Sunday, December 26, 2010

Singing in the Reign: Reigning with Christ

Hey, just a quick check in here.

I wanted to share that there is some "coincidence" going on, otherwise known as God working and moving in my life.

So, I heard Chuck Missler on Future Quake a few months ago, and he was discussing his book "The Kingdom, Power and Glory" and he was bold enough to suggest that how we live our lives as Christians has eternal implications. In other words, how we live out our faith here determines our position in Christ's Kingdom. That may be controversial, but it is also pretty Biblical. Before this I had been reading Christ's words in the Bible and wondering "What does He mean by depart, I never knew you."

So, move forward a few months, I finally broke down and bought the book as a gift for my sisters in the hopes that they will be motivated to do more than sit around and watch TV all day. I read about half of it before it was time to give it away, and I was pretty blown away by what Chuck and his wife wrote about.

Oddly enough today at Church, the pastor preached that we will be reigning with Christ as the apostle Paul wrote I believe in Phillipians. It was incredibly interesting to see how God moves independently of each of us to bring forth things He wants us to learn about. I did let my pastor know about this, so we'll see what transpires from this.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Build a Bridge and Get Over it: Fouad Masri's Crescent Project

Happy New Years!

I recently had a chance to attend a class or two at Church about reaching out and witnessing to Muslims. It is far, far trickier and more delicate than one might think for many reasons. For starters, many Muslims around the world are more "cultural" Muslims and seem to rely on tradition and verbal sayings more than the Quran. That is at least what the I learned in the class. This would not surprise me, as I understand many of us Christians don't read or rely on our Bibles, but rather what tradtion and Church history have taught us. So, it seems right from the start, Christians and Muslims have a common ground.

The series we watched and discussed was Fouad's 6 DVD series called "Bridges." The series focuses on strategies Christians can use to share Jesus with Muslims. He also features testimonies from former Muslims, as well as a general history and cultural things that Christians should know.

One of the most interesting things that was brought up is that 1) The Quran says that Torah and New Testament are good things for Muslims to read. (Quran 3:23 I think.) 2) That Muslims tradtionally believe that God sent those messages to people and the prophets, but that the message was changed. An interesting note is that nobody can say what was changed, or when. I did love Fouad's counter to this. He said something to like this: "If a Muslim friend tells you the Bible has been changed, reply with 'God forbid!' You just said that people are more powerful than God and can change the messages that He gave to people." That brings up a great point. If God provided those things for us, and He is all powerful (which Christians, Jews and Muslims should all believe) how could people have changed it?

One of the biggest questions I had going into this was: Is Allah a suitable name for God, or is Allah the name of a demonic principality/entity/moon deity? This is a highly controversial area, and one I suggest you ask God to show you the truth. This is what I brought into the class, and why I had confusion.

Firstly, I have always grown up thinking that Allah was just a name for God. That's it. Then I heard Carl Medaris on Future Quake one day, and his experience as a missionary to Muslims proved that Allah was perfectly acceptable, and that some Muslims even pray using "Allah-Jesus." Confusion set in when I later learned (I believe through Russ Dizdar) that Allah was the name of a demonic entity, and perhaps the entity that detained Gabriel in the book of Daniel. This was followed by Nabeel Jabbour's book that I read (and I can't recall his stance on the matter) and I also have heard via podcast that Isa (the Muslim name for Jesus) may also be a name for the antichrist. (That last bit was someone talking about how Muslims, Isa, and the AntiChrist all related together, and was quite confusing). I have also heard other podcasts by people saying that the name Allah is just a moon god. All of this information was from Christian sources and podcasts. Why is the Body of Christ so divided on this issue? Perhaps God has allowed us to entertain these theories 1) to allow us to be prepared for any of the possibilities and 2) to keep Satan off guard.

At any rate, this is a question that was addressed in the session, and I also asked my instructor. Fouad maintains that Allah is derived from the Hebrew word "El" for God. Ie, Daniel, Elijah, Elohim. This theory makes sense to me. Fouad also stated that the word "God" is actually also derived from a pagan deity and the word allegedly has pagan origins. I have not investigated this myself, but it is interesting. If Fouad is correct (and I implore you to research it yourself as well) then Allah is another word for God. I asked my instructor (who has done missions work with the Uighars in China) what his experience has been. Was Allah a moon deity, or a word for God? He informed me that some Muslim converts to Christ still use it, but some do not. I then thought about it from another angle. How likely is it that a Muslim will be interested in hearing about Jesus if I tell him Allah is a demonic prinicpality? It seems to me, that being patient in love and building on the commonalities is the best way to share Jesus. Follow the Holy Spirit's lead, and show them lovingly that the Bible is God's word, and that Jesus is who He says He is.

Since this class, I have gained understanding, and patience. God has shown me a better way to reach out to Muslims. I have also learned that it's good to have patience, and build a relationship with Muslims and then have discussions about faith. Let them come to their own conclusions, lead them to the right answers, but in the end, they have to accept or reject Christ themselves.

Since this class, I have heard another podcast, with Brannon Howse, and he went on to say more about how Allah was a moon god. He is welcome to his opinion, it's something to consider, but the way in which he presented his viewpoint was not as good as it could have been. Additionally, he went on to say negative things about the Prophet Mohammed. And I got to thinking, how is that going to help Christians love Muslims? If I was a Muslim and had heard this, I would have been angry, or at least thought that all Christians felt this way about Muslims. I don't call God Allah. I don't agree with the Prophet Mohammed, but that is no excuse for me to speak disrespectfully about Mohammed. Doing so will only destroy my credibility with Muslims. (Fouad suggests saying that we respect some of the things that Mohammed did, but be firm that we believe the Prophets in the Bible.) I fear that speeches like this may result in more botched attempts to convert Muslims. Or continue to give Christians a negative view on Muslims. In reality, I think that there are better ways to go about it. Remember when Paul was on Mars hill, he used the Unknown God to meet the pagans where they were, he didn't tell them all of their gods were demons, or that their prophets were evil and wrong. He used the pagan's desire to please gods to tell them about the Living God, and how to enter a relationship with Him through Christ.

So in the end, if you have a heart for Muslims, or if you know Muslims, but are unsure how to reach them with Christ, pray for them (reading your Bible wouldn't hurt either). Second, be Jesus to them and show them Christ's love. Third, learn about Muslim cultur through Carl Medaris' work (, go to the past shows tab) and also look at Nabeel Jabbour's book "The Crescent through the eyes of the cross." Fourth, you can go to and go through the Bridges lessons. Lastly, My friend Gaz Parker had provided me with a number of Youtube testimonies and websites. These are all from former Muslims, and may help you learn more about both Muslims and how to share Christ. Gaz is a former spirit medium and blogs about the dangers of New Age beliefs (

Next week, a true return to weird and wacky fun. If you've never heard of the Betty Andreasson Abduction case, you're in for a real treat!

(Please let me know if links do not work) Please pray, and use discretion before viewing the below materials. Ask God to show you the truth, and to show you any falsehood. Some of the sites may be controversial. Ergun Caner recently was mention on Future Quake along with Walid Shabat (sp?) apparently there may some falsehood in their materials. I can't say for sure. Check it out for yourself, and also listen to the recent Future Quake episodes I believe it was the tommorrow's tremors from 12/24.

Nasir Siddiki,
What does the gospel mean?

Former Shitte Muslim Afshin's Journey to Christ - (Part 1/3)

Zak Gariba - Former Muslim Imam
Mark Gabriel - Former muslim Imam, Al-azhar Islamic university professor

Hamran Ambrie - Former Muslim Priest

Jeremiah Fard Muhammad - Former Muslim minister

Dr. Ergun Mehmet Caner - Turkish Ex-Muslim(Dean of Liberty Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Va)

Reverend Donald Fareed - Iranian Ex-Muslim, Persian Ministrieshttp://www.persianministrie/...
Dr. Abraham Sarker - Bangladeshi Ex-Muslim, "Gospel for Muslims" Ministries http://www.gospelformuslims/...http://www.understandmymusl/...
omHussain Andaryas - Afgani Ex-Muslim
Afgan Converts WebSite
Nurudeen I. Adeojo
David Naseer
Emir Caner - Dean of The College at Southwestern
Dr. Nasir K. Siddiki - Muslim businessman, Now Christian Preacher http://www.wisdom-ministrie/...
WL Cati- White Horse Ministry
Ajeenah El-Amin http://www.unitedfaithnetwo/...
Abdul Hakeem - Nur Ul alam Ministry

An Ex-Muslim Christian Website run by Iraqi ex-Muslims

Pastor Hormoz Shariat Ph.D, Scientist, Iranian Ex-Muslim, Now Christian Preacher
Rev. Majed El Shafiehttp://www.onefreeworldinte/...
orgSimin - Iranian ExMuslim Altaf(Now Simon Altaf) - Pakistani ex-Muslim Anonymous muslim Rassamni - Ex-Militant, Now Christian, Popular speaker on apologeticshttp://www.fromjihadtojesus/...Betsy Tan - "In Him" Ministries Abu Saada - Fatah Fighter and sniper Former Islamic Terrorists Ziafet - Afshin Ziafat Ministries Masood Reza F. Safa Baghestani Davidian Shayestahhttp://www.escapefromdarkne/...Akef Tayem Former muslim Malik Websites for Muslims to learn about Jesus Christ and Christian faithhttp://www.muslimsseekingje/...

