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God & the Bible, squaring belief with reality

This is a discussion on God & the Bible, squaring belief with reality within the Off-Topic forums, part of the Main Category category; The Seven Churches- Pete Garcia We often speak about the imminent return of Christ, as if it could have happened ...

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    The Seven Churches- Pete Garcia


    We often speak about the imminent return of Christ, as if it could have happened at any point in these last two millennia, without really considering if that were really possible. Could Christ have returned at any point in the past 2,000 years? Or is there a specific time when God the Father will send His Son, Jesus Christ, to return and receive His Bride the Church?

    Why wasn’t Christ’s First Coming in 165 BC, during the Maccabean Revolt? Rome had yet to rise as a great world power and Christ could have easily claimed His throne right then and there with little trouble...so why the wait? Maybe the Jews were just as divided on when they thought the Messiah would come then, as we are divided today? Maybe this is why the Jews weren’t expecting Yeshua Hamashiach when He did arrive around 4 BC. All we know is that by the time Christ did come...no one but a handful of people were still eagerly anticipating Him. (The first and most surprising of which, were Gentiles from the East!)

    I’m continually drawn back to the Seven Letters to the Seven Churches found in Revelation 2-3. If these letters do speak to the unfolding ages of the Church, then surely, one of them would be identified as the time when Christ would return a second time to claim His Bride the Church. And if that is the case, the issue isn’t so much with the Imminent return of Christ throughout the last 2,000 years, but the Imminent return during one specific time period during the last 2,000 years.

    Understanding that not only were these literal churches in John’s day, but because of the order they are placed in and how this has played out over the centuries, we can be fairly certain that these seven (out of the thousands of churches then in John’s day) were chosen for a more specific reason than just the problems they were having back then in the 1st century. So let’s look specifically at Christ’s promise of return and how they applied to each of these churches.

    Ephesus: There is no promise to return and remove these Believers from earth, only to remove their candlestick, which is to remove them from being a church for leaving their first love.

    Smyrna:The letter to the beloved Smyrnan church offers no promise of escape; only to endure, and suffer through with patience, and their reward would be the Crown of Life.

    Pergamos:The promise to return here is not a good promise, but a threat, that if they don’t repent, the Lord Himself would come and fight against them. What had been the deeds of the Nicolaitan’s in Ephesus became to Pergamos, their doctrine.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Thyatira:To the Church of Thyatira, Jesus spent most of this letter criticizing them for many things. The promise to return is limited to only those within this church, who does not hold to the Jezebel doctrine nor have sought out the depths of Satan.

    Sardis:The promise to return to the church at Sardis was a warning. They no longer watched for His return. That has as much to do with its historical background as it does its with the theological reality of today. Most orthodox churches today do not teach pre-millennial eschatology. IF they do teach it, its become corrupted by centuries of false teaching that either all the prophecies have already been fulfilled, or that we have to take ‘dominion’ of the world before Christ ‘can’ return.

    Philadelphia: Out of all the letters, only this one has a promise to remove the Church altogether from this world. The rest of the letters’, when taken in context, offer no such promise.

    Laodicea: No promise is made by Christ to come, only a severe rebuke and chastening to repent. Christ stands outside this church knocking on the door.

    [The dividing line above delineates that the last four churches would in fact overlap each other.]

    The Eventuality of Apostasy

    If history is any guide, every denomination ultimately ends up in the theological gutter. The key issue always involves a turning away from the literal understanding of the Word of God, and a turning towards embracing the world. Church services went from heartfelt worship to loud, gaudy, theatrical worship productions followed by a sugary message to comfort the masses. The preachers went from preaching the Word, to preaching about Social Justice. A growing number of churches have become Seeker Sensitive services trying their very best to please everyone, and not trying to offend anyone.

    Mainline churches are bending in all areas of contention with respects to where the biblical standards and modern society clash. The culture war has been heating up on every level of society, and churches all across the fruited plain are falling left and right in order to avoid receiving the heavy handed media criticism and political abuse that comes to those who take a stand for biblical standards.

