Seven Attributes of Satan…what a guy

Posted: February 16, 2020 in Christian

From the time I became old enough to attend Sunday school, I became aware of Satan, the ultimate bad guy. Early in the book of Genesis when Adam and Eve were still wet behind the ears is when Satan first pops onto the scene hawking his wares of doubt and deception to the gullible housewife, Eve, who feel for it hook, line and sinker. I found out by reading the book of Job that we really get a flavor of the purpose of Satan in this basic microcosm of the history of man on earth where it seems were are just pawns in this spiritual warfare, “I think he will, I know he won’t” scenario.

How much do we know about Satan? Just who is Satan and what can we find out about him? I believe we can gain some awesome insights to the character of Lucifer (Satan’s name) from two complimentary chapters in the bible…Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28.

I had read the passages from Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 a few times before, but for some reason, I had never read them to the depth that I explored them this time…there are some deep insights and inferences here that I see that really reveal the character of the Oppressor.

I’ll begin my journey in Isaiah simply because it comes first in the list. In the first verse of Isaiah 14 is The Lord is talking about His people after they have regathered in their land, something that has recently happened, as we all know. Verse three says He will give them rest from their sorrows and fears that had plagued them for centuries. Who was the oppressor?

It appears in verse four that the oppressor is the king of Babylon. This verse gives us a clue about something deeper, for there was no king of Babylon, to speak of, not in Isaiah’s day as a political entity (Isaiah lived about one hundred years prior to Nebuchadnezzar II, the first king of the Babylonian Empire). Satan is referred to as the king of Tyre in Ezekiel’s comparable passage and I believe Satan is who The Lord is referring to here in this one. Below I have listed seven attributes that I find in both Isaiah and Ezekiel.

Attribute 1 Satan is referred to as a king in both Ezekiel and in Isaiah (Isaiah 14:4 and Ezekiel 28:12)

Attribute 2 It seems that Satan was the top dog in the cherubim hierarchy from Ezekiel 28:13, 14.

Attribute 3 However we find he was lesser than Christ in two ways; he was a created being (Ezekiel 14:13) and he was the son of the morning (Isaiah 14:12) Christ is referred to as the morning star in Revelation 22:16, therefore son of morning is and underling position, in my opinion.

Attribute 3 Satan is very beautiful from Ezekiel 28:12-13

Attribute 4 and his vanity, or pride because of his beauty caused his downfall, we find in Ezekiel 28:17

Attribute 5 Even though the scripture implies The Lord was proud of Satan and trusted him in Ezekiel 28:14 and he was considered perfect, this wasn’t good enough for him and his sense of self-worth created a delusion of equality with The Creator of all things…(what a delusion)

Attribute 6 Satan was cast out of heaven to the earth from Ezekiel 28:17-19 and Isaiah 14:12.

 Attribute 7 Satan is intrinsically evil toward the people of the earth we find in Isaiah 14:6

There are several more we can dig out of these interesting passages, and I combined a few, but these are the first attributes of our most powerful adversary that popped out at me. All I can say, is I’m happy the Trinity is on our side as our defenders, because folks, we have no chance against Satan.

What is Satan’s origin? He was created as a Cherub, a top level angel and was apparently given a position as top dog in the hierarchy. He was created with amazing beauty and he was extolled and trusted by Our Lord.

What is his agenda? His agenda is to become, and to prove that he is equal in all respects to The Lord. That didn’t work out very well in the beginning and he was booted out of heaven when his plot was discovered, so part of that agenda is to turn the creation that he is in charge of…that he is king over…against the Creator and to have them worship him instead…something that, in part seems to be working…at least temporarily.

What is his destiny? His agenda seems to be working temporarily, but we have read the last few pages and we know the eventual outcome of the story…he is utterly destroyed in the end.

God Bless Jim

02-16-20

PS. We read throughout the scriptures about Satan and it teaches us about the deep, malevolent nature of this evil super angel enough for us to hate him and that is good. However, Jude 9 is an astounding verse that should cause us to step back a bit, for this verse teaches that regardless how evil, how dastardly or how horrible we may think Satan is, we are not to maliciously disparage him, for he is still a creature of rank. Despite how Michael the Archangel felt about Satan, he dared not revile him. That verse has made me aware of how I should think before framing my words about Satan or any dignitary I may not care about.

I am fairly certain everyone that has done more than a cursory reading of the bible knows that there are prophecies all through this holy tome. Some events and prophecies in the bible are straight forward and generally self-explanatory…then there are some events or prophecies or things mentioned in the scriptures that appear to have no purpose and are seemingly insignificant in their importance except for historical reference or record-keeping. However, I personally believe everything mentioned in the scriptures is put in there by the Holy Spirit for a purpose, and Peter confirmed that in his second letter…2 Peter 1:20-21: knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.(NKJV). I am going to highlight two apparently separate events that occurred centuries apart and demonstrate how one utterly innocuous request and the subsequent ruling, coupled with another almost completely unknown and insignificant event, helped set the stage for the coming Messiah.

