… a beast rises out of the sea … thoughts on the apocalypse …

…i think that most people on the planet would agree that these are strange and unusual days we are living in. so far, in this year alone, over 100,000 people worldwide have been killed in ongoing wars. And the probability for more and greater wars is immense… Korea and Iran come to mind, not to mention Syria…

…here in the United States, Congress has started their impeachment inquiry and the vitriol being spewed from both sides of the aisle is distressing and causes a lot more stress and anxiety for the average American than either side will acknowledge, not to mention that neither side seems to care about the average man or woman…

…all over the globe there is a rise in nationalism and the groups that just a few years ago were considered far right-wing, now seem to be mainstream if not in the majority in many nations-USA, Australia, UK, Slovenia, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Greece, and many others have seen tremendous rises in this mindset, and it seems that almost every nation is currently in a state of turmoil…

“And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides. People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken.” – Jesus

Luke 21:25–26

…and then there’s the weather…i live in Richmond, VA where we haven’t had rain since the end of August, and yesterday and today are record breaking heat days while, at the same time, the governor of Montana declared a state of emergency because of the record smashing 3′ of snow in his state, that fell one week after the official end of summer…

…there was this headline on the Weather Channel – “Extreme Fall Start Marked by Unusual Heat, Snow and Cold Records in the United States.” they say that over 100 cities in the US broke heat records yesterday alone…

…and so in many, many different Facebook and Twitter feeds, people are talking about “The Apocalypse” and “The Rapture.”

…i will get into “The Rapture” a little later, but my main purpose for this post, is to discuss “The Apocalypse”

Apocalypse comes from the Greek word ἀποκάλυψις (apokalypsis) meaning “making fully known, revelation, disclosure.”³ it’s interesting to me that the English word apocalypse has a completely different definition…

apocalypse /əˈpɒkəlɪps/
■ noun
1 an event involving destruction or damage on a catastrophic scale.
2 (the Apocalypse) the complete final destruction of the world, as described in the biblical book of Revelation.
▶ (especially in the Vulgate Bible) the book of Revelation.
—ORIGIN Old English, via Old French and ecclesiastical Latin from Greek apokalupsis, from apokaluptein ‘uncover, reveal’.

Concise Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).
Disaster Apocalypse Danger War Apocalyptic

…now, you can see an obvious difference between “making something known, revelation, disclosure,” and “an event involving destruction or damage on a catastrophic scale,” but i believe that is why so many people completely misunderstand the last book in the Bible, the book called The Revelation of Jesus Christ...

…i consider myself very fortunate to have a digital library of over 6,000 titles, including more than 20 different commentaries on the book of Revelation alone, and i can unequivocally tell you that there is NO consensus on what the book is about and how it is to be interpreted…

…some of the more popular interpretations include:

  • preterist: about the author’s own social world
  • church-historical: a prophetic survey of the history of the world
  • futurist: the future of the world yet to come
  • historist: associates biblical prophecies with actual historical events and identifies symbolic beings with historical persons or societies

…now i am not here to tell you which one is “right,” i am looking at what others believe and how it explains a lot of their words and actions that seem to make no plausible sense at all. for instance, how can people who self-identify as “Christian” support taking away babies from their mothers at the US border? how can they push for the so-called right to have more guns and weapons that cause extreme damage to people created in the image of God? how can they go on tv, radio,and print media and say some of the most vile things, while continuing to maintain their “christian” appearance?…

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

2 Timothy 3:1–5

…and so we need to look at the belief systems that can cause people who claim to follow the teachings of the Man called Christ to go against everything that is recorded that he taught…

Literal or Allegorical and Figurative?

…when looking at the Revelation of Jesus Christ, the first thing we need to figure out is, is the book written literally or allegorically? in other words, can we read the Revelation and know exactly what is to happen? or is it prophetic and figurative?

Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea. It had seven heads and ten horns, with ten crowns on its horns. And written on each head were names that blasphemed God.

Revelation 13:1

…in this verse, Revelation tells us that “a beast” rises out of the sea. if we believe in a literal Revelation, then we should expect a Godzilla type figure to come up out of the sea (not an ocean, but one of the seas)…

Then I saw another beast come up out of the earth. He had two horns like those of a lamb, but he spoke with the voice of a dragon.

Revelation 13:11

…so now we have two beasts – or Godzilla type figures – one from the sea, and one from the earth. unlike the Godzilla movies, these beasts do not fight each other (see Godzilla vs. Mothra), but instead work together. in fact, it says “He exercised all the authority of the first beast. And he required all the earth and its people to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed.” Revelation 13:12

…so the two beasts work together, the second making “all the earth and its people” worship the first beast. and let’s not forget this: “Then I witnessed in heaven another significant event. I saw a large red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, with seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept away one-third of the stars in the sky, and he threw them to the earth. He stood in front of the woman as she was about to give birth, ready to devour her baby as soon as it was born.” Revelation 12:3–4

…so, if we believe it is literal, we must expect a dragon and two beasts (Godzilla types) to run around the world causing chaos…

The beast was allowed to speak arrogant and insulting things. It was given authority to act for 42 months.

Revelation 13:5

…i may be wrong, but i’m not expecting two Godzillas (maybe Godzilla AND Mothra) and a big fire-breathing dragon to show up. i think logic would dictate that these words are, in fact, allegorical and figurative…

…but there are many in the ‘church’ who do not consider these things to be literal, but do consider at least most of Revelation to be literal. i just read an article from someone who argues that because there are specific numbers mentioned in Revelation, it must be literal. logic leads me to believe that author is in error…

One World Government and Religion

One of the beast’s heads looked like it had a fatal wound, but its fatal wound was healed. All the people of the world were amazed and followed the beast.

Revelation 13:3

…there are many who believe that Revelation 13:1-8 tells us about a ‘One World Government’ while Revelation 13:11-14 and Revelation 13:16-18 is about the antichrist’s global domination of money…

…i truly believe most people don’t believe in a literal beast or a literal dragon. in fact, it would be hard to find anyone in the church who doesn’t believe that ‘the dragon’ is symbolic for ‘the devil/Satan.’ but many of those people believe in a literal interpretation of this passage. they expect that “all people of the world” will follow the beast. if we agree that ‘the dragon’ is symbolic for the devil, then how can we say that the first half of Revelation 13:3 is figurative and the second half is literal?

…does ‘all’ mean ‘all’? “And all who live on earth will worship the beast—all the people since the beginning of the world whose names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life. The Lamb is the One who was killed.” (Revelation 13:8) well, this verse tells us that ‘all’ doesn’t include the people “whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” so, in a word, no, all in context of an allegorical book of prophecy, does not necessarily mean all. this is especially true when another verse five lines later, says otherwise…

Mark of the Beast

The second beast also forced all people, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to have a mark on their right hand or on their forehead. No one could buy or sell without this mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.

Revelation 13:16–17

…this passage is a biggie in the church. ‘the mark of the beast’ has been discussed for at least my entire lifetime, and i have heard many different ideas on this one. i have heard it said that the UPC codes are the mark, or an implant is the mark, or some form of tattoo or stick-on is the mark…

…when i was in high school, i joined a Bible study group that showed us a series of movies about the ‘end times’ called A Thief in the Night series. these movies showed an interpretation of Revelation that reflects the pre-tribulation belief about the rapture, the tribulation, and the second coming of Christ. there have also been a number of movies called The Mark of The Beast (1997, 1998, 2012 at least)…

…in all of the above movies that have been watched by millions and millions of people, they teach a literal interpretation of the last half of these verses, but a figurative interpretation of the first half of the first sentence. in it’s review of the 1997 edition, dove.org states:

“The mark of the beast is one of the clearest prophecies of the Bible. It simply says that in the last days no man or woman will be able to buy or sell anything unless they are willing to receive “the mark” on their right hand or forehead.”

