… how long oh LORD?…

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a hill and sat down. His followers came to him, and he began to teach them, saying:
“They are blessed who realize their spiritual poverty,
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
They are blessed who grieve,
for God will comfort them.
They are blessed who are humble,
for the whole earth will be theirs.
They are blessed who hunger and thirst after justice,
for they will be satisfied.
They are blessed who show mercy to others,
for God will show mercy to them.
They are blessed whose thoughts are pure,
for they will see God.
They are blessed who work for peace,
for they will be called God’s children.
They are blessed who are persecuted for doing good,
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
“People will insult you and hurt you. They will lie and say all kinds of evil things about you because you follow me. But when they do, you will be blessed. Rejoice and be glad, because you have a great reward waiting for you in heaven. People did the same evil things to the prophets who lived before you.

(Matthew 5:1–12, NCV)

θλῖψις μεγάλη …
great affliction … great tribulation..

“ἔσονται γὰρ αἱ ἡμέραι ἐκεῖναι θλῖψις οἵα οὐ γέγονεν τοιαύτη ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς κτίσεως ἣν ἔκτισεν ὁ θεὸς ἕως τοῦ νῦν καὶ οὐ μὴ γένηται.” (Mark 13:19, SBLGNT)

“For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be.” (Mark 13:19, ESV)


“καὶ κατὰ τὴν ὥραν ἐκείνην παρελεύσεται Μιχαηλ ὁ ἄγγελος ὁ μέγας ὁ ἑστηκὼς ἐπὶ τοὺςυἱοὺς τοῦ λαοῦ σου, ἐκείνηἡ ἡμέρα θλίψεως, οἵα οὐκ ἐγενήθη ἀφʼ οὗ ἐγενήθησαν ἕως τῆς ἡμέρας ἐκείνης, καὶ ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ὑψωθήσεται πᾶς ὁ λαός, ὃς ἂνεὑρεθῇ ἐγγεγραμμένος ἐν τῷ βιβλίῳ.”(Daniel 12:1, LLXXI)

“And at that time Michael the great prince shall stand up, that stands over the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of tribulation, such tribulation as has not been from the time that there was a nation on the earth until that time: at that time thy people shall be delivered, even every one that is written in the book.” (Daniel 12:1, Brenton LXX En)


“ἔσται γὰρ τότε θλῖψις μεγάλη οἵα οὐ γέγονεν ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς κόσμου ἕως τοῦ νῦν οὐδʼ οὐ μὴ γένηται.” (Matthew 24:21, SBLGNT)

“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.” (Matthew 24:21, ESV)


“καὶ ζητήσετε ἐκεῖ Κύριον τὸν θεὸν ἡμῶν, καὶ εὑρήσετε, ὅταν ἐκζητήσητε αὐτὸν ἐξ ὅλης τῆς καρδίας σου καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς ψυχῆς σου ἐν τῇ θλίψει σου· (Deuteronomy 4:29, Lexham LXX Int Swete)

“But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in tribulation, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, you will return to the Lord your God and obey his voice. For the Lord your God is a merciful God. He will not leave you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers that he swore to them.” (Deuteronomy 4:29–31, ESV)


“καὶ εἴρηκα αὐτῷ· Κύριέ μου, σὺ οἶδας. καὶ εἶπέν μοι· Οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ ἐρχόμενοι ἐκ τῆς θλίψεως τῆς μεγάλης, καὶ ἔπλυναν τὰς στολὰς αὐτῶν καὶ ἐλεύκαναν αὐτὰς ἐν τῷ αἵματι τοῦ ἀρνίου.” (Revelation 7:14, SBLGNT)

“I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:14, ESV)


“καὶ ἐγένετο θλῖψις μεγάλη ἐν τῷ Ισραηλ, ἥτις οὐκ ἐγένετο ἀφʼ ἧς ἡμέρας οὐκ ὤφθη προφήτης αὐτοῖς.” (1 Maccabees 9:27, LLXXI)

“So was there a great affliction in Israel, the like whereof was not since the time that a prophet was not seen among them.” (1 Maccabees 9:27, Brenton LXX En)


“ταῦτα λελάληκα ὑμῖν ἵνα ἐν ἐμοὶ εἰρήνην ἔχητε· ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ θλῖψιν ἔχετε, ἀλλὰ θαρσεῖτε, ἐγὼ νενίκηκα τὸν κόσμον.” (John 16:33, SBLGNT)

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”” (John 16:33, ESV)


θλῖψις, εως, (s. θλίβω; on the accent s. B-D-F §13; W-S. §6, 3c; Mlt-H. 57.—KLipsius, Grammat. Untersuchungen über d. bibl. Gräz. 1863, 34f, prefers to write θλίψις; so also W-H.) rare in extra-Biblical Gk., and there lit., ‘pressing, pressure’ (Aristot., Meterol. 4, 4, 383a, 13; Epicurus p. 45, 9 Us.; Ps.-Aristot., De Mundo 4, 394a, 29; Strabo, Galen).

① in our lit. (as in LXX, En, Test12Patr, JosAs cod. A; Just., D. 116, 2; Mel.) freq. and in the metaph. sense trouble that inflicts distress, oppression, affliction, tribulation (so Vett. Val. 71, 16; Cat. Cod. Astr. VIII/3 p. 175, 5; 178, 8; pl. 169, 2 [s. Boll 134f]; OGI 444, 15 [II or I b.c.] διὰ τὰς τ. πόλεων θλίψεις; BGU 1139, 4 [I b.c.]; POxy 939, 13; PAmh 144, 18). Of distress that is brought about by outward circumstances (Jos., Ant. 4, 108; En, PsSol, Mel.; Did., Gen. 116, 10), in sg. and pl. Ac 11:19; Ro 5:3b; 12:12; 2 Cor 1:8; 6:4; 8:2; Rv 1:9; 2:9, 22; 1 Cl 22:7 (Ps 33:18); 59:4; 2 Cl 11:4 (quot. of unknown orig.); Hs 7:4ff. ἐπὶ πάσῃ τῇ θ. ἡμῶν 2 Cor 1:4a; 7:4; 1 Th 3:7; ἐν πάσῃ θ. (TestGad 4:4) 2 Cor 1:4b; ἐν (τ.) θ. Ro 5:3a; Eph 3:13; 1 Th 1:6; 3:3. ἐν πολλαῖς θ. καὶ ποικίλαις Hs 7, 4. θ. μεγάλη great tribulation (SibOr 3, 186) Mt 24:21 (1 Macc 9:27); Ac 7:11; Hv 4, 2, 4. Plural Hv 3, 2, 1. ἡ θ. ἡ μεγάλη the great tribulation Rv 7:14; τὸ ἐλαφρὸν τῆς θ. slight affliction 2 Cor 4:17. ἀνταποδοῦναί τινι θλῖψιν repay someone w. affliction 2 Th 1:6. W. ἀνάγκη (q.v. 2) 1 Th 3:7. W. διωγμός Mt 13:21; Mk 4:17; Ac 8:1 D; 13:50 D; pl. 2 Th 1:4. W. δεσμά (TestJos 2:4) Ac 20:23. W. ὀνειδισμός Hb 10:33. W. στενοχωρία (q.v.) Ro 2:9. W. στενοχωρία and διωγμός 8:35 (w. λιμός and στενοχωρία Hippol., Ref. 5, 26, 12).—On the catalogue of hardships (peristasis) cp. 1 Cor 4:9–13; 2 Cor 4:8f; 6:4–10; 11:23–28; 12:10; Phil 4:11; s. FDanker, Augsburg Comm. 2 Cor ’89, 89–91; 180f; idem, The Endangered Benefactor in Luke-Acts: SBLSP ’81, 39–48; JFitzgerald, Cracks in an Earthen Vessel ’88; MFerrari, Die Sprache des Leids in den paulinischen Persistasen-katalogen ’91; MEbner, Leidenslisten u. Apostelbrief ’91.—ἡμέρα θλίψεως day of affliction (Gen 35:3; 2 Km 22:19; cp. En 103:9; TestLevi 5:5) 1 Cl 52:3 (Ps 49:15).—Of the tribulations of the last days (as Da 12:1) Mt 24:21, 29; Mk 13:19, 24. ἡ θ. ἡ ἐρχομένη ἡ μεγάλη the great tribulation to come Hv 2, 2, 7; cp. 2, 3, 4; 4, 1, 1; 4, 2, 5; 4, 3, 6.—Distress caused by war 1 Cl 57:4 (Pr 1:27). θ. θανάτου affliction of death B 12:5. Difficult circumstances 2 Cor 8:13; Js 1:27; συγκοινωνεῖν τῇ θ. show an interest in (someone’s) distress Phil 4:14. Of a woman’s birth-pangs J 16:21.—ὅταν γένηται θ. when persecution comes Hv 3, 6, 5. θλῖψιν ἀκούειν hear of persecution Hs 9, 21, 3. θλῖψιν ἔχειν J 16:33; 1 Cor 7:28; Rv 2:10; Hv 2, 3, 1; Hs 7:3. ἐὰν ὑπενέγκῃ τὰς θλίψεις τὰς ἐπερχομένας αὐτῷ Hs 7:4; cp. 7:6. ἐξείλατο αὐτὸν ἐκ πασῶν τῶν θλίψεων αὐτοῦ Ac 7:10. διὰ πολλῶν θ. εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τ. βασιλείαν 14:22. τότε παραδώσουσιν ὑμᾶς εἰς θλῖψιν Mt 24:9; cp. B 12:5. ἀποστήσεται πᾶσα θ. ἀπὸ σοῦ … ἀπὸ πάντων ἀποστήσεται ἡ θ. Hs 7, 7.—Of the sufferings of Christ θλίψεις τοῦ Χριστοῦ Col 1:24 (s. on ἀνταναπληρόω and πάθημα 1).