The first event we read of has a strange request by five daughters of a cursed Israelite named Zelophehad wandering in the Median wilderness. This odd request is a passage that is easy to pass over without a second glance, but upon inspection, we find that it subtly opened the door to Jesus Christ legally being able to claim ties to David’s Throne, Subsequently we find that the ruling by Moses accepting their request to allow them to inherit their father’s land, opens the door to another almost totally insignificant event that allowed a loop-hole around a curse by God upon King Jehoiachin that has caused some commentators to want to pull their hair out because of the apparent implications of this curse on the royal line of David in regards to the coming Messiah.

The daughters of Zelophehad and Jehoiachin’s curse

I imagine that the events of Zelophehad’s appeal to Moses and Jehoiachin’s curse by the Lord are just a couple of the thousands of strands of prophecy that is woven throughout the bible to form proof of the power and the majesty and of the unmistakable and irrefutable fact the The Lord is the only true God and the Creator of all things.

How do these seemingly unrelated events that happened many centuries apart relate?

Let’s begin with a summary of the wilderness wanderings. At the end of about two weeks travel from the Red Sea, the Israelites were camped in the Median wilderness at the border of Canaan. The Lord had Moses send twelve spies to sneak in to inspect and report on the land. Most of us know that only two of the twelve spies came back without fear of the inhabitants and demonstrated their trust in our Lord by giving a good report and suggested they attack immediately while the other ten spies spread fear and indecision with scary stories of the giant inhabitants of Canaan. We know the rest of the story about how the people swiftly ignored all the miraculous stuff the Lord had just demonstrated a few weeks back and started murmuring against Moses. This, coupled with the evil influence by Korah that roused up the people against God’s plan of invasion, caused the Lord to curse the whole congregation causing a couple of months trek to turn into a 38 year wandering in the desert with the intention of making sure all the grumbling adults would die, save for Joshua and Caleb (the two faithful spies) and the children of the tribe, according to the record in Numbers chapter 14. Beginning in Numbers 26 we read about a man by the name of  Zelophehad that had five daughters. Other than the fact he was part of the cursed adult congregation that died many years before they were to win the land of Canaan for the Lord and enter into it to claim it as their own, why would the scriptures highlight this seemingly innocuous man?

Each one of the male members of the different tribes of Israel could inherit land but their daughters could not inherit according to the law. Therefore, the daughters of Zelophehad found themselves in a bad situation; their father has five daughters and no son, therefore their family name would pass without inheritance or land grant and die with him. They decided to petition Moses, Eleazar and the council to appeal the law so his name would continue in the tribe and his heirs could claim their tribal inheritance. Moses took it to The Lord and The Lord told Moses to grant the tribal exception (Numbers 27: 1-8). Years later, after the Israelites conquered Canaan and the tribes were set to divide the land, the daughters of Zelophehad went before Joshua and reminded him of the exception granted by The Lord through Moses and they received their inheritance which stated as long as they marry within the their tribe, their husband would be adopted into their family as a legal son, and their tribal line and inheritance would be preserved (Joshua 17:3). This seemingly insignificant event however, will have major ramifications several hundreds of years in the future as it helps to fulfill a very significant prophecy first mentioned in Genesis 3: 15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”(NKJV).

The second somewhat related event I want to bring to mind is the curse of Jehoiachin (also called Jeconiah and Coniah) by the Lord. came after a string of evil kings of Judah as listed in II Kings chapters 22, 23 & 24. The Lord had all he could take of these evildoers and pronounced a curse on Jehoiachin and his descendants in Jeremiah 22: 24-30 “As I live,” says the LORD, “though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were the signet on My right hand, yet I would pluck you off; “and I will give you into the hand of those who seek your life, and into the hand of those whose face you fear—the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the hand of the Chaldeans. “So I will cast you out, and your mother who bore you, into another country where you were not born; and there you shall die. “But to the land to which they desire to return, there they shall not return. “Is this man Coniah a despised, broken idol— A vessel in which is no pleasure? Why are they cast out, he and his descendants, And cast into a land which they do not know? O earth, earth, earth, Hear the word of the LORD! Thus says the LORD: ‘Write this man down as childless, A man who shall not prosper in his days; For none of his descendants shall prosper, Sitting on the throne of David, And ruling anymore in Judah.”(NKJV). This in itself is bad enough, but when you consider the implications of the Lord’s Covenant with David that the Throne of David would be established forever as was written in II Samuel 7:16 “And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever”. (NKJV), it seems to throw a wrench into the works. While researching this, I found several discussions pointing to the curse of Jehoiachin as proof the Jesus couldn’t be the Messiah because of the curse, for after the Babylonian captivity, no descendant of David sat upon a Throne of Israel. I also saw many sites with discussions trying to prove that the curse was later lifted and all was forgiven. All of these discussions and all of these websites totally miss the point of the virgin birth that was prophesied in Genesis 3 and the ancestry of Mary (even though it says Joseph)1 laid out in Luke 3 beginning in verse 23.

