"The law is done away" - don't you believe it!
History reveals that it was decades after the death of the apostles that a politico-religious system repudiated the Sabbath of Scripture and substituted the observance of the first day of the week. The following quotations, all from Roman Catholic sources, freely acknowledge that there is no Biblical authority for the observance of Sunday, that it was the Roman Church that changed the Sabbath to the first day of the week.
In the second portion of this booklet are quotations from Protestants. Undoubtedly all of these noted clergymen, scholars, and writers kept Sunday, but they all frankly admit that there is no Biblical authority for a first-day sabbath.
Roman Catholic Confessions
James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of our Fathers, 88th ed., pp. 89.
"But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify."
Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism 3rd ed., p. 174.
"Question: Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?
"Answer: Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her-she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority."
John Laux, A Course in Religion for Catholic High Schools and Academies (1 936), vol. 1, P. 51.
"Some theologians have held that God likewise directly determined the Sunday as the day of worship in the New Law, that He Himself has explicitly substituted the Sunday for the Sabbath. But this theory is now entirely abandoned. It is now commonly held that God simply gave His Church the power to set aside whatever day or days she would deem suitable as Holy Days. The Church chose Sunday, the first day of the week, and in the course of time added other days as holy days."
Daniel Ferres, ed., Manual of Christian Doctrine (1916), p.67.
"Question: How prove you that the Church hath power to command feasts and holy days?
"Answer. By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of, and therefore they fondly contradict themselves, by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same Church.'
James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore (1877-1921), in a signed letter.
"Is Saturday the seventh day according to the Bible and the Ten Commandments? I answer yes. Is Sunday the first day of the week and did the Church change the seventh day -Saturday - for Sunday, the first day? I answer yes . Did Christ change the day'? I answer no!
"Faithfully yours, J. Card. Gibbons"
The Catholic Mirror, official publication of James Cardinal Gibbons, Sept. 23, 1893.
"The Catholic Church, . . . by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday."
Catholic Virginian Oct. 3, 1947, p. 9, art. "To Tell You the Truth."
"For example, nowhere in the Bible do we find that Christ or the Apostles ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday. We have the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath day, that is the 7th day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the[Roman Catholic] church outside the Bible."
Peter Geiermann, C.S.S.R., The Converts Catechism of Catholic Doctrine (1957), p. 50.
"Question: Which is the Sabbath day?
"Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath day.
"Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
"Answer. We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday."
Martin J. Scott, Things Catholics Are Asked About (1927),p. 136.
"Nowhere in the Bible is it stated that worship should be changed from Saturday to Sunday .... Now the Church ... instituted, by God's authority, Sunday as the day of worship. This same Church, by the same divine authority, taught the doctrine of Purgatory long before the Bible was made. We have, therefore, the same authority for Purgatory as we have for Sunday."
Peter R. Kraemer, Catholic Church Extension Society (1975),Chicago, Illinois.
"Regarding the change from the observance of the Jewish Sabbath to the Christian Sunday, I wish to draw your attention to the facts:
"1) That Protestants, who accept the Bible as the only rule of faith and religion, should by all means go back to the observance of the Sabbath. The fact that they do not, but on the contrary observe the Sunday, stultifies them in the eyes of every thinking man.
"2) We Catholics do not accept the Bible as the only rule of faith. Besides the Bible we have the living Church, the authority of the Church, as a rule to guide us. We say, this Church, instituted by Christ to teach and guide man through life, has the right to change the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament and hence, we accept her change of the Sabbath to Sunday. We frankly say, yes, the Church made this change, made this law, as she made many other laws, for instance, the Friday abstinence, the unmarried priesthood, the laws concerning mixed marriages, the regulation of Catholic marriages and a thousand other laws.
"It is always somewhat laughable, to see the Protestant churches, in pulpit and legislation, demand the observance of Sunday, of which there is nothing in their Bible."
T. Enright, C.S.S.R., in a lecture at Hartford, Kansas, Feb. 18,1884.
"I have repeatedly offered $1,000 to anyone who can prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says, 'Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.' The Catholic Church says: 'No. By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week.' And lo! The entire civilized world bows down in a reverent obedience to the command of the holy Catholic Church."
Protestant ConfessionsProtestant theologians and preachers from a wide spectrum of denominations have been quite candid in admitting that there is no Biblical authority for observing Sunday as a sabbath.
Roman Catholic and Protestant Confessions about Sunday
Anglican/EpiscopalIsaac Williams, Plain Sermons on the Catechism , vol. 1, pp.334, 336.
"And where are we told in the Scriptures that we are to keep the first day at all? We are commanded to keep the seventh; but we are nowhere commanded to keep the first day .... The reason why we keep the first day of the week holy instead of the seventh is for the same reason that we observe many other things, not because the Bible, but because the church has enjoined it."
Canon Eyton, The Ten Commandments , pp. 52, 63, 65.
"There is no word, no hint, in the New Testament about abstaining from work on Sunday .... into the rest of Sunday no divine law enters.... The observance of Ash Wednesday or Lent stands exactly on the same footing as the observance of Sunday."
Bishop Seymour, Why We Keep Sunday .
We have made the change from the seventh day to the first day, from Saturday to Sunday, on the authority of the one holy Catholic Church."
BaptistDr. Edward T. Hiscox, a paper read before a New York ministers' conference, Nov. 13, 1893, reported in New York Examiner , Nov.16, 1893.
"There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will be said, however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week .... Where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament absolutely not.
"To me it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during three years' intercourse with His disciples, often conversing with them upon the Sabbath question . . . never alluded to any transference of the day; also, that during forty days of His resurrection life, no such thing was intimated.
"Of course, I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history . . . . But what a pity it comes branded with the mark of paganism, and christened with the name of the sun god, adopted and sanctioned by the papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism!"
William Owen Carver, The Lord's Day in Our Day , p. 49.
"There was never any formal or authoritative change from the Jewish seventh-day Sabbath to the Christian first-day observance."
CongregationalistDr. R. W. Dale, The Ten Commandments (New York: Eaton &Mains), p. 127-129.
" . . . it is quite clear that however rigidly or devotedly we may spend Sunday, we are not keeping the Sabbath - . . 'Me Sabbath was founded on a specific Divine command. We can plead no such command for the obligation to observe Sunday .... There is not a single sentence in the New Testament to suggest that we incur any penalty by violating the supposed sanctity of Sunday."