inward experience of distress, affliction, trouble (Gen 35:3; 42:21 θ. τῆς ψυχῆς) θ. καὶ συνοχὴ καρδίας trouble and anguish of heart 2 Cor 2:4. θλῖψιν ἐγείρειν τοῖς δεσμοῖς μου cause trouble for me in my imprisonment Phil 1:17. Ἅννα … περιείλατο πᾶσαν θλῖψιν ἀπʼ αὐτῆς GJs 2:4 (cod. A, not pap; s. περιαιρέω 1).—DELG s.v. θλίβω. M-M. TW.

 

B-D-F B-D-F = FBlass, ADebrunner, RFunk, A Greek Grammar of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature—List 6

W-S. W-S. = GWiner, Grammatik des neutestamentlichen Sprachidioms, ed. PSchmiedel—List 6

Mlt-H. Mlt-H. = JMoulton/WHoward, A Grammar of NT Greek II: Accidence and Word-formation—List 6

W-H. W-H. = BWestcott/FHort—List 1, beg.

Gk. Gk. = Greek

lit. lit. = literal(ly); literature (refererences to [scholarly] literature)

Aristot Aristot , various works, IV b.c.—List 5

Epicurus Epicurus , IV–III b.c.—List 5

Ps.-Aristot Ps.-Aristot , s. Aristot.—List 5

Strabo Strabo , I b.c.–I a.d.—List 5

Galen Galen , II a.d.—List 5

lit. lit. = literal(ly); literature (refererences to [scholarly] literature)

LXX LXX = Septuaginta, ed. ARahlfs, unless otherwise specified—Lists 2, beg.

En En = I Enoch—List 2

Test12Patr Test12Patr = Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, with interpolations II b.c.–III a.d.—List 2

JosAs JosAs = Joseph and Aseneth—Lists 2, 5

Just. Just(in) , II a.d.—List 5

D D = Didache, except that in a list of manuscripts or as textual variant D refers to Codex Bezae—List 1

Mel. Mel. = Melito of Sardis, II a.d.—List 5

freq. freq. = frequent(ly)

metaph. metaph. = metaphor(ically)

  1. pl. = plural

Boll Boll = FB., Aus der Offenb. Johannis—List 6

OGI OGI = Orientis Graeci Inscriptiones Selectae—List 3

BGU BGU = Aegyptische Urkunden aus den Museen zu Berlin: Griechische Urkunden—List 4

POxy POxy = Oxyrhynchus Papyri—List 4

PAmh PAmh = The Amherst Papyri I–II—List 4

Jos. Jos. = Josephus. This abbr. used when follow by title; I a.d.—Lists 5

En En = I Enoch—List 2

Mel. Mel. = Melito of Sardis, II a.d.—List 5

Did. Did. = Didymus Caecus (the Blind), commentator on OT books, IV a.d.—List 5

  1. sg. = singular
  2. pl. = plural

1 Cl 1 Cl = 1 Clement—List 1

2 Cl 2 Cl = 2 Clement—List 1

quot. quot. = quotation

orig. orig. = original(ly)

Hs Hs = Similitudes

TestGad TestGad = Testament of Gad, s. Test12Patr—List 2

Hs Hs = Similitudes

SibOr SibOr = Oracula Sibyllina, II–III a.d.—List 5

Hv Hv = Visions

Hv Hv = Visions

  1. w. = with

q.v. q.v. = quod vide (which see, see that which has just been mentioned)

D D = Didache, except that in a list of manuscripts or as textual variant D refers to Codex Bezae—List 1

D D = Didache, except that in a list of manuscripts or as textual variant D refers to Codex Bezae—List 1

  1. pl. = plural

TestJos TestJos = Testament of Joseph, s. Test12Patr—List 2

q.v. q.v. = quod vide (which see, see that which has just been mentioned)

  1. w. = with

Hippol Hippol , II–III a.d.—List 5

  1. cp. = compare, freq. in ref. to citation fr. ancient texts

idem idem = the same (in ref. to the person just mentioned)

SBLSP SBLSP = Society of Biblical Literature Seminar Papers—List 6

  1. cp. = compare, freq. in ref. to citation fr. ancient texts

En En = I Enoch—List 2

TestLevi TestLevi = Testament of Levi, s. Test12Patr—List 2

1 Cl 1 Cl = 1 Clement—List 1

Hv Hv = Visions

  1. cp. = compare, freq. in ref. to citation fr. ancient texts

1 Cl 1 Cl = 1 Clement—List 1

B B = Barnabas (the Letter of), II a.d., except in series of uncial witnesses, in which case B refers to Codex Vaticanus (s. also Vat.). When the abbrv. B would ambiguous, Vat. is used for the codex.—List 1

Hv Hv = Visions

Hs Hs = Similitudes

Hv Hv = Visions

Hs Hs = Similitudes

Hs Hs = Similitudes

  1. cp. = compare, freq. in ref. to citation fr. ancient texts
  2. cp. = compare, freq. in ref. to citation fr. ancient texts

B B = Barnabas (the Letter of), II a.d., except in series of uncial witnesses, in which case B refers to Codex Vaticanus (s. also Vat.). When the abbrv. B would ambiguous, Vat. is used for the codex.—List 1

Hs Hs = Similitudes

GJs GJs = Gospel of James (Protevangelium Jacobi), II a.d.—List 1

pap pap = papyrus, -yri

DELG DELG = PChantraine, Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque—List 6

s.v. s.v. = sub voce (under the word, look up the word)

M-M M-M = JMoulton/GMilligan, Vocabulary of Greek Testament—Lists 4, 6

TW TW = Theologisches Wörterbuch zum NT; tr. GBromiley, Theological Dictionary of the NT—List 6

 

#MeTooMen #ChurchToo

… on my Twitter feed the other day, there were many stories about a ‘pastor’ of a mega-church, Highpoint Church in Memphis, TN, who confessed to a ‘sexual incident’ that involved a teenager that he abused when he was a youth pastor many years ago.  the girl was 17 yrs old at the time.

… as i am very concerned for the condition of the universal church and body of Christ, i was curious to find out what this particular ‘church’ was saying.  i looked up their Facebook account and started reading the feeds.

… what i read shocked me.

…  people were writing that they were driving hours and hours to come to this weeks service in support of Andy, the man who admitted that he had sexually assaulted a 17 yr old girl 20 yrs earlier.

.. i read comments like; “she’s lying, Andy is a good guy.” and “she’s just looking for attention.”

.. i responded that maybe she was looking for the attention she should have received when she was abused 20 years ago.  and i posted a scripture.

Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; who make darkness light, and light darkness; who make bitter sweet, and sweet bitter. Woe to them that are wise in their own conceit, and knowing in their own sight.
Isaiah 5:20–21

… when i went back i found that they had blocked me.  i find it interesting that the church would block me for posting words from the Bible that they claim they follow, but it is not the first time, and i doubt it will be the last.

… the thing is …

“i believe her.”

… and why shouldn’t i?  Mr. Andy only gave a public apology in front of the ”whole’ church’ AFTER she had made a public post as part of the #MeToo movement against the sexual abuse by people in power.  it was only AFTER Mr. Andy had posted on his social media in support of Matt Lauer, another sexual abusing man who also said he was sorry, (but i didn’t do that).