What ties these two otherwise unrelated events together is the lineage of Mary provided by the Holy Spirit in the Gospel of Matthew and in the Gospel of Luke. Luke 3:23 states: And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was [the son] of Heli,(KJV). Matthew’s account of the lineage of Jesus say this in chapter 1:16: And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. (KJV). Matthew covers the descendants through the legal line, (Joseph’s father Jacob) even though that line was cursed by God after Jehoiachin that no direct descendant would sit upon the Throne, Luke covers the descendancy through the untarnished, royal line from the Messiah’s mother, (Joseph’s adopted father through his marriage to Mary, Heli) back through David, which means God’s promise to David is secure through his mother’s ancestry and legal through his earthly father’s line.

This all sets the stage for the prophecy of Christ to rule on David’s Throne in the end-times. Something I have read all my life and never understood were the direct, simple statements that began and ended Christ’s earthly existence. Matthew 2:1-2 says: Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem (I have an interesting theory about these magi, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.(KJV) While Matthew 27:37 states: And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.(KJV). I have read these verses all my life and never understood the simple plain logic that Jesus has yet to fulfill this destiny…to Rule as KING OF THE JEWS.

God Bless…

Jim Bussell

2-15-11 (02-15-20)

1 Mary’s father was Heli, but for the most part, Jewish ancestries only lists male descendants. Joseph was the adopted son of Heli according to Jewish law established with the agreement with the daughters of Zelophehad.

I grew up in a church that taught that the Jews lost their position as the “Children of God” when they arranged and clamored for the death and crucifixion of our Lord. At the time that idea seemed plausible and correct. However, after leaving the faith as a teen and rediscovering the Lord many decades later I began to read the scriptures with a new, fresh perspective. It was after rediscovering the word of God I began to realize that Christ’s crucifixion was in the the works and was part of the plan of salvation from the beginning instead of some knee jerk reaction by the Jewish religious leadership in Jerusalem.

There are several old testament references or illusions to the crucifixion. The first one that comes to mind is Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac as an offering on Mount Moriah and there is speculation that the spot the Lord led Abraham to was the same spot that Christ was crucified 800 years later. Also remember reading about the Lord sending fiery serpents amongst the grumbling mass of Jews in the Median wilderness and then giving them a cure, in the form of a brass serpent on a staff raised on high for all to see, and those who looked upon it would be saved? In the book of Psalms,  Psalm 22 implies the Christ was given over to the Gentiles and to whole psalm seems to have been written from the perspective of Christ on the cross.

There are many more references and illusions to the crucifixion from the old testament written centuries before Jesus became man to live among us and they allow us to understand that the capture, trial and crucifixion of our Lord was planned from the beginning and that the Jewish leadership were nothing more than instruments the Lord used to fulfill the prophecy and the plan of salvation.

Now, it is a little more complicated than that, but you get the gist (the above synopsis is sort of the cliff notes version of events).

The Lord from the beginning knew the Jews couldn’t keep the commandments and the law He provided and He also knew that even though they had, from the book of Daniel, the prophecy that foretold the exact day the Christ would present himself as the Messiah to the city of Jerusalem that they were not diligent enough to remember the little details…sort of the “can’t see the forest for the trees” syndrome. The new testament explains to us that the Lord blinded Israel for not paying attention to the prophecy of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem as their king. It also explains that they are blinded for certain period of time, and not forever.

What does all this have to do with the holocaust?

Many writings from early church fathers and historians reveal that the early church understood those passages meant the Jews were being punished for certain length of time only and held that view, but beginning in the second century we start to see an antisemitic viewpoint emerge amongst the church leadership. The writings of Justin Martyr show that he was basically so intent on converting the Jews to Christianity that he developed and pushed the propaganda that the Jewish race is sunk because of their actions against Christ when he was crucified. He also tended to twist Paul’s writing to prove that he was also antisemitic, thus solidifying his position. Later church fathers such as Augustine picking up and ran with this antisemitic viewpoint. From this point forward we see a basic Church doctrine of antisemitism.

Even though the Catholic Church (which represented the entirety of the Christian religion at the time) had a basic antisemitic attitude toward the Jews, until the eleventh century the records show that there were understandings and working relationships between the Jewish and Catholic leadership. Remember the crusades? The crusades, which began in the eleventh century, were the turning point that increased antisemitic attitudes and behaviors amongst the Catholic church and it’s leaders, as the crusaders attacked Jews and burned their synagogues around Jerusalem and the middle east, as well as the Muslims and their mosques seemingly without distinction between them which destroyed any relationship the Jews and Christians had prior to these holy war campaigns.