Adventures in tithing part 1

Merry Christmas!

Firstly, I apologize for not getting to emails. For some reason, all I received near as I can figure is spam. So, if you have a question, please just leave a comment in the comments section.

Secondly, there was a topic for today, but I can't recall what it was. It might possibly have been about Behemoth and other dinosaur stuff. I might also have been looking to write about another topic I can't remember.

So, I would just like to talk about my struggle with tithing. I rarely give any money to Church, let alone the full 10% regularly. There are many arguments for and against tithing from a Christian perspective. One could argue that we are no longer subject to the law, and thus not bound to tithe. Others could say that Christians should realize all we have comes from God and let it be all available to Him. It is also a great way to build faith because it shows we actually trust God to provide for us and our needs. In any event, it's hardly a weird enough issue to discuss here, but it is in the Bible and thus it is relevant to my interests as a Christian.

I would like to start tithing, mainly to be obedient to God. I know tithing will not make me "extra saved" as Christ did everything already for me to get into Heaven. Yet, He died so that I could be obedient, and in this obedience others might be blessed. My faith in Him should make me obedient to His commands. In other words I want to be a doer of the word as well as a hearer.

So, recently my pastor had a sermon about tithing, and he referenced Malachi 3:10. He outlined that this was the only place in the Bible where God says we can test Him.

Malachi 3:10 - Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do," says the LORD Almighty, "I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Try it! Let me prove it to you!

And this passage got me to thinking: If I start tithing, how will I be blessed?

Obviously a selfish thought, so I tried to think more about how if I give I should give joyfully (as Christ said) and give to any who are in need. Then I can ask God to bless me, but only as He wills. It could be treasure in Heaven, or someone coming to Christ, or just something as simple as knowing I made a difference somehow in someone's life. Those are all blessings and not one of them are anything that will bless me materially or even in ways that are tangible to me. I believe God will bless us as His word says, but will we recognize it and appreciate it?

So I have attempted to start tithing, but have not been wholly successful. I have to say at this moment, my faith is not as strong as it should be. I admit that right now, I have doubts about how God is going to bless me. How will I have my needs met? Will He really provide for me? In what ways will He use my offering? How will I be blessed. I want to just share this with everyone so people can see my doubts. I would imagine that many have the same doubts I do. My hope is that those of you reading this will identify with those, and perhaps be inspired to overcome your doubts. I hope also that God will deal with my doubts and move me beyond them. As He walks me through these first few initial steps (however long those take) I hope that I can share with you how God has destroyed the obstacles. If God works in my life, He will certainly work far greater things in your own.

After one instance of tithing (not exactly 10%, just an fyi. The amount is between me and God), I am not quite sure how the Lord has blessed me. I am not so shallow as to think that He will shower me with material wealth, or even necessarily a way to earn more money for a living. That would be nice, but it's not realistic, not to mention God is not a genie. He may choose to, He may not. I think He won't based on my own greediness.

So, here are some ways I have been blessed, that may or may not have been related to any tithing I may or may not have done.

1) I had a class about sharing Christ with Muslims prior to and after tithing. This class was free offered by my church
2) One of my Muslim friends at work has been able to learn that I am a Christian, so hopefully this will lead somewhere. And I have had other opportunities to share my faith with coworkers.
3) I have had what I think are decent ideas for the novel I am writing, as well as ideas for another story.
4) A possible opportunity to be a writer for, though I am trying to see if this is the right choice.
5) A possible green light to keep going ahead with the novel.

So, perhaps this is because I tithed, and perhaps it is not. I would like to think that God has opened the window a little bit so that I may be encouraged to continue tithing. I would like to come back and share what else God is doing as He blesses me. I would also like to share if I believe it is related to tithing or not. I don't want to boast about tithing, as 1) It's God working in me that prompts any gifts to the church and 2) I hope that by my testimonies of tithing you may be encouraged to take it up as well and 3) It is God who provides and owns what we tithe to start with. So I may not mention if I tithed when God blesses me. Sometimes it will be, and other times maybe not. If letting you know about the tithe is what God wants, I will share it.

Please keep me in prayer for inspiration and wisdom related to this blog, and my writing career and also as I write the novel. Lastly, pray that God build my faith so that I may continue to trust in Him.

God bless!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Practice doesn't make perfect: Can a practicing Christian practice homosexuality?

Several months ago, I received an invitation to a local ELCA church. Their brochure and materials were quite inviting and it looked like an incredibly great place to go and hang out. I didn't go, because I am already attending a church and like it there, but somehow something struck my interest in this church.

What struck me, and sort of gnawed within me was that the ELCA had recently moved to allow gay clergy. I don't know all of the details, but I believe that a practicing homosexual can be an ordained Lutheran priest/pastor. So, I asked this pastor, respectfully what his church's stance on homosexuality, sin and all those "troublesome" doctrines that are found in the Bible.

In his response, he said some things which I think are 1) true and 2) damning to the body of Christ at large. His response was something like to the effect of why are Christians making a big deal of gay clergy and homosexuality as a sin in general. Especially, when many in the body of Christ are not following Christ's commands to feed the poor, etc. He has a great point. God clearly defines both in the Old and New Testaments that He is for the poor. The OT, He punished Israel for not caring for the fatherless or widows. And I believe that Christ is going to hold all of us to account for not giving enough to help those in need. In the area of giving, I am the foremost sinner, but God is working on that.

I never replied to this pastor. I was going to. I was going to throw all these scriptures at him, and support my arguments, etc. but I felt it would lead nowhere. I am not the most spiritually sensitive person, but to me it felt as though God burned within me for the initial email to challenge the pastor's beliefs and I felt no such urge for a follow up. What could I say to convince him I was right? And is it my job to? Does God want me to? At this time, I think I have done my part, because I think any further dialogue would not be fruitful. I would like to discuss with him, but I don't want a polite discussion to turn into an "ignorant argument."

2 Timothy 2:23 - Again I say, don't get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 2:24 The Lord's servants must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone. They must be able to teach effectively and be patient with difficult people. 2:25 They should gently teach those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people's hearts, and they will believe the truth. 2:26 Then they will come to their senses and escape from the Devil's trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.

This whole episode though, leaves the question: should there be practicing homosexual clergy? And can a truly born again Christian be a practicing homosexual?

Before reading through this, or any post, pray for God to give you wisdom and to help sift out my errors. I pray before writing, but I am human after all. If I err, or misrepresent God and His word, please leave a comment, and I will examine it. But if you don't like what I say, simply because you disagree, let me know, but ultimately it's between you and the Lord.

Next I want to disclaim a few things.

1) I have a friend who is gay, and I try to show them the unconventional love that Christ would show. I have shared my beliefs with them on some level, and it's my hope that my love towards them can show them that Christians should not hate them. This should demonstrate that Christ does not.

2) I have uncovered evidence that one of my grandfathers may have been a closet homosexual. He was once married, and father to my family member who conceived and bore me. I never knew him really, nor did I see the evidence, but it wouldn't surprise me. Upon his death my family found homosexual pornography, as well as other items of interest.

3) Romans 3:23 For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard. 3:24 Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. 3:25 For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God's anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us. God was being entirely fair and just when he did not punish those who sinned in former times.


John 8:7 – 11 8:7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, "All right, stone her. But let those who have never sinned throw the first stones!" 8:10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to her, "Where are your accusers? Didn't even one of them condemn you?" 8:11 "No, Lord," she said. And Jesus said, "Neither do I. Go and sin no more."

As such, I am not the one who will pass judgment.

So with this established, I would like to submit that a pastor/priest should not be a practicing homosexual, and that a sincere Christian should not be practicing homosexuality. In light of that, a Christian should be confessing it as sin to God, and asking Him to remove this from their life. Other Christians should be loving to homosexuals, but not to the point where we are endorsing the behavior. Sounds like there's a crowd with torches outside. If at all possible I'd like to be put in the wickerman that's holding Dr. Future and Tom Bionic.