    Would this have been applicable even 50 years ago? American’s then, were a lot more respectful to God’s Word than they are today. While there was sin back then, (as in every Age) there wasn’t this wholesale embracing of the cultural toilet bowl of decadence that we see today.

    It’s really only been the last 40 years, that we’ve seen a relentless, systematic assault on all things Christian beginning with the late, angry-atheist Madelyn Murray O’ Hare attack of God in the public schools. Then it was on to the “Sexual Revolution” followed quickly by the war on the unborn. The race is now on in redefining terminology with political correctness in such words as: fundamentalist, hate, bigot, and choice.

    There Can Only Be One

    It is the Philadelphian Church alone who has to endure this rapidly unraveling nature of civilization. While I believe in the Imminency of Christ’s return, logically I can only deduce that it would have to be during this window of time that makes up the Philadelphian Age of the Church. Some believe this began at the First Great Awakening, while others believe it started during the Second. This is when the missionaries were sent out around the world to spread the Gospel. Yet, prophetically, in Christ’s own words, the least receptive of the Gospel of Jesus Christ have always been the Jews. But more and more Jews are coming to recognize that Christ was the Messiah and this were not even possible until 1948 (well into the Philedelphian Age) when Israel became a nation again.

    "...For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes." (Matt 10:23 NKJV)

    At no time in western history has more governments worked harder to discredit the Biblical account of creation than today, thanks now to the widely accepted “Theory of Evolution”. At no time in history have governments worked harder to remove any mention of the Biblical God from the public arena of ideas as it has today. At no time in history has more societies worked harder to take the fundamentalism out of Christianity through legislation that it deems as ‘hate speech’. At no time in history has more the mass media worked harder than it has now, to silence and belittle the Christian.

    At no time in mankind’s history has the pressure ever been greater, in more places, for the Christian to compromise their beliefs to appease non-Christian religions. At no time in history, has Christendom been as divided as it is today. At no time in history has the pressure ever been greater for all of Christianity to embrace ‘ecumenicalism’ under the banner of ‘peace’ and ‘Social Justice’.

    These are part of the devil’s battle tactics, in which he would first cause the Bride of Christ to divide over doctrine and principles. Satan is the author of confusion, and he’s been busy doing that for the last 2,000 years. Then, in using cultural flash points such as gay marriage and abortion...he can not only unite Christianity with non-Christian religions, but he can unite the divided denominational churches together under the banner of Ecumenicalism to combat the current social ills. Just remember; homosexual marriage for example, is just a symptom of the underlying cultural rot that is just now starting to bubble up to the surface.

    Why would Satan unite the Churches? In order for Christians to come together, they would have to set aside their differences...(ie...the things that make them different). So when you set your principles aside to unite over some cultural battle ...over time and repeatedly enough, you blur the lines and water down your message to the point of luke-warm irrelevance so not to offend those your working together with. No longer is your focus on evangelism, but on whatever the new decadent injustice of the month is.

    If you notice the order of the Churches in Revelation 2-3, you see that after the Gospel began to spread (Ephesus), Satan immediately began to crush it violently through men like Caligula, Nero, Domitian, and Hadrian. That brought in the Smyrnan Age of persecution...and yet they were told to endure. Satan’s lavish use of violence only caused the church to spread more rapidly. He then changed his tactics, and instead of using brute force, he began to corrupt the church through pagan ritualism and false doctrine.

    Pergamos, Thyatira, and Sardis all had issues with their doctrine. Philadelphia alone remained faithful in their love of Christ and His Prophetic Word.

    For Satan, if you can’t win by divide and conquer, you must unite and corrupt. That is what this Philadelphian Church is commended for...for not taking their eyes off of Christ. It is to them, and them alone that the Promise is made, that they be kept from mankind’s darkest hour.