… and you see, i am a 52 yr old man, and i have a story from when i was a 15 yr old freshman in high school myself.  i already hear the screams ‘get over it.’ and i have, but just because 37 years have gone by, doesn’t mean i have forgotten, or that it hasn’t played an effect on different decisions i have made throughout my entire life..

… in 1979 i was a freshman in high school, attending a private boarding school called St. Paul’s College High, in Concordia, MO.  when i was in 7th grade, i had an encounter with the LORD that dramatically changed the course of my life.  i was only 12, but i was happy and content, and i loved people.  i spent a lot of my spare time reading my Bible, and although my mother and step father took us to our Missouri Synod Lutheran Church every Sunday, they weren’t happy with my new found happiness. 🙂

… so they took me to our pastor so that he would straighten me out.  the pastor had suggested that i was called into the ministry, and he suggested that i look into this High School that also had a two year College on the same campus whose entire focus was pre-ministerial.

… due to a law suit where my father didn’t pay my mother any child support for like 7 years, he agreed to pay for my 4 years of private boarding school education and she agreed to not pursue the entire debt.  i enrolled and started classes – wonderful classes in Old Testament studies, Greek studies, Hebrew studies, New Testament, Geometry,  – anyways, i though i was close to heaven.  remember, i’m just 15 at the time.

… i found out that the majority of High School students were rich kids who were trouble makers, whose parents sent them to this school so that the school would deal with them.  the High School was supposed to be geared towards the ministry, but it seemed that only the college students were actually serious about the things of God.

… there were some extra-curricular activities of praise and worship, Bible studies, etc. that some of the college students were leading and i and one other HS student got permission to hang out with the college group.  the college group had plans to travel to Chicago, IL around Christmas time and attend a conference called Evangelism Explosion.  we were going to spend a day of ‘door to door’ evangelism, and spend some time at O’Hare International Airport, busiest in the world at that time, doing ‘evangelism.’

… the plan was that the students would all break up into two’s and be assigned to different host houses from the church we would be visiting for the seminars.  me being the youngest person in the group (5 years younger than most) i was assigned to a big house that had enough room to house 4 people, 2 rooms with bunk-beds.  and it just so happened that i was assigned with the 3 male college sophomore leaders of the entire group from St. Paul’s.

… when we broke into rooms, i was in a room with the assistant to the assistant.  he took the bottom bunk and we went to bed.  as i remember it was cold, it was Chicago in December, and he asked me if i wanted to get into bed with him as we could stay warmer.  my 15 year old self thought this college man made sense so i did.  today, in 2018, it sounds absolutely ridiculous, but back in 1979 Mid-Western America, to even consider that something was wrong – was just wrong.

… i’m not going to go into details, but lets just say that after numerous attempts to say no (not verbally as i recall, just no consent) i ended up doing things i did not want to, and when he went to the restroom to clean himself up, i got dressed and ran to the room of the two head leaders and told them what had happened.

… they told me i was wrong, that the guy who just abused me was engaged to be married, and i must have misunderstood the whole thing.  they sent me back to the room, where i got back into the top bunk and waited for my abuser to come back to the room.

… of course i’ve never mentioned this before.  why would i?  but 37 years later, i can think of thousands of things in my life that were forever changed on that night, mostly because people with authority over me, abused me twice.  once physically, the second time mentally – by victim blaming.  the shame, “how dare you say something so evil against such a good person!”

… and so i will loudly now say, that

I believe Jules Woodson. STOP the victim blaming.  SHAME on you who call yourself the Church of Jesus the Man called Christ.

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
2 Timothy 3:12–13

… prophets …

… i was reading in The Shepherd of Hermas, which is purported to have been written by a church leader around the year 95 AD or so.  he had some interesting things to say about prophets..
MANDATE 11

43. He showed me men seated on a bench, and another man seated on a chair. And he said to me, “Do you see those men seated on the bench?” “I see them, sir,” I replied. “These,” he said, “are faithful, but the one seated on the chair is a false prophet who destroys the mind of God’s servants; that is, he destroys the mind of the double-minded, not of believers. (2) These double-minded ones come to him as to a fortune teller, and ask him what will happen to them. And that false prophet, not having the power of a divine spirit in himself, answers them in accordance with their questions and their wicked desires, and fills their souls just as they themselves wish. (3) For since he himself is empty, he gives empty answers to empty inquirers, for no matter what is asked, he answers according to the emptiness of the man asking. But he does speak some true words, for the devil fills him with his own spirit, to see if he will be able to break down any of the righteous. (4) So, those who are strong in the faith of the Lord, having clothed themselves with the truth, do not associate with such spirits, but have nothing to do with them. But   P 407  those who are double-minded and frequently change their minds practice fortune telling like the pagans and bring greater sin upon themselves by their idolatries. For the one who consults a false prophet on any matter is an idolator and lacks the truth and is senseless. (5) For no spirit given by God needs to be consulted; instead, having the power of deity, it speaks everything on its own initiative, because it is from above, from the power of the divine Spirit. (6) But the spirit that is consulted and which answers according to the desires of the people consulting it is earthly and fickle, and has no power, and does not speak at all unless it is asked.” (7) “So how, sir,” I asked, “will a man know which of them is a prophet, and which is a false prophet?” “Hear,” he said, “about both the prophets, and on the basis of what I am going to tell you, you can test the prophet and false prophet. Determine the man who has the divine Spirit by his life. (8) In the first place the one who has the divine Spirit from above is gentle and quiet and humble, and stays away from all evil and futile desires of this age, and considers himself to be poorer than others, and gives no answer to anyone when consulted. Nor does he speak on his own (nor does the Holy Spirit speak when a man wants to speak), but he speaks when God wants him to speak. (9) So, then, when the man who has the divine Spirit comes into an assembly of righteous men who have faith in a divine Spirit, and intercession is made to God by the assembly of those men, then the angel of the prophetic spirit which is assigned to him fills the man, and being filled with the Holy Spirit the man speaks to the multitude, just as the Lord wills. (10) In this way, then, the Spirit of the Deity will be obvious. Such, therefore, is the power of discernment with respect to the divine Spirit of the Lord.”
(11) “Now hear,” he said, “about the earthly and worthless spirit, which has no power but is foolish. (12) In the first place, that man who thinks he has a spirit exalts himself and wants to have a seat of honor, and immediately is arrogant and shameless and talkative and well acquainted with many luxuries and with many other pleasures, and receive money for his prophesying, and if he does not receive money, he does not prophesy.   p 409  Now, can a divine spirit receive money and still prophesy? It is impossible for a prophet of God to do this, but the spirit of such prophets who do so is earthly. (13) Next, he never comes near an assembly of righteous men; instead he avoids them, and associates with the double-minded and the empty-headed, and prophesies to them in a corner and deceives them; everything he says is in accordance with their own desires and characterized by his own empty manner, for he is answering those who are empty. For the empty vessel placed together with other empty vessels is not broken, but they match one another. (14) But when he comes to an assembly full of righteous men who have a divine Spirit, and intercession is made by them, that man is emptied and the earthly spirit flees from him in fear, and that man is rendered speechless and is completely shattered, unable to say a thing. (15) For if you store wine or oil in a storeroom and place an empty jar in among them and then later you wish to clear out the storeroom, you will find that empty jar you placed there still empty. So it is with empty prophets; whenever they encounter the spirits of the righteous, they are found to be just as they were when they arrived. (16) You now have descriptions of the life of both kinds of prophets. Therefore test by his life and his actions the man who claims that he is spirit-inspired. (17) Put your trust in the Spirit that comes from God and has power, but do not trust in any way the earthly and empty spirit, because it has no power, for it comes from the devil. (18) Listen to the parable I am about to tell you. Take a stone and throw it toward the sky; see if you can reach it. Or, for another example, take a water pump and squirt it toward the sky; see if you can penetrate it.” (19) “How,” I asked, “can these things be, sir? For both these things you just said are impossible.” “Well then,” he said, “just as these things are impossible, so also are the earthly spirits powerless and weak. (20) Now take the power that comes from above. A hailstone is a very small pellet, but when it falls on a man’s head, what pain it causes! Or, for another example, take a drop that falls on the ground from the roofing tiles, and wears a hole in the rock. (21) You see, then, that even the smallest things from above falling on the earth have great power; so also the divine Spirit that comes from above is powerful. So put your trust in this Spirit, but have nothing to do with the other one.