A new Christian movement erupted on the scene in the sixteenth century that was labeled as the Protestant Reformation. This protest against the direction the Church was heading was spearheaded by a Jesuit named Martin Luther who believed the Catholic Church had become too hierarchical and that there was too much of a disparity between the clergy and masses, as well as straying too far from the teachings of the bible. The Protestant movement had a superb opportunity to reverse the centuries old antisemitic direction that was started by Justin and Augustine centuries before, but they did not. Instead the antisemitic, replacement theology concept was carried over from the Catholic Church and unfortunately is one the prevailing teachings among the protestant denominations today.

By the time the twentieth century rolled around the Jews were looked upon and despised as a hateful, reproachful race of people that did not deserve the same consideration as the Caucasians in Europe. The term antisemitism was popularized in the late eighteen hundreds by a German journalist, as rampant hatred toward the Jews as the killers of Christ was evidenced all across the European continent as well as in Russia and the Balkans and this viewpoint helped set the stage for the coming holocaust.

Adolf Hitler rose to power in Germany in the early nineteen thirties amid a deep economic depression in Germany. He was raised in the Catholic church and was exposed (as most Christians were) to the idea that the Jews were a bunch of Christ killing thugs. This attitude coupled with fact that the Jewish community and culture afforded the believing Jews a good grasp on economics as well as frugality. Therefore the Jews were known for their ability to save and make money, and often they were seen in the banking industry across Europe. Throw all of this together and it became a recipe for disaster. Hitler noticed that overall the Jews weren’t suffering as badly as others in Germany (because of their dedication to the teachings of the Lord in the Torah) and decided to convince the eager populous that the cause of the poverty and the monetary woes of the German people following the loss of the first world war and the strangling debt load placed upon Germany by the victors was the fault of the Jews. Of course, Hitler was merely using the Jews as scapegoats to direct the anger of the starving German somewhere, and what better direction to point it than a hated, vilified people. To tell the people the real reason for the crumbled economy was that fact that Germany had leaped into a costly world war and was held largely responsible for the costs of that war would not have sat too well with this proud people. His ploy worked and the Jews became even more vilified and were targets of all kinds of retribution, including the decision to rid Europe of the Jewish race once and for all…thus the holocaust began, and before it was over over 6 million Jews were slaughtered across Europe because of their race.

Were the Jews responsible for Christ’s crucifixion? Only as instruments used to carry out the physical act. The bible tells us that Christ died on the cross for a distinct purpose. Simply put, if He hadn’t died, He couldn’t have been resurrected. The death, burial and the resurrection was the reason He died, for the scriptures teaches that without the shedding of innocent blood there can be no forgiveness of sin. So, any person that has ever, or will ever sin is the reason Christ was crucified, not the Jewish leadership in Jerusalem two thousand years ago.

However, human nature inserted itself into the Church and the desire to place blame with incomplete facts from the scriptures is what ultimately caused the attempted mass genocide of the Jewish race called the holocaust…and their whole premise about the Jews was wrong from the beginning, for the scripture does tell us that after the “Church age” is over and we have been caught up (or raptured), the Lord will deal with the Jews once again as the “Children of God”. The book of Amos is about that…the book of Joel tells the same thing and we find Peter and Paul explaining to us the same idea about the blindness of Israel.

Jim Bussell

02-14-2020

Most of the people I know subscribe to the theory that the Nation of Israel blew it’s chance at the brass ring with the crucifixion of Christ and therefore were cast aside as ‘the Children of God’. I grew up with this belief that we are the new Israel, we are the new children of God. I was taught there probably will be some Jews that accept Christ as the Messiah and will be saved but Israel, collectively as a nation, screwed up big time. I also was taught that Revelation is to be taken allegorically, because of the first verse of Revelation 1: THE Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, (NKJV) The religion of my youth believes that the word signified (using signs) in that first verse means that Revelation is a book of signs and therefore to be taken wholly allegorically. In addition, I was taught that Revelation was basically significant only to the 1st century Christians because it was about the destruction of Jerusalem that took place in 70 AD by the Roman Army under the leadership of Titus 1.

This puts what I was taught into the category of replacement theology even though I had never heard of that term until recently. Apparently, the idea of replacement theology was first espoused by second century church leaders such as Justin Martyr even though the writings of his predecessors inform us that they didn’t subscribe to the theory of replacement theology. By the fourth century, the writings of church leaders such as Augustine (Catholics refer to him as Saint Augustine) imply an increasingly anti-Semitic viewpoint and embraced replacement theology and that viewpoint continued not only with the Catholic church, but also with the reformation movement, so today most of the protestant religions hold this view.2 According to replacement theology, this means that all the blessings and promises God made to Israel throughout the Old Testament and any mention of them in the New Testament are allegorized. To substantiate the theory I was taught as a child that we are the new Israel, verses such as the one below in Galatians are used to offer proof. Galatians 3:28-29 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (NKJV) They say this means any reference to the heirs of Abraham and Israel now means Christians. So, does this verse prove that replacement theology is in fact correct?

