GOD’S TIME AND OUR TIME

January 12, 2017

(2 Pet 3:8 NIV) But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

This is a verse that, it seems to me, is not very well understood. Well, perhaps I am not right, but I feel compelled to explain my view of it as best as I can.

As I examine the verse it seems to me that God is saying that a thousand of man’s years is like only a day in His time.

He says this from His angle, “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years” and then turns the same concept around and states the same thing from man’s point of view, “a thousand years are like a day”.

Now, God does not say that one of His days is exactly a thousand of man’s years. He plainly says “like” a thousand years. In other words, it seems to me that He is saying one of His days is a very long time, when compared to our standard of time.

God says the same thing in Psalms (Psa 90:4 NIV) For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.

One can see that there is no standard set that man’s time can be converted into God’s time. Man’s time is based on the sun and the moon (Genesis 1:14-18).

It seems to me that God’s days are based on what He wants to accomplish and not on any set standard.

I say this because I understand that the seven days that the Bible starts with are God’s days and not man’s days.

First, notice that two days had past before God made the sun and moon to govern man’s days. Also man was yet to be created, so even though the standard for man’s days was created, without man, the days cannot be man’s days.

As you contemplate the days of creation please notice that there is no night. The verses all say “And there was evening, and there was morning”. There is no mention of night. Light is a symbol of God. Where there is light, there is God.

There is more that I see in these verses. In verse 5 God says, “And there was evening, and there was morning–the first day” (NIV). I see that as saying what came after this was the first day and what was before it happened before God made time. This is important for understanding.

As I walked through the days of creation, it seems to me that man was made on the fifth day and the Old Testament describes everything of importance that happened in the sixth day.

Genesis 2:1-3 are prophecy about the future. We know this because Jesus said, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.”

If the days in the first chapter of Genesis were man’s days, God would have entered His rest every sixth day and then came back to work on Sunday, only to repeat the ritual.

We know that God gives life and God takes it away, and we know that there is no day in our time that these two things do not happen. So, it is clear to me that God has not entered His rest.

I believe that we are in the seventh day. I think that the seventh day began when Jesus was born (Mat 4:16 NIV) the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” I think that was a description of the dawn of the seventh day. It is a different day. A day that everyone, who wants light, may have light. That was not possible before Jesus came.

The Jews were told, “(Exo 16:23 NIV) He said to them, “This is what the LORD commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.'”” They were told “Tomorrow” would be a day of rest and I believe that “Tomorrow” is the seventh of the days of creation: not the next day in their (man’s) time.

I could go on and on. The Jews were told not to work on the Sabbath and we are told that works do not save. The Jews were told to eat the bread from Heaven and we are told to eat Communion. I will only confuse you, if I attempt to tell you everything that I understand.

I probably already confused most.

By the way, if you understand that the days of creation in Genesis are God’s time, then you can see that scientists are correct when they say the universe is millions of years old.


THE PUZZLE

January 5, 2017

I believe that God has given me an illustration to explain the importance of searching out His Word, which is the Bible.

I am posting this for those who do not follow all of the comments. (I really don’t blame you if you do not)

Our Father has given us a great gift in the Bible, and as one studies it, one of the things that stands out is that we must search out understanding. (Prov 25:2 NIV) “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.”

You see, God hides understanding and wisdom from everyone. One must search it out to acquire it. That is not too hard to understand if you look at it through the eyes of our Father. He has given us everything that we have. Even the lost has been given all that they have, though they do not grant God the least respect or gratitude. If one doesn’t care to search out wisdom and understanding, then he or she, in my opinion, just doesn’t care very much about God.

I believe that God wants children. Not just any children, but children that want to be His children. Eternal life is one of the rewards of becoming a child of God, but that is a reward, not the goal of becoming a child of God. The goal is to love God and to reach that goal requires understanding God. God is only revealed completely in His Word: the Bible.

Everyone wants to live forever. I believe that it is wrong to turn to God if the only reason is to acquire eternal life. It is true that eternal life is one of the reasons that humans turn to God, because His Word says “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Psa 111:10 NIV) and we all fear death. Even the Muslim that states he loves death shows that he does not, because he wants to live forever in a paradise of his own desires, but the fate of anyone else is of no concern to him. That is not the kind of children God wants. The person that has no regard for others would have no regard for God, when they did not get what they want.

Well, enough of the lead in, here is the illustration.