Michael William Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations, Updated ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999).

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 6:26 AM April 01, 2017.

 

Then the Lord said, “These prophets are telling lies in my name. I did not send them or tell them to speak. I did not give them any messages. They prophesy of visions and revelations they have never seen or heard. They speak foolishness made up in their own lying hearts. Therefore, this is what the Lord says: I will punish these lying prophets, for they have spoken in my name even though I never sent them. They say that no war or famine will come, but they themselves will die by war and famine! As for the people to whom they prophesy—their bodies will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and war. There will be no one left to bury them. Husbands, wives, sons, and daughters—all will be gone. For I will pour out their own wickedness on them.” (Jeremiah 14:14–16, NLT)

… blasphemous mouth …

The beast was given a mouth speaking
proud words and blasphemies,
and he was permitted to exercise ruling authority
for forty-two months. So the beast
opened his mouth to blaspheme against God—
to blaspheme both his name and his dwelling place,
that is, those who dwell in heaven.

(Revelation 13:5–6, NET)

Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference

… 21seconds in “the second time I was great.”
“We’ve done very well with the Evangelicals, and with religion generally speaking.”
4.20s “… the happiest people are the people that have that great religious feel, and that incredible marriage …”
5.19s “We must continue to forge our partnership with Israel, and work to insure Israel’s security.”

.. at 6.34s President Trump says that his opponent in the election wanted to increase the number of refugees coming to this country, at which the ‘good christians’ booed, except for one lady who shouted over and over “refugees are welcome here”, mostly drowned out by people shouting “Trump, Trump” and “USA, USA”, who was quickly carried out of the room …

15.09s “I’m going to turn things around.”

17.42s “We will put America first.” to cheers and applause.
19.15s “We will respect and defend Christian Americans, Christian Americans.”

Family Leadership Summit

“But have you ever asked God for forgiveness?”

“I’m not sure I have, I just try to do a better job from there, I don’t think so.” President Trump  “I don’t bring God into that picture.”

2.07s “Straight question; what is your relationship with God?”
“Well I pray, I go to church, I do things that are wrong, I guess.  You know I’m a business person, I really do well at business, I’ve done great, I’ve made some of the great deals, I own some, I own some of the greatest properties of the world … I think god helped me.  You know, God helped me by giving me a certain brain, whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, you know I went through a phenomenal school…”

Anderson Cooper Interview about Repentance

“I had the biggest standing ovation, the biggest standing ovation.”  “… when you don’t make such bad things that you have to ask for forgiveness…. I try to lead a life where you don’t have to ask God for forgiveness.” “Why do you have to ask for forgiveness if you’re not making mistakes?  I work hard.  I’m an honorable person.”

The David Packman Show

.59s “…Proverbs, the chapter, never bend to envy, I’ve had that thing all of my life.” President Trump

“… it is confusing that the Bible is Donald Trump’s favorite book, second favorite book, but the one Bible verse he refers to doesn’t seem to exist.” … “It is obvious to me that Donald Trump does not care about the Bible.”

Be not envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them, for their hearts devise violence, and their lips talk of trouble.” (Proverbs 24:1–2, ESV)

 

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:8–10, ESV)

 

blas•pheme  \blas-ˈfēm, ˈblas-ˌ\  verb
blas•phemed; blas•phem•ing
[Middle English blasfemen, from Late Latin blasphemare — more at BLAME]
(14th century)
transitive verb
1 : to speak of or address with irreverence
2 : REVILE, ABUSE
intransitive verb
: to utter blasphemy
— blas•phem•er  \-ˈfē-mər; ˈblas-ˌfē-mər, -fə-mər\  noun

blas•phe•mous  \ˈblas-fə-məs\  adjective
(15th century)
: impiously irreverent : PROFANE
— blas•phe•mous•ly adverb
— blas•phe•mous•ness noun

blas•phe•my  \ˈblas-fə-mē\  noun
plural blas•phe•mies
(13th century)
1 a : the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God
b : the act of claiming the attributes of deity
2 : irreverence toward something considered sacred or inviolab

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

βλασφημέω impf. ἐβλασφήμουν; 1 aor. ἐβλασφήμησα. Pass.: 1 fut. βλασφημηθήσομαι; 1 aor. ἐβλασφημήθην (s. next two entries; Pla. et al.; PSI 298, 14; LXX; Alex., Ep. XVI 2f; TestJob 16:7; AssMos Fgm. j p. 67 Denis; Philo, Joseph., Just.) prim. ‘to demean through speech’, an esp. sensitive matter in an honor-shame oriented society. to speak in a disrespectful way that demeans, denigrates, maligns
ⓐ in relation to humans slander, revile, defame (Isocr. 10, 45 w. λοιδορεῖν) τινά someone (Socrat., Ep. 22, 2; Chion, Ep. 7, 1 ἡμᾶς) μηδένα (Philo, Spec. Leg. 4, 197; Jos., Vi. 232; Hippol., Ref. 7, 32, 6) speak evil of Tit 3:2. Pass. Ro 3:8; 1 Cor 4:13 v.l.; 10:30 (ὑπὲρ οὗ = ὑπ. τούτου ὑπ. οὗ); Dg 5:14. Abs. Ac 13:45; 18:6.
ⓑ in relation to transcendent or associated entities slander, revile, defame, speak irreverently/impiously/disrespectfully of or about
α. a Gr-Rom. deity (for Gr-Rom. attitudes respecting deities Ps.-Pla., Alc. II 149c; Diod S 2, 21, 7; Philo, Spec. Leg. 1, 53; Jos., Ant. 4, 207, C. Apion 2, 237 [s. βλασφημία bγ]; Orig., C. Cels. 8, 43, 27; s. bε below and at the very end of the entry) τὴν θεὸν ἡμῶν Ac 19:37.
β. God in Israelite/Christian tradition (4 Km 19:4) τὸν θεόν (cp. Philo, Fuga 84b; Jos., Ant. 4, 202; 6, 183; Hippol., Ref. 7, 11) Rv 16:11, 21. Abs. (2 Macc 10:34; 12:14; Orig., C. Cels. 8, 43, 31; Hippol., Ref. 1, Pr. 2) Mt 9:3; 26:65 (JKennard, Jr., ZNW 53, ’62, 25–51); Mk 2:7; J 10:36; Ac 26:11; 1 Ti 1:20; 1 Pt 4:4 (the last 3 passages may be interpr. as not referring exclusively to God). βλασφημίαι, ὅσα ἐὰν βλασφημήσωσιν whatever impious slanders they utter Mk 3:28 (cp. Pla., Leg. 7, 800c βλ. βλασφημίαν; Tob 1:18 S).
γ. God’s name Ro 2:24 (contrast the approval expressed OGI 339, 30); 2 Cl 13:2a; ITr 8:2b (all three Is 52:5); 1 Ti 6:1; Rv 13:6; 16:9; 2 Cl 13:1, 2b (quot. of unknown orig.), 4; Hs 6, 2, 3 v.l.
δ. God’s Spirit εἰς τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον Mk 3:29; Lk 12:10. On impious slander of the Holy Spirit s. WWeber, ZWT 52, 1910, 320–41; HWindisch, in Porter-Bacon Festschr. 1928, 218–21; EBuonaiuti, Ricerche Religiose 6, 1930, 481–91; OEvans, ET 68, ’57, 240–44; GFitzer, TZ 13, ’57, 161–82; JWilliams, NTS 12, ’65, 75–77; CColpe, JJeremias Festschr., ’70, 63–79.
ε. Christ Mt 27:39; Mk 15:29; Lk 23:39; ἕτερα πολλὰ β. 22:65 (cp. Vett. Val. 67, 20 πολλὰ βλασφημήσει θεούς). τὸν κύριον Hs 8, 6, 4; 8, 8, 2; 9, 19, 3; ISm 5:2; εἰς τ. κύριον Hv 2, 2, 2; Hs 6, 2, 4; τὸν βασιλέα μου MPol 9:3.—The name of Christ Js 2:7.
ζ. angels δόξας β. 2 Pt 2:10; Jd 8. Angels are also meant in ὅσα οὐκ οἴδασιν β. Jd 10 and ἐν οἷς ἀγνοοῦσιν β. defaming where they have no knowledge 2 Pt 2:12 (B-D-F §152, 1; Rob. 473). S. δόξα 4.
η. things that constitute the significant possessions of Christians τὴν ὁδὸν τ. δικαιοσύνης ApcPt 7:22; cp. 2 Pt 2:2. Here and elsewh. pass. ὁ λόγος τ. θεοῦ Tit 2:5; ὑμῶν τὸ ἀγαθόν Ro 14:16; τὸ ἐν θεῷ πλῆθος ITr 8:2a; τὸ ὄνομα ὑμῶν μεγάλως β. 1 Cl 1:1; τὸν νόμον τοῦ κυρίου Hs 8, 6, 2.—In our lit. β. is used w. the acc. of the pers. or thing (Plut.; Appian [Nägeli 44]; Vett. Val. [s. bε above]; Philo [s. bα and bβ above]; Joseph. [s. bα and bβ above]; 4 Km 19:22) or w. εἰς and acc. (Demosth. 51, 3; Philo, Mos. 2, 206; Jos., Bell. 2, 406. Specif. εἰς θεούς and the like, Pla., Rep. 2 p. 381e; Vett. Val. 44, 4; 58, 12; Philo, Fuga 84a; Jos., Ant. 8, 392; Da 3:96; Bel 8 Theod.).—S. βλασφημία end. DELG. M-M. s.v.-ος. TW.
 