Dove.org

…so, there you have it. in all of the above movies the rapture takes place and all the ‘good Christians’ disappear, and then all the bad Christians and everyone else are faced with having to receive a literal mark on their forehead or hands…

…the major problem with this belief is that you have to take some verses literally and others figuratively in order to ‘get it right.’ who decides what is literal and what is figurative? will a Godzilla type beast force people to get ‘the mark’ or will it be a red fire-breathing dragon that does it? i haven’t found anyone who believes that an actual beast or dragon will do it. there seems to be a general consensus that ‘the beast’ refers to ‘the antichrist’ – although there is no consensus on whether the antichrist is an actual person or group/organization or something else altogether…

…the televangelist John Hagee has made millions of dollars selling his books about the rapture/tribulation/mark of the beast, and on his website under Prophecy for Tomorrow there is an article that says:

“All of this to say…in the immediate future, some of you are going to hear words that will determine the destiny of your immortal soul. “We interrupt this broadcast to announce that the Church of Jesus Christ has been raptured from the earth.”

Reports will pour into the news centers from every major city in America and across the world. Grave stones will be toppled over. Funeral homes from every region will report that those who were dead have resurrected and suddenly disappeared. Cars will be parked beside freeways, their engines left running, their passengers mysteriously missing. Airplanes will fall from the sky as pilots who are Believers are called home.

The news centers report that churches around the world are flooded with people who are sobbing uncontrollably. They know. They have missed the rapture.

Those who remain will be faced with the coming antiChrist who will force them to receive his mark in their right hand or forehead. The Bible says this will cause them to lose their eternal soul. Refusing to take the mark of the beast will be rewarded with decapitation.”

HageeMinistries
Rapture

(the Rapture) North American (according to some millenarian teaching) the transporting of believers to heaven at the second coming of Christ.

Concise Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).

… as to “The Rapture,” the word “rapture” is not in the Bible at all. in the Latin translation of the Greek New Testament, they used the word rapiemur from the Latin verb rapio meaning “to seize and carry off, snatch, tear, pluck, drag, hurry away¹ to translate the original ἁρπαγησόμεθα (harpagisometha), from the Greek verb harpazō (ἁρπάζω), meaning “to make off w. someone’s property by attacking or seizing, steal, carry off, drag away; to grab or seize suddenly so as to remove or gain control, snatch/take away.”²

Deinde nos, qui vivimus, qui relinquimur, simul rapiemur cum illis in nubibus obviam Christo in aëra, et sic semper cum Domino erimus.

1 Thessalonians 4:17, Clementine Vulgate

… and among those waiting for a literal rapture to take place, there is no concensus of when it will happen …

By Lamorak – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6710032

The locusts looked like horses ready for war. They had gold crowns, human faces, women’s hair, the teeth of lions, and iron breastplates. The sound of their wings was the sound of horse-drawn chariots charging into battle. Their tails were equipped with stings, like scorpion tails. With those tails they were ordered to torture the human race for five months.

Revelation 9:7–10

… do the people who believe in a literal mark on their right hand or forehead also believe that literal locusts will come out of ‘the bottomeless pit’ with scorpion tails, etc? most do not…

Scofield’s Reference Bible ®

… so where did all these ideas about Revelation come from and how did so much of the church come to believe in a theology that takes a book and decides that some verses are literal and others are figurative?

… in my studies, i can only find a few examples of anyone in church history that believed this way, up until 1909 with the first publication of the Scofield Reference Bible ®…

“It was largely through the influence of Scofield’s notes that dispensationalism grew in influence among fundamentalist Christians in the United States. Scofield’s notes on the Book of Revelation are a major source for the various timetables, judgments, and plagues elaborated on by popular religious writers such as Hal Lindsey, Edgar C. Whisenant, and Tim LaHaye; and in part because of the success of the Scofield Reference Bible, twentieth-century American fundamentalists placed greater stress on eschatological speculation. Opponents of biblical fundamentalism have criticized the Scofield Bible for its air of total authority in biblical interpretation, for what they consider its glossing over of biblical contradictions, and for its focus on eschatology.”

Wikipedia

… the first edition of the Scofield Reverence Bible was published a few years before World War I. one of the components of Scofield’s notes was the belief in the establishment of a new nation of Israel. Scofield, almost exclusively, is the reason for what we call Christian Zionism and support for the modern nation that took the name of Israel.

“Since it was first published in 1909, the Scofield Reference Bible has made uncompromising Zionists out of tens of millions of Americans. When John Hagee, the founder of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), said that “50 million evangelical bible-believing Christians unite with five million American Jews standing together on behalf of Israel,” it was the Scofield Bible that he was talking about.”

The Scofield Bible—The Book That Made Zionists of America’s Evangelical Christians

… there were over 2,000,000 copies sold before the end of World War II alone. since then, 10’s of millions of copies have been sold, in numerous editions and translations in at least 7 different languages. Scofield’s study notes have been put in hundreds of seminaries and thousands upon thousands of pastors, teachers, and other church leaders have embraced his theology …

“The modern teaching of a secret rapture of the church, a seven-year tribulation, and a literal thousand-year reign of Christ on earth are not found in the Bible. More and more scholars have begun to doubt the validity of this teaching and have done research to uncover the facts. Their search has led them to libraries in England to the Plymouth Brethren, John N. Darby, Edward Irving, and to a fifteen-year-old orphan, Margaret MacDonald. Several Jesuit priests were also involved as well as Cyrus I. Scofield.

To date, this is the information that has come down to us. The first recorded history of a heretic writing and preaching the idea of a one thousand year reign of Christ on this earth was Cerinthus. He was contemporary in time and place with the Apostle John and was his enemy. The historian Eusebius wrote about him in his book Ecclesiastical History, A.D. 324.

The Protestants were calling the papacy the antichrist in the 16th century because of the millions of Protestant Christians being martyred. Hoping to take the heat off the Catholics, the Jesuit priests formulated doctrines calculated to counter the Reformation.”

ORIGIN OF SCOFIELD HERESIES, Emma Moore Weston

… it is primarily from Scofield that so many churches believe in:

  • a revived Roman Empire (kingdom of the beast),
  • a pre-trib rapture, and
  • Zionism – modern Israel and the Third Temple

… his teaching that the Pope is the antichrist and that the Catholic Church, vis-à-vis Rome, is Babylon, is deeply embedded in the minds of many Christians. because Scofield taught these theories as fact, many cannot see it any other way…

“Revelation 18:2 Babylon, “confusion,” is repeatedly used by the prophets in a symbolic sense (see Isa. 13:1, note). Two “Babylons” are to be distinguished in the Revelation: ecclesiastical Babylon, which is apostate Christendom, headed up under the Papacy; and political Babylon, which is the Beast’s confederated empire, the last form of Gentile world-dominion. Ecclesiastical Babylon is “the great whore” (Rev. 17:1), and is destroyed by political Babylon (Rev. 17:15–18), that the beast may be the alone object of worship (2 Thes. 2:3, 4; Rev. 13:15). The power of political Babylon is destroyed by the return of the Lord in glory. (See “Armageddon,” Rev. 16:14; 19:17.) The notion of a literal Babylon to be rebuilt on the site of ancient Babylon is in conflict with Isa. 13:19–22. But the language of Rev. 18. (e.g. vs. 10, 16, 18) seems beyond question to identify “Babylon,” the “city” of luxury and traffic, with “Babylon” the ecclesiastical centre, viz. Rome. The very kings who hate ecclesiastical Babylon deplore the destruction of commercial Babylon.”

C. I. Scofield, ed., The Scofield Reference Bible: The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments (New York; London; Toronto; Melbourne; Bombay: Oxford University Press, 1917), 1346–1347.