As I was growing up I was taught by my mother to read the bible daily and I was taught the book of Revelation has no bearing in our lives because it only applied to the New Testament Church and the hardships they encountered during and after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Why have it in the scriptures at all, then, I used to wonder? I was also taught that the Old Testament was a ‘good old history’ of a people that blew their chance at the brass ring. Using that philosophy as a benchmark of interpretation of the bible, a lot of pieces just didn’t fit and coalesce with me as I read the scriptures. I also realize using replacement theology forces you to not only allegorize Revelation, but much of the rest of the New Testament as well. Also, because that viewpoint creates disorder in the pattern and orderly nature of the progression of the scriptural nature of our existence as outlined by God (as I now see as I look back), it was explained to me at that time that much of the bible has to taken on faith if it doesn’t make sense to the reader. I therefore equated the religious teachings of my youth to pounding square pegs into round holes to try and make them fit, and when they didn’t fit…”oh well, that’s one you take on faith”. That didn’t really fly with me and the more I asked questions, the screwier the explanations got from the bible school teachers and church leaders to the point I was politely asked to stop asking these questions (you, know, just take it on faith).

It is my opinion, if you really believe in Replacement Theology, you need to tear Romans chapter 11 out of the bible. No, that’s being too generous…you need to tear the rest of the book of Romans out of the bible along with Hebrews and also the reference to Israel’s blindness in Luke 19:42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. (NKJV). An explanation of the passage in Luke by Paul, along with additional gems of information, come from Romans 11:25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. (NKJV). According to Strongs, the word until in the bible is an interesting word that always means a temporary condition of time, followed by a succeeding  event. That definition, in itself, means that the blindness of Israel is not a permanent condition.

Also, we need to look at the history of the Jews since the destruction of Jerusalem. The fact that there are still Jews existing in the present day to talk about is nothing but miraculous. A quote taken from The Miracle of Jewish History say it very well, Over three hundred years ago King Louis XIV of France asked Blaise Pascal, the great French philosopher of his day, to give him proof of the existence of miracles. Without a moment’s hesitation, Pascal answered, “Why, the Jews, your Majesty, the Jews!”3 If Israel has been condemned by God, and there is no future for the Jewish nation, how do we explain the supernatural survival of the Jewish people over the past 2000 years despite the many attempts to destroy them? How do we explain why and how Israel reappeared as a nation in the 20th century after not existing for 1900 years? Why are they still in existence if their ticket on the train to glory has expired? If you accept the fact that the Jews still survive and are back in the Holy Land is nothing short of miraculous, then how can you accept the theology that Revelation is not about the Jews. I agree it says up front that is a book of signs. It is also a book of specific time periods, specific events and specific locations. If we start allegorizing complete books because they contain signs and symbols, that changes the whole complexity of the books of the prophets in the Old Testament.

Luke 19 tells us God placed blindness up the Israel as a nation because of their lack of attention to prophecy that had been laid out of them four centuries earlier by Gabriel in Daniel 9 when he gave Daniel the exact day the Messiah was to present himself as King in Jerusalem. As I read the history of Israel, I read about how God set them up as his people, performed miracle after miracle in their behalf, and how they continued to turn their backs on him. With Gabriel’s revelation to Daniel, God did everything short of screaming in their ears about preparing for the day of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Some of the Jews were prepared for the day and welcomed him with celebration, but Satan, of course, was hard at work behind the curtain with the Jewish leadership trying to work his wiles to thwart God’s plan and the Jewish religious establishment corporately ignored the prophecy given by Daniel five centuries earlier, thus cascading the nation of Israel down the path it is currently on. I think of the passage in Romans 11 you read earlier where it talks about God casting away his people and explaining that he has blinded them until the fullness of the Gentiles in verse 25. The prophet Hosea gives reference to how they will turn back to the Lord when he says that they will seek his face when they acknowledge their offense in this end-time prophecy, in fact the whole book of Hosea is about this subject. Hosea 5:15 I will return again to My place Till they acknowledge their offense. Then they will seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.” (NKJV)

I have a personal comparison, (in my mind at least). We have a few simple rules in our house based on morality and respect. Our oldest daughter in her late teens decided she didn’t have to follow our rules. First we talked to her a few times, then the serious punishments started, we took away some liberties, took away her car, and finally we kicked her out, or ‘cast her off’. We didn’t stop loving her and we kept an eye on her from afar to make sure we could be close in case of a catastrophic event. We had friends keeping their eyes on her also just to make sure she remained OK. She eventually got off the drugs, saw the light and asked her mom if she could come back home. Her mom said she could if she was ready to follow the rules. Our daughter acquiesced and asked for forgiveness, demonstrated her sorrow and came home a changed person. So she, in her own way, ‘sought our face and asked our forgiveness’ and we welcomed her back. My wife and I are extremely fallible people with probably more faults than good areas and patience is not one of our points of shining glory, but when it comes to our children, we find the patience. Our Lord’s patience is incredibly infinite as demonstrated by the history of Israel and humanity in general…it would have to be, for him to still accept someone like me after my history of turning my back on Him and his Son and His followers before I asked for salvation a few years ago.