Timothy Dwight, Theology: Explained and Defended (1823), Ser. 107, vol. 3, p. 258.
" . . . the Christian Sabbath [Sunday] is not in the Scriptures, and was not by the primitive Church called the Sabbath."
Disciples of ChristAlexander Campbell, The Christian Baptist, Feb. 2, 1824,vol. 1. no. 7, p. 164.
"'But,' say some, 'it was changed from the seventh to the first day.' Where? when? and by whom? No man can tell. No; it never was changed, nor could it be, unless creation was to be gone through again: for the reason assigned must be changed before the observance, or respect to the reason, can be changed! It is all old wives' fables to talk of the change of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day. If it be changed, it was that august personage changed it who changes times and laws ex officio - I think his name is Doctor Antichrist.'
First Day Observance , pp. 17, 19.
"The first day of the week is commonly called the Sabbath. This is a mistake. The Sabbath of the Bible was the day just preceding the first day of the week. The first day of the week is never called the Sabbath anywhere in the entire Scriptures. It is also an error to talk about the change of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. There is not in any place in the Bible any intimation of such a change."
LutheranThe Sunday Problem , a study book of the United Lutheran Church (1923), p. 36.
"We have seen how gradually the impression of the Jewish sabbath faded from the mind of the Christian Church, and how completely the newer thought underlying the observance of the first day took possession of the church. We have seen that the Christians of the first three centuries never confused one with the other, but for a time celebrated both."
Augsburg Confession of Faith art. 28; written by Melanchthon, approved by Martin Luther, 1530; as published in The Book of Concord of the Evangelical Lutheran Church Henry Jacobs, ed. (1 91 1), p. 63.
"They [Roman Catholics] refer to the Sabbath Day, a shaving been changed into the Lord's Day, contrary to the Decalogue, as it seems. Neither is there any example whereof they make more than concerning the changing of the Sabbath Day. Great, say they, is the power of the Church, since it has dispensed with one of the Ten Commandments!"
Dr. Augustus Neander, The History of the Christian Religion and Church Henry John Rose, tr. (1843), p. 186.
"The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance, and it was far from the intentions of the apostles to establish a Divine command in this respect, far from them, and from the early apostolic Church, to transfer the laws of the Sabbath to Sunday."
John Theodore Mueller, Sabbath or Sunday , pp. 15, 16.
"But they err in teaching that Sunday has taken the place of the Old Testament Sabbath and therefore must be kept as the seventh day had to be kept by the children of Israel .... These churches err in their teaching, for Scripture has in no way ordained the first day of the week in place of the Sabbath. There is simply no law in the New Testament to that effect."
MethodistHarris Franklin Rall, Christian Advocate, July 2, 1942, p.26.
"Take the matter of Sunday. There are indications in the New Testament as to how the church came to keep the first day of the week as its day of worship, but there is no passage telling Christians to keep that day, or to transfer the Jewish Sabbath to that day."
John Wesley, The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M., John Emory, ed. (New York: Eaton & Mains), Sermon 25,vol. 1, p. 221.
"But, the moral law contained in the ten commandments, and enforced by the prophets, he [Christ] did not take away. It was not the design of his coming to revoke any part of this. This is a law which never can be broken .... Every part of this law must remain in force upon all mankind, and in all ages; as not depending either on time or place, or any other circumstances liable to change, but on the nature of God and the nature of man, and their unchangeable relation to each other."
Dwight L. MoodyD. L. Moody, Weighed and Wanting (Fleming H. Revell Co.: New York), pp. 47, 48.
The Sabbath was binding in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. This fourth commandment begins with the word 'remember,' showing that the Sabbath already existed when God Wrote the law on the tables of stone at Sinai. How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they will admit that the other nine are still binding?"
PresbyterianT. C. Blake, D.D., Theology Condensed, pp.474, 475.
"The Sabbath is a part of the decalogue - the Ten Commandments. This alone forever settles the question as to the perpetuity of the institution . . . . Until, therefore, it can be shown that the whole moral law has been repealed, the Sabbath will stand . . . . The teaching of Christ confirms the perpetuity of the Sabbath."
Remember the Sabbath
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Is God a trinity? Was the modern trinity the teaching of the Bible or the faithful leaders of the Christian church?
If it was not part of the early church, when did it become accepted?
This article will attempt to answer those questions from the Bible, early writings, and even from Roman Catholic writings.
Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity?
- Why Satan loves Christmas
Christmas is About Giving -- Says Who?
Bible Correspondence Course Lesson 21
Is This The Only Day Of Salvation?
If God and Satan are in a titanic battle for human lives, and if God is as all-powerful as the Bible reveals, then why is five-sixths of the world non-Christian today? And why have thousands of millions already died without ever having had a chance to be saved?
Many sermons have been preached based on the premise that "there is no middle ground. Either you are this minute saved, or you’re a lost soul!"
Many people have grieved over dead loved ones who had never made a profession of Christ. Perhaps over one who was a terrible sinner; perhaps over one who lived a "good" life, but never became an active church member. Still others grieve because they are not sure whether some loved one died "saved."
The teaching that a person is either saved or lost comes from the assumption that God is out to save the world now—that the mission of the Church is to save mankind now—that this is the "only day of salvation," and that this time is just about over. These assumptions are all absolutely false!
The vast majority of people have never heard the true Gospel—the good news of the coming Kingdom of God. And of those who have heard it, most have not understood that message because Satan has deceived them (Rev. 12:9). Therefore, they never had a chance to understand and be saved! Are they all, through no fault of their own, "lost" forever?
Shocking as it may sound, God does not intend for everyone to understand His truth at this time! If He did, they would understand!
Many think that Jesus spoke in parables to make His meaning clearer. This was not the reason. He spoke in parables to hide His real meaning so most of His hearers would not understand. After Jesus had spoken the parable of the sower, He plainly told His disciples whom He had called, "It is not given" to the rest (those who had not then been called) to understand the truth about the Kingdom of God. They were not permitted to understand! (Mark 4:10-12; Matt. 13:10-13.)
God has allowed the vast majority of humanity to be blind to His truth. He has allowed Satan to deceive the whole world. It is God’s purpose and plan that, until Christ returns, only those whom He specially calls (John 6:44, 65) can understand the true way of salvation.
