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    Does armageddon have anything to do with today

     

    Popular culture enjoys different scenarios of the Armageddon catastrophe and there are many movies, songs and books written on the subject. People just love to speculate about how the world will end. Throughout the ages and even today there are all kinds of theories as to when it will happen. The bible has been subjected to many different interpretations in this regard. More so than any other issue, the end of times greatly disputed even within the same denominations. In Matthew chapter 25 Christ says that no one knows the hour or the day but the Father. While most still keep predicting in light of this verse all attempts to pinpoint the exact time and place are futile. There are many theories of global holocaust and many interesting ones claiming that this Armageddon will originate in the Middle East. It's worrying but the current political climate in the Middle East does look like it could escalate into something far worse in the future. But is there any evidence that the Bible has predicted this chain of events? The New Testament mentions Armageddon in Revelation 16:16. It is the final battle between the Antichrist and the King of Kings. The Armageddon is the symbol of the final victory of Christ. The word Armageddon is metaphorical. Its varying uses and interpretations give many fictional accounts of how this Armageddon might eventually happen. What about the much publicized fear of terrorist attacks in America? And how does the political climate in the Middle East If the political unrest continues as it is now things could very well escalate into this predicted Armageddon scenario but not “the Armageddon” as people have taken out of context. Is the Middle East the battleground where the end of times is going to play out? It's entirely possible say some analysts. It's a chilling thought to say the least but when you try to put an “end times,” twist from the Bible you have to refer back to the verse that says, no one knows of the time or hour. The Old Testament does speak to the issue of Armageddon too. In fact there is a wealth of information that can be gleaned from re-reading the Old Testament in light of these ideas. The word Armageddon comes from the word Harmageddon which refers to the hill of Megiddo. This hill is famous for the bloody conflicts that took place their. Many scholars have devoted time to the study of this hill and its history. The hill of Megiddo is where the Canaanites were defeated by Deborah and Barak as mentioned in Judges 5:19. There are many less positive images that are associated with the hill of Megiddo. The actual location of Megiddo is said to be in Palestine. This area has been the scene of many battles since these biblical confrontations. The hill of Megiddo for many symbolizes hope for Christians in the first century who were suffering persecution under the hands of the Roman Empire. Hope that God would handle the enemies and do it quickly. To place a 21st century emphasis would demean what the entire book meant to the first century Christians. Know one can say assuredly what every symbol in the book of Revelation means. However we do know who it was written to and for what purpose. We can be safe in that Armageddon has nothing to do with a physical battle in the 21st century.

         
    Does god exist

     

