Thursday, January 31, 2019

Numbers In The Bible

Whether you believe it or not, numbers have a meaning. Most people avoid anything to do with the number 13, and there have been movies on the subject of it's ominous view.
But, I want to look at some numbers that God put specifically in the Bible. I believe He knew that someone out there needed to know these specific numbers.
Back in the 6th century BC, a Jewish man named Daniel had many visions of the future. He saw the fall of the Babylonian rulers and the rise of the Median Persian Empire. He knew that a war hero of the Grecians would conquer the Medes and the Persians. And, he saw a time where the earth went through a world-wide nightmare!
During this destructive and oppressive time, he saw that the world would be governed by 10 kings who would be a mixture of strong and weak rulers. He saw that one would become the leader and that this wicked man would bring genocide on a global level, during which he would demand to worshiped as a god, the penalty for not bowing would be death.
And while seeing these things, he was given some numbers.
Daniel 8:13-14- Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
Daniel 12:11-13- And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.
What are these numbers? And, who should be taking note of them?
To answer this question, I must first tell you more about the world-wide nightmare known in the Bible as Daniel's 70th week and the Tribulation.
There will be some crazy things that happen in the near future. The beginning will have a few interesting things happen. One will be a covenant with the nation of Israel allowing the offer sacrifices to their God on the temple mount. Another will be the disappearance of millions of people around the world.
When these two things happen, you will know for certain that you are in the Tribulation period, the time of Jacob's Trouble, also known as Daniel's 70th week.
The Jewish people will be allowed to rebuild their temple- the third temple in the history of the Jews. The first one was built when Solomon was ruling a vast empire from his throne in Jerusalem. The second one was built after the Perian King, Cyrus, gave the Jewish people permission to leave the land of their captivity and go back to the land of Israel. The third will be built some time in the 2nd Millenium AD.
While the world is reeling from millions of people vanishing from the earth and the global disasters that occur when they disappear, a man will stand up and bring unity to the earth. He will bring peace in the midst of chaos. He will be the one who signs a covenant with Israel and ends the conflict in the Middle East.
And this is where the numbers in Daniel come into play.
When the covenant is confirmed with Israel, it will be 2,557 days until the 2nd Advent (explained later).
Once this happens, the Jews will start the process of renewing their Judaic worship rituals- animal sacrifices and the building of the temple. It is estimated that the sacrifices will begin about 257 days after the covenant is signed.
Once the animal sacrifices begin it will be 2,300 days until the 2nd Advent.
During this time, or shortly thereafter, the temple will be rebuilt.
All the while, there will be severe natural disasters happening all around the world. Though it is a time of relative peace among the nations of the world, the destructive forces of nature are in an upheaval (read Revelation), along with a few rebel factions.
The world will go to a global banking system. And their new hero who brought peace to the world will be ruling with a few other men. But, after only three and a half years he will be assassinated.
The world will mourn the fall of their hero! For a few days. And then he will miraculously raise from the dead.
But, he won't be the peacemaker that you once though he was.
His banking system will have a new policy- an implanted credit card. A banking microchip put under the skin of your right hand or your forehead. It will eliminate the need for cash, counterfeiting will become almost obsolete. All economic trade will be done through electronic transaction, and since it is inside your person you won't be able to forget or lose your "card".
But this won't be a blessing. It will be a double-edged curse. Whoever takes the chip will damn his soul to hell, and whoever refuses the chip will no longer be able to buy or sell.
Then, the peacemaker will go to Jerusalem and enter the rebuilt Jewish temple. He will sit on the ark of the covenant and proclaim that he is god. His demand for worship will be as strict as his banking policy- do it or die. In the Bible, this is called the abomination of desolation.
At this time he will void his covenant with the nation of Israel, and the sacrifices will cease.
The last half of the Tribulation becomes a literal hell on earth. The natural disasters haven't stopped, they've escalated. So many people have been killed, or disappeared, that the number of those dead or missing can't be told. And, the newly resurrected leader will be on a kill mission that commands his every thought.
Matthew 24:15-21- When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
This is where the second set of numbers comes in. Something will happen about 1,335 days after the covenant is signed. It could be the mid-tribulation rapture, or it could be when Israel is told to flee into the wilderness to the place that God has prepared to take care of them, Selah Petra.
The Jewish people will stay here until they are ready to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Messiah. But, to show that they repent and accept Him they must hazard their lives to keep an Old Testament ritual.
Deuteronomy 21:1-23- If one be found slain in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it, lying in the field, and it be not known who hath slain him: Then thy elders and thy judges shall come forth, and they shall measure unto the cities which are round about him that is slain: And it shall be, that the city which is next unto the slain man, even the elders of that city shall take an heifer, which hath not been wrought with, and which hath not drawn in the yoke; And the elders of that city shall bring down the heifer unto a rough valley, which is neither eared nor sown, and shall strike off the heifer's neck there in the valley: And the priests the sons of Levi shall come near; for them the LORD thy God hath chosen to minister unto him, and to bless in the name of the LORD; and by their word shall every controversy and every stroke be tried: And all the elders of that city, that are next unto the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer that is beheaded in the valley: And they shall answer and say, Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it. Be merciful, O LORD, unto thy people Israel, whom thou hast redeemed, and lay not innocent blood unto thy people of Israel's charge. And the blood shall be forgiven them. So shalt thou put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the LORD.
The elders and the leaders of the remaining Jews must go to the valley outside of Jerusalem and sacrifice a heifer while asking the Lord to forgive them of the blood of the crucified Lord Jesus Christ. They have to confess that they didn't condemn Him to death on Calvary, neither were they present to see it happen, and ask Him to be merciful and forgive them for the crime.
Now, remember, the man who wants their total annihilation is ruling from the city which they must go near. And, he has already forbidden animal sacrifices. This will not be for the faint of heart!
But, the tide will turn when this happens for it will trigger the 2nd Advent! The time when the Lord Jesus Christ comes back to earth to destroy the armies of the wicked ones who are murdering those who don't submit to their evil rule.
He will touch down on the Mount of Olives and it will explode outwards from the impact. Then He and His army will go on with the might of a nuclear explosion wiping out any enemy in their path.
Such a fancy tale, you say? When you see the things in the beginning of this post come to pass take heed, this legend will become a reality.
Matthew 11:15- He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Bushaloni Recipe

