Thursday, February 22, 2007

The demise of Blonde bombshells

In recent weeks tabloids have been going bananas over the demise of blonde bombshell Anna Nicole Smith. In the last year her son died, the fatherhood of her child was under question, she became ill and then she killed herself overdosing on drugs. Recently Brittany spears has been making headlines for getting a divorce, struggling with drug abuse, flashing in public, mis-handling her child and now shaving her head. Many have argued that this is meaningless poperazzi hype. But I believe this is hinting at something vital. What is happening is an old lesson being illustrated before our very eyes. It is easy to see the history of Anna Nicole. Her rise to stardom as a playboy playmate, her participation in movies, the tabloids and reality show fame documented her life. We see that she acquired nearly a billion dollars through her convenient marriage to J. Howard Marshall. Along with money she acquired through magazines, TV, commercials etc. For her to sell her sexuality for money is prostitution. Much of her lifestyle was contradictory to Biblical teaching and living. She grew up in a small, Christian town but she never announced herself to be a bible believing Christian. And from the things she has said she probably didn’t make time in her life to really consider having a grounded worldview. One could have watched her program and tell that she seemed very simple and immature for her age. When you acquired massive worldly wealth and live a pampered lifestyle there isn’t very much need for maturity and learning. Yet when she suffered pain it was obvious. When shown footage of her reaction to her son’s death, you could see the raw pain and emotions coming out of her. I feel a great deal of petty for her plight and yet she walked in a path that was destined and obviously leading toward this demise. Brittany spears also left her Southern Baptist up bringing to be a young , sexual advertisement to America. What is obvious to her story is that as she grew and demanded herself to grow up she did not mature with it. In the last year her behavior has become chaotic and it is anyone’s guess if she is going to survive this or commit suicide. It has to be obvious that if you pursue the pleasures of the world you will not be pursuing happiness.
Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Anna Nicole’s spouse Howard K. Stern asked for people to pray for Anna’s soul. Sadly it is just too late for that. All the promise of life her is gone. She had had massive amounts of treasure here on earth where moth and rust decay. But what promise is there in the next?
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Is your treasure in Heaven with Jesus or the world?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Michael's Inquiry

I decided I would try my hand at poetry. Tell me what you think

Up here in Heaven, I was surprised to hear
that Christ would be coming back up here.
As I saw the Messiah I had to ask
Why he had to complete his gruesome task.
The Lord turned His face and he said to me
“Michael are you sure you want to see?”
This wasn’t something you’d see on a tract
As the Lord turned aside with his mutilated back.
“There is a reason for this great price
All shall be seen, and this picture ain’t nice”
“I had to die for the price of the fall”
The sins of the wicked?
The sins of them all!
Even the righteous?
“The worst of all by far”
They hurt you that bad?
“Much more than nail scars”
And then a long list.
Much longer by far
Than I could recall
but here’s a small piece of what some of them are.
They worship so vainly chanting my name.
At the smallest inconvenience it’s me that they blame.
They don’t hear my word, as much as it’s preached.
They don’t follow my ways, as much as they teach.

They say that they know, that the Christ is I
But observers when looking must wonder, why?

They say I was real, but then make me a cartoon.
They make me so desperate, I look like a loon!

They will sell you the world and write the check in my name.
So that when they can’t cash it, it’s me that you blame!

They moan and grumbled about time that they won’t take off.
How easily they forget how much of my lifetime was cut off!

They sneer and they snicker if they see someone smoke.
How easily they forget when their own lifestyle was a Joke!

Criticisms they have, but repentance, no more!
They never said they were sorry for turning my bride into a whore!!

They rail and prophecy of how the American heathen have filled my wrath cup.
True America is in sin, but there aren’t that many atheist, and the numbers don’t add up!

Who’s buying all the porn, how did this many babies die!
They have reaped families of marriage and dare to ask “me” why?

They can sing about the heart of worship and keep the CD in the car.
Yet they can not see that their hearts really look like tar.

They repackaged my word in a cute paraphrase.
And act as if knowing my will is like searching a maze.

Yet I will redeem them and make them my bride.
Yet many will fall away and others will die.

I will have a small remnant to bring into paradise.
The majority did not receive, and I don’t think that’s nice.

If only they learned to humble their hearts.
Accept my grace alone and let the Spirit impart.

If they had made me the Lord, and made my word their law,
Then they could have held the forgiveness I gave all.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Case for a Closed Canon

What is a canon anyway?
“The word canon derives ultimately from a Semitic word meaning reed, which yielded the figurative sense of a measuring rod or ruler. From this derived the general sense of a norm or standard and then finally a list or a table. When used of the Bible canon refers to the list of writings recognized by the Christian Church to be the unique rule of faith and life.” Holman Bible Handbook pg. 12
Many religious groups such as Mormon, Muslims and Bahaists have questioned the closing of the canon. While Catholics and Orthodox have questioned the nature of the Canon. Therefore I have written this article to explain why the canon is closed.