First, clergy. The Apostle Paul has clear guidelines for who should and should not be a leader in the church. This should go for elders, deacons and in my opinion, especially pastors and priests. I won't go through each one, but please read through all of them yourself in 1 Timothy 3. Here are some select ones. (sorry for the formatting issues)

* He must exhibit self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation
* Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not fall into the Devil's trap and be disgraced.
* They must be committed to the revealed truths of the Christian faith and must live with a clear conscience.
* In the same way, their wives must be respected and must not speak evil of others.
* A deacon must be faithful to his wife, and he must manage his children and household well.
* (duplicate point but from the ASV) An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,

Now, some may say that the guidelines given in 1 Timothy 3 are old fashioned and outdated. The 21st century has moved beyond such limitations. Why should we follow these guidelines? Perhaps I am an isolated example, but I have been in a church where we had pastors, neither of whom lined up with the guidelines. I voted for them both, much to my chagrin, but my friend voted against because they didn't line up with 1 Timothy 3. So what happened to these pastors?

One, a woman (having a woman pastor is debatable, early church leaders did have some women I think Phoebe and a few others) I am not sure where she didn't line up exactly but she ended up having issues. Hearsay (I know, not good to gossip) had it that God apparently told her that the church told her she needed the church to provide her with a specific brand of car. She was let go not long afterwards.

The other, the pastor I once lived with. This guy, not to speak ill of him, had large quantities of hard liquor (which I did not see him drink excessively). But he also was not married. In my opinion, he did not live wisely, and had several expensive hobbies. It eventually turned out that he had been involved in some sort of intimate affair with a girl who had been in his high school youth ministry, but once she was in college things grew intimate. He was then dismissed.

God's guidelines provided by Paul prove that following them are a good idea.

To return to the above selections. I would also submit that a pastor that is homosexual, would not be considered of a good reputation, at least before the "openmindedness" of recent years. Even now in this "open" culture, being gay still has some stigma/reputation issues attached to it. Take a look at pastors who have been outed recently for cheating on their wives with men. Or even when they cheat with other women. The fact that these have made headlines was because it was shocking. If a pastor seeking after men wasn't shocking, it wouldn't have been news.

Then there is this "must be committed to the revealed truths of the Christian faith" and Christ and the NT are clear that we are to abstain from sexual immorality. And if one "burns with lust" (sexual desires?) they should get married. Marriage has always been between man and woman. (There are many OT cases where a man married multiple women, but this is clearly not an ideal situation and creates much potential for conflict). Here we see these are directed to ALL Believers as well as clergy.

* 1 Corinthians 7:9 - But if they can't control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It's better to marry than to burn with lust.

* 1 Corinthians 10:8 - And we must not engage in sexual immorality as some of them did, causing 23,000 of them to die in one day.

* Acts 15:20 except that we should write to them and tell them to abstain from eating meat sacrificed to idols, from sexual immorality, and from consuming blood or eating the meat of strangled animals.

* and many, many more.

"But wait, I'm gay! It's not sin, it's who I am! God made me this way, my genes made me this way, how is that sin?"

Well, God made me too. I have desires, many of which are sinful. It's perfectly natural for me to be attracted to and check out other women outside of my wife. But, Christ said clearly that if you look at someone lustfully you commit adultery in your heart. That means it's sinful. Pick it apart. My natural inclination is to look at women. God's word says it's sinful. So, do I brush it aside and do it anyways? No, that's part of the taking up your cross daily to follow Him. We all have a sin nature, Christ was the only one who didn't. The same way an alcoholic may argue he/she is genetically attracted to alcoholism. Or someone else to porn, or anything else sinful.

"So, OK, prove it's sinful."

Instead of the oft quoted Sodom and Gomorrah argument, I'll use the oft quoted Leviticus argument, but I'll explain a possible reason why (this is where the praying for discernment comes in). It's widely recognized that in Sodom and Gomorrah homosexuality was but one of the things they were doing. I wouldn't say it was the only thing, but I don't know all the details.

Leviticus 18:6 – 23 (what not to do) Lev 18:24 – 30 (The consequences of doing the above)

In this chapter, the Lord outlines a number of sexual practices that are forbidden. To God homosexuality is as bad as say murder. To God, sin is sin. To God, if I steal a candy bar, it's effectively as bad as murder. I broke His law. In our human eyes, it's totally not on the same level, but as I believe Paul says, break one command, and you've effectively broken them all.

David Guzik has some interesting things to say as well. I don't know where he gets his info, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was true.

"Simply put, God calls homosexual sex an abomination, even as He does in Romans 1:24-32. Additionally, homosexuality was part of the idolatrous perversions which were allowed in Israel at its times of backsliding (1 Kings 14:24; 15:12, and 22:46).

i. Homosexual practice truly is an abomination in our present culture. 43% of homosexuals say that they have had 500 or more sexual partners in their lifetime. Only 1% of homosexuals say they have had four or less sexual partners in their lifetime.

ii. Homosexuals seem to specialize in anonymous sex with no emotional commitment. At one time, London AIDS clinics defined a woman as promiscuous if she’d had more than six partners in her lifetime. They gave up trying to apply a workable definition to male homosexuals when it became clear that they saw almost no homosexual men who had less than six sexual partners a year. "

Take that back to the guidelines for an elder, and consider if a gay pastor is a good idea.

Back to Guzik where he backs up my earlier argument against the "I was born this way" defense.

"This command is commonly objected to on the grounds that one was born - or created - with homosexual desires. “I was born this way; God made me a homosexual. It is my nature to be homosexual; it would be against my nature to be heterosexual.”

i. The problem is that the Bible says we are all sinners by nature; not a single person is born without an attraction to sin in some way or another. We should not say that God made the homosexual; we could say that Adam did, when he passed on the effects of his rebellion to the entire human race.

ii. Our inborn attraction to sin justifies nothing. The one who practices homosexuality can no more justify himself by saying “I was born this way” than can the person who hates homosexuals justify their ungodly hatred by saying “I was born this way.”

iii. Many justify homosexual practice on the basis of love. They might say, “How can it be wrong to love someone of my own sex? How can love be wrong?” Yet if someone loves their children, it does not justify sexual conduct with them. The issue isn’t love; the issue is of sexual conduct. Of course, the Bible in no way condemns love between people of the same sex, but it does say that sexual conduct between those people is sin."

I don't have any stats to back up Guzik's claims, but I would love to find some and put those up here at some point.

On top of this, I believe that practicing homosexuality can in some cases open the door for demonic activity. (Put on your discernment hats folks. Dust 'em off!)

Lev 18:24 – 30

"Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the people I am expelling from the Promised Land have defiled themselves.


As a result, the entire land has become defiled. That is why I am punishing the people who live there, and the land will soon vomit them out.


"All these detestable activities are practiced by the people of the land where I am taking you, and the land has become defiled.


Do not give the land a reason to vomit you out for defiling it, as it will vomit out the people who live there now.

This is all speculation, but I think the following examples support my theory. Obviously, it's wrong because God says so, but also because there are other not so good things associated with homosexuality. Russ Dizdar in his Podcasts insists that defilement, especially sexually is an integral part of demonic activity. William Kennedy in a recent View From the Bunker episode alluded to the fact that all of the major sex trafficking operations world wide are tied directly to Satanic worship. Aleister Crowley is reported to have had his first contact with a demonic being through some sort of homosexual act. I would also speculate that God also forbade sex with animals for this same reason (and other obvious ones). That's probably also why there are restrictions on not eating blood. (Incidently, the nephilim of Genesis 6 were said to consume blood in myth and in the Book of Enoch, for what that's worth) Homosexuality is a sin because God said it is, but also because it defiles (Paul says somewhere that sexual sin is a sin against your own body, the temple of the Holy Spirit) oneself and has the potential to allow demonic contact, which is clearly forbidden. (see witchcraft)

It's also interesting to note, that the Israelites practiced homosexuality and other sexual sins, and various related idolatries (which idols do nothing but I believe Paul suggests there are real demonic beings involved in idol worship) and God did indeed send them to exile out of their land.

It should hopefully be clear why this practice does not please God, and why it is harmful to oneself. For these reasons, if you are practicing homosexuality, I would urge you to repent and ask God for help in Christ. See Romans 6 for some hope. (link later.)

Even though maybe is surprising that mainstream Christians are accepting, allowing and endorsing homosexuality, it really shouldn't be. God forewarned us in His word. If not specifically about homosexuality, then other things that are similarly harmful.
2 Timothy 3:5 They will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. You must stay away from people like that.