    “I don't believe in God. I believe in something, just not in God”. When questioned about their belief in God, a lot people seem to have a very narrow view of what God is supposed to be, inextricably linked to organised religion. When they cannot reconcile that narrow view with their own belief system they state that they do not believe in God and therefore have no relationship with the divine. That relationship may still be desired, as it could bring security, unconditional love, support at times of need and a sense of belonging, but it would constitute a lie to oneself and can therefore not be maintained. Many who claim they are non-believers however, are still left with the feeling that there is something bigger than ourselves, something they would like to connect to at some level, just not within the traditional context of organised religion. As I see it, there are many ways to approach the concept of God and organised religion is just one of them. Organised religion generally poses the personal God, usually male, an omnipotent (all powerful) being who rules the world and who, by allowing human beings the freedom of choice, also allows the existence of His Antagonist, the Devil. This God wants His subjects to come to Him of their own free will, but when they don't, they will spend eternity in the flames of Hell. There is only one life and it must be lived by God's rules. Within Christianity, there are ways of purging sins, through confession and true repentance, in which case an officially assigned representative of God can grant you forgiveness and cleanse your soul. If you can not get access to such a representative of God before you die, tough luck, you die and go to Hell whether you are repentant or not. Up until very recently, the Catholic church did not allow stillborn babies into heaven, they had to stay in 'Limbo' for eternity because they were not baptised before death. ('Limbo' is a place just outside Heaven, away from Hell but also away from the presence of God.) I personally believe that this is a very limited view of God. This God is not omnipotent; there seem to be enormous shortcomings to his power if he is incapable to grant forgiveness to a repenting soul, without an intervening human representative (e. g. priest) acting on his behalf. This God is not omnipresent (present everywhere at the same time) either: he is absent in Limbo, absent in Hell for eternity and absent until access has been granted through baptism, again performed by an officially assigned human representative. Choice is relative, here: 'you do as I say, or you will burn in Hell for eternity'. After death, this God refuses shelter to anyone who has not abided by his rules; the concept of forgiveness is pretty short lived. Access to heaven is, up to a certain point, simply luck of the draw. It is not granted on the basis of your contribution to the world as a caring, loving, non-judgemental human being, who is never afraid of helping out other people, and making right and just decisions, rather than ones driven by personal gain. This may play a part, but not the most important one. Access to heaven is gained mainly by baptism, worship on Sunday, by praying and reading your bible, by telling God you think he's great, you love him and can't live without him. So if you happen to be born in a place that has never heard of this God; if you die alone; if you cannot get access to one of those representatives before you die, who can grant forgiveness for your sins and cleanse your soul; if you die angry with God because you have been hurt and abused, you are not allowed to be with God. You go to Hell. Life in this context is not a process of growing: it is a cruel and unfair test, with most people in this world seriously disadvantaged, or even incapable of passing, through circumstances beyond their control. Organised religions are frameworks, encompassing theological theories about the nature of the divine, usually represented as absolute truths, and rules about approaching and incorporating the divine into one's life, usually predicting dire consequences if these rules are not adhered to. The most important thing to understand about organised religions is that they have to keep their institutions alive and as such it is within their best interest to stipulate worship through their facilities, using their people. The need to be needed in order to survive must prevail, because otherwise, they will cease to exist. That is why giving money to religious institutions, in collects or as gifts, is considered a divine duty, why one can only receive true salvation through the institutions and why members are ordered to keep coming back, every morning in the past, and now, as most congregations are waning, at least once a week. Institutions, at their best, do wonderful things. Through them, wonderful people help other people in wonderful ways. But they remain organisations whose belief structures and divine rules are coloured by a need to survive. I believe that the problem many people seem to have with the concept of God could be due to a failure of organised religions to move with the times, theologically. Many individual representatives of the churches do not subscribe to the idea of hell as they used to, nor to the idea of God as a vengeful, punishing force. Many even acknowledge the possibility of a relationship with God outside the confounds of church and traditional worship, but in essence, the churches still put forward an imposing patriarchal society in all aspects of religious life: a personal male God, benevolent father, head of the household, prescribing a framework of morals and lifestyle rules and restrictions as well as regular worship within religious institutions. The feminine is still entirely absent from the divine. Mary has never been granted divinity; she may be the 'mother of God' but she is still considered human. The archangels are male; Jesus is male. Nobody in this divine family has ever had sex because sex, although quite necessary for the survival of the human race (we can not all achieve 'immaculate conceptions'), is still dirty and, at the heart of it, sinful. At the heart of most religious life is still worship, rather than love for one another in day to day life. Why would God care so much about being worshipped and thanked all the time? Does he have such a big ego? Monotheism is the existence of a single omnipresent, omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent deity, or God. It is claimed that Christianity is monotheistic, but there are some problems with this claim. In practice we do not see an omnipotent and omnipresent God, as discussed earlier in this article. His omniscience is questionable also. Firstly, his perspective is limited by his sex: he is male and therefore lacks female perspective. (Although in the Old Testament this view of God as solely male is contradicted, e. g. Gen 5.1-2: ... When God created man, he made them in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.) Secondly, there are many occasions in the Old Testament where God asks questions in order to get answers, e. g Job 1.7 (To Satan:) “Whence have you come?” (God does not know where Satan came from) or: Gen 18.26: And the Lord said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” (God does not know how many righteous people live in Sodom). But even if we are to take the bible as written by fallible people, rather than God himself, it is still hard to sustain the notion that this God is truly monotheistic. So why is this an issue at all? Well, it is an issue because there is an inherent contradiction in organised religion. We are told on the one hand that this God is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient, but on the other hand, the entire frameworks prescribed to us by organised religions tell us that he is none of these things. The theology limits God's power, God's understanding, God's knowledge, God's reach. The fact is, that many people who claim they 'don't believe in God but believe in something' believe in God as something much more than that. True monotheism, which Christianity claims to be but is not, encompasses a God that is truly omniscient, neither male nor female, and at the same time, both; a God that is truly omnipotent, who controls all and yet nothing because the world would run this way because there is no other way; a God that is omnipresent, who is all things and yet, nothing, because the very nature of being is already finite. This God is past, present and future, and all at the same time because this God is time and beyond time. This God is so all encompassing that we cannot escape it, no matter how 'bad' we are or how much we deny its existence. To deny this God would be to deny ourselves. This God does not need or demand worship, nor praise or prayer, because this God has no ego. Rather, we are the ones that need prayer, in order to connect back with what is true. Connecting to this God would mean connecting with what needs to be, to embrace life. Hell is merely an illusion, a state of denial, an absence, rather than an active force of being. Hell does not truly exists because God is omnipresent and therefore a place without God can not exist. So in answer to the main question: does God exist, we might say this: the concept of God as an all-encompassing thing, or life itself in all shapes and forms, embraces any view of the world around us. There is no limit to what you can believe or disbelieve. We know so little and we are so little, in this world. One might say that angels and ghosts and fairies do not exist, because there is no 'real' proof. There is even less proof that they don't exist. One might say that reincarnation is just an inability to accept that when we're dead, that's it, we're really not that important. On the other hand, not believing it might just be an excuse not to learn what we need to learn, because if we don't, we will have to in the next life. The existential doubt of the existence of God has always struck me as slightly odd. The sun rises every day, doesn't it? You are breathing, aren't you? Do you deny the existence of the universe, just because we can not measure it, just because we do not understand? So what about that relationship with God? How can you connect to all these things at the same time, and why would you bother if you don't believe in the grey man on the cloud? Well, the answer is simple. You don't have a relationship with God for God, that would be ridiculous. You have a relationship with God or 'the divine' for you, in order to find a moment of peace and tranquillity and in order to feel connected and in control in a very demanding, stressful world. Addressing God in those brief moments does not automatically mean you believe God is a man on a cloud. You could pray, you could talk to God when no one can hear you, write a letter to God, do yoga, meditate, take some quiet time of contemplation. You won't be lying to yourself. You can have your theological cake and eat it. And at its best, maybe that is what organised religion manages to offer to some of us: an almostm tangible relationship with something that is ultimately beyond definition.