As we learned in the previous lesson, the future members of God’s Family will be the kings, priests, teachers and administrators in His soon-coming world-ruling government. Only a comparatively few are now being called to fill these positions. They are receiving the training necessary to prepare them to teach all mankind when God’s Kingdom is set up, with world-ruling headquarters in Jerusalem.
God reveals in His inspired Word—the Holy Bible—that those He has not yet called have not lost their opportunity for salvation. God is not in the process of saving everyone now.
After Christ returns and establishes the Kingdom of God on earth, He will then begin to teach the way of salvation to millions. They will have their calling and opportunity to understand God’s truth and be born into His Family during the Millennium.
But what about the multiple thousands of millions who have already died without ever hearing or understanding the way of salvation? After the Millennium, they will be resurrected to mortal life and given their opportunity to understand God’s truth, to be begotten by God’s Spirit, to grow in His character, and to become Spirit-born members of His ruling Family.
God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). Everyone will ultimately be called and given an opportunity to receive salvation! God is absolutely fair!
The truth about this important subject is plainly revealed in the pages of your Bible. So be sure to look up and read each verse given in answer to the questions. Don’t just read this lesson—prove the truth from the Bible. "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (I Thess. 5:21). Let’s begin this eye-opening and encouraging study of God’s Word.
Why This World Is BlindedGod, the Ruler of the entire universe, assigned the archangel known as Lucifer to administer God’s government on this earth. But Lucifer rebelled against the government of God, and so God changed his name to Satan, which means adversary, competitor, enemy.
But God has not yet taken away Satan’s throne of authority. According to God’s plan, He has allowed Satan to continue ruling the earth until his successor, Jesus Christ, is officially installed by God in that office of authority.
In previous studies we learned that Satan subtly deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden. Satan did not tell Eve: "Choose my government and my way of vanity and self-centeredness, and reject God." He tempted her with the beauty of the forbidden tree, appealed to her intellectual vanity, implied that God wasn’t fair to withhold certain knowledge, and told her she wouldn’t die (Gen. 3:1-6), assuring her she was already an immortal soul dwelling in a material body. Eve was thoroughly deceived into believing Satan and disbelieving God. She ate the forbidden fruit and gave some of it to her husband to eat also. Thus Adam willingly, but not willfully, disobeyed God. When Adam took the forbidden fruit, he took to himself the authority to determine the spiritual knowledge of good and evil. He appropriated the prerogative of deciding what is good and evil—what is right and wrong—what is righteousness and what is sin. But Adam did not have this ability of himself.
Thus the first human disbelieved and disobeyed God, choosing to go his own way and do his own thing. When Adam chose to reject God’s authority, he rejected revealed spiritual knowledge from God. He chose instead to follow Satan’s self-oriented way of life—his way of "get" as opposed to God’s way of "give." Consequently, all mankind, except for a few God has specially chosen to call out of Satan’s world, has been deceived by Satan for almost 6,000 years.
Stated another way, our first parents were "kidnapped" by Satan, and followed the way of life of the kidnapper rather than their potential spiritual Father, whom they disbelieved and disobeyed.
By following Satan’s way and rejecting God, Adam in effect chose Satan as the "god" of mankind. And the Bible shows that God has allowed Satan to influence and deceive mankind ever since Adam ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Let’s review a few of the scriptures proving these facts.
1. Is Satan the god of this world? II Cor. 4:4. Has he blinded people to God’s truth? Same verse. Is Satan also the prince of the power of the air? Eph. 2:2. Does he influence, or "work in," the disobedient? Same verse. Has he indeed deceived the world? Rev. 12:9.
COMMENT: Satan, the "prince of the power of the air," influences mankind by "broadcasting" his moods and attitudes of vanity and selfishness to the human spirit in each individual. Humans unwittingly accept and express these attitudes as their own. "Human nature" is actually Satan’s nature expressed in humans. Because they have been deceived, they are unaware of this spiritual broadcasting by Satan, and do not even know that they have been deceived.
2. Do true Christians belong to Christ and God? Mark 9:41; I Cor. 3:23; 6:20. Is that because God, through Christ had to "buy" them back? Matt. 20:28; Col. 1:14; I Tim. 2:6; I Pet. 1:18-19.
COMMENT: "Redeem" (from which the word "redemption" comes) means to recover ownership of something that had been lost. If we are Christians, Christ has redeemed us—"bought us back," so to speak. His sacrifice allows us, with God’s help, to cease being the kidnapped children of Satan, and become the Spirit-begotten children of God! The fact that Christ had to pay a ransom (His life) to buy back those who are now His proves that we all have belonged to Satan! (See John 8:44; I John 3:8; Rom. 6:16.)
3. What did God warn Adam that the penalty of sin would be? Gen. 2:17.
COMMENT: Adam and Eve sinned when they ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God had foreseen that possibility. But He could not suspend the penalty He had plainly said would follow disobedience.
So how would God rescue His potential spiritual children from the kidnapper—Satan the devil? By decreeing at the very "foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8)--this present civilization based on Satan’s way, which began when Adam sinned—that He would send His future Son, Jesus Christ, to live without sin and pay the penalty of man’s sins.
It was also determined by God at that time that all of Adam’s children should die: "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Heb. 9:27). But how could a man be judged after he has died? We’ll learn the answer as we continue studying the Bible with this lesson!
4. Did Satan offer to give Christ rulership of all the kingdoms of the world if He would worship him? Matt. 4:8-9. Did Christ acknowledge that Satan is the ruler of this world? John 14:30.
COMMENT: This and the other verses we have read clearly show that Satan is the ruler of this present evil world. But he retains that power only by God’s express permission. God has assigned Satan 6,000 years in which to rule over mankind. When that time expires, Christ will forcibly intervene in world affairs and reestablish the government of God on earth. He will then rule the world for the next 1,000 years. Thus God’s plan spans a period of one prophetic "week," since a day is as a thousand years with God, and a thousand years as a day (II Pet. 3:8).
God has said to Satan, in effect: "Six ‘days’ shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh ‘day’ is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work" (Ex. 20:9-10). The first six days of this prophetic week God has turned over to Satan, and given him free reign to influence and deceive.
Satan’s work is a labor of deception—of deceiving mankind—of turning God’s truth upside down—causing honest, sincere people to accept a counterfeit for the genuine—deceiving people to sin. And how successfully he has worked at his occupation for nearly 6,000 years!