2 Timothy 4:3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to right teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever they want to hear.

Even though there may be Christians struggling with and trying to justify their practice of homosexuality, may this bring you hope. It may take alto of struggle, and be hard to do, but God loves you and can help you overcome this if you let Him. Just ask Jesus to help you.

Romans 6:10 He died once to defeat sin, and now he lives for the glory of God. 6:11 So you should consider yourselves dead to sin and able to live for the glory of God through Christ Jesus. 6:12 Do not let sin control the way you live; [fn] do not give in to its lustful desires. 6:13 Do not let any part of your body become a tool of wickedness, to be used for sinning. Instead, give yourselves completely to God since you have been given new life. And use your whole body as a tool to do what is right for the glory of God. 6:14 Sin is no longer your master, for you are no longer subject to the law, which enslaves you to sin. Instead, you are free by God's grace. 6:15 So since God's grace has set us free from the law, does this mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! 6:16 Don't you realize that whatever you choose to obey becomes your master? You can choose sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God and receive his approval. 6:17 Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you have obeyed with all your heart the new teaching God has given you. 6:18 Now you are free from sin, your old master, and you have become slaves to your new master, righteousness.

Though it is true, Christians need to serve the poor, and improve in many areas, it is still no excuse to endorse or allow this "lifestyle" to overrule the laws of God. We should not be allowing practicing gay clergy. A Christian should no more be having gay sex than he/she should be sleeping around with others of the opposite sex. We should reach out in love to our brothers and sisters who are locked into this lifestyle and tell them it's wrong. The least loving thing we can do is allow them to continue to wallow in sin. The same goes for anyone who has sexual or porn addictions. God calls sin, sin, but He has mercifully allowed us a way to overcome it. Jesus and His finished work on the cross, and His rule in our daily lives and struggles.

Shalom and love in Christ.

Some resources for those struggling.

1) Chris White (Nowhere to Run) has some great and touching testimonies of those who had struggles with homosexuality. He is an awesome resource for the body. Check him out.

2) is another ministry that helps those in the gay lifestyle leave it. I haven't checked this site out much, but do your homework, make sure they are legit.

Update 10-2011

So, I am revisting this because I found a local church has a blog. Ok, it's the presbyterian church iused to attend. Anyways, they had a post about the "new presbyterian ordination standards" that allow homosexuals to serve. I don't know all the details of those standards, and I don't care frankly. The Bible, God's word is absolutely clear as I said above. The pastor, does agree that homosexualtiy is not "ideal" (no kidding) and does call it sin, BUT stops short of a clear stance on practicing homosexuals as clergy. He does say, that should the situation arise, they will have to deeply consider the candidate. I essence, he would allow a gay pastor, given the right situation. If so, then he would owe a huge apology to the perpetrator of a past sexual sin who confessed to the congregation.

Anyways, I came across these to add to the above arguments against gay clergy. 1 Corinthinians 5 and 1 Corinthians 6:9 - 20. These are crystal clear. Go read them, and then consider the gay clergy argument. 'Nuff said.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A touchy topic, circumcision

First off, I had brief thought related to suffering, and my previous posts on it. If it's wise, and holds some water, then thank God for giving me this insight. If it's way off, I'm human, there you go.

My thought and perhaps a rebuttal to atheists and agnostics etc that say "Why would a loving God allow suffering?" The thought that came into my head today is, God may see this as not why does He allow us humans to suffer, but what do we here on earth do to prevent and relieve that suffering? Perhaps it's allowed so that we have a chance to show God's glory and reveal our own characters. Perhaps I've already been down this road.

Anyways, my friend and sibling in the Lord, Hopeful has asked why did God choose circumcision as a sign of the covenant with Abraham? Here is the question in it's entirety. Hopeful, thanks for your question.

"I often thought about the nature of circumcision in the Bible and why this was an important right of passage. And then an odd thought struck me about it. Much of the Old Testament was a “physical” battle of demonic entities and much of the New Testament is a spiritual battle with the same entities, although the spiritual affects those physically on Earth. Again in the Old Testament, there is a under current theme of physical demonic beings corrupting a chosen people, even by cross breeding. So, the act of circumcising ones penis is not something people would naturally be inclined to do. What if this practice was done to attempt to maintain a pure blood line of God’s people? The circumcised penis would be obvious before sexual intercourse took place. In other words, this practice was done to combat the spread of the nephilim blood line."

For those unfamiliar with circumcision, it's the removal of the foreskin of the penis. That's basically it. The Bible commands this to be done on the 8th day, and some of the research I turned up indicates that other cultures, (that is, pagans) did it too. Though some cultures did not. There are also records of adults being circumcised throughout the Bible as well. Here is a good overview. (warning, graphic images.) and here are all or most of the spots it shows up in the Bible. (

Hopeful's is a very interesting insight into circumcision, and it's certainly not something I can discount. In the OT it definitely was a purely physical thing, and in the NT, it takes on a more spiritual undertone with terms like "circumcised hearts" it seems that to God, it's a big deal, but later on a physical circumcision is less so.

Before we begin speculating on circumcision as a way to prevent nephilim infiltration, let's take a look at some facts about circumcision. In the Bible, I believe that Genesis 17:10 (verse 9 is the set up) is the first instance of circumcision.

17:10 This is the covenant that you and your descendants must keep: Each male among you must be circumcised;

17:11 the flesh of his foreskin must be cut off. This will be a sign that you and they have accepted this covenant.

17:12 Every male child must be circumcised on the eighth day after his birth. This applies not only to members of your family, but also to the servants born in your household and the foreign-born servants whom you have purchased.

17:13 All must be circumcised. Your bodies will thus bear the mark of my everlasting covenant.

Notice in verse 11, that it is indeed a sign of a covenant. My Life Application Study Bible has some commentary on this that possibly supports Hopeful's theory. Here is the commentary, paraphrased:

"Why circumcise? 1) sign of obedience, 2) a sign of belonging to the covenant people, 3) a symbol of cutting off the old sin life, and 4) as a health measure." (It has been written that circumcised males have a much lower rate of STD transmission than uncircumcised males. see the wiki article above has some stats on it as well.)

If it is a sign of obedience to God, enemies of God would possibly not performed the practice. more on that later.

Another really good answer I found was in Yahoo answers oddly enough. Rather than quote directly, my interpretation of the answer is that sensitivity is required when you are in a spiritual relationship with the Lord, and circumcision is a constant reminder (especially if you did it when you are older!) of the sensitivity and vulnerability required.

There are those in the secular world who would have us believe that circumcision was invented elsewhere, then adopted by the Jews. ( Here, the author indicates that the ritual is far older than the account of Abraham. Several sources seem to agree that the oldest record of circumcision was found in Egypt. ( Which makes some sense since the Israelites lived there. No doubt a number of Egyptians adopted the practice. Of course historians and anthropologists want to speculate that the Jews took it from someone else, again I disagree. I can't see a culture adopting this just for the heck of it without being directed to from an outside source.

My thoughts are that since the Torah was written long after Abraham that would create some chronological confusion for our anthropologists. I personally believe that it was indeed Abraham who originated it at God's direction, and perhaps later other cultures imitated it at Satan's direction, or for some other reason. That is my theory anyways, I suppose I could really dig deep and put this out there with a ton of documentation, and maybe I will one day.

David Guzik's commentary is good overall, and he makes other good points. Here is a brief bit of what he says:

i. Circumcision was not unknown in the world at that time. It was a ritual practice among various peoples.

ii. There were undoubtedly hygienic reasons, especially making sense in the ancient world. “There is some medical evidence that this practice has indeed contributed to the long-lasting vigor of the Jewish race.” (Morris) McMillen, in None of These Diseases, noted studies in 1949 and 1954 showing an incredibly low rate of cervical cancer for Jewish women, because they mostly have husbands who are circumcised.

iii. But more importantly, circumcision is a cutting away of the flesh and an appropriate sign of the covenant for those who should put no trust in the flesh.

iv. Also, because circumcision deals with the organ of procreation, it was a reminder of the special seed of Abraham, which would ultimately bring the Messiah.

On a side note, Guzik (I believe) also points out that this is where God gives Abraham something to do. Hence, Abraham has to prove his faith by taking an action.