βλασφημία, ας, ἡ (s. βλασφημέω; Eur., Democr., Pla.+; LXX, Philo, Joseph.; Just., A I, 26, 5; Ath. 31, 2, R.72, 27; AssMos Fgm. j p. 67 Denis; loanw. in rabb.)  speech that denigrates or defames, reviling, denigration, disrespect, slander
ⓐ gener., of any kind of speech that is defamatory or abusive, w. other vices Mk 7:22; Eph 4:31; Col 3:8. πᾶσα β. all abusive speech Hm 8:3; cp. Mt 12:31a. Pl. (Jos., Vi. 245) Mt 15:19; 1 Ti 6:4.
ⓑ specif., against humans and transcendent entities
α. humans (Cleanthes [IV–III B.C.] 1 p. 135, 21 [in Diog. L. 7, 17, 3]; Polyb. 11, 5, 8; Jos., Ant. 3, 307, Vi. 260) β. ἔκ τινος slander of (i.e. emanating from) someone Rv 2:9; cp. IEph 10:2.
β. the devil κρίσιν βλασφημίας a reviling judgment Jd 9 (but s. Field [Notes 244], who favors ‘accusation of [the devil for] blasphemy’).
γ. God and what is God’s (Comp. II 153f [Menand., Fgm. 715 Kock] ἡ εἰς τὸ θεῖον β.; Ezk 35:12; 1 Macc 2:6; 2 Macc 8:4; 10:35; 15:24; Philo, Leg. ad Gai. 368) Mt 26:65 (OLinton, NTS 7, ’61, 258–62); Mk 2:7 v.l.; 14:64; Lk 5:21 (pl.); J 10:33; Rv 13:5 (pl.); 2 Cl 13:3; D 3:6; β. πρὸς τὸν θεόν (Iambl., Vi. Pyth. 32, 216; cp. εἰς τὸν πατέρα Hippol., Ref. 9, 12, 19) Rv 13:6. βλασφημίας ἐπιφέρεσθαι τῷ ὀνόματι κυρίου 1 Cl 47:7; προσέθηκαν κατὰ ὄνομα τοῦ κυρίου βλασφημίαν Hs 6, 2, 3; β., ὅσα ἐὰν βλασφημήσωσιν Mk 3:28, s. βλασφημέω bβ; ἡ τοῦ πνεύματος (obj. gen.) β. Mt 12:31b, s. βλασφημέω bδ. ὀνόματα βλασφημίας (gen. of qual.) Rv 13:1; 17:3. ῥήματα βλασφημίας Ac 6:11 v.l.—The passages in β and γ generate an emotive aspect associated with denigration of a prestigious entity (cp. Origen’s rejoinder to Celsus: C. Celsum 8, 38 with reff. to Ex 22:27; Ro 12:14; 1 Cor 6:10). Hence the caution about denigrating the devil. Impious denigration of deity is esp. heinous and many translations reflect this emotive value in the loanword ‘blasphemy’. But Greco-Roman and Semitic minds would first of all, as Ac 19:37 and Rom 2:24 indicate, think in terms of disrespect shown or harm done to a deity’s reputation, a fact obscured by the rendering ‘blasphemy’, which has to some extent in Eng. gone its own emotive way semantically and has in effect become a religious technical term, which is not the case with βλασφημέω. On the range of expressions for denigration of God s. ESanders, Jewish Law fr. Jesus to the Mishnah ’90, 57–67.—DELG s.v. βλασφημέω. M-M. TW.

βλάσφημος, ον (s. two prec. entries; Demosth. et al.; Plut., Herodian; LXX; JosAs 13:9; Just.) defaming, denigrating, demeaning ῥήματα β. demeaning words Ac 6:11, 13 v.l.; cp. Rv 13:5 v.l. (Dio Chrys. 3, 53 τὶ βλάσφημον περὶ τῶν θεῶν; Herodian 7, 8, 9 βλάσφημα πολλὰ εἰπὼν εἰς τὴν Ῥώμην καὶ τὴν σύγκλητον; Philo, De Ios. 247; Jos., Vi. 158; 320). β. κρίσιν φέρειν pronounce a demeaning judgment 2 Pt 2:11. Of pers.: slanderer (Wsd 1:6; Sir 3:16; 2 Macc 9:28; 10:36) 1 Ti 1:13; 2 Ti 3:2; Hs 9, 18, 3; w. προδόται 9, 19, 3; β. εἰς τὸν κύριον 9, 19, 1.—DELG s.v. βλασφημέω. M-M. TW.

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), 178.

… politics disguised as prayer..

.. this morning, another ‘good christian friend’ on Facebook ‘copied and pasted” a post about a ‘prayer’ given in the Kansas State Senate,on January 23rd, 1996.  this ‘prayer’ has been shared over and over again by many, many people who are terribly deceived.  this was political posturing disguised as prayer and is biblically inaccurate.

… we only need to read what has been recorded that the Christ said to see that the original intent was not prayer at all, but a demonstration of pure hypocrisy.

“And when you pray, YOU MUST NOT be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. – Jesus (Matthew 6:5–8, ESV)

… if we do something that Jesus specifically said “you must not” do, then we ARE what He said we are “hypocrites.”

… and then Jesus spoke about judging when it is recorded that He said,

How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. (Luke 6:42, ESV)

… even if we ignore what the Bible specifically says that Jesus said, what about the content itself?

… of course, the political rhetoric is disguised as a plea for God to forgive us.  pastor Joe wasn’t actually seeking forgiveness but was going through a list of items with the intent of shaming anyone who voted for the things he is against.   when he says “We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it Pluralism.” he does not mean we but they, unless he is blaming himself for ridiculing the Bible, which i am pretty sure he is not doing.

“We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.”

… Pastor Joe thinks things like food stamps and medicaid are ‘rewarding’ people for being lazy, regardless of the fact that 70% of SNAP households have children, and MOST people on any type of ‘welfare’ already have jobs.

… and then there is what Jesus said again,

Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. – Jesus (Luke 6:30–31, ESV)

… i am writing this on a Sunday morning when thousand upon thousands of ‘good christians’ will put on their diamonds and gold decorations, adorn their designer suits and dresses and jump in their luxury automobiles to go listen to pastors, many who are on their second or third marriages, who live in mansions tell them what the Bible says.

… what does the Apostle Paul say?

It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church

When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people. It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”” (1 Corinthians 5:9–13, NLT)

.. this wasn’t a prayer it was an attempt to publicly shame people into doing what the pastor wanted.  it wasn’t a cry for forgiveness, but an attempt to intimidate people into supporting a political agenda and is shameful, at the least…

… ‘Screw You! I’m with god’ …

… i don’t know where you are at, but here in Richmond, VA, our temperatures went from a record high of 81°F (27ºC) on March 1st, to a low of 27°F (-3°C) last night, March 11th, and a forecast of snow on Tuesday.  to put this in perspective, all of our peach trees have already put out their flowers and are covered in green leaves.  the plum trees have bloomed as have the pear and apple trees.

… also, during the last week, wildfires consumed over 1,000,000 acres of land, killing 7 people and thousands of head of livestock.  this is on the heels of almost 60 confirmed tornadoes on February 28th.

“In addition to the tornadoes, there were roughly 686 reports of thunderstorm wind damage or high thunderstorm winds, and another 257 reports of large hail.”  Weather Channel

… this is neither normal nor good.

“What’s happening?”