We are now nearing the end of Satan’s six millennial days of work. And the coming seventh millennial day shall be the Sabbath of the Lord God. That "day" will not belong to Satan. It belongs to God. In it, Satan shall not do any work. He will be chained, restrained, and thrown into the symbolic "bottomless pit" (Rev. 20:1-3). He will not be allowed to deceive anyone during the Millennium.
When Christ returns to earth, He will seize rulership from the archdeceiver who has deceived and swayed humanity. Christ will then restrain the builder and ruler of this world’s civilization and bind him for 1,000 years!
When Jesus Christ came to earth nearly 2,000 years ago, it was not to set up His Kingdom (John 18:36). Christ did not, at that time, come to restrain Satan from deceiving the world.
Contrary to what many have been taught, neither did Christ come to earth the first time to call everyone to salvation. Rather, He came to deliver His Father’s message—the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. That message included salvation through Christ. But Jesus did not try to get everyone to believe this wonderful message!
Notice the New Testament proof that Christ did not try to convert everyone.
1. Did Jesus speak to the multitudes in parables to make His meaning clearer, or to hide it so the public would not understand? Matt. 13:10-15; Mark 4:11-12. Did He speak to the general public only in parables? Matt. 13:34. Was this because it was not the time for most to be forgiven their sins and converted? Mark 4:12.
2. Did Christ explain the meaning of His parables only to His disciples? Mark 4:1-2, 10-11; Matt. 13:10-11, 16.
COMMENT: Christ preached the Father’s Gospel to the public as a witness. But He worked with only a few specially called and chosen disciples, or students. They were the ones whom He really wanted to understand the truth about salvation and His coming government on earth.
3. Did Jesus often try to avoid crowds of people? Matt. 5:1; 8:18; 13:36; Mark 3:13; John 5:13; 7:10. Did He often tell those whom He had healed not to tell anyone who healed them? Matt. 8:4; 9:30; 12:16; Mark 5:35, 41-43; 7:35-36. Did He want everyone to know who He really was? Matt. 16:20; Mark 3:12.
COMMENT: For most of His ministry, Jesus avoided publicity. It was not God’s will for everyone to understand who Jesus was. Spiritual understanding will not be granted to the world until Christ removes Satan from earth’s throne!
4. After three and one-half years of Christ’s preaching, and after His death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven, how many disciples remained with Him? Acts 1:2-4, 15.
COMMENT: The New Testament Church of God was started with only about 120 disciples. Only after they had been trained could they teach and train others. Christ at first needed only a few teachers to teach others to become teachers, so He called only a few at that time.
Remember, one can come to Christ only if God the Father specially selects and calls him (John 6:44, 65). But some will ask: "What about one who really wants salvation—wants to believe in Christ—is willing to truly repent and come out of this world and be led by God’s Spirit in a true commandment-keeping Christian life? Do you mean this individual cannot come to Christ unless God calls him?"
Answer: Such a person is being drawn by God, otherwise he or she would have no such desire. However, most who think they are in that category have followed a false gospel, a false teaching and are deceived. They have a false idea of what salvation is, a false concept of repentance and a false idea of what God’s way is.
5. Did God, in the Bible, tell us in advance that He would call only a few into His Church, and that His Church would continue to be small, and even persecuted? Luke 12:32; Matt. 10:16-17; 7:13-14; John 16:33; II Tim. 3:12.
COMMENT: From Christ’s human ministry until His soon return to earth, God has called only a small minority of people. God’s Church through the centuries has continued to be small—an "embryo" of God’s new civilization yet to come. That Church, as we learned in the last lesson, is in training to rule and teach the world with and under Christ in the World Tomorrow.
Does God know ahead of time whether an individual will be saved or lost? Has God foreordained that some would be saved, while others are destined to be lost? Does one have any choice at all regarding his or her own salvation?
"If God knows beforehand how I am going to decide," reasoned a man who was worried about the subject of predestination, "then it is all predetermined. If He knows in advance that I am to be lost, then that’s the way I’ll have to decide in the end. And since I’ll lose out anyway, why try?
"On the other hand, if God knows I’m going to repent, accept Christ and be saved, I’ll have to do it in the end anyway, whether I try or not. My ultimate fate was already predetermined—destined, or determined, in advance. And if that is so, then we simply are not free moral agents—we have nothing to say about it."
The subject of predestination has often puzzled and worried many people simply because they have accepted, without question, the teachings of their religion. Let’s understand exactly what the Word of God teaches about "predestination."
1. Does the Bible say that some are "predestined" ("predestined" is the modern term) to be called now? Rom. 8:28-30; Eph. 1:11-12. Are others predestined, appointed or foreordained, to be blinded in this age? I Pet. 2:8.
COMMENT: Predestination has nothing to do with any particular decision you will make, or your fate—it has only to do with the time of your calling—whether God calls you now or later. There is not one word in the entire Bible about anyone being predestined to be lost. God has not predestined or foreordained anyone either to accept or reject Christ—to be saved or lost.
The decision we make regarding our salvation is not predetermined. God has ordained that we make our own decisions. God’s purpose is that we develop His character, and character cannot be created by fiat. It must be developed through experience. And experience requires time. Although God tells us which decision we ought to make (Deut. 30:19), the final decision to choose life or death for eternity is still ours!
The only decision that is predetermined is God’s. God has predestined some to be called at certain times for a specific purpose. The rest will be called by God to understand the way of salvation later. Predestination simply has to do with when one is called.
Jesus Christ established His Church to train the future kings and priests of God’s Kingdom—to have a part in teaching the way of salvation to the masses during the Millennium. God knew far in advance that leaders, teachers, and governmental administrators would be needed for His Kingdom, so He planned ahead—predestined—that He would call some to this training, especially in this age.
If you are called—if God has revealed this wonderful truth to your understanding and you are begotten by His Spirit—you are having your opportunity now—your one and only opportunity to prepare yourself to be used by Christ in the loving labor of helping to save the vast majority of mankind in the World Tomorrow!
Most Neither Finally Lost Nor Saved
1. Have all sinned and therefore earned the penalty for sin—eternal death? Rom 3:23; 6:23. But did Christ, the Creator of all mankind, give His sinless life to pay that penalty in our stead? Rom. 5:8-10. Can salvation come only through Christ? Acts 4:12; I Tim. 2:5.
