Nailing My Rapture Colours To The Mast


The RaptureI am reluctantly joining the current pre-trib debate. I have hesitated very much in writing about this, as I know that most have already hardened into one side or the other, and I refuse to engage in pointless debate.

But after prayer, I read this [about a different topic] on a post to my Facebook “It is love to warn someone of deception and falsehood. It is a believer’s obligation if you know the truth to warn a brother or sister of deception and of wolves in sheep’s clothing. To say nothing at all is to not care about that person’s soul.” 

So I am going to post this, because I believe the time is right.

I’ve been noticing an escalation in the age-old rapture debate with people taking sides on what at first glance seems a trivial and even minor doctrine of scripture, compared to everything else in the gospel.

And the endless debate isn’t even about the FACT of the rapture, but its TIMING.

Now it’s getting even more unworthy of the Body of Christ, with some calling others heretics, and breaking fellowship, and even saying that anyone who doesn’t believe the classic pre-seven-year theory is ignorant, stupid, apathetic, backslidden or “will be left behind to suffer God’s wrath”. Where does such thinking and talking come from? It’s not from God!

I haven’t made the rapture timing a focus of my writings, because there are more important and less divisive things that need to be said. I hate confrontation and I am grieved by pointless sniping at the jots and tittles of doctrine. Didn’t God warn us against debating over words for no particular reason?

The Church started arguing over the rapture almost from day one! And how are we to respond? Let’s see what the bible commands….

[Please go to my website to read the remainder of this article. Click on the link.]

The Word and the Spirit – Our Anti-Virus Programs


AntivirusHere is a small analogy demonstrating a biblical truth. We need the written word of God but alongside that we need the inspiration and leading of the Holy Spirit. Both together develop understanding and discernment that avoids false teaching.

Like most people I have an anti-virus program on my computer. In fact I have more than one. The reason is, one of them does an excellent job of scanning my entire computer – when I choose to ask it to – and it takes a few hours but effectively comes up with anything that may be harmful.

The other program works interactively. It’s “always-on” in the background and runs silently while I work or browse the net. However, if there is anything dangerous that I try to download, view or use, up springs a big red alert box and it tells me to beware. It warns me of malware. It offers to remove the malware or virus for me, and of course I agree.

You will probably grasp what I’m going to say. The bible is like the first program. Fully-comprehensive, deep and packed with essential tools and information, the bible is the book we need every day. This is a manual procedure however. We have to “activate” the reading of the word of God, just as I have to manually activate my first anti-virus program, or else it won’t run. It will exist, be installed, but just sit there idle. Like a bible collecting dust on a shelf. Continue reading

ISIS – Just The Beginning?


Why does ISIS exist? Why is it advancing almost unchecked? I have prayed these things without an answer. But the answers are more complex than we would like to admit.

We would simply like for the refugees to be rescued, and the bloodshed to end. Human nature yearns for peace and security in the Middle East, and the threat against Israel as well as other nations to be removed. It’s heart-wrenching to hear of yet another atrocity, bomb blast, mass execution! The souls of all right-thinking people are wrenched with pity, and in this I include many ordinary Muslims and members of other religions.

But here lies the problem – and the answer. It’s not at a time of war, but when they say “peace and security!” that “sudden destruction comes upon them”.

1 Thess 5:2-4 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief…”

Jordan’s King Abdullah is reported to have said that Israel “must choose between the mentality of “Israel the fortress” or “living in peace and security with its neighbors.”” The pressure to do so will mount as the attacks grow fiercer, and as the borders fall, making Israel more and more vulnerable. But at what price, peace? Continue reading

Comet ISON: What’s it telling us?


Comet ISON

ISON as it may appear December 18th

I have posted a full exploration of Comet ISON on my Website. Click here: http://www.birthpangs.org/articles/misc/comet_ison.html

The earliest Christian books ever found


Possibly the earliest Christian writing in existence has been found in a Jordanian cave. A group of 70 or so “books”, each with between five and 15 lead leaves bound by lead rings, has been discovered in Jordan.

Margaret Barker, an authority on New Testament history, points to the location of the reported discovery as evidence of Christian, rather than purely Jewish, origin. “We do know that on two occasions groups of refugees from the troubles in Jerusalem fled east, they crossed the Jordan near Jericho and then they fled east to very approximately where these books were said to have been found,” she says.

My own first reaction was excitement, followed by anxiety that the books might be lost due to cash incentives or religious fervour to cover up the truth these books might reveal.

I was also glad to see at last the kind of sealed book that the writer of Revelation was familiar with.  (Notice how it is sealed with sevel seals?). And is this the kind of “little book” that the angel read from in Revelation Chapter 10?

The director of Jordan’s Department of Antiquities says the books might have been made by followers of Jesus in the few decades immediately following his crucifixion. “They will really match, and perhaps be more significant than, the Dead Sea Scrolls”.

The books, or “codices”, were apparently cast in lead, before being bound by lead rings. Their leaves – which are mostly about the size of a credit card – contain text in Ancient Hebrew, most of which is in code.

One of the few people to see the collection is David Elkington, a scholar of ancient religious archaeology who is heading a British team trying to get the lead books safely into a Jordanian museum.

He says they could be “the major discovery of Christian history”. He believes the most telling evidence for an early Christian origin lies in the images decorating the covers of the books and some of the pages of those which have so far been opened.

“It’s talking about the coming of the messiah,” he says.