The Bible, which is the Word of God, is like a jigsaw puzzle. This puzzle is offered to everyone, but those who do not care or appreciate the God of the universe will not even take the gift. Some will take the gift, but will not even try to assemble it!

The picture that is produced when the puzzle is assembled is shown plainly on the box that the puzzle comes in. It is the same puzzle, with the same picture, that is offered to all mankind: each individual. It should be obvious that one does not assemble a jigsaw puzzle in order to discover what the picture looks like, because the picture is on the box. A jigsaw puzzle is assembled to see how the pieces fit together, that is the challenge; not to just see the picture. The picture can sometimes be used as a clue and other times as proof of proper assembly.

God’s jigsaw puzzle is the Bible and the pieces are the verses. The proper thing to do is to take the Puzzle to a quiet place, dump it out and start to assemble the pieces (verses) so that you can understand how they fit together. God even numbered the pieces of the Puzzle and we call the pieces verses.

This blog is an attempt, by me, to show you how I have put the pieces of my Puzzle together. It is only an attempt to help you solve your Puzzle. No one can put your Puzzle together but you.

If I could assemble your Puzzle for you, I would be responsible to do so, but then you would place your trust in me and not the Lord. So God will not allow it, and rightly so, as I am only a man, full of sin, defiled, and not worthy to reveal God to anyone.

So you might say that it is not important to put the pieces together, because you already know the picture. The picture on the box shows that there is a God and that God loves man and saves those who turn to Him. Well, even the lost can see that.

As I assembled my Puzzle I found that oil represents understanding and understanding is worth all that I have.

Then there is the parable, the part of the picture that indicates oil is important. That is Matthew 25:1-12.

Do not be found to be without oil. Get as much as you can.

Consider the part of my Puzzle that God has shown me.

(Prov 4:1-7 NIV) “Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. When I was a boy in my father’s house, still tender, and an only child of my mother, he taught me and said, “Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live. Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” Do not stop at verse seven, but read the rest of the chapter as it supports the first part, “Though it cost all you have, get understanding”.

So, do not look for wisdom in me, or your friends, or your favorite preacher, or any Commentary, or anything but the Word of God. That is your Puzzle and the greatest gift God gives to the living. Appreciate it, study it, live it as best as you can, even if it cost all that you have.

Aw, but what do you own but yourself? Give everything back to God, because you really do not own anything and God will honor your truth and your trust.

The best advice that I can give is for you to go to a quiet place, dump out your Puzzle, and begin to put it together.


SOMETHING OLD AND SOMETHING NEW

December 13, 2016

Well, I have not written anything for a while.

This election has caused a disruption of my thoughts. It has not changed my thoughts, but when I tried to convey my thoughts to you my mind goes in one direction and then in another!

I have had many ideas that I probably have written for your consideration, but my thoughts have always returned to Romans 13:1 and why do my brothers not believe it.

I can only say this about this form of government. If I believed in this government then I could not believe Romans 13:1. This government, this world, says that we choose the president and God says He does. I believe Him, not the world, and it should not, does not make any difference to me if the whole world believes man appoints the authorities.

That was something old now here is something new.

We all wait for the second coming of the Son of God, but do you not see that He has already come and He does rule now? We should be waiting for the third coming! Aw, but He does not come for us, when He comes the third time! He comes to judge the world, but we are not of the world (many verses, you look them up this time).

Scripture states that Christ will reign for a thousand years and those who were/are of the first resurrection will reign with Him, and then Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth. (Rev 20:6-8)

The first resurrection occurred when Jesus died on the cross (Mat 27:52&53). And a thousand years sometimes means only a long time; not exactly a thousand (Psa 90:4).

Jesus came back at Pentecost. He came the first time to obey and establish a way for God’s children to be saved. He came and comes the second time, in love, to teach and guide God’s children. He will come a third time to punish those who refuse to become God’s children.

The Holy Spirit, which is the Son of God, rules me. I am not a very good subject, but Christ is my King and He lives within me, to teach and guide me. He does not rule like any king of this world. However, without a doubt, He is my King and He rules over me and I am greatly blessed because I want Him to do so.

I do not wait for the physical return of Jesus, because it will be a time of great distress (Mat 24:21) and as a Christian I try to live by the two greatest commandments (Love my God, with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind, and love my neighbor as myself). I do not want great distress for myself and so I do not wish distress on others. That said, it will be a time of joy for God’s children. So, I am torn between joy for myself and distress for others.