Matthew Henry says:

"Those who will have God to be to them a God must consent and resolve to be to him a people. Now, (1.) Circumcision was a bloody ordinance; for all things by the law were purged with blood, Heb. 9:22. See Ex. 24:8. But, the blood of Christ being shed, all bloody ordinances are now abolished; circumcision therefore gives way to baptism. (2.) It was peculiar to the males, though the women were also included in the covenant, for the man is the head of the woman. In our kingdom, the oath of allegiance is required only from men. Some think that the blood of the males only was shed in circumcision because respect was had in it to Jesus Christ and his blood. (3.) It was the flesh of the foreskin that was to be cut off, because it is by ordinary generation that sin is propagated, and with an eye to the promised seed, who was to come from the loins of Abraham. Christ having not yet offered himself to us, God would have man to enter into covenant by the offering of some part of his own body, and no part could be better spared. It is a secret part of the body; for the true circumcision is that of the heat: this honour God put upon an uncomely part, 1 Co. 12:23, 24. (4.) The ordinance was to be administered to children when they were eight days old, and not sooner, that they might gather some strength, to be able to undergo the pain of it, and that at least one sabbath might pass over them. (5.) The children of the strangers, of whom the master of the family was the true domestic owner, were to be circumcised (v. 12, 13), which looked favourable upon the Gentiles, who should in due time be brought into the family of Abraham, by faith. See Gal. 3:14. (6.) The religious observance of this institution was required under a very severe penalty, v. 14. The contempt of circumcision was a contempt of the covenant; if the parents did not circumcise their children, it was at their peril, as in the case of Moses, Ex. 4:24, 25. With respect to those that were not circumcised in their infancy, if, when they grew up, they did not themselves come under this ordinance, God would surely reckon with them. If they cut not off the flesh of their foreskin, God would cut them off from their people. It is a dangerous thing to make light of divine institutions, and to live in the neglect of them."

So as you can see throughout all of these examples that there is plenty of non-nephilim reasons for circumcision. It was possibly for health reasons, it was part of a blood covenant with God and thus symbolic (possibly) of Christ's shed blood, it signified that the flesh ought not be subject to the flesh and many more signs. But, does that exclude the possibility that it was also used for the purpose of preventing nephilim?

I couldn't find any other information about that, of course. I had thought maybe to look in the Talmud, but my attempt to contact a Rabbi went unanswered (go figure). I would like to look in there to see if there is anything "mythical" about circumcision. Sadly, I must instead try to use some logic to puzzle it out.

Firstly, is it possible that a nephilim could have infiltrated God's people? We do know that many nephilim were described as giants, but that does not necessarily mean they were all actual giants. I believe it's been said that the "giants" of Genesis 6 could also mean "men of renown." My thought, and this is PURE SPECULATION is that some of the Genesis 6 nephilim were giants, actual giants, and some were not, but were amazing in other ways perhaps like superheroes. But all of the Genesis 6 nephilim were killed in the flood. Then you have some nephilim on the earth after the flood.

This is really a study for another time, but we don't know how the nephilim after the flood were created. It doesn't matter. But the Bible says they were around. But as far as I can tell, out of all those folks, the nephilim (if I am right) were all giants. Deut 3:11 gives Og's bed a dimension of 13 feet long. We also know from elsewhere that Goliath was something like 9 feet tall. 2 Samuel 21:18 ( indicates that further nephilim (if they were nephilim) were also giants and that they had other distinguishing characteristics such as polydactylism.

For more on the nephilim I would 1) read the Bible, 2) go to that link and 3) check out Judd Burton's book (the title of which I have forgotten) and 4) check out this link

So what's with the detour on giants and such, when we have not yet answered the main question? Could circumcision have also been used to prevent those of nephilim descent from intermarrying with the Israelites?

I guess where I was going with this is that I think all of the descendants of the nephilim would have had gigantic stature, or readily apparent distinctive features. In light of this, I think that it is unlikely that circumcision was a way to keep nephilim out. If there were nephilim that had tried to infiltrate Israel, I think that it would have been in the Bible. We do know though, that the demons (spirits of dead nephilim) attacked Israel through idol worship and pagan practices. We also know there were physical battles with nephilim as well. Alot of the "ites" appeared to be descended from giants.

However, I cannot rule out that it was a possibility. Mainly because, if any male was found uncircumcised, he was to be cut off from the people of Israel. So if a nephilim had snuck in, and if he was found to be uncircumcised, he would have been kicked out. But, if they had wanted to badly enough, an adult nephilim could have undergone circumcision and infiltrated anyways, though as hopeful points out, it's contrary to one's nature to circumcise oneself at an older age. But who's to say that the nephilim wouldn't have circumcised their boys, to facilitate infiltration at a later time? If so, Jews circumcising their children would not necessarily be the best way to protect themselves from nephilim infiltration and bloodline pollution. It could have been possible(depending on if the nephs did circumcision in any way).

In my opinion, a better opportunity to try to pollute the bloodline of Jesus the Messiah - thus further rendering circumcision as a sign against neph infiltrators useless - would be to seduce the Israelite men with foreign wives. Circumcision doesn't even come into play at this point. A female nephilim (are there such things? why not?) could sneak in through marriage and could pollute the bloodline quite easily. A female nephilim, in my opinion, would have had a better chance at infiltration than a male thus making the circumcision theory somewhat obsolete. This is also a good reason why God commanded that the women and children be killed in Canaan and why Israelite men were not allowed to marry foreign women. I also recall in one of the prophetical books (after the Babylonian exile) the men were told to send their foreign wives away, and they did.

Who knows? This debate could go on forever, one could cover any situation to favor either argument. The enemy would likely have tried both avenues, male and female nephilim, and the enemy, crafty as he is, could have simply had the males circumcised. Or not. It's a tricky situation, and one that I can't confirm or deny. We do see that circumcision already has multiple possible purposes, I don't think that preventing the spread of nephilim was the main reason, but it could have been ONE reason. To rely on circumcision alone to prevent nephilim infiltration would not have been a good idea.

Points to Hopeful for the theory and thinking outside of the box. I know I didn't answer the question definitively, but I don't think it can be answered without knowing more about the nephilim and their practices.

God bless.

UPDATE 4/16/2012

Now, for an intelligent look at circumcision. I'll be listening soon, but it's Dr. Michael Heiser on circumcision, so it's a huge leap beyond what I've got.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dinosaurs in the Bible Part 1: Sea Dragon Along

Let's dive right in. As I hope I have made clear before, I take the Bible literally when at all possible. That may not win me some friends within Christianity, or probably elsewhere, but hey. It's either all true, or it's not. I would like to think it is, otherwise as I believe King Solomon wrote in Proverbs, what would be the point of life? (that's a choppy paraphrase for you.)

So today, since my intended topic of circumcision (avoiding bad puns....) needs more research, let's dig up something that doesn't need quite as much for me. That is, yes there are sea serpents in the Bible. Take a look. and of course, Let's take a look, I'll put more in later. The great sea serpent is called Leviathan.

So, a pastor I greatly admire and actually the man who helped me (over the radio) to accept Christ as Savior, one Chuck Swindoll, mentioned once in a sermon that Leviathan was a crocodile. (He also maintained that Behemoth was a hippo. more some other time). Chuck, as great as he is, is not alone in this assesment. Many pastors will say that Leviathan is just a crocdile. Heck, even Blue Letter Bible and my NLT Bible say that. I hate to do this, for one reason. I believe they are wrong.

The reason is, this makes it seem as though ancient people were too uneducated to know what things were so they described ordinary animals as though they were fantastic, or otherwise misunderstood and elaborated on things. I wouldn't say that this has never happened, or that people don't tell tall tales, but this makes it seem as though everyone in the past embellished everything. The big hang up i have though, is this opens up the can of worms that our ancestors didn't undrstand things they saw. Once you start doing that, then supernatural things can be explained away as mundane happenings. The parting of the Red Sea becomes a fortuitous gust of wind. Then you have crazies saying that there are UFOs in the Bible. That Elijah's fiery chariot, Ezekiel's description of angels, wheels and God's throne were actually UFOs. Once you do that, you've basically thrown away the Bible. So, please don't go there.

Some say that Leviathan is just symbolism for Satan. I won't dismiss the symbolism, and I think that Leviathan definitely can and should be viewed symbolically at times, but not totally. So, let's proceed to dismiss the crocodile aspect. Let's start with the most obvious example of why it is not a crocodile.