         
    Don t give up after your first psychic reading

     

    Many new psychics tend to give up after there first try at giving a psychic reading. Many people are skeptical of using their gifts to be able to give an accurate psychic reading. It is difficult to give your first psychic reading because you never know exactly what people are thinking about the way in which you are giving a psychic reading. A psychic reading should always be professional. Psychic Stephen Piperno is the author of, “Is Life Worth It? Sex, Money and Power from a Psychics Point of View” and he states that, “giving your first psychic reading is the hardest point of any psychics career.” This simply means that whatever you do is tough when you first start out. The psychic industry can be very loving at times and also very harsh when it comes to judging a psychics gift. The psychic gift is one that must be nurtured over time and given with such love and sincerity. The more open you are to using the psychic gift, the more open you will be to helping and serving others. The psychic gift is one in which will make you feel complete and whole as a person. If you just gave your first psychic reading and felt as though it did not go over to well, then you are not alone. You need to keep on giving a psychic reading so that you can get better at it. The more psychic readings that you give on a daily basis, the more that you will be able to grow as an individual psychic. You will be able to say that you have helped countless hundreds or even thousands of people to find their way. The deepest blessing of all is that you will be able to help others to discover why their psychic reading is important. Never give up on a true spiritual calling. It is important for you to use your gift from time to time to help another person that may be in need. For every person that says that you are a terrible psychic, there will be those that say that they think you are the best. You must teach yourself that you are not here to please others, but you are here to please God. Try to keep an open relationship with your spirit guides and loved ones. They are usually the best ones to give you positive feedback. Never feel like you have to impress anyone, because if you are called to be a psychic, then it is because God has given you this spiritual blessing. You are in charge of your own life and the more that you give yourself to God, the more that you will see that your life will be headed in the right direction.

         
    Don t hold a grudge against me

     

    We all need to be cautious and not make quick judgements! The thing that really bothers me is being accused of something I didn’t do and having that person hold a grudge against me. You know the feeling…helpless! Or you might think that somebody intentionally did something to hurt you, and you want to accuse or judge them based on your feelings. As a child, some of my friends secretly poked fun at the other kids in the neighborhood walking down the street and I told them to stop. When they finally confronted all of us, they wouldn’t believe that I wasn’t doing the same thing! Right, like they were going to believe I had nothing to do with it when the evidence was very clear! If you feel that someone has said or done something behind your back or even to your face, it still isn’t a very good practice to treat them badly or keep ignoring them. The Bible warns that it is not right to judge people: Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. Romans 2:1 I feel God is trying to say that we shouldn’t judge others because we, in turn condemn ourselves because we are not perfect. We sometimes have done the same things…in other words I would be an utter hypocrite to judge someone! The Bible goes on to talk about grudges: Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. (James 5:9). For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. 1 Corinthians 4:4. The only one who can judge us is the Lord. He knows the situation completely, inside and out! Much more thoroughly than what we are capable of seeing. So the next time somebody holds a grudge or accuses you of something, don’t take revenge or get upset. Try to forgive and pray for them, and pray for God to give you the strength to stay strong. Don’t let the situation keep bothering you to the point that you never let it go. Once you do forgive them, you’ll feel much better and you can get on with your life the way the good Lord intended.

         
    Don t limit your money flow

     

    This author has a dear friend who says that tithing is the worst thing a Christian can do if he really wants to prosper. Of course, he did not mean this in a negative way. He just means he has learned that tithing alone will not generate real wealth for us Christians. Tithing is only part one of God’s wealth generation process. He learned by personal experience, that giving beyond the tithe is the answer to really unlocking the doors to heaven’s vault. Of course, we start with the tithe. But when we go beyond it into the realm of "first fruit giving" and into the bracket of “every good work” giving, things will open up for us faster and bigger than we can even imagine. Now see some Scriptures pertaining to God’s blessing us because we give according to “the law of the first fruits” and “every good work giving.” We show the first fruits offering in the Scriptures below. Prov 3:9-10 9Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. (KJV) "First fruit" giving brings two blessings to us: God promises to fill our barns with plenty. Then He promises to burst our presses with new wine. These are things we are not responsible for. God is responsible for them. Our responsibility is to act out what the "first fruit" giving requires of us. Next we look into the "every good work" offering. "2 Cor 9:6-8 6But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (KJV)" From the Scripture above, sowing bountifully into God's every good work produces a bountiful harvest. Bountiful means to "make one rich." This seems to be the most powerful of the three offerings concerning multiplying back to you the giver. This one can produce a hundred fold return. Universities teach secular economics. The Bible teaches God’s supernatural economics. God’s supernatural system is composed of three parts. Each one of them (operated alone) will help your financial posture but all three of them operated at the same time as a unit will blow the doors off your bank. Here’s the three parts. Part #1. The "Tithe": Abraham learned this when no law existed that commanded it. Part #2. The "First Fruits Offering": we believe Abraham practiced this Part #3. The Offering. This can be the “every good works offering.” These three parts, all running simultaneously, produce a supernatural, wealth flow. This flow, being supernatural, never stops. It never diminishes. It never withers. It just keeps going and going and going, even better than the Battery Bunny. If you haven’t tapped into God’s supernatural wealth stream, try it. Once you’ve tried God’s economics, you’ll never turn back. You’ll recognize that you are tapped into a supernatural power you never want to do without anymore. Do it now.