… and so today, many will ONLY see Babylon as a revived Roman Empire and will ONLY see the antichrist figure in the Papacy of the Roman Catholic Church. they mostly believe that in order for Revelation to complete its course, there MUST be a rebuilt third temple in Jerusalem- the temple in which the antichrist will proclaim himself to be God.

You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you?

1 Corinthians 3:16

… conclusions …

… when we take a prophetic and allegorical book like The Revelation of Jesus Christ and decide that we KNOW exactly what will happen, our hearts become hard or unrepentant and when we KNOW something without a doubt, we lose the ability to change our minds. i personally think that much of this has to do with what i call The Cult of Repentance.

… again, i’m not trying to tell you what to believe, just trying to figure out how so many who say that they are Christians, who say they believe in the Bible and follow the teachings of the Man called Christ, could so openly support so many things that the Bible clearly teaches are evil. it causes me to join with Paul and say:

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve in his craftiness, your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity and the purity that is toward Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or if ye receive a different spirit, which ye did not receive, or a different gospel, which ye did not accept, ye do well to bear with him.

2 Corinthians 11:3–4

¹ Charlton T. Lewis, An Elementary Latin Dictionary (Medford, MA: American Book Company, 1890). (return)

² William Arndt, Frederick W. Danker, and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 134. (return)

³ William Arndt, Frederick W. Danker, and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 112. (return)

… the cult of repentance …

.. a number of years ago, a famous child tv star and an evangelist from New Zealand, got together and created a system for street evangelism that they called “The Way of The Master.”  this program, in a nutshell, was to ask people a few simple questions that get them to admit that they are sinners. once you get them to admit that they have broken some of the 10 Commandments then you get them to “repent” and say they are sorry to God, then they are “saved for all eternity” because once you repent and tell God that you are sorry, then you are saved for ever and ever …

.. but is that what the Bible teaches?

.. well, here we see that Jesus tells people to repent, but what does that really mean? is that even what He really said?

… for an answer to that question we need to look at some definitions and the words in the original languages of the Old and New Testaments. remember, your English Bible is a translation. it is not the original and sometimes the translations don’t get it quite right. and then, with living languages, words will change their meanings over time. e.g., when we say something is “bad” what are we really saying? and what’s a ‘google’? in 2018 alone, the Oxford English Dictionary added over 1,100 new words to the dictionary …

.. so we can see that the English word repent is about a feeling – the feeling of regret or remorse – or you could even say to feel sorry about. synonyms include regret, deplore and rue. as a side note, the word repentance has synonyms such as penitence, attrition, compunction, contriteness, contrition, penance, penitency, remorse, rue, ruth.

.. is that what the Bible teaches? that you need to feel sorry to God for breaking His commandments and if you can feel sorry, then you are “saved”?

.. in the Hebrew of the Old Testament, we see that the English word “repent” is used 13 times in the ESV, 26 times in the NLT, and 42 times in the KJV. this alone should show that even the translators disagree about how to translate some words. the very first time ‘repent’ is used in the KJV, is in the book of Genesis … ‘repent’ comparison chart

And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

Genesis 6:6

.. and again in Exodus 6:14 it says:

And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.

Exodus 32:14

.. and then we read:

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

Numbers 23:19

.. so, in the first 2 verses it says that the LORD repented – but then in Numbers that the LORD has no reason to repent. so, what’s going on here?

.. in all three of the above verses the original word translated as repent, is the Hebrew word נחם [nacham], with a meaning of: to have regrets about something, be very sorry, to change one’s mind. in the ESV translation, they used the word regretted

.. 37 of the 42 times the KJV translation uses the word repent in the Old Testament, it is the same Hebrew original word. another word, used only one time, is the Hebrew word נׄחַם [nocham], from the base נחם [nacham] above, with a meaning of: to be sorry, console oneself, repent, regret, comfort, have compassion …

.. the final Hebrew word translated as repent in the KJV, is the Hebrew word שׁוּב [shuwb] , with a meaning of: to return, turn back, to bring back, to restore, to turn away …

.. and then we move to the Greek of the New Testament. in the ESV there are only 2 Greek words translated as repent. μετανοέω [metanoeo] with a meaning of: to change one’s mind, to feel remorse – and μετάνοια [metanoia], with a meaning of: turn about, primarily a change of mind …

.. the primary definition of the word repent, especially in the New Testament, is to change one’s mind. and so when we get to the third chapter of Matthew, and read the words of John the baptizer, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:2) – what he is saying is “Change your mind,” in fact he goes on to say in the 8th verse, “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.” (Matthew 3:8) or as the NCV puts it, “Do the things that show you really have changed your hearts and lives.” (Matthew 3:8)

.. in many, many churches today, the concept of repentance is all about saying you are sorry to God and takes place with or without an actual change of mind. this goes along with a OSAS –once saved always saved theology that teaches if you repent and say you are sorry to God, then there is nothing you can do to loose your salvation …

… back in my 20’s i had a friend who was killed by his bi-polar girlfriend. this man was a nice and generous man, but by no means was he a believer or follower of Christ and although i was a believer, i certainly was not active in my walk at all. in fact, the group i used to run with used to buy our LSD and pot from this man …

… when we went to the funeral, a pastor got up in front of everyone and told us that he was glad that this friend had “given his life to Jesus as a young child” and he was fully assured that he was “in Jesus’ arms for all eternity.” now, this pastor had not seen my friend in years and years, but the OSAS theology was certain that my friend is in paradise… i am much less sure …

… in his letter to the church in Philipi, the apostle Paul wrote:

Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Philippians 2:12–13

Work hard to show the results of your salvation.” if you only have to repent to be OSAS, then why would the apostle write this?

… Paul went on to write; “Do everything without complaining or arguing. Then you will be blameless and innocent. You will be God’s children without any faults among people who are crooked and corrupt. You will shine like stars among them in the world as you hold firmly to the word of life. Then I can brag on the day of Christ that my effort was not wasted and that my work produced results.” Philippians 2:14–16

… so Paul is stating that complaining and arguing are things that would keep us from being blameless and innocent before God. if you spend a few minutes, that’s all it will take, and flip through the so-called “Christian TV” channels, you will find a plethora of pastors, teachers, evangelists, deacons and apostles who spend all their time complaining and arguing. these people get their followers to make phone calls and write letters to their elected officials to complain and argue about the things that they don’t like …

… and when they are not complaining and arguing they switch over to name calling and slandering the people they disagree with. back in August of this year, there was a viral video of an ‘evangelist’ who brought up a Jewish comedian in his ‘sermon’ and with all the appropriate arrogance of the self-righteous man, stated: “I hope that God breaks her teeth out and she dies.

… the Man Jesus, called Christ, taught us a different way. He said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you this: Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. In this way you show that you are children of your Father in heaven. He makes his sun rise on people whether they are good or evil. He lets rain fall on them whether they are just or unjust. If you love those who love you, do you deserve a reward? Even the tax collectors do that! Are you doing anything remarkable if you welcome only your friends? Everyone does that!” (Matthew 5:43–47)

… so how can a supposed teacher of the Word of God so very clearly go against the Word that he claims to teach? OSAS – he said he was sorry once, and he may have even changed his mind about a few things, but he never actually changed his mind to believe that all the words of the Christ matter. in his discourse against the unsaved Jewish comedian, he went on and on calling her all kinds of names and telling everyone how evil she is …

Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

James 1:21–22

… but isn’t an evangelist calling for God to kill someone, itself pure evil? he said she was persecuting Christians with her jokes and comments. and that gives an ordained member of the body of Christ the right and license to slander and call for someones death?

Those who try to live a godly life because they believe in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But evil people and phony preachers will go from bad to worse as they mislead people and are themselves misled.