COMMENT: No one can come to God except through Jesus Christ. No one can have the death penalty he has incurred paid in any other way. But neither can anyone receive the benefit of Christ’s payment unless he has an opportunity to accept it. No one can build God’s character without His Spirit, and that Spirit is given only after repentance, belief and baptism. And God will not give immortality to anyone who has not already proven he or she will live God’s way.
Millions have lived and died without any opportunity to fulfill any of these essentials. They cannot be given eternal life—they cannot yet be trusted with the awesome powers of the God Family. They are not "saved," yet neither are they finally condemned. They will have their opportunity later.
But if they haven’t finally lost salvation, then who has? Actually, only a very small minority. The Bible describes two ways a person can lose salvation.
2. Will those whom God has already called to receive the knowledge of salvation be given a "second chance"—if they sin willfully? Heb. 10:26-29; 6:4-6. To receive this punishment, was it first necessary for them to have known God’s truth? Heb. 10:26.
COMMENT: It is only those to whom God has revealed the knowledge of His truth who have been given a chance to understand spiritual salvation and receive eternal life. If they sin willfully after receiving that knowledge, they will not have a second chance for salvation!
There is a big difference between sinning willingly and willfully. Adam sinned willingly, but that does not mean he is condemned to perish in the lake of fire because of it. There are only a few who have sinned willfully, and they are condemned to the lake of fire!
God will forgive any sin that is repented of—even if, through weakness, temptation or habit, the sin is repeated. As long as a person’s intention, attitude and desire is to obey God, he will repent, and God will forgive him (I John 1:9). Jesus said we ought to forgive seventy times seven times (Matt. 18:21-22). God is even more willing to forgive than that!
So what is a willful or an unforgiveable sin?
If a person has been given spiritual understanding of God’s way and has experienced the blessings of that way, but decides he no longer wants it, changes his attitude, deliberately chooses a life of rebellion, despising God’s Law, then this sin is unforgiveable because he will not repent of it! God will not give eternal life to anyone who insists on living Satan’s way. "It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance" (Heb. 6:4-6, NIV).
Such people have been specially called by God and given His Spirit, yet at some point in time they purposely, knowingly, rejected it! Perhaps through bitterness, refusal to forgive others, or neglect of prayer and Bible study, they stopped allowing God to build His character in them. Like the servant who did nothing with his pound or talent, they failed in God’s purpose for them. They have become so calloused to their sins that they, no matter what God could do to try to correct them, will never want to repent.
3. Did Jesus speak of another sin that will not be forgiven by God? Mark 3:28-29; Matt. 12:31-32. What grave accusation did the scribes and Pharisees hurl at Jesus? Mark 3:22; Matt. 12:22-24.
COMMENT: To intentionally speak abusively (the meaning of the Greek word translated "blasphemy") against the Holy Spirit and attribute works of God’s Spirit to the devil is to deliberately reject the only power by which one can be converted and given salvation. It is a deliberate, premeditated, willful rejection of God and His power!
4. Now what does II Corinthians 6:2 have to say about a "day" of salvation? How does Isaiah 49:8, from which II Corinthians 6:2 is quoted, correctly state it?
COMMENT: The proper translation of the Greek of II Corinthians 6:2 (and the Hebrew of Isaiah 49:8) is "now is a day of salvation." If it were true that this is the only time when one may be saved, God would not be fair, for He is now calling only a few!
This age is indeed "the" day of salvation for the few God is now calling. But all others will have their "day" of salvation later!
God is indeed calling some people in this age, but the vast majority are blinded. God has purposely allowed them to be deceived by Satan. Therefore, most people simply have not had a chance to understand the truth about salvation. They have not yet had an opportunity to be saved!
1. When Jesus came to earth about 4,000 years after Adam had cut mankind off from God, did He say that the Gospel of the Kingdom of God would be preached to all nations during this age for the purpose of converting them? Matt. 24:14.
COMMENT: The Gospel Jesus proclaimed is to be preached in all the world only for a witness to all nations before the end of the present age—not to convert them!
Most who hear the true Gospel do not really understand it or the way to salvation. God’s truth is spiritual knowledge, and spiritual knowledge cannot be transmitted naturally to a mortal human mind (I Cor. 2:11-14). Spiritual truth is revealed by God! None can receive it, though their ears hear the words, or their eyes see them (Matt. 13:14), except as God opens their understanding and reveals the truth to them by His Holy Spirit.
2. Even though most of mankind has not yet been called to understand God’s plan of salvation, some DO understand and come to Christ. Are these people specially called by God the Father? (John 6:44, 65). How are they referred to by the Apostle James? Jas. 1:18.
COMMENT: Those now called are merely the "firstfruits" of God’s plan of salvation. God has called only a few in this age—not for special favors, but for special responsibilities. They have been called to grow in God’s character so they, when born into His Family, can rule righteously in the World Tomorrow. Then they will help bring salvation to every mortal during the Millennium.
3. When was the Holy Spirit first given to those called to be firstfruits? Acts 2:1-4. To whom was the Holy Spirit promised? Verse 39.
COMMENT: The promise was made only to those God had predestined to call. It was God, not the apostles, who added new converts to the Church (Acts 2:47).
The Holy Spirit which every human needs, unites with the human spirit that is in us. It is the impregnation of God-life, which makes us the begotten but not yet born children of God’s Family—heirs, but not yet inheritors.
It is the spirit of understanding, imparting to the physical brain spiritual comprehension—the ability to really understand spiritual knowledge. It is the divine love of God placed within us. It is the faith of Christ—the same faith Jesus had—now given to us. It is also the spiritual power we need to help us turn from, resist and overcome Satan’s "get" way and turn to God’s "give" way.
It is the power by which the few firstfruits now called may develop God’s holy, righteous and perfect character, which is God’s purpose for having put humanity on the earth—that God may thus reproduce Himself.
When Adam chose to disobey God, he was cast out of the Garden of Eden and denied further access to the Holy Spirit and eternal life. He was spiritually kidnapped by Satan! Although the world would then be ruled by Satan for 6,000 years, God knew that this was the best way for humans to learn their lesson.
Those who are called prior to Christ’s return must, with the power of God’s Spirit, overcome Satan while he is still ruling. That is not easy, but it helps them to qualify for greater positions of responsibility in the World Tomorrow. Greater character is built when one has obstacles, such as the devil’s influence, to overcome.