         
    Don t tell me i can t say merry christmas

     

    I am a Christian. I believe in Christ, not because I have any proof that Christ is the son of God, but because I want to believe. I believe that the teachings that are ascribed to Christ would, if everyone followed them to the best of their ability, make this a far better world. I further believe that this country, The United States Of America, is the greatest country in the world and it is so in part because it has tried to base it's morals and ethics on and has tried to follow Christian ethics. I am not, however, a bible thumping Christian, an evangelistic Christian or even a regular church going Christian. I am not trying to convert the world or even my neighbors to Christianity. I don't care if a person is a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, an Atheist, etc. as long as the person is a good person and cares about other people. Just don't tell me that I can't celebrate Christmas, don't tell me that I can't say merry Christmas, don't tell me that a Christmas tree is a "holiday" tree, don't tell me that December 25 is no longer Christmas Day but is instead now a no name holiday, dont tell me that if I say merry Christmas other people will be insulted, don't tell me that my children can't have a Christmas pagent in school because other children may feel insulted or left out (School is not and can not always be all inclusive for everyone, otherwise there would be no chess club because not every child plays chess, no sports teams because not every child plays or even likes sports, no drama club because not every child wants to act, no memorial day because not every child want's to honor our fallen soldiers, no labor day because not every child wants to honor unions, no Thanksgiving because not every child wants to give thanks, no pledge of allegiance because not every child wants to honor this country, etc.). This is not a country of worker bees or ants, we are a country of individuals with different backgrounds and different beliefs. The majority of the people in this country are, however, Christians and the majority of the people in this country weather you like it or not do celebrate Christmas. According to the U. S Government under United States Code section 5-6103, December 25 is a legal holiday and that legal holiday is named Christmas. Most states also denote December 25 as "Christmas". We all know that Christ was not actually born on December 25 but that is the date that this government and the majority of Christian churches have chosen to use. Additionally, not all people who celebrate Christmas believe in Christ, many people celebrate it as just a holiday that happens to be called Christmas. I've been to numerous Christmas parties where many of the guests were not Christians. No one ever called them Holiday parties and as far as I know no one was ever upset that the party was called a Christmas party. I'm not insulted if someone wishes me happy Chanukah or happy Kwanza so why should anyone be insulted if I say merry Christmas. It seems to me that the only people that complain about Christmas are certain Atheists and the people that have designated themselves as "political correctness police". Well. in this country you people have the right to state your thoughts but please stop trying to force your way of thinking on everyone else. Leave us alone. Get your own holiday, leave us ours. I celebrate Christmas and I would probably celebrate Christmas even if I didn't believe in Christ. After all it's a wonderful holiday, it wishes peace on earth and good will towards all mankind (What other holiday makes that wish.). If you are so insecure in your religion or lack of religion that you feel threatened by my celebration of Christmas then I feel sorry for you. I would also tell you to go jump off a very high bridge into very deep water (Sorry, but I told you that I was not a really good Christian. People that try to push their beliefs on me really irk me.). If you don't want to celebrate Christmas, don't. Just don't tell those of us that do want to that we can't. Lastly, leave our schools alone. If you don't want your children to participate in a christmas pagent then tell them not to participate. Contrary to what you think the other kids will not tease or make fun of them. When I was in elementary school I was an atheist and no one ever made fun of me for not believing in Christ and I never felt left out by not joining in as a charecter in a Christmas play. Of course, even though I was an atheist I still believed, at least for a while, in Santa Clause, I still enjoyed recieving Christmas gifts, I still enjoyed listening to Christmas carolers and I still thought a lighted Christmas tree was beautiful. In fact I thought Christmas time was the best time of the year and I was happy to say merry Christmas. However, maybe I just wasn't as insecure or as intolarent as you are. By the way, even though I was an atheist, my family was Protestant and even though they were Protestant we belonged to the local Jewish Community Center and none of us ever felt left out or put upon when most of them celebrated the Jewish holidays. In fact, it was during those years that I developed my high respect for the Jewish people and their religious laws. Merry Christmas everyone -- and Happy New Year!!!

         
    Eight strategies to become a winner

     

    Are You a Winner? What does it take to be a winner? Winning is really nothing more than an attitude. How is it that, although you are doing the exact same things as the next guy, the end results are not the same? Let’s examine what ingredients make up a winning attitude. Whether you need to win a crucial athletic feat, shed a destructive habit, or accomplish financial security, you won’t miss if the following elements are utilized: 1. One day at a time Whatever your goal is, do not get overwhelmed with the enormity of the task. Decide right at the outset to set attainable short-term goals as you go along. What can you accomplish today towards your long-term vision? Every day that brings results is an affirmation that you will be able to do the same tomorrow, and so on. 2. Stick-to-it-iveness Keep on keeping on. Do not allow yourself to get discouraged and give up. You never know how close you are to the breakthrough. Your next move; the next day may be the one that will transform your destiny. 3. The right tools Do you have the right tools for the job? If you want to win Olympic gold, do you have all the athletic abilities and training necessary? Do you want to become a network marketing success? Then you need to do your due diligence in studying the best marketing strategies, getting niche products, and consistently applying what you’ve learned. “Get rich quick” schemes come about only with hard work and consistent strategic effort! 4. Look forward; not back The past is good only for learning what not to do, or applying the techniques developed to bring about success. It is of paramount importance, however, not to dwell on past failures and mistakes. The moment is Now. Go forward toward your dream. 5. Forgiveness What does forgiveness have to do with winning? Get rid of all the bad feelings you have against those who have hurt you – whether deliberately or not. Past hurts will hold you back. Let go; move on and prove to yourself that you Can do it. Remember, though, you are proving Yourself; you’re doing it for You. Doing something in anger, resentment or retaliation of any kind will block your creative juices from flowing and rob you of the joyful satisfaction that accompanies success. 6. Gratitude Develop a habit of thankfulness. Show gratitude to those who help you along the way. Take a few moments every now and then to reflect on all the good things you have, i. e. family, friends, education, affirming individuals, talents, etc. The bible states: “whatsoever things are true, .. honest, pure, lovely, and of good report... think on these things.” (Phil. 4:8) 7. Inspiration Have a daily quiet time with God. The Lord says that if we delight ourselves in Him, He will give us the desires of our heart (psalm 37:4). The more you are attuned to Him, the more you will hear His voice and His leading in your everyday life. Whenever you get to a point where you think you cannot do it or go any further, remember and recite out loud this encouraging verse: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13). 8. Expectancy Once you have the vision as to which path to follow to success; then expect great results! Thank Him for your success – yes, before you can even see it. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1). As well, the Bible tells us to make all our requests known to God. If He gave you the vision, the talent and the drive to follow your dream, then He will see you through! Write down your vision, paste it on the wall in front of you, and speak it out loud every chance you get. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God! (Rom. 10:17) Now, go on, Just Do It! Prosper and Be in Health, even as your soul prospers. Yes, that’s also in the Bible. It’s God’s Will that you prosper in every way. (John 3:2).