2 Timothy 3:12–13

… so now we have churches full of people who say they believe in God who say that they are now and forever saved because they said The Sinner’s Prayer®, who say some of the most awful, hateful things about people the Bible teaches are trapped in sin – the very people that Jesus the Christ came to seek and to save …

… these are the people who bring shame to the name of the Christ and to Christians and Christianity world wide. people who said they are sorry for offending God, and so now that they are saved for all eternity, they can do and say whatever they want …

… so now you can understand how people who claim to be “Christians” can speak ill of foreigners, immigrants, and refugees – how they can support taking children from their mothers arms and putting them in cages – how they can so blindly follow leaders who lie, cheat, and steal in plain view.. they simply believe that they have “repented” and now can go and do whatever they want …

After John had been put in prison, Jesus went to Galilee and told people the Good News of God. He said, “The time has come, and the kingdom of God is near. Change the way you think and act, and believe the Good News.”

Mark 1:14–15

back to article

… stop blaming God for making you rich …

Stop blaming God for making
you Rich (wealthy)

written:(5/25/2012)

““No one can serve two masters.
For you will hate one and love the other;
you will be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and money.”
Jesus
(Matthew 6:24, NLT)

In many churches today we hear the testimonies of how God has provided Hummers , BMWs, Cadillacs, Mercedes Benzes, new houses, Rolex watches, iPods, expensive suits and purses; but is this scripturally accurate? Is it God that has provided these things? Lets look at what the Bible says.

It says that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8, NKJV) So God has not changed. From the foundation of the world, God has remained the same. He has the same principles that He always had. In Deuteronomy, under the Old Covenant Law, it says :

““There should be no poor among you, for the Lord your God will greatly bless you in the land he is giving you as a special possession.” (Deuteronomy 15:4, NLT)

This is a law to the believers, the partakers in the first Covenant, the Jews. What does He mean by ‘no poor’ among you? Let’s look at the word ‘poor’. What does it mean? The Hebrew word translated as ‘poor’ is אֶבְיׄון [ʾebyown /eb·yone/] Strong’s Concordance says that the King James translates this word as “needy” 35 times, “poor” 24 times, “beggar” once, and “poor man” once. It’s definition is: 1 in want, needy, chiefly poor, needy person. 2 subject to oppression and abuse. 3 needing help, deliverance from trouble, especially as delivered by God. 4 general reference to lowest class.* So God is saying to the people of the Old Covenant that there should not be anyone that is needy, or in other words, everyone should be well supplied. In the New Covenant it says

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19, NKJV)

I have had people tell me that it was God who made them rich. Doesn’t the Bible say that it is God who gives me power to gain wealth?

““And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” (Deuteronomy 8:18, NKJV)

Does this verse say that He makes you rich? No. It says that because of the Covenant relationship that you have with God, He will give you the ‘power to gain wealth’. Or, in other words, when I join the Covenant, God has promised, on His part, to give ‘me the power to gain wealth.’ It does not say that He gives me the power to ‘be rich’.

There are many sayings in the Bible about ‘being rich’. Let’s look at some of them.

“There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.” (Proverbs 13:7, NKJV)

Isn’t it interesting that it says ‘one who makes himself rich’? So the Bible says that God ‘gives me power to gain wealth’, and it says that ‘there is one who makes himself rich’. Maybe we have the wrong definition of the word ‘rich’. Let’s look at that. The word translated as ‘rich’ in this verse is the Hebrew word עָשַׁר [ʿashar /aw·shar/] In Strong’s Concordance it says that the King James Bible translates this word as “rich” 14 times, “enrich” three times, and “richer” once. It is defined as: 1 to be or become rich or wealthy, enrich, pretend to be rich. 1a (Qal) to be or become rich. 1b (Hiphil). 1b1 to make rich. 1b2 to gain riches. 1c (Hithpael) to enrich oneself, pretend to be rich.1 It says to ‘become wealthy’. So this word is talking about money or wealth.

So what else does the Old Covenant say about ‘wealth’ or ‘riches’? The wisdom of Proverbs says:

“Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease! Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.” (Proverbs 23:4–5, NKJV)

This is the same Hebrew word עָשַׁר, translated as ‘rich’. In Psalms it says;

“They trust in their wealth and boast of great riches. Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death by paying a ransom to God. Redemption does not come so easily, for no one can ever pay enough to live forever and never see the grave.” (Psalm 49:6–9, NLT)

And again in Proverbs it says;

“Two things I request of You (Deprive me not before I die): Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches— Feed me with the food allotted to me; Lest I be full and deny You, And say, “Who is the Lord?” Or lest I be poor and steal, And profane the name of my God.” (Proverbs 30:7–9, NKJV)

Someone might say, doesn’t the Bible say that Abraham was rich? “Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold.” (Genesis 13:2, NKJV) Let’s see if it is the same Hebrew word. This phrase ‘very rich’ is the Hebrew phrase מְאֹד כָּבֵד [mâʿod /meh·ode/] [kabed /kaw·bade/] מְאֹד [mâʿod /meh·ode/], according to Strong’s Concordance, is translated in the King James Bible as “very” 137 times, “greatly” 49 times, “sore” 23 times, “exceeding” 18 times, “great” 12 times, “exceedingly” 11 times, “much” 10 times, “exceeding + 3966” six times, “exceedingly + 3966” five times, “diligently” four times, “good” three times, “might” twice, “mightily” twice, and translated miscellaneously 17 times. It is defined as: 1 exceedingly, much subst. 2 might, force, abundance. 3 muchness, force, abundance, exceedingly. 3a force, might. 3b exceedingly, greatly, very (idioms showing magnitude or degree). 3b1 exceedingly. 3b2 up to abundance, to a great degree, exceedingly. 3b3 with muchness, muchness.1 And כָּבֵד [kabed /kaw·bade/] according to Strong’s Concordance, is translated as “great” eight times, “grievous” eight times, “heavy” eight times, “sore” four times, “hard” twice, “much” twice, “slow” twice, “hardened” once, “heavier” once, “laden” once, and “thick” once. 1 heavy, great. 1a heavy. 1b massive, abundant, numerous. 1c heavy, dull. 1d hard, difficult, burdensome. 1e very oppressive, numerous, rich.1 The word translated as ‘livestock’ is the Hebrew word מִקְנֶה [miqneh /mik·neh/]. According to Strong’s Concordance, this word in the King James Bible is translated as “cattle” 63 times, “possession” five times, “flocks” three times, “substance” twice, “herds” once, and “purchase” once. It is defined as: 1 cattle, livestock. 1a cattle, livestock. 1a1 in general of a purchasable domestic animal. 1b cows, sheep, goats (in herds and flocks). It says that Abraham was abundantly supplied with these things, but it does not refer to him as ‘wealthy’. You could say that Abraham was ‘exceedingly abundantly supplied with substance’. Of course, if you are abundantly supplied with ‘silver and gold’ we would call you ‘wealthy’ or ‘rich’, but the supply was to take care of the throngs of people that were with him.

What does it say, under the Old Covenant, to do with the supply? In Proverbs it says, “He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, And He will pay back what he has given.” (Proverbs 19:17, NKJV) And then in Joshua we read, “Now to half the tribe of Manasseh Moses had given a possession in Bashan, but to the other half of it Joshua gave a possession among their brethren on this side of the Jordan, westward. And indeed, when Joshua sent them away to their tents, he blessed them, and spoke to them, saying, “Return with much riches to your tents, with very much livestock, with silver, with gold, with bronze, with iron, and with very much clothing. Divide the spoil of your enemies with your brethren.”” (Joshua 22:7–8, NKJV) He told them to ‘Divide the spoil of your enemies with your brethren.’ Interesting that he told them to share the spoil with their brethren, not keep it for themselves.