Is not Jesus your King as well as mine? Listen to Him and let Him reign in your life.


THE SEVEN SEALS

October 25, 2016

Kay has reminded me of the seven seals in Revelation five and six.

I have not thought of them for some time and her reminder is appreciated.

I view the seven seals as an outline of God’s basic plan for everything. The steps are said as seals, because it is God’s plan, sealed and therefore cannot be changed. Also sealed, that we could not understand it: until now.

(Rev 6:2 NIV) I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

Starting with the first seal, I believe that the white horse represents governments. They have armies (bows) and they are lead by men that God gave power to. That is why the horse is white; because the gift of authority is straight from God (he was given a crown). The problem is that it is man that receives the gift and once they have the authority, they ride out as a conqueror bent on conquest. It seems right to me that this step or horse comes first, because all of the other steps (seals) are a result of the first seal.

(Rev 6:4 NIV) Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.

This is the second horse and it symbolizes war. The horse is red, the color of blood, and it takes peace from the earth. The large sword represents weapons of the armies that wage war. It is the second horse, because armies are a result of authorities that are “bent on conquest”. Those who want to rule must have a tool that makes those, who do not want to be ruled, submit to them.

(Rev 6:5&6 NIV) When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a day’s wages, and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”

This horse represents the law. The law condemns man. It is unbending rules of condemnation. Make one mistake and the rider of the white horse will make you pay for it.

As I study the seven seals I see a thread weaving through all of the seals and that is it is God that should rule and He has given us the seven seals so that we might know, by actual experience, not just from words, that He should be the ruler of men.

(Rev 6:8 NIV) I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

The pale horse is man’s transportation to Hell. Satan leads the horse, but he does not ride the horse; it is for man to ride. Those that ride are given power to kill. Kill by the sword (armies). Famine, when the rider of the first horse takes everything from his subjects until they do not have enough left to sustain themselves. Plague is the same result of taking everything from them; the poor must live in squalor, where everything is tainted with germs. Wild beasts of the earth are men that act as animals. Animals only think of themselves and when individuals only think of themselves they are wild beasts of the earth. Many are killed because beasts want what God has given His children.

It can be seen that there are many riders of the white horse and all of the horses, because the other three horses support the riders of the first horse.

The fifth seal shows the result of living as our Father would have us live.
(Rev 6:9 NIV) When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained.
(Rev 6:11 NIV) Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.

The sixth seal explains the power of God and what happens to those who ride the white horse and then to those who choose not to ride.

The power of God is in 12 to 14.
(Rev 6:12-14 NIV) I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.
What happens to those who ride the white horse is in 15-17.

(Rev 7:1 NIV) After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree.
I think the four winds are also the four horses: symbols of symbols! The four angels hold back, or stop the horses from going forth.

Those from the tribes of Israel, in verses four through eight, are identified from Israel, because they were under the Law of Moses. They were servants of God. Those who are identified in verse nine are those who are saved because of the sacrifice of Jesus. They are the children of God.

This is made clear in verse fourteen.
(Rev 7:14 NIV) I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

You see, we are living in the great tribulation right now!

(Rev 7:16 NIV) Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat.
We do not hunger or thirst for the Word of God. We have it now and can eat and drink from it, if we want to. That is, want too enough to do it. I see my brothers and sisters look to others as they explain how good the Word of God is, but they do not eat of the Scroll themselves! One can starve watching, while others eat.

(Rev 7:17 NIV) For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

We do not have to wait for Him to pass by and begin to lead. He is already ahead, make an effort to follow now. Jesus is here and rules today, if you let Him.

The seventh seal speaks about Judgment. It seems to change, because it uses trumpets as symbols. It uses the same number seven, because seven is the number of completion.

(Rev 10:7 NIV) But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.”

If I understand, the mystery of God is that we are being tested to see what is in our hearts. Though God can know everything, I believe He chooses not to know what is in our hearts and He must test us to see if we will turn to Him and believe Him. Most will believe in themselves and other men, but I believe in God, our Father. Who do you believe in?


JESUS WEPT

September 8, 2016

Almost everyone has heard that John 11:35 is the shortest verse in the Bible and many have explained it, but as you know I usually have a slightly different view and this is no exception.