Why is the Old Testament canon closed?
Qualifications of prophets
1. A Hebrew
Deu 18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
2. Faithful to Yahweh
Deu 18:20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
3. Faithful to the Commandments
Deu 13:1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
Deu 13:2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
Deu 13:3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
4. Prophecies which are fulfilled
Deu 18:22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

Proof of end
1. gap (proven by apocrypha in 1Maccabees)
There had been a ceasing of the prophets
“There had not been such great distress in Israel since the time prophets ceased to appear among the people” 1 Macc. 9:27
There currently was no prophet
“They stored the stones in a suitable place on the temple hill, until a prophet should come and decided what to do with them” 1 Macc. 4:46
They were waiting for a prophet
“The Jewish people and their priest have, therefore, made the following decisions. Simon shall be their permanent leader and high priest until a true prophet of God arises.” 1 Macc. 14:41
2. Israel’s Independence gone
How could the blessing and curses be for Israel now that had no land from which to be blessed or cursed.
3. Solomon’s Temple 1st destroyed
How could the Old Covenant be in play while the temple no longer carried the presence of the Lord?
4. The ark of the Covenant gone
Even the ark, the specific symbol of God’s presence was gone.
5. Messianic Expectation
The focus was no longer Israel but the end-times judgement messianic expectation.
6. Jesus clear statement of the end of that dispensation
Luk 16:16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.
Why is the NT Canon closed?
1. Witness to Jesus
Act 1:21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
Act 1:22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
2. Loyalty to Jesus
Act 1:16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.
Act 1:17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.
Act 1:20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.
3. Perseverance
The Lord Jesus guaranteed that his words would never pass away therefore if there were an extra book it would have to be obvious.
Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
4. Acceptance by the churches
1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
2Th 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
1Co 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
1Co 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1Ti 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
5. Published all over the World
Mar 13:10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations.
6. The gospel must never contradict itself
Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Proof of end
1. no continuation of the apostolic office
There is no mention in the Bible about a continued apostolic line. The apostles would have written about this subject more if there was one.
2. no expectation of Jesus to return until the second coming
Mat 23:39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Mat 26:64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
Luk 12:40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.
Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Joh 14:4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
Joh 14:28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
Joh 14:29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.
Joh 14:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
Act 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
3. Rejection of Gnostic gospels by the early church
The early church could recognize false gospels not only spiritual and by contradiction with scripture but also they had access to the historic apostles. They had several witnesses like Irenaeus and Polycarp who knew the Apostles and could identify what they did and did not write or teach. Therefore if their was a knew line of Apostles they could identify them. It is also interesting to note that the early church did not argue the validity of their canon with advanced revelation. This shows that revelation had to be the work of God and not man.
4. acceptance of a strict canon by the early church
One thing we may notice is that while the early Christian church disputed some books of the canon they never wanted to added any later written books to that canon nor were they interested in continuing the canon.
“This tradition is since the time of Irenaeus and Tertulian with the scriptural (literary) apostolic tradition. ‘They deny most decidedly the existence of extra-scriptural tradition. To appeal to revelatory truth apart from scripture is heretical gnosticism’ (Flesseman-van Leer). This is not to be explained on the basis of a formal, ecclesiastical decision that had been preceded by deliberate reasoning and consideration. Much more the indication lies herein that the Church had never wished to live by anything other than that which had been delivered to it as Canon by way of Christ, and the Church, in order to be able to continue to do this, as a matter of course returned to and concentrated on a scriptural-fixed tradition.” Herman Ridderbos ‘The Canon of the New Testament’pg.198-99 “Revelation and the Bible” Carl Henry edit.
In fact most of the early church persecuted the charismatic montanist for even implying the possibility of future revelation!