… i do believe in the God of the Bible.  i believe that the promises of the Bible are true, and i know that the Bible says that the LORD is the One Who is responsible for the weather and that if His people, the people who claim His name, if they are doing right, then He will provide good weather and plentiful crops as well as other ‘good’ things, like peace and safety.

I will send you the seasonal rains. The land will then yield its crops, and the trees of the field will produce their fruit. Your threshing season will overlap with the grape harvest, and your grape harvest will overlap with the season of planting grain. You will eat your fill and live securely in your own land. “I will give you peace in the land, and you will be able to sleep with no cause for fear. I will rid the land of wild animals and keep your enemies out of your land.” (Leviticus 26:4–6, NLT)

… so that tells me that the LORD says that the people who call themselves His followers are ‘not doing right’ and so i look to see what the pastors are saying.  i ran across this from a sermon delivered last week.

“The second angel is announcing to the world that Babylon has fallen.  Now, there’s a controversy as to whether Babylon is Rome, or whether Babylon is going to be revealed, I really don’t care, we’re going to be in heaven, those of you that are there can watch it from the balcony, those of you that are here can watch it on television at night, if you still are alive.  Happy trails.” John Hagee

.. or in other words, “Screw you!  I’m with god.”

.. this man boasts of a congregation of over 20,000 people in San Antonio, TX, the same state that many of these disasters have been happening in.  it is reported that he has a $2.1 million dollar 7,969 acre ranch with not one, but FIVE lodges, a managers house, a gun locker, a smoke house, a skeet range and three barns and in 2001, he received $842,000 in salary and $414,485 in benefits making him one of the best paid men on earth in ANY field.

.. in 1975 he had an affair with a younger woman in the congregation that he pastored then, and divorced the mother of his two children to marry the younger woman.  he promptly left that church to become the pastor of the church he is currently at.

.. this man says the world is going to hell, and he is going to watch it ‘from the balcony’ of heaven. “Happy trails.”

.. without touching his theology, it should be obvious that he doesn’t know the homeless Man Jesus of the Bible who taught love and compassion.  it was Jesus Who said,

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” (Matthew 6:19–21, NLT)

.. earlier in the same ‘sermon’, this man talked about the ‘Islamic hoards’ that will take over the nation that took the name of Israel.  he has advocated for a preemptive strike against Iran for this reason.  and again, Jesus said,

But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.” (Luke 6:27–28, NLT)

.. anyways, i believe that the Bible tells me that the reason the weather is as crazy as it is, is because of men like this who twist the words of hope and love into something completely different, where his god makes ‘the good people’ rich and will transport them to heaven while they flip the world off and watch it go through tremendous tribulation.  according to Amos, the LORD causes these things so that people who claim to know Him, will change their minds and do what He asked them to do.

… Jesus taught that the entire world, including His true followers, will all go through a ‘great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now.’ (Matt 24:21) and that AFTER that tribulation, He would come to take all those who changed their mind and decided to truly give up their lives and follow Him (Matt 24:29) to safety while the earth gets burned up.

.. as a follower of Christ, my ‘job’ is to “let my light shine before others, so that they may see my good works and give glory to my Father who is in heaven.” (Matt 5:16)  even if what this man said was true (and it is way, way off base) then shouldn’t the response be to mourn for those who will be lost?  to pray for them?  to do whatever it takes to show them the love of God so that they will be saved too?

This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3–4, ESV)

… every day more than 12,000 children die of starvation on this planet.  and every day hundreds of thousands of children wake up to their slavery.  in this country alone, there are over 1,000,000 school children who wake up homeless.

… and every day, there are thousands of false teachers who are only concerned with themselves – who bring shame on the name of Christ for their greedy selfish ways.  it shouldn’t be a huge surprise.  we were told it would be like this… and they must be silenced…

For there are many rebellious people who engage in useless talk and deceive others. This is especially true of those who insist on circumcision for salvation. They must be silenced, because they are turning whole families away from the truth by their false teaching. And they do it only for money. Even one of their own men, a prophet from Crete, has said about them, “The people of Crete are all liars, cruel animals, and lazy gluttons.” This is true. So reprimand them sternly to make them strong in the faith. They must stop listening to Jewish myths and the commands of people who have turned away from the truth. Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted. Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.” (Titus 1:10–16, NLT)

 

False prophets appeared in the past among the people, and in the same way false teachers will appear among you. They will bring in destructive, untrue doctrines, and will deny the Master who redeemed them, and so they will bring upon themselves sudden destruction. Even so, many will follow their immoral ways; and because of what they do, others will speak evil of the Way of truth. In their greed these false teachers will make a profit out of telling you made-up stories. For a long time now their Judge has been ready, and their Destroyer has been wide awake!” (2 Peter 2:1–3, GNB)

So what are we supposed to do?

… one-thousand eight-hundred ten …

1,810

.. in March of 2016, Forbes published ‘The World’s Billionaires, a list of the wealthiest people on the planet, with an article entitled, ‘Forbes 2016 World’s Billionaires: Meet The Richest People On The Planet.

“For our 30th annual guide to the world’s richest people we found a total of 1,810 billionaires, down from a record 1,826 a year ago. Their aggregate net worth: $6.5 trillion, $570 million less than last year.” – Forbes

… the article says that these are ‘the world’s richest people’, and indeed they are certainly most of the world’s richest people, but the list does not include the majority of the Rothschild Family (estimated net worth: $350 billion – $2 trillion), the House of Saud (estimated net worth: $1.4 trillion), Vladimir Putin (estimated net worth: $70 billion), Paul Kagame (estimated net worth: $1 billion), and a number of others that are known or not known.

… on the Forbes website, you can click on a tab that changes the list from it’s publication date to a ‘Real Time’ look at today’s list.  for instance, with a click of the mouse, i can see that Mr Bill Gates, Mr #1 on the list, i can see that from March of 2016 till January of 2017, ten months, Mr Gates has increased his personal wealth from $75 billion to $84.1 billion.  for those of you without a calculator, that would be an estimated increase of  $9,100,000,000 or $910,000,000 per month, $30,333,333 per day, a mere $1,263,888 per hour- 24hrs per day.

767,000,000

… also in 2016, the World Bank came out with it’s report titled ‘Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2016‘, which tells us that on this planet that we live on, there are 767,000,000 people who live on less than $1.90 a day.  again, for those of you without a calculator, that is <$693.50 per year, <$57.79 per month, a whopping <$0.08 per hour – 24hrs per day.

… the purpose of this report is to show the world how successful the World Bank programs are at bringing people out of extreme poverty.  the ‘magical’ PPP or purchasing power parity of USD$1.90 a day, is the mark to rise above.  in 1990 there were 1,850,000,000 people or 35% of the world population in extreme poverty, but thanks to the World Bank, now only 10.7% of the world lives on less than $1.90 per day.

… except for the percentage of people who have died, the vast majority of the people who have ‘been raised’ out of extreme poverty are now part of the 3,000,000,000 people who live on less than $2.50 per day, <$912.50 per year, <$76.04 per month, an incredible <$0.11 per hour.

5

… this week the leadership of the country with the worlds most powerful military, with it’s own annual GDP of $16 trillion (>twice the size of China’s entire GDP), are meeting for confirmation hearings for President-elect Trump’s picks for his cabinet.  of the positions that he has chosen people, 4 of those picks are billionaires like the President-elect, bringing the total to 5 billionaires who are planned to run this country, with a total annual budget >$3,800,000,000,000, about $12,000 per US citizen.

… President-elect Trump has a net worth somewhere between $3.7 billion (Forbes) and >$10 billion (Trump).  the President-elect has filed bankruptcy on six different occasions;

1) Trump Taj Mahal (1991) $3 billion where the President-elect had to give up 50% share and the courts agreed on a bank-set personal spending limit for the President-elect.

2)&3) Trump’s Castle and Trump Plaza Casinos (1992) $550 million & $338 million respectively where the President-elect had to give up 50% share.

4) Trump Plaza Hotel (1992) >$550 million where the President-elect had to give up 49% share.

5) Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts (2004) $1.8 billion where the courts reduced his share from 47% to 27% and

6) Trump Entertainment Resorts (2009) $1.2 billion where the President-elect reduced his share to 10% and resignation as chairman of the board.

… Mr. Todd Ricketts, the pick for deputy commerce secretary, has an estimated net worth of $5.3 billion primarily from the brokerage service, Ameritrade, founded by Todd’s father.  Todd is the co-owner of the Chicago Cubs and is CEO of Ending Spending, an organization “dedicated to educating and engaging American taxpayers about wasteful and excessive government spending,” according to its site.

