Archive for the ‘Christian’ Category

From the time I became old enough to attend Sunday school, I became aware of Satan, the universe’s ultimate bad guy. Early in the book of Genesis, when Adam and Eve were still wet behind the ears, 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. A little later in life I discovered by reading the book of Job that we really get a flavor of the purpose of Satan in this book that is a basic microcosm of the history of man on earth and where it seems were are just pawns in the spiritual warfare going on all around us in this, “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 within these passages that really reveal the character of the Oppressor (as Satan is referred to in Isaiah 9).

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

Isaiah 14:4 you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: “How the oppressor has ceased, the insolent fury ceased! ESV

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 in Isaiah’s day, especially as a political entity for Isaiah lived in the eighth century BC which was about one hundred years prior to the rise of Nebuchadnezzar II, the first king of the Babylonian Empire…who then is being referred to as the king of Babylon? Satan is referred to as the king of Tyre in Ezekiel’s comparable passage and, by inference, I believe Satan is who the Lord is referring to here in this passage in Isaiah. There are several places in the bible where we get either direct references, or inferences that Satan is behind the rulers of this world. Below I have listed seven attributes of Lucifer 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), as were all  the other angels, 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, as well as the whole book of Job.

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

11-16-20

  1. 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.

Disrespecting the country

Posted: October 23, 2020 in Christian

A few years ago, Michelle Obama stated how she was ashamed of our country (while serving as First Lady) and she and President Obama went on to prove their disrespect by their actions, such as refusing to either stand for the pledge, or refusing to place their hands over their hearts, showing disrespect and disregard for the Marines attached to the White House, etc.

That wave of disrespect toward our country grew even more vitriolic and vicious after Trump was elected president. It seemed as if it were a competition to see who could show the most disrespect toward the 45th President of these United States between the media and the celebrities and even members of the electorate from both parties.

Michelle Obama said she was ashamed of her country…I am ashamed of those that openly chose to disrespect the office of the presidency, regardless who happens to be in the White House. I am ashamed of those that mock, and laugh at and openly disparage my country by disparaging the leadership of my country.

I didn’t like President Obama because I thought his policies hurt America, but I refused to disparage him because I respect the office of the President of the United States. If Biden is elected, I feel it would end up as a disaster for our country, economically as well as constitutionally…but if he is elected, he will be my president, because I chose to respect this great republic of ours and its leadership.

The book of Jude teaches that we are not to disrespect dignities and those in positions of power…but hey, they are trying to erase all semblances of Christianity from this country anyway, so what does it matter what God thinks about it, right?

Throughout the history of the human race, we can find multitudes of ways that Satan has tried to thwart the plan of God. There are the obvious and overt ways that we know in the bible, but what immediately came to mind when I thought about this subject was one way that Satan has tried to thwart the plan of God that is still continuing to this day. The way I am referring to is to sow derision, doubt and conflict within the Body of Christ.

All the different groups or denominations within Christianity, for the most part, are philosophically separated by seemingly insignificant differences. We find these differences begin to crop up in the first few years of The Way1, as the group of people that followed the teachings of Christ were called in the book of Acts. Even in the very infancy of the Church, Satan was able to successfully insert false prophets and start to sow doubt and deception within the Christian movement. Small, subtle changes here and there, a doubt about the real meaning behind this passage or that passage and Satan’s ability to convince scholars and teachers that taking passages out of context is OK all resulted in the beginnings of the division of the Body of Christ. The letters to the Thessalonians and the Corinthians churches were penned by Paul partially to calm them and answer their nervous questions and doubts that were being whispered in their ears by false prophets and those intent in creating discord within their local congregations. Satan was also very successful in his campaign to deceive the early church fathers into questioning the meaning of the scriptures, which allowed them to start creating their own interpretations of the Word, which resulted in a more palatable form of religion for the leaders of Holy Roman Empire. The disgust with the end product of the religious/political superpower that these continued interpretations morphed into resulted in the protestant reformation movement in the sixteenth century.2 Part of the problem that the reformation movement left us with is many of the reformed protestant religious entities that were formed didn’t take the reformation far enough, which has resulted in many of our ‘siblings’ in the Body of Christ still firmly believing in the long time Catholic view of allegorizing the scripture, just as they did in fourth century Constantinople to make the watered-down lessons and commandments of the Word of Our Lord easier for the masses to digest and accept, making them little less rigid, and a lot less ‘black and white’. Therefore many of our brethren teach traditional interpretation instead of what the scripture really says. To do this effectively, they have to do several things. One of the first things that needs to be done is to ignore the fact that the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation is a single, cohesive message system with a single stranded woven web of meaning and purpose about God, his people and his Son. Once this is accomplished, the rest is easy. From that point on, it becomes simple to take and chop the word of Our Lord up into individual sections that don’t relate to each other significantly or not at all to be able to build the traditions and religious philosophy the the church has replaced Israel as God’s chosen people referred to as replacement theology3 that many of our brethren teach weekly from their pulpits as gospel.