Philip Davies, Emeritus Professor of Old Testament Studies at Sheffield University, says the most powerful evidence for a Christian origin lies in plates cast into a picture map of the holy city of Jerusalem.

“As soon as I saw that, I was dumbstruck. That struck me as so obviously a Christian image,” he says. “There is a cross in the foreground, and behind it is what has to be the tomb [of Jesus], a small building with an opening, and behind that the walls of the city. There are walls depicted on other pages of these books too and they almost certainly refer to Jerusalem.”

Never has there been a discovery of relics on this scale from the early Christian movement, in its homeland and so early in its history.

Read the BBC News account here

More photos and another account here

Another account with photos here

There are a couple of early videos on YouTube, and this one has an annoying text-reader voiceover, BUT, it’s still worth watching:

Coming your way tonight: the new blood libel


Atheism dressed up as “theology”: the God haters are clamouring to applaud tonight’s ripping up of biblical truth in the form of the BBC’s new series presented by the atheist senior lecturer at the University of Exeter, Francesca Stavrakopoulou.

The first episode (Tuesday 15th from 9-10 on BBC2) is all about rubbishing David and his kingdom. Doubtless the same kind of sensationalised “archeology” and “new evidence” that we are used to seeing in such documentaries will support the conclusion she’s already reached, that the God of the bible only exists in the blinded eyes of those who worship him.

But who is this woman? One supporter praises her “excellent” work on “cultic child sacrifice to Yahweh” which sounds to me startlingly close to the age-old blood libel.  But maybe the world is ready for another heavy dose of anti-semitic lies to spark off the next round of pogroms? And as for the Christians, they are about to appear as foolish numbskulls who need pagans and atheists to correct their theological understanding.

Stavrakopoulou first appeared on television last year in Channel 4’s “The Bible: A History”, saying that Moses did not exist. (I remember trying to watch this series and recall how conceited she sounded.)

“The Bible’s Buried Secrets”, which begins tonight, is her first prime time series. Her published books include include “Baal and Asherah: Image, Sex, Power, and the Other” and “King Manasseh and Child Sacrifice: Biblical Distortions of Historical Realities”.

Her book “Blood ritual in the Hebrew Bible” again raises the spectre of the Blood Libel. Will it become the new “Protocols of Zion”?

She is “Secretary of the Society for Old Testament Study and a member of the European Association of Biblical Studies and the Society of Biblical Literature” so is clearly a voice of influence for those who need to denounce all that is holy and true.  In one short biography it is revealed it took her to the age of eleven to realise that Jesus was Jewish.  One wonders what would have happened if she’d actually paid attention at school like the rest of us.

Ms Stavrakopoulou’s big drum which she is bound to beat throughout this TV series is pluralism. That is, the God of the bible is about to be presented as simply one of a host of cultic gods worshipped in ancient Judea. Again, according to some “the fact that Yahweh once shared a bed with Mrs Yahweh (“Asherah”) is widely accepted by mainstream scholars as a part of orthodox religious belief”. Perhaps it is amongst the “religious” but not for those who know God. Let us pray the outcry will be loud and long against this destructive heresy!

Titus 1:15-16 – To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

God had a wife called Asherah?


Unsuprisingly, there is yet more anti-Christian programming from the tax-funded BBC. When you watch this latest bit of garbage, remember that YOU are paying for it.

BBC’s latest religious “expert” is a self-proclaimed atheist who claims God had a wife and Eve suffered from sexism. Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou makes a number of staggering statements in forthcoming BBC2 series “The Bible’s Buried Secrets.”

The presenter, who has a doctorate in theology from the University of Oxford, argues that Eve was not the first woman in the Bible, as the story of the Garden of Eden does not belong in the first Book of the Old Testament.

She said: ‘Eve has been unfairly maligned as the troublesome wife who brought about the fall. Don’t forget that the biblical writers were male and it’s a very male-dominated world. Women were second-class citizens.’

And Dr Stavrakopoulou, a senior lecturer in the department of theology and religion at Exeter University, does not believe in God. She said: ‘I’m an atheist with a huge respect for religion’. [however, not with enough respect to get the facts right.]

Dr Stavrakopoulou’s claims that God had a wife appeared to be backed up by her own research speculation into the subject. In a recent article she wrote: ‘Archaeological evidence including inscriptions, figurines and ancient texts as well as details in the Bible, indicate not just that he was one of several worshipped in ancient Israel, but that he was also coupled with a goddess. She was worshipped alongside him in his temple in Jerusalem.

‘…Yahweh… had to see off a number of competitors to achieve his position as the one and only god of the ancient Israelites. The biblical texts name many of them: El, Baal, Molek, Asherah. ‘

‘Far more significant is the Bible’s admission that the goddess Asherah was worshipped in Yahweh’s temple in Jerusalem. In the Book Of Kings, we’re told that a statue of Asherah was housed in the temple…  goddess worship was a thriving feature of high-status religion in Jerusalem. ‘

”But perhaps most significant of all, Asherah was also the wife of El, the high god at Ugarit  –  a god who shares much in common with Yahweh. Given the evidence within the Bible that she was worshipped in the temple in Jerusalem, might she have played the role of a divine wife in ancient Israel too?’

Errrr – NO!!! Read the bible, dummy!

It’s no mystery that these days a liberal feminist atheist can get a degree in theology, in fact you’d probably struggle to get one if you were a genuine Christian. And it’s no surprise that it’s open season on Christians and the Bible again just in time for Easter. We expect nothing more from the BBC.

Source

By Hannah Roberts 8th March 2011