… Mrs. Betsy DeVos, the pick for education secretary, is the sister of Erik Prince, founder of the security firm Blackwater with >$1 billion in government contracts as of 2006, has an estimated net worth of $5.1 billion primarily from an organization many call a ‘pyramid-scheme’ the Amway Corporation with $9.5 billion in 2015 revenues, is an advocate for charter schools, an independently operated public school started by citizens and for-profit companies financed by tax dollars and private tax deductible donations.

… Mr. Wilbur Ross, the pick for commerce secretary, is chairman and chief strategist of WL Ross & Co. LLC, a company “founded in 1997 by professionals then at Rothschild, Inc., who were among the leaders in advising various constituencies in bankruptcies and workouts around the world, assisting in restructuring more than $200 billion of liabilities,” a wholly owned subsidiary of Invesco Ltd.  Wilbur has an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion and is best known as the owner of the WV Sago coal Mine, where a dozen miners lost their lives in a 2006 explosion.

… and finally, Mrs. Linda McMahon, the pick for Small Business Administration, who is the former CEO of WWE, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., and is the wife of promoter Vince McMahon.  Linda has an estimated $1.16 billion and donated $7 million earlier this year to a pro-Trump super PAC.

43,215,557

… on January 6th of this year, the USDA released it’s latest SNAP numbers which showed that 43,215,557 people received some form of government assistance to purchase food.  in order to qualify for food assistance, you must have an gross income of less than $26,000 a year for a family of 3.  so before they will even consider whether or not you can receive any assistance, a two-parent, one-child family can not make more than $2,166.67 per month, $500 per week, $12.50 per hour for a 40 hour work week for both adults combined.

… as we are talking about Gross income, so to figure out what Net income is you have to take out taxes.  for our purposes, let’s use this online calculator.  i currently reside in Virginia, so to qualify in my state, as a married father of 1 child making $26,000 per year, my take-home Net pay per week can be no more than $431.27 if i wish to even be considered for government food assistance.

  27

… in March of 2016, USA Today published an article called 27 giant profitable companies paid no taxesthis report shows that GM received a tax credit of $1,897,000,000 in 2015 even though they made >$7,718,000,000 in earnings over the same period.

… this list includes household names such as; United Continental $4.2 billion earnings, American Airlines $4.6 billion earnings, Hewlett-Packard $1.5 billion earnings, E*Trade $91 million earnings, Xerox $547 millions earnings, to name a few.

1,360,747

… in September of 2015 (the most current i could find), the government released a report that shows a reported 1,360,747 children in the public school system that are were “legally” homeless in this country in the 2013-2014 school year.

4

… according to Christianity Today, there will be 6 people of faith providing prayers for President-elect Trump’s inauguration.  in no particular order, they are;

Rabbi Marvin Hier is the dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center which has net assets of $58,678,280 according to Charity Navigator.

… the owner and operator of the Impact Network is Bishop Wayne Jackson who reportedly lives in a 9.68-acre estate with 6-bedrooms, 10.5 bathrooms, 1 par-3 golf hole, 1 bowling alley, and 1 wine tasting room.  the not-for-profit Impact Network reported $1,590,000 in revenues but $2,600,000 in expenditures during 2014 after reporting $1,600,000 in revenues but $2,030,000 in expenditures during 2013 – for a net loss of $1,400,000 for just those two years alone.

… Televangelist Paula White who is on her 3rd marriage to Jonathan Cain, the keyboard player for the rock band Journey, who is on his 4th marriage, has an estimated net worth of $5,000,000.

… son of famed evangelist, Billy Graham who has an estimated net worth in excess of $25,000,000, the Reverend Franklin Graham was reported to have received annual compensation of $880,000 in August of 2015, is the President and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, a not-for-profit corporation with $304,563,557 in net assets.

… New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan with an estimated net worth of $5,000,000, lives in a 15,000 square foot mansion on Madison Avenue in Manhattan valued at $30,000,000.

… and the Reverend Dr. Samuel Rodriguez is the executive director of the Sacramento-based National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC)  which the NHCLC website brags it is “”America’s largest Hispanic Evangelical organization.” CNN and Fox News named Rodriguez, “The leader of the Hispanic Evangelical movement” and  NBC/Telemundo called him “America’s most influential Latino Evangelical leader

243,301,460

… according to a Gallup poll released in December of 2015, 75% of all 324,401,947 Americans identify themselves as “Christian.”

1

… the number of children who die every 4 seconds, 14 per minute, 21,000 per day, 7,600,000 every year …

… what are we doing?

 

… what are we supposed to do? …

… i have a confession to make.  for the last 8 years or so, i have been embarrassed to call myself a Christian and that i believe in the Bible.  it has nothing to do with how i believe a true follower of Christ should conduct their life and everything to do with how the people who loudly claim that they are Christians conduct their lives.  and it seems to be getting worse …

… let me explain …

… it was just about forty years ago that my 12-yr old mind understood and accepted the message of the gospel in it’s simplest of terms and i made a sincere commitment to study the message of the Bible and the teachings of the Man called Jesus the Christ.  over those years i have failed many, many times to keep that commitment, but i was sincere when i made it none the less.

… the message as i understood it then, and still basically do, is that God created everything we see and everything we can’t see which included the first man ‘Adam’, and his wife ‘Eve’.  Adam disobeyed God and sin came into the world and cursed it which required regular blood sacrifices to cover the sin, but God had a plan to send His Son into the world to live a sinless life and be sacrificed as the final blood sacrifice for all time.  if we have changed our minds and believe this, then we need to live our lives in accordance with the teachings of Jesus in order to reestablish our relationship with God.

… the condensed version of how He taught us to live can be found in a comment from a conversation that Jesus had with His disciples on the night that He was betrayed, that is recorded in the book of John.

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)

… and to fulfill that one and only commandment that is recorded that Jesus ever gave, He gave us a simple test to follow.

And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. (Luke 6:31, ESV)

… it is the simplicity of the Gospel message that makes it so relevant to me.

… KISS (keep it simple stupid)

But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!” (2 Corinthians 11:3–4, NKJV)

… the message is simple.  if you believe, then you treat others how you want to be treated.  you love them.  simple.

… but something else seems to be happening now.

… now don’t get me wrong.  although i believe the message itself is simple, following it’s message is something else altogether.  it can be difficult and full of pain.  an amazing amount of people will come out against you for defending the weak and encouraging people to share with the needy – but i would want them to do that for me if i was in their shoes.

… the message of Christ is to give up on this world and it’s systems – to walk contrary to those systems by living ‘on earth as it is in heaven’ – what Jesus prayed for, where everything is free.  the world system, a system that fosters the ‘haves and the have nots’ syndrome by supporting a ‘greed over need’ philosophy is contrary to the teaching of a Man Who taught that we are to “give to everyone who asks.”(Luke 6:30)

… and we are told in the book of Acts that the first believers did exactly as Jesus told us to do.

And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:40–47, ESV)

… and again ..

Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.” (Acts 4:32, ESV)

… the message is the same that is has been throughout the history of the scriptures.  the prophets of old had the same message.  we are told that the Prophet Isaiah, around the year 720 BCE or so, spoke these words,

Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” (Isaiah 1:16–17, ESV)

… and then the Prophet Ezekiel, around the year 580 BCE or so, spoke this warning,

Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it.” (Ezekiel 16:49–50, ESV)

… and now we have people who call themselves ‘christians’ who fight against the poor – who pass laws that make it illegal to be homeless.  people that call themselves apostles, prophets, pastors and teachers that live in mansions and drive luxury cars while in this country alone we have over 1,000,000 homeless schoolchildren.

.. so what should we do?

… in the book of Luke there is a passage about this crazy guy who is out in the desert near a river ‘preaching a baptism of repentance’ wearing a camel’s hair robe with a leather belt who ate locusts and wild honey.  now, ‘repentance’ simply means to ‘change your mind’ and ‘baptism’ means  ‘immersion, submersion’ from a word meaning ‘to wash.’  so his message was to ‘change your mind’ about the way you live your life, be ‘washed’ of the old way and ‘immersed’ in the new way.

… fine and dandy, but please just make this simple.  what should i do?

The crowds asked him, “What should we do?”

He answered them, “Whoever has two shirts should share with the person who doesn’t have any. Whoever has food should share it too.”

Some tax collectors came to be baptized. They asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?”
He told them, “Don’t collect more money than you are ordered to collect.”