This watered-down version of the gospel may pass inspection at the microscopic or planar level, but if you were to get high above it and inspect it from a distance, I believe you would see a nasty conglomeration of square pegs sticking out of round holes and non-matching puzzle pieces, hammered and taped together to form a Picasso style picture instead of a smooth flowing message system that easily fits and continues from end to end, the way the Holy Spirit wrote it and the way the Creator of All Things intended. This form of religious interpretation opens itself up to attack from Satan who can squeeze in between the gaps and cracks and, in my opinion, I’m afraid that is what happened to the early Church when it started using this formula in the fourth century to please the masses.

We as the Body of Christ are much like extremely dysfunctional siblings that are constantly fighting and squabbling over minor issues and irrelevant things to the point that most of our energies are absorbed in this in-fighting instead of taking the Word to the lost of the world. This has to be one of Satan’s more successful campaigns in his plan to thwart the plan of Our Lord.

Jim
02-19-20
1 Acts 9:2 and Acts 19:9, 23

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

3 http://www.gotquestions.org/replacement-theology.html

I have a non-traditional view of the scripture (to put it kindly, according to some) and in my mind’s eye, I see God discussing with the others in the Trinity over steaming cups of nectar, his script for our universe before zapping us into existence. We all know what happened…Satan immediately threw a wrench into the works and by appearances this caused the Lord to rewrite the script of the complicated sim game that is our existence and reality1, so to speak, with that in mind, I want to discuss patterns I see.

I look for patterns everywhere, and the bible is no exception as I see them peeking  out at us from the scriptures as I peruse the pages of this awesome book. On my journey through the testaments, I find many patterns from the beginning of the scriptures, to the end. For instance, one pattern that I see is that after the Jews turned chicken and refused to invade Canaan the first time, The Lord sent them wandering for thirty eight years around the Median wilderness before they were allowed to occupy the land. Fast-forward several hundred years and we have the Jewish nation reject God again by rejecting His Son. Thirty eight years after the rejection and crucifixion (see the pattern?), in 70AD, the Roman siege began, causing the destruction of the temple and the horrendous massacre of over a million Jews during this lengthy siege and subsequent occupation of Jerusalem. In my minds eye, I can’t help but wonder if this was simply a modified script from the original one, the original script possibly being one where the Jews accepted him as the Messiah as Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem and thirty eight years later, the chosen people, with Christ as their King, started the rule of the earth from Zion instead of watching it being destroyed, just as they had captured and occupied the promised land so many centuries before.

I also see potential patterns that would have been fulfilled, if they hadn’t been broken. An example of this was Moses and the water from the rock during the wilderness wanderings. If you recall, the Lord asked Moses in Exodus 17 to strike the rock and after he did so, a great volume of water came gushing out to give sustenance to the people and their animals in the Median desert. If you carefully read the second account in Numbers 20, the second time Moses was asked to provide water from the rock the Lord asked him to speak to the rock, but because of the grumbling of the people, Moses became annoyed and frustrated with this ungrateful horde and struck the rock again out of anger at the people. Water did spew forth from the rock, but this wanton act by Moses landed him in the penalty box and prevented him from entering into the Land of Canaan. If  Moses had spoken to the rock, it would have established a pattern relating to the plan of salvation where the first time the Jews struck Christ (as Moses struck the rock the first time as requested). The second time if Moses had spoken to the rock, it would have related to the passage in Hosea 5:15 relating to the second coming where we read of the Children of Israel asking Christ to save them when they acknowledge their offense and Christ returns to rule from Zion as we read in Hosea 5:15…think of who is referred to as the Rock throughout the scriptures…Christ is called the rock. See the potential pattern that never was?

Jim

02-18-20

1 I personally think we are some sort of giant SIM game where our reality is all smoke and mirrors and the real reality is what we refer to as the ‘spirit world’. The apostle Paul supports that view, by the way in Ephesians 6:12

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 adults of the congregation, resulting in a relatively short trek through this wilderness to suddenly turn into a 38 year wandering with the intention of making sure all the grumbling adults would die, save for Joshua and Caleb (the two faithful spies). At the end of the thirty eight year wilderness wandering, only the these two adults, as well as the those that were children almost four decades earlier were allowed to enter Canaan, according to the record in Numbers chapter 14. However, if we go back to the early portion of the wanderings, we read in Numbers 26 about an obscure man by the name of  Zelophehad, of the tribe of Manasseh, 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?

To begin with, according to God’s decree in Numbers 26, only each one of the male members (for the census only counted the males of each tribe) 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 to appeal the law so his namesake would continue within 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. Jehoiachin seemed to follow the footsteps of a string of evil kings of Judah, as listed in II Kings chapters 22, 23 & 24 (most of the research I did referred to this king as Jehoiachin, but in this particular translation of the passage below, the Lord uses the name of Coniah). 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.