         
    End of time will what you believe matter to god

     

    What is Truth? I pondered this question after finishing my book and I thought what is the answer to that aged old question? One answer that you can count on is that Jesus said that He is truth, (John 14:6). This is pretty straightforward and also an answer that Christianity does not quarrel over. The problem is there are so many different versions of “the truth” you don’t know which one to believe in. The Roman Catholic Church says they are the one true church. The Baptist Church believes that baptism is not necessary for salvation that you are saved before the immersion. Seven Day Adventist holds that Saturday is the day for worship and all of these having their own version of what the truth is. However the question that needs to be answered is, is there a right and a wrong? On that final day when Jesus returns what happens if standing before the throne and He says baptism is required before you can enter into heaven? Suppose God hates the Roman Catholic Church and calls it an abomination? Imagine a person standing before the throne and God tells them that Saturday was the wrong day you idiot. Picture being thrown into the lake of fire for what we see as trivial matters and the Lord says they are not. Will it matter who is right or wrong before the judgment seat of our Lord? To find the answer to this question we turn the pages of the Bible. Lot and his wife are told by God to escape from Sodom and were told not to look back. However his wife did and she became a pillar of salt. Gen 19:26. No warning from God, just a small little pile of salt. Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ does not have God. II John 1:9. Do you think that there are any religions that really take things too far? Is it possible that your own religion could be one of them? For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine. II Tim. 4:3. Retain the standard of sound words. II Tim 1:13. Have you seen some that could care less what the sound doctrine is or some that just do what the church manual says? Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth. II Tim 2:15. Personal opinion does not matter when interpreting the scriptures. II Pet. 1:20-21. So according to those verses do you think it will matter? Most denominations are just another branch of another. Most folks follow a certain religion because that is the church they went to all their lives and it’s what they have been brought up to believe. Others go because a friend goes there and the folks seem nice so why not? Some refuse to leave when convicted with the truth because they don’t like to be proven wrong, or are really stubborn and resist change. Several just like to be argumentative or say that’s just the way we’ve always done it. Heed the warnings my friend because if it DOES matter come judgment day are you going to hell because that’s the way you’ve been brought up or that’s the way everyone’s always done it? Unfortunately according to the Lord it is going to matter and until He tells us different you’d better count on it. Out of his own mouth He says, Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. “Many will say to Me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and Your name perform many miracles?” “And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” Matt 7:21. Wow!! So if the righteous stand a chance of not making it in, then what is going to happen to the rest? Don’t you owe it to yourselves and your loved ones to seek out the truth? Isn’t it time to examine your beliefs and the beliefs of your own church? For those who won’t and the hard headed, habit or closed minded, misguided churches, let’s hope that God’s grace covers the resister on judgment day. The wise person questions himself; the fool others. - Henri Arnold, 1918

         
    End times the antichrist defined

     

    If one was going to consider the primary points about the ''Antichrist'' as they are stated in the Bible, one could only conclude that the Antichrist is not a human being but the widespread disbelief in God. However, there are some theologians who insist that the Antichrist is in fact a man who at present exists and walks among us. They also contend that the Antichrist will ascend to power and become a global tyrant. Some have speculated that Hitler would come back, former presidents as well as George W. Bush. To somewhat paraphrase Hal Lindsey’s book ''The Late Great Planet Earth,'' this is the era in which the Antichrist seizes control over the world thereby signaling the homecoming of Christ. Yet, the Bible offers no foundations for Lindsey’s ideas. There are example after example in certain parts of the New Testament that clashes with Lindsey’s interesting but whimsical arguments. In 1 John 2:18, John 7 there is no single individual that is designated to be ''the antichrist.'' What John proclaimed instead is that ''many antichrist'' have arisen. Next in passage 1 John 2:18:4:3 counters Lindsey’s says that some ominous antichrist will appear in last part of the twentieth century. What John proclaimed instead is that there are a lot of antichrists ''in the first century and that even now.. there are several antichrists. Although dispensationalism, a form of pre-millennialism that is in vogue right now, have much to say about Antichrist, but much of what they are saying is inaccurate. To look at these sentences one can’t help but realize that when John mentions ''antichrist'' it is used in connection to being locked in a state of unbelief. They were former Christians or people who pretended to be Christians in John’s day. Be careful when looking at 1 John 2:18 don’t take it out of context and try to apply the verse to the 21st century. The antichrist is not a human being but a human emotion of disbelief.