In the book of 1 Kings, God asks what He can give to Solomon; “At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?”” (1 Kings 3:5, NKJV) It goes on to say that he asked for wisdom, to which this is recorded: “The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you.” (1 Kings 3:10–12, NKJV) He is praised for not asking for ‘riches’. He was given what he wanted because he did not want riches. What are we asking for?

Are we seeing a pattern yet? “The rich man will lie down, But not be gathered up; He opens his eyes, And he is no more.” (Job 27:19, NKJV) And again, “Will your riches, Or all the mighty forces, Keep you from distress?” (Job 36:19, NKJV) And again, “A little that a righteous man has Is better than the riches of many wicked.” (Psalm 37:16, NKJV) And again, “Surely every man walks about like a shadow; Surely they busy themselves in vain; He heaps up riches, And does not know who will gather them.” (Psalm 39:6, NKJV) And this warning, “Do not trust in oppression, Nor vainly hope in robbery; If riches increase, Do not set your heart on them.” (Psalm 62:10, NKJV)

What does the Old Covenant say about the wealthy? “Behold, these are the ungodly, Who are always at ease; They increase in riches.” (Psalm 73:12, NKJV) “A thick bankroll is no help when life falls apart, but a principled life can stand up to the worst.” (Proverbs 11:4, The Message) Another warning, “He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like foliage.” (Proverbs 11:28, NKJV)

Well then, how is it that someone is ‘made rich’? The wisdom of Proverbs says it like this, “A gracious woman retains honor, But ruthless men retain riches.” (Proverbs 11:16, NKJV) A ruthless man retains riches. Oh, so I become ‘rich – wealthy’ when I choose to ‘retain – keep’ the provision that God has provided. So, that means that I make myself rich, according to the Bible.

You say, ‘fine, all of that is under the Old Covenant, but now I am under the New Covenant. Doesn’t the Bible say that Jesus came to make me rich”? “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9, NKJV) Ok, let’s look at this verse. The first word ‘rich’, referring to Jesus, is the Greek word πλούσιος [plousios /ploo·see·os/] Strong’s Concordance says that in the King James Bible, this word is translated as “rich” 28 times. 1 wealthy, abounding in material resources. 2 metaph. abounding, abundantly supplied. 2a abounding (rich) in Christian virtues and eternal possessions.1 The second use of the word translated as ‘rich’ is the Greek word πλουτέω [plouteo /ploo·teh·o/] . Strong’s Concordance says that the King James Bible translates it as “be rich” seven times, “be made rich” twice, “rich” once, “wax rich” once, and “be increased with goods” once. 1 to be rich, to have abundance. 1a of outward possessions. 2 metaph. to be richly supplied. 2a is affluent in resources so that he can give blessings of salvation to all.1 It is interesting that it is two different Greek words. Maybe it would be more accurate to say that “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was wealthy, abounding in material resources, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become richly supplied.” Now you say that I am changing the Bible. Let’s continue to look at the New Testament and see if I am off base.

What did Jesus have to say, “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22, NKJV) He called it the ‘deceitfulness of riches’. What else did He say, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”” (Matthew 19:23–24, NKJV) What did He mean by this, ‘easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle’? Nelsons Bible Dictionary says: “EYE OF A NEEDLE — a figure of speech used by Jesus to illustrate the extreme difficulty of a wealthy person’s attaining salvation: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matt. 19:24; Mark 10:25; Luke 18:25). Much has been written in an attempt to explain this statement. Some have suggested that the “Needle’s Eye” was a particularly narrow gate adjacent to one of the main gates of Jerusalem. A camel could pass through this gate but only with great difficulty. First it had to be stripped of the goods it carried, and then it had to bow to its knees to get through the gate. However, this claim is unsupported by historical evidence. Another suggestion is that “camel” (kamelos) should be translated “rope” (kamilos) or “ship’s cable.” Neither of these suggestions has received much support from scholars. It is probably best to understand this figure of speech as an example of Jesus’ use of hyperbole, or exaggeration for effect. The image of a camel trying to climb through the eye of a needle would have been both vivid and amusing. When Jesus’ disciples heard this “hard saying” from their Lord, they asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus replied, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:25–26). Even man’s best achievements cannot attain salvation, which is granted as a gift of God.”**

What else did He say? He said, “And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:24, NKJV) And you say, ‘well, that does not apply to me. I do not trust in my riches. I trust in God’. To you I would say, ‘If you don’t trust in your riches then do what Jesus said to the Rich Young Ruler’. He said, “So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”” (Luke 18:22, NKJV) Prove that you don’t trust in your riches. Take care of the poor people that are all around you. Then your generosity will cause them to praise God. How cool is that?

And again He says, “ “But woe to you who are rich, For you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full, For you shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now, For you shall mourn and weep.” (Luke 6:24–25, NKJV) And again, “Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”” (Luke 12:16–21, NKJV) Do you still say that God made you rich?

How about this, Jesus said, “Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” (Luke 16:11–12, NKJV) So what does it mean to be ‘faithful in the unrighteous mammon’? If you recognize that all good things come from God, then you must recognize that the provision is for taking care of each other. It was Jesus that also said, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” (John 13:34, NLT) Can you honestly say that you love someone when you have ‘money – mammon’ and you see someone who needs help paying their mortgage or buying food and you do not help them? Is that not what He is talking about?

I find this discourse very interesting. Jesus said, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’ Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’ Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!” (Matthew 23:14–24, NKJV)

Let’s take this one apart. He said, ‘you devour widows’ houses’. What could that mean? Maybe, He is talking about those land grabbers in the congregation, who like to make money on foreclosed properties. Are these the ones who stand in our churches and declare ‘praise the lord. He put another property in my hands at a ridiculously low price. Isn’t god good?’ So you made a lot of ‘money’ by buying up the widow’s house on the foreclosure sale. Do you really believe that it was God who made that happen for you? He then talks about swearing on the ‘gold of the temple’. Talking again about the money. Interesting. He talks about the tithe. Do you say that ‘we have paid our tithe, why, we’ve even given up to 50% of our vast wealth. Haven’t I given enough’? To that He replies, ‘you have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith.’ What is more merciful; to buy a house at a foreclosure sale or to take the abundance of money that you have in your bank account and help someone pay their mortgage? Which option shows mercy? Wouldn’t your faith say that God could refill your bank account or better yet, that God will supply my needs without a large bank account? Isn’t that what this verse means, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19, NKJV)

Let’s look at the other verses in the New Covenant and see what they say. “Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them. And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field. The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.” (James 1:9–11, NLT) Did the Bible actually say that God has ‘honored’ the poor believers? Is that right?

And the many warnings; “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.” (1 Timothy 6:9–11, NKJV) And again, “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” (1 Timothy 6:17–19, NKJV) “Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?” (James 2:5–7, NKJV)

“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you.” (James 5:1–6, NKJV)

And this,

“Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.” (Revelation 3:17–18, NKJV)

When we always have to have that latest of everything and expensive clothes and thing, isn’t that what this verse is talking about?

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15–17, NKJV)

So, what does the Bible say to do with the excess that has come into our hands?

“If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?” (1 John 3:17, NLT)

Take care of the need. Plain and simple. If you have enough to live well – comfortably, if your needs are met; then meet someone else’s need. It is offensive to me that so many people say, ‘if God existed, then He would take care of the poor.’ Don’t you hear God’s heartbeat? Don’t you see that He has provided everything that we need? We just won’t share what He has given.

Jesus came to fulfill the Law of Moses.

““Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:17–18, NKJV)

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:17, NKJV)

Then He said it was done;

“So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” (John 19:30, NKJV)

He gave us the New Covenant rules.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34, NKJV)

This is the only command – law of the New Covenant. The response of the first church is recorded in the book of Acts. It says,

“Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.” (Acts 2:44–45, NKJV)

And again it says,

“Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.” (Acts 4:32–35, NKJV)

Has anything changed?