Most say that Jesus wept over Israel and I would agree that it was part of the reason. However, I think there was more to it.

When everyone else is crying it is very easy to be caught up in all of the sadness and Jesus was no exception, as He was man as well as God.

Jesus was sad because Mary was weeping and He knew that she was upset because her brother had died. Then many, if not most, of those who were following Mary were lost and would not turn to God; even though Jesus was going to die for them. This must have greatly saddened Jesus, as there was nothing more that He could do for them.

Imagine how Jesus must have felt when He considered this. If I were Jesus I would have just got mad at them, but Jesus is like our Father and is so full of love that there is no room for hate in His mind.

There is one thing that I see that others have not mentioned. Perhaps it is common knowledge and I just missed it, but just in case it not common knowledge. I will try to explain it.

We look at the miracle of the resurrection of Lazarus as a wonderful thing and it was, when viewed from the lesson that was taught by it. However, let us view it from a different angle.

Lazarus had died. He had gone through the agony of death and was safe from the world. Jesus was about to raise him from the grave and place him right back into the world, where he was again in danger of Satan.

Then there were the chief priests and the Pharisees.
(John 12:9-11 NIV) “Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him.”

The method of operation of the Pharisees was to convince the Romans the person, that they wanted murdered, was a criminal and then, when they were convinced, the Romans would execute the person by crucifixion. .

Imagine that you are Jesus. You are about to raise someone that you love, from the depth of safety, placing that person in great danger, facing the same kind of death on the cross as you face. And for what? Even though both will die, only a few will understand and turn to our Father!

No wonder Jesus wept.


(Mat 7:1 NIV) “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”

August 30, 2016

I have not written anything for a while, because I have been told that I have been wrong about telling my brothers that they sin by exalting this country (USA), and the Founding Fathers, and then by voting. I believe that if one is told that they sin, or are wrong, they should consider carefully if the charges are correct and act accordingly, and I apply that to myself as well as others, so I have been thinking about this charge.

First, I must say that pointing out the sins of others cannot possibly be wrong. I know Matthew 7:1 seems to say that it is wrong, but we are commanded to point out the sins of our brothers.

(1 Cor 5:12&13 NIV) What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”

It seems as though we have an oxymoron here, but I am quite sure there are no oxymorons in God’s Word. I believe the answer lies in the definition of the word “judge”.

The American Heritage Dictionary
judge (j¾j) v. judged, judg•ing, judg•es. –tr. 1. To form an opinion or estimation of after careful consideration: judge heights; judging character. 2.a. Law. To hear and decide on in a court of law; try: judge a case. b. Obsolete. To pass sentence on; condemn

Notice that the word used to mean “b. Obsolete. To pass sentence on; condemn.” When the Bible was first translated into English the meaning of the word “judge” was “To pass sentence on; condemn” Of course, it is not possible to pass sentence on, or condemn someone without careful consideration, but I believe the original meaning was “do not pass sentence on someone.”

If you will allow me to explain how this flaw in understanding came about, I will try to explain what I believe happened.

God protects His Word and will not allow Satan to change it in any way. However, Satan is crafty (Gen 3:1) so, because he cannot change the Word, he has changed the meaning of the words it is written in.

When I say my brothers are sinning and they apply the first definition to the word “judge” then it seems as though I am sinning by pointing out the sins of others. I am not. I am obeying the second greatest command, which is (Mat 7:12 NIV) “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” If I am sinning and do not understand that I am, I want it pointed out to me, so that I might change. I am a firm believer in tough love and I want it applied to me, just as I apply it to others.

I have to laugh, because those that accuse, or say that I am wrong, do not really believe that it is wrong to point out the sins of others, because they would not attempt to point out my sins if they really believed it was wrong to point out the sins of others! Well, I think it is funny anyway!

That is not to say that I do not appreciate their concern. I believe that we should all attempt to point out the sins of others, especially my sins, as they are many.

Consider Ezekiel 3:16-21 where God said, “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel”. You see He did not say Ezekiel, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel, but He said, “Son of man”. We are all the “Son of man” whether we are male or female and as I understand the verses we are all charged with the responsibilities of a watchman. That is to warn both the wicked, as well as the righteous. And that is what I have attempted to do.

God does not hold me responsible for the outcome of the warning, only for the warning itself (Verse 27).