         
    Enriching the viewers knowledge and appreciation of islam

     

    islamweb. net/ is a multilingual website that is designed to enrich the viewers' knowledge and appreciation of Islam. It is a site that adopts balanced and moderate views, devoid of bias and extremism. The purpose of this site is to increase the awareness of Muslims and non-Muslims alike about the mission of Islam, to warn mankind of God's punishment and to give the good news of their salvation in Islam. At islamweb. net/, every effort is made to be as comprehensive as possible and to encompass all aspects of Islam: Aqeedah (Islamic belief), Fiqh (Juriprudence), Hadeeth, Quran, Seerah (the Prophet's biography), Etiquettes, Misconceptions, Figures, Islamic History, Family and Society and Current Affairs. Some of Islamweb. net outstanding features are: Articles Fatwa Reports News Lectures Quranic recitation Islamic songs Flashes Kids' corner Photo gallery Ramadan Oasis Hajj and Umrah

         
    Entertaining america the staggering cost in dollars and lives

     

    Movies are now produced at costs that rival the gross national product of some small nations. Media including TV, music, internet, games, and casual cell phone use cost as much as it would to feed nearly every person in Africa. But there is another cost that cannot be calculated in dollars. It seems like a competition between film producers that has no top end. The Da Vinci code cost a whopping $125,000,000 while Harry Potter cost $150,000,000. The Chronicles of Narnia comes in at 180,000,000 but falls short of the heaping price tag for King Kong which was $207,000,000. This is big money but after all it is only money. All media has a by product that costs far more than money, they all pedal influence. That product costs more than the unsuspecting American may ever know and in many instances is more than they want to know. It is hard to believe that the debate about how media influences our young still rages. Hollywood remains aloof while it awaits the final definitive scientific study that proves that our children are worse off for the influence of media. Their fear is that a final answer would at last make them culpable. If they really cared perhaps they’d be willing to give up the cost of the next big movie to do a study of their own, say about $200,000,000. Not likely you say? You would be right about that. It takes no rocket science to look at Hollywood’s record. It is hard to deny the effect even if you can vociferously defend the cause. The effect is the raping of the minds of our youth and people with a low capacity to discern what is moral, decent, safe, and in some cases healthy. While Hollywood still insists that not all the facts are in on this subject lets peruse what is known about it. Children see between eight and ten thousand murders on TV and films before they graduate from elementary school. Add to that upwards of one hundred thousand acts of violence and aggression. These figures are doubled by the time they are eighteen. Actors and movie makers claim they can’t make the connection between those pictures and the behavior of our children even while countless studies and reports have concluded in no uncertain terms that they do adversely affect our children. Do the sponsors ascribe to the movie producers view of how much their movies, TV programs and games influence youth or the weak minded? Not for a second. If they did they would not foot the average $10,000 dollar a minute cost of producing a commercial. They would not pay upwards of $500,000 for a thirty second spot on the next TV broadcast of the Super Bowl. As Hollywood waits for science to prove whether their wrecking young minds the sponsors are using the humble science of mathematics to influence the buying habits of millions of people throughout the world. Put another way, can a thirty second spot influence millions of consumers while one hour and a half of murder, pummeling, dismemberment and slaughter have no effect on a young persons mind and spirit? I think we all need to do the math here! Studies don’t need to prove what has run parallel in equal and direct proportion to the pro-active influence Hollywood has had on our children and our children’s collective behavior. Hollywood pushes sex and close behind that rape, molestation and pornography run rampant. Switch to violence and kids start killing each other at an alarming rate. Witness Columbine and similar incidents. All the best minds in education and science are debating what if any the negative influences of a few sharply defined and explicit images have on our children. As if it was just not possible to find a real and tangible connection. An obscure Chinese man only one generation behind us was not so naпve. Mao Tse-tung mustered the youth of the most populated country in the world in a revolutionary rage that brought to dust centuries of previous dynasties and culture. He did this with a little book full of comic figures. A far cry from TV and films but this little doctrinal comic book nevertheless raised the youthful ire of an entire continent to act in unison against everything the Chinese once held dear. Why didn’t someone tell Chairman Mao that youth wouldn’t be influenced by his little picture book? Maybe someone from Hollywood should have volunteered to tell him that he should wait until the definitive study was in from the halls of science. They could have saved an entire nation from the ensuing mayhem. Another not likely goes here. Not just hiding behind their feigned ignorance of the facts, Hollywood often resorts to the old “It’s just entertainment” excuse to wrangle out of any responsibility. I doubt that “I didn’t know the gun was loaded” will make a very good defense when all the dust has settled. I received an e-mail recently from someone who took exception to an article I wrote on Dan Brown’s movie The Da Vinci Code. He said “Surely you must be joking when you ask how so many people can “believe” what’s in the Da Vinci code. Putting aside the fact that I have seen no numbers on how many people actually do believe what’s in Dan Brown’s entertaining bit of historical fiction, I find what he has written no more or less believable than another bit of historical fiction has been translated and retranslated by countless authors over the centuries” Twenty four major translations later the book I believe he was referring to still has only one main message. Last time I looked it was the same as it was in the first century, put simply “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” John 3:16 Hollywood’s message should be this immovable, this hopeful, and this comforting. On last check I heard only death, sex, and mayhem coming from the entertainment bunch. Whether someone believes in the bible or not it doesn’t alter the fact that the best Hollywood has ever done cannot make up for the wholesale damage it does to the collective psyche of a nation. But let’s get more specific. If even one life is adversely affected in the flimsy name of entertainment isn’t that one too many? Or have we become so comfortable with statistics that we can allow media to ruin the lives of just a few people, because after all it’s just a few. Is it OK to accept the percentages or are all people equally important in this land where Abraham Lincoln dared to think that all men are indeed created equal. Media may indulge itself by touting the low percentage of people who actually did their worst because of the media’s influence, but is that acceptable. The media influenced Charles Manson through a Beatles song to engage in one of America’s goriest murders. John Hinckley influenced by a Jodie Foster movie tried to murder one of our most beloved presidents Mr. Ronald Reagan. In 1994 Oliver Stone released his movie “Natural Born Killers” after which a young couple from Oklahoma deeply inspired by that film went on a killing rampage. One person was killed and another was left paralyzed before they were stopped. This extreme behavior was undoubtedly caused by the media but it is tucked away in the Hollywood conscience by the soothing idea that it’s just a few extremist, just a very few people out of a nation of three hundred million souls. Let’s examine this kind of thinking. In Luke 15:7 Jesus said “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth…” Conversely can anyone argue that if one sinner’s repentance brings joy, then one sinner’s final demise would bring sorrow? Would we try to placate God’s sorrow over the loss of one of the creatures he made in his image and offered his Sons life to redeem by saying it was just one or perhaps a few out of the whole bunch. If a woman had six children she loved dearly and you destroyed just one could she be assuaged or comforted by the fact that after all it is only one sixth of her family. No, a whole nation is not likely to go awash because of the Da Vinci code movie. The God of this world will get whatever mileage he can squeeze out of it. Someone who is teetering between decision and indecision about Jesus Christ will be made to doubt. Some souls somewhere will start down a path to judgment because of this film. How many may do this is not certain. What is certain is that if only one is lost it is far too many. To lead even one of God’s creatures to perdition has a price tag no one in media could ever imagine. The online Wikipedia encyclopedia has a list of over one hundred of Hollywood’s most expensive movies. Those top one hundred are in the list only because the spent $100,000,000 or more. Millions of people along with the media crowd have chosen to hide behind the old adage that “the Bible is open to too many interpretations.” I will offer yet one more interpretation for them to doubt. Luke 15:7 is clearly saying that in the end the price of all one hundred of the most expensive films cannot cover the loss of even one lost soul.