Everything below is pulled from Job 41 on the above BLB link. Go do your homework if you don't believe me. I'm going to just pull some chunks out mainly to give you the physical description. The Lord, in chiding Job makes some great points that emphasize the terror of this beast. So, go read the whole thing, but see here for the general physical description of Leviathan.
  • "Can you pull in the leviathan [fn] with a fishhook or tie down his tongue with a rope?
  • Can you put a cord through his nose or pierce his jaw with a hook?
  • Can you make a pet of him like a bird or put him on a leash for your girls?
  • Will traders barter for him? Will they divide him up among the merchants?
  • Can you fill his hide with harpoons or his head with fishing spears?
  • If you lay a hand on him, you will remember the struggle and never do it again!
  • Any hope of subduing him is false; the mere sight of him is overpowering.
  • No one is fierce enough to rouse him.
  • Who can strip off his outer coat? Who would approach him with a bridle?
  • Who dares open the doors of his mouth, ringed about with his fearsome teeth?
  • His back has [fn] rows of shields tightly sealed together; each is so close to the next that no air can pass between. They are joined fast to one another; they cling together and cannot be parted. His snorting throws out flashes of light; his eyes are like the rays of dawn. Firebrands stream from his mouth; sparks of fire shoot out. Smoke pours from his nostrils as from a boiling pot over a fire of reeds. His breath sets coals ablaze, and flames dart from his mouth. His chest is hard as rock, hard as a lower millstone.
  • When he rises up, the mighty are terrified; they retreat before his thrashing.
  • The sword that reaches him has no effect, nor does the spear or the dart or the javelin. Iron he treats like straw and bronze like rotten wood. Arrows do not make him flee; slingstones are like chaff to him. A club seems to him but a piece of straw; he laughs at the rattling of the lance.
  • His undersides are jagged potsherds, leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge.
  • He makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment.
  • Behind him he leaves a glistening wake; one would think the deep had white hair.
  • Nothing on earth is his equal-- a creature without fear.

You get the idea. Now, which part of this resembles a crocodile? I can debunk this with one point.

Job 41:8 - 10. "If you lay a hand on him, you will remember the struggle and never do it again! Any hope of subduing him is false; the mere sight of him is overpowering. No one is fierce enough to rouse him."

Two words: Steve Irwin. This man wrestled AND SUBDUED crocodiles on almost every episode of his show. Why else do you think they called him the Crocodile Hunter? He did it not only once, but so many times, it became his nickname! Surely whatever Leviathan is must be more fierce than that.

But let's go on. One argument many pastors seem to use is this line. Job 41:20 "Smoke pours from his nostrils as from a boiling pot over a fire of reeds. " Many say that this just means that it's a crocodile that's hissing. Riiight.

We also see that iron weapons, arrows, swords, clubs, stones and basically every weapon of that age have the same affect as tickling the beast. I would be curious to see how bullets and bombs would fare, but I think in the end it would be a Godzilla like affair where they just ticked him off. I can pretty much guarantee that a crocodile would likley perish at the hand of these weapons. Croc hide may be strong against the most primitive forms of these weapons, but I would submit that most of these weapons would be more than enought to kill or subdue a croc.

Job 41:6 says that traders and merchants would not be able to divide him up or buy him. I would bet people buy, sell, trade and divide up crocodiles. I've eaten alligator, and while there are differences between crocs and gators, i would say it's not a huge stretch to imagine crocs having the same fate. Not to mention that I believe crocs were hunted for there hides at one point.

At any rate, go over the description again, piece by piece, ask God to show you the truth and you will see that it is clearly not a crocodile. If you still think so, support your points and post it in the comments. We can then have round 2 of this post sometime. If you can come up with another "real" world example of a better fit for this, let me know. I dare you to find any "real" animal that would explain this. And please do not say it's a whale as they do not have any armor, and whales are for the most part gentle, and quite vulnerable to harpoons (that's iron folks).

Now with the croc element out of the way, let's move on. I've read that Jewish myth (I believe Talmud and Midrash) suggests that Leviathan is a real flesh and blood creature. Not only that, it has to eat a whale every day. I'm still waiting to hear back from a local rabbi on this and other matters including nephilim. Whether there is any truth to those myths, who can say, but at any rate, it seems that traditionally, Judaism took it literally from what I can tell. I would love to have more info on this, but 1) it's merely speculation and myth 2) There's not really any point in going further there.

What is leviathan then? suggests that Kronosaurus is a possibility. This is a species of sea dinosaur, that is believed to be extinct. But then again so was the coelocanth. I like this one. And while I would buy this story above the crocodile, I think it's too mundane. This would mean there were leviathanS, rather than Leviathan. Yes, it likely was ferocious and met many of the qualities of Leviathan, but it also lacks some of them. Pardon the secular link, but they give some good debunking here. The point I like the most is their mention of a lack of armor. Keep in mind their anti-Christian bias.

My thoughts are that in the case of Leviathan, we have an (scientfically) undiscovered deep sea dwelling lifeform, probably larger than anything else down there. There are problems with this theory, I will admit. What does it eat? Why hasn't it surfaced? Why hasn't some deep sea submarine found it? (Maybe one has, and it was covered up). There are no doubt even more questions that could be raised.

But, I have some proof that there may well be an animal larger than a blue whale. Now, the blue whale is believed to be the largest animal to ever exist. They are big, go to the museum of natural history in New York City and see the model. Want proof? So, what proof do I have.
The Bloop.

The what?

The Bloop. and Go to the bloopwatch page and listen to the slowed-down-to-realtime version of the sound. It's creepy, cool and a little weird. Basically, underwater microphones picked up an unidentified noise. This noise is believed to have been made by an organic creature, but if that's the case it would have to be larger than the blue whale.

I asked the NOAA in an email years ago if they could play that into the ocean and see if there's a response. I was told this would be detrimental to marine life due to the noise. Yet, the creature that made it made the loud noise without affecting anything...but i digest.


[According to the NOAA description, it "rises rapidly in frequency over about one minute and was of sufficient amplitude to be heard on multiple sensors, at a range of over 5,000 km." The NOAA's Dr. Christopher Fox does not believe its origin is man-made, such as a submarine or bomb, or familiar geological events such as volcanoes or earthquakes. While the audio profile of the bloop does resemble that of a living creature, the source is a mystery both because it is different from known sounds and because it was several times louder than the loudest known animal, the blue whale.]

Does it have to be Leviathan? Does it have to be alive? I guess to me it doesn't matter a whole lot, but it is cool to think so.

The main thing I like to take away from this is that there are likely things in the depths of the ocean that man has no idea of. They are discovering new stuff all the time. Giant squids long thought to be mythical have been proven to exist, why not Leviathan? We haven't explored or mapped it very well. Bloop may be from something alive, and we don't know what it is. That alone should tell us 1) That a creature matching the description of Leviathan very well could be down there. somewhere. 2) If Leviathan is down there, and nobody knows it, God's word must be true. 3) even if Leviathan is no longer alive, or found in the ocean does not mean we should reject the truth of God's word.

So why does the mainstream Church right this off as a crocodile? Is it easier to accept? Is it less threatening to non-believers? Is it for our own pride? These are all possibilities. I give some of the creationists credit for at least suggesting it was a dinosaur. At least they're thinking a bit outside of the box.

Please share your thoughts on Leviathan, I'd be interested to see what people think about it before and after reading this. Again, if you have any conventional animal that matches this description EXACTLY please share it. Though I would be interested in random thoughts on the matter.

Coming up soon:


and let me know which interests you the most:

General Dinosaur isues
Lake Monsters - yes, more than Leviathan.
Martial arts and Christians (more general than the Qi Gong one.) I may try to do this one for the local Christian paper, so we'll see if it makes it here instead.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hell, YES! And please do not go there!

One of my friends at work, who’s an atheist, and I had an interesting discussion about how one could be saved, and he had asked if hell was a cave, or lake of fire or something else entirely. It got me thinking, there are multiple descriptions in the Bible about Hell and the afterlife and where the souls of the departed go. I had to explain to my friend on the fly, but I decided to go deeper.

First, the traditional view of hell, both from Dante’s “Inferno” and subsequent pop culture depictions are not quite right. First, Satan and the demons (generally) do not reside there yet. Second, they do not and will not rule it, third they do not conduct the torture, but will be punished themselves.

Hell, and where we go when we die is a bit hard to unravel. What I can discern is that there is a slight difference of where the soul went before Christ died, and after. There also seems to be a different place for humans than for demons and fallen angels.

So, let's take a tour of Hell.

The Abyss (aka, Bottomless Pit, Tartarus) -

Jude 1:6

"And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day."

2 Peter 2:4

"For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;"

The Greek in 2 Peter is Tartarus, akin to the Hebrew Gehenna. (Strong's G5020). Strong's suggests that this the deepest possible darkness and also emphasizes the word "gloom". Indeed, for a creature of light, used to God's light, eternal, deep darkness is a horrible and fit punishment.

But wait, angels sinned?

Besides Satan, yes. Revelation tells us that a third of the angels fell with him, which i believe happened in the past. And these fallen angels were of course up to no good.