Along the same lines consider 1 Corinthians chapter 5, where Paul said to, “Expel the wicked man from among you.” Is that possible if we do not form an opinion of right or wrong and apply it to others, as well as ourselves?

Satan has deceived us and the Church as been corrupted because we have been deceived. We have not expelled the wicked men from us, because we have been deceived into believing that we should not judge them, and so we have been corrupted by those we should have expelled.

I am only a man and therefore cannot defend myself against accusations of wrong doing (sin). However, I believe that I have been charged with the responsibilities of a watchman and I fear the consequences of not obeying, more than the ridicule of my peers.

I managed my own business for a while. I also managed part of a business for others for a time. At times I had to terminate an employee and it bothered me, but after thinking about it, it no longer bothered me. You see, the employee needed to find an employer that appreciated his or her talents and we needed an employee that preformed as we wanted. It was a “win-win” situation for both parties, though it did not seem so at the time.

I view the responsibilities of a watchman along the same lines. If there is a righteous man, who sins and does not want to change, isn’t it is better for all that he be expelled? Isn’t it a win-win situation for both parties? The sinner that refuses to change is handed over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord (1 Cor 5:5), and then we are not corrupted by his sin. However, it is not possible to expel that man, if we believe that it is a sin, to point out that he sins!

Just so you know, I do not think loving this Country is a sin worthy of being put out of the Church, but it is a sin and should be identified as such.

You, son or daughter, are also a watchman. What will you do?


THE ONLY TRUE COMPASS

June 28, 2016

If you have not noticed, comments on this blog lead to lengthy discussions and can get rather boring so I do not blame anyone for not following them.

For those who do not follow all of the comments I have something to share with you.

This blog is a Bible Study by a student and not a study of any other source.

I have an analogy that might help everyone when it comes to the study of Scripture.

There was a group of ultralight aircraft pilots that were attending a fly-in. They had flown there from basically the same area, but they took off at different times, from slightly different places. When the fly-in was over, they decided to fly, in a group, to a small airport that was close to their homes. One of them stated that he knew the way home very well and wanted to fly the lead. The other pilots, though far from home, were pretty sure they knew the way also. After all, they had flown from home to the fly-in and although they were in a strange area, they all had compasses to guide them.

Just so they could all fly in a group they decided to let the one pilot lead. So they took off, one by one, gathered together in the air, and then headed for home.

It did not take long for the pilots to begin to realize that they were headed in slightly the wrong direction, but the leader had boasted that he knew the way and there is always some doubt in everyone’s mind about everything and anything. So the group followed the leader and the error grew by the minute.

Ultralights, in this Country, are only permitted five gallons of fuel and that limits the time they can fly without landing. Two and a half hours is about the limit for most of them and after a little over an hour one of them decided to follow his own compass, combined with his own experience, and he broke with the group to head in the direction he was sure, in his mind was right.

It did not take long before the others, one by one, also turned and headed in the right direction. The previous leader, after seeing no one was following, finally rejoined the group and followed the new leader.

They all landed at the small private airport that was close to their homes and they asked the first leader why he had set a wrong course.

His answer was hilarious!

It seems as though he thought that his compass was not reading correctly, so he mounted another compass on his aircraft to check the first one!

As you know, a compass is a small magnet that is attached to a display. It is attracted to the earth’s magnetic pole which causes the display to show the direction of the magnetic pole. If one places two compasses close to each other they tend to point at each other, because they both have magnets. Not directly at each other, because of the earth’s magnetic field. However, neither compass will be accurate.

I use this story as an analogy. However, it is a true story, as I was one of the pilots.

My point is that we should only have one compass. Our compass for spiritual understanding is the Bible. If one chooses to have more than one compass, then even the true compass will not indicate an accurate reading.

Your favorite Bible may be a different translation and use different words to display the way, but the direction is the same. North is still north, no matter if the compass uses the letter N or the number zero to indicate north.

If you place the same importance on some other writing, as you place on the Bible, even the Bible will not show the way. That writing may have been recent or ancient, many might claim it authentic, or many may claim it false: it does not matter. The only thing that matters is it is not the Bible and therefore it will not show the way. It will only confuse the way. Do not place the same importance on anyone’s writing, especially mine, that you place on the Bible.

I have the perfect Teacher (John 14:26), the perfect Navigator, that keeps tapping me on the shoulder and pointing toward the only true compass, the Bible, to keep me on the right course.

You have the same Navigator, listen to Him.