         
    Equanimity what plane are you on

     

    Mental composure or calmness; evenness of temper. Peace, what a wonderful thing. Everyone of us wants tranquility. For instance, like when we stop and gaze at the beautiful scenery. For the time being, it removes all our stress, our troubles, it empties us of the things that cause us to be busy inside ourselves. Every moment of every day we are usually thinking about something. But what we're going to talk about here is the thoughts that cause us to feel pain or pleasure from humiliation or honor. This is a form of pride. We feel the pain of pride when things don't go our way or when people say or do things that we don't like. Jealousy also takes it toll on us. That was our lows, now for the high. Recognition, we all love it and some of us can't survive without it, it can become an obsession. To some, it can be very painful to not be honored for what they've done. Some even go as far as honoring themselves. You might say," But don't we deserve to be honored for the good things we do", no, God does. Luke 18:19 Jesus said to him,' Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone'. He's the one that puts us in the positions to make a choice, whether we are going to do good or not. Goodness comes to us from God, just like evil comes to us from satan. We're in the middle of both worlds, but we can only have one world, your choice. You gave your life over to God. Provided you are on the right road, you have to remember that from then on, all things are going to be learning experiences, unless of course you took your will back. You have to be "aware", you can't practice equanimity if you are not aware. One needs to be on an equal plane at all times. We need to be at a place called "nothingness". This is where you feel no pain from humiliation or you feel no joy or should I say," Pride in being honored". In practicing equanimity, you will keep the ocean within you calm, where there will not even be a ripple. You also will not be able to harm anyone, either physically or emotionally. You can hurt people and yourself by being humiliated or honored. You have to think about this, there's just too many ways it can happen. Humiliate: injure the dignity or self-respect of. Humility: humbleness; meekness: piously gentle in nature. Humble: lower the rank or status of. Accept humiliation. 1Peter 5:5-8 To the rest of you I say,' Do what the elders tell you, and all wrap yourselves in humility to be servants of each other, because God refuses the proud and will always favour the humble. Bow down, then, before the power of God now, and He will raise you up on the appointed day; unload all your worries on to Him, since He is looking after you. Be CALM but vigilant, because your enemy the devil is prowling round like a roaring lion, looking for someone to eat'. Proverbs 15:33 The fear of God is a school of wisdom, humility goes before honor. Proverbs 18:12 The human heart is haughty until destruction comes, humility goes before honor. May God Bless You All

         
    Eternal life series 1 lesson 3

     