I personally feel that one major reason the US hasn’t been judged by God yet, is our alliance and protection of the Nation of Israel as God decreed in Genesis 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”(NKJV) In this time period of Israel’s blindness I kind of see the USA as a sort of thug, hired to help protect his recalcitrant children from the evils of the world “until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in”. As long as we act as the friends and protectors of the miraculous State of Israel, I believe we will be spared judgment. I pray regularly to God, thanking him for giving me the grace I don’t deserve and the mercy He imparts for not giving me what I do deserve. I also pray he do the same for my country.

So what about replacement theology? I think if you accept the Bible as a holy, integrated message system from Our Lord that flows and weaves a history of his grace, redemption and salvation for his children, real and adopted, then Replacement Theology doesn’t hold up. If it’s not an integrated message system, then the veracity of the scriptures start to fall apart. With the same token, if you allow the text to speak to you as Christ and the apostles did (and in my opinion, they are fairly reliable examples), and if you accept the scriptures as the integrated message of Our Lord, then you need to believe that the bible “says what it means and means what it says” and that the blindness of Israel until the ‘fullness of the Gentiles come in’ means exactly that; a specific length of punishment for the first children of Yahweh that will end when Christ comes for the Church, and body of Christ is taken up.

God Bless, Jim

Revised 02-2-20

1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Jerusalem_%2870%29

2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supersessionism

3 excerpt from “History News Network” by Benjamin Blech http://hnn.us/articles/38887.html

I like numbers in a sort of geeky way and for a while, I have known about a mathematical aspect to nature that many people have never heard of and were not aware of and it is something called the golden ratio. Somewhat related to the golden ratio is a mathematical sequence that seems to be built into most of nature called the fibonacci sequence. I have been reading about the fibonacci numbers and discovered that they relate to nature and life and the implications of this beautiful relationship between math and nature are simply astounding.

To begin; the fibonacci sequence are number that are derived from the sum of the previous set of numbers in the sequence. This process was discovered by a 13th century Italian mathematician named Fibonacci as he was trying to figure out if there was a pattern to the rate of rabbit reproduction. Each fibonacci number is derived by adding the previous two numbers together (the numbers that are separated by the equals sign) with the exception of number one that begins the sequence. An example is 1+1=2, two being the first fibonacci number, then 1+2=3, three is the next fibonacci number, 2+3=5, etc. As we progress we find a sequence of 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, etc. Fibonacci discovered the ratio between these number are basically the same; 1:1.60 to 1:1.64 with about a point zero four (.04) margin for variance. Where does this ratio come from? Think of length. If you have something 5 cm long and something else 10 cm long, the 10 cm object is twice as long as the 5 cm object…or, you could say the ratio between those two are 1:2, the second number being twice the first number. The ratio of 1:1.6 means the second number is about 1 2/3 the first number, whether it is length, mass, volume, etc. This is the ratio we are dealing with.

What is fascinating to me is this ratio seems to be the design baseline for many of the external layer of life in nature, in other words, where DNA is the molecular digital coding for the building blocks of life, it appears the fibonacci ratio is the template used in the structural design that is seen. Another term we see regarding the fibonacci ratio is the golden ratio (1:1.618). It had been discovered long ago that this ratio appears to be very pleasing and appealing to the eyes so artists, designers and architects have been using this ratio for centuries, thus the name.

Something just as interesting to me is the fact that the variance built in to the ratio allows for subtle variations withing the parameters to achieve enough differences of, say, facial structure so everyone doesn’t look like a bunch of Ken or Barbie dolls walking around. The variances are enough to allow individualization of every living thing for variety…and we are suppose to believe this is a result of chance…give me a break.

It would not surprise me if the twist in the spiral of the double helix, if it could be measured, would fall within the fibonacci boundaries. Randomness, or chance, can never give the complexity of design that we find in life, the complexities that we find in nature and even in the arrangement of planets in the solar system. From the sub-cellular structures defined by DNA, to the massive planets we have as solar neighbors, all have mathematically defined ratios…no…the only answer is design, and to have design, you have to have a designer and the ultimate designer is the master and the creator of the universe, the Lord Jesus Christ!

God Bless, Jim

1-31-20 revised

*Look up: fibonacci sequence, golden rectangle, golden ratio for more information

I was raised in a denomination that believes in replacement theology and also believe because the Israeli religious authority were responsible for the crucifixion of Christ that Israel blew their chance at the brass ring and that the church is the “new Israel”. They also believe the old testament was a great collection of stories that really have no bearing on our salvation and because of these factors, Israel didn’t hold a lot of significance to me for other than being the genetic ancestors of Christ. Therefore some of the more ‘boring’ books of the Old Testament (which there were many back then) just got glossed over to fulfill the ‘reading the scripture’ requirement that my mother enforced on me while growing up.