Living in a world filled with sin also helps us learn to thoroughly hate sin (Ps. 97:10; 119:104). The results of selfishness and competition are painfully obvious to those God calls out of Satan’s world.
After Christ returns and restrains Satan, a utopia will finally result that will reflect the benefits of God’s way. The comparison with Satan’s 6,000 years of rule will be spectacular!
The 6,000-year sentence on Adam’s world—being cut off from God—is due to end in our generation. This world, still Satan’s world except for God’s Church, is fast plunging into a period of great tribulation just before Christ’s return.
Suddenly, when most needed, but least expected by a world cut off from God, Jesus Christ will come in supreme supernatural power and glory as King of kings. He will then marry His bride—the firstfruits of His Church, who have made themselves ready—and together they will rule the world from Jerusalem during the Millennium.
Then, after this world has been freed from Satan’s rule, freed from his deceptions and spiritual influences—when this is God’s world—Christ will begin to convert everyone and bring them into His eternal Family!
Millions of modern-day descendants of the so-called "Lost Ten Tribes" of Israel will have been rescued from slave labor camps. In an exodus far greater than the original deliverance of ancient Israel from Egypt (Jer. 16:14-15; 23:3, 7-8), they will be supernaturally delivered from their captors.
Many will then remember the warnings given them by God’s modern-day apostle before the Great Tribulation began. Others will have been warned during the Tribulation by two witnesses (Rev. 11:3-12). They will be willing to admit that their old way of life, based on the ways of the old civilization founded by Satan, was wrong. And they will gladly accept God’s way.
By the millions, humans will be spiritually begotten, will grow in God’s character, and be born into the Family of God all during the thousand years.
1. When Isaiah the prophet was told by God that the vast majority of Israel was blinded (Isa. 6:10), what did he ask? Verse 11. How long did God say this spiritual blindness would last? Verses 11-12.
2. Will all Israel eventually be saved after the Deliverer—Christ at His Second Coming—comes out of Zion to call them to salvation? Rom. 11:26-27.
3. Will the nations of this earth, who have never heard about the true God and His way of life that leads to salvation, learn God’s ways and walk in His paths? Micah 4:2; Isa. 66:18-23; 11:10.
COMMENT: The Gentiles will also come to be taught by Christ, the returned Deliverer and "root of Jesse," at the time when He sets His hand to remove the spiritual blindness from the house of Israel.
4. When Christ is King over all the earth during the Millennium, will the Holy Spirit (represented by "living waters") go out from Jerusalem? Zech. 14:8-9. Will God pour out His Spirit on all people? Joel 2:28-29.
COMMENT: The Holy Spirit will be made available to all and will open their minds to understand God’s way of salvation. First, the modern-day descendants of the ancient twelve tribes of Israel will learn to obey, and then, following their example, also all of the other nations.
Just think what a time of great rejoicing it will be as each new member of the God Family is born into the Kingdom of God during the Millennium! They will then join the ruling saints in preparing for the time when thousands of millions will be resurrected and taught the way of salvation after the thousand years.
All who live during the Millennium will have their chance to participate in the salvation process. They will have their opportunity to grow spiritually toward spiritual birth into the God Family. But what about those who have already died without having understood God’s truth?
1. Did Paul clearly understand that the people of Israel, and mankind in general, were spiritually blinded? Rom. 10:16, 18-21. Although these Israelites heard the Gospel, they did not obey it. Was this because God had purposely allowed their blindness? Rom. 11:8, 25, 32. Yet, did Paul know that they would have a future opportunity to receive salvation? Verse 26.
COMMENT: When Paul said "all Israel shall be saved," he meant ALL Israel, including those of his day. But when will they be given their opportunity to come to the spiritual knowledge of salvation?
2. Does the prophet Ezekiel describe a resurrection of dead Israelites back to mortal life? Ezek. 37:11-13. Is this clearly a resurrection to physical life—do the bodies have flesh, skin and bones, and require air to live? Verses 5-9.
3. Will God also give His Spirit to these millions of people? Verse 14. Will the Gentiles also be resurrected and return to their "former estate"? Ezek. 16:55.
COMMENT: Israel is a type of all nations. Ezekiel’s prophecies describe a time when both Israelites and Gentiles who died in spiritual ignorance will be given an opportunity to receive salvation.
All the inhabitants of Sodom died centuries before Ezekiel wrote this (Gen. 19:24-25). God can "bring back their captives" (RAV translation of Ezek. 16:53) or "restore their fortunes" (Moffatt, RSV and NIV) only by resurrecting them! All unconverted Israelites will be resurrected at the same time as those Gentiles, and all will be given their first opportunity for salvation! (Verse 62.) The prophet Ezekiel does not explain when this resurrection occurs, but Christ did reveal it in His revelation to the Apostle John.
4. Does God want to eventually call and save everyone? II Pet. 3:9; I Tim. 2:4. Is everyone saved at the same time, or is there a definite time order or sequence? I Cor. 15:22-24.
COMMENT: Even as all men die, the same all will be made alive (verse 22). Everyone who has ever lived and died will be resurrected—first Christ was resurrected, then later the saints who lived and died before Christ’s Second Coming will be resurrected. But what about the vast majority who never were Christ’s? Verse 24 includes them all in "the end"—when Christ completes His job of conquering every enemy (verse 25). That happens after the Millennium (Rev. 20:7-10).
Those who have not heard or understood the truth have not been consigned to eternal death. They have not sinned willfully. They never had a chance! Even if some have lived up to the best they knew while alive, the Bible teaches only one way to salvation—through belief in Christ (Acts 4:12) and spiritual conversion as defined in the Bible.
Most of our loved ones who have died "unsaved" in all probability did not die lost. They most likely were not called during this age, but their call is coming later. They shall be resurrected to mortal life and given spiritual understanding and the opportunity to become members of God’s Family. Revelation 20 tells us when this great resurrection will occur.
5. Does the Bible speak of a "first" resurrection, thus implying that there are other resurrections? Rev. 20:5, last part. When is the second resurrection? Same verse, first part.
COMMENT: The first part of verse 5 is actually a parenthetical comment. The verse should read: "(But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.) This is the first resurrection. "
The sentence, "This is the first resurrection," refers to the spiritual resurrection of the firstfruits of God’s plan, which occurs at Christ’s return, just before the 1,000-year period begins (verses 4, 6).
