Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What if we are in the last period of history?

When I was a child, I remember an evangelist saying we were living in the Philadelphia church. I honestly thought the man was crazy because I was living in Indiana at that time!!! Preachers just have no idea what kids hear, do they?

But that was the late 50s, and I think he was on the verge of being both right and wrong. If we can put approximate dates to each of the 7 churches - periods of time in history....he was on the cusp for sure.

Periods of church history:

1. Ephesus (desireable) Pentecost to 100AD

Good works, rejection of false teachings

2. Smyrna (myrrh – embalming the dead) 100AD- 313 AD – persecuted

major persuctions of the church under 10 different Roman Emperors:

1. Nero AD54

2. Domitian AD 81

3. Trajan, AD 98

4. Adrian, AD 117

5. Septimus Severus, AD 193

6. Maximum, AD 235

7. Decius, AD 249

8. Valerian, AD 254

9. Aurelian, AD 270

10. Diocletian, AD 284

3. Pergamos 313AD – 460AD. Thoroughly married. Paganism married with the church

Constantine was converted and declared that Christianity would be the State Religion. Incorporation of Pagan rituals into religious rituals in order to get more converts.

4. Thyatira 460 AD – 1517 AD – corrupt

Growing power of the Roman Papacy. Mass became obligatory.

5. Sardis 1517 AD – 1750 AD – reformation

Major translations of the Bible, major splits in various religions. Martin Luther, John Calvin…..

6. Philadelphia 1750 AD – 1950/70 - missions

World wide evangelism. Revivals. Religious cults.

7. Laodicea -1950/70 - ? - personal rights

It's all about what your own personal rights are...the rights of this group or that, the rights of one sector of a population against another. We are definitely living in this period today!

I have read those who believe the Laodicea period started as early as 1880, but I don't see how anyone can believe that revivals ended then. They were definitely going on in the 50s and 60s when I was a child. And there was a continued emphasis on missions during that time frame. Not going to argue it because again, this is simply what I believe.

When you step back and look at the overall, global picture....the meanings of the words of the names of the churches can be tied to periods of history - in the order that the churches were listed. And while the dates are approximate, the overall sequence of events is all there. Because we are at the "end", we can look back and see it exactly as it happened. But do we have the faith to look forward and know what is next?

In Rev 3:17 it was written to the Laodiceans "Because you-are-saying, Because I-am rich and I-have-become-rich-and-am-still-rich and also I-am not having one need, and you-know not absolutely that you yourself are the one miserable and pitiful and destitute and blind and naked,"

May I always know that I am miserable, pitiful, destitute, blind and naked. Because if I am such, then I will always study to learn the truth.

Monday, May 31, 2010

What if God really doesn't love the "world"?

You should be laughing about now over all my childhood questions. Didn't you have them?

Jn 3:16 - we all know it so I won't quote it here. Didn't you have these questions?

1. How can G-d LOVE the world and allow guys I went to high school with be killed in VietNam?
2. How could HE let little children in China starve? (Well, Grandma always did say to eat all my food because there were starving children in China!)
3. How could He have killed every single living person on the planet except for 8 people during the flood? Seriously, didn't He love the entire world?
4. Why would He have given us all these different languages at the tower of Babel and made everyone go live somewhere else?

So I never quite understood that verse. OK....I never actually BELIEVED that verse - in the context that I never believed God loved every single person who ever lived on earth!!!

Unless you start to define the word "world". Could it have different meanings?

Does the word "world" perhaps mean something like "age" or "period" or "time"?

In Greek....ok, was the word translated 100% correctly into English.....or is the word "world" simply the "best possible" translation and it doesn't mean world as we know it today? I think we can all agree that the King's English of the 1500s is quite a bit different from our English today. Even today, words that we know and understand in the US have a completely different meaning in England and they are the same word.

Was there a world from Adam to the flood that G-d destroyed. We know that He covered the earth with water for 40 days and everyone perished. Did He love those people? If He loved them, why the flood to destroy them? I think we can pretty much agree that He did not "love" the "world" before the flood.

A second "world" from the flood to the tower of Babel that He again destroyed by dispersing it all over the earth?

A third "world" from Babel to perhaps the present day and this "world" is His covenant with Abraham reaching down through the Jews.....and that He has allowed Satan to contol the rest of the "world"?

Gen 17:4

Not only do you need to define "world" - you need to define "love" - which is actually the word "cherish" which is different than love. I can really understand it if it is translated this way:

Jehovah cherished the "people of the earth that HE made HIS covenant with" and came to earth as the promised Messiah of the Jews and if you believe that........

I don't think G-d loves the whole world at all. He couldn't possibly love all the horror that is among us these days. But if I understand this correctly, then He still does love the Jews - His chosen people. And Satan has control over the rest of the "world". And yes, we can be "saved" and grafted in.....but for the moment...I just want to clarify that G-d does NOT love the entire inhabited earth. He doesn't love you if you are a sinner. He doesn't love you if you practice sinful things. This verse does not cover those individuals. He doesn't love anyone....He cherished His people (the Jews) so much.....and that I have no problem believing and understanding at all.

Isn't it amazing how we have gotten things so twisted up with these corrupt translations? Ah! Was and is Satan behind all this mis-translation? Is that yet another way he is trying to be like the most High?

Was it Satan's plan to change the calander as well and thus take us away from the proper dates of the Messiah's birth and death?

and while we're on the subject of translating "words" and what the really mean.....

Christ is a transliteration of the Greek word Christos which actually should be translated Messiah.

So then should anti-christ actually be "anti-Messiah"?

How can you know something if you don't know what that something is? How can we know who Christ is if we should be learning who the Messiah is?

And no, I no longer believe what the preachers have been preaching for centuries. You cannot take scripture and take it out of context and apply it to today's living and make Jn 3:16 mean that God loves you. We have to put it back into context, study history, study Hebrew and Greek, and really understand what it meant.

God so cherished the Jews, His chosen people, that He sent His only begotten Son, the Messiah......

and if we understand fully that His chosen people are the Jews

and that the world is full of anti-semetism because Satan has been working for centuries to make himself equal to G-d

and that the churches of the world today are mostly run as Satan's way of controlling the entire world because there's not one of them left that teach the truth about what's in the Bible - they all celebrate Christmas and Easter....

well, it does answer those childhood questions I had.

G-d does not love the world as I know it, He cherishes the Jews.

In the Consistent New Testament, Jn 3:16: For thus the God cherished the world so-that he-gave his son, namely-the only-begotten, in-order-that every-one the one trusting with-reference-to him might not perish, BUT he-might-be-having life eternal.

maybe that really means.....

Jn 3:16: Jehovah G-d cherished the "people of the earth that HE made HIS covenant with" (the Jews) and dispatched his son to earth as the promised Messiah of the Jews and if you trust that, then you will have life eternal.