In January 15, 2010, the Lord saved me from myself and I started on a marvelous journey of discovery that has taken me all through the ancient history of God’s people. I quickly discovered that the bible has more than twenty seven important books and that the other forty nine books are much, much more than a bunch of filler, as I was taught as a child. Now that I have realized that the significant part of the word of God starts in Genesis and ends in Revelation and that every fact entered into the scripture by the Holy Spirit has been placed there for our learning, if we are willing to pay attention to detail. It also reveals to us throughout its marvelous pages that it is a continuous web that is woven into a cohesive structure, designed to stand up to the forces throughout the ages that have been, and still are, trying to destroy the veracity of the word of our Lord. Once those facts sunk into my head, then those ‘boring’ books became exponentially less boring and I began pouring through these wonderfully educational and eye-opening books.

Judges was one of those ‘boring’ books to me growing up. Other than the story of Sampson and Delilah, I knew almost nothing about the book. Now that I have actually sat down and read the book with my new understanding, it seems quite interesting and lays out a four hundred year decline from an appreciative, worshipful people into a nation that continually turns its back on The Lord. One of the curiosities of Judges is the opening; everyone did what was right in their own eyes. The author (which many commentators believe is Samuel) used this phrase to open a couple of different chapters to explain the attitude of the Israelites throughout this four hundred year period of the history of the Lord’s chosen. This is not a pleasant comment, rather it’s a judgment stating that they had turned away from following the statutes laid out in Deuteronomy 12:8 when the Lord warned them of doing just this before they crossed the Jordan to possess the land. While this topic isn’t a synopsis of the book of Judges, this opening statement written during this dismal period of Israel’s history and contained within the pages of Judges, should be a warning to us all. So, what does it mean and why should we care?

Judges 17:6 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. (NKJV)

This is a scathing indictment against Israel’s attitude. The Lord chose the Jews to be his people. He brought them out of Egypt using supernatural powers that scared the wits out of the leader of the world. He guided them throughout their wanderings in the Midian wilderness and protected them with a special cloud that was unmistakable in it’s unnaturalness during the day and an obvious cloud of fire at night, preparing them to come together as a nation so they could defeat the Satanic kingdoms in Canaan, and what happens…they lose faith in the Lord at the last minute, even though they have all this extraterrestrial stuff going on around them. He punishes them for ‘doing right in their own eyes’ by causing all the unfaithful adults to die in the wilderness, while protecting them with more of the supernatural stuff for thirty eight more years and do they learn their lesson? No. Within a couple of generations, they revert back to ‘doing right in their own eyes’ again.

In first Samuel, the Lord is explaining the Israelites rejection of the Him as their king, to Samuel.

I Samuel 8:7-20 And the LORD said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. “According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day—with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. “Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them.” So Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who asked him for a king. And he said, “This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. “He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. “He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. “And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. “He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. “And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. “He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. “And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the LORD will not hear you in that day.” Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us, “that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” (NKJV)

The book of Judges is a dismal account of the continued breakdown of faith and the patterned slide into a self-reliance spiral of failure that can be explained in a nutshell in the above scripture when the Lord tells Samuel they have totally rejected Him. This passage is sort of a companion to the book of Judges and helps enlighten us to the meaning behind the indicting phrase: “everyone did what was right in their own eyes”

The Lord ended up granting their wish for an earthly king and we find that Moses in Deuteronomy explained about the roles of a future king and the rules he was expected to follow. God knew they wouldn’t stay with it, but gave them the statutes to follow anyway. One of the statutes was a commandment for each King to write out his own copy of the Torah. It sounds like a time-consuming process, and I’m sure it was, but it was designed to burn the Mosaic Law into the brain of the King by the time he had finished this massive project. One look at the history of the kings of Israel and Judah tells us that very few bothered to give more than a cursory nod to the statutes laid out by the Lord. The priests all had intimate knowledge of the Torah, but that doesn’t mean every Jew did. Handwritten copies of the law would have been rare and expensive and also required the ability to be able to read. The practice of having the king write their own copy of the pentateuch was designed to make sure the King intimately knew the law and would deny him an excuse when he would ultimately break it. The Lord may have put it into place for the same reason as the rest of the Mosaic Law, to expose the weak and sinful nature of the Jews which were a small insignificant nation of people chosen to represent the Lord, hand-picked from a sinful, broken human race.