Some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”
He told them, “Be satisfied with your pay, and never use threats or blackmail to get money from anyone.”” (Luke 3:10–14, GW)

… same simple message as all the prophets before.

.. separation of Church and State – or – day of prayer for oil industry?

… so this morning across my Twitter feed, there was a story titled ‘Oklahoma Governor Declares Day of Prayer for Oil Industry.‘  as someone who claims to be a follower of the teachings of Jesus, i am always curious about what a public official would say in their public prayer.

Whereas, Oklahoma is blessed with an abundance of oil and natural gas, allowing the state to be a prosperous producer of these valuable resources; and

Whereas Christians acknowledge such natural resources are created by God; and

Whereas the oil and gas industry continues to produce countless opportunities for wealth generation for Oklahoma families; and

Whereas Oklahoma recognizes the incredible economic, community and faith-based impacts demonstrated across the state by oil and natural gas companies; and

Whereas Christians are invited to thank God for the blessing created by the oil and natural gas industry and to seek His wisdom and ask for protection; now, therefore, I, Mary Fallin, Governor, do hereby proclaim October 13, 2016, as “Oilfield Prayer Day” in the state of Oklahoma.

churchandstate

… according to the Talk Poverty website, Oklahoma has 610,828 people living in poverty of it’s total 3,795,764 which is a total of 16.1% of the people in the state live below the poverty line of $24,250 for a family of four and makes Oklahoma 38th in the nation giving it the 12th highest poverty rate in the nation.

… Oklahoma is also home to 7 billionaires while 21.8% of the children live in poverty.

“…Whereas the oil and gas industry continues to produce countless opportunities for wealth generation for Oklahoma families … “

… wealth generation…

… the idea that the LORD is responsible for who becomes rich and who doesn’t comes from a book written in 1776 by a man named Adam Smith called The Wealth of Nations, where he coins the phrase the “invisible hand” of the marketplace.  Paul Samuelson, in his 1948 book called, Economics, is quoted as saying,

“Even Adam Smith, the canny Scot whose monumental book, “The Wealth of Nations” (1776) , represents the beginning of modern economics or political economy-even he was so thrilled by the recognition of an order in the economic system that he proclaimed the mystical principle of the “invisible hand”: that each individual in pursuing his own selfish good was led, as if by an invisible hand, to achieve the best good of all, so that any interference with free competition by government was almost certain to be injurious. This unguarded conclusion has done almost as much harm as good in the past century and a half, especially since too often it is all that some of our leading citizens remember, 30 years later, of their college course in economics.”

… the ‘invisible hand’ that leads “each individual in pursuing his own selfish good” is NOT the God that the Bible speaks of.  Jesus taught to freely give and that to follow Him you have to give up your life, not selfishly pursue your own good.

Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?” (Mark 8:35–36, The Message)

… so as a follower of the teachings of Jesus, i have a real problem with an elected official proclaims to be a ‘Christian’ and does what she does and says what she says.

… the separation of Church and state is something that we should all stand behind.  i should not be forced to serve the god of Oklahoma, a god that is an impostor, and Governor Fallin is deceived, in her worship of money and prosperity.

… in fact, another biblical writer had something to say about that too,

… Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.” (Colossians 3:5, NLT)

… it should also be noted that one month before the prayers for the oil industry, state regulators orders 37 fracking wells shut down because of the earthquakes they were causing, after a 5.6 magnitude earthquake left at least 6 buildings on the Pawnee Nation reservation ‘uninhabitable.’  article 

… so why would the governor suddenly want the state to thank her god for the oil industry?  quite simply, her god is money, and we know what the Bible says about money.

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.” (1 Timothy 6:10, NKJV)

.. and as to the frackers who are destroying this planet for the sake of profit, the Bible addresses them in the end too ..

…. It is time to destroy all who have caused destruction on the earth.”” (Revelation 11:18, NLT)

… among you it will be different …

… a few weeks ago i read a disturbing article on Right Wing Watch. org titled; David Barton: Christians Who Refuse To Vote For Donald Trump Will Have To Answer To God.  the article was in reference to a discussion with evangelical Christian political activist, author, and founder of the apostate pseudo-Christian corporation WallBuilders, LLC, Mr. David Barton, on a Live Teleforum™ Town Hall Event for MyFaith Votes™ on Tuesday, Aug 9th.

… the first point of interest to me, is that the MyFaithVotes™ website starts with the statement “a nonpartisan movement inspiring Christians to vote.”  Mr. Barton, on June 2nd spoke on AFA’s “Today’s Issues”, where he specifically endorsed Mr. Trump for President, based on his list of nominees for the Supreme Court.

… which brings us back to a call that Mr. Barton received on the show. the caller starts with,  “I’m out here in California, and I am very involved in Christianity, i really believe really a lot in it.”

… what in the world?

… the caller starts by making Christianity an activist social club, that she is very involved in and really believes in.  the Concise Oxford English Dictionary defines Christianity as, “the religion based on the person and teachings of the Man called Christ.”

different

… according to the Bible, the Man called Christ taught that His followers would “be different.”  this phrase is recorded in Matthew 20:26, Mark 10:43 and again in Luke 22:26 so it was an essential teaching of the Man called Christ.

“Voting is not a right, it is a responsibility,” Barton said. “God wants you to be locked in that room with a ballot box and don’t come out until you vote. And if you have that approach, then you’re going to have to find the best you can of what is there and vote for it.”

“We will stand before God one day and answer for everything we’ve said and thought and done,” he continued. “[God will say,] ‘I gave you your country, what did you do that with?’ ‘Well, I didn’t do anything because I didn’t like any of the candidates.’ Really? You think God is going to buy that? In Matthew 25 and Luke 19, the guy who was given something to do and didn’t do anything with it, he’s the one who got in trouble with the master. He’s going to say, ‘I gave you a vote. What did you do with that vote I gave you?’ ‘Well, I couldn’t use it for anybody.’ And again, we’re back to Matthew 25 and Luke 19 where Jesus turned to him and said, ‘Wait a minute, you didn’t do anything with what I gave you, at all?’ And that is the one who got thrown into outer darkness.”

“That mentality that this is my choice is the wrong choice,” Barton said. “It should be this is my accountability; I will account to God and I have to vote because He put that ballot in my hand and I’m going to have to account to Him for what I did with it. And I can’t use the false standard of I have to have somebody perfect because there is nobody perfect except for Jesus and, by the way, when He was on earth, they didn’t think He was perfect; we only think He’s perfect now. Back then, they called him a winebibber and a glutton; he had all sorts of campaign ads run against him. So nobody is going to fit the criteria, so let’s get God’s mind on this thing instead of finding excuses … [because] you will answer to God for what you do with that ballot and what you do with this country.”

… here is the whole call,

… so then you look around the internet and you find lots of people who call themselves “teachers, pastors, priests and prophets” who, regardless of the Johnson Amendment of 1954, which prohibits ministries from supporting or opposing candidates under their 501(c)3 non-profit status, they are using their tax free money to not only endorse certain candidates, but slander others.

… in this clip, convicted con-man Jim Bakker says that Trump is a “master builder” just like Jesus was.

… and yet it was the Man Jesus called the Christ Who said,

“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 called Christ
(Luke 6:24–26, NLT)

… these people have nothing in common with the teachings of the Man called Christ, although the Bible does talk about them.

But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:13, NLT)

… these people are a shining example of what it means to have no faith.  according to the Prophet Daniel, it is the LORD Who determines who will be the leaders of the world.

For this has been decreed by the messengers; it is commanded by the holy ones, so that everyone may know that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world. He gives them to anyone he chooses— even to the lowliest of people.”” (Daniel 4:17, NLT)

dan4-17

… when Jesus was standing before Pilate, it is recorded that Pilate asked Jesus if He knew that he had the authority to release Jesus or crucify Him.

Then Jesus said, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.”” (John 19:11, NLT)

… Jesus acknowledged that Pilate had power and authority over Him around 30CE/AD BECAUSE the LORD gave it to him.  the man who represented the power and authority of the entire evil Roman Empire, which had been terrorizing and abusing the Jewish people since at least 40BCE, was given their authority by the LORD Himself.

… living under the same evil empire, the Apostle Paul, while the Roman Empire had started throwing Christians to the lions, wrote to the church that was in Rome,

Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience. Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.” (Romans 13:1–7, NLT)

… so don’t listen to the false teachers and prophets who make their living on getting people to send them donations. they preach a message of fear which convinces their followers, the sheeple, to actually vote for evil.

evil