So, once again I say, ‘Stop saying that God made you rich.’ To you I say “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.” (Revelation 2:4–5, NKJV)

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened,
and have tasted the heavenly gift,
and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit,
and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come,
if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance,
since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God,
and put Him to an open shame.”
(Hebrews 6:4–6, NKJV)

* Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible : Showing every word of the text of the common English version of the canonical books, and every occurrence of each word in regular order. (electronic ed.). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.

** Nelson’s new illustrated Bible dictionary. 1995 (R. F. Youngblood, F. F. Bruce, R. K. Harrison & Thomas Nelson Publishers, Ed.). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.

… ‘christian’ capitalist – or – what’s an oxymoron?

. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
(Acts 11:26b, NKJV)

… in order to look at the issue of ‘christian capitalism’ we should first start with simple definitions.  the disciples of Christ were first called Christians in Antioch, sometime around the year 42 AD/CE. so the Bible tells us that the first ‘Christians’ were the disciples of Jesus, Who was called the Christ.  upon further study, we find out that the followers of Christ did not call themselves Christian, but that the term was actually one of ridicule.  this is during the time when the Roman patriots would throw the Christians to the lions because they believed that worshiping the gods of Rome was one’s patriotic duty, and therefore people who would not worship their god must be destroyed for the good of society.  surprisingly, this is the attitude of the religious right today, who mostly call themselves ‘christians’ who believe that their god should be the only one freely allowed in this country.  most of these people would consider themselves ‘capitalists’ as well, their true god being money and the possessions it can afford them.

  Chris•tian \ˈkris-chən, ˈkrish-\ noun
[Latin christianus, adjective & noun, from Greek christianos, from Christos] 1526
1      a: one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ

Inc Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003).

… i would note that the dictionary states that anyone who ‘professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ’ is a ‘Christian’, but Jesus said that only those who actually follow His teachings are counted as His disciples.

“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’” – Jesus (Matthew 7:21–23, NLT)

… in order to understand what a ‘capitalist’ is, we should look first to the definition of ‘capitalism’ itself.

capitalism

■ noun an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

Concise Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).

.. the big ‘key’ ? to ‘capitalism’ is the ‘for private profit‘ part.  capitalism by definition is self serving, looking at the personal private profit of the owners of the business, rather than looking at how a business would profit society at large.  currently in the country of my birth, we have publicly funded fire stations, where collectively our taxes go to pay the salaries of the fire men as well as the equipment costs, etc, in order to run the station for everyone’s benefit.  under a pure capitalist system, the fire stations would only work for people who could afford their services. our publicly funded fire stations are actually part of a socialist system, as is our public schools, police departments, gas and water departments, national park service, military, and other services and industries where the profit, or benefits are mutually shared.

… in the area of the country where i live, you can see the effects of capitalism in our roads. our publicly funded roads are in major disrepair, but if you have the money, you can drive on the privately owned toll roads, which are very nice and can save you a lot of time as they are usually the choice route for your destination.  under a pure capitalist system, you would have to pay a toll to drive on any roads, as all lands would be owned by private individuals.

  cap•i•tal•ist \-ist\ noun
1781
1:      a person who has capital especially invested in business broadly: a person of wealth: PLUTOCRAT
2:      a person who favors capitalism

plu•toc•ra•cy \plü-ˈtä-krə-sē\ noun
plural -cies [Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; akin to Greek plein to sail, float—more at FLOW] 1652
1:      government by the wealthy
2:      a controlling class of the wealthy—plu•to•crat \ˈplü-tə-ˌkrat\ noun—plu•to•crat•ic \ˌplü-tə-ˈkra-tik\ adjective—plu•to•crat•i•cal•ly \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Inc Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003).

.. now a ‘capitalist’ is a person who favors ‘capitalism’ and has generally become wealthy through a capitalist system.  remember, the primary motivation in capitalism is the personal profit for the owners of the capital.  you can not be a ‘capitalist’ if you don’t have any ‘capital’ and you are only going to get the ‘capital’ by serving the owners of capital and by getting them more capital to add to their stockpiles of capital.

… we see the results of the capitalist system in the Oxfam Davos Report which revealed that only 62 people own as much as half the entire planet. this is based on the 2015 numbers which show that the number of people who own half the planet is shrinking dramatically, even since 2010 where 388 people owned as much as half the planet. that number dropped to 177 in 2011, 159 in 2012, 92 in 2013 and 80 in 2014 before hitting 62 in 2015.  this report was made public in January of 2016, so it will be very interesting to see what that number is using 2016 numbers.  will we see a 42% drop like in 2013, revealing only 36 people own as much as half the planet? or will we see a more modest drop of 22% like in 2015, revealing only 49 people own as much as half the entire planet?

… the world and it’s systems …

… and so we get to the things that are recorded that Jesus, the Man called the Christ, said and taught about. one of the most popular ‘sermons’ that we have recorded that Jesus taught was in what is popularly called The Beatitudes, which is recorded in both Matthew 5:1-12 and in Luke 6:20-26.

Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said,
“God blesses you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours.
God blesses you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied.
God blesses you who weep now, for in due time you will laugh.
What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.

“What sorrow awaits you who are rich, for you have your only happiness now.
What sorrow awaits you who are fat and prosperous now, for a time of awful hunger awaits you.
What sorrow awaits you who laugh now, for your laughing will turn to mourning and sorrow.
What sorrow awaits you who are praised by the crowds, for their ancestors also praised false prophets.
– Jesus (Luke 6:20–26, NLT)

… and it should be obvious what Jesus is teaching about being rich.  a capitalist desires to be rich through the acquisition of capital, regardless of need.  in the Bible, this is the very definition of greed – “πλεονεξίαa, ας f: a strong desire to acquire more and more material possessions or to possess more things than other people have, all irrespective of need—‘greed, avarice, covetousness.’” (Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 290–291.)

Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back.
Do to others as you would like them to do to you.
“If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, why should you get credit? Even sinners will lend to other sinners for a full return.
“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid.
Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.
You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.
– Jesus (Luke 6:30–36, NLT)

… ” … give to everyone who asks… ” and “… love your enemieslend to them without expecting to be repaid…” are just a couple more examples of how completely contrary to capitalism His teachings are.

.. and so we see that the phrase “Christian Capitalist” is nothing more than a ‘pointedly foolish‘ oxymoron…

“Beware of false prophets. They come to you disguised as sheep, but in their hearts they are vicious wolves. You will know them by what they produce. “People don’t pick grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles, do they? In the same way every good tree produces good fruit, but a rotten tree produces bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a rotten tree cannot produce good fruit. Any tree that fails to produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into a fire. So you will know them by what they produce.””  – Jesus (Matthew 7:15–20, GW)

… what’s my profit margin ?

Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said,
“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways,
take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it.
But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.
And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?
If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days,
the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

(Mark 8:34–38, NLT)

What's the profit?

profits

... for just about every movement we make, we ask ourselves the question, "what's the profit in me making such-and-such movement?"  whether we consciously ask the question or not, the question is the basis of our very movement.  the answer to that question determines whether or not we will make the movement in question.  if we did not see that the profit in getting out of bed in the morning, outweighs the physical cost of actually making movement, then why would we waste energy where there is no profit?

... but there is profit in life.  there is profit in movement, although all movement is not ultimately profitable.

... but, as a student of the teachings of the Bible, i have to ask what the Bible says about profit.

... in Matthew 16:24-26, Mark 8:34–38 , and Luke 9:23–26 is recorded a teaching that Jesus did on profits and gains in which He asks the question, "What profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?" Jesus is clearly teaching that what is considered profitable in the systems of the world, can actually destroy a person and cause them to lose their way.  in John, Jesus said,It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63, NKJV)  and again Jesus talks about the difference between the spirit and the flesh, as He did so often.