Just because the Lord allows us to do things, doesn’t mean that is what he would have us do. The Lord wanted the Jews to accept him as their ruler, their King to rule from the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies, but as He told Samuel, they rejected him. In fact the whole history of the Jews is a history fraught with rejection and disobedience spattered with small periods of time of faithfulness and trust and love. The book of Judges as well as the books of the prophets are written records of failure to follow the Lord, time after time. We have a compressed history of the Israelite nation to look back on and shake our heads in dismay as we read of their apparent lack of faith in their deliverer, savior, guide and father, but we need to be conscious of the time periods we are dealing with. We are looking at a history of thousands of years this record has recorded. By perspective, we have just a little over two hundred years under our belts and look how far the United States has slipped from a country founded on freedom of religion and principles based on the bible and faith in our Lord to one that wholly rejects God and anything associated with Christ, Christianity or support of Israel in it’s short history. Comparatively, Israel is the shining example of faith and redemption and loyalty, because overall, they were faithful for much longer at a time before sliding into self righteousness.

The bigger problem though, is that it is simply a reflective attitude of all of us humans. People have to make a concerted effort to rely on the Lord and not their own inflated and contorted views of their own abilities to manage their own lives and the lives of others around them. Unfortunately we as a modern people do no better than the Jews of the time of the judges and we have their failed examples to learn from and to fall back on.

God Bless, Jim
rewritten and expanded 1-31-20

I have recently been thinking about some of my favorite bible stories from my childhood and this one had an accompanying song about the same subject but I can’t seem to recall how the song went…oh well…

The book written by the prophet Ezekiel is a hugely interesting volume as he paints awesomely descriptive pictures with words as well as some extremely precise end-time prophecy, however, Ezekiel chapter 37 stands out as the format of one of my favorite bible stories as a child.

In this particular chapter Ezekiel writes of a weird story of a bunch of bones that go though a sort of progressive reversal entropy as they reassemble from dry bones into whole human shells lying there awaiting the breathe of The Lord to complete the process of bringing them to life. I have decided to approach this review of the chapter from a sectional viewpoint, separating it into two main sections.

Ezekiel 37 verse one through verse ten could be a description of any one of us. Most of us have been self-absorbed within our own humanity at some point in our lives and have turned our backs on God and His Word while dallying and dancing with Satan, whether we realize it or not. I know many feel that life is full of gray areas, but it is clearly and simply black and white, according to Christ in Matthew 12:30 “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad. (NKJV) Whenever the latter is the case, we are spiritually dead and as dry as kindling in the wastelands of our own self-worth and self justification without the Lord, just as these dry bones lying in the valley. Ezekiel tells us in verse 1 the Lord sat him down in the midst of the valley. My mind goes in weird directions sometimes and when I saw this I instantly wondered, “what valley?”. From a personal standpoint, I’ll call it the Valley of the Shadow of Death and since Ezekiel was with the Lord, he obviously feared no evil. When we are away from the protection of the grace of The Lord, we are lost and evil overtakes us and sucks the life right out of us until we are no more than piles of bones amidst the dusty remains of our former selves. Only the grace of Our Lord can reassemble our spirit and breathe the breath of his grace back into us, making us whole.

Anyway, there are more verses to this chapter than 1, and the description from verses one through ten is just pure fun. Continuing with verse two, Ezekiel continues describing what he sees in this valley full of bones, as the Lord has him walk amongst those remains. Verse three finds the Lord asking Ezekiel a rhetorical question and then tells him to prophesy to this very odd crowd, explaining to him what to say. When Ezekiel begins to prophesy, the weirdly fun portion of the chapter come leaping at us as the whitened, dried bones begin to physically react to the prophecy of the Lord culminating in them coming to life after the Lord breathed life into them, creating a massive army. Suddenly, the chapter does an about face as the Lord explains the meaning of the chapter through his prophet Ezekiel starting in verse 11: Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ (NKJV) and continuing through the rest of the chapter. A good summary can be had from verses 21 and 22: “Then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; “and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again. (NKJV). If we reflect on the history of Israel as the Holy Spirit has given us, we know that the nation went from the leadership of Moses and Joshua and then went through several regional judges until their first king Saul, then on to kings David and Solomon. After Solomon they had a civil war and the kingdom split and the people eventually were killed or taken into captivity. Therefore, what Ezekiel is quoting is future events and end-time prophecy that is still to come. OK, to continue.

Isaiah 11:11 It shall come to pass in that day [That] the Lord shall set His hand again the second time To recover the remnant of His people who are left, From Assyria and Egypt, From Pathros and Cush, From Elam and Shinar, From Hamath and the islands of the sea. (NKJV) reiterates the same thing; that The Lord is not finished with Israel and even though they disobey and take idiocy to operatic levels as has been proven by their history1, The Lord has punished but still loves his first chosen children.

We within the Christian community in this gentile era need to get over our “look at us…we have Christ and are so special and you had your chance and screwed up” mass ego trip that many denominations hammer at from their pulpits Sunday after Sunday and realize that we are, at best, an opening act while the real performers warm up in the wings. At the worst we are a traveling side show that the Lord gracious has allowed to perform…lets hope we don’t get booed off the stage, regardless which we turn out to be.

God Bless, Jim
1-30-20

1 I’m not Israel bashing, if you look at our compressed history compared to their few thousand years, we are extremely more stupid than they.