But notice further the first sentence in verse 5: "But the rest of the dead [those who never had an opportunity to understand God’s truth] lived not again [would not come up in a resurrection] until the thousand years were finished." This resurrection, which occurs after the 1,000 years, is the second resurrection. It is a resurrection to mortal life!
6. How is the second resurrection further elaborated on? Verses 11-13. How will these people be "judged"? Verse 12.
COMMENT: The dead who stand before God couldn’t include true Christians today, because they will appear before Christ and receive their rewards at the first resurrection when He returns. It couldn’t refer to those converted during the Millennium, because they will have already inherited the Kingdom during the thousand years, after living a normal life span.
Those in this second resurrection are those who died in spiritual ignorance in past ages. Their time of salvation occurs after the second resurrection!
The Greek word translated "books" in verse 12 is biblia. It is from this word that the English word "bible" is derived. The books that are opened are the books of the Bible! They will be opened to the understanding of the multiple thousands of millions of people who had not been able to know and understand God’s purpose and plan for them during their previous lifetime, never having been called by the Father and given His Spirit of understanding.
Some, assuming that "judgment" means only the pronouncing of a sentence based on past behavior, have thought that these people, even if they repented, could do nothing to alter their fate. Thankfully, God is merciful, always willing to forgive upon true repentance.
In this period of judgment, not only is the Bible opened to their understanding, but the Book of Life is also opened. These people are given an opportunity to receive eternal life! God, in perfect fairness, will give them the same opportunity for salvation He now gives to those He calls in this age. However, they will not be subject to Satan’s influence as we are today, because Satan will have been finally sent to his punishment (Rev. 20:10).
Let’s be sure we understand the meaning of God’s judgment referred to in Revelation 20:12.
7. Are true Christians today already being judged by God? I Pet. 4:17. Is this judgment for the purpose that they might avoid condemnation? I Cor. 11:32.
COMMENT: God judges His Spirit-begotten children by evaluating how well they live by His written Word. Their rewards in God’s Kingdom, as we learned in Lesson 20, will depend on their character development during their mortal life.
Those resurrected after the Millennium will be judged the same way. They, like Spirit-begotten Christians today, will be given enough time to prove they are willing to live God’s way through a life of overcoming and obedience to God.
With God’s Spirit freely available, and freed from Satan’s spiritual influences, they will be given their first and only opportunity for salvation through repentance, baptism, and growing in godly character during a second mortal life.
Those who continue to live God’s way of life will be changed from mortality to immortality at the end of this period of judgment.
Imagine, if you can, the astonishment of those resurrected at the beginning of the period just described. Each one will be in his first moment of consciousness since death. At first, some may think they are in "heaven," "hell," or "purgatory." Most will simply be confused—bewildered.
Nothing that many had been taught about an afterlife will turn out to be true. Faced with undeniable evidence that their old teachings and ways were false, they will be more willing to admit this, start over and be taught the truth. Untold millions who never had any religious teaching whatsoever will start learning from scratch.
Who will teach these untold thousands of millions? Millions of teachers who will have been born into God’s Family in the first resurrection and during the Millennium.
Those resurrected back to mortal life will then undergo a process of conversion similar to that of Spirit-begotten Christians today. They will be taught God’s Law, and will learn they are guilty of sin and deserving of the death penalty for all eternity as a result of their sins. They will learn of God’s mercy, and that Christ paid the penalty for them, if they will accept His payment. The vast majority will undoubtedly repent.
Upon repentance and faith in Christ as their personal Savior, they will be forgiven and God’s Spirit will be given to them. Then they, as Spirit-begotten children of God, can begin growing spiritually—developing God’s holy, righteous and perfect character within them.
For many, unlearning all the falsehoods learned in their first life and learning God’s true ways will take time. And building character will take time, because character can be developed only through time and experience.
1. How long will their period of judgment last? Isa. 65:20.
COMMENT: This verse in Isaiah apparently refers to this judgment period, suggesting that those resurrected then will live for 100 years, no matter how old they were when they died.
God is great, merciful, loving, not willing that any should perish. He wants all to come to the knowledge of the truth and to true repentance. But He knows it is best that most people come to understand His truth in a better world than this present evil world. That is why they will be raised up in the second resurrection—a resurrection into a world free of Satan’s deceptions, and lovingly ruled by the God Family.
They will be able to compare the results of 6,000 years of Satan’s "get" way with the 1,000 years of God’s "give" way under Christ. With 7,000 years of humanity now history, these mortals will face up to what their previous experience in sin really proved. The vast majority will choose God’s way.
2. How did Jesus refer to this special "day" or period of judgment for people who have yet to hear and understand the wonderful message of salvation? Matt. 11:20-24; 12:41-42.
COMMENT: Christ mentioned the people of Tyre and Sidon, Sodom, Nineveh in Jonah’s time and finally the Queen of the South. All of these examples of people who lived in different generations are compared to the citizens living in the cities and towns of Jesus’ day, the vast majority of whom did not understand or believe Christ’s message. Jesus tells us that they are all to be resurrected with the generation that lived during His time!
Jesus gave enough examples of people living at widespread times to prove that most of humanity will be alive at the same time on this earth. There will be pre-Flood men and women, all 12 tribes of Israel, those who lived during the Middle Ages and the vast majority living now. Even babies and children who died untimely deaths will be resurrected then. They will all rise in the second resurrection because they had not been called by God during their first lifetime.
This group includes all people of all times except those who will have already been born of God, and those relatively few individuals who already had their opportunity to receive eternal life, but deliberately rejected it, having sinned willfully. Those few will be resurrected in the third and final resurrection to be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14-15).
The ancient peoples Jesus mentioned in Matthew 11 and 12 would have repented if He had personally come to them in their day. And they will repent and receive the Holy Spirit when resurrected into a world that has been personally ruled by Jesus Christ for 1,000 years!
Your Bible shows that the vast majority of those who have ever lived will finally be born into God’s Family at the end of their coming period of judgment. God’s master plan of salvation for mankind will then be complete.
How wonderful and reassuring is the truth of our all-wise, loving and merciful Creator God!
This multiple choice test is designed to help you review the preceding lesson. It’s an enjoyable way of putting to use some of the vital knowledge and understanding you have gained through this lesson.
Select one of the four choices given under each question or incomplete statement. The other three are incorrect—unless stated or indicated otherwise.