    These lessons are designed to be easily used for personal Bible Study or as a guide for group Bible Studies. Each of the lessons will include a set of discussion questions at the end of the lesson, which can be used either privately for introspection or in a group setting as provocative discussion builders. In the same way as God gave us life, gave us food to eat, and gives us the daily needs to maintain our life, he has also given us eternal life. The state of that eternal life will be a reflection of our response to His given, while we are here on earth. You see, for those of us who recognize His Creatorship, His Godship, and worship Him as such, we will spend that eternal life with Him, in His presence. O, what a beautiful time that will be! Forever, with the Creator of the Universe! For those who reject His Creatorship and Godship, He has ordained a place for them in eternal isolation from Him. This eternal isolation is so intense that it is referred to in the Bible as a Hell, as a place of eternal torment. It will still be eternal life, but it will be eternal life in seclusion from our Lord and Maker. Have you ever been alone? Really alone? You think no one cares? No one wants to talk? Imagine a place on this earth of isolation. Imagine the prisoner of war who is put into an earthen cell, and fed once a day. But even that prisoner, as alone as he may feel, is not truly alone. Perhaps he can see the soldiers when they come to bring his daily food. Perhaps the rats and cockroaches visit him in his cell. Perhaps he hears the tortured screams of other prisoners. Perhaps he converses with his God. He is not truly alone. But nevertheless, he is experiencing a type of living hell. Now imagine what that same cell would be like with no food, no rats, no soldiers or fellow prisoners, and worst yet, no God. That is Hell. You see, when God created us, He created us for Heaven, not Hell. He created us to always have communion, fellowship, and communication with Him. Starting with the first man and the first woman, Adam and Eve, man as a race has chosen to ‘eat of the forbidden fruit’, to sin, or turn away from God. Everyone who has ever lived to the age of understanding has done it, turned away from God, and failed to recognize Him as God and Provider. Not only failed, but purposely tested Him to show that they are in control of their own lives. The Book of Romans tells us: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3: 23). Once we have sinned and rejected the promises of God, His life-giving power, once we eat of the forbidden fruit, so to speak, once we firmly establish that we own our lives and our futures, we effectively tell God that we no longer need Him, that we can do it on our own. And the natural and fair end of that decision is that God gives us exactly what we ask for and desire: eternal separation from Him. Because He is Holy, he cannot tolerate the presence of the unholy, of sin. The natural and normal result of the choice to sin, to refuse to accept His Creatorship and Lordship, is eternal separation from Him, which is effectively death (Rom 6: 23). Fortunately, God in His infinite mercy has crafted a plan, one which He set into motion before He even created the earth, knowing what His creation would do. He ordained that His own Son would die to bridge the gap between God Himself, from whom every man chooses to separate, and man, the creation. By being God Himself and taking on the nature of man, when Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was put to death, his death was able to pay the penalty, not of His own sins, because He had none, but our own sins, because He was pure in His death. You see, the acceptance of His death for our sins is the same difference as not eating of the forbidden fruit (which we have all done, in one form or another). It is the same difference as paying a tithe of our property and our yearly increase. It is the ultimate form of recognizing that God created everything, including us, and that He gave us everything we have. It is simply saying that I cannot, as man, do it on my own; I need a mediator, someone to stand in the gap for my rebellion, and prevent eternal isolation from the Creator of the universe. Questions for discussion: Describe your view of the nature of God and His redemption plan. Have you struggled with what you perceived as God’s wrathful and vindictive nature? Does this lesson help you see that eternal separation is a direct result of our sin, not His vindictive nature? Have you sinned (rebelled against the Creator of the universe)? Can God, in His holiness, permit sin in His presence? Have you accepted His loving plan to keep you from eternal separation?

         
    Faith trust and hope

     

    Our lives are defined by the experience of invisible, limited, spiritual Truth. Our experience of the Truth is incomplete in terms of what impact is made on our natural mind, namely our temporal, physical limitations for how to know God. Our experience of the Truth is incomplete in terms of what impact is made on our natural heart, namely our ability to give and receive Love. Our problem is not how to know God but that we do know God yet we are subject to limitations in this life. The Faith Crisis Faith, Truth and HopeThere is the faith crisis of not knowing God defined in the need for redemption or salvation. But there is also the faith crisis of knowing God defined in the need for progressive sanctification. Or simply put, the believer needs to grow up spiritually in Christ. This leads to confusion, insecurity and a lack of confidence in the believer who remains spiritually immature. Through Redemption we are already raised from the dead, spiritually speaking. On the other hand, we must wait for the completion of our resurrection, the exchanging of our mortal bodies for glorified bodies. For the believer, this tension is central to the faith struggle. We live by what God has accomplished for us yet can only see it by faith. Wait in Hope We hope with anticipation for the completion that has been promised to come. With God’s help we will find the invisible spiritual life more visible and the incomplete state of our resurrection more livable, while we wait for the short season that we remain here on earth. And while we wait we receive and give the Love of God that has been poured into us. If not perfectly, we do so truly.

         
    Faith turns the impossible into reality

     

    Notice how God creates reality through faith. In Genesis he performed a miracle for Abraham. He made a statement that was humanly impossible but God made it so. Gen 15:5-6 5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. 6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness. (KJV) God told Abraham that his physical descendants would be as many as the stars in heaven. Now when this statement was made, Abraham and Sarah were already past the child bearing age. Nevertheless, God said it would happen. Now what is Abraham to do? He believed God! He acted upon this information. “Believe,” in the Bible, means acting upon what God said to us. Then what does God do in response to Abraham’s acting upon His statement concerning a child for himself and Sarai. (Abraham’s old age made no difference to God.) When he acted on His word, God did two things. First, He counted Abraham’s action upon His promise to have children the same as righteousness. (The word righteousness means cleared of all guilt.) Whatever sin may have been in Abraham’s life, this was his freedom from his past. His believing God was counted for the clearance of all the guilt for all his sins. Of course the second thing God did was give Abraham and Sarah their own, natural child. His name was Isaac. And later, Isaac brought forth Jacob and Esau. You know the rest of the story. Since God did the above miracle for Abraham, He can do the same thing or greater for us. Nothing is too big for God to do in our behalf. Find a word in Scripture that is written to the Abrahamic Seed Group and act upon it. (You see, we Christians are grafted into the Abrahamic “blessing” promises right along with Abraham.) When you act dear Christian, our heavenly father will make it happen. How comforting to know that what God did for Abraham, he can and will do an equal thing for us Christians today to meet our needs also.

         
     
         
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