And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Matthew 5:30, NKJV) 

1prof•it  ˈprä-fət  noun
often attributive
[Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin profectus advance, profit, from proficere]
(14th century)
 1 : a valuable return : GAIN
 2 : the excess of returns over expenditure in a transaction or series of transactions; especially : the excess of the selling price of goods over their cost
 3 : net income usually for a given period of time
 4 : the ratio of profit for a given year to the amount of capital invested or to the value of sales
 5 : the compensation accruing to entrepreneurs for the assumption of risk in business enterprise as distinguished from wages or rent
— prof•it•less  -ləs  adjective
— prof•it•wise  -ˌwīz  adverb

2profit
(14th century)
intransitive verb
 1 : to be of service or advantage : AVAIL
 2 : to derive benefit : GAIN
 3 : to make a profit
transitive verb
  : to be of service to : BENEFIT

prof•it•able  ˈprä-fə-tə-bəl, ˈpräf-tə-bəl  adjective
(14th century)
  : affording profits : yielding advantageous returns or results
— prof•it•abil•i•ty  ˌprä-fə-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē  noun
— prof•it•able•ness  ˈprä-fə-tə-bəl-nəs  noun
— prof•it•ably  -blē  adverb  *

* Inc Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1996).

... and in this statement, Jesus is saying that there is more profit it actually losing a part of your body, than allowing that body part to drag you to hell.  He is not saying to cut off your hand, but teaching the principle of what is truly profitable and what is not.

... later, in Paul's first letter to the church at Corinth, Paul wrote, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:1–3, NKJV) 

... it should be abundantly obvious that the world sees profit in a different way than the Bible teaches.  no matter how you look at it, "bestow all my goods to feed the poor" is a great distance from 'net profit margin', but yet the apostle writes of a profit that will be lost if i "have not love."

For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”” (Galatians 5:14, NLT)

 

… abortion in the Bible? – the Law of Jealousy …

… many scholars believe that the man called Moses lived some time between 1526 – 1230 BCE.  many scholars believe that Moses is the author of the first five books of the Bible, referred to as the Pentateuch, Torah, or Law of Moses.  it is within these five books that the entire 613 Commandments of the Bible are contained.

… there is much more debate about when it was actually written.  some believe as early as 1446 BCE while Gmirkin maintains a date as late as sometime in the 3rd c.BCE.

“The Pentateuch may have been the first section of the OT to be written and recognized as canonical. It was basically the work of a single prophet of very early date, which was edited after his death but was not open to continual addition, whereas the other sections of the OT were produced by authors of later date, whose number was not complete until after the return from the Exile. No one doubts that the Pentateuch was both complete and canonical by the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, in the 5th century BC, and it may have been so considerably earlier.”

(R. T. Beckwith, “Canon of the Old Testament,” ed. D. R. W. Wood et al., New Bible Dictionary (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 167.)

… so who is right?

… does it matter?  the reason i point out these facts is that things need to be in the proper perspective.  for me to say that i know what happened 3,500 years or so ago, would be ignorant arrogance.  according to the New Bible Dictionary, it isn’t until the mid-2nd century BCE that there is even evidence that all five books were attributed to Moses

“the mid-2nd century BC we have evidence of all 5 books, including Genesis, being attributed to Moses (see Aristobulus, as cited by Eusebius, Preparation for the Gospel 13.12) Later in the same century the breach between Jews and Samaritans seems to have become complete, and the preservation of the Heb. Pentateuch by both parties since proves that it was already their common property. All this is evidence that the first section of the Canon was now closed, consisting of the 5 familiar books, neither more nor less, with only minor textual variations persisting.”

(R. T. Beckwith, “Canon of the Old Testament,” ed. D. R. W. Wood et al., New Bible Dictionary (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 167.)

.. within the pages of Torah, is a law that the scriptures calls the law of jealousy (Numbers 5:29).  this law has to do with a woman who’s husband thinks she cheated on him.  according to the Bible, when a man gets jealous over his wife, and thinks she cheated on him, he is to take the proscribed offering to the priest, and then the priest will make the woman take an oath and make her drink the water of the conviction that causes the curse, and if she was unfaithful, “The Lord bring thee into a curse and under an oath in the midst of thy people, in that the Lord should cause thy thigh to rot and thy belly to swell; and this water bringing the curse shall enter into thy womb to cause thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot.”

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them, Whosesoever wife shall transgress against him, and slight and despise him, and supposing any one shall lie with her carnally, and the thing shall be hid from the eyes of her husband, and she should conceal it and be herself defiled, and there be no witness with her, and she should not be taken: and there should come upon him a spirit of jealousy, and he should be jealous of his wife, and she be defiled, or there should come upon him a spirit of jealousy, and he should be jealous of his wife, and she should not be defiled, then shall the man bring his wife to the priest, and shall bring his gift for her, the tenth part of an ephah of barley-meal, he shall not pour oil upon it, neither shall he put frankincense upon it, for it is a sacrifice of jealousy, a sacrifice of memorial, recalling sin to remembrance.
And the priest shall bring her, and cause her to stand before the Lord. And the priest shall take pure running water in an earthen vessel, and he shall take of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle of witness, and the priest having taken it shall cast it into the water. And the priest shall cause the woman to stand before the Lord, and shall uncover the head of the woman, and shall put into her hands the sacrifice of memorial, the sacrifice of jealousy: and in the hand of the priest shall be the water of this conviction that brings the curse. And the priest shall adjure her, and shall say to the woman, If no one has lain with thee, and if thou hast not transgressed so as to be polluted, being under the power of thy husband, be free from this water of the conviction that causes the curse. But if being a married woman thou hast transgressed, or been polluted, and any one has lain with thee, beside thy husband: then the priest shall adjure the woman by the oaths of this curse, and the priest shall say to the woman, The Lord bring thee into a curse and under an oath in the midst of thy people, in that the Lord should cause thy thigh to rot and thy belly to swell; and this water bringing the curse shall enter into thy womb to cause thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot. And the woman shall say, So be it, So be it.
And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and shall blot them out with the water of the conviction that brings the curse. And he shall cause the woman to drink the water of the conviction that brings the curse; and the water of the conviction that brings the curse shall enter into her.
And the priest shall take from the hand of the woman the sacrifice of jealousy, and shall present the sacrifice before the Lord, and shall bring it to the altar. And the priest shall take a handful of the sacrifice as a memorial of it, and shall offer it up upon the altar; and afterwards he shall cause the woman to drink the water. And it shall come to pass, if she be defiled, and have altogether escaped the notice of her husband, then the water of the conviction that brings the curse shall enter into her; and she shall swell in her belly, and her thigh shall rot, and the woman shall be for a curse in the midst of her people. But if the woman have not been polluted, and be clean, then shall she be guiltless and shall conceive seed.
This is the law of jealousy,
wherein a married woman should happen to transgress, and be defiled; or in the case of a man on whomsoever the spirit of jealousy should come, and he should be jealous of his wife, and he should place his wife before the Lord, and the priest shall execute towards her all this law. Then the man shall be clear from sin, and that woman shall bear her sin.
” (Numbers 5:11–31, Brenton LXX En)

… in other words, the liquid will cause an abortion, or if you prefer, a miscarriage.

… i read an article where a ‘good christian’ politician says that raped women must be forced to carry their fetuses full term, because the pregnancy is a ‘gift from God.’

… if the Bible says that a married woman pregnant from adultery should have an abortion if her husband becomes jealous, then where do they get the idea that a raped woman MUST carry the baby full term?

But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:13, NKJV)

.. antichrist..

... some thoughts ...