5. admitted gap of prophets in the early church
During the 1st three hundred years of Church history the New Testament canon was still reaching a consensus yet at the final agreement to the canon not one prophetic figure popped up after the second century to be introduced into the canon.
All the NT Apocrypha claimed earlier classic apostolic authors. (Though disproved!) Even the charismatic Montanist sect never contributed a book to be deemed as canonical. Eastern church Father John Chrysostum admitted that there were no charismatic phenomena in his era 4th-5th century. From these various facts we may deduced that there was a cessation of apostolic authors.
6. perseverance of the strict canon
Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Luk 16:17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.
1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
1Pe 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
7. end-times expectation
Rev 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
Rev 1:2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
short·ly (shôrt“l) adv. 1. In a short time; soon. 2. In a few words; concisely. 3. In an abrupt manner; curtly.
[Thessaurus]2. (adv.) In the near future: • soon • after a short time • after a time
• after a while • any minute • before long • directly (British) • in a minute • in a moment • in a second • in a while • momentarily • presently
di·rect·ly (d¹-rµkt“l, dº-) adv. 1. In a direct line or manner; straight. 2. Without anyone or anything intervening. 3. Exactly or totally. 4. At once; instantly. 5. Candidly; frankly. 6. Chiefly Southern U.S. In a little while; shortly. --di·rect·ly conj. Chiefly British. As soon as.
The Apostle John teaches that the prophecies will take place shortly. In other words, in the near future. Another word for that is directly. For something to happen directly means that something will happen next. Revelation covers the end of the time. If the end-times are next what space is there for a dispensation of a new prophet? Whether Muhammed or Joseph Smith or Eddy or Moonie or the Watch Tower Society The book of Revelation has no room for anyone but Christ on the throne.

8. curses of revelation
Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Rev 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Now of course there were other admonitions to never add or take away from the words of a prophecy. But now there was a new curse put upon it. Strongly promising death and condemnation in doing so. Now it is also true that revelation was the last written book of the New Testament Canon. When we understand that the last book had this curse and the curse is followed by expectation of the second coming we have a strong implication that this will end the canon of scripture at the very least until the second-coming.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

mormons and politics

There has been taboo surrounding Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The Massachusetts governor has been gathering a great deal of support, yet his identity as a Mormon has brought up a great deal of questions. What is Mormonism? Does it’s beliefs affect the out look of the president of the U.S.A.
Many Evangelical leaders have denied this to be an issue claiming religion doesn’t matter. This opposite of what they said when Evangelical George Bush was campaigning. But bad religion can be just as effective as good religion.
Deception/secrecy: Mormons practice a great deal of secrecy and Lying. When one looks at their commercials they offer a Bible and the book of Mormon yet the majority of their doctrine they derive from books which they hold as high which are “Doctrine and Covenants” and “Pearl of Great Price”. Many Mormons have been instructed that it is okay to lie to non-believers because they wouldn’t understand. Therefore the Mormons will deny their own beliefs and act shocked when a claim is made. This has been their most powerful smoke screen. The book of Mormon itself has been proven repeated to be purely unsubstantiated by any historical records. Even more substantial than that the book of Mormon has been known to plagiarize the King James Bible verbatim as well as borrow the majority of stories from writings of the late ex-minister Solomon Spaulding. (Mormonism: It’s Origin, characteristics and Doctrines Rev. R.G. Mcniece [1800’s Pastor of 1st Presbyterian Church Salt Lake City Utah])
Racism: One secret is that Mormonism traditionally taught White supremacy. Black people were thought to be the offspring of a group of people who would neither follow Jesus nor Lucifer. The Native Americans had been titled the Lamanites in the Book of Mormon. They were cursed with dark skin because of their sin. “… wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.” (2Nephi 5:21) Any one with interracial ancestry is also cursed. “And cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with their seed; for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing. And the Lord spake it and it was done.” (2Nephi 5:23)
Polygamy: “and again as pertaining to the Law of the Priesthood, if any man espouse a virgin and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent; and if he espouse the second and they are virgins and have vowed to no other man, then he is justified; for he cannot commit adultery with that belong unto him; and they are given unto him; therefore he is justified.” (Doctrine and Covenants,” chap. 132.)
Fanatics: When a religion has extremist views it is nearly impossible to tame them. While the mainstream LDS has decided to put it’s followers on a leash. The fact remains that their fundamental doctrines are still the same and still enticing people to extremism. For instance in Utah and throughout the rest of the Western U.S. there are polygamist cults who grew out of Mormonism. They also practice the Mormon doctrine of Blood atonement by which any apostate or sinner is only cleansed from sin by their murder. Last year U.S. official captured Mormon cult leader William Jeffries. Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt taught theocracy “Any people attempting to govern themselves by laws of their own making, and by officers of their own appointment, are indirect rebellion against the Kingdom of God.”(Orson Pratt’s Works, pg.41)

Mitt Romney is either going to be a theological liberal (which puts on the left) or he is going to be affected by these fanatical ideas. Either way should we really trust him with the welfare of our whole nation? Should we trust him to approve an amendment for traditional marriage? Don’t get me wrong Mitt Romney has every legal right to run for office. But we have the right vote for whoever we want regardless of popularity or political correctness.