    "Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth." (Revelation 3:10)
    The World Isn't Falling Apart, It's Falling Into Place
    ~ God uses prophecy to prove He is who He says He is, and to authenticate all the warnings and promises found in the Bible ~

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    Default Signs of the End of the Age

    The World Isn't Falling Apart, It's Falling Into Place
    ~ God uses prophecy to prove He is who He says He is, and to authenticate all the warnings and promises found in the Bible ~

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    Not sure if this is the beginning of the end, but it does seem interesting.

    Water reservoir development is something that was done to a large degree back during the last great depression, and now would be a good time to build more dams and reservoirs. Especially in the western states of Wash, Ore, and Calif. Someday water will become as precious and expensive as oil is right now.

    California can feed the entire USA, with sufficient additional water resource development. The rain falls here every year, it just washes out to sea because the hippie vermin in this state and their offspring do now want any more dams to be built. They say it destroys the scenery. When you are smoking dope, scenery must be more important than water to you.

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    As Good As Done
    – Greg Laurie

    All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

    — 2 Timothy 3:16

    I am amazed at how people will get all worked up over something like the Mayan calendar or will listen to some self-proclaimed prophet or guru, yet they will neglect the Bible, which predicts the future not once, not twice, but hundreds of times with 100 percent accuracy.

    God, living in eternity, does not have a yesterday or a tomorrow. It is all a continuum to Him. So God can look at the future with as much accuracy as you and I can look at the past—even more so, in fact. God has perfect recollection, and He has perfect foresight. So when He says something will happen, it's as though, in one sense, it has already happened. You see, tomorrow is like yesterday to God.

    So when God gives a prediction about the future, it is not as though He is going out on some kind of limb. It is already an established fact.

    The Bible is a book that dares to predict the future many times over. No other religious book does that. Why? Because if it did, it would prove that it was not inspired. But the Bible makes predictions again and again, because it is indeed inspired.

    The basic test of the true God and the true faith and the true prophet is they can predict the future. The Bible does all of that and more.

    In fact, it is worth noting that two-thirds of the Bible is prophecy and one-half of these prophecies have already taken place. Therefore, if half of them have happened as God said they would, then I have no reason to doubt that the remaining prophecies will unfold exactly as God has said.

    When God predicts the future, you can take it to the bank. It is as good as done.
    The World Isn't Falling Apart, It's Falling Into Place
    ~ God uses prophecy to prove He is who He says He is, and to authenticate all the warnings and promises found in the Bible ~

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    God doesn't predict the future, he already knows the future.
    "You can get a lot accomplished if you don't care who gets the credit" - Ronald Reagan

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    Quote Originally Posted by fuhr52 View Post
    God doesn't predict the future, he already knows the future.
    Of course He knows the future, that's why He can "predict" the future.

    Predict..prophesy, to make known beforehand, foretell, reveal, declare what is to come.

    Who is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and set it before me, since I appointed an ancient people. Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen. (Isaiah 44:7)

    "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:" (Isaiah 46:9-10)
    The World Isn't Falling Apart, It's Falling Into Place
    ~ God uses prophecy to prove He is who He says He is, and to authenticate all the warnings and promises found in the Bible ~

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    Default SIGNS of the End of the Age

    IS ISRAELI STRIKE ON IRAN JUST WEEKS AWAY? Reading the latest tea leaves– Joel C. Rosenberg -

    Yes, it is possible that Israeli leaders could be bluffing. Yes, it is also possible that they are simply trying to pressure the U.S. and international community to take more decisive action to neutralize the Iranian nuclear threat. But reading the latest tea leaves, I believe evidence is rapidly mounting that this could really be it — Israel could be just days or weeks away from a massive preemptive strike against Iran.