... the subject of The Antichrist has probably been one of the most written about subjects in the study of Biblical literature.  just recently i started reading a book published in 1923 from lectures delivered by English Bible teacher, Arthur W. Pink called "The Antichrist."  i have actually only read the Foreword and a portion of the Introduction, but he has already caused me to want to study some things out.  just the names used in the Introduction strike a renewed interest.  names like: Prince of Darkness, Man of Sin, Son of Perdition, Serpent's Seed, the Crooked Serpent and many others.

... the thought of an antichrist seems to be the fancy of movies.  in fact, i have seen numerous movies where The Antichrist is some charismatic powerful politician who takes over the unsaved world through some major deception.  in most of these movies, the 'good christians' have magically vanished into thin air, usually leaving a pile of their last worn clothing, neatly folded where they were, their golden cross and diamond necklaces left on the tops of the piles.

nicolae_carpathia
Nicolae Carpathia "Left Behind" series

from the Greek

ἀντίχριστος [antichristos /an·tee·khris·tos/] n m. From ἀντί [anti /an·tee/] and Χριστός [Christos /khris·tos/]; 
Five occurrences; AV translates as “antichrist” five times.
1 the adversary of the Messiah.

ἀντί [anti /an·tee/] prep. A primary particle; 
22 occurrences; AV translates as “for” 15 times, “because + {ὀλέθριος - ruin, destroy}” 4 times, “for … cause” 1 time, “therefore + {ὀλέθριος - ruin, destroy}” 1 time, and “in the room of” 1 time.
1 over against, opposite to, before.
2 for, instead of, in place of (something).
2A instead of.
2B for.
2C for that, because.
2D wherefore, for this cause.

Χριστός [Christos /khris·tos/] adj. From χρίω [chrio /khree·o/] 'to anoint'; 
AV translates as “Christ” 569 times.
1 Christ was the Messiah, the Son of God.
2 anointed. Additional Information: Christ = “anointed”.

James Strong, Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon (Woodside Bible Fellowship, 1995).

... one that is opposed ..

... according to the Greek dictionaries, anti- means "opposite" or "one that is opposed."  so, therefore, antichrist would mean "one that is the opposite of or opposed to Christ."  Webster's says, 'opposing or hostile to in opinion, sympathy, or practice'.

anti- or ant- or anth- prefix
[anti- from Middle English, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French, from Latin, against, from Greek, from anti; ant- from Middle English, from Latin, against, from Greek, from anti; anth- from Latin, against, from Greek, from anti — more at ANTE-]
  1 a : of the same kind but situated opposite, exerting energy in the opposite direction, or pursuing an opposite policy 〈anticlinal〉
  b : one that is opposite in kind to 〈anticlimax〉
  2 a : opposing or hostile to in opinion, sympathy, or practice 〈anti-Semite〉
  b : opposing in effect or activity 〈antacid〉
 3 : serving to prevent, cure, or alleviate 〈antianxiety〉
 4 : combating or defending against 〈antiaircraft〉 〈antimissile〉
(Inc Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, 1996))

... the actual word ἀντίχριστος (antichristos/antichrist), is only used five times in the entire Bible, and only in the 1st and 2nd letters of John.  before the first mention of the antichrist, John makes statements like; “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” (1 John 1:6, ESV) and “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,” (1 John 2:3–4, ESV) 

... John's letters are simple and to the point.  “Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” (1 John 2:9–11, ESV)  he then boldly states: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.” (1 John 2:15–16, ESV) before moving into two of the five times that 'antichrist' is used in the entire Bible:

“Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.” (1 John 2:18–19, ESV)

"... they went out from us ...." or as the New Living Translation puts it; "... These people left our churches ..." this refers to the 'many antichrists have come' from the prior verse.  it seems pretty clear to me that John is saying 'these many antichrists left our churches.' now i also think it should be recognized that this letter is believed to have been written around the year 90AD.  roughly 60 years has passed since the resurrection of Jesus the Christ and we are already being told that the 'opposite spirit of Christ' is in the church.

... the third time the word is used is just 4 verses later: “And who is a liar? Anyone who says that Jesus is not the Christ. Anyone who denies the Father and the Son is an antichrist. Anyone who denies the Son doesn’t have the Father, either. But anyone who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.” (1 John 2:22–23, NLT) -- this passage seems to reflect what Jesus Himself said: Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. (Matthew 12:30, ESV)

... the letter continues with statements like: “Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:7–8, ESV) and “By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” (1 John 3:10, ESV)

... in the fourth use of the word, the author has issued a warning and a test: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.” (1 John 4:1–3, ESV)

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:7–8, ESV)

... and then, the fifth and final time the word is used in the entire body of scripture is in the next letter, 2 John, where the author of this letter writes: “And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.” (2 John 5–7, ESV)

... what is an 'antichrist' the opposite of?

... as the 'antichrist' is the 'opposite' of Christ, i feel the need to look at what is said about the Christ.  by the letters of 1st and 2nd John, we can see that the 'antichrist' is opposed to the love of Christ - the only New Commandment that Jesus the Christ is ever recorded as giving: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34–35, ESV)  the 'anti-christ' is opposed to the New Commandment of the Christ to "love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another."

... so what else does the Bible say about the Christ?

The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers gathered themselves together, against the Lord, and against his Christ;” (Psalm 2:2, Brenton LXX En)

... so, 'the kings of the earth' and 'the rulers' are 'against the LORD, and against His Christ,' or they are 'anti-christ' -- but only by definition.  this corresponds with Jesus saying, “And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:42–45, ESV)

... John, known as the baptist, sent his followers to ask Jesus if He was the Christ.  pay attention to His answer as to why they should believe in Him:

And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?”
Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.'" (Matthew 11:2–6, NKJV)

... one of the proofs that Jesus gives to John's disciples was that "the poor have the gospel preached to them." and what did He preach to them?

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
(Matthew 25:31–40, NKJV)

 ... Jesus teaches all who can hear His voice that they are to 'feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, take in strangers, cloth the naked, visit the sick and those in prison.'  so anyone who is opposed to that is opposed to Christ, or antichrist.

... test all things ...

... Prince of Peace

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.

(Isaiah 9:6, NLT)

... in the Gospel of Luke, we are told that an angel said;

“And the angel said to them,
“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior,
who is Christ the Lord.
And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths
and lying in a manger.””
(Luke 2:10–12, ESV)

 

 

... referring to the long awaited prophecy of Isaiah, who said:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” (Isaiah 9:6–7, ESV)

... this Prince of Peace said:

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:43–48, ESV)

... the most humble of lives ..

 ... we are told one of the very first 'signs' of the Christ Child was that He would be found laying in an animal's feeding trough. 

feedingtrough

... we are told that the sign of the birth of the One Who shall be called "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace,' the One Who will sit on the throne of David, will be born and placed in the feeding trough of animals.  the One Whom the scriptures calls, King of kings and Lord of lords, was born of the most humble of beginnings.

... the Son of God, the Christ, was born into a poor Jewish family living in Judea, formerly called Israel, that had been under the domain and harsh rule of the evil Roman Empire for 40 years.  He wasn't born into a family of money, prestige or power, but a blue-collar working class family.

... of the Christ, Paul writes in his letter to the Phillippians:

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5–8, ESV)

... who is The Antichrist?

... we are told in the second letter to the Thessalonians that the one called 'the lawless one' will be 'revealed:'

And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:6–12, ESV)

... so, has he been revealed yet?

... no.

... but, as the 'mystery of lawlessness' was 'already at work' sometime around 53AD, you can be sure that it is still here today.

... this spirit of antichrist can be seen daily with thousands of examples.  the great 'christian educator' who tells his students to get guns and kill 'the infidels' -- or Muslims.  the host of presidential hopefuls who say that their god told them to be president and to cut food assistance and medical care for the poor and needy.  billionaires who spend hundreds of millions of dollars of their money on building museums to house their vast collections of biblical relics.

... anti- means opposite...

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:15–20, ESV)