Back around Noah’s time, we have the whole Genesis 6, (which is very probably) angels mating with human women and producing Nephilim. Not much is said about it in the Bible, and others have gone into this extensively, thus I will not.

But, the non-canonical Book of Enoch expands on the whole issue. I am not saying this is inspired scripture, but it seems to be quoted in the Bible and in this instance this is a source that I think has some good, logical answers that are backed up in the Bible. Don't build doctrine on Enoch, but perhaps think of it as a commentary or non-inspired resource. It was quoted in the Bible, so those parts at least are something God thinks we ought to know. But just be careful, Acts 17:11.

In Enoch, (and Jude, 2 Peter) the disobedient angels (who slept with human women) were bound by God’s elect angels, and imprisoned in “chains of darkness,” another term (I believe) to describe the abyss. Probably the abyss that gets opened in Revelation 9.

This place is described in Enoch as completely devoid of light and full of sharp stones. See Enoch chapter 10, 21 for the abyss.

Revelation 9, 2 Peter 2:4

And Jude 1:6, 1:13 also offer some small glimpses into the abyss.

I would recommend checking out the different versions of the Blue Letter Bible, and reading some commentaries. But suffice it to say, the abyss is a place of darkness, evil and suffering.
We know this because even demons (the spirits of the Nephilim?) are afraid to be sent there. They begged Christ not to send them to the abyss before it was time.

I presume this is because they know the horrors that await them there.

From the descriptions in the Bible and Book of Enoch, we can see that people do not go to the abyss when they die, nor do Nephilim. The demonic spirits of the Nephilim are here on Earth until the appointed time. That is suspicion based on a passage in Enoch. Again, not doctrine, but it explains the difference between fallen angels and demons and is a decent working theory.

The abyss, the dark pit, is reserved solely for the disobedient angels. Later on at the appointed time, it seems the Nephilim will be sent there, probably during the time when Satan will be bound there for 1000 years. This is speculation on my part.

Chuck Missler speculates that the abyss (aka bottomless pit) is a physical place in the exact center of the earth. That makes a good amount of sense, but causes a problem if you want to know where lava comes from.

Hades (aka, Sheol, the grave)

So from the beginning, when men and women died, where did they go? We know from the Bible, from our Lord Jesus’ own mouth, that there were two places where the dead went during the Old Testament times. There was Abraham’s Bosom where the righteous went, and then where the rich man went. The rich man went to the place that we might readily identify as a type of Hell. See Luke 16:20 – 31

Here, the rich man went to hell, or Hades.

There is a great break down of where the rich man went.

Hades seems to be just a place where bad people/the unfaithful went when they died. This is a place of torment and unquenchable fire, and it’s separated from Abraham’s Bosom by a large chasm (quite possibly this chasm is the Abyss mentioned earlier). It does seem that communication between the two was possible, but perhaps only between Abraham and those in torment, or perhaps just this one time to serve as a lesson. Many believe this was a literal event because a person, Lazarus, is named. When Christ spoke in parables, He tended to not use names.

Abraham's Bosom (Paradise)

On the other side of the chasm, Abraham’s Bosom was essentially paradise, or at least the absence of torment. This is where those who were faithful to God went when they died. Recall that it was Abraham's faith in God that saved him, not his good behavior.

See the Luke 16:20 story. Here is another link that describes Abraham’s Bosom.

Not much to say here, except that one would rather go here, than to the place where the rich man went.

A little further study can be found in the Book of Enoch. Again, I’m not saying this is authoritative, but it seems to me that this might be an expanded view of the Luke 16 view of the afterlife before Christ’s death and resurrection.

See Enoch 23 – 26.

Essentially it describes a separation of faithful and unfaithful dead until the time of the final judgment. The unfaithful place is horrible, and seems to be separated by an accursed valley. This selection seems to be more of a description of the place of torment, than what would be Abraham’s Bosom. Again, it’s not scriptural, but it seems to be somewhat in line with what Christ said about the afterlife.

What about after the death of Jesus Christ?

Then Christ died, and was soon resurrected. What happened during those three days, and how does it affect us now? Here is one link that tells us one possibility.

Here they breakdown Biblical beliefs about death in general, and there are some good scripture references. It’s also a great summary of everything I just wrote. I just wanted to go over it for my own benefit I guess, and try to bring out some things that the other author may have missed. Anyways, I concur that Christ went to the place of righteous dead. Luke 23:43 (as the other author said too). I would also submit though, that Christ must have instantaneously released them from Abraham’s Bosom. Upon Christ’s death, there was an earthquake, and a number of righteous dead resurrected in the graveyards.

Upon Christ’s resurrection, those dead people went into the city! I don’t really know what happened to them, or where they went, but David Guzik has a good view of it.

My thoughts are that these were recently dead people, but that all of the righteous dead must have went to Heaven when Christ visited Abraham’s Bosom. I don’t know that it specifically says in the Bible that Christ released the souls of the dead from paradise, but it seems logical based on the belief of where we go when we die now, after Christ. But first, a little detour.

There are some who believe that Christ also went and preached to the angels in prison, a sort of “in your face” to more or less rub it in the nose of the fallen angels that He did in fact win the victory. 1 Peter 3:19 says this.

David Guzik’s commentary is interesting, and addresses this. My speculation is that He had three days, He probably spent time preaching to each group. Perhaps He preached to the faithful, that they would now get their reward, and the unfaithful a message of condemnation, and a similar message to the fallen angels. I don’t know. I wasn’t there, and I am sure that someone could make a case for each of those.

Back now to what happens to the dead now that Christ has come, died and resurrected. A good start will be They actually more or less summarize what I believe to be true. I think that those who believe in Christ (myself included) we die, and our spirit goes right to the Lord. I think that Christ cleared out Abraham’s Bosom, and once it was cleared out, there’s no reason to send people there again. I could be wrong, perhaps when Christ preached to the spirits in prison, He preached to those in paradise, that He did it, and that He would resurrect them one day. Maybe people still go there when they die in Christ. The only spot I can think of that endorses the present with the Lord theory is 1) the scriptures mentioned in that article above, and 2) in Revelation, those who have been martyred are right there with Christ.

3) Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:8, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

My belief is that we go right to God, and await the resurrection of our bodies in the presence of the Lord.

Lake of Fire (Traditional Hell, Eternal torment)

Lastly, we have the final version of hell. The lake of fire, sometimes (I believe also) referred to as Gehenna and the second death. For more on Gehena, go here

It’s more or less a visual picture of the final, eternal punishment. The lake of fire,

is pretty much self explanatory, but it’s more or less where all of the wicked human and angel alike will go at the end of the world.


It is from here that we get the pop culture view of hell as a lake of fiery sulfur and torment, and it is here we see that Satan and the demons will be tormented, not doing the tormenting. Those in the abyss, and those in the bad part of Hades will be sent to the lake of fire. As will the actual state of death and the location of Hades. How, i don't know, but God said it.

The alternative

Revelation also describes the new Heaven and new earth, for those who believe. Read Revelation 21 for more details.

The Bible is very clear, that believing in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection are the only way to avoid torment and the lake of fire. If you have not accepted Christ as your Lord and savior, then please consider doing so.

If you would like to give your life to Christ, just pray now and accept Him into your heart and into your life as Lord. Renounce sin, and turn towards life.

Once you have received Him in faith, you are free from the power of death in your life, and free to do good works for the Lord. If you accept Christ, find a good church (that follows the Bible) and get baptized.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Buddha the destroyer

The other day, my wife and I were watching some National Geographic DVD about lost treasures in Afghanistan. It was about how horrible the Taliban had been with ancient art, and that they had destroyed a giant Buddha. There was also a search for a giant “lost” Buddha. Like with most TV specials of this sort, I have no idea what happened with the results as the program ended before they had found anything.

This isn’t a comprehensive study on Buddhism, nor is it about Gautama Buddha, but rather just some thoughts on some information I learned in the aforementioned video. I don’t want to look at Buddhism too much, as for some reason I feel some sort of bizarre attraction to it. As a Christian, I can’t believe that the Buddhist faith is truth, but for some reason, my sinful human side finds it very seductive and appealing. I don’t know why. This was the case when I went to site see some Buddhist temples in China and also when I see Buddhist artifacts in museums. Don’t know why, but it is a temptation for me it seems. I had even done a little meditation once for anger.

Anyways. Back to the point. This Nat Geo special said one sentence that blew me away. It was an offhanded remark, but as they said it, it set off warning bells in my head. Perhaps it was the Holy Spirit saying “DIG HERE!” They said something like “the first images used to portray Buddha were based on the Greek god Apollo.” Apparently Greek and Indian paganism had found a melting pot in Afghanistan.