    I believe there are significant changes in the way Israeli leaders are speaking about the possibility of war. One fact that has particularly caught my attention in the last 24 hours is that Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon is telling reporters that it is time for the world to admit that diplomacy has not worked, and that Iran only has “weeks” and not “months” to cease nuclear activity. To be clear: I’m still praying for the peace of Jerusalem and the epicenter every day, as we are commanded in Psalm 122:6. I’m not advocating war. I would be so glad if Israel and/or the world could find a way to neutralize Iran without violence and bloodshed. But I don’t want to see a Second Holocaust either, and that’s surely what Israel would be facing if Iran gets the Bomb. I believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu believes he is out of other options, and it’s clear to him thus far that the Obama administration is not going to act decisively to prevent Iran from getting the Bomb in time. There could be numerous detours on the journey in the days and weeks ahead. But unless something dramatic changes quickly, I believe that everyone in the corridor between Tel Aviv and Tehran are on the verge of a massive and imminent war.

    Here are the latest significant developments:

    •Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Asks Nations to Say Iran Talks Have Failed — “Asked how long the Iranians should be given to cease all nuclear activity, Mr. Ayalon said ‘weeks, and not more than that.’” (NYT)

    •PM: If Iran goes nuclear, it may actually use bomb — “In a television interview last week, Netanyahu said that he sees ‘the regime of the ayatollahs declaring what it has etched on its banner – to destroy us. It is working to destroy us, and is preparing atom bombs to destroy us. As much as it is dependent on me, I will not let that happen.’”

    •New intelligence reveals Iranian military nuclear program advancing faster than previously thought

    •Ambassador Oren: Israel’s clock on Iran ‘ticking faster’ than Obama’s — In an interview to MSNBC, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren says five months of diplomacy on the Iranian nuclear program ‘haven’t worked.’

    •US didn’t foresee 9/11, officials in Jerusalem say, after White House claims it would know if Iran was about to get the bomb

    •Netanyahu: Threats to home front are ‘dwarfed’ by danger of a nuclear Iran

    •Israeli officials say: “We have entered the phase of strategic decisions”

    •Barak: New U.S. intelligence report raises urgency over Iran’s nuclear program

    •Iran’s atomic project getting harder to foresee: Barak
    The World Isn't Falling Apart, It's Falling Into Place
    ~ God uses prophecy to prove He is who He says He is, and to authenticate all the warnings and promises found in the Bible ~

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan45 View Post
    I do not believe nation building works; it just puts us in another conflict.
    If we need military actions then we do it, and keep the politicians out of it till the war is over.
    Huh. Interesting way to look at it.
    I say send the politicians to war if they want to fight so much. If it's that important to them, put 'em on the front line leading the charge.
    Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.

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    Default Signs of the End of the Age

    Iran says they are ready to go to war with Israel. Iranian President Ahmadinejad, the Iranian military chief, and even the leadership of the Supreme Council of Iran, the Ayatollahs, the Islamic leaders, say that they are prepared for an attack from Israel, the United States, or any other nation that may decide to move against the Islamic Republic. The saber rattling by Iran against Israel and the fact that there is evidence Israel is preparing for a preemptive strike against Iran is a precursor to the prophetic scenario that can be found in Bible prophecy for the last days. What is so interesting to me as a student of Bible prophecy is that this scenario was foretold 2500 years ago by the ancient Jewish prophet Ezekiel. Ezekiel 38:5 mentions the nation Persia as one of the nations that will align themselves against the Jewish state. Until 1936 the nation of Iran was called Persia - today it's Iran. In the Scriptures we find out that the Lord will intercede in the affairs of man and destroy Iran and the other nations aligned against the Jewish state when they make their attack against Israel (Ezekiel 38:18 - 39:6).

    Israel is as expected preparing to take care of their number one threat Iran. However, the Lord will be the one to defend the Jewish state that is according to Bible prophecy - Bible prophecy that will be fulfilled.
    The World Isn't Falling Apart, It's Falling Into Place
    ~ God uses prophecy to prove He is who He says He is, and to authenticate all the warnings and promises found in the Bible ~

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    The World Isn't Falling Apart, It's Falling Into Place
    ~ God uses prophecy to prove He is who He says He is, and to authenticate all the warnings and promises found in the Bible ~

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