Take sufficient time to understand each question or statement, as well as the choices. Try to do as many as you can without referring to the lesson. If you have difficulty deciding on the correct answer, then review the part of the lesson in question.
1. The teaching that a person is now either "saved" or "lost" A. is not a widespread belief of traditional Christianity. B. is based on the truth of the Bible. C. comes from the false assumption that God is trying to save the world now. D. proves that this is the "only day of salvation."
2. People who do not understand the true way to salvation A. are "lost" forever. B. have been deceived by Satan. C. can be saved some other way. D. have rejected their chance to really understand it.
3. Jesus spoke in parables A. to make the meaning of what He said clearer to the general public. B. to help convict His listeners so they would repent and be converted. C. to hide the truth from His disciples. D. so most people would not understand.
4. Which statement is FALSE? A. God wants everyone to understand His truth at this time. B. God has allowed Satan to deceive the vast majority of humanity. C. Only those whom God specially calls can understand the true way of salvation. D. God is now calling only a few to prepare them for positions of rulership in His soon-coming Kingdom.
5. When Adam ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, A. he took to himself the authority to decide what is righteousness and what is sin. B. he rejected God’s authority, in effect choosing Satan as the "god" of mankind. C. humanity was "kidnapped" by Satan and has been blinded spiritually by him ever since. D. All of the above.
6. Satan A. cannot influence humans to sin. B. is the present ruler of this world by God’s permission. C. has not deceived the whole world. D. is not the "god" of this world.
7. Jesus Christ came to earth to A. prevent Satan from deceiving mankind. B. call everyone to salvation then. C. preach His Father’s message—the Gospel of the Kingdom of God—to the public only as a witness. D. All of the above.
8. Someone who really wants to quit sinning and obey all of God’s commandments A. is immediately saved. B. is guilty of wanting to earn his salvation. C. will convince God to call him. D. is already being called by God, otherwise he would have no such desire.
9. "Predestination" A. means that God has predetermined whether a person will be saved or lost. B. has only to do with when one is called by God to understand the way of salvation. C. shows that God has decided our fate in advance. D. proves that we are not free moral agents.
10. Which statement is FALSE? A. God has predestined most to be lost. B. Some have been foreordained to be called at certain times for a specific purpose. C. God has predetermined that some be called in this age for special training to prepare them for His Kingdom. D. The majority of mankind is predestined to be called by God later.
11. The one and only way to salvation A. does not involve repentance from sin. B. has nothing to do with living God’s way. C. is through Christ and spiritual conversion as defined in the Bible. D. is accurately understood by traditional Christianity.
12. The vast majority of people who have ever lived A. have not yet understood the true way to salvation. B. have not yet had their opportunity for salvation. C. will be given their opportunity for salvation later. D. All of the above.
13. One way a person can permanently lose salvation is by A. dying before hearing about Christ. B. sinning willfully after having been called by God and given spiritual understanding of His truth. C. having been predestined to be lost. D. None of the above—everyone will eventually be saved by being given a second chance.
14. A willful (or unforgiveable) sin is A. one that a person refuses to repent of. B. one that is committed through human weakness. C. impossible for a Spirit-begotten child of God to commit. D. one that many have committed.
15. Another way one can sin willfully is to A. break the First Commandment. B. accuse Christ of wrongdoing. C. intentionally speak abusively against God’s Spirit and attribute works of God’s power to the devil. D. All of the above.
16. Now is "the" day of salvation A. for all professing Christians. B. for the entire world. C. for all who want it to be. D. only for the few who have been called and begotten by God.
17. God’s spiritual truth A. can be understood by anyone. B. is understood by most professing Christians. C. is understood only by those whom God has called and given His Spirit. D. can be fully understood without having the Holy Spirit.
18. Which one of the following is NOT a reason God is calling only a few in this age? A. To help proclaim Christ’s Gospel to the world as a witness. B. To give them eternal life as a special favor or reward. C. To train them to rule with Christ in the World Tomorrow. D. To prepare them to teach the way of salvetion to all humanity after Christ’s Second Coming.
19. The "firstfruits" of salvation—those whom God calls and begets before Christ’s Second Coming-- A. must use God’s Spirit to overcome Satan and qualify for responsibilities in the Kingdom of God. B. are no longer susceptible to Satan’s influence. C. do not need to have the Spirit of God to grow in His character. D. are trying to reform this world.
20. All mortals who are alive after Christ returns will A. immediately be given immortality. B. be taught God’s way and given an opportunity for salvation. C. be denied access to the Holy Spirit. D. continue to be deceived by Satan.
21. Ezekiel’s vision of the dry bones being brought back to life A. is a prophecy showing that those who died in spiritual ignorance will be brought back to mortal life and given God’s Spirit of understanding. B. is just a fanciful story. C. pictures the first resurrection. D. does not refer to any resurrection.
22. What will happen at the first resurrection, which will occur at Christ’s Second Coming? A. All the dead will be brought back to mortal life and given their opportunity for salvation. B. Those who willfully rejected God will be cast into the lake of fire. C. The "firstfruits" of God’s plan of salvation will be given immortality. D. The dead in Christ, will go to heaven.
23. Those resurrected to mortal life in the second resurrection, which will occur after the Millennium, will be A. given their first and only opportunity for salvation. B. given spiritual understanding of the Bible. C. judged by their works—how well they live by God’s Word. D. All of the above.
24. The vast majority who will be made alive in the second resurrection will A. be condemned to eternal death for having followed Satan’s way during their previous life. B. not be able to compare Satan’s "get" way with God’s "give" way. C. choose to live God’s way, develop His character and eventually be born into God’s Family. D. remember nothing about their former life.
25. Who will live again during the future "day" or period "of judgment" that Jesus referred to in Matthew 11:20-24? A. People from Tyre, Sidon, Sodom, Nineveh, Israel and Judah. B. Children who died untimely deaths, those who lived before the Flood, and most people alive today. C. Everyone who had not been called and begotten by God during his first life. D. All of the above.
ANSWERS TO LESSON 21 TEST
1-C, 2-B, 3-D, 4-A, 5-D
6-B, 7-C, 8-D, 9-B, 10-A
11-C, 12-D, 13-B, 14-A, 15-C
16-D, 17-C, 18-B, 19-A, 20-B
21-A, 22-C, 23-D, 24-C, 25-D Brought to you as a Bible Study Resource by the Church of God Faithful Flock