This is sort of hinted at here “The scholars asserting the priority of Gandhara claim that the Buddha image originated in Gandhara and the Mathura image of Buddha was the result of its inspiration, although as against the dated Mathura images, none of the reported Gandhara images of Buddha has a date inscribed on it. Such claim is based primarily on three assumptions, namely, (a) India's early art was aniconic or unanthropomorphic; iconic or anthropomorphic perception of Divine image came to India from Greek art through the Indo-Greek rulers of Gandhara regions and later through Kushanas (25 AD - 150 AD); (b) early Indian art was bas-relief based and sculpture was not its style; and (c) in its modeling Buddha figure is an Indianized version of the Greek god Apollo.” ( and “Buddhist characters are always represented with a dhoti loincloth before this innovation), the halo, the contrapposto stance of the upright figures (see: 1st–2nd century Gandhara standing Buddhas [1] and [2]), the stylized Mediterranean curly hair and top-knot apparently derived from the style of the Belvedere Apollo” (

So why did this set off warning bells? Buddhism is a religion of peace, right? What’s the big deal if Buddha was based on Apollo?

Well, Apollo in Greek is Ἀπολλύων. Wikipedia says this is the oldest spelling, “The spelling Ἀπόλλων had almost superseded all other forms by the beginning of the common era, but the Doric form Απέλλων is more archaic, derived from an earlier *Απέλjων. The name is certainly cognate with the Doric month name Απέλλαιος and the Doric festival απελλαι.[3]” ( Blue letter Bible, and most Greek concordances will give this name with the Hebrew name Abaddon, both of which mean Destroyer.

This name appears in Revelation 9:11, and he is the king of the demonic armies that arise from the abyss/bottomless pit. The Greek god Apollo seems to be a demon who has sold himself as a god. Buddha was based on, at least in part, a high ranking demon (or the devil himself) from the bottomless pit!

Another interesting link (and I'm no expert in Hindu cosmology), and this bears more research, is that some Hindus consider Buddha an avatar of Vishnu. Vishnu in turn according to some myths, becomes Shiva. Shiva is of course well known as the destroyer, though this is not always the case.

Interestingly enough, others have pointed out that CERN has a gigantic statue of Shiva in front of it. You can also google CERN Shiva statue to turn it up. Interestingly, their logo looks like 666.

Now I am not 100% sure on whether or not this Apollyon is the Antichrist. It seems to be the case, and some prophecy scholars have said that this was the case. My thoughts, are that it might be, but please check it out for yourself in Revelation. And also check that with some good, Biblical scholars who have written on the subject.

(Update 6/3/11, I have come to the conlusion that Apollo, the angel from the bottomless pit is different than the Beast/antichrist. Read Revelation 9 - 13. Apollo leads the demons from the bottomless pit, while the beast arrives in chpt 13 and seems to be a man, who is empowered by Satan. Could they still be the same? Maybe. But we must also consider they may be different as well. Go to the scriptures see what's true and please share your thoughts in the comments. The fact does remain that Buddha's links to Apollo are indeed still there. And of course, Apollo is said to be in the bottomless pit.)

This is my speculation only. There could be, and have been whole studies done on who the antichrist is, and they’ve been done better than I have done here ( and . Yet another issue for me to pick up later I guess. The red moon rising article does a great job of comparing the Share international Maitreya with the Biblical Antichrist. Peter Goodgame, the author of red moon rising has been a guest on Future Quake a number of times.

My line of thought here is that praying to Buddha (and the Buddha Idol) is more or less praying to the demon Apollo. This can be taken one step further by including Maitreya (believed to be the future incarnation of the next Buddha). There are currently Maitreya (probably not the Benjamin Crème one) Buddha idols. Some of which even look like an ET., see the Korean statue.

Whether or not this Maitreya is an “ET” (aka demon posing as an alien) is moot. My thought is that whoever is revealed as Maitreya will actually be the being from the bottomless pit, and/or the Antichrist. (See note above, I think they are actually separate entities) The image of the beast, may perhaps be a new form of Maitreya Buddha statue. My theory is that the “life” given to the image of the beast, could well be supernatural, but maybe it’s something robotic. Just a thought.

That’s just a theory anyways. If the “real” Maitreya ends up being the Antichrist, I think that there is enough evidence to make that connection. 1) Maitreya is a future Buddha. 2) Buddha (and by association) all of his incarnation and images was based on the image of Apollo at some point. 3) Apollo is revealed to be the demon in the bottomless pit.

Here’s a little more tying deified Buddha to an Antichrist likeness. At this point, I should say that I think there is some departure from the original human Buddha, and the Buddha that everyone has deified. They’ve made a man into a legend and a god. While he may have had supernatural encounters, I think some things have been embellished to make him more godlike. At any rate, here is one supernatural claim that I think came well after Buddha’s lifetime, but interestingly imitates Christ. It may have even made the rounds when Buddha was alive, but i don't know for sure. But how is it that the historical Buddha who lived around 600BC – 500 BC can imitate Christ? Ah, that's where God has the edge. Prophecy! Around 700BC, more than 100 years before Buddha, the Prophet Isaiah gave that famous prophecy about the virgin that would would conceive! God meant Christ, the Messiah. And Satan meant to twist and imitate it ahead of time by attaching the born of a virgin motif to one of his religions.

Here's the blurb about Buddha's "miraculous" birth. “Gautama is said to have developed supramundane abilities including: a painless birth conceived without intercourse” Again, I don't think this is true, but it's been attached to the legend of Buddha nontheless. And I speculate that Satan started this story based on Isaiah's prophecy to muddy the waters.

So, we started with Buddha being linked to Apollo, the destroyer of Revelation. Conveniently, there is believed to be an incarnation of Buddha coming in the future, named or called Maitreya. Interestingly, Buddha was also linked to Hinduism’s Vishnu who is in turn the flipside of the same coin to Shiva. Shiva, has a large statue at CERN. Some believe that CERN could create a black hole, or bottomless pit if you prefer. That's quite a coincidence.

What does all this mean? I suppose it means that it will be easy for the Destroyer to be sold as the incarnation of all of these deities. He doesn't have to be called any of these names, but he may be sold as the newest avatar of them. Once that occurs, many will easily worship him thinking he is their god that has returned. In doing so, they merely fulfil Biblical prophecy. On the surface, these beings all seem very different, and there are differences. But in the end, the Destroyer is the Destroyer, and no matter which form he takes, he will ultimately lose to the King of Kings, Jesus Christ.

(Update 6-4-11)

First I want to apologize for my wild speculation above. I guess that's the risk we take when we comment on prophecy, but unlike others in my field, I will admit when I'm wrong. I know God will hold me accountable if I don't.

So, I'm not sure what convicted me here. Perhaps it was listening to Patty Heron say that Apollo is the Beast/Antichrist and then I looked into it further. Perhaps his interview raised a question that made me question this, and I was like "Wait a second, I said that too. Better change the blog."

I don't know. But when I looked at Revelation 9 and 13 it really doesn't seem that they could be the same. Apollyon is described as an angel, king of the bottomless pit. The Beast, a man given power by the dragon. At the end of the day though, praying to a Buddha is still 1) praying to an idol and 2) praying to a demon or his image. Even if it's not the Antichrist it's still bad.

So, at the end of the day, I don't know. There appear to be similarities, but there also seem to be difference. I do know that one day, it will become self evident, so please forgive me for perhaps being wrong.

Here's the link for Revelation 9, please read that through 13.

Rev 9

Rev 13

Revelation 9:11

And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew [is] Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon.

Revelation 13

Rev 13:1 NKJV - Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.
Rev 13:2 NKJV - Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like [the feet of] a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.
Rev 13:3 NKJV - And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.
Rev 13:4 NKJV - So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who [is] like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?"
Rev 13:5 NKJV - And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.
Rev 13:6 NKJV - Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.
Rev 13:7 NKJV - It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.
Rev 13:8 NKJV - All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Rev 13:9 NKJV - If anyone has an ear, let him hear.
Rev 13:10 NKJV - He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
Rev 13:11 NKJV - Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.
Rev 13:12 NKJV - And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
Rev 13:13 NKJV - He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.
Rev 13:14 NKJV - And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.
Rev 13:15 NKJV - He was granted [power] to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
Rev 13:16 NKJV - He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,
Rev 13:17 NKJV - and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Rev 13:18 NKJV - Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number [is] 666.

(Update 10-21-2011: guess what? More info that perhaps contradicts my views on Apollyon/Antichrist. Chris White has a great verse by verse here that gives an alternative of the Appollo being the antichrist. Who's right? God only knows, but I think you should at least be aware of the different views.