1 green pepper, diced fine
1 onion, diced fine
2 carrots, diced fine
3 cloves minced garlic
24 oz crushed tomatoes
8 oz tomato puree
1/8 cup basil
1 TBS oregano
2 TBS thyme
pinch of sage
1 tsp nutmeg
3 TBS sugar
2 TBS salt
2 TBS pepper
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan romano cheese
3 slices of finely chopped salami
3 slices finely chopped ham
1 onion, grated
2 cloves minced garlic
2 TBS fresh chopped parsley
4 TBS olive oil
2 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/8 tsp sage
1/8 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp thyme
round steak
mozzarella cheese slices
few leaves of fresh spinach

For the Sauce:
In a pot, heat 1/8 cup olive oil and add the green pepper, onion, carrots, and garlic. Saute around 20 minutes.
Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and puree, along with basil, oregano thyme, sage, nutmeg, sugar, salt and pepper.
Bring the heat up to high, until semi-boiling, and then reduce cover and simmer for about an hour.
Add red wine and simmer for 15 minutes longer.
For the Stuffing:
In a bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, cheese, meat, onion, garlic, parsley, olive oil egg, salt and pepper, celery salt, sag, oregano, and thyme.
For the Meat:
Lay the round steak on the counter, and spread the bread crumb mixture onto the steak.
Now, place the mozzarella slices on top, followed by the spinach leaves.
Carefully roll the round steak up and secure with cooking twine to keep it from unrolling.
Brown the sides of the meat roll in olive oil, and then put the meat roll into a deep baking dish. Cover the meat roll with your tomato sauce, and bake at 300* for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or put it all in a crock pot and cook on high for about 4 hours, or cook on low for about 8 hours.

*Not my original recipe, though I did modify it slightly.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Believer's Heritage- Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Charles Haddon Spurgeon was born in Kelvedon, England, in the year 1834, and his family moved to Colchester while he was still very young. His earliest years were spent living with his grandfather.

Viewed by many as the greatest Baptist preacher in history, Spurgeon did not come from a Baptist background. Both his father and his grandfather were Congregational preachers, yet Charles, as a teenager, still had not come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour.

Having purposed to visit every church in his area until he learned how to become a Christian, Spurgeon set out on January 6, 1850, to visit yet another church. It was a cold and snowy morning, but he had to keep searching. Rather than visit the church he had in mind, the weather forced him to change his plans and attend services at the Artillery Street Primitive Methodist Church. The regular minister was absent due to the weather conditions, so a tall country gentleman went to the pulpit and took his text from Isaiah 45:22: “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” The fill-in preacher was rather awkward and couldn’t pronounce his words correctly, but the power of God’s word hit young Spurgeon’s heart like a bolt of lightening. As the gentleman developed his message of simple salvation by faith, Spurgeon began to understand that Christ had finished the work of salvation and that he only had to believe. The preacher singled out Spurgeon and said, “Young man, you look miserable . . . young man, look to Jesus Christ! Look! Look!” He did, and he became a born-again child of God.

Immediately he began handing out tracts and trying to minister the word to others. He was baptized and joined Isleham Baptist Church in May of the same year. Not long afterwards he began teaching Sunday school, leading in prayer meetings, and preaching wherever God allowed. His fame began to spread, and at seventeen years of age, a small Baptist church called him as pastor. In a very short time, the church grew to over one hundred members.

Two years later, at age twenty, Spurgeon was called to pastor the New Park Street Chapel in south London. The church of about a hundred members grew to over 1,200 in a year, and the famous Metropolitan Tabernacle was eventually built.

Although Spurgeon was a Calvinist, his fame continued to spread. The Anglicans mocked and ridiculed him, but he pressed forward. Newspapers printed his sermons, even American newspapers, and he published a monthly paper titled “Sword and Trowel.” His church membership passed 5,000.

He founded Spurgeon’s College for pastors in 1856 and trained some 900 students for the ministry. He founded Stockwell Orphanage in 1867, which accommodated 500 children.

Spurgeon was ill during the several years preceding his death, but he continued to preach. He preached his final sermon on June 7, 1891, to over 5,000 people at the Tabernacle. With his every ounce of energy, Spurgeon exalted his blessed Saviour and encouraged his listeners to “enlist under the banner of Jesus Christ.”

At fifty-seven years of age, C.H. Spurgeon died on January 31, 1892. Memorial and funeral services were held at the Tabernacle a few days later with over 100,000 people attending in a five day period. His preaching Bible was placed on top of his casket and opened to Isaiah 45:22.

Spurgeon’s literary works are a treasure, especially his massive Metropolitan Pulpit sermons, a set of forty-nine volumes. His commentary on Psalms, The Treasury of David, is a must for any preacher, and his Morning and Evening Devotions are very good. Other works include Lectures to My Students, My Sermon Notes, Storm Signals, The Saint and His Saviour, Feathers for Arrows, John Ploughman’s Pictures and John Ploughman’s Talks. Spurgeon’s writings are some of the most circulated writings (possibly the most circulated writings) in Christianity.

Taken from The Christian's Guide to Church History, James L. Melton, 2000.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

When The Saviour Came My Way (poem)

You ask me why I love the Lord.
Well, friend, just let me say
Life was not worth living
'Till the Saviour came my way.

You say I lose so much in life.
Yes, friend, PRAISE GOD, I do.
I lose the sin and sorrow
Which was all I ever knew.

I lose the days spent seeking joy,
The long nights full of tears;
I lose the heavy burdens,
Which I carried through the years.

But friend, I would not have them back
For all that you could pay.
My life was not worth living
'Till the Saviour came my way.

  —Author unknown

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Why Is There Suffering In The World?

I would hazard to guess that everyone in the world has wondered this. Many times the thought goes something to the effect of "if there is a loving God then why is there so much suffering in the world?" And, I am among those people who have thought this.
Ecclesiastes 3:19- For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
But, let us expound on this before we draw judgment on God.
I believe that the answer lies in free will. You see, when God created this world there was nothing evil in it- not even the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Knowledge is not bad. Obtaining knowledge is not bad. So, how then did this tree bring evil in the world?
Adam and Eve had the ability to make choices without God stepping in and telling them what to do. Why is this important? We shall see that free will is the answer.
Adam and Eve chose to eat the fruit. That choice was the sin, not the knowledge that the fruit contained. It was the choice to rebel against God's Word on a matter and do their own will instead that brought the curse of sin and suffering.
I Timothy 2:14- And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
Why is the ability to choose such an important one? Because of love.
Adam chose to eat the fruit when he knew full well that he was doing it in rebellion to God because he loved Eve. Eve was deceived, and when she offered Adam the fruit she still wasn't fully aware of her transgression, but Adam was. Adam knew exactly what he was doing. He counted the cost and decided that Eve was worth it.
Imagine that you could make someone love you. You could make them completely devoted to you. Would it be worth it. You may say "yes" at first. But, in time you would wonder if they had the choice to be there, would they? If someone lifted the spell would they leave?
Song of Solomon 8:7- Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.
Isn't it much more wonderful that some person loves you will all your faults and all your flaws. That they've seen much prettier, smarter, more successful people and yet they still decided you were worth their love?
I believe that's how God feels, too. He could have made man to blindly follow and adore Him, but would that truly be love? Would that mindless devotion be worth it?
Mark 12:33- And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
God looked through time at all the horrible things that would happen because of our ability to choose and He counted the cost to be a worthy one to pay for someone to choose to love Him.
Do you sit in judgement on God?
He, also, made the choice. He came down to the earth as a man and felt what being human was like. He was cold, tired, hungry. He felt suffering, pain, betrayal. He understood the confusion and the uncertainty of emotions. And, when He was in the garden facing the moment right before the betrayal that cruelly led to his torturous death He made the choice to allow it because of love. He chose to love you.
Romans 5:8- But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
He could at any time force anyone to do His will, but that would take away the one thing that He counted worthy of losing His perfect world- your choice.
You have the free will to choose to do good or evil. You have the choice to love God or blame Him. You have the right to decide how to live your life.
But, beware- there is a cost.
The cost for God was the destruction of His perfect creation.
Romans 5:12, 18-19- Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
God chose to allow sin and rebellion to give us a free will. Jesus chose to suffer and die to pay the redemption price for Adam's sin. And, we get to choose because of this.
Humans can now make the decision to create weapons, chaos, suffering, disease, pain, etc. That's why these things exist, because man kind chooses them. We choose our paths in life. We decide whether to be kind or cruel. It's up to us to make the world a better place or a living nightmare.
The cost for man is his eternity.
Choose to love God or blame Him. Choose to accept the payment He made for your sins or try to pay for them on your own. Choose to spend your eternity in Heaven with God or Hell without Him.
The choice is yours. It's your right.
Deuteronomy 30:19- I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: